by Marianne Brett
Originally published by Our Dogs in 2006 Published with permission
This article deals with the show type Malinois, which were the only type to exist in the UK for quite some time. The working type -which now outnumbers the show type by about 5 to 1- arrived considerably later.

Crufts 2006, and the Malinois gains championship status, after 34 years in the UK.
Though a few Malinois had arrived in the UK during the 1920’s, none survived the war years.  The first Malinois in later years arrived  in 1972 when Liz Richardson and Jane Lane imported the bitch, Venus de la Grange aux Cerfs from France, followed in  1973 by a male, Vidock du Clos des Ondes.  Liz’s first dog when married had been a Greyhound x GSD. Searching for a lookalike after his death, she and Jane discovered a picture of a Malinois, during a visit to Crufts. Liz had been breeding under her Sabrefield prefix since 1963 and when she and Jane joined forces, they shared the name to import,  breed and promote the Malinois in the UK; the short coated Belgian Shepherd Dog.
The first Sabrefield  Malinois litter was born in 1974. The only bitch, Sabrefield Ask for Me, can be found today behind most of our UK Malinois, as well as in many Malinois pedigrees in Sweden, Australia and the USA. Successful at shows, Ask For Me’s major wins included RBIS at the Belgian Shepherd Dog Association of GB’s Championship Show in 1979, and in 1983 at the same show she was Best in Show. Littermate Sabrefield Aiming High was a BOB winning dog and sire, whilst Sabrefield Ace Is High was to become Sweden’s  first Malinois.
In 1975 Liz and Jane imported the bitch Yosie van Bouwelhei from Belgium. She  had one litter to Aiming High giving  Jean Fry (Tiffany) and Betty Duffus (Gwashleas) their foundation bitches. At the same time Barbara Simpson (Leircote) imported the dog Ybo van Bouwelhei. Ybo sired two litters, the first  to Ask For Me, then owned by Barbara (she returned later to the Sabrefield ownership). Leircote Pretty Penny  became foundation of Pam York’s Peejay Malinois.   Ybo’s second litter to Venus consisted of  8 males, Jane Lane kept Sabrefield Climbing High, a good winner and sire to Sabrefield and Peejay bitches.
By 1978 the need for new bloodlines prompted the import of Ben du Maugre from Belgium, again by Liz and Jane.  His first mating to Ask For Me produced Sabrefield Follow Me,  a Swedish Obedience Champion. The mating was repeated and a daughter, Sabrefield Here I Am became Liz’s next brood.   Pam York’s Leircote Pretty Penny had two litters to Ben du Maugre. From the first came Peejay’s Viscount Victor and Sienna Karoo, both appear in many pedigrees . Pam later mated Sienna Karoo to the Tervueren  Delators Grand Soigny of Muskhan, CDex, UDex, WDex,  producing Peejay Pegasus and Peejay Perseus CDex, UDex, WDex.
In 1979 Jean Fry mated Sabrefield Did you call Tiffany to Ben, producing two top obedience bitches in Tiffany Scarlett and Tiffany Tonka who worked Championship C.
Ask For Me’s last mating to half brother, Sabrefield Climbing High, gave Jane her lovely  Sabrefield  Knaka Minot, who won an incredible 19 classes in a row. Further matings for Climbing High to  Peejay and Gwashleas bitches produced some good allround dogs, for the show ring and work.
In 1980 Betty Duffus of the Gwashleas kennel had her first Malinois litter from the bitch Sabrefield Dare I Say,  mated to Peejay  Viscount Victor. She went on to have two litters to Peejay Pegasus, one of which included the dog Gwashleas Dale. He was  BIS at the BSDA Championship show in 1990 then won Reserve in the Working group at Crufts in 1991 – still the only Malinois to have gone this far at Crufts. Further matings at Gwashleas found top agility and working dogs and Janice Tyers bought Gwashleas Brownie whose offspring was also very successful.
Sabrefield Here I Am had four litters, two to Tervueren;  these were the years when inter-variety matings were allowed, though only a handful occurred between Malinois and Tervueren.  It was her last in 1987 to Ch. Questenberg Masai (Tervueren) that made the greatest impact.  All the puppies were Malinois:  Champion Sabrefield Novel Idea in Australia;  the grey dog Sabrefield Near the Marque and Sabrefield New Story. New Story stayed with Liz, became the breed’s first Junior Warrant holder and Belgian Shepherd of the year for 1989.  RBIS at the BSDA Championship show in 1992, New Story had a great influence on the breed, passing on strength of character, type and construction. She has been featured in Kennel Club literature, here and in the USA.
After her success with Sabrefield Knaka Minot, Jane Lane took out her own prefix - Jalaknaka –and imported three more Malinois from France: Urk des Loups  Mutins  and in 1985 Alkan du Mas des Lavandes and Adja du Mas des Lavandes. This pair were mated in 1988, and from this litter Jane kept the bitch, Jalaknaka Harmony Miss, while Jalaknaka Copse and Robbers went on to sire quality litters to Gwashleas bitches. Alkan also proved useful mated to Peejay and Gwashleas bitches, extending their gene pool.
In 1991 Sabrefield New Story was mated to Peejay Dancing Brave, grandson of Peejay Viscount Victor. From a litter of 9 came several good males; Sabrefield Over The Sea, exported to Sweden where he became their first Malinois police dog;  Sabrefield Over the Page,  BOB winner and sire;  Sabrefield Overleaf, a steady agility dog and show winner. Ann Brown (Zodantta) had her second litter, also of 9, with Zodantta Golden Gyny to Sabrefield Near the Marque, providing Ann with winners  Zodantta Mischief Maker, Zodantta Chieftain’s Son   and Zodantta Pleasant Surprise.
September ’91, a new bloodline came from Belgium -  Manon de la Belle Edita at Sabrefield. Her mating to Sabrefield Over the Page in 1993 was the “Q” litter, producing the bitch Sabrefield Quite A Story (3 RCCs and BOB Crufts 2000,  dam of Liz’s W & Z winning litters),  Sabrefield Q’Ee Dee, a Senior agility dog and show winner, and the dog Sabrefield Quire Master, MOD Defence dog and Tactical Firearms support Dog. From a repeat litter  in 1994 came the agility bitches, Sabrefield Sky’s the Limit and Sabrefield Sequelle  plus Sabrefield Shout for Me, 1 RCC and doing well in agility.
In 1994 New Story was mated to Q’Ee Dee providing the outstanding “R” litter.  Sabrefield Raring To Go, owned by Tom Davis (Daelois) became the first Malinois bitch to win a CC during the years when the four Belgian Shepherd breeds were amalgamated, all competing as one breed (1994-2000). She also won 1 CC, 2 RCC’s, gained her CDex title in working trials,  many BOBs (twice at Crufts.) In 2001 she competed in the French Championships and won the Csau and “sujet recommande”. Mated to Ch Steed du Hameau St Blaise in Belgium, she produced a good looking, highly work motivated litter. Her brother  Right on Cue CDex  has been a useful stud when mated to  Quite A Story, while sister  Right Answer for Bonvivant, JW (1CC  3 RCC’s)  produced her own dynasty for Jan Ralph.
Quire Master sired two litters; first to Gwashleas Belle du Jour for Hoplinhall. His second litter to Sabrefield New Story produced Sabrefield Time Traveller,  the first UK  Malinois Police dog.
1992 saw the arrival of Gwashleas Benjamin Pailto, a son of Alkan du Mas de Lavandes out of Gwashleas Bryony, he took BIS at the BSDA in 1993 aged just 9 months.  1994 was a good year for this dog; he was the first  Malinois awarded a CC, followed by a RCC. In the autumn, he mated Roulette Ante-up de l’Ferme, Betty’s new American import,  producing 7 pups for Gwashleas.
Sabrefield Right Answer For Bonvivant became the foundation stone of Jan Ralph’s Malinois  producing several top winners, including the very first UK Malinois Champion; Ch Bonvivant Esprit. In the show ring she won a JW, 1 CC and 3 RCC’s. In her first litter to Lanaeken Standout for Sabrefield, she produced “Taz” the first Malinois police dog for Hampshire, who represented them in the National Police Dog trials. From the same litter   Bonvivant Arc En Ciel has won many BOBs  and 1 RCC. Another sister Ch. Bonvivant Alcheringa, exported to Australia, produced many winners.
Right Answer was the first Belgian Shepherd bitch to take advantage of the Pets Passport scheme, taken abroad and mated  to top French stud RE Maubre du Maugre. This litter produced several top winners including the bitches  Bonvivant Coup de Foudre avec Zodantta Csau tan (numerous BOBs and two Reserve Green Stars, later a UK Champion and Show Certificate of Merit winner -the first ever- as well as being the first Malinois to win a group at a Championship show in the UK), Bonvivant C’est Chic, (many BOBs plus 2 CAC, 1 RCAC and sr when shown abroad), and Bonvivant Cacherelle, and  the males Bonvivant C’est Moi Sabrefield CDex,  doing well in agility, working trials and obedience, and Bonvivant Cause Celebre at Tigertoo, many BOBs.  Two more litters to Ch Sicco de Kersouwe gave Jan Bonvivant Dewet and Esprit, both winners and sires and later Champions. Jan is taking full advantage of the chance to expand our bloodlines, mating her bitches to continental dogs with excellent results.
Irish Ch. Lanaeken Savoir Faire and littermate Standout were from a quarantine born litter, to the Belgian bitch Quattro van Balderlo by Fram de la Terre Aimee, in 1994. Savoir Faire resides in Ireland with the Revloch Kennel of Paul and Jean Lawless, being a consistent winner there plus whelping a good litter to Bonvivant Cause Celebre at Tigertoo.
Crufts BOB in 2005 was the dog Sabrefield Born Two The Kop, a great great grandson of New Story, owned by Yvonne Horner, again proving the breed’s versatility, he has also qualified for the UK team in the BSD World Championships in  Agility. Sabrefield Zent from Heaven (later the first UK Champion alinois bitch), Zerendipity and Zimply Zuper (later a Champion, to date the only Malinois to have gained her Champion title at Crufts) have continued the  Sabrefield  line, producing winners in their litters.
Today in 2006, most of the early Malinois breeders have retired.  Jan Ralph’s  Bonvivant Kennel is very much to the forefront of the UK’s Malinois breeders, regularly seen taking top honours and bringing the Malinois to the limelight with her team in the Breeders Stakes.

UPDATED 2017: The most successful show kennel for several past few years has been Paul and Debbie Lloyd's Belsharose, with their many Champions, headed by the all time breed record holder Champion Belsharose Nebraska, a male who won a total of 29 CCs, including being Best of Breed at Crufts twice. Nebraska was bred by Paul and Debbie, from their first Malinois bitch Bonvivant Ombrage at Belsharose, bred by Jan Ralph, mated to Jan's French import Champion Bonvivant des Iles Fidji. Second to Belsharose for three years was Goldmali; founded on the bitch Ch Sabrefield Zimply Zuper. In 2016 and 2017 the Bonvivant kennel made a strong comeback with the very successful bitch Champion Bonvivant Gigi ShCM, owned by Val Neff. Yvonne Brason's first Malinois litter in her Flambards kennel makes her currently the leading top breeder for 2017. The two French imports Ch I'chaos Flambards Du Domaine De Vauroux and Ch Camylle Des Iles Du Sud at Flambards have won many CCs between them, with Camylle being the current bitch record holder. Their puppies are following in their parents' footsteps.

Venus de la Grange aux Cerfs, the first modern day Malinois in the UK, 1972

Sabrefield Ask for Me, from the first UK Malinois litter in 1974

Sabrefield Quire Master, the first MOD Malinois

Champion Bonvivant Coup De Foudre avec Zodantta ShCM, the first Championship show group winner and the first Show Certificate of Merit

Champion Belsharose Nebraska, the UK breed record holder and the second ever Championship Show Group winner

Agility Champion Bonvivant Kallisto, "RUSTY", the UK's first Agility Champion Malinois. Owner Dave Leach.