History of the mooreland Hunt
The Mooreland Hunt was organized in 1961 on the Madison-Limestone County Line Road with Harry Moore Rhett, Jr. as Master of Foxhounds. Hounds, American, English and Cross-bred, were acquired from hunts in Tennessee, Virginia, New Jersey, and Kentucky as well as from night fox hunters in Alabama. The pack of hounds today is primarily Cross-bred.
Edyth G. Balsley served as Honorary Secretary the first season of the hunt. Colonel John L. Horner, Jr., was Honorary Whipper-in and Ray W. Cochran was Huntsman. Hounds went out 52 times during this first season of 1961-62.
Mr. Rhett enjoying a day out hunting.
The First Blessing of the Hounds took place on Opening Day, November 10, 1962, with The Reverend A. Emile Joffrion of Episcopal Church of the Nativity officiating. At the Beginning of the 1962-63 season, changes in the hunt staff resulted in Charles G. Tedford becoming Honorary Secretary, Herbert W. Palmer, Honorary Whipper-in and Colonel John L. Horner, Jr., Field Master. In 1964, William J. Lindberg joined the hunt staff as Honorary Whipper-in, a position he retained until 1984. In 1965, George A. Martin became Field Master and served until 1988.
On May 24, 1964, the first "An Afternoon in the Country," later to be called "A Day in the Country," was held at Mooreland Farm with Mrs. Ed Ezzell, Jr., of Chapel Hill, Tennessee, as judge. In April of 1965, the members of the Mooreland Hunt sponsored a hunter trials. This became an annual event attracting entries from throughout the Southeast. Among those who participated was Melanie Smith of Memphis, Tennessee, who has since received international recognition as a rider. Dennis Murphy, now of Birmingham, Alabama, and a former member of the United States Olympic Equestrian Team, was also a participant in the Mooreland Hunt Trials.
In 1967, John S. Scott became Honorary Secretary of the Hunt, and in in 1974,he assumed the position of Joint Master of the Foxhounds in addition to his duties as Honorary Secretary.
In February of 1968, the members of the Mooreland Hunt hosted their first hunt ball. in 1969, a so-called "Hunt Week" was inaugurated with Hooker-Brown-Bonnie Foxhounds along with the Mooreland Hunt hounds supplying several days of hunting, culminating with the hunt ball Saturday evening, February 8.
In 1972, the members of the Mooreland Hunt decided not to continue to sponsor an annual hunter trials, but rater revert to "A Day in the Country" with participation by those who hunted with the Mooreland Hunt, which lasted until the Spring of 2008.
At the beginning of the 1972-73 hunting season, George M. Burn joined the hunt staff as an Honorary Whipper-in. In 1975, he assumed the position of Honorary Secretary and continued in that capacity until his death in 1997. Effective May 1, 1974, Tommy G. Haney replaced Ray W. Cochran as Huntsman of the Mooreland Hounds, until his retirement in 1996.
In 1983, The Mooreland Hunt staff, hounds, kennels, and country were used in the filming of a slide presentation by the Museum of Foxhunting in Leesburg, Virginia. A photograph of the hunt staff and hounds hangs in the museum.
The membership of the Mooreland Hunt was saddened by the death in 1983 of Joint Master John S. Scott. At the beginning of the 1988-89 hunting season, Mrs. William W. Carter joined the hunt staff as Field Master and served until 1992. Mrs. Michael F. Ryan became Field Master at the beginning of the 1992-93 hunting season. Mrs. Henry E. Crosby, Jr. joined the hunt staff as Joint Master of the Foxhounds at the beginning of the 1993-94 hunting season. In 1995, Dr. John B. Sewell, Jr. and Joseph M. Walters, Jr. became Joint Masters of the Foxhounds. In the start of the same season, A. Allen Lacy was named alternate Field Master.
In 1996, after the death of founding Master, Harry Moore Rhett, Jr., Mrs. Crosby and Dr. Sewell continued to serve as Joint Masters. Joining them as professional huntsman for the 1996 and 1997 seasons was Stephen P. Clifton. Paul Richard Jeremy also joined the staff as a professional Whipper-in from 1997 to 1999.
Mooreland's tradition of good sport carried on with the addition of Dennis Downing as professional Huntsman and Dr. Jon Rice Moody as Honorary Secretary in 1998. "A Night in the Country," an evening gala, was held in April in conjunction with "A Day in the Country."
In 1999, Dr. Jon Rice Moody became a Joint Master. Mr. Kenneth D. Mason served as alternate flight Field Master from 1999 - 2000. In 2000, Mrs. John Mark Brown began serving as the alternate flight Field Master. In the 2001-02 season, Mr. Randy Waterman joined Mooreland as the Amateur Huntsman, James Boyle as Kennel Huntsman, Robin Waterman as Whipper-in, and A. Allen Lacy as Hilltoppers' Field Master. In 2003, Randy M. Waterman became Joint Master, and Mrs. E. Fennel Mauldin began serving as Honorary Secretary. With the retirement of Randy Waterman in 2005, Rhodri Jones-Evans joined as Professional Huntsman along with Paul Saunders as First Whipper-in. In this same season, Mrs. E Fennel Mauldin, Jr. became a Joint Master of the Foxhounds.
In 2007, Mr. Hall B Bryant, Jr. and Mr. Nicholas B. Roth became Joint Masters with Mr. Bryant retiring in the Spring of 2010. Shannon K. Roach served as a professional Whipper-in 2009-13. Nicholas B. Roth retired in 2011 as Joint Master, with John B Sewell, Sr. retiring as Joint Master in summer 2012. In the spring of 2013, Mrs. William G. St. John joined as Joint Master of Foxhounds with Miss Rachel Phillips becoming the First Whipper-in. Through the years members of other hunts in the United States, Canada, England and Australia have joined the members of the Mooreland Hunt in a day with the hounds.