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

VOLUME XXV / NUMBER 5 • THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE VIRGINIA STEEPLECHASE ASSOCIATION • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2013


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2013

Upperville Colt & Horse Show

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HORSE SHOWS

Upperville, Virginia, June 3-9, 2013 • Janet Hitchen photos

Billy Howland (right) receives the Delmar Twyman trophy from Bucky Reynolds.

2013 Upperville Hall of Fame Recipients: Back row: Winkie Mackay-Smith, Matthew Mackay-Smith Front row: Mrs. Sylvester Johnson, Hetty Mackay-Smith Abeles, Valerie Archibald Embrey, “Popeye K” with owner Rachel Spencer, Tommy Serio and Teresa Ramsay (accepting for her late husband Greg Ramsay).

Tori Colvin and Ovation Small Junior Hunter Champion Younger Rider.

Casanova, winner Pre Green Incentive and Champion Pre Green, ridden by Hunt Tosh, owned by Betsee Parker.

Scott Stewart and Dedication, High Performance Working Hunter Champion, owner Betsee Parker.

Presentation for USHJA International Hunter Derby (l to r): Roy Perry, Denise Perry, Danielle Santos, Tad Coffin, Kelly Coffin, Dr. Betsee Parker, Steve Rivetts, Tori Colvin on Inclusive.

World Class Steeplechase Racing on the grounds of

James Madison’s Montpelier

Presented by Mercedes-Benz of Fredericksburg Loudoun Mutual • Mason Insurance • Signature.

www.montpelierraces.org


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2013

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SPORTING LIFE HIGHLIGHTS Warrenton Horse Show: A Labor Day Tradition

$75,000 Upperville Jumper Classic

August 28 – September 1, 2013

June 9, 2013 Richard Clay photo

The 114th celebration of the Warrenton Horse Show will take place August 28 – September 1, 2013. Drawing many local and out of state exhibitors, this show is always a popular event over the Labor Day weekend. Some exciting features of the show include Hunter classes, Ladies Side Saddle, Leadline, and WalkTrot for children. Saturday features the Thoroughbred and Non-Thoroughbred Hunter Breeding and the USEF National Breeding Championship for yearlings, two-year-olds, and three-yearolds. Saturday night will host the $5,000 Hunter Classic sponsored by Warrenton Toyota and Miller Toyota; Sunday will present the very popular foxhunter classes and Side Saddle. This year’s Show will benefit Head Start & Bright Stars, The Fauquier SPCA, The Make-A-Wish Foundation, and The Fauquier County Fire and Rescue Association. Held at the Warrenton Horse Show Grounds (60 E. Shirley Avenue, Warrenton, VA, 20186), the show begins at 8:00 am each day, with evening classes on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Admission is $5 per person which can be purchased at the gate; children 12 and under are free. There will be food available, as well as other gift concessions and tack shops. For additional information, call 540-347-9442 or 540-788-4806 or visit www.warrentonhorseshow.com.

Upperville Jumper Classic winner Hollow Creek Farm's Amigo, ridden by Angel Karolyi, trained by Andrea King. Teresa Ramsay photo

New England Hound Show Hosted by Old North Bridge Hounds in Berlin, Massachusetts, June 9, 2013 Eric Schneider Photos

Patrick Summers of the Norfolk Hunt competing in the Junior Handlers Class.

Kami Wolk of Wentworth and Wentworth “Audrey,” winner of American Single Bitch Unentered.

COVER PHOTOGRAPHER: Janet Hitchen

ON THE COVER: Tori Colvin rode Dr. Betsee Parker's Inclusive to victory in the Hunter Derby at this year's Upperville Colt and Horse Show.

PHOTOGRAPHERS: Jake Carle Coady Photography Richard Clay www.richardclayphotography.com Geri Desousa www.solemarphotography.com Bobgatesphoto.com Janet Hitchen 540-837-9846 www.janethitchenphotography.com Gina Jolliffe Douglas Lees douglaslees@comcast.com Jim Meads, U.K. 011-44-1686-420436 Betsy Burke Parker Teresa Ramsay Diana Rowland Eric Schneider VTA

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 October/November issue is Sept. 15. Payment in full due with copy. Publisher: Marion Maggiolo Managing Editor: J. Harris Anderson Advertising: Mary Cox (540) 636-7688 Email: hcmaryads@embarqmail.com Contributors: Aga, John J. Carle II, ex-MFH; Lauren R. Giannini; Michael E. Hoffman, ex-MFH; Jim Meads; Betsy Burke Parker; Virginia Thoroughbred Association; Jenny Young LAYOUT & DESIGN: Kate Houchin Copyright 2013 In & Around Horse Country®. All Rights Reserved. Volume XXV, No.5 POSTMASTER: CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2013

IN MEMORIAM

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D. Harcourt Lees Jr. Horseman, Businessman, and Civic Leader Courtesy of the Lees Family

With the passing of Douglas Harcourt Lees Jr. on July 21, Warrenton and Fauquier County lost not only a respected businessman and sportsman but also a living link to a simpler time of grace and civility. Mr. Lees, 91, suffered a stroke on July 9 and was hospitalized briefly before returning to “Blackrock,” the Lees’s family home on Springs Road. Mr. Lees was born in Warrenton on October 14, 1921, the son of Douglas Harcourt Lees Sr. (1884-1958) and Mary Frances Stone Lees (1890-1985), but his roots in Warrenton ran deeper. His grandfather, Sir Harcourt J. Lees (1848-1917) was chosen as an associate and soon after as an incorporator of the Fauquier Club, founded in 1902. Growing up at “Blackrock,” Mr. Lees became interested at an early age in horses and riding. He attended his first Virginia Gold Cup Race in 1931 and first Maryland Hunt Cup Race in 1935, rarely ever missing a race. He followed horseracing and enjoyed foxhunting, becoming a legend in the hunt field. He rode a number of ex-steeplechase and accomplished Thoroughbreds, including William L. Rochester’s Appollon, Mrs. Juan Ceballos’s Frozen Slave, and Alfred Hunt’s Manchu Prince. Mr. Lees served as the Master of Foxhounds of the Warrenton Hunt from 1968 to 1971 and as a joint master with Mrs. J. H. Tyler Wilson from 1971 until 1978. Mrs. Maximilian A. Tufts joined Mr. Lees and Mrs. Wilson as joint MFHs from 1978 to 1981. Mr. Lees organized joint meets with Benjamin Hardaway’s Midland Fox Hounds, Wilbur Hubbard’s Kent County Hounds, Green Spring Valley Hounds, and ElkridgeHarford Hunt. Ben Hardaway, legendary hound breeder and master of Midland Fox Hounds since 1950, recalls, “The first time my wife and I came to Virginia with the hounds to hunt we lodged at Harcourt and Scottie's home. We stayed 11 days. As you know, guests and fish start to smell after three days but we overcame that and had the best time of our lives! Harcourt was a great Virginia gentleman and I loved him.” In November 1979, Mr. Lees organized a joint meet with Elkridge-Harford Hunt at New Covert near Madonna, Md. for 19 members of the Warrenton Hunt. “Harcourt was one of my heroes—a true, old fashioned Southern gentleman,” noted H. Turney McKnight, ex-MFH of the Elkridge-Harford Hunt. Over the years, Mr. Lees was always a welcome guest at local hunt meets. He continued to foxhunt, often with the Orange County Hounds until he was 80. “My father’s last hunt was on December 1, 2001, with Orange County at MFH James L. Young’s Old Denton,” recalled Douglas Lees. “Following that hunt, he attend-

ed a funeral, and that night went to the PEC [Piedmont Environmental Council] Ball.” “His gallantry was as much a part of his persona as was the twinkle in his eye,” said Kimbrough Nash, current joint MFH of the Warrenton Hunt. “I had the privilege of riding with him at many different hunts, and no matter the country, the challenges, or the quality of the day, Harcourt D. Harcourt Lees Jr. never flagged in his enthusiasm for the sport that he loved Douglas Lees photo his whole long life. That zeal, which was burnished by his impeccable manners, inspired each of us to sit a little straighter in the saddle.” Mr. Lees’s involvement with the Virginia Gold Cup Races started as a boy and continued throughout his adulthood. In 2003, he was awarded the Virginia Gold Cup Medal by Race Chairman and former Warrenton Hunt MFH Dr. William H. Allison for serving for more than 50 years on the VGC executive committee. “Harcourt Lees was one of the noble sons of Virginia. All who knew him considered him the quintessential gentleman,” recalled Dr. Allison. That description was commonly associated with Mr. Lees. “Harcourt was the epitome of the perfect gentleman,” said Bridget McClanahan of Warrenton’s McClanahan Camera. “He would always tip his hat to a lady and if he wasn’t wearing a hat, his hand would go up to his head instinctively.” In 1948, he married Eleanor “Scottie” Torrence Thomson, who also had deep roots in Warrenton on her mother’s side through the Ranlett and Semmes families. The couple enjoyed foxhunting together, as well as raising generations of West Highland white terriers, which became a family trademark. Their son, Douglas H. Lees III, was born in 1950. C. Hunton Tiffany, former president of The Fauquier Bank, had a long association with Mr. Lees. “Harcourt was that rare individual who was revered by all who knew him,” he recalled recently. “He unaffectedly valued and respected people from all walks of life, as they did him. He contributed in no small measure to the prosperity of The Fauquier Bank during his decades of service on the board, and his business and professional experience provided wise counsel and direction. Harcourt Lees was a man of integrity, virtuous character and great humor, who has lived a life greatly to be admired.” Mr. Lees is survived by his son, Douglas H. Lees III of Warrenton. Memorial contributions may be made to Capital Hospice, 10530 Linden Lake Plaza Suite 200, Manassas, Va. 20109 and The Warrenton Hunt, P.O. Box 972, Warrenton, Va. 20188.

114th Annual

WARRENTON HORSE SHOW “A L A B O R DAY T R A D I T I O N ” Richard Clay photo

AUGUST 28 - SEPTEMBER 1, 2013 USEF NATIONAL HUNTER BREEDING CHAMPIONSHIP Saturday evening features the

Warrenton Toyota/Miller Toyota Hunter Classic Sunday features Leadline, Walk Trot, Sidesaddle & Foxhunter Classes WARRENTON HORSE SHOW GROUNDS

60 E. Shirley Ave., Warrenton, VA 20186

540-347-9442

www.warrentonhorseshow.com

SHOW STARTS AT 8 A.M. EACH DAY ADMISSION $5 PER PERSON • CHILDREN 12 & UNDER FREE


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2013

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FOXHUNTING

The Future of Foxhunting: Hooked on a “Classic” By Lauren R. Giannini

Jilian Kimball, Limestone Creek whipper-in, and her Appaloosa, Storm Front Comin, before a meet. Photo courtesy of Gina Jolliffe

Limestone Creek Hunt parades down Route 20 in Cazenovia, NY: (l-r, front) Jilian Kimball, honorary whipper-in; Lori Gronau, huntsman; Carly Hazer, honorary whipper-in. Behind hounds and staff are Barbara Anderson MFH, Nelson Eddy MFH, honorary whipper-in Garth Wilson, Renee Eddy MFH, John Anderson MFH, and members of the hunt. BobGatesPhoto.com

Roading Limestone Creek hounds: Jilian Kimball (honorary whipper-in), Lori Gronau (huntsman), Rebecca Marris in the saddle. Photo courtesy of Gina Jolliffe

Limestone “Classic” and Jilian Kimball at the Cazenovia, NY, July 4th parade. Photo courtesy of Gina Jolliffe

Green Creek “Otis” retired to the Kimball-Jolliffe home: Otis was Jilian’s mother Gina Jolliffe’s “baby” but Jilian said, “Otis made me appreciate real hound work. He was always the first to strike a line and he was always honest about it.” Photo courtesy of Gina Jolliffe

Passion, dedication, willingness to work very hard, excellent horsemanship, experience with hounds—these qualities pretty much describe Jilian Kimball, who recently made the life-changing decision to become a professional whipper-in with Old Dominion Hounds in Virginia. She had served eight years as an honorary whipper-in with Limestone Creek Hunt in upstate New York. “It was a combination of Jilian’s experience, her riding ability and the fact that she looks like she can do the job and she wants to do it—that impressed me,” stated Gus Forbush, joint-MFH Old Dominion. “She has a degree in biology, a job in medical technology. She came down [in mid-July] and we all liked her. She seemed like she would be a good whipper-in.” Being a professional whipper-in is not all glory and galloping around the country in the course of a day’s sport. It is a year-round position with duties that include trail clearing, paneling, and every day assisting in cleaning the kennels, not to mention exercising hounds, working with young entry, keeping the hunt horses going, and whatever else is on the “to do” list. “There’s a lot of physical work involved and one plus is that Jilian looks like she’s not afraid of doing hard work,” Forbush said. “Our new huntsman Ross Salter works very hard—the hounds look good and they like him, the kennels are clean. I think Ross and Jilian will make a good combination.” Kimball had seen Old Dominion’s classified ad in FoxHuntingLife.com and decided to apply. For two seasons Salter had whipped-in to prepare for taking over as huntsman from Gerald Keal whose retirement turned into a move to California to hunt hounds at Los Altos. After that fateful weekend in July, Kimball returned home with her head spinning: Forbush had offered her the job. “I’m excited, nervous about moving, but excited,” admitted Kimball. “It’s also a little scary, but I’m looking at it like going to college. I don’t know what to expect and it’s going to be a real learning experience. Mr. Forbush said I could try it for one year.” Whipping-in isn’t learned overnight. Kimball was just a child when the stars aligned to set her on the path that would lead to this point in her life. Her family has been closely involved, along with a close friend of the family. Kimball, now 29, has been groomed to be a whipper-in for the better part of two decades. “A lot of us brought Jilian up through the ranks,” said Limestone Creek huntsman Lori Gronau. “Jilian was seven when her grandmother Nina Jolliffe gave her riding lessons for her birthday. Her grandmother and I have been friends for a long time, and I taught Jilian to ride.” Jolliffe herself had the hunting gene: she hunted as a child with Golden’s Bridge when she lived in West Chester County. When World War II happened, a lot of people had to give up their horses. Jolliffe was one of them. “Nina got back into riding because of Jilian,” recalled Gronau. “At the time, I was an honorary whipper-in with Limestone Creek, and eventually Jilian hunted as a junior whip behind me. She’s had a lot of support through the years from her grandparents, Nina and Jack, her mother Gina, me, the masters. Jilian’s going to do a great job at Old Dominion and we’re very proud of her.” Hound Show Adventures During the traditional Virginia Hound Show last Memorial Day weekend at Morven Park, Kimball attended Saturday’s Whipper-In Seminar offered by the MFHA as a special addition to their Professional Development Program. MFHA Executive Director Dennis Foster said, “We had over 400 people attend the seminar—we thought we might get as many as 50, but it kept going and going.” The seminar, intended for current honorary whippers-in and aspirants to the role, featured eight huntsmen. They shared their experiences, expertise and insights about the art and science of whipping-in. “I thought the seminar was really informative,” Kimball said. “I liked how they talked about positioning. I tend to be the only whip out there for our huntsman Lori Gronau. One of the most challenging aspects of whipping-in is anticipating what the hounds will do. Another is not taking things personally and letting things roll off your back.” In fact, the entire Virginia Hound Show weekend pretty much motivated Kimball to expand her horizons. When she decided to attend the hound seminar, one thing led to another. She figured she might as well persuade the masters to let her take her favorite hound, a Crossbred named Classic: “He just kind of adopted me as his person when he was a puppy,” recalled Kimball. During most of the five and a half hours it took Kimball to drive from Madison County, NY, to the Virginia Hound Show at Morven Park (Leesburg), that hound slept in the back seat of a small rental car (to save on gas). “For Jilian, it’s all about her connection with the horses and the hounds,” said Gina Jolliffe, her mother. “The hounds gravitate to her. I think they trust her. Jilian is all about the hounds.


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2013

When Kimball arrived at the hound show, her dedication to hounds was obvious in the nicest way. Jessie Swan, the new show secretary, had helped Kimball and the masters to enter Limestone Creek “Classic” in the Crossbred Entered Dogs (under 35 couple) class. Swan also secured a spot in the kennels for Classic and, via cell phone, talked Kimball into Morven Park. “We got there on Friday and sometime early Saturday morning Classic got out of his kennel. I think he was just walking around,” recounted Kimball. “He’s my baby, and I didn’t want him to get loose again, so Saturday night I took him back to the hotel with me and he slept on the bed. It was a first for Classic and he was right at home. He snored, fell off a few times, but he was happy as can be. I had shown him at some small shows and he was good at the Virginia Hound Show, but when I took him off leash, I think he got a little scared. He’s good with the pack, but he’s young, a little over two. I hope he ends up as a great hunting hound. If he doesn’t, I’ll take him home.” Children Live What They learn To whip-in is many an enthusiast’s dream-come-true. Kimball didn’t foxhunt as a child. She recalled being an older teenager when she started hunting as a junior whip under Gronau’s tutelage. In the interim, Kimball rode hunter/jumpers and competed in all-around classes at Appaloosa shows. Gronau spent years being influenced by Limestone Creek’s huntsman, Ann K. Adams, who passed away in March 2007. Adams earned an excellent reputation for training Limestone Creek’s hounds, which she treated more like members of her family. Her obituary in the Syracuse Post Standard stated that the MFHA recognized Adams as one of the leading professional huntsmen in a group, which, at the time of her passing, numbered less than 100. She had a keen mind, sharp wit and disarming charm. Most of all, the huntsman knew her sport very well, was an accomplished horseman, and had been a great friend and mentor to many. All this adds more background to Kimball’s current career change. It’s one of those “it takes a village to raise a child” stories. When Adams became too ill to hunt hounds, about eight or nine years ago, Gronau ended up filling in as huntsman. Gronau’s first time to hunt hounds coincided with Kimball’s first outing as a fullfledged honorary whipper-in. Limestone Creek kept the Adams-trained neophyte as their leader of the pack and Gronau soon turned professional. The rest, as they say, is history. “In the foxhunting game I got a late start. So, when Ann got ill, I ended up hunting the hounds by default,” Gronau explained. “It was not a career path for me. I was very happy as a whipper-in, hiding out in the woods with no one yelling at me. A lot of people don’t understand the learning curve—knowledge and experience come from

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years of dedication and attention. Jilian has put in a lot of time and yes, we are going to miss her, but also I’m very proud that she has been offered this position with such a prestigious hunt.” Limestone Creek’s masters echo their huntsman’s thoughts. “Young people willing to make a serious commitment like Jilian are hard to find,” said John Anderson, speaking also for his wife Barbara. They have served together as senior joint-masters since 2005. “We are excited for her—this is a wonderful opportunity that she’s taking advantage of, although it does leave a void here. Jilian’s a very nice young lady. She’s pleasant to be around, a good horseman and good with hounds. All of us, all of the masters, are happy for her. It’s exciting that someone from Limestone Creek can make this step into the professional ranks. It says good things about our hunt and we wish her the best.” Kimball credited a friend in Maine for motivating her to make the application. Clyde Geary buys and sells horses. He got to know Kimball when he spent three years in that area, even helping out with the hounds. “I told Jilian that she didn’t want to get old and wonder what her dreams might have been—I told her she had to at least try it,” explained Geary whose own daughter is 2 and just competed in her first lead line classes. “Yes, I intend to encourage my daughter to follow her dreams. That’s what I do.” Family Ties Kimball’s mother, however, is still a bit out of kilter about this move. After all, Jolliffe has been a single parent and Kimball has lived at home all her life, except for college. “It’s not easy to face an empty nest, but that’s life,” Jolliffe said. “Jilian has been very easy. She didn’t get into any trouble. I refer to her as a street angel and house devil. She’s always been the adult in my relationship with her. I was very young when I had her. We grew up together.” Jolliffe admitted that she had no idea that Kimball’s trip to the hound show would prove to be the catalyst for major changes. “It has been a dream of Jilian’s to move to Virginia and she’s following her dream,” Jolliffe said. “It isn’t great timing with my mother’s health, but Jilian had to take the opportunity when it showed up. I give her credit for having the courage to do it. She’s always been very determined. She’s always been a good kid. When Jilian sets her mind to something, she goes with it. Whippingin is what she has always wanted to do.” Kimball will be missed back home, but right now it’s only for one year. As she pointed out, she’s looking at it as if she’s going away to college—in this case, to the Old Dominion field school of hounds and hunting. Sounds like a dream come true.


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IN MEMORIAM

James Lee Atkins–Gentleman and Huntsman By John J. Carle II, ex-MFH

Jim Atkins. Janet Hitchen photo

Jim Atkins hunting the hounds of the Warrenton Hunt. Janet Hitchen photo

K.T. and Jim Atkins at the Bryn Mawr Hound Show, 1983. Jake Carle photo

We all have heroes, but it is unusual in a person’s life to have a hero who was also a friend. In my life, that person was Jim Atkins. Our mutual love of hounds and hunting is what brought us together and what strengthened the bond of friendship over the years. Jim and I appreciated many of the same things: good hounds (preferably American), good horses (preferably Thoroughbred), and good music (preferably bluegrass). When the late Bill Brainard was Master at Old Dominion, he asked if I’d like to bring my Keswick hounds up and put them with Jim’s pack for a joint meet. Thrilled as I was, I was somewhat intimidated, having heard what phenomenal sport that red-andwhite pack was showing. I needn’t have been, for the welcome from Jim’s pack was as warm as that of their huntsman; and hounds melded together immediately, hunting with such trust and intensity that they could have all been of one litter. Indeed, most of their pedigrees had common ancestors, going back to the Bywaters American lines first brought into the ODH kennel through hounds bred by Ollie Poe, and into Keswick by Ollie’s son Albert when he was at Piedmont. That wonderful day started a tradition that continued throughout Jim’s tenure at ODH and carried on when Jim moved to Warrenton. On my second-tolast Saturday at Keswick, Jim brought his Warrenton pack down, and we enjoyed the best day of Keswick’s season. It was a day I will always remember. Jim was one of the most generous men I have ever known: generous with his time, help and advice, and particularly generous with his hounds. Many are the young huntsmen starting out who owe the success of their pack to drafts from Jim’s kennel. Furthermore, if they asked his advice—and followed it—the gems they received gave them the tools to become masters of their craft, had they the patience and talent to use them. When he retired from Warrenton, Jim was universally recognized as the best huntsman in Virginia. Jim was a born gentleman, courteous always and to everyone. He was at ease with people from all walks of life and treated people equally and fairly. His successes (many) he attributed to the help of others; his failures (few) he accepted as his own. Refreshingly, he never indulged in hunt politics or gossip. His was the high road, and he held to it. I respected Jim as much as anyone I have ever known. I am proud to have called him my friend, and humbled for Jim to have called me his. Jim Atkins touched the lives of an uncountable number of huntsmen and hunt staff members, both young and old. The following comments are from some of them. Billy Dodson, Thornton Hill Hounds Huntsman “Jim wasn’t only my brother-in-law, he was my best friend. I probably spent more time with him than with my own family—in the hunting field, the hayfield and going to farm auctions. Jim loved auctions! There wouldn’t be a Thornton Hill pack without Jim and Doc Addis. Jim gave me 28 hounds, including ‘Kato.’ She and ‘Kingpin’ [her son by an Addis dog] were the best hounds I ever hunted. She was deer-broke and helped break the pack. All of the hounds that Jim sent worked out, not like some from the other hunts that just unloaded their trash. Jim lined me up a lot of good horses, and we were partners in some good ones. I whipped-in to Jim at Warrenton. I think my father

[Ollie Dodson, Rappahannock Huntsman], Jim and Albert Poe were the best huntsmen I’ve ever seen. You know, when you did a day’s work with Jimmy, you really did a day’s work; and at the end you were proud of it.” Larry Pitts, Potomac Huntsman “I first met Jim the last week I was at Old Dominion, before I went to Canada. I was cleaning the kennel, and I had some half-crazy young bitches giving me a hard time. I said to them, ‘You (expletives) have one more week with me and then someone else can put up with you.’ And a voice behind me said, ‘Is that so?’ And there was Jim. We’ve been friends ever since. Jim gave Laura [Larry’s daughter] her first pony; it was the same age as Laura. I only hunted one day with Jim, and that was at ODH. We ran hard—I mean HARD—all day. Put four foxes to ground. When I went to Potomac, Jim gave me ‘a pile of good dogs.’ He gave me ‘Appollo’ [sic], who was a puppy when I went to Canada. I bred him to ‘Tumble’—who was by Rolling Rock ‘Toby’—and got ‘Acrobat’ and ‘Appeal.’ That started the whole show thing. And that ‘Apple’ bitch, who did so well, she was ‘Appollo’s’ granddaughter. I’ve got a story a fellow told me about Jim. He was always looking out for K.T. [wife and whipper-in], and they were huntin’ up near Hume and came to a big gate. ‘Don’t you do this,’ he told K.T. ‘I’m gonna jump it, but don’t you do it!’ So Jim’s horse just fell all over that gate, tore it all down! So I guess K.T. just stepped over it. At Bryn Mawr this year, where Jim and Tommy Jackson were judging Crossbreds, I got to kiddin’ Jim. I told him Friday night, ‘I got the best dog here, wait ’til you see him!’ At the end of the show ‘Dapper’ was pinned Champion Crossbred and Grand Champion Foxhound, and Jim came up and said, ‘You were right, Larry. Damn, you told the truth for once!’” Don Philhower, Millbrook Huntsman “I met Jim his last year at ODH. I never got hounds from him, but I gave him several. I gave him hounds when he went to Dr. Gable. I gave him a stallion hound named ‘Dummer,’ a pure Penn-Marydel, when he went to Piedmont, and they used him a lot. And I sent him some at Warrenton. We sat down at this year’s Virginia Hound Show and talked hunting and hound breeding for hours. I have great admiration for Jim Atkins.” Tommy Jackson, Mr. Jackson’s Flat Creek Hounds MFH/Huntsman “Jim has always been the most wonderful friend. He gave me horses when, wherever I was working, the Masters wouldn’t mount me decently. One was the best horse I ever had. I met Jim at ODH when he was whipping-in to Ray Pearson and I was at Ottowa Valley. Jim came up to Canada to hunt, and I went down to Virginia. What an incredible pack he had! Those hounds—all of them—just flew those big wire fences. Mine would have been crawling under. What made me decide I had to get out of Canada was a day I was sitting on a hilltop with Leroy [Ryan, ODH whipper-in], and watched a fox come out of the woods with the pack glued to him—that huge cry!—and Jim cheering them on. When they hit the open we just flew! Jim always gave me great breeding advice and, over the years, we traded hounds. I got ‘Dragon,’ who did so well, and I sent Jim that ‘Sally’ bitch who cleaned up at Carolina. Those were great days. We’ve lost a legend.”


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2013

James Raines, Princess Anne Huntsman “Jim was a personal hero. He gave me great advice when I first went into hunt service, and he was always there when I needed him.” Peter Wilson, Grand Canyon Hounds Huntsman “When I first came out to Arizona, Jim sent me some really nice hounds. And he didn’t really even know me! ‘Jarvis’ ’99, who goes back to Keswick ‘Predator,’ was a wonderful stallion hound, and established a strong top Huntsman Jim Atkins at a check with the Warrenton hounds. line. And so did ‘Stanley,’ Janet Hitchen photo by Mission Valley ‘Dragon.’ All his blood is still in the pack. And Jimmy Boyle [GCH Whipper-In, formerly at Piedmont] credits Jim for breeding ‘Watchman’ [the incredibly successful Piedmont stallion hound who did so much to make Randy Waterman’s reputation]. I didn’t know Jim well, but I had the highest opinion of him.” Tony Gammell, Keswick Huntsman “My first year at Keswick, Jim sent me ‘Scarlett,’ ‘Caesar,’ and ‘Sportsman,’ all super hounds. Next season, Jim called to ask how they were doing, and I told him ‘Scarlett’ had died. Two days later he called and said, ‘Bring your truck up here; I’ve got another one for you.’ And he gave me ‘Sassoon’ [‘Scarlett’s’ littermate]. She was dynamite! My God, how many times did I breed her? That first year, Jim and Tommy Lee [Jones, Casanova Huntsman] took me out for a three-hour lunch. Jim gave me the best advice ever. He said, ‘You huntsmen from ’cross the water are too noisy! Put your horn away, and let your hounds hunt.’ He warned me that you can’t be too noisy or rough with American hounds, you just let ’em alone. He was so right. Jim was a good, good guy.” Greg Schwartz, Bull Run Huntsman “I can’t say enough good stuff about Jim. Whenever I needed advice I called him, and his suggestions always worked. I had some hounds that babbled going into covert, and Jim said, ‘Loosen up on ’em,’ and it worked. I was keepin’ ’em too tight and too close. We traded a few hounds. I got a nice bitch that we bred from and really helped our pack. And I gave him ‘Inmate,’ and he did real well. Jim was a wealth of information—a real natural. We’re all gonna miss that man.” Ben Hardaway, MFH, Midland Fox Hounds “I first met Jim when he was with Randy Waterman, and we had that competition; and I liked him immediately. I liked K.T., too; she was a right sharp horsewoman. He was a square and knowledgeable huntsman, and I had some good days at Piedmont with Jim when Randy wasn’t actin’ crazy. I saw Jim at the hound shows, and kept in touch. He was one of three or four professionals I liked personally and as a huntsman. Jim and K.T. came down to Fitzpatrick [Alabama] and hunted with me, and I offered Jim a job. He was eager, but K.T. wasn’t. She was probably right stopping that venture. I Jim Atkins (right) with Ben Hardaway at a joint meet don’t know, maybe we wouldn’t have of Midland at Old Dominion, 1984. Jake Carle photo gotten along…” Kevin Palmer, Fairfax Huntsman “I grew up with Jim, but I hunted at ODH with Ray Pearson before Jim came. My younger brother, Gerry, whipped-in to Jim for years. In 1975, right out of high school, I started whipping for Jim. I was his guinea pig with new horses; I led quite a few home! Jim’s son Tod whipped-in to me at Fairfax for two years, and did a fantastic job. The fields at ODH really grew with Jim; people came from all over. Jim was always ready to hunt. If hunt politics came up, Jim would say, ‘Oh, hell, let’s go huntin’!” I had a great time hunting with Jim—it was the place to be! He made me want to be a steeplechase rider, and I did. He encouraged me to hunt hounds, and here I am. I have been blessed to have known him.”

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Matt Van Der Woode, Warrenton Huntsman “I whipped-in to Jim at Warrenton for thirteen years. Jim straightened up a pack that was in total disarray. They had no breeding program. Over the years, my style of hunting, I think, has gotten more like Jim’s. I’ve learned to let them work and to trust them.” Charlie Brown, ODH Huntsman after Jim “I inherited a great pack, and I tried to keep going the way Jim had. It was an easy pack to hunt, but not as easy as he made it look. Ben Hardaway said I did ok, and hunted them like Jim, so I felt pretty good. I knew Jim at Rappahannock, and he did a lot of coon hunting at that time. That taught him to hunt hounds. Jim left me some really good young hounds. One was ‘Butcher,’ the best I ever hunted. Jim was a friend of my father’s [Elzy Brown], and always a friend of all our family. Last winter Jim and I went to Piedmont and rode around in the truck. It was a really good day, and Jim said he was gonna get an old horse and start huntin’ again.” Susie Ashcom, Warrenton Whipper-In “After twenty years of whipping-in at Farmington, Bobby [husband, ex-MFH, Tryon Hounds] and I moved to Fauquier and planned to take it easy and ride in the Warrenton field. Really a vacation. We visited the kennel one day, and Jim asked us to walk out with him. During the walk, some puppies did some things and I reacted. So after we got back, Jim went to Bobby and asked, ‘Do you mind if I ask Susie to whipin to me?’ Bobby said, ‘Why don’t you ask her?’ And Jim said, ‘I thought I’d better ask you first!’ Well, he asked and, before I could think, I said, ‘Sure! I’d love to!’ So much for a vacation! I helped from 1995 until 2008. He was always really kind to his staff, and his hounds were so well trained and steady. One day, hunting behind the kennel, Jim came to me and said, ‘Get K.T. I need her.’ That’s all he said, not that he felt bad. Well, they rode back to the kennel, and K.T. took him to the hospital. He’d had a heart attack. It wasn’t long before he was back hunting. He was always so quiet, easy with hounds and with people. And he always kept up the country.” Bob Ferrer, MFH, Caroline Hunt “Thirteen years ago, Jim gave me 12 hounds, old, seasoned hounds. He enabled me to hunt and get confidence as a huntsman with hounds I could trust. I learned by just letting them hunt. Jim always helped people with seasoned hounds. He gave me one super unentered hound I later named ‘Atkins.’ Few people would take a neophyte and treat him like a seasoned huntsman the way Jim did. He kept in touch throughout the years, always asked about the hounds, and was genuinely interested. We made him the first Honorary Member of the Caroline Hunt. Good huntsmen like Jim, Tommy Lee, and Tony look out for other hunts and huntsmen.” Rita Mae Brown, MFH, Oak Ridge Fox Hunt “I never got hounds from Jim, but I’ve got his Warrenton ‘C’ and ‘P’ lines in my kennel. Jim and other huntsmen were at a seminar hosted by Joyce Fendley [Casanova MFH], and he said something that was so wonderful. He said that when he looked back and saw people smiling in the Field, it was worth everything. And I said, ‘Is that not the perfect huntsman’s attitude?’ And it so reflected Jim’s personality.” Tommy Lee Jones, Casanova Huntsman “When Jim was at ODH, he was a disciple of Buster Chadwell’s at Essex. I was too, but instead of driving to New Jersey, I got my Bywaters blood by breeding to Jim’s hounds. Jim and I drove to Essex once. On the way we stopped at the biggest model train exhibit in the country for a couple of hours. It was a long trip, but fun. And we got the bitches bred. Jim and I traded hounds a lot, and also with our mutual friend, Tommy Olinger. At registration time it gave Dennis Foster hell trying to figure out if our pedigrees were legitimate or not! Jim got me into the Crossbred business with a great litter by ‘Fagan,’ who came from Tommy Jackson. All nine puppies were great. At the time he left Warrenton, Jim was trying to get the old American lines back in the pack. When he went to Dr. Gable’s, Jim showed wonderful sport with all draft hounds. That takes real genius, ’cause hardly anybody’ll give you very good hounds. Jim’s hounds were always quiet and steady. He also killed the first coyote I ever heard about in our area. Shot it about ten years ago. Jim Atkins was a true gentleman and a good role model for young huntsmen. All of foxhunting has lost a good friend and strong supporter.” Spencer Allen, Piedmont Huntsman “Jim meant a lot to me. He was always eager to give advice if I needed it. He’d take me out to lunch and would spend hours trying to help solve my problems. He was salvation for me. Three or four times a month he’d come by the kennel to walk out or car-follow. Any questions, hounds or breeding, he had a good answer. He was always loyal; he was my mentor. That first year, if I didn’t have Jim’s help and support, I’d never have made it. When I visited Jim in the hospital, I just broke down. Something was passing before my eyes: it was the beginning of the end of the last great era of American foxhunting. I took Jim’s hand and made him this promise: ‘I’ll never let your memory die, and I’ll always follow your advice.’” It is noteworthy that when talking to people, so many speak of Jim in the present tense. That’s so fitting, and quite understandable, because the spirit of that great foxhunting gentleman is still, and always will be, with us.


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2013

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HOUND SHOWS

The Bryn Mawr Hound Show By John J. Carle II, ex-MFH • Eric Schneider Photos “Because it’s not just a hound show, it’s a pleasurable gathering of hunting people… Now is the time to meet up with friends old and new… to enjoy the craic* and hear the gossip. And to glean advice from those that know a thing or two about the challenge of running a contemporary hunt and, most importantly, breeding a modern pack of hounds.” Midge Todhunter

Bryn Mawr Hound Show Hosted by the Radnor Hunt in Malvern, Pennsylvania, June 1, 2013. Steve Farrin showing the Amwell Valley Hounds in the English pack class.

Andrew Bozdan of the Loudoun Fairfax Hunt, winner of the English pack class.

Ciaran Murphy and Golden’s Bridge “Riley,” placing second in Best Penn-Marydel Stallion.

Andrew Bozdan of Loudoun Fairfax Hunt, aided by honorary whippers-in Joan Strahler and Erin Bozdan, with the Best Two Couple of English Dogs.

The Bryn Mawr Hound Show traditionally plays host to the most pleasurable gathering of people of the entire season, and the 99th renewal, held on the grounds of the historic Radnor Hunt Club on June 1st, showcased the old girl at her charming and gracious best. A fiercely competitive hornblowing competition, open to huntsmen and staff of competing hunts, highlighted the Friday evening dinner. Opinions as to the winner varied widely, depending upon the acoustics where a listener was standing; but no one could argue the virtuosity of the performances of the top three. Sitting directly downwind, judges Maxwell Rumney, MB, and John P. Ike, MFH, surprisingly placed Neil Amatt, Piedmont’s newlyappointed Whipper-In, atop the professional podium ahead of Golden’s Bridge Huntsman Ciaran Murphy and Sewickley’s John Tabachka. The amateurs were all foothound Masters, and perennial winner West Dublin Beagles’ Rick Davis bested Skycastle Bassets’ Jim Sharnberg and Ardrossan Beagles’ Stockton Illoway (BMHS President). By Saturday morning, the delightful cool weather that blessed the Virginia show the week before had slipped away, leaving early summer in its wake. While not the sauna this show has often suffered through, the heat took its toll on performances later in the day. The English Hounds, premier division in the show’s early days but drastically depleted in numbers in modern times, still hold sway in Ring One. This year the elegance of the Blue Ridge pack was sorely missed (their senior Master was judging the Grand Championship), and the expected Canadian invasion failed to materialize. Still, Suzy Reingold, ex-MFH of the disbanded Plum Run pack, had lots of quality to please her eye. New Jersey’s Amwell Valley and Virginia’s Loudoun Fairfax [the newly merged Loudoun West and Fairfax Hunts] battled on fairly even terms most of the day, with the New Jersey pack edging ahead at the end. Andrew Bozdan, the new huntsman for Loudoun Fairfax, has his predecessor at Loudoun West, Martyn Blackmore, to thank for his successful day, for Martyn left him with a plethora of fine hounds. We expect similar excellence from Martyn’s Loudoun Hunt, where he now serves, in the near future, as exemplified by Loudoun’s winning Unentered Doghound, “Tartan,” and winning Stallion Hounds Santa Ynez “Alan” ’07 and Holderness “Lancer” ’06. Amwell Valley’s “Heythrop” ’08, bred by Martyn at Loudoun West, won for the third year the Doghound Championship, this year over Santa Ynez “Alan” ’07. South Carolina’s Why Worry Hounds leapt aboard the bandwagon by winning Unentered Bitches with “Rhapsody” (WWH “Braveheart” ’09 x Green Creek “Ransome” ’10) over Amwell Valley “Gadget” and Loudoun “Tapestry” (“Tartan’s” sister). Loudoun then won the Entered Bitch blue with Hurworth “Cordial” ’10 over Loudoun West “Splendid” ’12 (2012 Champion Bitch) and AV “Lyric” ’12. Amwell Valley’s “Puffin” ’10 took the biscuit ahead of Loudoun’s Holderness “Tealeaf” ’11 in Brood Bitches, then rallied for the Bitch Championship over Why Worry “Rhapsody.” But “Puffin” couldn’t match her kennelmate “Heythrop” in the tussle for Champion English Hound, as the handsome dog, looking leaner and harder than last year, won for the third straight time. Santa Ynez “Alan” ’07 once again won the Old English Championship for Martyn Blackmore, this time over AV “Stencil” ’12. (Loudoun West’s “Delightful,” “Graffiti,” and “Splendid” won 2010-2012.) Andrew Bozdan put the Loudoun Fairfax five couple smartly through their paces to win the Pack Class over Steve Farrin’s Amwell Valley.

Although the Keswick hounds were not at the show, their presence was strongly felt in the American ring through three of their stallion hounds. Keswick “Keplar” ’07, a past Virginia champion, sired Potomac’s winning Unentered Dog, “Keswick,” who then marched through the division; and their “Biker” ’02 and “Rasher” ’06 sired the entire Unentered entry from Essex (dogs and bitches). “Keswick” evidently stole Judge Cindy Martin’s heart early on, and she remained true. Orange County “Dover” and Essex “Rakish” rounded out the Unentered Dog class. “Keswick” and brother “Keeper” (who beat him in Virginia) took the Couples class. The newcomer Stonewall Hounds were a surprise Entered Dog winner with “Texas” ’10 (by Potomac “Tennyson” ’07) over Essex “Athens” ’12 and Potomac “Kadillac” ’12, ending Potomac’s eight-year winning streak in this class. LiLi Wykle’s pack, based in Forest, Virginia, had a sterling debut indeed, placing second in both Doghound Couples classes and third in Stallion Hound. Potomac did make it eight straight in Stallion Hound, as “Templeton” ’12 (2013 Virginia Champion and American Champion here in 2012) topped their “Windsor” ’11 and Stonewall “Charlie” ’10. Potomac’s dominance in Stallion with Three Get, begun in 2005 with “Rapidan” ’99, and won six times by “Jefferson” ’05, was extended to a ninth year by “Templeton” ’12. Former Doghound Champions Potomac “Magnet” ’07 and “Templeton” ’12 came back to challenge “Keswick” and Stonewall “Texas” for the Second Lawrence E. Jones Trophy, but Judge Martin remained steadfast in her affection, and the young dog shaded his predecessor “Templeton” for the Tricolor. Orange County “Manic,” a daughter of their “Matchbox” ’07 (Potomac “Jefferson” ’05 x their “Mallow” ’03) won Unentered Bitches over Essex “Righteous” and Potomac “Knicknac.” Another “Matchbox” daughter, OCH “Mayfly” ’10, was pinned Best Entered Bitch over their “Tetley” ’10 and Potomac “Whittle” ’10. 2011 Champion Bitch Potomac “Terrain” ’07 repeated her 2011 win in Brood Bitches over their “Kelsy” ’11 and Essex “Euro” ’08. Youth prevailed in the Bitch Championship as “Manic’s” energy and grace closely edged “Terrain.” Her win surely had the OCH faithful harking back to the halcyon days of “Melody” ’09! ’Twas all youthful exuberance in the bidding for Champion American Foxhound, as “Keswick” and “Manic” flashed their talents. In the end “Keswick’s” masculine musculature most impressed his appreciative judge, and he sauntered out of the ring with the Second American Foxhound Bowl. Millbrook put on a nearly perfect performance in the Pack Class, ignoring the invasion of another pack’s miscreants, while gazing adoringly at Huntsman Don Philhower as they went through their paces. A well-deserved victory was theirs after a too-long absence. Essex and Potomac followed. Kansan Tommy Jackson, MFH, journeyed east to join his good friend and former Old Dominion and Warrenton Huntsman Jim Atkins to sort out the Crossbred Hounds. They had a busy day. Potomac’s name is synonymous with the American ring, but they dove into the Crossbred pool with a resounding splash. Their “Jeronimo” beat Green Spring Valley “Wedlock” and Old Chatham “Iroquois” in Unentered Dogs; and the aptly-named “Dapper” made Stallion Hound honors a springboard to even higher accolades as he beat Piedmont “Piedmont” ’08 and Why Worry “Aragorn” ’08. Green Spring Valley won Entered Dogs with “Wallace” ’12 over Piedmont “Bueller” ’12 and Old Chatham “Irish” ’10 (“Iroquois’s” sire).


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2013

In the Doghound Championship class, “Dapper’s” combination of impressive athleticism and balletic grace, authoritative presence and understated elegance proved unbeatable as he relegated GSV “Wallace” to the lower podium step. Why Worry caused immediate concern amongst the bitches, winning first and third in Unentered with “April” and “Amelia,” to sandwich GSV “Welcome”; and Unentered Couples with “Abigail” and “Adelaide.” They followed immediately by placing their “Really” ’12 (Under-35-Couple winner at Virginia) atop the Entered class standings over GSV “Kelly” ’12 and “Willing” ’11. GSV sisters “Kelly” and “Kerry” ’12 took Entered Couples over WWH half-sisters “Regina” ’12 and “Richochet” ’12. GSV “Safety” ’09 repeated her 2012 win in Brood Bitches over Piedmont “Perfect” ’08 and Virginia winner WWH “Agatha” ’09 (dam of the four “A” bitches). “Agatha” then won with her chillun over Old Chatham’s Millbrook “Haven” ’09. Why Worry “Really” ’12 (WWH “Grantham” ’06 x their “Rebecca” ’06) outclassed this year’s other winners, and nudged last year’s champion bitch, GSV “Seemly” ’11, to Reserve as she made the Second J. Stanley Trophy hers for a year. But “Dapper’s” explosive performance in the breed championship was too much for “Really” to overcome, and he galloped off with all the silver, to end Green Spring’s run at three in a truly wonderful class. Piedmont siblings “Piedmont” and “Perfect” ’08 were Veteran Hound winners over Old Chatham “Nova” ’04, and GSV Huntsman Sam Clifton snared the Robert M. Six Memorial Handler’s Trophy for the third time. In the Crossbred Pack class, the Piedmont hounds’ adoration for Huntsman Spencer Allen shone through during a flawless performance. The endless hours he spends with his beloved charges has paid off handsomely, as he ended second-placed Old Chatham’s winning streak at six. Howard County-Iron Bridge Huntsman Kelly Burdge was rightfully pleased with his close third. The Penn-Marydel ring was missing a few familiar names from past years, including De La Brooke, Mt. Carmel and, most glaringly, Reedy Creek. The late James J. Culleton, MFH, made so many contributions to all the shows Reedy Creek entered that it was especially sad to see his beloved McKenney, Virginia, black-and-tans among the missing. Yet Reedy Creek was represented, and brightly so, by the Sewickley Hunt, competing after many years’ absence. Their entire Listed Unentered entry was by Reedy Creek “Turbo” ’10 out of Sewickley “Missile” ’11. When asked how he’d done on the day, Sewickley Huntsman John Tabachka proudly replied, “Three classes, three blues. Can’t beat that!” Indeed, the Pennsylvania drag pack went 1, 3 in Listed Unentered Dogs, won the Couple of Unentered Dogs class and Unentered Bitches with one litter. Well done, John! Lewisville won the Listed Entered Dog with Andrews Bridge-bred “Kastille” ’10 over Golden’s Bridge “Gulliver” ’09 and Andrews Bridge “Kamlesh” ’10 (Best Listed Opposite Sex in 2011, and “Kadillac’s” brother). Golden’s Bridge “Virtue” ’12 won Listed Entered Bitch over Marlborough “Snowie” ’12 (2013 Virginia winner) and newcomer to the PMD ranks, Stonewall “Keystone” ’10. Best Listed Penn-Marydel (either sex) went to Lewisville “Kastille” ’10 with Best of Opposite Sex landing in the lap of Ciaran Murphy for Golden’s Bridge “Matilda” ’10 (2012 Champion Listed Hound) Competition really heated up in the Registered Hounds section. Golden’s Bridge struck first, winning Unentered Dogs with “Bleeker” (who is by former Virginia Champion GBH “Lumber” ’09) and placing “Uncle” second, as Andrews Bridge began a strong run with “Normous” in third. Marlborough “Rolex” ’11 beat AB “Laptop” ’11 and GBH “Pico” ’12 in Entered Dogs. River Hills won both the Entered Couples and Two-Couples classes. The James J. Culleton, MFH, Memorial Trophy for Best Stallion Hound was won by Marlborough “Onyx” ’08 (sire of “Rolex”) over GBH “Riley” ’10 (Virginia winner) and Kimberton’s homebred “Effort” ’11. The competition for Champion Registered Dog became instantly moot when 2012 Champion GBH “Phoenix” ’12 strolled into the ring. Superlatives have been heaped upon the heads of such outstanding PMDs as Rose Tree “Needy” and Aiken “Trailer,” both of whom have Grand Champion wins to their credit; yet neither compare to “Phoenix.” In the eyes of many close observers, he is the ultimate PMD Foxhound, blessed with elegance to spare, a true champion’s balance, grace and agility, coupled with a pleasant, eager-to-please disposition. He definitely has “the look of eagles.” For “Rolex” to stand Reserve was a high honor. [Note: see the June/July 2013 issue of In and Around Horse Country for Jim Meads’ photo of Phoenix in Lauren Giannini’s excellent Virginia Hound Show article.] Andrews Bridge began their march in the bitches, going 1-2 in Unentered with “Norma Jean” and “Nock Out” over Marlborough “Tilgman.” The AB “N” girls also won the Couples. The Reedy Creek Hounds Perpetual Trophy for Single Entered Bitch also returned to the Kirkwood, PA, kennel as AB “Moneypenney” and sister “Modern” won Couples over GBH “Kiwi” and “Kola” ’11 and River Hills “Georgia” ’06 and “Izzy” ’10. “Izzy” bounced back to be top Brood Bitch over Rose Tree “Sprout” ’07 and AB “Potion” ’07 (2012 Bitch Champion). This year’s Bitch Championship was all Andrews Bridge, as young “Norma Jean” edged “Moneypenney.” GBH veteran “Blossom” ’06 won her class over Rose Tree sisters “Shuppy” and “Sprout” ’07. Then the Puppy Championship Plate for Best Unentered, Either Sex, had “Norma Jean’s” name inscribed for 2013. That was “Norma Jean’s” last hurrah of the day, however, for when she entered the ring with “Phoenix” she was outclassed. The handsome black-and-tan dog, whose coat shone like new money, added this year’s Kirkwood Farms Trophy to his Virginia silver, his name joining that of his sire, 2011 winner GBH “Voltare” ’06.

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Andrews Bridge, with new Huntsman Adam Townsend carrying the horn, won the Pack Class ahead of Marlborough and Golden’s Bridge. Adam certainly hasn’t lost that spark of showmanship he displayed when, barely out of his teens, he was at the helm at De La Brooke. As shadows lengthened and a cool breeze routed the humidity, an eager throng gathered on the grassy terraces above the racecourse for the final two classes. Four excellent champions assembled to compete for the Midland Fox Hounds Trophy for Grand Champion Foxhound. Under the critical eye of Judge Linda Jenkins Armbrust, MFH, Blue Ridge Hunt, Amwell Valley “Heythrop,” Potomac “Keswick,” Potomac “Dapper,” and Golden’s Bridge “Phoenix” made the best showing overall of any Grand Champion class so far. All showed off-lead with assurance and enthusiasm, especially “Phoenix,” proving a PMD CAN do it! Finally, Judge Armbrust announced that her choice was the hound she’d best like to follow in the hunting field, and she pointed to the Crossbred, Potomac “Dapper.” It was a great win for Potomac and Larry Pitts’ breeding program; but also especially sweet for veteran Whipper-In Alan Forney, who had so flawlessly presented “Dapper” all day. The final class of the day, new last year, is for the John H. Richards, Jr. Memorial Trophy, emblematic of Best in Show. Here the Foxhound winner faces the Beagle and Basset champions, a most difficult class to judge. Last year’s winner, Ripshin “Norma” ’06, was, according to Judge Mason Lampton, MFH, the best Basset he’d ever seen. This year’s Basset Champion was Ripshin “Vic” ’12, who, like “Norma,” is rough-coated, long of leg, with a good shoulder, strong back and loins, and tight feet. He is an excellent and exuberant mover. The winning Beagle, Sandanona’s Farmington “Iceberg” ’04, may be gray of muzzle, but he is spot-on correct. More the English sort, as seen in yesteryear’s Treweryn kennel, he is the type for which Judge Maxwell Rumney, MB, from England’s Palmer-Marlborough Beagles was searching. Also longlegged, his lovely, clean shoulder, strong back and beautiful balance fairly shouted, “Lovely mover!” And he sure was! But the judge is not a foot-hound follower, and she stuck to her earlier prerequisite, naming “Dapper” Best in Show. Radnor’s Joint Master Ester Gansky, and her husband Paul graciously opened their lovely home for the after-show party. The vast stone terrace and charming, paneled bar were soon overflowing with famished and thirsty revelers, who shortly exhausted not only the supplies of food and drink, but the stamina of our hosts as well! Tall tales unraveled, free advice, praise and rebuke flowed lavishly, and the myriad problems of the hunting world—at least for this evening—were deemed solved. An intensely pleasurable gathering of hunting folk it was, and a fine way to salute this country’s oldest and finest show. Let the Centennial preparations begin! *Note: According to Joe Clancy, writing in Steeplechase Times, “Irish Craic” is “…getting together for laughs, fun and enjoyment, as well as scandal and gossip.” To read Jake Carle's "The View from the Basset Ring," visit the Horse Country Facebook page, www.facebook.com/HorseCountryLife.


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2013

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FOXHUNTING

Radnor Hunt Visits Big Bend By Michael E. Hoffman, ex-MFH

(l-r) Huntsman Joseph Cassidy, whipper-in David Hucker, and Michael E. Hoffman, ex-MFH, hunting the Radnor Big Bend country, March 16, 2013. Diana Rowland photo

Whether you have hunted with one pack or dozens, the day’s sport is greatly enhanced if you understand why the huntsman is drawing the country in a particular manner and what the sounds made with voice and horn mean. Take notice of how hounds behave around the huntsman. Can they be turned on or off? Do they dive into a covert when sent in? Can they be turned with the sound of horn or voice? I hunt to watch hounds work. Bird dogs, foxhounds, beagles, bassets—watching them at work is sheer pleasure whether afoot or astride. I was fortunate to hunt foxhounds in the US and Ireland and by extension have had the best seat in the house. If you get the chance to sit in the hip pocket of a huntsman, grab it. The gray uncertain sky and falling barometer suggested that winter was not finished with us. Big Bend, named for the huge switchback turn south in the Brandywine River, is the long-time residence of Frolic Weymouth and was host to the Radnor Hunt on March 16th. I had rearranged a planned trip to Aiken for a crosscountry school with Stephen Bradley to hunt in Joe Cassidy’s back pocket. Joe had taught me to hunt hounds while MFH at Loudoun Hunt and hunted with me when I carried the horn in Virginia for a couple of seasons, making the drive with his wife Leslie and Luca (think Harry Potter—Philosopher’s Stone and the three headed dog!) each weekend. Hounds were relaxed lying down, sitting, or casually moving around Joe’s horse. As we sat waiting for the last of the field to mount and the clock to strike 11:00, Joe turned in his saddle and handed me his horn, quietly telling me that I was hunting the pack that day. I confess to a moment of stage fright. I made some knucklehead comment about strike hounds, to which he replied, “Really.” The last time I hunted hounds was seven years ago in Ireland when I was master at Kilkenny. Our huntsman was just back from a long rehab from knee surgery and his lower leg had gone numb. My joint master Michael Dean, not willing to give up the day’s hunting, turned to me and huntsman Chris Smith and suggested I take the horn. I was in heaven and fortunately we had a blistering day of sport. My nerves back in hand, I blew a short note on the horn and we headed off to the first covert, a thick patch of brambles, ground cover, and trees about the size of a football field. Hounds were relaxed and at ease as we jogged about a quarter mile over open field and through the woods to get in position to maximize the big bend in the Brandywine River. All the walking-out on foot or a bicycle and then on horseback pays dividends at times like

this. Hounds are willing to move with you but are not on edge as they have not been asked to hunt yet. The covert was set against a hillside and the draw would be a u-turn putting hounds in on the high side and then turning to draw back along the low side. We were on the low side of the covert so it was important to encourage hounds forward but to avoid pulling them down the hill and cutting short the draw through it. Using my voice in combination with the horn, hounds traversed the length of the covert and then with the horn first and then with my voice we turned them to come down to the low side and turn about. The first covert proved game was about but did not hold. At that point we picked up hounds, pulling them out of the covert with the horn, to move on to the second draw, an enormous wood running a mile long and about a quarter mile wide. We had another long hack to the top of this covert. As we trotted off, I blew a short note on the horn and with a soft encouraging tone of voice had hounds jogging along but switched off. The Radnor pack under Joe Cassidy understood this subtle but important difference. As such I was able to have hounds relax and know we were on the move but not hunting. A stern but gentle “back” pulled the odd hound that had pushed ahead of my horse back to the pack. The covert was huge with a host of terrain changes and a series of hill-and-dale winding towards the Brandywine with a wet weather creek in the bottom. While well trailed, the trails tended to follow the low line, which was not necessarily how hounds would work the covert. Hounds struck early but not with a lot of conviction. We had to go away from them and then turn back to get into the depth of the covert. It was important not to drag the hounds away from the fledgling line and so we needed to move quickly and as quietly as possible. Once down along the creek we used a combination of voice and horn to keep hounds driving forward. As we pushed into the heart of the covert, hounds were speaking more and it was clear they were on a fresh fox and starting to own the line. Hounds were spread like a fan along the west hillside working through the covert and as their voice gained confidence the pack tightened as if a ribbon was pulled tight around them. The music resonated through the wooded covert bouncing off both the east and west hillsides. I was taught as hounds open to drive them on, using voice and the horn to praise and give encouragement to push the fox. We are focused on the lead hounds, doubling the horn and cheering them on. The stragglers, if any, are brought up by the whipper-in. Staff that day was superb and made a big difference in keeping the pack at full

Hounds of Pennsylvania's Radnor Hunt focus their rapt attention on Huntsman Joseph Cassidy. Diana Rowland photo

strength throughout the day. We were flying along the bottom of the woods blowing “Gone Away,” cheering with our voice at the start and then backing off both as the packs voice rose in full-cry, being more discriminate about not being noisy for noise sake. I had not blown a hunting horn in a long time and my lip was tiring. At one point I had to give it a rest and Joe turns and yells, “Blow, g-d damn it, blow!” He then reminded me not to press the horn so hard against my lip. Hounds are now driving hard in full-cry, rolling down the hillside to the bottom, up the opposite side and back down again. The fox seemed to be seesawing through the covert trying to shake us. We drove our quarry forward for the next 30-40 minutes. After accounting for our fox we took in the whole of Big Bend over the next hour and a half swinging around in something of a figure eight and steadily putting fox up, which were lying tight in the thick undergrowth. Our draw took us down to the river below the main house and Frolic’s driving maze. As we finished the day the weather finally turned and a wet heavy snow started to fall. As you fill your hunting diary with visits to surrounding hunts, make time for Radnor. It has small country given its proximity to Philadelphia, so the day is not about being out four or five hours. What they have is a well mounted field, knowledgeable masters and field masters, and a very keen pack of hounds that truly love their work and Radnor Hunt’s Joseph Cassidy, a as proven by this Huntsman who truly loves his hounds. amateur are willing Diana Rowland photo to hunt hard if asked to do so, driving hard and try-on to find Charlie! Michael E. Hoffman, ex-MFH (Loudoun Hunt (USA) and Kilkenny Hunt (IRE)) has hunted hounds in the US and Ireland and was the 2001 owner-rider winner of the Maryland Hunt Cup on his favorite foxhunter Solo Lord.


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DETAILS DOWN FROM TOP TO BOTTOM… We offer a large selection of better hunting shirts, English hand stitched leather belts, English and Italian handmade gloves. Ladies' and men's breeches in traditional and modern cuts and cloths. Shop online at www.HorseCountryCarrot.com

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THE BELMONT COLLECTION

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Platter, white porcelain with pewter handles. (HC11A) $260.00

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.

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A DASH TO THE FINISH. 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, Cavessons, Figure 8s plain and with sheepskin and Figure 8 corded nosebands • Overgirths and Undergirths in regular and extra long lengths, double buckle New! undergirths in regular and extra long Leather exercise lengths • Race leathers in several lengths saddles with forward • Bits and Boots • Saddle cloths ready flaps, made in made and in custom colors • Girth England. channels and timber shins • Quilted pads, Leather weight pads, Rubber pads, Boot-rub pads, Chamois made in England. • Quarter sheets, paddock sheets, Lead weight. custom embroidery, trophy coolers

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Leftovers

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At Horse Country Leftovers Store, we have something for everyone. We have brand new (leftover) merchandise featuring your favorite brands such as Barbour, Ariat, Good Rider, Puffa, IRH, and GPA, just to name a few. Select winter items are being reduced for even greater savings, so hurry in for knockout deals. Some new items at Leftovers: Wellie Rubber Boots • Men's Barbour Shirts Men's Le Chameau Paddock Shoes John Partridge Jackets and Vests Rambo Light Weight Turnout Sheets • Valena Ankle Boots Centaur Stable Sheets • Leather Oil • Grooming wipes • Tack Books, Gifts and so much more. Coupons are available for use at Leftovers, see Horse Country for details.

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To WINCHESTER, I-66 & I-81

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

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29

BROADVIEW Ave.

St.

MAIN St.

HORSE COUNTRY

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WATERLOO St. RT. 29/17 Bypass

24 Hour Fax: (540) 347-7141 For Orders Only: 800-882-HUNT(4868) Store Hours: Monday–Friday 9 AM - 6 PM, Saturday 9 AM - 5 PM (ET)

Rt. 17 By pass

17

W IN CH ES TE R

To SPERRYVILLE & I-81 211

To WASHINGTON via I-66

Pk. DRIA ALEXAN

Horse Country®

To CULPEPER & CHARLOTTESVILLE

IAHC 08-2013


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2013

11

Young Riders at Upperville • Janet Hitchen photos

Caroline Curtin with her son John Goddard Connell. Virginia Bonnie. Scott Van Pelt, Clayton Van Pelt and Heather Van Pelt in Leadline 1-3 years. Small pony Hunter Champion Rolling Stone ridden by Madeline Schaefer owned by Further Lane Farm.

Rose Uran in the Walk Trot on Shenandoah Beeches.

Peter Foley, Anne Clancy and Miles Clancy winner of Leadline 1-3 years on Shenandoah Beeches.

Courtney McGowan, Betsee Parker, Richard Cunkle with Mary McGowan on Elation, winner of the older 3-7 years.


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2013

12

Oakfield Upperville, Virginia • $4,900,000 Stone manor house in spectacular setting • 86.81 acres • Highly protected area in prime Piedmont Hunt • Gourmet kitchen • Wonderful detail throughout • 5 BR • 4 BA • 2 half BA • 3 fireplaces, classic pine paneled library • Tenant house • Stable • Riding ring • Heated saltwater pool • Pergola • Full house generator Paul MacMahon (703) 609-1905

Trough Hill Farm

Wood Hill

Middleburg, Virginia • $3,200,000

Middleburg, Virginia • $3,300,000

A pastoral 5 bedroom c. 1830 farmhouse and a grand stone pavilion • Conveniently located just miles from town • Elegant but unfussy • 103 acres of open farmland and 2 ponds • Stone pavilion serves as pool house, greenhouse, banquet room, and guest quarters • The result is refined, but maintains its understated sophistication. Ann MacMahon (540) 687-5588 Paul MacMahon (703) 609-1905

3 miles from Middleburg • 49 acres • Elegant 1940’s brick colonial home • Stable • Cottage • Apartment • Pool • Tennis court • Mature trees and sweeping lawn to Goose Creek which surrounds most of the property Helen MacMahon (540) 454-1930

Fox Valley Farm

Five Points Road

Sunken Lane

Marshall, Virginia • $1,895,000

Marshall, Virginia • REDUCED $999,995

Upperville, Virginia • $795,000

Historic property on 32 acres in Orange County Hunt • 1st floor master, den, grand salon, English kitchen with large DR & billiard room • 2nd kitchen/bar leads to patio, pool & guest cottage • 7 stall barn adjoins 3 BR, 2 BA farm manager’s house Ann MacMahon (540) 687-5588 Walter Woodson (703) 499-4961

Protected location in Orange County Hunt • 5 BR with master suite on first floor • 3 1/2 BA • 2 fireplaces • Mountain views • Pool • 10 useable acres • 150 x 220 riding arena • 3 barns totaling 8-9 stalls • Run-in shed • Stone walls Helen MacMahon (540) 454-1930

Prime Upperville location • Piedmont Hunt Country • Surrounded by properties in easement • Contemporary home • Stucco exterior • 3 BR • 2 full & 2 1/2 BA, 2 fireplaces • Spiral staircase leads to 8-stall barn • Tack room & office • Property fenced & cross fenced Paul MacMahon (703) 609-1905

P.O. Box 1380, Middleburg, Virginia 20118 • (540) 687-5588 • info@sheridanmacmahon.com • www.sheridanmacmahon.com


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IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2013

7th Running of the

BLUE RIDGE FALL RACES

To Benefit Winchester Medical Center Foundation

October 12, 2013 Woodley Farm in Berryville, Virginia Gates Open 11:00 a.m. • Post Time 1:00 p.m. www.blueridgefallraces.com • Excellent views of the scenic race course • Host friends and colleagues in fully catered Partner Tents • Vendor Row with great shopping • Children’s Area: Face Painting, Moon Bounce, and Pony Rides

(540) 931-9522

G o n e Away

with the Wind

Hunt Week 2014 January 26 through

February 1 Thomson, Georgia The Masters of Belle Meade Hunt are excited to announce our Second Annual Hunt Week, Jan. 26 to Feb. 1. Hunt Week kicks off a month of hunting and social events concluding with our Annual Performance Trials, Feb. 27 to March 1. • Enjoy 35,000 acres of Hunt Country – one of the largest hunt countries east of the Mississippi • Acclaimed Hounds • Family Friendly Environment - Children Welcome • Four Flights for Foxhunters of all levels • Hunt Breakfasts and Stirrup Cups • Tally Ho Wagons for Non-Riders • Hunt Ball with Silent Auction For pricing and more information, visit our website: www.bellemeadehounds.com Call 706-833-3104 Email: Honorary Secretary Angela Smith ke4nnr@classicsouth.net


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2013

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Local 540-635-0400

Metro 703-350-4330

CHAPULTEPEC $2,995,000

127+/- acres on the Rappahannock River in Orlean, this timeless farm/estate property has been naturally farmed throughout its history with heritage breed livestock present today. The main residence is truly a spectacular melding of form and natural beauty of its surrounding countryside. Designed by Albert Hinckley, Jr., the main house and the studio capture all the pastoral views and showcase the extensive gardens perched by the spring-fed pond. A manager’s/guest log home, along with charming structures and purposeful outbuildings including a center-aisle barn complete this rare find. Extensive trails and long river frontage provide ample space to roam and enjoy this diverse property. Vineyards or more equestrian facilities could easily be established in the fenced pastures. This lovely property has been featured on numerous garden tours and in architectural publications.

Equestrian Festival & Expo

jw@mannarealestate.com Licensed in Virginia and Maryland

EQUAL HOUSING OPPORTUNITY

SUMMERFIELD HILLS Warrenton, VA

$779,000

Gorgeous custom-built home on 10 acres with screened porch, huge wrap deck and front porch to enjoy the outdoors; heart pine wide-plank floors; gourmet stainless and granite kitchen with island; 2-sided gas fireplace and great room. Main level master with soaring pine ceiling; glass block spa shower; granite vanity; tile and huge walk-in closet. Upper level has Jack/Jill bath and in-law suite/bonus suite with kitchen, bath and private entrance. Lower level media/game room with granite wet bar; whole house generator and multi-zone HVAC. 4-car garage; professionally landscaped, fruit trees; open acreage and more!

HIGGINS MANOR Linden, VA

Photo by Debby Thomas

EQUINE EXTRAVAGANZA

J.W. McMahon Broker 703-307-1677 Mobile P.O. Box 444, Linden, VA 22642

Don’t miss the unbridled excitement!

MEADOW EVENT PARK DOSWELL, VA NOVEMBER 1-3, 2013 NEW OWNERSHIP! NEW PERMANENT LOCATION! Over 100 clinics and demos with top clinicians like Julie Goodnight, Ken McNabb, Dr. Robert Miller and many more!

$600,000

Historic circa 1890 stone manor on 40+/- acres overlooking the village of Linden. Incredible stone construction with solid walls; original staircase, moulding and windows. Several outbuildings need rehab and 2-car detached garage. A great opportunity to restore and use for a private retreat, country inn or potential winery. Completely private with quick access to interstate along state roads.

All your favorite vendors just in time for holiday shopping! Natural Horsemanship, Jumping, Reining, Dressage, Eventing, Gaited, Trail Riding, Barrel Racing, Driving, Holistic and more! PLUS Exciting new events and lots of family fun!

SMITH FARM Orlean, VA

$549,000

Great farmhouse on 4.5+ acres in village of Orlean with original moulding, floors, staircase and doors. Silo, barns and 3-stall horse stable with electric and water. Multiple paddocks with water and recent 4-board fencing. Nicely restored home awaiting personal touches. New foundation; new 2-zone HVAC system - dual fuel; new electrical service; new extensive stone walkways and large patio; charming front porch with scenic vista of preserved rolling pastures. Village zoning, division potential.

CHAT LIVE with a REALTOR® at MANNAREALESTATE.COM Search listings at JWREALTOR.INFO

www.equineextravaganza.com for more info!


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2013

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WELCOME TO LYNN HAVEN MANOR

Lynn Haven Manor is located in Unionville, Virginia, in Orange County.

Lovely manor home surrounded by elegant grounds with stables and plenty of turn out. We are providing accommodations for horse and riders during Virginia Fox Hunting season. Book early for your hunt box reservation! We are accessible to most Hunts in the Piedmont area of Virginia. For more information please call 540 854 4994.

VIRGINIA HUNT WEEK:

I’m headed to Hunt Week . . . Are you?

Sat. Oct. 12 Sun. Oct. 13 Mon. Oct. 14 Tues. Oct. 15 Wed. Oct. 16 Thurs. Oct. 17 Fri. Oct. 18 Sat. Oct. 19 Sun. Oct. 20 Mon. Oct. 21 Tues. Oct. 22 Wed. Oct. 23 Thurs. Oct. 24 Fri. Oct. 25 Sat. Oct. 26 Sun. Oct. 27

Middlebrook Rockbridge Glenmore Stonewall Bedford Farmington Oak Ridge Deep Run Rappahannock Bull Run Casanova Keswick Old Dominion Commonwealth TBA Caroline

For updates on the schedule and other information, visit www.vahuntweek.org


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2013

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POLO

Embracing the Sport, Embracing the Girl Bob Parr, One of Many Start-up Players Populating Virginia Polo By Betsy Burke Parker

Bob Parr and Cristina Hosmer. Betsy Burke Parker photo

Cristina Hosmer and Bob Parr. Betsy Burke Parker photo

Bob Parr enjoys his newfound fascination for polo. Betsy Burke Parker photo

His is a love story. A tale for the ages, it’s part cue the violins, all-American boy-meets-girl, rose petals on silk sheets romance novel. The other half? Crushing rock opera underscore to the rhythm of pounding hooves, sharp scent of horse sweat and leather permeating the night air. Together, they harmonize for a match made in polo heaven. Bob Parr grew up on a family farm in Maryland’s old Marlborough Hunt country near Queenstown, but it was all row crops, not horse country. And even though he’d lived for years in the old Potomac Hunt country west of Washington just blocks from the Capitol Polo Club, he never considered taking up riding until Cupid’s arrow speared him two years ago. Since, the 48-year-old Parr has become one of the Great Meadow Polo Club’s star pupils at the Virginia field events center, a diligent student of form who pores over rulebooks, studies competition strategy and religiously polishes skills through repetitive drills and exhaustive practice. In short, Parr is a dedicated student of the game, the type that teachers pine for. “Bob may look like a bookworm, but he’s an extraordinary athlete,” said club manager and chief instructor John Gobin. “He’s one of our best students, with honestly the best hand-eye coordination. That’s part of it. But he’s thrown himself into it with enthusiasm and excitement. That’s part of it, too.” Together with girlfriend and fellow Great Meadow player Cristina Hosmer, in two short seasons Parr graduated from lessons to pick-up matches after drills, vaulting from the 5 p.m. Great Meadow Twilight Polo Saturday farm league games to Twilight club matches and—this summer—low-goal games. The idea, Gobin said, is to usher players from beginner to advanced. “The hope is to build a community, a base, right here in Virginia,” Gobin said, noting the pyramid system—thick at the bottom with beginners feeding a broadening top with rated patrons and high-goal pros, is key to growing the sport. “It doesn’t support the area if you don’t nurture the whole picture—people come for lessons, but they stay for the lifestyle and the social angle. We’re not only building good players and great riders, but people who come here want to stay here, play here, maybe even buy a farm and raise a family here. This isn’t just a one-off thing.” Parr’s lucky he discovered his inner polo player after the sport put down modern roots in the region. A few years earlier, the city boy outsider wouldn’t have been able to do it. Previously, Virginia polo was played strictly on private fields, exciting sport but a closed social circle, byinvitation-only matches seemingly planned and conducted in secret. Rich patrons fielded teams of visiting highgoalers who’d whisk into Upperville or Middleburg with an entire game’s worth of horses on their 12-horse semi rig, spiriting away soon as the last chukker was over. It wasn’t a sustainable model, Gobin said, and it took the vision of Great Meadow founder, the late Nick Arundel, and the hard work of many supporters not only to bring polo to the people, but to bring the people to polo. Since Great Meadow’s lighted polo arena was built some 19 years ago, it soon began attracting a fresh, new

crowd to the sport. First they came to watch, Gobin said, then they wanted to play. Dozens of other arenas, fields too, sprouted in the area, with schools, instructors, pros and clubs creating a spring-to-fall circuit that not only supports skilled pros like Gobin, but talented amateurs like Hosmer and newbies like Parr. It’s an inclusive sport today, night games at another facility Fridays, at Great Meadow Saturdays, with weekend grass matches and galas on well-marked, highly visible fields that are widely publicized. Bob Parr and Cristina Hosmer evidence the power of publicity. “Bob works hard to be the best player he can,” Gobin said. “But more than that, he’s a gentleman on and off the field. He’s a real member of our community now. Polo’s lucky to have them.” Truth be told, the Sport of Kings was the farthest thing from Parr’s mind a couple years back when his only experience with the game was being irked when mounted players appropriated Parr’s D.C. softball league field on the Mall downtown on summer Sundays. “I had a very negative impression of polo players,” Parr recalled with a grimace. “Ironic that now I’m one of ‘them.’” How: His Story Parr grew up in the farm country near Queenstown, just east of the District but miles away culturally. He excelled in sports from an early age, earning varsity letters in soccer and tennis. He rode, western, a couple times, but not having horse owners as neighbors or friends, he never “got into” it, he said, focusing instead on sports, and girls, through high school and college. The James Madison class of ’86 business grad joined downtown investment firm Legg Mason as a financial and estate planner. The multi-billion dollar firm was eventually bought by Smith Barney, then by Morgan Stanley; Parr rode the changing tide, becoming partner in the company’s lucrative Capitol Wealth Management Group. His corner office is prime Pennsylvania Avenue real estate overlooking the handsome Old Executive Office Building downtown, excellent views of the city’s power players in the hustle-bustle of the busy metropolis. Parr said he loves D.C.’s vibrancy and fast-paced, pressure-cooker environment, but he equally grew to adore the quiet Potomac enclave he adopted years ago when a young married. Having a great job with a relatively easy commute, Parr settled into a routine family life, living in Maryland, working in the District and playing golf on weekends. He coached soccer, and all three of his kids developed into elite players; one son’s team, Parr at coach, was number one in the U.S. Life ground on, and as sometimes happens, some things remained the same—Parr’s job, his love of sport, his address—but many others changed. Married 17 years, Parr divorced in 2009, a sad transition that left him reluctantly rejoining the dating scene a while later. He was busy at work, helped with the kids (he bought a home next-door to his ex-wife to continue co-parenting, a successful example of the modern model for split households) and continued with his Brokers’ League softball team. To be honest, it left little time, or energy, for seeking a relationship.


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How: Her Story Tall and elegant, Cristina Hosmer was born for the saddle. She grew up riding horses, a skillful hunterjumper rider on Virginia’s tough A-circuit. She showed when at Notre Dame, and continued after marriage and the birth of her son six years ago. She’d taken up polo a few years back, student to Great Meadow’s Gobin at the head of the wave of start-up players who’d begun populating clubs and farm teams in the region. “She’s an exquisite rider,” Gobin said. “Polo was a natural for Cristina.” She was good at it, and quickly rose from student level to league games and, later, tournaments. Married six years, in summer of 2010 the now 29year-old Hosmer, too, found herself newly single and nervous about the prospect of dating again. A busy model and the mother of a young son, Hosmer had more on her mind than trolling for dates. As if on cue, Parr walked into her life. One August afternoon, he’d been meeting friends for drinks at the lively Capital Grill in Tyson’s. Deep in shop talk about investment opportunities sandwiched between crude overgrown fratboy jokes, Parr nearly fell off his stool when raven-haired beauty Cristina Hosmer walked in. “I almost tripped over myself to get over and meet this woman,” Parr said. “I’d never seen anyone so beautiful.” Far from nervous about just waltzing up to the elegant, porcelain-skinned Hosmer, Parr was confident. “The best part about my industry is I’m cold-calling people all the time,” he said. “Of 100, 99 will be ‘no.’ I’m not afraid of rejection.” Hosmer was intrigued by Parr’s bravado and athletic build. “It didn’t hurt that he’s cute,” she said. They spent the evening flirting, all but ignoring friends they’d arrived with. Parr was as entranced by Hosmer’s talk of polo and horses as he was taken by her grace. “I felt like I’d won the prize” when Hosmer agreed to a future date, Parr said. “I was excited.” Hosmer invited Parr to join her at a Great Meadow Twilight match that Saturday night. “We had dinner at the French Hound [in Middleburg] first,” she recalled. They lingered as conversation flowed naturally—like old friends not newly met. Just before 7, Hosmer suddenly realized they were running late for the game. As social as she is, she mostly likes to go to polo for, well, for the polo. Since she knew the road, Hosmer offered to take the wheel of Parr’s fleet 700-series BMW. She aimed its lowslung nose and flew down narrow twisting Halfway Road, hurrying to catch the feature match. “I was a little white-knuckled,” Parr recalled. “I looked at Cristina in a new light. She’d been telling me she rode, and played polo. Now I knew she was for-real. Beautiful, intelligent, athletic, bold. The whole package.” Hosmer introduced a slightly breathless Parr to her polo crowd, figuring, rightly, that he’d sink or swim. She knew everybody, Parr recalled, but he still had an ace in the hole to pull. “We stayed for dancing afterwards,” he said. “I’d learned the shag at JMU, and some consider me a very good dancer. I think when I took her into my arms and swept her around the floor, then I had her.” “He swept me off my feet,” Hosmer agreed. Their second date, a lesson with Gobin, was a nobrainer, though in retelling it becomes he-said, she-said. “I kept saying, ‘Bob, you gotta try this,’” Hosmer said. “I was playing the tough guy,” Parr answered. “I figured, how hard can it be? I had no idea it wasn’t a western saddle! No horn. Nothin’ to hold onto. How am I going to stay on board, I thought. Too late.” “I can’t believe he thought that,” Hosmer deadpanned. Gobin trotted out the basics, how to hold the reins, heels down, eyes up, follow the ball and hold your line. A few circuits of the enclosed arena, and Gobin handed Parr a mallet and tossed in a bouncy arena ball.

The brash fund manager, showing off a little for Hosmer, got a little ahead of himself. “I kicked this poor horse into a canter—having no idea how in the first place. I started to fall off immediately. Somehow I managed to pull myself back on.” “I don’t know how he did it.” “I was hooked.” How: Following a Dream Parr signed up for regular lessons the next season, growing comfortable with the mallet and increasingly fast-paced action. “He’s very athletic, very physical and aggressive,” Hosmer said. “Those move you up in polo. All my friends are shocked at how fast he’s progressed, but I’m not surprised.” Gobin explained. “Truthfully, the polo school model makes this possible,” he said. “We have nice horses that know the game. You almost have to jump off to fall off. “A new rider, like Bob, that’s a little athletic, can pick it up and graduate to faster and better horses. The horses, at the early level, follow the ball like a Jack Russell Terrier. You can learn while you learn.” “I’m happy to hear that my coach thinks I’ve improved from the guy who started so slowly that my friends thought I was riding a donkey,” Parr said. “Polo, and the Great Meadow community, have now become a fixture in my life.” Hosmer and Parr traveled to Florida over the winter to take in some high-goal games—something Parr hadn’t seen, and for Hosmer to join Great Meadow school manager Whitney Ross on the winning team at a beach tournament at Miami’s South Beach. Parr and Hosmer, who share Parr’s home in Potomac, are looking at land in northern Virginia to move closer to their home club. “The ultimate goal is that polo becomes this lifestyle, this community built around enthusiasm that want to be here in Virginia,” Gobin said. “It works so well here because of the vision Mr. Arundel had when he put in [the arena and, later, field] at Great Meadow.” More opportunity attracts more pros, who in turn attract more students, who in turn attract more spectators, who in turn expand the circle. German Norguerra’s Llangollen, Doug Barnes’ Destination Polo, Daniel Tognini’s Middleburg Polo, Amir Pirasteh’s Natania, and Martin Maldanado’s Blue Rock are a few of the growth rings that have sloughed off from Virginia’s healthy, ever-expanding, polo community. “Bob and Cristina are one of the many…couples that [follow] the sport together and now are a fixture,” said Ross. “It’s working just like it should,” Gobin added. For his part, Parr doesn’t think he’s part of an underground movement. He defines his motivations as simplistic. “I’m hooked on the girl, and hooked on polo.”

Virginia & Maryland Polo on the Web Virginia International Polo, Upperville: www.VIPoloClub.com Great Meadow Polo, The Plains: www.GreatMeadowPolo.com

Natania Polo, Warrenton: www.NataniaPolo.com Natania juniors won the 2013 U.S. championships. Middleburg Polo Academy: www.MiddleburgPoloAcademy.com

Destination Polo: www.DestinationPolo.com U.S. Polo Association: www.us-polo.org Polo Training Foundation: www.polotraining.org University of Virginia Polo Club. Charlottesville: www.Vapolo.org. (434) 979-0293. Capitol Polo School. Poolesville, Maryland: www.CapitolPolo.com. (561) 703-6273. Potomac Polo Club. Poolesville, Maryland: www.PotomacPolo.com

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Playing the Ponies … Fast Facts About Polo By Betsy Burke Parker

U.S. Polo Association: More than 225 clubs with more than 3,000 players are registered with the sport’s governing body. Polo is one of the oldest organized team sports in the world. Both Persia and India lay claim to the game’s origins, but experts agree it emerged about 2,000 years ago somewhere in Asia. British cavalry officers adopted the game when colonizing India, and drew up the earliest rules in the 1850s. A match lasts about 1½ hours and is divided into six seven-minute periods or chukkers. In arena polo, game officials include one umpire on the sidelines plus a mounted referee. Two are mounted in a field game. An arena squad has three players; a field team has four. Players swap horses every chukker, sometimes mid-chukker in an especially heated field game. With four chukkers (periods) in arena play, and six in a field game, this means many ponies (horses) are played by each team. Low-level, beginner arena players can get away with re-using a first-half pony in the second half of play, but most players use one pony per chukker. The line of the ball is created once the ball is hit and does not change until it is struck again. The line of the ball acts as protection against dangerous fouls. Players are penalized when they cross it. The “off side” is the horse’s right side. The left side is called the “near side.” Not surprisingly, the off side foreshot is the easiest of all. In field games, divots are replaced by spectators during halftime. Fans spread out across the 10-acre grass playing field, pressing tufts of grass back into place where the horses kicked them loose when galloping. This makes a smooth playing surface both for horse and rider safety plus a true roll when the ball travels across the field. It is akin to the “seventh inning stretch” during a baseball game—spectators get into the active assistance and a chance to be down on the playing field. Polo ponies are not actually ponies but typically are small horses, ranging in size from 15 to 16 hands (a hand being four inches.) Players prefer to play mares (they are more competitive, experts say) and they prefer a pony with some or all Thoroughbred blood for speed, stamina, and the almost indefinable “try.”


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HOUND SHOWS

The Carolinas Hound Show By John J. Carle II, ex-MFH • Photos by Geri Desousa

Champion Performance Trial Hound Hillsboro “Flintstone” ’11.

Judges Sally Bickerstaff and Jake Carle judging the Penn-Marydel Stallion Hound class.

Reserve Champion Penn-Marydel Foxhound Moore County “Wow” ’11 with Whipper-in Shelly Sommerson.

Fred Berry, MFH, with Sedgefield “Budweiser,” winner of the PennMarydel Stallion Hound class and Judge Jake Carle.

For much of the second week of May, torrential and much-needed rains lashed the East Coast, so by the weekend, every major river from Rappahannock County, Virginia, to Camden, South Carolina, was running bank-high and muddy. The Watteree near Camden had leapt its banks, flooding bottomland and turning nearby swamps into temporary lakes. But thanks to the attentions of former steeplechase great, and now Course Manager, Jeff Teter, the Springdale Racecourse, scene of the 34th Annual Carolinas’ Hound Show, was as ever in pristine condition. With its sparklingly white picket-fenced rings set under the shade of towering longleaf pines, the setting is one of the prettiest in the country. And one of the most welcoming. Friday’s “Salute the Hound” dinner began with a well-filled terrier class, judged by Sally Bickerstaff, who next day was the wandering apprentice judge, working all three rings. She pinned Edisto River “Salem” atop the dogs in a closely-contested class. In the bitches, Why Worry’s Jeannie Thomas was delighted to find a judge who appreciated her “Scribble’s” good looks and went smiling off clutching her blue ribbon. She smiled all the broader when she collected “Scribble’s” tricolor. A spirited horn-blowing contest was won in a blowoff by Hillsboro Huntsman John Grey with a virtuoso performance over Moore County’s David Raley. Shelly Sommerson’s unearthly shriek dominated the Hollerin’ Contest to close the festivities. Friday’s 90 degree temperatures vanished overnight as partial cloud cover and a cooling breeze made showing a pleasure. The PennMarydel hounds filled Ring One to capacity in most classes, with quality at a high level everywhere. The large Unentered Doghounds class came down to a battle between excellent youngsters, as Red Mountain “Butler” edged Moore County “Ensign.” In the Entered Dogs, last year’s grand champion foxhound, Aiken “Trailer” ’12, bred by David Raley when he was at Red Mountain, owned the ring the moment he stepped through the gate. A dog with grace, balance, and agility, he has few peers in the breed. His littermate “Truck” placed second ahead of Moore County “Edward” ’10 and Red Mountain “Orbit” ’12 in an excellent class. The Aiken brothers teamed to take the Couples Class as well. 2011 Champion PMD Doghound, Sedgefield “Budweiser” ’09, whose roots through Radnor “Wizard” ’03 and Kimberton “Betty” ’05 are firmly anchored in Pennsylvania, rose atop the Stallion Hound standings over Shakerag “Geronimo” ’09 and Moore County’s Red Mountain “Rocky” and “Truckstop” ’09. No one threatened Aiken “Trailer” in the Doghound Championship, but Red Mountain’s unentered “Butter” was a very respectable Reserve. Moore County, led by “Gertrude,” threatened to sweep the boards in Unentered Bitches, but Red Mountain “Valley” shouldered into second place ahead of MCH sisters “Vera Wong” and “Vogue.” Moore County’s homebred “Wow” ’11 is a diva if ever there was one. Compact and beautifully balanced, this striking black-and-tan, who was 2012 Champion Bitch, has showmanship in her genes,

and she won the Entered Bitch Class once again with aplomb. “Look at me!” she seemed to say. “The rest of you can go home now!” They didn’t go; instead, kennelmate “Hippiechick” ’12, Aiken “Showgirl” ’10, and Sedgefield “Shaboom” ’12 made it one of the division’s best classes. Shakerag “Sarah” ’07, now kenneled in Aiken and “Showgirl’s” dam, wore blue in Brood Bitches over three MCH entries, “Universe” and “Vanna” ’09 and their Golden’s Bridge “Vixen” ’06. Moore County “Wow” ’11 repeated as Champion Bitch. Kennelmate “Hippiechick” ’12, second to “Wow” in Entered Bitches, was called back Reserve In the contest for Champion Penn-Marydel, Aiken “Trailer” ’12 rocketed across the ring with effortless ease to stand atop the podium once again. “Wow’s” Reserve was also a repeat. The American ring, with perennial powers Tryon and Keswick missing, was sadly short of entries for Brazos Valley Master Sandy Dixon to sort out. In fact, there were only four doghounds— all unentered—in the division. Aiken litter brothers dominated the class, with “Vampire” the winner, “Vacuum” second and “Vinnie” third ahead of Edisto River “Limerick.” So by default the attractive, leggy youngster “Vampire” became Champion Doghound, albeit a rather hollow victory. The bitches fared better, but scarcely overflowed the ring. “Vampire’s” littermate “Vapor” won Unentered over Edisto River “Lacy,” Moore County “Becket,” and her littermate “Vidalia.” In the Entered class, Moore County “Nina” ’11 edged 2011 Champion Bitch Aiken “Okra” ’11, Aiken “Wigwam” ’12, and Green Creek “Carrot” ’11. Aiken’s Keswick “Nipper” ’10 had a walkover in the Brood Bitch class when perennial ribbon-winner Green Creek “Oatmeal” ’05 scratched, and then took the Bitch Tricolor over kennelmate Aiken “Vapor.” Then “Nipper,” whose nickname is “Dancing Feet,” pranced and danced her way to the breed championship, teaching her bald-faced son “Vampire” a fancy step or two. As soon as the Americans vacated Ring Three, the English invaded. In the Unentered Doghounds class, Why Worry “Braveheart” ’09, Champion Doghound in 2010 and 2012, sired four of the five entries; and his sire, WWH “Grantham” ’06, sired the fifth—who was the winner: Hillsboro “Grumpy.” Following were Green Creek’s “Bankrupt” and “Banker” and Why Worry “Ravel,” their littermate. Hillsboro struck again in Entered Dogs, winning with the imposing “Denmark” ’12, a win sure to put a smile on the face of North Cotswold Master/Huntsman Nigel Peel, to whose kennel he traces. Parading after “Denmark” came Green Creek “Arthur” ’10, Whiskey Road “Sanford” ’11, and Green Creek “Piper” (Champion Dog in 2011). Sadly there were no Stallion Hound entries. Had he not died suddenly of an apparent aneurysm just before the show, this class would undoubtedly have belonged to Why Worry “Braveheart” ’09. His dashingly exuberant presence was greatly missed.


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The imposing Hillsboro “Denmark” looks the Then the crowd filed back to Ring One for the part of a champion and proved it, to relegate Performance Trial Hound Class, which awards only “Grumpy” to Reserve in the all-Hillsboro doghound Champion and Reserve ribbons. Hillsboro’s finale. “Flintstone” ’11 added the Tricolor to his treasures In the Unentered Bitches, “Braveheart’s” presahead of Moore County’s Red Mountain “Rocky” ’08. ence was once again felt as his daughter, Green Creek All the Unentered winners then filled the ring to “Barbara,” sister to “Banker” and “Bankrupt,” topped decide their championship. When the proverbial dust the class, relegating “Grumpy’s” sister “Grateful” to settled, the English doghound Hillsboro “Grumpy” second ahead of Why Worry “Rhapsody” stood tall. Best of Opposite Sex went to Green Creek’s (“Braveheart” again!) and Hillsboro “Grizzle.” English bitch, “Barbara.” Camden sisters “Garnet” and “Guiding” ’10 (WWH Former Tryon Huntsman and now Kennel“Grantham” ’06 x Camden “Soapstar” ’05) edged Huntsman at Santa Ynez Valley, Chip Anderson, WWH “Grenoble” ’11 (WWH “Grantham” ’06 x whose plate was full to overflowing as he presided MCH “Gretchen” ’06) and Whiskey Road “Clair” ’10. over Performance Trial, Unentered Champion, Junior Camden “Soapstar” ’05 had a walkover in both Brood Handler, and Pack classes, had the difficult but pleasBitch and Brood Bitch with Produce classes. urable job of choosing the Grand Champion of the The Bitch Championship turned into a showcase show. Hillsboro’s English Champion, “Denmark” ’12, for Why Worry’s breeding program, where who towered over the rest of the field, greatly “Braveheart’s” Green Creek “Barbara” stood ahead of impressed the judge with his assertive style and show“Grantham’s” Camden “Garnet” ’10. ’Twas a shame manship, and he bullied his way to the top rung to grab WWH “Garters” ’10 wasn’t here to go for four conthe G.L. Buist Rivers, Jr. Memorial Trophy. Aiken Chief Steward Larry Byers presents the Reedy Creek trophy to Aiken Huntsman Katherine Gunter for Champion Penn-Marydel secutive titles. What a class that would have been! “Trailer” made off with the Reserve bauble. Foxhound Aiken “Trailer” ’12. Champion English Foxhound went to Hillsboro Then it was back to the racecourse for the Pack “Denmark,” who dominated the ring with his imperious presence and bumped the Class, which proved intensely competitive. The Edisto River pack, with Walter more graceful Green Creek “Barbara” into Reserve. Cheatham III, who was Junior Handler Champion in 2002, carrying the horn, went The Crossbreds had the largest entry (by one hound) of the show, and comthrough their paces with military precision to beat, in order, Camden, Aiken, and petition was fierce. The Hillsboro Tennesseans struck first, as their “William” won Moore County. Unentered Dogs over Why Worry “Atlas,” Camden “Lager,” and WWH “Grouse” On the strength of his pack’s fourth placing, Moore County’s David Raley, (by Hillsboro “Goblin” ’04). Another of “Goblin’s” sons, the imposing resplendent in his “Nantucket Reds,” snatched the Bywaters Trophy and the “Flintstone” ’11, took Entered honors over Whiskey Road “Lawyer” ’11, Camden Huntsman’s Prize by the less-than-overwhelming margin of ½ point! “Festive” ’09, and Why Worry “Drury” ’11. The regally bred Why Worry And so ended another splendid day of sport and sportsmanship under the “Aragorn” ’08 (WWH “Jupiter” ’05 x their “Arwen” ’02) took Stallion Hound pines, a day we were all loathe to see end, but one that will surely lure all of us plaudits from Flat Branch “Laird” ’07, Full Cry “Clifton” ’08, and Edisto River’s back next year. And the traditional Low Country Boil? Lip-smackin’ good, as Hillsboro “Bismark.” always! In the Doghound Championship tilt, youth was served as Hillsboro “Flintstone” raced away with the silver over WWH “Aragorn.” But Hillsboro wasn’t done yet. They opened their account in the bitches by winning the Unentered class with two substitutes. The truly eye-catching “Sable” won over “Wildfire,” Camden “Locket,” and Why Worry “Amelia.” If “Sable” and “Wildfire” were substitutes, how awesome must be the original entries, “Bracket” and “Trifle”! Hillsboro’s winning Entered Bitch, “Nightly” ’12, is a half-sister to the winning unentered English dog, “Grumpy,” both being out of North Cotswold “Greystone” ’08. She prevailed over Why Worry “Really” ’12, Whiskey Road “Lila” ’11 (last year’s Bitch Champion), and Hillsboro’s WWH-bred “Grace” ’12. Why Worry “Agatha” ’10 (WWH “Grantham” ’06 x “Arwen” ’02) stood supreme among the brood bitches over Camden “Flair” ’09, Edisto River’s Flat Branch “Clarissa” ’06 and Camden “Jitterbug”; and then “Agatha” won with her produce. When the winning bitches assembled in the contest for the Championship, Judge Ann Hughston, MBH Ripshin Bassets, had a ringful of pure quality: three lovely ladies with poise and presence, grace and agility. It was the young bitch, Hillsboro “Sable,” whose dazzling performance earned the Tricolor over her kennelmate “Nightly” ’12. The Crossbred Championship was another treat to either watch or judge, as Hillsboro’s “Flintstone” and “Sable” pirouetted ’round the ring with balletic grace. Young “Sable” gave emphatic notice that she is a force to reckon with in any ring, whirling away with her first Championship. The ever-popular Junior Handlers class, which had only two age divisions this year, showcased a very talented group of youngsters, whose handling and presenting skills rival—and often overshadow—those of their elders. In the 7-12 year division, Aiken’s Chase Poore, Grace Elkins, and Caroline Krauder proved emphatically that they had absorbed Huntsman Katherine Gunter’s intensive lessons, taking three of the top four places. Hallie Geddings from Camden copped the yellow ribbon. For the fourth time in five years, Aiken’s Caroline Wolcott’s polished performance won the 13-18 division, besting the Edisto River trio of Kennedy Ezekiel, Courtney Law, and Ashbrook Guinn. Ron Wolcott was indeed the proud father as he announced the results. With Caroline Wolcott carrying the horn and Harrison Coplin whipping in, the Aiken Junior Pack performed like seasoned veterans to win the coveted blue ribbon. The Edisto River pack, led by Ashbrook Guinn and assisted by Kennedy Ezekiel and Courtney Law, took second.


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ACROSS THE POND

Three Top UK Puppy Shows By Jim Meads South Shropshire Hunt Puppy Show, June 2013 Top Young Doghound “Carnage” ahead of Top Young Bitch “Casket.”

Duke of Beaufort’s Hunt Puppy Show Top Young Bitch “Beehive.”

Having survived the excitement of the Virginia Hound Show, I flew home, to find that I had brought the sunny weather with me, and soon I was making my way to the South Shropshire Hunt Puppy Show Lunch, held at the wonderful home of new Joint Master Camilla Corrie. After a spectacular meal, we moved on to the kennels at Annscroft, where hounds have South Shropshire Hunt Puppy Show been kept for the past Four Joint Masters in front of kennels Sames Boyes, Sarah McLean, 100 years, for the Camilla Corrie, Otis Ferry. show. A good crowd

Duke of Beaufort’s Hunt Puppy Show Top Puppy Walkers receiving prizes: Scarlett Jukes; Tobias Milsom; Rachel Milsom with Duchess of Beaufort; Duke of Beaufort, MFH; Capt. Ian Farquhar, MFH.

Duke of Beaufort’s Hunt Puppy Show Top Young Doghound “Boris.”

South Shropshire Hunt Puppy Show Kennel-Huntsman Guy Fitzgerald showing the young hounds. Duke of Beaufort’s Hunt Puppy Show Huntsman Tony Holdsworth showing the young hounds.

Sir W.W. Wynn’s Hunt Puppy Show Midland Hunt, Georgia reunion in the UK Mary-Lu Lampton; Mason Lampton, MFH; Dido Rowson; Marc Dradge with daughter Jessica and wife Jill.

Sir W.W. Wynn’s Hunt Puppy Show, July 2013 Mason Lampton, MFH, Midland Foxhounds, Georgia; his wife Mary Lu; with Lady Daresbury and Lord Daresbury, MFH.

Sir W.W. Wynn’s Hunt Puppy Show, July 2013 Lady Williams-Wynn and Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn.

year Huntsman Tony Holdsworth had 11½ couple of dogs and 9½ couple of bitches to show. There were seven litters by six different stallions, four being homebred and two from outside, which were V.W.H. “Beaumont” and V.W.H. “Salisbury.” In the doghounds, the top three came from the litter by “Harrington” (by “Galahad”) out of “Bobcat” (by the prolific sire “Bailey”), with the top dog being “Boris.” Amazingly, the same thing happened in the bitches, with the three prize-winners coming from the same litter by V.W.H. “Beaumont” out of “Goblet” (by V.W.H. “Darius”), with the top bitch being “Beehive.” Top puppy walkers were Scarlett Jukes and Rachel Milsom, who received their trophies from the Duke and Duchess of Beaufort before we all adjourned to the indoor riding school for a splendid strawberry and cream tea.

gathered to watch Nigel Peel, MFH, and Peter McColgan, Professional Huntsman for Albrighton & Woodland Hunt, judge 18½ couple of young hounds from nine litters by four different stallions. South Shropshire “Potter” (by Beaufort “Farrier”) sired six litters, with Tynedale “Danger” and Haydon “Dagger” each siring one. However, by far the most outstanding litter was the one by South Shropshire “Spitfire” (by V.W.H. “Rustic”) out of “Cantlop” (by Beaufort “Halifax”). “Carnage” was top dog, with his sister “Casket” being top bitch and champion of the young entry for 2013. Next it was time for the most eagerly awaited and biggest puppy show of the season, the Duke of Beaufort’s, where the Duke and his Joint Master Capt. Ian Farquhar greeted around 500 guests to the kennels, set in Badminton Park, where the worldfamous three-day event takes place each spring. As Duke of Beaufort’s Hunt Puppy Show usual, Capt. Brian Fanshawe and Charmain Green, MFH, Warwickshire; Enny Green, ex-Whipper-in, Warwickshire; Martin Scott were Loveday Miller, Master of Devon & Somerset Staghounds. judging, and this

Finally, a puppy show which was different! Sir W. W. Wynn’s Hunt have Old English Foxhounds, mostly black and tan in color, a nice change from all white hounds. Even more different was the choice of judges. From a nearby pack came Otis Ferry, MFH (who judged at the Virginia show in 2011), but the other judge traveled much farther, being Mason Lampton, MFH Midland Foxhounds (Georgia), where the Senior Master is his father-in-law, the King of American Foxhunting, soon-to-be-94 Ben Hardaway, MFH. Mason and his wife Mary-Lu were welcomed by Lord and Lady Daresbury; and then we produced our “surprise” in the person of Mason’s former Huntsman Marc Dradge, who had driven from Scotland with his wife Jill and daughter Jessica; also a former Whipper-In, “Dido” Rowson, from the South Shropshire. The “summer” weather let us down, as it rained all afternoon! Soon, kennel-huntsman since 1980 Bert Loud was showing the five couple of young doghounds and 11½ couple of bitches from six litters by four different stallions: home-bred “Hazard,” Muskerry “Shamrock,” Limerick “Charger,” and Hurworth “Monarch.” Top dog was “Mostyn” by “Monarch” and top bitch “Christmas” by “Charger,” with “Christmas” taking the championship.

Sir W.W. Wynn’s Hunt Puppy Show Champion Young Hound “Christmas” with (in back) Top Young Dog “Mostyn.”


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2013

AGA’S SAGAS

21

Summertime, and the Livin’ Is . . .BUSY!

Hello, faithful readers! I hope you are enjoying your summer as much as Bunsen and I. There was so much to do at the store, but Marion made sure we got our walks, and we got to go places, too. A nice ride in an air-conditioned car really makes a girl feel special! Of course, with so much on our plates at the store, we were rushed off our paws. In fact, if I hadn’t learned to delegate my responsibilities, my paws would be so sore that I couldn’t put paw to paper. Fortunately, we are six weeks in and almost done with the redecorating of the main floor. New carpet and displays and a total rearrangement of the space, really, will make your visit to Horse Country even more enjoyable. Antiques have arrived from Marion’s trip to London and are being placed thoughtfully on the walls. Marion found some incredible 1950s hand printed linen drapes of American hunting scenes with big bold modern strokes to cozy up the big space. Simple and nice! I put Bunsen in charge of drape straightening since he has more, mmm, heft to move them back into place. Now, lassie, you’re nae starting off your wee column by poking fun at me, are you?

ful smells horse people carry on them. We love when men, women, and children come in their riding clothes, especially wearing their boots. Riding boots smell heavenly; leather, grass, manure, horses, the farm dogs and cats. Why once when a gentleman was trying on boots, I discovered Bunsen lying next to the gentleman’s well-worn tall boot with his snout stuffed into the shaft. He was taking deep breaths and was in such a state of bliss he didn’t even hear me approach. Must you mention that, Aga? Do I disclose how you roll on things that can be best described as “dead” and perhaps even more accurately as “decaying?” Now Bunsen, everyone knows dogs roll in stinky stuff. What’s amazing to me is that humans respond by bathing us in the most dreadfully scented shampoos, and then wonder why we immediately find something to roll in again! True. You’d think they’d make the connection. Bunsen and Aga.

I’m not! I’m merely explaining why I selected you for the very important task of drape straightening every day. And it’s not my “wee column,” I’ll have you know. It’s the first thing most people turn to when In & Around Horse Country reaches the mailbox. Readers are very interested in what we’re doing. Well, then, since your column is so highly touted, tell our faithful readers I need biscuits to recover from the frightening July 4th fireworks. I shall nae survive without biscuits to calm my nerves! Oh, Bunsen, you’re too funny. I won’t tell anyone Charles threw away your biscuits and put a big sign on the jar: “The Party’s Over!” So back to the delegating. With all the paints, stains and varnishing, I’ve been woozy most of the day and with Bunsen and I somewhat challenged in the opposable thumb department, I’ve had to put Debbie in charge of buttoning and zipping up the Barbours each day. We have a lot of them, in all the most popular styles and colors for both men and women. You should come in and see the new selection for fall. Try them on, make your selection and keep Debbie busy! When it comes to gift wrapping, I had to make a command decision there, too. The last time Rita Mae Brown visited and found gifts, Bunsen and I tried to gift wrap, but it was a disaster. First of all, Bunsen almost broke a china plate when he tried rolling on the paper to fold it around the box. Then when I tried to use the cello tape to fasten the paper it stuck to me everywhere! My paws, my whiskers, even my nose! Marion came out and almost fainted. “This will not do!” she exclaimed. “Who’s in charge here?” That’s how Kim got to be in charge of gift wrap. I merely supervise. Bunsen assists her by straightening our new gift bags in turquoise and hot pink. The bags themselves are beautiful and when you put one of our exquisite gifts inside, you’ve really got something! As always, Marion has laid in a wide array of gift items such as pillows, linen tea towels, wine stoppers, and trays. If you can give it, we probably stock it. We like to say our store is like Tiffany’s. Everyone can walk in and find something they want and can afford. Don’t forget that we have a gift registry available for brides, birthdays, and anniversaries. That way you can be sure to receive something you really want and maybe even need! In addition to our lack of thumbs, Bunsen and I have limited math skills. I mean I can count up to sixteen, but if I have to use my back feet I can get confused. Of course, Bunsen can’t see his back feet, so he can only count up to eight…

If you haven’t been in the store recently, you must see some key reorganizing on the main floor. Jenny has moved her book department to the center of the back wall in front of the massive rare book case. There are new displays for the boots and hats. The new carpet is pretty snappy and looks magnificent. Putting in the carpet was a logistical nightmare. But probably my favorite thing about the redecorating is the new display vignettes Charles has created around the store. He is so clever. I can guarantee you’ve never seen displays like this in a tack store. Everywhere your eye turns, there they are, looking just a little… curious. Charles has a wit that shows up in how he chooses to showcase some of our items. Speaking of showcase, it’s the time of year again to come in and select a new friend to take cub hunting with you. Yes, the tweeds have begun to arrive. They are (as usual) beautiful, so come in and make your selection. Not every pattern is available in every size, so come in early for the best selection. Cub hunting begins soon for most hunts so let me close by wishing you the best of sport as you help acclimate new horses to the hunt field and fox kits to the fine sport of fox hunting. But I must tell you that Bunsen and I are rooting for the foxes. Yours in sport, Aga This just in! News, news, news! The holidays at Horse Country officially begin on December 11, 2013. My Marion has just confirmed Santa and Mrs. Claus and an elf will visit the store and bring a sled full of goodies for all of you. Save the date. We’ll have more news later.

Janet Hitchen Photography

Now see here, lassie! I can SO see my back feet. Well, at least one at a time. So you’re good up to twelve then? Yes… NO! Bah, that’s why we have Gwen. Gwen is our bookkeeper and one of the people who take us for walks. We love her! Gwen always gives me my treat first, because she knows it’s my due. Err, no more treats for me either, now. Gwen has been given the order. One of the tasks we do not delegate is our duty of greeting our customers. As soon as I hear the door open I skip across the floor to see which of our friends has come to visit. From his zebra striped chair Bunsen cracks open one eye and gives a deep sniff to see if the visitor has brought food in addition to all of the wonder-

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


22

JENNY’S PICKS “You’ve got too many books! They’ve got to go to make room for other new things coming in!” said Marion. So I’m having the biggest book sale Horse Country ever had! I’ve slashed the prices on at least half of our new books, including a few videos and DVDs. Come check out the savings! And while you’re here, check out the third phase of Horse Country renovations! Or, if you can’t get to the store, sale prices should be reflected in the online catalog at www.horsecountrycarrot.com. 2014 Calendars are now in! Check out our selection on www.horsecountrycarrot.com! We have wall calendars and engagement calendars at $14.99 and boxed daily calendars at $13.99. New books: Myers, Karen. King of the May. Volume 3 of the fantasy series the Hounds of Annwn is now in print, with a fourth volume, Bound Into the Blood, scheduled for release later this year. In Volume 3, clan loyalties come into play: the Prince of Annwn determines to break free of parental interference in the running of his New World domain. King Lludd of Britain has no intention of letting his son break free of his command. George Traherne is bound by family ties to support Prince Gwyn ap Nudd and finds himself and even the Hounds of Annwn, of which he is Huntsman, in peril. Myers’ novels are action-packed and great reading. Softcover, $17.99 Volume 1, To Carry the Horn, and Volume 2, The Ways of Winter, are both still available at $17.99 each. Definitely advisable to read them in sequence! Tabor, Bob. Polo: Equine Warriors. In this large coffee table book, Tabor celebrates the courage and skill of the polo pony with 150 photographs, accompanied by short essays by renowned polo players, trainers, and others. Tabor also produced Horse Whisperings, which we also stock and featured in a previous issue of IAHC. Hardcover, 132pp. $69.50 In honor of the wonderful exhibit of the works of A.J. Munnings on display at the Sporting Library in Middleburg, Virginia, I have assembled some recently acquired used books on art, some equine, some canine.

IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2013

HORSE COUNTRY BOOKSELLERS Specialists in New, Old & Rare Books on Horses, Foxhunting, Eventing, Polo, Racing, Steeplechasing & Sporting Art 60 Alexandria Pike, Warrenton, VA 20186 • 800-882-HUNT • 540-347-3141 Aldin, Cecil. An Artist’s Models. London, H. F. & G. Witherby, 1930. Hardcover, good cond. w/good dj that has slight tears & wear. Bookplate inside front cover. Foxing. 20 plates illustrating Aldin’s canine models. Aldin talks about many of the dogs which he has drawn or painted, some of which were his own, others which were brought in for him to paint. 80pp. (6102) $145.00 The following by C. W. Anderson are not collector quality, but if you are looking for an inexpensive copy of this favorite illustrator of children’s horse books of the mid-20th century, these won’t break the bank. The interiors are for the most part unmarked and could be framed. Anderson, C. W. Big Red. New York, Macmillan, 1943. Hardcover, fair cond., no dj. Cover soiled, corners bumped, bottom of spine frayed, some staining to a few of the rear pages. Children’s book about the great Man O’ War, illustrated by the author. 64pp. (6151) $15.00 Anderson, C. W. Black, Bay and Chestnut. New York, Macmillan, 1939. Poor condition, hardcover, no dj, cover badly stained, spine cover torn off, corners bumped and frayed, pages soiled, owner’s stamp on front endpaper and inked in on inside front cover. Children’s book about 20 favorite horses, most of them Thoroughbreds, illustrated by the author. Unpaginated. (6152) $10.00 Anderson, C. W. Deep Through the Heart. New York, Macmillan, 1940. Hardcover, poor cond., no dj, cover badly stained, spine cover half torn off, corners bumped and frayed, pages soiled, owner’s stamp on front endpaper and inked in on inside front cover. Children’s book about courageous horses, most of them Thoroughbreds. Unpaginated. (6153) $10.00 Anderson, C. W. Heads Up - Heels Down. New York, Macmillan, 1967. 12th printing. Hardcover, no dj, good condition with bumped corners, a little soiling. Bookplate inside front cover. Children’s riding instruction book, illustrated by the author. 144pp. (6154) $20.00

Anderson, C. W. Thoroughbreds. New York, Macmillan, 1942. Hardcover, fair cond., cover worn and soiled, no dj. Owner’s name in ink and stamped on front flyleaf. Some stains on inside rear cover and flyleaf. Interior is clean. Children’s book about Thoroughbred breed. 72pp. (6155) $15.00 Anderson, C. W. A Touch of Greatness. New York, Macmillan, 1945. Good cond., hardcover, no dj, minor discoloring to cover, cover edges rubbed, corners bumped, foxing on endpapers and inside covers, pages yellowed, but book is sound. A children’s book about some great Thoroughbreds, with b&w illustrations by the author. 96pp. (6150) $15.00 Cormack, Malcolm. Champion Animals. Sculptures by Herbert Haseltine. Richmond, VA, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 1996. Paperback, as new condition. The majority of the text is abstracted from Haseltine’s memoirs and gives delightful insight into Haseltine’s selection and sculpting of British champion animals, from pigs to horses. Included are photographs of the actual animals, shown side by side with the finished sculpture in many instances for comparison. The collection now resides in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. 94pp. (6101) $30.00 Dawson, Lucy. Dogs As I See Them. New York, Grosset & Dunlap, 1937. Fair cond. Paper over cardboard cover chipped, discolored & missing from the spine. Corners bumped. 22 illustrations in three-tone plus lots of b&w sketches are delightful. The author, a wonderful artist, has compiled a number of portraits of a number of different dogs, with a little introduction to them. Medium appears to be charcoal, conte and/or chalk/pastel. Terriers, toys, large dogs and even a Siamese cat are portrayed. Unpaginated. (6161) $40.00 Copy, fair cond. Cardboard cover held on by endpapers only, soiled & battered, but interior good. (6105) $50.00 Dawson, Lucy. Dogs Rough & Smooth. New York, Grosset & Dunlap, no date. Good sound cond. with fair dj covered in plastic wrap. Inscription inside front flyleaf. Wonderful sketch-

es of various breeds, mostly in b&w, some with brown conte, on toned paper, with a brief verbiage about them. 78pp. (6106) $75.00 Edwards, Lionel. Famous Foxhunters. London, England, Eyre & Spottiswoode, Ltd., 1932. 4to, t.e.g., color frontis. and 7 plates plus other b&w illus. by the author and others. Minor foxing on some pages but basically clean & sound. Good cond., bumped edges & wear to bottom of front cover. Over 30 illus. by author and other sporting artists. Brief biographies, with focus on foxhunting, of at least 23 noted foxhunters. 103pp. (6129) $150.00 Lyne, Michael. From Litter to Later On/ A Puppy “Progress” Book. Gloucestershire, Eng., Standfast Press, 1973. Book very good cond., dj price clipped, worn, tattered, with V-shaped tear in top front. Lyne takes a litter of puppies bred from a beagle sire and a rough-haired terrier looking rather like a Jack Russell and sketches them from birth, recounting their adventures in text as well. Unpaginated. (6111) $50.00 Stokes, Vernon. The Drawing & Painting of Dogs. London, Seeley Service & Co., 1934. Part of the New Art Library, Second Series. Hardcover, good condition, no dj, cover a little worn and soiled around the edges, corners bumped. Pencil marks inside front cover & flyleaf. Color frontis. and endpiece, b&w pencil reproductions throughout. The author/artist discusses the many variables in sketching dog breeds. One chapter deals with media and materials for painting. 112pp. (6113) $40.00 Thelwell, Norman. A Leg at Each Corner. USA, Dutton, 1970. 14th printing. Hardcover, good condition, no dj, very minor foxing on top of pages, bumped corners & spine, small stain on front cover, interior clean & sound. Thelwell’s ponies and children are well-known to many horsemen by now, and this book of cartoons illustrating riding is as charming as any. Thelwell’s books are currently unavailable new in this country.128pp. (6175) $20.00 Tuck’s Post Card. Postcard – “A Hunting We Will Go” English hunting postcard, issued & date stamped ’08 (presumed 1908). Very good cond. Postcard with painting of foxhounds literally on the tail of a fox running up RR tracks; text reads “Well with them we are, and well with them we’ll be/While there’s wind in our horses and daylight to see.” (6181) $4.00


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2013

GEORGE WHITE FENCING AND SUPPLY

23

BOOK REVIEW Battleship: A Daring Heiress, A Teenage Jockey, and America’s Horse

Installation • Repairs • Fence Painting Portable Barns and Sheds FERNANDO VILLAVICENCIO

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

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In & Around Horse Country Is Now Online! In & Around Horse Country is now available at the click of your mouse. Just go to www.issuu.com/horsecountrypost to read the current and past issues. It’s the same informative, entertaining content presented in a more colorful online format, and with hotlinks to our advertisers and other sites of interest. Now you have a choice: Enjoy our popular, traditional print edition, or get to In & Around Horse Country – the world of foxhunting, racing, polo, and other horse sports – with a single click.

HORSES Thoroughbred horses for sale and free to good approved homes. Fillies and colts. Contact Amanda Tuttle amandatuttle@mac.com and 1-443-562-3284 Rock Hall Maryland.

SCHOOLMASTER - 1997 grey, 16H Lusitano gelding Imported from Brazil. 3rd Level with tremendous talent for Piaffe & Passage. Great for talented Young Rider. Serious Inquiries Call HORSEFARMSANDCOUNTRYHOMES.COM Kathy Armstrong at 301-509-5086 or 301-916Cindy Polk, 703.966.9480, David O’Flaherty 4212 Realtor specializing in country properties from cottages, land and hobby farms to fine estates and professional equestrian facilities. Washington HORSE TRAILER FOR SALE Fine Properties. 204 E. Washington St., 2006 SUNDOWNER two horse TL, bumper Middleburg, VA. pull, dressing room, excellent condition. $10,000 VACATION RENTAL, charming cottage in Call Kathy Armstrong at 301-916-4212 or 301The Plains, near Middleburg fully furnished, 509-5086. sleeps 2-4, day,week or month. (540) 246-5880, VRBO.com/392274 1977 6 HORSE VAN. International 1800 Loadstar (gas). Box in excellent condition. Truck in very good condition, low mileage. $12,500. David Carter EXPERIENCED PROFESSIONAL horse- (540) 522-4985 or (540) 672-3810. Email hareforest@aol.com.

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woman available for on site farm-sitting July and August 2013. Will include riding of horses if desired. Excellent references. Gloria Glossbrenner (540) 219-1622.

Dorothy Ours knocked this one right out of the ballpark— Battleship combines a great horse tale with insightful biography. Written in a similar vein as Laura Hillenbrand’s Seabiscuit, Battleship evokes a bygone era, painting the socio-historical background with sure strokes and brilliant colors, weaving together the lives of the three protagonists: the inimitable Marion duPont Scott, young Bruce Hobbs, and the diminutive progeny of Man 0’ War, Battleship. The information about Marion duPont Scott was revelatory. Anyone who spends any time around horses, especially in Virginia, eventually will encounter, possibly firsthand, the equine medical center bearing her name in Leesburg. But to read about Scott from her childhood at Montpelier, the family estate near Orange, through her adult years and two marriages, filled in lots of blanks and answered many questions. Albeit not all of them: duPont Scott remains a bit of an enigma, except where her horses are concerned. Scott enjoyed friendships and close associations with several gentleman jockeys, especially Carroll Bassett and Noel Laing, which provide even more colorful background to that era’s sporting life. One thread woven into the overall fabric of the big story dealt with the psychological and emotional stresses on an aspiring jockey’s mother as well as the pressures brought to bear by his father, Bruce Hobbs, who trained Battleship. Parental anxiety is just as true today even with the evolution of better helmet designs and protective “flak” jackets. On the day Marge comes up trumps (even though she had stopped watching his races) with a telegram that declared: HEARTFELT CONGRATULATIONS DELIGHTED FONDEST LOVE MUMMY As for Hobbs himself, he declared: “I have never ridden a gamer horse, and I know I never shall.” The point of the book is the final race in Battleship’s career, the fourth fastest Grand National to date. DuPont Scott remained true to herself—totally composed, very cool—even though she admitted later that it was a “most exciting win.” But she had believed all along in Battleship and had stood up to Reg Hobbs when he wanted to scratch the horse. Afterwards, she knew also that her horse had reached his limit. She never once considered running him back at Aintree the next year. She knew her horses. The Grand National was essentially Battleship’s swan song. “The Gallant Little American Horse” retired to stud at Montpelier. Ours had established a solid track record as an author with the publication in 2006 of Man O’ War: A Legend Like Lightning. She adds the weight of her extensive research and knowledge for the Man O’ War biography to what she harvested in 2009 as a John H. Daniels Research Fellow at the National Sporting Library in Middleburg. Her familiarity with the racing world takes readers from nursery farms to sales pavilions to racetracks and beyond. As for the Grand National itself, Ours gets it right. Spurred on by her passion for her subjects— human, equine and historical—she brings Battleship “home” with a flourish. Hardback, dust jacket, illustrated with photographs, notes, index. 360 pages. $26.99.


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HORSE RACING

IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2013

Horses and People to Watch Virginia Thoroughbred Association

The 2013 Colonial Downs meet closed July 13 with a card that included Virginia’s flagship races, the Grade II Virginia Derby and the Grade III Virginia Oaks. In an exciting three-way photo finish, Kenny McPeek and his syndicate Magdalena Racing won the Virginia Derby with the 3-year-old War Dancer. The final time was 2:03.57. Three wide under Alan Garcia for most of the running, War Dancer sat towards the back of the pack and gradually worked his way up, passing a struggling Redwood Kitten in the straight. Striking the lead at the sixteenth pole, War Dancer repelled first a rail bid by Ken Ramsey’s Charming Kitten and then a flying outside finish by a paternal half-brother, Todd Pletcher’s Jack Milton. The three were separated by no more than a head. The in the 2013 Grade II Virginia Derby. favorite, Gary Contessa’s Exciting three-way finish Coady Photograph Rydilluc, sat close to the pace early but faded in the stretch. McPeek originally imagined that the son of War Front might make a Kentucky Derby horse, but War Dancer quickly established himself as a turf horse. The big bay is what McPeek calls “a little flatflooted,” and he has run to his conformation. War Dancer made his first start this year and has consistently improved since breaking his maiden on the weeds at Gulfstream in March. He won an allowance at Keeneland in April, then finished third behind Noble Tune and Admiral Kitten in the Grade II American Turf Stakes at Churchill. Then came a driving second in the Centaur Stakes at Indiana Downs, a month before the Virginia Derby. McPeek expects to aim War Dancer at the Grade I Secretariat at Arlington next. “You gotta go there with a 3-year-old,” McPeek said. Francis Abbott III, or “Tres,” lodged his first graded stakes win in the Virginia Oaks with Nellie Cashman, a daughter of Mineshaft. Owned by Sycamore Racing, a syndicate put together by Abbott’s father, Nellie Cashman sat a length off the front-runner through most of the running. Team Valor’s Three Hearts led the field through fractions of 25.93 and 52.21 while Nellie Cashman coasted along well in hand on the inside. She cruised to the outside on the backstretch, then challenged Three Hearts coming out of the turn. The pair dueled briefly, Nellie Cashman took and lost the lead, then rallied again to pass that foe with inches to spare. Forest Boyce rode. Bred in Pennsylvania, Nellie Cashman had been knocking at the door in maiden special weights for eight months before breaking through by 5¼ lengths June 21. Her sole stakes start before the Oaks was the Blue Mountain Stakes at Penn National last November, where she finished 10th in her second lifetime start. The final time was 1:52.86. Abbott has not set a next start for the filly. Even in the face of stormy weather, attendance for Virginia Derby day was 6,040, approximately on par with 2012’s attendance. •••• Virginian Reid Nagle finished the Colonial meet as leading owner by wins with eight wins out of 26 starts for a 31 percent strike rate. Under the stable name Big Lick Farm, Nagle accrued earnings of $120,417 and a top-three strike rate of 58 percent. Nagle cited a variety of factors behind his success. “We had some horses that were dropping pretty significantly,” Nagle said. “I purchased them hoping they were more, so when I dropped them, I expected them to do well, so that was where some of the wins came from. Then we had a couple of horses that we thought very highly of, and you never know how they are going to perform, so that was very satisfying.” Like many horseman, Nagle cited the abbreviated meet as one of his biggest challenges. He suggested that running a four-day meet over seven weeks might be more beneficial to both the horsemen and the horses. “It’s a wonderful turf course. Four days a week would give it a little bit longer to repair, and most importantly, it would allow horsemen to run their horses more during the meet,” Nagle said. “With only a five-week meet, without abusing the horses, you can only get two, at most three starts in. If it were spread out, say 28 days over seven weeks, you could very comfortably get in three and perhaps even four starts.” Nagle is keenly aware of the benefits of the generous state-bred incentive program. “The Virginia-bred program is extraordinarily generous for a very short period of time. The extra monies that are offered up are very enticing, so obviously if you have horses that perform well on the turf, and they’re Virginia-breds, you want to get as much action in as you can during the very short meet.” Virginia native Ferris Allen took home the meet title for Leading Trainer by wins,

nosing out Hamilton Smith 10 wins to nine. Perennial leading rider Horacio Karamanos topped the leaderboards with 31 wins out of 128 starts. ••••• The Virginia Horse Industry Board and the Virginia Breeders Fund presented the 2012 Virginia Breeders’ Awards in July in a special program at Colonial Downs that included five state-bred stakes races. Presentations in eleven categories followed each race and culminated in the crowning of Bodemeister as the M. Tyson Gilpin Horse of 2012 Champion Virginia breeders Audley Farm celebrate their the Year and the Champion 3-Year-Old Colt, Bodemeister. Coady Photography Champion Virginiabred Three-Year-Old Colt. Audley Farm, breeders of Bodemeister, also accepted the awards for Leading Virginia Breeder and Champion Virginia Broodmare. Audley-breds won 42 races in 2012 and claimed an in-the-money strike rate of 40 percent. 2012 marks the fourth year Audley has been crowned Leading Virginia Breeder. In addition to Bodemeister, who stands at WinStar Farm, several Virginia-bred awards went to young stallions now standing in Kentucky and Maryland. Dominus, new to the 2013 Spendthrift roster, received the award for Champion Virginia-bred Turf Horse. Redeemed, standing at Northview Stallion Station in Maryland, received the award for Champion Virginia-bred Older Horse. •••• Noted: Virginia-breds sold well at the Fasig-Tipton July Sale in Lexington. Six horses went through the ring for an average of $77,000, including a Midnight Lute filly from the Morgan’s Ford draft that sold to Tod Quast for Goldmark Farm for $130,000. ••••

Last year’s Yearling Futurity Champion, a colt by Jump Start out of Green Jeans, by Green Dancer, bred by Althea Richards. Pictured (l to r): Anna Petty, Althea Richards, Jose Cruz. VTA photo

The Virginia Thoroughbred Association announces the 2013 Thirteenth Annual Virginia Breeders Fund $15,000 Yearling Futurity. Location: Warrenton Horse Show, Warrenton, VA Date: Saturday, August 31 Time: 8:00 AM Futurity Judge: Bill Graves Eligibility: Jockey Club-registered and Virginia Breeders Fund-registered Entry Fee: VTA members, no fee. Non-VTA members, $100 per entry. Awards: • $10,000 in Cash Prizes: Prize money will be divided as follows: $5,000 in each class – 1st, $3,000; 2nd, $1,000; 3rd, $500; 4th, $250; 5th, $150; and 6th, $100. • $5,000 Three-Year-Old Bonus: Any Virginia-bred or Virginia-sired yearling that competes in the ring in the colt or filly Futurity class will be eligible to compete for a percentage of a $5,000 bonus. Bonuses will be awarded to the top four money-earners at the racetrack at the completion of the 3-year-old year. • $400 in Groom’s Awards: $100 to the groom of the best turned-out yearling in each class (colt and filly) plus $100 each to the groom of the champion and reserve champion yearlings.


In & Around Horse Country  

The Official Publication of the Virginia Steeplechase Association

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