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National Beagle Club's Institute Farm at Aldie is Worth the Trip from Anywhere

Many foxhunters grew up following beagles or bassets, but as increasing numbers come to our sport from suburban or equestrian-only backgrounds, it is important to maintain the close connection between mounted and footpacks. We share appreciation for determined hounds, challenging quarry, devoted staff, pre- and post-hunt camaraderie, and the unspoiled natural landscape. The Institute Farm in Aldie, Virginia - the 500-acre home of the National Beagle Club's headquarters - has been maintained for over a century to promote all of these values. 

"Sounds Like a Symphony:" Middleton Place Hounds Build on a Good Thing

Just a short drive from Charleston, South Carolina's colorful downtown, Middleton Place Hounds offer sport across several thousand acres of inviting country. Named for one of the nearby historic plantations open to visitors, Middleton Place combines foxhunting traditions with 21st century fun - all centered around expert huntsman Willie Dunne's happy, hard-hunting pack. A full schedule of social events, trail rides and hunter paces, plus enthusiastic car and foot followers provides year-round opportunities for everyone to participate.

Hardaway Trophy Carries Special Significance This Year

The Benjamin H. Hardaway III Perpetual Cup is awarded annually at the Virginia Foxhound Show to the winner of the Performance Hound Class. Given in 2000 by Edgar S. "Epp" Wilson, MFH, Belle Meade Hunt (GA), this year will mark the trophy's first presentation since Mr. Hardaway passed away last October. We asked Wilson to share the trophy's origins. - Ed.

Well, it is very symbolic. It came about both over a period of years - and very suddenly. Let’s lay the groundwork. There were three MFH/huntsmen who influenced me a whole lot.

An Old Hound Dog

Living as far away from town, as we call it, was not really something I aspired to do but there I stood in a wooded neighborhood with ten other houses. Every house in that small neighborhood had multiple acres. Our lot alone could have had somewhere around 5 to 15 houses on it if it were where I came from in the suburbs of Chesterfield County. Suffering from reoccurring migraines I found the quiet of country living conducive to the type of environment needed to endure the immense pain and suffering involved with these frequent headaches. That was our motive for moving so far from our home and our life as we had known it for so long.

Loudoun Fairfax's Foxhound Retirement Program Matches Hounds and Homes

Like a level pack working together to follow the line, a cooperative group of staff and members at Loudoun Fairfax Hunt (VA) has grown the Foxhound Retirement Program into a successful strategy for rehoming hounds. At last count, more than 40 hounds - those whose hunting days have ended, and others who never showed promise in the field - have successfully transitioned to couch potato lifestyles, through the expert evaluation, care, and placement offered by a dedicated supporting team.

Santa Ynez Valley Puppies Star in Modified Midweek Meets

In January, we shared Red Rock Hounds' (NV) tradition of Senior Sundays, when retired hounds offer a slower day in the field. At Santa Ynez Valley Hounds (CA), the breeding schedule allows puppies to start walking out toward the end of hunt season, and members are invited to join them for relaxed midweek exercise. Joint Master Bonnie Hayden calls it a perfect opportunity for those with young or old horses, and anyone who wants to learn the future entry.

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