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Leith Symington Griswold, matriarch of a Maryland riding and foxhunting family, died at the age of ninety-seven, on Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at her home in Monkton.

Her favorite sport was foxhunting, and she hunted not only in Maryland, but in England and Ireland as well. It was in Ireland at Molly Cusack-Smith’s Bermingham House in Tuam, County Galway where I met her and her late husband Benjamin Griswold III. Joan and I stayed there for our hunting holidays, as did the Griswold family, who all hunted enthusiastically. I remember her for her utter charm and self-possession in any situation.

Ultimately, Leith and Ben purchased an old rectory in County Tipperary, where she raised roses and pursued her other passion of gardening. She was a founding trustee of the Ladew Topiary Gardens in Maryland and was honored by the Garden Club of America for her work.

Leith suffered a riding accident in 1979 and switched her equine attentions to steeplechasing. Her horses won major races including the Maryland Hunt Cup.

Leith was the daughter of industrialist/sportsman John Fife Symington and Arabella Hambleton Symington. She graduated from the Bryn Mawr School and attended the Peabody Conservatory of Music. She also attended a school in Rome, spoke French and Italian, and traveled extensively in those countries.

Click for Jacques Kelly’s tribute in the Baltimore Sun.

Posted November 5, 2013

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