Showsight Presents The American Foxhound

Bowler and Rachel-Virginia Foxhounds. Owned by Joseph B. Thomas.

Old Line Maryland Foxhound—owned by Phillip Hammond Dorsey of Howard County, Maryland.

Ch Hazira’s Peggy Sue—a multiple ground winner and a Best in Show Hound on the bench in the 1970s.

the native grey fox to hunt. Th e gray fox circles and only covers about 4 to 5 miles. Th ey are wonderful to hunt with slow, mouthy hounds that worked a cold trail for hours. It was not until the winter of 1779-1780 when the Chesapeake Bay froze that the red fox crossed over to the Western shore of Maryland and then into Virginia. Th is was the catalyst for the ultimate development of the American Foxhound as we know it today, including pack, night hunter and field trial. Th e Foxhound that both Lord Fairfax and George Washington hunted was defi- nitely “slow and mouthy”. Th ey had great ability for scenting. Washington person- ally supervised his kennels and stables; when possible, he visited them morning and evening. His kennels were built to have a fresh spring for his hounds. He made the boast that his hounds were so “critically drafted as to speed and bot- tom that in running if a hound should lose the scent another was immediately

at hand to recover.” Washington was a breeder of top hounds. In reading Bad- minton Magazine one learns that Martha Washington occasionally joined her hus- band in the chase. After the Revolution, the Marquis de Lafayette sent some French stag hounds as a gift to Washington. In his diary, an entry dated August 24, 1785, Wash- ington wrote of receiving seven hounds from the Marquis by way of New York: 3 dogs and 4 bitches. Th ese hounds were of great size and fierce. Washington did use the French hounds in his breeding; he mentions in a note of lending some of the descendants of the French hounds to George Calvert. In 1814, Bolton Jackson arrived in Maryland and with him were two Irish Foxhounds: Mountain and Muse. From Jackson these two hounds came to Col. Sterett Ridgely, and from him to Gover- nor Ogle’s pack and then back to Home- wood, the estate of Charles Carroll, Jr.

As are their descendants, these hounds are remarkable for great speed, perseverance and extreme ardor for casting ahead at a loss. This is the foun- dation for the July hound as well as the hounds of Dr. Thomas Henry of Vir- ginia. Mr. G. L. Birdsong’s hounds go back on the Irish hounds and July. Col. Haiden Trigg also used these blood- lines. These are the bloodlines of the old Virginia hound which Joseph B. Thomas hunted and was convinced was the most eff icient pack hound in the world to hunt a fox. If shape and conformation were hound characteristics that our early American hound cherished, then they were more indebted to the French hound than the English. Our native hound— blue, black and tan, long-eared, long- headed, high peaked, deep-mouthed, headstrong and hard to control—must contain this blood.

“If shape and conformation were hound characteristics that our early American hound cherished, THEN THEYWERE MORE INDEBTED TO THE FRENCH HOUND THAN THE ENGLISH.”

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