17th of March 2014: Goodbye Ripley. We will always miss you. Life will never be the same again. Thank you for all that you gave us. All the memories. The travels all over the world, the show wins including that Crufts Best of Breed in 2010. Our first Champion title. Our first puppies. Your grandpuppies and great grandpuppies. The new husband you got me, and all the new friends. THANK YOU.
Champion Sabrefield Zimply Zuper 15/4 2000 - 17/3 2014

Obituary in Our Dogs 21/3 2014.

Thank you Sandra Pidgeon for this poem about Ripley:

Ripley's Song

I am not gone from you.

How could I leave you? The love we had could never die.
True, my beautiful face will not lift again to your voice
And your reaching hand will not find me close at your side.
But look in your heart.  

See? I am there as I always was. Not as in these last weary days 
But as I was in my prime, in all my strength and beauty,
Dancing for joy. And you have only to turn your head to find me!
Need I tell you where?

Look, look, at my daughters and their daughters! Do you not see me
In the lift of a head, or the set of a tail, or the wicked flash of a Mali grin?
Do my sons not leap into eager life with all the delight that was mine?
What need then to mourn?

I was part of you. I am still the same. I will be with you always. 
Think of the years we had, remember how I ran and leaped, and danced!
Think how I loved you, from first day to last, with all my heart and mind!
Then lift up your heart, and smile.

I am not gone from you.

Below is Ripley's own page.

One in a million


Malinois bitch, d.o.b. 15th April 2000

Fawn with black mask

Sire: Sabrefield Right On Cue CD Ex Dam: Sabrefield Quite A Story

Breeder: Liz Richardson

Hips: 5/6

KC Good Citizen Bronze, Silver and Gold awards

Passed Working BSD Society's Character assessment

Worked in obedience when younger and has many excellent confirmation show results inc. Best of Breed at Crufts 2010 where she also won her third CC making her a Champion -the first Malinois bitch to gain the title of Champion at Crufts. At a month shy of 10 years of age!

3 CCs (all with BOB and all under breed specialists), 23 or 24 Best of Breed (am losing count) and numerous Reserve BOB, Best Bitch, Reserve Best Bitch, Best Veteran etc, at both Open and Championship shows; all breed and breed shows. BIS veteran BSDA April 2011 and Norbel October 2011.

John handling Ripley in the big ring at Crufs 2010 for the Pastoral Group judging

** CLICK HERE to see Ripley's travels ! **

My daughter Rebecca's funny card about Ripley. All her own work -card and ratings!

Photo with Tosca the cat by www.photocat.co.uk

Photo by www.photocat.co.uk


The Belgian Shepherd Dog -Malinois.

A very rare breed in England, and only suitable for few.

Used as police dogs, army dogs, sniffer dogs etc, the

Malinois needs to work.

I first came across the breed in the USA.

I have always tended to prefer softer breeds of dog,

with long fur and floppy ears.

The Malinois certainly does not match that description !

But when I felt I needed a tougher breed who could

help guard the house and one which I could work in obedience,

then the choice was easy.

I was lucky enough to be put in touch with Liz Richardson

of the famous Sabrefield Kennels.

I was even luckier to be offered a puppy.

I had bought puppies many times in the past, and the

usual questions you face from breeders are

"Do you want the dog as a pet or for showing as well ?"

This was different, because the Malinois is different !

The question was "What kind of work do you intend to do?"

My answer was, of course, obedience.

I may never reach the obedience ring at Crufts, but I

have a LOT of fun training my dogs, and even after having

attended dog training classes for over 20 years I still

learn more every week.

Above is a picture of my son Benjamin, then just 5 months old, and I trying to chose

a puppy.

I believe it took me nearly 4 hours, but in the end I picked this puppy.

I wanted to pick a puppy on temperament only,

wanting a bold and strong dog,

and this one was forward and came to ME.

When she walked over to Benjamin in his car seat and put

her head on his lap, I knew she was the one.

She barked for 2 hours non-stop on the long journey home.

She was not afraid or lonely, just angry at being restrained in a car cage !

This puppy needed a name suitable for a tough bitch.

The suggestion of RIPLEY came up -after the Alien movies.

Sigourney Weaver's character certainly was a TOUGH BITCH !!

Here is Ripley at 10 weeks of age.

Ripley soon made friends with Emma the Golden Retriever, then a year old.

It did not take Ripley long to overpower Emma, although in a friendly way !!

Ripley at 10 weeks.

She has never been allowed on the furniture but was placed on the

couch for her photograph to be taken !

One ear still had not decided whether it wanted to be up or down.

Here Ripley is 6 months old and already almost adult size !

Ripley at 18 months of age.

Although I had kept and trained a lot of dogs over almost 20 years of

time, and believed I was prepared for a Malinois, Ripley still

came as a bit of a shock to me.


(Nor one so IMPOSSIBLE to tire out.)

I knew I would NEVER give up on training her,

but she proved to be a hundred times more hard work

than any of my previous dogs.

Ripley wanted to be in charge, and of course

I had to prove to her - kindly! - that I was the boss

and nobody else.

It took a LOT of hard work, both at dog training classes

and private lessons -thanks to my friend Violet Hurd

of Man's Best Friend Dog Training Club.


I cannot imagine ever being without Ripley now.

She is my dream dog, my dog of a life time.

She is extremely loyal to me and anybody that she considers to be

part of her pack or family.

She is eager to please, fast and accurate, although we still have

to work hard and practice a lot.

We haven't quite mastered retrieves yet -she considers

that to be work for the Goldens !

All she would retrieve initially was a yellow toy chicken !

We have now progressed to a furry toy mouse !

Ripley is also a very good guard dog, and is very

protective. She will let anybody she knows as well

as show judges and vets handle her -and she'll happily greet

strangers away from home, especially if they offer her liver !

But if anybody dares to go near her or us without

being invited to, especially at home, Ripley will get angry.

Yes the Malinois is a tough breed,

but it can also be very loving and friendly and above all LOYAL -

in the right hands. I feel very honoured to own a Malinois.


Ripley even chose my second husband. She told me John was a nice person and

liked him from day one, which is not her usual style at all.

This is one of my favourite pictures of Ripley, when she is looking in at

me inside the shed where I was seeing to my hamsters.

Ripley goes to shows too. The Sabrefield dogs have an impressive record.

Ripley's mother was Best of Breed at Crufts in 2000.

Her aunt Gabby (Sabrefield Raring To Go CDex) was BOB at Crufts 2001 AND 2003.

In June 2001 Ripley was graded "excellent" at the Northern BSD Club's

Championship Show, by a French judge.

In September 2001, she was awarded her first ever FIRST at a championship show.

There has since been MANY more awards.

She was shown at Crufts 2002.

(In fact she qualified 4 times in 2001.)

Next she qualified for Crufts 2003.

Here we are in the ring at Crufts in 2002, waiting our turn.

She also passed the KC Good Citizen Dog Test Bronze Award at the Darlington

Championship Show in September 2001, and the Silver award in May 2002 -whilst 7 weeks pregnant!

(Read her puppy story on Maligold page.)

In November 2003 she finally got the chance to go for Gold -

and passed the KC Good Citizen GOLD test -alongside Dandy and Arnie.

Ripley in early 2002.

Headstudy of Ripley, taken at a show in October 2002.

We have come to realise that Ripley handles best for John,

so he now handles her at all the shows.

Here they are in the ring at Crufts in March 2003.

Ripley was placed third !

A moment of a life time for us !

Another moment of a life time came on the 2nd of August 2003,

when Ripley and I took part in a real obedience show for the first time,

at the Northern Belgian Shepherd Dog Club's Championship show.

We came FIRST out of 6 with only 1 and 3/4 of a point lost!


The next day she was once again graded Excellent in a show, by a Dutch judge.

During 2003, Ripley qualified for Crufts no less than 6 times.

Guess who was placed FIRST at Crufts 2004 ?!

1st in Malinois Bitch KC Good Citizen -the first time this class had been held.

3rd in Post Graduate Malinois Bitch.

What a day !!

The pictures didn't come out very well.

But if you have QuickTime, you can view this little movie of Ripley and

John in the ring at Crufts:


Broadband best connection!

Dial up will take several minutes.


 Next came the Belgian Shepherd Dog Association's open show in April 2004.

Ripley was Best Bitch and Reserve Best of Breed!

In October 2004, at The Northern BSD Club's open show,

Ripley was BEST OF BREED.

She now (2004) has won a total of 2 BOB and 4 Reserve BOB.

She was also Best in Show at a Companion Show summer 2004.

*Ripley had Malinois puppies in April 2005! See HERE *

Photo by Photocat.co.uk

How did we get Ripley to pose so well?

She was watching a hamster!!

After the puppies in 2005, Ripley was away from shows for several months.

At her first show when she returned, she was BOB.

Then Rambo started beating her, getting both RBOB and BOB above his mum !!

Photo by Lewis Baucutt in 2005


In April 2006, Ripley had her final litter of pups. See HERE. After the litter in 2006 she

was BOB and Group4 at two open shows the same weekend!

Further BOB in February 2007 -I am losing track of the numbers now, need to count them up........

With Rio (left) at Crufts Discover Dogs.

The next day at Crufts, in the show. (No she didn't do much this year.)

7 years old and officially a veteran !

"How long do I have to sit and stare at this cake? Hurry up with those photos!"


So far, Ripley has won all breed veteran classes she has been entered in. See the news page for show wins.

Ripley September 2007 in front of our new home.

She's just looking better and better with age.

Not even much greying of the muzzle yet

This photo took Best in Show in October 2007 at the Northern Belgian Shepherd Dog Club's photo competition.


Do I look cute? September 2007.

Okay, what am I supposed to do with a HAMSTER??

What do you mean Malinois don't like cats?

It took my owner 8 years to breed a kitten of this colour so I better look after him !

Ripley (front) with her son Z, early January 2008.

A bad cut on the leg in Janaury 2008. Ginny keeping Ripley company.

Thankfully it looks like Ripley is healing just fine.

It has its advantages having a poorly leg. It's far more comfortable in the living room than in the kitchen.

Working at Discover Dogs at Crufts 2008. Rio, Ripley, Z.

Ripley and family at Crufts 2008, where Ripley got a first. Left to right: Rio, Z, Ripley.

Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?

Snow, Easter 2008.

With Bobby, April 2008

Ripley and John at Crufts 2009 where Ripley won both her classes. She's not looking bad for being nearly 9 !

9 years old and looking better than ever. 31st of May 2009.

During the early summer of 2009, Ripley had to be spayed due to problems with her seasons, she had a large mammary tumour removed AND was diagnosed as hypotyroid. However she has come through it all really well and after a short break was back at the shows again.

September 2009

Ripley with her litter sister Sasha (to the left; Sabrefield Zilver Zymbol of Belnoir owned by Judy and David Cloutt), showing the difference between Grey and Fawn in Malinois.

Photo taken 12th of September 2009 at the Richmond Championship show.

Ripley October 2009.

John was going to decorate so we had to remove all rosettes from the walls and I took the opportunity for this photo. This is Ripley with all her major awards. Apart from a few Crufts rosettes, none of these rosettes are just class wins or placings, they are all BOB, BB, RBB, RBOB, BOS, BV, group placings and similar. There's also her CCs, BOB cards and similar.

January 2010

Real snow!

After Crufts 2010

Ripley at Blackpool beach June 2010

In the snow December 2010

With grandson Rocco (to the left of Ripley)

with Simba December 2010

Ripley with her toydog friends after a run on the field April 2011

11 years young

Happy 11th birthday Ripley!

Okay I'll pose

Come on, when can I eat it?!

Good job I'm patient.

On Skegness beach 6th of June 2011 (the part where dogs ARE allowed!)

and on Blackpool beach (after the show), 26th of June 2011

Ripley, Fame, Z at Blackpool

Ripley in Paris July 2011

(For full photo story of the World Dog Show trip 2011 click HERE )


After winning BOB and Best Veteran in Show at Norbel October 2011, 11 years 6 months old

(Photo by Photocall)

I'm allowed on the furniture these days you know!!

A gold collar for a Goldmali (even if she is a Sabrefield!). Christmas Eve 2011.

Ripley (far right) with two of her grand daughters; Fame and Rona, February 2012

A walk with Peanut

At Crufts 2012 with John. Ripley a month shy off 12 years of age, once again winning both Veteran Bitch and Good Citizen Bitch.
It was Ripley's TENTH Crufts so we celebrated with a cake! Shared between friends and of course Ripley herself too!

The cake

In Discover Dogs with Z, Crufts 2012

Happy 12th birthday Ripley!

Mmm cake looks good

Yes I was told I could eat some!!

Some of the cake was brought indoors and shared with all and sundry

Later on a walk and a birthday portrait posed in the cowslips

August 2012: Ripley has been to her final show (graded Excellent) and is now passing the torch onto granddaughter Rona (left) who won a reserve CC at Ripley's last show. Happy retirement Rip!

Ripley's last show

Retirement is quite comfortable, reckons Ripley, even if you have to share your best spots with two granddaughters

December 2013; 13 years and 8 months old. Ripley now has some problems with her legs so long walks are out of the question, but she is still happy and as demanding of cuddles and food and treats as always

December 2013

The very last photo of Ripley, together with great granddaughter Ritzy. March 2014.