Great Character and Tenacity, a Winning Combination
Nunsoe Duc de la Terrace of Blakeen arrived in America in August of 1933. The Hoyts gave him plenty of time to acclimate to his new life before presenting him to the American dog society, but Mrs. Hoyt knew what she had and knew what she was doing. The great dog’s coming out party was the 1934 Westminster Kennel Club dog show. There he was up against the greatest American Poodles of the day, plus some other heavy imported names. Duc smoked them all soundly and righteously, defeating last year’s big winner, Poli, taking Best of Breed and going all the way to an incredible Group First.
Here was one for the record books, here was one that the fans could get behind. Although this event took place over 80 years ago, we are very lucky to have someone in the fancy who remembers this great dog on his American debut. All-rounder AKC judge Anna Katherine Nicholas recalls the white lion’s first night in New York. “Duke was an absolutely fabulous dog. Oh my! He was quite a sensation. Nobody had really seen a dog like that before, you see. And Mrs. Hoyt was so elegant herself. They were quite a pair! I think people took real notice of Poodles that very night.”
The Duke was on that night, but he was young at the American game and he was too playful for his own good. In the Best in Show line-up the Blakeen team found a pretty tough crowd of contenders, not the least of which was the great Wire Fox Terrier bitch, Ch. Flornell Spicy Bit of Halleston, who was guided by Percy Roberts to top honors for the evening. A whisper of greatness must have been floating through the atmosphere that week, because sharing the green carpet during the three days of judging by winning their Breeds were the immortal Irish Setter, Ch. Higgins Red Coat; the unforgettably gorgeous Collie, Ch. Bellhaven Black Lucason; the Cocker Spaniel, Ch. The Great My Own; the first American-bred Boxer champion, Ch. Dodi v.d. Stoekersburg; the immortal Chow Chow sire, Ch. Clairedale Son Too; and the Airedale bitch, Ch. Covert Dazzle of Shelterock.
Each and every one of these dogs mentioned is a pillar and legend in their own breed, but of the Duke’s appearance that night, Arthur Frederick Jones of the AKC Pure-Bred Dogs wrote, “Finally there is that superbly beautiful white Poodle, Nunsoe Duc de la Terrace, a champion already in four countries and all dog. One need not glance very long at that correctly headed, amazingly coated, perfectly conditioned, closely coupled specimen to tell why he was able to defeat in his breed, the outstanding dog, Ch. Whippendell Poli of Carillon, owned by Mrs. Whitehouse Walker, which in 1933 set a precedent by carrying off the Non-Sporting Group. ‘Duke’ is an eye catcher in there tonight and more than one heart goes out to him, as he glances so intelligently about at the other dogs, and then looks soulfully up at his owner, Mrs. Sherman R. Hoyt. The Poodle, after capturing the Non-Sporting Group two years in succession, seems back to stay, indefinitely.”
Looking Back: The 1935 Westminster Kennel Club Show
Go back 80 years to when ‘Duke’ won the 1935 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Read More>>
Great Ones: Am. Eng. Ch. Shelterock Merry Sovereign
This great Airedale Terrier followed in his parents’ footsteps by winning in both England and America. Read More>>