In & Around Horse Country April-May 2014

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Piedmont Fox Hounds Invited the Members of Orange County Hounds to their Closing Hunt


Sunday, March 23, 2014 Milton Sender’s Dencrest Farm near Marshall, Virginia

Piedmont hounds on a hot line. Douglas Lees photo

A Piedmont Foxhound happily doing what hounds love to do most. Douglas Lees photo

The Mad Dash. Piedmont Fox Hounds Closing Hunt, with guests from Orange County Hounds. Foreground: Rachel Gray Allen, Piedmont; Reg Spreadborough, Orange County Huntsman; Fiona Anderson, Orange County. Dencrest, March 23, 2014. Middleburg Photo

The Middleburg Hunt Middleburg Academy, February 8, 2014 Middleburg photo Eddy Bell; Penny Denegre, MFH; Jeff Blue, MFH; Head of School Colley Bell. Middleburg Academy,

Rachel Gray Allen, left, and Spencer Allen, Piedmont Huntsman, take hounds to the draw as the combined field of Piedmont and Orange County members follow. Douglas Lees photo

Parent Karen Lilly helped serve the stirrup cup, Middleburg Academy style.

Hounds of the Middleburg Hunt, sharp and eager.

Milton Sender (sunglasses); John Coles, MFH Orange County Hounds; Gregg Ryan, MFH, Piedmont Fox Hounds; Tad Zimmerman, MFH, Piedmont Fox Hounds; Walter Kansteiner, ex-MFH, Piedmont Fox Hounds. Douglas Lees photo

Stephen “Reg” Spreadborough, Orange County Hounds Huntsman, with his wife Fiona Anderson. Douglas Lees photo

Huntsman Barry Magner with hounds of Middleburg Hunt meet on the front lawn of Middleburg Academy.



SPORTING LIFE HIGHLIGHTS Horse Country Hosts Book Launch: The Prophet of Paradise by J. Harris Anderson What if someone believed that Saint Hubert, the patron saint of hunters, was calling him to form The Church of Foxhunting? Not as a joke, but as a structured form of religion, complete with prayers, sermons, hymns, and a creed. And what if that person began to exhibit uncanny powers, every day of hunting delivered magnificent sport, and libidos ran as wild as the foxes being chased? This is the premise on which J. Harris Anderson’s new novel, The Prophet of Paradise, is based. Entertaining, amusing, and thought-provoking, the book is already receiving an enthusiastic welcome among the hunting community. An energetic crowd gathat Horse Country John West (left) was among the many attendees who picked ered up a signed copy of J. Harris Anderson’s just-released novel. Saddlery on Thursday evening, Middleburg Photo March 20, to hear Anderson discuss his work and sign just-released copies. After enjoying snacks and drinks, the attendees settled in for the brief presentation. “This book is about foxhunting, religion, and sex,” Anderson began. “A common bit of advice for writers is to write what you know. Well,” he added with a grin, “I figured in my case two out of three would have to do.” He then went on to explain how those three elements come together in his portrayal of country life and mounted sport. “The idea that there’s a nexus between faith and hunting is not original to me,” Anderson confessed. “In fact, it goes back to pre-history where one of the earliest forms of religion called upon the hunting gods to grant success. If the hunt did not succeed, the people did not eat. What we do in the hunt field today isn’t for survival but more akin to a ritual that recognizes the deep-seated pattern in our makeup passed down from those ancient ancestors.” He then went on to explain the unique aspect of foxhunting as a communal and cooperative activity. “Because of this,” Anderson said, “foxhunting serves as a cohesive force that bonds a community together. Take that bonding force away, and the community begins to unravel.” With that, he told the story of a tribe of Australian Aborigines whose social cohesion centered on the making and use of stone axes. When the stone axes were replaced with factory-made steel axes, social decay quickly followed. How does that relate to foxhunting? The connection made sense when Anderson read a passage in which a central character, Thumper Billington, senior master of the local hunt, speaks of foxhunting’s multi-generational traditions, connection to the land, to family, to history. Billington concludes with, “Foxhunting is, in a sense, our stone ax.” For the third element—sex—Anderson cited the double meaning of the word “venery,” which can be used to describe both the act of hunting and the pursuit of

sexual pleasure. He then read a passage that clearly illustrated the analogy. He assured his audience that there are several other such passages in the book, but readers will have to find them on their own. Looking around the packed room, he concluded with a sincere summation: “It’s good to have friends.” Dozens of those friends then lined up to have their copies signed by the author. The evening continued on with good company, refreshments, and praise for this new addition to the body of foxhunting literature. The Prophet of Paradise, soft cover, 487 pp, $22.95, available through Horse Country Saddlery, 800-882-4868, ••••

Upcoming Events In & Around Horse Country Spring will be here soon (we hope!). Hunter paces and point-to-points, hound shows, book signings, informative presentations, museum displays – lots to do! Here’s a list of some upcoming events. Hunter Pace Events & Spring Races: For contact information and more details on the Hunter Pace Events and Spring Races, go to Hunter Pace Events: Saturday, April 12: Bull Run Hunt Saturday, April 19: Rappahannock Hunt Saturday, April 26: Loudoun Fairfax Hunt Spring Races: Sunday, April 13: Loudoun Hunt Point-to-Point Saturday, April 19: Middleburg Spring Races Sunday, March 20: Thornton Hill Fort Valley Hounds Point-to-Point Saturday, April 26: Foxfield Spring Races, Charlottesville Sunday, April 27: Middleburg Hunt Point-to-Point Saturday, May 3: Virginia Gold Cup Races Reception, Lecture, and Book Signing: National Sporting Library Thursday, April 17, 6:00-8:00 p.m. John Blackburn, author of Healthy Stables By Design 7th Annual Mosby Ride: Mosby Heritage Area Association Sunday, May 4, begins at 10:00 a.m. Exploring Historic Rectortown. Hunt Country Stable Tour Saturday, May 24 & Sunday, May 25

Museum of Hounds & Hunting North America Members Reception Saturday, May 24, 5:00 p.m. The Mansion, Morven Park, Leesburg Open to current members and members’ guests. Virginia Foxhound Club Cocktail Party and Dinner Saturday, May 24, 6:00 p.m. Horning Blowing Contest, 7:00 pm Used Book Sale: National Sporting Library Museum Saturday, May 24, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. NSLM used book sale in conjunction with the Hunt Country Stable Tour. Virginia Hound Show Sunday, May 25, 8:00 a.m. Morven Park, Leesburg Museum of Hounds & Hunting North America Sunday, May 25, 11:00 a.m. The Mansion, Morven Park, Leesburg Current exhibits open to the public. Hound Shows For the full schedule of hound shows: Upperville Colt & Horse Show Monday, June 2 – Sunday, June 8 Upperville Show Grounds Gates open at 8:00 a.m. daily.

COVER PHOTOGRAPHER: Janet Hitchen PHOTOGRAPHERS: Michelle O’Hanlon Arnold Richard Clay Steve DeCata Veronica Demarest Tempus Fugit Lauren R. Giannini Janet Hitchen 540-837-9846 Douglas Lees Jim Meads, U.K. 011-44-1686-420436 Middleburg Photo Betsy Burke Parker Allene Rachal ON THE COVER: Trainer Jimmy Day Teresa Ramsay on Triple Dip with Liam McVicar follow- Tish Ray ing behind. At Jimmy and Emily Day’s Nancy Wilson “Cedarwood,” White Post, Va.

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 June/July issue is May 15. Payment in full due with copy. Publisher: Marion Maggiolo Managing Editor: J. Harris Anderson Advertising: Mary Cox (540) 636-7688 Email: Contributors: Aga; J. Harris Anderson; Caroline J. Cox, Lauren R. Giannini; Jim Meads; Will O’Keefe; Betsy Burke Parker; Virginia Thoroughbred Association; Daphne Wood, Jt. MFH; Jenny Young LAYOUT & DESIGN: Kate Houchin Copyright 2014 In & Around Horse Country®. All Rights Reserved. Volume XXVI, No.3 POSTMASTER: CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED




The History and Future of Foxhunting in the Piedmont: A Panel Discussion

By J. Harris Anderson Four illustrious figures from the Virginia and arrivals. Hunters must also be cautious to Maryland foxhunting community gathered for avoid negative encounters that could sully the an informative panel discussion on a Sunday relationship before it has a chance to develop. afternoon, February 16, 2014. Sponsored by When Jake Carle was master and huntsman the Mosby Area Heritage Association, the at Keswick, he was always mindful to invite event was held at the Hill School in new people to parties at the clubhouse. He Middleburg, Virginia. The topic of discussion also advocates getting children into the fold was “Foxhunting: The History and Future of as a way to further strengthen the community the Sport in the Piedmont.” These four gentlebonds. He noted that the current Keswick men were well selected as they possess a depth huntsman, Tony Gammell, is starting a beagle of knowledge about the sport and are not lackpack as a way to introduce more children to ing for insights into its future. hunting. Landowners Gordon and Sally Lamb MHAA Foxhunting Panel Discussion (l-r): H.Turney McKnight, Elkridge-Harford Dr. Will Allison, ex-MFH, began hunting host a “Legislative Trail Ride” every summer with the Warrenton Hunt in 1964. He was Hounds; Dr. William H. Allison, ex-MFH Warrenton Hunt; Jake Carle, ex-MFH Keswick for local legislators and others who are all Hunt; Tad Zimmerman, MFH Piedmont Fox Hounds; Joseph Dempsey, organizer, modappointed Honorary Secretary in 1980 and invited to bring their children to enjoy the erator, MHAA board member, and Warrenton Hunt member. Douglas Lees photo served in that position until he was named Joint open countryside and play with hounds. Master in 1985. He retired from the master’s role in 2000. A native of Warrenton, Jake told of an incident when Jill Summers was master at Keswick. A lady Dr. Allison is also actively involved in the steeplechase world where he holds key bought a crucial piece of land and closed it to the hunt. Her reasoning was that positions with multiple organizations. “hounds eat little children in their spare time.” The master paid her a visit and John J. (Jake) Carle II, ex-MFH, served as master for the Keswick Hunt from brought along some hounds that joyfully, and politely, played with the children 1964 to 2000. He was also the club’s huntsman for 23 seasons during that time. The present. Problem solved. 2011 recipient of the Julian Marshall Award at the Bryn Mawr Hound Show, Mr. Tad Zimmerman brought up the subject of point-to-points, the number of Carle is highly regarded as a judge of hounds at several annual shows. He has held which has regrettably declined in recent years. And those that are still held often positions with the MFHA as well as both the Virginia and American Foxhound have fewer horses entered and smaller crowds than in the past. This trend is espeClubs, and was a founding member of the Museum of Hounds & Hunting North cially distressing as not only are the point-to-points a major source of revenue for America. the hunts but they also serve as another cohesive force for the community. The H. Turney McKnight, a retired attorney, boasts a long history in the sports of races provide an opportunity for everyone—not just hunters and horse people—to racing and hunting. In the 1970s and ’80s he amassed an impressive number of come together and enjoy a day of sport and socializing. This suggests that increased wins on the steeplechase circuit, including his 1982 win in the challenging efforts to promote these events would return multiple dividends in terms of both Maryland Hunt Cup, considered by many to be the most difficult steeplechase funds and landowner relations. event in America. He serves as chairman of the My Lady’s Manor Point-to-Points Zimmerman went on to point out that it’s not only essential to protect the land where, between 1973 and 1983, he was second twice and third three times. His against development but maintaining the character of the countryside is also imporwife, Liz, who won the Maryland Hunt Cup in 1986, serves as MFH of the tant. This entails communicating with landowners about such matters as constructElkridge-Harford Hunt. ing three-board rather than four-board fencing, using thinner wire where needed Arthur A. “Tad” Zimmerman, MFH of Piedmont Fox Hounds since 2000, and keeping it off the ground, and positioning fencing to keep cattle out of creek grew up hunting with the Radnor Hunt in Pennsylvania, where he also showed bottoms such that the hunt can still pass through. As many new landowners do not hunters as a junior. He was a reserve rider for the Pan Am Games in Mexico City work the land themselves, they need to be educated. For example, Zimmerman and in 1976 was on the short list for the Montreal Olympics. He serves as Senior makes a plea for restraint when using weed whips on hedgerows. People accusSteward for the National Steeplechase Association and as a Regional tomed to the neatly trimmed landscaping of suburbia may fail to realize that shagRepresentative for the MFHA. He is the Chief of the General Services Division at gier growth, while it may look unkempt, makes for better wildlife habitat. the International Monetary Fund. Another aspect of countryside maintenance brought unanimous agreement (Unfortunately, Randy Rouse, MFH of Fairfax Hunt since 1961, was unable from the panel members: the size of coops and the use of riders. All concurred that to attend due to health reasons.) larger coops tall enough to restrain livestock without the need for riders are preferWith Warrenton Hunt’s Joe Dempsey serving as moderator, the first topic able. was, not surprisingly, the effect of encroaching development. The subject of deer came up during the Q&A session. Will Allison and Jake Despite the serious threat posed to foxhunting, Dr. Will Allison led off with a Carle both recalled that the deer population was much thinner in their youth. Dr. bit of levity. After stating that development pressure has been with us for a long Allison said that most country people hunted for the meat and that helped keep the time and will continue to be a concern, he noted, with his trademark twinkle, the deer herds in check. As a huntsman, Jake found the increased presence of deer actuirksome practice of developers befouling hunting country and then tagging the ally helped break hounds from running them as the deer became commonplace newly paved streets with such names as “Huntsman’s Way,” “Saddle Circle,” rather than a rare temptation. “Stirrup Court,” etc. Carle is, however, concerned about the increasing presence of coyote. He Turney McKnight told of a campaign started in the Elkridge-Harford area in pointed out the problems that can occur when hounds get on that quarry, especialthe 1970s under the slogan, “Foxhunting Helps Save Open Space.” He said by ly where there are lots of roads or in steep country like the Thornton Hill territory using foxhunting as a powerful land preservation tool, 25,000 acres were saved around Sperryville, where long, hard runs can take a toll on horses, even well-conthrough easements. ditioned Thoroughbreds. Tad Zimmerman recalled his boyhood days hunting with the Radnor Hunt. Will Allison served on the commission that drew up a comprehensive plan for Thanks to the efforts of the Brandywine Conservancy, hunt country was preserved Fauquier County in 1966. The plan called for the preservation of green spaces and as close as 15 miles from Philadelphia. He is optimistic that through similar efforts it is still in place today. But the Board of Supervisors has the power to override the the Virginia Piedmont can be saved. His did, however, point out that while in the plan if they choose. Consequently, it’s important for those who want to see open past most people who bought property in the Piedmont area were foxhunters, that land protected to be active in the political process. is now the exception. Worse still are the absentee owners who are not part of the Another question addressed the issue of mergers between neighboring hunts. community. New arrivals who do not hunt can still be supportive if they can be Dr. Allison said that he expects there will be more “marriages of necessity.” shown the positive attributes that the foxhunting culture contributes and become a It was an entertaining and informative afternoon. The attendees left with both part of the community, even if they never take up the sport themselves. a better appreciation of the local foxhunting history and a renewed vigor to help McKnight has found that the sense of community and the history of foxhunt- preserve this important tradition and protect the land that makes it possible. ing are not important to many of those moving into hunt country. In his experience, For more information on the Mosby Heritage Area Association and upcoming the smaller landowners are the most difficult to assimilate to the local culture. events, visit Consequently, it’s important for hunt clubs to be proactive in reaching out to new




The Science of Sport Drag Hunting: Laying It On the Line By Betsy Burke Parker

Aiken Hounds Huntsman Katherine Gunter and whipper-in Gina Salatino give the pack a break between drag runs. Betsy Burke Parker photo

Alan Andrews uses the more traditional conveyance for laying a drag line at Misty Morning Hounds Alma del Zorro fixure. Jim Meads photo

Kim Munoz finds an ATV is the preferable way to lay the line through Misty Morning’s Perry Plantation territory. Allene Rachal photo

The Aiken hounds in full cry on a line crossing the Gaylard’s Line near Coker Springs. Betsy Burke Parker photo

A drag line allows the crowd on Misty Morning’s Tally-Ho Wagon to enjoy an excellent view of the hunting action. Allene Rachal photo

When they refer to Gina Arcate as “a fox” she beams at what many consider a sexist slur. Call Betty Sulpher a “drag queen,” she smiles indulgently but takes it as a compliment. It’s not postmodern feminist pushback. Turns out, the hackneyed prods are pretty accurate. For you see, as attractive as the blond whip for New York’s Smithtown Hunt is, Arcate’s a fox for real for the 100-year-old club, laying a trail for hounds to follow twice a week in season. And Sulpher’s draped fetchingly in the traditional—unisex—livery of Canada’s Ottawa Valley Hunt to lure the baying pack, something she takes quite seriously even as she joshes about her “queen” status. Arcate and Sulpher are unofficial executive members of a most elite foxhunting fraternity—key players in a real-life game of “hide-and-seek.” In the contest of one human versus a couple dozen blood-thirsty foxhounds, Arcate and Sulpher are leading the pack. Quite literally. Drag hunting—following an artificial scent trail laid for hounds—has been a part of the formal, ritualized sport of American foxhunting since the mid-1800s. Then, as today, drag lines were laid to insure sport on poor scenting or ceremonial hunt days when lack of sport would be disaster. In areas where territory is limited, full advantage can be taken of the lay of the land to create a real-feel to what’s in effect an artificial hunt. And in the end—important to some 21st century “hunters”—nothing is killed except a bag of scraps, a few kibbles, and a well-soiled tea towel. Arcate, Sulpher, and legion of kindred spirits play the role of fox for their respective hunt clubs, shouldering responsibility to provide sport for hounds, subscribers, and guests alike. They use what can only be imagined as real fox wiles to jink and jibe through woodlands and open terrain, tugging their scent bag along the top of a snake rail fence, for instance, just like a crafty fox, or “hopping” across a small stream to produce what most would swear was a live chase. Drag hunt clubs—which make up 18 percent of some 150 recognized packs in North America, employ various ways to draw the line. Some use staff members on horseback armed with a squeeze-bottle of a malodorous fox urine cocktail—like Arcate. (“I’d have a heart attack if I tried to outrun the hounds.”) Others count on a fit volunteer on foot with a stinky spray container—Aiken Hounds joint-master Larry Byers believes it creates a more “natural” chase (“The line goes where a fox goes, because our guy can duck under brush and stay right close to the ground.”) Still others use an all-terrain vehicle and an oily rag dipped in a noisome aniseed swill—like Canada’s Ottawa Valley. (Joint-master Anne McKibbin stresses “the drag mixture has to be just right, to keep hounds on the drag line so they don’t ‘go live’.” Drag hunting is as much science as it is sport. It’s equal parts chemistry, gastronomy, animal husbandry, meteorology, and venery—with a dash of voodoo, insiders maintain. “The ‘fox’ is a very, very important part of the day,” said Smithtown joint-master Kevin Maple. “They’re key.” To simulate live quarry, Maple said, the drag-layer mimics a real fox—darting in and out of wooded areas, weaving across open country—to lay a complex line. Aiken’s Byers, who helps the club’s “drag man” lay the line in the Hitchcock Woods near the South Carolina town’s center, promises the thought process makes for

“more of a hunt, less of a ‘steeplechase.’ You want it like a hunt to find it, to follow it.” The goal, Myopia (MA) huntsman Brian Kiely told Covertside magazine, is “to make it realistic. If you come out and see hounds hunting … you shouldn’t be able to tell the difference between live and drag.” No Fox? No Worries. Consider it advanced mixology, what Smithtown’s Arcate and others do to trick a hound into “seeing” a fox when they catch a whiff of the smelly drag bag. The problem with a drag lure is that it must smell like live quarry, but at the exacting measure to entice hounds to speak on the line rather than run mute, Toronto & North York huntsman Antony Gaylard said. Too weak a mixture, hounds can’t find. Too strong, they can run so fast and hard they tend to go quiet. Old science partnered fox urine (harvested from captive foxes) with vegetable oil as a binder. They believed the oil helped scent “stick” to grass and brush when dragged across the ground. But, more recently, hunts now favor glycerin instead—glycerin emulsifies, won’t separate from the acidic liquid urine. Glycerin also adheres to scent atoms at the molecular level as well as slowing evaporation. Smithtown’s Arcate said that’s important on a windy day, one with tricky scenting conditions. “You need that scent to stay put,” she said. Arcate, 49, has ridden with Smithtown for 20 years. She served as whip for 15, and has laid the drag for five. “It’s not complicated. The hardest part is not getting it all over you” while squeezing the coffee-colored liquid out of a plastic bottle at the gallop, she said with a knowing chuckle. “That’ll clear your sinuses.” Arcate carries two Palmolive bottles filled with her fox scent. “I carry one in my hand, one in a saddlebag. I squeeze it as I go. I ride with my left hand, carry the scent in my right, and give it a squeeze every seven or eight (canter) strides.” She squeezes less often, she added, at the gallop. “I can tell that hounds can tell when I was galloping,” she said. “They scream on that line. I know when I was galloping, and I know that they know.” Arcate regularly arrives at meets 45 minutes ahead of time, taking off about 20 minutes ahead of first draw. “Most of the time staff doesn’t know where I’m going,” she said. They don’t want to, usually. Arcate is a “quiet fox,” rarely using her radio, instead relying on the huntsman’s horn to gauge distance in front of the pack. The “Find” McKibbin said Ottawa’s huntsman Mark McManus, as well, prefers not to know where the drag line was started. “It makes it more like a ‘hunt’,” she explained. Once lead hounds find the line, and others honor, pack up, and are “gone away,” it would take a mindreader to realize it’s not a “real” fox they are chasing, McKibbin said. “They sound just like a live hunt. First one speaks, then another, then the whole pack.” Misty Morning Hounds (FL) huntsman Alexis Macaulay protests that though some live hunters scoff at drag packs, “there is an awful lot to appreciate. There’s great hound work to watch—and you can really evaluate how true the hounds are. “To me it’s always incredible. We can take them out on 25,000 acres of really wild Florida terrain with all sorts of distractions, and yet, most of the time we end up with all hounds on at ‘the kill’. “Drag hounds have to be especially biddable and eager to please, since they aren’t pursuing live game,” Macaulay added. “When you get hounds that are locked into the drag game, they are spectacular to watch.”


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The “Chase” Ottawa Valley Hunt, oldest drag pack in North America, has more drag miles than any club on the planet. To develop a “real” hunt day, with thrills, twists, and turns, hunt members work in teams, joint-master McKibbin explained. “We divide into committees that lay … each week. Our drag queen, Betty Sulpher, is in her 70s. She knows more than a fox, I swear.” Ottawa lines are laid about 20 minutes ahead of first draw, guided by Sulpher and the teams on a four-wheeler, McKibbin said. Sometimes they’ll place a line on foot, but usually it’s from the ATV. Some may question whether hounds are coursing the artificial scent or the ATV smell itself. Whatever the case, McKibbin said their hounds stay true to the drag, even when the line is crossed by live game. Like many hunts, the “end” of an Ottawa’s line is marked with surveyors’ tape so huntsman McManus can allow hounds a natural “check.” “He doesn’t want to know [exactly] where the line was started, but he does want to know where the [drag sack] was picked up,” McKibbin said. “We use two-way radios so the huntsman can communicate how hounds are hunting, how the line is laying, how long to check.” A typical day out with the Ottawa is three to four hours, with six or seven lines. Aiken does three or four lines in two hours. Other hunts are similar, with the “predictability” part of the winning formula for working men and women that want to be part of a foxhunt but, frankly, need to be in the office at a set time. “You know when it’ll be over,” Byers said. The “Kill” Woodbrook Hunt Club started in the state of Washington in 1910 when officers at Ft. Lewis invited the Seattle Hunt Club to join them on a drag hunt on the army base in Tacoma. Hunting stopped during the First World War, but resumed afterwards, bolstered by members of the Ft. Lewis cavalry. The hunt incorporated as Woodbrook Hunt Club in 1926. Washington does not allow live game hunting with dogs, and further complications come from military regs, but the control of drag hunting allows for superb “sport,” according to Woodbrook joint-master Melody Fleckenstein. “We have a big advantage to being on 80,000-acre Ft. Lewis,” she said. “We have coyote, bears, and [more.] But by experimenting with [mixtures] and laying the drag, we’ve learned what did and did not work.” And, unlike a live hunt that occasionally has an actual kill, a drag hunt can count on a bloodless but definitive conclusion, every time out. Woodbrook’s huntsman Jean Brooks, like others, makes a big show at the conclusion of the “last line” of the day. Just like live hunting—in which hounds typically account for their quarry by putting it at bay or to ground—hounds live for the “reward” of what drag layers refer to as “the kill.” “That’s the best part of the day,” Smithtown’s Arcate said. She lays down more—stronger—scent as hounds “close in” on her towards the end. “Imagine how hard it is to teach your horse to stay cool when a full pack of screaming hounds is headed right for him. “The first few times it can really terrify your horse, but after a while they understand that the hounds aren’t going to eat them!” Arcate plays with the Smithtown hounds at kennels near the Hamptons on Long Island, and she feels certain they recognize her as “the fox.” “But when I’m with them at the kennels, they’re just like sweet dogs,” Arcate said. “It’s only out hunting that they know it’s time to go to work.” At the end of the last line, she waits, hidden from view, for the hounds. When they get to the end of her line, she rewards them with bits of kibble and verbal praise. “They learn to love it,” she said. “What is real to the hounds?” Ottawa master McKibbin asked rhetorically. “We can only guess what they think when they find a line, when they hunt, when they ‘kill’?”




The (Upperville) Show Must Go On By Lauren R. Giannini

Upperville Horse Show celebrates its 161st renewal June 2 to 8 and it has a new president: Michael (Mike) Smith is a native of Winchester, Virginia, who moved to Middleburg in 2011. Smith succeeds Dr. Manuel (Manley) H. Johnson, who spent 10 years at the helm of this unique show. Every person who gets involved with the Upperville Horse Show has at least one story (often more). It doesn’t matter whether they are board members, volunteers, clean-up crew, owners, trainers, competitors, or spectators, including those who have never ridden anything livelier than a stick horse or merry-go-round. Having a story from under the oaks is part of the tradition that is Upperville. The new president has a story. Smith started riding and showing when he was nine. From the age of 12 through his junior and early adult amateur years he trained with Katie Prudent. He stopped showing jumpers when he was about 20, but continued to show hunters, off and on, into his late 30s. A back problem from a fall in his late teens forced him to give up showing in his 40s, but he still trail rides and, when possible, enjoys riding to hounds. “I have lots of favorite memories of Upperville, but probably my favorite is the first day I walked into the ring,” said Smith. “I was 12 and it was Children’s Hunter, probably the biggest thrill I’ve ever known. I’ve won different classes, but riding into the ring at Upperville,”—(he paused, you could feel him reliving that moment)—“it was such a dream to show there. Later, I took my daughter to her first lead line class at Upperville. Tori is 19 now, a freshman at Virginia Tech, and she still rides and competes in jumpers.”

(l-r) New Upperville Colt & Horse Show president Michael Smith, board member Michael Smith Liss, and Manley Johnson, who served the show well during his 10-year term as the president. Teresa Ramsay photo

Tradition and Upperville: the two words go together so nicely, a bit like horse and rider. The oakshaded main hunter ring is an Upperville tradition, the grass grand prix jumper ring on the north side of Route 50 is tradition. Yet Upperville came close to losing both because of a major rider issue: the footing. June rains during the show can turn the going into mousselike mud. Dr. Johnson knows all about the concerns people have about footing and the safety of their show horses. During his years as president, with the help of Betsee Parker, Jacquie Mars, Mike Smith, and others, Upperville replaced the footing in the main hunter ring and the secondary hunter ring and also installed the state of the art derby field on the jumper side with its amazing irrigation and drainage system. One of Smith’s primary objectives is footing. He has targeted the T.A. Randolph Field where the

Upperville Jumper Classic (Grand Prix) takes place. The new footing won’t be ready by June of this year and plans have already been made for using the Derby ring for the Classic and the other big money jumper classes. The good news is that people will look at the grass field next year and not see any discernible difference in the turf, because it’s what’s underneath the grass that is important. “We’re taking off all the topsoil, installing a stone base with drainage tiles and all-weather footing with organic material on top so that it will still be a grass field but with good footing,” Smith said. “A series of drains about 16-feet apart will allow it to drain even in torrential downpours.” Smith presented his idea to the board and, with his promise of backing, they agreed to the plan. The T.A. Randolph field will end up similar to the grand prix ring implemented by Spruce Meadows in Canada, but this state of the art turf jumper ring is right here in Virginia at Upperville. It’s an exciting improvement that will go a long way to “rainproofing” the going for the horses and riders who show at Upperville. Smith has plans to increase sponsorship to offer more prize money. “I’m doing the grand prix ring to increase the quality of the rides,” he said. “New sponsors are stepping up to the plate, and I expect to have the Upperville Classic back to six figures by 2015 on the new field. I’m working a lot on the jumper side because it’s needed. We have to catch the jumper side up to the hunter side, but I know the hunters have made Upperville what it is and I will look after the hunter side while we work on the jumpers.”


Smith has a strong business foundation. His grandfather started Valley Proteins 60 years ago, and he is the third generation. “Two days after I graduated from Shepherd University in 1989, I was in North Carolina at one of our facilities,” said Smith. “My grandfather and father didn’t talk to media, they didn’t want the publicity, but my brother Gerry and I are much more pro-active. We tell a better story about what we do.” With 21 locations in 17 states, Valley Proteins [] is much more than a rendering plant that processes animal-by-products. Over the years they have pioneered the use of state-of-theart technology for recycling substances such as used restaurant grease. They manufacture biofuel for boilers and biodiesel for use in diesel engines. Their own plants have been using biofuel for heating for 10 years. They are environmentalists who walk the walk when it comes to clean air and water as well as providing valuable services to the communities they serve. “When you do something that no one else wants to do, you can make good money,” said Smith. But Valley Proteins is not a joke, providing outstanding benefits to about 1400 employees. “I thought I would be a rider all my life, but… One motivation at work was to be able to afford the horses for my children. Now I can afford to do this. It did surprise me a year or two ago when Manley asked me what I thought. I was already president of two college foundations, but I cut back to just one in January this year. I took over from Manley in September 2013, because he didn’t want to wait. It has been very rewarding. I’m focused on footing and prize money.” Tommy Lee Jones became manager of Upperville Horse Show back in 1982. He pretty much re-energized Upperville and brought it to its current AA-rated status with help from the board, “show angels,” and other loyal supporters. “We rely on all our people, and we’re fortunate that two descendents of the founding Dulaney family work for the show,” said Jones. “Our show secretary, Ginny McCarty, is a huge plus. She started in 2002 and she handles a lot of the sponsorships and keeps me straight. Ginny got another Dulaney relative involved, Helen deButts Christian, who assists Ginny part-time year-round. Punkin Lee has been with the Upperville show a long time, the longest of any of us. She’s secretary of the board and she really knows the Middleburg business community—she owns Journeyman Saddlery. Because of Punkin, the horse show has developed much better relationships with the neighborhood.” Jones, who showed in big jumper classes starting in his pre-teen years, is familiar with the concerns of show people, the importance of footing and prize money, and the curse of bad weather. It was Jones who brought in the helicopter to hover over the grand prix field after torrential downpours in 2003. “Our board is so diverse—we have a bunch of exmilitary guys,” said Jones. “It had been raining all week and the day before the Upperville Jumper Classic, a bunch of us were standing around wondering what the hell we were going to do, because at that time we had only 10 entries for the grand prix. One of the guys said that in Korea one time they had a big softball tournament for the soldiers, but it had rained hard so they took a helicopter and hovered over the fields to dry them out. I said do we know anyone who has a helicopter?” People made calls and found a man who belonged to the Middleburg Tennis Club and the next morning he was hovering over the traditional grass field named

in honor of the late Theodora A. Randolph. In typical Upperville tradition, the show went on, the Jumper Classic had 21 entries and a new story was born. “We’re trying to preserve something of the past here, and the horse show world has evolved beyond us,” Jones said in 2005, but his words remain relevant today. “I saw it every day at Upperville. There are people in the stands and under the trees—an unbelievable spectator base that come every day to watch. We have to keep the ‘show’ part of ‘horse show’ and still keep the exhibitors happy. We keep trying to adapt to attract.” Jones masterminds every detail of the physical aspect of the show from jump crews to boosting morale with funny stories. He goes around to check extension cords in the stabling area to make sure that they are intended for outdoor use (another Upperville story). He’s fanatical about customer service in general and he’s a stickler about trash collection and clean bathrooms. He knows that it takes great teamwork to go from planning to getting the five-ring show that is Upperville into gear and running smoothly. “I think Mike is doing a great job. He has invigorated the board and the sponsorship committee,” Jones said. “The new ring is in the planning stages and we’re working on other donations to help with expenses. The Hunter Derby ring is going to be used a lot this year. We’re doing a big tent with tables—the front row has already sold out—and we will have about 70 boxes outside the tent and we hope that will suffice. People will have their tables or boxes on Thursday for the meter-40 jumper stakes, Friday for the Welcome Stakes, Saturday for the USHJA International Hunter Derby, and Sunday for the Upperville Jumper Classic.” Yes, the Upperville Horse Show must go on. “Having that new derby ring with the beautiful view toward the Blue Ridge Mountains and the stone retaining wall gives flexibility to its use for different events,” said Manley Johnson. “I think that the traditionalists can be happy as well as the people concerned with the safety of expensive horses. I’m very proud that we revamped three rings during my time as president and still kept the feeling of the old show with modern footing.” Smith understands the community spirit that drives Upperville and the importance for everyone to work together. “I can’t do this alone—I need experts, I need the people on the board and the committees—we are all part of the team,” said Smith. “Joe Fargis, who’s on the board, is very supportive. He’s been part of the team for the design process. Shelby Bonnie who owns the land was a junior rider. There’s the relationship between Tommy Lee and the engineers. The grand prix field is going to be nice, it’s going to be beautiful and it’s going to work for the riders. Fix the field, increase sponsorship, offer more prize money, and improve relationships with the horsemen. That’s my agenda. There has been a lot of good response.” Change is inevitable, but Upperville went through some major makeovers en route to where it is today as a five-ring show. New traditions can merge into old traditions. Jones will still tell his troops, “Smile at people and pick up the trash. Remember that these people paid to be here.” The community that is Upperville is expanding. It’s a big show. It has weathered a lot of storms, climactic and financial. It was a terrible blow and far from easy, but Upperville survived the sale of Budweiser which had sponsored the Jumper Classic for 25 years. The new owners came over from Belgium in 2009 and checked out their investment. They must have hit the show cir-


Tommy Lee Jones, always attentive to the smallest details, has been managing the Upperville Colt & Horse Show since 1982. Lauren R. Giannini photo

cuit that year as Budweiser’s equestrian grand prix sponsorships included Upperville, Devon, WEF (Winter Equestrian Festival in Florida), and at least six other big shows across the nation. The new owners decided that horse shows were great, but opted to take their sponsorship closer to home, to shows in Europe. The end of an era, but not the end of the show: the people who love Uppervillle won’t allow it to go the way of the dodo bird. Johnson and his wife Mary were the leaders of the “show angels” from 2010 to 2013, but he was quick to point out that they had incredible backing from people on both sides of the road in the Upperville community. “It’s kind of a relief not to be president,” Johnson said. “I did it for a long time. There needs to be fresh blood and the timing is right. I care a lot about the show. I love Upperville and the tradition. Mike’s strengths are that he’s extremely passionate about Upperville. He grew up showing at Uppervile and I knew he cared a lot about it. He had the financial resources to be supportive. He was committed to the show. These were all important factors for Mike to represent the show as president. He wants to see it move to the next level and he sees and understands the tradition of Upperville. The person who leads the horse show has to lead from strengths. Mike Smith fits the bill and I have faith in him.” For more information:

It takes a dedicated team to make the Upperville show the prestige event it’s come to be. Show manager Tommy Lee Jones tells his crew to “smile and pick up the trash.” And they do an outstanding job on both points. Lauren R. Giannini photo




Dr. Joseph Rogers, MFH

Dr. Joseph Megeath Rogers, 90, died on Saturday March 8, 2014 at his Hillbrook Farm near Hamilton following a stroke. Physician, farmer, businessman, rural land conservationist, philanthropist, and expert horseman, Dr. Rogers was a tireless advocate and practitioner of country living whose contributions in a broad range of interests were made quietly and with little fanfare. His public persona was most closely connected with remarkable success as an owner, trainer, and rider of some of Virginia’s most successful steeplechase horses running under his familiar red with white cross sash silks. But his success in that rugged and dangerous sport was merely a visible extension of his commitment to protect Virginia’s rural countryside, a mission he often defined as a moral obligation. In pursuing that connection between equestrian sport and countryside preservation, he was a founder of the Oatlands Point-To-Point of the Loudoun Hunt, as well as of the Morven Park Steeplechase—the latter being the first race meet in the modern history of Virginia to offer pari-mutuel wagering. A long time member of the Board of Directors of the Westmoreland Davis Foundation, which operates the historic Morven Park estate north of Leesburg, Dr. Rogers was also a founder of the Morven Park Equestrian Institute, as well as a founder of the Loudoun County Pony Club, a founding director of the Museum of Hounds and Hunting, and a founding director of the American Academy of Equine Artists. A soft-spoken and oftentimes shy man who preferred to get things done quietly, Dr. Rogers occasionally found himself somewhat self-consciously thrust into the limelight. Among those occasions was when he managed to retire the Virginia Gold Cup, considered the most prestigious timber race in Virginia, with three different horses, an accomplishment that defied almost any known odds in that unpredictable sport. One of those Gold Cup-winning horses, King of Spades, became the subject of a song recorded by the legendary bluegrass band, The Country Gentlemen. King of Spades had attracted such an enormous following among steeplechase enthusiasts that, when he was killed in a freak paddock accident, one newspaper published an obituary on him as though he was a prominent Loudoun citizen. Another occasion that drew public attention to Dr. Rogers was when the Loudoun Times-Mirror named him Man of The Year in the 1990s, an honor usually bestowed on people who had cultivated a much higher public profile. Ironically, only a few years earlier Dr. Rogers was the initial investor in a successful start-up newspaper called Leesburg Today that was in direct competition with the TimesMirror. But the owner of the Times-Mirror, Arthur W. “Nick” Arundel, was a longtime friend and the two had collaborated on a number of important rural land preservation efforts, including promoting the establishment of conservation easements that led to thousands of acres of Virginia countryside being permanently preserved against development. Their racehorses had also competed with some regularity over the years, and they shared an enduring love of foxhunting. When faced with a friendly warning by Mr. Arundel that he would lose his shirt investing in a start-up competitor to the venerable Times-Mirror, Dr. Rogers grinned and replied, “Well, Nick, I’ve got lots of shirts.” They remained good friends. The family-owned Wilkins Rogers Milling Company was a source of considerable wealth to the four Rogers brothers. Dr. Rogers’ business interests also extended to being the former owner of the Loudoun County Milling Company, a director of Farmers & Merchants National Bank, and a past director and officer of Earthwork, Inc. A 1947 graduate of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Dr. Rogers returned to Loudoun and set up a private practice that included among his patients both the prominent and the indigent. He routinely made house calls to tend to patients he knew could not afford to pay him, but to whom he felt an obligation because many of them were the men and women who worked on the farms of Loudoun. His medical career in Loudoun started at a time when the county had a population of less than 30,000 and only a handful of physicians. He often said of his medical practice that it was the way he chose to give back to a community where his family roots ran deep. That sense of obligation led him at one point to become Chief of Staff at Loudoun Memorial Hospital, and he finished out his medical career by serving as chief of the emergency room at the same facility. He also served as a Director of the Loudoun Healthcare Foundation, was on the advisory board of the Loudoun Senior Citizens Association, and was a volunteer with the Loudoun Food Closet—all of Dr. Joseph Rogers, riding his King of Spades at the Piedmont Point-to-Point. Douglas Lees photo them in one way or another

working to see to the health of Loudoun citizens. His medical interests were not limited to the human variety. He was Vice Chairman of the Founders Committee of the Marion duPont Scott Equine Veterinary College at Morven Park, a unique partnership between the University of Maryland and Virginia Tech. He was also a pioneer in what later became known as aerobic training of racehorses. He set up measured training segments on Hillbrook and would work his steeplechase horses over those segments, timing each and then using a stethoscope to measure the horses’ heart rates. As his horses became more fit, their segment times improved and their heart rates came down—carefully calculated proof of the steadily improving endurance. That training methodology produced what became a devastating Joe Rogers takes a brief rest while serving as a Virginia Gold Cup official in 1987. ability of Rogers-trained horses to race Douglas Lees photo well off the early pace, then close with a rush at the end when the competition was used up and his own horses were drawing on the aerobic conditioning painstakingly developed and recorded at Hillbrook. The 1200 acre Hillbrook Farm located on Harmony Church Road south of Hamilton was both a thriving agricultural business and a personal haven for Dr. Rogers. He preserved the land forever by placing it in open space conservation easements. He bred Angus cattle, produced hay and other crops, developed his racing stock, and tended to foxhounds—the latter an extension of his longtime role as Master of Foxhounds for the Loudoun Hunt. The main residence at Hillbrook, while modest in size compared to some of Virginia’s more elaborate mansions, became a virtual museum of racing, farming, and agricultural literature under his care and that of his wife, Donna. To a visitor, his deep knowledge and obvious love of Virginia life would emerge one measured sentence at a time as he sat in his favorite old red leather chair in the den at Hillbrook. His knowledge of productive farming—and the dangers it faced in a rapidly developing Northern Virginia—propelled him to service in a wide variety of organizations with influence in the field of agriculture. Among them were the Loudoun Soil and Water Conservation District, the Loudoun Rural Area Development Committee, the Loudoun Rural Area Management Plan Committee, the Piedmont Environmental Council, the Loudoun County Tax Advisory Board, the Loudoun County Historical Society, and the Goose Creek Historic District. He was also a founder of the Bedford Fund— named in honor of his long time friend and fellow land preservationist Erskine Bedford—which was dedicated to promoting the placement of conservation easements on rural land. He was also a member of the Catoctin Farmers Club, whose roster was a Who’s Who of family names representing ownership of hundreds of thousand of acres of productive farmland west of Goose Creek in the days when Loudoun was among the state’s leaders in virtually every category of agriculture. He was also an underwriter of the Country Life Center’s project to develop a Rural Economic Development zone that would put an agriculture-based financial footing under western Loudoun land facing heavy residential development pressure. Some of the provisions in that model project created the county’s regulatory framework promoting the establishment and expansion of today’s flourishing winery industry in Loudoun. When a public policy matter involving rural land conservation came to his attention, he did not venture to Leesburg to publicly lecture the county’s elected leaders on its importance. He would instead invite one or two to have a meal with him at Hillbrook, where he would listen carefully to the issue being discussed, then present his own thoughts, and thank the visitors for coming. “When you want to get your point across, you don’t do it by embarrassing other people,” he once told a journalist. His contributions to the organizational side of equine sport were also significant, having served as founder and director of the Virginia Steeplechase Association, as a senior steward of the National Steeplechase Association, and as founder and life member of the United States Combined Training Association, which is America’s Olympic training organization for equine sports. Dr. Rogers is survived by his wife Donna Truslow Rogers, brothers Samuel Hamilton Rogers, Jr. and Richard Alexander Rogers; his children Marilyn Ashby Rogers Renner, Joseph Megeath Rogers, Jr., and Elizabeth Rogers Villeda; and his granddaughter Hannah Megeath Rogers Tucker. His brother Howard Cochran Rogers predeceased him. Memorial contributions may be made to Land Trust of Virginia, P.O. Box 14, Middleburg, VA 20118; Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center, 17690 Old Waterford Road, Leesburg, VA 20176; and Museum of Hounds and Hunting, Morven Park, P.O. Box 6228, Leesburg, VA 20178-7433. [This Remembrance originally appeared in Leesburg Today. Our thanks to Brett Phillips and Leesburg Today for their permission to reprint it here.]




Piedmont Driving Club Prepares to Launch New Season Ducks and Chicks and Geese Better Scurry By Caroline J. Cox

Just before Christmas and at the first during the traditional “Champagne hint of the foul weather that was to stop” where horses are rested and come, harness was cleaned and put turn-outs are admired, then certainly away, carts and carriages were backed afterwards at the picnic sites. Thus it into the far recesses of barns, and seemed fitting in 2013 that the Club shoes were pulled from driving horses visit several wineries: Philip Carter and ponies belonging to members of Winery, Fabbioli Cellars, Lost Creek the Piedmont Driving Club. Only a few Winery, and Mediterranean Cellars. braved the elements in their sleighs The Club was also fortunate to be while others hit cruise ships and hosted on several private estates. Caribbean beaches or perhaps just setAmong these were Adarra, Smitten tled with their cats by the fire and Farm, Oakwood, and Oxbow (the latcaught up on a stack of The Carriage ter was unfortunately cancelled due to Journal. Though passion for the art, uncooperative weather). Another skill, sport, and thrill of carriage drivhighlight for the Club was the opporing may quell, it never leaves. Even in tunity to present carriages both at Carl Cox driving his 4-in-hand of Percheron Thoroughbred Crosses at the 2013 Upperville Horse Show. the heavy snows of February, PDC Great Meadow as part of the Fourth of Veronica Demarest photo members began to plan the 2014 seaJuly Celebration and at Belle Grove son and it promises to eclipse last year! Plantation as part of the Virginia Fall Wine Festival. The Club held 35 picnic drives in 2013, including seven exhibitions, and two Some non-driving events included a luncheon and visit to a private carriage trips beyond the boundaries of Virginia. These included a week at Acadia Park in collection meticulously restored and displayed by Mr. Jack Day of Monkton, Maine to drive the historic Rockefeller carriage roads, and several days at Fair Hill, Maryland, and a trip to the Winmill Carriage Collection, which has been lovingly Maryland, where the Club took to carriage roads established long ago by the restored and is available for public viewing at Morven Park. Lunch afterwards was DuPont family. This extraordinary accomplishment was recognized at the March at a PDC member’s family-owned restaurant in Leesburg, Tuscarora Mill. The Club Annual Meeting when Carriage Association of America President Dr. Tomas held a wine-tasting luncheon at Lost Creek Winery in Leesburg, a hat-buying Burgess, along with noted 4-in-Hand Whip and Coachman, Mr. Douglas excursion to Your Hat Lady in Warrenton with dinner following at Café Torino, and Kemmerer, presented a Certificate of Achievement to Club President Anne a Christmas Party to wrap up the driving season at Kittery Point Farm in Berryville. Watkins, of Berryville. The Club prides itself on being welcoming and inclusive to all who appreciThe Club attracted several new members last season. Notable among these ate the sport of carriage driving. It is not required that members own a horse, pony, were George Lemm and Mark Duffell of Whitestone Farm in Aldie. They fre- carriage, cart, or that they ever plan to. There are many ways to enjoy and support quently presented an eye-catching, perfectly matched pair of Belgian geldings put Club activities. Perhaps you would like to take up carriage driving or maybe you to either a handsome surrey or a well-fitted wagonette. “Well-fitted” indeed, this would be willing to learn the duties of a carriage groom or maybe you’d simply carriage boasts a hand crafted holder for champagne glasses designed by Mark enjoy a ride on a carriage. Perhaps you’d rather stay on the ground and assist in himself. Anna Coopman joined in at a drive through the carriage-friendly grounds planning picnics, rest stops, photograph turn-outs, or join us on our “non-driving” of Temple Hall Farm in Leesburg with her competition-fit Morgan. Vicki and Al adventures. Baturay, of Catharpin, added a Haflinger to their turn out and are now driving a Plans for the 2014 season include picnic drives at some of the same sites that pair, while Caroline Collomb, of Warrenton and Paris, France, added two addition- were visited last year, as well as to farms and estates we have not visited for a coual Haflingers and now drives a 4-in-Hand. And, speaking of 4-in-Hand Whips, Carl ple of years. The Club has already been invited to drive from several farms that are Cox of Warrenton won the Concourse d’Elegance at the Upperville Colt and Horse new to us, including a winery tour of vineyards in Loudoun County and a couple Show with his beautiful team of black crossbred geldings put to a stunning Fenix of farms in the Aldie and Upperville areas. Many members plan to gather with carbreak that was built in England by the renowned Mark Broadbent. riages at Fair Hill, Acadia Park, and possibly James River State Park. Do look us Drives were held on both banks of the Shenandoah, the first in the spring to up on our website, and review last year’s activiview bluebells and the second in the fall to view the foliage en route to the Long ties. The site contains contact information as well as Membership forms. We look Branch estate. Several drives were held in the Unison area, a favorite with Club forward to meeting you and hope you decide to share in our passion for life “on the members due to quiet gravel roads, summer shade, and a quaint feel so comple- box seat.” mentary to travel by carriage. Wine is usually a part of each carriage drive, if not

Lisa Anderson driving her Dutch Warmblood at a PDC picnic drive at Smitten Farm.

Mary Munster driving her pair of Friesians at the 2013 Stable Tour.

Tempus Fugit photo

Veronica Demarest photo




Warrenton Hunt Point-to-Point The Airlie Steeplechase Open Hurdle Pleasant Woodman – 1st, Kieran Norris up. Douglas Lees photo

Warrenton Hunt Point-to-Point Open Timber Zulla Road – 2nd, Aero – 1st, Kieran Norris up. Douglas Lees photo

Warrenton Hunt Point-to-Point Maiden Hurdle Balance The Budget – 1st, Kieran Norris up. Douglas Lees photo

Warrenton Hunt Point-to-Point Novice Timber Country Cousin – 1st, Mark Beecher up; Sumo Power –

Warrenton Hunt Point-to-Point Novice Rider Flat Master of Markets – 2nd, Plated – 1st, Tom Bennett up. Douglas Lees photo

Spring Races

By Will O’Keefe Irishman Gerard Galligan on Beverly Steinman’s Master Warrenton Hunt Point-to-Point 3-15-2014 Rain, snow, and record cold temperatures all contributed of Markets. Master of Markets closed with a rush but was to the Thornton Hill Fort Valley Hounds and the Blue second best. Speed held up in the Virginia bred flat race when Ridge Hunt having to postpone their races to later in the season. When entries were taken for the Warrenton Hunt Noble Stables’ Rhetoricalquestion (Jacob Roberts) proPoint-to-Point, scheduled to be run on Saturday, March 8 vided an answer leading throughout and winning by 5 at the Airlie Race Course near Warrenton, all eyes were on lengths over Pinewood Stable’s Prima Facie (Jeff the weather forecast that predicted rain for the middle of Murphy). the week. Luckily the worst of the storm skirted Piedmont Fox Hounds Point-to-Point 3-22-2014 Warrenton, and finally the 2014 racing season was able to This has been a trying season for horsemen, meet organget under way. The Airlie course has always been a popular venue izers, and racing fans, who have been constantly wonderfor trainers looking to prep their horses for sanctioned ing what Mother Nature has in store. On the Monday premeets in the South, and Doug Fout took full advantage of ceding the Piedmont Fox Hounds Point-to-Point near the opportunity. He sent out six runners, and they came Upperville that was to be run on Saturday, March 22, a back with three wins and two seconds. Fout swept the foot of snow blanketed the race course. This was certainthree open races. Virginia Lazenby’s Pleasant Woodman ly cause for concern, but luckily the temperatures rose won the open hurdle, Al Griffin, Jr.’s Aero the open tim- during the week, and the old established turf of the Salem course was up to the challenge. The going was surprisingber, and Sharon Sheppard’s Wicklow the open flat. The open hurdle race was a match race between ly good, but there were heavy scratches. The featured race at the Piedmont Fox Hounds PointPleasant Woodman (Kieran Norris) and S. Bruce Smart, Jr.’s Orchestra Leader (Tom Bennett). Norris sent Pleasant to-Point every year is the prestigious Rokeby Challenge Woodman to the lead at once and was much the best win- Bowl; and even though there were only three starters, the ning by 8 lengths. (Virginia Lazenby’s Pleasant Woodman winner, Magalen O. Bryant’s Dakota Slew (Robbie used this race as a prep for a winning effort at Aiken, SC, Walsh), is a class act worth following at the sanctioned in the $50,000 stakes race on March 22.) In the open tim- races later in the spring. He won this race last year, folber race Norris used different tactics with Aero. He lowed that with a narrow loss in the Eustis Cup at reserved Aero within striking distance of J. Alfred Loudoun, and finished third in the Virginia Gold Cup. This year Dakota Slew took the lead from Celtic Prufrock (Conrad Somers) and Celtic Venture’s Zulla Road (Roddy Mackenzie). With a half mile to run Norris Venture Stable’s Zulla Road with two and a half miles let out a notch, Aero moved to the leaders and pulled away remaining. He opened a commanding lead, and the final to win by 3 lengths with Zulla Road and J. Alfred margin of 8 lengths was not indicative of his superiority. Trainer Richard Valentine has him ready for bigger things. Prufrock finishing second and third. Throughout the card horses that ran close to the lead Larry Levy’s Skunked (Sarah Shaffer) was a late addition were well rewarded so when Jeff Murphy sent Irv to the Rokeby Bowl when the lady rider timber race had Naylor’s Super Saturday to the front in the open flat race, scratched down to just Skunked. He ran a game second his connections expected a visit to the winners’ circle. but was no match for the winner. Zulla Road was pulled Apprentice Gerard Galligan burst their bubble when he up. One of the most exciting races was the amateur highlaunched a late charge with Wicklow that carried him to the front only a few strides before the finish. The winning weight timber race that was won a year ago by Teddy Zimmerman’s Dr. Alex. Standing in the way of a repeat margin was ½ length. The most dominating performance on the card was were Indian Run Farm’s Whodoyoucallit (Woods that of Magalen O. Bryant’s Casual Creeper, who held a Winants), Frank Bonsal, Jr.’s Terko Service (Nick Carter), commanding lead throughout the maiden hurdle race and and Upland Partners’ Mach Ten (Annie Yeager). romped home alone under novice rider Tom Bennett. The Whodoyoucallit set the pace with Terko Service close final margin was 7 lengths, but it could have been more. behind. With a quarter mile to run Terko Service started to Stonelea Stables LLC’s Balance the Budget (Kieran drop back, but Dr. Alex was on the move. Dr. Alex jumped Norris) crossed the finish line 7 lengths behind, but almost with Whodoyoucallit over the last, and these two landed before the horses pulled up the Stewards lodged an running. They battled up the hill to the finish where inquiry that resulted in Casual Creeper’s disqualification Whodoyoucallit prevailed by ½ length. Both the winner for cutting a flag approaching the last fence. This gave and runner up are trained by last year’s leading trainer, Kieran Norris his first win on the card with Balance the Eva Smithwick. The foxhunters race scratched to two, and they ran Budget for trainer Julie Gomena. Gomena had a second win when former hurdle stakes with the amateur highweight horses. When Bryan winner, Oakwood Stable’s Country Cousin, made his first McDonald pulled up his Blue Ribbon Joe after the first start over timber a winning effort. Roddy Mackenzie rated fence, Matt Hatcher was left alone to finish the race on Country Cousin slightly off the pace, but he was moving Let’s Presume. Showing good form Let’s Presume negotibest of all heading towards the last fence. He jumped to ated the course and added another win to his record. A handicapper can always count on trainer Don the lead and won going away by 3 lengths over Armata Yovanovich to have his horses prepared no matter how Stables’ pace setting Echo Bob (Ire) (James Slater). The other timber race was an amateur highweight hard the winter. In the maiden timber race Yovanovich put timber race. Conrad Somers put his Illustration on the Woods Winants up on Yadkin Farm’s Irish-bred You and I. lead, and he stayed there for most of the race. When Frank Bonsal, Jr.’s Plenty Coups (James Slater) set the McLane Hendriks rallied Morning Star Stables’ pace most of the race but You and I (Ire) was close behind. Thermostat in the final quarter mile, Illustration dug in You and I took the lead with a quarter mile to run and won going away by 2 lengths. Plenty Coups had to settle for and held him off by a half length. The other amateur race on the card was the ama- second as he was not up to matching strides with the winteur/novice rider hurdle race. Ben Swope lives in ner. Woods Winants also won the award as the meet’s Maryland but has been a regular in Virginia in owner rider leading rider. In the final furlong of the maiden flat race, Magalen type races over hurdles and timber for years. At Warrenton he rode his Foolish Surprise to a front running score. O. Bryant’s Flagrant Honor (Gerard Galligan), Sharon Randleston Farm’s Duc De Savoie (Tom Bennett) chal- Sheppard’s Ajzaa (Paddy Young), and Mrs. Bryant’s lenged briefly approaching the last fence, but Foolish Annual Update (Robbie Walsh) each had a chance. When they reached the finish the placing judges had to check the Surprise held him off to win by 1 length. Irish rider Tom Bennett got his first American win on videotape to separate the first two, Flagrant Honor and Magalen O. Bryant’s Plated in the novice rider flat race. Ajzaa. Flagrant Honor got the nod by a head, and this Plated led all the way to win by ½ length over fellow year’s leading trainer (Doug Fout) notched another win.



The final two races were won by horses trained by Neil Morris and ridden by Matt McCarron, who for the second time has come out of retirement for some spot duty. In the open flat race Magalen O’Bryant won her third race on the card with Court Prospect, who was never far off the lead. At the head of the stretch Don Yovanovich’s Mischief (Robbie Walsh) engaged Court Prospect. These two dueled in the stretch, but Court Prospect was best by 1½ lengths. Owners Sara and Bruce Collette were on hand with trainer Neil Morris to meet Matt McCarron and Wahoo in the winners’ circle after the Virginia-bred flat race. Wahoo was rated off the pace in a tightly bunched field. He took the lead racing up the hill to the finish and beat Margaret White’s Mystery Maeve (Gerard Galligan) by ¾ length. Mystery Maeve, who is a maiden on the flat, put in a winning effort but was second Piedmont Fox Hounds Rokeby Challenge Bowl best. Wahoo, who has won multiple races on the flat and over Dakota Slew – 1st, Robbie Walsh up. hurdles in his career, appears ready for whatever his next start Douglas Lees photo might be. Piedmont Fox Hounds Point-to-Point Huntland Cup Maiden Flat Blue Ridge Hunt Point-to-Point 3-23-2014 Flagrant Honor – 1st, Gerard Galligan up; Ajzaa – 2nd, Paddy Young up. Douglas Lees photo If anybody tries to tell you that there aren’t incredible emotional highs and lows in steeplechase racing, they need to talk to novice rider Tom Bennett and trainer Jimmy Day about their day of racing at the Blue Ridge Hunt Point-to-Point on Sunday, March 23, at Woodley Farm near Berryville, Virginia. Bennett and Day’s story started with S. Bruce Smart, Jr.’s Fall Colors in the maiden hurdle race. When fellow novice rider Eric Poretz went to the front immediately after the start on Kinross Farm’s Charge, Bennett was content to be part of a three horse group that sat off the pace. After the field had gone one time around, Fall Colors fell and as a result Morgan’s Ford Farm’s Bedizen lost his rider, Gerard Galligan. This left Michael A. Smith’s Silver Rock (Jacob Roberts) in pursuit of the leader. Silver Rock did rally as Charge started to tire, but it was too little too late. Charge held on to win by 2 lengths, and Eric Poretz celebrated his first win over hurdles. Neil Morris was the winning trainer. Piedmont Fox Hounds C. Reed Thomas, MFH Memorial The second chapter of Bennett and Day’s tale was in the Piedmont Fox Hounds VHBPA Virginia Bred/Sired Flat Amateur Highweight Timber - Terko Service – 3rd, amateur/novice rider hurdle race that followed. Once again Whodoyoucallit – 1st, Woods Winants up. Douglas Lees photo Mystery Maeve – 2nd, Wahoo – 1st, Matt McCarron up. Bennett took up the chase with Michael A. Smith’s Bundestag, Douglas Lees photo as Zoe Valvo sent her Triton Light to the lead. With one more time to go around Bundestag bobbled and Bennett was once again relegated to being a spectator. Matthew Martinez rallied Blue Ridge Hunt his Ameri Weber to challenge for the lead at the last fence, but Point-to-Point upon landing Triton Light drew away and won by 4 lengths. Amateur/Novice Zoe Valvo’s mother Nicki was the victorious trainer. Hurdle The third chapter had a much happier ending as Bennett Triton Light – 1st, guided Daybreak Stables’ Irish-bred Manacor to a front runZoe Valve up; Ameri ning tally in the open hurdle race. Virginia’s Friendship Farm’s Weber – 2nd. Cognashene (Jacob Roberts) and Morgan’s Ford Farm’s Richard Clay photo Getaway (Gerard Galligan) were never far off the pace through Piedmont Fox Hounds most of the race. Getaway was the first to tire in the final furThe Col. Richard Henry longs, but Cognashene tried to rise to the occasion in the Dulany Memorial stretch only to fall short by 2 lengths. Jimmy Day and Bennett Open Flat were surely glad as to have the monkey off their backs. Court Prospect – 1st, Jimmy Day and Tom Bennett once again partnered in the Matt McCarron up. novice rider flat race with S. Bruce Smart, Jr.’s In Todd We Douglas Lees photo Trust. Magalen O. Bryant’s He’s a Fireball set the early pace but surrendered the lead on the backside to On The Run Stable LLC’s Lovesmelovesmenot (Keri Brion) with In Todd We Trust close behind. On the turn Bennett made his move on the inside saving ground. Both horses sprinted to the finish but In Blue Ridge Hunt Todd We Trust proved best by 1¼ lengths. Maiden Hurdle The result of the restricted young adult flat race gave Charge – 1st, Eric Poretz up. trainer Nicki Valvo a double on the card. She put Eric Poretz Richard Clay photo up on her Prudence Prudence, when Zoe had the mount on Blue Ridge Hunt Point-to-Point Open Hurdle Kinross Farm’s Old Timer, and the result came down to those two. In the race Inauguration (Katie Hindt) sprinted to the Manacor – 1st, Tom Bennett up. Richard Clay photo lead, and Erin Swope’s Slaney Rock quickly applied pressure. With a half mile to run Inauguration had had enough, and Slaney Rock was holding on. Poretz made his move with Prudence Prudence and put Slaney Rock away. Old Timer rallied in the stretch but fell short by 2¼ lengths. The maiden flat race completed a rare sweep of the card by novice riders. Justine Hughes’ Tudor Prince (George Woods) was sent to the front and held the lead with a half mile to run. At that point Eva D. Smithwick’s Botanica (Gerard Galligan) was on the move and took the lead with a quarter mile to run. Kinross Farm’s Sand Box Rules (Jacob Roberts) made a furious late charge but did not get up in time and lost by a neck. Continued Blue Ridge Hunt Restricted Young Adult Flat Blue Ridge Hunt Point-to-Point Sheila Baldwin Memorial Novice Rider Flat Prudence Prudence – 1st, Eric Poretz up.

Lovesmelovesmenot – 2nd, In Todd We Trust – 1st, Tom Bennett up.

Richard Clay photo

Richard Clay photo



Orange County Hounds Point-to-Point 3-30-2014 It rained (a lot), it sleeted (some), it snowed (some), and the wind blew at the Orange County Hounds Point-to-Point on Sunday, March 30, at Locust Hill Farm near Middleburg. There were two major topics of conversation at the officials’ meeting prior to the races. One was the weather, and the other was would there be enough horses to have the races. Of course, part of the weather discussion was a debate entitled “What was the worst weather that anyone had seen at a point-topoint.” The older veterans went back to the eighties at Casanova and Blue Ridge. The even older codgers remembered something about snow and a bulldozer somewhere back in the sixties. Everyone agreed that we had seen worse, and the show would go on. And by the way, enough horses did show up to have five of the seven races that had been carded. The first race that was run combined the horses that declared for the first and second races. Mrs. Calvin Houghland’s Molotof (Fr) (Eric Poretz) from the novice rider flat race was eligible for the second race, the restricted young adult flat race, and that made three to go to the post. At the start Don Yovanovich’s Indian War (Michael Wagstaff) went to the lead, but was soon joined by Slaney Rock (Ire) (Erin Swope). Molotof was rated not too far off the Orange County Hounds pace and with a half mile to run took the lead and Restricted Young Adult Flat pulled away to an easy 12 length tally. Slaney Rock Molotof (FR) – 1st, Eric Poretz up. was second and Indian War finished third. Blythe Douglas Lees photo Miller Davies was the winning trainer. The second race was the two horse novice timber race. Conrad and Elizabeth Somers had travelled from Pennsylvania seeking their second win on the Virginia circuit with Illustration. He had led most of the way winning at Warrenton, and Conrad used similar tactics at Orange County. Diana Gillam stayed within striking distance with Jeremy Gillam’s Careful Sailor and made a mild bid in the final quarter mile, but Somers let out a notch, and Illustration pulled away to win by 4½ lengths. The third race that was run was another match race with two maidens in action over hurdles. The race was scheduled for two miles but ended Orange County Hounds Novice Timber abruptly after a mile when Celtic Venture’s Illustration – 1st, Conrad Somers up. Acela unseated Sarah Shaffer at the seventh Douglas Lees photo fence. Mrs. S. K. Johnston, Jr.’s New Zealand bred Polarity inherited the sole possession of the lead, but that was short lived. Polarity shied from the other horse and rider and lost his rider, Jacob Roberts. Things got better quickly for Jacob Roberts in the open hurdle race. Neil Morris put him up on Kinross Farm’s Old Timer, who seems to be having a career crisis. Last year he won over timber here and at My Lady’s Manor under NSA rules. Old Timer was facing Randy Rouse’s Hishi Soar with novice rider Sarah Shaffer up. The first time around the two starters took turns setting the pace. With a little more than one time to go Hishi Soar dropped back, Old Timer assumed command Orange County Hounds and for all purposes the race was over. The Locust Hill Open Hurdle final margin was 15 lengths. Actually, I guess Old Timer – 1st, Jacob Roberts up. it’s not an identity crisis when you win. Is Douglas Lees photo there a steeplethon in Old Timer’s future? The Kinross Farm, Neil Morris, and Jacob Roberts team was in action again with Sand Box Rules in the open timber race. Sand Box Rules was second in last year’s Maryland Hunt Cup, and that race the last Saturday in April is the objective. Clearly this was a prep race, but Conrad and Elizabeth Somers’ J. Alfred Prufrock and Jeremy Gillam’s Regal Hour (Diana Gillam) made sure it was a good one. Sand Box Rules was reserved in third but never was far from the lead in a tightly bunched field. At the third fence from the finish Sand Box Rules jumped to the lead, but only gained a small advantage. When Regal Hour tired it became a two horse race, and what a race it was. The two jumped the last as a team, J. Alfred Prufrock landed running and opened a slight lead in the stretch. Sand Box Rules battled back, regained the lead approaching the finish and won by ½ length. If you didn’t stay around, you missed a great race. Sand Box Rules – 1st (l-r): Zohar Ben-Dov, Kinross Farm; Congratulations to all the Jacob Roberts; John Coles, MFH, Orange County Hounds; hearties who made the Orange Chris Read. Douglas Lees photo County Point-to-Point happen.

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Horse Country® (540) 347-3141 • 800-882-HUNT (4868) 60 Alexandria Pike, Warrenton, Virginia 20186 Store Hours: Monday–Friday 9 AM - 6 PM, Saturday 9 AM - 5 PM (ET) Visit us online!

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Teddy Zimmerman and Woods Winants galloping at Sunnybank Farm. Janet Hitchen photo



Orange County Hounds Barton Oaks, February 8, 2014 • Richard Clay photos

Just one example why the Orange County Hounds’ Virginia country is considered among the best in North America. Huntsman Reg Speadborough (left) and professional whipper-in Josh Warren.

(l-r) Meredith Park and Rae Stone.

Huntsman Reg Spreadborough.

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Douglas Lees: History as Seen Through a Camera Lens By J. Harris Anderson

Award-winning photographer Douglas Lees discussed his 47-year career capturing foxhunting and steeplechasing action at a March 2 event hosted by the Mosby Heritage Area Association at Blue Ridge Farm in Upperville. Steve DeCata photo

This shot won Douglas Lees his first Eclipse Award in 1978.

Lees received a second Eclipse Award for this 2007 shot.

Despite the dreary wet weather on Sunday afternoon, March 2, and predictions of yet more snow coming in overnight, the mood was bright at historic Blue Ridge Farm as an eager crowd gathered to hear award-winning photographer Douglas Lees talk about his craft. The event was sponsored by the Mosby Heritage Area Association. In & Around Horse Country has been privileged to feature the work of several talented photographers in our pages. Images of foxhunting and racing action shot by Warrenton native Douglas Lees have appeared consistently since publication began in 1990. In addition to shooting horse sport action, he also enjoys fly-fishing as both a hobby and photography subject when he’s not performing his duties as an insurance professional with Warrenton’s Carr & Hyde. Douglas was, you might say, born to photography, horses, and the insurance business. His parents were avid horse people. His father, Harcourt Lees, who passed away last year at the age of 91, made his career in the insurance field and served as a master of the Warrenton Hunt from 1968 to 1981. He continued to follow hounds for another 20 seasons after retiring as master. He was also a skilled photographer, with his own darkroom at home, and he passed his enthusiasm on to his son. In addition to his father’s tutelage, Douglas worked with famed photographer Marshall Hawkins as a teenager. While at the University of Richmond, his work began to appear in the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Author, editor, and publisher Peter Winants introduced Douglas to the point-to-point circuit. Lees recalls his fascination with the photos that hung on the walls of Winants’ studio. Douglas won the prestigious Eclipse Award in 1978. He went on to receive three Honorable Mentions and then in 2007 was honored with a second Eclipse. During his talk at Blue Ridge Farm, he demonstrated the 1968 vintage Nikon F camera with an electric motor drive. He would place this camera in National Fences and use a long lead line to activate the motor as horses came over the fence, thus creating the impression that the horses were jumping over the photographer. From early on he developed a preference for telephoto lenses that capture images close to the action. Other photographers preferred large formats with a lot of sky in the image. But Lees feels the shots are more engaging when the details can be seen close up. Some of his amazing shots of foxes and hounds illustrate the striking effect of those details. He says that his usual practice when shooting a hunt is to start at the meet and then

move to what he calls a “zone” where he waits for the action to come to him. “Sometimes something happens,” he says, “sometimes not.” But with 47 years of experience, not to mention the benefit of growing up in a foxhunting family, his combination of knowledge and intuition is likely to have him well positioned. After nearly 40 years of shooting with film, he switched over to digital equipment in 2005. While he recognized the advantages, he admits to missing the thrill of hanging up a wet print in the darkroom and watching it come to life. Much of that thrill is lost with digital images that can be seen the same instant they’re captured. The new technology has not, however, eliminated the under-shot angle for jumping action. But instead of a long cord with hand-held control, the effect is now achieved with two cameras, one placed under the fence and the other equipped with a laser that sets off the under-shot at just the right instant. A major challenge in switching over to digital after shooting with film for four decades is the tedious process of scanning in the old shots so they can be preserved in digital format. He admits that some other photographers, such as Robert “Pooch” McClanahan, are farther up the digital curve. McClanahan is hard at work preserving the late Marshall Hawkins’ archives. A question from the audience touched on another aspect of modern technology— Photoshop. Douglas responded by saying that he’s not proficient enough to use that option yet but others are and he indicated no objection. He did point out that competitions such as the Eclipse Awards do not accept entries that have been digitally manipulated. But he also noted that back in the days of the darkroom there were tricks that could be used to enhance the images. One drawback of using a telephoto lens, he said, is that it creates a blind spot for the user. This can lead to some potentially dangerous moments when working around fast moving, unpredictable horses. He told of one instance where a horse lost its rider, jumped the infield fence, and continued to pace the other horses along the spectator side of the barrier. With his lens focused on the racing action, Douglas never saw the animal coming. Fortunately, he was positioned between some cars so the horse only brushed past him, smacking him with its tail as it went by. Fortunate not only for Douglas Lees, but for all of us who enjoy seeing his racing and hunting shots and hope to continue seeing them for many more years to come. For more information on the Mosby Heritage Area Association and upcoming events, visit




Live Oak and Midland Joint Meet By Daphne Wood jt MFH

For forty seasons Live Oak has invited a ture of several of the F.B.I.’s ten most wanted guest pack to come for three days of hunting list. and three nights of festivities, including the Eighteen years ago our dear English huntHunt Ball, over the first weekend in March. ing, shooting and fishing friends the As the 40th was a particularly special occaHonorable and Mrs. James Drummond donatsion, it was appropriate to invite the Midland ed a sterling cup to be awarded annually to a Fox Hounds to come this year. person who had made extraordinary efforts on Led by senior Master Ben Hardaway behalf of the Live Oak Hounds. This year’s himself, four of their five Masters arrived in winner was Ben Hardaway who first and foretime for dinner Thursday night with Daphne most hooked husband Marty the very first foxand Marty Wood jt MFH at their house Live hunt he went on in 1971. Oak. About seventy-five guests ate Georgia Marty was made a whipper-in by his secquail and toasted the occasion with chamond season at Midland and in 1974, when we pagne. decided to start our private pack, the best It was a family affair as Page Flournoy drafts we were given came from Ben. There came up from showing her horses in Ocala to would be no Live Oak were it not for Ben! join her husband jt Master John. Mary Lu Sunday morning a sizeable field turned up Hardaway Lampton was on hand to keep at Copper’s Field, so named for Marty’s great Tony Leahy, MFH Fox River Valley; Mason Lampton, MFH Midland; Marty Wood, MFH everyone amused with her great humor and hunter who is buried there, to hunt with the Live Oak; Ben Hardaway, MFH Midland; Daphne Wood, MFH Live Oak; Dale Barnett, by Saturday young Mason MFH arrived to Live Oak Hounds. The temperature was 42 Live Oak Huntsman. Friday, February 28, 2014. Tish Ray photo add to the enjoyment. degrees and a red fox gave all a good time and Ben was the last person in bed every plenty of music for thirty minutes before viewed going south through Merrily Plantation’s wirenight and I made the comment to his assistant, Curt Elver, grass and longleaf pine quail woods. doing the “Indian rope trick” and vanishing. that I wasn’t sure he was young enough for the job! A long blank period ensued as we drew the Widow’s An interesting aside is to note that wiregrass is like Other Masters attending were Tony Leahy, Fox River prairie grass in the Midwest in that if it’s plowed, it never Woods, Eicher’s Swamp, Jet Fighter Slough (so named Valley (IL); Jack and Barbara Phethean, South Creek comes back. Its protection is of utmost importance and for the fighter jet that crashed there in the early eighties) (FL); Mercer Fearington and John Reynolds, Live Oak I’m pleased to say that as chair of Tall Timbers Research and the west side of Boston Place (previously called (FL); and Warner Ray, Bear Creek (GA). and Land Conservancy’s Easement Review committee, I Greenwood Plantation) which is owned by Jock The Live Oak pack hunted Friday at 8:00 am from have helped to permanently protect over 127,000 (yes Whitney’s family. the kennels by which time the low of 27 degrees had crept thousand) acres of rural land here in the Red Hills region Getting desperate, we crossed dirt Parker Road back up to 32 degrees, but a hard frost was still in evidence. A of South Georgia North Florida via donated conservation onto our family’s Merrily Plantation and drew west. grey fox was found in Bull Hole Flat, so named for the easements. A small percentage of that land contains wireProfessional whipper-in Piper Parrish viewed a black twelve-foot “bull” alligator that used to live in the cypress grass. coyote with hounds singing through the quail woods swamp there. Twenty-five and a half couple came to a loss The Midland hounds were a lovely sight as they ran behind it. It seemed almost miraculous as by then it was twenty minutes later after a spotty run and were picked up a big half circle counter clockwise back into Glen’s Wood ten after eleven, three hours since leaving the meet and and taken back east so as to not interfere with Midland’s Lot where scent failed, perhaps due to the light fog. the temperature had risen almost thirty degrees! draw the next day. Horses galloped at a frantic pace to stay in touch as We continued drawing west toward the Glocester The Horseshoe was blank but hounds opened in the drain where they spoke sporadically. Huntsman Mason they ran through the Merrily pecan groves, across the Dressmaker’s covert, crossed dirt Old Salt road, ran Sr. decided to move on to new territory so hounds were Parker course quail woods, on to Eicher’s Swamp where through the cemetery and toward Blackfish Lake, so taken across Elmer’s Hill to the Dip Vat, a low thick, long we had drawn earlier, and back to Jet Fighter Slough named for strange and rare black fish that can live buried hardwood bottom with a streambed that has water only where the black coyote did what coyotes so often do, in the mud during times of drought. Hounds then turned during wet periods. There was plenty of water at the found a second coyote to hopefully take some or all of the west though a large dense briar-choked block of planted moment and the fog had burned off resulting in an heat. He’d run a couple of miles by now and wanted some pines on Pinckney Hill Plantation. relief. improvement in scent. There was a loss in water but hounds reopened with Unfortunately the pack split here, unbeknownst to A coyote was viewed away going north by our joint a roar and flew out the west side on a coyote viewed away Master John Reynolds with the hounds in full cry in pur- huntsman Dale Barnett, followed closely by Mason. They by jt Master yours truly. This coyote crossed a large tract suit as they crossed the quail piney woods of Live Oak were mounted on ex-race horses and rightfully were up of quail hunting land en route to Dogwood Plantation’s Plantation en route to a thick, wet bottom called Green with the main pack that crossed paved GA 33 into Boston duck pond and thick pond drainage where he made a few Snake adjoining Seminole Plantation. Place East heading for the vast, wide Aucilla Slough that loops before being viewed across dirt Fulford Road by Here they made several circles as the coyote trolled is crossed only five times by roads as it winds its way to Marty Wood MFH in his Tahoe, Ben in his jeep, yours for something to dump the hounds on. After they spoke the Gulf of Mexico some sixty miles away. truly and LOH whipper-in Maley Coombs. He booked it coming out of the covert going back south through Jacob Hounds hammered past Boston Place’s private skeet past Otter Pond and headed into the sanctuary, a spot that Grant’s overgrown field, they came to a loss. Mason took range, near their bird dog kennel and were about to cross is so thick a black snake is slowed down getting through them forward but despite speaking occasionally, they dirt Whitney Camp Road had the sly huntsman for thirty it! one years of the Live Oak, senior Master Marty Wood, not never got back on terms. Still running south, Mr. Coyote dumped the pack on We drew on but with the temperature rising, at 11:45 been there in his trusty Tahoe to see the black coyote a bobcat. This rarely happens as the bobcat’s scent is so we called it a day and returned to the meet to enjoy a deli- cross, get on his line and stop the pack. much lighter but at the next dirt road to the south, the cious feast, again from beautifully decorated tables. Meanwhile, back near Jet Fighter Slough, Maley wheel whip saw proof with his own eyes. This probably The Hunt Ball that night was a grand occasion for Coombs, wheel whip Elmer West (kennel huntsman for happened because we have run a lot of bobcats this sea- three reasons. It was our fortieth, John and Reve Walsh Live Oak 1974 to 1986), and I had gotten the split stopped son. were there and Ben Hardaway yet again got recognized once they ran up onto high ground. By now it was 11:45 and the temperature had soared for his gigantic contributions to our sport! (More on that Pathetic as my horn blowing is in comparison to upward 40 degrees so when the cat did a 180 degree later.) Dale’s who was second in the VA Horn Blowing contest reversal the hounds were at a loss and despite my tally ho, The Walshes are serious American heroes of ours. In in 2013, we managed to hold the hounds until the rest of could not regain the line in the tangled fallen down house 1981 their six year old son Adam was kidnapped from a the pack returned. site it had been seen going into. Home was blown for and shopping mall and murdered. They channeled their Having been in the saddle over five hours, all were a welcome sumptuous feast prepared by the Live Oak unbearable grief to positive action by cofounding the more than ready to partake of yet another delicious feast members awaited us. National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and prepared by the Live Oak members. Saturday morning 17½ couple of Midland hounds by successfully badgering Washington and their home After a good hunt, the latent adrenalin ratchets the were cast from the kennel with a milder 40 degrees to state Florida ever since to pass child protection legisla- chat volume louder as the survivors share their particular hunt in. They found in Glen’s Wood Lot and with great tion. experiences. The camaraderie enjoyed at times like this is cry ran a grey fox viewed by Live Oak huntsman Dale Unbelievably, at the time of Adam’s abduction, the yet another unsurpassable byproduct of our beloved sport Barnett several circles in the thick pines before coming to FBI had lists for missing boats, cars, firearms, etc, but no of fox hunting. a loss in the picked cotton field to the west. It was indeed a joyous occasion to share so many records of missing children! John and Reve changed that After about five minutes of giving them a chance to and although I’m against seriousness at Balls, we were all days of great fun with good friends and committed fox regain the line on their own, Richard Daley, Live Oak honored to have John speak briefly. Incidentally, John hunters. I’m already looking forward to next year’s Hunt kennel huntsman, let it be known a grey fox had been hosted TV’s America’s Most Wanted and effected the cap- Ball weekend at Live Oak!




“Gone Away With The Wind” Hunt Week Celebrating Belle Meade’s Community of Sporting Enthusiasts By Lauren R. Giannini

Belle Meade Junior enthusiasts were also Belles at the Hunt Ball: (l-r) Lucy Beth Adams, Lindsey McGill, Anna Highsmith, Savannah Fuller, Chandler Schmitz.

On Wednesday of “Gone Away With the Wind” Hunt Week, hounds met at Foxboro Farm, the home of MFH/Huntsman Epp and Nancy Wilson. This was the day after the Polar Vortex delivered ice and snow that halted most of Georgia in its tracks, but didn’t faze Belle Meade’s enthusiasts. Lauren R. Giannini photo

Nancy Wilson photo

(l-r) MFH/Huntsman Epp Wilson, his wife Nancy VanderMolen Wilson, Barbara Smith (Hon. Whipper-in, Marlborough Hunt), MFH Charlie Lewis, MFH Dr. Gary Wilkes. Photo Courtesy Barbara Smith

Junior Belle Meade member Ruby Dozier, her mother Erin Dozier, and Nancy Wilson. Lauren R. Giannini photo

Last fall, after writing the preview story about Belle Meade’s “Gone Away With The Wind” Hunt Week for In & Around Horse Country, Epp Wilson, MFH-Huntsman, invited me to come down to Thomson, Georgia, and experience “up close and in person” what happens in McDuffie County from January 26–February 1. That week showcased the elements that make Belle Meade a unique destination: country, quarry, sport and, last but by no means least, the Southern hospitality of their incredible foxhunting community. Most enthusiasts of the chase, thanks to instant communications, know about Belle Meade’s blazing fast coyote runs. We’re going to hear both sides of that tale from actual “Gone Away With The Wind” Hunt Week guests. Just remember that Belle Meade has four flights and the field masters know their country as if it’s their own backyard: you can have a blast in any of the fields and still end up with everyone at a check when the party wagon brings around water and soft drinks for thirsty foxhunters. Here are the ratings for Belle Meade’s “Gone Away With the Wind” Hunt Week: on a scale of zero to ten spurs (instead of stars), Belle Meade Hunt earns an unqualified 10 as a destination and 10 for their Masters (Wilson, Charlie Lewis, and Gary Wilkes), for their field masters, and for all of their members. Your safety and your enjoyment are their priorities and they will do everything they can to make sure that guests have a great time and exciting sport. Another 10 for how they treat families with children because this hunt goes the distance for juniors. As for cost, Belle Meade merits a 10plus because you get great value and incredible bang for your bucks. It speaks volumes when a writer like myself realizes how affordable Belle Meade’s hunt week really is. The actual cost of BMH’s Hunt Week for each

hunting adult (over 18) was $500; for riders under 18 and non-riders, it was $250. Considering that the schedule included four BMH hunts, stirrup cups before and breakfasts after each meet, dinners and parties—when you compare the hunt week fee to the cost of a single day’s cap at most hunts, the term “value added” takes on new meaning. There is even an option to pay by the day for riders, non-riders, and juniors, so it’s a win-win event that really does accommodate everyone’s budget. Destination: Belle Meade Guests, representing 10 packs located up and down the eastern USA and Canada, found their way to Thomson for BMH’s “Gone Away With The Wind” Hunt Week: Blue Ridge Hunt, Bull Run Hunt (Virginia), Golden’s Bridge Hounds, Millbrook Hunt (New York), Marlborough Hunt, Potomac Hunt (Maryland), Montreal Hunt (Quebec), Moore County Hounds (North Carolina), Toronto and North York Hunt (Ontario), and Whiskey Road Hounds (South Carolina). To be honest, the Belle Meade area took a hit from the polar vortex. Ice, sleet, and snow on Tuesday brought most of western Georgia to a halt and resulted in several inches of snow and some tricky travel around Thomson, to boot, but still it was a far cry from the northern winter from which we had escaped. Hounds went out Wednesday afternoon from Foxboro Farm, breathtakingly picturesque in the snow. The unseasonably cold weather made the hounds work harder. Their noses weren’t accustomed to snow on the ground and scenting conditions were frosty, to say the least. The coyotes also must have been wondering what the heck and wanted to stay closer to the comforts of home. The fields enjoyed an exciting albeit shorter run than usual and everyone reported having a great time. Even though the weather wasn’t typical, sport was still good.



“We wanted it to be fun for the guests and members. The days with snow, it was just fun to be out in a winter wonderland, our own hunt country, but even more beautiful,” said Wilson. “We rarely get snow—I think the last time was about 10 years ago, so this was a real novelty. It did not bother me at all that our sport was less than usual when we had ice on the trees and snow on the ground. It would not have been safe to have a great long galloping run. Hounds worked well, we had a busy and fun day and we came in a little earlier than usual. It was bitterly cold here and we were more ready for a good hot supper than a longer hunt.” Barbara Smith, an honorary whipper-in at Marlborough, had a blast the first year Belle Meade put on their hunt week and this year returned with friends, Gwen Alred and Jayne and Fred Koester. The three ladies rode to hounds and Fred came along for the social and sporting ride and took a lot of photos. “The weather was a factor so the hunting wasn’t as fast as it was last year, but it was still fun and the snow didn’t dampen the great hunting and lavish Southern hospitality,” said Smith. “This time I had a chance to observe more of the hunting. I was really impressed with how they involved their juniors. I noticed more about what a great organization Belle Meade has and how much support they get from their members. Everyone gets together to do breakfasts at Boots Hall. They have all these road whips, who make it safer for hounds and the followers if they have to cross a road. There are all these moms out hunting with juniors and some of the kids go first flight. Belle Meade puts on a great show. They get people involved. It was really fun.” Belle Meade’s community of supporters was and is a recurring theme. They deserve the accolades, because they really are amazing. Nora McMannon heads up the “Eating Committee” and so many people took part in Hunt Week hospitality that to mention everyone would be a monumental task, but to omit even one name would be the worst fox paw (faux pas). Suffice it to say that the Belle Meade community fed everyone really well throughout “Gone Away With The Wind” Hunt Week. BMH members sponsored Stirrup Cups and refreshments and bar for each meet and the breakfasts after each hunt at Boots Hall at the Hunt Kennels and at Epp and Nancy Wilson’s Foxboro Farm on snowy Wednesday. The week’s array of food was delicious and hearty. One of the social highlights for Belle Meade and their guests was the party on Thursday night of Hunt Week at Lathan and Paddy Ann Burns’ Pink House in Aiken. “They are two of the most gracious hosts God ever made,” said Epp Wilson. “Paddy Ann and Latham love hunting and they give the party of the year for all the foxhunting people.” Coyotes and Country Belle Meade hunts about 40,000 acres of contiguous country, which include vast expanses of open fields, woodlands, and timber tracts on the perimeters. The terrain is mostly rolling and quite hilly in places, so that your ride stays interesting whether you are hacking from one covert to the next or flying on at a gallop. “I started hunting sometime before Thanksgiving and I’m just enthralled with the whole sport,” said Cynthia Sloan, who ventured by herself to Belle Meade. “I rode as a kid a long time ago and got back on a horse a year ago to get in shape for an African safari with my sister. I met two nice gentlemen on the safari who are masters at Bull Run and they hooked me up with Rosie Campbell, another master, and I lease her horses to hunt. After the African safari when you

run across the plains and you’re in the saddle for four to six hours a day, the show ring just doesn’t have that feeling. I jump out hunting with Bull Run. I started out hunting a little tentatively, but with great horses, great people around me, and great instruction and time in the saddle, I’m part of the first flight. It’s just been an amazing experience.” What’s even better is why Cynthia decided to venture forth to Belle Meade’s Hunt Week. “I saw the story in [In & Around Horse Country] and I knew Rosie would be out of town, and it gave me an idea for another place to hunt,” recalled Sloan. “I talked to Epp and he had a horse for me. It was a fun road trip and adventure. I hunted Dresden, a Canadian warmblood, I think. He was wonderful and sure-footed. I went second flight because I didn’t know what to expect. We were right behind first flight, which is what I’m comfortable with and what I’m used to. It was a wonderful trip, but I look forward to experiencing that coyote pace. Belle Meade has wonderful people and I’ll definitely go back next year.” Another member of the Belle Meade choir, Eric Doebbler, hunts with Millbrook and for several years has wintered in Aiken where he met Wendi Wilson, Epp’s daughter, who got him to come out with Belle Meade in the first place. One thing led to another and Eric joined Belle Meade. This winter he stayed in Thomson. “The first time I hunted with Belle Meade it took me several weeks to acclimate to the pace,” admitted Doebbler. “Now it takes me a couple of hunts to acclimate. It is so refreshing to come down here. It’s an incredible world-class hunt and I think it might be the fastest hunt in the country. They do it all the time so they don’t realize how quickly they go. I’m an aggressive downhill skier, but that is a far second compared to hunting with Belle Meade. Even on an off-day Belle Meade is exhilarating. Epp and all of them were apologizing during hunt week, and I’m like, ‘Oh my God,’ it was incredible. Thank God we didn’t do more! I wasn’t disappointed in the sport during hunt week at all. It was a lot of fun. Their hospitality is unbelievable. The people are so friendly, so nice, and it’s family-oriented. At the hunt ball they had 10 tables of children. They really welcome the children to all aspects of the sport. It’s just an amazing group.” Another factor about the pace is the fact that Belle Meade doesn’t have the usual impediments, such as numerous roads or running out of country or a hunk of verboten property that the hunt must skirt around. Belle Meade’s wheel whips monitor road crossings. During Hunt Week the wheel whips included Chandler Tolbert, Mike Coke, Kennelman Chuck Terry, Milton Goldman, John McNeil III, and Joint-Masters Charlie Lewis and Gary Wilkes. The entire organization of Belle Meade’s hunting makes the sport as safe as possible for hounds, horses, and human enthusiasts. They even have a unique whipper-in: Raymond Morris, who is also honorary field secretary, rides a mountain bike to hounds. He carries a hunting horn, radio, and a GPS on his arm and on his bike. About 15 years ago, he was the driver on hunt days for James Wilson, the late Master and founder of Belle Meade. That’s how he got to know Epp. Raymond used to train trotters in Italy, but he was injured and returned to the US. About seven or eight years ago, he underwent a hip replacement and for therapy they put him on a stationary bike. Continued

Epp Wilson, MFH/Huntsman, didn’t hesitate to risk getting a little dirty to confab with his pack of Crossbred Foxhounds. This sort of scene repeated often, from the gathering at the meet to checks during sport. That invisible string is strengthened by what can only be called affection between the hounds and the human leader of the pack. Lauren R. Giannini photo

Dr. Nancy VanderMolen Wilson at the first meet of Belle Meade’s “Gone Away With the Wind” Hunt Week 2014. Lauren R. Giannini photo


Belle Meade’s Bike Whipper-in and Honorary Field Secretary Raymond Morris is a frequent flyer mounted aboard his trusty mountain bicycle and shows real fox/coyote sense when it comes to being in the right place at the right time. Lauren R. Giannini photo

“Even after James Wilson didn’t ride anymore, he never missed a hunt,” said Morris. “I learned the country and about hunting and coyotes from him. I took photos and I kept up with the hounds. One day, after he passed, I decided to take a mountain bike out. That was five years ago. I know pretty much exactly where hounds will end up. There are logging roads through the 40,000 acres, perfect for a mountain bike. The coyotes are pretty consistent and cross at the same places every time. If I know where Epp is headed when he draws, I can stay in front of him. I know the country backwards and forwards so I can cut through the woods and go out in the road. I think I see more coyotes than people on horses.” Morris rarely ever misses a day, even when it’s raining. An average ride per meet is about 15 miles, but on a really spectacular hunt he can log 25–32. His best is 36 miles. He rides another 20,000 miles per year on a road bike. The masters give visitors a heads up not to be surprised if they come around a bend in a trail and see someone out on a bicycle, that Raymond is with the hunt and an important part of the organization. “This year I noticed how Belle Meade hunts, how Epp uses his whips,” said Barbara Smith. “The fields are all right there, and the people who lead the fields really know the territory and they know how coyotes run. I brought two friends and they kept right up. It’s beautiful country and it really was fun to watch the hounds working. On Friday I was invited to ride with Barbara Lee [honorary first whipper-in] and I jumped at the chance. We had another great day and ended up with a run near the kennels after a member hacking in early viewed a coyote.” Leadership & Community Norman Fine produces and hunts with Blue Ridge in Virginia. Years ago, Belle Meade made him an honorary member. He went to Thomson for most of hunt week and rode with wheel whips, hunted on foot with the beagles, and thoroughly enjoyed the company, the sport, and the


hospitality. He has hunted with packs around North America and across the Atlantic Ocean, so he knows about sport in all its various manifestations, the different types of quarry and the people who bring a hunt to life. “I think that Belle Meade has something very special in their tight sense of community and it all comes from the leadership,” said Fine. “Epp has a way about him, he’s conscious of what people enjoy and he inspires them to giving their best effort to the hunt. They recognize people for their efforts and various contributions and make them feel good. I have a friendship award, a plaque they gave to me when I was doing Covertside. They get the best out of people and their people willingly give their best to the hunt. It’s a great art and a great leadership. It’s a special talent that they have at Belle Meade.” Amen to that. I went out on Friday, mounted on a big lovely mare, Bally Lynch, who knew her job and gave me a great three hours. But I have allergies/asthma and I wasn’t very fit, so when they got up that last coyote, I needed a couple hits off my emergency inhaler. I patted myself down and realized that I had left it back at the motel. My portable nebulizer was in Charlie’s truck, but hounds were running. What ensued totally bears witness to what everyone has said about the people of Belle Meade. I hung in as long as I could, but knew I needed to go in. At the briefest of checks, I pulled up alongside my 3rd flight field master and said, ‘I can’t breathe very well. Can you point me to the kennels?’ Leonard Loudermilk never hesitated and escorted me back. We trotted and I managed another gallop, but it was a relief to achieve the kennels and collapse in a heap from that great horse. I was still wheezing when, minutes later, my escort re-appeared and handed me my portable nebulizer, saying kindly, ‘Oh, you mentioned it was with Charlie and I saw his truck out there and figured you could use this.’ He turned and galloped back out to catch the end of the final run of the day. A good, reliable horse to hounds is essential. Ditto, being riding fit. Visitors also should pick their flight wisely. At Belle Meade, there is no stigma if you start out slow and work your way up through the flights or start out fast and move back a field or two. They just want you to have a good time. Adam Feureisen, who has hunted for about 12 years with Golden’s Bridge, went out with Belle Meade for the first time during Hunt Week. “We had pretty good sport,” he said. “One of the highlights of my week was going out with whipper-in Terry Cooper. I’ve been talking about going back next year. I’m trying to get my mother and father [joint-MFH at Golden’s Bridge], and a couple buddies to come down. It was a blast, definitely a lot of fun, and the people were all nice.” There’s a sense of community in how Epp takes into consideration the country and the quarry to organize his hunt staff. He sends whippers-in out in pairs for safety and utilizes the four compass points on a big circle as the guideline for them to maintain their positions. They are equipped with radios because, if hounds get on an “outsider” coyote, they have to get word to the wheel whips so that the nearest one can rush to the crossing to stop traffic or the hounds, depending on Epp’s game plan. Another set of whippers-in assist Epp. These are the first whips and they help to bring hounds forward and to correct hounds if they split. Visitors are often invited to ride with the whippers-in and it’s always an exciting yet educational experience.

“On a good day I’ll see three coyotes, but on a great day I might see five,” said Lewis. “It’s rare that I can say I’ve had a bad day. Even when we have that one blank day in a thousand days, it’s still a good day because I’m out there with the juniors. We gave an award for the Most Improved Junior to Meredith Hall [daughter of 4th flight field master Mollie Exum Hall and husband Henry Hall]—she was so bold, she wasn’t afraid of anything. Some people got lost one day and she said, I’ll take you in, and that’s exactly what she did.” The bottom line is that Belle Meade offers great sport no matter what field you happen to choose. Jump, no jump, fastest, slowest—it’s all about having a good time. Belle Meade is an extraordinary blend of enthusiasts, mounted and unmounted followers, wheel whips, and the folks who contribute time, effort and energy to Belle Meade, out in the field and back at the meet, making sure that the breakfast is ready on time. Shake up these factors with lots of old-fashioned Southern hospitality and what you get is a superlative sporting and social adventure. “Some people say that Belle Meade people are crazy. We are not,” stated Lewis. “We have four flights. You can fit into one of them and no one questions why you’re there and not up front. We offer the best of the best, and next year I am certain that our hunt week will be bigger and better. I am looking forward to it already.” The people and the hospitality associated with Belle Meade Hunt are priceless. I spent four days running around the countryside with Master Lewis who handled his truck off-road as if it were a tank in disguise. You couldn’t ask for a more congenial, affable companion and his wife Trudy is also great. Master Lewis bestowed his horse-keeping seal of approval the second day out when he invited me to come back next year. Yes, dear Masters, count me in and next time I will be hunting fit.

Emalaine Cooper served soft drinks on the Saturday hunt. She is whipper-in Terry and Tara Cooper’s daughter and MFH Gary Wilkes’ granddaughter. Lauren R. Giannini photo


JENNY’S PICKS Ah, at last! Springtime! Time to get back on that green horse and do a little schooling before the show season! We have some great new books to give you some ideas, too, some designed for less experienced riders and some others for instructors of riding. Bee, Vanessa. 3-Minute Horsemanship. Don’t think you have enough time to work with your horse? Read this and find out differently! The author offers 60 simple lessons, both mounted and dismounted, to help connect you and your horse when you don’t have a lot of time to put into a full schooling session. Each lesson explains why it is beneficial, how to accomplish it, how to know when you’ve done it, what to do if it doesn’t happen, and other things you can do with each exercise. Instructors, you might want this in your library to remind you to “chunk it down” into short basics for students who have not grown up around horses. Softcover, 174pp. $27.95

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 Method for Alleviating Soreness, Strain and Tension.” Masterson, a USET Endurance Team Equine Massage Therapist, clearly sets forth his methods of muscle relaxation using methods that are reminiscent of Linda Tellington-Jones’s Equine Awareness Method and a modified chiropractic manipulation. Clearly illustrated with both color photos and line drawings and spiral bound so it can be laid open for study while manipulating the horse. Hardcover, spiral bound, 205pp. $32.95

Pony Club (UK). The Instructor’s Handbook. This is a new edition of the Pony Club’s handbook for instructors, designed “primarily to encourage those who Diggle, Martin. Teaching Basic Jumping. lack experience in how to teach, and to Sooner or later, most everyone taking refresh the memories of those who do not English riding lessons wants to try jumping. teach on a regular basis.” It is set up in The Association of British Riding Schools almost an outline format, with no excess has produced this book to help instructors to verbiage, and covers basics such as types of teach jumping safely. Color photographs activities, control of the ride, instructing and line drawings, including a few cartoons, beginners and the very inexperienced, exerillustrate points made. From ground poles to cises, jumping, and lots more. Softcover, cross country riding, the author addresses 168pp. $32.95 potential problems and possible resolutions, keeping in mind that what works for one Schleese, Jochen. Suffering in Silence. horse and rider may not for another. Time was, when you picked out a saddle, you sat in it to see if it was comfortable and, Hardcover, 116pp. $35.00 if it wasn’t too obviously wrong on your Hill, Cherry. 101 Ground Training horse and met your specifications, bought it Exercises for Every Horse & Handler. without too much regard for what the horse After a few pages of general information, felt about it. Makers did not consider the it’s on to the first exercise: “Approaching to differences in anatomy of either horse or catch.” Each exercise contains a step-by- rider. Now it’s possible to select from a step verbal description of “how-to,” a state- wide variety of gullet sizes/shapes as well ment of purpose and goal, advised location as seat sizes, and some are even adjustable. (stall, round pen, arena, field), and any nec- But not many manufacturers have yet adaptessary equipment; shaded blocks address, ed saddle structure for the sex of the rider, where applicable, key points, variations you even though there are clear differences in can use, and common problems. These are male and female anatomy. In this new book basic groundwork foundation exercises that on saddle fitting, German certified master every horse and handler needs to learn. saddler and saddle ergonomist Jochen From in-hand training the exercises Schleese has pulled together an amazing progress to simple longeing and some compilation of photographs and diagrams obstacle work and end with the handler illustrating good and bad saddle fit for both driving the horse from behind over a wood- horse and rider, including thermography to en bridge, around cones, and through an show areas of most contact. He discusses a “L” of ground poles, using two long lines. wide variety of saddle types, including Softcover, spiral bound with a hole you can Western saddles, with their pros and cons of hang it up with while you practice. 255pp. fitting different horse bodies. This looks $29.95 like the best book yet on this very important Hillsdon, Penny. Light and Easy Dressage. topic. Every horseman and saddle retailer Basic dressage is useful for all types of rid- should read this. Hardcover, 198pp. $29.95 ing and does not have to be difficult to prac- Summers, Maureen. Building tice, nor need books about it be stuffy. This Showjumping Courses/A Guide for one, subtitled “How to Enjoy and Succeed Beginners. This British Pony Club publicaat Dressage at Every Level,” suggests that it tion shows the basics of setting up a delves into the upper levels, but in actuality showjumping course, with color photos of a it covers the basic three gaits and lateral number of types of jump, distance charts for movements and does not address the more horses of different sizes, suggestions for difficult levels that involve piaffe and pas- course planning, and much other useful sage. Hillsdon writes in a conversational, information. A great starter book for anyone easy manner with concern for the well- getting into showjumping. Paperback with being of the horse always evident. protective plastic sleeve, 56pp. $24.95 Recommended for the average rider who would like to improve the horse-rider coor- Wilcox-Reid, Lindsay. Core Connection dination and make a more compliant mount. for Rider & Horse. The first half of this Lots of good color photographs to help you book presents a number of exercises for envision correctness. Hardcover, 255pp. firming up the rider’s body and loosening $45.00 tight muscles, most of which can be done on

Philippe Karl, noted dressage master and author of several books himself, has written a foreword praising her methods highly. Softcover, 215pp. $45.00

In addition to J. Harris Anderson’s new novel, The Prophet of Paradise, which debuted March 20 at Horse Country to great success, we can offer the fourth in Karen Myers’ fantasy series. Myers, Karen. Bound into the Blood. Continuing to play on the strength of kinship ties and family loyalty, Karen’s new book, Vol. 4 in the “Hounds of Annwn” series, finds George Traherne and his wife expecting their first child. George is digging for his family roots and being interrupted by objections from Cernunnos, the deer-headed god that occasionally erupts from within George. The rock-wights, thirsty for knowledge of the human world, might inadvertently reveal themselves as they search the web for information. When George returns to the human world to continue his search for information on his family, he finds it— and danger as well. And will Cernunnos abandon him for his disobedience? Paperback, 282pp. $17.99 While we were coping with big snowstorms and watching the Olympics, our Marion was in rain-soaked England looking for items to add to our salesroom, and she sent back a box of lovely used books. Blaine, Delabere P. An Encyclopaedia of Rural Sports. Longman, Orme, Brown, Green & Longmans, London, 1840. Possibly separated into 2 volumes & rebound, as first volume ends in mid-word and continues in the second volume. Both in good cond., corners bumped, edges worn. No dj as issued. Leather binding with marbled front & back covers & interior. Gilt title & images on spine, top edge gilt. An extensive discourse upon field sports, including hunting, shooting, fishing, and racing, primarily British but also touches on world practices. Has a few pages each on cockfighting and boxing. Includes numerous engravings after Alken, Landseer, and other artists. Hardcover, 1240 pp. (numbering continues from Vol. 1 to Vol. 2). (#6284) $350.00

21 $99.00 (#6286) Clayton, Michael; and John King. The Golden Thread/ Foxhunting Today. Methuen, London, 1984. Fine cond., no dj but in slipcover also in fine cond. Gift inscription inside front cover. Foxhunting in the British Isles as it appeared in the latter half of the 20th century, with wonderful illustrations in b&w and color by John King. Hardcover, 192pp. $120.00 (#6287) Faulkner-Horne, Shirley. Pat and Her Polo Pony. Country Life Ltd., London, 1939. Ill. by Peter Biegel. Good cond., dj good, priceclipped, with half-inch tear on bottom of spine, enclosed in plastic wrap. Juvenile fiction about a girl who conquers her fear of horses, learns to ride, and teaches her horse to play polo. Hardcover, 107pp. $118.00 (#6288) Frederick, Sir Charles et al. Lonsdale Library, Vol. VII, Foxhunting. Seeley, Service & Co., London, 1930. Color frontispiece signed by Lionel Edwards. 1st ltd. ed. Good clean & sound cond., no dj, gift inscription inside front flyleaf. Corners bumped & edges darkened, lower right front corner frayed. Front & back inside covers have what looks like remains of glue that may have secured the dj at one time. A great compilation of foxhunting information by various experts in the field discussing hounds, horses, and all aspects of foxhunting. Hardcover, 368pp. $185.00 (#6289) Phillips, Pamela. The Chestnut Pony. Country Life, London, 1939. First ed. Ill. by Myrtle Jerrett. Good cond., dj good w/minor wear and in plastic wrap. Gift inscription inked inside front flyleaf. Interior sound, clean. Juvenile fiction about the adventures of an English girl and her pony. Hardcover, 128pp. $39.00 (#6290) Sassoon, Siegfried. Memoirs of a FoxHunting Man. Faber & Faber Ltd., London, 1944. Very good cond., dj good with tattered edges, soiling, and fold on back, enclosed in plastic wrap. Better known in the literary field for his poetry, this WWI veteran was an enthusiastic foxhunter and has written several books involving the sport. While classed as a novel, this is supposedly a thinly-disguised autobiography featuring lots of hunting excitement and ending in the trenches. Hardcover, 255pp. $55.00 (#6291)

Vyner, R. T. Notitia Venatica: A Treatise on Fox-Hunting. To which is added a Compendious Kennel Stud Book. Rudolph Ackerman, London, 1841. 1st Ed. Good cond., sound but with foxing, front cover faded. Red leather spine w/gilt title & images, marbled endpapers. Hardcover, 193 numbered pages of text plus 330pp of studBlaine, Delabere P. An Encyclopaedia of book information. Notes on foxhunting Rural Sports. Longman, Orme, Brown, include hound care, hunting practices and Green & Longmans, London, 1840. First anecdotes, coverts, and more. One of only edition. Fair cond., bumped corners, mar- two editions to include the considerable bling largely worn off covers both back & hound studbook addition. $395.00 (#6292) front. Leather binding with marbled front & back covers & interior. Gilt title on spine, Wood, Peter. Thoughts on Beagling. top edge gilt. Owner’s name inked in on Country Life Ltd., London, 1938. Ill. by front flyleaf. Minor foxing. See above for Ivester Lloyd include color frontis. and description. Hardcover, 1240pp. (#6285) numerous pencil sketches. Good cond., no dj, corners bumped and edges worn, but $650.00 interior clean and sound. Not as much has Clayton, Michael. Foxhunting in Paradise. been written about beagling as has foxhuntJohn Murray, London, 1993. Line drawings ing. Here Wood addresses beagle history by John King. Autographed by Clayton. and proper conformation as well as hunting Section of b&w photos of various hunting technique and kennel care. Hardcover, personalities. Fine cond., dj fine. 55pp. $89.00 (#6293)

a mat on the floor. The second half starts Foxhunting in Leicestershire, England, Masterson, Jim. Beyond Horse Massage. work with the horse—first off, then on. Lots including the Quorn, Belvoir, Cottesmore, Subtitled “A Breakthrough Interactive of color photos to show you what to do. and Fernie Hunts. Hardcover, 276pp.




The Following Communiques Were Recorded Marion to Aga: Just landed. Rental car too small to hold our luggage. Switched to Mercedes Shooting Brake. Pretty snazzy. Marion to Aga: Windsor Great Park under water. Traffic backed up on all roads. Practicing my British expletives. Will pull into Windsor Race Course then hope to dash to Highclere. Very wet. Car is fantastic.

Saddle stones with moss.

Aga to Marion: You left your umbrella here. Did you get Joan through customs easily? M to A: Stopped at antique stores. Found set of butter pats. Lots of antique trade info from the dealers. Some referrals for the future. Driving like mad to keep to schedule. Joan spotted a traffic camera. A to M: Please slow up or as the signs warn there, <KILL SPEED>. You can’t afford any more tickets. Bunsen wants to know if you’ve had time to eat. M to A: Ate at Carnarvon Restaurant near Highclere. My first English food here. Thought about ordering bangers and mash, but settled on fish and chips. Joan loved the root vegetables. A to M: Bunsen asks if the English eat steak? M to A: I haven’t had any boeuf yet. Joan has mastered the GPS. Found Newbury Race Course. They are building residential condo buildings overlooking the course. Former jockey gave us a tour.

Silver trophy.

A to M: Do you see dogs and dog walkers on the course? M to A: Sleep gaining on me; must get to Broadway and tuck in for the night but just want to visit the architectural remnant place I’ve been dying to visit. It’s open. Yippee. Will send photos for Facebook.

1890s watercolor.

A to M: I didn’t exactly tell him about your tea, but I may have mentioned ‘clotted cream’. Bunsen is now sulking in the library. You have to be doing more than touring race courses and eating. So dish! A to M: ARE YOU ALIVE?? Bunsen is convinced you got food poisoning. He’s gone from sulking to moping. Please respond! M to A: Went to lots of Cotswold villages and visited dealers. Yesterday I found a silver trophy, a hand painted bar set complete with a sterling topped bitters bottle. Oh, a fabulous watercolor from the 1890s of a woman over a fence sidesaddle. On the road to the North. Love the 85mph speeds on these motorways. Don’t erase these texts, I need them to remember what I bought! A to M: Thank Dog you’re alive. Remember the traffic cameras and take your foot off the pedal every now and then. Bunsen is impressed with your finds but is now convinced you’ve stopped eating to save time for shopping and visiting. Please confirm that you and Joan are, in fact, having three meals a day. M to A: Tell Bunsen I’ve been eating mutton the last few dinners. Can’t believe I was eight hours with one company just looking at cloth. Fingers crossed I chose good ones but I think they are Gor-Gee-ous. A to M: Glad to see you’re finally getting down to business. We can’t wait to see them! M to A: Whoever is watching over me sent me to the right mill today. I am in Tattersall Heaven! Wait till you see what I found. A to M: Be sure you remember to order the special buttons.

A to M: Please drive safely. You are much more valuable to us than old hinges. Bunsen is beside himself worrying if you are taking time to eat.

M to A: Damn speed camera. I think this one caught me traveling rather fast. This is a really lovely car.

M to A: Steak tartar FOR LUNCH. Best ever!

A to M: Does this mean my lamb bone budget is going to be reduced to pay a fine?

A to M: He’s rolling on the floor green with jealousy. Have you had lamb yet? You know it’s my favorite. M to A: Decided to zip over to Cheltenham Race Course. Joan just pointed out another traffic camera. Bugger! They are everywhere.


ing. Tea and scones at 4:00. Found a wonderful set of Minton plates with comical hunt scene.

M to A: 1,000 workers are getting the course and buildings ready for the Festival. Lots of painting and caulking. Still raining! Staff and volunteers are being trained to handle corporate guests, VIPs. Expecting 72,000 each day. Stables are temporarily holding horses from the countryside where underwater pastures are dangerous. OMG. The course is breathtak-

M to A: I’m over the top. Portobello Road had some great finds. A tobacco jar to die for with the MFH landing in the brush! I’ll have the shipper pick everything up. A to M: We’re getting lonely. When are you coming home? WE MISS YOU!! M to A: Off to airport to drop off car and run to plane. Tell Bunsen I’m looking forward to dinner on the plane. Running late. See you soon. I brought you presents! Oh, bugger! Speed camera!





Horses and People to Watch Installation • Repairs • Fence Painting Portable Barns and Sheds FERNANDO VILLAVICENCIO

Virginia Thoroughbred Association

General Manager Office: 540-687-5803 Licensed & Insured Fax: 540-687-3574

Richard Clay Photography

Horse Blanket Cleaning & Repair

Border Terriers

Brenda Milne (540) 937-2099 Cel. (703) 609-7200 18691 Springs Road Jeffersonton, VA 22724



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


CALL MARY COX (540) 636-7688 OR HORSE COUNTRY (540) 347-3141


Attend the Virginia Gold Cup in the Turf Club The VTA and the VHBPA cordially invite you to attend the Virginia Gold Cup Races in the Turf Club, located on Members Hill overlooking the paddock, on Saturday, May 3, 2014. Come be a part of this wonderful event with friends and fellow horsemen. The $165 ticket price includes exclusive access to the VTA/VHBPA Turf Club Tent, a VIP Car Pass, a Members Hill Badge, and of course full bar and catered fare in the Turf Club Tent. Don’t forget pari-mutuel wagering on all Gold Cup Races is available, and you can also enjoy all of the action from the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Please RSVP by April 17 to ensure you receive your tickets. You can purchase them online at, or you can send a check (payable to VEPAC) to the VTA at: 250 West Main Street, Suite 100 Charlottesville, VA 22902 Proceeds benefit VEPAC and the Virginia thoroughbred industry. No Agreement Reached on 2014 Racing Dates No settlement has yet been reached between Colonial Downs and the Virginia Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, following a Virginia Racing Commission meeting March 27. Historically, Thoroughbred racing at Colonial Downs was eight to nine weeks in the summer, run over 30 to 45 race days. The purses averaged about $200,000 a day. In 2013, the schedule was curtailed to five weeks and 25 race days, with daily purses of $230,000. Although Colonial Downs’ Ian Stewart called the 2013 meet “a success,” estimating that the length of the meet reduced the track’s expenses by $500,000, the horsemen’s association says longer meets are necessary to justify the costs of shipping and stabling a horse at the New Kent racetrack. Representatives from the Virginia HBPA and Colonial Downs attended a mediation session with retired federal judge Dennis Dohnal on March 12, but were unable to reach a settlement in an hour and a half session mediated by Dohnal. The VHBPA put forth a proposal for a sevenweek/28-day race meet, a compromise on their original eight-week/32-day proposal. HBPA Executive Director Frank Petramalo indicated that the horsemen’s purse account will likely have a sufficient balance to run an eight week meet with 30 days of live racing, with purses of $200,000 a day. Colonial Downs rejected the offer and proposed to race six days in 2014, for $500,000 per diem, which the VHBPA rejected outright. In a Racing Commission meeting on March 17, VRC Vice Chairman D.G. Van Clief proposed a seven-week, 21day meet as a transition for 2014. Horsemen and the Commission were on board, but Colonial Downs rejected that proposal in the March 27 meeting. Instead, Colonial put forward three potential scenarios that would be acceptable to the track; the three proposals are variations of the short, boutique five-or-six-day meet model. Betting on Thoroughbred racing at Colonial Downs’ off-site facilities continues to be shut down; operations cannot resume until the horsemen and Colonial Downs can agree on a contract. The previous contract expired Jan. 29. The two groups did reach an agreement on steeplechase wagering; The VHBPA will allow wagering at the race track in New Kent County during the Dogwood Classic Races. That race is a successor to the Strawberry Hill Races and runs April 5. Petramalo told the Richmond Times Dispatch that the association agreed to the terms because Colonial Downs is putting up the $75,000 purse for the race. The commission also approved a proposal to extend betting to the night before the Virginia Gold Cup May 3 at Great Meadow Park in The Plains.




A Hunt Visit, Retirement Meet, and Hunting in Florida By Jim Meads

Irfon & Towy Hunt Retirement Meet March 2014 New Huntsman Gerald Evans with hounds ready to go.

Irfon & Towy Hunt Retirement Meet Retiring MFH & Huntsman Will Jones with two retired huntsmen David Jones (David Davies) and Erfyl Price (Sennybridge).

Irfon & Towy Hunt Retirement Meet Ianto Evans, MFH (Llanwnnen); Will Jones, MFH (Llanwrthwl); Mark Jones, MFH (Llanwrthwl); Gerald Evans, new Huntsman (Irfon & Towy).

Irfon & Towy Hunt Retirement Meet Hunt Chairman Erfyl Protheroe making a presentation to Will Jones, MFH & Huntsman, who is retiring.

Cumberland Farmers Hunt visit to Mid-Wales March 2014 The Meet in spectacular hill country above the Glyn.

For the 17th consecutive year, the Cumberland Farmers Foxhounds made the 260 mile drive to Mid-Wales to hunt with the David Davies Foxhounds. Firstly, we gathered at the hunt kennels for a social breakfast, where people met Steve Blamire, new MFH and Huntsman, having taken over from Peter Wybergh, who was in charge 1978-2013. Then we moved off in a convoy, climbing into some spectacularly beautiful hills to 1500 feet, where we parked on a plateau and unboxed the impatient hounds. Here trails had been laid, but scenting conditions and a strong, cold wind made hounds work hard for little reward. We heard some great hound music, though, with the best run coming near the end of a frustrating day for our visitors. March 1st is St. David’s Day, the patron saint of Wales, so it was appropriate that a big retirement occasion was fixed by the Irfon & Towy Hunt for that day. Early fog and frost cleared as I drove through hills, forestry, and open moorland to the meet at Cwmdulas Farm, home of the hunt chairman Erfyl Protheroe, MFH. A big crowd gathered to pay homage to Will Jones, MFH since 2000 and Irfon & Towy Hunt Retirement Meet Huntsman since 1983, New Huntsman’s 5-year-old daughter Elin Evans, with Mary Jones. who has had to retire through ill health. With the Irfon & Towy and Llanwrthwl hounds on parade, a happy presentation and speeches took place before new Huntsman Gerald Evans and Llanwrthwl Huntsman Mark Jones led the combined packs away to draw, followed by 40 horses and ponies and 34 ATVs. In spring-like weather the hills were at their best, and three excellent hunts took place, with “home” being blown at 4:30 p.m. to end a memorable retirement day. Once again it was my great pleasure to “cross the pond” to Gainesville, Florida, for the end of season sport with the Misty Morning Hounds. As usual, I stayed with the founding Joint Masters, Alexis and Mac Macaulay, in their magnificent new home on Perry Plantation. Here the 800 acres have been turned into an equestrian center with show jumping and dressage rings and miles of cross country tracks through unspoilt Florida countryside. The weekend began with a meet on the Alma Del Zorro Ranch, courtesy of Nancy Hardt, when 28 riders turned out, with much flood water on the grass. Hounds ran well, despite the water, and the day ended with a “beast feast” comprising wild pig, wild deer, alligator, and interesting beverages. Next day was the 19th closing meeting, held at Perry Plantation, and the weather was perfect, being dry, still and 73˚. Gathering at the stables under trees festooned with Spanish moss were 40 horses and many more foot followers. Then the cavalcade moved to the Masters’ house, where they were joined by Alexis Macaulay, MFH and Huntsman, with 14 couple of American and Penn-Marydel cross hounds. What a picture it made in front of the house, reminiscent of paintings of hunts in the UK between the wars. Kim Munoz was the fox, and she cleverly laid 4 lines for hounds to hunt, which they

did with much enthusiasm. A splendid morning! Sport ended at midday with lunch, and we all met up at the same location that evening to dance the night away at the hunt ball until 2:30 a.m.

Misty Morning Hounds The Meet at the Masters’ home: Perry Plantation.

Misty Morning Hounds, Florida, March 2014 The three whippers-in at the kennels: Laura Dukes, Tania Nelson, Mallory Robertson.

Misty Morning Hounds Hounds and horses with flood water on Perry Plantation.

Misty Morning Hounds Kim Munoz, kennel man; Mac & Alexis Macaulay, founder, joint masters.


Old Dominion Hounds, Virginia Puts a special emphasis on supporting the role of juniors in the hunt field. Photos by Michelle O’Hanlon Arnold ( from the 2013/2014 season.

The juniors follow Huntsman Ross Salter and staff as hounds are taken home at the close of the hunting day. November 5, 2013, Flint Hill, Virginia.

Brighton Craig leads first field as Gus Forbush, MFH, follows. March 22, 2014, near Soldiers Rest Farm, Orlean, Virginia.

Junior Huntsman Connor Poe with hounds. December 19, 2013, Orlean, Virginia.

Susannah McNear leads her daughter Sophie Barnes. Sophie Bell rides behind. March 22, 2014, Orlean, Virginia.

Junior Whips Marissa Kunkel, Lucy Arnold, and Brighton Craig follow honorary Whipper-in Randi Blanchard. November 23, 2013, Junior Meet, Hume, Virginia.