Open Spaces

Barrington Connection to America’s
Most Famous Dog


Story by lisa stamos | Photo: USDA NRCS

From June 14 to June 18, 2017, Starved Rock Kennel Club and Little Fort Kennel Club of Waukegan presented four American Kennel Club sanctioned All-Breed Dog Shows, at which more than 1,400 pure-bred dogs competed. From Barrington, Barbara Benson was showing her German Shepherd dog, Grand Champion Marquis’ Can You Stop the Rain v. Kenlyn, handled by Kent Boyles, who owns and handled this year’s Westminster Kennel Club Best in Show dog, the German Shepherd, Platinum Grand Champion Lockenhaus Rumor Has it v. Kenlyn, now known nation-wide simply as Rumor.

This is America’s most prestigious award in the world of pure-bred dogs. Since Westminster, Rumor has made numerous public appearances, including one at the Wisconsin State Capitol, where she received a Hometown Hero Award on April 4, and the United States Capitol during the AKC sponsored National Pure Bred Dog Day.

On the road to her Westminster win, Rumor had won over 100 Best in Show awards, piloted by Boyles and his partner, Liz Oster. Benson’s dog, named Peabo, is distantly related to Rumor on his Dam’s (mother’s) side, and sired by a German champion Mailo vom Kuckucksland.

Barbara co-owns Peabo with Oster and her daughter Maria. Just over two years old, he was Reserve Winner’s Dog at the German Shepherd Dog Club of America’s National Specialty, and a Select Dog at the Canadian German Shepherd National Specialty. Since then, he has won in the Breed Ring at several shows to obtain his Championship and Grand Championship points.

On Sunday, June 18, at Lake County, he was visited by his “cousin” Rumor, who helped cheer him on to a Herding Group 1 placement for the second time in four shows. Peabo had won the Breed every day.

Benson co-owns several other German Shepherds with Boyles and Oster, all sired by Mailo von Kuckucksland. Marquis and Kenlyn Kennels are located in Edgerton, Wisc. Benson makes frequent trips to the kennels, and attends shows whenever she can. While they have reached the pinnacle of the dog show world by winning at Westminster, there is no let-up in the care of the dogs that they breed, or those that come to them for training and showing. It is their passion, and their devotion to the animals is apparent on a daily basis.

In the near future, Rumor awaits motherhood, and Peabo’s family hopes for more recognition in the show ring in the coming months.