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.
Mr. Leonard Pilkington, St. Helen's, is almost equally successful, he winning the Waterloo Cup in 1888 with Burnaby, and in 1895 with Thoughtless Beauty, which was, however, run in the nomination of Mr. Carruthers. In 1886 his very fast and clever bitch, Penelope II., was runner up for the cup. In his kennel there are dogs and puppies of sufficient quality to lead one to believe that his successes have not yet been exhausted. The expenses of keeping a kennel of greyhounds are very high, and, although many of the stakes to be won are valuable, coursing can only be considered an expensive amusement, and we fancy that neither Messrs. Fawcett or Mr. Pilking-ton, with all their successes, have made it pay. In one season - 1885-6 - the latter won in stakes about £1900, and this included the Kempton Park £ 1000 stake, which was placed to the credit of the St. Helen's courser by means of his dog Phoebus. In 1894 the same owner's stakes amounted to £1100, but in the following year they did not reach £800. But the expenses of training, railway fares, etc, would, doubtless, far more than swallow up such sums, large though they seem. I should not be at all surprised to find Mr. Pilkington's total of £1900 for the season a record one, notwithstanding the recent triumphs of Messrs. Fawcett.
In Scotland, Sir W. Anstruther, Sir R. Jardine, Mr. J. Russel, Mr. W. Patterson, and others,, hold first-class dogs in their kennels. Ireland as coursers has Mr. G. J. Alexander, Mr. F. Watson, Mr. Swinburne, Captain Archdale, Mr. R. M. Douglas, and many others, most of whom have had or will have greyhounds which can hold their own anywhere. Gallant little Wales is not without her representatives, of whom the Marquis of Anglesea and Mr. T. Jenkins, Carmarthen, may perhaps be at the head. From Russia we have had Count Stroganoff competing successfully with hounds trained and bred in this country. Other leading kennels are those of Lord Masham, Yorkshire; Hon. O. C. Molyneux, Windsor; Mr. W. H. Smith, Kidderminster; Mr. J. Trevor, Lichfield; Sir T. Brocklebank, Lancashire; Dr. J. H. Salter, Essex; Mr. R. F. Gladstone, Lancashire; Colonel Holmes, Essex; Mr. J. Quihampton, Hants; Mr. F. E. C. Dobson, Durham; Messrs. Smith, Suffolk; Sir W. Ingram, M.P., Kent; Sir Humphrey de Trafford, Lancashire; Mr. H. Brocklebank, Lancashire; Mr. G. Bell Irving, Sussex; Mr. W. Paterson, Dumfries; Mr. R. Paterson, Biggar; Mr. H. Hardy, Cheshire; Mr. R. V. Mather, Lancashire; Mr. M. G. Hale, Suffolk; Mr. T. P. Hale, Suffolk; Mr. F. Waters, Lancashire; Mr. T. Graham, Cumberland; Mr. Hamar Bass, M.P., Derby; Mr. J. Haywood, Sussex; Mr. C. E. Marfleet, Lincoln; and Messrs Reilly, Cambridgeshire.
The following are the points and description of the greyhound as compiled by "Stonehenge," and adopted generally by all coursing men at the present day.
The head should be fairly large between the ears, the jaw lean, but by no means weak, as, if it were so, he would not be able to hold his game, and there should be little or no development of the nasal sinuses; the eye full, bright, and penetrating, a good eye is a sine qua non; ears small, and folding down when at rest, but raised in semi-prick fashion when animated; teeth strong and the mouth level (many of the show greyhounds are overshot, which gives the dog an extra long and smartly cut jaw); neck fairly long and a trifle arched rather than otherwise.
The shoulders must be well placed, as oblique as possible; the chest fairly deep, and as wide as may be consistent with speed. A "narrow-fronted," shallow-chested greyhound is no use. There should be good length from the elbow to the knee, compared with that from the knee to the ground. Feet hard and close, not so round and cat-like as in the foxhound, and with the toes well defined or well developed.
The loins strong and broad; back powerful, and, in the speediest and best dogs, slightly arched.
Hind quarters very muscular; stifles strong and well bent - a straight stifled dog cannot gallop; hind legs well turned and shapely, and, as in all speedy animals, somewhat long, looking by their curve even longer than they actually are; the tail is generally fine and nicely curved, but some strains carry more hair than others.
Colours vary - blacks, brindles, reds, fawns, blues, or slates, and these colours mixed with white. One hue is as good as another, though white is considered indicative of a certain amount of weakness - still there have been good dogs almost pure white, Snowball, Scotland Yet, and Canaradzo to wit.
In disposition the greyhound is, as a rule, kindly and amiable; dogs in high training are apt to be unreliable, and during exercise may fight and seriously injure each other.
The following are the points: -
Head and eyes .........
Chest and fore quarters
Loin and back ribs ...
Hind quarters .........
Grand total, 100.
Weights vary, and, as already stated, a competitor at a meeting in 1896 had two puppies running, one of which weighed 721b., the other but 361b., and yet both went fast and approached the end of stakes. The smallest bitch to win the Waterloo Cup was Coomassie, who scaled 441b., and we doubt if a heavier dog than Fullerton, who weighed 661b., ever won the great prize. Thus, a greyhound may weigh anything between 361b. and 75 1b.
The points of the course are as follows:- Speed: which shall be estimated as one, two, or three points, according to the degree of superiority shown. The go-by: Two points, or, if passed in the outer circle, three points. The turn : one point. The wrench: half a point. The kill: two points, or, in a descending scale, in proportion to the degree of merit displayed in that kill, which may be of no value. The trip, or unsuccessful effort to kill, or where a greyhound flecks the hare and cannot hold her, one point. There are also penalties for refusing to fence; where a dog, from his own defect, refuses to follow the hare at which he is slipped; and where he stands still.
Of course, in dealing with a trial between two greyhounds, very much rests with the judge, and there is no doubt that the two judges of the generation are Mr. G. Warwick, who officiated at Waterloo for thirteen consecutive years, and his successor, Mr. James Hedley, who, since Mr. Warwick's retirement, has done duty at the same meeting for twenty-three years without a break. Almost as much depends upon the slipper, and after the celebrated Tom Raper, who died in 1893, and who was par excellence in his line for a quarter of a century, T. Wilkinson followed him, and now T. Bootiman is the leading exponent of this arduous and difficult department of greyhound coursing.
A good many greyhounds have from time to time been shipped to America and to many of our colonies, but coursing of late has not made any great headway outside Great Britain. In Australia at one time it seemed progressive; there was a "Waterloo Cup" run for, and at great expense hares were imported from this country, the trials taking place in enclosed grounds. I believe a great deal of money was expended in promoting the sport, which, although of a high class, was ultimately allowed to lapse. As a fact, the Colonists did the thing so well at the commencement that their Waterloo Cup was worth as much as ours, and they had Mr. G. Warwick, our crack judge at that time, over to officiate at the inaugural meeting, which took place in 1874, and at other meetings which took place later on. However, the importation of greyhounds was beneficial, inasmuch as their crosses enabled the colonists to produce a strong, heavily-made, fleet-footed dog, very useful in kangaroo hunting; indeed, a variety of the canine race which is perhaps of more use than any other in the Antipodes.
Although greyhound coursing has never made great headway on the Continent, meetings of a semiprivate nature are periodically held in France, at which one of our best English judges, Mr. Brice, officiates. He has also been invited to St. Petersburg and Moscow for a similar purpose, and there he has had his duties varied by being asked to give his opinion on the trials of Russian hounds, Borzoi, when slipped to the common wolf of the country. It need scarcely be stated here that in Russia the sport of coursing is only participated in by the princes and nobles, with which that country abounds, and whose wealth is prodigious.