Club History

 

The state of Victoria was the first to register a Chihuahua in the whole of Australia in 1954. The owner was Mrs G Fairbairn and the dog's name was "Nellistar Mario (Imported UK)" - Registration No. 34767/53; no record was made of his coat type but his colour was white with fawn markings as signed by Mrs Fairbairn on his export certificate. His export certificate was issued on the 20th April, 1954. Mario was born on the 18th February, 1953 and was released from quarantine on the 19th April, 1954. His sire was Primo Of Belamie - Registration No. 8374/52 and his dam was Mexicala of Belamie - Registration No. 57960/50. This dog was never shown or used for breeding registered progeny.

The breed in Australia was actually established by a Mrs Eva McMahon who became a honored patron of the Chihuahua Club of Victoria. Mrs McMahon imported a Smooth Coat from England in 1955 called "Bowerhinton's Denger's Dona Barbara" which whelped 3 puppies on the way over to Australia. The late Mrs Rena Gerardy also had an import on the same boat as Eva's dog, but "Denger's Dona Barbara" was unloaded first at Melbourne, whereas Rena's had to wait to be unloaded at Sydney! Mrs Rena Gerardy imported several tri-colours from the famous English line of "Seggieden" owned by Lady Margaret Drummond-Hay. Mrs Gerardy went on to show and breed quite successfully under the prefix of "Park Royal". Mrs McMahon brought in four altogether but the first arrival "Denger's Dona Barbara" had the distinction of being the first Australian Champion. She had also been a Crufts class winner in England before being shipped out. One of those male pups that came over on the boat to Melbourne with Mum, who was named "Chicdale Don Lorinel" was the first Victorian Champion in 1956. Eva's kennel name was "Chicdale" established by these first four imports which is still in many current pedigrees today if researched back far enough.

The Chihuahua Club of Victoria was formed after having its first meeting on February 28th, 1963 at the Victorian Railways Institute and Mrs Eva McMahon was elected the first President, she held this position for the next 3 years. 18 people were present at the first meeting where a need for a Chihuahua Club was outlined and a further meeting was held two weeks later to form a committee. In this same year, the first Chihuahua Open Show parade was held at the home of Mr and Mrs E Mitchell on Sunday November 24th, 1963 where 43 dogs competed - the judge was a Miss P Russell. The 2nd Chihuahua show was held in 1964 where a Mrs V Riley from England was going to officiate but never arrived due to her husband passing on so a Mr L DeGroen replaced her from New South Wales. This show was held on the 5th of April, 1964 with 42 dogs being exhibited. In this same year it is interesting to note that the first Best In Show Chihuahua winner in Australia (All Breeds) was a dog by the name of Ch. Hardacres Don Jose who had won this honor in 1964. The following year followed much the same pattern with an Open Show held again with a Mrs M Flether judging and receiving 46 chihuahua entries. The 2nd Championship Show was then judged by a Mr Wheatland and he received 50 entries. So one can see the number of Chihuahuas in Victoria was steadily growing in popularity.Some of the first breeders to establish the breed in Victoria were a Mrs Sefton from Geelong with her Tampico Kennels, Mrs P Flemming, Mrs and Mrs Tremayne, Mr and Mrs Rowntree of Marbilhar Kennels, E. Burnard, Mrs and Mrs Deans, Vicki Gardner, Mr & Mrs Warner, Mrs Vagg and Mrs Hillis of Cosita Kennels. Many of these names still live on in many pedigrees today although they may be approximately 20 generations back by now.

Different to the other states in Australia, in New South Wales, the Long Coat Chihuahua and the Smooth Coat Chihuahua were separated in 1966 and banned until 1982. A trail period was then granted in 1982 for 5 years until 1987 and now, today, the Australian state of New South Wales is in line with the rest of the Country and the two varieties are freely allowed to be cross-mated.In Australia the majority of lines were based on Eva McMahon's English stock and the "Chicdale" bloodline, also some stock that were eventually imported from England some years later through other Aussie breeders. Some lines were based on Mrs Thelma Gray's "Rozavel" Chihuahuas, Thelma was a world-renowned respected Judge, Exhibitor and Breeder. She originally sent a friend over to the US to pick up some outstanding specimens of the breed and she became one of the early breeders to establish Chihuahuas in the UK in 1953. She migrated to Australia some years later and lived here until her death but not before establishing the Chihuahua in Australia to a very high standard.

In the late 1970's and early 1980's there were approximately 1000 Chihuahua registrations (both coats) in just Victoria alone. In this era a Long Coat dog sired alot of stock, his name was "Aust. Ch. Hamaja Zorro" a cream/gold dog who sired his last litter at 17 and died not too long after. He was bred and owned by Mrs C. Chubb of the "Hamajaman" prefix and at that time, in the middle eighties nothing else could be bought except "Zorro's" progeny or relatives as I found out in those earlier years. He was a very popular little stud dog. Others that stood out in that time was a Smooth Coat "Aust. Ch. Maiwand Dandie Boy" another good stud and showdog siring progeny of note, a Long Coat "Aust. Ch. Ole Scaramouche" who won alot of Toy Group awards and Royals but sadly did not sire anything of real note, another Long Coat "Aust. Ch. Ole Pipers Cello" who was bred by a Lady Lewis and later owned and exhibited by Thelma Gray.

Today in the 21st century, the registrations for Chihuahuas has dropped significantly in Victoria and indeed all over the country. Ironically the numbers may have dropped but that hasn't fazed Breeders in Australia producing to a very high quality. This will secure a bright future for all to enjoy for many years to come.

Researched and written by, Sanrita Chihuahuas 2007. Some sources: Rose Rowntree of Marbilhar Kennels, Vicdog magazine, National Dog magazine Chihuahua Breed Feature 1992, Chihuahua Club of Victoria calandar 1990, Chihuahua Club of NSW Breed Lecture papers.

 


Contact Details

Cathy Stirling
Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Phone : 0397480487
Email : [email protected]