Mr Roberts, a founder member of the London and Provincial Collie Club, had served an extended apprenticeship before registering his then address as his Ashtead kennel name in 1920, success quickly followed.
Possibly now best remembered for the beautifully headed Ch Ashtead Applause, the inspiration for the popular Royal Doulton Collie figurine, although during in his lifetime it was his feminine bitches which drew the greatest acclaim. Unusually for the times Richard Roberts was always a breeder first supplying top class specimens to many of the more commercially minded kennels who frequently hide their charges’ origins with a name change.
Rarely campaigning his Collies much beyond their title, the home bred sable and white dog, Lucason of Ashtead, arguably brought the kennel its greatest show achievement when, entered right through the classes, he gained the Challenge Certificate, at the tender age of 8 months, from Mr W. W. Stansfield, annexing the Collie Club Challenge Trophy for Best In Show.
Within days Mr Stansfield, accompanied by six Collies including Lucason’s litter brother, now named Laund Loyalty, were on their way to America, where on joining Mrs Ilch’s Bellhaven kennel Loyalty wrote his name in the history books by becoming the only Collie to win Best In Show at Westminster, New York, USA. Loyalty was immediately retired from the show ring so never gained his American title, however Lucason did after following his bother later the same year.
above - Am Ch Lucason of Ashtead o’Bellhaven winner of the Collie Club Challenge Trophy for Best in Show at the British Collie Club Championship Show 1929, before join the Bellhaven kennel where he gained his American title.
Images donated by ‘Emmsmoor’ courtesy of Rough Collie Archive