Obo II

Obo II and History of the Obo II Cup

Ch. Obo II
OBO II, whelped 1882.
Sire: English Ch. Obo Dam: English Import Chloe II

Grave of Obo II
The Obo II Grave with snow is how it looked when it was discovered.
Photo: Staci Stanley.

The grave was reported to the ASC Archival Work Group July 2001. It is located on the former property of Mr. J.P. Willey, behind the only elementary school in the small city of Rollingsford, New Hampshire, once known as Salmon Falls. The street adjacent to the school is named for Mr. Willey.

Grave of Obo II
The Obo II Grave the way it looks today.
Photo: Staci Stanley.

At the request of the American Spaniel Club's Board of Directors the grave was recently registered at the Rollinsford Historical Society as a Historical Monument to the Cocker Spaniel.

American Kennel Register 1884 Obo II Article
Special thanks to Barbara Kolk, AKC Library, for the submission of this article.

PDF fileThe American Kennel Register 1884 Obo II Article

Note: The American Kennel Register operated in the 1880's and was a competing registry (with separate numbers from the AKC Stud Book). Its last issue was December 1888. The following month, January 1889, was the debut issue of the American Kennel Gazette.
PDF fileOBO II Stud Card
Donated by HK Bloodgood Family, you can view Obo Stud card and text from inside the card. Use the Zoom In Tool (PDF) to better view the text.


History of the Obo II Cup

In Jan 2004 secretary, Dot Mustard, received a letter from Dr George Whitney son of the late dog author, Dr Leon Whitney of Orange CT. Dr George said his hearing was impaired and he preferred to communicate with us through letters. He went on to write he had many items that might be of interest to the ASC that were gifted to his father from OB Gilman/ Idahurst Kennels.

ASC records describe O.B. Gilman as a successful Boston business man. He was a small man in stature with aristocratic airs. He purchased his first cocker in 1883 and 50 years later Gilman reigned supreme as the oldest and largest breeder of cockers in Massachusetts, if not all New England. The Idahurst cockers won a world of championships and one of those, Idahurst Lofty, was mounted after his death and placed on exhibit at the Peabody Museum, Yale University, as showing what a cocker spaniel should be. Gilman also had an intense interest in the experimentation work of his close friend, Dr Leon Whitney, especially in feeding and color breeding of canines.

Dr George said “ It was in the 30’s that at daybreak one morning 3 flatbed trucks drove up behind our home in Orange with me sleeping in a second floor bedroom. When the trucks stopped it must have been a signal for close to about 100 of OB Gilman’s dogs to all bark together. There were crates on crates of cockers. Along with the animals came a trunk of trophies, paintings and papers concerning cockers. All, a gift to my father.

Mr Gilman had reached an age at which he had to dispose of his dogs and since my Dad had been helpful in suggesting diet and breeding advice over the years and since Dad was interested in coat color inheritance he agreed to take all these beautiful animals with the understanding that all past breeding age would be euthanized. Mr Gilman did not believe in killing his animals just because they were old. Each of those dogs had love and caring and each one it’s own personality with not one with a personality problem. In a few days the numbers had dwindled to about 50 as Dad must have eliminated the others. I was the kennel help in those days but Dad did not expose me to that unfortunate duty of euthanasia at my tender age of 12 years.”

He wrote that in the event of his untimely passing the Gilman collection would likely be tossed. His interest was to preserve them for education within the American Spaniel Club. He said one award cup in particular was always his favorite because he thought the design with the 3 shotguns was interesting and went on to comment the cup was a trophy awarded to Obo II.

A few weeks and several packages later I opened a delivery box and sure enough among an array of long ago awards was a taller cup. The proof of its being used as a flower pot was readily visible… some of the soil lingered. The cup was bent and stood a bit crooked with its tripod of shotguns leaning to one side. Time had been unkind as it was black and way beyond elbow grease and polish but it was for real. It was genuine and engraved as being awarded to our own Obo II in 1884, the one dog, considered to be the sire and father of the cocker spaniel breed.

In an informative article on the ASC website the win and the cup is recorded in “The American Kennel Registry” an 1884 publication by Forest and Stream. PDF filehttp://www.asc-cockerspaniel.org/history/obo.pdf

This piece was probably commissioned especially for the award as it is elaborately designed with the sporting dog in mind. The cup features a quail sitting in a cover of beautiful artistically designed wheat and wildflowers. It rests on a tripod of shotguns and. below stands a sporting dog fastened to a rounded embossed base. It is the unique design of Simpson, Hall and Miller of Wallingford, Connecticut, well known during the1800’s for Britannia ware. In 1898 the Wallingford factory became The International Sterling Center.

The cup is engraved
NH Kennel Club
1st ABS 1884 Special Prize for Best Cocker
Awarded to Obo 2nd AKR 432

It is unknown how Gilman came to be in possession of the Obo cup and it is fortunate for us he had the foresight to put his collection in the hands of the Whitney family.

The Obo II cup was unveiled at the Flushing Show Jan 2005. I feel certain our late ASC historian, Dr Frances Greer, was smiling down. To our knowledge the cup is the oldest cocker spaniel award in existence to date. The specially built showcases and the restoration of the cup were gifted to the American Spaniel Club.

Wilma Parker, ASC Curator

Just a reminder that the ASC Board is soliciting member input prior to taking action on the proposed bylaw changes. The 30 day comment period ends on October 28, 2017.

Please post any comments or questions to the ASC Yahoo List or send your comments to me, Tony Stallard, privately if you so desire. a4r4s4@aol.com 


The ballots to vote on the proposed standard revisions were mailed to all ASC members on Wednesday, September 20, 2017.  In returning the ballots, please follow the instructions in order to insure that you are sending in valid ballots. There are four ballots, one for each proposed change.

The ballots MUST BE RECEIVED BY WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2017 to be valid.



ASC will be hosting a hunt test open to all registered breeds of flushing spaniels, Airedale Terriers, Irish Water Spaniels, and select Retriever breeds. This hunt test will be held on October 28 & 29, 2017 in Jacobus, Pennsylvania. Any one that is interested in receiving a premium list for this test or for being tested for the WD/WDX please contact 
Patrician Petraglia at px3@msn.com

Harvey Update - ASCF Disaster Relief Fund (click here)

The Board has appointed the following members to the Zone Nominating Committees.

They will start work later this month and will nominate candidates to serve as your Zone Director and Alternate Zone Director. These individuals serve for a 2-year term. The Zone Director is responsible for attending specialty shows around the Zone and keeping zone members informed about what is happening with ASC. The Zone Director will also attend 2 Board meetings a year and participate in conference calls approximately monthly. If you are interested in being nominated for any of these positions, please contact a committee member or members.

Zone 1 Committee
Bonnie Pike, chair
Kim Valvolo
Peggy Kotek
Karen Osper, alternate

Zone 2 Committee
Lindy Bennett, chair
Cheryl Brown
Jackie Cavallin
Erin Baker, alternate

Zone 3 Committee
Genea Jones, chair
Terri Procunier
Susan Gray
Laura English, alternate

Zone 4 Committee
Patricia Elkins, chair
Eilene White
DiAnn Prock

Zone 5 Committee
Barbara Shaw, chair
Beth Moore
Diane Hill
Laurie Foley, alternate

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact Linda Moore.

***************************** FLUSHING SPANIEL SHOW 2018 U P D A T E *****************************

Due to unforeseen delays with the building improvement construction, the Knoxville Exhibition Center will not be ready in time for our January show. Therefore, we will move the show to the Jacob Building at Chilhowee Park (2201 E. Magnolia Avenue, Knoxville).

The venue is a short 5 ½ miles (approximately 10 min.) drive from the Holiday Inn. The Knoxville Convention Center team has committed to making this unexpected transition as seamless as possible. We are working with Visit Knoxville (Convention & Visitors Bureau) to provide shuttle service for our members and guests to/from the Holiday Inn and the show venue.

More information will be available shortly as the Show Committee works on the logistics of the Show.  For now, we recommend that everyone who has reservations at the Holiday Inn, KEEP them. The few motels located by the facility are not recommended by the KCC or Chilhowee Park management. However, if you would like to cancel your reservation, please DO NOT call the Holiday Inn.  Please contact Jane Williams.  We have a waiting list for rooms and we need to facilitate the room change or the room will go back to general hotel inventory. 

ASC 2017 National Specialty DVD Clips

Best in Futurity July 2017

Best of Breed  July 2017

Junior handlers July 2017 

Latest report from Dr. Aguirre/University of PA cataract study

ASCF WEBINAR Report and Presentation