Keeneland Magazine

NO4 2013

Keeneland, Investing in Racing's Future since 1936.

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mAKiNg A DiffErENcE K Hound Welfare Fund Life after the Chase Hound Welfare Fund cares for retirees By Glenye Cain Oakford | Photos by Amy Wallot I t's an ideal place to spend one's golden years, surrounded by the rolling hills and clined to sniff out a little game, there open felds of the Iroquois Hunt country south of Lexington. At this particular re- were still plenty of options: The pen con- tirement home, a pair of young foxes sometimes plays near the front gate, and, on tains woods and a pond where rabbits certain winter mornings, the sound of the huntsman's horn carries over the limestone and squirrels also roam. The hounds' cliffs that border Boone Creek. Here, the pensioners still live among their friends and personal chases are slower now but still family, and when those companions head to work, the retirees entertain themselves fulflling, said Lilla Mason, one of the with long walks in the woods and felds or naps in the sun. Iroquois Hunt's Masters of Foxhounds and also its huntsman, the person who That's the kind of comfortable retire- foxhounds at any given time, provid- carries the horn and directs the hounds ment most people hope for, but this isn't ing them with a peaceful and dignifed during hunts. As she and kennel man- a retirement village for humans. It's for "life after the chase," as the non-proft's ager Michael Edwards watch the happy retired foxhounds from the Bluegrass' motto puts it. The retired hounds remain meanderings of the retired hounds, historic Iroquois Hunt Club, and it's paid in the same kennel as the active pack, they're confdent the HWF is spreading for by the Hound Welfare Fund. The cared for by the people who've worked joy, both canine and human. 501(c)(3) nonproft organization is the with them all their lives. "I think it's helping set a standard for frst of its kind, supporting foxhounds af- On a recent late-summer afternoon, the world," said Mason, who co-founded ter their careers, when they're no longer two retired hounds lolled under a white the HWF and serves as its president. covered under the hunt's budget for ac- ash tree in their grassy 15-acre enclo- "We have a lot of visitors from England tive hounds. Founded in 2000 and based sure. Several others wandered in and out who subsequently go back and then let at Jerry and Susan Miller's Miller Trust of a thicket, noses skimming the ground, us know they've retired a few hounds Farm near Lexington, the HWF cares and another rolled lazily, scratching her at their homes. There are a lot of objec- for about 20 to 25 pensioned Iroquois back in the thick grass. For any still in- tions to retiring hounds and people who 84 KEENELAND WINTER 2013

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