A Brief History of Our Club

The Del Monte Kennel Club, "Classic of the Pacific," was originally founded by the Ladies Kennel Association in 1908. The American Kennel Club licensed these shows with Winners Classes offered in twenty or so breeds shown. The results of judging were sent to AKC and published in the American Kennel Gazette. Championships were then conferred on qualifying dogs by AKC. All Officers, Directors and Members of the club were female, and the shows were held at the Hotel Del Monte in Del Monte (now Monterey) California. The Superintendent was Thomas J Blight. The first President was Mrs. W.C. Ralston of Oakland.

 

In 1924, Samuel Finley Brown Morse organized the Del Monte Kennel Club as part of his Del Monte Properties. The Kennel Club was a closed, private organization run by Mr. Morse and officers of Del Monte Properties. The club's annual show was held on the lawn in front of the Del Monte Hotel until 1946, as a hotel event. The occasion was quite prestigious, beautiful and elegant. It began on Saturday afternoon and lasted for two days. Twenty-seven breeds were represented in the 1924 show, with over 100 dogs entered. The train tracks from San Francisco ran right by the Del Monte Hotel. Dogs to be shown at the dog show in Monterey were sent from San Francisco in a special car and were returned to San Francisco after the show was over on that special train.

 

Reportedly, handlers, owners and judges at times retired to the hotel bar, and thus adherence to a schedule was impossible (?) Groups were sometimes not held until 11:00 pm. Many movie stars used to come to the show. In 1936, Gary Cooper's bitch, a Sealyham, CH hollyQuick Delia, was Best in Show. Stu Erwin, another movie star who owned a Scottie, afterward went to the bar with Gary Cooper and accused him of fixing the show. A shuffle ensured. Shows were more openly political in those times before the use of AKC field reps to oversee actions of judges and exhibitors. In later years, handler Ben Brown, who had an especially devious reputation, was threatened by fellow handler, John Kickey, to a "hat pin in the rear" when Brown attempted to back himself into Hickey's dog. An in another like fashion, Ben Brown was literally jumped on by a professional wrestler-handler when he started a conversation with the judge in the ring.

 

In the catalog were ads of prestigious hotels, fancy new cars and liquor ads. The Hotel Comino and Grill in Salinas, frequented by John Steinbeck is cited for a trophy donation, as are the hotels St. Francis, Fairmont and Palace in San Francisco. In the 1929 catalog is an ad for the new Ford Town Car. "It is the personal car of intimate size, unquestioned taste, and delightful convenience in crowded city traffic." Later there were ads for Jaguars and Cadillacs.

 

By 1937, obedience was offered with Novice, Open and Utility divisions: the obedience entry was twenty-six dogs. Also, the individual breeds in conformation were classified and divided into six groups and by 1937, the total entry of the show was nearly 400 dogs. For the year 1938, it is of interest that AKC offered cash prizes to be competed for at all-breed shows. The prize given best in show for an American-bred dog or bitch was $25.00 and $15.00 was given for winning a group. In 1940, Venita Oakie, the very beautiful wife of famous comedian actor, Jack Oakie, was Best in Show with the Afghan Hound, CH Barbarryhill Dolly.

 

During most of the 1930's and 40's, Marion Kingland, a woman who worked in real estate, owned a kennel and bred Welsh Terriers served as secretary of DMKC and ran these shows. In the World War II year of 1941 there was no show held. In the years of 1946-48, after the Del Monte Hotel was bought by the Navy (it became the Naval Postgraduate School). The show was held in the parking lot of the Mission Ranch. The entry in the show was just under 500 dogs. These years are described as a rather chaotic time when occasional drunks from Mission Ranch bars ended up in dog show rings.

 

Derek Rayne, not at that time a member, first showed in Del Monte Kennel club's show in 1940. In the years that followed, he won two Working Groups with Welsh Corgis and in 1948, a Terrier Group and Best in Show with the Wire Fox terrier, Ch Elsking of Foxlorn. In 1949, the show was moved to the Del Monte Lodge and was held in a site adjacent to the tennis courts.

 

Later in 1949, aware that DMKC had a closed membership, Derek Rayne wrote AKC wanting to start a new kennel club in Carmel, CA. As a result of this request, in 1950, AKC wrote to S.F.B.Morse and associates asking them to admit twelve new members. Mr. Morse gathered twelve men and women and thereby formed the current Del Mont Kennel Club.

 

The original twelve members are listed as follows: Samuel F.B. Morse, president and founder of Del Monte Properties, Henry Tiedemann, treasurer of Del Monte Properties; Mr. And Mrs. Derek Rayne, by now Derek was the youngest AKC all-breed judge; Joele Craige, wife of show veterinarian John Craige; Helen Heavy, wealthy friend of Mr. Morse; Marion Kingsland; Dr. Ralph Weston, veterinarian; Mr. And Mrs. Jake Huisenga, breeders of Irish setters and German Short haired Pointers, owners of Oxton Kennels in Salinas and Mr. And Mrs. Richard Collins, horse people who ran the stables at Pebble Beach (Collins field was named after).

 

In 1949, the show was moved to the Lodge at Pebble Beach and was held in a site adjacent to the tennis courts. In 1950 at the request of the AKC the closed membership of DMKC was opened to other local dog fanciers. This created the structure of the current club. In 1950, the 25th anniversary show was held on the lawn in front of the Lodge at Pebble Beach.http://www.loonhill.com/dog/dogs/ The show was benched and there were 508 dogs entered. Marion Kinsland was the show chairman. For most of the shows of the 1950's Derek Rayne served as show chairman and starting 1953 (when DMKC became an AKC Member Club) he served also as AKC delegate. Beginning in 1952, the show became permanently unbenched and it continued to by held in front of the Lodge until May 1968.

 

In 1957, Tom and Ann Stevenson, Poodle breeders and later, well-respected judges, became club members and remained active throughout the 1960's. The show of 1958 will be remembered as the year that only seven of the eleven dogs and bitchs in the Terrier Group were shown. It seems that handlers led by Ric Chashoudiean, Ben Brown and Jim McManus among others, agreed to boycott the judge of that group and did not appear. Of course this caused a stir.

 

During the 1950"s and until 1966, Bernice Behrendt was the show superintendent, and from then Jack Brashaw through 1978. By 1960, with an entry of 1555 dogs, the Del Monte show as the largest unbenched show in the nation and the 8th largest all-breed show.

 

Beginning in the latter 50's the club organized conformation and obedience classes held as a community service. In 1959, the first of subsequent annual puppy matches was held at the Lodge in Pebble Beach. The match was moved to the fairgrounds in 1961.

 

The early 1960's were turbulent times for Del Monte Kennel club. Frank Grover, a Doberman breeder interested in obedience, served as president and show chairman from 1961-1966. During this time the club was frequently in much discord and turmoil. The board held several hearing charging individual members with conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the club. Resulting in six month suspensions and expulsion for these members. There were charges leveled by one member against two other members which resulted in six month suspensions; and Frank Groves was formally accused in writing of being dictatorial. Definitely an "us against them" mentality existed so far as the board and a certain faction of the membership were concerned.

 

Derek Rayne served as AKC delegate until 1962 when he was removed by Mr. Grover who wished to serve as delegate himself. AKC did not allow Grover to serve as president, show chairman and also as delegate, so for six years Del Monte had no delegate. Grover resigned as president and show chairman in 1966. In 1969 a new constitution and bylaws of Del Monte Kennel Club providing for the election of AKC delegate and served until 1972, at which time he resigned because of his professional status as a judge.

 

In 1966, letters of incorporation were drawn up and Del Monte Kennel Club, Inc. a non-profit (but not tax exempt) corporation was formed. At this point, financial booking was removed from Del Monte Properties' offices and put into new accounts in the bank.

 

In Dec. of 1962 and 1963, in addition to the May show at the Lodge, winter shows were held at the Monterey Fairground with entries of 500 dogs each. Jr. Showmanship was first offered at the Dec. 1962 show. The entries of the May shows at the Lodge throughout 1967, held at just over 1600 dogs.  

 

By 1960, with an entry of 1555 dogs, the Del Monte show was the largest unbenched show in the nation and the 8th largest all-breed show. The annual summer show was called the "Classic of the Pacific". Beginning in the latter 1950's the club organized conformation and obedience classes held as a community service. In 1959, the first of subsequent annual puppy matches was held at the Lodge in Pebble Beach. The match was moved to the fairgrounds in 1961. In 1966, letters of incorporation were drawn up and Del Monte Kennel Club, Inc. a non-profit corporation was formed. At this point, the club's deposits were removed from Del Monte Properties and put into a separate club bank account. This completed the separation of the club from Del Monte Properties. In 1969 the club adopted a new constitution and bylaws of Del Monte Kennel Club and this provided for the election of an AKC delegate. During the last three decades the club has continued to operate as an AKC licensed club. In the mid 1990's it was decided to combine our two annual shows into back-to-back shows held in mid July. This was necessary because of the increasing entries at our fall show coupled with the limitation of only 500 dogs for the summer Pebble Beach show at the Lodge due to the size of the lawn. The shows offer both conformation and obedience. The show site has changed over the years being held at the Carmel Middle School, Laguna Seca Regional Park, California State University of Monterey Bay and in 2008 moved back to the grounds at Carmel Middle School. A separate two-day Agility Trial is held in early June.

 

During the last three decades the club has continued to operate as an AKC licensed club. In the mid 1990's it was decided to combine our two annual shows into back-to-back shows held in mid July. This was necessary because of the increasing entries at our fall show coupled with the limitation of only 500 dogs for the summer Pebble Beach show at the Lodge due to the size of the lawn. The shows offer both conformation and obedience.