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St. Patrick's Day weekend was particularly festive for Howard County-Iron Bridge Hounds (MD) and many guests who gathered to celebrate four decades of Dr. Roger I. Scullin's Mastership. Basseting, cocktail parties, two hunt meets, a blessing of the hounds and the hunt ball offered every attendee plenty of sport, camaraderie, and a chance to toast the longtime area veterinarian's steady leadership.

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Howard County-Iron Bridge huntsman Kelly Burdge moves off with the pack at last Saturday's meet. Photo by Robert Keller.

"I had the pleasure of kicking off Dad's 40th celebration as Master of HCIBH with the Hill & Hollow Bassets' Thursday afternoon meet, welcoming our guests for four days of chasing both mounted and unmounted, stirrup cups, hunt breakfasts, cocktail parties and a hunt ball," said Scullin's daughter, Carter Amigh, MBH. "HCIBH members provided a cocktail hour to follow at the HCIBH club house. We had HCIBH members and alumni along with family, friends and clients of Roger's."

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Many guests traveled to join the field, pictured here at Friday's meet. Photo by Robert Keller.

Following Thursday's basset meet and cocktail party, guests rallied for a stirrup cup, HCIBH meet and breakfast before another party Friday night. Attendee Katharine Byron, MFH, New Market-Middletown Valley (MD), said, "I was privileged to ride with Roger and his wife on Friday, so had great insight on the various voices in the pack. We drew the covert of Master Reuwer's beautiful Pleasant Prospect Farm. Hounds worked dutifully for their huntsman, though the dry, warm, strong breeze didn’t lend much assistance."

Byron continued, "In the woods and near the river, hounds worked admirably on the line of a viewed fox and put one to ground in an abandoned homesite in the woods, a place with much history. After several hours, we had a jolly hack to the meet and were well fed with a yummy breakfast in the party barn."

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Work hard, play hard: Dr. Scullin, MFH, enjoying Saturday evening's Hunt Ball. Photo by Robert Keller.

On Saturday, the hunt meet was preceded by another stirrup cup and blessing of the hounds. At Saturday's Hunt Ball, awards were presented for Best Turned Out (in the categories of Male, Female, and Overall), and Most Suitable horse and rider combination. Guests were also entertained by an animated whip cracking contest.

For those revelers up to a third day of sport, a special Hill & Hollow benefit meet with visiting foot packs was offered, followed by a midday St. Patrick's Day party.

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Members and staff from surrounding hunt clubs joined HCIBH for the Ball. Photo by Robert Keller.

"We concluded the weekend with the First Annual Maryland District Foot Pack meet, to benefit the Maryland Association of Wildlife Conservative (MAWC)," Amigh explained. "$1500 was raised to help MAWC continue to preserve our sport of chasing, both mounted and unmounted. The meet was attended by three basset packs, Hill & Hollow Bassets, Monkton Hall Bassets, and Calf Pasture Bassets. Two beagle packs also came, Hermit Hollow Beagles and Middletown Valley beagles. An additional part of this celebration was the 10th anniversary of Hill & Hollow Bassets' recognition by the National Beagle Club."

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Sunday's District Foot Pack meet was a huge success, entertaining both experienced foot followers and those new to the "short legs." Photo by Karen Kandra.

"Dad has 40 years with HCIBH and almost 40 years with MAWC," Amigh noted, "Two organizations he is passionate about and on which he will leave a longstanding mark."

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