Laura Sloan, a well-known foxhunter and trainer of field hunters, won the Field Hunter Division of the 2021 National Thoroughbred Makeover competition on Donna Verrilli’s off-the-track-Thoroughbred (OTTB), Forthegreatergood. But the story doesn’t end there.
On the final evening of competition, October 17, 2021, in the arena, Sloan and Forthegreatergood won a final recognition at the Kentucky Horse Park: Overall 2021 Thoroughbred Makeover Champion of all competing horses in all ten divisions. This was the first overall championship for a horse from the Field Hunter division.
By Erin McKenney, huntsman, and Marion de Vogel, videographer
In this, the 114th year of the Millbrook Hunt (NY), a special project is underway. Marion de Vogel, who regularly rides in first flight, is filming a video featuring our hunt from the beginning of roading through the formal season. Last month, we shared a segment with Foxhunting Life readers that captured the first-of-the-season MFHA-sponsored foxhound performance trials. Now we present our Opening Meet, which took place on October 2, 2021.
As seen in the video, Opening Meet really starts the day before. Grooms groom. Braiders braid. Tack is cleaned. Boots are shined. The breakfast committee puts up a tent. Donald Philhower and I evaluate the hounds for soundness, and I put together my final list for the day. Parts of our country can be thick with bushy undergrowth, tight for hounds to push through, so it’s important to always be on the lookout for any minor cuts or injuries that require treatment and rest.
RoseTree-Blue Mountain prevails with all five entries finishing among the top-ten overall scoring hounds, including Bridle 2015, the winner.
Through an early morning mist, foxhounds are in full cry after the coyote. This excellent video was filmed on the second day of the Millboo Hunt Foxhound Performance Trials. / Video by Marion Latta de Vogel
The first of ten foxhound performance trials scheduled across North America this season is history. Millbrook Hunt (NY) hosted the 2021/2022 opener on September 8 and 9, 2021. Participants enjoyed superb weather, gorgeous country, exciting sport, and Millbrook’s unparalleled hospitality.
The first nine trials are qualifiers for the tenth and final Grand Championship Trials. That final showdown is scheduled for March 26 and 27, 2022, in Hoffman, North Carolina, where a national champion and the top ten foxhounds countrywide will be recognized.
The schedule of Foxhound Performance Trials for the 2021/2022 foxhunting season has been released by Trial Chairman Fred Berry, MFH, Sedgefield Hounds (NC). Nine qualifying trials will be run across the country, and the tenth and final trial will crown a Grand Champion and the top ten performance hounds in North America.
"'Pretty is as pretty does' really applies to foxhounds," says Fred. The Brits invented mounted foxhunting and hound show, but they shouldn’t have stopped there.
Watchman is a popular name for dog hounds around the foxhunting world. 'Watchman' appears in at least fifty different hunts in the North American Studbook, not to mention the studbooks of England and Ireland. Nevertheless, whenever you hear the name Watchman in a foxhunting conversation, you can bet they're talking about Piedmont Watchman 1989.