Corgis first time to be classiefied at Cruft's ShowA query arose the other day as to whether either the original Welsh Corgi Club or the (Cardigan) Welsh Corgi Association had held any independent shows in the pre-war years between their foundation in the mid '20s and 1939.
It was claimed by the Welsh Corgi League, founded 1938, that its shows were the first ever confined purely to Corgis, and this seemed a bit strange given that the other two clubs preceded it by more than a decade.
My suggested explanation was that it was quite an expensive undertaking for a small club to hold a show by itself in those days, and that they would have been more likely to support and guarantee the classes held by all-breed open or championship shows. That was they would not have the expense of hiring a venue, merely having to guarantee that there would be sufficient entries to cover the prize money which was mandatory in those days. In return the all-breed club would agree to invite a judge of the breed club's choice.
A particularly interesting example of this is the Corgis' first time to be classified at Cruft's show (not in those days run as it is now by the Kennel Club, but by Charles Cruft himself). This was in 1927. Corgis were then all one breed according to the Kennel Club, but Mr Cruft agreed to schedule two separate sets of classes, one guaranteed by the Cardigan Welsh Corgi Club and one by the rival organisation run mainly by Pembroke enthusiasts, the Welsh Corgi Club.
Each had a judge of their particular persuasion, J Jordan Jones JP for the Cardi classes and Captain George Checkland Williams (Wern) for the WCC classes. With one exception the classes drew different dogs. Mr Lucy entered his bitch Gweneth of Porturet under both judges, though it looks as if she was absent.
The catalogue pages make fascinating reading with some of the fundamentally important dogs in both breeds entered. In Cardis BOB was the dog who was effectively the 'father of the breed', Dr Lloyd's famous Bob Llwyd (or Bob Lloyd as he is catalogued), along with several of Mr Edwardes' Tanffynons.
The BOB at the WCC show was equally famous, Adrian Howell's Caleb. Many of the other entries feature in later pedigrees, among them J Davies' dear old Rose, the first ever registered Corgi. By then nearly ten years old, she won a respectable second behind her granddaughter Solva Rosebud, owned by Adrian's brother Captain Jack - and Rose was also Caleb's grandmother. Among the other exhibitors were Catherine Higgon of the important Sealy kennel (she also played a unique part in Sealyham Terrier history) and D Morris Thomas who later used the Madeni affix.
These Crufts catalogues are a source of endless fascination and are all available online thanks to the Kennel Club Library. They can be downloaded from
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