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MFHA Staff Seminar: Characteristics of the Foxhound; the Good and the Bad

Foxhound discussion panelA highly spirited conversation, peppered with videos, photos, stories, jokes and jabs, occurred during the second half of the afternoon session at the MFHA Staff Seminar as five huntsmen, all fiercely dedicated to their packs, presented tremendous amounts of information regarding the history and characteristics of the breeds they hunt.

Opening with a photo presentation and in-depth history lesson on the development of the Old English Foxhound, Loudoun West Huntsman Martyn Blackmore heartily declared the thicker and heavier set Old English Foxhound is “built to last”.

Southern Hound Show, April 28, 2012

Judges: Mr. Richard Sumner, MFH Heythrop Hunt                   Champion LOH Hannibal. Photo by Jim MeadsChampion LOH Hannibal. Photo by Jim Meads

Lt. Col. Dennis Foster, Executive Director of the MFHA

Apprentice Judge: Lt. Col. Robert Ferrer, MFH Caroline Hunt

The sixth annual Southern Hound Show held on April 28th at Live Oak Plantation, Monticello, Florida was once again blessed with perfect weather. Ten packs from as far away as Tennessee and Palm Beach competed under the watchful eyes of Richard Sumner MFH of the Heythrop Hunt in England and Dennis Foster, Executive Director of the MFHA. Robert Ferrer MFH of the Caroline Hunt was apprentice judge.

Celebration and Sportsmanship Abound at South Creek Foxhounds Hunter Trials

Sara Fox riding KarloSara Fox riding KarloOn Saturday, April 14, the members and friends of South Creek Foxhounds participated in the annual Hunter Trials hosted by Ridge Point Stables in Haines City, Florida.

The weekend started off with a late afternoon practice session followed by dinner at Melonie's Cafe in quaint, downtown Dundee. All out of town competitors and Ridge Point clients and friends were invited to enjoy a feast of beef Marsala, pork tenderloin and roasted potatoes. The three ­tiered Monty Python themed birthday cake, featured in the center of the restaurant, let all the guests know they were celebrating Mike Gallagher's Birthday. A local guitar duet entertained with a mixture of blues and country music, which lead to some great dancing.

Saturday morning, the Hunter Trails began with the first rain the area had seen in three months. The show manager was overheard saying, "Rain was the only thing I didn't worry about, until now!" However, the steady drizzle, which eliminated dust, was a blessing, and the clouds that hung around all day kept the temperatures tolerable for the well-turned out foxhunters.

MFHA Biennial Staff Seminar: Hunting the Red Fox

MFHA Staff SeminarAs part of the much anticipated morning session of the 2012 Masters of Foxhounds Association Biennial Staff Seminar, held April 21 and 22 at the Westfields Marriott in Chantilly, VA, was an intense, in depth discussion of the red fox. Moderator Tony Leahy presided over panelists Tommy Lee Jones (Casanova), Tony Gammell (Keswick) and Bob Ferrer (Caroline).

Stonewall Commands Carolinas Performance Trials

Once again, the folks from the Sedgefield Hunt put together another memorable Carolinas Foxhound Performance Trials, also known as the Sedgefield Cup, at the J. Robert Gordon Field Trial Grounds in Hoffman, North Carolina at the end of March.  The whole event takes on a “larger than life” cast - from the 60,000 acres of the gamelands, to vast amounts of delicious food and beverage, to the cast of characters that might even be a bit more extreme than those found in the usual foxhunting population. Not to mention the hunting...

Moingona Hunt Hosts Flint Hills Invitational Performance Trial

Flint hill trials1

The first annual Moingona Invitational Performance Trial and Joint Meet was held March 7th-11th in the beautiful Flint Hills of Kansas near the historic town of Council Grove.  Early settlers traveling on the old Santa Fe Trail passed through this area and there are multiple historic markers pointing to sites where the old wagon ruts are still visible.  The country is mainly comprised of cattle farms and boasts small coverts, open rolling hillsides, and excellent footing.  It appears to be perfect habitat for coyotes and perfect terrain for following hounds on horseback.  The weather ranged from sunny and warm to cold with freezing sleet over the course of the total 5 days of hunting.  Despite the varying weather conditions there was great hunting and hound work on each day.

The trial took place over 3 days (quite a precedent given that the majority of Performance Trials are typically held over 2 days) followed by 2 days of Joint Meets.   It would be a true test of the hounds’ (and the horses’ and riders’!) endurance.  The participating packs were the Bridlespur Hunt (Missouri), the Full Cry Hounds (Alabama), the Grand Canyon Hounds (Arizona), and the Mill Creek Hunt (Illinois). 

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