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Hunting into History: Grand Championship Performance Trials Celebrate Our Sporting Community

More than 50 select hounds representing 24 packs, upwards of 120 horses, and scores of foxhunting supporters from across North America and the UK gathered in Fitzpatrick, AL, for three days of competition and camaraderie over November 5-7. Hosted by Midland Fox Hounds, the Grand Championship Hark Forward Performance Trials echoed historic matches from the past, while affirming our sport's vitality and value in the 21st century.

Going Home: Foxhunting's Universal Appeal

There must be something innately human about our quest to find our roots. We subtly gravitate to the familiar and seek our people, history, culture, our tribe. Most of us wonder why we like the things we like and ponder how we become who we become, especially when there is no practical evidence in the present to support it. Perhaps this is apparent in America more than anywhere, where most of us are displaced from another place with a longer, more romantic past and we wear our heritage like a badge that somehow differentiates us from the rest.

Foxhunters Can Learn by Following Foot Packs

Our May story about the spring basset trials at Aldie, VA, was one of the website's most popular articles this year, and coverage of the bassets and beagles showing alongside foxhounds at Bryn Mawr garnered similar attention on our social media feeds in June. To follow up, we asked foxhunters who are active with both mounted and foot packs to share some of their experiences. Alasdair Storer, huntsman at New Market-Middletown Valley Hounds, Emily Melton, whipper-in at Howard County-Iron Bridge Hounds, and Bennett Barclay, Hermit Hollow Beagles, all in Maryland, offered their insights.

Hardaway's Historic Territory Will Host Championship Performance Trials

We are proud to announce the inaugural North American Grand Championship Performance Trial, being held November 4-7, 2018, in Fitzpatrick, AL. This trial will rival the Great Hound Trial of 1905 and the original Hardaway Trial to take its place in the annals of North American sporting history. We will be hunting the hallowed ground of Fitzpatrick, Alabama, the birthplace of the mounted hunting performance trials. The forerunner of this endeavor began in 1996 as a competition for the Hardaway Crossbreds. Ben Hardaway’s popularity and success in hound breeding made it a great success and set a sound template for competing high performance hounds.

Canine Foster Moms Nurture Orphaned Foxhound Puppies

What started off as a sad situation last spring - Longreen Foxhounds' (TN) Kindle '13 did not survive an emergency cesarean section at the veterinarian's office - developed into an inter-breed, cross-discipline example of canine cooperation. Joint Master and huntsman Susan Walker was prepared to hand-feed the litter if necessary, but knew a nursing foster mother would be the best choice in terms of nutrition and socialization. With the help of the greater dog community, and a varied team of good-natured mamas, eight Penn-Marydel puppies not only survived a difficult start, but are now thriving back at home.

Hillsboro Brighton '12 Demonstrates Superlative Qualities

What are the qualities a huntsman seeks when breeding to improve the pack? Demonstrated drive, great voice, and durable conformation are surely near the top of any list, and several huntsmen have found all these traits in Hillsboro Brighton '12. A recent online discussion of his pedigree and his progeny led us to ask Hillsboro Hounds (TN) huntsman Johnnie Gray and his wife, Leilani, about this exceptional doghound.

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