Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Hamilton Hunt

hamilton

West of Caledonia, Ontario.

Website: www.thehamiltonhuntclub.ca/


canadian17.toronto north yorks blue ridge wentworthToronto and North York's Blue Ridge Wentworth 2015 (Mendip Farmers Wentworth 2011 ex Mendip Farmers Stylish 2011) is Grand Champion of Show -- again -- at Canadian Hound Show.  /   Denya Massey Clarke photo

The sixty-fifth annual Canadian Foxhound Show was hosted by the London Hunt (ON) on Saturday, June 8, 2019.

Giving the younger foxhounds a fighting chance for glory, Toronto and North York Hunt (ON) entered their Blue Ridge Wentworth 2015, a veteran of four seasons of hunting, only in the class for Stallion Hounds. That was enough for Wentworth, though. After winning that class, he vanquished all he met on his way to being judged Grand Champion of Show at Canada for the second time since 2017. This was his third Grand Championship since Bryn Mawr in 2016. Wentworth has an interesting history both in the field and on the flags.

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canadian18.cloud with pam black.heather swanOttawa Valley’s Toronto and North York Cloud with Pam Black. Huntsman Antony Gaylard's longtime partner, Black helps as a road whip, cares for the hunt’s whelping bi*ches, the puppies after whelping, and, if it’s late in the year, may bring a whole litter back to the kennel by the house to give them a safe start in life. In her spare time, she operates her own business!  /  Heather Swan photo

Ottawa Valley Hunt’s Toronto and North York Cloud 2012 was judged Grand Champion of Show at the Canadian Hound Show. The show was hosted by the London Hunt (ON) and held on the grounds of the London Hunt and Country Club, Saturday, June 9, 2018.

In addition to Ottawa Valley, hounds were shown by Eglinton and Caledon, Hamilton, London, Montreal, Toronto and North York, and Wellington-Waterloo Hunts.

Ottawa Valley huntsman Antony Gaylard bred and entered Cloud while huntsman at the Toronto and North York Hunt (ON). When Gaylard departed T&NY to return as huntsman to Ottawa Valley, he took Cloud and others of his breeding with him, with permission, as is customary. Though technically English, Cloud has Crossbred lines in both sides of her pedigree. And an impressive pedigree it is, with outstanding tail lines—both male and female.

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souther17.hillsboro godfreyHillsboro Godfrey 2016 was last year’s Grand Champion at the Southern Hound Show, hosted by the Live Oak Hounds (FL) / Leslie Shepherd photo

With the foxhunting season closing, and a new season of hound and puppy shows approaching, I always determine to improve my eye for a hound by judging from ringside just for fun. I would encourage any foxhunter to try it. The exercise not only makes the day more interesting, but educational as well. Especially when you can collar a friendly judge after the class and ask him why he didn’t like the hound you adored, or why he picked a hound you thought was ordinary.

It can be intimidating when you watch a procession of foxhounds enter and leave the ring and wonder how in the world the judge can sort them all out. For example, how does he compare a hound he is looking at to one he saw ten minutes ago? I have asked, and it seems there are almost as many methods as there are judges.

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As we approach the 2017/2018 season, Foxhunting Life makes its annual report on the recent moves of eight huntsmen across the North American hunting countries.

hughjulierobards.cropped.cancelliRetiring huntsman Hugh Robards, wife and first whipper-in Julie, and the foxhounds of the Middleburg Hunt / Chris Cancelli photo

Round I:
Hugh Robards’ decision to hang up his hunting horn after fifty-five seasons in hunt service got Round One underway. Fully half of those seasons, and certainly the most visible, Robards spent in Ireland’s challenging ditch-and-bank country as huntsman for the County Limerick Foxhounds. There, he provided world-class sport for Master Lord Daresbury (whom he succeeded as huntsman), the hard riding members, and a constant stream of hunting visitors from around the globe.

For the last three seasons, Robards has carried the horn for the Middleburg Hunt (VA). As difficult as his personal retirement decision must have been, the Middleburg Masters and members paid Robards such a stirring tribute at their Hunt Ball that he had to have felt the sincere respect and affection in which he was held, notwithstanding his short tenure there. The members made certain that the ball revolved about him with mounted photographs of his career, the showing of a specially produced video, and speeches—sincere and well-earned, to recognize an illustrious career.

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live oak dandyLive Oak Dandy was Grand Champion of Show at the Southern Hound Show this year. / Cathy Taber photo

The hound show season, now underway, provides an excellent opportunity to improve one’s eye for foxhound conformation by judging from ringside just for fun. The exercise not only makes the day more interesting, but educational as well. Especially when you can collar a friendly judge after the class and ask him why he didn’t like the hound you adored, or why he picked a hound you thought was common. (Obviously, you must frame your question such that the judge understands that you are seeking an education and not leveling criticism!)

It can be intimidating to watch a procession of foxhounds enter and leave the ring and wonder how in the world the judge can sort them all out. For example, how does he compare a hound he is looking at to one he saw ten minutes ago? Ten years ago, I asked some top judges how they judged a class, and here's what I learned.

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