Two days of hard hunting on November 6 and 7, 2018 behind a pack of fifty-four foxhounds—each of which qualified for this championship event by placing among the top ten of one or more of the performance trials over the past year—concluded the MFHA Hark Forward! Performance Trial Season. The season of performance trials, field hunter trials, and joint meets which began last year were conceived by MFHA president Tony Leahy and Master Epp Wilson, Belle Meade Hunt (GA), to reprise, during Leahy’s tenure as president, the spirit of the MFHA Centennial celebrations ten years earlier.
The Performance Trial Championship event was matured, expanded, organized, and staged to perfection by the Masters of the Midland Fox Hounds (GA) in their Fitzpatrick, Alabama hunting country. More than two hundred people representing more than forty hunts participated. Foxhounds from twenty-four hunts competed. Ashley Hubbard, professional huntsman at the Green Spring Valley Hounds (MD), served as trial huntsman for this all-star pack.
The Blue Mountain Pony Club in Maryland won the seventh annual Live Oak Hounds USPC Foxhunting Challenge Award for 2013. The Challenge Award is made possible through the generous support of Mr. and Mrs. C. Martin Wood III, Joint-Masters of the Live Oak Hounds in Monticello, Florida and Past Presidents of the MFHA.
The Award is designed to encourage Pony Club members who do not regularly hunt to try the sport and to reward members who hunt on a regular basis to act as mentors to the less-experienced Pony Club members. Ten thousand dollars in awards are distributed each year among the top six Pony Clubs who introduce the greatest number of active Pony Club members to the sport of foxhunting. The United States Pony Club was established by foxhunters, and the two organizations share a close bond.
The 2013 Challenge winners are:
Blue Mountain Pony Club in Maryland. Blue Mountain Pony Club members hunted with Blue Mountain Hunt (PA).
Cedar Knob Pony Club in Tennessee. Cedar Knob Pony Club members hunted with Mooreland Hunt, Longreen Foxhounds, Shawnee Hounds, and Full Cry Hounds.
Old Dominion Hounds Pony Club in Virginia. Old Dominion Pony Club members hunted with Old Dominion Hounds.
Elkridge-Harford Pony Club in Maryland. Elkridge-Harford Pony Club members hunted with Elkridge-Harford Hunt.
Lowcountry Pony Club in South Carolina. Lowcountry Pony Club members hunted with Lowcountry Hunt.
Live Oak Hounds Pony Club in Florida. Live Oak Hounds Pony Club members hunted with Live Oak Hounds.
The Longreen Foxhounds met at Eastover Plantation in Clarksdale, Mississippi on Saturday, January 5, 2012 under a light rain and gentle wind in thirty-eight degree temperatures. While most riders opted for raincoats, whipper-In Chip Carruthers boldly rode out in his scarlet.
Hounds moved off at 10:00 am just as the rain was stopping. Blue skies opened over the first covert—the Cigar Woods. Hounds trotted the mile across the turn row from trailers to woods, with the field branching off to the west. Staff was already in position. Hounds have been known to erupt in full cry on coyote once inside woods and always in full cry by the southern end of this covert.
Not so this day. Cigar Woods, blank. Swamp Woods, blank. Hounds were picked up and hacked down Reinhart Rd to the Twin Woods. Blank. Now overcast with temperature rising slowly.
Rockbridge Lawyer 2008 and his littermate Lead scored a one-two punch at the Carolinas Foxhound Performance Trials on March 26 and 27 in Hoffman, North Carolina. Competing against hounds from twelve other hunts, the Rockbridge pair finished first and second respectively after two days of hunting. We talked to Conner about his handsome and talented hound.
Trial organizer Fred Berry, MFH of the Sedgefield Hunt, has been actively involved in foxhound performance trials for years—first judging, then organizing. As a result of Berry’s considerable experience, he has introduced some interesting new wrinkles into the management of his trials to improve both the hunting and the experience for the field.