Christine Heron (Caskeys)
Photo kindly supplied by Colin Waddell
Eva Ciechonska writes:
It is with great sadness and personal loss of a dear friend that I am writing this. Christine Heron passed away peacefully on Thursday 12th May 2016. I was very lucky to have been able to see her and pay my last respects the day before she died.
Chris and Bob established their small and successful kennel in 1965 with their first dog ShCh Wendover Caskey, whom they campaigned to his title and from whom came their affix. Over the next 50 years and to this day their breeding steadily produced numerous show champions, in their hands and the hands of others. During that time they kept true to the type of Setter they loved. Chris served on the committee of the ISAE from 2004, when she took over from Bob after he had to stand down through ill health. She awarded CCs in Irish Setters and was due to fulfil her last judging appointment later this year. She was very much looking forward to it but sadly it was not to be.
I first met Chris in 1970 when, armed with the KC list of local breeders, I invaded her home with 3 car loads of friends and a Briard. She and Bob were then living at Barrycote before they moved to Smallfields. She made us all most welcome and fed us with tea and cake while her dogs and the Briard played in the garden. I came away with a booking for my first pet puppy. Unfortunately the bitch missed and I had to start again. We remained good friends even though our dogs took us in different directions. Chris, Bob and Fiona moved to Smallfields where they run a boarding kennel and I moved to Betchworth and became a close neighbour.
Finally in 2004, after all these years, I got my second crack at having a Caskeys puppy and brought home the wonderful Concept. Not only was he a prolific winner but he became a top sire in Irish and a top sire all breeds, a title he retained from 2011 to 2013. Chris was immensely proud of this special boy and we shared in all his successes and his trophies. In a long list of achievements this was to be her finest........and one that did not come to everyone.
As a person Chris was immensely gregarious. She loved people, she loved life and she was passionate about Irish Setters. She was kind and helpful to a fault and nothing was too much trouble. She would help and make time for everyone. She was honest and forthright in her opinions and totally dedicated to her family and her dogs. She was admired and respected by all who knew her and leaves a void in many hearts.
For me Chris was a very much loved and supportive friend with whom I shared mountains of tea and cake, evenings out partying, many hours chatting, deliberating, putting the world to rights, numerous hours pouring over litters of puppies......and a great dog. She refused to let anything get her down, she bounced back from every knock and set back. She approached her illness in the same way. Even when it began to overtake her she would not give into it but looked forward and planned ahead. Her strength of character was amazing, her resilience incredible. I will miss her beautiful and ready smile and the way her face lit up every time. I feel very privileged to have known her and shared so many happy times with her.
I know everyone will join me in extending our sincere sympathy to Bob and Fiona.