(Mordax and Seton)
Over fifty years of association with Wire Haired Dachshunds came to an end late on the night of Monday August 9th with the death of Bettie Farrand. Bettie was Wire Haired Dachshunds and the breed is the poorer for her passing; many of us will know we have lost a very good friend, who was ever ready to talk about your dogs or any problems.
Bettie’s first Champion was Int Ch Grunwald Graduate (born 1949), who was the first wire to win a B.I.S. award at a General Championship Show. There were many more champions owned in partnership with Mrs Besson. In 1961 Ch Gisbourne Inca was born and he became the greatest dachshund of all time, in fact he was still winning in 1972. Inca had Grunwald Graduate, as three of his great grandparents. He was Dog of the Year in 1964, was reserve in the group at Crufts twice and won several B.I.S. awards at General Championship Shows as well as Breed Championship Shows.
Inca can be found in the pedigree of most dogs in the ring today, if their owners trace them back far enough, as can Ch Mordax Music Master, another of Betties influential stud dogs.
Inca was the breed record holder for many years until overtaken by Bettie’s next big winning dog Ch Krystona Augustus owned in partnership with Jane Naylor. Augustus won his second C.C. at Crufts in 1979 and went on to win the Hound Group, the only wire to do so. Bettie and Jane had many other Champions, some of whom were bred by Jane; all in all Bettie owned about thirty champions, some brindle, some red and some chocolate. Colour was not an issue with Bettie, but she did have a soft spot for a chocolate and in conversation with her she often mentioned Ch Coral Of Seton, who was described as a chocolate and tan.
Bettie’s great gift was the rapport she had with her dogs, which was so obvious in the ring, a quick shake of the lead and the dog stood four square, they looked good naturally, they did not need stacking. They were only in the ring for five minutes or so, and they should do, as she wanted. The presentation of Bettie’s dogs was second to none, and I have been told on many occasions how to keep my dogs’ coats in perfect show condition, not something at which I am good.
Another of Bettie’s great skills was in being able to look at a litter of puppies and picking out which ones would make it in the show ring; she did not need to handle them she just looked and watched.
Bettie was always willing to help anyone; you could always ask for advice and many people have her to thank for their first champion or show dog, they listened to her advice and acted upon it.
Sadly health problems stopped Bettie attending shows in the early nineties, which was about the time her husband Geoffrey died. However Bettie always knew what was going on in the ring and who was doing the winning. In 1998 Bettie moved South to live with her daughter Jane and her family, so once more thanks to various friends we were able to see her around the wire ring on quite a few occasions. The last show she attended was Crufts this year.
Bettie’s knowledge of wires has died with her, as she did not write a book and I suspect she had forgotten more than we will ever know about wires. However if you look in the Dachshund Club Handbooks for 1966-1968 and 1969-1971, you will find articles by Bettie.
Bettie judged extensively in the Hound Group and the Gundog Group and was the first person to award C.C.s to German Wire Haired Pointers at Crufts in 1986. She knew her dogs and judged accordingly, and you could always follow her judging.
Bettie was President of the Wire Haired Dachshund Club, the North Eastern Dachshund Club and Patron of The Great Joint Dachshund Club.
When Bettie opened the Jubilee Show for The Wire Club in 1987, she said ‘I trust the breeders of today will not fail in the two qualities shown by our founders—Daring and Dedication.’ Let us not fail to keep up the standards set by Bettie in showing and judging.
Bettie, we and our dogs will all miss you very much.
Bettie's funeral is to be on Friday 20 August (hound day at W.K.C.) It is at Kencot Parish Church at 2.0p.m. Only family flowers, but donations to Blue Cross at Burford in lieu.
Pamela J Poulter