- By Norman Fine
Hillsboro Denmark 2012 was judged Grand Champion of the Carolinas Hound Show on Saturday, May 11, 2013. Bred by Nigel Peel at the North Cotswold kennels in England, he was picked up late one night at LaGuardia Airport, along with another three-and-a-half couple of his North Cotswold kennel mates—all unentered hounds—by Hillsboro huntsman Johnnie Gray.
Before you call Mr. Peel and ask if he will send you a comparable draft, you should know that this was an “inside job.” Nigel Peel’s Joint-Master at the North Cotswold, Bradford Hooker, happens to be the son of Hillsboro’s senior Master, Henry Hooker.
“This is going to be an excellent Grand Championship class,” said Daphne Wood, MFH of the Live Oak Hounds (FL), as we all waited for the class to begin. “The English and Crossbred Champions are both beautiful hounds, and I’m told that the American hound is excellent as well. Jack’s going to have a tough time picking one.”
Daphne was referring to Jack Van Nagle, MFH of the Iroquois Hunt (KY), who was scheduled to judge the class and who would soon be—if he wasn’t already—feeling the pressure!
Although a Potomac Crossbred foxhound—Potomac Dapper 2011—happened to be judged Grand Champion at the Bryn Mawr Hound Show on June 1, 2013, Potomac huntsman Larry Pitts wants you to understand that he doesn’t breed Crossbred hounds.
“We don’t breed Crossbred to Crossbred,” said Pitts, who maintains one of the few pure American packs in the country for the Potomac Hunt (MD). “We breed an American hound to an English hound or to a Penn-Marydel as an outcross. We keep just two or three puppies, and we breed to the best one.”
Pitts breeds successive generations of his selected Crossbreds back to American hounds until the litters can be registered in the American Stud Book. American hound breeders need to outcross in order to maintain hybrid vigor, because the gene pool of American hounds is small.