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Photo by Ed Robisheaux

Editor’s Note: This is the first in an ongoing ecovertside.net series profiling staff members of various North American hunts. Do you have a staff member you’d like profiled? contact katy@covertside.net">katy@covertside.net

Ryan Johnsey was introduced to fox hunting very early in life, born into a horsey family in Northern Virginia.  After whipping in at the Loudoun Hunt for seven years, Johnsey, 26, left a career in corporate America to become Huntsman. Loudoun Hunt is based in Leesburg, Va., where Johnsey is in charge of the 16 ½ couple American and Crossbred hounds.

e-Covertside: How did you become involved in hunting?

Ryan: I grew up around foxhunting, it’s something my family has been doing since the 70′s. It became a major theme in my life after coming home from college…. it snow balled from there!

e-Covertside: What is the major source of motivation for you?

Ryan: My hounds are my biggest inspiration; they motivate me to do so much. After whipping in for about seven seasons or so the huntsman’s position became vacant and with a major vote of confidence provided by our outgoing huntsman I quickly rearranged my life to make hunting and our hound program my number one priority.

e-Covertside: Who has influenced your career?

Ryan: My biggest influences inside the realm of horses and hunting would have to be my family–they really gave me no option but horses. Nancy Dillon for her incredible skill instilling quality horsemanship in me and my “common” pony at a very young age, she and that darn pony made me fearless; and lastly, Larry Poe for building a solid foundation in me and giving me the tools necessary to become a successful fox hunter.

e-Covertside: What goals do you have? What would you like to achieve?

Ryan: My goals as a professional are to be able to successfully hunt and experience all the diverse game that we have here in North America. Boar, bobcat, hare, coyote… Hopefully I’ll be able to touch it all before I hang up my hat.

e-Covertside: What is your favorite band or music?

Ryan: Favorite Band? Well my mind is a sponge for music. Perpetual Groove, David Bowie, Al Green, Phish… the list is endless!

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