A Look Back at Backers with Bob and Jane Forsyth
Bob and Jane Forsyth discuss their experiences with financial backers when they handled and how backers have changed since.
April 16, 2013
Jane Forsyth (on right) in the early days of her show career, winning with Anne Rogers Clark under judge Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge in 1957.
In a Dogs in Review interview, Bob and Jane Forsyth, the famous husband-and-wife team of dog handlers, discuss their experiences with show dogs and financial backers when they handled and how backers have changed from those days to the present.
DIR: When you were handling, did most of your "big” specials have backers? Can you name a few dogs and backers?
Bob and Jane: Very few of our specials had what we call backers. Mrs. Porter, of course, was ahead of the times, but one must understand she was not a breeder and her real interest was Irish Setters. We did have a few who would stray from their breeds and back a dog that we thought had potential. Peggy Newcombe of Whippet and Greyhound fame took on the Standard Poodle, Ch. Alfonco von Goldenkettle. By and large, Mrs. Porter was the only one on a large scale backing some of the big winners of the time: the Pointer, Ch. Bryant’s Buckeye Chien D’Or; the Chow, Ch. Ah Sid’s The Dilettante; the Boxer Ch. Flintwood’s Rabble Rouser; and one of the many Irish Setters, Ch. Meadowlark’s Anticipation.
DIR: How did dogs and backers getc onnected in those days? Did you find a dog and bring it to their attention? Did backers tend to stick with one handler?
Bob and Jane: All of these dogs we had in our string, and for one reason or another their owners were unable to continue. We would so inform a client or two, and if interested, they would take over. Although we had very few people who were interested in backing a dog they had not bred or purchased outright, those that did were extremely loyal to their handlers as were the handlers to them. Those who took on dogs to back that we had anything to do with were well known to them and were motivated by their conformation and personality. They were good dog people who enjoyed giving a good dog a chance.
DIR: How has the situation with backing show dogs, or the people backing them, changed from those days to the present? Is it a good change?
Bob and Jane: Of course things have changed. For the better? We are not sure. Kind of blows the mind when you see an ad with six or seven names listed as co-owner and owners – looks like an attorney’s office. We wonder at times if these people have ever even patted the dog.
DIR: Have backers influenced the sport?
Bob and Jane: Sure, any change will have an impact – to what degree remains to be seen.
From the September 2012 issue of Dogs in Review magazine. Purchase the September 2012 digital back issue or subscribe to receive 12 months of Dogs in Review magazine.
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