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Ch Thelbern Mardi Gras

Mardi came to us from her breeder Thelma Alsford, when she was nine months. At her 1st Ch show she won the RCC and carried on from there.

By 14 months she was a Champion, having won her first Toy group the previous month. She finished ’97 as Overall Winner of the Petplan Junior Stakes and Runner-Up in the Dog World/ProPlan POTY, highest CC winner and Top Puppy. In ’98 CCs came thick and fast and she qualified for the Pedigree Masterfoods Ch Stakes that year and the next.

Over her career she won two more Toy Groups, was placed TG2 twice, TG3 three times and TG4 twice and was in the last six at Crufts ’00. She finished ’99 with 28CCs and we were aware of whisperings in the breed that she could take the record. We kept quiet – we’d got as far as 32CCs with Ch T Oliver Twist a decade before – records are like Everest, you can climb a long way & not reach the summit!

2000 set out well with CCs at Manchester & Crufts, but we had already decided not to go for doubles, this cut down her outings, but when she went she invariably won and we crept closer. It was very special for me that breed specialist Dot hay gave her the 39thCC & BIS at the South of England Pom Club. Many years before Dot let me have my first show girl, Dorrie and our 1st Ch was bred at Haysholm.

We are immensely proud that so many breed specialists and all-rounders over her four years in the ring consistently awarded her top honours. We thank her many friends for their support and loyalty. Again it says something about her that few in the breed begrudged her lengthy domination of the bitch CCs. We hope she will hold the record for years, but, by their very nature, records are targets to aim for. We wish the best of luck.

Many successful Pom bitch Champions fail to breed on and we felt that this would be likely with Mardi. Her show career meant that she was five years before we could even think about a litter but she managed this for us as well, producing T Black to the Future for Lireva in ’01, self-whelping and rearing him. The first black ever kept by us and we have always said only his mothers – Mardi & me could love him. He collected a CC and 3 reserves and her grand daughter is sitting on 2CCs having taken a RCC at Manchester the day Mardi died. Her 1st Great Grandchildren are at home waiting in the wings.

Her retirement was with us – our special pet - and we were lucky that she was fit and healthy till her last few hours.

Averil Cawthera-Purdy