Renaissance man Wayne Cavanaugh
Wayne Cavanaugh, president and owner of the United Kennel Club, the second-largest registry of purebred dogs in the country, is a man of varied interests and experiences. Cavanaugh shares his story in his own words:
My grandfather, John Cavanaugh, kept Kerry Blues as working farm dogs in Ireland. When he emigrated to New York, he worked as a longshoreman in New York Harbor and arranged for several Kerry Blues to come over. The economics of the Depression precluded active showing, but the dogs were part of the family. Growing up around dogs, my father, Ray Cavanaugh, caught the dog-show bug and bought a few Beagles. He was a singer signed by Starky Records with another kid from Hoboken named Frank Sinatra. Unfortunately for his singing career, Dad was drafted into the army.
When he came home, he worked as an assistant handler for Ed Johnson’s Beagle kennel in New Jersey. My father taught a weekly handling class that I attended throughout my childhood. He taught with Coralwood Basset Hound breeder, Bill Barton, still an active AKC Hound judge and father of Sally Barton of Coralwood Pointer fame. Many people from that class are still in the sport 45 years later: AKC’s Ron Rella, Sally Barton, Sporting judge Marsha Hall Brown, and Basenji man and professional handler Mike Work.
In 1964 Dad sold a Beagle, Ch. Herold’s Prince Charles, to Mildred Lowe of Validay for Bob Forsyth to show. Around that time we added English Setters to our Beagle kennel. Between school sports and drum lessons, I had my first win with a Beagle when I was 6. The day I turned 8, I showed my first English Setter in Juniors.
I met Ralph Del Deo (Bukany Pointers, AKC trial-board attorney, AKC judge) in the early ’70s. Ralph was my earliest Pointer mentor. He sold me Ch. Bukany’s Poppycock, Best of Winners the first time we showed her at the American Pointer Club National. In 1978, I imported Ch. Rossenarra Amontillado of Crookrise, ‘Myles,’ from Ireland and won my first National Specialty. Myles is still on the Top 20 All Time sire list. Under the Onsage banner, it’s been mostly Pointers ever since.
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