Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Professional Horseman Bob Smith Dead at 87

BobSmith2Betsy Burke Parker photoRobert L. Smith Sr. (Bob), an institution in New York State’s horse world, died on February 19, 2015 at his home farm, Netherwood Acres. Bob is responsible for introducing countless riders to the foxhunting fields of the Millbrook and Rombout Hunts over his long career. The love and respect so many sportsmen and women hold in their hearts for this man will endure long after his ashes are spread over his beloved farm this spring.

Bob’s career with horses began in 1928 at age ten, when he began taking tourists from the city for trail rides into the Catskill Mountains on horses from his father’s farm. He was a member of Millbrook and Rombout as early as the 1950s, and his riding students of all ages rode in horse shows, hunter paces, hunter trials, and were taken foxhunting.

Bob studied agriculture and veterinary science and played on the Polo Squad at Cornell University for two years before leaving to strike out on his own and pursue his dreams in the horse business. Early in his career, Bob was involved in the breeding program for the Remount Service, which provided horses for the U.S. Calvary during and after World War II. Bob also trained a horse named Holy Smoke to jump through a ring of fire for the Disney movie Run Appaloosa Run.

In 2009, prize-winning photo/journalist Betsy Parker wrote a personal profile of Bob Smith for Covertside, which we published in the Winter edition. That story is re-published here with Betsy’s kind permission:

Captain Tom Morgan, MFH, Dies in Ireland at 94

Captain Tom Morgan presents the South Tyrone Foxhounds Hon Whip Paul Kinane and huntsman Ryan Carvill for Beauty winner of the Isaac Bell TrophyCaptain Tom Morgan (in wheelchair) presents the Isaac Bell Perpetual Challenge Cup at the 2015 National Irish Masters of Foxhounds Show. / Noel Mullins photo

Captain Thomas Morgan, MFH, died peacefully at his home, Hunters Lodge, Bishopstown , Lismore, Ireland on Sunday, March 15, 2015 at age ninety-four.

Captain Morgan worked closely with Ikey Bell, father of the Modern English Foxhound, and with Ben Hardaway, MFH of the Midland Foxhounds (GA), to create the Hardaway Crossbred. The Captain was Joint-Master, with his wife Elsie, of the West Waterford Foxhounds (IRE) from 1953 to 1989. For more on this iconic triumvirate of hound breeders, read “The Hardaway-Morgan-Bell Connection.” Here is Noel Mullins' tribute to this outstanding soldier/sportsman:

Captain Tom Morgan, MFH, was a gentleman, wise, widely read, passionate about horses and hounds, and a diplomat who had a wonderful relationship with neighbours and landowners across the hunting country. He welcomed visitors to his very traditional home with his lovely, gentle Welsh accent, and they seldom left without the customary cup of tea and talk of hunting and horse breeding.

Archibold Kingsley, ex-MFH: Sportsman and Pilot and arch.glenwoodArch Kingsley (right) with his father George at Glenwood Park, Middleburg, VAArchibald Johnston “Arch” Kingsley, died March 17, 2015 at age eighty-seven. He was a Joint-Master of the Middleburg Hunt (VA) from 1972 to 1977. He lived life fully: boxing, foxhunting, racing over fences, and piloting commercially both in the air and on the water—the latter into his eighties.

The Middleburg Hunt will dedicated the running of their Point-to-Point Races on April 26, 2015 to Arch Kingsley’s memory, and plans are underway for a memorial tailgate.

Arch was born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania on July 11, 1927 to parents George and Elizabeth Kingsley. At the age of seven he was enrolled at The Haverford School in Haverford, Pennsylvania, becoming the youngest boarding student in the school’s history. Every summer Arch went to camp at Culver Academy on Lake Maxinkuckee, Indiana, eventually becoming a Golden Gloves boxer. He went on to graduate high school at Governor Dummer Academy in Newbury, Massachusetts.

John B. Glass: Gentleman, Scholar

john glassJohn B. Glass, who served as Clerk and Keeper of the Foxhound Kennel Stud Book for the Masters of Foxhounds Association (MFHA) from 1973 to 1995, died on Friday, April 10, 2015, in Concord, Massachusetts. He was eighty-six years old.

John was the second of only three men to supervise the MFHA office in the 107 years since the founding of the association; he succeeded the late Joe Jones upon the latter’s retirement. John began his twenty-two-year career in the old MFHA headquarters on Water Street in Boston, moving to Morven Park in Leesburg, Virginia, when the directors relocated the office. John was the first to recommend computerizing the Foxhound Kennel Stud Book, and he personally wrote the code and implemented the first computer program to do that. John’s “Fox Dog” program was used for years by the MFHA until commercial programs written in newer, higher-level language became available.

The son of a West Point army officer who served in two wars, John was born in Hawaii and spent his formative years in such far-flung locations as Virginia, Texas, Wyoming, Guatemala, and Germany. He majored in economics at Yale and earned a Ph.D. in archaeology at Harvard. He became an authority on Pre-Columbian hieroglyphic manuscripts, publishing numerous papers and books on the subject, most notably as a major contributor to the academic encyclopedia The Handbook of Middle American Indians.

Dedicated to Janet Hitchen

och hounds.hitchen.525Orange County foxounds at the old kennels / Janet Hitchen photo

Each year I look forward to the task of choosing the cover photo for our Foxhunting Life calendar. This year that task was taken in a more serious vein than usual. Having lost Janet Hitchen, one of the country’s foremost sporting photographers and a good friend, I arranged with her assistant Joanne Maisano to reproduce one of Janet’s iconic foxhunting photographs for our cover—one that represents her particular talent in composing a visually dramatic image, replete with contrasting textures, and which tells a story about our sport.

The four Orange County foxhounds in their old kennels—so clearly American—appear in a variety of postures, moods, and expressions from regal to relaxed. Their silky coats contrast with the rough floor boards, the distressed door, and the white-washed walls, worn and soiled from years of toenails and mud. And, as expected in Janet’s photographs, the composition, balance, focus, and color are flawless.

With this photo gracing our cover, we dedicate our Foxhunting Life 2016 Calendar to Janet Hitchen. And as with all our covers, the image appears both on the cover and inside the calendar, enlarged to fill the entire page to the edges. Also, as before, photos of the hound show grand champions that you’ve been reading about in FHL throughout the hound show season are still to be found inside the back cover.

We’ve been publishing our appointments calendar since 1998, and our annual collection of foxhunting images continues to represent the finest examples of the sporting photographer’s art.

Foxhunting Life 2016 Calendars will be ready to ship on September 1. They’ll help you keep track of your busy schedule while they brighten up your tack room and kitchen. And they make great gifts for your party hosts and for landowners in your hunting country.

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Lady Anne Hemphill (1929--2015)

lady anne hemphill2Lady Anne Hemphill (nee Ruttledge) passed away this week at Craughwell Nursing Home in County Galway. An elegant and friendly lady, with a pleasant greeting for everyone, she will be remembered as one of the most accomplished Field Masters for the Galway Blazers, a role she filled with style for fifteen seasons.

I remember hunting in Oranmore when Michael Dempsey was huntsman, and as he drew the last covert at the Rifle Range in near darkness, hounds found immediately and we were away. Lady Anne leading the field came down in a narrow lane when her horse slipped. Deciding to stop and help we got a glimpse of her hand barely visible over the wall waving us on as she was trying to extricate herself from under her horse, saying,” Go, on, go on, don’t mind me, enjoy yourselves!”

Harry Wight, ex-MFH (1932--2015)

harry wightHarry Wight (to the right) and Randy Rouse battle for the lead at Seven-Corners circa 1970s. / Douglas Lees photo

Charles Henry Conley Wight, “Harry,” passed away on May 11, 2015 at INOVA Loudoun Hospital in Virginia. Harry hunted hounds at the Loudoun Hunt starting in 1985 and was appointed MFH in 1990. He retired from hunting hounds in 2001.

His steeplechase racing career spanned over forty years. He won Gentleman Rider titles several seasons, earning his last title at the age of sixty while besting many twenty-year-olds at the game. In 1967, with a committee of the late Dr. Joseph Rogers, S.D. Phillips, and others, he participated in the creation of the first Loudoun Hunt Point-to-Point races on the grounds of Oatlands. He managed these races until 2012.

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