Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Orange County Hunt

orangecounty

Fauquier County, Virginia

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melvinalex2Or more to the point, who are these two giants of foxhunting? One is revered for his uncanny rapport with hounds; the other is remembered for his imaginative contributions to the world of horse sports and sporting scholarship.

This puzzle was posted on our Facebook page, and Carey Shefte was the first person to correctly identify both men and claim the prize. Foxhunting Life is sending Carey a CD of foxhunting songs collected by one of our mystery men. Read on for the answers!

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och12.open hurdleOpen Hurdle winner Old Timer and Chris Read (right) lead Robert Walsh on Better Than Ever.The Orange County Hounds Point-to-Point Races were held at Locust Hill Farm in Middleburg, Virginia on Sunday, April 1, 2012. Trainer Neil Morris made the most of his home turf by saddling both the win and place horses in the Open Hurdle Race. Kinross Farm’s Old Timer ridden by Chris Read jumped to the lead at the last fence and beat second-place finisher Humdinger to the wire by two lengths.

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Huntsman Richard Roberts and trainer Colleen Hayduk were married on April 14 in Hawaii. The pair will honeymoon there before Richard takes up his position as the new huntsman at the Deep Run Hunt near Richmond, Virginia. Richard is former huntsman of the Piedmont Fox Hounds where he showed brilliant sport during his six-year tenure there. Colleen operates Landmark Ponies, a training facility in Middleburg, Virginia.

“Why Hawaii?” I wanted to know.

“A friend, Ray Stone, who hunts with Orange County, is co-owner of Dolphin Quest,” Richard explained. “They have an educational and breeding operation here in Hawaii. I have an avid interest in marine life and marine biology and a fascination with dolphins, so here we are!”

In addition to running her pony farm, Colleen raises puppies for Canine Companions for Independence (CCI), a service dog organization. She raises and trains the puppies from the age of eight weeks to a year-and-a-half, during which time she reports regularly on their progress and takes training classes herself. She’s working on her sixth puppy now. Colleen characterizes this passion as "the best thing" she ever did in her life.

“When you return home will you whip-in to Richard,” I asked.

“Definitely not!” she replied instantly. “I’ll help him all I can with the hounds, but whip-in to him? No. We’re very happy, and we’re going to stay that way!”

20110129_0485J.B. Birdsall (holding trophy) is flanked by the Farmington Masters (l-r) Carol Easter, Pat Butterfield, and Joy Crompton. Cheryl Microutsicos photo

The Farmington Hunt and J.B. Birdsall received the 2011 Hunting Habitat Conservation Award at the MFHA Annual Meeting in New York City on Friday January 28.

Each year with each recipient of this award we witness yet another testament to the role of foxhunting in the preservation of open space. Arguably no other sporting culture has done as much to preserve land and natural habitat.

But, it often takes a leader, an individual driving force, to establish a culture of conservation within an organization. J.B. Birdsall—longtime foxhunter, landowner, and hunt member—provided that passion, commitment, and leadership for the Farmington Hunt to become a force for open space conservation in their hunting country.

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arundel.nick.douglas.leesArthur "Nck" Arundel at the Gold Cup Races, Great Meadow, 2007               Douglas Lees photo

Foxhunter, visionary, and publisher Arthur “Nick” Arundel died in his sleep at home on Tuesday, February 8, one day shy of being named Outstanding Virginian of 2011 by the Virginia General Assembly. He was eighty-three.

Mr. Arundel was publisher of the Times Community Newspapers covering four counties in Northern Virginia, including Loudoun and Fauquier.

His father was a foxhunter and once served as head of the National Steeplechase and Hunt Association. His mother was an ardent conservationist. Mr. Arundel merged the influence of both parents into his life.

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