It was way back in 1977 when the first American Cocker Spaniel came to what is now known as "MERRIYANK" and what an amazing journey it has been. Since then, many dogs have come and gone in our lives, all special in their own way, all different in their own way, but each and every one of them, together with their equally special owners, have made Merriyank the success story that it is today.
A huge thank you to those people who have contributed to this special journey in our lives. People too have come and gone, some more notably than others over the years, but what remains is the nucleus of an outstanding group of dogs that have contributed to the history of the breed in this country like perhaps no other American Cocker Spaniel kennel in Australia......
and despite the skeptics, the story still goes on....
We have only ever bred an average of one, perhaps two, litters each year. Despite this, Merriyank bred and/or owned Cockers have consistently been amongst the top winning dogs of the breed in Australia and include:
* 61 Champions (50 under the Merriyank prefix)
* 25 individual Best in Show winners
* 40 individual Best in Group (Group 1st) winners
* 10 Specialty Show Challenge Certificate winners
* 22 Royal Show Challenge Certificate winners
To our knowledge, we are the only breeders in this country to have bred Best In Show winners in all three varieties. We are also proud to have bred New Zealand's Top Winning Parti Colour of all time, N.Z. Grand Champion Merriyank Macho Magic who was owned and campaigned by Robyn Baylis. And to top it off we had the privilege to have won Specialty Best In Show's in Australia with all 3 varieties as well.
Our dogs are a very special part of our life and of our family. Our puppies are raised in the home and we believe this is one of the keys to our success and the excellent temperaments of our dogs, both as showdogs and pets. All breeding stock is health tested regularly.
All of our showdogs are generally owner handled, and have been for the past 25 years. Throughout the 8 years prior to 2003, some of the Merriyank owned dogs had been handled by Darren Skipworth and thanks to his handling and presentation skills, especially during a period when I was facing both a hip replacement and a hysterectomy, and unable to cope with the rigours of showing, Merriyank was able to remain a strong force in the showring. Darren's contribution to Merriyank in all facets can never be understated and will always be appreciated, and we wish Darren all the best for his future ventures both in and out of the showrings.
It is exciting for me now to have my daughter, Lakeisha, also interested in showing. Lakeisha has handled quite a few breeds since her interest in showing peaked, including Brittany's, English Springers and Fox Terriers. She is the highlight of my life and makes me very proud in everything she does.
Of course our newest member of the "merriyank" team is my partner Shane who is ever supportive of everything undertaken both in life and with the dogs.
We have not attended a lot of shows during the past few years but will never really be out of the picture, and look forward to continuing to show occasionally. In recent years, health issues have kept me from showing however I am ever hopeful of returning to the ring again one day soon.
Our policy is to never compromise on breeding and it has been our endeavour to place Quality puppies into show homes that will do us all proud. The results and achievements of our showdogs speak for themselves.