Country life - Volume 11, April 12th 1902,Famous Kennels - Mr R Wood Wright
The figure of Mr R Hood Wright is decidely a conspicuous feature of most dog shosws, as he is the giant in the dog world, physically as well as from the breeders and exhibitors point of view. As a matter of fact he may be regarded as being almost, if not actually, the doyen of deerhound breeders, though in his boyhood he took up Deerhound, to which variety he remained constant until some five or six years agom, when he was fascinated by the attractions of the Borzoi. It is, however with the deerhound that the name of Mr Hood Wright will be most commonly be associated by his brother dog lovers, and no wonder that it should be so as he has bred these hounds for over thirty years, having been presented with his first specimen by the late Dr Cox of Manchester. Since that event took place he has never been without a deerhound and the name of his kennel has spread throughout the dog world. Beyond all doubt, the constancy which Mr. Hood Wright has displayed towards the deerhound has contribute! greatly to the fact that the variety still maintains its old prestige amongst the varieties of dogs, for the attention which it is now considered fashionable to pay to foreign breeds has well-nigh accomplished the extinction of many a native race.
The deerhound, however, possesses many substantial claims upon the affections of the dog-lover, quite apart from his merits in the sporting line. When properly trained he is a perfect companion and the best of friends to those he knows, and he is, moreover, a capital house dog, though his size is somewhat against him; still, as his appearance invariably creates something like a panic amongst tramps, though he is really a very goodtempered dog, this disadvantage may be overlooked. On the other hand, the deerhound has a penchant for killing cats which it seems almost impossible to suppress, and occasionally a particularly tempting-looking chicken may fall a victim to his natural love of the chase; but much will depend upon the early training which the dog may have experienced. There is another good trait in the character of the deerhound, and that is his affection for horses; and so strongly is this regard for the equine race developed, that in the majority of instances a dog of this breed will follow a carriage any distance, and keep close by his friends the horses when they are put up at a livery stable.
To the deer-stalktr the deerhound is often a very welcome friend, his services in holding up a wounded stag contributing greatly to the success of many a day's sport, whilst certainly there are very few more picturesque-looking breeds than this rough-coated hound of Caledonia. The expression of the deerhound is most attractive, for although a mettlesome creature when his blood is up, the gentle, languishing look, which somewhat resembles that of the collie, gains him many admirers, whilst his immensely powerful jaws, long graceful neck, well-laid shoulders, and powerful middle, to say nothing of his grand feet and legs, and well-bent stifles, cannot fail to attract all sportsmen who appreciate the points of a really workmanlike breed.
SELWOOD FEA LER
MR. HOOD WRIGHT AND DEERHOUNDS
A dog of very similar appearance to the deerhound is the Russian wolfhound, or Borzoi, which is at the present time one of the most popular varieties in this country, and includes Her Majesty Queen Alexandra amongst its supporters.
The Borzoi, which is used in Russia for wolfhunting under conditions which are similar to those for which the deerhound is utilised in Scotland, is a more delicate and refined - looking animal than the Scottish dog, and much silkier in coat. At the same time, there is a great store of courage contained within the graceful frame of the Borzoi; and although his constitution is rather delicate during the earliest part of his existence, he well repays the trouble of rearing him by his beauty and charming disposition. It is not surprising, therefore, to find a very strong kennel of Borzois in addition to the deerhounds at' Park Hill, Frome, the first of the Russians to be a member of the establishment being Sehvood Stelka, a daughter of the famous Champion Krilutt, which the Hon. Colonel Wellesley presented to Mrs. Hood Wright some few years ago. Since then the two varieties of hound have been reared together, and representatives of the kennel have won prizes at all the greatest shows in the kingdom with a consistency which bears ample tribute to the judgment of their breeder.
An idea of the arrangements of the Park Hill kennel may be gained from the accompanying illustration, which represents one range of buildings, including three covered yards and the boiler-house. In front of the latter may be seen a couple of dogs which are kept for the purpose of destroying rats, to which both the deerhound and Borzoi are rather partial than otherwise, as they cheerfully permit the vermin to share their food.
The portrait of Champion Selvvood Dhouran represents what is probably the best deerhound which has ever been shown. The veteran was bred by Mr. Hood Wright, as was his sister, Selwood Callach, who died last summer, and certainly it is impossible to conceive that their performances in the show-ring have ever been equalled, as Dhouran is the winner of seventeen championships, and Callach won only three fewer, in addition to many special trophies, including the plate offered at Ranelagh Hound Show in 1899, which was awarded to Dhouran, some of whose sons and daughters are already seriously threatening to usurp their sire's position.
Selwood Braie is not Park Hill-bred, as she became Mr. Hood Wright's property in exchange for a big cheque drawn in favour of Mr. Walter Evans of Birmingham; but the judgment of her purchaser was amply vindicated when she came out at the Crystal Palace Show and was awarded four first prizes and the championship, which was quite a record in the deerhound line.
Selwood Fealer, own brother to Selwood Morven, the winner of thirteen championships and bred by Mr. Wright, bid fair in his early days to emulate Morven's example, 'as he captured one championship for his mistressóhe belongs to Mrs. Wrightóbefore he contracted blood poisoning at Earl's Court Show, since which time he has never been fit to exhibit again; but he has proved his merits as a sire, amongst his stock being Craigie, claimed at Birmingham for 75.
MICHAEL ANGELO AND YOUSKA
The Borzois Michael Angus and Selwood Olga are also the property of Mrs. Hood Wright, she having purchased the former after he had won at Birkenhead Show, and since then he has been at the top of several good classes. He is a son of Mrs. May's Michael, recently illustrated in Country Life, whilst Selwood Olga was bred by her owner. She has proved herself a most valuable show bitch, her chief triumph being the capture of the thirty-guinea challenge cup at the Borzoi Club's Show, when the Duchess of Newcastle awarded the prizes. The scene on the lawn depicts Mr. Hood Wright surrounded by two couples of deerhounds, which for type and quality cannot be equalled by any other two couples in the world.