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Estate Open Day at Badminton Introduces Local Children to Hounds

Many equestrians associate the Badminton estate in England with its famous four star eventing competition, but the property is also home to the Duke of Beaufort's Hunt, one of the oldest and largest packs in the United Kingdom. Earlier this month, the present Duke opened the kennels and stables to local schoolchildren for Estate Open Day. This event, now entering its third decade, provides both rural and urban children an opportunity to meet hounds and horses and learn about daily life on the estate.

New British Organization Promotes Hunting to General Public

This is Hunting UK (TiHUK) is a recently-formed group that promotes the positive aspects of hunting to the general public. It was created to proactively educate non-hunters about the varied benefits of our sport, including economic input, game management, community growth, and character development. Chairman Maurice James Barclay, ex-MFH, helped found TiHUK and hopes it can counteract the steady stream of anti-hunting publicity in British popular media.

Ireland's National Governing Body Promotes Equine Industry

It's a good time to buy an Irish horse! At the phenomenally successful Biennial Staff Seminar held in Virginia last April, I was afforded the opportunity to say a few words about some very innovative developments at Horse Sport Ireland (HSI) over the past few years. HSI is the National Governing Body for Equestrian Sport in Ireland and maintains the Irish Horse Register (analogous to the USEF or Equine Canada). HSI has created, through its subsidiary company, Irish Horse Gateway, a very attractive and trouble-free environment in which to buy a horse.

Foxhunters Race on Both Sides of the Atlantic

Irishman Ivan Dowling, who grew up hunting with the Galway Blazers in Ireland and has hunted Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds in Unionville, Pennsylvania, for the past twelve seasons, is developing an impressive reputation at race riding and training. He was the first professional huntsman to ride in the most challenging timber race in America, the Maryland Hunt Cup: a series of twenty-eight upright post-and-rail fences over a distance of four miles, some five feet high with no ground line!

British Group Plans March to Support Agriculture

Farmers for Action, an organization created to promote the farming industry in the United Kingdom, has organized a March from Waterloo Place to Trafalgar Square, and then on to Downing Street in London on March 23, 2016. Farmers for Action is chaired by David Handley, a dairy farmer and ex-MFH of two local hunts. Mr. Handley notes that the interests of agriculture and foxhunting are often connected, as much of our hunt country is also farmland.

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.

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