|Excerpts from "Looking for Mr. Right: Addressing the Issues of Supply and Demand", Covertside, September 2005
In the September 2005 issue of Covertside magazine, the American Fox Hunting Association bemoans the lack of suitable fox hunting mounts available in the United States. Two of the many fox hunting mounts VSH sells every year are pictured in the article.
According to Dennis Foster, Executive Director of the Masters of Foxhounds Association,..."Ensuring foxhunting is affordable, accessible, and enjoyable for riders at various skill levels will be a constant challenge. We need to recognize that times have changed. Most territories are evolving and the dimensions of a hunt are redefining the types of horses needed to provide a rider an enjoyable and safe day foxhunting. Gone are the days when everyone needed to hunt a Thoroughbred. In fact, not many foxhunters need or should hunt a Thoroughbred. The half-bred draft crosses will meet the needs of many other foxhunters. Horses who are 'insurance policies' for their rider are in great demand, and given the demographics of membership in many hunt clubs, I don't see that changing anytime soon."
According to Foster, twenty to twenty-five thousand dollars is the price one might have to pay for a made foxhunter with field experience and jumping talent on the East Coast. "And even with that price tag, they are not easy to find.....Today, fifteen thousand might buy a horse that was hunted a few times, is relatively quiet, but he may be fairly green with limited training. Those green edges can surface unexpectedly in the hunt field, and suddenly, a novice to intermediate rider can have a very unpleasant experience."
Edith Conyers of Lexington, Kentucky has been an ardent foxhunter for nearly sixty years. Ms. Conyers has been finding, training and often retraining horses for clients for several years. Many of her clients are people of various skill levels wishing to foxhunt. Given the riders and the changes in hunt territory, Conyers agrees that Thoroughbreds are not the breed of choice for many foxhunters today......"Many people looking to purchase a horse are simply not educated enough to know what type of horse to purchase, what to look for, and how much to pay....A quieter horse with a bit denser bone and a good brain is mainly what I look for in client's horses.....The half-bred draft crosses usually do exceptionally well for my needs. They generally have good feet, a great brain, and with training, education, and extensive time under saddle, are worth their weight in gold."