Hounds was organized in 1981 by its first MFH, Richard Dole, and his wife,
Tessa. Dick had been the longtime master of
the Mells Fox Hounds in Tennessee and before that he had served as master
of the Blue Ridge Hunt in Virginia. Tessa’s father, Lieutenant Colonel
Riddick, had been master of the High Peak Harriers in England and both
Tessa and Dick shared a lifelong involvement in breeding and hunting a pack
of hounds and making hunters.
They opened up the hunt country in southern Woodford and western Jessamine
Counties and built kennels on their farm on Kidd’s Mill Rd. in Woodford.
Dick asked his old honorary whipper-in from Mells, Dr. Charles Walker, to
come to Kentucky to join him and Charlie, an equine veterinarian, upped
stakes and moved to Woodford County to a lovely ante-bellum house on the
banks of Craig’s Creek on Ford’s Mill Rd. The hunt was recognized by the
MFHA in 1982. The kennels were later relocated to Charlie’s place where
they remained for 20 years until the summer of 2006 when the hunt purchased
property adjacent to the Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill and built new
kennels and stabling for the huntsman’s horses. A house on the property was
completely renovated as a huntsman’s lodging as well.
Dick carried the horn and Charlie whipped-in and they soon had an
enthusiastic group of sportsmen and women following hounds through the
challenging country after the abundant red and gray foxes and coyotes.
Charlie joined Dick as a joint-MFH in 1983 and assumed the huntsman duties
as well. He continued to hunt the hounds, showing tremendous sport, and
serve as Master until retiring in 2000. For a number of years, Dick and
Charlie were joined by Dr. Herman Playforth as a joint-MFH prior to his
Ill health forced Dick to give up an active roll in the hunt but he
remained our senior Master until his death in 1998. Charlie asked Robbie
Lyons to join the mastership in 1998 and they were joined by Jane
Winegardner in 2000. In 2004, Sam Adams joined Robbie and Jane as a
joint-MFH. Following Charlie’s retirement, our first professional huntsman
was hired, Tim Richardson, from the Zetland Hunt in Yorkshire, England. Tim
stayed with us one season before returning to help run his family’s farm in
England. Robbie hunted hounds himself one season, showing tremendous sport
and then in 2003 we hired another huntsman, Paul Jeremy, who came to us
from Fox River
Valley. Paul left at
the end of the 2005-2006 season, to be replaced by Glen Westmoreland from
the London Hunt in Ontario, Canada.
Glen’s wife Sharon whips in to him as well.
As development and urban sprawl encroached on our home country in Woodford
County, additional countries were opened up in Mercer, Lincoln and Nelson
counties. We now have a challenging mix of countries with everything from
vast fields bordered by stone walls to forested hilltops. More country
continues to be opened in Lincoln and Garrard and Mercer each season
through the hard work of our masters.
With the addition of our new countries, a dedicated team of masters and a
fine pack of hounds, the Woodford Hounds seems certain to provide many
years of challenging and enjoyable sport for many years to come.