The South Shropshire Hounds
For a small pack on the Welsh Marches the South Shropshire hounds have punched well above their weight in the Show ring. This success was brought about by the dedicated and skilled breeding by Lindsay Wallace and Mrs Sykes, coupled with the outstanding kennel management and showmanship of Michael Rowson. The breeding of the South Shropshire Hounds for the last decade has been continued in much the same way. Guy Fitzearle has kept the South Shropshire hounds looking fantastic, and has proven to be an exceptional showman in the ring too. The emphasis recently has been on using Homebred dogs whenever possible, as well as introducing new hill hound blood where appropriate. It has always been considered a fine line balancing the confirmation and other attributes required for optimum hunting ability. Both play a key part in producing the finest working specimens; the success of which is lovely to be rewarded in the show ring, but for Hounds to excel in the field is the greatest reward for any hound breeder. The South Shropshire hounds currently comprise seven different female lines. In the SSH kennel we name all our hounds by their Dam’s initial. This means each Hound can be Identified by their names and their female line traced immediately. The Families we Have are. G, L, S, C, V, W, and B lines. There are some P initialed hounds in our kennel, but they are actually C’s and they were named P’s because Champion Hound Charlock ’91 had so many children the Masters decided to name a litter by the sires name, and he was Exmoor Pewter, hence the P. In time we will try and phase out the P and tie it back into the C family camp to save any confusion.
The oldest line we have in our kennel is the G line which came from the East Devon in 1928 as a gift in the name of Fortress’28, she was a bitch given to Major Feilding in Whelp to a dog of theirs called Lobster ’30. She later gave birth to Falstaff and Filmstar and so the line begins.
The W line came from the Cottesmore Hunt Kennels in 1974 through a bitch called Worthy.
The S line are the descendants of Sonnet ’71 from the duke of Beaufort’s kennels. David Herring was the MFH at the time and one could speculate she was brought in to increase size. All the S line are excellent workers and still stand a few inches over some of the other lines.
Our C line comes from the Famous Carlow Kennels in Ireland. Their hounds were bred meticulously and the SSH were one of the lucky packs to be given one. Brian Fanshawe acquired a couple of whelps out of Carlow Stylish (’63), “They are terribly easy to handle, nearly like pet dogs,” Brian Fanshawe said; “They need plenty of hunting, but they are biddable, and they have what Sir Peter Farquhar called ‘fox sense’.”
The L line comes from the Heythrop and West Dulverton Laura’59 (out of Heythrop Leapfrog ’54) was a gift from Capt. Ronnie Wallace to the SSH. The L’s are becoming an increasing presence in the pack, when the Current Master arrived in 2004 there was only 1 left)
There are also two Middleton Lines that have been with us for a decade now. The V line that goes back to Middleton Verso ’02 and the B line from Bannish ’99.
For the 2014 Hounds List, please see below or click here to view a PDF version.