Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Myopia Hunt

myopia

Essex County, MA 

Website: www.myopiahunt.org


waterman piedmont hound.1991 match with Midland.leesRandy Waterman, MFH, (foreground) hunts the Piedmont pack in the 1991 Piedmont-Midlang Hound Match. Farnham Collins, MFH, Millbrook Hunt (NY), (behind) is a judge. Watchman would surely have been with the pack this day but is unidentified.  /  Douglas Lees photo

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.

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potomac jefferson.wenzelPotomac Jefferson 2005, the toast of North American Foxhounds, winning the Grand Championship at the 2007 Bryn Mawr Hound Show one week after capturing the same honor at Virginia. (L-R): George Hundt; Vicki Crawford, MFH, Potomac Hunt; Larry Pitts, huntsman, Potomac; Lance Taylor; Jake Carle, ex-MFH, Keswick, judge. /  Karen Kandra Wenzel photo

At breakfast this Thursday morning, Joan reminded me that Memorial Day was just a few days away. Boy, it sure didn’t feel like it.

Normally, we’d have been recently back from our hunt’s kennels having watched the practice hound show, afterwards assessing our hounds’ prospects for ribbons and trophies at the Virginia Foxhound Show. Which should have been on the calendar for this weekend. We would have been looking forward to seeing old hunting friends from across North America, and I would have been assuring Joan that I had remembered to send in our reservations for the reception at the Museum of Hounds and Hunting and the dinner under the tent at Morven Park (whether I had, in fact, remembered or not). In short, I would have been looking forward to an important and unique weekend of camaraderie and foxhound study.

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russel clarkRussell Burrage Clark of Hamilton, Massachusetts died peacefully at home on November 2, 2019. Russell served as MFH of the venerable Myopia Hunt (est. 1882) on Boston’s North Shore from 1975 to 1994 and was an avid polo player as well. A complete sportsman, as were many of the Myopians, Russell competed in every hunter trial and horse show in the state. If he didn’t have a made horse ready to go for an event, he’d pull a green horse out of the field and show up to participate anyway. Sitting tall and slim on his Thoroughbreds, Russell presented the image of sporting elegance.

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steve farrin.amwell valley.pa natl2013Huntsman Steve Farrin, parading Amwell Valley hounds at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show (2013).

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.

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nehs19Best in Show Wentworth Archer 2015 is shown by huntsman Rachel Duffy. Standing (l-r) is Judge Don Philhower, huntsman, Millbrook Hunt; Daun DeFrance, MFH, Wentworth Hounds; and Dominic Cammarata, MFH, Norfolk Hunt.

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.

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