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

VOLUME XXIV / NUMBER 2 • THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE VIRGINIA STEEPLECHASE ASSOCIATION • FEBRUARY/MARCH 2013


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FEBRUARY/MARCH 2013

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HUNT MEETS

Neil Morris leads his son Wright during a day of sport with Orange County Hounds from Bill Backer’s Smitten Farm, December 8, 2012. Janet Hitchen photo.

While hunting from Rolling Hills Farm on January 21, 2013, Blue Ridge Huntsman Guy Allman took the opportunity during a rare lull in the sporting action to pop the question to Fran Harding. Judging from the look on her face, it appears she said, “Yes.” Janet Hitchen photo.

Dr. Marvin Beeman, MFH/Huntsman of Colorado’s Arapahoe Hunt, and his staff bring in the Arapahoe hounds after a joint meet with Bijou Springs, December 23, 2012. 19½ couple went out on a beautiful day, no wind and about 50 degrees. Not bad for late December in the Centennial State. Judi Tobias photo.

Piedmont member Chris Ambrose, Piedmont Fox Hounds’ joint meet with Potomac Hunt from Rose Marie Bogley's Peace and Plenty Farm, December 13, 2012. Janet Hitchen photo.

Potomac Hunt Joint-MFH Peter Hitchen (on the gray) confers with Austin Kiplinger (standing) at the Thanksgiving Day meet, November 22, 2012. Potomac’s Thanksgiving Day stirrup cup has been held for several years at the home of Mr. Kiplinger, journalist and publisher of the Kiplinger Report. Ken Graham photo.


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IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FEBRUARY/MARCH 2013

SPORTING LIFE HIGHLIGHTS Dehner Days at Horse Country, April 22 & 23 Order Your Custom-Fitted Boots Jeff Ketzler of Dehner Boot Company will be at Horse Country Saddlery, Warrenton, Virginia, to measure custom riding boots Monday and Tuesday, April 22 and 23, 2013. As a special incentive, Dehner will give a free pair of stock size paddock shoes with each pair of custom boots ordered. Appointments are necessary. Please call Horse Country Saddlery to schedule an appointment. 800-8824868. ••••

Foxhunting Panel Discussion to be Held at National Sporting Library The Mosby Heritage Area Association (MHAA) will be offering a panel discussion on the sport of foxhunting on Sunday, February 10, 2013 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at the National Sporting Library and Museum, 102 The Plains Road, Middleburg, VA 20117. The panelists will speak to The History and Future of the Sport in the Piedmont, offering firsthand perspective into and experience with this region’s beloved foxhunting and equine sports. A question and answer discussion will follow. MHAA has gathered some of the most respected leaders in the foxhunting field to participate in the discussion, including: Robert Ashcom, Tommy Lee Jones, and Albert Poe. $25 for MHAA members, $30 for nonmembers. Limited seating, reservations required. 540-687-6681 or info@mosbyheritagearea.org. ••••

Live Oak International Returns with Driving and Show Jumping Ocala, Florida – Live Oak International, the only equestrian event in North America to feature both world-class driving and show jumping, returns to Ocala, FL, from March 20 to 24, 2013. For more than 20 years, Live Oak International has been known for its international driving competition. This year, it will offer the highest amount of prize money of any driving event in North America. While driving has a long history at the Live Oak International, each year improvements are made for the benefit of competitors and spectators alike. Held in three phases, beginning with Dressage on Thursday and Friday morning, Saturday’s Driving Marathon phase is especially thrilling as carriages negotiate complex obstacles, each individually sponsored. Last year, over 5,000 spectators Two-time World Driving Championship silver medalist enjoyed Saturday’s Driving Chester C. Weber of Ocala, FL, won the FEI Four-in-Hand division at the 2012 Live Oak International. Marathon competition, folPicsOfYou.com photo. PHOTOGRAPHERS: Liz Callar lizcallar.com Jake Carle Richard Clay richardclayphotography.com Kathie Davenport kmdphotos.com Dementi Studio/Wayne Dementi Sarah Gilbert Ken Graham Elisabeth Harpham Robert Haschart LeighAnn Hazel-Groux Janet Hitchen 540-837-9846 janethitchenphotography.com Douglas Lees douglaslees@comcast.com Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club Collin McNeil, MFH ON THE COVER: Jim Meads, U.K. 011-44-1686-420436 Gerald Keal, huntsman for Virginia's Middleburg Photo middleburgphoto.com Old Dominion Hounds, prepares his Picsofyou.com eager pack for a day of sport from the Eric Schneider eschneider@gmail.com Bill Sigafoos club's kennels, January 29, 2013. Judi Tobias Janet Hitchen photo. Karen Kandra Wenzel Leslie Wilson VTA

lowed by the $50,000 CSI2* Grand Prix for show jumping. Sanctioned as a CAI-B driving event by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) and offering single, pair, and four-in-hand divisions for horses and ponies, Live Oak International attracts the top driving competitors from around the globe. Building on the success of its inaugural year, show jumping returns in 2013. Like driving, the show jumping events are also FEI-sanctioned, ensuring that highest standards of competition are upheld and giving drivers and riders alike an opportunity to earn points in the all-important world rankings. Two-time Olympic show jumping course designer Leopoldo Palacios of Venezuela will set the tracks in the John Deere Arena while personnel from Canada’s famed show jumping venue, Spruce Meadows, will assist Damian Guthrie in managing the show jumping tournament. For more information on the Live Oak International, including VIP Hospitality seating and sponsorship opportunities, please visit www.liveoakinternational.com.

Spring Hunter Pace Events Sunday, February 24 • 12:00 noon Casanova Hunt Hunter Pace Events Winfall, 50131 Dumfries Rd, Catlett, Virginia 20119 • (540) 788-4806 Sunday, March 3 • 1:00 pm Thornton Hill Fort Valley Hounds Hunter Pace Event Thornton Hill Farm, Sperryville, Virginia • (540) 675-1976 Sunday, March 10 • 12:00 noon Blue Ridge Hunt Hunter Pace Events Weldon House Farm, Boyce VA • (540) 687-5449 Sunday, March 17 • 1:00 pm Warrenton Hunt Hunter Pace Events Clovercroft Hunter Trial Course, 8714 Springs Road, Warrenton, VA (540) 229-6679 Saturday, March 23 • 9:30 am Piedmont Fox Hounds Hunter Pace Events Salem Course, Upperville, Virginia • (540) 454-4704 Saturday, March 30 • 9:00 am Orange County Hounds Hunter Pace Events Locust Hill Farm, Middleburg, Virginia • (540) 253-5566 Sunday, April 7 • 1:00 pm Old Dominion Hounds Hunter Pace Events Ben Venue Farm, Ben Venue, Virginia • (540) 364-4573 • (540) 636-1507 Saturday, April 13 • 10:00 am Bull Run Hunt Hunter Pace Events Peacock Farm, Culpeper, Virginia • (540) 672-5128 Sunday, April 21 • 9:00 am Rappahannock Hunt Hunter Pace Events Greenwood Farm, Washington VA • (540) 547-2810 • (540) 229-7752 Saturday, April 27 • 10:00 am Loudoun Fairfax Hunt Hunter Pace Events Rolling Meadow Farm, Philomont, Virginia • (703) 723-1602 lawpatcam@aim.com • www.thefairfaxhunt.com Regular subscription 6 issues $25.00, U.S.A. First Class subscription $35.00, Europe, Canada, etc. $45.00

is a bimonthly publication. 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 April/May issue is March 15. Payment in full due with copy. Publisher: Marion Maggiolo Managing Editor: J. Harris Anderson Advertising: Mary Cox (540) 636-7688 Horse Country (540) 347-3141 Contributors: Aga, J. Harris Anderson, Jake Carle, Lauren R. Giannini, Rosemary Groux, Maggie Johnston, Jim Meads, Will O’Keefe, Betsy Burke Parker, Virginia Thoroughbred Association, Jenny Young LAYOUT & DESIGN: Kate Houchin Copyright 2013 In & Around Horse Country®. All Rights Reserved. Volume XXIV, No.2 POSTMASTER: CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FEBRUARY/MARCH 2013

FOXHUNTING

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Side Saddle with Meath Hunt, Ireland The Official Report From the Irish Side Saddle Association

On the 19th of January, 2013, ladies from all over the world arrived in Boyerstown, Navan, Co. Meath to hunt side saddle with the Meath Hunt. In total 50 brave ladies crossed the Meath countryside on Irish hunters. In doing so they created a “New World Record” for side saddle hunting. Ladies came from as far afield as Virginia and Kentucky in the USA, France, Italy, Sweden, UK and Ireland to be part of this historic occasion which commemorated the famous Empress of Austria hunting across Meath side saddle during the years 1876 to 1882. The event was organized by the side saddle high jump World Record Holder Susan Oakes from Navan. Susan began riding side saddle at the tender age of four and has been the major driving force behind the renewed interest in side saddle riding in Ireland. Fifty ladies turned out on the day dressed immaculately in habits and tack of the 1920s, ready to take on and jump imposing County Meath ditches, drains, banks and hedges. Luckily Oakes had organized wellschooled hunters for all of the ladies visiting from abroad, many of whom were so impressed with the horses they had been supplied with that they enquired about buying them! The day was a huge success, including a very fast run over extremely challenging big double banks and deep, wide drains, albeit during heavy rain and even a sprinkling of snow. The riders returned home absolutely covered in mud but still looking elegant and grinning from ear to ear at the memories of what they had achieved and ready to dance the night away at the Hunt Ball held in the Knightsbrook Hotel, Trim, later that night. This event could not have taken place without support of local landowners, hunting enthusiasts, horse owners and an array of volunteers who worked tirelessly to ensure the success of this historic event. Special thanks to all our kind sponsors, without whose generous support this event could not have taken place.

The mounted contingent of the US group who braved the ditches and banks of County Meath: (l-r front) Maggie Johnston, Devon Zebrovious, Shawn Roberts; (l-r back) Travis Page, Jan Chrypinski, George Kuk. Middleburg Photo.

A Participant’s Report From Maggie Johnston I was fortunate to be part of the group from the US who traveled to Ireland for this amazing event. Our party consisted of mounted riders Devon Zebrovious and George Kuk, Middleburg, Virginia (Middleburg Hunt); Jan Chrypinski, Annapolis, Maryland (not affiliated with a hunt); Travis Page, Auburn, Alabama (Whiskey Road and Aiken Hounds); Shawn Roberts, Falls Church, Virginia (not affiliated with a hunt); and me (Fairfax Hunt social member). The non-riding contingent was made up of fellow Virginian Caren Carter; Denise Hamilton, Aiken, South Carolina (Aiken Hounds); and photographers Doug Gehlsen and Karen Monroe of Middleburg Photo. Although the theme of this gathering was to commemorate the Empress of Austria hunting across Meath side saddle more than 130 years ago, and the attire of the ladies riding in this re-enactment harked back to the 1920s, the organizing was handled mostly via 21st century social media. I never had the opportunity to speak with Susan Oakes prior to the hunt. Everything was done on Facebook or by email. Susan sent out a very detailed questionnaire to all who would be riding, which helped her match riders to horses and ponies. On the bus that took riders from the hotel to the meet, Susan walked up and down the aisle calling out rider names and the horses they would be on – every single one from memory. Due to record levels of rain in Ireland, Meath had not hunted for weeks. The morning of the hunt saw more rain, heavy at times, and temperatures chilly enough to produce the occasional sprinkling of snow. However, with the overwhelming numbers of riders who had arrived, and with the can-do Irish spirit, the hunting day went forward as planned. Horses were delivered to the meet braided and washed by an army of volunteers. After hounds were released the 120 members of the field took off at full gallop. I realized very quickly that my girth, which was on the top hole on each side of my saddle, was too large. In seconds I was under my horse, Bob The Cob, being dragged through the mud. A very nice young man caught the horse, pulled him up, and helped me dislodge from the saddle (you are hooked in, so if the saddle slips you stay on). The field went by and I began to walk back to the meet thinking that I was done. I can’t tell you how many people ran up to me with side saddles and girth in their hands, offering to help re-tack so I would be able to rejoin the hunt. Someone took my apron, which was now soaked in mud. We found an Owen girth, which was the perfect match for my Owen saddle. I got back up, still soaking wet, and looked down the road to see a small group of riders, including my good friend Travis Page, heading my way. A rider in their group had a mishap over a ditch and lost the field. Travis, now missing his front teeth, exclaimed, “Those ditches are madness!” When he took the first ditch he hit a tree limb (his horse was very tall) and his upper bridge was knocked out. His lower lip was cut and bleeding badly. He rinsed it out with whiskey from someone’s flask, and kept going. Someone on an ATV pulled up and said, “I’ll get you back to the field.” I asked if I could rejoin, as I was now improperly turned out (no apron). Everyone said, “Come on!” so off we went. We galloped down the town streets, found a field where the hunt had been, and kept going. There are no checks in this hunt and the mud was simply indescribable. We took the remaining nine ditches and met up with the field, hunting for about an hour and a half. I was told that the hounds had an excellent day, despite the difficult conditions. But you really can’t keep up with them as you have to queue up to leap the ditches one by one. So we only saw them when hounds pulled up on a road where the horses, hounds, and riders were collected and taken back to barns and the hotel. At the hotel we went straight to the bar where we were asked to leave, as we were covered in so much mud the bar staff said that we were too dirty to be served. We changed and then returned for champagne and hot soup. Of our group, Devon was the only one who did not come off at some point out hunting. But everyone got back on and finished, so we all celebrated at the Hunt Ball that night. We were told that there were almost 450 people at the Ball. Some of us didn’t make it back to our rooms until almost 5:00 am on Sunday. At the airport on Monday we all agreed that we can’t wait to return and are now beginning to put together a trip to England to hunt with the Quorn at their opening meet on October 25th. Meath is ditch and bank country, so The Quorn will be very different, as they jump hedges and stone walls. I’m sure it will be another exciting – and maybe drier – adventure.

Maggie Johnston, Fairfax Hunt (social member), on Bob the Cob. Middleburg Photo.

Fifty ladies, all ages and representing six countries, gathered to commemorate “the famous Empress of Austria hunting across Meath side saddle during the years 1876 to 1882.” Middleburg Photo.

Middleburg Hunt’s Georg Kuk (on the gray) demonstrates the veracity of Travis Page’s comment: “Those ditches are madness!” Middleburg Photo.


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FOXHUNTING

To One Hundred Years . . . and Beyond By J. Harris Anderson, Managing Editor

Tad Zimmerman, joint-MFH, Virginia's Piedmont Fox Hounds. Founded in 1840, PFH is the oldest recognized foxhunting club in the US. Douglas Lees photo.

The coverage in this issue of hunt clubs celebrating milestone anniversaries – 100th and 125th – got us thinking about why some clubs survive over the long haul while others fade away. As Betsy Burke Parker notes in her article on Warrenton and Deep Run, the past 50 years have, conservatively, seen dozens of hunts fail or fold. 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. A number of common threads emerged from the responses, further supported by the findings of Betsy Burke Parker and Lauren Giannini in their coverage of the clubs observing notable anniversaries. 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

Blend those factors together with a cup of balance and a liberal sprinkling of luck and you just might see your club span multiple centuries.

Michael G. Tillson, III, joint-MFH, Pennsylvania's Radnor Hunt. Collin McNeil, MFH, photo.

Kevin Maple, joint-MFH, Smithtown Hunt, New York, hunting at Ashroken in early spring, 2012. Leslie Wilson photo.

Landowner Relations: A few hunts are blessed with expansive territory under private ownership. However, the more long-lived clubs, being heavily concentrated in the Mid-Atlantic and New England regions, are generally not among them. Instead, they have had to deal with the pressure of ever-expanding development and thus the critical need to maintain enough open land suitable for sport. This can often consist of several contiguous parcels under different ownership. As Tad Zimmerman, joint-MFH of Virginia’s Piedmont Fox Hounds (1840, the oldest recognized foxhunting club in the US) points out, “Piedmont has survived because we are blessed with generous, supportive, and understanding landowners. While personal relationships are important in gaining, and retaining, the support of individual landowners, farm managers, and tenants, this support is also given based on trust in the hunt as an organization to behave responsibly. This responsibility extends beyond shutting gates, staying off crops, and being considerate guests. It requires that the hunt be a visible and reliably constructive force in the community.” Note that Zimmerman includes farm managers and tenants among the stakeholders who can exert influence over a club’s access to private land. He goes on to note the importance of “helping new landowners understand what we do.” Properties change hands, parcels are sold off, and the new owners may be unfamiliar with foxhunting culture. The quicker these folks can be welcomed and shown the positive aspects of country sports, the more likely they’ll be to keep their land open, even

if they never put foot to stirrup and follow hounds themselves. Land Preservation: This is universally recognized as essential for the continuation of the sport, or at least necessary for a club to continue hunting the same territory without having to uproot and move farther out. Conservation easements are perhaps the best way to achieve the preservation objective and several respondents cited this. (The October/November 2012 issue of In & Around Horse Country included a detailed consideration of conservation easements.) Few, if any, foxhunting clubs have to deal with the pressure to keep land open for mounted sport more so than does the Norfolk Hunt, located since 1895 just southwest of Boston, Massachusetts. “In this increasingly congested part of the Northeast,” says MFH Carol Mansfield, “Norfolk has maintained excellent relations with landowners, both private and public. Our members regularly contribute to many land conservation groups. So what land we may have lost due to development, we have gained through public lands.” Mansfield then adds what may be the most important point of all regarding land preservation. “Of course, we have to remain vigilant that this doesn’t change.” Community Involvement: Some in the hunting world prefer to “fly under the radar” when it comes to the broader public. However, the anecdotal evidence suggests this attitude works against a club’s long-term vitality. Tad Zimmerman lists several ways a hunt club can support its local community: “…clearing trails; picking up downed livestock for farmers; …supporting the local feed store, tack shop, and other businesses; making presentations to local schoolchildren and 4H clubs; encouraging young foxhunters; helping neighbors with emergencies; welcoming guests.” Willingness to Embrace Change: Barclay Rives, whose family lineage traces back to the founding of Virginia’s Keswick Hunt Club in 1896, cites the delicate balance between adhering to the time-honored traditions of the sport while recognizing the need for some flexibility. One dramatic example of that is the transition Smithtown Hunt (1900) went through in order to preserve the sport on New York’s Long Island. Joint-MFH Kevin Maple explains the club’s switch from live to drag hunting: “We were at great risk of losing permission to use large tracks of land because of anti-hunt protesters. We continue to be welcomed on county, state, and private property because of the absence of ‘blood sport.’” Maple goes on to cite other nods to modernity that apply more broadly: “The introduction of safety helmets, radios, and better equipment in general have made the act of hunting far safer and thus more palatable to insurers, landowners, etc. This year alone, following [MFHA Executive Director] Dennis Foster’s suggestion, we have increased membership by welcoming other horse disciplines into the hunt field.” He adds the addition of a second and even third flight as a further opportunity to bring more people into the hunting fold.


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FEBRUARY/MARCH 2013

Succession Planning: Barclay Rives addresses this in his consideration of the need for balance: “Power transitions are very tricky – is there a successor in waiting? You don’t want some thruster taking charge before he knows the territory, but you also don’t want the old regime hanging on past its time.” Tricky indeed. Michael Tillson, MFH, provides some insights into how this has been achieved at Pennsylvania’s Radnor Hunt, now in its 130th season: “Much of the success and longevity of Radnor can be attributed to the wisdom and commitment of a long line of masters who have always had a succession plan for the future of the sport and handed the reins willingly to the next generation of masters.”

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to this: Stable leadership tempered with the ability to manage change when necessary. Epilogue: Old hunt clubs never die. Their names live on at Horse Country The U.S. Postal Service recently dropped a long-standing rule that required an individual to have been deceased for at least five years before being honored on a stamp. (It can thus be argued that in 1993 the USPS issued quasi-governmental confirmation that Elvis is officially dead.) In a spirit akin to the old Postal Service policy, Horse Country Saddlery perpetuates the memory of now-defunct foxhunting clubs by attaching their names to various styles of hunt coats: Harkaway, Grafton, Albemarle, Montpelier, Castle Hill, etc. We truly hope that none of the clubs cited in this issue, nor any others currently in existence, ever qualify for that dubious honor.

Barclay Rives, Keswick Hunt. Jake Carle photo. Member Loyalty: Grits McMullen, joint-MFH of Canada’s Ottawa Valley Hunt (1873), minces no words when he says, “The Ottawa Valley Hunt’s secret to longevity and solid financial health is due entirely to our members’ energy, loyalty, and solid fellowship. We have a family of hard-working people who think nothing of devoting most of their spare time to the benefit of our hunt.” Kevin Maple echoes that sentiment and says that the “sense of belonging, of being part of something that has so much history, character, cohesiveness, and discipline” is a contributing factor to the longevity of Smithtown Hunt. But loyalty doesn’t just happen. Maples offers some thoughts on the incentives that can help fuel that essential sense of belonging: “The lure of moving up the ranks, from back of the field to the front, from field member to staff, from chairing a committee to Hunt committee. Everyone can feel as if they are making a difference and contributing on some level.”

Good Sport: J.W.Y “Duck” Martin, MFH, Green Spring Valley Hounds (1892), mentions the quality of sport as another ingredient in promoting member loyalty. “If you have a good pack, people will stick with you,” says Martin. It’s worth noting, though, that the quality of sport, if mentioned at all, came toward the end of the list of longevity factors. Perhaps this was simply taken as a given. More likely, it shows the significance of the many behind-the-scenes challenges leaders face to promote a vibrant, long-lasting hunt club. Piedmont’s Zimmerman specifically places the issue of sport as the culmination of all that comes before hounds are cast: “If we are able to do all of the above, we may turn our attention to the challenge of providing consistently good sport for our subscribers.” Then there are those two elusive qualities that can either enhance or negate any of the key ingredients – Balance and Luck. In addition to his remarks about succession planning, Rives points out other aspects where balance is key: “sustaining a vibrant membership – neither growing too big nor withering down to too few; it’s wonderful to get [financial help] from angels, but that becomes a problem if the angel suddenly withdraws support; having members contribute money and sweat promotes cohesion; however, a dictatorship is more efficient than a democracy.” How the leadership navigates such challenging and often shifting waters will surely influence the club’s long-term viability. One example of such balance is seen at Maryland’s Potomac Hunt (1910). “We have a very democratic hunt,” says Vicki Crawford, joint-MFH, “in that the ‘hunting’ membership has voting capabilities to elect all the officers.” There are, however, some limitations to this spirit of democracy, perhaps taking a cue from the joint ticket policy in presidential elections. “Our Masters of Fox Hounds are elected as a slate,” explains Crawford, “and no one can break the slate except for the masters themselves…No one can be voted in as MFH unless the current [masters] welcome them to their slate. Since Skip Crawford has been the senior MFH for 27 years, Peter Hitchen has been an MFH for 25 years, and Beverley Bosselmann and I have been MFHs for 14 years, the membership must be happy with our leadership. No one has offered to run against us since Skip started as MFH.” And finally there is that most ethereal element of all – luck. Or, as Radnor’s Michael Tillson prefers, providence. He concedes that “there has also been a great deal of providence in finding the right huntsmen at the right time and developing a pack of hounds that suit the ever-changing country and conditions.” When it all comes together, the end result is captured neatly in Duck Martin’s observation that, “longevity breeds longevity.” He should know; he’s been a master at GSVH since 1977. Putting all this together, the essence of the Longevity Formula comes down

Carol Mansfield, MFH Norfolk Hunt (MA), and Lynn Browne, ex-MFH, follow hounds along the Westport River, leading out to Buzzard’s Bay. Kathie Davenport photo.


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FEBRUARY/MARCH 2013

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FOXHUNTING

Essex Fox Hounds – 100 Years and Counting By Lauren R. Giannini The Essex Fox Hounds’ centennial celcially in Essex’s country where proximebrations were in the works, except for ity to the Big Apple (about 75 minutes a few dates that were not finalized, by train from Gladstone) makes it when In & Around Horse Country went attractive to commuters who want to to press. Immediate plans included a live in less urban circumstances, but special event on February 10 for subwith all the conveniences. scribers to salute the date when the For all that their country has gotten northern New Jersey pack was reborn, smaller over the years, Essex reports because the joint masters at the time that they have plenty of foxes. “We’re persuaded George Brice to bring his lucky,” said Merton. “The coyote popupack of 38 couple into the country in lation up north is putting pressure on 1913.* the foxes and those people like to hunt New excitement for their second with us because of our foxes,” she said. 100 years includes an extravagant “During the centennial we hope to weekend next fall to celebrate the start increase awareness of foxhunting as an of formal season at a special venue in opportunity for people to celebrate and their country. Opening meet at Spook preserve the land. We’re on a mission to Hollow Farm will be capped by a gala keep the land open. We have a friend in hunt ball. During the weekend memthe Tewksbury Foot Bassets, and they bers and guests will enjoy the spectacle Opening Meet: Essex Fox Hounds and huntsman John Gilbert hack to the first covert at Spook Hollow enjoy the same country. We’re hoping Farm. Sarah Gilbert photo. of four-in-hand coaches and a fun fampeople will take a neighborly view about ily day of racing, open to the general public. the land.” “We want to embellish our regular events during the centennial celebration,” John Gilbert is in his 11th season hunting the Essex Fox Hounds. At 21 he said Juliana (Jazz) Merton, joint-master (2010). “We want to try to get some of the took up the horn for Tewksbury and four years later became MH (Master of people who have been important to Essex who moved away to come back and Hounds). He knows the country well: as a child he rode and ran to hounds with visit. It’s also a good opportunity for us to heighten the awareness of the local the Essex and the Tewksbury. He met his wife Jeannie in Pony Club where he community about foxhunting.” earned his A-rating. Hunting is a family affair. Their three daughters grew up helpNext season Essex plans to hold several joint meets to continue their seasoning their father. Libby, the oldest, is huntsman for the Royal Agricultural College’s al tradition of enjoying a day of sport with Elkridge-Harford, Green Spring Valley, beagle pack in the UK; Katie and Sarah are honorary whippers-in when they aren’t Millbrook, and neighboring pack Amwell Valley. The masters and board are eager in school. to card more joint meets so that they can invite hunts from farther afield to bring “I consider myself fortunate and honored to work with Harry Wilmerding and their hounds to hunt in Essex’s country, the area around Bedminster, Peapack, and Jazz Merton, the current stewards to this fine pack of American Fox Hounds,” said Gladstone. Gilbert. “These hounds came to our country in the mid-1930s and have been with “This part of New Jersey is beautiful – it’s an oasis – and we’re fighting to us ever since. They achieved a notable continuity and success with the previous keep it,” stated Harry Wilmerding, joint-master (2010). “One property of 80 acres huntsmen, Buster Chadwell and his son Rod Chadwell. These hounds are a comjust went into permanent preservation: the owner spent her whole life foxhunting munity heirloom and reflect the 100 years of strong local support.” and wanted to make sure her land remained open. States like Virginia have kept The future, of course, depends on young enthusiasts. Essex currently has land in agricultural use longer. The pressures are on here, but we’re still able to do about 14 juniors riding regularly to hounds. Two local trainers who share the thrill it.” of the chase with their students are Clarissa Wilmerding (eventing) and Anne The New Jersey Conservation Foundation (120,000 acres preserved since Scher (hunter/jumper). Merton still enjoys showing amateur owner hunters and, of 1960) works to preserve rural open countryside. More awareness is needed, especourse, encourages her children to hunt and compete in hunter paces and hunter trials.

Joint Meet in Essex’s country with Maryland’s Elkridge-Harford Hunt (front row l-r): Jazz Merton, Jt-MFH EFH; Steve Rickcliffe (EHH, black coat); Bob Smythe (EHH); Liz McKnight, Jt-MFH EHH; behind and at left Frank Durkee (EHH) and Harry Wilmerding, Jt-MFH EFH. Sarah Gilbert photo.

Essex Fox Hounds’ fixture, Cedar Lane Farm, on the occasion of hosting a joint meet with Millbrook Hunt (NY). Sarah Gilbert photo.


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FEBRUARY/MARCH 2013

Hunting foxhounds without horses results in a heady combination of al fresco exercise and exhilaration, six or seven times a season at Essex. Huntsman John Gilbert can count on Tewksbury enthusiasts to help on foot and in 4WD vehicles when snow makes it dangerous to follow the fleet pack on horseback. Sarah Gilbert photo.

Children make great ambassadors for sport. When Essex gets snowed out, the hounds go out and people follow on foot and in 4WD vehicles. The Tewksbury are a foot pack and snow simply adds to the fun. It’s a win-win situation that helps to bring non-riders into the fold. The fact that Essex shares its country with Tewksbury puts out a welcome mat for kids of all ages who, on foot and in vehicles, can enjoy the excitement and that glorious symphony of hounds in full cry. For more information: info@essexfoxhounds.org *Ref: Hunting in the United States and Canada by A. Henry Higginson & Julian Ingersoll Chamberlain, excerpted on the About page: www.essexfoxhounds.org

HORSE COMMUNITY St. Patrick’s Day

16589 Edwards Shop Road, Remington, Virginia 22734 (540) 399-1800 kellysfordequest.@aol.com

Come celebrate the anniversary of the Battle of Kelly’s Ford, of 150 years ago on March 17, 1863! On that date, 2100 horseman under Brig. Gen, William Averell’s Union Cavalry crossed the Rappahannock River to this property to contest Gen. Fitzhugh Lee’s Confederate Brigade of 800 men achieving a localized success! For information about the Brandy Station Foundation Ball at the Inn at Kelly’s Ford Commemorating the anniversary on Saturday night, please call 540-727-7718.

TACK SWAP! Saturday, March 16, 2013

9am - 4pm @ Heated Indoor Arena Find some unique and one-of-a-kind horse treasures! • Bring the whole family and get to know your local horse community. • There will be professional equestrian demonstrations and speakers on equine topics! • Breakfast & Lunch & Refreshments to help keep you warm.

Please RSVP for Tack Swap Space by March 11, 2013 10’x10’ space - $30 3’x3’ Table - $5 10’x20’ space - $50 3’x6’ Table - $10 4’x8’ Table - $15 (outdoor space only) 12’x12’ Space - $15 Outdoor tailgating space available (Reserve ahead) Saturday Saturday Saturday Saturday Jan. 26 March 23 April 24, May 4 May 18 Feb. 23 2013 Educational Seminar June 1, Aug. 24 Kelly’s Ford All Discipline Fun Show Schooling Dressage Show Sept. 14, Oct. 5 Horse Heated Indoor Arena & Combined Test (all in one!) VHSA/BHSA Open Shows Trials 9am/$10 class $50 test/Dressage & Show Jumping 9am/$15 class 8am/$180/ Div. $20 test/Dressage Only Tests $120 Sundays, May 26, June 23 Monday - Friday July 28, Aug. 25, Sept. 29, Oct. 27 June 17-21 $60/person July 15-19 KFEC Canoe/Kayak Aug. 12-16 Wine, Run, Lesson, KFEC Summer Riding Camp Lunch & Tasting 9am-4pm/$450 week Saturday, October 19 The Event at Kelly’s Ford Horse Trials 8am/$180 Div./Tests $120

Saturday July 27 Kelly’s Ford Eventing & Jumper Derby Day 9am-5pm

Friday, December 13 VHSA Banquet and Holiday Party $25/Plate

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IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FEBRUARY/MARCH 2013

8

FOXHUNTING

Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds Diamond Jubilee By Lauren R. Giannini

Cheshire’s Centennial Celebration’s Tuesday (November 13, 2012) joint-meet with Elkridge-Harford at Wilson Flat attracted huge fields. Mr. and Mrs. Michael Matz hosted tea following the day’s sport. Elisabeth Harpham photo.

The Centennial Celebration of Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds is now history: a rousing success by all accounts. Its events and festivities emphasize the intrinsic necessity of working together to preserve open ground in order to perpetuate our sporting heritage and the vital relevance of passing the torch to new generations committed to honoring tradition, rural lifestyles, and ensuring the future of the sport of hunting with hounds. “People come here because it’s so beautiful,” said Bruce Miller, who has served as field master for 27 years and as joint-master since 2003. “We had to be careful during the centennial. We knew it was going to be big – we had fields of 125 and 150, one day we had 200. We had visitors from England and Ireland. We hunted all over our country and it worked out amazingly well. It was great.” Cheshire’s Centennial Celebration took place officially from November 10-17, 2012. The camaraderie and good will of the local community and numerous visitors (at least 12 hunts represented) turned the 100th anniversary into the biggest “block party” with five days of hunting in seven. Cheshire “bookended” the sport on each Saturday and carded three Centennial joint meets during the week. Elkridge Harford (MD), Radnor (PA), and Green Spring Valley (MD) were invited to hunt the storied Cheshire country on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, respectively. “This centennial wasn’t just our own, but a celebration of foxhunting in the region,” stated Russell Jones, Jr., joint-master since 2003. “We had eight consecutive days – we hunted our own hounds on the Saturdays and inbetween we had three visiting packs of hounds along with their members. We designated days for other hunts to join us and invited farm packs. It all ended with a massive hunt ball at Longwood Gardens – more than 400 people.” Cheshire’s celebrations actually occupied the first 17 days in November. Imagine the 12 days of Christmas

spiced with the hallelujah chorus of hounds and rattling good runs over the very country that had provided the impetus to make the dream of Cheshire’s founder W. Plunket Stewart a reality. Hounds met November 3 at the home of joint-master Michael and Catherine Ledyard, who hosted a tea following the day’s sport. On Sunday the 78th running of the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup provided an afternoon of steeplechasing; that evening Cheshire held their Centennial Landowner Party. “We’re the same as every other pack, we’re trying to keep our ground open, and we can’t hunt without the good will of the landowners,” said Michael Ledyard, joint-MFH since 2010, who echoed the other Cheshire masters about the importance of their landowners. “The Brandywine Conservancy has been a huge factor in helping us to preserve our ground. We all – masters and board – focus on landowner relations.” Ledyard’s late parents, Lewis C. and Eve M., moved to Cheshire’s country from Long Island in 1953 in order to hunt full-time. He started hunting when he was 5. In those days, everyone hacked to the meets, often an hour’s ride away. Today horses and hounds travel by trailer and van, but the country is relatively pristine: “If you talk to pilots who fly up and down the eastern seaboard, they call this the ‘black hole’ because at night there are no lights,” said Ledyard. Anticipating huge fields had Cheshire’s masters on tenterhooks about ground conditions. Precipitation throws a monkey wrench into the fixture card: damage caused by parking and many horses galloping crosscountry must be avoided. “The neatest thing was how the ground was absolutely perfect all week long – we were blessed by the weather,” recalled Sanna Hendricks, joint-master as of 2012. “From the masters’ point of view, ground conditions are a huge concern. We had huge fields and it was so great that we could relax and enjoy the hunting and not worry. We’re very sensitive to our landowners. In mid-January we had a wet week and canceled a couple of days.”

Legacies For Hendricks, the entire season was bittersweet: her mother Nina Gill Stewart, who shared the mastership with Miller and Jones since 2003, passed away last June. “It was a bit overwhelming. About five days before I knew my mother was ill, I had a meeting with Russell (who broached the notion of Hendricks stepping up as master) and I told him I would be honored,” recalled Hendricks. “The nice thing is that my mother knew about it before she passed away, but it was sad that she wasn’t around to share it with me. Now I’m really enjoying being master and I follow my mother’s example: she felt it was so important to let landowners know how grateful we are for their permission to hunt across their land.” The importance of stewarding the land to protect rural lifestyles and sporting traditions depends not just on landowners, but also on new blood, especially young enthusiasts. “Our junior program has really grown,” said Hendricks. “We have some really good young riders who show a lot of enthusiasm. We have some young people on the board too – we’re trying to stay with the times. It was all so different during Mrs. Hannum’s day. Back then, probably five families owned all the land. There’s a lot of positive energy in Cheshire and that’s going to carry us a long way.”

Cheshire Foxhounds with Ivan Dowling (Huntsman) and whippers-in Paddy Neilson (right) and Stephanie Boyer at the first centennial meet held at Brooklawn on November 10, 2012. Elisabeth Harpham photo..


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FEBRUARY/MARCH 2013

Cheshire Foxhounds’ Centennial meet at Brooklawn on November 10, 2012, launched the week of red letter days. Hounds with huntsman Ivan Dowling and whippers-in Paddy Neilson (right) and Stephanie Boyer, followed by the first field, hack to the first covert. A pig roast followed the Centennial Celebration’s first hunt. Elisabeth Harpham photo.

Nancy Penn Smith Hannum started hunting in Virginia where her parents served as joint masters of the Orange County Hounds, founded in 1900 in New York by her grandfather, Edward Henry Harriman, who relocated the pack to The Plains, Virginia. The death of her father and subsequent marriage of her mother to W. Plunket Stewart took Hannum to Cheshire where she hunted and learned about hounds from her stepfather. In 1945 Hannum became joint-master with Stewart. She served the Cheshire for 58 years, hunting hounds herself for much of that time. Hannum stepped down from the mastership in 2003. She passed away at the age of 91 in 2010. Passing The Torch Miller and Jones will retire from their masterships at the end of this season. It is an end to an era in many ways, but they intend to stay very involved. “Bruce and I are both 77 – we have been doing it for 10 years and it’s time to hand over the banner to younger generations,” said Jones. “It’s important to keep it from getting stale at the top. We’re bringing young people and infusing vigor into the hunt. We’ve heightened our connection with Pony Club and we’re getting the kids to come out in the company of the masters.” Cheshire holds a hunt camp during the summer (more on that in a bit) so that youngsters can learn what goes on in the hunt kennels and stables. “We really encourage the kids – you’ve got to watch the demographics and beat the drum to bring the kids on,” added Jones. “Twenty years from now it will be these kids who will be running the show.” Miller loves leading the first flight about as much as he loves steeplechasing. The trainer of five-time Eclipse winner Lonesome Glory survived his seventh Eclipse nail-biter in January when he waited to hear the news: Pierrot Lunaire, owned by Mary Anne Houghland, the horse he turned over to his daughter Blythe Davies to train, had won the Steeplechase Horse Award. “They tried to hang me out to dry as field master, and I’m barely hanging on,” quipped Miller. “I always lead first field, whenever I want – usually on Saturdays. I love to be in front, right behind the hounds. It’s a passion.” Cut from the same bolt of cloth as Miller, Jones has a slightly different attitude. He rides with the first field, the self-designated trouble-shooter, and chants “landowners, landowners, landowners” when asked what is the major concern for Cheshire’s next 100 years. “My primary interest has been hound breeding, since I have been a horse breeder all my life,” said Jones. “I retired from hound breeding about four or five years ago. No single person could fill Nancy Hannum’s shoes – it took three of us after we got Michael Ledyard to come on. Then Nina died last year, so we got Nina’s

daughter Sanna. Bruce and I will be a thorn in the side of the people who take over. Neither one of us can resist telling them how to do it. We don’t want to get complacent. We don’t want to lose the vigor. We’re doing our best to infect and bring in other people.” History’s Connections Cheshire boasts incredible family connections, which came in handy when they decided to chronicle their first 100 years. Prue Draper Osborn’s grandfather J. Stanley Reeve wrote about Cheshire in its early days. She is the author of Scarlet On Scarlet – 100 Years of Foxhunting with Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds. What goes round eventually comes round “I grew up hunting in that country, then I didn’t hunt for 38 years,” recalled Osborn. “I was showing and raising three children. I had been writing for some local newspapers for quite some time. I did some pieces for the hunt. When the masters asked me to write the book, I came back here last year and I was hooked. I had no idea they were going to ask me, and I feel like the luckiest person alive. Thank God I had the opportunity to come back.” The masters and board allowed Osborn one year to deliver Scarlet On Scarlet: they wanted it by November 1, in time for the Centennial Celebration. “Prue did a magnificent job – the same outcropping of talent as her grandfather who wrote all kinds of books, but three generations removed,” said Jones. “We put up 500 books and sold them all.” Anecdotal in style, Cheshire’s history rides through the decades with personal recollections, photographs from very old images emptied out of trunks, frames, and attics to modern digitized ephemera, fixture cards, newspaper clippings, and details harvested from hunt diaries. Both Stewart and Hannum kept extensive diaries, although only about 15 remain of the latter’s vast inventory. “It was like giving birth. I interviewed and wrote for nine months, then worked with the graphic designer to put it all together,” recalled Osborn. “It was the best project for a writer and a rider. It was really well received, and the Centennial Celebration was great. I don’t think it could have gone any better. Weather perfect, lots of people, hunting was fabulous. All of the gods were smiling on us.”

9 Hounds, Please! Cheshire’s pack of Crossbreds, English, and PennMarydel hounds are bred and trained to chase fox, their traditional quarry. Huntsman Ivan Dowling has carried the horn for nine seasons. He grew up in Galway (IRE), hunting with the legendary Blazers and eventually whipped-in at County Roscommon Hunt until he came to the USA to work with young horses. The invisible thread, however, tied Dowling to hounds. After two seasons as whipper-in to a New York pack, he moved to Cheshire and whipped-in for one season before being engaged as huntsman. His two whippers-in are Paddy Neilson, leading timber rider of his generation (and father of Sanna Hendricks), and Stephanie Boyer (professional). “I’m privileged to hunt such a nice country as Cheshire – I feel very lucky,” said Dowling. “For the future of hunting, the most important thing is open space and landowners. Without landowners, hunting is going nowhere. We’re fortunate at Cheshire that people put a lot of work and effort into conserving land. During centennial week my biggest concern was that the visiting pack put on a good show and that people were enjoying themselves. Obviously, when I’m hunting my hounds it’s important that we show good sport.” Dowling, who has worked closely with Jones on hound breeding, added: “My hope is that Russell, even though he might not be a master, would continue to be a consultant to the hunt. He would still have his fingers in the fire. Sanna seems to have taken a great interest in the breeding and the hounds. She has done a wonderful job as master and field master. Michael Ledyard is very well-respected and clever – he’s the ultimate diplomat. I’m looking forward to the future with Sanna and Michael. Hunting means so much to the community here.” Dowling, of course, is involved with the summer camp, where the hounds play a vital role. The camp provides a fun environment for Cheshire’s young riders to learn about the different elements of hunting which, after all, is much more than riding. The kids interact with hounds, learning about handling, care and training. They learn about cooperation and teamwork, discover the importance of open ground, courtesy and respect – life skills that wear well from ratcatcher to formal to every day attire. Cheshire’s Centennial Celebration required more than a village – it took the entire foxhunting community, many people unnamed here, whose efforts helped to make such a memorable success of the 100th anniversary of Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds. Everyone pitched in and had a brilliant time. Countless stories will be told and possibly recorded for the next centenary. Cheshire can go on record that its Centennial celebrated a week of “red letter” days. Most people pray that there is a heaven; foxhunters hope for a veritable cloud nine where all departed enthusiasts, hounds, and field hunters gather in early mists, eager to run wily fox across celestial pastures. Action, vision, planning, community cooperation and hard work will help to preserve places like Cheshire’s incredible country – “heaven on earth” – here and now, so that future generations can experience the life-affirming excitement of the chase and the hallelujah chorus of hounds in full cry.

Cheshire Juniors lined up for a photo op at the 2011 Opening Meet. Elisabeth Harpham photo.


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FEBRUARY/MARCH 2013

10

FOXHUNTING

Leading the Charge into the 21st Century Deep Run, Warrenton Hunts Celebrate 125-year Legacies By Betsy Burke Parker

Huntsman Gordon Erricker, Marjorie Perrin and the Deep Run hounds prepare for the hunt from the Fox Head Inn in Manakin-Sabot in 1962. Dementi Studio photo.

Kennon Perrin, MFH, and Huntsman Chris Howells hunt the Deep Run hounds from the clubhouse in Manakin-Sabot in 1968. Dementi Studio photo.

Hunting from the new kennels in Manakin-Sabot in 1950. (l-r) George Cole Scott, Jr., MFH, Huntsman Eddie Hoave, Whippers-in James A. Saunders and Donald Faulkner. Photo courtesy of Deep Run Hunt.

Current and former masters of Deep Run Hunt (and spouses), December 7, 2012. Richmond, Virginia. Seated, l-r, are four former masters followed by the four current masters: Frank McGee, Tom Mackell, Coleman Perrin, Mary Robertson, Ginny Perrin, Polly Bance, Red Dog Covington, Rod Smyth. Spouses, standing l-r: Jan McGee, Margaret Mackell, Whitey Robertson, Ted Bance, Susie Smyth, Jane Covington. Wayne Dementi photo.

Foxhunting spans the breadth of American history with timeless appeal. Beaten less than 100 years by the birth of the nation, Virginia’s Deep Run Hunt Club and Warrenton Hunt celebrate their 125th anniversaries this year, reveling in what’s clearly become a winning combination of membership, territory, strong hound breeding programs and active support from landowners and club boosters to tip the groups well into their second century. The Masters of Foxhounds Association counts 165 active hunt clubs for the 2012-2013 season, yet that seemingly healthy number doesn’t reflect the number of groups that have come, and gone, in recent years. One conservative estimate places failed or folded hunts in the dozens over the past 50 years. Others merge, combine, share territory or otherwise cling to one another in an effort to survive in what has become a strange, new world of outdoor extreme sports. “We’re fighting an uphill battle” in terms of being an ancient pastime in the modern era, said former Deep Run Hunt master Mary Robertson. “Fortunately for us, the hunting community here is so old and so well-established, we have a thriving membership and full fields every week.” Still, she added, “it takes a lot of work to remain relevant.” Over at the Warrenton, members point to another measure of staying power. “One of the most promising markers for Warrenton is the healthy growth in the number of juniors in our field,” stressed Warrenton Hunt joint-master Kim Nash. “We are proud of our upand-comers. We are delighted by the obvious joy that shines when they are in the saddle. This has got to bode well for Warrenton and for foxhunting, in general.” Other than history and an active junior membership, myriad other factors have kept two of the nation’s longest established foxhunts oxygenated and healthy. How do they fuse membership with territory and leadership even into the 21st century where longevity of a club – any type club – is often measured in years not decades, and certainly not centuries? “I asked myself those very questions years ago when I was writing centennial histories, first for the Blue Ridge Hunt in Virginia and then for the Norfolk Hunt in Massachusetts,” said Norman Fine, former editor for Covertside magazine, and founder and editor of sport Web site FoxhuntingLife.com. “I realized that both hunts – the institutions and the people – were integral parts of their communities. In studying their histories, it became clear that both hunts started with a receptive environment into which to sink

their roots. “That came first. Then as they matured, they began to provide real and continuing benefits to their members and their community, all the while adapting to the pressures of progress and social change,” Fine explained. “Finally, by their very longevity, they began to exert their own positive influence upon their environment, their community, their times. Hunts that we’ve seen come and go are generally lacking one or more of these requirements.” Like a Munnings print come to life, hunting today is a living link to the past. “Our hunt has always been a part of the social [fabric] of the area,” said retired Deep Run master Tom Mackell. “Deep Run’s horse show is still one of the biggest in the region. And our clubhouse is sort of the social ‘hub.’ We have a swimming pool and tennis courts. Someone’s always taking a dip after a late summer cubbing meet. Our members are part of a bigger picture than just riding to hounds.” Deep Run Hunt Club The hunt once dubbed by a national sporting magazine as “quietly Virginian” has flourished even in today’s complex social, recreational, and political environment. Strong leadership through trying times in history and a loyal following have been essential, according to former master Mackell. “The masters of Deep Run, past and present, take very seriously the responsibility they have to preserve and protect the traditions of our club and our sport,” Mackell said. “One thing that distinguishes Deep Run is the quality and depth of the professional staff and their spouses. I bet you can count on one hand the top hunting packs and operations in all of North America. Deep Run is in that number.” You’d understand, though, if Deep Run feels a little snakebit: twice the club has been squeezed out of territory into new digs farther, and farther, west from the club’s cradle of Richmond smack in the center of the Commonwealth, barely outpacing development. “Deep Run has moved as Richmond has moved,” explained ex-MFH Mary Robertson. Formed in the farming community that initially ringed the small Virginia town in the 1880s, in 1932 the club purchased land in then-remote Goochland County, where the clubhouse is still located. They call it the “Home Territory,” countryside north of the James River that recently began yielding to increased pressure of city exurbs.


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FEBRUARY/MARCH 2013

The club again looked west as they began to lose open fixtures to encroaching suburbia. Deep Run historian Aynsley Fisher, whose grandfather joined the hunt in the 1960s, said that while hunting continued to thrive in the club’s Goochland territory, it was clear that coverts were shrinking, and game was beginning to be affected. In 1994 the club purchased 46 acres in Cumberland County an hour west of Richmond. “I have the utmost respect for what the leadership had done over the years,” said Fox River Valley huntsman Tony Leahy, who whipped-in to longtime DRHC huntsman Tommy Kneipp (1983-2006). “They made a bold decision to move, which has made the club survive.” Deep Run’s Cumberland country encompasses thousands of contiguous acres mostly owned by a few hunt members, plus national forest. Officers hope it’s their last move. “I love the new kennels and the territory is top rate,” said huntsman Richard Roberts, a native of Shropshire, England, who took the horn this season (after leaving Piedmont in northern Virginia) to handle the primarily Crossbred pack. “You can ride for days and not cross your track.” The new Cumberland country is sparsely populated, with extensive mature woodlands laced with trails and dotted with open meadows. The territory reflects its “working farmer” heritage, Mackell said, and is populated with horse, beef, and dairy farms, along with open rangeland. “Deep Run has been fortunate in many ways,” Coleman Perrin, master from 1990-’99, said in the club’s anniversary book. “Since the 1950s, the club has … owned the land on which our kennels sit. We have a large membership of people with diverse talents and not everyone rides or hunts, so as a result we have an active board with people who bring different experiences and backgrounds to the table. “Perhaps what really sets Deep Run apart is the spirit of volunteerism. It’s hard to explain, but members work long hours with very little thanks other than the knowledge that they’ve contributed.” Former master Robertson said Deep Run has also built quite the reputation – well-deserved by all accounts – world-famous for hospitality. “The club offers so much more in the way of social activities and camaraderie. It’s a wonderful organization to be part of.” Historic Organized in 1887 Deep Run is a US elder, second only to the Piedmont Fox Hounds (tied with the Warrenton) as oldest in Virginia. An Irishman known as Mr. Blacker, his two British relatives, the Handcock brothers and British consul, a Mr. Brine, got things rolling, meeting for sport along central Virginia’s Deep Run, a bold stream coursing through western Henrico County. Hounds were kenneled at Blacker’s Chantilly estate on what is now busy Broad Street in downtown Richmond. “The story of Deep Run has been that they’re always moving to stay ahead of development,” explained club historian Fisher, whose definitive story of the hunt, For The Love of the Sport: The Horses, Hounds, Foxes and Friends of the Deep Run Hunt Club, was recently released in preparation for the 125th anniversary. “While the book traces the club’s history, the intent was to capture its spirit. The heart of the book lies in the stories told by club members.

“It is a big beautiful coffee table book, but it has the feel of being more of a scrapbook of people’s memories.” Archival photos from as early as 1910 (a handsome black-and-white of James W. Graves of Richmond jumping a huge hedge to “win the Cavalry Cup” with a war charger who would win any AA-regular working hunter class of today but for his slightly opened mouth against Graves’ braced, old-fashioned seat) show, as well as tell, the tale of the club. “In 1896, at the invitation of Major Lewis Ginter,” Fisher wrote, “the fledgling hunt club moved to ‘Rosedale Lodge’ near the intersection of Lamburnum Avenue and Hermitage Road (now square downtown) and emerged as a social hub with a clubhouse, stalls for 40 horses, a mile racetrack with biannual race meets, bicycle shed, and a nine-hole golf course, one of the first in Virginia.” Taking full advantage of Deep Run’s famous hospitality, the International Union of Hunting with Hounds and Masters of Foxhounds Association visited the club for a special hunt meet, meetings, social events, and a booksigning to kick-off the anniversary year. “We showed them a good time,” former master Mackell said. “No surprise there.” Warrenton Hunt Although the Warrenton Hunt was formally recognized in 1887, its antecedents reach back another century. In 1790, Col. Winter Payne organized an informal foxhunt club. Like many landowners prior to the Civil War, Payne kept and hunted a pack of hounds. At Payne’s Clifton farm, hounds were from foundation stock of Austin Blackwell’s renowned drag pack that hunted as late as 1889. When it organized officially in 1887, Warrenton joined Deep Run as the first such “subscription” packs in Virginia. The Piedmont Fox Hounds, considered “older” since it formed in 1840, remained private until recognized in 1899. Unique among Virginia clubs, Warrenton for a time had two packs of hounds, foxhounds that hunted twice a week, and a drag pack that hunted once a week. Warrenton embedded in the Fauquier County social and sporting life. Fixtures – some still hunted today – read like a social register: the fabulous Oakwood estate just west of town still hosts the Warrenton on holidays, as does handsome Elway Hall, with many hunt members living on small landholdings in the former Cannonball Gate estate. Airlie, long a game-filled meet, is now an active conference center which hosts the club’s point-topoint each spring. Loretta and Land Ho were popular draws, while Dondoric near present-day Great Meadow, and Wildcat Mountain Farm took hunters over a high ridge into the Carter’s Run valley (filled with present-day fixtures) and into the then still-wild Free State region south of Marshall. Though Warrenton has expanded territory south into Culpeper County, the main territory is still actively hunted and carefully conserved. Master Kim Nash, who grew up riding at Jane Dillon’s renowned Full Cry Farm and hunting with Fairfax at age 6, started hunting with the Warrenton in 1977. She became joint-master in 2012. Continued

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Huntsman Richard Roberts and the Deep Run hounds, 2011, Sabot Hill. Bill Sigafoos photo.

Future masters of the Warrenton Hunt, left to right: Feroline Burrage (now Higginson) and Loki van Roijen. Thanksgiving Day Meet, 1968, Neptune Lodge. Douglas Lees photo.

1973 Joint Meet, Warrenton Hunt and Mr. Hubbard’s Kent County Hounds, on Black Snake Road near Warrenton, Virginia. Left to right: Harcourt Lees, Warrenton MFH; Mrs. J.H. Tyler (“Bambe”) Wilson, Warrenton MFH; Joe Brooks; Wilbur Hubbard, MFH Mr. Hubbard’s Kent County Hounds. Douglas Lees photo.


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IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FEBRUARY/MARCH 2013

Warrenton Hunt current masters, left to right: Kimbrough K. Nash, Richard H. Laimbeer, Celeste B. Vella. December 8, 2012 at Mr. and Mrs. Alan Nash’s Hillsborough Farm, near Warrenton, Virginia. Douglas Lees photo.

Legendary huntsman Dick Bywaters hunting Warrenton hounds in the snow near Hart’s Mill Road (c.1970). Douglas Lees photo.

Matt Vanderwoude, current huntsman, with hounds at George Thompson’s Clover Hill. Douglas Lees photo.

Sally Tufts, ex-MFH, Warrenton Hunt. A Thanksgiving Day meet in the 1990s at Hillsborough Farm, then the home of Mr. and Mrs. Roger Billstone. Douglas Lees photo.

Nash maintains that territory protection and development are vital. “Certainly, we have been able to expand our territory into Culpeper, but we have tried to maintain our grounding in our namesake community over the last 125 years,” she said. “Today, as in the past, our masters are all landowners in our country. My husband (Arthur ‘Bunny’ Nash), and his father before him, farmed at Granville, an old Warrenton fixture, so I am well versed in the interests of those whose livelihood depend on the land. “Since Granville [now] adjoins a major subdivision, I am well aware of the concerns of our neighbors, which may vary from the traditional worries about livestock and crop damage. What is foremost in our minds is that, as in the past, the future of the Warrenton Hunt is dependent upon the kindness and generosity of all our landowners. We treasure each one of them.” Former master Frank Laimbeer attributed Warrenton’s continued preeminence, partially, to that continued strength of leadership. “I think the key issue is attitude, which is primarily influenced by the masters,” he said. “Being master of a hunt does not make you the boss, but rather makes you responsible for setting attitudes and feelings of members and landowners. “It is a big job and is the main reason why most hunts including Warrenton have joint mastership so that each of the joint-masters can focus on a particular aspect of their hunt, such as members, landowners, or perhaps [nurturing the] public perception that it is not a sport just for the rich.” Laimbeer said by maintaining public relations, both within the local community as well as within the greater American foxhunting fraternity, clubs were able to remain stable, if not grow. “We welcome new people by helping in any way we can,” he said. “Especially juniors with activities that help them understand our hounds and how they respond, by keeping dues as low as possible, and by hosting a party free to landowners and friends at least once a year.” Rick Laimbeer followed his father into the Warrenton mastership in 2005. He stresses another factor for the club’s persistence. “I believe that the single most important ingredient attributing to any hunt’s existence is access to open land over which we conduct our sport,” he said. “There is no other element that can substitute for this paramount ingredient. “Warrenton leadership has always stressed to its subscribers that we are guests of the landowners and riding across the land is a privilege and not a right,” the junior Laimbeer added. “I believe that this philosophy of gratitude toward our farmers and landowners is the bedrock of Warrenton’s successful existence, past and future.” Warrenton territory is chiefly owned “by people who are equally passionate about open spaces and a country way of life,” Laimbeer continued. “A great deal of the land over which we hunt has been placed in easement to protect it from development, which gives me hope for the next generation of foxhunters.”

“Warrenton is fortunate to have amazingly capable and dedicated staff,” joint-master Nash added. Huntsman Matt Vanderwoude and professional whipper-in Clydetta Poe Talbot “are a remarkable team. Their commitment to the hounds and the quality of the breeding program has underpinned the increasing excellence of sport offered at Warrenton. Besides, their enthusiastic devotion to foxhunting is mirrored in their willingness to share their knowledge in the most encouraging and positive fashion and thus keeps the field full of avid and happy hunters.” Historic Warrenton hunts three days a week plus holidays September through March. The territory comprises some 35 by 10 miles, pastureland, cropland, open fields and small woodlands laced with well-kept hunt trails and paneled with coops, rails, stone walls and planks. Hounds are primarily Crossbred, though early in Warrenton history masters experimented with importing English hounds. Master Maddux brought a whole English pack over in 1905, as did Billy Wilbur in 1912, but they were unsuccessful hunting in the wooded and sometimes rough country around rural Fauquier County. As with other early Virginia hunts trying English hounds, they soon went back to the lighter, more agile American hounds, finding great merit in crossing the famed Bywaters blood with selected English hounds to produce a level, hardy pack with excellent drive. Former master Frank Laimbeer said that, from the club’s beginning through today, hunt staff holds an important key to retaining members. “A huntsman, for instance, has to be a person with many talents in order to maintain, train and encourage the hounds, at the same time keeping a happy relationship with members of the field even when they make an error such as interfering with a hound while hunting,” he said. Love of Sport Writer Oscar Wilde once cracked wise that foxhunting was “the unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable,” something that still describes former British vermin-control that has evolved into modern sport that persists into a third century. To many, though, it remains archaic. On the other hand, hunting lends depth and richness to the very fabric of the Virginia landscape: From road, farm, and subdivision names – Huntsman’s Lane, Old Kennels Farm, English Chase Condominiums. Too, the sport boosts community spirit, from the Middleburg Hunt famously leading the tiny village’s festive Christmas parade, to the old Deep Run Races (later, Strawberry Hill, and this spring, the Dogwood Classic.) Hundreds of thousands follow foxhunting, though they know it not. For Deep Run’s huntsman, the history of the sport places foxhunting on a level with avocation more than strictly recreation. “Foxhunting takes you back and connects you with nature,” and with each other, Richard Roberts said. “It’s a way of life, not a hobby. It’s a privilege to do something we love.”


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FEBRUARY/MARCH 2013

13

FOXHUNTING

Bull Run Hunt - Gold Star Celebration By Lauren R. Giannini

Bull Run Hunt moves off for a day of sport. Liz Callar photo.

Bull Run Hunt Centennial Opening Meet, October 22, 2011. Photo Courtesy of Bull Run Hunt

Bull Run Hunt Joint-MFH Rosie Campbell awards hunt buttons to junior Claire Stinnet at their Centennial Opening Meet 2011. Photo Courtesy of Bull Run Hunt.

Bull Run Hunt Joint-MFH Mike Long leading first field. Liz Callar photo.

Bull Run Hunt goes the distance in their quest to be “the most fun, the most friendly, and the most hunting hunt in Virginia!” Last season, it was “business as usual” to celebrate the 1911 birth of BRH, which received MFHA recognition in 1954. Masters John Smith, Mike Long, and Rosie Campbell emphasized member participation during their centennial, and they awarded a gold star lapel pin to members each time they brought a guest to hunt after opening meet. “By the end of the season some people had no room on their lapels for any more gold stars,” recalled Long. “We also presented gold pins with the Bull Run Hunt logo and ‘1911-2011’ to everybody who participated in a hunt with us. All of our events were designated Centennial events from opening meet to the end of the season. For March Madness, we hunted every day during the last week of the season. It was a great year. We had lots of guests, lots of participation. Fun is our motto.” BRH enthusiasts take that motto very seriously. At each meet the masters lead a cheer before hounds move off: “What are we going to do today?” Everybody: “Have fun!” “We follow the protocols and traditions,” emphasized Long. “But we do believe that hunting is about having fun, and encouraging our members and guests to keep that in mind is part of our hospitality.” Bull Run ranks high in the MFHA Hunt Roster in terms of how many times hounds go out. For their centennial season, they hunted 101 times (top tally: 122). Of the three masters, Campbell seems to log the most days to hounds. She whips-in to huntsman Greg Schwartz and also hunts often with neighboring packs, because she leases field hunters to visitors to Virginia’s hunt country. “It probably wasn’t fair, but I had 50 stars because I lease out horses – others had 25-30,” admitted Campbell. “I thought our hunt ball was a huge success. It had a gold theme, we held it the last Saturday in our March Madness – March 31 – with a pretty good turnout – about 125 people.” BRH usually sees 60 or more mounted followers in their Saturday fields. The fox population is strong enough to keep Bull Run and their Crossbred pack loyal to chasing traditional quarry as long as they can. Their country has expanded nicely from the edge of Culpeper, down Rt. 15 to Orange, then over to Rapidan: a little of Madison and Orange Counties, and more of Culpeper County. Landowners, of course, are most important to Bull Run. Hunks of their country are still being farmed – a number of farmers hunt – and the local population includes a mix of people from both urban and rural backgrounds. Some are very involved in conservation, but it is considered a personal decision. Most of all, Bull Run wants the community to learn more about hounds and hunting and rural lifestyles. During their centennial season they started holding junior meets. Once a month they get lots of children from Pony Clubs in the outlying areas and from Summerduck Run Farm, a riding and show facility. One of Bull Run’s members has two children: one belongs to Rapidan River Pony Club and loves hunting, the younger one is learning to ride and has been out on lead line in the third field. It’s just a matter of time before those two become ambassadors of the chase. Bull Run’s masters plan junior meets around school schedules, mostly on Saturdays, but also during any holiday from school. “That was one of our Centennial resolutions,” said Campbell. “Our webmaster lady happens to be in touch with most of the Pony Clubs in this area of Virginia and she sends out information about the meets.” You can bet your boot garters on kids of all ages participating in the “have fun!” cheer before hounds move off. Whatever else happens out Bull Run Hunt Field Master Jerrie there with clever Charles James, Bull Run Hunt has figured out that stokWade sports his stars and centennial ing enthusiasm is good strategy for perpetuating sport for another 100 buttons. Photo Courtesy of Bull Run Hunt. years.


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FEBRUARY/MARCH 2013

14

HUNT MEETS

Jeffrey Blue MFH, Jim Nichols, and Bob Mueller move off for Middleburg Hunt’s “Christmas at Utopia” meet, December 8, 2012. Middleburg Photo.

Middleburg Hunt’s Vicki Van Mater takes a coop in fine style on Thanksgiving Day, 2012, at Wind Fields. Middleburg Photo.

Warrenton Hunt joint-MFH Rick Laimbeer demonstrates the classically correct way to signal a view. Oakwood, December 22, 2012. Richard Clay photo.

Foxcroft “Hounds” Huntsman Barry Magner shows his support with the Middleburg Hunt foxhounds at the annual Fox v Hounds Field Hockey Game at Foxcroft School, December 17, 2012. Middleburg photo.

Karen Carlson Russell, whipper-in for Orange County Hounds, takes a stiff stone wall during a hunt from OCH’s Springfield fixture. January 9, 2013.

Casanova Hunt Whippers-in Alice Fendley and Gaylord Hoisington confer on strategy. Owl Run, November 24, 2012. Richard Clay photo.

Casanova Hunt hounds enjoying a day of sport at Weston, January 10, 2013. Richard Clay photo.

Richard Clay photo.

Huntsman Barry Magner leads the Middleburg Hunt’s hounds down Washington Street during the annual Christmas Parade, December 1, 2012. Joint-Masters Jeffrey Blue and Penny Denegre, accompanied by a large turnout of mounted members and guests, follow. Richard Clay photo.

Jocelyn Alexander with young Riley Hogan during Warrenton Hunt’s outing at Alanthus, January 12, 2013. Richard Clay Photo.


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FEBRUARY/MARCH 2013

15

HUNT MEETS

Loki van Roijen hunting with Orange County on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22, 2012 at Patrickswell, near Marshall, Virginia. Douglas Lees photo. (See page 11 for another shot of Loki, taken by the same photographer a few years earlier.)

Ned Halle, ex-MFH Maryland’s Green Spring Valley Hounds, prepares to move off as GSVH hosted Virginia’s Keswick Hunt from MFH Sheila Jackson Brown’s Jackson Hole Farm on January 10, 2013. Liz Callar photo.

Neil Morris on the great Kinross steeplechaser Sur La Tete and Cricket Bedford-Morris. Piedmont Fox Hounds, Salem meet, December 15, 2012. Douglas Lees photo.

Loudoun Hunt West (VA) hosted Potomac Hunt (MD) at Johnson Field near Hamilton, Virginia, on November 20, 2012. (l-r) Dr. Vas Devan (Piedmont Fox Hounds and Fairfax Hunt), Donna Rogers (MFH, Loudoun Hunt West), Paula Michaels (Fairfax), Jack Helmley (Piedmont), Dr. Mary Frances Smoak-Walde (Fairfax), Petra Dollwet (Fairfax), Peter Hitchen (MFH, Potomac). Liz Callar photo

A rare occurrence, father and daughter hunting hounds together at a joint meet. Dr. Todd Addis brought his Penn-Marydel hounds from Pennsylvania down to Middleburg, Virginia, to hunt with Snickersville Hounds where his daughter Beth Opitz serves as Interim Honorary Huntsman. Sunny Bank Farm, November 21, 2012. Liz Callar photo.

A couple of Orange County hounds make one last check for lingering scent while coming in on Thanksgiving Day, November 22, 2012, at Patrickswell near Marshall, Virginia. Douglas Lees photo.

Tyrrell Sharp, of Rolling Rock Hunt (PA) and an out-of-state member of Bull Run Hunt, attends to last minute details before a joint meet with Thornton Hill Fort Valley Hounds (VA) at Larry Levy’s popular fixture “The Hill” near Culpeper, Virginia. December 2, 2012. Liz Callar photo.


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FEBRUARY/MARCH 2013

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FOXHUNTING

Rolling Rock Hounds at “Turkey Hill,” Woodville, VA November 30, 2012

Rolling Rock Huntsman Mark Stickley. Rolling Rock Professional Whipper-in Virginia Stickley.

Karen Kandra Wenzel photo.

Karen Kandra Wenzel photo.

Thornton Hill Fort Valley Hounds Joint Master Jeff LeHew leads the field. Jake Carle photo.

Thornton Hill Fort Valley Hounds Whipper-in Kat Gray, DVM. Jake Carle photo.

Rolling Rock Joint-Master Fritz Teroerde.

THFVH Whipper-in Amy Christopher.

Jake Carle photo.

THFVH Whipper-in Charlie Brown.

Jake Carle photo.

Jake Carle photo.

Tri-Meet: Deep Run, Farmington, and Keswick Hunts Hosted by Keswick Hunt at Edgewood, Orange, Virginia December 1, 2012 • Robert Haschart Photos

Keswick Hunt members (l-r) Tom Estes (also a member of Farmington Hunt), Kate Rose Johnson, Shelley Hoovler Payne, Allyson Louthan (another member of both Keswick and Farmington), and Jerri Pitz.

Georgina Wiley, Keswick Hunt.

Hugh Wiley, Keswick Hunt.

Keswick’s professional whipper-in Thomas Cranfield.


Stirrup and leather stock pin in 14k gold. (HC1A) $425.00

Dramatic Oxblood beads with classic stirrup and loop closure in 18 carat matte gold finish. Necklace (HC1B) $350.00; Earrings (HC1C) $99.00

Beswick grey hunter. 11.5" tall by 14.5" long. (HC1D) $495.00

Vintage delicate carnelian beads with 14k gold fox mask. (HC1E) $450.00

All Hounds On

Mare and foal 14k pendant with substantial vintage. (HC1F) $1100.00

Vintage Gent’s crystal and 14k gold cufflinks. (HC1G) $2400.00

Cocktail Shaker, c. 1900, rare red glass with sterling silver. 14" tall with eight 3.5" tall glasses. Original cork. Excellent condition. Made in Czechoslovakia. (HC1H) Enquire with store.

Hand painted demitasse cups and saucers, fox mask, signed Rinebold. Set of 12. (HC1J) $1200.00

Sconces, pair, 1930s hunting horn design, made in France. (HC1L) $2400.00

We have now added new items to our www.HorseCountryCarrot.com’s estate and jewelry collection.

Impressive fox in sterling silver. Made in England. 20" long by 7" tall. (HC1K) $2495.00

Horse Country® (540) 347-3141 • 800-882-HUNT (4868) 60 Alexandria Pike, Warrenton, Virginia 20186

Store Hours: Monday–Friday 9 AM - 6 PM, Saturday 9 AM - 5 PM (ET)

Visit us online! www.HorseCountryLife.com www.HorseCountryCarrot.com

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When visiting Fauquier County, be sure to visit Horse Country. We specialize in hunting attire for men, women, and children.

Empress Fox Tray and Lovey Rabbit Tray Hand painted and hand formed trays, made in the USA. Other patterns and shapes available.

I hunted in Fauquier County, Virginia The Hunter Tray Small 6" x 9 " (HC2A) $33.00 Large 11" x 16" (HC2B) $84.00 The Fox Tray Small 6" x 9 " (HC2C) $33.00 Large 11" x 16" (HC2D) $84.00 The Rabbit Tray Small 6" x 9 " (HC2E) $33.00 Large 11" x 16" (HC2F) $84.00

HC2 H ORSE C OUNTRY ® 800 882 HUNT Visit us online! www.horsecountrylife.com All prices subject to change without notice. All items subject to availability. IAHC 02-2013 Facebook.com/HorseCountryLife yLife

Bar towels in three old time designs. 100% cotton piqué. A. Champion Hunter (HC2G) $15.95 B. Galloping Great (HC2H) $15.95 C. Running Fox (HC2J) $15.95

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Ice Bucket with pewter horse heads. (HC3B) $325.00

Platter, suitable for engraving. Solid pewter. (HC3A) $675.00

Porcelain and pewter platter (HC3C) $260.00

the belmont collection A flash of silver can elevate any meal into something extraordinary. Whether you serve your roast on the platter, adorn your napkins with ornate bit rings or understated silver stirrups, put your seasonings in our polo boots, or chill your Moët in our champagne bucket, everyone will know they’re in for an excellent meal and memorable occasion. Our Belmont Collection makes the perfect gift for any special occasion. Brides, call us to register your wish list. New items in this collection will arrive in April.

D-Bit napkin rings, set of 4 (HC3D) $110.00

Stirrup napkin rings set/4 (HC3F) $36.00

New. Double Old Fashioned (HC3E) $65.00

New. Carafe (HC3H) $65.00

Fox table bell (HC3G) $36.50

Perth salt and pepper shakers (HC3J) $69.00

H ORSE C OUNTRY ® 800 882 HUNT HC3 www.HorseCountryCarrot.com

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All Weather Rider. Award winning long riding coat, available in all black or brown plaid (shown) Sizes Sm-XL. (HC4A) $320.00

Brown Plaid Vest. Soft shell material matches the All Weather Rider. Lots of features equestrians need. Sizes Sm-XL. (HC4B) $140.00

Maglia Umbrellas. We offer a selection of collapsing umbrellas by the finest umbrella maker in Italy. Interesting sporting patterns. (HC4F) $195.00. We also carry Swaine Adeney Brigg umbrellas (HC4G) $125.00 as well as Barbour (HC4H) $39.00/$59.00.

Ladies' Jameson. Made in France. Le Chameau's handmade waterproof country boot in a beautiful shape with trim ankle and attractive sole. Full length zipper with leather buckle detail. European sizes 38-41. (HC4C) $500.00

ASMAR AT HORSE COUNTRY

Rider’s Vest in Black (HC4D) or Red (HC4E). Soft shell material. Unbelievable stretch and comfort. Sm-XL. $140.00

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HC4 H ORSE C OUNTRY ÂŽ 800 882 HUNT Visit us online! www.horsecountrylife.com All prices subject to change without notice. All items subject to availability. IAHC 02-2013

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Vierzon by Le Chameau. Made in France. Leak tight gusset and a trim ankle give our country life boot tremendous appeal. Natural rubber and cotton jersey lining. Available in Gray and Green. European sizes 37-41. (HC4J) $165.00


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Long Trench. Perfect for standing in the indoor ring for hours or walking the dog in blustery February and March. Chocolate Brown. Sizes Sm-XXL. (HC5A) $130.00

Hampton soft shell jacket. Water resistant and breathable. Great contemporary style. Form fitting comfort with belted waist. Black. Sizes XS-Lg. (HC5B) $98.00

eos outerwear for stable life

Guy Noir is center stage in the Saddlery at Horse Country. Witney fleece sheet. Sizes 72 - 84. (HC5C) $79.95

Wood Stool Small Curled Fox 10" Tall. (HC5F) $49.00 Wood Table Small Curled Fox 18" Tall. (HC5G) $98.00

Adonis Waterproof Jacket. With a concealed hood and drawstring waist, Velcro cuffs, lots of zipper pockets and vents, you’ll enjoy this flattering jacket. Gray. Sizes XS-XXL. (HC5D) $99.00

Enduro-tech jacket. A bright green jacket that is both waterproof and breathable with removable sleeves if weather turns steamy. Reflective tape and other great features. Sizes XS-XXL. (HC5E) $99.00

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H ORSE C OUNTRY ® 800 8 882 82 HU HUNT U NT HC5 Shop online! www.horsecountrycarrot.com Facebook.com/HorseCountryLife

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Barbour Liddesdale. Bright Pink. (HC6A) $169

Barbour Liddesdale Quilt Vest. Purple. (HC6B) $99

Barbour Liddesdale. Turquoise. (HC6C) $169

Barbour jackets are usually available in ladies' sizes US 2-14.

Waxed and tweed hats in Country Clothing at Horse Country. Barbour Shaped Liddesdale. Plum. (HC6D) $149

Barbour lightweight Liddesdale. Turf. (HC6E) $149

Barbour Liddesdale Quilt. Stone. (HC6F) $149.00

HC6 H ORSE C OUNTRY 速 800 882 HUNT Visit us online! www.horsecountrylife.com All prices subject to change without notice. All items subject to availability. IAHC 02-2013

Barbour Cruise Quilt. (HC6G) $299

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Men's Olive Jacket. Men's Barbour Conway. Sm, Md, Lg, XL. (HC7A) $199.00

Byron Vest. Waxed cotton. Sizes Md, Lg. (HC7B) $99.00

Barbour Bedale Our most popular Barbour jacket in waxed cotton. Sizes 34 to 52. (HC7C) $379

Jameson for Men Made in France. As comfortable as they are distinctive. For the finest in looks and field performance, a Wellington men's leather Jameson boot in premium Italian and Nubuck leather combination upper from Le Chameau, the purveyors of the finest estate hunting boots in the world.

WHY WE CARRY LE CHAMEAU: All Le Chameau rubber boots are assembled completely by hand as they have since 1927, with 100% Natural Rubber and the highest quality materials. The Hevea Tree is the source of the natural rubber used by Le Chameau. Natural Rubber provides superior resilience and elasticity compared to synthetic rubber, resulting in a more comfortable fit. Besides forming an excellent barrier to water, natural rubber offers a high resistance to wear, cutting, cracking and tearing. These properties are maintained in extreme or cold, making all Le Chameau boots suitable for all 4 seasons. Le Chameau hand selects their leather at the tannery in Italy. An excellent natural material, leather as an interior lining envelops the leg and foot for exceptional comfort. A leather-lined boot is very easy to put on and take off and keeps its flexibility even in contact with water. The leather selected by Le Chameau is a "full grain" Italian calf skin leather, chosen for its excellent qualities; flexibility, scratch resistance, and ability to control moisture. A leather lining guarantees a fit that is second-to-none. Chasseur by Le Chameau With its special waterproof zip, exclusive to Le Chameau, the Chasseur boot is guaranteed to be completely impermeable and is quick and easy to slip on. Provides superior comfort. This is the rubber boot that all others are compared to. 100% natural rubber, soft leather lining and a full length zip with gusset makes this the boot to have for full day field work. These comfortable waterproof hunting boots will serve you well from the sporting clays course to the field.

Men's Barbour Quilted Liddesdale. (HC7D) $179.00

A luxurious new leather boot from Le Chameau, the Jameson GTX is guaranteed to be 100% waterproof. The outer is constructed from full grain leather and nubuck in two attractively contrasting shades of brown. Lined with a Gore-Tex® membrane, to ensure water does not enter the boot, the Jameson proves that practicality need not be sacrificed for comfort and style. The lightweight but hard-wearing Rasia rubber sole provides firm grip without adding excessive weight to the boot. The boot is attractively finished with stitching details around the top of the sole, a decorative press-stud buckle and bronze Le Chameau badge at the top. Full waterproof zip closure with protective gusset. Rubber midsole with heavy lug rubber outsole. Men's leather Jameson boot in brown. Leather. Imported from France. European sizes (US sizes): 41(8), 42(8½), 43(9½), 44(10), 46(11½), 47(12½), 48(13). The US 10 measures 16-1/2" from the sole to the top of the boot. Le Chameau's Jameson boots for Men. Mid-height (HC7F) or Tall (HC7G). $500.00

Made of natural latex, which is strong, durable, supple, and waterproof. Lined with full-grain leather so they will never leave you clammy. Leg is fulllength zipper gusseted. Soft, aggressive tread grips on most surfaces. In olive. Height approximately 17" in size men's 10. (HC7E) $480.00

H ORSE C OUNTRY ® 800 8 88 882 8 2 HU HUNT NT T HC HC7 Shop online! www.horsecountrycarrot.com Facebook.com/HorseCountryLife

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Dehner Boot

A DASH TO THE FINISH

EXTRAVAGANZA APRIL 22-23, 2013 Make your appointment today! Jeff Ketzler, President of The Dehner Boot Company, will be in the store to measure for boots for two days only, Monday, April 22 and Tuesday, April 23, 2013. You will receive $50 off the price of the custom boots! Plus, as a special incentive, he is giving each person who orders a pair of custom Dehner tall boots a free pair of Dehner paddock shoes, a $230.00 gift. Call 540-347-3141 and ask for Gwen. Bring your own socks and breeches.

Mrs. William F. Woodbury still has her first pair of Dehner boots bought in 1972.

$400 deposit to be paid at time of order. Balance due when boots arrive. Refreshments will be served.

Photo: www.JanetHitchenPhotography.com

Horse Country stocks all the important equipment trainers, jockeys and horses need. Jockey silks • Race dickeys • Fingerless gloves Race pants in regular, rain, in-boot and over-boot styles Jockey Lycra shirts and Lycra rain shirts • Sheepskin toe rubs Approved bats • Goggles in five lens colors and seven combination colors Bridles, Reins, Shadow Rolls, Blinkers, Forks, Yokes, Cavesons, Lead Weight, Figure 8s plain and with sheepskin and Figure 8 corded nosebands Overgirths and Undergirths in regular and extra long lengths, double buckle undergirths in regular and extra long lengths Race leathers in several lengths • Bits and Boots Saddle cloths ready made and in custom colors • Girth channels and timber shins

HORSE COUNTRY OFFERS THE FOLLOWING CUSTOM MAKE AND SERVICES FOR 2013. Monogramming for shirts and chokers Custom horse clothing with embroidery, made in the USA Custom boot bags, saddle bags, hat cases and clothing bags in colors with monogramming or embroidery Hunt buttons and pins • Hunt colors attached Custom boots by Dehner and Vogel • Riding boot repair Custom silver, pewter and porcelain trophies Thermatex blankets in both stock and custom color combinations and embroidery Custom show coolers for trophies Engraving on silver and pewter • Jockey silks Halter and bridle plate engraving

Quilted pads • Rubber pads • Boot-rub pads • Chamois Quarter sheets • Paddock sheets • Custom embroidery • Trophy coolers Racing starts March 3, 2013 at Thornton Hill Fort Valley Hounds Thornton Hill Farm, Sperryville, Virginia

Racing equipment and tack for the 2013 season in the Saddlery at Horse Country

Horse Country® (540) 347-3141 • 800-882-HUNT (4868)

www.HorseCountryCarrot.com ww.HorseCountryCarrot.c w w HorseCountryCarrot c

To WINCHESTER, I-66 & I-81

BROADVIEW Ave.

To SPERRYVILLE & I-81 211

W IN CH ES TE R

MAIN St.

HORSE COUNTRY

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WATERLOO St.

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Store Hours: Monday–Friday 9 AM - 6 PM, Saturday 9 AM - 5 PM (ET)

Visit us online! www.HorseCountryLife.com

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Pk. DRIA ALEXAN

24 HOUR FAX: (540) 347-7141 For Orders Only: 800-882-HUNT(4868)

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17

60 Alexandria Pike • Warrenton, Virginia 20186 CUSTOMER SERVICE AND INQUIRIES: (540) 347-3141

Facebook.com/HorseCountryLife

To WASHINGTON via I-66 Rt. 17 By pass

To CULPEPER & CHARLOTTESVILLE

IAHC 02-2013


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FEBRUARY/MARCH 2013

17

Janet Hitchen Photography

(540) 837-9846 • Email: Janeth@crosslink.net www.janethitchenphotography.com

The Keswick Hounds hunt the Middleburg country from The Goodstone Inn December 13, 2012 • Jake Carle photos

At the earth. Part of the field of 50 riders.

Gone to ground. Middleburg Huntsman Barry Magner. Middleburg Field Master Penny Denegre, MFH.

Keswick’s Larry Levy.

Molly White.

Going Home. Tony Gammell and the Keswick pack.

Hounds casting on the Glenwood Park racecourse.


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IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FEBRUARY/MARCH 2013

PAT CARTER SPORTING ART & COMMISSIONS Pet Portraits (301) 371-9092

“Pierre”

“Tommy”

“Shadow”

“Family Affair”


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FEBRUARY/MARCH 2013

HUNT MEETS

19

Richard Clay Photos

Orange County Hounds arrive at Swedenburg for a day of hunting on January 21, 2013. Although one of them may not be sure where they are.

Melvin Johnson, professional whipper-in to the Casanova Hunt; a man who clearly enjoys what he does. Weston, January 8, 2013.

Orange County Hounds Huntsman Reg Spreadborough hunting from Orion House on New Year’s Day, 2013.

(l-r): Laura Brown and Kolby Noe take a quick break for a photo op during Casanova’s hunting day from Owl Run, November 24, 2012.

It’s said a huntsman has to be part hound. Warrenton Hunt’s Matt Vanderwoude puts that adage to the test. Alanthus, January 12, 2012.

(l-r) Maryalice Larkin Matheson, Geraldine Peace, and Kaylie Wilcher monitor the action during Orange County Hounds’ outing on January 21, 2013 from Swedenburg.


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FEBRUARY/MARCH 2013

20

ACROSS THE POND

Beagles, Foxhounds, Winter Hound Show, and Boxing Day By Jim Meads

Sandhurst and Aldershot Beagles, November 10, 2013 Visitors from other packs: Edward Harris, David Davies; Christina Young, Wick & District; Emyr Lewis, Plas Machynlleth; Mark Jackson, Joint Master and Huntsman; John Hunt, Ilminster; Charles Vivian, Meon Valley.

Sandhurst and Aldershot Beagles, November 10, 2013 On watch in mountainous country is Joint Master Melvyn Pike.

Sandhurst and Aldershot Beagles, November 10, 2013 Joint Master and Huntsman Mark Jackson with his father, Michael, who hunted the Sandhurst Beagles for many years from 1964.

The Sandhurst and Aldershot Beagles were, until 1991, two separate military packs; the Sandhurst, kenneled at the Royal Military Academy (the UK version of West Point), were formed in 1935 and the Aldershot, based in the garrison town of Aldershot, began in 1870. Since amalgamation, hounds have been kenneled with the Vine & Craven Foxhounds, and each year the Beagles are taken on a “holiday tour,” visiting hunt countries that have fewer roads and houses than in their own back yard. One of their favorite areas is Mid-Wales, where they stay with Emyr Lews at his Bacheiddon Farm in the Plas Machynlleth Foxhounds’ wild hill country, parts of which can truly be labeled as being amongst the UK’s last wildernesses. I arrived at Bacheiddon Farm and said my “Good mornings” to the Joint Masters, Mellyn Pike and Mark Jackson, the latter who hunts the hounds as did his father. Then, with Emyr leading the way, a convoy of vehicles, including the hound van, set off on the one-hour drive to the meeting place in the Cader Idris mountain range, which peaks at 2,427 feet. In the middle of nowhere, at 2,000 feet, we stopped amidst spectacular scenery and unboxed the twenty couple of stud book beagles, which posed nicely for a meet picture before moving off up a steep hill to where the trails had been laid. It was cold but dry, with patchy scent, but the splendid hill country and hound music made all our puffing and blowing worthwhile until, after three hours of walking, I navigated my way back to my car for a most welcome cup of hot tea. Another pack, this time Foxhounds, which enjoy an “away day” each season are the Gelligaer Farmers Hunt, based at Treharris in Glamorgan, South Wales. They regularly travel the 90 miles north to Mid-Wales to the David Davies hunt country, with its lovely rideable and open hill country above the Valley of the River Severn. The pack was formed in 1838, being reorganized 60 years later, but have always had Welsh Foxhounds to hunt their country of Moorland, with many blocks of forestry. Since 1992, David Burles has been Master and, unusually, Hunt Chairman, and it was he and his two daughters who led the cavalcade to the David Davies kennels. Then they hacked on to the meet in the hills at the home of Brian and Linda Matthews, who handed out food and drinks to all comers. Huntsman since 1999 Martyn Arnold brought along 17½ couple of Welsh hounds, including several champions, and two whippers-in, Paul Bishop and Jonathon Meyrick, wearing their uniform green coats instead of the more usual scarlet. Although it was cold, it was dry, and an amazing 47 horses and ponies turned up at the meeting, including a welcome group of children from the Plas Machynlleth Pony Club, who had driven 30 miles to attend. Before moving off, a raffle was held and guess who won the first prize – lucky old Jim Meads! Then hounds set out into the hills, which were soon echoing to the voices of Welsh Foxhounds, while horses and riders had a splendid time galloping and jumping against wonderful backgrounds.

Sandhurst and Aldershot Beagles, November 10, 2013 Hounds moving off to draw in spectacular country, some 2,000 feet above sea level.

Gelligaer Farmers Foxhounds, November 17, 2012 Martyn Arnold, who has hunted hounds since 1999, taking them to draw in the hills.

Gelligaer Farmers Foxhounds, November 17, 2012 Rhiannon Lewis over a stone wall.

Gelligaer Farmers Foxhounds, November 17, 2012 Hacking to the meet.


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FEBRUARY/MARCH 2013

Winter Hound Show, November 26, 2012 Supreme Champion Hound Llanwrthwl “Tudor” with Huntsman Mark Jones and judges Brian Hughes and Edward Harris.

Next on my agenda was the unique Winter Hound Show, held indoors at the Royal Welsh Showground on November 26 as an integral part of the two-day Winter Fair, which attracted almost 28,000 people. The hound show has classes for Welsh, English, Hill, & Fell hounds, with the two judges combining for the Grand Championship, which is covered by Welsh TV. It was great to see how strong the entries in the Welsh ring were, with over 20 hounds in most classes. Judge Edward Harris had his work cut out, especially in the two Unentered sections, which were of a very high quality. In the Doghounds, it was Llanwrthwl “Tudor,” shown by Huntsman Mark Jones, that came out on top, while the older dogs were headed by CwrtY-Cadno “Viper,” handled by Clair Yeo. The young bitches saw Plas Machynlleth “Dorcas” win, to the delight of Huntsman Aled Jones, with Cwrt-Y-Cadno “Dimple” and Clair Yeo leading the Entered Bitches. The Llanwrthwl won the Couples and then Winter Hound Show took the Welsh Championship with their Best Unentered Welsh Bitch Plas Macynlleth “Dorcas” with young dog “Tudor.” In the Huntsman Aled Jones. English ring, Brian Hughes officiated and gave both doghound classes to Golden Valley Huntsman Charlie Watts, with “Painter” and “Norwood,” both full of Cattistock breeding. The Llandeilo Farmers took the young bitches with “Greeting,” while the South Pembrokeshire made their long journey worthwhile when Huntsman Simon Jones showed “Harpist” to

Winter Hound Show, November 26, 2012 Champion English Hound South Pembroke “Harpist” with Hugh Harrison-Allen, MFH and Huntsman Simon Jones.

head the senior bitches and take the English Championship. The Hill hounds were dominated by the Brecon & Talybont and Tivyside packs, with both winning two classes. The Brecon & Talybont scored with the Unentered brother and sister “Kickback” and “Kindly,” shown by Huntsman Mark Powell (exToronto & North York) and his whipper-in wife Emma, while the Tivyside Huntsman Huw Green won with “Arfon” and “Abbey,” with the Hill Championship going to “Kickback.” The Fell hounds saw the Teme Valley take three classes – with “Ruler,” “Ruby,” and “Puzzle,” – with the Tivyside winning the older doghounds and Championship with “Archer.” This brought us to the Grand Championship, which, appropriately for the TV cameras, went to Llanwrthwl “Tudor,” the Winter Hound Show, November 26, 2012 Welsh Champion Hound. Entered Fell Bitch Teme Amazingly, Boxing BestValley “Puzzle” with Day dawned dull and Huntsman David Savage. misty, yet dry, after weeks of heavy rain and nationwide floods. Despite the pathetic “ban on hunting with dogs,” national TV told us that some 300 packs of hounds met as usual, with around 250,000 people attending, proving yet again that hunting is as popular as ever, despite the claims by the Antis. So, on December 26, I drove the 40 miles across some fantastic hill country, with its thousands of sheep and herds of wild Welsh ponies, to the tiny market town of Knighton. This is where the Teme Valley Foxhounds have had their kennels since 1892, when the Harrier pack of the same name was disbanded, yet hunting the same country in Radnorshire. By the time young huntsman David Savage, whose father hunted hounds from 1977 to 2011, arrived with 18½ couple of Welsh and Fell hounds, some 200 people had gathered in the open yard at the Knighton Hotel, along with 55 horses and ponies, under the control of Joint Master Tim Gunning. Senior Joint Master Frank Bright was busy on foot; it is interesting to note that as long ago as 1903, a Tom Bright was Whipper-In to the founder Master, Mr. Lote, while members of the Bright family were Masters in the 1950s and 60s. Also out in a scarlet coat was former MFH Paul Segrott, helping with the organizing and handing out stirrup cups of warming liquid. Finally at 11:30 the Huntsman blew his horn and led the way through the archway from the hotel onto the hilly main street, with his good-looking hounds ready for action. The mounted field followed, with the cantering horses’ shoes raising sparks from the road surface as they hastened after the pack for some Boxing Day sport.

Teme Valley Hunt Boxing Day 2012 23-year-old Huntsman David Savage leading hounds along the Main Street in Knighton, after the meet.

21

Winter Hound Show, November 26, 2012 Champion Hill Hound Brecon and Talybont “Kickback” with Whipper-in Emma Powell.

Winter Hound Show, November 26, 2012 Champion Fell Hound Tivyside “Archer” with Huntsman Huw Green.

Winter Hound Show, November 26, 2012 The Llanwrthwl took first and second places in the Welsh Couples, shown by Carys Jones and Amy Evans.

Winter Hound Show, November 26, 2012 Best Entered English Dog Golden Valley “Norweood.”


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FEBRUARY/MARCH 2013

22

New England Hunt Meets

JUNIORS

Horse Safety By Rosemary Groux On November 3rd, 2012, my mother and I attended a horse safety clinic being held at Morningside Training Farm. The clinic was led by three star Parelli professional Kelly Sigler and leaders of the North Carolina SMART team, Justin McLeod and Tori Miller. SMART stands for Specialized Mobile Animal Rescue Team. They specialize in large animal rescues and so are well versed in horse rescue. The clinic started at 9 a.m. but you had to be there by 8:30 or so, which meant getting out of bed earlier than I prefer on a weekend. It was also phenomenally cold that day, one of the first truly Rosemary Groux and her horse Harmony. cold days of autumn. I had on Photo LeighAnn Hazel-Groux. sweat pants, a sweatshirt, and a jacket, but I was still freezing. The first part of the clinic was in lecture format, and we learned things such as the do’s and don’ts of calling 911, the incident command system (the system used in emergency situations), and that no matter how much you love your horse, you should not assist with rescue operations. The emergency responders have enough to deal with and don’t need a hysterical horse owner. I found it also disappointing that your horse does not necessarily think you a calming influence in an emergency situation. Sigh. But that, of course, is what this clinic was for: to educate horse owners in horse rescue safety so that they can go teach it to their equines and increase the chances of you being a calming influence. (But chances are still slim.) I also found the equine survival guide fascinating. It’s quite simple, really. Run if alarmed, fight if can’t run, or submit to experience but keep an open mind about running or fighting. Of course, this can make horses dangerous in emergency situations. It was also said that hay is the best natural sedation available, but really, what horse owner doesn’t know that? After two hours of lecture and a couple of breaks, it was time for the part of the clinic involving horses. I did not bring a horse, but I watched as those who did carefully draped rope about their beasties using a shepherd’s crook or some such thing to manipulate the rope into the various safety pull positions. (Always maintain a safe distance from your horse. The person is always more important than the horse. Or so they said anyway. I don’t know if I agree or not, but it’s all in the interest of safety.) Some horses were better at this than others. One, a lovely gray Quarter Horse, stood there solidly while his owner experimented with the rope. Others required a slower pace and more assurance. I have decided to try these techniques on my own horse. The more preparation you do, the better chance your horse has of surviving situations he might get himself into. Later in the clinic, I had to laugh as they experimented with another piece of the emergency survival kit they kept pulling new toys out of. One of the important things to do in emergency situations is protect the horse’s eyes, since they bulge out of the socket a little. A life jacket works well for this, but what they used was a 36C sized maternity bra. I kid you not. Those horses stood there with bras over their eyes. My mom took pictures. I actually thought they looked a little like sunglasses. The last exercise of the day was to be a mock barn fire, but by that point I was completely chilled through (it was also rather windy) and since the clinic was running late and my mother had a dinner to go to that evening, we left. But I do think it a good idea that we did go, and when I finally get some free time I have every intention of bomb proofing my own mare for emergency situations. [Rosemary Groux, 16, is a member of the Casanova-Warrenton Pony Club with a C1 Flat Certification.]

Ginny Zukatynski, Joint-MFH and Huntsman, Old North Bridge Hounds. Thanksgiving Day 2012 at The Old Manse, Concord, Massachusetts, site of the Old North Bridge where the first battle in the War of Independence was fought. Photo Eric Schneider.

Norfolk Hunt ended their fall season on November 24th with a joint meet at Westport, Massachusetts, with Myopia Hunt. Seen here are Heather Player (leading) followed by Huntsman Mary E. Marks and Steve Brown with the Atlantic Ocean in the background. Photo Eric Schneider.

Linda Saba, Whipper-In to the Wentworth Hunt, during the club’s Die Hard Hunt, the end of their formal season, on November 21st at Garrison House Farm in Durham, New Hampshire. Photo Eric Schneider.


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FEBRUARY/MARCH 2013

AGA’S SAGAS Well, here we are in another chilly New Year, and it’s off to an amazing start. But first let me recap our Howlidays. They were lovely, and we hope yours were the same and you received all that you desired. Our staff was very busy wrapping and packing and shipping, so we’re pretty sure we did our part to make your Christmas morning a raging success. Our Christmas day was delightful – a quiet morning where the only sounds were me ripping open my gifts, sending wrapping paper everywhere. Thank you, Zach, for the garlic biscuits, and Ann for the liver treats which I opened all by myself and finished off in three minutes flat since no one was within hearing distance. Bunsen moaned that Santa Paws had forgotten his steak.

23

Life’s a Circus

Bunsen and Aga.

“I was nae grousing, lassie. I was merely voicing my disappointment that after being such a fine lad all year, I did nae receive my just reward. I ask you, is a thick, juicy steak too much to ask for when you’ve been as good as I’ve been?” “Bunsen, did you really expect Marion to put a piece of raw meat under the tree? Think what it would do to the floor.” “Of course I would nae want Marion to ruin the floor. She could’ve kept it in the refrigerator, and just put a card under the tree for me to open. I tell you, lassie, I’m sorely disappointed.” “Perhaps your behavior after the Employees’ Christmas dinner was to blame. You were acting a bit oddly after that. Did you get into the punch or something?” I should explain that after the wild party, Bunsen was decidedly not himself. He ran around the store and bumped into things left and right. He did the unthinkable! He ate a pair of Horse Country socks! He jumped up on a stool and ate the cheese we’d set out for our guests! Marion was very suspicious that he might have lapped up someone’s Cosmo. So she gave him a Breathalyzer test! “I tell you, I have never been so mortified! As if I’d drink someone’s frou-frou cocktail! I’m a Scotsman, for heaven’s sake! If I were to partake and have a wee nip of something it would be Marion’s Laphroaig single malt whisky.” “Well, did you?” “And, I would never put a morsel of stinkin’ cheese in me mouth. I’m nae saying another word on the subject.” So that was our Christmas. The New Year passed uneventfully as we are all at the age where we’re in bed by 10:00 p.m. and trust the ball will drop without us watching. Since the beginning of 2013, we’ve been living in a three-ring circus with all the activity going on. In Ring One, we have all the spring goodies that have come in including new Barbour jackets, practical and stylish. Everything the ’chasers, trainers, and riders need to compete in the spring season races. Of course we have everything you need for watching and tailgating trackside: themed napkins and plates, barware and serving pieces. Colorful tablecloths and candlesticks so you can create a spread Bunsen himself would love to park at. If you’re not sure you have the right hat to wear to Gold Cup, not only do we have our men’s Panama hats in the store, Marion has ordered another shipment of gorgeous fancy hats from England so you can hold your head up high, knowing you and the English racing owners have a lot in common. If you’ve held off buying a hat because you don’t think you’ll wear it enough, just remember you can don your magnificent millinery to watch Downton Abbey! That’s where you can find Marion every Sunday night. In Ring Two, we have had interesting visitors from all over. A man who blows the horn at the racetracks in the North drove to Horse Country to get a new outfit. He was a delight to chat with and Bunsen and I practically vacuumed him because he had such interesting scents all over him. He had his horn with him, so Marion had him blow his horn and she captured it on her phone! She might put it on Facebook in February (www.facebook.com/horsecountrylife). Then we had

two miniature therapy horses come to visit; Diamond, a beautiful paint, and Spice, an adorable chestnut. They came in and walked around the store, snuffled Bunsen and me, and posed for lots of pictures. They were rescued by Northern Virginia Therapy Minis and will provide lots of quiet strength to children, adults, and seniors who need their special touch. (Their visit is on our Facebook page.) We were lucky to have Santa himself and Mrs. Claus visit in January. We all learned something we never knew about Santa. He’s a foxhunter! Dressed in a set of our fabulous scarlet Montpelier evening tails, he and his missus held court in Horse Country for the afternoon. Santa even played the bagpipes!

“Ach! The pipes! They seemed to be calling me home. I believe it was ‘Scotland the Brave’ Santa was blowin’. Or ‘Alba an Aigh’ to ye folks who don’t know Scottish Gaelic. The tears were streaming down me cheeks when Marion asked if he was playing ‘London Bridge.’ I nearly keeled over from the shock.” Fortunately, Bunsen recovered from this effrontery to his imagined homeland (he’s actually from New Jersey) and Santa and Mrs. Claus spent a lot of time in Reynardo’s Hideaway, our expanded saddlery department. We have tack and supplies that fit minis to mammoth horses. Santa even found a radio holder that would work on reindeer harness. Marion is particularly proud of our new stock of wide padded bridles from England. If you haven’t seen our newly redesigned and decorated store, what are you waiting for? If you’ve been a faithful (or nice, as Santa would ask) Horse Country customer in 2012, be on the lookout for our special coupon card in February. Over the past few years, it has encouraged many of our customers to venture out in the winter wind and cold to get a jumpstart on their needs for the upcoming riding and racing days. Since our life is a circus here in Warrenton, we have had our Horse Country Zebra recast as a circus zebra jumping through a fiery hoop. Look for him on our coupon and upcoming ads. Speaking of the circus, Marion’s out in Ring Three finding all sort of new things for you for the coming season. She travels all over looking for just the right selection for Horse Country 2013. Many are things you won’t find anywhere else. Others are things you’d never expect to find in a saddlery. Some are her own design. One of her recent finds was a copy of Paul Brown’s classic book Three Rings filled with the author’s exquisite drawings. One of the animal characters, Mac, is an adorable Scottie that looks just like me. “Nae, lassie, I think he looks more like me. Such a regal appearance, the true embodiment of our Highland ancestry.” “Don’t be silly, Bunsen. Mac is lithe and agile. Like me.” “Lithe and agile, is it? That’s how ye describe your wee slip of a little self? Mr. Brown’s Mac is a smart fellow with a manly sense of humor. That describes me to a tee.” “Are you saying I’m not smart and funny? Choose your words carefully, Bunsen.” “Ah…well, no, I’m nae saying that, lassie. But you’re not that in a ‘manly’ way now are ye?” “Nice save. Tell you what, Bunsen. Let’s just see who’s more lithe and agile. As it’s almost time for the spring racing season to begin, I’ll race you to your favorite spot…the socks department. I’ll even give you a head start. One, two, three…go!” And he’s away! No need for me to hurry. I can wait until he’s almost there and still beat him. You can catch all the three-ring action here at Horse Circus…er, Horse Country too. Race on in and see us. And…I’m off!


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FEBRUARY/MARCH 2013

24

POINT-TO-POINTS

Spring Racing Preview By Will O’Keefe In the steeplechase sport change is inevitable with many uncontrollable factors playing a part. In recent years the economy and the resulting decline in the horse population have influenced the state of the sport, whether it is racing on the flat or over fences, throughout the country. A year ago when the Thornton Hill Fort Valley Hounds Point-to-Point opened the steeplechase season in Virginia on the first Saturday of March, a troubling trend was momentarily reversed. In recent years first the Rappahannock Hunt and then the Casanova Hunt chose not to continue their point-to-points reducing the number of point-to-points to nine. This year Thornton Hill Fort Valley will get the season under way again on March 2 near Sperryville. The Blue Ridge Hunt, the Warrenton Hunt and the Piedmont Fox Hounds point-to-points follow the next three Saturdays, and then the schedule makes its first change this year. The Bull Run Hunt moved from their traditional first Sunday in May date three years ago to share the weekend with Piedmont when the Farmington Keswick Hunt’s Pointto-Point was abandoned. The March date never caught on with the horsemen, and Bull Run has dropped out of the circuit. They will continue to have a fun day of events tailored for hunt members and friends. The normal schedule resumes the following Sunday, March 31, with the Orange County Hounds Point-to-Point, and then the Virginia schedule gets crowded. The Old Dominion Hounds Point-to-Point will be run on their traditional first Saturday in April date, but they will have to share the date with a new sanctioned meet at Colonial Downs in New Kent County. The Dogwood Classic Race Meet is a rebirth of the Strawberry Hill Races that ran for years the second weekend in April in the Richmond area. Due to other events in Richmond, they chose to go a week earlier unfortunately creating a busy day of racing in the Old Dominion on April 6. Traditionally the Loudoun Hunt Point-to-Point and the Fairfax Hunt Point-toPoint occupied the next two Sundays, but here once again there is change. The Fairfax Hunt Point-to-Point had run at Morven Park since 2006. Last year’s pointto-point was the last race meet to be run at Morven Park, and Fairfax was forced to try to find an alternative site. Success in this endeavor was easier said than done, and they will collaborate with Loudoun Hunt West and Loudoun Hunt at their meet at Oatlands on April 14. The rest of the schedule stays the same. The Middleburg Spring sanctioned races will be run at Glenwood Park near Middleburg on Saturday, April 20, the Foxfield Spring sanctioned races near Charlottesville on Saturday, April 27, to be followed the next day by the Middleburg Hunt Point-to-Point. The grand finale will be on the first Saturday in May at the Virginia Gold Cup sanctioned races at Great Meadow near The Plains.

4 2 N D

R U N N I N G of the

Orange County Hounds Point-to-Point

Pari-Mutuel Wagering at the Virginia Gold Cup and International Gold Cup Races A new chapter in the history of racing in Virginia is about to be written as the Virginia Racing Commission has approved pari-mutuel wagering for the Virginia Gold Cup Races on May 4, 2013, and the International Gold Cup Races on October 19, 2013. In 1991 the first meet having pari-mutuel racing in Virginia was held at Morven Park near Leesburg. Unfortunately that endeavor was given up after three years due to prohibitive costs. Technology in the early ’90s and today are light years apart, and modern methods to wager will reduce expenses. Couple that with the largest attendance at any race meets in Virginia, and the odds for success improve dramatically. The Virginia Gold Cup Association is betting on it. Casanova Hunt Hunter Pace The Casanova Hunt Hunter Pace Events will be run on Sunday, February 24, at a new venue. The new location is at Winfall on Dumfries Road (Rt. 605) near Warrenton. This sight is adjacent to the old Casanova racecourse at Mt. Sterling Farm where the point-to-point and hunter pace were run. The Casanova Hunt, led by joint-master Joyce Fendley, has created a new hunter pace course incorporating part of the old course. Many new fences have been added, and the hunter pace event on the flat will parallel the 3½ mile over fences course. VPA Changes Series Conditions to Promote Participation During the off season the Board of Directors and Rules Committee of the Virginia Point-to-Point Association met to discuss ways to increase participation in the point-to-point races. The following series conditions were changed to help attain that goal: Seven Corners Amateur Highweight Timber Series: For five-year-olds and up ridden by amateur riders who hunt with any recognized or organized foxhunting or beagle packs whose entry is acceptable to the Seven Corners committee. An amateur is defined as a person who has not been licensed and/or paid as a professional since 2008 and whose primary source of income is not derived from training or riding racehorses. Riders and horses must have hunted six or more times and for at least half of the hunting day with any recognized foxhunting pack during the current season. This series had formerly been restricted to owner riders. Pageland Amateur/Novice Rider Hurdle Series: For four-year-olds and up, which have not won under rules since January 1, 2010 other than in maiden, claiming races, or amateur rider only races and that are ridden by an amateur or novice rider. An amateur is defined as a person who has not been licensed and/or paid as a professional since 2008 and whose primary source of income is not derived from training or riding racehorses. A novice is defined as a rider who has not won fifteen races over fences prior to January 1 of the current year. The base weight has been changed to 165 lbs. and the former weight penalty for riders who have won a sanctioned race in the past three years has been eliminated. The Tack Box Lady Rider Series: Points awarded in designated lady rider races over timber. This is a return to the traditional series conditions.

Locust Hill Farm, Middleburg, Virginia

Sunday, March 31, 2013 Post Time 1 p.m.

Hunter Pace Event Saturday, March 30, 2013, 9 a.m. Race Chairman and Pace Entries: Rab Thompson (540) 687-5552 Pair Race Chairman: Leslie Hazel (540) 253-5566

Lady Rider Of The Year: This is a new series for lady riders in races over fences (hurdles and timber). Restricted Young Adult Flat: A new type of race for young riders has been added to the race cards at Old Dominion and Orange County for Five-Year-Olds and Up to be ridden by amateurs, 15 - 18 years old. Catch weights. For complete details for series and race conditions visit centralentryoffice.com.


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FEBRUARY/MARCH 2013

25

Old Dominion Hounds Point-to-Point Saturday, April 6, 2013 Casanova Hunt Hunter Pace Events

12 Noon Ben Venue Farm, Ben Venue, VA 16 miles west of Warrenton on U.S. 211 Seven Races featuring Leeds Don Open Timber Information: 540-364-4573, 540-636-1507

Winfall, Catlett, Virginia Sunday, February 24, 2013 First Event 12:00 Noon

Casanova Hunt is kicking off the Hunt Pair Race season on February 24th at Winfall, near Warrenton, that are open to both Hunt Members and non-Hunt members. The Pair “Races” start at noon and consist of jumping and non-jumping “races.” Jumping pairs of horses and riders follow a mapped course about 3-4 miles long over coops, rail jumps and natural hunting terrain complete with hills, streams, ditches, and woods; non-jumping pairs follow a similar route without the jumps. Entry fees are $50 per pair, and pre-entries for Hunt members can be made to the Central Entry office, phone number (540) 439-3820, before 11:000 a.m. the Wednesday prior to the Races. The course for the Pair Races is located at Winfall, 5031 Dumfries Road, Catlett, VA 20119. From Warrenton: Take Rt. 29 north, turn right onto Rt. 605 (Dumfries Rd.) Go 3.4 miles, entrance is on the right. From Gainesville: Take Rt. 29 south to a left on Rt. 605 (Dumfries Rd.) Go 3.4 miles, entrance is on the right. Jim & Suzy Gehris (540) 270-5381 (Leave message) Email: amtracker74@aol.com

s-IDDLEBURG(UNT#ENTENNIALs

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9,]Ê *"-/Ê/ Ê£\ääÊ*°° The 72nd Running

Warrenton Hunt Point-to-Point Races Saturday, March 16, 2013, 12:30 p.m. Airlie Race Course, Warrenton, Virginia 8 Races: Timber, Hurdle, Flat Patron I (Upper Hill) Patron II (Middle Hill) Subscribers (Non-reserved parking) General Admission (Car & two persons) Each additional person

$150 $120 $ 55 $ 25 $ 10

Warrenton Hunt, P.O. Box 972, Warrenton, VA 20188 • (540) 270-1730

Hunter Pace Event: Sun., March 17, 2013, 1 p.m. (540) 229-6679

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IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FEBRUARY/MARCH 2013

26

BEAGLING

The Jelly Dogs Celebrate at Aldie Fall 2012 Beagle Trials at Institute Farm, Aldie, Virginia By John J. Carle II, ex-MFH

“For the ultimate in fascination of hound work…jelly dogs are hard to beat.” Johnny Scott, MB, quoting his father

Hills Bridge Beagles Miki Crane, MB, Huntsman.

Wolver 3 Couple Susan Stone, MB, Huntsman.

Judge Grosvenor Merle-Smith, MFH, Tennessee Valley Hunt.

Bedlam 3 Couple Mandy Bobbitt, MB

The battered green truck rattled down the rough gravel road, lurching through potholes, vaulting protrusions of granite, and visiting the ditch when other vehicles approached. In the rearview mirror fallen leaves, dancing joyously, seemed to follow the truck like small children in pursuit of the ice cream wagon. Destination: “Institute Farm,” near Aldie, Virginia – to celebrate the National Beagle Club’s 125th Anniversary during the Fall Beagle Trials. And what a gala week unfolded! Every bed was filled (although one couple was rousted by the neighborhood stinkbugs and fled for a motel!); the meals fully subscribed; and everyone had polished their dancin’ shoes. A near-record 18 packs entered (17 competed; one unpleasant incident caused a last-minute cancellation), and kennel space was at a premium. In merry anticipation the jelly dogs sang through the night. The softly beautiful, heart-wrenchingly plaintive cries of a screech owl awakened the predawn solitude, reminiscent of hunting mornings at “Newstead” many moons ago. But Mother Nature, who has been in a foul humor all autumn, scowled at our anticipation and hung a Nor’easter off shore, its effects ringing true the old hunting adage, “When the wind is blowing from the east, ’tis not fit for man or beast.” As one threecouple pack after another went to work in the C. Oliver Iselin enclosure, a pattern, scenting-wise, of quicklyopening and even quicker-slamming windows of opportunity unfolded. A scant few packs were blessed; the rest felt cursed. Among the 13” packs, only Wolver and Hills Bridge were faintly blessed. Susan Stone’s bitches, second pack down, struck within five minutes and had a good little run on a rabbit oft-viewed by judges Grosvenor Merle-Smith, MFH, Tennessee Valley Hunt, and Jeff Eichler, MBH, Foxboro Foot Hounds. A brief sortie heelward (a plague to every pack on Wednesday) didn’t help, but a good ending burst with melodious cry earned a red rosette. Next pack down, Miki Crane’s vibrant Hills Bridge beauties, quickly proved dominant. After a hit and miss start, some shrill encouragement from their huntsman started this attractive pack on a rousing run that looped all ’round the center thickets. Their blistering drive caused some overruns, but these were quickly corrected, and their lovely fanfare was only briefly interrupted. They ran one rabbit into a rock pile and bolted it to finish with a winning flourish. Holly Hill and Waldingfield shared the scraps, earning third and fourth. The 15” packs had equally bad conditions, and most struggled accordingly as their followers shivered in the bone-chillingly damp east wind. During the mid-afternoon time slot, the Orlean Foot Beagles saw the window open a scant crack. Drawing the usuallyignored woods at the north end of the enclosure southward proved a clever move when huntsman Ramsay Barrett, MB, stepped on a rabbit, which bolted westward down the old overgrown stone wall. Responding

to Ramsay’s almost barbaric screams, hounds were away with a crescendo of frantic cry, but were soon brought to their noses as their pilot doubled back upwall in the nearly impenetrable tangle of brush, vines and briars. Slowed by the going and lack of scent, this speedy, ultra-keen pack was reduced to a snail’s pace as they worked every inch of ground, cry – some of it extraneous – ringing hopefully. Their quarry may have gone to ground, but the run ended as the window slammed shut. The yellow ribbon rewarded their try. Jack Kingsley and his Old Chatham Beagles were last pack down at dusk, going to work with a flourish. Drawing blank the length of the kennel woods, they bolted a rabbit from the dense sapling thicket atop Squaw Hill and, after some rather misleading directions, hounds ignored the humans and grabbed the line on their own. Despite a lack of scent, this most determined sextet kept ever-forward, their cacophonous cry ringing in evening air. But they were slowed to a turtle pace until just before time was called, when they bolted a rabbit and went away with a roar. With an acknowledging wave to the judges, Jack, grinning like an elongated leprechaun, let ‘em run! A happy little pack trotted home in the gloaming. Their reserve ribbon seemed faint praise. At 7 a.m. Thursday morning Larry Bright, MB, and his Octorara three-couple, marched into a 34˚ north wind under clearing skies and, defying the odds, emphatically put the sword to the competition. Drawing the kennel woods blank, they rudely awakened a rabbit from some briars and worked it relentlessly for the remainder of their allotment. Although their cry was high-pitched and frantic, their drive was controlled: they never overran, and methodically worked all bothers on foiled ground unaided. At the call of “Thank you, Octorara,” they were still hard at work. Larry had never touched them, and their blue ribbon was never in doubt. Glenbarr, down at 8:30, had what the judges considered second-best. Finding close to one of the small ponds near the western fence, they worked with fierce determination up and down the thickest covert in the enclosure, burrowing like moles and climbing like chipmunks; their continuous cry sounded like that of a pre-pubescent boys’ choir. It was lovely work, and so effectively foiled old Peter’s ploys that he finally sought refuge in so cavernous an earth that at least one hound went in completely out of sight. As Billy Bobbitt’s horn rang, judge Grosvenor Merle-Smith, from atop the hill, viewed away a red fox (the second seen in the enclosure). Hounds ignored it. Though they drew blank thereafter, the Glenbarr had made their mark. Everyone was glad to be leaving the enclosure, where the rabbits, used to heavy hunting pressure, lie tight as bark on a tree; and gutpiles left by bowhunters draw not only foxes but also coyotes, whose scat was alarmingly in evidence. Ravens, too, are attracted by the banquet, and a pair sat high in the trees discussing hounds’ progress in soft, lyrical tones.


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FEBRUARY/MARCH 2013

The Five Couple began immediately under conditions that rapidly deteriorated under bright sun and a buffeting north wind. Old Chatham had a rabbit up along the creek below the old stable where it ran in continuous loops, and hounds had to contend with foiled ground and the close proximity of a less-thansilent field. But Jessica Anderson’s hounds’ middle name is Work, and this they did, although their progress was by fits and starts – lots of silent checks and frantic finds – their energized music rang like the backyard dinner bell. The field did view a rabbit to ground, but unfortunately hounds never marked it. This sterling performance was Thursday’s best, the remaining packs being soundly skunked. Yet it was not to be a ribbon-winner, for next day the window yawned wider for four other packs. Bedlam opened the bidding Friday morning under a high sky over frost and skims of ice. Mandy Bobbitt put hounds into the woods below the holding pen and drew northward. Short of the stone wall, in the shadow of a huge fallen poplar, victim of Superstorm Sandy, they rousted Old Whiskers and sent him careening through tangles of blackberries, past the huge logpile at the bottom of the hill, and righthanded into the long, dense covert that parallels the enclosure fence (“Betsy’s Covert” to many of us, in honor of Sandanona’s thrilling run here several years ago). This rabbit is surely a cum laude graduate of the Uncle Wiggly School, with an advanced degree in Beagle Bedevilment, as his antics in this hellish haven proved. But the little Bedlam Banshees would have none of it and, with a high, even more melodious cry than their Glenbarr kennelmates, kept him hopping until, totally frustrated, he bade the pack adieu. Racing to sanctuary in the wall, he promised another “dance with the devil” in the future. Hounds wasted little time, and soon had another rabbit afoot, after which they were screaming when time was called. Boy, did they hate to quit, and only determined hustle by the staff got their heads up. It was a lovely lot of packwork, mostly unaided, that no one wanted to see end. Hills Bridge came afield at 8:30, and drew the same area (this area had a 45 minute break while Nantucket-Treweryn toiled elsewhere), trying the big logpile, but too briefly to bolt game. In “Betsy’s Covert” hounds began to speak in undergrowth so thick that it muffled hounds’ strident voices. There was a view at the northern end, but Miki Crane, MB, cheered hounds the wrong way! One judge got this corrected, and hounds screamed away toward the wall, then did a big loop back to the logpile. The enthusiasm of the pack, combined with the equally enthusiastic cheering of their huntsman, led to some overruns, but this pack casts itself at speed and, sweeping to recover, kept on a-rockin’. A rabbit from the logpile was pushed to “Betsy’s Covert” and lost, but a fresh one bolted, and was sent high-tailing to the wall, where it probably went to ground. Miki was convinced it had, but time had been called and the pack was lifted. For sure, when Hills Bridge is afield, the excitement meter red-lines! By 11:30 it appeared that scent had died; yet the Orlean five-couple were unconvinced, and put on what the judges considered an unbeatable performance. After presenting his pack, Ramsay Barrett drew the dense, unbothered thickets to the north of the Merry Meadow. Almost immediately they drove a rabbit out with a primal roar, but were quickly brought to their noses, casting themselves diligently until whipper-in Morgan Palacios viewed their quar-

ry back. Responding instantly to Ramsay’s virtuoso performance on the horn, they lit off screaming, running hard through the thicket where they’d originally found. A fresh rabbit briefly split them, but all quickly rallied on their original pilot, fighting through impenetrable hell, their deafening cry sounding like they were flying when they could barely crawl. This rabbit apparently was short of effluvium, but although slowed, hounds were decidedly undiscouraged. But Ramsay was: patience gone, he lifted to another tangle, where his horn and voice so rattled a longeared resident that it fled northward through Cody Anderson’s “bear thicket.” Away with huge cry – and their huntsman’s equally huge harking – hounds gave their quarry no respite, pushing in a circle from one thicket to another, stringing out and catching up, losing and quickly refinding, until, in an especially awful spot, there was sudden silence when Brer Rabbit evidently went to ground. They drew blank for their last four minutes, but were very reluctant to quit, having, as Ramsay proclaimed, “just warmed up.” Once again the excitement meter had red-lined! “This is what we come to Aldie for!” someone in the crowd yelled, voicing the universal opinion. Glenbarr was the last five-couple pack and, as they hiked up the long hill toward the judges, one hound ran off to help the Sandanona, who were ending their run nearby. However, as if by magic, he was back at the presentation ceremony. Billy Bobbitt’s luck held, as hounds had a determined, though difficult, hunt all about the long woods that parallel Oatlands Road. Between bursts, the going was slow but steady, hounds working on their own almost all the time. Their cry sounded agonized, but there was plenty of it. Not wildly exciting, but a purists’ hunt that impressed both judges. The final five-couple tally had Orlean atop the board, followed in order by Bedlam, Hills Bridge, and Glenbarr. The eight-couple took center stage immediately. Conditions had toughened for the last afternoon pack down, but if the purists liked Glenbarr’s work, then Old Chatham’s brought tears to their eyes. Intending to draw the creek below the cabins, Jessica Anderson and her pack left Merry Meadow striding purposefully; but hounds unkenneled two rabbits that ran under the judges’ horses and were immediately away on one.

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Octorara’s Larry Bright, MB.

Ramsay Barrett, MB and Huntsman, Orlean Beagles, 5 Couple winners, with Whipper-in Bennett Barlcay.

8 Couple winners and highest scored run of the trials Old Chatham Beagles with Jessica Anderson, MB and Huntsman; and Cody Anderson, Whipper-In.

Orlean Beagles hard at work as they win the 5 Couple competition.


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FEBRUARY/MARCH 2013

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Hidden Meadow Master and Huntsman Diane Dougherty.

Farmington 3 Couple Dr. Dick Crampton, MB, Whipper-in; Forbes Reback, MB, Whipper-in; Sherry Buttrick, MB, Huntsman.

Billy Bobbitt, MB, presents the Glenbarr 3 Couple pack with Whipper-in Jeff Walker.

Holly Hill Joint Master and Huntsman Kelly Sanders Karpulk.

Racing to David Vore’s paulownia tree and back through the switchgrass plot, they continued into the woods to the north, where cry dropped in volume and pace slowed to a walk. Easing downhill, picking at the line, they suddenly got on terms and launched uphill like rockets, the famed Old Chatham chorus at its exhilarating best. Ringing righthanded through the cover where the Orlean five couples had ended, they completed the circle, hunting the center of this long hollow around the Ripshin “Rattler” stumppile. Although desperation rang in all 16 voices, never did they falter, even at checks where, for the most part, Jessica just let them do what they were bred for. She deftly eased them along in a couple of places when scent died and, as shadows lengthened and time expired, they had a final, ecstatic burst from the “bear covert” down to the woods. It was a virtuoso performance, but sadly, one that the field could enjoy only by ear from a great distance. As dictatorial as drill sergeants, assigned field masters Betsy Park and Jack Kingsley were resolute in their refusal to move closer lest the coffee-housing field disturb the pack. Friday was Gala Night, and all the festively attired gathered ‘round two bars, thirsty from a hard day’s hunting, to partake of what the late Peter Capstick called “…the gut-glow of Highland anti-corrosive.” Some of us should never again be afeared of rusting out! And, under Ringling Bros. canvas, Michael Robertson, always the epicurean magician, outdid himself with what George Garrett might have been describing as “…a dinner that rivaled with any feast ever given by Lucullus.” Sated with fine food, made giddy by good wine, we all trooped into the dining room-cum-ballroom to frolic to the classic country sounds of Billy Clements and the Pickups. With chalked soles and feet set a-dancin’ by vintage champagne, how we rocked! And, although some of us polished the dance floor with our bottoms upon occasion, we all agreed that this was the most festive, and by far the most fun, evening ever seen on these hallowed grounds. Sunrise Saturday was another story! The eight-couple continued on Saturday with fluctuating temperatures that dictated goosedown in the morning and shirtsleeves by noon. Of the six packs down during the morning, only Octorara enjoyed more than average success, in the judges’ opinion. Bedlam and Wolver were very close. Larry Bright couldn’t hear the mournful moan of the field marshall’s cowhorn and did the scenic tour of the grounds before arriving at his appointed spot high on the far western hilltop. Faced with less than ideal conditions, his hard-fit pack merely shrugged their collective shoulders and dove into dense covert, from which they soon bolted Wily Whiskers. They drove him hard, their cry a chorus which Cormac McCarthy once described as “…tortured wails and yelps nigh unto agony coming up….the valley…a pandemonium of soprano howls and crashing brush.” Downhill and up, working out sundry bothers alone and causing their pilot to delve deeply into his bag of tricks, so tightly packed were they, it seemed you could hold their cry in cupped palms. They continued a patchwork pattern of short, hard runs and brief checks throughout their allotments; and, just maybe, they put one to ground – their demeanor said as much. At noon, the eight couple competition took a sabbatical in deference to the Three Hour Stake. The Three Hour Stake began at 1:00 p.m., with judge Jeff Eichler, MBH carrying the horn, and doing a most excellent job. Melding 13½ couple of total strangers into a cohesive pack is no easy task, and the

best start is an immediate find, which hopefully will pull hounds together. To this end, their huntsman’s foot dislodged a speedy fellow from a brush pile almost immediately, and the first hounds on its line rent the air with an insane screech that galvanized the mob into an instant pack as they flew to Squaw Hill. Circling through the kennel woods and into the open around the breeding pens, they threw ahead a tidal wave of cry. “The voices sounded hysterical – screaming that if they didn’t catch what was in front of them they would go crazy…” Robert L. Ashcom

Old Chatham 3 Couple Peter Kelly, Whipper-in; Jack Kingsley, MB, Huntsman.

Winner of Best Whipper-in Award Katie Gilbert with fly fishing guru Rhea Topping.


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FEBRUARY/MARCH 2013

Luckily, they kept their sanity. Furthermore, there were almost no scratches, as hounds settled to hunt beautifully together. The entire afternoon was filled with good runs that defied the heat. The chases were usually short, hard bursts, but several covered a good bit of ground as the entire enclosure was carefully gleaned. At checks hounds scattered, but were quick to respond to the clarion calls of Jeff’s horn and the encouragement that rang in his voice; and quicker yet they were to honor a new packmate. The judges allotted the entire three hours, and tired hounds eagerly answered “Going Home.” As they gathered ’round their huntsman, they were applauded from the little pond below by the baritone notes of a lone bullfrog ringing across the dusk. Farmington kicked off Sunday morning under clear skies and a frosted landscape, with a rousing roar on the brush of a red fox! Stopped quickly, they settled to work, but seemed rattled, and their performance lacked their usual unity. Then Miki Crane and her Hills Bridge pack came smiling and waltzing onto center stage – a diva and her entourage. Drawing “Betsy’s Covert,” hounds soon had a good rabbit afoot, and after an initial, maniacal burst, they settled to work with irresistible resolve that eventually pushed their pilot out into the adjoining foxtail tangle and, post-haste, back again. But they’d closed the gap now, and hard on her cottony scut, forced this pretty miss to flee uphill. What cry! The best of the entire week! “The coursing cry…more nearly a yodel…clear and sweet and rife with the excitement of the chase…” Michael McIntosh Racing through the boundary-line fence and pushing hard for several large loops, they came suddenly to a loss in a fortress of vines and briars, under a colorful mantle of beaded bittersweet berries. Whether this rabbit went to ground and a fresh one was started was debatable; but it seemed the original was fresh-jumped, for it ran ever-tightening circles to another loss. Taken to whipper-in Liz Reeser’s view, hounds muddled a bit, then opened with a primal roar. Maybe she is a fan of the Zac Brown Band, but this time Molly Cottontail definitely had “Goodbye in Her Eyes” as she rocketed away in a huge, righthanded loop, the Divil’s own music riding her wake till time was called. Waldingfield, Arie Rijke, MB, carrying the horn, followed with a strong performance under deteriorating conditions. Finding within 20 minutes in the dense, midfield tangles below Hills Bridge’s ground, hounds had to work hard, and in the process got somewhat strung out, with diligence by some and mere “cheerleading” by others. But they kept busy, fresh rabbits seeming to pop up to end any loss, and one mad race down “Betsy’s Covert” was accompanied by a leaf-loosening crescendo. Eventually they began to string out more and, although the bulk of the pack kept honest, a few occasionally “did their own thing” along the periphery briefly, and a couple simply sang an accompanying chorus. Toward the end they suffered a brief split. The judges had to factor in the negatives, and despite an overall good performance, the Waldingfield were marked down. Bathed in the warmth of Sunday’s noontime sun, the remaining beaglers searched their coolers for a last beverage with which to toast the winners

at the awards ceremony. For her pulpit atop the back porch, our new president, the lovely Jessica Anderson, MB, announced the results of the Eight Couple donnybrook. In the final tally, Old Chatham’s exquisitely distilled blend of relentless perseverance and unstoppable drive, all serenaded by sweet music, topped the honors list. In order, Hills Bridge, Octorara, and Waldingfield paraded behind. Then followed the overall standings. The 50-50, for field and conformation, saw Old Chatham pinned Champion and Hills Bridge Reserve. The Old Chatham Eight Couple also snagged the Sir Sister Cup for Highest Scored Run of the trials; but Hills Bridge grabbed the Harrison trophy for the Highest Total in Pack Classes. Fleet of foot and sharp of eye, Katie Gilbert puts her innate grasp of venery to use as she seems always to be in the right spot no matter to which huntsman she’s turning hounds. The judges acknowledged her awesome talents with the C. G. Rice award – and a Bernadette Downey-carved whip – for Best Whipper-In. These had been trials decided largely by luck: the best packs made their own, the rest snatched tidbits from The Lady. However, because of all the difficulties every pack encountered, watching their work was a fascinating study. And, as for the Gala Ceremony…well, the optimists among us can’t wait for the 150th! Three-Hour Stake Results

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Old Chatham Beagles in full cry.

13-Inch Hills Bridge “Darling” Glenbarr “Hocus Pocus” Hills Bridge “Chuck” Old Chatham “Velvet” Judge Jeff Eichler, MBH, marking his card.

15-Inch Octorara “Quaker” Old Chatham “Oreo” Sandanona “Vireo” Glenbarr “Hacksaw”

Glenbarr “Hocus Pocus.”

Epilogue: “Their sobriquet is not a corruption of jolly…,” says Johnny Scott, MB, writing in the September 2012 issue of The Field. He continues, “…North Pennine Joint Master, Charles Stirling, Master of the Eaton Beagles in the ’60s, believes beagles are known as jelly dogs because, traditionally, redcurrant jelly is eaten with hare.” Indeed, what a sweet flavor the jelly dogs spread upon Aldie! Stake Class 15” winner Octorara “Quaker.”

Stake Class.


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FEBRUARY/MARCH 2013

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JENNY’S PICKS

HORSE COUNTRY BOOKSELLERS

With several U.S. hunts celebrating significant anniversaries, it seems a good time to include Specialists in New, Old & Rare Books on Horses, Foxhunting, some volumes about specific Eventing, Polo, Racing, Steeplechasing & Sporting Art hunts in this column. First, a 60 Alexandria Pike, Warrenton, VA 20186 • 800-882-HUNT • 540-347-3141 new book: Osborn, Prue Draper. Scarlet on Scarlet. This lovely volume celebrates 100 years of foxhunting with Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds, from 1912 to 2012. Memories and photographs combine to paint the history of this notable hunt club and its colorful members. Limited availability. Hardcover, 228pp. $135.00 [See page 8 for Lauren Giannini’s coverage of this hunt’s 100th anniversary.]

Now for the used ones:

Mahony, Edmund. The Galway Blazers. Kenny’s Bookshops and Art Galleries, Ltd., Galway, Ireland, 1979. With a name like “Blazers,” what else can one expect but a wild ride? And one Master, Ikey Bell, will long be fondly remembered; his writings are still sought after today. Mahony’s book is entertaining, with a great number of hunting experiences recounted. Very good condition, with dj in protective plastic, 125pp. (#5514) $125.00 Ribblesdale, Lord. The Queen’s Hounds and Stag-Hunting Recollections. Longmans, Green & Co., London, 1897. This is the story of Her Majesty’s Buckhounds, nicely illustrated in b&w and full of exciting hunting experiences from a time long before there were “Antis” to break up the sport. Hardcover, no dj, 302pp, with map in rear depicting meeting-places of the Royal Hunt. Note: index pages have been cut out of this volume. (#1276) $135.00. Another copy available with intact index: (#2304) $150.00

Fergusson, Gordon. Hounds Are Home/The History of the Royal Calpe Hunt. Springwood Books, London & New York, 1979. Gibraltar doesn’t sound like the sort of place one would expect a hunt, but the Royal Calpe, with the kings of both England and Spain as patrons, was based there from around 1812 to 1939. Amusingly, each chapter is titled with the names of several hounds. Illustrations by Lionel Edwards, Gerald Hare, and Madeline Selfe as well as many other photos and artwork illustrating the history of the Smith, A. Gerry, ed. Radnor pack. Hardcover, very good cond., Hunt/History, Charter, By-Laws, Officer and Members. The Radnor is 364pp. (#2918) $69.00 another well-known and one of the oldBathurst, Earl. The Charlton and Raby est American hunts, being incorporated Hunts. Constable & Co. Ltd., London, in 1886. Smith has brought together 1938. This is not so much a history of a this brief but unillustrated history of the hunt as it is of the hounds from these club. You will not find exciting hunts, because this is actually the sec- accounts of those special hunts which ond supplement to the Foxhound appear in other histories, but it is a Kennel Stud Book of England. bare-bones document that may be of Hardcover, 194pp. We have several interest, particularly to newer Radnor copies of this, ranging in price from Hunt members. Hardcover, no dj, good cond., 92pp. (#5787) $100.00 $125.00 to $175.00. Davison, Lt. Col. Paul, The Fort Leavenworth Hunt. Fort Leavenworth, 1939. Crossing the Atlantic to the middle of the United States, we have a copy of this privately published history/manual for foxhunters of the Fort Leavenworth Hunt. It includes maps of the various drags that were placed, a discussion of hunt etiquette and attire, some poetry/songs about foxhunting, and finishes about half the book in hunt journal format. In this volume the owner was evidently not a faithful journalist, as only a few pages of hunt journal have actually been written upon. Hardcover, no dj, 256pp. (#5910) $150.00

Simpson, Charles. Leicestershire & Its Hunts: The Quorn, the Cottesmore, & the Belvoir. John Lane the Bodley Head, Ltd., London, 1926. Like the previous volume, this is well illustrated by the author; and it possesses a great number of accounts of exciting hunts throughout the countryside. Hardcover, 256pp. (#5383) $165.00 Simpson, Charles. Trencher & Kennel/Some Famous Yorkshire Packs. John Lane the Bodley Head, Ltd., London, 1927. Here Simpson addresses some Yorkshire packs, whose names may not be as familiar to most Americans as in the previous volume: the Bramham Moor, York and Ainsty, Lord Middleton’s Hunt, The Sinnington, The Bilsdale, and the Farndale Hunts. Pen and ink sketches and color plates enhance the histories of these hunts; as with the above two volumes, it is almost worth having just for the artwork. Hardcover, 312pp. (#4663) $125.00

Van Urk, J. Blan. The Horse, The Valley and the Chagrin Valley Hunt. Richard Ellis, New York, 1947. The Chagrin Valley Hunt of Gates Mills, Ohio, dates from 1908 and could be said to trace its roots back to a defunct Cleveland Hunt Club that disintegrated before the turn of the century. Among other resources, Van Urk uses newspaper accounts and old photos in his pursuit of the development of the club, which initiated as a drag hunt in the absence of a wealth of live foxes but eventually found enough live ones to chase with its English pack. Hardcover in slipcase, 266pp. Limited edition. Simpson, Charles. The Harboro’ (#5849) $245.00 Country. John Lane the Bodley Head, Ltd., London, 1927. Simpson is also the Watson, J.N.P. British & Irish Hunts & illustrator of this large volume dealing Huntsmen, Vol. I & II. B. T. Batsford with the Harborough country, formerly Ltd., London, 1982. If a “nutshell” the domain of the Quorn and at the time account of hunts is all you need, try this of the writing of the book the Fernie’s compilation of accounts from Country territory. He quotes heavily from the Life magazine from 1969 to 1976. hunting journal of Squire W. W. Tailby, Heavily illustrated with b&w photos. which produces the most interesting Hardcover w/dj in plastic wrap, very reading in the book. Hardcover, very good condition, Vol I, 264pp., Vol II, good cond., no dj, lavishly illustrated in 240pp. (#5182) 2 Vol. set $125.00 both b&w and color plates. 240pp. Three copies available from $125.00 to We also have more new books to $325.00 help you while away the winter

Brown, Dawn Harris; and Rachel Chotin Lincoln. Parties & Ponies/ Children’s Menu Cookbook. Of course you don’t have to have a pony in order to enjoy this cookbook! But you’ll get a kick out of the photos of children’s parties with the ponies in attendance. The idea is that the kids themselves can help make some of the items, and they’re all pretty easy. Party themes include Beach Ponies and Seahorses, Circus Pony, Cowpokes and Cowponies, Fiesta Burros, Magical Pony, Read to my Pony, Sleep Out with my Pony, and Tea Time with my Pony. No doubt you’ll find inspiration for your own party themes once you’ve sampled a few of these. Hardcover, 88 pp. $24.00 Hughes, Andy. I, Jack Russell/A Photographer and a Dog’s Eye View. While the JRT may be losing popularity ground to the Labrador Retriever, the feisty little terrier still has plenty of admirers, with a competition all its own. A great many of the photos in the book were taken at terrier trials, but there are also shots of the rascals at home and at play. We expected this before Christmas but – alas! – the publishers did not get it out in time. All color, mostly photos with a little text. Soft-cover, 208pp. $35.00 Myers, Karen. The Ways of Winter. The second volume in The Hounds of Annwn series has just come in. If you haven’t read the first, which sets the scene for you in this land of makebelieve-come-true, we have that as well. (See the review on p. 2 of the December-January issue.) I can’t wait to get home and read it; I loved the first volume. The description on the back reads, “It’s the dead of winter and George Talbot Traherne, the new human huntsman for the Wild Hunt, is in trouble. A dangerous foe has mastered an unstoppable weapon and threatens the fae dominions in both the new and the old worlds. Only George has a chance [to] reach him in time to prevent the loss of thousands of lives, even if it costs him everything.” Sounds like an all-nighter to me! Softcover, 348pp. $17.99

Horse Classics Address Book is now back in stock! Color photos introduce each letter of the alphabet, and the publishers cleverly include maps of area codes and time zones – although there’s a good possibility some of the area codes have multiplied since its original publication date. Following the regular address entries are sections for emergency numbers, equine services, other services, dates to remember, and notes. hours when you aren’t out hunt- Hardcover, spiral-bound. $24.9

ing.


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FEBRUARY/MARCH 2013

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Charlotte Mautner lizcallar@aol.com COME HUNT BELLE MEADE! Historic Miss Pauline’s store just renovated into a mini-huntbox, next door to hunt barn, kennels and clubhouse, 2 twins, 1 bath, kitchen, sitting area, 650 sq.’, plus 2.5 ac board fence turn-out. $100 night, plus 1x $25 cleaning fee. Call Jean Derrick to reserve (o) (803) 359-6189; (c) (803) 238-6210; jderrick@windstream.net. 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.

FOXHUNTING MARCH 24-30: MARCH MADNESS with BULL RUN HUNT - Six foxhunts, our Point-toPoint Races and Hunt Ball. Go to www.bullrunhunt.com for details.

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

Charlotte Mautner, 74, who ran the Horse Country book department for many years, died December 12, 2012, from complications after two surgeries. Charlotte was a bookkeeper at Smith-Midland in Calverton, Virginia, for 24 years before her first retirement. She then fulfilled her lifelong ambition of operating a book store. Her New Leaf Book Store was an asset to cultural life in Warrenton. Charlotte hosted popular authors and promoted an interesting mix of books and topics. Her special order service served the community for many years. Her second retirement came 14 years later, after a hard decision to close New Leaf. We asked her to come help us at Horse Country. At Horse Country, she handled book purchases, database control and catalog production, as well as fulfilling special orders for the public library, local book clubs, numerous fiction readers and history buffs. After five years with us, she retired again and filled her days with painting, continuing art classes and volunteer work. She enjoyed entering her landscape and portrait paintings in the area art shows, Scrabble and crossword puzzles. Charlotte will be sadly missed.

Janet Hitchen Photography (540) 837-9846

www.janethitchenphotography.com


32

HORSE RACING

IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FEBRUARY/MARCH 2013

Horses and People to Watch Virginia Thoroughbred Association

Virginia-Bred Private Tale Wins Laurel Stakes Virginia-bred Private Tale rallied from a last place break to win the $75,000 Native Dancer Stakes January 21st, at Laurel Park. Ridden by Sheldon Russell, the Tale of the Cat gelding broke in the air and had to settle in last in the early going. Private Tale started his rally at the three-eighths pole and finally forged ahead in the final 50 yards. The Michael Trombetta trained charge won by ¾ length over Javerre who finished ½ length ahead of Adirondack King. Private Tale is out of Taint by Private Account and was foaled in Virginia by Mr. and Mrs. Frank Zureick, Mr. and Mrs. George Rayborn, and William M. Russell. He was sold as a yearling for $50,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2009 Eastern Fall Yearling Sales after winning the colt class at the 2009 Virginia Breeders Fund Yearling Futurity. Private Tale broke his maiden at 2 at Parx and then missed the entire 2011 season. He returned to racing in 2012 and ended up the sixth Private Tale. leading Virginia-bred with earnings of $177,820 Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club photo. at year’s end. He won five races last year at Parx, Belmont Park, and Laurel. In October of last year, Private Tale finished fourth in the Bold Ruler Handicap Gr. 3 at Belmont before closing out his year with another fourth place finish in the CC Jewel Stakes at Gulfstream. The Virginia-bred then started off this year’s campaign with a third in an allowance race at Aqueduct prior to capturing the Native Dancer at Laurel on MLK Day. Private Tale now posts 6 wins from 14 starts and career earnings of $232,200. He is a half-brother to Private Tale with co-breeder Frank Zureick at VBF Taint So, a stakes-placed winner of Yearling Futurity. VTA photo. $237,580, and multiple winner of $81,397 Taint That A Cat. •••• Virginia HBPA Elects Board Members of the Virginia HBPA recently elected a new Board of Directors to serve for the next three years. The Board has 14 seats, seven for owners and seven for trainers. Six of the seven owner members elected were incumbents Susie Chatfield-Taylor, Nellie Cox, Jill Gordon-Moore, Susie Hart, Robin Richards, and David Ross. The seventh owner member newly elected is Emily Day. She and her husband, trainer Jimmy Day, own and operate Daybreak Stables in White Post, Virginia. Six of the seven trainers elected also were incumbents including Susan Cooney, Donna Dennehy, Carlos Garcia, Diana McClure, Stephanie Nixon, and Ernie Oare. The new trainer member is Daniel M. (Speedy) Smithwick. He and his wife Eva own and operate Sunny Bank Farm in Middleburg, Virginia. Before returning to his native Virginia Speedy Smithwick was based for 17 years in Louisville, Kentucky, where he trained and raced principally in the mid-west. At its inaugural meeting in January the new Board elected officers for the upcoming year. They are: President David Ross, Vice President Stephanie Nixon, Treasurer Jill Gordon-Moore, and Secretary Diana McClure. For the past seven years President David Ross has been the leading owner at Colonial Downs. His current stable of 35 horses also competes in four other states. When not busy racing Ross heads Atlantic Realty, a company that develops and manages commercial real estate in Northern Virginia. Vice President Stephanie Nixon runs Horseshoe Hill Stables in Ashland, Virginia. She has bred and trained Thoroughbred horses for all her adult life. Nixon regularly trains on the grounds at Colonial Downs. Treasurer Jill Gordon-Moore and her husband Ned Moore own Corner Farm in Berryville, Virginia, where they breed and race Thoroughbreds. She formerly served for seven years as General Manager of Audley Farm, breeder of Bodemeister. Secretary Diana McClure and her husband Michael Cooney own and operate Carousel Stables, a 100 acre training facility in Berryville. Out going Virginia HBPA President Robin Richards did not stand for reelection because of her newly assumed duties as President of the National HBPA, headquartered in Lexington, Kentucky.

•••• D.G. Van Clief Appointed To Racing Commission D.G. Van Clief Jr., past president of Breeders’ Cup, has been appointed by Governor Bob McDonnell to the Virginia Racing Commission. Van Clief replaces David Reynolds, whose term expired. The longtime racing executive, who began at Breeders’ Cup as executive director in 1982, has held a number of prominent positions in the industry, serving as chief executive officer of Nydrie Stud, as the CEO and founding chairman of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), and as the president of Breeders’ Cup Limited. He returned to Virginia a few years ago after a long career centered in Kentucky. The son of former VTA president Daniel G. Van Clief, who played a major role in bringing pari-mutuel racing to the Commonwealth, Van Clief is the chairman emeritus of FasigD.G. Van Clief. Tipton and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the VTA photo. Breeders’ Cup, Jockey Club Foundation, and Blood-Horse Publications. He is also a former trustee of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA) and NTRA, and is former president of the Thoroughbred Club of America. He received the Eclipse Award of Merit in 1998, the TOBA industry service award in 1997, was elected to membership in The Jockey Club in 1991, and is the recipient of the inaugural Jockey Club Medal. The VTA as well as former Virginia Racing Commissioner Robin Williams advocated his appointment. •••• Top Virginia Breeder Allbritton Dies At 87 Prominent Thoroughbred owner and breeder Joe Lewis Allbritton died Dec. 12, just 17 days prior to his 88th birthday. Allbritton, the founder of Allbritton Communications, the parent company of ABC7, NewsChannel 8, and Politico, is best known in the Thoroughbred industry for campaigning Hansel, winner of the 1991 Preakness and Belmont Stakes. For his accomplishments, the son of Woodman earned an Eclipse Award as that year’s champion 3-year-old male. In 1981, he purchased the former Brookmeade Farm of Isabel Dodge Sloan, breeder of Virginia-bred Belmont Joe Allbritton. Stakes winner Sword Dancer, which he renamed Lazy Lane. Allbritton Family photo. According to longtime farm manager Frank Shipp, Allbritton bred 32 stakes winners in the name of Lazy Lane Stables, 11 of them winners of Graded or Group stakes around the world. Included among them is Seeking the Pearl, the richest Virginia-bred of all time who went to Japan to race and was inducted into the Virginia Thoroughbred Hall of Fame in 2004. In recent years, Lazy Lane bred U.S. graded stakes winners Hot Summer and Position Limit. In addition, Allbritton campaigned Arlington-Washington Futurity Gr.1 winner Secret Hello (leading sire in Virginia in 1999) and Prix Morny Gr.1 winner Bad As I Wanna Be. Allbritton also produced the Virginia-bred champions: Beal Street Blues – 1992 Experimental Free Handicap top ranked Virginia-bred filly. Silent Greeting – 1996 Champion Virginia-bred Filly Three-Year-Old and Up. Night Breeze – 2001 Champion Virginia-bred Two-Year-Old Filly. Navesink – 2001 Virginia-bred Horse Of The Year and Champion Virginia-bred Male Three-Year-Old and Up. Union Avenue – 2006 Virginia-bred Horse Of The Year, Champion Virginia-bred Three-Year-Old, Champion Virginia-bred Turf. Rgirldoesn’tbluff – 2006 Champion Virginia-bred Three-Year-Old Female. Admiral’s Cruise – 2006 Champion Virginia-bred Older Male. Kona Blend – 2007 Champion Virginia-bred Older Male. Position Limit – 2010 Experimental Free Handicap top ranked Virginia-bred filly. In The Rough – 2010 Champion Virginia-bred Three-Year-Old Female. Lazy Lane currently owns 14 broodmares as a commercial operation and consigns yearlings through Brookdale Farm, Dapple Bloodstock, Mill Ridge, and Warrendale Sales. “He just had a lifelong appreciation for the sport,” said Shipp. The dedication and appreciation showed as Lazy Lane was the leading producer of Virginia-breds in 2001 and the farm was consistently in the top five each year. As recently as 2011, Lazy Lane was second in Virginia-bred production with progeny earnings of $1,292,361. Allbritton is survived by his wife, Barbara, and son, Robert, along with grandchildren, Alex and Katherine.


In & Around Horse Country  

The Official Publication of the Virginia Steeplechase Association

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