The Mosby Heritage Area Association will be offering a foxhunting panel discussion from 5-7 p.m. February 10, at the National Sporting Library and Museum in Middleburg.
Four panelists will speak to "The History and Future of the Sport in the Piedmont," offering firsthand perspective into and experience with this region’s beloved foxhunting and equine sports. A question and answer discussion will follow.
MHAA has gathered some of the most respected leaders in the foxhunting field to participate in the discussion, including:
Robert Ashcom, originally from Charlottesville, is the former joint Master and Huntsman to the Tryon Hounds. Ashcom and his wife, Susie, hunted with the Bradbury Foxhounds in the Quansett country of then-president of the Master of Foxhounds, William Almay, Jr. He also served as Field Master to the Farmington Hunt, while Susie was Whipper-In. He has authored two books on foxhunting, a novel about growing up in rural Virginia in the 1940s, Winter Run, and Lost Hound, which examines foxhunting with beautiful images by sporting artist Jane Gaston. Winter Run was the recipient of the 2002 New Writing Award from the Fellowship of Southern Writers. Ashcom is a retired associate professor of English at Lord Fairfax Community College and lives in Warrenton. He still hunts in Warrenton and Keswick.
Tommy Lee Jones has served as Huntsman of the Casanova Hunt since 1970. Jones started foxhunting as a child with the Bull Run Hunt. Jones manages the Upperville Colt and Horse Show, the Warrenton Pony Show and the Warrenton Horse Show. He is a member of the Virginia Point-to-Point Council, the Virginia Horse Shows Association Management Committee and serves on the Board of the Virginia Thoroughbred Association. Jones, along with his mother, runs and manages New Hope Farm in Warrenton, which prepares horses for sale, racing and hunting. He has written articles for In & Around Horse Country and Loudoun Magazine, among others.
Albert Poe was born in Hume in 1931, one of ten children; one being a fellow legend in the foxhunting world, Melvin. At age 23, Poe became the youngest professional Huntsman in the whole country, when he was hired by Paul Mellon and Mrs. A.C. Randolph of the Piedmont Hunt in 1954. He has also served as Huntsman for the Fairfax and Middleburg Hunts, and as Whipper-In to the Old Dominion Hounds. Poe is widely considered the preeminent breeder of American Foxhounds of the 20th century. He has trained race horses in Charlestown, WV, and has been celebrated as a steeplechase rider and trainer. Poe’s hounds have been absorbed into many other packs, including the Bath County Hounds.
Melvin Poe, 11 years senior to brother Albert, was huntsman for the Old Dominion and Orange County Hunts in Virginia and has been the subject of a book, Foxhunting With Melvin Poe, by the late Peter Winants, and a documentary film, Thoughts on Foxhunting. In 1992, Melvin became huntsman of the Bath County Hounds founded that year by George Ohrstrom in Warm Springs, to hunt on his 3,000 acre farm. At 92 years old, he maintains, AND RIDES TO the pack to this day on his farm in Hume. Certainly, the Poe brothers have stories to tell of the changes they have seen take place in the Piedmont countryside.
The Mosby Heritage Area Association has arranged this special discussion as a tribute to the renowned horsemanship characteristic of this heritage area. Col. John Singleton Mosby, C.S.A., who operated in this area during the Civil War, was a legendary horseman, along with his “Rangers.” They were famed for daring raids, unmatched riding ability, and courage against the Federal troops. The area then known as “Mosby’s Confederacy” is now the Mosby Heritage Area and is every bit as rooted in equine sports now as it was then.
Cost to attend is $25 for MHAA members or $30 for non-members. Space is limited. Call 540-687-6681 or email email@example.com to register.
More information can be found at www.mosbyheritagearea.org.
The mission of the nonprofit Mosby Heritage Area Association, formed in 1995, is to help preserve the Northern Virginia Piedmont and increase public knowledge about this historic area. MHAA provides classroom history programs for 4th and 11th grade Virginia students, sponsors lectures, programs and field trips, and brings nationally known scholars to the area for its award-winning annual Civil War Conference. For more information, visit www.mosbyheritagearea.org.