Thursday, Apr. 18, 2024

Live Oak Dasher Carries On A Family Tradition At The Virginia Hound Show

The dog hound descends from favorite ancestors and starts a winning legacy of his own.

Live Oak Dasher ’07 has a legacy of good hounds in his bloodlines, and Live Oak (Fla.) huntsman Charles Montgomery believes he’ll carry that legacy into a bright hunting career. With the grand foxhound championship at the Virginia Hound Show, held May 25 in Leesburg, Va., Dasher is already proving himself.
PUBLISHED
WORDS BY

ADVERTISEMENT

The dog hound descends from favorite ancestors and starts a winning legacy of his own.

Live Oak Dasher ’07 has a legacy of good hounds in his bloodlines, and Live Oak (Fla.) huntsman Charles Montgomery believes he’ll carry that legacy into a bright hunting career. With the grand foxhound championship at the Virginia Hound Show, held May 25 in Leesburg, Va., Dasher is already proving himself.

“He’s a big dog and very well put together. To have a big dog hound who’s very well put together is a hard thing to breed,” said Montgomery.

Dasher earned the English foxhound championship on his way to the grand tricolor.

“He’s the best of what I know how to breed,” said Live Oak MFH Marty Wood. “He’s a classically Live Oak-bred hound, out of a bitch that’s 93 percent English and by a dog who is 100 percent English.”

Dasher (Live Oak Digger ’02—their Asset ’03) comes from two Live Oak lines with storied histories.

“Dasher’s paternal grandfather was a hound called Dipper, and Dipper was probably the best dog hound I’ve hunted in my life,” Montgomery said. “I was the kennel huntsman when he was hunting, and I hunted the hounds a few times.

That dog was the first hound I’ve ever seen who if a few hounds or puppies were wrong on a deer, he’d come back and stand by my horse. He was one of the hounds who will tell you what’s going on, and that’s very important to have as a huntsman.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Dasher’s paternal line has roots in the famous Blencathra Glider line, from an English Fells pack.

Wood, who hunted the Live Oak pack until 2007, remembers Dasher’s maternal grandsire just as fondly.

“On the bitch’s side, he comes from our best dog line, with Live Oak Drummer his maternal grandsire. Drummer was the best hound I ever hunted,” Wood recalled.

Drummer was a two-time grand champion at Virginia. Dasher’s dam, Live Oak Asset, earned the crossbred bitch Centennial Hound championship last year.

“He just finished his first season,” Montgomery said of Dasher. “I think the best thing you can say about a young hound is that he didn’t do anything wrong. He wasn’t a superstar, but I didn’t expect him to be. I think they’re better if they take some direction from their elders starting out.”

Interestingly enough, Dasher started the spring show season as the reserve grand champion at the Southern Hound Show (Fla.) on April 5. There, the Crossbred bitch Moorland Edna ’07 earned the grand championship. But at Virginia, they swapped places, and Edna ended up as the reserve.

“Dasher showed himself off just a little bit better than she did. She’s a very nice bitch,” Montgomery said.
Mooreland (Ala.) huntsman Rhodri Jones-Evans was pragmatic about the results.

“By the end of the day, Edna got pretty tired. It was a hot day, and she didn’t move as well toward the end of the show as she did when she showed in the morning. I think that’s what really knocked her back from the championship,” he said.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We’re very happy with the bitch and with the results. It’s a bonus for the hunt,” Evans continued. “We’re really heading for producing hounds that hunt well.”

Mooreland Edna ’07 (Mooreland Erinvale ’04—Midland Kill ’02) won the unentered hound championship at Virginia last year. “She has a nice deep chest, and her shoulder isn’t too straight. Her presence is amazing,” Jones-Evans said. “She walks in the ring and heads turn. She has presence and conformation. You don’t have to show her—she shows herself. She’s full of confidence and she stands there and says ‘Hey look at me.’ ”

Like Dasher, Edna just finished her inaugural season of hunting.

“She had a phenomenal first season—the whole litter has been phenomenal,” he said. “She’s from a litter that I bred from the oldest line Mooreland has in the kennel, that goes back to Mooreland Echo ’58. The whole litter entered really well, and she’s been the bread and butter of the first-season hounds. She was very consistent all season.”

Edna’s good looks aren’t just for show; Jones-Evans breeds hounds with an eye toward their purpose. “I don’t want really big, rangy hounds. I want sharp, fast hounds,” he said.

“We hunt country that’s wide-open country as far as the eye can see. I don’t want big, heavy hounds who can’t go all day. I want a pack that will keep at it. And that’s what she does. That whole family is the same,” he noted. “They’re consistent in what they do, and that’s why I decided to line-breed that litter. The bitch is mated back with a repeat mating, so hopefully we’ll get a litter of pups on the ground that’s the same quality, temperament and drive as this lot.”

Jones-Evans has been hunting the Mooreland pack for four years, after serving as whipper-in for Midland Fox Hounds (Ga.) and kennel huntsman at Fox River Valley (Ill.). He’s enjoyed getting to know Mooreland’s territory in Alabama.

“We have probably one of the better hunt countries in North America being that we don’t have any pressure from busy roads. We have one major road, but you never get anywhere near it,” he said.

“We’re basically on a huge peninsula, with the Tennessee River to the east and the north, and the big slough called Spring Creek on the west side,” he explained. “It’s a natural peninsula, with plenty of game and good galloping country. It’s an easy country to hunt—hounds can be left alone to do what they need to do.”
 
Molly Sorge

Categories:

ADVERTISEMENT

EXPLORE MORE

Follow us on

Sections

Copyright © 2024 The Chronicle of the Horse