168 DOGS AND ALL ABOUT THEM
should be under the weight of 25 lb., a limit arbitrarily and somewhat irrationally fixed, since in the case of an animal just on the border-line he might very well have been a Cocker before and a Field Spaniel after breakfast.
It is not easy to find authentic pedigrees going back further than a quarter of a century, but Mr. C. A. Phillips can trace his own strain back to i86o, and Mr. James Farrow was exhibiting successfully thirty-five years ago. The former gentleman published the pedigree of his bitch Rivington Dora for eighteen
generations in extenso in The Sporting Spaniel ; while the
famous Obo strain of the latter may be said to have exercised more influence than any other on the black variety both in this country and in the United States.
It was in 188o that the most famous of all the " pillars " of the Cocker stud, Mr. James Farrow's Obo, made his first bow to the public, he and his litter sister Sally having been born the year before. He won the highest honours that the show bench can give, and the importance of his service to the breed both in his owner's kennel and outside it, can scarcely be over-estimated. Nearly all of the best blacks, and many of the best coloured Cockers, are descended from him. At this period the type mostly favoured was that of a dog rather longer in the body and lower on the leg than it is at present, but the Obo family marked a progressive step, and very rightly kept on winning under all the best judges for many years, their owner being far too good a judge himself ever to exhibit anything but first-class specimens.
Meanwhile, although the blacks were far the most fashionable-and it was said that it was hopeless to try to get the same quality in coloured specimens-several enthusiastic breeders for colour were quietly at work, quite undismayed by the predilection shown by most exhibitors and judges for the former colour. Among them was Mr. C. A. Phillips, whose two bitches from Mr. James Freme, of Wepre Hall, Flintshire, succeeded in breeding from one of them, whom he named Rivington Sloe, the celebrated dog Rivington