Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Sedgefield Hunt

sedgefield

Reidsville, North Carolina

Website: www.sedgefieldhunt.com


berry and carty.how to pass the hornHow to pass the horn: Fred Berry, MFH, Sedgefield, after 35 years as huntsman passes the horn to whipper-in Randall Wiseman Carty.

When the hunting season starts this fall, the Sedgefield Hunt (NC) will field a new huntsman. After thirty-five years carrying the horn, Fred Berry, MFH, has passed it on to a first-year professional huntsman, Randall Wiseman Carty. First-year notwithstanding, Ms. Carty will hardly be new to hounds or hunting.

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-Bull Run is Champion Hunt; Goodwin’s Indigo is Champion Foxhound.

-Bull Run shows pack depth with four hounds scoring in the top twenty-five percent of the pack of previously qualified hounds.

-Goodwin’s Indigo is champion foxhound, amassing the highest individual score of all fifty-four hounds in the pack.

ptchamp22.leahy and houndsGuest huntsman Tony Leahy, MFH, and his pack of finalists. /  Mark Jump Photography

Fifty-four foxhounds from twenty-two hunts across the country converged at the J. Robert Gordon Field Trial Grounds in Hoffman, North Carolina, to compete in the Championship Performance Trial finals this year. How does a hound qualify for the finals? It finishes among the top-ten hounds in any one of the regional qualifying trials held around the country over the season. On March 25, 2022, these proven hounds convened to be numbered and to duke it out over the next two days of hunting as a high-octane pack.

Guest huntsman for this talented pack was Tony Leahy, MFH and huntsman of the Fox River Valley Hunt (IL) for the past twenty-six years and a former president of the MFHA of North America. The venue was worthy of the caliber of the competitors: nine thousand acres of flat, sandy footing, streams and natural growth, no obstacles or jumps to slow down the mounted judges, and sand roads and fire lanes to traverse. The grounds are stocked annually with three-thousand quail, but the foxes and coyotes remain undisturbed all year.

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performance trial. mission valleyMission Valley 2018 Performance Trials: Fort Leavenworth Tracker 2010 (#71) was overall High Point foxhound after two days of hunting.  /  Allison Howell photo

The schedule of Foxhound Performance Trials for the 2021/2022 foxhunting season has been released by Trial Chairman Fred Berry, MFH, Sedgefield Hounds (NC). Nine qualifying trials will be run across the country, and the tenth and final trial will crown a Grand Champion and the top ten performance hounds in North America.

"'Pretty is as pretty does' really applies to foxhounds," says Fred. The Brits invented mounted foxhunting and hound show, but they shouldn’t have stopped there.

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steve farrin.amwell valley.pa natl2013Huntsman Steve Farrin, parading Amwell Valley hounds at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show (2013).

It’s time for our annual report on the recent moves of huntsmen across North America. The huntsman is my hero. From the time we mount up and for the few hours that follow, it is he or she most directly responsible for the day’s sport. How the huntsman has bred, trained, deployed, and communicated with his troops—the hounds—has everything to do with the satisfaction of our day in the field.

The moves have been numerous this season, and, in a two cases, we have experienced whippers-in finally achieving their dream of a pack of their own to hunt. We’ll catch up with Alasdair Storer, Andrew Bozdan, Kathryn Butler, Stephen Farrin, Danny Kerr, Emily Melton, and Timothy Michel.

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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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