The paws of Fate are in the Wright hands.
Fate – with the registered name Aladdin’s Twist of Fate Tastic – is a five year old American cocker spaniel bred by Lavington’s Carol Edwards who, along with her husband, Robin, operate Aladdin Cockers which they began in 1982. Fate is owned by Carol’s friend Rona Halbreich of San Antonio, and will be competing next month at the legendary Westminster Kennel Club Show in Lyndhurst, a riverside estate in Westchester County, north of New York City. The show had to be moved from its usual venue of Madison Square Gardens due to COVID-19.
Fate will be handled by Jeff Wright of Topeka, Kan. Under Wright’s guidance, Fate is currently the No. 1 ranked cocker spaniel in the U.S., having won four or five Best In Show competitions in 2021, the latest coming on Mother’s Day in Texas to the delight of Edwards. Fate is also in the top 15 of the Sporting Group, which is the group he’ll be competing in at Westminster.
“Fate has been invited to Westminster which will be held June 12 and 13, but due to COVID I can’t go and watch but will be cheering loudly from Canada and hoping he does at least as well as his grandfather Ace,” said Edwards, 58.
The Best In Show results would certainly make gramps proud.
The Edwards’ started Aladdin Cockers with the purchase of their first American cocker spaniel in 1982 and since then, they’ve spent decades working with cocker spaniels on obedience, conformation, agility, flyball and rally obedience fun. They are the breeder of multiple Best in Show champions, Best in Specialty Show, Best Puppy in Show and Sporting Group winning and placing dogs.
Ace – legal name Mario N Beechwood’s Midnight Express CGN (Canine Good Neighbour) – is the dog that took the Edwards’ breath away the first time they laid eyes on him.
“We knew we had to ask to breed to him or purchase one of his offspring,” said Edwards. Ace, now living the retired life in Connecticut,won nearly 80 Best In Show events and was the winner of the Black Variety at Westminster in 2012.
Edwards’ own cocker, Sirius – aka Aladdin’s Sirius Blak N Tan, a tribute to Harry Potter – competed at Westminster in 2017. Sirius is the winner of Multiple Specialty Shows in Canada and the U.S., and was a top 5 cocker spaniel in Canada three years straight.
The love of the breed was passed down by Edwards’ parents.
“They had a cocker spaniel before I was born,” laughed Edwards. “I was drawn to that breed.”
Edwards has traveled to Westminster, the Super Bowl of dog competitions, twice to watch Ace and Sirius. She’ll have to watch Fate from afar as spectators will not be part of a severely scaled down Westminster club show in 2021. Normally held before 18,000 fans at the World’s Most Famous Arena, Madison Square Garden, this year’s event will be a two-day outside competition with no fans and no vendors due to COVID.
She expects Fate will be ready for its Westminster debut.
“He’s had a limited showing this year,” said Edwards. “He’s not out there every weekend. Jeff is very selective.”
There’s been a few North Okanagan connections to the world’s most famous dog show. Enderby beagle Miss P won Best In Show at Westminster in 2015, and Coldstream terrier D’Art won Best in Breed the following year.