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Rare-breed harriers triumph at Crufts 2024

Two Holcombe harriers became the first working hounds from a registered pack to compete at Crufts when they entered the ring on 10 March.

Mark Dickson-Bradley and Chris Dickson-Bardley from Bury with Angelszarke and President, both Harriers which was the Best of Breed winner today (Sunday 10.03.24), the fourth and final day of Crufts 2024. Please credit: BeatMedia/The Kennel Club

Harrier bitch Holcombe Anglezarke was named the overall best in breed while Holcombe President was awarded the best opposite sex accolade. Both hounds are now qualified to return in 2025. 

Senior master of the Holcombe Harriers Sue Simmons — who is also vice-chair of the Association of the Master of Harriers and Beagles — said: “The hounds really enjoyed the atmosphere and were professionally shown by our huntsman Mark (Dickson-Bradley) who, along with our whole team, ensured they were in fabulous show condition. 

“The experience has given us a platform to speak to a wider audience about our hounds and to explain how they take part in lawful trail-hunting activities.” 

Polly Portwin, director of the Campaign for Hunting at the Countryside Alliance, said it was “a great opportunity to promote the rare-breed harrier and to give people an insight into the high standards at which hounds are kept, with animal welfare a priority in hunt kennels”.