Pharaoh Hounds – 10/02/19
Mr Johnny Davies (Talkaccatur) has died.
It was with immense sadness to learn of the death of The Pharaoh Hound Club’s President, Mr A. J. Davies, which occurred on the 18th January 2019, in Plymouth.
Although Johnny had coped with several debilitating ailments over the past few years and was no longer able to travel to shows, he always maintained a keen interest in Pharaoh Hounds, horses, and dogs in general. Over the years, there had also been Ibizan Hounds, Bleu de Gascoyne and a Hamiltonstovare (kept in partnership with Debbie Wills-Codd) and probably more. But as Pharaoh lovers, we owe a big debt of gratitude to him and his late wife Maureen, who were among the earliest enthusiasts of Pharaoh hounds. They had the good fortune to live on Malta while Johnny served in HM Forces in the seventies. Being a hound-man, he quickly befriended island farmers and went on regular hunting trips with them and their Kelb-tal-Feneks – the Maltese name for Pharaoh Hounds. His nickname was ‘The Hunting Sergeant’ and during their stay, Johnny and Maureen became firmly embedded in the culture and traditions of the rural folk of Malta. Their fondness for Pharaohs at first became a hobby and then they undertook serious research into the indigenous ‘National Dog’. Tracing pedigrees and history of the breed was a huge challenge as most knowledge about the hounds was kept in the breeders’ heads, and this knowledge mainly related to family lines of dogs with the best hunting skills. Their research included noting the differences in type across the islands and even at village level, differences could be distinct. Extremely important was the need to identify any inherited problems in the breed before deciding to purchase dogs to take home to the UK. Given the time and expense of importation and quarantine, getting the best quality dogs at the outset was a must. Because of all this effort, it is still possible to appreciate the success of their lines and breeding.
‘Tal-kaccatur’ in Maltese means ‘the hunter’ and naturally became the Davies’ affix. Their first homebred champion, Talkaccatur Bardaxxa (1979) a bitch, was from the two 1974 Maltese imports, Bo & Lija Tal-kaccatur. Later litters produced Ch. T. Nefha, Ch. T. Xalar (owned by Chris Rees and winner of 19 CCs) and Ch. T. Lija of Kempdelph, the last two whelped by T. Xandar. There were further litters in the ‘80s and ‘90s, but sadly in 1994, the breed’s very knowledgeable Maureen passed away. The last Talkaccatur Pharaoh litter was in Christmas 2007 and Johnny, with son Steve, kept two boys from this, who along with Johnny’s little black Poodle, remain Steve’s companions. As well as animals, Johnny also loved Country and Western music and dancing – so with this in mind, we hope he is now tapping his feet and singing along with Maureen and their special hounds. Rest in peace Johnny and thank you for all you did for Pharaoh Hounds in Britain.
Johnny was laid to rest on Tuesday 5th February.