Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Piedmont Fox Hounds

piedmont

Loudoun County, Virginia

Website:


eddie arcaroHall of Fame jockey Eddie ArcaroEddie Arcaro (1916–1997) is regarded by many as the greatest jockey in the history of American Thoroughbred racing. He tallied more wins in classic stakes races than any other jockey and is the only jock to have won the Triple Crown twice—Whirlaway (1941) and Citation (1948). He has the most wins of any jockey in the Belmont (six) and the Preakness (six) and is tied with Bill Hartack for Kentucky Derby wins (five). He won 4,779 of his 24,092 races and earned a record setting $30 million in purses.

On November 23, 1954 Arcaro experienced his first foxhunt when he appeared at a meet of the Piedmont Fox Hounds in Philomont, Virginia, as reported by Liz Smith in Sports Illustrated’s December 27 issue of that year:

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jim atkins2Douglas Lees photoJim Atkins, the well-known and greatly admired native Virginian huntsman, died on Tuesday, June 25, 2013, after suffering a heart attack. Although Jim had retired from hunting hounds, he was highly respected as a judge of foxhounds, most recently judging the Crossbred Ring at the Bryn Mawr Hound Show earlier this month.

Jim served as professional huntsman for the Old Dominion Hounds (1978–1987), the Piedmont Fox Hounds (1987–1989), and finally the Warrenton Hunt (1993–2005).

“Jim has to be recognized as one member of that exceptional group of natural huntsmen from Rappahannock and upper Fauquier Counties,” said Dr. Will Allison, ex-MFH of Warrenton. “As boys, they grew up hunting to put food on the table. They developed an innate feeling for game.”

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pfhptp13.amateur highweightAmateur Highweight Timber (l-r): Dr. Alex (Teddy Zimmerman) will beat Justpourit (George Hundt) after a hard-fought duel in the stretch.

The Piedmont Fox Hounds 2013 Point-to-Point Races went off under brilliant skies on Saturday, March 23, 2013 with some exciting racing over the big, rolling timber course that includes stone walls, drop fences, and reverses of direction. Here are a few highlights, with complete results just a click away.

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steppenwolferNina Siepel on Steppenwolfer, out with the Cheshire hounds this year

Consider the happy life of Steppenwolfer (by Aptitude out of Wolfer): lots of treats; a big field with clover and buddies; and, from September to March, running around the countryside with a lot of other horses chasing a pack of hounds. A far distance from running third to Barbaro (by Dynaformer out of La Ville Rouge) in the Kentucky Derby and second in the Arkansas Derby in 2006.

Gelded and purchased by Gail and Dixon Thayer as a steeplechase prospect, his short steeplechase career wasn’t as stellar as hoped for. But he’s one happy puppy now. And Nina Siepel, who hunts him with Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds (PA), always wears a big grin, as if she still can’t really believe her good fortune. I’m not sure who is the luckier of the two.

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steppenwolferNina Siepel on Steppenwolfer, out with the Cheshire hounds this year

Consider the happy life of Steppenwolfer (by Aptitude out of Wolfer): lots of treats; a big field with clover and buddies; and, from September to March, running around the countryside with a lot of other horses chasing a pack of hounds. A far distance from running third to Barbaro (by Dynaformer out of La Ville Rouge) in the Kentucky Derby and second in the Arkansas Derby in 2006.

Gelded and purchased by Gail and Dixon Thayer as a steeplechase prospect, his short steeplechase career wasn’t as stellar as hoped for. But he’s one happy puppy now. And Nina Siepel, who hunts him with Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds (PA), always wears a big grin, as if she still can’t really believe her good fortune. I’m not sure who is the luckier of the two.

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DSC 3334Judge Barbara Batterton presents the championship trophy to Elizabeth Green, riding Gold for Glory. / Liz Callar photo

Elizabeth Green, representing the Piedmont Fox Hounds (VA), rode Shelby Bonnie’s Gold for Glory to victory in the Theodora Randolph Field Hunter Championships of America. The trials, founded in 1989, are named for the late Master of the Piedmont, so it is particularly fitting when a Piedmont horse and rider win the championship.

The week-long event attracts foxhunters from across North America. Entries ride with up to four different area hunts over a five-day period, and horse and rider pairs are selected to compete in the final tests and mock hunt by a team of mounted judges. The finals were held on October 7, 2012 at the Glenwood Park Race Course in Middleburg as part of the Virginia Fall Races weekend program.

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