History of Miami Valley Hunt


1959 – Dayton Horse Show, Montgomery County Fairgrounds,

August - Dr. Peter R. Coggins, temporarily assigned to WPAFB hospital, approached Phyllis F. Hull and Jack D. Reeder.  “I’m a Virginian and a foxhunter, why isn’t there a Hunt in the Dayton area?”

Heck & Reeder called a meeting at the Hull Farm, Honey Hill, and invited the following: Helen Sproat, Catherine Hosea (Hilker), Ginny & Herb Whalen, David Striley, Chester Nungaster, Peter Coggins, David Striley…     

Jack Reeder’s porch – Dayton Daily News photo:  1959Topics discussed: Location of hunt country – SE of Dayton – Bellbrook, Springvalley area. Land Owners researched, Hounds sought

Officers appointed: Phyllis Heck, Sr. MFH, Jack Reeder, MFH, Peter Coggins, MFH, Herb Whalen, Chair. of Board of Gov., Ginny Whalen, Secry, Treas., Helen Sproat, Whipper-In, Dave Spriley, Hon. Huntsman

Core Landowners: Jack Reeder, G. & H. Whalen (2nd Kennel site on Pennywit Rd.), Oscar Schmidt, Dr. John Geiger, Jim Losh family, Core Benefactors:  Elsie Mead, Max Comisar,

Application made to Masters of Foxhounds Assoc. for Registration Status.

See l966 letter from MFHA granting Recognition status to MVH.

Kennels moved from Bellbrook to Whalen’s farm on Pennywit Rd.

Outstanding Hunter Trials held at Whalen’s on our terrific course.  See photos.  Great area participation.

Bill Butt, of Butt Construction Co., gave MVH permission to hunt the Caesar Creek Reserve area while he was building the coffer dams.

Area later under jurisdiction of  Ohio Wildlife Bureau and MVH permission continued.  Currently area too ‘active’ to allow for much hunting except Jan. and Feb.

As Bellbrook area became more developed new hunt country was researched. 

Kennels now at Diedre & Erik's Farm in Champaign County.  Great hunting area with fox, coyote.  Their generosity to the MVH is boundless.  Adjacent areas being developed.  Successful Cross Country Event held at Thornhill Farm in May.

Huntsmen:  Dave Striley, NCR Chem.Eng. – trained by Camargo’s (former) Frenchy DeLabre when Dave a student.  Phyllis Heck, when Dave unavailable.  George Easterling, Professional, Englishman.  Mike Hax, NCR, Amateur Huntsman. Ruth Hax. Mike Uecker

The Cincinnati Post April 11, 1988

Classy transportation: Anne Shepherd and her horse “Sprite” greeted Jack and Phyllis Heck after they arrived in their Rolls-Royce for the Camargo Hunt point-to-point steeplechase Sunday at the Fox and Hound Farm at Moscow Ohio. The Hecks are members of the Miami Valley Hunt Club.


Current:      Diedre Koik,  Top Ammy Huntsman

Former Masters:  Tracy Bieser, Mike Hax, Rosie Allen,  Ruth Hax, Mike Uecker

Whippers-In:  Helen Sproat, Sally Cox, Allyson Louthan, Mike Hax     

Blessing of the Hounds:  Whalen’s Farm, then McGinnis Farm, now Woodland Trails Boy Scout Camp

Current Officers:  Masters:  Phyllis Heck, Carolyn Uecker, Diedre Koik, Jim Stainbrook

Secry-Treas:  C. Uecker

Huntsman:  D. Koik

Bd. of Gov.:  H.E. Whalen

Whippers-In:  Pam Grusz, Mike Uecker.


MVH Hunting Anecdotes – through the years…

            Early one fall a septic tank hole was dug in the side yard of the Whalen’s second farm.  Everyone in the ‘field’ knew it was there.  Then came winter – rain – freezing – and snow covered the ground.  In early January we were hunting through this area south and east of Penewit Road and hounds ran riot through this snow-covered house yard with Phyll Heck in hot pursuit – until…suddenly ‘Just Blue’ was swallowed-up in the horse sized septic tank hole up to his withers (and Phyll’s lap) in half frozen, oozing, stinking…

            Phyll stepped off and with several others ‘urging’ etc. ‘Just Blue’ lunged himself out of the hole and headed toward Jack Heck.  “Catch my horse!” yelled Phyll.  “Wouldn’t touch the slimmey thing!” answered Jack.  Once caught ‘Blue’ was soo slippery ‘n slimmey that he was impossible to mount so…Phyll walked him back to the barn in twenty-some degree temperature and the cleaning, deodorizing, and dying of horse and rider began…

             Another very cold winter morning hounds were cast from the Penewit Kennels and the ‘field’ headed across the Bellbrook-Spring Valley Road toward Dr. John Boyles (Bonnie Geiger’s father) farm.  Little Sugar Creek had to be forded and we headed for our usual crossing.  Barney Mallady was Whipping on a horse he threateningly called ‘Alpo’.  The ‘field’ and hounds crossed safely in water up to the stirrups – but Barney veered left to urge a reluctant hound. 

            And, Barney disappeared from sight!  He was ‘gone’!  What seemed like minutes later a hunt cap appeared, then Barney’s face with his mustache dripping like sea-weed, and an exceedingly strong “Oh shit!”  Barney and ‘Alpo’ headed back to the barn and the hunt went on.

            Several hours later we got back to the Kennels/Stables and found Barney in Florence Thornberry’s kitchen wrapped in a blanket while his boots, breeches, hunt coat etc. flapped around in the dryer.

             And another winter-weather-story.  We were returning to the Kennels along a path that followed Little Sugar Creek.  The Creek was frozen out about three feet from the bank.  One of the hounds ventured out on the ice – and fell in.  Tried as he might to get a foot up on the ice and get out of the water – he couldn’t make it and he was flagging fast in the freezing water.  It was decided that…”Phyll, you’re the lightest…so you lie on the ice….we’ll hold your feet…and if you can get hold of the hound’s collar we’ll pull your feet and drag you both to shore!”

            So, lying on the ice you could hear and feel it snapping and water was soon covering the ice.  The hound kept putting his paws on the ice.  The ice would break.  And the open water was getting closer to me.  Finally with a lunge the collar was grabbed and the boot pulling began with Sally Cox and Jill Reeder Kendall – one on each leg.  But we got that hound in.  So being sodden and half frozen myself – it was worth it!



1959-1960 MVH Founding Fathers

Jack Reeder’s porch Dayton Daily News photo: 1959 Helen Sproat, Ginny Whalen, Phyll Hull, Dave Striley, Catherine Hosea (Hilker). Herb Whalen.