HOW TIMES change. It may be an exaggeration to say that in days gone by the American dog world depended, in many breeds, on regular additions of British stock, but in the terriers in particular it wasn’t all that far from the truth.
Today, however, with a few prominent exceptions, that is far from the case.
Looking at the list of best of breed winners at Westminster, I can see just two UK-bred dogs, a Zaydah Puli and an Irvonhill Irish Terrier, one with an American-bred sire and the other bred from two US imports. And there was an Irish Red and White Setter bred in the country of origin.
Of the other BOB winners, the Wire had two British parents and as far as I can tell just four others had a British-bred sire.
I think we can confidently expect that when the Crufts results emerge there will be a far larger American influence on the breed winners than there was the other way round at Westminster.
But what a show it proved to be for Canada. We had always known what a major player Canada is in terms of producing top dogs, top breeders and top judges, and this year’s ‘Garden’ just emphasised the point.
Over the years three Crufts BIS winners have been bred in Canada, compared with, so far, none in the US. And at this year’s Westminster three of the group winners were bred there, including the best-in-show winning Beagle with Canadian breeder, Canadian co-owners and Canadian handler, the phenomenally successful Will Alexander.
The big winning Poodle is Canadian bred and owned and the Portuguese Water Dog who has now won the group at the Garden three times and was the US’ Top Dog all breeds last year, was also bred in Canada. His connections must be hoping for fourth time lucky next year…
As if this were not enough, the group-winning Shih Tzu’s handler was born and started his career in Canada. Even the Old English Sheepdog, winning the group for the second time, has a Canadian connection as the Bugaboo line was founded by Canadian breeders, and has been continued in more recent years by their friends the Johnson family.
I always enjoy looking for British connections in the pedigrees of the Westminster winners but this year you have in most cases to go back a long way!
The Beagle Ch Tashtins Lookin For Trouble is by Ch Ha’Penny’s Too Much Trouble, an important sire. The American-bred dog that Tim Jones and Steve Jepson used to produce their Pup of the Year winner is by a grandson ex a daughter of Too Much Trouble.
‘Miss P’s’ dam is by Can Ch Windkist K-Run Outta The Park who is a brother of the only other Beagle to win Westminster, Ch K-Run’s Park Me In First. Indeed the two winners share a co-owner in Eddie Dziuk who previously campaigned the fabulous little bitch Ch Lanbur’s Miss Fleetwood, an ancestor of both of them.
To find a British-bred ancestor you have to go back seven generations, through the Australian lines which are behind Miss P’s grandmother who comes from the Manahound kennel, which moved from Australia to the US. Eventually you come to Aus/NZ Ch Annasline Fanfare, bred in 1969 in the US by Judith Ireland and who went first to Mollie Grocott of the Moerangi Griffons and Cavaliers in NZ and then to Danny and Vicki Scott of the Scottholme Corgis and Beagles in Australia. He was by Judith’s US import Annasline Pagemill Playboy ex Annasline Rozavel Lovely Ring, bred by Thelma Gray.
RBIS was the Skye Terrier Gr Ch Cragsmoor Good Time Charlie. Andrew Brace wrote about his background when he won the American Kennel Club/Eukanuba National Championship in December. He’s sired by the famous Finnish-bred Ch Finnsky Oliver, born in 1989, and on that side you have to go back another four generations to a British dog, Ch Rhosneigr Silver Flash.
His dam is by another Finnish dog, this time from the Skyeline kennel, and this dog is a grandson of UK-bred Ch Mariquita Flashexclusive. The dam’s dam is by Oliver again, as is her dam. The female line, as you would expect from the ‘Good’-related names used by Cragsmoor’s Matthew Stander and Eugene Zaphiris, goes back to Walter and Adele Goodman’s legendary Glamoor dogs, including the only Skye to win the Garden, Ch Glamoor Good News.
I was interested to see in Andrew’s article that Charlie’s dam had been inseminated with semen from two dogs, Oliver and his son, with the majority of the pups being by the older dog.
Of the other group winners, the Portuguese Water Dog is by a son of Ch Cartmel Sea Master, bred by Pat Jones, and also goes back to Cartmel Two If By Sea.
I don’t think there is any UK breeding in recent generations behind the Old English Sheepdog, nor hardly surprisingly the English Springer.
The Standard Poodle combines North American and European line and the closest UK-bred dog is Am Ch Torpaz How About That in the fifth generation along with imports to the UK Del Zarzoso Made In England by Namkia and Ch Racketeer’s Exquisit Sinner at Vanitonia.
I don’t have a full pedigree of the Shih Tzu but suspect this is a breed where in recent times North American dogs have had much more influence in Britain than vice versa. Some of the media seemed more interested in the fact that his co-owner is Patricia Hearst Shaw who is nowadays a keen supporter of the dog show world, particularly French Bulldogs.