Sonja Gorbould-Todd remembered with Crufts Tribute

Crufts Tribute

Following the recent passing of Sonja, see below for more details, the Club paid a tribute to her at Crufts by resurrecting the decorating of the Bernese benches with springtime daffodils which was undertaken every year by Sonja several decades ago.

There were further displays on the breed stand and a particularly poignant one on the judge’s table which was set in a tankard formerly serving as a Glanzberg trophy.

This display was utilised in all the photos of the day’s winners with the judge.

Thank you to everyone for the comments that this was a lovely tribute to Sonja and especially from those who felt they knew her well enough to say that she would have appreciated it. We would also like to thank Shandy Bridges and Paula Reynolds-Frost for the donations of daffodils.

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27th January 2024

The club is very sad to hear of the passing of Sonja Gorbould-Todd overnight at the age of 89.

Sonja was very well known in the breed for several decades and served on the club committee in the 1980s and is seen here (right) with the late Betty James at a club Garden Party at Towcester Race Course Garden Party circa 1987.

Originally with husband John Gorbould, but later on her own and then latterly with husband Reg Todd,  she bred and successfully showed many dogs under the Glanzberg kennel. In earlier times she utilised her Swiss heritage to import several influential dogs from Switzerland.

She bred 11 different CC winning Glanzberg dogs winning a total of 29 CCs between 1984 and 2005 to add to those won by her imported Swiss bred dogs such as Pia v Nesselacker of Glanzberg and Belinda von Lehnwaldi of Glanzberg.

More news will appear here when available but the club’s thoughts and condolences are with Sonja’s family and friends.


UPDATE :19th February 

Sonja’s funeral will be held on 15th March at 11 a m

Funeral directors- Viner & Sons, 56 High Street, West Malling, Tonbridge, ME19 6LU. Kent. Funeral at 11am Friday 15 March at Vinters Park Crematorium, Bearstead Road, Maidstone, ME14 5LG. Kent.

Small flowers allowed.

Small buffet afterwards at The Mote, London Road, Wrotham, Sevenoaks, TN15 7TJ. 

Those attending – for catering numbers etc, please let Sonja’s son Nigel Betts know by text. 07939 066542. 

Donations to Bernese Welfare (UK) in memory of Sonja.


UPDATE: 27th February

Crufts Tribute

Whilst it would be lovely (& timely) to recognise the passing of Sonja with a moment’s silence at Crufts next week, experience has taught us that organising such a gesture in the large and noisy hall is virtually impossible.

Many members will recall that for many years Sonja organised the placing of daffodils on the BMD benches at Crufts so the GB Club will be placing daffodils on the benches and ringside breed stand, in Sonja’s memory.

We hope Bernese exhibitors, old and young, will recognise and respect this tribute to a well-respected Bernese owner and breeder.