Vice President:- Miss M. E. Billitt
Chairman:- Mr. David Gore
Secretary:- Mrs. Ann Freer
Treasurer:- Mr. Duncan Robertson
A Brief History
In March 1897 Edgar Farman, a London solicitor and a Member of the Kennel Club, sent a letter to Bloodhound breeders, owners and exhibitors, and to the Press, headed ‘Proposed Association of Bloodhound Breeders’. In his letter Mr Farman referred to the initiative of Mr Mark Beaufoy 11 years earlier, which did not attract sufficient support, and set out a list of objectives that such an Association would have. He advised that a meeting had been arranged for 6.30 p.m. on the 12th April; 1897 at the Kennel Club, and added that he hoped interested parties would attend and support the proposal.
At the meeting between 20 and 30 owners said they would join, and elected Mr Edwin Brough, a well known authority on Bloodhounds, to be the new Association’s first Chairman, and Mr Farman to be Secretary.
By the end of 1898 the Association was well established with 42 Members, having increased the support for Shows and made a successful and well publicised debut into Field Trials. Mr A Croxton- Smith had joined the Executive to be Treasurer.
The first Field Trials were held in October 1898 but support for the Trials was slow to build up as most bloodhound owners were more interested in showing. However, entries gradually improved and the first Kennel Club Field Trial Championship Certificate was awarded in 1900. In 1909 the Association introduced the award of Certificates, which stated the time and distance of a Trial, for presentation to the owner of a bloodhound performing meritorious work in ‘hunting the clean boot’. By
1911 Trials were receiving very much better support and in 1912 a six hour cold Trial attracted an entry of 6 hounds.
During the First World War the breed suffered a considerable setback and was slow to recover. The activities of the Association were halted entirely only in 1918 and 1919, but it was not until 1922 that Field Trials could be re-started. At this time, in contrast to earlier years, the enthusiasm of the Members was mainly for Field Trials, while entries for Shows were disappointing.
The Second World War was very much more serious, not just for the Association, but for the breed generally, and it was mainly the determined efforts of the Chairman, Mr Wilfred Unwin, together with the Secretary and Treasurer, Mr FC Harrison, and a handful of other Members, that ensured continuity of the breed and the Association.
Field Trials were started again in 1950 and then as Members developed an interest in dual activities, the Association organised its first Open Show in 1979, and first Championship Show in 1982.
The number of Bloodhounds in the country has never been very large and Membership of the Association did not exceed 70 until the mid 1950’s. The number of Members then increased steadily and the present Membership is about 200.