Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Red Rock Hounds


Red Rock Valley, Nevada


rr.nancy.retired houndWhat to do with the old hounds? / Nancy Stevens-Brown photo

Most hunts are beset by similar problems: what to do with old hounds, how to attract more members, how to pay the bills, how to train staff, how to train young hounds. Lynn Lloyd, MFH and huntsman of the Red Rock Hounds (NV), found that the solution to one problem provided the key to solving several others.

What to Do with Old Hounds
The average hunting life of a hound is perhaps six or seven years. That means it is retired from the pack at age seven or eight. Beyond that age, most hounds start falling behind the pack, lacking the foot and endurance to maintain the pace over a full hunting day.

But with several years of life still remaining for the retired hounds, most hunts are hard-put to expend their limited financial resources to keep and maintain them. And here’s where Lynn Lloyd found a way to turn a burden into an asset.

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Ridgecrest_-_Shawn_Lloyd_-_13Joy Smith leads the Leisure Field on Kindred. By A.P. Indy, Kindred sold at Keeneland in 2006 for one million dollars, but has since found more satisfying employment.  /  Shawn Lloyd photoGreat ideas are sometimes borne of desperation.

I was desperate to get back on a horse after a lumbar fracture at the beginning of the hunting season. Having already sat out much of the season. I just couldn’t resist riding at the annual joint meet in Ridgecrest, California. Hounds and members of Red Rock Hounds (NV), Kingsbury Harriers, Santa Ynez Valley Hounds (CA), Grand Canyon Hounds (AZ), Paradise Valley Beagles (AZ), as well as members of several eastern hunts all come together for three days of hunting, eating, drinking, and mingling with great friends and fantastic animals.

Riding was definitely not on my list of “can do” activities, but give me a quiet horse and a promise to only walk then no harm can be done, right?

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The Red Rock Hounds are scheduled to parade at the 2011 Franktown Meadows USHJA International Hunter Derby in Carson City, Nevada on Labor Day, September 5. The “best horse and rider combinations in the country” are expected to compete over this beautiful course in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada.

Hounds will parade around the course at noon with mounted staff, and the Derby will begin at 1:00 p.m.

Red Rock Master Lynn Lloyd believes it’s an appropriate venue for both her hounds and the spectators.

“The derby came because of field hunting,” she said, and we are “presenting its roots. I think [the spectators] begin to understand that this is where hunters in the show ring began, and that hunting in America is still available....I want people to understand the freedom [of hunting] and being in nature. I think it grounds people, and I want them to remember the fun of horses. Sometimes I think they forget that.”

More information about the derby is available from the Phelps Media Group.

Posted August 17, 2011