THE BEAGLE CLUB
The History of the Beagle Club
Although Beagles had been used for several centuries for hunting in Southern Europe and Britain, it was not until the late 19th century they were exhibited at dog shows in this country. However, there was no organisation for either of these activities, so in 1890 The Beagle Club was formed to promote the breeding of Beagles for sport and show purposes. In 1891 the Association Masters of Harriers and Beagles was formed to regulate hunting activities.
The following are highlights of the Club's activities during the next 100 years:
- 1895 - The Standard of Points for the breed was published and formed the basis of the Kennel Club's Breed Standard which has remained largely unchanged ever since.
- 1899 - The club's Objects were published.
- 1901 - The first Year Book was published.
- 1901 - 1934 - The Club remained a very small one and almost ceased to exist in 1934. It's annual income was about £30
- 1951 - 1963 - Membership started to rise slowly from 20 to 60 in 1956 and 483 in 1964.
- 1964 - 1969 - The popularity of the Beagle was increasing at an astonishing rate. In 1954 there were 154 registrations, leaping to 1,092 in 1959, 2,047 in 1961 reaching a peak of 3,979 in 1969 when it became the most popular dog in Britain. Membership increased accordingly to over 500 worldwide.
- 1970s - The tremendous increase in membership led to an overhaul of its administration and activities which now included Open & Championship Shows and social activities held in various parts of the country.
1980s - The successful blend of shows and social activities started during the 70s continued. The Club successfully withstood competition from one new national club and seven regional clubs all of whom accepted the Beagle Club as it's "parent" club. It is the only breed club to organise regular live and drag hunting meetings, being authorised by the Kennel Club to award a Working certificate. In 1988 it was the first breed club to publish a Code of Conduct for Breeders in which it confirmed its strong opposition to breeding and supplying Beagles for research purposes.
1990 - The Club celebrated its Centenary with a two-day CH Show at Stowe, attracting Beagle enthusiasts from many overseas countries and a world record entry of 340 beagles, including 43 champions, and four judges.
- 2000 - The Club entered the 21st century with a Championship show attracting more than 200 exhibits and continues to stage shows of this size at its new home, the Royal Agricultural College near Cirencester.
In addition to holding an Open and Champ Show every year, the club continues to organise Working Drag meetings, social and training events. A Year Book and Newsletter are sent to Members and items such as badges, ties and diaries are available.