The Iroquois Hunt, established in 1880, celebrates Opening Meet of the formal season at their ancient clubhouse in Lexington, Kentucky with a traditional Blessing of Hounds. The video includes brief statements by Dr. Jack van Nagell, MFH, and Lilla Mason, MFH and huntsman.
This video was produced by Fox 56 Ten O'clock News, Lexington, KY and is republished with permission.
Posted December 16, 2019
Junior foxhunters and their parents traveled from thirteen states to Lexington, Kentucky, where the Iroquois Hunt hosted the finals of the 2016 Junior North American Field Hunter Championships. Thirty-three hunts participated over the course of the informal season by holding qualifying meets from which the finalists were chosen by mounted judges. In thirteen years, the program has grown steadily in participation and geographically from its modest start involving a few hunts in Virginia.
The program is succeeding because it’s purpose rises above just competition. Founders Douglas Wise, MFH, Old Dominion Hounds (VA) and Iona Pillion from the Blue Ridge Hunt (VA) had a larger dream: bring children to new hunting countries, broaden their hunting perspectives, and open their eyes to the fact that these hunting countries don’t just happen to be there for them by chance, but have been nurtured and conserved for the perpetuation of wildlife, open space, and for those who treasure the natural world.
“We want these kids to know what a conservation easement is,” said Marion Chungo, one of the organizers.
With six hundred foxhounds from thirty-seven hunts showing in five separate rings at the Virginia Foxhound Show at Morven Park on Sunday, May 29, 2016, the hour gets late before the four individual division champions—American, Crossbred, English, and Penn-Marydel foxhounds—finally get their chance to face off for the William W. Brainard Jr. Perpetual Cup designating the Grand Champion of Show.
The hour arrived, somewhere around six p.m., as four handsome champions came together before Dr. John W.D. McDonald, MFH, judge of this prestigious class. It had been a long, hot, and tiring day for everyone—spectators, judges, handlers, and hounds alike. But one foxhound looked like he was still ready and happy to run from one end of the field to the other, which he did when asked to show his movement. With long, powerful, yet graceful strides that looked like a slow-motion camera had been set up just for him, Midland Striker made his statement and would not be denied.
“He is one of the most beautiful movers anyone could expect to see,” said Judge McDonald in admiration. “And he has perfect conformation.”
Why Worry’s Heythrop Rachel 2011 was judged Grand Champion at the fortieth annual Carolinas Hound Show held at the Springdale Racecourse in Camden, South Carolina on May 7, 2016. It’s one thing for a visiting MFH to pick up a nice draft to bring back to the home kennels; it’s another thing entirely to know what to do with it. Here’s where George and Jeannie Thomas, MFHs, Why Worry Hounds (SC), showed their breeding acumen.
While visiting friends in England and judging a puppy show at the Heythrop kennels, George mentioned that he needed a bi*ch* to introduce new bloodlines into his breeding program. We have just the hound for you, he was told. So he brought home a nicely-bred entered bi*ch, Heythrop Rachel 2011.
Brenda Simmons is an ex-Master of the Glenmore Hunt (VA). While an active Master, Brenda, who also whipped-in at the time, wore a scarlet coat.
Brenda asks, “Being an ex-MFH, is it still correct to wear my scarlet coat even though I am a lady?”
When visiting other hunts for joint meets, Brenda tells us that she wears a black hunt coat with Glenmore buttons, colors on the collar, and black boots with patent leather tops, even though Glenmore members may have been invited to wear their colors. When capping at other hunts—no joint meet—Brenda wears a plain black hunt coat, no colors, and plain black boots.
At Glenmore, however, she continues to wear her scarlet coat and wonders if she is correct in doing so. We asked two members of our Panel of Experts for their opinions, and your editor weighs in as well!