The Rev. & Mrs. George E. Sinkinson
The Rectory kennel remains one of the best known and most highly respected names in Bloodhounds. Established in 1960 by the Rev. George E. Sinkinson and his wife Jackie, it produced 135 champions, five BIS winners, several top producers and provided foundation stock for countless modern bloodlines. Despite their substantial contributions as breeders, the Sinkinsons are best remembered for their generosity, patience and dedication to the Bloodhound community.
George Sinkinson Jr., known as Sink, was born in 1925 in Lincoln, R.I. He served as a Navy pilot in World War II and became a stockbroker after graduating from Yale in 1945. His life took an abrupt turn in 1954 when he abandoned high finance to attend the Episcopal Theological School in Cambridge, Mass., and married professional figure skater and fellow Providence native, Jacquelyn Sawyer. He made drastic personal and career changes that year, and change can be good. Sink also began to pursue his boyhood dream of owning a Bloodhound.
Jackie and Sink were familiar with the breed through police K-9 units that sprang up throughout New England after WWII. Their first Bloodhound, and the foundation bitch of their line, was The Chase’s Perizadah, called Beulah. Jackie began training her for trailing with Rhode Island State Police and subsequently trained numerous Bloodhounds and worked with K-9 police units in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Maine.
Sink was ordained as an Episcopal priest in 1958, assigned to St. Martin’s and Grace Church in Providence, and they began showing Beulah. She quickly finished and they realized that one Bloodhound would not be the extent of their interest. The timing was perfect. The breed desperately needed enthusiastic people like the Sinkinsons. Although this ancient breed had been recognized since AKC’s founding, its popularity hit a low in the 1930s and ’40s. A Bloodhound didn’t earn an AKC BIS until 1936, or place in the Westminster Group until 1941.
In 1960 they registered their kennel name. According to Sports Illustrated Sink “bewildered several bishops by breeding bloodhounds under the name of The Rectory Kennel.” (2/26/73) Beulah’s first litter by Ch. Horrall’s Searcher was whelped in 1963 after the Sinkinsons were transferred to St. Luke’s Church in San Francisco. It produced five champions, including two important brothers, the 1969 Westminster Best of Breed winner and multi Group winner Ch. The Rectory’s Muldoon and The Rectory’s Curate. Owner-handled by Richard Hiett, Curate’s phenomenal record rekindled interest in Bloodhounds on the West Coast. He finished at 14 months, and earned two BIS and 17 Groups, to rank as a top 10 Hound in 1966 and 1967. Bred 12 times, he produced 24 champions and was named top producer by Kennel Review in 1970 and 1971.
The most important puppy in this litter was Ch. The Rectory’s Ruin. Top-producing dam of 1970, she produced 14 champions in three litters, including five Group winners, four Westminster Breed winners, and two BIS bitches. Ruin’s first litter by Ch. Equerry of Brighton produced Ch. The Rectory’s Recruit. Famed for his style and showmanship, Recruit was top Bloodhound in 1969. It also produced BIS and specialty-winning Ch. The Rectory’s Reward, the bitch Jackie always cited as her favorite; a three-time specialty winner, and top bitch in 1968 and 1969.
Ruin’s second and third litters were sired by BIS and two-time ABC national specialty winner Ch. St. Hubert Blondel. Among others, this combination produced the BIS/specialty winner Ch. The Rectory’s Rebel Yell, and multi Group and specialty winner Ch. The Rectory’s Rabbi. In 1973, Reward’s daughter Ch. The Rectory’s Shalom was bred to Ch. Leroy of Lansford. The pick puppy from this all-champion litter was American/Bermudian Ch. The Rectory’s Limbo, owned by Pat Simancek and Harriet Krakounas, and handled by Vic and Sue Capone. This eye-catching, big-boned hound became a multiple BIS and ABC specialty winner, and sired 78 champions.
Jackie and Sink bred many big winners, but their most famous Bloodhound was Yankee, owned by Roger Caras. He inspired a 1979 book by the same name, which included the famous quote where Caras aptly described his breeders. “All good Bloodhound breeders are pests. They will sell you a dog for a fortune and then haunt you for the rest of your life to be sure you are taking proper care of their baby. You adopt their dog and they adopt you. The contract may not read that way but that is what happens.”
Their interest and encouragement wasn’t limited to their puppy buyers. They were a major force in the American Bloodhound Club. Sink served as an officer and director of the ABC, the Mid-Atlantic Bloodhound Club and the Colonial Bloodhound Club. Although they had been in the breed less than a decade, their remarkable contribution led to Jackie’s election as ABC president in 1965. In this capacity she served on the standard committee, worked to ensure the creation of the club’s illustrated standard, served on the judges’ education committee and became a popular specialty judge in America and abroad.
As an outspoken advocate for the breed, she encouraged research into Bloodhound health issues and worked with rescue groups. After Sink’s death in 2004, she acquired a pair of rescue Bloodhounds as companions until her death in 2006. Jackie and Sink were the first recipients of the American Bloodhound Club’s highest honor, the Meritorious Service Award.