The National Beagle Club of America, Inc.

History of the National Beagle Club of America

The National Beagle Club of America, Inc. (NBC) was formed in the late 1800's, with its objective to hold field trial events with the purpose of improving field qualities as well as type. When the NBC initially applied for admission to The American Kennel Club as a Specialty club they were denied because the American-English Beagle Club or American Beagle Club, as it was also known, refused to sanction admission.


But the new club forged ahead with its plans and eventually merged with the American Beagle Club, and was thereafter known as the National Beagle Club of America. The breed standard was revised in 1900 to put more emphasis on running gear and thus the function of the beagle breed.


The first National Beagle Club field trial, scheduled to be held in Hyannis, Massachusetts in 1890, was moved due to poor terrain to New Hampshire. The first National Beagle Club Specialty Show was held in 1891. The eventual Dual Ch. Frank Forest was a major influence at this time.


With the continuance of derogatory remarks made of the show beagle of the time in the field trial press, in 1896, James Kernochan began to import proven hunting hounds from English packs, thus introducing the hound head and body, legs and feet of a good Beagle to the more terrier/Dachshund-like field beagles, and also setting the Beagle type of present time.


Before 1912 field trials were held primarily on cottontail and occasionally on New England hare. It was after this that pack on hare clubs began to demonstrate the longer endurance the Beagle needed on larger game.


In 1916, James W. Appleton, President of the NBC from 1910-1942, Harry Peters and George W. Post, both directors of the American Kennel Club, Chetwood Smith, Ted Lucas, H.C. Phipps of Wheatley Beagles and C. Oliver Iselin, President of the NBC from 1942-1971, formed the Institute Corporation and purchased Institute Farm.


The early emphasis on field and conformation by NBC changed over the years as interest in conformation phased out, and by 1936, the task of administering the large and increasing number of field trial clubs and activities became a near impossible burden. It was because of this, the Beagle Advisory Committee (BAC) was established.


In 1970, a small group of conformation Beaglers, also Regular members of the NBC, with the encouragement of NBC Secretary, Morgan Wing, held the first National Beagle Club Specialty in many years at the Institute Farm in Aldie, Virginia. Increasing pressure for representation of the Conformation Beaglers in the NBC brought about the establishment of a second classification of membership for those interested in conformation. The Supporting Membership status. In 1980, due to the work of Nadine Eaton Chicoine in the late 1970s, the Supporting Membership was granted permission to draw up its own By-Laws to govern the Specialty show activities and to provide for the election of a Supporting Membership Director to serve on the Board of the NBC for a one-year term. 


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The National Beagle Club of America, Inc. is a 501(c)(7) not-for-profit organization.

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