Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Fox News

fox with paperBennett Tucker photo

Fox News has put Aiken’s favorite critters to work as newsboys. The news empire is making a sincere effort to improve their service in Aiken, South Carolina.

“Everyone knows foxes are smart, just perfect for this job,” said a company spokesperson. “They know every square inch of their territory, they are known to run consistent routes, and, being nocturnal, they don’t oversleep. Even the earliest Aiken risers are certain to receive their morning papers on time, every day. And foxes work cheap—just a mouse.”

Photo credit goes to Bennett Tucker, a two-legged “fox” for the Aiken Hounds (SC).

Posted May 28, 2018

The Stop

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Mouseover image and click play to view the entire sequence.  /   Douglas Lees photoEclipse Award winning photographer Douglas Lees shot this harrowing sequence of Elizabeth Scully when her horse Girlsruletheworld refused near the officials’ stand at the Piedmont Point-to-Point Races on March 24, 2018. The incident occurred nearly in front of Alexandra McKee on Alert N Ready, that pair making an amazing adjustment to avoid a pileup, get over the fence, and finish the race. The sequence is all the more dramatic for Scully’s calm demeanor on her way to the turf contrasted with the electrified expressions on the faces of the officials.

Scully and Girlsruletheworld won the Restricted Young Adult Flat Race at the Blue Ridge Point-to-Point in 2016 and were a competitive combination in the 2017 Lady Rider Timber point-to-points. McKee is a past winner of the Grand National Steeplechase on Narrow River in 2003 and placed second in the 2004 Maryland Hunt Cup behind Blair Waterman on Bug River.

Lees used a Nikon D5 camera body with a Nikon 70-200 mm lens for the shots.

Posted April 22, 2018

Legacy of William Almy

nina and lilly McKee.lees.cropNina McKee and daughter Lily McKee at the Warrenton Hunt Junior Meet in December, 2017. Lily is the great-great-granddaughter of William Almy. / Douglas Lees photo

Ninety-nine years ago, William Almy, twenty-two, was Master of the Quansett Hounds in South Westport, Massachusetts. Almy and his hounds hunted the fox from Quansett Farm, in the possession of the Almy family since 1700. The farm was situated on the northern shore of Buzzards Bay where the bay meets Rhode Island Sound. At the time of his death in 1979, he’d been a member of the Masters of Foxhounds Association for nearly fifty-six years.

In his time, Almy was recognized as the leading amateur huntsman in North America. He hunted English, American, and Crossbred hounds through his career as Master and huntsman of Quansett and Groton Hunts in Massachusetts, and Culpeper and Warrenton Hunts in Virginia. Almy was constantly in demand as a judge at horse shows and hound shows.

Vixen and Cubs

vixencubs.PEC contest.smallClick on image for large format.

Theresa Ball’s photograph of vixen and cubs was the winning entry in the eighth Annual P.E.C. Photo Contest, Native Plants and Wildlife category, 2017. The Piedmont Environmental Council is renowned for its ardent preservation of the natural resources, history, and beauty of Virginia’s Piedmont.

Posted December 31, 2017

Didn’t Know Old Ariat Could Run That Fast!

Photographer Gretchen Pelham was simply photographing a beautiful scene of huntsman Ryan Johnsey standing by the cornfield with the Smoky Mountains in the background. She had no idea she had caught a hunting drama!

coyote, foxhound and huntsman in the shadow of the Smoky Mountains

Limestone, Tennessee, on the banks of the Nolichucky River (translation: “the River of Death”) under the shadow of the Smoky Mountains. It was the first staff hunt of the season. I had picked up a few puppies and our ancient hound Ariat hanging out at the trailers and put them in a section of corn that I knew was close to the pack, still searching for game. Both puppies came right back out of the corn but Ariat started boo-hooing on a line. The pack soon joined her and off they went.

About an hour later I was sitting on a hill on my horse, listening to the pack circle and roar by me again, and all I did was take a burst of photos of Ryan Johnsey, MFH, our huntsman, with the Smoky Mountains in the background. That’s it. I saw Ryan and the mountains through the lens. Nothing else.