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Obituary - Bryn Cadogan

Although he had been seriously ill for some time, the news of Bryn Cadogan’s death still came as a great shock.

Bryn CadoganI first met Bryn at training classes which were run at Maindee Stadium in Cardiff where he was manager at the time, though he was already a keen Staffordshire Bull Terrier owner and exhibitor.

The more I got to know Bryn, the more I realised he was not the average Stafford exhibitor as (with all due respect to devotees of this great breed) he had a keen interest in all breeds and did not just confine his enthusiasm to the Stafford ring.

He achieved success in the breed, making up his first Champion, Glenrhondda Sombrebell of Dogan in 1977, and subsequently he bred Ch Dogan Lily Bianca who was a daughter of his famous Ch Bullseye of Dogan who brought great credit to the breed when he won Reserve in the Terrier Group at Crufts under Maureen Micklethwaite. Later he titled Ch Serens Baby Lleuad of Dogan.

Bryn first awarded CCs in Staffords in 1978 and did so no less than 23 times since, judging at all the major breed and general Championship shows. He was from his early days very active in the Western Staffordshire Bull Terrier Society and maintained a deep affection for the club to the last.

Although never deserting his original breed, Bryn became involved with several others, notably Border and Smooth Fox Terriers, Pugs, Papillons and through his long friendship with Elwyn and Margaret Harding French Bulldogs, showing them with great success. He also co-owned and handled a Norwegian Elkhound and took obvious interest in the Cairn Terrier which his wife usually showed.

Having proved himself by judging his own breed he then branched out into others, encouraged originally by me and later by Bobby James who was to become a great friend and mentor to Bryn, and from whom he learnt so much.

When I began my private judges’ forum sessions some years ago, Bryn was one of the original members of the group, and when visiting specialists came to teach us about their breed, Bryn could always be relied upon to ask sensible and considered questions, illustrating his deep understanding of all things canine.

His opinion was sought on more and more breeds and one of the highlights of his judging career was the appointment of the Terrier Group at Crufts in 2003 when his winner was the Kerry Blue, Tunde Bayou, who ended up Reserve Best in Show. He was much in demand overseas as a knowledgeable and gracious judge, travelling to many countries from where he invariably received repeat invitations.

Bryn was very highly regarded by the Stafford folk, many of whom considered him something of a mediator between themselves and the wider dog world.

After serving on the committee of the South Wales Kennel Association for several years, he became Vice Chairman and later succeeded Drys Thomas as Chairman in 2001.

His contribution to the society was immense and he took great pride in everything the Association undertook. The Association’s secretary Isobell Dyke sums up Bryn’s involvement thus: “As far as I am concerned, he was the best of Chairmen. He would stand no nonsense, while always allowing everyone a fair hearing. He was not afraid of physical work on the field and his knowledge of breeds and judges was of enormous help to me as Secretary. He will be sorely missed.”

Although his health was failing, Bryn fulfilled his last major judging appointment when he judged BIS at Windsor last year, awarding Best to Donny, the Standard Poodle who ended up as Dog of the Year, and of whom Bryn had a very high opinion.

Despite being a lot more poorly than anyone realised, Bryn attended not only the Dog of the Year competition but all four days of the Association’s 2008 show, determined to give them his full support, and when committee and friends gathered at the end of the last day of the show for a drink and a snack, he remained jovial and optimistic, closing his thankyou speech by expressing a poignant desire to see everyone back next year.

Sadly that desire was not to be fulfilled, and so the dog world has lost another true dog man who succeeded in all his endeavours and yet who never forgot his roots.

To his devoted wife Ann will go the condolences of his countless friends.

Bryn's funeral will take place on Friday, 23rd January. There will be a service at St Cadoc's Church, Caerleon at 3pm followed by cremation at Gwent Crematorium at 4pm.

Andrew H. Brace

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