The Midlands and Northern Rhodesian Ridgeback Club was founded in 1964, with the inaugural meeting taking place at The Albert Hotel, Nottingham.
Founder members were:
|Mrs E R Baily||Mr & Mrs A Burgoin||Mr & Mrs R Danford|
|Mr & Mrs E Davies||Mr L F Hemstock||Mrs C Johnson|
|Mrs J A C Lilley||Mr & Mrs J A Lovegrove||Mr & Mrs K Martin|
|Mr & Mrs G W Matthews||Mr & Mrs D Peck||Miss D Peck|
|Mr M G Robb||Mr & Mrs J Selby||Mr F R Twiggs|
|Mr & Mrs W Webster||Mr E Wilson|
In 1965 Dr Stephen Young F.R.C.S. J.P., accepted the post of President; at that time he was Chairman of the Scottish Kennel Club and also on the General Committee of the English Kennel Club. After the death of Dr Young, the late Marquis of Bath became President. Mr Jack Selby retired as Secretary in 1990 after 25 years service and as a gesture of appreciation members nominated him as President. The new Secretary elected was Mrs Sheila Firth who was Secretary, Treasurer, Newsletter Editor, organised the Club Shows and brought the Club into its present status. Sheila served until 2006 and after she retired her many jobs were delegated to other Committee members. Mr John Mackfall followed as Secretary until 2009, when Mrs Jackie McCarthy – Booth took over until 2018, after her retirement Mr Mark Cannon took over the reigns as secretary.
The first show (a Sanction Show), judged by Mr Frank Twiggs, was held in Mansfield during 1965 and for several years after, until numbers of exhibitors became too many for the venue, shows were held at the Annesley Miners Welfare Hall, Annesley, Nottinghamshire. The Midlands and Northern Rhodesian Ridgeback Club was the First Rhodesian Ridgeback Club to gain Championship Status in the United Kingdom and it was on the 12th of August 1972 that we held our first Championship show. A Benched 12 Class Show held at Annesley Miners Welfare, it was held outside with the Benches in a Marquee on the edge of the playing fields. Judge was the late celebrated Hound Specialist, Mrs Joan Beck. Joan, of the well known engineering family, spent every winter in South Africa where she had been associated with Ridgebacks from her early years. The show attracted an entry of 58 dogs, which in those days must have been a record entry (at the Hound Show the following year 27 dogs made up the entry). It is interesting to note that Puppy, Junior, and Maiden were dog or bitch classes, it was not until novice that they were separated.
1992 brought the Rhodesian Ridgeback World Congress to the U.K. A comprehensive agenda was addressed over this two day event; it was considered a great success by all delegates. The Congress, held every four years in a different country, gives the opportunity for Rhodesian Ridgeback enthusiasts worldwide to exchange views and topics concerning our magnificent breed. Hospitality and lasting friendships have become key features of these get-togethers.
On 19 August 1994 The Club wrote to all R R Clubs in Great Britain and Eire suggesting the time was right to form a Breed Council in order to discuss important breed matters, also any representation to the Kennel Club could be made with greater effect. In April 1998 the Kennel Club granted the four mainland clubs Breed Council Status.
In 1994 Mr Sammy Wallace, President of the Rhodesian Ridgeback Club “The Parent Club”, Zimbabwe, officiated over a huge entry of 172 Ridgebacks at the Club’s 22nd Championship Show.
In 1995 the Club invited all the British based Rhodesian Ridgeback Clubs to participate in an Interclub Grand Challenge Match. Now to be held every three years it is intended to be a light hearted social event promoting interclub liaison, with each club hosting the event in rotation. The Kennel Club granted permission for the first Interclub Grand Challenge Match in April 1997. Miss Orit Nevo from Israel accepted our invitation to be Judge and the event turned out to be a great social success. Another notable year was 1996 when Mrs Barbara Sawyer Brown, of the well known Kwetu Kennel in the USA, to judged 185 exhibits at the Club Championship Show
The 1994 Committee with Judge Sammy Wallace and his wife Margaret of the Mushana Kennel (Zimbabwe)
From the left:- Janice Ellis, Sammy Wallace, Kath Evans, Sid Thorne, Sheila Firth, Margaret Wallace, Gill Lawless,
Anne Bates, Brian Firth, Pat Thorne, Julie Bates, Jack Selby, Gillian Craven, Len Evans.
(Sadly some of the above are no longer with us and their experience of the breed is greatly missed)
A number of our member’s dogs have become “Pets as Therapy” (PAT) dogs visiting Hospitals and Care Homes where the residents look forward to their visits so they can make a big fuss of them. They bring many a smile to people who miss their own pets so much.Other RR activities For many years the Club held a Spring Open Show and the Championship Show however in 2008 we held another Open Show in aid of our Club Rescue Fund. This was a huge success and raised £800 for the fund due to the generosity of the exhibitors and donators of the beautiful raffle prizes. It is now held annually in the autumn with the proceeds going to the Rescue Trust. The Trust was formed in 2012 with Helen Mansfield heading the Trustees as Chair.
Many dogs have received their Kennel Club Good Citizen Awards whilst others have excelled in Obedience, Agility and Tracking Competitions
Each year at Crufts we have a Breed Club Stand promoting Rhodesian Ridgebacks and selling Club merchandise to interested parties. There is a trophy awarded to the Best Breed Stand offering the most informative support and information about their breed in the group which we are proud to say that we have won this award 6 times to date.
At the Annual General Meeting, Annual Points Trophies are presented. We also hold Educational Events, addressed by people in their respective fields of expertise, to improve the understanding of the breed and related canine matters. Our Club Members receive informal newsletters with club information and articles of interest and all are encouraged to contribute to these newsletters
The Club has adopted a specific Code of Ethics, the primary role of which is to serve the welfare and interests of Rhodesian Ridgebacks; all members are required to adhere to its principles. Members are made aware of the importance of checking for hereditary defects such as Dermoid Sinus and use of the Kennel Club BVA Hip and Elbow Dysplasia scheme is also encouraged along with other appropriate tests.