Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Grand-Champion-foxhound-Brazos-Valley-Sandy-Dixon-MFH-John-Tabachka-huntsman-Sewickley-HuntSouthwest Grand Champion of Show Brazos Valley Precious 2016, shown by Sandy Dixon, MFH, is a lucky mistake. Standing is judge John Tabachka, professional huntsman for the Sewickley Hunt (PA). / Tara Tibbetts photo

Brazos Valley Precious 2016, an American foxhound, was crowned Grand Champion of the Southwest Hound Show on April 22, 2017. Precious is closely inbred; her sire and dam were littermates, Brazos Valley Mystic 2010 and Molly 2010, respectively. An unusual breeding practice for sure, and about which I was anxious to talk to breeder Sandy Dixon, MFH of the Brazos Valley Hounds (TX).

Both Mystic and Molly were hound show winners in Virginia, and their sire and dam were hound show winners. The four foxhounds comprising the first two generations from Precious account for eight grand championships at MFHA-sanctioned hound shows! And if you go back just one more generation, who appears in Precious’s pedigree (top and bottom, because her paternal and maternal grandparents are the same) but Potomac Jefferson 2005, the MFHA Centennial Grand Champion Foxhound...the king...the Clarke Gable of the North American foxhound world.

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centralstates15.valor.glen carterFort Leavenworth Valor '13 begins his day at Central States by capturing the English/Crossbred Championship. North Hills Kid Rock, last year's Grand Champion of Show, was Reserve. Huntsman Stephanie Wilcox Carter, MFH shows Valor. Judge Cameron Sadler is standing (right). / Glen Carter photo

Fort Leavenworth Valor ‘13 was crowned Grand Champion Foxhound at both the Southwest Hound Show on April 18, 2015 and the Central States Hound Show on May 2, 2015.

Valor is a fitting name for Fort Leavenworth hounds, tied as the hunt is to that venerable military post in Kansas. Three Fort Leavenworth foxhounds have proudly carried the name, Valor, in the last thirty years!

Southwest Hound Show
Exhibiting hunts at the Southwest Hound Show included Brazos Valley Hounds (TX), Fort Leavenworth Hunt, and Independence Foxhounds (TX). Judges George and Jeanie Thomas, MFHs of the Why Worry Hunt (SC) were impressed by both Valor and the hound show. In a “joint communique” George and Jeanie write, “We like Valor a lot, and he showed the way a champion should. We found him to be a very nice hound with super conformation and correctness. He is a fluid mover and has a lot of power from his lovely hind end.  Although he is not a big hound, he made up for it with his drive and verve. We are looking forward to seeing him in Virginia!”

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frv convoyFox River Valley Convoy, unentered Crossbred dog hound shown by Tony Leahy, MFH, is Grand Champion of Show at the Southwest Hound Show. / Sammy Buczkowski photo

Fox River Valley Convoy, an unentered Crossbred dog hound, was judged Grand Champion of Show at the Southwest Hound Show. Brazos Valley Mystic 2010—Grand Champion of Show for the last three years running—made a hard run at an unprecedented fourth consecutive title, but finished as Reserve Champion to Convoy.

The Southwest Hound Show was held on April 19, 2014 at Greenwood Farm in Weatherford, Texas. All hounds are shown in the same ring, and were judged this year by Tony Gammell, professional huntsman for the Keswick Hunt (VA).

“It’s a lovely, small show; you can walk around and see everyone, said Tony Leahy, Master and huntsman of the Fox River Valley Hunt (IL), who looks forward to entering Grand Champion Convoy in the fall. “It was my first visit to Texas, and the people couldn’t have been nicer, more accommodating, or more welcoming.”

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brazos valley mysticBrazos Valley Mystic 2010 / Liz Callar photoBrazos Valley Mystic 2010 was judged Grand Champion of the Southwest Hound Show for the third consecutive year, matching his sire’s outstanding performance there. The show was held on April 20, 2013 at Greenwood Farms in Weatherford, Texas.

Mystic’s success is no stroke of luck; he’s the product of a royal breeding engineered by Brazos Valley MFH Sandy Dixon. She put her own sire—Brazos Valley Catfish 2006—to a Potomac-bred bitch that she entered in 2006—Brazos Valley Meadow.

Catfish won three consecutive Grand Championships at the Southwest Hound Show in 2007, 2008, and 2009, and Meadow brought her own credentials from Maryland. She was bred by Potomac huntsman Larry Pitts and is by Potomac Jefferson, Grand Champion of both the Virginia Foxhound Show and the Bryn Mawr Hound Show in 2007. Jefferson was knockout handsome.

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