The Grove and Rufford justified their long journey down from Nottinghamshire to claim both the doghound and bitch hound championship titles at the South of England hound show at Ardingly yesterday (9 June)..
Their well-known stallion hound and former Harrogate hound show champion Magnum 12 landed the doghound title while Berry 13 — a full sister to Bellman 13, the doghound champion at Ardingly in 2014— claimed the bitch championship.
“It took us just under four hours” explained a delighted huntsman Paul Larby, who was joined by his wife and a small but enthusiastic group of supporters.
“We travelled down on Wednesday night and kennelled the 11 couple of hounds at the Old Surrey Burstow and West Kent kennels and it’s been well worth it.”
Presiding over the doghounds were judges Dominic Jones MFH from the South Dorset and Tom Lyle, joint-master and huntsman of the Dartmoor.
In the heat of the afternoon, it was the turn of the Warwickshire’s Charmian Green MFH and Luke Neale MFH from the Puckeridge.
“Magnum was quite outstanding however the local champion from the East Sussex and Romney Marsh also moved incredibly well,” explained Tom Lyle after the doghound championship.
Of the champion bitch hound, Charmian Green MFH said: “There were two lovely bitches in the championship however the winning bitch just oozed quality and she was particularly nice.”
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Hounds from 12 packs were put in front of the judges and although the Grove and Rufford took the two main titles back to Nottinghamshire, there was a good spread of prizes in the other classes.
There were successes for the Heythrop and Thurlow as well as local packs the East Sussex and Romney Marsh, the South and West Wilts and the Hampshire Hunt.
For a detailed analysis of all classes and full results from the foxhounds and beagles classes, see the four-page report in Horse & Hound, 23 June.