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Miss Tess Whitley

IT IS my sad duty to record the death on October 18 of my long time friend, Tess Whitley, of the Templetrine Field Spaniels. In the 1960’s and 70’s Tess lived at Bakehouse Farm, Welland, with her father who was a bank manager in Malvern until his retirement. Tess was a committee member of the Field Spaniel Society and her father was the treasurer. We used to hold meetings at Bakehouse Farm, these were always jolly occasions at which we enjoyed refreshments and a tour of the kennels and stables.

Tess was a pupil at Maismore Riding School where she concentrated on dressage. Always with a young horse coming on in this discipline and Tess later became a dressage judge.

I first met Tess in 1970 when I judged Field Spaniels at City of Birmingham and gave her bitch, Jillian of Mittina, her third Challenge Certificate, her first two having been won that year at SKC under Mrs A Nicholson and second at WELKS under Chris Bilton. Jillian won another CC in 1971 at Crufts under Dr Esther Rickards and in 1973 at Crufts under Frank Warner Hill. However it was as a brood bitch that Jillian will go down in breed history. Mated in 1971 to Ridware Emperor she bred two puppies, Templetrine Michael and Prudence.

Prudence was sold to Mrs Cathy van Asche in Holland and became the base on which the breed was revived in that country. Michael stayed with his owner and became a most influential stud. Jillian was mated in 1972 to Gormac Teal and bred another influential litter, containing Sh Ch Templetrine Little Bo Peep the dam of Wendy Sexton’s foundation bitch, Sir Winston, who went to Holland and Mark Anthony who went to Marjorie Robinson and also became a useful stud.

Mrs Roberts (now Fanshaw) mated her Sh Ch Anna of Elmbury to Michael on four occasions, each litter producing one liver and tan and all producing what were to become, pillars of the breed, including Dayhouse Bonny Belinda the foundation of the Lydemoor Kennels and Tango Two a key bitch in our lines. Much of the good breeding in Fields goes back to the Templetrines. Tess became a respected judge of the breed, sticking to the true Field and not being swayed by any modern trends. Our sympathies go to her friend Miss Richards with whom she shared a farmhouse near Malvern.

Peggy Grayson
Patron of the Field Spaniel Society