Over the summer, Eton College’s beagles triumphed at the South of England Hound show in Ardingly, winning two out of three classes, and taking home reserve championship of the doghounds too. Five boys attended, taking four hounds to the show, and returned with two exciting wins.
With the help of the Old Berkeley Beagles, hunt masters Grey G and Hugh S showed off the hounds wearing traditional Eton hunt velvets. The hounds were judged on posture and build, attentiveness to treats being thrown, and how they ran. It was a glorious summer day, starting with the recently entered dog hound category (young male hounds). Craftsman, one of the Eton hounds, took first place, winning a trophy and a rosette, to the delight of Eton Hunt supporters. Then, Craftsman returned with another Eton hound, Bridegroom, to win the dog hound couples category, judged not only on their individual merits but on how they stood together and their similarity.
As a result of their success in the classes, both hounds were eligible for the overall championship prize of best dog hound. Craftsman again performed well and won reserve champion – second place overall.
It was a tough field in the afternoon with the bitch hounds (females), with eight beagle packs competing in total. Our couple were sadly unsuccessful in their class, principally down to their hind legs being too wide. It’s a tough competition and the smallest things can determine the winning hound.
Eton has had beagles for over 150 years, and though they are usually on-site for boys to help look after them, they are currently being kennelled with another pack temporarily. Boys have been involved in their breeding for years, keeping track of winning breeding lines, and the pack often does well at shows in the summer. All hunts have their own liveries (uniforms) and Eton’s is the iconic brown velvet jackets with white britches and black socks. There are more shows to come this year, and boys hope the hounds can return to Eton soon.
Boys would like to thank Mr Timmerman for accompanying them, the hunt trustees, and their kennel huntsman.