The origins of the Middleburg Hunt can be traced to the great international foxhunting match between A. Henry Higginson’s Middlesex and Harry Worcester Smith’s Grafton hounds in 1905. The match was arranged to settle a dispute between the gentlemen concerning the superiority of their respective English and American packs of hounds. Mr. Smith’s American hounds decisively won the match. The hunting during those two weeks of the match as well as the consequent newspaper publicity established Middleburg as the axis of the Hunt Country of America, since the hunting took place largely in the area near the village.
John T. Townsend served as the first Master of Foxhounds of the Middleburg Hunt, established in 1906 and recognized in 1908 by the Masters of Foxhounds Association. One of the hunt country’s most illustrious sportsmen and citizens, Daniel Cox Sands, became Master of Middleburg in 1915 and was to lead the field for nearly forty years until his retirement in 1953. In 1912 Mr. Sands founded and became the first president of the American Foxhound Association. At about the same time he helped to organize the Middleburg Racing Association and chaired the racing committee until his death in 1963. In 1932 Glenwood Park was built on Mr. Sands’ property and this lovely course with its fieldstone grandstand and unmatched views came into being.
Miss Charlotte Noland, founder of the Foxcroft School, served as Joint-Master with Mr. Sands from 1932 to 1946. Headmistress of Foxcroft for forty-seven years, she encouraged her students to foxhunt, and riding became an integral part of the Foxcroft curriculum. In 1946 when Miss Noland retired as Joint-Master she passed the title on to Newell J. (Buddy) Ward. Mr. Ward succeeded Mr. Sands as Master in 1953 until he retired in the end of the 1972 season. Serving as Joint Masters since Mr. Ward have been Mr. Archibald J. Kingsley, Mrs. Richard Riemenschneider, Mrs. Rodion Cantacuzene, Dr. James Gable and Mrs. Gary Gardner. Serving today are Mr. Jeffrey Blue and Mrs. John Denegre.
Our famous pack numbers 40 couple of entered American foxhounds. The country of the Middleburg Hunt is approximately 10 by 15 miles extending largely to the north and east of Middleburg. The hunt meets Monday, Thursday, and Saturday from early September until mid-March. The Hunt attire is scarlet with apple-green collar and buttons are brass with initials MH.
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