XXI Century

The XXI Century

Perhaps the most memorable show feature of the early XXI C was the winding up of the Bredwardine kennels led by Messrs Richard Thomas & Peter Tugwell . No Mastiff fancier was ever more successful in the show ring , bridging three decades and exceeding a show score way over 100 cc wins not only by ownbred stock , but also purchased stock sired by own studs or simply purchased from others . The last Bredwardine bred champion was Bwclyllew b ’98 owned by Mr RH Nixon of Wadlands kennels ; ch Rhilaubekan Lancelot , strongly linebred to Bredwardine stock , was the last Mastiff who won a cc for his owners Messrs T&T  , namely at the Working & Pastoral Breeds of Scotland Nov ’07 .

About eighty Bredwardine litters were born (7 in ’94) , so it may not be a surprise to realize the substantial number of Bredwardines exported world-wide, especially since the mid-nineties and in several cases became the backbone of Mastiff breeding in countries hitherto maidenly thereto . Below , presented here as a tribute to Mssrs Thomas & Tugwell for all the hard work they did for the breed , a wonderful  piece of art made by Miss Julie Brenan on their commission .

Another point of interest was/is the growing mobilisation of the animal welfare lobbyism which came plain on surface when the BBC decided to boycot the traditional yearly Crufts coverage by means of pressure against  the wash outs of pedigreed canine breeding , in particular against the unsound , not to say perfidious , ‘caricaturizing’ of respective breeds , that far away from their original forms  , far away from the ‘form follows function’ principle , not anymore able to live & act as a normal being  and gradually ending up in a frenzied fancy fair of ‘spectular’ but doubtful doggy features , as p ex Basset chests almost reaching floor level , Dachshund bodies longer than long , Bloodhound ears longer than long incl the so sad levels of haw , Sharpei skins bearing countless folds & wrinkles  , &c .

Crufts 2012 - Quote from the Mastiff judge Mrs Sarah Windham – ‘The evening before the Working Group was due to be judged , three breeds were targeted for special attention regarding health issues by the KC representatives , ie the Mastiff , the German Shepherd & the St Bernard . As regards the Mastiff , the faults of most concern were excessive show of haw , overweight & too much wrinkle .’ Mrs Windham’ BOB of Mastiff classes became witheld from the Working Group ring based upon the directives given to the Vet as , opposite to the judge who considered her BOB as a/o ‘showing a modicum of pale , not infected in any way , haw ’, the Vet concluded that the haw of the Mastiff BOB was of a health threatening level .

The decision elicited heated & indignant reactions but , also in our breed , ‘the tone was put’ by the governing body , ie the margin regarding acceptability of any departure from the KC health directives has been taken very tightly and there certainly are people who think this kind of approach may in time ruin the 'unique individuality' of the breed whereas others may see opportunities for breeding & showing Mastiffs , not only typical but also healthy all-over .

A XXI C pedigreed story about the Mastiff Jengren Mr Milligan aka ‘Spike’ b 6th January ’99 as only pup out of Jengren  Wilma (Taboo ex ch (Meps) Dignified John' daughter Jengren Nightingale) sired by ch Jengren Pluto . 20th Nov 2000 , Mr Milligan already 22m old & having sired two litters , a letter was sent from the MA about a breach of the KC rule 42 stating there was evidence to support that Jengren Wilma was NOT the dam of Mr Milligan as Wilma was at the time in the care of Mrs Davies (but without Wilma’ papers) who confirmed by open letter that Wilma was not mated or whelped in January 1999 .

In another letter Mrs Davies stated that Mrs Green had acquired a male fawn puppy with no papers but Mrs Green registered the dam as Jengren Wilma and signed Wilma into Mrs Davies’ name on 20th January  1999 .

The full & final statement regarding the KC v MA & OEMC regarding ‘Mr Milligan and the Mastiff Dam Unknown’ situation (dd Sept ’10 more than 100 registered puppies were already going back to Jengren Mr Milligan) . The exact wording of the agreement is as follows – ‘The KC shall place a note on its data base of current registrations against the records of Jengren Mr Milligan and his progeny as follows – ‘The pedigree of this dog/bitch is subject to a query over the breeding of Jengren Mr Milligan x generations ago’.

Personal note – The KC Stud Book Z2 mentions a Jengren litter b 5th January ’99 , thus one day before the KC registered date of birth regarding Mr Milligan ; that Jengren litter b 5th Jan ’99 from Craigavon Taboo ex Jengren Seconda  (ch Jengren Pluto ex ch (Meps) Dignified John’ daughter Jengren Night Shades) contained 7 pups , a/o Mr Beau & Mr Wonderfull.  Or were it simply 8 pups including Mr Milligan? And was all the rest a mess up of things?

The photograph hereabove of Mr Lock & his Lady Lavinia b July '00 may have been taken around the time the 'Mr Milligan & Dam Unknown' saga crossed on in public (Nov '00) . Lady Lavinia was bred by Mr/Mrs John & Lyn Lock of Regallian kennels out of ch Jengren Pluto' granddaughter Ocobo Lana . About seven years later Mrs Sarah Windham gave ch Lady Lavinia her last cc , the 29th one ; till present-day she remains the breed cc record holder . Amongst her greatest wins were the Crufts cc's in '02 & '06 and the OEMC Ch show cc's in '03 , '05 & '06 .

Ch Lady Lavinia had 5 littermates , ie one male (called Milligans Pride) & four females , a/o Lady Arlene (see hereabove at older age) ; their sire Mr Milligan got at 19 months old the reserve cc at the OEMC Ch show  2000 under Mr Raymond Boatwright who awarded the male cc to Craigavon Taboo' son ch Prixcan Mordred owned by Mr/Mrs Pass of Lygonhall .

Two very important reports about the interpretation of the Mastiff standard by greatly renowned breed stalwarts , ie Mr Nick Waters  & Mr Graham Hicks ; it goes about the essence of the 'whole contour' judging  which firmly condemns the   fadding for particular points as p ex  unproportionately heavy bone , &c . Note - The whole report by Mr G Hicks  can be read at the end of the eighties page .

After visiting Ch shows &  kennels in several countries and that during  some three decades , one Mastiff comes unpersuadably to the front of all , incl the best ones of Great Britain and that is Summes Mansio Sir Boeff  b '05 , grandsired by the Dutch OEMC Ch show cc' winner '98 & prize for Best Mover in 2000 ch Mighty Molosser Big Braveheart . Sir Boeff was owned by Mr Avni Behrami & bred by the Dutch gentleman farmer Mr Bart HG Geuns of Summes Mansio Mastiffs & Pugs at Kelpen , some thirty miles away from here .  There has been no single Mastiff  (personally experienced in real time) who could equal him in overall judgment . He passed away some months ago  , not once used at stud ...

Placed within the whole historical context Sir Boeff  certainly was a worthy ambassador of the breed but even he has to bow his mighty head  in front of Victorian flyers as par example the brindle ch Peter  Piper  b 1893 , imo the best Mastiff ever bred , that based upon a substantial number of judge reports, articles published in canine papers as well as in then human interest magazines  , engravings and    photographs of which several ones not yet revealed but  (p)reserved for  'The Mastiff Revisited' .

Additional Sir Boeff pedigree notes – His sire Oastmoor Hermes was brother to Oastmoor Masquerade who, mated to ch Fearnought The Barbarian,  produced Harting Zanubia b Jan ’03 & bred by Mrs Jacqueline Anne Swift of Poole - Dorset; as a puppy exported to Mrs Elena Plotnikova of Plotnikoff kennels – Lithuania she extended a stunning show career, a/o European Winner 2005 & 2006 and World Winner 2006. Sir Boeff’ paternal grandsire Elisgrai Simba sired (out of Farnaby Peace at Last) the dark brindle ch Beezaville Coram Judice, on his turn paternal grandsire of Fragilis Firework, till present date the latest UK breed champion. His paternal great-grandsire Fin Mac Cumhal was the last Bredwardine home stud; he was brother to the dark brindle ch D- Finbar, sons of G1 ch Bredwardine Brongest (sired 14 Bredwardine litters) out of ch Darkling Paddington Bear’ sis D- Eilidh. G2 Mac Cumhal continued the paternal champion line of ch Arciniega’ Lion along his son G3 ch Bwlchlygwyn, G4 Penrichlar Phoenix and  G5 ch Rhilaubekan Lancelot.

Sir Boeff’ maternal granddam Summes Mansio Indira was a cousin to cousin breeding, back to the Merrowlea litter out of ch Brigadier of Bredwardine’ dam Merrowlea Tina sired by Chevelu Barrg, paternal grandsire of ch Burning Mountain Francis b Aug 29 ’99, bred by Ms Sybilla Nordhues and imported late ‘03/early ‘04 from Germany by T&T, had an incredible UK show campaign, ie – aside from a reserve cc under Mr Payne (cc for T&T’ ch Bredwardine Brynewydd, a Phoenix daughter), she got not less than 26 from the 32 bitch cc’s available between May ’04 – Sept ’05; afterwards Francis seemingly ‘disappeared’ from the ring. Francis’ grandsire Barrg was also brother to ch Chevelu Blodeuwedd who produced the Brongest sons ch Bredwardine Bwchllan & B- Brynhylog.

Finally, on a dramatic tune - Sir Boeff’ G4 dam Burmill Petra Delight was a daughter of Kenour Tanya , b Oct ’82 and bred by a Mrs PA Haines out of Gildasan Manawatu’ daughter Nutshell Anna sired by ch Trevabyn Black Ice’ sire Belbeck Plantation Boss. Tanya came into the hands of a Mrs JE Barnes , of 'Megalo?' repute , who seemingly also owned Grangemoor Barnabus (ch G- Zorab x Zorab’ daughter Lorna) , also being great-grandson to Dare Devil . Well sad Tanya whelped seven , yes seven litters each time sired by Barnabus in following ‘rhythm?’ 3/83 – 11/84 – 7/85 - 3/86 – 11/86 – 5/87 & 10/88 , this means five times within the next heat , the seventh time after a lapse of one and a half year , the latter containing six KC BRS registered pups ; the sum of registered pups from all seven Tanya/Barnabus litters totalling ca twenty , but maybe a number of pups were never registered .