Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Genesee Valley Hunt


Geneseo, New York


betsy smith.emma roweBetsy Smith in Virginia's Old Dominion Hunt country  /   Emma Rowe photoFoxhunting remained pure in much of rural Virginia even as the coyote population was increasing up and down the eastern coastal states. Why much of Virginia’s hunting country was ignored by coyotes is a question for another time, but there’s no doubt that canis latrans has discovered its earlier mistake and, for the last several years, has made substantial property acquisitions in the Old Dominion.

Virginia hunts are handling the situation in various ways—some considering coyote as riot, some adding the coyote to its list of bona fide quarry. For hunts in the latter category, with staff still relatively inexperienced in hunting the coyote, new questions arise for their hound breeding programs.

Betsy Smith asks whether a hound’s nose for coyote scenting should be any different than a hound’s nose for fox scenting. For a pack that hunts both coyote and fox, are there any breeding considerations when it comes to nose?

As a followup question, Betsy asks if there are other more important hound attributes than nose to consider and breed for.

We went to our Panel of Experts and asked two experienced huntsmen, C. Martin Wood, MFH, Live Oak Hounds (FL) and Marion Thorne, MFH, Genesee Valley Hunt (NY), to answer Betsy’s questions for the benefit of their less coyote-savvy friends in Virginia. Although Marty hunts in Florida, and Marion hunts in New York state, it’s uncanny how similarly they feel about what they need in their packs.

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The Genesee Valley Hunt (NY) can boast of two families still hunting in the fifth generation. It’s no surprise that the Wadsworth family is one. After all, it was Major W. Austin Wadsworth who established the hunt in 1876. Three generations of the Wadsworth family are hunting today—Martha Wadsworth, MFH, Marion Thorne, MFH, and Piper Wadsworth—sister, step-daughter, and granddaughter of current MFH, Austin Wadsworth.

The Chanler family of Geneseo is the second to attain this venerable state with the introduction of nine-year-old Mary Chanler to the hunting field this season. According to Sally Fox’s article in the Livingston Daily News, Mary is the daughter of Andrew and Alison Chanler. Mary's family has been hunting with Genesee Valley back to great-great-grandfather Winthrop Chanler, MFH in the 1920s.

I’ve been asking to hunt for years, said Mary!

Posted November 2, 2012

Ed Young—newly appointed to the five-member FEI (international) Driving Technical Committee—was plucked from the Genesee Valley hunting field in the mid-1970s by Bill Remley, founder of the Walnut Hill Carriage Driving Competition in New York State. Remley recognized Young’s math, organizational, and leadership skills and asked him to help out with the scoring in an upcoming competition.

That small job, and others that followed, fired a growing enthusiasm in Young for driving. As he became more involved in the sport of driving, many encouraged him to become licensed as a Technical Delegate. He became so highly regarded that he recently left for Germany as chef d’equipe of the U.S. team and last January joined a Hungarian, a Belgian, a German, and an Australian on the FEI Technical Committee.

Until his retirement Young, was a math teacher in the public school system for thirty-eight years, where he developed alternative math programs. He first came to the Genesee Valley area with an interest in hunters and jumpers, and soon joined the Genesee Valley Hunt.

For more details, read Sally Fox’s article in Geneseo’s Livingston County News.

Posted August 19, 2012

potomac templetonKaren L. Meyers photoUnentered Potomac Templeton was judged Grand Champion Foxhound at the Bryn Mawr Hound Show, a testament to the breeding acumen of huntsman Larry Pitts. He has a hound to appeal to every judge. If you don’t like ‘em too big, here’s a smaller one! If you don’t like ‘em too robust, here’s a finer one!

Ignored in Virginia and over-shadowed by his littermate, Teapot—judged best Unentered Hound at Virginia—Templeton went to Bryn Mawr determined to redeem himself.

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20120210144326_IMG_0550Genesee Valley hounds going home from their one hundredth hunt of the season after running their fox in and out of a swamp for nearly two hours. (l-r) whipper-in Erica Hutten, Master and huntsman Marion Thorne, and whipper-in and hunt secretary Janice Barrett. / Bill Gamble photoThe Genesee Valley Hunt (NY) celebrated a new record for their hunt on Wednesday, February 8, 2012, when they completed their one hundredth hunt of the season. True, the eastern part of the country has been blessed with an easy winter, but equally true is that their hunting country sits astride the same latitude as Buffalo, New York!

Located in a northern clime, the Genesee Valley Hunt decided long ago to simply ignore the weather. The only generally acceptable causes for cancellation are lightning—you never want to be sitting on a horse shod with steel shoes in a lightning storm—or when the Genesee River freezes over. Of course, the hunt’s geographic location is advantageous in the summer where they are able to start cubhunting in mid-July.

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