TEN EVENTS THAT SHAPED COLLIE HISTORY By Gayle Kaye
1) QUEEN VICTORIA FALLS FOR THE COLLIE E ven though the Collie had been the subject of writ- ings and poetry for several centuries, it was actually Queen Victoria who is credited with discovering and popularizing the breed. Up until 1860, Collies were used almost exclusively as work- ing Sheepdogs. Her interest in the breed had a profound impact on the dog owning pub- lic. Th e Collie's surging popularity started during the 1860's following her visit to the Scottish Highlands, where she fell in love with Collies she saw there. So impressed was she with the beauty, intelligence and faith- fulness of the Sheepdogs, that several soon joined her "Royal Balmoral Kennels". Th is was a historic epoch in the breed's history and from this point on, the Collie's popular- ity grew rapidly.
in fl uential fanciers with unlimited funds, beautiful estates and the best kennel man- agers in the country—going head-to-head in the Collie world. Th is rivalry did won- ders for the popularity and advancement of Collies at the time.
4) CLARA LUNT CREATES THE AMERICAN COLLIE
One of the most crucial events of the Collie's colorful and rich history occurred in 1902 when Mrs. Clara Lunt embarked upon a career of raising and showing Col- lies. Her Alstead Collies were the single most important in fl uence in the early years of American Collie development. Between the dogs that she imported and the wise breeding of those dogs, she bred more high quality Collies than almost any other indi- vidual. Not only were her stud dogs and brood bitches a major factor in developing and establishing breed type in this coun- try, but also Alstead was THE source upon which all of the early American kennels were based. She was the beginning of the American Collie. 5) “LAD, A DOG” IS PUBLISHED Albert Payson Terhune (1872-1942) through his articles and books did more for popularizing the Collie than any other single individual during the entire history
J.P. Morgan’s kennel man, Alfred Blewitt, with four of the Cragston Collies. Photo courtesy of the Archives of the Pierpont Morgan Library.
late 1800s. Th eir stories represent a large part of the early history of the Collie in this country. Without their in fl uence, power and money the Collie would not have advanced as quickly as it did and it was during this time that the breed wit- nessed one of its greatest periods. Th e most in fl uential breeder and exhibitor prior to 1900 was the world-famous fi nancier J.P. Morgan. He joined the ranks in 1888 when he began his Cragston Kennels. Others soon followed—W. Atlee Burpee of Burpee Seed fame; Mrs. Phoebe A. Hearst of Verona Kennels in Pleasanton, Califor- nia (mother of William Randolph Hearst); Th omas Hunter, Knocklayde Collies, of Acme Tea and Food fame; William Ellery of Valverde Collies in San Francisco; and the renown corporate attorney from Long Island, Samuel Untermyer of Greystone Collies. Th anks to both Untermyer and Morgan's pursuit of the best Collies, one of the greatest rivalries ever witnessed occurred during this time. It basically got down to two extremely wealthy and
2) BIRMINGHAM ENGLAND BECOMES HUB OF COLLIE ACTIVITY
While Collies have long been associated with Scotland, it is actually to the entire Brit- ish Isles that the breed owes its development as a popular show dog, for it is from the Brit- ish Isles that we fi nd the famous breeders and pillars of the breed. Around 1868 a handful of dedicated British breeders started concentrat- ing on developing show characteristics. Many of the early breeders were English and lived in the district of Birmingham, an area long noted for its good Collies. For years, this area was the center of tremendous Collie activity and produced some of the very best dogs in the early history of the breed. Th is is where the true history of the show Collie begins.
3) THE ARRIVAL OF WEALTHY AMERICANS
Men and women of great wealth began to appear on the Collie Scene during the
Mrs. Clara Lunt with some of her earliest Alstead Collies, c. 1905.
256 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , A UGUST 2014
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