"Dennis has been brought up with animals all his life his father bred Cocker Spaniels and Dennis did Obedience at one time with his German Shepherd, however, it was me that introduced him to Basset Hounds and we did not show in the early days but at our first show we won a Second Prize in a very large AV class. The judge stated on writing his comments that if I had stood the dog properly in the first place I could have been placed higher.
Being the first show I thought second was the highest I could possibly obtain.
The first show Basset was a great showman and because of this he did on many occasion beat possibly better specimens of the breed but once in that ring he showed his socks off. It was from this start all those years ago that I caught the Bug as it were.
Our first Champion Bitch won her first CC in Scotland handled by her breeder Marjorie Travis of Gaymel fame.
The Second CC was won when the bitch was handled by Dennis.
In both these cases I was unable to get time off from College to attend the shows - although I was given special dispensation on occasion to go to Crufts.
The Third CC and Best of Breed on that occasion was when I was able to handle the bitch - so I went one better than the other 2 handlers.
We exported Drawdell Betsy Trotwood to Italy at 18 months and 1 day. During her time in the UK she had already accumulated 2 CCs and a Reserve CC but had a great show career in Italy and became an International Champion.
We have bred moderately so, of course, cannot
compete with the big Kennels who breed several litters per year but we have
always tried to improve our stock by careful breeding - but then - this is,
of course, in the hands of Nature - who can make what looks excellent on paper
into a poor outcome. As the saying goes "It takes 2 to tango" and
the bloodlines of the sire and dam must gel in order to get good stock."
Dennis and Margaret Ledward have owned hounds for over 40 years. In that time they have shown and bred Basset Hounds, Mini longhaired Dachshunds and Mini wirehaired Dachshunds as well as Standard Wirehaired Dachshunds. Although they no longer have Dachshunds they still love the breed. Basset Hounds were the first to join the household and they have stood the test of time.
Breeding is only done when they need something new for the show ring therefore a litter is planned every 4-5 years.
Of the hounds shown they have produced an International Champion as well as an Italian Champion to go with the Champions in the UK.
However, the vast majority of hounds shown have obtained their KC stud book number.
The hounds at present in the household have all attended Good Citizen training and several have been obtained the highest award possible in receiving Gold. The youngest hound is at present attending classes and it is hoped that she also will manage to get through Bronze, Silver and Gold. They have recently imported a Basset Hound from Switzerland who has English, Swiss, French and American bloodlines.
Dennis and Margaret are both Championship Show judges and have judged at home and abroad culminating in judging Crufts.
Puppies are home reared and they are used to all household noises, the vacuum cleaner, tv,etc.,
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