In the early 1990´s we renewed our interest in Charlies. In the past, Dad had tried to persuade us to have one, so we decided the time was now right. We spent two or three years looking for a suitable puppy and then purchased our first King Charles Spaniel from Barbara and Eddie Plews (Tewhit). She was Tewhit Tansy, a mismarked blck and tan an we were convinced she would make a wonderful brood bitch for us with her correct size and type. Shortly after buying Tansy we moved to Norfolk and spent three happy years there.
In due course Tansy was mated to Joyce Robins and Shealagh Waters black and tan Maplehurst Lad and she produced Rivermoor Teasel, a really outstanding ticolour bitch. We had promised to let Barbara have a black and tan bitch puppy back but there wasn´t one so we said to Barbara that we would be pleased to repeat the mating. This time there was Barbara´s black and tan as well as two exquisite tricolours, a dog and a bitch, Rivermoor Basil and Rivermoor Trefoil and to us, they looked champion from birth. When we started showing them we had a wonderful time and won many firsts.. They both won at Crufts as puppies, with Basil being Best Puppy in breed. The three have provided ua with many good wins over period of eight years. Trefoil was the Top Winning Bitch in the breed in 2005 at seven years of age. At the Scotttish KC show in May 2001, Basil became a champion under judge, Zena Thorn-Andrews and later that day he won the Toy Group under judge, Brenda Taylor, a feat almost unheard of in Charlies. Handled by Michael he seemed to make an extra effort, possibly aided by the evening air, and as Michael moved him there was audible buzz from spectators. We were so very proud of him and this undoubtedly was our most memorable occasion in many years of showing. Basil was Top Winning Dog in the breed in 2001 and 2002 and Tansy was Top Brood Bitch in the breed those years as well. We are indebted to Barbara and Eddie Plews, Alicia Pennington and Lois Groome for their helpful advice over the years.
CH Rivermoor Basil JW was retired sometime ago and lives happily at home. Sadly, we lost Teasel with an auto immune disease. She was an extrovert, always up to mischief and tried to steal anything that was silver. We expect CH Rivermoor Trefoil JW to appear in the show ring later this year with her daughter, Rivermoor Violet ( 2 Reserve CCs). During the time we have been interested in the Charlies we have admired Alicia Penninton´s blenheim CH Tudorhurst Theron, a great showman, Barbara and Eddie Plew´s ruby CH Tewhit Touch Of Midas for his rich colour and excellent breed type, Joyce Robin´s and Shealagh Waters´tricolour, CH Maibee Truly Scrumptious - such a lovely head and expression. During our time in Charlies the Amantra Kennel has gone from strength to strength and produced several impressive dogs. In the last seven years we have been running Highfields Boarding Kennels in Hertfordshire and have boarded ninety dogs and forty cats when full. Due to staffing problems we were missing more and more shows. We have recently sold the kennels an are now living Suffolk and hope this year to get a show team in both breeds together for next year. While exhibiting our Charlies we have continued to show the Cavaliers as well. Rivermoor Monte, an outstanding tricolour, the blenheim RivermoorCharley Boy and his ruby sister Rivermoor Betsybelle where the three that most stand out. We feel that Monte should have been a champion but in this country, it is more difficult with tricolour Cavaliers.
One looking back in more recent times, dogs that we have admired in the breed are blenheim CH Alberto Of Kindrum for colour, size and type; the blenheim CH Lymrey Royal Scandal At Ricksbury for his most lovely head and very neatly made body; the ruby CH Fontelania Dancing Brave, a good rich colour and typical of the breed; the black and tan CH Harana Nina Simone, an attractive bitch and still looking marvellous at nine years of age. Currently in the ring Ch Wandris Entertainer stands out from all the others. The breed has moved a long way since the days what at an Open show there might have been up to twenty dogs. There were no cages and the first exhibitor to arrive spread a blanket on the floor, sat their dogs on it and then as each exhibitor srrived, dogs would climb into the pile still with leads on. On occasion one person would mind ten or fifteen sleeping Cavaliers.
We have never lived in a house without dogs. Michael and Valerie and the dogs are one big family. Once a dog has passed the puppy stage, we very rarely part with it, they have a home for life. We do like to win, but it is very satisfying to breed the type we our selves like. We very much like to do our own thing and it is a way of life for us.
We have both judged for many years in many countries including the USA, Australia, Norway, Finnland, Sweden and Ireland. We like to visit new countries and meet new friends and their dogs. Michael has his first King Charles Championship appointment in April and Valerie is looking forward to judging the KCSC Open Show in October.