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A gentle man and a gentleman


A true gentleman in every sense of the word. A great loss to the world of dogs. Sleep easy Terry.
Ann & Robert Waters

Will be sadly missed.

I remember Terry from way back as a child when he was a friend of my mother and father (Ted Thornton) we all showed salukis. I now show cresteds and had great respect for his judging throughout the years. Also I respected him for withholding on placings as some dogs should never be placed. He always had a joke and a smile, will be sadly missed.

Our hearts go out to Zena, who must remember she will always have a lot of friends in the world of dogs. RIP our dear friend.
Alex Cole

Terry will be a great loss to the dog fraternity world wide, he was a superb ambassador for the British dog scene. His knowledge and his work will be remembered.

Although he was at the 'Top of the Tree', he never forgot those on the lower branches, always had a smile and 'Hello' for all.

Sincere sympathy to Zena and all his family.

Avril Lacey and Stan Szyczewski

The Officers and Committee of Belfast Dog Show Society are saddened to learn of the untimely death of Mr Terry Thorn. Terry was indeed a great friend of Belfast Dog Show and had judged for us on numerous occasions.

We send our sincere condolences to his wife Zena and family circle.

Alexa Brown

Even having reached the pinnacle of success in his world of dogs, Terry Thorn never thought that age or position were ever an excuse for bad manners. When you met Terry he always had that genuine smile, a cheerful 'Hello', and an ever readiness to offer advice or support when needed. He has been in our thoughts over the past months and always will remain so.

One of life's true gentlemen. It was an honour to have known him.

Bill & Margaret Bunce

When I was a teenager, road walking my dogs, I enjoyed the company of my next door neighbour's Saluki, Ch. Tahawi Remmon Ramah. I loved that dog and admired a great deal the breeder who had been able to produce such a lovely creature. That breeder was Terry Thorn.
Later on I happened to meet Terry, here in Italy, and worked with him as a steward several times and every time it was such an educational experience for me.

Good bye Terry, it's so sad to realize we won't see anymore.
Carlo Colonna

'Terry Thorn was a friend of dogs and dog people throughout the world and the many hundreds who came into contact with him remembered him for his warmth and his enthusiasm.
Those of us who were privileged to know him well have not just lost a friend but someone who we respected and admired for his knowledge, his willingness to listen and then to help, his courage, his even handedness and his sense of humour.

For many years Southern Counties was his 'local' show and the Association was delighted to be responsible for giving him is very first Best In Show appointment. We will miss him greatly.

David and Angela Cavill

The UK dog fraternity and indeed the whole world of show dogs has lost one of the greatest ambassadors of our time. A rare true gentleman in and out of the show ring. An honour & privilege to have known him.

My sincere condolences to Zena & all the family.

Di Butler

Whenever you entered a show under Terry Thorn you knew you were going to have a good day out, whatever the results. Terry judged the dogs and judged them well. He was kind to the dogs and always encouraging to the handlers, and gave us personally some lovely days to remember. The world is far the poorer for his loss.

Deepest sympathies to Zena and all the family.

Phil & Donna Goodall

It was always fun working with Terry at Crufts, or in to be his company at other shows. There have been and will be many so called personalities in the dog game, but, in my opinion, none will match the easy charm, the native ability and the good nature of Tel.

Terry lived through eighteen months of a dreadful disease with unbelievable courage and, despite pain and discomfort managed to carry out one of his last judging appointments at the National in May 2007 with style and aplomb.

Throughout his illness Terry was always available to help us on matters affecting Crufts and we are going to miss him dreadfully and for me he’s a hard act to follow as Chairman.

For Zena, my heartfelt sympathy and praise for her fortitude throughout Terry's indisposition - and for Terry a fond farewell - if there is life hereafter - our great loss is their gain.

Eric Smethurst
Chairman Crufts Committee

It was indeed a great shock to hear of the death of my long time friend, Terry Thorn.
Terry was a well known figure worldwide. His expertise on dogs made him famous, and his charisma certainly made him loved by everyone who knew him, respected by all those who ever came in contact with him, either as an exhibitor or otherwise. His great success never went up to his head, and he made sure he had time for everyone, stopping by to say hello and spending a few moments with anyone who wanted to have a chat with him, no matter how busy or in a hurry he was.

He was a great ambassador to dogs and the world of dogs in general, it will be certainly very difficult, not to say impossible, to replace such a true giant, and his knowledge on all canine matters will never be surpassed. Many people learnt a lot from his professionalism and expertise, that includes me, and for that I will be forever grateful to him.

I feel honoured to have known him, and particularly privileged of having him as a friend. I will always cherish the good times we had together. The dog game has lost its greatest judge, a true gentleman and a priceless, dear friend. My sincere condolences to his wife, Zena and his family.
Terry, you will always be in our hearts, and we shall never forget you.

God bless him and may his soul rest in peace.

Frank Borg
Malta

Terry, such a sad loss of an influential and admirable gentleman, who was so approachable, had a wicked sense of humour, and always had time for you in his busy well scheduled life.
Since I first got to meet him in the early 90s when he awarded me my first BIS at NWB, he has been a fantastic guy to call a friend, always available for advice, discussion and a problem solver if needed, I have spent some great times in his company and loved the way he always made everybody welcome in a conversation.

His acknowledged prowess in the judging ring was second to none and he made showing under him, what dog shows should be, an enjoyable, fun experience, with always the right comment at the right time.

The social times and meals out have been great, the tips, especially the football ones, not so good, but what a brilliant experience to have known you. May you be organising and judging the best ever show in heaven, RIP young Terence.

Our thoughts are with you Zena, and also his family at this very sad time.

Jeff and Amanda Luscott

The most lasting memories of Terry will be of his broad welcoming smile and his phenomenal memory for individual dogs, their wins and handlers. He was truly a dog man and a gentleman who always judged in a professional and efficient manner. He will be sorely missed in the world of dogs worldwide - he had probably forgotten more about dogs than of us will ever know.
Good night Terry, I hope you are in a more peaceful place surrounded by your beloved dogs and horses.

Kathy Gorman

Terry Thorn was internationally recognized and respected as a giant in the Sport of Purebred Dogs. I and many others have lost a good friend and The Kennel Club has lost a prominent leader and driving force.

On behalf of myself and the entire American Kennel Club, I offer sincere condolences to Terry’s wife, Zena, to The Kennel Club, and to his many friends in the United Kingdom.

Ron Menaker
Chairman of the Board AKC

Terry Thorn died just a couple of weeks after his 73rd Birthday. We were all shocked when we heard, nearly eighteen months ago, that Terry was so ill with a particularly aggressive form of cancer. Terry put up the kind of positive fight against this dreadful disease that you would expect from a man of his determination and enthusiasm. For him, for Zena and for all those close to him, the last year and a half must have been so very difficult. I am so glad that I managed to speak to him one last time just a week before he died. He was still as compos mentis as ever, and was able to send his good wishes to me and Kate in his usual positive way.

Terry who of course had lots of other interests, came to dogs through Salukis and had considerable success with them in the 1960s and the 1970s but it was as a Judge that he is so obviously best known. He awarded CCs for the first time in 1968, was approved for the Hound group in 1974 and to Judge Best in Show in 1983. He was the only Judge of his generation to be approved to award Challenge Certificates to every recognised breed in this country. He joined the Kennel Club in 1970 and joined the General Committee in 1989 in which year he also joined the Judges’ Sub-Committee. His involvement with Crufts went back to the 1960s and he was so proud when he became Vice-Chairman then Chairman in 2004. I was pleased to serve under his Chairmanship on the Judges’ Working Party from 1997 when we made so many changes to the way judges are trained and developed in this country, and laid the foundations for the modern UK judge training programmes.

Terry was very much an achiever – he got things done. You didn’t always agree with what he did, but his ability to move things on was never in dispute. He was no saint - but equally he himself recognised that, and he was never sanctimonious. If he tried to pull one over on you and got caught, his attitude was “That’s a fair cop Guv!” and then he moved on to the next thing and never bore a grudge.

As an all-round judge at no time did he become obsessed either by his own importance on the one hand, or by his omniscience on the other. He always read his breed standards before judging every breed, and he was always interested to hear how experts felt he had performed when judging their breed. In short, he was intelligent enough to know what he didn’t know!
Having arrived at the pinnacle as a judge, he didn’t want to lord it over others. On the contrary he was constantly pushing to encourage younger judges and did a great deal to help many of our present generation of multi-breed judges to climb the judging ladder just as he had done.

As I said earlier we will not remember Terry as any sort of saint. We will however remember his achievements, his loyalty as a friend, his breezy personality, his sense of humour and his determination to enjoy life to the full. We shall miss him - but we must now, at this difficult time turn to supporting Zena for whom all of this must have been a dreadful nightmare. That’s the course of action that Terry would have wanted and I am sure it’s what he, in other circumstances, would have put into practice himself.

Ronnie Irving

Terry Thorn was elected as a Member of the Kennel Club on 17th November 1970, having been initially proposed by Commander G N P Stringer and seconded by Mr Bryn Jones, who had each known him for ten years. In his support of the proposal, Mr Jones notes that Terry had attended Cheltenham Technical College prior to a three-year stint in the RAF.

According to Mr Jones, Terry bought his first dog in 1960 and had bred 12 Champions by the time of his proposal as a Member. He had further demonstrated his commitment to dogs as a member of the committee of both the Saluki and Greyhound Clubs, Chairman of Sutton and District Dog Show Society and President of the Crystal Palace Kennel Association - all by the age of 35.
In closing his letter, Mr Jones advised that ‘I am confident that, should he be fortunate in being elected a Member of the Kennel Club, he will prove to be an asset, and loyal; remaining considerate and dedicated to dogs.’ His judgement was to prove extremely well-founded.

During his time as a Member of the Kennel Club, Terry played an important role on several of the Club’s committees. He was elected onto the General Committee in 1989, a position he remained loyal to until has sad death. In the same year, he also became a member of the Judges Sub-Committee, which he subsequently became Chairman of in 1996, a role he held for five years until resigning in 2001. He may be most fondly remembered latterly as the Chairman of the Crufts Committee, a position he acquired in 2004, having become a member in 1998. Despite stepping aside last year due to his ill health, Terry remained Vice Chairman of Crufts in its record-breaking year this year.

Speaking on behalf of the Kennel Club, Events and Education Executive Vanessa McAlpine said, “Terry was extremely well-liked and respected by everyone who worked here, or who sat on a committee with him during his many years with the Kennel Club. He got along with everyone and it was a real pleasure working alongside him for the benefit of dogs. He will be sorely missed by us all.”

The Kennel Club

We got our first Saluki from Terry in 1969, and he remained a friend and a mentor ever since, always ready with sound advice and help, always joking about himself, a man who enjoyed life to the full.

He encouraged me to show my dog, then later to breed, eventually to judge. I would never have reached anywhere in the world of dogs without his guidance and advice. He was a wonderful teacher, if you stewarded for him and asked him about the breed, he would point out the virtues and faults on every dog. He was modest and NEVER full of his own importance, a very sad loss to the world of dogs, he will be remembered by so many.

Zola Rawson

Resting where no shadows will ever fall - he was one of a kind.

Margaret - Rewari Labradors

Terry was one of the true gentlemen of the world of dogs, always a cheery smile and hello.
You will never be forgotten Terry, and the dog shows will be the poorer without you, rest peacefully.

elizabeth Montgomery

The world has lost one of the few real gentlemen that were left in the world.
He will be sadly missed by all who knew him

Lady Karin Hickson

Terry's death leaves a sad void in the world of judging, teaching, and showing.
Once when he was judging BIS at an open show I was lucky enough to talk to him and I asked him how he remembered all the breeds. He said 'Do not be afraid to take your breed standard into the ring where you are judging or be afraid to refer to it during the judging".

I know Terry gave many people good advice throughout his life and was always patient with everyone, whatever their status or experience within the world of dogs.

My thoughts are with Zena and his many, many close friends

May he rest in peace

Jane Waller

Been dreading the day that this sad news would break, ever since we learned of his illness.
A true gentleman in every sense, always had time for you, if you asked his opinion re something. Terry had the most magnificent brain for the finest of details. His handwriting was just perfect and even to read. The canine world has lost one of its greatest ambassadors. There is no one in the younger generation who can get even close to what Terry has done or achieved or who can earn the respect he had.

I will miss him. To Zena and his family my deepest condolences.

Yvonne Knapper-Weijland

We heard the news of Terry's passing at East of England on Thursday morning and there was great sadness at the loss of this wonderful dog man who was held in such high regard by everyone. Terry Thorn was approachable to all and always had time for folk. He will be missed tremendously and we will never see his like again because he was so very special.

A true gentleman and wonderful peoples person who always had a lovely smile and kind word. Our deepest sympathy and sincere condolences go to Zena and family at this very sad time.

Margaret and frank Wildman

I shall always remember Terry Thorn as a kind person - I first met him when I began in the world of dogs in England and later after I moved to Denmark - May he rest in peace

Pia Palmblad Wright


Terry judged BIS at Crufts 1997

Terry was as popular overseas as he was here in the UK

A smile for everyone: Terry with his trademark grin!

Terry enjoyed being on the other side in the ring, seen here exhibiting one of Zena's dogs

Terry's last judging appointment at birmingham in 2007

The consumate judge