My dog journey began at Windsor Championship show 1972. It was my very first show. I showed my mother’s Irish Setter:- Rua’s Affluent Shannon in the puppy dog class. I was a very young 15 year old . I don’t remember being placed, but remember the dog CC was won by a flamboyant Peter Davis showing Eros of Castleoak with the Cordwells SHCH Rifleman of Ronnetta winning the dog res cc under Sybil Lennox (Hartsbourne/Brackenfield fame. The BOB was Janice Roberts, who showed SHCH Cornevon Primrose,with the res CC going to the Normans SHCH Wendover Lady May with Pat Rhodes (Fearnley) being the bitch judge. I never imagined some 47 years later I too would be the Irish setter judge at this lovely show and would like to thank the Windsor committee for giving me this honour. My thanks must go to my 2 experienced stewards Bob and Penny for all their help and particularly for ensuring I stayed hydrated on what was the hottest day of the year so far, conditions I found most challenging!
Most importantly, I would like to thank the exhibitors for giving me a lovely quality entry which made my day so enjoyable and difficult at the same time! There were plenty of tough decisions to be made and in many instances very little separated 1sts from 3rds particularly in the higher bitch classes, post graduate and Limit classes particularly.
I was looking for a racy animal overall with a refined balanced head piece, not` to deep a flew with muzzle square at the lip, and a gentle soft expression which is created with a gentle stop combined with raised eyebrows and dark expressive eyes. Irish Setters should have a gently sloping topline leading to a tail which should be carried level or just slightly lower than the croup and it is nice to see it moving from side to side on the move. A working Irish will start to feather when it gets the scent of game before it goes on point.
The most common fault I found was with the exhibitors stacking their exhibits like rocking horses. Their dogs should have their front legs in a straight line, perpendicular from the withers to the ground. It was so common that I wondered if exhibitors knew it was wrong! The front angulation should be at 45 degrees from the withers to shoulder point and then elbow. Quite a lot had short upper arms which shows itself in a mincing front action. Correct front angulation enables a good forward reach with the front legs. Lack of forechest was evident in numerous exhibits.
I think there is a tendency for too much depth of flew in some males and paradoxically too little flews in a number of females with a lack of squaring of the lip almost bordering on snipeyness. Femininity does not necessarily mean fine in the foreface! There were a few round skulls instead of the correct oval skulls Irish Setters should have.
I found a few light eyes, which spoil the expression and a disappointing number of animals who carried their tails high. I think that high tail carriage is a difficult fault to breed out! That being said, I was very pleased with my winners and found some lovely animals. They were all clean and the quality of presentation was high.
I have been a little dismayed that the Irish setter is becoming a smaller and more compact dog instead of having the size and elegance I associate with it. Compact puppies will most likely turn out to be compact adults and there is a danger that the elegance I associate with Irish Setters may be lost if this trend continues. My entry did have variations however, which is good for the breed. Surprisingly for me, most of my winners were a more medium size than I would have expected!
VETERAN (8,1abs) 1st Milligan-Bott and Bott SHCH Thendara Pot Noodle JW:- Attractive dark coated dog of medium size. He has a refined head and a soft expression with a nice square finish of muzzle. He has a good depth of chest and was sound in the front. His neck flowed smoothly into a gently sloping topline leading to a strong croup and well placed tail which was carried level with his back. His quarters had a good turn of stifle and width of 2nd thigh culminating in small neat feet. He moved soundly maintaining his topline and I was pleased to be able to give him the res cc and see him put on a strong performance in the competition for best gundog veteran which he won. Well done!
2nd Mohan Anlory Keltic Legend:- A more upstanding dog than 1st He too has a nicely balanced head,low placed ears, good length of neck with a nice crest as well. He has a well developed forechest. He was good on the croup and tail set and had small neat feet. I would prefer a little more length in loin and more feathering in the loin area to give him more flowing lines. He moved well carrying his tail level with his back.
3RD Pullens Seowan Brilliant
MINOR PUPPY (4,o abs) 1st Pepers and Pepers Flannans Cracker Jack:- The oldest and most mature puppy in this class of babies being 9 months. He has a lovely overall body shape. He has a balanced head with nice dark expressive eyes. He has a defined occiput, a stronger skull than I would prefer and needs a little more work in his stop, however he has plenty of time on his side for development. He is well boned and has a true straight front. He has a nice deep brisket and spring of rib. I found him to have strong quarters with a good width of thigh. He moved well although a little proud of his tail.
2nd Pine’s Seowans Snoops:- A sweet headed puppy of just 6 months and looking it! He has a refined head with a lovely dark expressive well shaped eye. He has a nice flow of neck to shoulders and a deep brisket. He has a good width of thigh and neat feet and moved well. His owner needs to practise his stack to enhance his good qualities. I will watch his progress with interest.
3rd Jones’s Riverdance of Irish Smiling Eye (imp) taf. . I really liked the other baby that I could only give res to in the class I thought it was a lovely puppy but it refused to stand or cooperate in any way and hope the owners will persevere with him.
PUPPY (4,0 abs ) Glastonbury’s Brabrook Nut Cracker:-I really liked this dark straight coated puppy dog. He has a lovely head with a beautiful soft expression. He has a well muscled neck flowing smoothly into his shoulders. He has a good forechest and was straight in front. He has well developed hind quarters and moved very well in this class carrying his tail nicely on the move. I was pleased to award him best puppy in the breed although in the puppy challenge he lacked animation compared to the bitch but I liked his overall qualities and it was extremely hot!
2nd Longbottom and Stewart-Ritchie Gwendariff Smart Red Jacket:- This was a heavier built and more compact puppy. He owns a beautiful head and lovely expression. He has a good length of neck and has forechest. Not as true in the front as winner. He is deep in brisket and also loin which is short coupled. He moved well from well developed hindquarters. He looks like he might have a profuse coat in the future.
3rd Pepers and Pepers Flannans Cracker Jack
JUNIOR (9,2abs) 1st Pym,Milligan- Bott and Bott’s Thendara Marshmellow:-A medium dark straight coated 16 month dog with lots to like about him. He has a refined balanced head with nicely worked stop giving him a kind expression and a nice square finish of muzzle. He has a lovely flow of neck to shoulders, good forechest and front angulation. He has a true front and small well arched feet. He moved soundly with drive carrying tail nicely with his back.
2nd Edwards Gwendariff Ucantmissme Bonhomie:- A very eyecatching dog with a lovely profile. He is a larger, well boned and a longer cast mould than the winner. Closer inspection revealed a nicely balanced head and a kindly expression although I would prefer a little more work between his stop but he is only 15months and Irish setter heads continue to change until 2 years so he has plenty of time for development. He was sound in the front and had a good spring of rib. He was good in the croup,and had a well developed width of thigh. He moved soundly of strong hocks but was a little proud of his tail today.
3RD Danwish on High(ai)
YEARLING (7,0 abs) 1st Pym,Milligan- Bott and Bott’s Thendara Marshmellow
2nd Anthony and Stuart Staratlanta’s Out a time JW:- A larger and longer cast dog compared to the winner and not as mature. He has a lovely balanced masculine head. Long well arched neck and low placed ears. He was straight in front but lacked the forechest of the winner. He is a little long in coupling at the moment however when he feathers up it will improve him. His tail is well set on a good croup. I would like to see more development of 2nd thigh, despite this he moved well.
3RD Baileys Danaway Desert Song
Novice (5,0 abs) 1st Hunnybun’s Riverbrue Imperial Spritz:-This was an easy winner for me. I was captivated by this 2 year old dog. He was so nice to go over. I loved his balanced head and gentle expression, his length of neck and flow of neck to well laid shoulders, sound front, deep brisket, good quarters and he moved well carrying his tail level with his back. He just needs some feathering in his loin area to complete the picture to take him to higher levels.
2nd Tye Braidmount Come to me:- This dog was res in yearling class. He was also of a nice type and profile. He has a handsome head although I would prefer a little more work in the stop. He has a good well muscled neck, nice length of back and presented a balanced outline. Moved well.
3rd Pallister’s Corranroo Nordic Kiss at Penwyn
POST GRADUATE (12,1 abs) 1st Ashley-Turner’s Jonola Moonshine :-Large fully mature balanced almost 4 year old dog who caught my eye immediately. Lovely balanced head with gentle stop, kind eye, well muscled long neck. He has a deep brisket and good spring of ribs and length of back. He was good in the croup and held his topline well on the move. He has a rich dark coat and was well feathered. Knocking at the door for top honours!
2nd Holley’s Wynjill SnapDragon:- The first thing that strikes you with this dog is his striking clean outline. He has a refined head, dark almond shaped eyes, good stop. He has a long neck which flows cleanly into well laid shoulders and a true front. He is a medium sized dog of only 2years and 3 months old and looked immature against the winner. There is a big jump from Yearling classes to post graduate in a slow maturing breed like irish setters as there was not a graduate class. He has a good turn of stifle and moved well, still needs time to reach his full potential.
3rd Dufrat Lynwood Love Potion for Haverley
LIMIT (11,0abs) 1st Lauwers,Milligan-Botts and Bott’s Oakdene Que du Bonheur:- What an exciting young dog this is. Only 26 months old and looking fabulous. He has a beautiful balanced head with nice length of occiput to stop and then stop to nose with a nice depth of muzzle and square finish to lip. He has a long well muscled neck which flows smoothly into well laid shoulders. He was true in front and has a good forechest. Nice length of back with couplings that gave a lovely racy shape completed with a very well fringed tail which he carried nicely on the move and small neat feet. He has good rear quarters and moved soundly. Completed an impressive picture with his rich shiny dark coat. Close up for top honours!
2nd Shanman and Jennings Sharman Kerrimere Indiscreet:- A nice overall type of dog who has a beautiful head with a lovely soft expression. He has a good length of neck which flowed nicely into well laid shoulders. He has strong well made rear quarters and maintained a clean good topline on the move. He also has small neat feet and is lighter coloured than the winner.
3rd Greenan’s Anlory Aidan JW
OPEN (10,0abs) 1st Crocker’s SHCH Copper’s War of Roses (swe imp):- What a lovely class of super quality dogs! This dogs beautiful profile and clean flowing lines are what appeal first when going over this dog. He is a medium sized dog, with a beautiful head and soft expression. His long well muscled neck flows cleanly into well laid shoulders and he is true in the front with descent forechest. He has a deep brisket and has a good croup and correct tail set. He has wide rear quarters together with a lovely bend of stifle. It was a joy to see him move with strong propulsion from his rear end whilst maintaining his lovely racy outline on the move. Presented in full coat I was delighted to award him the dog CC and BOB and was thrilled to see him win the Gundog Group 1 as well. He is also the sire of the bitch CC today! What a special dog he is!
2nd Willis’s Sh.Ch. Gwendariff Thyme Bomb at Jacwillins JW:- This was the best I have seen this lovely worthy show champion! He is a larger framed dog than the winner, beautifully put together with so much to like. He has a well balanced head with a kindly expression although could benefit from a little more indention of stop. He has a lovely long neck which flows beautifully into well laid shoulders. He has a true straight front, a lovely outline and well sprung ribs, good croup and well set tail. His wide well turned stifles enabled him to move soundly with drive and he carried his tail level with his back. He completed the picture with his lovely straight feathering and was beautifully presented. A very close decision!
3RD Hill -de Coster Vicary.s Part Time Lover Nj CH and BjCH
GOOD CITIZEN (3,0 abs) 1st Jones’s Hunicotte Handyman:- reserve in the strong limit class. A medium sized very nice dog to go over. He has a pleasant head with a nice soft expression. He has a medium length of neck and is true in the front. He has a gently sloping topline and good croup and tail set. He moved well and had a nice turn of stifle.
2nd Mohan Anlory Keltic Legend
3RD Hoskins Sandstream Just A Breeze with Ralphski
The temperature had risen quite a lot from the start of judging so I thought it was prudent to judge the girls all undercover for their and my sake!
VETERAN (2,1abs) 1st Gardiners SHCH Thendara Jocasta JW:- This 9 year old girl I have often admired in the past for her nice type. She has a well structured head with nice depth of foreface and good square finish of muzzle whilst retaining a lovely feminine head. She has low placed ears lying close to a long well muscled neck which flowed smoothly into well laid shoulders. She has a good spring of ribs and length of back and is strong over the croup. She moved well. She lost out for best veteran as her coat wasn’t in the condition of the veteran dog. Nevertheless I thought she is a worthy SHOW Champion.
MINOR PUPPY (1,1abs)
PUPPY (6,2 abs) 1ST Naylor and Morrison’s Anlory Cometta:- A medium sized dark coated puppy with a nice kindly dark eye. She has a balanced head although I would prefer a more oval skull. She has a good depth of chest and loin and has a good topline. She has excellent hindquarters and moved soundly with drive. The puppy dogs lovely soft expression won me over for best puppy although she moved with more animation in very hot conditions.
2nd Leach’s Loganrich Beautiful Girl:- A medium sized lighter coated girly than the winner. She has a nice square finish of muzzle but was a little stronger in the head than I prefer, but still has plenty of time. She was sound in front and had a nice turn of stifle and moved well.
3rd Deans Tagamago’s Nessa
JUNIOR (9, 0 abs) Two litter sisters headed this class both being very different from each other and only 2 weeks into junior. 1st Barnes Gwendariff Let’s Look at me:- I liked the flowing lines of this very pretty girly. She is true in the front and has a long neck and low placed ears. She looks a little long cast at the moment and needs time to balance out and fringe up which will make the difference. She is good on the croup and has a good turn of stifle and small neat feet and moved well.
2nd Holley’s Gwendariff Look This Way To Wynjill:- A more compact girly to her sister. She too has a lovely head although it is different with a defined stop and soft expression. She has a long neck which flows smoothly into well laid shoulders. Not as long in the back as her sister but has a good depth in the chest and loin. She has a nice turn of stifle but would like to see more development in 2nd thigh. She has a good croup and small neat feet and a lovely rich dark coat and moved well.
3rd Sturrocks Forfarian Soo Lush
YEARLING (6,1 abs) 1st Hill- Decoster Marlland Change of Heart:-This very pretty 21 month girly impressed with her lovely flowing lines each part flowing smoothly into each other. Her head is well balanced and she has a lovely dark eye and a soft expression. She is racy in shape and her neck flows smoothly into a striking topline. She is sound in the front and has a good forechest. She also scores in croup, tail set and a nice turn of stifle. She has a rich dark straight glossy coat and moved well.
2nd Sharman and Jennings-Sharman Kerrimere Red Ribbon JW:- This too is a very pretty 21 month girly with a very feminine head and soft expression with a square finish of flew. She holds a nice topline on the move and is good in the croup and has a well set on tail. She moved really well on small neat feet. She is lighter in colour than the winner and needs more belly feathering to enhance her further.
3RD Roberts Jettsetter Crystalle To Polmenor JW (imp Rus)
NOVICE (7, 2 abs) 1st Barnes Gwendariff Let’s Look at me
2nd Holley’s Gwendariff Look This Way To Wynjill
3rd Gomez Gwendariff Is Foolin Around
POST GRADUATE (18, 6 abs) 1st Mugford’s Lynwood Abracadabra JW :- Although only just 2 years this girly was fully mature and had substance. She is so sound in all departments. Her head is very feminine although I would prefer more indentition of stop. She has a nice depth and finish of muzzle. She has a true front and good depth of chest. Her lovely well arched neck flows smoothly into her well laid shoulders which leads to a gently sloping topline to a good croup and well placed tail. She is deep in the loin and has excellent rear quarters with a well developed 1st and 2nd thigh. She completed the picture by moving soundly.
2ND Catling’s Teleri Indian Summer (ai) JW:- I liked this very stylish and elegant 2 year old girly who lost out on maturity to the winner. She has a lovely feminine head and has lovely flowing lines. Her long neck flows smoothly into well laid shoulders and from there to a firm gently sloping striking topline, culminating in a good croup and tail placement. She has a good depth of chest and has good depth in the loin. She has good rear angulation and moved well. Just needs a little more time for more feathering to fully complete the picture.
3RD Bye’s Covarney Everlasting Love AT Bluebyeyou
LIMIT (15,1 abs) 1st Blackshaw’s Lanstara Spring Star JW:-This substantial but still racy girly impressed me with her lovely head and rich dark glossy straight coat. She has a lovely kind soft expression and low placed ears, a moderate well muscled neck flowing into a firm topline leading towards a good croup and tail set. Her undercarriage is deep from the chest through to her loin. She has good hindquarters and moved soundly and freely lashing her tail from side to side.
2ND Hall’s Riverbrue Ophelia at Glennara JW:- This finer headed pretty 3 year old appealed for her prettiness and finer head than the winner. She has a lovely well arched long neck and low placed ears. She has a true front and is more compact than the winner. She has strong rear quarters with well developed 1st and 2nd thigh and moved well.
3RD Watertons Sandstream Welcome Breeze JW Sh.CM
OPEN (9, 3 abs) 1st Crocker’S SHCH Riverbrue Gloriana:- This lovely 3 year old impressed me with her outline. She has the most feminine of heads with a lovely gentle expression and long well placed ears. Her long well arched neck flows smoothly into well laid shoulders leading to a gently sloping topline to a good croup and tail set. She is deep in brisket and deep in loin. She has excellent rear quarters and moved soundly and stylishly with drive and animation whilst maintaining a lovely topline. To crown it all she was presented in tip top condition with a rich lustre from her rich dark coat and I had pleasure in awarding her the bitch CC. Her sire completely filled my eye in the BOB challenge on his move around the ring.
2nd Sturrocks SHCH Forfarian Hey Sexy Lady JW:- I love the femininity and body shape of this lovely girly. She is so very pretty and free from any exagerations. She has lovely flowing lines and is so sound. Her neck flows cleanly into well laid shoulders leading to a striking topline culminating in a strong croup and good tail set. She is racy in her build with a deep chest but not as deep in the loin as the winner. She has wide well developed hindquarters with a good 1st and 2nd thigh. She moved soundly and had a lovely glossy rich straight coat. More body feathering can only enhance her. I was pleased to award her the res CC.
3rd Catling’s SHCH Shandwick Star Shine At Teleri JW
Good Citizens (3, 3 abs)
CC BOB and Gundog group 1 Crocker’s SHCH Copper’s War of Roses (Swe Imp)
CC BOS Crocker’s SHCH Riverbrue Gloriana
Res CC and Veteran Gundog group 1 Milligan-Bott and Bott SHCH Thendara Pot Noodle JW
Res CC Sturrocks SHCH Forfarian Hey Sexy Lady JW
Best Puppy Glastonbury’s Brabrook Nut Cracker
Judge Colette Tuite