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Ben Hardaway


By Tommy Brannon, MFH

One of the foremost foxhunters in the world, Benjamin Hurt Hardaway III, 98, died peacefully at his home on October 19, 2017. Known as the breeder and developer of the “Hardaway type hound,” Mr. Hardaway was the founder and master of the Midland Hounds (1950), with kennels in Columbus, Ga. Midland hound lineage can be found in hounds not only in the U.S., but also throughout the world. This type of foxhound, which is crossbred from English-Fell hounds and southern U.S. July hounds, has a keen nose, especially in warm dry scenting conditions, and more drive and tenacity than many other breeds. Hardaway was quite generous with his hound breeding program, often drafting some of his best hounds to other hunts in order to perpetuate good sport.

Mr. Hardaway was a past president of The Masters of Foxhounds Association (MFHA); Director of the American Foxhound Club; Vice President of the Georgia Wildlife Federation; Race Committee Member, Atlanta Hunt Meeting & Steeplechase, Inc., Member of the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance; Past President of the Georgia-Florida Field Trial Club. He was made an Honorary Member of the Masters of Foxhounds Association of England for his expertise in the breeding of fox hounds. He was a sought after judge and participant at many fox hound shows.

His family and friends remember him as a fun-loving man with a sharp sense of humor and a vivid, hilarious way of telling a story. He took his responsibilities to his family business and community very seriously, while also being a generous host and the life of many a party. He never lost his boundless enthusiasm for living. In his autobiography, published in 1997, he explained how he fell in love with all kinds of hunting as a boy and progressed to be an avid foxhunter.

Hardaway was a successful businessman, heading the family business: building bridges, dams, and roads. He was always generous with his fortune, contributing to several churches and charities. He was a member of the St. Paul United Methodist Church and served on the Columbus, Georgia School Board. He was a member of the Board of Directors of Saint Francis Hospital. Mr. Hardaway was a long-time supporter of Brookstone School and donated a new track to Hardaway High School. He was very welcoming of newcomers to the sport of foxhunting, providing mounts and sport for many who otherwise could not afford it. He will be sorely missed.

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