Robert Joseph “Bobby Joe” Pillion died at home in Millwood, Virginia on January 12, 2014. He was seventy-nine.
“I just love to hunt,” he often said.
That’s how he concluded just about every foxhunting conversation we had. I can see him saying it, with a shake of his head and a thoughtful smile.
Bobby Joe was one of the most beautiful horsemen I have ever seen crossing the country. He whipped-in to the Blue Ridge Hunt for more than thirty years, riding nimble and athletic Thoroughbreds of such a uniform type that people trying to describe any new horse of that sort would simply say, “That’s a Bobby Joe horse.” In fact, you never knew which horse he was riding because they all went the same for him.
Bobby Joe was chosen to be a judge for both the 1989 and the 1991 highly publicized foxhound matches between the Piedmont and the Midland packs, both held in the Piedmont country. The matches were fashioned as a modern replay of the Great English-American Foxhound Match of 1905 and held in the same country. Sporting journalists came from England as well as the U.S. to cover the matches.