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)
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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.

“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.’”****


Ch. Flornell Rare-Bit of Twin Ponds, Best In Show, Westminster Kennel Club, 1944. Courtesy the Welsh Terrier Club of America.
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.


*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.