Current Stud Dogs
by Jon Kimes
In 1992, Patrick Ormos asked me to write an article for this handbook on some of the more current stud dogs which I feel have had a particularly strong influence on the breed in this country. Quite naturally, cognizant of my predilection for pontificating, I have obliged. The listed studs are the dogs who, in my opinion, have had a definite impact on the breed.
Ch. I Am Chandler's Moses, CD - Probably the earliest Cardigan I knew personally was born when I was two years old. She was a tri color by the name of Shady Lady and she was the first Cardigan owned by Norma Chandler. "Blackie" was a well boned and handsome bitch with very little white, but well made. She was nicely angulated and well let down in hock all translating into sound movement. Her two main shortcomings were a somewhat wavy coat and her length of body was a bit short of ideal. She was of old American bloodlines. "Blackie" was bred to a local dog, Sir Oliver MacDuff, a red fellow who was the litter brother of Ch. Iccy Dda of Brymore (both of whom were, in fact, bred by Dr. Stacey here in Kansas City sired by Ch. Parmel Bryn. As one of his sons told me years ago, "Their mother was the first 'person' in our family to fly on an air-plane!".) From this litter came a handsome, showy, well marked tri color, Ch. Shady Miss.
"Beauty" was a very good brood bitch, producing the '73 CWCCA BOW in Ch. Brymore Glenjoy Blue Crystal, who's sister, Patches, is behind all the Aragorn and Glenjoy blues. "Beauty" was put to two different English imports. Initially, she was bred to the long bodied, mahogany colored Ch. Tango of Bablake, a dog of elegance and deep, but rather narrow, ribbing who was eventually owned by Brymore, and the litter produced Pam Lowell's
very sound Ch. Tango's Cariadus Gwilym, CD. "Beauty" was subsequently bred to a pretty little brindle, Ch. Dilwel Gwersyll, and she produced a wonderful bitch, Chace's Welsh Raven who was beautifully made and very sound, but rather shy in the ring. Norma Chandler decided to double up on "Beauty" by breeding Welsh Raven to Cariadus Gwilym and the litter produced Ch. I Am Chandler's Moses, CD.
Moses was always the standout of his litter, his length and depth of chest were remarkable. His strengths were his exceptionally lovely, kind eye; good head proportions; lovely reach of neck; long level topline; excellent tail carriage; beautiful front and good bone and substance. His loin was a little long, his hocks were not as well let down as they could have been and I would have preferred a slightly smaller head in proportion to his body. He had a wonderful coat and I believe he never threw a fluffy. In movement, he came well, sidegaited adequately, but possessed a rather shifting rear movement. The biggest problems in his get were the occasional wrong bite, producing too much loin, and although he was full of quality himself, he did not produce the strength of virtue which might have been expected from a dog with his tight pedigree, consequently, his greatest impact has been down through the second or third generation. Moses' get are easily recognized for their long, low, level silhouettes. The modern kennels who most clearly represent his contributions are Davenitch, Zircon, and of course, Chandler.
Ch. Brymore's Taliesin - The Pantyblaidd line in Wales had a very distinctive look with excellent head to body proportions (many contemporary Cardigans ran rather heavy in head,) very deep briskets and good shoulder layback culminating in unmistakable sweep and style. The coloring was often a telltale sign with the black masking, freckling and vivid brindling
very typical of this kennel. The most notable shortcomings were ring shyness and poor movement.
The Brymore Kennel imported two Pantyblaidds around '69 or '70 in Ch. Pantyblaidd Piper and Ch. Pantyblaidd Beat. Both were typically elegant creatures with Piper being a bit narrower in head and closer in ear set. Bred together several times their most notable progeny was Taliesin. Taliesin was a tremendous step forward in breed type, leaving the field well behind. He was deep and long, very elegant and very typey at a time when "type" was almost nonexistent in the American ring: his movement was not particularly virtuous but he moved true enough to win in the all-breed ring. His temperament was not especially outgoing, but again, with socialization he made into a good show dog. Unfortunately, and for reasons I will never understand, he went almost unused and were it not for the efforts of the Harrisons (Winstonwil) late in his life, he would have gone by leaving hardly a pawprint. Taliesin was very prepotent and this genetic strength was further intensified by subsequent tight breedings on him. Although not noted as a great sire himself, he was definitely a great grandsire. Had he been given the quality of bitches which were produced from his daughter, Petunia, he would, I have no doubt, have had a tremendous stud career. Genetically, Taliesin produced his virtues as well as his shortcomings - restricted movement, soft toplines, loaded shoulders, and low thyroid were occasionally expressed in his get or grand get. Lest we not criticize him too harshly, I doubt there is a stud dog anywhere on whom one could inbreed on so tightly for generations and have greater genetic integrity. Since I have a great deal of his inbred blood in my bloodlines, I can attest to the rarity of mismarks, monorchids, fluffies, bad bites, soft ears, cow hocks or fiddle front from his breeding. He is THE source of outline and true breed-type features.
Ch. Talbots Pilot Programme - In England during the '60's, the most notable dogs in the ring were the CC record holder, Eng. Ch. Parmel Digger and the lovely brindle pointed Eng. Ch. Robgwen Black Beauty. Digger was the son of the big winner Eng. Ch. Kentwood Cymro, and his extreme length, beautiful low silhouette and really sound movement made him a standout. Digger was very generously marked with white, he occasionally threw a somewhat wire coat, and his topline and tail carriage on the move were not his virtues. Black Beauty and her sister, Eng. Ch. Robgwen Welsh Fire, were exceptionally typey and were sired by the leading stud dog, Dilwel Gwilym, who probably would have made his title had his one foot not turned so dramatically. The skeleton of Gwilym has been seen by many fanciers as Ken Linacre's visual display.
When Gwen Roberts judged in the U.S. she was struck by the beauty of the Winsdown blues which were winning well in the rings and imported to England the blue dog, Am. and Eng. Ch. Winsdown Blue Disk of Robgwen. The Winsdowns were based on the blue dog, Winsdown Brymore Carbon Blue, who was mainly of Kentwood breeding, and who didn't compete in the ring due to his long coat. The Carbon Blue get were especiallynoted for their heavy round bone combined with beautifully refined headpieces and clear coloring, if not particularly strong in the movement department.
From these sources then, the parents of Pilot Programme were bred, his dam, Ch. Robgwen Destiny, a daughter of Black Beauty by Digger and his sire, Ch. Robgwen Nice Fella, sired by Blue Disk out of a Digger-Welsh Fire daughter. Pilot Programme was notable for his size and bone, had a striking outline and a lovely topline. His head was well proportioned, if a bit large, and although his sidegait was particularly virtuous and unusual among his contemporaries, his front movement was not his strength. By and large, his most successful efforts have been from combinations with bitches stemming from the Pantyblaidd bloodlines. It is the combination of his clean lines, solid topline, good temperament, bone, substance and outreaching sidegait and the more intricately detailed Pantyblaidd line with better shoulder angle, more depth of brisket, together with a smaller headpiece which has made such a big impact on the breed. It is very unfortunate his son, Ch. Pendragon Lineleader, was unsuccessful at stud as I am sure he would have been a powerful influence, but as it was, his son, Ch. Kennebec Ice Anchor, has assured the influence of Pilot Programme in modern Cardigans.
Ch. Salvenik Sea Treasure - A rich red sable imported from England (who was never used at stud in his home country) this dog combines the long established Kentwood line and the Pantyblaidd derived Joseter breeding. I saw him shortly after his arrival, he was a handsome, if rather unremarkable dog, very typical in head, adequate in bone, possessing a wonderful topline, but just enough body length, not particularly well angulated (although well let down in hock) and he moved truly, although not particularly extending or ground covering. It has been somewhat of a puzzle then that he has typically thrown dogs of less than outstanding head type, often tending toward short body length and high tail sets but with the most powerful, reaching gait we have seen in the ring. As typical in dog breeding, and that which makes it such a challenging and often frustrating exercise, his most typical and beautiful get generally do not possess the outstanding movement, and often suffer a straight upper arm. It will be up to the talents of today's breeders to capture and retain the strong movement which has come from this dog and combine it with the correct type. Two of his most prominent sons are the well known brindle, Ch. Phi-Vestavia Nautilus, in this author's opinion probably the best moving Cardigan in the ring, but who suffers in head quality, and the rich red, Ch. Davenitch Sand Piper, a beautiful dog with a generous coat who possesses an unfortunate front. Both of these dogs have been successful in producing good stock and I am sure will make major contributions in the forward progression of the breed.
Ch. Kennebec Ice Anchor - This dog has made a phenomenal impact on the breed over the years and yet I feel strongly were it not for the Pantyblaidd lines he was often combined with he might have come and gone unnoticed. He does in fact trace back to Pantyblaidd breeding himself through bottom maternal line. His sire is the famous Pilot Programme and Ice Anchor was a member of the first purebred dog litter conceived from the intra-national shipment of semen - from California to Maine!
His strengths were a fairly free movement, strong topline when standing and moving, excellent bone and substance and a delightful, outgoing personality. His head was well shaped and exquisitely finished off in the muzzle, but too broad in the zygomatic arch and a little small and light in eye. Many of his best get were a departure from him, often being altogether more elegant and reachy. I feel there is an important lesson to be learned that how a dog appears and what they can produce are not always the same - definitely a double edged sword. Although I rarely credit Ice Anchor for possessing elegance, it is uncanny to see him in a lineup with his progeny such as Davenitch Shiloh Luca and Zircon's Bobby Socks - the similarity between the two get - although out of only distantly related dams -is amazing.
Typically, his best get possess good toplines, nice low silhouettes, well shaped headpieces and improved movement over their contemporaries. The most unfortunate fault he often threw was a wide front, undoubtedly inherited from the paternal side of the family, and several otherwise very nice youngsters were passed over because of this fault. Although by today's standards his movement would be considered moderate at best, it is a measure of his influence that he would be so criticized. At a time when coming and going were basically the only virtues in the so called "good movers" of the day (with, admittedly, a few exceptions) Ice Anchor brought to his get a much freer, longer stride and sounder type of movement which has probably been a key factor in their success in the group ring. This movement was undoubtedly due to his sire's influence and is a lasting legacy it breed improvement. Another positive stamp Ice Anchor brought into the breed was "quality" - his better puppies often stood away from their competition by mere smoothness of outline, roundness of bone and all over finish and style.
Eng. Ch. Joseter Joson - Although a tremendous winner in England for a complete decade, his lack of use by the English breeders indicated to me a possible reason for his non-use - a reason I felt would come clear to me in his first American bred litters. What I came to quickly realize in viewing his first crop of get was his extraordinary ability to protrude what I call "scope." Scope is reach, upstandingness, a dog who stands over a fair amount of ground, with a tendency towards extremeness in reach of neck and generous angulation. Quite simply put, I can only feel the lack of his use in his home country was due to reasons quite apart from his producing ability, and it has proven an extraordinary loss of opportunity for the British breeders.
Given a second opportunity here in America, at the advanced age of 10 when he was brought over after yet another successful win at Crufts, his very enthusiastic owners have wasted no time in providing him a constant stream of high quality bitches and I feel very strongly he has produced, in a very short span of time, a remarkable lineup of get. Possessing excellent shoulders, a long neck, great length of body, and long thighs he has combined with his more classically outlined wives produced get not only well endowed with his virtues, but with good headpieces, deep briskets, lovely bone, dense coats, good movement, quality and wonderful temperaments. In fact, his son, Ch. Phi-Vestavia Evan Evans, is not only an excellent specimen who I am convinced is destined to be a great sire, but possesses absolutely the very best temperament I have ever seen in the breed - a remarkable and coveted combination!
In closing, I can only say the future of the breed in this country looks very bright indeed. The quality and improvement of this breed in the last 15 years has been extraordinary by any standards. I feel with a very few years, this breed will achieve and possibly overcome the ring accomplishments of some of the better known breeds. We will all remember this time as a period of great improvement, achievement and discovery. And while we all look forward to tomorrow with upwardly cast eyes, it is today, and yesterday, which will remain in our hearts and minds as the good old days.