The field heads out following huntsman Barry Magner on the final Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds hunt of the season in Kennett Square, Pa., on March 30, 2017. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

Jonathan Newton is a photojournalist at The Washington Post. He contributed this essay to In Sight.

The chorus of Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds has echoed in the hills of the Brandywine Valley in southern Pennsylvania for more than a century. The hunt country encompasses more than 30,000 acres that run through fields and farms near the picturesque towns of Coatesville, Unionville and Kennett Square. The hunt, beginning in 1912, is named after W. Plunket Stewart, who bought up land and hounds to begin what continues to this day as one of the finest fox hunts in the country.


Huntsman Barry Magner walks hounds near the kennels in Kennett Square. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)
Huntsman Barry Magner chooses the hounds for the final hunt of the 2017 season in Kennett Square. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

As a photographer, I’m always looking to experience different slices of life with my camera. A chance to see something outside the lines of the standard sports of football, basketball and baseball that I have covered for three decades. Fox hunting fit the bill. I’ve seen the amazing fox hunt pictures by Delaware-based Jim Graham, who has photographed this particular hunt for more than 25 years. He invited me to tag along for the final race of the 2017 season. The hunt did not disappoint.

Veteran fox hunter Harry Price, 81, of Delaware, came to watch the final hunt of the 2017 season. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)
The foxhounds bolt out of the kennel for the final hunt of the 2017 season in Kennett Square. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)
Huntsman Barry Magner in Kennett Square. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)
Jock Hannum holds his hunting whip during the final Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds hunt of the 2017 season in Kennett Square. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)
During a break in the hunt, the foxhounds walked along a road in Kennett Square. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

I learned the language and etiquette of the hunt. Number one is that they are hounds, not dogs. Then there is the huntsman, the field, stand, gone to ground, move off, go in, whips, whipper. I found the hunt to be kind of poetic as the hounds and the horses and riders crisscrossed the picturesque countryside while the wily fox played the game. This hunt, as most in America, is a no-kill hunt. The object of the hunt is to give chase and drive the fox back to the earth. After the fox goes to ground, the huntmaster calls off the hounds with blows from his horn, and they either go in search of another fox or call it a day.

The field follows the field master up a hillside during the final hunt of the 2017 season in Kennett Square. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)
The braided mane of Silver with his rider, John Wilkoski, during the final Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds hunt of the 2017 season in Kennett Square. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)
Honorary whip Louis “Paddy” Neilson gives chase during the hunt in Kennett Square. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)
A deer bolts over a fence and the hounds gives chase to a fox during the final hunt of the season. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)
Shannon D’Amico clears a fence as the field follows the hounds during the final Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds hunt of the 2017 season in Kennett Square. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)
Huntsman Barry Magner signals the end of the 105th season of Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds in Kennett Square. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)
The field and the hounds leave the fox in the earth after it has gone to ground. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)
After the final hunt of the 2017 season, the foxhounds watch huntsman Barry Magner as they wait for dinner at the kennels in Kennett Square. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

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