In the beginning there was......
Champion Royal Pal of Catcombe - (Honey)
11 Challenge Certificates, 3 Reserve Challenge Certificates, 6 Best of Breeds and a Championship Show Gundog Group
The foundation of our kennel today was established in 1968 by the innocent act of buying a puppy as a pet for the family. We had no aspirations of breeding, exhibiting or anything else in fact!
We (inadvisedly) bought our Honey from a multibreed puppy dealer who sold her to us for £18 as she was ‘not of show quality’. We loved her though, whatever her supposed faults were. We could find none – she was quite perfect.
Honey went almost everyday of her life with David to College where
she was a firm favourite with the students and children. She swam endlessly in the lake following the
boats around and built up a whole army of friends for ‘walkies’.
We mated her to Pennard Golden Brumas in 1971. We kept a daughter – Amber. We were persuaded by Mrs Thompson to show Honey……6 weeks in whelp, untrimmed and with no ring training (either of us) Honey won a fistful of 1st. prizes under Mrs Ferelith Hamilton, the revered all-rounder, at a large Exemption Show in Gloucester.
Honey never looked back! She won her first Challenge Certificate in 1974 aged 6 ½ years. She won 6 CC’s in 1975 making her the top winning Golden of the year. She finished her show career in 1977 with the big three – CC at Crufts, CC and Best in Show at the Golden Retriever Club of Scotland and CC at the Golden Retriever Club Show. She was 9 ½ years old at the time!
Honey only ever had one other litter – to Raynsgold Rainaway, and we kept three of the 5 puppies. Of these three, only Cherubin was ever bred from. Honey’s two daughters Amber and Cherubin had a few litters each. Her other daughter Catcombe Crystal belonged to my parents, was shown rarely and won 1 C.C.
Amber’s first litter to Show Champion Brackengold Max produced Champion Catcombe Charm and Catcombe Cherish.
Charm became a Champion at an early age and also worked for 9 seasons
picking up at Bowood Estate with Stella Gray. She only ever produced one litter
of puppies quite by ‘accident’ as she conceived at 26 days into her season.
Thinking we would keep something from her at another time, where the sire was
of our choice (!), we never kept any of those. (Although we tried many times,
sadly Charm never had another litter.)
Honey (Ch Royal Pal of Catcombe) was our foundation bitch. Her lines go back to Lucille Sawtell’s Ringmaster of Yeo – who sired 6 English Champions and before that to Lucille’s own foundation stock.
Sadly Honey died in 1978 at ten years old from a tumour on the lung. She left us bereft.
For a few years our show lines were kept going while we concentrated more on the working side.
Some of the dogs during those years are pictured below:
And then in 2003 a new star was born, and a year later this was followed by the emergence of his off spring. They were to become a significant influence on our breeding plans up to the present day.
Crufts 2007 Corblimey won the Dog Challenge Certificate and won it again in 2008, this time going on to take Best of Breed.
There are three videos from 2008 of Crufts with dog judge Mrs Pauline Bevis and Mrs Ann Falconer - bitches
Corblimey was a wondeful picking up dog and worked all his life with the rest of my team, three days a week on a local shoot. He was a steady and sensible worker with an excellent nose and natural gamefining ability.
Doodle in the shooting field proved to be worth his weight in gold. He was reliable, free ranging and missed very little and had natural working ability in abundance.
Doodle, like Corblimey his father, picked up on a local shoot all this life.
Shows were his fun days put. Picking up was what he lived for and where he excelled. A true dual purpose dog and such a joy to live with.
3 Reserve Challenge Certificates.
Show Gundog Working Certificate
Hips 5:3 Elbows 0:0 Eyes clear.
Challenger was coming into his own and maturing into a lovely dog when his career was cut short by David's passing. My showing days were limited then as David had been the mainstay for dog sitting in my absences.