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The Rush Hill Story

“All dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”

-Walt Disney

In The Beginning…

With a tail that wouldn’t stop wagging and ears to the ground, My first “purebred dog” was Emily,  our unregistered  family pet Basset Hound that was given to us as an adult. In Anchorage, Alaska, there weren’t many AKC conformation shows so a Fun Match which included Jr Showmanship class was where I  started getting hooked on the sport. At around 13 years old, I would go to the fun match and dog shows with her neighbor who showed her English Springer. We would spend the day showing and watching all the other breeds.  Because I enjoyed watching the sport of showing dogs my friend and I fabricated a registered name, number and birth date for our basset hound so that Emily could be shown in fun matches.  Even though Emily was not officially registered, she was of enough quality and gave me enough wins that I was hooked. I have to be honest, I  was so afraid that I would be caught showing an unregistered dog. I was not born into a show dog family so little did I know at that time what fun matches really were, but the end result was the undying love for the sport of purebred dogs and dog shows.

When I was a Sophomore in High school my father sent some money from the sale of my horse to purchase a purebred dog of my own choice. At that time it was a Rough Collie that I had dreamed of owning.  I loved the size and all that beautiful coat and I loved watching them in the ring. My stepfather, unfortunately, was adamantly opposed to a big-coated, fluffy dog living with us so I had to choose another breed. I had a friend with a fluffy golden dog that was fun to be around and retrieved balls, I had no idea at that time what a golden retriever was nor what kind of future this dog would bring to me.  My stepfather, who was a avid hunter said, “Of course, that’s a hunting dog you can have one of those dogs and I’ll take it duck hunting.”  So started the love of the golden retriever. Of course he never did take that dog hunting.

Then came our 8 month old golden retriever pet who started the passion that exists today.  Eager to learn all I could, my first golden came from the newspaper, with his dog house included. This is not something I would recommend today. I acquired all the Golden retriever books I could and was so excited to read about Sam’s ancestors that were in these books.   Sam was a smaller refined curly coated Golden with four white feet and a big white splash on his chest. I knew that he wasn’t a show dog but at least this one was registered.  His hair was so curly it wrapped around his tail. I would practice grooming his hair straight with a hair dryer and barrettes hanging from his tail as she wanted him to look like the other Golden Retrievers I had seen at fun matches. Needless to say, my effort was not very successful. So it began I learned how to start grooming. Because I realized that he was not the quality to show I began to attend obedience classes and 4H to learn more. Due to the fact that Sam was an escape artist we tragically lost him at a young age.

Shortly after Sams loss “Sunny” her second AKC Golden Retriever came into my life as an 8 week old puppy. I still didn’t have a dog of quality that I could show at the licensed shows, but I did learn about conformation shows by going to the matches and competing in Junior Showmanship, where I was very successful.  I was learning to love other aspects of training and competed with Sonny in obedience. To train higher levels of obedience at home I needed to teach and practice with jumps. Having no money and not easily deterred, I  took wood shop class so I could build those much-needed jumps! Now, getting those 5 foot  jumps on the bus and  walking home with that 3/4 inch plywood was a heavy adventure! Due to perseverance, Sonny became the first AKC CDX Golden in Alaska. 

After Mark and I got married , I wanted a show dog and went to Linda Reddington of Anchorage, Alaska and acquired “Justice”, Reddigold’s Magistrate CD TD. Linda gave me the opportunity to have a 4 year old female, Morningsage Rush Hill Charli CDX, “Charli”, who I bred to Linda’s male, BIS CH Beckwith’s North Wind CD WC OS. That produced CH Rush Hill’s Catch Me If U Can CD, “Honey“. Honey became my first AKC Bred By Champion years later and that officially began with the Rush Hill Kennel name.

The Foundation…

Growing up in Alaska in the 70’s I couldn’t wait for the GRCA news to arrive in the mail.  I would read the magazines from front to back over and over again.  I would look at pedigrees and dream of when I would bed able to get a show dog.  I would look daily in the newspaper pet column, and at the ads in the back of the Dog World magazine in the stores… Not something I would recommend anyone do today, but I was starving for information.  I would say some of the kennels and breedings that kept coming up were Beckwith and Gold-Rush. In 1981 Mark and I  had acquired our first show golden Justice, from Linda Reddington which incorporated the Beckwith line from Linda Reddington.

In 1982, on a trip to Eastern Washington where I was showing Justice, I saw “Doc”, Am/Can Ch TriValley’s Doc Holiday Am/Can DCX, WC, OS and fell in love with him as a class dog. I loved his pedigree, as he was a True Bear , Ch Goldwing True Bear OS SDHF son, his personality, and his darker golden color were incredible. I met Carole Kvamme of Alderbrooke Golden Retrievers who was showing him and going to have an upcoming litter. I was excited as Doc was being bred to a nice bitch that was a wonderful combination of the successful Beckwith lines.  Mark, of course, had no problem asking Carole if we could have the pick male of the litter.  That is where we acquired”Rebel”, who truly started the foundation of Rush Hill. 


Born in 1982. Carole did offer us the pick male of that litter. I was lucky enough to a be in Seattle when the when the litter was 4 weeks old.  Of course all of the puppies looked the same and no-one was marked.  So at that time I put this blue ribbon on the dark male puppy that I fell in love with.  I kept telling Carole, don’t let this collar fall off this is the one that I want. Who in the world can pick a puppy at 4 weeks of age especially someone like me from Alaska.  Anyway a few short weeks later Rebel arrived in Anchorage to begin a story of his own.  He definitely had that charisma that screamed special.

At this point in time I had 5 Golden Retrievers and not one point to my name. Since dog shows were few and far between, we made the 800 mile trek to Whitehorse, Canada with Rebel, Justice and a couple others.  Rebel was 8 months old at the time and we received our first points at his first show by winning the breed from the 6-9 puppy class and went on to win the sporting group under Honey Glendinning,  following the group Rebel earned his first Canadian Best in Show and Best Puppy In show under Larry House.  I was beside myself,  our first points were a Best In Show.  The following day Rebel won his second group giving him 10 Canadian points, we were sure we would finish on Sunday as Larry House was doing the breed. OOPS.. I quickly learned not to count your ribbons until they are handed out as Rebel went Reserve Winners Dog under the judge that gave him Best In Show on Friday.  That was just the beginning of a fun career for Rebel.

Rebel finished his Am CH at 18 months of age in the tough Eastern Washington Circuit.  The final day of the circuit after he won the breed from the classes. I didn’t think I was good enough to show him in the group so I asked Ollie Click to show him and he won the sporting group from the classes.

MBIS MBISS Am/Can Ch Alderbrookes Rush Hill Rebel Am/Can TD OS SDHF went onto winning 12 Best In Shows and 5 Specialty shows including winning the 1989 GRCA National in Boulder, CO under Virginia Lyne. He was also won the Stud Dog class at that national with his get CH Beckwiths Early Eclipse and Ch Rush Hill’s Tailer Maid.  He also won numerous “home awards” for Best Counter Surfer-Pizza, butter, Roast, and Kidneys for bait would all disappear off the counter!


Born in 1986. When James Lindgren of Kachinas Kennels bred Am/Can Ch Kachinas Kinsha Kari Am CDX OD Can CD OD SDHF to Rebel, I was  excited to keep a puppy from this breeding. Kari was a beautiful True Bear daughter so this was going to be my first line bred bitch. Hailey, Am/Can Ch Kinsha’s Flight to Rush Hill OD became one of our foundation bitches and a great producer. She was the dam of 13 Am Champions and 4 Canadian Champions, these offspring included Best in Show and Multiple Best In Specialty offspring. Her most famous offspring was Kirby, BIS BISS Am/Can Rush Hill’s Haagen-Dazs CDX JH AX OAJ WCX VCX OS SDHF.


Born in 1989, “LG or Little Guy as he was called” didn’t have a call name until he was 4 months old and on our way to the 1989 National. Kirby went on to win 31 Specialty shows, a record only surpassed recently by a Bitch. He still holds the title for most Specialty wins won by a Dog.  At the time of these specialties they were averaging over 100 goldens, far different from todays numbers. Kirby has produced over 160 Champions making him the top producing sire in breed history.  I did most of his training along with his agility, and hunting titles while, my obedience trainer/friend, Linda Shea put the obedience titles  on him.   In the obedience ring Kirby refused to sit for me, as soon as we would enter the ring he would go into show mode, where sitting was not allowed. Learn more facts about Kirby on his page.

Madison and Kirby

Born in 1992 was also acquired as a stud puppy, CH Chuckanut’s Madison Avenue OD acquired her championship with multiple specialty and Best In Sweepstakes wins.  Madison, was a Kirby daughter, from Am/Can CH Kinsha’s Silent Dreamer OD.  Madison, bred by Ken Matthews and Wayne Miller produced some exceptional get. Two of her incredible daughters were Felony, CH Rush Hills Crime of Passion OD. Felony herself produced 15 champions, and Toni, BIS BISS Rush Hill’s Tigress at Allsgold OD SHDF who was Winners Bitch at the 1998 GRCA National Specialty under breeder Donald Sturz. Toni herself produced National Specialty winners.


Born in 1997. She is the last bitch that I would say is a part of our foundation.  Lisa Smith and I decided we wanted to do a puppy swap and  I got Blossom.  Blossom’s sire was BIS BISS Goodtimes Best Case Scenario and her dam was CH Laurell Goodtime Pink Champagne OD. Blossom was a very sweet and beautiful bitch, we were able to incorporate some of her wonderful qualities to create the Rush Hill Goldens of today.  Blossom was a wonderful show dog with a beautiful topline and front assemble.  Her fist points were during the Eastern Regional in Florida where she went Winners Bitch/ Best of Winners and Best In Specialty at 10 months of age under Steven Herman.  She also went Best in Sweepstakes earlier that morning.  She quickly finished her championship and by the time Blossom was 18 months old she was in the Show Dog Hall of Fame with a Best In Show.  Blossom was the Dam of 7 American Champions including her most famous son, who is a cornerstone of the Rush Hill Legacy “Chaos” MBIS MBISS GCH Rush Hill’s Run’n Amuck At Abelard OA OAJ AXP AJP NFP WC VCX SDHF OS sire of 80 Champions, Chaos has been a cornerstone of many kennels worldwide.

good times run for the roses in show ring

As they say, the rest is history. You can find more stories about these dogs on their individual pages…

Purina Pro Club Breeder Profile: Tonya Struble
Dreaming Of Dual Dogs: Rush Hill Golden Retrievers Interview on Pure DogTalk

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