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Foxhunters Preserve Land

November 2010 Open land is disappearing at a rate of 6,000 acres per day, according to the Equestrian Land Conservation Resource. There is no greater threat to the equestrian community than the loss of land. We need land for pasture and hay, for raising foals, and for our horse sports, including (but not limited to) trail riding, eventing, foxhunting, driving, and that most Maryland of all equestrian sports, steeplechase. In Maryland, no single equestrian group has done more to preserve open space than foxhunters. Perhaps because foxhunters were traditionally landowners and farmers themselves, they seem to have understood – better than any other sporting group – that in order to preserve agriculture, it is critical to preserve contiguous productive land. It is not enough to save a patch here, or ensure a trail through there…one farm here with another farm three or five miles away. In order for farmers to farm, they must be surrounded by ag land. In order for farmers to have farm services (such as tractor repairs), there must be enough farm business for the support businesses to remain. Too many farmers these days in central Maryland must travel the distance of two or three counties in order to have their tractors repaired. This is not sustainable agriculture. But foxhunters do seem to understand that contiguous farmland – while crucial for open space – is critical...

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Larry Pitts – 35 Years Hunting the Potomac Hounds

by Vicki Crawford (photo by Janet Hitchen) December 2014 Larry Pitts started his hound career as a kennelman in North Carolina with Sedgefield huntsman Ian Milne. Ian saw something special in Larry and recommended him to William Brainard, MFH Old Dominion (VA), who has an English and an American pack. Master Brainard saw something in him, and declared that Larry would make a great huntsman “some day.” After spending time with Master Brainard learning the traits of the different breeds, Larry was hired by Eglinton-Caledon (Canada) where he remained for the next four years. Major Charles Kindersley was MFH at the time and experienced in hunting the pack himself. He was an excellent teacher for Larry and guided him through the intricacies of breeding and training hounds. His standards were very high and he expected perfection in the kennels. Major Kindersley always put the hounds first and Larry continues this tradition. In search of a new huntsman, and after hearing about this “special young man” with potential, Potomac’s then MFH Tommy Dowd recruited and hired Larry for the 1980-81 season. However, Larry was not happy that first winter at Potomac. The hounds were unruly, always hunting deer, and not responsive to Larry. He had no tricks up his sleeve. He tried to leave, but there were no other jobs available. So he stayed. And he persevered. He spent those...

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Skip Crawford Celebrates 25 Years as MFH of Potomac Hunt

photos by Bob Keller “Skip Crawford’s contribution to the world of foxhunting goes far further than just being a Master for 25 Years with Potomac Hunt. He was selected as a Director of the Masters of Foxhounds with a reputation in Maryland for leadership and not being afraid to get involved with important issues that reflect on foxhunting. As an experienced Master his excellent work with MAWC and knowledge of legislative issues and the animal rights movement mase him an excellent candidate.As Director for Maryland/Delaware for six years sitting on the MFHA Board of Directors, his contributions on a national scale are considerable. As director he was energetic and quickly worked to help solve problems in his district. His counsel and contributions to working to make MFHA policies better were critical. He was selected to be head of the MFHA Finance Committee within a short time of his Directorship. He is a key player in both the HSBF and the MFHA Foundation Board of Directors. When he speaks people listen and he is not afraid to tackle difficult issues or express a minority opinion. As the Executive Director, I valued and sought out his opinions on multiple issues concerning foxhunting. he is an energetic, dedcated, knowledgeable, foxhunter whose contributions to this sport ond its future gp far beyond being Master of the Potomac Hunt. On behalf of the Board...

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Kingdon Gould & Hurdy Gurdy

A Gentleman Jock & His Gallant Foxhunter …and how they became Hunt Cup contenders by Margaret Worrall In the early and mid-1960s, an ordinary little brown horse and his rider, a businessman and avid foxhunter, did something extraordinary: they challenged two of the greatest timber horses of all time, Mountain Dew and Jay Trump. In the end, Hurdy Gurdy and Kingdon Gould, Jr. would not win either a Hunt Cup or a Gold Cup, but they certainly proved their mettle in the process. The duo’s Maryland career was launched with their win of the 1961 Howard County Cup, historically the prep race for Maryland’s big timber (these days, the Howard County Cup Races are held in the more amiable weather of May). The pair spent the next four years either just beating or just losing to these two timber giants. In the process, Hurdy Gurdy and Kingdon Gould, Jr. reinvigorated the original spirit of Maryland timber racing: amateur riders taking their foxhunters over timber fences in the spring just to see who had the fastest horse! On this, the 50th anniversary of their first Howard County Cup victory, the members of the Howard County-Iron Bridge Hounds will dedicate a perpetual trophy to be awarded at the end of the spring racing season to the foxhunting duo who performs the best in the Maryland Steeplechasing Association’s Governor’s Cup Series. The...

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The Life of Leonard – Celebrating 65 years following the Potomac Hounds

(first printed in the December 2012 issue of The Equiery) He has just always been there. Their rock. Their ship’s ballast. Their confidant. Their confessor. For certain ladies of the Potomac Hunt, Leonard Proctor is not just another member of the hunt field, he is a member of their family. For some of the Potomac women, the families who helped found and shape the Potomac Hunt Club, Leonard has been a part of their lives since they were born. Ask Sylvia Bogley Bigger or Fran “Junior” Magassy for their earliest memories of Leonard, and instead of an answer you will get a slightly perplexed look. It is the same look that you would have if you had asked someone to share her earliest memory of a parent. Earliest memory? Impossible. Like a mother or a father, Leonard has just always been there. They have never known life without him. For those who were new to Potomac, Leonard and his famed uncle, Johnny Jackson, were the key to being accepted into the Potomac social circle. “I knew,” explains Jt.-MFH Vicki Crawford, “that when I moved to Potomac in 1960, and I joined the hunt, if I wanted to make any friends I had to make sure that Johnny and Leonard liked me. I spent my first entire party getting to know them, not the guests! If they didn’t like you, you...

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Roger Scullin, MFH – Leading the Field for 30 Years

In 1978, with 20 years of hunting under his belt already, a young vet from Minnesota assumed the mastership of one of the oldest lineages of foxhound bloodlines in the country. Roger I. Scullin dedicated the next 30 years of his life to preserving these historic bloodlines while continuing to develop a keen hound suited for the varied territory of the Howard County – Iron Bridge Hounds. During his tenure, he saw the merger of two packs and two clubs, the Howard County Hounds and the Iron Bridge Hounds, and oversaw the design and building of state-of-the-art kennels. In addition to nurturing and developing young hounds, Dr. Scullin nurtured and developed new foxhunters, introducing countless local horse people to the glory of hounds in full cry. In addition to his myriad duties as Master of Foxhounds and a popular local equine vet, Dr. Scullin has played a critical role in the “behind-the-scenes” aspects of the sport of foxhunting, as well as the horse industry in general. He has served the Masters of Foxhounds Association as a district director and continues to serve on the board of the Maryland Association for Wildlife Conservation, which handles legislative and regulatory relations for foxchasing. Of course, he has actively served on numerous vet-related boards and continues to serve on the board of the Maryland Steeplechase Association, but that is a focus for another...

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