Sunday, November 17, 2019 will mark the seventh annual Sporting Art Auction at the Keeneland Sales Pavilion—a cooperative venture between the world’s largest Thoroughbred auction house and its Lexington, Kentucky neighbor, Cross Gate Gallery, a leading source of the world’s finest sporting art. Collectors will take home works by highly regarded artists at prices possibly as low as $900, many under $3,000...others, truly exceptional works, as high as six figures.
This year’s offerings feature 189 lots of paintings and sculptures by masters long gone as well as by leading contemporary sporting artists of the day. Among the European artists represented are Henry Alken, Peter Curling, John Emms, Harry Hall, the various Herrings, Michael Lyne, Sir Alfred Munnings, and many others. American artists this year include Paul Brown, Juli Kirk, Booth Malone, LeRoy Neiman, Sandra Oppegard, Andre Pater, and Larry Wheeler.
The old silver tray was headed for melt-down, as are most engraved and unknown relics of lives long past and out of memory. Fortunately, however, it was recognized and rescued. For that, foxhunters with a respect for history have foxhunting historian Peter Devers, Millbrook ex-Master John Ike, and Live Oak Masters Marty and Daphne Wood to thank.
On a January evening in 1931, A. Henry Higginson—Master, huntsman, author, and contender in the Great English-American Hound Match of 1905—tendered his resignation as president of the Masters of Foxhounds Association. At dinner that night, members presented him with a tea service and engraved silver tray as a token of their regard and appreciation for his many years of service to the sport. In the last chapter of Higginson’s book, Try Back, published the following year, he wrote:
The ninetieth annual New England Hound Show was hosted by the Norfolk Hunt (MA) at their Steeplechase Course in Medfield on Sunday, May 5, 2019. Seven district hunts exhibited foxhounds: Green Mountain Hounds (VT), Myopia Hunt (MA), Norfolk Hunt (MA), North Country Hounds VT), Old North Bridge Hounds (MA), Tanheath Hunt (CT), and Wentworth Hunt (NH).
Entries competed in three divisions—American, Penn-Marydel, and Crossbred—but North American foxhunting is currently going through a confusing period in which foxhounds registered as American may defy the thinking of some traditionalists.
Dr. G. Marvin Beeman, MFH, judging the Grand Champion of Show class at Bryn Mawr, awarded the trophy and ribbon to Blue Ridge Rambler 2018. Dr. Beeman is the senior Master and former huntsman of the Arapahoe Hunt (CO) and a past president of the MFHA. The Bryn Mawr Hound Show was held in Malvern, PA, on Saturday, June 1, 2019.
Green Spring Valley Sapphire 2018, judged Grand Champion at Virginia the previous week, was Reserve Grand Champion.
Rambler (Green Spring Valley Fanshaw 2014 ex Heythrop Rattle 2011) is a modern English dog hound bred by Blue Ridge huntsman Graham Buston. Irish-born, Buston grew up in the County Limerick hunting country, whipped-in, then carried the horn for both the Co. Waterford and the Co. Limerick Foxhounds. He moved to the U.S. in 2013 with his Canadian-born wife, Sheri, who whips-in to him.
More than six hundred foxhounds from thirty-seven hunts were exhibited at the Virginia Foxhound Show at Morven Park on Sunday, May 26, 2019, over the Labor Day Weekend. Hunts from thirteen states up and down the Eastern Seaboard and from as far away as Texas brought foxhounds to stand up against the finest examples of their breeds in North America. It is the largest foxhound show in the world.
In the always exciting final class of the show, four foxhound Champions—American, English, Crossbred, and Penn-Marydel—presented themselves to be judged for this year’s Grand Championship Class. It’s always a difficult class to judge because each entry has already been winnowed down throughout the day’s classes and has been chosen as the best specimen of its type by the judges in each ring. Each hound is deserving, and the attention and hopes of all spectators, though friendly, are ratcheted to a new level.