The History of CORYDON

John, Barbara & Miranda Blake - Telephone +44(0) 1636626321 - Email:



Hardly any showing of our dogs at the moment. Donald went to the British Collie Club Open Show where he was Best Dog and then we took him to the LKA Ch Show when he was placed second in the Limit Dog Class. It was nice as the winner was of all our breeding. I do have to wonder if judges are literate or just cannot understand the Breed Standard. Why all this emphasis on deep stops? The Breed Standard is quite clear on this point. It should be slight but perceptible. It does not say that the stop should be like the Border Collie. Their Standard says Deep stop. This deep stop on Rough Collies is so ugly. The Animal cannot be elegant if it has a big ugly head. At the last show the Dog CC winner had a Deep Deep Stop. He also carried one ear on top and one ear on the side. There was no way that the judge could see his expression which, for those so called Modern judges, is actually the most important feature of the Breed. One other point was that the Open Dog Class was most definitely the worst Open Dog Class I have ever seen at this type of show. And I have been going to Championship shows since 1953. Just four in the ring. All were unsound and none were typical of the breed. If I had been the judge I would not have placed any of them. We left after the dog s had been judged. We had seen enough. No wonder the Collies are so much better in other Countries. When are The Kennel Club going to properly train judges? They do in other Countries where they have to study and really learn the breeds.

November 9th 2018 will be remembered by us as the sad day that we had to say good bye to Riff (Ch Demelewis Dark Moon Driftin Over Corydon). He was just over 13 years and 6 months of age. He was the top winning tricolour dog with 13 CCs all under different judges. He was Best of Breed at Crufts 2008 and was unbeaten in the breed during that year. He sired many Champions in all parts of the World. Probably his most important son is Int Ch Corydon Catch Me Driftin who has made his name in Finland as their top Rough Collie of all time and is almost certain to be their top sire. In many ways Riff was the most important Rough Collie in this country. He will be very sadly missed. We suspected that this year would be a sad one as the year started with us having 5 that were more than thirteen years old. Now we are down to just one Riff’s sister Demelewis Muffin Moon.

I have neglected this site for some time now. Very few shows and I am researching bitch families. Not easy as so many come to a dead end. Miranda took Taz and Donald to Darlington where Taz won the Reserve Dog CC and Donald won the Post Grad Dog Class. Blue Merles are having a very good time, especially the very good coloured dogs. It seems they have a special advantage over the other colours. I wonder why? I know that if Phrosty had been a sable dog he would not have won 32 CCs. I doubt he would have won more than half a dozen. I am especially proud of Riff (Ch Demelewis Catch Me Driftin at Corydon) who won 13 CCs and was unbeaten in the Breed during 2008. I find it is always more difficult to win with a tricolour. He could have even challenged the breed record but for Barbara being very ill and dying in 2010. He is still with us at 13 years and 6 months.

My book about Crufts winners is going very well. One purchaser said it should be on every exhibitors bookshelf.

Miranda has just returned from 10 days in Tasmania. She went to see her dog Hardy (Aus Ch Corydon Winds of Victory). She owns him in partnership with Mim Bester who lives in that lovely island. She took some photos of him and I have put one on his page. He is truly stunning and would be a Champion in any company. Do not believe me then go to his page Page: Hardy

Rose (RAYAWNA'S RING OF ROSES FOR CORYDON) was 6 months old on the 2nd September so she went to her first show. We cannot show dogs before they reach this age. The show was the Yorkshire Collie Club Open Show. Rose won the Minor Puppy Bitch Class then the Maiden Bitch Class. She then went on to be awarded Reserve Best Puppy in Show. One thing is certain, no puppy of that age has ever beaten that performance. Minx (Kinneret Kopper Kisses for Corydon) won the Post Graduate Bitch Class. A triumph for Taz as he sired them both.

Saturday August 18 was the Welsh Kennel Club Ch Show. Miranda took Donald and Taz. Donald won the Post Grad Class while Taz won the Open Dog Class and won the Dog CC. His fifth. He has won the dog CC at his last four shows, but this was spread over a period of almost 2 years.

We have new photos of Taz and Donald. See them on their pages.

My new book Crufts Winners from 1891 t0 2000 is going very well. One of the people who has the book has said it is the most important survey ever on the Collie. If you would like to buy the book the price is £20 plus postage. You can buy online by going to the link above. I have only got six books left of my first book. I am told that they could well increase in value before too long as I am not going to reprint it.

I have put in a page of the details of all the registered Corydon Rough Collies. It could help with those who are interested in pedigrees.

Sunday 5th August was the EACA Ch Show. I only took Corydon Moonflower as we were hosting the dog judge for the weekend. She was placed second in the Open Bitch class so qualifies for the KC Stud Book. Not bad as it was only her third ever show.

Miranda and I have just had a wonderful weekend in Finland where we went to judge the unofficial ACP show. This is approved by the Finnish KC. We had 68 to go over. Astonishing when they all had to have at least one grand parent bred by us. I have to say that they were superb. I judged the bitches and they were all correct according to the Breed Standard. All were elegant, all had correct shoulders and all were clean through the cheeks and even better, they all had flat skulls. The quality was so much better than we see in this country. They were an absolute joy to judge. What has gone wrong over here? You can see our two top winners as they are on this page. The Rough Bitch was Best in Show with the Smooth Collie being best male.

My new book all about Crufts Dog Show winners from the first All Breeds show in 1891 to Crufts Dog Show 2000 is now available. All details on it’s page.

Two young bitches have joined us. The first is a tricolour bred by Jo White. Her Grandparents were bred here at Corydon. The second is a sable and white bred by the Muirs sired by our Ch Corydon The Ringleader.

We had to say good-bye to Randy (Ch Corydon Rio Grande) on Wednesday the 11th July. He had lost all control of his legs and could not stand. I think the end was fairly close but to save suffering I took him to the vet. Yet another hole in our orchard. He was a great dog both in size and character. He is greatly missed.

I have gone mad and written anther book. This time it is all about Rough Collies that have won at Crufts Dog Show. It is being printed now. It has taken a long time and a huge amount of research. Miranda has proof read it and says it is very good!!! The biggest problem was finding pictures of the winners. I found it rather strange that Mr Ball who owned the very big winning Backwoods kennel has only one dog photo. Any way the size is A4 and totals 202 pages. I will set prices etc when I receive the books from the printers.

At long last we have bitches in season. We might even get them mated and just might get some puppies. They are very much overdue. But of course we had entered them at various shows so we have wasted money again!!!

2nd June was British Collie Club Open Show. We took Donald, Minx and Heather. Donald won the Open Dog Class then Best dog then Best of Breed and eventually he won Best in Show. Minx won the Junior Bitch Class and then Reserve Best Bitch. Heather won 2nd in Open Bitch Class then won Best Veteran in the breed. A good day for Corydon. The show scene is in full swing now. Miranda went to Boston Premier Open Evening Show on the 29th May. She took Donald and Minx. Both won their Classes and Minx won best of Breed. She then went on to win Group2. A big win at this popular show.

We have had very good news from our stock in Europe where several Best of Breed awards have been won by offspring of our dogs. Percy has produced more winners with a puppy from his last litter winning Best of Breed and Group 4 at her first show and still only 9 months old.

I have now finished my latest book but whether it will be published is another matter as I have been rather scathing about how the breed is turning out. Anyway I can now get back to putting events on this site.

Following The National was the Scottish Collie Club Ch Show where Lorraine continued her winning ways by her dog Karafaye Black Quillon winning the dog CC so he is now a Champion. He is by Demelewis Winter Moon over Corydon out of Corydon La Fayvorita Avec Karafaye, so she is a rare dam indeed with 2 CC winners in the same year from different litters.

The next show was The National Show on the 13th May where Miranda took Minx and Evie. Neither did very well, but the Bitch CC and Best of Breed was all our breeding as it was Lorraine Quince’s Karafaye Black Beauty who is by Aus Ch Corydon Winds of Victory out of Corydon La Fayvorita Avec Karafaye. The reserve CC was won by Lene Newman’s Phreelancer Phond Memories whose dam is Ch Corydon La Caprita of Phreelancer. So it was a good day for us.

22nd April Miranda took Minx to the Smooth Collie Open Show under judge John Geddes. She won her Classes and then was declared Best of Breed. The show was held in conjunction with the Collie Association Open Show. We do not enter the shows run by that club as we do not like some of the people running it. However the Best of Breed winner at that show was beaten by Minx so she ended up as the only unbeaten Rough Collie from the two shows. Not bad for a 12 month old bitch.

I am writing another book. This time about the Crufts winners from 1891 to 2000. A lot of research but what I find most interesting is that the first Best of Breed in 1891, a dog called just very simply CHRISTOPHER appears from his photograph to be a better representative of the breed than some of the more recent winners. Why?

Just received this photo from Jean Kenny. It is of Ch Corydon The Ringleader and Mejola My Blue Heaven for Corydon winning the double Ccs at Midland Counties in October 2016. I will have to start showing Tas again as he has matured beyond description from that day.

The 19th April we said good bye to Rita. She had been failing in health for sometime.Last night I put her on a bed with a thick VetBed, so she died in comfort. It is also the birthday of Riff and Muffin. So yesterday we had 2 thirteen year olds and today we have three. It was very nearly four.   

Just got back from the USA. I went with Miranda and Wilma our friend from Finland, We went to see the Collie Club of America show at Virginia Beach. They had nearly 750 Rough and Smooth Collies entered. I did not see one Fluffy Stuffy. They all looked like proper Collies. In other words they were wonderful. They have problems but the best were breathtaking. A pity that the exhibitors and judges in this country could not go to see them and see what proper Collies look like. We might then see some proper Collies in this country. The Smooth Collies again were wonderful. They were all substantial, not looking like drowned spiders as they are here. We then went to New York where the girls shopped and I walked. We went to the top of the Empire State building and then we had a guide to walk us around the main attractions in the City. Then we went to the Opera to see Placido Domingo at the Met. The opera was not very tuneful but the singing was truly out of this World. How he manages to sing at this level at his age is beyond me. He was helped by the top tenor and top soprano of today.

We had to say goodbye to Zac (Aqualita Class Act at Corydon) on Friday 16th March. He would have been 15 years old on the 3rd May. We still have four thirteen year old boys and girls. We must be doing something right.

Miranda just took Minx to Crufts. She was placed second in the Puppy Bitch Class. I did not go as it is not a very nice show any more. Too noisy, too dirty and too many people. It used to be fun, but not any more.

I have only a handful of “A Life with Rough Collies” left. There will be no reprints and I am going to America at the end of the month where most of the books have been ordered and I am taking them with me. So, if you want the book please get your order in before the 25th of this month.

1st March and it is first day of Spring, so we have snow. Lots of it, at least for Fenton. We get snow on average every seven years.

Miranda had her 50th Birthday on the 22nd of last month. A group of her friends bought her a fantastic painting of Ch Corydon Gold Spur. It is huge and truly wonderful. It is hanging on the wall in our lounge. It dominates the room.

14th January and very good news. Taz’s daughter in Sweden was at her very first puppy show. She was Best of Breed and then won Group 1 and finally 5th Best puppy in Show from 354 puppies of all breeds. This was exceptional as Rough Collie do not normally figure in these top awards. Not bad for seven months old.

8th January was an email from the Beardsworth’s to say their bitch had just whelped 8 puppies sired by Taz (Ch Corydon The Ringleader) 5 bitches and 3 dogs. All fit and strong.

7th January was the EACA Collie of the year event. A good entry was spoilt by too many absentees. However the quality was quite good and for the second year in a row it was a Ross (Ch Corydon Once in a Blue moon) son who won the big trophy for best in event. This time it was Jo White’s blue merle Mejola Fate and Fortune who is turning out to be a real goodun. The best part of the event was the new venue at Littleport Sports Centre. Spanking brand new with all mod cons. And then we had a quite superb lunch in the room right next to the show hall. Do not miss this event if your dog is lucky enough to qualify.

A New Year and it was Boston Show on the 4th January. A Championship Show but no CCs for us. The breed judge was Mr K Baldwin and our stud dogs did rather well. Taz (Ch Corydon The Ringleader) is proving to be rather a good producer. Best Puppy was our new young bitch Kinneret Kopper Kisses for Corydon. Best puppy dog and Reserve Best Dog was Mr Bartram’s Ambartr King of The Ring. Both are by Taz. Best of Breed was Jo White’s dog, Mejola Fate and Fortune who is by the late Ch Corydon Once in a Blue Moon and Reserve Best Bitch was our Corydon Blue Fizz who is by our old Ch Demelewis Dark Moon Driftin over Corydon. Another Taz puppy did very well on New Years day at Coventry Show, the litter sister to Ambartr King of The Ring won best puppy in the breed then went on to win the Pastoral Puppy Group. This was Ambartr Plancee at Jards.

Happy New Year everyone.

A quick summary of Show Results for 2017. Very few shows attended.

28 Classes entered. Resulting in 14 First Prizes, 8 Second Prizes, 5 Third Prizes and one Reserve Prize. Rather reflects on the very poor entries the breed has at the Dog Shows today. Our dogs, over the years have been entered in 4,308 Classes. We have spent an awful lot of money in that time.

The first time they won a First Prize was 5th October 1957. The latest 15th December 2017. 60 years in which time they have won 1,684 First Prizes.

For major awards they have won 165 Challenge Certificates ( not counting CCs won by Corydons owned by other exhibitors), 113 Reserve Challenge Certificates. 265 Best of Breed Awards and 87 Best in Show awards. Was that money well spent?

No shows so been having a big clear out. Miranda has a new desk and her office has been redecorated. During the clear out I found this photo which I thought had been lost for ever. I wanted to put it in the book as a perfect example of how to handle a dog in the ring so that he looks wonderful for the judge. Actually this is Corydon Augustus Caesar at his first show. I lead trained him on the day as he had never had a lead on him before. Not how to do it.

Complete Show Results for 2018