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The American Spaniel Club - Established in 1881 Hall Of Fame

The American Spaniel Club first inducted members into its Hall of Fame in 1995 when current members nominated candidates to the Hall of Fame in four different categories. In 1999, those categories were simplified to just two: Service to the Organization and Contribution to the Breed.

It is the purpose of the Hall of Fame to capture for succeeding generations the memory of the extraordinary and not the ordinary. 

Louis and Ida Hamsher

Louis and Ida HamsherInducted into the Hall of Fame in 1998
For contribution to the breed

"Bud" and his favorite gal Ida whose red hair was outshone only by her blazing interest and dedication to the Cocker Spaniel were a couple who exemplified everything an ASC member should strive to be as a breeder and as a member of the fancy. Whether in their breeding program that produced at least 43 conformation champions along with multiple Obedience titled cockers the total Cocker Spaniel was this couple's consistent dream and aim. Quality and never quantity was the name of the game at Shiloh Dell. Probably the best known Shiloh Dell dog was Jason Abrams' Ch. Shiloh Dell Salute who was a top winner as well as an outstanding stud dog.

Bud and Ida were outspoken and very definite when it came to any controversial cocker issue. You always knew where they stood. Many a neophyte learned at this couple's knees and were better for it. For 13 years Ida was an Obedience judge. Bud was a popular arbiter of not just cockers but of multiple groups and BIS including assignments at ASC shows. Ida left us in1992 and Bud about a year after her. This couple is a splendid example of what it means to be a real breeder and deserve their place in the ASC Hall of Fame.

Lloyd Alton and Bill Gorodner, ASC Archival Work Group

Ruth Kraeuchi

Ruth KraeuchiInducted into the Hall of Fame in 1997
For contribution to the breed

Ruth’s love affair with cocker spaniels began as a small child growing up in St Louis and her interest in the breed continued throughout her lifetime. By the late 20's Ruth and Lee Kraeuchi’s Silver Maple prefix was well known in the ring and as professional handlers their client’s dogs were becoming top winners and top producers under her tutelage and guiding hands.

She served as a mentor to those who wanted to learn and many well-known breeders and judges of today apprenticed under Ruth. In 1956 she wrote The Cocker Spaniel and The New Cocker Spaniel in 1979. These books are easily found in the library of every cocker spaniel fancier.

After having one of her dogs treated for cataracts at the MU College of Veterinary Medicine Ruth was impressed with the promise of new discoveries for eye problems in dogs. She funded the college’s first ever endowed professorship in veterinary ophthalmology and this bequest has helped generations of spaniels who may have had little hope otherwise. Ruth truly loved the breed and made special arrangements to assure the continuing care of her cockers after her death.

Wilma Parker, Curator, ASC Archives

Ella Borland Moffit

Ella MoffitInducted into the Hall of Fame in 1997
For contribution to the breed prior to 1950

Ella Borland Moffit (1889-1945) bred and exhibited her cockers under the Rowcliffe prefix. While she produced conformation dogs of merit her interest in the cocker spaniel as a multipurpose dog is to be noted. Ella was one of the very first women who did field work with her spaniels. She formed the Hunting Cocker Spaniel Club whose name was later changed to Cocker Spaniel Field Trial Club.

She worked toward the goal of producing quality conformation, obedience and field cockers but she made her largest impact through her written words. She authored The Cocker Spaniel: Companion, Shooting Dog and Show Dog, published in 1935. This was the most complete book ever written on the breed up until that time. The book has since had several revisions and updates and has been cherished by breeders through the years.

Wilma Parker, Curator, ASC Archives

Ruth Benhoff

Ruth BenhoffInducted into the Hall of Fame in 1995
For contribution to the breed

Artru is a prefix that is still part of the Cocker Spaniel particularly the ASCOB variety. In 1995 Ruth was inducted into the ASC Hall of Fame. She bred, along with her husband Benny (Arthur H.), BIS winners in all three varieties.

As a handler Mrs. B was always the consummate pro. Not only were the dogs put down to the minute and trained to perfection but she was the one to go to when you wanted the job done. She finished champions for herself and others at a rate that could get one's head spinning. It almost seemed like child’s play but like all great talents Ruth only made it look easy. She was a hard worker and was very generous in sharing her knowledge and her dogs with anyone who showed interest and turned many a newcomer into a real breeder. The Artru cockers were as at home in the Obedience ring as in the show ring and countless couches wherever in the world good cockers count.

The Artru stud force was a legend in the breed. They are in the pedigrees of almost every worthwhile cocker no matter the variety. In buffs the Artru name is akin to sterling on silver and because of all these accomplishments Ruth is ensconced forever with the breed's best in the ASC Hall of Fame.

Lloyd Alton and Bill Gorodner, ASC Archival Work Group

Herman Mellenthin

Herman MellenthinInducted into the Hall of Fame in 1995
For contribution to the breed prior to 1950

Herman’s interest in dogs began as early as 7 years of age and continued until he died in March 1942 two months after judging Westminster. He attributed his early experience in horses for his success as a talented breeder and even before the event of Ch My Own Brucie, Herman had already earned his place in cocker history. His dogs set a pattern in all 3 Varieties of top winning dogs in both Bench and Field competitions and Ch My Own High Time was the very first cocker to win a Dual Championship.

In 1921 Herman made a trade for a bitch, acquiring Rees' Dolly whom he felt would click with a stud dog owned by Judge Townsend Scudder. Red Brucie, a dog who was an exaggeration of everything in a cocker spaniel, was the result of the mating. When an inquiry was made as to the selling price of Red Brucie, Herman already had a plan and remarked the dog was not for sale at any price. Red Brucie was shown a few times, collecting some points and honors but he was never seriously campaigned to a Championship title. Herman had his mind set on other goals he felt were of more importance. He wanted to breed the perfect cocker spaniel and his breeding decisions, along with the Red Brucie’s influence, would lead to the cocker of today.

Ch My Own Brucie, son of Red Brucie, was that once in a lifetime dog who grew up to fulfill every dream of Herman Mellenthin. Although My Own Brucie adored Herman no doubt he knew his destiny was to become a shining star. On rare occasions, as stars sometimes do, he liked to make his own decisions about how he would perform that day. Once Brucie decided… not even his beloved Herman could change his mind. Despite his occasional stubborn streak Brucie alongside Herman climbed a stairway to fame and glory and for the duo it was an easy climb. In 1938 he was Best American Bred Sporting Dog of the Year by the American Kennel Club, he won a group at Westminster 1939 and a Best in Show at Morris and Essex Kennel Club. By 1940, Herman and Brucie were becoming household names winning at every prestigious event and when he was judged to be “Best of the Best” at Westminster KC every home in America seemed to want a cocker spaniel like Brucie. After adding another Best In Show to his long list of accomplishments, (American Spaniel Club, 1941), Brucie and Herman returned once again to Westminster …..As the house lights dimmed and the ring spots came up, the team made their entrance. In a masterful display of his stylish skill, Mellenthin had removed the show lead and the merry cocker did the job on his own. Never missing a beat or a turn, the little dog held his head high, wagging his tail while gaiting effortlessly by his giant’s side. (Kerrin- Winter Churchill,” The Great Ones”, Dogs In Review, Feb/March 2003) Brucie is the only cocker spaniel in our breed history to win a Best In Show at Westminster twice. When Herman died, Brucie was purchased from the Mellenthin Estate by Herman’s close friends, the Garvan family of Dungarvan Kennels. The following year Brucie joined his beloved master and the New York Times, June 1943 carried his obituary that day.

Herman Mellenthin left behind a legacy of breed contributions that will never be erased and he did it all in such a short time of living. He was only 53 years old when he died.

Wilma Parker, Curator, ASC Archives

References:

The Complete Cocker Spaniel, Milo Denlinger,
The Cocker Spaniel, Ella Moffit,
The Cocker Spaniel, Ruth Kraeuchi,
Cocker Champions, Greer and Austin

Nomination and Information

Consideration for Nomination

  • The Hall of Fame is open to any former or current member of the American Spaniel Club who it is felt has made a significant contribution to the American Spaniel Club organization itself or to the Cocker Spaniel breed.
  • Nominations are intended for people and not organizations or kennels. Nominations can be made for an individual or couple as appropriate.
  • Significant contribution is defined as one that is important and had profound impact in shaping the breed or the club as it is known today. Significant contributions go beyond the bounds of normal volunteerism, standards of ethics or animal husbandry and successful breeding programs.

It is the purpose of the Hall of Fame to capture for succeeding generations the memory of the extraordinary and not the ordinary.

Nominations

  • Each year one new inductee can be granted to the Hall of Fame for Service to the Organization and one for Contribution to the Breed. Consideration for new inductees is granted on an annual basis, although new inductees are not necessarily granted annually.
  • By November 1 of each year the Archival Committee Chairperson will form a Hall of Fame (HOF) Committee and will be the non-voting chairperson of that committee. All past ASC Presidents are eligible and invited to participate on the HOF committee.
  • The Committee is disbanded again after the Annual Meeting in January and then reformed the following October.
  • Nominations are made annually and unless otherwise noted, close on October 31 for that year. They come from two sources:
    • Membership - ASC members may make nominations through a Petition for Consideration. The Petition is simply typed or written legibly on standard paper, and should state in sufficient detail the name of the individual and their significant contribution(s). The Petition should be sent to the ASC Secretary.
    • The ASC Archival Committee - In the course of their archival and historical duties, the committee may discover and offer nominees for consideration in addition to those from the membership.
  • The Archival Chairperson, in the role as Chair of the HOF, will gather all nominations and submit them to the HOF Committee. The Archival Committee can make recommendations to the HOF Committee on the submitted list of candidates, but the HOF Committee with a simple approving majority vote makes the final decision.
  • Any ASC Hall of Fame candidates, so nominated and voted in agreement for induction, are announced at the American Spaniel Club Annual Meeting.

Wilma Parker

Wilma ParkerInducted into the Hall of Fame in 2008
For contribution to the Organization

Wilma Parker has excelled as a breeder and exhibitor. She is also a respected and sought after judge. Many others in our ranks share the same attributes but she separated from our rank and file with contributions to ASC and to our breed which are almost unprecedented when she undertook preserving, ferreting out and disseminating missing historical data pertaining to our great old club and breed. Following in the footsteps and carrying on the foundation work of the late Dr. Frances Greer, Wilma gathered around her a group of like-minded, history oriented ASC members which morphed through her interest and initiative to become the "Spaniel Sleuths."

Employing old tried and true methods of research and communication, Wilma Parker amalgamated the old way of obtaining information with all the advantages of modern technology. Because of her efforts ASC today is accumulating a backlog of history. Dogs and breeders of the past have been given a new dimension by assiduous research and the unearthing of heretofore unavailable materials.

Each year at the Flushing Spaniel Show she spearheads an exhibition of what the "Sleuths" have unearthed. Often the annual meetings are highlighted by descendants of some of our past great ASC fancier's thanks to Wilma's research and communication skills. Mrs. Parker has given the current fancy the gift of its heritage and its future members an understanding of what came before them.

Bill Gorodner, Lloyd Alton, Shirley Estel & Kathy Reid on behalf of the Spaniel Sleuths

Hugh and Marilyn Spacht

Hugh and Marilyn SpachtInducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010
For contribution to the Organization

Hugh and Marilyn Spacht bred cocker spaniels under the “Hu-Mar” prefix for many years.  They joined the American Spaniel Club in 1974 and, since that time, they have actively participated in Club functions on an ongoing basis with one or the other serving on the Board for almost half the time they have been members.

Hugh served as ASC’s First Vice President for three years and Second Vice President for two additional years during the 1980’s.  During his tenure he was an active participant in developing the Club’s Code of Ethics to which all members subscribe.  His service on the Board was concurrent with that of Betty Durland and he was a staunch supporter of the ASC Health Registry.  In addition, for many years prior to the formation of the ASC-Foundation, Hugh traveled to various all-breed kennel club meetings in Alabama and spoke about protecting the health and welfare of our canine companions by supporting the Morris Animal Foundation.

Before and during Hugh’s time as a Board member, Marilyn served on a number of Club and show committees. She has been futurity chair, seating chair, ring steward, and hospitality chair.  She is an active member of the standard committee and, to this day, an unfailing mentor ringside during judges’ education programs at the shows.  Her opinion is sought inside the ring as well and she has judged both the National Cocker Spaniel Specialty and the Flushing Spaniel Show including Best of Breed at the former and Best In Show at the latter.

After Hugh left the Board, Marilyn served as a Director for Zone II and later as President of both the American Spaniel Club and the ASC-Foundation for three terms.    Currently, she is again serving on the Board as a Director at Large and as a member of the finance committee.

The Cocker Spaniel has no truer friends and the Club no stauncher supporters than Hugh and Marilyn Spacht.  Their commitment to the breed they love and the Club that protects it merits their induction into the ASC Hall of Fame for Service to the Organization.

Kathleen L. Patterson

Harriet Kamps

Harriet KampsInducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010
For contribution to the Breed

Harriet has been breeding and showing quality Cocker Spaniels since 1956.  (Note:) Harriet joined the ASC in 1963 and to this date there has been 199 documented champion cocker spaniels to carry the Kamps prefix. (www.cockers-online)

The dogs that she has bred have had a huge impact on our ASCOB and Parti-color lines and are still present in the pedigrees of many top breeding programs today.  BIS Ch. Kamps’ Kaptain Kool, the  top producing bitch, Ch. Kamps’ Kountry Kiss and Ch. Kamps’ Silversmith are just a few of the very well-known dogs that reflect the style, type and conformation that we covet for the show ring.

The moving picture of BIS Ch. Kamps’ Kaptain Kool in motion has been used for many years in various Cocker Spaniel breed books including the ASC blue book “The Cocker Spaniel” to illustrate correct movement in our breed.

Harriet has always been a generous mentor to many of us in the fancy and is graciously willing to share her wealth of knowledge about our breed. Her integrity is beyond question. She is a firm believer in striving to improve the health and welfare of the cocker spaniel and a supporter of our ASC Health Registry; in fact, Harriet is one of the few breeders who submitted dogs for the first registry in 1976 and has continued listing dogs for the past 33 years.

Harriet has served on the ASC Board of Directors, on our standards committee and has been a long-time member and officer of the Maryland Cocker Spaniel Club.  She has truly been a positive influence on our beloved breed and is deserving of recognition for all her accomplishments. Harriet was inducted into the American Spaniel Club Hall of Fame at the annual meeting this January for her contributions to the breed.

Regina M. Beinhauer

Michael Allen

Michael AllenInducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007
For contribution to the Organization

Michael Allen's commitment and dedication to the Cocker Spaniel, both as a breeder, club member and respected member of the purebred dog community worldwide, positioned her as a qualified candidate for the American Spaniel Club Hall of Fame.

Renowned as a photographer and artist, Ms. Allen edited and published multiple award-winning publications including The Magazine for 20 years, and the compendium, The American Cocker Book.

Ms. Allen's contribution to the American Spaniel Club spans almost five decades. These include:

  • Drawings for the award winning ASC original Blue Book
  • Creation and donation of 13 original watercolor paintings used in the American Spaniel Club 2004 Cocker Cuties Calendar fundraiser, a self funded project that raised more than $20,000 for breeder education programs
  • Watercolors were auctioned by the ASC-F to establish the Michael Allen Veterinary Student Scholarship fund, now (2007) at $5,500 base
  • Creation and donation of the original drawing given in recognition of Cocker Spaniels earning the prestigious, Ruby Memorial Award

In the wider purebred dog world, Michael Allen was noted for her artwork illustrating the covers of books and magazines worldwide. Her portraits of top winning champions in numerous breeds, but for Cockers, she immortalized fluid movement of the sporting spaniel with her photo of the Ch. Kamp's Kaptain Kool.

Future breed fanciers and purebred dog aficionados will recognize the depth of contribution and commitment of Ms. Allen through her generous sharing of her incredible talent. She earned her place in the American Spaniel Club Hall of Fame for her many Contributions to the Organization and to the sport of purebred dogs.

Bobbie Kolehouse

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