Free Rein With: Dr. G. Marvin Beeman MFH

Sep 25, 2008 - 10:00 PM

At 75 years young, Dr. G. Marvin Beeman MFH enjoys practicing veterinary medicine almost as much as he loves hunting hounds. He’s worn scarlet for 65 years and worked as a veterinarian for more than half a century. At 10 years old, Beeman became the youngest recognized whipper-in in the country for the Arapahoe Hunt (Colo.) in 1943 when the other whips went off to fight in World War II. Beeman’s father, George, became huntsman for the Arapahoe Hunt in 1934, and Marvin took over in 1986. He became a joint-Master in 1990. This year he accepted another responsibility—president of the Masters of Foxhounds Association of America. He’s the first president from “west of the Mississippi River,” and he “grew up in both English and western saddles hunting coyote as quarry.”

Name: G. Marvin Beeman                    
Home Base: Littleton, Colo.                                    
Age: 75

What’s your favorite hunting memory?
When my father decided to retire and gave me his horn, he not only gave me that, but he also gave me a legend and a responsibility to uphold. We’ve been involved in this pack of hounds since 1929. The legacy part of it is extremely important to me.

What sound is music to your ears?
A pack of hounds giving tongue when they are right and correct.

What is your biggest self-indulgence?
Hunting a pack of English foxhounds.

What is your drink of choice?

Vodka and grapefruit juice. I get some extra vitamin C and still enjoy some alcohol.

Describe your most memorable fall.
The most memorable fall was in February of 2007 on my good hunter. She slipped on some ice and fell down. I broke my neck. That was a memorable thing. We’re both OK now. I always say you can’t ride them upside down.

Do you have a strategy in mind for dealing with animal rights groups?
I want to develop coalitions with people who have the same interest in the livestock world as we do, generally speaking, to try to demonstrate to the public what’s necessary to raise and use livestock. Livestock is either produced to provide food for man or designed to serve us. When they serve us, we owe them a lot of responsibility for their care. The horses are not in a welfare state. We’re obligated to take good care of them for their entire life. I also want to make the general public understand what we do in regards to hunting, land conservation and conservation of wildlife. We accept our responsibility and feel strongly about the environmental aspect. My main mission is to position ourselves in a way that we are recognized for our contribution to society in that manner.

What do you find to be the most ridiculous part of foxhunting?
The inability of all of us to recognize the issues of our fellow foxhunters. Some people don’t recognize that we’re all in this in the same boat.

What makes an Arapahoe hound?
They are a pack of hounds that’s been bred to adapt to high desert country. They seem to provide the kind of entertainment that we try to provide. I’ve never compared any other pack of hounds. Since 1929 it’s been a pack of English hounds. I don’t know that other hounds would fit the program. We’ve tried some other hounds that didn’t work for us, and we’ve always gone back to English.

What three things are found in your refrigerator at all times?
The supplements to try to keep my body healthy—Platinum Performance, grapefruit juice and yogurt for my morning breakfast.

What characteristic do you value most in a horse?
A durability that allows a horse to protect a huntsman as he has to concentrate on all the things a huntsman has to do.

In a hound?
A hound that tries every time he goes out, is extremely honest about what he does when he’s on the line. The professional attitude of a really good hound that does everything you ask him to do.

In a human?
I value people who are honest and ambitious in their endeavors in life.

Looking back on your career so far, what advice are you glad you never took?

Probably to relax and do something different. Everything we do is associated with the health and welfare of animals. I inherited that from my father. He never took my mother on a vacation.

What do you think is the biggest issue facing the world today?
The harmony of the world to survive in a peaceful manner.

Jack Russells, yes or no?

Who or what is the greatest love of your life?
My wife, Eunie, of 57 years.

What one item from your wardrobe best personifies you?

My scarlet coat.

What word or phrase do you overuse?
“Do the little things well, and the big things happen.”

Do you have a favorite hound?
The best hound I ever hunted behind was a hound named Pommel. He was remarkable and did everything you asked him to do. He had an unbelievable ability to generate his own casts and produce a wonderful run for everybody. One time I saw him account for two coyotes himself, and that was after 20 miles of a hunt.

What do you think will be happening in the sport of foxhunting in 10 years?
I’m thinking that if we’re intelligent with our approach, it will still be functioning as it is today.

Category: Interviews
Tag: Hounds

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