The Irish Wolfhound
At the 2002 A.G.M. it was suggested that it would make the A.G.M. more interesting if there could be a talk on something to do with the history of the breed. For the 2003 A.G.M. Mrs. Alice Dunlop was asked if she would write something about her own experience in the breed. She is 93 years old this year (2003) and started in the breed in 1926.
Notes of 70 Plus Years in Wolfhounds
When Elizabeth Murray asked me for a few notes, I thought I couldn't remember the 70+ years back to my first Wolfhound, but my memory was jogged when I found a photograph of my first puppy - "Love in a Mist" - in the 1926 Yearbook. She was by Patrick of Brabyns out of Margot of Clonard. She wasn't really a show specimen but was a marvellous companion. She had a good litter of puppies by Ch. Felixstowe Kilbarron, one of which became an Irish Champion.ed by Mrs. Southey and seen here with Miss Joan Southey
I was sent by my family to work in the Felixstowe Kennels of Mr. I.W. Everett, to learn more about Irish Wolfhounds. He knew more than almost anyone else about the breed at that time and he was always willing to help novice breeders and exhibitors. Whilst there I went to a lot of shows. Among the chief exhibitors of that time were Captain Hudson (Brabyns), J.V. Rank (Ouborough), Mrs. Barr (Grevel), Mrs. Nagle (Sulhamstead), and Colonel Durand (Bournstream) who had his Irish Wolfhounds with him in Africa and "loved to see them pick up the line of a buck and run it for 1/2 mile or more on the plains."
My showing career really took off when Mrs. Leith and I bought the puppy, Kathleen of Bradfield, from Miss Noel Nichols. She quickly gained her Challenge Certificates. Kathleen had a litter by the American-bred Ch. Cragwood Barney O'Shea of Riverlawn. I was fortunate enough to do very well with my puppy from that litter, which became Ch. Urla of Arraghglen. She was best bitch at Crufts in 1960 when Mrs. Nagle's Sulhamstead Merman won Best in Show. That was really exciting - all of the wolfhound people stayed to watch the Best in Show judging to cheer Mrs. Nagle on. So far as I know, this feat has not been repeated.
Urla herself was Best of Breed at Crufts in 1961 under Mrs. Nagle. This was the highlight of her career. So we went into the big ring, where we did not last very long! She did do a great deal of winning at other shows, including the Graham Shield under Bill Siggers and winning the Irish Guards Shield at the L.K.A. under Mrs. Pacey.
Urla was sent to Miss Nichols's dog but would have nothing to do with him and eventually had a litter by Kingsholme Ballykelly O'Rafferty, bred by Miss Seale and owned by Mr. A.A. Gilbert. In this litter was Quintus, who was sold to Canada and passed on to the U.S.A., where he had a glamorous show career; perhaps too glamorous as sadly he was poisoned at a show and died. This is one aspect of showing in America that must never get here. A most unfortunate incident, as I am sure he would have done the breed a lot of good and had a wonderful temperament.
The last of my wolfhounds was Delorne Matthew, a descendant of Urla's. After his death, I decided that it would be unfair to have another puppy at my age. However, my good friend, the long-standing exhibitor John Briggs, has visited Commonside and kept me up to date with happenings in the breed.
In my opinion, the two best Irish Wolfhounds I ever saw shown were Ch. Colin of Nendrum, owned by Mrs. Jenkins's sister, Miss Noreen Twyman, and Ch. Clodagh of Ouborough.
I don't think the breed has changed a great deal; the type is still good, but the substance must be kept. My long association with wolfhounds has given me much pleasure and reliving the memories to write this has also been fun.
Mrs Alice Dunlop (Delorne)