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Radnor Hunt

radnor_hunt_logoRadnor Hunt is one of the Philadelphia region's most cherished country institutions. Founded in 1883 and surrounded by 6,000 acres of preserved open space in Willistown Township, Radnor Hunt is the oldest continuous hunt club in the United States. It is also recognized by the Masters of Foxhounds Association of America. However, you don't have to foxhunt -- or even be an equestrian -- to be a member of Radnor Hunt!

Located in Chester County, Radnor Hunt sits on 100 acres of rolling, pastoral countryside. We are committed to preserving the nature and beauty of our local environment and support multiple land conservancy organizations via special events such as the Radnor Races.

Website: www.radnorhunt.org

southern hound show15.fanfare10.warner rayLive Oak Fanfare '10 is Grand Champion of the Southern Hound Show. (L-R): Daphne Wood, MFH, Live Oak Hounds; Michael Ledyard, Esq., MFH Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds; C. Martin Wood III, MFH, Live Oak Hounds; Dale Barnett, huntsman

Captain Ian W. Farquhar, MFH of the Duke of Beaufort (UK), who judged at this show seven years ago, was joined in the ring by John J. Carle II, ex-MFH of the Keswick Hunt (VA).

Ian Farquhar, huntsman for thirty-eight seasons, judged his first show forty-two years ago and has bred nineteen Peterborough champions. Jake Carle, who hunted hounds for twenty-eight seasons, has judged for over forty years at all the major hound shows in the United States. Over the course of the weekend these two very senior judges enjoyed each other immensely and got along famously in the ring despite their English and Bywaters leanings respectively. Interestingly, thirty-four ribbons were won by Crossbreds, and twenty went to English hounds. Two Champions were Crossbred, and two were English.

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john dean2.daria killingerRadnor huntsman Johnny Dean / Daria Killinger photoTuesday, March 17, 2015, Radnor huntsman John “Johnny” Dean III slipped at the mounting block just prior to moving off with hounds from the kennel, and suffered a broken leg.

Stevie Hayes, former huntsman of the Bellwood Hunt and occasional whipper-in at Radnor, saved the day’s hunting by stepping in for Dean. Hayes is well-known in hunting and showing circles in the area. Sherry Robertson reported that Hayes was amazed at how well hounds hunted for him on a moment’s notice, and praised Dean for the wonderful job he’s done to allow someone else to pick up the pack and go hunting.

Johnny Dean is the third generation in his family to be huntsman for the Radnor Hunt (PA). Before taking up the horn at the beginning of the season, Dean had been first whipper-in for two seasons.  

“[Dean's] grandfather, Bob "Reds" Wilson, was huntsman in the 1980s," said Collin McNeil, MFH. "Johnny's dad, also John Dean, helped us out for the 2013-14 season when Joe Cassidy was sick. Johnny has been renewed for the huntsman position for next year. He has done a remarkable job with the hounds and has shown us very good sport. Johnny's son, Sonny Dean—a fourth-generation Dean—is whipping-in, and will be attending the MFHA Professional Development program this summer.”

Dean was scheduled for surgery the following day at Paoli Hospital in Pennsylvania.

Posted March 20, 2015


richard normington.jim grahamJim Graham photoThe Radnor Hunt (PA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Richard Normington as professional huntsman. Richard brings an impressive level of expertise and horsemanship that bodes well for Radnor’s ability to show good sport for seasons to come.

Before coming to the U.S., Richard was first whipper-in at the Grafton Hunt (Northamptonshire), the Worcestershire, the Crawley and Horsham (Sussex), and the Cheshire Hunt. He is third generation hunt staff, and a crack horseman, with experience in point-to-points and other cross-country competitions.

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John Dean has returned to Pennsylvania to become huntsman for the Radnor Hunt. Although he spent his last seven years hunting coyotes in Missouri, Dean is well-known to veteran foxhunters in Pennsylvania.

Dean was huntsman for the old West Chester Hunt, an un-recognized pack in that state, and served as professional huntsman for the Wicomico Hunt in Maryland from the late 1990s. His wife Pam has connections to Radnor through her father, Bob Wilson, who hunted the Radnor hounds from 1972 to 1990.

Radnor celebrated the start of its 131st consecutive season on Opening Day, Saturday, November 2, 2013. After a stirrup cup accompanied by the music of bagpipers, the new huntsman took his pack of 15-1/2 couple of American foxhounds and led a field of fifty-six riders and a horde of car-followers to the first covert.


“Foxes were plentiful,” writes Collin McNeil, MFH, “and John Dean’s hounds accounted themselves well with one big, red Charlie speeding past the second field within just a yard or so.”

The customary hunt breakfast was held later at the clubhouse, where the new huntsman was toasted and the day’s stories shared.

Posted November 5, 2013


joe cassidy.radnor.diana rowlandRadnor huntsman Joe Cassidy and hounds at Big Bend  /  Diana Rowland photoThe gray uncertain sky and falling barometer suggested that winter was not yet finished with us. Nevertheless, I had rearranged my previously planned trip to Aiken after Joe Cassidy called. Joe hunted Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds (PA) for eighteen years and is currently huntsman for the Radnor Hunt (PA). This was an opportunity for me to hunt in his back pocket.

Joe had taught me to hunt hounds while I was MFH at Loudoun Hunt (VA), and he hunted with me when I carried the horn for a couple of years, making the drive with his wife Leslie and their very large dog Luca each weekend.

The meet was at Big Bend, the long-time residence of Frolic Weymouth, well-known for his immense contributions to open space conservancy. It was a Saturday meet, March 16, 2013, and as we sat waiting for the last of the field to mount and the clock to strike 11:00, Joe turned in his saddle, handed me his horn, and quietly told me that I was hunting the pack that day. I confess to a moment of stage fright, made some knuckle-head comment about strike hounds to which he replied, “Really,” and then we headed off to the first covert—a thick patch of brambles, ground cover, and trees about the size of a football field.

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