Home History Retired Kennel Names

Retired Kennel Names

Parent Clubs have the prerogative of requesting that kennel names, significant in the breed, be permanently retired. The Parent Club must detail why the name in question was so important to the history of the breed.

At the request of the American Spaniel Club four kennel names have been permanently retired: "Artru" registered to Ruth and Art Benhoff, "Dur-Bet” registered to Elizabeth H. Durland, "Heyday" registered to Dr. and Mrs. Clarence A. Smith, "Silver Maple Farms" registered to Lee and Ruth Kraeuchi.

Ch. Artru Skyjack


The Artru prefix of Ruth and Art Benhoff was on the pedigrees of more top-winning and top-producing cockers than any other kennel in the history of the breed. The reign of the Artru prefix began in the 40's when Ruth and Art (Benny) bred their first champion and from there on the list of Artru dogs are legendary.

Some of those who stand out most in the crowd are Ch Artru Action, Ch Artru Available, Ch Artru Busy Body CD, Ch Artru K. K. Kandyman, Ch Artru Live Wire, Ch Artru Trinket, Ch Artru Patent Leather, Ch Artru Hot Rod, Ch Artru Globetrotter, Ch Artru Johnny Be Good, Ch Artru Red Baron, Ch Artru Sandpiper, Ch Artru Cracker Jack, Ch Artru Skyjack, Ch Artru Struck Gold, Ch Artru Remarkable, Ch Artru Episode, Ch Artru Delightful II, Ch Artru Jan-Myr Rocky and Ch Artru Valhalla.

Many Artru dogs were bred by Ruth but many were also bred by her protégés. In that sense one can say she had definite ideas about the type of cocker she wanted to wear the Artru prefix. By 1981 more than 100 cockers wearing the Artru banner had attained their championship titles. Ruth was an extraordinary talent in designing the Artru bloodlines and her positive influence lives on in the pedigrees of all three varieties. In 1995 Ruth Benhoff was inducted into the ASC Hall of Fame for Contribution to the Breed.

Ch. Durbet`s Tiger Paws, C.D.


Elizabeth H (Betty) Durland's father was a Beagle exhibitor for both field work and conformation. As a child she often went with him to dog shows where he would find her admiring the breed she became associated with in her adult life. She registered the Dur-Bet prefix in 1953 and during the next 50 years she finished well over one hundred cockers related to her breeding program, and most were from multi-champion litters.

Betty bred cockers in all three varieties but it was her black Dur-Bet dogs that influenced the breed most. Ch Dur-Bet's Tartan owned and campaigned by Doris Fink was a top-producing stud dog. Others that would live up to their potential as show dogs and sires were Ch Dur-Bet's Knight To Remember and his full brother Am Can Ch Dur-Bet's Pick The Tiger CD, along with a Pick The Tiger son, Ch Dur-Bet's Tiger Paws.

Ch Dur-Bet's Leading Lady, Ch Dur-Bet's Tantalizer and Betty's favorite, Ch Dur-Bet's Nightie Night come to mind when I recall that Dur-Bet was also well known for a having a strong bitch line.

Throughout the US, Canada and other countries Betty remained a guiding influence in the breeding programs of anyone who owned a Dur-Bet stud dog or brood bitch. She served the American Spaniel Club as chair of the annual Flushing Spaniel Show for many years and also served as a Board member.

Along with her knowledge in the art of breeding good cocker spaniels she brought to the table a background in Zoology that fueled her interest in developing health programs to secure the future of the breed. Betty's passion was to establish a health registry and it was through her diligence that ASC became the first parent club to have it's own volunteer registry. She continued to promote and direct this venture as chairman for eighteen years.

At the January 2004 Flushing Spaniel Show Elizabeth H. Durland was inducted into the ASC Hall of Fame for her Contributions to the Organization.

Ch. Hob Nob Hill Tribute


Dr Clarence (Larry) and Jeanne Smith from North Carolina registered their Heyday prefix with AKC in 1949. Jeanne adored Larry and liked to give him all the credit for their successful kennels but she was a contributing partner at Heyday. Jeanne raised the puppies in the early years and was very much a part of the cocker showing. Together, they never lost sight of their dreams of breeding and owning great ones.

Larry wanted top quality black and black/tan cockers and he got them. Some of their well-known breed champions were Ch Heyday Herald, Ch Heyday Hobbit, Ch Heyday Henchman, Ch Heyday Headhunter and Ch Heyday Henrietta.

A high profile stud dog belonging to the Smiths was Ch Hob Nob Hill Tribute. He was acquired as a youngster from the Hob Nob Hill kennels of Larry and Kay Hardy. His producing abilities would eventually lead him to become a pillar of the Black Variety. Larry and Jeanne later acquired a granddaughter of Tribute bred by Lois Hicks Beach. Her name was Ch Shardeloes Selena and the years 1973 and 1974 at the ASC Flushing Show forever belong to the fabulous Selena. This wonderful black bitch was shown by Terry Stacy and became so well known that out of respect for her greatness no one else in the cocker fancy has ever used her name. She was simply known to her fans as “Lena” but there was nothing simple about “Lena.” She was a two- time ASC Best in Show winner and she produced children who would follow her footsteps to win Specialty Show Best of Breed and Best in Show.

Larry and Jeanne won the ASC Futurity with Ch Heyday Hopscotch in 1954 and again in 1976 with a “Lena” son, Ch Heyday Herald who was sired by Ch Rinky Dink's Sir Lancelot.

Silver Maple Farms

Ch. Burson`s Blarney

The Silver Maple story began in the 1930's with the first homebred champion of Lee and Ruth Kraeuchi, Silver Maple Sensation. Silver Maple Farms went on to produce champions in all three varieties. Best known were Ch Silver Maple Top Hat N Tails, Ch Silver Maple Lamplighter and Ch Silver Maple Sharp Tri-Umph; cocker spaniels of merit who, along with many other Silver Maple specials, became winners and producers.

The Kraeuchis were very involved with the American Spaniel Club. Lee was a Zone Representative from 1946 to 1950 and Ruth held the same office from 1963 until 1973.

It is easy to see how this couple's shared interests would lead to the prefix becoming a major influence in cockers. They were also successful as professional handlers at various times in their lives. Her co-owned parti color, Ch Burson's Blarney, shown by Ruth was ranked top cocker in the US two years in a row. Ruth won the Quaker Oats Award with her Ch Silver Maple Doctor David and a Best in Show at the 1953 ASC Zone III Show after winning his 100th ASCOB Best of Variety. She also handled Ch Dream Echo Magic Touch when he won Best In Show at the ASC Flushing show in 1968.

Ruth was a published author on the breed with 2 books to her credit and a mentor to many who wanted to establish a solid bloodline. Two of ASC's Hall of Fame members fell into her sphere of influence. Mrs. Betty Duding apprenticed at Silver Maple and it is said that the late “Mr Cocker Spaniel,” Norman Austin, was also influenced by Ruth. In 1997 Ruth Kraeuchi was inducted into the ASC Hall of Fame for Contribution to the Breed.

Wilma Parker, ASC Curator.

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