Interview With Our Dogs October 2029


How did your involvement with the breed begin?


My interest in dogs began in the forties when my Mother remarried after the loss of my father that I never knew. My new step-dad Chris owned a racing Greyhound named Jonnie who funnily enough always came in second, that was until he was sold then he went onto a long winning streak. Jonnie created my Mother’s interest in dogs, and after looking at a number of breeds they settled on a sable Alsatian, Brackenber Clodagh, from Mrs Steede, from Norman Cross and a Pembroke Corgi from Miss Blount of Rhinog Corgi and Sheltie fame. Encouraged by Miss Blount to start showing, at Boston Canine Society over the Christmas period 1951 my path for life was set when I first handled in the children’s handling class and got placed third. My parent took the kennel name Willowbeach this coming from the willow trees at the front and rear of the Holbeach home. My Parents decided that in order to have more dogs they would need to move and in 1952 we moved to the lovely village of Peakirk, with its old stone houses, quaint church and village green. It was when searching for another Pembroke that we travelled down to Surrey to view a litter that Charles and Vera Lister-Kaye had, and lo and behold we met our first Cardigan. Something attracted us all to this breed, maybe the look of a mini Alsatian, and we all decided that we would wait for a puppy from what I consider later the great brood bitch Ch Lisaye Rebecca of Greenfarm, and in 1952 the first Cardigan entered my life.

On leaving school I left home to work in Alsatian and Bedlinton kennels owned by Mrs O’Brian at Kenfield Hall, Petham near Canterbury, and then onto Poodle kennels at Camberley, where I became a self taught Poodle trimmer. Returning home I married, purchased our first home and decided on the kennel name Joseter, this coming from our first names Josephine and Peter, and Samantha of Joseter became the first of many Joseter Cardigans.


What were your ethics when you began with the breed. What did you do, to learn about the breed and who was a mentor for you?


Watch, listen, ask questions, read canine publications, study canine photos, great breeders, their dogs and pedigrees and the methods used by different by handlers and judges. Many have helped me over the years with advice and guidance the first being Miss Blount ( Rhinog) for allowing me to handle some of her Pems during the 50s. Terrier professional handler Ernie May who lived in the next village and who I spent so much time with at his kennels and shows, his handling, trimming skills and ability were second to none. ‘It’s me against the judge boy, (always called me boy) show them the small obvious faults and hide the major ones’ is something I remember to this day. From within the breed Charles and Vera Lister-Kaye (Lisaye) who I spent time with while working in kennels at Camberley, to be able ask questions, and just to listen to them talk about both breeds. Being sent around the breed benches and rings to find the best head front etc was a lesson in education which I wish played a major part in today’s modern thinking world. Pam Walker (Jezalin) and Sonnia Godden (Kentwood) for the endless hours of discussion on the breeds different lines, studs and breed’s direction well into the early hours of morning. From the U.S.A, the first lady of the breed, the late Helen Bole Jones who I worked so closely with for forty years, and who played such a major part in my stock today. Our lines followed the same path way back to the breed’s great U.K dog of the 60s Ch Pantyblaidd Pip and the photos from both sides of the pond showed this dog’s greatness by being mated to different lines 1000s of miles apart, yet the progeny could have come out of the same kennel.

What lines did you start with when breeding and are they still in your lines today?


My line started from my parents Willowbeach line with the red and white Samantha of Joseter, a great granddaughter of one of the breed’s great bitches Ch Lisaye Rebecca of Greenfarm, who became part of my 

parents kennel during the 50s. Samantha was mated in 1971 to Ch Pantyblaidd Pip and this mating produced my first independently bred Cardigan and today all my dogs still go back to Samantha and Pip, four times via grand-parents and 7 times by great gran-parent, and by the time I had gone back 7 generations I lost count.


Did you show for a while before breeding your first litter?


Extremely valuable experience with my parents kennels then working in other kennels along with handling many breeds over many years gave me insight into the vast problems breeders faced. This also allowed me the time to gain the knowledge of dogs and lines within the breed that could prove successful in my long term planning



From the first litter you bred, did success in the show ring come quickly?


Yes by mating Samantha of Joseter to Ch Pantyblaidd Pip, which produced Ch Joseter Mudwin. Pip was considered a dog before his time, most certainly under used at stud maybe due to living at Whitland in Carmarthenshire, a long trip in a Austin A35 van in those days from Peterborough with a 83 flat out speed. Mudwin went onto win six CCs including best in show at the Cardigan National Ch show He went onto sire eight champions all of whom produced champions.

Equally, when did you first award CCs for the breed and which show, your CC winners?


Made the C.C list in 1970 and first appointment was Windsor Ch show 1976, DCC Sandra Tonkin’s, Ch Beckrow Bandelero. RDCC Maureen Thomas’ Ch Ringinglow Mory’s Treasure. BCC and BOB Sonnica Godden’s Ch Kentwood Heulwen. RBCC Joan Foden’s Cardwyn Dilwel Tania


What has been your highlight with the breed, whether it be a judging appointment or successful win at a show?


So many great moments that will always be extra special. I am a believer the national club is the backbone of the breed and it was a special moment when I got elected to the Cardigan Association committee giving me the opportunity to put something back and work for the breed that I loved so much. Making the judging list and awarding CCs after a twenty four year apprenticeship was extra special, since then I have judged the breed at top level for 44 years, twice at Crufts, numerous times at national clubs in Europe and the USA including the American Cardigan national in 1997. So I hope I lived up to the expectations others placed in me in the years prior.

How many Champions have you bred and owned in the breed in the UK and overseas, and what other achievements are a major highlight, group win, BIS all breed, Crufts, Club show win, and any overseas achievements. (POTY/Champion Stakes/Veteran stakes can also be included)


I have never kept any record of CCs won nor of Champions at home or overseas. They are part of breed history for others hopefully to learn from.

Every breed has its really great judges, and to win under those is always that extra bit special. To walk down the green carpet in the Crufts group ring is also very special and I am proud to have represented the breed on numerous occasions from the 70s to present time. Best in Show at one’s own breed’s national, which must be the show of all shows gives one a wonderful sense of satisfaction and I remember every one from my first in 1963 to my last in 2019.


 Other very special wins were handling Bob Caldwell & Helen Bole Jones’ Am Ch Mariel’s Sweet Dreams to Best in Show at the American National Speciality in 2004. She was sired by Ch Phi-Vestavia Evan Evans that I handled to Best of Opposite in 1998. I then brought Evan Evans to England making him top dog two years running and taking B.I.S at our Cardigan national in 2000, before returning this special dog home. What made this extra special? Evan Evans was a son of my own U.K Ch Joseter Joson who went to America after winning 33 C.Cs.

So many other great wins in stakes classes with different dogs, and of course after 40 years of group 2s that very first of many group wins in 2014 with Ch Joseter Mr Blobby (whose grandmother was Am Ch Mariel’s Sweet Dreams ) who went on to beat all records with group placements, one res best in show at SKC and smashed the breed record of 36 C.Cs before retiring with 51 CCs.


Name three of the best dogs you have bred or owned that you feel are the best examples of the breed. What virtues did these three dogs have that made them stand out from the others?


It’s hard to name my top three, so I have drawn up my dream team for a future breeding and show perspective. Ch Joseter Mudwin was one of the breeds great stud dogs proven by his ability to sire his quality on so many different lines. His son, Ch Pharoah Of Joseter bred by Mrs Finney. This beautiful constructed dog was the perfect showman, another proven producer coupled with 23 C.Cs won during one of the strongest periods in the breed’s history. Ch Joseter Joson had wonderful front and rear construction, overall balance and I considered him the greatest effortless mover the breed had seen up to that time. A grandson of Pharoah, winner of 34 C.Cs before leaving for America late in life, where it’s well documented that he became a most distinguished and influential sire, producing over fifty champions for which he awarded the R.O.M g title. Ch Joseter Mr Blobby the breed record holder and Great,G,G.G grandson of Joson, slightly smaller but spot on the standard correct height. He had a remarkable show career winning his first CC as a puppy to his last as a veteran, so hard to fault in construction the perfect effortless movement of Joson and the perfect showman. As a stud dog extremely valuable for he was one of the few that could be mated to all colours

Name three of the best dogs you have judged over your career that you hold in high regard for the example of the breed.



Three great Cardigans from different decades that I would have been proud to own or handle,

from the 90s and for me male of the decade Ch Lanchester Statesmen with his wonderful overall construction and text book front. From the 70s Ch Ringinglow Mory’s Treasure so feminine great lines and bore the wonderful qualities of the Ringinglow line that I so admired over many years.

From 2018 and the only Euro Corgi Ch show held in the U.K I award the RCC to an eight year veteran from Finland, Johanna Flinck’s Multi Ch Big-Wood's Triumph Renown who I had given top honours in Europe years earlier. I considered top drawer then and a prime example of what our breed should be all about in the show ring and breeding lines.


What are your views on the breed, from different corners of the World? How do they vary from the type in the UK to overseas? Are the breed standards different from UK, FCI and AKC, ANKC.


Thankfully worldwide we still look one breed, but the movement of so many dogs around the world have weakened many lines mainly due to lack of knowledge of the stock and its background being introduced. The breed’s got only two standards worldwide the U.K standard which is used by all countries apart from America who of course have their own. Europe’s now extra strong in quality and they have many great breeders who care about the breed with passion. U.K breeders have the stock and lines to match anywhere, the way they use it will decide its success in the years ahead.


How do you feel the breed has changed from when you started in the breed, to today, on a UK level and globally? Have they improved or got more varied over time.


Cardigans are one of the few breeds that have changed very little since the 1920s, lower to ground certainly. Fronts thankfully have improved beyond recognition around the world, due to the judges and breeders at long last starting to grasp some sort of understand of correct Cardigan front structure.



What are the three most exciting judging appointments you have done, globally, that you can say has ticked a box for you in your bucket list. Who were your winners from the show?





So many breed club show and nationals at home, Europe and the U.S.A it would be unfair to single out three for all had individual qualities that make them unique. Outside of breed judging I found my two championship puppy groups both exciting and a test on my knowledge. From the seven groups at Boston Ch Show my best puppy in show the Dalmatian Tolutim Yves St Laurent at Judally owned by Green and Sears  went onto gain his Ch title. Likewise Terrier puppy group winner Border Terrier Glebeheath Jump the Gun owned by Mrs J Guvercin gained his crown at 18 mths and at 18 mths had won 5 c.cs. At S.W.K.A from some excellent puppies in most groups I placed my faith in a six month Whippet at its very first show named Envisage This at Supeta owned by MaKay and Mycroft. While I understand that to date she’s lived up to my expectations,time will tell if she goes all the way.


Haveyou had the honour of judging the breed at Crufts, if so, what year and whom were your winners ? (this question may be related to the previous question)


Twice, the first was the centenary in 1991, Dog CC Keith and Joyce Littlefair’s Ch Doldrum Hennessy. RDCC Maureen Thomas’ Rikarlo Amos of Ringinglow. Bitch CC and B.O.B Doreen Pages UK? Ir Ch Grangefield Guinivere. RBCC Teresa Maddox’ Ch Jezalin Crown Jewel. Second time, 2006 with dog CC going to Kim Nielsen’s U.K and Multi Ch Blondies Noble Man, RDCC Thelma Taylor’s U.K/Nor Ch Tamlin King Solomon. Bitch CC and BOB Hobbs and Allen’s Am Ch Grangefield Inquisitive with the RBCC going to Alison and Peter Hughes’ Ch Trenwydd Goodnight Girl.

 Second time, 2006 with dog CC going to Kim Nielsen’s U.K and Multi Ch Blondies Noble Man, RDCC Thelma Taylor’s U.K/Nor Ch Tamlin King Solomon. Bitch CC and BOB Hobbs and Allen’s Am Ch Grangefield Inquisitive with the RBCC going to Alison and Peter Hughes’ Ch Trenwydd Goodnight Girl.


If you could go back in time and have the opportunity to judge a specific dog that you didn’t get the chance to, who would that be and why?



Having been around what many say seems like forever, I have three bitches I have seen throughout their show careers but never judged. The first Doreen and John Page’s Ch Deb’s Delight of Grangefield born in 1970. She held the breed record from the 70s -90s, and today still holds the bitch CC 

record of 35 CCs. From the ringside she looked to have outstanding construction quality, total balance, super lines giving wonderful elegance. I still consider her a great breed record holder and would dearly have loved the opportunity to prove myself right. Sadly for the breed she was never bred from. Second, Gwen Roberts’ Ch Rogwen Black Beauty born in 1965 and top winning Cardigan bitch in in 1967 and 68 and she was the first tri colour Ch in the breed. So loved this bitch who appeared so totally honest in all departments, and would have given anything to have her and 

Second, Gwen Roberts’ Ch Rogwen Black Beauty born in 1965 and top winning Cardigan bitch in in 1967 and 68 and she was the first tri colour Ch in the breed. So loved this bitch who appeared so totally honest in all departments, and would have given anything 

to have her and Deb’s Delight in my kennel, now I can only dream of what could have been achieved.

 Third comes the breed’s first group winner Sarah Taylor’s Ch Bymil Picture This. Born in 2007 she certainly always looked the perfect picture and did so much to make the breed noticed in the big ring. While I never judged her I did have the pleasure of awarding her daughter two CCs and BOBs the 

second coming as a veteran at the Euro corgi show held in the UK and I really would have liked to satisfied myself to whom I considered the best of these two lovely girls.

If you were hosting a dinner party, whom would you invite, dead or alive in the world of dogs to your dinner, and why


My dinner party guests would have depth of canine experience, willing to pass knowledge on, listeners to others, story tellers, humour, whit and a vision for the direction required in the show world. So without hesitation Jo Cartledge, Albert Wight, Steve Hall, Robin Searle and Marion Spavin, would ensure this party went on into the early hours.



If you could only choose one of your hobbies, which would it be, breeding, showing, or judging, and why?


At my age it would at first glance be to turn my lifetime’s experience in to judging, but sadly with the present J.C.F regulations being in total denial of anyone’s lifetime experience playing any part in modern judging learning, it would become a venture up a dead end ally. So I’ll retire, become a one foot in the grave grumpy old man Victor Meldrew style, maybe turning out if asked to judge a club show.


If you did not have Corgis, which other breed do you like and would like to have been involved with?


One of my first judging appointments in the early 60s was Papillons and I said after the assignment if I ever changed breeds it would be them, Today I would not alter my choice.


What goals do you have for the next ten years in the world of dogs.


We are in uncertain times, I know the direction the next mating needs to take is away from my own line, followed by bringing the results of that mating back to my own stock. Time will tell if I get it correct.


Aside from dogs, what other hobbies do you enjoy doing


Pickleball, which I took up in the U.S, it is very similar to badminton but easier for the older generation. Playing cards, Spades, Canasta and Bridge. True life crime stories, fast cars and motorhome adventures, and most of all being busy, active and looking for new adventures and not acting my age.

Name your dream seven dogs for a Best in Show that you would judge, one dog from each group, over the years that have been a favourite of yours, and why?


Have spent a lifetime sitting watching around rings from dawn to dusk as been the most valuable learning experience using only ones eyes. Having admired so many I dearly love to know if my hands will confirm what my eyes have seen. My selection include two that have beaten me to top spot, Spavin’s Beagle Ch Dialynne Peter Piper and Brenda White’s Bearded Collie Ch Potterdale Classic of Moonhills, Ellis Hulme’s Papillion Ch Pierre of Oakridges. Mary Hambleton’s Boxer Ch Marbelton Desperate Dan, Cragg and Armstrong’s Ch Hungargunn Bear, Fords Norfolk Terrier Ch Thrumptpon Lord Redwood, and Jean Blythe’s Lhasa Apso, Ch Saxonsprings Hackensack


Finally how would you like to be remembered?


Someone who always wanted to be judged, not by the past achievements but by his next good Cardigan. Leg pulling and respect for the breed and its future.




Peter Clifton