The history of the Andrews Bridge Foxhounds begins with the Upland Hunt, which was located in Upland, Chester County, Pennsylvania. It was founded in 1900 by Edward Crozer and J. Howard Lewis, Jr. In1910, the Upland Hunt was disbanded and Samuel D. Riddle of Glen Riddle Pennsylvania started his own pack of hounds hunting the country formerly hunted by Mr. Crozer. Mr. Riddle wrote:
We hunted 25 couple of hounds. They were all of one colour – black and tan. This was because, within a radius of 25 or 30 miles of my home, there were some 5,000 kept up for hunting purposes. When they committed any depredations in the country, I merely asked, when complaints were made, if they were all of one color. If the answer came back that they were not, my troubles were ended. I hunted them for nine years, I think it was, and we had plenty of foxes and very few blank days.
The pack remains black and tan to this day.
Mr. Riddle perhaps was best known as the owner of the great race horse “Man-o-War”. When Mr. Riddle found that the sport of racing was taking up much of his time, he turned his hounds over to Walter M. Jeffords who took over the Mastership. Mr. Jeffords and Mr. Riddle were connected by marriage. Mrs. Jeffords was a niece of Mrs. Riddle’s. The name of the hunt was changed to Mr. Jeffords Hounds and they were kenneled at Mr. Jeffords’ farm at Glen Riddle near Media Pennsylvania.
In 1927 the kennels were moved to the corner of Sproul Road and Route 896 in the Village of Andrews Bridge, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and hounds were hunted by George L. Shivery from 1927 to 1959.
Walter M. Jeffords, Jr., who served as Joint Master of Rose Tree (1949-1954), succeeded his father as Master of Mr. Jeffords Hounds in 1954, while Haines Kirk, who had become a whipper-in that same year, became the huntsman in 1959.
In 1968 Mr. Jeffords Jr. invited Robert H. Crompton, III to join him as a Joint Master and the pack was renamed Mr. Jeffords’ Andrews Bridge Foxhounds. Mr. Crompton constructed a modern kennel and hounds were moved about a mile away to their present location in Colerain Township, Lancaster County.
Upon assuming the Joint Mastership of Mr. Jeffords’ Andrews Bridge Foxhounds, Mr. Crompton began hunting the hounds with Haines Kirk being his whip and kennelman. As a huntsman, Mr. Crompton continued to show excellent sport with the Penn-Marydel black and tans for which Andrews Bride is so well known.
George Strawbridge, Jr. joined Mr. Jeffords, Jr. and Mr. Crompton, as a Joint Master, in 1970. Mr. Strawbridge subsequently purchased the land which comprised the Pennsylvania portion of Foxcatcher Hounds’ territory in Fair Hill Maryland, thus establishing the two countries which Andrews Bridge continues to hunt being the country around the kennels located in Lancaster County which is farmed predominantly by the old order Amish and the Fair Hill Country located on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line in Fair Hill Maryland.
In 1994, Mr. Crompton’s wife, Georgia, was invited to serve as a Joint Master. Upon the death of Mr. Jeffords, Jr., his wife Kay and son John became Joint Masters carrying on the family tradition. When John moved to Wyoming, Mr Crompton gave him a number of hounds to start his own pack. It seemed only fitting that he would take the Jeffords family name with him. The original pack of hounds were then renamed the Andrews Bridge Foxhounds, the name they still carry today.
In 2008, after 40 years of hunting, showing and breeding the Andrews Bridge Foxhounds Mr. Crompton decided to retire his horn. He then invited two longtime members of the hunt, J. Stephen Hill and Stephen B. Harris, to serve as Joint Masters with the existing Masters. Mr. Hill, Haines Kirk’s nephew, took over as huntsman. This same year, the Bryn Mawr Hound Show Association honored Mr. Crompton as the recipient of the 2008 Julian Marshall Award. In presenting this honor to Mr. Crompton, the Association noted:
The black and tan Penn-Marydel Foxhounds of Andrews Bridge, hunt old order Amish country of Lancaster County and the Fair Hill country of southern Chester County. The country has always been well organized and over Bob’s 40 years of Mastership, the Andrews Bridge Foxhounds have shown good sport to all who have hunted with them. Bob’s lasting contribution to the sport of foxhunting, however, will be as one of the country’s premier breeder of hounds. As the Andrews Bridge Hounds improved while maintaining a classic look voice and scenting abilities, other breeders were challenged to keep pace. Bob’s breeding program drove dramatic improvement in the Penn-Marydel far beyond Andrews Bridge and he has always been very generous in drafting quality hounds to packs looking to improve their programs. Andrews Bridge blood can be found throughout the studbooks of all serious Penn-Marydel breeders.
In 2011, Betsy Harris, another longtime member, was invited to serve as a Joint Master and in 2011 William R. Crompton, one of Bob and Georgia’s sons, was appointed a Joint Master. It was at this time that Mr. Adam Townsend was appointed a professional huntsman of April 2013. He had previously hunted Penn-Marydel hounds and brought with him much experience and knowledge of the breed.
The Andrews Bridge Foxhounds continue to hold onto many of the wonderful foxhunting traditions of the past, remain an integral part of the community and look forward to many more years of excellent foxhound breeding and good sport.