Gone Away With the Wind and Belle Meade Hunt

belle meade july 13Barbara Smith photoThere are perhaps six or seven American hunts that I might compare to the seven mountain peaks that world-class mountain climbers aspire to conquer. These hunts share a reputation for big fences or very fast chases behind coyote, or a hunting style that is demanding and requires a certain level of excellent horsemanship as well as athletic, fit horses. I would put Green Spring Valley Hunt and Elkridge–Harford Hunt of Maryland, Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Hounds in Pennsylvania, Piedmont Fox Hounds in Virginia with its big stone walls, as well as Lynn Lloyd’s Red Rock Hounds in Nevada in this group. And, without a doubt, I think the Belle Meade Hunt in Georgia now goes to the top of my list.

Professional Development Program Hits the Road

WoodbrookWoodbrook Hunt Club hosted a great educational weekend put on by Col. Dennis Foster, Executive Director and author of “Whipper In”; Andrew Barclay, a 27-year professional huntsman and author of “Letters to a Young Huntsman” and Tony Leahy, MFH and huntsman of his own hunt. Leahy and Barclay run the Professional  Development Program for the MFHA Foundation. The purpose of the seminar was to see if the MFHA can go out to individual hunts and help them in any way. We can report they are up to the task and was a wonderful experience for all, from the youngest pony clubber to the most experienced staff!

The Myopia Joint Meet; A Hunt Report in Rhyme

Myopia Ht Meet Bruce Corwin April13We arrived at the barn of Copper Beech farm
My wife turned her head, looked over and said:
“Today’s the joint meet, and they have to look neat.”
So joining our forces, we washed both the horses.

“His shoe looks quite loose”, to Susan said Bruce, upon inspecting the gray.
“My sport horse from Ireland, must ride as we had planned, and all without further delay.”

Tryon Hounds Breaks Ground on New Home for Huntsman

Tryon Hounds GroundbreakingThe Tryon Hounds broke ground on Saturday, March 16 on a new residence for their Huntsman. The new home will be constructed on the Tryon Hounds’ property located off of Little Mountain Road in Columbus, NC.

The ranch styled home will feature three bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, kitchen, family room, sun room and garage.
“One of the most significant benefits when hiring a qualified huntsman is the housing package”, commented Bonnie Lingerfelt, Joint Master for the Tryon Hounds. “We have been fortunate to have Jordan Hicks as our huntsman for the past six years. This new residence will make a wonderful home for Jordan and his wife Jennifer and their daughter McKinsey”, added Lingerfelt.

Sandy, Schmandy, We're Hunting Together Anyway

Smithtown after Hurricane SandyPhoto by Cathleen A. SpringerSuper Storm Sandy did her utmost to thwart the charity ride sponsored by HorseAbility and Smithtown, but Sandy didn’t reckon with the tenacity of the Smithtown Hunt members and friends. Weeks of chain saw, bush hog and back breaking manual labor organized by John Rooney converted a wasteland back to ride-able trails on the campus of SUNY Old Westbury. 22 members and 17 cappers thoroughly enjoyed the mild temperatures on December 12, 2012.

Prior to the first cast, Frank D. Bradford and Bernadette McHugh of the NSHA Rough Riders, posted the colors for the singing of the National Anthem by Guy Yuhas. Then, 10 1/2 couple hounds were singing themselves silly through the beautiful President’s Field and on restored paths through the tree carnage. An abundance of caution guided MFH’s Kevin Maple and Arthur Gerdts as newly cleared trails were negotiated by both the seasoned and novice foxhunters behind a cracking good pack cheered on by Huntsman, Brian Quinn ably assisted by Whippers-in Craig Boehner and Christine Toner. Sadly, not all riders and horses kept company throughout the day, but all were restored to optimum condition as of this writing.

New Unofficial Record Set for Hunting Aside

Meath Side Saddle Hunt smallOn Saturday, February 19th, a new unofficial record was set for the number of side saddle riders out hunting, as well as for the number of side saddle riders from different countries. Fifty ladies, ranging in age from 9-70, from the USA, UK, Ireland, France, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Italy, and Israel attended the second annual Irish Side Saddle day, hosted by the Meath Foxhounds in County Meath, Ireland, about an hour north of Dublin, and contested the ditches & banks for which the east coast of Ireland is famous.

For excellent photos detailing the thrills and spills of this incredible weekend, visit www.middleburgphoto.com


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