Top Notch Toys - September 2021

departure from England, Winnie bred him to Pekein Tula Shaha of Pekehuis, a Sir Guy granddaughter. One of the bitch puppies is Inter- national Champion Pekehuis In- spiration, and handled by Winnie, a two-time Best of Breed winner at the International World show. She is owned by Sergio Calandra of Italy. The dog puppy grew up to be CHTen- ling Golden Arrow of Pekehuis. Affec- tionately known as “Duke,” Golden Arrow won his first CC at 11 months old. Duke continued his winning ways by becoming the Top English Peking- ese in 1993, 1994, 1995, and 1996. Duke was awarded a total of 28 CCs. Duke has proven himself [to be] not only the consummate showman, but also a sire that will go down in the history books as one of the “Great Ones.” One of his first sons was Eng- lish Champion Pekehuis Pure Gold of Tenling. “David” finished his champi- onship promptly and then went home to become England’s Top-Producing Sire* for 1995, 1996, 1999, 2000, and 2001. Another son (bred by Anthea Everitt), English Champion Kushan Debt of Honour to Pekehuis, has pro- duced several English Champion off- spring and is the littermate to Betty Tilley’s (Pleiku) American Cham- pion Kushan Gold Ransom of Peke- huis. May Robertshaw’s early Duke son, CH Lotusgrange Arrow Ex- press, completed his Championship by winning Best of Breed at Crufts under Terry Nethercott in 1996. One of Duke’s more memorable sons is Crufts 2001 Best of Breed/Group One, 2002 Best of Breed/GroupOne/ Reserve Best in Show, and Crufts 2003 Best in Show winner, English Champion Yakee Dangerous Liai- son. Piloted by his owner/handler/ breeder, Bert Easdon, “Danny” be- came the first Pekingese in the his- tory of the breed to win Best in Show at Crufts. (A side note: A Duke son or grandson has been BOB at Crufts for five consecutive years, beginning with Anthea Everitt’s Duke grand- son, English Champion Kushan Mad About the Boy in 1999.) Duke’s most recent English Cham- pion is Champion Pekehuis Seeking

the Gold, just finishing this past summer. Besides producing Champi- ons for Pekehuis, Duke has produced Champions for the following English kennels: Lotusgrange, Fearnvale, Kettlemere, Joleth, Pleiku, Akarana, St Sanja, Yakee, Kushan, Johnsville, and Brentoy. Betty Tilley (Pleiku) pioneered the Golden Arrow blood in North America. She made several trips to England in 1994 and ’95, and noted that the dogs that caught her inter- est besides Duke himself were sired by either Duke or his son, Pure Gold. She decided that was the direction she wanted to take with her breeding pro- gram. Several attempts to buy a Duke daughter fell through, but on a return visit in 1996, Winnie took Betty to visit Anthea Everitt. Anthea had a litter of three seven-week-old males sired by Duke out of a Pure Gold daughter. The puppies were linebred to Duke, and Betty purchased one of the males, keeping her fingers crossed that he would be what she was looking for when the puppy was old enough. Winnie took him home along with his litter brother, “Danny” (CH Kushan Debt of Honor to Pekehuis), and kept the puppy until he was old enough to travel to America. The seven-week- old pup turned out to be American Champion Kushan Gold Ransom of Pekehuis. “George” gained his title quickly and returned home to Pleiku. After a few litters, Betty noticed the resulting puppies were of exceptional quality and consistency. He had also sired several litters for other breed- ers, and the results were consistent with every breeding. After two unsuccessful attempts to import chilled semen from Duke (due to Customs), Betty bought a puppy (a Duke grand-daughter) from Win- nie; American Champion Pekehuis Pleiku Gold. When bred to this Duke granddaughter, George produced the first Pleiku All-Breed Best in Show dog; American Champion Pleiku Gold Reserve. The littermate also finished her title quickly; American Champion Pleiku Gold Collection. Betty also owned her litter sister, Pekehuis Gold Exchange for Pleiku, who remained in

England until she was old enough to breed toDuke. This breeding produced American Champion Pleiku Golden Express, American Champion Pleiku Golden Regalia, and Pleiku Golden Design. Gold Exchange was bred to George for her next litter, and that pro- duced American Champion Pleiku Gold Lace for Pekehuis and Pleiku Pe- kehuis GoldRibbons Pekehuis. In order to widen the gene pool, but continue linebreeding on Duke, Betty imported the Duke grandson, sired by English Champion St Sanja Step By Step ROM (a Duke son), Ameri- can Champion Yakee Forward Step At Pleiku (David). At his first show in America, he won a BISS at 11-1/2 months. He is proving to be a prepo- tent sire, and like his sire and grand- sire, he will soon be a qualifier for his ROM. His most notable get to date has been Dr. Ceri Sveilich’s American Champion Pleiku Kerimere Stepping Out, the puppy bitch that was Win- ners Bitch all three days of the 2002 Rotating National Specialty, and who has since added two Bests in Special- ty Show to her title and is currently ranked #10. George’s titles now include PCA’s Register of Merit status and Sire of Distinction. He is also currently list- ed in Dog News as the top sire and his list of Champion and Group-winning progeny continues to grow. To date, Duke has produced 14 Eng- lish Champions, with several others very close to their English titles. Duke is the first English Pekingese, while still living in England, to qualify for Pekingese Club of America’s Sire of Distinction award. At last count, he has 12 American Champions to his credit with others, again, close to their titles. At age 11, Duke was Eng- land’s Top Pekingese sire* in 2001, 2002, and at this writing, is currently leading the race for Top Sire of 2003.* Now, close to his retirement, Duke leaves a legacy of gold not only at Pe- kehuis and in England, but world- wide. His children and grandchildren are leaving their stamp on the face of Pekingese. Duke will be long-remem- bered for his positive contributions to the breed. T op N otch T oys , S eptember 2021 • 31

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