The profile on Ch. Anasazi Trail Boss, written circa 1992 by Nancy O’Neal and Wood Wornall, in memory of Julie and Hank Marsh, and included in the archives of the Welsh Terrier Club of America is a perspective on an incredible stud dog who changed the look and history of Welsh Terriers. For historical preservation, herewith the record:
Nancy O’Neal: “Ch. Anasazi Trail Boss was the result of our third attempt to establish a breeding program to maintain certain desirable characteristics in the Welsh Terrier breed and improve upon the traits that we felt were undesirable. A third, but equally important goal was to avoid serious hereditary defects. The point being: to pass the breed on to future generations in as good a condition as possible. We were very lucky.
After showing and breeding Welsh Terriers for about 8 years and having some bad luck with some pretty severe hereditary problems, we acquired ‘Terry’ from Bob and Alice Masson. She became Windsong Helter Skelter (Windsong was our first kennel name). She was sired by Ch. Tujays’ Touchdown ex Ch. Chayna Laird’s Lady.
We had always admired the Tujays’ dogs [John Edward and James Kimmel] and had wanted a Touchdown daughter for some time. In fact we had arranged to breed two bitches to him but had cancelled both breedings upon discovery of the hereditary problems that had surfaced in both bitches.
Terry arrived at about 13 weeks of age on approval. She was barely out of her crate at the airport and the decision was made—she was staying! She seemed a big puppy for her age but what few records we had at that time indicated she probably wouldn’t go oversize. She was black and red, with a very hard coat and very little undercoat, but as a mature adult she did develop the proper double coat. She had a wonderful disposition, very agreeable and very trainable.
The first thing she learned at our home was, don’t sail over the coffee table without looking or you might end up in the popcorn bowl! She was a little long in back, but had a high tailset (something that was lacking in the breed) and used her neck so well that she appeared shorter. She had plenty of leg under her and her head was long with a deep jaw but not narrow. Her ears were set well on her head, a little larger but she used them well. Had her ears been smaller though there would have been no balance. She moved nice and wide behind but also a little wide in the front.
Terry and I had some great times at shows. She loved to show, being one of those steady and dependable dogs that would die to please you. She finished from the puppy class. We did a lot of travelling and she became a multiple Group and Specialty winner, owner handled of course! During a nice specials career we began to think of who to breed her to. We continued showing her for about two years, biding time and trying to find the right stud dog.
At the Welsh Terrier Specialty in Denver, we noticed Sorreisa’s Six And A Tanner. He was young, and a very striking, ‘pretty’ dog. He was owned by Barbara Eriksen, whom [sic[ we had known for several years. Betty Cooper handled for Barbara and roughly two years prior had imported ‘Tanner’s’ dam, Groveview Allgo for Barbara. The day of the Specialty, Betty was busy in the Scottie ring so JoAnn Dulton showed Tanner and he won a major. Betty had previously put points on him on the west coast. Terry was BOB and Group Second that day. Barbara didn’t show Tanner after that. Barbara got interested in horses and Betty started her judging career.
We asked for a pedigree of Tanner. He was certainly a strong consideration as a stud for Terry at that time. Terry wasn’t due in season for sometime so we mentally put him on the backburner. He was young so there was plenty of time to use him.
The closer the time came, the more frustrated we became. Every dog we considered had something major we didn’t like. Either the pedigree wasn’t right, or the dog had something we didn’t want to introduce in the offspring—soft or light coats, ears weren’t Welshie enough, tailset a little low, or short on leg. We definitely did not want to lose leg length and revert back to one of the biggest problems we thought the breed had. Far too many of them looked like they were standing in a hole.
They all had major problems except Tanner. He was the perfect compliment toTerry. They were both balanced. She was what we refer to as ‘doggy’, and he was ‘bitchy’. Terry was 15 5/8” tall and Tanner was 15” tall. He had more neck and a shorter back than Terry. She was a bit stronger behind than him and was stronger in front. Neither of them were bad in any of these areas. They just could use complimentary strength. He was great coated and grew hair easily.
In the summer of ’79 I called Barbara and told her we wanted to breed Terry to Tanner. Since he wasn’t finished yet, we arranged to pick him up in August to condition and show him on our Northwest trip in October. Terry was due in season then and we would have him available when the time was right.
The day after we left on our trip Terry came in season. We showed Terry at three shows that weekend and then spent a week in Canada before going to the Olympia K.C. show in Washington. Tanner finished at that show with a 5 point major. That was Terry’s last show winning the Breed and a Group 4th. They were bred the following day at a campground at Seal Beach, Oregon.
Terry whelped nine puppies, (yes nine!) on 12-21-79. Trail Boss (‘Duke’) was second born. All the puppies survived. Since there were nine and it was Christmas they were all named for Santa’s reindeer. Trail Boss was ‘Donner’ until he was sold to Hank and Julie Marsh.
Woody [Wornall] saw him at a show when he was eight months old, a deal was struck and two weeks later he bought him for the Marsh’s. Woody put a major on him the next day. We knew he was a good one but needed all the breaks to become a great one. He would have to be owned by someone who would make sure he was seen from coast to coast. He also needed to be where it was easy to ship bitches to him. That certainly wasn’t Albuquerque. He was bred to bitches from nearly every American line and some English lines. We saw nearly all the puppies that were shown. They were beautiful compliments of Duke and their dams.
We bred our outcross bitch, Ch. Secwynn Little Chula to Trail Boss. That produced our multiple Group and Specialty winner Ch. Anasazi Wiling Raven. ‘Chuckie’ was a great showdog and a good producer until his untimely death three years ago. He, like Duke, produced several Specialty, Sweepstakes and multiple Group winners, most of them owner handled. Not just good dogs but outstanding dogs! Some of these in turn, produced other Group and Specialty winners. We also bred Chula to Tanner and that produced Ch. Anasazi Desert Dancer, another owner handled Group winner.
And so the line goes on. We do not need to know the pedigree of a Welsh Terrier when we look at it. If it comes down from Trail Boss the look is there.
We’ve been very proud of Duke and Woody. They made a nice team. No one could have managed him better. He has always been kept in excellent condition and is always ‘ring ready’. Duke had a very nice show career. Our only real disappointment is that he didn’t win at Montgomery County (Hatboro was his show), and he never won his well deserved Best In Show. He was the #1 Welsh for 2 1/2 years, relinquishing this honor to little sister Ch. Anasazi Annie Oakley, who held the title for 3 years.
We suppose the old timers would have called Trail Boss a prepotent stud. His characteristics have certainly carried through into subsequent generations. It was one of those ‘click’ breedings that everyone hopes for, not only a great dog but a great producer. We know he was not a fluke because it worked more than once! Some of his littermates were: Ch. Anasazi Stalking Moon, shown only 8 times (all in the classes) to 4 BOB’s over specials including the Welsh Terrier Club of Greater Denver specialty and 4 Group placements; Ch. Anasazi Red Archer; Anasazi Moonbeam, U.D. who was also a Certified Therapy Dog. A later breeding produced his younger brother Ch. Anasazi Red Ryder and his famous sister Ch. Anasazi Annie Oakley, winner of 106 Groups (including Westminster) and 40 Best In Shows.
So you do the best you can and sometimes you win!”
Woody Wornall: “Not many dogs change the look of their respective breeds. You could probably count those individuals on both hands for all breeds. What is it that labels an individual as such? Is it ability, opportunity, or both? In the case of Ch. Anasazi Trail Boss (‘Duke’) it was both.
I suppose you could get many different perspectives on the career of this dog, according to who told the story. Whether it would be Duke’s breeders, Mike and Nancy O’Neal, his late owners Julie and Hank Marsh, or myself, his agent and handler. The stories would all vary slightly, but the bottom line would be the same. Through his accomplishments as a stud dog, he changed the look and history of Welsh Terriers—and everyone would agree, for the better!
For me, his story begins before his birth. It includes dogs that I was closely involved with. Ch. Philtown Protocol, Ch. Tujays’ Touchdown and Ch. Chayna Laird’s Lady. Lady was owned by some close friends of mine, Bob and Alice Masson. After a successful show career, she was bred to multiple Best in Show winning Touchdown. That breeding resulted in a beautiful bitch named Ch. Windsong Helter Skelter. As a puppy, ‘Terry’ was purchased by Mike and Nancy O’Neal of Albuquerque, New Mexico. I loved this puppy and knew she would do well for the O’Neal’s. She finished her championship quickly, and was to go directly into the whelping box.
I was interested to know who the O’Neal’s planned to breed her to, and when they told me of some dog named Ch. Sorreisa’s Six And A Tanner, I thought to myself and aloud to them ‘how could they breed such a beautiful bitch to such an unknown dog.’ But the proof is in the pudding, and they obviously knew exactly what they were doing. The first breeding produced Duke, the top-producing Welsh of all time, and the repeat produced the top winning Welsh of all time, Ch. Anasazi Annie Oakley [until later, of course, Ch. Anasazi Billy The Kid]. It was the perfect combination—Terry had all the breed type anyone can ask for, and Tanner offered leg, a short back, and a great coat and color. It truly was an inspired breeding.
As I mentioned earlier, Duke was known as a producer, while Annie was known as the showman. That’s not to say that Duke did not fair well in the show ring. He won multiple Groups and Specialties, but never a Best In Show. He certainly was deserving, but inside the ring he was not the showman his sister was, and as we all know, a dog needs that little extra sparkle to carry them into the BIS circle. He had all the basics, but his carriage could have been a bit livelier.
So what exactly was it that made Duke such an excellent producer? Let me begin by saying that he was one of those rare dogs that crossed well with all sorts of bitches. Some dogs are suited for some types of bitches, but Duke could contribute to all types. You could always count on him to add leg, shorten up the backs, and put on an excellent tail set. He was dominant in passing excellent coats and color, and very Welshy heads with the all-important flat back skulls. The ears he produced were usually so good they didn’t require gluing (the Marsh’s never glued ears). The temperaments on his puppies were almost always tractable, willing and eager.
An especially important aspect to us was the fact that he was free from genetic short-comings like bad mouths, monorchidism, light eyes, etc. I know that it is wrong to conclude that the stud dog is always the dominant contributor to the quality of his puppies, and we certainly were fortunate with the quality of the bitches that were presented to Duke . . . but there is no denying his dominance as a sire.
Duke just recently celebrated his 13th birthday here at Starcrest Kennels. It was here that he came when he was 7 months old, when the O’Neal’s allowed me to purchase him. I tried at 4 months, but they turned me down. I will always be grateful to the two people who enable Duke to accomplish what he did—Julie and Hank Marsh.
I remember when I bought Duke and brought him home, I was looking for just the person to own him, and asked Barbara Swigart about my new clients, the Marsh’s. ‘Could they afford his dog?’ Barbara laughed and said they could more than afford him, and the dog and people would be perfect for each other. It was a match made in heaven.
The Marsh’s and I believed in this dog 110%, and he never let us down. I think everyone in Welsh Terriers should thank the O’Neal’s for their insight in breeding this dog, and the Marsh’s for their faith and support in enabling Duke to accomplish what he did.”