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VOLUME XXIX / NUMBER 1 • THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE VIRGINIA STEEPLECHASE ASSOCIATION • WINTER 2017


HUNT MEETS

Howard County-Iron Bridge Hounds Professional Whippers-in Emily Melton and Matt Lanigan and Huntsman Kelly Burge move off with the pack from Harwood, Woodbine, Maryland, January 29. 2017. Karen Kandra Wenzel photo

Potomac Huntsman Brian Kiely and Professional Whipper-in Catherine Hanagan move off with hounds from Anne Davies’ Stonefield in Boyds, Maryland, January 28, 2017. Karen Kandra Wenzel photo

Potomac Hunts’ hounds in action, January 28, 2017. Karen Kandra Wenzel photo

Howard County-Iron Bridge Hounds Jt. Masters Dr. Roger I. Scullin and Crystal Brumme Pickett move off from Harwood, Woodbine, Maryland, January 29. 2017. Karen Kandra Wenzel photo

Hounds of Deep Run Hunt, Virginia, eager to start their day of sport from the kennels on December 1, 2016. Bill Sigafoos photo

Huntsman Richard Roberts leads the Deep Run Hunt hounds at the Cumberland, Virginia, Christmas Parade, December 11, 2016, aided by Professional Whipper-in Brian Groves (left) and Polly Bance, MFH (behind). Richard’s audience for the 2017 Christmas Parade will be considerably larger as he’ll be carrying the horn at Middleburg Hunt. John Harrison will be moving from Toronto & North York Hunt to serve as Huntsman at Deep Run. Bill Sigafoos photo


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FOXHUNTING

Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds Ellie Glaccum photos

Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds work a line on Boxing Day.

Olympic Team member and Cheshire Board Member Boyd Martin hunted with Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds on New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2016.

Boxing Day, 2016, at Brooklawn, Unionville, PA, the former home of the late Nancy Penn Smith Hannum, legendary Master and land preservation pioneer. Brooklawn is now owned by Mrs. Hannum’s granddaughter, Nancy, and her husband Crosby Wood. (l-r) Alice and David Goodall.

The Field on Boxing Day.

Stevie Hayes.


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SPORTING LIFE HIGHLIGHTS Leahy Elected MFHA President At the annual meeting of the Masters of Foxhounds Association in New York City in January, it was made official that Tony Leahy moves up from First Vice President to begin his three-year term as President. Leslie Rhett Crosby, MFH of Mooreland Hunt in Alabama will serve as First Vice President and Penny Denegre, MFH, of Virginia’s Middleburg Hunt was elected Second Vice President. Outgoing President, Dr. John R. van Nagell, who has led the association admirably during his term, will continue to support the MFHA from his home base as MFH at Kentucky’s Iroquois Hunt. Leahy’s impressive résumé promises to serve the association well during his term at the helm. A native of Ireland, he came to foxhunting by way of the Grand Prix jumper route. In 1990 he took on the role of huntsman at Fox River Valley Hunt (IL). Five years later he Tony Leahy. Liz Callar photo was asked to serve as joint master there. In 2002 his duties expanded to include service as huntsman and master at Massbach Hounds, another Illinois pack, while retaining his roles at Fox River Valley. As if the duties of master and huntsman for two clubs weren’t enough, Leahy also frequently serves as a judge at hound shows and performance trials, helped create the MFHA’s Professional Development Program, and is a board member at the Equine Land Conservation Resource and the International Union of Hunting with Hounds. His first position with the MFHA was as district director. With such expertise and enthusiasm, the MFHA will certainly be in excellent hands under Leahy’s direction. ••••

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Twiggs Selected as MFHA Executive Director David Twiggs has been selected as the new Executive Director of the Masters of Foxhounds Association. Twiggs comes to the job with a background that meshes well with the mission of the MFHA. He is, of course, an avid foxhunter, as are his wife Ashley and their two daughters Salem and CeCe. Originally from North Carolina, David served as CEO of Savannah Lakes, a planned community in South Carolina geared toward outdoor sporting enthusiasts. During the eight years he held this position, the Twiggs family hunted with Georgia’s Belle Meade Hunt where David served as a whipper-in and both he and Ashley helped the club in many other ways. His most recent position prior to acDavid Twiggs. cepting the job with the MFHA was as CEO Photo courtesy of the MFHA of Hot Springs Village in Arkansas, the largest planned sporting community in the country with 26,000 acres. Also a multi-tasker, Twiggs is the author of Destination Communities, which promotes the creation of sustainable outdoor-based destinations for leisure and living. He’ll be working during a three-month transition with Dennis Foster as he prepares to retire effective April 1, 2017 after serving the MFHA for 22 years Combined with the start of Tony Leahy’s term as President, exciting and productive times are surely ahead for the association. COVER PHOTOGRAPHER: Joanne Maisano www.joannemaisano.com PHOTOGRAPHERS: George Barclay B&D Photography Liz Callar www.lizcallar.com Jake Carle Claudia Coleman Coady Photography Jean Derrick Ellie Glaccum Douglas Lees douglaslees@comcast.net Jim McCue Jim Meads 011-44-1686-420436 Bill Sigafoos Huntsman Graham Buston, Blue Ridge Hunt, Monica Stevenson www.monicastevenson.com Virginia, and hounds move off from the meet Karen Kandra Wenzel

at Ellerslie, February 11, 2017.

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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 Spring issue is March 22, 2017. Payment in full due with copy. Publisher: Marion Maggiolo Managing Editor: J. Harris Anderson Advertising: Kim Gray (540) 347-3141, (800) 882-4868, Email: hckimbtc@aol.com Contributors: Aga; J. Harris Anderson; John J. Carle, II ex-MFH; Rosie Campbell, MFH; Lauren R. Giannini; Jim Meads; Will O’Keefe; Barclay Rives; Virginia Equine Alliance; Jenny Young LAYOUT & DESIGN: Kate Houchin Copyright © 2017 In & Around Horse Country®. All Rights Reserved. Volume XXVIX, No.1 POSTMASTER: CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED


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SPORTING LIFE HIGHLIGHTS Tryon International Equestrian Center Hosts Its First “Festival of the Hunt” During the week of November 7, 2016, the Tryon International Equestrian Center launched a new activity: The Festival of the Hunt. Based in the Carolina Foothills, the event was hosted by South Carolina’s Green Creek Hounds, North Carolina’s Tryon Hounds, and Shakerag hounds from Georgia. The schedule featured three days of hunting with each of the three host hunts taking their turn. The early November weather was sunny and warm, which made for moderate scenting conditions. Participants enjoyed the sport and camaraderie each day, including delightful breakfasts hosted by gracious landowners after each day’s hunt. Four judges rode with the regular members and competitors and chose three or four individuals to compete in the field hunter finals to be held on that Saturday. The judges included Snowden Clark, who had just judged the North American Field Hunter Championship at Glenwood Park, Middleburg, Virginia; Olympic Eventer Linden Wiesman; Roger Smith, a founding partner of TIEC, long time foxhunter with Shakerag Hounds, and ex-MFH with Green Creek Hounds; and Tom Cadier, MD, a 13 year MFH with Shakerag Hounds and an avid foxhunter for 35-plus years. The Saturday finals began with an Appointments class, won by Green Creek Hounds member Jana Hinely. This was followed by a drag hunt in which Green Creek MFH and Huntsman Tot Goodwin led hounds around the perimeter of the Derby field, where a course of natural log fences had been placed for the field hunter competition. Then Tryon Hounds Huntsman Beth Blackwell, followed by Green Creek Hounds field master, MFH Kem Ketcham, led the competitors over the jump course which looped and doubled back across the Derby field, complete with checks, reverse field, and mock hounds off in full cry. The judges convened and chose seven finalists, whose horses had all met the course and demonstrated their gaits and willingness extremely well. The finalists rode a just-learned short course, complete with opening a gate while mounted, then having to dismount, lead their horse across a log, and remount. A hand gallop to stop in front of the grandstand was met with cheers from the spectators. The final test proved to be the deciding factor for the top three horses: Judges Snowden Clarke, Linden Wiesman, and Tom Cadier hopped on each of the horses they chose as best and had the great fun of testing what they had viewed to be the winning horse. The judges conferred and announced their overall first choice: Rickie, a Hanoverian owned and ridden by Anita Crouse, Green Creek Hounds and Palm Beach Hounds member. A significant prize purse was donated by Adequan. TIEC presented the First Place winner with a Field Hunter champion cooler, and the new perpetual trophy will now reside in the Legends Club at TIEC engraved with the winners’ names. Additional prizes included generous gift certificates to the Champion, Reserve Champion, and Hilltopper Champion from Horse Country Saddlery, Warrenton, Virginia. Among many other activities coming up on the TIEC calendar will be the World Equestrian Games to be held there in 2018. [Editor’s Note: Our thanks to Carolynn Cadier for the information for this report.]

(l-r) Roger Smith, Sharon Decker, Linden Weisman, Snowden Clarke, Anita Crouse on Rickie, Dr. Tom Cadier, Carolyn Cadier. Monica Stevenson photo

Shakerag Hounds Huntsman John Eaton. Monica Stevenson photo

Sandanona Bests Ashland Bassets By One Point in National Trials The last week of October, 2016, saw the semiannual gathering of basset hounds to compete for honors at The Institute in Aldie, Virginia, on ground that has been groomed for good “rabbitat.” Twelve basset packs from as far south as Georgia, north to New York, and west to Illinois and Missouri brought their A-game for the spirited competition. Under the watchful eyes of judges Kim Sigmon, MFH, and Daniel Powell, hounds were scored in threecouple, five-couple, and seven-couple tests. Local favorite Ashland Bassets (Warrenton, Virginia) took first place in three-couple and seven-couple with New York’s Sandanona Hare Hounds finishing first in five-couple. However, when all field scores were totaled, Sandanona bested Ashland for top honors by just one point. (l-r) Ashland Creole and Ashland Bosun (Boatswain). Douglas Lees photo

Ashland Bassets Botox (more commonly known as “Bobo”). Douglas Lees photo

Coming in from New Year’s Day hunt from the kennels at Elway, Warrenton, Virginia, Ashland Bassets staff and followers: (l-r) Frank Edrington; Miriam Anver; Diana Dutton, Secretary/Field Master; John Gulick; Janet Quaintance; Mary Reed, Jt-MBH and Huntsman; Babs Timmerman; Bob Yarbrough; Sherry Johnson, Jt-MBH; and Sara Maley. Douglas Lees photo


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FOXHUNTING

A Day At The Spa By John J. Carle II, ex-MFH

Huntsman Tommy Lee Jones at “The Snake House.”

Huntsman Tommy Lee Jones brings the Casanova pack to the meet at “Poplar Springs.”

Whipper-in Melvin Johnson.

Located off Rogues Road near Casanova, Poplar Springs Inn and Spa is the hidden gem of Fauquier County, Virginia. The boutique hotel with its renowned spa and acclaimed Manor House Restaurant occupy 200 acres of land with historical roots dating to pre-Revolutionary times. Originally, the land was part of a 10,000 acre parcel that Robert “King” Carter surreptitiously patented to himself while acting as land agent for absentee landlord Thomas, 5th Earl of Fairfax, to oversee Fairfax’s one million acre grant from England’s King Charles II. It stretched from Midland to Casanova and remained in the Carter family for well over 200 years. Before his death “King” Carter deeded a large portion of his land to his grandson Charles who, in turn, sold 2,000 acres to his son-in-law, Col. Robert Randolph of Continental Army fame. Col. Randolph divided the land between sons Robert, Beverly, and Charles: Robert received “Eastern View,” Charles “The Grove,” with “Poplar Springs” going to Beverly. Robert’s sister Nancy married Dr. Robert Iverson Hicks, chief surgeon on the staff of General Jubal Early, Confederate Army hero in the War of Northern Aggression. Their son Robert Randolph Hicks, born in Warrenton, Virginia, in 1870, inherited “Poplar Springs” in 1920. Following graduation from the University of Virginia Law School, “Randy” Hicks went on to become an expert in trial law and a member of the Virginia General Assembly. In 1917 he married his second wife, the sophisticated world traveler Rose Sutton, and in 1928 they commissioned architect Wickham Taylor to build a fieldstone manor house in the style of the 16th and 17th century European country houses they both admired. Opulent in design, the manor house

was a curiosity to local residents, who irreverently referred to it as “Hicks’ Folly,” or simply “that pile of rocks.” Finished at the eve of the Depression, it soon became an almost insurmountable struggle to retain, much less maintain. The Hickses had adopted Rose’s orphaned niece and nephew, Jane and Dick Hall; and it was Jane, a successful author of short stories and Hollywood screenwriter, who inherited “Poplar Springs” following the death of her adoptive parents, Randolph in 1951 and Rose in 1958. Jane’s daughter Robin Randolph Cutler inherited the land in 1987 and, after extensive repairs to the nearly-derelict manor house, turned the farm into a wedding and special events center. In 1996 Robin went into partnership with Howard and Lauren Foer, founders of Washington’s hugely successful Festive Foods catering firm, to complete Robin’s dream and give birth to the Manor House Restaurant, which was a marvelous success from its inception. Sadly, due to the crippling recession, “Poplar Springs” fell into foreclosure in 2013, passing out of the ownership of the Carter/Randolph family after 200 years. Happily, in 2014, the property was purchased by visionaries Richard Thompson and Mike Eisele, who immediately invested heavily in improvements and upgrading. Thanks to their practicality and excellent taste, this gem now sparkles brighter than ever. It now embodies the best of two worlds. Enter the Manor House Restaurant and step back a century into the gentility of the 1920s, for formal dining in what was once the great room, and an aperitif before the fireplace in the adjacent bar; or, for modern comforts, visit the delightful spa and enjoy some personal pampering. For all visitors, the welcome is warm and genuine, the experience most memorable.


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On December 22, 2016, putting finishing touches on a the Casanova Hunt met at handsome brick walkway to “Poplar Springs” for a day of the front door, and he wished sport across part of “King” us luck and made some salient Carter’s grant, to be followed observation upon the day’s by a catered hunt breakfast in endeavors. From here hounds the Carriage House. At the apwended their way to “Windy pointed hour, senior Master Hill,” their only reward an ocJoyce Fendley organized the casional stale night-line. The Field of 23 foxhunters in front tightest coverts held only deer, of the manor house; and in the which were ignored, of foreground, Huntsman course, but nary a fox. CoyTommy Lee Jones posed his otes have decimated the fox handsome, level pack—eight population in parts of the couple of red-and-white hunting country, but local mostly crossbred foxhounds. farmers, deer hunters, and When photographer Richard other sportsmen have emClay, assorted guests, and visbarked upon a retaliatory proitors had well-chronicled the gram of their own, which occasion, hounds moved off. appears to be working. WhipThe first draw was pers-in Jean Clark, Melvin southward through extensive Johnson, Gaylord Hoisington, woodland and eventually into and Robert Johnson, wellWhippers-in Gaylord Hoisington; Mrs. John C. Clark, MFH; Robert Johnson. the Fendleys’ “Owl Run.” spread across the landscape, Emerging at the head of the picturesque lake that is constantly replenished by a all commented on the lack of any game moving—few birds, even. What wisps gushing artesian flowage, Tommy Lee turned his gray horse’s head westward of feathery clouds that earlier graced the sky had blown away, as hounds drew across the back fields of “Owl Run,” drawing what looked to be ideal fox habibehind Tommy Lee and Diane’s house, aiming for “Owl Run.” En route only tat. Long fields of hay or stubbled with this year’s corn are divided by densely faint remembrances of a fox’s midnight wanderings were found, so when he thicketed, wet-weather ditches and dotted with small, tight coverts, some conreached the stubble field behind the “Owl Run” stable, Tommy blew for home. taining seepages from hidden springs. Lovely, but blank, as the temperature A convivial crowd gathered ’round their Huntsman to briefly discuss the soared and a gentle southerly breeze bestowed her deceitful kiss. Onward then day before hacking back to the Meet. For the Field, it had been a lovely day to “Eastern View,” once the home of Robert Randolph, and remembered locally spent in glorious country and amongst sporting friends; in truth, as refreshing as for the small schoolhouse in which Robert E. Lee studied as a young boy. The a day at the spa. When asked what he thought of the day, the Dean of Virginia schoolhouse is long gone and so, apparently, were any foxes. Undaunted, hounds Huntsmen just leaned back in his saddle and wryly replied, “Hey, that’s foxcontinued their quest, meticulously investigating every inch of available covert hunting!” In the words of the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Ramin a sweeping left-handed circle. say, “Wisdom is the ability to cope,” which makes Mr. Jones a very wise man, For Tommy Lee Jones, like all the truly great huntsmen down through the indeed. ages (as well as many of us anything-but-great pretenders!) the study and purBack at the Carriage House, the Poplar Springs staff proved that no matsuit of foxes has been part of the warp and weft of his life since childhood. Durter how simple or opulent the gathering, they are up to the task of providing aping his years carrying the horn at Casanova, he has seen it all, so days like this propriate fare. The succulent and varied spread was perfectly designed for are no surprise, merely an annoyance to be dealt with. This pack, which he has hungry outdoorsmen (and women); and it, like today’s scent, soon vanished. so carefully bred for their work, ignored conditions for the most part, and tried The well-stocked bar quenched mammoth thirsts as well—but had to twice be relentlessly. Occasionally they’d look up, as if to ask, “Boss, why are we doing replenished. The rustic ambiance of the Carriage House perfectly lends itself to this?” Then, when their Huntsman could but shrug, they’d plunge into the next a gathering such as this; and yet, with the application of a little posh and polish, covert with renewed vigor. In close attendance, the veteran Field understood a more formal celebration would be equally at home. The genius of Mssrs. what a struggle the conditions were for hounds and Huntsman, and thoroughly Thompson and Eisele shines at every turn. Their breakfast was the perfect conenjoyed the day for what it was. clusion to this, or any other, hunting day. The next stop? Dinner at the Manor Our meanderings soon led us to “The Snake House,” wherein live FendHouse Restaurant, for sure! ley daughter Alice and her husband David. During the remodeling process, the original farmhouse was found to be full of snakes, hence the name. David was Note: I am indebted to the management of Poplar Springs for the extensive historical notes they provided; and for the hospitality of all the staff. JC

Mrs. Richard Clay.


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PERFORMANCE TRIALS Bull Run Hunt Scores Big at Belle Mead Trials By Rosie Campbell, MFH

(l-r) Susan Travellin; Jerrie Wade; Meredith Wade; Boo Montgomery; Charles Montgomery; Huntsman; Rosie Campbell, MFH; Suzanne Hanagan; Benette Clinton; and Chris Allen show off the impressive array of ribbons awarded to Bull Run Hunt at the Belle Meade Performance Trials. Jean Derrick photo

Virginia’s Bull Run Hunt, together with huntsman Charles Montgomery and wife Boo, travelled to Georgia with eight hounds and seven members to compete in the performance trials hosted by Belle Meade Hunt in Georgia, on January 19th and 20th. Other performance packs included Belle Meade, Bridlespur (MO), Farmington (VA), Fox River Valley (IL), and Mill Creek (IL). Huntsman Sam Clifton of Green Spring Valley (MD) began the first of the two days with 18 couple at 8 am, a warm morning with dry ground and temperatures rising to the upper 70s. Sam quietly cast hounds into a piney forest, George’s Woods, and let them work. Hounds found a scent and proceeded to run a black coyote. Judges had a good three hours of scoring, as hounds worked and checked with some full cry runs. Evening festivities were held at Boots Hall (BMH Kennels) and awards followed a lovely dinner. Norman Fine, performance trial President, gave out the scores and ribbons for the first day. Bull Run Hunt was high scoring hunt and Bull Run Hunt’s hound Spree was high score hound. The second day dawned cooler and foggy with a mist in the air. Hounds moved off smartly with Sam making the 18 couple look like a pack on a mission. Hounds took about 10 minutes to find, pick up a coyote scent and—bang!—they were off to a blistering start! Huntsman, judges, and first flight led by Jean Derrick ran and jumped at top speed to keep in sight of the hounds. Every hound was in on the run and what a sight and sound it was. Master Epp Wilson did a fantastic job to keep Sam within sight of the speeding pack at full cry. This run lasted close to 45 minutes. The second hour brought in heavy rains and thunder. There was some discussion as to whether to continue or not, but hounds thought otherwise. Now the scent was good. It didn’t take long before a hound sounded and they were off running another coyote through the pines. Pouring rain and the pack heading towards Thomson airport decided the end of the run. Hounds were stopped and collected and, with tired horses and happy riders, everyone followed the staff back to BMH Kennels. Following a good feast at Boots Hall, Norman Fine announced scores for the second day and final overall awards. Bull Run Hunt won for the second day with Spree again as high scoring hound and Bull Run won Overall High Scoring Pack for the two days. Spree won the much-coveted Huntsman’s Choice award. It was a fun two days and all the competing hounds were a really good hunting example and reflected well on their reBull Run “Spree” was a major facspective packs. Thank you Belle Meade, and everyone tor in achieving the Overall High Scoring Pack award and was honwho made this an outstanding and unforgetored with the Huntsman’s Choice table weekend. award at the Belle Meade Performance Trials. Jean Derrick photo


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HORSES

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Sherman By Barclay Rives

When Gregory Schmidt, DVM, first saw Sherman, he sensed the horse’s kindness. Dr. Schmidt was a large animal surgery intern at Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine. Sherman’s medical problems had prompted his owner to donate him to Cornell. The horse had come to the right place. Dr. Schmidt was the right person to treat him, and Sherman generously repaid his healer. After riding him and discovering what a wonderful horse he was, Schmidt received permission to keep Sherman and bring him to Virginia. The horse gained friends and admirers in the hunting field and elsewhere. He lived to the mature age of 35. Sherman was a long-necked, long-backed chestnut of uncertain breeding. He may have had some Standardbred in his pedigree. Schmidt termed him an “American Warmblood.” Sherman had belonged to a successful businessman. The man’s daughter had showed him in equitation and jumper classes. Sherman had been to the National Horse Show at Madison Square Garden. He had an intelligent and serene presence. His medical problems, which brought him to Cornell, were multiple sarcoid tumors on his head and a respiratory condition known as roaring. A Pasadena, California, native, Schmidt discovered horses when he was 14 years old. He claims he was “becoming a juvenile delinquent” until his parents forced him to take a riding lesson from a retired US Cavalry officer. Before the lesson Schmidt was disappointed that he was going to ride in an English and not a Western saddle. His instructor allowed him to jump small fences during his first lesson. He was “immediately hooked.” Schmidt rode jumpers for a trainer who worked with the actor Slim Pickens (Dr. Strangelove, Blazing Saddles). Pickens would purchase Thoroughbreds in Montana and bring them to California for show training. Schmidt helped develop a horse Pickens called Heavyweight, who became a member of the 1972 US Olympic team under his new name Fleet Apple. While filming abroad, Pickens purchased a Pariani saddle custom made for Schmidt, to thank him for his work on Heavyweight. Schmidt had been an animal lover since early childhood. For years he wanted to be a veterinarian, but he became discouraged by pessimists who warned him of the difficulty and long odds of gaining admission to vet school. He considered becoming a dentist before his admission to UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, after two years at UCLA. Following his four years at UC Davis, he had recently begun his two-year surgery internship at Cornell in 1972 when he met Sherman. The sarcoid tumors on Sherman’s head were unsightly, raw, and stinking. Schmidt thought Sherman would be an excellent candidate for cryosurgery, which was a new technique at the time. Cryosurgery involves the application of liquid nitrogen, which freezes tumors. The abnormal tissue dies and sloughs away, allowing healthy tissue to grow in its place. After inserting a subcutaneous thermometer or thermocouple, Schmidt lowered the temperature of the tumors to minus 20 degrees Centigrade. The procedure was successful. Only one treatment was necessary, and Sherman behaved as a perfect patient. Treating his respiratory problem was more complicated. The scientific term for the condition commonly known as roaring is Laryngeal Hemiplegia. Laryngeal refers to the formation in the throat known as the larynx, which opens into the trachea or windpipe. In humans, the “Adam’s Apple” is part of the larynx. Hemiplegia means half paralysis. Horses have three folds of cartilage and soft tissue, which open to allow respiration, but close when the animal swallows

Dr. Gregory Schmidt, DVM, and Sherman, 1976. George Barkley photo

to prevent food and liquid from entering the trachea and lungs. Flaps on the right and left side are known as the Cricoarytenoid folds. The Epiglottis is a larger mass that folds up from the root of the tongue. The roaring horse’s Cricoarytenoid fold remains in its closed position, which obstructs inhalation and creates the distinctive noise. In cases of Laryngeal Hemiplegia, the left flap is nearly always the paralyzed one. The nerve that enervates the muscle on the left fold is much longer than the one on the right side. The right side nerve passes directly from the brain to the fold. The left side nerve passes from the brain down the neck around the aorta and back to the throat. Horses suffer damage to this nerve from grazing, stretching, and general wear and tear. Roaring often occurs in long-necked horses. The condition can also result from respiratory tract infection. In 1972, a team of four surgeons at Delaware Equine Center published an article describing their innovative treatment for Laryngeal Hemiplegia. The procedure involves accessing the larynx from an incision in the throat latch area, and suturing the fold into a more open position. The surgery requires the patient to be immobilized under general anesthesia. Schmidt read the article and contacted Dr. Matthew MackaySmith, who was a member of the Delaware group. After conferring with Mackay-Smith, Schmidt practiced the procedure on two cadavers at Cornell. The area of the neck involved in the surgery includes major arteries, veins and nerves, which the surgeon must avoid harming. Nine-year-old Sherman had been at Cornell for two months when he became Schmidt’s first live patient for the tie back procedure, or Prosthetic Laryngoplasty. The two had already developed a bond. The operation was a success. Sherman breathed more easily and quietly. Under heavy exertion, Sherman’s breathing was still audible. Schmidt became more aggressive with the extent of the tie back as he performed the procedure on other horses. The surgery now has an 80 to 90 percent success rate. Because cartilage does not hold suture material well, success results from the formation of scar tissue, which keeps the flap open. After recuperating from the surgery, Sherman won ribbons in jumper classes in New York with Schmidt aboard. His peers at Cornell perceived the two of them

as a pair. Schmidt spoke to the director of the school about keeping Sherman as his own. The director told him to contact the original owner, who graciously gave him his permission and blessing. In 1974, Charlottesville veterinarian Daniel Flynn offered Schmidt the opportunity to join his Georgetown Veterinary Hospital practice. Schmidt wanted to practice equine medicine on the east coast because of its high quality horses, trainers, and competition. When he first visited the area, he was impressed by the show and racing barns in Central Virginia. “Keswick felt like home from day one.” Schmidt and Sherman moved to Keswick and found bliss in the Keswick hunting field. Having a horse like Sherman makes hunting fun. Schmidt remembers a day from his early years with Keswick when a tall line fence halted everyone except him and two bold companions. One was the friendly and fun-loving Franklin “Snookie” Wawner on his half draft chestnut named Big John, who shared his owner’s personality and heart. The other was the fearless Audette Kimball, forced by polio to ride sidesaddle, aboard her big jumping half Cleveland Bay mare named Dickie. Laughing and happy with their horses, the trio savored their flight over the obstacle. Risk can heighten hunting exhilaration. Schmidt did not scorn the others for finding a less demanding route. They were not on Sherman. Schmidt bought property, built a home and barn, and founded his own Keswick Equine Clinic in 1978. He later moved the office from his home to a new facility in Gordonsville as the practice expanded to include several associates. He continued to hunt and compete in jumper classes and training level eventing with Sherman. They were less adept at dressage than stadium jumping and cross-country, at which they excelled. Sherman’s advancing years prompted Schmidt to retire him from the jumping field and loan him to Doris Coles, an expert rider and lifelong foxhunter, who often led the Keswick non-jumpers. Schmidt had never trained Sherman to open gates. He quickly became a perfect gate horse for Mrs. Coles. The Coles barn was a center of activity at the time. My brother rode out from that barn one day and encountered a less experienced and able rider on Sherman, in a predicament. The horse was straddling a sizeable log fence. The lady rider cried, “Help!” She had apparently headed Sherman at the fence with insufficient impulsion. His front legs were on one side; his back legs on the other. The rider was agitated, but the horse was patiently waiting for help to arrive. Most horses would have panicked. My brother told the lady to get off the horse. Relieved of the rider’s weight, Sherman was able to rock back and extricate himself. Jumping alone, even on a horse as dependable as Sherman, is a bad idea. Sherman spent his last years under the care of Schmidt’s friend Louise McConnell at her farm west of Charlottesville. McConnell hunted Sherman with Farmington and Keswick, and took him trail riding. Knowing he was totally reliable, she once let a small boy ride him. After she stopped riding him, she allowed Sherman to roam loose around her place. He often joined her trail rides on his own initiative. He was sensible. He knew the trails. Sometimes Sherman would lead the rides, occasionally deciding to head back home by himself. Dr. Schmidt says, “If I could clone him, I’d give everyone a horse like Sherman and we would all be happy.”


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IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • WINTER 2017

FOXHUNTING

The Gem Of The Genesee Valley By John J. Carle II, ex-MFH In the land of the Wadsworths Over hill, over dale; Where fences are paneled And meadows prevail, Where foxes run riot With hounds on their tail. That is the Genesee Country. Oscar F. Soule To most devotees of the sport in this country, the best foxhunting centers around Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. This may be true; however, in the northwest corner of New York, surrounding the picturesque town of Geneseo, there is a gem of a country in which a brilliant pack of hounds, hunted superbly by their lady Huntsman, shows sport the equal of any in North America. It is the Genesee Valley Hunt, where Joint Master Marion Thorne carries the horn. The hunt has a long and fascinating history, one that is entwined with the history of the Wadsworth family. Ever since 1790, when James and William Wadsworth, at the behest of their uncle, Colonel Jeremiah Wadsworth, Commissary General of the Continental Army, opened and settled the Genesee Valley, the family has been involved in all phases of life in Livingston County, New York. From earliest days, there has been foxhunting in the area. Although a few men followed their own hounds on horseback, most hunting involved a single hound or cur driving a fox within range of a hidden hunter’s shotgun. In 1876, Major William Austin Wadsworth formed the Livingston County Hunt. It was a “trencher-fed” pack, in which a number of men attempted to hunt their own hounds simultaneously, a venture that proved chaotic and not overly successful, and was abandoned in 1878. In 1880, Major Wadsworth formed the Genesee Valley Hunt, with drafts of hounds from The Meath in Ireland and several English packs, which he wisely crossed with American hounds for nose and cry. The Master carried the horn, creating a tradition that lives today. For hunt colors he chose those of George Washington’s Continental Army: a blue coat with buff collar—similar to Prince Charles’s personal hunting livery, minus the buff cuffs. Dues were a dollar per year, with all ladies and farmers hunting for free. However, it was in essence a private hunt, for the Major owned the hounds, kenneled them at the family enclave, “The Homestead,” and paid all the bills. The country was made for hunting, being primarily in grass, ideal for galloping, interspersed with patches of dense woods, steep ridges and deep gullies that provided home and refuge to a large red fox population. With a crack pack of Crossbred hounds showing spectacular sport, the Genesee Valley became, in the 1880s and 1890s, the epicenter of North American foxhunting. This was serious hunting, usually conducted at a blistering pace. The country had no paneling as we know it, so riders faced as they came snake, post-andrail and board fences, many in excess of five feet. As David Gray noted in Gallops, “Flashy dudes with swagger clothes are not imposingly prominent here…There is an atmosphere of keen sportsmanship about the place that is rather frosty to makebelievers.” And so it remains. With the exception of a short decade following the Major’s death in 1918, there has always been a Wadsworth at the helm. James Wadsworth was succeeded by William P. Wadsworth, who carried the horn from 1932-1942, and again from 1946-1972. In 1970, he followed in the Major’s footsteps, accepting the presidency of the MFHA, of which W.A.W. had been a founder and first president. Bill Wadsworth passed the horn to his son Austin, a flamboyant character and born huntsman, who in turn passed it to his relative, Marion Thorne. Ever since watching Marion’s hounds at a Maryland Performance Trial, where GVH “Navaho” ’04 aced and disgraced the competition, I’ve wanted to see this pack hunt. So, when Trey Bennett, former Tryon Huntsman to whom Marion had drafted hounds, suggested to my daughter Sarah that we all travel to Geneseo for a weekend’s hunting, I was overjoyed. Sarah, who had roomed with Marion during the Bryn Mawr Hound Show Centennial, made all the travel arrangements; then, when Trey was a noshow, she did all of the driving—despite having been up since 4:00 a.m.! Marion had arranged for us to stay at “Roscommon Farm,” the charming summer home of Blue Ridge Hunt stalwarts Eric and Martha Meyers, and we arrived there at 11:00 p.m. Friday, November 14. Since hounds meet at noon during the winter, we were able to sleep in and recuperate before meeting Marion and Travis Thorne—he’s Kennel Huntsman—at the kennel. Marion drew a mixed pack of 19½ couple. Of moderate size and fitter than “Arrogate,” they are a level pack, pleasant of personality and fairly bursting with enthusiasm. And how they move! Like falcons on the wing, they are speed and grace personified: my kind of hounds, but I’d not wish to be either fox or coyote in their country.

Janie Barrett, Breena Donegan.

We loaded up with our guide and chauffeur, Herbie Weaver, who at 88 is spry as a spring lamb and never misses a day. An old-school horseman, former steeplechase rider, and farrier, Herbie has worked and hunted all over the country, and we shared a veritable rogues’ gallery of mutual friends. Marion roaded the pack to the Meet, hacking down Roots Tavern Road, then across country to Nations Road and “Oneida Spring,” where a Field of approximately 20 awaited. I was delighted to see my basseting buddy, Turner Boone, acting as Field Master. The forecast had been for unsettled weather, and so it proved. The morning had been a warm and sunny 67 degrees, with the slightest hint of a southerly breeze and a scribble of wispy clouds overhead. But on the western horizon there glowered a bank of menacing clouds that steadily approached, blanketing the Meet and causing the mercury to plunge. By 2:30 p.m., driven by a gusting gale, came slashing rain and stinging sleet; and by 4:30 it was near freezing and flurrying with snow. But these are hardy, serious foxhunters, used to more trying conditions, and they ignored this minor inconvenience. Last season, hounds met 116 times, missing only two days— one for flooding and one for impassable drifting—second in the country only to Tony Leahy’s Fox River Valley, and they luxuriate all winter in Georgia! Today marked the opening of deer season, and the roads were lined with trucks, the woods festooned with blaze orange. The first draw was “Oneida Woods,” where hounds’ passage started deer moving and encouraged a barrage of shooting, much of it perilously close to horse and hound. Any game still above ground quickly remedied that oversight, and hounds drew blank. A nearby pond and marsh was also bereft of game, as was the buckthorn jungle known as “The Coyote Castle.” By now we were at the outskirts of Geneseo, and Marion tried the strong covert behind the jail, where foxes usually feel secure, then on to “Congressman’s Woods,” with its uncrossable gully. Predictably, deer hunters abounded, but game did not. We briefly hung out with Whipper-In Kathleen Kirkwood, who was accompanied by County Wexford’s Tom Lambert, a follower since childhood of the Killinick Harriers. Tom, who works in Worcester, Massachusetts, is a regular most weekends, and his services are much in demand among owners of young horses. Today’s firsttimer had been quite lively earlier, but under Tom’s calming influence, now stood as leg-cocked relaxed as a veteran. After sampling a dram of “Fireball” from Kathleen’s flask, Tom suddenly stood atop his saddle! “Rodeo photo-op!” thought I; but the handsome bay youngster never moved a muscle. Turns out, Tom is famous for this trick.


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • WINTER 2017

Word came back that Marion was headed for “The Boulevard” and, shortly thereafter, hounds burst into furious cry. But their optimism and ours died aborning, for within twenty seconds this unsporting Charlie reached his hobbit-hole home and slammed the door in hounds’ faces. So, as the wind rose fiercely, bringing rain and sleet, the pack moved on to “Sugarbush,” a large oxbow in the Genesee River, and one of their most productive coverts ever since the Major’s time. Today it was uninhabited. Finally, at “the horse-trial field,” a brace leapt up, and hounds opened with a primal scream that cut like a knife through the howling gale. Hunched over the wheel like Junior Johnson at Talledega, Herbie brought us pothole-jumping out of the field in which we’d parked, just in time to see the pack dash across Nations Road and sweep northward across country through which they’d earlier hacked. They were gone in a flash, their cry blown to Albany—Lord, these hounds can fly! It was a short, furious run that looped back toward the find. Coming off the hill they’d so recently climbed, they were, in the words of Carl Perkins, “rockin’ it right”; and their harried quarry, smelling brimstone on his brush, went to ground. With the second fox of the brace having vanished, Marion put hounds into the woods across Roots Tavern Road from the kennel, and here encountered their nemesis, a small, nearly-white fox she’d christened “the cheeky fox,” for he’s bold but so far impossible to hunt. Herbie and I viewed him briefly—only a whitish blur behind a hump in the road—before he evaporated, taking with him any vestige of scent. He is so much the “Magician” that his image belongs on a Tarot card. Or perhaps he is the ghost of the nearly-white fox whose mask adorns the wall of “the Smoking Room” at “The Homestead,” for his disappearance was certainly spectre-like. Hounds’ frantic efforts to recover his elusive line did push another fox out across Huston Road at Dead Dog Corner, where it was viewed by Joint Master Austin Wadsworth. Although no longer riding, Austin appears as robust as ever; and having shared some merry moments when we both served on the Board of the MFHA, our brief reunion was a happily nostalgic one. The wind had done well its work by the time hounds were laid on, so Marion drew back toward the kennel, to end this difficult day. Trying though conditions had been, all day hounds rewarded everyone, especially their Huntsman, with their unwavering perseverance. When Gordon Grand wrote the story “Try,” this is the sort of pack he had in mind. On Saturday night, the Thornes treated us to dinner at the National Hotel, Geneseo’s premier restaurant, where we enjoyed the restorative powers of mahogany elixir languishing over ice, enlightening conversation, lots of laughter, and racks of local lamb, tender and delicious beyond description. A happy group of foxhunters joined us, including Kathleen Kirkwood, her friend Stephanie Levy, Tom Lambert, and the Boones, Turner and Sally. Under the patronizing eye of that loquacious fellow named Art, proprietor and bartender, we were pampered beyond reason, and the hours flew by. All too soon it was time to bid our friends “au reservoir”—as E. F. Benson’s Miss Mapp put it—and float homeward. Propping open the eyelids on Sunday morning took three cups of coffee and a blast of the frosty air that drifted over a dusting of gritty snow. At the kennel, we were introduced to Jehlo, the kennelman who lives on the property. A shy, quiet young man with an affinity for hounds, he speaks “Mistako,” the musical dialect of the Indians who inhabit the mountains of Mexico. Marion took hounds out for a romp in the adjacent pasture, under white oaks that more closely resembled their English cousins than those seen in Virginia. Several hounds tried unsuccessfully to slip into Roots Tavern Road for another go at “Mr. Cheeky,” who had sat mid-road to greet Travis’s early-morning arrival. We toured the kennel and were gifted with some fascinating GVH memorabilia, including a copy of The Hunting Diaries of W. Austin Wadsworth, a book that belongs in every serious foxhunter’s library. Bundled into Marion’s Jeep, we toured Geneseo, with its ultra-wide main street laid out in the days when most freight and necessities were hauled by teams of oxen, which demand a lot of room in which to turn around. Unlike horses and mules, you can’t teach an ox to back up. Our Geneseo tour ended with an exploration of “The Homestead.” A three-story white frame house, it rambles like a freight train. Inside it is a labyrinth of halls and various sized rooms, where members of the Wadsworth family could always find a quiet nook, and children a plethora of hiding places. Most fascinating is “the Smoking Room,” where, after dinner parties, the Major and his cronies repaired for cigars, brandy and manly conversation unfit for ladies’ ears. Fox masks and sporting art adorn the paneled walls, and family memorabilia is everywhere preserved for posterity. The most astonishing bit of nostalgia is the GVH hunt button that accompanied astronaut Skip Conrad to the moon in 1969. This happily welcoming mansion is no longer a private residence, and is available to the public for weddings and other celebrations, for which it is in constant demand. We then toured the vast hunting country. Glacially sculpted, it varies from flat pasture and cropland to alpinesteep ridges, the faces of which are corrugated with deep, glacier-gouged gullies. From atop the ridges on clear days, the vistas rival any seen from a Blue Ridge Parkway overlook. Unfortunately, today was foggy, but we saw a stunning photograph. The hunting country also encompasses Lake Conesus, the westernmost of the famed Finger Lakes. Interstate 390 bisects part of the country, making several historically significant coverts unavailable. At a delightfully rustic roadside tavern named Par-Key’s, we lunched on gigantic bacon-cheeseburgers awash in sautéed mushrooms and chased with Bloody Marys. Marion then departed for Rochester to attend “calling hours” for a prominent hunt member, recently departed, while Sarah and I wandered our way back to the farm as a rising wind, howling demonically, brought with it some serious snow. Driving with appropriate caution because Sarah’s car tends to panic in the snow, we made it safely to the Thornes’ for dinner. First to greet us was “Secret,” their delightful Border Terrier, who has a zest for adventure and a loving personality. The Thornes were in fine form, hosts supreme, with a welcome as warm as their hardworking woodstove. Turner Boone joined us to round out this intimate dinner party. Marion managed the drinks department, while Travis prepared dinner. His artistic side usually hides behind his NFL-wide-receiver exterior, but when Travis unleashes his talents, the results are magnificent. The table was set and decorated so beautifully it might just have stepped from the pages of Garden & Gun; and the salmon feast was, beyond a doubt, the most delicious I’ve ever been blessed to enjoy. Oh, and did I mention, Virginia, that New York produces some awesome wine? The whole evening was wrapped in that special ambiance and intimacy only found in the most congenial of family gatherings; and by evening’s end, Sarah and I were overwhelmed by the feeling that we had become part of the family. It was still blowing, snowing, and slick when time came to leave; so when I did a spectacular dive down the icy brick steps outside the kitchen door, Travis insisted we leave Sarah’s car, and he drove us back in the hound truck. Overnight the snow had stopped after 6-8 inches, but the wind howled unabated, causing drifting everywhere; and on Route 39 it covered the road with a blanket of packed, icy treachery in places where snow fence had not as yet been erected. The Meet was moved to the kennel from “Batzing Farm,” where drifting snow made parking impossible.

9

Marion Thorne, MFH with 19 1/2 couple of GV Hounds.

Whipper-in Travis Thorne.

Tom Lambert, County Wexford, Ireland.


10

IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • WINTER 2017

Marion drew 18½ couple of lovely, racy bitches who could barely contain their enthusiasm. Janice Barrett and Martha Wadsworth, Marion’s half-sister, joined Kathleen Kirkwood and Travis to share staff duties. With a Field of three in tow, Marion hustled the pack into the teeth of the gale to draw two infamous coverts, “The Gully” and “The Hogback.” Although she set forth with her usual optimism and determination, it is likely that, during the course of this grueling day, one particular stanza from a poem by GVH Poet Laureate, the late Oscar F. Soule, came vividly to mind: The Master starts on schedule, Goes down toward the stream. Fox hunting on a day like this Is like an awful dream.” “The Gully” is an impressive geological feature that meanders for a couple of miles and forms an uncrossable barrier for most of its length. Herbie Weaver explained that in places it varies from 100-150 feet in depth, with the going at the bottom unnavigable for horses. Hounds can cross it, and the area abounds in game. “The Gully” is split by “the Hogback” along part of its length, and from atop its spine action can be observed on either side. Even though we’d swapped Herbie’s car for Marion’s Jeep, we were advised to avoid the lower reaches of Nations Road (where hounds crossed on Saturday), which was blocked by four-foot drifts. We parked downhill of Saturday’s Meet, but were upwind and didn’t hear hounds’ brief, sharp run that ended with a fox to ground. Marion viewed another fox across the yawning chasm, but chose to leave it un-hunted. Moving back uphill, we could view hounds through a veil of blowing snow as they diligently worked the edges of a long, wooded covert. Herbie drove us back to Route 39 to a spot at wood’s end, where game often crosses. We were sitting in the back entrance to an extensive Standardbred operation that had gone belly-up, and now houses “Leg-Up Stable,” when a minivan came rocketing down the ditch at us, hit the culvert, went airborne and, barely missing the Jeep, landed at the edge of the highway. Traveling at a ridiculous rate, with the driver apparently texting, it had missed the gentle curve and run straight as an arrow into the ditch. The van’s front end was totally destroyed, and melon-sized ballast rock, blasted from around the culvert, had flattened the jeep’s left front tire. Marion, having already kenneled the pack, loaded us in the hound truck, and we hied ourselves to “Batzing Farm,” where awaited a bountiful breakfast. Like so many landowners in the GVH country, the Batzings are dairy farmers, milking a “small” herd of 100 cows (larger farms milk 1,000 head or more). Many of their neighbors raise sheep—one flock numbered 4,000 head—and, with coyotes aplenty, hounds are always welcome. Monica and Scott Batzing and their daughter Sarah are gracious hosts, and the crowd this event attracted was both sporting and convivial, so the festivities lasted well into the evening. Marion deposited us at the farm, with assurances that the highway department’s chemicals would clear the roads by morning. A lively visit with Denise Thompson, who lives full-time at the farm, and made us most welcome, put the perfect cap on the day. True to predictions, the roads were clear by noon and, after retrieving Sarah’s car, we set off for Virginia with mixed emotions. We had imposed upon the Thornes’ hospitality for far too long, but it was hard to leave the ambiance of this special place. We carried back to the Old Dominion sparkling memories to be cherished all our years; and after finally discovering “the Gem of the Genesee Valley,” we vow to return. A dream sporting trip Is not a trip, brothers and sisters, But a voyage. And voyages are for discovery.

Marion Thorne, MFH moving off from kennel, Nov. 21, 2016.

Kathleen Kirkwood, whipper-in and Marion Thorne, MFH/Huntsman.

Charles Gaines

4HE-IDDLEBURG(UNT 0OINT 4O 0OINT SUNDAY, APRIL 20, 2017 POST TIME 1:00 P.M.

GLENWOOD PARK, MIDDLEBURG, VIRGINIA Whipper-in Kathleen Kirkwood.

Whipper-in Janice Barrett.

General admission $10 per person in advance or $15 at the gate. Parking $5 per car in advance or $10 at the gate. Information: Mrs. Liam Tuohy (540) 454-2991


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IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • WINTER 2017

11

RACING

2017 Spring Steeplechase Season Preview By Will O’Keefe

The Blue Ridge Hunt will start the 2017 steeplechase season in Virginia with their point-to-point on Saturday, March 11. A ten race card of races over hurdles and timber and on the flat will be run. Their hunter pace events will be run on Sunday the 12th. Both events will be run at Woodley Farm near Berryville. The Thornton Hill Fort Valley Hounds Hunter Pace Events were originally scheduled for the first weekend in March but will not be run this year. After the opening weekend the schedule includes a point-to-point and hunter pace events almost every weekend. The Warrenton Hunt, Piedmont Fox Hounds, Orange County Hounds, Old Dominion Hounds, and Loudoun Hunt run point-topoints on successive weekends with Middleburg Hunt closing the season on Sunday, April 30. The only weekend when there are no point-to-points scheduled at this time is the fourth weekend in April. The biggest changes on the schedule are new weekends for two of the hunter pace events. Warrenton Hunt will hold their hunter pace on April 22 and Rappahannock Hunt will run theirs on April 15. The Orange County Hounds ran an all timber and flat race card last season, but this year the hurdle races are back by popular demand. The Restricted Young Adult Flat Race has been dropped from the card and has been replaced by an Open Flat Race. Both flat races will be 1½ miles. The Middleburg Spring Races at Glenwood Park near Middleburg kicks off the Virginia Spring circuit of NSA sanctioned races on Saturday, April 23. The historic Temple Gwathmey Hurdle Stakes will be the featured race with a $50,000 purse. Many of the best timber horses in training will go to the post in the $30,000 Middleburg Hunt Cup Timber Stakes, which is always one of the major prep races for the Virginia Gold Cup the first Saturday in May. Always a crowd pleaser, the Alfred M. Hunt Steeplechase will head the remainder of the card of races over hurdles and on the flat. The Foxfield Spring Races will be run on Saturday, April 29. Once again a huge crowd of racing fans and revelers is expected to be on hand. The feature race this year will be the Daniel Van Clief Memorial. The purse for this race has been increased from $25,000 to $30,000 and will be run as an allowance optional claiming race over hurdles. The remainder of the five race card will all be for maidens. Three of these races are over hurdles for straight maidens, maiden claimers and filly and mare maidens. Non-winners over timber will take their turn in the Grover Vandevender Memorial. The Virginia Gold Cup Races on May 6 will once again offer pari-mutuel wagering on the races at Great Meadow as well as on the Kentucky Derby. You can bet that the action will be exciting because at least $425,000 in purse monies will be offered. The $100,000 Virginia Gold Cup over the challenging four-mile timber course will once again attract a stellar field. The $75,000 David Semmes Memorial Hurdle Stake will have its third running and appears on its way to becoming a fixture. Two more hurdle races will be run—one for maidens and the other for limited winners. The steeplethon stakes, run over varied and unique obstacles, will be run for a $40,000 purse. This race will be elevated to stakes sta-

tus this year. There will be three flat races on the card headed by the second running of the $50,000 Secretariat Stakes at a distance of one mile and one half. Allowance horses that have never won one race other than maiden or claiming on the flat will compete over one and a half miles for a $40,000 purse. The Virginiabred race will be run for $35,000 over 1¼ miles. Complete information for these and other events can be found on the centralentryoffice.com and nationalsteeplechase.com websites. Upcoming Event On Friday, March 3, the Virginia Steeplechase Association’s 31st Annual Steeplechase Awards Dinner will be held at the Middleburg Community Center in Middleburg. The leading Virginia based owners, trainers and riders will be crowned as will their leading hurdle and timber horses. Awards will also be presented to those participants who raced in Virginia but were not necessarily based in Virginia. One of the highlights of the evening will be inductions into the Virginia Steeplechase Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame was created in 2007 to recognize the leaders of the sport in the Old Dominion.

4 6 t h

R u n n i n g of the

Orange County Hounds Point-to-Point Locust Hill Farm, Middleburg, Virginia

Sunday, April 2, 2017 Post Time 1 p.m. Hunter Pace Event Saturday, April 1, 2017, 9 a.m. Geraldine Peace at YLYfox@aol.com Barn Dance Saturday, April 1st, 7 p.m. Leah Palmer at leahcpalmer@aol.com Race Chairman: Neil Morris and Pippy McCormick doverhse@earthlink.net

Entries: www.centralentryoffice.com

2017 Spring Running of

GARTH ROAD, CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA 22901

Old Dominion Hounds Point-to-Point Saturday, April 8, 2017 12 Noon Hunter Pace April 9, 2017, 1:00 pm

Ben Venue Farm, Ben Venue, VA 16 miles west of Warrenton on U.S. 211 Seven Races featuring Leeds Don Open Timber Information: 540-364-4573, 540-636-1507

Saturday, April 29, 2017 Gates Open 9:00 am

Gates Close 5:30 pm

Benefiting INTERNATIONAL NEIGHBORS CHARLOTTESVILLE Like us on Facebook • Follow us on Twitter @foxfield races Visit us at foxfieldraces.com • Call us at 434-293-9501


12

AGA’S SAGAS

IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • WINTER 2017

Winter is Coming

Lift your broadsword, Bunsen, you slimy coward! Aye, that I will, ye wee whiff of a cur! And when I do, I’ll chase ye for all your tiny legs can handle. Why, I’ll wager ye cannae even lift the sword, too heavy for a wee morsel of a dog that tries to pass as a mighty Scottish warrior. I can lift double my weight. I can toss my sword in the air and catch it in my teeth as easily as a stick. I can thrust and parry, make you run backwards all the way to Marion’s office where you can hide under her desk and cry, “I yield!” But before I could advance on my trembling opponent, Marion interrupted our role-playing adventure. “Stop it, you two. Put the hunt crops down before there are little teeth marks in the leather.”

sheets, show bridles and reins. So I’m well into my game of planning for what’s ahead, the rest of winter and then on to spring!” Ach! I’d just as soon skip the rest of winter and get right to spring. The point-to-points and spring races are coming! I love the ladies dressed finely, the smart tailgates and the food, the droplets of punch that glow in the sunlight and fall onto me tongue. Don’t ye just adore all that, Aga? Yes, I do, Bunsen. Especially the sight and scent of Le Chameau wellies and Barbour jackets, all in our favorite shade of green. So country, so sporty, so…right! The lassies flirting with me, wearing big hats and fascinators. Always a grand time.

Well, it wasn’t our fault that we were so caught up So, Bunsen, what does your family motto mean in in mock combat. Marion, you see, is addicted to English? Game of Thrones. When she decided to spend Ah, lassie, yes, the family motto. I repeat it over much of January working from home, we realized Claudia Coleman illustration and over, to strengthen my resolve, carry the clan the sad state of affairs. She was gifted with the traditions and values ever forward, sustain me complete six seasons of the show and started watching the British series almost through the long workday. I’m a Scotsman to the core. My motto will stand over immediately. She’s hardly been seen at Horse Country since the daylong binge the house for eternity. It’s so powerful a motto, I feel expressing it any way save watch of season one on New Year’s Day. in m’native Gaelic tongue would be sacrilege. Dìnnear a 'tighinn! I believe she’s now on her third viewing. I hear the theme song over and over in What if I’m able to figure it out for myself? my sleep. Have at it if ye think you’re able, lassie. I’m not surprised, Bunsen. It’s because you sleep in front of the TV and the show Well, let’s see. If the House of Stark’s motto is “Winter is coming,” I’d guess the is running constantly. House of Bunsen’s motto is…“Dinner is coming.” “Shush, Aga! I really am working from home, making the plan, organizing the marketing and ads. Although, the series does inspire me. All those banners and Faith and bejabbers! Ye guessed it right! How’d ye do that?” doublets, wolf skin wraps. Bold ideas for our fall 2017 campaign are forming in Believe me, Bunsen, as well as I know you, it wasn’t that hard. my head.” Aye! Dinner is coming, dinner is coming, dinner is coming. I must admit, I like the series, too. ’Tis an epic story indeed. I heard the tales from me father who heard it from his father before. Epically historical, is it? Pooh! It’s fantasy. You believe everything you watch on TV. I do like the characters, even though everyone looks like they need a good bath. In the “olde days,” they had a bath once a year. And now I get a bath every week. Look how far we’ve come, little one. Baths are not a good thing, Bunsen! When my bather, John, tries to put me in the tub, I brace myself against the edge, paws holding the man back. In my mind, I repeat, “This far, no farther,” my clan motto. If that won’t halt the dreaded bath, I pull out my broadsword and threaten him. Ye may have a motto, lassie. But ye dinnae have a broadsword. You’re letting your imagination get away with your wee self. I will say, though, I like your motto. Impressively bold, it is. All the families in Game of Thrones have mottoes, like House Tully’s “Family, Honor, Duty” and House Tyrell’s “Growing Strong.” The motto of the Stark family is more like a warning: “Winter is coming.” If I recall properly, our clan motto is a proud one, strong and to the point. In the original Gaelic Scottish, which I don’t expect ye to understand, it’s “Dìnnear a 'tighinn.” “Well, Bunsen, for someone who sleeps through TV shows, I’m impressed you can recall your family motto. But enough about watching Game of Thrones. Despite your accusations that I’ve been doing nothing else since the new year began, you seem to have forgotten that I’ve been to New York and Atlanta shopping for the store. I’m off to England next, then back to New York and a few other places. We need to replenish the stocks. Maybe ‘Winter is coming’ for the House of Stark, but for the House of Horse Country, ‘Spring is coming!’ “The spring goods are already coming in, new schooling shirts and jackets, rain gear, boots and horse clothing. Books, jewelry, scarves, gloves, belts. So much to show and tell. The saddle pads and matching ear scrims, new plaid


13

IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • WINTER 2017

JENNY’S PICKS Winter in many parts of this country is a time for easing up on riding during inclement weather, soupy or frozen footing, and bitter winds. It’s an ideal time to cook heartier meals that may—or may not—require greater preparation time. It’s also a good time to settle in with a good book—a real book in your hands, perhaps beside the fire with a favorite pet at your feet or in your lap. Here at Horse Country we have been amassing a variety of volumes to appeal to your culinary senses and stimulate your brain. We don’t stock large numbers such as we might with Rita Mae Brown’s novels, so if one interests you, call quickly! Harrison, Joel; and Neil Ridley. Distilled. This handy little guide to the heartier spirits runs the gamut “from absinthe & brandy to vodka & whisky,” but don’t expect it to run in alphabetical order. Copiously illustrated with photographs and artwork depicting the spirits, their processing, and some of their champions, the guide offers history, better selections, and potential mixers using each one. Hardcover, 224pp. $19.99 Johnson, Hugh. Wine Journal. If you enjoy going to different vineyards and sampling their wares, you might like to take this little book along with you, especially if you consider yourself somewhat of a neophyte in wine tasting. The first quarter of the book devotes itself to instructing you on wine selection, care and presentation, from what to look for to how to open a bottle and where to store it. The middle section discusses the different types of wine: sparkling, red, white, sherry, champagne, and other variants and includes several pages in each for you to make notes when you go to a tasting. The last quarter takes up wine with food and special-occasion wines, again with pages to note your experiences. Finishing up at the back are several pages of “winespeak”—the terminology used to describe wines. Hardcover, 192pp. $14.99 Farmer, James T. III. Sip & Savor/Drinks for Party and Porch. Unlike the first two selections, this book is one you can offer teetotalers, as there is no alcohol involved. But fear not—there’s no reason you can’t add whatever you like to spice up these lively drinks! There are a number of variations on tea, with many involving fresh fruit. Chapter headings include Simple Syrups, Teas & Cafes, Citrus & Nectars, Fizzes & Sparklers, Cordials & Punches, Milky Concoctions, and Water Infusions. Hardcover, 96pp. $19.99 Rogers, Susan. Posh Celebrations. It’s an amusing falsehood that the term “posh” (for high-class) originated when upper-class passengers specifically requested cabins “port out, starboard home” to ensure them a cooler berth when traveling from England to India. Similarly, some anthropomorphic liberty is taken with “Posh,” the little West Highland White Terrier who “assists” in authoring this party book with loads of suggestions for party themes. Of course Posh manages to work each around to celebrating himself! (Perhaps he’s a not-so-distant relative of our Bunsen.) There are menu suggestions and recipes, decoration ideas, even a list of songs to play based on the theme. Delightfully illustrated. Softcover, 85pp. plus blank pages for party notes. $18.95 Donnelly, Kristin. Modern Potluck. Anybody who hunts hounds will probably find him- or herself faced with bringing something for the post-hunt potluck. If you’d like to do something a little out of the ordinary, Donnelly’s cookbook will provide lots of inspiration. Deviled eggs? Try smoky deviled eggs with toasted rosemary, bloody mary deviled eggs, green deviled eggs and ham, or mustard-cornichon deviled eggs. There’s even instruction on how to make perfect hard-boiled eggs and transport

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 deviled eggs! Contents include snacks, dips and drinks; main-course salads & other room-temperature main dishes; dishes slow-cooked & served hot; casseroles and the like; salads and sides; “baked & savory”; sweets; and “condiments and other things in jars.” Anyone for peach-blueberry slab pie? Coconut-roasted squash wedges? Break out of the cheese-and-crackers rut! Hardcover, 240pp. $27.50 Lundy, Ronni. Victuals. Every time I see this word, pronounced “vittles,” I remember that scene in Great Expectations where young Pip is threatened by the convict he encounters, who demands “wittles.” These “wittles” are not English, however, but taken from the Appalachians. You won’t have to cruise the International aisles of the grocery to find the ingredients for this homey, often simple but delicious-sounding food, and as you peruse the recipes you will find interspersed information about the early inhabitants and their food habits, accompanied by old photos of the land and new color photos of the prepared food. Hardcover, 321pp. $32.50 Every once in a while Marion spots something totally out of our realm that she thinks might appeal to our customers, either for themselves or as a gift for someone they know. Thus we have had books on Africa, gardening, architecture, decorating, and the “Intellectual Devotionals” (we still have some!) with daily readings on various topics. This time we are offering a few “curiosity cabinet” items and the notebooks of one of America’s favorite authors. Devito, Carlo, ed. Mark Twain’s Notebooks. Assembled from a host of documents by or about Samuel Clemens, aka Mark Twain, this is a choice collection of Twain’s delightful comments, which often tend toward the sarcastic, about any number of topics ranging from people to countries and stopping periodically at “automobiles,” “telephone,” “missionaries,” and many more at which he could poke fun. But he had a serious side, too, such as when his beloved wife Livy passed away. I have found Twain always entertaining, be it one of his novels or any nonfiction commentary. This will make an entertaining evening or two—or more, and a great gift as well. Copiously illustrated with photographs and artwork, even including a couple of menus from the various dinners of clubs hosting the great author. Softcover, 332pp. $19.95 Davenne, Christine. Cabinets of Wonder. Is there anyone out there who hasn’t, as a child, picked up various “treasures” such as pretty stones or shells or even small live creatures to bring home? (I brought home rocks and the occasional kitten.) In Victorian times this was a popular pastime for adults—generally wealthy ones—who collected all sorts of miscellany, often from trips abroad, brought them home and put them in “curiosity cabinets.” Probably most of them were pitched out when the collector passed away and heirs began modernizing the premises, but some collections remain. The photographs by Christine Fleurent memorialize some of these ancient altars to the oddities of life, and some are odd indeed. Birds’ nests, eggs, shells, bugs and butterflies, skulls and stuffed animals are among the most common, but also popular were marble busts, globes, figurines and artwork. Do you like museums, especially nat-

ural history ones? Enjoy an occasional touch of the musty macabre? Then this one’s for you! Hardcover, 232pp. $45.00 Coleman, Brian D. Vintage Ephemera from the Collection of Cavallini & Co. In literary terminology, “ephemera” refers to paper items that all too often are tossed into the wastebasket after they have served their purpose: postcards, posters, train schedules, advertisements, letters and such. Sometimes it’s fun to look back at what was printed in the last century or two. Cavallini & Co. produces a number of paper products, many of which took their origins from the amassed collection which began with the receipt of eight paper luggage labels sent to the nineyear-old who later became the founder of the firm: Brad Parberry. Color photos portray images from categories ranging from animals to Italy, London, Paris, New York and San Francisco. Hardcover, 177pp. $35.00 Staub, Jack. Private Edens/Beautiful Country Gardens. There’s something soothing and restful about gardens everywhere, whether xeriscape, lush tropical, or something in between—that is, unless you’re the gardener! With this book in hand, you can sit down and savor the serenity and beauty depicted in lavish color photos without worrying about plucking that stray weed or filling in the empty spot where that perennial died. These lovely gardens are all located on the East Coast of the U.S. from Virginia north to Massachusetts. As the title says, these are private, not public, gardens, so a glimpse behind closed gates, as it were, is to be cherished. Hardcover, 256pp. $50.00 I am nearly through reading a new novel we’ve had for a few months now that features foxhunting as its main theme. I can recommend it heartily: it’s one of those books that make you feel good, it’s not full of violence or profanity, and it deals with our favorite topic: horses, hounds and foxes and the people who love them. Andrus, Kate. Sky Horse. The author has taken her own home base of Charlottesville, Virginia as the locale for this work of fiction, inspired by her friendship with and memories of the late Noel Twyman plus hunting tales told by Tony Gammell and other members of the Keswick Hunt. Anne Gentry, the central character, is a workaholic who rents an apartment in Northern Virginia during the week and commutes home on weekends. Two things turn her life upside down: the firm for whom she has devoted her lifework declares they are transferring her to Dayton after all her hard work building her team; and a foxhunting acquaintance, Cobie, is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and given six months to live. He engages her to help compile his recollections and accumulated foxhunting lore for a book. Anne, who over the years has gotten overweight and out of shape as riding fell by the wayside, recovers her interest in riding and foxhunting as she listens to the visiting foxhunters helping Cobie recall events of his lifetime. Intertwined in the plot is the problem of Cobie’s son, who disappeared after a tragic accident years ago and broke all contact with his distraught parents and fiancée. Paperback, 297pp. $12.95


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IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • WINTER 2017

SAFETY

Little Fork Volunteer Fire & Rescue: State-of-the-Art Large Animal Rescue Dedicated to Man and Animal Alike By Lauren R. Giannini

A vital exercise in the TLAER Awareness Training had Little Fork’s volunteers working with specialized equipment, such as this sling, tripod and mannequin horse, to get a recumbent horse back on its feet safely. Photo Courtesy of Little Fork

Hayloft Horse “glides” back to earth: Little Fork Volunteer TLAR team up with local Fire & Rescue to make certain that Phoenix’s trip down the narrow hayloft stairs goes as smoothly as possible. Photo Courtesy of Carol Witt Pugh

Phoenix, back on terra firma following his harrowing adventure, gets unstrapped from his glide by Little Fork personnel and other volunteers while the attending vet waits just out of frame. In spite of respiratory crisis, Phoenix is fine and trying to ignore the rodeo mare. Photo Courtesy of Carol Witt Pugh

In 2011, when Little Fork Volunteer Fire & Rescue jumped into technical large animal rescue, Chief Doug Monaco and his team were already well aware that bovines and equids share the tendency to get into trouble and mischief. Located near the heart of Virginia’s horse country, Little Fork had responded to enough animal rescue calls over the years to recognize that it would be extremely worthwhile to invest the time, effort and expense to be trained and certified in Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue (TLAER™) and fund-raise for the necessary specialized equipment. Last year, on October 14, the Little Fork TLAR Team answered their most unusual rescue call to date: a horse stuck in the hayloft on the second floor of a barn. From Little Fork’s Facebook status update, October 14, 2016: At approximately 0640 hours Little Fork’s Volunteer Technical Large Animal Rescue Team was dispatched to assist with extricating a horse that was found in the hayloft the night before in Botetourt County… After several attempts at self-rescue the owner reached out on Facebook for help. A friend told her about our group. Chief Monaco called the owner… Phoenix’s Flight “I only learned about Little Fork because, in a moment of absolute desperation, I sat down on a bale and, in tears, I posted my dilemma on Facebook, asking if anybody could help me,” recalled Carol Witt Pugh, pleasure-riding owner of three horses. “It was already after midnight and I didn’t get many responses. In the morning, a friend texted and asked if I looked at my Facebook page—another friend had sent the phone number for Little Fork, and I called immediately and got the dispatcher. Chief Monaco called me back within five minutes, letting me know they were on their way. He was so organized and professional and so calming. I was almost out of my mind with worry, but he was so sure of himself and his team that he put me at ease immediately.” The night before, Carol and her husband Darryl, her brother David Witt and nephew Josh Golla, were in the loft, brainstorming how to liberate Phoenix. When they tried to coax the horse down the steep wooden stairway, the 16-year-old gelding showed great sense when he refused to budge. He ended up spending the rest of the night calmly tied to a post with hay and water until Carol returned at first light to check on him. Phoenix received plenty of attention as support gathered during Little Fork’s 3-hour drive, emergency lights flashing, from Rixeyville in northern Culpeper County, south

toward the Lynchburg area. Chief Monaco advised Carol to have a veterinarian on the scene when his team arrived and to call the Animal Control officer. Monaco also assigned Fire Lieut. Melissa Mainville, one of Little Fork’s TLAR technicians, to serve as liaison via telephone between Carol and their team while they were en route. It all began with recent heavy rains that flooded Carol’s horses’ stalls and her decision to confine them overnight in the open area of the barn. She made sure they were settled with plenty of hay and water before she and her husband attended their daughter’s high school volleyball game. While they were gone, the very bossy 32-year-old former rodeo mare, adopted from a rescue the year before, took great exception to Phoenix. In the course of the ruckus, one of the horses dislodged the improvised “baby gate” blocking the hayloft stairs and Phoenix, recognizing an escape route, took flight, literally, for higher ground. When discovered by Carol’s husband, he looked calm, possibly puzzled and undeniably relieved to escape the belligerent attention of the rodeo diva. “Chief Monaco showed up with two team members and, by the time of the actual rescue, there were close to 30 people in my hayloft,” recalled Carol. “Chief Monaco coordinated with all the local fire and rescue, with animal control and the veterinarian. My nephew, Josh Golla, is a Botetourt County Deputy and my neighbor, so he was in the loft with me that morning and was instrumental in helping Chief Monaco make the calls and get all the local help he needed. Once all the teams were on site, Chief Monaco supervised everything and made assignments as necessary. Everyone worked together—it was amazing!” Cooperative Team Effort First, however, Little Fork had to get Phoenix back to terra firma. The best option, they decided, involved strapping the horse to a heavy-duty glide board and, with plenty of muscle at each end, sliding him very carefully down the flight of stairs. It’s SOP for large animal emergency rescue missions to have a veterinarian on site in order to monitor the horse’s status throughout its ordeal as well as on standy-by to deal with post-trauma shock and any other issues. Tranquilizer is often necessary to keep the animal from struggling during rescue. Everyone involved had been informed of Phoenix’s COPD. After he was glided down the steep stairwell, he experienced a breathing crisis, resulting in an emergency tracheotomy by Tarah Salatino, DVM, of Blackwater Veterinary Services.


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • WINTER 2017

“I met Carol and Phoenix the day of the rescue,” said Dr. Salatino. “I was doing relief work for a local veterinarian when I got the call the night before from Carol that she and Phoenix were in desperate need of help, but knew at that point they would need more help. The next morning, when I called to check on Phoenix, they asked if I could come out to assist in his rescue. I was very willing to help any way I could. The Little Fork horse rescue team and Chief Monaco were absolutely incredible. They quickly assessed the situation, made a plan, and executed their duties flawlessly. They exercised the utmost care for Phoenix and for all those involved in his rescue. I could not have been more impressed or humbled to have assisted such kind and courageous volunteers.” Monaco, Mainville, and Dr. Salatino were pleased with the outcome. Integral to the successful rescue was how the owner did a great job of keeping Phoenix calm while they waited for the Little Fork team. Mainville, by phone, advised Carol to groom Phoenix and keep him company—activities which Carol and her daughter Savannah had already utilized to keep the horse happy and calm. However, in any large animal rescue, a safe level of sedation is often part of the plan. Salatino tranquilized Phoenix with designated Fire & Rescue personnel on stand-by to support him as he lay down and positioned him on the glide to which he was strapped securely. Not a detail was overlooked, including his legs, which were tucked securely close to his body, but required re-positioning during the descent. “Phoenix is fully recovered and doing great— he required the tracheotomy, because he quit breathing at one point, but even that’s completely healed,” said Carol. “To be honest, I couldn’t see how they were going to get him down those stairs. I groomed him and tried to keep him calm, but I really thought I was just telling him goodbye. All I can say is call— there’s nothing that Little Fork can’t do! “What’s even more amazing,” continued Carol, “is that I found out that our local fire and rescue boys and girls are trained for large animal rescue, but they don’t have the equipment they need. So now I’m on a mission to get the word out and talk to all those necessary to get them their equipment—all thanks to Little Fork!” Importance of Large Animal Rescue Horses, cattle and other large animals can get into trouble and, often, mischief. They find themselves cast (wedged) against fences and walls. Their legs, head or bodies can be trapped in all kinds of fencing. They get stuck in mud or deep snow and fall through ice into ponds. They wander blithely into ditches; if they land upside down and can’t scramble upright, they’re at greater risk, especially if the ditch is deep, steep, muddy and/or contains even shallow water. They fall into swimming pools, dry and filled with water. Prey animals with strong flight instincts, they bolt at great speeds, which can result in injury. Frightened horses, especially in tight or enclosed spaces, can inflict grievous bodily harm on themselves and nearby humans. Be prepared to call 911. “Realize that a large animal emergency can happen to you,” said Rebecca Gimenez, DVM and co-founder of TLAER™ with her husband Dr. Tomas Giminez. Often confused with animal shelters that take in horses, their website’s home page states clearly that Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue encompasses the practical considerations, be-

havioral understanding, specialty equipment, techniques, methodologies and tactics behind the extrication of a live large animal from entrapments in local emergencies and disaster areas. Dr. Giminez travels throughout the USA and around the world to train people in TLAER™, providing certification at three levels: Awareness, Operations, and Technician, mirroring the standard outlined by the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) Standard 1670. Giminez doesn’t keep a list of TLAER™trained teams on their website or Facebook page, because anyone with an emergency must dial 911 to alert the dispatchers, who know the local resources. In addition to many small three to five person teams all over the country, there are several famous teams: Little Fork in Virginia, Hagyard Equine in Kentucky, and Cherokee County and the City of Milton in Georgia. No matter where you live, call 911. Giminez recommends asking your local Fire & Rescue what they would do and what equipment they have for large animal emergencies. This sort of dialogue helps to emphasize the importance of TLAER™ awareness, which could open the door to training.

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for all involved, including the animal,” said Monaco. “These operations can be long and tiring, so we always assign a Safety Officer on every incident. Long duration calls can lead to complacency and even the thought of initiating ‘shortcuts’ can harm a member. Being Safety Officer can be challenging as they have the authority to stop the operation until the situation is made safe. When trapped or frightened, animals revert to survival instinct behavior where the people helping may be viewed as a predator. They’ve been around for millions of years, those who survived are the quickest to react in a flight or fight mode.” The 2008 textbook Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue outlines the course curriculum and provides valuable information that ranges from incident prevention and evacuation planning to large animal restraint to water and unstable ground rescues to trailer incidents to barn and wild fires to actual incident scenarios. Co-written by Drs. Rebecca and Tomas Giminez and Dr. Kimberly May, it’s recommended reading for anyone prior to taking a course in large animal rescue as well as the definitive resource for disaster and emergency. Copies are available online at various booksellers, and TLAER.org provides Little Fork: Young, But Experienced a site to purchase the textbook in hard copy or as an Little Fork Volunteer Fire & Rescue owes its e-book. existence to many people, especially Chief Monaco, Continued who was serving as a career firefighter in Prince William County in 1994 when he heard that a fire company was vitally needed in Jeffersonton, Virginia. Close to 60 charter members banded together to make Little Fork a reality. They started fund-raising and acquired their first fire truck before they even had a building. One member, EMT Dave Lowry, leased four acres on Rixeyville Road for $1 per month until he donated the land outright to Little Fork. Two years after Little Fork’s inception in April 1994, they built a four-bay garage with no frills. Although they started fund-raising recently to build a bigger facility, they continue to be totally committed to training and preparedness in service to the community. The only full-time Little Fork volunteer, Monaco’s also a state-certified Fire Officer Level IV and Fire Instructor Level IV. The son of a Fire Chief, Monaco found his calling as a 16-year-old when he became a junior member at his dad’s firehouse in Centreville. Monaco also attended one of the first EMT courses ever offered in Northern Virginia. Hired full-time in 1975 by Prince William County, he worked his way up to Captain in 1990, retiring in 2008 after spending more than 10 very busy years at the helm of two Fire & Rescue units. It became apparent that the bigger the animal, the more complex the emergency rescue. In 2011, to better respond to incidents involving large animals in their rural part of Virginia, Monaco and 10 Little Fork volunteers took their training to become TLAER™ technicians at the M.A.R.E. Center in Middleburg, Virginia. This spring, Monaco anticipates that another 15 to 20 of Little Fork’s 60-some volunteers, who are either EMT or Firefighter certified, will be trained in large animal emergency rescue. Little Fork responds to about 550 emergency calls per year and the number of large animal emergencies fluctuates. They might respond to several one Firemen in full gear practicing horse-handling skills was week and none the next. Generally, 14 people re- one aspect of being prepared for “real” emergencies when 20 members of Little Fork Volunteer Fire & Rescue & spond to a call. It takes eight minutes to gather and that’s when they decide who’s going and who’s stay- Technical Large Animal Rescue participated in the 2-day TLAER Awareness Training, taught by Dr. Rebecca ing behind to stock the ambulance and fire trucks in Giminez, last April 30-May 1, held at the Culpeper Discase there’s another call. patch Center and Joe London Training Facility, Culpeper, “We focus on safety, safety and more safety— VA. Photo Courtesy of Little Fork


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IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • WINTER 2017

The Future of Large Animal Rescue Not all of Little Fork’s emergency calls are as wild and far-out as Phoenix the Hayloft Horse, but every call is taken seriously. Every animal is treated as priceless and irreplaceable, whether family pet, retiree, high performance equine athlete or livestock for breeding, milk or food production. Calls involving small animal emergency rescue are also taken to heart. Anyone who serves as a volunteer firefighter or EMT will tell you that the adrenaline is an early attraction, but you soon find yourself dedicated and totally committed to fire and rescue service. It’s not unusual to be called in the middle of the night or from a holiday dinner or from whatever you were doing to respond to a call. There’s something about participating in the saving of lives, human and animal, peoples’ homes and their livelihoods that reaches deep inside, creating a dynamic that’s really a vocation. There’s no need to screen volunteers, because the process weeds out those who can’t or won’t stay the distance. “It’s one of the best experiences you can have,” said Mainville. “The first few months will be constant and non-stop with training for EMT or firefighting. Both require extensive studying. Once you get your certification in either, you most likely will want to sign up for more training. It becomes part of your life. I had always been interested in volunteering as an EMT but had to complete college and graduate school first. I met a friend who volunteered at Little Fork and she invited me to come to the station for a ride along. We ran one call late in the afternoon for a lightning strike on a tree close to a house. It was interesting watching how the team worked on that call, how they were more like a family. I attended the EMT class—that was six years ago.” Like many of the other Little Fork volunteers, Mainville took fire class for nine months, which led her to other courses, including rural water supply, basic pump operations, driver/pump operator, EVOC III (driving the fire trucks), Officer 1 and Officer II, Instructor I and Instructor II, to name a few. When TLAER™ came to the M.A.R.E. Center, she signed up. “That was a great class—three days and one night session,” said Mainville. “It was hard work and we went home tired. My role on TLAR calls has evolved to serving as primary operational officer. Chief Monaco and I, as well as other members present, generate our needs for resources and equipment—such as a tractor with a bucket if lifting an animal in a sling is necessary—and confer with the vet and owner. We generally generate at least three plans right then and there. You have a short period of time when you go to make the move or lift. Timing is

everything, and you have to have everything coordinated to the exact moment. I think we have gone all the way up to Plan J.” Mainville’s other role on the scene is trying to maintain control of the animal by watching, monitoring body language and touching the animal to know the moment when it tenses up and attempts to struggle. This is for the safety of the animal and the team. It can be difficult for the owners to step back, but it’s essential to the safety of all concerned. Owners contribute by assembling a complete support system that includes a vet—their own, if possible—animal control, local fire and rescue. They’re also in a good position to identify the need for extra help early in the rescue process, which can lead to a better outcome for the animal. Their Facebook page—Little Fork Volunteer Large Animal Rescue Team— has more then 3,000 likes and frequent status updates include all sorts of information and news, including reports and photos of each of their large animal rescues. The “About” includes the Culpeper County Emergency Dispatch Center’s phone number for emergency calls: 540-727-7900. Facebook provides a great platform for TLAER™, Rebecca Giminez, Little Fork, Hagyard Equine, and Cherokee County and the City of Milton to raise awareness of the existence of Technical Large Animal Rescue Teams and the amazing services they provide. “We’re just trying to get the word out that there is a more humane and safe way to rescue these animals instead of tying a rope around their neck and pulling,” said Mainville. Imagine what you would do in the event you ever need help for a beloved horse, injured, elderly or simply accident prone, that lay down and couldn’t get up or got cast in a tricky location. How would you extricate a horse of any age that was frolicking in a pasture and fell down the hill to end up wedged between a fence and wall of a building? Suppose your valuable bull or cow got stuck in a muddy ditch or your horse plays escape artist and falls in your neighbor’s or your own swimming pool. Whatever the scenario, you would want the best possible help to get your animal out of trouble. That’s the mission of Little Fork Technical Large Animal Rescue Team and the promise expressed in their motto: Dedicated To Man And Animal Alike. For more information: LittleForkVFRC.org


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IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • WINTER 2017

ACROSS THE POND

The Welsh Winter Fair Hound Show by Jim Meads The very last hound show of 2016 took place in December on the Royal Welsh Showground at Builth Wells as part of the Winter Fair, where huge crowds gathered for Christmas shopping. The hound rings are indoors, with classes for Welsh, English, Fell & Hill Foxhounds, to be judged by Ianto Evans, MFH. Senior Steward Ken Jones was joined at the ringside by local Member of Parliament Chris Davies, himself an ex-MFH. Fewer packs than usual turned out due to kennel cough, but there were still lots of spectators enjoying the show. In the Welsh ring

there were wins for the Carmarthen, Towy & Cothi, and Plas Machynlleth, with the latter pack’s “Fanwy” becoming Champion. The Conwy Valley were dominant in the English ring with their “Barter” being named Champion. The Fell and Hill rings saw the Carmarthen and Conwy Valley each taking a championship, with all four champion hounds being shown against each other for the supreme accolade, which went to Plas Machynlleth “Fanwy” and Huntsman Aled Jones, to loud Welsh cheers.

Champion Welsh Hound and Supreme Champion Plas Machynlleth “Fanwy” with Huntsman Aled Jones and Judge Ianto Evans, MFH.

Local Member of Parliament Chris Davies with (left) Senior Steward Ken Jones. Both are former MFHs.

Champion Fell Hound Conwy Valley “Stella” with Huntsman Jason Jones.

Line up of Entered Welsh Bitches.

Best Unentered Fell Bitch Conwy Valley “Graphic” with Jake Jones, whipper-in

Champion Hill Hound Carmarthen “Lonely” with Huntsman Will Pinkney.

Best Unentered Welsh Bitch Towy and Cothi “Brychan” with Huntsman John Hughes.

Champion English Hound Conwy Valley “Barter” and Huntsman Jason Jones.

Best Couple of Fell Hounds Carmarthen “Copper” and “Conrad.” Huntsman Will Pinkney with his young helpers!


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IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • WINTER 2017

EDITORIAL

The Gate-Getter’s Guide to the Hunt Field By J. Harris Anderson, Managing Editor An old-timer’s lament: Throughout most of was the adult lady who then dismounted and the sport’s history, foxhunting has been the opened the gate while the kids sat and sole province of bold, accomplished riders. watched. It’s only in recent years that the sport has been A notch or two (or more) down the scale are watered down to what some consider a tooththe Gate Attempters. They are, speaking charless imitation of its former glory. The days itably, well-meaning folks. They may have a when all members of the field, from kids on sincere desire to be helpful, but lack the abilponies to oldsters on hot Thoroughbreds, were ity to follow through. Or it may be that some in on every exhilarating run and took every Attempters and/or their horses just need more heart-stopping fence are, sadly, long gone. practice. All well and fine when the field is If you believe that, you obviously haven’t moving along at a leisurely pace and hounds read the comic novels of R.S. Surtees nor are not running. But the capable Getters will chuckled at the sketches of his illustrator John rush forward with added vigor if they see a Leech. Are there as many of those old-timey, known Attempter making a move when the acbold, accomplished, reckless riders following tion is hot and there’s no time to dawdle. hounds today as there once were? Maybe not. And then we have the Gate Avoiders. For But is the advent of a second field or “Hillwhatever reason—lack of strength, a green toppers” only a recent development? Check “Mr, Briggs, not being good at his ‘fences,’ goes through the performance of opening horse, difficulty remounting, etc.—they rea gate.” John Leech, Punch, 1850 your hunting history. main silent and hold their place in the field The accompanying Leech sketch, published in 1850 in the satirical magazine while others deal with the gates. They are, though, mindful of their manners and Punch, is from a series about a Mr. Briggs and the Pleasures of Hunting. For offer a “Thank you” to the person who does perform the gate-getting duty as they Briggs, “pleasure” more aptly meant “challenge.” The caption for this one reads, pass through. “Mr. Briggs, not being good at his ‘fences,’ goes through the performance of openI should note that gate-getting is not limited to the non-jumping field, at least ing a gate.” in some hunt countries. Ideally, all fixtures are well-paneled and the first field Which brings me to my topic, Getting Gates—a chore that’s been a part of may proceed at whatever pace necessary. But the practical reality may be differfoxhunting for at least the past 167 years (and most likely longer as I doubt ent where landowners allow only a limited number of jumpable panels. (Of course, Leech’s Mr. Briggs was the first hunter who was not “good at his fences”). those who agree with the sentiments expressed in the opening paragraph would When faced with gates in the hunt field, riders fall into three categories: Gate hold that any true foxhunter would be just as willing to jump a five-bar metal gate Getters, Gate Attempters, and Gate Avoiders. as he would a three-foot coop.) On the upside, however, those in first field are At the peak of this hierarchy you’ll find the Gate Getters Supreme, those who less likely to have to worry about closing gates when there’s a bunch of Mr. can do it all: Open gates from horseback (where possible), dismount to open the Briggs-types following behind. The first fielders can simply move off at whatgate (where necessary), let everyone else pass through and go on their way while ever pace necessary and leave the closing chore to those “not good at their fences.” the Gate Getter’s horse waits patiently. The Gate Getter Supreme then remounts Two other considerations in the gate-getting analysis are Gate Horses and the without drama, even if all others are well away, even out of sight. Such individu- gates themselves. In both cases, some are friendly and some are not. als do exist, and they are a highly valuable asset to their club. They are also as rare It’s asking a lot of some horses to stand patiently next to a gate, positioned as an albino fox. such that the rider can operate a latch or chain, which may take some fiddling. Some hunts are lucky enough to have multiple Gate Getters, even if their Even more cooperation is required for the horse to then assist with closing the skills, or the patience level of their horses, are something less than “supreme.” gate. This can mean the horse has to move sideways to swing the gate into posiNot only does this increase the likelihood that at least one capable Gate Getter tion and then stand again while the rider secures the closure. Leg yielding is a big will be present on any given hunting day, it also allows for the possibility of team- plus here, a skill common to horses schooled in dressage and Western pleasure, work when needed. Some gates, especially those in the 12’-14’ range, can be very but not necessarily high on the résumé of all hunt horses. (Where a failing of this uncooperative about remaining in place when one person needs to use both hands maneuver occurs, the fault may lie more with the skill of the rider’s leg than with to secure the closure while also keeping his or her horse from moving off too the schooling of the horse’s side.) soon. You think you’ve got it, you just need oooonnnne more second, and…swiNow let’s add to this the excitement of other horses moving off. Even if one iiinnnggg…there goes the gate, drifting away from your grasp. But a fellow Gate or two helpful volunteers remain behind with the would-be Gate Getter, that still Getter comes to your aid and, with horse held steady hocks-to-hinges, keeps the may not be enough to keep a herd-oriented animal calm. At a minimum, this might misbehaving gate secure while you finish the latching job. result in a slight delay in finishing the job and rejoining the field. In more extreme In other situations, teamwork be damned! It becomes a battle over who gets cases, it might lead to the call of “Loose horse!” the glory when the presence of multiple Getters leads to spirited competition. And then there are the gates themselves as well as the gate closures. Ideally, When a gate comes into view, a chorus of “I’ve got it!” rings out as would-be the gate is hinged to swing easily, preferably both ways—sophomoric joke here Getters urge their mounts forward to see who can get there first. If dismounting optional—and to remain securely in place without the need to be held during the is required, the contest can intensify if the first person to swing a leg over is known re-latching phase. Various failings to this ideal can occur. As noted above, the gate to be less than stellar at remounting. “No, no! I’ll get it!” or “Let the junior do it!” may refuse to stay in position for the closing chore, drifting away of its own acwill be offered in an attempt to keep that person in the saddle and thus avoid a cord. (The flipside of this is the gate that won’t stay open as the riders attempt to lengthy wait while he or she searches for that elusive natural mounting block. pass through, requiring each one in turn to push the bloody thing aside and then Juniors are, of course, always handy to have around. Those limber joints and utter an apology to the person behind as the gate flies back at him or her.) Some springy legs make hopping off and back on a breeze. This also makes the oldsters gates are hinged such that they won’t swing open at all of their own accord, inwistful for those bygone days when they (by which I mean “we”) could do so. stead resting so firmly on the ground that they have to be lifted upward and shufBut the juniors suffer from the nasty impediment of school attendance for most fled along bit by bit. If one can do this from horseback, one truly qualifies as a weekday hunts, which leaves the gate duty to those whose joints no longer have Gate Getter Supreme. Other gates are, literally, unhinged—nothing more than the bounce they once enjoyed—if, indeed, they have any bounce left at all. makeshift barriers propped up against rotting fence posts. Rather than swinging Odd as one might think, the presence of juniors may actually be considered open, they’re more likely to topple over. These bad boys are the worst of all and an annoyance by the more competitive Getters. I witnessed one incident where an not even the Supremest of the Supreme can handle them from the saddle. A group adult lady was shepherding a flock of a half dozen juniors when the second field effort is most likely required. approached a gate. “We’ll get it!” she said as she and all six kids rode forward. It


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • WINTER 2017

Finally, we address the issue of gate closures. To be sure, most of the gates one encounters in the hunt field are there for a highly functional purpose—restraining livestock. (In hunting country with no livestock but where fences are still paneled for jumping, it might be argued that all such jumps qualify as “larking.” But I’ll leave that for another discussion.) So, given this important purpose, all gates must be sufficiently secure to prevent would-be wandering cows, horses, sheep, or other such critters from exiting their enclosures. However, that doesn’t mean they have to be so complex that it takes a degree in mechanical engineering, the flexibility of an Olympic gymnast, and the strength of a Swarzenegger to open the darn things. A simple, secure chain looped over a reasonably tall gatepost will, in most instances, do the job quite well. This eliminates the need for a rider

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to face the challenge of opening and then closing an uncooperative fastener, trying to prevent a loose chain from dropping to the ground, or dealing with a closure positioned so low one assumes the farm is managed by Munchkins. That said, any gate-related inconveniences, whether minor or major, are more than offset by the privilege landowners extend in allowing us to hunt across their properties. Better for them to sleep well at night without worrying about their livestock than for us to make a fuss about fiddly gates. As for you Gate Getters, whatever your skill level, take heart that you are part of a time-honored and essential tradition within our sport. As long as there are gates in the hunt field, someone has to get them. And, as he passes through in spirit, Mr. Briggs will surely tip his cap and thank you.

FOXHUNTING

Orange County Hounds Racecourse meet December 31, 2016 (l-r): Betsy Manierre; John Coles, MFH; Milton Sender; Lindsay Kelley (gray horse). Douglas Lees photo Matt van der Woude, Huntsman Warrenton Hunt, and Gerard Hogan on Junior Day, December 3, 2016. Douglas Lees photo

Orange County Hounds Huntsman Reg Spreadborough, January 13, 2017, from a meet at Barton Oaks. Douglas Lees photo

Piedmont Fox Hounds Huntsman Jordan Hicks and Honorary Whipper-in Michele St. Onge coming in from the December 10, 2016, meet at St. Brides. Douglas Lees photo

Randy Rouse, MFH (since 1961), was honored with the F. Ambrose Clark Award from the National Steeplechase Association in a ceremony held at the National Sporting Library and Museum, Middleburg, Virginia, on January 20, 2017 (three weeks after celebrating his 100th birthday). Created in 1965, the award recognizes individuals who have done the most to promote, improve, and encourage the growth and welfare of American Steeplechasing. (l-r) Guy Torsilieri, president of the National Steeplechase Association; Michele and Randy Rouse; H. Turney McKnight, chairman of the My Lady’s Manor Steeplechase. Douglas Lees photo


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HORSE RACING

IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • WINTER 2017

Horses and People to Watch Virginia Equine Alliance

Virginia Equine Alliance (VEA) Opens Its First Off Track Betting Centers The Virginia Equine Alliance opened its second Off Track Betting Center in Virginia on January 16th in the Shockoe Bottom neighborhood of downtown Richmond. The OTB is in a new restaurant/bar called Ponies & Pints, and simulcast signals from up to 20 horse racetracks around the country are available to watch and wager daily. The Ponies & Pints complex is 5500 square feet, has 40 flat screen televisions that show a combination of horse races and sports throughout the facility. There is a horse racing only room where signals from as many as ten different tracks can be displayed at the same time. There are two manned betting stations and eight self-betting terminals. The restaurant has over 50 beers on tap and a full service menu that emphasizes a midwest style of open face sandwiches. Ponies & Pints is non-smoking but has an outdoor fenced-in patio area, complete with a bar and tables, where smokers can go. The VEA’s first OTB opened November 2nd in the west end area of Richmond inside Breakers Sports Grille. The site has handled over $1 million in horse race wagers during both November and December. As 2017 continues, the VEA will seek an OTB partner restaurant/bar in both the Chesapeake and Hampton areas to expand the network of off track sites. Top 2016 Breeder’s Fund Award Winners Announced Breeders’ Fund Award winners for 2016 have been announced and a total of $400,000 will be distributed among 61 different breeders. 315 Virginia-bred victories were recorded, which translated into $5,512,557 in purse winnings. Highest money earning breeder was the William Backer Revocable Estate with $56,524, thanks to 35 total wins and a trio of stakes winning horses. Sweet Victory, with purse monies of $184,065, had stakes wins in the Penn Oaks at Penn National and Honey Ryder Stakes at Gulfstream. Rose Brier, with Maryland based wins in the Henry Clark, Edward Evans, and Bert Allen Stakes, earned $180,560 in 2016. Moon River, owned by Virginian David Ross, scored in the Punch Line Stakes while Chorus Line, though not a stakes winner, had a trio of solid wins on the NYRA circuit good for $105,125 in earnings. The Morgans Ford Farm, whose horses reached the winner’s circle 33 times in 2016, were runners-up with $49,020 in awards, again thanks to a trio of stakes winners. Queen Caroline was their top earner from wins in the Indiana Grand, TaWee, and Nellie Mae Cox stakes. The fouryear-old daughter of Blame earned $260,295 for Virginia owner Amy Moore. Skipalute, with career earnings of $236,293, won the Brookmeade Stakes while All Call was victorious last February in the Little Magician Stakes at Gulfstream. Five-year-old mare Ring Knocker chipped in with a stellar campaign, winning a race at four different tracks. Rounding out the top five award winning breeders were Larry Johnson ($26,703), Mr. & Mrs. Bertram Firestone ($26,543), and the Keswick Stables & Partners ($26,509). Horses bred by Larry Johnson won 24 times, including multiple winners Spun Copper (3), What a Wildcat (3), Porte Cochere (2), Do What I Say (2), and Greek God (2). Firestone-bred horses captured 30 victories thanks to six-race winner Compose, a pair of four-race winners in Town Leader and Explore, and a graded stakes winner in Middleburg, who won the Grade 3 Red Bank Stakes in June. The Keswick Stables & Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings LLC relied on a lone horse with two wins to collect most of their award money. Stellar Wind prevailed over Beholder in a pair of Grade I west coast events—the Clement Hirsch and Zenyatta Stakes. The five-year-old John Sadler trainee earned $540,000 in ’16 and has career winnings now of $1,453,200. Rounding out the top ten were Mrs. C. Oliver Iselin ($19,387), whose Titan Alexander got four wins. Showcase horse from Lazy Lane Farms ($17,532) was Rapid

Racing fans filled the Ponies & Pints OTB in downtown Richmond January 28th for the Pegasus Day card from Gulfstream. VEA photo

Rhythm, whose outstanding ’16 season resulted in earnings of $153,617. The Virginia breeder with the most wins from a single horse in 2016 was Sam E. English II, whose Tough Weather collected eight wins and $119,989 in purses monies. Mr. English II collected $11,680 in awards. Lady Olivia at North Cliff’s ($11,169) Lawyer Dave had four wins from 13 starts, good for $130,580 in earnings. The eight-year-old Lawyer Ron gelding has a lifetime bankroll of $360,702. Simmstown, bred by the Audley Farm ($10,304), brought in $63,329 last year from nine “in the money” finishes including a trio of wins. Five different breeders shared $20,000 in stallion awards from a total of 14 wins and $204,310 in purse monies. Smallwood Farm earned the highest amount, collecting $7,048 in awards from a pair of wins at Belmont via their stallion Friend or Foe. Those victories were by Code Red and Mr. Buff. Lady Olivia at North Cliff was second with $5,553 from five wins courtesy of their stallion Cosa Vera. Rounding out the top five were Sara Collette ($4,209 - Xenodon), Susan Minor ($2,278 - Fierce Wind) and Lazy Lane Farms ($910 - Hansel). Virginia-Bred Owners Bonus Program Extended Over $374,000 in bonus monies were distributed to owners of winning Virginia-bred horses in the second half of 2016, courtesy of the HBPA/VTA Mid-Atlantic incentive program. Owners of Virginia-bred or sired horses that won an overnight race in Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Delaware received a 25% bonus on top of the purse winnings their horses earned. A year-long extension of the program for all of 2017 was approved by the Virginia Racing Commission. One million dollars has been set aside to fund the program. The most bonus earning wins were awarded from races at Laurel, where 20 Virginia-breds collected victories. Charles Town was next with 17 followed by Penn National (13), Aqueduct (9), Mountaineer (9), Delaware Park (9), Parx (7), Belmont (7), Presque Isle (5), Saratoga (2), Finger Lakes (2), and Timonium (1). ••••

Sweet Victory, bred by the William Backer Revocable Estate, captured the Penn Oaks at Penn National June 4th. Photo courtesy of B & D Photography

Queen Caroline, owned by Virginian Amy Moore, is shown winning the Nellie Mae Cox Stakes at Pimlico last June. Photo courtesy of Jim McCue

Newly elected members to the Virginia Thoroughbred Association Board of Directors were announced in January. Capital District - Richard Freer (Richmond) Potomac District - Jim Fitzgerald (Marshall) Blue Ridge District - Sue Hart (Charlottesville) At Large Members: Wayne Chatfield-Taylor (Front Royal) Donna Dennehy (Ashland) Gillian Gordon-Moore (Berryville) Tommy Lee Jones (Warrenton) Brooke Royster (Gordonsville) Cynthia Tucker Curtis (Upperville)

Explore, bred by Mr. & Mrs. Bertram Firestone, captures win number four of 2016 at Mountaineer Park. Photo courtesy of Coady Photography


Calendar of Events Spring will soon be blooming with a bouquet of challenging, exciting, and just plain fun events. We encourage you to 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 hunt 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: The spring races and the hunter pace series begin in March. For contact information and more details, go to www.centralentryoffice.com.

Spring Races, Virginia: Saturday, March 11: Blue Ridge Hunt Point-to-Point Saturday, March 18: Warrenton Hunt Point-to-Point Saturday, March 25: Piedmont Fox Hounds Point-to-Point Sunday, April 2: Orange County Hounds Point-to-Point Saturday, April 8: Old Dominion Hounds Point-to-Point Sunday, April 16: Loudoun Hunt Point-to-Point Saturday, April 22: Middleburg Spring Races Saturday, April 29: Foxfield Spring Races, Charlottesville Sunday, April 30: Middleburg Hunt Point-to-Point Saturday, May 6: Virginia Gold Cup Races

Spring Races, Maryland: Saturday, April 1: Green Spring Valley Point-to-Point Saturday, April 8: Elkridge-Harford Hunt Point-to-Point Saturday, April 15: My Lady’s Manor Races Sunday, April 16: Fair Hill Point-to-Point Races Saturday, April 22: Grand National Steeplechase Saturday, April 29: The Maryland Hunt Cup Sunday, April 30: Maryland Junior Hunt Cup Saturday, May 6: Howard County Cup Races Sunday, May 21: Potomac Hunt Races

Hunter Pace Events: Sunday, March 12: Blue Ridge Hunt Saturday, March 25: Piedmont Fox Hounds Saturday, April 1: Orange County Hounds

Sunday, April 9: Old Dominion Hounds Saturday, April 15: Rappahannock Hunt Saturday, April 22: Warrenton Hunt Saturday, April 29: Loudoun Fairfax Hunt

Other Springtime Happenings: Bull Run Hunt March Madness Hunt Week Sunday, March 19 – Saturday, March 25 www.bullrunhuntclub.com Bull Run Hunt Camping Weekend Trail Ride Friday, April 28 – Sunday, April 30. www.bullrunhuntclub.com Museum of Hounds & Hunting North America Huntsmen’s Room Induction, Saturday, May 27, 4:00 pm Members Reception: Saturday, May 27, 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, May 27, 6:00 pm Horning Blowing Contest, 7:00 pm www.virginiafoxhoundclub.org Hunt Country Stable Tour Saturday, May 27 & Sunday, May 28 www.trinityupperville.org/Hunt-Country-Stable-Tour/ Virginia Hound Show Sunday, May 28, 8:00 am Morven Park, Leesburg rferrer@patricioenterprises.com Museum of Hounds & Hunting North America Sunday, May 28, 11:00 The Mansion, Morven Park, Leesburg. Current exhibits open to the public. www.mhhna.org Hound Shows The full schedule of hound shows: www.mfha.org/hounds-showsched.html. Upperville Colt & Horse Show Monday, June 5 – Sunday, June 11. www.upperville.com

Save the Dates! Problem Solving - Saturday, April 1, 2017 2:00 pm. Horse Country invites you to an informative talk by Laura Brinson, representative of Cavalor products. Discussion includes inflammation, digestion, and hoof care among other topics. At the Saddlery at Horse Country. Refreshments served. Dehner Days at Horse Country, April 25 & 26 Jeff Ketzler of Dehner Boot Company will be at Horse Country Saddlery, Warrenton, Virginia, to measure custom riding boots Tuesday & Wednesday, April 25 and 26. Appointments are necessary. Please call Horse Country Saddlery to schedule an appointment. 800-882-4868.

2017 Theodora A. Randolph Field Hunter Championship Off and Running!

US Pony Clubbers Off to Hunt in Ireland

The Theodora A. Randolph Field Hunter Championship offers meets with four Virginia foxhound packs during the prime of October’s hunting season. Hunting is complemented by evening social activities in and around Middleburg, Virginia. The event is scheduled for October 9-14, 2017. Registration for the competition is limited to 60 contestants. Entry forms and information are available from the Virginia Fall Races website:vafallraces.com.

Orange County Hounds hosted a qualifying meet for the Theodora A. Randolph Field Hunter Championship on October 5, 2016. Liz Callar photo

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

TO GET YOUR AD IN THE NEXT ISSUE, CALL HORSE COUNTRY

(540) 347-3141

The International Foxhunting Exchange is an invitational cultural exchange between Pony Club members from Ireland, the United States, and Great Britain. This year’s program will take place in Ireland from February 17th through the 27th. Members from the US and England will hunt with a number of Irish hunts, while also touring throughout the countryside, visiting hunt kennels and other points of interest. Team members for all Pony Club International Exchanges are selected through an application process, based on their involvement in Pony Club, educational goals, riding experience, and ambassadorship. In the case of the Foxhunting Exchange they must have proven hunting experience and references from an MFH. Team members come from Pony Clubs and Riding Centers all across the country, and many times meet for the first time when they depart for their Exchange. This is a teambuilding experience and it’s an honor to be selected to represent the United States Pony Clubs on an International Exchange Team. This year’s team members from the US are: Katherine Doherty, Maryland Region Heather Feconda, Virginia Region Sharlee Lowe, Great Lakes Region Connor Poe, Virginia Region Chaperone: Karen Nutt, Virginia Region We wish these Pony Clubbers the best and congratulate them on being selected for this honor. We’re sure they’ll represent the US well and have a great time doing it!


HUNT SCENES

Joanne Maisano photos

Jeff Murphy, hunting with Maryland's Green Spring Valley Hounds, January 12, 2017.

Blue Ridge Huntsman Graham Buston cheers his hounds on to an obliging fox while hunting from Stonefield, February 2, 2017. The game is on (with or without the huntsman)!

Green Spring Valley Hounds Huntsman Sam Clifton moves off during a joint meet with Blue Ridge Hunt, January 12, 2017.

Ashby Hunt and pony Scout are both focused on the action while hunting with Blue Ridge from Ellerslie, February 11, 2017.

Andy Bozdan, Huntsman, Loudoun Fairfax Hunt, Rolling Meadows, February 8, 2017. .

The Stonefield fox shifts into high gear as the chase begins with the Blue Ridge Hunt hounds in joyful pursuit.

In & Around Horse Country Winter 2017  

The Official Publication of the Virginia Steeplechase Association

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