CH. FLORNELL RARE-BIT OF TWIN PONDS, “RARE-BIT”

RECORD HOLDEROnly Welsh Terrier to win Best In Show at Westminster Kennel Club, 1944
IMPORTED BYPercy Roberts (Flornell)
OWNED BYMrs. Edward P. (“Ernestine”) Alker (Twin Ponds)
Areas of Interest:,

The only Welsh Terrier to win Best In Show at the Westminster Kennel Club is Ch. Flornell Rare-Bit of Twin Ponds, presented in top condition by John Goudie and winning in 1944 over 2,510 dogs. He was also among the top-winning dogs of all breeds for at least two years with 22 US Best in Shows, as well as 74 Best of Breed and 47 Group One wins. Rare-Bit was imported by the British-born Percy Roberts, a professional handler and importer (not a breeder), who added his own kennel name—Flornell—to a large number of dogs he imported for his American clients, such as Mrs. Edward P. (“Ernestine”) Alker, “Rare-Bit’s” owner and herself a Welsh Terrier Record Holder [see separate profile].*

“Rare-Bit” was born October 9, 1939 and sired by Ch. Hotpot Harriboy of Halcyon (sire of 14 champions) [ex Flornell Autograph], a dog that was handled by Percy Roberts and won the breed at Westminster in 1941 and 1942. “Rare-Bit” retired after his Westminster victory with 34 best in exhibit wins in the UK and the United States.** He went on to sire 20 champions.***

Writing on the win and the character of the Welsh Terrier in The Book of All Terriers, author John T. Marvin, remarked: “The Welsh Terrier today is a stylish dog that wins nicely at most shows. It has done well at Westminster where an import, Ch. Flornell Rare-Bit of Twin Ponds won the supreme honor of best in show in 1944. On many other occasions Welsh have captured the always hot [sic] Terrier group. The dogs are gay and even in disposition and afraid of nothing to fulfill a traditional Welsh motto: Gwell Angau Na Cywilydd which translated means ‘Better death than shame.’”****

GALLERY

Photo: Ch. Flornell Rare-Bit of Twin Ponds, Best In Show, Westminster Kennel Club, 1944. Courtesy the Welsh Terrier Club of America.
Photo: Mrs. Alker (Twin Ponds) pictured at her home with her dog Ch. Flornell Rare-Bit of Twin Ponds, 1944 Westminster Kennel Club Best In Show Winner. Courtesy Westminster Kennel Club.

REFERENCES

*Bo Bengtson, Best in Show: The World of Show Dogs and Dog Shows (Freehold, New Jersey: Kennel Club Books, 2008), 324.

**I. Morlais Thomas, The Welsh Terrier (Daeargi Cymraeg) Handbook (London: Nicholson & Watson, 1959), 142.

***Bardi McLennan, The Welsh Terrier Leads the Way (Wilsonville, Oregon: Doral Publishing, Inc., 1998), 75.

****John T. Marvin, The Book of All Terriers (London: Howell Book House, 1976), 187.