with Horse and Hound

On the Grass With Blue Ridge and Thornton Hill

DSC 5816Photographs by Liz Callar

By the north-western banks of the Shenandoah River, just under the sweep of the Blue Ridge Mountains, huntsman Beth Opitz, MFH, Thornton Hill Hounds (VA) readies to move off to the first draw with her pack of Penn-Marydel foxhounds. Husband and Joint-Master Erwin Opitz (in scarlet) helps to keep the pack together.

The joint-meet at the southern-most end of the Blue Ridge Hunt country at Blue Ridge Master Jeff LeHew’s beautiful Shannon Hill fixture was held on Tuesday, December 4, 2018. It was new country for Thornton Hill’s Penn-Marydels, and a different experience for the Blue Ridge hosts who regularly follow their Crossbred pack of Modern English and American lines, but also includes some pure Old English, pure Fell, and crosses on these bloodlines as well. (See “A Level Pack or a Team of Specialists?”)

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Not far from the Shenandoah, a fox is viewed.

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Huntsman Opitz brings hounds to the View Halloa. The two in scarlet in front of the group standing well clear of the fox’s line are (l-r) Blue Ridge huntsman Graham Buston and Thornton Hill MFH Erwin Opitz.

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“Can you hear me now?”

One of the reasons why many hound packs of all types treasure at least a touch of Penn-Marydel bloodlines in their pack is that their noses can follow the faintest scent, and, my word, but they can be heard!

These photographs and many more shot this day may be seen on Liz Callar’s website.

Posted December 10, 2018