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Obituary Marie McFarlane Cotterlee

Issue: 01/02/2019

We were sorry to hear of the death last week of Marie McFarlane of the Cotterlee Cavalier King Charles Spaniels writes Ronnie Irving. 

We came to know Marie when we were involved with the Border Union Show at Kelso and she was a member of the Dog Section Committee. She eventually became its Chairman on the death of Margaret Lyndesay Smith in 1994, and she held that position until 2004. Since then she has been an Honorary Vice President of the Society. Her daughter Kirstie McMurray only recently gave up her position as Chief Steward of the show.

Marie was born and educated in Kelso and was involved with animals from an early age. Her first dog was a Cocker Spaniel. Horses were also a passion and in her earlier days she was often seen riding in the local Civic weeks.

When she married her late husband Jim McFarlane they received a special wedding present of a Labrador pup from the racing driver the late Jim Clark.

It was in 1971 that she was introduced to Cavaliers by another Kelso dog person, the late Rainy Brown. He steered her in the direction of Betty Robinson from whom she bought a Black and Tan bitch called Buckney Toute Seule.  I am told that while there Jim admired a 16 month old Blenheim bitch and they then arrived home with a ready-made Cavalier family for the total cost of 70!

The showing came shortly afterwards when Marie attended her first show with the instant success of a VHC at the Scottish Kennel Club. From then on, she was hooked.  

Marie served for many years on the Scottish Cavalier Club Committee eventually becoming Vice Chairman and Chairman in 1990.  In 1999 she was nominated as the president of the Scottish Cavalier Club a position that she still held at her death.

She first awarded CCs in Cavaliers at Darlington in 1986 and attracted an entry of 351 and went on to award CCs a total of eleven times, including the Scottish Cavalier Ruby Anniversary show in 1999, alongside the well-known Susan Burgess.  The last time she awarded CCs was to Cavalier Dogs at Border Union in 2005.  She also judged three times for the Cavalier Clubs of America, Sweden, and Ireland.

On the show front Marie bred one champion - Ch. Devon Lass at Homerbrent at Ricksbury who was made up in 1985 and won four CCs and seven RCCs and was owned by Brian Rix and Kevan Berry.  There were multiple Reserve CC winners across the years - including Merryoth Moonstone (who was bred by her late daughter Shona), Cotterlee Canna Lass and Homerbrent Rhum Lass.

Marie stopped breeding in 2007 but since then has taken great pride in the dogs of her daughter Kirstie who shows under the Merryoth affix.  We know that she was delighted to watch when Kirstie judged bitches at the Cavalier Club Championship Show in 2014. 

Marie had a number of difficult problems during the course of her life but always seemed to manage to come through them with optimism. As Chairman of the Border Union Show at Kelso, she carried out her duties really well and was always kind and welcoming to everyone involved 

I am sure that all who knew her will want to pass in their sympathies to Kirstie, Callum and the rest of the family at this sad time for them.

Marie McFarlane

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