taught me more about the world of dogs in a shorter time
than any one else and if this was the only reason that
I have selected him as my ‘Best of British.’ I
could be rightly accused of being partisan.
However, Joe was much more than a warm personality who wrote what must still be regarded as one of the most enjoyable weekly columns in the canine press. He was an exhibitor and judge who was genuinely trusted by exhibitors at every level and one of the few who handled a best in show and judged best in show at Crufts . His ability to make people feel valued and admired was unequalled. He was a also a successful business man and the broadly based business he established, Ryslip, remains one of the most respected independent and specialised brand names in our canine world.
Joe was ahead of his time. He cared passionately about the proper care of animals and the establishment of the Dog Directory in 1972 provided a springboard of a wide range of initiatives by commercial companies and the Kennel Club to bring the names of responsible breeders to the attention of the pet puppy buyer. Joe also took on the development of the Dog Centre.
This was too far ahead of its time to be viable but what sprang from it, and this is the key reason for my nomination, was the Junior Handling Association that provided the inspiration for what has now become the Young Kennel Club and UK Handlers.
Joe’s contribution to the activities of and for young people within the world of dogs cannot be underestimated. Since 1975, thousands of young people have benefited from his vision in that they began to be taken seriously and many are now in responsible positions in the world of dogs as judges, breeders, exhibitors and administrators. Joe Cartledge gets my vote.