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"Dog Lady Extraordinaire"
TKC (England) Breed Standards Committee Chair, international dog show judge, Meg is a GSD and Akita breeder who champions Rare Breeds that can work!
Her name and face is most familiar in the European countries but she has become known as a judge par excellence among American judges. She is and remains firstly, a legendary breeder and champion of rare breeds.
Meg founded the Overhill Kennels in 1978, having first had a boarding kennel at her parents Overhill Farm, from which she took the Overhill name.
She quickly developed the picturesque property near the small village of Pensford (near Bristol) into a licensed Quarantine Station (all dogs going into England or Australia had to be kept in quarantine a minimum of 12 months) which was separate from her small breeding facility.
Meg's fine sense of business and understanding of what dog owners need also led to the development of a complex Import-Export business. The professional staff safely and efficiently moves animals around the world whilst Meg will be seen at the Overhill Trade Stand where everyone comes to visit and purchase unique products while at the shows. If she thinks of something that dog people need, often before they have realized they need it, Meg will have it sewn, built, or manufactured!
Meg has one son and two daughters. Rachael and Lisa were on premises daily, directing staff and insuring the smooth operation of the multi-faceted Overhill business as well as the impeccable care of both personal and Quarantine kennels. Born in 1941, Meg packs a minimum of 28 hours into each an every day and says that it is her three children who enabled her to enjoy a full judging and travel schedule.
Meg bought her first German Shepherd when she was 15 and bred her first litter only two years later. Interested in everything about dogs, she trained GSDs with Bristol Dog Training Society, and typical of Meg, she went on to become an instructor.
She continues to breed GSDs, supplying police and prison dog handlers and working trials enthusiasts. She is the breeder of a Working Trials Champion, the Prison Service National Champion, and a UK Police Dog Action of the Year award winner. In 1999 one of her homebred German Shepherds won the title of Police National Champion. To put this in perspective, it would be rather like winning the Top Place Obedience, Working, Schutzhund and Service titles for the year - all with the same dog! It is no wonder the Overhill “working” bloodline is eagerly sought by international police agencies.
Her greatest love became the Akita when she accepted into the quarantine block two O’BJ dogs en route to Australia. She fell in love with the breed and then imported two bitches from the same kennel, her much–loved O’BJ White Hope and the bitch she credits with being the foundation of the Overhill Akitas, Am. Ch. O’BJ Sachette No Okii Yubi, dam of the first UK bred litter.
Meg has bred Champions in eight countries and was thrilled when she was able to attend the world conference on Akitas in 1998. She has since been invited to attend for a second time. She served as Chairman of the British Japanese Akita Association and as one of the first and certainly the most knowledgeable on the breed in her country, she published a book on Akita bloodlines which was a tremendous reference source for all Akita fanciers.
Her fascination with dogs led her to introduce the French Beauceron and the Korean Jindo to England but doesn’t stop there. She is Secretary of the British Utility Breeds Association, Chairman of and a tireless worker for the South West Show Centre Supporters Association, a group dedicated to raising money for a show center and she oversees the glamorous South West Contest of Champions which raises money for the center.
Meg is a member of The Kennel Club and of its Breed Standards and Stud Book Sub-Committee, positions that equate with being on the Board of AKC and serving as Delegate. Today she is Chair of the Breed Standards Committee.
Just to make sure she can still move at the speed of light, in 2003 Meg competed in a nine-mile race in fancy dress and a charity cycle race dressed as a St Trinians’ girl raising £600. She has since had a hip replacement, but this has in no way dampened her enthusiasm for life and her schedule of judging appointments around the world. She says one of her greatest honours was judging Polish Lowland Sheepdogs in Poland and of course, judging Akitas around the world. When Meg judged Akitas at the largest show in the world – the Crufts Dog Show, she drew a record entry.
It is said that it is always the busiest people who have time to do more things. Meg supplied dogs for the television series with the original TV vet, James Allcock. She once managed the pop group K-9, was a breed note writer for one of the canine weekly papers. She currently owns peacocks, Akitas, German Shepherds, Beauceron, a lurcher, and a parrot called Tarzan.
Meg Purnell-Carpenter’s contributions to the sport are legendary, the most recent is election to The Kennel Club (England) Board Of Directors many years ago. Update: Meg judged the Utility Group at Crufts 2017.
We are honored to have her guidance and involvement in www.TheDogPlace.org
Biographical information partially excerpted from The Kennel Club (England) Gazette article by Bernard Hall
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