Club History
Dr John Hare, DVM
There is a long history of fox hunting in the Hamilton area. James Durand, an original settler, imported a pack of foxhounds from England, in the year 1805. He hunted them locally, and as far away as Long Point on Lake Erie. His son, Charles Durand, was associated with William Lyon Mackenzie in the Rebellion of 1837. He was arrested after the rebellion and in 1843 he was sentenced to be exiled from Canada. His pack of foxhounds became the foundation of the Toronto Hunt in that year.
A man called Washington Boultbee, also owned a private pack of foxhounds. He lived in Ancaster, on the Binkley Road, and hunted his hounds locally and in Hamilton, from 1837 to 1840. Another pack of foxhounds was established by the military in Hamilton in the 1860’s and Mr. Hendrie was the Master. In 1902, The Hamilton Riding and Driving Club was established, and this club provided horse races, and sport with paper chases, until 1914 when the First World War began. In the 1920’s, The Wentworth County Hunt was started, and this group again provided paper chases across the countryside until the stock market crash of 1929 sealed its doom. There was no further foxhunting activity in the area until 1958.
In the month of September 1958, Brigadier W. Denis Whitaker, Vice-President of O’Keefe Brewing Co. Ltd., who lived at River Road Farm, on the corner of Highway 54 and Mines Road near Caledonia, Ontario, had a magnificent day of hunting with the Toronto and North York foxhounds and came away convinced that this was a sport, “without comparison”, which would “catch on like wildfire” in the Hamilton – Caledonia area. 
Fred Wilkinson, ex-MFH, and Bill Bermingham, ex-MFH
The previous autumn Denny and several other interested persons had panelled about 15 fences in the vicinity of River Road Farm, and enjoyed
cross country rides together. He had also begun seeking permission from several farmers to panel more fences and to ride cross country over nearly 1000 acres. His plan was to begin in 1958 with 6 or 7 paper chases to test the interest of the participants, which he hypothesized would then lead to increasing the area and then to procure 2 or 3 couples of foxhounds to begin drag hunting in 1959. He also intended to hire 2 men to cut poles and construct an additional 25 jumps over the wire fences, to be completed at a cost of approximately $250.00 by the middle of October. His intention was to write to 20 persons requesting a donation of $25.00 each with the hope of recruiting 10 to cover the costs. The extra money would be placed in the club treasury for “further improvement of facilities”. One of the “interested parties” to whom Denny wrote on September 25, 1958 was William Bermingham, President of Bermingham Construction and living at Otterbun in the Dundas valley. Bill and others joined the Hamilton Hunt in response to Denny’s letters and by the autumn of 1959 there were 45 memberships [10 family, 14 hunting, 10 junior and 11 associate]. The membership grew to a total of 82 by 1966. During 1958 and 1959 a few hounds were donated from other hunts and were kenneled at the farm of Abel Bastarache and hunted by Bill Bermingham joint MFH during the early years, often as a drag hunt. The Hamilton Hunt was recognized by the Masters of Foxhound Association of America in 1958. A review of the early membership lists showed interest from Ancaster, Burlington, Hamilton, Dundas, St. Catharines, Cainsville, Niagara Falls, Waterdown and Winona. During 1959 a total of 26 Meets were held on Wednesdays and Sundays from September to December, from four locations: River Road Farm,  Caledonia; Otterburn, Ancaster; Mohawk Stables, Carluke; and Woodhill Farm, Waterdown.
Wes Kee, ex MFH
In 1962 the new Hamilton Hunt Club purchased the present Hunt Farm from Stewart McBlain and began construction of kennels and stables. In 1964 the membership decided to recruit a professional huntsman and hired Clive Rose, who had returned to England after 3 seasons as a whipper-in with the Toronto and North York Hunt. Clive arrived with a stallion hound and a couple of bitches from England and in short order provided good sport and a pack of excellent hunting and showing hounds. A group from the Hamilton Hunt membership incorporated the Hamilton Hunt Company Limited in 1966. Members of the Hamilton Hunt were offered shares in the company, which owns the hunt assets and administers the activities.
Denny Whitaker continued as an active master with the Hamilton Hunt until the early 1970’s, with Bill Bermingham and Bernie Faloney. Others serving as joint masters for various lengths of time following Denny’s retirement included John Ker, Fred Wilkinson, Ray Howe, Max Chernesky, Wes Kee, Bob Brennan, Anne Bermingham, John Lecluse, John MacDonald, Carly Martin, Hank Martin, Maggie Ker, and Karl Christensen. Clive Rose hunted the hounds until 1984. Malcolm Isbister acted as amateur huntsman during 1985 and Paul Luckhurst, who came from the Mid Devon Foxhounds in England, hunted the Hamilton hounds from 1986 to 2004. When Paul Luckhurst retired he was replaced by Paul Wilson. The hounds were also hunted by Ashley Hubbard and Robert Howarth for 2 years each.
Over the years the hunt country in the Caledonia area was expanded to the Woodstock area and more recently in Onieda near Cayuga. Land registered to the Hamilton Hunt near Puslinch has been on loan to the Wellington Waterloo Hunt. In recent years, the members enjoy hunting with the Hamilton hounds from August to December, with several joint Meets each year with neighbouring hunts