SOMETIMES, as with the Otterhound, these tables bring to the fore one of the numerically smaller breeds and in the gundog group the leading brood is the Brittany Sh Ch Kenocto Pretty Pachanga of Bonapartist.
She is owned by Paul and Janette Yarrow whose active interest in dogs began around 1970 when Janette was showing an Irish Setter and Paul began showing an English Setter. They won a couple of CCs and a few reserves with the English while later dogs they owned won championship show classes but nothing more.
They then took a step back from the show ring while raising their family but when they started spectating at championship shows in 1997 with a view to finding a suitable English Setter kennel from which to buy a puppy, it was in fact Brittanys which caught their eye, a breed previously unknown to them.
The spent time researching the breed and in October bought their first puppy from Marion Reeves, an orange and white male who was to become Sh Ch Baywillow Napoleon.
Sadly, Napoleon sired just one litter before health problems prevented further matings. However, his only litter produced three show champions, the males Sh Ch Yarak Ulterior Motive of Bonapartist and Sh Ch Yarak Unsung Hero of Bonapartist whom Paul and Janette chose, and the bitch Sh Ch Yarak Udine who was retained by her breeder.
About a year later they became the owners of a new puppy bitch bred by Alithea and Malcome Lockie who became Sh Ch Tournesol Surchoix of Bonapartist, ‘a most beautiful bitch with a matching temperament who went onto become bitch CC record holder at that time’.
Another couple of years went by and they learned of a litter by Jayne Cutler’s Sh Ch Jayricnbrits Bowen (by French import Sh Ch Raoul du Sulon at Brittyhill ex Sh Ch Rochus Viviane with Jayricnbrits). Although they knew precious little of the dam, Bowen was a ‘well bred, strongly built male with an impeccable temperament, which has become expected from this kennel’.
Paul and Janette visited the puppies at five weeks old and to them Pachanga clearly stood out from the remaining ten puppies in the litter. She was bred by the late Jim Crump out of Cinder Falco (Noski de Masquerade ex Golden Ester), ‘a pleasing cobby bitch from lines that are popular with falconers’.
Pachanga qualified for Crufts at LKA at six months and one day old and took best puppy in breed at Crufts and top puppy 2009. She was awarded her first CC at Windsor when she was just out of puppy and went on to win a further seven.
At three years old she was mated to Ch Tournesol Braconnier, ‘another dog with superb conformation and temperament’. Paul and Janette say: “We strongly believe that no matter how visually stunning the parents are they must have a good temperament as well.”
From ten puppies they retained a dog and a bitch. Sh Ch Bonapartist Grenadier won his first CC on his debut at just seven months, became the breed’s youngest ever show champion and is currently the male record holder with 25 CCs. His litter sister was top puppy 2012 and became Sh Ch Bonapartist Grande Duchess. A third puppy, Sh Ch Bonapartist Gourrege, is the first dog owned by Leslie and Mark Poole.
A repeat mating took place two years later and this time Pachanga produced 12 puppies. This time Paul and Janette retained a single bitch puppy who was top puppy in 2014 and became Sh Ch Bonapartist Iryssa, the youngest ever bitch show champion.
Pachanga never regained her figure after her second and final litter and was subsequently retired from the ring.
Grenadier, Gourrege and Iryssa won CCs in 2016 while Grande Duchess took some time out after producing a litter of 12 by Ch Tournesol Inox. From this litter they retained a bitch, Bonapartist Linnet, who became top puppy in 2016, while two brothers from this litter have also won championship puppy classes. Another Pachanga granddaughter sired by Grenadier, Loubie Rose of Bonapartist, won three RCCs during her puppy career.
Her owners say: “Pachanga is now eight years old and continues to mother all her offspring. They all live together indoors in harmony, proof of the good temperament that she has passed on. She still lives life in the fast lane when being exercised but is equally happy lying on your feet and sleeping at the end of the day.”
We cannot finish this page without mentioning the three other Brittanys that have shared their life with us, Napoleons younger sisters Baywillow Prelude and Baywillow Radiance, and Bonapartist Artemise JW, a singleton puppy, whelped by the beautiful Surchoix, who is still with us aged 11 ½.