Hunting Reports from 1845-46.

Gleanings from the Past. --- In its Centenary issue, the Hamilton "Spectator" reprints the following from the files of early newspapers:--
Hunting Near the Wannon. --- Attempts were made in the very early days of settlement to interest the people in hunting. Frequent references are found in early papers to "informal hunts" in which "the ladies defied the Australian weather, and gave the sport all the glamour of the old country."
The Portland "Guardian" on July 3rd, 1846, published the following:--"Owing to the recent heavy rain the country in the neighborhood of Port Fairy appears too soft for hunting. The Mount Rouse hounds will therefree proceed to the kennels at Dr. Barker's on the Wannon River. The first meet will be on Friday, July 12th, at Dr. Barker's 'Slab Hut,' on the road halfway between the Grange and Dr. Barker's residence.--George Winter, Master of the Hounds."
In June, 1845 there were meets of the Mt. Rouse hounds at the Grange. So reports an official copy of the Portland "Guardian" in the Mitchell Library, Sydney.

Source : "The Portland Guardian" (Vic.) Thursday, 11th March 1937.



At a public meeting of the members of the Portland Hunt, held at the Woolpack Inn, Emu Creek, on Thursday, October 1st, 1846, G. Winter, Esq., having resigned the mastership of the hounds, F. Henty, Esq., was requested and consented to act as such. Peter Snodgrass, Arthur Pilleau, Charles Whyte, John Coldham, and G. Winter, Esquires, were appointed a committee to assist the master of the hounds in the management of the hunt for the ensuing year, with power to add to their number. The master of the hounds and committee were empowered to erect the necessary buildings on the station of F. Henty, Esq , with the surplus funds remaining in the treasurer's hands from the last year's subscription. A person fully competent to manage the hounds, both in field and kennel, is to be engaged as huntsman, at a rate not exceeding 100 per annum, to maintain himself and horse. A subscription of 5 a year constitutes a member. For the future, the hunt is to be denominated the Wannon Hunt.

Source : "The Geelong Advertiser and Squatters' Advocate" (Vic.) Tuesday, 5th January 1847.



WANNON HUNT.--A meeting of the members of this hunt took place agreeably to advertisement, at the Kororoit [sic] Inn (Bell's), on Tuesday, the 9th instant, Edward Henty, Esq., having been requested to take the chair, Francis Henty, Esq., the master, made known the state of the funds and kennel--the past experience and the future prospects of the hunt. Everything had been conducted in the most economical way, which, with the liberal subscription of last year, enabled them to begin the ensuing season with a balance in the treasurer's hands. He, the master, felt regret that he had not met with that support in the field which he might have expected, and from this cause he felt it but right to resign his appointment, so as to give the members an opportunity of placing another gentleman in his position, better able to fulfil the duties, and thereby secure an extended co-operation in the field. Mr. Francis Henty was unanimously re-appointed, all present testifying to his zeal and activity in performing his onerous duties of master, under the many difficulties he had to contend against. But now as the hounds were older and stronger, the main difficulty was got rid of, and everything promised well, and with increased confidence they all looked forward to the ensuing season being a good one, provided gentlemen would come forward with their wonted liberality in support of this fine old English sport. The huntsman was in attendance, and we have rarely seen a more flourishing pack, or one better fitted 'to go the pace.'--"Portland Gazette."

Source : "The Geelong Advertiser" (Vic.) Friday, 3rd December 1847.



From the "Spectator," we gather that the fourth meeting of this Club took place on Saturday, the 19th inst., when about 80 persons, some of them very well mounted, mustered at Wando Vale. Before starting, the sporting men partook of a splendid lunch, kindly given by Mr. James Gardiner [sic GARDNER], at his house. About two p.m. a start was made, and three fences were well tested before the scent was picked up, then a rasping fence was attempted, at which all baulked ; it was, however, soon gapped. The run was then up a hill, on the top of which another fence was cleared. Down the hill a good space was kept up, and another summit surmounted, when the river Wannon was reached after 5 miles run. Here the first check was experienced in the bend of the river. The party had to take across the river up to the saddle girths, and cross some steep hills, after which a post and wire fence was jumped and a boggy creek reached ; up and down dale then till another check was given at Cue's paddock. Some time was lost here, as four dogs were missed, and it aftewards turned out they had followed the drag into Casterton. Another start was made with the balance of the pack, over Cue's fence and into Waines' enclosure--still looking for the trail. Being unsuccessful, the riders had to turn back, and at last picked up the scent on the Retreat road and then made tracks for Casterton, coming into that place about 60 strong, after a run of 13 miles.
Amongst the hunting fraternity present were Mr. Gardiner on his favourite black hunter Jack, Mr. Johnson on the veteran Sportsman, Mr. Bailey on Tom Sayers, Mr. Rex on Tien Tsin, Mr. Archer on Shoo-fly, Mr. James Cameron on a likely looking chestnut mare Fleur de Lis, Mr. Simpson on Dundreary, Mr. M'Leod on Rob Roy, Mr. Willis on a fine brown hunter. Mr. Ostler on Mr. Gardiner's noted grey, Mr. H. Croaker on a bay poney--which his friends jokingly recommended him to ride with his legs tied underneath, Mr. Wallace on Myra, Jimmy Breen on Patchwork, Fred Lamborn on Young Alfred, Mark Adderley on Darkie and a host of others on favourite horses. I was nearly forgetting to add that Mr. Parker King rode Bob Ridley, and that Mr. Urquhart was mounted on a brown mare which went ahead. Mr. Cameron, on his dashing chestnut, Fleur de Lis, was well up at the finish. There were unfortunately two spills, in both of which the riders got their collar bones broken-viz., Messrs. Wallace and M'Ewen. On getting to Casterton the party liquored up, and after drinking to the next merry meeting, dispersed.

Source : "The Border Watch" (Mount Gambier, SA) Saturday, 26th July 1873.



On Saturday night (says the "Casterton News") the adjourned meeting to deal with the formation of a hunt olub at Casterton was held at the Casterton Hotel. Mr. A. E. Smith presided over about 30 gentlemen. After discussion a motion by Mr. K. M. Matheson, seconded by Mr. F. Crossley, that a club to be called "The Casterton and Merino District Hunt Club" be formed was carried, and the annual subscription for members was fixed at 1 1s. Officers were elected as follows :--President, Mr. A. M. MacLeod (Merino Downs); Vice-Presidents--Messrs H. MacKinnon and K. M. Matheson ; Hon. Secretary and Treasurer--Dr. Morton (Merino Downs); Committee Messrs. D. and J. Stock, F. Crossley, T. Dancocks, D. MacCoombe, and J. Cameron. It was resolved that the first meet--a paper chase--be held at Henty on June 27.

Source : "The Border Watch" (Mount Gambier, SA) Wednesday, 16th May 1906.



A capital run with the Casterton hounds was held through Mr. K. M. Matheson's Maryvale estate and several other gentlemen's properties on Wednesday afternoon. The run was about 6 miles in length, and the hounds travelled splendidly throughout. There were several falls, but no one was injured. The following were out:-- Messrs. H. M. MacKinnon (Master) on Roxy, Dr. Morton (Deputy-Master) on Gay Lad, H. Rhodes (Hon. Whip) on Cave Hill, Spratt (Huntsman) on Star, C. MacDonald on Blackwatch, F. Crossley on Munus, S. Ramsden on Vixen, J. Phillips on Ruffle, E. Jeffreys on Hurricane, G. Jeffreys on The Gin, D. Swan on Ranji, H Cameron on Rarey, J. Cameron on AJ, A. Bond on Steele Rudd, T. Dancocks on Silver King, R. Dancocks on Glen Robin, H. Dancocks on Juryman, F. Jackson on Le Grand, G. MacCallum on Lady Struan, A. Ralston on Dick, D. Stock on Vulture, and J. Stock on Padre, and Miss Ramsden on Kia-ora.

Source : "The Border Watch" (Mount Gambier, SA) Saturday, 11th August 1906.



The Casterton Hunt Club had an enjoyable meet at Muntham on Saturday, when luncheon was provided by Mr. H. MacKinnon. The drag was not made use of, hares being found for both runs. The following took part :--Messrs. H. MacKinnon on Roxy, Pratt on Star, Rhodes on Cave Hill, B. Ramsden on Vixen, E. Jeffreys on Hurricane, K. M. Matheson on Lady Struan, M. Bree on Druid, F. Crossley on Munus, Brock on Gay Lad, H. Cameron on Rarey, J. Cameron on Ranji, D. Stock on Cammais, J. Stock on Padre, S. Stock on Petti Singh, J. Smith on Sirdar, H. Dancocks on Juryman, T. Dancocks on Steele Rudd, C. Dancocks on Vulture (who fell), G. Dancocks on Corndale, R. Dancocks on Glenrobin, A. Bond on Dick, J. Tomkins on Exchange, J. Lowe on Milkcan, and D. McCombe on Eureka, and Miss Ramsden on Kia-ora.

Source : "The Border Watch" (Mount Gambier, SA) Wednesday, 29th August 1906.



An enjoyable run with the hounds was held at Casterton on Saturday. The throw-off took place from a Dunrobin paddock, on the Penola-road. The following took part in it:--Messrs. K. M. Matheson (Acting-Master) rode Lady Struan, Hans Rhodes (Huntsman) Cave Hill, D. McCombe (Whip) Eureka, Miss C. Anderson Iris, Dr. Morton Brown Eagle, H. Holgate Coronation, E. Jeffreys Limelight, A. Jeffreys Dinah, D. Stock Richpatrick, H. Cameron Ranje, J. Cameron Gay Lad, C. Cameron AJ, R. Dancocks Polly, H. Dancocks Old Chap, H. Hayles Rich King, Tomkins Star, R. Collins Brindisi, Con Sealey, Mick (a pony), J. Stock Padre, W. Rhodes Mauser, Geo. Patterson Nelangie.

My Queen, a fine hunting mare, was purchased in Melbourne by Mr. H. McKinnon for 82gs.

Source : "The Border Watch" (Mount Gambier, SA) Wednesday, 12th June 1907.



The opening meet of the Casterton Hunt Club took place on Saturday. The "News" (from which we quote) says the weather was charming, the attendance good, and the sport interesting. The field comprised the Master (Mr. K. M. Matheson) on Byrock, Huntsman (H. Rhodes) on Cavehill, Brennan on Brown Eagle, R. Dancocks on Steele Rudd, E. Kirby on The Barber, W. E. Sealey on Mick, J. Stock on Padre, H. Constable on A.J., James Cameron on Highcourt, D. Stock on Sickle, Colin Cameron on Heather, H. MacLeod on Mimus, M. S. Bree on Lisp, Deputy-master W. Rhodes on Mauser, J. Jackson on Black Watch, Dr. Morton on Druid, E. Silvester on Redfus, Norman Smith on Starbuck, and N. B. Fitzgerald on Frew. Early in the run Byrock struck a fence and fell, giving the rider (Mr. K. M. Matheson) a nasty fall, by which he had his shoulder injured and a couple of ribs broken. Mr. G. B. Gill, a spectator, had a fall on the metal road. Both gentlemen, by latest report, were doing well, and no serious results are anticipated.

Source : "The Border Watch" (Mount Gambier, SA) Previous issue Wednesday 27th May 1908.



On Wednesday, July 23, these hounds met near the Henty school, and being an ideal hunting day a large number assembled at half-past 2 p.m. for the throw-off. Hounds were first taken to Mr. Donald's paddock. Soon after entering they found, and at a merry pace they led us across a lane into Messrs. Matherson's, and turning to the right we crossed some fine hunting country through Messrs. Sherwood's and Jackson's. Heading north we crossed the railway line. Turning sharp to the left, hounds led us at a great pace through Sandford-house Estate. We then crossed the Casterton-Merino road, on over Mr. M'Lellan's, and into Mr. M'Cormack's, where hounds checked on the banks of the Wannon River. After a short spell a move was next made to a paddock of Mr. Alfred Mitchell's where some scrub was tried. Here hounds found again, and headed across the Sandford-road. Circling round Mr. Mitchell's house, we recrossed the Sandford-road, and on across the railway line. Turning north-west, we went over some very stiff country. We then turned slightly to the right, then left, and again to the right, crossing through Messrs Laley's and Stone's, and hounds threw up their heads to the south of Sandford. As the hour was getting late, a move for home was made. Among those out were the deputy master (Mr. H. Macleod) on Mimus and Barrister, Miss Ramsden on Kia Ora, Miss Anderson on Coloene, hon. whip (Mr. M. Bell) on Lisp, huntsman (Mr. H. Rhodes) on Cane Hill, Dr. Morton on The Druid, Messrs. H. Mackinnon on The Queen, J. Cameron on A.J., C. Cameron on Gay Lad, H. Holgate on Stariel, C. Sealey on Duchess and Mick, D. Stock on Neuta, J. Stock on Padre, R. Dancocks on Nelangie, A. Osler on Songstress, A. Jeffreys on Congress, A. Bond on Robin, G. M'Callum on Byrock, Jones on Star. Driving were the master (Mr. R. M. Matheson, who is hors d'combat) and Mrs. Matheson, Mr. and Mrs. W. Nicholls, Mr. W. Edgar and party, Rev. Mr. Hudson, Messrs. H. P. Cooke, Gould, D. W. Brock, C. and W. Rhodes, J. Somerville, and many others.

Source : "The Australasian" (Melbourne, Vic.) Saturday, 1st August 1908.



CASTERTON, Monday.--The Casterton Hunt Club had a good run with the hounds on Saturday. The meet was at the kennels, at Greylands, Henty. With Mr. W. Dwyer as guide, a fox was sought in the Mocamboro neighbourhood, and, after the pack had travelled a short distance through the scrub lands, a find was signalled. The hounds led the field over dale and hill, through bracken and undergrowth, and over fences; and after about three miles of country had been crossed, the fox made good his escape, the cover becoming too dense for continuing the chase. Moving homeward, there were several good runs after kangaroos but the scrubby country favoured them, as it did the fox.
The huntsmen were entertained by the Misses Dwyer and Messrs. W. and M. Dwyer.
The followers were--Messrs H. M'Leod (the master) on Zena, C. Cameron (hon. whip) on Heather, W. Rhodes (hon. whip) on Gaylad, Hans Rhodes (huntsman) on Boxer, J. Cameron on Willaura, H. Cameron on Gleasprey, A. Jeffreys on Toorak, E. Jeffreys on Echo, Miss. Anderson on Steel Rudd, Miss. M'Lellan on A.J., Miss. Scott on Clarkson, C. Dancocks on Naoski, D. Stock on Patti Singh, J. Down on Dunan, K. M. Matheson on Zalopiero, Tod Allardice on Lady Mac, Tom Allardice on Cool Blood, H. M'Dougall on Bunyip, W. Dwyer on Linda, R. Fitzgerald on Deceiver, and W. Johnson on Never Fail.

Source : "The Argus" (Melbourne, Vic.) Tuesday, 13th July 1909.


Hunt at Mount Koroite.

On the invitation of Mr. J. F. Kirby, a splendid run with the hounds of the Casterton and District Hunt Club was enjoyed at Mount Koroite, Coleraine, on Wednesday afternoon. Sixteen huntsmen took the paddock, among whom were Mr. E. O. Kirby (Master of the Mount Gambier Hunt Club) on Napier, and Mr. R. J. Collins on Willaura. Miss C. Anderson, mounted on a roan, a fine jumper, also took her place in the field. There were two falls, Mr. H. V. MacEwen and Mr. C. G. Gardiner coming to grief. At the first check a fox that Mr. Kirby had brought from Mingbool was let loose, but before he had gone any distance was killed. Mr. and Mrs. Kirby entertained the followers and a large number of visitors at afternoon tea.

Source : "The Border Watch" (Mount Gambier, SA) Saturday, 15th July 1911.