The 2018 Penn-Marydel Foxhound Show was held on Saturday, May 12, 2018, in Fair Hill, Maryland. In spite of a rather bleak weather forecast for the afternoon, the rain held off, and we finished up well ahead of the evening storms for this, our sixty-fourth foxhound show.
Well over one hundred hounds were entered from eight packs: Andrews Bridge Foxhounds (PA), Golden’s Bridge Hounds (NY), Kimberton Hunt (PA), Lewisville Hunt, Marlborough Hunt (MD), Mt. Carmel Foxhounds, Red Oak Foxhounds (VA), and Snickersville Hunt (VA).
The 2018 New York District Puppy Show, hosted by the Old Chatham Hunt (NY), was held at Valley View Farm, courtesy of Doe Hee Kim and Michael Leder, on May 20, 2018. The day dawned with cloudy skies that, upon the start of the show, turned to a steady rain with temperatures in the low fifties. Not the nicest of spring days in the Old Chatham foxhunting country west of the Berkshire Mountains in Massachusetts.
Old Chatham Master Jef Murdock and his members were prepared, however, and the show was moved into a spacious tent. Participating hunts were Golden’s Bridge Hounds, Millbrook Hunt, Rombout Hunt, Windy Hollow Hunt, and the hosts, Old Chatham Hunt.
The MFHA’s Ian Milne Award is a serious tribute to accomplished huntsmen across North America. It is awarded periodically to a huntsman of sound character who has made outstanding contributions to the sport of foxhunting. Recipients of the Ian Milne Award have learned the hard lessons of the field and the kennels as well as in life, and they have learned to do it right.
This year, that honoree is Donald Philhower, huntsman for the Millbrook Hounds in New York State. Consider the namesake whom the award personifies.
Ian Milne was respected and liked by all. His hunt service began in England and continued until his last breath here in North America. He was a genuine friend and a generous mentor to aspiring and established huntsmen. He was a gentleman, honest as the day is long, and he lived for hounds and hunting.
November brings forth fall, foliage, and foxhunting. The first weekend of the month is the beginning of the formal season for many hunts with its blessing of hounds, hunt breakfasts, and equestrian fashion pageantry that splashes the color of autumnal leaves with scarlet, black, and brown flashes as horses, hounds, and exuberant riders gallop along.
Foxhunting Life published a lovely article by Epp Wilson last month about the Golden’s Bridge Hounds (NY), its pack of Penn-Marydel foxhounds, and its young huntsman Codie Hayes. I had the pleasure of hunting with Golden’s Bridge as a guest a few times in the last decade and thoroughly enjoyed watching the hounds work. I also recall as a teenager hunting with the Fairfield County Hounds in Newtown, Connecticut with their pack that included Penn-Marydels.
According to a Chronicle of the Horse magazine article in 2005, “The consensus among huntsmen with exclusively Penn-Marydel foxhound packs is that they’re unbeatable for their nose, voice, and ease of hunting.” Not only that, but because they are so agreeable to hunt, as one huntsman said, “They sort of hunt themselves and don’t require a lot of additional work.”
After two brutally hot days of foxhound performance trials at Millbrook, the weather finally broke. The next stop on our Hark Forward Friendship Tour was a day’s foxhunting with the Golden’s Bridge Hounds (NY), about twenty miles southeast of Millbrook as the crow flies. Thankfully, the temperature had dropped by fifteen degrees. Hounds met at 7:30 am, scenting had definitely improved, and so had the game activity.
Trying something new, I took my digital recorder to record the important snippets of the action and my impressions of the day. This is the same recorder we use to score the hounds in the hound trials. Since it’s hard to remember everything that happens during a foxhunt, I wanted to make the all the action and impressions of the day come alive. Here goes: