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VOLUME XXVIII / NUMBER 4 • THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE VIRGINIA STEEPLECHASE ASSOCIATION • FALL 2016


HORSE SHOWS Warrenton Horse Show Hunt Night Sunday, September 4, 2016 Warrenton Show Grounds Photos by Middleburg Photo’s Doug Gehlsen and Karen Monroe

Four ladies from Virginia’s Caroline Hunt properly turned out to watch a late summer horse show: (l-r) Elizabeth Ferrer, MFH; Barbara Hensler; Susan Sanders, MFH; Stuart Sanders Tavares, Whipper-in.

(l-r) Loudoun Fairfax Hunt members Kim Ginn, Heather Heider, Karyn Wilson and retired LFH hound “Fiction” who now resides with Kim. Small details make a difference. Warrenton Hunt Huntsman Matt van der Woude, Staff Class winner.

Veteran horse show exhibitor Marlene Allen of Maryland’s Potomac Hunt. Farmington Hunt members win the Pairs Class. Jeanette Fellows on “Liam” and Liz King on “Barcinni.”

A 1964 Morgan, owned by Robert Ferrer, MFH, Caroline Hunt, VA, adds a classic note to ringside tailgating

Huntsman Tony Gammell, representing Virginia’s Keswick Hunt Club, finishes second in the hotly contested Staff Class.

Junior Sophie Bell of Old Dominion Hounds riding Skye, owned by ODH President Tony Horan.


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2016

CUBBING Old Dominion Hounds Opening Cub Hunt Hunter Trial Field, Orlean, Virginia August 3, 2016 • Michelle Arnold Photos

Joint-Masters Dr. Scott Dove (left) and Gus Forbush lead a nicely turned out large field of followers for the season’s opening cub hunt.

Huntsman Jeff Woodall begins his second season as Professional Huntsman for Old Dominion Hounds.

Old Dominion Hounds await their Huntsman’s signal to move off for cubbing season’s first draw

Junior Whipper-in Casey Poe follows Huntsman Jeff Woodall as he prepares to put hounds into the corn.

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HORSE SHOWS Cleveland Bays Wrap Up 10th Successful Show Series By Marcia Brody The Mid-Atlantic Cleveland Bay Show Series wrapped up its 10th season of fierce competition at the Warrenton Horse Show on Sunday, September 4. The battle came down to the final ridden class, with two perennial contenders vying for the coveted trophy, sponsored by Cleveland Bay breeders Margaux Tip, LLC. Shannon Keany and her partbred Cleveland Bay geld- Shannon Keany and her partbred Cleveland Bay gelding Here By Me captured the blue in the Hunter Hack at the ing Here By Me captured the Warrenton Horse Show to seal the Mid-Atlantic Cleveblue in the Hunter Hack to seal land Bay Show Series championship. Liz Callar photo their championship over Martha Klasing’s purebred mare Idlehour Naivasha. The Mid-Atlantic Series was created by a network of Cleveland Bay owners, breeders, and enthusiasts to showcase this versatile but endangered breed, whose pure population hovers at around 750 world-wide. Approximately onethird of those horses reside in North America. This year nearly 50 individual horses participated in activities associated with the Mid-Atlantic Cleveland Bay group, including shows at Warrenton, Upperville, and the Howard County Fair, promotion at the Pennsylvania Horse Expo, and a celebratory Cleveland Bay Hunting Day with the Blue Ridge Hunt at Farnley last season. This year the annual Cleveland Bay Hunting Day will be held with the Howard County Iron Bridge Hounds in early December. Cleveland Bays were originally developed as a farming and carriage utility breed that could plow during the week and carry their owners to church or behind hounds when not farming. In the Victorian era, the breed was crossed with the Thoroughbred to produce the most acclaimed harness horse—the Yorkshire Coach Horse, which was most often three-quarters Cleveland Bay and one-quarter Thoroughbred. The breed was decimated after World War I, and the efforts of dedicated breeders such as Alexander Mackay-Smith and others who followed have struggled to keep the breed alive in the United States. Purebreds and partbreds are seen as part of coaching teams, in the hunt field, in combined driving, eventing, jumpers, dressage, side-saddle, show hunters, endurance, and pleasure companions. There is a single international registry recognized for the breed— the Stud Book of the Cleveland Bay Horse Society of the United Kingdom. More information on the Mid-Atlantic Series and the Cleveland Bay horse may be obtained by contacting the Mid-Atlantic Cleveland Bay Show Series on Facebook or by email at midatlantic.cb@gmail.com.


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IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2016

SPORTING LIFE HIGHLIGHTS Warrenton Hunt Member Sophia Vella Triumphs at Lexington

Warrenton Hunt member Sophia Vella and Jennifer Oliver’s Steel Me Away on their way to an outstanding performance at the Lexington National Horse Show. Celeste Vella photo

Sophia Vella, daughter of Warrenton Hunt joint-master Celeste Vella, recently competed in the Lexington National Horse Show, a USEF Premiere “AA” rated Hunter/Jumper Show, held at the Virginia Horse Center, August 10-14. With scores in the mid-to-high 80s, 19-year-old Sophia, riding Jennifer Oliver’s Steel Me Away, won three out of the four over fences classes in the Adult Amateur Hunter Division, beating 33 entries to be crowned Younger Adult Amateur Hunter Champion. She also won the WIHS/NAL Adult Amateur Hunter Classic in which 12 of the top scoring Adult Amateurs in all three divisions are invited to compete. Then, as one of the 25 finalists who qualified for the 2016 VHSA Adult Medal Equitation Finals, Sophia competed for the first time in this division, was called back in first place with an 86 score, along with five other finalists to test. It was a difficult test, but Sophia came through with flying colors to be named the 2016 VHSA Adult Medal Champion. Sophia had missed the last year and a half of showing due to an injury to her show horse. That she made a comeback midway through the 2016 show season on a borrowed, green, young Thoroughbred to win her adult amateur hunter division and the 2016 VHSA Adult Equitation Finals makes her achievement all the more rewarding. As her mother Celeste noted, “It’s nice to know that an avid foxhunter can still be victorious on a Thoroughbred in the hunter show ring.” ••••

Correction In our Summer 2016 issue, the photo caption on the inside front cover, upper left corner, is incorrect. The rider is not Nicole Woods, she is Caroline Dance, winner of the USHJA Seat Medal. Our apologies.

Upcoming Events In & Around Horse Country Autumn is a busy time in Horse Country. Here are some upcoming events. Sept. 10-Oct. 16 Junior North American Field Hunter Championship. Qualifying Hunts Sept. 10 – Oct. 16, Finals Oct. 23. Contact Marion Chungo: mchungo@aol.com, 540-220-7292, www.jnafhc.com, Junior North American Field Hunter Championship on Facebook. Sept. 17-Oct. 9 Harness Racing at Shenandoah Downs, Woodstock, VA, every Saturday and Sunday, pari-mutuel wagering, races begin at 1:00 p.m. Information: 540-459-3867, www.shenandoahdowns.com Sept. 18 Deep Run Hunt Fall Fun Hunter Pace, Sunnyside Farm, 9:00 a.m. Information: Lynn Richie 804-986-2944, DRHC.Pace@gmail.com, www.deeprunhuntclub.com Sept. 25 Foxfield Fall Race Meet, Foxfield Race Course, Charlottesville, VA 1:30 p.m. Information: 434-293-9501, www.foxfieldraces.com Sept. 25 Bull Run Hunt Fall Fun Hunter Pace, Summerduck Wood, 9:00 a.m. Information: Rosie Campbell, MFH 540-672-5128, rosie268@aol.com, www.bullrunhunt.com Oct. 2 Piedmont Hunter Trials, Salem Farm Showground, Upperville, VA 8:00 a.m. Contact Barbara Riggs, barbarasriggs@gmail.com Oct. 5-10 North American Field Hunter Championship. Qualifying Hunts Oct. 5 – Oct. 8, Finals Oct. 10. Information: pippy@vafallraces.com, 540-6875662 or 540-454-2854, www.vafallraces.com Oct. 8 Virginia Fall Race Meet, Glenwood Park, Middleburg, VA 2:00 p.m. Information: 540-687-5662, www.vafallraces.com Oct. 9 Casanova Hunt Fall Fun Hunter Pace, Winfall, Catlett, VA 9:00 a.m. Information: Janet Boots, 703-927-8532, bootsjanet@gmail.com, www.casanovahunt.com Oct. 13-22 Pennsylvania National Horse Show, Harrisburg, PA. panational.org Oct. 16 Warrenton Hunt Fall Fun Hunter Pace, Clovercroft, 10:00 a.m. Information: Clydetta P. Talbot, 540-219-6562, clydetta@aol.com, www.warrentonhunt.com Oct. 22 International Gold Cup, Great Meadow Course, The Plains, VA 1:30 p.m. Information: 540-347-2612, www.vagoldcup.com Oct. 23 Old Dominion Hounds Fall Fun Hunter Pace, Hinckley Memorial Field, 10:00 a.m. Information: Betsy Smith, 540-270-7353, seafoxrun22@gmail.com, www.olddominionhounds.weebly.com Oct. 25-30 Washington International Horse Show, Verizon Center, Washington, DC. www.wihs.org Oct. 30 Orange County Hounds Team Chase Event, Old Whitewood Farm, The Plains, VA, 12:00 noon. Contact Pippy McCormick, doverhse@earthlink.net, 540-454-2852, or Jane Bishop, jcb.waverly@mac.com, 540-729-7083 Nov. 5 Montpelier Race Meet, Montpelier Station, VA 12:30 p.m. Information: 540-672-0027, martha@montpelierraces.org, www.montpelierraces.org Nov. 6 Farmington Hunt Fall Fun Hunter Pace, Farmington Kennels, 10:00 a.m. Information: Kip Holloway 434-985-3482, kickon60@aol.com, www.farmingtonhunt.org Nov. 6 Virginia Field Hunter Championship, hosted by Farmington Hunt, to be held after the Fun Hunter Pace at the Farmington Kennels, Free Union, VA. Information: Carolyn Chapman. chapmanc44@gmail.com

COVER PHOTOGRAPHER: Joanne Maisano

Orange County Hounds opening cub hunt at Glen Welby, September 10, 2016. Glenn Epstein, Gayden Parker, Fiona Spreadborough, and Neil Morris, MFH, at the end of a hot day.

PHOTOGRAPHERS: Michelle Arnold www.lumaimages.com Liz Callar www.lizcallar.com Greg Coon Angela C. Fain Doug Gehlsen www.middleburgphoto.com Andy Huffmyer Douglas Lees douglaslees@comcast.net Joanne Maisano www.joannemaisano.com Jim Meads 011-44-1686-420436 Karen Monroe www.middleburgphoto.com Vicky Moon Eric Schneider Col. Barbara Sherer, US Army Chaplain Michael Stevens Chantal van Rantwijk Celeste Vella Karen Kandra Wenzel

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

is published 5 times a year. Editorial and Advertising Address: 60 Alexandria Pike, Warrenton, VA 20186 For information and advertising rates, please call (540) 347-3141, fax (540) 347-7141 Space Deadline for the Holiday issue is October 22, 2016. 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, Marcia Brody, Lauren Giannini, Jim Meads, Vicky Moon, Cathy Moss, Will O’Keefe, Barclay Rives; Virginia Equine Alliance; Jenny Young LAYOUT & DESIGN: Kate Houchin Copyright © 2016 In & Around Horse Country®. All Rights Reserved. Volume XXVIII, No.4 POSTMASTER: CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2016

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CUBBING Middleburg Photo’s Doug Gehlsen and Karen Monroe Capture the Action of Early Cub Hunting

Piedmont Fox Hounds Opening Cub Hunt September 3, 2016 • Clifton Back Gate

Barbara Riggs, center, and the second field.

Gregg Ryan, MFH, leads the field on one of the season’s first runs

Head to toe, she is Horse Country.

Tad Zimmerman, MFH.

Joint-Master Gregg Ryan and Maureen Britell in her cubbing sidesaddle finery.

Middleburg Hunt Opening Cub Hunt Glenwood Park, September 5, 2016.

Longtime Middleburg subscriber Geoff Ogden and “Rumour” share a moment before hounds move off.

Middleburg Huntsman Hugh Robards.


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IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2016

FOXHUNTING

Piedmont Fox Hounds: Thoughts on Kennel Design By J. Harris Anderson, Managing Editor Photographs by Middleburg Photo In mid-18th Century England a self-imposed constraint arising young man of wealth and position from a perpetual conservation easeset about to establish a pack of foxment on the land that had been hounds. Not being an expert on the given by Piedmont to the Virginia subject of foxhunting, he was wise Outdoors Foundation. “We don’t enough to seek counsel from one have to worry about additions,” says more knowledgeable than himself. Zimmerman, “because, knowing He sent a letter to a well-respected those limits, the design included sportsman, Peter Beckford, asking every square foot allowable.” a few questions about how to pro•••• ceed. This exchange resulted in a series of two-dozen letters by Beck- Piedmont Fox Hounds’ new kennels from the front. The efficiently designed feed and utility room Once inside, we continue to see ford in which he answered his is to the left, the well-appointed office to the right. the similarities. young friend’s questions and, in the process, created what is arguably one of the best, if not the best, treatises ever “The floor of each lodging room should be bricked, and sloped on both composed on the sport. sides to run to the centre, with a gutter left to carry off the water, that Beckford’s Thoughts on Hunting: In a Series of Familiar Letters to a Friend when they are washed, they may be soon dry.” was first published in 1781. As the Foreword to the most recent edition, published in 2000, states, “every bit of advice is as true today as it was when Beck“The floors of the inner courts, like those of the lodging rooms, are ford wrote this remarkable series of letters. The book is ageless.” bricked, and sloped towards the centre…” Beckford’s first letter is a general explanation and recommendation of the sport, “not only as an entertaining but also as a wholesome exercise.” That said, “At the back of the kennel…should be a pit ready to receive the dung…” he wastes no time getting into specifics. His second letter addresses the design, construction, and function of the kennels, which, he tells his young friend, “is If there’s one aspect of the new kennels of which Beckford would be most not only the first thing that you should do, but it is also the most important.” envious, it has to be the washing and draining system. While the functional const In early 21 Century Virginia, the leaders and supporters of Piedmont Fox cepts are timeless—kennels must be washed down regularly and the waste dealt Hounds set about to build new kennels for their pack. The existing kennels, with—modern technology allows for a much easier way to accomplish this. though still comfortable for hounds, was over 100 years old. Overall, it was out Basic design elements, however, start from the same foundational point of of date, difficult and time-consuming to service and maintain. Thus a campaign civil engineering: water flows downhill. Hence, you need sloping floors and rewas launched in 2014 to design and build a modern, efficient kennels facility. ceptive gutters. The Piedmont system uses that principle to maximum efficiency. This effort came to fulfillment with the ribbon cutting ceremony in NovemOne of the first things you notice, or more aptly do not notice, is the absence ber, 2015, 234 years after Thoughts on Hunting was first published. of drain openings in the floors. As Palmer explained, “Drains clog. So, no floor Much has changed in the way of architectural design technology, as well as drains, no clogging.” in construction methods and materials, since 1781. But hounds are still hounds, Instead, everything slopes toward the inventive drainage system outside the their care and behavior little, if any, different now than in Beckford’s time. So to kennel runs. Quoting again from the ribbon-cutting flyer: “[The aisle] has a trench st what extent might 21 Century kennels mirror those designed and built more than drain at each end and slopes from the high point at the feed lot; the edges slope two centuries ago? up along the side walls creating a shallow swale for ease of maintenance and To find out, that question was posed to Piedmont joint-masters Tad Zim- water mitigation.” This design is followed throughout. The slopes and swales are merman, Shelby Bonnie, and Gregg Ryan; huntsman Jordan Hicks; and the ar- sufficiently subtle that they are not immediately noticeable by casual observachitect for the project, Leah Palmer. tion. Rather, you have to look closely to detect the gentle contours that are just I met with Zimmerman, Palmer, and Hicks at the new building on a hot Au- enough to send the water where it needs to go to achieve the cleanliness Beckgust afternoon. Beckford’s counsel can be seen in multiple aspects: ford sought without impairing the neatness he desired. “…I could wish it might have a neatness without, as well as a cleanliness within, the more to allure you to it.” No hound aficionado would fail to be allured to this impressive new building, situated with a west-facing front, lodges and runs for hounds on the eastern side. This affords morning sun for hounds while providing a buffer against the weather patterns that typically come from the west, over the Blue Ridge Mountains. Beckford’s design consisted of an elongated rectangular structure with the front entrance beneath a pitched roof at an acute angle to the main roof. Had he placed this arrangement at one end with a mirror image at the other and an open courtyard between, it would match the front of the Piedmont kennels precisely. In addition to “neatness without” and “cleanliness within,” a major consideration in the design process was to be in harmony with the surrounding buildings and to maintain the traditional Virginia style; as the ribbon-cutting ceremony flyer states it, “like it was always supposed to be there.”

The drain system into which everything flows is a marvel of ingenuity. It consists of an open trench positioned just outside the kennel runs. Per the flyer: “[The trench] falls more than two feet from end to end and has valves that allow for three different scenarios: (1) back up into the trench during wash down to help break down solids and collect hair, (2) empty into the system, (3) empty straight to daylight so it doesn’t overwhelm the leach field when it rains.” The septic field into which the drainage flows “was designed in an effort to be environmentally responsible, efficient and low maintenance. It was engineered [to take] into account the need to use only a gravity fed system, the volume of water generated during wash-down of the kennel, [and] the plumbing in the office and feed room.”

“I would advise you to make it large enough at first, as any addition afterwards must spoil the appearance of it.” Piedmont Fox Hounds had a slight advantage here given the limitations of a

Peter Beckford’s original design from his 1781 work, Thoughts on Hunting.


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2016

Moreover, every element within the facility can be hosed down, even the light fixtures. The windows have no frames. Instead, the sills are sloped concrete, which keeps water from pooling and debris from collecting. The flyer points out that, “The pediment end walls are covered in fiberglass reinforced polymer and caulked. Every element is completely waterproof for annual power washing.” The result, according to Jordan Hicks, is that he can single-handedly wash down the entire kennels in no more than 45 minutes. And he can talk on the phone while doing it. The acoustics are another remarkable aspect. The ceiling is covered with 2” thick acoustical tile and sloped to scatter sound. The result is the absence of echoes one would typically hear in such a space and sufficient sound absorption that Hicks can hold the high-pressure hose in one hand and talk on his cell phone held in the other. Beckford was big on airflow in the kennel to “keep it sweet and wholesome” and “of use in drying the room when the hounds are out.” One of the first things that struck me was how cool and comfortable the kennel air was, despite the 940 temperature outside, with the humidity pushing the heat index over 100, on the day of my visit. This was achieved in part by the north-south position of the aisle along the front of the lodges that allows ample airflow through the space, further aided by five ceiling fans which, when all are running a high speed, can move the entire volume of air every minute. •••• “Two great lodging rooms…exactly alike, and, as each has a court belonging to it, are distinct kennels, situated at the opposite ends of the building.” “…and on each side a lesser kennel, either for hounds that are drafted off, hounds that are sick, or lame; or for any other purposes, as occasion may require.” “…there is also a small building in the rear for hot bitches.” The number and arrangement of the lodges differs somewhat from Beckford’s layout, but the pur-

The interior boasts several features that combine for maximum efficiency, comfort, and durability.

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poses and functions remain essentially the same. The Piedmont design consists of three lodges to one side of the feed lot/skinning yard and a fourth lodge on the other side for hot bitches. There are then two isolation lodges positioned across the aisle from the three main lodges. These spaces are equipped with a switched outlet and ceiling hook from which a fan or heat lamp can be hung, and feature lower matted beds to accommodate a sick or injured hound. The rooms have individual drains to the septic system and solid sliding doors for separation. “The benches, which must be open, to let the urine through, should have hinges and hooks in the wall, that they may fold up, for the greater conveniency in washing out the kennel…” “…they should also be made as low as possible, that a hound, when he is tired, may have no difficulty in jumping up, and at no time be able to creep under.” Beckford footnotes this with: “Benches cannot be too low. If, obliging to the smallness of a hound, it should be difficult to render them low enough, a projecting ledge will answer the same purpose; and the benches may be boarded at bottom, to prevent the hound from creeping under.” Here we have both departure and agreement. Rather than the old-fashioned wooden benches hinged to the lodge wall—the most functional option in Beckford’s time and for a couple hundred years thereafter—the Piedmont lodges, as described in the flyer, have “a raised concrete bed sloped toward the exterior, with two inches of rigid insulation underneath and sealed rubber mats for comfort and cleanliness.” Judging from the peacefully contented demeanor of the hounds relaxing on their beds on a blistering hot August afternoon, it would appear that the comfort and cleanliness objectives are fully realized by this design. Whether or not any thought was given to preventing hounds from creeping under the benches, the net result of this design still achieves exactly that. The sides of the raised beds are solid, thus eliminating any space into which even a small hound could crawl. (One imagines Beckford’s kennelman soiling the knees of his breeches and fouling the air with expressions of displeasure while trying to extract a reluctant hound from beneath a bench. It may have been the servant who advised the master of the need for boarding the bench bottoms.) The four main lodges include yards constructed of concrete and sloped to the trench. The concrete masonry unit (CMU) side walls are tall enough to be above the “pee line,” and curbs under each gate prevent cross contamination during wash-down. There is an eight-foot overhang and exterior gates for the three south lodges open into the dry lot for easy out. •••• Feeding flesh was standard practice in Beckford’s day and he addressed the requirements for this in his advice on kennel design. Many hunts no longer do so, or never started, at least in part because of the logistics this entails (equipment to transport and position large animal carcasses, facilities for skinning and butchering, refrigeration for the meat, and staff with the necessary skills to perform this specialized task). Piedmont Fox Hounds, the oldest foxhunting

(l-r) Shelby Bonnie, MFH; Leah Palmer, Project Architect; Tad Zimmerman, MFH; Gregg Ryan, MFH.

club in the United States (founded in 1840), has traditionally fed flesh as a service to its landowners with livestock, and this was factored into the new kennel design. The feed lot and skinning yard serve, as noted, to separate the hot bitch lodge from the rest of the pack while pairs of barred gates separate it from the aisle. The space is equipped with a power-operated overhead door fitted with two rows of glass, which provide natural light when closed. (Jordan Hicks said one of his favorite things to do every morning is hit the switch and watch that garage-style door slide open.) A large pair of gates opens to the back driveway so that a tractor can be driven all the way into the building. A walk-in refrigerator, 6’ by 8’ and equipped with its own dedicated drain into the septic system, is conveniently located adjacent to the feed lot. •••• “…Hither you may also bring your hounds, after they have been fed, to empty themselves; here you will have more opportunities of seeing them in the kennel; and will be enabled, therefore, to make your draft for the next day with greater accuracy.” “This court is planted round with trees…for the sake of shade.” “A high pale [i.e., a palisade or picketed fence] incloses the whole…The grass court is pitched near the pale, to prevent the hounds from scratching out.” “Grass is the dog’s best emetic; and in this he is his own physician.” The world may have changed a great deal in the past two and a half centuries. But hounds, for all practical purposes, are no different today than they were in the 1780s. They still need open space where they can stretch, walk around, enjoy fresh air, relieve themselves, socialize, and enjoy the natural feel of soil and grass (“the dog’s best emetic”). Counterbalancing this is the need for those responsible for the hounds’ care to assure that they are able to enjoy these pleasures within a safe, well-regulated environment. Continued


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IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2016

At the Piedmont kennels, three grass yards open off the dry lot, each roughly a half-acre. The total outside area now available to the hounds is four and a half times larger than it was at the old kennels. Each yard features a 12’ by 20’ loafing lodge large enough so that all the hounds turned out together can rest in the shade. Each water trough sits on a concrete pad and is situated downhill from the gates, convenient to the water. Beckford also knew that some hounds are escape artists: Houdinis in hound skin. If they can’t dig under it, they’ll try to climb over it. Not that they don’t like their accommodations. Just that they’re hounds and they want to hunt. To prevent climbing but without the need for a prison-like ten-foot fence with an angled section at the top, the new fencing is only six-feet high but fitted with a hot wire at the top. To prevent digging, the wire fence is attached to a 2’ by 10’ pressure-treated plate buried 18 inches in the ground. For further protection, there are concrete curbs at the gates. The yard arrangement allows Jordan to do what Peter Beckford’s huntsman did, and what every huntsman still needs to do today: turn out hounds so that he may “make his draft for the next day with greater accuracy.” •••• As Beckford concluded his letter on kennel design, he realized he contradicted himself on one point. “I find that I begin by recommending…a high situation for the kennel, and afterwards talk of a brook running through the middle of it: I am afraid you will not be able to unite these two advantages; in which case, without doubt, water is to be preferred.”

80%. The reliability of that estimate aside, it’s certainly safe to say that if Master Beckford could pay a visit to this new facility, he would be pleased to see how well his advice has held up. And would likely say to all involved, “Well done!” •••• Albert Poe Spreads the Word A few days after my visit to the new Piedmont Fox Hounds kennels, I happened to run into legendary huntsman and hound breeder Albert Poe at an event hosted by Old Dominion Hounds. I mentioned my recent tour of the new facility and the concept of comparing the design to Peter Beckford’s plans. Albert broke out into an amused grin and told me a story. Paul Mellon and Mrs. A.C. Randolph, then Piedmont joint-masters, hired Albert as huntsman in 1954. He was just 23 years old, but won the job over 28 other candidates, in part thanks to his experience whipping-in to his older brother Melvin. Even then, the kennels were showing some age, having been acquired when the hunt purchased a farm near Unison in 1920 to serve as kennels and huntsman’s residence. There were occasional discussions about improvements or new construction over the 20 years Poe served as huntsman. But nothing significant was done, nor was there much in the way of upgrades over the next 40 years after Albert left to hunt hounds elsewhere. However, if anyone had asked him for suggestions, he’d have known just where to find them. In the early 1970s, filmmaker Tom Davenport and cinematographer Harrison O’Connor had an idea to make a film about foxhunting. They were referred

However, J. Otho Paget, in his editorial footnote from a 19th Century edition of Thoughts, says, “The hill is to be preferred to the running water…” The Piedmont yards slope from the building’s hilltop location down toward the road that runs parallel to Beaver Dam Creek and affords a view of the old kennels. It’s a perfect juxtaposition of the old versus the new. The old kennel followed Beckford’s advice; the new facility recognizes the merits of Paget’s updated counsel. •••• Beckford may have been limited by the constraints of 18th Century technology. But, on the other hand, he didn’t have to deal with zoning ordinances and permitting agencies. As lord of the manor, he was free to build whatever he wanted. Loudoun County officials are not so laissez faire about such matters, but neither are they well-schooled in the fine points of designing and building a facility to house close to 100 working foxhounds. Simply determining how to classify the building presented a problem. And terms such as “skinning yard” and “hot bitches” raised some questions…and eyebrows. But, in the end, the Piedmont leadership, along with a host of others who helped in myriad ways, and aided by their knowledgeable architect Leah Palmer, successfully jumped through all the required hoops and got the job done. Looking back over the comparison between Beckford’s design and the new Piedmont Fox Hounds kennels, an unscientific attempt at quantifying the similarities arrived at an agreement of roughly

Thanks to the efforts of its leaders and dedicated supporters, the oldest foxhunting club in the US celebrated the dedication of its new kennels last year.

Legendary Huntsman and Hound Breeder Albert Poe, Piedmont Fox Hounds Huntsman 1954-1974; Jordan Hicks, current Piedmont Huntsman.

to Albert Poe for some insights into this arcane sport. Albert sat down with them and listened to their plan. When they were done, he told them, “You guys don’t know a thing about foxhunting. Here,” he said, handing them a book, “read this. Then come back and we’ll talk some more.” The book was, of course, Peter Beckford’s Thoughts on Hunting. The resultant film, released in 1975, features Albert’s brother Melvin, who was then huntsman for Orange County Hounds (known as Orange County Hunt in those days). The thread that ties the tale together is a series of quotes from Beckford’s work, narrated by Alexander Mackay-Smith, interspersed with hunting scenes and Melvin’s commentary on the sport and the role of the huntsman. Davenport returned the book to Albert, who then loaned it out to others, including a newly appointed master and an aspiring huntsman. The quality of sport in Virginia’s legendary hunt country has no doubt benefited from Beckford’s counsel and Poe’s efforts to make others aware of this singularly significant work. Albert attended the dedication ceremony of the new kennels in November of 2015, shortly after the construction was finished. “It’s a big change from what I had to work with,” Poe said, “a really nice change.” Later, Poe came to see hounds off when Piedmont was hunting from the kennels. “When the door was open,” he said, “the hounds all went right to Jordan. But then one hound drifted over and came to me. Then another, and then another…they were all around me. I had to go get in the car so they’d leave me alone and go back to Jordan. I don’t know what it was.” It may now be over forty years since Albert Poe served as Piedmont’s huntsman. But the success of his breeding program while working out of the old kennels lives on. And while today’s pack may be comfortably housed in their new facility, hounds can still sense the presence of a true hound man when he’s standing right before them.


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2016

FIELD HUNTERS Junior North American Field Hunter Championship: Now Coast-to-Coast, and Canada Too!

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A Foxhunting Fashion Show Paramount Theater of Charlottesville November 13, 2016 Featuring the History of Foxhunting Dress By Dr. Rita Mae Brown And a Fashion Show Presented by Horse Country Saddlery Horse Country Saddlery is honored to be included in a special presentation by the Oak Ridge Fox Hunt Club and the Waynesboro Symphony Orchestra Quartet. Dr. Rita Mae Brown, MFH, will give a history of foxhunting dress, followed by a fashion show presented by Horse Country Saddlery. The event will be held at the Paramount Theater of Charlottesville, Sunday, November 13, 2016, from noon to 4:00 pm. Admission is free, donations gratefully accepted. For information call: Marc Catron 434-981-2129.

All smiles at a JNAFHC meet hosted by Warrenton Hunt (VA), 2015. (l-r, front) Ainsely Colgan, Emma Keahon, Casey Poe, and Lucy Arnold. Michelle Arnold photo

The Junior North American Field Hunter Championship is now truly a “North American” event. What began in 2003 as a way to encourage juniors to participate in foxhunting mainly in the Mid-Atlantic area has now expanded to include 30 hunt clubs in 13 US states and one in Canada. Qualifying events will be held in the US from as far south as Florida, north to Massachusetts, and from along the East Coast through the Mid-West and all the way out to Washington State. Also joining the list this year is Wellington Waterloo Hunt in Ontario. A major indication of the JNAFHC’s growing popularity is that current MFHA president Dr. Jack van Nagell extended his invitation that the finals for the 2016 competition be hosted by his home club, Kentucky’s Iroquois Hunt, on Sunday, October 23. 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. Two new contests will be offered at this year’s championships: Horn Blowing and Whip Cracking. 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 540220-7292, mchungo@aol.com.

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IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2016

FOXHUNTING

Fort Leavenworth Hunt Celebrates Its 90th “Event” By Lauren R. Giannini

“To see the hounds work up a coyote [in the Flint Hills] and be able to watch it run a mile or more in front of you is incredible.” Angela C. Fain photo

The thrill of the chase and camaraderie continue to attract new enthusiasts to Fort Leavenworth Hunt, known far and wide for being the only remaining pack of foxhounds affiliated with a military installation in the United States. Hunt members have been gearing up to celebrate their 90th event, October 7–9, with a long weekend of activities. “We have social, historical and sporting events planned,” said Bob Fullerton, MFH and retired Lieutenant Colonel (LTC). “The weekend starts on Friday with a guided historical tour on horseback through the Fort with wagons for those not riding that finishes at the Fort Leavenworth Frontier Army Museum for a cocktail party and reception. Saturday is our Opening Hunt and Blessing of the Hounds, with a Stirrup Cup at 9:15. Hounds move off at 10. After hunting, we have a tailgate breakfast and that evening, our Hunt Ball that follows the protocols of a Military Ball. Sunday morning, we meet on Fort Leavenworth for a mounted ride to the Buffalo Soldier Monument to honor the 9th and 10th regiments of the 1920s and ’30s that were made up of black soldiers stationed at the Fort. After honoring the Buffalo Soldiers, a mock hunt takes us back to the Hunt Lodge for a departure luncheon. It’s going to be a wonderful weekend.” Fort Leavenworth Hunt, of course, follows the rhythms of the military post. At the start of World War II, because hunting ceased and the pack disbanded, they haven’t provided sport, season after season, like many civilian counterparts.That’s why they call their 90th an “event” instead of anniversary. Hunting was put on hold because the military was called to arms. Fort Leavenworth Hunt is an intricate weaving of sporting and military tradition. History “Fort Leavenworth, established in 1827, is the oldest active U.S. Army post west of Washington, D.C., and home to the Army’s famous Command and General Staff College, under the auspices of the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center. It was also the original base for the U.S. Cavalry Regiments known as the Buffalo Soldiers,” summarized Jim Fain, retired LTC, avid historian, and enthusiast now in his third season of hunting. “By the 1920s, Fort Leavenworth had gained a reputation as a horsey post. The indoor riding hall and stables were considered some of the Fort’s most important buildings. They held polo matches every Sunday and the most exciting were played against teams from Fort Riley and Fort Sill. Organized in 1926, Fort Leavenworth Hunt was officially recognized in 1931 as a member of the National Steeplechase and Hunt Association. It became one of the premier hunts of its type in the country.” In 1951, a group of military personnel acquired the use of two empty stables on post and organized a self-supporting riding club, which they called, for the sake of tradition, Fort Leavenworth Hunt. From 1952-1963, the Hunt reinvented itself by boarding private mounts and conducting various informal riding activities, such as trail riding, schooling, gymkhanas and field days. Major horse shows in the spring and fall featured equitation, hunter, jumper, and novelty classes. In July 1963, new kennels were built on the post for 7 couple of hounds, and drag and live foxhunting resumed with live quarry soon becoming the standard. The Masters of Foxhounds Association recognized Fort Leavenworth Hunt in 1966. “In the intervening years, the hunt has played an important role in the local and regional community and in the historical and contemporary ‘sense’ at Fort Leavenworth,” said Fain. “K.J. Schuppan, a German Colonel and the Hunt’s MFH from 1965-67, clearly played a key role in the early years following the MFHA’s recognition. He was the grandfather of Stephanie Wilcox, our huntsman for ten years and joint-Master for six. This season, we’re commemorating the 90th anniversary of those who established a tradition that we are proud and fortunate to continue today— mounted foxhunting.”

Aubrey Head, Honorary Whipper-in, races to stay apace with the pack in the Flint Hills. Angela C. Fain photo

Dr. Steve Thomas, Honorary Huntsman, gathers hounds from a water-break during summer hound exercise in the Easton, Kansas, hunt country. Angela C. Fain photo

Entrance to the Division Ranch, Strong City Kansas, gateway to thousands of acres in the Flint Hills of Central Kansas—Ft. Leavenworth Hunt’s western-most fixture. Angela C. Fain photo


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2016

Military-Equestrian Connection The number of people prominent in world and American history who have been associated with the Fort and the Hunt is impressive, to say the least. Jonathan M. Wainwright was a Lieutenant Colonel during his assignment to Fort Leavenworth between the two World Wars when he served as Master of the Hunt. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his leadership during World War II as commander of the Allied Forces in the Philippines. “Colonel Charles Hancock Reed, Commander of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment, executed the raid that saved nearly 350 Arab, Thoroughbred, and Lipizzaner horses which had been collected by Nazi Germany. He served as Master while assigned to Fort Leavenworth just prior to World War II,” recounted Fain. “Lieutenant Colonel Sam Hines was MFH here from 1977-1996. He’s cited by Dennis Foster in Whipper-In as a ‘great master who probably brought more new foxhunters into hunting than any other man.’” FLH Member Jake Wilson prepares FLH Valor (2012) durGeneral George S. Patton, who grew up foxhunting the 2015 Central States Hound Show in May, 2015. ing in Virginia, graduated from the Command and GenValor was named the 2015 champion hound at both the Southwest and Central States Hound. Angela C. Fain photo eral Staff College at Fort Leavenworth in 1924—two years later, the Hunt was born. Patton was quite vocal about requiring his officers to join a local hunt club and play polo. He knew from experience that hunting was excellent preparation for riding hard cross-country and polo was as close to hand-to-hand combat on horseback as you can get. Olympic equestrian Becky Holder grew up on Fort Leavenworth, earning her “B” rating with the local pony club. She also whipped in for 11 seasons with the Hunt before going on to compete at the highest level of eventing, which has its roots in the discipline of dressage, cross-country, and show jumping, known as “The Military.” Holder has earned many national and regional awards. She competed with Courageous Comet, her gray off-the-track Thoroughbred, on the US team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. How-to Grow Enthusiasts Wonderful. Welcoming. Inclusive. Fun. Enthusiasts used these words often to describe Fort Leavenworth Hunt’s policy on membership: Everyone’s invited to try hunting. It doesn’t matter if you’re military or civilian, local, transient, or international in origin. In keeping with this “open door” policy, membership dues are reasonable and affordable for both military stipends and civilian incomes. Like members of other hunting choirs, MFH & Ret. Col. Bob “The Bullet” Fullerton, first flight the Hunt’s enthusiasts can’t help talking about their days fieldmaster. Chantal van Rantwijk photo in the field. Sharing is fun; it’s also a powerful persuader to get others to give riding to hounds a whirl. “I got started hunting in 1988 because of a Bible Study partner who worked at the same dental clinic I did. Her husband was very involved and convinced me to try it,” said Pat Wolf, retired dental hygienist, married to Jim Wolf, retired LTC and her best barn helper. “I was riding a horse at a boarding stable and the owner took a group of us out and I ended up buying the horse that I had been leasing for a year or two. I’ve been hunting ever since.” Four fields that comprise a normal day’s hunting with Fort Leavenworth cater to everyone’s needs and desires. Master Bob “The Bullet” Fullerton, retired LTC, earned his nickname from the way he leads First Flight, a hell-for-leather group of stalwarts keen to follow the huntsman and hounds as closely as their fearless field master can lead them. Great speed is required and, Stephanie Wilcox served for six years as MFH and for while the hunting panels in Fort Leavenworth’s coun10 years as Honorary Huntsman at Ft. Leavenworth Hunt before moving on to serve as Professional Whipper-in at try are about three-foot in height, it’s the ditches and Old Dominion Hounds. Here she cheers hounds during water crossings that add a bit of Irish “craic” to the thrill Opening Hunt, October, 2015. of the chase. Col. Barbara Sherer, US Army Chaplain, photo

9 The Second Flight jumps and gallops. Fieldmaster Laura Guildenfennig thinks like a coyote and, with great knowledge of the country and horse, is clever about finding shortcuts to follow the action, often anticipating where to position her field for the best sporting views. Third flight fieldmaster Gayle Rue, FLH Honorary Secretary, leads the Hilltoppers, making it ideal for Western riders and people who, for medical or horse reasons, don’t jump, but like to run and gun. The fourth field, Walk-Trot, piloted by retired Colonel Joyce DiMarco, ex-MFH, allows an easy introduction to the excitement and shows newcomers a good time without scaring the stuffing out of them. It’s just what you need to bring along green horses and perfect for those who want to enjoy the scenery from the back of a horse. Eight Easy Lessons This free series doesn’t teach you how to ride, but if you’re interested in going out with Fort Leavenworth Hunt, Eight Easy Lessons will prepare you for what might be the most exciting riding experience of your existence. It begins with two mounted sessions to determine the appropriate field for each participant’s skill level, mount, and tack. Riders whose horsemanship is still evolving might find the Hilltoppers or Walk-Trot field more to their liking. Anyone keen on First Flight soon finds out if they and their horses are up to the challenge; if they aren’t, they’ll get thrills in the Second Flight. At Fort Leavenworth Hunt, your safety is a priority, and your comfort zone will be respected. “First flight is fine, but my fun-meter and comfort zone are happier in the second flight,” said Pat Wolf. “Stephanie Wilcox, our huntsman and Master who went to Virginia, calls me Perma-Grin. I hunt an awesome Percheron-cross that was bred for foxhunting by some people who are still members of the hunt. Mickey Moose—he’s big and cool-looking—is a caretaker, a blast to ride and the best part of my riding. He’s 22 now, which breaks my heart, because I need him to be 12! I’m also a fair weather rider. I don’t go out when it’s raining, sleety or snowy—I’d rather stay back and make the brunch.” Lesson 3 involves riding drills to simulate what happens in each flight. Lesson 4’s “chalk talk” covers the gamut from the history of hunting to hounds, staff, masters, and etiquette at the meet and in the field, the language of hunting—opening, closing, joint meets, covert, cast, draw, quarry, hold hard, etc. The rest of the series provides practice with your flight in the very country that Fort Leavenworth hunts. The series is designed to get people engaged in the sport—and it works. “I always loved horseback riding and the opportunity to ride with a hunt was too good to pass up. I was hooked after the first of the Eight Easy Lessons,” said Major Sarah Schwennessen. “That was in August, 2014. All three of my children are under 10. They do not ride in the field—yet. We have taken them on trail rides, which they enjoy to the max. The best part of the hunt is the adventure shared with grand friends. Looking back, I can’t believe all the years spent in an arena when there were hunts to be enjoyed! The sport has made me a better horsewoman. There isn’t a hunt where I don’t feel that my abilities have been stretched and improved in one way or another.” Unplanned Dismounts The Cropper Club is a longstanding Fort Leavenworth Hunt tradition that, according to reports from several members, traces back a number of years. Former member retired LTC Rob Kornacki penned the verses that grace the official Cropper Club t-shirt with a cartoon of a rider crash-landing. Continued


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IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2016

Quick as a fox before the hounds, Sometime you too will go to ground And as you rise, with excuse quite proper, Let doubt be gone, you’re now a Cropper! Lee McGuire (Landowner, exMFH FLH, former Honorary Huntsman) is a consistent and encouraging presence for the membership.

Each “unscheduled dismount” in any FLH hunting field requires the “croppee” to purchase a Cropper Club t-shirt, $10 per, available in many colors. ProAngela C. Fain photo ceeds cover the cost of the shirts and whatever’s left goes toward putting on a big end-of-season party. At the end of the year, the numbers are tallied and the “winner” is granted one-year custody of the Cropper painting, which must be hung where it’s easily seen. “Ah, yes, that magnificent piece of art with its three-legged hound, abnormally shaped mounts, and eyeless riders—it’s proudly displayed on our wall for all to enjoy,” said Steve Smith, retired LTC whose active-duty LTC wife Candy and their three sons all ride to hounds. “The painting was commissioned by exFLH Master Dave Drummond when he was in Korea, I think in the late 1980s. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out as planned and so started the tradition of loaning the painting to the family unit or individual with the most unplanned dismounts throughout the hunt season. The Smiths won the painting for the 2014-2015 season with the help of four out of five members of the family. I had to take out a loan to pay for our Cropper t-shirts.” Candy thought that their winning total of Cropper t-shirts came to 14, but couldn’t be totally sure. Ponies being ponies accounted for a few of the croppers. Candy accounted for several of the tumbles. Steve contributed only bucks for the t-shirts. “It’s all in good fun and part of riding horses,” said Candy. “Not only did we get the painting, but the boys also got a huge jar of Hershey Kisses, which they rightly deserved for learning to so expertly execute unscheduled dismounts.” Asked why Fort Leavenworth Hunt is special, Candy said: “For me, it’s two things. One is military affiliation. We joined and were surrounded by members who had served and many who are still serving in the military, which immediately created a unique bond between our family and the Hunt. The second is the willingness of every single member to take people who are brand new to the sport and not only welcome them, but encourage and assist them whenever and however they could. I wasn’t sure when Steve put me on a horse with an English saddle and said just ride, and I really wasn’t sure when we moved out of a house I loved to live on acreage where the horses could also reside, but I wouldn’t change anything. I truly love riding in the Hunt. I love that we do it as a family, and I’m grateful to have the Fort Leavenworth Hunt as our hunt family.” The Country Enthusiasts are known to regale all and sundry listeners with a long litany of benefits and bonuses, ranging from great activity for family and friends to fresh air, exercise, partnership with equines, life lessons, etc. It’s relatively easy to enlist new members of the choir. The basic need for open land is one of the greatest challenges every hunt faces. Hounds go out twice a week, Wednesday and Saturday, plus special holidays and the last Sunday of the month, but there’s no longer enough contiguous land to hunt on Fort Leavenworth itself, due to expanded housing and services during the last decade or so. They can trail ride on the Fort, but all fixtures are outside the military installation. Easton is the home country fixture, about 3,000 acres of wooded hills and open ground that’s either pasture or cropland. Regularly carded, it’s located southwest of Easton, Kansas, about 20 minutes drive from the Fort. Attention to habitat improvement by primary landowners Lee McGuire, Ex-MFH; and Dr. Lucy Hirsch, DVM, and Mel Sadler ensures that the Hunt rarely draws a blank in its home country. “In the course of a three- to four-hour hunt, we can expect to be on several good runs with intermittent checks,” said Fain. “Our coyotes are of the wily variety, but our hounds are high quality and determined. We are often on the same coyote multiple times as they work their tricks—running with deer, dropping a rabbit carcass in the middle of a trail fork, etc.” The Hunt also cards “away” countries situated in northwest Missouri, near Maryville, and the Flint Hills in central Kansas. The Flint Hills, hunted only twice each season, is a band of hills, stretching from eastern Kansas into north-central Oklahoma, about 2½ hours drive from the Fort. It’s about 30,000 acres of extremely open country—the largest landmass in North America that’s covered by

(l-r) Honorary Whippers-in Bruce McEnroe and Steve Thomas and Honorary Huntsman Stephanie Wilcox (now Professional Whipper-in at Virginia’s Old Dominion Hounds) parade the pack by the FLH Membership on Opening Hunt, October, 2015. Angela C. Fain photo

tall native prairie grass. “To see the hounds work up a coyote and be able to watch it run a mile or more in front of you is incredible,” said Fain. “When we’re on line there, it’s as if the horses are spinning the earth beneath you and you’re just sitting in place.” The Fort’s Maryville country is being developed under the leadership of the new Honorary Huntsman, Dr. Steve “Doc” Thomas, who’s from that area. Last season, they hunted it for the first time and discovered ample quarry and a warm welcome from the landowners. “The Maryville country completely compliments our other fixtures, as we now have a home country that’s a mix of woods and cropland, wide-open native prairie at Flint Hills, and Maryville with perfectly fenced in cropland that will allow for great coop placement and gate access for our Hilltoppers,” said Fain. Continuing On Fort Leavenworth Hunt inspires passion in its members, even those who are stationed there for only a year or two while attending CGSC. People retire there, also, to stay involved with the Hunt. It’s all about community, family, inclusion, and doing what they love and enjoy. Passionate about hounds and hunting, they are well known for good reason within military circles and receive visitors from around the world. Right now, the Hunt boasts a roster of military members from France, Germany, Holland, and Great Britain. Generals and sergeants ride next to each other. Local civilians are volunteers in the Hunt’s “army” of supporters, and a few make the drive from Nebraska to hunt on weekends. “The hunt people are the most down-to-earth, friendly, helping, and genuine people you’ll ever meet,” said Steve Smith. “Yes, most of us were or are officers in the military or a spouse or child of an officer, but we don’t wear our rank at the hunt. We are all there to enjoy the sport, watch the hounds work, ride hard, and have a great time. I can say that I’ve never had a bad day at a hunt. Even when all of my kids and my wife make an unscheduled dismount! Notice I didn’t say I fell off…because I haven’t (yet). Then, we go to the Flint Hills of Kansas once or twice a year and hunt on thousands of acres of unchanged tall prairie grass. Talk about a fun, fast, never ending hunt…” The recent departure of Stephanie Wilcox to be a professional whipper-in at Old Dominion Hounds in Virginia caused a bit of a blip, but she left for the right reasons—first and foremost to preserve the dynamics of what she loves most about Fort Leavenworth Hunt—inclusive spirit and affordable dues. She chose and trained her replacements. Jim Fain might be relatively new to hunting, but he’s totally passionate about hounds and how they work. He’s in training as backup huntsman. Steve “Doc” Thomas, an oral surgeon with a busy practice, will carry the horn. The pack consists of 15 couple of Crossbred hounds with bloodlines to the legendary American Foxhound, Potomac Jefferson (2005-2016). “It’s an incredible honor to be associated with this hunt, given its history, and the people,” said Thomas. “I’m very fortunate to inherit hounds that have been so well-trained over the years by Stephanie. The pack is such a bonus. The biggest challenge I face is figuring out how to manage my time.” Thomas grew up riding Western and coonhunting with his grandfather, but switched to English when he met and started whipping-in to the late Tommy Jackson, at the time huntsman at Mission Valley. He also served as MFH and whipper-in for Mr. Jackson’s Oxford Hounds. Thomas has hunted around the U.S. and, for the last four years, whipped in to Wilcox. He couldn’t have asked for better mentors. “Stephanie was a very, very good huntsman for us, for sure,” said Fullerton. “Our new huntsman this year, Doc Thomas, is following in her footsteps. To be handed a well-trained pack like that is a blessing. People come here for the sport and stay for the people. With a great heritage and great members, the Fort Leavenworth Hunt will continue to thrive!”


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2016

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Which “Anniversary” to Celebrate? The 1920s saw a spike in the number of new hunt clubs being formed, perhaps fueled by the post-war economic boom and the good times feeling of the Roaring Twenties. Some did not survive the coming Depression of the ’30s and the hardships of World War II that followed. But, happily, many did, even if they saw a period of dormancy before reviving and getting back to sporting days. A browse through the current MFHA Roster shows a host of clubs with foundation dates ranging from 1920 to 1929. Several others came into existence during the ’30s, a testament to the determination of sporting men and women even in the face of difficult times. Recognition dates are another matter. Some clubs still in existence today were, of course, started before the MFHA was established in 1907, although there were other governing bodies that preceded its founding. And some hunts went along providing good sport for decades before the issue of “recognition” arose. Virginia’s Piedmont Fox Hounds went “unrecognized” for 59 years, from its founding in 1840 to 1899 when the National Steeplechase and Hunt Association, the governing entity of the day, granted its blessing. The Roster lists Montreal Hunt, the oldest foxhunting club in North America, with 1826 as both its founding and recognition year, a full four score plus one before the MFHA came into being. Thus, while the Roster shows 1966 as Fort Leavenworth Hunt’s year of recognition, we consider the founding date to be the more relevant marker for a club’s history. (Actually, the Roster shows the founding year as 1929 but the club’s official history affirms it to be 1926.) Fort Leavenworth Hunt shares its year of establishment with four other packs: Camden Hounds (South Carolina), Old Chatham Hunt (New York), Rappahannock Hunt (Virginia), and Tryon Hunt (North Carolina). Most milestones are celebrated at 100, but 90 is noteworthy; ditto the 50 golden years of Belle Meade (Georgia), established in 1966. Whether counting an anniversary from founding or recognition date, and whether in single, double, or triple digits, we wish every hunt club the best for a safe and fun 2016-17 season…and many more beyond!

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IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2016

STEEPLECHASING

2016 Fall Racing Preview By Will O’Keefe This year the purses offered at the four Virginia Fall Hunt Meets will total at least $715,000. This will be a new record for purse distribution, and once again this year the meets will each be two weeks apart. This will allow horsemen to be able to take full advantage of the many lucrative racing opportunities. On Sunday, September 25, the Foxfield Fall Races Montpellier Hunt Races. will be held at the Foxfield Race Course near Charlottesville. This year this race meet will offer a card made up of a $25,000 allowance optional claiming race and two maiden races over hurdles and two more races on the flat. Two weeks later, on October 8, the Virginia Fall Races will be run over the popular Glenwood Park Race Course. The feature race will be the National Sporting Library & Museum Cup Timber Stake with an increase to $40,000 in purse money. A year ago a race was run over the Alfred Hunt Course that has always been a crowd pleaser at the spring meet, and that race will be run again. Additional races will be run over hurdles and on the flat. This meet provides a great opportunity for trainers to prepare for the Far Hills Races on October 15 and the International Gold Cup on October 22. The International Gold Cup Races will be run over the Great Meadow racecourse near The Plains. This race meet is run under Virginia Racing Commission rules, which allows access to a large fund for purses, and the total purses of $410,000 makes this the richest fall race meet ever run in Virginia. The purse for International Gold Cup timber stakes has been increased to $90,000 and the David L. “Zeke” Ferguson Memorial hurdle stakes will also be increased to $75,000. There will be six other races on the card, which will include the highly popular steeplethon, two more races over hurdles, and three on the flat. Six other races round out the card with every purse $35,000 or more. There is no racecourse in America that can rival the setting of the Montpelier Hunt Race Course. With President James Madison’s home providing the classic backdrop, the Montpelier Hunt Races will be held at Montpelier Station near Orange on Saturday, November 5. The $35,000 Noel Laing hurdle handicap is the only remaining race in the United States run over natural hedges. There will be additional races over National hurdles and on the flat. The first flat race is for Virginia Bred or Sired horses and 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.


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LADIES' SOUTHDOWN TWEED HACKING JACKET LS33. Made in England. Lightweight. Sizes 34"-44" Regular and Long. (HC1C) $695.00

BEADNELL RANNOCH.

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AUTUMN WHISPERS, FLIRTS, AND TEASES...

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

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LADIES' SOUTHDOWN TWEED HACKING JACKET LS29. Made in England. Medium weight. Holland and Sherry cloth. Sizes 32"-44: Regular and Long. (HC2F) $795.00 HORSE SENSE. Lightweight microfiber, long sleeves, perfect for layering. 1/4 zip. Bison Brown (shown), Gray/Black/White available. Sizes SM-2X. #1773-40582BT. (HC2A) $69.00 FLOW RISE TIGHT. Lightweight, breathable and technical breech. Four-way stretch and no-roll waistband. Dune (shown) and Black. Sizes SM-1X #1773-50200BR (HC2B) $69.00

ASHLEY VEST. Chevron quilted, wind and water-resistant. Rouge Red. Sizes XS-XL. #315-10017839. (HC2D) $69.95 LOWELL SHIRT. Soft, technical fabric, moisture wicking, base layer. 1/4 zip. Red multi print. Sizes SM-XL. #315-10017801. (HC2E) $54.95

HEADBAND. Micro-fleece lined, slim profile. Bison Brown (shown), Dusk, Blue, and Plum available. One size. #1773-30283BR. (HC2C) $15.00

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REIN JACKET. By Barbour®. Lightweight diamond quilted. Navy. Sizes US4-14. #4-LQ0627NY. (HC2H) $249.00

HC2 HORSE COUNTRY® 800-882-HUNT

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Shop online! www.HorseCountryCarrot.com LADIES' LAVENHAM HARKSTEAD. Made in England. Waxed cotton, quilted covert coat. Light quilted lining. Waterproof. Dark Sage. Sizes US414. #1717-LCHG. (HC3D) $450.00

RUANA. Made in England. Lambswool. Assorted plaids. One Size. #165228004B. (HC3A) $168.00

LADIES' LAVENHAM RAYDON. Made in England. Quilted, water resistant jacket. Black. Sizes US6-14. #1717-LJRB. (HC3B) $258.00 Also available in Olive #1717-LJRS (HC3C).

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BEYOND FALL COLORS, WHERE SHIRTS ARE THE TOPIC, OUR GENTS' SELECTION IS KALEIDOSCOPIC! D

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Visit www.HorseCountryCarrot.com to see our tie selections for men.

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To WASHINGTON via I-66 Rt. 17 By pass

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IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2016

13

BOOKSIGNING Vicky Moon’s Latest: EQUAL Parts Tuesday, October 11, 2016 Join us at Horse Country Saddlery (60 Alexandria Pike, Warrenton, VA 20186) for a talk and booksigning by local author Vicky Moon. Wellknown among the horse crowd for two of her previous works, The Private Passion of Jackie Kennedy Onassis: Portrait of A Rider and The Middleburg Mystique: A Peek Inside the Gates of Middleburg, Virginia, Vicky focuses on fiction for her ninth book, EQUAL Parts. Fiction? Well, maybe not entirely. This captivating tale of ambition, politics, and passion, set in Washington, D.C. and the surrounding area, was inspired by actual events. A stylish interior designer, based in Georgetown, falls in love with a prominent, and very married, lawyer who lives in Middleburg. When he decides to run for a Senate seat, the affair takes on vastly greater significance. As one reviewer said, it’s “A juicy read that will have Washington insiders not only guessing—but arguing—who the characters are in real life.” (Kevin Chaffee, Senior Editor, Washington Life.) Refreshments will be served, RSVPs are appreciated, 540-3473141 or e-mail huntbooks@aol.com.

C E L E B R AT I N G 6 2 Y E A R S O F R A C I N G

October 8, 2016

October 8, 2016


14

IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2016

CUBBING

Warrenton Hunt Opening Cub Hunt The Kennels at Elway, September 10, 2016 Michael Stevens Photos

As the sun broke over the horizon, Huntsman Matt van der Woude called his hounds to attention for the season’s first day of cub hunting.

A light mist shrouded the fields and woods for the 7:00 am meet.

Hounds head for a well-deserved water break.

Riley Hogan points out something interesting to her cousin, Lexi van der Woude, younger daughter of Huntsman Matt and his wife Daphrie.


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2016

15

CUBBING

(l-r, in red shirts) Huntsman Brian Kiely; Irvin L. “Skip” Crawford, MFH; Beverley Bosselmann, MFH; Richard W. Hagen, MFH, Opening Cubbing, Potomac Hunt, from the Kennels, Dickerson, MD, August 20, 2016. Karen Kandra Wenzel photo

Brynn Miller and Rocky enjoy a morning of sport with Potomac Hunt, Dickerson, MD, August 25, 2016. Karen Kandra Wenzel photo

Potomac Hunt’s quarry sneaks across a lane between cornfields on an early cubbing morning in Dickerson, MD, August 25, 2016. Karen Kandra Wenzel photo

Orange County Hounds Huntsman Reg Spreadborough gives his pack a water break at the pond during the first day of cub hunting, September 10, 2016, from Glen Welby. Joanne Maisano photo

Maryalice Larkin Matheson Thomas leads Lee McGettigan and Robin Parker as Orange County Hounds begins cubbing season from Glen Welby, September 10, 2016. Joanne Maisano photo


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IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2016

PERSONALITIES

Cammie Eaton: A Horse’s Best Friend By Cathy Moss As I set about to prepare a profile of Cameron riding this horse with the longest stirrups I have “Cammie” Eaton, I sought advice from friend and ever seen. And he had a face like a bloodhound. trainer Genie Harper of Oak Haven Farms in FolHe got off his horse to close the gate and as he put som, Louisiana. Genie is a well-read, thoughtful, his foot in the stirrup to mount, his horse moved and excellent horsewoman. I told her, “I’m not sure away from him and started going in a circle and he that there are a lot of people like Cammie out there was hopping around trying to get on. I rode over anymore.” Her response, though unexpected, gave and got off my pony and asked if I could help. He me much cause for hope. “Cathy, they are still out didn’t look surprised to see me come from there. It is not a vanishing breed, more a niche.” nowhere, just said, ‘Great, yes, how lucky for you That’s Genie, ever the optimist. But, I thought, she to show up.’ We got him on and he rode off. He would be in a position to know. So I went forward, turned to look back for me and said, ‘Well, come and found her counsel to be prophetic. on, join us.’” Cammie Eaton settled in the Virginia Horse Eaton became the youngest member to reCountry permanently in 1984 when she purchased ceive her colors from the Hopper Hills Hunt. She a log cabin on five acres in Upperville. That served says it may have had something to do with the fact as her base of operations for 20 years until she acthat her father owned 400 acres that bordered the quired “Foxtales,” originally on 98 acres in Delakennels. But that was probably not the only reaplane. The plan was to subdivide the property and son. put the proceeds toward retirement. The farm, circa Said one grateful client, “She is realistic but also the eternal optimist and I believe a Her hunting career since that fateful day lot of her positive energy impacts the recovery of her horse.” Douglas Lees photo 1840-70, was derelict—no fencing, no gate, a catspans three decades, in the US, England, Ireland, tle loading chute at the barn, 1950s garage doors, gutters falling off, and vines and Australia. on the chimney…vines everywhere. Eaton attended The Harley School in Rochester, NY, a private college prep, “I called Joe [Fargis, her friend of 20 years] to come and look at it,” she where she met two people she would later encounter in Virginia: she was taught said. “Joe is not going to judge your dream, that is your dream. But I did wonalgebra by Frank Laimbeer, who would later become MFH at Warrenton Hunt, der what he was thinking.” and she went to school with his son Rick, who just retired as joint-master at WarWhat Cammie saw was, she said, “Perfect.” She had a vision, but realizing renton. it would require a good bit of TLC and a lot of money. “Well,” she says, “I wasLake Erie College in Ohio was next, from which she eventually graduated n’t really thinking about the money part as much as that beautiful view of Little but not without some bumps. “A great thing happened in 1982,” she says. “I was Cobbler. It reminded me of Red Hill,” the mountain view from her kitchen growkicked out of school for being threatening and endangering the safety of others. ing up. My car fishtailed in the icy parking lot at school and I guess I took out a few other Home was New Hampshire where Eaton grew up one of five children in a cars in the process. My classmates didn’t mind because they had old cars anydecidedly unhorsey family. But the purchase of a home with a three-stall shed way and they got some money out of the deal.” The school administration, howrow barn and a tack room would ignite a passion that would define and direct her ever, wasn’t so happy and sent her home. life forever. And it came with a horse, an aged Morgan that managed to colic She got a job working in Middleburg for Paul Ziluca, getting him ready twice before Cammie could take possession. So the owners steered her to the for hunting in the morning and going to work with Jimmy Wofford in the afterAppaloosa in a paddock across the street. noon. Ziluca broke his ankle the second day of cub hunting so Eaton was then Her mother insisted Cammie learn to ride and take care of a horse before full time at Wofford’s—another dream, she says. “Can you imagine? I thought they brought the horse home. “Yeah, it was just terrible,” she laughs. “I found I had died and gone to heaven.” myself taking riding lessons and hanging around horses and learning how to And when she chose her semester abroad at school, of course she chose brush them and all of that.” She was living her dream. England. “To brush up on my English, you know,” she says with a wink. Cheyenne came to his new home a little reluctantly. He wouldn’t load on Working with Lars Sederholm and Jack Le Goff at Waterstock Training the trailer. Cammie knew instinctively to wait for the horse, no forcing. ListenCenter, Eaton found herself once more in the proverbial briar patch. She spent ing to horses, giving them a chance, became a hallmark of her horsemanship January, February, and March there and when she returned to Lake Erie her heart and approach to all things equine. Cheyenne and his pal, a pony named Lord was still at Waterstock. Byron (package deal), were finally on the trailer. In addition to Lord Byron, In 1981 Eaton rode in the 3-day NAYR Championships in Wayne-Dupage, Cheyenne came with a western saddle. So she showed him in barrel racing and Illinois, on Sway and again in 1982 at Maple Ridge in British Columbia, Canada, in “pick up” races (in which a rider races to the end of the ring where a friend on Technical Delegate, aka Perch. She was long-listed in 1980 but dropped out jumps on the horse and the two ride together back to the finish line—everyone to go back to New Hampshire to be with her father who had taken ill. did that when they were 13, right?). After Lake Erie Eaton found herself back in Virginia horse country, this She started with 4-H, then on to the Mendon Pony Club in Rochester, New time for good. She managed numerous private Middleburg barns for such promiYork, when her father took a position with Bausch and Lomb. It was during her nent figures as Dr. James Gable, Zohar Ben-Dov, and Col. A.T. Surkamp. She Pony Club days that a chance encounter would, as she would say, change her life trained flat, hurdle, and timber horses and managed to foxhunt in between. She for the better. loved steeplechase: foxhunting without the rules and three-day without the dresA miserable, snowy, sleeting Saturday found her saddling her pony to hack sage. But three day was her main love. It was in her steeplechase days that she to the Pony Club meeting. “I had on so many pairs of socks I couldn’t feel my met a horse, Coltie, that friends Woods Winants and John Dale Thomas both feet,” Cammie recalls. “I had earmuffs on over my helmet and a down coat that said was unrideable. covered everything else.” “When they rode him he would buck like crazy and when I told them I Four miles later, crossing an interstate and questionable dirt roads, she arwanted to ride him and see if I could get him to stop, they said, ‘Sure, here he rived to find the meeting was cancelled. As she turned to begin the hack home, is.’ I said, ‘Well, get off, I don’t want him to stop bucking.’ ‘Don’t worry,’ they she heard a noise—hounds—and two people came galloping out of the woods, said, ‘he has plenty of bucks left for you.’” one in scarlet. “I tucked myself into the woods, to get out of the way. I had Coltie or Up in Arms or to others maybe Up in the Air would only let Camlearned a little something about foxhunting from pony club. Soon the master and mie ride him. He bucked everyone else off. Cammie and Coltie did eventing, the rest of the field came galloping through, and bringing up the rear was a man pair races, and had one start in the Casanova Hunt races in 1991.


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2016

“Funnily enough,” she says, “of all the miles together, the only time we ever won was the year at Hot Springs, the 100 mile VTRA Competitive Trail Ride. He competed four other years, showed, evented, hunted, but he was always a special boy. When I would go away not even my professional friends would ride him for me. A true ‘one person horse.’ He was the best teacher I will ever have; my friend and fearless companion from 1984 until his final breath, August 14, 2010.” Coltie was 28 when he died and is buried on the East Hill of Foxtales. He left a hole in a heart that has so much room for so many. By 1993 Cammie had “hung her shingle out” and was importing Irish Sport Horses for clients and resale, which she did until 1997. One of her clients, Marion Chungo, former DC of the Middleburg Orange County Pony Club, says that her horse Malarkey is still hunting. Former client and now good friend, Marion says, “Everyone benefits from being in Cammie’s space. And they all return.” Chungo says that Foxtales was totally Cammie’s vision and she was hands-on in the renovation. The run-ins and rehab stalls, at the end of the barn, under cover but open, provide the perfect atmosphere for a horse to heal his mind and his body. “She will do whatever is needed to get that horse back,” Marion continues. “And she never stops engaging, whether with animals or students. She is very intuitive and compassionate. And whenever you take a lesson from Cammie, if you are having issues, it is like time stops, the only thing that matters is that she helps you or your horse get through it.” Emily Houston took riding lessons from Cammie and hunted with Fairfax. “She helped both me and my husband, she is always on your side. She is very patient and soft when she is riding and compassionate. And she gets a lot done in the day, after all of the work in the barn, with students, with her horses. She cooks, she bakes, she keeps in touch with family and friends.” Eaton hosts Pony Club at her farm, and gives lessons to adults and children alike. A cross country course and schooling ring assure that she can work with all disciplines. All of the horses in her care have a story, and they all have jobs or are enjoying retirement. Her relationships with her horses and clients endure. People come back to her and sometimes the horses do too, like Paleface. She purchased Paleface in County Limerick, Ireland, in 1995. He hunted for 10 years in Connecticut. His owner then sent him back to Cammie to find his “forever home.” He hunted several seasons after he returned, second flight, last with Manual Johnson with Piedmont Fox Hounds. He now enjoys retirement at Foxtales with his buddy Billy. Horses that come to Foxtales for rehab get constant attention from a woman who believes that slow and steady win the race. You don’t send a horse to Cammie for a quick fix. But if you are willing to wait and your horse is “fixable,” then you will be amply rewarded. Angie Cooney, Equine Physiologist and Assistant DC for Casanova-Warrenton Pony Cub, has worked with Eaton on some of her rehabs. “Cammie will watch everything I do and ask questions,” Cooney says. “And then she works on the horse in between my visits, enhancing my treatment and, really, I think, impacting the recovery time of the

Cammie Eaton at Foxtales, her farm in Delaplane, Virginia. Douglas Lees photo

horse. She never quits. And she loves what she does.” Olympic gold medalist Joe Fargis says they met at one of his clinics in the late ’90s. They have been friends ever since. “We have similar minds. I respect the way she treats people and their animals. She bought that farm and plopped herself right there in the middle of nature, away from all of the craziness. I would send a horse to Cammie anytime, for any reason.” It’s a sentiment echoed by recent client Carey Rich of Morgantown, West Virginia. Her 14-yearold daughter Annie had just acquired Cody, her “perfect guy,” through trainer Ian Silitch. Ten days after they purchased him he received a puncture wound to the bone in a hind fetlock. “Morven Park was on top of it,” says Rich. “They handled everything beautifully and prevented a bad situation from turning into something even worse.” But after his treatment at Morven Park, he would need a place to recoup and would need lots of hands-on care. The rest of the barn was heading to Wellington, but Silitch knew just the place. Rich trailered Cody from West Virginia on a snowy February night, her first time pulling a horse trailer, to Foxtales in Delaplane. “We were blessed,” said Rich. “She is realistic but also the eternal optimist and I believe a lot of her positive energy impacts the recovery of her horse.” Cody was there February through June 7. Rich says that Cammie Eaton “customized” her care to respect the feelings of a 14-year-old. “And her communication—we would receive emails with pictures saying, ‘Here is Cody with bedhead, and this morning this is what he had for breakfast.’ Cammie is the best-kept secret in rehabbing. Cammie and Ian were great with Annie after Cody returned to work, convincing her she wouldn’t hurt him. I don’t believe we would be where we are right now with Cody without her. Annie and I both learned a lot about horses and horsemanship from Cammie. Cody and Annie had an outstanding show in Vermont recently and we are so happy. We were blessed to find the ‘Cammie Connection.’” Eaton modestly recounts the story of Cherry, a mare from Venezuela who came to her through Joe Fargis. She was a high level junior horse in Venezuela who accompanied her rider to Wellington in the winter but missed getting on the plane a

17 year ago. She had become very unhappy under saddle and unrideable. It wasn’t long before Eaton discovered bumps, raised spots on her back that didn’t flake or ooze, but were painful to the touch and pressure. Not good if you want to put a saddle on that back and then sit in it to boot. Between the veterinarian, some anti-inflammatories, and Eaton’s care, Cherry bounced back. They still don’t know what exactly was going on with the mare but close observation and paying attention to the horse’s reaction to touch got to the heart of the problem. And in typical Eaton fashion, it was the text from the owner acknowledging Cammie’s contribution that made her the happiest. “It takes a village,” says Eaton, always emphasizing the collective effort. It was horses themselves that taught Eaton the most about horses through listening and observing. And she also attributes what she has learned about nature and living life from them. The first time we met I was leaving her kitchen, out the back door, to my car. “Grab a banana,” she said. “Thank you,” I replied, “but I’m not hungry.” “No, it’s for the horse.” A huge chestnut stood quietly outside the door, her free-range elite show jumper, Morado. She couldn’t keep him in the paddocks, he jumped every one. But he never went anywhere, so she just lets him roam free around the farm. And he loves bananas. I offered the fruit, which he took politely as chickens pecked quietly around his feet. Then he followed me to my car and watched, with hind leg cocked, next to Eaton as I drove away. Okay, I thought, Jane Goodall meets Dr. Doolittle meets James Herriot; a dying breed, a horse’s dream. She is a niche of one.


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IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2016

HORSERACING

If It’s August: Saddle Up for The Spa By Vicky Moon

Red Smith, the late Pulitzer Prize-winning sportswriter, once wrote about the August paradise of Saratoga Springs: “From New York City you drive north for about 175 miles, turn left on Union Avenue and go back 100 years.” That will do fine, thank you. For horse types it’s a gentle mix of early mornings on the backside watching the workouts, ordering a bacon and egg sandwich at the food stand and catching a glimpse of Angel Cordero, the Hall of Fame jockey who is a constant presence. That’s often followed by a massage at the Roosevelt Baths, or a soak in the medicinal waters that first attracted the New York pilgrims to “The Spa.” And then there’s the racing—the Whitney, the Travers, the Alabama, and the steeplechase races on “jumping days.” Those afternoons, the paddock is filled with familiar Hunt Country faces: Richard Valentine, Beth and Doug Fout, Robert Bonnie and his wife, trainer Julie Gomena, Emily and Jimmy Day, and Elizabeth Wiley, who trekked north with James Piper to help out with the Fout jumpers. At The Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center reception at the summer home of Beverley Steinman, Virginia Tech pals Wayne Chatfield-Taylor, past president of the Virginia Thoroughbred Association, reminisced with Charles Steger, Tech’s past president. Joseph Keusch, a member of the EMC board, stopped by with his wife, Jan Neuharth, before they headed further north to Maine. Morven Park Executive Director Stephanie Kenyon chatted with local Saratoga trainer Bill Higgins. Andrew Motion had a glorious if not nerve-wracking stay at the Spa. Four years ago, at the urging of his wife, Janie Covington, he went into the business of pin-hooking Thoroughbreds under the name of Old Chapel Farm, LLC. Motion, whose parents, Jo and Michael Motion, were also involved in the horse business, worked tirelessly to prep a filly sired by champion and horse of the year, Ghostzapper. That effort paid off handsomely on the second night of the prestigious Saratoga Fasig Tipton yearling sale. His filly, purchased for just over $60,000, sold for $285,000. Motion was thrilled. “It’s a night I’ll never forget,” he said. “We put a lot of work into getting her ready for this. And now I hope we can do it again.” His older brother, Graham, a highly-regarded racehorse trainer, his sister Pippa, a gourmet food importer, and daughters Lillibet and Mary completed the family contingent.

A sculpture of Sea Hero, Paul Mellon’s 1993 Kentucky Derby and Travers winner, by artist Tessa Pullan graces the paddock.

Meanwhile, Virginia was also represented in the sales ring with Louisa Lenehan’s $240,000 colt by Curlin and her colt by Uncle Mo, who went for $550,000. In between: horse show legend Bobby Burke went to the races and often held court at the home he rented on Circular Drive. Sharon Maloney, Katie and Jim Fitzgerald, Ann MacLeod, Gordie and Robin Keys, Leslie and Wayne VanSant with daughter Beatrice, and Sean and Annie Clancy treasured every moment. Bobby Dobson showed up very briefly. Also making the trip to New York were Douglas Wise-Stuart and husband/sales agent John Stuart, Jonathan Thomas and Emily Johnson and her daughters, Oliva and Ella, Lenny Hale, Sarah Becker, George Grayson and Maria Tousimis and Kevin Maloney.

Wayne Chatfield-Taylor with Charles Steger.

The white cast iron architectural details around the grandstand were designed by Marcus T. Reynolds in the late 1930s. Trainers Doug Fout and Ricky Hendriks in the paddock for the steeplechase

Elizabeth Wiley with Secret Reward and jockey Ross Geraghty.

Sharon Maloney with Bobby Burke. Sean Clancy in his Saratoga office.

Andrew Motion and Billy Howland with hip #202.

Stephanie Kenyon, Executive Director at Morven Park, with Saratoga trainer Bill Higgins.


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2016

JENNY’S PICKS Katz, Jon. Saving Simon. Jon Katz is better known for his series of books on his dogs, but at his Vermont farm he acquired other animals as well. This is the story of one of them, a donkey rescued from near-death by the authorities and brought to him in hopes of restoring its health. As Katz gets to know Simon and Simon recovers, Katz begins to contemplate the meaning of compassion—for animals and for humans, even the man who let Simon get into such a horrendous state. Paperback, 209pp. $15.00 McDonald, Leslie. Journeys with Horses. From the author of Down the Aisle, Tic-Tac, Musings of a Horse Farm Corgi, and Making Magic comes this collection of short stories about horses and horse people. This is a great feelgood book you can pick up anytime you have a few spare minutes, a book you can offer your offspring without any fears they will read anything you’d rather they didn’t. Our current supply is even autographed! Paperback, $12.95 PS: We still have copies of Tic-Tac, Musings of a Horse Farm Corgi, and Making Magic available. The last named is a book about foaling, and I have one copy left, on sale @ $12.00.

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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 tos are all b&w. Hardcover, 300 pp. + DVD, $27.95. Moon, Vicky. The Middleburg Mystique. Vicky’s popular book filled with juicy tidbits on the inhabitants and history of the Middleburg area is often requested and has now been reprinted in paperback. $22.00

McNeil, Collin F. Bright Hunting Morn. We have a few more copies of this celebration of the 125th anniversary of Radnor Hunt featuring wonderful old photographs and colorful new ones, artwork, quotations, and history featuring this grand old Pennsylvania hunt. A hefty coffeetable size, it will provide great memories for those old Letts, Elizabeth. The Perfect Horse. For many of us, our enough to remember “way back when,” and a source of introduction to the story of the rescue of the Lipizzaner illumination for those of us whose life started in the midmares during WWII was Walt Disney’s lovely movie, Mir- twentieth century, when the automobile had become king acle of the White Stallions, followed by Col. Podhajski’s and the old ways and places were fast disappearing. Foxown writings on the horses in his life. Now the author of hunters, if you haven’t bought a copy yet, don’t miss this The Eighty-Dollar Champion has written a new account of one! Hardcover, 341pp. $90.00 the U.S. mission to rescue the horses from the Germans 2017 calendars are in now; get yours before they’re gone, before the Russian troops got to them and, in all likeli- because we ordered fewer this year. If you want to see hood, ate them or totally dispersed the valuable blood- what they look like, check out our website. All calendars stock. Hitler had assembled a number of the best equines except Foxhunting Life are $14.99. of many breeds from the various stud farms in lands he Box Calendars: Just Basset Hounds; Just Corgis; What conquered so that he might create the ideal warhorse— Horses Teach Us even though, ironically, the age of the warhorse was over. Engagement Calendars: What Horses Teach Us But as the war ground toward its close and defeat loomed Wall Calendars: Dressage; Fantasy Horses; Foxes; Gypsy over the Nazis, Russian troops were headed in their di- Vanners; Happiness Is a Horse; Horse Feathers; Hunter Just Corgis; Just Jack rection. Read now the full account of what occurred as & Jumper; U.S. troops raced to save the horses. Hardcover, 194pp. Russells; Pembroke Corgis; What Horses Teach Us; and Why Horses Do That. $28.00

Foxhunting Life is $19.00. A beautiful calendar, it is published by Norman Fine, who for many years produced the Barclay, Andrew. Letters to a Young Huntsman. Fash- North American Foxhunting calendar put out by the ioned after the ever-popular Thoughts on Hunting by Peter MFHA. Norman usually includes several photos from Beckford, Barclay’s book offers an up-to-date American abroad in his calendar. viewpoint on foxhunting advice. Very readable with I’ve ordered a number of exciting new coloring books and 116pp., available now in both paperback ($12.95) and easy-read books for the younger set this fall. hardcover ($27.95). Pony Scouts Series: Catherine Hapka combines her simDrager, Marvin, with Ed McNamara. The Most Glorious ple text with Anne Kennedy’s charming illustrations to Crown. Now that we finally have another Triple Crown follow the escapades of three school friends who bond winner, Drager and McNamara have printed a new edition through their love of horses, even though only Jill, who of their history of Triple Crowners to include American lives on a pony farm, has had any experience riding. Girls Pharoah. Not only that, but they also included a 100- will love this series of books as all three girls learn about minute DVD entitled “Win, Place, Show: the History of ponies and riding. This is a reading level 2 in the “I Can Horse Racing,” chronicling racing at Saratoga Springs and Read!” program. Wish I’d had these instead of Dick and tracking the careers of the greatest racing champions. Pho- Jane when I was a kid! Each paperback book is only Back in stock! Huntsman’s Alphabet poster, still only $25.00.

$3.99, runs about 30 pages, and measures 6” x 9” to fit small hands. Choose from the following titles: Pony Crazy, Pony Party, Really Riding!, The Camping Trip, The New Pony, Back in the Saddle, Runaway Ponies, The Trail Ride, Blue Ribbon Day, and At The Show. Ellen Sallas has produced a series of new coloring books featuring different disciplines of riding. They are $7.99 apiece, 32pp, 8½” x 11”, with the following titles: I Love Show Jumping, I Love Hunter-Jumper, I Love Dressage, I Love Cross Country, and I Love Ponies. Two more titles that should be available later but have not been printed at time of this writing will be I Love Western Riding and I Love Trail Riding. Another new coloring book we have ordered is Equestrian Parade, priced at $19.99 for 120pp. I haven’t seen the interior yet, but the description in the catalog reads, “Already shaded images look like real artwork once you color them. Frame them for the horse lover’s wall.” No statistics on size, however. Did you like The Essential Fergus? We’ve got another one coming: Fergus—a Horse to be Reckoned With. The description reads, “A comical conversation between Fergus and ‘The Lad,’ a young boy determined to ride him. Hilariously expressive illustrations and clever verse depict the dialog between horse and human as The Lad maintains his amiable approach, regardless of Fergus’ reactions and claim of equine superiority. Certain to inspire laughter in adult readers while making a positive impression on young, would-be equestrians.” Paperback, $15.95. I hope some of our readers will e-mail me at huntbooks@aol.com and let me know what sort of books you would like to see us carry that you would buy. I’ve noticed a definite slump in sales of horse care and riding books; does this mean you’re getting what you need off the Internet and no longer need us to carry this sort of item? I also know a lot of you are experienced horsemen/women and probably don’t need to add much to your equine library. Would you like to see us start carrying more DVDs instead of books? There are a lot of nice-sounding ones out there! Please let me know what you’d like most so we can best supply your wants. What discipline most interests you?

Myopia Horse Show September 2-4, 2016, Hamilton, Massachusetts Eric Schneider photos

Sue Levy, Joint-MFH of Wentworth Hunt, and Ann Wickander, winners of the Hunter Pair over Fences class. Ann Wickander and her horse Wow also won the Field Hunter Handy class and were Champions of the Field Hunter division on Hunt Night.

Erika Koch and Reingold Z, winners of the $2,500 Myopia Hunter Derby.


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PERSONALITIES

IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2016

Master and Director By Barclay Rives

A five-dollar ride changed Pat Butterfield’s life. ing program there for decades, and Butterfield In 1961, Butterfield was a first year student at assisted her as a riding counselor from 1963 to the University of Virginia. A classmate named 1970. I was eleven years old. Although I had Frank Briggs told him about Keithwood, a ridgrown up around horses, I had negligible riding ing establishment run by legendary white-haired skills, despite my father’s earnest instruction. equestrienne Ellie Wood Keith. The two students My older brothers had achieved show ring glory walked to the stable. After assessing their riding by age eleven. Demonstrating on my family abilities in her ring, Ellie Wood let them ride up pony Glory Be, who had accompanied me to Observatory Mountain and back, charging each camp, Pat Butterfield taught me how to put on a of them five dollars. After their return, Ellie bridle, a skill I now use nearly every day. Ellie Wood piled them into her old Nash for a drive to Wood had me bounce around the ring on Glory the farm owned by her daughter, “Little” Ellie Be amid her pack of ponies until I learned to Wood Baxter. Baxter was her mother’s most sucpost. Ellie Wood had a stableman named Joe cessful pupil and for decades one of the counHill, a short black man with a limp. I remember try’s top show riders. Back at her stable, Ellie Joe Hill asking a cocky older camper why he Wood asked Pat if he would like to come back had taken a pony out of his stall to tack up, inand ride again. The five-dollar fee was an obstastead of doing so in the stall where he could not cle, a significant amount of money in 1961. Ellie get loose. The boy ignored Joe until Butterfield Wood never charged him again. His riding at reprimanded him, “When Joe asks you a quesEllie Wood’s led to foxhunting. Foxhunting tion, he deserves an answer.” That lesson was brought him new friends, and secured his permore important than riding. manent attachment to Central Virginia. The camp celebrated the Fourth of July with Pat Butterfield, MFH, Farmington Hunt, and Goody Two Shoes, winner of the Pat Butterfield has been Farmington Hunt a gathering in the Dining Hall and a dramatic 1983 Virginia Field Hunter Championship. Photo courtesy of Kay Butterfield Master of Foxhounds since 1995, and Director presentation of Paul Revere’s ride. While anof Racing of the Foxfield Racing Association since 1990. Before college, he had other counselor narrated, Pat Butterfield impersonated Revere, galloping into lived in Florida, Long Island, and “all over.” In his early teens he rode at a Long view and pirouetting outside the hall on a bay horse named Squire, who belonged Island barn and at summer camps in upstate New York. He started on horses and to Tom Bishop. Butterfield shouted, “To Arms! The British are coming!” with a never rode ponies. measure of amusement and anxiety in his voice, because the horse was overeaKeithwood was in a Charlottesville neighborhood and had no turnout space. ger in his role. Ellie Wood appreciated having able riders like Butterfield take her horses out of After college and a year of graduate school, Butterfield taught for 22 years, their stalls. He rode some challenging green mounts. Ellie Wood never used any first at Brownsville Elementary School, followed by teaching American History tranquilizers. To quiet the fractious ones, hours of ring work or long hacks to at Henley Middle School in Crozet. He rode and hunted when work allowed. hunt meets had to suffice. She also demanded 50 cent contributions to a “cursing Among the successful horses he bred and raised was a big bay mare named jar,” whenever she heard unacceptable language, even if provoked by bucking or Goody Two Shoes. Goody showed, evented, hunted, competed in pair races, and other equine misbehavior. served as an outrider horse. She won the Virginia Field Hunter Championship in For his first hunt with Farmington, Pat Butterfield had the privilege of rid- 1983, when Rockbridge Hunt hosted the event. Goody performed well two years ing Dixie. Dixie was a plain looking bay mare. Though unenthusiastic and slug- later, when Keswick hosted, but she lost points when she passed the Field Masgish in a ring, she loved to hunt. She initiated scores of novice foxhunters into the ter. A judge told Butterfield, “It’s not supposed to be a race.” joy of the sport. Butterfield remembers galloping and jumping across the farm My best day in the hunting field with Pat Butterfield was a Keswick/Farmthat is now the Foxfield racecourse on his first hunt. Ellie Wood Baxter rode up ington joint meet that took place January 3, 1991. We hunted from Mount Sharon, beside him and advised him to loosen the reins and give Dixie her head, com- a reliable fixture in Keswick’s Rapidan country. As a visiting whipper-in, Butmenting, “That mare knows more about foxhunting than you do.” He profited terfield rode with me. I always try to give any visitor a front row seat. I do not alfrom her advice. ways succeed. Luck was with us that day. Hounds kept turning our way, and the Pat Butterfield met his future wife Kay Walker at Keithwood. She was a combined packs, often led by Keswick Champion and Farmington Piedmont, ran teacher at St. Anne’s girl’s school (now coed and known as St. Anne’s-Belfield), brilliantly over most of the fixture. and brought the students to the stable to ride. Farmington MFH Jill Summers asked Butterfield to be her joint Master in The Butterfields ride and hunt together, and they are also graceful dance 1995 along with Carol Easter. Summers, a dedicated leader who had been maspartners. They have regularly attended the MFHA Ball in New York. One year ter since 1968, chose a pair of gifted diplomats to help with landowner relations. Butterfield and a few other Farmington gentlemen attired in evening scarlet were Pat Butterfield’s relaxed manner and affable personality suit him for the dein an elevator on their way to the ball. Two older ladies got on from a lower floor. manding position of Master of Foxhounds. Farmington’s challenges include inThey looked at the men, and one said to the other that she had heard that the hotel creasing traffic, subdivisions, vineyards, and new landowners unfamiliar with was not what it used to be, but she was impressed with the way they dressed their hunting. Charlottesville’s expansion has pushed Farmington westward. Butterhelp. field comments, “We could use more land, and more juniors.” A Californian named Tom Bishop entered the University of Virginia in 1964 Butterfield was an outrider for the inaugural running of the Foxfield Races and began riding at Keithwood. He became another one of Butterfield’s lifelong in 1978, under a deluge of eight inches of rain. Years later he was outriding when friends. Tom Bishop and his wife Claiborne now own The Barracks, a success- a belligerent spectator refused his request to get off of the racecourse, saying, ful and popular equestrian center. Bishop accompanied Pat and Kay Butterfield “What are you gonna do about it, red coat?” and other Farmington comrades on a 1967 hunting trip to Ireland. Their ten-day “Nothing,” Pat said calmly, while riding away to notify authorities, who aptour included hunts with the Limerick, the Scarteen, and the Galway Blazers. As prehended the culprit. they drove from the airport, they stopped their car and stared at the overgrown Since taking over as Director in 1990, Pat Butterfield appears as calm and gehedgerows and banks. They said to each other that surely they would not be rid- nial during Foxfield’s spring and fall race days as he is in the hunting field. He ing through anything like that. trusts that the scores of workers involved will do their jobs. In 2015, 207 buses The following day’s hunt with Scarteen took them through country exactly came to the spring Foxfield races. Despite the rainy, muddy conditions, none of like that, a seemingly impenetrable jungle, without anything resembling a panel them got stuck because the people overseeing parking directed them to back up or path. Butterfield remembers the first bank of the day was a small fairly clear a hill to park. Butterfield says race day is stressful; however, “I love the job. Steeone, which raised everyone’s confidence. They later followed Huntsman Thady plechase people are a special group, in it for the love of it.” Ryan into a field from which there seemed to be no way out. A short man on foot Pat Butterfield says that Farmington has fewer colorful characters nowadays. appeared. He snapped a few limbs, creating an opening for Thady Ryan to ride “When I came here in the ’60s, the whole crew was a bunch of characters.” through. As Butterfield followed, an Irishman called out, “Lean back, me lad- Among others, he mentions Katinka Hume, an English sporting lady who liked die,” which he learned was especially important coming off a high bank. to gallop, and Evernghim Blake, who liked to gallop faster. “Now younger peoI first met Pat Butterfield in 1966 at Camp Yonahnoka, a summer camp for ple tell me I’m one of the characters.” boys in the mountains near Linville, North Carolina. Ellie Wood Keith ran the rid-


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2016

HORSE RACING

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Horses and People to Watch Virginia Equine Alliance

Pari-Mutuel Harness Racing Comes To The Shenandoah Valley

Before and after: The new track at Shenandoah Downs. Greg Coon photos

Harness racing is alive and well in Virginia and for the first time ever, it is being held in the Shenandoah Valley. The Virginia Downs Foundation is in the midst of hosting the first pari-mutuel season at the Shenandoah Fairgrounds in Woodstock, located halfway between Winchester and Harrisonburg off I-81. The fall meet, which began September 10th, will continue every Saturday and Sunday through October 9th with a daily post time of 1:00 PM. Pacers and trotters compete in up to ten races each day and five different kinds of wagers are available for fans to bet: win, place, show, exacta, and trifecta. The Foundation worked in concert with three organizations to put this ambitious project together: The Virginia Equine Alliance (VEA), the Virginia Harness Horsemen’s Association (VHHA), and the Shenandoah County Fair Association. The three groups came up with a long-term plan to ensure the future of standardbred racing in the state and as a result, a 20-year lease was signed with the Fair Association. The VEA will operate the meet and provide racing office staff. The VHHA will fund the purses, which average $50,000 per race day. And the County Fair Association not only welcomed harness racing to their property, but facilitated an upgrade to their half-mile oval which has seen the track widened, turns banked, camera towers installed, and a permanent concert stage and tractor pull strip relocated. In past years during Fair races, only four or five horses could line up behind the starter’s car due to the limited track width. Now, eight horses can line up behind the starting gate and compete over a first class surface. Non-wagering fair races have been held at the Shenandoah County Fairgrounds for 98 years, and the 99th edition took place this year from August 31st through September 3rd, prior to the start of the new fiveweek season. Pari-mutuel harness racing had previously been held at Colonial Downs in New Kent from 1998 to 2014, and at the Oak Ridge Estate in Nelson County last year over back-to-back weekends in October. Track superintendent J.D. Thomas said 44,000 cubic yards of earth were moved during the track up-

Chuck Perry guides Vertigo Hanover to one of his four wins during the recent Shenandoah County Fair harness races in Woodstock. Andy Huffmyer photo

grade project and the width of the oval has been increased from 48 feet to 65 feet. The biggest renovation obstacle was the weather. “We had equipment on the ground for three weeks before we could even start,” said Thomas, who used to oversee both the dirt and turf surfaces at Colonial Downs. “We missed 22 days of work on the track due to the wet spring, so we cut the project pretty close, but got it completed on schedule.” Mike Wandishin is the Racing Secretary, and he recruited trainers and stables from around the country to race. “I’m looking forward to launching a new venture,” said Wandishin. “I’ve worked in Virginia before and have always enjoyed it. It’s refreshing to see the enthusiasm behind a harness racing project where the focus is going to be on attracting new fans to the sport.” Dr. Scott Woogen, VHHA President, commented on the transition of harness racing from Colonial Downs to Shenandoah Downs. “As a non-profit group, the VEA is in a unique position to move racing forward. All the money generated from live racing, Off Track Betting, and Advance Deposit Wagering will be used to create racing opportunities and to promote the sport,” said Woogen, who is an active participant in the Billings Amateur Driving Series. “Colonial Downs was convenient and beautiful, but it was not meant for live harness racing. The track was too big and spectators were too far away from the horses. At Shenandoah, fans will be able to see the horses up close, plus the track goes back to the county fair roots of racing. There is significant enthusiasm about this meet from everyone involved.” Tom Eshelman, GM of the Shenandoah County Fair Association, has put together a slate of events at the Fairgrounds to complement the fall weekend races and expose those attendees to the harness product. “We’ve got food- and beverage-themed festivals planned almost every weekend, where the focus will be on aspects like seafood, chili, craft beer, wine, and food trucks. We’ll offer race goers an added value to their day, too.” During the recent County Fair four day meet, a total of 30 races were contested over the freshly renovated surface. 11 trotting events were held compared with 19 pacing events. Leading driver during the Fair meet was Chuck Perry (10 wins), and leading trainer was Betsy Brown (10 wins). The top winning horses with four triumphs each were pacer Vertigo Hanover and trotter Molly B’golly. Vertigo had the fastest pacing mile, 1:58 3/5, while Molly had the fastest trotting mile of 2:00 2/5. A total of five sub two-minute miles were recorded. Other top competitors among reinsmen were Alvin Lineweaver, Betsy Brown, and Dr. Scott Woogen, who finished the short meet with six, five, and four wins respectively. Henry Lewis was second leading conditioner with six wins. From an equine standpoint, John’s

Dream had a trio of victories and the following horses had two wins each: Paulimony, Bp Burner, Last Chance Harvey, and B Blissful. •••• Virginia Breeder’s Fund Yearling Futurity Results The $15,000 Virginia Breeder’s Fund Yearling Futurity was held September 3rd at the Warrenton Horse Show Grounds and Althea Richards took honors for both the Grand Champion and Reserve Champion respectively with Kelly Green (colt) and 2015 Darting (filly). Three Chimney’s Chris Baker served as the judge. The top two colts and top two fillies were in consideration for the Champion award. Richards’ Kelly Green, by Jump Start out of Green Jeans by Green Dancer, is a full brother to Just Call Kenny, who also was a champion as a yearling. The now 5-year-old horse has earned $291,735 in his career from 21 starts. Others that advanced to the final round were Richards’ Reserve Champ, a filly by Dance With Ravens out of Darting by During. The second place colt was Clark’s Kryptonite, bred by Richard Sanders and owned by Riverview Farm, LLC. He is by Aikenite out of Ann by Successful Appeal. The runner-up filly was 2015 Fluxx, bred and owned by the Morgan’s Ford Farm. She is by Include out of Fluxx by Bluegrass Cat. Third place finisher from the colt division was Miss Greenley, bred and owned by Jim & Katie Fitzgerald and Rick Leesley. He is by Orb out of Miss Greenley by Mr. Greeley. Third place filly was 2015 Un Blessed, bred and owned by Morgan’s Ford Farm. She is by Sidney’s Candy out of Un Blessed by Mineshaft. •••• Virginia-Bred Stakes Day at Laurel Slated For September 24th The annual Virginia-Bred Stakes Day at Laurel is scheduled for Saturday, September 24th at Maryland’s Laurel Park and this year, a total of eight turf stakes are on the program. The traditional five, at a $60,000 purse level and open to Commonwealth-bred horses, include the Jamestown, Punch Line, Oakley, Bert Allen, and Brookmeade Stakes. The first three are sprints at 5 1/2 furlongs and the latter pair are at the 1 1/16 miles distance. A trio of graded stakes, all of which were held at Colonial Downs at one time, will also be contested. A pair of Grade 2, $200,000 stakes—the Commonwealth Turf Cup and Commonwealth Derby—share co-headlining status, and the Grade 3, $150,000 Commonwealth Oaks will complement the pair. Last year, the afternoon featured deep fields, exciting finishes and large wagering pools. The VEA encourages all fans of Virginia racing to attend this year, not just for a great race day, but to check out many of the renovations and upgrades that have taken place at nearby Laurel Park.

Althea Richards’ Kelly Green was named Grand Champion at the $15,000 Virginia Breeder’s Fund Yearling Futurity, held September 3rd at the Warrenton Horse Show Grounds. (l-r) Judge Chris Baker, Rene Woolcott, Althea Richards, and Brooke Royster. VEA photo


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IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2016

ACROSS THE POND

A Top Puppy Show and a Major Foxhound Show By Jim Meads The South Shropshire Hunt Puppy Show was well attended at the 102-year-old kennels close to the ancient town of Shrewsbury. It provided a tough test for new Kennel-Huntsman Jon Thrift, who had only moved from the Meynell Hunt four weeks earlier—a test he passed with flying colors! Also in the ring was Otis Ferry, MFH & Huntsman, who is well remembered in the USA, having judged the Virginia Hound Show in 2012. This year there were four litters of puppies, with the Champion Dog and Champion Bitch coming from the litter by “Canyon” x “Saffron.” The top doghound was “Saga,” with the bitch, and overall Champion, being “Salvage,” walked by the Wilson Family. The Wales & Border Counties Hound Show took place on the Royal Welsh

Showground at Builth Wells on a rare dry day. There were classes for Welsh, English, and Fell Foxhounds, each in their own ring. The largest number of entries occurred in the Welsh classes, with 28 forward in both Entered classes and with much vocal support. Four different packs won in the Doghounds, with the Champion being Plas Machynlleth “Drifter.” It was much the same in the Bitches, with the Champion, rather surprisingly, being the unentered Irfon & Towy “Tonic,” a first for new huntsman Gerald Evans. In the English Doghound classes, there were wins for the Albrighton and Woodland, the Bicester with Whaddon Chase (shown by former Blue Ridge, Virginia, Huntsman Guy Allman), and North Cotswold, with the latter’s “Granite” being Champion Dog. In the bitches, the same packs won, plus the Duke of Beaufort’s, whose “Raspberry” was Champion Bitch. In the Fell Hound ring, the Champion for the third time was Coniston “Lyric”—quite an achievement!

Wales and Border Counties 28 Entries lined up in the class for Welsh Entered Bitches. Wales and Border Counties Hound Show Supreme Champion Fell Hound Conistan “Lyric” and whipper-in Thomas Burton.

Wales and Border Counties Champion Welsh Bitch and Supreme Champion Welsh Hound Irfon & Towy “Tonic” with Huntsman Gerald Evans.

Wales and Border Counties Champion Welsh Doghound Plas Machynlleth “Drifter” and Huntsman Aled Jones.


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2016

23

FOXHOUNDS

Peterborough Royal Foxhound Show, 2016 By Jim Meads The Peterborough Royal Foxhound Show celebrated its 128th annual show in July, with Martin Scott, exMFH, as President. The weather was the hottest for a number of years, whilst among the huge crowd of visitors were Jerry Miller, MFH, and Lilla Mason, MFH and Huntsman, of the Iroquois Hunt in Lexington, Kentucky. The doghounds were judged by Major Tim Easby and Oliver Dale, MFH, with several packs taking first prizes, including the Al-

Champion Doghound Grove & Rufford “Broker.”

brighton and Woodland; Cottesmore; Dulverton West; Duke of Beaufort’s; and V.W. H, with the Championship going to Grove & Rufford “Broker,” by V.W.H. stallion “Bellman.” After the championship, I was invited into the show ring, where Chairman Sir Philip Naylor-Leyland presented me with a bronze fox to mark my 70th year photographing the show! After lunch, the bitch classes were judged by Charles Frampton, MFH, and

Adam Waugh, with first prizes being won by Dulverton West (having a memorial day); Albrighton & Woodland; V.W.H.; and North Cotswold, with the last-named pack’s “Starburst,” by the well-known stallion “Bodmin,” taking the Championship, to the delight of new Kennel-Huntsman Guy Fitzearle (exSouth Shropshire) and the Joint Masters.

Judging in progress for the Two Couple of Entered Bitches in front of a large crowd.

Show Chairman Sir Philip Naylor-Leyland, MFH, making a presentation to photographer Jim Meads on his 70th time at the show taking photos!

Top Stallion Hound Vale of White Horse “Statesman” and Reserve Champion.

The Best Brood Bitch Vale of White Horse “Puzzle” and Reserve Champion.

Champion Bitch North Cotswold “Starburst.”.

Visitors from the Iroquois Hunt, Kentucky, Jerry Miller, MFH and Lilla Mason, MFH/Huntsman.

Champion Old English Doghound Percy “Allbury” with Lady Victoria Percy, MFH.


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AGA’S SAGAS My Marion has been making lists to keep herself on track this busy season. Lists have been a staple of fashion and gossip magazines for way longer than I’ve been in Horse Country. Celebrities, with photographs and words, describe the necessities of their particular lives. I have decided to think about the necessities of my life and share them. First, though, let me point out a few things I’m pretty sure my Marion would say are her necessities: • Opium perfume (geez, she’s spritzed it on every day since the ’80s). • Her amoeba-like necklace and earrings (also every day since the ’80s). • Her Ariat Rally shoes (competent work shoes, worn nearly every day). • The Barbour plaid wool shawl she wears all winter with the Scottie pin (a gift from Mairead, worn since the ’00s). • Her black turtlenecks (she says since the ’60s but she does buy new ones every year)… anything and everything black she luuuuvs! Oh, Aga, you think I’m boring because I like black. Actually, wearing black keeps my head clear when I choose our tweeds, plus wearing black just saves time. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m really busy. I like classic clothing—pieces you wear forever and uniforms—maybe that’s why I like scarlet coats, apart from the men looking so handsome in them, of course. Anyway, I can’t wait to read your list. Maybe even Bunsen can offer his list, but we both know how that will read and it will be a short one. Well, here goes then. I’ll call it Aga’s List of Luxuries: • My bowl. Junior gave it to me years ago and each morning and evening my Marion fills it with chicken broth and kibble. It has dogs dancing around it and the size is perfect for me. Bunsen can’t get his snout in it. • My well-worn tee shirts. One says I have issues (true enough, allergies) and the other says Miss November. Bunsen likes it on me the best. Nemo gifted it to me when I was young and he photographed me for the centerspread of the Horse Country Catalog. That was before Bunsen joined us. (Yes, I had a life “BB.”) • My Zebra blanket with down filling. A gift from the late Earl Loughborough, who wrote the racing news for In & Around Horse Country for years. I sleep on it every day since I tore the box open under the tree one Christmas. • My job. Horse Country can’t run without me. • My yellow duck quacker toy. • My vet, my groomer, my personal trainer (walker) because they try for me. I like them very much but absolutely hate the reasons I engage with them. (Toenail clipping, shots, blood tests, gland squeezing, “I have a new medicated shampoo to try on you today,” “Stop sniffing, keep walking,” getting on the scale and hearing, “Oh! She’s down two ounces.” • Liver snaps. • Traveling. Especially in Marion’s Jag. I put my paws on the dash and let the wind rush around me. Those Sunday drives through the countryside, exploring roadside rest areas. On long road trips, when Marion would sneak me into hotel rooms, or under the table in fine restaurants, like Morton’s, Richmond (the meat!); Le Bernardin,

IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2016

Aga’s A List

Illustrations by Claudia Coleman

NYC (the fish!); Country Cookin’, Warrenton (chicken fried steak!!). • Competing in the Terrier Races at the Washington International. Now that was probably the highlight of my life. No one could catch me as I broke from the course and galloped around the ring. • My driver and my butler, the same person, for obvious reasons. I’m sure I could make a longer list but it’s difficult to concentrate at this time of the day, as Bunsen is doing his exercises. After the fashion show in midNovember, all his huffing and puffing will stop and things will be quiet again around here. Can’t happen soon enough. He’s been scaring away the squirrels and the yard hunting has been abysmal. You’ve heard about the Oak Ridge Hunt fashion show, right? November 13th at the Paramount Theater in Charlottesville. Bunsen’s outfits are a wee bit tight so he’s trying to get in shape: running around the yard perimeter, dashing left then pivoting right and dashing toward the gate, leaping in the air, perfecting his goose step. Goose step? Better watch it, missy! I’m perfectin’ the measured stride of the coronation processions from m’Royal House years. Excuse me? And just how many years were you at the Royal House?

Okay, fine, 20 steps and then I leap off the runway. The crowd will still go wild, don’t ya think? Uh oh, looks like Marion’s caught us slacking off. Enough, you two, there’s more unpacking. The tweeds have arrived. OMG, they are gorgeous this year! Marion says just because it’s still on the hot side, that doesn’t mean you have to be uncomfortable in your hunting tweeds. We’ve found some wonderful new lighter weight fabrics and cooler hunting shirts to go under them. You’ll look fabulous and still be cool and composed even on a steamy cub hunting morning. Come in and take a look! I need…yawn!...to close m’eyes for a few minutes. Didn’t we unpack yesterday and the day before? Between all m’training and all this unpacking, I’m worn out. Ye might say…are ye ready?...I’m “dog-tired.” Arf, arf, arf! Very funny, Bunsen. Yes, our life of late has been pretty much all about unpacking. Cashmere shoulder throws, fur vests, fresh riding tights, shirts that breathe, stock ties, tailgate necessities, scarves, shawls. All the bright things for fall in Horse Country to keep one cool, comfortable, and looking smart. Did ye say shirts that breathe, lassie? Yes, amazing, isn’t it? Ach, amazin’ indeed! If a bit scary. Breathin’ shirts, ye say?

Almost…pant, pant…ready, too! Just a few more leaps, lassie. This particular routine is a footballer exercise from m’old country. I’ll be ready to strut m’stuff on the runway.

That’s just a way to say the shirts help keep the wearer cool by wicking moisture and letting air pass through. Not breathing like with lungs and such.

Marion started our practice for the fashion show back in July. Here’s how it’s done, she said: Head up, walk just in front of the model, keep the leash taut. About 40 steps down the runway, do a stylish pirouette, 40 steps back, right turn, 12 steps to end of runway and hand off.

Ah, well, that makes more sense. ’Tis a shame, though, that humans cannae regulate their body temperature by panting. All that sweatin’! Why, if people would learn to pant properly, the entire Oak Ridge Hunt fashion show could take place without anyone wearing any clothing at all! Wouldn’t that be more comfortable and enjoyable?

I want to walk in front of Hally. Her pockets are always full of liver snaps.

Well, Bunsen, let’s think about that. What would a fashion show be without…y’know… fashions!

I told Marion I would walk by myself, not led on a leash by a model, Hally or otherwise. I promise I will look seriously stone faced, and won’t smile. The look and the routine, it all comes naturally to me. 40 steps down the runway and then a flying leap off the end and straight to the best smelling person in the room. I will be the crowd pleaser, get the biggest applause. I will so break the Internet, it will go viral!

Ach, ye’ve got a point there, lass.

Ye’ve got it wrong already, m’darlin’. Just 20 measured steps for us, not 40. Remember we have four legs, and the poor humans have only two.

And does anyone doubt the one, single item that would be on Bunsen’s list?

But more important than that, no clothes means no pockets, and no pockets means no place to carry any liver snaps! Faith and bejabbers, lassie! Whatever was I thinkin’? Let there be more clothes, all with many more pockets, for everyone!


Hounds at Polo Myopia Huntsman Phillip Headdon parading the hounds at the Donald Little Memorial Match on Sunday, July 15th at the Myopia Polo Grounds, Hamilton, MA. Eric Schneider photo

Professional Whippers-in Sheri Buston and Tommy Sheehy stand ready to aid their Huntsman when needed.

(l-r) Ransom and Radar are intent on winning their Huntsman’s approval.

Blue Ridge Huntsman Graham Buston shows off the puppies to admiring spectators.

Blue Ridge Hunt Puppy Show

CLASSIFIEDS

The Kennels • August 27, 2016 Joanne Maisano Photos

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(l-r) Judge Reg Spreadborough, Huntsman, Orange County Hounds; Judge Larry Pitts, retired Huntsman, Potomac Hunt; and Graham Buston, Huntsman, Blue Ridge Hunt, admire three worthy competitors (l-r) Layman, Radar, and Ransom.

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In & Around Horse Country Fall 2016  

The Official Publication of the Virginia Steeplechase Association

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