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Norfolk Hunt


Dover, Massachusetts

Website: www.norfolkhunt.com


Calling hunt historians for help identifying the individuals in this old photograph which may have been taken at the venerable Norfolk Hunt (est. 1895), west of Boston.

The man in hunting attire is Henry Vaughan, MFH of the Norfolk from 1903 to 1933. In the early part of the twentieth century, Henry Vaughan was well-known up and down the Eastern seaboard as an ambassador for the growing sport of organized foxhunting in North America. He participated in the founding of the MFHA in 1907 and was elected the first secretary-treasurer of the fledgling organization. In 1918, he was named vice-chairman of the National Hunt and Steeplechase Association. Vaughan traveled extensively for both associations, judging hound shows and officiating at race meets. In 1931, he was elected president of the MFHA, a post he held until his death in 1938.

I’m estimating that this photograph was taken no earlier than 1930. Vaughan would have been sixty-two years old in 1930. (I have a 1933 photo of him in the same hunting attire and appearing about the same age, if not younger.)

A. Henry Higginson is supposedly in this photograph as well. Higginson would have been in his mid-fifties in 1930 and could even be about sixty in this photo. If anyone can identify Higginson and others in the picture, a great puzzle will be resolved! And we will publish what we learn and give credit accordingly. Reply through the Comments feature or by email.

Posted May 28, 2021

bledsoe and customers2Robin Bledsoe, bookseller, at right with customers...two members of the mounted police force...in the backyard of her bookshop in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

As I close my bookshop and open a new chapter in my bookselling career, Norm has asked me to say a few words about my almost half century of selling horse books.

Ever since I received Somebody’s Pony for Christmas 1952, I’ve cherished and collected horse books. After earning an M.A. in art history and starting a publishing career, I began selling out-of-print books in my two fields of interest, horses and art. I named the business Blue Rider Books after a group of German artists who often painted horses. I found some books in nearby book barns, ran some classified ads, mailed out a list, and so it all began—100-plus catalogues, dozens of trade fairs and horse shows, and tens of thousands of books ago.

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tony leahyMFHA President Tony Leahy has prudently announced the cancellation of several popular spring events due to the world-wide Covid-19 pandemic.

Canceled are the Virginia Foxhound Show; the National Horn Blowing Championships; the Ian Milne Huntsman’s Award presentation; the Professional Development Program graduation ceremony for the class of 2019/2020; and the ceremony for those huntsmen selected to be inducted into the Huntsmen's Room at the Museum of Hounds and Hunting this year—all previously scheduled over the Memorial Day weekend. 

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ellen emmet rand.mary foote.1907Ellen Emmet Rand painted by Mary Foote in 1907A new exhibit, Leading the Field: Ellen Emmet Rand, opens at the National Sporting Library & Museum (NSLM) with a reception for members on October 4, 2019, and will hang through March 22, 2020. Rand was the first female student of American painter and sculptor Frederick MacMonnies, spent decades studying and painting in Paris, and for decades more was a successful portrait painter, commuting from her beloved Connecticut farm to her studio in New York City and across the country on commissions. Her subjects included sportsmen and women, captains of industry, judges, lawyers, socialites, children, and politicians—notably the first presidential portrait of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

During a journey that fulfilled her dream of becoming a foxhunter, she crossed paths with some of the most influential sporting figures of the 1920s and 1930s, memorializing Masters of several prestigious hunts such as Fletcher Harper of Orange County (VA), Dr. Howard Collins of Millbrook (NY), and Evelyn Thayer Burr of Norfolk (MA). This important exhibition brings together several of these sporting commissions as well as paintings, studies, and sketches of the artist’s family and friends, and creates a personal picture of Rand as a fiercely talented painter, loving mother, countrywoman, and horsewoman.

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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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