The Teekay Corgis

Teekay Perfection

I don't know about you, but for me this photo represents possibly the nearest to the modern type of any of the pre-war Pembrokes. Perhaps that's partly thanks to Thomas Fall's photographic magic - we will probably never know unless less formal photos come to light - but he is certainly a most striking Pembroke and would surely have been competitive well into the post-war era. I think you can see echoes of him in photos of quite a few of the later greats including Ch Lees Symphony and Ch Knowland Clipper.

He was born in May 1938 and bred by J L Lewis out of a bitch called Olga, who had been mated to the well known sire Boncath Red Bloom who was owned by H S Williams of Haverfordwest.

As with so many exciting puppies, he was bought by Gwyn Jones of the Felcourt kennel in Port Talbot, and given the ambitious sounding name of Felcourt Perfection. He had previously taken a pup from an earlier litter bred the same way, this being Felcourt Gay Lad with whom he won the CC at the last pre-war Crufts.

Over the years Anne Biddlecombe's Teekay kennel in Dorset was a ready market for potential stud dogs from Felcourt - in later years Supremacy, Autocrat and President, but first came Perfection. She changed his name (as one could in those days), but retained the Perfection bit, simply altering Felcourt to Teekay. A sister, Teekay Red Flame, appears in later pedigrees too.

Perfection entered the ring in 1939 and after qualifying for the Stud Book on three occasions he won the CC at South Wales in July (aged 13 months) under Mary Howard (Normary), beating his sire into second place. Timing is everything and for Perfection it wasn't on his side - there were just two more championship shows before they ceased in September 1939, not resuming until 1946. Of the male Pems who missed out on the chance to complete their UK title, Perfection and Spring Robin (two CCs and later an Am Ch) were the two most significant.

Even if denied a crown, Perfection certainly wasn't denied the chance to make a mark at stud, and Teekay, with a wealth of good bitches owned by Miss Biddlecombe and breeders using her lines, was probably the best place to be at stud during the war years.

Teekay's Felcourt Supremacy

His legacy is a considerable number of progeny who played an important part in the post-war development of the breed, including Felcourt Squire, Hillbilly of Lees (sire of Ch Teekay's Felcourt Supremacy), Eclipse of Lees, Pippin of Lees, Larkwhistle Vainglory, Larkwhistle Valerie (one of the Cowfold foundations), Eggerness Sparkle, Captain Courageous of Auchen, Carol of Cowfold, Felcourt Tulip and Gwenna of Kirtling (dam of Ch Rozavel Rainbow). I'd be surprised if any modern pedigree didn't contain all of these, plus some other Perfection progeny too.

Prewar breeders were sensible enough to realise that the dominance of Ch Rozavel Red Dragon as a stud dog needed to be tempered by some other sires who did not contain any Dragon 'blood'. Various dogs were tried with this aim in mind but with hindsight it is quite certain that Teekay Perfection was by far the most important dog of the era not to have Dragon in the pedigree (though he did have two lines to Dragon's ubiquitous sire Ch Crymmych President. All show Pems today trace back in male line to President, either via Perfection (through his son Felcourt Squire) or via Dragon (mainly through his son Spring Robin and perhaps also, in the USA, via Teekay Marquess).

Simon Parsons

P.S. Anne Biddlecombe was the author of the charming poem Corgi Fantasy.