The present composition is one of a series of paintings of hunting subjects which Munnings undertook in Cornwall in the spring of 1913. Munnings' title refers to Lieutenant Colonel Bolitho with his pack on Zennor Moor, Cornwall. The pack had been recognised in 1863 and run by the Bolitho family as a private pack. For the present painting, the artist used the Cornishman Ned Osborne as a model to replace the ageing Bolitho. Munnings also painted another portrait of Robin Bolitho who holds the record as the longest serving master of any single pack (1864-1925); this had been commissioned by the farmers of Western Hunt and was painted when Bolitho was eighty-five or six, and was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1921, catalogue number 82.
Munnings moved from Swainsthorpe near Norwich to the artist's colony at Lamorna, Cornwall in 1913. He discusses the inspiration he drew from the landscape around Zennor during the spring of that year: 'Zennor, on the north coast of Cornwall, not far from St Ives, was at that time a primitive and unspoilt village. Being in granite country, where the soil was shallow, huge masses of stone were built into walls; every wall on each side of every lane consisted of huge stone slabs of split granite. Each farm was divided into small fields, and the stone which had been cleared from the ground was piled into walls, some being half as wide as a room. Great stones of strange shapes stood near the houses on either side of the brow of the hill where the road leads to St Ives. In fact this was the most picturesque and primitive place. Having seen the village more than once whilst the hounds were drawing a fox on Zennor Hill, and having visited it many times with friends, I was itching to get to the place and use Ned [who had replaced Shrimp as that artist's groom and primary model] and the horses in fresh scenes. ... Repeating the same methods I always used on principle in my earlier Norfolk adventures, I at once started into work. The morning after our arrival, the humble Ned, to the surprise of Mrs Griggs (with whom they were lodging), appeared in white cord breeches and top boots, and at about 9.30 a.m., riding Grey Tick, with a mackintosh to hide his scarlet coat, he came towards me up the hill where I was already planted with easel, canvas and box. This was a start. What could be better? Ned shed his mackintosh. I told him to ride a little way down the hill and then come up slowly again. "Stop, stop, Ned! That's all right; keep where you are." ... I began to down my composition. ... Here is the scene of the painting. A Grey sky: a boulder strewn hill, with flat spaces of grey granite showing amongst the heather-clad sides sloping down to the moor below. Beyond that, undulating moors, fields and stone walls. Farther away, Guava Cairn, grey against the yet paler grey of the faint distant horizon beyond Morvah, and through all this the Land's End road curving away out of sight. Coming up the hill with hounds was Ned on the Grey, the scarlet coat in low tones, the black velvet cap the darkest note of colour - a splendid subject. ...Here were the horses and the man, and so, with the exception of one or two side-steppings ... I stuck to my horses and Ned in the landscape. I tried a huntsman riding in the valley below the hill, followed by the whole pack of hounds - a small figure in a vast landscape'. (see Sir A. Munnings, loc. cit.).