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Where Were the Hounds in Saturday's Parade?

It was insurance concerns that kept the hounds out of Saturday's parade at the start of Harvest in the Village Marketplace.

Saturday's Harvest in the Village Marketplace in downtown Hamilton and Wenham kicked off with a parade of horses from Myopia Hunt.

The parade, though, was initially billed as including both the horses but also the hounds that take part in the foxhunting.

But in the end, it was insurance concerns that meant the hounds would not take place in the parade.

"Despite the hard work and a lot of effort of many people, it came down to the fact that the Town's insurance company through the (Massachusetts Interlocal Insurance Association) was pretty vague about the coverage of unleashed dogs, and in the event something did happen, the Town's cost for insurance could have gone up dramatically," said Selectman Jeff Hubbard in response to a question from Hamilton-Wenham Patch.

Hubbard said he, and other organizers of Harvest in the Village Maketplace,
really wanted the hounds to be part of the parade and "tried several different ways to make it happen."

Among those that helped in were Police Chief Russell Stevens, Town Manager Michael Limbardo and Finance Director Deborah Nippes-Mena, Hubbard said.

"We all hope that everyone understands that it was a difficult decision, but what we all thought was in the best interest of the town," Hubbard said.

Even though the hounds used in foxhunting "are about the nicest, playful dogs you can imagine," it came down to "risk vs. reward" for the town government, Hubbard said.

A recent incident at Patton Park also played into the decision, Hubbard said, where a young boy went to pet a leashed dog with the owner's permission Hubbard said.

But there's now a year to work on finding a way to make the hounds part of next year's parade, Hubbard said.

"The hope of all is that a special insurance binder can be obtained for the event next year," he said.

Stephen Christian September 25, 2012 at 11:41 AM
I think it was a wise decision to keep them out of the parade this year. Even well trained, nice dogs can act in unexpected ways. Sometimes it is ok to give up a personal tradition for community.
Carol A Mazzetta September 26, 2012 at 07:10 AM
Having seen the Hounds in action years ago, they are very unpredictable and unruley.so yes, it was the right decision.

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