Peggy Rae founded Cornlands in 1947 with the purchase of Flush of Cornlands. This was to be the start of one of the most influential Labrador kennels over the next six decades, successfully weathering many changes in taste and fashion that have come and gone in the breed while this strain has remained so consistent. The early champions Ch Peter So Gay and Ch Cornlands Westelm Flight who’s breeding leant heavily on the Poppleton kennel, set the type that has been synonymous with Cornlands ever since. Not only did Peggy value quality and breed type but she set store by her show dog’s ability to work in the field as well and she handled in working tests and field trials herself for many years.
The ensuing 60 years produced many champions with the Cornlands stud dogs especially in demand well beyond East Anglia. There can’t be many yellow pedigrees that don’t owe something to this illustrious kennel today. Apart from Peter and Flight, stud dogs of note were Ch Cornlands Landy, Ch. Cornlands Kimvalley Crofter, Cornlands Cedar, Ch.Cornlands Nokeener Highlight, Ch. Cornlands Young Emporer, Sh. Ch. Cornlands Hamlet, Cornlands Diant Man In Black, Cornlands Black Joker, Cornlands Herb Robert, Cornlands Aristocrat, Cornlands Tradition, Money Spinner of Cornlands, Rocheby Royal Blue of Cornlands, Sh. Ch. Marmaduke Maximus of Cornlands and Ch. Cornlands Wellington. Of the many lovely yellow bitches that Cornlands is famous for Ch. Cornlands My Fair Lady and Ch. Cornlands Blond Lady, reign supreme with Sh. Ch. Cornlands Lady Dahlia the most recent champion.
Few breeders can equal the Cornlands showing triumph when, at Crufts back in 1968, Ch. Cornlands My Fair Lady took BOB, Ch. Cornlands Nokeener Highlight won the dog ticket and Rookwood Silver Susan, owned by Mrs. Saffell but bred by Peggy, won the Res Bitch CC! However showing successes aren’t all that this indomitable lady will be remembered for. Peggy Rae gave of her time generously to the breed standing for many years and contributing her valuable knowledge on breed committees. However she refused to give way if she felt something was wrong, standing only for fair play, honesty and integrity. Her dignified, upright bearing and kind gentle manner, courteous to everyone whatever their status, was an example to all. I can never remember her complaining, even the last time I saw her at Leeds championship show when she must have been suffering. Even then she found time to mentor, passing on words of wisdom she’d heard first hand from the doyenne of our breed Lorna Countess Howe regarding changes seen in front assembly and shoulders affecting the breed.
The Cornlands Kennel continues in the hands of James Hindley. James became a partner in the kennel at Peggy’s invitation in the ‘90s and has been handling and managing the dogs since then making up several of the recent champions, still with the recognisably Cornlands type as before.