Saturday, March 7, 2020 marked the return of the Rappahannock Point-to-Point Races to the spring schedule after a twelve-year absence. Larry Levy had a brand new racecourse ready for entries at The Hill in Boston, Virginia, and, except for the two-horse Lady Rider Timber race, all races were well filled.
Of six races, Irish-bred horses won five! And in two of those races they finished one-two. In the First Division of the six-horse Open Flat race, Irish-breds placed first through fourth. Just saying.
The author, as we reported in our last issue, is the new huntsman at the Camargo Hunt (OH). During his career, Andy Bozdan has served as huntsman in England, Australia, and the U.S. Recently, he’s been whipping-in at the Blue Ridge Hunt (VA). Foxhunting Life asked Andy what it’s like to carry the horn again and be The Man in Front!
So, after a couple of seasons whipping-in to Graham Buston at Blue Ridge Hunt, I took up the horn again at the Carmargo Hunt in Kentucky and Ohio. I can remember one or two of my friends jokingly asking if I’d remember how to blow the horn, or get on the right side of the horse, etc. But it is, for sure, very different when you take on a pack and suddenly ... your it!
Everything becomes your responsibility, and very quickly you have to make decisions on the care of the hounds, how best to hunt the country, and plan ahead with a breeding program. To be honest I’ve been so busy since I arrived here that I have barely had time to stop and think!
Dr. G. Marvin Beeman, MFH, judging the Grand Champion of Show class at Bryn Mawr, awarded the trophy and ribbon to Blue Ridge Rambler 2018. Dr. Beeman is the senior Master and former huntsman of the Arapahoe Hunt (CO) and a past president of the MFHA. The Bryn Mawr Hound Show was held in Malvern, PA, on Saturday, June 1, 2019.
Green Spring Valley Sapphire 2018, judged Grand Champion at Virginia the previous week, was Reserve Grand Champion.
Rambler (Green Spring Valley Fanshaw 2014 ex Heythrop Rattle 2011) is a modern English dog hound bred by Blue Ridge huntsman Graham Buston. Irish-born, Buston grew up in the County Limerick hunting country, whipped-in, then carried the horn for both the Co. Waterford and the Co. Limerick Foxhounds. He moved to the U.S. in 2013 with his Canadian-born wife, Sheri, who whips-in to him.
It was a top-three sweep, not only for English fell bloodlines, but for one Cumbrian hunt in particular. When the recent Bull Run-Rappahannock Foxhound Performance Trials concluded in Virginia over the weekend of October 19–21, 2017, the three top-scoring hounds were either sired by or whelped out of fell hounds from the Ullswater Foxhounds (UK). And three different Ullswater hounds at that.
Another hound finishing in the top ten was also whelped out of an Ullswater hound. At the center of this story is professional huntsman John Harrison, currently in his first season hunting the foxhounds of the Deep Run Hunt.
A countryman from Virginia, a veterinarian from Colorado, and a businessman from north Florida were honored by an appreciative crowd of well-wishers on the occasion of their induction into the Huntsmen’s Room of the Museum of Hounds and Hunting. Ceremonies were conducted at Morven Park, Leesburg, Virginia on Saturday, May 27, 2017. This was the evening before the Virginia Foxhound Show over the Memorial Day Weekend.
James Lee Atkins, Dr. G. Marvin Beeman, MFH, and C. Martin Wood III, MFH were selected by a committee of their peers for having carried the hunting horn with honor, courage, and distinction in hunting fields across North America in their lifetimes. The three men join a select club of just forty-one pre-eminent huntsmen so honored. The last inductions were made two years ago.