upper Connecticut River Valley of Vermont and New Hampshire
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.
Artist Lisa Curry Mair works in a unique genre from her studio in an eighteenth-century farm at the base of Mount Ascutney in Perkinsville, Vermont. She creates paintings, custom murals, and floorcloths on canvas in a folk-art style. Much of her work includes foxhunting scenes.
Mair’s commissions have come from Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, several National Historic Sites, and hundreds of homeowners with specific ideas of what they wanted painted for their homes. Over the last twenty-five years of research, study, and “lots of mistakes,” she has developed the tools and knowhow to bring the client’s vision to light. Mair has attended classes and workshops since minoring in Art at Acadia University in Nova Scotia (while majoring in Mathematics and focusing on a career in riding).
Myopia Gammell 2012 is the second foxhound this season carrying the blood of the inimitable Potomac Jefferson to be named a Grand Champion of Show, this at the New England Hound Show held on Sunday, May 1, 2016.
Gammell was bred by now-retired huntsman Larry Pitts at Potomac, and drafted unentered to huntsman Tony Gammell at the Keswick Hunt (VA) in exchange for another breeding. Tony in turn drafted the still unentered pup to his pal, Brian Kiely, then huntsman at the Myopia Hunt (MA), who named the hound for Tony. Brian, of course, is now huntsman at Potomac, so that completes another circle, entirely!
Wentworth Audrey 2013 was judged Grand Champion of Show at the New England Hound Show on Sunday, May 4, 2014. The show was held at Echo Ridge Farm in Lee, New Hampshire and was hosted for the first time by the Wentworth Hunt. Audrey is by a Penn-Marydel sire, Red Mountain Van Gogh 2008, out of an American dam, Keswick Nipper 2010.
Audrey's sire, Van Gogh, has his own history. After a couple of stops in the Carolinas, his intelligence earned him a new home in New England where he could hobnob with all the Ivy Leaguers. More on that later.
Huntsman Charles Montgomery from the Bull Run Hunt (VA) judged the foxhounds. Montgomery knows a good hound when he sees one. As huntsman for the Live Oak Hounds (FL) for many years, he consistently fielded a pack of hounds of which an astounding percentage were hound show Champions and Grand Champions.
Wentworth is a drag pack in southern New Hampshire that changed over from Crossbred hounds to American and Penn-Marydel when the current huntsman Kami Wolk, MFH, took up the horn. Kami explained that Audrey was one of two litter sisters that huntsman David Raley drafted to her from the Moore County Hounds (NC). David, in turn, had received the pair from Katherine Gunter, huntsman at the Aiken Hounds (SC) who bred the litter.
A Crossbred bitch rolled down to Massachusetts from the hills of Vermont and snatched the Grand Championship trophy from its habitual resting place at the venerable Myopia Hunt kennels. North Country Luna 2008 was judged Grand Champion of the New England Hound Show, hosted this year at the Berlin, Massachusetts home of Virginia Zukatynski, MFH, Old North Bridge Hounds on June 10, 2012.