Matthew's mother, Joan Mackay-Smith, had bred and shown Bull Terriers under her "Farnley" prefix in the 20s and 30s and, in fact, had imported the first English colored champion, Ch. Boco Brock's Double, to this country in the 1930s. He won at the Morris and Essex Show in 1939 under a young English judge named Raymond Oppenheimer. We started Banbury Bull Terriers more or less by accident when a friend, Mabel Smith, acquired a very good English bitch by Eng. Ch. Romany Romantic Vision in the mid 1960s. Mabel subsequently bred her bitch, Ch. Valkyrie Milk Tray, and in December, 1966, we got one of her male puppies which we named Banbury Brick. In due course, we were persuaded by our friend to take him to some shows and he finished his Championship at the Bryn Mawr Show in 1968.
We decided to get Brick a wife and Mabel arranged with her English friends, Audrey and George Jarrett and Iris Higgs, to sell us a puppy. Her name was Kashdowd Bounce. Bounce acquired quite a reputation, making her first public appearance at Hope and Bill Colket's Silverwood Farm at the Philadelphia Club Match Show in 1968, judged B.I.M. by Cecil Mann. From there, she went on to win several specialties on both coasts, capped off by a BOV under Raymond Oppenheimer at the BTCA Specialty in 1970.
It was by then obvious that Bounce was destined for a more aristocratic husband that our dear Brick and she was mated to Eng. Ch. Targyt Silver Bob of Langville (Regent Trophy and Ormandy Jug Winner in England in 1968, and imported to the U.S. by Ken Neuman). Bounce had several Specialty winners, the most notable being Ch. Banbury Bountiful, ROM, Ch. Banbury Bouquet, ROM, and Ch. Banbury Backchat, ROM.
Through Bounce and the renowned all-breed judge, Alva Rosenberg, we met Raymond Oppenheimer and his partner, Eva Weatherill, in 1969, when we were invited to visit their famous Ormandy-Souperlative kennel and stay for a few days at Raymond's house in White Waltham. That visit turned out to be a life-changing experience. We became fast friends and Raymond and Eva were our teachers and mentors for the next 16 years until Raymond died in 1984 and Eva's health deteriorated shortly thereafter.
Raymond and Eva arranged for us to lease a Bar Sinister bitch, Charity Cyclamen, to breed to Silver Bob which resulted in the 1971 Silverwood winner Ch. Banbury Charity Buttercup, ROM, and her brother, Raydium Brigadier Trophy winner Ch. Banbury Briar, ROM. A third littermate, Banbury Blossom, would produce the dam of Ch. Banbury Boothia, ROM.
In 1975, we placed Boothia and her brother, Bralph, with Mary and Jay Remer, who themselves were third-generation friends of our human family! Boothia sparked the Remers' interest in showing and breeding Bull Terriers, and Bralph introduced Mary to the exciting and challenging world of obedience training, in which she excels today. "Banbury" and "Bedrock" went on to forge a lasting partnership in the ever-more demanding realm of Bull Terrier showing, breeding, training and education.
In 1979, a repeat mating of Boothia to Ch. Souperlative Special of Ormandy, ROM, produced a brindle and white dog we named Banbury Benson of Bedrock. Originally kept as a house pet because of his delightful personality, Benson developed into a handsome individual and became a presence both in the Specialty and the All-breed show ring. He was twice placed in the Terrier Group at Montgomery County K.C., the largest terrier show in the world, and twice placed in the Terrier Group at Westminster, winning it in 1982. He proved an excellent sire as well, and many of our current Bull Terriers are descended from Benson.
In 1982 a son of Ch. Banbury Barnstormer, called Banbury Bellringer, made his way to the Canterbury Kennel of Trudi Tamburri who showed him successfully to his Ch. and R.O.M. He later became the first American-bred Bull Terrier to be awarded The Raymond Oppenheimer Stud Dog Trophy in 1989.
Many years of official service to regional breed clubs and the BTCA ensued. Winkie was enrolled to actively participate in the initiation of the R.O.M. awards, publication of educational materials such as the AKC Bull Terrier video and the Illustrated Standard, and Standardization of the Silverwood Rules and Procedures as well as publication of five Colket memorial books for the BTC Philadelphia. At the request of Raymond Oppenheimer to update his first two volumes, McGuffin & Co. and After Bar Sinister, Winkie wrote From James to Jim, which documented breed progress in England through the 1970s. Mary is currently serving on the BTCA Board of Directors, has served as co-chair of the BTCA Obedience Committee for many years and has been a member of the Judges' Selection Committee as well.
Our concern throughout the 1990s has been directed toward health issues in our breed, since the rapid proliferation of the breed population following the "Spuds MacKenzie" advertising campaign seemed to produce and/or accelerate an escalation in genetic problems in bull terriers.
We started a kennel newsletter in 1991 to give a voice to these concerns, and have encouraged the parent club to devise an incentive program for the testing of breeding animals for the more serious inheritable diseases.
We produce litters from our best quality animals, now figuring in the tenth and eleventh generation from those outstanding foundation bitches in the 1960s--Ch. Kashdowd Bounce and Charity Cyclamen and more recently, Ch. Woodrow Carissa (a daughter of the great Ch. Woodrow Minx), who we were fortunate to acquire with the help of Raymond and Eva in 1978.