What makes a great dog? Is it genetics? Is it the way he's raised? Is it due to training? Is it due to handling? Or is it all of the above?
NFC 2xNAFC Super Chief, an historic Labrador, would probably say all of the above.
Born in 1962, Soupy was given to August "Augie" Belmont IV by his breeder because a previous dog from the breeder had turned out unsound. A few months later, Augie flew out to California to take Soupy to Rex Carr for training.
To be trained by a legend would definitely help a dog achieve greatness.
Rex Carr often trained the owners to handle their own dogs - a task that's probably more difficult than training the dogs. It must have worked though as Augie and his wife, Louise, handled Soupy to many field trial wins. Starting with five Derby wins by 19 months, Soupy won 40 Derby points, 112 Amateur points and 242 Open points. He also won the 1967 and 1968 National Amateur Retriever championship plus the 1968 National Retriever championship.
Soupy had a good trainer and good handlers.
What about genetics? His parents were both grandchildren of DUAL CH Grangemead Precocious who was sired by 3xNFC CFC DUAL CH Shed of Arden out of Huron's Lady who was a mixture of English show, field and dual champions. Add in crosses to Am Eng FC Hiwood Mike and to NFC AFC CFC Cork of Oakwood Lane plus a few more crosses to Shed and his cousin, DUAL CH CFC Little Pierre of Deer Creek and a few other dual champions. There is also a line that includes dogs from the Sandylands show kennel through FC The Spider of Kingswere.
|FC AFC Paha-Sapa Chief II||FC Freehaven Muscles||DUAL CH Grangemead Precocious|
|Treasure State Bewise ***||FC The Spider of Kingswere|
|FC Deer Creek's Bewise|
|Ironwood Cherokee Chica||DUAL CH Cherokee Buck||DUAL CH Grangemead Precocious|
|Glen-Water Fantom||NFC AFC CFC Cork of Oakwood Lane|
|Little Peggy Black Gum|
Click to see his 5-generation pedigree.
Soupy was bred to a variety of bitches, some with field breeding, but also to some with show breeding. Between his pedigree and his offspring, I'd say he also had good genetics.
Some of his offspring include:
* DUAL CH Shamrock Acres Super Drive
Sire of Am Mex CH Gunfield's Super Charger CD WC who did much to improve chocolates
* DUAL CH Royal Oaks Jill of Burgundy 2005 Hall of Fame
* NFC NAFC 2xCNFC Wanapum Darts Dandy 1992 Hall of Fame
* FC AFC Air Express
Sire of many field champions, including FC AFC Itchin' To Go, CNFC FC Overland Express, FC AFC CFC Trieven Thunderhead, FC AFC CFC CAFC Wanapum Super Sioux, NAFC FC Winsom Cargo and DUAL CH AFC Trumarc's Triple Threat
* FC AFC Candlewood's Nellie B Good
Granddam of FC AFC Wilderness Harley To Go 2003 Hall of Fame and FC AFC Candlewoods M D Houston 1996 Hall of Fame
* NFC FC AFC Euroclydon (pronounced u-roc-li-don)
1993 Hall of Fame and dam of NFC FC AFC Orion's Sky 1994 Hall of Fame
* FC Candlewood's Super Deal
Grandsire of 3xNFC FC AFC Candlewood's Tanks A Lot
* Super Powder QAA
Sire of NFC AFC FTCH Risky Business Ruby 1993 Hall of Fame and FC AFC Volwood's Ruff And Reddy 2000 Hall of Fame plus grandsire of FC AFC Code Blue 2000 Hall of Fame and FC AFC CNFC CAFC Chena River No Surprise 2004 Hall of Fame
* Shamrock Acres Juego de Azar
Granddam of FC AFC River Oaks Way-Da-Go Rocky
* Shamrock Acres Super Sioux
Dam of FC AFC Raider's Piper Cub
* Sirion's Super Snooper
Dam of CFC Rascal's Super Spud who sired CNFC CNAFC Waldorf's High Tech who sired Lean Mac
* Paha Sapa Greta
Dam of FC AFC Ironwood Tarnation 1995 Hall of Fame
* Cup A Soup
Dam of NFC AFC CFC CAFC Yankee Independence
* FC Shamrock Acres Super Value 1998 Hall of Fame
* Shamrock Acres Duck Soup
Dam of FC AFC CFC CAFC Candlewoods Mad Mouse 1994 Hall of Fame
* FC Wanapum Sheba
Dam of NAFC FC Kannonball Kate 1992 Hall of Fame
And several more titled offspring.
Is Soupy in our pedigrees? Yes, many times.
Chip and all of his descendants trace to him through DUAL CH Shamrock Acres Super Drive (12 times!) and CH Gunfields Super Charger CD, DUAL CH Trumarc's Triple Threat, FC AFC Air Express, FC AFC CFC Trieven Thunderhead, FC AFC Candlewood's Nellie Be Good, CH K's Jetta of Someday, AFC Shamrock Acres Whiskey Jake
Dee and her descendants trace to him through FC AFC Canis Major's River Bear
Cat and her descendants trace to him through 2xNAFC 2xCNAFC FC CFC Ebonstar Lean Mac, CNFC CNAFC FC AFC The Marathon Man, FC AFC CFC CAFC Candlewoods Mad Mouse (twice) and NFC FC AFC Westwind Supernova Chief
By the way, if you follow horse racing you'll recognize the family name. Although Augie also owned race horses, he was not as active as his grandfather, August Belmont II, or great grandfather, August Belmont, who founded Belmont Park and for whom the Triple Crown race was named.