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End of an era

Terry Thorn

TERRY THORN, the UK’s top-allrounder and one of the country’s most respected judges, lost his fight for life last Wednesday. He was 73 years old.

The news was announced over the tannoy to a hushed East of England and within minutes the news had spread around the world and the canine press were inundated with words of condolence on the loss. a minute’s silence was observed before judging at peterborough.
Terry, who had been suffering from cancer for some time, was the only person in the UK currently to have been approved by the Kennel Club to award CCs in all breeds. Chairman of Crufts until this year, he also judged all seven groups plus BIS in the UK. He was also approved by the FCI for all breeds, groups and BIS. Terry judged BIS at Crufts 1997, awarding the top spot to Osman Sameja's Yorkshire Terrier, Ch Ozmilion Mystification. His last appointment was at Birmingham National last year when he judged all seven groups and BIS. He formally announced his retirement from judging in February this year.

Born into a family who appreciated dogs, Terry was partnered by an Alsatian in his infancy. However it was not until 1960 that he became involved in the show scene when he purchased his first show dog, a Saluki, from the well known Windswift kennel of the late Vera Watkins.
Over the next 15 years or so Terry’s “Tahawi” kennel became one of the top prefixes in the country, with no fewer than 39 Champions world wide carrying his prefix. Terry himself made up 8 champions with his stock forming the foundation for many of the top Saluki kennels of today. He also owned and showed Greyhounds and co-owned the famous Int. and Scand Ch. Gulds Black and White Lady with Bo Bengtson, handling this lovely bitch through to her U.K. title before she returned to Sweden.

His judging career started in 1963 at the Hammersmith Open Show held in London. By 2006, he had judged Best in Show at shows in every continent in the world. He judged Best In Show at Crufts in 1997, which he considers to be the ultimate accolade in any British judge’s career. He has previously judged breeds and groups at Crufts since the early 80s. Terry’s services as an all-rounder are greatly sought after throughout the world. He has already judged in approximately 50 countries.

The funeral will be private and will take place this Friday (July 25), his and Zena’s 20th wedding anniversay. A memorial service, which will be open to everyone, will take place on August 27 at 1.30pm at St Mary’s Church, Kempsey.

Click here to see tributes