My first Gundog experience was to own a Labrador and then a Cocker Spaniel while still in Kenya. When we moved and settled in South Africa I continued to look for my dream dog which I had, so far, only seen in pictures. I found and purchased my first Golden Retriever Tasha, (Cream Sherry of Kilifi) in 1970, from a lady in Gingindhlovu, Zululand. Tasha was the daughter of a local Zululand dog called Chaka who was put to Stolford Polka, a UK import. I was totally hooked and in love with Goldens the minute my 9 week old hurricane bundle of Golden fluff moved in and I have now owned, bred, shown and worked Golden retrievers for over 47 years.
Living in Empangeni and away from doggie activities, I had no idea what was ahead of me, but when Tasha was old enough to be bred from I began the hunt for a suitable, beautiful husband for her and eventually met Ruby Newmarch in Cato Ridge, Natal. Ruby owned a boy called Fagin, (Ch Stolford Gay Voyager of Buyisa FQ) from Peggy Robertson’s Stolford kennel in the UK. One look at Fagin was enough, he was as perfect as I could wish for and I wanted a son of Fagin’s. Little was I to know that this was the turning point in my life. I kept a boy from this mating and Taber (Ch Kilifi Gay Lord Taber) at the tender age of 6 months, won a best of breed and Gundog Group placing at a Breed show. This led me to believe that breeding beautiful Goldens was a piece of cake. Taber was a deep gold, handsome boy and became a show champion very quickly. When we were introduced to field trials, it was a completely different ball game. But Taber loved and thrived at this new type of “fetch” sport and went on to win an “Open” Retriever Stake before his field trialing days came to an end when my husband and I were divorced.
In 1974 I became Secretary of the Natal Gundog Club and for 9½ years was involved in everything that involved a Golden Retriever and a Gundog in the breed ring as well as the field. During this period I also purchased a Flatcoated Retriever from Adele Newmarch and Tor (Ch High Stakes Searcher of Kilifi FQ) was a real fun experience. I discovered that Flatcoats are the comics of the “Retriever” breeds and Tor was an experience I enjoyed to the fullest. Sadly I lost him at the age of 7 years old when his spine deteriorated and crumbled.
My first Golden import, Shara (Ch Stolford Moonlight of Kilifi FQ HD00) from Peggy Robertson in the UK, was the daughter of Stolford Gay Tosca (UK) and Ch Tranquility Token of Regina (UK). I trialled Shara in the field and she was also made up as a Show Champion in the breed ring. I mated her to Fagin (Ch Stolford Gay Voyager of Buyisa FQ) and two of her children became breed Show Champions and. Amber (Ch & FT Ch. Kilifi Amber of Lymond) and litter mate Haig (Ch Kilifi Alpha FQ) were both active at shoots and field trials. Haig is the sire of Roxie and John McCormick’s Ch & FT Ch Sokatumi Xaxaba and Ch & FT Ch Sokatumi Xugano, who were two of less than a dozen dual purpose (breed and field trial) dogs ever to be bred in South Africa. Haig is in the background of many pedigrees of our current field trial dogs.
Abby (Lymond Deely of Kilifi) who I purchased from Ronee Duff, had excellent potential in the field but she was unfortunately killed in a motor accident while I was still living in Natal. I moved to Johannesburg in 1988 with 4 Goldens, Haig, his son Tosh (Ch Sokatumi Etosha of Kilifi FQ); Jocelyn (Ch Kilifi Jocelyn), Haig’s half sister and Jodie (Kilifi Lucky Lady Jodie) Tosh’s daughter.
Jodie was mated to Ch Macanne Barry and I kept Millie (Ch Kilifi Magic FQ HD00) from this litter. My son Kevin, kept litter brother Misty, (Kilifi Mystique WHR HD00) who was re-homed with Dave and Viv Owen when Kevin went over to the USA to live. Misty was a source of joy for Viv and Dave and won several field trial awards as well as winning Best In Show at a Golden Retriever Club Championship Breed show at the age of 9 years old under judge Peter Sandford.
One of the puppies produced by Millie, mated to Ch Redsteps Wishful Thinking (Campbell) was Pasha (Ch Kilifi Pasha FQ HD00) who was Field qualified and placed in the top 100 show dogs in Breed in South Africa for 2 consecutive years during his show career, once in 37th and once in 98th place out of 100. Ch Kilifi Suikin, one of Millie’s other daughters, who belonged to Marianne Myburgh in Cape Town, became one of the most photographed Goldens in advertising and film making in South Africa and internationally.
Another homebred Show Champion was Ch Kilifi Hilite of Cananne (Gambit) owned by Dr Richard Pienaar. Gambit, has among other wins, a Best In Show (All breeds) in Pietermaritzburg to his credit.
I wanted to import another golden with working ability in his background, and in 1998, after a lot of research and with the help of Dave Owen, I imported Chobe, (Ch Chobe of Remy Martin Goldens of Kilifi FQ) from Rob van der Weiden, in the Netherlands. Chobe is a Show champion and is Field Qualified and I am happy to say that Chobe is everything I wanted and is passing on his strength of body, coat and wonderful character to his progeny. Chobe is a dog who does everything at top speed and who will pick up anything he is asked to. His progeny are still showing in the breed ring successfully as well as working in the field. I kept two of his daughters, Kirsty (Mapperley Kirsten of Kilifi HD00 ED00) and Ariel (Piacere Ariel of Kilifi NHR FQ).
Brad Wilmot and I imported two new “Fromeside” girls from the UK and Sophie (Ch Fromeside African Dream of Kenkili NHR FQ HD01 ED00) and Mia (Fromeside Hot Gossip of Kenkili HD00).
In 2004, with the assistance of Gill and Mike McLarty, we brought in Classy, “Ch. Catcombe Class Act of Kilifi FQ” from Wendy Andrews well known kennel in the UK. Classy is a source of joy and enlightenment for us and he comes from a dual purpose kennel with a background and type that is superb. He has an impeccable temperament, loves to work more than anything and is, at the same time a big gentle boy. We are blessed to have friends like Gill and Mike who made it possible to bring Classy in and he is already improving and doing well through his progeny and Goldens in South Africa.
At the end of 2005 I mated Classy to Judith’s Buchanan’s FT Champ. Kincora Scarab and Judith has kept a young girl called Shanty from this mating. Shanty is a breed champion and doing well at retriever field trials.
In February 2007 I remarried Chris (Begbie) who (apart from taking over my life and “managing” it) also handles Drummer in field trials, and he now does the handling of most of our goldens at breed shows.
Apart from the dogs mentioned above and the ones on our website, and in partnership with Gill McLarty we also had the following Goldens that we are extremely proud of:
Golden Greetings & Regards,
Di Phillipson (Begbie)