Gone Away: Robert James Walker

bob walkerPhoto courtesy Bernadette WalkerRetired Huntsman Robert James “Bob” Walker of Gay, Ga., died Sept. 18, 2012, after a lifetime devoted to hounds and hunting.

Mr. Walker was buried in his native Ireland, at Stradbally, Co. Waterford, in a poignant ceremony that was a fitting tribute to a man who spent most of his 84 years carrying the horn. Leading his funeral procession was a riderless hunt horse with boots turned backwards in the stirrups, about 10 couple of his beloved Waterford Foxhounds following behind. During the service, a piper played “The Foxchase” on uileann pipes (Irish bagpipes).

Before friends and family took their leave of Bob at graveside, his friend “Big Mike” Power blew “Gone Away” and his wife, Mary, blew “Going Home” on the hunting horn.

Dr. Ramsay S. Buchanan, 1926-2012

Dr Ramsey BuchananPhoto Courtesy Buchanan FamilyLong time foxhunter, Pickering Hunt field master and honorary whipper-in at Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds, Ramsay S. Buchanan, VMD, one of the most self-effacing, gentle and kindest of men, died on November 20, 2012 of cancer at the age of 87, at his home, Mercer Hill Farm in Coatesville, PA, surrounded by his family.

In his 60 year riding career, Dr. Buchanan hunted with Whitelands Hunt, spent five years as field master at Pickering Hunt and also served as a member of the Pickering Hunt Board and later, when he retired from his veterinary practice, hunted with Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Fox Hounds where he became an indispensable friend and supporter of the late and legendary Mrs. John B. Hannum, MFH.

"Voice of Steeplechasing" Will O'Keefe is Recipient of 2012 S. Bryce Wing Award

willokeefeOn September 29, 2012, the Maryland Hunt Cup Association presented the S. Bryce Wing silver trophy to Will O’Keefe of Warrenton, Virginia.

This award honors the memory of S. Bryce Wing, who was a member of the Maryland Hunt Cup Association from 1939 until his death at age 85 in 1975. He was secretary of the Maryland Hunt Cup from 1956 to 1966 and also president of the National Steeplechase and Hunt Association (now the National Steeplechase Association) from 1948 to 1964. In addition, Wing served as a member of The Jockey Club and as Master of Foxhounds at the Elkridge-Harford Hunt Club. Mr. Wing’s devotion to horses, hounds, and racing was lifelong. Significantly, this award is not given each year, but only when the Committee feels it is genuinely merited.

Remembering Ruth McClure

Ruth McClure photoPhoto courtesy Shakerag Hounds

Shakerag Hounds lost a great member on January 11, 2012 when Ruth McClure passed away at the age of 92. Ruth McClure was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Duke University with a Masters degree in Chemistry, where she met her husband, John McClure. They made their home in Suwannee, Georgia, and became members of Shakerag Hounds in the 1960s. As an avid equestrian and foxhunter, Ruth quickly became one of the club’s strongest and most important members.

Amwell Valley Hounds Celebrates 50 Years

Photo by Elise Ange

The year 2011 marked the 50th Anniversary of the Amwell Valley Hounds, founded originally as the Kingwood Foxhounds, in western central New Jersey.  When kennel facilities were moved to the Amwell Valley in 1970, the name change was prompted by the support from and in recognition of local farmers in the valley.

Current Masters are Dr. Ralph Reilly (2006), Joanne Maltese Possumato (2008) and Dr. Brendan Furlong (2009).  Importantly, two special members, active with the club since its inception, Mr. W. Bryce Thompson, and Ms. Tiffany Teeter continue as Honorary Masters. Mr. Steven Farrin serves in his 5th year as professional Huntsman.

Lewis Hall McCurdy Remembered

Popular foxhunter Lewis Hall McCurdy, of North Alabama, died February 28th. Lewis was a whipper-in at Mooreland Hunt and Full Cry Hounds; he also took the horn at Full Cry when needed. He was an avid polo player and all-around sportsman. In addition to a phenomenal game sense and hound sense, which made him a gifted whipper-in, Lewis was an amazing horseman — often riding through woods and brush so thick that you would swear a rabbit couldn’t get through. He was also a skilled welder and made many of his friends decorative wine racks, he made lovely hunt whips-doubly treasured by those lucky enough to own one, and could even sew, once in his own words “when I was a poor vet student” making his beloved wife Nancy a ball gown.

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