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Hound Show Cancellations

All 2020 Hound Shows have been canceled.

A Message from MFHA President Tony Leahy, MFH

Featured Hound: NMMVH Yukon

This month’s featured hound is NMMVH Yukon ’16, owned and bred by New Market-Middletown Valley Hounds, which hunts out of Frederick and Washington counties in Maryland and portions of Berkeley and Jefferson counties in West Virginia. We caught up with NMMVH’s Huntsman, Emily Melton, and Katharine Byron, MFH, to learn more about what makes Yukon so special.

From Hunt Field to Show Ring: Lessons Learned Along the Way

After growing up in the hunt field, many talented riders whose parents were huntsmen or Masters would later gain fame and notoriety in the world of show jumping. One such rider was the legendary Rodney Jenkins, who as a boy whipped-in for his huntsman father throughout Virginia and would eventually become one of the most prominent show jumping riders in the United States in the 1970s and ’80s.

Featured Hound: CKH Hero

This month’s featured hound is CKH Hero from Cedar Knob Hounds, based in Franklin, Tennessee. We caught up with CKH’s Huntsman, Clare Marie Pinney, to learn more about this hard-working Penn-Marydel hound. Pinney has hunted the CKH for three seasons, after previously serving as whipper-in for Albert Menefee III, who founded the pack.

“My grandfather, Bill Pinney, was huntsman of the South Wild Hunt in England, and my father Tim Pinney was a whipper-in at the Fife in Scotland, so you can say I was born into hunt service,” says Pinney. “Hunting is what I live for.”

Pinney completed the MFHA Professional Development Program in 2019, and she also enjoys bringing on young Thoroughbreds for hunting and eventing.

CKH Hero Ainsley SlickerCKH Hero of Cedar Knob Hounds. Ainsley Slicker photo

  1. Which hunt is CKH Hero from? Where was he bred?
    He was bred by Doc Addis and given to Ryan Johnsey at Tennessee Valley Hunt, along with his littermate Heartless. Ryan kept Heartless and gave us Hero. (Although we just got Heartless a few weeks ago, too!)

  2. What can you tell me about his bloodlines?
    He is by Addis Wilbur ’11 out of Addis’ Hershey ’13. Wilbur is by a Claude Sutton dog named Hannum ’08 out of an Addis Bitch named Wishful. Hershey is descended from the Kimberton and Longreen lines through Justin ’10 (Kimberton) and Yahtzee ’06. We had a brother to Hannum named Hitchcock whom we thought a lot of, and Susan Walker loves the Yahtzee line, so the genetics were there.

  3. What makes him a suitable hound for your hunt's territory?
    He has good feet, a lovely shoulder, and good hindquarters. A hound has to have good conformation to last in our country.

  4. What makes him a good hunting hound?
    He never gives up. He has tremendous try.

    CKH Hero Courtesy of Claire Marie PinneyCKH Hero (pictured left, looking away) out hunting with the Cedar Knob Hounds and Huntsman Clare Marie Pinney. Photo courtesy Cedar Knob Hounds.

  5. Can you tell me about his showing history?
    He won the Kimberton Hound Show stallion class in 2018. He was fourth at the Virginia Hound Show in 2019 in the stallion class, and the stallion hound with get class with his sons Timber and Ticket.

  6. Do you know what the judges said about him — why they liked him so much?
    He has good conformation and a great way of going. He is also a ham and shows well. He loves an audience!

  7. Does he tend to stamp his puppies with a certain quality? You mentioned he's had two litters.
    His puppies are workmanlike and easy to handle. They have his temperament. The entered hounds have shown good drive and tremendous nose and voice.

  8. What's his personality like?
    He is the biggest ham on the planet. He loves people. He’s very workmanlike and enjoys hunting tremendously. He’s a trusting and loving hound. He also can jump for a biscuit with style!

  9. Does he have a specific hunting style?
    He always draws well. If someone else finds he will be over in a flash to check out the find. If he opens­it’s a good line!

  10. You've mentioned in a previous Covertside article that the voices are what hold the Penn-Marydel hounds together. Do you find that Hero is a good example of this?
    Hero has a deep booming voice. He stamps his pups with this. Both dogs and bitches sound like him. I have a hard time telling him and his sons Timber and Ticket apart on a run.Want to learn more about Penn-Marydels? Check out “Penn-Marydels Demystified” in the Summer 2015 issue of Covertside or “Southern Migration” in the Winter 2018 issue. 

Warrior Hunt Horse

The grass was just turning green and leaves on the maple trees in the forest were unfurling on a fine spring day in southern Ontario. The Eglinton Caledon Hounds were riding in Mono that morning, twenty or more riders enjoying the sunshine and the beautiful Niagara Escarpment scenery.

5e71180fa87ff DSC2896 1Karin McDonald photo

I was riding Russian Hand, my new ‘Off the Track’ thoroughbred warrior racehorse. He had raced till the end of his 10th year and was looking for a home the next day. He arrived at my farm for a $75 delivery fee. The only information I was given when he arrived was that he would eat anything; even a roast beef sandwich. I had ridden him hacking, on trails, in the ring, and had taken him hunting a few times. We were getting to know each other a bit better every time we went out. He had behaved beautifully on every occasion. Nothing spooked him and he was very careful to keep his distance from other horses.

On that fine morning we were riding in the second field. I was content to be in the second group, bypassing all the jumps and travelling at a more manageable speed. The hounds and the huntsman were up front when the hounds suddenly hit on the scent of a coyote. Off they went, streaming along as fast as they could go with their voices rising up in the air and the huntsman’s horn sounding as well, urging them on even faster. The first field took off galloping quickly behind the huntsman, crossing a hayfield, galloping down a laneway, and then pulling up on the road at the forest edge. They waited there to see in which direction the hounds would be travelling.

The second field cantered on as well, my horse and I at the tail end of this group. Suddenly, between one stride and the next, we went from a controlled canter to a racing gallop, my horse intent on passing the entire second field. ‘Look out, I’m coming past and I can’t stop’ I yelled. Everyone turned their heads to watch the spectacle of me galloping on past them, just like we were in a race. As we passed the field master I thought ‘Well, I survived that’, thinking my horse would then pull up. But no, we kept galloping towards the first field. I hauled back heavily on the reins, yelling ‘Whoa!’ but he just tucked his head right to his chest and galloped on.

The first field riders were now watching us with interest at the edge of the road, just past the stone entrance gates to the driveway. Russian Hand galloped out of the hayfield and down the driveway as if he was running in the Queen’s Plate. As soon as he crossed the entrance gates he stopped; between one stride and the next. Suddenly the race was over. Unfortunately, I did not stop at the same time as my horse, but sailed through the air like Superman, landing flat on my back at the end of the driveway. I was looking up at the faces of the first field riders, who looked a little surprised to see me suddenly lying on the ground right in front of them.

As I struggled up from the ground, brushing myself off and contemplating how sore I would be tomorrow, I heard someone say ‘Honey, you’ve GOT to get more brakes for that horse!’ I decided that my horse would now be known as Rush, and that I indeed needed far more ‘brakes’ for that horse. I later learned out my thoroughbred was well known as a ‘come from behind’ racehorse, who was in the money 27 out of 30 consecutive starts. That would have been far more important information for me to have, rather than the info about the roast beef sandwiches!

My daughter eventually took over the ride on him and whipped in with him. He remained a well-mannered, fire-breathing dragon of a hunt horse till the end of his days!

5e71180faddf6 DSC3078 1Karin McDonald photo

Rita Mae Brown: On Horsemanship, The English Language, and Saddlebreds

Rita Mae Brown made her name as a New York Times bestselling author and Emmy-nominated screenplay writer. In the equestrian world, it’s hard to say whether she better known for her series of mystery novels set in the foxhunting community or her charismatic nature and authenticity in the field as Master of Foxhounds and Huntsman for Oak Ridge Fox Hunt Club in Charlottesville, Virginia. She grew up with a deep love for animals and is enamored with the magic of language.

Rita Mae Brown Theresa Marshall Gilbert 2 1Rita Mae Brown Theresa Marshall Gilbert photo

In this extended Q&A selected from Covertside’s interview with her, “The Plot Will Take Care of Itself,” she compares and contrasts the history of horsemanship, writing, and the English language to our modern understanding of all three, and celebrate the Saddlebred as a tremendous athlete in the hunt field. Read more of Covertside’s interview in the upcoming Summer 2020 issue.

On Modern Horsemanship
Rita Mae Brown: There are very few horsemen anymore. When I was young, most everyone knew horses. Even if you lived in the city, you knew the country and could get to it. There weren’t as many distractions. Now it’s 24 hours a day of distractions. We have riders now; we have very good riders, but we don’t necessarily have horseman the way I remember. That’s been one of the biggest changes throughout my lifetime. You’ve got to have a field master who can tell if someone’s horse is tying up and can help, for example, because the rider could potentially be hurt if their horse is lagging and can’t tell what’s happening. People don’t know country ways and animals the way they used to, and that makes it hard to truly know horses.

On Writing and the English Language
Sometimes I sit and look at English and think, “Well, as a language it really isn’t that precise, but it can be.” I mean, there are fewer and fewer people who even know about the subjunctive anymore. I’d tell them to pick up Chaucer and read it in middle English. The rhythm is extraordinary. That’s really when our language solidified. Before that, English was still various different dialects. It’s made of two completely different primary languages that were melded into one language. It was basically from the year 1066 until the end of the 14th century before we finally got it. Some people spend their whole lives writing and they don’t understand what English is. I think it’s the greatest gift we could have been given.

On Saddlebreds in the Huntfield
I have a couple Saddlebreds and people don’t even realize they’re Saddlebred. They’re fabulous athletes and you can hunt them on the buckle. They have great mouths. I have a friend at Kalarama Farm who sends me the ones who aren’t flashy enough for the show ring but are tremendous athletes. They are some of my favorite horses to ride.

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