In the course of history many famous names of yesterday are forgotten today. The historyof the Golden Retriever is no exception to that rule. A few names are very famous: Lord Tweedmout, Lord Harcourt, Mrs. Charlesworth. Others, however, are more or less forgotten. But that doesn’t mean there is no (hi)story to tell…
Take for example Mr. Joseph Eccles, the founder of the Haulstone-kennel. His wife, who joined her husband in his dog breeding activities, and he lived in Halston, Whittington, Shropshire. The London Gazette of March 19th, 1937 is somewhat more precise and speaks about Halston Hall.
According to Valerie Foss, he started his kennel in 1912. That was, however, quite by accident. In search for a liver Flatcoated Retriever, Mr. Eccles bought a Golden. The man who sold him the dog told him the dog descended from the dogs of Lord Tweedmouth. However, this date seems to me questionable. In fact, it’s only in the early twenties we can trace the activitities of Mr. Eccles. His earliest dogs are born in 1921 and 1922: Haulstone Rufus, formerly called Blazing Sands; Eng. Ch. Haulstone Dan and Haulstone Rusty. These dogs he bought from breeders like Mr. R. Herman and Messrs. Collins and Cowell.
So, it looks as if he was a man was lots of money, who could afford to buy the dogs he wanted. But there was more. He was a man who dared to think differently. In 1928 he decided to interbreed a yellow Labrador (FT Ch. Haylers Defender, b.1924). What was his motive? He wanted more speed. In other words, he was concerned with the Golden’s performance qualities as a gundog.
For some people his way of working was quite a shock. However, after two generations ‘interbred’ offspring, his dogs were registred as ‘pure’ Golden Retrievers. And succes didn’t fail to appear! In 1937 a dog of his won the Retriever Trials Championship. It was the first time a Golden Retriever achieved that. The dog’s name was: Eng.FT.Ch. Haulstone Larry. Before, but also after the war, Mr. Eccles and his wife bred several Field Champions.