Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Potomac Hunt

potomac

Montgomery County, Maryland

Website: www.potomachunt.com


potomac jefferson.wenzelPotomac Jefferson 2005, the toast of North American Foxhounds, winning the Grand Championship at the 2007 Bryn Mawr Hound Show one week after capturing the same honor at Virginia. (L-R): George Hundt; Vicki Crawford, MFH; Larry Pitts, huntsman; Lance Taylor; Jake Carle, judge. /  Karen Kandra Wenzel photo

The fabled American foxhound who, along with his get, cornered the silver market in North America has passed on. Potomac Jefferson 2005 was the MFHA Centennial Grand Champion Foxhound at both the 2007 Virginia Foxhound Show and the Bryn Mawr Hound Show one week later.

That year, 2007, marked the one hundredth anniversary of the founding of the Masters of Foxhounds Association. The entire year was filled with special exhibits, competitions, and events all across the country, attracting large and enthusiastic crowds of foxhunters, horses, and hounds. The classes of all the hound shows were swelled with the best examples of foxhounds that could be mustered, along with their supporters. The year 2007 was a big deal.

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marty woodkleckcropC. Martin Wood, III, MFH / Nancy Kleck photoFoxhounds weren’t the only newsmakers at the Virginia Foxhound Show. A few people were worth noting as well!

Huntsmen’s Room
Three individuals were introduced for induction into the Huntsmen’s Room of the Museum of Hounds and Hunting in ceremonies on Saturday evening. Before dinner under the tent, Jake Carle, ex-MFH, spoke eloquently, reverently, and at the right times humorously about the three men who have hunted hounds with distinction for many years: C. Martin Wood, III, MFH, Live Oak Hounds (FL), G. Marvin Beeman, MFH, Arapaho Hunt (CO), and the late Jim Atkins who hunted hounds for the Piedmont Fox Hounds, Old Dominion Hounds, and the Warrenton Hunt, all in Virginia.

marvin beeman  jim atkins2
G. Marvin Beeman, MFH                    Huntsman Jim Atkins

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virfinia 2016.midland striker 15.gr ch.smallMidland Striker 2015 captures the William W. Brainard, Jr. Perpetual Cup on the lawn in front of the Morven Park mansion. Midland huntsman Ken George holds Striker's attention as three generations of Lamptons and Hardaways gather to accept the trophy from Virginia Foxhound Club President Joan Jones. Dr. John W.D. McDonald, MFH (lapel ribbon) judged this final class of the day.  /  Nancy Kleck photo

With six hundred foxhounds from thirty-seven hunts showing in five separate rings at the Virginia Foxhound Show at Morven Park on Sunday, May 29, 2016, the hour gets late before the four individual division champions—American, Crossbred, English, and Penn-Marydel foxhounds—finally get their chance to face off for the William W. Brainard Jr. Perpetual Cup designating the Grand Champion of Show.

The hour arrived, somewhere around six p.m., as four handsome champions came together before Dr. John W.D. McDonald, MFH, judge of this prestigious class. It had been a long, hot, and tiring day for everyone—spectators, judges, handlers, and hounds alike. But one foxhound looked like he was still ready and happy to run from one end of the field to the other, which he did when asked to show his movement. With long, powerful, yet graceful strides that looked like a slow-motion camera had been set up just for him, Midland Striker made his statement and would not be denied.

“He is one of the most beautiful movers anyone could expect to see,” said Judge McDonald in admiration. “And he has perfect conformation.”

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myopia gammell.headdon.nature of light photogMyopia Gammell '12, a proud son of Potomac Jefferson '05, shown by huntsman Philip Headdon, was judged Grand Champion of the 2016 New England Hound Show. / Photo by Nature of Light Photography

Myopia Gammell 2012 is the second foxhound this season carrying the blood of the inimitable Potomac Jefferson to be named a Grand Champion of Show, this at the New England Hound Show held on Sunday, May 1, 2016.

Gammell was bred by now-retired huntsman Larry Pitts at Potomac, and drafted unentered to huntsman Tony Gammell at the Keswick Hunt (VA) in exchange for another breeding. Tony in turn drafted the still unentered pup to his pal, Brian Kiely, then huntsman at the Myopia Hunt (MA), who named the hound for Tony. Brian, of course, is now huntsman at Potomac, so that completes another circle, entirely!

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mhc16.ownersPotomac MFHs Irvin “Skip” Crawford, owner of Maryland Hunt Cup winner Senior Senator (left) and Vicki Crawford, cradling the hunt cup, with John Coles, MFH, Orange County Hounds (a three-time rider over the Maryland Hunt Cup course in the 1980s). / Douglas Lees photo

Skip Crawford, MFH, Potomac Hunt (MD) left his golfing buddies and flew home to watch his horse run in the Maryland Hunt Cup. A good decision, as it turned out. With young Eric Poretz in the irons, Senior Senator won the stiffest timber race in the world by half a neck in an exciting finish. The date was April 30, 2016 at Worthington Farms, Glyndon, Maryland.

From the start, Poretz allowed his horse to go to the front and set his own pace, a pace which gave him a lead of as much as twenty-five lengths over much of the four-mile course. “That’s the way Senior Senator likes to run,” said Skip’s better half, Vicki Crawford, MFH. “He likes to be in front.”

The horse sure looked like he makes a lot of his own decisions. On the course, at whatever speed he was running, he seemed to judge distances on his own, meeting every fence well, jumping cleanly, and going away without a hiccup. Maybe Poretz was helping, but if so, it was so quietly and sympathetically, that this scribe couldn’t see it.

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