On June 18, 2016, the MFHA hound show season officially concluded at the Toronto and North York kennels in Creemore, Ontario, with the host club's English doghound Farquhar '14 earning Grand Champion honors. Judges included Mr. Richard Tyacke, MFH and huntsman of Sir Watkin Williams Wynn Hunt (whose country spans Cheshire, Shropshire, and Wales, United Kingdom) and Dr. Jon Moody, MFH, Mooreland Hunt. Katherine Selby, huntsman at Green Mountain Hounds, enjoyed the opportunity to be an Apprentice Judge.
Grand Champion Toronto and North York Farquhar '14, with huntsman John Harrison, impressed Apprentice Judge Katherine Selby, Dr. Jon Moody, Alice & Richard Tyacke. Denya Massey photo.
Participating packs, all from Ontario, inlcuded Eglinton & Caledon Hunt (Alistair Strachan, Christine Gracey, and Sue Rasmussen, Joint Masters; Colin Brown, huntsman), Hamilton Hunt (Karl Christensen and Richard Christensen, Joint Masters; Richard Christensen, huntsman), London Hunt (Elizabeth Howlett, John McDonald, Charlotte McDonald, Halina Bain, Joint Masters; Paul Wilson, huntsman), Toronto and North York Hunt (Laurel Byrne and Andy Bite, Joint Masters; John Harrison, huntsman), and Wellington Waterloo Hunt (Jock Buchanan-Smith, Paul Sherman, Judith Barr, Joint Masters; Paul Sherman, huntsman).
Eglinton and Caledon Rover '11, with huntsman Colin Brown, was Champion Crossbred Doghound. Denya Massey photo.
Each pack took home at least one first-place ribbon, with the hosts receiving, among other accolades, the Grand Champion Foxhound and Pack nods; Eglinton and Caledon presented the Champion Crossbred Doghound and victorious Two Couple of Bitches; Hamilton Hunt came first in Single Dog, Entered — Novice; London Hunt earned Grand Champion Crossbred Hound; and Wellington Waterloo won the Entered Bitch — Novice class. Perhaps given the Canadian clubs' close ties to England, and their northern terrain, the entrants were nearly all English and Crossbred hounds, with a lone American bitch representing her breed successfully.
Eglington and Caledon presented the winning Two Couple of Bitches - Entered or Unentered; Colin Brown, huntsman. Trophy presented by Mrs. Lynne Kindersley Dole. Denya Massey photo.
Kate Selby, a 2013 graduate of the MFHA's Professional Development Program, provided the following report on her experience as an Apprentice Judge: "The weekend began with a fantastic dinner at the Caledon Trout Club, where everyone immediately made me feel welcome. The show was very organized and well-run, and no one actually melted in the rare-for-Ontario-in-June almost 90 degree heat. It was my first time in the ring, and I had the honor of standing with Mr. Richard Tyacke, MFH and Dr. Jack Moody, MFH.
"We see very few English hounds in the New England region, so it was a treat to see so many. As each class entered, I found myself more easily spotting the subtle differences in the hounds that each of the judges were noting. It was great to hear them evaluating each hound, and particularly when they were not 100% in accord. Then I was able to see the points - good and bad - each made, and find my own choice in my head, then compare that to where they eventually came down. Both gentlemen were generous with their comments, and in asking me questions to develop my skills. I definitely learned to make decisions more quickly as the day wore on!
"I look forward to my next trip north of the border, to see many new friends and experience more great Canadian hospitality, and to watch the hounds I saw in the ring get to do what they do best - hunting!"
The Toronto and North York, founded in 1843, boasts a storied history reflecting the influence of many elements of Toronto society. Like many early packs on this continent, it was first established in connection to the local military garrison. Over time, wealthy businessmen in pursuit of outdoor recreation took the helm, and the kennels were moved repeatedly farther out from the city, while drafts were sought and imported from many excellent packs in Great Britain. This process was augmented through the last 30 years with participation in hound shows and field trials in the U.S. as well as Canada to support improved breeding and performance. Along with Montreal Hunt (see related story here), Toronto and North York represents one of the very oldest organized foxhunting clubs on our continent.
Complete results from the Canadian Foxhound Show are available here.