Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

Subscribe RISK FREE for complete access to website PLUS
twice-monthly e-magazine.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • 19

och15.amnov hurdle.leesAmateur/Novice Rider Hurdle Race (l-r): Special Guy (Ben Swope up) was second by a length to winner Spy In The Sky and Gregg Ryan, MFH.  /  Douglas Lees photo

The Orange County Hounds Point-to-Point Races were held on Locust Hill Farm, Middleburg, Virginia, on Sunday, March 29, 2015, perhaps the nicest spring day for racegoers yet this season.

Gregg Ryan, MFH of the Piedmont Fox Hounds and the Snickersville Hounds in Virginia, marked his return to the racecourse by winning the Amateur Novice Rider Hurdle Race on his veteran, Spy In The Sky. Ryan allowed Ben Swope on Special Guy to set the pace for much of the race, before pulling away with five furlongs to go. Special Guy, as he did at Warrenton, made a late rush, but not enough.

Spy In The Sky is trained by Eva Smithwick, Gregg’s Joint-Master at Snickersville. Trained in years past by Jimmy Day, Spy in the Sky won the $100,000 A.P. Smithwick Memorial Handicap at Saratoga in 2012, returning long odds of 25-1 to the lucky ticket holders there.

Read More

och15.amnov hurdle.leesAmateur/Novice Rider Hurdle Race (l-r): Special Guy (Ben Swope up) was second by a length to winner Spy In The Sky and Gregg Ryan, MFH.  /  Douglas Lees photo

The Orange County Hounds Point-to-Point Races were held on Locust Hill Farm, Middleburg, Virginia, on Sunday, March 29, 2015, perhaps the nicest spring day for racegoers yet this season.

Gregg Ryan, MFH of the Piedmont Fox Hounds and the Snickersville Hounds in Virginia, marked his return to the racecourse by winning the Amateur Novice Rider Hurdle Race on his veteran, Spy In The Sky. Ryan allowed Ben Swope on Special Guy to set the pace for much of the race, before pulling away with five furlongs to go. Special Guy, as he did at Warrenton, made a late rush, but not enough.

Spy In The Sky is trained by Eva Smithwick, Gregg’s Joint-Master at Snickersville. Trained in years past by Jimmy Day, Spy in the Sky won the $100,000 A.P. Smithwick Memorial Handicap at Saratoga in 2012, returning long odds of 25-1 to the lucky ticket holders there.

Read More

vaughn clatterbuck.kleckVaughn Clatterbuck signals a view for the Blue Ridge hounds across his Bartley Farm // Nancy Kleck photo Vaughn Clatterbuck, who whipped-in to twelve Virginia huntsmen, died at home on his cattle farm in Millwood, Virginia at age seventy-six on September 24, 2014 after a lengthy illness. Among those huntsmen to whom Vaughn whipped-in are the late Bay Cockburn, MFH and huntsman of the Loudoun West Hunt, and the late huntsman Jim Atkins. Vaughn later served as Field Master for the Snickersville Hounds in Middleburg, always showing his field a good time, no matter the scenting conditions.

In 1968, after his father sold the family farm, Vaughn partnered with his cousin to start Bonded Carriers, Inc., which grew into the largest independent trucking company in West Virginia. The company was a real family operation involving a sibling, several cousins, his daughter and his son. Bonded employed well over a hundred employees and served customers up and down the East Coast.

In 2008, after forty years of operation, the company was sold on account of Vaughn’s ill health. He retired to his farm, where he raised Hereford and black baldy cattle. His Clarke County farm was a regular and popular fixture for the Blue Ridge Hunt, and Vaughn was usually seen waving from his ATV while watching hounds. He was mowing pasture fields the week before he died.

Vaughn was a strong horseman and a knowledgeable whipper-in. Because he loved his foxhunting so, he was always a joy to be with in the field. His wife Wendell Hawken Clatterbuck is a brilliant poet, whom this writer has had the honor to publish several times, both in Covertside and in Foxhunting Life.

A service of Thanksgiving for Vaughn’s life will be held on Saturday, September 27 at 3:00 pm at Christ Church, Millwood. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Christ Church, PO Box 153, Millwood, VA 22646 for the Clatterbuck Scholarship Fund for underprivileged children, or to the Ability Fitness Center, c/o Jared Blaney, 11111 Sunrise valley Drive, Reston, VA 20190 for a special needs facility.

Posted September 25, 2014

 

nafhc13.teresa.callar2013 North American Field Hunter Champion Greyland Woods, owned by Karen Mantz and ridden by daughter Teresa Croce, jumps to victory over Judge Jean Derrick's scarlet coat (Belle Meade colors). / Liz Callar photo

Blistering hot weather visited Virginia for the past four weeks. While not unusual this time of year, the length of the hot spell, with temperatures hovering in the high eighties and even reaching into the low nineties, has proved miserable to man and beast alike, but it failed to deter foxhunters who entered this year's North American Field Hunter Championships.

On Monday, September 30, the Championships began at Keswick. Hounds met at Glenwood, a fixture in the neighborhood of James Madison's Montpelier, outside the town of Orange. Contestants from as far away as Florida and Georgia traveled to compete in the event, as well as to enjoy early autumn hunting in Virginia. They were not disappointed. Keswick huntsman Tony Gammell provided a fine day of sport in the lovely rolling countryside as hounds ran across the nearby road, back again, and beyond the fixture into a scenic expanse of woods and cornfields. Afterward, everyone enjoyed a tailgate as five contestants were selected for the finals.

On Tuesday, October 1, hounds met at Owl Run Farm in Warrenton, home of Casanova Hunt Joint-Master Mrs. Joyce Fendley. Previously the home of Donna and Jack Eicher, huntsman at Rombout and later Farmington Hunt, the grounds include a lake and a cluster of graceful weeping willows out front. The residence and barns all exude the charm of old Virginia Hunt Country—weathered stone, stout board and batten, low eaves and metal roofs. A special surprise awaited the field this morning when shortly after casting hounds, an eruption in a cornfield revealed that hounds had encountered a black bear! Fortunately, the pack obeyed their orders to ignore the bear as it beat a hasty retreat. The remainder of the morning proved quieter, and as the field hacked in, Mrs. Fendley positioned herself, as she always does at the end of a hunt, such that she could personally thank everyone in the field as they passed by on their way to their trailer. This small but thoughtful act is just one of many that make hunting in Virginia so special and unique. It was a hot, thirsty, and tired field that gathered under a tent to drink and devour a delicious crab dip while recalling the excitement of having gone on their first bear hunt! This morning, six finalists were announced.

Read More

The 2013 Field Hunter Championship of North America will be held in Virginia from Monday, September 30 to Sunday, October 6. Competitors will hunt four days, with fixtures at Keswick Hunt, Casanova Hunt, Snickersville Hounds, and Piedmont Fox Hounds. The Finals will be held on Sunday, October 6 at Glenwood Park.

The final day at Glenwood will start with the judging of the “Best Turned Out” horse and rider, after which a short drag hunt will start and end on the racecourse. At least ten finalists will be chosen to ride over a “handy hunter” course, where they may be required to drop a rail, open a gate, and hand gallop and halt. Spectators are encouraged to attend. This is the second and final day of the Virginia Fall Races at Glenwood Park, so there’s a lot going on!

The family of the late Mrs. Theodora Ayer Randolph will again honor her memory and her lifetime commitment to fox hunting by awarding a $2,500 cash prize to the home hunt of the winner.

The Museum of Hounds and Hunting in Leesburg will award a one-year membership to the winning rider and to the two highest-placed Juniors that qualify for the Finals.

General Admission price is $30.00 per carload of four people.  To reach Glenwood Park from the Washington DC area, take I-66 West and exit Route 50 West (Exit 57B towards Winchester).  Drive approximately 25 miles to Middleburg and turn right at stop light in Middleburg (Route 626, Foxcroft Road).  Proceed 1 mile North to Glenwood Park on your right.

For additional information and/or photos call the name above or contact the Field Hunter Championship Chairman Ms. Pippy McCormick at 540-454-2854.

Posted September 6, 2013