Thursday, November 4, 2010

You're gonna LOVE 'em!

by Beth Blackwell, MBH

Enjoy the sound of the horn on a crisp fall day? Thrill at the roar of deep hound voices hot on their quarry? Basset hunting provides all the thrill of the hunt!

Basset Hunting is the sport of hunting rabbit, mostly on foot, in a similiar manner of hunting as we do in mounted foxhunting.  Hounds are trained and hunted with the horn and voice commands almost identical to foxhounds.  The areas that are hunted are much smaller and the hounds move at a slower pace than that of their distant cousins.  Basset Packs can be registered with the American Beagle Club, which is an organization similiar to the MFHA.

The Cedar Way Basset Pack was organized by the late Herb Schneider of Auburn, Alabama, in 1991 and registered in 1997.  The majority of the hounds were drafted from the Ripshin Basset Pack of Columbus, Georgia.  Herb started the pack for his own enjoyment, taking them to a few field trials in Aldie, Virginia, but mostly hunting them at his discretion right from his back door in Auburn.  Herb was the hunt seat coach for the Auburn University Intercollegiate Horse Show Team and was instrumental in the start of Equestrian Sports in the NCAA Varsity League.  Through this connection, Beth Blackwell began hunting bassets with Herb and soon became hooked on the sport.  Herb passed away in 2004 leaving the pack, including three pregnant hounds, with Beth!  The pack has recently been split and now consists mostly of young entries.  The main stud dog is a half "PBGV" (Petit Basset Griffon VanDeen) or "fuzzy" basset.  Several of the hounds have what appears to be a "rough" coat.  This enables them to hunt in the thick briars without tearing at their ears and hide.

The goal of Cedar Way Bassets is to bring together all people interested in hunting and hounds that may or may not also enjoy the sport of mounted foxhunting.  We strongly encourage junior participation, especially in the role of staff.  Formal meets will include staff in formal beagling attire and will have a breakfast or tailgate.  In keeping with Herb's tradition, the bassets are hunted for fun.  The bassets enjoy life like no other hound and they are more than eager to share their enthusiasm with others!

 Please contact Beth at for more information and hunting schedules.