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Contact: Masters of Foxhounds Association Dennis Foster (540) 955-5680 Emily Esterson (505) 553-2671 Graphics available on request (contact Emily) For Immediate Release

Survey Shows Thoroughbreds Find Second Careers as Foxhunters

Results of Masters of Foxhounds Association survey show that hunt staff horses are
overwhelmingly thoroughbreds.

Millwood, Va.—The Masters of Foxhounds Association (MFHA) has released the results
of its Rescue and Unwanted Horse survey of foxhunters in North America. The survey
shows that two thirds of MFHA members ride formerly unwanted horses while
foxhunting, and 77% of those are thoroughbreds.
The survey, conducted online and through Covertside Magazine with members of the
MFHA, the governing body of mounted foxhunting in North America, showed that
thoroughbreds are by far the most popular breed of rescue foxhunter. About 77% of
respondents answered that they own and hunt rescue or unwanted horses hunt
thoroughbreds. And 58.7% of those respondents currently own and hunt a former
racehorse with a Jockey Club tattoo. The next most popular breed is the draft cross
(18.6%), followed by the quarter horse (10.6%).
“Thoroughbreds have all the athletic ability, heart and speed to excel as foxhunters,” says
Dennis Foster, executive director of the MFHA. “The data proves what MFHA has long
known—that foxhunters are committed to re-homing and retraining thoroughbreds for the
hunt field.”
The second most popular rescue or unwanted horse was the draft cross that originated in
the Premarin program: 15.4% of respondents hunted this type of horse.
When asked where these horses come from, 75% answered that their rescue horses came
from private individuals; 15.5% obtained their horses from a breeder; 13.7% came
through a thoroughbred or other rehoming/retirement facility; and 12.1% came from an
The MFHA then asked a series of questions specific to hunt staff. We found that 71% of
hunts are using formerly unwanted horses as staff horses, and that those horses are
overwhelmingly thoroughbreds (91%): 71.4% use them for their huntsman’s horse, 87.8% use them for their whippers-in. The MFHA is proud to be a sponsor of the upcoming Retired Racehorse Training Symposium, to be held at Pimlico Racecourse on October 5 and 6, to celebrate its dedication to finding second careers for OTTBs as foxhunters. Maryland-based Goshen Hounds and Huntsman Robert Taylor, MFH, will be doing a demonstration with OTTBs and foxhounds on Sunday afternoon of the event. There are 164 registered MFHA foxhound packs in North America, with hunts in 37 states and 4 Canadian provinces, and 6200 subscribing members of the Masters of Foxhounds Association. MFHA promotes, preserves and protects the sport of mounted hunting with hounds, registers foxhound packs and maintains the studbook, among other activities. What breed best describes your "unwanted" or "rescue" hunt horse? MASTERS ONLY: Is your hunt currently using formerly "unwanted" horses in MASTERS ONLY: If so, which positions? Check all that apply.


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