IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY, 60 ALEXANDRIA PIKE, WARRENTON, VA 20186
VOLUME XXII / NUMBER 4 • THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE VIRGINIA STEEPLECHASE ASSOCIATION • JUNE/JULY 2011
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IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • JUNE/JULY 2011
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • JUNE/JULY 2011
SPORTING LIFE HIGHLIGHTS Two Well-Known Virginians Honored
Virginia Foxhound Club 64th Annual Show May 29, 2011, Morven Park, Virginia
June 4, 2011, Bryn Mawr Hound Show, Bryn Mawr, PA: John J. (Jake) Carle, II, ex-MFH, received the prestigious Julian Marshall Award presented to a living individual based upon his or her lifetime contribution to hounds and hunting. Awarded annually since 2001, Mrs. Tenny Marshall made the presentation.
June 5, 2011, Virginia Pointto-Point Awards, Great Meadow, The Plains, VA: William F. O’Keefe received the Yves Henry Memorial Perpetual Trophy preJake Carle sented to an individual who perDouglas Lees photo formed above and beyond the call of duty in equine-related matters in point-to-point races and steeplechasing. Mrs. Jean F. Henry made the presentation in memory of her son.
Douglas Lees photo
Adjacent Hunts Puppy Show at Rombout
Grand Champion Foxhound Live Oak “Fable” with (l-r) Charles Montgomery, Huntsman; Mrs. C. M. (Daphne) Wood, MFH; Mr. C. M. Wood, MFH; Mrs. Richard K. Jones, ex-MFH, President of the Virginia Foxhound Club. Janet Hitchen photo
Grand Champion and Stallion Champion from what formerly was the “Adjacent Hunts Puppy Show” Essex, Millbrook, Old Chatham. It was held on Sunday, May 22 and hosted by Rombout Hunt in Staatsburg, NY. Mason Lampton judged and Genesee Valley MFH/Huntsman Marion Thorne was in the ring with him. Old Chatham Hunt won both categories. Kneeling in foreground: OCH junior Liam Palacios handling Grand Champion OCH Irish 2010 by Essex Chancellor 2003 out of Essex Island 2005 and OCH junior Danielle Harris with Stallion Champion OCH Coffee 2008 by Essex Chadwell 2003 out of OCH Nexus 2003. Second row: OCH junior Morgan Palacios, Old Chatham Huntsman Patti Hopkins, and OCH junior Rachel Mydosh. Donna Ross photo COVER PHOTOGRAPHER: Janet Hitchen OTHER PHOTOGRAPHERS: John J. Carle II, ex-MFH Lauren R. Giannini Janet Hitchen 540-837-9846 janethitchenphotography.com Douglas Lees 540-270-1946 Douglaslees@comcast.net Jim Meads, U.K. 011-44-1686-420436 Karen L. Myers KLMImages.com Betsy Burke Parker Glenn Petty Lee Reeser Donna Ross
Long shadows at Morven Park. Spencer Allen, Huntsman and the Piedmont Fox Hounds, VA, win the American Pack LAYOUT & DESIGN: Kate Houchin Class at the 64th Virginia Foxhound Club Annual Show, May 29, 2011, Leesburg, VA.
Champion Crossbred Bitch Midland “Instant” (l-r) Neil Amatt, Kennel-Huntsman; Mary Lu Lampton; Ben Hardaway, MFH; Mason Lampton, MFH; Robert Miller, Whipper-in. Jim Meads photo Regular subscription 6 issues $25.00, U.S.A. First Class subscription $35.00, Europe, Canada, etc. $45.00
is a bimonthly publication. 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 August/September issue is July 15, 2011. Payment in full due with copy. Publisher: Marion Maggiolo Managing Editor: J. Harris Anderson Advertising: Mary Cox (540) 636-7688 Horse Country (540) 347-3141 Contributors: J. Harris Anderson; John J. Carle II, ex-MFH; Lauren R. Giannini; Jim Meads; Will O’Keefe; Betsy Burke Parker; Virginia Thoroughbred Association; Jenny Young Copyright 2011 In & Around Horse Country®. All Rights Reserved. Volume XXII, No. 4 POSTMASTER: CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • JUNE/JULY 2011
Live Oak Fable Bests The “Boys” at Virginia Hound Show By Lauren R. Giannini
Four foxhound champions Hound Shown with Three of gathered on the lawn in front His Get. Potomac lady-hounds of the historic Morven Park won at least three classes: mansion at the end of the “Willow” took the blue rosette Virginia Foxhound Club’s as Best Unentered, two bitches 64th Annual Show of by Jefferson won Couple of Foxhounds: Potomac “Judo” Unentered and Potomac Midland (American), “Terrain” earned bragging “Rocket” (Crossbred), Live rights as Best Brood Bitch. Oak “Fable” (English), and When it came down Red Mountain “Mojo” (Pennto the American Bitch champiMarydel). Elias L. Guy, exonship, Casanova “Veil” MFH Princess Anne, and John earned the judge’s nod over J. Carle II, ex-MFH/Huntsman Orange County “Mayfly.” Keswick, served as co-judges Jefferson offspring also preof the Grand Championship. vailed in Best Unentered “We pinned the best Hound with Potomac Grand Champion Live Oak “Fable,” hound in the class – the best “Windsor” pinning over Charles Montgomery, Huntsman. Janet Hitchen photo mover, the best put-together – “Willow” to win Best it came down to movement, as it usually does,” said Carle. Unentered Hound. Potomac “Judo” received the judges’ “Fable was much freer and lighter, an exquisite foxhound. nod as American Foxhound Champion with the reserve She just won it. We thought Fable moved better than the tricolor awarded to Crossbred dog. She was the best example of a foxhound Casanova “Veil.” out there.” “Judo is no Jefferson, For the third time in five years, the breeding program and as far as I could see the at Live Oak produced the grand champion. “Fable,” an judges picked the right entered bitch, boasts impeccable bloodlines: Live Oak hound for the Grand “Architect” 2004 – their “Famous” 2006. Live Oak makes Championship,” said Pitts good use of the team concept that depth on the bench with his usual candor. “If he means a good shot at winning. had showed better in the “I’m blown away,” said Daphne Wood, Jt-MFH, after Grand Championship… but the presentation. “This was our most exciting win ever. Casanova “Veil” and Huntsman it was too shadowy and he Tommy Lee Jones. We had two Grand Champion judges who show a huge couldn’t see the biscuit. Jim Meads photo preference for American Foxhounds. I thought, ‘We’re Laura is hard to beat, hantoast!’ Oh, that was exciting. I thought we didn’t have a dling Judo. Now we got to pay for this again – the snowball’s chance in hell. These hounds are so full of engraver knows my credit card by heart!” quality and they can make a Thoroughbred cry ‘Uncle.’” Two Crossbred rings ran until late in the day to Marty Wood, her husband and Jt-MFH Live Oak, accommodate all the entries. Irvin “Skip” Crawford, MFH expressed delight at once again garnering the top kudos at Potomac Hunt, and Leslie Rhett Crosby, MFH Mooreland the Virginia show. Hunt, presiding over the under 35 couple ring, distributed “Fable is a fabulous bitch and she’s very good in her the blue rosettes across the board. Warrenton won Couple, work,” said Wood. “You have high hopes on the day but Unentered, and Best Unentered Bitch with their then again you’re up against serious competition and all “Cardinal.” Iroquois “Paper” won Best Entered in a huge the big-name English packs were here. To have Fable field of more than 25 come up as a winner is very pleasing. To see her up here Crossbreds. Saxonburg with the doghounds, I thought she was in with a chance, “Angler” garnered top because she exudes quality, but you just never know what Stallion honors, and the judge is going to see on the day. To do this two years Goshen “Livid” won in a row is quite really unbelievable.” Best Entered Bitch. The stage had been set for the four breed champions In the 35 couple and earlier in the day when about 600 hounds from 37 hunts over ring, judged by Dr. competed in the five rings. Action in the American ring, Marvin Beeman, MFH Iroquois “Paper.” judged by Jim Atkins, ex-Huntsman Warrenton and Arapahoe, and Jeff Blue, Jim Meads photo Piedmont, and Anne McIntosh, MFH Blue Ridge, alter- MFH Middleburg. Green nated between small and large kennels, but in the long Spring Valley “Wiseman” led off by winning the haul, progeny of Potomac “Jefferson” prevailed. Whipper- Unentered Doghound class. The rest of the classes resemin Laura Pitts showed “Judo” who won Single Dog- bled dueling banjos, hound-style, as Live Oak and Entered before claiming the Doghound championship, Midland, once again, went head-to-head. Brazos Valley “Mystic” earned the Reserve honors. Midland “Rocket” bested Live Oak “Hasty” for the Potomac “Jefferson” himself, handled by huntsman Doghound title, while Live Oak “Pistol” prevailed over Larry Pitts, stepped up to the plate yet again, along with Midland “Whynot” in Best Stallion Hound and “Hasty” his son “Jacket.” They pinned first in Couple of Dogs- bested “Whynot” for first place in Stallion Hound Shown Entered, “Jacket” won Best Stallion Hound and then with Three of his Get. Continued Jefferson showed how he stamps his offspring in Stallion
Potomac “Judo” and Allen Fourney, Hon. Whipper-in. Jim Meads photo
Reserve Grand Champion Midland “Rocket.” Jim Meads photo
Red Mountain “Mojo,” Huntsman David Raley. Jim Meads photo
Judges Shannon Roach, Jim Atkins, Anne McIntosh, MFH. Jim Meads photo
Golden’s Bridge “Birdstone,” Huntsman Ciaran Murphy. Jim Meads photo
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • JUNE/JULY 2011
Live Oak took top honors with “Apron” in Single Unentered Bitch and again with their Couple of Unentered and Entered Bitches. Live Oak “Nightshade” won the Brood Bitch class over their “Keepsake.” In the end, however, Midland prevailed in the Crossbred Bitch Championship as their “Instant” claimed the title over Live Oak “Nightshade.” Blue Ridge “Langley”, winner of Single Unentered Doghound, held his own and bested Live Oak “Apron” to harvest his due as Best Unentered Crossbred. Midland ended up beating itself for the overall Crossbred title as their “Rocket” claimed the coveted tricolor and cup over their “Instant.” “The Crossbred is our world, obviously, and it was fabulous to win the Crossbred ring with the bitch and the dog,” said Mason Lampton, MFH Midland. “I was thrilled to have good dogs and bitches that are at the top of their game – racy, well-balanced hounds are what Midland is all about and what we’re after.” The Penn-Marydels attracted seven packs with Long Run starting off their day with “Diehard” winning Single Listed Dog, and later their “Vegas” pinned first in the Registered Stallion Hound with Get or Brood Bitch with Produce. Single Listed Dog went to Golden’s Bridge “Gulliver” and Andrews Bridge took home the top rosette for Couple of Listed Dogs. Red Mountain weighed in as “Eeyore” claimed bragging rights in Single Registered Dog, Unentered, then bagged the blue with littermate “Elmer” in Couple Registered Dogs, Unentered. The face-off continued as Golden’s Bridge “Birdstone” captured the kudos for Single Registered Entered Dog, Red Mountain “Mojo” harvested first place as Stallion Hound, and Golden’s Bridge won Couple of Registered Dogs, Entered. Long Run took first and second in Single Listed Bitch, Unentered with “Diva” and “Gambit” while “Paisley” aced Single Listed Bitch, Entered. Red Mountain won Couple of Listed Bitches, Entered and their “Zucchini” whupped the field in Single Registered Bitch, Unentered: later she would claim Best Penn-Marydel Registered (Unentered) hound with Red Mountain “Eeyore” in reserve. Golden’s Bridge picked up more silver in Couple of Registered Bitches, Unentered, but Andrew’s Bridge swept three classes: Registered Couple Entered; their “Jazzy” won Single Bitch, Entered; their “Poe” scored the top prize as Registered Brood Bitch. “Gulliver” earned Champion Listed Hound for Golden’s Bridge with Long Run “Diehard” garnering the reserve tri-color. Red Mountain “Mojo” claimed the breed title as Champion Registered Hound over Golden’s Bridge “Birdstone.” “We had a great show and we were thrilled that Mojo got the championship and unentered reserve with Zucchini,” said Beth Blackwell, Red Mountain whipper-in, speaking for Huntsman David Raley who was out of town. “Mojo is a fabulous hunting hound. He’s in the top group every time we’re out and he’s very steady. We got some nice puppies by him: they’ll start hunting in early August.” In the English ring, Toronto & North York started the action by winning Single and Couple, Unentered dogs, and their “Gravity” won Best Brood Bitch. Blue Ridge “Barnfield” swept the boards to win Single Entered Dog and later claimed Toronto & North York “Gravity.” the Dog Hound Championship, Jim Meads photo with Live Oak “Farrier” taking the reserve. Blue Ridge triumphed with “Guiltless” in Unentered Bitch: later, she earned the Best English Unentered Hound, with Toronto & North York “Granthom” in reserve. Live Oak “Fable” took top honors among the distaff, including Couple of English Bitches, Entered with “Fanfare.” “Fable” also won Champion English Bitch, then bested Blue Ridge “Barnfield” for Best In Show en route to becoming Grand Champion. “I was very surprised by the high quality of hounds I saw in the English ring,” said Otis Ferry, MFH Shropshire Hunt. “Almost all the hounds I judged The judges of the 2011 Junior Handler classes: were of high quality, but almost every K.T. Atkins and Diane Jones. pack that exhibited had a very different Lauren R. Giannini photo
type of hound. Although it was not easy to judge them, each pack and their type showed quality. When you consider how large America is and how varied the countries are, this variation in hound type can only be a good thing. I strongly believe that just like you have horses for courses, there need to be hounds for a hunt Blue Ridge “Guiltless.” country. Jim Meads photo “In the case of this championship I had two hounds in front of me: Fable and Barnfield were perfect, a joy to look at,” Ferry added. “Both were totally faultless, and both moved beautifully. They really were king and queen of the English ring. What decided it was which hound would I rather hunt, or even have an entire pack of? It then became perfectly clear. I thought Live Oak Fable was one of the best hounds I have ever set eyes on. She had outstanding quality, but power and muscle where necessary, in particular her loin and thigh. Even after four hours of the blistering heat, her stern was still held high and she was still showing herself beautifully. She had every quality one could ever hope to find in a foxhound.” Spencer Allen, in his second year as Huntsman and a participant in the MFHA Huntsman’s Program, showed the Piedmont Fox Hounds to first place in the Crossbred pack class. Amwell Valley, Steven Farrin carrying the horn, won the English pack class. Golden’s Bridge with huntsman Ciaran Murphy took top pack honors in the Penn-Marydels, and Potomac with Larry Pitts as lead hound earned the blue rosette for the American foxhounds. A special highlight of the hound show were the two Junior Handler classes, judged by KT Atkins and Diane Jones, during the lunch break. A record number of entries turned out, and since its inception in 2004 under the continuing sponsorship of Joyce and Bill Fendley, Jt-MFHs Casanova, the Junior Handlers continue to up their game each year, thanks to special practice days with their huntsmen. Aiken Hunt’s Justice Meyers (10) showed “Faust” to win the 10 & under division, and Reedy Creek’s Sara Eggleston (16) earned the judge’s nod with “Popeye” in the 11-16 class. Be sure to visit the Museum of Hounds and Hunting North America now that it is re-opened after extensive renovations to the mansion. Please join MHHNA to support its continued growth, but most of all enjoy this cultural collection of the art and artifacts of a centuries old sport.
Junior Handlers 10 & Under (l-r): 1. Justice Meyers, Aiken; 2. Aiden McManamy, Piedmont; 3. Allie McManamy, Piedmont; 5. Grace Gardill, Saxonburg; 4. Trinity Yager, Loudoun West. Lauren R. Giannini photo
Junior Handlers 11 and up (l-r): 1. Sara Eggleston, Reedy Creek; 2. Hayley Alcock, Piedmont; 3. Michael Wagstaff, Piedmont; 4. Emma Walsh, Piedmont; 5. Edie Tepper, Iroquois. Lauren R. Giannini photo
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • JUNE/JULY 2011
Crossbred Pack Class winners Amwell Valley, NJ, Steve Farrin, Huntsman. Janet Hitchen photo
Boo Shepard and Live Oak “Kerchief,” Gage Ogden. Janet Hitchen photo
American Pack Class winners Potomac Hunt, Larry Pitts, Huntsman. .Janet Hitchen photo
Melvin Poe, 2011 member of the Huntsmen’s Room, with Mrs. C. M. (Daphne) Wood, MFH. Janet Hitchen photo
Winner of the Penn-Marydel Pack Class Golden’s Bridge Hounds, Davar Parvin, Hon. Whipper-in and Ciaran Murhpy, Huntsman.
William Burnette, MFH, with Otis Ferry, MFH, judge.
Janet Hitchen photo
Janet Hitchen photo
Performance Champion Midland “Tactful” (l-r) Robert Miller, Whipper-in; Epp Wilson, MFH; Mrs. James Wilson; William Burnette, MFH; Rene Latiolais, MFH; Tommy Watley. .Janet Hitchen photo
John Coles, MFH, presents trophy to Laura Pitts, Whipper-in, with Potomac “Judo.”
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • JUNE/JULY 2011
Quiet Confidence Gives Tommy Serio the Winning Combination
Keswick-based Show Hunter Legend Shares Secrets of Success By Betsy Burke Parker He’s ridden more champions than he could name, but horse show professional Tommy Serio says he learns from each and every one of them. The list of stars sparkles – from the lemon yellow pony jumper he rode to armfuls of blue ribbons as a teen, to the best conformation hunter of the last decade Popeye K, from The Wizard, For Many Reasons and Somerset Bay, to Mind Games, Summer Rally and Two For One, Serio is pressed to tag a favorite. “A good horse is a good horse,” stressed Serio, at 62 one of the nation’s leading hunter riders. “I’m not focused on the breed, or the color, or if it’s a gelding or a mare. Even a stallion. A good horse is the one that makes the trend.” Serio took time recently from his busy spring show schedule to recollect a lifetime with horses. Just back from the Spring Premiere and Spring Encore at the Virginia Horse Center, Serio was turning around the next day to head east to Fredericksburg for the AAshow at Rosemount. “It never ends,” he said. “There’s just enough time to repack.” Serio, who looks 25 years younger than his age, is tall and fit-thin, with a full head of dark hair he attributes to his Italian heritage. “Good genes,” he said with a smile, running a hand through his black mane. Crazy busy, like always at his Summerfield stable, with horses to ride, tack trunks to pack, entries to make and lessons to teach, Serio settles down at the table in the tack room and talks like he has all day, recalling a childhood spent following the horse circuit, idolizing the riding legends of the 1950s and ‘60s show circuit. From the time he tagged along to ride with his older sister Carolyn at the local barn to the day soon after that the instructor recognized his latent talent, Serio was singularly focused on improvement. “I knew pretty early I wanted [a life] with horses,” he said. “I just had to figure out how to do it.” That hasn’t proved a problem.
Early Years Serio and his older sister and brother were raised in busy suburban Baltimore, attending Catholic school and, as Serio put it, learning that if they wanted something, they’d have to earn it. His father ran a successful fruit and produce business, his mom stayed home with the kids; neither had any involvement with hors-
Fifteen-year-old Tommy Serio on Little Spook, a 14.3 hand palomino who ‘jumped anything you pointed him at.’
es. But, “we saw their hard work,” Serio recalled. “It stuck.” When his sister began taking lessons at the local hack stable, Serio was interested. “You could tell, immediately, that he had that special talent,” remembers Carolyn, a retired banker who helps out at Serio’s stable in Keswick most days. “He was just an excellent rider, from the start.” By age 11, Serio was leading the guided trail rides, but he was soon tapped to train and ride the tougher ponies and asked to show. A time when horses and ponies were versatile, Serio recalls sometimes riding the same pony in jumper classes on a Saturday, a hunter pace on Sunday, and coming back to win the costume class at a fun show the next weekend. “Everybody did it,” Serio said. Chief instructor George Dulaney “pushed me to keep going” any time his interest lagged. Serio read the horse journals voraciously, poring over photos and stories of the show pros – Johnny Lorenz, Joe Green, Ennis Jenkins – and finding motivation. After one semester at college, Serio realized that his dream of becoming a horse professional wasn’t one to disappear. “I knew I wanted to do horses.” Serio first worked for Jack Stedding, then joined Johnny Lorenz’s Briarwood Farm in Glyndon, Md. He schooled horses, getting “a little kickback” for each sale. It was a time when a $5,000 sale was “a big one,” Serio said. “The main thing was getting on tons of horses, learning how to manage them and improve them. “That’s the biggest part of my education, riding the sale horses,” Serio said. At age 20, Serio was hired as manager of Huntover Farm in Sparks, Md., a private boarding and sales barn. There, he started showing jumpers, and met beautiful, talented Louise Warner on the circuit. Her family had renowned Derby Down Farm in Pennsylvania, and Louise and sister Mary Wade were regular winners on the circuit. They soon married and started a family, son TR and daughter Christina. For 10 years, Louise and Tommy Serio ran a training and sales business out of Blue Hill Farm near Reisterstown, Md. He began to build a real reputation as a cool hand with tough, yet talented, horses. Point Blank was a Thoroughbred horse Serio took from the hunter ring to open jumpers. “He was allergic to wood,” Serio recalled, describing an extravagant jumping style that won the gelding many prizes in both arenas. Another Thoroughbred, Mind Games, was Serio’s “first storybook horse,” he said. “He was a plain-brown-wrapper. Good looking, a little plain, but he had the most incredible jump to him. He was a little delicate – the story goes that his dam was blind...he wore a bell around his neck when he was a foal so she could find him. I think it made him grow up a little insecure, sort of a rough start.” Difficult to ride, and touchy, Mind Games nonetheless became one of Serio’s first “big horses,” earning green and conformation championships
Tommy Serio rides out on Calvert, an ungelded son of Popeye K out of a Thoroughbred mare belonging to owner Duck Martin of Glyndon, Md. Serio believes that ‘letting horses be horses,’ with lots of turnout and trail rides makes for a better individual, one willing to win in the show ring. Betsy Burke Parker photo
around the east coast, including Madison Square Garden. It was a time when show riders really knew how to gallop to a fence, the bolder, the better. “When I started showing, there was no such thing as a tape measure,” Serio said of the rough-and-ready style of showing he grew up with. “I mean, the faster you went, the further you could stand off, and the better your ribbon. We galloped. Hunters, jumpers both. I got really good at seeing a long spot!”
Key Move to Virginia In the mid-1980s, Tommy and Louise Serio’s marriage began to unravel. He considered a move, and soon received an offer that proved portentous. Legendary trainer and rider Charlie Weaver had been with Kenny and Sallie Wheeler’s Cismont Manor Farm near Charlottesville, Va. for 10 years but was stepping down. Kenny Wheeler approached Serio. “Those were big footsteps to fill,” Serio said of his initial reluctance to take the position as trainer and rider at the big hunter breeding and private show stable. He eventually accepted, moving to Virginia in 1986. While at Cismont, Serio campaigned several national Horse of the Year winners, was leading rider at Devon four times and won numerous grand championships at the Garden. Six years later he moved a few miles down the road to develop his own Summerfield training stable at Springdale Farm in Keswick. Kenny Wheeler Jr.’s farm, East Belmont, is next door.
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • JUNE/JULY 2011
Springdale, several hundred mostly open rolling acres belonging to Robert Harman, was perfect for Serio’s burgeoning business, mostly training but some boarding, teaching and sales. At the foot of Southwest Mountain, “it’s a great location,” Serio said of the property which includes several barns, pastures, paddocks, a big arena with all-weather footing, trails and a 3/8ths of a mile “track” that encircles a 10-acre lake. It’s a great place to “make” a horse, Serio said, recalling some of the legendary show horses he’s campaigned from Summerfield. One, in particular, will be forever associated with Summerfield. Serio found Popeye K at a clinic he was teaching in 2002 in Canada. “The farm had this young horse they wanted me to try,” Serio recalled. “He just exploded over his fences.” Sired by the renowned jumper stallion Voltaire, and started by Canadian show jumping legend Ian Millar, Popeye was being promoted as a show hunter. Serio knew Popeye would excel in America’s hunter divisions, and his bloodlines were a valuable asset to U.S. breeding. Popeye had won the coveted Governor General’s Cup at Toronto’s Royal Winter Fair as a 3-year-old, a prize for the Canadian-bred horse “best suited to become a sport horse.” Serio client Rachel Spencer of Keswick bought the horse and together Serio and Popeye quickly became the talk of the circuit, racking multiple championships in the green, then regular working, hunter divisions. The pair was featured on the cover of the Dover Saddlery catalog.
no central registry there is no way to follow success in the show ring. In Europe, on the other hand, “you can trace a line that will give you a big, athletic horse that moves flat and soft, and jumps really well. That’s why people flocked to Europe 10, 20 years ago. But the dollar is weak now, so there’s not that many bargains available.” Through Popeye K and other proven sporthorses, Serio hopes to create the same sort of breeding lines in America, but he maintains that horses must demonstrate soundness and ability and temperament worth replicating. “You want to start with a good show record,” he explained, and though a stallion with proven ability and durability like Popeye is important to a breeding program, he believes the mare equally important. “You want lineage and talent, but don’t forget the brains. That’s key.” Serio said he is an equal-opportunity equestrian when it comes to bloodlines and color. “Thoroughbred, warmblood. Doesn’t matter. People argue that ‘the Thoroughbred has fallen out of fashion’ in the show world, but I tell you, if I started beating you with a Thoroughbred horse, you’d want one of those. Same with a mare, same with a chestnut. Judge the individual, not the ‘fashion’.” He loves the new Thoroughbred divisions at horse shows. “The worst part about most Thoroughbred horses is their lip tattoo,” Serio said with a laugh. “Hell, if I slapped a brand across the hip of most of these Thoroughbred show hunters, people wouldn’t even know.”
On Training, Judging, Teaching
Tommy Serio jumps with Dutch Warmblood stallion Popeye K to win a hunter classic at the Kentucky Horse Park.
If Popeye was his favorite, Serio skirted the question. “He’s definitely on the list. I’ve had hundreds of horses who’ve won [U.S. Equestrian Federation] Horse of the Year titles, and he’s on that list. Top five, for sure. I’ve had some nice horses over the years.” Such is the close bond between horse and rider that Spencer once famously told a reporter that “I’ll have a chance to drive Tommy’s Corvette before I’ll have a chance to ride Popeye.” “I liked him at first sight,” recalled Serio. “He had a nice rhythm to the canter. You can’t ‘train that’ into a horse. Either they have it, or they don’t.” Same with the head down-withers up show hunter jumping ability the horse demonstrated early. “They have to have that ability when they fall out of their dams.” Serio said he “saw the writing on the wall” in terms of the subtle shift from Thoroughbred show hunters to warmbloods about 20 years ago, just after he started training out of Summerfield. “The European (warmblood) breeding system has perfected how to follow bloodlines, breed for jumping ability and trainability,” he said, unlike the U.S. system, which is “really no system at all.” Horses change names, with
“I love riding the horses ‘out’,” Serio said as he saddled a young homebred stallion prospect, Calvert, for a short training session and a hack, quick since he still has to pack for Rosemount. “Getting out of the ring, out in the open where the horses can breathe, where they can move – that’s key to keeping them mentally fresh so they can manage the show season. I think that’s important.” He even keeps a big western saddle in the barn for trail riding. Horses are expected to open and close gates, cross ditches and streams, hack out alone or in company. “If a horse can’t handle going on a trail ride alone, how can you ask him to perform well in the hunter ring, alone. Hacking out gives them confidence. “It’s therapy for them. And it’s therapy for me.” Serio spends most winters in Wellington, Fla. For care of the horses he leaves behind, he entrusts longtime employee – and friend – Joe Quarles. “It’s like we’ve been married for 20 years,” Serio said of the level of wordless communication between them. “He fixes everything I break. He keeps the farm looking great. I really appreciate him. We bicker like we’re married, but he’s key to this operation.” For his part, Quarles knows Serio is an equal partner. “One thing about Tommy is that he’ll always stay and help, never ask you to do anything he wouldn’t do. I remember one time, a girl working here left the tractor parked on a little hill, and didn’t put it in gear,” Quarles said. “Well, it rolled down the hill and crashed through three fences before it stopped. I looked out there and was like, ‘Oh, my God! Tommy’s gonna kills us!’ “Well, he came out ‘cause he was on his way to a horse show and saw what’d happened. I knew he had to get out to that show, but he stayed and helped fix up the fences before he went. That’s the way he is. Involved, in every part of the farm.” On the subject of judging horse shows, Serio said
7 he wishes he had more time because he feels like that is an important way for professionals to give back to the industry. “I think we owe it to the sport to judge,” he said. “Really, they got it backwards when you can just go through training and take a test and ‘become’ a judge. What we need are the best professionals to be judging. “It takes character and self-confidence to put your name on the line, to do what’s right and choose the kid’s pony that outjumps and outshines the big-name pro’s horse that day. Judges so often just choose by the names, not by the performance. You gotta choose the winner that’s in front of you, and remember that not every opinion is the same. That’s what they’re paying you for, for your personal opinion.” Serio loves the new “hunter derby” classes, but he says that they’re really just hunter classics under a new name. He likes the scoring system, and believes that a return to the galloping courses of the old days is a positive step for the hunter show industry. The technical aspect of modern horse showing stifles the natural, flowing gallop and jump of hunters from the old days, Serio said. “People today want to analyze everything, every single stride. I want [students] to ride off of feel. I can teach you the basics, and what you should be doing, but a rider has to find that feeling on his own. “When you get to be my age, you’ve made your own ‘textbook.’ My training may not be from the books, but it’s worked well with lots and lots of horses that responded to this program.” “Ever since the get-go he looked good on a horse, he was so effective,” sister Carolyn Serio said. “Those long legs, effective seat, soft hands. He was always meticulous, detail-oriented and a perfectionist. It makes some people crazy, but it’s how he’s been so successful.” “I can’t give a horse the talent to make it, but I can give him the time, and training,” Tommy Serio added. “The rest of it is patience, learning to wait for a horse to get strong enough through his shoulders to jump well, balanced enough to get that good canter. I mean, some horses just don’t have the jump, or the movement, to make it in the [rated] show ring, but patience and training go a long way.” Getting on five or six horses a day underlines Serio’s assertion that being a professional means “treating every horse like an individual. Each one demands a slightly different technique.” Serio has one regret – that more of the legendary horse professionals will die without their knowledge being passed on. “You spend a lifetime learning all this,” he said. “It just seems like a pity what you knew might be forgotten when you’re gone. “I tell Kenny [Wheeler] all the time, ‘why don’t you write this stuff down.’ He’s been a friend and mentor all these years. But he doesn’t believe anyone’s interested in it. Rodney Jenkins, too. I grew up idolizing him. He was a legend. There are so many great horsemen who won’t leave any of their knowledge behind.” The lesson Serio remembers best is not unique, but it’s one he tries to live by. “Horses teach me patience. They teach you something new every day.”
Betsy Burke Parker photo
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • JUNE/JULY 2011
An Enthusiast’s Converging Passions By Lauren R. Giannini
Effie M. Fox lives with an abiding love of horses, hounds “We flew back to Paris and had a few days there, then and hunting that merges most harmoniously with her paswent on to Nice and George sailed with his company,” sion for environmental ethics. She has so many treasured explains Effie. “I flew to Malta, but he was busy organizmemories: red letter days as a youngster with ing rifle tournaments with the British troops, so he wasn’t Marlborough, the hunt started by her family in 1936, and very happy to see me. I had a blast the rest of my time over later as the first-ever female honorary whipper-in with there. I contacted a school friend, Pat, who was living in Warrenton Hunt; homebred field hunters who showed her Glasgow. I flew back to London and took the train to where the fox was breaking from covert; serving as Scotland to visit her. I said, ‘we’re so close to Ireland and District Commissioner of the Casanova-Warrenton Pony I’ve always wanted to go to the Dublin Horse Show.’ So Club from 1966-71 during her son Chandler’s years; spewe flew to Dublin.” cial ‘outdoor lab’ projects that reflected her love of teachThat European sojourn remains a cherished memory, ing and thirst for knowledge, which she shared with school because that’s when Effie spotted a pair of silver horns in children in Fauquier County. She’s busy stockpiling more. the display window of an antique store in Dublin. She Her recent donation to the Museum of Hounds and went in, looked all around and asked about the hunting Hunting North America clothed several mannequins in horns. They had hallmarks and she knew they were the lovely vintage tailor-made hunting kit. Effie’s shadbelly real deal, made by Swaine Adney. and midnight blue frock coat, both by the original Miller’s After Effie paid what she considered to be a fair price, of New York City, and a tweed jacket made in Dublin sport about $15-20, for the less beat up of the two horns, the no size tags. Back in those days Effie wore size 12, conproprietor went back to fetch wrapping paper. He had told sidered a 4 by today’s standards. Her hunting vests, slight- Honorary Whipper-in Effie Fox over a fence in the ’70s. her the price was so low because the reed was missing and ly flared breeches, four-fold stock ties and boots by they wouldn’t blow. She couldn’t resist the impulse to pick Douglas Lees photo Dehner complete the ensembles. it up and blow it. Her hunt buttons reflect dedicated seasons with Marlborough, Warrenton, “That man said ‘OH!’ – it had beautiful tone,” recalls Effie, who would put Casanova and Norfolk. She has also enjoyed going out with other packs, such as that horn to good use when she hunted hounds. “I still have it, but my history isn’t Iroquois, Moore County, Old Dominion, Potomac, Piedmont, Bull Run, Essex, as a huntsman. Riding horses and foxhunting were my love, my passion and my Camargo, Millbrook, and Myopia, to name a few. avocation.” “A number of years ago I took my coats, breeches, vests, etc. out of the trunk Even though her husband lived for assignments that took him close to combat and asked Marion Maggiolo if she could sell them,” recalls Effie. “She advertised duty, Effie stuck to her own guns about living in one place and staying close to the them in Horse Country and got some bites, but I never heard another word. I ran rural life she loved. She simply couldn’t countenance moving from base to base. into her at the vet’s and Marion said these are beautiful clothes, so well made and George agreed: he wanted to come home to Virginia hunt country and left the well taken care of (although my frock coat had been mended several times for choice of where to his wife. tears that happened while whipping in) and that people today are too big for them, “I decided Warrenton, because it was more like home,” states Effie. “Harcourt but would I consider donating them to the museum? I didn’t want these clothes to Lees was in real estate by then and The Dell had just come on the market. He said, die in a chest somewhere and I said yes.” ‘come out to the Piedmont races and see it.’ It was overgrown, a jungle, but I wantThat’s only one aspect of this woman whose lifetime spans most of the 20th ed it. George bought it unseen. We cleared it, put in fences and built everything century and who, according to her own expectations and reports, isn’t finished except the house and old barn.” with ‘carpe diem’ quite yet. They hunted with Warrenton, of course. George won the first Seven Corners Effie was named for her mother, christened Effie Gwynn, and for her grandOwner-Rider timber championship on a horse trained by Effie. She bred horses, mother, Effie Gwynn Bowie. The family traces its roots to two early governors of which she trained and rode to hounds. She liked Casanova Hunt for bringing along Maryland, which is how the little village in Prince Georges County came to be young horses and the Foxes became members when Ken Edwards became jointcalled Bowie, a center of Thoroughbred racing in the northeast until the track ran master with Charlie Thompkins, who asked Effie to serve as secretary. Edie its last race in 1985. Her family started the Marlborough Hunt in 1936, and her Edwards was taking her around to look at stallions. It was in the early ’60s, and uncle Benjamin Bowie was its first master of foxhounds. George got transferred to Boston. It was the only time Effie left The Dell. Of “I grew up in a foxhunting atmosphere and I started hunting on a pony at course, hunting factored into her decision. nine,” recalls Effie. “My mother was the first honorary secretary. Then I was hon“We went up with a letter of introduction from Billy Wilbur [MFH orary secretary until 1956 or so – even after I moved to Warrenton. I grew up in Warrenton] to Nathaniel Clark, who was Master and Huntsman of Norfolk,” history, too. Every year we celebrated Gen. Robert E. Lee’s birthday and my explains Effie. “We had our horses, our son Chandler came up too, and we huntgrandmother Effie Gwynn Bowie researched and published a history of the old ed. It was mostly a drag hunt and Nat asked us to whip in. I was active with the families. Across The Years In Prince Georges County became the bible for histohounds during the week, but George whipped in on Saturdays. When Nat was rians about families related by blood and by marriage: Halls, Carters, Bowies, away, I would hunt the hounds for him.” Clagetts, et al. It was a history of allied families, including the Calvert family, who Effie used that silver reed-less horn which she purchased in Dublin on her founded Maryland.” wedding trip in 1955. When asked, she replies that she was “good enough” with Most of all, Effie rode to hounds and pursued schooling that led her to college the calls. The only regret she voiced was wishing that she had bought both horns. and a degree from Manhattanville in New York City. One day after she was home One can imagine that the proprietor upped the price on the other one once he knew from college, she went foxhunting and met a young captain in the Marines. what he had. George Fox pursued her until she accepted his proposal. They married in 1955, but When they returned to The Dell, Effie resumed her life there. She had been not without a lot of finagling and nuptial red tape. George was on duty and wanthunting with Warrenton since 1955. After Boston, Lees asked Effie to whip-in at ed her to come to France to get married during the summer while he was on leave. the beginning of the 1970 season to Dick Bywaters, who was Huntsman. Effie was teaching first grade at the time and it worked well with her teaching and “I’ve always been a champion of the fox and whipping-in let me see so much hunting schedule. She went to France, but they couldn’t get around the residency – it was the next best thing to hunting hounds,” admits Effie. “I thought when I laws. Effie’s mother and stepfather happened to be in Stockholm, so she flew can’t hunt anymore, bury me. Whipping-in, I would wait until the fox was well on there, establishing residency while having the bans read in church three consecuits way, then I would give the cry. Harcourt gave me the greatest privilege by asking me to serve as whip and getting me out of the field.” tive Sundays. By the time they tied the knot George’s leave had just about run out.
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • JUNE/JULY 2011
George had returned in 1970 from a tour of duty when Vietnam was at its hottest. He’d been promoted to Colonel and wanted Effie to move to Brussels with him so he could work with NATO. She refused to uproot their son again. “He said ‘I have to have a wife – if you won’t go, I’ll go back to Vietnam for another year.’ When I asked why, he said ‘any war will do’ because he needed action for promotion,” recalls Effie. “But that second year he wasn’t in the fighting, he was assistant to a general in Saigon. He got malaria and came home.” Shortly after his return, Effie became aware that the marriage had to end and that she would have to sell The Dell. She continued to whip-in a year or two after Bywaters retired and Fred Duncan took up the horn, but she resigned her post as honorary whip because she was getting The Dell ready to put on the market. “About that time Sally Tufts, president of the Fauquier SPCA, asked if I would consider doing humane investigation,” explains Effie. “I said yes, but found myself in an ethical conflict, because I could not justify continuing to hunt while I was going to people to educate them about the humane care of animals. I wasn’t whipping-in any longer and I wasn’t very happy in the field. I was in my late 40s and it was a natural progression. It was a heart-wrenching thing to give up hunting in ’77, but I couldn’t afford the lifestyle on my own after selling The Dell in 1974.” Effie served as the first official court-appointed humane investigator in Fauquier County for 20-some years. During the early years of that volunteer position, she researched passive solar and designed a house, based on the design of a Japanese teahouse, in which she continues to live today. Effie planted trees that put on her very own annual cherry blossom festival as well as enhancing the surrounding wildlife habitat with native wildflowers, grasses and trees. She was active for four years as state education chair for the Virginia Native Plant Society. In 1992, Effie developed the Outdoor Lab for the Fauquier County Public Schools. Effie describes the 17 acres behind Fauquier High School as a “natural wild place with ponds, meadows, woods, etc.” It was right up her alley, too: she had the experience and the expertise after clearing and beautifying The Dell. “I was hired, because they had this place and the pond was about the only thing the teachers could use – the rest of it was a wild jungle,” says Effie. “They could dip water to study what lives in ponds.” Effie took on the lab and threw her back into it. Mary Charles Ashby, chair of the Fauquier County School Board, loved the outdoor lab. Effie invited her to class and she saw the possibilities. “Teachers would ask me to help them teach the life history of butterflies and I created programs according to their requests to supplement what they taught in the classrooms,” says Effie. “Mary Charles said this position had to be full-time and she pushed it through, but I had to interview for the job with the director of personnel. I remember getting a grant for 30 adult binoculars – if you could have seen the kindergarten and first graders learning how to use them! – then we’d go on a walk to see birds.” Effie got help to clear a few acres above the pond and seeded it to make a native grass meadow. She planted native wild flowers that would feed hummingbirds and butterflies. She created studies about butterflies, birds, trees and the pond to bring lessons in the classroom to vivid life in the natural habitat. In June 2010 she was informed that the outdoor lab must close. “It was like home – the children and teachers loved it, and I loved it,” says Effie, who has kept busy in the interim. Back when she built her house – “very special, a lot of glass” – a job with the Sacred Heart Schools in New York City gave her the opportunity to indulge in her love of learning. She also began tutorial graduate studies at Boston College in Environmental Ethics, but was unable to complete the degree requirements because her mentor died of a heart attack. It was doubly sad, because the professor wanted to fashion Effie’s tutorial in Environmental Ethics into a regular course of study in the graduate program. “Part of my deal with Sacred Heart was that I would go to wherever they needed me, and I was traveling back and forth always by train, because for environmental ethics I needed to see the landscape and not just fly over it,” says Effie. “I learned so much about the landscape of North America by seeing it with my own eyes. We must learn to work with nature and not force nature to bend to our will. My life has had many different chapters and they all connect into the natural world.” If Effie has a mantra – be it about horses, foxhunting, whipping-in or interacting with the environment – it’s a combination that runs along the lines of: do no harm, try always to be true to thine own self, and be sure to enjoy what you’re doing, because life’s too short and age is only a number. That’s Effie M. Fox: pure and simple: an individual who champions the earth and all its glorious fauna and flora, its rural pursuits and pleasures. She may have hung up her hunting tack, but her heart still quickens at the sight and sound of hounds in full cry and the thrill of viewing the fox break covert. The world could use a zillion more enthusiasts just like her.
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IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • JUNE/JULY 2011
James J. Culleton, MFH, MB, MBH: A Remembrance John J. Carle II, ex-MFH
On April 9, 2011, the sport of hunting with respectively, with Tommy hunting both foot hounds, especially with foxhounds, lost a great packs. supporter and cherished friend when James J. Throughout his career, Jim believed that huntCulleton, MFH, MB, MBH, died at his Reedy ing is not a sport for the elite, but a sport for Creek Farm in McKenney, Virgina. He was a everyone; and in that spirit, no child or adult was unique individual, and it is doubtful that we will turned away for lack of funds. There are myriad see his like again. Under the Reedy Creek banner, chores in the barn, kennel and on the farm where Jim supported packs of foxhounds, beagles and people worked off lessons, board bills and even bassets, all of which excelled in the field, at field the price of a horse. Many people who began in trials, and in the show ring. Brooklyn followed Jim to Scranton, and later to Born July 5, 1943 in Brooklyn, New York, McKenney. The man inspired fierce loyalty. where his father operated a large stable, Jim Although he loved to play the curmudgeon, began hunting at age six on Long Island at Jim was a kind and forgiving man, who loved his Meadow Brook during its final years, then with hounds, horses and friends, and who had a soft Smithtown, and later with the Suffolk Hunt. After spot for children and young animals. Michelle taking over his father’s stable, Jim began to hunt Olgers noted that on many an unguarded moment in New Jersey with the Hidden Hollow Hunt, she had seen her gruff mentor cuddling his pupwhipping-in to the colorful Michael J. Torply, pies. Esq., MFH. Not only did Jim hunt, but every In 2010 everyone noted that Jim was “off his weekend he brought 30 to 40 people from feed,” and shortly he was diagnosed with pancreBrooklyn who might never otherwise have atic cancer. Undaunted by even so formidable a James J. Culleton, MFH, opening meet 2010. enjoyed the thrills of hunting, and whose capping foe, Jim strode into battle with a gunfighter’s fees were instrumental in keeping the hunt viable. At the urging of his friend Fred swagger, with never a thought of concession, and even near the end, never concedGetty, MFH, Jim convinced Mr. Torply to bring his hounds to join Getty’s Suffolk ing defeat. He continued to hunt as much as possible between biweekly chemotherHunt in New York’s St. Patrick’s Day parade. They were likely the only packs of apy sessions. On Opening Meet he led First Flight with all of his old dash and foxhounds ever to participate, and did so for several years. Also from Suffolk Jim aplomb, his face wreathed in his mischievous grin. Jim’s last hunt, on February procured a draft of hounds – of which “Sherman” and “Saddler” were the standouts 26th from home, was his young pack’s best hunt ever, and he led the hilltoppers, – to bolster the hunting ability of the Hidden Hollow pack. Jim soon became pres- keeping them in the epicenter of the action all day. Hounds ran hard for over three ident of the hunt, and held that position for many years. hours. Their first pilot was a huge, handsome red fox, and hounds sorely tested his By the mid-eighties, Jim wanted to get out of Brooklyn, so he retired from his endurance for the majority of the day. When “Charlie” finally sought sanctuary, the job with the New York City school system, sold the barn, and, with his best friend Reedy Creek lovelies quickly put a grey gentleman on his feet and gave him all the and partner, Tom McElduff, moved to farming country near Scranton, PA, where he fun he wanted, to finish the day with a flourish. When asked to describe the day, bought “Baily Hollow Farm.” Jim’s mother’s family hailed from the area, and here First Whipper-In Jan Buckley gushed, “It was so exciting, fantastic! Forty hounds he had enjoyed many an idyllic childhood summer. Jim and Tommy built a large flying! And the cry…the music…it was better than sex!” The pack that Jim had stable, where they bought, sold, trained, showed and boarded horses. Jim was a worked with so long and hard had truly come together. Led by an extraordinary lovely rider, with the rare gift for getting on with difficult horses, those who would Young Entry, the product of this dedicated hound man’s meticulous breeding protrust no one else. His infinite patience with horses not only resulted in many satis- gram, the future looks bright indeed. All day Jim’s signature aura of exuberance fied owners, it also helped make him an excellent instructor. He had the Pied and a beatific smile gave ample proof of his joy and pride. He never hunted again. Piper’s touch with children, and many a fine rider today has Jim to thank. Jim went into the hospital shortly after, and soon came home, insisting that In 1986 Jim reactivated the Abingdon Hills Hunt, which had closed down dur- everything at Reedy Creek carry on as always (“…even if…” he said). Toward that ing WWII. After building a nice kennel, Jim acquired a large draft of mostly end he made Tommy McElduff his Joint Master. Although he couldn’t attend, Jim Crossbred hounds. According to Fred Getty, what Jim inherited was an unbeliev- heard the clarion cry of his beloved black and tans as they pushed a fox at Closing ably unruly mob of hounds. Said Getty, “You wouldn’t believe the amount of work Meet, when a member Jim did; it was monumental. But he did it; he made that bunch into a real pack, a brought home a tape pack to be proud of.” Jim, indeed, had a gift with hounds as well and, as Huntsman, recording. he showed good sport to a large cadre of followers. However, in 1987, Jim had a In the end, at crashing fall, breaking several ribs. Unable to hunt hounds, he handed the horn to peace with his life and Tom McElduff. From age 14 Tommy had hung out at the Brooklyn stable, showing his Lord, and assured in equitation classes and graduating to jumpers. And, of course, hunting. From the by the knowledge that start, Tommy proved to be a natural and, with Jim’s support and encouragement, the future of his lovely has carried the horn ever since. hounds was secure, Jim Severe winters shortened the hunting season around Scranton, and Jim began passed gently. Good talking about Virginia. Michelle Olgers, another Brooklyn “barn rat” who had fol- Hunting, my friend. lowed Jim to Pennsylvania and, after college, lived at “Baily Hollow,” decided to “beat Jim to it,” as she said. She moved to Virginia, where she helped found – and hunted – the Colonial Fox Hounds. During this time she found land in Southside •••• Virginia’s McKenney, and Jim moved south. Note: In the After building a thirty-stall barn and kennels at Reedy Creek Farm, Jim and O c t o b e r / N o v e m b e r James J. Culleton, MFH, cubhunting with Reedy Creek Hounds, 2009. Tommy began building a Penn-Marydel pack with hounds from Pennsylvania’s issue of In and Around Joan Dougherty, Fred Getty – now relocated in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia Horse Country I inadvertently referred to Hidden Hollow as Windy Hollow. My sin– and a generous draft of black and tans from Bob Crompton’s Andrews Bridge cere apologies to anyone whom my carelessness may have offended. JJC Hounds. In 1999 the Reedy Creek Hounds were founded, and were registered in 2000. In 2008 the Reedy Creek Bassets were recognized and the Reedy Creek Beagles registered. Jim served as Joint Master with Rachel Cain and Tom McElduff
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • JUNE/JULY 2011
Jenny’s Picks I hope you’ve had time to go online to our webstore, horsecountrycarrot.com, and see the new items we’re listing—I’ve been adding about 20 books a week. Almost all our youth books are now online, as are many of our larger, coffee-table books. I have a request for my readers: I’d like to know what sort of books you are interested in purchasing. If you have suggestions or requests, email me at email@example.com. Please code the subject line with “IAHC suggestions.” I’m looking forward to hearing from you! I’m going to delve into new books, again offering some health advisories. First, Rita Mae Brown has a new Sneaky Pie mystery out. Brown, Rita Mae. Hiss of Death. This time Harry has more to worry about than suspicious deaths: following a routine mammogram, she is diagnosed with breast cancer. When she finds a young nurse dead, apparently from a bee sting, the autopsy’s determination is simply anaphylactic shock. Next comes a fire in a records storage facility. Then a semen shipment cylinder is found in the deceased nurse’s potting shed…and she didn’t have horses. Harry becomes more convinced something is amiss. As usual, she manages to get in the thick of things with her curiosity, two cats and Corgi right along with her. Hardcover, 217pp. $26.00 NEWS FLASH Nancy Mohr’s Lady Blows a Horn is being reprinted one more time! This is a commemorative edition of the book on the late Nancy Hannum, MFH of Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds. We received many requests for this after we had sold out our copies. Order yours now – very limited supplies are being printed! Your order will help the Cheshire Hunt Conservancy, which will receive a $2 contribution for every book sold. $30.00 Next on deck is a book just out that is geared toward serious riders, those wanting to go professional or be on a par with professionals. Emerson, Denny. How Good Riders Get Good. If you’re seriously looking toward a future in the horse world, read this book! It’s not a riding manual. There are hundreds of those out there. It’s more of an attitude manual, a guide to making the choices that will keep you on track toward your professional goal, regardless of whether your chosen field is Western, dressage, eventing, driving, or whatever. Emerson includes interviews with 23 of the best riders in the world on what they feel got them to the top. Some were born into a family with horses, others were not, but they had what it took to succeed, and all had “horse fever” early in childhood. He’s straightforward with his advice: you can’t get far if you’re lazy; you won’t get to the top with a mediocre horse; you’ve got to be determined and not let anything stand in your way. He points out that women in particular have a difficult choice, since their best riding years are also their best childbearing years. Emerson has considerable experience in several disciplines of riding, having completed the grueling Tevis Cup endurance ride (100 miles in 24 hours) and won a gold medal in international eventing. Hardcover, 204pp. $29.95 Next up is a series devoted to specific health issues, produced by the Horse Health Care Library. They’re all of the same handy dimensions, so they make a nice grouping on your bookshelf. They each have a section of color photos in the middle and a smattering of b&w photos throughout the text, plus a glossary at the end. Technical, yes; but medicine is something you have to expect will be a bit technical.
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 Bentz, Bradford G., VMD, MS. Understanding Equine Colic. Colic may be the number one cause of equine mortality besides the slaughterhouse. I’ve personally lost three animals to ailments manifesting themselves in colicky behavior (two gut torsions and a stomach cancer), and it isn’t a nice way to go. This is one I recommend for everyone to understand what happens, the many reasons colic occurs, how to reduce the chances you will encounter a colic, what you can do in a colic attack, and what the vet can or cannot do. Softcover, 192pp. $16.95 Bentz, Bradford G., VMD, MS. Understanding Equine Neurological Disorders. In the last few decades, neurological disorders have received increasing attention as we come to know more about them. “Horse doctors” of yesteryear knew about rabies, knew stringhalt, shivers, and wobbler foals, but not really what caused them, and it wasn’t hard to guess that a horse that flipped over and hit his head might have fractured something. But lately we’ve seen genetic disorders (the notorious Quarter Horse HYPP problem, for instance, stemming from one very influential stallion, Impressive), EPM, Lyme disease, several forms of encephalitis (EEE, WEE, VEE), and more. Some of these result from the high mobility of today’s equines, enabling infectious diseases to travel with ease across the country. Some may have manifested themselves long ago and been unrecognized or unreported. Dr. Bentz attempts to clarify different neurological disorders, their causes, and their treatment and potential for recovery. Softcover, 127pp. $14.95 Bentz, Bradford G., VMD, MS. Understanding Equine Preventive Medicine. The first thing that comes to mind is, naturally, vaccines against certain devastating diseases, but there is much more we can do for our horses. Worming, for instance; good farriery, for another. A bad farrier can ruin an otherwise healthy, sound horse. Effective screening for disease (that Coggins test!) and quarantining of new horses until they’re clearly disease-free are other methods. Some of what Dr. Bentz discusses is more in the manner of holistic medicine designed to improve a horse’s well-being and ease discomfort he already has. Feeding supplements also come into play. An ounce of prevention… Softcover, 136pp. $16.95 Briggs, Karen. Understanding Equine Nutrition (Rev. Ed.). In order to get the best out of your horse, he needs to be adequately fed but not overstuffed. The author is an equine nutritionist and horse feed specialist for a large feed company in Canada, so she has excellent credentials. Hydration, fiber, vitamins and minerals, carbs, hay and forage, grains – all are addressed, plus a discussion of condition with respect to weight, whether too-thin or too-fat. We all know a skeletal horse is malnourished, but what about that racehorse whose ribs are showing? Softcover, 176pp. $16.95 Forney, Barbara D., VMD, MS. Understanding Equine Medications (Rev. Ed.). The field of medicine is ever-changing as new discoveries are made; even this revised edition will probably be lacking something that was just discovered last week, or last month. However, many medications are pretty basic unchanging formulas, and it’s really a good idea to know just what the vet is prescribing, what it’s meant to do,
what side effects you might run into, and how to use it – even though the vet has in all likelihood discussed it with you at the time of examination. If you’re like me, a lot goes right over your head and you can’t remember it; thank heaven for printed instructions! This really belongs on your shelf, unless you’re a veterinarian with huge medical tomes available. The author discusses categories of drugs, gives a brief overview of drug rules for competition horses, and gives generic and common brand names, drug type, and indications for its use. Side effects, drug interaction concerns, and other special considerations are listed after the basic information. Softcover, 238pp. $16.95 Gramstrom, David F., DVM, PhD. Understanding EPM. EPM, or equine protozoal myeloencephalitis, is one of those fairly recent diseases that cropped up in the 1960s. Progress has been slow in determining exactly what caused it and how best to treat it. Dr. Gramstrom has endeavored to explain as best they know what the life cycle of the parasite that causes it is, what symptoms – and they are many and confusable with other ailments – indicate its presence, what can be done to prevent EPM, and what, if anything, can be done for the infected horse. In the back are a number of answers to frequently asked questions about the disease. Softcover, 103pp. $16.95. Jurga, Fran. Understanding the Equine Foot. I opened this to the color insert section and went WOW! There’s an excellent series of color illustrations of hoof interiors, some fascinating and unusual (to me) variations on corrective shoeing, and some hoof sole problems. In addition to the expected recommendations on hoof care and shoeing, there is a raft of questions you should ask any farrier you might be thinking of using. Not only diseases and other hoof troubles are covered; Jurga also discusses related items such as hoof picks and bell boots. Softcover, 147pp. $16.95 Redden, Ric, DVM. Understanding Laminitis. Along with colic, the diagnosis of laminitis, or founder, is probably more feared than other common problems. Laminitis can arise from a vast number of causes; mild laminitis, like mild colic, might be fairly easily treated, but severe laminitis is often cause for euthanasia. From ponies and other easy keepers to racehorses in peak condition (think Barbaro), the diagnosis can be devastating. Degrees of laminitis and treatment are discussed. Everyone should be well informed on laminitis to avoid risking their horses. Softcover, 141pp. $14.95 Thomas, Heather Smith. Understanding Equine Hoof Care. A great deal of Thomas’s work deals with shoeing, including a nice color series showing how to nail on a shoe, but I sure wouldn’t want to undertake farriery without proper training by a professional. Still, it will give you some idea of what to watch for while your farrier is doing his job. Different types of shoes, including glue-ons, are discussed, along with laminitis, navicular, gravel, and many other hoof problems. Softcover, 160pp. $16.95 In addition to problem-specific manuals, we also carry some all-around books: Gore, Thomas (DVM) and Paula; and James M. Giffin, MD. Horse Owner’s Veterinary Handbook (third ed.). This 2008 edition adver-
11 tises “all new coverage of infectious diseases, alternative therapies, breeding and foaling, behavioral findings, and toxins, cancer and parasites.” Right off the bat they introduce a chapter on emergencies, to lessen the need for frantic flipping through the whole book. This may not be the sort of book you’ll read cover to cover – though it won’t hurt! – but it’s certainly a good reference to keep on hand and browse through. An index of signs and symptoms, with reference to page location, enables you to reference possible problems easily, and there is an extensive glossary. Hardcover, 692pp. $39.99 Kelley, Brent, DVM. The Horse Doctor Is In. While not exactly a veterinary manual like most other books we carry, Dr. Kelley’s book is certainly more interesting to read and offers a lot of sage advice on horse health care, spattered with case histories from his experiences as a veterinarian in Kentucky. That state being a major producer of horses, he experienced and expounds upon a great number of breeding and management issues. It’s rather appalling to learn about the chicanery that goes on in the Thoroughbred industry, but it does serve to open your eyes about prospective purchases. For instance, he cites a former client that would always bring out the same clean-legged horse for leg x-rays and give it a different name each time. The buyer was then given the horse’s xrays – and sold a different horse! Dr. Kelley caught on after the fourth time he x-rayed the horse, and of course refused to do further work for the man. Softcover, 406pp. $19.95 Kellon, Eleanor M., VMD. Horse Journal Guide to Equine Supplements and Nutraceuticals. If you aren’t familiar with the magazine Horse Journal, try to get a copy and read it. If I didn’t subscribe to any other horse magazine, I’d subscribe to this one as a horse owner; it’s chock-full of good advice about horse care and evaluates market products for usefulness and practicality. This book is a compilation of material from articles published therein; Dr. Kellon is the veterinary editor. We also carry several other books of hers: Dr. Kellon’s Guide to First Aid for Horses and Keeping the Older Horse Young. Evaluated are a number of supplements and additives for a wide range of uses, from anti-inflammatories to weight-gain strategies. Senior horses, pregnant horses, obese horses, sufferers from Cushing’s and many others are all covered, with comparative charts and b&w photographs enhancing the text. Hardcover, 292pp. $29.95 Porter, Mimi.The New Equine Sports Therapy. Just as sports therapy is advancing in the human world, so it is in the equestrian world. Therapy discussed ranges from simple hot and cold applications through stretching and manipulation, and on to electric stimulation, ultrasound, photon therapy, and magnetic field therapy. Be informed! Know what you can do to help your horse. Hardcover, 205pp. $29.95 Siegal, Mordecai, ed. UCDavis Book of Horses/A Complete Medical Reference Guide for Horses and Foals. “UCDavis” refers to the University of California (at) Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, and members of the staff and faculty produced this reference. Four fullcolor pages in the middle depict equine anatomy: points of the horse, musculature, skeletal structure, and internal organs. Line drawings and b&w photos are throughout. Major sections, further subdivided, are separated into Getting a Horse; Living with Your Horse; Nutrition; Reproduction; Equine Body Systems and Various Disorders; Infectious Diseases, Cancer, and Geriatrics; and Home Care, followed by several appendices on zoonotic diseases, vaccinations and infectious disease control, diagnostic tests, transporting horses, and a glossary. Hardcover, 498pp. $32.00
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • JUNE/JULY 2011
Museum of Hounds & Hunting North America Honors Three Legendary Huntsmen
By J. Harris Anderson, Managing Editor
Leesburg, VA, May 28, 2011: On a sunny spring a veritable wizard with horses, hounds and peoafternoon, with the historic Morven Park Mansion ple,” has left an indelible mark on the foxhunting as a fitting backdrop, three well-deserving individworld. So many hunts are indebted to Albert Poe uals were inducted into the Huntsmen’s Room of for the excellence of their packs. It is an incompathe Museum of Hounds & Hunting North America. rable legacy. The inductees were Nancy Penn Smith Hannum “And,” says Albert, “nobody enjoyed it more (1919-2010), Albert Poe, and Melvin Poe. than I did!” With every chair placed before the Mansion’s Huntsman Tommy Lee Jones (Casanova Hunt, columned portico filled, scores of additional specVirginia) stepped forward next to recognize the tators stood to hear how each person earned the third inductee, Melvin Poe. At 90 years of age, privilege to be included among those recognized in Melvin is still carrying the horn, hunting the third the Huntsmen’s Room. After opening remarks by pack of hounds in his 60-plus year career. All 10 Lt. Col. Robert N. Ferrer, Jr., USMC-Ret., MFH Poe siblings, including Melvin and Albert, grew up (Caroline Hunt, Virginia), each inductee was preriding and hunting in one form or another. sented by a specially selected speaker knowledgeMelvin’s path to professional hunt service took a able of that person’s life and achievements. slight detour during World War II. He served in the Mrs. Hannum’s daughter, Carol Davidson, European Theater and his official duty was that of Melvin Morrison Poe, Carol Hannum Davidson on behalf of recounted her mother’s long and impressive career jeep mechanic. However, his natural athleticism Nancy Penn Smith Hannum, Albert Ollie Poe. as master and huntsman of Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire led to a spot on an Army baseball team made up of Karen L. Myers photo Hounds, Unionville, Pennsylvania. Nancy Penn all professional ball players, plus one young jeep Smith Hannum’s life was infused with foxhunting blood from the moment of her birth. mechanic from Hume, Virginia. Her familial relations included connections to Orange County Hunt, New York, foundIt didn’t take Melvin long to embark on his lifelong career once he returned home. ed by her maternal grandfather E.H. Harriman; Chester Valley hunt where her paternal While his teammates all returned to their professional baseball contracts, Melvin took grandfather served as master; Orange County’s territory in Virginia with her parents as the job of huntsman to the Old Dominion Hounds in 1946. The war had devastating joint-masters; a move to Unionville, Pennsylvania, in 1930 following the death of her effects on the hound population. His first year he had 13 hounds, 10 of which he said father and her mother’s marriage to William Plunket Stewart, founder and MFH of Mr. he could outrun. With the help of his old friends and old ways, he gathered enough Stewart’s Cheshire Hounds. In 1940, she married John B. Hannum, III, whose father hounds to hunt the season. Over the next 16 years he built the Old Dominion into a was Master of Mr. Hannum’s Hounds in Delaware County, Pa. hard running pack. She inherited the Cheshire hounds in 1948 upon the death of Carol and Plunket His career at Orange County spanned nearly 30 years. His first two seasons he Stewart, and, as her daughter remarked, all the early influences on her life were served as whipper-in to long time huntsman Sterling “Duke” Leach. The next 27 years, cemented into her destiny. Melvin’s “rebel yell” could be heard cheering hounds on across the grasslands of Nancy Penn Smith Hannum went on to become one of the nation’s longest-servnorthern Fauquier County. ing masters, hunting her own hounds with skill and determination that have become Melvin relied on lessons learned throughout his life roaming the woods, and his legendary, and developing an outstanding breeding and training program. Moreover, fox sense – knowing where to look after a loss – was legendary. His hounds absoluteshe was passionate about land preservation and established an impressive conservation ly loved him and would follow him anywhere. program that brought many landowners into the fold, assuring that open space would His hounds won numerous championships over the years and a multitude of continue for generations to come. important five couple pack classes. At Bryn Mawr he won the class 18 out of 24 years The next honoree to be recognized was Albert Poe, whose induction remarks were and at the Virginia Hound Show he won 19 out of 24. delivered by John J. “Jake” Carle, II, ex-MFH (Keswick Hunt, Virginia). Also born into He retired as huntsman at 70 years of age from Orange County, and after he served a foxhunting family, in 1931, Albert Poe is widely considered the best breeder of a few years as kennel huntsman, a former president of Orange County, George American Foxhounds of the 20th century. He showed a natural gift with horses and Ohrstrom, formed a private pack in the abandoned Bath County country. Melvin was from an early age was breaking and training ponies for neighbors. His skill in the sadhired as huntsman and 2010 marked his 20th season there. dle served him well over his many years in professional hunt service. At 90 Melvin still has a spring in his step and a love of the chase. He has always In 1946, at the age of 15, Albert took on the role of whipper-in when his brother enjoyed sharing his sport with others, the more the merrier. “Bob Hope didn’t like Melvin accepted the job of huntsman to the Old Dominion Hounds. When Albert playing to an empty auditorium and neither do I,” Melvin once said. Hinckley assumed the mastership, he hired young Albert to break and make hunters, With the presentation ceremonies complete, the attendees were invited to tour the many of which were leased to wealthy Washingtonians on weekends. newly re-opened rooms of the Museum of Hounds & Hunting North America in the Eight years later, Joint Masters Mrs. A. C. Randolph and Paul Mellon of Piedmont Morven Park Mansion. After a long and extensive renovation project on the historic Fox Hounds were looking for someone to hunt their pack and in 1954 Albert Poe building, the Mansion is once again open to the public, with rooms in the North Wing became the youngest professional huntsman in the country at the age of 23. Over the now restored for use by the Museum. next 21 years, relying on a Bywaters-strain of American hound, Albert bred what is In addition to the Huntsmen’s Room artifacts, the Museum’s current displays considered to be one of the finest packs of hunting hounds in the world; biddable, include “Aside or Astride – Ladies of the Chase;” “Emblems of the Chase – Hunting cheerful, and eager to please. The level of sport rose to new heights of excellence, so Horns, Hunt Buttons, Hunting Silver, and Stirrup Cups;” and “Entrusted Treasures,” much so that Piedmont went from hunting two days a week to four days a week. featuring selected art and other items that embody the spirit of mounted hunting. Albert moved on from Piedmont Fox Hounds in 1975 to concentrate on training The day’s events included a reception hosted by the Caroline Hunt. Museum races horses at Charles Town. His success at this endeavor led to all of his horses being members and guests enjoyed the hospitality and the good spirits continued on as Albert claimed and Albert filling his time as an outrider. and Melvin Poe, stationed before the new displays in their honor, accepted the warm Not surprisingly, he could not stay away from foxhunting for long and when and much-deserved congratulations from their many admirers. The only thing that Randy Rouse, MFH of Fairfax Hunt, came calling, Albert jumped at the chance to hunt would have made the day more perfect would have been Mrs. Hannum’s presence there the Fairfax pack. with them. But her enduring spirit lives on through her many good works on behalf of In 1980 Albert moved to Middleburg Hunt, a bastion of Bywaters blood. Almost mounted hunting and now through her inclusion as the first lady to be inducted into the every hound in the kennel traced its lineage back to Piedmont and the famous hounds Huntsmen’s Room. Albert had bred there. For 15 years he showed superior sport at Middleburg, restoring The Museum of Hounds and Hunting is open to the public seven days a week with this pack’s historic reputation. year-round admission, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 1 through October 31 and from 12 Upon retiring from Middleburg, Albert continued to hunt, often with brother noon to 5 p.m. November 1 through March 31. Tours begin on the hour with the last tour at 4 p.m. Special tours may be arranged by appointment. Melvin. When Melvin retired from Orange County, he continued to hunt George For more information about the Museum of Hounds & Hunting North America or Ohrstrom’s Bath County Hounds, and Albert’s hounds were eventually absorbed into to become a member and help the Museum’s efforts to preserve the art and artifacts of the pack. mounted hunting, visit the website at www.mhhna.org. The man that author Raymond G. Woolfe, Jr. calls “the quintessential huntsman,
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • JUNE/JULY 2011
Buck Captures Real-Life Story of Legendary “Horse Whisperer”
Trainer Inspires Generations of Horses, Riders By Betsy Burke Parker
His words are tough. His hands are rough. The exterior – from the top of his well-worn hat down to the toes of his scuffed boots – is hard and dusty. But the interior is soft and yielding, much like the horses he’s helped train for decades. “Your horse is a mirror to your soul, and sometimes you may not like what you see. Sometimes, you will.” So says Buck Brannaman, a real-life American cowboy who travels the nation year-round, as he puts it, “helping horses with people problems.” An award-winning new documentary film, Buck will be released nationwide in June. A real-life “horse-whisperer” – in fact, the inspiration for Nicholas Evans’ best-seller, and 1998 movie, of that name – Brannaman eschews the violence of his Idaho ranch upbringing and teaches people to communicate with their horses through leadership and sensitivity, not punishment. Filmmaker Cindy Meehl followed Brannaman for nearly a year, attending clinics and traveling to his farm in Wyoming, documenting the near magical abilities Brannaman demonstrates as he dramatically transforms horses – and people – with understanding, compassion and respect. In the 90-minute film, the horse-human relationship becomes metaphor for facing the challenges of life. The movie won the Documentary Audience Award at Sundance earlier this year, picking up “buzz” since a trailer was released in April – Google searches on the horse trainer have jumped 700 percent. Brannaman and his brother were removed from an abusive childhood home and placed in foster care. The young Brannaman found solace in horses. The horse trainer practices so-called “natural horsemanship,” a type of training that uses body language to connect horse and handler, as his background of abuse led him to reject the violence sometimes used by old-fashioned “horse breakers” of legend. In one scene, Brannaman stands near a clearly nervous horse, and looks over at the owner as he bluntly tells her, “This horse tells me a lot about you.” The woman nods, in tears, and confesses she feels like a “failure” as he hugs her and tells her, “it’s all right.” Brannaman, a married father of three daughters, explains on his own Web site that he “started to realize that things would come much easier for me once I learned why a horse does what he does. A lot of times, rather than helping people with horse problems, I’m helping horses with people problems.” Cindy Meehl founded her Cedar Creek Productions in 2008 after attending a Brannaman clinic and becoming inspired to capture the legend on film. Meehl followed Brannaman from North Carolina to Washington state, France, California, Montana and Texas to film clinics and at his home ranch in Wyoming. Meehl said she thinks it is a story that has to be told, an inspirational message that benefits people whether they have a horse or not. Meehl was a fashion designer who studied art at Marymount Manhattan
College and the National Academy of Art in New York. She lives in Connecticut with her husband, writer Brian Meehl, two daughters, four dogs and two horses. “I met Buck at one of his clinics eight years ago,” Meehl said. “In four days, he taught me more about horses than anyone ever had in all the decades I’d been dealing with them. Even more compelling was watching how he could instill the feeling of power in someone when they were afraid and had given up hope, whether it was about their horse or their life. “Buck’s personal story deeply resonated with me,” she added. “How he rose above the violence of his childhood, and applied the hard-learned lessons to training horses respectfully. Buck has a unique ability to help people reconfigure the way they perceive both horses and humans, and the principles he teaches can become life altering.” Brannaman has co-authored two books, Faraway Horses and Believe, both which explain the inspiration he took from horse trainers Tom Dorrance and Ray Hunt. The movie opens nationwide June 17. Watch the trailer of the film at www.slashfilm.com/buck-trailer-life-reallife-horse-human-whisperer or log onto the movie’s Web site: www.buckthefilm.com.
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • JUNE/JULY 2011
Why the People always ask and I sometimes reply “Why not?” In the beginning, the early 70s, retailers would have printing done at the local newspaper office. Horse Country visited the Fauquier Democrat and had to choose a horse icon from a small number of ready-made printing blocks found in any shop around the country. Our company checks and stationery had the same predictable little horse icon. One day, reordering business cards at the print shop, I began looking for icon options. Looking over the small selection, lo and behold, I spotted a badass looking zebra. It appeared he would kick you rather than look at you (pepper you, as my friend Madelyn observed). Well, it was one of those days… I thought, baby, you’re for me. We used the tough little guy for many years. Barbara Herman, a local artist, asked if she could spruce him up. She thought our store image was a bit classier than the little zebra conveyed. I guess we had become real retailers by that time. Later, 15 years or so, we must have gotten even classier. Artist Sally Cunningham wanted to change the image of our zebra. She created the zebra we have today. He’s quite recognizable, suitably tidy with a good mane and a tail. We made him legit, complete with a registered trademark and all. We can take him anywhere. His name is BADBOY. Thank you for asking.
BadBoy Tee shirt (1A) $25.00
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Jump into action with these New Products! Braiding Wire This soft, flexible plastic coated wire makes braiding easier. Wire shapes by hand, no more sewing! Removal is a breeze and will not damage the mane or tail. Reusable and is cut easily with scissors. Instructions included. Each wire is 32” long. Available in 25/pk in Black, Brown and White (HC8A) $10.00 and a 50/pk Multi-colored (HC8B) $20.00 Presto Bucket This amazing collapsible bucket is ready in seconds for unlimited usage. Made of tough lightweight nylon and 100% waterproof and holds up to 2.9 gallons. Matching nylon zipper carrying case included. Available in Orange, Lime, Red, Yellow, Sky Blue, Hunter Green and Purple. (HC8C) $14.95 Ergonomic Sprayer Bathing your horse just got easier! Seven-pattern sprayer features a unique thumb slide water control allowing a consistent flow. No more sore hands from squeezing. (HC8D) $17.50 SOAP DISPENSER BRUSH A combined soap dispenser with brush and sponge scrubber. The answer to getting the whites whiter! Load your shampoo into the dispenser handle and apply to desired areas. Sponge and bristles are soft enough for use on faces and legs. Assorted colors (HC8E) $6.95 EZ TOWEL™ Compact disposable tablets; just add water, and PRESTO you have a convenient durable, disposable towel. Environmentally safe and 100% biodegradable. It’s that easy. Packet of 50 towels (HC8F) $ 9.95 Brush Therapy Brush Therapy is a great way to get rid of dirt, debris and fungi in just 8 minutes! Just add the sachet of cleaning granules to a gallon of hot water and add brushes and combs. Simply air dry and your brushes and combs will be sparkly clean. Will not harm bristles. Sachet (HC8G) $4.95 Bit Therapy Bit Therapy gets rid of built up dirt; debris and fungi even in the most hard to clean areas. Just add the sachet of cleaning granules into a gallon of hot water and then soak your bits for 8 minutes. (HC8H) Peppermint Bit Wipes Peppermint bit wipes for happy horses! Regular use promotes bit acceptance and helps to keep bits sparkling clean, and tasting yummy! Wipe bit before and after use. Canister of 40 disposable wipes (HC8J) $13.00 Braid Therapy Braid Therapy combines essential oils specially combined to stop the itch and discomfort associated with mane pulling, braiding and banding. Offers fast relief without steroids. Formulated by professional braiders. 8 oz. bottle (HC8K) $12.95 Tail Therapy Tail Therapy quickly relieves tail itching and inflammation. Fast relief from pain and itching without the use of steroids or antihistamines. Recommended by veterinarians. 8 oz. bottle (HC8L) $11.95 Headline It! ™ A necessity for your helmet. Ultra thin, high performance wicking material protects your helmet from sweat, reducing odor-causing bacteria. Keeps you cool and comfortable. Package of Ten Liners (HC8M) $19.25 Wicky-Stick-It™ Disposable helmet liners that wick away moisture, leaving you cool and dry. This liner will reduce slippage and improve helmet fit. Each liner is designed for one-time usage. Pack of 5. (HC8N) $1.95 Saddle Pocket The perfect companion for your ride. Portable, can be used on your saddle or belt. Weather resistant, one hand use. Easy entry and closure with Velcro tabs. Interior dividers. 7 ¼”H x 7”W x 3 ¼”D. Brown. (HC8P) $29.95 Polo Style Shoe Horn Made in Italy. Superb craftsmanship and detail. Polo mallet handle style, flexible spring above the tongue. 22” in length A perfect addition to any gentleman’s closet. (HC8Q) $38.95 Everyday Shoe Horn A handy shoe horn right at hand. 18” molded plastic shoehorn. Curved handle for grip, nylon top strap for easy hanging. Assorted Colors. (HC8R) $4.50 Scratch my Back…. Wooden back scratcher with brass end cap and hand. Nylon loop for easy hanging. 20” long. (HC8S) $65.00
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IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • JUNE/JULY 2011
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • JUNE/JULY 2011
The National Beagle Club Spring Trials
“Institute Farm,” Aldie, Virginia By John J. Carle, II, ex-MFH
Beagle Trials March 30 - April 3, 2011
Jack Kingsley, MB, and Whipper-in Cody Anderson with the Old Chatham Foot Beagles 3 Couple winners.
The Waldingfield 3 Couple with Whipper-in Jen Buckley, Jeff Walker, Huntsman Amy Burke.
Old Chatham 5 Couple following their exhausting run to 2nd place.
Whippers-in Lydia Donaldson and Emily Southgate flank Susan Mills Stone, MB, and the winning Wolver 5 Couple pack.
Perhaps it was not so prudent an idea to hold the fiftieth renewal of the NBC Spring Beagle Trials on the weekend of April Fools’ Day, but 16 packs arrived at “Institute Farm” in Aldie, Virginia, to participate, and suffered undaunted through Mother Nature’s pranks with the weather. No one present could remember ever seeing such changeable conditions before, and the rallying cry quickly became the old Irish adage, “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes!” The three-couple competition began festivities in the Oliver Iselin Enclosure under low, gunmetal skies, intermittent drizzle, and a chilling wind. The first two packs down had little luck, and the day’s prospects appeared dismal; but then in strolled Jack Kingsley and his Old Chatham Foot Beagles to remind us all why we were here. Whipper-In Cody Anderson holloaed a rabbit away within five minutes, and this super-keen pack put on a clinic as they stuck like glue to their elusive, twisting, reversing quarry, a sage old gentleman well versed in the art of eluding pursuit. They solved myriad puzzles with a minimum of assistance, bolting their bunny several times and “keeping the tambourine a-rollin’” throughout their 50 minutes. When “Time, Old Chatham” was called, they’d set the bar too high for the competition to clear. The rest of the class evolved into a case of feast or famine, as scenting conditions fluctuated more wildly than the stock market. Cold rain and what the weatherman so gleefully calls “a wintry mix” ended Wednesday’s competition; and Thursday’s weather was no more pleasant. Yet some packs had decent runs. In their final tally, behind Old Chatham judges John Tabachka, newly appointed Huntsman at Sewickley, and John Gilbert, MB, Huntsman to the Tewksbury Bassets and Essex Fox Hounds, preferred Hills Bridge’s somewhat helter-skelter drive and enthusiasm over Wolver’s more meticulous accuracy. The Orlean Foot Beagles’ wildly exciting, somewhat undisciplined run grabbed fourth ahead of the Middletown Valley, a pack whose harsh, cacophonous, agonized cry raised goosebumps and made the enclosure shiver. The Octorara, from the mountains of Floyd County, Virginia, with the inimitable Larry Bright, MB at the helm, kicked off the five-couple set-to with a performance that many close observers viewed as unbeatable. This pack knows its job, and they get about it with unstoppable determination. Octorara Master and Finding uphill of the main creek that bisects the property, they Huntsman Larry Bright. drove their twisting, turning speedster back and forth across the creek, through densely-briared tangles, over stone walls and through the legs of blundering members of the gallery. And they worked untouched by their Huntsman, casting themselves with precision and unswerving accuracy, ever harking forward, their melodious cry resounding through the bottomland. Sadly, the classic houndwork of this pack went unrewarded by the judges, who never could get into position to truly appreciate a classic performance. But fortune smiled on the Wolver, and their hunt has to take its place among the best seen on these hallowed grounds. Drawing the mostly open hillside on the north side of the property just as scenting conditions changed for the better, they immediately found a rabbit left by the Hills Bridge, and this all-
bitch pack was off and screaming in a huge, inverted figure “S” that covered the middle third of the long hillside. Tightly packed and flying, their fiercely feminine cry was tumultuous: shrieks and squeals, squalls and chops, their voices tumbled over each other in exultation, much as the throwers of these voices tumbled over each other in their eagerness to honor a packmate at every check. And checks were few in number and brief in duration as these tiny Amazons swiftly and unaided solved every puzzle on their own. Running to kill, they forced their quarry to quit the more open field in favor of the densely-thicketed hillside bordering the creek, where she made use of the densest tangles and every brush pile available. No matter the ruse, and despite an icy gale, these lovely ladies persevered, pushing their rabbit to the limit until time – thankfully – was called. This spectacular run was well-rewarded at day’s end and, in the final tally, garnered the Highest Scored Run award of the trials. Old Chatham followed immediately and, undaunted by Wolver’s success and aided by improved conditions, turned in the second best five-couple run. Finding downstream, they pushed a stout rabbit into the open briefly, but their rocket-like drive and thunderous cry soon drove her back to the dense woods and briars. Running repeatedly from the creek to the Merry Meadow and back, they kept their chorus ringing, quickly working out bothers caused by either their quarry’s elusiveness or their own exuberance, mostly on their own. It was an excellent performance, accented by musical cry and enacted at speed that left the hunt staff exhausted. The judges chose Hills Bridge’s frenetic run, accompanied by a soundtrack of frantically exuberant cry, but punctuated by numerous checks caused by less cohesive packwork, for third place. A relentless performance by Middletown Valley during wildly fluctuating weather and scenting conditions took fourth place. Time and again during their run, the old bitch “Jaia” put them right, her agonized voice resembling a woman crying in bitter anguish.
The Glenbarr 8 Couple with Billy Bobbitt, MB.
Miki Crane, MB and Jr. Whipper-in Annacrista Cook with the Hills Bridge 8 Couple.
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • JUNE/JULY 2011
week…and damn the weather! Beaglers take such conditions in stride and keep smiling – which is one reason they are such a fun group to be part of. And speaking of fun, Edith and Dunham Hollister hosted a magnificent banquet on Friday night, with a meal so delicious that every belt in the building was let out several notches. “Cookie” Hollister has attended every Spring Trial since 1961 – quite an achievement, although she must surely have been in diapers for the first one! On Saturday evening, the Andersons and Reesers presented a wonderful slide show, a nostalgic trip down Memory Lane. How different the grounds looked! How young we all were! And what vast improvements have been wrought this past half-century! May the next fifty years be as joyous, filled with superlative sport, myriad rabbits, unique camaraderie, and high jinks galore: it’s a tradition! The blackest cloud that descended on the Beagle Trials came not from the weather but from tragedy. On Friday afternoon, Bob Lindsley was felled by a massive heart attack, dying instantly. A tall, reserved man, handsome and with a brilliant smile, Bob was a friend to all and an ardent beagler. His lovely wife Leslie, vivacious, charismatic and enthusiastic, whips in with aplomb to the Ardrossan Beagles. I had the great good fortune to room with Bob, a beagle trial regular, for the past three years. He was the perfect roommate: he didn’t snore, and never complained when I did. I last saw Bob after lunch on Friday, standing on the back porch of the main building, book in hand. When I asked if he was off to take a nap, his reply now seems so sadly ironic. Smiling broadly, he said, “No, I think I’ll do something else.” It has been a great honor to know Bob, and a greater one to call him my friend. I join with their legion of Sandanona had a busy and interesting, though often friends in sending condolences, love and support to confusing, day, blessed with an overabundance of rabbits, Leslie and the family. yet cursed by the weather. Drawing long stump-piles on the far western hillside, they worked downhill under a Basset Trials April 14-17, 2011 canopy of tiny, emerging leaves, where they ran several “April showers” came in monsoon form during the secviewed rabbits in frenzied bursts. The bitch “Gospel,” ond week of April, when the National Beagle Club held who one wag noted “don’t always speak the Gospel,” the Spring Basset Trials at Institute Farm in Aldie, indeed spoke The Word, bolting a big rabbit from dense Virginia. Over eight inches of rain fell in two violent briars into the open in front of the Field. Here only 2010 storms that left the grounds flooded, roads closed, and Bryn Mawr bitch champion “Promise” could carry the postponed Saturday afternoon’s hunting to Sunday mornline; but once in covert, all chimed in and rattled their ing. Like the earlier, weather-plagued beagle trials, it was pilot ’round right smartly. Too many rabbits up at once a week to remember. split the pack several times, and they often relied on the However, the trials’ opening day, featuring the voice and dulcet tones of Betsy Park’s horn. But ’twas a seven-couple competition, basked in lovely springtime good show. weather: bright sunshine, high sky and temperatures Conditions deteriorated from here on: one minute clambering into the mid-seventies. Pleasant, but not the we’d swelter in hot sunshine, the next shiver in icy gusts best hunting conditions. Sandanona got things started at that drove squalls of stinging sleet and soaking rain. Not 7 a.m. Thursday, opting for higher, drier ground, and until Octorara took center stage could a pack cope with drawing up Squaw Hill, where there were rabbits aplenthe conditions. But this pack is used to eccentric weather ty. As is so often the case in the early hours, sorting nightin their Blue Ridge Mountain home, and they rose readi- lines from live quarry posed a real problem for hounds, ly to the occasion. Larry Bright took his pack to the very but this enthusiastic pack managed to do so for the most top of the open hillside at the northern end of the proper- part. At one point they had two long-ears going at once, ty, and here, surrounded by dense briar covert as he pre- which didn’t do much for continuity, but boosted the sented his hounds to the judges, a rabbit bolted most excitement factor greatly; and their nonstop try impressed obligingly! Screaming like Banshees, the pack was away, the judges – Margaret “Miki” Crane, MB, Hills Bridge driving this foolish fellow all through the briary hell and Beagles, and Patti Hopkins, Huntsman to the Old into the now-sundrenched open field. Puzzling here, they Chatham foxhounds – enough to snatch top honors. cast themselves back, then flew to Whipper-In Beth Following Ashland’s sodden sortie, that was more Opitz’s view-holloa. Settling firmly on the line, they swim-meet than hunt, with their Bleu de Gascogne beaupushed this rabbit through the woods in twisting, over- ties paddling through enormous puddles, Ripshin took to lapping loops as driving rain squalls alternated with bril- the field. Drawing westward, from hilltop to creek botliant sunshine every five minutes. Hounds were in a tom and back, they got somewhat scattered, but once a groove and ignored the weather; and while not always rabbit got up, they packed up and ran it with tremendous running at warp speed, their progress was continuous. drive and thrilling cry. Unfortunately, scenting conditions Deer briefly distracted two youngsters, but they fell back were such that they couldn’t sustain any long runs, but in almost immediately. This pack is all business, and nary one of their electrifying bursts ended with their quarry a head was lifted until time was called. The judges award- accounted for. A smiling Edgar Hughston, MBH, pocketed them the red rosette for their efforts. Third place went ed the red rosette. to Sandanona ahead of Farmington, who had enjoyed an Tewksbury garnered third with a busy hunt on the exciting but somewhat frantic and, at times, disjointed north end of the property, with good cry and drive in hunt. bursts, but plagued by poor scent. “We only had two short And so ended what had to be one of the most hunts,” said Whipper-In Libby Gilbert, downplaying their demanding of the fifty Spring Trials held in Aldie. success; but the judges were impressed. Continued Perseverance by hounds, staff and followers carried the All of Saturday’s hunting – the eight-couple packs – beginning with Waldingfield and ending with Octorara, was run under the weirdest weather changes imaginable. Someone mentioned a forecast of five passing fronts, but that estimate seemed short by three. Clouds and sun, sun and rain, brief spots of snow and sleet, all exacerbated by a chilling north wind. “The Curse of the First Pack Down” was alive and well, as Waldingfield found out early on Saturday morning on Squaw Hill, when their efforts were plagued by night-lines and uncooperative scenting conditions. The sun broke out as Old Chatham took to the field, drawing downhill through the woods below the Merry Meadow. Here they had a rabbit afoot and, responding to the softly musical encouragement of their Huntsman, Jessica Anderson, MB, these happy hounds produced an absolutely amazing performance, the personification of persistence, accuracy and teamwork, toward which every pack should strive and hope to emulate. Unfazed by the constantly changing conditions, from bright sunlight to dusk-like cloud cover, calm to gale, they kept their quarry moving in big loops and figure-eights through open woods and nearly impenetrable tangles, from hilltop to creek bottom, ever moving forward, solving every intricate puzzle served them by their long-eared trickster. Furthermore, they worked unaided and as a pack, all contributing and honoring each other instantly, their cry joyous, their drive unstoppable. The late hunting man, Ned Carle, used to say what he liked in a good beagle pack was “sticktoitiveness.” Dad would have loved Old Chatham! And the judges loved them as well, awarding eight-couple honors unanimously.
Edgar Hughston, MBH, Ripshin Bassets, after a successful hunt.
The Ashland Bassets present to the judges.
The Tewksbury Foot Bassets Sarah Gilbert, Katie Gilbert, John Gilbert, MBH
Jeff Eichler, MBH with the Foxboro 7 Couple.
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • JUNE/JULY 2011
Champion Doghound Monkton Hall “Able,” Libby Gilbert. Lee Reeser photo
Champion Bitch and Champion Basset, Sandanona “Roulette” with judge Jake Carle and Betsy Park, MBH. Lee Reeser photo
Foxboro had a very exciting but maddeningly disjointed hunt, with a plethora of rabbits that had hounds switching constantly – which was understandable, because, with no scent at all in the open, hounds had to keep returning to dense covert, where a fresh rabbit lurked under every bush. Although hounds got scattered, they rattled ’round the dense tangles with great enthusiasm. Even as Jeff Eichler, MBH, was lifting hounds at the end of his allotted time, a fresh rabbit bolted from under the pack’s noses! And Monkton Hall, drawing the topmost thickets to the north, also had ample game but failing scent. This relatively new pack has shown great improvement in a short time, and they hunted with determination, drive, and wild cry. Yet they fell victim to the conditions, and their cohesiveness suffered in the judges’ opinion. Jeep Cochran, MBH, brought her Calf Pasture pack out after lunch, and these ultra-busy hounds gave an excellent account of themselves. Although their runs were short, their cry was the strongest of the day and their work ethic unmatched, trying from the woods near the Merry Meadow up through Cody “Grizzly” Anderson’s “bear thicket” (only a turkey was in residence this day!), to the logpiles and newly seeded areas to the west. Theirs was a well-deserved Jeep Cochran, MBH, Calf Pastures. fourth ribbon; in fact, they were unlucky not to place higher. For the remaining packs – Hill and Hollow, Upper
Bay, and Three Creek – it was a dismal afternoon in the heat, with scent nearly nonexistent and rabbits sitting close and feeling secure. Any runs were frustratingly brief and inconclusive, as is so often typical of spring hunting, and it was rather a relief for all when the seven-couple competition ended. The bench show was originally scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, but Saturday’s relentless tempest washed out the afternoon’s five-couple competition and moved it to Sunday morning, dropping the beauty pageant into the after-lunch slot. Despite the fact that the change made departure time for packs with long drives quite late, they worried not, and entries were very good. The doghounds served up an extremely competitive class, with nice hounds in the majority. In the end, last year’s winner and overall champion, Sandanona “Roister,” bowed to the excellent Monkton Hall dog, “Able.” As it always should, it came down to movement, and “Able” moved a trifle straighter behind. Such a fine line makes for a good class. The bitches outnumbered their opposite sex, but there was also a greater disparity in quality. Last year’s reserve champion, Sandanona “Roulette,” rose like cream to claim the blue. She is very alert, well-balanced, quick and shows herself well off-lead. The ease with which she moves made many of the hounds present seem cumbersome in comparison. And her fluidity enabled her to glide onto the champion’s throne, leaving “Able” to gaze longingly. This was my first foray into basset-conformation judging, and I must admit that it was with no little trepidation that I awaited the first competitor. But good hounds have a way of sorting themselves out, no matter the shortcomings of the judge; and so it was on this day. What might have been a painfully embarrassing fiasco became a thoroughly delightful experience. Thank you, Jeep Cochran, for the invitation to judge!
Horses and People to Watch IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • JUNE/JULY 2011
Virginia Thoroughbred Association
Virginia-Bred Dance City Fifth In Preakness The Estate of Edward P. Evans’ Dance City loomed prominent at the 5/16th pole in the $1 million Preakness Stakes but didn’t have quite enough to sustain a winning drive in the second leg of the Triple Crown. Parked four wide for most of the race, the bay colt by City Zip out of Ballet Colony by Preakness winner Pleasant Colony, was fractious in the gate prior to the start. Dance City was well positioned, albeit wide, most of the race running fifth off the pace set by Flashpoint and eventual winner Shackleford. Dance City. Glenn Petty photo He loomed large at the head of the stretch, but when jockey Ramon Dominguez went to the whip before they straightened for home late in the final turn it seemed likely that the colt making just his fifth career start might not be able to close strong enough to capture the race. Prior to his start in Baltimore, Dance City was third to Archarcharch and Nehro in the $1 million Arkansas Derby. Prior to that he had won an allowance and a maiden special race both at Gulfstream Park in Florida. From five starts, Dance City has won two Animal Kingdom prior to Preakness. races, with one second and one third for total earnGlenn Petty photo ings of $190,000. ••••
100% Virginia-Bred Program Back For 2011 The popular 100% bonus program for Virginia-bred and Virginia-sired horses returns to Colonial Downs in 2011. The bonus, which was first put into place in 2008, was a huge success – such a big success that it depleted the Virginia Breeders Fund. Now with Advance Deposit Wagering (computer and telephone wagering) making a contribution to the Fund, the popular bonus program is being brought back. The bonus paid Virginia-bred and/or Virginia-sired horses in open company will be 100% of the purse won for first through fifth. Like 2010, races restricted to Virginia-bred/sired horses will carry a 25% bonus and a breeders bonus of 10% will also be paid on Virginia-bred winners at the meet. Colonial Downs live Thoroughbred racing season gets underway June 8, 2011. ••••
Commonwealth Turf Festival July 30 At Colonial Downs The final Saturday of the 2011 Colonial Downs Thoroughbred meet will be the new Commonwealth Turf Festival In Memory of Edward P. Evans. The day will feature five stakes races for Virginia-bred and Virginia-sired horses and will also include the 2010 Virginia-bred champion awards ceremonies. Previously contested on separate days, the Oakley, Daniel Van Clief, Brookmeade, Jamestown and newly named Bert Allen stakes will share co-billing. Each of the five races carries a purse of $50,000. The 2010 Virginia-bred awards will be presented between races including the coveted M. Tyson Gilpin Horse of the Year Award. The late Edward P. Evans will be honored that day as he is enshrined into the Virginia Equine Hall of Fame. Evans was the leading breeder in the Commonwealth last year and his horses won five 2010 championships. ••••
Virginia-Bred Triplekin Wins Queen’s Cup At the Queen’s Cup Steeplechase in Charlotte, North Carolina, Magalen O. Bryant’s Virginia-bred Triplekin took over the lead with three-quarters of a mile remaining in the Queen’s Cup MPC ’Chase, opened a 10-length advantage before the final fence, and came home under light urging to a 5¾-length victory under jockey Brian Crowley.
Triplekin, by Makin, out of Triple Kiss (GB) by Shareef Dancer, was bred by Dr. Carlos S.E. and Gillian Gordon Moore of Corner Farm in Berryville. Mede Cahaba Stable’s Virginia-bred Complete Zen, who set the pace under Richard Boucher, finished second, two lengths clear of Stephen Price’s Fealing Real and Augustin Stables’ Port Morsbey, who dead-heated for third in the novice stakes for horses in their first seasons of competition over fences. Trained by Racing Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard, Triplekin was making his first start in nearly a year. For his career, Triplekin now has five wins from 17 starts with earnings of $118,370. ••••
Calvin Edward Rofe 1938 - 2011 Renowned equine veterinarian Calvin Edward Rofe, age 72, died May 11, 2011 at his home in Middleburg, Va. Born on May 30, 1938 in New York, he graduated from The Cornell School of Veterinary Medicine in 1961. He then served his country in the United States Army. Upon completion of his military service he joined the Meadowville Animal Hospital in Warrenton, Va. In partnership with Dr. John Mayo, he later established the renowned Mayo & Rofe Equine Clinic in Middleburg, Va. Rofe was the consummate veterinarian and was always ready and willing to help any animal and owner in Calvin Edward Rofe. Photo courtesy of Rofe Family need of his expertise and services. Among the many Virginia Thoroughbred farms Dr. Rofe worked for, some of the most prominent were Meadowville, Spring Hill, Newstead/Catoctin, and Rokeby. As a result, Rofe is responsible for bringing more stakes winners into this world than anyone in the Horse Racing Hall of Fame. Rofe also excelled in lameness diagnosis and in the management of performance animals. His knowledge allowed him to maintain soundness and extend their careers. He possessed a gift for knowing just how to assist owners and horses to achieve their goals. As part of Dr. Rofe’s storied career he traveled all over this country and abroad with many champion racehorses such as Genuine Risk, General Assembly, and Cure The Blues, throughout their campaigns. ••••
Virginia H.B.P.A. Flat Series For Virginia-Breds Fairfax – complete order of finish: 1) Love Colony (Paddy Young rider, Debra E. Kachel owner, Ricky Hendriks trainer) $1,200; 2) Green Velvet (Willie McCarthy, Jennifer H. Pitts, Jazz Napravnik) $400; 3) Tu Baku (George Wood, Alix L. White, A. Timothy White) $220; 4) Red Dirt Girl, (John Delaney, Lucy Horner, Frank Zureick) $100; 5) Wahoo (Matthew McCarron, Sara E. Collette, Neil R. Morris) $80; 6) Daytime (Jeff Murphy, James H. Falk, Sr., Simon Hobson); 7) Hay Prince (Kevin Tobin, Brenda Godfrey, Tom Foley); 8) Snowbuster (John Delaney, John McCormack, John McCormack); 9) Mrs. Erdleigh (Eilidh Grant, Justine M. Hughes, Simon Hobson); 10) Rockmani (Robert Walsh, Celtic Venture Stable, Charles J. McCann); 11) Wild Ball (Roddy Mackenzie, Randolph D. Rouse, Randolph D. Rouse). Loudoun – complete order of finish: Daytime. 1) Rockmani (Paddy Young rider, Celtic Douglas Lees photo Venture Stable owner, Charles J. McCann trainer) $1,200; 2) Hey Doctor (Bruce Daley, Mary Fleming Finlay, Mrs. D. M. Smithwick) $400 and 3) Ditch (Jeff Murphy, Mary Fleming Finlay, Mrs. D. M. Smithwick) $220. Old Dominion – complete order of finish: 1) Daytime (Jeff Murphy rider, James H. Falk, Sr. owner, Simon Hobson trainer) $1,200; 2) Snowbuster (John Delaney, John McCormack, John McCormack) $400; 3) Rockmani (Jacob Roberts, Celtic Venture Stable, Charles J. McCann) $220; 4) Colonial Kid (Keri Brion, Irvin S. Naylor, Brianne Slater) $100; 5) Tipastaire (Eilidh Grant, Rosney Stable LLC, Catherine Stimpson) $80 and 6) Wild Ball (Roddy Mackenzie, Randolph D. Rouse, Randolph D. Rouse).
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • JUNE/JULY 2011
An English Point-to-Point; The Southern Hounds Show, Florida; and a Welsh Hound Show ACROSS THE POND
By Jim Meads
Southern Hound Show Champion Dog and Grand Champion Fox River Valley “Nightcap.”
Southern Hound Show Champion Bitch and Reserve Grand Champion: Fox River Valley “Samantha.”
Southern Hound Show, Florida, April 9, 2011 Judging in progress on Live Oak Plantation, Monticello.
Southern Hound Show Best Brood Bitch Fox River Valley “Patience,” Reserve Champion Bitch.
Southern Hound Show Kennel-huntsman Neil Amatt and whipper-in Robert Miller showing senior hound class winner Midland “Whiskey.”
After much horrid weather in the UK, April 2 dawned damp, but soon cleared to give a super spring day, which was lucky for the United Foxhounds, who were holding their point-to-point at Brampton Bryan, in Herefordshire. The course was in top condition, which attracted lots of entries, and crowds of spectators were United Pack Point-to-Point April 2, 2011 pouring into the car parks as Winner of the Confined Hunt’s Race “Ruairi, ” Tom Weston up. the sun appeared, highlighting the colors of an unspoiled Men’s Open was led all the way by “Fourty countryside, while the bookmakers were busy Acers” under a brilliant ride by Josh Hamer, who taking bets on the races. The Confined Hunts had kept enough “gas in the tank” to repel race was won by the favorite, “Ruairi,” ridden by “Mister Kay Bee” by 10 lengths. A top class Ladies Open provided a nail-biting finish, with “Whistling Straits” and Imogen Robinson jumping the last fence alongside “Bosham Mill” and Jane Williams, before holding on to win by 2½ lengths. In the intervals, Joint Master Robert George and his team of outriders were kept busy talking to race-goers, praising point-to-point racing and its links with foxhunting, in an excellent PR operation!
United Pack Point-to-Point April 2, 2011 At the last fence in the Restricted Race, the winner “Arbour Hill” Mark Wall up, “Prof de L’Isle” 2nd.
Southern Hound Show Champion Two Couple: Live Oak “Ransack,” “Fanfare,” “Steamy,” “Stately.”
Tom Weston, who beat “Miss Lighting,” an improving 8-year-old mare. In the Restricted, the winner “Arbour Hill” came from the Heythrop, and was ridden by Mark Wall, who is riding at the top of his form. In second was “Prof de Lisle,” just run out of it in a driving finish, while “Carbon Emission” and Barry Denvir survived unhurt after a spectacular fall. The 11-runner
United Pack Point-to-Point April 2, 2011 Spectacular action in the Restricted Race with “Carbon Emissioin” and jockey Barry Denvir parting company. Both were unhurt!
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • JUNE/JULY 2011
In April 2010, I drove to Manchester Airport to fly to the Southern Hound Show at Live Oak, Florida. But that morning an Icelandic volcano went “Pop!” and all flights were cancelled. However, on April 7, 2011, everything went to plan, and I arrived safely in Tallahassee, where I was met by Patti Schuh, who drove me to the home of my generous hosts, Steve and Piper Parrish, where I was soon downing a cool bottle of beer. The weather on show day was perfect; although the temperature was in the high 80˚s, there was a breeze and no humidity. Eight packs of foxhounds sent entries, and the judges were Martin Scott, ex-MFH Vale of White UK, Horse, and “Duck” Martin, MFH Southern Hound Show Green Spring The judges: “Duck” Martin, MFH, Green Valley, MD, Spring Valley, MD; Jeannie Thomas, MFH, with Jeannie Why Worry, SC, apprentice judge; Martin Thomas, MFH Scott, ex-MFH, Vale of White Horse, UK. Why Worry, SC, the apprentice judge, and promptly at 9 a.m. they were in action. Regulations state that “all classes are open to English, American, Crossbred, and Penn-Marydel Hounds,” and this is the first time that I’ve come across this ruling. Many high class dogs and bitches were shown throughout the day, with a welcome lunch break at halftime, when the Ladies Hat Contest was judged by Ben Hardaway, MFH Midland Hunt since 1950, and John Houser, former Live Oak Hon. Sec. The winner, with a colorful peacock on her hat, was Ann Scott, a previous winner. In the doghound classes, the Unentered winner was Live Oak “Angler.” The top unentered couple were the brokencoated Fox River Valley “Keswick” and “Keg.” Best Entered was Fox River Valley “Nightcap,” with the Couple of Entered being headed by Live Oak “Farrier” and Southern Hound Show “Searcher.” The Show Chairman Daphne Wood, MFH, Live Oak, presenting trophy to Two-couple class Tony Leahy, MFH Fox River Valley. was won by Live Oak “Hatten,” “Handsome,” “Halifax,” and “Hannibal.” Top stallion was Live Oak “Rancher,” and top stallion with three of his get was Live Oak “Dasher,” “Searcher,” “Pilgrim,” and “Pistol.” In the doghound Championship, Fox River Valley “Nightcap,” who was bred in the Midland kennels by Fox River Valley “Keg” out of Midland “Nimble,” and was given to Tony Leahy, MFH, before being entered, was awarded the tricolor, with Live Oak “Rancher” reserve. Refreshed by a super sit-down lunch, judging of the bitches began on time, with a high-class Unentered entry being topped by Live Oak “Apron,” later judged Unentered Champion, with her brother “Angler” Reserve. In the Unentered Couples, Live Oak “Apron” joined with her sister “Angel” to top a ring full of beauties, while the Entered ladies were headed by Fox River Valley “Samantha” (by the prolific Duke of Beaufort’s “Bailey” x “Sadie”). The
Entered Couples were won by Live Oak “Haven” and “Raindrop,” with the Two-couples being led by Live Oak “Ransack,” “Fanfare,” “Steamy,” and “Stately” (later named as Champion Two-couple). Top Brood Bitch was Fox River Valley “Patience,” while the best brood bitch with three of her produce was Live Oak “Amber,” “Apron,” “Angler,” and “Angel.” In the senior hound class, the Midland finally had their first winner with “Whiskey ’04,” obviously maturing with age! In the bitch championship, Fox River Valley “Samantha” reigned supreme, with kennel-mate “Patience” in reserve. This brought us to a spectacular finale, with the excitement as hot as the temperature, reportedly 88˚F! With due ceremony, the Grand Champion was named as Fox River Valley “Nightcap” ’09, a big dog, full of quality, with Fox River Valley “Samantha” a worthy Reserve Grand Champion. This was a splendid show, in lovely surroundings, with great organization, and for your diary, next year’s show date is April 28, 2012 – so be there! May 1 is the date on which hunt staff who are moving take over their new posts, and this year it was also the day on which the David Davies Hunt organized their Mid-Wales Foxhound Show, close to the kennels in Llandinam. There were classes for English, Welsh, Hill and Fell hounds, to be judged by a father and son combination of Tom and Dylan Davies, both retired foxhound huntsmen. In the English ring, the Southwold, whose Master Huntsman Nick Ashcroft had driven the 200 miles from their Lincolnshire kennels that morning, won every class, with their entered bitch “Glimmer” named as Champion. It was a different story in the Welsh ring, with three packs winning. In the young bitches, the winner was Llanwrthwl “Trusty,” while Gelligaer Farmers “Topper” beat a strong group of young dogs, with Llanwrthwl “Brenin” heading the entered dogs. Then it was the turn of Plas Machynlleth to score in the entered bitches with their “Tivy.” Gelligaer “Topper” is an outstanding young dog and he duly took the Welsh Championship, to the delight of huntsman Martyn Arnold. Entries were down in the Hill ring, with the Championship going to a nice hound, Southwold “Chanter,” which helped to make Nick Ashcroft’s long drive home bearable! The Fell classes were dominated by the Teme Valley, with their attractive entered bitch “Nugget” taking the Championship. Then the four breed champs came into the ring, and after due consideration, the Grand Champion was named as Teme Valley “Nugget.” This made an interesting story, as Teme Valley huntsman since 1977 Roy Savage has had to retire through a serious illness, and his 22-year-old son David has been appointed in his place, making him the youngest professional huntsman of foxhounds in the UK, and now winning a Grand Championship on his very first day in charge!
Mid-Wales Hound Show Tom Davies judging the class for Unentered Welsh Bitches.
Mid-Wales Hound Show Champion English Hound: Southwold “Glimmer.”
Mid-Wales Hound Show Best Entered Welsh Bitch: Plas Machynnleth “Tivy,” Huntsman Aled Jones.
Mid-Wales Hound Show Champion Welsh Hound: Gelligaer Farmers “Topper,” Huntsman Martyn Arnold.
Mid-Wales Hound Show Champion Hill Hound: Southwold “Chanter,” Nick Ashcroft, MFH, (9-year-old daughter Holly holding trophy).
Mid-Wales Hound Show Champion Fell Hound and Supreme Champion: Teme Valley “Nugget,” with handler Tania Roberts and new Huntsman David Savage.
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • JUNE/JULY 2011
By Will O’Keefe • Douglas Lees photos
Piedmont Fox Hounds Point-to-Point Field for the Maiden Timber Race won by Beech Cay, Gus Brown up.
Piedmont VHBPA Flat VA-bred/Sired Forest Bell - 1st, Liam McVicar up.
Piedmont Fox Hounds Point-to-Point, March 26, 2011, Rokeby Bowl Open Timber Radio Flyer - 2nd, Sand Box Rules - 3rd, Pan Adam - 4th, Incomplete - 1st, Charlie Fenwick up.
Piedmont Owner/Rider Timber Westbound Road - 1st, George Hundt Jr. up.
Piedmont Huntland Cup Maiden Flat Piedmont Fox Hunters Timber Za Za Zu - 1st, James Slater up. Orpington - 1st, Mary Motion up.
Piedmont Ladies Timber Race Bon Caddo - 1st, Blair Waterman Wyatt up.
Piedmont Rokeby Bowl finish Incomplete - 1st, Charles Fenwick up, Radio Flyer (Ire) - 2nd.
Piedmont Fox Hounds Point-to-Point 3-26-2011 The field for the Rokeby Challenge Bowl at the Piedmont Fox Hounds Point-to-Point near Upperville on March 26, featured the two horses, who between them had won this 3½ mile timber classic the past three years: Augustin Stables’ Radio Flyer (2010) and Robert Kinsley’s Incomplete (2008-2009). The race lived up to the hype as Chris Read set the pace with Kinross Farm’s Sand Box Rules with the remainder of the field close behind. With about a half mile to run Charlie Fenwick sent Incomplete to the front, but Sand Box Rules came again with Radio Flyer (Gus Brown), and these three were tightly bunched approaching the last. They jumped as a team, and upon landing Incomplete found another gear that separated him from the others. The final margin was 4½ lengths with Radio Flyer second and Sand Box Rules third. For the third time in four years trainer Ann Stewart took the Rokeby Bowl back to Maryland. This was a truly historic occasion as no horse had ever won three times in the history of this race that dates back to 1939. Gus Brown had better luck in the maiden timber race that attracted 12 runners. He reserved Beech Cay off the pace, moved to third at the final fence and won by 1¾ lengths over Joseph Henderson, III’s Triple Dip (Paddy Young) and Northfield Farm LLC’s Expel (Liam McVicar). The following race was for owner/riders over the timber course and was a thrilling duel between Westbound Road (George Hundt, Jr.) and Cool Fellow (Ken Shreve). They raced as a team the final six furlongs, and after a driving finish only a neck separated them at the finish where Westbound Road got the narrow decision. Westbound Road and Beech Cay are trained by Richard Valentine. In the foxhunters race after Rusty Cline’s Sir Bernardo lost rider Eilidh Grant in the early going, Orlik (Alex Bazdar) and Ice Is Nice (Tate Shaw) set the pace. With four fences to go Orlik and Ice Is Nice took the wrong course, and Orpington (Mary Motion) galloped across the finish line at least a quarter mile ahead of Jeb’s Crowner. In the lady rider timber race Blair Wyatt assumed a stalking role with Merriefield Farm’s Bon Caddo behind Sara Collette’s Genghis, who set the pace under Diana Gillam. Bon Caddo pulled alongside Genghis at the last fence and drew away in the stretch to win by
five lengths. Three races on the flat closed out the card. Irvin S. Naylor’s Za Za Zu raced close to the pace under James Slater to draw away to a five-length win in the maiden flat race, Randleston Farm’s Spy in the Sky came from off the pace to win the open flat race under Mark Madden by a length, and Will Russell’s Forest Bell (Liam McVicar) was a front running 1¾-length winner of the Virginia-bred flat race. Bull Run Hunt Point-to-Point 3-27-2011 Two inches of very wet snow greeted Northern Virginians when they got up Sunday, March 27, and the first issue for horsemen and officials to face was the fate of the races at Brandywine Park near Culpeper. The Bull Run Race Committee decided to run, and by post time that decision was justified as the snow had melted leaving soft but safe going The first race on the card was a novice rider flat race that attracted three runners. Eilidh Grant rated Karen Eyles’ Canardly off the pace. He took the lead in the stretch and pulled away to win by two lengths. This was the first of three wins on the card for trainer Teddy Mulligan. He completed the daily double when his Osage was ridden to victory by Liam McVicar in the restricted maiden hurdle race. Osage led most of the race, turned back Mary Fleming Finlay’s Ditch (Jeff Murphy), who led briefly with a little more than a quarter mile to run, and held off Randleston Farm’s Temple Fair (Mark Madden). The other maiden hurdle race went to Jodi Rauso and Lili Kurtinecz’ Deputy Empress. Under Jacob Roberts the winner closed with a rush and pulled away to an easy eight-length score over Teddy Mulligan’s Ardagh (Liam McVicar). Mulligan’s third win was a walkover in the open flat race for Cynthia Polk’s Roguish, who went beyond the required prerequisites for a walkover by going one time around the 1¼ mile flat course under Liam McVicar. Jockey Jeff Murphy also scored a hat trick. His big day started with a win for trainer Jimmy Day on Bruce Smart’s Irish-bred Bonded in the maiden flat race. The field was tightly bunched; but with a furlong to run, Bonded started to draw away and won by two lengths.
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • JUNE/JULY 2011
Jeff Murphy’s second win was aboard Indian Run Farm’s Swimming River in the novice timber race for trainer Dot Smithwick. This race was a match race with DMC Stable’s Crimson Lode (Michael Cooney). Swimming River made all the running and won easily by what could have been many more than the official 12 lengths. In the draft horse races, Lani Newcomb’s LB Brimsone carried Lacy Heider to a front running score in the light race and Newcomb’s Scar (Jeff Murphy) won the heavy division. In the Junior Field Masters Chase Erin Swope rode her large pony Jordan to an easy win and Isabella Eyles’ Lone Arrow was a walkover winner in the horse division. The finale was a two horse Senior Field Masters’ Chase for Bull Run Hunt members. When released by the Master, Robert Mihlbaugh’s Following Lead pulled away to an easy 10-length triumph over Kristi Clore on Charmer. Orange County Hunt Point-to-Point 4-3-2011 The Locust Hill open hurdle race at the Orange County Hunt Point-to-Point on April 3 near Middleburg, attracted a good six-horse field. Two 2010 sanctioned winners, Michael A. Smith’s Humdinger and Karen B. Eyles’ Canardly, were facing Kinross Farm’s 2004 NSA leading hurdle horse Sur La Tete, who had been retired three years ago. In the race Sur La Tete (Chris Read) raced slightly off the lead and ran evenly while his stablemate, Humdinger (Matt McCarron) was rated off the pace. When the racing got serious approaching the last fence, Sur La Tete had a narrow lead over It’s A G Man (Jamey Price) and Humdinger. Shortly after they landed it was clear that Neil Morris was going to win the race, but which of his horses was going to be first was in question until the final strides. Humdinger got to the finish first by a neck over Sur La Tete. Rosbrian Farm’s More Fascination (Paddy Young) led in the early stages of the open timber race and stayed within striking distance when Sara Collette’s Genghis (Nick Carter) took over pace setting duties. With a half mile to run More Fascination went to the front with Magalen O. Bryant’s G’Day G’Day (Jeff Murphy) close behind. In the last quarter mile Paddy Young let out a notch and any doubt of the result was quickly put to rest. More Fascination was an easy ninelength winner over G’Day G’Day. Tara Elmore trained the winner. Trainer Doug Fout saddled Al Griffin, Jr.’s Aero in the novice timber race, and he became the circuit’s first two-time winner over timber. Aero stalked Sara Collette’s Thynnus in the early going, galloped to the lead with five fences remaining, and was not hurried when I’m a Hokie went to the front. With two fences remaining Aero took over and steadily improved his advantage to seven lengths at the finish over Northfield Farm, LLC’s Expel (Liam McVicar). Will Russell’s Forest Bell, with regular rider Jeff Murphy up, had the lead most of the first time around the course in the maiden hurdle race. When Jacob’s Little Bro (James Slater) took the lead, Forest Bell assumed a stalking role. He regained the lead with three furlongs to run and won easily. The amateur/novice rider hurdle race was a match race between Alicia Murphy’s Wicklow Bound (Billy Santoro) and Gary Baker’s Marino Feliz (Sam Cockburn). Wicklow Bound went to the front with Marino Feliz in his shadow. The order never changed, and Wicklow Bound won by one length. In the novice flat race Randleston Farm’s White Holiday (Sam Frederickson) ran forwardly in the early going, took the lead with a quarter mile to run and held off F. Bruce Miller’s Lonesome Nun (Keri Brion) by one length.
In the Junior Field Masters Chase, Isabella Eyles timed the release from the field master perfectly and opened an advantage that City Diplomat and Natalie Harpole weren’t able to overcome. Erin Swope had a good showing against the horses with her large pony Jordan, who won their division. Old Dominion Hounds Point-to-Point 4-9-2011 The feature race at the Old Dominion Hounds Point-toPoint near Ben Venue, is the open timber race named after Leeds Don, who won the Virginia Gold Cup three times in the 1960s for ODH MFH David “Zeke” Ferguson. This year’s field on Saturday, April 8, may not have included a Gold Cup winner, but there were two horses, Professor Maxwell and Across The Sky, who were prepping for the Maryland Hunt Cup. Holbrook Hollow Farm’s Across The Sky assumed command in the Leeds Don and made all of the running until he lost his rider with about six furlongs to run. Mrs. George L. Ohrstrom, Jr.’s Professor Maxwell had run second all the way and inherited the lead with Kinross Farm’s Sand Box Rules close behind. Upon landing after the last fence, these two drove to the finish where Sand Box Rules got up to win by ½ length. This was leading trainer Neil Morris’ third win on the card. Horses that he saddled accounted for the co-featured open hurdle race and the maiden hurdle race. In the open hurdle race Matt McCarron sent Bertram Firestone’s Lake Placid to the front shortly after the flag dropped, and he was never headed. Lake Placid pulled away to an easy 4½-length win over last year’s winner, Fantastic Foe. In the maiden hurdle race Noble Stables Last Noble (Jacob Roberts) led throughout the race, outjumping the field at each fence and was an easy 10length winner. In the owner/rider timber race Sam Cockburn sent Scott’s Gold to a commanding early lead. In the final quarter mile George Hundt, Jr. rallied Westbound Road to contend. Less than a length separated them at the last fence where Scott’s Gold lost his rider. Westbound Road galloped home alone at least a furlong ahead of Ken Shreve and Cool Fellow. In the lady rider timber race Gypsy Beads (Diana Gillam) led until the final five furlongs where Lucy Horner took control with Katie’s Prince. George Slater’s Freddie’s Fortune (Molly White) took over second; but was no match for Katie’s Prince. Freddie’s Fortune subsequently fell at the last fence while trailing by more than a furlong. In the first division of the novice rider flat race Beverly Steinmann’s Call You In Ten (Vicky Lawrence) went to the front effortlessly with five furlongs to run and easily held Randy Rouse’s One Sea (Eilidh Grant) and Magalen Bryant’s Manhattan Boy (Sarah Green) safe in the stretch. In the second division Better Be Ready raced far back in the field, took the lead with a quarter mile to run and won easily. Doug Fout and Edward Graham were the winning trainers. James Falk, Sr.’s Daytime (Jeff Murphy) was the front running two-length winner of the Virginia-bred flat race for trainer Simon Hobson. The Junior Field Masters Chase was a duel from the release to the wire between Zoe Valvo on Questioning and Isabella Eyles on Lone Arrow. Questioning proved best by 1½ lengths.
Orange County Junior Field Masters Chase Jordan - 1st, Large Pony winner, Erin Swope up; City Diplomat - 2nd, Junior Horses Division, Natalie Harpole up; Lone Arrow - 1st, Junior Horse Division, Isabella Eyles up.
Orange County Novice Timber Aero - 1st, Jeff Murphy up.
Orange County Maiden Hurdle Jacob’s Little Bro - 3rd, Forest Bell - 1st, Jeff Murphy up.
Loudoun Hunt Point-to-Point 4-17-2011 Entries at the Loudoun Hunt Point-to-Point at Oatlands Plantation near Leesburg have always included a good contingent from Maryland and Pennsylvania. This year on Sunday, April 17, the trend continued and a high percentage of trophies went back north of the Potomac. Continued
Orange County Amateur/Novice Rider Hurdle Wicklow Bound - 1st, Billy Santoro up, Marino Feliz (Chi) - 2nd.
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • JUNE/JULY 2011
Orange County Open Hurdle Race Humdinger - 1st, Matt McCarron up, Sur La Tete - 2nd, It’s A G Man - 3rd.
Orange County Open Timber More Fascination - 1st, Paddy Young up.
Old Dominion Open Hurdle Lake Placid - 1st, Matt McCarron up, Fantastic Foe - 2nd.
Old Dominion Owner/Rider Timber Scott’s Gold (fell), Westbound Road - 1st, George Hundt up.
In the featured William Corcoran Eustis Cup a small three horse field went under starter Graham Alcock’s orders, and Sea Fever Farm’s A Fine Story (Molly White) went to the front when the flag dropped. The other two starters belong to Northwoods Stable and are trained by Regina Welsh, both from Maryland. Battle Op (Chris Read) and Bold Quest (Connor Hankin) were close behind A Fine Story in the early stages. As the field raced to the in and out the first time around, Chris Read sent Battle Op to the front and from that point to the finish the result was never in question. At the finish Battle Op was not ridden out, and the final five-length margin did not indicate his superiority. Maryland connections also claimed the novice timber race as Merriefield Farm’s Foyle won under Charles Fenwick, III. Foyle assumed command at the start but was taken back slightly off the pace as Joseph Henderson, III’s Triple Dip (Paddy Young) made much of the running. Foyle jumped the last with Triple Dip and pulled away to win by six lengths. The winners of the open hurdle race and the foxhunter timber race were also from Maryland. Alicia Murphy trained Michael Wharton’s Grinding Speed to win over hurdles, and Tate Shaw rode Ice Is Nice to his first victory. Jacob Roberts rated Grinding Speed well off the pace, made a move with a half mile to run that put him on top at the three furlong marker and won handily by 10 lengths. In the foxhunters race when Tate Shaw took the lead from Bart Poole and Jeb’s Crowner at the second fence, it was the only change in the running order. Ice Is Nice steadily pulled away to win by at least one furlong. In the two horse owner rider timber race, Cool Fellow (Ken Shreve) set a leisurely pace with Jeffersonton (Matt Hatcher) on his heels. After the last fence, the pace quickened and Cool Fellow could not hold off Jeffersonton, who broke his maiden by four lengths. Pennsylvania’s F. Bruce Miller and his daughter Blythe Miller Davies are best known for their tremendous success with multiple Eclipse Award winner Lonesome Glory, and they were back in action with Dynaskill in the open flat race. When the field entered the stretch, Dynaskill split horses and drew away to win by one length. Randleston Farm’s White Holiday was ridden to victory in the maiden hurdle race by Paddy Young, who also won the Virginia-bred flat race with Celtic Venture Stable’s Rockmani. Young reserved White Holiday off the pace, took command with a quarter mile to run, and romped home alone by nine lengths. In the flat race Rockmani went to the front with less than a mile to run and held Mary Fleming Finlay’s Hey Doctor safe in the stretch to win by 2½ lengths. Natalie Harpole’s City Diplomat held off Zoe Valvo’s Questioning to win the Junior Field Masters Chase. Middleburg Spring Races 4-23-2011 The $50,000 Temple Gwathmey Hurdle Stakes attracted a strong field to Glenwood Park, near Middleburg, on Saturday, April 23, but at the finish one horse stood out above the others. Irvin S. Naylor purchased and imported Decoy Daddy last year, and the Temple Gwathmey was only his fourth American start. He romped home alone in the Noel Laing at Montpelier last November, and while the final margin was not as great at Middleburg his superiority was never in question. Darren Nagle sent him to the front at the start but allowed him to settle behind former Eclipse Award winner, William Pape’s Mixed Up (Danielle Hodsdon) the first time under the wire.
Decoy Daddy regained the lead down the backside and was never seriously challenged. He coasted home by 3½ lengths over Riverdee Stable’s Dictina’s Boy (Paddy Young). The Middleburg Hunt Cup open timber race is Virginia’s most important prep for the Virginia Gold Cup, and at least two of the starters were looking ahead to the first Saturday in May. EMO Stable’s He’s A Conniver won last fall’s International Gold Cup, and Arcadia Stable’s Delta Park (Xavier Aizpuru) won the timber stakes at Shawan Downs. In the race Alicia Murphy’s Major Price (Jacob Roberts) set the pace with He’s A Conniver in his shadow. With two fences to go He’s A Conniver (Jody Petty) assumed control and opened a commanding advantage entering the stretch. Delta Park (Xavier Aizpuru) launched a rally in the final quarter that placed him second but with what seemed an insurmountable amount of ground to make up in the stretch. He came flying and not only caught He’s A Conniver but was drawing away when he crossed the finish in front by 2½ lengths. This was Xavier Aizpuru’s 100th win in the United States. Indian Run Farm’s Swimming River (Jeff Murphy) found the unique fences and circuitous course of the Alfred M. Hunt Steeplechase to his liking. He stalked Perry Bolton’s Scuba Steve (Ross Geraghty) until the final three furlongs where he raced to the front and won going away by 9½ lengths. The Sport of Kings maiden hurdle race went to Michael Wharton’s Grinding Speed, and the maiden claiming hurdle race was won by Bertram Firestone’s Lake Placid. Jacob Roberts took the inside route while saving ground and reserved Grinding Speed off the pace. He rallied in the final quarter of a mile and drew away by 2¼ lengths. Matt McCarron sent Lake Placid to an immediate lead and romped home alone by more than 16 lengths. Neil Morris trained the winner and the runner up, Noble Stable’s Last Noble (Jacob Roberts). NSA leading rider Paddy Young had two winners on the card with horses trained by Tom Voss. His first win was a hard earned score that included a stretch-long duel between Trillium Stable’s Mischief (Paddy Young) and Irvin S. Naylor’s Chess Board (Darren Nagle). Mischief won by a head. In the training flat race The Fields Stable’s Left Unsaid came from off the pace in the final quarter mile to win handily by 1½ lengths. Fairfax Hunt Point-to-Point 4-24-2011 The Fairfax Hunt Point-to-Point was run over the Morven Park race course near Leesburg on Sunday, April 24. The $3,500 purses in the open hurdle and timber races make these races unique on the Virginia Point-to-Point Circuit. The competition for horses at this time of the year is fierce, and these purses helped attract competitive fields for the two featured races. Entries were overflowing for the $2,000 maiden hurdle race and the three flat races. The 15-horse fields in the flat races that made up the daily double resembled cavalry charges. In the open race Bruce Smart’s Irish-bred Bonded (Robbie Walsh) rallied on the outside as the big field turned for home, and he beat Irvin Naylor’s hurdle stakes winner, Tax Ruling (Darren Nagle) to the wire by 2½ lengths. In the maiden race Matt McCarron moved to the inside and rallied to the lead at the head of the stretch on Magalen O. Bryant’s British-bred Enchanted Circle. Jessica Gillam rallied her father’s horse, Jeremy Gillam’s Spinnaker, in the deep stretch but just missed as Enchanted Circle won by a head. Jimmy Day and Neil Morris saddled the respective winners.
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • JUNE/JULY 2011
Old Dominion Lady Rider Timber Race Katie’s Prince (Ire) - 1st, Lucy Horner up.
Old Dominion Maiden Hurdle Race Last Noble - 1st, Jacob Roberts up.
Old Dominion Leeds Don Open Timber Sandbox Rules - 1st, Chris Read up, Freeboard - 3rd.
Old Dominion The Leeds Manor VHBPA Flat Race VA-Bred or sired Daytime - 1st, Jeff Murphy up, Snowbuster - 2nd, Wild Ball, Colonial Kid, Tipastaire, Rockmani - 3rd
When Fairfax MFH, Randy Rouse’s Hishi Soar carried Roddy Mackenzie to a handy win in the maiden hurdle race, it was a very popular win for the home team. Hishi Soar started to rally with a half mile to run, took the lead in the final quarter mile and won handily by 2¼ miles over Augustin Stables’ Auction Watch (Robbie Walsh). The following open hurdle race was run for the Wells Fargo Advisors Guest Cup that was won in 2010 by Mr. Rouse’s One Sea. When One Sea outjumped Celtic Venture Stable’s Zulla Road (Paddy Young) at the second last fence, everyone was thinking that the Guest Cup was not going to change hands. But Zulla Road was looming boldly at the last fence. In the runin from the last fence, he came and got One Sea and won going away by 1¼ lengths. Charlie McCann was the winning trainer. This was, in a sense, both a first and second place win for Fairfax Hunt as recently appointed joint-master Paul Wilson is a member of the Celtic Venture syndicate. Augustin Stables’ Irish-bred Radio Flyer was the pre-race favorite in the Woodlawn Communications Bowl open timber race, and he didn’t disappoint his supporters. Robbie Walsh went to the front at the drop of the flag, and he never relinquished the lead. Mrs. Henry Stern’s Freeboard (Willie Dowling) stalked Radio Flyer for much of the race but with three furlongs to run Radio Flyer started to widen his lead that expanded to 15 lengths at the finish. This was Robbie Walsh’s second win on the card and the first for trainer Richard Valentine. In the finale Debra Kachel’s Love Colony continued his love affair with the Virginia-bred flat races. Paddy Young placed him within striking distance, and he got up in the stretch to catch Jennifer Pitts’ Green Velvet and Willie McCarthy, who led until the final strides. The final margin was a neck. For Paddy Young this race completed a double, and for trainer Ricky Hendriks this was a second straight win at Morven Park with Love Colony. Foxfield Spring Races 4-30-2011 The first “V” that comes to mind when you think about the Foxfield Spring Races is for the thousands of University of Virginia students that swell the crowd, but on Saturday, April 30, that “V” stood for victory and also for the two trainers whose horses dominated the races. Trainers Richard L. Valentine and Thomas H. Voss won four of the five races on the card, and these included the Daniel Van Clief Memorial allowance hurdle race and the Grover Vandevender Memorial maiden timber races. Tom Voss, owner Perry J. Bolton and leading rider
Paddy Young swept the daily double winning the first race, the maiden hurdle race, and the second, the maiden timber race. In the first race Cornhusker (GB) was never far off the pace, took sole possession of the lead approaching the last fence and won in hand by 3½ lengths over Harold A. Via’s Worried Man (Willie Dowling). In the maiden timber race Paddy Young took the lead on Arch Hero with the remainder of the field close behind. With a half mile to run Kinross Farm’s Sur La Tete (Jacob Roberts) moved to Arch Hero. These two raced much of the rest of the race as a team with Arch Hero holding a slight advantage. Both horses made mistakes at the last fence, but Sur La Tete had the worst of it. His blunder robbed him of any chance to win, but he did recover sufficiently to finish second over Al Griffin’s Aero (Jeff Murphy). The final margin was 1½ lengths for the win with Aero another length farther back in third place. Richard Valentine struck first with Mrs. George L. Ohrstrom’s Demonstrative in the featured Daniel Van Clief Memorial. Last year’s champion three-year-old hurdler had a ground saving trip; and when asked by Robbie Walsh, he responded. He made his move from slightly off the pace, joined Cashel Stables’ Ballet Boy (Paddy Young) at the last hurdle and pulled away in the stretch to a handy 1¾ length score. Valentine and Walsh teamed again to win the maiden claiming hurdle race with Augustin Stables’ Five Pines. Five Pines jumped to the lead at the second fence, separated from the field and held off Debra E. Kachel’s fast closing Dance Faster (Paddy Young) whose belated rally fell short by a half length. The filly and mare maiden hurdle race went to Jodi Rauso’s and Lilli Kurtinecz’s Deputy Empress. Under Jacob Roberts Deputy Empress came from behind to duel Kingfisher Farm’s Maya Charli (Xavier Aizpuru) from the last fence to within the shadow of the wire. Deputy Empress pulled away in the final yards to win by 1 length. The co-owner Lilli Kurtinecz was the winning trainer. Middleburg Hunt Point-to-Point May 1, 2011 Former steeplechase rider, Jimmy Day trained the winners of four races at the Middleburg Hunt Point-toPoint at Glenwood Park, near Middleburg, on Sunday, May 1. He started his big day in the first race when Randleston Farm’s Irish-bred So Amazing won the novice rider flat race under Sam Frederickson. Frederickson reserved So Amazing off the pace, but when the field raced down the backside he took command and romped home alone by seven lengths. Continued
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • JUNE/JULY 2011
Virginia Gold Cup Race Bon Caddo - 1st, Blair Waterman Wyatt up.
Virginia Gold Cup $25,000 Hurdle Race Humdinger - 3rd, Cuse - 1st, Gustav Dahl up.
Virginia Gold Cup $30,000 Hurdle Race Baron Von Ruckus, Lake Placid - 1st, Paddy Young up.
Sam Frederickson entered the day with the lead in the novice rider flat division, and this win earned him the championship. His closest competitor, Eilidh Grant, finished third in the race on Ellen Clark’s Final Straw and finished second in the novice rider standings. Day greeted Michael A. Smith’s Bundestag and winning rider Paddy Young in the winner’s circle after the first division of the maiden flat race. Bundestag rallied from off the pace and led through the stretch to win by 1¼ lengths. The other division of the maiden flat race went to Magalen O. Bryant’s Quiet Flaine, who also rallied in the final quarter mile to win by 1¼ lengths for rider Jeff Murphy and trainer Doug Fout. In the following race for maidens over hurdles, Day saddled his third winner. With Paddy Young up Joseph W. Henderson, III’s Pitched Perfectly romped home by nine lengths after making all the running. The Day, Young and Henderson team also won the featured novice timber race with Triple Dip. Young sent Triple Dip to the front at the first fence, repulsed several challenges by Upland Stable’s Relear (Ross Geraghty) the first time around and won by 4½ lengths while finishing in hand. Relear was second. Doug Fout and Jeff Murphy added another win in the restricted maiden hurdle race with Beverly Steinman’s Armstrong Mill, who came from off the pace and got up in the stretch to win by ¾ length over Randleston Farm’s Autumn Riches (Paddy Young/Jimmy Day). The most exciting race on the card was the three horse amateur/novice rider hurdle race. No more than a few lengths separated the field most of the race. When Marino Feliz faded, Indian Run Farm’s Fogcutter (Woods Winants) and Rusty Cline’s Sonic Charm (Kevin Tobin) dueled over the last fence and through the stretch. Fogcutter was narrowly best by ¾ length. At the head of the stretch in the open flat race at least half the field was still in contention with Tee Time Stable’s Brother Sy showing the way. He turned back all challengers and held the lead through the stretch to win by ½ length. This was rider Macaulay Kinnamon’s first win. Virginia Gold Cup Races 5-7-2011 A highly competitive field of six horses started in the LivingSocial Virginia Gold Cup on Saturday, May 7, at the Great Meadow Race Course near The Plains. At the drop of Barry Watson’s flag, Darren Nagle went to the front on Gum Tree Stables’ Uppercut with EMO Stable’s He’s A Conniver (Jody Petty) the first to follow. At the second fence all went well for Uppercut, but the race deteriorated behind him. He’s A Conniver fell, and this triggered a chain reaction. The other runners all reacted to the fallen horse and rider, and Paddy Young on Rosbrian Farm’s More Fascination and Xavier Aizpuru on Arcadia Stable’s Delta
Park could not recover and came off. Blair Wyatt on Merriefield Farm’s Bon Caddo and Robbie Walsh on Augustin Stables’ Radio Flyer survived the mayhem and stayed in pursuit of Uppercut. With one more time to go around the course, Bon Caddo moved closer to the leader and was clearly within striking distance along with Radio Flyer. Wyatt let out a notch on Bon Caddo with three furlongs to run and had Uppercut measured when Uppercut suddenly pulled up approaching the second last fence. Bon Caddo inherited a comfortable lead and easily held off Radio Flyer, who rallied to threaten but could not sustain his bid. Bon Caddo won in hand by 13 lengths and created another interesting chapter in the history of the Virginia Gold Cup. Blair Wyatt is only the fourth lady rider to win the Gold Cup. Michele Hunter (Joe At Six - 2004), Blythe Miller (Make Me A Champ - 2002) and Sanna Neilson (Joe’s O. K. - 1991) were the others. She is also part of the second father and daughter team to win. Her father Randy Waterman won in 1983 on Private Gary. The first were Louis “Paddy” Neilson (Chapel Street - 1975) and Sanna Neilson. Dawn Williams became only the third woman to train a Virginia Gold Cup winner. The others were Donna Truslow Rogers (Private Gary - 1983 and Constantine 1984) and Alicia Murphy (Joe’s O. K. - 1991). In the first race, a Sport of Kings maiden hurdle, Roddy Mackenzie placed Raven’s Choice in a good spot while letting Mrs. Henry Stern’s Peace Fire set the pace under Xavier Aizpuru. When Peace Fire faded, Raven’s Choice took over and won easily by 4½ lengths. Raven’s Choice belongs to the Estate of Cary W. Jackson and is trained by Todd Wyatt, Blair Wyatt’s husband. Last fall at the International Gold Cup Races, Indian Run Farm’s Swimming River finished first in the steeplethon but was disqualified for going off course. This year he fared much better with Jeff Murphy up. He raced slightly off Northwood Stable’s Battle Op (Chris Read) for most of the race. When these two turned for home, Swimming River went to the front, put Battle Op away and easily held off Karen Gray’s Mecklenburg (Gus Dahl) to win by 2½ lengths. The third and fourth races were for allowance level hurdlers. The optional allowance/claiming race was won in front running fashion by Debra E. Kachel’s recently claimed Lake Placid, who won easily by 13 lengths with leading rider Paddy Young up for trainer Ricky Hendriks. The following starter allowance race went to Karen Gray’s Cuse (Gus Dahl), who went to the lead after the first fence and won handily. This was Gus Dahl’s first sanctioned win. The maiden claiming hurdle race went to local connections as Noble Stable’s Last Noble ridden by Matt McCarron and trained by Neil Morris pulled away in the stretch to win in hand by 2½ lengths.
Virginia Gold Cup $10,000 Maiden Hurdle Last Noble - 1st, Matt McCarron up.
Virginia Gold Cup Junior Field Masters Chase Questioning - 1st, Zoe Valvo up.
Virginia Gold Cup Steeplethon Battle Op - 3rd, Swimming River - 1st, Jeff Murphy up, Mecklenburg - 2nd, Wazee Moto - 4th.
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • JUNE/JULY 2011
GEORGE WHITE FENCING AND SUPPLY Installation • Repairs • Fence Painting Portable Barns and Sheds FERNANDO VILLAVICENCIO General Manager
Office: 540-687-5803 Fax: 540-687-3574
Licensed & Insured www.georgewhitefencing.com
Treasure State Hunt Dillon, Montana TSH is offering a fine selection of TB and warmblood foxhunters reasonably priced! The horses have been trained and hunted in Montana's challenging terrain. For more information, please contact Dr. John Xanthopoulos at 406-660-0558 or check the website at: www: j&s sporthorses.com or montanahunterhorses.com
Horse Blanket Cleaning & Repair
Brenda Milne (540) 937-2099 Cel. (703) 609-7200 18691 Springs Road Jeffersonton, VA 22724
TO GET YOUR AD IN THE NEXT ISSUE CALL MARY COX(540) 636-7688 OR HORSE COUNTRY(540) 347-3141
Virginia Horse Properties Middleburg/Upperville area THOMAS & TALBOT REAL ESTATE LAND AND ESTATE AGENTS SINCE 1967
(540) 687-6500 Please see listings: www.thomas-talbot.com E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Janet Hitchen Photography (540) 837-9846 Email: Janeth@crosslink.net
HORSEFARMSANDCOUNTRYHOMES.COM Cindy Polk, 703.966.9480 Realtor specializing in country properties from cottages, land and hobby farms to fine estates and professional equestrian facilities. AMRFP LLC 204 E. Washington St., Middleburg, VA.
A Message From Aga Dear Loyal Readers of Aga’s Sagas,
WARRENTON/CULPEPER AREA - Large 3 bedroom barn apartment with 8 stall horse barn. Granite counters, stainless appliances, great room, den, 2 marble baths, hardwood floors, washer/dryer, 1 car garage, 25 acres pasture, outdoor riding ring $1,850 month. email@example.com, 703-447-0813.
MISCELLANEOUS FOUR ENGLISH HUNT PRINTS - Cherrywood frames. Six porcelain Bavarian hunt scene plates. Vintage English pewter hip flask, never used. (540) 219-1259.
Mimi and Judsen
Please check my web-site for Virginia Hunt, Show, and Race Photos.
Portraits a specialty
I’m sorry to report that my regular column does not appear in this issue. For weeks my duties at the Museum of Hounds & Hunting North America had me working almost ’round the clock, running my little legs off, barking at everyone to hurry, hurry, hurry! There was so much to get done for the Huntsmen’s Room Induction and Members Reception. It was all totally worth it, I’m happy to say. The Mansion at Morven Park was aglow, foxhunting luminaries everywhere, a wonderful time was had by all. But now, to use a Morven Parkism, I’m prostrate with fatigue! Not a speck of energy left to write up my column. (I considered turning it over to Bunsen, but quickly realized that wasn’t a good idea. No telling what he might come up with absent my steady hand to guide him.) But fear not. Aga’s Sagas will appear in its regular spot in the August/September issue. Until then, have a great summer. I’m going to go lie down for a much needed rest!
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • JUNE/JULY 2011
White Horse Farm
Near Charlottesville, Virginia
Estate consisting of 264 acres in Orange County Hunt with mountain views in every direction. Manicured farm with mostly open and gently rolling acreage. Main house was built in 1984 of stone construction with four bedrooms, four full baths, two half baths, an in-law suite and four fireplaces. Improvements include pool, tennis court, 20 stall center aisle stable, office, tack, 2 wash stalls with 1/16 mile indoor track, and 2 bedroom guest house. $10,500,000. Paul MacMahon (703) 609-1905
Prime Albemarle County location, main house circa 1780 in excellent condition, completely updated. 4 bedrooms, 3 1/2 baths, 10 fireplaces with hardwood floors throughout and high ceilings. Improvements include 6 car garage, 8 stall stable, tenant house and sports barn with basketball court, hitting and pitching areas for baseball, bedroom area, full bath & locker room. 278.80 acres fenced & cross fenced, ample water and numerous ponds. $3,800,000. (540) 687-5588 Ann MacMahon Paul MacMahon (703) 609-1905
Understated elegance. Finely appointed 5600+sq.ft. home built in 1997 on 75 acres in a private and secluded setting. Four bedrooms, three baths, two half baths. Ten stall barn built in 2006 by Jim Fletcher; 224 ft. x 128 ft. blue stone ring; excellent horse facility in choice location with excellent rideout. Available by appointment. $2,900,000. Tom Cammack (540) 247-5408
74+/- acres on top of the village, mostly open and rolling with 3 houses and a stone bank barn. The land is in conservation easement and 3 divisions are permitted. This land is adjacent to the Waterford Foundation Parklands, Historic Village of Waterford and Catoctin Creek, and was originally known as the Phillips Family Farm, a founder of Waterford. Waterford is one of three places in the U.S. in which the entire village is designated a National Historic Landmark. $2,500,000. Paul MacMahon (703) 609-1905
Pagebrook East Boyce, Virginia
Attractive French country home on 28 acres along Rokeby Road. Well-designed home for gracious entertaining and first floor living. The large formal living room opens to a covered porch, terrace and gardens overlooking the spring fed pond. The kitchen includes a charming wood burning fireplace and den leading to the indoor heated pool. First floor master suite includes in-home office while 3 additional bedrooms are offered on the second floor allowing great privacy for guests. The tree lined driveway, mature gardens and stunning views to the southwest create a lovely setting. $2,390,000. Helen MacMahon (540) 454-1930
A beautiful country setting on 78+/- acres. Very private. Graceful Arts and Crafts home (ca.1915) at the end of a long drive, high on a gentle hill with wonderful views east to the Blue Ridge. Four bedrooms, four baths, sleeping porches. Har-Tru tennis court, pool, cottage and small barn with three stalls. Strong creek on property. $2,150,000. Tom Cammack (540) 247-5408
35 acres of open pasture in Piedmont Hunt with 3 small ponds and incomparable views of the Blue Ridge and Cobbler Mountains. The entire perimeter is surrounded by original dry stacked stone walls. The immaculate cottage has been expanded, renovated and shows very well. Stunning site permits additional dwelling and farm buildings. Unlimited options. $1,775,000. Helen MacMahon (540) 454-1930
Gorgeous tract of land, 97.88 acres, in the middle of Blue Ridge Hunt territory. Small cottage converted from an original summer kitchen. Additional building site with approved 4 bedroom perc. Open pasture land, pond, small barn and run-in sheds. Fenced for horses and cattle. Land is in conservation easement. $1,100,000. Helen MacMahon (540) 454-1930
The Old Yowell Farm
Little River Lane
1942 home located in a quaint village setting. Main house has a first floor master suite & 2 additional bedrooms. Large wood paneled living room with a wood burning fireplace and French doors leading to the stone terrace and garden area. Additionally there is a charming guest home & 3 stall barn on approx 3 acres in 2 tax parcels. Lovely setting. $885,000. Paul MacMahon (703) 609-1905 Margaret Carroll (540) 454-0650
c1900 classic Virginia farmhouse on 18 acres. Recent addition includes bright open kitchen w family room, master suite & mud room. Great old house charm & original pine floors, front porch, big windows & lots of light. Recorded in 2 parcels w 1 additional DUR. Land is open & fenced for horses, 2 stall barn w/feed/tack room, run-in shed, storage building & workout room. $800,000 Helen MacMahon (540) 454-1930
10 acres in excellent Fauquier County location. Property improved by brick garage with apartment (needs to be finished), septic & well installed, all utilities to building. Winding driveway by two ponds leads to house site. Private yet easy access to Middleburg & The Plains. $599,000. Paul MacMahon (703) 609-1905
Custom built log home, built in 2005, 3BR, 3 1/2BA, 1FP, vaulted ceilings, hardwood floors, exposed logs & beam interior, attached 2 car garage with office above. Elevated lot with mountain views. 8.24 acres, room for horses, private but easy access to Rt.66. $663,000. Paul MacMahon (703) 609-1905
The Plains, Virginia
110 East Washington Street â€˘ P.O. Box 1380 Middleburg, Virginia 20118 (540) 687-5588
The Official Publication of the Virginia Steeplechase Association