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.
More misfortunes than the great one at Waterloo awaited Fullerton, for in March of the same year he was lost near London, and not recovered for some days, when he was found wandering about in a half starved condition by a walking postman. The grand old dog was taken to Eltham, Colonel North's residence, and there led a happy life until the death of his gallant owner early in 1896. Later he was presented to his breeder Mr. E. Dent, is still the favourite at Short Flatt Tower, and late in the same year was on view at one of the local dog shows in Northumberland. Shortly afterwards, "Vindex," the coursing correspondent of the Sportsman, told us that Fullerton, when having a ramble, came across a hare, which he chased and killed, running his course as truly and well as a puppy would have done. In all, this extraordinary greyhound ran thirty-three courses in public and only sustained two defeats, they being in the final of the puppy stakes at Haydock Park, where, after being hard run, he was beaten by Greengage, owned by Mr. Gladstone, and, as above stated, in the second round of the Waterloo Cup by Full Captain. Fullerton, a brindled dog, with a little white on him, scaled about 651b. weight when in training, and he, with Master McGrath, form the subject of the illustration immediately preceding this chapter. I need hardly draw attention to the great difference in build and general formation of the two best greyhounds that ever ran.
It is rather difficult to compare the respective merits of these two great greyhounds, which I have mentioned at considerable length because of their unsurpassed excellence. The Irish dog was certainly the better killer; maybe not quite so fast as the Northumbrian dog, who in his 1892 Waterloo also exhibited determination and gameness that must stamp him in that particular as second to none - nor did he lack the latter quality when defeated the following year. As an old dog Fullerton did not go quite so well as when in his prime, but he was as keen as ever, if not quite so perfect in covering his game. The year of Fullerton's defeat was a rather peculiar one so far as the Waterloo Cup was concerned, for the winner proved to be Count Stroganorf's Texture, a bitch that had been purchased at Rymill's Repository for 110 guineas, when she went into the possession of her fortunate owner, who is a Russian nobleman. Thus, low prices do not always mean inferior merit, and in the same season Ruby Red, who won at Carmichael, had been purchased just before for 13 guineas.
Mr. Russel's Red Rover and Rosary, who were successful at the same gathering, had been included in a London sale, and, not reaching their reserve of thirty pounds, returned to their old kennels, where they soon far more than paid for their keep.
There was another extraordinary dog, or rather bitch, that flourished between the years 1867 - 1870, by many good judges considered even superior to Lord Lurgan's and Colonel North's great dogs; but she was not, though her courses were run on a greater variety of ground than were those of either of the "cracks" already mentioned. Both were, it may be said, "bottled" up for the great meetings. But Mr. Blanchard's red or fawn bitch Bab at the Bowster, by Boanerges - Mischief, when brought out went in reality as well at Altcar as she did at the Scottish National, where she won the Douglas Cup on two occasions. She also ran second for the Waterloo Cup, won the Great Scaris-brick Cup twice, and during the three years she was to the fore had sixty-two courses to her credit and losing but five. "Bab" was a handsome animal, weight 471b., though perhaps not quite as speedy as Fullerton and Master McGrath, was quite their equal in cleverness, and well deserves her place here, for no other greyhound won so many courses in public. One celebrated performance of hers may be noted. This was at the Brigg meeting, in the Elsham Cup. Mr. Blanchard's bitch had a terrific course when running a bye, and after the trial had ended the hare got on to the railway line, and here she was run along the hard and rough "permanent way" for at least a mile before puss was killed. Although Bab at the Bowster was much exhausted when taken up, she divided the Cup next day. Some of these Lincolnshire hares were very strong, and, like those of Stranraer, Ridgway, and a few other places, often enough ran their pursuers to a standstill. Very different from those at our "inclosed meetings"!
It will be seen from what has been written that not one of this leash of celebrated greyhounds was of exceptional size. The late Colonel North's dog is the biggest of the lot. It is seldom indeed that the over-sized dog, even one so big as Fullerton, is good; he may be fast enough, but, as a rule, is awkward and ungainly when next the hare, and cannot turn in such little space as the smaller dog, who nicks in, keeps close on the scut of puss, and wins the course. Still, here, as elsewhere, a good big one will beat an equally good little one, the difficulty being to find a good big one. At the Altcar meeting in November, 1896, Mr. Leonard Pilkington ran two puppies, between which there was an extraordinary disparity in size, Pontarlier scaling 721b. and Pescara just half that weight. Both ran well, and are, undoubtedly, high-class greyhounds.
About twelve years ago, inclosed meetings for greyhounds were inaugurated, and I believe, during the time the most important ones continued, they seldom flourished. Considerable harm was done by them to the sport of coursing. They were g te-money meetings, run in inclosures, with hares that might have been turned down "the night before the race," for anything publicly known to the contrary. Puss was sent through an opening, near to which the slipper stood; he let her get away, then slipped his dogs. The hare had, perhaps, a distance of 800 yards to go before she reached a refuge, into which her pursuers could not enter. Usually she escaped; before doing so she might be turned a few times, but a very fast hare could reach the covert without being turned or wrenched by either dog. A thousand-pound stake was to be won at one meeting, at Kempton Park, not far from London. Big prizes were also provided at Haydock Park near Liverpool, where they did their best to breed their own hares, and at Gosforth, near Newcastle. However, with the exception of that at Witham, not one of them has proved pecuniarily successful, and it and the Massereene Park (Ireland) gathering are the most important of the survivors. They are, however, not encouraged by the older class of coursing men, who consider them too much like the rabbit coursing with terriers and whippets, so popular in the North of England, and affording more a test of pace than of the actual all-round merits of a greyhound.