Orange County Pimple overcame the burden of her name to be judged Grand Champion of Show at the 2022 Bryn Mawr Hound Show held at the Radnor Hunt Club on Saturday, June 4, 2022.
First held in 1914, this is the oldest and longest-running hound show in North America. Hounds are shown in six rings: English Foxhounds, American Foxhounds, Crossbred Foxhounds, Penn-Marydel Foxhounds, Beagles, and Bassets.
Judges for the final Grand Champion Class were Charlotte Buttrick, ex-MFH, Farmington Hunt (VA), and Coleman Perrin, Ex-MFH, Deep Run Hunt (VA).
The Orange County Hounds—founded in 1900 by sportsmen and women in Orange County, New York, and hunting country in The Plains, Virginia, since 1905—has donated the hunt’s seventy-one-acre property to permanent conservation easement. By so doing, the hunt—many members having long been active proponents for open space conservation—relinquishes in perpetuity the right to subdivide its acreage.
In short, the hunt practices what it preaches.
What follows is an excerpt from the author’s excellent book, Letters to a Young Huntsman.
We would start roading (mounted hound exercise) around the middle of July. I really wanted the youngsters off couples by this time as a couple wrapped around a horse’s leg can be an ugly thing. Once puppies are used to going out with the horses, then it’s time to start introducing them to things like sheep, deer, cattle, etc.
This should be done as low key as possible; the worst thing you can do is make a big deal of it. If you have staff swinging whips and speaking loudly to the hounds, it’s only going to jazz them up. If you stay relaxed and cool, the hounds will pick up on that and remain cool themselves. Theses are things that they will see every day out hunting and everyone has to act accordingly.
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.
A 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.