Stud book foxhounds from registered packs can be shown at a series of hound shows throughout the country during the summer months. Dogs and bitches are judged separately and there are classes for “unentered” hounds (those that will start hunting this season), “entered” hounds (already hunting), and hounds used for breeding.
The purpose of hound judging, normally undertaken by two current or former Masters, is to assess the conformation as well as the quality, movement and balance of the hound. The judges will be looking to see if the hound has generally good conformation. This is outlined by the drawings below:
Hunting ability cannot be judged on conformation alone but other important attributes such as scenting ability, voice and drive can only be properly assessed out hunting.
Generally it is thought that hounds with better conformation will have more stamina and are able to stand up to a full days hunting without taking to much out of themselves.
In each class, the ‘entry’ (a single or group of hounds), is shown separately first as this allows the judges to make their assessments. Then the entries are brought in and eliminated one by one until four entries are left. These are then assessed and the top four entries are given a red rosette and often a silver cup for first place, the second a blue rosette, third yellow and fourth green.
Programmes will be available to purchase on the day and will include details of the judges and hounds being shown in each class.
Many thanks to Rosemary Coates for the use of her illustrations and the Countryside Alliance for the text.