The fox is unquestionably a sportsman, and certainly a master of woodcraft. The fox seems to glory in the chase, and when the game is over, he simply goes to ground. There are red and gray foxes, but the red fox is the most often seen in Virginia. The red fox also provides better sport, as he runs in large circles that challenge the hounds while staying in the country. The best way to learn about the fox’s habits is to talk to experienced foxhunters – everyone has a story.
The foxhound is referred to as a hound, never a dog. Their use distinguishes foxhunters from all other equestrian sports. There are two groups of foxhounds in North America: those that are bred to hunt individually as in night hunting, and those that are bred to hunt in a pack. Of the pack hounds, there are different strains: Penn-Mary-Del, American, English, and the Crossbred. Each Hunt breeds for the traits which best suit their needs and their country.pack-hunting
Every year, the Farmington Hunt breeds two or three bitches, so we have puppies each year. Selective breeding of foxhounds has been practiced for over 200 years.
Some desirable qualities in a hound are: nose, cry, drive, steadiness, biddability, and conformation. The training of young entry begins at three months; as time progresses, through handling, they learn obedience to the horn, and familiarity with horses and country. Ultimately, they learn from the older experienced hounds in the pack who are the best school masters in the Field. The hounds work very hard and have the complete right of way. Look for them to put their noses down and begin to work the line (scent). The more you observe their efforts, the more you can appreciate their talent and training, and the more enjoyable the art of foxhunting will become.
All members are welcome to “walk-out” from the kennels every morning (except Sunday).