Dual CH Banchory Bolo
Dual FC-CH Banchory Bolo was the first dog to
earn a dual championship by winning both the bench Championship CH as well as
becoming a Field Trial Champion in England. Each of his litters produced either a
Field Champion or a Show Champion. As noted in NFC-AFC
Storm Riptide Star's pedigree, Bolo's
sons FTW-CCW Banchory Corbie (1921)
CH Banchory Danilo (1923 Blk-c-y) both carried the chocolate recessive
gene which separated lines for some 70 years and reunited in the pedigree of
Storm's Riptide Star in 1991. Bolo was originally named Caerhowell
Bully. The breeder was Sir John Banner and Bolo's parents were CH Scandal of
Glynn and Caerhowell Nettle. He was a very noted dog of his time but was
almost lost to history due to a bad start in life with some field trainers.
He was almost put down in 1918 at the age of not quite three.
The book by Richard Wolters called "The Labrador Retriever History" reports
the story by combining information from Lorna Countess Howe's book
"The Popular Labrador Retriever" and from Roland John in his book "Dogs
You'd Like to Meet". Lady Howe became the third president of the
British Lab Club.
*Photo in Richard Wolters book The Labrador Retriever
Dutton, 1992 p. 63 Ward Binks
The article from Richard Wolters book The
Labrador Retriever, The History...The People...Revisited, Dutton
Books, 1981, 1992 ISBN 0-525-93360.-3 reads:
"In her book, Lady Howe wrote "Whilst I am writing about training and teaching
to train I cannot leave out my Dual CH Banchory Bolo. I think it is only
fair to such a great Labrador that he should be paid tribute to and be made
known as a dog who could train and handle human beings, because through my
intimate knowledge and personal devotion to him I certainly learnt more from him
than he did from me."
Dual Champion Banchory Bolo became one of the
most important dogs of his era. Lady Howe was a staunch believer in the
dual purpose dog and her Bolo was the first to achieve this mark.
Bolo came to Lady Howe in 1918, when he was a bit
more than two years old. Heartbroken about the loss of her first Labrador,
Scandal of Glynn, she had decided to find the only male pup that Scandal had
sired. When finally found, he'd been through several trainers and all had
given up on him. (Lady Howe said that in human terms "he had a really bad police
record.") She was offered the dog for nothing with the proviso that if she
did not want him later on, he should be destroyed. In his book, Dogs You'd
like to Meet, Roland John, a popular dog writer of the 1930's, picks up the
story from there.
Bolo arrives Liverpool Street eleven-five.
Lady Howe looked at her watch and saw that there was just time to motor over
to the great London railway terminus and meet the dog: the "wild,
unmanageable, stupid dog" whom nobody wanted, despite his wonderful pedigree.
His first owner had given him away, because he had come back from some
trainers of field-dogs with an evil temper which seemed to be hopeless in one
who had been bred for sport. He had inconsequence been presented as a
free gift to one who erroneously thought he could "make something of him."
This owner had now offered to give him away again, and said that if Lady Howe
did not like him she was free to have him destroyed.
And here he was at Liverpool Street Station a Labrador Retriever, a rebel and
failure. On his nose and in his ears were sores; his coat was unkempt,
and when he was spoken to, even in a kindly way, he growled in a surly and
ill-tempered manner. But for his muzzle it looked as if there might be
serious trouble in getting him into the motor-car, with grievous damage to
those who touched him.
Lady Howe looked at him dubiously. To be sure he was of good birth, but
his temper! Should he be sent back, or should she have him destroyed
immediately? A decision had to be made quickly, and Bolo's attitude was not
helpful: He did not seem to care whether he lived or died. He looked so
miserable and seemed so unhappy that she was inclined to take a risk and try
to put a little sunshine into his life.
Lady Howe made her decision. She resolved that she would take him down to the
Banchory kennels and give him a chance of life and happiness.
Bolo made a bad start in his new home. He
always started badly. As soon as he arrived he was taken into a spacious
room and the muzzle and chain were taken off him. After a few minutes of
liberty he was called, but refused to come. Offers of food did not appeal to him
and when an effort was made to catch him he dodged. He seemed to suspect
and hate everyone in human form, and it was more than an hour before he could be
caught, when he was placed in a kennel. Some days later he was let loose
out-of-doors, and again proved ill-tempered and refractory, and for two hours he
Then something happened which changed the world
for Bolo. His physical strength left him and he became seriously ill.
No longer was he the rampant, self-sufficient Tartar of the past, but a quiet,
helpless dependent, very near to death. During those days he was always
gentle and responsive to kindness and as he was nursed back to strength by Lady
Howe he became devoted to her. At last he seemed to have found someone
whom he could trust; someone who understood him and was ready to accept him for
what he was. When he recovered his health he was always at her side, and
it seemed possible to hope that his life would henceforth be one of serene peace
and unalloyed happiness.
Autumn had now come and the guns were out, so
that his mistress took Bolo out with her one day in order to see how he shaped
as a sporting dog. There were many things for which he had to tank his forbears.
He had inherited a natural love of retrieving, an excellent nose, and a perfect
mouth. Bolo had plenty of dash. If it had been a rabbit-shoot he
would have been an immensely popular dog, but it was apparent that he needed no
little education in the direction of field-work with birds. Hares and
rabbits had for him an attraction which was magnetic and dismaying, and he did
not seem to understand that his energy and enthusiasm in coursing them was
So that it was a question of applying all the
arts of training to the making of Bolo. He had the right stuff in him, but
a lot of wrong stuff mixed with it needed weeding out. How was it to be
done? By beating him? A moment's reflection was enough to show that this
was the wrong way, for there were signs that Bolo's nature had been turned sour
by chastisement, and, apart from the obvious cruelty of it, there was a danger
that he might revert to his former wildness if he were so mishandled.
Therefore, the rod was spared and the dog not spoiled.
Everything was going well, he was taking to his
training and then it happened on the evening before the field trials took place
and caused Bolo to behave like a volcano in eruption. He was always
haunted by the demon of fear, and now he was at its mercy. Not paralyzed
into inaction but precipitated into reckless, unreasoning flight from the terror
which had almost ruined his life.
The sudden breaking-back to this was caused by a
stable-boy, who cracked a heavy whip close to Bolo. What recollections it
aroused in the mind of this sensitive dog may well be imagined, for he lost all
control over himself and made a lightning dash for the gateway. The gate
was closed and was high, with iron spikes at the tip; but Bolo, under the
impelling influence of fear, lost all caution and sprang up with a tremendous
leap. In a panic he fled.
Countess Howe finished the story in her book.
"Finally at midnight I gave up the search for him and went to my room, leaving
the front door open. At 5am Bolo came into my room and got into his
basket. When I was about to go to my bath an hour later I was horrified to
see big splashed of blood on the floor. On examining Bolo I found he had
two very deep wounds on his chest, a tear three inches long in his groin and his
hind leg and hock torn so badly that the bone was visible. I
was urged to have him destroyed but this I could not do. The nearest vet
lived eight miles away and there was no telephone, so with the kennel man I put
twenty-three stitches into Bolo. He was so good and lay perfectly still
until it was all finished."
Once again Bolo became Lady Howe's patient.
He seemed to understand that he was safe from harm with her. Field trials
were out of the question that year, but the following fall he took a prize in
his very first event. Within the next few weeks he accomplished the
impossible by winning two first places and becoming a champion. He fared
equally well on the show bench and became the first Labrador to earn the title
of Dual Champion.
English Dual CH Banchory Bolo
First Dual Show & Field Champion
|Bolo was not used at stud often because he was
the constant companion of Lady Howe, but in every litter he produced either a
show or field trail champion. The Field wrote of Bolo: "If ever evidence
were needed of the character of a great dog, and of his influence on the
generations following him, it was to be found at the Retriever Championship
Trial held at Idsworth December, 1932. Out of fourteen dogs that gained
prizes eight were descended from Banchory Bolo."
Bolo's ancestry traces directly back to the
Malmesbury Kennels at Heron Court through Malmesbury Tramp (1878) and Malmesbury
Juno (1878) who whelped Buccleuch's Avon (1885). The line goes directly
through Lord Kuntsford's Munden Sixty (1897) to the first great field trial
champion Peter of Faskally (1908) to Bolo's Sire Scandal of Glynn and then to
Dual Champion Banchory Bolo.
Photos from Wolter's book The Labrador Retriever
In the Labrador Stud Book, C. Mackay Sanderson
records that this line started forty years earlier with Malmesbury's Tramp and
culminated in Banchory Bolo. But forty years is only the recorded period;
unrecorded, the line goes back via Malmesbury at Heron Court for a little over a
century on British soil. (End of Wolter's article)
As previously noted, Bolo tended to throw a trait
of having white hairs on the bottom of the paws which became known as Bolo Pads.
You can still find markings on today's Labradors which undoubtedly trace to
Bolo. He also is a key dog in tracing the transmission of the recessive
chocolate color gene to today's Labrador Retrievers. Bolo is not unique to
just the chocolate Labrador. He was a very notable Lab of his time and
much sought after as the first Lab to be both bench and field. Most Labs
that can trace their ancestry back far enough are likely to find both Bolo as
well as his ancestor Buccleuch Avon.
Photos of the pads.