Although a few years ago an attempt at a change in the general arrangements and conduct of coursing meetings was made by certain private companies, who gave large prizes, and arranged stakes for which the entry fee was £25, and of which more later on, they did not shake the popularity of our great gathering - that known as the Waterloo, and run over the flats at Altcar, not far from Liverpool.

No doubt this Waterloo meeting, which was established in 1836, and has been continued yearly ever since, is the most popular one of the kind ever held - the chief prize is valued at £500, the stake being made up of entrance fees by sixty-four subscribers at £25 each. A portion of the money goes to two minor stakes, the "Plate" and the "Purse," competed for by dogs beaten in the two early rounds of the Cup. It must be stated, however, that during the first year the Waterloo Cup was an eight-dog stake; in 1837 sixteen dogs ran, and from 1838 to 1856 thirty-two dogs competed. From the latter date till now the arrangements have been as they are at present. Here, as a rule, the best dogs in England, Ireland, and Scotland compete, and for an owner of greyhounds to win "the Cup" is an honour as high as that achieved by a racing man who wins "the Derby" - the Waterloo Cup is the blue ribbon of the leash. It may be said that there is actually no cup, but the winner of the honour, in addition to the stake already mentioned, receives a silver collar which he retains until the meeting following the one at which he won the stake.

Going back not many years there are met with such well-known names as Cerito, winner of the Waterloo Cup three times when a thirty-two dog stake; Hughie Graham, Larriston, Judge, King Lear, Captain Spencer's handsome dog Sunbeam, Mr. Blackstock's Maid of the Mill, Canaradzo, Cardinal York, Sea Rock, Roaring Meg, Chloe, Mr. G. Carruthers' Meg, Brigadier, Lobelia, Sea Cove, Bit of Fashion, Miss Glendyne, Greater Scot, Herschel, Mr. Pilkington's Burnaby; Bab at the Bowster, Pretender, Chameleon, Muriel, Peasant Boy, Gallant Foe, with Coomassie (only 44½lb. weight), the smallest greyhound that ever won the "Cup," and she did so twice. Of course there were other great greyhounds, but the blood of those above, or of many of them, will be found in the pedigrees of the most successful dogs of the present day.

The advent of Lord Lurgan's Master McGrath, as a puppy, in 1868, caused a great sensation. He was a rather coarse animal in appearance, but he could gallop faster than any dog he ever met, and was extremely "handy" with his teeth, i.e., he usually struck and held his hare after the first wrench or two. Thus he invariably made his courses short, while his subsequent opponents were consequently handicapped by longer trials. This son of Dervock and Lady Sarah, who was bred by Mr. Charles Galway, of Waterford, ran unchallenged through the Cup that year, and in 1869; in 1870 he was beaten by Lady Lyons (Mr. Trevor's, but running in Colonel Goodlake's nomination). The following year he succeeded in leading and beating every dog he came against, and had the honour of winning three Waterloo Cups out of four times trying - a feat which everyone thought would never be equalled.

Master McGrath was feted; he was taken to Windsor and introduced to the Queen, money would not buy him, and he died quietly in his kennels, in Ireland, at Brownlow House, near Lurgan in December, 1871. So popular were the victories of the great Irish dog with the people generally, that it was said the advent of another Master McGrath would do more to suppress sedition in Ireland than any Land Act or Home Rule Bill any Government might offer. This celebrated greyhound was black, with a few white marks on him; he weighed only 54lb., and, as already stated, was considered to be actually invincible in the work that he had done, winning in public thirty-six courses out of thirty-seven in which he competed.

But there was the Irish dog's equal, indeed, more than his equal, to come, and in 1888 Mr. James Dent, a Northumberland courser, who had already proved very successful with his kennel, had a puppy by Greentick - Bit of Fashion, by his favourite Paris by Ptarmigan - Gallant Foe; Paris was of the same litter as Princess Dagmar, who won the Waterloo Cup in 1881. This puppy, Fullerton, believed to be exceptional in speed and cleverness, before competing in the Waterloo Cup, was purchased by Colonel North (who died in 1896), at that time entering heartily into the sport of greyhound coursing. Eight hundred and fifty guineas was the sum given for the puppy, the highest price, stated publicly, ever paid for a greyhound, though privately, it has been said, much higher sums have been obtained.

A statement appeared that one of Colonel North's dogs, Young Fullerton by Greentick - Bit of Fashion,, and not sired by the dog his name would imply, had been sold by auction for 1050 guineas. This was incorrect, as the dog was not sold, and still remains in Colonel North's family. Fullerton's trials were so good that he started second favourite for the Waterloo Cup in 1889, and, as the great Irish dog had done a few years before, fairly spread-eagled all comers, and ultimately divided with his kennel companion Troughend. In 1890 Fullerton won outright; he did likewise in 1891, and being kept back for the following season's Waterloo, notwithstanding an indifferent trial that he had run in public, started once more a warm favourite and eventually won his fourth great victory.

But Fullerton's historical career was not yet ended. Placed at stud his list was speedily filled at the unprecedented fee of forty guineas, his worldwide reputation being indicated from the fact that several nominations were received by cablegram from the United States. He failed as a sire, so was again put in training and reserved to appear once more on Altcar's plain for the Waterloo Cup in 1893. No greyhound of his age, which was now six years, by those best able to judge was considered to have the remotest chance of running through such a stake without defeat. Still Fullerton was so popular with the public that he again started a very great favourite. How he struggled through his first course and was beaten in his second by Mr P. B. Keating's Full Captain - running in the nomination of Captain M'Calmont - is now a matter of history, and so, almost ignominiously, did the great greyhound close his career on the coursing field. He had placed stakes to the value of £1910 to the credit of his owner.