News: Our Luxury Riding Vacations in Hounds Magazine

We were delighted to have our luxury riding vacations featured in the October edition of Hounds Magazine. Many thanks to the superb editorial team there for their support. You can read more about this cracking publication here.

Hounds magazine was started 28 years ago to fill a gap in the market for editorial coverage of foxhunting. It is dedicated solely to hunting with hounds and is full of excellent articles on foxhounds, bloodhounds, basset hounds and beagles. In fact, it definitely warrants its title!

One of the nicest elements of the magazine is the superb artwork that always graces the front page. Original paintings each month are chosen and they give the magazine a lovely traditional feel.

They certainly are the perfect thing to put in our guests’ rooms when they come to visit on our riding or hunting vacations.

Our Luxury Riding Vacations in Hounds Magazine

You can read the full article here:

We sometimes forget our cousins across the pond and their shared love of the chase. North America has over 155 hunts registered with their MFHA; their countries range from the soft deciduous hills of Virginia recognisable to any Englishman, to the arid deserts of Arizona and Texas more reminiscent of a western film.

Whatever the terrain, North American packs remain faithful to their English heritage. Drafted hounds, imported hunters and a troop of British and Irish hunt staff guarantee the field a strong echo of the old country.

For the American sportsman with an eye on the birthplace of hunting, a small travel company based in Somerset is now offering luxury hunting holidays with packs such as the Blackmore & Sparkford Vale, the Portman and the New Forest.

Run by Ben Darlington & Megan Corp, Blackthorn & Brook offers an all inclusive experience. “We match each customer to a good horse, choose a day that will suit their ability and even fill their flask with their favourite tipple!” says Megan. Out of the saddle, they source handpicked pubs and hotels, personally chauffeur their guests and arrange exciting and unusual diversions for non-hunting days.

The idea for luxury riding vacations grew out of the pair’s experience of working for Ben’s grandfather, Brigadier Peter Marzetti. The former MFH of the Blackmore Vale has been sending hunters to Virginia since the early 1990s. Over 30 horses have gone to the Blue Ridge Hunt where Jt. Master Anne McIntosh finds them homes on the East Coast.

“There’s a real taste out there for doing it the English way”, says Ben. “When Meg and I were hunting in Virginia, it seemed there were plenty of people who might like to come over and hunt, but perhaps would appreciate the whole package rather than just being handed a strange horse at the meet”.

Between them they seem to make a good team. Megan is an experienced horsewoman who was formerly head groom for the French showjumper Pierre Marie Dubois. Whilst she provides the guiding from the saddle, Ben is the man on the ground. “I love the rural history, architecture and natural life of the West Country, and I think our guests really enjoy being able to share that”.

With a successful season last year under their belt it seems the Americans agree – a dozen more foxhunters have signed up this year and are looking forward – as we all are – to some superb hunting this season.



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Please note, throughout our website we use the term fox hunting to mean all of the activities carried out by our participating hunts operating within the constraints of the Hunting Act 2004.