Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Radnor Hunt

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The Old Dominion Hounds were formed in 1924 as a private pack by Sterling Larrabee. During the first season, Mr. and Mrs. Larrabee hunted every day the weather allowed—either alone or with a few farmers and friends—up until Christmas. In January of 1924, the couple went abroad and hunted in England.

For the first few years, Mr. Larrabee had to contend with a scarcity of foxes and relatively few unsatisfactory hounds, but he persevered. Matters improved until 1930, then the Depression hit. To keep the pack going, Larrabee changed the name of the pack from Mr. Larrabee’s Hounds to The Old Dominion Hounds and began to accept subscriptions. His many difficulties notwithstanding, Mr. Larrabee sacrificed much to keep the Old Dominion Hounds going.

Website: www.radnorhunt.org

PA national horse show1Windy Hollow Hunt Tops Hunt Team Competition. / Al Cook photo

Traditionally, Monday night is Hunt Night at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show in Harrisburg. This year, twenty-two hunt teams from thirteen hunts showed up in formal hunting attire on October 17, 2016 to compete in the evening’s highlight event.

As usual, the course featured a series of single fences to be jumped by each team with the emphasis on maintaining an even pace and equal spacing between the three horses, culminating with the last fence approached on the diagonal to be jumped by the three team members in unison. The winning team was from the Windy Hollow Hunt (NJ)—team members Holly White and sisters Emily and Jane Wiley earning the blue ribbon.

“We did not even realize we won. We couldn't believe it when we walked in and saw them holding up the blue ribbons,” said Jane Wiley. “We are dedicating the win to our pony, Bear, who died last night. He was thirty-one years old and was leased out to a young girl with special needs.”

The team didn’t have much time to practice. White has only been in the United States for a short time because she works for the United Nations and is based in Africa. “We are so thrilled! We have only been able to practice for a month because of my job,” said White. “I think we won because of our overall presentation. We really thought about the beginning and the end, and our horses jumped in good form. I think the combination of the two really helped us out.”

Emily Wiley, Jane’s older sister, was grateful to the Horse Show for dedicating a night to the Hunt Teams. “It's great that the Horse Show supports the sport of foxhunting and the great riders who participate. People should come try it!”


The overall Hunt Night Championship, based on points accumulated over all the classes for field hunters, went to the Farmington Hunt (VA), whose riders traveled four-and-a-half hours to participate.

“We were very surprised to win. We just came to ride and have a good time with our horses, and we won! How exciting is that!” said Elizabeth King, MFH and spokesperson for the hunt. “Last year we had one team, but this year we thought it would be great fun to have two. We've got great riders and we had such a great time. We'll be back again next year!”
 
The two teams from Farmington included King, Karen Bull, and Jeanette Fellows (Team 1) and Stephanie Gurlain, Elizabeth Uffleman, and Jennifer Daly (Team 2).

Now in its seventy-first year, the PNHS is one of the most historic horse shows in the U.S., featuring the best in the sport of hunters and jumpers and is the launching ground for many future Olympians. Fifteen thousand spectators, and a million live feed viewers enjoy ten days of top national competition as 1,400 top Junior and Adult competitors vie for eight national championships—including the prestigious Pessoa/US Hunter Seat Medal Final and the Neue Schule/USEF National Junior Jumper Individual and Team Championships. The top jumping riders and horses are expected to compete in the $100,000 Prix de Penn National Grand Prix on the final day of the show (October 22), presented by The Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund.

Since the show’s inception in 1947, the PNHS has donated $1.68 million dollars to the Harrisburg Kiwanis Youth Foundation and has donated $350,000 to local therapy and equine groups since 1999. Applications for grants are accepted throughout the year with action upon requests awarded in September.

Other Winners of Hunt Night, sponsored by Kinsley Construction were:  
Leading Lady Rider:
Molly Green of the Green Spring Valley Hounds (MD), Team 1

Field Hunters for Riders 35 Years of Age and Under, sponsored by the Hempt Bros, Inc:
Elizabeth Uffleman, Farmington Hunt, Team 2 riding JT

Field Hunters for Riders 36 Years of Age and Over, sponsored by Horseshoe Trail Farm, LLC:
Jennifer Daly, Farmington Hunt, Team 2 with Prize
 
Hunter Under Saddle - Gentleman, sponsored by Roundtop Mountain Resort:
 Dr. Csaba Magassy, Potomac Hunt (MD) riding Thunderbride
 
Hunter Under Saddle - Ladies, sponsored by Carol Copeland:
Molly Green, Green Spring Valley Hounds, Team 1 riding Co-Dependent

Posted October 29, 2016

pa national2Huntsman John Dean parades Radnor foxhounds to the delight of the crowd. / Al Cook photo

wws heythrop r achelWhy Worry Hounds' Heythrop Rachel 2011 is Grand Champion of the 2016 Carolinas Hound Show.

Why Worry’s Heythrop Rachel 2011 was judged Grand Champion at the fortieth annual Carolinas Hound Show held at the Springdale Racecourse in Camden, South Carolina on May 7, 2016. It’s one thing for a visiting MFH to pick up a nice draft to bring back to the home kennels; it’s another thing entirely to know what to do with it. Here’s where George and Jeannie Thomas, MFHs, Why Worry Hounds (SC), showed their breeding acumen.

While visiting friends in England and judging a puppy show at the Heythrop kennels, George mentioned that he needed a bi*ch* to introduce new bloodlines into his breeding program. We have just the hound for you, he was told. So he brought home a nicely-bred entered bi*ch, Heythrop Rachel 2011.

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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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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