Loudoun Fairfax Hunt Master Randy Rouse has donated a well-known Middleburg, Virginia property to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation. The transaction was completed on Thursday, December 29, the day after Randy celebrated his one hundredth birthday.
“I can take a tax writeoff,” Randy said to The Fauquier Times. “At my age, I’ve got to start thinking about the future.”
Rouse has been a successful real estate developer in Northern Virginia, a longtime Master of the Fairfax Hunt, winning amateur steeplechase rider, and president of the National Steeplechase Association.
The property, the Middleburg Training Center, was originally built by Paul Mellon as a training facility for his racehorses. It boasts a 7/8-mile track, multiple barns, paddocks, tack rooms, offices, grooms’ quarters, and house.
In 1975, a group of local horsemen purchased the facility. Over the years the track surface has resounded to the hoof beats of many good horses, among them Hoist the Flag and Spectacular Bid. Randy Rouse bought the training center in 2006 for four million dollars, but its usage has declined over the years, and, though it’s been on the market recently, there have been no takers.
The non-profit Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF), plans to continue current operations—eighty horses are now stabled there—and will renovate barns and add more fencing. As many as ninety Thoroughbreds could be retired on the property, according to Lenny Hale, TRF president and CEO.
For more details, click to read the complete article by Vicky Moon and Leonard Shapiro.
Posted December 31, 2016
Juniors love to go hunting, but for them isn’t it mostly about the rider and his or her horse? How about the hounds? Couldn’t we set the foxhunting hook deeper by connecting interested juniors with hounds as well?
The Loudoun Fairfax Hunt (VA) is thinking about just that. They are hosting a Junior Hound Clinic this summer—a one-day affair, easy to put on. I’ve long been involved with hound programs for juniors and this is one idea that I hope appeals to other hunts.
Foxhounds weren’t the only newsmakers at the Virginia Foxhound Show. A few people were worth noting as well!
Three individuals were introduced for induction into the Huntsmen’s Room of the Museum of Hounds and Hunting in ceremonies on Saturday evening. Before dinner under the tent, Jake Carle, ex-MFH, spoke eloquently, reverently, and at the right times humorously about the three men who have hunted hounds with distinction for many years: C. Martin Wood, III, MFH, Live Oak Hounds (FL), G. Marvin Beeman, MFH, Arapaho Hunt (CO), and the late Jim Atkins who hunted hounds for the Piedmont Fox Hounds, Old Dominion Hounds, and the Warrenton Hunt, all in Virginia.
The Junior North American Field Hunter Championship competition that began modestly twelve years ago between a handful of geographically-close Virginia hunts continues to expand in scope. This year’s competition involved juniors from twenty-seven hunts located across six MFHA Districts.
The program is succeeding because it’s purpose rises above just competition. Founders Douglas Wise, MFH, Old Dominion Hounds and Iona Pillion from the Blue Ridge Hunt had a larger dream: bring children to new hunting countries and open their eyes to the fact that these playgrounds 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.
From London's streets to Virginia’s hunt country
The job: huntsman. The man: Andrew Bozdan—leader of fifty couple of Old English foxhounds. One hundred canines. How is this possible? In all my life as a dog owner, I’ve only had a handful who actually came when I called. How is it that we mortals have such difficulty in getting our dogs to sit and come and not potty in the house, while this man steers his entire pack in an apparently seamless manner.
The answer is, as always, nothing is ever as easy as it looks. Before the man appears in public, seated atop his skewbald gelding, wearing his scarlet coat, and blowing his copper horn to speak to the mass of hounds seething below, one heck of a lot of work happens and many miles are traveled.