Ann West (Linkhill)
Ann was an outstanding breeder and exhibitor in the post-war era of breed expansion, and her Linkhill kennels became well known in the ’50’s and ’60’s.
Miss D.H.Ellis influenced her choice of breed and supplied her first Welsh Springer, Downland Diplomat, who in July ’53 sired Belinda of Linkton, who later became her first champion. Ann held that she was the cleverest of all the Linkhills but was only mated once, dying of cancer at 5 years old. She produced four bitches to the Morgans’ Ch Brancourt Bang, all kept on by the Wests, and two were bred from, Lucy and Arabella, but only the latter was shown, and quickly made up. ShCh Arabella was twice mated to Cliff Payne’s Ch Statesman of Tregwillym. The first litter included Chancellor, Miranda and the world-famous ShCh Deri Darrell who set a new breed record of 26 CC’s which lasted for many years. The second mating produced Ann’s fourth champion in ShCh Liza of Linkhill.
Deri emerged in 1962 as a new star when he took 7 of the 11 dog tickets then available. In ’63 he took 8 CC’s, in ’64 another 6, and broke the breed record in ’67 with his final 3. He went BIS at WELKS in 1964, while at Crufts he was Reserve in the Gundog Group on 3 separate occasions. His younger sister Liza won 5 tickets in ’63 to top the bitch table, and went on to win her 9th CC at Windsor in 1970 in her 9th year. It is worth noting that these achievements are the more memorable because of the limited CC’s available at the time and the high quality of the competition.
Ann West exported the first WSS to Sweden, Linkhill Five to One, in 1963. By Plattburn Pimlico, she became a Danish and Norwegian Champion.
Ann was listed as a Committee member of the WSSC in a yearbook of the late 60’s. She last awarded tickets at Southern Counties in 1985 (I believe).
She was a very pleasant lady of great knowledge and integrity, extremely generous and helpful to novices. Although for many years she had suffered ill health she will be remembered with great affection by her friends and contemporaries, while her achievements and good influence on breed type should be a permanent memorial in breed history.
John Phillips 2006
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