Mr. J.V. Rank is one of the most famous figures in dogdom for his remarkably fine teams of Great Danes and Irish Wolfhounds are objects of admiration at nearly all our important Ch. Shows. He has been breeding Great Danes for 14 years and Irish Wolfhounds for nine, during which time he has owned many champions of both breeds; not all, of course, were home-bred, but he has actually bred and reared the remarkable number of 17 Great Dane and five Irish Wolfhound champions. He shows his dogs fearlessly up and down the country and takes a keen interest in the fortunes of Irish shows, sending teams to compete every year at the I.K.C. Show in Dublin as well as at several of the Open Shows in that country. It is interesting to note that Mr. Rank owns the only Irish Wolfhound that is an English and Irish Champion.
The first champion Great Dane that Mr. Rank owned was the famous harlequin, Ch. Rufflyn Talisman, and he owned the finest team of harlequins of that time. When he began to breed brindles and fawns, he had immediate success with the brace of brindles, Ch. Pampa and Ch. Pride, which were quickly followed by perhaps the greatest bitch in the history of the breed, Ch. Vivien of Ouborough, which produced Ch. Bellovien, Ch. Ruffler, and Ch. Revive, and which, through them, is the grand dam of 12 champions. That great dog of the present-day, Ch. Ruffian of Ouborough, is three years old and has won 16 challenge certificates. There are several of Mr. Rank's favourite veterans in the kennels, the oldest being the wonderful Ch. Vivien of Ouborough.
Ch. Clodagh of Ouborough was his first champion Irish Wolfhound, which was purchased at a figure which is a record for the breed. Clodagh was considered to be the perfect Irish Wolfhound ever bred up to that period. The English and Irish champion, Galleon of Ouborough, is the present-day veteran champion of the breed, and besides winning chief honours in Irish Wolfhounds this year won the cup for best in show, all breeds, at the L.K.A. Ch. Show. Mr. Rank's first home-bred champion was Cloghran of Ouborough, a great hound, which has many times been awarded best exhibit of all breeds in show.
There can be hardly anyone who will question the statement that the Ouborough kennels house the finest collection of Great Danes and Irish Wolfhounds in the world. At the present there are 20 living champions in the kennels.
No one is able really to appreciate the beneficial influence that Mr. Rank has had in the welfare of the two breeds which he favours, for the reason that his many generous actions are hidden by the reserve which is typical of him. He was one of the founders of the recently-formed Big Breeds Canine Society and also a founder of that very successful specialist club, the Great Dane Breeders' Association, of which he is now president. He has also been a member of the K.C. committee for some years. For some considerable time, by his invitation, the G.D.B.A. has regularly held a most delightful specialist show in the beautiful gardens of Ouborough, his home at Godstone, Surrey, which show is one of the most distinguished canine functions of the year, attracting, as it does, some of the most notable personages in British dogdom. Vast sums of money have been spent by Mr. Rank in the way of cups and class guarantees for shows, and is importations of Great Danes from the Continent some years ago did much to bring the breed to its present high standing.
Although he does so much winning in both Great Danes and Irish Wolfhounds (his dogs have topped the list of wins in both breeds again this year), Mr. Rank is always amongst the first to offer guarantees and cups and when he wins a cup outright he immediately replaces it with another.
A Yorkshire born son of the famous Mr. Joseph Rank, Mr. Rank is managing director of the immense milling concern, Ranks Ltd., but in spite of the great demands on his time which his business affairs necessitate, he finds time to devote himself to a large number of sporting pursuits apart from dog shows and dog breeding. His Greyhounds are renowned in the coursing world and he has a big kennel in Limerick from which the Irish coursing is conducted; theEnglish coursing dogs are trained by Harold Wright, of Warrington. In 1931 his well-known Deeside won the blue riband of the Irish coursing season, the Irish cup, and many other of the principal Irish coursing trophies have fallen to the lot of his dogs.
Bloodstock is bred at Ouborough, a herd of Jersey cows kept, whilst Mr. Rank also owns a string of racehorses which are raced undeer both rules. The study of horse breeding fascinates him and he owns some most valuable mares and foals, whilst his steeplechasers are reputed to be amongst the finest living. He is a great supporter of hunting and point-to-point meetings, and his hunters and show hacks can be seen at all the summer horse shows and have won many honours at Richmond, Olympia and the Royal Shows. Mr. Rank was one of the band of sportsmen who came forward this year to revive the Olympia Horse Show which threatened to become a thing of the past.
In spite of his long connection with dogs and dog showing Mr. Rank has never yet accepted an invitation to judge, but prefers to attend shows unseen. We predict now, that whenever he does decide to judge there will be a record entry, for in spite of the terrific competion which his exhibits put up in the show ring, he is enormously popular with his fellow-fanciers, who are, no doubt, very pleased to include in their midst one whose generosity and kindness does so much to keep Great Danes and Irish Wolfhounds so much in the public eye.
Dog World 1935(?)