LINES FROM LINDA: FROM JUNIOR TO JUDGE, ERIC RINGLE LIVED HIS DREAMS
Judge Roy Ayers (author’s father) delighted young Ringle with Eric’s first Group One win at Eastern D.C. in 1978. “Barnaby,” owned by Tilly and Berenson. Ch. Tilpadane Baranby Neustadt is presented his trophy by Bob Thomas.
the Country, as did “Barnaby.” He produced thirty to forty cham- pions. When reading through a Top Twenty catalog a few years ago, I realized the profound effect that “Tory” had on the breed. Almost every top Dane in the country goes back to him, most of them several times. I moved from New York to California, and showed there through the 1980s. During this time, Dane activities were becoming progressively more national in scope. Our National was formerly always held at Westchester in Tarrytown, New York. With entries going up every year, we eventually outgrew the one-day National and began to alternate to various regions nationwide. The annual Dinner/Dance used to be the Saturday prior to Westminster. Now, it is one of the many events during a week-long National. My handling activities continued in California, and it was a good life. I met many people and showed a lot of dogs. My favorite was “Higgins,” Ch. Reann’s No Jacket Required, who was a nice combination of East and West Coast lines. His intelligence and temperament really got to me. It was as if he could read my mind. Californians were a fun group of people. I still enjoy going out for a visit from time to time. I was beginning to get a bit tired of the traveling as well as the vagaries of the profession, when, in 1990, I was offered a position with the American Kennel Club as Administrator of Judge’s Edu- cation. This gave me the opportunity to return to New York and live in Manhattan. I worked during the Bob Maxwell administra- tion and directly under Terry Stacey. This was a good time, in my opinion, for the AKC. I was also allowed to focus on my tasks, and
I wish people today had the opportunity to avail themselves to old-time breeders. Every breed had them. This was the best learn- ing experience. I’m afraid it’s gone by the wayside, and commer- cialism and mediocrity, to some degree, have taken its place. For- tunately, there are breeders today who do have an eye and a knack for breeding dogs, or we would not be seeing the quality that we are seeing. The days of the big kennels are gone. I feel so very fortunate that I was able to catch the tail-end of that era. During this period, I also showed a dog for Poppy and Al Feld- man. I believe they are two of the nicest people that I have ever known, in or out of dogs. Mr. Feldman, at that time, was Chair- man of the Board of the American Kennel Club. His unparalleled ethics, integrity, and calm, gentlemanly manner are seldom seen in our society today. I began handling professionally when I graduated from col- lege, and I was quite passionate about it. I was waiting until I turned twenty-one as in those days, you were considered an “out- law handler” if you showed dogs for others and accepted any type of payment. Just three months before I turned twenty-one, the AKC stopped the licensing of handlers, so I started a bit early. I completed championships on about one hundred Danes, includ- ing some Number One Danes and some influential producers. I had some successes in other breeds as well. My first special, Ch. Tilpadane Barnaby Neustadt, won the breed at The Garden and went on to many wins. He had true Dane temperament and was a pleasure to show. My next one, Ch. Bodane Tourister, would prefer to be at home, having fun, and lying on the couch. “Tory” also won the breed at The Garden and became the Top Male Dane in
152 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, JUNE 2021
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