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Pointer History and Pedigrees
Garth's Drake (dog, liver/white, w: 1868, breeder/owner Mr. R. Garth, EKC 842)

Drake, from an oil by George Earl
"Garth's Drake"
-- Image from an oil by George Earl, scanned from Enos Phillips, 1970, The True Pointer and His Ancient Heritage

""842 Drake" -- Mr. R. Garth's, Q.C., Wimbledon, Surrey; breeder, owner; born 1867; colour, liver and white (still living and at the stud). Pedigree: By "Garth's Rap" out of his "Doll" (see pedigree table). Chief Performances: Field Trials, Stafford, 1868, 1st prize in the Pointer Puppy Stakes; 1st prize in the All-Aged Stakes, and winner (with "Mars") in the Pointer Braces Stakes; Shrewsbury, 1869, 1st prize in the Champion Stakes, and not placed in the Hawkstone Stakes for braces (with "Carl"); Southampton, 1870, 1st prize in the Southampton Stakes for all-aged pointer dogs, and divided the prize in the pointer braces; Shrewsbury, 1870, not placed in the pointer braces (with "Carl") and won the Champion Stakes for pointers." -- EKC Studbook, 1874, Vol.I

" "Brockton's Bounce" was a magnificent dog, a winner on the show bench, and of the first Field Trial in England. "Newton's Ranger" was another of the early performers, and he was very staunch and brilliant, but it was in the next five years that the most extraordinary Pointer merit was seen, as quite incomparable was "Sir Richard Garth's Drake", who was just five generations from the Spanish Pointer. "Drake" was rather a tall, gaunt dog, but with immense depth of girth, long shoulders, long haunches, and a benevolent quiet countenance. There was nothing very attractive about him when walking about at Stafford prior to his trial, but the moment he was down he seemed to paralyse his opponent, as he went half as fast again. It was calculated that he went fifty miles an hour, and at this tremendous pace he would stop as if petrified, and the momentum would cover him with earth and dust. He did not seem capable of making a mistake, and his birds were always at about the same distance from him, to show thereby his extraordinary nose and confidence. Nothing in his day could beat him in a field. He got some good stock, but they were not generally show form, the bitches by him being mostly light and small, and his sons a bit high on the leg. None of them had his pace, but some were capital performers, such as "Sir Thomas Lennard's Mallard"; "Mr. George Pilkington's Tory"; "Mr. Lloyd Price's Luck of Edenhall",, winner of the Field Trial Derby, 1878; "Lord Downe's Mars" and "Bounce", and "Mr. Barclay Field's Riot". When Sir Richard Garth went to India and sold his kennel of Pointers at Tattersalls, Mr. Lloyd Price gave 150 guineas for "Drake". -- Robert Leighton, 1910, Dogs and All About Them

""Brockton's Bounce", "Statter's Major", "Whitehouse's Hamlet", "Garth's Drake"! What names to conjure up visions of past glory in the game-fields of England! Mention this quartet and you have named the four cornerstones in the foundation of the Point breed. Add the name of "Price's Champion Bang" and you have heralded the principal fountainhead as we know it in this country today." -- The Sportsman's Bookshelf, Volume XIII, Hunting Dogs and Their Uses: The Stackpole Company, Harrisburg, PA, 1951

"From every source, it is clear that the most outstanding performer in the field in the latter part of the nineteenth century was "Sir Richard Garth's Drake", born in 1868. He became the first pointer champion at field trials. G.S. Lowe, writing about pointers in 1907, gives this description of Drake after he had seen him win in field trials near Stafford. "Drake was a rather gaunt dog with immense depth of girth, long shoulders, long haunches, and a benevolent quiet countenance. There was nothing very attractive about him walking about prior to the Trial, but the moment he was down he seemed to paralyse his opponent, as he went half as fast again. ... Quite a sight it was to watch him on 'point'. It was perhaps more of a drop than a 'point'. ... Nothing in his day could beat him in the field."" -- Edmondson and Robertshaw, 1978

"Sir Richard Garth, who was deeply interested in the breeding of pointers during the middle of the last century and up to the time he left England in 1875 ... was responsible fore the production of "Drake", the marvelous pointer which has come to be known in canine history as "Garth's Drake"."

"Stonehenge, in "The Dogs of the British Islands," described "Drake" as a "phenomenon among dogs," and, no doubt, at that period he was entirely within bounds when he made the statement, even though it does sound extravagant in this day of so many good performers."

""Drake", however, must have been superior to any other pointer or setter of his time in the matter of speed and ability to handle game. Nearly every writer of those days agrees that his pace was something far out of the ordinary; in fact, Stonehenge says: "This dog, in his day, was the fastest and most wonderful animal that ever quartered a field and in his race up to a brace of girs in the field trials of 1868, when the ground was so dry as to cause a cloud of dust to rise on his dropping to their scent, was a sight that will probably never be seen again.""

"It is explained, that on account of "Drake's" marvelous speed he invariably dropped to his points in order to stop himself in tiem, otherwise he would have run over his game. It was not until in later life -- his seventh season, in fact -- that he began to assume a standing position on point. At this period he bagan to lose some of his extraordinary speed and it was no longer necessary to drop."

""Drake" was a large dog, but as quick and as shifty as any of the smaller setters of his or later times."

"His style in action was compared with that of a smooth-going running horse and, no dobut, his conformation had much to do with this, for he was a large, ragged, bony dog, high in the hips, long in the pasterns, clean in the shoulders and perfect in loin. In every sense of the word, this dog was bulit for the frictionless moving piece of machinery that he was. He was not an attractive dog, however, in appearance, for his head was very plain, there was little stop before the eye and his muzzle was not in proportion to his other head perperties. Furthermore, he was quite throaty ... In body conformation, however, he could not be faulted except that he lacked that balance and symmetry which one likes to see in a pointer, although there was not an ounce of useless timber or the least appearance of beefiness about him."

As for blood lines, he had only a remote infusion of the Sefton strain in his veins, consequently he was a good out-cross for bitches of that line which was an intensely in-bred one to its own source. "Drake's" puppies soon began to show their quality and naturally, when his success as a sire was established, the demand for his services became greater from year to year."

"In 1874 Sir Richard Garth disposed of his dogs preparatory to going to India and at the sale, which took place in June of that year, at the Lilliebridge Running Grounds, Brompton, London, R.J. Lloyd Price, of Rhiwlas, bought four braces and Mr. Pilkington one. Among the dogs which Mr. Price bought was "Drake", then seven years of age. The amount paid for him alone was one hundred and fifty guineas. This, considering the dog's advanced age, was always conceded to be a high figure, but the astue squire wanted this blood as well as the individual and, no doubt, he never regretted the purchase price, although it cannot be said that he was particularly successful with him. Mr. Price bought "Drake" solely for his own use and particularly to cross with "Price's Belle" ... The first litter was considerably above the average in which were "Mallard" and "Beau", but neither equalled "Eos of Cymru", out of the same bitch by "Statter's Major".

-- via Hochwalt, 1923, The Modern Pointer

"A very beautiful and racing bitch was "Mr. Lloyd Price's Belle", bred by Lord H. Bentinck, and bought by Mr. Price for ten pounds after winning a third prize at Manchester. She was at first fearfully headstrong, and chased hares for many weeks persistently, being far beyond her puppyhood and unbroken; but the perseverance of a young, and till then unknown, breaker, Anstey, overcame these defects, and being tried in private to be good, she was entered at Vaynol field trials in 1872, when she won the prize for braces, and also that for bitches, being left in to contest the disputed point of priority in the two breeds with "Mr. Whitehouse's Priam" against "Mr. Llewellyn's Countess" and "Nellie", both setters. In this trial she succumbed to "Countess", but turned the tables on her at Bala in 1873. Being possessed of this beautiful and excellent bitch, Mr. lloyd Price naturally desired to match her and so "Drake", ... was purchased. Previously, however, "Drake" had got several dogs of high class, including "Viscount Downe's Bang", "Drake II", and "Mars"; but, considering the run he had at the stud, his stock could not be said to have come out as well as might be expected in public, though in private their character was well maintained. Crossed with "Belle", a litter considerably above the average was obtained, including "Mallard" and "Beau", but none coming up to the form of either sire or dam, and not equal to "Eos", who was subsequently from her by "Mr. Wm. Statter's Major". -- R.Lee, 1893

""Drake" himself was sired by "Garth's Rap" out of "Garth's Doll", with some of Lord Sefton's bloodlines on either side of his pedigree and one line to an "Edge" dog, his breeding seemed to fit in well with the bitches that were around at the time. "Drake" is the dog to which most of our present day pointers can be traced." -- C.A. Robertshaw, 2002, Pointers Past & Present

"... the Kennel Club Stud Book, in giving a tabulated pedigree form of the famous "Drake", gets to the Spanish pointer in five generations, in "Drake", son of "Rap", son of "Don", son of "Mars", son of "Pallas", a Spanish pointer." -- The Kennel Gazette, September 1881

""Drake's pedigree" embraces a good deal of "Newton's Ranger" in it , and the later, one of the first show winners, came from Sir Thomas Whichcote's sort, in Lincolnshire, and obtained from Strelly." -- EKC November 1880

"... "Drake" was inbred, on his dam's side, as "Mite", his grand-dam, was by "Duke" (son of "Lord Derby's Drake") out of "Daisy", a daughter of "Drake", so half brother and sister, and "Drake" consorted to his grandmother "Mite", produced a very good dog in "Mars", and the daughter of "Mars" have been remarkable in breeding good ones, as instanced by "Teal", the dam of "Priam", and "Jesamine", the dam of "Lilack" and "Laurel"." -- The American Field, July 8, 1882

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December 2003