In & Around Horse Country Fall 2017

Page 1



Joanne Maisano photos

Loudoun Fairfax Hunt, Rolling Meadows, September 8, 2017. (l-r) Donna Poe, Jane Quilter, Annabel Bybee, Hannah Rogers Tucker.

Snickersville Hounds hot on the line, Creekside Farm, September 10, 2017.

Orange County Hounds, Smitten Farm, September 9, 2017. (l-r) Neil Morris, MFH; Milton Sender.

Joe Stettinius on ex-steeplechaser Gunpoint, Snickersville Hounds, September 10, 2017.

The Orange County Hounds field at Smitten Farm, September 9, 2017.

Loudoun Fairfax “Wallop.”

Penny Denegre, MFH (far right), with the field, Middleburg Hunt, Wind Fields, September 7, 2017.

Loudoun Fairfax Hunt, Rolling Meadows, September 8, 2017. (l-r) Karyn Wilson, Mackenzie Taylor (Goshen Hunt).


The Passing of a Great Horseman



By Lauren R. Giannini The horse world lost one of its best on July 24 when James Arthur Reynolds II passed away after a long illness. He had just turned 78 on July 4. Officially, he went by J. Arthur Reynolds II, but everyone knew him as Bucky. He loved horses and devoted his life to them. He established himself as a leading rider, topnotch trainer, and hunter judge. His career as a professional horseman was stamped and molded, starting in his early junior years, by his father, J. Arthur Reynolds Sr., and by Gordon Wright and A.E. “Gene” Cunningham. Several years ago, Reynolds started teaching clinics, joining an elite group that includes George Morris, Frank Madden, and Julie Winkel. “I’ve been a student of riding all my life,” said Bucky in the In & Around Horse Country story “Good Riding Shows” (Holiday 2015). “I love it. I judge it. I’m always looking at it.” In addition to his impressive Bucky and his sister Betty grew up foxhunting and success in the show ring, Bucky showing horses, learning from their father who ran a train- Reynolds loved foxhunting. Here he’s shown enjoying a day of sport ing and boarding facility in Tryon, NC. with Warrenton Hunt. During his years at Wofford College, earning a B.A. Douglas Lees photo in English, Reynolds taught lessons to support his car, commuting home on weekends to work with his father. After graduation, Bucky went into business with J. Arthur and piloted Steve’s Poppet to win the 1969 Cartier Grand Prix of New York, held at Madison Square Garden. Two years later, Bucky set out on his own, moving to Warrenton, Virginia; the rest of his family soon followed. Bucky loved his work and judged every major show in North America. During his career riding hunters and jumpers, he won many classes and championships. He loved to watch horses, one reason why he was such a great “R” judge, licensed by US Equestrian, for Hunter, Hunter Breeding, and Hunter/Jumping Seat Equitation. He trained many great horses, including National Show Hunter Hall of Fame inductee Gozzi, Estrella, Rosalynn, Harmony, Mr. It, and Henry The Hawk. Only two years ago, Bucky stated: “I don’t care if you’re the best horseman in the world—you’re lucky if you get one great horse. I’ve had five, and at every show I’m still looking for another one!” (Op. cit: IAHC “Good Riding Shows”) In 1980, Bucky met and hired Linda Davis, a rider from Philadelphia, to help him out at his Merryweather Farm, Warrenton. They married in 1983 and had two children, Lydia and Jay, who did not follow them into horses. Bucky and Linda loved foxhunting and, whenever possible, enjoyed riding to hounds with Old Dominion and Warrenton. Horses were a family affair. Bucky’s wife Linda found Estrella, campaigned in the Amateur-Owner Hunters by his sister Betty, co-owner with her husband, Ernest M. Oare. Bucky trained Estrella and figured out how to get the most out of the quirky but talented mare; she won many tri-colors, including the 2003 Devon Grand Championship. Earlier this year, Bucky was inducted into the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame, which had already honored his late father and sister. Bucky leaves behind his wife Linda, son Jay and daughter Lydia, brother Bobby Reynolds, sister Betty, brother-in-law Ernie Oare, nephews Morey and Reynolds Oare. He will be greatly missed by his family, friends, and the many horse enthusiasts who appreciated this outstanding horseman and genuine southern gentleman. On September 1 at the Warrenton Horse Show, a huge crowd of about 400 attended the celebration of Bucky’s life. Speakers included Bucky’s wife Linda, his best friend Kost Karazissis, Sue Bopp, Betty Oare, Tommy Lee Jones, and Jay Reynolds. The hospitality tent was standing room only, food and beverages plentiful—the only thing missing was Bucky himself. Jay’s wonderfully warm and often hilarious tribute to his father brought down the house. Here’s a sampling: “My Dad loved to tell stories, but he never talked about himself much. I was completely unaware of the extent of his riding accolades until Lydia sent me an article that came out a few years ago… I was amazed to learn about all his accomplishments. …I believe that the bulk of my Dad’s success came as a result of his meticulous preparation, discipline and, most importantly, his commitment to treating people the right way. Those are all things I have learned from him and strive to implement in my own life and career… “It didn’t matter if it was raining, snowing, 120 degrees outside or what was going on. If there was a golf course around and Dad didn’t have anything to do, he wanted to play. And he would play until they ran him off the course. “Alright, bird, we’ve got time for a couple more holes.” “But Dad, it’s so dark I can’t even see my shoelaces!” “That’s alright, just take a cut, I’ve got my eye on it.” “I could go on all night with my own stories about how much he meant to me but Dad really hated long-winded speeches so I’m just going to raise my glass and ask that everyone say cheers to a life well lived…” As Jay pointed out: “My Dad would have loved this…”




Hunt Staff Changes: An Update

We’ve reported on a number of hunt staff changes in our two previous issues. Here’s the latest update now that hunting season is underway. We noted previously that Dennis Downing, accompanied by his whipper-in wife Sue, would be leaving Virginia’s Bedford County Hunt. We can now confirm that Dennis has taken on the huntsman’s role at London Hunt, Canada. He fills the spot made available by Paul Wilson’s move to Keswick Hunt (VA) as Tony Gammell has moved on to new pursuits. The folks at Bedford County Hunt didn’t have to look far for a replacement for Dennis. Larry Pitts retired just two years ago after an impressive career carrying the horn at Maryland’s Potomac Hunt. He chose Bedford County as a nice place to spend his retirement years. He’ll still be there, but instead of retirement he’ll be serving again as huntsman. Sam Clifton has moved on from Green Spring Valley Hounds (MD) to take the huntsman’s job at Saxonburg Hunt (PA). GSVH will now enjoy the services of Ashley Hubbard who moves up from his position as kennel huntsman at Fox River Valley Hunt in Illinois. Ros Balding has been appointed huntsman at Toronto & North York (CN) to fill the spot made available by John Harrison’s move to Virginia’s Deep Run Hunt, following Richard Robert’s move to replace retiring Hugh Robards at Middleburg Hunt (VA). Also joining the ranks of the retired is Marlborough Hunt’s Jim Faber. The Maryland pack will now be hunted by Jason Cole, who whipped-in to Faber for the past 15 seasons. We’re pleased to report a change of title at Warrenton Hunt (VA). Long-serving whipper-in Katharine (KT) Atkins has been appointed joint-master. KT’s late husband, Jim, served as huntsman at Old Dominion Hounds, Piedmont Fox Hounds, and Warrenton Hunt, with KT at his side. Jim was inducted into the Huntsmen’s Room at the Museum of Hounds & Hunting North America, Inc., this past May. We congratulate KT on her new role and wish her much continued success. ••••

Joyful Juniors at a qualifying meet hosted by Potomac Hunt, Maryland. Drew Schwentker photo

Junior Field Hunter Championship Gets Underway

Qualifying meets for this year’s Junior Field Hunter Championship are starting up in September. Belle Meade Master and Huntsman Epp Wilson and his crew of eager volunteers are already hard at work preparing for the finals, to be hosted in Thomson, Georgia, over the November 11-12 weekend. Most of the qualifying meets are scheduled from September through early November, but dates may vary depending on the hunting season in a given area. We suggest you check with your local hunt. As of press time, the schedule lists 28 hunts in 12 states—along the East Coast from Pennsylvania to Florida and as far west as Kansas—that are on board to host qualifiers. This program is designed to achieve several important goals. Number one is for juniors to come together, get to know each other, form friendships that may last a lifetime, and enjoy foxhunting. Seeing juniors embrace the sport is a vivid way to remind hunt members how important juniors are to preserving both foxhunting and the countryside. The JNAFHC has proven to be a valuable tool in encouraging more cooperation among hunt clubs, thus strengthening the bonds of foxhunting throughout the country. Juniors travel around to the different participating hunts, enjoy hunting in new territory, and learn about the different hound packs. We encourage everyone who cares about the future of foxhunting to help support the JNAFHC. For more information, go to or contact Marion Chungo at 540-220-7292 or ••••

Blue Ridge Hunt Puppy Show

Huntsman Ashley Hubbard with Whipper-in Ned Halle, Green Spring Valley Hounds, Hound Exercise, July 22, 2017. Karen Kandra Wenzel photo COVER PHOTOGRAPHER: Joanne Maisano PHOTOGRAPHERS: Liz Callar Richard Clay Claudia Coleman Andy Huffmyer Douglas Lees Joanne Maisano Jim McCue Jim Meads 011-44-1686-420436 Middleburg Photo (Doug Gehlsen & Karen Munroe)

Eric Schneider Drew Schwentker Richard Roberts, Middleburg Hunt’s new Michael Stevens Huntsman, begins the season at Wind Fields Cathy Summers Farm, home of joint-master Tim Harmon, Karen Kandra Wenzel September 7, 2017.

Graham Buston, Huntsman, at the Blue Ridge Hunt Puppy Show, August 26, 2017. Liz Callar photo

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 Oct. 22. Payment in full due with copy. Publisher: Marion Maggiolo Managing Editor: J. Harris Anderson Advertising: Kim Gray (540) 347-3141, (800) 882-4868, Email: Contributors: Aga; J. Harris Anderson; Lauren R. Giannini; Jim Meads; Sgt. Bennett Opitz; Barclay Rives; Virginia Equine Alliance; Jenny Young LAYOUT & DESIGN: Kate Houchin Copyright © 2017 In & Around Horse Country®. All Rights Reserved. Volume XXVIX, No.4 POSTMASTER: CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED




I Ride Alone



By Barclay Rives

In Rustler’s Rhapsody, a 1985 satirical western, Jim horses, rode a brilliant Thoroughbred/Connemarra Carter, who decades later became Carson the butler on mare named Rosie, and was keen and perceptive. One Downton Abbey, plays the villainous Blackie. Tom day, when hounds had put a fox to ground in a spot Berenger (Platoon, The Big Chill) is protagonist Rex inaccessible to horses, she held my horse as I went on O’Herlihan, The Singing Cowboy. In an early scene, foot with huntsman Tony Gammell to the earth. I told the town drunk, angling for a promotion, tells Rex that Tony that Kim was sharp and could help us. I corhe has bought himself a sidekick’s outfit. Rex says he rectly predicted she would figure out how to get me has sworn off sidekicks because they keep getting my horse before he got his, after we walked out of the killed. More importantly, Rex points out that his theme covert in a different place from where we had entered. song is “I Ride Alone.” A singing cowboy cannot I invited Kim to ride with me the rest of that day change his theme song. and subsequently. She asked smart questions and Like Rex, I prefer to ride alone, with a few excepknew when to keep quiet. Conversation is a distractions. Serving as an honorary whipper-in for forty seation from watching and listening. Kim’s aptitude was sons has allowed me to ride alone. I enjoy taking part apparent to others. She also hunted with Farmington in good teamwork with huntsman and fellow whipHunt, on the west side of Charlottesville, where she pers-in. I have happily ridden in the midst of congenlived and managed a farm. Kim received simultaneial hunting fields. However, solitary moments in nature ous invitations from Farmington and Keswick to serve provide most of my hunting pleasure. as honorary whipper-in. She called me and thanked I like exploring and learning new territory. Riding me for my encouragement, but explained that because through familiar country kindles hunting memories. I she lived so close to the Farmington kennels, among recently read an article in which a college professor other reasons, she would have to accept Farmington’s explains that most people mistakenly perceive memory offer and decline Keswick’s. as a filing cabinet for storing and accessing tidy recolI was able to enlist her as an outrider for the Montlections. The professor says remembering is like repelier Steeplechase Races. Kim had great skill and heating leftovers. As flavors and textures change in judgment for that role. She was experienced at ponydays old soup or casserole, memories of events change ing fractious Thoroughbreds. She also served as an with time and retelling. A favorite friend proclaims it outrider at the Foxfield Races. is a shame to let any story die for want of nourishment. Kim Morton, Farmington Hunt Club, Thanksgiving Day, 2015. Kim rode with me as a visiting whipper-in at the Cathy Summers photo I gladly abandon my solitary ways during junior 2014 Keswick/Farmington/Deep Run Tri Meet, held hunts, when one or more kids accompany me. Sally Lamb, foxhunting godmother at Mt. Sharon in Keswick’s Rapidan country north of Orange. The air was damp; to scores of Keswick juniors, usually designates my junior day companions. the ground was wet. Kim hoped wearing her Barbour raincoat was acceptable. We Many of her kids have been better-mounted and more capable riders than I am. heard no complaints, especially because we viewed a great running fox. The fox I want to provide them sufficient action. A few years ago, my horse refused a was sneaking out of the first covert in the opposite direction from the way the trappy coop in front of a young lady on one of Sally’s horses. I cleared it on the huntsman was drawing. second try. The young lady, Jordan Sipe, on the steady reliable Vogue, followed Hounds settled on the line and ran for miles. Kim and I went part of the way me and exclaimed that it was the first coop she had ever jumped. Pulling her through woods without trails. We had to step over occasional strands of old wire. horse up when my horse stopped was also a challenge. Jordan has become a As hounds’ cry was growing fainter ahead of us, she said, “I should have brought highly skilled rider in the hunting field and show ring; however, I should have my radio.” I replied, “If you had, I would ask you to turn it off.” I do not like carchosen a less challenging first hunt jump for her. I now quiz my junior compan- rying a radio. I am able to go without one because of the capable fellow staff ions at the meet about their riding experience, including: “Do you jump?” My members who do carry them. Radios save hounds and horses. most important obligation is to get the kids safely back to the trailers. I knew the territory, though I had not ridden through there in years. We reached Keswick ex-MFH and fellow author Jake Carle told me a story about the late open fields and followed friendly hoof prints. We caught up with the pack before Melvin Poe, who hunted the Old Dominion, Orange County, and Bath County they marked their fox to ground in a covert above Hawfield Grange, at the base hounds. Melvin confirmed the story to me years later over dinner in Bath County. of Clarke Mountain. We had entered Bull Run Hunt country, and we were on Jake and Melvin attended a hunting symposium in which experts discussed how property owned by Richard Harris, a bold veteran of Bull Run, Keswick, to train a whipper-in. After hours of long-winded explanations from everyone Casanova, and Rappahannock hunting fields. Years before, Richard had noticed else in the room, someone asked Melvin his opinion. He expressed more wis- a light colored fox dragging a leg trap across his field. He freed the fox, whom dom than all previous speakers, and in fewer words: Get a boy raised in the coun- he christened Blondie. Blondie delivered good runs from that covert for years. try. If he’s got it, he’s got it. If he ain’t got it, no use [fooling] with him. Keswick hounds may have been marking Blondie’s great grandson. I thank Jake for that story as well as for his tolerance of my whipper-in errors We clattered down miles of pavement back into Keswick territory. Hounds when he was Keswick huntsman. I am a slow learner. I attended an MFHA panel found other foxes, who ran more circular routes. Kim and I had good vantage discussion on “Duties of a Whipper-in” in New York in January 1978. Panelists points, and it was a satisfying day. included Nancy Hannum of Cheshire and Ben Hardaway of Midland. They stated Kim Morton died unexpectedly in February 2016. that a whipper-in should always keep hounds between himself and the huntsman. This past February, a fox stirred up my memories of Kim by leading hounds Author Mason Houghland in Gone Away says that if the position were named on a similar fast run over the same terrain. Early in the run, Tony Gammell urged “assistant huntsman,” members of the field would hear less irritating, needless Field Master Marilyn Ware to stick to his coattails, because hounds were flying. whip cracking. Assistant huntsman is a better job description. A good whipper- After galloping to the top of the mist enshrouded mountain pasture, we could in does whatever is needed by huntsman and masters to make a successful day, barely hear hounds going away below us. The fox began circling and eventually including: viewing foxes, preventing a split pack, stopping hounds on riot, bring- went to ground after the initial straight run. We tried hunting back toward the ing on tail hounds, protecting hounds from traffic, repairing damage, all as qui- meet, but foxes kept taking us north. The day was one of the season’s best. etly as possible, except for holloas. I understand the sentiment that huntsman and My companion that day was Farmington Honorary Whipper-in John Elliott. I staff should entertain the field, but their “show” should be less conspicuous than have known John for 20 years. He now works at Kim Morton’s old farm manager job. He has been Huntsman of the Southern Shires Bloodhounds, and of the Bull the hounds. Whether or not I ever, in Melvin Poe’s terms, “got it,” I am proud that I rec- Run and Norfolk Hunts. He has the most pleasant disposition of any huntsman I ognized one woman who got it. Six years ago, Kim Morton was a new Keswick have ever known. His hunting experience and knowledge added weight to his Hunt Club member. Originally from Canada, with the wiry build of a natural compliments for the pack at the end of the day, when we were muddy, tired and equestrian, Kim grew up with ponies and horses. She had worked with race- happy. I like to ride alone, but I am delighted to make certain exceptions.

Warrenton Horse Show




Hunt Classes, September 3, 2017

Sophia Vella, daughter of Warrenton Hunt joint-master Celeste Vella, prepares to enter the ring in the 18-30 Class, in which she placed second. Joanne Maisano photo

Hunt Night. Warrenton Huntsman Matt van der Woude, riding Blue Ash, Champion, Hunt Staff Class. Warrenton Hunt also placed first in the Hunt Team Class. Michael Stevens photo

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2017 Fall Racing Preview


By Will O’Keefe

This year the purses offered at the four Virginia Fall Hunt Meets will total at least $740,000. This will be a new record for purse distribution, and exceeds last year’s record total by $25,000. On Sunday, September 24, the Foxfield Fall Races will be held at the Foxfield Race Course near Charlottesville. This year’s 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. One of the maiden hurdle races is for horses running for a claiming price and the other is for fillies and mares. Three weeks later on October 14 the Virginia Fall Races will be run over the popular Glenwood Park Race Course near Middleburg. This year’s card of races will feature two stakes races. The $40,000 National Sporting Library and Museum Timber Stakes will share top billing with the $50,000 Randolph D. Rouse Memorial Hurdle Stakes. The Race Committee of the Virginia Fall Races is pleased to have this opportunity to honor one of the true legends in the sport and join his many friends in the racing and foxhunting communities in supporting this race in his memory. 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 (October 21) and the International Gold Cup. On Saturday, October 28, the International Gold Cup Races will be run over the Great Meadow race course near The Plains. This race meet is run under Virginia Racing Commission rules, which allows access to a large fund for purses. The purse for International Gold Cup timber stakes will be $75,000 and the David L. “Zeke” Ferguson Memorial hurdle stakes will also be $75,000. These two races have the biggest purses on the fall Virginia steeplechase circuit. There will be six other races on the card which will include the highly popular steeplethon that will be run as a stakes race offering a $40,000 purse. Two more races over hurdles and three on the flat round out the card with every purse $30,000 or more. There is no race course 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 4. 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 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.

Join Us For The

ORANGE COUNTY HOUNDS TEAMS CHASE • 2 Divisions Over Fences • Hilltopper Pairs • First Flight Team Old Whitewood Farm, The Plains

October 29 Start Time: Noon For information:


Myopia Horse Show, September 1-3, 2017


Myopia Schooling Field, Hamilton, MA. Eric Schneider Photos



Phillip Headdon, Huntsman, demonstrating the hounds.

Saturday, October 14, 2017 Gates Open 8:30 a.m. Post Time 1:00 p.m.

Molly Kenney and Storyville, winners of the Adult Sporting Hunter Handy.

Rose Tree - Blue Mountain Hunt

Blue Marsh, Berks County, PA, August 25, 2017 Eric Schneider Photos

The Theodora A. Randolph


October 14, 2017 9:00 a.m.

Jacob Cotton, Whipper-in.


Reserved Parking & Boxes Available General Admission $50/car

(540) 687-9797

For the Benefit of Inova Loudoun Hospital Foundation and Glenwood Park Trust

WWW.VAFALLRACES.COM VIRGINIAFALLRACES@GMAIL.COM Sean Cully, Huntsman (l), and Jacob Cotton, Whipper-in.




Brown, Rita Mae. Crazy Like a Fox. This time the action starts in the Museum of Hounds and Hunting at Morven Park in Leesburg, Virginia with the theft of a hunting horn used by a long-gone huntsman, presumed dead, from Sister Jane’s hunt, the Jefferson. Sister and none other than our own Marion open the show, with Marion forgetting her cell phone on a glass counter in the Museum when she and others go in to Leesburg for dinner after a meeting. When Marion returns to retrieve it after dinner, the horn is gone and on her cell phone is a selfie of the longgone huntsman blowing it and looking just as young and sexy as he was when he disappeared in 1954! Marion forwards the selfie to Sister, who begins digging around in her records. Rita Mae will be coming up for one of her ever-popular book signings, but this time not here at Horse Country—it will be held at the Museum of Hounds and Hunting, Morven Park, Leesburg, VA, on November 12. It’ll be a great chance to see the Museum, if you haven’t already, as well as meet Rita Mae. See page 9 for more details. Hardcover, 304pp. $27.00

New books on a variety of topics.

Ager, Stanley, with Fiona St. Aubyn. The Butler’s Guide to Running the Home and Other Graces. Since few of us today have the luxury of having a butler on tap, the fine old ways of managing household duties are fast disappearing, gone the way of the horse and cart and housemaids. Before he passed away, a respected English butler of the last century joined forces with the granddaughter of his last employer to write this useful guide to help others acquire the skills necessary to make a good impression on acquaintances and maintain the household elegantly. From these pages you can learn how to properly clean and care for silverware, clothing, books, leather, furniture, floors, and much more. Ager includes explicit directions for packing clothing so as to avoid wrinkles as well as storage advice to keep everything in good condition. The second half of the book deals with “managing the table”—from selecting wine and spirits through setting (“laying”) the table, folding napkins, serving, washing up and storing tableware. It’s fascinating as well as useful reading, because by way of introduction, Ager recounts his experiences as a butler for various masters. Hardcover, 205pp. plus index. $22.99 Beran, Anja. The Dressage Seat. The author of Classical Schooling with the Horse in Mind has come out with a new book on dressage intended to help you achieve “a beautiful, effective position in every gait and movement.” Judging from the happy, relaxed mounts and their riders in the photographs, she definitely has something to offer! The second half of the book, written in conjunction with physiotherapist, dance & gymnastics instructor Veronika Brod, focuses on dismounted exercises for the rider. Hardcover, 168pp. $39.95 Dangar, Adrian. True to the Line/A Hunting Life. Memoirs of a British foxhunter, master and huntsman of three different hunts, one of which was the well-known Quorn. Dangar has many experiences to recount, both good and bad (increasing problems



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

with saboteurs, for instance). He also has a chapter on hunting abroad, including Kenya, Trinidad, Australia and western United States. A few pages of mostly color photos serves to illustrate hounds, country and author. Hardcover, 192pp. $31.50

Rhubarb with Swiss Chard? Caramalized Lemon Chicken? Mmmmm! Luscious photos! Hardcover, 399pp. $35.00 Katz, Rebecca, with Mat Edelson. Clean Soups. No, that’s not a misprint for “clear soups.” The subtitle, “Simple, Nourishing Recipes for Health and Vitality,” somewhat explains the title. Katz is trying to give us really good-for-you soups that are also colorful and tasty. I like that her first chapter is a “soup tool kit” giving some basic information on soup cooking and relatively common spices that one might keep handy, followed by a basic broth chapter, before getting into the nitty-gritty of combination soups. This cookbook might have to come home with me to try! Hardcover, 151pp. $22.00

food prepared meals section of the supermarket. But I love to look at cookbooks of today with pages of enticing color photographs of delicious-sounding food, and we have a good selection. Here are three —well, maybe four—that just came in! Carnarvon, Countess of. At Home in Highclere/Entertaining at the Real Downton Abbey. Afficionados of the Downton Abbey series will enjoy this combination of history and entertainmentgrade recipes from the Countess, whose estate “Highclere” was used for the series. Filled with anecdotes from the past and photos of the interior as well as the gustatory selections included, the book makes for good reading and coffee-table presence both. Fortunately the recipes are scaled down to a typical family size rather than the large parties of the aristocracy. Hardcover, 288pp. $37.50

Cubbing season is under way and that means also that it’s time to think about Christmas and the new year—2018—and we already have new calendars in stock. As usual, the Foxes wall calendar is lovely, and if I’m not mistaken features all or nearly all vulpes vulpes, otherwise known as the red fox. (There may be a few reddish greys in there.) Check out our calendars on our website,, to see back and front of the wall calendars. All Willow Creek calendars are $14.99, wall, box or engagement. Order early, because we have very limited supplies of all calendars except for Foxes and Foxhunting Life. Willow Creek calendars: Box calendars: What Horses Teach Us, Basset Hounds, Corgis. Engagement calendar: What Horses Teach Us Wall calendars: Dressage, Foxes, Happiness Is a Horse. Hunter & Jumper, Just Basset Hounds, Just Basset Puppies, Just Corgis, Just Jack Russells, and Just Pembroke Corgis. Foxhunting Life is $19.00.

Loriston-Clarke, Jennie. Lungeing & Long-Reining. Published in association with the British Horse Society, this is a good primer for teaching lungeing and long-reining, with a thorough preliminary discussion of equipment and how to use it. Clear color photos illustrate various steps, including coping with a few misbehaviors. The author also includes a section on leading young foals and “backing” (mounting) green horses for the first time, on the assumption that the lungeing and/or long-reining training is often a preliminary to riding a young Ottolenghi, Yotam. Plenty More. This is for you horse. As always with BHS, safety is paramount. vegetarians out there—an entire book on “vibrant vegetable cooking” with an exotic flair. Unlike many Softcover, 112pp. $39.95 cookbooks, this one breaks the chapters into styles Querbach, Ann Katrin. 50 Arena Exercises and Pat- of cooking: tossed, steamed, blanched, simmered, terns. Bored with ringwork? Getting sloppy with braised, grilled, roasted, fried, mashed, cracked, your endless circles? Check out this new book on baked, and sweetened. Once again the photos are arena exercises! I really like this format. The author tantalizing; wish I had a cook to make these up for opens with a brief explanation of purpose of the ex- me! Hardcover, 339pp. $35.00 ercise, equipment you will need if any, setting up said equipment, then answers the following ques- This just in—not for the underage cooks! tions: How does this exercise work? What is the Wolf, Laurie & Mary. Marijuana Edibles. Since horse learning? What is the rider learning? Finally, some areas are easing restrictions on the consumpas you’re not likely to get it quite right at first, she tion/use of marijuana, we’re offering this with a closes with advice “what to do if…” Each exercise strong caveat: use sensibly and make sure if you’re includes a diagram and a photograph and often ad- actually including the weed (of course you can make ditional tips and aid instructions. These are designed these 40 delicious desserts without their potent into be used by either English or Western riders, and gredient), it’s clearly labeled for any unsuspecting photos represent both. Hardcover with spiral binding friends who might not want the drug. The authors so it will lie open during practice. 160pp. $22.95 give lots of information on selection, preparation As a single person, I don’t normally do any fancy and use of marijuana in cooking. Hardcover, 128pp. cooking; mostly my dinners come from the frozen $14.95

Clark, Melissa. Dinner/Changing the Game. Mouth-watering recipes with many different cultural influences, with sections featuring chicken, other meat, ground meat, fish and seafood, eggs, pasta and noodles, tofu, veggies, rice and other grains, pizzas/pies, soups, salads, and dips/spreads & go-withs. Who would have thought of Seared Sausage and

The Queen of Tweed IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2017


Verra funny…not! Hey, look what Marion’s found in the first box.

Aye, lassie. From all I’ve heard about him, he was a truly special dog. People say I’m verra like him.

Oh, the gloves have arrived! Aren’t they just beautiful, Aga?

What are these here, these wee things between the fingers? I’ve nae ever seen such a glove as this.

Bunsen, I love you. But you are not like Pandore, other than the basics. You are your own unique self and I’m grateful for that. Although you should take it as a compliment that you’re mistaken for him by customers.

Those “wee things” are called jibs. They’re tiny diamondshaped insets between the fingers that allow the glove to move properly. Marion had them done in cool colors for some pizzazz.

Well, there ya have it! The customers think I’m like him. And the customer is always right!

There you two are! Aga, Samantha will be over later to discuss your bronze. I see you positioned in a more contemporary pose. I decided on a yoga pose. In yoga they call it Downward Dog.

What? You mean like where I pretend to bow? I only do that when I’m begging you to throw the ball! I don’t want to be memorialized like that! I want to be powerful! Majestic! Fierce! A Mighty Dog! Oh, no, Marion, don’t try to get into that pose… Look, I’ll show you. Let me just get down…here… and then you do…this. Now you do it. That does nae look verra comfortable, does it, lassie?

Artwork by Claudia Coleman

There are some of us—I think there are at least three or four— who don’t watch Game of Thrones. Again, I remind you there were no such things as dragons. Unless we’re talking about you draggin’ your butt getting into these boxes. Arf, arf, arf!

My Marion and I walk to the meadow several times a day. Each time, I pass the bronze of Pandore—He Who Came Before, the original columnist, my hero, my mentor. He gazes out on the fields keeping faithful watch over the deer, foxes, rabbits, owls, and eagles who call our meadow home. Every time I pass his statue, I say, “Thank you.” I miss him still.

They just mean you kind of look like…oh, never mind. I’ve got other visual images to think about. Marion mentioned she wants to have me immortalized in bronze too. She’s having Samantha do the model. I’m sure I will be posed in awe-inspiring action, leaping after a low flying bat or in full cry after that pesky squirrel. Here’s Marion now. I’ll adopt my most eye-catching pose to give her the idea.


Someone was verra clever to have thought of that! And they have tweed backs, too! Now we have tweed gloves, caps, mufflers, shawls, and throws. Our Marion is the Queen of Tweed.

You’re so right, Aga. Isn’t the tweed fabulous? I was so inspired by the tweed at the glove factory that I went to the mills and ordered as much tweed and tartan as I could get. Don’t you think they’ll look divine with the new Barbour hats, jackets, and vests? Oh, Aga, remind me to send my Barbour out for rewaxing before the season really starts. I’m glad that’s a service we offer at Horse Country. Of course, we offer the wax, too, if a person is into DIY. Or DYI, “do yourself in.” Hah! Which would you choose, lassie?

It’s really not that hard for a human to do the waxing, Bunsen. We know how handy horsepeople are. But letting Barbour take care of it is a pretty nifty option too. And speaking of being “handy,” all these gloves are gorgeous, even if I don’t actually have hands to put them on. Though I’d love a new tartan throw for my TV chair. Maybe I should ask our Marion if I can put it on my Christmas list? Is it too soon?

Nor verra dignified.

Don’t get her started on Christmas, lassie. We’ve got to get through the Fall Races, and Halloween before we talk about it. However, it might not be too early to start dreaming about turkey and stuffing.

Why does she insist on getting on the ground like that? Nip at her ankles, lassie. That’ll move her along!

I know that, and I’m always verra thankful for any bit of turkey that jumps off the table and into m’mouth.


What do you think, Aga? Wouldn’t that look nice? Now help me get up.

Don’t growl at me like that, Aga. We owe it to the dogs in the future to capture you in the right way, as a shop dog of the early 21st century. When they look at statues from yesteryear, they’ll be inspired and reminded of their history. I feel sad I’ve forgotten most of the history I learned at school. Yes, she’s seen Game of Thrones so many times, she thinks it’s the history of England.

You mean it isn’t true history? Next you’ll be telling me that Outlander is nae the history of the Highlands. Pipes skirling, kilts flying. Ach, that was a glorious time! M’ancestors fighting dragons! Why are you giving me side eye, Aga?

Bunsen, there were never any dragons, but I’m sure your ancestors were very brave. Now let’s help Marion open the boxes from England. I wonder what’s in them? It’s always so exciting! It’s like that little lisping kid from The Music Man and the Wells Fargo Wagon coming to town. You’re referencing a musical? Bah, that’s all poppycock.

Foxhunters Speak… and They Also Sign!

That’s Thanksgiving, Bunsen.

But we need to focus, Bunsen! Thanksgiving’s still a long ways off. We must find room at the store for all these new wonderful things! We must get the word out that the gloves are here!

Count on me, lassie! Ruvs! Ruvs! Ruvs, ruvs, ruvs!

What are you shouting about, Bunsen?

You said we should get the word out about gloves. I was doing it in dog-speak. You’re giving me another side eye, Aga.

Say goodbye, Bunsen. We’ve got real work to do. Grab that box and start draggin’ it over here.

So it’s off to the store for these two hard working terriers. Until next time, we’re yours in tweed. Aga

Crazy About Rita Mae Brown?

Then you won’t want to miss this special event! Rita Mae will be signing copies of her latest Sister Jane book, Crazy Like A Fox Special Book Signing Event at Horse Country October 31, 2017 Sunday, November 12, 2017 3:00-6:00 pm, Many contributors to Mary Kalergis’ book, Foxhunters Speak, At The Museum of Hounds & Hunting NA, Morven Park, Leesburg, VA will join the author for a book signing and camaraderie from 3:00-3:45: Join the author for a private meet and greet book 6:00-9:00, Tuesday evening, Oct. 31, 2017. This will be a onesigning for $75, includes the book and champagne. Proceeds time gathering of these well-known foxhunting personalities. benefit the Museum, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Look forward to meeting Rita Mae Brown, Lynn Lloyd, 4:00-6:00: Book signing with refreshments and a tour of the Museum. Tommy Lee Jones, Albert Poe, Gus Forbush, Hugh Robards, In this thrilling new foxhunting mystery from New York Times bestselling John Coles, Charlie Brown, and many other foxhunters whose author Rita Mae Brown, an investigation into a missing and valuable object interviews are in the book and presented in their own words. flushes out murder, ghosts, and old family rivalries. Now “Sister” Jane Arnold Foxhunters Speak, hardbound with dust jacket. 269 pages. $30.00 and a pack of four-legged friends must catch the scent of a killer and unearth a To order and have signed in your absence, call Jenny at 800-882-HUNT long-buried truth. Hard cover with dust jacket, 304 pages, $27.00 (4868). Contact: Jenny Young, bookseller, Ph: 800-882-HUNT (4868).






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Shop online! LADIES' EXCEL HUNT SHIRT Made in England Technical fabric, 88% Cotton and 12% Lycra, with contrasting lined collar and placket. Princess seams. Knit cuffs. Bone buttons. Moisture Management fabric. Long tail. Sm-XL

GENTS’ NIMROD STOCK SHIRTS Imported Cotton is the only way to go. Our 100% cotton broadcloth stock shirts will live up to all the expectations you could have for a classic hunting shirt. Neat single button stand-up collar and traditional single button cuffs. White Sm-XL 143-MH10/00W (HC3F) $79.00

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MEN’S EXCEL HUNT SHIRT Made in England Technical fabric, 88% Cotton and 12% Lycra, with contrasting lined collar and placket. Knit cuffs. Bone buttons. Moisture management fabric. Long tail. Sizes Sm-XXXL. Medium Blue 285-MF14-02 (HC3G) $160.00 Pale Yellow 285-MF15-03 (HC3H) $160.00 Light Blue 285-MF16-06 (HC3J) $160.00 * Shirt will have a quiet blue and green check lining the collar and placket.

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LADIES' HAMPTON Made in England. Pure new wool. Brown with lilac and purple windowpane. US2-US14. (HC7D) $995.00

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Oatmeal ground with Olive and Gold lines, Satin back. Men's Sizes 38"-52" Regular and Long. #281-MTV8. ((HC8A)) $218.00 Ladies Sizes 32 Ladies' 32" 32"-44" -44 44" Regular and Long. #281-LTV8. (HC8B) $198.00

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First Troop Philadelphia City Cavalry


By Sgt. Bennett Opitz, Stable Sergeant

The Troop on parade down Philadelphia’s Broad Street, circa early 1900s.

Master Sergeant Llewellyn Hunt with the National Colors.

Under review by Prince Charles during a visit to Philadelphia in 2001.

FTPCC tent pegging team in India for a friendly international trial in 2000. (l-r) Hon 1SGT Rich Walkup II, Hon. Quarter Master Perry Gresh, Corporal Eugene Hough, and Hon. Captain Lawrence Field.

Editor’s Introduction Many aspects of today’s equestrian world—foxhunting, eventing, and dressage, for example—owe their origin to the use of horses in the military. Prowess in the saddle has long been an advantage in armed conflict. As noted in an article by Jim Wofford (Practical Horseman, October, 2015), eventing was referred to as “The Military” from 1912 until 1948. Riders “were all men [commissioned officers] and all in military uniform.” The competition “served as the complete test of a young officer’s charger. The dressage was designed to train mounted officers and men to maneuver on the parade ground. These parades were a necessary part of a cavalryman’s training because the same commands and formations would be used to control and direct mounted troopers during combat. The speed and endurance test was designed to show that a young officer could ride at speed and, after a period of recuperation, gallop and jump over cross-country obstacles.” (There’s also a theory that the lovely prancingin-place “piaffe” movement originated as a way to stomp a fallen enemy.) Mechanized warfare has, of course, made horses obsolete as a practical tool of combat. Happily, though, they remain an important part of military ceremony and a select group of servicemen continue to uphold that tradition. One such serviceman is Stable Sergeant Bennett Opitz of the Pennsylvania National Guard and a member in the First Troop Philadelphia City Cavalry (FTPCC). Bennett brings to this role a lifetime of horsemanship backed by generations of avid foxhunters. His parents, Beth and Erwin Opitz, are the jointmasters of Virginia’s Thornton Hill Hounds where Beth serves as Huntsman and both Erwin and Bennett’s sister Elida are Whippers-In. Bennett’s grandfather, Dr. Todd Addis, DVM (retired), hunts his private pack, Warwick Village Hounds, and is a leading proponent of the Penn-Marydel breed. The FTPCC, with Bennett in the lead ranks, rode in the Presidential Inaugural Parade in January, which inspired us to learn more about this distinguished unit. Bennett obliged and herewith is his account. JHA FTPCC: Continuing Military Equestrian Traditions The First Troop Philadelphia City Cavalry is one of the most unique military units currently serving the country. Our purely volunteer cavalry troop was first organized in defense of the colonies in 1774 at Carpenters Hall in Philadelphia. The gentlemen that first organized as the Philadelphia Light Horse were professional men, ship owners, importers, generally of conspicuous prominence in the affairs of the day. A number of social clubs played an important part in forming the new cavalry unit. Of these, the Gloucester Foxhunting Club (Gloucester County, New jersey) had special influence. A round black hat bound with silver cord and buck’s tail and dark brown short coat faced and lined with white was the uniform adopted by the Troop during the Revolutionary War. This uniform was very similar to the

hunting coat and cap in which its club members rode to hounds. Captain Samuel Morris was Gloucester’s first president and Captain Robert Wharton its last. Twenty-five Troopers were among its members during the War of Independence. Experience in the Gloucester hunt field proved to be of value for the Troop as one of its first official duties was to escort General Washington, a wellknown foxhunter himself, to take command of the Continental Army in New York. Close personal contact with the General developed as he was escorted to distant points in the colonies. For much of the war the Troop’s command was frequently called upon to provide detachments to accompany prisoners and spies, bear dispatches for the Committee of Safety, and to march with money for delivery to the Army. The résumé of the Philadelphia Light Horse during the Revolution is long and noteworthy. But two battles stand out as the Troop’s most important actions during the war. Ask any Trooper serving today and he will tell you Trenton and Princeton remain our most celebrated battle streamers. Often referred to as the “ten days that changed the world,” Troopers and their horses served valiantly and changed the tide of the Revolution. On Christmas night, 1776, the Troop under Captain Samuel Morris crossed the Delaware River with the Continental Army. The craft in which the Troop embarked could not reach shore and the cavalrymen were forced to take the water and make their way with their horses through the darkness and the floating ice. Approaching Trenton at dawn, the Troop served as escort to General Washington and his staff. A detachment of the Troop captured a body of Hessians fortified in a barn during the fierce engagement. The battle lasted forty-five minutes with the capture of about 1,000 Hessians and the loss of two Americans. The Troop served as the Army’s rearguard as it re-crossed the Delaware, patrolling the roads until dark. A statue of a Trooper serves as the Trenton Battle Monument to this day. Less than a week later at Princeton, mounted Troopers performed critical reconnaissance for Washington and his army. During the climax of the Battle of Princeton, General Washington, with many Troopers by his side, led the counter attack against the British. The Troop charged in “the fine Foxchase” and Washington’s army routed three British regiments that day. After the battle the Troop returned to Philadelphia and took part in numerous other major engagements before the war ended at the Battle of Yorktown in 1781. Horses remained an important part of the Troop’s combat mission up until the First World War. With the reorganization of the 28th Infantry Division, provisions for Cavalry units were left out. Many Troopers attended training schools to qualify as officers and the Troop itself was pre-designated as a trench mortar battery and served honorably in France. The Troop formally said good-bye to its mounts on April 2, 1942. The Troop was forced to adjust to new technology on the battlefield and began to train on armored vehicles.

Regardless of the form of transportation, being able to ride long distances and maneuver through territory without being seen or captured by the enemy was the Troop’s chief responsibility, and that remains the chief objective for the unit to this day. Despite advances in technology, the principles that served cavalrymen on horseback in the Revolution are the same that the Troop maintains when “mounted” in armored vehicles. In times of peace Troopers still train and hone their skills. The calendar of activities—referred to as “turnouts”—varies month to month with training and commitment to the organization’s military mission put before all else. During the drill weekends and annual training, which spans two weeks during the summer, our members don the respected camouflage worn by the US Army and train as reconnaissance scouts. To fulfill that role, Troopers train on various weapons, vehicles, and communications devices that are designed to supply commanders with crucial information on terrain and enemy movements on the battlefield. This means constant training on armored vehicles, with rifles and radio equipment, often in “fine Irish hunting conditions.” With its long and unique story, the First Troop Philadelphia City Cavalry goes through great lengths to preserve and continue its proud history. For Troopers today, although training in the mechanized era of the US Army no longer includes horse and saddle, the Troop continues to maintain the Escort Platoon for mounted ceremonial duties. To be able to ride, members must dedicate a lot of time to training to fulfill this duty, which remains an important part of the job and ensures the Troop never forgets the circumstances under which the unit was founded. Members conform to drill regulations and established standards that have influenced and encouraged the growth of similar units. Both in civilian and public life, membership carries on the traditions begun by the Troop’s founders. These include the Troop’s Anniversary Dinner and the George Washington’s Birthday Celebration, which both feature a mounted parade through Philadelphia. At the Troop’s armory located in Center City Philadelphia, we still possess and display the unit’s original battle standard made in 1775. We preserve uniforms, sabers, rifles, and tack that have seen duty in numerous conflicts. The uniforms Troopers currently wear during mounted parades reflect that dedication. The full-dress uniform, designed and first put into service in 1824, was a gift from the Marquis de Lafayette who found the previous “buck’s tail” uniforms to be out of date. Characterized by the large helmets topped with a bear fur, elaborate blue tunics, white breeches, saber, and large black “Spanish” riding boots, it is quite the ensemble when mounted on parade. The resulting image is so ornate that at some events the uniforms even overwhelm the horses our members are mounted on and cause them to spook. Similar to Her Majesty’s Household Cavalry, Troopers spend a great deal of time polishing leather, brass, and silver in preparation for elaborate ceremonies. When on home station in Philadelphia, the Troop performs turnouts on various occasions. Mounted riders must prepare for events such as the Army Birthday, Radnor Hunt Races, Devon Horse Show, and the Presidential Inaugural Parade. This means riding practice once per week and multiple other days preparing uniforms and rehearsing ceremonial drills. With the help of Valley Forge Military Academy and College’s (VFMAC) stable and staff, Troopers who



Serving as the Color Guard at the Radnor Hunt Races. Trooper Rich Walkup III, MSgt Llewellyn Hunt, Stable Sergeant Bennett Opitz, and Corporal Charles Rogers.

often have no riding experience train at great length to earn the privilege to ride in a parade. The rank of Stable Sergeant and Master Sergeant remain important duties in the unit. A key responsibility is to ensure the Troop mounts the best riders for each turnout and that each rider is well presented in uniform. Much of the riding practice focuses on equitation and just mastering the walk, trot, canter. We also practice show jumping when able and encourage our riders to trail ride and participate in other equestrian activities such as our recent beach ride. Troopers are encouraged to be brave and test their skills, which makes mounted foxhunting and polo the best sports to challenge a rider’s ability in the saddle and sharpen decision-making skills. This continues even after leaving the military as members of the Troop continue to foxhunt and follow beagles. Radnor Hunt and Ardrosson Beagles are just two of the clubs where Troopers continue to enjoy field sports that test military-style skills. Riding experience through the ranks varies and the unit will train those who have no riding experience at all. Anyone who takes on the art of horsemanship soon learns to understand the growing pains that come with riding. Some take it up faster than others, with a few individuals starting to canter after the third practice. The Troop’s Most Improved Rider Award is a great example that someone with little experience can make huge progress in a short amount of time by simply setting a routine and dedicating himself to it. Dedication to mastering equitation is key for the Escort Platoon’s success and much of our time is spent in the ring. In all Troop activities jest and humor are welcome ingredients to build camaraderie. Those who suffer the inevitable “unauthorized dismount” can expect to receive plenty of good-natured jeers when mounting back up. The fine for falling off when not in uniform is a case of beer. Anyone who falls off in uniform is expected to produce a case of champagne for the Escort Platoon. Riding is also a great equalizer in terms of rank. Outside of the placements for the Commander and First Sergeant, the position given in parades reflects the ability of each rider, with the best riding to the front of the formation. The biggest honors in formation are carrying the national and troop colors. Events such as the Border Plate Horse Trials, which celebrates the Troop’s expedition to the Mexican border in 1916 to guard against the raids of Pancho Villa into the United States, showcase the best qualities that Troopers must exhibit to wear the uniform. This year’s event, the 78th in the Troop’s history and one of four mandatory events in which soldiers in the unit must participate, was held on a mostly

Trooper Chris Thompson competing in the 2016 Border Plate on Hunter “Rocky.”

rainy and overcast April morning that failed to dampen the spirits of the competitors and spectators. Overcoming wet footing and soggy conditions, members exhibited their equine skills. Troopers of all abilities participated in equitation, hunter jumper, and cross country courses. Many showed off their talent with saber and lance, slicing “enemy” melons with great accuracy. The most difficult classes of the day were held in the open pastures of Honorary First Sergeant Rich Walkup II’s Broad Run Farm. The Border Plate portion of the day challenges riders over stone walls, logs, and even an overturned canoe on a two-mile course. The day includes the presentation of the Most Improved Rider Award and is capped off with a tailgate competition, barbecue, and live music. The competition this year proved to be very stiff. The Troop’s top riders who faced off included Master Sergeant Llewellyn Hunt, Stable Sergeant Bennett Opitz, reigning Border Plate Champion Rich Walkup III, Assistant Chaplain Sean Mullen, Trooper Aaron Whittington, and South African scholar Chris Thompson. The course itself, which traveled downhill under soggy footing, was challenging to say the least and ended with one unauthorized dismount. For many the toughest obstacle proved to be that overturned canoe heading towards the farm’s only pond. However, many of the mounts used come from the hunting fields of Pennsylvania and Virginia where sights that might unnerve a less experienced horse are not uncommon. As each rider cleared the final stone wall, it became very clear that winning the coveted plate required a fast yet equally controlled pace. In the end, Stable Sergeant (me) achieved a narrow win over Rich Walkup III on my 18-hand hunter Rocky to claim the title back. It was a great finish and a fitting end for a group of gentlemen who enjoy working with horses as a part of their duties. The members of the First Troop Philadelphia City Cavalry hope that other members of the US Military have the opportunity to make horsemanship a priority to both preserve the rich history of military horsemanship and, where possible, to participate in mounted sports. For more information: Follow us on Facebook: [All photos courtesy of the First Troop Philadelphia City Cavalry.]



Talented Photographers Aim Their Cameras at Hunting Action PHOTOGRAPHY

By J. Harris Anderson, Managing Editor

Since In & Around Horse Country began essential and the outcome is unprepublishing in 1990, it’s safe to say the dictable. number of foxhunting photos that have Doug Gehlsen’s account of adpassed before our eyes is well into the vance prep and strategizing at the meet thousands. Trying to make a more prehas a familiar ring to anyone who has cise estimate would be like asking a lifespent the morning of a hunting day long foxhunter how many times he’s cleaning tack, grooming a horse, filling come off a horse. The typical answer a flask, and attending to myriad other would be something like, “A bunch!” details to assure the sport goes smoothly. Of all those many thousands of imThose who serve as field leaders and ages that have been considered, only a hunt staff can relate to discussions about portion has appeared on our pages. A vawhere to draw and what that means for riety of factors play a role in deciding, who needs to be where. For those who as Bob Seger sang, “what to leave in, know their country and quarry well, the what to leave out.” That often involves plans can extend to which way the fox making some very difficult choices. But is likely to run once hounds get him up. the end result—photo spreads that you, “The day of the meet,” Doug says, the reader, enjoy viewing—wouldn’t be “we’ll gather our gear, make sure batterDouglas Lees, Casanova Hunt, Opening Meet, October 27, 2012. possible at all if not for the dedicated ies are charged and memory cards are men and women who tramp across the countryside, cameras in hand, to capture cleared and ready to go. We try to get to the meet about 30 minutes early and images from the hunt field worthy of publication. once there, check in with the masters and talk to the masters or huntsman to get For much of our paper’s existence, the masterful work of Jim Meads was a an idea of which direction they will be going. We’ll plot a strategy to capture the mainstay. Jim achieved legendary status in the hunting world for his ability to be field leaving and best shots. If there is a coop or jump close by, we’ll head toward in the right place at precisely the right moment. His stamina was amazing and his that. Using our knowledge of the area and some intuition, we’ll try to get ahead output—more than 500 different hunt clubs photographed over a career that of the hunt and catch them crossing or just off the road.” spanned 60-plus years—will likely never be equaled. He now transitions to a Richard Clay’s methods are similar. “I generally ask the huntsman which diwell-deserved rest in his native Wales. rection they plan to start off. I pick a location to get shots of the field heading out, We also benefited mightily from our long relationship—both professional hopefully with good lighting and a decent, uncluttered backdrop. After they pass, and personal—with the late Janet Hitchen. For more than 20 years Janet’s shots I watch which direction they are heading and try to figure where I will be able to made our covers the eye-catching signature that instantly said “Horse Country.” get the next series of shots. Then hop in the car and go. Take some shots, watch Fortunately, we’re blessed to have a number of other impressively talented where they are headed, and hop in the car and go again. When I think they are photographers in our home area. Foxhunting and related activities may not be about ready to call it a day, I return to the trailers and wait for them. This is a good their sole focus, but it certainly has a prominent place in many of their portfolios. time to get the hounds as they are usually tired and packed up together very And without their efforts, our pages would be little more than a dull blot of black nicely. text. Thanks to them, IAHC continues to be one publication about which you can The routine Douglas Lees follows includes charging batteries and organizunashamedly say, “I read it for the pictures.” ing equipment, which includes those all-important lenses. He offered some inWhat does it take to capture those images that make the cut for publica- sights into their different functions. “I always start with a 70-200mm lens for the tion? The short answer: More effort than most of us might think. meet, then switch to a bigger lens, say 80-400mm or 200-500mm, once they To get a sense of how it feels to be on the aiming end of a camera, with move off. The bigger lenses are crucial, especially with close-ups of hounds and, foxhunting action the target, we asked a few of our valued contributors to share hopefully, of a fox.” And, or course, Douglas, whose father Harcourt Lees was a their insights. Those polled were Liz Callar, Richard Clay, Douglas Lees, Joanne long-serving master of Warrenton Hunt, knows the importance of arriving at the Maisano, and husband and wife team Doug Gehlsen and Karen Monroe of Mid- meet on time and conferring with the leaders to get an idea of which way they’ll dleburg Photo. be heading out. Preparation is Key, Results are Unpredictable But the best laid plans oft go astray. The responses revealed similarities between the photographers and the foxAccording to Liz Callar, “There is no typical day shooting a hunt meet. The hunters they photograph. For example, just like foxhunting itself, preparation is best plans go awry when the hunt goes in a different direction than what you thought, even if you have done your homework. You have to shoot whatever you can and hope for the best. I try to get the hunt with a clean background that displays the beauty of the country. If you capture a great scene of horses, hounds, or foxes, you have a lucky day. Some days you never see the hounds after they have left the fixture. This is rather disappointing when you have gotten up early and driven two and a half hours, only to get the one shot of the huntsman and hounds at the fixture, and then they are gone!” Joanne Maisano adds that how the day goes “all depends on the fixture and the weather. A typical day includes a lot of getting in and out of the car to get that great shot. Running is a big part for me as well. I try to get ahead of the action.” And, as any chaser of live quarry knows, some days you make the right calls, some days you don’t. Also, in our home area, there are multiple hunts to select from, for both hunting and photographing. As Doug Gehlsen explains “there are days when we’re going one way and the hunt’s gone another way and we find out later that we missed some great action shots or were out of place to shoot. Or maybe [we chose to] follow a hunt that had a blank day, but another hunt had a ripping day and we missed it.” Middleburg Photo (Doug Gehlsen & Karen Monroe), Orange County Hounds, Muster Lane, March 12, 2016.


Richard Clay expands the list of possible frustrations. “There are days where you rarely see anything after they leave the trailers. The fox simply does not cooperate with the photographers.” (You can substitute “hounds” and “hunters” for other beings with whom the fox may not cooperate.) “Or the fixture is such that it is difficult to follow the action. Or you plan wrong and never get in front of the field, which means a lot of shots of the field from the rear. Or you get stuck in a parade of car-toppers.” Being the son of a hunt master is no guarantee of success, as Douglas Lees will attest. “There have been plenty of days when everything went wrong— mainly you get lost and can’t find the hunt and drive around for hours only to find out they have gone in. Or you misjudge a situation and think hounds are coming your way, but don’t and you have gambled on a particular spot and it doesn’t work out.” So when that happens, does Douglas write the day off as a total loss? Not necessarily. “There is still a lot to photograph, such as deer, birds, even buzzards on occasion.” Getting stuck behind car-toppers may be annoying. But Joanne Maisano will tell you that there are worse ways of getting stuck. “The last day of hunting two years ago, I let [someone] ride with me and at [this person’s] insistence, I drove into a field that was a marsh and my car sunk into the mud. I needed the farm hands to pull me out with their tractor.” Not the most stellar way to end a hunt season. But another risk of the sport shared by those who drive trucks and horse trailers into open fields. Then there are the days when it all comes together and the memory cards are filled with memorable images. Sometimes, just like an outstanding day following hounds, there might be a special moment that stands out above all others. We asked our panel if there’s a special shot they’re most proud of. Joanne didn’t have to think very long. “The shot I am most proud of is my shot of Graham Buston, Huntsman for Blue Ridge Hunt, standing on a woodpile with mouth open as he looks down at a fox running away and hounds just behind.” That shot, of course, made the cut for publication, and generated a flood of praise. Liz also had a quick reply. “The shots I am most proud of are from the series of Huntsmen’s Hunts that Greg Schwartz had at a Bull Run Hunt fixture. One year my best photo was of horses and hounds coming through the Rapidan River.” That shot has been seen in a variety of applications, most recently promoting the Masters of Foxhounds Association’s upcoming “Hark Forward” Hound Trials and other events. However, what goes perfectly one year is no assurance of continued success. Liz concludes her comments with “…another year I shot through a monsoon.” With Doug Gehlsen and Karen Monroe shooting as a team, there’s twice the opportunity to capture those special images. Doug explains that they try to find shots that are unexpected. “A few years ago,” he says, “Karen took a series of images where a whip ponied a huntsman’s horse over a coop. The huntsman was on foot and the whip took his horse to meet them further down the trail and jumped a coop with the huntsman’s horse in tow. Another fun image was a road whip standing in the middle of the road, flagging traffic to slow down. As he was waving an orange flag, a fox ran across the road behind him. He looked like a crossing guard for foxes. Rich Clay’s reward comes more from the results of good planning than the happenstance of the moment. “My favorite shots are of the hounds all together. There is a lot of satisfaction in figuring out where they might be going, getting

Liz Callar, Huntsmen’s Hunt, crossing the Rapidan River, January 4, 2009.


there first, hoping they actually show up, and then getting the shot you planned/wished for.” Douglas Lees agrees about the merits of good planning. “I try to inventory fox spots and go to them, I sometimes spend hours in a given spot waiting for the moment. This can take you out of the action, but one spot I’ve gone to has produced pictures of eight foxes so it is worth it.”

Richard Clay, Piedmont Fox Hounds, Blue Ridge Farm, January 1, 2016.

Lighting: The Photograph’s Version of “Scent” When poring through a plethora of images to select just a few for publication, those special shots are an easy choice. But they alone won’t fill out our pages. While foxhunting offers some excellent opportunities for thrilling action shots, there are far more that, while attractive on their own merits, tend to become repetitive over time. We have thus far published more than 150 issues of In & Around Horse Country. As our panelists have said, some days they come away with little more than huntsman, hounds, and field moving off, and then the same assemblage coming back in. Are there ways to keep such shots from looking too similar? For Doug and Karen, while the subjects may not vary much, other conditions can help. “We’ll always go for a good huntsman and hounds shot,” Doug says, “especially if the lighting or background are great…maybe someone has requested special images because they have a guest or special horse out. Karen will use her telephoto lens to get details and close-ups of horses, I’m more of a wideangle shooter, setting the scene with the landscape.” Rich has another approach to avoiding an abundance of huntsman-withhounds shots. “I especially like the hounds so I concentrate my attention on them and where they might go or what they might do. Then I shoot anything else that catches my eye. Of course, any shots of the fox or the riders jumping an obstacle are good so you hope for those opportunities.” Joanne is also a fan of hounds. “The hounds and landscape are important to me. I will always love a shot of the huntsman with his hounds, especially if the light is on your side, but now I focus on a different shot of the hounds doing their thing.” Douglas Lees says, “I like action shots best, once you leave the meet, the real game begins. Running hounds, jumping and movement are the key.” Both Doug and Joanne mentioned something in those remarks that came up in several responses—lighting. Lighting to the photographer is akin to scenting for the hunter. It’s variable, unpredictable, and can make or break a day afield. Doug has an affinity for those moments just after sunrise, what he calls “the golden hour.” Rich points out that, unlike shooting other events such as a wedding, “Following a hunt presents an ever-changing set of circumstances. The time of day makes a difference in the lighting situation so you have to consider that when deciding where to locate yourself.” Rich explains further that, “at most other types of events [such as a wedding] you know where the subjects will be and can anticipate the action and the lighting situation. The biggest challenge [for shooting a foxhunt] is trying to figure out where the hunt might go next so that you can get there first while, at the same time, trying to stay out of the way and not affect the hunt itself.” Douglas Lees brought up another point about lighting that puts a different twist on the subject. Lighting doesn’t necessarily mean light. “I always hope for a cloudy day. I never like sun [as it can cast] too many shadows. And with the advanced digital cameras, you can shoot dark days much better than [could be done in] the film days.” Continued



In addition to their impressive portfolio of hunting shots, Doug and Karen are both award-winning wedding photographers. Doug offers his insights into the contrasts between a wedding and a foxhunt. “Weddings are much more intense. Shooting a once-in-a-lifetime event, you had better know what you’re doing and have the skill and artistic vision needed. Lighting can and will change during a wedding, from being inside to outside and back and forth or under a tent. Hunting is more fun, relaxed but coupled with the thrill of the chase. It’s very exciting to get a good, close image of a fox. The huntsman or field jumping a stonewall are very exciting and rewarding. We have a good idea of what will happen during a wedding or event. Hunting is unpredictable and we may come back with a once-in-a-lifetime photo or nothing, sort of like hunting itself.” When asked about a staged event such as a wedding, Douglas Lees’ response reveals his family’s hunting lineage. “Hunting is totally uncontrollable as opposed to weddings, which I rarely shoot. A wedding is outside in a yard or inside with flash and sort of line-up pictures of all the wedding party.” You can hear the ho-hum in his voice. But his tone turns when he talks about foxhunting. “Once the hounds leave the meet, you’re on your own as nothing is staged and the hounds go where the fox takes them. Here sight and maybe especially hearing the hounds is key to locating the show. There are few things as exciting as hearing a pack of hounds running!” We asked if there are any misconceptions about the role of a foxhunting photographer they find annoying. The only replies came from Doug and Liz, and their response was the same: that people think they make a lot of money. Liz supplied a list of overhead expenses, along with the vagaries of weather conditions, to underscore her point. So You Want to be a Foxhunting Photographer… What if someone aspires to join the ranks of these dedicated, albeit underpaid, photographers? Doug Gehlsen: “First is learn the sport you’re shooting. I was incredibly lucky to have Karen show me the ropes, to teach me the etiquette and terminology. Karen was the daughter of a true horseman and she has shared that knowledge with me. It takes time to learn the lay of the land and what foxhunting is about. The local photographers are there because we love it, not as a moneymaker or for gaining clients. A person who has never followed hunting should have a mentor. It’s very easy to get in the way of the hunt and the last thing we want to do is interfere and make the Huntsman or Masters mad at us. “Second, invest in good lenses, they are an investment that will last many years. Third, read the manual and learn how to set and operate your camera. Today’s professional cameras are incredibly complex and can be fine-tuned to fit your needs and shooting style. If it’s not set correctly, you could be getting a lot of bad photos.” Rich Clay echoes Doug’s advice. “Get good equipment and get familiar with it. Shoot in manual mode. Think about why you take a particular shot. Take a lot of shots (for practice if nothing else). Look at ones you like and try to decide why they appeal to you. Be flexible as things are always happening and always changing. Occasionally focus on one thing. For instance, I might decide that today I will concentrate on close-ups of jockey’s faces or horse’s eyes. It makes you consider different techniques and situations.” Rich then adds a touch of encouragement. “Enjoy yourself.” Douglas Lees concurs about good equipment, learning how to use it, and studying the sport. He then adds another aid that has proven highly useful to training his eye to capture the subtleties of this unique sport. “I am constantly reading foxhunting and steeplechasing books and closely looking at the pictures of other photographers. Over the years I have watched Marshall Hawkins and Robert McClanahan shoot hunts. I’ve studied Peter Winants’ photos of hunts. He was a frequent foxhunter and had a unique way of photographing hunts. Also Janet Hitchen’s photographs; her approach was completely unique, evidenced by her numerous covers of In & Around Horse Country and considered ‘art’ by many. I have Jim Meads’ books and marvel at his ‘court coverage,’ so to speak. Like a tennis player, he was all over the court running with the hunt. Look at films such as Tom Davenport and Harrison O’Connor’s documentary Thoughts on Hunting with Melvin Poe. Look at Ben Hardaway’s DVD set and his book as well for ideas.” Joanne sums up the combined counsel by stating simply “practice makes perfect.” She also agrees with Doug that a mentor is important. “I had the privilege of working with Janet Hitchen for many years,” she says, “and her guidance was invaluable. Just observing what she did was helpful. You also need to have an eye for find that special shot in that beautiful lighting.” So we come again to lighting—the photographer’s version of scent, that ephemeral, uncontrollable element that can be either fleeting or enduring, predictable or capricious, your best friend or your worst annoyance.

Joanne Maisano, Blue Ridge Hunt, Stonefield, February 2, 2017.

But while lighting, like scent, may be unreliable—sometimes too much, sometimes not enough, other times just right—our foxhunting photographers can always be trusted to account for the quarry. Just like the sport they follow, there can be good days and bad. Overall, though, the result is worth the chase. And our pages continue to please, entertain, and amuse because of their efforts. Shoot on! Contact Info: Liz Callar:, Richard Clay:, Douglas Lees: Joanne Maisano:, Robert McClanahan: Jim Meads: 011-44-1686-420436 Middleburg Photo (Doug Gehlsen/Karen Monroe):,

[Editor’s Note: While we only focused on this small group of photographers as representative of the craft for this article, there are many others, both professionals and amateurs, who allow us to use their images and for whose contributions we are most appreciative.]

Middleburg Photo (Doug Gehlsen & Karen Monroe), Middleburg Hunt, Wind Fields Farm, November 24, 2011.



The Wales and Border Counties Hound Show


By Jim Meads

Champion English Bitch and Supreme Champion English Hound North Cotswold “Dervish.”

Judges of the classes for English Bitches were Ring Steward Richard Tyacke, MFH; Nessie Chanter, MFH; Tony Leahy, MFH, President of MFHA.

The Wales and Border Counties Hound Show, held on the Royal Welsh Showgrounds, is the most important for Welsh Foxhounds, where every huntsman “pulls out all the stops” to win. There were strong entries, with these packs winning classes: Llanwnnen Farmers, Sennybridge Farmers, Gelligaer Farmers, and the Llanwrthwl. The Llanwnnen Farmers took both Championships, with “Dafydd” and “Tulip,” with the unentered dog “Dafydd” reigning Supreme. In the English Foxhound ring, we were honored to have the president of the American MFHA, Tony Leahy, MFH, judging the bitch classes with Nessie Chanter, MFH. There were

big entries, with a surprising number of different packs winning classes, proving their high quality. These were the Curre and Llangibby, North Cotswold, South Shropshire, Duke of Beaufort’s, Grove and Rufford, Monmouthshire, Sir W. W. Wynn’s, and the Cheshire. Again, the same pack, this time the North Cotswold, won both championships with “Rallywood” and “Dervish,” with the latter, an entered bitch, taking the Supreme. Interestingly, the North Cotswold have two American joint masters, Prof. Brad Hooker and wife Jamie. Brad is son of the recently deceased Henry Hooker, MFH, Hillsboro Hunt (Tennessee).

Top 3 English Stallion Hounds. Winner (nearest) Monmouthshire “Doublet.”

Champion Welsh Doghound and Supreme Champion Llanwnnen Farmers “Dafydd” (Ianto Evans, MFH) and (left) Reserve Champion Welsh Doghound Sennybridge Farmers “Bendigo” (Ian Hawkins). In back: Judges Charles Owen, MFH and Gary Barber, MFH.

Welsh Bitch Championship winner at left Llanwnnen Farmer’s “Tulip” shown by Ianto Evans, MFH.

Final line up of Welsh Stallion Hounds.

Judging the class for English Brood Bitches.


HORSE RACING New Virginia Certified Residency Program Moves Into Full Swing In July, a new Virginia residency program with a simple message was introduced for Thoroughbreds—send your horse to Virginia and earn 25 percent more for every win in the Mid-Atlantic region. Modeled after the very successful Delaware Certified Program, the new Virginia-Certified Thoroughbred Program (VACTP) will reward horsemen who board horses at Virginia farms or training centers for six consecutive months prior to December 31st of the horse’s two-year-old year. The six month requirement must be fulfilled after the program start date of July 1, 2017—this is the earliest date eligibility can begin. Beginning with foals of 2016, owners of Virginia Certified horses will be eligible for that bonus for any non-restricted win at pari-mutuel tracks in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia, and Maryland. Certified horses will also be eligible to run in Virginia restricted races. A total of 43 farms and training centers in Virginia have already signed up to be certified facilities and are ready to accept horses. A list of those, along with more program details, is available at •••• Second Shenandoah Downs Harness Race Meet To Kick Off September 16th The second season of pari-mutuel harness racing at Shenandoah Downs is set to take place this fall from September 16th to October 15th. Pacers and trotters will compete in ten pari-mutuel races every Saturday and Sunday at 1:00 PM. The halfmile oval, which was completely renovated a year ago, is located at the Shenandoah County Fairgrounds in Woodstock, halfway between Winchester and Harrisonburg off I-81 at Exit 283. The featured event is the Virginia Breeders Championships for two- and three-year-old pacers and trotters of both sexes. Two-year-olds will battle on September 16th and three-year-olds will compete on September 24th. Purses for each of the eight championships are in the $40,000 range. The meet itself will offer free parking and admission. Betting windows are conveniently located in the grandstand. Win, place, show, exacta, and trifecta bets are available each race and can be placed with a teller or via a self-bet terminal. Every Saturday will feature a different themed festival. Hops ’n’ Hooves, a craft beer tasting event, kicks off the slate on September 16th followed by a Food Truck Festival on September 23rd. The popular Wine & Trotter Festival is on September 30th and features tastings from Shenandoah Valley wineries. Seafest, where various seafood-related vendors are on premise, is on October 7th and Autumnfest highlights closing weekend on October 14th. The latter event is a heritage-themed festival that includes a barbecue tasting competition from 40-plus entrants, live music, beer and wine tastings, and more. Details are at and •••• “Commonwealth Day” At Laurel Slated For September 30th The third and final Virginia-bred stakes day event in Maryland this year is slated for September 30th at Laurel. Five long-time Virginia-bred Thoroughbred turf stakes will be carded on the “Commonwealth Day” program in addition to a pair of graded open stakes that had been run at Colonial Downs. The Bert Allen, Brookmeade, Punch Line, Oakley, and Jamestown Stakes will be contested at $60,000 each. The $200,000 Commonwealth Derby and $150,000 Commonwealth Oaks, both Grade 3 stakes, will be held at Laurel for the third consecutive year.

Horses and People to Watch IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2017

Virginia Equine Alliance

Harness racing takes place at Shenandoah Downs every Saturday & Sunday from September 16th through October 15th. Andy Huffmyer photo

•••• International Gold Cup Scheduled For October 28th at Great Meadow The 80th running of the International Gold Cup Races will be held Saturday, October 28th at Great Meadow in The Plains, Virginia. The afternoon features a combination of pari-mutuel steeplechase and flat races. Key events include the International Gold Cup, contested at 3½ miles over timber fences, and the Grade 3, David “Zeke” Ferguson Memorial Hurdle Stakes, contested at 2 miles, one furlong distance over national fences. In 2016, a total of ten races were held—six jump and four flat. Tailgating information and more details are available at •••• “Virginia Day” at Laurel Recap A four-pack of $75,000 turf stakes for Virginia-bred/sired horses, all being held for the first time, took place at Laurel August 5th on a program coined “Virginia Day”. The quartet included the inaugural Hansel, Camptown, Meadow Stable, and William Backer Stakes. To date, the 2017 summer season has been kind to horses bred by Mr. & Mrs. Bertram Firestone and during Virginia Day the trend continued. Two horses they bred—Special Envoy and Northern Eclipse—won in completely different styles. Special Envoy and jockey Daniel Centeno dominated in gate-to-wire fashion in the Hansel. The 6-yearold Stroll gelding was sent off at 1-9 in the 1 miles test and crossed 8¼ lengths over Mr. Magician in 1:46.59. Over $400,000 was wagered in the show pool, much of which was bet on the heavy favorite. Special Envoy won his second straight and seventh career race. Prior to this year, a Virginia-bred named Rose Brier got the best of Special Envoy in three straight Maryland stakes. On June 24th this year, the tables turned—Special Envoy beat Rose Brier by a nose. After that 8¼ length win, trainer Arnaud Delacour expects the winner’s next start to be in a Virginia-bred stakes September 24th at Laurel. “It helps that Rose Brier isn’t racing any more,” he said after the race. “My horse and Rose Brier were the two main ones in this Virginia-bred division so it’s a bit easier now that he is retired. Special Envoy has been racing well though, so he deserved to win.” Northern Eclipse, on the other hand, didn’t have the luxury of coasting home to the finish. She held off a furious rally from Ring Knocker in deep stretch to win the $75,000 Camptown Stakes. The 5-year-old Northern Afleet mare beat six other fillies and mares at 5½ furlongs in 1:05.69. Do What I Say, who captured the recent Tyson Gilpin Stakes, finished third. Ten-year-old Virginia-bred Two Notch Road turned

back the clock with a thrilling come from behind victory in the Meadow Stables Stakes at Laurel Park. The Glenn Thompson trainee trailed Tiz Our Time by 4½ lengths at the top of the stretch, but methodically pecked away at the leader with each stride. Two Notch Road ended up winning by a head, his first victory since June 25th last year. The Partner’s Hero gelding, bred by James Hackman, saw his lifetime bankroll surge over the $500,000 mark. The afternoon festivities concluded with another thriller. Sweet Sandy, who trailed by 16 lengths with a quarter mile to go in the $75,000 William Backer Stakes, stormed back to nip Armoire by a neck. The five-yearold Flatter mare had not won since June 1st last year, but trainer Danielle Hodsdon was confident heading into the 1 miles event. “I had a good feeling but was a little worried about the short distance,” she said. “The filly wants to go 1 or 1½ miles, but the soft turf set up a pace to her liking.” This was Hodsdon’s first stakes win—she was a steeplechase rider for 15 years prior to being a trainer. Sweet Sandy was bred by Lazy Lane Farms, LLC and was ridden by Jevian Toledo.

Camptown Stakes winner Northern Eclipse is shown with rider J.D. Acosta. Jim McCue photo

Sweet Sandy (outside) edges Armoire (inside) to capture the William Backer Stakes August 5th at Laurel. Jim McCue photo


Upcoming Events In & Around Horse Country Autumn is a busy time in Horse Country. Here’s a list of some upcoming events.

Sept. 10-Oct. 16 Junior North American Field Hunter Championship. Qualifying meets are held during hunt season, most scheduled from September through early November, but dates may vary depending on the hunting season in a given area. The finals will be hosted by Belle Meade Hunt in Thomson, Georgia, over the weekend of November 11-12. Contact Marion Chungo:, 540-220-7292,, Junior North American Field Hunter Championship on Facebook.

Sept. 16-Oct. 15 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, Sept. 17 Deep Run Hunt Fall Fun Hunter Pace, Sunnyside Farm, Wilmington, VA, 9:00 a.m. Information: Lynn Richie 804-986-2944,, Sept. 24 Foxfield Fall Race Meet, Foxfield Race Course, Charlottesville, VA 1:30 p.m. Information: 434-293-9501, Sept. 24 Bull Run Hunt Fall Fun Hunter Pace, The Preserve, Rapidan, VA, 9:00 a.m. Information: Rosie Campbell, MFH 540-672-5128,, Oct. 1 Keswick Hunt Club Fall Fun Hunter Pace, Bridlespur, Keswick, VA, 9:00 a.m. Information: Erica Stevens, 561-601-9531, happyh o r s e s @ e q u i n e w e l f a r e s o c i e t y. o r g , Oct. 8 Piedmont Hunter Trials, Salem Farm Showground, Upperville, VA 8:30 a.m. Contact Barbara Riggs, Oct. 8 Casanova Hunt Fall Fun Hunter Pace, Winfall, Catlett, VA 9:00 a.m. Information: Janet Boots, 703-927-8532,, Oct. 9-14 North American Field Hunter Championship. Qualifying Hunts Oct. 9 – Oct. 12, Finals Oct. 14 at Glenwood Park, Middleburg, Va. Information:, 540-6875662 or 540-454-2854, Oct. 12-21 Pennsylvania National Horse Show, Harrisburg, PA. Junior Weekend Oct. 12-15, Adult Week Oct. 16-21. Oct. 14 Virginia Fall Race Meet, Glenwood Park, Middleburg, VA 1:00 p.m. Information: 540687-9797,

Oct. 15 Warrenton Hunt Fall Fun Hunter Pace, Millpoint/Clovercroft, Warrenton, VA, 10:00 a.m. Information: Clydetta P. Talbot, 540-219-6562,, Oct. 22 Old Dominion Hounds Fall Fun Hunter Pace, Hinckley Memorial Field, Marshall, VA, 10:00 a.m. Information: Debbie Welch, 540-6318607,,

Oct. 24-29 Washington International Horse Show, Verizon Center, Washington, DC. Oct. 28 International Gold Cup, Great Meadow Course, The Plains, VA 12:30 p.m. Information: 540-347-2612, Oct. 29 Rappahannock Hunt Fall Fun Hunter Pace, Meadow Grove/Red Hill, Amissville, VA, 10:00 a.m. Information: Shannon deWit, 703-9899545,, Oct. 29 Orange County Hounds Team Chase Event, Old Whitewood Farm, The Plains, VA, 12:00 noon. Contact Pippy McCormick,, 540-454-2852, or Jane Bishop,, 540-729-7083 Nov. 4 Montpelier Race Meet, Montpelier Station, VA 12:30 p.m. Information: 540-672-0027,, Nov. 5 Farmington Hunt Fall Fun Hunter Pace, Catterton Road, Free Union, VA, 9:00 a.m. Information: Kip Holloway 434-985-3482,, Nov. 5 Virginia Field Hunter Championship, hosted by Keswick Hunt Club at Tivoli Farm, Gordonsville, VA. Information: Will Coleman, 434962-1902,

MFHA “Hark Forward” Hound Trials To mark the ten year point since the MFHA Centennial Celebration, which featured a series of hound trials that ended with the crowning of the Centennial Hound, a similar schedule of hound trials is being held across the country during the coming hunt season. As described on the MFHA’s website, “The Hark Forward initiative consists of friendly competitions and collegial events nationwide to connect foxhunters across the continent. The goal is to celebrate all aspects of our sport— hounds, horses, friendships, the countryside—and strengthen bonds between different hunts and geographical regions.” For the full schedule, plus other events over the next several months, visit

No Virginia Hunt Week This Year On its every-other-year schedule, 2017 would have been the year for the popular Virginia Hunt Week. However, to avoid conflicts with the MFHA’s “Hark Forward” Hound Trials, Virginia Hunt Week has been postponed to next year.



(540) 347-3141


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