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Hound Show Cancellations

All 2020 Hound Shows have been canceled.

A Message from MFHA President Tony Leahy, MFH

When the winter winds come howling, there’s nothing more relaxing than escaping the frigid temperatures outside and curling up in your favorite armchair with a good book. If you’re like most of us, maybe you’re a bit tuckered out from a long hunt. You’ve probably got a terrier or two tucked snuggled close, or even an old, retired hound to keep you company. Relax, pour yourself a cup of your favorite tea (or glass of wine…), and check out some of these beloved hunting books.

If you’re new to hunting…

Riding to Hounds in America

Riding to Hounds in America: An Introduction for Foxhunters by William Wadsworth, MFH

A necessity for anyone who’s planning to hunt! It covers all the etiquette, traditions, rules, guidelines, and anything you ever wanted to know about the sport. It also features a helpful glossary, which is especially useful to riders who might be unfamiliar with seemingly bizarre terms like, “larking” or “tally ho.” The book is refreshingly short, under 50 pages, but still a valuable resource worth sharing with new members.

 

If you love mysteries…

Outfoxed

Outfoxed, by Rita Mae Brown

Award-winning author Rita Mae Brown’s “Sister Jane” series is probably one of the most beloved collections of foxhunting fiction from the past 15 years. “Outfoxed” is the first book of the series and delves deep into the world of Virginia foxhunting. It’s entertaining, colorful, and cleverly written—Brown herself is a master and huntsman at Oak Ridge Hunt Club in central Virginia, so the hunting details are satisfyingly accurate.

If you love biographies…

Memoirs of a Foxhunting Man

Memoirs of a Fox-hunting Man, by Siegfried Sassoon

The first of three books in Siegfried Sassoon’s trilogy, “The Complete Memoirs of George Sherston,” delivers an endearing first-hand account of what it was like living in the English countryside during the late 1800s/early 1900s. A young man, fond of playing cricket and foxhunting, finds his world forever changed by the approaching World War I. Though the story is fictionalized, it closely mirrors Sassoon’s own life. It’s beautifully written, quite entertaining, and was dubbed an instant classic of English literature, no surprise considering Sassoon’s claim to fame before this book’s publication was his brilliant poetry.

If you’re a history buff…

The History of Hunting

If the idea of strolling through a used bookstore devoted entirely to foxhunting books sounds heavenly, then you’ll want to check out Horse Books Plus. The website has an incredible selection (more than 300 books!) which feature books about the history of hunting and hounds, long-forgotten stories from famous huntsmen, and even first edition and signed copies of well-loved favorites. Good luck finding just one book you’ll want to read!

If you love adventures…

The Silver Horn

The Silver Horn, by Gordon Grand

Touted as one of the best fictional foxhunting books, Gordon Grand (who hunted with Millbrook Hunt in New York) shares fourteen intriguing tales from the hunt field. Truly, it’s one of the best American sporting novels. “It's one you will want to read, re-read, and pass down to friends and family,” says one reviewer. Challenge accepted!

Bonus read: Check out one of Grand’s other collection of foxhunting tales, “A Horse for Christmas Morning,” which highlight adventures starring several of his most well-known characters.

If you’re a child…

Cinnabar

Cinnabar, the One O’Clock Fox, by Marguerite Henry

…or just a child at heart! Marguerite Henry’s classic tale features a mischievous fox who gives George Washington a run for his money in the hunt field. Henry’s other beloved childhood favorites, such as “Misty of Chincoteague,” often overshadow this delightful book, but it’s worth finding and sharing with your favorite young rider (or add it to your own collection!). Acclaimed artist Wesley Dennis, who worked with Henry on 16 books, once again showed off his delightful illustrations in this charming little novel.

Bonus read: If naughty Shetland ponies, partnered with their plucky plump young riders, are your cup of tea, then you’ll need to add any of Norman Thelwell’s books to your collection. “Pony Calvacade” is a good choice because it’s basically three books in one!  

If you love British humor…

In the Pink

In the Pink, by Molly Watson

If you’re fond of cheeky British fiction (think Jilly Cooper…), you might enjoy Molly Watson’s “In the Pink.” Set in diary form, it’s a bit like “Bridget Jones in the Hunt Field.” An entertaining story of two young women who leave their cushy city lives to move to the countryside and find out it’s not at all what they’d imagined. “A fun, fizzy canter through the rural calendar that sees both girls leave their London jobs, join a hunt, and swap floaty sundresses for hacking jackets,” writes one reviewer.

If you love art…

Paul Brown Book

Paul Brown: Master of Equine Art by M.L. Biscotti

Paul Brown was one of the most revered American equestrian artists of the past century. His paintings and drawings of foxhunters, polo ponies, steeplechasers, hunter/jumpers, and children’s ponies have been treasured amongst art collectors. He was one of the few equine artists who could truly capture the personalities of his subjects in his pieces, while still portraying incredibly accurate representations of the horses. Though his biography is regretfully short on illustrations, it’s still a fascinating look into his life.

Also, the National Sporting Library in Middleburg, Virginia, will have their exhibition about Paul Brown open through February 2. If you’re in the area, you won’t want to miss it! More info here.

If you live near Middleburg, Virginia…

And speaking of the National Sporting Library, if you haven’t had a chance to visit this amazing world-class establishment and explore all they have to offer, you need to add it to your bucket list. It houses some of the most incredible collections of sporting publications (including ones that are incredibly rare), so it’s always a treat to visit and take a tour.

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