The Topsfield Team

Sue Frischmann

Topsfield Manager

Resident Handler and Manager

Sue and Little Joe

Sue grew up in a family involved with breeding and showing Basset Hounds and Dobermans. They also showed hunters and jumpers. The family Basset Hounds were considered by Sue to be her pets. She showed horses throughout her childhood, including an American Hose Show Association Horse of the Year, Riot Free.

She spent fifteen years as a professional horse trainer, spending many weeks a year on the road with her students and their horses and ponies. Sue spent only one day in her life without a Basset Hound, and it was a very long day.

Sue and
Riot Free

She began showing Bassets about thirty years ago and has continued as a breeder and handler ever since. Sue began working with Topsfield in 1996, after meeting Dom & Claudia when they purchased a dog from breeders in Florida.

As the permanent full-time Resident Handler and Kennel Manager, she feels lucky to work great people and wonderful dogs and is extremely happy to be doing something she loves.

Sue and James

Sue and BISS CH Topsfield Calypso

In addition to showing the majority of the Topsfield hounds, Sue oversees the breeding, conditioning, whelping and training of all Topsfield litters. She travels regularly with the hounds to shows and enjoys meeting our puppy people as well.

she brings with her years of experience as a breeder and handler as well as an avid interest in computers and photography. Sue enjoys working and spending time with our fellow Basset Hound breeder friends.

She also has a big interest in helping provide educational opportunities for people involved in our breed. Sue was responsible for making BHCA’s education program, Basset Hound University, available online. BHU was developed for the BHCA by Claudia Orlandi, originally in print format, and was moved online to make it available worldwide at no charge for Basset hound enthusiasts. It is available for owners, breeders and judges through the BHCA Website at & Click on the education button to visit BHU.

BIS CH Sanchu-Topsfield Yahtzee

One of the most rewarding parts of Sue’s job is the teamwork and relationships established with the Basset Hounds. All have different personalities and habits and present interesting challenges. For example, Arty, trained and shown by Sue went Winners Dog & Best of Winners at the 2007 BHCA National Specialty & Best of Breed at the 2009 National Specialty. Sue & Arty teamed back together at the Nationals in 2013, with Arty winning his Veteran Dog Class, the Veteran tribute, in addition to the honor of being the Peoples’ Choice Veteran Tribute Basset Hound.

CH Topsfield-Sanchu Pop Art O’ Bridi, ROM, Best of Winners in 2007 left, and Best of Breed at the 2009 Basset Hound Club of America National Specialty, right, and in the middle, winning the Judges’ and Peoples’ Choice Veteran Tribute at the 2013 BHCA Nationals.

Now Sue is enjoying bringing along Arty’s son, GCH Topsfield-Sanchu Poppycock also known as “Pepe.” At just two years of age, Pepe is already a multiple Best In Specialty Show Winner, won the breed at Westminster in 2016, and received an Award of Merit at the 2016 BHCA Nationals.

It is quite rewarding to bring along fine young Basset Hounds that you whelped, cared for and trained, and have the great privilege of watching them grow into themselves.

GCH Topsfield-Sanchu Poppycock at 18 months

Biscotti at ten weeks

Each year brings new puppies, younger ones mature, and others retire. For Sue, this brings constant change and challenge.

Show days are busy, challenging, and always interesting. It is great that we get to see our friends that are involved both in our breed and others. There is always something new to learn.

Cannoli at ten weeks






At home, every day is different at Topsfield, some days are filled by working with puppies, some days are spent with grooming chores and some days are just about having fun with the dogs.

Linda Panella

Kennel Manager

Linda and Suds

Linda with CH Topsfield Hollyhocks & CH Topsfield Giselle

Linda and one of our puppies

Linda with Chopin

Linda has been with Topsfield for over thirty years. Her expert, loving care of the hounds is indispensable. In addition to daily care of the hounds, Linda starts training our puppies at two weeks of age. She cares for the kennel and the Bassets when we are at the shows. She also trains some of our hounds for Obedience.

Linda with Bumper Cars,

Linda & Nina

Linda ran an obedience center in Connecticut before she, husband Tony and their two children moved to Vermont. Linda and her family, which includes a very smart Australian Shepherd, Colby, and two cats live next door to Topsfield Kennel.

Linda occasionally meets with new owners of puppies. Her contribution to Topsfield and the hounds is invaluable.

Linda & Nina

Linda & Nicky

Linda & one of the kids

Linda & Captain Crunch

Puppy kisses for Linda

Linda is pictured above with several of the Topsfield Hounds

A. Candy Carswell


Linda with Chopin

Candy has been a professional all breed handler for over forty years. She resides in Connecticut and is an important invaluable asset to Topsfield. At any given time a couple of the Topsfield Bassets live with Candy and travel to the shows. Candy also covers for Sue when she is unable to travel. Candy’s handling and expertise have played a huge roll in Topsfield’s success.

Linda with Bumper Cars,

Candy & SGCH Topsfield-Sanchu Pizza Pizza

Candy & SGCH Topsfield-Sanchu Bibidy-Bobidy Boo

Candy & CH Colthouse Millennium Man

Candy attends the Nationals with us each year. She & Sue travel together to many of the shows. Candy was brought up in the “old school and has worked with many of the elite handlers of their day, including Annie Rogers Clark and Bob and Jane Forsyth. Laddie Carswell, Candy’s father, was a successful professional handler and breeder.

Reserve Best in Show with then 71/2 year old SGCH Daddy Douglas V. Grunsven

Candy grew up in the dog fancy and has been very generous with both her knowledge and her time. While Basset Hounds were a new breed for Candy to show when she began working with us, her vast experience with so many breeds served her well.

Candy adapted quickly to the breed, and became quite a fan. She does a wonderful job. She has taken the time to study and understand the structure and temperament unique breed and does a great job presenting them. She is a member of the Basset Hound Club of America.

Candy’s sense of humor, unmatched patience and a giving spirit have added much to our Topsfield Team. Thanks, Candy!

Candy & Bryan as "Serta Sheep" at the BHCA Nationals

Candy & GCHB Topsfield Sanchu Pizza Pizza

Candy & CH Topfield-Sanchu Yahtzee BISS Judge Joan Sholz

Ben Marley, PhD and Samantha Fox, PhD

Fox-Mar Basset Hounds
Ben and Sam of Fox-Mar Basset Hounds, joined the Topsfield team in the late 2010s. They have bred and owned a number of champion performance Bassets and have successfully competed in AHBA hunt tests and AKC Field Trials and hunting performance tests.

DCH Topsfield - Lebrera Vision Gone With the Wind (Scarlett). ABSOLUTE WINNER BHCA National Field Trial 2021. Handled by Ben Marley

They are dedicated to promoting the dual purpose Basset Hound and handle and train many Topsfield-Lebrera hounds for the field when Claudia and Guillermo are out of the country. Ben handled DCH Topsfield Vision Gone With the Wind (”Scarlett”) to win Absolute at the 2021 BHCA National Field Trial (pictured right).
In addition to performance Basset Hounds, Ben and Sam are focusing on conformation. Sam is pictured left with Soundtrack Topsfield Lebrera Talking to the Moon.

DCH Soundtrack Topsfield-Lebrera Talking to the Moon, handled by Sam Fox

Mark Basol, DVM & Vergennes Animal Hospital


Candy and Sue travel together to many of the shows. Candy was brought up in the “old school” and has worked with many of the elite handlers of their day, including Annie Rogers Clark and Bob and Jane Forsyth. Laddie Carswell, Candy’s father, was a successful professional handler and breeder.

Candy’s sense of humor, patience and generosity add much to our Topsfield Team. Thanks, Candy!

We are blessed to have the services of Mark Basol, DVM and his entire staff at the Vergennes Animal Hospital. We at Topsfield are privileged to have the assistance and advice of such very talented individuals.

Mark Basol, DVM, CVA

Principal owner, Dr. Basol has passed the 20 year mark at Vergennes Animal Hospital. Certified in acupuncture and herbology, he practices traditional medicine with an eastern influence, when warranted. A strong believer in preventative medicine, Dr. Basol spends a fair amount of time performing surgery. A Midwestern transplant, he completed his undergraduate studies at North Dakota State University and received his DVM degree at the country’s oldest veterinary school, Iowa State University.

Mark now takes the lead in the care of the Topsfield hounds.

In addition to having experienced, caring vets, one of the most important factors for us is having a skilled team supporting them, and us, when we call in. We can always count on the staff to make sure we get the best care possible for our Bassets.

We often recommend Vergennes Animal Hospital to our breeder friends and our pet owners. We know they will receive quality care for their dogs and the advice that they need to make informed decisions.

Vergennes Animal Hospital is located at 20 Main Street, Vergennes, VT 05491. They can be reached at (802) 877-3371

Donald Peddie, DVM

our former Veterinarian, now retired

Topsfield owes much of its success to the guidance and expertise of Donald Peddie, DVM (pictured left), who provided veterinary care for Topsfield hounds for more than a decade. In practice for over thirty years, Don is a graduate of Cornell Veterinary School and specialized in small animal medicine with a specialization in orthopedics.

Don retired from private practice and closed his clinic, Cider Mill Animal Hospital which was located 25 minutes south of Topsfield in Cornwall, Vermont. Don’s contribution to Topsfield’s success is much appreciated.

Don describes his experience with the uniquely structured Basset Hound as a wonderful challenge. We were truly fortunate to have had Don’s services for so many years. He eased in retirement at Vergennes Animal Hospital, where we have made new friends, and established a good working relationship and confidence in their care.

The Topsfield Cats

Cooper & Raisin

We do have a few cats that are members of the Topsfield Family. Cooper, Cecil and Raisin were littermates with distinct personalities. Sadly, Cecil is now gone, but Raisin and Cooper do their best to make sure to keep the dogs and us entertained.

Cooper is simply nuts and likes to sneak into all vehicles to see if he can hitch a ride. He likes to stowaway in bags when we pack to travel.
Raisin is an active girl who prefers to spend her time prowling the property.