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Hunting on Long Island - old days till now.

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  • Hunting on Long Island - old days till now.

    Hunting on Long Island - old days (60's, 70's) till now - what can you tell me about it?

    I'm from L.I. and, sadly, have seen it go from beautiful country to, well . . . I had a show pony at the time but wish I had paid more attention to hunting.

    I believe they used to run the hunt through part of Harry's property in Nissoquogue?

    Tell me all you can.

    Tx,
    Sonoma

  • #2
    I left LI 5 years ago and the Smithtown Hunt was still going, but mostly out East. There is a nice program in place for land preservation and thousands of acres have been preserved, but sadly for where I grew up it's a done deal.

    Right before we left the last dirt road in the Hamptons was paved over and developed.

    Where were you on LI?? Where did you ride? I rode at Timber Point when it still had stables (40 years ago) I should ad that I grew up on LI, but left in 75 until 2000 then was there for 5 years.
    RIP Kelly 1977-2007 "Wither thou goest, so shall I"

    "To tilt when you should withdraw is Knightly too."

    Comment


    • #3
      Jumping in here.

      I rode at Smoke Run Farm in Stony Brook and then switched over to Harry D. Did he not try to start his own hunt club when he moved further out on the Island (after his divorce, I believe)? I know my Mom went over to look at a litter of foxhound puppies he had.

      I still go to LI once a year to visit family and am saddened to see how much it has built up. All the potato farm fields now sprout mcmansions.......I will be back there this Ocrtber for a few days....
      We do not have an overpopulation of dogs, we have an under population of responsible dog owners!!!

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Hi Eventer & AZ.

        Thanks for the replies. Yes, LI is not what it used to be. We intend to relocate in a few years (to the New England area), can't wait.

        I started, in the 70's with Harry, then kept my horse at a private barn in Head of the Harbor.

        I don't remember Timber Point, where was that located? No more potatoe or duck farms - lots of stores, malls, houses, so you can buy lots & lots of "things" - yay. Oh, that's right, you can to to the Beach (big deal, so what, ruins your skin, eh, it's all gone, isn't it . . .) (apologies for the tone)

        I remember when near my bus stop we'd see ring neck pheasants, turtles, beautiful wild flowers, etc. The bus stop was next to my barn's three acre pasture; he had a run-in-stall but was out in the field with a few other horses most of the time.

        Alas . . .

        Comment


        • #5
          Ahh memories...

          My family had a summer home right off Moriches Rd and we used to drive past Hollandia on the way to the beach... I remember when Hollandia was a dairy farm.....then low and behold one summer we saw HORSES in the fields instead of cows!!!

          We later moved to Stony Brook and every fall I would spend every waking moment at the horse show in Setauket (right across the road from East Meadow beach) on the way to Old Field...... All the horse vans would drive down Quaker Path (a block from my house)...

          I graduated from Ward Melville H.S. (class of '69)...

          A few years back we went to Hollandia (I cannot remember if they changed the name) and walked around, but it was not the same as when Harry owned it.....

          Now I am anxiously awaiting the release of the new book on Snowman.....

          Thanks for the walk down memory lane.
          We do not have an overpopulation of dogs, we have an under population of responsible dog owners!!!

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Moriches Rd. is gorgeous, almost still, although they've built on more & more of it, of course. Yes, Long Beach & Short Beach - 20 mins. from where I'm living now. When I was young we used to ride the horses over to a part of the beach out that way.

            Wow - I didn't know Hollandia used to be a dairy farm. Lessons with Harry used to make my young teenage self so nervous. He yelled a little. Remember a bay TB named Prince, by chance? They are redoing the farm and it looks like it's going to be marvelous. Well, even though all new will sort of feel funny, can't go and reminisce. The old stalls were too small, though.

            http://www.silveroakstable.com/trainers.html

            What I'm trying to remember/find out is if they used to Hunt through part of the Hollandia property, well, back when it had much more property. Memory tells me they did but I'm not sure. Oh, idea, maybe I should e-mail the Smithtown Hunt on that (duh).

            The Old Field Farm horse shows - how absolutely magical. I ADORE that property. They have some shows there now. Not like the glory of the old days but thank goodness for the preservation of that glorious old property. The main barn is redone. Many of the old white ship in stalls are really leaning and about to fall over, though.

            Yes, I'm on the wait list for the Snowman book, also.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by sonomacounty View Post
              Hi Eventer & AZ.

              Thanks for the replies. Yes, LI is not what it used to be. We intend to relocate in a few years (to the New England area), can't wait.

              I started, in the 70's with Harry, then kept my horse at a private barn in Head of the Harbor.

              I don't remember Timber Point, where was that located? No more potatoe or duck farms - lots of stores, malls, houses, so you can buy lots & lots of "things" - yay. Oh, that's right, you can to to the Beach (big deal, so what, ruins your skin, eh, it's all gone, isn't it . . .) (apologies for the tone)

              I remember when near my bus stop we'd see ring neck pheasants, turtles, beautiful wild flowers, etc. The bus stop was next to my barn's three acre pasture; he had a run-in-stall but was out in the field with a few other horses most of the time.

              Alas . . .
              Timber Point was in Great River next to Heckscher Park. I grew up in East Islip and went out East for a while then on Shelter Island. Sad to see what's left, but Silver Oak seems to be gorgeous.
              RIP Kelly 1977-2007 "Wither thou goest, so shall I"

              "To tilt when you should withdraw is Knightly too."

              Comment


              • #8
                I hunted a few times with Smithtown in the 1960s for a $5 capping fee. We did sometimes go through the Hollandia property and had hunt breakfasts in the lounge of Hollandia's indoor.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Ah, there it is; thanks BAC. Now how much more of Nissoquogue were you able to hunt through?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I moved from LI in 1987. I remember Smithtown Hunt and wasn't there one called Suffolk County Hounds or am I completely off?

                    Seeing development where I used to ride would depress me, I kept my horse at Melody Farms in Huntington and I could ride for miles and miles, one of the hunts used those trails as their territory. I remember one field called (or we called it) the boyscout field, huge field with lots of natural jumps in it. Heaven! We used to be able to ride to Thomas's on round swamp road.

                    An old friend of mine from those days 1/2 leases her horse, the only way she can afford owning up there. She used to keep her at Stanhope (sp? what used to be Melody) and I gasp at the board prices. She's now at a private farm, small, no indoor and pays $800.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Smithtown is the only hunt left. I believe there was Olde Suffolk for a while, but remember them not being sanctioned or something. I believe all the hunts on LI are now drags and mostly out towards the North & South Fork. I remember growing up at Rice Farms in the 70s and 80s they used to hunt at west Hills, Stillwell Woods and many other places that are now so built up. Beautiful shows were held at Stillwell too.

                      Does Westbury still have all the trails with the great jumps? I remember a drop to a water jump, the bank in the woods and all the logs & coops (some were huge)... I used to take my jumper and my jack russell out and hand gallop and jump all around up until the mid-90s. It was a slice of heaven even in the massive development of that area in the 90s.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Found this (olde & antique type info),
                        Meadowbrook Hounds Hunt / Pony Club:

                        "The worsening suburban conditions which had shrunk the once-vast hunting lands of Jamaica, Hicksville, Woodbury, Old Westbury, Glen Cove, Mineola and Huntington, had now limited hunting to the north side of Jericho Turnpike. Farmers in the area who were sympathetic to the hunt were Ambrose Clark, John Schiff, Robert Winthrop and Sir Ashley Sparks. These gentlemen made their lands available to the hunt and pony club. Eventually, however, each succumbed to the encroachment of suburbia until only John Schiffs land remained.

                        The Clark land became SUNY campus: the Whitney and Winthrop land became a golf course: Sir Ashelys was carved into housing lots: and the great Whitney stable became the architecture building for New York Institute of Technology. As all these lands were gobbled up, the future of riding became more oriented toward pony club, riding rings in back yards, horse shows instead of hunts, and trailering instead of hacking
                        to meets."

                        -----
                        Say, you all have left out of here; must be a reason why.
                        I need to do that ASAP. I used to live on the West coast but that was not for me (boring weather, rattle snakes, etc.), landed in NY again, somehow.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Sunken:

                          Yes, the hunts are drags. I don't know what Westbury is like now.

                          Oh, I used to ride in the trails at Stillwell Woods, at one point. Yes, there were some old jumps in there. Now I get it.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by sonomacounty View Post
                            Found this (olde & antique type info),
                            Meadowbrook Hounds Hunt / Pony Club:

                            "The worsening suburban conditions which had shrunk the once-vast hunting lands of Jamaica, Hicksville, Woodbury, Old Westbury, Glen Cove, Mineola and Huntington, had now limited hunting to the north side of Jericho Turnpike. Farmers in the area who were sympathetic to the hunt were Ambrose Clark, John Schiff, Robert Winthrop and Sir Ashley Sparks. These gentlemen made their lands available to the hunt and pony club. Eventually, however, each succumbed to the encroachment of suburbia until only John Schiffs land remained.
                            For a little bit more fox hunting history, Robert Winthrop was the first husband of Theodora A. Randolph (Mrs. A.C. Randolph). They had four childen together. How lucky she was that she moved to VA when she did, and was able to spend her life as the Piedmont master.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              What a interesting thread!

                              SUNY Old Westbury trails are still maintained by the Smithtown Hunt. They have a Hunter Pace there and at Caumsett State
                              Park every year. Old Westbury still has great jumps but I don't think it has water anymore.

                              Stillwell Woods is rarely used for riding anymore. Mostly taken over by mountain bikers. Who in their right mind wants to try to ride over from the south side of Jericho Turnpike? I have heard before from members of NSHA how nice it once was there.

                              The Boy Scout field in West Hills is just a field. I ride through there often enough. I always thought there should be jumps on those trails! Still think that field is to small for a really good gallop tho!

                              There are trails that lead from the north side of West Hills Park down towards Thomas School where there are some small jumps but it is very hard to get from there to Bethpage State Park. You have to ride through a development.

                              The polo field that was across from C.W. Post campus on the north side of 25A was sold years ago to developers. That was very sad. Also sad was the development where that big stable on 25A in Brookville that had the statue of the rolling horse. The Whitney Lane polo field is still gorgeous!

                              Don't know about out east as I am a "down" island girl.

                              Found this:http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/...vives-suburbia
                              Last edited by ctab; Aug. 12, 2011, 11:18 PM. Reason: added link
                              "I am a sand dancer... just here for the jumps!" - Schrammo
                              http://atoxcequestrian.com/
                              https://www.facebook.com/groups/127749947563045/

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Thanks for the great article, Ctab.

                                "Stillwell Woods is rarely used for riding anymore."

                                About, oh - 15 yrs. ago or so, I used to half-board a horse in a barn right near there.

                                I've got such great memories of it. He was a nice, big bay TB. I remember it by the crisp winter air, smell of pines in a certain area we'd pass, you'd always see some really neat colorful birds (remarkable ones, not like the ones outside your house) and now I know about those neat old jumps out there.

                                Alas . . .

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by sonomacounty View Post
                                  Wow - I didn't know Hollandia used to be a dairy farm. Lessons with Harry used to make my young teenage self so nervous. He yelled a little. Remember a bay TB named Prince, by chance? .
                                  I do not remember Prince, I usually rode a strawberry roan named, George. Harry was so scarey to me! Heck he chased after the horse I was riding to get him over a fence once... I got used to his yelling, but I was always intimidated by him!

                                  remember one time, he told me to ride a different horse (from George). He pointed in the general direction of the stalls and told me to tack up the bay... Well, there were 2 or 3 bays there and I was not sure which one, so I just tacked up the closest one....

                                  ounted up and went to warm up, Harry came out and just about had a cow as I had the wrong horse...., Duh, they all looked the same to me!!!

                                  We could probably start a thread on all the Harry stories.....
                                  We do not have an overpopulation of dogs, we have an under population of responsible dog owners!!!

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    "I got used to his yelling, but I was always intimidated by him!"

                                    Yep, I hear you on that one for sure.

                                    I don't remember George. The "go tack up the bay" is not surprising; heh, heh . . .

                                    Say, do you remember reading the horse show results in the daily newspaper, The Long Island Press, on Sundays? Or looking for the horses for sale in the Pennysaver?

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      good good good

                                      good

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by sonomacounty View Post
                                        "I got used to his yelling, but I was always intimidated by him!"

                                        Yep, I hear you on that one for sure.

                                        I don't remember George. The "go tack up the bay" is not surprising; heh, heh . . .

                                        Say, do you remember reading the horse show results in the daily newspaper, The Long Island Press, on Sundays? Or looking for the horses for sale in the Pennysaver?
                                        Absolutely! We used to get the LI press and remember the Pennysaver. But the big deal was to read the horse ads in the Sunday NY Times! Talk about big dreams for a young girl!!!

                                        I would get to his place early in the morning and sometimes he would be bringing the horses in from the fields. He would close off one end of the barn and his dog would run the horses into the other end and they would just go into their own stalls. He also had the dog (a shepherd) help get unruly horses into his indoor arena during schooling shows. The dog would grab the horse's tail and the horse would go forward from shock, I think...
                                        We do not have an overpopulation of dogs, we have an under population of responsible dog owners!!!

                                        Comment

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