Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Middleburg Hunt

middleburg

Middleburg, Virginia

Website: www.middleburghunt.com


MH P2P Race 2Maiden Flat: Bay B, Thomas Garner up, finishes strongly for the win.   /   Doug Gehlsen photo

Sunday, May 1, 2022, dawned cool and overcast at Glenwood Park, Middleburg, VA―a fine racing day as far as the horses were concerned. With sanctioned racing gearing up and attracting the more experienced performers, of the seven races carded at the Middleburg Hunt Point-to-Point, five were for Maidens and/or young riders.

Maiden Flat, the second race of the day, was a wire-to-wire win for Bay B, under jockey Thomas Garner. Trained by Niall Saville, Bay B took the lead and only widened it in the stretch to win by five lengths in the seven-horse field.

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Middleburg Brings a Lovable Veteran; Blue Ridge Shows Depth

hound trials.brh.epp.maisanoTrial Huntsman Epp Wilson, MFH, Belle Meade, leading hounds, is ready to mount up and move off for the second day of the Bull Run/Blue Ridge Performance Trials. Directly behind is his guide through the country, Blue Ridge huntsman Graham Buston. Judge Grosvenor Merle-Smith, ex-MFH, is on foot. The faces visible behind Grosvenor are (l-r) Lindsay LeHew, her father, Jeff LeHew, MFH, Blue Ridge, Anne McIntosh, MFH, Blue Ridge, and whipper-in Ross Salter. / Joanne Maisano photo

The fourth Foxhound Performance Trial of the 2021/2022 season was hosted jointly by the Bull Run Hunt and the Blue Ridge Hunt in Virginia. Hounds hunted on Saturday, October 23, 2021, in the Bull Run hunting country of open farmland, fields, and woods, followed by dinner and first-day awards. On Sunday, October 24, hounds hunted in the Blue Ridge country by the western banks of the Shenandoah River through open flood plains, over scarcely negotiable cliffs above the river, through woods, and across open farmland.

Hounds from eight hunts competed: Blue Ridge Hunt, Bull Run Hunt, Deep Run Hunt (VA), Farmington Hunt (VA), Marlborough Hunt (MD), Middleburg Hunt (VA), Rappahannock Hunt (VA), and Thornton Hill Hounds (VA).

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File0055Orange County Hounds Field Master John Coles, MFH, leads a field of 60 visiting foxhunting ladies on the Vixen's Meet . /  Joanne Maisano photo

When the COVID pandemic and executive orders from the Governor of Virginia forced cancellation of Orange County Hounds’ primary annual fund raising event—the barn party held at Board President Jaqueline Mars’ legendary home—OCH Board leaders Jane Bishop and Emily Hannum put their heads together and scheduled instead a Vixen’s Meet. Given the strong showing October 15, 2020 at Stonehedge in The Plains, Virginia, the ladies like it.

Ladies from a dozen hunts turned out in support of Orange County: Belle Meade Hunt (GA), Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds (PA), Cloudline Hounds (TX), and De La Brooke Foxhounds (MD). From Virginia were ladies of the Blue Ridge Hunt, Casanova Hunt, Loudoun Fairfax Hunt, Middleburg Hunt, Piedmont Fox Hounds, Rappahannock Hunt, and Snickersville Hounds.

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                               “Elegance.” Maureen Conroy Britell out with the Piedmont Fox Hounds (VA). Acrylic paint on textured acrylic paper.

Irish artist Liam Clancy made a fast tour of the Virginia and Maryland hunting countries during the first week of March 2020—just before the world stopped in its tracks as the result of COVID. He got in some hunting, both mounted and on foot, and he gathered material for his work—painting commissions.

Liam works mostly in acrylic paint, which he likes for its versatility. “I can dash off something that looks like a watercolor, or build up a painting in layers as you would with oils,” he explains.

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albertpoe.portrait.leesAlbert Poe was huntsman of the Middleburg Hunt (VA) for 15 years before retiring from an illustrious career breeding and hunting old Virgnia Bywaters type foxhounds. / Douglas Lees photo

Albert Poe died on Saturday night, May 18, 2019. He was arguably the finest American-born professional breeder of foxhounds of our time. Along with his brother, Melvin, the pair have to be considered the two most storied American-born professional huntsmen that any foxhunter living today could have followed across the country.

Melvin might have been considered the more gregarious personality, but Albert, in his quiet way, was extremely articulate. He could put into words the hunting wisdom which developed perhaps instinctively.

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