Brian Kiely, 36, has returned Stateside to hunt the hounds of the Myopia Hunt in South Hamilton, Ma. The Dodge Ram driving Irishman from Tremore, County Waterford is a fan of many genres of music, from traditional Irish music to Kings of Leon and Johnny Cash. It all depends on the day!
e-Covertside: You accepted the job with Myopia early this year, but you have a wealth of previous experience. Where did you get your start?
Brian: A friend of mine in school had an uncle with a pack of hounds and I really go into it. I started with the Knockeen Harriers and the Waterford Beagles. When it came time to finish school and get a job, I loved hunting and stayed at it, whipping in for Island and Waterford foxhounds packs. I spent seven years when I originally came to the States, first as Whipper in for the Piedmont Foxhounds, then became Huntsman at Los Altos, then Rolling Rock before going back to Ireland for two seasons as Huntsman for Laios Foxhounds. The late Don Little rang me and I’ve been in Massachusetts eight weeks now.
e-Covertside: What are three things you never hunt without?
Brian (laughing): I’ve been thinking about this question! I definitely always have my knife on me. And a hound whip.
e-Covertside: How many hounds will you be hunting with Myopia and what is their breeding?
Brian: We have 15 ½ couple, a bit heavy on the crossbreds at the moment, but I’d like to bring in some more American Foxhounds. When I was at Rolling Rock, we got some hounds from Keswick and they blew my mind!
e-Covertside: What are you goals in this new endeavor?
Brian: I want to create a proper pack of hounds. Myopia has always been a drag hunt and a lot of people scoff at drag hunts, but it’s not easy to put hounds right. Whatever you hunt, be it fox, rabbit, coyote, whatever, you must do it properly. I want it so people can’t tell the difference between drag and live. So if you come up from Virginia, you can’t tell the difference!
e-Covertside: What struck you most about Myopia and made you decide to come back to the US?
Brian: There is a lot to Myopia in addition to the hunting. It is a really solid community and the Masters, Ted Mehm and Kim Cutler, are extremely supportive. Don Little’s death was a huge loss to the club, but everyone is working hard to grow and continue onward. I really like the people here. They are warm, genuine, open folks with no hidden agenda. I have been treated extremely well and am very grateful.
e-Covertside: What, so far, has been your most memorable moment hunting?
Brian: My most memorable moment was with a joint meet with Rolling Rock and Keswick. My hounds hunted a fox non-stop for two and a half hours my through the best of the Rolling Rock country; Will Burkland, Fritz Teroder, MFH, Tony Gammell and myself finished the hunt.