Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Toronto and North York Hunt

toronto northyork

Creemore, Ontario

Website: www.tnyh.horse


gus schickedanz.kronprinz.brendan matthiasGus hunting Kronprinz, a Trakehner /  Brendan Matthias photo

Gustav Schickedanz, ex-MFH, Eglinton and Caledon Hunt (ON), 2009 inductee into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, emigré from war-ravaged Europe, died peacefully at his Schönberg Farm in Ontario on Monday, June 17, 2019. A horseman from his earliest days, Gus was a loveable, courtly, and fascinating man who had personally witnessed the best and the worst of life’s offerings during his ninety years on this planet.

Gus’s life trajectory included the pleasures of a childhood with horses on the three hundred acre family farm in East Prussia, the terror of his family’s flight from the Russians across Germany in World War II, the struggles of gaining entrance to Canada and a new life, achieving wealth through building a successful construction and development company from scratch, the breeding of stakes winners, and the satisfactions derived from devotion to family, horses, and foxhunting.

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canadian17.toronto north yorks blue ridge wentworthToronto and North York's Blue Ridge Wentworth 2015 (Mendip Farmers Wentworth 2011 ex Mendip Farmers Stylish 2011) is Grand Champion of Show -- again -- at Canadian Hound Show.  /   Denya Massey Clarke photo

The sixty-fifth annual Canadian Foxhound Show was hosted by the London Hunt (ON) on Saturday, June 8, 2019.

Giving the younger foxhounds a fighting chance for glory, Toronto and North York Hunt (ON) entered their Blue Ridge Wentworth 2015, a veteran of four seasons of hunting, only in the class for Stallion Hounds. That was enough for Wentworth, though. After winning that class, he vanquished all he met on his way to being judged Grand Champion of Show at Canada for the second time since 2017. This was his third Grand Championship since Bryn Mawr in 2016. Wentworth has an interesting history both in the field and on the flags.

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bryn mawr19.karenkGrand Champion of Show Blue Ridge Rambler 2018 with (l-r) Graham Buston, huntsman; L. Stockton Illoway, MB, President, Bryn Mawr Hound Show Association; Judge Dr. G. Marvin Beeman, MFH; and Sheri Buston, whipper-in / Karen Kandra photo

Dr. G. Marvin Beeman, MFH, judging the Grand Champion of Show class at Bryn Mawr, awarded the trophy and ribbon to Blue Ridge Rambler 2018. Dr. Beeman is the senior Master and former huntsman of the Arapahoe Hunt (CO) and a past president of the MFHA. The Bryn Mawr Hound Show was held in Malvern, PA, on Saturday, June 1, 2019.

Green Spring Valley Sapphire 2018, judged Grand Champion at Virginia the previous week, was Reserve Grand Champion.

Rambler (Green Spring Valley Fanshaw 2014 ex Heythrop Rattle 2011) is a modern English dog hound bred by Blue Ridge huntsman Graham Buston. Irish-born, Buston grew up in the County Limerick hunting country, whipped-in, then carried the horn for both the Co. Waterford and the Co. Limerick Foxhounds. He moved to the U.S. in 2013 with his Canadian-born wife, Sheri, who whips-in to him.

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canadian17.toronto north yorks blue ridge wentworthThe conformation of Toronto and North York's Blue Ridge Wentworth 2015, Grand Champion Foxhound at the 2017 Canadian Foxhound Show, is clearly seen in this well-posed photograph. / Denya Massey photo

Hound show champions should be photographed so their conformation is clearly visible to potential foxhound breeders, hound enthusiasts, and the historical record. The champions should be memorialized in a fashion such that others may see what the judges saw, as they carefully and critically studied each hound presented.

Historically, that has been the practice, and hound show organizers might want to remind show photographers of their primary mission at the hound show. Yes, we also want to see the smiling faces of the Masters, handlers, distinguished trophy presenters, and judges, along with candid shots of attendees enjoying the day. Those are also important and of interest to many viewers, but a classical portrait of the hound champions is Job-1. What follows are six-steps to achieve the image foxhound enthusiasts want to see.

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ros balding.cat herinedaviesHuntsman Ros Balding leads hounds and field of the Toronto and North York Hunt  /  Catherine Davies photo
Rosslynn Balding is sitting on a couch with her wool-sock-clad feet tucked comfortably beneath her. The professional huntsman has a bundle of handwritten notes in her right hand, which she keeps reminding herself, aloud, to refer to, but which she mostly keeps forgetting to check. She admits to being nervous. She has never been interviewed by a journalist before and is wary, in a most open, friendly way that, despite assurances to the contrary, I am an undercover, coyote-loving writer who has come to a 120-acre property, just south of the village of Creemore, Ontario, to blow the lid off an arcane blood sport.

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