Yes, there is controversy surrounding the Perro de Presa Canario.

Reality cannot be hidden. There is a controversy about Canary Island bird dogs, no matter how much Mr. Martín Bethencourt tries to convince us of the contrary.

In La Provincia -a newspaper of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria- has appeared an article entitled, “There is no controversy between Las Palmas and Tenerife about the awards to the Perro de Presa Canario”, signed by Manuel Martín Bethencourt. In this article, Mr. Martin once again pours out a whole string of half-truths and lies that are well known to us. And he lashes out at Clemente Reyes Santana, an outstanding fan of Canary Island bird dogs and author of several articles published in the daily press of Las Palmas and in the magazine El Mundo del Perro. Mr. Martin repeatedly mentions Mr. Reyes in his article because he has publicly denounced in some of his articles the shenanigans of the Spanish Presa Canario Dog Club in both provinces and close to the Spanish Royal Central Canine Society.

Mr. Martín (he writes) says that the club called Faycán, from Las Palmas, is the majority club in the neighboring province, when it is common knowledge that the majority club, by far, is the Club de Perros de Presa Canarios, with whose board of directors they have met previously on different occasions, and with whom they are currently involved in a pending dispute that is being taken to court. And since they have not been able to agree on a single point with the members of this club, they turned to the other club, whose only prominent member is Mr. Delgado. Yes, and they use this gentleman to achieve what they are interested in, and that is, to get their dog officially recognized by the Spanish Canine Society. Of course, the Perro de Presa Canario belongs to all canaries, not only to the members of the CEPRC (which only takes into account a part of the breeders). The directive of the CEPPC has pretended that the Spanish Kennel Club only recognizes the Bardino and Fawn coats, and as many of their dogs are boquinos (prognathous) they have pretended that this defect was not considered as such, when it is of public domain that the boquino dogs, of presa, have never been typical canaries, but product of crosses with English Bulldog (and with Bullmastiff from some time to this part). And they have opposed the recognition of the black coat on the grounds that black pointers are the product of crossbreeding with black Great Danes. Then they said that, well, anyway, that this can be negotiated.

And what do they have to say about family trees? This is the story and no other. And the other club (Club de Perros de Presa Canarios), which has about a hundred members, and who knows how many dogs, has not allowed itself to be manipulated, and that has made the people of the CPRC nervous. Why doesn’t Mr. Martin tell “the good fans” that on the initiative of this Gran Canarian club, hundreds of signatures have been collected in Tenerife and Gran Canaria, to force the Spanish Central Canine Society to hold the “round table” in the Canary Islands, where we can sit the various representative breeders, belonging to clubs or not, without excluding anyone, to discuss the Perro de Presa Canario and develop the draft standard as we were promised?

There is no opposition from anyone to the official recognition of the Perro de Presa Canario as another Spanish breed native to the Canary Islands, no. The opposition is against the CPRC’s deceitful policy, against its demagogy, against its farce. The opposition is against the deceitful policy of the CPRC, against its demagogy, against its farce. In this matter or we all enter or we break the deck. The members of the Club de Perros de Presa Canarios, of Gran Canaria, Clemente Reyes Santana, Manuel Curtó Gracia (the undersigned) and other fanciers and breeders are willing to sit at a table with the board of the CPRC and with the representatives of the Comisión de Razas Caninas Españolas who are willing to travel to the Canary Islands from Madrid for this purpose, to debate about the Perro de Presa Canario, for the elaboration of a project of standard, and thus make possible the subsequent official recognition of this canary. But, of course, the board of directors of the CPRC does not want to sit down with the undersigned, with Clemente Reyes Santana, and with the board of directors of the Club de Perros de Presa Canarios. They are afraid, afraid to lose the protagonism in a round table (democratic) in which there are other people who have more to say and better about the Perro de Presa Canario. If the only voices are their voices, there will be no room for denials and they will remain as the only and true ones. And what do the gentlemen of the Central Spanish Kennel Club think about it, what does their president, Mr. Valentin Alvarez think, what does Mr. Carlos Salas Melero, member of the Commission for the Spanish Kennel Breeds, think about it? They do not like to sit at a table where they have to listen rather than talk. They like to speak, to expose, with their previous judgments, to dictate, even if they later say that they are not, that they are mediators. The gentlemen of the Spanish Canine Central misuse of the positions they hold, poorly fulfill their function. This matter of the Presa Canario could have been settled and everybody would have been happy. The round table that we were promised should have been held some time ago. But the Royal Canine Society of Spain is that yes, but no, it does not play the CPRC’s game, ignoring all the complaints, all the proposals, all the dissatisfaction.

And let’s go back to the presentation of these dogs at the XV International Autumn Dog Show in Madrid. “Behind the Marquesa and the Faycán are years of selection and striving for improvement,” says Mr. Martín Bethencourt. Saying that does not compromise anything and the people who read it, or hear it, remain calm and believe it, but that is not the reality. Publish Marquesa’s family tree, and Faycán’s, the real one, so that everyone knows something of her origins, because to date you have not made anything known about this. And do not give the names of the dogs only, in brackets put the breed or type of crossbreed of the dogs named. And they were invited to present that couple (Faycán and Marquesa) by the Spanish Kennel Club, he says. Very well, and who selected those two specimens? Please say so, so that everyone knows.

Mr. Salas Melero, in response to my fear, told me by telephone that he hoped that Valentín Alvarez (President of the Central Spanish Canine Association) would respect the word he had given regarding the round table that we had been promised. I deduce that Mr. Alvarez has no word, and that is very serious in the most representative person of the Canine Society of all Spaniards. Because there has been, to date, more than enough time for this to take place.

And one more complaint. Mr. Martin Bethencourt, about two months ago a young man with long hair and tattoos on his arms sold you a Mastiff puppy daughter for sixty thousand pesetas, a puppy that ended up in Puerto de la Cruz, I want to assume that it went to the house of Mr. Carlos Bengson Reverón, current secretary of your CERC. What’s the puppy for? Explain it to the fans, to the general public. But be careful, don’t tell them that you liked the dog and bought her to keep house for you. No, you bought it to crossbreed with your dams, product of crossbreeding as well. What I have just written was the trigger that set off all the controversy surrounding the Presas Canarios, the crossings. Crosses that have been hidden. And it has been said, it has been written, that no, his dogs are authentic autochthonous, recovered from the few specimens that were scattered around.

And he alludes to me, Mr. Martín Bethencourt, without using my name and surname, in the article that concerns me. I strongly suspect that his style, of stick and knife,” he refers to Mr. Reyes Santana, “obeys the teachings of some non-Canarian professor, people from across the seas”. Yes, my friend reader, being from across the seas is more than enough reason to disavow me as a fan (and somewhat knowledgeable) of Canary Island prey, according to Mr. Martín Bethencourt. Twenty years in the Canary Islands, a Canarian wife, four Canarian children, and many years dedicated to the study, breeding and selection of the Perro de Presa Canario and the Perro de Ganado Majorero do not give me the right to expose truths that they try to hide, to denounce frauds that are in plain sight and easy to verify, to unmask a horseless gentleman called Manuel Martin Bethencourt and his accomplices and supporters of the Spanish Club of the Perro de Presa Canario.

Published by the author in El Día on March 10, 1988.

Manuel Curtó Gracia

Manuel Curtó Gracia

Propietario del criadero de Presas Canarios "Irema Curtó" desde 1975. Además de ser el criador de esta raza más antiguo del mundo, y de que sus perros sean la base de gran parte de las líneas de Presa Canario, también es autor del libro "El perro de Presa Canario ,su verdadero origen", del libro "El Presa", colaborador en periódicos, revistas especializadas, documentales, debates, programas de radio, televisión, etc.

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Manuel Curtó Gracia

Manuel Curtó Gracia

Propietario del criadero de Presas Canarios "Irema Curtó" desde 1975. Además de ser el criador de esta raza más antiguo del mundo, y de que sus perros sean la base de gran parte de las líneas de Presa Canario, también es autor del libro "El perro de Presa Canario ,su verdadero origen", del libro "El Presa", colaborador en periódicos, revistas especializadas, documentales, debates, programas de radio, televisión, etc.

Sitio web