As a young boy I persuaded my father to buy a young yellow labrador of show type.
We had always had labradors around the farm but these girls were fat, friendly and spent the whole day sunbathing in the rickyard. A local springer spaniel breeder, Joe Robinson offered to give me help and advice and in the 1960's I was lucky enough to win a RCC. As I grew up my interest in the breeding and exhibiting of Hackney horses and ponies grew and although there was often a labrador in my life it wasn't until 1992 that I decided to pick up where I had left off.
After long discussions Judi and I decided to ring Margot Woolley as we liked her type and as her father had produced the famous Kinross hackney show wagons we would have a common denominator. Margot did not have any puppies for sale at that time but suggested that we contacted Marion Hopkinson who also bred a similar type.
Marion and David invited us to Rocheby to meet their dogs and see a litter of very young black puppies, unbeknown to us at that time one of those puppies was to become the very successful sire Rocheby Navy Blue. We were not lucky enough to purchase one of these puppies but Marion let us have Rocheby Tango who educated us in the arts of the showring and later Rocheby Copper Bells who educated us in the care of rearing puppies.
We once again approached Marion and David to let us have another bitch to carry on showing and they kindly let us have Playtime at Rocheby. Sally was not quite big enough to take top honours and she could bark for England but as one judge said "she moves true fore and aft and is of true labrador type". Sally was eventually mated to Rocheby Navy Blue (from the original litter of black puppies that we went to see) and produced our lovely show boy Suttonpark Fair Play. Suttonpark Fair Play was mated to Perdita's Promise and produced Mileoak Cranberry, who we purchased from her breeder as a puppy. Mileoak Cranberry of Suttonpark was mated to Ch.Saranden Saboteur JW a son of Rocheby Old Smokey and produced Sh.Ch.Suttonpark Manifesto JW.
From Playtime at Rocheby (Sally) our line and type has evolved and we would like to say a thank you to Marion and David who have since become good friends, for all their help and advice and also a thank you to Mrs Marlene Hepper and Mr Jim Nolan who gave Sally's great grandson Suttonpark Manifesto Best of Breed at Crufts 2006 and ourselves a day to always remember ~
Michael & Judi