In this October issue of Currents, we are pleased to present and celebrate the Centennial season of the Chagrin Valley Hunt…its proud past and its promising future! What a momentous milestone for the special group of outdoor enthusiasts with a love for the land and the thrill of the chase.
While a huntswoman I am not, I have a deep appreciation and affinity for the Chagrin Valley Hunt and its history and traditions.
I was raised in a family that preserved (and displayed prominently in every home in which we lived) hunting-related memorabilia inherited from my great-grandfather, Percy Edward Cotesworth. While his early hunting career started in the late 1800s with the Linlithgow and Stirlingshire Hunt in Scotland (where he also wrote for sporting magazines under the name “Croppie Boy”), in 1911 he was brought to Gates Mills to serve as the first professional Kennel Huntsman of the Chagrin Valley Hunt under Mr. Windsor T. White.
While I never knew this huntsman, my great-grandfather, his portrait still hangs in both my parents’ and my aunt’s homes. His favorite silver hunting horn (inscribed 1904) is still used on the most celebratory of family gatherings when my father attempts to “entertain” us by blowing it. This is something I can assure you is better left to the pros — true Masters and Huntsmen who use such a horn to cheer and signal the hounds!
Today’s Joint Masters of Foxhounds, Dick Desberg, Judy McConnell and Howard Meyer, Jr., together with Huntsman, Phillip Headdon, are featured on our cover as they proudly carry on the traditions of The Chagrin Valley Hunt into the next century. Read more about the Chagrin Valley Hunt on page A8. Tallyho! Kelli Cotesworth McLellan