Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Red Mountain Foxhounds

redmountain

Rougemont, NC

Website: www.redmountainhounds.com/


carolinas19Grand Champion of Show, Bedford County Detroit 2017 with handler Laura Pitts.The 2019 Carolinas Hound Show was hosted by the Moore County Hounds on May 11th at Lyell’s Meadow in the Walthour Moss Foundation, a paradise for horsemen and naturalists in the sand hills of Southern Pines, NC. The Foundation was formed in 1974 by Pappy and Ginny Moss, MFHs of the Moore County Hounds (NC), as a charitable trust of 1,700 acres preserved in perpetuity. With additional gifts through the succeeding years from Ginny Moss and others, the Foundation now totals more than 4,000 acres and represents Moore County’s principal hunting country.

Hounds competed in three rings, Crossbred in Ring 1, Penn-Marydel in Ring 2, and English, American, and Foot packs in Ring 3. That one ring is dedicated entirely to Penn-Marydel hounds, and English and American foxhounds are combined in one ring with foot hounds, strikes this reporter as a noteworthy indication of the growing affinity for Penn-Marydel foxhounds amongst North American hunts well outside of the breed’s native region of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware. Concomitantly, the consequence must be a reduction in the numbers of Pure English and American types now being hunted in these southern Atlantic states.

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carolinas18Deep Run Warrior 2015 stands proudly for his award photograph. Judge Mary Ewing, MFH, presents the trophy for Grand Champion of Show to huntsman John Harrison. Stud groom and second whipper-in Chelsea Ray Kellerhouse is at left.

Huntsman John Harrison loves Warrior’s entire litter. “It’s the best litter in the kennels,” he says, “and Warrior is the best-looking hound in the litter.”

Apparently the judges thought so, too. Deep Run Warrior 2015 was judged Grand Champion of Show at the Carolinas Hound Show hosted by the Moore County Hounds on Saturday, May 12, 2018 at the grounds of the Walthour Moss Foundation in Southern Pines, NC.

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jnafhc17.finalistsFifty-six junior finalists line up for their commemorative photo at Foxboro, home of Belle Meade Master and host Epp Wilson. / Eric Bowles photo

Junior foxhunters, their horses, parents, and friends traveled from thirteen states to Thomson, Georgia, where the Belle Meade Hunt hosted the finals of the fifteenth annual Junior North American Field Hunter Championships on November 11-13, 2017.

Throughout the course of the informal season, hunts around the country held qualifying meets from which the young finalists were chosen by mounted judges. Of the 216 juniors who qualified to compete in the finals, fifty-six young riders from eighteen North American hunts—more than twenty-five percent of those qualified—traveled to Belle Mead to hunt, compete, see old friends, and make a pile of new friends. And did they have a wonderful time! It was truly a pleasure to see.

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IMG 1024Ada Catherine hunting at Moore County on a lovely Thoroughbred mare owned by T.J. Watson, a hunting friend.

Ada Catherine Hays has been on the foxhunting scene since she was in diapers.  “She was an infant in her father’s arms waiting for me at the breakfast after a hunt,” said her mom Elizabeth Hays. “She started hunting on a lead line at the age of four, sharing an 11.3-hand pony field hunter with her brother. She was off the lead and hunting on a great pony at the age of six.”

In mid-August, Ada Catherine, now twelve, took her show pony, Center Field, to her first-ever major show, and won the USEF Pony Medals Final over 164 entries. That’s what the foxhunting experience gives talented young riders. It’s interesting that this story of Ada Catherine’s experience follows so closely on the heels of our recent article about seventeen-year-old Caelinn Leahy, foxhunter and Grand Prix jumper winner.

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jnafhc claire goff.betsy parkerClaire Goff riding Miss Congeniality was judged 1st Field Champion, 13 and over, of the 2016 Junior North American Field Hunter Championships at the finals hosted by the Iroquois Hunt. With Claire are (l-r) Dr. Jack van Nagell, MFH, host, and President of the MFHA; Marion Chungo, organizer; Douglas Wise-Stuart, MFH, Old Dominion Hounds, and co-founder of the event; Cathy Murphy, daughter of the late Pat Murphy, longtime Iroquois huntsman ; and Cindy Goff, Claire's grandmother and former member of the Iroquois field. And the cute dog is Bert! /  Betsy Burke Parker photo 

Junior foxhunters and their parents traveled from thirteen states to Lexington, Kentucky, where the Iroquois Hunt hosted the finals of the 2016 Junior North American Field Hunter Championships. Thirty-three hunts participated over the course of the informal season by holding qualifying meets from which the finalists were chosen by mounted judges. In thirteen years, the program has grown steadily in participation and geographically from its modest start involving a few hunts in Virginia.

The program is succeeding because it’s purpose rises above just competition. Founders Douglas Wise, MFH, Old Dominion Hounds (VA) and Iona Pillion from the Blue Ridge Hunt (VA) had a larger dream: bring children to new hunting countries, broaden their hunting perspectives, and open their eyes to the fact that these hunting countries 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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