Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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A Foxhunter's Dreamscape

fife.laverackClick image for enlarged view.

Huntsman Robert Howarth watches the Fife foxhounds draw through the gorse above a magnificent piece of hunting country in Scotland. The Fife is one of the northern-most packs in Scotland and has been in existence for more than two hundred years. Helen Laverack, a frequent contributor to Foxhunting Life, took the photo.

The Fife country is an undulating mixture of plough and old, hilly grassland. Most of the jumps are timber, and there are no adjacent bordering hunts. The Fife was home to the legendary sporting poet, George Whyte-Melville (1821–1878).

Posted October 17, 2014

The Natural

jackie robinsonIt was the month of April in 1947 that Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in major league baseball. Here’s an earlier photograph of Robinson while a member of the segregated 9th Cavalry Regiment taken at Fort Riley, Kansas. Consummate athlete that he was, it’s not surprising that his seat on this cavalry horse cannot be faulted! [Submitted by Steven Price.]

Posted April 23, 2014

Bennett's Blue Ridge Blues

chapman7David Chapman photo

Novice rider Tom Bennett, riding for trainer Jimmy Day, fell at the same fence in the first two races at the Blue Ridge Hunt Point-to-Point on Sunday, March 23, 2014, but came back strongly to notch two wins on the day's card. This spectacular photograph was taken by David Chapman. See the entire sequence by clicking on the photo and starting the slide show. Prints of these photographs are available from the photographer. Contact FHL to be connected.

Bennett's blues started in the first race, the Maiden Hurdle, when his horse, Fall Colors (number 5) owned by Bruce Smart, fell. Bedizen (number 2) jumped Fall Colors cleanly (photo), but unseated his rider, Gerard Galligan, the two going their separate ways as well. (Click on the photo to see the entire sequence.)

The Look of Eagles

kirk douglas

A phrase often ascribed to a proud and majestic horse,“The Look of Eagles” in this photo surely applies to both horse and rider.

This photo of Kirk Douglas in hunting attire is thought to be a publicity still for The List of Adrian Messenger. The film was directed by John Huston, father of Anjelica Huston, whose memoir of growing up at St. Clerans, the family home in Ireland, is reviewed below.

John Huston was a Joint-Master of the Galway Blazers, and he brought many screen stars to St. Clerans, including Kirk Douglas. The foxhunting scenes for The List of Adrian Messenger, in which George C. Scott also appeared, were filmed in Ireland. Scott, along with other Hollywood stars, hunted with the West Hills Hunt in California. John Huston was also a member of West Hills. Whether or not Kirk Douglas hunted with West Hills, we don’t know.

"License and Registration, Please."

mike and colleen.ashley twiggsAshley Twiggs photo

Hunts seeking to recruit new members can take a page from the Belle Meade Hunt in Thomson, Georgia. Officer Mike Coke met this Belle Meade foxhound, Colleen, on the highway. The pair obviously hit it off to the extent that Coke, who had no previous experience with foxhunting, was sufficiently smitten by Colleen that he now follows the hunt on his days off and even serves as a road whip (though not in the cruiser!). Coke took an entire week of his accumulated vacation leave to attend Belle Meade’s “Gone Away with the Wind” Hunt Week held during the last week in January, where your editor had the pleasure of meeting him.

Posted February 3, 2014

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