Bob Caldwell'

Just before Crufts 2019, sad news came from the USA of the death of breed stalwart Bob Caldwell.

from the U.S.A leaves me so very sad but at the same time so full of the many wonderful memories we shared over the past 50 years on both sides of the pond. Bob came into Cardigans in the late 60s with his first wife Sherry and the kennel name Checkmate. They became frequent visitors to the UK and first imported a Parmel Cardigan who unfortunately developed PRA. I think this played a huge part in Bob’s attitude that it would never be acceptable to use carriers when the breeds obtained a DNA test for the condition in the 90s, and he campaigned heavily to convince others to follow suit in the US. Next, from Doreen Dodd came the male Wendac Checkmate Bingo and the female Wendac Checkmate Charity, both born in 1974. Then came the influential red and white Am & Can Ch Dilwel Rowland, who went on to win an award of merit at the 1978 CWCCA show under renowned UK judge Betty Baker, and in 1979 best veteran under senior UK judge Arthur Bridge. After the Caldwells split up Bob, teamed up with Helen Bole Jones and her world renowned Kennebec Cardigans which had a close working relationship with Joseter, and in 1992 after he had taken best of breed at Crufts, Helen returned home with what many felt the UK most prized asset, Ch Joseter Joson. This was one of the hardest decisions Helen, Anne, Bob and I ever had to make and thankfully it proved our faith in this wonderful male and his ability to stamp his mark to its full potential and he became a distinguished and influential sire long term. In 1998 Bob and Helen honoured our deal and let me return home with a Joson son they owned, Am Ch Phi-Vestavia Evan Evans, after I handled him to best of opposite at the CWCCA national, and he was followed by the home bred Ch /Am Ch Kennebec Jolly Roger. Both of these males became UK champions and proved influential sires and today sit proudly in the pedigrees of theU.K all time top winning Cardigan Ch Joseter Mr Blobby, Mr Parkinson and this year Crufts best of breed Ch Joseter Frazer Nash, plus many others worldwide.

In 2000 Bob judged Manchester Ch show in the U.K and I joined Bob and shared a room with him at the hotel. At around 11p.m the fire alarms all went off and with the lifts out of action and us on the sixth floor the word evacuation was the last word Bob wanted to hear, and the following tales been told many times, that after the first flight of stairs Bob could not go on. Not to leave his my friend to roast abandoned I piggybacked Bob down the remaining flights and into the street only to be told it was a false alarm and once the fire service gave us the OK we returned via the lift and sat on our bed drinking malt whiskey and putting the Cardigan world to right into the early hours of the morning. At the show Bob found his BOB in Ch Craigdam Kera, with the dog CC going to Ch Jogela Benjamin and the RCCs to Tamlin King Solomon and Ch Trenwydd Goodnight Girl. After judging Bob asked my opinion to which I replied ‘do you want the good news or bad’. ‘Give me the good news first’, so I told him that to judge on UK soil and in your very first class of only one withhold, was a brave but correct decision but I then followed with the bad news, telling Bob it was sired by his dog Evan Evans, and that became a tale he told many times around the USA.

The breed has lost a person who gave so much for its advancement, and a true loyal worker for the CWCCA and the breed worldwide. He served on the CWCCA national committee and was its President (UK Chairperson) for a number of years, during which time the breed and American club made great advancements which can still be seen today. Bob was the first of a small elite number of Cardigan people to be presented with a life time achievement award by the Cardigan Welsh Corgi Club of America for services rendered to the breed and club, an award thoroughly deserved. In 2002 the CWCA purchased one of these awards from America and presented it to Dr Ken Linacre in appreciation of his work in obtaining a DNA test for PRA which benefitted the breed worldwide. This idea first came from Bob and guess what, he even contributed over half the cost, such was his and Helen’s generosity. He was a member of the illustrated standard committee, an honorary life member of the CWCCA, past chairman of the AKC standard committee, one of the first Cardigan breeder judges in the US, judged the 1999 Cardigan National Specialty and was one of the few responsible for drawing up the rules for the annual Megan Competition .

Over fifty years Bob attended many UK nationals and Crufts, I have enjoyed endless hours of his company both at Kennebec and at Joseter in the U.K. and we enjoyed many meals in his favourite and our local old English pub the Goat Inn. On one visit we went to Duxford Air Museum that also housed the American Air Museum. Helen when off on one of her quick walk rounds covering the whole site in 30 mins only to return and find Bob still talking to the ticket man on the entrance door. Yes he definitely was a talkoholic, and sure, Bod certainly did have strong opinions which he never shied from voicing for hours on end, but above all he cared deeply about the breed he had loved for so many years. RIP Bob you will be missed’.

Peter Clifton (Joseter U.K)