Irish Wolfhound History


Country Life Illustrated, June 17th 1899

Of all spots in which to hold a dog show, the beautiful grounds of the Ranelagh Club are quite the most perfect. Opinions are unanimous on this point. The committee were fortunate in having these grounds lent to them for the occasion, through the influence of Her Grace the Duchess of Newcastle, who is president of the show. That the affair was a brilliant success is a matter of congratulation to all concerned. The hon secretary, Mr. Hood Wright, and hon. director, Mr. C. Cruft, worked very hard. Mr. Hood Wright was here, there, and everywhere, lending a willing ear to every one.

 Major and Mrs. Richardson

The heat was simply tropical, too hot for the comfort of the exhibitors, but it was none too hot to show off to the best advantage the lovely grounds with all their flowering trees and shrubs just springing into blossom. The beauty of the scene was greatly enhanced by the pretty costumes of the visitors. Her Grace of Newcastle was, as usual, appropriately gowned, and looked delightfully fresh and cool in a coat and skirt of pale pink linen. Lady Noreen Hastings was in pale grey, and made a charming little aide-de-camp to the Duchess. Mrs. Harry Horsfall wore a picture dress of white and blue, which became her immensely, and a shady straw hat trimmed with roses. Mrs. Hebe Carthew was in white, with a relief of scarlet poppies in her hat. Lady Reid had a costume of fawn and cream, with pink roses in her hat, and a white feather boa round her neck; with her came Mrs. Hughes and her sister, Miss Greenwood. The bride, Mrs. E.M. Everitt, wore a fawn coat and skirt, and a toque of a pretty shade of blue.

 Ranelagh Club House

But I must now leave the vanities of the flesh and get me to the judging rings, where the judging went on right merrily. The show was held under Kennel Club Rules, and consisted of wolf, deer, and boar hounds. Mr. E.A. Shirley judged the Borzois, and a very conscientious judge he made. It is a pleasure to watch a man judging when his heart is in his work; and while not wasting time, he noted every point of the dogs very carefully. In the open class for dogs, the Duchess of Newcastle carried off, with her beautiful Champion Velsk, the club's 25-guinea challenge cup, and the silver cup presented by Mrs. Horsfall. Mr. S. Smith's Michael was second, and Velasquez third.

It is sad to record the death of that grand old dog, Champion Golub. He was entered by his mistress, though not for competition, with the rest of her kennel of Borzois, but died shortly after being removed from his travelling box, no doubt from the intense heat. There will be one champion the less to return to Clumber.

 The Borzoi ring

In the limit class, Miss A.M. Carless took first with Osca Michael, and the special given by the Ladies' Field for the best novice dog. Her Grace of Newcastle took second with Nagradjdai III, better known to his friends as Nags. The latter gentleman strongly disapproves of dog shows; he thinks Clumber is quite good enough for him, and he doesn't mind if he never goes to Ranelagh again. Nags is a house dog, and a special favourite of the Duchess. He only consented to appear at Ranelagh to support the show, as he heard it was a case of all hands to the front, and he was assured before leaving Clumber that Her Grace or Lady Noreen Hastings would "valet" him the whole time. Nags is a dog who will have nothing to do with kennelmen. The Misses H. and A. Arnold's Lofki took third in this class. In the novice class for dogs Mr. A. Blook took a reserved, and the special given by the Duchess for the best dog or bitch sired by one of the Clumber Stud dogs, with Altoft Boris. This dog is by Champion Velsk out of Champion Tsaritsa. Osca Michael was first, Mrs. Borman's Khan second, and Mr. N. Kilvert's Vologda third.

 The Great Dane ring

In the open class for bitches Champion Tsaritsa carried off her seventieth first prize, with the Borzoi Club's silver challenge cup, and the silver cup given by the Ranelagh Club to the best Borzoi in the show; Zairka was second, and Mrs. Borman's Starlight third. Mrs. Hood Wright took very highly recommended and reserve with Selwood Olga. In the limit bitches Mr. N. Kilvert took first and five specials with Knoeas, one of the specials being the special prize of £1 1s. given by the proprietors of the Ladies' Field for the best bitch in that class; Zairka was second, and Starlight third. In novices Knoeas was first, Theaodora second, and Miss M.T. Haple's Gyda third. In the maiden class Knoeas was first, Theaodora second, and Mrs. Kindell's Vazerki third.

Her Grace the Duchess of Newcastle took the silver cup in the leash class; she also took the stud dog prize and the breeder's prize, only open to members of the Borzoi Club. Mrs. Young had three dogs there. Grand Duke Konstantine was shown in the limit class; Grand Duchess Neva and Czarina Lubedka both were commended.


Deerhounds came next in the catalogue, Mr. Shirley also judging in this ring. The championship for dogs was awarded to Mr. Hood Wright's Champion Selwood Dhouran, who also took first in open. Mr. H. Rawson's Champion Selwood Morven was second, and Mrs. H. Armstrong's Rufford Bend Or third, Mrs. Hebe Carthew's Rugby Ben-my-Chree only taking a very highly commended. Her Grace of Newcastle entered the lists with a couple of deerhound puppies, The Little Minister and Lady Babbie, litter brother and sister; the dog was first in the maiden, and third in the novice class. If the Duchess turns her attention to deerhounds in the same way that she has done to Borzois and fox-terriers, some of the present owners of deerhounds will have to look to their laurels. One hundred and five deerhounds were entered for this show, and as the usual number of these dogs exhibited rarely exceeds one-fourth of that number, it shows how well the club supported the show.

 Count Hydras

Mrs. H.L. Horsfall won the championship in Great Danes with her well-known Champion Hannibal of Redgrave, who also won the challenge trophy and the Ranelagh Club's silver cup. Champion Hannibal is too famous to require description. I need only say that he was shown in his usual faultless form, and that his victory was a most popular one. Corresponding honours in bitches were taken by Mr. H. Schmidt's Lady Topper, a handsome dark brindle with a white chest, of immense size and a most imposing appearance. Mrs. Horsfall was the largest exhibitor in this breed, and showed some splendid specimens, all of whom were prize-winners; also three of the novices who took first prizes were bred by her, though they have passed into other hands. Lot of Redgrave was looking very well, and took second in the Harlequin (bitches) class to Mr. Leadbetter's Cricket. Mr. Alberti judged this breed very slowly. Irish wolfhounds were a grand lot; but here the judging was not satisfactory. The two champions were O'Leary and Pomona, a dog and bitch (litter brother and sister), by Bran II out of Princess Oona, both owned by Mr. George E. Crisp, of The Hall, Playford, Ipswich.

Note: Interestingly, the judge of Irish wolfhounds at this show was Captain George Augustus Graham and his report on the show can be read here. Rather odd that the person considered to be the greatest expert on the breed should have his judging called "not satisfactory". I don't know who "Beagle" was.

Top of page   History index  Site guide  Home page

October 19th, 2005