At the request of the Cavalier Club, we have compiled a tribute to Molly Coaker’s remarkable achievements and her contribution to the Cavalier breed. We hope this accolade does justice to the success she richly deserved.
Norma & Gordon Inglis (CRAIGOWL)


 
Mrs K M Coaker (Molly) and the Homerbrent Cavaliers

The death of Molly Coaker, at the age of 73, on 7 November 2010, was a blow, not only to the Cavalier world, but to the world of dogs as a whole. Her ability as a breeder and exhibitor would be considered exceptional in any breed and in this tribute, on behalf of Cavalier lovers across the Globe, we acknowledge and celebrate, all that she did for Cavaliers.

By the time we became regular attendees at Championship Shows in 1974, Molly Coaker and the Homerbrents were already established in the show ring, having made up 2 champions in 1972 and 1973. For some that would be the culmination of a life’s efforts as a breeder. However, for Molly her star was merely rising and she would go on to be the most successful breeder and exhibitor in the breed’s history.

Our attention was drawn to the Homerbrents, not by seeing her dogs, but by a particular dog in Scotland, where we lived until 1979, that had a Homerbrent sire. This was Prince Robert of The Grange (by Ch Homerbrent Minstrel), a small tricolour dog with an enchanting head and expression, owned by Brian Arnott. The first championship show we entered was in August 1974 and it was quite an adventure for us, as it involved a long drive from Scotland then into the Peak District to the Northern Club’s show at the Pavilion Gardens in Buxton. A beautiful venue and a warm summer’s day, topped by the fact that Molly was there with an impressive team, including the minor puppy Andy Capp, the blenheim Highlander, Champion Minstrel, Samantha and the bitch CC winner that day under Amy Nugent, the beautiful Captivation. A wonderful day was spent at the ringside soaking up Cavaliers. I recall another young couple on the other side of the ring, taking it all in, Brian Rix and Kevan Berry (Ricksbury)

The Homerbrent Cavaliers were to dominate the show ring for more than quarter of a century. In this tribute, there is a lot of what some might consider statistical data. However, this is necessary to illustrate the extent of the success of Molly as a breeder and exhibitor and the far-reaching influence her dogs have had in shaping the breed as we know it today.

Listed below are the Champions shown by Molly, with regular assistance from the teenage Anne in the earlier years. Reading the names and the years they were made up will, no doubt, provoke memories of the dogs, the times, the occasions and, of course, Molly showing each of them in her unflustered and understated way.

Ch Homerbrent Lindy Lou 1972
Ch Homerbrent Minstrel 1973
Ch Homerbrent Captivation 1974
Ch Homerbrent Samantha 1974
Ch Homerbrent Andy Capp 1976
Ch Heidi of Homerbrent 1977
Ch Homerbrent Samson 1977
Ch Homaranne Caption 1978
Ch High Head Dolly Dimple 1979
Ch Ronnoc Rhum of Sancem 1981
Ch Homerbrent Pegasus 1982
Ch Homerbrent Bewitched 1982
Ch Homaranne Carson 1984
Ch Homerbrent Romeo 1984
Ch Homerbrent Cover Girl 1984
Ch Homerbrent Carnival 1985
Ch Homerbrent Pentilly 1986
Ch Caroline of Homerbrent 1988
Ch Homerbrent Festival 1988
Ch Homerbrent Jaspar 1992
Ch Pageant of Homerbrent 1991
Ch Easter Gala of Homerbrent 1992
Ch Homerbrent Tradition 1993
Ch Homerbrent Illusion 1997
Ch Homerbrent Isadora 1998
Ch Homerbrent Expression 1999

In addition there were others bred by Molly:
Lil and Roy Steven’s Ch Homerbrent Attraction of Milkeyn 1985
Pauline Thrupp’s Ch Homerbrent Emerald 1986
Heather Wheeler’s Ch Homerbrent High Day 1991

as well as others, including two of ours, that carried the Homerbrent affix
Ch Craigowl Storm of Homerbrent 1985
Ch Devon Lass of Homerbrent at Ricksbury 1985
Ch Craigowl Hopscotch of Homerbrent 1991

A number were multi CC winners, like Caption and Pentilly who each had 13, Captivation, Samantha and Jaspar with 10 each. However, there were no record chasers. Instead, there always seemed to be yet another Homerbrent coming behind or like the proverbial buses, a number would come along at the same time.

The success of the Homerbrent show dogs inevitably led to their being in demand as Stud Dogs and in the 16 years from 1978 to 1993 Homerbrent/Homaranne dogs won The Cavalier Club’s Stud Dog Trophy 13 times and were 2nd twice and 4th in the other year. Commencing in 1978 and 1979 with the tricolour Homaranne Andy Capp, he ceded his position in 1980 to his half brother Homaranne Caption, who held the top spot for 7 years until 1986. In 1988 and 1990, Homerbrent Carnival was the winner, and for 1992 and 1993 the position was held by Homerbrent Jeremy of Cottismeer.

However, the record of Caption is, I think, unsurpassable. He sired 16 champions in his long and distinguished life, listed below.

Ch Peatland Flora Jenson (bitch) 1980
Ch Ricksbury Only Charm (b) 1981
Ch Pinewood Snowflake (b) 1981
Ch Hurleaze Naughty But Nice (b) 1981
Ch Homerbrent Bewitched (b) 1982
Ch Crieda Rosella (b) 1983
Ch Homaranne Carson (dog) 1984
Ch Homerbrent Cover Girl (b) 1984
Ch Craigowl Cashmere (b) 1984
Ch Craigowl Storm of Homerbrent (b) 1985
Ch Devon Lass of Homerbrent at Ricksbury (b) 1985
Ch Homerbrent Attraction of Milkeyn (b) 1985
Ch Homerbrent Emerald (b) 1986
Ch Cherokee of Rossbonny at Delhaze (d) 1990
Ch Craigowl Hoodwink (d) 1990
Ch Craigowl Hopscotch of Homerbrent (d) 1991

Ch Homerbrent Carnival sired 5 champions, Festival, Highday, Pageant, Telvara Kasanova (1991) and Tweedworth Carnavella (1990).

Ch Homaranne Andy Capp sired 4 Champions, Tregarron Caprice (1978), Amantra Bohemian Rhapsody (1978), Sweet Seraphim of Amantra (1980) and Talark Jamie Lad of Lymrey (1985).

Ch Homarannne Carson sired 4, Caroline, Carnival, and the Milkeyn brothers Matchmaker and Mascot (1987).

Lorraine Higgins’ Homerbrent Jeremy at Cottismeer sired 4, Toraylac Joshua (1994), Pamenda Lord Byron (1994), Pamedna Dee–Lite (1994) and former CC record-holder Spring Tide at Alansmere (1991).

The following Champions also had Homerbrent sires.

Ch Tregarron Tanya’s Kathy 1975
Ch Dill of High Head 1980
Ch Salador Crystabelle 1982
Ch Cottismeer Gem Signet 1982
Ch Lanola Sister Sledge 1983
Ch Merrylaine Made to Measure for Symra 1986
Ch Moonglow Venturer at Trirayne 1990
Ch Ronnoc Rumba 1991
Ch Fontelania Whispering to Charalier 1992
Ch Fontelania Dancing Brave 1993

A glance through the above reveals many affixes that have become household names in the World of Cavaliers, illustrating the esteem in which Molly and her cavaliers were held and how they have contributed both to the breed in general and to the success of those breeders who chose to tap in to the Homerbrent fountain. There were a number of others, ourselves included, who were fortunate to obtain Homerbrent bitches on which they have substantially based their breeding. Indeed, examine a present day pedigree and you are most likely to find the Homerbrent name somewhere.

It would be difficult to estimate how many Cavalier enthusiasts from all corners of the globe, have sat in that South Brent kitchen, enjoying the unassuming hospitality of Molly and her family, talking about Cavaliers in general and enjoying the company of some of the very special canine personalities detailed above. She seemed to have a natural affinity and skill to nurture and develop all growing things, be it dogs, children or plants! We should all be grateful that she turned her special talent to Cavaliers and feel extremely fortunate that she touched our lives.

A truly sad time for not only the Coaker family but for the whole of the Cavalier Community worldwide. There will be many, many tributes from across the globe in the weeks ahead and I am happy to display these on ChatterBox at www.cavaliers.co.uk. If anyone feels they would like to express their feelings in respect of one of the “greats” in our breed please email your message to me, ncraigowl@btinternet.com and this can be displayed. Many may not have known Molly personally but feel they would like to pay their respects as the Homerbrent affix has had such a good influence on the breed and we all owe her our gratitude for her ability to breed such beautiful dogs, sound both in mind and body. Anyone with a love of Cavaliers has reason to feel this loss. In time, her family may get comfort from these tributes and appreciate all our sentiments. The page on Chatterbox will remain open indefinitely to receive tributes.
Sometimes though, a few words of condolences doesn’t quite cover the depth of association and feelings involved, and a more detailed tribute is merited.
I am sure there are many who would like to post a longer, more personal piece about their individual involvement with Molly and the Homerbrents. Molly’s own contribution to the breed assisted so many along the way of their own journey in Cavaliers and if anyone feels they would like to post more than a line or two, please contact me as I have opened a second page on ChatterBox, solely for this purpose.

Norma Inglis
 
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