Empire Kerry Blue Terrier Club, Inc. History

The Club was started by a group of Kerry enthusiasts who met to investigate promoting the Kerry in obedience. They decided to organize a local breed club for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, “Tri-State KBTC.”  The first elections were held in April of 1956: President – Jean Seward, Vice-President – Peg Tormey, Secretary – Carol Postley, Treasurer – Buss Seward, Board of Governors – Bert Tormey, Bill Aletti, Mrs. James Ranning and Kay Massucco.  In May 1956, the first Tri-State KBTC meeting was held.  At the June meeting Bert Tormey grooming demonstration and on July 11 the Club held its first “Exhibition,” judged by Mrs. Jean Ramstead, at which Best of Exhibition was Bert Tormey’s Marberlane’s Grand Slam over an entry of 12.  After more Exhibitions and an AKC suggested name change, Tri-State became the Empire Kerry Blue Terrier Club.  The Empire club was incorporated on June 29, 1957 and was recognized by the AKC in October of that year.  The Certificate of Incorporation signees were:  Dudley Seward, William Aletti, Bertram Tormey, Margaret Tormey and Kathryn Massucco.

Empire was granted permission of the AKC to hold its first Specialty Show on March 9, 1959 at the Saw Mill River Kennel Club show.  The entry of 42 dogs was judged by Thomas Keator, who chose for BOB Marberlane’s Citation owned by Pat Corless and bred by Bert Tormey.

In November of 1960 the Club was accepted as a Chapter Club of the United States Kerry Blue Terrier Club.  The membership grew and included some of the finest breeders on the East coast – Mrs. Gladys Titcomb, Mrs. Walter Fleisher, Patrick Corless, Jean Underhill, to name only a few.  Activities sponsored by the Club continued – grooming sessions, informal judging demonstrations, movies of other Specialty shows, stewarding instruction, obedience training lectures, veterinarian lectures and judging instructions.  These all were a great aid to the smaller breeders and exhibitors who were swelling the ranks of Empire.  These endeavors continue today.

By 1965 the Specialty Show was held in September with the Westchester Kennel Club.  The 1965 entry was 60 Kerries and at the 1966 show there was an entry of 65.  In 1976 this Specialty was moved the Westbury Kennel Association. It was moved in 2000 to be held with the Suffolk County Kennel Club.  In 1985 the Club started to hold a second Specialty in the spring with the Long Shore Southport Kennel club.  In the 90's this Spring Specialty was moved to the Greenwich Kennel Club show held the same weekend.

Over the years there were various All Breed shows supported by the Club: Staten Island Kennel Club, Associated Terrier Club, Queensboro Kennel Club, Wallkill Kennel Club etc.  Today the Club has Supported entries at the shows surrounding their Specialties:  Long Shore Southport Kennel Club, Brookhaven Kennel club and Westbury Kennel Association. Many of our great breeders have passed on or retired affecting the number of AKC registered Kerries.  Hopefully there will be younger people interested in the breed to replace those of us that are active now.

History repeats itself: 1976 - Patrick Grennan was Ring Steward  -  He continues in that capacity today, 1977 – (These things continue today) – Legislation to limit the number of dogs,  Pet Shops selling Kerries, Puppy Mills,. Kerries needing Relocation or Rescue either from shelters or homes that no longer want them.


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This site was last updated 12/12/05