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Spring 2016 Beagle Pack Trials

15 Apr 2016 11:12 PM | W. Cody Anderson (Administrator)

The spring beagles, held on the grounds of the Institute Farm in Aldie, Virginia began with a whirlwind and by whirlwind-we shall mostly refer to the continuous blusters which swept over the five-day formal pack trial at the National Beagle Club grounds. Held in Aldie, Virginia, the competition started bright and early on Wednesday, March 30, 2016. At 7:00 a.m., eleven packs straight respectfully presented to our trial judges David Vore and Dan Jones.  On our first

day of competition, skies were brilliantly blue. The steady and straight of jet streams overhead (courtesy of the three DC airports) were simply a clever ruse as a resilient and constant course of winds vexed the scenting almost the entire course of the trial.


The blustery conditions were troublesome, but paled in comparison to the melancholy overtone at the absence of Patricia Jacobs, who passed just a week before the trial. Aside from the trial Treasurer she was an inspiring and dedicated member of the Ardrossan Beagles and the National Beagle Club and a very dear friend to us all. She ran a tight ship but it was well respected and she did all with her brilliantly painted Revlon red nails. In her honor the ladies participating donned the same.


The first cast of the trial began with Old Chatham from Columbia County, New York. Temperatures had dipped just beneath the freezing point and the green fescue was encased by a crystallized gloss which trapped the scent of numerous nocturnal critters.  Alas Old Chatham fell victim to the night lines and morphing scents.  Indeed, it would take a few packs to dispel the troubled scenting.  


Miki Crane presented her Hill's Bridge three couple mid-morning when the frost had finally evaporated.  She found a high stepping puss relatively quickly and pursued him enthusiastically and with great momentum through the hollow of the enclosure including a tricky foray through the defunct vegetable garden toward the back fence. This run earned the Hills Bridge a fourth place.


Larry Bright and his Octorara beagles, assisted by his keen wife Debbie Bright and whipper-in Dunham Hollister were poised and prepared to meet Mother Nature and her be-twixting morals.  Mr. Bright found a high fluting cottontail buried in the upper stone wall and gave a confident, resounding chase to the tall stands of woods and back to its origin. Mr. Bright’s beagles remained shoulder to shoulder and were careful not to overstep the line. It was a grand example of holding the line when difficult conditions might tempt a pack to sway. In turn, it was rewarded a blue ribbon!


The Bedlam beagles found a gung-ho cottontail in the hollow of the enclosure and Mandy Bobbitt’s hounds rocked back and forth in solid pursuit and almost entirely unassisted by the staff or huntsman. There were moments of brilliant cry which echoed like she had snuck in a few hounds to help, but it was the core in full pursuit. This run earned a solid second place.


There are few adjectives to describe the character that is Mr. Ramsey Barrett, should it be necessary, let us say that he is the ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ of the competing packs. Ramsey and his hounds are full of vim and vigor and feed off their huntsman’s enthusiasm. Their attention to detail with regard to a neat presentation is often disregarded when his hounds start hunting. They are keen to the scent and trust that Ramsay will lead them on a solid pursuit, as they did in a three couple which spread across the top of the enclosure with a solid chase which placed them third in the standings.


The trend-setting Octorora continued their 'scent-sational' reign in the five couple when it drew the side hill between the Graveyard and the Merry Meadow.  It took only a few minutes until Larry’s pack popped up a grand sprinter that laid a reliable line for his five couple to pursue. The Field either stood above or below the hillside swale as hounds rocketed to and fro in a demonstrated blanket format.  There were a few short checks and a slightly longer hesitation near the end, but hounds popped their puss and Mr. Bright whistled them to the line with style and they R.S.V.P.’d in force!  


For the next part of the afternoon this hillside was likened to the Eagles Hotel California lyrics ‘you can check out anytime you’d like but you can’t ever leave’…The next two packs, Mandy Bobbitt’s Bedlam beagles and Miki’s Hill’s Bridge attempted to draw virgin ground, but their rabbits re-routed to the well-worn hillside covert. A little more spread out than the Octorara, Bedlam still pursued with great momentum and cry. Whippers-in Jeff and Billy had several views to set hounds back on the line if they were bothered. Hounds actually drew uphill a fair shake further and had one delightful rant up and across the Merry Meadow in full view of Field and judges.


I was a few minutes tardy for the Hills Bridge five couple but had no trouble finding them by simply following the roar of the canine crowd as they too blasted back and forth across the featured site. Liz & Lee Reeser had a plethora of views to relay to the huntsman and she cheered them on with abundant enthusiasm. This energetic run gathered a 4 th place.


The Glenbarr beagles had a delightful and full force run to rival the Octorara. The impressive part of this pack was their enthusiasm to hark in at a moment’s notice. Scenting was not perfect, but the Glenbarr beagles, inspired by Mr. Bobbitts’s gentle whistles and easy encouragement made his hounds believe that all he said was true and followed his lead through the tricky bothers.


The eight couples began at the break of dawn on Saturday morning and the Old Chatham was first to go on the dewy morn. They cast immediately and struck just outside the kennel woods. Scenting was keen and the pack enthusiastically pressed their quarry between Field One and the Dump Woods with desperate cry. Their Achilles heel was the lower ground when their quarry ricocheted from the scattered coverts and caused a few foils. But their resilient efforts 

earned them a second place.


The Octorara had the key to the lock at this trial and their eight couple presented high above in Field Four. Initially they had a stale start as they drew for 15 minutes before striking a calculating cottontail which laid a trail of glory on the apex of the grounds. As previously demonstrated in the aforementioned classes, this pack was prepared for any pursuit and this class was no exception. Hounds held the line flawlessly for an academic loop. A few nods and smiles from the Field were confirmed by the judges when, once again, Octorara took the silver

home at the evening announcements.


The Farmington hounds popped a smart cottontail which created tremendous cry along the cover above the pond. Huntsman Sherry Buttrick patiently cheered her pack forward as they worked the line a parallel across the steep bank. Farmington received third place just in front of the Bedlam beagles who proved, as always, they were solid competition in every division.


Just before noon on Sunday we gathered for the results in the final announcements. The trial belonged to the Octorora as they collected the John C. Baker Horn for the highest overall score in competition and the Treweryn Bowl for the highest scored run in completion for their brilliant five couple.


We thanked our die-hard sponsor, Purina, for providing hounds with food for the trial. In addition, we applauded our caretaker Ray Owen, for his meticulous care of the grounds and his countless hours mowing, grooming, raking and clearing the 400+ acres.


The results for the National Beagle Club 2016 Spring Trials:


Three couple class (17 entries) The Nantucket Harrier Plate

1 st Octorara

2 nd Bedlam

3 rd Orlean

4 th Hills Bridge


Five couple class (17 entries) The Huyler Thophy

1 st Octorara

2 nd Glenbarr

3 rd Wolver

4 th Hills Bridge


Eight couple class (12 entries) The Richard V. N. Gambrill Memorial Plate

1 st Octorara

2 nd Old Chatham

3 rd Farmington

4 th Bedlam


The Treweryn Bowl for Highest Scored Run:

Octorara’s Five Couple


The John C. Baker Horn for Highest Scored Pack:

Octorara


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