Once upon a time there were two men who had gone cliff climbing. Suddenly, one man lost his footing and went tumbling down to the bottom. The other man frantically screamed, "Roger!", and was relieved to hear a faint reply. "Okay Rodge," sho... Read more of Idiot resuce at Free Jokes.caInformational Site Network Informational
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The Foxhound








There is plenty of proof that Foxhounds were the very first of the
canine races in Great Britain to come under the domination of
scientific breeding. There had been hounds of more ancient origin,
such as the Southern Hound and the Bloodhound; but something different
was wanted towards the end of the seventeenth century to hunt the
wild deer that had become somewhat scattered after Cromwell's civil
war. The demand was consequently for a quicker hound than those
hitherto known, and people devoted to the chase began to breed it.
Whether there were crosses at first remains in dispute, but there
is more probability that the policy adopted was one of selection;
those exceptionally fast were bred with the same, until the slow,
steady line hunter was improved out of his very character and shape.
At any rate, there are proofs that in 1710 hounds were to be found
in packs, carefully bred, and that at that time some of the hunts
in question devoted attention to the fox.

The first known kennel of all was at Wardour Castle, and was said
to have been established in 1696; but more reliable is the date of
the Brocklesby, commenced in 1713. The first record of a pack of
hounds being sold was in 1730, when a Mr. Fownes sold his pack to
a Mr. Bowles. The latter gentleman showed great sport with them in
Yorkshire. At that time Lord Hertford began to hunt the Cotswold
country, in Gloucestershire, and was the first to draw coverts for
fox in the modern style. Very soon after this it became the fashion
of the day to breed hounds. Many of the nobility and large landowners
devoted much of their time and money to it, and would take long
journeys to get fresh blood. It was the rule to breed hounds on the
most scientific principles, and by 1750 there were fifty such
breeders, including the fifth Duke of Beaufort, Lord Lincoln, Lord
Stamford, Lord Percival, Lord Granby, Lord Ludlow, Lord Vernon, Lord
Carlisle, Lord Mexbro, Sir Walter Vavasour, Sir Roland Winns, Mr.
Noel, Mr. Stanhope, Mr. Meynell, Mr. Barry, and Mr. Charles Pelham.
The last-named gentleman, afterward the first Lord Yarborough, was
perhaps the most indefatigable of all, as he was the first to start
the system of walking puppies amongst his tenantry, on the Brocklesby
estates, and of keeping lists of hound pedigrees and ages. By 1760
all the above-named noblemen and gentlemen had been breeding from
each other's kennels. The hounds were registered, as can be seen now
in Lord Middleton's private kennel stud book, through which his
lordship can trace the pedigrees of his present pack for a hundred
and sixty years to hounds that were entered in 1760, got by Raytor,
son of Merryman and grandson of Lord Granby's Ranter. Another pedigree
was that of Ruby, who is credited with a numerous progeny, as she
was by Raytor out of Mr. Stapleton's Cruel by Sailor, a son of Lord
Granby's Sailor by Mr. Noel's Victor. This shows well how seriously
Foxhound breeding was gone into before the middle of the eighteenth
century. Portraits prove also that a hound approaching very closely
to those of modern times had been produced at this early period. By
such evidence the Foxhound had outstripped the Harrier in size by
nearly five inches, as the latter does not appear to have been more
than eighteen inches, and the early Foxhound would have been
twenty-three inches. Then the heavy shoulder, the dewlap, and jowl
of the Southern Hound had been got rid of, and the coat had been
somewhat altered. The old school of breeders had evidently determined
upon great speed and the ability to stay, through the medium of deep
ribs, heart room, wide loins, length of quarter, quality of bone,
straightness of fore-leg, and round strong feet; the slack loined,
loosely built, and splayfooted hound of former generations had been
left behind. To such perfection, indeed, had the Foxhound attained,
that long before the close of the eighteenth century sportsmen were
clamouring as to what a Foxhound could do.

With so much prominence given to the Foxhound in the comparatively
short period of forty or fifty years, it is no wonder that individual
hounds became very celebrated in almost every part of the country.
Mr. Pelham's Rockwood Tickler and Bumper were names well known in
Yorkshire, and Lord Ludlow's Powerful and Growler were talked of both
in Lincolnshire and Warwickshire. From the first, indeed, it appeared
that certain hounds were very much better than others, and old
huntsmen have generally declared for one which was in the whole length
of their careers (sometimes extending to fifty years) immeasurably
superior to all others they had hunted. Harry Ayris, who was for just
half a century with Lord FitzHardinge, declared to the day of his
death that nothing had equalled Cromwell; Osbaldeston said the same
of Furrier, and Frank Gillard never falters from the opinion that
Weathergage was quite by himself as the best hound he ever hunted.
The Foxhound Kennel Stud Book abounds in the strongest proofs that
hereditary merit in their work has been transmitted from these
wonderful hounds, and they really make the history of the Foxhound.

There have been many great hounds; but there must be the greatest
of the great, and the following twelve hounds are probably the best
England has ever seen:--Mr. Corbet's Trojan (1780), Lord Middleton's
Vanguard (1815), Mr. Osbaldeston's Furrier (1820), Lord Henry
Bentinck's Contest (1848), Lord FitzHardinge's Cromwell (1855), Mr.
Drake's Duster (1844), Sir Richard Sutton's Dryden (1849), the Duke
of Rutland's Senator (1862), Duke of Rutland's Weathergage (1874),
the Earl of Coventry's Rambler (1874), Mr. E. P. Rawnsley's Freeman
(1884), and the Grafton Woodman (1892).

Breeding Foxhounds is one of the most fascinating of all the pleasures
of animal culture, as the above list, so full of extreme merit, can
be traced for nearly a hundred and thirty years.

It cannot be said that the prices paid for Foxhounds in very recent
times have greatly exceeded those of the past. In 1790 Colonel
Thornton sold Merkin for four hogsheads of claret, and the seller
to have two couples of the whelps. Then in 1808 Mr. John Warde sold
a pack of hounds to Lord Althorpe for 1,000 guineas, and the same
gentleman sold another pack for the same sum a few years later. In
1838 Lord Suffield offered 3,000 guineas for Mr. Lambton's pack, and
afterwards sold it to Sir Matthew White Ridley for 2,500. In 1834
Osbaldeston sold ten couples of bitches, all descendants of Furrier,
for 2,000 sovereigns, or P100 a hound--a record that was almost
eclipsed at the sale of Lord Politmore's hounds in 1870, when
twenty-two couples of dog-hounds sold for 3,365 guineas.

Of late years there has been the sale of the Quorn for, it was said,
P3,000, and the late Lord Willoughby de Broke valued the North
Warwickshire for the county to purchase at P2,500. In 1903 the
Atherstone was valued by Mr. Rawlence, the well-known representative
of Tattersall's, at P3,500, or something like P50 a hound, and that
has been considered very cheap. If, therefore, modern prices have
not greatly exceeded those of the far past, there has not been any
particular diminution, and there is no doubt about it that if certain
packs could be purchased the prices would far exceed anything ever
reached before.

Foxhounds have very much improved in looks during the past
five-and-twenty years, and unquestionably they are quite as good
in the field or better. Whenever hounds have good foxes in front of
them, and good huntsmen to assist or watch over them, they are as
able as ever, notwithstanding that the drawbacks to good sport are
more numerous now than they used to be. The noble hound will always
be good enough, and ever and anon this is shown by a run of the Great
Wood order, to hunt over five-and-twenty to thirty miles at a pace
to settle all the horses, and yet every hound will be up. There has
been a slight tendency to increase size of late years. The Belvoir
dog-hound is within very little of 24 inches instead of 23-1/2, the
standard of twenty years ago, and this increase has become very
general. In elegance of form nothing has been lost, and there can
be no other to possess beauty combined with power and the essential
points for pace and endurance in the same degree as a Foxhound.

A detailed description of the Foxhound is here given:--

* * * * *

HEAD--Somewhat broad, not peaked like the Bloodhound, but long from
the apex to the frontal bones, eyebrows very prominent, cheeks cut
clean from the eye to the nostril, ears set low and in their natural
condition thin and shapely, but not large, nose large, jaw strong
and level, and small dewlaps, expression fierce, and with the best
often repellent. EYES--Very bright and deeply set, full of
determination, and with a very steady expression. The look of the
Foxhound is very remarkable. NECK--Should be perfectly clean, no skin
ruffle whatever, or neck cloth, as huntsmen call it. The length of
neck is of importance, both for stooping and giving an air of majesty.
SHOULDERS--The blades should be well into the back, and should slant,
otherwise be wide and strong, to meet the arms, that should be long
and powerful. LEGS AND FEET--The bone should be perfectly straight
from the arm downward, and descend in the same degree of size to the
ankles, or, as the saying is, down to his toes. The knee should
be almost flat and level; there should be no curve until coming to
the toes, which should be very strong, round, cat-shaped, and every
toe clean set as it were. FORE-RIBS AND BRISKET--Deep, fine ribs are
very essential, and the brisket should be well below the elbows. BACK
AND LOINS--Back should be straight. A hollow back offends the eye
much, and a roach back is worse. The loin wide, back ribs deep and
long, a slight prominence over the croup. QUARTERS AND HOCKS--The
quarters cannot be too long, full, showing a second thigh, and meeting
a straight hock low down, the shank bone short, and meeting shapely
feet. COAT--The coat is hard hair, but short and smooth, the texture
is as stiff as bristles, but beautifully laid. COLOUR--Belvoir tan,
which is brown and black, perfectly intermixed, with white markings
of various shapes and sizes. The white should be very opaque and
clear. Black and white, with tan markings on head and stifles. Badger
pied--a kind of grey and white. Lemon pied, light yellow and white.
Hare pied, a darker yellow and white. STERN--Long and carried gaily,
but not curled; often half white. HEIGHT--Dogs from 23-1/2 to 24
inches; bitches from 22 to 22-1/2 inches.





Next: The Harrier And The Beagle

Previous: The Whippet



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