I AM sad to report the death of Mrs Barbara Hodgetts of Blenkarn Cockers. She will be remembered as an enthusiastic exhibitor over many years.
The Blenkarn kennel was established in the mid-1960s with both solids and parti colours. Barbara’s first successes came with blacks, winning a Reserve CC under Dorothy Hahn at East Anglia Cocker Club in 1977 with B. Bellas Joy and another Reserve CC under the Australian judge Mr Lowe at Bath in 1978 with B. Ebony Belle.
Her biggest winner was the blue roan dog, Sh Ch Blenkarn Bassanio, who was made up in 1988. ‘Sam’, a son of Sh Ch Gilleine Echelon, won 4 CCs. She also won a CC and several RCCs with the blue bitch, B. Madam Pompadour, and also bred Sh Ch Blenkarn Claudio at Cochise for the Blakes.
Barbara also exported many cockers who gained their titles abroad. There were Blenkarn Champions in Spain, Denmark, Germany, Austria and Portugal.
Barbara was a Championship show judge, officiating several times, the first being in 1988. She was also a member of the Midland Cocker Club Committee for a number of years. Incidentally the prefix ‘Blenkarn’ comes from a village in Cumbria.
Barbara was married to Philip until his death in 1994. They lived for many years in a beautiful house in the Wyre Forest in Worcestershire that many cocker folk will remember. A move to mid Wales was followed, after Philip’s passing, by a move to Cornwall a place of many happy memories - where every family holiday was taken, along with, of course, her dogs. Barbara continued to breed and show her beloved Blenkarn Cockers into her 80s with a little help from her son, ensuring, in the breed lines she followed, that good temperament was paramount. Barbara has, during her long and passionate career in the Cocker world, provided many people with faithful, loving and loyal companions.
Barbara died three days short of her 84th birthday, ironically on Philip’s birthday, 19th May. She will always be remembered as a warm, kind-hearted person who was always willing to help anyone. She is survived by her son Jonathan and daughter Elizabeth.
The funeral service will be at Shrewsbury Crematorium in late June - readers wishing to attend should contact Harry Edwards and Sons funeral directors on 01952 244949 for details. An afternoon to celebrate Barbara’s wonderful and varied life will be held in Cornwall at a date to be confirmed; contact Jonathan on 01326 563512 for further details.
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