In 1954 Jean and her then husband Des decided to purchase a cocker spaniel for their first child, Jeffery. Jean had previously had a cocker as a child in the 1930s. They purchased an orange roan female called Bukarra Janie (see above) and they were soon bitten with the showing bug. A quick glance at Janie will show that we have not only come a long way, but that she was never going to achieve great things in the show ring! As a long time showing doyen at the time put it, as Jean was combing Janie’s one feather “Don’t add insult to injury dear”!. Never ones to give up in the face of competition in no time at all they had purchased a pair of black cockers from Merlyn and Noel French of Nolyn kennels.
Late in the 1950s Graham Head from Victoria was judging in Perth and he volunteered to assist local gundog breeders in finding stock to help them improve type in Western Australia. Later Des and Jean decided to avail themselves of his kind offer and wrote to him at his home in Victoria. They were disappointed not to receive a reply. Many months later they received a brief postcard from him. The card said that their letter had followed him to South Africa where he was judging and finally to England where he received it. He suggested that it would be a good opportunity for him to look for a dog there. Later they received a postcard from him to say “I have seen the dog. He’s not a great dog but I think he could do you a lot of good”. The dog was Ch Colinwood Red Beret who won Best in Show (All Breeds) at his first four shows in Australia and became the foundation of our solid lines, still being seen in current pedigrees. Graham Head left it up to Des and Jean to contact Alf Collins of Colinwood which they did. This was the beginning of a relationship that lasted many years. In those days they waited anxiously for letters from Mr. Collins with answers to their many queries on how to trim this bit or that bit. Over the years he sent them Ch. Colinwood Arapaho, Ch. Colinwood Seamist, Ch. Colinwood Sherry, as well as Ch. Colinwood Red Beret. Mr. Collins was a great mentor and advisor to the Goodings, giving freely his advice on any topic that they wished to ask about.
It was through Ch. Colinwood Red Beret that we met and formed a lifelong friendship with Eugene Phoa who at that time was living in Singapore. Eugene had been very disappointed in a dog which he had purchased from someone in Perth which was sired by Red Beret. Apparently the dog was not a good specimen and also was not entire. Eugene wrote an indignant letter to the Canine Association saying, amongst other things, “if this is the best that Colinwood Red Beret can produce he would have been better left in the UK”! The letter was passed along to us and we were anxious to make amends for this disaster. At the time we had two champion sons from a litter from Ch. Colinwood Sherry and we offered to sell him one. He was very suspicious as to why we would let one of these dogs go, so in the end we offered to send him to him on approval – if he liked the dog he could pay us £50, if he didn’t he could place him in a pet home. We heard later that half of the Singapore Kennel Club was at the airport to meet, examine and pass judgment on the dog! Eugene liked him and kept him until he died at a good age. Along the way he became the first Australian dog to gain a Singapore and Malaysian title and was the foundation of Wittersham. We have maintained a strong friendship with Eugene ever since. He has sent us dogs from Canada where he now lives (including Can. Ch. Wittersham’s Davey Crockett) and we have sent stock to him (notable Aust. Ch. Yunbeai Nite Lite). Eugene was also instrumental in some lovely dogs coming our way including the New Zealand imports Ch. Maragown Mountebank and Ch. Maragown Meteor.
The association with Collinwood started a long tradition at Yunbeai of seeking out the best available bloodlines and importing them to Perth. Over the years we have imported some 18 dogs, from the UK, North America, New Zealand and the Netherlands. We have also bought or been given some lovely dogs by other kennels in Australia including Glenbriar, Royoni, Kenbey, Glenayden, Brightleaf, and Dandaul to name a few. These have all contributed to the tapestry of breeding that is behind our current stock.
After so long in the breed it is impossible to list all the achievements, but amongst the highlights would be:
Some of the great dogs which we have had the honour of sharing our lives with can be found at the dogs of the past link.
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