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Dick Cooper – The Gentleman’s Gentleman

By Joan Harrigan

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234 – July, 2011

Before the advent of four-day clusters and the widespread use of air travel as a means of moving from dog show to dog show, a quiet, even shy, man was setting records in the Midwest. “We used to call him ‘Three-State Cooper,’ for Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin,” former assistant Ken Murray recalls. “He didn’t have to chase Best in Show wins – they came to him.”

Like many of the great handlers of his generation, Richard “Dick” Cooper was born to train and show dogs. His parents, Jack and Ethel Cooper, owned Aragon Kennels outside Chicago in Barrington, Illinois. Dick and his brother, Fred, grew up working with their parents’ show and hunting dogs. Ethel Cooper bred Beagles and Miniature Pinschers, while Jack Cooper one of the country’s top Irish Setter breeders and handlers. He taught Dick how to handle a show dog, and then competed with him in the ring. Since Jack Cooper naturally handled the top winners himself, it was a considerable challenge to his son’s skills. However, Dick’s first Best In Show win wasn’t with one of his father’s Irish Setters, but rather a Gordon Setter. He wasn’t far into his twenties when he handled Ch. Downside Bonnie of Searleway to this win – the first of the 1,000-odd BIS victories he would accumulate throughout his career. Not long after, he went Best In Show with the American Water Spaniel, Ch. Mahoney’s O’Toole, a first for that breed. Read more http://www.onlinedigitalpubs.com/publication/?m=2330&i=74413&p=252&search=Joan%20harrigan&ver=html5

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234 – July, 2011

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Posted by on Jan 7 2022. Filed under Current Articles, Dog Show History, Featured, Remembering Our Past?. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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