Virginia Hound Show

 When the opportunity arises to attend the Virginia Foxhound Show, be sure to say yes.

This show is a great honor for any amateur, professional or observer. Put on by the Virginia Foxhound Club, and is held at Morven Park.  The magnificent venue under the old oak trees, the opportunity to make new friends and re-acquaint with old ones and the display of the best foxhounds from hunts across the United States and Canada make this an event not to be missed.

Looking around during the show, a feeling of being transported in time comes upon you. Bloodlines that reach back hundreds of years, white coats, judges in shirts and ties (and dresses). It’s a very quiet event, no loudspeakers or music. Just a large group of people, and lots and lots of foxhounds. The peacefulness is broken only by the cheers of the crowd when their favorite is pinned, or by a ruckus back at the kennels, which can either be the baying or the singing of the hounds. I always amuse myself when I can hear the hounds that they are calling out to their huntsman… PLEASE TAKE ME TO THE RING I’M READY!!

Hound Show-15

There is a keen sense of competition underlying the friendships all hunts make with one another. There are always the prestigious packs that place well, but the whoop that arises from the crowd when a lesser known entrant wins is amazing.

Participating in the show is a great honor for both amateurs and professionals. It’s also an opportunity for masters and huntsmen to see hounds they might like to breed to for a certain missing link in their current pack. Whether bloodlines, confirmation, bidability, additional gene pools or any other areas where their pack needs reinforcement, that type of hound will be at the Virginia Hound Show. Not only can a huntsman actually see the hound, they have the chance to speak to the person that actually bred the hound, discuss why they bred to the line in the first place and, by far the most important criteria, how the hound actually hunts.

Standing 'em up

Standing ’em up

One of the most significant highlights of the day are the Junior Handler Classes. Looking down the oak lined lane watching the young handlers prepare to enter reminds me of a Norman Rockwell painting ?

Getting Ready

Getting Ready

The two classes are arranged by age and are some of the most competitive and highly attended classes of the day.

Showing style

Showing style

In the ring

In the ring









The weekend also features an evening dinner which gives everyone a chance to socialize before the show. The cocktail party and dinner are held on the lawn of the “Davis Mansion”, a 22 room Greek revival home whose last residents were the Honorable Mr. and Mrs. Westmoreland Davis, the 55th Governor of Virginia. The highlight of the evening is the horn blowing championship, in which most huntsmen participate. It’s wonderful to hear the different horns and styles of each competitor, and I’m always happy that I don’t have to be the judge.


Horn Blowing-15

Horn Blowing Contestants


After the show there is yet another party to discuss results and congratulate the winners. Then, sadly, it’s time for everyone to pack up, load up and trailer on back home to begin planning for the next season. After all there are new (and old) entry to walk, trails to clear, coops to build, breedings to plan and many other tasks too numerous to mention.

I’ll be looking forward to seeing you at the show in 2016. It will be here before we know it.

  • Joan – (on behalf of Middleburg Photo)

Joan Strahler is a blogger, social media, public relations, website and IT consultant based in Leesburg, VA. An avid equestrian, hunter and dog lover, she spends as much time as possible at the kennels.

Goodstone and Middleburg Photo

Goodstone spotlights Middleburg Photo!  Thanks Goodstone!



Middleburg Photo visits Goodstone

Karen Monroe and Douglas Gehlsen of Middleburg Photo are two very talented photographers who combine years of experience with exceptional artistic style . . . creating classic moments that you’ll want to treasure forever. From hunt country scenes to memorable weddings, their photographic life revolves around country living at its best. Published nationally in Sophisticated Living Magazine, Doug and Karen are also featured frequently in local newspapers, including Middleburg Life, Horse Country and The Chronicle.

In 2010, Doug received an Accolade of Excellence from the Wedding and Portrait Photographers International (WPPI).

Karen Monroe grew up on Goodstone with the well-known Warburg grey horses — photographing the very old tradition of fox hunting, showcasing the Hunt Horse and the working hound.

Middleburg Photo will take you on a journey galloping over stone walls and rolling hills that echo with the unforgettable sound of hounds in full cry. The below photographs were taken at a recent winter meet at Goodstone.

Won’t you come out and join us for a stirrup cup? Bring your camera and let the adventure begin!

For more information on Middelburg Photo, please visit

Side Saddle Hunt – Meath Foxhounds

Side Saddle

“Riding side saddle has been experiencing a revival around the world in the past decade, so it was not a surprise to learn that riders were coming from Ireland, the United Kingdom, America, France, Denmark, Sweden, and Italy. In addition to George and me, the other American riders were side saddle ladies Maggie Johnston (VA) and Susan Corwin (KY), and gentlemen escorts Jan Chrypinski (MD), Shawn Roberts (VA), and Travis Allen Page (SC). Caren Carter (NC) and Denise Hamilton (SC), both experienced side saddle riders, attended to provide support, and Karen Monroe and Doug Gehlsen from Middleburg Photo (VA) were making a photographic record of the weekend.” by Devon Zebrovious from The Chronicle of the Horse.

Click here for the full gallery