Irish Wolfhound History

Bits and Pieces - War Dogs

THE COURIER - Saturday, April 5th, 1902



Major Richardson and dogs

Within a mile of Carnoustie Station a kennel of dogs may be seen, which in a way are unique in the Scottish canine world. The owner, Major Hautonville Richardson, resides in Panbride House, where the kennels are also situated, and a keener fancier or more ardent lover of things canine it would be extremely difficult to find. At the date of my visit the Major had just returned from a tour along the bents with a number of his dogs, and after lunch we adjourned to the kennels to see and criticise. The kennels stand to the north of the mansion-house and, besides the kennels proper, Major Richardson has utilised the stables and coachhouses for housing his numerous pack.

 Panbride House
 Panbride House in 2015

As the kennelman opened the courtyard door over a dozen Scottish terriers came bounding towards the stranger within their gates. It was with constant watching one kept the yelping diehards at a respectable distance. We at once settled down to value the collection. Quite a number were shapely terriers, of good colour, but somewhat loose in coat, and several I handled as of outstanding merit were by the renowned champion Gair. After discussing the relative merits of these hardy vermin killers, I counted the pack and made out fifteen - quite a large kennel in itself. But Major Richardson believes in doing things on a large scale, and only smiled when I indicated the terriers were quite enough for any fancier to own. He sounded the whistle as he opened the door of a loose-box, and in military fashion ordered the pack to retire. The merry crowd immediately scampered indoors, but, although hid from sight for the moment, they kept up the line of communication in the most pronounced of canine choruses.
The court being thus cleared, the deerhounds were let loose. What a noble array! It has not been my fortune to see such a large and interesting private pack of deerhounds. Marjory, perhaps the best bitch of her breed in Scotland, came bounding up. She is a charming blue brindle with splendid legs and feet, and a most typical head. She has gained three first prizes at Edinburgh, and stood reserve last year at the Crystal Palace show. Her sire was Champion Selwood Dhouran, and this same dog, I learned, was the sire of Rose, another blue brindle of undeniable merit. Highland Mary, by Champion Selwood Morven out of Warich Queen, is a nice red brindle, while Lily, a dark brindle, is by the same dog. Rose has never been exhibited, I may remark, but Lily has won at Dundee and other places. In dogs, Peter Simple, by Champion Selwood Dhouran, and Bran, by Beric out of Thelma, were in every respect true descendants of a Highland race. The last-named secured first honours at Edinburgh, and likewise scored successes in other quarters. The deerhounds at Panbride are by no means exhausted by the instances I have given. There are numerous specimens besides, including adults and puppies. The bitches Highland Mary and Lily both had litters, and beauties they were, too.
But perhaps the best dog of this variety that ever Major Richardson bred was the famous Laird of Glengarry, ex Lucy Ashton by Kingsbury Malcolm. This deerhound scored at the Crystal Palace, Birmingham, Liverpool, Glasgow &c. and was ultimately sold for £125. Lucy Ashton herself won at Brighton, Dundee, and other important centres, while Kingsbury Malcolm gained at Crufts, Exeter, Brighton, and various other shows. A dog baptised Nero, and which won second prize at the Palace in October last, had just left the kennels. I remember this dog as a fine upstanding animal of a blue brindle colour, with a good hound expression, and a stately aspect, if one may use the term in connection with dogs. Major Richardson has also owned some grand specimens of the breed, which are now absent from the Panbride Kennels. There was Bristol Queen, that did so much winning in her day and generation. First Crufts, first Glasgow, first Birmingham &c., all stood to the credit of this remarkably well-proportioned bitch. Then I might name Bristol Bannockburn that secured the premier honours at Birmingham, amongst other honours, but really the task of enumerating all and every deerhound, past and present, is like counting the sands of the seashore. Major Richardson has secured a name at home and abroad that few - if any - have in Scotland. He has sold more dogs to the nobility and gentry of Britain than any other fancier, and can count amongst his purchasers many hailing from foreign parts. At home he has supplied dogs to the Countess of Glasgow, Lord Lonsdale, Lady Brassey, Lord Dunsany, and many others, while he has exported from his kennels specimens to America, Australia, Brazil, India, and, indeed, all the civilised world. Not so very long ago he shipped a number for Baden Powell's Constabulary in South Africa.


From the deerhounds we turned to the Irish wolfhounds. And here allow me to say that although Major Richardson has been eminently successful with this breed, he does not fix his love upon it. Indeed, the deerhounds seem to be the favourites. But still the Irish wolfhounds are intensely interesting - at any rate to a visitor. Champion Marquis of Donegal has to his credit several first honours, including that of Crufts recently held in London. Molly of Kidnal is also a winner of several firsts, and Bran (since dead) secured second place at the Crystal Palace Show. Lady Urith won quite a number of first prizes during her show trotting career. These Irish wolfhounds, the Major said, he had personally tested in a wild wolf chase in Russia, and on questioning him as to their staying powers, he informed me that they acted extremely well, and that a couple of wolfhounds could do the work of three Borzoi hounds. Of the latter breed Major Richardson formerly owned quite a kennel, but recently he has centered his admiration more intently upon deerhounds, and at the date of my visit he only possessed one example of the breed. This is a grandson of Champion Michael, and appears at the Dundee show this year.

 Marquis of Donegal  Champion Marquis of Donegal
 Some of the dogs trained for war:-  
   A Red Cross dog
 Red cross hound  
   Red Cross dog

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