Ben Hardaway, Crossbred Foxhound, Crossbred Foxhounds, Field Sports, Fox Hunting, Foxhunting, Rappahannock Hunt, Virginia
Karen’s photoessay on our visit with the Rappahannock Hunt on September 11th is now up.
The Rappahannock hounds are Crossbreds. Now recognized as a separate category at hound shows, the Crossbred Hound, a mixture of American and English foxhounds, was created by Ben Hardaway, Master of Georgia’s Midland Hunt, in response to the arrival of White-tailed deer in his country in the 1960s. Hardaway’s July hounds went off on a deer, and they were eating the same deer when he finally caught up with them days later. To create a deer-proof foxhound, Hardaway searched the British Isles for more docile, deer-resistant strains of foxhound which he subsequently successfully blended with classic American hound lines, finally added a soupÃ§on of Penn Marydel to add just a little extra cry. Hardaway’s breeding program was so successful that the Crossbred category is usually the best represented at current hound shows.
Several of the Rappahannock hounds were long-haired, a trait evidencing Welsh hound ancestry.
That Saturday morning the Rappahannock hounds seemed even more filled with energy and high-spirits than hound packs typically are in general, which is saying a lot. It seemed to be snowing hounds as the pack, released from their trailer, ran, rolled, and frolicked, dashing in circles around the huntsman.
The morning’s cubbing was overlooked by a Bald Eagle who sat perched and watching with obvious interest from a dead tree by a local stream, which I think must have been the Thornton River.