Elaine and Lamar Mathis
Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011
For contribution to the Breed
Elaine and Lamar Mathis have devoted their lives to the advancement of Cocker Spaniels and purebred dogs as breeders, owners, handlers and judges. Throughout their lives they’ve worked to produce outstanding dogs who exhibited type, correct Cocker temperament and trainability, as well as an on-going commitment to address inherited health issues.
In the past 50 years the Lamar bloodlines have contributed significantly to the ASCOB and black varieties; such as Ch Lamar’s London, whelped in the 1970’s, Ch Forjay’s Soul Sensation, active in the 1990’s, and most recently, Ch Lamar’s Montana.
In 1958, Elaine and Lamar acquired their first Cocker from Edith Kelly. She was Kelly’s Chantilly Lace and her granddaughter would become, CH Lamar’s Ivory Summer. Summer was a correct moving silver bitch that helped pave the way for bitches to win in large competitions. In 1969, after whelping two litters, Ivory Summer was selected as Best of Variety at ASC with her daughter winning Winners Bitch and Best of Winners awards. This was the first time a dam and daughter were distinguished with these wins at ASC. Summer’s campaign would include three all-breed Best In Show wins. CH LaMar's Ivory Summer retired in 1969, as the top winning bitch, all varieties in the history of the breed.
CH Lamar’s London was a son of Ivory Summer and would prove to be a top producing sire in 1974. London produced 55 champions. His son, Ch Forjay’s Winterwood was the top winning cocker in 1975. London along with his son Winterwood, and grandson, CH Cottonwood Congressman, can be found behind almost every ASCOB cocker today and many of the black varieties.
In 1996, Lamar and Elaine acquired CH Forjay’s Soul Sensation “James” after handler Donnie Johnston died. Plans to sell the dog out of the country were set aside when Mathis purchased him.
James had won Best of Variety at ASC under Judge Wilma Parker while Donnie was still handling, but Mathis interest in the dog, a handsome black and tan, was in his genes. His pedigree showed he went back to London 9 times in 8 generations and James lived up to his pedigree. He produced 46 champions including 2 BIS dogs. Today, his qualities carry forward through many of the top winning Cockers.
CH Lamar’s Montana has 43 champions, including BIS winning BIS BISS Ch. LaMar's Bentley UD CDX OA OAJ AXP AJP. Montana’s sister CH Lamar’s Saratoga earned top honors as the highest ranked bitch, all varieties, showing in 1998.
Elaine and Lamar have personally bred over 60 champions in the US, plus many others who are champions in other countries. Their quality was recognized by the ASC when several Lamar dogs were inducted into the ASC Hall of Distinction in 2010.
As is seen, many top winning and producing Cockers today owe their existence to the Lamar breeding program. For decades, the contribution of these dogs has been recognized in articles and books by elite breeders such as in The New Cocker Spaniel by Ruth Kraeuchi, and The World of the Cocker Spaniel by Bill Gorodner and Lloyd Alton.
Elaine and Lamar have been members of the Cocker Spaniel Club of Northern Ohio, and are Life members of the American Spaniel Club since 1966. Both are multiple Group judges and have judged at sporting events all across America and in other countries, and have judged several times at the American Spaniel Club national events.
Elaine volunteers as a ringside mentor for the ASC Judges Education program, and has presented breed seminars at national events and all-breed shows. She was part of the core workgroup that developed and promoted the ASC Cocker Spaniel-Comprehensive Breed Health Survey, and serves as a BreedCare Club Liaison and served on the Hall of Distinction development committee.
Genuine stewards of the breed, Elaine and Lamar Mathis are respected throughout the world for their knowledge, integrity, and commitment to Cocker Spaniels. In January 2011 they were inducted into the American Spaniel Club Hall of Fame for their contributions to the breed.
Jeanne Grim DVM and Friends