History of The British Boxer Club
In the early 1930's a few Boxers were imported into England from Germany, where the breed had been established since the end of the previous century, and in the December 1936 half a dozen Boxer enthusiasts met at the RAC in Pall Mall: the outcome was the foundation of The British Boxer Dog Club.
In its first year, membership doubled in size (from six to twelve!) and the Club gained Kennel Club affiliation: 1936 was also the first year in which Boxer Classes were scheduled at a dog show – namely Charles Cruft's Show, when there were two exhibitors showing nine Boxers.Numbers increased steadily and by 1938 a Breed Standard, compiled jointly by American Boxer expert Jack Wagner and the German Philipp Stockmann (von Dom), was available, prior to its acceptance by the Kennel Club. By 1939 the Breed had been granted Championship status, with the British Boxer Dog Club guaranteeing classes at Championship Shows.
During World War II, understandably, little progress was made in developing the Club and its activities and it almost faded away. Towards the end of the war, however, the executive committee renewed their efforts to acquire more members and to organize a Show, the Secretary (and, later, President) at the time being Mrs. Caro, owner of the first ever British bred Champion Boxer, Horsa of Leith Hill, made up in 1939.
Following its post-war period, the British Boxer Dog Club applied to the Kennel Club for, and was granted, Championship Show status. In October 1946 the first Championship Show, judged by Jack Wagner, was held at Coventry, a venue closest to the centre of the Country and easily accessible by train, then the only mode of transport available to most exhibitors. It was also in 1946 that the Club's new name was registered with the Kennel Club: The British Boxer Club.
In 1948 the BBC inaugurated a class for Supreme Champion, entry to be made on the day of the Show, and judged by the Show Judge and two other Championship Show Judges chosen by ballot. However, in 1954 The Kennel Club declared it to be an invalid procedure and the magnificent trophy, donated to the Club by Major Newman, is now awarded annually to the Boxer winning the most C.C.'s, one of which must have been won in the previous year.
By 1951 4500 Boxers had been registered at the KC and by 1954 the Breed had risen from 70th to 4th place in the list of the most popular dogs. By then the Presidency had been taken over by Major Douglas Bostock, well known not only for his Birstall Boxers, but also for his Bostock Circus and Menagerie. 1955 saw the production of the Club's first Year Book, costing 7s.6d.; a useful record of the famous dogs, past and present, who had contributed to the well-being of the Breed.
The Club has published two Record Books, the first thanks to Jo Royle, Dibbie Somerfield and Peggy Knight, covering 1936-1975, and the second Volume II, another labour of love by Robert McDougal and Linda Carnaby, covering 1976-1990. In them every British Boxer reaching the status of Champion is pictured and the pedigree given.
In 1957, the British Boxer Club's 21st Birthday, the Club was proud to welcome to their 21st Birthday Rally, as their special guests, Mr. & Mrs. Wagner and the British also became The Parent Club of Boxerdom with its first branch opening in Bournemouth, quickly followed by East Anglia and Exeter in 1958.
Various venues around the Country were used for Club Shows; London's Queensway Ice Rink, Alexander Palace, Doncaster, Stoneleigh, Telford and Northampton for Championship Shows and the London area and St. Albans for Open Shows. Midlands venue, however, was favoured and, consequently, thanks to a bank loan, an interest-free loan generously made by the Bath Championship Show and the magnanimous support of many breeders, exhibitors and friends, the British were able to purchase their own hall for which a suitable location was found at Towcester Race Course. The whole concept was a truly pioneering venture, no other Breed Club ever having had premises of their own. The refurbishment of Towcester made the Club homeless again, but the Club was lucky to find a good, central venue at Tomlinsons', Markfield, Leciester. Following a few successful years there, circumstances made another move necessary and since 2003 Open Shows have been held at Steventon, Oxford and Championship Shows have have been held at various venues.
From its earliest days, the Club has produced a Newsletter for its members, the original title of which was “Boxer Quarterly”! The Newsletter is now published twice a year and, thanks to it's to all of its Editors through the years, still manages to inform and entertain. Items for publication are always more than welcome.