A Turn of the Century Flatcoated Retriever Family

Painting by Maud Earl of Champion Darenth (male) by Hopeful out of Donna.
Source: Slaughter, F. E. (1898). The sportswoman’s library, volume I. Westminster, England: Archibald Constable & Co.

The following excerpts are from a 1902 article:

Amongst the numerous owners of high-class flat-coated retrievers, Mr. L. Allen Shuter of Kirby Hall, Horton Kirby, Kent, occupies a deservedly high position, as few breeders and exhibitors have been more successful with their dogs than he, whilst his decisions as a judge of the variety invariably command the respect of those who show under him. To allude to Mr. Shuter’s kennel without making an allusion to his departed Champion Darenth would be an almost unpardonable commission on the part of a writer upon the flat-coated retriever, as the old dog not only probably won more prizes and championships than any representative of his breed, but kept on defeating younger opponents and siring some remarkable specimens of his breed until he had far passed the usual span of canine vigour, if not life.

At present one of the chief lights of Mr. Shuter’s kennel is Champion Horton Rector, a son of Darenth out of Black Blossom, and now about two and a half years old, so just upon his prime. He is a medium-sized dog, and, as will be seen from the accompanying illustration, he is simply perfect in his coat, whilst possessing also a grandly shaped long head, very dark eyes, small, well-set ears, and the very best of legs amd feet. It is not surprising, therefore, that Horton Rector became a champion when only nineteen months old, this establishing a record in the retriever show ring, which he held until he was deprived of it by his son Champion Black Quilt, who won the title when a month younger, though Rector, who, by the way, has won five championships, beat him as recently as Earl’s Court Show. Mr. Shuter’s great dog is a capital retriever in the field, being very quick and keen, with a tender mouth, his little weakness being a disposition to be rather too fond of a hare, whilst as a stud dog he promises to exceed the successes achieved in this direction by his sire Darenth.

Source for text and images above: Anon. (1902, May 10). Mr. L. Allen Shuter’s flat-coated retrievers. Country Life, pp. 590-591
Champion Black Quilt (male), by Champion Horton Rector out of Champion Black Queen.
Image source: Watson, J. (1906). The dog book, volume I. New York: Doubleday, Page & Company
Champion Black Queen (female), daughter of Black Drake
Black Drake (male) by Black Cloth (son of Champion Darenth) out of Black Paint (daughter of Champion Blackthorn).
Source for two images above: Drury, W. D. (1903). British dogs. London: L. Upcott Gill

For more images of vintage flatcoats, see this post which includes two additional photos of influential sire Black Drake.

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