Personalities from the Past
Mr. Patrick Blake
(This information published in the first half of the 1900’s is reprinted with the permission of Daniel Brennan, who was generous enough to donate to the USKBTC Charitable Funds pictures, trophies and articles associated with Mr. Blake.
In Ireland, Mr. Blake promoted Wheatens and Kerries in the 1920’s through 1950. Mr. Blake died at age eighty-three. Please note that the article below is reprinted with the spelling used in the original article. No author was mentioned, and unfortunately no publication date was included. The first paragraph below and the very last paragraph are especially true for any time period.)
Mr. Blake in Dublin
Won in 1929 by Iveagh Lass
Many of us are inclined to forget the older men among us and the work they have done for dogs and canine affairs. Their early efforts in both breeding and administration laid the foundations for our excellent present-day organizations and the fine standards of our modern pedigree dogs.
One of the grand old men of Irish dogdom is Mr. Patrcik Blake, who was born at Moyne, Templemore, Co. Tipperary, 82 years ago, and is still going strong after a life-time of association with terriers.
Like many another boy reared in the country, hunting rabbits with terriers was his principal hobby over 70 years ago, and when he came to Dublin, his affection for dogs remained with him and he availed of every opportunity to indulge his favourite pastime. Irish Red Terriers and Wheaten Terriers were his favourite dogs and he showed and worked many a good one. When he attended his first show, and when he won his first prize, are events so far back that his memory refuses to disclose their details.
Early in the 1920’s he began to specialize in Irish Blue Terriers, and his bitch, Ch. Iveagh Lass, was one of his first champions on the bench and at field trials, and was reputed to be one of the biggest winners in Blues. He also owner Int. Ch. Blue Sensation, whom he purchased from the late Mr. Mick Sammon, and he bred its grandson, Ch. Ch. Ballyblue Boy. The last-named, he believes, is the last Irish Blue Champion to receive the award under I.K.C. Rules; Moinard Boy was another Blue he made a field trials champion.
A member of the Council of the I.K.C., in the 1930’s, he was responsible for having the rule passed which allowed a dog to be called a field trials champion after 2 wins. In 1934, with the late Dr. G. J. Pierce, he began organizing to have Soft-coated Wheaten Terriers recognized by the Kennel Club and registered as a distinctive Irish breed, and it was one of his proudest moments when recognition was granted and the Wheatens could compete as a distinctive breed. His Ch. Kingdon Leader was the first Soft-coated Wheaten to become a champion and the dog won his bench and field trial certificates within 12 months.
Mr. Blake attended the first meeting of the Working Terrier Association in June, 1929, and became it first Hon, Sec., which office he held for 22 years. During all this time he was actively engaged in organizing and running field trials and in training dogs to qualify for minor and major certificates; every one of his own dogs held field trial certificates.
The All-Ireland Kerry Blue Terrie Club, which claims to be the oldest Blue club, was reorganized in the mid’thirties, and its headquarters transferred from Tralee to Dublin, and, again as first hon. Secretary, he held office until 1951; his latest fight is to have the name Irish Blue Terrier altered to its original Kerry Blue.
Owning 44 dogs, he also kept a few Sealyhams and Bull Terriers. He officiated as judge from 1928 to 1940 at field trials and at shows for Soft-coated Wheaten Terriers. He always refused to judge Kerry Blues because he was so actively associated with them that he felt he must remain neutral at all times. His last appearance as an exhibitor was on St. Stephan’s Day, 1950.
His son, Matt Blake, who has taken over the hon. Secretaryship of the two clubs, which his father relinquished in 1951, is carrying on the family tradition. As founder-member of the International Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier Club, he is its chairman since the foundation, and he has represented the Kerry Blue Terrier Club on Ard Comhairle since 1941. Spcialising in Blues and Wheatens, he has owned Sealyhams and Fox Terriers; his Sealyham bitch Vennie Og, which was working at field trials up to three years of age, was Reserve Green at her first showing at the St. Patrick’s Day Show, and he has had many Green Star winners. His bitch, Holmenocks Highflyer, was best Wheaten bitch in Blackpool three years in succession, and on account of foot-and-mouth disease could not travel last year. He has had the distinction of owning the first Wheaten bitch to win a first prize under English Kennel Club rules.
Matt Blake has been judging since 1941, and has made the awards at field trials and on the bench with Kerry Blues, Soft-coated Wheaten Terriers, Sealyhams, Bull Terriers, Yorkshire Terriers, Fox Terriers, Smooth and Wire Lakelands, West Highland Whites, Pomeranian and Litters.
Always keen on developing the working ability of terriers, the Blakes, both father and son, have proved that bench champions can also be field trials champions; all they require is a little training.
Judge Miss Green at an Irish K.C. show.
Blue Lenster Abuh