I am Maureen D’Arcy. I defy the old adage ‘Never work with children or animals’. Professionally I spent twenty five years teaching primary school children. Becoming a head teacher allowed me to take into school many animals from a hedgehog to a Shetland pony. My dogs were frequent visitors; a treat always looked forward to by the children.
During this time, as a family, we bred and competed with horses showing at Wembley and Hickstead. My daughter won many honours in ridden show cob and hunter classes. She moved to riding side saddle winning the Hunter Side Saddle class at the National Championships. Having competed in Cross Country Competitions my son qualified as a farrier and has moved on to become Chairman of the British Farriers and Blacksmiths Association. He was one of the first farriers to gain a Honours Degree in Farriery and became an Associate of the Worshipful Company of Farriers. Since then both of them have moved into teaching now being a Principal and Head of Department respectively.
Personally I went the route of breeding and producing horses for competition along with being secretary for a local Riding Club. I have always lived with dogs, my choice being clever working types; collies, lurchers and russels .Stanley, my first Labrador, came to me by chance. His owner became ill and wondered if I might know someone, with horses, who might give him a home. I brought him home from kennels with a view to re-homing him. Needless to say he stayed!!This happy yellow chap won our hearts and transformed our home into ‘yellow labrador world’.
It was not long before my previous experience in breeding, producing, showing and judging horses at top level tempted me to expand my ‘yellow labrador world’. Many years ago an old ‘nags man’ told me it costs just a much to keep a good horse as a bad one. With this in mind I used my background to find the Labrador I wanted. After some false starts I found Ludalor Labradors and brought home Summer. The rest is history. Summer became a special friend always at my side. My growing number of canine friends enjoy walking, showing, swimming,beating or just chilling out.
Over the years I have introduced UK breed lines of Meaculpa, Stormley,Sandylands and Meadowline into my kennel. These were followed by Blackhills from New Zealand and Kroppsmarken from Sweden.
I continue to work towards breeding sound dogs with good temperaments so that any one who is lucky enough to have one of my labrador puppies has a best friend like Summer. As part of my commitment to cement sociable dogs all mine work towards gaining their Kennel Club Good Citizen Gold Awards.
I am a Kennel Club Assured Breeder, a past Chairman of The North West Labrador Retriever Club and a ‘A’ List Labrador Judge. I am also an Affiliate of the Kennel Club for whom I can deliver the Management of a Dog Society Seminar. My Kennel Club registered name or affix is Lancastria.
My dog world family continues to grow with both humans and canines and I consider myself very lucky to be part of it. Our Lancastria family is more than people with dogs but a group of friends who enjoy keeping in touch, solving problems and talking about their dogs. In December 2022 they proved to me how special they all were when I slipped on ice breaking my femur bone and hip. They sprang into action like a well oiled team collecting my dogs to look after for many weeks, visiting me and sorting out any jobs that needed attention. They really are a Dream Team.
Maybe, one day, you will be able to join our Dream Team.