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  • Writer's pictureTim Hackworth

Those Noisy Little Birds...

Photo: Woodcock eggs in March.

One of the most famous and most popular foxhunters in the history of American field trial foxhunting was Sam Wooldridge of Versailles, Kentucky. In addition to owning many famous foxhounds, Wooldridge was responsible for starting "The Chase" magazine in 1920. He was editor of the magazine until his death following an auto accident at age 65 in December 1945.

Wooldridge had a love for horses and hounds, particularly the Walker strain of foxhounds. Owning a farm in the Bluegrass region of Kentucky, he was fond riding after hounds, often hunting in daytime, unlike most field trial foxhunters. He started foxhunting toward the end of the time of the Walker brothers, but knew them and their hounds well. He bred for a beautiful hound, and was very successful in both field and show events.

Photo above from May 1923 The Chase magazine shows a photo of Big Stride, Wooldridge's most famous hound.

Wooldridge's time as editor of The Chase magazine paralleled that of Ike Carrel with Hounds and Hunting. Both men were excellent writers, and produced a quality magazine during a time when hound hunting was at its peak in America. Both loved a dual purpose (show/field) hound and had great reputations as hound breeders. Wooldridge and Carrel are legendary figures the likes of which we have not seen since their passing.

I once read that Wooldridge complained about this time of year by saying something like "The weather is warming, the running is picking up, everything is going well and then along come those noisy little birds!". Some spring mornings when my hounds are really running well, I feel the same way!

Photo below from 2010. Leading the 10 driving hounds are Tally, Charmer, Birdbaby and Tackler.


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