This section is from the book "A History And Description Of The Modern Dogs Of Great Britain And Ireland. (Sporting Division)", by Rawdon Briggs Lee. Also available from Amazon: A History and Description of the Modern Dogs of Great Britain and Ireland: Sporting Division.
"I spoke of Lord Henry Bentinck's Contest in the above remarks relating to the dam of Senator, and that relationship alone might entitle him to be selected among the celebrated twelve to be considered as a pillar of the hound stud book. There is, however, something else to boast of to the memory of Contest, as he was the sire of Harry Ayris's favourite Cromwell, and the blood of the latter runs through the Badminton, the Croome particularly, through Lord Coventry's Rambler, and it is also largely represented in the Quorn, besides, as a matter of course, being mixed up in all the Berkeley Castle pedigrees. Cromwell was bred from at Berkeley Castle in the same sort of proportion as Furrier was used by Osbaldeston, as the entries during his lifetime show, and he was noted for getting excellent workers.
"The beautiful colours of the Senators may not be due to Contest, as I think I have been told that he was a grey-pied hound, and Cromwell was that colour, as I have seen his skin. The goodness of Contest, however, is explained in his noble owner's diary, as, if there was one particular favourite with Lord Henry more than another, it was Contest, considered by him to be the best of foxhounds in any part of a run; and, as in the case of Mr. Corbet's Trojan, Contest was an extraordinary wall and gate jumper. His blood can be traced to the three good-looking sisters that made up the two couples of the Warwickshire in the older bitch class at Peterborough - namely, Factious, Fair Maid, and Faultless, as Archibald, their sire, was out of a bitch by Lord Coventry's Rambler.
"I have mentioned the Osbaldeston Furrier, the Grove Barrister, the Drake Duster, the Burton Dori-mont, the Belvoir Guider, the Belvoir Senator, the Burton Contest, and the Berkeley Castle Cromwell in this article as the most celebrated foxhounds to be traced to throughout all records. This makes up eight out of my proposed party of twelve; and I have no hesitation in giving as additions the Burton Regulus and the Wynnstay Royal. It would be impossible to enlarge too much upon the good such hounds have done; and it would be impossible to say which of the two has influenced high breeding most. Royal is represented to a large extent at Belvoir, Badminton, Mr. Garth's, the Bramham Moor, and numerous other kennels; whilst the Burton Regulus, besides adding much to the continuance of the high prestige belonging to Lord Henry Bentinck's pack, now mostly identified as the Blankney, is credited with a vast amount of merit contributed to the Badminton, Berkeley Castle, the Fitzwilliam, the Quorn, and the present Burton pack. It now becomes a little difficult to name two more, and I think the honour might fall on the Badminton Flyer of 1839, as he gave the Fitzwilliam Feudal to the hound world; and the latter was the sire of Foreman, sire of Forester, sire of Furrier; and so we can finish up as we started with a Furrier, in the hound of that name, held in so much esteem by the late Hon. George Fitzwilliam and George Carter, and the ancestor now of a very big tribe."
The Foxhound Stud Book, already alluded to, first published in 1865, appearing periodically, and edited by Sir Cecil Legard, is a useful and careful compilation.
The points and description of the foxhound are as follows:
Chest and back ribs ...
Back and loin.......
Legs and feet.........
Colour and coat......
Grand Total 100.
The Head (value 15) should be of full size, but by no means heavy. Brow pronounced, but not high or sharp. There must be good length and breadth, sufficient to give in the dog hound a girth in front of the ears of fully 16in. The nose should be long (4½ in.) and wide with open nostrils. Ears set on low and lying close to the cheek.
The Neck (value 5) must be long and clean, without the slightest throatiness. It should taper nicely from the shoulders to the head, and the upper outline should be slightly convex.
The Shoulders (value 10) should be long, and well clothed with muscle without being heavy, especially at the points. They must be well sloped, and the true arm between the front and the elbow must be long and muscular, but free from fat or lumber.
The chest should girth over 30m. in a 24m. hound, and the back ribs must be very deep.
The Back And Loin (value 10) must both be very muscular, running into each other without any contraction or "nipping" between them. The couples must be wide even to raggedness, and there should be the very slightest arch in the loin, so as to be scarcely perceptible.
The Hind Quarters (value 10) or propellers are required to be very strong, and, as endurance is of even more consequence than speed, straight stifles are preferred to those much bent, as in the greyhound.
Elbows (value 5) set quite straight, and neither turned in nor out, are a sine qua non. They must be well let down by means of the long true arm above mentioned.
Every master of foxhounds insists on legs as straight as a post, and as strong; size of bone at the ankles and stifles being specially regarded as all important. The feet in all cases should be round and cat-like, with well developed knuckles, and strong pads and nails are of the utmost importance.
The Colour And Coat (value 5) are not regarded as very important, so long as the former is a "hound " colour, and the latter is short, dense, hard, and glossy. Hound colours are black tan and white - black and white, and the various "pies" compounded of white and the colour of the hare and badger, or yellow, or tan. In some old strains the blue mottle of the southern hound is still preserved.
The Stem (value 5) is gently arched, carried gaily over the back, and slightly fringed with hair below. The end should taper to a point.
The Symmetry (value 5) of the foxhound is considerable, and what is called "quality" is highly regarded by all good judges.
Weight of a dog hound, from 70 lb. to 80 lb.; of a bitch hound, from 60 lb. to 70 lb.
Such figures are, however, not required by a hound judge, who as a rule detests numerals when they are supposed to have any bearing upon the animal which he deems to be excellence itself, and far removed from any other variety of the dog known to the civilised world. Rather than on "points" and figures, he would rely on Whyte Melville, who sang so melodiously and truly of the "King of the Kennel," who stands "On the straightest of legs and the roundest of feet, With ribs like a frigate his timbers to meet, With a fashion and fling and a form so complete. That to see him dance over the flags is a treat."