Roche Abbey Yorkshire

Sh Ch State Occasion with Marion

About Us
In Memory

The family after a walk

Who says shows aren’t fun, ???

The Rocheby kennel  founded in 1964 with a lovely yellow bitch Kinley fashion, primarily like most people starting out she was just our family pet, however after a venture into the show ring and winning a 4th prize well there we were totally hooked and we thought our lovely Labrador was the best in the world. We then had another kinley bitch Kinley Magic and this bitch was mated to the Crufts winner  CH Follytower Merrybrook Black Stormer  and that was the start of all things’ Rocheby’. The kennel name was derived from the wonderful  Roche Abbey next to  the village we lived in and in and built next to the river Roche. As time went on  the kennel moved to Styrrup  where we have much more space and freedom for the dogs and we could also have our welsh ponies,  we are still enjoying our Lovely Labradors and some of our retired ponies in our everyday life today.
"Over the past 10 years there can be no doubt that one breeder of Labrador Retrievers has had the biggest effect on the modern show Labrador in the UK.
The Rocheby kennel, which is based in Yorkshire is owned by Marion and David Hopkinson, and is one of the very few whose dogs have won in excess of 100 CC's in the UK.
To date their stud dogs have sired 35 British Champions. The Hopkinson’s have bred or campaigned 15 dogs to their titles, some of which are in other ownerships
So influential are the Rocheby Stud dogs that the kennel took the highest accolade possible when Rocheby Old Smokey was the top stud dog all breeds in the UK under the Dog World competition in 2005. Smokey has been the top sire in the UK from 2003 - 2009 consecutively; not bad for an untitled dog that was rarely shown! It is not
surprising that many breeders suggest that Old Smokey is the most influential show bred Labrador over the past decade.

Rocheby Old Smokey
Another top sire for the kennel was Poolstead Pretentious at Rocheby (top stud dog 1993 & 1995), who was never  shown but was purchased from Didi and Bob Hepworth as David’s rough shooting dog. It just goes to showing that ‘breeding will out’, and that you do not need to have a top show dog to produce the goods. The success that Rocheby has achieved, especially over the past 10 years, and which many other kennels have capitalised upon, has not been instant but has been a culmination of careful and selective breeding, and a lot of hard work, going back some 40 years."
Their dogs have won Best In Show awards at the prestigious Labrador Retriever Club Championship show, Best of Breed at Crufts on several occasions, and won Groups at general Championship shows. All the title holders have been yellow, although the blacks, Follytower Charlotte of Rocheby and Rocheby Sailing By both gained 2 CC's apiece, and were unlucky not to have been made up. Other blacks have won CC's or res CC's too.
The kennel consistently fields a team of pre-potent stud dogs which many of today’s breeders have made use of and which seem to produce well to many different lines.

The full interview with Marion & David appears in Labradors 2010 – Champions for the New Millennium, which is privately printed and available to order from

Sh Ch Rocheby Acorn proved to be the true foundation bitch made in heaven.
Mated to Pretentious 3 times she produced 1st Litter  Sh Ch Rocheby Royal Oak,
Sh Ch Rocheb Popcorn, best of breed Crufts 1992 American Ch Rocheby Ripling Corn and Swedish CC winner Rocheby Cornflower 2nd litter Ir Ch Rocheby Rolling stone, Rocheby Rolling Home went to USA ,
3rd Litter Sh Ch Rocheby Whisky Mac, Sh Ch Rocheby Polkadot

Show Champion Rocheby Polkadot
was best of breed at crufts 1996, 1997 and 1998 this breed record stands todate.
Polkadot was in her own right another wonderful producer, being the mother of OLD Smokey, top stud all breeds 2005 and top Labrador stud for many years,
Sh Ch Rocheby Powder Blue
, Sh Ch Rocheby Pure Linen , and Rocheby Peppermint who had her 1st reserve CC in puppy.
Sh Ch Rocheby Pure Linen lightly shown as a puppy went out and won her 3 CC’s in 8 days a feat not equalled yet in the breed.
Old Smokey is the 1st Labrador to have won top Stud dog all breeds  Powder Blue produced Rocheby purple shades of Sandylands top labrador brood bitch to date.
So the line goes on we have been so very fortunate to have had these wonderful dogs.

Rocheby Welsh Ponies

Although we no longer show or breed the Welsh Ponies they are still a big part of our life. We thought it would be interesting for you to see some of what we have grazing away in the paddock here at Rocheby. All the Ponies are now all retired.


Video Links

Yellow Lab 2011 Dog CC - Rocheby Brigadoon at Beauvoir   HERE
Rocheby Pop Larkin owner Ramūnas Godeliauskas HERE
Rocheby Storm Welsh Section B 13.2 7 year pony HERE