by Bridget Smeeton


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Four generations

My beginnings with Corgis go back to 1954. I was told I could have a dog of my own when I left school. My parents tried to influence me into other breeds but I was adamant that it had to be a small dog, be my constant companion, and would work on the farm.

So it was that a Pembroke, Ceri Kandy, came into my life. Over the past 50 years I have never been without at least one Pembroke! I took the kennel name Trenarlett that my parents had registered for the Labradors.

In 1958 I did my big OE travelling to England and Europe. Sadly I didn’t see Cardigans on that trip but it was a great Pembroke experience. My first litters were very much working Corgis.

Meeting the great Ann Biddlecombe of Teekay fame when she came to NZ to judge the first Corgi specialty show in Wellington in 1961 saw me well and truly hooked when Trenarlett Prelude won the dog challenge and litter brother Philomel took best Novice in show.

All through the 1960’s the Corgis were an important part of farm life. Also over 2 decades, I travelled round the shows, covering my costs and a bit to spare as a dog photographer.

Attempts to get a Cardigan from Australia during the 60’s, PRA was causing great problems in Australia at that time.

When I visited England again in 1971, I so well remember the great Cardigans that I saw. At Cardiff show Apollinaris Carol BOB and Parmel Digger winning his 26th CC. Then at Windsor Lees Rhiwelli Blue Ray BOB with Dilwel Tony the dog CC. Other dogs such as Pantiblaidd Pip and Echium of Hezelclose were in their heydays. People like the Dilwel and Pantiblaidd Jones, Thelma Gray, the Goddens and a visit to Charlie Smith in Wales all increased my desire to own Cardigans. I realised what I was missing and I just had to have a Cardigan.

Immediately on return to NZ I found my first Cardigan puppy this was Tuahine Paraone Aki (Brush) b. 5/10/71 (Ch. Parmel Barman (UK) x Ch. Delfryd Miss Betsi). Brush was a stocky dog with a massive thick tail mostly carried far too high! He went on to do a lot of winning. His great personality and substance contributed a lot to the Cardigan image in NZ back then.

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Ch. Tuahine ParaOne Aki (Brush)

In 1972 I decided I should take a new kennel name. Rodwell was my choice, the name of the old farm home where I was born in England. In 1973 I purchased Rerehau Fairy Belle (Rerehau PouriTahi x Ch. Tenby TeMaire) bred by Joy Moore. A daughter from Brush and R. Fairy Blush, Rodwell Tigs Delight b. 28/5/74, was mated to Tuahine Merribetson (Westavon Syr Merrich x Ch. Tuahine Pouri Kotira) producing Rodwell Royale Monarch b. 5/1/76, a bold dog who performed well in the ring.

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Ch. Rodwell Royale Monarch

In 1971 Mr Jones of Dilwel fame suggested I contact Nanette Green in South Australia as she and Freda Hutchinson were importing Jezalin Fanfare of Dilwel (Trumps) b. 1/10/71 (Southpark Gerwyn x Ch. Jezalin Joseter) from Pamela Walker. So it was that Bellebeau Tara Gem (Gem) b. 22/8/73, a daughter of Trumps and Ch. Leamore Bewitching came to me in 1973. This began my link and exchange of dogs with Nan and her Cambrians, which has continued to this day.

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Ch. Bellbeau Tara Gem (Gem) and her daughter Rodwell Wagtail (Goldie)

Gem has proved to be the back bone to my breeding lines.   She was a small brindle bitch who did well in the show ring but never enjoyed this, however she excelled in the whelping box producing 4 litters for me each time coming up with winning combinations.

Gems first litter to Brush b. 12/74 produced a deep red daughter Rodwell Wagtail (Goldie). She in turn was mated to Rodwell Royale Monarch producing 3 very successful puppies in 1/77, Rowena, Raylene and Rodrego who was campaigned by Brian Surgenor to many specialty successes.

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Ch. Rodwell Rowena  - Ch. Rodwell

Gems 2nd litter to Ch. Leamore Diplomat (impAust) by Dilwel Syr-Alec x Leamore Autumn Gay: 9/75 produced a litter of 7 red and white and 1 brindle, this bitch Rodwell Gay Witch in turn was mated back to Rodwell Rodrego, producing Rodwell Halloween in November 78. Halloween was the foundation bitch for Shane and Jedda McDonoghs, Bluemeadows Kennels (I have in fact picked up this line again in 2003!!). In 1977 Aust Ch. Jezalin Fanfare of Dilwel (UK imp) (Trumps) arrived in NZ on loan for 6 months from Nan Green and Freda Hutchinson. He was campaigned to within one point of his NZ title.

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AustCh. Jezalin Fanfare of Dilwel (Trumps)

For Gems 3rd litter in 4/78 she was mated back to her father Aust Ch. Jezalin Fanfare of Dilwel. This proved to be the only litter he produced in NZ before his very untimely death at only 5 years. Of the 10 puppies (1 bitch, 9 dogs) 3 dogs went to Australia with Rodwell Tribute to Trumps producing Ch. Wanmirri Gaye Arabesque for Owen and Betty Clark. She won the Reserve Best in Show at the Camberra Corgi National. From this litter I retained Ch. Rodwell Queen of Hearts (Jess) and Ch. Rodwell Trump Card (George).  Both had brilliant show careers in NZ,  both winning Specialty Res Best in Show awards. George under Jo Parkinson and Jess under Doreen Dodd UK (Shows including Cardigan and Pembroke breeds).  

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Ch. Rodwell Queen of Hearts (Jess) - Ch. Rodwell Trump Card (George) 

Gems 4th litter was to Ch. Rodwell Rodrego, 10/80 producing Ch. Rodwell Jewel (Deni) and Ch. Rodwell Cornelian (Faye).Faye being the show success but Jewel carried through my line to the present day.

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Ch. Rodwell Jewel (Deni)

In 1980 a trip to USA and UK rekindled all my links with Cardigan and Pembrokes overseas and my showing and breeding programmes continued with success  and diversity. Ch. Cambrian Masterpiece 1981 and Cambrian Quickstep 1986 joined the team from Australia.

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Ch. Cambrian Masterpiece – Cambrian Quickstep

Jewel was mated to Ch. Cambrian Masterpiece producing Rodwell Jade b. 12/10/82. Jade was not shown but combined with Ch. Cambrian Quickstep gave me Ch. Rodwell Gemma b. 19/9/87.

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Ch. Rodwell Gemma

In December 1987 I imported from England 6 year old UK Ch. Jezalin Top Brass (Topper) from Pamela Walker. He rapidly gained his dual title and made a great contribution to Cardigans with his dominant red breeding. Success at both Specialties and All Breed shows.

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Eng/NZ Ch. Jezalin Top Brass (Topper) and his son Ch. Rodwell Brasso Lad

The most successful follow-on from Topper came through an unshown bitch, Tuahine Merri Roxanne, producing a deep red son Ch. Rodwell Brasso Lad (Laddy). Laddy was mated to Rodwell Gemma producing the deep red daughter Ch. Rodwell Pearly Lass (Pearl) b. 29/9/90.

Inspite of her not enjoying the show ring she had some great specialty successes. Her first litter to Ch. Copperleaf Indiana produced Ch. Rodwell Bronze Lad b. 6/3/92 who has given me endless pleasure with his obedience and agility, competing on a TV show and with me in the Masters games.

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Ch. Rodwell Wish Me Luck (Gracie) and Ch. Rodwell Bronze Lad (Rocky)

Pearl’s 2nd litter to the young Badagri Crest Off The Wave:  8/5/95 producing the red brindle bitch Ch. Rodwell Wish Me Luck (Gracie), very successful in the show ring and and a real joy to perform with in Agility.

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Aust/NZ Ch. Badagri Crest Of The Wave (Barty)

Gracie was first bred to Blue Grass Black Ace, a son of Ch. Finlai Icebreaker and Ch. Rodwell Canasta. I retained the tri-colourdaughter Ch. Rodwell Pearly Shells (Cilla) b. 2/1/97.

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Ch. Rodwell Pearly Shells (Cilla)

Cilla was the line-bred bitch I was wanting  to breed back to her great-great-grandfather, so we used the frozen semen taken from Top Brass 10 years before (he died in 1995). This produced a red/sable dog Ch. Rodwell Brass Topper (Magnum) and Ch. Rodwell Pamelas Choice (Rose) b. 28/2/98. Both had notable success with group placings. Born on my birthday I called them my frozen assets!

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Ch. Rodwell Brass Topper (Magnum)  and Ch. Rodwell Pamelas Choice (Rose)

Magnum was mated back to his grandmother Gracie to produce the stunning red/white bitch Ch. Rodwell Ain’t She Sweet b. 19/5/01 (Patsy). She has had many group placings and specialty success. Her brindle sister Rodwell Sweet Dreams had a litter to Bluemeadows Bonfire on 19/2/03. This brings back several early NZ blood lines including Ch. Rodwell Trump Card.This daughter Rodwell Cinder Glow (Cina) is the girl for 2004.

Rose was twice (not intentionally) mated back to her great-grandfather Aust/NZ Ch. Badagri Crest Of The Wave (Barty) the first time producing rich red brindle Ch. Rodwell True Brew b. 7/11/00. To date Brew is only the 2nd Cardi to his father to achieve the NZKC Gold merit award. He has won multiple group and in show awards, from Baby Puppy through to Open. He has moved to Brisbane (Australia) with Betty Milne in August 2004.

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Ch. Rodwell True  Brew (Brew) and Ch. Rodwell Rosette.

The repeat mating produced br/pt tricolour Ch. Rodwell Rosette (Bliss) b. 17/10/02, another consistent achiever.

A rising star of close line breeding is Rodwell Wave Breaker b. 9/3/04 (Badagri Crest Of The Wave x Ch. Rodwell Ain’t She Sweet).

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Rodwell Ain't She Sweet (Patsy) and her son Rodwell Wave Breaker (Whis)

Outcross litters for the future are in the planning.

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Corgi family, 2002

As a small kennel with limited space and litters sometimes 2 years apart, I have endeavoured to show the main line that has been developed over 30 years. Other threads have been followed but not carried on with, but one of the main dogs that have featured from very early on has been Jezalin Fanfare of Dilwel and his daughter Ch. Bellbeau Tara Gem. The combination with Jezalin Top Brass has contributed to much of the success into this new millenium.

September 2004

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