Nicassio, an un-entered Crossbred dog hound from the Los Altos Hounds (CA), was judged Grand Champion at the Western States Hound Show. The show was held on May 21–22, 2011 at the Santa Ynez Valley Hounds kennels in Santa Barbara.
“It’s not often an un-entered hound can beat an entered hound—fully developed and muscled—but Nicassio moved really well,” recalled huntsman Matthew Cook, who is in his sixth season at Los Altos. “That’s what sold it!”
Nicassio is by Ninja 2006, an un-registered dog hound that Cook obtained from his friend Martyn Blackmore, huntsman at the Loudoun West Hunt (VA). Blackmore? Again? This is the second grand champion hound this season in whose story Martyn Blackmore played a prominent role!
Amwell Valley Heythrop 2008, an outstanding example of the modern English foxhound, was judged Grand Champion at the Bryn Mawr Hound Show on Saturday, June 2. Heythrop arrived at the Amwell Valley Hounds kennels as a puppy, along with his entire litte, from huntsman Martyn Blackmore at the Loudoun West Hunt.
Betsy and friends escape frozen Virginia for a week of hunting in warmer climes. We bring you her daily blog, exclusive to Foxhunting Life.
It poured rain last night. Woke up several times with rain pelting the tin roof of our cottage, but when I opened the door to see if we were going to float away I couldn't help notice it was weirdly warm. Like sixty degrees warm! Odd.
This morning dawned light and sunny and toasty warm. I stripped down to just my turtleneck layer for the horse trials next door.
At Full Gallop Farm, they hold training horse trials—intermediate level all the way down to beginner novice—attracting hundreds of competitors. Our Hunt Week crew is volunteering for duty to "earn" the right to school/ride/hack over their hundreds of acres of cross country jumps, show jumping fences, and dressage arenas.
We hunt wild boar at Santa Ynez Valley Hounds. Any one that we take is butchered and eaten, of course. In France it is very common. We cook game with sweet spices. Here's the dish I made and served for the hunt breakfast last week-end. You can make it when ever you have time, warm it up in a slow cooker while you're away hunting, and it will be ready when you're back.
There was no dawn today. I woke up with the first tinges of gray to the night sky (4:20 a.m., just like at home), but there was no sun to herald night turning to day. Beth and I figured, separately, that it was going to be a dreary, cool and cloudy day. Greg said something about the marine layer and how it burns off at 10 a.m, on the dot. I ignored him and pulled on a fleece sweatshirt I’d borrowed.
Sure enough, though, by 10 a.m. the sun was blazing, and the weather had turned to that famously California weather: clear, cool-yet-warm, dry (no humidity at all), and light breezes. The trees/flowers/shrubs here are used to persistent drought, so you don’t get the feeling that plants are thirsty as much as you get a feeling that they’re tough.