From His Dogs, by Kristina
T. Marshall, The Collie Health
There is good news for those of us who were born too late to buy a puppy from Albert Payson Terhune:
The Sunnybank Collies are alive and well. Across the country, they are winning in the show ring, romping with kids, producing the next generation of champions, and giving their owners the kind of love and loyalty that Treve and Gray Dawn once gave their Master.
How is this possible?
The dogs bred by Terhune were high-quality examples of the breed, and because they had much to contribute to the improvement of the Collie, wise fanciers incorporated them into their lines. Over the decades, the Sunnybank influence has spread through almost every show-bred Collie family in the United States. Terhune himself probably never imagined how much of an impact his kennel would make, but you have to do in-depth research to find a Collie who is NOT descended from Sunnybank today.
There are certain dogs that have become legends because of their ability to pass on proper Collie virtues to a high number of their offspring. These top producers are the Collies upon which the future of the breed is built. Even though records are constantly being broken, these particular animals will never be forgotten, because they are the foundation for what has come next.
An extraordinary number of these top sires and dams have Sunnybank blood.
Roughs such as CH Fantasy's Bronze Talisman, ROM and Smooths like CH Pinewynd's Sparkling Brut, ROM owe their existence to the dogs that Albert Payson Terhune raised on the bank of Pompton Lake.
With few exceptions, the greatest of our current Collies trace back to CH Sunnybank Thane, the greatest of Bert's dogs.
When Al Hunsaker bred his Viking Vanda to Thane, Albert Payson Terhune got Sunnybank Lochinvar 11. But there was also a bitch in the litter, Thane's Vanda. Two of her daughters were critical to the creation of the modern Collie.
Let us trace the female lines that come down from Thane's Vanda, first from her daughter Hunsaker's Sunny Venus:
Debhill Dainty Doll was the dam of CH Glen Hill Full Dress, who provided a solid base for many lines. He was twice behind the great CH Tartanside the Gladiator, ROM, and other top sires like CH Hanover's Flaming Legend also trace to Full Dress.
But Full Dress was not the only puppy that Debhill Dainty Doll produced. Through her daughter Royal Rock Gremlin, she is behind CH Lisara's Seaview Nightingale, the foundation of the Lisara Kennels. CH Lisaras Morning After, ROM is a Sunnybank descendant!
Thane is not even the only Sunnybank dog in this particular line. Six generations down from Thane's Vanda is Ransom's Souvenir O'MacDuff. Her sire was Sunnybank MacDuff 11, the litterbrother of Terhune's last stud dog. MacDuff II had a pedigree that included almost all of the great names from Sunnybank's past: Bruce and Gray Dawn and Jean, plus Treve, Sigurdson, Explorer, and Thane. Even Chaeroplane, Laund Lury and Mountaineer Mabel played a part in the making of MacDuffso that means they are part of our current Collies, too.
To add to the influence, the sire of Full Dress, CH Glen Hill Emperor Jones, links into another line coming down from the Sunnybank dogs. His dam, Miss Holly Berry, was the daughter of CH Ransom's Rob Roy. Rob Roy was out of Ransom's Holly, who we will look at in more depth shortly.
Hunsaker's Sunny Venus was only one of the daughters of Thane's Vanda, however. There was also Mitzi Jean.
CH Wesbara Bold Yankee was the grandsire of two important littersisters, CH Hi Vu Ravette Mist and CH Ravette's Pinto Di Blu.
When CH Hi Vu Ravette Mist was bred to CH Glen Hill Full Dress, who himself was a Sunnybank descendant, Tartanside Hi Vu Classic was born. Her grandson was one of the most important Collies of recent decades: CH Tartanside the Gladiator, ROM.
When CH Ravette's Pinto Di Blu was bred to Full Dress in her turn, she produced the Best in Show winner CH Ravette's the Silver Meteor, as well as Ravette's Midnight Image, the maternal granddam of CH Tartanside Heir Apparent, ROM.
But Al Hunsaker sent Viking Vanda to Sunnybank more than once. She had puppies not just by Thane, but also by Thaneson. Hunsaker's Sunny Peggy, one of Viking Vanda's daughters from that litter, also ended up influencing the Tartanside family (and other lines as well).
Ravette's Wayside Traveler was the sire of CH Hi Vu the Invader and Tartanside Tiara out of two different daughters of Glen Hill Full Dress. Together, the Invader and Tiara produced CH Tartanside the Gladiator, ROM.
Traveler's son Invader also sired another important Collie, CH Hi Vu Madresfield Molly, who is close behind the great CH Starr's Blue jeans, ROM.
When CH Tartanside the Gladiator was bred to his own daughter out of Ravette's Midnight Image, CH Tartanside Heir Apparent, ROM was the result. Heir Apparent thus goes back to the Sunnybank dogs through CH Glen Hill Full Dress, CH Hi Vu Ravette Mist, CH Ravette's Pinto Di Blu, and Ravette's Wayside Traveler. He passed on the Sunnybank legacy to his sons CH Tartanside Th' Critic's Choice, ROM and CH Tartanside Apparently, ROM.
It is impossible to count the lines that have been influenced by the Gladiator or his descendants. Even the Clarion family, which stems from a very different background, utilized the Gladiator as an outcross.
Wickmere, another important strain, came down from Vrking Vanda and her Sunnybank daughters as well.
Wesbara Bold Yankee had a littersister, Wesbara Ventura. She was the granddam of CH Wickmere Reveille, the first of the kennel's homebred Champions.
But a look at the dogs behind Wickmere Reveille will show a second dose of Sunnybank through his sire, CH Merrie Oaks Midnite Star, ROM.
You see, Viking Vanda had multiple daughters by Thaneson. Midnite Star goes back not to Hunsaker's Sunny Peggy, but to a different daughter, Hunsaker's Sunny Gloria:
Also from Midnite Star came CH Wickmere War Dance and his sons CH Wickmere Chimney Sweep and CH Wickmere Battle Chief. Not only were these dogs excellent producers themselves, but they sired producers. CH Shamont Sabrina, ROM, the dam of seven champions, was a daughter of Battle Chief.
Viking Vanda's daughters are not the only dogs who bring the Sunnybank Collies down into the present, however.
Blair and Irma Ransom of Michigan loved their Sunnybank MacDuff II. They bred him to his own daughter, First Lady of Tree-Mound, and were rewarded with Belle of Fairbanks.
Belle's chosen mate was Pennington Phantom, who was strongly Sunnybank-bred himself. His sire was the Future of Arken son CH Future's Flash Again of Arken, but his dam was H.R.H. Sunnybank Sybil, the daughter of Sunnybank King Coal and Sunnybank Southern Girl.
Together, Belle and Phantom produced Ransom's Reunion, the key to the Ransoms' entire line of Collies.
CH Ransom's Regency was the grandsire of CH Twin Creeks True Grit, ROM, a dog as influential as CH Tartanside the Gladiator. True Grit was the father of 65 champions, and his inbred son CH Twin Creeks Post Script, ROM sired 52 more. Postscript's double grandson, CH Twin Oak Joker's Wild, ROM, became a strong force in the breed; top sires such as CH Vennessee's Midnight Express, ROM and his grandson CH Fantasy's Bronze Talisman, ROM come down from Joker's Wild.
And behind dogs like Bronze Talisman and his puppies are the storied dogs of Sunnybank: Treve, Explorer, Sigurdson, Thane, Bruce, Jean, Gray Dawn, Sandy, Victrix, and Chaeroplane.
The Sunnybank dogs are not dead. They are very much alive and they are flourishing!
Sunnybank Collies are alive and well."
"There are certain dogs that have become legends because of their ability to pass on proper Collie virtues to a high number of their offspring."
"An extraordinary number of these top sires and dams have Sunnybank blood."
"With few exceptions, the greatest of our current Collies trace back to CH Sunnybank Thane, the greatest of Bert's dogs."