The Countryman's Weekly

Looking Back

Looking Back
October 27
07:10 2020

Difficulties of consistently producing working Borders

By Martin Webber.

THE first fox I saw bolted by a Border Terrier was while following the Pennine Foxhounds at an Anglezarke meet, near Chorley in Lancashire. It would have been in the early 1980s when my Fell Terrier ‘Barney’ was still a young dog.

It was a fair old trek for me but I was so keen I caught the bus to Horwich (about seven miles away) with ‘Barney’ perched on my knee and quick-marched the 1½ miles to the meet. The hounds hadn’t gone far and just as I caught up they’d marked at a large field drain not far from the road.

I’d overheard a thickset bloke with a Lancashire accent (and compulsory flat cap) telling folk how he liked Borders and how he always tried to give a home to a terrier from the breed rescue society. I noted his latest rescue job; it was a bulky sort, with little to commend it. It had a big head with a broad, gaping mouth and a barrel body, set on quite short legs.

Not what you’d call a ‘looker’ but my opinion soon changed when I witnessed the rescue case enter the drain without blinking and old Reynard was soon out as if his tail was on fire.

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