Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Orange County Hunt

orangecounty

Fauquier County, Virginia

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The Irish Hunter.small.mullinsThe Irish Hunter by Noel Mullins, 2015, Forewords by Professor Patrick Wall, Chairman of Horse Sport Ireland and Hugh Leonard, Chairman of The Traditional Irish Horse Association, color, 208 pages, CaseboundThe 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.

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JNAFHC2015.heatherjumpHeather Feconda, Loudoun-Fairfax Hunt (VA), was Champion, 13 & Over, on Yogi. /  Richard Clay photo

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.

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sally young.leesDouglas Lees photoSally 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.

Click to offer online condolences.

Posted October 7, 2015

virginia2015.siskin.laurenHuntsman John Gray and professional whipper-in Leilani Hrisko show Virginia Grand Champion Hillsboro Siskin '14. Looking on (l-r) are Judge J.W.Y. "Duck" Martin, Virginia Foxhound Club Co-Chairman Mrs. Richard Jones, and huntsman John Holliday, Belvoir Foxhounds (UK).  /   Lauren Giannini photo

Virginia Foxhound Show, Morven Park, May 24, 2015: Okay, says Hillsboro huntsman John Gray, if you don’t like Graphic, I’ll show you Siskin!

On May 9, 2015 at the Carolinas Hound Show, Hillsboro Graphic ’14 was judge Tony Leahy’s pick for Grand Champion of Show. Two weeks later, at the Virginia Foxhound Show, Leahy, judging in the Crossbred ring, chose un-entered Midland Striker over Graphic for the Crossbred Championship.

It proved but a minor setback for Hillsboro. In the final class of the day in the English ring, Judge Charles Frampton chose Hillsboro Siskin ‘14 as the Champion English Foxhound. So when the very last class of the day rolled around—Grand Champion of Show—English Champion Siskin faced off against Crossbred Champion Midland Striker, who had just beaten Siskin’s kennel mate, Carolinas Grand Champion Graphic, for the breed championship.

The other formidable opponents in the ring were un-entered American Champion, Orange County Kermit and Penn-Marydel Champion, De La Brooke Tullamoore ’11. But Hillsboro was not to be denied. Judge J.W.Y. “Duck” Martin crowned Hillsboro Siskin ’14 Grand Champion of Show. Crossbred Champion Midland Striker was Reserve, and Hillsboro leaves town with two Grand Champion foxhounds in the last two hound shows!.

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mfc.americanChampion American Foxhound: Orange County Kermit with huntsman Reg Spreadborough / Karen Kandra Wenzel photoFor forty consecutive years, foxhunters from the Mid-Atlantic have gathered on the day following the Kentucky Derby to give their unentered hounds an opportunity to learn what this “hound show thing” is all about. As a prelude to the major shows—Virginia and Bryn Mawr—later in the spring, this show is a bit lower key, but still a serious undertaking. Restricted to unentered hounds except for classes for Produce of Dam and Get of Sire, the emphasis is on teaching young hounds and young handlers what they can expect in a few weeks.

The show is held on a rotating basis among the MFHA-sanctioned hunts in Maryland, and this year the Marlborough Hunt in Prince Georges County served as host. On the banks of the Patuxent River on their lovely grounds for both clubhouse and kennels, the Marlborough folks, under the leadership of Masters Katherine Cawood, Patty Sasscer, and Christine Claggett, provided two spacious rings—one for foxhounds where Thomas H. Jackson, MFH, Mr. Jackson’s Flat Creek Hounds and former huntsman of the Mission Valley Hunt Club (KS) would judge the 101 foxhounds entered, and one for foothounds where Forbes R. Reback, MB and Charlotte D. Buttrick, MB, both from the Farmington Beagles (VA), would judge bassets and beagles.

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