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Pointer History and Pedigrees
Col. Thornton's Dash (dog, liver/white, w: 1795)

"It was in the last years of the eighteenth century that the crying sin against the pointer was committed, by mating him with the foxhound. Had he been crossed once again with the tender-nosed, sagacious, southern hound, the effect would not have been disastrous; but the dashing, harum-scarum foxhound was an exemplarily mischievous selection. ... Colonel Thornton (1757-1823), who kept both foxhounds and pointers, was the first to intermix the two breeds." -- Arkwright, 1906, The Pointer and His Predecessors

"... we do know that Colonel Thornton (1757-1825) did not keep his venture a secret, and the result was the liver and white dog "Dash" which was whelped in 1795. This dog was famed for its field performance. ... "Dash" was much used as a stud-dog, but the next generation did not come up to his standard. The best known dogs of his strain were "Pluto", "Juno", "Modish", "Lily", and "Nan"." -- W. Marr, 1960's, Pointers and Setters

"The first person to have success with a pointer from adding foxhound blood was a Colonel Thornton. He kept both foxhounds and pointers and he mated a small pointer bitch and a shallow flewed foxhound and from this mating produced a dog by the name of "Dash". At the time, some people were of the opinion that it was perhaps unfortunate that he should have succeeded in breeding so soon an eminent dog like "Dash", for this dog was remarkable for his style of ranging on the moors as well as for his superior method of finding game. He was equally excellent in partridge shooting and backed other dogs as steadily as possible. He was used at stud to a considerable number of bitches but not one puppy which he sired ever made the grade for work! However, it was through the success of "Dash" in the field that many breeders in all parts of the country also decided to use the foxhound cross, but it soon became evident that these crosses were no good generally and that far more was lost than gained by the experiment. It had produced courage, power and perseverance, but also high spirits and keenness for chasing." -- Edmondson and Robertshaw, 1978, The Pointer: Faber and Faber, London"

"In fact if the truth could be ascertained, it would be much more reasonable to believe that this mongrel was produced in an effort to improve the speed of Thronton's hounds on which he was makeing large wagers in competing for speed records." -- Phillips, 1970, The True Pointer

Col. Thornton's Dash

"a shallow-flewed (fleet) foxhound" -- Arkwright, 1906
"a shallow flewed foxhound" -- Edmondson & Robertshaw, 1978
"a highly bred pointer bitch" -- Arkwright, 1906
"a rather small pointer bitch" -- Arkwright, 1906
"a small pointer bitch" -- Edmondson & Robertshaw, 1978


"He was remarkable for his style of ranging upon the moors, as well as for his superior method of finding game; he was equally excellent in partridge-shooting, and backed other dogs as steadily as possible." -- Arkwright, 1906

"'Colonel Thornton's celebrated pointer, Dash, was bred from a rather small pointer bitch and a shallow-flewed (fleet) foxhound, and his appearance indicated his realationship to the latter in a very preponderating manner -- the lofty foxhound, not the low-stooping pointer. Yet he was acknowledged as a pointer of surpassing excellence both on the moors and in the enclosures, but as a stallion proved worthless ...'" -- Arkwright, 1906, quote from "The Sportsman", 1836

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© Lyn Topinka, English River Website
December 2003