The Making of a World Champion
As of 2011, there has only been one British bred Tibetan Mastiff which has received the accolade “World Champion”. Chortens Ben Sharbaz is that dog and we are extremely proud that he was bred by us.
Ben seemed reluctant to enter into the world, coming along 16 hours after his sister, Lingka, made her appearance. He was an ungainly puppy, all limbs and no flesh. There were a few hours of concern for him but he soon rallied and, since there were only two puppies in the litter, was getting a full share of his mothers milk. Nothing held him back and soon he was putting on weight and showing all the promise that was later to be recognised so consistently by so many judges.
Ben had been bought by an American woman living in the UK and at 12 weeks went to live with her. She had paid regular visits to our home to see Ben and get to know him. After a holiday back in the US she was ready to take Ben home with her. It was a wrench to see him go but we would be keeping in touch with her and, at our request, we would be showing Ben whenever time permitted.
Despite every effort being made for Ben to settle into his new home, he never really settled there and as he grew larger and stronger, he proved too much for his owner. When his future had to be considered, we had no hesitation in taking him back to live with us. He easily settled back into the life he had known briefly with his mother, aunt and sister for company.
Ben was taken to as many dog shows as we could manage to get to and very often came home with a Best Dog and Best of Breed win to his credit. His highest recognition in this country was to be made Best of Breed at Crufts under breed expert Anne Wynard in 1992. Thereafter we had a dilemma; Ben had started to take a dislike to his son Jampa who was also by then living with us and
since we did not want to let the problem between the two dogs get worse, and due to other reasons, we considered finding a new home for Ben. Many offered him a home but none offered as much promise as that which Evelyne Collombet from France offered. It was not an easy thing to do, but we did, in May 1992, wave goodbye to Ben as he set out for his new home in France.
Evelyne had owned TMs for some time and had enjoyed success before and so it was natural that her showing talents would be employed with Ben. This soon manifested itself with Ben becoming a French Champion within a year. Within another year Ben had been made up to an International Champion and in that same year, 1994, at the World Show in Berne, under judge Christofer Habig, Ben was awarded the coveted title of World Champion. A happy and very gratifying time for everyone who had seen the progress of this remarkable dog throughout his show career.
Ben was shown a few more times after being made World Champion but gradually he settled into his comfortable life in the Massif Central, leading his kennel mates for long walks throughout the nearby countryside. He was used a number of times at stud and his offspring can still be found throughout Europe and further afield.
Ben died in 2002 at over 12 and a half years of age.
We are proud of Ben and to know that he has lead where others are sure to follow.
The bronze figure, "Guardian of Tibet", sculpted by Patsi-Anne at our home
and the photo of Ben in France with his adopted family which inspired it.
The final version of this lovely piece of art was in fact a combination of Ben and his son Jampa.