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Retired Kennel Names

Parent Clubs have the prerogative of requesting that kennel names, significant in the breed, be permanently retired. The Parent Club must detail why the name in question was so important to the history of the breed.

At the request of the American Spaniel Club four kennel names have been permanently retired: "Artu" registered to Ruth and Art Benhoff, "Dur-Bet” registered to Elizabeth Durland in 1989, “Heyday” registered to Dr. and Mrs. Clarence A. Smith in 1949, “Silver Maple Farms” registered to Lee and Ruth Kraeuchi in 1936.


Ch. Artru Skyjack
Ch. Artru Skyjack


The Artru prefix is synonymous with cocker spaniels. Esteemed breeder, Ruth Benhoff and the Artru prefix is behind the names of more winning and producing cockers than any other kennel in the history of the breed. The reign of the prefix began in the 40’s when Ruth and Art (Benny) bred their first champion and from there on the list of Artru greats are legendary and overwhelming. Some of those who stand out most in the crowd are Ch Artru Action, Ch Artru Available, Ch Artru Busy Body CD, Ch Artru K. K. Kandyman, Ch Artru Live Wire, Ch Artru Trinket, Ch Artru Patent Leather, Ch Artru Hot Rod, Ch Artru Globetrotter, Ch Artru Johnny Be Good, Ch Artru Red Baron, Ch Artru Sandpiper, Ch Artru Cracker Jack, Ch Artru Skyjack, Ch Artru Struck Gold, Ch Artru Remarkable, Ch Artru Episode, Ch Artru Delightful II, Ch Artru Jan-Myr Rocky and Ch Artru Valhalla. These were top show dogs. ASC winners and producers who followed the great tradition of Artru and it can be said these dogs were no accident. Ruth had definite ideas about the cockers she wanted to wear the prefix. By 1981 there were 71 Artru champions; the most cocker spaniel champions produced by a breeder in the first Century of the American Spaniel Club. Ruth was an extraordinary talent in designing her Artru bloodlines and her positive influence lives on in the pedigrees of all 3 Varieties. In 1995 Ruth Benhoff was inducted into the ASC Hall of Fame for Contribution to the Breed. See ASC Hall of Fame (Past Winners).

Ch. Durbet`s Tiger Paws, C.D.
Ch. Durbet's Tiger Paws, C.D.


The Dur-Bet prefix has long been associated with quality cocker spaniels. Established in 1956 Dur-Bet Kennels consistently produced cockers that were titled not only in conformation but obedience as well. Among the astonishing array of many titled cockers one must mention Ch Dur-Bet’s Nightie Night, Ch Dur-Bet’s Knight To Remember, Am Can Ch Dur-Bet’s Pick The Tiger CD, Ch Dur-Bet’s Tiger Paws, Ch Dur-Bet’s Leading Lady, and Ch Dur-Bet’s Tantalizer. The Dur-Bet prefix is forever recorded in the books of dog show history as are those cocker spaniels who went on to become ASC top winners and producers in the guiding hands of master breeder, Elizabeth H. Durland . Betty was a leading influence in breeding programs with a Dur-Bet foundation bitch or a litter sired by one of her males. Today some of those kennel owners are among our most respected judges of the breed. Along with Betty’s knowledge and wisdom of the art of breeding good cocker spaniels she brought to the table a background in Zoology and medical research which fueled her interest and passion in working to develop health programs to secure the future of the breed. At the January 2004 Flushing Spaniel Show Elizabeth H. Durland was inducted into the ASC Hall of Fame for her Contributions to the Organization. See ASC Hall of Fame (Past Winners).

Ch. Hob Nob Hill Tribute
Ch. Hob Nob Hill Tribute


The cocker fancy was first introduced to the kennel name Heyday in 1948 but even before the Heyday prefix had been granted to Dr Clarence (Larry) and Jeanne Smith, he had already finished two champions, Ch High Hampton Jessamine and Ch Coveredbrook Cinders. Jeanne adored Larry and liked to give him all the credit but she was a contributing partner at Heyday. Jeanne raised the puppies in the early years and was very much a part of the cocker showing. Together, they never lost sight of their dreams of breeding and owning great ones. Larry wanted top quality black and black/tan cockers and he got them. Among the breed champions to wear the Heyday prefix were Ch Heyday Hobbit, Ch Heyday Henchman, Ch Heyday Headhunter and Ch Heyday Henrietta. Larry and Jeanne owned 3 ASC Futurity winners and bred two of them, Ch Coveredbrook Cinders, Ch Heyday Hopscotch and Ch Heyday Herald. Another very high profile dog belonging to Jeanne and Larry was Ch Hob Nob Hill Tribute. He was acquired by the Smiths as a youngster and given his opportunity to become what he was bred to be; a top winning dog and a Great One. “Nicky” is still very much alive today through the blood of his children as he would go on to become the Pillar of the Black Variety. The years 1973 and 1974 at ASC forever belong to the fabulous Ch Shardeloes Selena whose career and breeding life was also in the hands of Dr Clarence Smith. Selena, who was so well known that out of respect for the bitch’s greatness no one else in the cocker fancy has ever used her name. She was simply known to her fans as Selena but there was nothing simple about the great Selena. She was a two- time ASC Best in Show winner and she produced children who would follow her footsteps to win Bests of Breed and Bests in Show.

Silver Maple Farms

Ch. Burson`s Blarney
Ch. Burson's Blarney

Ruth Kraeuchi devoted her life to cocker spaniels. She was an authority on the breed and a legend in her own time. Her greatest pleasure was breeding good ones and winning with them. Lee hunted over cockers most of his life and it is easy to see how this couple’s shared interests would lead to the prefix becoming one of those most honored for greatness and fame. The Silver Maple story began in the late 20’s with their first home bred champion, Silver Maple Sensation. It was the beginning of a shining era and the Silver Maple prefix soon adorned the heads of champions from all 3 Varieties. Ch Silver Maple Top Hat N Tails, Ch Silver Maple Lamplighter and Ch Silver Maple Sharp Tri-Umph; cocker spaniels of merit who along with many other Silver Maple specials became winners and producers. Lee and Ruth also enjoyed success as professional handlers and Ruth was holding the leash when Ch Dream Echo Magic Touch won Best In Show at the ASC National Specialty in 1969. Her co- owned Ch Burson’s Blarney was ranked top cocker in the nation 2 years in a row with Ruth in tow. She won the Quaker Oats Award with Ch Silver Maple Doctor David and a Best in Show at the 1953 ASC Zone III Show after winning his 100th ASCOB Best of Variety. She was a published author on the breed and served as mentor to many hopefuls who wanted to establish a solid bloodline and learn how to show. In 1997 Ruth was inducted into the ASC Hall of Fame for Contribution to the Breed. See ASC Hall of Fame (Past Winners).

Wilma Parker
Curator, August 2003
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