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Brian Hodgson

Friday 25th July 2003 was a sad day for Australian Terriers as it was Brian Hodgson’s funeral. After a long twelve-month battle with illness, Brian had sadly passed away.

Brian was a plain-speaking Yorkshireman whose family had moved to Barton when he was in his late teens. He lived in the pretty village of Barton-under-Needwood for the rest of his life, working in nearby Burton on Trent. He met and married Velma in the village and they had one son, Simon.

Brian was such a part of the dog scene that it is hard to imagine terrier circles without him. He was a true dog man and enjoyed nothing better than showing his dogs and looking after his dogs. He was a tireless promoter of Australian Terriers, had worked hard for the Australian Terrier Club of Great Britain as a committee member, was very active in his local dog scene and had been a member of the Show Committee for the National Terrier Club. He and Velma were big supporters of their local shows with great success.

"Brimartz" was a true partnership with Brian and Velma participating equally. Their early days in dogs were in German Shepherds in partnership with John Stokes and they had many successes in that breed.

Brian and Velma came into Aussies in the early 80s, starting off with a foundation bitch from Win Pearson (Rivelin). There was an early indication of the successes to follow as they made this red bitch up and Ch. Rivelin Tarylin is behind every Aussie today that carries Brimartz in its pedigree.

In their early days in Aussies, the Brimartz’s seemed to concentrate more on the reds, with success coming quite quickly. Indeed I remember a Brimartz double at the National Terrier Club in the early 80s under breed specialist Joan Dunn.

However, their career in Aussies really took off when they fetched in two puppies out of a Canadian-bred bitch (carrying Yaralla lines) who had been brought into the country and mated to a Brimartz dog. The blue and tan bitch from that litter was Ch. Blue Trillium of Brimartz and she was a big winner in her day and also an extremely good brood bitch. Usually handled by Brian, for a while they were pretty much unbeatable and he was clearly very fond of her. Her litter brother, Jindra Simon of Brimartz proved an extremely useful stud dog and was used by a number of Aussie breeders at that time with success.

Blue Trillium’s offspring (by Ch. Norwelston Idol’s Dreamer) were both top Aussies and big winners, namely Ch. Brimartz Castaspell and Ch. Brimartz Trick or Treat. Castaspell is still going strong, at the ripe old age of 14 and only recently stopped competing in veteran classes. Trick or Treat was, like her mother, a very good dual purpose bitch, not only winning numerous CCs and being a Top Aussie, but also producing the goods as a brood bitch. Her first litter to Lesley and Michael Crawley’s imported Int. Ch. Ibeth Mr President produced Ch. Brimartz Jay Eff Kay who was a well-known winner in his day and also a useful stud. Trick or Treat’s second litter to Ch. Sherex Shiraz produced the well-known winning red dog Ch. Brimartz Alkoomie (this year’s BOB at Crufts out of Veteran) and last year’s top brood bitch overall in the terrier Group, Brimartz Chizan. Chizan, when line bred back to a JFK son, produced a litter of ten (a record in this country) and from that litter three were made into champions, including another well-known blue and tan bitch Ch. Brimartz News At Ten who was reserve Best in Show at the National Terrier Club 2000.

There have been numerous other titleholders and winners, all carefully line bred and a number of champions in other ownerships. It was a fitting tribute to Brian to see so many dog people including a number that he and Velma have helped along the way, come and pay their last respects at his funeral. One of these, Celia Hottinger, sang a very moving unaccompanied rendition of ‘Swing Low, Sweet Chariot’.

I am sure their many friends and acquaintances join me in sending condolences to Velma and their son Simon at this very sad time. Rest in peace Brian.

Paul Eardley