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Across the Pond: Local Hunts on Hand at Badminton Horse Trials

Here across the Pond our lives have been full of incident.

Badminton Horse Trials ran May 5-10 in Gloucestershire, England, attracting over 250,000 spectators, the second-largest number for any paid-entry sporting event in the world. The lanky William Fox-Pitt won against his old rival Andrew Nicholson, also known as the ‘Silver Fox’, who was leading until the Sunday show jumping. Thrilling.

Gloucestershire local Bill Levett, who had a top-ten finish at Rolex, finished a respectable 15th at Badminton. But I raised my glass to Bill for his top-three placing on the best-dressed list for the trot-ups – which at Badminton draw a huge crowd of frenzied fashion bloggers - with plenty of credit given to his sponsors, A Hume Country Clothing, friends who also supplied me with the (not sponsored, just bought online) elegant heather and green tweed Coat I wore on the day. Here in my household we say a top-three placing is a win; I feel a bit of reflected glory.

Conservative Party Wins Majority in UK Elections

David Cameron of the Conservative Party won England's election with a clear majority. That means the conservatives do not have to form a coalition government with the liberals. Hunting should become legal in England since a vote in parliament was promised on the conservative platform.

Baily's Announces the Publication of Three New Books


Baily’s Hunting Directory Quiz Book
Baily’s Hunting Directory Activity Book
Baily’s pre-annual directory, 1870–1883

Baily’s Hunting Directory has for decades been regarded as the ‘Bible’ of the hunting world. Now, three new books will be launched in the UK at the Peterborough Festival of Hunting on July 17 and the CLA Game Fair, Ragley Hall, Warwickshire, on July 19–21.

In Appreciation of Commander Bill King, 1910-2012

Commander Bill King smallWilliam Donald Aelian ‘Bill’ King died recently at the magnificent age of 102 at his home, Oranmore Castle, in County Galway, Ireland. He was a highly decorated submarine commander, a world renowned sailor, boxer, athlete, organic farmer, writer, and a family man.

In addition, he was a lifelong follower of the Galway Blazers, and Lady Molly Cusack Smith’s Bermingham & North Galway Foxhounds with his late wife, the author Anita Leslie who he met in the Lebanon during the war in 1940. She was a daughter of Sir John Randolph Leslie and Marjorie Ide a daughter of General Henry Clay Ide, a former American Ambassador to Spain, and Governor of the Philippines. Anita had been previously married to the well known Russian cavalry officer Colonel Paul Rodzianko who was appointed chief instructor of the Irish Army Equitation School in 1928. She wrote seventeen books, including Lady Randolph Churchill, The story of Jenny Jerome, the life of Sir Winston Churchill’s mother, and Sir Francis Chichester, the biography of the famous round the world yachtsman. Bill held the distinction of being the only submarine commander to command a British submarine on the first and last days of World War II, such were the perils of such a dangerous command. He was also the last surviving submarine commander of the British Navy from the last war.

Former Head of UK Land Army Appointed to Lead Countryside Alliance

Former head of the UK Land Army Lieutenant General Sir Barney White-Spunner, KCB CBE has been appointed Executive Chairman of the Countryside Alliance and Director of the Countryside Alliance Foundation with effect from 9th February, taking on all the responsibilities of current Chief Executive, Alice Barnard, who leaves in early February. Barney will be based in the Alliance’s London Headquarters.  Kate Hoey MP, will remain Chairman of the Board of the Countryside Alliance.

Alastair Jackson, Director of the British Masters of Foxhounds Retires

Mounted hunting is a huge fraternity of people with a passion which takes on a lifestyle that is shared wherever foxhunters travel.  They invite you to come hunt with them, lend you a horse, throw a dinner party, host you in their homes and thank you when you leave.  It is the same wherever you go.  How does that happen?

Well, in England it happens because of people like Alastair Jackson.  He has provided advice, information, help and made sacrifices that make hunting safer, fun and easier for us.  But, even more so, he dedicated his life to helping to save this great sport for future generations.

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