Monday, May. 20, 2024

Potomac Jefferson Is Re-elected At Bryn Mawr


Showing at hound shows is all about the quest for perfection, and for 27 years Huntsman Larry Pitts has been striving to create perfection in his pack of American hounds at Potomac Hunt (Md.).

And in Potomac Jefferson ’05, he’s quite close. Jefferson followed his Virginia Hound Show grand championship with the same title at the Bryn Mawr Hound Show, June 2 in Radnor, Pa.
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Showing at hound shows is all about the quest for perfection, and for 27 years Huntsman Larry Pitts has been striving to create perfection in his pack of American hounds at Potomac Hunt (Md.).

And in Potomac Jefferson ’05, he’s quite close. Jefferson followed his Virginia Hound Show grand championship with the same title at the Bryn Mawr Hound Show, June 2 in Radnor, Pa.

“He has no faults, really. My biggest concern, at both Virginia and Bryn Mawr, was the judges in the American ring might think he’s too light. But once he won that ring, I thought we had a really good chance,” Pitts said.

Liz McKnight, jt.-MFH of Elkridge-Harford (Md.), who judges the American ring, said, “He’s just an incredibly well-balanced, elegant hound. Conformationally, there’s nothing wrong with him. I liked him, and I saw a lot of his get. He threw some pretty puppies last year.”

Jefferson (Potomac Rapidan ’99—their Jezebel ’00) won the stallion hound and stallion hound with get classes on his way to the grand championship. His progeny showed quality, as the unentered Potomac’s Maple (Potomac Jefferson ’05—their Mallow ’03) earned the American foxhound reserve championship behind her sire, after taking the American bitch hound championship.

Maple’s littermate, Potomac’s Magnet, was first in the unentered dog class. And Jefferson’s son Potomac Jacket ’06 (Potomac Jefferson ’05—their Jacquard ’02) was second in the entered dog class.

“I thought he had enough quality to win,” said Pitts of Jefferson. “He’s the type that’s in style right now—long and tall. He’s a leggy hound. He’s a dog more elegant than they used to be. The judges used to like dogs to look tough, but now they’re looking for more elegance.”
 
Jefferson’s excellence is no accident. Pitts revealed that he comes from a long line of exceptional hounds. “Everyone asks me where the J line came from. That J line came from Essex Joker in the 60s. I took a bitch up to him in my second year here, 1981,” he recalled.

“Her name was Dutchess, and she was a light hound—like Jefferson, but smaller. She was the best hunting hound I’ve ever had, and the best personality, too. She had total confidence and had no faults,” he said. “Just by luck, we made the right cross, and that’s carried on since then.”

Jefferson is out of Jezebel, who Pitts lost right after she whelped his litter. “The first hunt after she had the litter of puppies, we were up on Sugarloaf Mountain, and she never came back,” he said.

Jezebel was out of Jody. “All the Js anyone ever hears about are out of Jody; she was a really beautiful bitch,” he said. “Jody was out of Joplin, by a dog named Brampton, who gave them all the drive and speed.

“Brampton was a puppy Melvin Poe gave me,” Pitts continued. “Joplin was out of Jolly, who won at Bryn Mawr years ago. Jolly was out of Jolene, who was out of Dutchess, and so Jolene was the original J bitch. There were many great dogs on the other side that they were bred to, but somehow it just happened to be one of our best lines over the years.”

But pretty is as pretty does, and while Pitts is proud of the J line’s wins, he’s more enamored with their performance.

“What I like about Jefferson is that he—and his brothers in the Js—are absolutely fabulous hunting hounds. They go like something’s chasing them, they’re so fast and trying so hard. Jefferson—and the rest—are so smart. You don’t have to worry about them getting you in trouble in any way,” he said.
 
Pitts hopes that Jefferson’s grand cham-pionship titles will help further the American hounds’ cause.

“I think—and I hope others think this and will help us—that we can make the American hound every bit the hound in other peoples’ minds that the Crossbred and Penn-Marydel hounds have become. I think the American hounds have gotten a bad rap over the years—I don’t think people think as much of them as I think they should,” he said.

Unentered Crossbreds Reign
The Crossbred hounds were at the forefront last year, with Elkridge-Harford Fairfax ’03 taking the grand championship. This year, Elkridge Harford’s Actress (Elkridge-Harford Teacher ’02—their Artisan ’04) took over the role, earning the Crossbred foxhound championship.

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“She’s going to be phenomenal,” said McKnight of the unentered bitch. “She looks like she’s going to be a fast hound.”

Elkridge-Harford also scored in the brood bitch and brood bitch with produce classes with Elkridge Harford Tapestry ’02. And their Elkridge-Harford Tornado ’05 won the single bitch, entered, class on the way to the Crossbred bitch reserve championship.

The Crossbred dog hound championship and reserve went home to New York with Old Chatham Hunt. The unentered Old Chatham’s Nasdaq (Old Chatham Eager ’03—their Nonsense ’02) won the championship, with his sire, Eager, following up in reserve. Old Chatham Huntsman Patty Hopkins also showed the pack to the win in the pack class.

Hopkins was thrilled with Nasdaq’s victory. “I really like how well-balanced he is, and he’s got effortless movement,” she said. “At one point in the day, a lot of Harleys went by, and that kind of shook him up, but he got it back together again.”

Hopkins laughed when questioned about Nasdaq’s unusual name. “We had almost 20 hounds with the N-line, so we were stretching for N names that didn’t rhyme. So, we pulled that one out—Nasdaq and we also have a Napster,” she said.

Nasdaq has some big shoes to fill. Hopkins had nothing but praise for his sire, Eager. “He’s a huge help in our hunt. He’s a great strike hound,” she said. “He’s well put-together, but that’s secondary to the hunting.
“Eager is a funny guy—he’s a bit arrogant. He won’t trot up and down the boards; he’s pretty disgusted by the whole tossing cookies routine. Nasdaq is much more down-to-earth about life and easygoing.”

Littermates Look Good
In Penn-Marydels Andrew’s Bridge Foxhounds (Pa.) repeated their championship in the Penn-Marydel ring, with Andrew’s Bridge Elsie ’04 (Andrew’s Bridge Arnold ’00—their Bantam ’01) taking the tricolor over her littermate, Andrew’s Bridge Ely.

But in the listed hounds, De La Brooke (Md.) prevailed, with De La Brooke Octave ’06 (De La Brooke Keech ’02—their Kinetic ’02) taking the championship over his littermate, De La Brooke Orchid ’06. Their sire, Keech, topped the registered stallion hound class.

Despite his youth, Octave has impressed De La Brooke Huntsman Adam Townsend.

“He’s going into his second season, and he started hunting well, so we’re hoping for good things. He has his father’s conformation as far as his feet—they both have really tight feet. He’s put together well and has a nice head on him,” he said.

“We hunt first and show second, so it’s nice to have a good hunting crop that shows well too,” he continued. “Right now, since we hunt a lot of gray fox, we’re going for a hound who can stick behind the gray. The gray foxes seem to make a lot of zigzagging turns. And we seem to have reached that right now, so it’s a matter of keeping the consistency.”

And Orchid isn’t too bad either. “She’s a really good hound with an excellent cry. She’s really quick and very biddable. She has the nose to pick up the line,” said Townsend. “That litter did so consistently well on the bench, so we know that our conformational goals are consistent with what else is out there.”

Ripshin Bassets Rule
Last year, Ripshin Rosebud ’04 (Ripshin Duke ’97—their Ruth ’98) claimed the Basset hound championship, but this year, she had to settle for the reserve. Ripshin Rattler ’05 (Mississippi Valley Quarter ’01—Ripshin Ruth ’08) took third in the unentered dog class at last year’s Bryn Mawr, but this year he matured into the champion.

“Rattler and Rosebud are probably two of the top hounds in the pack as far as jumping and running rabbits,” said Ripshin MBH and huntsman Edgar Hughston.

“Rattler is by a hound from a pack in Mississippi, Mississippi Valley. He’s a French hound, a Basset Artesian Normand. They’re a French Basset with a slick coat, and red and white. Ruth is rough-coated, and Rattler is rough-coated,” said Hughston.

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He chose to breed to the Mississippi hound for an outcross. The Basset world is very close, and we have to do a lot of out-crossing,” he noted.

Rattler and Rosebud are both out of a stalwart of the Ripshin breeding program, the bitch Ruth. And Rosebud has become quite the brood bitch herself. Two littermates out of her and by Ripshin Nimrod—Noel and Norma—won the unentered dog and bitch classes, respectively.

“We bred Rosebud to a hound with English Westerby blood,” said Hughston. “They bring a lot of bone and good cry and nose. They’re a bigger hound, and we tend to cross them on a smaller bitch, and we usually end up with a good-sized hound.”

They imported Nimrod’s sire, Nomad, a Westerby Basset.

“We have a very crossbred pack of Bassets. We keep trying to do the Hardaway three-way cross, and it seems to work in the Bassets just like it does in the foxhound packs,” Hughston said.

Mt. Dew Wakes Up The Beagle Ring
Mandy Bobbit, Bedlam Beagles MB and huntsman, bought a puppy from a friend in New Jersey five years ago—Whiskey Creek Talkback ’03. And from his very first litter, she bred the Bryn Mawr Beagle champion, Bedlam Mt. Dew ’05 (Whiskey Creek Talkback ’03—Bedlam Madcap ’96). Mt. Dew won the 13-inch Beagle dog championship on the way to the grand Beagle title.

“He’s just super. He works hard, hunts very well, searches hard and handles easily. He’s very good at a hard check. He’s just nice and has a wonderful temperament,” Bobbit said of Mt. Dew.

Of the name—Mt. Dew—Bobbit laughed. “If I’m driving, I have a tendency to fall asleep, and Mountain Dew keeps me awake, so I thought of the name,” she said.

Not to be outdone, Talkback did a little winning of his own, in the 15-inch stallion hound with get class. “He’s worked out very well. He’s a little fast, but he has a good voice and a good nose. He has a little more size and bone to him.”

The rest of the Beagle honors were split between packs. Farmington Godfrey ’05 (Farmington Gadfly ’01—their Iris ’95) won the 15-inch Beagle dog championship. In the bitch divisions, Ardrossan’s Ginger ’07 (Farmington Bellman ’03—their Ibis ’01) went from the unentered class title to the 13-inch championship. And Bedlam’s Springfield Frolic ’06 (Skyline’s Big Kahuna—their Crystal Fantasy) earned the 15-inch title.

Blue Ridge Is All Blue In English Ring
Blue Ridge Hunt (Va.) established almost total domination in the English ring at Bryn Mawr. Their hounds won every class offered, except for the veteran hound and old English hound classes.

Blue Ridge Piebald ’05 (Mid-Devon Grocer ’00—Blue Ridge Pickle ’99) conquered for the grand championship, winning over his littermate, Blue Ridge Piecrust ’05, who was the bitch champion.
That litter proved to be prodigious, as another littermate, Blue Ridge Pickett ’05 earned the English bitch hound reserve championship behind Piecrust. The dog hound reserve cham-pionship title went to Blue Ridge Heythrop Gangster ’02 (Berkely Denmark ’95—Heythrop Gallery ’99), who was the stallion hound class winner.

Littermates Blue Ridge’s Gripper and Granger (Mid-Devon Grocer ’00—Shamrock Graceful ’02) took first and second in the unentered dog class before combining to win the unentered couple of dogs class. And Blue Ridge Grizzle ’06 won the entered dog class.

Gripper and Granger’s littermate, Blue Ridge’s Greedy, topped the unentered bitch class, while Blue Ridge Pickett ’05 won the entered bitch class, then combined with the second-placed entry—Blue Ridge Gravity ’06—to win the entered couple of bitches class. The two have the same breeding (Mid-Devon Grocer ’00—Blue Ridge Pickle ’99), but are different litter years. Blue Ridge Crumpet ’04 rounded out the wins with the brood bitch blue.

Molly Sorge

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