The Dogs Who Shaped Our Breed
by Ken Linacre
This article is a review of the role which the more important stud dogs have played in shaping the breed in the U.K. It does not deal with the equally important role of the major studs in other countries in the development of their Cardigans and makes no apologies for that.
Stud dogs might be classified into three groups. Some sire a population of good typical stock to a wide range of bitches; others found or continue dynasties; the great stud dogs do both. However, we must recognize one factor in a history such as this. For the stud dog "nothing succeeds like success." A good winning dog is used by a few breeders; he produces some good pups and becomes popular. He probably wins the stud dog trophy - his stock is good of course, but he is getting the majority of the work, too. After a while one becomes aware that most of the stock about is by the one dog and other good dogs have been neglected. This pattern is particularly true where the breed is small in number and the distances to travel to use a dog are, at least by American standards, not great. This is not a criticism of the dogs or the system, it is a fact of life and has helped to shape our history.
A good place to start any story is the beginning. The breed was essentially founded by Bob Llwyd, a small red dog born in 1917 who lived to be 17 - the breed owes much of its hardiness to him. He had four important sons. Ch. Golden Arrow was our first champion, but had little influence at stud. The litter brothers, Ch. Brenig Brilliant and Y Brython produced good stock for Griff Owen and Miss Wylie's Gleers respectively. But looking back, I would consider Tit o'r Bryn to be his most important son; his direct line descendants include the Bussletons, Ch. Pantyblaidd Pip (by a long route) while his daughters included Ch. Red Light, the important broods Bussleton Cariad and Yngharad and Mari Lwyd Lawen was his granddaughter.
The Bussletons were an important stud force in the thirties through four full brothers (all reds). Chs. Bussleton Mischief and Bussleton George were much used then, while Bussleton Chips and Bussleton Peter are important in the transition to the post-war years as we will see shortly.
We should also record the important line through Drudwyn and Dialwr, a tri-colour father and son, much used in South Wales and prominent in the pedigrees of the important brood bitches Kentwood Red Pet, Ch. Teilo Lisa and Ch. Quicksilver.
The breed was not in good state for numbers or quality as it emerged from the war years, but Ch. Withybrook Brock came to the rescue. Born in 1941 by Bussleton Chips, he was a dark brindle dog, strong in bone, low, rather compact and with a most kind expression. He sired six champions, several other challenge certificate winners and a host of good stock on which he stamped his type and substance.
First among Brock's sons we must rank Ch. Kentwood Dewin. A brilliant red of lovely outline, but larger size than his sire. He took over from him, siring seven champions here and several overseas. These include Ch. Kentwood Cymro, also out of Red Petal and by another Brock son Ch. Hannaford Budge, who in turn sired four champions here. This founded the Kentwood line which still continues through an unbroken line of champions. Dewin also sired the important stud Lisaye Raffle, out of Ch. Lisaye Rebecca of Greenfarm, daughter of Ch. Hannaford Cora, from whom the Gleghornie dogs were descended, and the Elkay line leading to Teilo Bryn.
Two other sons of Brock are also important. Withybrook Jack, a red sable and litter brother to Ch. Withybrook Jill, produced several litters out of Ch. Hannaford Cora, also by Brock, for the Greenfarm kennels. These included Ch. Lisaye Rebecca of Greenfarm, who founded the Lisayes, Ch. Pauline of Greenfarm who was a Elkay and Rozavel Goldie of Greenfarm, a red bitch who founded the Rozavels, later noted for blue merles. Ch. Withybrook Caesar, out
of Ch. Teilo Lisa, was a brindle of beautiful stature who was much used and sired many winners including four champions.
Contemporary with Kentwood Dewin was Ch. Hannaford Merich, a brindle son of Bussleton Peter. Merich sired the outcross dog Ch. Kentwood Hannaford Jose, much used in his day and the sire of notable stock, and Ch. Parmel Dambuster, the founder of the Parmel line, who in his turn sired Ch. Parmel Pilot out of an Elkay bitch.
Parmel Pilot was a very influential stud. His offspring included Chs. Parmel Stewardess and Dandini, who in turn sired Chs. Haraudon Parmel Guardsman and Parmel Gaiety Girl, Ch. Robgwen Fordwell Deborah, the founder of the Robgwens and Jezalin Fordwell Deena, the founder of the Jezalins, and the dark brindle dog Black Mawddach, founder of the Baileswood line and sire of Ch. Baileswood Gwythyr, Ch. Echium of Hezelclose and Ch. Doldrum Amanda.
Pilot's role at Parmel was taken over by Ch. Parmel Digger, by Ch. Kentwood Cymro out of a Pilot daughter, who was widely used and produced Chs. Parmel Duges and Defryn and Chs. Robgwen Welsh Minstrel, sire of Ch. Apollinaris Cenydd, and Robgwen Welsh Flame.
We should now turn to parallel activities at the Dilwel kennel which start with Teilo Bryn. A red dog and no great winner himself, he was an important sire. His daughter Ch. Dilwel Maggie was influential here and in U.S. His son Ch. Southpark Gerwyn sired four champions and several other challenge certificate winners and a host of others who bred on. Bryn's other notable son, and perhaps more important than Gerwyn, was Dilwel Gwilym. He never produced much for Dilwel, but mated to Ch. Robgwen Fordwell Deborah produced Ch. Robgwen Welsh Fire, Robgwen Solitaire who founded the Apollinaris line and the beautiful Ch. Robgwen Black Beauty. She was mated back to Gwilym and that produced Ch. Wendac Robgwen Midnight Special.
Midnight Special was a great stud force in the 70's. He sired several champions, including Ch. Deb's Delight of Grangefield (her sister Galeforce of Grangefield continued that line (Ch. Sirax Beeswax, Ch. Baileswood Blodeuwedd and others, and Ch. Wendac Legionaire, who took on the stud role siring Ch. Doldrum Hennessy, Ch. Kerman the Sailorman and Ch. Clywedog Welsh Nancy.
Another important dog at that time was Ch. Robgwen Gregson, descended in the male line from Parmel Digger, while his tri-colour grandson Kerridas Ianto has been an important stud for the blue merle bitch lines siring Ch. Beckrow Blue Cedar, Ch. Bymil Silver Lining and Ch. Bymil Bluebell of Gorthleck. Ch. Beckrow Bandelero and Lees Black Heckle of Gorthleck have also been important for the blue lines which appear to be carried in the main through the bitches.
A major and important dynasty is that founded on Ch. Pantyblaidd Pip: he sired stock of nice quality, but few in number until producing Ch. Joseter Mudwin. He sired Ch. Baileswood Geraint, Ch. Downholme Silver Sand of Joseter and Ch. Pharoah of Joseter, together with several champion daughters. Pharoah sired Chs. Wendac Javelin and Jaunty and Ch. Jubilee Joseph amongst others. Joseph sired Ch. Joseter Joson.
As the breed
continues, it appears to me that the blood lines get more involved and complex. That
could, of course, be largely a matter of not seeing the wood for the trees: when you look
at the breed today, you do not have the advantage of perspective and the main lines have
perhaps not emerged. In writing an article of this kind, I will inevitably have omitted to
mention some dogs of importance. To their owners and breeders, I apologize, I imply no
criticism of their beauty, contribution or worth to the breed. But I have, I hope, covered
the main lines of its development over now nearly 70 years.