It’s time for our annual report on the recent moves of huntsmen across North America. The huntsman is my hero. From the time we mount up and for the few hours that follow, it is he or she most directly responsible for the day’s sport. How the huntsman has bred, trained, deployed, and communicated with his troops—the hounds—has everything to do with the satisfaction of our day in the field.
The moves have been numerous this season, and, in a two cases, we have experienced whippers-in finally achieving their dream of a pack of their own to hunt. We’ll catch up with Alasdair Storer, Andrew Bozdan, Kathryn Butler, Stephen Farrin, Danny Kerr, Emily Melton, and Timothy Michel.
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.
The New England Foxhound Show was hosted by the Norfolk Hunt in their Dover, Massachusetts country on May 6, 2018. Six hunts from four of the six New England States brought hounds: Green Mountain Hounds (VT), Myopia Hunt (MA), Norfolk Hunt (MA), Old North Bridge Hounds (MA), Tanheath Hunt (CT), and Wentworth Hunt (NH).
At the end of the day, a tricolor Crossbred dog hound, Norfolk Blarney 2016 (Myopia Bartlett 2008 ex Myopia Rachel 20112), was chosen Grand Champion of Show by Judge John Ike, ex-MFH, visiting from the Millbrook Hunt (NY).
I found Blarney’s breeding to be quite interesting, and I talked to Sue Billings, longtime Norfolk honorary whipper-in, about him as well.
Un-entered Myopia Lupy may have surprised some when she was judged Grand Champion at the New England Hound Show on Sunday, May 7, 2017, but none could have been more surprised than her huntsman and the Myopia Masters. The un-entered Lupy, not yet a year old, hadn’t exhibited the slightest inclination to show herself off during the prior week-and-a-half of show training back home.
“She had no interest in concentrating,” said Kim Cutler, MFH of the Massachusetts pack. “She was all over the place—just a puppy.”
“Her litter mate, Luna, paid attention," recalled Phillip Headdon, Myopia huntsman, "but Lupy was just...loopy!”
The fabled American foxhound who, along with his get, cornered the silver market in North America has passed on. Potomac Jefferson 2005 was the MFHA Centennial Grand Champion Foxhound at both the 2007 Virginia Foxhound Show and the Bryn Mawr Hound Show one week later.
That year, 2007, marked the one hundredth anniversary of the founding of the Masters of Foxhounds Association. The entire year was filled with special exhibits, competitions, and events all across the country, attracting large and enthusiastic crowds of foxhunters, horses, and hounds. The classes of all the hound shows were swelled with the best examples of foxhounds that could be mustered, along with their supporters. The year 2007 was a big deal.