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Middleburg Hunt Honors Their Huntsman

At the Middleburg Hunt Ball, Hugh Robards was given a rousing hip, hip hooray in honor of his retirement from 53 years of hunt service. Masters Jeff Blue, Penny Denegre, and Tim Harmon led a packed room of members, guests, and friends in raising a glass of champagne to this beloved gentleman.

A video, “The Legacy of Hugh Robards,” was played to a very quiet room. Here are some excerpts:

Hugh Robards: “…at 11 when I was out with my father in the woods, and I heard the hounds…and the huntsman’s voice…something just clicked…I wanted hunt service from the word go…it was just a happening, like falling in love…there’s nothing better than a pack of hounds coming along with you…looking adoringly…Mum was very proud of her three boys…always boasting…well what do they do?…’my eldest son is a professor…my second is a pediatrician…and my third son, (referring to Hugh) he is an entertainer, ’…and she was quite right…I do entertain people…especially when I fall off my horse…it is a gift…I’m told the Queen and the Pope have the same (hunt coat) material…I think they are all fibs…I certainly love the people, the people that we hunt with are really wonderful, happy people…I’ve had a wonderful, wonderful time…it’s been a privilege to end my career here in Virginia with Middleburg Hunt.”

Julie Robards, Wife and Honorary Whipper-in: “I think he’s part hound…he’s been an ambassador for the sport of foxhunting…I’m a little melancholy…it’s the sounds of hunting that I’ll miss the most…it may be a little too quiet for a while…he’s the best there ever was…”

Nancy Iscrupe, Huntsman, Saxonburg Hounds: “…you really have to appreciate his sense of humor…”

Master Jeff Blue: “…his hounds absolutely love him…Hugh’s been a great asset…a true gentleman…what he’s done for us has been great and we’ve enjoyed the last few years immensely…”

Carrie Shefte, Honorary Whipper-in: “…one of the nicest human beings out there…”

Elizabeth Gilbert, Professional Whipper-in: “…he’s my best friend…and I am very much going to miss him…”

Field Member: “Mr. Robards, thank you, sir…”

Entire Field: “Hip, hip hooray! For he’s a jolly good fellow…”