Two weeks, 3,700 miles, eight hunting days, six different hunts, too many friends to count, one hellova good time....
What do you do when you are stuck in the cold winter weather of Northern Illinois and have not been hunting for two months? A road trip! Lucky for me, and all of us, foxhunting is a small but welcoming world. While there are a variety of ways to hunt, we all welcome fellow fox hunters to join us, and, as Jorrocks said, "Tell me a man's a fox-hunter, and I loves him at once."
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.
The sheer beauty of a level pack of foxhounds is indisputable. There is a uniformity of appearance and traits, and such a pack tends to run well together. But isn't there another option?
Why not a pack consisting of foxhounds of various types, welcoming the unique attributes of each hound type? Breeders know that no single type offers all the best attributes we want in a pack; hence the English-American Crossbred. But within those two categories there are still more individual types with more concentrated attributes that could allow each type to contribute at the appropriate stage of any hunt just when needed.
Captain Ronnie Wallace, MFH, was the undisputed dean of British foxhunting for the entire latter half of the twentieth century. A Master of Foxhounds for more than fifty consecutive years, he was a genius in the art of venery, possessed a mystical connection with hounds, and was revered for his uncanny breeding sense. He was arguably the English breeder most influential in the development of today’s modern English foxhound.
It’s been sixteen years since Captain Wallace died in an automobile accident at age eighty-two. We have remembered the Captain in previous articles, but as we hear more personal and first-hand stories of his inexplicable feats with foxhounds, his legend merits revisiting.
Orange County Kermit 2015, after three consecutive appearances in the Grand Championship Class at the Bryn Mawr Hound Show over the last three years, proved that persistence pays off. The show was held Saturday, June 2, 2018 on the spacious grounds of the Radnor Hunt in Malvern, Pennsylvania, and Judge C. Martin Wood declared Kermit to be the “best example of an American Foxhound that he had ever seen.” And Mr. Wood has seen a few.
Last year, Kermit was beaten in the Grand Championship Class by Midland Striker, after winning the Grand Championship at Virginia just the week before. One year earlier, 2016, Striker had the same experience; he was passed over at Bryn Mawr after winning the Grand Championship at Virginia as well.