Mixed Harmony


1970 Greyhound Hall of Fame Inductee


One of the dogs which appears most consistently in the pedigrees of our adoption dogs is a brindled hound with stand-up ears called Mixed Harmony. He came from a long line of outstanding dogs including Rural Rube and My Laddie, Traffic Officer, Gangster*, and Upsidedown*, all of whom are also in the Hall of Fame. Rural Rube, in fact, was the very first inductee. Those dogs all appear on his dam’s side of the pedigree while his sire, Larry Of Waterhall* was imported from England.

Larry Of Waterhall* was of equally distinguished heritage, being a descendent of Mutton Cutlet, a strong contender in the Waterloo Cup courses who in 1924 was runner-up for the Waterloo Plate. Beef Cutlet, sire of Larry Of Waterhall* was also a stakes winner on the coursing field, and like Mixed Harmony was a brindle. As a matter of fact, Mixed Harmony has six different Waterloo Cup winners in his pedigree plus several other dogs who won the Waterloo Purse or Plate. In addition, he has six ancestors who appear in the American Greyhound Hall of Fame, and has at least six descendants also in the Hall of Fame.

The Waterloo Cup is considered the most prestigious coursing event in England and has been held annually (with a couple pauses during World War I and II) since 1836. It began as an eight dog stake but soon progressed to 32 entries, and since 1857 has consisted of a sixty-four dog stake. It is a simple elimination stake, run over two or three days to accommodate all the entries. Despite that, it is a hard test of the coursing dog who makes it to the finals as he will have run 4 possibly lengthy and exhausting courses and then must meet a dog which may or may not have had to work as hard as himself. The reason for this is that in coursing, it is the hare that determines the length and time of the run, not a stop watch or finish line. The dogs run until the hare is killed or escapes. Endurance and conditioning as well as speed are of utmost importance here, and the genes for those qualities obviously were passed down to Mixed Harmony who passed them along generously to his offspring.

Mixed Harmony was whelped in September, 1944 and owned by J. R. Hodge. He had an outstanding racing career and excelled at longer distances although he ran everything from 5/16ths to 7/16ths. He was a top notch runner wherever he ran, and he hit the tracks from Florida to Massachusetts to Mexico. In 1947, he set course records at both Derby Lane and Sarasota. He also finished second behind his littermate, Sweet Thing in the 1947 Festival Stakes for All Ages at Derby Lane. By the way, Mixed Harmony was not a particularly big dog, weighing in at just 61 pounds when racing.

In 1948, he twice beat the marvelous Beach Comber who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1966, once in the 1948 Raynham Derby. It was a shame that Mixed Harmony and Beach Comber were competing at the same time because alone, either of them would have dominated the world of greyhound racing of the late 1940s.

On Sept. 3, 1949, Mixed Harmony ‘played’ to a crowd of 7,000 at the Caliente track in a match race with Lady Emissary. The side bet between J. R. Hodge and C. L. “Whitey” Shamhart, Lady’s owner was $1000, quite a sum in those days! While both dogs were a bit past their prime, being 5 years old (Harmony) and 4 years old (Lady), they were still both stars of the Caliente track’s summer season of 1948. They were holding their own against younger dogs and making a very respectable showing at the track. Mixed Harmony won that 7/16ths distance race wire-to-wire, winding up with a 7 length lead at the finish. Not bad for an old man who was about to retire!

And retire he did, at the mandatory age 6–that is, he retired from racing. His second career was just about to begin and he was even more successful at that! As a stud, Mixed Harmony began to produce an unbelievable number of successful racers and a multitude of dogs who would go on to become successful sires in their own right. His big three were, of course, Ample Time, Johnny Leonard and Great Valor. Ample Time went on to produce Venerated, a dog who figures prominently in pedigrees of today. To list all the sons and grandsons that Mixed Harmony produced would take pages. Suffice it to say that he won the U.S. All-Grade Sire Championship in 1954 with 1,221 wins (by his offspring) and again in 1955 with 1,387 wins. He figured prominently on the Sire Standings for nine years during which his offspring won more than 7,800 races.

Of course, those children had offspring of their own. In the 1980s, Mixed Harmony still ranked as a major sire line. His male descendants included Pecos Cannon, S.S. Jeno, Opposed, Caprioled, Perplexed, Madison Joker, Friend Westy, Highway Robber, Rooster Cogburn, Westy Whizzer, Downing, L.L.’s Doug, and others of excellent repute.

Not to be stopped there, Mixed Harmony also produced some outstanding brood matrons. These included such bitches as Irish Ruby, Mickey’s Queen, and Sweet Thelma. Many more of his female offspring went on to produce excellent pups of their own.

Mixed Harmony may have been noted as versatile on the track, but he was equally versatile at a stud. He not only produced champion offspring, but they went on to produce worthy descendants to perpetuate his lines. His name probably remains one of the most irreproachable in pedigrees of today. It is as well known as that of Tell You Why*, and certainly just as important, if not more so. Mixed Harmony definitely earned his space in the Greyhound Hall of Fame!

by Laurel Drew