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  • Janean Marti

Phil Ashton of Burtoncurl

Updated: Feb 28, 2020

Note: this is from a brief article written by Audrey Nicholls in the 1989 International Curly Newsletter. I wanted to include it here so it would not be lost history.



Phil Ashton was a real character, standing over 6 feet tall with an amazing moustache, making an imposing picture. He bought Burtoncurl (his kennel name) La Moquette from Mrs. Wilson-Jones (who has the Diant prefix in Labs and Curlies) in 1958, Darelyn Druin in 1959, Burtoncurl Merry Minx in 1961, and Banworth Snowflake from Delpha Easton in the early 60's. From these, his kennel of "Burtoncurl" was established. He had a number of livers, which were much rarer than they are today.

He worked all his dogs, but did not show very much. He exported Burtoncurl Madam La Coggles (Druin X Merry Minx), and a brother Burtoncurl Aphrodite, to the USA in 1963. He brought the lovely bitch Burtoncurl Katrina (who unfortunately was little shown) to my CH. Darelyn Delrick. The bitch I had from this mating was SH CH Donnaliza of Darelyn.

After this, Phil "disappeared" from the dog world. Many stories were told, and we finally heard that he had died. Imagine my surprise to see him at Crufts in 1987! After some hard times, he had reappeared, and his life looked brighter. He had hoped to attend the English Open Curly Show in '87, but was snowed in. However, in 1988, he and his wife attended the open show and presented the yearly trophies. Fate dealt several blows, and I'm sorry to say that Phil died in March 1989.

I am pleased to pay tribute to him, for without him, and others like him, we would not have the kind of stock we have today.


From the same newsletter, here is what Audrey Nicholls wrote about Donnaliza of Darelyn and Rungles Shackles, both important foundation stock for the breed.


Black Bitch Sire: CH Darelyn Derick. Dam: Burtoncurl Katrina

Breeder: P. Ashton. Owner: Mrs. A. Nicholls

Donnaliza became the breed CC record holder with 29, only recently losing that title to her great-grandson, ENG CH Darelyn Rifleman. She was top CCR bitch in 1973 and 1974, and top CCR in 1975, 1976, and 1978. She produced four litters. The first one, by SH CH Darelyn Darren, contained CH Darelyn Antonia (N), SH CH Darelyn Andy, ad SH CH Darelyn Annette. Later litters contained CH Darelyn Eamon (N) and CH Darelyn Elise (GB).



Black Dog. Sire; Dru of Darelyn. Dam: Wendy O' The Forest

Breeder: Mr. A. Davis. Owner: Mr. Till ("Darelyn"--Audrey Nicholl's father)

Shackles was bought by Mr. Till as a two-year-old, at which time the dog had won one CC when he was the only Curly at the show. Shackles had been Mr. Till's pick of the litter at 6 weeks. Several well-known judges could not understand why Mr. Till had bought him as the dog had the most awful hind action and constantly "paced." Mrs. Till spent 6 hard months on a bicycle with Shackles, and he went on to win 17 CC's and a green star in Ireland. He became the CC record holder for his day, as well as the first Curly to win a Gundog Group in the post-war (Editor's note: World War II), which he did at Blackpool in 1956. Shackles was the sire of: Ch. Banworth Bush Baby, Ch. Banworth Orenda, Ch. Darelyn Dellah, Ch. Darelyn Sarona Nero, Diant Krinkle, Sarona Symphony, Darelyn Dyna, and several others. He was the top CCR sire during the 1950's, and is behind most of the top winning dogs in Great Britain.


Posted Feb. 24, 2020.

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