Bonus content from “The First Best in Show Winners,” appearing in the April 2016 issue of Dogs in Review magazine. Subscribe to receive 12 months of Dogs in Review magazine, or call 1-888-738-2665 to purchase a single copy.
In addition to the successful Hayes Blake Hoyt and her Blakeen Kennels, another extremely competitive Poodle breeder and exhibitor won as much in the 1930s, sometimes even more. Mrs. Milton Erlanger favored black Standard Poodles in her Pillicoc kennels: in 1937 her Ch. Pillicoc Rumpelstiltskin was top Poodle with a half dozen Bests and won AKC’s award for Best American-Bred Dog of the Year. (This was based on number of Group wins — not on BIS.)
The following year Rumpelstiltskin won the Group at Westminster and went head-to-head with Blakeen Eiger, but both of them lagged behind Jung Frau based on number of BIS won — that year it was her turn to win the AKC award for Best American-Bred Dog regardless of breed. In 1939 a younger homebred, also black, Ch. Pillicoc Aplomb, was the top BIS winner of any breed, ahead even of the great Westminster-winning Doberman Ch. Ferry v. Rauhfelsen (mentioned in Part 1 of this article in the March 2016 issue), with Eiger and Rumpelstiltskin further behind. (Jung Frau did not score that year; dare one suppose that she then had been at least temporarily retired to have puppies? She returned to further show ring acclaim in the ’40s.)
The competition between Blakeen and Pillicoc continued into the 1940s, but while the latter was extremely successful for a few short years it was Blakeen that stayed the course and had the most influence on the future. The three white Standard Poodles that won BIS at Westminster after Duc (Ch. Puttencove Promise in 1958, Ch. Acadia Command Performance in 1973 and Ch. Whisperwind On A Carousel in 1991) all descend from the Duke.
It has been suggested that there was no love lost between the two leading ladies of the Poodle world, but at least one man was friends with both. The remarkable Ernest E. Ferguson in California had owned BIS- winning Great Danes, but it was when he turned his attention to Poodles that the results were most spectacular. He bought Aplomb from Mrs. Erlanger and made him Top Dog of all breeds; he later also purchased several Blakeen Miniatures and won Best in Show at least six times at the classic Santa Barbara show between 1938 and 1962.
Bonus content from the “First Best in Show Winners,” appearing in the April 2016 issue of Dogs in Review magazine. Subscribe to receive 12 months of Dogs in Review magazine, or call 1-888-738-2665 to purchase a single copy.