Rachel Lynne Gray 1983-2015

Rachel Lynne Gray died on June 25, 2015. Born September 30, 1983 in Warrenton, VA, Rachel attended Virginia Commonwealth University before embarking on a career hunting and riding flat and steeplechase racehorses.

Rachel was a long standing member of the Piedmont Fox Hounds family, whipping-in to her father, Huntsman Butch Gray. Later she served as barn manager and whipped-in to her husband, Spencer Allen. She served Piedmont with a fierce commitment and passion.

Survived by her parents Barbara and Randy Chappell and Butch and Bugsy Gray, Rachel also leaves behind her three children, Amelia Faith, Charlie Bell, and Beverly Ruth as well as her sisters Anne Dalton, Loretta Jean, Crystal Jane, and Jessica Marie along with many extended family and friends.

A celebration of her life was held Wednesday, July 1, 2015, led by Reverend Robert Bance at Trinity Episcopal Church in Upperville, VA.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a fund to benefit her children: The Rachel L. Gray Memorial Fund, c/o The Fauquier Bank, 10 Courthouse Square, Warrenton, VA 20186.

After a Lifetime of Hunting, Melvin Poe Has Gone Away

BBP Poe SmallBetsy Burke Parker photoLoved by people far and wide, 94 year old Melvin Poe died at his home in Hume, VA on September 13, 2014. Poe’s official professional career spanned 44 years, but truthfully, he spent his lifetime with the sport. He hunted hounds for Old Dominion from 1947-1962 and for Orange County from 1962 until his “retirement” in 1991. In retirement, Melvin hunted the private Bath County Hounds until 2011. When Bath County disbanded in 2011, Melvin started hunting his own pack of hounds, going out twice a week with friends and family.

B.C. Douglas Has Gone Away

B.C. DouglasCourtesy South Creek FoxhoundsWith the passing of Billy (B.C.) Douglas on July 28, 2014, South Creek Foxhounds of Tampa, Florida lost its original Professional Huntsman. In 1965, Mr. Robert Thomas started Two Rivers Hunt, Florida’s longest running fox hunt with the purchase of several tough, experienced horses from Ben Hardaway of Columbus, Georgia. Mr. Thomas secured several hounds from the Deep Run Hunt in Virginia and in an inspired move, purchased a couple of Irish foxhounds and shipped them air fright to Zephyrhills for their new lives in Southern Florida.

Foxhunting then began at the Thomas’s beautiful Two Rivers Ranch under the watchful eye of Douglas. B.C. Douglas was well known as a top night hunter and field trial judge throughout the State of Florida and Georgia. B.C. was not only a good Huntsman, but a successful breeder of foxhounds and enjoyed every aspect of the outdoors. In 1989, B.C. handed the hunting horn to his son, Robert Douglas, who continues as the Professional Huntsman today. In 1995, the name of the club was changed to South Creek Foxhounds. B.C. was 83 at the time of his death. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Peggy, and his sons Robert and Randy as well as two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Remembering Bobby Pillion, 1934-2014

BOBBY-PILLION-2009Karen L. Meyers photoThe foxhunting community lost a beloved member Sunday, January 12, 2014, in the passing of Robert Joseph “Bobby Joe” Pillion, 79, of Millwood, Virginia.

Bobby was born July 23, 1934 in Rose Hill, Virginia, son of the late White Ray Pillion and Sallie Emma Pauley Pillion. He was a horseman for Shan Hill Farm in Millwood; was a member of Blue Ridge Hunt; a ring master with Upperville Colt & Horse Show for 40 years; was in the Virginia Horseman Association Hall of Fame; and Whipped in Blue Ridge Hunt from 1966 until his retirement.

In Memoriam: Rodney H. Chadwell 1947-2013

rod chadwellPhoto courtesy Leslie ChadwellRodney H Chadwell, 66, passed away at his home in Stockbridge, VT ,Wednesday, August 7th, 2013. Rod was surrounded by his wife and four daughters at the time of his passing.

Rod was born January 26, 1947, the son of William “Buster” Chadwell and Frances Holmes Chadwell. He grew up in Peapack, NJ at the Essex Hunt Club, where his father had been huntsman since 1944. Rod followed in the family tradition, becoming first a whipper-in and then huntsman in 1978 for the Essex Fox Hounds at his father’s retirement. He is widely acknowledged to have been one of the best huntsmen of his time. 

His grandfather, Edward “Ned” Chadwell had been huntsman at the Orange County Hunt in Virginia, while his great uncle and cousin, Elias Chadwell and Earl Chadwell, for many years were in charge of the Millbrook Hunt in New York State. 

Rod loved to hunt and fish, one year taking the New Jersey largemouth bass record. He participated in many outdoor activities, including motor and sail boats, ATV’s, snowmobiling, motorcycles, canoeing and kayaking etc. He made sure that his girls learned to appreciate the outdoors as well. 

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