The number one site for the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel breed in the UK.
We are extremely grateful to Norma Inglis from the UK who has written about :"THE SIGNIFICANT OTHERS"
This article poses the question "Which dogs and bitches in all of the four colours have made significant improvements to the breed in the United Kingdom in the last quarter of a Century, since that historic day in 1973 when Ch.Alansmere Aquarius won Best In Show at Crufts?" Here are my selection and views on the dogs and bitches I feel deserve highlighting because of their contribution.
When reflecting on the male dogs that have contributed to the good of the breed, it is not too difficult to pinpoint those who have consistently produced winning children. With bitches it is a much narrower field. They are limited to producing perhaps a handful of litters in their lifetimes and cannot vie on equal terms with the popular stud dog capable of siring more litters than that in one year alone. Unfortunately being a winner in the ring does not necessarily go hand in hand with being an outstanding producer. Oh, were it that easy. Sometimes it is the typy, but less flashy "stay at homes" who come up with the goods time and time again. Not destined perhaps to grace the show ring or to bear a Champion's title but still qualified for recognition by virtue of what they have "given" to the breed.
There are numerous Blenheim males whose excellence has lived on through their descendants and it would be impossible to name them all. For me the crème de la crème in Blenheims are: -
CH. HOMARANNE CAPTION During his time in the ring he was awarded 13 Challenge Certificates. Acknowledged by both breed specialists and all rounders. He sired 16 champion children and 21 CC winners. His children won 67 CCs. He held the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club's Stud Dog trophy for 7 years from 1980 to 1986. Quite an achievement. Anyone who had the good fortune to see "Caper" in the ring could not fail to be impressed by the sheer presence of the dog. He was majestic, full of class and refinement with a devilish sense of fun. He typified the Homerbrent look that many wanted to emulate. He was small, well boned, excelled in outline, very sporting in nature with a dreamy head. Soft, gentle, all male.
What was even more important was his ability to pass on these virtues to his progeny. He had so much to give to his children who were recognised and acclaimed by judges. It is also now becoming evident how longevity and healthy hearts are associated with his lines. Caption himself lived until the ripe old age of 15 and one of his sons, our own Ch. Craigowl Hopscotch of Homerbrent will be 16 this year. His heart is still clear of MVD and there were many other "Caper" offspring who lived long and trouble free lives. He was a once in a lifetime type of dog. One of the few who are bestowed the gift of being champion calibre as well as an exceptional stud dog. He was a wonderful representative of our breed.
A gentleman in the true sense of the word. It was a privilege to have been around when he was in his heyday and I doubt whether we will ever see the likes of him again. It must have brought a tear to many when he died in 1991. In my opinion the passing of the most influential and charismatic Cavaliers of all time. The end of an era.
More recently we have witnessed CH. ALBERTO OF KINDRUM making his mark and through his grandchildren CH. LYMREY ROYAL SCANDAL AT RICKSBURY and his litter brother the record holding CH. LYMREY ROYAL REFLECTION OF RICKSBURY the stamp of quality is being carried on. Mention must also be made of CH. MAREVE INDIANA, NEVHILLS NASHVILLE and CH. TORAYLAC JOSHUA, stud dogs extraordinaire who have all played their part and their children are the living proof of their contribution.
CH. HOMARANNE ANDY CAPP "Andy" was older brother to Caption, sharing the same mother Ch. Homerbrent Captivation, and inherited many matching qualities. A stylish dog with immediate impact. He was what is known as a "dominant" Tricolour stud dog, as he only carried the black colour gene. This was misinterpreted sometimes as meaning he only produced Tricolour puppies. True, if you took a Blenheim /Tricolour bitch to him for mating it was guaranteed 100% that your puppies would all be Tricolours. But if you mated him to a wholecolour (Black/Tan or Ruby), as well as your Tricolour puppies you could get Black/Tans. His genetic makeup made it impossible for him to produce Blenheims or Rubies. Here then was a dog not only able to stamp his excellence on his children but also his colour. He sired 4 Tricolour champions and 9 CC winners. A very significant dog who added strength to the Tricolours.
Although not a dominant Tricolour, CH. SALADOR CELTIC PRINCE also made his name and deserves a mention. He gained his title in 1982 at the tender age of 1 year and 16 days and became the youngest Champion. A perfectly marked Tricolour with lovely flowing lines. His outline was stunning and he drew attention and lots of admiration. His champion children amounted to 5.
A prime example of a top stud dog who was never campaigned yet had the ability to produce winner after winner was HOMERBRENT JEREMY AT COTTISMEER. A heavily marked Tricolour with an impressive head. His most famous son was without question the Blenheim, Ch. Spring Tide at Alansmere, who was the previous holder of the Breed record for the number of CCs won, until it was topped by Reflection in 1996. Jeremy was top Stud Dog for two years 1992 and 1993. No mean feat for a dog with no show career.
It started in 1974. A Black/Tan dog was born who was to set the scene for the wholecolours and take them to heights they had rarely achieved until then. That dog was CH. CADEYRN BLACK TULIP. No longer would they be in the shadow of their "better half" the particolours. Here was a Black/Tan dog who could enter the ring, turn heads and compete on equal terms with the outstanding Blenheims & Tricolours who up until that time had things mostly there own way and were far superior in quality. Of course there were exceptions and one of my all time favourites was Ch. Millstone Beechking Tansy. A lovely Black/Tan bitch of such correctness that her colour was immaterial. But Black Tulip was the catalyst and he opened the door and let people see that it was possible for this colour to make good. A small dog with substance and ideal body proportions. It. was a treat to see him in action. Such pride, he looked good and he knew it. He swept around the ring as if he was the only one that mattered. Most importantly he had class and the judges realised his value and acknowledged him.
Although he only produced one champion daughter, it was one of his sons born in 1976, the legendary SALADOR CHARLOCK, who possessed the ability to pass on the family traits. Top-notch wholecolours began to appear with amazing regularity. Such was his talent as a stud dog. The floodgates had opened and Charlock children hit the high spots. Amongst them Ch. Salador Coppergleam, Ch. Chamanic Finistere, Ch. Fontelania Burnt Toast, Ch.Rheinvelt Ringold Von Salador. It almost seemed as if they had been lining up waiting for this time to arrive. Including the champions, he sired 8 CC winners who amassed between them 24 CCs. Even today his 2 champion sons share the record for the number of CCs won by a Black/Tan dog while Finistere holds the record in bitches. The foundations laid down by Charlock and his father Black Tulip were cemented by their progeny and provided a strong platform that hopefully will withstand the test of time.
Another branch of the same family tree produced the celebrated CH. KNIGHT MAGIC AT HARANA, born in 1985. Again descended from Black Tulip, his contribution to the good of the wholecolours was enormous. Four champion children resulted from a few of his liaisons, Ch Saleres Little Richard, Ch. Downsbank Roger From Harana, Ch. Downsbank Red Ranger At Bardenji and Ch.Johnasta Rudolf plus 2 additional CC winners and a host of other successes. The year 1989 belonged to Knight Magic progeny. They were a force to be reckoned with and their wins enabled him to win the Cavalier Stud Dog Trophy in 1989 beating his nearest rival by over 300 points. Not bad for a part of the Cavalier family considered at one point second rate citizens. Sadly his life was cut short in 1991 when he was tragically killed in a road accident at the age of 6. Who knows what else he could have gone onto achieve. His legacy was his children and through them the betterment of the wholecolours. He played an important part and his value can never be disregarded.
The most consistent producer of quality Rubies in recent years has to be SORATA LLEWELLYN. A gentle faced dog with lovely large eyes and lots of style. He sired 3 champions, all Rubies, Ch. Sorata Dunross, Ch. Sorata Fissical and the top Ruby bitch of all time winning 9 CCs, Ch. Chamanic Lucasta plus Sorata Isodora (litter sister to Fissical) and Sorata Raffles (repeat mating) who just missed out on their titles. Although Raffles, who lived in Ireland, became an Irish Champion. Showing that breeding counts, Llewellyn's brother Lawrence produced Sorata Linda who in turn produced the famous Ch. Knight Magic at Harana. Behind the majority of the elite Rubies of today lies a Sorata. An affix synonymous with top rate wholecolours. Rubies have always had a smaller piece of the cake. In the 50-year period 1946-1996 there were only 25 Rubies made up, compared to 306 Blenheims, 104 Tricolours and 28 Black/tans. With winning Rubies being numerically smaller than the other colours, it says much for the calibre of "Llewellyn" to have produced 3 champion children, of such outstanding merit, to 3 different bitches.
There have been 169 Blenheim bitch Champions made up between 1946 and the writing of this article. By the time this gets into print there will probably be more. There are many deserving of a mention but I have confined it to the exceptional and what they have achieved.
CH. LYMREY TOP OF THE POPS. Winner of 20 CCs, the record for a bitch. Mother of Ch. Lymrey Royal Reflection of Ricksbury who won 32 CCs making him the current breed record holder. Mother of Ch. Lymrey Royal Scandal at Ricksbury top stud dog for the year 1997. Twice she was Best Bitch at the CKCSC championship show. Twice she won the Bitch CC at Crufts. Even as a Veteran she continued to make appearances and at 9 years of age still managed to beat off the competition to win a Reserve CC. Born in 1988, and in between accumulating all those wins she managed to take time out of the ring to have her family. She had the celebrated Reflection and Scandal plus a younger daughter, Ch. Lymrey Love Story. There really is not a lot to say about a bitch with this track record. Her record speaks for itself. You can only be impressed.
SALADOR COUNTRY GIRL was mated to Ronnoc True Luck who by then was 12 years old. . Whereas most people would be happy with one winner in the litter, this mating delivered a record three! Country Girl had Champions Salador Connors, Colleen and Corrigan. The line carried on successfully with Colleen and Corrigan both having champion children and the Salador success is still continuing.
CH. HOMERBRENT SAMANTHA. Homerbrent Samson, Homerbrent Bewitched and Homerbrent Romeo. All Samantha children, all champions, all had different fathers. While that may be frowned upon in human society in the world of dogs it is considered a great achievement and is applauded. Again the baton was passed and behind many of today's winners lies one of these famous Blenheims. Samantha proved just how capable she was and her input to the Homerbrent fame was considerable.
BEMBRIDGE SMOOTH 'N' SHARP TO RICKSBURY had the 'Midas Touch' with everything she touched seemingly turning to gold! She mothered in one litter Champions Ricksbury Royal Emblem, Ricksbury Camilla and Ricksbury Royal Mistic. In another litter she produced Champions Ricksbury Royal Legend and sister Ricksbury Royal Temptress. It has often been said that the strength of a kennel lies in its bitches. What more proof is needed than this? A bitch worth her weight in gold.
AMANTRA BOOGIE WONDERLAND OF TELVARA was a great acquisition for Veronica Hull and the wise choice of her suitors has paid off. She was mated to Caption and the result was Telvara D'Artagnan and Boogie Woogie. When next mated, this time to Dunhelm The Admiral, the lovely Blenheim Ch.Telvara Krystal Kascade was born. The royal alliance of Krystal to Ch.Homerbrent Carnival produced Ch.Telvara Kasanova. The upward spiral continued and the champions kept coming Kasanova sired Ch Telvara Top Hat. Another productive mating saw Krystal mated to Top Hat and their son, Telvara Krysterson, is the father of the latest homebred Telvara champion, Karbon Kopy. A real family of Cavaliers bred in the purple.
HOMERBRENT HONESTY OF CRAIGOWL. I include our own foundation bitch here. Her value was immeasurable and we at Craigowl owe her such a lot. "Honey" was a Farne Silver Shadow of McGoogans daughter out of Ch. Heidi of Homerbrent. She was very pretty, lightly marked with excellent construction. She was put to Ch. Homaranne Caption and in her first litter produced her extremely feminine and glamorous daughter who went on to become Ch. Craigowl Storm of Homerbrent. The litter contained all bitches, so she was mated again to "Caper" and this time there were 2 stunning males. Hoodwink and Hopscotch. The line was slow to mature but the quality was there and they got better with each passing year. Both were made up late in life and were 6 and 7 years old when they gained their titles. Producing three champion children in her lifetime indicates her capabilities and value. "Honey" also had another son Craigowl Hovis for Symra who won 1RCC. Hoodwink turned out to be a first rate stud dog and when he was mated to Ch.Craigowl Cashmere the result was Ch.Craigowl Replica.
A sister from that mating was taken to Ch.Salador Crismark creating Craigowl Chad who is the father of Ch.Craigowl Silkience, the Bitch CC winner at Crufts 1992, who made Craigowl champion number 6. Her son Craigowl Dixon won 1CC and 1 RCC. and he is now proving his worth as a stud dog. He has a grandson who has just started his career qualifying for Crufts with a Best Puppy in Breed to his credit so far. And so it goes on . . . . . .
Anyone who has ever bred a good Tricolour knows just how difficult it is to achieve. So when a special one comes along it is worth its weight in gold. When I think of outstanding Tricolour bitches I think of CH. HOMERBRENT CAPTIVATION. She was very special. So sweet and feminine. Small with the prettiest of heads and well constructed. Her heavy markings emphasised her splendid outline. To cap it all she showed so well. She was exquisite. Not only did she win 10 CCs (sharing the record for Tricolour bitches) but produced 2 of the most famous names in the breed, Caption and Andy Capp. So famous that they need no affix for recognition. She also produced a daughter who won 1CC, the lesser known Homaranne Decoration. I feel lucky to have seen Captivation and her offspring. They gave to the breed so much that is good and it lives on.
The hardest pick of all. Perhaps it is worth noting that the record for the most number of CCs (6) won by a Black/Tan bitch still belongs to Amanda Loo of Ttiweh who was born in 1946. Also, there have only been 2 Black/Tan bitches who have produced more than 1 champion offspring and those were both born prior to 1973. Is this the weak link in the chain?
The most important bitch of recent years in this colour would be the one that founded the Fontelania wholecolour dynasty, VOLNEY MISS MOLASSES OF FONTELANIA. From her stemmed the winning children, grandchildren and great grand children such as Ch. Fontelania Burnt Toast, Ch. Fontelania Burnt Honey, Fin. Ch. Fontelania Burnt Almond, Ch. Fontelania Dancing Brave, Ch. Fontelania Dancing Sunset.
The Rheinvelt affix has been attached to many outstanding specimens such as Champions Ringold, Red Hot, and Raver. A very important part of their pedigree is the Black/Tan bitch SORATA LYNETTE and full credit must go to her. Similarly, STARRY TREFOIL OF CHAMANIC started Jocelyn Inman's winning run when she mothered Ch. Chamanic Finistere, the unlucky Chamanic Trafalgar and their younger brother who made a name for himself in Australia, Chamanic Centaurus.
As can be seen from the following list, it has been the Ruby bitches, more so than the Black/Tans, who have played a bigger part in strengthening the wholecolours and have produced more CC winners over this period. HARANA NUTMEG proved she was not just a pretty face but also productive. Although she won well in the show ring she was not destined to be a champion but found her forte elsewhere. The mother of the influential Ch. Harana Rockstar at Denstone, his brother Harana Charlie Parker and Harana Hanky Panky. The combination of SORATA ISABELLA and Sorata Llewellyn proved successful. It takes two to tango and Isabella must take some of the credit for Fissical, Isodora and their younger brother Raffles.
The litter that contained Llewellyn and Lawrence also contained another important member, the ruby Bitch SORATA LUCILLA owned by Mick and Lil Shinnick, who have consistently exhibited successfully with their Leelyn Cavaliers. Lucilla was the mother of Leelyn Chagarl and Leelyn Black Bruno.
CHAMANIC BELL ROCK, who is the mother of one of my favourites Ch. Chamanic Lucasta, also had Chamanic Shannon and Chamanic Rosslare who won CCs.
Likewise in each of the 3 litters HOLLY BERRY OF DOWNSBANK had by Knight Magic she produced a top winner. In the 1st was Ch. Downsbank Roger from Harana. In the 2ndwas Ch. Downsbank Red Ranger at Bardenji and in the 3rd. was Downsbank Greco who won 1CC and 1 RCC.
Going back further, although I never saw her LAUGHERNBROOK APRIL LOVE made a name for herself on the two occasions she was mated to Rhosnesney Prince Ivan of Rhybank. (A dog who probably deserves more credit than he is given for the part he played in the development of the wholecolours.) The combination of April Love and Ivan produced two Black/Tans, Ch. Niccoli of Rhybank and more importantly, the illustrious Ch. Caderyn Black Tulip who fired the imagination and formed the link that took the wholecolours to a new dimension.
Due to the fewer number of Rubies being shown, only a small percentage of the CCs on offer goes to Ruby bitches. Just 13 were made up to champion in the period 1946 to 1998. So it is significant to the breed when Ruby bitches such as those above come along and show themselves capable of producing high quality puppies, especially to different partners.
Hopefully the trend will continue and the producers of the present day winners will be hailed in years to come as Cavalier VIPs.
So there you have it, my personal choices. A quarter of a Century. Have I really been around that long?
CRAIGOWL CAVALIERS January 2000
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