Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Old Dominion Hounds


Fauquier County, Virginia

Website: facebook page

odhptp13.1Fogcutter gives Woods Winants his first of three winning rides and trainer Eva Smithwick her first of four wins on the card in the Amateur/Novice Rider Hurdle Race. / Douglas Lees photoEva Smithwick-trained horses won four of the eight races on the card at the Old Dominion Hunt Point-to-Point held on Saturday, April 6, 2013 at Ben Venue Farm. Woods Winants drove home three of her winners: Fogcutter in the Amateur/Novice Rider Hurdle, Coturnix in the Maiden Hurdle, and Rutledge Classic in the Foxhunter Timber Race.

Smithwick’s other win came with Dr. Alex, owned and ridden by Teddy Zimmerman, in the Amateur Highweight Timber Race. This was the second win for Zimmerman and Dr. Alex in this year’s series, their previous victory coming at the Piedmont Point-to-Point.

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andy and erinHuntsman Andy Bozdan and wife Erin are moving from Tennessee to Virginia.In a fast game of musical chairs, huntsmen around the country are moving at a rapid pace. Andy Bozdan, Ryan Johnsey, Daron Beeney, Matthew Cook, Gerald Keal, and Ross Salter are all in the game.

Two years ago London-born Andy Bozdan arrived here from Australia to hunt hounds for the Tennessee Valley Hunt (TN). Bozdan is now moving to the Loudoun West Hunt (VA) to take over their pack of Old English and Crossbred hounds for the 2013/2014 season.

“I have loved every minute of hunting the Tennessee Valley Penn-Marydels,” Bozdan said, “and moving to Tennessee from the UK allowed me the opportunity to meet Erin, whom I married in May last year.

“Hounds have really come together this season, making a real pack. All the new entry have entered well and hunted well all season with no exceptions. The pack is in good shape both physically and mentally, very happy with life, and I know they will miss their dad as I will miss them very much too. We are sad to be leaving Tennessee, but realize what a wonderful opportunity awaits us in Virginia this coming May.”

Bozdan’s opening at Tennessee Valley will be filled by Ryan Johnsey, current huntsman for the Loudoun Hunt (VA)—not to be confused with Bozdan’s Loudoun West! The Loudoun Hunt is currently seeking a huntsman.

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A new use for a hunting whipWhile hunting with the Old Dominion Hounds on school break, Denya Dee Leake's horse came into a fence offstride and took care of the situation by catapulting itself over, launching Denya Dee skyward.

“I went so high I could look down towards the ground and think, ‘Oh god, this is going to hurt!’” said Denya Dee.

It looked as if she may have broken her wrist, so they stabilized it with her hunt whip as a splint and secured that with a member’s necktie and the whip thong. Another necktie provided the sling. Fortunately, she had just given a her thumb a bad sprain.

[We’ve all read time and again how a stock tie may be used as a bandage in the hunting field, but I never heard of a hunt whip as a splint. Good to know!  -Ed.]

Posted October 19, 2012

rick burtnerAt age fifty-five, Rick Burtner discovers new adventures. / cell phone photo by Betsy Burke ParkerIn September, I rode with the Old Dominion Hounds (VA) on my first fox hunt. It was an early start from Julia Theriot’s Poe’s Run and a crisp fall morning at the outset with a few shivers to be had by all, but it soon warmed into a beautiful sun shining day with many riders sporting beads of sweat as we neared the end of the hunt. The transformation of the cold morning into a warm, sunny day was reminiscent of my experience preparing for foxhunting.

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price.frosty.odh.tomsullivanSteve Price and Frosty test their mettle at Old Dominion / Tom Sullivan photoI wouldn’t consider myself a real foxhunter.

True, I’ve ridden to hounds several times, but always more like a spectator than a participant. This September, however, I had an awakening!

Thanks to the good graces of my friends Betsy Parker, proprietor of Hunter’s Rest in Flint Hill, and Norman Fine, of Millwood (and Foxhunting Life), I’ve been wending my way for the past four years from my New York City home to steep myself in semiannual Virginia equestrian sprees. Trail riding on Betsy’s school horses and on one of Norm’s hunters, Guitar, is the primary lure. In addition, Norm has taken me hunting with the Blue Ridge Hunt in the hilltopping field.

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