At this year’s Virginia Foxhound Show, the Hillsboro Hounds (TN) matched a bit of history made back in 2010 by the Live Oak Hounds (FL) in that most exciting final class of the day, Grand Champion of Show. The show was held at Morven Park on May 27, 2018
As usual, four hounds were qualified for the Grand Champion class—the American, Crossbred, English, and Penn-Marydel Champions. Hillsboro had two hounds in the ring, having won both the English and the Crossbred Championships. When the class ended, Hillsboro Walnut 2017 was Grand Champion of Show, and Hillsboro Starlight 2017 was Reserve Grand Champion. It only happened once before, and there have been seventy-one Virginia Foxhound Shows.
Review by Norman Fine
Here is a beautifully designed and magnificently produced coffee table book of sporting art: two hundred forty pages filled with high quality color reproductions of more than 180 paintings and sketches by Joseph Sulkowski. The 12-1/4 x 11-1/4 hard bound volume was meticulously printed on fine quality coated stock so substantial I was tempted to measure the thickness with a wooden ruler. The book weighs in at five pounds.
But here’s the thing. It’s not just a book of brilliant paintings; it’s a college level course in art appreciation by a writer, Brooke Chilvers, who at age seventeen moved herself to Paris to study art history. Upon completing her studies, Chilvers embarked on a year-long camping trip, after which she married Rudy Lubin, a French professional hunter who operated in the French Republic of Africa for forty years. Chilvers has been the editor of African Hunting Gazette for twelve years and the art columnist for Gray’s Sporting Journal for fifteen years. She has filled high-level offices in international hunting organizations and won journalistic awards for her writing.
The twelfth Southern Hound Show, hosted annually by the Live Oak Hounds (FL), will be remembered for the rain and the Hillsboro Hounds (TN) entries that swept four of the five Championship classes.
Hillsboro Walnut 2017 was judged Grand Champion of Show and Champion Bi*ch. Hillsboro hounds also won the Champion Unentered and Champion Two-Couple classes. Live Oak Assault was Champion Dog Hound and Reserve Champion of Show. “For Hillsboro to win all but one of the championships is a major accomplishment for Master Orrin Ingram and Huntsman Johnny Gray,” said Daphne Wood, MFH, Live Oak Hounds.
Junior foxhunters, their horses, parents, and friends traveled from thirteen states to Thomson, Georgia, where the Belle Meade Hunt hosted the finals of the fifteenth annual Junior North American Field Hunter Championships on November 11-13, 2017.
Throughout the course of the informal season, hunts around the country held qualifying meets from which the young finalists were chosen by mounted judges. Of the 216 juniors who qualified to compete in the finals, fifty-six young riders from eighteen North American hunts—more than twenty-five percent of those qualified—traveled to Belle Mead to hunt, compete, see old friends, and make a pile of new friends. And did they have a wonderful time! It was truly a pleasure to see.
MFHA President Tony Leahy and the Fox River Valley/Massbach Hounds hosted the kick-off Performance Trial on the Hark Forward Tour in their western Illinois hunting country on September 16 and 17, 2017.
By the time it was over, everyone took home a renewed appreciation for the hard work and knowhow it takes to make and maintain a good hunting pack of foxhounds. Certainly the fact that littermates brought up by different hunts and trained by different staffs, rose like cream to the top of the scoring is convincing proof that breeding matters! Next stop on the tour is Millbrook, New York.