Linda Moore: Championship Owner, Breeder

Growing up in Lubbock, Linda Moore seemed to always have at least one dog, but her passion was in showing horses. As frequently happens, however, the demands of college and law school left her with less time for her equestrian pursuits. Although she finally had to close the book on that chapter of her life, it ignited a competitive spirit that is still burning.

When Linda moved to Dallas following law school, she knew one thing, she wanted a dog. More specifically she knew she wanted a cocker spaniel, a breed she had grown up around. Making some inquiries about local breeders, it was not long before she was referred to a woman whose dogs, Linda was assured, were “show quality.”

Although she was a sweet woman who obviously cared deeply for the cocker spaniels she bred, Linda now admits that it was immediately obvious after entering a dog show that her pup was not actually “show quality.” Nevertheless, she loved her new dog, and perhaps more importantly, despite the initial setback, Linda was hooked – not only on cocker spaniels but also on owning a true show dog that embodied its elusive breed standard.

Over the next several years Linda herself became a breeder-owner of a line of cocker spaniels, each a little closer to that goal than the last, all leading to one exceptional litter in 2008. In a litter that included three other champions, the true star was a male with a spectacular black coat and a spirit and movement that was impossible to deny.

With the fitting pedigree name of Casablanca’s Thrilling Seduction, and the even more apt call name of Beckham, it was almost instantly obvious that he was born to be a champion, just like his namesake David Beckham, says Linda.

And what a champion he proved to be.

He took the show world by storm, quickly amassing an impressive litany of titles and qualifying for the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, considered by many to be the “Super Bowl” of US dog shows.

Winning the sporting group title in 2011, he was a crowd favorite when he entered the ring for Best in Show, but ultimately lost the title to a towering Irish deerhound. Going into the 2012 Westminster as the No. 1 show dog in the country, he suffered a huge upset at the breed level that kept him from advancing to BIS.

Before retiring in 2013, Beckham was the nation’s top winning sporting dog of all time, with 123 best in show titles, and was the top winning cocker spaniel in history, with wins at more than 40 specialty shows, including three national specialty titles.

More than a decade later his records remain unchallenged. But whatever disappointment Linda might have felt by the missing Westminster BIS titles was more than offset by Beckham himself.

“No question about it. He was my dog, and I was his person. He would be waiting at the back door for me every night. No matter what might be going on in my life, I knew he was there for me. He was the sweetest, best dog you could hope to have in your life.” Beckham passed away in 2022.

Although cocker spaniels have played a headlining role in her life, they are far from the only breed that have captured her heart. Over the years she has also enjoyed owning a diverse mix of breeds including English cockers, pugs, standard poodles and even a pumi.

Her experiences with show dogs changed her life in other ways as well. As an attorney, fellow members of the American Spaniel Club, the breed’s national non-profit organization, would seek her out for legal advice related to everything from bequests, contracts, and probate disputes.

Before long she began occupying formal leadership roles within the ASC and the companion American Spaniel Club Foundation. This year she is enjoying her second stint as president of the ASC. She is still helping with individual requests, but also personally reviews every contract the club enters into.

Owner. Breeder. ASC president. It seems like there is nothing Linda hasn’t done. Well, maybe there is one thing. About the only thing she doesn’t do is actually handle her cocker spaniels in the show ring. A specialized discipline, she leaves that activity to the experts.

“It’s like being part of a law firm. It takes a team to earn the results you want. You have to respect that everyone has their own areas of expertise and know when to get out of the way to let them win.”

Read Linda’s full bio.