Pictured: Ardingly 2021 Doghound Champion, Old Surrey Burstow & West Kent Racecard
Today marks a small, but significant step on the return to normality as the first major hound show of the summer takes place at Ardingly. The South of England Hound Show is always a wonderful gathering and has added significance after the empty and depressing canvas of 2020 and early 2021. Boris Johnson may have invited the President of the United States and the world’s other most powerful leaders to one glorious corner of the British countryside, but those of us in Sussex are more than happy with our well remembered patch. Rituals are what communities are built around and the rituals of this summer will play a vital role in re-establishing the varied tribes of the countryside. Hound shows, puppy shows, game fairs and the myriad of agricultural shows will once again bring people together and re-establish the bonds that bind them together.
Ardingly is not quite back to normal with facilities still limited, but after a year of restrictions and confinement that hardly seems a burden. It is down to the hard work of the hound show committee that showing has been able to go ahead at all and we owe them a debt of gratitude for scaling the many barriers that have been put in their way. The most important thing is that order is returning with dog hounds judged in the morning and bitches in the afternoon as they have been at hound shows across the country for as long as anyone can remember. Amongst the judges for the foxhounds today is Andrew Osborne who has just been confirmed as the new Chairman of the MFHA. Our congratulations go to Andrew who we have been working closely with for some time and with whom we look forward to building a bright future for hunting. The Alliance’s own Chairman, Lord Herbert, will be judging the beagles tomorrow and presumably they will be sharing notes on whether either elevation to Chair of the MFHA or the House of Lords makes your judgment of hound conformation immune to criticism.
The Alliance is delighted to be one of the sponsors of the hound show and we are also looking forward to attending the North of England Hound Show at the Great Yorkshire Show on 13th and 14th July, the Festival of Hunting at Peterborough on 21st July and the Game Fair at Ragley in Warwickshire from 23rd - 25th July. More information on show listings can be found here. Details of other shows are still to be confirmed and we will continue to update you as we receive information.
South of England Hound Show 2021: Hounds
South of England Hound Show 2021: Doghounds Results
Parade of Footpacks in the Main Ring