ShowSight January 2019

1922 was the watershed year for the Kerry Blue. In that year, the breed was formally recognized by the Irish Ken- nel Club, the English Kennel Club and the American Kennel Club. This was also the year that the Dublin Kennel Club held the first Championship show for Kerries, drawing 257 entries. That year was also the first appearance of Kerrys at Crufts and at the Westmin- ster Kennel Club Show. The English standard is with a few minor excep- tions identical with the American stan- dard in that coats must be trimmed. English fanciers, always more fastidi- ous than their Irish neighbors, show the Kerry in a trimmed, more stylized coat, whereas the Irish still prefer a longer, less manipulated trim. “SOME OF THE FIRST KERRYS WERE IMPORTED INTO THE UNITED STATES BY SUCH


Some of the first Kerrys were import- ed into the United States by such nota- bles as Mrs. William Randolph Hearst and Gene Tunney. In 1938, with the amalgamation of the Kerry Blue Terrier Club of America and the United States Kerry Blue Terrier Club, both founded in the late 1920s, the United States Ker- ry Blue Terrier Club became the official parent club for the Kerry breed. The Kerry is of medium height, up- standing and square, well muscled and with the strong bite of a hunter, but not accompanied by the visible jawmuscula- ture found in the Bully breeds. This size and structure makes the Kerry ideal for hunting small game and large rodents, such as badger, fox and rats. From the 1920’s one of the requirements to gain a championship in Ireland was for the Kerry to go to ground in a badger lair and bring the prey out. One might won- der if the Kerrys did to the Irish badgers was what Saint Patrick did to the snakes in Ireland, for in the 1960s the badger population had become sufficiently

340 • S how S ight M agazine , J anuary 2019

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