Ch Hildenmanor Crown Prince

It's about time to feature one of the most important Pembrokes of all time, Dickie Albin's homebred Ch Hildenmanor Crown Prince.

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi of the Year 1962.
Winner of the Leslie Perrins Memorial Trophy

I think it's fair to say that although other dogs (including his near contemporary Ch Caswell Duskie Knight) sired more UK champions, Crown Prince has had a greater long-term impact on the breed than any other Pembroke between Ch Rozavel Red Dragon in the 1930s and Pemland Royal Command and Ch Belroyd Nut Cracker in the 1980s and '90s.

To produce him, Dickie doubled up on the mating between her first Pembroke champion, Hildenmanor Red Dawn, and Ch Mabinogi Myrddin. She kept two bitches from this combination and mated one to Stormerbanks Boniface, one of the very best of that great strain (who missed out on a show career after losing an eye) and the other to Ch Lees Sunsalve, again one of the top producers from this famous kennel. Both these dogs were noted for producing lovely expressions, as was Dickie's own line, and when she mated Hildenmanor Bonilad (from the Boniface litter) to Hildenmanor Gold Crown (a CC-winner from the Sunsalve litter) she came up with Crown Prince who was noted for the head quality he seemed to pass on to a great many of his descendants.

Crown Prince was campaigned through 1967, starting with BOB at Crufts and winning eight CCs in all to give him the Leslie Perrins Trophy for that year. Unlike Duskie Knight, he was little shown after this one super year - it would be interesting to know what his show record would have been had Dickie been a more enthusiastic exhibitor.

It always helps a dog's stud career if he can produce something spectacular early on, and Crown Prince certainly did that. He was ten months old when Mrs Tressider used him on Penny Songster of Treland (by Lees Scherzo). Pat Curties cannily snapped up one of the pups who became the great Ch Lees Opal Song of Treland, a truly memorable Corgi who won six CCs in quick succession during the same year that her sire had his good run, before retiring to a successful career as a brood.

After that Crown Prince's services were in great demand and he sired five further UK champions in Brocade of Rowell, Braxentra Pardal Maid, Cordach Royal Crown, Ch/Am Ch Cordach Golden Plover and Falaise Teazel. Pemland Dancing Princess and Ir Ch Eglantine Porthos won two CCs.

His grandchildren included Ch Belroyd Date Line (via B Willow Wren), Ch/NZ Ch Wyeford Black Tweed (by Brocade), Ch Lynfarne Spectacular (by Cordach Royal Soveriegn), Ch Fitzdown Badger, Ch Fitzdown Sunflower and Ch Fitzdown Cygnus of Rowell (all ex F Cygnet) and Chs Lees Orpheus and Octavia (ex Opal Song).

Plenty of his offspring went overseas, among the most significant being NZ Ch Crocket of Wey and, to Australia, Braxentra Quite Contrary of Camcounty. His most important combination was with Mary and Arthur Winsone's Faine of Bulcorig. Many of their pups bred on and the most concentrated influence emerged when Mary and Stuart Magness mated Cordach Master Copy of Hildenmanor to a daughter of Dancing Princess to produce Pemland Royal Command whose impact has matched that of his famous grandfather, most notably through Ch Belroyd Nut Cracker whose dam carried two lines to Crown Prince.

Another of Crown Prince's favourite wives must have been Paddy Date's Black Sateen of Braxentra. As well as Brocade, several of their other progeny have continued the line, notably Hildenmanor Gay Gingham of Rowell who sired Dickie's influential Hildenmanor Red Duster when mated to a daughter of Crown Prince's litter sister.

Ch Penmoel Such Fun of Rivona

There is also a line from Crown Prince behind Ch Penmoel Such Fun of Rivona whose descendants eventually proved to 'nick' so well with those down from Royal Command.

Gradually, Crown Prince's influence percolated through the world and it would be quite impossible to name all his successful descendants.

I suspect that the photos we usually see of him were taken as a young dog and don't do him full justice behind the collar. I never saw him in the ring but do recall seeing him as a veteran at The Well Cottage and he was by then a much more 'together' looking dog than the photos suggest. But his legacy, surely, is those gorgeous heads of which we saw so many in Britain during the '80s and '90s, though perhaps less often today. Thankfully some breeders here and around the world have made special efforts to preserve that beautiful look and let's hope it is never lost.

I think you might like to see his paternal grandsire Stormerbanks Boniface.

Stormerbanks Boniface

His pedigree is a classic example of the consistent line-breeding Patsy Hewan practised for many years - two or three further generations would make this even more obvious. His lack of an adult show career did not prevent him from becoming a popular sire. In addition to the two UK champions mentioned, he sired many other winners including Crown Prince's sire Hildenmanor Bonilad, and quite a few of these bred on well to kennels such as Blands, Penmoel and Ashbarton, Apollinaris, Lynfarne, Raymardene, Woodash, Garddenholme, Pemland, Convista, Salbani, Braxentra and so on, as well as through his outstanding grandson.

Ch Stormerbanks Vagabond

His sire, Vagabond, was a Crufts CC winner but took a while to gain his title, beaten to it by his precocious grandsons Foxy Face and Maccaboy.

Simon Parsons