|Gwen with Sandylands My Rainbow
This article was written by Mr. Richard Edwards
and amended and approved by Mrs. Gwen Broadley. It appeared in the premier issue
of the ILD (International Labrador Digest) and is being reprinted in memoriam to her.
Mrs. Gwen Broadley owned and bred top class Labradors
for over sixty-five years. Her Sandylands prefix is the most successful prefix
in the history of the show Labrador. Within Great Britain, Sandylands has no
equal, indeed it does not have a close rival. Many good dogs have been exported
from Sandylands and dogs carrying the prefix have taken their championships throughout the main countries of the Labrador
world, and they continue to do so.
were Juno of Sandylands and Ch. Jerry of Sandylands. Jerry was born in June of
1929. The 1930’s were an especially productive era for the Labrador in
Britain. Countess Howe was at the height of her powers and her dogs dominated
the show ring and the trials. It was not easy for a novice to break into the
scene and Jerry took five years to complete his title. Pre-war, there were three
Sandylands title holders, Jerry, June and Janice of Sandylands. Some of the early
“J” breeding were exported to the United States of America. In the
Complete Labrador Retriever, Helen Warwick recalls that Mrs. Mariel King of the Kingswere kennel brought in Jewel of Sandylands
and her litter sister Jean of Sandylands – both were grand-daughters of Jerry in the middle of the 1930’s. Jean was the dam of Field Ch. The Spider of Kingswere, who was a wonderful producer
with the coming of the second World War, all the main kennels cut down their activities drastically and many gave up completely. Mrs. Broadley did manage to keep a nucleus of stock going. In the very darkest days of the war, in the period when it looked likely that Britain would be invaded,
it was very difficult to justify any sort of breeding. Eventually, the tide of
war turned and it was clear that the Allies, led by the U.S. and Britain, would win, and breeding started up again on a limited
very start of shows after the war, Mrs. Broadley was in a very strong position and was able to rapidly develop the Sandylands
prefix into one of the most important in the country. At this time, Mrs. Broadley
maintained a kennel of show gundogs. Writing his review of the kennel for the
1949 Our Dogs Annual, Mr. Frank Warner Hill of the famous Beauchief Springs wrote: “Arriving
at the top ina any sphere is a long and arduous experience and once established, remaining there is doubly difficult. Thus we appreciate the continued high standing of Mrs. Gwen Broadley’s gundog
kennel which houses seven champions, two of which been added this year. The champions
are Ch. Landyke Patrick, Ch. June of Sandylands, Ch. Sandylands Blackberry, Ch. Sandylands Harley Superb and Ch. Sandylands
Beau (Labradors), Ch Sandylands Shrubly (English Springer) and Ch. Harley Cherrybank Gentleman (Cocker). Four other C.C. winners are the Springers, Sandylands Sherry and Sandylands Shandy, the Cocker Harley
of Sandylands Fancy and the Pointer, Harley Lady of Bonnyside.”
of Nottingham owned the Harley prefix and some of the dogs were in partnership with him though none of the Labradors were
jointly owned-they were Mrs. Broadley’s alone. It must be remembered that
all of this was within a few years of the end of the war. The successful pattern
was set and so it continues to the present day. In this immediate postwar period
a number of dogs were exported to the U.S.A. In particular, the yellow male Ch.
Landyke Patrick and the big winning black bitch Ch. Sandylands Harley Princess.
the middle 1950’s, Mrs. Broadley went into partnership with Countess Howe (Banchory).
An interesting arrangement was made whereby some of the dogs were in the joint ownership of the two ladies but both
Countess Howe and Mrs. Broadley had some dogs in their own names. It was a short
but highly successful partnership especially with the black dog Ch. British Justice, who was a big winner of the era. Before she was exported to the U.S.A., Ch. Sandylands Harley Princess had a litter
to which included Ch. Sandylands Belle of Helenspring who had been sold but was bought back into Sandylands to replace her
mother. Belle was to prove a brilliant brood.
In three litters to Ch. British Justice, Belle produced Ch. Sandylands Justice, Ch. Sandylands Jilly and Sh. Ch. Sandylands
Juno. In a later litter to Ch. Whatstandwell Coronet, Belle was the dam of the
lovely black Ch. Sandylands Cora. It was around this time that Countess Howe
was having the greatest difficulty getting around and she decided to give up the Labradors and the partnership with Mrs. Broadley
was concluded. Mrs. Broadley was in a difficult position; she had no place to
house the dogs. She went from having a brilliant kennel full of top winners,
back to the Midlands with only a few Labradors, of which only Juno and her daughter, Sandylands Annabel were of breeding age.
this time Mrs. Broadley awarded Sam of Blaircourt his first C.C. and after the show, persuaded the Cairns (Blaircourt) to
let her have him. Sam was made up very quickly.
Mrs. Grace Lambert (Harrowby) then made a very good offer on Sam which Mrs. Broadley accepted. Sam had a fine career in America. In an attempt to replace
him, Mrs. Broadley asked the Cairns for a dog puppy from a litter they were expecting.
In due course, a black dog puppy arrived unseen in a box by rail from Scotland.
He was to become the legendary Ch. Sandylands Tweed of Blaircourt. Now,
clearly, Mrs. Broadley knew the quality of the Blaircourt bloodlines and knew that the puppy ought to be nice but no one,
not even Mrs. Broadley, the greatest breeder of show Labradors of all time, could have any idea just what an impact this dog
puppy was to have. Tweed is behind every single top quality show Labrador in
Britain! Since the early 1970’s every single show Labrador champion in
Britain goes back to Tweed, usually many times. If one were to extend the pedigrees
of some top winners back, Tweed would appear time after time after time. The
Brabbans’ lovely black bitch Sh. Ch Cambremer All That Jazz has over ninety lines back to Tweed if one were to extend
the pedigree far enough. Of course, he is so far back in the pedigree that he
is having no impact but it is an illustration of just how central the dog was to the Labrador in Britain. There are plenty of other pedigrees that would illustrate the degree to which Tweed’s blood infuses
the show Labrador. Although it may not be to the same degree, most of the top
winning show Labradors throughout the world have Tweed in their pedigrees.
he was exported, Sam of Blaircourt sired a litter that included Sandylands Shadow, who was mated to Tweed’s son, Sandylands
Tan. This breeding produced a whole range of important show and breeding stock. For Mrs. Roslin-Williams (Mansergh), the mating produced Reanacre Sandylands Tarmac,
who was so vital in developing her lines. For Mrs. Broadley, the mating produced
a very beautiful yellow bitch in Sh. Ch. Sandylands Tanna who was later exported to Mr. J. Lewis II in the U.S.A. Tanna had a yellow brother in Ch. Sandylands Tandy, a great stud dog through the 1960’s and early
1970’s, and another of the breeding was the great black show bitch Ch. Sandylands Truth who won the C.C. at Crufts and
was the dam of four British champions including Sandylands Mark and his litter brother Sh. Ch. Sandylands Midas, who was later
exported to Mrs. Grace Lambert. Mark was to prove the greatest sire of champions
of any breed within Great Britain and it is doubtful if his record will ever be broken save by artificial insemination –
all Mark’s British champions were conceived naturally. Thus, within a decade
of being in such a difficult position on the break-up of the partnership with Countess Howe, Mrs. Broadley had regrouped to
such an extent that the Sandylands Kennel had reached new heights of success.
back, the period through the middle 1960’s to the early 1980’s was an especially fruitful one for the show Labrador;
show after show was graced by good sized and good quality entries and the Sandylands kennel was right at the very heart of
this scene. The stud dogs Tandy and Mark and later Sandylands Charlie Boy, Sh.
Ch. Sandylands Gary, Sh. Ch. Sandylands Blaze, Sh. Ch. Sandylands Stormalong and others were producing champion after champion
for experienced breeders and novices alike. Mrs. Broadley herself bred and owned
some absolutely top class animals. Perhaps the lovely Sh. Ch. Sandylands Mercy
and Sh. Ch. Sandylands Busy Liz exemplified the finish and quality of the best of the Sandylands at this time. It was around this time that Mrs. Broadley went into partnership with Mr. Garner Anthony of the U.S.A.
the kennel had a lovely yellow bitch in Sh. Ch. Sandylands Bliss who was every bit as good as all the great champions that
preceded her. The kennel also had a young stud dog in the masculine black Sh.
Ch. Sandylands Gentry who showed every sign of being a top producer. There have
been some good youngsters at Sandylands including some with C.C.’s and so more champions carrying the prefix are extremely
likely. There is no question, that when she attended a show, everyone was pleased
to see Mrs. Broadley and the even took on more importance for her company; it felt complete.
Mrs. Broadley was a much sought-after judge. She judged all over the world,
though possibly the highlight of her career was to judge Best In Show at Crufts in 1978.
As a judge her quiet styple and her simple courtesy put many a novice exhibitor at ease. Like everything else she did, her judging was undertaken with this quiet but deliberate style.
Broadley was in a unique position within the dog show world. There is no question
she was and is the first lady of Labradors, and many people regard her as the most successful breeder of dogs in Britain. She was perfectly happy to reminisce about the past, particularly happy to recall
a funny incident or a singularly happy day, but above all, she looked forward to the next good Sandylands dog, taking the
greatest pleasure at bringing baby pups into the kitchen and stacking them up on the table to discuss their merits. She was happiest planning her breeding program and sorting out the matings to produce the next generation
of Sandylands Labradors.
years, Mrs. Broadley contributed her vast fund of knowledge. She was extremely
patient with all the many people who wished her to do committee work at The Kennel Club and she was a committee member of
a number of breed clubs. A few years ago, I was at a committee meeting of the
Labrador Retirever Club when Mrs. Broadley announced that she was stepping down as an officer of the Club only to find that,
as one, the committee turned towards her and refused to accept anything of the sort and Mrs. Broadley remained Vice Chairman
of the Club.
most interesting to see the respect in which Mrs. Broadley was held by those
people who knew her for many years; their respect was genuine and without reservation.
She inspired a loyalty from her many friends and was very loyal in return. Many
newer people were in awe of her but it was quite unnecessary, for her kindness and encouragement of newcomers is legendary. It is only fair to say she did not suffer fools gladly and she was perfectly capable
of telling someone off is she thought it necessary though never with malice and once done, it was over and forgotten. Her advice was sought and valued by many people who visited her. She was most generous with her time. Having said that, there
is no question that Mrs. Broadley had a steely determination and toughness of spirit that allowed her to keep on breeding
and showing Labradors.