434-296-9405

Hunt Monitor Line

info@keswickhuntclub.com

Questions & support

PO Box 227

Keswick, VA 22947

About Us

Keswick Hunt Club

A tradition for 126 years.

We are a private club with over 200 members located in the heart of Virginia’s horse and hunt country. The Club was founded in 1896 and today is one of the oldest and most prestigious foxhunting clubs in the United States. We are dedicated to the preservation of the sport of foxhunting and the tradition of organized hunts from September to March.

The Keswick Hunt Club is open to invited guests and junior riders who wish to join the hunts. We also maintain a full calendar of social activities throughout the year for both our members and the public to enjoy, including trail rides during the non-hunting season.

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Officers & Board of Governors

Elected by general membership with a three-year term.

Officers

Mr. Peter Taylor
President
Mr. Colin Dougherty
Vice President
Mr. John Markey
Treasurer
Mrs. Breck Scalise
Secretary

Governors

Mrs. Liz Carter
Mrs. Mary Kalergis
Mr. Paul Manning
Mrs. Susie Matheson
Mrs. Shelley Payne
Mr. David Perdue
Mrs. Mark Sackson
Mr. Michael Schram

Masters of Foxhounds

The Masters oversee and lead the hunt.  They are elected by general membership and serve a three-year term.

Masters

Mr. Kenny Wheeler, Jr.
    2022-Present
Mr. Murdoch Matheson
    2022-Present
Mr. Joel Merle-Smith
    2022-Present

Hunt Staff

A full-time professional Huntsman, professional Whipper-In, and professional Kennelman maintain the hounds, the Huntsman’s horses and the hunt country.

Paul Wilson

Huntsman, 2017-Present

Mike Poindexter

Kennelman, 2002-Present

Committees

Building & Grounds
Peter Taylor
Development
Peter Taylor & Kenny Wheeler
Finance
John Markey
Horse & Field
Shelley Payne
Outreach
Murdoch Matheson & Kenny Wheeler
Membership
Susie Matheson
Social
Colin Dougherty

Hunt Territory

Foxhunting in Central Virginia

Our hunt territory is located in central Virginia and is renowned for its rolling hills, established woods, green pastures, and stunning views. The region also features some challenging terrain, with steep hillsides, and traps in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Jumps include coops, telephone poles, natural log panels, and post-and-rail fences.

Keswick is a small town located in Albemarle County, just outside Charlottesville, Virginia. It has a population of just over 1,000 people. The town is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and is known for its beautiful scenery and outdoor recreation opportunities. There are several parks and hiking trails in the area, and the town is also home to a number of historical sites.

We are so grateful to our landowners who allow us to hunt on their property. They play a vital role in our hunt, and without their hospitality we would be unable to enjoy the sport.

The Hounds

Home to over 30 couple of American Fox Hounds.

We are dedicated to breeding and training high-quality American Fox Hounds. We believe that the behavioral quality of eagerness to please is essential for a successful hunt, and we work hard to instill this quality in all of our hounds. Our puppies are socialized from an early age and walk with the rest of the pack by the end of April. Keswick hounds have a long history of success in the hunting field, and we are proud to continue this tradition.

Our History

1896

Club Founded

The hunt club was founded by 19 gentlemen who wanted to organize a club for foxhunting and socializing. The club brought more structure and order to the activity of foxhunting, which had been taking place in the area since 1742.

1901-1913

Julian Morris serves as Master of Keswick Fox Hounds

He was highly successful in the show ring, winning championships in England as well as the U.S.

1904

First Horse Show

Julian Morris helped the Keswick Hunt Club hold its first horse show. After over a century of changes, the club continues to host a show every May – a show that is renowned on the horse show circuit for its hospitality.

1929

First Thanksgiving Blessing of the Hounds

John Stewart instigated the first Thanksgiving Blessing of the Hounds Service at Grace Episcopal Church. This tradition has continued to present day, where hounds, horses and riders gather for a religious service of prayers and hymns followed by a hunt. Funds collected during the service benefit local charities, including animal shelters.

1955-1967

Roberts Coles serves as MFH

Known for his exciting hunting style, he also created KHC Hilltoppings, outdoor summer gatherings under the full moon where members and friends enjoy refreshments.

1964-2000

Jake Carle serves as MFH

He was instrumental in expanding the Keswick territory to include land formerly hunted by the Rapidan Hunt. He also established a successful hound breeding program, and the bloodlines in today’s kennel are mostly the Virginia Bywaters strain of American Hounds that Jake favored.

2000

Hugh Motley succeeded Jake Carle as MFH and hired Irish Huntsman Tony Gammell

Hugh’s diplomacy and Tony’s initiative expanded KHC territory into the Montpelier, Somerset, and Green Springs territories. Tony’s exceptional hunting skills made each year’s pack better than the last, providing many enjoyable days.

2017

American Masters of Foxhounds Association Recognizes Masters

After Hugh Motley stepped down in 2005, new hunting territory was opened by Masters Charlotte Tieken and Andy Lynn, with Tony Gammell. Their efforts were recognized by the American Masters of Foxhounds Association with a special citation.

2017-2022

New Joint MFHs Mary Kalergis, Nancy Wiley, and Will Coleman hired English Huntsman Paul Wilson

During their mastership, KHC renovated and restored the clubhouse, remodeled the kennels, and replaced the huntsman cottage and staff horse barn with a combination structure. The three masters especially encouraged juniors, with frequent well-attended junior meets.

Today

MFHs Kenny Wheeler, Murdoch Matheson, and Joel Merle-Smith are continuing KHC good hunting

Huntsman Paul Wilson has maintained a similar hound breeding program as his predecessors, crafting a pack that is eager to please, and capable of providing irresistible excitement. Our kind landowners make our sport possible.

Central Virginia Community Outreach

It's more than a sport.

As a trusted member of the Central Virginia community, we have a long history of supporting various community events and charitable foundations. In previous years, proceeds from our sponsored events have gone to support Habitat for Humanity, the SPCA, the Charlottesville Free Clinic, and Grace Church.

The annual Blessing of the Hounds takes place each Thanksgiving at Grace Church, with the offering and all capping fees of the day directed to church outreach. In addition, we support local county fairs, steeplechase races, farm tours, and Virginia Horse Council legislative outings.

Through these activities, we also help educate the public about the sport of foxhunting. By exhibiting at local county fairs, steeplechases, and farms tours, we give members of the community a chance to learn more about this time-honored tradition.

Our Mission

We are committed to promoting the sport of foxhunting and providing a venue for organized hunts.

Our Values

We hold tradition close, have a strong sense of community, and share a passion for the outdoors.

Frequently Asked Questions

Over 200 families and individuals.

Madison, Louisa, Orange, Albemarle county, Goochland, and Hanover in Virginia.

Over 30 couple American Fox Hounds.

Equestrian Events & Foxhunting in Virginia.

We offer an immersive equestrian experience.

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Bond with your horse & build lasting friendships.