Dogs in Review Talks to

Professional Handlers, Breeders and Owners Geoff Corish and Michael Coad

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Geoff Corish was born a Briton; because his father was Welsh, many of the family’s summer holidays were spent in South Wales. He remembers one of those summers when he learned that a dog show was being held in the nearest town, and he and his young brother went to watch. The ring steward that day was a man, unknown to Geoff previously, named Andrew Brace -- that day in short trousers! In the intervening decades both Geoff and Andrew Brace have become well-known and respected faces in the sport of dogs both in the U.K. and worldwide.

Michael Coad was born in Dublin; when he was a youth, his family moved south to Waterford, Ireland, famous for its world-renowned crystal. His parents had Poodles when he was a child and he developed a love for the breed, and all dogs, at an early age. As a teenager, Michael got a job in England at the famous De Fontenay Pyrenean Mountain Dog kennel of Madame Harper Trois Fontaines, the first person to bring Pyrenean Mountain Dogs to England, and he worked there for several years. As a young man he moved back to Ireland to pursue a career as a handler and his passion as a breeder.

The Corish-Coad partnership began in 1985, and between the two dog men hundreds of champions have been made up; they remain the only all-breed professional handlers in the U.K. to have handled champions in every Group. Their home is White House Farm, located in the North West of England in rural, historic Lancashire County, just a mile from the Irish Sea. The four-acre property includes the kennel from which they work, a stable block once occupied by their Welsh ponies, and fenced fields now used to exercise their canine charges and for training. At one time White House Farm was home to four “Dog of the Year” award winners at one time – the Bichon Frise ‘Mad Louie,’ the Lhasa Apso bitch ‘Fresno,’ the Standard Poodle ‘Something Special’ and the Bichon ‘Fatal Attraction.’

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