As I am often asked how the story of the Hellensteiner Spaniels started, I will try to give a short survey on the origin of the kennel 'vom Schloss Hellenstein'. In 1936 my mother obtained a cocker spaniel as an engagement present from my father. She was 16 years old and the cocker originated from the famous german kennel Maerpetz. Her name was Adda Maerpetz.
My mother married at the age of twenty years and my parents intended to establish a big family with four boys and a girl. Their wishes came true, but because there were also twins among their children, it resulted in five boys and one girl. I am the girl.
After my parents had successfully fulfilled their repopulation duties, the idea was mooted that Adda’s successor, Zawa Maerpetz, should also have babies. As they wanted a pedigree litter, they used under the circumstances of the postwar years the first new marks to pay for the service of Rex von der Blau.
My earliest childhood memories are connected with spaniel puppies, which were my playmates from the beginning. There was also a dachshund called Socrates who went to church with us and was often thrown out by the deacon as he accompanied the organ with loud howling. Another of his habits was to enjoy the sun by lying on his back in the middle of the road. The moment we children heard a car, which at those times was - thank goodness - very often, one of us ran to rescue “Söckchen” from the road. Then there was Bobby, a boxer from an animal shelter, who often intended to run away and vanish during a walk. He was well known in the village and my parents paid a raft of money to people who brought him home again.
However our first love was always a spaniel. At that time we lived at Heidenheim an der Brenz and knew that there was a spaniel kennel near Schorndorf. Wherever our Sunday excursions took us they always ended in front of the fence of the kennel, the then famous “ vom Silberhaus” spaniel kennel. I will never forget the lot of coloured spaniel puppies that gambolled on the lawn of the kennel. As almost every Sunday we stood at the fence and stared, somehow or other a conversation was started with Liselotte Deutsch, the breeder. To make a long story short, it took not long and Arabella vom Silberhaus (SpZB 2186/56), a black and white bitch, joined our family. Bella, as we called her, was the founding bitch of our kennel. Even we novices understood very soon that Arabella represented everything one could wish for in a cocker at that time.
Already in the second litter by Arbar vom Silberhaus (SpZB 2456/56), a son of the famous GB.Ch. Colinwood Silver Lariot, Arnika vom Schloß Hellenstein (SpZB 1428/60) was born. Arnika was a beautiful bitch who caused admiration at shows. With this black and white bitch the corner stone was laid of a kennel which has lasted now for fifty years. Arnika gave birth to Ambassadeur (SpZB 1936/62) by Falcon's Fantasy of Hilltop (SpZB 3870/58), to Effendi (SpZB 536/64) and Episode (SpZB 539/64) by Inverneiti Orange Quille, to Pizarro (SpZB 1545/65) by Silverdawn Daintyson and Sturmwolke (SpZB 3392/65) by Dionys (SpZB R2868/63). Sturmwolke in turn is the mother of Toleranz (SpZB 3012/72) as well as Folcdancer (SpZB 1567/71) by Franklin (SpZB 551/69). The blue roan Folcdancer has largely influenced the breed in the Czech Republic.
Via the blue roan Dt.Ch.(VDH) Cliff z Jamnika (CLP/22153/93 - SpZB 1899/97), which has been bred in the Czech Republic, these ancestral Hellensteiner parti-colours still and sustainably impress the continental breeding of the English Cocker for use as a gun dog. Naturally, the current Hellensteiner English Cocker trace back directly to Arnika vom Schloß Hellenstein as well. The orange/white Franklin vom Schloß Hellenstein (SpZB 551/69) was bred by Pizarro out of Episode. Franklin vom Schloß Hellenstein, in turn, sired Twiggy von Avalun (SpZb 2657/71), which gave birth to the black & white Yesterday vom Schloß Hellenstein (SpZB 1805/75). Next in this line are two of Yesterdays great-grandchildren, James vom Schloß Hellenstein (SpZb 0883/82) out of Winnie vom Schloß Zeiler Berg (SpZB 1209/79) by Bournehouse Blue Print (KC 180204/74 - SpZB 4408/75) as well as Kalinka vom Schloß Zeiler Berg (SpZb 1968/84) out of Emeli vom Schloß Zeiler Berg (SpZB 2112/81) by Bazi vom Münchener Kindl (SpZB 2521/82). The blue roan bitch Donna Monica vom Schloß Hellenstein (SpZB 1916/86) was bred by James vom Schloß Hellenstein out of Kalinka vom Schloß Zeiler Berg. Donna Monica vom Schloß Hellenstein gave birth to Westernlilly vom Schloß Hellenstein (SpZB 0620/91) bred by Dt.Ch. (VDH) Nikita vom Aachener Wald (SpZB 1585/86). Westernlilly's daughter by Dt.JCh., Dt.Ch VDH+Klub, Dt.VCh. Orange Flash vom Aachener Wald (SpZB 2547/86) is Josephine vom Schloß Hellenstein (SpZB 1887/92). The last step to the current Hellensteiner parti-colours is Dt.Ch.(VDH) Hofdame vom Schloß Hellenstein (SpZB 0488/95), which was bred by Dt.Ch.(VDH) Joaldy Captain Morgan (KC R1501302R03 - SpZB 1334/91) out of Josephine vom Schloß Hellenstein.
Already at the age of ten years I was experienced in breaking membranes, rubbing newborn puppies, putting puppies on teats and docking tails. After the first time I saw how chic a well known breeder had trimmed his show winner I threw myself with enthusiasm also into this job. As my mother was crazy for spaniels, we children (who each had our own room) were allowed after the birth to take our favourite dog with puppies into our rooms.
I was a bookworm, but during my reading my glance was often directed to the welping box, where the puppies were enthusiastically sucking at their mothers teats. I soon developed the feeling as well as an eye for which one would be the best. The first champions that came out of our kennel were chosen by me during the reading of Anatol France and the poems of Erich Kästner. From that moment my mother left me to choose which dogs to retain for breeding.
Great enthusiasms for many things in my life have faded, other interests have appeared but, as I see it, my absolute fascination with spaniels has grown over the years.