Deadline for April issue is March 25
Oak Grove Hounds Get New Digs
By Tommy Brannon, MFH
Oak Grove Hunt Club’s fox hounds moved into their new home on Earth Day, April 22, 2016. The new kennel is located at Lodge Farm, Hudsonville, MS, home of Dr. Shannon and Amanda McGee, Jt. Master and huntsman of Oak Grove hounds. Hudsonville which is north of Holly Springs in Marshall County, MS, is an established fixture for Oak Grove, where the annual Opening Meets and Blessing of the Hounds is held.
The hounds have been kenneled at club members’ homes for the past few years while the kennel was planned and constructed. Jt. Master Peggy Hart, with Whipper-ins Bill Lackey and Barbara Henking, modified their barns to accommodate hounds and brought them to meets each week. Now that the whole pack is kenneled in one location, training, exercise walks, and hunts will be much easier. For the hunts at the Hudsonville fixture, the hounds will not need transportation; and for hunts at other fixtures, they can all ride in one hound trailer.
The new kennel project was spearheaded and organized by Jt. Master Peggy Hart. Peggy drew up the plans, organized the construction stages, and hired the contractors. She worked side-by-side with her brother in-law Steve Hart, who is an experienced contractor, to pour the concrete slab, set posts, and frame the structure. Two portable buildings that had been a part of a previous kennel were moved to the location, tied in to the new kennel, and re-roofed.
All members of Oak Grove lent a hand in the construction, as well. Particularly helpful was Rick Richardson who had roofing and carpentry skills. Peggy organized work days when members hauled materials, set fence posts and gates, attached fencing, painted, installed plumbing, and leveled the ground. Members generously donated money to the kennel building fund, and materials as well. Members looked around their barns and found usable gates, fence posts, paint, faucets, and hardware to incorporate into the structure. Jt. Master Tom Brannon said that hands-on participation of the construction makes for members feeling an ownership in the project.
Oak Grove is hosting a hunter pace / timed trail ride on June 4, 2016, with rides starting from the new kennel. Riders will ride in teams of two over a marked course in the Hudsonville hunt country. The winners will be the team that comes closest to the (undisclosed) ideal time. Costumes are encouraged and lunch will be provided. For more information, contact Amanda McGee at 901-606-2119.
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