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Black Drake was bred and owned by Mr. Harding Cox. He was by Black Cloth out of Black Paint, and traced his descent back to many celebrated champion dogs. He was a big upstanding dog of quality, with lovely outline and coat, dark eyes, long intelligent head, flat skull, best of legs, feet, neck, and shoulders, and an all-round good mover. An excellent dog in the field, especially for wild fowl, with splendid nose and tenderest of mouths. Some judges considered Black Drake too “strong" in the head, but it was well proportioned, flat in skull, flush in cheek, and altogether typical. In the stud line he was without rival, and it was a great loss and grief when he died at the early age of five years. He was the sire of Champions Wimpole Peter, Black Queen, Bring 'em, Black Squirrel, and the grandsire of Champions Gipsy of Riverside, Paul of Riverside, and Black Quilt. His winning progeny are too numerous to recapitulate. He won two championships and forty-five first prizes and specials.
In curly-coated retrievers Champions Bellevue Surprise, Preston Sultan, and Bellevue Nina head the poll, and I have selected the first named, who is described by his owner, Mr. Charles Flowitt, as follows : “Ch. Bellevue Surprise was bred by Messrs. Taylor Brothers, by Ch. Preston Sultan ex Maudland Lady, and whelped in October 1901. He is 27 inches high at shoulder, and weighs 75 lbs., and is probably the best curlycoated retriever of the day. He has a beautiful head, long and narrow, with dark eyes ; nice small ears, set on low; sweet expression, and splendid temper. His coat is one mass of short, crisp curls; he is acknowledged to have the best of legs and feet that could be put on a sporting dog, his fore legs being dead straight, with plenty of bone, and his feet round and compact, with toes well arched. Chest not too deep; body rather short, muscular, and well ribbed up; tail well set on, and tapering towards the end, and not carried too high ; good long neck, free from throatiness, and in the ring shows himself like a terrier. He has won his four championships in 1903, the thirtyguinea challenge bowl for the best dog in the breed, and the cup for the best sporting dog at the Birmingham show, besides other prizes too numerous to recapitulate. Has never been defeated in 1903."
The Labrador retriever, Sentry, was bred by, and is the property of, the Hon. A. Holland-Hibbert. His sire was Sixty and his dam Scottie, and he was born in April 1900. He stands 23 inches at shoulder, weighs 65 lbs., and is an all-black dog, without any white hairs. His eyes are light, the carriage of his ears correct, upright rather when called, tail straight, coat thick and quite straight, splendid shoulders and loins, and hocks well let down. To hint a defect, his tail is a trifle too long, and not sufficiently like an otter's. The photo was taken before he was fully furnished, and he has improved considerably.
THE setter is probably the oldest, and certainly the most elegant and beautiful of our gun-dogs. The ability to “set” or “couch" at game was one developed in certain dogs by our sporting ancestors in the days when the hawk and falcon performed the offices of the modern gun. The setter of that period, known as a land spaniel, accompanied the hawking parties into the field, quartered the ground and indicated where the game lay — no doubt in much the same fashion as it does to-day. Whereupon the hawk was cast loose, circled aloft, and then the quarry was roused to be swooped upon and killed. Subsequently the use of a net was brought into practice, being sometimes drawn towards the place where the setting dog marked the game, and at other times cast, like a fishing-net by some of the skilful handlers in the East, over the suspected spot. The first dog to be trained to this service is said to have been one belonging to the Duke of Northumberland in the middle of the sixteenth century, but it is certain that dogs which had the ability to “set” were known before that period.
The generic name was first given the setter by Dr. Caius in 1570, who wrote : " Another sort of dog there be serviceable for fowling, making no