1st March 2019 Breed Notes

Crufts is nearly here and I am sure everyone is busy preparing their four paws to be in tip top condition. Trade stands will be busy finalising last minute details for their Crufts stands. The Crufts organising team must not have enough hours in the day to complete the ‘to do’ list.

This year for Papillon breed day there is a breed specialist for our judging Mr Ted Whitehill. Travelling down from Bonnie Scotland and I am sure he will receive a warm welcome when stepping on the Crufts green carpet. Mr Whitehill has for many years played a major part of the Papillon fraternity for both exhibiting and administration. His love for Papillons is clearly evident with his wife Mary showing under the Amicae affix.

As in previous years of my breed note writing for both Dog World and Our Dogs I have requested a CV of the Crufts judge. To hear about their journey in dogs always fascinates me, to learn of the avenues taken to the acclaim and honour of judging at Crufts. What a special moment to judge your own breed at such a prestigious show. I guess Teds wife Mary will be bursting with pride as he was when Mary and their son Mark judged the breed at Crufts a few years ago.

Thank you for sending your CV in to me and I am sure folk will be delighted to have the opportunity to learn of your time in the canine world. Mr Whitehill writes:

As I was in the Army we decided that we would wait until I left before we would get a dog and so it was that in 1980 we obtained our first Papillon. The inevitable happened and we attended a couple of shows as spectators and eventually in 1981 we entered our first Open Show, Kirkcaldy and District, and low and behold we won, hooked as they say.

At that time when we entered the Championship Shows we were lucky enough to be benched beside Madelene Wheeler (Melchester Papillons) and we obtained our foundation Bitch Melchester Susannah from her and when mated to Caswell Duskie Doran she produced Amicae Little Mo who won our first CC in 1986.

Since this time we have, as a family, been fortunate enough to have either owned or bred nineteen Champions, including one international Ch and one Am GrCh, under Mary’s Affix of Amicae, Mark’s Affix Martika, Frasermar in which we had a separate interest and Ibstock, Rozamie and Daneview. Over the years we have won Top Brood Bitch, Top Dog, Top Bitch, Top Puppy on several occasions.

I joined the Committee of the Papillon (Butterfly) Dog Club Of Scotland in 1982 and have served continuously since in a variety of roles being Secretary for 22 years and currently in the position of Chair. In addition I have been the Secretary of the Breed Council for some twenty or so years.

I first awarded CC’s at Belfast and since then I have awarded CC’s nine time in total and am looking forward immensely to judging at Crufts this year, following on from Mary and Mark and wish to take this opportunity to thank those who have entered the show. I would also like to acknowledge Jessie Clark, with whom I share the Affix Baskell.

I am sure you will have a fabulous day and I look forward to hearing all the snippets from Toy day. This year we are not there on breed day but at Crufts on Friday for the Eukanuba Champion Stakes Final with Travis. This is Travis’s forth consecutive year in the finals. I am sure this must be a record in its own right. It will be a special day as this will be Travis’s retirement show. We couldn’t think of a more fitting way to finalise Travis’s illustrious career including Top Dog All Breeds 2015 in the Crufts BIS ring. Travis will love every minute. I am sure there will be a few tears but an immense feeling of pride too.

Whilst you are at Crufts pay a visit to the Our Dogs Stand as this book may interest you. The Invention of the Modern Dog: Breed and Blood in Victorian Britain by Michael Worboys (Author), Julie-Marie Strange (Author), Neil Pemberton (Author) In The Invention of the Modern Dog, Michael Worboys, Julie-Marie Strange, and Neil Pemberton explore when, where, why, and how Victorians invented the modern way of ordering and breeding dogs. Though talk of “breed” was common before this period in the context of livestock, the modern idea of a dog breed defined in terms of shape, size, coat, and color arose during the Victorian period in response to a burgeoning competitive dog show culture. 

The authors explain how breeders, exhibitors, and showmen borrowed ideas of inheritance and pure blood, as well as breeding practices of livestock, horse, poultry and other fancy breeders, and applied them to a species that was long thought about solely in terms of work and companionship.”A treasure-trove of detail, and a wonderful synthesis of information that would otherwise be buried in the rather obscure annals of the enthusiasts of dog breeding. There really is no better guide to this material. Fun as well as instructive, particularly when we learn about the history of specific breeds, this book provides a very important service to historians of animals and anyone with an interest in Victorian social and cultural history.” (Philip Howell, University of Cambridge, author of At Home and Astray: The Domestic Dog in Victorian Britain) Price £29.45.

If you can’t get to Crufts go online to http://www.ourdogs.co.uk/acatalog/Study.html to find out all the details.

Have a fabulous time whether you are exhibiting or as a spectator. Good luck to everyone whatever breed you are passionate about. Safe journey and remember a spare pair of shoes.