Major Goss Stryker
Major Winthrop Chanler
Jim Sam & Woodward
William P. Wadsworth
W. Austin Wadsworth
Martha D. Wadsworth
142 YEARS OF HUNTING IN THE GENESEE VALLEY
The One Hundred and Forty Second year of the Genesee Valley Hunt will begin with the opening meet on Saturday, September 22nd, 2018, at the Homestead in Geneseo.
In 1876 Major W. Austin Wadsworth organized and became Master of the Genesee Valley Hunt, which for the first six years was called the Livingston County Hunt. There were no hounds other than those brought to the hunt by members of the field. Although Charles Carroll Fitzhugh was designated the Huntsman, there were often as many huntsman as there were owners of hounds since the hounds responded only to their individual owners.
Major Wadsworth became Huntsman as well as Master of the Hunt in 1878. After spending a few years struggling with the chaos that results from hunting a trencher pack, the Major decided to develop his own pack of crossbred hounds. The Major achieved a level of fame in the foxhunting world and from the 1880s through the 1890s the Genesee Valley was regarded as the foxhunting center of North America. The Major hunted his hounds in the Valley for almost four decades, only relinquishing his role as huntsman the last few years of his life, and keeping his role as Master until 1917.
In 1919, Major Goss L. Stryker, from Maryland, took over the Hunt, but failed to keep it going the following year. The Hunt was disbanded until 1922, when Major Winthrop Chanler, a newcomer to the Valley, revived it. Major Chanler was M.F.H. until just after the Hunts formal incorporation on the 31st day of December, 1925.
In 1926 the Hunt was taken over by the joint Masters, Ernest L.
William P. was M.F.H. for the next 43 years until 1975, and Huntsman until 1972. His only absence was during the time he served in World War II. During that time the Hunt was under the stewardship of Edward Mulligan, of Avon.
W. Austin Wadsworth, grandson of the Hunt’s founder, and son of William P. Wadsworth, became joint Master and Huntsman in 1972. He then took over completely after his father’s retirement in 1975. In 1980, Austin’s Sister Martha D. Wadsworth became joint Huntsman, and seven years later she became joint Master as well. Marion Thorne, Austin’s Stepdaughter, became joint Huntsman with Austin in 2001 and became Joint Master in 2006.
MFHA 2007 Centennial DVD – Submission of Information
As part of the Celebration of the Centennial of the Masters of Foxhounds Association, GVH developed an expanded written history of the hunt, which was submitted along with some photos for inclusion in a DVD compiling all of the MFHA member hunts. This text document, with a few of the photos included, is available for download here as a PDF file: hunt_history_mfha