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A litter of hound puppies will soon be making their way across the Channel to embark on a career hunting in France.

The South Devon, which are twinned with the Rallye Amor Hunt in Brittany, agreed to breed a litter for master Mickael Perennez, to inject some added drive into his pack.

“The two hunts have good relations and visit each other annually,” explained South Devon huntsman Ian Pearse.

The Rallye Amor hunt red deer with the Anglo-Francais tricolore, which were bred by crossing French hounds with English foxhounds.

“They are much darker and bigger than our foxhounds and have much more volume, which sounds spectacular when hunting,” said Mr Pearse.

“But Mickael is interested as they have much more drive than a French hound — they push on and are quicker.”

So Elysee, an Anglo-Francais tricolore bitch, gifted to the South Devon by the Rallye in 2010, was put in whelp to South Devon Stilton.

“Stilton is a very good hound for hunting and is very dark in colour, so we felt he would be a perfect match,” said Mr Pearse.

Elysee produced 10 puppies — eight bitches and two dogs. They will be weaned shortly and sent to France next month.

“I’m sure Mickael will be pleased — they’ll grow into nice-looking French hounds, but with a different engine,” he said.

This news story was first published in the current issue of Horse & Hound (14 March 2013)