IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY, 60 ALEXANDRIA PIKE, WARRENTON, VA 20186
VOLUME XXVII / NUMBER 2 • THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE VIRGINIA STEEPLECHASE ASSOCIATION • SPRING 2015
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • SPRING 2015
Guy Allman, shown here hunting the Blue Ridge Hunt hounds at Hindon Hill on March 25, 2015, returns to his native England where starting next season he will be blowing the horn for the Bicester with Whaddon Chase Foxhounds in Cambridgeshire. Liz Callar photo
Larry Pitts served Maryland's Potomac Hunt as Huntsman for 35 years. With the close of this season he transitions to a well-deserved retirement. Karen Kandra Wenzel photo
Noel Ryan, Palm Beach Hounds Huntsman, showed off his pack at the closing night of the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida. Shaana Risley photo
(l-r) Linda Armbrust, MFH (Blue Ridge), and Jake Carle, ex-MFH (Keswick) watch the Blue Ridge hounds in action at Hindon Hill, March 25, 2015. Liz Callar photo
Deep Run Huntsman Richard Roberts moves off on Closing Day from the Kennels at Cumberland, March 26, 2015. Bill Sigafoos photo
The hounds of Deep Run Hunt, ready to get out for the season’s final day of sport, March 26, 2015. Bill Sigafoos photo
Jonathan Ojerholm, Stable Manager, Orange County Hounds, Dencrest, March 23, 2015. Liz Callar photo
(l-r) Neil Morris, MFH, and John Coles, MFH, lead the field as the Orange County Hounds move off from Dencrest, March 23, 2015. Liz Callar photo
(l-r) Reg Spreadborough, Orange County Hounds Huntsman, joined Spencer Allen for Piedmont Fox Hounds’ Closing Meet, Oakley, March 19, 2015. Liz Callar photo
(l-r) Shelby Bonnie, MFH, and Walter Kansteiner III, ex-MFH, follow the action at Piedmont Fox Hounds’ final hunt of the season held at Oakley, March 19, 2015. Liz Callar photo
Piedmont Fox Hounds Huntsman Spencer Allen (front) with an assist from Orange County Hounds Huntsman Reg Spreadborough (rear) brings hounds in to close out the 2014/2015 season. The meet was held at Oakley, March 19, 2015. Liz Callar photo
Billy Dodson, who retired at the end of the 2014/2015 season after serving as Huntsman for Thornton Hill Fort Valley Hounds for 16 years, moves off with hounds at The Hill, January 26, 2015. Liz Callar photo
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • SPRING 2015
SPORTING LIFE HIGHLIGHTS Dennis Foster’s Retirement Tour Kicks Off At Mach Speed in New Zealand Lt. Col. Dennis Foster will retire from his long-held position as Executive Director of the Masters of Foxhounds Association in January, 2017. In 2013, at 69 years old, he represented the USA MFHA at the International Union of Hunting with Hounds (IUHH) meetings held in New Zealand with eight countries attending. Col. Foster gave presentations around the country on the threats of animal rights organizations to mounted hunting. His reward for doing that was hunting with various hunts on both the North and South Islands. On his first hunt with the Rotorua and Bay of Plenty Harriers he lasted about 30 minutes, the result of being given a horse he couldn’t control jumping wire at Mach speed. Considering the better part of valor was survival, he jumped onto a road where Rebecca Bridge, the master’s wife of the Pakuranga Hunt, and about 50 car followers stood. He dismounted like a wet rag, ignored the offer of a barbed wire bit, and was heading for the trailers when Ivan Bridge, MFH, jumped onto the road on a gorgeous white horse named Sparky. He offered Foster the horse. Foster, knees still shaking from his runaway, politely declined his host, whereupon Mrs. Bridge grabbed him by both cheeks and told him to “Get on the f***ing horse!” Somewhat embarrassed by the giggling of the car followers, he said “Yes, ma’am”, jumped on and spent that day jumping wire like he knew how. The next day, riding Sparky again, with Eastern Bay of Plenty hunt, it was even more harrowing. Sparky had more than a spark. He galloped up and down steep mountains and jumped anything from huge hedges to big wire. Foster stated the horse gave him more courage than he knew he had and the best ride and hunting of his hunting career. With over 400 different hunts in 11 different countries under his belt, that says a lot!
Several Huntsmen Changes for the 2015/2016 Season When next season kicks off, several hunts will be enjoying the services of a new huntsman at the helm of their pack. The following changes have been announced as of our press time. As staff changes can still occur in April, or later, there may be yet more to report in an upcoming issue. We wish everyone the best in their new positions! • Guy Allman leaves Virginia’s Blue Ridge Hunt and returns to his native England as huntsman for the Bicester with Whaddon Chase Foxhounds in Cambridgeshire. Guy Allman. • Graham Buston moves from Bear Creek Hounds, Georgia, to replace Allman at Blue Ridge. • Stephen Clifton heads south from Eglinton and Caledon Hunt in Canada to replace Bustin at Bear Creek. • Jordan Hicks moves one state north from Tryon Hounds in North Carolina to take up the horn at Virginia’s Piedmont Fox Hounds. • Trey Bennett goes from Pennsylvania’s Jordan Hicks will serve as Huntsman Saxonburg Hunt to replace Hicks at Tryon. at Piedmont Fox Hounds. Liz Callar photo • Larry Pitts, long-serving huntsman at Maryland’s Potomac Hunt, has announced his retirement and will hand the horn over to Brian Kiely who leaves Myopia Hunt, Massachusetts. • Philip Headdon will move from Ohio’s Chagrin Valley Hunt to replace Kiely at Myopia. • Mark McManus goes from Ottawa Valley Hunt, Ontario, to take the job at Chagrin Valley. • Antony Gaylard returns to Ottawa Valley Hunt where he had served previously. • Jeff Woodall, former whipper-in at Bull Graham Buston takes up the horn at Run and Rappahannock Hunts in Virginia, will Blue Ridge Hunt as Guy Allman returns to England. be the new huntsman at Old Dominion Hounds. Liz Callar photo • Long time huntsman (16 years) of Virginia’s Thornton Hill Fort Valley Hounds Billy Dodson has retired and will pass the duties on to Mrs. Erwin B. (Beth) Opitz.
Dennis Foster, MFHA Executive Director, experienced the thrill of jumping wire fences in New Zealand thanks to Sparky, a horse provided to him by Ivan Bridge, MFH of the Pakuranga Hunt.
PHOTOGRAPHERS: Liz Callar www.lizcallar.com John J. Carle II, ex-MFH Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography Richard Clay www.richardclayphotography.com Janet Hitchen Dr. William Kenner Douglas Lees Jim Meads Ashton Moynihan Middleburg Photo www.middleburgphoto.com Catherine Powers Shaana Risley Eric Schneider ON THE COVER: Tony Shore www.tonyshores“A Peaceable Kingdom.” One of Janet Hitchen’s personal favorites. portingart.com See our remembrance of her, pages 14-15. Bill Sigafoos www.wlsphoto.com COVER PHOTOGRAPHER Karen Kandra Wenzel Janet Hitchen
Jeff Woodall will be the new Huntsman at Old Dominion Hounds.
Liz Callar photo
Eric Schneider photo
Liz Callar photo
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is published 5 times a year. Editorial and Advertising Address: 60 Alexandria Pike, Warrenton, VA 20186 For information and advertising rates, please call (540) 347-3141, fax (540) 347-7141 Space Deadline for the Summer issue is May 15. Payment in full due with copy. Publisher: Marion Maggiolo Managing Editor: J. Harris Anderson Advertising: Kim Gray (540) 347-3141, (800) 882-4868, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Contributors: Aga; J. Harris Anderson; John J. Carle II, ex-MFH; Lauren Giannini; Stephen K. Heard, ex-MFH; Tommy Lee Jones; Jim Meads; Will O’Keefe; Virginia Thoroughbred Association; Jenny Young LAYOUT & DESIGN: Kate Houchin Copyright © 2015 In & Around Horse Country®. All Rights Reserved. Volume XXVII, No.2 POSTMASTER: CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • SPRING 2015
Upcoming Events In & Around Horse Country Spring is blooming with a bouquet of challenging, exciting, and just plain fun events. Get out and enjoy the many happenings in Horse Country.
Hunt Trail Rides: All the hunts will be hosting trail rides throughout the spring and summer. These are typically leisurely rides, jumping optional, through the beautiful hunting countryside. Lunch or light refreshments are usually included. Hunters depend on these rides to keep their horses fit and socialize with fellow hunters during the offseason. If you’re thinking about giving foxhunting a try, these rides are a great way to get yourself and your horse out in a group in the open country but without the added excitement of hounds and horn. To find contact information for the hunts in your area, go to www.mfha.org.
Hunter Pace Events and Spring Races: For contact information and more details, go to www.centralentryoffice.com. Hunter Pace Events: Saturday, April 18: Rappahannock Hunt Saturday, April 25: Loudoun Fairfax Hunt Spring Races, Virginia: Saturday, April 18: Middleburg Spring Races Sunday, April 19: Thornton Hill Fort Valley Hounds Point-to-Point Saturday, April 25: Foxfield Spring Races, Charlottesville Sunday, April 26: Middleburg Hunt Point-to-Point Saturday, May 2: Virginia Gold Cup Races Spring Races, Maryland: Saturday, April 18: Grand National Steeplechase Saturday, April 25: The Maryland Hunt Cup Sunday, May 17: Potomac Hunt Races Museum of Hounds & Hunting North America Huntsmen’s Room Induction Ceremony Saturday, May 23, 4:00 pm The Mansion, Morven Park, Leesburg. Open to the public www.mhhna.org Museum of Hounds & Hunting North America Members Reception Saturday, May 23, 5:00 pm The Mansion, Morven Park, Leesburg Open to current members and members’ guests. www.mhhna.org Virginia Foxhound Club Cocktail Party and Dinner Saturday, May 23, 6:00 pm Horn Blowing Contest, 7:00 pm www.virginiafoxhoundclub.org Hunt Country Stable Tour May 23-24 www.trinityupperville.org/Hunt-Country-Stable-Tour/ Virginia Hound Show Sunday, May 24, 8:00 Morven Park, Leesburg email@example.com Museum of Hounds & Hunting North America Sunday, May 24, 11:00, The Mansion, Morven Park, Leesburg Current exhibits open to the public. www.mhhna.org Hound Shows www.mfha.org/hounds-showsched.html. Upperville Colt & Horse Show Monday, June 1 – Sunday, June 7. www.upperville.com
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IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • SPRING 2015
Henry Hooker: Master of Many Talents, Wearer of Many Hats By Lauren R. Giannini “We’ve known Alice and Henry Hooker for many years. They have a great sense of humor and they’re fun people. We had hounds together in Mississippi with Bill and Joyce Brown. Henry has always been a real character and he loved his hunting. He was really responsible for where Hillsboro Hounds are now as a top pack. I think Alice could have been president of the U.S.—she’s a very capable person. When Henry told his stories, she always had a big twinkle in her eye.” The foxhunting tradition has been passed down to successive generations Nina Bonnie of the Hooker family. Here the family poses for their 1969 Christmas card: (l-r) Alice, Timothy, Bradford, Lisa, Henry.
Blessing of the Hillsboro Hounds, 1997. Henry Hooker, MFH, far left.
In 2009 Henry Hooker was recognized at the Iroquois Steeplechase for his many years of service on the Race Committee, 17 of those years as Chairman.
A young Henry Hooker explains the thrill of mounted sport to an admiring audience at the 1962 Iroquois Steeplechase.
“I met Henry in 1955 after I got out of law school. He was and is—very intelligent, a good businessman, gentleman and sportsman—successful at everything he tried. Nina and I began a long and happy friendship with Henry and Alice, and their children, who were about the same age as ours. We all went foxhunting. Henry was a thruster. He was a great storyteller and enjoyed writing his book. We all enjoyed reading it and those of us lucky enough to be in it have cherished it ever since. Henry and Alice are among our closest friends.” Ned Bonnie Hillsboro Master of Foxhounds Henry W. Hooker is known well and regarded with great respect and affection throughout the sporting world for his enthusiastic involvement in foxhunting, steeplechasing, fishing, shooting, and showing. Master Hooker and his wife Alice Ingram Hooker are the kind of people who are as good at giving as they are at getting—it doesn’t matter whether it’s the fun of sport, enjoyment of a task well done, or sharing their bounty. In June, the Hookers are being honored for their many years of civic leadership and philanthropy with induction into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame—an honor reserved primarily for other sports that don’t require horsepower with four legs and a tail, genus equus. Henry and Alice were driving forces behind turning the annual Iroquois Steeplechase into the premier sporting event that has raised millions of dollars for the benefit of the Monroe Carell, Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, but more on that in a bit… Stamping Their Get It’s often said that charity begins at home. When it comes to the gene pool, there’s no greater proof than offspring. It’s also true that children live what they learn. Henry and Alice Hooker stamped two sons and a daughter with their own inimitable values, work ethics, community spirit, and civic-mindedness. The little dynasty they created substantiates the saying that apples don’t fall far from the tree. Best of all, Bradford Hooker, Lisa Hooker Campbell, and Timothy Hooker began their sporting and equestrian educations as tiny children. “My parents hoisted all of us up in front of their saddles as babies and we all started hunting on a leadline when we were very young,” recalled Lisa Campbell. “We spent most of our school vacations hunting in Tennessee or Mississippi. We all grew up horse showing, and both of my brothers were on the Junior Olympic Teams representing our country. We all have had a lifelong love of horses.” Bradford and his wife Jamie Ball Hooker are Masters of Foxhounds with the North Cotswold in England. Tim Hooker, based in Wellington, Florida, has enjoyed a lifetime career of showing horses. Riding is the two brothers’ primary recreational activity. Several of Henry and Alice’s grandchildren are very good riders. Heather
Hooker, currently co-captain of the UVA Club Polo Team, partnered with her Perle to finish first nationally in the U.S. Equestrian Federation’s Horse of the Year Low Amateur Owner Jumper standings. In June of this year Henry Hooker and “It doesn’t his wife Alice will be inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame in stop with our imrecognition of their many years of mediate family,” civic leadership and philanthropy. said Campbell. Photo courtesy of The Tennessean “Two of my cousins, Orrin and John Ingram, both got their love of horses from my parents. Orrin is joint-master of the Hillsboro Hounds and former board chairman of the U.S. Polo Association and the Polo Training Foundation. John competes on the show circuit. Several greatnieces are horse-women. “We may have spent a great deal of time pursuing horse-related activities but they were all family times and my brothers and I and our cousins, Orrin and John, got a great deal of attention,” added Campbell. “My mother Alice was right there all the time organizing and managing the children, teenagers, horses, coaches and extra help while serving as District Commissioner of the Middle Tennessee Pony Club with over 100 members. We all had fun, but mostly we had her instilling in all of us so many life lessons about respect, trying hard, doing your best, being a good winner and a gracious loser. She made it possible for all of us, including my father, to succeed in the horse world and prepared us for life.” Brad and Jamie, both American by birth, met returning to London by rail. Brad had seen Jamie at a horse show and on the train she was reading Horse & Hound, which provided a conversational opener. For the last six years, Brad and Jamie have been joint-Masters with Nigel and Sophia Peel of the North Cotswold, which continues the connection with Hillsboro Hounds. In 1939, North Cotswold’s master Maj. Bill Scott sent his pack of hounds for safekeeping during World War II to his friend, Mason Houghland, MFH Hillsboro. “I learned a lot about teamwork from my parents,” said Brad. “Foxhunting, showing, steeplechasing are complicated sports and teamwork is essential and, obviously, the team includes horses. My father Henry always saw the good in people and tried to look at things from other people’s points of view. And he took everyone’s aspirations and achievements very seriously, which they found quite flattering. My father spent a huge amount of time and attention on me and was invariably good humored and encouraging. He also handed over his best horses to me as soon as I grew into them.” Brad continued, “My mother’s attention to detail, firmness of principle, and loyalty are legendary. She has also been extremely generous over many decades, especially to us. Apart from spoiling us, she was very wise. I wish I’d taken her advice far more often than I have—on personal matters, business matters, and equestrian matters. I have to add that her love of horses proved infectious. This passion spread to nearly all members of the extended family and has dominated the lives of most of us.”
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • SPRING 2015
The England-based Hookers also breed show jumpers, and Brad competes. They have been known to scout out a talented prospect or two for Tim to take home to the USA. Based in Palm Beach, Florida, Tim recalled a childhood spent foxhunting and many fantastic opportunities for learning. “I learned not to panic when your leaders get you hopelessly lost in the woods at dark,” he said. “And which parent to follow down into the ditch and how big your pony can or can’t jump on the other side. Finding your way home and trusting the horses to help when the grownups can’t agree are lifelong lessons that can only be learned from those experiences.” A professional horseman, Tim raises, shows, and sells horses and has won grand prix jumper classes in Florida and Saratoga. He noted that animals were his friends when he got home from school and that his cousins lived four hills over, which meant riding back and forth often to visit and play. “My parents provided leadership and all the enthusiasm to make us happy young riders in the woods, playing and hunting,” said Tim. “Respect for tradition and the animals were the two dominating themes in our early development. My father loved his hounds and horses. My mother was the one making it all happen for him and for us children with her constant organizing and planning. They taught us how to balance our love for sport, and the respect for it. “We all were so lucky to have role models that kept a realistic perspective on the lives of the people and animals that provided the sport,” continued Tim. “Those values and lessons have been the core of my mindset from my childhood. It’s never one event or lesson, but the sum of the many experiences that sets one’s moral compass. I consider myself the luckiest guy on earth to have had the parents that fostered my view on life. Everywhere I go people tell me how special my parents are and no one knows that more than I!” Fox, Fin, Feather & Fun When it comes to sharing the highlights of his sporting life, Henry Hooker is a generous man. His affection for hounds and wildlife, horses and “cur” dogs, and people from all walks of society rings through loud and clear like the belllike bugle of a great hound. In 2002, the Derrydale Press published Fox, Fin and Feather: Tales From The Field which established Hooker’s reputation as author and raconteur of insightful and often hilarious tales about rural sporting traditions and their very colorful enthusiasts. Fox, Fin and Feather is a classic about classics written by a classic. “Henry’s a legend in his own time,” said Dennis Foster, Executive Director of the Masters of Foxhounds Association of America. “I’ve never met anyone who knows any more about the sport. I was really lucky to have the privilege of hunting with him. As a young man, Henry was hell bent for leather.” It all began in 1955. Hooker was courting Alice Ingram and she took him hunting for the first time. Smitten on all counts, Hooker was hooked. In terms of sporting influences, his mentors and friends included the likes of the Mason Houghland, George Sloan, Ned and Nina Bonnie, Ben Hardaway, Bill and Joyce Brown, Harry Rhett, Alexander Mackay-Smith, Kate Ireland, Mason Lampton, Austin Brown, and Bill Steinkraus—a veritable Who’s Who of Horse, Hound, Chasing and Racing. Marriage and children completed Hooker’s world. From 1977 to 1980, many changes took place. Hooker became Jt-MFH and Hon. Huntsman at Cedar Knob and joined the mastership at Hillsboro two years later—the same season that Johnny Gray became huntsman and Karen Gray professional whip. By the start of the new decade, the two packs merged into one entity, Hillsboro Cedar Knob Hounds. The 40th running of the Iroquois Steeplechase in 1980 entered into partnership with Children’s Hospital, but once again, more on this in a bit… “Henry inspired me to pursue hunting on horseback and to become a Master,” said Orrin Ingram, Jt-MFH Hillsboro. “One of Henry’s greatest talents was the ability to put down on paper wonderful explanations of events he’s participated in—he truly captured the spirit and excitement with a poetic flair that brought all of his adventures vividly to life. I think that he’s one of those people best described
by saying ‘they broke the mold when Henry Hooker was born.’” Few non-fiction books deliver entertainment, enlightenment, and education so pleasantly packaged in such wellcrafted prose. Not quite a traditional history of Hillsboro Hounds (please visit hillsborohounds.com for its timeline), Fox, Fin, & Feather invites the reader to relax in a comfortable chair, seasonal beverage at hand, and your best friends—be they retired hounds or “cur” dawgs—lounging at your feet. Be prepared to laugh out loud as you embark on an exciting ride. Hooker leads his readers on a merry chase that guarantees glorious red letter days, filled with enjoyment, camaraderie, and fun. “What most people don’t know is that Henry’s a walking hunt encyclopedia,” said Foster. “Those of us privileged to ride with him in his later years would get a detailed explanation of everything going on with the pack, huntsman, terrain features, and hunting stories non-stop. He had some of the funniest anecdotes and a memory to die for. I invited him to speak at some of our Biennial Staff Seminars and he brought the house down every time. He and Alice are a great couple, very generous, and they have done a lot for foxhunting.” Hall of Fame If you follow jump racing in this country, you have probably heard about the Iroquois Steeplechase at Percy Warner Park in Nashville. The Iroquois attracts some of the best horses in the country. Purses total $415,000 with $20,000 in bonuses, and the seven-race card includes one flat, one timber, and six hurdle contests, featuring the Grade 1 Calvin Houghland Iroquois $150,000 Hurdles Stakes and the Mason Houghland Memorial ($50,000) Timber Stakes. What enthusiasts may not realize is that Henry and Alice Hooker pretty much steered the course of the Iroquois Steeplechase from community, pasture-based sporting event to wildly successful, fund-raising sanctioned meet on the National Steeplechase calendar. It started, like most hunt races, in a field; in 1936, Marcellus Frost, whose name adorns the Sport of Kings Novice Hurdle Stakes, suggested the ideal place at Percy Warner to build a racecourse. The first Iroquois Steeplechase took place in 1941 (history can be found under the “about” tab at iroquoissteeplechase.com). Before the 1981 running, race chairman Calvin Houghland gave his blessing to George Sloan and Hooker, representing the Volunteer State Horsemen, who approached what is now Monroe Carell, Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt with the idea of forming an association. Alice Hooker, then president of the Children’s Hospital Board of Directors, secured enthusiastic approval, and that is how and when the successful alliance began between Iroquois Steeplechase and Children’s Hospital. On June 6, at the Omni Hotel in Nashville, Henry and Alice Hooker will be honored with induction into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. An extract from the video presentation’s script states: “In the sporting world, greatness takes many forms: athleticism, vision and action. In the case of equestrians, Alice and Henry Hooker, you have all three.” The Iroquois Steeplechase has raised more than $8million dollars for the Children’s Hospital since 1981. Henry served as chairman of the Iroquois race committee for 17 years. Alice served for 18 years as Chairman of the Iroquois Steeplechase Advisory Committee for The Friends Of The Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital Board. “My parents have been true examples of how to volunteer your time and use your talents and treasure to make a variety of charities better for the greater good,” said Campbell. “My mother devoted herself to many community philanthropies all through her adult life.” The script concludes: “The Hookers essentially took their passion for children, for sport and for our community and achieved something extraordinary. They helped build a sporting event into a sporting institution… fueling a new hospital for children into what is now a world leader in healthcare.” It is often said that behind every great man is a great woman. This certainly applies to Henry and Alice Hooker—what a power couple, what a romantic story. Hooker’s dedication in Fox, Fin & Feather is a sporting
5 love letter to his wife: “… The person who started me foxhunting has been my best hunting, shooting, and fishing companion and much more…. However, the greatest pleasure of all is seeing her values and character in our children.” With any luck at all, those wholesome “Henry and Alice” genes and character traits will endow their children’s children’s children with the Hooker traditions of living at a great pace, hounds in full cry, and living life to the max—harking to the heartfelt message expressed in Hooker’s poem, “Why We Hunt” which ends: “Most of us do it for the fun of it, the sheer irrepressible fun of it.” May all of us follow the Hookers’ example and enjoy many red letter days blessed with sport, romance, love, family, friends, good works, and fun!
Alice Ingram took Henry Hooker out for his first foxhunt. And he was instantly hooked...on both.
Henry Hooker served as Jt.-MFH and Huntsman at Tennessee’s Cedar Knob Hunt.
The gentlemen of Hillboro Hounds honored Henry Hooker at the 2012 Hunt Ball.
Alice Ingram Hooker has been an inspirational guiding force in the lives of her children and in her many civic and charitable service roles. Photo courtesy of The Tennessean
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • SPRING 2015
Metamora Memories By John J. Carle II, ex-MFH “I don’t care how they look as long as they can hunt.” Elliot S. “Peck” Nichols Founding Master at Metamora W.R. Lasher followed by K.C. Parker, T.F. Wilson ‘62.
Gene Lasher with the Metamora hounds. Date unknown.
Metamora Huntsman Gene Lasher.
Edward C. Parker, 1954.
God, what an awful winter this was! The ground was hard-frozen, covered with snow-over-ice-over-snow. The mercury plunged into the minus figures most nights, and the wind howled with maniacal fury at all hours. Worst of all there was no hunting, not even on foot. ’Tis time to raid the Treasury of Memory, and spend a little. It was the season of 1960-61, a winter much like this past one, but with more snow in Virginia. I had flunked out of college and was working for Dickie Miller’s Foothill Fence Company, and hunting on weekends. However, snow had curtailed fence building, and I was on an extended Christmas sabbatical with my first wife, Sally, at her parents’ Michigan home. As luck would have it, Sally’s mother, Elaine McHenry, had been in her day one of Grosse Pointe’s most dashing debutantes, with beaux galore, one of whom had been a foxhunter—and he still hunted. It took very little coaxing on her part to inveigle an invitation for me to enjoy a couple of days with the Metamora Hunt. Her beau’s name, unfortunately, has vanished into the mists of time, and anyone who might remember has either passed on or no longer deigns to speak to me. But he was keen on his hunting (although not terribly adept), a gracious host and a pleasant companion. I “sorta remember” that his name was Bob, so for convenience’s sake, that’s to be his moniker here. Bob wisely waited until the holiday galas in Grosse Pointe had subsided, and most of us had shaken our New Year’s hangovers, to schedule hunting. He picked me up early on a bright, frigid morning for the drive north. It seemed inconceivable then, and does now, that foxhunting existed two hours or less from Detroit’s dismal sprawl. What I found was an amazing rural oasis, a pristine, fox-filled paradise that catered full-bore to hunting and the country life. They even refused to pave the roads, keeping them all sand (and to a large extent, still do). In open weather the ground was light, the going good, and even in winter you could gallop down the sand roads with none of the “’ammer, ’ammer, ’ammer” encountered elsewhere. Eddie Parker, Bill Kennedy, and Fred Reynolds were Masters, and their welcome was so genuinely warm that I’m convinced their ancestors were of Southern origin. It was announced at the Meet that the temperature was zero; but up here it is a dry cold and didn’t feel so bad. Most people wore parkas and earmuffs, and all were concerned that I’d freeze in my tweeds. However, my coat was of a heavy, dense weave that cut the wind, and it fit generously enough to accommodate several layers of wool. My heavy wool breeches kept my scrawny nether parts warm, so I was very comfortable. Bob provided me with his second horse, saying that he was still “a little green.” A tall, narrow chestnut, he proved adequate for the day, but not one I’d put in my barn. He wasn’t overly comfortable or very sure-footed, and it was lucky we didn’t do a lot of jumping, since most of his attempts were “by the braille method,” but we both survived. Carrying the horn back then was lean, lanky Virginian Gene Lasher, excellent at his job, and cast in the
mold of those country huntsmen I’d grown up following, Andrew Branham and Bobby Coles. His hounds were a revelation, all Walkers (presumably field-trialbred), smallish in stature, with long, dense coats, more like Welsh than American hounds. I had a chance to chat briefly with Gene before moving off, and longer at day’s end. He explained that, in this seemingly impossible weather, he didn’t “draw” his coverts, for hounds couldn’t hunt up to their fox. Instead, he swept through coverts, his hounds ranging quite widely in front of him, in hopes of jumping foxes from their beds. He said this method worked thanks to two factors: red foxes lie out and bed in the open most of the time, despite the weather, and foxes here were plentiful. Soon we moved off for what proved to be an unremarkable day. Under a high sky with gusting wind, scent was practically nonexistent. And, if foxes were plentiful, they’d congregated elsewhere. Gene’s perseverance paid off, and we finally did find after some hard hunting. We actually had several foxes afoot, but none were inclined to run and quickly went to ground. My horse’s mind tended to wander, and it took occasional hard cracks in the ribs to remind him of his job; and happily by day’s end he was going considerably better. I think he had, upon occasion, gotten the best of Bob, who registered surprise that he hadn’t stopped with me. Thankful for the ride though I was, I was glad to get back to the Meet. The Masters apologized for a mediocre day and insisted I attend the next fixture. “We’ll find you a horse,” said Eddie Parker, adding in undertone, “something more suitable!” And did they ever! The morning of my second hunt was colder yet. At the Meet, under leaden skies, sullen with snow, it was five-below and holding. Bob had brought along a friend who boarded at the same stable, and we joined a field of eight hardy souls for some very welcome, strongerthan-port, toe-warming libation. “Do I have a treat for you!” announced Mr. Parker, leading me to a handsome, coal-black Thoroughbred. “He’s Gene’s young horse, and he’s a good one. But he’s never been with the Field before.” I felt both flattered and humbled that whatever Gene had seen and heard the previous day, he’d felt confident enough to offer me the ride. A beautifully put together horse, a little over 16.2, he gave me that good feeling walking around at the Meet that promises a comfortable ride. “He’ll get you there,” Gene said. “He can gallop some, and he’s a really good jumper.” Then he cut his eye at me and, with a sly grin, added, “Oh, and he can take a bit of a hold.” On all counts, Gene was spot-on. The “bit of a hold” didn’t bother me: the Thoroughbred/App cross I’d bought the season before from Hi Petter could put a freight train to shame. Good thing I was ready, ’cause this five-year-old could pull with the best of ’em. After one last, deep draught of toe-warmer, Gene moved off and, after a short hack from the Meet, put hounds into a fallow field densely overgrown with clumps of some sort of mesquite-like bushes. Eddie Parker was taking the Field, and he was blessed with that sterling talent that only the best of Field Masters possesses: the ability to keep the Field near enough to closely observe hounds working, yet never to interfere.
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • WINTER 2015
The way these shaggy Walkers went about their work was fascinating: heads down mostly, then up occasionally to test the wind; racing to remembered spots of earlier finds; and the older hounds looking for fresh tracks in the snow. It wasn’t long before hounds had not one but two foxes afoot; and the pack opened with a roar to shame a Detroit diesel! And then the fun began! Luckily for me, a member of the Field had earlier given me some sage advice. “Tighten your girth good at the Meet,” she said, “’cause when hounds find, you won’t have time.” (This with a knowing look at my horse!) Eddie had us away in Gene’s pocket and flying. Trying to be the polite visitor, I fell in at the back of the Field, but soon found myself near the front, dangerously close to earning the “thruster’s reward”: a ticket home. Luckily, we galloped into a large field where, after two circles, I got to the rear. This was to be a pattern oft repeated throughout the day. Despite—or maybe because of—his enthusiasm, this horse was, for the most part, a delight to ride. He truly had a seven-league stride, was as comfortable as my fireside armchair, and flew his fences with born confidence. Allowed to roll on, had he been in a timber race, he’d have gained three lengths over every fence. In trappy places, he’d collect himself and make child’s play where some of the other horses made a shambles. And “Appy” could out-pull him! With a brace of foxes, tight as twins and practically within taunting distance ahead, hounds were flying. I’d heard that many Walkers have light, reedy voices, but this pack’s cry, though mostly high-pitched, was strong and carried well, which kept us in touch. We’d been going hard for over an hour when we got to a straight sand road, down which we could really gallop on. My horse inched his way forward until his nose was at Eddie’s knee. Laughing, Eddie shouted, “Go on and let him get in front and he’ll be fine! That’s where he’s used to being!” And so it was: he relaxed, dropped his head and lengthened his stride, pulling away from the Field with ridiculous ease. After about a mile, with hounds screaming parallel to us in dense woods, Eddie suddenly pulled up. Hounds had turned away to our left, so we reversed to a trail through very dense cedars. “Be careful! It’s steep and there’s a coop at the bottom…give us room!” Eddie yelled over his shoulder. I waited on the road as my horse danced a hornpipe, then tackled the trail that proved to be a narrow, very steep and slick series of switchbacks. The black horse negotiated the treacherous trail at what I considered unnecessary speed, but with supreme confidence, balletic grace, and catlike balance and agility. I, on the other hand, not viewing the possibility of foot-following with any enthusiasm, and with all the grace of that famous monkey having intimacies with a football as I ducked low limbs, clung aboard for dear life. From the road, I had counted the field as they came into the open, and I felt secure; however, having flunked every math course from fourth grade on, it was with little surprise that I soon learned I’d miscounted. Suddenly an attractively curvaceous lady on a plump Quarter Horse mare was three strides away, broadside to a stout coop, having had several refusals. The mare froze, her rider teetered, and we plowed into them amidships. My horse did try to stop: sat down and slid like a reining horse on the frozen ground. He slowed enough so that our collision wasn’t a total disaster, but we all went down. “I’m sorry! I’m so sorry!” the poor lady cried. “You’re sorry? No, it was all my fault!” And so it went as she dusted herself off, and we made sure her mare was sound. She had split her breeches from backside to breakfast, so the job of giving her a leg up became quite a titillating affair, punctuated by uncontrollable giggling. All aboard, and then, “Please give me a lead.” I did, but behind I heard a clatter as the mare once again refused. “You go on; I’m going home!” the lady cried, sounding right pitiful. When later I told Eddie about the mishap, he merely rolled his eyes and muttered, “That useless mare!” By now the Field was long gone; hounds’ cry had vanished; and it began to snow. We were at one end of a narrow, half-mile field, so I dropped my horse’s head and let him roll. Lord, how he flew! It was like riding the wind! Near field’s edge, he threw up his head: sweet notes from the canine chorus welled up from the woods ahead. Jumping out of the field into dense woods, we once again had a narrow, twisting trail to negotiate before coming to another long field. There was no panel here, but a riding gate that was swinging open. Out in the pasture, five mules had cut off Bob and his friend at the gate and, with murderous intent, had them in full flight. Neither carried a hunting whip, so they were pretty helpless. My good horse was well whip-broke, and a loud crack sent the mules high-tailing it out of sight. “Thanks!” yelled Bob. “We’re okay now… we’ll get the gate… Go on!” So we set sail; but halfway to the far woods I looked back and saw the mules once more in pursuit. I pulled up, prepared to go back, but just then “the waft of Hounds’ voices, sweeter at that moment than the songs of Paradise, came down the wind…” (Somerville & Ross). A siren song too sweet to resist, and we galloped on. Eventually Bob and friend escaped, but retired to the trailers, their hunt over. We caught up with hounds, their cry less voluminous than earlier, which I
found out after nearly colliding with the Field on yet another narrow trail, due to a split. We were with Gene and half the pack going right-handed; the Whipper-In had the other half to the left. After a slight check, hounds were away like rockets, pace picking up considerably as the snow redoubled its efforts and the wind began to howl, “fit to split your teeth,” as Robert Ruark once said. For the best part of another hour we followed the half pack at a sharp pace. The snowstorm had become a blizzard, and gale-force winds blew the snow sideways. Visibility was worsening, but the clarion cry ahead guided us unerringly. Then suddenly the volume of cry escalated: the foxes had reunited and so had the pack—and we truly began to rock and roll! We burst into a long stretch of wide open, galloping country, well-paneled, and sat down to ride. But we were faced immediately with a serious problem: the wind had drifted snow deeply against the coops, and horses couldn’t see a groundline. Eddie’s horse almost went down, and two horses fell over the next two panels. My brilliant black hunter never put a toe wrong: galloping joyously between fences and jumping carefully, he was close to his beloved hounds, and he was in his element. Hounds were “running to kill,” but conditions worsened by the minute, and we knew our day was nearly done. At an open, double gateway, there lay a fifty-foot sheet of black ice, windblown clear of snow. Hounds had checked in the field beyond, and Gene, who had tiptoed around the edge of the ice, sat watching as they cast themselves frantically. From behind, here came galloping the Whipper-In with two hounds in tow. “They’re all on!” he bellowed. Watching hounds, he didn’t see the ice in time. Despite sharp studs, his horse’s feet flew from under him, landing him flat on his side. The Whipper-In came out the back door. Together, horse on his side, rider on his back with feet in the air, they tobogganed the length of the ice, where drifted snow stopped them, and they scrambled up, unhurt. Eddie made his dreaded decision: “We’ve gotta call it a day, Gene, before someone gets hurt!” I’m sure Gene felt that his hounds were close to accounting for their quarry, but even he had to give Mother Nature best. It was with reluctance that he lifted his hounds and blew for home. We’d been out for three hours and, as the Brits say, “going like the clappers” most of the time: truly a Metamora Marathon. It was a day that proved true the words of English Huntsman Andrew Sallis: “…a significant hunt can be had in the most unlikely of weathers.” It was a long hack back to the Meet, down a labyrinth of inviting sand roads, and by the time we arrived, the storm had abated to persistent flurries. My horse had a wonderful walk, and he strode along, his head happily in front. I had fallen totally in love by now, but like most of my love affairs, it was doomed from the start. At the trailers, as I attended to untacking and blanketing, I rambled on to Gene about what a fantastic day I’d had, and how magnificently his horse had performed. Gene listened quietly, then said, “Gotta admit I was a little worried ’bout how he’d go in the Field. He seemed to figure it out, and I’m glad he went well for you. But, Boy, he ain’t goin’ back to Virginia!” So ended my Metamora hunting history. I went back once to judge a puppy show, when old friend Peter Whitman donned the Master’s mantle, and Davey Jones had come on as Huntsman. Gene Lasher was long gone, his lean and lithe Walkers replaced by a conglomeration of English and Crossbreds, great hulking brutes, and fighters every one. In later years, when Pat Pierce carried the horn, the pack improved tremendously. But they weren’t the wonderous Walkers. The real Renaissance at Metamora has come at the hands of Adrian Smith, late of Orange County and Deep Run. He has done a brilliant job of introducing new blood, and his ultrasharp pack is showing the Michiganders sport reminiscent of the Lasher years. Many years after my Metamora Marathon, I ran into Gene at the Upperville Horse Show. He was frantically busy with horses and family, and we had time for but a few words. Indeed, he remembered me and the day and, of course, that fantastic black horse. “One of my best ever,” he said. “And you know what? I never let anyone else ride him again!”
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • SPRING 2015
Remembering Its Origins, Mells Foxhounds Celebrates 50 Years By Stephen K. Heard, ex-MFH • Dr. William Kenner Photos
Stasia Bachrach, MFH.
Stephen K. Heard, honorary whipper-in.
Karen Kressenburg, MFH and Huntsman.
Colonel John L. Hornor, Jr. was a highly decorated World War II veteran. He participated in the landing at Normandy (Utah Beach) and served in General George Patton’s Third Army. Before the invasion, Colonel Hornor was dispatched by President Roosevelt to England to help prepare for the United States’ entry into the European conflict. In this role, he worked directly with Prime Minister Winston Churchill and General Dwight D. Eisenhower. Despite the demands of his assignment, he found time to visit his English cousins at his forebears’ estate of Mells Manor in Somerset. It made a lasting impression. One of the great joys of Colonel Hornor’s life prior to World War II was foxhunting in Northern Virginia where he hunted extensively with a number of hunts but particularly Old Dominion Hounds. After the war, in 1949, Colonel Hornor met his third and last wife, Ann Eidson Hornor, who also had a history of foxhunting, mostly with the Rappahannock Hunt, where, at the age of four, she reportedly hunted with General Patton. In 1964, Hornor purchased a farm in Giles County, Tennessee, which he named Mells after the ancestral estate in England. He acquired hounds, erected kennels, obtained permission to hunt adjacent lands, and founded the Mells Foxhounds. He enlisted his 9-year-old daughter, Lou Hornor (now Mahr), and her best friend Karen Kressenberg to serve as his whips. In 1966, Mells Foxhounds became registered and in 1971 was recognized by the Masters of Foxhounds Association. Colonel Hornor passed away in 1989 but his legacy endures. Mells has hunted continuously every season since its founding. Lou has fond memories of hunting with her father. However, she conLou Hornor Mahr. fessed that she never really figured out whipping-in. Fortunately, her best friend, Karen Kressenberg, did. Most of all, Lou remembers her father’s love for tradition, hard work, competence, and commitment, and his kindness to both people and animals. On Saturday, October 18, 2014, under luminous blue skies and in the midst of tri-colored Penn-Marydel hounds, the Mells Foxhounds celebrated its 50th Anniversary at Opening Hunt. Lou Hornor Mahr traveled from her home in Maryland to participate in the celebration. She brought along her father’s hunting horn, which at the “Blessings of the Hounds” she presented to Karen Kressenberg, now Mells Joint MFH and Huntsman. Flanking Karen before the assembled crowd were her Joint Masters, Stasia Bachrach and Bill Haggard (who also serves as Huntsman). With moistened eyes glistening, Karen gratefully accepted the horn, thus completing the circle from the inception of Mells by Colonel Hornor to the present. With the Opening Ceremonies completed, Karen, followed by three flights of foxhunters, dispatched her whips and put the pack into the first covert. Ninety seconds later hounds erupted in full cry, hot on the line of a nimble coyote. The quarry and its pursuers led the Mells foxhunters throughout the country in a spirited chase. Two and half hours later, horses and riders spent, Karen and her staff returned the hounds to the kennel. The field then headed back to the Meet for a sumptuous mid-day repast. The three current Masters—Kressenberg, Bachrach, and Haggard—have stated that they intend to build on the considerable efforts of those who have gone before them and have already committed resources resulting in the construction of a new state-ofthe-art kennel. These Masters have additionally established relationships with adjoining landowners adding greatly to the Mells existing country. Bill Haggard, voicing the sentiments of his Joint Masters, stated, “We believe that Mells is something very special and we’re intent on making it more so.” Following a day of joy, reflection, and excitement, in which, happily, nothing went amiss, the consensus was that this Opening Meet of Mells was an auspicious beginning for the next fifty years. The writer would like to thank Lou Hornor Mahr; Karen Kressenberg, MFH; Leslie Rhett Crosby, MFH; David Kendall, exMFH; Dennis Foster, ex-MFH and Executive Director of The Mas- Bill Haggard, MFH and Huntsman, and ters of Foxhounds Association; and the MFHA for providing John Haggard. information used in this article.
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • WINTER 2015
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • SPRING 2015
Tent Pegging Revival: Antiquated Sport Played On Horseback Goes Modern By Lauren R. Giannini
Tentpegging is challenging and fun: South Africa Tentpegging’s Roslyn Strydom in “Lemons & Peg,” an international class, shows how to slash a suspended orange at a full gallop. Photo Courtesy of South Africa Tentpegging
“On a trip to England a few years ago, I purchased an antique gentleman’s sandwich case with an engraved box. The engraving was in intricate fonts and sizing, as skillfully hand done as I had ever seen. In the 1880s, the case had been given to a Captain Dawson, the winner of a Tent Pegging competition in India. My first thought was this was an incredibly special prize for setting up a tent quickly. Recently, I read about the important sport of tent pegging in Asia and remembered the prize case and engraved box. Deciding to learn more about tent pegging, I asked Lauren to investigate the ‘sport’ for us.” Marion Maggiolo Tent pegging is a cavalry sport with roots that go back about 2500 years. It’s quite likely that Asian cavalries, who lived and often died by the lance, used small targets, possibly some sort of peg (tents have been in use since the Iron Age) to practice their skills. Moving forward in time, it’s easy to envision a group of cavalry officers honing their armed skills for combat. Being competitive by nature, they would watch each other, take sides, place bets, develop rivalries—all in good fun, but with survival the motive. There’s something about galloping flat out to skewer a small object that raises a challenge, especially to your balance and hand-eye coordination. Tent Pegging 101
Michael Smith, GBR, shows his peg-skewering form with which he harvested individual silver in “Rings & Peg” at the 2015 International Equestrian Tentpegging Championships in India. Photo Courtesy of British Tentpegging Association
Two British team members make their run in “Half Section Lance” in the Sudan in 2014. Photo Courtesy of British Tentpegging Association
Tent pegging is easier said than done. It encompasses a variety of mounted cavalry games testing “skill-at-arms”—in other words, weapons with an edge. In some events, targets are suspended from a rope or placed on top of a post. Today’s tent pegging competitions may include individual and team events for Lance, Sword, Lemon Cutting, Half Section (pairs), and Single Indian File. A Time Allowed event, tent pegging requires superior precision with lance and sword, solid riding skills and good balance. Host nations provide the horses at international competitions, so it helps to be able to bond quickly with unfamiliar horses in order to get the best out of your mount. “Tent pegging is great fun, but also very challenging,” said Sam Goss, British Horse Society Instructor and British Tentpegging Association (BTA) Coach. [The sport is variously shown in print as one word, two words, or two words hyphenated—not unlike the various forms of “foxhunting, fox hunting, fox-hunting.”] “It’s the excitement of going fast and the thrill of being able to take a one-inch peg out of the ground at 26 miles per hour! When you miss it, it’s so annoying. This, I think, is why you keep trying and trying again until you get it!” According to the BTA, tent pegging caught on in England after the Battle of Waterloo on June 18, 1815, because the British Army adopted lances after the trouncing delivered by Napoleon’s Polish Lancers. While stationed in India, British lancer regiments encountered the native sport of tent pegging and soon adapted it to their own requirements and needs. It became a popular form of entertainment during the Victorian Era. Naval and military tournaments cropped up and, thanks to the benediction of Queen Victoria in 1884, evolved into the Royal Tournament. There’s a lot more history. Suffice it to say that tent pegging was affected by the mechanization of modern armies. This resulted in the phasing out of the cavalry, thereby putting the kibosh on horses trained to charge—i.e., gallop in a straight line so that the rider could wield lance and sword against the enemy. The sport held on tenaciously, however, no doubt supported by civilians in the UK, who competed in tent pegging before and after World War II. Worldwide Players Tent pegging enthusiasts include men and women, civilians and military, as well as juniors, to the tune of several hundred thousands of enthusiasts worldwide. It is most popular in the Middle East and Asia with a concentration of participants in South Africa, India, Pakistan, and Australia. It is also played in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, UAE, Lebanon, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, India, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Sudan, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Poland, Italy, Egypt, Canada, Israel, Namibia, Malta, and the USA.
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • SPRING 2015
In Pakistan, the second largest equestrian sport after horse racing is tent pegging, which draws crowds of 10,000 to 50,000. No wonder, thanks to mastering social networking on Facebook. “Tent pegging Pakistan” boasts frequent posts, super photos (old and new), information, videos, and what appear to be official results discoverable online for the recent International and Asian Championships, won by Sudan and Oman respectively, in India. Fans and practitioners of tent-pegging can often be found in jousting and reenactment groups because of the emphasis on cavalry charges, sabers and lances. With appeal very similar to Pony Club Mounted Games—hanging off an equine at full gallop, fun, skill, excitement, competition—tent pegging appeals to juniors too. Goss, who competed on the Ladies British team on two different occasions, also served as manager of the first BTA Junior Team to go to South Africa. The young Brits came home with two gold, ten silver and three bronze medals. This year’s International Equestrian Tent Pegging Championships in Delhi, India, March 10–15, attracted 12 nations: GerJenna Copley wields sword with lethal accuracy at the many, Great Britain, India, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Jordan, Lebanon, 2015 International Tentpegging Championships. Photo Courtesy of the British Tentpegging Association Oman, Pakistan, Russia, Sudan, and the USA. Sudan won, followed by Oman and India. The GB team finished seventh overall and consisted of amateurs with full-time jobs: Michael Smith, Rachel Imber, Sarah King, and Jenna Copley. They harvested team gold in Indian File, and Smith won individual silver in Rings & Peg. International Tentpegging is beautiful as Revival of “Skill-At-Arms” In the USA well as exciting, whether it’s a single run, Tent pegging was practiced in the United States until after Indian File, or two and four team members World War II, but slowly went dormant with the disbanding of the racing side-by-side. The uniforms tend to be lavish and colorful, and the horses U.S. Cavalry and phasing out of the Remount Service. Pockets of beautifully adorned. Facebook photo: 2013 practitioners survived here and there, including US Army 1st Ser- University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan geant Ron Smith, founder of the U.S. Tent Pegging Association in 2004; however, deployments prevented him from being able to promote the sport. In 2013, Dr. Asim Malik, who worked in the U.S. Department of Defense, fulfilled a childhood dream. He revived tent pegging and began the promotion program with the help of his two sons Shaham Malik and Mugheerah Malik, friends Shelly Lynne Brown and her daughter Chelse Benton, and Brandi J. Hardin. They registered the new organization as the U.S. Tent Pegging Federation Tentpegging events are run with a Time Allowed, which can affect scores. This tentpegger picked up two rings, suspended at intervals on a (www.ustpf.org) in Tulsa, OK. long straight course. Photo Courtesy of British Tentpegging Association Hardin, also of Tulsa, had never heard of tent pegging until Dr. Malik told her about it. A lifelong horseperson, she began training horses at the age of 13 when she acquired a Standardbred mare named Ginger and turned her into a “pretty good cow pony” even though the horse knew only the arena and was terrified of water and being ridden out in the open. Hardin sees tent pegging as a cross between jousting and polo. “I’m just learning this sport and also training seven horses for it. It took me about a week, making 10 to 20 runs a day at full speed before I got my first peg. It’s really addicting—you want to turn around and do it again right away,” said Hardin, USTPF Vice-president in charge of tent pegging training. “I think the rings are easier, but everyone’s different. Most people start out at walk and trot, but I know my horses and I galloped from the very beginning. “We’re in the middle of cowboy country, so there aren’t a lot of English and McClellan saddles, which are required by tent pegging rules,” continued Hardin. “But one problem is finding a big enough place for demonstrations. You need a polo field. Many arenas out here are geared to barrel racing and those horses are trained to run the pattern, but tent pegging needs a long, straight course. You don’t U.S. Tent Pegging Federation members (l-r): Chelse Benton, Magic want to stop the horse right after you get the peg. When you sit back up, you want the horse to keep (Arab), Dr. Asim Malik (primary founder and president), Ansar Abbas going.” (team coach), Brandi J. Hardin (horse training), China (Quarter Horse). (Just visible behind fence: Salman Zia). Photo Courtesy of U.S. Tent The USTPF has a new tent pegging facility in Tulsa. Promotional plans in the works include tent Pegging Federation pegging demonstrations at well-attended equestrian venues, such as polo matches, rodeos, county fairs, and the Oklahoma State Fair. The tent peggers of Tulsa are also game to ride in parades with banners. Two trainings are planned in April with more to be scheduled. They’re keen to get equestrians around the U.S. interested in tent pegging, especially in light of the fact that the U.S. Equestrian Federation has recognized the USTPF as the national governing body for tent pegging. On a global scale, tent pegging was recognized in 2004 by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), joining horse ball as the two “extra” disciplines, as yet not included with the eight FEI disciplines contested by teams and individuals in the World Equestrian Games. Tent pegging’s oldest governing body is the Equestrian Federation of India (EFI), founded in 1967 and recognized by the FEI in 1971. The recognized international governing body is the International Tent Pegging Federation (www.itpf.org), based in Oman, which evolved from the World Tent Pegging founded in 2013. Not all tent pegging countries belong to the ITPF, and the EFI is recognized globally as the governing body for tent pegging competitions. “Horses and swords are awesome, and tent pegging is probably the coolest sport you could get involved in,” said Jenna Copley, British team gold medalist from the 2015 International Equestrian Tent Pegging Championships in India. “The rush is that you get one shot on a run, hit or miss. No matter how good you are, you can have an off day trying to hit a one-inch target at 30 mph with a point equivalent Salman Zia wields his lance to skewer the peg during a USTPF in size to a pen! It’s like gambling—the rush is addictive.” training clinic in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Photo Courtesy of U.S. Tent Pegging Federation For more information, visit: itpf.om and www.ustpf.org.
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • SPRING 2015
By Middleburg Photo
of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage SHAWAN VALLEY “Aerie,” inspired by Peyton Randolph house in Williamsburg, designed by noted architect Bryden Hyde, built w/old-world craftsmanship. Cedar shake roof (2013). Georgian casework, 11-ft ceilings, formal LR, DR & cherry Lib each w/FP. Patrick Sutton/Trish Houck design Kit w/FP, sumptuous MBR ste w/FP, private Guest Ste. Gorgeous gardens, brick porches & patios, pool & vistas overlooking its 85.8 acres. Karen Hubble Bisbee 443-838-0438 $6,500,000.
Keswick Hunt Club at Mt. Sharon, February 8, 2015. (l-r) Honorary Whipper-In Greg Fisher; Barry Magner, former Huntsman, Middleburg Hunt; Tony Gammel, Keswick Huntsman.
SYKESVILLE HORSE FARM Cold Saturday Farm on the National Register of Historic Places. Tree-lined drive leads to a perfectly enchanting 10.25 acre horse farm. 5BR, 3BA homestead includes c. 1780 stone home w/19th century addition & recent MBR expansion. Farm includes 8-stall bank barn, 2-stall run-in shed, 2-car garage w/1BR apt, stone smoke house, additional farm buildings & 4 fenced pastures w/3 ponds. Karen Hubble Bisbee 443-838-0438 $1,195,000.
(l-r) Spencer Allen and Gregg Ryan, MFH Snickersville Hounds, Creekside Farm, March 22, 2015.
Sarah Kate Kangas riding Minnie at Keswick Hunt’s meet at Mr. Sharon, February 8, 2015.
Twin Oaks, impeccable 12.6 acre horse farm w/3BR, 3/2BA home totally renovated in 2001. Maple Kit w/granite, adj vaulted FamRm w/FP, MBR w/FP, SpaBa and hot tub deck. LL RecRm, MediaRm & Office. Amish-built 6-stall pole barn, attached equipment Garage, runin shed, 6-7 acres PVC fenced watered paddocks, tree-lined driveway. Ongoing updates and maintenance throughout property. Spectacular views! Karen Hubble Bisbee 443-838-0438 Andrea Conlan Kropfelder 410-598-7296 $889,000.
SPARKS/GLENCOE Upper Glencoe Rd. Awash in sunlight, c.1899 renovated 5BR Victorian farmhouse on 8.73 bucolic acres. Gracious Foyer, LR & DR, Den w/FP, maple Kit w/Silestone, breakfast area & glass doors to Deck. Large bright BRs, 2nd floor Laundry, new 3rd floor BA. Yellow pine floors, Marvin windows, emergency generator. 6-stall bank barn, heated tack room, run-in shed, 4 fenced paddocks & riding ring. Karen Hubble Bisbee 443-838-0438 $785,000.
Barry Magner, former Middleburg Hunt Huntsman, out with Snickersville Hounds, March 22, 2015. Devon Zebrovious, hunting with Snickersville Hounds March 22, 2015.
Karen Hubble Bisbee, GRI, ABR 443-838-0438 Hubble Bisbee Group 443-841-1333 Operated by a Subsidiary of NRT LLC
Snickersville Hounds Whipper-In Gale Rives Cayce,
Middleburg Hunt Huntsman Hugh Robards moves off with hounds from Meadow Brooke, March 28, 2015.
Gifts for every occasion—weddings, graduations, birthdays, Mother’s Day, garden party hostess gifts—our baskets are brimming with springtime delights! So many choices—stationery, jewelry, antiques, fine home décor items. Treat a friend or treat yourself!
TALLY HO VASE T 99" Tall. (HC1A) $164.00
ESTATE & ANTIQUES
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The Season's Freshest Picks
Pick A Shirt The Freshest Show Shirts from : Essex, FITS, R.J. Classics, O'Shaughnessy, Asmar, Ariat and Noble Outfitters.
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The Latest Technical Show Jackets from: Pikeur, Grand Prix, R.J. Classics, FITS, EOUS速 and Asmar
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An Extensive Selection of Breeches for Women and Men: Sandhurst, Boston, ROMPH, Devon-Aire, Trainer's Choice, Ariat速, Kentucky, and many more. www.HorseCountryCarrot.com
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Our Latest Selection of Fine Ladies' Hats from England, only one of each available. Horse Country has a new assortment of Ladies' Fascinator starting at $85.00
Stylish and Fun, Elegant and Arty, For Garden Plot, Or Garden Party.
CHICORY COWBOY HAT. One Size. (HC3A) $28.00
MEN'S HORSEMAN'S PANAMA. American Made. Green and White grosgrain hat band. Bleached straw. 3” brim with a 4" tall crown. Sizes 6 7/8 -7 3/4. (HC3E) $150.00
ASTRAIA. One Size. Natural (shown), Beige, Black. (HC3B) $30.00
ELTHEN COWBOY HAT. One Size. Black (shown), Brown. (HC3C) $30.00
HABANA PANAMA BLEACHED. PANAMA SKIMMER HAT. Bleached with Navy, Light Blue and Yellow Natural. Sizes MD-XL.(HC3G) $92.95 band. Sizes 7-7 5/8. (HC3F) $125.00
MYLO PANAMA HAT. One Size. Turquoise(shown), Fuchsia. (HC3D) $22.00
MEN'S TUSCAN PANAMA. American Made. Orange and White grosgrain hat band with a bow tie. Bamboo colored straw. 3" brim with a 4" tall crown. Sizes 6 7/8 -7 3/4. (HC3H) $95.00
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Our Finest Leather Products for the Handsomest Heads.
PIOURETTE DRESSAGE BRIDLE. Italian leather, soft padded, round raised flash crank noseband, with a browband duo of a 1/2" V-shaped crystal browband and round raised padded browband to match the noseband. Nut Brown. (HC4A) $324.00
MIDDLEBURG HUNTER BRIDLE. Italian leather, padded, fancy stitched. Nut Brown. (HC4D)) $338.00
KATE. Round-raised, padded, leather show halter. Nut Brown. (HC4B) $150.00
LAINIE. Triple-stitched, leather halter. Nut Brown. Also available in Black with Matte Silver hardware. (HC4C) $138.00
MILLBROOK EVENT BRIDLE. Italian leather, padded with flash. Nut Brown. (HC4E) $338.00
SOVEREIGN HUNTER BRIDLE. English leather, padded, fancy stitched. Nut Brown. (HC4F) $258.00
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WATERLOO St. ss RT. 29/17 Bypa
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To WASHINGTON via I-66 Rt. 17 By pass
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IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • SPRING 2015
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • SPRING 2015
REMEMBRANCE Remembering a Friend J. Harris Anderson, Managing Editor For more than 20 years Janet Hitchen (1943-2015) was an integral part of the Horse Country team. The distinctive look of our pages, especially the covers, is largely the result of the artistry she created with her camera. The talent required to capture such compelling Photographer Janet Hitchen at the photographic imVirginia Fox Hound Show. ages is a mystery Douglas Lees photo beyond the limited comprehension of this editor. But, borrowing from Justice Potter Stewart, I know it when I see it. And no one did it better than Janet. Janet told me she didn’t like it when riders waved at her as they rode by. She wanted to catch them in candid action, not mugging for her camera. (Of course, knowing that, I couldn’t resist the occasional wave just to tease her.) Before the Coach Stop regrettably closed its doors, we had a regular Wednesday night dinner group that met there. Many evenings I would just sit back and listen to Janet and Roy “Tennessee” Graham swap tales of their past adventures. There was always a spirit in her voice that sounded as if the sparkle of her photos had been transformed into sound. Those of us who knew her as more than just a face behind a camera valued her kindness and caring nature. And, as anyone reading this paper will appreciate, that was especially true when it came to animals. Her home was invariably filled with a menagerie of misfits and castoffs that, had it not been for Janet, would have faced sad outcomes. But instead they found a happy, nurturing home. The image of her moving patiently among the crowds at the races, hunt meets, social gatherings, and other events here in horse country will remain in the mind’s eye of many. Loaded down with gear, limping in later years, Janet had an intuitive sense of where to be and what to shoot. When you saw Janet, you knew the day would be captured in a collection of images both frozen in the moment yet alive with action. Putting together a publication, issue after issue for 25 years, imposes a challenge for the team members. Each issue is a blank canvas and the goal is to fill it with images and words that readers will find entertaining, informative, perhaps even inspirational. No one contributed more to those objectives than Janet. Other publications will run the standard obituary info. But such details as dates, awards, and credentials have little relevance to the memory of a valued colleague and dear friend. This paper will go on. But it will never be quite the same. Please remember Janet and her love of animals with a gift to the Middleburg Humane Foundation, www.middleburghumane.com
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • SPRING 2015
Schoolboy Crush By Tommy Lee Jones I shot myself when I was in the eighth grade. Home with a younger cousin watching westerns I decided to shoot a hawk that was threatening my grandmother’s chickens. Hurrying in my sock feet, I stepped off the porch and the 410 shotgun went off. It poked a small hole in the top of my foot, but that blossomed into a bigger mess on the bottom. It didn’t hurt, but it sure scared the hell out of me. There was so much blood and then I had to fend off the four or five beagle pups I had been playing with earlier that were pulling my bloody sock off my foot. Janet was the first non-family member to visit me in the hospital. She came back two or three times a week, on occasion bringing her friend Huntsman Tommy Lee Jones. Janet Hitchen photo Lucille E. Mazza. I had a huge crush on Lucille. I was in the hospital for over three weeks, and missed nearly 50 days of school. They brought me milkshakes, helped with my homework, pushed me around the old Leesburg Hospital in a wheel chair and watched television through the hole in my foot. Lucille thought it was “pretty gross” when I showed them one day how I was spending my time, but Janet thought it was cool. Do you have any idea what having two nearly college age girls pay so much attention to a 13 almost 14-year-old boy does to him? I lived on that ego trip for years! She laughed that airy giggle laugh that day in the hospital that I heard for the last time a few days before she died. I hoped then that her eyes still held that sparkle that they had that day in the hospital. Those eyes that, through her camera’s lens, could Janet Hitchen at Upperville. freeze that one special moment from the scene the Liz Callar photo rest of us saw. That is what I have done. I froze her in my memory, eyes sparkling, laughing, and then turning serious, chin slightly tucked, her voice an octave lower saying, “I’ll see you soon, my dear. Love you.” “Love you back,” I always replied.
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IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • SPRING 2015
A Dog’s-Eye View
It is with great sadness that we mark the passing of our dear friend Janet Hitchen. One of her wonderful photographs has graced almost every cover of In and Around Horse Country for 20 years. But what endeared her even more to Bunsen and me was her boundless compassion for all animals. No critter, no matter how forlorn and unlovely, was turned away.
a great selection, only one of each color so you never have to worry about running into someone wearing the exact some hat at Gold Cup, a garden party, June wedding, or any other gathering that calls for a unique, super-stylish hat. Big brims, short brims, fabulous feathers and intriguing “fascinators” that live up to their name. So if you’ve got an affair where you need to wear a hat that sets the tone, makes a statement, or just completes your outfit, come in soon and by all means bring your dress!
Aye, lassie. She always made me realize just how fortunate you and I are to have such a comfy home and great life with our Marion.
Mmmm, maybe I should start off m’new career as a photographer by snapping a shot of you in one of these hats.
I feel the same way, Bunsen. We’re sure going to miss Janet’s infectious smile, her laughter, and her unique view from behind the lens.
I’m afraid those hats, as lovely as they are, are all too big for me. But maybe you could snap some photos of our new breeches. Show season is getting underway so for all you enthusiasts of the show ring if you haven’t done so yet, you’d best pull out your show shirts, breeches, and jackets and make sure they still fit properly, are unstained, and ready to go. If they’re not, we have an amazing assortment of high tech fabric shirts that will allow you to keep your cool and look your best all summer long. We have breeches for every discipline in cuts that will flatter every figure and all the trendy jackets in different shades of navy blue, green (the latest!), and black (my favorite color).
Y’know, maybe I should take up photography so I can carry on her work. You? Um, that’s a noble thought, Bunsen, but I’m afraid you might be missing some of the physical attributes needed for that profession. Ah, ye might be right about some of those things. But I think I have the photographer’s most important physical attribute of all. I have the eye! Whatever makes you think that? Janet herself told me. She said she could tell by the way I put m’nose in her flower beds and bushes, the way I would circle her shrubs, admire her fencing, chase her wee little dogs—those poodles—and bark at all the animals at her mini-menagerie. It’s having the knack to take in all such little details that make for a great photographer, knowing just when to press the button.
Speaking of colors, what were those pink and lime and orange swatches I saw sittin’ on Marion’s desk t’other day?
Piping colors for the new colored schooling breeches she’s ordered. They’re just fab, sharp and so au courant. Wait till you see them. I haven’t seen her this excited Aga and Bunsen’s “Selfie.” Well, aside from the fact that what she was really saying about breeches since she found the best smelling to you was, “Get away from my shrubs or I’ll chase you with a tripod!”, just how breeches in the world, the real buckskin ones from Europe. do you plan to actually press that button? Ach! Yes, lassie. How well I remember the day they arrived. Ach, well, there is a wee bit o’ thought I’ll need to put into that. But if your little You blurted out that famous line, oft quoted now, “I love the smell of leather in self can write a newspaper column, I don’t see why I can’t be your photojourthe morning.” neyman. Ye cannae wear any of the new breeches, but maybe I could shoot you sittin’ I think you mean photojournalist. amongst them. I think that could make for a verra nice image. Aye, that. There’s got to be some way I can make this happen. I mean, after all, I’d be happy to pose for you. But first you’ll need to figure out a way to hold a the spring races are in full swing, hound shows will be held soon, garden parties camera, point it, and push the button. coming up…so many great opportunities for a talented eye like mine. That I will, lassie, that I will. Mmmm, let me ponder that conundrum for a bit. I could say a thing or two about your eye, but I’ll be my polite, ladylike self. You do, though, bring up a good point about all the wonderful spring activities ahead. While Bunsen toddles off to ponder, let me just give you a few reminders: We’ll For this year’s Virginia Gold Cup, I’m already planning to wear my new scarf have our booth again at the Virginia Gold Cup in the Members Hill area; the Virwith the rabbits on it. ginia Hound Show is coming up Memorial Day weekend so make your plans to either visit us here at the store or at the show. You’ll know which tent is ours beDid ye say “rabbits?” Are ye decoratin’ your wee self with taxidermy? cause, as usual, Bunsen and I will be out front. And we’re judging the Upperville You just don’t get style, Bunsen. Rabbits are a theme this year. They’re consid- Horse Show Tack Room Contest again this year. ered a statement. I’ve got it, lassie! I’ve got it! I know how I can take pictures! I could make a few statements m’self about those noxious creatures leaving reOkay Bunsen, I’m intrigued. How? minders of their nocturnal frolickin’ all over my yard. And here ye want to glorify the pesky intruders by paradin’ around at a spring race meet with them You’re right, of course, that I cannae use a regular camera. Even Marion’s been around your neck? If that’s what ye mean by “style,” I’m afraid you’re right. I just known to have a hard time with those. What I need is a camera phone! A smart don’t get it. phone in a hardbox protector. I can prop it up on a t-bone and press the button! Oh, Bunsen, I’m not going to be wearing actual rabbits. I’m referring to the new scarf at Horse Country that honors all our beagling friends. If it makes you feel any better, they go out and chase those same rabbits. So when they have a good day, the rabbits are so tired that they sleep all night and won’t be leaving their little calling cards in your yard. So you should thank them for that. Ach, well, that’s different then, lassie. So, aye, wear your rabbit scarf proudly! Speaking of style, I’m thrilled to say that the hats from England are here! Women look forward all winter to Hat Day. They know they can count on Marion to get
Or I can turn the camera around and take selfies! Seriously, Bunsen, I think you may have hit upon a solution! Let’s go borrow Marion’s phone and see if it works! Well, I’m off to do a bit of temporary “misplacement” of Marion’s phone. I promise we’ll put it back. Won’t she be surprised when she sees what we’ve done? Now everybody…Smile! Aga
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • WINTER 2015
Horses and People to Watch Virginia Thoroughbred Association
Virginia Gold Cup Events The Virginia Thoroughbred Association wants to invite all Virginia horsemen and fans to join us for a pair of exciting events on Gold Cup weekend, celebrating Virginia breeders and Virginia racing. On Friday, May 1, the VTA will award the 2014 Virginia Breeders’ Awards. This is a special evening to celebrate the breeders of Virginia Thoroughbreds—horses that this year have won Grade I’s across the country. We look forward to hosting special guests Delegate Ed Scott, Delegate Michael Webert, and Senator Jill Vogel, who were the sponsors of our racing legislation. Without their very important efforts, this significant piece of legislation Delegate Ed Scott has would not have come to fruition. Come out and celebrate been a long-time advoand thank our legislators for all of their hard work done cate for Virginia's Thoron the part of Virginia horsemen. Ed Scott in particular has oughbred industry. The VTA looks forward to been a long-time champion for the horse racing industry. thanking him for his He is retiring from the legislature this year, and this is a service at Great Meadow unique opportunity to thank him for all of his years of on May 1. Photo courtesy Del. Scott’s office service. The event is free to attend and will be held in the Turf Club Tent at Great Meadow from 5PM to 8PM. Come watch the Kentucky Oaks with us and wager on Saturday’s racing— including the Kentucky Derby. There will be cocktails and hors d’oeuvres provided. Members and guests enjoyed the Turf Club tent at the 2014 Virginia Gold Cup. Then, on SaturAshton Moynihan photo day, join us in the Turf Club Tent for the races! As in previous years, your Turf Club ticket gives you exclusive access to the VTA & VHBPA Turf Club tent located on Members Hill overlooking the Paddock, allday catered fare, full bar and VIP car pass. We’ll also have coverage of all the Derby Day action from Churchill Downs. Our teller in the Turf Club makes wagering convenient and fun. Come enjoy a day at the races—Virginia-style! Tickets are $150 for VTA Turf Club members (l-r) Sonny Via, Anita Vere Nicoll, Putt Spaulding, Foxfield Races Director Pat Butterfield, and VHBPA Members and and Tom Bishop at last year’s Virginia Gold cup. $200 for non-members. You Ashton Moynihan photo can register at vabred.org. A portion of your ticket price will go to support the Thoroughbred Retirement fund at Montpelier. Please RSVP by April 16, 2015 to ensure you receive your tickets ahead of race day.
New Legislation Promotes Sustainable Racing Industry In Virginia The Virginia Equine Alliance is pleased to announce that a compromise legislation that gets more money into the hands of Virginia horsemen has passed the state legislature and is awaiting signature from Governor McAuliffe. Through this legislation, funds are now available for the first time to develop new sites for both thoroughbred and harness racing. The legislation reallocates online wagering monies (ADWs) that used to go exclusively to Colonial Downs. Funds from the three national ADW companies (TVG, Twin Spires, and XpressBet) will now go to the Alliance to promote and sustain thoroughbred and harness racing at other sites. Colonial Downs will keep
the money from its company (EZ Horseplay) to support racing at the New Kent facility. The Horsemen will continue to receive 5% for their purse accounts from the three national ADWs and from Colonial’s reopening of its off track wagering sites. The Breeders Fund will continue to receive one percent from both the ADWs and the off track sites. These legislative changes will help us determine the direction and future of Virginia racing—not Colonial Downs. While Colonial Downs’ plan for 2014 called for five to six days of high-end racing that would have had little economic benefit for Virginia, these legislative changes will help create a new model for racing in the state. We hope racing will resume at Colonial Downs and we are negotiating with track management on plans to lease the facility, but we feel that the development of alternative sites is integral to the long-term growth of the sport. Going forward, the Alliance will work closely with the horsemen’s groups to do what we can to kick-start racing in the state, as well as craft robust plans for a sustainable racing program—a program that both benefits horsemen and breeders and creates an attractive, fan-friendly environment. We hope eventually to have multiple sites for racing around the state. We will be reaching out to all of you to seek your input on how best to create new sites in the state and to gather other suggestions for moving forward. Here are the specific changes made by the new legislation: • Defines Licensee as anyone that holds an owner’s or operator’s license. There is no longer an unlimited license. • Gives the Commission the authority to recognize the majority horsemen’s group. • Defines Significant Infrastructure Licensee. • Requires the horsemen’s group and the Alliance to produce annual financials. • A Licensee may not schedule more than 125 days of racing in a single year. • Gives Significant Infrastructure Licensee a monopoly on SWF facilities. • Requires the Licensee to have a contract with the horsemen in order to run SWFs. If there is no contract, the SWFs can remain open and the Commission has the ability to demand that revenues be escrowed as they direct. • Gives the Commission the ability to issue limited licenses not to exceed 14 days in any calendar year unless the Licensee is a Significant Infrastructure Licensee, in which case it may run up to 75 days per year. • Removes the minimum standards of a racetrack, allowing us to use a site such as Middleburg Training Center or the Fairgrounds track at Woodstock. • Allows the charitable exemption to be extended to thoroughbred or harness meets (previously it only applied to steeplechase facilities). • Defines how ADW monies will be divided: 1.5 percent to the Commission 1 percent to the Breeders Fund Revenue from out of state ADW Companies: 5 percent to the horsemen for purses 4 percent to the industry stakeholders group (the Alliance) From the stakeholders 4 percent, 0.65 percent is divided between New Kent County, the Vet School, the Virginia Horse Industry Board, Virginia Horse Center & the VTA • Revenue from the Significant Infrastructure Licensee (Colonial Downs) 9 percent retained for operational expenses, including the cost of live racing
Thank you to all of the Virginia horsemen who called their legislators to support the passage of this bill. We look forward to working with all of you to create a sustainable model for Virginia’s equine industry.
Thank You Marylou, bred by Wick and Carter McNeely, will be presented with the award for 2014 Virginia-bred Horse of the Year at Great Meadow on Friday, May 1. Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • SPRING 2015
A Sporting Holiday By John J. Carle, II, ex-MFH
Sheila Jackson Brown, MFH, GSV and Jennifer Nesbit, KHC, at the head of the field on Chicken Mt. Rd.
Lawn meet at President James Madison’s Montpelier.
Green Spring Valley Huntsman Sam Clifton.
Summers Olinger, Tony Gammell, Keswick; Sam Clifton, GSV.
Green Spring Valley whipper-in Ned Halle, ex-MFH.
An overnight dusting of snow lent a festive air to President James Madison’s “Montpelier” on January 15, 2015, when Keswick welcomed members of the Green Spring Valley Hounds and their pack for a sporting holiday. Anticipating weather problems, “Montpelier” Director Kat Imhoff, a long-time Keswick foxhunter, had sand spread on the blackiced railroad bridge at the main entrance, enabling horse-rigs to cross safely, and parking was on a level stretch of the steeplechase infield. She also orchestrated a most welcome, delicious and hot tailgate after hunting. Thanks, Kat! A field of 30 braved the damp, dismal 26-degree weather and goosedown-defeating west wind, the visitors commenting that, compared to Maryland, the weather was rather balmy and the going excellent. Keswick Huntsman Tony Gammell brought 14½ couple of racing-fit American hounds to entertain the visitors, and a strong showing of red foxes assured that they were suitably entertained by day’s end. With Green Spring Huntsman Sam Clifton along, Tony hacked hounds out the back driveway to draw uphill along the overgrown creek that runs through one of the Thoroughbred Retirement pastures. Drawing blank up to the Brooking farm, Tony lifted the pack to hack down Chicken Mountain Linc Brooking’s house. Road, where they eased up the mountain slope and soon had Red Raider afoot. Circling at first as if reluctant to leave, their pilot seemed suddenly to realize the seriousness of the thunder at his brush, and set his mask northwestward at Indy-500 speed. The Field was left flatfooted, the car-followers hopelessly thrown out, and only the staff, careening ’cross country, stayed vaguely in touch. Honorary Whipper-In and prolific sporting author Barclay Rives, whose new book See You at Second Horses is available at Horse Country, cut across extensive cornfields and dashed down Jacksontown Road hoping to intercept hounds. All he found were hound and horse tracks in the roadside snow where Professional WhipperDog fox on a mission. In Summers Olinger had
turned the pack. Evidently hounds had put their fox to ground under a large brushpile near Dan Gregg’s rambling deer-fenced nursery at “Bloomfield,” and were headed back toward “Montpelier.” Barclay had a long ride to catch up. Arriving back at the Brooking farm, where he collected the Field, Tony put hounds into covert along the high ridge that half-circles the “Montpelier” property; and again they got into foxes. Joint Master Charlotte Tieken viewed a brace away almost immediately, but, unfortunately, five couple closest to her got away ahead of the rest of the pack. Barclay Rives’ description of how Tony quietly eased the back hounds forward to reunite the pack without interrupting hunting was a vivid description of the art and craft of venery as practiced by a master craftsman. Once united, the pack pushed their pilot with serious intentions, racing in large circles twice around Sedwick’s bonepile to Linda Parkinson’s and then back to the Brooking farm. Meanwhile, the car followers waited below the charmingly eccentric house where once lived the late Linc Brooking who, for 42 years, managed “Montpelier’s” farming operations and hunted the Montpelier Hounds for Marion DuPont Scott. From here, hounds’ voices clearly rang from the ridgetop, threatening to burst into view momentarily; but they didn’t. Instead, two lovely, unhunted foxes trotted by. The first seemed just to be avoiding the commotion as he slipped past Mike Knight’s cows dismantling a round bale. The second fox, leggier and leaner, appeared to be on a mission—a dog fox intently tracking a hopefully-receptive vixen. Both foxes acknowledged the human presence with an equal amount of interest and dismissal. After the last leap through Brooking’s, hounds shifted into a higher gear, convincing the red marauder—a visitor from the low country—to point his muzzle homeward; and he raced away through Sedwick’s, aimed for the hells of traffic along Route 15. Luckily the Hunt Staff had clear sailing across Sedwick’s lovely, rolling pastures and caught up with the pack just behind Mike’s Glass & Mirror, where they blew for home with all on. It had been a marvelous day, although tough at times, the sort of a day for which true foxhunters live. Keswick “Talisman.”
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • SPRING 2015
Next day it was Sam Clifton’s turn to showcase his Green Spring Valley Crossbreds. From a Meet at “Quarles Mountain Farm” near Orange, Virginia, what a glorious show his pack put on! The day was dour, the going more frozen and turning greasy, and the Field was smaller. Several visitors had returned to Maryland; and as for the fair-weather Keswickians…enough said; the hard core were there. Sam brought 17½ couple, led by “Poppitt” and her foxcatchin’ sisters, and several hounds carrying the blood of both Keswick “Nailer” and “Byway.” They all found the day’s conditions most agreeable. The first draw was to the east, through the usually-productive swamp just below the Meet in “Mountain Glen.” Surprisingly, this proved blank, as did the area around the forlorn-looking manor house and the collapsed log barn. However it was to be a case of feast or famine, for when the pack tried the slopes of Quarles Mountain, they found a cryptology of fox tracks, and quickly had four foxes afoot. With quiet assurance, Sam got his eager charges settled on one fox, and they set sail westward toward the town of Orange. Scent was rather spotty early-on, and hounds’ progress was of the race-and-check variety; yet ever-forward, thanks to a combination of fierce determination and keen enough noses to cope with conditions. From Quarles they raced along the north slope of Jerdone’s Mountain to Margaret Miller’s charming cottage at “High Covert,” then slipped down the southern slope and raced back to the find. After struggling through horse-foil, they repeated half the circle, only this time they dropped into the weird-scenting depths of “Wombat’s Hollow” (named for a funny little Keswick bitch who, years ago, was the only hound in the pack that could consistently carry a line here), where most of the pack switched to a fresh fox. A couple of hounds kept after the original fellow, but soon harked to their packmates’ urgent cry. Hounds were on good terms when they hustled back to the open field below the original find. WellGSV Joint Master packed and with good cry, Whit Foster.
they raced through cattle-foil and on into “Mountain Glen,” where, abruptly, they were at a loss. What this fox did will remain a mystery, for despite the best efforts of hounds and their Huntsman, no trace of him could be found. Finally, acknowledging the defeat of their diligence, Sam lifted the pack to “Mt. Sharon,” and here struck gold in the form of a brace-and-ahalf. One fox likely crossed Mt. Sharon Road to John Taylor’s, another bade an “Irish farewell,” and the pack settled on the third. An imperceptible change in the atmosphere suddenly had scent breast-high, and how hounds did take advantage! With a tumultuous battle cry they raced away from the “Mt. Sharon” lake, back to the ridgetop, and flew westward as if again to “High Covert.” But something was pulling this fox back (perhaps the lure of love?), and he circled lefthanded through “Mt. Sharon” just above the lake to the deerhunters’ cabins where he had been found. Once again into “Mountain Glen” and back to circle the woods, this red racer was beginning to despair, for the Pride of Glyndon stayed on his brush, their anthem setting the ridge a-ringin’. Dashing desperately through Tinsley Mack’s, he barely made it back to “Mountain Glen,” and sanctuary under a huge stickpile, where he was marked with exuberant authority. As a wave of colder air settled over the celebration, “Home” was blown. With a seriously depleted Field in his wake, Sam Clifton was deservedly a proud Huntsman. The dicey going had taken its toll on horses, and most were ready for the haynet. Hounds, on the other hand, all sterns aloft, were rarin’ for more! Despite the treacherous going on hillsides and at fences, no casualties were recorded, although a vivacious young lady who had graciously dismounted to close a difficult gate lost her horse when it prematurely decided to rejoin the field! One pair of unfortunate ladies got so thoroughly lost that they made it only for the last run. And two others, after driving four hours to the Meet, hunted for only an hour. Yet everyone was happy at day’s end: pleased with their horses and impressed with the packs, which, after all, is what we’re about. Perhaps the happiest guy there was your correspondent, who had as his foot-huntin’ companion that most attractive steeplechase trainer, the charming Miss Tara Elmore. For what more could an old man ask?
At day’s end: Sam Clifton, Sandy Rives, Tony Gammell.
Green Spring Valley Joint Master George Mahoney.
Green Spring Valley Whipper-in Shannon Roach.
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • SPRING 2015
Spring Racing By Will O’Keefe
Warrenton Hunt Point-to-Point Amateur/Novice Rider Hurdle. Wicklow (Gerard Galligan, up) – 1st. Douglas Lees photo
Warrenton Hunt Point-to-Point Maiden Hurdle (l-r) Master of Markets (Gerard Galligan, up) – 1st; So Far Away (Jeff Murphy, up) – 2nd. Douglas Lees photo
Warrenton Hunt Point-to-Point Springs Valley Open Timber. Super Saturday (Jacob Roberts, up) – 1st. Douglas Lees photo
Warrenton Hunt Point-to-Point 3-14-2015 The start of the 2015 Virginia steeplechase season was delayed by the severe winter which left training grounds and race courses idle when they should have been very busy. The first race meet to fall victim to the weather was the Thornton Hill Fort Valley Hounds Point-to-Point, which had been scheduled for February 28. Meet organizers pulled the plug early and rescheduled the meet for April 19. Next in line was to be the Blue Ridge Hunt Point-to-Point on March 7, but that meet had to be postponed until March 22. A week before the Warrenton Hunt Point-to-Point on Saturday, March 14, at the Airlie Course near Warrenton most people were skeptical when race organizer Matt Vanderwoude said that entries would be taken, and the point-to-point would go, if possible. Entries were left open until Wednesday and, at that time, enough horses had entered to have a meet. Mother Nature gave Warrenton an assist with a few days of warm temperatures that thawed the ice in the ground, and the races were a go. Trainer Doug Fout has always supported the Warrenton Hunt Point-to-Point, and this year he saved the day with eight of the total of 20 runners hailing from his stable. He was well rewarded as he and his stable rider Gerard Galligan won the first four races on the card. The first race, an open hurdle, was won by Beverly R. Steinman’s Papriformer, who nosed out Betsy B. Mead’s Storyville (Kieran Norris.) Storyville had the early lead but was quickly joined by Papriformer. These were the only two starters, and they raced as a team for most of the race. Papriformer took the lead at the head of the stretch, but Storyville came again and just missed. A field of three went to the post in the amateur/novice hurdle race that was won by Sharon E. Sheppard’s Wicklow. Galligan sent him to the lead at the start with Special Guy (Ben Swope) close behind and Sweet Talking Guy (Erin Swope) within striking distance. With six furlongs to run Wicklow started to draw away from the others, but Special Guy closed with a charge and lost by ½ length. Sweet Talking Guy was a good third in Erin Swope’s first ride over fences. Beverly R. Steinman’s Master of Markets (Gerard Galligan) and Betsy B. Mead’s So Far Away squared off against each other in the maiden hurdle race. These two ran as a team until the final quarter mile where Master of Markets started to pull away and won by 4 lengths. This was Beverly R. Steinman’s second win on the card. In the open flat race it was finally Betsy B. Mead’s turn to win a race. Margaret R. White’s Blazing Beryl (Jeff Murphy) set the pace until the final quarter mile where Mead’s Forgotten Man (Gerard Galligan) made his move. He pulled away from Gordonsdale Farm’s Storm Task (Mark Beecher) and Blazing Beryl under a vigorous hand ride, winning by 2 lengths over Storm Task. In the novice rider flat race, Erin Swope got her first win out of the junior and restricted adult ranks. She sent her Irish-bred Slaney Rock to the lead after a half mile, and they steadily widened to win by 25 lengths. Irvin S. Naylor’s Ride Away (Eve Ledyard) finished a distant second and Bethany Baumgardner was third on Kathy Neilson’s Tentimesthetrouble. The feature race was the Springs Valley open timber race, which was a match race between Irvin S. Naylor’s Super Saturday (Jacob Roberts) and Daniel Baker’s Sky Count (Mark Beecher). In the race Super Saturday had the lead but refused at the fourth fence. Sky Count inherited a big lead, but Jacob Roberts never gave up on Super Saturday. They gradually cut into the lead and at the fence where he had refused the first time around, he took the lead and drew away to win by 12 lengths. Kathy Neilson trained the winner. The novice timber race attracted four starters and was one of the day’s best races. Michael T. Wharton & Lucy A. Goelet’s Knocked Out set the pace under Mark Beecher with Magalen O. Bryant’s Lea Von (Kieran Norris) and Gordonsdale Farm’s Canyon Road (Jeff Murphy) close behind. Zoe Valvo pulled up Sol a Pino, and then there were three. With a half mile to run they were tightly bunched, but Lea Von soon started to tire leaving the race to Canyon Road and Knocked Out, who was now on top. Canyon Road rallied, moved to the lead, and proved best in the stretch by ½ length. Congratulations to Matt Vanderwoude and the volunteers from the Warrenton Hunt, and a special thanks to Doug Fout and his owners for putting on a good show. Piedmont Fox Hounds Point-to-Point 3-21-2015 The Piedmont Fox Hounds race course over the natural hunting country of Salem Farm near Upperville is probably the favorite point-to-point course among horsemen. This was proven true
once again as entries were good for the races on Saturday, March 21, in spite of the hard winter with horses coming from Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. The Rokeby Challenge Bowl open timber race may not be the destination race that it once was, but don’t tell trainer Richard Valentine. For the last two years he has debuted Magalen O. Bryant’s timber stakes winner Dakota Slew in winning efforts over this 3½ mile course. This year the horse was seeking a third victory, which would make him only the second horse to achieve this accomplishment in this race’s rich history. Robert Kinsley’s Incomplete won this prestigious race in 2008, 2009, and 2011, and now it was Dakota Slew’s chance to be the only horse to win three years in a row. He looked like a million dollars in the paddock and clearly looked the part of the favorite in the four-horse field. Dr. Alex (Teddy Zimmerman) and Dakota Slew (Robbie Walsh) took turns setting the pace with Frank Bonsal, Jr.’s Terko Service (Mark Beecher) and Magalen O. Bryant’s Adios Diablo (James Slater) following. In the latter stages it was clear that this was going to be a two horse race. Dr. Alex and Dakota Slew jumped the last together and neither horse gave ground to the other until the final sixteenth where Dakota Slew pulled away and won by 1 length. Dr. Alex gave a winning performance in his second place finish, and Terko Service and Adios Diablo were third and fourth. Six horses contested the maiden timber race, but 5 B Farm’s Sol a Pino did his best to make this a one horse race. Woods Winants sent him to the front, and that’s where he stayed. Mrs. George L. Ohrstrom, Jr.’s Private Equity (Robbie Walsh) stalked the leader much of the race but was no match for Sol a Pino, who won by 12 lengths. Kinross Farm’s Saint Dynaformer (Jacob Roberts) finished third. Nicki Valvo was the winning trainer. The amateur and novice rider timber race was a thriller with Irvin L. Crawford, II’s Touchdowntony (Forrest Kelly) winning by a head. Mr. & Mrs. Conrad Somers’ J. Alfred Prufrock (Conrad Somers) made most of the running with Touchdowntony and Annie Yeager’s owner-ridden Out Playing well within striking distance. When J. Alfred Prufrock tired, Touchdowntony took the lead and was able to hold off Out Playing, who came flying and would have won in a few more strides. The lady rider timber race was contested by three horses, but once again in the final quarter mile it was a two horse race. Irvin S. Naylor’s Irish-bred Flaming Arrow set the pace under Bethany Baumgardner with first Armata Stables’ Embarrassed (Diana Thomas A. Beach and Virginia A. Beach Gillam) and then Jessica Memorial Lady Rider Timber Flaming Wilson’s He’s Got Mojo Arrow (Bethany Baumgardner, up) – 1st. close behind. With a Douglas Lees photo quarter mile to run, He’s Got Mojo tired and dropped back, but Embarrassed was on the move. He took over at the head of the stretch and looked the part of the winner, but Bethany Baumgardner had different ideas. She asked Flaming Arrow for a different gear and got it. Flaming Arrow came flying and snatched victory from defeat when he got up to win by ½ length. Three flat races rounded out the card, and trainer Neil Morris and rider James Slater accounted for two of them. In the maiden flat race James Slater rallied Bettina L. Gregory’s Skunk from slightly off the pace to take the lead when the field raced into the final quarter mile. Mrs. George L. Ohrstrom, Jr.’s Class Cherokee (Robbie Walsh) closed well but fell short by ½ length, and Noble Stables’ Candy Man Can (Jacob Roberts) finished third.
Rokeby Challenge Bowl Open Timber: Dakota Slew (Robbie Walsh, up) – 1st; Dr. Alex (Teddy Zimmerman, up) – 2nd. Douglas Lees photo
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • SPRING 2015
Richard Valentine and Robbie Walsh got their second winner on the card when Clarke Ohrstrom’s stakes winning mare Kisser N Run won the open flat race. Kisser N Run was never far back, took the lead from Ridgeview Farm’s Preachers Pulpit (Teresa Croce) with three furlongs to run and won easily by 5 lengths. Daybreak Stables’ Irish-bred stakes winner Diplomat (Paddy Young) made his first start in America and finished second with Kinross Farm’s multiple sanctioned winner Schoolhouse Woods (Jacob Roberts) coming in third. Neil Morris saddled three of the four starters in the Virginiabred flat race. Celtic Venture Stable’s Prima Facie, who was ridden by Jeff Murphy and trained by Eva D. Smithwick, went to the front. James Slater was content to stay off the pace with Sara E. Collette’s Vladykov. With a quarter mile left to run, he rallied from the rear of the field to take the lead and won going away by an easy 15 lengths. Prima Facie held on for second in a photo finish over Sara Collette’s Wahoo (Martin Rohan). Blue Ridge Hunt Point-to-Point 3-22-2015 Originally scheduled for Saturday, March 3, the Blue Ridge Hunt Point-to-Point had to be rescheduled due to weather and ground conditions to Sunday, March 22. That meant that the meet had to share the weekend with the Piedmont Fox Hounds Point-to-Point and that restricted the card to hurdle and flat races. The course at Woodley Farm near Berryville was in good condition, but it was no surprise that entries were very light. Due to local trainer Jimmy Day and others, the show did go on, and the racing was good. Jimmy Day saved the meet by running horses in each of the five races. He was rewarded with two wins and multiple placings on the card. In the first race another local trainer got the win with Day’s horses running second and third. This maiden hurdle race went to Mulligan Racing Stable’s Bedizen, who was bred locally by Morgan’s Ford Farm. Teddy Mulligan, who was formerly from Clarke County, saddled the winner with Clarke County resident Jeff Murphy up. Bruce Smart’s Fall Colors (Brendan Brooks) led the tightly bunched field the first time around; but with less than a quarter mile to run, Bedizen and Smart’s Zol Zayne (Gerard Galligan) made their moves and started to separate from the others. Bedizen put Zol Zayne away on the turn and won easily by 7 lengths. The amateur/novice rider hurdle race followed, and trainer Jimmy Day got his first win of the season. Ann Braxton JonesLynch’s Controlled Neglect took command the first time down the backside, opened a clear lead over Erin Swope’s Sweet Talking Guy, and was never seriously threatened. Sweet Talking Guy posed a minor threat with three furlongs to run, but Controlled Neglect responded when Brendan Brooks asked and romped home by 12 lengths. This was Brendan Brook’s first win in America after coming over from Ireland this year to ride out for Jimmy Day. Day and Brooks were reunited in the winners’ circle following the next race, a two-horse open hurdle race. Brooks had the mount on Daybreak Stables’ Irish-bred Manacor, who was the Virginia Point-to-Point hurdle horse of the year last year. In the race Manacor and Mulligan Racing Stable’s Getaway (Jeff Murphy) raced as a team; but going down the backside the final time around, Manacor pulled away and held a big lead when Getaway pulled up at the last fence. Five horses (the biggest field of the day) went to the post for the novice rider flat race. Michael Wagstaff on Bruce Smart’s Orchestra Leader took the lead at the drop of starter Graham Alcock’s flag, but that lead was short lived. Erin Swope had ridden her Slaney Rock to a front running score at Warrenton, and it didn’t take them long to overtake Orchestra Leader and sprint to a commanding lead. Slaney Rock won by 20 lengths with Jimmy Day’s runners, In Todd We Trust (Teresa Croce), Plated (Brendan Brooks), and Orchestra Leader finishing in that order. Trainer Liam McVicar is another local trainer who supported the races and was rewarded with a win. He saddled and rode Crookston Castle Stable’s Objet D’Art to victory in the Virginiabred maiden flat race. The three-horse field was tightly bunched when with three furlongs to run Larry Levy’s Handy Cap (Rachel Gray) went off course. This left Objet D’Art and Althea Richards’ Dance With Vansion (Brendan Brooks) to battle to the finish where Objet D’Art won in a photo finish by a head. Orange County Hounds Point-to-Point 3-29-2015 The short fields at the Orange County Point-to-Point at Locust Hill Farm near Middleburg were disappointing but hardly sur-
prising. Horsemen were being asked to support meets in four states that weekend. Sanctioned races in South Carolina and point-to-points in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia stretched thin the available horse population. Someone had to come up short, but the excitement of stretch duels and close finishes in many of the races at Orange County wiped away some of the disappointment. The feature race on the card was the George L. Ohrstrom Memorial open timber race. The three-horse field was short in numbers but not in talent. Sheila Williams and Andre Brewster’s Straight To It (Sean McDermott) had finished third in three timber stakes last year and had won the open timber race at the Colonial Cup Races in his last outing. Schoolhouse Woods had won the Alfred Hunt Steeplechase at the Middleburg Spring Races and an allowance hurdle race at the Virginia Fall Races last year. Add to these two Northwoods Stable’s Peace Fire, who won twice The Blue Ridge Hunt Point-to-Point Maiden Hurdle: Bedizen (Jeff Murphy, up) – 1st. under rules in 2013, and this point-to-point race had all the qualRich Clay photo ity of a sanctioned race. In the race McDermott sent Straight To It to the front immediately with Peace Fire and Schoolhouse Woods following in his wake. They raced in this order until the final quarter mile where Peace Fire faded and Schoolhouse Woods mounted a rally that fell short by a very short head. Jack Fisher trained the winner. Trainer Neil Morris got a good prep in Schoolhouse Woods for this year’s sanctioned steeplethon style races and just missed having three wins. Due to rider conflicts the novice timber race was split into two divisions, and Neil Morris saddled the winners of both. In the first division Otter Racing’s Le Chevalier broke his maiden over timber at first asking. Jacob Roberts put him on The Blue Ridge Hunt Point-to-Point Open Hurdle the front end, and that’s where he stayed. Gordonsdale Farm’s Manacor (left, Brendan Brooks, up) – 1st. Canyon Road (Jeff Murphy), who had won at Warrenton two Rich Clay photo weeks ago, closed well and threatened at the last fence. These two battled through the stretch, and Le Chevalier got the decision by 1 length. In the second division Kinross Farm’s More Tea Vicar followed the same script under Jacob Roberts. This time it was his stablemate, Kinross Farm’s Saint Dynaformer (Jeff Murphy), who launched an unsuccessful rally approaching the last fence. More Tea Vicar proved best by ½ length. If you like match races, Orange County was the place to be as two of the three hurdle races and the flat race all involved just two horses. There was no doubt that the featured match race was between Gregg Ryan’s Spy in the Sky and Ben Swope’s Special Guy. Ryan had last ridden and won a race at Old Dominion in Orange County Hounds Locust Hill Open Hurdle Orchestra Leader (Brendan Brooks, up) – 1st. April of 2010. He was urged back into the racing irons by his son, Douglas Lees photo who wanted to see his dad in action. Gregg didn’t disappoint his number one fan as he guided Spy in the Sky to win by 1 length. In the race Special Guy set much of the pace until the final five furlongs where Spy in the Sky went to the front and never looked back. Special Guy did rally in the late stages, but the outcome was never in doubt. Make that new win total over fences for Ryan 276. The open hurdle race was also a two-horse affair, and this time it was trainer Jimmy Day’s turn to greet S. Bruce Smart’s Orchestra Leader and Brendan Brooks in the winners’ circle after a front running score. Mulligan Racing Stable’s Getaway (Jeff Murphy) stayed within striking distance for much of the race, but with six furlongs to run Orchestra Leader started to draw away. Getaway was pulled up approaching the last fence leaving Orchestra Leader alone at the finish. This capped a really good George L. Ohrstrom Memorial Race Open Timber weekend for Jimmy Day as his Irish-bred Diplomat won the Straight To It (Sean McDermott, up) – 1st; fol$75,000 Carolina Cup in Camden, South Carolina under Bernard lowed by Schoolhouse Woods (Jacob Roberts, up) – 2nd. Douglas Lees photo Dalton. Diplomat had prepped last weekend in a flat race at Piedmont. Celtic Venture Stable’s Acela was a very popular winner of the novice rider flat race under Suzanne Stettinius. After leading in the early going Tais Lyapustina sent Margaret White’s Blazing Beryl to the front. With about a quarter mile to run Acela reclaimed the lead and won going away by 10 lengths. Eva Smithwick saddled the winner. Three horses contested the maiden hurdle race that went to Gordonsdale Farm’s Storm Task. Under Jeff Murphy Storm Task led all the way and held off Lazenby Stable & Farm d’Allie Racing’s Hardrock Eleven (Gerard Galligan), who just missed by ½ length. Bruce Smart’s In Todd We Trust finished third but was The Honorable Charles S. Whitehouse Memorial disqualified when rider Brendan Brooks failed to weigh in. Long- Maiden Hurdle: Storm Task (Jeff Murphy, up) –1st. time Gordonsdale Farm trainer Chris Kolb saddled the winner. Douglas Lees photo
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • SPRING 2015
ACROSS THE POND Huntsman Steve Bradley Retires, Misty Morning Wraps Up Its 20th Season By Jim Meads On May 1, 2014, David Davies Huntsman for the past seven seasons, Steve Bradley, is to retire, with his post being taken by Jonathon Gittoes from the Llanwrthwl Hunt. Steve had previously worked as the hunt terrier man under the iconic David Jones, so he already knew the hunt country like his own back yard. To mark his retirement, Master since 1963 and the longest serving MFH David Davies Four Hunt Joint Meet, February 19, 2015 Seven huntsmen in the rain: David Jones, ex David Davies; Steve in the country, Lord Davies, organized a four pack joint meet high Bradley, retiring David Davies; Martyn Arnold, Gelligaer Farmers; Jonathon Gttoes, new David Davies; John Weller, Ullswater; above the River Severn in an isolated David Savage, Teme Valley; Mark Jones, Llanwrthwl. area of mountain moorland, devoid of roads. The visiting packs, each with their huntsman and seven couple of hounds, were the Teme Valley, Gelligaer Farmers, and the Llanworthwl. Despite torrential rain, a festive meet was enjoyed by a large group of foxhunters, who “walked their legs off” during the four hours of trail hunting, followed in dry clothes by an all-night party to thank Steve for seven seasons of great David Davies Four Hunt Joint Meet, February 19, 2015 sport. The meet on an isolated 1,500 foot hillside, high above the glyn. It seems like only yesterday that Alexis and Mac Macaulay founded the Misty Morning Hounds to hunt a big area of Florida around Gainesville. Now, in March 2015, I was invited to join them to celebrate the end of their 20th season. From a small beginning, they now have a splendid headquarters on their 800 acre property, Perry Plantation, where the pack of American Penn-Marydel Foxhounds live in luxurious kennels, with a matching mansion house for the joint masters. There is also a horse area, with stabling, rings for show-jumping and dressage and miles of tracks, unspoiled country for trekking and exercising horses. The weekend began with a meet on Nancy Hardt’s Alma Del Zorro Ranch, where we were joined by a group of riders from Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds in Pennsylvania. Soon hounds were loosed by huntsman Alexis Macaulay and were quickly in full cry, with the mounted field headed by the property owner, jumping various obstacles and some water crossings, followed by a “beast feast” breakfast. Next morning, the meet was at Perry Plantation, where some 50 horses and riders and foot followers on the tally-ho wagon gathered for the blessing by Father Ritchie. After posing for a meet picture in front of the house, Alexis led the pack of 14 couple away to draw, along with her three scarlet clad lady whippers-in, with the temperature close to 80o. For three hours, the sport was fast and furious, with magical hound music echoing through the hot, still air and many obstacles jumped. After “home” was blown, we sat down to an excellent outdoor lunch, where the morning’s hunting was discussed. That evening, almost 100 of us returned to the mansion for the hunt ball, which featured a live band, to which we danced the night away in great style. Thank you, Masters Alexis and Mac, for 20 amazing seasons!
Misty Morning Hunt, March 14, 2015, on the move.
Misty Morning Hunt, March 14, 2015, 20th closing meet The meet was held at the joint master’s home, Perry Plantation.
Misty Morning Hunt, March 13, 2015 Staff line up at the Alma Del Zorro Ranch Meet.
Misty Morning Hunt, March 14, 2015, up over a nice stone wall.
Misty Morning Hunt, March 14, 2015. Heading the field is Barbara Martin.
Misty Morning Hunt, March 14, 2015, at the end of the day at the kennels Laura Dukes, whipper-in; Alexis Macaulay, MFH and Huntsman; Mallory Robertson, whipper-in; Tanya Nelson, whipper-in.
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • SPRING 2015
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
Misty Morning Hunt, March 13, 2015 Founder Joint Master and Huntsman Alexis Macauley with hounds at a check.
JENNY’S PICKS I hope most of you were well stocked with reading material this winter, because it sure wasn’t much good for hunting in a lot of the foxhunting country! Our sympathies go out especially to our northern brethren who really got dumped on by Old Man Winter. Now that Spring is here, we’re going to be getting in a batch of new books for the house and garden tour crowd, so keep an eye out for our website in April to see what we’ve got.
Munroe, David Hoadley. The Grand National/18391930. Huntington Press, New York, 1931. First Regular Edition. Half of the book consists of the historical accounts of the runnings; the second half lists the participants each year. Includes foldout map of the course. Fair cond., cover discolored, no dj, interior sound & clean. B&w photos. Hardcover, 147 pages text plus unnumbered second half. $75.00 (#5994) A ltd. edition is also available for $235.00 (#1117).
Since spring is steeplechasing season, I dug into our used books to offer some for your consideration. First are some by Paul Brown. Long out of print, Paul Brown’s books are much sought after today, especially nice ones like these.
Page, Harry S. Between the Flags/The Recollections of a Gentleman Rider. Derrydale Press, New York, 1929. Many notable American jockeys and horses will be found in the very readable text of this early 20th-century reminiscence of the sporting life. Color frontis. and several plates by Edward S. Voss, plus some b&w reproductions of some of his paintings, but most illus. are b&w photos. Fair cond., no dj, tear in cover along top of spine and discolored spine, bookplate inside front cover, gift inscription by Mrs. Robert Winmill on second flyleaf. Hardcover, 313pp. $150.00 (#5401)
Brown, Paul. Aintree/Grand Nationals Past & Present. Derrydale Press, New York, 1930. Full of the artist’s pen and ink drawings illustrating the history of the British Grand National Steeplechase. A very useful feature of this book is Brown’s detailed description of the course, with both photographs and drawings of the jumps, and his comparison of them with the Maryland Hunt Cup course, deemed America’s toughest. The Grand National being what it is, there are plenty of heart-stopping spills throughout, both in photographs and drawings. Good cond., no dj, corners bumped, some wear to edges of spine and corners. Hardcover, 191pp. $400.00. (#5142)
Misty Morning Hunt, March 13, 2015 The field in a wet place.
Brown, Paul. Good Luck and Bad. Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York & London, 1940. No. 318 of 780 copies. Remarqued with head of spaniel and inscribed, “To Marion/ very sincerely, Sally & Paul/’40.” The majority of this book and the two below depicts steeplechasing with all its hazards. Good cond., no dj, corners bumped & edgeworn. Hardcover, unpaginated. $850.00. (#5486) Brown, Paul. Spills and Thrills. Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1933. No. 748 of 780 copies, remarqued with paint horse in Western tack, watercolor tinted, titled “‘Old Paint’/To Jim Wilson/very sincerely, Paul.” Good cond., no dj, bumped corners. Hardcover, unpaginated. $1200.00. (#5484)
Misty Morning March 14 Suzanne Peters having fun!
Brown, Paul. Ups and Downs. Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York & London, 1936. #348 of 750 copies numbered and signed, remarqued with sketch of racer’s head & inscription “To ‘Jim’/may you only pick the winners/very sincerely, Paul ’36 Good condition, no dj. $750.00. Hardcover, umnpaginated. (#5485) Eliot, Elizabeth. Portrait of a Sport/The Story of Steeplechasing in Great Britain and the United States. Countryman Press, Woodstock, VT, 1957. Illus. with b&w and color copies of artwork depicting the sport, Eliot’s history refutes the tradition of a single “first” steeplechase and goes on to cite a number of instances where steeplechasing—by whatever name—was practiced. Her logical equation was “flat racing + the hunting field = steeplechasing,” so to lead in she discusses origins of both sports. In very good condition, dj very good in plastic wrap though a bit soiled. Hardcover, 141pp. $75.00 (#2622) (Other copies also available.)
Misty Morning Hunt, March 14, 2015, Hounds at a check Dana Moore, kennelman; Alexis Macauley, MFH and Huntsman; Kim Munde.
Fitzgeorge-Parker, Tim. Steeplechase Jockeys: The Great Ones. Pelham Books, London, 1971. Don’t look for any Americans in this one—or any other nationality except British—but if you’d like a nutshell bio of Dick Francis, this is as good a place as any to find it. The author features highlights—and lowlights—of his subjects’ racing history. Photos are b&w. Good cond. though covers are a little “sprung”; dj very good and in plastic wrap. Hardcover, 127pp. $44.00 (#5678)
Scudamore, Peter, with Alan Lee. Scudamore on Steeplechasing. Partridge Press, London, 1988. Champion British jockey Peter Scudamore writes about what it is like to be a steeplechase jockey and describes some of the horses and races that were most significant in his career. Interesting, light reading. B&w and color photos. Very good cond., dj very good in plastic wrap. Hardcover, unpaginated. $39.00 (#5681) Watson, Col. S. J. Between the Flags. Allen Figgis & Co. Ltd., Dublin, 1969. For anyone wanting a history of the steeplechase in Ireland, this is the book. Beginning before 1800, the book skims over early riding and horse racing practices before digging into the actual steeplechase history. Sparsely illustrated in b&w and loaded with information on horses, trainers, jockeys, owners and more. Extensive appendices include rules of Irish Turf Club & National Hunt Steeplechase, list of stewards, and winners of three major races. Clean, sound, good+ condition, dj has small tears and is enclosed in plastic wrap. Hardcover, 393pp. $95.00 (#4345) Winants, Peter. Flatterer/The Story of a Steeplechase Champion. Chronicle of the Horse, Middleburg, VA, 1988. Limited edition, #494 of 1,000 and signed by the author. Flatterer was a more recent ’chaser of renown, and this biography by Peter Winants tells his story with numerous photographs and several copies of portraits by noted artists, including Richard Stone Reeves. Fine cond., no dj (probably as issued), glossy hardcover, 231pp. plus index. $75.00 (#5819) Yates, Arthur, with Bruce Blunt. Arthur Yates/Trainer and Gentleman Rider. Grant Richards, London, 1924. As is often the case with autobiographies of previous centuries, the author has some fascinating tales to tell of his life with horses, including a number of Grand National races in which he rode. Book in sound condition, no dj (the front portion of the dj is pasted to the inside cover), bumped corners, occasional pencil marks marking paragraphs. Bookplate of Harry Worcester Smith on front flyleaf, with pencil notations. Also on second flyleaf, HWS has pasted one of his envelopes with a clipping of a review of the book. Hardcover, 278pp. $48.00 (#6301) We also have some years of American Steeplechasing and Steeplechasing in America should you want to complete a collection. Years available include 1948, 1953, 1955, 1965, 1979, 1981, 1983, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 2000, & 2002.
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • WINTER 2015
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Richard Clay Photography
Elkridge-Harford Hounds at Atlanta Hall, February 28, 2015 Monkton Hall Bassets at Elkton Manor, March 15. 2015 Tony Shore Photos
J M Draperies • Custom Draperies • Bedding • Shades • Pillows Jennifer McDiarmid 540 532 1861 www.jmdraperies.com
Michael E. Hoffman, ex-MFH Loudoun West and Kilkenny (left), and Glenn H. Epstein, ex-MFH Old Chatham (right) found the going from the Scarteen Hounds’ January 20, 2015 Kilross meet unusually cold for Ireland. But they pressed on and dealt with several challenging obstacles and Irish ditches (which not everyone handled quite so well). Catherine Powers photos
HARKAWAY - Stone manor C.1930 has had substantial renovation including many upgrades and featuring gourmet kitchen, geothermal systems, 8 fireplaces, all-glass rotunda style living room with view, curved staircase, heart pine floors, custom built-ins and master suite with private balcony. 141 acres with stable, multiple cottages, plenty of fenced pasture and pond. Quite possibly the most breathtaking views on the market and very convenient to Old Towne Warrenton. $3,250,000
MONTREUX - Much like its namesake, Montreux is truly a resort of its own. Interior by renowned designer Barry Dixon featuring the finest of everything including mahogany woodwork, gourmet catering kitchen, 1000-bottle wine tasting cellar, spa with grotto, grand party room, whole house electronic control, spectacular pool with waterfall, Baja shelf, pool cabana and so much more. Private 40-acre retreat with stable, fenced pasture, riding ring and riverfront. Superb solarfriendly efficiency. $2,900,000
EDGEWORTH - C. 1759 with formal additions in 1830 and 1850. Pristinely maintained, the main residence features old pine floors, 7-fireplaces, high ceilings, Jeffersonian windows, 1st & 2nd floor master suites. The farm is 100-acres of gorgeous rolling pasture and has 2-guest houses, stable, heated pool, garaging for 8, fabulous gardens and stocked pond. Located near the quaint Hamlet of Orlean. $2,850,000
THE MANOR HOUSE - Many, many possibilities with this extraordinary property just north of Warrenton with up to 9bedrooms and guest cottage on 50 private acres with stunning lake and distant views. Circa 1911 and 1962, there are 7- fireplaces, formal center hall, 35 x 50 great room with beams, massive stone fireplace and glass wall opening to tiered terrace to lovely pool and views. Explore possibilities for events, B&B, etc. $1,800,000
TUCK LO - An impressive country home in one of the finest locations and built by one of the area’s finest builders for his own use. Tucked away on 20-acres in supremely private setting on sought after Lee’s Ridge Road, the all-brick home has high ceilings, 5-fireplaces, main floor master suite, random width hardwood floors throughout, private baths ensuite, built-ins and more. Mountain views, pond and surrounded by multi-million dollar estates. $1,795,000
OCTOBER HILL - Circa 1895 country house has multiple porches, many windows for natural light and great room with cathedral ceiling, beams and floor to ceiling stone fireplace. 90 beautifully rolling acres of pasture, woodlands with trails, streams, and a pond. Very private setting, mature shade trees, stable, fenced pastures, 120 x 70 metal building could be indoor arena. Popular location on Lee’s Ridge just minutes from Historic Warrenton. $1,495,000
DRAMATIC SETTING - In the foothills of the Blue Ridge in Old Dominion Territory. Charming cape with many custom features including high ceilings, Canary/Brazilian/Walnut/Mahogany woodwork, stone FP, main floor master suite, French doors to wonderful slate wraparound porch. 41-acres has sparkling pond, plenty of board-fenced pasture and very nice stable. Incredible charm and quality. $1,100,000
SUNSET HILLS - Complete country horse property. Spectacular views across the lake to the mountains from kitchen, family room and deck, fabulous in-law suite (great-room, 2 BR & 2 BA, private porch with view), high ceilings and spacious rooms. 28-acres, 4-stall center aisle stable with tack room, board fenced pasture, great privacy in fabled Old Dominion foxhunting country. Endless fun with swimming, fishing, hiking, canoeing, riding and more! 750-feet of lakefront with private island. $999,000
CEDARWOOD - A contemporary jewel in hunt country with light and bright open floorplan, skylights, hardwood floors, upgraded kitchen, exposed interior brick, decks, large screened porch and more. Very private setting on 63-acres of pasture and woodland with streams, pond, barn and views. $899,000
FOXVILLE - Quietly situated in a treed setting but comes with over 60 acres of lush rolling pasture. Spectacular mountain views from main level master suite, sunroom, family room and most of the property. All-brick English country house has high ceilings, slate entry, custom woodwork/built-ins, fireplaces, heart pine paneling…spacious yet warm. Near country club. $875,000
22- ACRES – STABLE – POND - Charming landscaped setting with Circa 1905 country house, stone walls, flower arbors, flowering trees and shrubs, on 21+ acres, board fenced and cross fenced pastures, automatic waterers in 3 fields, 4 stall stable with heated tack room and wash stall with hot and cold running water, run-in sheds, riding ring and stocked pond. $549,000
HORSE PROPERTY UNDER $425K! - Wonderful package for small horse property. Charming cape cod features hardwood floors throughout main level, stainless appliances, main level master suite, large family room and inviting front sittin porch. 10-acres are mostly fenced in pasture and has a 4-stall stable w/tack room and riding ring. Detached 2-car with office/studio. $424,900
Allen Real Estate Co. Ltd.
Joe Allen, Broker 43 Culpeper Street, Warrenton, VA 20186
Tray Allen, GRI, Broker 540-222-3838 cell 540-347-3838 office
Leaders in the sale of unique and historic country properties, homes, estates, horse farms, and land.
Licensed Broker in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
LOCALLY OWNED. DEBUTING APRIL 2015. PLEASE SPECIAL ORDER AT ANY VIRGINIA ABC STORE. THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATRONAGE.
The Official Publication of the Virginia Steeplechase Association