Fionnuala Introduces Ted Barry


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Fionnuala Malone Introduces Ted Barry
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An introduction to Ted Barry (Blarneyblues).

Once again, thanks to Ted Barry for giving of his time, to share with us, his past, his beliefs and aspirations for Kerry Blues.

Throughout his early years Ted was mostly involved with greyhounds. His Father had a major influence in this regard, bringing him Drag hunting every weekend. This is a humane method of hunting where meat is dragged through fields and later a pack of hounds is let off to follow the scent, and remains popular to this day. From an early age he showed great interest in dogs, both with, his Red Setter, bought for him by his Father and by spending hours walking his neighbour’s greyhounds.

It was not until Ted was married that he got his first Kerry Blue. His brother in law, Gerry O’Neill, had been involved in the breed for quite some time and one winters evening, in 1968, Ted arrived home from work to find an eight week old Kerry pup had taken up residence with them. Needless to say as a dog lover it didn’t take long for him to fall in love with the breed.

He first ventured into the ring in 1977, with a dog, Glenview Lad, bred by John O’Connor, but throughout the years his preference has always been for bitches. Ted prefers the temperament and loyalty of bitches and finds them easier to handle both in and out of the ring.

Over the years he has bred, among others, Am Ch Blarneyblues Armada, owned by Frank Whitmore, Eng Ch Blarneyblues Agrippa, who was owned by the late Malachy Mc Keown, and Pat O’Regan’s Ir Ch Blarneyblues Aramis.

Ted’s first judging appointment was in 1987 at the Fermoy Members show. He officiated over Kerry Blues at the Irish Ladies Kennel Association bi annual championship show, in 1988. At present he is qualified to judge all the Terrier breeds, including the Group, at Championship level, and Best in Show at Open Show level. He is looking forward to judging the Kerry Blue Terrier of England Club show in 2000. Ted, for many years served as Chairman of the International Kerry Blue Terrier Club and last year, on the Clubs 30th anniversary he handed over the reins to a founder member of the club, Eddie Madden.

Ted has been through a rather difficult time of late, suffering from a painful neck and back injury and then losing his beloved Kencot Sapphire Serenade. They say every cloud has a silver lining, if this is true then BlarneyBlues Grinder is that silver lining. He is a son of Sapphire Serenade and has taken the ring by storm. So far he has been pulled in many Puppy Stakes classes, has won Best Pup in Show at the All Terrier Association Show, under Noel Reidy, a breed specialist, and has also won many Terrier Groups at Open Show level. Needless to say Ted is looking forward to campaigning him up through the higher classes.

Ted likes to see free and powerful movement in Kerries, with both fore and hind legs moving straight and parallel, hocks flexed and brought well under the body on the move. His preference is for well coloured and good coated dogs with or without black points but feels that while colour is desirable it should not be a prime consideration. A dog of poor quality with good coat and colour should never be placed above a structurally superior dog that is not as advanced in colour. He also desires a good dark eye, of small to medium size, which lends itself to keen Terrier expression. His belief that the standard should be adhered to follows through to height also, his desired size, although within the standard would be at the lower end of the scale, for both dogs and bitches.

He would like to see more liaisons between the four breed clubs in Ireland to promote to its’ full potential the Kerry Blue, its’ character and capabilities. Ted also feels that newcomers to our breed should be encouraged to learn more about the breed and take part in shows. To this regard he feels that Open Shows are very beneficial. Unfortunately at present they are ill attended, as we are all chasing those vital points, but due to their more relaxed atmosphere Ted believes Open shows to be more beneficial to novices.

One of his fears is that too many people judge dogs harshly, from outside the ring, without ever having put their hands over them. For newcomers, especially, this can be very discouraging. It goes without saying that with a decline in entries across the board, we need to present newcomers with the virtues of our sport and our breed and strive to keep new, enthusiastic people in Kerries. Dog showing, Ted believes, is a great past time and should be enjoyed, therefore whatever the outcome in the ring, it should be accepted gracefully.

“Life is just a passing light.”

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