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Boykin Spaniels

Posted: April 3, 2014 3:35 p.m.
Updated: April 4, 2014 5:00 a.m.

Earlier in the week, we had an opportunity on this page to celebrate one of Kershaw County’s premier attractions, the Carolina Cup. And so now, we turn away again from the travails of an often somber world to note another local phenomenon -- the Boykin Spaniel, that hardy but lovable little dog that had its origins right here in Kershaw County.

Now, for the second time in its history, the Boykin Spaniel Society will bring its national field trial to Boykin, the home place of this remarkable breed. The society itself, as noted in a story in Wednesday’s Chronicle-Independent, was originated by several local people who wanted to protect the integrity of the breed and form a registry of owners. Whit Boykin bred the first Boykin Spaniel more than a century ago, as hunters needed a reliable field dog which wasn’t so big that it would capsize the boats they traveled in with their owners and trainers. Thus a tradition -- and a breed -- was born. 

There are now Boykin Spaniel owners all over the world who marvel at the unique little canines who are so dependable and steadfast. The Boykin Spaniel Society boasts 3,200 members across the globe, and there are more than 29,000 registered representatives of the breed. Hundreds of them -- owners and dogs, both, of course -- will descend upon Boykin next week for the field trials. It’ll be a significant economic boost for the county, of course, but it will also be a celebration of an experiment that started a long time ago and exceeded the expectations of everyone. We welcome the Boykins, and their owners, back to their homeland.


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