Nearly 40 hunts presented hounds at the 69th edition of Virginia Foxhound Club's annual show on Sunday, May 29, at historic Morven Park in Leesburg, Virginia. Competitors enjoyed a clear, if humid, day in the rings beneath the canopy of mature trees, surrounded by lavish tailgating displays. Midland Striker '15 (Midland Rocket '11 x Staffordshire Moorland Stunning '11), already champion earlier this spring at the Southern Hound Show, received the William W. Brainard, Jr., Perpetual Cup for Grand Champion Foxhound.
Grand Champion Foxhound, Midland Striker '15, with three generations of Lamptons at Morven Park. Photo by Liz Callar.
The Virginia Foxhound Club announced a new, long-term lease to keep the show at Morven Park into the future. Much-needed work had been completed in the kennel pavilion, and new boards for the rings had been constructed. A busy schedule of events filled the whole weekend: Saturday morning, Marty Wood, MFH, Live Oak Hounds (FL) gave an expert seminar about hound judging to a rapt, capacity audience. The Museum of Hounds and Hunting, North America hosted an exhibit and sale of photographs of fox kits and foxhound puppies, followed by an outdoor reception behind the mansion. Virginia Foxhound Club members enjoyed dinner beneath a tent on the rolling lawn in front of Morven Park, and all were entertained by the National Horn Blowing Competition in the evening.
MFHA President Dr. John van Nagell & Executive Director of Morven Park, Stephanie Kenyon. Photo by Liz Callar.
Judges included Marion Thorne, MFH, Genesee Valley (NY), American Foxhounds; Daphne Wood, MFH, Live Oak Hounds (FL) and Orrin Ingram, MFH, Hillsboro Hounds (TN), Crossbred Foxhounds (under 35 couple); Dennis Foster, ex-MFH, Crossbred Hounds (over 35 couple); A.D. Osbourne, MFH, Cottesmore Hunt (UK), English Foxhounds; Scott Dove, MFH, Old Dominion Hounds (VA) and Larry Pitts, ex-huntsman, Potomac Hunt (MD), Penn-Marydel Foxhounds; Frederick Barry, MFH, Sedgefield Hunt (NC), Performance Trial Hounds; and John W.D. McDonald, MFH, London Hunt (Canada), Grand Champion Foxhound.
Loudoun-Fairfax huntsman, Andy Bozdan, always a keen, but gracious competitor. Photo by Joanne Maisano.
Jean Roberts, ex-MFH, New Market-Middletown Valley Hounds (MD), K.T. Adkins, MFH, Warrenton Hunt (VA), Jeff Blue, MFH, Middleburg Hunt (VA), and his joint-Master, Penny Denegre, judged the burgeoning Junior Handler classes.
The show again enjoyed a festive atmosphere, with vendors selling wares ranging from bespoke hunting tours in the United Kingdom to custom braided hunt whips to foxy home accessories, hunt clubs amiably vying for best-tented tailgate spreads, and children and hunt staff huffing and puffing to get hounds back and forth from the kennel area in time. The Junior Handler Classes were so popular that they were split a second time by age group.
Show Secretary Stuart Sanders and her husband, Mark Tavares, along with some of the magnificent trophies. Photo by M. Drum
Following the day's judging in the four rings, the attention shifted to the vast lawn for the pack classes, champion Performance Trials Hound and Grand Champion Foxhound awards. The Virginia Foxhound Club Perpetual Trophy for best Penn-Marydel pack went to Tennessee Valley Hunt, with the Benjamin H. Hardaway, III, Perpetual Cup for Best Sanctioned Performance Trial Hound (given in 2000 by Epp Wilson, MFH, Belle Meade Hunt (GA) going to Hillsboro Brighton '12 (North Cotswald Bodmin '10 x their Breezy '07).
Complete results are available online here.