Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024

Potomac Jefferson Inaugurated At Virginia Hound Show

The flawless and distinctive American foxhound Potomac Jefferson ’05 claimed the grand champion title at the end of a long, hot, humid day at the 60th annual Virginia Hound Show held at Morven Park, Leesburg, Va., on May 26.

The victory was especially sweet as it had eluded him last year, when he was named as reserve grand champion.


The flawless and distinctive American foxhound Potomac Jefferson ’05 claimed the grand champion title at the end of a long, hot, humid day at the 60th annual Virginia Hound Show held at Morven Park, Leesburg, Va., on May 26.

The victory was especially sweet as it had eluded him last year, when he was named as reserve grand champion.

With more than 1,000 foxhounds on the grounds—double the usual number—the four rings swelled with entries, making the competition stiff. But Potomac Jefferson ’05 (Potomac Rapidan ’99—their Jezebel ’00) performed like a star for huntsman Larry Pitts. His presence was dazzling.

“It’s a great feat for an American hound to win this title,” Potomac Hunt (Md.) MFH Irvin L. Crawford II said. The striking unentered English hound Live Oak’s Rancher was named reserve champion.

“Jefferson is very well-balanced and correct, a nice hound,” said judge Coleman P. Perrin, ex-MFH Deep Run Hunt (Va.). “They are all nice hounds, but he moves very well and he’s very, very balanced. He’s the one I’d like to take home.”

Andrew Barclay, ex-huntsman, Green Spring Valley (Md.), who judged the American ring, concurred. “He’s just a lovely, lovely hound with a lot of substance, just very classy,” he said.

“If you look back at the history of his breeding you see many of the hounds that have won over the decades. His sire, Rapidan, is by Rombout Ranger, and Ranger’s breeding goes back to Potomac. Ranger’s dam was Rombout Damsel, who was sired by Potomac Krypton. Krypton won the Virginia show in 1980,” Crawford said.

Rombout Damsel ’00 was champion brood bitch at Virginia in 1995. “Jefferson’s ability in the field is outstanding too. He is always there; he goes out and does his job,” Crawford added. Potomac took ribbons in 10 other classes as well.

The American reserve champion title went to Old Dominion Hounds Romance ’05 (Old Dominion Jessie ’01—their Rosebud ’97). “She’s a lovely, lovely bitch, very feminine with substance. She has a lovely shoulder and neck and a lot of presence,” Barclay said.

“Her sire Jessie ’01 is a wonderful dog and was champion at [the Carolina Hound Show] two years ago. He is a fabulous hound,” Old Dominion (Va.) MFH Douglas Hytla said.

“Rosebud is a fabulous hunting bitch. A small hound, she is fast, fast, fast,” she said. “[Old Dominion huntsman] Gerald Keal will never show anything that doesn’t hunt. He will never be there for a beauty pageant. He only breeds the hounds that hunt the best. Romance’s name is never one you hear until the end of the hunting day. She is an ‘A-number-one’ hunting bitch,” she said.

The American ring has classes for hunts with packs of less than 20 couple and these hounds also compete in the open classes. One smaller pack that had several winners was Brazos Valley Hunt (Texas).

Reserve champion American bitch was Brazos Valley Happy ’04 (Brazos Valley Echo ’01—their Jackie ’01). Littermate Hinkle was named top single dog, entered, in the less than 20 class, and with Hummer took the blue in couple of dogs entered.

“Echo is a littermate to Elliot ’01 who won the entered American dog trophy four years in a row from 2003 to 2006,” MFH Sandy Dixon said.

“Jackie [their dam] has since passed away, but she was out of Docile, who was the first hound we had that won in Virginia. She was a very special hound in that she was one of the best strike hounds when she hunted. She was keen, determined, fast yet biddable and sweet, always there at the end of the day,” Dixon said.

Goshen Hunt (Md.), Essex Fox Hounds (N.J.), Keswick Hunt (Va.), Millbrook Hunt (N.Y.), Rombout Hunt (N.Y.) and Casanova Hunt (Va.) also were in the ribbons. The Millbrook hounds that were pinned were out of a littermate to the Penn-Marydel listed champion’s dam and were sired by a Rombout stallion hound.

Live Oak’s Rancher Defies Gravity In The English Ring
Cindy Martin

New arrivals and returning familiar faces made the English division especially competitive. Toronto and North York (Ont.) and Blue Ridge (Va.) hunts had their usual strong entries.


Why Worry (S.C.), Green Spring Valley (Md.), Moore County (N.C.) and Green Creek (N.C.) showed a small but quality entry, while Warrenton (Va.) and Loudoun Hunt West (Va.) debuted in the English ring. The London (Ont.), Iroquois (Ky.) and Live Oak (Fla.) were back from hiatus with some lovely hounds.

In the morning, Live Oak and Blue Ridge dog hounds placed well in most classes, although Toronto and North York’s consistent breeding won the couple class. The Iroquois Welsh-cross hounds are always a crowd pleaser, and Why Worry earned strong cheers when their only English dog entry, Grantham ’06, finished as reserve champion English dog.

Live Oak’s Rancher (Live Oak Anchor ’03—Their Rapture ’04), an unentered dog with tremendous size and presence, won his class and went all the way to become English hound champion.

“Rancher is just the type we’ve been trying to breed for years,” said Live Oak MFH Marty Wood. “He’s from our best Crossbred lines, bred back to our best English lines, including the Exmoor, Live Oak Ardent, Drummer, Trusty and College Valley Robot.”

Indeed, Rancher’s dam, Live Oak Rapture ’04, is a littermate to Live Oak Rouser ’04. Rouser won the English stallion hound class and competed against his nephew for the English dog championship.

Marvin Beeman, MFH and huntsman of the Arapahoe (Colo.) observed that Rancher is, “a wonderful dog. He has good quality head, neck, body and balance. A good front and exceptional hind end. The length in his femur gives him the muscling to really go.”

Despite the afternoon heat, bitches from Live Oak, Blue Ridge and Toronto and North York demonstrated the depth and consistency of their breeding programs. Live Oak topped the unentered classes with Steamy and Stylist, and the entered bitch class became a “gravity” contest.

Toronto and North York Gravity ’05 bested Blue Ridge Gravity ’06, going on to win the English bitch championship and reserve champion English hound.

Judges Tessa Jackson and Tony Leahy agreed. “There was terrific quality in the bitches shown today. Quality is what counts. Size is a factor as well,” Jackson said. “The Toronto and North York couple of bitches [Graphic ’05 and Gravity ‘05] would win anywhere.”

When pinning Rancher as overall English champion, and Gravity as reserve, Leahy said, “It came down to scopiness and quality. The bitch is a true modern English hound, lovely, balanced, with a light frame and plenty of power. The dog just had more scope.”

Toronto and North York Huntsman Mark Powell was extremely pleased with Gravity. “She did well last year [showing] as an unentered hound. She hunted well her first season and is a credit to her breeding.”

Gravity’s dam came from the North Cotswold, and her sire, Toronto and North York Crackshot ’00 earned his fair share of ribbons at the Virginia Hound Show in past years. Powell seemed especially happy with the enhanced competition this year. “It’s good that Live Oak is back.”

Live Oak Anchor Sets Sail With Crossbred Championship
Molly Sorge

Live Oak was back in full force indeed in the Crossbred ring at Virginia. Live Oak’s Rancher’s sire, Live Oak Anchor ’03, showed his son he wouldn’t be outdone and took the Crossbred hound championship.

And if Anchor looked familiar to anyone attending the Centennial weekend festivities, it was for good reason. Artist Jane Gaston used him as the model for the hound that appeared in the logo for the Centennial celebration and in the new logo for the Masters of Foxhounds Association.

“He’s just a hell of a fine dog. He’s done some very good things for us in the hunting field. He’s an independent caster, and he’s got tremendous speed when he’s running. He harks well and in addition to all that, he’s got terrific conformation, and he’s managed to pass all that on to a lot of sons and daughters now,” said Live Oak MFH Marty Wood.

Anchor won the stallion hound, more than 35 couple, class on his way to the championship. “I was thrilled. He had won the grand championship at the Mid-America Hound Show [Ky.] three years ago, and had not competed since. We came back to the Virginia Hound Show—the biggest of them all. I wanted him to have a chance to have his day in the sun,” Wood said.

Anchor represents the best of Wood’s breeding. “I pinned his sire as champion at the Exmoor Hounds puppy show in 1998, and Capt. Wallace turned around and gave him to me. So, I brought his sire, Ardent, over and we used him extensively,” Wood said.


“Essentially, the bloodlines are exactly what I want. We seem to have reached a point where we’ve combined them with our older bloodlines—the Midland and Bywater from the Farmington Hunt—and they seem to produce some outstanding foxhounds. And I show the best of them.”

Anchor’s littermate, Live Oak Asset ’03, won the Centennial hound Crossbred bitch honors in the Centennial Championship Hound Show held the day after the Virginia Hound Show. And Asset’s offspring, the unentered littermates Dasher and Dazzle, won the dog hound and bitch titles of the Centennial English hound section.

The wins are proof that Live Oak’s legacy is strong. Wood turned his horn over to Charles Montgomery last year. Montgomery did some winning of his own on the Centennial weekend, topping the horn-blowing contest.

“He’s worked for us for 10 years. When I stepped down after 32 years of carrying the horn because my knees couldn’t take it anymore, he stepped up and he’s doing a fabulous job. It’s a lot of fun to see the pack perform for him,” Wood said.

“I’m very proud of them. I think the members of our team down here are all working hard to produce the best pack of foxhounds possible. When you add that kind of enthusiasm to a breeding program that has been carefully selected for 34 years, it tends to pan out in the end.”

Shakerag Sequel Is A Penn-Marydel Champion Of A Different Color
Donna Ross

The distinctive black-and-tan registered Penn-Marydel champion, Shakerag Hounds Sequel ’05 (Shakerag Rebate ’99—their Sally ’99) is the “representation of 18 years of breeding,” according to Shakerag (Ga.) huntsman Rodney Swanson.

“Sequel’s great-grandsire was a hound named Pullman that was a gift from Andrew’s Bridge Foxhounds [Pa.] MFH and huntsman Robert Crompton. Pullman was bred to Shakerag Searchlight and produced Shakerag General, a hound that was champion at the Penn-Marydel shows.

“He produced Rebate who was twice champion at Virginia and once at Bryn Mawr. Rebate produced Sequel who won entered dog and then was named champion in this, his first show,” Swanson explained.

“Sequel’s dam was shown a bit and was always in the ribbons, but she’s a particularly good hunting hound and is good at pick and checks,” he added, “Sequel hunts very well. I never show a hound that doesn’t hunt. I couldn’t be more delighted.”

Shakerag Hounds won four other classes including the single listed dog, entered with Racket ’05 (Long Run Salvo ’01—Shakerag Rum ’02). “This class was fun because we won it with Shakerag Soapbox the first
year that the Reedy Creek Hounds [Va.] trophy was presented and now we won it again,” Swanson said.

The victories in the Penn-Marydel ring seemed even more significant this year given the increased number of overall entries and participating hunts. In the past, entries have averaged around 75 hounds, but this year they were double that with 10 hunts present.

The listed hound championship belonged to Millbrook Hunt (N.Y.) Kingston UE (Golden’s Bridge Kermit ’01 – Millbrook Blossom’02). A listed Penn-Marydel is one that is outcrossed to an American hound.

“Kingston’s sire Kermit was given to me by Jody Murtaugh [formerly MFH and huntsman at Rose Tree (Pa.), now Moore County Hounds (N.C.)],” Millbrook huntsman Donald Philhower said.

“Kermit is an out-front, no-nonsense hound that trails up to a fox and jumps it. On a poor scenting day he cold trails and never forgets where he jumped a fox in the country. When I hear him open I know he has a fox up on his feet.

“Blossom is an old ‘steady-Eddy,’ she’s not overly fast, a middle of the pack hound with a hell of a cold nose on her. She can pick and check,” he added. “Kingston is a nice hound and I have high hopes for him, he has a hell of a voice in the kennels.”

Philhower joined Millbrook after many years with Golden’s Bridge Hounds (N.Y.) where he also bred Penn-Marydel hounds. “I am getting the Millbrook pack back to American and Penn-Marydels. The American hounds gene pool is small and the Penn-Marydel adds nose and voice. If American hounds are looking for an outcross, the Penn-Marydel is not that far afield,” Philhower said.

Millbrook also walked away with the stallion hound title with Keeper ’01 (Rose Tree Icon ’97—their Kringle ’99). Moore County Hounds (N.C.), Reedy Creek Hounds (Va.) and Marlborough Hunt (Md.) took top ribbons as well. Marlborough’s Nancy UE (Marlborough Kentucky ’04—their Harmony ’00) and Gossip ’06 (Tanheath Nick ’98—Golden’s Bridge Gabby ’90) were reserve champions in the listed and registered categories respectively.




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