At Badminton House the home of the Duke and Duchess of Beaufort, on the 31st May, over 400 supporters gathered to wish Captain Farquhar a happy retirement and thank him for 34 years as joint master of the Beaufort Hunt. To mark the occasion a specially commissioned painting of the Captain on a favourite horse Black Jack with a mythical pack consisting of many of his prize winning and influential hounds such as Bailey, Halifax, Mostyn, Fairy and Farmer by artist Tristram Lewis was presented along with a unique book of memories and anecdotes sent in by many who had hunted with him over the years edited and compiled by Beaufort members Mike Hawker and Julie Morrison.
Also if you have anecdotes of Ian that you would like shown on this page, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Acknowledged as one of the great MFH`s of his generation, and over a career spanning nearly half a century, there can be few people who have had a greater influence on the art of hunting hounds, their breeding, or the conduct of the sport.. Whether giving encouragement to young huntsman and professionals, introducing new blood lines or judging at hound and puppy shows, or whilst Vice Chairman of the Masters of Foxhounds Association from 2005 – 2016 there can be very few hunts with which he has not come into contact during the past 50 years. Perhaps above all else it was following the passing of the Hunting Act in 2004 and the years immediately afterwards when the very future of hunting lay in the balance that his leadership proved so vital. Indeed, the single-minded dedication with which he has given his life to the cause of hunting, ably supported by his wife Pammie-Jane, has been hugely influential and central to the ongoing success of trail hunting in the 21st Century. .
Before Ian was seduced by the Beaufort hounds to join you here at Badminton,I enjoyed 12 sensational seasons trying to follow him- and Pammie Jane-with the Bicester. Like many of you here today,Ian’s skill as one of the great huntsmen and hound breeders of this or any generation has left me with magical memories of wonderful days which will last me for my lifetime. I too remember a foggy day from Chetwode with the Prince of Wales out...
But I am not here today just to thank him for the personal pleasure he has given to so many of us but also for the tireless contribution and unfailing support for all forms of hunting over so many years- years which have, without question, been the most difficult in the history of hunting.
At those wonderful rallies and marches which those of us lucky enough to be present will never forget,he was, of course, always present.But he was also there at the meetings - sometimes interminable meetings-Countryside Alliance, MFHA, Campaign For Hunting and on and on.He was there on days and nights when we would have preferred to be elsewhere and on occasions when we would have paid good money not to be there such as the AGMs of the National Trust and the RSPCA.
We have all been the beneficiaries of Ian’s devotion to hunting to which it is no exaggeration to say he has given his life.
The deadly combination of Ian’s immense personal charm, his ability to get on with anybody and everybody- well, most of the time- and his undoubted diplomatic skills, have convinced me that if we were able to send Ian over to Brussels ,armed of course with a bottle of whisky, Brexit would be sorted overnight.
Hunting is a community. It is our community. This is our tribe . Our battle goes on with those who do not understand, will not listen and, sadly for them, cannot hear the music.But we need to remember that the battle goes on because our opponents know that they have not won. Nor will they.
Ian’s part in that has been magnificent. The number of people here today, in the rain, many from far away, speaks more eloquently than any words of mine of the high regard and affection in which you, Ian and Pammie ,are held.I know I speak for us all here ,and many more who could not join us today at Badminton ,when I say quite simply thank you for all you have done for us.
"David Beaufort, the 11th Duke, who was himself an experienced hunting man, never regretted his decision to appoint Ian to the key role, always giving him staunch support . The Duke affirmed that “Ian fulfilled all my expectations: a great huntsman, a wonderful breeder of hounds, and, above all, a marvellous leader who has the knack of getting on with everyone in the country.”
a former Master of the Buccleuch who used to come down and hunt with Beaufort. It highlights the help that Ian Farquhar gave to others at a critical time.
"I have had a talk with Trevor (Trevor Adams, fomer master/huntsman) about Ian. We cannot remember a day’s hunting he had up here but he did judge our Puppy Show when the new kennels were opened. He was also huge encouraging when we were first banned in 2002. He was one of the first to invite us down with our hounds. This so helped with subscriptions as no one was allowed on the trips unless they paid up which really kick started our funds. It was such a very hard time and he was just fantastic. The farmers from the Thursday country still remind me whenever I am hunting with you how well our hounds hunted."
"The first time I ever met The Captain I was still at University …. I went to see him at the Bicester Kennels in October 1975 to arrange meets for the Christchurch (i.e. Oxford University) Beagles in his country. To my delight and incredulity, he promptly offered me a horse to hunt with him the next day. Not being able to believe my luck, I arrived and got on it for an eight o'clock meet, and didn't get off it until two thirty when we boxed up with the hounds ; just him , me and his k.h. Brian Pheasey were left out ! We`d had two superb hunts across the best of the Bicester Thursday Country. Having been born and brought up in Hampshire, I had no idea that an "ordinary`` morning`s autumn hunting could possibly be so much fun.
My first day with Beaufort was in February 1992 from Grittleton. Hounds flew and we had a Red Letter Day . Ian and Pammie-Jane, and everybody else, were so incredibly welcoming that the next season I came back as a subscriber, although still living in Hampshire. There seemed little point in attempting to hunt anywhere else from then on. I had the time of my life hunting with Ian , and it is due to his leadership and refusal to be cowed by the ban in 2005 that we all able to carry on as we do today."
"Every great actor, sportsman, businessman or politician stands out from the rest. Ian Farquhar, on the top of his form with the Bicester in his early years, and the Beaufort from 1985, was one of those people.
He had exceptional flair, coupled with the courage of his own convictions and great self-belief. He also crossed the country in brilliant style. Visitors literally flocked to see him hunt hounds and the Beaufort operated a pretty tight waiting-list in those days.
The hunt had been run for 60 years since 1924 by the 10th Duke of Beaufort ( Master), himself a wonderful huntsman, until he retired in 1967. By Master’s side throughout a great many of those years was his right hand man and Joint Master, Major Gerald Gundry, a larger than life character who knew every family in the country. When Master died in 1984, the time had come for renewal, as hunting, I have always been told, is a young man’s game.
Ian Farquhar stepped into those immense shoes and there followed 20 years of glorious foxhunting before the ban in 2005. Both Ian and myself remember, as boys, the country before the M4 Motorway, plenty of grassland (as there were still a great number of dairy farms in existence) and an undisturbed countryside. It was simply not such a busy place and there was very little shooting. However there was always, as there still is today, quite exceptional farmer support in the Beaufort country
If I am asked what it was like to hunt with Ian, I would say that it was unpredictable at times, exhilarating, and never dull. He ensured that his hounds not only looked good, but hunted even better, developing a great trust in themselves, which meant that he could leave them alone so much. A classic example would be on drawing a covert with his hounds in front of him, he would light a cigarette and wait. When hounds spoke, he would give them some encouragement, doubling his horn, and when they were settled on their fox, blow gone away. A thrilling sound to all of us waiting, with nerves jangling and our horses sensing the moment. He also had great patience on difficult or bad scenting days or extreme weather conditions of snow, sleet and gales, and never hurried his hounds, allowing them to sort it out for themselves.
I do remember one Wednesday in the Sodbury Vale when I was Field Master, and we met at Lady Mancroft’s house. There were several visitors out, including some hard riding Masters from the Blackmore Vale. We found quickly and ran across the best of the Vale, and just before Lower Woods, we launched ourselves over a fence with a massive ditch, leaving our visitors either in the ditch, on the ground or stuck the other side.
I recall with great affection the 25 years I had as Hunt Chairman, alongside the late David Beaufort and Ian as Joint Masters. We all remained great friends, and whilst we dealt with the business, humour was never very far away, and the ducal support was always as solid as ever.
I salute one of my greatest friends who leaves an indelible mark on all who had the privilege of following him in the hunting field, and never forgetting his leadership of the hunting community here and throughout the UK in times of great difficulty. I should just add that, in my opinion, he could never have achieved all these great things without the love and support of Pammie-Jane and the girls, Emma. Victoria and Rose.
Finally the future. Good luck to Matt and the next generation who love the sport as much as we did and are doing a great job of keeping everything going."
Ian Farquhar’s hound breeding record is second to none and when one looks at just the showing side it is remarkable. He would agree that their working ability is more important and the tremendous sport that the Duke of Beaufort’s showed during his long mastership is a testament to that. The number of visiting bitches that came to Badminton bears out the high regard everyone had for the working ability of this great pack. The success of the pack must also be due to a wonderful group of Puppy walkers that abound in the Beaufort country.
At Peterborough, the world premier hound show, the Beaufort managed to achieve more champions in a row than any other pack, with 5 doghound champions from 2002 to 2006 and then 4 in a row from 2008 to 2011 winning the bitch championship in 2008 and 2002. In fact, in Ian`s first season 1985, the Beaufort won both championships with Palmer 83 and Wagtail 84.
In 1992, Beaufort Ranger `90 a powerful dog who moved beautifully won the championship, and Beaufort Daystar `91 was reserve champion to him. Many spectators on the outside had them the other way round, but as I was the judge I had the last word on that occasion! Then in 1995 Peewit `94 won the bitch championship. The following year Marlin `95 was champion, he was a son of Mostyn `92 who many thought should have been champion, having previously won the unentered championship. One of those hard driving “P” bitches Patience `98 whose size with quality easily won in 1999. Foxham `99 won in 2000 and Whipsnade `01 was doghound champion in 2002 with Galaxy `01 being the bitch champion. Another Palmer `02 won in 2003 and the influential Bailey `03 deservedly won in 2004 with three of his sons going on to score - Halifax `06 in 2008, Doublet `09 in 2010 and Doynton `09 in 2011.
I know that 2008 was a happy year when Halifax `06 won in the morning and Bobcat `07 won in the afternoon. Halifax had the American outcross from Midland Hardaway `89 while Bobcat has the David Davies Bouncer `94 outcross.
Ian’s introduction of these different outcrosses following on from his earlier success with the introduction of Vale of Clettwr Fairy `63 has helped improve the foxhound all over the world.
Gamecock `04 might have been regarded as a lucky winner in 2005 but the broken coated Bombardier `04 was a worthy winner in 2006. He also has the David Davies Bouncer `94 outcross. Farrier `07 won in 2009 but his full brother Fagan may have been a better worker and he sired Foreman `12 who despite being injured when leading the pack from a Joint Meet with the VWH still managed to be placed in the stallion hound class and has produced a number of champions for other packs. Rapture `12 won the bitch championship in 2013.
19 champions at Peterborough is no mean feat and one which the puppy walkers, hunt staff and the Captain should be proud of. In addition to this the Beaufort have won numerous other classes and at many other hound shows but space does not allow a full analysis.
The Flying Monk Brewery wanted to do something to mark the Captain`s retirement and have produced a beer called The Old Captain!
Who other than to pull the first pint in his daughter Victoria`s pub the Holford Arms than the Captain himself!!