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History of the Breed Part 2

We know very little about the early history of the Beagle in South Africa save that D'Urban & Walter Dyason exhibited them first at the Port Elizabeth Shows in 1883 & 1884. It was on the 13th March 1895 that the first Beagles were registered by the then South African Kennel Club (now KUSA), Venus (507) & Ajax (508) both by Ajax out of Flora and owned by a Mr Wilmot. Although the records show that Beagles won Championship points in the early years of the century none of them achieved the necessary 12 points needed to become a Champion. This honour was left to two litter mates Mrs K C Fyfe's  Mr Jorrick Juggins of Leasorleigh (139978) and Mr E W Robinson's Mr Jorrick Jupiter of Lisrob both by Ch Barvae Viking out of Barvae Tulip, the breeder was Mrs Mrs J Dales. Barvae being a well known UK breeding kennel of the time. The long gap is not surprising as the available statistics do not show any KUSA Beagle registrations between 1934 and 1948. Also remembering that UK breeding stock was almost completely decimated during WW1 and that the Kennel Club (UK) registrations in 1931 were 27 and in 1945 just 1 dog and it was from the UK that imports came to South Africa.

Being a British breed, the foundation stock of Beagles was and is largely drawn from the UK. However importation of dogs from Australia, where shorter legged Beagles are favoured and the United States, which has a different breed standard to the UK & South Africa has resulted in two distinct types of Beagles in South Africa. The British breed type remains the standard of the UK & South Africa.

The Beagle is now well established in South Africa, with the Beagle Club of the Transvaal being formed in the 1980's, with its first Championship Show judged by Sylvia Tutchener of Beacott Beagles UK. This club flourished for over a decade but the number of established breeders dwindled during the period 1993 to 2005 due to emmigration and death. The fortunes of the Beagle Club of Transvaal waned due to diminishing numbers and differences between breeders, and as result, sadly by 2008 had ceased to exist to the detriment of the breed. 2008 was a low point for Beagles in South Africa with the average number of Beagles entered at Championship Shows just 3, however during the ensuing years the numbers of Beagles being exhibited have gradually increased with the current average being 15. In the meantime breeders particularly unregistered breeders, backyard breeders and puppy mills have proliferated, most of whom are doing the breed a disservice, with the result that Beagles are now in the top ten of the most registrations in South Africa, a position which seldom does any breed any good. Hence the formation in 2013 of the Beagle Association of Gauteng whose prime aim is to protect the breed and to promote responsible & ethical breeding.

People who have contributed to the development of the breed in South Africa since the 1960's include John Ellis, Norman Roseveare, Dave & Joan Scheepers, Yvonne du Preez, Margot Anderson, Ros Glaysher, Gary & Anna Kartsounis, Val Pretorius, Rusty Staunton, the Wilkinsons, Shuna de Villiers, Joe Gates, the Sutherlands, Kleintjie Brevis, Susan Penny, the Streatfields, Derek McCarthy, Peter & Margaret Masson, Diana Rencken, the Bacurewski's, Vicki Harris, Goobi Marn,  Ann McCallum, Gwen Steyn ex Zimbabwe. Jill Dunkley, Melanie de Jongh , Audrey Hauptfleisch, Shani Smit, Clive Roberts & very recently Brian & Candice Gerber. Mention must also be made here of professional handlers Jack Peden & Sue Carter who have also made a significant contribution to the breed as well as, in the case of Jack, through importation and breeding. *

Beagles imported during the last fifty years include Ch Deanery Dream Time of Towri, Ch Raimex Phaedra  of Tanqueray, Ch Raimex Phoenix of Tanqueray, Ch Crestamere Hot Spur of Isibindi Ch Tragband Too Darn Hot to Handle by Rossut, Dufosse Lady Bee of Cherive, Rossut Annabel of Cherive,  Ch Newlin Quentin of Beacott, Ch Serenaker Love Me Do of Pinoak,  Ch Rossut Junket of Pinoak,  Ch Fallowfield Lotti of Pinoak all from the UK. Ch Kings Court Kennels of Towri from Germany, CH Starbuck Torbay Thunder of Towri, Milroc Voxcreek I'm on Fire from the States; Dargavan Dictator of Towri, Ch Donlee Talisman of Towri, Ch Brialey for Your Eyes Only of Cherive, Ch Brialey Live & Let Die of Voxcreek from Australia, Sarangrave Ur Throne Awaits from New Zealand, Je Suis Precieuse Bisous dela Meut dÁsterion from France and Chester the Smart Hunting of Cherive from Hungary. All these Beagles have impacted on the breed one way or another. To date the most prolific winner has been the UK import, Pete or Ch Tragband Too Darn Hot to Handle by Rossut, owned by John & Wendy Streatfield and expertly handled by Jack Peden. Perhaps the biggest influence in these years have been the numerous imports by Margot Anderson of Towri Kennels from the States, Australia & Germany which have had both a positive and  a negative effect on the breed in Soth Africa. *

Other Beagles have been imported recently, a number coming from Eastern European countries, but as they are never seen in the showring there are no means to evaluate their quality and merits/demerits. Some of these may be responsible for the unrecognised/not permitted colours, such as chocolate & live,r currently being touted on the internet as "rare"& "desirable". 

*Incomplete awaiting information.

 


Dogs in Africa: On the Origins of the Breeds, M R Darwin, March 1998.