Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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ben hardaway cropBenjamin H. Hardaway, III, MFH died peacefully at his home on Thursday, October 19, 2017 at the age of ninety-eight. Funeral services were held Tuesday, October 24th. Interment at Linwood Cemetery was private. A memorial service was held at 2:00 pm, followed by a reception at Hardaway Hall in Midland, Georgia.

Ben was arguably the most widely-known American foxhunter throughout the foxhunting world and the most influential American breeder of foxhounds of the twentieth century. He had a passion for hunting all manner of wild game from his childhood days until his last. He hunted small game and birds with a gun, rabbits and coon with hounds, foxes with foxhounds and deer with lurchers.

He established the Midland Fox Hounds (GA) in 1950 and served as Master for sixty-seven years and huntsman for much of that period. He adored the July foxhound for its activity and aggressive hunting style, traits to which he could well relate. Ben’s favorite description of a successful foxhunt was “short, sharp, and decisive.”

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# Gretchen Pelham 2017-10-31 16:39
The day Ben Hardaway died, Epp Wilson addressed dinner guests at the Bull Run/Rappahannoc k Foxhound Performance Trial in Virginia. Much of what he said is in the published tribute above, but the following is worth noting:

“[Mr. Hardaway’s] hounds won more grand championships at the Virginia Hound Show than anyone else. Over his hunting career, he gave away thousands of good hounds. During his lifetime I think he had more positive influence on Foxhunting than anyone else.

“He and Mason Lampton designed and hosted the first Hound Performance Trial ever, in 1996.

Twenty five years ago I asked him, “Mr. Hardaway, what is the very best thing about foxhunting?” Without hesitation he said, 'Friendship. I am blessed with many friends, but my very best friends are my foxhunting friends. The shared experiences of this great sport draw people together like nothing else in the world.'”

“Now Mr. Hardaway is in heaven. And heaven will adjust….”
# Denya Massey 2017-11-03 17:43
How wonderful to see our Canadian Major Kindersley with Mr. Hardaway in the photograph. They were great admirers of each other. Major Kindersley was a breeder of the modern English Foxhound, but a judge and an admirer of all good Foxhounds.
# Gretchen Pelham 2017-11-06 19:57
Daphne Wood, MFH, Live Oak Hounds (FL), sent us this personal tribute:

Ben Hardaway died last night. Our 44th Opening Meet this Saturday will be in his memory.

Marty had never foxhunted until he hunted with Midland in 1970, so we can thank Ben for firing up his passion for hunting that has resulted in the creation of the Live Oak Hounds and decades of the most addictive fun that is possible on this planet!!!

Ben was very generous to the Live Oak Hounds and, among other great ones, gave us one of the best hounds we have ever had, Midland Cyclone 84. He was the most amusing person I have ever known and his intelligence and wit were legendary. He provided first class entertainment on and off the hunting field wherever he went and he went everywhere!
# Gretchen Pelham 2017-11-06 19:58
...from Daphne: He was an exceptional huntsman and had a wonderful instinct for leaving hounds alone and not taking away their initiative by helping them when not necessary. His pack was as good as any pack anywhere in the world and they provided terrific sport .

He wanted his field to ride right behind him so that they could enjoy watching the hounds work. Marty always wanted his field up close for the same reason during the 31 years he carried the horn, and he learned that and so much more from Ben.

He lived life to the absolute fullest every moment of every day. His joie de vie was contagious and he loved sharing the joy that filled his heart and soul with all people that came in contact with him.
# Gretchen Pelham 2017-11-06 19:59
...from Daphne: He was equally comfortable with Prince Charles or a ditch digger. That seems to me to be a southern gentleman’s trait in particular, as my father, who was a great friend of Ben’s and served on the Board of the Hardaway Co., was also very much that way. He genuinely loved people and took great pleasure in making them have a rollicking good time!

I first remember meeting Ben when I was about 8 years old. My father had a couple of old pot licker hounds and Ben came down to go foxhunting followed by quail shooting. The hounds treed a fox and Ben remembers my hanging onto Daddy’s leg begging him not to kill the fox ! Hummmm, things have changed a little .........

He lived a very full jam packed life and leaves no stone left unturned.

He is reunited with his adored Sarah who was the only person in the world that could successfully jerk a knot in his tail which he sometimes badly needed !
# Gretchen Pelham 2017-11-06 20:00
...From Daphne: Ben, you were and are larger than life!!! Keep the hounds of heaven in cracking form will you and we, the REAL foxhunters, will be there by and by to have a great run with you and a ton of laughter!!!

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