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Hon. Towsend Scudder

Hon. Towsend ScudderInducted into the Hall of Fame in 1995
For Service to the Organization prior to 1950

The biography of Honorable Townsend Scudder is easily found in the political graveyard of the past. In the primary elections in 1923 Teddy Roosevelt was running for delegate to the Republican National Convention and had been making a number of speeches denouncing the activities of the Ku Klux Klan. The Klan mounted a vigorous campaign against him in upstate New York and to a lesser extent on Long Island. Shortly before the primary he had to make a speech at Auburn, New York, and he asked his wife to telegraph anyone she could think of to enlist their support for his cause. She mistakenly sent a telegram to Judge Townsend Scudder, the leading Democrat in Nassau County at the time. Judge Scudder, an Honorary member of Matinecock Lodge, Past Grand Master of Masons in the State of New York, and an eminently fair and honorable man, telegraphed back: "CONFINED TO MY HOUSE WITH SICKNESS BUT WILL REACH PROPER PEOPLE AND DO MY UTMOST." Roosevelt was elected.

Dubbed as the trial of the century by news media of the day, the notorious Snyder-Gray murder case inspired much in the way of art, both literary and theatrical. Two of the greatest classics of film, Double Indemnity and The Postman Always Rings Twice, were inspired by the murder of Albert Snyder in 1927. The jury found the defendants guilty of first-degree murder and on May 13, 1927, Honorable Townsend Scudder sentenced both to death by execution. Ruth Snyder was the first woman to die in the electric chair in NY State.

Judge Scudder saw a male he wanted to purchase while visiting a Chicago kennel and the terms of the sale were he must buy the entire kennel in order to obtain Ch. Blackstone Chief. Among those 32 was a young red puppy sired by Blackstone Chief that Scudder named Robinhurst Foreglow. Herman Mellenthin greatly admired the dog and even though he was not producing well with the Robinhurst bitches Herman went looking for just the right bitch making a trade for her ownership. He brought his newly acquired Res Dolly to Foreglow and cocker history was written when Red Brucie was whelped 9 weeks later. Foreglow, bred to Billy Payne’s Westminster Best In Show winner, Ch. Midkiff Seductive, would produced the black/white, Ch. Midkiff Miracle Man, two-time winner of Best In Show at ASC in 1925 and 1926. It was from Robinhurst Kennels that legends sprang and the breed would reach a new plateau.

Scudder was not only an ASC delegate, but he was also an AKC Director (Feb. 1919 - Jan. 1923 and again from June 1932 to July 1939) and he is listed in the AKC Source Book (the history of the AKC 1884-1984). He served as President Emeritus of ASC and was a charter member of the ECSCA. His assistance was instrumental in gaining recognition for the English Cocker as a separate breed.

Few, if any can of today’s English Cocker fanciers can realize how much Judge Scudder did to preserve and promote our breed. The English Cocker Spaniel Club formed in 1935, had only about 10 active members, and it was 11 years later became a breed in it’s own right. Throughout that time Judge Scudder worked indefatigably at whatever was needed to help the breed along. With us, he worked for more than a year in drafting a standard: he wrote scholarly articles for the purpose of instructing the public on the differences between the 2 cockers. He was always ready and willing to assist newcomers and to advise the inexperienced. (Geraldine Dodge, Popular Dogs, April 1960)

He died at his home in Greenwich, Connecticut on February 22, 1960 at the age of 95.

Wilma Parker, Curator, ASC Archives

IMPORTANT MEMBERSHIP INFORMATION REGARDING PROPOSED STANDARD REVISIONS: The ASC Board of Directors has decided that the best ways to provide information and conduct the discussion about the proposed Breed Standard Revisions are to 1) put all of the comments from the Breed Standard Survey on the ASC Website under the Member Zone; and 2) conduct all discussions and debate about the proposed revisions on the ASC Yahoo List. Accordingly, ASC members will have to log in to the Member Zone to review the comments from the survey and will need to be signed up for the ASC Yahoo List. Also, ASC members can make their comments known to the AKC Board of Directors during the 60-day comment period. These comments will be provided to ASC.


The Breed Survey comments are now on the Member Zone for ASC members’ review. The comments are under the Board Minutes section.


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News on the Cataract Research Project - Updated 12/31/2016



This is a quote I love with regard to volunteering - “Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.”

Needless to say in an all-volunteer organization like the American Spaniel Club and the American Spaniel Club Foundation, volunteers make a vital difference because neither organization would exist without dedicated volunteers. Simply stated -- volunteers are essential for the health and well-being of both Clubs and ultimately our beloved flushing spaniels.

Studies show that there are six main reasons people volunteer: to make a difference in others’ lives; to support an organization or cause; to learn something new; to develop personally or professionally; to feel better about themselves; and to meet people. In other words, volunteering is personal. Advertisements that simply state an organization needs volunteers are not generally successful and I know ASC and ASCF have both found that to be true. However, just think if you could make a difference, support a cause you love (cocker spaniels and the other flushing breeds), feel good in accomplishing an important goal, and meet other people who also love spaniels, wouldn’t you want to volunteer?

As the ASC Board announced at the National Specialty in July, ASC has embarked on a strategic plan to make ASC stronger and more relevant in today’s world of pure bred dogs. There are many areas in which ASC needs help – ASC communications, including a new breed magazine, social media, the new website, breeders education, judges education and public education; membership development and events; marketing; branding; national conformation and performance events; and field events. To accomplish this strategic plan a wide variety of volunteers are needed.

I know ASC has an amazingly talented membership with diverse experiences and expertise that can help ASC accomplish its strategic goals. Accordingly, ASC would like to be sure its knows about your expertise and interests. In ASC’s Annual Mailing, which everyone should have received by now, and on the ASC website and by survey monkey, there is a Volunteer Interest Form. PLEASE fill out the form and return it to either Dee Torgerson Rismyhr or Laurie Foley. From the Annual Mailing, Laurie has already received a number of completed forms. Thank you to those members for your immediate response, but we need a response from everyone!

To give one's time and talent for a good cause is a special feeling. And to see what a group like ASC’s membership can accomplish will be amazing. WON’T YOU HELP? WON”T YOU VOLUNTEER?

I am always open to hearing your thoughts, so email me anytime at lmoore@estesokon.com

January 2016 - UPDATED NEWS ON Cocker Spaniel Cataract Research 

View Dr. Aguirre's Presentation on Cataracts & His Research Project

ASC and ASCF Join forces to Fund Cocker Spaniel Cataract Research !!

Click HERE to Make a tax-deductible donation NOW to the genetic cataract research project - Please Support our Cockers!!