I WAS terribly sorry to hear that Peter Baynes of the Bainridge Boxers had died at the grand old age of 87. I got to know him very well from numerous trips to the US, but Peter was a Yorkshireman by birth and I am grateful to his good friend Philip Greenway for talking to me about his early life, writes Tim Hutchings.
Philip first met up with Peter and his wife Helga at the Hazel Grove open show in 1962. At this time Peter was showing an elegant red son of Sonna The Norseman called Bainridge Optimum with considerable success. He also won two RCCs with a Norseman daughter called B Lady Fair and a CC with B Top Spot. In fact they had a whole team of good Boxers, including Burstall Nina whom they obtained when Major Bostock’s famous kennel disbanded.
Peter was always happy to talk Boxers and his perception of what made a good one was always worth listening to. He quickly became a popular judge and Philip remembers going under him with Rayfos Lone Ranger at the Tyne Wear and Tees, travelling up with Bobbie Singleton who took the future Ch Pensing Anita and Valerie Garrett with Calidad Oh Be Cheerful. A couple of years later, in ’64, Peter achieved one of his dreams by awarding CCs at the Merseyside Boxer Club when he made up June Grover’s Ch Ackendene Royal Fern and gave the bitch CC to Anita.
In ‘67, when their son Jeff was ten, Peter and Helga emigrated to America, taking over Ed Shannonburger’sSundowner kennel in South Carolina. Here they achieved considerable success across the whole spectrum of boarding, grooming, breeding, handling and latterly judging. Philip well remembers working his notice when changing companies by spending time with Peter and Helga, and it was during this stay that he went up to the Montgomery terrier weekend with Peter on the first of many visits.
As a handler Peter made up countless champions in more than 70 breeds, but his primary interest in Boxers never waned and in America they continued to breed, achieving a Dam of Merit who produced five champions. After retiring from handling, he became an American Kennel Club (AKC) field representative for some time, and he pursued a successful judging career. He was passed by the AKC for many breeds and also best in show, awarding the top prize more than 20 times.
In ‘91 he judged the American Boxer Club (ABC) futurity and he judged the club’s National as recently as 2012. In the UK he was always being asked back by popular demand. He judged both sexes at the British Boxer Club in ‘79, awarding BIS to Ch Gremlin Summer Storm and starting off the future Ch Winuwuk Good Golly with her first CC from novice.
In ‘96, in celebration of their golden jubilee, Peter judged the males for his ‘home’ Boxer club, the Northern. His ticket winner was Ch Blueprint Beern Skittles at Walkon, and he agreed with his co-judge Ferelith Somerfield for Ch Roamaro Scotch Mist of Winuwuk to go BIS. Completing a trio of plum appointments he was asked to do the bitches at Crufts in ‘02 where his CC winner, Ch Merribox Endless Gossip, went BOB in agreement with Mary Foan and then went on to place third in the group.
The last trip that Peter and Helga made to the UK was for the happy occasion of Philip’s marriage to Gill which coincided with their own golden wedding anniversary. They travelled across, in great style, on the QE2 and as ever they were the life and soul of the party.
Peter had tremendous warmth about him and people sought out his company which he loved, often capturing the moment on film since he loved to take snaps of everyone he met. Whenever I caught up with him I was always struck by how normal he was, with no airs and graces. He was happy talking to anyone, and unlike some high-flying all-rounders he always gave you his full attention. He never engaged in that annoying habit of looking over your shoulder just checking the room to see if anyone more important had arrived.
I have so many happy memories of sitting with him at the bar at successive ABCs just talking Boxers and dogs in general. He was always well informed on what was going on back home and was genuinely interested. On one occasion he told me that he had suffered a brush with cancer and he mentioned how grateful he was for his second lease of life. He certainly made the most of it!
Peter was a dedicated Boxer man, a big man with a big heart and he had a big commitment to all things good. May God bring comfort to Helga and family at this time of great loss.