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Oak Grove Huntsman Retires


By Tommy Brannon, MFH

Richard (Dickie) Watson, MFH and huntsman for Oak Grove Hunt Club, retired his position at the end of the 2012-2013 season. Dickie started hunting with Oak Grove in the 1960s as a pre-teen. Too young to drive, he had to talk his mother into getting up before dawn to haul his horse to the fixture. His uncle and best friend, the late Harold Walker, foxhunted together, worked together, and served in the Navy together. Dickie said it was Harold who got him into foxhunting.

In the late 1990s Harold and Dickie joined Longreen Foxhounds, and the late Bart Mueller, MFH and huntsman for Longreen, asked Dicke to help him hunt the hounds. Dickie was hooked! He said he loved caring for and hunting the hounds. From Longreen, Dickie became Huntsman and Master of Fourth Bluff hounds, and in 2003 Fourth Bluff merged with Oak Grove Hunt Club when Neil Taylor, MFH and Huntsman retired.

Dickie whelped a new litter of puppies almost every year and performed most of the feeding, training hound duties by himself, kenneling the Oak Grove hounds on his property near Moscow TN. 

Kayla Eick has volunteered to take over the duties as Huntsman, along with Amanda McGee. Amanda has worked with Dickie hunting the hounds the past several seasons. Dickie said he is not giving up foxhunting, but just taking a break as huntsman. This will free up his time to visit other hunts and will give Kayla and Amanda a chance to be as hooked on hounds as he has been!  
Photos: DSC_0381: Oak Grove Master Tommy Brannon (center) presents retiring Huntsman Dickie Watson, MFH (left) with a commemorative plaque as thanks for his many years of service, as other hunt members look on.
DSC_0992: Dickie Watson, MFH prepares to hunt the Oak Grove hounds one last time before retiring.           

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