Elizabeth (Betty) Webster of the world famous Janak Rhodesain Ridgebacks sadly lost her battle against cancer on Thursday 12th July.
Betty was one of my oldest friends in Ridgebacks. I met her and Wilf in 1974 while looking for a ridgeback bitch to show, already owning a daughter of Ch Janak Kraig, I had obtained her telephone number from the breeder of my bitch and phoned up one day when we where passing to ask if we could call in, and the welcome we where given was the start of a life long friendship.
Buying a dog from Betty, one also acquired a mentor and immediate access to a wealth of information. The word Janak means Honest and True and this was the motto by which Betty and Wilf lived. Betty’s first ridgeback was Lenwood Noya aquired in 1960 from Mr W H Bates. Mated to Ch Owlsmoor Sandown Hustler they produced Janak Diana (a liver nose) and Janak Michael, who became the foundation of her kennels. The Janak Affix and dogs where officially in Betty’s name, however Wilf was always involved with the dogs and all decisions regarding breeding and showing where jointly made.
Together they made up over 30 UK Champion ridgebacks carrying the Janak Affix and Janak dogs are the foundations of many of the U.K Ridgeback kennels, I doubt if there are many UK ridgebacks that do not carry Janak lines in their pedigrees. Janak dogs where also very influential in many overseas’ kennels especially in Scandinavia. In 1994 Betty won Best in show with Ch & Nor Ch Jespah Alekzandr of Janak at the Three counties all Breeds Championship show, the only ridgeback to date to win a best in show at an all breeds Ch Show.
Ch Janak Kraig was the first winner of the Cecely Hick Memorial Trophy for outstanding dog of the year and four other ‘Janak’ also have their names engraved there.
Betty was a well respected Championship judge, both in the U.K and overseas, sadly her last judging appointment at Welks was not to be.
She was a founder member of the Midland & Northern RR Club and for many years served on the Committee of the Rhodesian Ridgeback club of GB of which she was an Honorary Life Member. She care deeply about the breed and was very involved in the Demoid Sinus project. Prior to December 2006 when she stepped down through ill health she was the KCLC Representative.
Betty’s wisdom and knowledge will be sorely missed, always one to help with advice if asked, a true friend who leaves a void in the heart of all the people who where close to her.
To her devoted husband Wilf, daughter Catherine, and all her close familygo our deepest sympathies.