What Ever Happened To...Coco?

Norfolk Terrier Eng. & Am. Ch. Cracknor Cause Celebre

By Answers by Elisabeth Matell |

Crufts 2005Call name: Coco

Titles: UK and US champion — the all-time top-winning Norfolk Terrier in the US.

Birth date: July 9, 1998 in Elisabeth’s bedroom in Kent, England.

Died: October 18, 2011

Breeder: Elisabeth Matell, UK, who owned and showed her in the UK. She won six CCs, one Group and a couple of Group placings at championship shows before she went to America in January 2002.

Owners: Pam Beale, Stephanie Ingram, Beth Sweigart and Elisabeth Matell.

Handlers: Beth Sweigart and Peter Green.

Main claim to fame: Top Dog all breeds US 2003, Best in Show AKC Invitational 2003, also top Terrier in 2004 in spite of having a litter and being shown for only five months that year. In 2003 she won 47 BIS and 171 Group 1sts. In 2004, in only 50 shows because of maternity leave, she won 22 BIS and 43 Group 1sts. She won BOB at Westminster for four years running and won two Groups and one Group 2nd there.

Favorite moment of her show career: There are two — Best in Show at Crufts 2005, beating 22,000 dogs, and Best in Show at Montgomery County KC 2003, having won BIS at all four shows of the Montgomery weekend, which has never been done by any other dog.

Breeding career: Coco had one litter of two bitches in the UK in 2001 before leaving for the US. One daughter visited the US and became a champion, and later in the UK had a champion daughter herself. The other bitch was the top-winning Norfolk bitch in Sweden.

In America Coco had her second litter in 2004 and two of the three sons are American champions. One, Ch. Cause For Celebration, is the only Norfolk Terrier born in the US to become a UK champion, which he did in three straight shows with a Group 2nd thrown in.

The other, Cause A Comotion, emigrated to the UK and has sired a UK champion, a Swedish champion and some good UK winners who have bred on. He also sired GCh. Cracknor Cross The Ts (“Plum”), Top Norfolk 2011, BOB and Group 2nd Westminster 2011 and No. 6 Top Terrier.

How did the show career interfere with her having puppies?
It meant that she had only two litters in the US and one in the UK, six puppies in all.

Who was in charge of day-to-day care? In America Coco was always treated as a VIP, living in the house and sleeping in Peter and Beth’s bedroom, being waited on by them and Letisha Wubble.

Was she mostly healthy during her long life? Very healthy, very feisty and very full of life, yet affectionate and playful. She came from a long-lived family: her sire lived until he was 15 and her half-brother died recently aged 14½ years.

What was her last show? Her last show was Westminster 2006, when she won her fourth straight BOB there and was second in the Group to the eventual BIS winner.

Whom did she spend her time with? Her son Dickie or her “husband,” whom she kept on very short reins and didn’t spare the rod!

Favorite occupation?
Chasing rabbits and trying to catch the koi in the garden pond.

Any interesting/gratifying/unexpected things in her post-show life? As she was getting older, Coco mellowed and became so loving and willing to please. She took great pleasure in entertaining all guests at Greenfield and loved to play ball, fetch, etc., with any and all visitors.

Little quirks of character: Always naughty, full of fun, always ready for a game or chasing wildlife, but sweet and affectionate to people.

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Robert   Kansas City, Missouri

2/10/2014 7:44:12 PM

My family watches every dog show we can and for over 10 years now Coco has been the standard to which my family compares every champion.

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