Fox hunting in Platte County

Fox hunt members and members of the 9th/10th Cavalry Association returned traversing Grant Avenue after laying a wreath at the Buffalo Soldier Memorial a few years ago. A free presentation on fox hunting will take place this weekend in Platte County.

Fox hunt members and members of the 9th/10th Cavalry Association returned traversing Grant Avenue after laying a wreath at the Buffalo Soldier Memorial a few years ago. A free presentation on fox hunting will take place this weekend in Platte County.

A retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army will highlight the history of fox hunting in Northwest Missouri during a free presentation this weekend. Rob Kornacki and his wife Cathie of Platte County have been involved with fox hunting for more than 40 years and are members of the Fort Leavenworth Hunt Club. Cathie formerly served this organization as Master of the Fox Hounds. Rob, who retired from the Army as an Armor Officer, previously served as judge for the Western Hunting Challenge.

A retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army will highlight the history of fox hunting in Northwest Missouri during a free presentation this weekend.

Rob Kornacki and his wife Cathie of Platte County have been involved with fox hunting for more than 40 years and are members of the Fort Leavenworth Hunt Club. Cathie formerly served this organization as Master of the Fox Hounds. Rob, who retired from the Army as an Armor Officer, previously served as judge for the Western Hunting Challenge.

Rob Kornacki said the purpose of fox hunting in the Army was to teach soldiers horsemanship and to build morale. He will present the connection of fox hunting historically, globally and culturally. The tradition also has meaning outside of the military as its roots go back through Colonial America to Britain.

He said the appeal of horses and the outdoors remains universal. He will combine photos with anecdotes when telling the history of fox hunting. The event will include stories of the involvement of General George Patton and John Wayne as it relates to local history and fox hunting.

In addition, Kornacki will bring his horse Blueskin to the event. It was named after a horse that was ridden by George Washington.

The free presentation will be at 7 p.m. on Sept. 14 at the First Christian Church located at 708 3rd Street in Platte City. Refreshments will be provided.

The event is being sponsored by the Platte County Historical Society in conjunction with its current exhibit “Downton! Platte County Style” at the Ben Ferrel Platte County Museum. The exhibit highlights fashions and lifestyles in this area during the 1910s and 1920s, which is the period depicted in the Downton Abbey series.

Kornacki will highlight that during this period fox hunting was popular in this region. In Platte County, it often took the form of a fun social activity pursued with dogs and not horses.

Martha Brenner Noland, a board member to the historical society, recalls going to a fox hunt near Dearborn in the early 1930s.

“There was a great sumptuous picnic put on that everyone enjoyed after the hunting horn was sounded and the hunt began,” Noland said. “The men took off with the horses and dogs which numbered up to fifty or even seventy-five.”

Fox hunting, called fox chasing in 1916 by the Missouri State Fair, was popular throughout the region with active groups in Platte and Buchanan Counties along with Fort Leavenworth.

Reservations for the presentation would be appreciated by contacting museum curator and event organizer Lisa Wittmeyer by phone at 816-304-1627.

Margaret Slayton can be reached at margaret.slayton@greenacressells.com.