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Gwen Broadley & Sandylands Post-War (1945-1995)

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Gwen with Sandylands Mark

"The Show Labrador Retriever in Great Britain & Northern Ireland 1945-1995"
by Richard Edwards
 
Mrs. Gwen Broadley's Sandylands is the most successful kennel of show Labradors in the history of the breed.  Countess Howe's Banchorys may have done more top winning of the group and BIS competitions but the majority of her dogs were bought in as mature animals and usually after they had done some significant winning.  In terms of the numbers of top class show labradors she has bred and taken to their championships, Mrs. Broadley has no equal, indeed no close rival.  All the home bred Sandylands go back to the original foundations, the "J" Sandylands of the 1930's.
 
For Mrs Broadley, it was June who linked together the pre-War and post-War dogs.  June was mated to Mr. Watchman's Ch. Durley Beech, a very well bred dog bringing together some of the best lines of the earlier days including Ingleston Ben, Banchory Painter and Titus of Whitmore and other Withmore bloodlines close up.  Beech to June produced Ch. Sandylands Blackberry (b1944) who won the first bitch CC after the War at the Labrador Retriever Club 1947 at Reading with Countess Howe as judge Blackberry was a great favourite at Sandylands, indeed was the housedog for many years.
 
The War years had been hard, clearly it was difficult to justify dog breeding in such circumstances, but a few kennels had been able to maintain some of the bloodlines albeit on a very reduced scale.  When the victory was assured the breeders, Mrs. Broadley included, sought to widen the base of their breeding stock by buying in fresh blood.  Mrs. Broadley acquired two black bitches from Mr. F. S. Topott (Harley) of Bramcote, Nottinghashire, they were Harley Superb and Harley Princess.  Mr. Topott had been trying to persuade Mrs Broadley to sell him two particularly nice Cockers that she owned and eventually it was agreed that the Cockers and the Labradors would be a fair swap.  Harley Princess had already had a litter,  Mr. Topott had mated her to Irish Ch. Jackie of Crossgar and a black dog had gone to Mr. J. H. Branddon (Ide) who became Ch. Blacksmith of Ide (b.1946)... a useful stud.
 
 
'Having owned three champions before the War, Mrs. Broadley was well established as an important breeder.  Within ten years of the end of the war, Sandylands had become a major kennel, as far as the show scene was concerned, even rivalling Countess Howe's Banchorys.  As well as the Labradors, Sandylands housed famous champion English Springer Spaniels, Cocker spaniels, Pointers and later Flatcoats.  Thus it would appear that Sandylands was set up to go from strength to strength, the two bitches Princess and Superb had set up a prepotent family and Mrs. Broadley was in partnership with Countess Howe.  Circumstances changed very quickly after Countess Howe's accident, the partnership broke up amicably enough but leaving Sandylands without kenneling.'
 
When Countess Howe decided she was not up to dealing with Labradors any more,  Mrs Broadley was in a difficult position.  The priority was finding somewhere to live and house the dogs.  A second factor was that most of her Labradors were ageing... by the late 1950's, Superb was dead, Princess and Patrick had been sold to the USA, Blackberry and Belle were pensioners, Jilly had failed to produce anything of quality and Justice was coming to the end of his stud career.'
 
The Labradors were reduced in numbers and only Juno and her daughter Annabel were left to carry on the line.  Mrs. Broadley's reaction to these difficult times was to buy in a well bred puppy from Mr. and Mrs. Grant Cairns (Blaircourt).  Tweed of Blaircourt was brought in as an unseen baby puppy.  Accepting completely that Mrs. Broadley would have know where to go to buy a good puppy, even she could not have envisaged just how successful this black dog puppy would become.  Ch. Sandylands Tweed of Blaircourt was to be the seminal influence on the show Labrador for twenty years from the early 1960's.  Tweed was every bit as important to the show Labrador as had been Ch. Banchory Danilo and Ch. Ingleston Ben before the War.  The mating of Tweed to Annabel was to produce Sandylands Tan and Tan's mating to Sandylands Shadow was to set Sandylands off on another era.'

 
In his contribution to The Labrador Retriever Club
1916-1991 Celebration book
Richard Edwards
 
The yellow Tweed son, Sandylands Tan mated to Sandylands Shadow produced some of the most influential progeny in the history of show Labradors including Ch. Sandylands Tandy, who was probably as important a stud as his nephew Ch. Sandylands Mark.  Mark himself was out of the Tan/Shadow bitch Ch. Sandylands Truth.  Also part of the Tan/Shadow tribe were Sh. Ch. Sandylands Tanna, Ch. Threepears Sandylands Tania, Sandylands Tarna, Mrs Macan's foundation, Trewinnard Sandylands Tanita, a famous brood, Reanacre Sandylands Tarmac, who was so useful as a stud for Mrs Roslin-Williams, and Mrs. J. Kneller's Candlemas Sandylands Timber.
 
It is speculation, but it is difficult to imagine that any top show Labrador does not have Tweed behind him/her, often dozens of times were one to extend the pedigree far enough.
 
Sandylands Mark is the most successful sire of show Labradors of the post-War era.  He could produce the most excellent progeny even to the plainest of mates and this added to the fact that his pedigree brought together the best of the black and yellow bloodlines.  Once the breeders realised the extent of his capacity to improve their stock he was in demand.
 
Mark produced a number of lovely champion bitches... ladies capable of winning in any company at any time.
 
Even when Mark was at the height of his powers a number of genuine alternatives to him existed within the Sandylands kennel itself.  In Sh. Ch. Sandylands Garry and Sandylands Charlie Boy there were two males who had similar breeding to Mark but who differed from him quite significantly in type.  Garry's dam was Mark's sister, Memory, but for all that their types clearly differed.  Charlie Boy's dam was Ch Sandylands Katinka of Keithray (Tandy) but in type followed his sire Cliveruth Harvester. 
 
Mrs Broadley in particular used Garry and Charlie Boy on Trewinnard Sandylands Tanita and her daughter Sh Ch Sandylands Dancer to great effect.
 
The period from 1960 until the late 1970's was dominated by the Sandylands stud dogs.  Mrs. Broadley's kennel was de facto the national stud for show Labradors.  The Sandylands males had always been well used as studs right back to Ch. Sandylands Jerry through such dogs as Sh. Ch. Sandylands Bob, Ch. Sandylands Beau, Ch. Sandylands Justice and Ch. Sam of Balircourt, but the arrival of Ch. Sandylands Tweed of Blaircourt heralded the even more productive period including Tweed, Tandy, Mark, My Lad, Garry, Charlie Boy, Blaze and Stormalong as well as the "minor" dogs such as Columbus, General, Tally-Ho, Charlston and My Rainbeau.
 
Most of the kennels that have emerged in the 1970's and 1980's owe their bloodlines to Sandylands, particularly the four males, Mark, Tandy, Charlie Boy and Garry.

Gwen Broadley & Sandylands