Deep Run Hunt suffered an unthinkable blow on the evening of April 8 when lightning struck the kennel building in Cumberland County, VA. As the structure became engulfed in flames, huntsman John Harrison reacted heroically, using a tractor bucket to pull down a wall and enable all but three puppies to escape. In the immediate aftermath, the foxhunting community rallied to help: hounds were taken in temporarily by Middleburg Hunt and Blue Ridge Hunt, and many people donated funds and effort to assist.
Deep Run hounds representing foxhunting on the grounds of the Virginia State Capital earlier this year.
"Deep Run is moving forward," Master Ginny Perrin said this week. "Our hounds have returned from Middleburg and Blue Ridge. They are being kenneled in a barn about a mile down the road and are walked back and forth every day to the grass yards." Spring puppies had thankfully gone out on walk before the fire and are continuing their summer socialization with local families.
Perrin continued, "The demolition of the burned kennel is complete. Nothing was salvageable except the iron entry gates and the concrete floor. We are in the final stage of completing drawings with an architect for the new kennel. We hope to begin building in the next month."
At last January's MFHA Annual Meeting, Deep Run received the Hunting Habitat Conservation Award for their efforts preserving open space.
Regarding the contributions that Deep Run has received, she noted both their practical and emotional value. "As heartbreaking as this experience has been, we have been very moved by the outpouring of generosity, concern, and support by the hunting community. We have a challenge ahead of us. We not only need to rebuild the kennel, but replace the contents that were lost. We lost everything from staff hunt clothing to GPS collars. Our insurance only partially covers the loss. We truly appreciate the contributions that we have already received."
Donations may be sent to Deep Run Hunt Club, P.O.Box 314, Manakin Sabot, Va. 23103. Please note "Kennel Rebuilding Fund" with your contribution.