The Eaglescrag Kennel

The Eaglescrag Kennels belonged to Leslie and Ruth Jenkins, although Ruth was the one who did the exhibiting. Ruth was born in 1916 and she and her older sister, Noreen Twyman, grew up with Sealyhams, their mother being a Sealyham breeder and exhibitor, although at one time they also had an Irish Wolfhound, Droonagh, which had been bought from Isaac Everett of the Felixstowe Kennels. Droonagh was unregistered and kept only as a pet but obviously had a very strong influence on the Twyman sisters as both went on to found Irish Wolfhound kennels.

Droonah, Noreen and Ruth with two of the Sealyhams   Droonah, Noreen and Ruth

Ruth obtained a degree in commerce from Birmingham University and did a postgraduate course in engineering at Loughborough, after which she entered the Home Office as Inspector of Factories and it was during this period that she met Leslie Jenkins. Leslie was of Welsh descent, held a degree in agriculture and zoology and was a qualified teacher. For years he worked at the Home Office but during the Second World War he worked as a chief Agricultural Officer and Entomologist in Leicester. Ruth later went on to become a Safety Officer in a large factory.

Leslie and Ruth were married in 1943, and after the war they moved to Ware in Hertfordshire. They had two sons and, when the boys were one and three years old, Ruth and Leslie had moved into a house which gave them room to have a dog, which was an Irish wolfhound bitch, Develin Molly, bred by Mrs. L. Wager and whelped on August 20th, 1950.

It was suggested by a neighbour who bred GSPs and Sealyhams that Molly was good enough to show and so began the long show career of the Eaglescrags, although Ruth had been to shows as a child with her mother. During that period, she remembered the wolfhounds as being very shy and reserved, and this was one reason why she and Leslie were so keen on breeding good sound temperaments. Ruth also saw how stressful showing could be to the hounds and so the Eaglescrag hounds were never taken to show after show. She felt that twelve shows a year was the absolute maximum for any hound.

The first Eaglescrag litter was in 1952 from Molly, by Rory of Kihone (the dog bred in the U.S.A. by Miss F. Jeanette McGregor and presented to the Irish Wolfhound Club by the Irish Wolfhound Club of America after the 1939-45 War, later to become Ch. Sanctuary Rory of Kihone). Tragically, however, all the puppies died from hardpad, a form of distemper, which was brought in by the son of their next door neighbour who had, it appeared, bought an infected puppy. It was not until the following year that the vaccine against distemper was made generally available. This devastating experience had such a profound effect that Ruth and Leslie were very reluctant ever afterwards to allow visitors to actually be in contact with litters and people wanting to look at their puppies had to view them through a window. Although Molly did have another litter by Rory which survived, the puppies were very nervous and it was decided by Ruth and Leslie that they needed to start again.

Kilfenora of Ouborough was whelped August 11th, 1949, bred by J.V. Rank, by Ouborough McCarthy of Boroughbury ex Ouborough Tara of Boroughbury. On the death of Rank the following year, she was transferred to the Ouborough kennel manager, Bill Siggers, and in 1953 from Bill Siggers to Mr. J. Jackson, from whom she went to the Misses Harrison and Atfield of the Sanctuary kennels. Kilfenora was given to the Jenkins in whelp to Rory and from this litter came three bitches that were going to make their mark in three kennels - Song of Eaglescrag stayed in the home kennel and was their first CC winner, Sonnet went to the Sanctuary kennel and, mated to Sulhamstead Fellad, produced their first champion, Sanctuary Brave Knight, whilst Carol went to Ruth's sister, Noreen Twyman in Ireland, and became a champion and Irish champion and was the foundation of the Nendrum kennel.

Carol of Eaglescrag   Song of Eaglescrag
 Carol of Eaglescrag  Song of Eaglescrag
wh. August 31st, 1957, by Ch. Sanctuary Rory of Kihone ex Kilfenora of Ouborough   

Song, mated to Ch. Sulhamstead Sedlestan Rebel, produced in October, 1959 a litter which included Buckhurst Sailor of Eaglescrag, who became the sire of Ch. Nano of Arraghglen, and Saragh of Eaglescrag, who was sold as a puppy but returned to her breeders at the age of eighteen months. Ruth called this one of the luckiest happenings, as Saragh proved to be a great success as a dam. Mated to Ch. Sulhamstead Max, she produced Ch. Clindhu of Eaglescrag (the first Eaglescrag champion), Swedish Ch. Driella of Eaglescrag, and Ch. Sulhamstead Morna of Eaglescrag.

 Saragh of Eaglescrag  Sulhamstead Morna of Eaglescrag
 Saragh of Eaglescrag
wh. October 25th, 1959
by Ch. Sedlestan Rebel ex Song of Eaglescrag
 Ch. Sulhamstead Morna of Eaglescrag
wh. December 7th, 1963
by Ch. Sulhamstead Max ex Saragh of Eaglescrag
Clindhu as a youngster  Clindhu as a young adult 
 Clindhu as a youngster  Clindhu as a young adult
wh. December 7th, 1963 by Ch. Sulhamstead Max ex Saragh of Eaglescrag   
Clindhu of Eaglescrag
Ch. Clindhu of Eaglescrag
Driella of Eaglescrag 
 Sw. Ch. Driella of Eaglescrag
wh. December 7th, 1963
by Ch. Sulhamstead Max ex Saragh of Eaglescrag   

Clindhu sired two champions out of one litter (from Moragh of Boroughbury and whelped September 21st, 1965) - Ch. Eaglescrag Cooleen of Boroughbury and Ch. Outhwaite Clodagh of Boroughbury (who went on to produce Ch. Outhwaite Ulaidh).

Eaglescrag Cooleen of Boroughbury 
 Ch. Eaglescrag Cooleen of Boroughbury
wh. September 21st, 1965 by Ch. Clindhu of Eaglescrag ex
Moragh of Boroughbury

In February, 1962, Song produced a litter by Ch. Sulhamstead Remus that included Mary and Moira of Eaglescrag. Mary went to America where she became the first Eaglescrag champion in that country, and Moira stayed at home, became a champion (on the same day as Clindhu gained his title), and produced, by Ch. Eaglescrag Clonroe of Nendrum (son of Song's littersister Carol, by Ch. Sulhamstead Max), Ch. Red Wully of Eaglescrag. Wully was a great ambassador for the breed, as he was a regular traveller on the London Underground and did a lot of advertising work, as well as going Reserve Best Hound at Crufts under Joe Braddon. The Eaglescrag hounds were noted for their wonderful temperaments and Clindhu and Wully both had this in full measure.

 Moira of Eaglescrag  Red Wully of Eaglescrag
 Ch. Moira of Eaglescrag
wh. March 28th, 1962
by Ch. Sulhamstead Remus ex Song of Eaglescrag
 Red Wully of Eaglescrag as a youngster
wh. September 14th, 1966
by Ch. Eaglescrag Clonroe of Nendrum ex
Ch. Moira of Eaglescrag
  Red Wully of Eaglescrag
   Ch. Red Wully of Eaglescrag

Ruth always felt very strongly that they were so lucky to be able to access the best breeding lines of the day from Ouborough and Sulhamstead, which had become well established before the 1939-45 War and had managed to keep going through that War, even though so much of the Ouborough kennels had been lost to hardpad towards the end of it. She also gave great credit to Rory, who she felt had done so much to improve the temperaments of wolfhounds in the U.K.

Rory of Kihone 
 Ch. Sanctuary Rory of Kihone

On March 19th, 1967 Eaglescrag Alice of Nendrum had a litter by Clindhu from which came Fiana of Eaglescrag. Fiana was sold to Mrs. Pringle and her name was changed to Baldeagle Fiana of Eaglescrag, later to become a champion.

Ch. Baldeagle Fiana of Eaglescrag 
 Ch. Baldeagle Fiana of Eaglescrag

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June 28th, 2005