About the Felthorns
Felthorn Francehill Pretty Polly We had our first Sheltie in 1962, the year of our marriage. She was a rich red sable, line bred to Ch. Helensdale Ace and a little oversize. We began training her for obedience and in the course of attending obedience competitions, began to watch Shelties in the show ring. Deciding that we needed a bitch as a foundation, we purchased Francehill Pretty Polly from Margaret and Robin Searle. Polly was to be a very successful foundation for the Felthorns, Felthorn Indian Ink was one of her sons and features in many pedigrees of present day Shelties.
Her daughter Felthorn April Dancer was mated to Troubleshooter of Shemaur to produce the first Felthorn Champion, Beachcomber, a sable dog of perfect size and excellent construction, he was Best of Breed at Crufts in 1976.
He sired Ch. Francehill Beach Boy in his first litter . The tricolour Felthorn Slack Alice was a daughter of Beachcomber and she produced the blue merle bitch Felthorn Marionette. Although only shown as a puppy (she was rather small with a two piece head), Marionette became one of the most successful brood bitches in the history of the breed. Her story can be found in the 2000 edition of the ESSC handbook and on this web page, see Felthorn Moonbeam.
Felthorn Slack Alice
Her daughters, Ch. Felthorn Lady and Ch. Felthorn Button Moon have both produced champions themselves, and Ch. Felthorn Lady is the first of four generations of champion blue merle bitches, a first in the history of the breed in the U.K. Although noted for blue merles, the Felthorn Prefix has produced champions in all the three main colours.
There are, to date, ten homebred champions in the U.K. as well as champions in several European Countries, South Africa, and Australia. The Felthorns are well known internationally for their correct breed type, good confirmation and outstanding temperaments.
We bought our first Sheltie in 1962 and registered the affix Felthorn in our joint names in 1963, our first Sheltie litter being born in 1964.
Since then we have bred 10 UK champions in the three main breed colours, 2 Australian champions, 2 South African champions and 7 European International champions. We also have the distinction of being the only breeders in the history of the breed in the UK to have bred four generations of champion blue merle bitches.
Barbara's first judging appointment in the Breed was in 1970, since when she has judged the Breed in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Holland, Luxembourg, Germany, Italy, Austria, Russia, Australia, New Zealand and the U.S.A.
Barbara is a lecturer and assessor for the English Shetland Sheepdog Club Training of Judges Scheme and lectures on the Breed Standard, Conformation and Movement and Judging Procedures. She has also lectured on the Shetland Sheepdog to other breed clubs and lectured on the Breed Standard generally in Australia and New Zealand in 2007 and to All Breeds Judges in Denmark in 2004 (organised by the Danish Shetland Sheepdog Club) and in Norway in 2012 (organised by the Norwegian Shetland Sheepdog Club). She also presented the Breed Standard lecture as part of the Kennel Club’s Judges Development Programme in March 2009.
We were both founder members of the East Anglian Branch of the ESSC and have served that Branch in various roles. Dick has served the main committee of the English Shetland Sheepdog Club in various roles - he was elected to the committee in 1979 as Show Manager, then took on the secretaryship from 1982 to 1994 at which point he became chairman. 2019 saw his retirement from the committee after forty years service. Barbara has not offered herself for election to the committee of that club as we believe that, with a club of over 1,500 members, it is unfair to have the voice of two people from the same household on the committee. However, together we played a major part in the preparation and organisation of the International Conference 2000 weekend held by the ESSC. Similarly, we were both heavily involved in the production of the ESSC's DVD on the Breed Standard which was published in February 2013.
Barbara was accepted as a full member of the UK Kennel Club in 1991 and is a Kennel Club approved evaluator of prospective championship show judges in the breed as well as being the Shetland Sheepdog breed representative to the Kennel Club Liaison Breeds Council. She is also the Shetland Sheepdog breed correspondent for the weekly “Dog World” newspaper.
We are fully committed to the future of the Shetland Sheepdog and much of our time is devoted to promoting the maintenance of the correct breed type both in the UK and overseas. In 2006 Barbara was invited by the Committee of the ESSC to give a presentation to it’s Annual General Meeting on the differences in type between the North American Sheltie and the UK (Country of origin). She has given the same presentation in Holland, Italy, Australia and New Zealand.
Where we all live
The front view of the house
The dog room
The view to Kersey
The view from the house
The dogs have their own part of the garden
The garden in winter
Last updated: 7/9/19