A CELEBRATION OF THE LIFE OF
RUSSELL LAMONBY and his EMRED BULL TERRIERS
Compiled by Frank Dyson
Russ on top of the World, Machu Picchu, Peru, October 2016
No one who came in to contact with Russ could fail to notice his passion and love for the bull terrier and for like-minded people, whom he would go out of his way to help, both with action and advice.
From a coal mining family and a coal miner himself for a time, there were two great personalities who were the main influences for Russ, his Dad, Joe and Arthur Miller (Brobar). He gave his time also to breed Club’s, being on the committee of Notts and Derby District Bull Terrier Club and latterly as deputy chairman of the Bull Terrier Club.
Beginning the journey
Russ’s first experience with a bull terrier, at the age of 12 whilst delivering newspapers, totally captivated him to such an extent that he would badger his parents for about 5 years before they finally got him one. At one time, Joe tried to palm him off with a Staffie pup obtained from one of his coal mining pals but it just was not the same.
Perceverance and persuasion from Russ finally paid off and the Staffie moved on. The problem was then in finding a bull terrier because they appeared to be so few and far between. Joe placed an advert in the local paper for “bull terrier wanted” – a recipe for disaster you would think. However, fate and luck are keen bedfellows. Up to the plate stepped Brian Parsons (Sonspar bull terriers) with a bitch around 2 years old called Pete’s Pip of Sonspar, the deal was done and Russ, Doreen and Joe had their foundation bitch. In another twist of good fortune, Pete’s Pip was sired by Honky of Brobar (Ch Jobrulu Jacobinia ex Ch Keyhole Kate of Brobar). Her mother was a granddaughter of Ch Ardee Resolute Defender, whose own grandfather was none other than Ch Brobar Warpaint.
The story could have ended there but the Lamonby’s did their home work, took advice and studied the possible suitors for their bitch. They settled on Brobar Troubleshooter (Int Ch Lordsfield Bombadier of Brobar ex Ch Brobar Hotline). Thus started an extremely close, intimate and very strong friendship with Arthur and Joyce Miller which strengthened throughout the years. Arthur took Russ under his wing and, in particular, taught him about the great benefits of line breeding.
A young Russ with his mentor, the great Arthur Miller
Out of the litter of 10 pups by Troubleshooter, a strong headed dog was kept. He was called Marton’s Marauder. All of Russ’s Emred dogs go back to him. Marton’s Marauder won the Stud Dog Trophy in 1987. His son Ch Brobar Joker of Emred was runner up in the Regent Trophy, twice runner up in the Dog Jug and achieved Best of Breed at Crufts. He was exported to Australia, where he became successful as a stud dog. Marauder’s daughter, Ch Bodyline of Brobar won the Bitch Jug. Marauder’s grandson, Emred Top Gun of Brobar was exported to the States where he became a champion and stud dog winner in 1991 and 1992.
Ch Brobar Joker of Emred
A great memory for Russ was collecting the Stud Dog Trophy with Marauder at White Waltham in 1987, where Arthur also picked up the Brood Bitch Trophy with Brobar Hot Pot of Meregis.
The first time I met Russell was on one of the ‘hay days’ down at the Lamonby’s with Arthur Miller and Jimmy Henderson, which consisted of sitting on bales of hay that Joe had arranged, drinking beer and putting the bull terrier world to rights. I wandered into the kitchen to find Doreen trying to talk this strapping 15/16 year old out of having a fight with a lad who had insulted his girlfriend (and later to be wife) Linda. Doreen managed to talk him out of it. In those early days, Russ was very quiet, compared to the others getting merry but he did noticeably intently listen, particularly when either Joe, or Arthur were speaking. He listened to their every word. In all the years that they knew each other, despite Arthur’s insistence to use his Christian name, it was always “Mr Miller” and “Mrs Miller”. Such a mark of respect from bygone times.
There was an underground stream which always waterlogged part of the land. Joe’s solution was pretty simple – get a digger, make a large pond and stock it with fish. Russ continued to improve on Joe’s work by putting in a jetty and summer house, all of which he mainly built himself.
Russ and Linda got married and had two great kids, Nikki and Joe but over recent years, separated but still remained friends. Russ would often be accompanied on trips with young Joe or Nikki. Then Gisela came into the life of Russell and they quickly formed a true bond and strong relationship. Our thoughts go out to Gisela at this time.
Value of Russ’s Line Breeding Programme
Two of Russ’s most favourite dogs were Ch Emred Devil’s Chance, winner of the Ormandy Jug for Dogs and Runner up in the Regent Trophy in 1999. Russ also made Devil’s Chance available for the interbreeding programme and he became sire of the top winning mini dog, Ch Badlesmere Bluebeard. The other favourite was Ch Emred Devil’s Spy, who won the Ormandy Jug for Dogs and the Charlie Girl Cup for Movement in 2013. Spy has proven to be a prepotent stud dog. The last home bred champion was Ch Emred Devil’s Tristar who won the Regent Trophy for 2016 and the Ormandy Jug for Dogs and the Charlie Girl Cup for Movement for 2017. The resemblance between Devil’s Chance and Tristar, some 20 years apart in the line breeding programme, emphasises the value of the judicious line breeding that Russ followed.
Ch Emred Devil’s Chance 1999
Ch Emred Devil’s Tristar 2016
The Emred Role of Honour – Bull Terrier Club Major Trophies
Emred have been the first kennel ever to be owner/breeder of consecutive winners of the Ormandy Jugs since the inception of the Trophy in 1947.
Breeders of 4 Regent Trophy Winners; 2 times Regent Trophy Runners up; Breeders of 6 Ormandy Jug Winners; 3 times Ormandy Jug Runners up; 2 time winners of the Sandawana
Trophy; 4 times winners of the Charlie Girl Cup for Movement; 3 times winners of the Raymond Oppenheimer Breeders of the Year Trophy; 4 times winners of the Eva Weatherill Brood Bitch Trophy; winner of numerous Stud Dog Trophies.
Eleven English Champions: Ch Brobar Joker of Emred; Ch Emred Devil’s Chance; Ch Devil’s Essence; Ch Emred Huntsman; Ch Emred Daredevil; Ch Emred Nightfever; Ch Emred Devil’s Spy; Ch Emred Devil’s Advocate; Ch Emred Devil’s Tristar; Ch Emred Dikram Devil’s Brew.
Ch Emred Devil’s Essence was widely regarded as one of the best bull terriers ever seen in the ring.
Even when the dogs that Russ produced were not the winners, they invariably had a hand in those that did – at the 2017 Bull Terrier Club Trophy Show, the winner of the Sandawana Trophy was sired by Ch Emred Devil’s Spy (Spy) and the Runner up was sired by Ch Emred Devil’s Advocate (Advocate) ....... the Ormandy Jug for Dogs Runner up was sired by Spy ..... the Ormandy Jug for Bitches Winner was sired by Advocate and the Runner up was sired by Spy..... the Regent Trophy winner, Regent Trophy Runner up and BOS to the Regent Trophy Winner were, all three, sired by Spy to 3 different bitches.
Ch Emred Devil’s Spy
Ch Emred Devil’s Advocate (photo by Dinu)
In 2016, no less than 16 CC’s were won by progeny from Emred stud dogs. Abroad, S.A. Ch Emred Spymaster was the top bull terrier in Brazil for the second consecutive year. Emred Rio Diablo won both the Norwegian and Swedish BTC specialty shows. At the BT International show in Holland, no less than 27 competitors across various Country teams had Emred sires. In Australia, one of the top winning dogs was sired by Advocate.
Joyce and Arthur Miller were a great combination. Joyce was the puppy picker and Arthur the showman, being widely acknowledged as one of the finest handlers in the breed. It is clear that Russ picked up all Arthur’s tricks of the trade because, like Arthur, Russ’s presentation and handling of dogs was effortless and a joy to behold. Russ and the bull terrier were as one. Despite his great success, Russ remained modest and he was a great sportsman.
Again, like Arthur, Russ was always prepared to help or advise the novice and many successful breeders owed a large thanks to help from Russ. Russ spent much private time with Joyce and Arthur at their house in Milton Grove, Sale. Joyce died in 1988 and Arthur in 1992.
The other over riding influence in Russ’s life was his father, Joe, a funny, strong, loyal, down to earth and humble man, who died the following year in 1993.
Joe Lamonby with his favourite bitch Brobar Aunt Sally of Emred.
Arthur with Eric Stanley’s Ch Aricon Chief Eye Shy
Russ did not exactly disappear from the show scene but rarely showed a dog in the following 4/5 years. He and his mother Doreen did, however, continue with their breeding programme, using dogs mainly from Ghabar and Aricon lines, which both had a heavy influence from Brobar blood. This combination resulted in Ch Emred Devil’s Chance (Radclyffe Gophite of Dollygroves ex Emred Domino Dancer).
Russ with Ch Ghabar The Admiral
Emred in the States
Emred Top Gun of Brobar (Cobra Sharpshooter of Brobar ex Christmas Cracker of Brobar at Emred) went to the States, became a champion and was very effective at stud, winning the stud dog trophy in 1991 and 1992. A Devil’s Chance son, Emred Rising Sun, was exported the States in 2004, where he became the top winning white dog of the year. Russ made some very close and dear friends in the States. I cannot mention them all here but I do know that Russ, in particular, had a close and very special friendship with Franne Berez and Jan Dykema.
Am Ch Emred Top Gun of Brobar
Am Ch Emred Rising Sun
Jan Dykema (Bestuvall Bull Terriers): There was a man, there were some dogs…....
In some years past “Yanks” would attend the Trophy shows for Bull Terriers in the chilly days of February to see the cream of the crop in the motherland of the breed. One day there appeared on the scene a compact white dog so oozing with type that he could not be denied.
Although he was not the first in the Emred championship line by a long shot, he was a stunner. He was also the beginning of what most of us in the U.S. now know as the “Devil” line for he was Ch Emred Devils Chance.
Then there was something called frozen semen. We “Yanks” were able to use this method of breeding without the travel for the bitch, quarantine rules or importation of the dog. Semen was stored right here in the U.S. for use by bull terrier breeders. It became a way to expand pedigrees and breed to dogs never before possible. So along came the “devil” in the form of a test tube, a tank and the inimitable Ch Emred Devils Spy. He was used extensively in the USA and around the world producing type and class all across America by this method and then…...
Science advanced and now we had not only frozen semen but also a chilled product as well. Making use of dogs “across the pond” became easier and more successful in the U.S. Now Emred had that “red one”, Ch Emred Devils Advocate followed on by Ch Emred Devils Tristar and now new Ch Emred Dikram Devils Brew. And, of course these notes would not be complete without the mention of the “outlier” Ch Emred Huntsman, a dog that did not sport the “devil” in his name but most certainly did in pedigree and Ch Emred Daredevil now residing in Italy.
Russ with best buddies Jan Dykema and Franne Berez
Russ with homebred pups by Ch Padhen Hitman
So far, the influence on the breed by using Emred dogs in the USA has been spectacular, producing animals of the highest caliber in every corner of the country and siring many Silverwood and specialty winners along with a long list of American Kennel Club champions. The impact of the Emred line in the USA was and is still an explosion hear ‘round our country’. The foresight and hindsight of breeders like Russell Lamonby has helped to shape and improve our breed in the US.
He was a popular judge, wonderful mentor and a person to emulate if you wanted to breed great dogs. Generous with his knowledge, friendly to everyone, Russ gained the respect and I dare say, affection, of many bull terrier fanciers in the U.S. Think of him often and well. He deserves it.
There was a man, there were some dogs……the rest is history.
Friends Across the Globe
Russ had an extremely busy judging and showing schedule and judged in very many Countries, in different Continents and made very many firm friends.
Eric Stanley (Aricon): When I first met Russell as a young lad, with his Dad and Mam, Joe and Doreen at the home of Arthur Miller (Brobar) who was the leading kennel in the U K at that time, you could see how keen Russell was in those days, often I would see him at dog shows with his Dad. Russell was a very keen student of the breed, later on Russell showed a dog call Martons Marauder from Brobar line. At this early stage nobody could have imagined how Russell would progress the breed .
Many years ago, I enjoyed a trip to the Silverwood with Russell and Linda, Brian Foy (Foyri), Joyce Miller (Brobar) and David Jones (Navada). A large crowd, we all travel together. Great days. From this time on I became a great friends with Russell, a very likeable person, great sense of humour, over many years I have enjoyed his company and had many conversation on the phone.
Russell’s life long passion and devotion to the breed will benefit future generations of lovers of the breed to come. One can say without fear of contradiction that Russell was one of the great breeders of all time. Words cannot express my sadness and Russell will always remain in my heart. My sympathy goes to his Mam and family.
Susan Murphy (Jarrogue Bull Terriers, USA): Russell was admired by many, both here in the USA and abroad, not only for his consistent successes with his Emred bull terriers but also as a judge who had the ability to quickly recognise those dogs that would move the breed forward. He will be remembered as a kind and gentle man and a cherished friend who will not be forgotten.
Joao Hypolito (Ice Court Bull Terriers, Brazil): For me it’s so emotional to write about
Russell Lamonby! He had the most influence on my dog life.....he was my friend, my mentor, my teacher, who had more influence on my formation as a breeder and, above all, who provided me through his bloodline and teachings, all that I needed to breed bull terriers with quality. He was certainly the most important person in my life as a dog breeder, who inspired me with his breeding plan and wonderful dogs. We can certainly say that Russell was the greatest breeder of all times of the breed. We are fortunate to have witnessed a dynasty, lived in the time of Russell Lamonby and his unequalled Emred Bull Terriers.
Russ, proud of his Our Dogs Top Breeder achievement
and winning the Terrier Group with Ch Bilston Blackjack of Emred
John Schofield (Stardom Bull Terriers, Australia): Over the last 25 years, since myself and Bernadette imported Emred Black Gold, we have had a close relationship with Doreen and Russell. Russell had, in particular, become a very close friend, as we try to go to England about every second or third year to catch up and we have always stayed at Russell and Linda’s house.
Russ with John Schofield and Brad Ralph
We found Russell to be very kind. One time, I remember sitting around Russell’s dinner table and, out of the blue, Russell said “you know, John, I reckon you could do with a bitch in whelp”. I did not really understand what he was saying because of his broad accent, so asked him to repeat what he said. He said “let’s go up to Mum’s tomorrow and you can pick out a bitch that you like and I will have her mated to a dog of your choice and send her over to you in whelp”. This is how Emred Lady Madonna came to Australia, out of the goodness of Russell’s heart. Over the next couple of years I mentioned to Russell the influence that the Emred dogs could have on Australian animals, so Russell and Doreen started allowing frozen semen to come to Australia. True enough, Emred dogs have advanced Australian bull terriers and miniatures forwards at a fast pace. Last year, 2017, the top winning miniature bull terrier was strongly Emred bred and so was the top winning bull terrier. I cannot express how much Russell meant to myself and Bernadette. Russell and I often joked that we were brothers from different mothers, We are so sad that Russell has gone but are privileged to have met Russell and have so many fond memories. Russell and Emred will live on for a very long time in our Stardom bull terriers and many other people’s dogs all over the World. RIP buddy.
Jan Dykema (Bestuvall Bull Terriers): “Now cracks a noble heart…”
Much has already been said and written about Russell and his success in the dog world, so I will write about Russell as my friend.
Russ would not eat beans no matter how much I tried to convince him that my baked beans were the best in the world. According to his mother, Doreen, Russ would not eat a banana if it had even one brown spot. He loved my homemade toffee and I carried pounds of it when crossing the pond to visit. He loved “old things” so we mused about his collection of antique pub signs and admired his carved and painted chests. We talked about the wonderful old chopping block that he said he would “someday” bring into the house, the rocking chair that he “nipped’ for his Dad and the old tools and metal objects that would decorate the new garden with a bridge to the pond and newly built summerhouse.
We went to his brother’s house to breed some Patterdales and laughed all the way home at that unusual experience! (surely a story to tell over a drink). I walked his dogs, as did almost every visitor, with pleasure regardless of the weather knowing that on the end of that leash no matter which dog, it was special to all of us. We took Zak (Ch. Emred Devils Spy) to the pub and stayed for quiz night. We did not win but we were a good team. He loved museums; old churches and history and on occasion we would skip looking at dogs in favour of visiting a place of interest. When travelling he would post on Facebook he was “going to…. to have a look around” which I found hysterically funny. On those days when we did “have a look” at a litter of puppies Russ would say later “which one did you like Jan?” When I told him, he just smiled and I hoped I had made a decent choice. He was nervous before he went into the ring when showing his dogs, which always shocked me. I loved hearing him call them “son”. “That’s good, son” or “Let’s go, son” was what you heard when he had them stacked just right or was ready to move them for the judges inspection. I truly do not think he ever “expected” a win although he and his dogs certainly set records for just that.
Russ loved his dogs in a way that they should be loved, as dogs. He was a wise and careful breeder who gave so much to the breed that his influence will be felt for generations to come. But even more than that he was my friend. He had a smile that would melt your heart and a hug like a big bear. I will miss him. The world that knew him will miss him.
“Good night, sweet prince”
Emred Dikram Devil’s Delores
Ch Emred Dikram Devil’s Brew
Russ had an extremely busy (but normal for him) judging, showing and social schedule.
Recently back from judging in Boston, USA with Mark Young; On 12th June, he and Gisela were at my house in Stockport to look at pups, by Tristar out of my Starlight (a half brother/half sister mating to Spy); 15th June he was in Cardiff with daughter Nikki to see the Rolling Stones; 16th June he had a homebred litter born; Friday, 22nd June at Blackpool Championship Show, Russ’s latest dog bred by Diane Littlefair, Ch Emred Dikram Devil’s Brew took BOB, his 4th ticket and was shortlisted in the Group, whilst his litter sister, Emred Dikram Devil’s Delores won the RCC; On the Saturday he took young Joe horse riding and on Sunday went to a football match, then walked the dogs.............
I had seen my friend grow from a boy into a man, from listening to every word that Arthur Miller uttered to becoming an expert on the breed himself and developing Arthur’s teaching on line breeding to exceed not only his mentor’s achievements but those of other great breeders of prior years, to become recognised the World over as one of the all time great breeders of the bull terrier. Just like his Dad, strong, affectionate, funny, down to earth. Many people will have many stories to tell of Russ. I was proud to be his friend and very humbled to be asked to write about his life.
Our heartfelt sympathy goes to Doreen, Gisela, Linda, Nikki, Joe, brother Joe and to all his family.
Be at peace now Russ.
Compiled by Frank Dyson on behalf of Emred Bull Terriers