Ringsides Kennel is an AKC registered kennel in Madera, California. Loren and Laurie Freeman registered the Ringsides Kennel name with the AKC in 2006 and have been raising and showing English Mastiffs since 1999. Ringsides Kennel is on a property that was once the headquarters for a large cattle ranch. This created plenty of pasture to let the dogs roam and play in. The dogs are housed in a structure that was once a chicken coop. It is currently an air-conditioned and heated dog “coop”. Each dog has its own crate for sleeping and its own space for eating. The Ringsides dogs are socialized and trained to be around animals and people. They can all be in the same run at the same time or can be separated and allowed to rest alone if that’s what they need.
Ringsides Kennel takes great care in health testing all of their dogs. All the mastiffs are hip; elbow, heart, thyroid and patella tested using the OFA standards. Evaluations must be good or better in hips, and they will be normal or better in the other tests. Ringsides also use HOMEAGAIN micro chipping. The Freeman’s see it as a must for all dogs to be micro chipped.
The Freeman’s started with Mae Bell, a loving giant of a dog. She was the inspiration for the Ringsides Kennel. The Freeman’s could see that the mastiff breed was lovable and loyal. They decided they wanted more mastiffs. Mae Bell had one litter of puppies in 2002. She was bred to a Mtn Oaks stud dog named Jethro. That relationship with Mtn Oaks started the Freeman’s show dog hobby. Andie Williams of Mtn Oaks became a friend and mentor to Loren and Laurie. Andie is a special friend and a wonderful source of information when it comes to breeding, training, showing, hotel managment and slot machine gambling.
With the Mtn Oaks relationship firmly established the Freeman’s bought a show quality bitch, named Grace. The Freeman’s started showing Grace in 2003. Grace was the start of a show dog kennel. She finished as a champion in 2004 and had her first litter of puppies in 2006. Grace has a wonderful temperament to go with a beautiful mastiff body. Grace was shown with their other dogs and bitches until 2007. She provided companionship to the other mastiffs the Freeman’s were showing. Grace has been retired from the show ring and has also been spayed. Grace’s days now are spent like Laurie’s, laying back relaxing with the other dogs and enjoying retirement.
Andie Williams of Mtn Oaks recommended Leo to the Freeman’s. She had bred his parents and placed him in a home out of state. But things didn’t work out for Leo there. That was the best thing that could have happened to the Freeman’s. They had finished Grace and were looking for a stud dog to compliment her. Cheryl Cates, a professional handler, showed Leo for the Freeman’s, as well as the other Ringsides mastiffs. Leo is a large fawn male with a gorgeous head and nice straight back. He is a natural show dog. He loves to show off, prance, bark, and play. He is a handful of a dog for a handler and Cheryl has nicknamed him the “punk”. Leo took Best of Breed at the Sequoia Kennel Club dog show in his second outing as a show dog. He finished his classes and became a champion is 2005 after six months in the ring. He is at stud now and enjoys a ride in a pick-up truck every day.
Ringsides Kennel has all the approved colors that mastiffs come in. The most recent champion at Ringsides Kennel is Rose. She is a large apricot colored bitch that was bred in Arkansas. Rose’s breeding originates from Mtn Oaks Kennel and Gropetti’s Kennel. The Freeman’s started showing Rose in 2007 and finished her in 2008. She is now going to start her breeding career. Rose’s temperament is mild and serene, typical of the mastiff breed. She gets along with people, other dogs and cats, but doesn’t like riders on bicycles.
Currently Ringsides has two brindle puppies that are being shown. Pricilla is a little less than two years old and is being shown at only local shows. Pricilla is the daughter of Archie and Bessie. She is the first Ringsides Kennel bred dog to be shown. Pricilla has the best personality of all the Ringsides dogs. She gets along with all the other dogs as well as the cats and cows. She can be seen roaming with the cows on any given day. Pricilla doesn’t know that mastiffs are in the working group, she would prefer the herding group. Pricilla is extremely sound, having a nice top line and a very correct head. Her depth of body is perfect and so is her leg length. Pricilla is a beautiful dark brindle with a soft coat. She inherited all the best qualities of her parents and received her first show points in November 2009 at the young age of 10 months.
Archie is the youngest male of all the Ringsides mastiffs. He is a dark brindle. He’s gangly, large boned, silly, and loves to ride in the pick-up. His nickname is “goof ball” and that name will probably stick with him for a while. Archie’s debut will probably be in the Redwood Empire Specialty, October 2008. Brindles take a little longer to finish in the show ring than fawns or apricots, so Archie’s show numbers will increase in 2009 and he should finish as a champion in 2010. By that time he will weigh more than 200 pounds and he will have had a chance to grow into his bones and skin.
Ringsides has established a relationship with Susann Everett of Beowulfs Mastiff in Mexico, New York. The Beowulfs Global Kennel has produced over 200 mastiff champions! We brought Fern into Ringsides form Beowulfs to compliment the Mtn Oaks line that we currently have. The Beowulfs line is large boned and the heads are beautiful. We will start showing Beowulfs N Ringsides Fern in 2011. She is a happy girl who doesn’t know a stranger, either animal or human. Fern is extremely typie for a mastiff. She should go through the show classes and finish as a champion some time in 2011.
Currently the dogs at Ringsides are separated into groups of fawns and brindle colored. The two groups get to ride in Loren’s pick-up truck at least once a day. Sometimes one group of dogs will ride in the morning and sometimes the other group in the afternoon depending on the weather. This traveling pattern allows the mastiffs to become accustomed to sometimes long periods of time in the pick-up. They are then ready to get out and show, play a little and then get ready to travel some more. Mastiffs are part of the AKC working group so this type of traveling is their form of working. They can protect their pick-up truck and tease other dogs from the back of their pick-up too. For the comfort of the dogs Loren has installed a camper shell and has taken out the side screens. Ringsides mastiffs can be seen with their heads out the side windows, working the way mastiffs should. He also adds cedar shavings to the bed of the pick-up when traveling to shows. This keeps the mastiffs smelling like cedar and also keeps the fleas away. The cedar shavings add a little insulation when it comes to over night trips that may be cool. Ice water is always available in a pale in the back of the pick-up truck so the dogs can have cool water for drinking. Loren has installed a ramp so the dogs don’t have to jump in or out of the pick-up bed. Large dogs like mastiffs can hurt their elbows and shoulders by jumping in and out of trucks. It also saves the Freeman’s backs.