Norman Fine, at FoxHuntingLife.com, reports on the recent birthday party held for renowned Huntsman Melvin Poe’s 90th.
Hounds were screaming, and the huntsman was cooking. A cattle guard loomed aheadâ€”a coop to the left and a gate to the right. The huntsman veered left.
“Melvin,” someone yelled, “the gateâ€™s on the right!”
“Melvin just kept kicking on, right over the coop,” recalled Joe Conner, shaking his head and grinning in wonder.
Conner, who has whipped-in to Melvin for years at Bath County (VA), didnâ€™t resurrect that story out of a distant past. It had happened only weeks before Melvin Poeâ€™s ninetieth birthday celebration.
A month or so earlier, I had recognized the same notes of awe and wonder as I stood chatting withe Brian Smith, my farrier, about Melvinâ€™s upcoming ninetieth birthday.
“I was just down at Melvinâ€™s shoeing horses,” he said, “and man, he climbs up on his horse smoother than I do!”
Saturday night, August 28, friends and family gathered at the Marriott Ranch in Hume, Virginia, just down the road from Melvinâ€™s and Peggyâ€™s farm, to celebrate his ninetieth birthday and to honor his achievements.