The ‘T’ Litter
Sire: Sh Ch Wendover Gentleman
Dam: Musbury Melisande Of Twoacres
Breeder: Mrs J E Coates
Left to Right:
Sh Ch’s Twoacres Troilus, Twoacres Teresa, Twoacres Traviata & Twoacres Tamburlaine
In the days when June Coates was a novice in the show world and Mr & Mrs L C James were part of the elite, they met quite by accident. One day after a show they met in the car park, where the James’s car had broken down. Jack, June’s husband was a car enthusiast and offered to not only take the James’s home, but to mend their car as well, which he duly did. They became firm and lasting friends. Despite this friendship though, when Jimmy James suggested that June use Sh Ch Wendover Gentleman on Musbury Melisande Of Twoacres, she didn’t take him seriously. As she said, he was the elite with the top dog of the day and she was a novice. However, he persisted and she eventually agreed to the mating, which went on to produce the very famous ‘T’ litter. This was her first litter.
Melisande produced a litter that provided the breed with a record number of winners in one litter; a record that remains unbroken today. The ‘T’ Litter contained 4 Show Champions – Twoacres Troilus, Tamburlaine, Traviata and Teresa as well as the dual CC winner, Triton, who was unlucky not to win his title and Tosca, a Stud Book Entrant. Traviata and Teresa won 7 CC’s and 6 CC’s respectively, plus many RCC’s. Tamburlaine, won Best In Show all breeds at Windsor in 1970.
Troilus was by far the most successful show dog of the litter, winning 21 CC’s, 15 RCC’s, 3 Groups, a Championship Best In Show at belfast in 1971 and Irish Setter of the Year in 1971, replacing his sire as the top CC winner. His prowess as a sire was equally successful, being Stud Dog of the Year for three consecutive years: 1974, 1975 & 1976, winning the Mars Stud Dog Trophy. He sired 6 British Show Champions and 11 CC winners, in addition to several overseas Champions. He also produced another 7 progeny who were RCC winners and another 13 who were Stud Book entrants. Between them, this litter won 39 CC’s, 4 Gundog Groups, 4 Reserve Gundog Groups and 2 Best in Show.
When the litter by Sh Ch Wendover Gentleman was born, later to be so successful, that it became known here and abroad, simply as the ‘T’ Litter, June intended to keep a bitch and run another on for company. Her pick of litter was Tosca. She had a beautiful head and was a great character, she had no hesitation about her, for June she stood out a mile. There were three other bitches, two of which were booked.
Pam Scott had asked for pick of dogs as she wanted to show. She was offered the choice of all the boys and selected Tamburlaine at about 7 weeks, going back again later and still choosing the same pup. Ernie Woodall, an old friend of June’s has asked to look at the litter. He had been in Springers for 40 years and June respected his opinion. Apparently, he didn’t set the pups up to look at them, he didn’t even handle them, he just stood in the middle of a milling pack of pups and watched them running about. Picking one up by the scruff, he said in his quiet way, “There’s summat about this one”. This one was Troy and he was retained just to keep Tosca company for a while. At that time, June had no intention of keeping a dog, having been advised that it was sensible for a small kennel just to keep bitches, as the best dogs in the country were available for a stud fee. So she decided to keep him for a while and let him go when a nice home had been found. But as time went by, she became so attached to him, that there was no way she could part with him and anyway, he was beginning to reveal his early potential for his natural showmanship and his soundness. June never pretended that she chose Troilus, she always said he was just a lucky accident and often wondered if with more experience she would have chosen him straight away as pick of litter. She also often wondered if it was true what people say; ‘that producing a Champion is 10% breeding, 10% feeding and 80% luck. That one might say, EENY, MEENY, MINY MO, in a good even litter’.
June’s pick of litter, Tosca, didn’t win any CC’s, but did win her way into the Stud Book. She was a sound moving, big-ribbed bitch, with a beautiful head and shoulders. She never grew much feathering, which was a considerable handicap. Poor Tosca developed cystic ovaries and had to be spayed after breeding only one litter, so didn’t have much opportunity as a brood bitch either. Mrs James, whose opinion June greatly valued, always thought Tosca the best of the ‘T’ litter, preferring her to Troy, though she did give June one of her happiest days, when on her final judging engagement at Crufts in 1972, she awarded Troy BOB, with his sister Traviata winning the Bitch CC.
Judy Russell (Ballywestow) went to see the ‘T’ litter, as she was interested in seeing some pups sired by Gentleman. Looking at the big fat bitch with a ginger coat, like a Woolworth’s Teddy Bear, she said to June, “I’d get rid of that one as a pet if I were you”. June did just that. She sold ‘big fat Nellie’ to Mrs Whitaker, later to become Mrs Vant, as she wanted a nice pet for her children. The pet was to become Sh Ch Twoacres Teresa, the foundation bitch of the Barleydales and the judge who gave her the first CC………yes, you’ve guessed it, it was Judy Russell!!
Sh Ch Twoacres Traviata? Mrs Quinn (Wickenberry) had just tragically lost a youngster and went to June looking for a puppy to fill the gap. At the time she had no serious aspirations towards the show ring, but desperately wanted a bitch. She chose the one who was in the corner chewing a brush, as she liked her character. So Traviata went home with Jean Quinn, destined to become a very valuable foundation bitch, as she became the first of Jean’s Show Champion bitches. More than that, she was the light of Jean’s life, for whom there would never be another quite like Honey. If Jean hadn’t come along when she did, June would possibly have kept her instead of Troy. She had already promised the fourth bitch to someone else, which left her without a companion bitch to run on with Tosca. As anyone who knew her would tell you, June always kept her word, so if she didn’t want one pup on it’s own, that meant her keeping a dog.
The second dog was chosen and went home, he was Twoacres Triton, who was eventually bought back by John Vant, going on to win 2 CC’s and being very unlucky not to gain his title.
Twoacres Tamburlaine won his first CC at Windsor Ch Sh under Janice Roberts (Cornevon), going on to be BIS under the late Harry Glover at one of our most prestigious shows. Twoacres Tamburlaine had a fantastic coat and was always immaculately put down – a very glamorous boy. Sadly, he was never used at stud as he was a house pet and his owner was not really interested in him being used. June often wondered what he could perhaps have sired. She also wished that Tosca could have had some of his feathering as she always said he had enough feathering for two.
Troy had over 800 registered progeny and in all his stud career, he never refused to mate a bitch brought to him. He was a clever and reliable stud dog, who very rarely missed to a bitch. It can never be denied that he earned his place in our breed history. June took great pleasure from the wins of Troy’s progeny, there were so many good ones as he had the opportunity to mate some very influential bitches. He had the facility to produce not just the odd winner, but several in so many litters, notably to Sh Ch Morningstar Melanie, Wendover Bonnie, as well as Sh Ch Cornevon Primrose and Sh Ch Cornevon Cinderella, producing in all, 11 CC winners and 6 Show Champions in this country.
Below is a list of Troilus’s CC winning progeny.
Sh Ch Moyna Mister O’Hara – Dam: Sh Ch Morningstar Melanie
Sh Ch Moyna Michelle – Dam: Sh Ch Morningstar Melanie
Sh Ch Goldings Joss Cambier – Dam: Wendover Bonnie
Sh Ch Shanell Lerouge – Dam: Shama Of Shanell
Sh Ch Cornevon Stargem – Dam: Sh Ch Cornevon Primrose
Sh Ch Skymist Wold Storm – Dam: Skymist Raver
Solace Of Twoacres 1 CC – Dam: Sh Ch Cornevon Cinderella
Cornevon Stargazer 1 CC & 2 RCC – Dam: Sh Ch Cornevon Primrose
Cornevon Starspangle 1 CC & 2 RCC – Dam: Sh Ch Cornevon Primrose
Cornevon Starkissed Of Cribbarth 1 CC & 3 RCC – Dam: Sh Ch Cornevon Primrose
Barleydale Lucetta 1 CC & 1 RCC – Dam: Sh Ch Twoacres Teresa
Collorne Adonis 1 CC & 2 RCC – Dam: Carracray Kirsty Of Collorne
Collorne Autonoe Of Phendrewson 1 CC & 1 RCC – Dam: Carracray Kirsty Of Collorne
In addition to this he also produced another 7 progeny who were RCC winners and another 13 who were Stud Book entrants. Between them, this litter won 39 CC’s, 4 Gundog Groups, 4 Reserve Gundog Groups and 2 Best in Show.
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