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Modern Kerries of the United States

 

© Edith Izant, copyright 1982

No portion of this article may be reproduced without permission of the copyright holder. Reprinted with permission from Edith Izant, copyright .

 

In the early 1920s most of the American Kerry fanciers were concentrated in the East. Exceptions were the Jacksons, Miss Weiss, William Fox, and Miss Chesborough and Miss Shannon in California, and Cy and Lucy More in New Mexico. The late 1930s marked the beginning of the time when knowledgeable fanciers could be found in all parts of the United States and Canada, building with excellent stock from earlier importers and breeders.

As Kerrys spread across the country, local Kerry clubs were founded. A club was formed in Southern California in 1946, and another was formed in the San Francisco area about 1948. Among other local clubs are the Chicago club (one of the oldest); the Empire club in New York; the Greater Pittsburgh club; the Dallas club; the Hawaiian club (which holds its Specialty every second year); the Northern Ohio club (which had its first show in 1980); and the St. Louis club (which had its first Specialty in 1981). The United States KBTC holds two Specialties every year but in different areas.

Ch. Bumble Bee of Delwin Ch. Bumble Bee of Delwin, by Ch. Ben Edar Bawcock ex Ch. Rackety Packety Kilmenskeg. Breeder: Edwin Sayres. Owner: John Mulcahy, later Joseph Urmston.
Starting in the thirties, Joseph Urmston of California owned Ch. Sweetwater Masterpiece bred by Ellis Baron of San Diego, and Masterpiece sired Ch. Alain Again. Mr. Urmston bought Ch. Ben Edar Bull and Ch. Bumble Bee of Delwin from John Mulcahy's Cnoc-Luing Kennels. Bee was Best in Show eleven times and earned The American Kennel Club award for the most Terrier Group wins in 1938. One of the all-time top Terriers, Bee died in 1949 at the age of thirteen years at the home of her last handler, Harry Sangster. At Morris & Essex in 1941, Bee took Best of Breed and Group third, Ben Edar Bull was Winners Dog and Best of Winners, and Alain Again was Winners Bitch!Mr. Urmston also bought Bee's brother, Ch. Blue Sensation of Delwin, and Bee's Cnoc-Luing championship litter sired by Ch. Princeton Hell of a Fellow. He imported Ch. Lisnalea Enchanta, and bought Topper of Belcrest, Ch. Conrad's Challenge, Ch. Erinblu's Delwin Delight and her sister Ch. Erinblu's Delwin Debutante (both Best-in-Show stars), Ch. Marberlane's Minuet, Ch. Kearnach Faltha, Ch. Ditton Prior's Carne Rhudi, and Champions Kerrypatch Dare and Dew of Dickens. He was the breeder of Ch. Alainn Again, Ch. Shamus O'Shay, Ch. Blue Crispin of Delwin, and Ch. Bluemore High Fidelity, a stud that has influenced the breed strongly.

Many of Mr. Urmston's Kerrys stayed at Mrs. Carl Johnson's Kerrypatch Kennels in the Midwest, and upon her death in 1948 more than seventy Kerrys were shipped to California in the dispersal of what was probably the last of the large Kerry kennels.

Mr. Urmston owned Ch. Deed's Show Off, bred from his stock, but sold him to Bill Fox for his show career, for Bill felt he needed more early color in his line. Show Off sired more than forty-five champions. Ch. Conrad's Challenge, bred by Marian MacClain, was one of our great show dogs, winning some twenty Best-in-Show awards with Harry Sangster handling him.

Nelle Smit of Trucote Kennels and Mr. Urmston were married eighteen months before his death. Nelle had many breeds of Terriers, and the famous Kerry sire Ch. Lisnalea Enbuska. She continued the careers of Ch. Bluemore High Fidelity and his daughter Ch. Trucote Bumblebee, Ch. Trucote Captain William, and Ch. Townshend's Flying Dutchman. The Kerrys went with her to Belgium and did much winning in Europe.

Dr. E. S. Montgomery of Monty-Ayr Kennels was given an English Kerry about 1921, but it was in the 1940s-when he was known for his kennel of sixty Bull Terriers-that he began to breed and show a few Kerrys. Blue Booties of Monty-Ayr was Best of Breed at Westminster in 1944 at fourteen months under William L. Day, went Best in Show at five Specialties, was first in the Group at Orange, and was Best in Show all breeds at Rochester. Dr. Montgomery believed in breeding sister to brother and daughter to sire. The Lloynds' Ch. Downpatrick Blue Serenade, bred to her sire, Ch. Kenmare Ace of Monty Ayr, produced the famous sire and winner Ch. Ace's Ace of Downpatrick and two other champions. Dr. Montgomery said that several of his Kerrys were capable of competing in field trials, and that one thirty-pound bitch was an excellent water retriever. Dr. Montgomery wrote two editions of The Complete Kerry Blue Terrier.

Gladys Titcomb registered her Blucote Kennels name in 1945, although she had owned Kerrys since 1936. Dabster of Delwin was her first champion. Her Ch. Hilarious of Gayterry was Best in Match five tithes, and then Pop Sayres handled her to Winners Bitch at the United States KBTC Specialty in 1944, and to Best of Breed and Group first at Onandaga. Hilarious was the dam of four champions, granddam of fifteen, great-granddam of twenty, and great-great-granddam of thirty. Her daughter International Ch. Blucote Deirdre of Ker Wel Aire went Best in Show at the Montgomery County Show and the New England KBTC Specialty.

Mrs. Titcomb imported Kenmare Winona and purchased Ch. Foxhill's Maoth, International Ch. Breeze's Blan of Homeplace, Ch. Trucote Dream Girl, Ch. Embargo's First Lady, and Ch. Deed's Show Off, who ended his days at her home. A member of the Board of the United States KBTC, Mrs. Titcomb compiled an extensive collection of books, pictures, and articles on Kerrys. Her scrapbooks were left to the United States KBTC and may be used for reference by Kerry club members.

Ch. Foxhill's Rackety Kilta Ch. Foxhill's Rackety Kilta. Bred and owned by William Fox. Kilta was the dam of twelve champions.


William L. Fox registered his Foxhill prefix in 1936, He owned German Shepherds until he purchased his first Kerry, Kiltamagh. He added Ch. Lerrig Prince of Killarney, bred by Todd Iverson, and Ch. Liam Prince of Killarney, bred by Cora Bank. He imported Tanis Tailteann, dam of his first champion, Barabia of Foxhills. He then bought Ch. Blue King II from Miss Freddie Weiss, and in 1939 King received the AKC award as the winner of the most Terrier Groups. Mr. Fox's most famous early purchase was the great winning and producing bitch, Ch. Rackety Packety Killmenskeg (Pidge), bred by Ben Watson. She was by Ch. Bed Edar Blaise ex Koko The Blue Quill. Pidge was Best in Show seven times, first in the Group twenty-nine times, and Best of Breed forty-eight times. She was the dam of many champions, including the Best-in-Show winning Ch. Bumble Bee of Delwin, who had five champions in her first litter. Another daughter was Ch. Foxhill's Rackety Kilta, dam of twelve champions.
Ch. Foxhill's Thunderbolt, by Ch. Deed's Show Off out of Ch. Foxhill's Rackety Kilta. Beeder & owner: William Fox. Ch. Foxhill's Thunderbolt
Mr. Fox also purchased Ch. Blue Flame of Delwin, Ch. Fancy Free of Delwin, Ch. Commando's Cleftwood (from England), Ch. Sirarno's Indiscreet Lady, Ch. Maureen of Delwin, Ch. Rambling Pat of Delwin, Ch. Foxhill's Vixen, and Ch. Deed's Show Off. Two of the top winners bred by Foxhill were Ch. Foxhill's Marauder and Ch. Foxhill's Thunderbolt. Chris Shuttleworth handled the Foxhill Kerrys at first, but when he became a judge, Mr. Fox took over the trimming and handling, and became an expert at both. He judged Terrier and Toy breeds.Jack and Nancy Cypress of Pennsylvania started their Ditton Priors Kennel with Maeveen Stock. They bought Ch. Breeze's Beth of Homeplace from Mrs. Britcher, and bred Beth to Ch. Montezuma of Maeveen, producing Ditton Prior's Cydaria, who became the dam of three champions by Ch. Topman. Ch. Ditton Prior's Dunsinane, from that litter, sired several champions.

Ozzie Kersting and Jack Rea of Ker-Rea Kennels were partners for several years; later Jack continued alone. Ozzie started with Ch. Kersting's Merrie Lady and her sister Kersting's Merrie Jane. Jane, bred to Ch. Thorndale Blue Bombshell, produced Ch. Castlebar Judy O'Rourke, and later Ch. Ker-Rea's Headman, Ch. Ginny Machree of Whiskerry, and Ch. Rocklin Rogue of Whiskerry. Headman, shown forty-nine times, was Best in Show seven times, first in the Group seventeen times, and Best of Breed forty-one times. He was the sire of at least fifteen champions. Jack Rea bred Ch. Castlebar Judy O'Rourke to Ch. Michael of Som'set to produce Champions Ker-Rea's Kilgallon, Kilroy, and Castlebar Michael, who continued Michael of Som'set's influence on the breed. Jack showed Kilroy, starting at the KBTC of Chicago Specialty, and Kilroy went from the Puppy Class to Best of Breed 1 Shown thirteen times in 1947, Kilroy was Best of Breed ten times, Best in Show twice, and first in the Group several times. Kilgallan was sold to Mrs. Dorothy Kenny of Paddywhack Kennels in Chicago, and Michael went to Floyd and Ida Mae Pierce's Kerryland Kennels in Los Angeles.

Ch. Thorndale Blue Buddy Ch. Thorndale Blue Buddy. Bred by Horace Lepman, and owned and handled by Ed and Gerry Loebe.
One of Kilgallon's puppies was Ch. Gered's Jim Dandy, of the Gered Kennels of Ed and Gerry Loebe. The Loebes started with Ch. Thorndale Blue Buddy early in 1944, and after a show career that included Best in Show three times, first in the Group seven times and Best of Breed at three Specialty Shows plus Westminster, Blue Buddy sired eight champions. The Loebe's foundation bitch, Ch. Gered's Candy (sired by Ch. That's That of Delwin), was bred to Ch. Michael of Som'set and produced three champions: Gered's Candy Lamb, Candy Tuft, and Candy Kid. Bred to Blue Buddy, Candy had Ch. Gered's Buddy's Bun, the second of four generations to finish with Best of Winners at Westminster and at the United States KBTC Specialty. Candy, bred to Ch. KerRea's Kilgallon, produced a great sire-Ch. Gered's Jim Dandy-sire of more than eighteen champions. Ed Loebe was president of the KBTC of Chicago and of the United States KBTC, and judges Terriers and other breeds. Gerry trimmed and handled their Kerrys, and she also was president of the Chicago club.In 1934 Helen Larson of Kansas began using the prefix Sharonellen for her breeding. For a few years she was in partnership with Fern Rogers, and they bred the famous Best-in-Show winning Ch. Sharonellen's Skibbereen.

Fern and Bill Rogers used the kennel name Fellbrin, line-breeding from Tailteann stock, with more than fifty of their Kerrys earning the championship title. Fern trimmed and handled their dogs, and Skibbereen held the record in the breed for breeder-owner handled wins, with nineteen Best-in-Show wins, thirty-nine Group firsts, two Specialty Best-of-Breed wins, and two Specialty Bestof-Opposite Sex wins. Skibbereen sired seventeen champions. He sired his last litter at the age of twelve and a half, and died in 1972. Fern missed only one meeting during the twelve years she was on the Board of the United States KBTC, and she has served as president.

 

 

Henry Coughlan's Maeveen Kennels name can be found behind some of our top Kerrys. Ch. Sheila of Cognewaugh, the dam of International Ch. Miss Show Off of Cognewaugh, (owned by Tailteann), was sired by Bran of Maeveen, and Ch. Bluemore High Fidelity, one of our important sires, was sired by Dudeen of Maeveen. Henry Coughlan wrote many fine articles on Kerrys, and judged the breed.

The Fred Spikers of Canada purchased Ch. Netswell Ranee from the Misses Henry in England. Later the Spikers imported Ben Edar Buskin as Ranee's mate-but, unfortunately, he died. The Spikers second choice was Buskin's son Lisnalea Enbuska. He was Best of Breed at Morris & Essex in 1938, his first show in America.

Together, Ranee and Enbuska made a perfect combination and had at least fifteen champion get, many of them Best-in-Show winners. Buskin of Kenmare, owned by James Austin of Fox Terrier fame, was one of the Best-inShow winners. Buskin won the Group at the Garden in 1941 but was disqualified because he had not won a blue ribbon previously.

Lew and May Wallace of Maylew Kennels bought their first Kerry, Dearborgil of Maylew, from Cliff Tushingham in Canada, about 1941, while they were living in Ohio. Moving to California, they purchased Foxhill's Tanis and Maylew Townshend's Kate and bred them to Ch. Kearnach Faltha, producing several champions. Ch. Maylew's Blue Flit and Ch. Maylew's Mardi Gras went to Eileen McEachren's Tailtearm Kennels in Canada and became important producers.

Horace J. and Virginia Perry of Massachusetts started their Kearnach Kennels in the 1940s. Their foundation bitch was Ch. Mi'Lady Maeve of Kearnaghan. She produced champions when bred to Ch. Blucote Bawcock, Ch. Deed's Show Off, Ch. Foxhill's Thunderbolt, and Dudeen of Maeveen. The Perrys purchased Ch. Calkerry's Defiant, one of our top sires with twenty-seven champions. The Perrys' Ch. Kearnach Faltha, sold to Joe Urmston, won Best in Show twice. One of our best Kerry handlers, Mr. Perry is also a skilled artist, designing silver pins with Kerry motifs, and dog statues that are almost life-size.

Horace Lepman of Thorridale Kennels, Chicago, started in Kerrys about 1938. He bred many top-winning champions, including Ch. Thorridale Blue Buddy, the sire of eight champions, who was discussed earlier. 'Me John Greggs of Arizona won the first Southern California KBTC Specialty with Ch. Thorndale Blue Brigadier in 1946. Mr. Lepman's Kerrys were all house dogs. In fact, he often said facetiously that he raised his puppies in his bedroom closet!

Heard and Edith Izant, of Townshend Kennels, bought their first Kerry in 1938 from Mrs. Casey, who owned one of Joe Urmston's bitches of Blue Leader stock. Edith started Banshee Blue in obedience in 1941, and was a founding member of the Pasanita Obedience Training Club. The Izants' foundation bitch came from the Sirarno Kennels in New York in 1943. She was Ch. Lady Dianne of Rob-Ett, C.D. Both her sire and her dam were Best-inShow winners, and she was from a litter of five champions-four females and a male who was a Best-inShow winner. The Izants have bred more than twenty champions-including two Best-in-Show winners, Ch. Townshend's Blue Blaise and Ch. Townshend's Lisduff Lady, each with two Best-in-Show wins and a Best-inBreed win at Westminster-Lady placing fourth in the Group there. Two other Best-in-Show winners bred by the Izants were Dr. Engle's Ch. Townshend's Danny Boy, Best in Show in 1974 at the Hawaiian Kennel Club Show, and Senor Marcos Antonini's Ch. Townshend's Dugan Manmas, Best in Show in Argentina in 1976. Edith was a founding member and president of the KBTC of Southern California and a member of the Board of the United States KBTC. For twenty-five years she wrote the Kerry column published in Popular Dogs, and she judges Terriers in conformation as well as all breeds in obedience and tracking.

Arnold and Sirene Rose had their Sirarno Kennels at their home in Rye, New York. Their foundation bitch, Ch. Sirarno's Sophisticated Lady, was sired by Topper of Belcrest and was a litter sister of Ch. Michael of Som'set. Sophisticated Lady won Best in Show three times, was first in the Group seventeen times and was Best of Breed fifty-five times in 1942. She was bred once to Ch. Ben Edar Blaise and produced three champions, including the Best-in-Show winning Ch. Sirarno's Impertinent Lady. The Roses also owned Conrad's Blue Michael, the sire of Ch. Sirarno's Investigator, a Best-in-Show winner. Investigator's Best-in-Show winning son, Ch. Royal Son of Rob-Ett, was owned by Mr. and Mrs. Robert Betts of Chicago. Sirene did all of the grooming and Pop Sayres handled the Sirarno Kerrys. In 1943, of twelve dogs in the kennel, five were Best-in-Show winners.

Josephine Keene LeFebre of Kilkraney Kennels started in Kerrys with American and Canadian Ch. O'Dorney Magee, C.D.X., bred by Dr. and Mrs. C. S. Brown. Then about 1944 Jo purchased Ch. Tailteann's Pixie Susie. Bred to Ch. Foxhill's Rackety Ace, Susie was the dam of two champions, and one, Ch. Keene's Shawnee O'Shea, C.D., bred to Ch. Deed's Show Off, produced two champions, Ch. Kilkraney Kelleen and Ch. Kilkraney Ballina. Jo was a founding member of the KBTC of Northern California.

Harry and Libby Lloynd started their Downpatrick Kennels in 1937 with Ed Sayres' Breezing Home of Delwin. Bred to Dr. Montgomery's Ch. Kenmare Ace of Monty-Ayr, she was the dam of two champions. One of them, Ch. Downpatrick Blue Serenade, was bred back to her sire, producing the Lloynds' Ch. Ace's Ace of Downpatrick, who won many Group firsts and a Best in Show. Ace's Ace was the sire of more than fifteen champions, and his son Ch. Downpatrick's Dynamite won the United States KBTC Sweepstakes and went Best of Winners at Westminster in 1952 at the age of ten months. 'Me Lloynds' Ch. Downpatrick's Rory O'More was Best of Breed at the United States KBTC Show in New York in 1952 and won many Groups.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 



 



 





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