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Why Some Autumn Hunts are Unforgettable

IMG 1062Frances Player photo

Early every season, foxhunters get to sit for a special moment on a horse, in the midst of the natural world, as the rising sun ignites crystals of dew, and the slanting light creeps across the once dark fields. All is silent but for nature’s sounds, and then...

“...the sounds of the hunting horn and this year’s young entry could be heard in the cornfield, giving hope for a promising season ahead,” said Heather Player, professional whipper-in for the Keswick Hunt (VA).

Heather’s mother, Frances Player, took this lovely photo.

Posted September 14, 2018

On the Grass With Blue Ridge and Thornton Hill

DSC 5816Photographs by Liz Callar

By the north-western banks of the Shenandoah River, just under the sweep of the Blue Ridge Mountains, huntsman Beth Opitz, MFH, Thornton Hill Hounds (VA) readies to move off to the first draw with her pack of Penn-Marydel foxhounds. Husband and Joint-Master Erwin Opitz (in scarlet) helps to keep the pack together.

The joint-meet at the southern-most end of the Blue Ridge Hunt country at Blue Ridge Master Jeff LeHew’s beautiful Shannon Hill fixture was held on Tuesday, December 4, 2018. It was new country for Thornton Hill’s Penn-Marydels, and a different experience for the Blue Ridge hosts who regularly follow their Crossbred pack of Modern English and American lines, but also includes some pure Old English, pure Fell, and crosses on these bloodlines as well. (See “A Level Pack or a Team of Specialists?”)

Discovering the World In Springtime's Glory

fox 2018 05 26 Cubs and garden birds 36

Janet Ladner is a sporting photographer in the UK who shoots spectacular foxhunting and beagling images in the southwestern tip of England on the cliffs of Cornwall. This young cub and two other littermates were whelped in this huge earth covering about twenty feet of a granite stone hedge not far from the village of Ludgvan, writes Ladner.

“There are usually cubs in this field each year, and it’s where we walk our dogs regularly. I’m not sure how long they will be here as the potato crop is about to be harvested,” says Ladner.

She has been watching the earth for a couple of weeks, and used a Nikon D7200 with a 300 mm lens for this shot.

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