By Frank Welsh

Photo by Andy Bozdan.

The dedication of the new Camargo Hunt kennels was held June 5 at their home in Owen County, Kentucky. After years of planning and preparation, the kennels, the barn and the huntsman’s home are complete according to the design. Carmargo Hunt’s huntsman Andy Bozdan designed the new facility and described it as the fulfillment of a dream. 

“The new kennels are all state of the art and will last for many years to come,” Bozdan said. “The barn and kennels were designed with workflow in mind. To design a whole new hunt complex such as this has been a lifetime ambition and one that I am very happy and proud to say that I have now achieved.”

To celebrate the achievement, the Camargo Hunt Masters of Foxhounds all played a part in the dedication festivities. Morley Thompson, MFH, directed the affair as if he were a film director and the members were all actors and actresses on the set. Andrew Bowen, MFH, presided as chairperson of the board of the Camargo Hunt and Natalie Nesbitt, MFH, hosted the refreshments and dinner. Owen County paved Old Pleasant Grove Road, cleaning up the approach, taking the experience of the drive to the kennels up a few notches.

The festivities started at 1 p.m. with kennel tours conducted by Matt Sanders, Cindi Whitacre and Bozdan. Members and guests chipped in a modest registration fee. It was a warm, sunny afternoon that made for a big turnout and a lovely gathering of members and guests. Past masters and retired full-senior members of the hunt dropped in for the dedication and to reconnect with old friends.

After new visitors had a chance to tour the kennels, all assembled under the shade of umbrellas for a short program. Bowen led off with the presidential address and made the introductions. Thompson served as ringmaster and master of ceremonies to keep things moving along.

Andrew Barclay, the director of hunting of the Masters of Foxhounds Association of North America (MFHA), gave the keynote address. He regaled the group with a detailed and noble history of the MFHA. After his speech, all lifted their Camargo Hunt logo- etched flutes filled with Champagne or cider to toast the ribbon cutting. Barclay had the honor of performing the ribbon-cutting.

“It was a great event and it was a pleasure to spend time with the Camargo Hunt,” Barclay said. “They have much to be proud about with the new kennel complex. It is a wonderful statement to their commitment to foxhunting in Owen County.”

Bozdan then took the hounds out in the kennel’s backyard for a brief showcase. The superbly groomed hounds all gathered around him for kibbles and bits, all happy with their new home. 

Bowen led the group in an auction, first for the naming rights of the kennel lodges and next for the naming rights of two litters of puppies born in the spring, now eight weeks old. 

Among other successful bidders, Carla and John Babcock went in with Frank and Rosemary Welsh to name a tricolor pup Branson, an homage to the character in the popular Public Broadcasting Service series “Downton Abbey.” After the auction, the attendees gathered for a barbecue dinner.