In 1974 at the Cudal Agricultural Show, I first saw Cardigan Corgis (owned by Paulette Hooper) and fell in love. Not knowing what breed I was looking
at, I approached Paulette and bombarded her with questions.
Later at the Orange Kennel Club Show I met the Clarks and their Wanmirri dogs
From there the love affair progressed with many trips to Sydney to attend Cardigan Club Shows and Puppy
Picnics and to play with Cardigan babies.
When, in 1976, work took me to Sydney to live, I met Mrs West of Westavon Kennels and a lovely little 3
week old brindle puppy.
She became Ch Westavon Samantha Jane CDX.
Before the year was out Mrs West allowed me to have a
2 year old red brindle dog, Wanmirri Syr Jeremy.
These two Cardis introduced me to the challenges of the
show and obedience rings.
Jerry soon became Ch Wanmirri Syr Jeremy CDX
In 1977 a group of us went to Adelaide Royal and stayed with Nanette Green. She took us to visit
Freda Hutchinson of Bellbeau Kennels.
I wandered out the back to meet her dogs, picked up a little brindle pointed tri bitch from a group of
puppies and didn’t want to put her down. Naturally she came home with me.
This puppy grew up to be Ch Bellbeau Delta Dawn CD (Sian),
the mother of Ch Cwrt y Ci Cadno CDX and Ch Cwrt y Ci Canda
and thus the foundation bitch of Cwrt y Ci Cardis
In 1982 the Clarks and I imported Rhiweli Dyma Fi (Dafydd).
He combined very well with my lines to produce lovely typy dogs, giving me Benson and Bronwyn, who with their father
will be found in the pedigrees of many Cardigans carrying the prefixes Finlai, Llandwyn, Damlen, Wanmirri, Dorwyn,
Twinbelle as well as most Cwrt y Ci and as a result in many of today’s Cardigans.
Bronwyn is the mother of my lovely Penny Marble and the grandmother of Ch Cwrt y Ci Marble Anchor, who has won
so well for the Holtkamps and who is the sire of their Marble Icon and my Tap Dog.
Despite the fact that, during the early 1980’s, it was not the ‘done thing’ to put
Cardis up in Group and definitely not a red Cardi, Benson managed his fair
share of wins. Cadno did very well at specialty shows, but was rarely considered
at All Breeds level. Thankfully, these days, it is quite a different story.
My decision to try to breed blue merles in the early 1980’s resulted in a lot of research and a lot of travelling and a lot
Bill and Cathy Johnson allowed me to use Ch Rozavel Blue Outfit (imp UK), who was 8 at the time, to Delta Dawn.
The result 1 brindle pointed tri bitch, “Abby” (Ch Cwrt y Ci Dark Secret CD).
In 1985 I found Bob Morgan and Morganess Silver Mask living in
Canberra. Silver Mask and Abby gave me brindle point tricolours
Then Lyn Harris sold me a blue merle bitch, Talstroms Bach Ffleur (imp NZ) and allowed me to lease a stunning tricolour dog, Ch Esplee Ebony
Nugget and Bach Ffleur produced blues, in particular a lovely blue bitch Just So, who was the mother of my super pair,
Michael won rather well for me, including dog challenge at Sydney Royal, during a period when blues were not really accepted by most judges. He
was competing successfully in the obedience ring when I lost him to liver cancer.
Ch Rhiwelli Dymi Fi, mated to Bach Ffleur gave me some lovely blues, including Kathy and Bill Johnson’s Ch Cwrt y Ci Hes Theone (Tom)
and his brother Ch Cwrt y Ci Born To Be (Toby), owned by Dorwyn Kennels.
Tom is partly responsible for the dam line of my Silvie (mother of Dark Shadow and Blue
Overalls), Nan Green’s Finlai Into the Blues and Cheryl Martin‘s Finlai Onto the Blues.
All this while, I was breeding and showing my brindle/red lines as well as my blues, until, a very few years ago, I was ready to give up. Chancy
health and hectic work were making life difficult. Then all within a couple of years I lost Michael, (I had bought Emily, a lovely little brindle point
tricolour bitch from Betty and Owen Clark for Michael), but before that mating could happen, Michael died of liver cancer. He was just 5 years old!!
My stunning brindle bitch “Martha” was poisoned and her daughter‘s temperament was affected by this poison.
Ju (Cadno’s son) had to be castrated as he developed a prostate tumour; a lovely red dog, the last of my red `Cadno line`, picked up a cooked
bone someone had thrown over the fence and couldn’t be saved. All my really good dogs were gone!!
Then Pat Osbourne allowed me to have Finlai Out O The Blue (Silvie).
This time I was able to mate her to Ch Cwrt y Ci Call Me Jack CDX to give me Blue Overalls and Dark Shadow.
Dorothy Hartcher allowed me to mate Emily to Gandalf, Banyan
Gandalfthegray Okekai (imp USA).
He was just out of quarantine when I saw him at the 2000 Corgi National.
So now I have Smokyjo
With some help from the Holtkamps I have Martha’s
grandson, Ch Dwyfor Tap Dog (Dusty).
Thus I have been able to start on the road to resurrecting the lovely type that I was taught to aim for; that was exemplified by many of the
Cardigans carrying the Westavon, Valjax, Cambrian, Bellbeau prefixes and many of those bred from these lines.
It is going to be a long, hard road back, but I will get there!!!
Despite these setbacks, over the years Cwrt y Ci Cardigans have enjoyed many successes, both in the obedience and the show rings.
In the early days I showed and trialled my girls as well as my boys. Very soon I decided to only trial boys as the girls have a bad habit of coming into
season just when they are ready to trial. They do their show and maternal bit, while the boys do the show and obedience bit.
I still vividly remember one day at the Illawarra trial. I had both Samantha and Jeremy with me.
Samantha passed vetting (they are given a quick health check and the bitches are checked that they are not in season), successfully competed in
her trial (it was the day she got her 3rd novice qualification) and retired to the car while Jeremy competed.
When I went back to put Jeremy in the car Samantha was bleeding. That was cutting it a bit too fine!!
Samantha gained her CDX, Sian and Abby gained their CD.
I was often told that you could not show and trial dogs at the same time; “He will sit in the breed ring” etc. Jeremy quickly taught me otherwise. The
only trouble I have ever had was when someone else handled one of my dogs and used the word ”heel” in the show ring. If they were moving
quickly, the dog would break his gait.
Jerry repeatedly took Best of Breed at a show and at least qualified, sometimes won his ring at an Obedience trial on the same day. Cadno used to
do the same and the girls gained their show titles while being trialled.
I have found Cardigans a wonderful breed to live with. They get on with the other breeds I have owned and welcome most visiting dogs.
We have had several homes in the Sydney and Orange areas, some nice, some not so nice.
Wherever we lived, my Cardis accepted their conditions and the people they had to sometimes share their home with.
If I lived there, that was OK; if I was upset, they consoled; if I was in trouble they protected.
Cwrt y Ci dogs, some puppies, some oldies and
some visitors, 1990’s - Cardigans, Lhasa
Apsos, Skye Terriers and Swedish Valhunds
|Cwrt y Ci dogs are all easy to live with.
They make visitors welcome.
They respect the babies and the oldies.
Once a difference of opinion is sorted out, it is all over & forgotten; they don't hold grudges.
Cwrt y Ci Cardis & friends in the 1980’s.
These had to be tied up to keep them still long
enough to take the photo, some are visitors.
|We now have a settled home on the Central Tablelands of NSW
Why Cwrt y Ci?
When it became time to choose a prefix, I was
reading a fantasy book set in Wales.
The hideaway of the hero (a Robin Hood type) was
called Cwrt y Cadno - The Court of the Fox;
hence Cwrt y Ci - The Court of the Dog
I have since found this
picture in a book on
Wales; its caption is
Cardigans are not the only breed to feature in my life.
I have bred and shown Skye Terriers, the only breed that has even a remote chance of matching
Cardis in my affections.
They are a fun loving, loyal breed. The lines I owned, especially the drop ears, loved people, and
were a much more laid back dog than most terrier breeds.
My last Skye spent his days supervising the Cardis and his nights guarding the chooks from the
Bred to hunt badgers from their burrows, the Skye is a long and low, very strong dog with a long,
comparatively coarse coat. His coat is not as difficult to look after as many other long coated breeds
I recently (Nov. 2004) lost my lovely blue
Australian Shepherd. to snake bite.
She came to me at 2 years of age as a
potential obedience dog; she was a
challenge, having quite a different attitude
to life from the Cardis, and a lot of fun.
I have also shown a couple of
Lhasa Apsos, a breed with an
endearing personalty all of their own.
|I enjoy these other breeds, but, for me, it will always be Cardis first
and everybody else a far second.
2008 & I once again have Skye Terriers in my life
Member of Dogs NSW
since 1976 (formally RAS
Kennel Club, then Royal
NSW Canine Council now
Dogs NSW) since 1976