Obituary - Gay Gottlieb
With the passing of Gay Gottlieb, the world of Hungarian Vizslas has lost one of its best known and greatest ambassadors, writes Jackie Perkins.
Gay was married twice. Firstly to Don Culver from the USA with whom she had four children, Sue, Peter, Max and James. Don died in 1961 and Gay later met and married Dr Sidney Gottlieb with whom she had another son, Mark.
It was during this period that she ‘discovered’ the Vizsla and was completely taken with the breed. Her first Vizsla was Waidman Remus, bred by Louise Petrie-Hay. He went on to become the first breed Sh Ch in 1971. Remus sired Gay’s foundation bitch - bred by Angela Boys - Galfrid Sofia of Russetmantle. Sofie - as she was known - also gained her show title. However, Gay was an avid proponent of the dual purpose Vizsla and her home bred Champion Russetmantle Troy mated to Sofie began the dynasty that is Russetmantle and is behind many of the breed’s dual purpose Vizslas.
To date Gay has produced and/or made up 24 title holders of which four gained their ‘full’ title of Champion. Good temperament was also very high on her agenda when breeding and is very obvious in Russetmantle descendants today. To say that Gay was passionate about the breed is to state the obvious and it was perhaps, in part, this passion that helped her to carry on when Sydney died in 2006.
In 1985 Gay wrote the first book on the breed and I was honoured to be asked to provide the illustrations for the breed points. Having been updated in 1999 and with a further book The Complete Hungarian Vizsla also in print, the breed is well served with a comprehensive guide which has been widely used by new and established owners alike and will I am sure continue to be so.
Gay’s knowledge and standing in the breed meant that she was asked on many occasions to judge both at home and overseas and I remember well what a delightful travelling companion she proved to be when we both went to Australia to judge at the HVC of Victoria in 1997. Held in awe by so many but always approachable and willing to help - she held many breed events at her Oxfordshire home - she will be sorely missed.
I, for one, will never forget the help Gay gave me when I came into the breed all that time ago. She taught me so much over the years and was indeed a dear friend and a true inspiration.
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