Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Red Rock Hounds

redrock

Red Rock Valley, Nevada

Website: www.redrockhounds.com


pow.angela murrayRed Rock Master and huntsman Angela Murray with her “O” boys, (l-r) Oslo and Oops  /   Nancy Stevens-Brown photo 

Just before the start of the current season, Nancy Stevens-Brown shot this photo of Master and huntsman Angela Murray, Red Rock Hounds (NV), telling two of her up-and-coming “O” boys that hunt season is only weeks away. Oh, boy, were they ready!

The two young dog hounds, Oslo and Oops, were unentered two-year-olds from a litter of six drafted from Walter Epp, the gentleman who started Red Rock founder and Master Lynn Lloyd with her Walker hounds. "They’re all rock stars," says Angela.

She reports that the pair are hunting brilliantly and maturing into what she hopes to be incredible breeding stock for the pack. Masters and staff are in love with the drive, stamina, grit and biddability of their “O” boys, and Oslo now has a litter on the ground.

Posted March 16, 2020

Hark Forward I"Don’t like hobbles and I can’t stand fences; Don’t fence me in!" A song that could have been written in the tallgrass prairie of Kansas. / Julie Honsinger photo

The MFHA Hark Forward Performance Trial Series took participants to the prairies of middle America, a unique experience. I love the traditional hunt countries on the East Coast with large forests and big open fields, and I also love the totally different experiences of hunting in land where it is so wide open you can literally see for miles in every direction. Here, in the wide open expanse of the Kansas prairie, field members get to see most all of the hound work.  

Mission Valley Hunt (KS) hosted this Foxhound Performance Trial over the weekend of March 2–4, 2018. Five hunts from the Midwest competed. In addition to Mission Valley, hounds were entered from Bridlespur Hunt (MO), Fort Leavenworth Hunt (KS), Mill Creek Hunt (IL), and North Hills Hunt (NE). Guest huntsman was Angela Murray, MFH, Red Rock Hounds (NV).

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WSHS2017WoodbrookKentHuntsman Jennifer Hansen and Western States Grand Champion of Show Woodbrook Kent 2014. Judges are huntsman Larry Pitts and Mary Ewing, MFH. /   Nancy Stevens-Brown photo

Honorary huntsman Jennifer Hansen credits the Woodbrook Masters who encouraged her to take hounds on a one-thousand-mile trip (each way!) from Washington State to Southern California to participate in the Western States Hound Show. It was the first time that Woodbrook had shown hounds in many years, and it was the first time Hansen ever showed hounds. And she took home the Grand Champion Foxhound of Show, Woodbrook Kent 2014.

“I was as nervous as I could be,” said Hansen, but  “I was so proud of Kent who held his stern high all day. [Judge] Mr. Pitts said, ‘That hound just can’t stand bad!’”

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cowboy hunt1Kail Mantle from Montana: just like riding a bronc  /  Val Westover photo

Last year, while hunting with the Red Rock Hounds (NV), I met Renee and Kail Mantle from Big Sky Hounds in Three Forks, Montana. Kail gave us a bucking horse lesson one day before hunting. This Montana cowboy, who hunts in chaps and cowboy hat, had sat calmly to his horse bucking crazily above the sagebrush and had seriously impressed me.

When a group of these Western foxhunters invited me to accompany them to Ireland this year, I jumped at the chance. These were fun people---more than a little crazy, and I wondered if anyone had warned the Irish!

I also wondered if my companions knew what they were getting into. I had hunted the big Irish walls and hedges in 2000, and I came home with newfound respect for anyone who hunts regularly in Ireland. It is challenging country, and their version of foxhunting is an excuse to run and jump really big fences.

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rr.nancy.wild horsesWild horses in Nevada's high desert / Nancy Stevens-Brown photo

I want to tell you about Lynn Lloyd’s Red Rock Hounds and the country they hunt as a short introduction to our feature story, "How Old Hounds Pay Their Keep at Red Rock." In that story you’ll read how Lynn ingeniously transformed her elderly hounds from a burden to an asset! The old hounds pay their way by increasing membership and caps, and they throw off side benefits by helping to train young hounds and staff. And I have to believe that many hunts could do something similar to their own benefit.

The Red Rock foxhounds hunt the coyote over the high desert of Nevada, near Reno, where cowboys in dusty western hats, vests, and chaps lope after hounds in their Western saddles stirrup-to-stirrup with properly attired foxhunters posting to the trot in their English saddles.

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