WHWTCC Club History
The West Highland White Terrier Club of California began in 1951 at the Long Beach Kennel Club All Breed Benched Show. A group of breeder/exhibitors, headed by Miss Laura Sutherland, was formed to look into the possibility of starting a local West Highland White Terrier Club.
On September 24, 1951, the formation meeting was held at the home of Mr. And Mrs. Arthur Creaney in El Monte. Founding members were Art and Winogene Creaney, Ben and Vivian Gillette, Adeline Huff, Don and Hazel Setterfield, Laura Sutherland, Alma Voskuhler, Margaret Barr, John and Donna Donivan, Mr. And Mrs. James Green, Walter Huff, Leona Lee, and Ruth Murgatroyd.
These founders had the onerous tasks of getting The West Highland White Terrier Club of America approval, preparing and submitting to AKC a constitution and bylaws with a list of charter members. They also came up the club name: West Highland White Terrier Club of California. The reply from the parent club received July 2, 1951 stated that AKC had jurisdiction. The approval of AKC was received from Mr. A. Dick on November 12, 1951.
The first sanctioned A match was held on May 4, 1952 at the Creaney home, as were many of the early matches according to long time members.
The first Specialty Show was held September 9, 1953 at The Beverly Rivera Kennel Club Show in Santa Monica, California. Best of Breed was Am. Can. Ch. Heathertykes Duncan owned by Ruth M. Murgatroyd. Best Opposite Sex was Heatherbelle Miss Muffett owned by Laura B. Sutherland.
The first club bulletin, called the West Highland White Terrier Club of California Bulletin, was edited by Margaret Barr and later evolved in to the California Highlander. Sometime in the late 70’s, David Ogg designed the tradmark club logo. Mr. Ogg’s Westie artwork also took the shape of the club’s Best in Match trophies during the 70’s according to Diana Belles, as well as the Most Valuable Member Perpetual Trophy.
Through the years there were always a few members of the West Highland White Terrier Club of California who were interested in obedience, but in the 1980’s a number of owners active in obedience joined the club. They included Cathleen Blatler, Peggy Sparks, Susan Budge Porter, Mary Kuhlman, Renee Glover, Marcia Lozes, Sherron Corner, Carla Barbula and Jeanine Albaneze.
In 1987, becoming licensed to hold AKC Obedience Trials was first discussed. A fun match was held on April 9, 1988 in San Diego. There were ten Westies entered in all of the regular obedience classes, and the non-regular class Graduate Novice. By September, the entry grew to 12 and the club was on its way.
The first obedience trial was held by the WHWTCC on Friday June 21, 1991 and 26 Westies were entered from as far away as Texas. High in Trial was awarded to Renee Glover and Happymac’s Duke of Bertshire, CD from the Open A Class with a score of 198 out of 200. The following day the WHWTCC hosted the first obedience trial to be held in conjunction with a West Highland White Terrier Club of America Roving Specialty show. Again with an entry of 26 Westies, Ms. Glover and Bert took High in Trial with a score of 199 under judge Mrs. Dorothy McCauley.
In addition to breed and obedience competitions, the WHWTCC maintained a rescue program for Westies in need over the years. While we no longer have the resources for a rescue program, we do refer people to two active Westie Rescue groups in Southern California. You can find this information under Breed Rescue. Each year the club also honors the achievements of the membership and their Westies in December at the Annual Awards Luncheon.
The West Highland White Terrier Club today continues its relationship with the Great Western Terrier Association by holding its annual Specialty in conjunction with their weekend of shows, supporting entry in GWTA, the Sunday all-breed kennel club show and the Monday and Tuesday Earthdog Trials.