Puppy Walk August 1987


written by RMC Jeffreys.

What wonderful entertainment we have had this afternoon.  The Hound Show started the proceedings.  Quite unique in its presentation.

First came the dog puppies followed by several lots of older hounds drawn in their different ages.  How impressive and strong and alike both in colour and shape and sizes they all were.  The dogs were so good to look at that we were almost too bemused to give the bitches, who came next, their due.  Of course they, as the girls always are, were a joy to behold, beautiful in their movement and activity.

It is hard to believe that only a year or two ago there were two different packs here, one a great inbye pack especially bred to cope with plows and fences and roads and all the many hazards of an intensively farmed lowland country, and the other pack streamlined to flit like seagulls from hill to hill.  And yet here they were, hundreds of them so it seemed, all so level and alike.  Truly a lovely pack to behold.

Next the huntsmen in their white coats.

So quiet and efficient and giving us a lesson on how to show hounds,  Of course I knew Mark, who has been at Kilham all his life and has had his wonderful 'know how' imparted to him long ago by his father and of course also by the great Sir Alfred himself.

But who is this young adonis with the biscuits who has such confidence and ability and who has the showmanship of the old Peterborough huntsmen, and yet looks like a school boy?  How impressive was the way the hounds watched his every movement  and how well they showed themselves, either galloping from side to side of the ring at their huntsmen's whim, or standing rock still with their eyes glued to his fingertips.

Next the judges; so smart in their dark pinstriped suits, straight out of Sackville Street, and their hats from Mr. Locke of St.James, or is it Jermyn Street, and their shoes from Mr. Peal of Oxford Street.  They gave us a lesson on deportment and showed how judges should both look and behave.

With great dignity and skill and apparent ease they picked out the cherries from the pudding, so to speak, to the wonder of us laymen, who thought the whole pudding was all made of similar cherries.

(Part 2 will follow in due course)