A houndpourri of news

The hounds at Boone Valley on summer hound walk. See anyone you know? Photo by Dave Traxler.

JUST a couple of weeks after we saw him at the Peterborough Royal Foxhound Show, the Duke of Beaufort’s Gaddesby ’07 got a nice big headline in Horse and Hound‘s Aug. 4 issue. “The Great Gaddesby” was the headline over Michael Clayton’s coverage of the Beaufort puppy show. The reason for it was that puppy show judges Capt. Brian Fanshawe and Martin Scott had selected a pair of puppies by Gaddesby–the young doghound Handel and the young bitch Bonus–as the day’s winners from an entry of 23 1/2 couples.

Gaddesby '07 in the stallion hound class at Peterborough.

The news is of interest to us here at Iroquois for two reasons. First, because Gaddesby is the sire of our former pupposaurus–now doghoundasaurus–Driver ’10. And, secondly, because it was Fanshawe who brought the ST bloodline from Ireland to the North Cotswold and Cottesmore hunts, from whom Iroquois also received this excellent blood.

You might recall that Driver, who is out of North Cotswold Dragonfly (now also hunting with Iroquois), attracted a lot of attention last year when MFHA hunt staff seminar attendees visited the Iroquois kennel. He proved a precocious hunting hound in his first season, too. So we’re not surprised to read that more Gaddesbys are catching eyes back home in England.

Many thanks to Iroquois joint-Master Jerry Miller for pointing the Horse and Hound article out to the houndbloggers!

The Kentucky Foxhunter

Going back through some old notes, the houndbloggers found this interesting passage from an old copy of Kentucky Progress Magazine, which at one time ran an annual “National Fox Hunt Edition.” This is from that special edition back in October 1931, and it was written by the intriguingly-named Bessie Martin Fightmaster.

Night-hunting with foxhounds, an American tradition that heavily influenced early American foxhound breeding. Photo courtesy of the National Sporting Library.

I don’t know what Bessie Fightmaster’s connection to hunting was, but we have her to thank for this description of a Kentucky hunter–which, you will notice, appears to be a night hunter rather than a hunter in the mounted English style:

The Kentucky Foxhunter has been anointed with the dews of early morning and the woodfires of his night camp. He is weathered by the autumn winds and rains. He knows the taste of the wild grapes and has breakfasted on luscious persimmons. He knows that where the crows cry loudest, there will the fox break cover. He has hunted this country over until he is familiar with the circle where Reynard will run, the roadway where he will cross, the hole where he will go to earth. This hunter in heavy boots with his hunting horn slung over his shoulder and an apple in his pocket strides over the hills listening to the music of his beloved hounds. And when the chase is over he will blow a blast upon his cow horn that must equal the winding of Charlemagne’s Roland, and he calls in every hound that he has cast. Hark!

Iroquois Bagshot '10 on hound walk this month. Photo by Dave Traxler.

Never having heard of the author, I did a little research that turned up only one very sad note in the June 15, 1917, Bourbon News from Paris, Kentucky. Bessie Fightmaster was the adopted daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Joseph Martin of Cynthiana, and she went on to marry Forest Fightmaster, “the proprietor of the auto bus line recently established between North Middletown and Lexington,” the Bourbon News story tells us. Sadly, the reason for the story is to report on the death of Bessie’s 18-month-old daughter, who died after Bessie tripped over her while carrying a teakettle of scalding water. What a terrible thing, indeed.

Bessie Fightmaster, according to local funeral records, died March 19, 1973, and is buried at Battle Grove in Harrison County, Kentucky.

Glow-in-the-dark beagles

In case you missed it, we have this unsettling news item sent in by a friend of the hounds. South Korean scientists have (controversially) genetically engineered a beagle to glow in the dark. The young beagle is named Tegon, and her glow came from dog DNA that the scientists modified by adding a “green fluorescent gene” from sea anemone. The scientists claim they can use the glowing hound to help track disease progression. Not surprisingly, anti-vivisectionists and hound lovers are not amused.

Tegon apparently glows bright green under ultra-violet light. To read more about this, click here.

Only Eider's eyes glow, which is weird enough.

Old Habit auction

We were unhappy to hear, last year, that The Old Habit was closing. This Virginia tack and consignment shop was a good source for foxhunting and beagling attire, and it had quite a good selection of used tack, too. Yesterday the houndbloggers got word from the Harlowe-Powell auction house in Charlottesville, Virginia, that they’ll be selling the remaining merchandise and some fixtures from The Old Habit on Saturday, Aug. 20.

Absentee bidders are welcome but must register (this can be done at the website), and the catalog is available online here. There are a few saddles, quite a lot of art, some furniture, hunt whips, a vintage polo mallet, books, field boots, and, for the real specialist collector, an English Beefeater’s uniform. Also, a chrome and rubber contemporary mannequin. Never know when you might need one of those.

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6 thoughts on “A houndpourri of news

  1. Pingback: Congratulations, Driver and Sage! | Full Cry: A Hound Blog

  2. Regarding the Kentucky Foxhunter piece–I can relate a bit to that! Where I grew up in North-midstate N. C., this type of foxhunter(‘jug hunters!” was still not uncommon–I often sat on my porch and listened to hound music as they passed by in the nearby woods and fields. I also found and returned a lot of lost or exhausted hounds to their owners–they always had plenty of I.D. on them–I remember some hounds had TWO collars with I. D.–never seen that before or since! I don’t know if this was one group of hunters’ idiocyncrasy, or if certain dogs were better at slipping their collars than others! Alas, those days are LONG gone(I’m speaking of the 1960’s here!), the whole area where I grew up is totally developed and over-civilized. One could never safely cast a hound there now–NONE of the woods or fields are left(sigh). Where I live now(I was driven out as well by civilization), I can sometimes sneak out my Bluetick for a little hound music–but it is risky for him and me. Coincidentally, his name is “Roland”–I named him after my trailhound hunting hillbilly grandfather(although where he got such a high-falootin’ name I don’t know!), as well as Charlemagne’s Roland, as I trained him to the horn, and thought that was a perfect moniker all around for a French-Gascon descended hound!

    • Great tales, Lane, and I think the two collar idea sounds like prudent one! As for Roland, before my time our hunt had a long-time master named Fauntleroy, not a name you see very often! Terribly sad about the development–it’s happening here, too, and I guess all over, and it distresses me. We’re relatively lucky in Iroquois country to have terrific landowners and a good bit of land still, and it does seem as if the land-preservation movement and infill-development trend has picked up some steam here. I hope it will continue to grow and that other areas will also cotton on to the importance of preserving countryside. Please give Roland a pat for us, and why not send a picture so we can gaze upon his blue-ticked loveliness?

      • Alas, I have no computer of my own–it’s something of a miracle I can respond at all!(all my correspondence is by a workplace computer, which I had to be forced at gunpoint, kicking-and-screaming, to learn how to sorta operate as part of my job), as well as being so primitive I also have no idea how to send photos on one of these contraptions. Nor do I have one-a-thim newfangled doo-dad type cameras to do it with! Yeah, I’ve certainly been “left behind” by the times. But you know, it’s right peaceful and much less stressful(and less expensive!) being backward……..

        • Well, that is a shame for those of us longing to see Roland, but I can understand your position, Lane! If you ever become one of the doo-dad-carrying, computer-operating people, please do send one off to us!

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