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Blessing, fair weather herald opening of Rolling Rock Hunt

| Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Kim Stepinsky | for the Tribune-Review
Rex Ashbrook, (L), of Ligoner, and Catherine Baxter Smith, of Ligonier, at the annual Blessing of the Rolling Rock Hunt, held at Stonewood Farm in Ligonier on Saturday morning, October 5, 2013.
Kim Stepinsky | for the Tribune-Review
Huntsman, Mark Stickley, (center), and whips, (from left), Kelly Bottorff, Dr. Don McGraw, and Sophie LaPorte, keep the hounds gathered, at the annual Blessing of the Rolling Rock Hunt, held at Stonewood Farm in Ligonier on Saturday morning, October 5, 2013.
Kim Stepinsky | for the Tribune-Review
Hunt master, Fritz Teroerde, (L), listens to Reverend James Simons' blessing, at the annual Blessing of the Rolling Rock Hunt, held at Stonewood Farm in Ligonier on Saturday morning, October 5, 2013.

Bright and lovely rose the morn of Oct. 5, as a blessing at Stonewood Farm in Ligonier Township heralded the opening of the Rolling Rock Hunt.

Members and guests assembled on a hilltop overlooking fog-shrouded fields, farms and forests rolling away to the distant Laurel Ridge.

As they arrived, the traditional Stirrup Cup breakfast of sweet cakes and port wine was offered.

Hunt master Fritz Teroerde issued a welcome and revealed the morning's itinerary, then turned the proceedings over to the Rev. James Simons of St. Michael of the Valley Episcopal Church in Rector.

Simons' words reminded hearers that “the earth is the Lord's and all the fullness thereof” and contained a prayer asking “for (all animals) thy mercy and pity, and for those who deal with them we ask a heart of compassion, gentle hands and kindly words.”

Then with a call to the hounds, in the charge of huntsman Mark Stickley, the three flights of riders were off, led by Christina Henderson, Georgia Smith and Will Burkland.

Seen: Ulla Teroerde, Sophie LaPorte, Dr.Don McGraw, Terry Graft, Tom and Catherine Smith, Kendra Henderson, Nancy Everson, Tyrrell Sharp, Bruce Shiring, Jim andDee Gano, Dr. Bill Choby, Caroline Imbriglia, Laura Dick, Jason Ament, Pat and Lynne Donnelly, Miranda Donnelly, Halie Lawrence, Don and Kim Kramer, Taka Kramer, Margaret McCague, Lybbie Lewis and William Kofmehl.

Hosts were Stonewood's owners John and Laura Tippins.

— Shirley McMarlin

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