Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Keswick Hunt

keswick

Keswick, Virginia

Website: www.keswickhuntclub.com


carolinas15.david traxlerGrand Champion Hillsboro Graphic '14 with professional whipper-in Leilani Hrisko. Judges (l-r) are MFHs Tony Leahy and Dr. Jack Van Nagell / David Traxler photoHillsboro Graphic '14 was judged Grand Champion of Show at the thirty-ninth annual Carolinas Hound Show held at the Springdale Race Course in Camden, South Carolina on May 8 and 9, 2015.

Whelped to royal bloodlines—American on the sire’s side and English on the dam’s side—it should have been no surprise to see Graphic garner top honors. Her sire is Hillsboro Jethro '08, son of the magnificent Potomac Jefferson '05, Grand Champion Foxhound at Virginia in the year of the MFHA Centennial celebration, 2007.

On the dam’s side, Graphic goes back in tail female to North Cotswold Grapefruit '95, a Peterborough Champion and dam of several influential foxhounds in North America including Iroquois Grundy '98, Master Jerry Miller’s all-time favorite foxhound, and Mid-Devon Grocer '00, sire of Virginia and Bryn Mawr champion hounds from Blue Ridge.

Foxhounds from fourteen hunts and five states trod the flags at Carolinas: Aiken, Camden, DeLa Brooke, Green Creek, Hillsboro, Keswick, Lowcountry, Moore County, Red Mountain, Sedgefield, Tennessee Valley, Tryon, Whiskey Road, and Why Worry.

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Here’s Phil Audibert's cleverly edited video montage of the Keswick Hunt’s 2014/2015 foxhunting season, set to the music of the Ryegrass Rollers. The fox, the hounds, huntsman Tony Gammell, Masters, staff, and the Keswick field members all play the starring roles in this fast-paced romp through the Virginia countryside.

southern hound show15.fanfare10.warner rayLive Oak Fanfare '10 is Grand Champion of the Southern Hound Show. (L-R): Daphne Wood, MFH, Live Oak Hounds; Michael Ledyard, Esq., MFH Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds; C. Martin Wood III, MFH, Live Oak Hounds; Dale Barnett, huntsman

Captain Ian W. Farquhar, MFH of the Duke of Beaufort (UK), who judged at this show seven years ago, was joined in the ring by John J. Carle II, ex-MFH of the Keswick Hunt (VA).

Ian Farquhar, huntsman for thirty-eight seasons, judged his first show forty-two years ago and has bred nineteen Peterborough champions. Jake Carle, who hunted hounds for twenty-eight seasons, has judged for over forty years at all the major hound shows in the United States. Over the course of the weekend these two very senior judges enjoyed each other immensely and got along famously in the ring despite their English and Bywaters leanings respectively. Interestingly, thirty-four ribbons were won by Crossbreds, and twenty went to English hounds. Two Champions were Crossbred, and two were English.

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barclay rives.book See You at Second Horses, Barclay Rives, Aterlerix Press, New York, 2014, Paperback, illustrated, 184 pages, $13.50, available at retail outlets including Horse Country Saddlery, Warrenton, VirginiaThe foxes! Oh, the foxes! When Barclay Rives undertook a marathon of foxhunting in 1999, when he went out with nine English hunts in ten days, it seemed like there was a fox popping out of every covert.

Rives, an honorary whipper-in for the Keswick and Bull Run Hunts (VA), writes about his English sporting adventure in See You at Second Horses, a delightful read that puts us galloping behind some great packs in the glory days before the infamous Hunting Act of 2004 banned hunting with hounds in the traditional manner in England and Wales.

Rives is an avid hunter who once hunted one hundred days a season, sometimes going out with Keswick in the morning and Bull Run in the afternoon. Saying he was gung-ho is an understatement. He jumped at the chance to join his friends Grosvenor and Rosie Merle-Smith to hunt with packs dating back to the 1700s: the Quorn (twice), the Cottesmore, the Fernie, and others, including a foot pack—the High Peak Harriers—after rabbits.

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Here's a poetic kaleidoscope of Opening Meet images conjured up by Martha Drum the evening before, while braiding her horse and cleaning her tack.

martha drum2Opening Meet! Hounds assemble
Veterans chitchat, newbies tremble

Chilly wind, sky clear blue
Scent on frost, turning dew

Youngest rider nods and yawns
Oldest recalls many such dawns

Gents and ladies grin and greet
Ponies yank to reach and eat

Scarlet coats, mounts in braids
Flasks, in case courage fades

Some in perfect kit adorned
Others serviceably well-worn

Green horse wheels and tries to buck
Old horse naps beside the truck

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