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Hildreth Kennedy Bloodgood

Hildreth Kennedy BloodgoodInducted 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

If you're wondering about the steps the Purina Event Center is taking to keep your dog safe from the flu, you can read their protocol below and do your part as well.
Purina Farms Canine Influenza Virus (H3N2) Protocol
We have started to receive an influx of questions about canine flu lately, and this document is in an effort to accurately convey the facts about the virus and to outline our prevention protocol. The Canine Influenza Virus is highly contagious and the symptoms are similar to tracheobronchitis (kennel cough), however, the cough produced by the flu virus is often soft and moist. Ranging from mild to severe, H3N2 flu starts as an upper-respiratory illness depicted by a persistent cough, clear nasal discharge and low-grade fever combined with lethargy and reduced appetite.
An H3N2 infected dog is most contagious during the two- to four-day incubation period when they are shedding the virus in nasal secretions but not showing signs of illness. (Virtually all dogs exposed to the virus become infected; 80 percent of dogs develop a flu. like illness and the 20 percent that do not become sick can still spread the virus to other dogs.) Sick dogs showing signs of respiratory illness should be separated from other dogs for two weeks. Regarding transmission: A sick dog transmits the virus to another dog through saliva, coughing and sneezing, contaminated objects such as food and water bowls, toys, collars, and leashes, and by people moving between infected and uninfected dogs.  Purina Farms consulted with a veterinarian on our internal advisory council whose area of active research is infectious diseases and his recommendation, along with recommendations set forth by the American Veterinary Medical Association (see below), helped establish our protocol:
- We routinely disinfect all surfaces. We clean using a bleach solution at a 1 to 30 dilution as the virus can survive up to 48 hours on hard surfaces
- Staff have been instructed to wash with soap and water often when coming into contact with dogs or items that may have dog feces, urine, saliva or blood.
- Staff wash their uniforms every night since the virus can live on clothing for up to 12 hours
- Purina Farms also uses disinfectants like Wysiwash and Oxyquat, which are pet-friendly solutions that help kill bacteria, viruses and fungi including parvo. Hand sanitizer is available throughout the facility as an extra precautionary measure
- We do not provide community water bowls and would recommend no sharing of bowls in general
- We request that all clinically ill dogs as well as those with concerning symptoms not attend events on the property
- We encourage exhibitors to have their dogs vaccinated for H3N2 to lessen the signs.  There is a vaccine for this strain and it is a 2 shot series (one shot and then a booster 3-4 weeks later). This vaccine is not the same as the H3N8 vaccine.
What we recommend exhibitors do to prevent contracting this and/or spreading the virus:
- Dogs should avoid nose to nose contact with other dogs and no shared drinking bowls
- Avoid using the off-leash exercise area where dogs come into contact with each other
- Consider getting the 2-series vaccine for H3N2
- Use hand sanitizer available throughout the building & wash hands w/ soap & water often