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A Message from MFHA President Tony Leahy, MFH

We sincerely appreciate the efforts and hard work of those in our community who work so diligently to hold events held under the auspices of the Masters of Foxhounds Association (MFHA) such as Hound Shows, Performance Trials, Field Hunter Trials, and other community events. Every person in our community is a volunteer who works tirelessly to encourage comradery, community good will and most of all work hard to promote hounds and hunting. We salute them all and appreciate their devotion.

As we are in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the priority is to keep everyone safe and healthy. We feel that during this time of national crisis, it is prudent to cancel the Virginia Hound Show, the National Horn Blowing Championship, the Ian Milne Award presentation, the Professional Development Program graduation and other peripheral events.

For the 2019/2020 Professional Development Program(PDP) graduating class, we will have a graduation ceremony at a later date at the MFHA Headquarters. The 2020/2021 incoming PDP class will begin coursework as scheduled and kennel visits to begin at a later time.

Also affected by this decision is the Induction Ceremony into The Huntsmen’s Room at The Museum of Hounds & Hunting. The MFHA would be pleased to offer the Headquarters building as a venue for the Museum of Hounds & Hunting to hold this special ceremony once the health crisis ends. The MFHA would be honored to partake in celebrating the careers of these exceptional huntsmen.

Again, we thank everyone for their support during these trying and uncertain times. As we all continue doing our part to mitigate the spread of the virus, please remember that the sacrifices we make today will help to ensure the health and safety of our community.


Take Advantage of Free Pony Club EMembership and Lunch and Learn Series

Pony Club logo

The United States Pony Clubs, Inc., is excited to provide online education through a special free e-membership offer. Now through May 31, anyone interested in learning more about horses can use promo code PCIQ520 to sign up for a FREE Pony Club IQ E-Membership.

“In these challenging times, Pony Club would like to do something to help support the entire equine community,” said Karol Wilson, USPC Director of Member Services and Regional Administration. “We hope this free virtual membership will provide that crucial connection that people may be missing right now, along with educational benefits from Pony Club programming. We especially welcome newcomers to join us and discover what it’s like to be part of the Pony Club family.”

The IQ E-Membership opportunity offers access to a vast library of articles and knowledge written by scientists, veterinarians, and professionals in the equine industry. Information is organized by Pony Club certification levels from beginner through advanced to help members learn about horse management and progress at their own pace.

Online members will also enjoy access to the digital edition of the Pony Club Newsmagazine and the Pony Club blog, where we pile on the knowledge, as well as Shop Pony Club, the online store to find all of your Pony Club gear, and special offers from Pony Club sponsors. 

USBP will also be offering online education through a special Lunch ’N Learn series launched in late March. Activities and content currently publish every weekday between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Eastern time on the USPC Facebook page. All are welcome to participate at Facebook.com/USPonyClubs

“Learning with Pony Club is one thing that can keep us connected during this time when we are apart,” said Connie Jehlik, USPC Instruction Services Director. “Our program has so many educational resources, and we wanted to make those easily available. We created the Lunch ’N Learn series to keep our members engaged through fun, interactive education and activities.” 

Online content created for the Lunch ’N Learn series includes videos, live Q&A sessions with experts, quizzes, scavenger hunts and more, plus tips, tools and resources for equestrians of all levels.

"While the global pandemic we are experiencing continues to affect all of our daily lives, Pony Club remains committed to delivering education to our members and the entire equine community,” said USPC Executive Director Teresa Woods. “Especially when social distancing may prevent some equestrians from riding or seeing their horses, these virtual horsemanship lessons are a way that we can help.”

40 Years of Feeling the Freedom

Red Rock Hounds celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. Founded by Lynn Lloyd, the hunt has access to more than 1.5 million acres of public and private land in Nevada. Once a month, Murray and Lloyd pack up their trailers and lead a convoy to territories in California, Arizona, Montana, Nebraska, and Wyoming for four-day hunting adventures.

“People travel from all over to experience what Red Rock creates,” says Angela Murray, Jt. Master and huntsman. “Red Rock Hunt is in a league of its own as far as creating destination experiences.”

If you’ve seen photos from any of Red Rock’s hunts, you get it. If you haven’t, it only takes one. But even if majestic images of following stunning hounds across the rugged, mountainous landscapes of the still untamed American West don’t crack your whip, the warm, come-as-you-are vibe just might.

redrock3Gretchen Pelham photo

"Overall, we have a very welcoming community in our home territory," Murray says. "I think Lynn started that vibe when she began the hunt 40 years ago. There's no pretense. She wants people to come and learn about the sport, and then fall in love with it."

It’s been that unique spirit that’s helped Red Rock Hounds become a national destination. Officially registered with the Masters of Foxhounds Association in 1980 and recognized in 1987, they’re celebrating 40 years of “feeling the freedom.” What’s more, they’re honoring Lloyd and her adventurous and welcoming spirit that built the club and keeps it growing.

redrock4Gretchen Pelham photo

With Her Own Hammer and Nails
Lloyd built the hunt in a region not well-known for foxhunting, let alone English saddles. She had driven across the United States from Pennsylvania with two horses and a dog after her business failed. She ran out of gas in Reno, which is how she found the valley where the club is now based.

“She didn't know anybody in Reno,” Murray says. “She worked for some farms in the area and did training while also searching around the outskirts of Reno for a place of her own. When she had the time and money, she found Red Rock Valley in Rancho Haven and bought her first 10-acre parcel.”

While she made money, she also made connections. She started her pack with 12 hounds from Los Altos Hounds out in California. Then, “with her own hammer and nails and the help of some of her friends,” says Murray, Lloyd built the club’s first kennel and barn on that 10-acre piece of land.

“They started as a club of three with twelve different hounds going twelve different directions,” Murray says. “They made their whips out of chair legs and bailing twine and had their breakfasts in a tiny pink trailer.” Stories like those, says Murray, are only the tip of the iceberg that make up the club’s rich history.

In 1997, Lloyd and Scott Tepper, her Joint Master at the time, bought the 650-acre Rock Creek Ranch, which was one of the original ranches in the valley. Murray joined the hunt fifteen years ago. She grew up hunting with Shakerag Hounds in Hull, Georgia. With her husband in the military, she moved around the country often and experienced a variety of clubs including Woodbrook Hunt Club in Lakewood, Washington, and Mission Valley Hunt in eastern Kansas, among others. She also started a pack of hounds in Fort Carson, Colorado, in 2003. She joined Red Rock when she moved to the area in 2005.

Out West, the Future is Promising
Of all the lands she’s hunted, Murray says the Red Rock experience was more unique than anything she'd seen anywhere else. "We are very blessed with more country than we can even get to," she says. "We try to get to all of it at least every other season. But I think the future is very promising for hunting out west in general, and particularly for Red Rock as a club."

redrock2Gretchen Pelham photo

With its welcoming nature, the club’s base of younger professional members and juniors is growing quickly. Most of the juniors who go away to college return later on. Some find a way to stay on throughout. Red Rock’s membership grew by 20% over the past year, and they are soon opening up new country, including 90 sections in Montana.

They also engage the public with their hounds throughout the year and have championed the sport in the region for three decades, including an appearance at the Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena, California.

“There are so many people within the industry nationwide who want to honor Lynn,” Murray says. “We want to do the best job we can to honor her here at our own hunt and celebrate forty years of feeling the freedom with her."

redrock3Gretchen Pelham photo

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