UK/AmCh. Sierra Bowhit Pivot
UK/AmCh. Sierra Bowhit Pivot
The first Pembrokeshire Welsh corgi to win the title of American champion is Sierra Pivot owned by E.M. Tidd of Oakland, California. Pivot was the first English champion Pembroke imported into this country, and also has the distinction of having been the first Pembroke to win the award of best of all breeds in England. This at the Carmarthen show in May, 1934. He won his American points at Golden Gate, Berkeley, Del Monte, Santa Cruz, and Oakland at the summer shows and was placed fourth in the working group at Berkeley.
Pivot is a dark red shaded with black. From the photograph sent me he looks to be a very handsome fellow, low to ground, with a nice front, typical head, and wonderfully intelligent expression. In the first litter sired by hinm, three of the pups were born with short tails.
Pivot again combines the blood of Crymmych President and Bowhit Pepper. He is a son of President's and his dam is the result of a mating of full brother and sister sired by Pepper ex Shonkey. The bitch that Mr. Tidd mated to Pivot is also a descendant of Pepper.
Elizabeth H. Anderson, Bluehill, Main.
AKC Gazette 1935
Simon Parsons on Facebook
Pivot also made a mark as a stud dog. He cannot have been resident at the Bowhit kennel in Haverfordwest for much more than a year, between his acquisition by the Bowlers at Crufts 1934 and his departure for California in early 1935. But during that time he was a busy boy. As well as winning his UK title with consummate ease, he served quite a few bitches - as well as the show kennels, there were lots of farmers and others who kept a Corgi bitch or two in the breed's native county. His mates included at least three UK champions.
None of his Welsh-sired litters resulted in a UK champion, but plenty of his progeny bred on down to post-war winners and to today's dogs. Among them are Bowhit Primo (sire among many others of Am Ch Crundale Hiker of Elphinstone), Bowhit Booty, Bowhit Brenda, Bowhit Pim, Bowhit Pilot (sire of Am Ch Bowhit Beano of Merriedip), Bowhit Beatie, Bowhit Pickles, Dora of Penty-Parc, Rozavel Peggy Pivot, Mill Rose, Foxred Tarny, Miss Tip Toes (dam of Am Chs Crundale Gipsy of Elphinstone and Crundale Cinders of Cartlane), David of Eastbrook, Megan of Eastbrook (dam of Am Ch Dragon's Son of Elphinstone), Golden Sarnita, Cwrw (two CCs), Helarian Show Girl and not least Rozavel Peony, start of Pat Curties' great Lees line - most or all these can be found somewhere at the back of today's pedigrees.
One of his 'wives' was his half-sister Ch Cherry Bark (both by Ch Crymmych President), owned by Edith Morgan who lived just outside Haverfordwest and who later used the Crundale affix. Like Pivot, Cherry won her title in consecutive outings, two of the CCs won at the same shows where Pivot won two of his.
From this litter a dog called Robin Hood won his way into the Stud Book before departing for Elizabeth Anderson's Down East kennel in Maine. She was a Cairn Terrier breeder, and wrote the first breed notes for Pembrokes in the AKC Gazette. Robin Hood was bought for her by the great dog man Percy Roberts on one of his many dog-finding trips back across the Atlantic.
He quickly made his mark, at 14 months old taking BOB at the 1936 Westminster show and giving the breed a great boost by going on to third in the group at this show of shows. Percy is listed in the catalogue as agent so I guess he would probably have been the handler.
I think he was the breed's third American champion, following his sire and Ch Little Madam.
Am Ch Robin Hood (of Down East) has bred on via his son Am Ch Bryn Eglwys of Waseeka, sire of Elizabeth Power's super brood bitch Waseeka's Topaz.
So much for Pivot's British-born progeny.
His American-born legacy
The first serious breeder of Pembrokes in North America appears to have been Ralph Gardener of Alberta, Canada, who imported Rozavel Pimpernel (Bowhit Pimpo ex Ch Bowhit Bisco) and Rozavel Foxyface (Harfat Delight ex Crymmych Beauty, dam also of Ch C President) from Thelma Gray in 1932.
He later used the Tamarac affix but his first litter from these two didn't use this name. One of the pups was Toots and she was brought by the somewhat mysterious E M Tidd in Oakland (later Lafayette) in California. I still haven't discovered much about this breed pioneer in the US, beyond the fact that his first name was Edward!
Toots is the third Pembroke to be registered by the AKC, following Margery Roesler's original pair on the East Coast, (Ch) Little Madam and Captain William Lewis. Toots had been mated before she left Canada to another of Mr Gardener's imports, Rozavel Gaiters, who was by Cymro ex the 'blue grey and white' Rozavel Blue Stocking. The resulting litter was the first born in the US (August 15, 1934) and five puppies were registered, Sierra Cadno, Foxyface, Pepper, Shan and Taffy. One can see that Mr Tidd liked to recycle names from back in the pedigree.
The litter is recorded as 'bred' in Canada. This is because the AKC regards the breeder as the person who owned the bitch at the time of mating and the place of 'breeding' as where the mating took place. The (UK) Kennel Club has a different convention in that the breeder, country etc is who/whatever applies at the time of whelping - this can be confusing.
This litter doesn't seem to have made a big mark, but by 1935 Mr Tidd had acquired his superstar from Wales, and for her 1935, '36 and '37 litters Toots was mated to Pivot with great success including several champions.
Two of these made history - Ch Sierra Vixen became the first American-bred Pembroke champion in 1937 and her elder brother Ch Sierra Bruin (from the first officially 'American-bred' litter of the breed) became the first US-bred male titleholder shortly after. He seems to have introduced the breed to the Mid-West, as he was owned by Charles Owen (Owencliffe) from Minneapolis, but he soon returned to his native California when he was acquired by Derek Rayne. Derek trained him to add a CD to his show title, and as I said last time also came to own his father, Bowhit Pivot. He mated Pivot to his Waseeka's Treorchy and this first Pemwelgi litter contained a champion, P Jenkins Ap Pivot.
Bruin sired several litters and Vixen was bred from by Jean Walker, later famous for the Far Away kennel. Frustratingly I haven't yet been able to link either of these two history-makers with present-day bloodlines, but I will keep trying.
The only current line back to the Sierra dogs I have so far discovered traces back to Bruin's litter brother, the especially confusingly named Ch Sierra Pivot. Mr Tidd mated him to his Ch San Ramon Barby who as far as I can gather is yet another 'first' in that she seems to be the first tricolour born in the US, coming from a litter conceived in Wales, from Thorwill Bronwen imported in whelp to Ch Bowhit Prince.
A bitch from the Sierra Pivot/Barby combination produced Marty Downing's multi-talented Ch Captain Jinks Wiggs UDT, two of whose siblings are behind Ricochet of Rover Run who is therefore an important link back to much of the earliest US stock including both the first two American champions.
AmCh. Sierra Bruin
Sadly, pictures of these early California dogs seem in short supply, so I am very grateful to Bo Bengtson who kindly trawled through several years of Kennel Review and eventually found the photo of Bruin.