The New York/New Jersey Interhunt Puppy Show was hosted by the Essex Fox Hounds and held in the courtyard of the Essex Stables in Peapack, New Jersey Saturday, May 11. Under a brilliant blue sky, Joint Masters Jazz Merton and Karen Murphy welcomed huntsmen and guests from Amwell Valley Hounds, Windy Hollow Hunt, Genesee Valley Hunt and local friends and subscribers of the Essex Fox Hounds. Lunch was served in the new Essex Hunt Room after which hounds competed.

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Essex juniors turned out in full force! Photo courtesy of Tanya Sameth.

Ashley Hubbard, huntsman for Green Spring Valley Houndsd (MD) drove up with his family for the weekend to judge. Entered and unentered hounds of different breeds competed together in five classes. This format provided an interesting opportunity for spectators to appreciate distinguishing features of American, Crossbred, English and Penn-Marydel foxhounds, as explained by the judge throughout the day. Adding to the day’s festive atmosphere, Essex’s handlers were all local junior foxhound enthusiasts who trained with their hounds during the month of April with Essex huntsman, Bart Poole.

The Essex Masters were honored to host, and grateful not only to Green Spring Valley Hounds for lending their huntsman to judge, but to the four participating hunts who made the day a true celebration of foxhounds and their breeding.

"It's always a pleasure to go see and judge someone else's hound," Hubbard said. "The hardest part for me was judging the different types of foxhounds, i.e. the English versus American versus Crossbred. All three are a little different and when you put them all together, it makes it tough. However, everyone showed great and there were some lovely hounds presented."

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Assisted by a trio of juniors, Essex huntsman Bart Poole lets judge Ashley Hubbard evaluate hounds. Photo courtesy of Tanya Sameth.

Hubbard also enjoyed evaluating the youngsters. "The junior handler class was well attended and nearly every kid was able to show their hound off the lead with great skills. The Essex Fox Hounds did a wonderful job hosting the show in a beautiful location inside their newly renovated barn courtyard. Bart and his team had the place looking great.

"It's always fun to see someone else's hunt country and meet new friends," he continued. "I'm looking forward to going to visit this coming hunt season."

Mary Pat Gallagher of Amwell Valley Hounds also commented on the enjoyable event. "The show had a splendid day of spring sunshine and balmy temps seldom enjoyed by the Northeast of late. Amwell Valley Hounds’ Hudson (Lowcountry Huckleberry x AVH Sparkle) was crowned Grand Champion. Reserve champion was Essex’s Inkblot."

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Amwell Valley taking the tricolor. Photo courtesy of Laurie Hay.

Gallagher also noted a bittersweet element of the day: "Amidst a welcome reunion of old AVH friends, there was a longing to remember some no longer present. Bruce Hay and Roy Feldman, both recently passed, were sorely missed but surely felt by all in attendance." She added that the children present softened this absence. "It was buoying to see the junior handlers class, full of eager children and obliging hounds, fill the gracious courtyard to remind us all of the circle of life. Enjoy your passions and fulfill your dreams, life is too short for all of us!"

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An Amwell Valley junior and her hound share some encouragement. Photo courtesy of Laurie Hay.

Top results were the following:

Amwell Valley Hound’s Hudson (Sire: Low Country Huckleberry, Dam: Amwell Valley Hounds Sparkle) placed first in the Unentered Dog Hound Class.

Essex Inka (Sire: Essex Rascal, Dam: Essex Isla) placed first in the Unentered Bitch Class.

AVH’s Hudson was Unentered Champion. Essex Inka was reserve Champion.

Essex Jobber (Sire: Essex Izod, Dam: Essex Jasmine) placed first in the Entered Dog Hound Class.

Windy Hollow Hunt’s Raven (Sire: Golden’s Bridge Hounds Riley, Dam: Window Hollow Hunt Brenna) placed first in the Entered Bitch Class.

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