AN INTERVIEW WITH GLADYS & HAYDN PHILLIPS
‘’Updated Extract from the Curly Coated Retriever Yearbook 2008’’
WHAT IS THE ORIGIN OF YOUR AFFIX AND HOW LONG HAVE YOU HELD IT?
The origin of our affix (which we have held since 1975 approx.) started when we used to take our three daughters to shows and we used to tell them to get ready and put their Gladrags on.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE BREED?
We first became interested in the breed when we saw Joe Roberts with his dog Ch Rungles Crack-O-Dawn when he bought him to Nuneaton Obedience Club where Joe was head trainer and Haydn was one of the trainers, we then waited two years for Audrey and Joe to mate Crack O Dawn to Donnaliza Of Darelyn from that we had our first curly Sh Ch Darelyn Crispian and a week later from Mrs Till we had Darelyn Copperlass a liver bitch.
WHAT OTHER BREEDS HAVE YOUR OWNED AND DID THE CURLIES COME FIRST?
We have both in our single lives and then in our married life always had dogs starting with Heinz 57 types and on to Pembroke Corgis, Labradors and Cockers, after which curlies came into lives and it’s been curlies, curlies except for our German wirehaired pointer who to this day although a veteran still brings on all our curly puppies.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN INVOLVED WITH CURLIES?
We have been involved with curlies it seems a lifetime and we suppose it is from 1975, that’s almost 40 years.
WHO WAS OR IS THE BIGGEST INFLUENCE ON YOU IN THE WORLD OF DOGS?
One of the biggest influences must be Jean Bates of the Hillanhi German Short haired pointers, she helped pick our first curly and together with her three daughters and our three daughters, two caravans and our dogs we were away into the dog world.
WHO WAS OR IS THE BIGGEST INFLUENCE ON YOU IN CURLIES?
Years ago it was a lot different than now our numbers were very few but these are people who come to mind as being an influence upon us, Delpha Easton, Geoff Nicholls, Barbara Stapely, Audrey Nicholls, Joe Roberts & Mr & Mrs Till.
DURING YOUR TIME IN THE BREED WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST IMPROVEMENTS YOU HAVE SEEN? (For e.g.: handling, presentation, fronts, top lines etc.)
There is no doubt that handling has improved but there is still room for more improvement, coats in general have improved making presentation better than it used to be. Fronts and top lines on the whole are virtually the same.
WHERE IF ANYWHERE DO YOU FEEL THE BREED HAS DETERIORATED DURING YOUR TIME?
The breed on a whole has not deteriorated too much and while the quantity is improving the quality must not be lost, we must not lose sight of being the largest of the retrievers and therefore size and substance must be maintained including the strength in hind quarters and good driving rear action and the pitter patter we sometimes see.
WHICH ARE THE TOP THREE CURLIES EITHER OWNED OR BREED BY YOU?
This is a hard question to answer as we have so many favourites but the first has to be Ch Gladrags Jackaranda who was a joy to live with not only in the show ring but out in the field and also fulfilling her maternal duties a truly wonderful dog and we could not ask for more, our second choice would be a dead heat between Sh Ch Gladrags Jack The Lad & Sh Ch Gladrags Black Lace both of whom were outstanding specimens of the breed, thirdly our young male Sh Ch Gladrags A Diamond Gent who amazes us all the time.
WHAT ARE THE TOP THREE CURLIES NOT BRED OR OWNED BY YOURSELVES?
Firstly we would choose Ch Darelyn Delrick who presented a superb picture of quality combining strength with elegance, secondly we choose Ch Darelyn Rifleman who we loved for his animation and personality and he was a true ambassador for the breed. Thirdly we choose a bitch from Denmark Ch Capercaillie’s Mistletoe who presented a superb picture of a female curly. All three had fantastic coats.
WHICH CURLY HAS BEEN THE MOST INFLUENTIAL ON THE BREED? (e.g.; sire, dam, dog raising profiles through show successes)
There can only be one and that has to be Ch Darelyn Rifleman who no doubt did raise the profile of curlies through his numerous successes in the show ring.
WHEN PLANNING A MATING WHO SELECTS THE STUD DOG, AND DO YOU FOLLOW A PARTICULAR PLAN? (e.g.; outcross every 4th generation, line breed to a certain dog/bitch) must try to adjust if these occur.
WHEN SELECTING A PUPPY FROM A LITTER WHO MAKES THE DECISION AND WHAT PARTICULAR ATTRIBUTES DO YOU LOOK FOR?
Again a joint decision and the reason for picking a particular one is not easily explained it is a case of watching the puppies develop.
WHAT DO YOU FEEL HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT IN THE WORLD OF DOGS?
There is no doubt that in the world of dogs our greatest achievement has been to be instrumental in the Curly Club getting licenses for both the Open and Championship shows and for organizing and running them which have been proved to be a big milestone in our breed bringing much needed revenue and also bringing curly enthusiasts together. On a personal note having attained over 200 CCS for our kennels.
WHAT ARE YOUR HOPES FOR THE FUTURE OF THE BREED?
We hope that we can as curly lovers continue to produce quality and not quantity, we as a breed need to keep our place in the dog world by producing some really outstanding dogs who can be eye catching, but most importantly we need the right temperament in our dogs no matter which field When we plan a mating it is a joint decision on which stud dog we use, you must have a breeding programme and we do line breed but as in life there are always unforeseen circumstances and you follow with your lifetime companion.