Hildreth Kennedy Bloodgood
Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005
For contribution to the breed
HK Bloodgood and his Mepal Farm (pronounced “maple”) are deeply rooted in cocker history. Hildreth Kennedy Bloodgood was a prominent Wall Street banker and sportsman with a passion for breeding prize winning sheep, cattle and cocker spaniels. He was also famous for his hackney driving ponies.
His home the family refers to as the “manor” was named for his favorite horse and foundation sire “Star of Mepal” Mr. Bloodgood purchased him while honeymooning in Mepal, England in 1888 and “Star of Mepal” was the first of 100 Hackney ponies to cross the ocean and live at the farm in New Marlborough.
HK was an executive director and judge in the National Horse Shows, American Kennel Club, (AKC) Westminster Kennel Club (WKC) and American Spaniel Club (ASC.) He served 14 years as president of ASC and was still in office when he died in 1919. His two daughters, Vera (Mrs Charles Scribner of NY Scribner Publishing Company) and Gladys, (Mrs J Macy Willets of Cassilis Kennels) would continue the Mepal breeding programs in both the ponies and the dogs. By 1956 the Mepal cockers had won over 2000 prizes.
The Bloodgood family owned three ASC Best in Show cockers, Ch Durbar in 1920, Ch Mepal's Ira in 1921 and Ch Mepal's Irene in 1922.
A Mepal cocker won four futurities; a feat never repeated by another breeder. In 1923, it was Mepal's Fortunata (black bitch), in 1924, it was Ch Mepal's Molinda II (black bitch). Then in 1926, Mepal Culzean (black dog) won and in 1927, Mepal's Rominy, (black dog.) Mepal Romeo was the sire of the 1928 futurity winner, Ch Brookside Magician.
Braeside Bob was the imported foundation sire for the Mepal parti-colors and Bob produced Ch Mepal Shotover , Ch Mepal Ira , Ch Mepal Roue, Ch Mepal's Hilma and Ch Mepal Iris. In her lifetime, Iris won 93 prizes...more prizes than any other Mepal cocker.
A Mepal cocker never won Best in Show at WKC but three others did who carry Mepal in their pedigrees. They include Ch Midkiff Seductive, 1921, Ch. My Own Brucie, 1940 and 1941 and Ch. Carmor's Rise and Shine in 1954. The Iris pedigree is behind two of them and Ch. Baby Ruth is behind all three.
After a fire at Mepal Farm, HK composed a letter to his dear friend George Greer. He wrote “Dear Greer, The house burned down around our heads last night but thank God we saved Ruth. Sincerely, Bloodgood. ” In his one sentence we are immediately aware of the importance of Ch Baby Ruth to the breed.
After his death, the ASC membership arranged for a memorial trophy for Best Cocker Spaniel at the ASC National Flushing show. The funds were invested so the interest would provide for it to be offered in perpetuity.
In July 2004 we received an email from Melanie Sharp-Bolster, County Cork, Ireland who wrote she was the great grand daughter of HK. It was through Melanie we were able to connect with her two children living and working in the US. At the invitation of the Archival Work Group Nicola and her brother Gordon Sharp-Bolster, HK’s great, great grandchildren, attended the induction ceremony of their ancestor into the ASC Hall of Fame for his Contributions to the Breed.
Wilma Parker, ASC Curator