the bluebonnet norfolk terrier club
Historic Norfolk Breeders/Kennels
Historical Breeders
© The Bluebonnet Norfolk Terrier Club
History History
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OPEN A NEW WINDOW, OPEN A NEW DOOR Katherine Warren Thayer was the mistress of Maplehurst Farm in neighboring Worcester County, Massachusetts, where she thrived on a love for life and nature. Most certainly, she was no stranger to the world of canine competition. Her brother Bayard Warren was a well-known breeder of Sealyham Terriers and holds a place in dog history by breeding and owning the Westminster Best In Show winner of 1924, CH. Barberryhill Bootlegger. With the arrival of Pippet, Katherine Thayer quickly took on the challenges that can face a numerically small breed. She had observed several good breeds fall into disrepute through the exploits of a few and, along with her sister, was a champion of the “do-it-yourself-show-it-yourself” school. Together with her friend Josephine Spencer, the unofficial Breed Club was reorganized and gained AKC recognition in 1947, opening doors at home and abroad. With Mrs. Spencer as the first official President and Katherine Thayer as its Secretary the breed prospered. Judges sent a copy of the Standard, emphasizing its working origins; detailed records and statistics were kept; prospective members were personally sought; a monthly AKC Gazette was provided; specialties, match shows and trophies were established; and perhaps of most importance a warm relationship was formed with British breeders which allowed for easier importation of desirable bloodlines. One such import was Katherine Thayer’s Hunston High Flier. This black-eyed son of CH. Waveney Valley Alder, considered by many to be a forefather of today’s Norfolk, proved his own worth on these shores by siring many a good dog, the best known among them being the dominant CH. Bethway’s Tony, and River Bend Tory, the first of its breed to earn the coveted title of UD. While preferring to leave the breeding of dogs to others, Katherine Thayer’s eye for form and function was unmatched and she freely communicated her ideas and convictions to fellow breeders with extraordinary results, laying the foundations which have preserved the breed as a sporting companion. Past president Alden Blodget spoke of Katherine Thayer, “Due to her untiring efforts, our breed’s future is secure-in the home, in the field, and in the show ring. Let Mrs. Thayer’s ideals continue as an inspiration to all those who safeguard the best interests of our breed.” Katherine Warren Thayer died in 1958, a profound loss to friends and breeders both here and in England. In just twelve short years of breed involvement she managed to accomplish what many could not do in a lifetime. Her sister Sylvia carried on, breeding and working on behalf of their beloved breed. In the waning years, River Bend’s drop-ear breeding relied heavily on the talents of Mt. Paul Heidi (CH. Mt. Paul Anderson x Castle Point Styx) who produced a litter of six from Bethway’s Pence, a litter of five from Gotoground Fox Hunter, and another litter of five from CH. Bethway’s Pensium. In 1968, after years of persuasion, Sylvia Warren finally accepted the position of Club President, remaining thereafter as its Honorary Vice-President until her death in April of 1972. Two weeks later at the Club’s Annual Meeting, longtime friend and then Club President Mary Baird read to the membership “Be it resolved that the Norwich Terrier Club recognizes the enormous contributions of Sylvia Warrant and her late sister Katherine to this club and the breed. Together, from our breed’s smallest beginnings, they held us together with the highest standards of integrity and sportsmanship. Each in their own way had a clear understanding of the best interests of the breed, determined that its working qualities be recognized and preserved by an enduring foundation. Be it resolved that this Resolution be spread upon these Minutes, April 28, 1972.” The Resolution carried by unanimous vote. Published with permission from the Norfolk Terrier Annual 2010 Contributed by Frank Rogers: The person who will long be remembered with great affection and who worked hard for many years for the breed was Mrs. Warren Thayer, or Katherine as she was known by all her many friends on both sides of the Atlantic. She was Secretary of the American Norwich terrier Club for a number of years and remained so until her death in 1958. She and her sister Miss Sylvia Warren loved Norwich and bred the drop-eared variety for many years. It was Katherine’s “Rivets” whose picture has been used as the ideal type of head for a drop-ear.