CH.Brightleaf Be Gracious
I really hope My site is of Great Interest
to you and your stay is pleasurable
THE STORY OF
began in 1950 when I was given a cocker bitch of dubious parentage. Duchess came
with us everywhere including sitting in the back row of the picture theatre!
When Duchess died she left a memory of the endearing temperament of the cocker
spaniel which has never faded. So I then acquired a black cocker dog with a
grand pedigree or so it seemed to me then. I joined the kennel club of the day,
and bought a gold puppy bitch double bred on Ch. Broomleaf Kim of Churdles imp
UK. However before she was old enough to breed the black dog got tick poisoning
and died. In 1954 I bred Beauford Bombshell to Brookcot Congnac, and they
produced Brightleaf Bubbles. With my very first pedigreed puppy bred in my own
prefix, I went by train to Newcastle where she won best baby puppy in show under
Mr Len de Groen. Some months later I went on the old steam trains to Sydney, and
walked with Bubbles on a lead through Darlinghurst to the show ground at Moore
Park and the Royal Easter Show. Bubbles won a large puppy class and also second
in the junior class. It was quite common in those days to enter more than one
class. I was hooked on showing! We walked back to Central Station and came back
to Gosford on the "Paper Train", arriving at 2.30am. Bubbles never
attained her Championship. You have heard the saying, "you will never,
never know if you never, never go". Well we very seldom went. At that time
I had five small children and a very sick husband and I worked two jobs to keep
things going, something I continued to do for thirty years. Bubbles gave me two
enormous litters, one of twelve and one of eleven gold pups by Papanui Passenger
(imp NZ). Passenger was by Ch. Tiny Tim of Andana (imp UK) a son of Ch.
Broomleaf Torquil of Churdles, a brother of Kim of Churdles (imp to Aust). From
that litter I sold Brightleaf Best Man to Mrs French in Western Australia. Much
later I was to get Nolyn Nutbrown Maid by Ch. Yunbaei Sea Captain (IID) and Ch.
Brightleaf Black Swan who was by Brightleaf Best Man. Bubbles could not be bred
again. From Nutbrown Maid I bred Even Better, by Ch. Lochranza Monkspring
Monarque (imp UK). Brightleaf Even Better was never titled but won well
including B. O. B. at the Spring Fair in Sydney in 1970. In the mean time I had
acquired several other dogs. Ch. Dalzar Melford (B/R) and the bitch Lambrigg
Tarji (Gold). Melford was the the last son of Ch. Marcel Mark and Tarji was
double bred on Ch. Broomleaf Kim of Churdles (imp. UK). Thelwall Copyright had
come from NZ and produced Ch. Brightleaf Black Bess to Ch. Dalzar Melford.
Melford to Tarji produced Ch. Brightleaf Bespangled (B/R). Bespangled to Ch.
Wierdene Barnscar Indigo (imp UK) gave me Ch. Brightleaf Bedecked and Brightleaf
Sea Lord. Ch. Dalzar Melford and Thelwall Copyright produced Ch. Brightleaf
Black Bess, Copyright like Passenger was by Ch. Tiny Tim of Andana (imp UK).
Copyright mated to Nolyn Nobleman gave Ch. Brightleaf Bonanza, who was Best Dog
at Sydney Royal Easter Show in 1962, for Jim and Mary Hickie of Newcastle. At
the same show Brightleaf Bedecked and Brightleaf Sea Lord, brother and sister,
were First Puppy Bitch and First Puppy Dog respectively. Ch. Brightleaf Black
Bess was fourth in the Open Bitch Class of forty four entries. At this time I
was not showing very much, my husband was bedridden and my work was very
stressful. Three of my girls had married and there were babies and Christenings
and all that goes with a large family. By 1965 Ch. Brightleaf Black Bess and Ch.
Brightleaf Bespangled were my two top show bitches. I then acquired Lochanza
Monkspring Mandoline (imp UK) from Mrs Margie Robinson of Nelson, NZ.
Mandoline's mother, Martha, was Monarque's sister. For many years, breeding
Mandoline's daughters to Even Better, the son of Monarque gave me many quality
solid bred pups. The most well known being Brightleaf Bumble Bee, (B/T), Ch.
Brightleaf Beeswing, by Even Better and Ch. Brightleaf Black Drum by Mandoline
(imp UK). Drum produced Ch. Brightleaf Big Pearl, Ch. Brightleaf Black Fancy,
Ch. Brightleaf Triple Beat ( who became a champion at 8 1/2 months old ). Other
names that come to mind are Love Letter, Love Lyric, Lots o Love, and Black
Power (by Mandoline who was not titled) but produced Ch. Bright leaf Be Gracious,
(the dam of Ch. Brightleaf Bewinged) when bred with the blue roan bitch
Brightleaf Behold Me. That linked the bitch line from Bounty and Bedecked with
the solid line of Monarque and Mandoline, through Even Better and Black Drum.
Ch.Brightleaf Big Pearl produced Brightleaf Black Bride when put with Kavora
Ebony Lad of Leabern (imp UK). Black Bride in turn gave Aust and American Ch.
Brightleaf The Blacksmith (CD. TD). Black Bride did some useful showing, winning
her class at Sydney Royal and produced several winners but was never titled.
Before the Blacksmith left for USA, he left several litters here from which I
bred Ch. Brightleaf Lover Boy and Ch. Brightleaf Lovely Lisa. While these lines
were evolving, the black bitch Ch. Brightleaf Blackfrost won thirty CC's in the
capable hands of Geoff Love in Northern NSW. She was then coupled with Karvora
Ebony Lad of Leabern (imp UK) to produce Brightleaf Heartlight, a gold which was
never shown but put to Ch. Leabern Lighting Strike (imp UK). She gave me
Brightleaf Gold Braid who sired some lovely golds and black pups. The two
imported dogs Ebony Lad and Lighting Strike were closely related and intergrated
into my breeding much in the same way as when I used Monkspring Monarque and
Monkspring Mandoline. Crossing their offspring was very successful. In 1985,
Brightleaf Honey Blonde who was out of Brightleaf Be Gainful, a sister of Ch.
Brightleaf BeMindful was mated to Margate The Merry Duke and gave me my present
top brood bitch Lady Bounty. "Big Red" as she is called, was 2nd at
Sydney Royal but not shown again. There were many other breedings but this would
become like "War and Peace", so long no one would want to read it. So
there were many, many more Brightleaf dogs out there who never saw a show ring
and their blood lines disappeared.
to Brightleaf as a puppy and was my main producer of solid colours for 11 years.
But he was only shown once, winning his class at the Cocker
Show. He has left a
legacy of impeccable temperament on my solids. He was an out cross to my, by
then, closely bred solid line.
In 1984 Brightleaf Blue Dawn (by Ch. Brightleaf Beflashed and a wings daughter
Mandanna Dream Flight) produced Ch. Brightleaf Spelbinder (Merlin). He was Wings
last son and my Top Stud for 13 years. His daughter Brightleaf Orange Blend when
put to Ch. Brightleaf BeMindful in his 14th year gave me Brightleaf Last Fling,
Brightleaf Last Waltz, and Brightleaf Last Tango (NZ) in a litter of nine.
The blue roan bitch Brightleaf Behold Me, thus linking the bitch line from those
early winners, colour bred Ch. Brightleaf Bespangled, Ch. Brightleaf Bounty and
Ch. Brightleaf Bedecked with the solid colour lines of Ch. Black Bess, Ch.
Brightleaf Black Swan and Ch. Lochranza Monkspring Monarque (imp), Ch. Lochranza
Monkspring Mandoline (imp), Ch. Brightleaf Big Pearl, Ch. Brightleaf Black Drum,
Ch. Brightleaf Triple Beat and many others not titled which were great
producers. Brightleaf Black Bride was one who did some good winning including
her big class at Sydney Royal but never "finished". She was dam of
Aust and American Ch. Brightleaf The Blacksmith CD TD, sired by another Wings
son Ch. Cabal The Carpenter BOB winner of Sydney Royal in 1988.
In 1971, Brightleaf Black Power, son of Mandoline and Ch. Brightleaf Bedecked
(B/R) produced Ch. Brightleaf Be Gracious (O/R) who in turn gave me no less than
twelve Aust Champion Sons and Daughters. The star of that era was
Brightleaf Bewinged who in turn sired fifty
eight champion sons and daughters for Brightleaf Kennels and many other kennels
which have continued successfully to this day. Bewinged has assured his place in
Cocker Spaniel history
The Royal Family".
In 1978, Brightleaf had removed to acres at Somersby and established Boarding
Kennels. Sadly my second husband died in 1979 so coping with both a Boarding
business as well as going to a full time job in town curtailed my showing
activities. From then on only a few Champions were made up. As I said before,
"you never, never know, if you never, never go!" however breeding
continued and with the help of my grand daughter and her husband (Teena and John
Musty) I was able to put a good dog in the ring now and then and breed for other
breeders to show.
In 1986 Brightleaf Black Trace by (Ebony Lad imp.) and Brightleaf Be Willfull
produced Brightleaf Balalaika (O/R) the dam of several champions and many of my
good brood bitches of today as well as the young Stud dog Brightleaf Line
During the 80s Ch. Brightleaf Be Mindful (Digger) took out four groups to get
his title quite young, handled by Geoff Love. In 1983 Digger was reserve cocker
dog to Ch. Cabal The Luv Machine at Sydney Royal Show. Both are grand sons of
Four of the litter to Be Gracious and Royoni Rags to Riches became Champions.
One Ch. Brightleaf Star Blaze going B.I.S at the Cocker Show in 1979 under Mrs M
In 1984 Ch. Brightleaf Spelbinder (Merlin) was sired by Bewinged and out of Blue
Dawn (Muffin) another great producer a great favourite of mine. Muffin lived to
13 1/2 years. Spelbinder, did useful winning and sired many beautiful pups with
his impeccable temperament. He won in Veteran classes several times. He was
handled to his title by myself and then my daughter Grace and finally by John
Musty who was working for me at that time. John became interested in the show
scene and married my grand daughter. They began their own kennel Bennadale with
a couple of Brightleaf dogs.
The years between the early successes of "Bess" and
"Bespangled" were filled with a growing family, five at High School,
work and then weddings and christenings and the death of my mother. However
breeding continued and a long holiday in Britain where I was able to see my
daughter graduate from Cambridge University will always be a highlight.
The 70s and 80s were the Golden Age for Brightleaf Kennels. I had remarried and
my own children were grown up and married. Brightleaf Kennels had relocated to
acres at Somersby.
There were nine O/R Champions at one time at this kennel and other kennels were
producing winners from Brightleaf stock.
Brightleaf Bewinged was being campaigned extremely successfully by his then
co-owner Barbara Asmus (Killworth). Born on 8/11/73 Bewinged was titled before
his first birthday and continued his rapid rise by taking the Gundog Group at
the Sydney Royal in 1975 at 16 months old. At the same time Bewinged's half
brother Ch. Brightleaf Beflashed O/R was being campaigned quite successfully but
he remained in the shadow of his more successful half-brother, returning to stud
duties once his title was gained. "Malcolm" as he was called, became a
very popular sire due to his lovely rich orange roan colour and impeccable happy
temperament. He was a prolific producer of happy puppies. His dam Ch. Brightleaf
Be Gracious produced two litters to Royoni Rags To Riches, from which five
champions were reared. Be Gracious "Candy" became dam of twelve
Australian Champions from her five litters. Another very well performed son was
Ch. Brightleaf Starbuster, who produced Ch. Brightleaf Blissful, the dam of Ch.
Brightleaf Be Mindful, Ch. Brightleaf Beforceful, Brightleaf Be Willful, and
Brightleaf Be Gainful, each being extremely worthy type cockers which produced
good quality pups for many breeders, Be Gainful stayed in a pet home and was
borrowed for a litter. She produced my loved "Honey Blonde" (Saffron)
who in turn gave me Brightleaf "Lady Bounty", one of my best brood
bitches and with us still. Brightleaf Be Willful was sire to Brightleaf
Balalaika (orange roan) known as "Merry" who was another prolific
brood here untill her death in 1998. When put to The Merry Duke, Balalaika gave
me two to go on with. My present young O/R Stud, Brightleaf Line Dancing and a
gold bitch Brightleaf Line Dancer. None of these later offspring of those (NOW
FAMOUS) show dogs carry titles, as I cannot exhibit my dogs myself and must rely
on others to hopefully carry on the "Brightleaf Story".
Now with the help of
& Teena, my
grand daughter, a few Brightleaf dogs are exhibited and at home here more
puppies are born, which keeps me busy.
Taking videos and stills and a judging job now and then keep me abreast of the
dog scene. And now there is the Internet!! WOW!.
All of the dogs mentioned in this story, plus more will eventually be in the
Thank You For Your Time
Reguards Mrs C Formston "Mac"
Poem By Mac Formston
Expensive But "DEAR".
times I sit here and wonder
If all those sweet puppies out yonder
Are loved as much as they would be
Had they stayed here at Brightleaf with
Christmas time comes
And the big kennel hums
With sound of Christmas good cheer
I sit here and wish my puppies were here.
Christmas cards come
Not all, but certainly some
With tales of those that were here
And I know that my puppies are
CH.Brightleaf Be Gracious
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