Heroes & Underdogs Lecture Series

Join us in celebrating the unsung heroes of the sporting world! Each Heroes & Underdogs lecture reveals the challenges and triumphs of those who struggled against adversity, overcame great odds, and won our hearts with their passion and determination.

May 27: Saving Retired Hounds

On May 27, learn about a pioneer program to support retired foxhounds after their hunting days are behind them. Hound lovers and hunt lovers share an affinity for the human, equine, and canine personalities of the hunt field, and a growing number of organizations have taken on the challenge of caring for members of the pack when old age or injury takes them from the field. Lilla Mason, MFH of the Iroquois Hunt Club and President of the Hound Welfare Fund, will share the inspiration for the Hound Welfare Fund and challenges faced in their endeavors. Rather than fostering hounds, the Hound Welfare Fund takes care of retired hounds alongside the active pack. These treasured animals are able to live out their golden years with the humans, fellow hounds, and familiar places they call home.

About Lilla

Originally from Texas, Lilla S. Mason is MFH and Amateur Huntsman at the Iroquois Hunt, and also the Director of Public Affairs at AAA in Lexington, KY. A passion for horses led her to Lexington in 1983. Having competed for years in the hunter jumper show ring she trained field hunters for Jerry Miller, MFH at Iroquois and that was her introduction to foxhunting and hounds. She became Amateur Huntsman in 2003 and was asked to join the Mastership with Jerry Miller and Jack van Nagell in 2013. Lilla has hunted extensively in England, Ireland and France and regularly attends the Peterborough Hound show in England. She is also President of the Hound Welfare Fund, a non-profit foundation started in 2002 to provide a permanent retirement program for the Iroquois Hounds.

Reception begins at 3:30 p.m., talk begins at 5:00 p.m.

$5 admission, free to NSLM members

RSVP to Anne Marie Barnes, Clarice & Robert H. Smith Educator, at ABarnes@NationalSporting.org (540) 687-6542 x25

Full Series

Shayan Ghajar May 16: Shayan Ghajar, Virginia Tech Middleburg Agriculture Research & Extension (MARE) Center, on second career thoroughbreds at the MARE Center
Lilla Mason May 27: Lilla Mason, MFH Iroquois Hunt, on The Iroquois Hunt Club's Hound Welfare Fund *Special Date & Time: Saturday, 3:30-5:00pm*
Dr. John Ott June 13: Dr. John Ott, James Madison University, on African-American jockeys in Gilded Age imagery
Mark Metzger June 27: Mark Metzger, Carp Anglers Group, on the much maligned sport of carp fishing in the United States


Title Sponsor: Fields of Athenry Farm

Image credit:Louis Maurer (American, 1832 - 1932), The First Futurity, 1888, Jerome Park, Sheepshead Bay, a Close Finish, 1888, oil on canvas, 13 1/4 x 19 in. Gift of Mrs. Margaret H. Whitfield in memory of Peter Winants, 2001. Favored to win, Proctor Knott with Shelby “Pike” Barnes up takes 1st place at the 1888 First Futurity and a record $40,000 purse. Barnes was the leading U.S. jockey in both 1888 and 1889. He was also the first jockey to win over 200 races in a year and was among several successful African-American jockeys that dominated the sport in the late 19th century. Barnes  was inducted into the National Museum of Racing & Hall of Fame in 2011. 

Museum Hours

  • Friday & Saturday
  • 11:00am (Members Only)
  • 2:00pm (General Admission)

Library Hours

  • Tuesday - Saturday
  • By Appointment Only

Contact Us

  • Address: 102 The Plains Road,
    Middleburg, VA 20117

  • Mailing Address: PO Box 1335, Middleburg, VA 20118

  • Phone: (540) 687-6542

  • Email: info@nationalsporting.org