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IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY, 60 ALEXANDRIA PIKE, WARRENTON, VA 20186

VOLUME XXVI / NUMBER 5 • THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE VIRGINIA STEEPLECHASE ASSOCIATION • FALL 2014


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SPORTING LIFE HIGHLIGHTS

Author Talk/Book Signing Events at Horse Country Saddlery Thinking ahead for a very special Christmas gift? Or a nice addition to your own library? Three notable authors will be stopping by Horse Country Saddlery in Warrenton to discuss their work and sign copies of their latest books. • October 14, 6:00 p.m.: Felix Francis—Dick Francis’s Damage. • October 28, 7:00 p.m.: Barclay Rives—William Cabell Rives: A Country to Serve and See You At Second Horses. • November 11, 7:00 p.m.: Rita Mae Brown’s latest Sister Jane mystery—Let Sleeping Dogs Lie. Refreshments will be served, RSVPs are appreciated, 540-3473141 or e-mail huntbooks@aol.com. 60 Alexandria Pike, Warrenton, VA 20186. •••• Orange County Hounds Host Annual Team Chase Event On Sunday, October 26, the Orange County Hounds will host its annual Cross-Country Team Event at Old Whitewood Farm near The Plains, VA. Modeled after the tradition of the English Team Chase, Orange County Hounds has hosted the event since 1987. Foxhunters of all ages and levels will travel across the state to compete over a cross-country course set in the heart of Virginia’s hunt country. Teams of riders compete over a course one might encounter during a day of foxhunting. There are two divisions; Hilltopper Pairs ride over a course of 12 jumps designed for ponies or less experienced horses and riders. The First Flight Division with teams of three to four horses or ponies features a longer course of fences designed for foxhunters who regularly hunt first flight. Hilltopper Pairs compete for Best Turned Out and Best Pair over fences. First Flight Teams awards include Best Turned Out, Best Team over fences and Closest to Ideal Time (a fair hunting pace). The final events of the day are the Junior and Adult Championship rounds. Judges choose the top horses and riders to ride a test over a shortened course designed by the judges. The winning junior will receive the coveted George L. Ohrstrom Junior Championship and Trophy. The First Flight Adult Champion will be presented with the Alfred Hunt Trophy. The event begins at 9am. Spectators are welcome. Food concessions available. General donation to Orange County Hounds kindly requested. Reserved Parking $100. Prize Lists available at local tack shops and businesses. For more information please contact: Pippy McCormick: doverhse@earthlink.net, 540454-2854 or Jane Bishop: jcb.waverly@mac.com, 540-729-7083. •••• USET Foundation Honors Karen Stives By Lauren R Giannini

The United States Equestrian Team Foundation hosted a special reception on July 25 to honor Karen Stives and Gold Medal Club members celebrating anniversaries. About 150 people, including owners, riders, trainers, parents, locals involved in equestrian sports, and Gold Medal supporters of the USET Foundation attended the reception, which took place at Salamander Resort in Middleburg, Stives became the first woman to earn an individual silver Olympic medal in eventing in 1984 at Los Angeles where, riding her mother’s horse, the difficult but talented Ben Arthur, she anchored the US to win team gold. Following 20 years of active competition, Stives stayed involved and wore many hats as a selector, judge, donor and volunteer. Her passion for horses and for eventing led her to donate one million dollars to establish the Karen E. Stives Endowment Fund for High Performance Eventing, which will make possible annual grants for an

Bonnie Jenkins (executive director USET Foundation) with attending Gold Medal Club Anniversary Award Recipients: Carolyn & Paul Rizza, Jacqueline B. Mars, Gregory Gingery, Karen Stives, Cheryl & Stagg Newman, Chrystine & George Tauber, and the reception’s emcee Philip Richter (USET Foundation treasurer). Lauren Giannini photo

Eventing High Performance activity, thereby strengthening the US’s ability to win medals. This year, the USET Foundation’s support of the United States Equestrian Federation’s High Performance Program totals $3.2 million. The Gold Medal Club members donate annually a minimum of $1,000 and their generosity adds up significantly, helping to fund teams for international competitions throughout the year and sending our horses and riders to such international championships as the World Equestrian Games, Olympics, and Pan American Games. •••• 2014 - Great Year For This Young US Polo Association Player Wyatt Harlow (Warrenton, VA) turned 19 on August 19, but he’s well known in polo circles. He started riding very young and at 10 developed an immediate passion for polo, thanks to the tutelage and encouragement of his polo-playing grandfather, Travis Worsham, and grandmother Suzi Worsham, who keep their grandchildren’s horses and ponies at their Riverside Farm (Leesburg, VA). Harlow’s 2014 accolades include being named Interscholastic Male Player of the Year by the Polo Training Foundation. He played for Natania (Warrenton, VA), and the team earned the USPA National Interscholastic Polo Championship in 2013 and 2014; both years Harlow was #1 pick for the All-Star team. After qualifying at VIPolo (Upperville, VA), Harlow made the finals of the National Youth Tournament, played on grass at San Diego Polo Club (CA), over Labor Day Weekend. He plays at Great Meadow Polo (The Plains, VA), where he was coached by John Gobin, and at Banbury Cross Polo (Middleburg, VA). The youngest of the 12 players named in 2014 to Team USPA (a unique program for talented young players), Harlow was chosen to travel to Manipour, India, November 19-30 to play for Team USPA vs India. He will take courses at a local community colWyatt Harlow has worked hard and will play lege until second semester when he international polo in India this November. Shown here, playing for Riverside at Great Meadow’s will attend the University of Miami Twilight Polo, Aug. 16, his family and friends, and continue playing polo. shouting “Go, Wyatt!” Lauren R Giannini photo

COVER PHOTOGRAPHER: Janet Hitchen

ON THE COVER: Just prior to the start of the 2014 cub hunting season, Hugh Robards, Huntsman for Virginia's Middleburg Hunt, walks out hounds in dapper English style. His trusty terrier helps keep the pack in good order.

PHOTOGRAPHERS: Liz Callar www.lizcallar.com Richard Clay www.richardclayphotography.com Coady Photography Adam Coglianese Lauren R. Giannini Janet Hitchen 540-837-9846 www.janethitchenphotography.com Limelight Photography Debra Malinics Middleburg Photo www.middleburgphoto.com Betsy Burke Parker TU Images VTA

Regular subscription 5 issues $25.00, U.S.A. First Class subscription $35.00, Europe, Canada, etc. $45.00

is published 5 times a year. Editorial and Advertising Address: 60 Alexandria Pike, Warrenton, VA 20186 For information and advertising rates, please call (540) 347-3141, fax (540) 347-7141 Space Deadline for the Holiday issue is Oct. 15. Payment in full due with copy. Publisher: Marion Maggiolo Managing Editor: J. Harris Anderson Advertising: Mary Cox (540) 636-7688 Email: hcmaryads@embarqmail.com Contributors: Aga, J. Harris Anderson, Lauren R. Giannini, Elizabeth Manierre, Virginia Thoroughbred Association, Karin Winegar, Jenny Young LAYOUT & DESIGN: Kate Houchin Copyright 2014 In & Around Horse Country®. All Rights Reserved. Volume XXVI, No.5 POSTMASTER: CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED


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JUNIORS

2013 JNAFHC First Flight, 13 and Over Champion Hayley Davis and Arts N Crafts, Old Dominion Hunt (VA). Richard Clay photo

Junior North American Field Hunter Championship Gears Up for 2014

This fall will mark the 12th year for the Junior North American Field Hunter Championship. The event is designed for junior riders, 18 and under, on foxhunting ponies or appropriate hunting horses. The goal is to stress the connection between the junior rider and the pony or horse. The foxhunting mount and its proper turnout are important, but suitability for the young rider is foremost. The major aim of the JNAFHC is to make the children aware of how important it is to preserve our countryside. In addition, the event provides an opportunity for them to meet new friends who also enjoy foxhunting while offering a bit of competition. There is a Northern Region and a Southern Region with five hunts in each region beginning in late September and running through October, where the juniors can qualify for the championship. Judges are present at each of these meets and those children qualifying will be invited to the finals on Sunday, November 9, at Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds in Pennsylvania. To further its goal of preserving countryside for future generations to enjoy, the JNAFHC has contributed over $35,000 to various conservation groups including the Piedmont Environmental Council in Virginia and similar groups in Maryland and Pennsylvania. Host hunts for the finals have received between $1,000 and $1,500 for their conservation group of choice. For entry forms, releases, schedule, and to read how much fun the juniors are having, visit the Facebook page “Junior North American Field Hunter Championship” or call Marion Chungo at 540-220-7292.

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Museum of Hounds & Hunting North America, Inc.® From The Past To The Future

FOXHUNTING

By Lauren R Giannini

“Museums have to take tradition into the modern world,” states Nancy Bedford, president of the board of the Museum of Hounds & Hunting North America, Inc., recalling when the Museum was founded in 1985 as a non-profit by the Westmoreland Davis Foundation and how it has been continuously installed in the mansion at Morven Park, Leesburg, VA. “In 2013, MHHNA, Inc. re-incorporated as an independent 501(c)(3). As this Museum is one of a kind in North America, it is imperative that the art and artifacts representing foxhunting continue to be presented and preserved—for today and for the future.” As the Museum's mission statement says, the purpose is to acquire important artifacts before they are lost; provide a repository for precious objects; and, by developing educational exhibits through research projects, promote understanding of hunting with hounds through the sport’s historical, sociological, and cultural heritage. Museum Pop-Ups, News, and Events “We are very excited that the Museum of Hounds & Hunting North America, Inc. has been invited to attend a conference at the Musée de la Chasse in Paris in March of 2015,” said Bedford. “There are two such museums in France and I believe museums from other countries are also invited to discuss the future of hunting and sporting museums. The details are pending, and we hope that some members of the Museum in North America will participate.” The “on dit” is that you might want to polish up your Parlez-vous francais? in the event that MHHNA, Inc. offers a special trip to its members to visit the Musée de la Chasse. It would be a great opportunity to visit Paris and gallivant around the French countryside, visiting stud farms and vineyards, and to check out their sporting heritage. Taïaut! Tally Ho! The MHHNA, Inc. also plans to hold more “pop-up” events: short-term, specialized displays arranged at off-site locations. “We’re especially excited about our next event,” Bedford said. “Salamander Resort has arranged for the Museum to be part of the second annual Middleburg Film Festival. From October 29th through November 5th we’ll be presenting works by selected sporting artists and sculptors in the Resort’s Equine Center, which is a work of art in it’s own right. What a win-win this will be! It’s a chance to provide exposure to some wonderful contemporary artists and an excellent way for the Museum’s message to reach a wider audience. As popular as last year’s Film Festival proved to be, this promises to be quite a busy week. The town will be filled with visiting film buffs and the autumn weather will be at its loveliest. We’re just thrilled that the Museum will be a part of it all!” Heads Up, Junior Handlers: next year at the Virginia Hound Show, any junior who competes in either age category will be eligible to help the Museum as Junior Vendors (JVs) on Sunday afternoon. Last May, did anyone notice young entry in white kennel coats, wearing red aprons and caps, selling greeting cards ringside? The kids did a super job and were invited to come back and do it again next year. The incentive, besides helping the Museum of Hounds & Hunting North America, Inc: keep reading… Junior Vendors will become a regular feature to help Bedford and her member volunteers continue the quest to promote the Museum by selling cards, squishy huggable stuffed animals—the big fox is on many an adult’s wish-list, let alone the kids’—and to encourage hound show enthusiasts to join the Museum. “I started this two years ago from my little MHHNA booth at the hound show—after the little kids showed their hounds, they didn’t have anything to do and they were bored all afternoon,” Jockey Chair said Bedford. “Some of them got rides in the golf cart to cool off and thought that was the ‘funnest’ The Museum of Hounds & Hunting North America’s mahogany thing to do. When they came back, I put visors on curvilinear chair features a leather them and labels I had made for MHHNA and gave covered “springy” seat for posting them things to sell to people in the crowds around exercise, to maintain muscles, on inclement days. the rings.”

A Museum Founder, Sherman P. Haight, ex-MFH; and Nancy G. Bedford, President, MHHNA.

Bedford gave each youngster two boxes of cards at a time, so they had to keep coming back to the booth. “They sold about $1,000 worth of cards,” recalled Bedford. “For every box they sold, I gave them $1, and at the end of the day they spent their money on a fuzzy animal. It’s a win-win.” MHHNA, Inc. plans to host Junior Days at Morven Park. “We’re going to invite hunts to bring their juniors and their books to exchange with another horsey/hunting kid,” said Bedford. “We will arrange to have someone like Tommy Lee Jones, huntsman for Casanova, relate an exciting hunt day and invite some of the kids to talk about their favorite day foxhunting. A reception and museum tour will follow for the juniors and their parents.” Encouraging New Members Just as the future of hunting depends on getting kids interested in hounds, the future of the Museum needs enthusiasts of all ages to become members. MHHNA, Inc. offers a variety of ways to join and reasonable annual dues for everyone from individuals to families to hunts, and with the 501(c)(3) status, donations and membership fees are now fully deductible from taxable income, which is a very nice incentive. “We need to involve more younger people, 30 to 40, and we need more junior members,” said Bedford. “I started a program two years ago where we gave free one-year junior memberships to the junior champions at all of the foxhunter championships. They get a certificate in an envelope when they receive their trophy.” When MHHNA reincorporated as an independent non-profit in December 2013, the advisory committee of the Museum became the board and a new advisory committee was formed with interested members. Bedford also started a small committee to help with events and receptions, essentially to create a pipeline of experienced, museum-knowledgeable members, who would be ready to fill vacancies on the advisory committee when those members step up to the board. This is yet another incentive for people with a love for museums, art, literature, and preserving the past to become MHHNA, Inc. members. Last year, MHHNA, Inc. opened a satellite gallery from October 25 to December 15 in an empty storefront on the main street in Middleburg, VA. A longer version of a pop-up event, the gallery showcased contemporary sporting artists, such as Anita Baarns, Cynthia Benitz, Jean Clagett, Mary Cornish, Teresa Duke, Sandra Forbush, Gail Guirreri-Maslyk, Julie Kirk, Nancy Kleck, Mary Phillips Coker, Alice Porter, Dana Lee Thompson, and Belinda Sillars. The exhibit also served as a fund-raising sale of their works of art, as well as gift items, including greeting cards, plush animals (those big squishy huggable foxes), videos and children’s books. There were also three receptions for MHHNA, Inc. members and their guests


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“The Museum’s satellite gallery was very successful and the Middleburg location encouraged local people and visitors to drop in, which gave us the opportunity to talk about the Museum, show off our pre-holiday art and gift sale, and encourage new members,” said Bedford. “We are very committed to increasing membership. We especially want to encourage more Masters to join and promote the Museum to their subscribers. The more members we have, the more outreach we can do. I’m hoping to find a location to rent again this winter in Middleburg so we can have another holiday gallery.” MHHNA, Inc.’s History In the early 1980s Sherman P. Haight, ex-MFH, first broached the idea of a museum dedicated to maintaining North America’s heritage of hunting with hounds. Several avid foxhunters agreed with him that a place was needed to preserve and exhibit the art, artifacts, and memorabilia of our sporting tradition. In 1985 this effort came to fruition with the creation of the Museum of Hounds & Hunting. At the time, Erskine L. Bedford and Dr. Joseph M. Rogers (now both deceased) were in the hunting prime of their lives and Masters of Foxhounds; they were also trustees of Morven Park. They suggested that the new museum take up residence in the mansion (circa 1781), which serves as the jewel-like centerpiece of the 1000-acre estate on the edge of Leesburg. With the blessing of the Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation, the Museum of Hounds and Hunting North America opened in the mansion and soon occupied most of the north wing. Its collection of art, artifacts, and memorabilia has grown by leaps and bounds over the years, thanks to the generosity of enthusiasts throughout the USA and Canada, who pretty much emptied their closets and attics to outfit the Museum. Hunting attire, books, art, sculpture, diaries, tack, furniture, every possible accessory relevant to a sporting hound- and horse-centric lifestyle from Colonial days to now are among the many treasures that comprise MHHNA’s trove. Two multi-media exhibits, donated by JWK Properties on behalf of Mr. and Mrs. John W. Kluge, of a life-sized harness maker and farrier’s shops were ensconced in the carriage house. The Morven Park mansion underwent a complete renovation to repair extensive water damage to the foundations, and the Museum’s collection lived in storage and on-line as a virtual museum. When Will O’Keefe retired in January 2010 after 17 years as the executive director at Morven Park, the mansion had been restored from the ground up and was ready to stand forever. O’Keefe initiated the installation of a state-of-the-art fire suppression system that uses a high mist-fog to suffocate flames without great amounts of water that would destroy

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precious artifacts. The mansion also went green with the geothermal HVAC system. The new administration, led by executive director Frank D. Milligan, brought in new ideas and different talents. The entire mansion at Morven Park evolved into a living museum in its own right. The changes, which benefited Morven Park and the Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation, ended up reducing the area occupied by the Museum of Hounds & Hunting. Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes “We are looking to possibly move the Museum from Morven Park,” said Bedford. “Our contract at Morven Park expires at the end of 2016 and while they are happy for us to stay there and we are happy to be there, the stairs are a problem for many of our members and visitors. Also, we went from six rooms to three rooms and small storage rooms when they put in the new downstairs restrooms and visitors center in what, for many years, had been our space. We must think about the future of the Museum of Hounds & Hunting. We need more room and we need a location that offers easy access for wheelchairs and anyone who can’t climb stairs.” The new home for the Museum will offer more exhibit rooms, adequate storage on the premises, and disabled access. “We decided that Middleburg is the heart of the hunt country and where we want to have the Museum. It’s the ideal location—in the heart of horse country, and it attracts many day visitors,” said Bedford. “Everyone is so busy, we have to make it easy for them to stop in. I would like to have a teahouse involved, so that people would come by in the daytime, watch a video, chit-chat with somebody, look at some books, have a cup of tea… We tell our members that we are looking in Middleburg and we are hoping that some fairy godfather or godmother can provide a building that we can use for the Museum of Hounds & Hunting North America, Inc.” The Future The Museum of Hounds & Hunting North America, Inc. was founded to preserve the rich heritage of hunting with hounds on this continent and to act as the repository for precious artifacts and memorabilia before they are lost—or thrown out (don’t scoff, it happens!). This unique museum needs the support of every enthusiast, no matter where you live or whether you hunt regularly or simply enjoy sporting art and literature or attend point-to-points to watch Thoroughbreds racing over fences. It’s all part and parcel of the Museum of Hounds & Hunting North America, Inc. “We are the only sporting museum for mounted foxhunting in North America—we accept artifacts, books, and clothing, whatever you have to do with hounds, horses, and hunting, MHHNA, Inc. is the repository for it,” Bedford said. “People talk about what to do with their sporting art, some of them say, ‘My children don’t want it, what do I do with it?’ This is a prime time to reach people in their 70s and 80s and give them the idea of donating to the Museum of Hounds & Hunting. We need more space for the Museum, we need better access, more storage, more members. We want the Museum to have a more active presence in the hunting world.” Please visit www.mhhna.org for information about joining, for special events (look for the news tab), and to support the educational and cultural purpose of the Museum of Hounds & Hunting NA, Inc.: to be the welcoming place where enthusiasts of all ages can enjoy artistic works, artifacts, music, poetry, books, and videos about vast tracts of open country, rolling terrain, hills, mountains, trees, rivers and creeks, valleys, deserts, and mesas—people galloping on horses and ponies, hounds in full cry, filling the air with their thrilling symphony.


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FOXHUNTING

Riding with the Northland Hunt, New Zealand By Karin Winegar

Huntsman Stephen Lynch, Northland Hunt, Tangiteroria, New Zealand provides sport across the dramatic Kiwi landscape. Limelight Photography photos

The hounds sing briefly twice in the dawn, five or six times in pure eagerness if it’s a hunting day, their voices twining sweetly with the calls of mynahs and bellbirds in the macrocarpus windbreaks, the rush of the tidal Wairoa River along her banks and the snorts of horses pondering breakfast. New Zealand’s two islands boast a healthy ratio of more than 30 million sheep, 4.4 million humans, and 28 hunts ranging from Birchfield and Eastern Southland at the bottom of the South Island to Northland at the top of the North Island. Two are drag hunts: Otago and Waitemata. All are harrier hound packs in a tradition that started with imported rabbits and beagles of The Pakuranga in Auckland in 1872. The narrowing tip of North Island is a dazzling mix of Switzerland and Polynesia, brooding volcanic South Seas peaks, corridors of tree ferns and walls of pines, the air from the forest primeval roiling with sea winds. Huntsman Stephen Lynch and his wife Kim Rhind run the Northland Hunt kennels at Tangiteroria, 17 acres set on a hill among sentinel-straight Norfolk pines, rolling dairy farms, orchards of persimmons, palms, tamarillos, lemons, and feijoa hedges. Northland meets are held late March to late July, the subequatorial autumn. I arrived in May, the result of a digital introduction: I had complimented Kim’s position over a wire fence in a photo posted on Facebook: “George Morris could not find fault with this form!” I wrote. This provoked a conversation, an invitation, a warning from me—“I take invitations seriously!”—and the purchase of a round trip ticket from Minnesota to Auckland by way of Los Angeles. When I drove up the hill to the kennels, the breeze carried whiffs of wood smoke, pine, and Kim’s freshly baked soda bread. This mingled with a touch of lanolin from my boots, which had seen service for a week of hunting on the much more sheep-y South Island. The couple met in Australia, where Kim worked as a postal delivery officer and Stephen was huntsman to the Brook Hunt Club. Kim was raised in Rotorua, North Island, and always knew she’d come home, so when his Australian visa expired, Stephen became Northland huntsman in 2006. Kim and Stephen’s ranch-style home is sunny, airy, and horsey from the breeches drying before the woodstove to the dining room chairs forged with shoes from a favorite mare to the Appaloosa hide adorning a wall, and the whinny ring tone on Kim’s cell phone. Just downslope from the house is a slaughter shed with a spotless concrete floor, where a rolling ceiling conveyor transports haunches of beef and horse into two walk-in coolers. The hounds feed here, working over the meat in tight, head-down spirals that silently skitter across the floor like a rugby scrum until nothing but a hoof and a bone or two remain. Adjoining runs hold 18 and a half couples of harrier hounds, 3 and a half couple of pups, and not a trace of the usual tang of hound dung. “It’s the deep grass, they clean themselves; there is no dung pickup and no reek. I only feed fresh meat, and they won’t touch it unless it’s been live.” Stephen allows them to choose their own paddocks and pals daily—mixing keeps them from settling into sub-packs, and he can trust his compact and cheerful hounds to work tightly together at an early age. For three generations, he has bred his own hounds, keeping the pups at home. “Fashion in hounds is just rubbish!” he said. “The Duke of Beaufort is breeding these big camels-like. Big hounds can be stronger, but when they hit the electric fences they can’t figure out how to get under. When ours hit it, they come back more argy-like.” “When Stephen first came to this hunt, it was ‘why is he getting off his horse?’ But he needed to give every assistance possible at first,” Kim explained. “Now he’s educated the pack—they caught 83 hares last season—and he hardly needs to get off.” “These hounds are so easy,” Stephen said. “The secret is pre-season, just me and 17 or 18 couple.” “He’s a pure hounds man—to him horses are a vehicle,” Kim said. That can occasionally have a price.


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“On Saturday, we had a one hour and 20 minute run on one hare at Kai Iwi Lakes (Waikare Farm). Hounds went down on the beach, and Steve got really knackered in his coat, boots, and the heat, and ended up in hospital for dehydration.” Northland, the second largest New Zealand hunt in terms of square miles of country, is the only New Zealand hunt with fixtures on two coasts. Many landowners hunt, so it also enjoys the benefit of large tracts of farm land: Omamari Landcorp is some 6,000 to 7,000 acres, and Rangiputa— the northernmost fixture—around 5,000 acres. North and South Island both boast great numbers of enthusiastic riders, Taupo Hunt Week had to cut off entrants at 300, the Dannevirke saw 300 at its Jubilee in 2011, and at the 25th jubilee celebration of the Central Otago Hunt in South Island, fields of 75, then 130, then 175 had turned out for pursuits over a landscape of vast valleys framed by snow-dusted mountains. A good 150 or more regularly turn up for the Queen’s birthday hunt with Northland each June. Kim is up early each morning—“going for a shuffle”—running barefoot into the adjoining 3,500 acre forest with her Dalmatian, Chili. Still barefoot, she tends to Gwyn, a fine-boned black Thoroughbred mare; Kassie, a small sturdy buckskin mare; and Heidi, a dark bay crossbred. They are between 15 and 15.3 hands, trim and handy movers. “Big heavy horses wouldn’t do in some of this country,” explained Stephen. “They’d blow their guts out, but the little black mare [Gwyn, my mount for the hunt] can get up steep hills and jump at the top. I know she can get over it.” Stephen, one of nine sons and three daughters of Sean Lynch and Nellie O’Leary in Blarney, County Cork, Ireland, grew up angling, hurling, and hunting. He began with the Blarney Hunt Club footpack at age 6 with his brothers, cousins, and father, then with the Woodrock Beagles, which later merged with the Blackwater Valley pack. “In Ireland, in those days, there were no computers, just hunting,” he explained. “Everyone keeps a couple of the hounds. And there are more packs in County Cork than anywhere in the world.” “While most huntsmen come into the job because they are horse people, he came purely because of hounds,” said Kim. “Where his father hunted hounds on foot, you don’t have horses waiting to get home. So you go to a pub after the hunt and have a few pints dissecting the day’s hunting. It is a communal sounding board. Here a good day is where you jumped and ran. Without a horse, it narrows the options for discussion, you share a lot, get more information. Their knowledge is generations old, they get information through their family and because of foot packs, Stephen can read a quarry.” He attended school through age 14, and then went to work for the county so he could take hunting days off midweek. An amateur huntsman for 18 years, he became professional at 36. “Captain Ronnie Wallace’s right hand man Charles Parker came in the seventies and showed us how to do it,” said Stephen. “I learned a lot off him.” (So did his brother Pat, who is huntsman for the Ormond in County Clare.) Throughout New Zealand, the footing is great, the cap fees modest ($10 weekdays and $30 weekends for Northland), the horses fit, and the people welcoming. Hirelings are non-existent, however, so I was fortunate to be invited. And, most distinctively, horses jump wire, because that’s what contains the sheep, the cattle, and not a few alpacas. “We have sparred 99 percent of it because it’s safer,” said Stephen, “and we have people who just walk, too.” Spars are detachable wood or plastic rails hung on wire sections between posts. Depending on where hounds run, however, the shortest way forward may not be convenient to a sparred fence or a gate. Through hours of telling myself everyone else could do it, so could I, I had become accustomed to jumping five or six strand smooth and barbed wire in South Island and never had a trip or fall. Kim has saddled and loaded our mounts (“I won’t let him tack up, because nobody does it to my standard,” she explained), and 16 couple of hounds race happily up the ramp and settle companionably into the truck. As he drives to the meet, Steve points to a sheer hill, sloping pastureland topped with zigzags of pines. “That hill is so steep the hares can cut right across it, but we couldn’t hunt up there. So we went back down, and it was possible to sit and watch hounds all in view, quite spectacular.” Up and down the North Island monumental kauri trees tower, their scaly pale gray bark shouldering whole villages of bromeliads. Kauris are so ancient that some have names: the day before the hunt, I had visited Tane Mahuta, Lord of the Forest, which is 2,500 years old. We pass tiny farm towns and bungalows tucked behind dry stack rock walls, the legacy of Dalmatian immigrants who came for the lumber industry when kauri was in demand for ships and furniture. New Zealand is still largely a farming, hunting, and fishing culture—deer, trout, and wild boar. “Hunting Aotearoa,” a Maori TV channel, covers it nonstop. “Sometimes there are too many hares out here. How many did you and Nigel shoot on that property last week?” Kim asked. “Tuesday 33, the other day 14,” Stephen answered. “Three days later we had brilliant hunting off it. Hares don’t make holes, but they annihilate the young pines, they eat the tops off. When there are too many hares there’s no sport. There are a lot more hares in the dairy farms, because they like short grass and clover. Too many hares popping up can be distracting; hounds chop, and charge away on a fresh one.” Continued

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Andrew Duff, MFH, Northland Hunt. TU Images photo

Kim Rhind, whipper-in and wife of huntsman Stephen Lynch, shows how it’s done in New Zealand. TU Images photo

New Zealand Hounds

“In New Zealand there is a wide variety of country; some is flat with big paddocks where the hares tend to run straighter, and here the Master endeavours, perhaps with an infusion of foxhound blood, to produce hounds that are big—say 21 to 24 inches—to force through gorse hedges, to leap cyclone netting and to drive on regardless. In other parts, particularly North Island , much of the country is enclosed in many-stranded, tight, high wire fences, or else is very steep; for both these conditions the purebred harrier (which is today about 19 inches) has been found most suitable and packs hereabouts are reducing in height.” Kicking On, Through the History of Hunting In New Zealand” by Susan Berry


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IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2014

Those Wire Fences

If hares, hogs, and rabbits are a plague, so is the invasive Australian possum—known to strip forests. Stephen baits tree trunks with sugar and traps them, packing feed sacks with their light fur so prized for possum-merino sweaters, socks, gloves, and scarves, and selling it to a visiting dealer. He also works as a relief milker for 450 cows on a nearby dairy farm, and in racing season, he runs the “swab block”—the drug test kit at Roakaka and Dargaville tracks on the coast. The meet has 48 riders this midweek morning. Of the 80 or so members, about 20 are property owners—many of them farming families—who ride. The youngest riding member of the Northland is 6 years old, and the oldest is patron Lou Thompson, who at 92, goes out with his wife, Wylma, 76, and still jumps fences on his Clydesdale cross mare, Rossa, age 16. “Lou jumped a fence last week that the young fellas wouldn’t jump,” said Stephen.” He puts a lot of people to shame.” We set off through the pasture in a chill wind and spitting rain that quickly clears, then it’s uphill, downhill, around the thickets and copses, through gates, over sparred and unsparred wire alike. Hounds work through the yellow gorse and tea tree choked gullies, back up the slopes of the pastures, on hare after hare. Gwyn never puts a foot wrong, pacing herself perfectly to fences without a stutterstep or single touch, never distracted by the occasional herd of cows. They are a taut and efficient team. Kim and other whips barely need to strive to keep the pack together, as after each cast it works tirelessly on its own with some light guidance from Stephen. She positions Heidi on hills and uses the radio to point out hares to Steven, saving her mount for him to ride a few hours into the hunt. The views stretch on for miles, and field alternately gallops or watches and resorts to its flasks. I sample Lou Thompson’s Canterbury Cream liqueur, someone else’s damson plum gin, and something delicious with Cointreau. After a three hour hunt, and hares beyond number, the field gathers again and with a few last bounds over wire, walks back to the “floats” (trailers and vans). Horses are untacked, watered, blanketed, and given hay nets. In a woolshed, over a table thick with sweets, cheese, smoked marlin, and sponge cake, Northland Master Andrew Duff sums up the day. Hounds Marshall and Merchant and a pup named Eager get the high points to three cheers and applause. Someone with a GPS says we covered 26.5 kilometers with “lots of jumping.” Andrew, who runs a dairy farm with his wife Susan, says I must try one of their coastal fixtures next time. I need no persuasion. “The country we have runs from Kerikeri on the Purerua Peninsula on the east coast. We have lots, so it’s hard to pick. I’m not even a sea person, and it’s all quite magnificent.” (The Purerua Peninsula country is also Stephen’s favorite coastal property, where a two day hunt is held annually.) Carolyn Franklin, joint deputy master, offers reinforcement for the taste for wire: “I prefer wire to spars. Horses are more careful if they are high enough.” “The people are real nice, down to earth and not pretentious,” added Liz Welch, a former Californian who gave up sailing around the world to settle in the North Island with horses, dogs, and cats. “New Zealand is one of the few places you can hunt on a shoestring and most make their own horses. And North Island climate is perfection.” Rainbows arc up over the hillsides as we drive back to the kennels, along roads flanked with swaying 10 foot tall ivory grasses called “toi toi,” dark pinecloaked ridges, peaks where shreds of cloud filter the light down onto forest floors with dew-hung spider webs and glossy red mushrooms, and fantails flitting among enormous flax plants. The hounds are happy, the horses are tranquil, and we are in that state of joyful exhaustion that comes after a perfect ride. “There’s not a single day I don’t marvel at this place,” Kim said. “It seems to touch the soul.”

If you are fortunate enough to ride with a hunt in New Zealand, consider the following from Glynne Smith, Master and founder of the Central Otago Hunt. “It’s amazing how a horse will pick up jumping wire very quickly. The thing is you can see what you’re landing on; it’s not like jumping a hedge and finding the farmer has left a set of harrows or something on the other side. It’s just a case of getting into the horse’s mind: we put them inside wire fences, it’s just a matter of persuading them it’s okay to jump them. And if I can see it four strides out, so can the horse, although it’s a good thing not to try to jump a wire fence into the setting sun or a green paddock. “On the North Island there are many more wooden droppers than there are in South Island, where we use steel wire and steel posts and it’s 8 to 10 paces to another vertical. “I am past the days of going at the jumps with my ears pinned back hopefully. I am inclined to school the horses. The more time you spend schooling a horse in an arena and setting up problems such as a wire fence with a solid fence behind it, the better hunting you’re going to have, and the more perceptive hunter you will have. I school them on the longeing line. My horses learn to jump the wire fences before I ever put a foot over them. They learn their athletic ability without the problem of a rider flopping about, getting left behind or pulling them in the mouth at the wrong time. Even the most perceptive rider can get caught out riding a young green horse to a wire fence. “Barbed wire, if you hit it really hard, will break. High tensile doesn’t break but will stretch ad infinitum and does more damage to a hide than barbed wire. Never be too proud to use a gate; we don’t jump gates here. “If you are a North American and come to hunt here and they tell you we have a suitable horse here for you, I would put your faith in the horse. Just sit still and very tight and balance and leave it to the horse to work out. He will look after you.”


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9

BOOK REVIEW

William Cabell Rives: A Country to Serve By Barclay Rives

Reviewed by J. Harris Anderson

Readers of In & Around Horse Country have enjoyed contributions from Barclay Rives since the paper first began publication over 20 years ago. His broad knowledge of foxhunting—both its current practice and time-honored history—combined with wit and erudition, have enabled him to craft a multitude of informative, entertaining pieces for these pages. Barclay’s fans have no doubt noted that his articles have been absent for the past several issues. Happily, though, his time was put to good use, the fruits of which are now available for us all to enjoy. In A Country to Serve, he recounts the life of his great-great-great-grandfather, William Cabell Rives (1793-1868). Barclay himself sums up the significance of his ancestor’s life and public service quite well: “An examination of Rives’ life affords the view of a witness and participant in nearly 75 years of major events in the nation’s history.” Mentored by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, Rives strove throughout his life to uphold their principles of constitutional democracy. Over a career that spanned presidential administrations from James Monroe to Andrew Johnson, his many contributions included service in the US Senate, as Minister to France, and as Madison’s biographer. Among his contemporaries and intimates were such luminaries as Jackson, Clay, Calhoun, Webster, and many more. His time in France, where he witnessed the French Revolution of 1830, brought him into close friendship with Lafayette. Aside from his political and diplomatic achievements, Rives was also responsible for introducing another member of “royalty” to American shores. Following a three-year tour of stables and stud farms in France and England, he purchased a Cleveland Bay stallion and had the horse shipped to his home, Castle Hill, in Albemarle County. His mission was to breed a horse that would be “best adapted to the whole range of our wants in Virginia.” He sought a conformation that would serve for both harness work, for which Thoroughbreds lacked the bone and substance, but would not be as slow and coarse as heavy draft types were for road carriages. The stallion, which he named “Emperor,” quickly began to win first prize at shows and exhibitions. Inspired by Rives’ stud, several other Virginians began to import Cleveland Bays, among them Col. R.H. Dulany, founder of Piedmont Fox Hounds and the Upperville Colt and Horse Show. Despite his successes at home and abroad, Rives’ greatest struggle, ultimately unsuccessful, involved his efforts to preserve the Union as the fires of Southern secession began to spread. As a participant in the Peace Conference of 1861, he met with Abraham Lincoln in February of that year in hopes of avoiding armed conflict between the states. When those efforts failed, Rives faced the same difficult choice as many other Virginians: “oppose their country or oppose their home state and neighbors.” Barclay paints an honest, balanced portrait of his ancestor. Rives was unquestionably a man of honor and intellect, a loving husband and father, and a statesman who placed the good of the nation above his own party loyalty and po-

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litical advantage. But, as Barclay points out, it was Rives’ self-sacrificing statesmanship that, more than any factor, accounted for his absence from the pages of most historical works. “Vehement leaders of opposing factions tend to be more memorable than moderates,” Barclay explains. In addition to an appreciation of the individual subject of this book, the reader will also be struck by the parallels between the political wrangling of Rives’ time and similar rhetoric heard today. For example, a Senate resolution of 1834 stated that President Andrew Jackson had “assumed upon himself authority and power not conferred by the Constitution and laws.” Another citation tells of an Executive Order issued during a congressional recess. Moreover, reflections on the political climate of Rives’ day may provide a more temperate view of current partisan wrangling. One incident in the book tells of a scuffle between Rives and a fellow legislator that involved nose-tweaking, collar-grabbing, finger-biting, face-punching, and the use of a horsewhip. At least today’s fights between political factions are limited to the written or spoken word. Perhaps only The Education of Henry Adams rivals A Country to Serve in the breadth of its scope over so many significant occurrences in US history. Meticulously researched and brilliantly written, Barclay Rives has crafted an insightful, at times moving, and always honest portrayal of a man who lived through days both glorious and disastrous. The reader will come away with a better understanding of how the United States navigated its way through turbulent waters and, thanks to the selfless efforts of men like William Cabell Rives, helped it survive and, ultimately, thrive. [And with this task now complete, we look forward to Barclay’s return to our pages where he can share his voluminous knowledge of horses, hunting, and history.] Barclay Rives will be discussing his work and signing copies of both this book and his latest, See You at Second Horses, at Horse Country Saddlery, Warrenton, VA, Tuesday evening, October 28, 7:00. Refreshments will be served, RSVPs appreciated, 540-347-3141 or huntbooks@aol.com.

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Boots and Bowls IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2014

If James Cameron ever plans to shoot Titanic, The Sequel, Bunsen and I could be cast as extras. Just like the ill-fated liner, everything was cruising along nicely… at first. It was a good day at work, although unpacking the cartons filled with Horse Country goods from our tent display at the Hound Show had to be done quickly. Fortuitously, as it turned out, first thing in the morning Marion instructed us to take all the boxes and tubs being offloaded to the back of the store so that the entrance was its usual inviting self. I tell you it was exhausting! Bunsen and I helped where we could, and got in the way whenever we couldn’t. At the end of the day, with the stock only partially unpacked but residing in the back of the store, Marion began her evening ritual. When she goes out to dinner right from work, she “locks” us in the kitchen. “There,” she says, “now you won’t get into trouble.” Although we know how to open the doors, she tells us to stay, and we say, “Sure,” and we all continue the farce that we’re confined. She closes the door and goes away for an hour or two martinis.

“Seriously, Bunsen,” I said, just a bit skeptical. “A Wellie boot?” “Well, lassie, I’ve read the advertisements,” he exclaimed as he scampered by me to fetch another. “If they’re waterproof on the outside, they must be waterproof on the inside!” “Good point!” So I raced after him and together we put every Wellie we could find under the leaks. But it wasn’t enough. I tried opening a box of Tingley boot rubbers but it was beyond me. A clanking from the kitchen proved to be Bunsen pushing his dinner bowl under another leak. I grabbed mine and did the same. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Bunsen grab another bowl and start to tip it over. “Bunsen stop! That’s our water bowl! If you dump it, you’re just adding water to the mess!” “What else can we do, lassie? We’re out of boots and bowls!” Fortunately, at that moment the doors flew open and Marion, her brother Mark, and niece Ailiena came rushing in, folAga and Bunsen save the store with buckets, a And, when she leaves us, I can close m’eyes and a get a verra dog bowl and even a Paul Brown ice bucket. lowed by Gwen and Mike. Alerted by a Good Samaritan passing by who saw the tree fall on the roof, Gwen had raldeep sleep. ’Tis that wonderful time o’ day when no telephone lied the troops. Once inside the store everyone stopped in their tracks and stared rings and I am not on call as the official greeter at the front zebra-striped chair. in disbelief at all the Wellie boots scattered about. Then they all jumped into acYes, Bunsen, assuming you actually wake up from your daytime naps when tion, grabbed muck tubs, buckets, anything that could hold water. For five hours someone enters the store. Anyway, it was dark in the store with the lights turned they fought the waterfalls and pools of water as small rivers snaked across the off, and the weather started to change. Feeling the approaching storm, Bunsen floor of the store. was hiding under Marion’s desk, howling and scared of the thunder. Finally, the rain stopped and the cataracts became minor annoying drips. Marion sat down for the first time at 1:30 am and gathered us up. I was na scared. M’father taught me to go under a desk when the boom o’ thun“What clever dogs you are! When I got the call that a tree had fallen on the der menaces… just in case. Nae was I shaking lassie, nae howling! ’Twas a rousbuilding, I was so worried about you. All I could think was that you were trapped ing Scottish jig I was singing, and jigging to the tune in true Gaelic fashion. in the kitchen about to drown, when you smart dogs actually saved the store! That is an insult to every Scottish singer ever! Was that caterwauling supposed Thanks to you both, the only merchandise we lost were a few show jackets. The to be singing? You were shaking in your boots and called out for Marion, but I inventory was saved.” don’t blame you, really, considering what happened next. “We’re sorry Marion. We did our best, but we ran out of boots and bowls,” We could hear the wind come up, then the rain came, and then the rain got Bunsen told her pressing his head on her knee. “Don’t worry, darlings. It was a small price to pay. You both did brilliantly! much harder, pounding the roof of the store. We heard the wind howl, deep and whiney, then quiet, then loud and whiney and then… it was awful! I thought the You’re Superdogs! I am so proud of youuu.” She ended with a huge yawn. We knew the feeling and we were amply rewarded with juicy bones really late that sky was falling on us. night. Aye, awful it was. The building shook. The sound was devastating… like the cry By 9:00 the next morning the contractor was on the property removing exof a thousand Highland warriors rushing to battle. And then… water! Water terior debris, and by noon the tree was history. We have a much better view of our everywhere. In the office where we sleep, the kitchen where we sleep, and the next-door neighbor, the county library, from the parking lot now. By 3:00 pm the hall where we sleep. Water falling from the heavens everywhere! emergency crew had stabilized the roof, taken out wet sheetrock inside, started As Bunsen so artfully describes, the water started to rise. Within minutes, our heaters drying out the space, and life was back to what will pass for normal for the next few months. So when you visit, we’ll show you the holes where the paws were covered with water. limbs pierced the membrane. Very exciting. Darkness was upon the face of the deep. The inventory was saved, yes, and as if we didn’t have enough inventory, a Why, Bunsen, that’s downright Biblical. And, yes, for a moment I think I knew few days later, Horse Country’s fall and winter goods started to arrive. New Barhow Noah must have felt. But thank goodness, I knew the secret way out. I bours, tweed jackets from England, riding boots from Italy, new riding shirts, jumped up and threw myself against the security gate. Hah! See, we can get out gifts, the antiques Marion bought in England… so much stuff. With the store torn of here like before. Once the gate creaked open, I made a mad dash. The whole up, all the shipments were taken to storage. So here we are in August, opening sky was coming through the roof. Water was coming down like Niagara Falls. It cartons with the girls working doubly hard and playing catch-up. But wait until was so loud and so dark, I didn’t know if Bunsen had followed. “Follow me!” I you see what’s new! As this column closes and we go to press, we have great news. Horse Counkept shouting. “This way, this way!” try will host Felix Francis, (yes, Dick Francis’ son), for an hour talk and book Faith and bejabbers, I thought I was a goner! But I heard your wee voice and signing of his latest mystery book Damage, Tuesday, October 14, 6:00 p.m. at the waded toward it. store. Then, Barclay Rives will talk and sign his two new books William Cabell Well, I seized the moment and formed a plan to save the store. “Quick Bunsen! Rives: A Country to Serve and See you at Second Horses on October 28, 7:00 p.m., and, at last, Rita Mae Brown will once again grace Horse Country with her Call 911!” “Are ye daft as well as damp? I canna reach the phone and who would under- latest highly anticipated Sister Jane book Let Sleeping Dogs Lie on November 11, also at 7:00 p.m. stand me anyway?” Well, Marion’s just called us. Apparently we’ve somewhere special to go. “Well then, grab a bucket! It’s up to us to save the store!” How exciting! Could it be a party? You know we love parties! We’ll get all We ran to get muck buckets, but the only ones we could get to were… yes, brushed and have our nicest collars put on and… Hey! Wait a doggone minute! at the back of the store, full of heavy merchandise that went to the Hound Show, Is this just another excuse for a bath? Haven’t Bunsen and I had enough water enso we couldn’t move them. All the other buckets were downstairs behind the fire counters already? Don’t we get a little consideration for saving the store? Ah, door so we couldn’t get them either. What to do? The water was pouring in. well, one day you’re the hero, the next day you’re just a house pet. Such is the ’Twas then I had m’brilliant idea. When I was under the desk, the wee lass had dog’s life. On the whole, though, this dog’s life is pretty sweet. Soggy at times, but always sweet. said I was shakin’ in m’boots. Boots! Of course! So Bunsen ran to the back of the store, grabbed a Wellie boot, raced to the front, and put it under a leak.

Yours (still drying out), Superdog Aga


PRIDE: IT SHOWS IN EVERYTHING WE DO.

Stephen ("Reg") Spreadborough, Huntsman, Orange County Hounds Photograph by Janet Hitchen www.JanetHitchenPhotography.com

We’re proud of our reputation as the premier lifestyle resource for hunt attire, tack, and appointments. Our mission can be summed up in four words: best quality, wide selection. It shows in the expert tailoring of our tweed jackets and hunting coats, the handcrafted excellence of our bridles, the extensive array of stock ties, the elegance and fit of our French calfskin riding boots, the traditionally sharp look of canary and Tattersal vests. You’ll see it in our Country Clothing and home décor selections. And now you can find everything you need online as well as in our store. Since 1970, knowledgeable hunters have relied on Horse Country Saddlery, where we take pride in what we do, so you can take pride in how you look.

FORMAL HUNTING ATTIRE Men's and ladies' coats and jackets in several weights. Made in England. Men's available in sizes 38-52, regular and long; 38-44 short may be available. Ladies' available in sizes 32-44, regular and long. Other sizes may be available by special order.

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Albemarle: Heavyweight with Tattersall lining Berkshire: Mid weight with Tattersall lining Grafton: Mid weight with satin lining Harkaway: Lightweight with satin lining Also available in Navy and Green by special order. Some sizes in stock. (HC1A) For Men: click here For Ladies: click here

Washable Hunt Jacket. Highly technical fabric, lightweight and washable. Made in our traditional hunt jacket style. Limited sizing. Black. (HC1D) Men's sizes 40-48 regular: click here Ladies' sizes 32-40 regular: click here

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WAISTED FROCK COATS

Midlothian: Heavy weight with satin lining Ox Ridge: Mid weight with satin lining Watchung: Mid weight with satin lining Culpeper: Lightweight with satin lining Also available in Navy and Green by special order. Some sizes in stock. (HC1B) For Men: click here For Ladies: click here

Meander: Heavy weight with Tattersall lining Woodbine: Mid weight with satin lining Also available in Navy and Green by special order. Some sizes in stock. (HC1C) For Men: click here For Ladies: click here

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Available in new fabrics and interesting details. A traditional cut with softer lapel and easy fitting over the hip. Price guide: $595-$850. (HC2A)

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Higher lapels with a more fitted waist, finished with a bit longer length and custom details. Price guide: $595-$795. (HC2C)

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DAWN... TO CLOSING MEET. MEN'S TWEED CUB HUNTING ATTIRE Men's hacking and cubbing jackets in several cuts and weights. Men's available in sizes 38-52, regular and long; 38-44 short may be available.

CHATHAM

VICMEAD

SOUTHDOWN

Available in new fabrics and interesting details A traditional cut with softer lapel and easy fitting over the hip. Price guide: $695-$870. (HC3A)

Traditional details in a more fitted, shorter length jacket. Price guide: $595-$695. (HC3B)

Higher lapels with a more fitted waist, finished with a bit longer length and custom details. Price guide: $595-$750. (HC3C) Other jackets available at $385. (not shown)

Please visit www.HorseCountryCarrot.com to view our fabric choices. Ask us to choose a stock tie to go with our range of jackets.

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Fall 2014 In & Around Horse Country 24 pages:

JENNY’S PICKS

Time for more of our favorite mystery writer’s books! Rita Mae Brown has a new Mrs. Murphy book out—and sign up now for the next in the Sister Jane series, Let Sleeping Dogs Lie, due out November 4! Rita Mae will be signing copies at Horse Country the evening of November 11! We also have several new authors to offer, with horse-related novels.

Brown, Rita Mae. Nine Lives to Die. It’s winter in Crozet; Harry and Fair Haristeen are involved in holiday events, including charity work. However, as we all know by now, tiny Crozet has a wealth of murders for Harry and her feline and canine sidekicks to solve, including several recent ones and an ancient “cold case.” Read all about it in the latest Mrs. Murphy mystery! Hardback, 272pp. $26.00 Brown, Rita Mae. Let Sleeping Dogs Lie. The next in the beloved Sister Jane series finds Sister and her boyfriend Gray Lorillard heading for Kentucky to ride with the Woodford Hounds. While they are attending a post-hunt party at a historic mansion, a body is found in the equine cemetery—and it isn’t that of a horse! Worse, murder follows Sister back to Virginia and hits close to home. Coming out in November—order now! Come to our booksigning here in the store November 11. Hardcover, 304pp. $26.00

Leland, Toni. Deadly Heritage. Who is injuring Quarter Horse breeder Kellie Sutton’s horses, and why? Could it have been a disgruntled fired employee? Her ex-husband? Her brothers who are trying to persuade her to sell their jointlyowned family heritage ranch to developers? Sheriff Ed Campbell wants to find out as strongly as Kellie, and his motives are all the stronger because – before her marriage – they were sweethearts. Softcover, 277pp. $14.95

Leland, Toni. Gambling with the Enemy. Two friends run a riding stable, but they are desperately short of cash. To try to make the rent payment, Jessica “borrows” down payment money from the sale of an expensive horse and goes to a gambling casino. Her partner is horrified when she finds out; but there’s an even worse problem when FBI agents show up at their stable. Great suspense story! Softcover, 262pp. $13.95

Leland, Toni. Winning Ways. Liz Barnett, a veterinarian who also breeds Arabians, has moved from Kentucky to California, where she is not quite trusted by the locals. At a show, she meets Kurt, a trainer from another Arabian barn, whose owner Eve is a win-driven woman whose only interest in her horses seems to be how their performance will increase her status and the horses’ saleability. As the budding romance between Liz and Kurt goes up and down each time they meet, Eve does everything she can to ensure Liz’s Arabians do not place above hers in the show ring. When Liz’s yearling colt is found to have drugs in his system, he loses his chance for a championship. Would Kurt have done that for Eve? Softcover, 259pp. $13.95

Leland, Toni. Rescue Me. It’s an all-toocommon situation: a woman marries a man and finds out he is jealous, domineering, and can be brutal, inflicting mental or physical pain on his woman. In this case, Julia Dorsey breeds and shows Morgan horses. It nearly breaks her heart to leave them behind, but she decides she has to get out of this prison of a life, so while she is at a Morgan show and her husband has to leave overnight on business, she bolts for freedom. Eventually she hooks up with a former Secret Service agent, finds a job, and begins helping at a horse rescue farm. But the threat of her husband finding her hangs heavy over her head. Softcover, 282pp. $15.95

Leland, Toni. Double Exposure. This introduces Kim Kovak, equine photographer and former mounted police officer, who inadvertently becomes entangled in a client’s predicament while on a photo shoot at the stable. Teri Fortune, owner of the stable, is accused of swapping a valuable horse belonging to a client. The insurance company calls in an investigator, Garrett Quaid, and soon Kim and Garrett are getting in each other’s way as they both try to figure out

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IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2014

HORSE COUNTRY BOOKSELLERS Specialists in New, Old & Rare Books on Horses, Foxhunting, Eventing, Polo, Racing, Steeplechasing & Sporting Art

60 Alexandria Pike, Warrenton, VA 20186 • 800-882-HUNT • 540-347-3141

what is happening, and more horses are stolen. Softcover, $16.95

Leland, Toni. Balancing Act. Kim Kovak finds herself involved in trying to find out the person responsible for a strangles epidemic that has struck a barn belonging to the Dream Horse Ballet. Could it have been a competing company, the Knight’s Horse Theater? Or was there some other villain at work? The owner of the Horse Ballet seems reluctant to answer Kim’s questions fully. Soon enough Kim calls insurance fraud investigator Garrett Quaid for help in this second Kovak and Quaid mystery. Softcover, 298pp. $15.95 Leland, Toni. Unfinished Business. In this third Kovak & Quaid mystery, Kim and Garrett investigate mysterious deaths of foals at an Arabian breeder’s farm, and their personal relationship continues to grow. Characters from the first novel continue to reappear here, giving rise to the title of “Unfinished Business.” Softcover, 297pp. $15.95

Rogers, Ellen. Deadly Trust. Eventing is the background for this murder mystery set in Southern Pines, North Carolina. Lanie Montgomery, the protagonist, runs a feed and tack shop. The brutal murder of a wealthy, influential woman in the area is only the first to entangle Lanie, when a young rider friend of hers is accused of the murder following a violent argument with the woman, her employer. The deeper into the mystery Lanie gets, despite a warning from the detective covering the case not to get involved, the more danger she faces as the killer becomes aware of her interest. And of course there are personal relationships that weave throughout the story, further complicating matters. Softcover, 238pp. $15.95 We have more new riding and training books to offer. These two deal with behavior problems.

Payne, Doug. The Riding Horse Repair Manual. There will never be a perfect, absolutely fool-proof horse, but most horses can be improved by careful training. Here the author deals with common problems you may encounter in a horse: the usual bucking, rearing, shying, bolting, and such misbehaviors, as well as some jumping problems. If you feel competent enough a rider to cope with the problem and work it out, here are some good suggestions. Where misbehavior may be the result of several different causes, each type is discussed with its solutions. Payne, a USEF Judge and Technical Delegate with strong experience in eventing, does not hesitate to suggest that some behaviors might be better handled by a professional and that some horses are too incorrigible to be worth trying to fix at the cost of bodily damage to the rider. And of course, some bad behavior may be caused by pain, so a veterinarian may need to be called in to eliminate that as a cause. Illustrated with color photos, many showing the sequences of a misbehavior. Softcover, 216pp. $29.95 Thomas, Heather Smith. Good Horse, Bad Habits. In addition to offering solutions for riding problems, Thomas’s book broadens its focus to include bad habits in the stable, on the ground (“in hand”), and trailering as well as under saddle. First she defines the problem, then offers suggestions for changing the habit. Often there is a third segment: what if nothing works? There are no illustrations in this book, but the advice is sound and the page layout makes it easy to read. Softcover, 308pp. $24.95

2015 Calendars are in! Get yours while they last! With the exception of the Foxes wall calendar, we have ordered only a few of each one. All calendars – wall, box, or engagement – are $14.99. Check out our

full selection at www.horsecountrycarrot.com or see them in person in the store.

We have quite a plethora of newly acquired used books to offer, lots of foxhunting books that you may or may not be familiar with. Check these out! Caveat Emptor (Pseudonym of Sir George Stephen). Adventures of a Gentleman in Search of a Horse. Saunders, Otley, & Co., London, 1861. Fair to good cond., no dj, green cloth cover has a few blemishes, corners bumped. Inscriptions inside front cover. Inside clean. Not fiction—is a treatise on how to prevent being sold a bad horse, either from health, conformation, poor training or disposition. Covers tricks and scams played upon the unsuspecting purchaser and legal cases involving horse purchase in the 1800s. Hardcover, 216pp. (6332) $95.00

Clayton, Michael. The Hunting Year. Hamlyn, London, 1994. Photography by Trevor Meeks. A Horse and Hound publication in fine cond., dj fine. Brown cloth cover, dj price-clipped. With a little text by Michael Clayton, the majority of this lovely book consists of color photographs of the hunting year, predominantly the hunting season. (6312) $50.00 De Trafford, Sir Humphrey F. The Horses of the British Empire in 2 volumes, Walter Southwood & Co., London, 1907 (?). First edition. Blue patterned cloth cover with gold lettering is in very good cond., no dj, spines sun-faded, corners bumped, top edge gilt, marbled endpapers. Includes many pedigree charts of different breeds. This is a great compilation of breeding information about various British horse & pony breeds and types, including Arabian & other Eastern breeds, TB, Cleveland and Yorkshire Coach horses, steeplechasers, hunters, and trotters, Hackneys and other harness horses, polo ponies, Welsh, Shetland, Exmoor, “mountain & moorland” ponies, Clydesdale, Shire and Suffolk drafts, and Australian and “colonial” breeds. Hardcover; Vol. 1 - 286pp, Vol. 2 - 245pp. of text plus numerous photos of breeders, etc. at the back. (6314) $395.00 for the set.

Grand, Gordon. The Millbeck Hounds. Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York & London, 1947. Good cond., no dj, dents in bottom of cover. Endpapers discolored, small bookseller’s label inside front cover. The author’s foxhunting stories about the venerable Col. Weatherford are still enjoyed today by readers. Hardcover, 368pp. (6316) $45.00 Higginson, A. Henry. The Hunts of the United States and Canada. Frank L. Wiles, Boston, 1908. Limited to 500 copies. Red cloth cover, gilt border & fox on front cover, t.e.g, no dj. Very good cond., spine faded and worn top & bottom and corners bumped; cover lightly soiled. Pencil description of book, presumably by a bookseller, on an inside flyleaf. Bookplate inside front cover. Gilt illus. of fox on cover. Noted foxhunting historian Higginson decided to compile as complete a list as possible for N. American foxhunting clubs with information about their history, officials, country, colors, and more. Photos of the staff and hounds offer insight into the state of the art in the beginning of the 20th century. Hardcover, 197pp. (6318) $125.00

Macdonald, David. Running with the Fox. Unwin Hyman, London, 1989. Paperback, fine cond. Britain’s leading expert on the red fox discusses their behavior that he studied for 15 years. Softcover, 224pp. (6321) $59.00

Mackay-Smith, Alexander. Foxhunting in North America. Self-published, Millwood, Virginia, 1988. Autographed. Unnumbered author’s edition of 1500. Fine cond., but lacks dj. Clean

11 and sound. Next to Wadsworth’s booklet, and with much greater detail, this has long been the book to provide all the information you might need to get started in foxhunting in North America. Hardcover, 262pp. (6322) $50.00 (NB – also available new @$45.00 but not autographed!)

Masefield, John. Reynard the Fox, or the Ghost Heath Run. Macmillan, New York, 1920. New illus. ed. w/illus. by Carton Moorepark, incl. 8 color plates. Green cloth cover, red title & border on front. Good condition, but obvious wear to cover and some loosening of pages. Publisher’s stamp inside front flyleaf; small bookseller’s label inside front cover. Gift inscription 2nd flyleaf. Masefield was an enthusiastic horseman; this extended poem tells the tale of a foxhunt, Part 1 about the field, Part 2 from the fox’s viewpoint as he is hunted near to death. Hardcover, 339pp. (6320) $39.00 “Nimrod.” Remarks on the Condition of Hunters. M. A. Pittman, London, 1831. Reprint from original; leatherbound, very good sound cond., gilt decorations on spine and borders of cover. Corners bumped. Decorative endpapers with bookplate inside front cover. Inscription inside flyleaf: “Geo. Symone, Captain 25th Regiment” in ink. Some foxing; book sound. Several blank pages at end of book contain handwritten memoranda. A complete instruction manual for the care of horses, specifically hunters. Hardcover, 503pp. (6324) $150.00

Radcliffe, F. P. Delme. The Noble Science. Rudolph Ackerman, London, 1839. First edition. Green leather w/gilt title, border; decorated spine. Good cond., corners bumped and cover discolored. Much of gilt decoration has rubbed off the spine except for the title area. Marbled endpapers. Gift inscription inside in ink: “George Robert Abinton from his sincere friend Edward John Bunny on his leaving Eton Election 1845.” Interior sound and clean, with only mild foxing evident. Absolutely a must for the serious collector of hunting books and those in search of ancient advice about hounds and hunting. Hardcover, 327+pp. (6326) $325.00 Richardson, Charles. The Complete Foxhunter. Methuen, London, 1908. First ed., green cloth cover w/gilt lettering with pasted-in insert covering Methuen: “American Agent Frank L. Wiles 8 Pemberton Square, Boston, Mass.” Good cond., no dj, cover worn, corners bumped, first few pages loosening. B&w photos and 4 color reproductions of hunting scenes. Hardcover, 299pp. plus catalog of publisher’s books at the end. (6327) $95.00

Sassoon, Siegfried. Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man. Sun Dial Press, Garden City, 1931. First printing. Red cloth cover, good cond., no dj, cover has a few soil-marks with a little wear on edges. Interior clean and sound. Fictionalized version of Sassoon’s life before WWI, ending with him in the trenches during the war. Hardcover, 376pp. (6330) $25.00

Watson, Alfred E. T. Sketches in the Hunting Field. Chapman & Hall, Ltd., London, 1880. 2nd ed. Illus. by John Sturgess. Good cond. w/crack in spine hinge, cover edges rubbed and bumped. Marbled cover, endpapers, and page edges; gilt spine decorations. Bookplate inside front cover. A series of writings based on the author’s experiences in the hunt field; many of the names given his characters are fictitious out of decorum—not all the riders are what we would hope for in the hunt field! Hardcover, 256pp. (6345) $75.00 Watson, Frederick. Hunting Pie. H. F. & G. Witherby, London, 1931. Illus. by Paul Brown. First printing. Black board cover w/gold lettering, very good cond., dj good in plastic wrap but slightly torn & soiled. Inside front free endpaper appears to have been torn out, presumed blank. All illustrations intact. Book clean inside. Hardcover, 96pp. (6346) $140.00 Watson, J.N.P. The Book of Foxhunting. Arco, New York, 1978. Green cloth cover in near fine cond., top of dj a little worn, book sound & clean. Illus. with b&w photos. Foxhunting in England, America, Ireland, and Australia is examined by a former Country Life correspondent. Hardcover, 240pp. (6347) $60.00


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Three More Hunts Join the Centenary Club

FOXHUNTING

By J. Harris Anderson

In the February/March 2013 issue of In & Around Horse Country, we covered hunt clubs celebrating their 100th and 125th anniversaries. This got us thinking about why some clubs survive over the long haul while others fade away. To get an idea of what factors contribute to hunt club longevity, we polled a selection of masters and members from clubs that have been in existence for at least a hundred years, and in some cases much longer. The responses, which we recounted in that issue, revealed a number of common threads. If there were a “Longevity Formula,” it would include the following ingredients: • • • • • • •

Landowner Relations Land Preservation Community Involvement Willingness to Embrace Change Succession Planning Member Loyalty Good Sport

Three more hunts, each established in 1914, observe their entry into the Centenary Club this year, thus lending further credence to the merits of these essential elements.

Moore County Hounds

(l-r) Jack Boyd, James Boyd (Moore County Hounds founder), Harry Nott. Photo courtesy Friends of Weymouth

Two initial factors spurred the inception of mounted sport in the Sandhills area of North Carolina’s Moore County: railroad lines and climate. During the early to mid 1800s North Carolina was derisively referred to as the “Rip Van Winkle” state because its development tended to lag about 20 years behind neighboring states. This changed toward the end of the 19th century as railroad systems improved transportation to the area. Aided by the easier access, the towns of Southern Pines and Pinehurst were founded in 1895. The sandy soil offered limited agricultural potential. On the upside, the land was cheap and the mild climate, plus the mineral springs, appealed to those seeking relief from the harsher winters up north. One such Northerner was James Boyd, a steel and railroad magnate from Pennsylvania. He arrived around the turn of the 20th Century, purchased twelve hundred acres, and built “Weymouth.” His estate featured stables, tennis courts, gardens, and a golf course. Boyd’s grandsons James and Jackson were frequent visitors to Weymouth. James (the grandson) was introduced to foxhunting while a student in England.

Virginia “Ginnie” Walthour Moss and William O. “Pappy” Moss. Photo courtesy Moore County Historical Association

He continued to ride to hounds in New York’s Millbrook Country with Oakleigh Thorne’s Harriers and Middlesex Foxhounds. With Thorne’s help, he formed the Moore County Hounds in 1912. Two years later the pack was registered with the Masters of Foxhounds Association. (The MFHA Hunt Roster cites 1914 as the establishment year; recognition was granted in 1920.) Younger brother Jackson (Jack) served as the huntsman, was made a joint master in 1923, and in 1924 Harry Nott was hired away from Millbrook to share the huntsman duties with Jack. (Nott likely served as kennel huntsman and whip.) As the popularity of the area grew, and as Moore County Hounds’ reputation for good sport in a pleasant climate spread, the flames of “development” began to ignite. But while today we mostly associate the “D-word” with the antithesis of mounted hunting—a cancer that kills the countryside—in Moore County, North Carolina, “development” was the elixir that assured the sport would survive to its centenary and beyond. The Boyds began the process by purchasing neighboring acreage from which they sold lots to friends and like-minded hunting enthusiasts. Thus began the creation of a community for foxhunters, with particular appeal as a winter haven, bookended by the fall and early spring seasons up north. The Museum of Hounds and Hunting North America arranged an exhibition this spring commemorating Moore County Hound’s Centennial. As part of that observance the Museum commissioned an accompanying pamphlet, “They Followed the Tracks” (excerpted from the nomination for the Walthour-Moss Foundation to the National Register of Historic Places, written by Davyd Foard Hood, edited by Claudia Coleman, and on which we drew for much of the historical details presented here.) A citation from February 15, 1929 in The Pilot, a local newspaper, provides insight into how this trend of development was viewed: “There is seldom a day when the horse lover cannot comfortably take his horse out, and rarely a scheduled hunt day when hounds cannot safely follow the drag or pursue the fox. “This is meaning much to Southern Pines and the whole section. Each year sees some horseman or horsewoman deciding on this vicinity as a place to establish a winter or all year round home.” Farther on, reference is made to a 140 acre tract purchased by a trio from New York that “was the direct result of the hunting colony and the riding hereabouts.” As the article then explains, “This land has now been developed and is being further developed as a center for the visiting horse people, a place where they may school their horses over a variety of fences and over big, open fields.” “There are more horses today in Southern Pines than there have ever been since the development of riding here started.” Much of the hunt’s territory consists of acreage acquired by The Moore County Company, placed in use in the 1929-1930 hunting season and still in use for equestrian sports today.


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As the hunting days of the Boyds began to draw to a close (James died in 1944 and Jack left Southern Pines in 1946), the Mosses entered the scene to take up the mantle. In 1937 William Ozelle “Pappy” Moss and his wife Virginia Walthour Moss settled in Southern Pines and purchased Mile-Away Farms, which became the home of the Moore County Hounds and their kennels in 1942. “Pappy” Moss became a master that same year and served in that role, later assisted by his wife and others, until his death in 1976. Virginia “Ginnie” Moss continued to set the example for good sport and land conservation until her death in 2006 at the age of 96. Thanks to their bequests and gifts, the Walthour-Moss Foundation continues as the owner and protector of the hunt lands. The Moore County Hounds are still owned by heirs of the Mosses and their perpetuation continues under the stewardship of Ginnie Moss’s great-nieces Cameron Sadler MFH and Ginny Thomasson, hunt secretary. The current joint masters are Richard D. Webb (the oldest actively hunting MFH in America, having been named master in 1961), Michael Russell, Effie Ellis, and David Carter. David Raley serves as professional huntsman.

Aiken Hounds

Katherine Gunter (l) hunts the hounds along sandy trails amid the long leaf pines in Aiken, South Carolina. Betsy Burke Parker photo

The inception of South Carolina’s Aiken Hounds shares some parallels with the Moore Country Hounds of North Carolina. Also established in 1914, the Aiken pack was created by Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Hitchcock of Long Island who, like many other prominent sporting enthusiasts from the northern climes, came to Aiken in the early 1900s to escape the long New York winters. They brought their hunters, racehorses, steeplechasers, and polo ponies with them to Aiken by train. The Hitchcocks purchased the land known today as the Hitchcock Woods from local farmers and used it as an exercise ground for their steeplechasers during the winter months. The Woods at that time were more than twice the size they are today, encompassing more than 5,000 acres of sandy land interspersed with towering long leaf pines. Mrs. Hitchcock first began hunting a beagle pack in the Woods. She imported rabbits from the Mid-West and released them in the Woods to be pursued by her beagles on foot. The green livery— the traditional color for a beagle pack—worn by the Aiken Hounds Masters and staff today harkens back to those times. At some point the Hitchcocks conceived the idea of forming a drag pack. They had already built several miles of “drag” lines of fences for their Mrs. and Mr. Thomas Hitchcock, Founders and Masters of the steeplechasers—many of Aiken Hounds. Photo, circa 1930s, courtesy of Aiken Hounds

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the fences were over 5’ in height—to be jumped at speed in either direction throughout the Woods. Introducing hounds into the mix only added to the fun. The tradition continues today. The fences and the Woods are both smaller than they were in the Hitchcocks’ day. But enthusiasm for the The jumps in Hitchcock Woods served for both training stee- chase has not diminished. plechase horses and for sport on hunting days with Aiken The current joint masters Hounds. Photo, circa 1930s, courtesy of Aiken Hounds are Linda Knox McLean, Larry Byers, and Joann Peace. Katherine Gunter serves as professional huntsman.

Huntingdon Valley Hunt

The Huntingdon Valley Hunt is located in the rolling farm country of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, north of Philadelphia along the Delaware River. It is one of the oldest hunt clubs in Pennsylvania, having been formed in 1914 in the Huntingdon Valley section of what was then the rural suburbs of Philadelphia. The hounds of the Huntingdon Valley Hunt represent a unique position in the annals of Pennsylvania foxhunting. Since its inception, it has always been a Penn-Marydel pack and continues to be so today. Although started as a drag pack, in 1918 Huntingdon Valley quickly converted to hunting fox and has hunted fox exclusively ever since. Because of the encroachment of the suburbs of Philadelphia, the Hunt has been forced by necessity to expand its territory and to push farther and farther from built-up centers in order to find more favorable hunting conditions. The kennels, which are now located at Fox Heath, the home of Huntingdon Valley’s Master, Richard B. Harris, MFH, in Furlong, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, have been moved four times since their establishment. Mr. Harris has served as Master and Huntsman since 1972 and continues to hunt the hounds. Huntingdon Valley has an enthusiastic membership that thoroughly enjoys and supports the hunt and its activities. Referring back to the bullets in the Longevity Formula, these clubs have, over the past 100 years, collectively nailed all seven of them. And, given the example of those with the foresight to establish Richard B. Harris, Master and Huntsman since 1972, a “hunting colony,” we might all presided with horn in hand over a summer Garden now look at the word “develop- Party commemorating the 100th anniversary of Pennsylvania's Huntingdon Valley Hunt. ment” in a more positive light. Debra Malinics photo

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EVENTING

Great Meadow Foundation’s Future: World-Class Eventing In The Plains, Virginia By Lauren R Giannini

The main water element on the Great Meadow Gold Cup Course was modified to serve as part of the WEG prep cross-country country. Lauren R. Giannini photo

Eventing returned officially to Great Meadow, home of the Virginia and International Gold Cup Steeplechase races, and plans are underway for Great Meadow to host a CIC*** (Concours Internationale Combiné 3-star, its highest level) in 2015. “David O’Connor, US Eventing Chef d’Equipe, is seriously considering Great Meadow as the site for all future prep trials, including the 2015 Pan American Games and the 2016 Olympics,” confirmed Robert L. Banner, president of the Great Meadow Foundation. The “trial run” took place when Great Meadow hosted the final outing for the US Land Rover eventing team, July 26-27, to prepare for the 2014 FEI Alltech World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France (Aug. 22- Sept. 7). It was a different kind of event with only 14 horses and riders who had excelled in various WEG selection trials to make the US WEG team or be named to the list of alternates, as well as two riders and three horses from Canada’s WEG team. The point of the Great Meadow WEG Prep Trial—not a competition, per se—was to provide the Americans with a solid three-phase test, along with all of the accompanying pressures. Attendance was fantastic and really added to the electric atmosphere: 1,000 for dressage on Saturday morning, 5,000 for show jumping that evening, and 2,500 to 3,000 for Sunday morning’s cross-country. “Based on the excitement caused by the Preparatory Trials, there is now no question that our plans will be very popular,” Banner said. “Great Meadow offers many advantages to horsemen and spectators alike that will seed this success. That is why O’Connor, the US Chef d’Equipe, is so supportive of Great Meadow to fill this role. We don’t intend on letting him, the horsemen, or the spectators down and look forward to providing the USET a training and competitive facility to develop winning teams for perpetuity.”

For 11 years, Commonwealth Dressage and Combined Training Association held their popular horse trials at Great Meadow, but several hundred horses tend to beat up the turf, especially during a wet spell. In consideration of the spring and fall Gold Cup races, Great Meadow decided that it was best for CDCTA to find a new venue. Footing, which has always been a priority at Great Meadow for the two annual steeplechasing meets, proved to be a decisive factor in finding the right venue for the US eventing team. “The plan all along has been to bring eventing back to Great Meadow in a special way—world-class competition with the best horses and riders,” said Banner. “We had been talking about world-class eventing at Great Meadow for a while, but we didn’t have enough land to do it without using the Gold Cup course. Now, with the acquisition of Fleming Farm, we can go ahead and build this eventing and equestrian sports facility with spectators in mind, as well as the horses and riders, and use it only a couple times a year, just like our Gold Cup course.” Fleming Farm, which added 174 adjacent acres to the nearly 200 that comprise Great Meadow, had belonged to the founder of Great Meadow, Arthur W. (Nick) Arundel, who passed away in 2011. His heirs’ decision to sell the property raised some alarms in the Summerhouse offices at Great Meadow. After all, the mission of the Great Meadow Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is to “preserve open space in service to the community.” Arundel, a sporting enthusiast who loved to foxhunt and race his horses on the flat and over jumps, imprinted Great Meadow with his passion and vision to perpetuate and promote rural activities, especially equestrian sports.


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“It was scary to think that the farm could be sold and houses would get built—if we let that happen, we wouldn’t be doing our job,” Banner said. “By buying Fleming Farm we could preserve more open space, but at the time Great Meadow didn’t have the money for the purchase. We realized that, if we had the land to build a cross-country eventing course, we could host international level competitions.” The generosity of supporters of the Great Meadow Foundation enabled the purchase of Fleming Farm. Banner contacted O’Connor, who had been searching within the USA for a first-class facility for the US eventing team that offered all the amenities on-site and within an easy drive. Great Meadow fulfilled every criteria: Washington DC less than an hour away, 30 minutes to Dulles International Airport, two equine veterinary hospitals, plenty of lodging from Warrenton to Middleburg. The picturesque venue already boasted an impressive spectator-base, thanks to the record crowds drawn by the Virginia and International Gold Cup races. In addition, a loyal following of visitors attend Twilight Polo and Twilight Jumpers, as well as very popular, non-equestrian events, including the huge Family 4th of July celebration, Scottish Games, wine festivals, etc. Great Meadow welcomes more than 200,000 spectators annually to more than 40 events. “Over the years Nick Arundel talked to me often about bringing eventing to Great Meadow,” said O’Connor, who lives halfway between The Plains and Middleburg when he isn’t in Ocala for the winter eventing season or traveling to various team trainings in his role as Chef d’Equipe. “We’re all excited about it and I think it will be a big boon to the sport, because Middleburg and this whole area of Northern Virginia needed a true destination event and I think that Great Meadow is the place to have it. Hosting top-level international competitions here will benefit Great Meadow Foundation as a whole and our sport. It’s going to be really good.” O’Connor, who is only the second American to earn the individual Olympic gold medal in eventing (Athens 2008), knows very well that the sport needs spectators. He also knows that the athletes, both horses and humans, want consistent footing, which is a basic requirement in terms of safety on any cross-country track where half a ton of equine athlete will gallop and jump a challenging course. The footing of the Gold Cup course is fantastic. Bobby Hilton has spent 30 years as the grounds keeper at Great Meadow and will play a vital role in maintaining the footing on Fleming Farm’s cross-country course. Another contributing factor and key to success of the world-class eventing venue is the cross-country course designer: O’Connor contacted longtime friend and colleague Michael Etherington-Smith, chief executive at British Eventing since 2008 and well-known in eventing circles for his cross-country course designs, including Rolex Kentucky CCI**** (18 years), the 2010 Alltech World Equestrian Games at Kentucky Horse Park, and the 2000 Sydney and 2008 Beijing Olympics. In March Etherington-Smith flew in from the UK to attend the planning meeting held by Banner and O’Connor and to meet the people involved, including Major General (ret) Henry “Buzz” Kievanaar, Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Great Meadow Foundation. “Great Meadow is the most fantastic venue—this is the first time I’ve been here and there’s a real feeling of quality,” said Etherington-Smith. “All of it has been done really well and to high standard. We spent a lot of time discussing the cross-country and what the main arena could look like and its versatility for various shows.” Most of Etherington-Smith’s design work takes place on paper, but crosscountry builder Aaron Rust (Lexington, KY) has already gotten a jump-start by building various cross-country obstacles for the WEG Prep Trial, which will be stored until the grounds next door at Fleming Farm are ready for the actual installation of the new cross-country. There’s still a lot of work to do, but hopes run high that the world-class course and arena, both designed to be spectator-friendly, will be ready for action by spring or summer 2015. There’s no doubt that the Great Meadow Foundation has a lot to offer—by design. An interesting back-story involves the late founder: in 1982 Arundel bought a 500-acre failed dairy farm, saving it from being subdivided. His vision included major improvements to the drainage of the “great meadow” that worked wonders for the footing and facilitated the creation of the topnotch steeplechase course in the natural bowl of land that became the permanent home for the Virginia Gold Cup races. At that time, northern Virginia was experiencing record development, and the Broadview Course, located in nearby Warrenton, where the Gold Cup Races had run since 1930, was on the market. Destined to be a housing development, Broadview ran its last races in 1984. On May 4, 1985, Great Meadow hosted its first

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Virginia Gold Cup: on that day, John R. Neal’s Prince Saran won his second Gold Cup and, at Churchill Downs, Spend A Buck won the Kentucky Derby. The following May, Arundel fulfilled yet another dream: his Sugar Bee won the 62nd running of the Virginia Gold Cup, literally, on home turf. Arundel’s vision combined horse sports, the conservation of open land, and marketing the Gold Cup races at Great Meadow to businesses and corporations as well as to local communities in the heart of horse country. Aware that access was vital for handling large crowds of spectators and that Route 66 was being extended from Gainesville to Winchester, he managed to get an interchange for The Plains added to the plans. The races have grown and grown, and the Great Meadow Foundation, backed by loyal and generous supporters, has evolved into a model of land conservation and preservation, ensuring the future of rural pastimes and equestrian sports. “The future of Great Meadow has always been bright, but our latest initiative will take us to the stars,” Banner said. “This will put world-class equestrianism in our front yard for the first time and forever! I am thrilled that David O’Connor sees Great Meadow in his plans to create better teams. Great Meadow is so ideally suited for him, the USET, and all friends and supporters of high performance horse sport. We look forward to bringing the first true international competition to the Piedmont Valley. This is where we need to go and we’re well on the way.”

David O’Connor, US Eventing Chef d’Equipe, checks the footing at a water jump before the cross-country phase. Lauren R. Giannini photo

Setting up the course for the WEG prep at Great Meadow was itself a team effort. Lauren R. Giannini photo


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IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2014

CLA Game Fair Something for Everyone in the Country

COUNTRY SPORTS

By Elizabeth Manierre

It’s the center of the rural universe. For the past 56 years, Great Britain’s Country Land and Business Association (formerly the Country Landowners’ Association) has hosted the world’s largest get-together devoted to shooting, fishing, foxhunting, falconry, and other country pursuits. Horses and hounds, Labradors and lurchers, archers and falconers, thatchers and hedge-layers, ferrets and terriers, artists, scientists and lobbyists—they’re all at the CLA Game Fair for three days of debate, demonstration, competition, and celebration of rural culture and sport. And did I mention the shopping? Life in the country can be isolating, so in 1958 Nigel Gray and Charles Coles had an idea for a new kind of social event. At the first Game Fair, 8500 people showed up at Stetchworth, near Newmarket, to socialize and exchange opinions, knowledge, and skills. The event focused on shooting and landowner interests and cost about £800 pounds to pull off. It was a success, and from there it grew. This year, from Friday, 18 July through Sunday, the 20th, almost 150,000 people, including me, attended a very different affair indeed. We wandered among one thousand vendors and exhibitors on the 11,500-acre grounds of Blenheim Palace. We listened to sometimes-heated debates on the impact of field sports on rural economies and wildlife populations, and the benefits and costs they impose on them; we ate artisan-produced comestibles at the Totally Food Show—sausages, hard cider and ale, seafood and game, ice cream and much, much (maybe too much!) more. People enjoyed fly-fishing talks and casting lessons in the Fishing Village; they saw working dogs compete; they shot, watched cooking

demonstrations, show-jumping classes, and a trained vulture find its dinner. And they shopped—I did mention the shopping, didn’t I? We pulled out our wallets at art galleries, tack shops, Gunmakers’ Row, and countless craftsmen’s booths and clothing stores. Wellies of many colors, mini skirts of tweed, luscious woolens and Barbour rain gear of every description filled thousands of shopping bags. Game Fair organizers thoughtfully provided a Shop-and-Drop station for acquired loot (so people could deposit their purchases, then go buy more). There was secure gun storage, a baby-sitting service, and (trust the canine-loving English to think of this) a Dog Crèche, where pets could chill for up to four hours in “a quiet, shady place, with experienced staff looking after the dogs in a safe kennel area…the perfect solution for bored dogs who might find the event noisy and overpowering…” Noisy and overpowering? Ya think? But it was fun, and it was deeply edifying. I learned from exhibitors about their animals, from spaniels to owls; I spoke to traditional craftsmen about their livelihoods; and talked with biologists and other scientists about their efforts to monitor and manage Britain’s ecosystems. I listened to panels of experts examining the aims of large shooting estates and of conservationists who don’t universally share those aims. I discussed with Owen Williams, a renowned wildlife painter, his efforts to assist in ornithological research, as he used his profits from his first bronze and his new book to fund woodcock banding and migration studies. He bands birds himself and uses state-of-the-art satellite technology to collect location data on individual woodcocks over thousands of miles.


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IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2014

Animals are vital to the countryside, but so are people. Over the course of the fair, academics and lobbyists explained the importance of rural-based businesses to the nation’s economy; they discussed issues like affordable housing in the countryside, renewable resources, and fair rewards to farmers for their production. The CLA is a serious organization whose members own and manage about half the land in England and Wales, as well as thousands of businesses, and while it’s not aligned with any particular political party, it works very hard on behalf of its members to educate candidates and governments about rural issues. It insists that the countryside must not “be disadvantaged by predominantly urban-focused legislation” (a danger in a democracy, where majority rules), and maintains that the government must increase its efforts to protect the nation’s historic and environmental heritage while it overhauls zoning and town-planning policies. It is urging policy-makers to develop a national biodiversity offsetting system, and to recognize the importance of measuring and sustaining the natural environment for the wider benefit of society. The CLA offers specific recommendations about energy, tourism, water issues and flood control, the role of new technology and manufacturing in the countryside, forestry, pesticides—all complex issues that affect rural areas. The Game Fair is an important opportunity for examining ideas, to learn from people who deeply love the countryside, to try a new sport, or to just “chew the fat.” Everyone should try to attend at least once— you’ll never forget it. Harewood House in Leeds, Yorkshire, will hold the next CLA Game Fair from the 31st of July through 2 August 2015.

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IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2014

FOXHUNTING

Horses, hounds, and hunters enjoyed some late summer fun and prepped for the coming season. Middleburg Photo captured the action.

Middleburg Hunt Trail Ride, Springglade, August 9, 2014 General Crosby Saint.

Piedmont Fox Hounds trail ride, July 26, 2014 Emma Walsh.

Piedmont Fox Hounds cooled off in Beaver Dam Pond after a pre-season walk-out.

Teddy Zimmerman, center, led the Piedmont Fox Hounds Trail ride at Dencrest, August 9, 2014.

Gone Away

with the Wind

Hunt Week 2015 January 18 - 24 Dr. Tania Woerner shows how it's done over a tricky ditch during a jumping clinic.

Thomson, Georgia The Masters of Belle Meade Hunt are excited to announce our Third Annual Hunt Week, January 18-24. Hunt Week kicks off a month of hunting and social events concluding with our Annual Performance Trials, February 26-27. • Enjoy 35,000 acres of Hunt Country – one of the largest hunt countries east of the Mississippi • Acclaimed Hounds • Family Friendly Environment - Children Welcome • Four Flights for Foxhunters of all levels • Hunt Breakfasts and Stirrup Cups • Tally Ho Wagons for Non-Riders • Hunt Ball with Silent Auction

For pricing and more information, visit our website: www.bellemeadehounds.com Call 706-833-3104 Email: Honorary Secretary Angela Smith ke4nnr@classicsouth.net


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IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2014

CALENDAR

Upcoming Events In & Around Horse Country

It’s a busy time in Horse Country. Here’s a list of some upcoming events.

Sept. 14 Benefit Polo Match & Luncheon for National Sporting Library, Middleburg, VA. Information: amckay@nsl.org Sept. 20 Blue Ridge Fall Races, Woodley Farm, Berryville, VA 1:00 p.m. Information: 540-539-1577 or 540-722-6403, www.blueridgefallraces.com Sept. 21 Susan G. Komen Ride for the Cure, Great Meadow, The Plains, VA. Information: www.komencentralva.org Sept. 21 Deep Run Hunt Fall Fun Hunter Pace, Sunnyside Farm, 9:00 a.m. Information: Lynn Richie 804-986-2944, tallyholpr@gmail.com, www.deeprunhuntclub.com Sept. 28 Piedmont Hunter Trials, Salem Farm Showground, Upperville, VA 8:00 a.m. Contact Barbara Riggs, briggs@huntoverfarm.com Sept. 28 Foxfield Fall Race Meet, Foxfield Race Course, Charlottesville, VA 1:30 p.m. Information: 434-293-9501, www.foxfieldraces.com Sept. 28 Bull Run Hunt Fall Fun Hunter Pace, Summerduck Wood, Rapidan, VA 9:00 a.m. Information: Rosie Campbell, MFH 540-672-5128, rosie268@aol.com, www.bullrunhunt.com Sept. 27-Nov. 9 Junior North American Field Hunter Championship. Qualifying Hunts Sept. 27 – Oct. 18, Finals Nov. 9 Contact Marion Chungo: mchungo@aol.com, 540-220-7292 Sept. 29-Oct. 4 North American Field Hunter Championship. Qualifying Hunts Sept. 29 – Oct. 2, Finals Oct. 4 Information: 540-687-5552, www.vafallraces.com Oct. 4-5 Virginia Fall Race Meet, Glenwood Park, Middleburg, VA 2:00 p.m. Information: 540-687-5662, www.vafallraces.com Oct. 5 Keswick Hunt Fall Fun Hunter Pace, Bridlespur Farm, 9:00 a.m. Information: Erica Simel Stevens, 561-601-9531, bridlespurfarm@gmail.com, www.keswickhuntclub.com Oct. 9-18 Pennsylvania National Horse Show. www.panational.org Oct. 12 Casanova Hunt Fall Fun Hunter Pace, Winfall, Catlett, VA 9:00 a.m. Information: Kathleen O’Keefe, 540-439-3848, kdo@vabb.com, www.casanovahunt.com Oct. 14 Author Talk & Book Signing: Felix Francis - Dick Francis’s Damage. 6:00 p.m. Horse Country, Warrenton, VA. 540-347-3141, huntbooks@aol.com Oct. 19 Virginia Field Hunter Championship, hosted by Middleburg Hunt, Wind Field Farms, Middleburg, VA. Information: www.middleburghunt.com Oct. 19 Warrenton Hunt Fall Fun Hunter Pace, The Oaks Hayfield, 11:00 a.m. Info: Clydetta P. Talbot 540-219-6562, clydetta@aol.com, www.warrentonhunt.com

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Oct. 21-26 Washington International Horse Show. www.wihs.org Oct. 25 International Gold Cup, Great Meadow Course, The Plains, VA 1:30 p.m. Information: 540-347-2612, www.vagoldcup.com

Oct. 26 Orange County Hounds Team Chase Event, Old Whitewood Farm, The Plains, VA, 9:00 a.m., contact Pippy McCormick, doverhse@earthlink.net, 540-454-2854 or Jane Bishop, jeb.waverly@mac.com, 540-729-7083 Oct. 28 Author Talk & Book Signing: Barclay Rives, William Cabell Rives: A Country to Serve and See You At Second Horses. 7:00 p.m. Horse Country, Warrenton, VA 540-347-3141, huntbooks@aol.com Oct. 29-Nov. 5 MHHNA Art Show at Salamander Resort, Middleburg, VA. Information: www.MHHNA.org Nov. 1 Montpelier Race Meet, Montpelier Station, VA 12:30 p.m. Information: 540-672-0027, www.montpelierraces.com Nov. 1 Cavaliers, Courage & Coffee – the Haunted Turnpike, Aldie Mill, Aldie, VA. Sponsored by the Mosby Heritage Area Association. Information: 540-687-6681, info@mosbyheritagearea.org Nov. 2 Farmington Hunt Fall Fun Hunter Pace, TBD, 10:00 a.m. Information: Liz King 434-953-9822, lizb01@aol.com, www.farmingtonhunt.org Nov. 11 Author Talk & Book Signing: Rita Mae Brown’s latest Sister Jane mystery: Let Sleeping Dogs Lie. 6:30 p.m. Horse Country, Warrenton, VA. 540-347-3141, huntbooks@aol.com. Dec. 7 Juan Tomás Hounds (NM) Guest Day. www.juantomashounds.com Note: There is no Virginia Hunt Week this year; it is a biannual event. Jan. 15-18 Low Country Hunt (SC) Weekend. Information: 843-571-1934, melinda@shambleyequine.com Jan. 23-25 & Feb.13-16 Casa Ladron (NM) Ski/Hunt. Information: Richard Patton, 505-466-4200, rspatton@aol.com Jan. 18-24 Belle Meade (GA) Hunt Week. www.bellemeadehounds.com Jan. 18-Feb. 28 Belle Meade (GA) Hunt Month. www.bellemeadehounds.com Feb. 4-12 Whiskey Road Foxhounds (SC) Hunt Week. www.whiskeyroadfoxhounds.com Feb. 20-22 Juan Tomás Hounds (NM) Hunt Ball and Sunday Hunt. Information: Jackie Cronenberg at cronenberg88@q.com Feb. 26-27 Belle Meade (GA) Performance Trials. Information: www.bellemeadehounds.com March 13-15 Juan Tomás Hounds (NM) Closing Hunt Weekend: Hunting, shooting, poker, and polo. Information: www.juantomashounds.com


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Horses and People to Watch

HORSE RACING

Virginia Thoroughbred Association

Still No Thoroughbred Racing at Colonial Downs As Legal Battle Continues

Riverdee Stables’ Virginia-bred Hear the Word annexing the Old Dominion Turf Championship at 2013’s International Gold Cup Races. Liz Callar photo

Virginia-broken Wicked Strong and Virginia-raised Tonalist duking it out in the stretch of the Grade II Jim Dandy at Saratoga. Adam Coglianese photo

Virginia-bred Valid winning the Grade II Monmouth Cup. Coady Photography photo

The grand entrance to the VTA-hosted Turf Club at the Virginia Gold Cup Spring Races, 2014. VTA photo

Those waiting for a resolution to the dispute over racing days at Colonial Downs are unlikely to see a resolution until much later this year. The Virginia Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (VHBPA) and racetrack management were unable to come to an agreement regarding a contract and there will be no live Thoroughbred racing at Colonial Downs in 2014. Instead, the battle between the VHBPA and Colonial Downs is likely to go to the courts rather than be resolved through direct negotiation. The fall harness meet will proceed as usual, running September 17 through October 26. On June 23, the Virginia Racing Commission conditioned rescinding a December 2013 order that directed Colonial Downs to run a 2014 race meet of 5 weeks/25 days, if Colonial Downs executed a contract with the VHBPA providing for an 8 week/24 day-race meet in 2015. VHBPA executive director Frank Petramalo sent Colonial Downs a draft contract for 8 weeks/24 days in 2015, as directed by the Commission. In response, Colonial Downs sent a letter to the VHBPA from president Ian Stewart rejecting that contract and appealed the VRC’s order to the Circuit Court in Richmond. According to Stewart’s letter, a contract acceptable to Colonial Downs must include reimbursement of costs “in excess of five weeks of live racing,” a multi-year structure (2015-2017), permanent assurance that the Thoroughbred signal “will not be interfered with in either the SWFs or on EZ Horseplay,” and a 50/50 split of purse funds from all sources (account wagering, SFWs, live racing, export simulcasting, and Breeders’ Fund) between “high-end and every day racing.” Petramalo told the VTA that Colonial will argue in court that the VRC does not have the authority to issue an order “dictating the terms of a contract for racing in 2015.” The VRC has until September 26 to file responding papers, at which point the court will hear the case, likely later in the fall. “I do not think Colonial Downs is correct as a matter of law,” Petramalo said in an email to the VTA. “In any event, it will probably be the end of the year before the court hears the case and renders a decision.” In the meantime, Petramalo believes that the VRC’s mandate that Colonial run a 5 week/25 dayrace meet in 2014 still stands. Petramalo believes that Colonial’s court appeal and rejection of the 2015 8 week/24 days contract indicates that the track has turned down the compromise offered by the VRC and should therefore be subject to immediate legal proceedings by that organization to enforce its order for racing in 2014. Although racing in Virginia is in a holding pattern, the VHBPA and the Virginia Thoroughbred Association will sponsor five Virginia-bred/ Virginia-sired stakes races at Laurel Park on Satur-

day, September 13. These five stakes will be the same stakes typically run at Colonial Downs during the regular summer meet and will each carry a purse of $60,000 guaranteed. The decision to run these five Virginia-bred stakes in 2014 despite the continued closure of Colonial Downs represents the ongoing commitment of the VTA and the VHBPA to Virginia horsemen and horses. Virginia continues to be a hub of quality breeders, trainers, owners, and other horsemen, as evidenced by the growing number of graded stakes performers that originated in the Commonwealth. This year alone, horses broken, bred, or raised in Virginia have won the Grade I Belmont, the Grade I Wood, the Grade II Monmouth Cup Stakes, the Grade II Jim Dandy, the Grade II Jerome, the Grade II San Pasqual, the Grade III Red Bank, and more. The VTA and the VHBPA are committed to supporting the horsemen responsible for these tremendous performers and growing the Virginia Thoroughbred industry by providing opportunities for Virginia-bred and Virginia-sired horses to earn generous state-bred purses and shine on a national stage. The stakes are as follows: The Oakley Stake, for Virginia-bred and Virginiasired fillies and mares 3 years old and upward, will be run over 5½ furlongs on the turf. The Jamestown Stake, for Virginia-bred and Virginia-sired 2-year-olds, will be run over 5½ furlongs on the turf. The Punch Line Stake, for Virginia-bred and Virginia-sired 3-year-olds and upward, will be run over 5½ furlongs on the turf. The Bert Allen Stake, for Virginia-bred and Virginiasired for 3-year-olds and upward, will be run over 1 1/16 miles on the turf. The Brookmeade Stake, for Virginia-bred and Virginia-sired fillies and mares 3 years old and upward, will be run over 1 1/16 miles on the turf.

VHBPA & VTA Support the International Gold Cup The VHBPA will sponsor the $50,000 Zeke Ferguson Hurdle at the International Gold Cup Races and three flat races, one Virginia-bred restricted and two Virginia-bred preferred, with the goal of providing more opportunities for Virginia horses to race in the absence of live racing at Colonial Downs. These races will be on Saturday, October 25, at the Great Meadow course in The Plains, Virginia. In addition to Virginia-bred races, the Gold Cup will continue to offer pari-mutuel wagering, including an on-site wireless mobile wagering platform that will allow guests to place bets directly from their phones and tablets. Last spring, handle reached a healthy $130,000, up 68 percent from the spring before. The VTA will host a Turf Club event at the Gold Cup. Tickets are $80 per person and include a Members Hill badge, exclusive access to the catered Turf Club tent, VIP parking, wine and beer, and wagering machines located in the tent. More information is available at www.vabred.org.


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GEORGE WHITE FENCING AND SUPPLY

JANET HITCHEN PHOTOGRAPHY

Installation • Repairs • Fence Painting Portable Barns and Sheds

www.janethitchenphotography.com janethitchenphotography@gmail.com

540-837-9846 FERNANDO VILLAVICENCIO General Manager Office: 540-687-5803 Licensed & Insured Fax: 540-687-3574 www.georgewhitefencing.com

TO GET YOUR AD IN THE NEXT ISSUE

CALL MARY COX (540) 636-7688 hcmaryads@embarqmail.com OR HORSE COUNTRY (540) 347-3141

CLASSIFIEDS

REAL ESTATE

HORSEFARMSANDCOUNTRYHOMES.COM

Cindy Polk, 703.966.9480, David O’Flaherty Realtor specializing in country properties from cottages, land and hobby farms to fine estates and professional equestrian facilities. Washington Fine Properties. 204 E. Washington St., Middleburg, VA.

GONE AWAY

Billy (B.C.) Douglas

Richard Clay Photography www.richardclayphotography.com rclay@hughes.net

With the passing of Billy (B.C.) Douglas on July 28, 2014. South Creek Foxhounds of Tampa, Florida, lost its original Professional Huntsman. In 1965, Mr. Robert Thomas started Two Rivers Hunt, Florida’s longest running foxhunt with the purchase of several tough, experienced horses from Ben Hardaway of Columbus, Georgia (including a sturdy, part draft horse, Garth, that B.C. rode). Mr Thomas secured several hounds from the Deep Run Hunt in Virginia and, in an inspired move, purchased a couple of Irish foxhounds and had them shipped air freight to Zephyrhills for their new lives in Southern Florida. Foxhunting then began at the Thomas’s beautiful Two Rivers Ranch under the watchful eye of B.C. Douglas. He was well known as a top night hunter and field trial judge throughout the states of Florida and Georgia. B.C. was not only a good Huntsman, but was also a successful breeder of foxhounds and enjoyed every aspect of the outdoors. In 1989, B.C. handed the hunting horn to his son, Robert Douglas, who continues as the Professional Huntsman today. In 1995, the name of the club was changed to South Creek Foxhounds. B.C. was 83 at the time of his death. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Peggy, and his sons Robert and Randy, as well as two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Photo courtesy of South Creek Foxhounds.


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In & Around Horse Country Fall 2014  

The Official Publication of the Virginia Steeplechase Association

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