Imports - Exports to UK

The dog world, and the Pembroke scene in particular, has changed in so many ways during the time I've been interested. One of the most obvious is that nowadays a high proportion of the successful kennels own, or have owned, at least one import, sometimes several of them.

But up until the '90s, and even after that until the six months' quarantine disappeared in the early '00s, it was rare indeed for anyone to import a Pembroke, and when anyone did it was certainly 'news'. Britain was in those days perceived (at least by the Brits!) as the centre of the Corgi universe and there were many times more exports than the very rare imports; quite unlike the situation today - just 11 Pems were exported from Britain last year.

Ch Scottholme Red Ember

Anyway, let's go back to the mid '70s and Pat Curties was judging in Australia. Her BOB was a dramatically coloured rich red dog, Ch Scottholme Red Ember, bred by Vicki Scott, one of the breed's most dedicated supporters Down Under whom many of us remember with great affection. Vicki had had various imports from Lees, and in gratitude to Pat for providing her with such quality dogs she with characteristic generosity decided to give Ember to Pat, in view of how much she admired him. His pedigree combined British, New Zealand and Australian lines and indeed there was one line to Crown Prince.

Hildenmanor Crown Prince

So Ember set off for Britain, and Ray Barwick, who handled him in the ring and to whom I'm grateful for the photo, still has the telegram Vicki received announcing his safe arrival after the marathon journey.

Imports being so unusual then, there was plenty of curiosity to see him and I can recall my mother and I, among others, being invited to the Hermitage to see him. I think it's fair to say that British breeders didn't quite know what to make of him as he was rather different to the prevailing trends of the time. I know this was rather a disappointment to Pat who felt he had qualities the breed could have done with at the time.

Ch. Penmoel Such Fun of Rivona

A few breeders did use him, including the Queen who I'm sure would have appreciated his colour and general look. Pat bred a son, Lees Jubilee, who won well before going to Europe. She also used Ember on Lees Fireworks (Lees Mercury ex Lees Flame, a sister of Ch Hadrian) and produced a good bitch called Lees Radiant. In due course Radiant was put to Ch Penmoel Such Fun of Rivona and this was probably the most successful combination of the later years at Lees. Their first litter included Ch Lees Mastermind, Aus Ch Lees Mindreader and Int/Dutch Bel Ch Lees Another Arrow, and from a repeat came Aus Ch Lees Trailblazer and Am Ch Lees Spellbinder.

Lees Mastermind 8 mths.

Lees Mindreader 8 mths.

Through most of these and a few others - and especially through Mastermind who sired the internationally influential Ch Pemland Magnus - Ember has bred on, so perhaps he can be said to have had the last laugh.

Many other Scottholme dogs enjoyed great success in the ring and as producers in their home country and it's good that since the deaths of Vicki and her husband Dan the kennel name is carried on today by Michelle Pratley who looked after the dogs for many years.

Simon Parsons
Facebook, 2 April 2021