| Several matters of some importance were discussed at the
Club meeting during the Westminster show. The first concerned the standard for
which a committee was appointed to survey the possibilities of writing a
commentary which would expand and illuminate the present brief directions. Such
a commentary might also take up a number of points not covered by the present
standard, but which should be evaluated and made clear to judges and to
As this is a project very close to my heart, I was extremely glad to have the Club decide to go ahead with exploratory measures for a report at the next meeting, and I hope that the result will be to make the ideal picture of the hound clearer for all interested in the breed.
Such a commentary, however, must be a communal project. A committee has been appointed, on which I have the honor to serve as chairman, but no single committee is wholly capable of coping with such a problem.
We need all sorts of suggestions and questions from everyone interested in the breedjudges, private owners, and breeders.
We want to know what you would like clarified, what points not at present mentioned you would like taken up in the commentary.
Only by gaining such a rounded picture can the committee submit a report which will be successful. I earnestly ask that all such suggestions and questions be sent to me at the address below.
The possibility either of supplementing or of displacing the bi-annual "Club Book" with a series of three or four circulars during each year was also discussed. Many members felt that all sorts of matters not possible to be touched on in this column or in the "Club Book" might be written in such circulars. I was very strong for the idea that they should appeal to the private owner and non-shower or breeder as much as to the more actively interested club members. If the form such circulars should take and the general nature of the contents can be decided, I believe that the Club will be willing to try several issues as an experiment in giving more service to its members, who are not necessarily active in the breed. Again, suggestions and requests are the only means that we can be sure we are giving members what they want, and I will welcome them from any source.
There is some reason for smallish entries at Westminster's three-day indoor show, but none for the one-day outdoor specialty show at Morris and Essex. This year, Edward Clark will make one of his all too infrequent appearances in the ring, and the opportunity should not be missed tohave such an experienced and knowledgeable specialist judge pass on one's hounds.
A large entry is certainly called for to greet Mr. Clark and to show that the Irish wolfhound is not yet a dodo on the show bench.
Fontaine Ave., Charlottesville, Va.
April 1, 1940
| For the judge's criticisms of the Irish wolfhounds which
competed at the Hartford show, I am indebted to Frank T. Eskrigge, who did a
very painstaking task in sorting out the entry at that exhibition. It is not
often that we are permitted to read what the judge thinks of the specimens that
came before him, and we should be appreciative of the time Mr. Eskrigge has
spent in giving us his opinions. He writes:
"An extremely cold and wet day greeted the writer and the exhibitors of Irish wolfhoundsand all other breedsand it seemed colder indoors than out when we arrived at the splendid armory in which the First Company Governor's Foot Guard Athletic Association held its fifteenth annual dog show on April 20, at Hartford, Conn. In view of all the conditions, a very good entry of seven dogs of this massive breed had assembled, and after judging a number of others I was glad to give my attention to the evidences of the sportsmanship of the fanciers of this breed. And then, as in the past, when about halfway through, some exhibitor thought I should commit my comments to paper, so here is the result.
"Finding the ring provided for judging quite small for the easy gaiting of these large, powerful dogs, we adjourned into one of the wide aisles and went to work.
"Puppy dogs - C.D. Burrage's Gaelic Chieftain of Rathain, alone in his class, about 11½ months old, a dog with good head and body, and plenty of bone, and nice coat, while, of course, needing development; rather shaky on his feet because he evidently does not feel safe on a smooth wooden floor, and therefore easily pardoned for that, still a dog with plenty of promise in many respects.
"Novice dogs - another lone entrant, Susanne Bullard's Barra of Ambleside. This dog had a good hard but somewhat short coat, nice head, a nice mover, and quite pleasing, but for a two-year-old was too undeveloped. If that condition can be overcome he might do well in future.
"Open dogs provided some food for thought, and yet the outcome was seen almost as soon as the dogs entered the ring. First place went to Constance R. Winant's Sulhamstead Flute, a large, very typical dog, with good strong head, excellent bone and development, good straight legs and strong feet with most pleasingalbeit at times a trifle lazy until excitedgait, when he steps out well. Coat might be more wiry, but coats nowadays in our climate are rarely what we would like, and his tail is inclined to be gay. His young mistress showed him to advantage and deserves praise.
"Second went to Mrs. Jonathan G. Swift's Mercuty, and in him I recognized his sire, Ch. Sulhamstead Gala, for he has many of his father's characteristics. Three years old, a dog with nice head, good bone and frame, and nice mover, coat like his sire's, but to the best of my recollections of Gala, somewhat better. Third went to Miss Bullard's Barra of Ambleside. The winners dog was simply a repeat: first to Sulhamstead Flute, and reserve to Mercury.
"American-bred bitches - one only, Miss F. Jeanette McGregor's Dianann of Kihone. A well-bred bitch, very pleasing, of somewhat lighter type in build, but with a nice head, nice dark eye, good body and limbs, and on that floor possessed of plenty of speed and action. She was well shown by her owner.
"Limit bitches - again one only, also owned by Miss McGregor, and shown by Miss Anne Stevens, Meeve of Ambleside. This one has a stronger head than her kennel mate, and is more heavily boned in body and limbs with a more wiry coat, but, on a wooden floor, is not so fleet in movement.
"When winners bitches was staged I sent the two up and down the ring together, and Dianann made me think of a rushing wind as she came towards menot Gone With the Windand on the day I placed her first, knowing that I have placed them differently on other occasions. May I say here that many of my readers know how highly I value good, clean, straight and especially free, easy gait in practically any and all breeds, particularly in a hound or any kind of hunting dog. Just as in a terrier we want the proper mouth or bite, for without those essentials, as I designate them, what have we? It should be conceded that some large dogs cannot move speedily with a feeling of safety on a smooth wooden floor, while others have apparently very little difficulty in navigation.
"For best of winners and then best of breed I placed the winners dog, Sulhamstead Flute, and the enthusiasts of the breed were very pleased when he captured a third place in the group.
"While all this was progressing a champion matron, Charlie Burrage's Ch. Inverdale Dawn, the mother of his puppy dog entry, Gaelic, took life very easily in her bench as she did not have to exert herself, having been entered for exhibition only. She is a very pleasing bitch which has done some good winning and is a very efficient mother.
"In conclusion I wish to add a few words of appreciation of the generous entry given me and in which no absentees were found, even in about one of the worst show days I have known. A breed sponsored by persons possessed of such kindly sportsmanship should progress very steadily in the esteem of other true sportsmen and women, and I have thoroughly enjoyed the many most pleasant sessions I have had with these good people."
Again let me express our thanks to Mr. Eskrigge. Kindly send me any news of the breed, as an active column is a help toward greater activity in the breed.
F.T. BOWERS, Charlottesville, Va.
June 1, 1940
| By now you have all read Fredson T. Bower's letter to
Santa Claus which appeared in the Irish wolfhound column in the December
GAZETTE, and you must surely believe that Santa Claus will try to do something
about all of them. But it was a large order and when he reached the last he was
quite depleted of inspiration. However, he has to have a columnist to help
bring to maturity the other wishes he has started to work on, so you will
appreciate that in turning to me, dusting me off a bit, and bringing me back,
it was the best he could do at this time.
We are facing up the New Year, and except for giving from time to time any past records that will serve as statistics for constructive use, we will not contemplate the things we have not done and thus glorify our groans, but start a program for growth and keep looking ahead, cheerfully. Shakespeare said, "What's gone and what's past help, should be past grief."
We have all the blood lines necessary, housed in satisfying specimens of the breed, to enable breeders to make real plans. The abundance of good material is with us now, and everywhere the spirit of cooperation is manifest.
In the past 12 issues of the "Stud Book" there have been 59 Irish wolfhounds registered. This is against 71 registered in the preceding twelve months. We have recorded four new breed champions for 1940. In the January issue of the GAZETTE the title was acknowledged for the imported Ch. Chulainn Casey of Kihone, but he made his championship in 1939.
This past year the four which have made their titles are Miss F. Jeannette McGregor's Ch. Baine of Kihone (Ambleside Finn of Erinn ex Ch. Taffy of Ambleside); Miss McGregor's imported Ch. Sulhamstead Flue [should be Flute] (Ch. Killarney of Ouborough ex Ch. Sulhamstead Fiana); Mrs. C. Groverman Ellis' Ch. Molly Kileen of Killybracken (Dian of Killybracken ex Molly of Killybracken) and the third generaton of Killybracken breeding; and Charles H. Morse, Jr.'s Ch. Moran of Ouborough (Ch. Killarney of Ouborough ex Einagh of Ouborough).
Mr. Bowers mentioned the very excellent article on our breed which appeared in the Boston Sunday Post and I would like to add that a good article by R.R. Taynton appeared in the Washington Sunday Star, illustrated with an excellent picture of Sulhamstead Flue taken with Miss Constance Winant.
Another good article was by Bob Becker in the Chicago Tribune with the picture of Ch. Moran of Ouborough accompanying, and these together with illustrations appearing in the Baltimore News Post makes us aware that the press is in a co-operative mood and is taking the breed seriously. Let's give them lots of news for 1941. When we can do things with the hounds and consistently produce specimens that can hold the limelight, the press will give corresponding recognition.
The Los Angeles Kennel Club show held November 23 and 24 brought an entry of seven hounds and five exhibitors. The winning bitch was Mrs. Norwood B. Smith's imported Sulhamstead Fara (Ch. Fonab of Ouborough ex Ch. Sulhamstead Fiana). The winning male, and best of breed, was Mr. and Mrs. Marshall's Westcotts Westmar Kennels' Eber Finn of Ambleside (Phadrig ofAmbleside ex Good Hope of Ambleside).
It was rumored that at this show the Pacific Coast exhibitors hoped to form a Pacific Coast Association. I have not heard whether this was done or not, but I should have the news by next column time.
The Westminster entry forms will soon be out. Don't forget the Club has its annual meeting during Westminster and with just two days this year, perhaps some of you who decided last year "never again three days" will view with promise a two day get-together and bring forth hounds and exhibitors in greater numbers than ever before. Happy New Year.
ALMA J. STARBUCK, Secretary
Ambleside, Augusta, Michigan
Now that our country is at war, many are wondering how it is going to affect our breed, from both the breeding and exhibiting angle. I can say, at this time, I have considerable news of breeding plans throughout the country that you may like to know about.
A hasty run across the country shows that at Cragwood Kennels in California Mrs. Smith has bred two bitches; Jonathan E. Pierce in Texas has bred one, Mrs. Ellis at Killybracken Kennels in Illinois has bred two as have my Ambleside Kennels in Michigan. The Dr. McCormicks in Pennsylvania and the Whippoorwill Kennels of Mrs. Haskell in New Jersey plan for a litter each this summer, while the Kihone Kennels of Miss McGregor in Massachusetts expect a new litter soon and plan to breed another later. Since Irish Wolfhounds are not numerically strong, I feel this news sounds like a good beginning to the year, under present conditions.
The breed is so well scattered that representative groups appear at dog shows from time to time throughout the country, but since the majority of Wolfhounds are never shown, and since so few that buy them can be persuaded to show, I believe we will find that the lessening of dog show entries which will be more or less universal in all breeds will have little effect on the popularity and demand of this breed.
With automobiles for show transportation becoming more and more curtailed, it will be well if the breeder spends some of his breed missionary money in advertising through various doggy channels. This, together with strong support given your local shows, should make a rational breed program.
A.J. STARBUCK, Sec., Ambleside, Augusta, Mich.
I have just heard that 15 hounds were entered at our "Specialty" at North Westchester, Katonah, N.Y. This news comes in a brief report from Mr. Burrage telling me that his Loree Lacroma of Ambleside was winners bitch, and that the following day at Westport, she repeated this win. Also that, if his calculations are correct, this finishes her championship. As the title requirements were fulfilled on the day she was two years old, it was definitely a great day for owner and hound.
Loree Lacroma is by Cragwood Seamus O'Shaughnessy out of Good Hope of Ambleside, and the win at Katonah gives her the Whippoorwill Trophy for 1942, and as she was also judged best of winners, the Kihone Trophy is hers also.
Best of breed was won by the well known winner, Ch. Sulhamstead Flute, owned and shown by Miss McGregor. This is the second year in succession that Flute has gone best hound at the Club's Specialty, so the President's Cup will remain at Kihone Kennels. Flute is by Ch. Killarney of Ouborough out of Ch. Sulhamstead Fiana. Ch. Sulhamstead Fame, owned by Mr. Button and which has been doing so much winning out on the Pacific Coast, is his litter brother.
Winners dogs, and the Kilmorac Cup were taken by Mrs. Van Brunt's Erin II. It is especially interesting to note that Erin is litter brother to Mr. Jeanes's Eamon, which went winners dogs at the 1941 Specialty. They are by Heroic and out of Ch. Nene Riley.
An especially fine entry was that of the yearling bitches and puppies from the Whippoorwill Kennels of Mrs. Haskell. An impressive, even lot, and the only male in her entry went on to acquire reserve winners. As he is but nine months old, his future is before him.
Mr. Burrage writes that the judge, D.S. Edgar, Jr., was thorough and painstaking in his work, and paid especial attention to gaiting.
Two of the exhibitors, Mrs. Frederick Van D. Martin and Mrs. Peter Van Brunt are newcomers in the Club. My big regret is that I was unable to be present at the show. It's a great pleasure to meet and welcome new members and to see the new young hounds come out is something to warm any dog lover's heart.
The Club's annual meeting was held the day of the Show and as soon as a copy of the minutes are forwarded to me, members will be advised of the business transacted.
A.J. STARBUCK, Secretary, Ambleside, Augusta, Mich.
The Wolfhound classes at the North Shore Kennel Club's show at Hamilton, Mass., constituted the sixth annual specialty show of the Irish Wolfhound Association of New England. Having been planned for some time it was held, but action on one for next year was deferred.
Nine hounds were entered for Lewis Worden to pass on, the same number as last year a good entry with the gasoline restrictions in effect. Mrs. Ellis' Ambleside Failinis of Kihone (Pat) defeated his litter brother Meac Casey of Kihone, owned by Miss McGregor, for American-bred and winners, accomplishing this on gait and general conformation. Miss McGregor's Meeve of Ambleside defeated Mrs. Frederick Martin's Bally Brigida for winners bitch (an absentee being Dianann of Kihone) and Pat took best of winners. He then met Miss McGregor's Ch. Baine of Kihone, and Ch. Sulhamstead Flute, which were best here the two preceding years, and Mr. Burrage's Ch. Loree Lacroma of Ambleside.
The judge finally gave the award to Loree on type, gait and all around soundness. Flute went best of opposite sex, reversing the placing at the Club's Specialty at Katonah. Flute was not in as good condition and the intense heat and humidity affected him more perhaps than some of the others, for his gait was not as good as it has sometimes been. Loree was fourth in the group and Ch. Inverdale Dawn was happy to be present for exhibitors.
At Framingham the next day Bally defeated Meeve and Dianann, and the other placings were the same under David P. Wilson, although Flute was absent because of the heat.
CHARLES D. BURRAGE, JR., Boston, Mass.
Updated October 23rd, 2008