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VOLUME XXVII / NUMBER 4 • THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE VIRGINIA STEEPLECHASE ASSOCIATION • FALL 2015

Photo by Robert McClanahan © 2015


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2015

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IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2015

SPORTING LIFE HIGHLIGHTS Combining the Old With the New Rose Tree & Blue Mountain Hunts Merge A new tradition is about to begin as the 2015-16 foxhunting season gets started. The Rose Tree Hunt and Blue Mountain Hunt were approved for merger by the Masters of Foxhounds Association in May. The merger comes after the decision by RTH’s Master Mike Shupp and Huntsman Justin Shupp to take a break from foxhunting after leading Rose Tree for 9 years. The Shupps asked Sean Cully, Master and Huntsman of Blue Mountain Hunt, to take over Rose Tree, a club founded in 1859. Sean, his wife Maryann and their children were honored by the opportunity to take over a hunt with such a long, prestigious history. After the merger’s approval, Sean’s first task was to appoint Dr. Edward Franco as Joint Master. Dr. Franco is a longstanding member and whipper-in of both RTH and BMH. The Cullys and Master Franco have made it their goal to preserve many of the old traditions of Rose Tree while maintaining the new, fast paced, hard driving energy that Master Cully has created in Blue Mountain Hunt. If you would like more info about the new Rose Tree-Blue Mountain Hunt, please check their website at www.rosetree-bluemountain.com, find them on FB, or contact them via e-mail at mkcully@yahoo.com.

Master and Huntsman of the newly merged Rose Tree-Blue Mountain Hunt Sean Cully (right) aided by his son Brady (left). Maryann Cully photo

•••• Orange County Hounds to Host Both Annual Team Chase Event and Virginia Field Hunter Championship, Sunday, October 25 On Sunday, October 25, the Orange County Hounds will host their annual CrossCountry Team Event at Old Whitewood Farm near The Plains, VA, modeled after the tradition of the English Team Chase. Foxhunters of all ages and levels will travel across the state to compete over a cross-country course set in the heart of Virginia’s hunt country. After the conclusion of the Team Chase, the Orange County Hounds will host the 2015 Virginia Field Hunter Championships. Masters of Foxhounds from across the state of Virginia select two riders to represent their hunt clubs for this prestigious competition. The event will start at approximately 2:00 pm. The Team Chase begins at 9:00 am. Spectators are welcome. Food concessions available. General admission: $10 donation to Orange County Hounds kindly requested. Reserved Parking $100. Prize Lists available at local tack shops and business. For more information please contact: Pippy McCormick: doverhse@earthlink.net, 540-454-2852 or Jane Bishop: jcb.waverly@mac.com, 540-729-7083.

Bridgewater College Equestrian Program Adds Two New Teams The Bridgewater College equestrian program has announced the addition of two new teams beginning this fall. A dressage team and an event team will be offered alongside the program’s IHSA (Intercollegiate Horse Show Association) team. Located in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, the college, a private liberal arts school with a history of excellence in education, is ideally situated to take advantage of the outstanding eventing community in Northern Virginia and the competition hub of the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington. Jerry Schurink, Bridgewater’s director of riding, has an extensive background in eventing, including serving as the co-coach for the USEA (United States Eventing Association) Area 1 Young Rider Championship team in the 1980s, resulting in bronze, silver, and gold medals during his time there. He is also a founding member of the USEA Instructor Certification Program. The IDA (Intercollegiate Dressage Association) competition format is similar to that of the IHSA, in which riders compete on hosting schools’ horses. Riders will have the opportunity to ride very talented school horses, including some upper level schoolmasters. The event team will allow riders to experience the thrill of team competition while attending events on their own horses. Bridgewater College will continue to offer its highly competitive IHSA team and open and rated Hunter/Jumper horse show experience to those riders who are interested in these types of competition. •••• Georgia’s Belle Meade Hunt to Host Junior North American Field Hunter Championship Meet, October 3. The Masters of Belle Meade Hunt take pleasure in inviting juniors, age 18 and under, to participate in a Southern Region qualifying hunt for the Junior North American Field Hunter Championship. The event will be held at the Belle Meade Clubhouse and Kennels, 3532 Wrightsboro Road, Thomson, GA, on Saturday, October 3, 2015. There will be a stirrup cup at 7:30 a.m. followed by the hunt at 8:00 a.m. A Welcome Party for the entrants and their parents will be held the evening prior to the event, October 2, 2015, beginning at 6:00 p.m. Complimentary stabling for entrants will be available at the Belle Meade Hunt Barn 706-466-3349. For entry forms and more information, visit www.jnafhc.com. If you need additional help or have any other questions, contact Dr. Heather Currier 706421-7022, hmcurrier@gmail.com; or Jean Derrick 803-238-6210, jderrick@windstream.net. •••• Virginia Hunt Week: Two Weeks of Foxhunting in the Heart of Virginia’s Hunt Country Virginia Hunt Week will be held this year from Friday, October 16, through Saturday, October 31. Participants will have the opportunity to hunt with 15 different packs through some of the best hunting country in the world (plus one day of shopping at Horse Country Saddlery). Regular hunting members of the affiliated hunt clubs may participate for a fee of three hundred dollars ($300) per person. Other foxhunters will pay a fee of four hundred dollars ($400) per person. There are reduced fees for juniors and citizens of the UK. Even if you’re only able to attend two or three days of hunting, it’s still well worth signing up. And the more hunts you can attend, the better the bargain. For more information, including the registration form, go to www.vahuntweek.org.

COVER PHOTOGRAPHER Robert McClanahan

ON THE COVER: Huntsman Tony Gammell, Keswick Hunt, demonstrates his winning whip cracking style at the Warrenton Horse Show.

PHOTOGRAPHERS: Liz Callar www.lizcallar.com Coady Photography Maryann Cully Daria Killinger, www.dlkillingerphoto.com Janet Hitchen Alice Laimbeer Douglas Lees douglaslees@comcast.net Joanne Maisano www.joannemaisano.com Ann Martin Jim Meads 011-44-1686-420436 Middleburg Photo www.middleburgphoto.com Al Round Eric Schneider eschneider@gmail.com Dave Traxler Karen Kandra Wenzel kkandra@aol.com

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is published 5 times a year. Editorial and Advertising Address: 60 Alexandria Pike, Warrenton, VA 20186 For information and advertising rates, please call (540) 347-3141, fax (540) 347-7141 Space Deadline for the Holiday issue is October 15. Payment in full due with copy. Publisher: Marion Maggiolo Managing Editor: J. Harris Anderson Advertising: Kim Gray (540) 347-3141, (800) 882-4868, Email: hckimbtc@aol.com Contributors: Aga; J. Harris Anderson; Jackie Burke; John J. Carle II, ex-MFH; Lauren Giannini; Michael E. Hoffman, ex-MFH; Jim Meads; Will O’Keefe; Virginia Thoroughbred Association; Jenny Young LAYOUT & DESIGN: Kate Houchin Copyright © 2015 In & Around Horse Country®. All Rights Reserved. Volume XXVII, No.4 POSTMASTER: CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2015

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HORSE SHOWS Warrenton Horse Show Hunt Night, September 6, 2015 • Al Round photos

A smart pair of grays from River Hills Foxhounds, Pennsylvania.

Devon Zebrovious, Middleburg Hunt, Ladies Sidesaddle class.

Greta Sieman and first whip Sommers Olinger, Keswick Hunt, winners of the pairs class.

Sandy Rives, whipper-in, Keswick Hunt.

“Someday . . .”

Competitors await the results.


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IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2015

WILDLIFE CONSERVATION When Good Fences Make Good Neighbors: Reducing Human-Wildlife Conflict In Kenya By Lauren R. Giannini

First, they had to clear the bush and make the road. The red earth is like our red clay; slick and treacherous when it rains. Then, sink fence posts and then stretch the wire. Major effort and well worth it to keep elephants, rhino, wandering hippo, lion and various other grazing and predatory mammals out of communities that border Mbulia Conservancy.

Elephant family enjoys a mud bath in the Mbulia Conservancy, home of Kipalo Hills, a luxury eco-lodge that specializes in safaris for families and wildlife enthusiasts. Photo Courtesy of New African Territories

Photo courtesy of New African Territories

Alice and Rick Laimbeer first visited Kenya in 2001 with their children, Parker and Margot (shown here, now in her early 20s). They began organizing the Highland School safari every other year, but it proved so popular that it’s now an annual event. Rick is senior MFH, Warrenton Hunt. The whole family supports wildlife conservation in Kenya through tourism by staying at lodges on small, private conservancies. Ann Martin photo

Highland student Susannah with her mother Hilary Gerhardt, who hunts and shows. Alice Laimbeer photo

Horse people know that properly constructed enclosures protect valuable and beloved equines— in fact, all livestock—by keeping them within their pastures and paddocks. In Kenya’s bush, especially around the perimeter of Tsavo West National Park (established in 1948), wildlife has roamed freely for centuries from what is now parkland into the hills, often wreaking havoc on the lean subsistence of local communities whose food supply depends on crops and carefully tended herds of goat, sheep, and, to a lesser degree, cattle. Lions, carnivorous predators by nature and instinct, can be a serious problem, to say the least. Equally bad and often worse are the stately, magnificent, and endangered elephants. They are voracious grazers and browsers, capable of chowing down for about 16 hours every day on grass, shrubs, and trees, even pushing over acacias, their favorite, to feast on the foliage. Worst of all, they plunder painstakingly tended gardens of vegetables and plots of crops such as corn and beans. Thorny branch stockade fencing is simply no match for an elephant with memories of a great smorgasbord. Elephants don’t take kindly to being chased away from a feast by a bunch of outraged humans and, inevitably, someone gets hurt, often fatally. This triggers reprisal, with the locals going after the elephants, already endangered by poaching. But even accompanying the family’s herd of goats for grazing can result in being trampled by an elephant. Many people around the world believe that African communities, especially those in the bush (remote areas), live in perfect, primitive harmony with nature. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Living in proximity to lion, elephant, buffalo and the like can be life threatening. The bush is a vast frontier without the kind of fencing we know. “There is competition between people and wildlife,” said Lori Bergemann, the Americanborn director and founder of Amara Conserva-

tion, a 501c3 based in Kenya (with offices in the US and UK) that focuses on wildlife conservation, education, and stopping poaching. “Lions can hurt them or eat their livestock. Hyenas could attack their children and elephants raid their farm. The local people avoid wildlife for good reason.” Tamsin Corcoran, managing director of New African Territories, has 30 years of experience in the tourist industry. She and several other likeminded visionaries were instrumental in pioneering conservation tourism, designed to return a substantial portion of the monies paid by guests back into the local communities associated with a particular lodge or luxury tented camp. For years, Corcoran and Bergemann worked closely to educate the communities of the Mbulia Group Ranch, living near Tsavo West National Park, about the benefits of protecting their wildlife, which migrate through the buffer zone next to the park into their farms in the valley and up onto the Taita Hills. Group ranches originated after Kenya’s independence in 1963 to help manage pastoralists’ livestock in arid and semi-arid areas. Today, there are 159 Group Ranches with membership based on kinship and traditional land rights, who jointly hold freehold title to land. Local people, who live off the grid with no electricity and no indoor plumbing, measure their wealth in livestock and few, if any, earn the average annual income per capita of $1,246. With no industry and few jobs, their greatest asset is the wildlife, but they had no clue how to realize revenue from it legally until they started getting regular visits from two women, one American, one Kenya-born and raised, whose talks about wildlife conservation and tourism gave them visions of a better tomorrow. Conservancy For Future Generations In December 2011, Corcoran and Bergemann watched their years of efforts come to fruition when members of the Mbulia Group Ranch designated 11,400 acres for a conservation and tourism venture, called Mbulia Conservancy.


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2015

Benefits to the community include: being paid the lease as well as bed-night fees per guest at Kipalo; the training and employment of locals for the lodge staff as well as buying local produce, eggs, chickens, goats, etc., and crafts. Kipalo also finances the Mbulia Conservancy’s anti-poaching patrol, trained and led by former Kenya Wildlife Service ranger, Mutiso Kyeli. So far, the patrols have removed over 1,000 lethal snares and arrested 27 known poachers, making Mbulia a much safer area for wildlife. Unfortunately, Mbulia Group Ranch members continued to suffer injuries and crop destruction from wildlife straying from Conservancy land into local communities in the valley and hills. Kenya Wildlife Service decided that perimeter fencing provided the best solution to minimize incidents of human-wildlife conflict. Almost as soon as it was announced, KWS officials received a unique request from Mbulia Conservancy, via Corcoran and Bergemann, to be fenced into Tsavo West’s southern boundary so that elephants could continue their centuries-old migrations into Mbulia. KWS agreed, but Mbulia Conservancy had to pay for its section of fencing. Funds To Fence Mbulia The big challenge was raising $200,000 to pay for Mbulia Conservancy’s share of the fence, but Corcoran was determined to keep Mbulia available to elephant and other large wildlife. So was Bergemann, who posted an official page on the Amara Conservation website to collect donations via PayPal for Mbulia Conservancy’s Tsavo Fence Fund. Contributions trickled in. Tsavo’s fence construction was making great progress, but time was running out for Mbulia. “I started to fund-raise privately and people, including Rick and Alice Laimbeer and Highland School, sent donations,” recalled Corcoran. “We raised enough to buy the fence posts and other supplies, cleared and built the road that would be necessary to patrol and maintain the fence, but we were really short of what we needed. About a year ago, I was starting to despair. A friend told me about a grant that was very specific to Tsavo. I got onto it right away and joined forces more formally with Amara and Lori as she has been involved with the Mbulia Conservancy project since the very beginning. We applied for the grant through Amara Conservation, got the application in, and then didn’t hear anything for months.” Waiting was nerve-wracking, hopes running, by turns, high and low. The next dry season would start in September, just months away. The big concern was what the elephants would do when they arrived on their traditional migratory path and had to stop at the Tsavo West fence. Their instincts were centuries old, and they needed access to the dry season habitats in Mbulia Conservancy. KWS promised to open their fence to Mbulia as soon as Mbulia’s fence was completed. Their only hope was that grant. “I was beginning to give up and wondering how I would cope,” Corcoran said. “I was on safari up in the Northern Frontier District when I got the message that we had the grant.” Mbulia: Leading By Example Originally penned in the poem “Mending Wall” by Robert Frost, “good fences make good neighbors” is often quoted out of context, but it rings especially true for Tsavo West and Mbulia Conservancy. The threat of wildlife conflict is no longer a daily risk for the people who live nearby. One major item on Corcoran’s “to do” list is making sure that the communities continue to benefit, which currently poses a bit of a challenge. “This is like a huge reward system,” she said. “When local communities put land into conservancy and make all this effort, it’s got to be rewarded. It’s hard right now and we can’t rely on tourism too much,” added Corcoran. “We need it and a big message needs to go out that if people want to save the wildlife, they need to come to Kenya and visit these areas, because by being there they are contributing to the benefits the local communities receive from creating these conservancies to protect the wildlife.” Karibu – Welcome – To Kenya It’s that simple: tourism really does a great deal to protect the wildlife and to improve the economy of the local communities. Going out on foot with the rangers to learn to track is possible in conservancies, but not in the national parks where you are restricted to your vehicles except in certain areas. For horse people, Kenya provides amazing adventures when you safari on horseback. The Laimbeers can tell you all about riding in the bush. Every year, Rick, senior Master of Warrenton Hunt, and his wife Alice lead a group from Highland School on safari. They stay at several lodges and camps, starting with Ol Donyo Was, near Enkijape, Highland’s sister school for Maasai children. They often ride out for the day from Ol Donyo, but guests can arrange to do overnight rides. Camel treks are great fun, a wonderful way to explore the bush and view game with experienced local guides. Camel treks are offered at Desert Rose and

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Highland School students on safari in Kenya, Lilly and Isabella Martin, crane to get a good look at the elephants behind them. Alice Laimbeer photo

Sabuk, two lodges booked through New African Territories. Sabuk also has several horses for game rides. Corcoran has recommended riding safaris for people who, like the Laimbeers, are keen to experience Kenya on horseback. “There are a couple of fantastic horse riding safari operators in Kenya and I can recommend the right safari that will suit what people are looking for,” said Corcoran. “I know the outfits where you go at a flat-out gallop and the others who take it a bit more slowly.” The bottom line is that the conservancies are the future for Kenya—for getting up close and personal when it comes to local communities and the wildlife, for living in total bush luxury at associated eco-lodges and camps, staffed by the most highly skilled and experienced local people, who will look out for you and take great care of you during your safari. “What Tamsin Corcoran is so good at is the flair she puts on everything,” said Alice Laimbeer. “That’s why people follow her. They don’t even have to see the lodges, because they know that everything’s going to be very special, very stylish and the food will be awesome.” Corcoran and her staff—from the locals trained for kitchen and lodge to her husband, Chris Brennan, game guide par excellent and photographer—are people who know and love Kenya. They want their guests to enjoy memory-making adventures and to come back and witness the good things that your visits help to accomplish for the wildlife and local people of Mbulia Conservancy—where good fences really do make good neighbors. For more information about conservancy, conservation, wildlife, and safari, please contact: Tamsin@africanterritories.co.ke

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IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2015

FOXHUNTING

Pack Perfection By Michael E. Hoffman, ex-MFH

Imagine you’re hunting as a guest with an unfamiliar pack. Someone comes up to you at the meet and says you’ll be filling in as the huntsman that day. It’s hardly a common occurrence. Yet this has happened to me twice; once when the horn was handed to me as I arrived as a visitor with no advanced notice and once in the middle of a hunting day when the huntsman was injured. I have had the good fortune to hunt hounds on two continents and in four states. I was an amateur huntsMichael E. Hoffman with the hounds of Radnor Hunt at his “guest huntsman and Master for several years and recently man’s day surprise” from Frolic Weymouth’s estate Big Bend, March, 2013. Daria Killinger, Equiscape Photography carried the horn at a prestigious performance hound trials event. In all of those situations, I was generally able to provide good sport and bring hounds home. While my own experience played a role in a good day of sport, I must say much of the success resulted from the care and attention of the huntsmen and kennel huntsmen whose hounds I had the good fortune to hunt. I love hunting hounds, being with them as they figure out where the quarry is and where it is going. Providing some contribution to their success is a passion that eludes an adequate description. Noticing just how much of a contribution the huntsman provides escapes observation of many because, when it’s done correctly, it may appear to be almost effortless. Achieving that takes years of dedicated effort. It requires trust, discipline, consistency, and a firm but fair hand. Such a level of commitment by those men and women who find their calling as a huntsman results in a pack so solid in their work that a stranger can pick up the horn and, with Mother Nature and scent willing, provide an enjoyable day of sport. To be sure, the greatest packs and the legendary huntsman all started in kennels. Hound breeding does matter and it warrants a long discussion well beyond the scope of this piece. So let’s assume that the pack starts with good noses, voice, and relatively uniform confirmation. I lean toward the camp that believes hunting one breed Joe Cassidy, former huntsman for Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds and Radnor Hunt. Daria Killinger, Equiscape Photography is better than mixing and matching English, American, Crossbreds, and Penn-Marydel. It’s not that it cannot or should not be done as it ultimately comes down to personal preference. Country, game, and riding style can also influence breed options. But given my choice in typical Virginia country, I would hunt American hounds. Whatever the breed, on any given day when hunting across the country, could you pick up tells about the hounds and huntsman and know how that relationship will impact the hunting? Absolutely! To begin with, what are hounds doing after they have been let out of the hound truck and before setting off? Are they relaxed and reclining at the feet of the huntsman’s horse or anxious and constantly on the move? The former When exercising hounds with the staff on bicycles, Guy Allman, formerly indicates a confident pack nicely connected to at Virginia’s Blue Ridge Hunt and now with the Bicester in England, has his their huntsman. If the huntsman is repeatedly hounds trained to turn in to him at the command “Bike!” Janet Hitchen photo calling hounds back to him and whippers-in are

scrambling about trying to keep the pack together, chances are that same lack of control will be evident in the hunting style. Quiet control doesn’t happen overnight. It comes from hours spent walking, feeding, and caring for hounds in and around the kennel. Anyone who has walked out puppies knows that it’s not only about acclimatizing them to farm life or a steady diet of your best shoes or a corner eaten on a fine wooden cabinet. Remember when the huntsman discussed how important it is to get the puppy to recognize its name, to turn and actually look at you when you called out “Bashful”? There begins the first lesson that evolves into a biddable pack. On a good scenting day the huntsman is as much a spectator as the rest of us. It’s the poor and bad scenting days when the hard work at home pays off. Hounds are eager to please but easily discouraged if forced, rather than asked, to do their job. The huntsman’s role is to encourage them to do their best, not coerce them to perform. Staff is there to be an extension of the huntsman’s eyes and ears and help keep the pack together as a hunt spreads over the country. But the message from either has to be simple sounds and words that are easily distinguished and delivered in a consistent manner. Ever notice the huntsman or whipper-in stop a hound, lift it from a covert, or send it flying on with a word or two or a specific set of notes on the horn? The urgency and tone can change the energy, but the message still has to be simple and consistent. Listen to the huntsman as he or she puts hounds into a covert. Take heed of the words and what happens. Joe Cassidy from Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds and Radnor Hunt, both based in Pennsylvania, can be jogging between coverts and with a crisp “whoa-up” as he stops his horse all hounds will halt, relax, and patiently wait for Joe’s next instruction. By turning his horse or body in a direction and a clear “go-in,” hounds will dive into covert. A call of “Wee Charlie” or “Raise ’im up” or a short horn note and Joe stays in touch through the covert. The same willing response to simple commands also applies when loading hounds back into the hound truck and into their assigned areas at the kennel. Guy Allman, formerly at Virginia’s Blue Ridge Hunt but now with the Bicester in England, exercises hounds on a bicycle and at the word “Bike” you can return hounds to Guy if he was nearby. Hounds can be driven ahead with a clear “Go forward, forward, forward” or a doubling of the horn. Joe and Guy can stand outside of a covert at a fault or check and with no help pull hounds out with their voice and horn. More to the point, hounds would come out and switch off waiting until moving off and being cast again. Being able to switch hounds on and off from hunting to not hunting is about respect and trust, not fear and intimidation.


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2015

The huntsman with a good working partnership with staff, whether professional or amateur, has passed this lesson on to them as well. Everyone uses the same language and sounds. A huntsman or staff member engaged in a running conversation with hounds is likely to get a confused look back. Add tension or fear in the voice and now the sterns are down or the hounds are ducking away. That is not to say there is no discipline; there is. Just like with children, at times a firm hand is needed. However, you will notice the biddable pack is rarely scolded in public. If a hound, well into the season, is truly misbehaving and it cannot be fixed with a sharp word or a short snap of the lash, a huntsman will pull it out and put it back in the hound truck; one bad apple as the saying goes. Cubbing not only teaches fox cubs to get on their feet and run but it pairs the young hounds with older hounds to learn about hunting. That is why the day is well planned with a specific agenda. Staff and the field are positioned carefully to push game in a particular direction if possible, setting the stage for the young hounds to learn a good lesson. The day is short because the lesson well learned is best finished that way. As the hot summer days give way to the cool mornings of fall cubbing, listen in on the conversation between huntsman and hounds. Take note of the crisp, clean, and simple language they share with one another through voice and horn. A good horn can tell you exactly what is happening all day long. The huntsman does not have to be a virtuoso on the horn, although it does help and adds to the melody of the hunting day. More important is that the sounds need to be consistent and the hunting lexicon straightforward with clearly distinguishable sounds. If you listen carefully, you may notice the words and the horn sound alike. As the season progresses and the day’s sport lengthens, you should observe how the pack settles into a well-practiced rhythm. As you thank your huntsman for a fine day’s sport, keep in mind the long hours that went into achieving a pack with such a solid work ethic that even an amateur can take up the horn and still achieve a successful day of hunting. Good hunting (and good listening)! Michael E. Hoffman, ex-MFH (Kilkenny-IRE and Loudoun Hunt-USA), is the 2001 winner of the Maryland Hunt Cup on Solo Lord who he and Joe Cassidy hunted hounds off at Loudoun Hunt.

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Hoffman filled in for Joe Cassidy at Radnor Hunt during cubbing season in 2013 while the huntsman recovered from surgery. Here he walks hounds in after a day of sport from the Kennels with three foxes accounted for. Photo courtesy Michael E. Hoffman


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IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2015

HISTORY

Hungary’s Horse Heritage, Bold and Old By Jackie Burke

Lipizzaners selected for performance in Vienna are stocky, wide in the girth, and powerful enough master difficult movements such as the courbette. Photo courtesy of the Spanish Riding School, Vienna, Austria.

Nonius horses, well matched for troop use, were sought after for European armies from the late 1700s through WWII. At Hortobegy National Park, Hungarian horsemen in native dress demonstrate cavalry formation, controlling their horses chiefly by ropes tied around their horses’ necks and their seats. Photo courtesy of the Hungarian Embassy, Washington, DC.

A rider at Hortobegy National Park demonstrates the wild abandon for which Hungarians are known. Photo courtesy of the Hungarian Embassy, Washington, DC.

In some ways, it might be said that modern European culture arrived on the back of a horse. Undeniably speed and ease of travel changed on the European continent the moment the first mounted riders emerged through a break in the Carpathian Mountains almost 6,000 years ago. You can almost imagine the moment hungry ponies that had carried man over 10,000 miles of Asia’s broken steppes walked onto Hungary’s endless grass-covered plains, champed at their bits and whinnied, “This is the spot.” So why not saddle up and follow along for a far-flung ride with those earliest horsemen for a whirlwind tour of the history of horse breeding Habsburg style, pulling up just short of World War II. East Meets West The ponies that survived that first long trek from Mongolia were by necessity strong, sound, and tall for the times—about 13.2 to 14 hands. Our first depictions of horses as a source of transportation date to 3,500 BCE, when dogsized animals hitched to chariots appeared on temple walls of the Middle East. About the same time, the much larger native Mongolian horses now ensconced on the Hungarian plains grew larger still. Scientists do not attribute this growth spurt to better food supply alone, but speculate selective man-made breeding techniques were already being implemented. With fully refreshed mounts, more and better horses at their disposal, and their own bellies full of mutton robbed from early indigenous sheep herders, the hooligans rode on to exploits further west, only to be followed by band after band of history’s thugs. More routes of plunder began to network Europe under the armies of the Visigoths, the Huns, and the Mongols, creating the ancient equivalent of modern highway systems. The Ural mountain people known as the Magyars seem to have followed many of those paths and encountered numerous foes before coming to rest during the 10th century in Hungary. By then, this tribe began accumulating allies, not enemies, and acquiring different types of horses, as well. Beginning of Breed Improvements The Magyars are credited by author Elwyn H. Edwards as the first to successfully intermingle blood of the four primitive prototypes of horses: Asian steppe ponies, Poland’s Tarpans, desert Arabians, and Middle Eastern Barbs, forming in essence the first modern crossbred. Over the course of time, strong rulers began to draw boundaries that resemble today’s map of Europe, thirsting both for power and for all forms of wealth, which included more and better horse flesh. Types began to solidify into breeds. One of the first breeds to emerge was the Lipizzaner,

whose bloodlines have been carefully recorded since 1580 when Emperor Charles II opened his original stud farm in Lipizza. Lipizza’s classical type is still used by the Spanish Riding School of Austria (officially “The Academy of Classical Horsemanship”), where a large oil painting of Emperor Charles II, considered father of the School, is to this day saluted by all riders who enter Vienna’s magnificent hall. Popularity of the breed spread throughout the vast Austro-Hungarian Empire. Between 1765 and 1810 additional breeding farms arose in territories now within Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, and Hungary. During the 18th century, blood to freshen the lines of Charles II’s Spanish rootstock received an injection from Italy’s Neapolitan breed, followed in the 19th century by an infusion of Arabian blood. Different types of Lipizzaners began to emerge: a beefy sort plowed fields, the leggy silver horses of Hungary pulled royal carriages, yet another type was developed for military use at Piber where Spanish riding school stock moved in 1920 when land at Lipizza was stripped from Austria following World War I. During times of war, which was almost constant in Europe during the last half of the past millennium, breeding stock was preserved by long marches to places of safety, often as far distant as Hungary, where from 1785 safe haven was provided at the vast stud farm of Emperor Joseph II. Europe’s Favorite Horse Mart Unlike his distant Habsburg cousin, Emperor Joseph II had something more practical in mind than a horse best suited for esoteric reaches into the highest degree of classical riding when he created his vast stud farm on Hungary’s broad southeastern plains of Mezőhegyes. What Joseph II wanted were more and better warhorses to remount his troops. He began this project with a French Norman stallion named Nonius, for whom this new breed was named. After generations of breeding to a hodge-podge of mares—Arabians, English half-breeds, Lipizzaners, Spanish, and Norman—the desired type was solidified by an English half-breed captured in battle from Napoleon. The Nonius that emerged was consistent in color, most often bay, and size, 15.2 to 16 hands, and not unlike the Cleveland Bay in its uniformity, ideal for both cavalry and infantry. What the heavy horses of Henry VIII’s knights are to the modern Hummer, and the fleet Arabians of the Moors are to Ferraris, the Nonius is to the SUV. Like today’s handy mid-sized Subaru Foresters, the good-natured Nonius offers a sturdy payload for farm work with a comfortable ride featuring reliable brakes and easy steering.


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2015

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An estimated two to five million horses were once produced in Hungary. Horse populations ebbed during periods of combat, but still managed to produce 1.5 million animals between World Wars I and II. Given the numbers, quality, and variety of its stock, Hungary was Europe’s goto shopping mart for horses. With animals suitable for sportsmen, whips, cavalry officers and enlisted men, infantry brigades, and farmers, Hungary reigned supreme in horse production and sales. Soon World War II would change all that, along with the entire face of Europe, but that story will have to wait until next time.

Young Lipizzaners run high meadow fields at Hungary’s National Stud. Photo courtesy of the Hungarian Embassy, Washington, DC.

Joseph’s herd at Mezőhegyes grew so quickly [eventually reaching 15,000 horses] that a second facility was required. This new venture was set in the mountains of northern Hungary on a 700-year–old estate at Bábolna. Building on groundwork laid at Mezőhegyes, dibs and dabs of Arabians and English Thoroughbred blood were injected to produce a more refined horse for officers and sportsmen. There, a distinct line of Arabians was developed also, the Shagya, which arose from a larger-than-average purebred imported from Syria. Successive generations of breeding have created an animal taller in stature and heavier in build than their desert brothers, and readily recognizable to aficionados not just by size but also by set of the neck, withers, and shoulders. Larger still is Hungary’s Gidran Arabian, in actuality an Anglo Arab, developed from Arabian rootstock bred at first to Spanish then later Thoroughbred mares. Lipizzaners, taller and rangier cousin of horses used at the Spanish Riding School, were also bred at Bábolna. These elegant silvery horses, which stood up to 16.2 hands, were much sought after to draw the carriages of European royalty.


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IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2015

JUNIORS More Hunts Get on the Bandwagon for the Junior North American Field Hunter Championship The Junior North American Field Hunter Championship marks its 13th year with the addition of four new hunts in two different states participating in the program. In addition to the meets with hunts in Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, Long Run Hunt (KY) Junior KathHounds, Woodford Hunt, and Iroquois Hunt in Ken- Iroquois leen Moloney and “Rocky.” Irotucky and Georgia’s Belle Meade Hunt will all host quois, along with fellow Kentucky clubs Long Run JNAFHC events this fall. The organizers are thrilled to that many more young people will have the oppor- Hounds and Woodford Hounds, have signed on to host JNAFHC tunity to take part in this increasingly popular and meets this year. Dave Traxler photo worthwhile program. The event is designed for junior riders, 18 and under, on foxhunting ponies or appropriate hunting horses. The goal is to stress the connection between the junior rider and the pony or horse. The foxhunting mount and its proper turnout are important, but suitability for the young rider is foremost. The major aim of the JNAFHC is to make the children aware of how important it is to preserve our countryside. In addition, the event provides an opportunity for them to meet new friends who also enjoy foxhunting while offering a bit of competition. The schedule of hunting days begins in mid September and runs through October, where the juniors can qualify for the championship. Judges are present at each of these meets and those children qualifying will be invited to the finals on Sunday, November 8, at Old Dominion Hounds in Virginia. To further its goal of preserving countryside for future generations to enjoy, the JNAFHC has contributed over $35,000 to various conservation groups including the Piedmont Environmental Council in Virginia and similar groups in Maryland and Pennsylvania. Host hunts for the finals have received between $1,000 and $1,500 for their conservation group of choice. For entry forms, releases, schedule, and to read how much fun the juniors are having, visit www.jnafhc.com or the Facebook page “Junior North American Field Hunter Championship” or contact Marion Chungo at 540-220-7292, mchungo@aol.com.


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Wentworth Hunt cub hunting from the kennels at Tuckaway Farm, Lee, New Hampshire Saturday, August 22, 2015 • Eric Schneider photos

Huntsman and co-MFH Kami Wolk. Huntsman and co-MFH Kami Wolk.

115th Annual Myopia Horse Show hosted by Myopia Hunt Club at the Myopia Schooling Field Hamilton, Massachusetts August 29th and 30th, 2015 Eric Schneider photos Wendy Wood, winner of the Ladies Hunter Side-Saddle class.

Jamie Cabot, Champion Qualified Hunter.

Michelle Blunda and My Lovely Horse, winners of the $5,000 Myopia Jumper Classic.

CUB HUNTING

Whipper-in Dawn DeFrance.


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IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2015

EDITORIAL

From Generation to Generation By J. Harris Anderson, Managing Editor “It is acceptable that those of experience shall, at all times, give explanation and encouragement by word and deed to all young persons, so that foxhunting may continue in the land from generation to generation.” The Fox-Hunter’s Faith By A North Country Hunting Parson

The juniors lead the field, Juniors Day with Snickersville Hounds from Banbury Cross, Middleburg, Virginia. Middleburg Photo

Virginia’s Warrenton Hunt is known for being juniors-friendly. (l-r) Sophia Vella, daughter of Warrenton Joint-MFH Celeste Vella, and Rachael Paradise enjoy a day’s sport during a joint meet with Deep Run Hunt. Liz Callar photo

The author accompanied by junior whippers-in Allegra Solari and Alex James on Juniors Day with Snickersville Hounds. (It’s always handy to have a kid along if you need a lead over a fence.) Middleburg Photo

Over the years I’ve had the pleasure of hunting in the company of many young people. The pleasure manifests itself in multiple ways. Kids are great at handling gates. The older you get, the more this is appreciated. For a lead over a fence, there’s nothing surer than a fearless child on a feisty pony. If you start to think the hunting day is too long for your aged bones, the wide smiles and gleeful giggles of the youngsters around you, eager to press on for more action, can be an instant jolt of rejuvenation. Mostly, though, the joy comes from the knowledge that a happy band of hunting juniors gives us oldsters confidence that our sport will continue from generation to generation. Sadly, I’ve also seen what happens when a hunt fails to actively support a juniors program. Membership slowly, but steadily, declines as seniors retire from the field with no young people groomed to take their place. The sense of community weakens which can lead to the loss of hunting territory as landowners repurpose their property. The quality of the sport itself can diminish as an increasing portion of the hunting membership reaches that “aged bones” stage and prefers a slower pace and shorter days. Everyone in the foxhunting community expresses the same sentiment: “Kids are the future of the sport!” But, then, kids are the future of pretty much everything, aren’t they? Endorsing the sentiment alone is not enough. For foxhunting to remain an active sport for future generations, those of us practicing it today must do more than give lip service to the concept. Doing so constructively requires two things: action and attitude. The former is principally the duty of a club’s leadership. The latter encompasses the entire membership. The purpose here is not to provide a how-to list of what can be done to attract young people to the hunt field. This is about how to support the juniors when they do show up. Many of you reading this are already working hard to provide children with the opportunity to discover the pleasures of our sport. My hunt cap is off to all those who will help make the Junior North American Field Hunter Championships a reality over the coming weeks. There are other organizations working hard to promote juniors in the hunt field and I’ve provided contact info below. However, no matter how well-intentioned any such program may be, its ultimate success will depend not only on the actions behind it but also on the attitude around it. For some, the “juniors are the future” mantra becomes a hollow chant when young folks actually show up for a day of hunting. A master who understands the importance of teaching juniors the intricacies of the sport may ask some of them to ride up front. This, then, requires the adult members to have both the graciousness and, perhaps more significantly, the horsemanship to hold back

and let the kids ride ahead of them. Some may balk at relinquishing their place of honor, others may simply be unable to rate their horse. Either way, being repeatedly crowded out and cut off will surely diminish the juniors’ enjoyment and weaken their enthusiasm to return to the hunt field. Another stumbling block can be confusing youngsters with contradictory information. (This also applies to adults who are new to foxhunting, as noted in my article on mentoring programs, “It Takes a Buddy, Not a Village,” in our February/March 2014 issue.) Ideally, everyone should be willing to offer counsel whenever possible. Realistically, some folks have a better understanding of the sport than do others. I opted to delete part of the quote at the beginning of this article as our dear North Country Hunting Parson may have been a bit harsh when he ended his declaration with, “He who thinks he knows, when he knows not, is an abomination.” While I wouldn’t go that far in my critique of fellow foxhunters, his message is clear: The “explanation and encouragement by word and deed” should come from “those of experience.” And while a well-meaning adult may think he or she is being helpful, doling out incorrect information could have the opposite effect. As with any mentoring program, it’s best to assign specific members to “buddy up” with juniors so there’s a clear channel of communication. The youngster knows which adult to ask when questions arise and the risk of mixed signals is reduced. Certainly, masters, as well club officers and members, are called on to organize and host many different special events: Opening Meet, Blessing of the Hounds, fundraising rides for charities, races, hunt balls, hound shows, hunter paces, field hunter championships, etc. With so many potential activities to fill up the calendar, there’s only so much any club can do without exhausting all resources and dampening everyone’s enthusiasm. So when the opportunity for a juniors event, such as the JNAFHC, comes up, there might be an inclination to think, “We just can’t do any more than we’re already doing.” There’s an old saying, stated in different ways, the essential point of which is that there is merit in planting trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit. The immediate results of investing time and effort in a juniors program may not fill the club’s coffers or swell the membership ranks. But, in the long run, the more you do to encourage juniors to come hunting and the way they’re treated once they do show up, the better the prospects that our sport will continue from generation to generation. And if you find yourself looking for a lead over a fence, just tuck in behind the nearest kid. You’ll be over and on your way before you know it. For more information, contact the Masters of Foxhounds Association (www.mfha.org/mfhakids.html), U.S. Pony Clubs (www.ponyclub.org/?page=Foxhunting), Junior North American Field Hunter Championships (Marion Chungo, mchungo@aol.com; www.jnafhc.com; and on Facebook).


“Pleasure and action make the hours seem short." WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, OTHELLO

Photograph: www.LizCallar.com

The months of waiting are over. Cub hunting has begun! How stirring the first sound of horn and hounds too long silent. Sweet, but ’tis prelude to formal season. Preparation sparks anticipation and stokes the embers of greater pleasures yet to come. Horse Country Saddlery has everything you need to prepare for the season’s delights ahead. We’ve been serving the foxhunting community for more than four decades. We know what’s required, what’s correct, and that true value is found in quality materials and expert craftsmanship. Bring us your anticipation, and we’ll complete your preparation.

MEN'S CHATHAM TWEED JACKET. Midweight, MC28. Sizes 40-46 reg and 40-52 long. (HC1A) $875.00 Made in England

MEN'S SOUTHDOWN TWEED JACKET. Midweight, MS10. Sizes 36-54, reg and long. (HC1B) $595.00 Made in England

LADIES' CHATHAM TWEED JACKET. Midweight, LC36. US 4 through US14 (HC1C) $795.00 Made in England

LADIES' SOUTHDOWN TWEED JACKET. JACKET M Midweight, d h LS32. 38-44 reg and long. (HC1D) $695.00 Made in England

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

60 Alexandria Pike, Warrenton, Virginia 20186

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

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LADIES' SOUTHDOWN TWEED JACKET. Midweight, four button front, LS28. Sizes 38-44 Reg and Long. (HC2A) $695.00 Made in England

LADIES' VICMEAD LIGHTWEIGHT HACKING JACKET. LV7. Sizes 36-48 Reg. (HC2B) $695.00

Our latest. LADIES' EXCEL HUNT SHIRT. Soft yellow technical jersey with creme colored soft twill collar, fine striped men's shirting lines the collar and placket. Princess seams, longer length, bone buttons, cuffs. Washable, wicks and can be worn with most of our tweed jackets. Sizes XSXL 285-mf15-04 (HC2D) $160.00

TATTERSALL VESTS with satin backs, backs six s button fronts and two waist pockets. Made in England. Several new fabrics in stock. Shown: (l) Plum and blue on oatmeal ground, worn with a cinnamon technical riding shirt, (r) brown and rust on oatmeal ground. Sizes 32-44, Reg. (HC2C) $210.00

FOUR FOLD STOCK TIES. FOU Many tattersalls and solids available. Man Made in England Mad Shown (l) 4F-099 (HC2E) $59.95 (r) Sho 4F-033 (HC2F) $56.00 4F-0

IMAGINE THE JINNY BELT. Shown in 3/4" orange lambskin leather. Also available in black. Sizes SM/ MD and MD/LG. (HC2K) $105.00

WAVERLY RIDING BOOTS. in tan (shown) and black. Ladies' and men's sizes, two heights and three calf widths. Made in Italy. (HC2G) $895.00

RUSSELL GLOVE Hand crocheted with perforated deerskin palms. Reinforced at the wear points. Made in Italy. Ladies' 6.5 through 7.5 and 8; men's 8.5 through 10. (HC2H) $158.00 Other crochet gloves from $39.95

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SANDHURST LIGHTWEIGHT BREECHES. Traditional styling, flattering without being tight, suede knee patches. Washable. Sizes 24-36 reg. and long. Offered in rust (shown) and beige. (HC2J) $178.00 Made in USA

All prices subject to change without notice. All items subject to availability. IAHC 09-2015

Our selection of riding breeches has never been more diverse. Choose from knee patch, full seat, euroseat, jean and tights. In beige and rust for hunting as well as colors for schooling. Shown: KNIT NIMROD BREECHES in beige, side zip. Also available in front zip. (HC2L) $95.00

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Shop online! www.HorseCountryCarrot.com MEN'S VICMEAD LIGHTWEIGHT JACKET. MV10. Sizes 38-44 short, 40-50 reg. and 42-50 llong. (HC3C) $695.00 00 M Made in England JUST J HOUNDS TIE. E. IIn navy (shown) and yyellow. (HC3D) $98.00 00

MEN'S CHATHAM M TWEED JACKET. MC30. Sizes 40-48 reg. eg. and long, 50-52 long.. (HC3A) $875.00 Made ade in England MEN'S WOOL CHALLIS TIE. Horses, hounds and huntsmen. In orange ow. (shown) red and yellow. (HC3B) $115.00 Made in England

We have a large selection of tattersall vests in stock. Shown: MEN'S NIMROD TATTERSALL VEST. Brown and blue lines on creme background. Lightweight wool. MTV13 (HC3F) $160.00 JUST HOUNDS TIE. Silk. Navy (shown) also in yellow. (HC3G) $98.00

PAISLEY SILK TIE WITH HUNTING SCENES. Olive 7066c-t-olv Plum 7066d-t-brn (HC3E) $85.00 Made in USA

Our latest. MEN'S EXCEL Ou HUNT SHIRTS. Two colors HU available. A blue technical ava jersey with complementary jer tattersall collar and lined placket. tat 2850MF14-02 (HC3H) $160.00. 28 Yellow with creme colored soft Yel twill collar, fine striped men's tw shirting lines the collar and placket. shi 285-mf14-03 (HC3J) $160.00 28 Longer length, bone buttons, cuffs. Lo Washable, wicks and can be worn Wa with most of our tweed jackets. wit Sizes SM-XXXL. Made in England Siz

POSSIBILITIES

SCOTT GLOVE. Natural crochet back with leather capeskin palm. Men's sizes 8.5-11 (HC3M) $89.95 SANDHURST. Men's Better Breeches. German-made cotton. Deep pockets, lined waistband, suede knee patches. In sizes 32-44 reg and long. In beige and white. (HC3K) $250.00

BEAUFORT BREECH. Available in rust. Sizes 32-40 reg. Made in Italy. (HC3L) $228.00

PERTH THREE BUCKLE FIELD BOOTS. Men's sizes 8-13. (HC3N) $1295.00

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Our latest. LADIES' EXCEL HUNT SHIRT. Soft white technical jersey with white broadcloth collar. Princess seams, longer length, bone buttons, cuffs. Washable, wicks and can be worn with all our formal hunting frocks and jackets. Sizes XSXL 285-mf14-03 (HC4C)$150.00 LADIES' HUNTING JACKETS Available in three weights and several fabric choices per weight. Choose tropical weight, midweight and heavy weight in twills, meltons and technical fabrics. Black, navy. Green by special order. Sizes from 32 to 46, reg and long. (HC4A) From $505.00

WOODLEY RIDING BOOTS in black. Ladies' and men's sizes, two heights and three calf widths. European sizes 36 through 46. Made in Italy. (HC4D)$825.00

LADIES' FROCK COATS Available in two weights and several fabrics. Midweight and heavy weight, satin and tattersall lined. Black and navy, green by special order, cavalry twills and meltons. Sizes 32-46 reg and long. (HC4B) From $690.00

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THE THREAD WEAVES A FABRIC

LADIES' SCARLET HUNTING COAT Available in four weights, light satin lined, medium satin lined, medium tattersall lined and heavyweight tattersall lined. Sizes from 32 to 44, reg and long. (HC4E) From $700.00

FORMAL HUNTING STOCKS. Made in England to our patterns. Either shaped or four fold, longer lengths and traditional hardwearing fabrics. (HC4F)From $49.00 We carry stock pins, engraved buttons, medals and other customized jewelry for each particular hunt.

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HUNTING BREECHES FROM HORSE COUNTRY We stock traditional and contemporary style breeches. Details range from pegged (shown) to yoked back Euroseat models in white, beige and rust for hunting and other colors for schooling and pleasure riding. Sizes 24 through 40 offered in specific styles. Our breeches are made in England, Germany, Italy, USA, and elsewhere. Prices start at $89.00. English, German and Italian breeches start at $250.00 and breeches made in the USA start at $149.00

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Our latest. MEN'S EXCEL HUNT SHIRT. Soft white technical jersey with white broadcloth collar. Longer length, bone buttons, cuffs. Washable, wicks and can be worn with all our formal hunting frocks and jackets. Sizes SM-XXXL. (HC5A) $160.00. Made in England

OF HISTORY OF TRADITION. MEN'S SCARLET HUNTING COAT Available in four weights, hts, light satin lined, medium um satin lined, medium tattersall lined and heavyweight tattersall lined. Sizes from 38 to 54, 544, reg and long. (HC5D) From $745.00

WATERLOO TAN TOP HUNTING BOOTS Ladies' and men's sizes, two heights and three calf widths. European sizes 37 through 46. Made in Italy. (HC5G) $875.00

MEN'S FROCK COATS Available in two weights and several fabrics. Midweight and heavy weight, satin and tattersall lined. Black and navy, green by special order, cavalry twills and meltons. Sizes 32-46 reg and long. From (HC5B) $690.00

MEN'S HUNTING JACKETS Available in three weights and several fabric choices per weight. Choose tropical weight, midweight and heavy weight in twills, meltons and technical fabrics. Black, navy. Green by special order. Sizes from 36 to 54, reg and long. (HC5C) From $575.00

CASTLE HILL HUNTING SHADBELLY For truly formal hunting occasion. Available in sizes 38 through 50, reg and long. (HC5E) $795.00. Top hats in stock.

MONTPELIER EVENING ATTIRE Soft white technical jersey with white Fine Barathea cloth makes the nicest presentation for evenings. Sizes 38-54 reg and long. (HC5F) $1095.00 We apply buttons and collars. PIQUÉ VEST AND BOW TIES For evening. Vest SM through XL White (HC5H) $98.00 White, pre-tied (HC5J) $34.50 hand-tied (HC5K) $42.00

We stock cufflinks and studs, pins and medals in 14k gold, sterling silver and gold plate. Call for current pricing.

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Shop online! www.HorseCountryCarrot.com ENGLISH WOOL PLAID RUANA. One Size. Assorted colors available. (HC6G)$168.00 ZARA ITALIAN LEATHER BELT. Brown. Sizes 32-36. (HC6H) $120.00 WOOL FELT HAT with 3" Brim. Brown. One Size. (HC6J) $75.00

LOWELL SHIRT. Coffee. Sizes XS-XL. (HC6A) $49.95 TAYLOR LITE FELT FEDORA. Plum. Sizes SM-LG. (HC6B) $84.95

CANVAS VEST WITH FAUX FUR COLLAR. Olive. Sizes XS-XXL. (HC6C) $99.95 CAMOUFLAGE HORSE SCARF. (HC6D) $34.95 TAYLOR LITE FELT FEDORA. Green. Sizes SM-LG. (HC6E) $84.95

REINS QUILTED JACKET. Navy. Sizes US4-US14. (HC6K) $249.00 ALICE WAX HAT. Black. (HC6L) $99.00 EXTREME WINTER RIDING BOOT. Black. Sizes 7-11. (HC6M) $239.95

BOLERO ITALIAN LEATHER JACKET. Tobacco Brown. Sizes SM-XL. (HC6F) $350.00

AUTUMN’S SPIRIT—BRISK AND MULTIHUED—IS CAPTURED IN OUR COUNTRY CLOTHING COLLECTION.

FORDE QUILTED JACKET Black. Sizes US6-US12. (HC6N) $249.00 CLOTHES HORSE SCARF. Navy. (HC6P) $22.95

HC6 HORSE C OUNTRY® 800-882-HUNT

CRAFT QUILTED VEST. Rosewood. Sizes US6-US14. (HC6Q) $199.00 HOLLY BETH TWEED AND WAX HAT. One Size. (HC6R) $105.00

All prices subject to change without notice. All items subject to availability. IAHC 09-2015

MONTROSE QUILTED JACKET Rosewood. Sizes US6-US14. (HC6S) $219.95 FOXES SCARF 68"x80". Teal and Rust. (HC6T) $22.95

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DRESSAGE JACKET. Light Blue. Sizes US4-US14. (HC7A) $299.00 LAUREN 1/4 ZIP SHIRT. Navy. Sizes XS-XXL. (HC7B) $54.99

LAUREN 1/4 ZIP SHIRT. Periwinkle and Grey. Sizes XS-XXL. (HC7C) $54.99

LIDDESDALE QUILTED JACKET. Navy with Floral Print. Sizes. US6-US12. (HC7D) $199.00 HEATHER TWEED HAT. Blue Plaid. One Size. (HC7E) $105.00

COMPETITOR JACKET. Navy. Sizes SM-XL. (HC7F) $218.95

REVERSIBLE TRENCH. Pewter. Sizes US4-US18. (HC7J) $369.00

BRUSH QUILTED VEST. Light Blue. US4-US14. (HC7K) $149.00 LAUREN 1/4 ZIP SHIRT. Navy. Sizes XS-XXL. (HC7L) $54.99

ENGLISH WOOL PLAID RUANA. Assorted Colors. One Size. (HC7G) $168.00 SHERBOURNE BOOT. Black. Sizes 7-11. (HC7H) $299.95

LIDDESDALE QUILTED VEST. Cinder. Sizes US6US14. (HC7M) $99.00 WOOL FELT HAT. Brown. (HC7N) $48.95 HORSE HERD SCARF. Sand. 35"x72". (HC7P) $19.95

CHESTNUT PLAID VEST. Sizes. SM-XL. (HC7Q) $149.95 FAIR HILL FUR FELT FEDORA. Navy. Sizes 6 7/8 - 7 1/2. (HC7R) $295.00

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HC7


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FORM, FUNCTION, HUNT FIELD CORRECT For the traditionalist, we offer saddlery and equipment for the discerning rider and confident horse. We work closely with our craftsmen in England to offer quality saddlery, still made by hand, cut and sewn from the best leather available. All our First Flight equipment is available as either separate parts or as a suite (all pieces are the same leather, the same craftsmanship, and the same hand-polished hardware). Our classic hunt bridles are available in pony, cob, horse, and oversize, as are our hunting breastplates and martingales. We also carry coordinated specialty breast collars, cavesons, flashes, etc. We have reins to match in rubber, plain, laced, plaited, and web in various widths and lengths to suit your preference. Stirrup leathers in ¾”, ⅞”, 1”, 1 ⅛”, and 1 ¼” in hunting weight and wrapped double leathers as well as buffalo “red” leathers. APPOINTMENTS: • Ladies’ sandwich cases, men’s flasks and sandwich cases. • Hunting crops in nickel, silver, mounted silver and double mounted silver, ash and antique crops (as available). • Hunt lashes in both calf and kangaroo. Kangaroo available in 12 plait hunt English style or Australian style. • Hunting horns, hound couples. • Hunting journals. • Saddle pads in sheepskin, wool fleece, synthetic fleece, and cotton. Also, a large selection of hunting bits and gag bits, girths (both leather and fleece), weighted and technical stirrup irons.

Please telephone the store for your particular needs. 800-882-4868. A selection of our offerings is available online at www.horsecountrycarrot.com.

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

www.HorseCountryCarrot.com

60 Alexandria Pike • Warrenton, Virginia 20186 CUSTOMER SERVICE AND INQUIRIES: (540) 347-3141 24 HOUR FAX: (540) 347-7141 For Orders Only: 800-882-HUNT(4868)

W IN CH ES TE R

To SPERRYVILLE & I-81 211

St.

MAIN St.

HORSE COUNTRY

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WATERLOO St. ss RT. 29/17 Bypa

Not responsible for typographical errors. IAHC 09-2015

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To WASHINGTON via I-66 Rt. 17 By pass

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To WINCHESTER, I-66 & I-81

To CULPEPER & CHARLOTTESVILLE


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2015

RACING

2015 Fall Racing Preview By Will O’Keefe Last fall the purses offered at Virginia Hunt meets totaled $630,000, a new record for purse distribution. But that record will be broken or, you might say, crushed this fall. The traditional four steeplechase race meets will increase their purses by at least $35,000, and a new meet will be held offering about $150,000. That new event, Virginia Downs Racing at Great Meadow, will be run on Sunday, September 20 near The Plains. Virginia Downs Racing will feature six flat turf races with distances ranging from 11/8 to 1½ miles for maidens, allowance horses, and starters. Gates open at 12:00 noon, and the first race post time will be 2:00 pm. The Fauquier SPCA is the non-profit partner for Virginia Downs Racing and will receive a portion of proceeds from tailgating ticket sales. Parimutuel wagering will be available. A week later on Sunday, September 27 the Foxfield Fall Races will be held at the Foxfield Race Course near Charlottesville. In recent years this race meet has featured a card made up of three maiden hurdle races and two more on the flat. This year an allowance optional claiming hurdle race will be run with a $25,000 purse. Traditionally the next weekend, the Foxfield Fall Races The Barrack’s Filly and first in October, was the date for the Vir- Mare Maiden Hurdle 2014. Douglas Lees photo ginia Fall Races run over the Glenwood Park race course near Middleburg, but that meet will be run this year a week later on October 10. This change creates a perfect opportunity for horsemen wanting to compete in Virginia. The new schedule provides a two-week gap between each of the steeplechase meets. The feature race at the Virginia Fall Races is the $35,000 National Sporting Library & Museum Cup timber stake, which always attracts a strong field. A new race to be run over the Alfred Hunt Course has been added to the card. Not only will this be a crowd pleaser as the horses run over a circuitous course with varied obstacles, but this will be a perfect prep for the steeplethon at Great Meadow two weeks later. A training flat race has been added to the card providing a perfect place for horsemen to prepare for the Far Hills and International Gold Cup Races. On Saturday, October 24 the International Gold Cup Races will be run over the Great Meadow racecourse near The Plains. Handicappers will have at least eight races to study and place wagers on. This race meet is run under VirVirginia Fall Races National Sporting ginia Racing Commission rules, which allows acLibrary and Museum Cup 2014. cess to a large fund for purses, and the total purses Douglas Lees photo of $370,000 makes this the richest fall race meet ever run in Virginia. The $75,000 International Gold Cup timber stakes and the $50,000 David L. “Zeke” Ferguson Memorial hurdle stakes are the co-features, and six other races round out the card with every purse $35,000 or more. Racing fans always enjoy the steeplethon race, which will offer a $40,000 purse. Tradition will reign at the Montpelier Hunt Races held at Montpelier Station near Orange on Saturday, November 7 as this race meet is al- International Gold Cup Allowance Timber 2014. Douglas Lees photo ways run on the first Saturday in the month with James Madison’s home as a classic background. The $40,000 Noel Laing hurdle handicap is the only remaining race that is run over natural hedges. Races will also be run over the National hurdles and on the flat. The first flat race will be run over the dirt training track with spectators lining the rail. Another flat race run on the turf will close out the day’s racing and the Virginia Steeplechase season. Montpelier 2014 Douglas Lees photo

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IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2015

PERSONALITIES

New Belle in Town By Lauren R. Giannini “My dream was to have a spirits company and make brands—bourbon, vodka, and some rum,” said A. Townsend Lunsford, Jr. “We started off with Belle Vodka. It’s been on the market since April 29 and it’s going really well in terms of initial sales and market acceptance. We did so well in our first 80 days that we went from special order in Virginia to ABC [Alcoholic Beverage Control] shelf-listing us. Belle Vodka is currently sold in ABC stores in Virginia. We’re slowly expanding and it will be available soon in Maryland and the District of Columbia.” With a tagline of “a beautiful pour” and pretty as a picture in its graceful frosted bottle with silkscreened label, Belle Vodka has received rave reviews for its taste profile. “Only fine American-grown grains and quality water, purified through reverse osmosis filtration, go into this fourtimes distilled vodka,” said Lunsford. “Master distillers with many years of experience are involved in creating our Belle. Combining esthetics with quality for the best possible taste experience is our goal. With that in mind, we’re focused on getting our product where it needs to be.” That means into the homes and businesses of consumers. Although it’s a huge undertaking to establish a new brand against the best of what’s available, Lunsford proved himself more than equal to the challenge. With 18-plus years of experience in corporate jet brokerage, he knows how important it is to keep clients happy in the air and on the ground. A native of Warrenton, Virginia, and an enthusiast of the chase, he might even say that flight and hospitality go together like horse and rider. “If you have a good product, it comes down to how it’s presented to the marketplace,” said Lunsford. “You can put a pretty bottle on the shelf, but if it isn’t any good, they’ll only buy it one time. Belle Vodka is pretty. It’s good. It’s fairly priced. It’s American made and American owned. Very few premium brands can say that.” Local History When it comes to adult beverages, Lunsford knows what he likes, and his idea of making quality spirits had been brewing for a while. In 2007, coincidentally Virginia’s 400th anniversary, he was living in Florida when he incorporated as T. Lunsford & Sons, Distillers, but circumstances put his new enterprise on hold for several years. When Lunsford returned to his roots in Warrenton, he reincorporated in 2012 as Old Dominion Spirits. The rest, as they say, is (Lunsford and Fauquier County) history. The founder-president of Old Dominion Spirits also has a passion for history and family. Lunsfords first settled in Fauquier County circa 1760, about 100 years after the family’s first delegation from England landed in Virginia’s Northern Neck. “I graduated from Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia, where I majored in history,” said Lunsford. “As the youngest child of the youngest child, some of my first cousins have children older than I am. They would always talk about Virginia history and family history. Just about everyone they described had already passed and it caught my attention

Belle Vodka’s distinctive bottle on display at a recent event. Photos Courtesy of Old Dominion Spirits and Townsend Lunsford

how those people lived on in the stories. I found it fascinating. Growing up in Fauquier County was like growing up in a living history, especially back in the late 1970s.” According to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, whiskey was an early cottage industry, which boosted the spirits (pun intended) and courage of America’s earliest colonists. It was responsible for the first-ever assembly of federal troops by George Washington. It went west with the pioneers. Whiskey, used medicinally as well as socially, has a long, storied history in Virginia whose Blue Laws date back to 1617, when sexual intercourse was forbidden by law on Sunday, and eventually included drinking and sales of beverages. Fortunately, times have changed. “The first stills were located in Virginia,” said Lunsford. “The majority of the settlers in this area hailed from England, Scotland, Ireland, and Western Europe. No doubt whenever they had excess crops, they used them to make spirits. Washington himself was one of the largest whiskey distillers in the whole country. In fact, they just reopened his distillery at Mount Vernon around 10 years ago.” Stills existed in large numbers throughout the 20th century in the hills of the Free State, located north and west of Warrenton. At any given hunt breakfast, ball, or social gathering, there was often at least one person on hand to offer the local moonshine. Few people ever forget that first taste of white lightning and where it took place. After Route 66 was extended westward from Gainesville toward Front Royal and Winchester, motorists traveling the new “expressway” at night could spot the eerie glow of stills in the unremitting darkness of the hills. It led to increased land values as people decided to move further out and use the new 66 to commute into northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. The Free State eventually found itself too well populated, but these memories of whiskey stills linger in family histories and among the tales recounted by good ole boys of the Old Dominion. But Vodka didn’t get introduced in the U.S. until the late 1940s, no doubt spurred on by millions of servicemen who returned home with a taste for it after being stationed abroad during the war. Learning The Craft “I had mentors who shaped my ideas, especially Jay Adams and Joe Dangler,” said Lunsford. “Jay had been CEO of Bowman Spirits and Joe had been their master distiller. Their experience and input have been

vital from the time I started to work out my market strategy, cost of goods and all the details so vital to making Old Dominion Spirits and Belle Vodka a success thus far. I’ve been very lucky to have their expertise as well as a great group of local initial investors who believe in me.” Returning to Warrenton with his family is a bit of a full circle for Lunsford. “My oldest boy is 13, my daughter is 10, and the middle child, who’s 11, loves to ride with his aunt on her farm in Hamilton,” said Lunsford. “When I worked in Middleburg, I used to cap with Fairfax. That was around the time I got married, years ago, but with family and the demands of work, it slipped away from me. I’d like to get back into foxhunting again, but I don’t know when that will be. I’m staying very busy right now.” Being shelf-listed by ABC is just the beginning for Old Dominion Spirits and Belle Vodka. Two flavored vodkas are currently in research and development. Lunsford’s business plan runs a course of several years. He’s concentrating on strengthening the regional presence of Belle Vodka, moving it up and down the eastern seaboard and eventually introducing it into Canada and Latin America. For now, however, Lunsford continues to broker corporate jets and promote Belle Vodka. His plans include being a presence at the Warrenton Horse Show and also at Virginia Downs Racing, September 20: six flat races with pari-mutuel betting at Great Meadow. He hopes that Belle Vodka will have a presence at other race meets and he’s looking into sponsoring some charitable events over the Christmas holidays.

Mandy (Fendley) Choby, Jeanne (Fendley) Clark, and Diane Jones enjoyed a taste of Belle Vodka at Gold Cup.


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2015

“Yes, I have tasted Belle Vodka—Townsend is a dear friend, a fellow VMI man, and he has produced a great locally owned product,” said Dr. Will Allison, ex-MFH and President of the Virginia Gold Cup Association. “Gold Cup has the policy of supporting local businesses. Marriott, located in Hume in Fauquier County, is our chief catering outfit, and I called them to ask that they have Belle Vodka as an exclusive to cater to our people. It’s big business to them and we would like them to use Belle Vodka when they cater at Great Meadow for our first Equine Alliance flat races. Promoting local businesses is Townsend Lunsford of Old Dominion Spirits proudly disgood for the county and good plays a BelleVodka.com tee shirt at the Gold Cup races. for Gold Cup.” When asked about competitions and facing off with rival brands, Lunsford replied: “Winning gold medals is fine and, of course, we would love to do that, but the only result that truly matters is getting a client-consumer to like your brand. It takes a tremendous amount of time, effort, and money to build a brand from the ground up and to achieve acceptable market penetration. People have told me I’m crazy for attempting something like this and will fail. My response is that I might fail, but life ain’t a dress rehearsal. Why tell me I can’t do this? They can kiss my rebel a**. We’re focused on getting our product where it needs to be before we go searching for laurel wreaths. Belle Vodka is good stuff. Please give it a shot.” For more information and where to find Belle Vodka: www.bellevodka.com.

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IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2015

TRY BACK

Close Calls By John J. Carle II, ex-MFH “I guess it’s programmed into the human spirit to revere the past. The older we get the more dearly, and frequently and with greater longing...just what is it about times-by that can never be satisfied?” Mike Graddis Raynham Beagles at Aldie, November 1951 Charlie Hughes, 1st Whipper-in; Frances F. Carle, MB; Jake Carle, 2nd Whipper-in.

The Raynham Beagles 4-Couple Pack at Aldie, Nov. 1952 Charlie Hughes, 1st Whipper-in; Frances F. Carle, MB; E.H. “Ned” Carle, ex-MH, ex-MFH, 2nd Whipper-in.

Raynham Beagles at “Raynham Hall” Charlie Hughes, 1st Whipper-in; Frances F. Carle, MB; Jake Carle, 2nd Whipper-in.

8 Couple Pack Trophy won by The Raynham Beagles at NBC Trials, November 1955.

In recent issues of Destinations and Town and Country there appeared articles that mentioned the movie, Foxcatcher. It is the tragic story of a disturbed and often delusional young man, John du Pont. The articles stirred the mash of a story that had long been fermenting in the rusted still of my memory. It is a story in which John du Pont played a part, but only peripherally. So let’s get on with it “…before the mists of memory breed the miasma of exaggeration,” as Rudyard Kipling advised. In 1948, at my father’s insistence, my mother formed the Raynham Beagles. Because I was already consumed by a passion for foxhunting, my father wanted me to learn something of the art and craft of venery and the essentials of kennel management, all at ground level. And what better way to learn than on foot, hands-on with a pack of beagles? The lessons learned afield with these jolly little hounds, and in our simple little kennel, have remained with me a lifetime. From humble beginnings—the gift of a single beagle from David B. “Bun” Sharp, Treweryn “Margot,” a sweet-natured bitch with a distinctive, yodeling voice and a broken stern twisted as a used nail—the pack grew quickly in size and cohesion until, by 1950, my father deemed them ready for a try at the National Beagle Club field trials in November. Compared to the pristine haven it is today, “The Institute” was a veritable wilderness upon which cattle wandered, and little or no special planting was done to nurture rabbits, although there always seemed to be plenty. Living facilities were on the primitive side as well, with no heat in the bedrooms save for cylindrical kerosene heaters. And the sexes were chauvinistically segregated: the men enjoyed the main building—that had men’s bathing facilities (women’s too)—and the cabins arrayed out back; women stayed a quarter-mile away, in derelict cabins on Squaw Hill, bereft of electricity or plumbing. My father and I fared well enough, but my mother soon tired of the crowded quarters, lack of privacy, uncomfortable beds and, as she said, “squatting in the wet bushes at midnight.” After that first year, she joined like-minded ladies at the Red Fox! I can’t recall winning any ribbons afield that first year, although the Raynham acquitted themselves quite well despite their huntsman’s almost paralyzing stage-fright. My mother couldn’t blow a note on her horn until her hounds jumped a rabbit; then she did just fine. Everyone was most encouraging and helpful, beating the bushes, briar patches and brush piles

with whips and sticks, as was the custom then, and hollering rabbits away. Today only the whippers-in can holloa, and gallery help is forbidden. It was more exciting in days of yore. The following year we had enough hounds to field two-couple and four-couple packs (now threes and fives). With my mother carrying the horn, backed by Charlie Hughes—my mentor in all things and best friend—as First Whipper-In, and me as Second, we were pretty determined. The pack had hunted almost every day all fall, with Charlie, a born Huntsman, carrying the horn when my mother wasn’t available—often with no help, unless I could skip school, which I frequently did, because fortunately my father insisted that hunting was an integral part of my education. Those hounds were ready! There were two other packs as new as my mother’s, Morgan Wing’s Sandanona and Jean Austin du Pont’s Liseter. Morgan Wing was a happy, gregarious man with a booming laugh (and a fetching, red-haired wife); and he welcomed me into the fold. Mrs. Du Pont, when she noticed me at all, was condescending at best (not only to me, but to everyone else as well, or so it seemed to me). But my mother refused to be condescended to by anyone, and watching their social ritual at the evening cocktail parties was a fascinating experience. They circled each other, hackles raised like the alpha bitches they were, engaged in polite but stilted small-talk, ever poised to drop an acidic “bon mot.” Mrs. Du Pont’s son, John, acted as her Second Whipper-In. He was a year or so older than me, a gloomy, brooding boy, even more of a loner than I was. It didn’t take long before I began to feel very uncomfortable around him, for whenever we were in close proximity, he stared continuously with what seemed to me to be unrelenting malice. Charlie took one look at him and warned, “Stay away from that boy. He ain’t right.” His intentions became clear one afternoon when he demanded we shower together. When I refused, we had a pretty tense standoff, until several men commandeered all the hot water, and we skipped showering altogether. After that we gave each other a wide berth. After the trials, I don’t remember ever seeing him again. Years later, I read, with not a little awe, an article in Sports Illustrated about his self-trained and nearly successful attempt to make the U.S. Olympic Pentathlon team. And finally, in that same publication, I read about his tragic disintegration: the murder of an Olympic wrestler upon whom he was alleged to have had a romantic fixation.


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2015

I think we got a ribbon in the two-couple, but I don’t remember. I do remember that we were pleased with our pack’s performance, and that we were poised for the next day’s four-couple, but we nearly didn’t make it. Before dawn, the caretaker, Carlos, who was half Cherokee, came to every bedroom and quietly lit the kerosene heaters, so the occupants could dress in comfort. I heard him come in, then promptly fell asleep again, knowing the farm bell outside would wake us for breakfast. A while later I heard a shout, but I couldn’t seem to wake up. There was total blackness, save for up near the ceiling where the bare, 100 watt bulb hung, and here glowed a faint, dime-sized silver light. The air felt as dense as a wet wool blanket, and I couldn’t seem to breathe. Then Carlos grabbed me by the arm and threw me on the floor, yelling, “Get out! Get out NOW!” The heater had malfunctioned, filling the small room with thick, black, oily smoke that nearly asphyxiated us. When the window wouldn’t open, Carlos threw the heater through the glass. He grabbed my unconscious father and dragged him into the hall, where he pumped his chest until Pop began to breathe again. I crawled out, coughing and spitting, coated in noxious soot, as the smoke was sucked out the window. It took my father some time to recover, but he took one look at me and ordered me down to take a shower. The shower room was packed, and I got quite a reception—a veritable shower of ribald remarks about my appearance. But behind the jokes, everyone was genuinely concerned, all especially worried about my father. “Use all the hot water if you need to,” yelled Bill Battin, a Treweryn Whipper-In, as they pushed me into the shower. I used enough to get fairly clean, although I stank for several days. They saved the rest of the hot water for my father, who came in shortly, still shaky, but recovering. And furious about his clothes. Pop, being very meticulous about things sartorial, had carefully laid out his formal beagling attire the night before, and everything was ruined. (I still have his green coat, many times dry-cleaned, and it still stinks of kerosene smoke.) Being lazy, I’d left mine in my closed suitcase, so I was okay. The five-couple went well. Our pack hunted diligently, had two or three short, hard runs, and we were in the ribbons—third or fourth; and…we beat Liseter!

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With no beds to sleep in, we decided to return to Keswick. It was to be thirtyodd years before I returned to Aldie. The next year I was incarcerated at St. Mark’s School near Boston and, at beagle-trial time, on probation for skinning muskrats in the art room. Our enterprise (Hudson Bay South) had gone well until my roommate’s first skinning attempt resulted in a slashed scent-gland, a closed and nearly ruined art room, and the end of our trapline…and any thoughts of freedom until Christmas break. Later, happily expelled from St. Mark’s and attending Salisbury in Connecticut, I was allowed to go over to nearby Millbrook, New York, to beagle with Morgan Wing. We ran European hare—a first for me— and his Sandanona pack showed superb sport. However, halfway through the afternoon, I fell afoul of some very lovely and lonely Bennett College girls, who had a bottle of Jack Daniels. Probation again! No Aldie! The Raynham Beagles continued to prosper. In 1955, after my mother had coerced from Bun Sharp his two best bitches, “Mirthful” and “Hasty,” she returned with them and their produce to win the eight-couple silver by beating Treweryn. That win was their competitive high point. My father’s health declined, and they only attended one more trial. When Pop died, my mother and Charlie hunted awhile longer around home, and I joined on vacations, but it was never the same. She gave her pack to Drury Deford in Manakin-Sabot, Virginia, where they continued to show good sport for many years. I don’t know what became of Carlos; nor can I find records at “The Institute” old enough to mention him. I never knew his last name, nor, oddly enough, did Charlie, who stayed with him at Aldie. But in the front hall of the old building there is a picture of three musicians: Col. Howard Fair is sawing on a fiddle, Carlos blows a harmonica (or mouth-harp, as he termed it), and a handsome young man whom nobody today can identify plays the guitar. I think he is L.C. “Bud” Warden, a rock-climber, bon vivant and Buckram Beagle Whipper-In, who took me under his wing at the 1950 trials just before he shipped out to the Korean War. He’s dropped off the beagle radar. Those were halcyon days for me, days afield with beagles, terriers, and the Keswick foxhounds. My view of the world was, as yet, untarnished by the angst and cynicism of adolescence, and just about anything seemed possible. That magical world remains a wonderful place to visit.


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IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2015

JENNY’S PICKS With limited space this month, and not a lot of new books to cover, this will be a shorter column with a wide variety of books. First, we’ve restocked some old classics, MacKinlay Kantor’s short novels about nighttime foxhunting. Kantor, MacKinlay. The Voice of Bugle Ann. Back in stock is this classic tale of a backcountry Missouri foxhunting community, focusing on an old man’s love for his favorite hound and his son’s blossoming love for the daughter of a neighboring farmer—a sheep raiser who has threatened to kill any hound that gets onto his property. When Bugle Ann goes missing one night, old Spring Davis assumes the worst and goes after his neighbor. Hardcover, 128pp. $18.95 Kantor, MacKinlay. The Daughter of Bugle Ann. Taking up where The Voice of Bugle Ann left off, this is told through the eyes of a friend of Benjy Davis, the son of Spring Davis. Benjy and Camden have married, but the marriage ruptures with an argument, and Camden leaves home. It looks as if both of them are too prideful to reconcile—until a foxhound competition brings them to the same site. Hardcover, 153pp. $18.95 Our horsekeeping section is bulging with excellent books on horse care. Check out more books on www.horsecountrycarrot.com! Harris, Susan E. Grooming to Win – 3rd Edition. While there are no color pictures with this meaty handbook, it’s packed with excellent line drawings and verbal advice for putting your show horse in its finest condition. You’ll find plenty of mane and tail braiding techniques for different disciplines, from show hunter to gaited breeds. General grooming, bandaging, and clipping all receive thorough coverage. Highly recommended. Softcover, 344pp. $34.99 Stewart, John. Understanding the Horse’s Feet. One of the best books yet to come across my desk on equine feet! Whether you’re a horse owner, vet student, farrier, or anyone having to deal with horse care, this will be a great addition to your library. Full of photographs and diagrams to illustrate innumerable problems both within and from the outside of the hoof, this is fairly technical but well worth reading. There’s a big chapter on laminitis alone and what happens within the hoof, with a following chapter on the effects of insulin resistance leading to laminitis. Hardcover, 224pp. $44.95 We have a lot more books on dressage than I have listed in my columns, but I know there are some dressage enthusiasts out there, so here are a couple for you: Foy, Janet. Dressage Q & A with Janet Foy. If you are already riding on a Grand Prix level, chances are you already know a good deal of the contents of this book from years of experience. But if you are relatively new to the discipline, you’ll get a lot out of this questionand-answer format instruction by the author of Dressage for the Not-So-Perfect Horse. The author inserts many analogies to help the reader form an idea of what is needed, such as the handshake comparison to rein contact: the “dishrag” lacks direction and leads to contempt; the “bone-crusher” is asserting too much dominance and will invoke resentment; a firm handshake instills confidence as well as sending the correct amount of signal to the horse. Easy to read and absorb. Softcover, 141pp. $24.95 Klimke, Ingrid and Reiner. Cavaletti for Dressage and Jumping. This is the second revised edition of Reiner Klimke’s original Cavaletti. Like Ingrid’s first revision, this is full of color photographs and cavaletti diagrams intended to improve both dressage and jumping horses. Ingrid writes in the foreword to this edition, “Cavaletti work is extremely valuable in developing the horse’s athleticism and strength…This edition of the book includes many exercises and tips that are easy to incorporate into daily training.” Hardcover, 156pp. $29.95

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 I’ve been pleased by how well our culinary section has been received. While unfortunately several of our favorite venison recipe books have gone out of print, we still have a few, and I’m sure plenty of our readers enjoy fish, so I ordered a fish book. Sinkus, Henry. 100 Fast & Foolproof Freshwater Fish Recipes. Fishing enthusiasts, here are some easy and tasty recipes for your catch. One of my fond memories is breakfast on bluegills my father caught in the morning on camping trips. Bony, yes, but so tasty fried! And of course you don’t have to wait until you go fishing to try out these recipes; any good grocery store should have a variety of fresh fish you can use. Remember, fish is very good for your diet! Softcover, 127pp. $14.95 2016 Calendars are in now, and the Foxes calendar features a spry fellow in mid-pounce in the snow. Most are red foxes, but they always include one Arctic fox and a couple of darker variations, and all lovely photos. By the time you read this, all should be on line. Except for the Foxhunting Life calendar, all calendars are $14.99. Below are new hunting books you might enjoy. Oakford, Christopher and Glenye. The Iroquois Hunt. Located in the heart of Kentucky bluegrass horse country—Lexington—the Iroquois Hunt, named not for a native tribe but for the first American horse to win the Epsom Derby, dates back to 1880 and hunts over some beautiful territory outside the metropolis. Black and white photos recall the glories of past hunts and social activities, and the text covers the hunt’s history, its huntsmen and masters, and many of its members—and of course, the hounds. Paperback, 175pp. $19.99 De Belin, Mandy. From the Deer to the Fox/The Hunting Transition and the Landscape 1600-1850. Part of a series on “explorations in local and regional history,” this deals with the effect of the landscape upon hunting—and vice versa. As the land lost its great forests due to clearing for agriculture, stag hunting gave way to foxhunting. The author believes, however, that an increasing enthusiasm for riding fast over cleared land after foxes also led to more clearing of land as well. This is not a picture book; illustrations are few and in black and white, but the text makes good reading about hunting practices of the past. Paperback, 160pp. $29.95

horses. Kentucky has long been associated with Thoroughbred horse racing, with the Derby being undoubtedly the best-known horse race in America. Within this book’s covers you will find archival b&w photos of racehorses both famous and those not so well known, jockeys, racecourses, and breeding farms. Paperback, 127pp. $21.99 Dreistadt, Ronnie. Lost Bluegrass/History of a Vanishing Landscape. Like so many metropolitan areas, Lexington, Kentucky is relentlessly pushing outward into the beautiful bluegrass farms surrounding it, like the renowned Hamburg Place, now nothing but houses and shopping centers but once the leading Thoroughbred farm in the country. The fate of the famed and illfated Calumet Farm is still in doubt, being located as it is so close to the airport. It seems only a matter of time before money will win out over history and beauty and it too will go under the bulldozer. This book, illustrated with b&w photos but largely text, includes a great deal of past history of the area, which is worth reading about. Paperback, 127pp. $19.99 Gatto, Kimberly. Belair Stud/The Cradle of Maryland Horse Racing. The State of Maryland remains an active Thoroughbred breeding and racing venue. Though now only a museum encompassing the manor house and the stable, Belair Stud, founded in 1747 by Maryland Governor Samuel Ogle, was long a breeding site of famous racehorses, including Triple Crown winners Gallant Fox and Omaha (only father-son pair to be Triple Crown winners) and the great sire Nashua. “Sunny Jim” Fitzsimmons was the trainer for 30 years when Belair was owned by William Woodward. Loaded with color and b&w photos of Belair, its horses, and the humans associated with it, the book’s appendices include pedigrees and racing records of some of the most noted Belair horses. Paperback, 159pp. $19.99

ginia Horse Racing/Triumphs of the Turf. The colony of Virginia was settled by gentlemen, and gentlemen of the period admired and imported fine horses and happily raced them. Before the American Civil War, Virginia was a great producer of fine horseflesh. But the war took its toll on both men and horses, and racing and breeding moved on to other states, like Kentucky, especially when gambling was prohibited in Virginia. Nonetheless, perhaps the greatest American racehorse bred came from Virginia: the never-to-be-forgotten Secretariat. And relatively recently, racing returned to the state with the reinstatement of pari-mutuel betting. Read of its origins in this book heavily illustrated with old photographs and artwork. Paperback, 159pp. $19.99 Thompson, Patricia L. Kentucky’s Famous Race-

O’Connell, Patrick. The Inn at Little Washington/A Magnificent Obsession. “Little Washington” is the local term for Washington, Virginia, to distinguish it from Washington, D.C. And the Inn at Little Washington is one of the finest in the country, having attained a fivestar rating with magnificent food. This lavishly illustrated book will whet your desire to try it someday. But the kitchen part of it is only a chapter; the focus is on the beautiful rooms. It’s hard to believe the initial building (there is now more than one in the complex) was an automotive garage in an earlier incarnation! The author has included some of the interior decorator’s design plans along with the color photos of the finished projects, as well as a few favorite recipes from the kitchen. Hardcover, 256pp. $50.00

Gunning, Brooke; and Paige Horine. Maryland Thoroughbred Racing. Pimlico, current home of the Preakness (it has not always been so!), is probably the best known Maryland racecourse, but other courses include Bowie and the fairgrounds at Timonium, both still used for racing, as well as Marlborough, Laurel, and a host of smaller tracks no longer in service. This volume from Horseracing enthusiasts, we have some new ones for the “Images of America” series is full of old photos of you, too—not the fancy $60.00-and-up full-color cof- racecourses, horses, horse people, and stud farms in fee-table sort, but paperback b&w photos from the past Maryland. Paperback, 128pp. $21.99 And then there is a coffee-table book about a site that is with associated history. Johnson, Virginia C.; and Barbara Crookshanks. Vir- within an easy drive of Horse Country:


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2015

HORSE RACING

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Horses and People to Watch Virginia Thoroughbred Association

Virginia Equine Alliance To Host 6 Days of Pari-Mutuel Racing This Fall The recently formed Virginia Equine Alliance (VEA) announced last month that it will hold six days of pari-mutuel horse racing in the Commonwealth between September 19 and October 24 this fall. Great Meadow, located in The Plains, will host two of the events. “Virginia Downs Racing” will take place Sunday September 20th and the 78th edition of the International Gold Cup will be held on Saturday October 24th. “Virginia Downs Racing” is a new event that will feature six flat turf races with distances ranging from 11/8 to 1½ miles for maidens, allowance horses, and starters. Festivities will start at 2 pm and tailgating begins at 12 noon. The Fauquier SPCA is the non-profit partner for “Virginia Downs Racing” and will receive all proceeds from tailgating ticket sales. Activities will be confined to the Members Hill area alongside the stretch and finish line, and two different tailgate passes will be available for fans to purchase. A limited supply of reserved railside vehicle passes will be sold on a first come first serve basis for $100 each (advance sale only) while general tailgating passes are available for advance and day of purchase for only $30. Both options include vehicle access into the tailgating areas and admission for all passengers. Fans can purchase passes by calling the SPCA at 540-788-9000, ext. 202 or by e-mailing mtarr@fauquierspca.com. “We’re excited to not only host the inaugural ‘Virginia Downs Racing’ at such an established venue like Great Meadow, but to be able to bring in the Fauquier SPCA as a solid community partner,” said Jeb Hannum, Executive Director of the Virginia Equine Alliance. “The SPCA will keep every penny of tailgating sales revenue and any monies they can generate from sponsorship sales too.” The fall edition of the International Gold Cup will again feature steeplechase races but like the 2015 spring edition, will also include a minimum of three flat races. Sponsor/corporate tent and tailgating tickets can be purchased at www.vagoldcup.com or by calling 540-347-2612. The Gold Cup, which moved to its current location at Great Meadow in 1985, highlights the annual fall steeplechase season.

Paddy O’Prado (gray inside horse) makes his move in the stretch en route to victory in the Grade II Virginia Derby in 2010. The stakes has been renamed the Commonwealth Derby this year and will be run at Laurel on September 19th. Coady Photography

The other four race days scheduled this fall will take place at the Oak Ridge Estate in Arrington, Virginia, located off Route 29 between Charlottesville and Lynchburg. Harness races will be contested over Oak Ridge’s one mile dirt oval on back-to-back weekends October 10/11 and 17/18. Highlight of the meet is the Virginia Breeder’s stakes, which will showcase eight separate divisions of two and three year old pacers and trotters of both sexes. Prep and elimination races will take place the first weekend while championship races in each division will battle on closing Sunday. Over $300,000 (est.) in purse monies will be up for grabs on “Champions” Day. Pari-mutuel harness racing was previously held at the Oak Ridge Estate in September, 2001 when a nine day campaign was held over three straight weekends. The 200-year-old property is most recently known as the host site for the popular Locken Music Festival which returns for a four day run September 10-13. In addition to these six in-state events, the VEA is sponsoring a series of stakes races at Maryland’s Laurel Park. A pair of Grade II stakes, the $400,000

Old Dominion Derby (formerly the Virginia Derby) and $250,000 Old Dominion Turf Cup (known previously as the Colonial Turf Cup), will be contested on Saturday September 19. On the following Saturday, September 26, five $60,000 Virginia-bred stakes will be run there along with the Grade III $150,000 Old Dominion Oaks (held previously as the Virginia Oaks). “When you look at the racing opportunities the VEA has put together this fall, I think we’ve catered to most every horse, especially when you consider the additional flat races as part of the Gold Cup program,” added Jeb Hannum. “Everything has come together pretty quickly but given the circumstances we faced this year, we’re pleased.” The Virginia Equine Alliance is dedicated to promoting, sustaining, and expanding Thoroughbred and Standardbred racing and breeding in Virginia. The Alliance is comprised of the Virginia Thoroughbred Association (VTA), the Virginia Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association (VAHBPA), the Virginia Gold Cup, and the Virginia Harness Horsemen’s Association (VHHA). For more information, visit www.virginiaequinealliance.com.

Meadowbrook Farm at Huntly Equestrian Center Home of the Wakefield Country Day School Equestrian Team

Boarding and Lessons Available for ages 4 and up

(540) 660-1454 www.meadowbrookfarmathuntly.com

888-979-5615

18 Meadowbrook Lane Huntly,VA 22640 Greg and Julie Vaught Owners


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IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2015

ACROSS THE POND

A Top Puppy Show and a Major Hound Show 2015 By Jim Meads

The first major puppy show of the 2015 summer in England took place at the South Shropshire’s kennels close to the ancient market town of Shrewsbury. Here the judges, Andrew Cook MFH and Matt Ramsden MFH, had to sort seven couple of doghounds and nine couple of South Shropshire Hunt Puppy Show bitches from five litters by three dif- Top Bitch and Overall Champion “Splendid” with ferent stallions. In the doghounds, Top Dog (her brother) “Spearhead.” the winner, “Spearhead” and second, “Spaceman,” were from the litter by VWH “Rancher” out of “Speckle.” In the bitches, the top hounds came from the same family, with “Splendid” being first and “Spearmint” 3rd. In the Championship run-off, between “Spearhead” and “Splendid,” the latter took the title. As a most interesting postscript, “Speckle” ’10, dam of top dog and bitch, is also the dam of Hillsboro “Siskin” – Grand Champion of the 2015 Virginia Hound Show! The Wales and Border Counties Hound Show is the premier show for Welsh Foxhounds, where every huntsman wants to win a class. Entries were high this year, and the judges, Ken and Will Jones, had many Wales and Border Counties Hound Show difficult decisions to make. In the doghounds, the Gelligaer, Llanwrthwl, and Cwrt-y-Cadno took first Champion Welsh Dog and Grand Champion Welsh prizes, with the Champion being Gelligaer “Druid.” Gelligaer Farmers “Druid.” Bitch classes were won by Llanwnnen and Teme Val- Huntsman Martyn Arnold, ley, with Teme Valley “Tally” taking the accolade. In Judges Will Jones, Ken Jones. the overall Welsh Championship, the unentered Gelligaer “Druid” took the supreme. In the English Foxhound classes, we were honored to have Marty and Daphne Wood, MFHs Live Oak Hounds, Florida, judging with Martin Scott and Adam Waugh. In the Restricted Class for Unentered Doghounds, the Cattistock on a rare visit from Dorset scored with “Granite.” The other classes were dominated by the North Cotswold and the Duke of Beaufort’s, with the latter pack’s homebred “Starter” taking the Championship. After lunch, the Restricted Class for Unentered Bitches was, interestingly, won by a “Welsh” pack, the Monmouthshire, with “Doorman,” by Cotswold “Popcorn.” The other bitch classes

Wales and Border Counties Hound Show Best 2 Couple English Entered Bitches North Cotswold “Doeskin,” “Dreamy,” “Granny,” “Greystone.”

were won by the North Cotswold, with their brood bitch “Raindrop” being named Champion. The Supreme English Hound was Duke of Beaufort’s “Starter,” a high quality dog from a great kennel. Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn’s puppy show took place at their kennels on the Welsh borders, when 4½ couple of doghounds and 11 couple of bitches of the old English type were judged by Marty and Daphne Wood, MFHs (Live Oak, FL). In the doghounds, “Champion” (full of Belvoir and Limerick blood) came first, with “Woodcock” second and “Groaner” third, both by Percy “Woolen.” In the bitches, “Champion’s” sister “Cheerful” was first, while second and third were “Greedy” and “Gracious,” by Percy “Woolen.” In the Championship, “Cheerful,” walked by Richard Tyacke, MFH, and his family, took the Sir Edward Hanmer Cup, which was presented by Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn, who owns the hounds. 2015 saw the 127th Peterborough Royal Foxhound show, and the 69th I’ve attended with my camera. Sadly, a countrywide outbreak of kennel cough reduced the number of packs showing to 13, but a full house of foxhunters filled every seat in the stands. The first class was for Unentered Doghounds from Restricted Packs and went to West Norfolk “Gatcombe.” The V.W.H. took the Unentered Couples, but the day’s loudest cheer came when the Fitzwilliam took the Unentered Dog Championship with “Bretton,” shown by Huntsman since 1984 George Adams, in his retirement year. The Restricted Class for Couples of Entered Dogs was won by the Thurlow, shown by Huntsman Chris Amatt, whose son Neil whips-in to the Piedmont Hunt in Virginia. The V.W.H. scored again in the Two Couple Class, while the Grove & Rufford headed the Stallions with “Bellman,” and the Champion Cup went to V.W.H. “Scoundrel,” which is homebred. After lunch, the Restricted Class for Unentered Bitches went to Suffolk “Marmalade,” with the V.W.H. taking the Unentered Couples, while the Thurlow took the Restricted Entered Couples with “Fanfare” and “Fantail,” as their brothers did in the morning. The V.W.H. continued by taking the Two Couple of Entered Bitches, while the Grove & Rufford headed the Brood Bitches. In an exciting Championship, the tricolor went to Grove & Rufford “Duchess,” leaving Huntsman Peterborough Royal Foxhound Show Paul Larby “over the moon.” Champion Old English Bitch, Percy “Allspice,” with Huntsman Robert McCarthy, Lady Victoria Percy, MFH, and Show President Martin Letts, MFH.

Wales and Border Counties Hound Show Line up for English Bitch Championship.

Wales and Border Counties Hound Show English Hound Class Judges Martin Scott; Martyn and Daphne Wood, MFHs, Live Oak; Adam Waugh.

Wales and Border Counties Hound Show Champion English Doghound and Grand Champion English Hound Duke of Beaufort’s “Starter.”

Wales and Border Counties Hound Show Champion Welsh Bitch Teme Valley “Tally,” shown by Huntsman David Savage.

Wales and Border Counties Hound Show Champion English Bitch North Cotswold “Raindrop.”

Sir William Wynn’s Hunt Puppy Show New Kennel Huntsman Chris Woodward showing the Young Bitches to the judges Marty and Daphne Wood, MFHs, Live Oak, Florida.


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CUB HUNTING

Piedmont Fox Hounds, Clifton Back Gate, 9/5/15 Jimmy Wofford and Gail Wofford, ex-MFH. Liz Callar photo Piedmont Fox Hounds, Clifton Back Gate, 9/5/15, Jackie Eldrege and Dr. Betsee Parker. Liz Callar photo

Piedmont Fox Hounds new Huntsman Jordan Hicks moves off from Clifton Back Gate, September 5, 2015. Liz Callar photo Blue Ridge Hunt, Weldon, September 8, 2015 Graham Bustin, new Huntsman for Blue Ridge Hunt, moves off with hounds for a morning of cub hunting.

A resident fox of the Blue Ridge Hunt country surveys his domain. Joanne Maisano photo

Joanne Maisano photo

An impressive group of juniors were in attendance for the opening day of cub hunting with Piedmont Fox Hounds. Joanne Maisano photo

Blue Ridge Hunt, Weldon, September 8, 2015 Laura Sloan and Julia Bayliss. Joanne Maisano photo

Piedmont Fox Hounds Olivia Jones and Tatiana Pjacsavich. Joanne Maisano photo

Potomac member Jo Meszoly and daughter Bryn, age 5, follow the hounds on Labor Day from the Pony Club Grounds, Boyds, MD. Karen Kandra Wenzel photo

Potomac Hunt’s Honorary Whipper-in Brian Hagen Potomac Hunt’s new Professional Huntsman Brian Kiely collects hounds to move to a new covert during the cubbing meet Sept. 5 from Anne with his daughter Ainsley. Davies’ Stonefield Farm, Boyds, MD. Karen Kandra Wenzel photo Karen Kandra Wenzel photo


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IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2015

newly laundered pool towels! “SNAKE!” As one the ladies levitated onto the cushions of their chairs, calling to mind the athletic prowess of Tom Cruise leaping onto Ellen’s couch. Bunsen, from deepest slumber, woke growling and barking though he had no idea what he was barking at. “Ugh,” said my reptilian friend, “Sssso much drama! Hassssta la vissssta, Aga.” With that she gracefully rose out of the basket, dropped over the edge of the porch, slipped into the flowerbed, and slithered away.

AGA’S SAGAS

Rikki-Tikki-Aga I was sleeping soundly. Me, too. Verra soundly! Suddenly the blankets on the bed exploded. “OMG! OMG! I’m late,” my Marion shouted as she jumped out of the bed and started flapping about the room. Bunsen, only slightly aware of the commotion, landed on the floor in a huge heap and started barking. The alarm hadn’t gone off and luckily Marion woke up. Ach, I was in the middle of a marvelous steak dream, just about t’snap m’mighty jaws on that juicy delight when—Hello!—I went sailing into the air! In less time than you would believe possible, Marion had showered, dressed, and tossed the last few items in her rolling suit case, in itself an omen that we were to be left behind. She ran down the stairs and called over her shoulder, “Mind the house ’til Jean gets here. Bye!” We could hear the vroom of the Jag as she headed out the drive and up the hill. Ah was still tryin’ to get m’wits about me. What had just happened? It was still pitch black out. I knew Jean wouldn’t be here until long after sunrise. Which was a problem, because being woken that suddenly, I now had to potty rather badly. I resigned myself to crossing my legs for several hours while Bunsen was walking in circles in his upstairs bed trying to find a comfortable spot. Just then, the alarm clock, sitting way up in the air, went off. It scared the daylights out of us. I had never heard it without Marion being right next to me. The noise went on and on, just unbearable. Even though the house was totally dark, Bunsen and I dashed down the stairs to the kitchen where we could still hear the alarm clock although it was way better than being in the bedroom. Bunsen crawled into his kitchen bed and fell fast asleep while I assumed the crossed legged position and wondered how long before Jean would arrive. I had to think of some way to distract myself. I know people count sheep to fall asleep. Bunsen counts kibbles. I decided the best way to pass the time was to ponder my adventures. If I ever write my memoirs, I think I will call the past few months “The Summer of Earthly Delights.” So much fun! So many travels! So many new things at the store! So many snakes! Yes, you read me correctly. So…many…snakes. Perhaps I should start at the beginning. Although we had significant rainstorms this summer, it was really hot. Apparently, when it’s that hot, even snakes go looking for cool spots. So on our walks we happened upon a number of them looking for shade. Well, Bunsen and I did see them; if Marion had seen them we wouldn’t have been walking—we’d have been running. So one day we were in our yard, lying on the porch, when I got a sniff of something reptilian. I jumped into the flowerbed and the smell was stronger. It was stronger still under the porch. In stealth mode, I knew something was under the porch. Lo and behold, there it was, quietly calling me, a silvery slithery reptile, just a few feet away. I poked my

I cannae believe you made friends with that creature. I shudder just remembering it. She’s quiet, very astute, and she hears a lot. I found her quite… interesting. I dinnae understand how she can hear a lot. She has no ears! Bunsen with his personal trainer, Kathy Gregory, with Aga in the background.

head forward and pulled it back just as quickly. It’s the terrier’s darting head move I’ve written about, the one I use when I corner pesky squirrels. I darted again and the reptile did not take the bait. I darted once more and again the reptile lay there quietly taunting me. “I’ll get you, foul smelling serpent,” darted my head forward one more time, and bit the sucker right on the back. Dragging my prize, I came out from under the porch. As I emerged victorious, I brought my prize up the steps to Marion’s feet and dropped it. I did the terrier dance. Was she surprised? Let’s just say there’s a reason Marion only allows plastic glasses on the porch. The clatter woke Bunsen, who opened one eye and said, “Congratulations, lassie, ye’ve captured a snake skin and created a lake of lemonade. Now I’ll have t’move.” Which the lazy pile of bones did and went back to sleep on his other bed at the far end of the porch. Marion was also less than pleased with me. Her “Good girl, Aga” was decidedly less than sincere. So after that, I made no effort to alert anyone to the six foot black snake that called our house home. I got used to seeing her slither here and there; occasionally I’d sniff her coiled up in the shrubbery. We actually got quite chummy. She was keeping the mouse population down so Bunsen didn’t have to exert himself in the heat. We dinnae have such warmth in the Highlands, y’know. ’Tis nae that I was shirking m’duties, passing ’em off to a lowly reptile. And as much as I love Virginia, my adopted home, I do at times miss the cool breezes of Invergarry. Just have to find a shady spot to refresh m’self. Certainly, Bunsen, if that rationale works for you. (I won’t bring up the other three seasons of the year when he sleeps just as much, if not more.) Anyway, I didn’t spend so much time in the bushes so my coat came back quite nicely, thank you very much. It was a win-win for everybody except Marion, who had no clue what was happening right under her flip-flops. Then came the fateful day. Our friend Joan came over to have a drink, enjoy the pool and the splendid country view, in that order. As the ladies made desultory chatter, talking about previous Augusts spent in Saratoga, I heard a familiar sound. I said nothing. Bunsen snored on. Suddenly with a slithery zip, my long black friend slid off the tin roof, down the porch awning, and through the air landing in the basket of

Well, of course, not ears like we have. But, you see, snakes feel vibrations and… oh, never mind! Since then, my friend has been keeping a low profile. Get it? Low profile? Arf, arf, arf. It took Marion a few days to relax again on the porch and we haven’t seen Joan for dust. The summer continued on. The store was busy with show riders looking for the latest in tight, stretchy technical fabrics to make their winning rounds more comfortable. Bunsen got quite good at escorting the young ladies to our wide variety of show shirts and breeches. I prefer helping with new boots because I love the smell of fine leather. “I am always the gentleman, lassie. I am happy to lend a paw, sniff a foot.” I know you are, Bunsen. When you’re leading them to the correct department you put an extra bounce in your step. Actually, ever since Hound Show you’ve been strutting about all the time. Ach, m’dear, I must say I enjoyed my trip in the ring verra much. It was wonderful to hear the crowd all clapping for me. Bunsen, I’m pretty sure they were clapping for the Junior Handlers, but you were so kind to that young boy, I’ll not argue. It was an act of pure kindness. Dinnae forget the Oreo cookie. I’ll do most anything for an Oreo cookie. I must tell you that, despite his continue fondness for Oreos, Bunsen is looking very svelte these days. After a vet confused him with an ottoman on the store floor, Marion got him a dog walker. Three days a week, Kathy from Pack Power Dog Walking takes him for a power stroll. I must say that I enjoy watching them set out. I enjoy it even more when Kathy drags him back to the house, his tongue lolling, to collapse on the cool tile floor. Kathy’s nae a mere dog walker. She’s m’personal trainer!. She always monitors m’stress levels and never pushes me further than I should go. You’ll have to admit I’ve gotten fitter. I’ve lost at least 40 cups of kibble, don’cha think? Yes, Bunsen, you look mahvelous! Now back to the morning at hand, as we waited for Jean. Eventually the sun rose and she arrived. “What’s that racket?” she exclaimed as she walked in the door. We had a nice romp in the yard and then she packed us into her car and off we went. But we didn’t go left to the store, we were headed right… towards Middleburg!


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2015

Roadtrip! Oh boy, now I figured out why our day had started so oddly. Marion was off to Market for her last minute holiday buying and, lucky us, we were going to spend the week at Pam Dickson’s Fursman Kennels. We love going to Pam’s. She always has the nicest dogs staying there and the squirrels are GINORMOUS! We had lots of walks and got to splash in the wading pool. Towards the end of our stay we enjoyed a Spa Day. (Question: when is a bath not a bath? When it’s part of a Spa Day!) Bunsen and I both were groomed and had clawdicures so that when Marion came to get us we smelled disgustingly clean. Even if Pam hadn’t been holding tightly to our leashes, I’m sure we wouldn’t have rolled in the fresh squirrel droppings. Much. Aye, ’tis hard to feel too homesick for m’dear Highlands, even in the heat of summer, when here in Virginia I have m’own personal trainer and get to go on holiday at Fursman Kennels. I definitely agree with you on that, Bunsen. We are two lucky dogs! One week later and back at the house at last, Marion opened the door and gasped, “What’s that noise? OMG!” as she dashed upstairs to turn the alarm off. All three of us agreed it was good to be

HORSE SHOWS

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home. Marion had brought us special treats from the City (“Sugar free just for you, Bunsen!”). After checking our yard for strangers (and snakes), Marion and I curled up on the couch to go through all the orders she’d placed. So…many…things! Marion ordered Horse Country’s own design of hunting shirts for both men and women in white and the pale yellow has a crème collar and English shirting material lining the collar and placket. New fall designs from Barbour along with over-the-knee cowboy boots should pair well. Then she mentioned “interesting sneakers” in fall colors and her favorite color, black. I got all excited because I thought she said, “interesting SQUEAKERS”, but no, apparently we’re talking more footwear. Along with HATS for both fall and winter, plus scarves and mufflers (silk, wool, and cashmere) for holiday gifting. Patey riding helmets and gloves and SOCKS galore! New equestrian jewelry for all occasions, plenty of bling for those that crave it (like me) and new dog coats, collars, leashes, and beds. We’re overwhelmed and can’t wait to share it all with you. I approved the patterns for the new dog accessories, I want you to know.

Why, thank you, Bunsen. Of course, September means the new tweeds from England have arrived and an order, at last, of three buckle boots. What do you wear with a new tweed? New stock ties, of course, in patterns and colors to coordinate with whatever tweed you’re wearing that day. For men, Marion has brought in new men’s ties for both the hunt field and tailgates, plus new cubbing vests. Your horse has not been forgotten—far from it! Wait until you see our new Italian leather bridles (tip: breathe deeply while you’re perusing them). Sue has enlarged the bit selection so if your horse’s bitting needs tweaking, she can help you sort out the issues. We have new waterproof blankets in all sizes and waterproofing products if you like to do your own. How are your body clippers holding up? We have new ones as well as new clipper blades and all the other necessary accoutrements, like Blade Wash and Blade Kool. So when you come to Warrenton to visit us, be sure to peruse all the new things. Tell Bunsen to keep up the good work and admire my fine coat.

And with your eye for fashion, lassie, each one will surely be a huge hit with the canine crowd.

Aga

Your herpetologist friend,

Warrenton Horse Show Hunt Night, September 6, 2015 • Liz Callar photos

Leslie Yarbrough admires the quality Patey headwear on display at the Exhibitors Hospitality Tent.

Patty Heuckeroth and Bobby Burke. Burke has been participating in the Warrenton Horse Show since the 1940s. He was inducted into the Show Jumping Hall of fame in 2001 and is also in the National Show Hunter and VHSA halls.

Robert Ferrer, MFH and Huntsman, Caroline Hunt, Va, arrives at the show in a red 1965 MG-B with a well-stocked hamper for a night of tailgating.

The decorationss on Tracy Mullen’s birthday cake caught the spirit of the show.

Ellie Wood Keith Baxter.


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IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2015

HUNT COUNTRY ACCOMMODATIONS

REMEMBRANCE

GUEST HOUSES ON PRIVATE FARMS & ESTATES

Angie Rogers

Virginia Hunt Country

Angie Rogers died unexpectedly at Fauquier Hospital on July 11, 2015. She was born Angie Lee Sanders, daughter of Kathleen Marion Sanders and Leslie Richard Sanders, on 28 February, 1930. In the Chinese Zodiac the year 1930 was the year of the horse—an interesting coincidence considering Angie’s life would revolve around horses. In 1947 she founded Hilldale Riding School at her family’s Hilldale Farm in New Baltimore, Virginia. The school existed for over 60 years, schooling several generations and hundreds of people over the decades. Angie was an excellent horsewoman and established a career of breaking yearlings, training racehorses, showing and racing in the Ladies Point-to-Point races. She was the first woman to win a clean sweep, winning all of the races in one season. She and husband Robert “Buzz” Rogers hunted with the Casanova Hunt and together they ran a racehorse training business at Lone Star Farm in New Baltimore. In addition to her equestrian career, Angie was a homemaker and mother, raising five children.

www.HuntCountryAccommodations.com

Julie@HuntEscapes.com Middleburg, Virginia

540-687-0017 TO GET YOUR AD IN THE NEXT ISSUE CALL

HORSE COUNTRY (540) 347-3141

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CALENDAR

Sept. 12-Nov. 8 Junior North American Field Hunter Championship. Qualifying Hunts Sept. 12 – Oct. 31, Finals Nov. 8. Marion Chungo:540-220-7292, mchungo@aol.com, www.jnafhc.com, Junior North American Field Hunter Championship on Facebook. Sept. 20 Virginia Downs Racing at Great Meadow, The Plains, Virginia. Tickets 540-788-9000, 540-347-4313, www.VirginiaEquineAlliance.com Sept. 20 Deep Run Hunt Fall Fun Hunter Pace, Sunnyside Farm, 9:00 a.m. Lynn Richie 804-986-2944, DRHC.Pace@gmail.com, www.deeprunhuntclub.com Sept. 20 Mt. Victoria Trail Ride, sponsored by De La Brooke Foxhounds W (MD), Donna Attick 301-643-3293 or DLB.event@gmail.com Sept. 26 Susan G. Komen Ride for the Cure, Great Meadow, The Plains, VA. www.komencentralva.org Sept. 27 Piedmont Hunter Trials, Salem Farm Showground, Upperville, VA 8:00 a.m. Barbara Riggs, briggs@huntoverfarm.com Sept. 27 Foxfield Fall Race Meet, Foxfield Race Course, Charlottesville, VA 1:30 p.m. 434-293-9501, www.foxfieldraces.com Sept. 27 Bull Run Hunt Fall Fun Hunter Pace, Locust Hill Preserve, VA 9 a.m. Rosie Campbell, MFH 540-672-5128, rosie268@aol.com, www.bullrunhunt.com Oct. 4 Keswick Hunt Fall Fun Hunter Pace, Bridlespur Farm, 9:00 a.m. Erica Stevens, 561-601-9531, ejstevens@equinewelfaresociety.org, www.keswickhuntclub.com Oct. 5-10 North American Field Hunter Championship. Qualifying Hunts Oct. 5 – Oct. 8, Finals Oct. 10. pippy@vafallraces.com, 540-687-5662 or 540-454-2854, www.vafallraces.com

Oct. 8-17 Pennsylvania National Horse Show, Harrisburg, PA. panational.org Oct. 10 Virginia Fall Race Meet, Glenwood Park, Middleburg, VA 2:00 p.m. 540-687-5662, www.vafallraces.com Oct. 11 Casanova Hunt Fall Fun Hunter Pace, Winfall, Catlett, VA 9:00 a.m. Kathleen O’Keefe, 540-439-3848, kdo@vabb.com, www.casanovahunt.com Oct. 16-31 Virginia Hunt Week, two weeks of hunting with 15 different packs in the heart of Virginia hunt country (plus a shopping day at Horse Country Saddlery). www.vahuntweek.org Oct. 18 Warrenton Hunt Fall Fun Hunter Pace, Clovercroft/Millpoint Farm, 10:00 a.m. Clydetta P. Talbot 540-219-6562, clydetta@aol.com, www.warrentonhunt.com Oct. 20-25 Washington International Horse Show, Verizon Center, Washington, DC. www.wihs.org Oct. 24 International Gold Cup, Great Meadow Course, The Plains, VA 1:30 p.m. 540-347-2612, www.vagoldcup.com Oct. 25 Orange County Hounds Team Chase Event, Old Whitewood Farm, The Plains, VA, 9:00 a.m. Pippy McCormick, doverhse@earthlink.net, 540-454-2852, or Jane Bishop, jcb.waverly@mac.com, 540-729-7083 Oct. 25 Virginia Field Hunter Championship, an invitational event, hosted this year by Orange County Hounds, to follow their Team Chase Event at approximately 2:00 p.m. Pippy McCormick, doverhse@earthlink.net, 540-454-2852, or Jane Bishop, jcb.waverly@mac.com, 540-729-7083 Nov. 7 Montpelier Race Meet, Montpelier Station, VA 12:30 p.m. Information: 540-672-0027, www.montpelierraces.com Nov. 8 Farmington Hunt Fall Fun Hunter Pace, Farmington Kennels, 10:00 a.m. Kip Holloway 434-985-3482, kickon60@aol.com,

HORSEFARMSANDCOUNTRYHOMES.COM

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

Correction In his report on the Bryn Mawr Hound Show in our Summer 2015 issue, Jake Carle mistakenly stated that the Loudoun Fairfax hound “Spitfire” had been bred by Martyn Blackmore when he carried the horn at Loudoun Hunt West. “Spitfire” was in fact bred by Andy Bozdan, current huntsman at Loudoun Fairfax Hunt.


AMERICAN MADE AND AMERICAN OWNED.

In & Around Horse Country Fall 2015  

The Official Publication of the Virginia Steeplechase Association

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