Norman A. Austin
Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006
For contribution to the breed
Very few people in the breed deserve the title "Mr. or Ms. Cocker Spaniel." Norman Austin was one of those few and deserves to be in the company of the greats such as Herman Mellenthin, Judge Scudder and Laura Henson. In his years as a professional handler, a very successful breeder and adviser to others' breeding programs and subsequently as a much respected judge, Mr. Austin earned the title of being one of the "Mr. Cocker Spaniels of All Time."
His accomplishments in the breed encompassed all three varieties. Just for example he guided the show and breeding career of CH Elderwood Bangaway in the '50s. This dog was a cornerstone for the great blacks and black & tans that have come down through the years, even to the present day. In particolors Norman was a major part of the success of the Honey Creek Cockers of Bea Wegusen. Honey Creek was the foundation for most of the particolor kennels that came after the fifties. Additionally in particolors Norman worked with Chris Snowden of Glenshaw Cockers. Through combining her CH Mar-Hawks Gift to Glenshaw with CH Dumar's Dapper Dan he created his own Baliwick line which was part of the basis behind the top winning particolors that followed. In browns Norman pioneered the color in the show ring via his and Frances Greer's CH Moderna's Brown Derby. He is also an integral part of the Van Valzah Cockers that were the basis of CH Clarkdale Capital Stock.
Norman and his wife Jean wrote one of the definite works on the cockers - The Complete American Cocker Spaniel. He also contributed to the American Spaniel Club's centennial books and additionally was the co-author of the three volumes of cocker history compiled with Dr. Frances Greer.
Norman's accomplishments and imprint on the cocker almost can never be duplicated. Each generation in his involvement in cockers has its own picture of him whether showing Vivacious, Bangaway, Fancy Parade or Capital Heir or as a judge at important shows whether at ASC or abroad will always picture him at the helm. He truly deserves to be among his peers in ASC's Hall of Fame.
Bill Gorodner and Lloyd Alton