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Greg Thompson 2014Justin Smith photoGreg Thompson is a man who is not afraid to try new things. He took up surfing last year, just a few years after he began hunting professionally. Thompson grew up riding ponies and working with coon hounds and beagles, but was too much of a cowboy to want to try foxhunting. In spite of the fact that his grandfather, Bob Thompson, hunted with Cheshire in Pennsylvania, Greg didn’t actually participate in a fox hunt until 2010. Now hunting encompasses his world and he is a 2012 graduate of the MFHA Professional Development Program and currently in his fourth season hunting the hounds of Wicomico Hunt on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

e-Covertside: How did you become involved with hunting?
Greg: My grandfather used to hunt with several local hunts in Pennsylvania, as well as having his own hounds. I grew up with coon hounds and beagles of my own, so I have always had an interest in hunting with hounds and dogs. My wife's family has been involved with this hunt for years and that's how I got here.

Four Star Whipper In

Steph BoyerDiana Rowland photoJust five years ago, Stephanie Boyer was preparing her horse Macloud to run the Rolex Kentucky CCI****, one of only six worldwide CCI**** three day events and the only four star held in North America. She had worked for multiple Olympic medalist Philip Dutton, Pan American Games medalist Buck Davidson, and had galloped for such notable trainers as Michael Matz (also an Olympic gold medalist) and Jonathan Sheppard. With completions at Fair Hill CCI***, Jersey Fresh CCI***,  The Fork CIC***, and numerous runs at the Advanced level to her credit, the native of Thousand Oaks, CA found herself in search of something different and has happily served as First Whipper In to Mrs. Stewart's Cheshire Foxhounds for four seasons.

This Must Be the Place

Crispin Wilson Nov 13Tommy Watley photo Crispin Wilson is perhaps the only professional staff member in America who is fluent in Mandarin Chinese. The 29-year-old native of Southern Maryland has worked hard to forge a career and path of his own and currently serves as kennel huntsman at Midland Foxhounds, where he arrived two years ago after whipping in at the Deep Run Hunt Club (VA) for several seasons. A man of many interests, but none more so than hunting, he's recently found himself in the truck on the way to meets listening to a lot of the Clash, Talking Heads, Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash. 

Career Opportunities

Richard Oct 13WLS Photography, Bill SigafoosRaised on a working family farm in Shropshire, England where hunting and country sports were a way of life, Richard Roberts developed a love for the sport of foxhunting at an early age. His father, a skilled horseman with a life-long passion for all animals, was his largest influence as a young boy. Now in his third season as Huntsman for the Deep Run Hunt (VA), Roberts, who celebrated his fortieth birthday last year, has never doubted his career choice.

e-Covertside: How many hounds do you have and what is their breeding?
Richard: We have 41 ½ couple crossbred hunting hounds and 6 ½ couple puppies who will be entered next season. We hunt red & grey fox and coyote.

Sam Clifton Will Never Be Content

Sam Clifton GSVHChandler Willett photoSam Clifton, 33, has hunted the hounds of Green Spring Valley for the past seven years, but like many professionals he was born into a hunting family and has perpetuated the family custom. At Green Spring Valley, he has not only  found an organization just as steeped in tradition, but one that is dedicated to bolstering the sport in ever changing conditions, growing and learning to adapt and preserve fox hunting. The territory is located north and west of Baltimore, MD and encompasses part of Baltimore County and all of Carroll County, with a combination of open, rolling terrain with sections of wooded land. This area is the heart of Maryland steeplechasing and home to the Maryland Hunt Cup.

Slap Shot

NeillAmattsmallAdrian Jennings photoHave you ever met an ice hockey playing, hound hunting Englishman? If not, meet Neil Amatt. The 29 year old was quite literally born into the sport of foxhunting and is proud to be a third generation professional. Hailing from Newmarket, roughly 60 miles from London, Amatt spent his childhood engrossed in country pursuits of hunting, shooting, and racing. He landed in the US six years ago, going to work for Midland Foxhounds and spent the last season whipping in to Guy Allman at the Blue Ridge Hunt in Boyce, VA. As of May 1, he will be joining the Piedmont Fox Hounds, Upperville, VA, as First Whipper-in.

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