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Seminar Strategies for Opening Territory

"You can have the most talented huntsman, the keenest pack of foxhounds, and the most supportive membership, but without land - you do not have a hunt." With this observation about the critical role of country, Ginny Perrin, MFH Deep Run Hunt (VA), introduced the Biennial Seminar session “Opening New Territory - Making the Most of a Finite Resource.” Panelists included Sean Cully, MFH, Rose Tree-Blue Mountain Hunt (PA), Ken George, huntsman at Midland Fox Hounds (GA), and David Moyes, president and ex-MFH Loudoun Fairfax Hunt (VA). All three shared detailed strategies incorporating planning, persistence, and attention to detail in obtaining landowner support.

Summer Hound Exercise Lays the Foundation for the Season Ahead

Hound exercise or roading? Both these terms can be used to explain the early season activity, but I prefer hound exercise because that is exactly what it is. I often refer to the 8th Duke of Beaufort’s book written on hunting for the Beaufort Library. The beginning of one chapter advises that to learn about hunting, “Find a Huntsman of note and use All your powers of observation to see what he does, then use All your powers of intelligence to reason why he does them.” With this in mind, I will take a look over a couple of articles at how hunts conduct various aspects of our sport and note the changes that have taken place over the last few decades. These will be my own observations, and readers may reason why their hunt operates in a particular way that best suits them.

Hound Breed Conformation Clinic Draws a Crowd at Mount Vernon

For many Biennial Seminar attendees, the most memorable event of a fantastic weekend was Saturday afternoon's presentation, "Different Hound Breeds and Their Conformation: Which Breed is Right for You?" Featuring two couples each of English, American, Crossbred, and Penn-Marydel hounds, the magnificent display of handsome hounds and staff in full kit drew a large audience of curious tourists as well as a rapt crowd of foxhunters. An historic interpreter portraying Washington's personal secretary introduced the program with entertaining and accurate details about the first president's own pack and their place at Mount Vernon.

Red Mountain Hounds Host Obstacle Course Challenge

On Saturday, June 9, Red Mountain Hounds (NC) hosted an Obstacle Course Challenge fundraiser - and challenging it was! Obstacles included several Tractor Tires, a Tunnel, Bridges of multiple descriptions, Pool Noodles in various configurations, a pit full of crunchy water bottles, and some plastic barrels that had been fashioned into a sled that more closely resembles something that the Flintstones drove around.

Professional Development Program Class Hits the Ground Running

Memorial Day weekend and the Virginia Foxhound Show marked the beginning of a year of education for the MFHA's 2018-2019 Professional Development Program. Under the guidance of Andrew Barclay, the geographically diverse participants were invited to apprentice judge at Morven Park, to tour area kennels, and to get the know the MFHA office and website. Covertside Online will follow the class through the year as they share their new experiences. This month, we asked Clare Marie Pinney of Cedar Knob Hounds (TN), to answer a few questions about her busy initial weekend.

Amwell Valley Hosts New Jersey Inter-Hunt Puppy Show

On April 22, Amwell Valley Hounds (NJ) hosted the New Jersey Inter-Hunt Puppy Show, with entries from New Jersey packs Essex Fox Hounds, Monmouth County Hunt, Spring Valley Hounds, and Windy Hollow Hunt (NY). Graham Buston, Blue Ridge Hunt (VA) huntsman, served as judge. The show has run since 1979 and the participating hunts rotate hosting the competition from year to year. Sixteen classes were pinned, including the Junior Handler division in which a four-year-old earned top honors with Windy Hollow's Farmington Brixton '12.

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