Blue-grey Pembrokes from the 1930s

Good to hear of support for the open shows and successes for the youngsters – Tracy and Kath Irving’s Twinan Shake The Tree was BP and BOB and went on to win both groups at Coalville under Angie Allan, and ended up RBPIS from Hazel Fitzgibbon. She also took PG4 at Lichfield under Irene Green, having been BOB under Sally Duffin. Meanwhile Barry and Sue Coulson, Elisabeth Camboni and Katell Malagré’s Oye-Dragoon-Willow des Contamines at Woodhenge was BOB and BP from 16 entries at Cardiff under Margaret Hoggarth, taking fourth place in both groups. Pembrokes got a mention in that rather frustrating programme on ‘Britain’s Top Dogs 2019’ ending up in 28th place. Apparently this is calculated through a survey of the public but quite how I’m not sure. Neither Pem nor Cardi was covered in detail but we did learn that Cardis have longer tails than the Pems! Well, sometimes…. The programme was a strange mixture of heartwarming stories about the good dogs do and items which almost seemed designed to irritate serious dog people. It did make me wonder to what extent it is sensible to ‘promote’ the breed to the general public, especially with the animated film ‘The Queen’s Corgi’ due out soon. It’s all very well increasing the demand for Pembroke but without a corresponding increase in the number of serious breeders, where are they going to get them from? I recently spent a few hours going through the early registration cards for Pembrokes, preserved on microfiche in the Kennel Club library. I found various interesting snippets, not least that ‘blueys’ go back a long way. If you haven’t come across these, there are not to be confused with the blue merles seen in Cardigans, but have to a greater or lesser degree a grey-blue tint to the coat. In 1932 the most prominent English breeder, Thelma Gray, bred two ‘blue grey and white’ puppies, Rozavel Blue Boy and Rozavel Blue Stocking, in a litter by Rozavel Jack The Ripper (black and tan) ex Crymmych Brilliant (red). There were other Rozavel ‘blues’ too. Another fascinating aspect was that the cards were marked with the letter P. I assume this dates from the period when the two breeds were separated and I think Mrs Gray went through all the registrations trying to sort out which were which. In most cases it was clear cut but obviously in some examples there was doubt with several crossings out of the letters C and P before P was decided upon. These were normally dogs of mixed heritage – some dogs with a known Cardi parentage can still be found way back in Pem pedigrees and some vice versa (including a Cardi champion who was by a Pem champion ex the daughter of another!). So sorry to hear that Margaret Riley’s daughter, who lived in the Netherlands, had died suddenly. Our thoughts are with Margaret and family. The League’s Scottish Section open show is on Sunday June 16 in conjunction with Border Union ch show, so double the incentive to make the trip to this lovely part of the country. Details on Fosse. John Ritchie (Dykebar Border Collies, Pulis and Akitas) is judging at Belfast this year and Barry Coulson (Woodhenge) at W/P Breeds of Scotland. In 2020 John Carter (Montzella GSD and Shih Tzu) will be awarding CCs for the first time in Pems at Bournemouth. SIMON PARSONS

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