Leila Moore - Kaytop Pembroke Corgis
Obituary by Simon Parsons in Dog World 13.08.2014

Leila Moore, who bred a very distinctive type of Pembroke Corgi for over 60 years, has died at the age of 86. She had been in poor health for several years and at the time of her death had spent several weeks in hospital.

As a young woman in the early '50s she became interested in the show world, and without any particular background in the show scene became determined to succeed in Pembrokes, then one of the most popular of breeds.

Her first Pem came from Nan Butler's Wey kennel and was a good one but disappointed as a brood. Her next buy from another kennel grew up to have 'every fault in the book'.

She then saw a litter advertised, one of the very few sired in the UK by the sensational puppy champion Lees Symphony before he was exported to the US.

The litter was bred by Bunny Thornycroft who kept a dog pup who became the great stud dog of the era, Ch Maracas Masterpiece. Pick of the bitches had been promised to Lady Lloyd and who, by the time Leila was able to visit, had been and gone and taken two bitches, leaving Leila with the choice of one.

This pup, Kaytop Maracas Mist, quickly took her young owner to the very top and by the time Crufts 1955 came round they had two CCs. There, leading breeder Anne Biddlecombe (Teekay) made her a champion and put her over the spectacular Ch Zephyr of Brome for BOB.

Ch Kaytop Maracas Mist, born 14.07.1952

On to the big ring where, in those days, all the BOBs competed together and the three judges, Winnie Barber (who had given Mist her first CC), the Earl of Northesk and Tom Scott, chose Mist as runner-up to BIS that day, behind April Proctor's brown Standard Poodle.

The following day, Kennel Club chairman Alan Cecil-Wright and his deputy Tom Roger Boulton chose the outright BIS and reserve, and these went to the first day pair, the Poodle and Pembroke.

Since then, only one other Pembroke has won Reserve BIS at Crufts, Mist's descendant Ch Penliath Shooting Star 46 years later.

From Mist's son and daughter, mixed with Cowfold, Lees and Stormerbanks stock, Leila gradually built up an easily recognisable line of a type which she would stick to for the following decades. Priorities were a clean cut outline, level topline, true and strong hindquarters, and Leila always preferred to maintain the rich red colour which Mist herself sported.

Widowed sadly young, Leila was always limited in the number of shows she could attend, but towards the end of the '60s word got out that something very special was emerging from Kaytop.

Just becoming interested in the breed as a schoolboy, I can recall the excitement that surrounded the extraordinary show career of Ch Kaytop Marshall, a charismatic showman of the richest possible red colour and amazing presence. Leila took him to just 13 championship shows. At 12 of them he won the CC, at the other a reserve. Four years running, under leading judges, he won the CC at Crufts, going on to win the group there at his final appearance in 1972, judged by breed doyenne Thelma Gray.

Ch Kaytop Marshall, born 08.05.1967

Among those who used him at stud was the Queen, producing Windsor Loyal Subject, a gift to Mrs Gray who won two CCs with him. Marshall himself sired four UK champions and combined especially well with the long-standing Stormerbanks lines, through which he had a big impact on the breed. His stock, and Kaytops in general, were also much in demand overseas.

Kaytop Fluttering Feather, born 15.05.1982, exported to Switzerland

Leila herself had a pretty sable daughter of Marshall called Kaytop Sea Shell who surely could have won more than two CCs had she been able to get to more shows. Leila was always selective about where she showed and even if entered wouldn't go if the dog was in anything other than perfect coat.

To complement her Marshall descendants, Leila used dogs from other lines with the attributes she admired, never influenced in the slightest by fashion, glamour or what happened to be winning. Jane Evans' Penmoel dogs appealed to her, and she had a brother of the famous Such Fun, and later she used my Dorian's lines (Ch. Fitzdown Dorian of Deavitte).

Ch Kaytop Dancing Daffodil, born 10.12.1980

Perhaps the most widely admired of her later champions was Dancing Daffodil, slightly different from the usual Kaytop style, a gorgeous orange red bitch with a great deal of class and quality. Her son Ming sired well, helping disseminate the bobtail gene, and later went to Canada.

Later came the sisters of the traditional Kaytop type, Champions Kaytop M'Lady Maranda and Apricot Affair, and the dog Kaytop Dice of Rossacre who was made up by Ally Boughton (Rossacre) and won a group under Derek Rayne.

Finally Leila used a dog imported from the US by Louise Clark, with Marshall close up in the pedigree, and produced her last champion Flare Of Orange, 11 generations down from Mist.

Leila Moore judging at the Swiss Corgi Club Show in 1981

Leila provided foundation stock for a number of other exhibitors and was a championship show and Crufts judge.

To the end Leila's dogs were her life and she was truly dedicated to them. We should all thank the Benson and Boughton families who looked out for her when her health declined and ensured that her last dogs are OK.

Reproduced with kind permission.