In a recent article in the Loudoun Times-Mirror, Billie Van Pay wrote, “Almost everyone in horse country knows Catherine ‘Bundles’ C. Murdock, a fourth-generation member of a family well-known for its community leadership and for helping make the area known for its foxhunting.”
Indeed, Murdock is a long-time member of the Middleburg, Virginia community and the Orange County Hounds, serving as honorary secretary, field secretary, and road whip. And “almost everyone in horse country” does know her. But Murdock knows everyone else. Like Barbara and George Bush, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Queen Elizabeth to name a few.
Murdock was born in New York, but Middleburg has always been home. Her grandfather William Philander “Pappy” Hulbert came to Middleburg more than one hundred years ago, and her mother grew up on the family farm, Stonehedge, before her.
A foxhunter and conservationist with an impressive background in foreign affairs is seeking the Republican nomination for Virginia's Fifth Congressional District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Joe Whited, thirty-six, has mounted a campaign for the Republican nomination, one of four vying for the seat being vacated by Representative Robert Hurt (R). Whited wears the colors of the Old Dominion Hounds (VA) and helps run the club's annual point-to-point. His first race, however, will be purely political—the Republican primary in April.
Virginia’s Fifth District is the Commonwealth’s largest. The pie-shaped wedge includes much of Virginia hunt country, including territory of Piedmont, Orange County, Warrenton, Casanova, Old Dominion, Rappahannock, Thornton Hill-Fort Valley, Bull Run, Keswick, Farmington, Deep Run, Oak Ridge, Stonewall, Bedford, and Red Oak in Virginia, just north of Sedgefield and Red Mountain in North Carolina.
The Irish Hunter: An Exceptional Horse Across Any Country includes a portfolio of some five hundred photographic images taken at more than sixty hunts by photo/journalist Noel Mullins in his travels in Ireland and abroad over the last twenty years. More than two hundred of the images illustrate the exceptional jumping ability of this marvellous horse tackling a wide variety of natural cross country obstacles such as stone walls, ditches, hedges, streams, and double banks as well as man-made obstacles such as gates, concrete railings, metal barriers, wire, pallets, and even the bed post and church pew that one might occasionally come across hunting in the Irish countryside!
In hunting fields in North America, Mullins has photographed the Irish Hunter out with the Green Spring Valley, Genesee Valley, Orange County, Mr Stewart's Cheshire, Lowcountry, and Palm Beach Hounds.
In his Introduction the author looks at how horses originated in Ireland from wild horses 28,000 years ago to domesticated horses circa 2,400 BC, and some of the various breeds that graced the Irish countryside since, such as the Irish Hobby, the Garraun, Donegal, Cushendall, Rathlin, and the Kerry Bog Pony. Then there’s the Irish Draught Horse, the Connemara Pony and the Thoroughbred, whose offspring give rise to what we know today as the Irish Hunter, also known as the Irish Draught Cross and the Irish Sport Horse.
The Junior North American Field Hunter Championship competition that began modestly twelve years ago between a handful of geographically-close Virginia hunts continues to expand in scope. This year’s competition involved juniors from twenty-seven hunts located across six MFHA Districts.
The program is succeeding because it’s purpose rises above just competition. Founders Douglas Wise, MFH, Old Dominion Hounds and Iona Pillion from the Blue Ridge Hunt had a larger dream: bring children to new hunting countries and open their eyes to the fact that these playgrounds don’t just happen to be there for them by chance, but have been nurtured and conserved for the perpetuation of wildlife, open space, and for those who treasure the natural world.
“We want these kids to know what a conservation easement is,” said Marion Chungo, one of the organizers.
Sally Fendall Harrison Young of Marshall, Virginia, died peacefully on October 1, 2015 at age seventy-two. Her beloved husband of fifty-two years, James L. Young, MFH, Orange County Hounds (VA), predeceased her in 2012.
Back in their day, when Melvin was still hunting the Orange County hounds, my phone would ring. “When are you coming out to play with us?” Sally would ask. Joan and I would be there the next hunting day. Jimmy led the field, and if he always seemed to be well-mounted, it was probably thanks to Sally’s schooling.
Sally was born on October 16, 1942, in Leesburg, Virginia to the late Stirling and Hester Ann Harrison. She was a graduate of The Gunston School in Centreville, Maryland, and a member of Daughters of the American Revolution. A dedicated horsewoman, Sally’s passion began as a toddler and continued throughout her life. She was a member of numerous foxhunting and equine associations, including the Loudoun Hunt, the Orange County Hunt, Virginia Trail Riding Association and the Virginia Foxhounds Association.
Her sisters, Hester Ann Glans and Nancy L. Riner, also predeceased her.
Survivors include her sons, Stirling H. Young and James R. Young; a sister, Elizabeth H. Goulart; four grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
A service celebrating her life will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, October 16, 2015—her birthday—at Trinity Episcopal Church in Upperville, Virginia.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Morven Park Equestrian Center or the Museum of Hounds & Hunting at the Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation, Morven Park, 17195 Southern Planter Lane, Leesburg, Va. 20178, Attention: S. Musgrave.
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Posted October 7, 2015