Father Edward Frank has served as the chaplain of the Belle Meade Hunt for its entire 40-year existence. In that time, the fox hunting clergyman has come to love the world-renown McDuffie County event.
Now he is bringing that love to the written page. Father Frank has compiled the 250-page History of Belle Meade Hunt that chronicles the event from its humble beginnings until its 40th anniversary this year.
"Father Frank's History of Belle Meade is a wonderful gallop through the years of life as a Belle Meade fox hunter," said the hunt's Master of Fox Hounds Epp Wilson. "It is an anthology of the very best hunt stories."
The book includes captioned pictures from the hunt on nearly every page. It also includes various articles, stories and poems written by the hunt's participants, organizers and aficionados.
"Father Frank was the fox hunting parson at his best. He delivered the traditional Blessing of Hounds then took off his clerical robe to reveal scarlet coat and boots, hopped onto his fine grey hunter é─˛Sir Grey' and cantered off with the hunt," Mr. Wilson said.
Participating until he turned 70 gave Father Frank a unique perspective into the world of the Belle Meade Hunt. Now, though he is "pushing 80" according to Mr. Wilson, he still rides along in a truck with a front-row seat to his favorite event.
"His fine sense of humor, his joy of life and his love of all of God's children - two legged and four legged - all come through loud and clear," Mr. Wilson said of Father Frank's book.
History of Belle Meade Hunt costs $35 and will be available for purchase at all of the weekend's Opening Meet events beginning at Boots Hall on Friday evening. Copies will also be made available on www.bellemeadehunt.com. Father Frank will be autographing copies of his book during Friday and Saturday's events.