Date - 5 April 2018
Author - Diane Stewart-Ritchie

Now then. 'How do I tackle this report?' were my initial thoughts.  Do I give the history of Crufts and how dog showing emanated from this point or do I talk about the places Crufts has been held, from London to Birmingham through the various changes that have helped create what has always been hailed as THE BIGGEST DOG SHOW ON EARTH?  It would be great to look at how things have developed over the years and how Crufts has become the spectacle of the year for all dog lovers throughout the nation, whether it be dog showing enthusiasts, agility buffs, obedience lovers or just being in awe of what Mary Rae has brought us all with her Dancing Dogs, which has now become a hotly contested dog sport in recent times.

All of the above are a chapter in their own right, and much has been reported on these subjects already. So, with this in mind, I have decided to concentrate on our own breed to the maximum and of course this years judges will have their place herein.

Starting with 2018 and working in reverse order, I will list below for your enjoyment both the Dog and Bitch CC winners including Best of Breed from the turn of the century. The judges of each sex will be listed and I hope as much as, is practically, possible to include a photograph of the named Irish Setters. All of this is quite time consuming but it did give me immense pleasure as well as some fond memories of my own.


Dog CC & BOB  Sh Ch Coppers War of Roses                   Owner: B Crocker & A Siddle    Judge: W Morley
Photo: Laura Kolbach

Bitch CC      Sh Ch Neathamill Isabella at Clonageera       Owner: J & J Lippett         Judge: A Howes
neathamill isbella 2018
Photo: Jon Lippett


 Dog CC & BOB      Sh Ch Forfarian Im Sexy An I Know It        Owner: S, N & J Sturrock    Judge: M Howes
forfarian im sexy

Bitch CC    Ch Coppers Wine N Roses (Imp Swe)        Owner: L Kolbach        Judge: P Smith
Ch Coppers Wine N Roses
Photo: Meldor-Sett


Dog CC & BOB  Sh Ch Thendara Pot Noodle        Owner: D Milligan-Bott & J Bott   Judge: REA Rose-Hay
Photo: Kynoweb

Bitch CC      Sh Ch Avacet Snow Bird               Owner: M Elkins                     Judge: C Hogsflesh


Dog CC & BOB  Sh Ch Thendara Pot Noodle    Owner: D Milligan-Bott & J Bott  Judge: G Barker-Bell

Bitch CC    Sh Ch Ixia Genevieve        Owner: D & H Bouttell        Judge: S Chorley-Newton
Bitch CC 2015 ixia genevieve
Photo: Barbara Gladwish


Dog CC & BOB   Sh Ch Meadway Morrisey    Owner: B Crocker & J Eden     Judge: I Munro
Sh Ch Meadway Morrisey
Photo Paul Scanlon

Bitch CC    Sh Ch Lynwood Started With A Kiss  Owner: J & R Mugford    Judge: S Oakley
LynwoodStartedWithAKissJW ISCW 220412 gladwish
Photo: Barbara Gladwish


Dog CC & BOB  Sh Ch & Ir Sh Ch Northamber Just Cause For Glenavna Owner: C McLarnon   Judge: J Kniveton
just cause DSC 8368a
Photo: Barbara Gladwish

Bitch CC    Millcroft Ballad of the Moon               Owner: J Walsh        Judge: P Jeffries
Sh Ch Millcroft Ballad of the Moon JW 1 002


Dog CC& BOB    Sh Ch& Ir Sh Ch Northamber Just Cause For Glenavna  Owner: C McLarnon   Judge: B Andrews
Northamber just Cause 2012
Photo: Ian Newsham

Bitch CC    Coppers Magical Bubble                Owner: M Backman        Judge: E Ciechonska
Photo: Anne Jansen


 Dog CC & BOB  Sh Ch & Ir Sh Ch Northamber Just Cause For Glenavna  Owner: C McLarnon  Judge: B Marshall
Crufts2011 2 088 003
Photo: Kasia Czapla

Bitch CC     Sh Ch Outfoxed By Kerryfair            Owner: S & K Chorley   Judge: M Bott
Outfoxed By Kerryfair JW Richmond 130909 IMG 0466
Photo: Ian Newsham


Dog CC & BOB  Sh Ch Sumaric Shadow of Mr Jingles    Owner: Lauwers, Milligan-Bott & Bott  Judge: C Atkinson
Photo: Barbara Gladwish

Bitch CC    Sh Ch Lynwood Follow Your Dreams     Owner: J & R Mugford       Judge: L King
lynwood follow your dreams


Dog CC & BOB Sh Ch & Ir Sh Ch Gwendariff Dom Perignon    Owner: D Ritchie    Judge: V King
Crufts 09 THE PIC 002

Bitch CC            Sh Ch Lynwood Sealed With A Kiss               Owner: J & R Mugford   Judge: L Dale
2009 lynwood sealed with a kiss


Dog CC & BOB Ir Sh Ch Lestannons Mickey Blue Eyes  Owner: Mesdames Hough & Park   Judge: J Bott

Bitch CC           Sh Ch Romarne Melissa                   Owner: L Muir         Judge: N Wilson
romarna melissa 2008
Photo: Deya


Dog CC & BOB  Sh Ch Thendara Don Corleone         Owner D Millgan-Bott & J Bott   Judge: G Hogsflesh
DON707 3 copy 003

Bitch CC    Sh Ch Braidmount Geisha Girl           Owner: M Hunter & W Brown   Judge: V Vamplew
Photo: Colin Waddell


Dog CC & BOB   Sh Ch Thendara Don Corleone          Owner: D Milligan-Bott & J Bott    Judge: D Bell
Photo: Colin Waddell

Bitch CC      Sh Ch Gwendariff Pop My Cork          Owner: D Ritchie                      Judge: P Butler-Holley
big lucy 002


Dog CC     Sh Ch Thendara Don Corleone       Owner: D Milligan-Bott & J Bott   Judge: JSF Smith
Photo: Colin Waddell

Bitch CC & BOB   Sh Ch Carnbargus Congratulation    Owner: E Gardner           Judge: A Harvey  
Sadie Crufts 2005
Photo: Colin Waddell


Dog CC & BOB   Sh Ch Gwendariff Dom Perignon    Owner: D Ritchie    Judge: M Gittins
Harvey1 002
Photo: Johnsson

Bitch CC    Romarne Melissa        Owner: L Muir              Judge: R Ellis
romarne mellissa 2004


Dog CC & BOB  Sh Ch Cataluna Gee Whiz    Owner: R E A Rose-Hay    Judge: P Rutherford
cataluna geewhiz
Photo: Dave Freeman

Bitch CC    Covarney Cara Mia Mine at Teramour       Owner: J Rodda     Judge: P Rhodes
cara mia mine


Dog CC & BOB  Sh Ch Shenanagin Some Might Say Its Bardonhill    Owner: M Bott    Judge: B Berry
Photo: Claire Prangle

Bitch CC    Sh Ch Delsanto Eleanor of Jennison             Owner: B Wharton   Judge: G Coupe
Photo: Claire Prangle


Dog CC & BOB   Sh Ch Thendara The Tourist        Owner: D Milligan-Bott & J Bott   Judge:B Evans

Bitch CC    Maolruadhan Starstruck          Owner: R Pickersgill       Judge: R Pike
Photo:Colin Waddell


Dog CC & BOB    Sh Ch Thendara Kennedy       Owner: D Milligan-Bott & J Bott     Judge: O Hunt
ken 002 005
Photo: Colin Waddell

Bitch CC    Barleydale Polyantha at Harreds       Owner: P Hall           Judge: J Russell
Photo: Colin Waddell

The years detailed above are from 2000 - 2018 and make interesting reading. It is also so nice to see the old photos.  Now let's have some fun with the Stats........

Two dogs have made a great name for themselves on the world stage with one just pipping the other by a single Best of Breed.  Sh Ch & Ir Sh Ch Northamber Just Cause collected three CC's, all with Best of Breed in three consecutive years 2011-2013.  His owner Christine McLarnon I know is immensely proud of Jamie's achievements and the lifetime experiences and wonderful journey he took her on.  Close on his heels winning three CC's and two Best of Breeds in consecutive years 2005- 2007 was Sh Ch Thendara Don Corleone owned by Dee Milligan-Bott & Jeremy Bott.  It is interesting to note that in this period of 18 years, only once did a bitch win Best of Breed, that being in 2005 when Eve Gardner's girl Sh Ch Carnbargus Congratulation represented us in the big ring. She won Best of Breed on that first occasion that Don Corleone took the male ticket.  He was to take the top spot on the next two years adding to the legacy of Thendara winning males at Crufts. In relation to kennel achievements, the Thendara kennel have won the CC with five different males during this period having previously had a winner in Sh Ch Thendara Okay Yaa in 1996, so a total of six different winning males, totalling 9 times claiming the CC and 8 times with Best of Breed. This is a fabulous record which I'm sure Dee and Jeremy must be very proud of. 
Jane & Roger Mugford with their strong line of winning bitches have collected three CC's at Crufts during the above period, with three different girls, Sh Ch Lynwood Sealed With A Kiss winning in 2009,her daughter Sh Ch Lynwood Follow Your Dreams winning the CC in 2010 and her other daughter Sh Ch Lynwood Started With a Kiss winning in 2014.  Such a testimony to Jane and Rogers lovely bitch line.
The Swedish Irish Setters were represented by the Coppers Kennel winners too during this period, again winning the CC on three different occasions with three different animals - two bitches and a dog.  2018 saw Sh Ch Coppers War of Roses owned by Blake Crocker & Amelia Siddle take the Top Spot including Best of Breed and Group 4, following in his full Champion mothers footsteps as she had won the CC the year before from the working class, how cool is that!  Laura Kolbach should still be enjoying the moment! The first Coppers Crufts winner came for owner Madalene Backman, in 2012 with Coppers Magical Bubble, who later became a Show Champion.  My own Gwendariff's were represented during this period by multi CC winning brother and sister duo, Sh Ch & Ir Sh Ch's Gwendariff Dom Perignon and Pop My Cork.  Dom Perignon winning CC & Best of Breeds in 2005 and 2009 and his sister winning in 2006. 
The Riverbrue kennel has been represented twice in this period with Sh Ch Coppers War of Roses in 2018 and previously in 2014 with Sh Ch Meadway Morrisey.  Lynn Muir's Romarne Kennel has also featured, winning the bitch CC on two separate occasions with the same girl, Sh Ch Romarne Melissa.  2004 and 2008 were her successful years at Crufts with added mention that she was not quite a Show Champion when she won her first Crufts CC. I remember she won well into double figures in the end. 
Now some geography.  The Celts have played a significant role over this period - little old Northern Ireland has taken home the Crufts CC's on seven occasions alongside six Best of Breed cards.  Adding to this further for us Celts are two more, for the Scots Celts - with CC's for Sh Ch Forfarian Im Sexy An I Know It as well as Best of Breed in 2017 for the Sturrock family and bitch Breed Record Holder Sh Ch Braidmount Geisha Girl winning the Bitch CC in 2007 for her owners Mona Hunter & Will Brown.

Whilst I have included dogs from the turn of the century above, I feel it would be disrespectful not to mention and give a particular place to those stunning Irish Setters who have taken our breed to the ultimate crown, Supreme Champion at Crufts.  Thank you on behalf of us all to Sh Ch Caspians Intrepid and his father Sh Ch Danaway Debonair, Sh Ch Starchelle Chicago Bear and lastly but in no way least, the only female to take this crown, Ch Astleys Portia of Rua. To their owners and breeders - a big well done, we are all very proud of this record you have created and welcome the day that we can all embrace and honour our breed at this level once more.

1999 Sh Ch Caspains Intrepid owned by Jackie Lorrimer
Photo: Dalton

1995  Sh Ch Starchelle Chicago Bear owned by Rachael Shaw

1993  Sh Ch Danaway Debonair owned by Jackie Lorrimer
Photo: Dalton

1981  Ch Astleys Portia at Rua owned by Colette and Mary Tuite

When looking over the judges for this show its most interesting to note that some of the famous kennel owners that were my own piers judged during this period.  Many have since retired from judging, some sadly have been called and some, of course, are still very active.  To get the big green envelope landing on your doorstep with the official invitation to judge one's own breed at Crufts must surely be the most important and special judging appointment of one's career.  This years judges were Mrs Wendy Morley (Kylenoe) judging the males and Mrs Aidine Howes (Medogold) judging the females. Both ladies interest and affection for our breed goes back many years. An entry of 162 dogs, making 187 awaited Wendy whilst Aidine had an entry of 150 bitches making 171.
Judging started promptly for the males at 8.30 am whilst bitches commenced at 9 am.  Both sexes scheduled Veteran Classes first which were heavily represented in both rings.  Great to see the oldies still enjoying their time on the green carpet and giving the youngsters a real run for it. Both ladies methodically worked through their entry finishing up in excellent time.

By now you will have had a feel for my style whilst writing the show reports, always wishing to give a good background to the judges in place on the day.  So here we have Wendy's history within the breed.  She is yet another lady who has given many dedicated years to the Irish Setter, albeit through her involvement with a Breed Club, her many years of showing and judging, as well as all the experience and deep rooted involvement Wendy has had through one of the strongest kennels our breed has encountered, the Hartsbourne/Brackenfield kennel of Sybil and Steve Lennox.

Wendy's first Irish Setter came along 47 years ago in 1970. Whilst Wendy was attending the livery yard where her horse was stabled she came across a lady who had an Irish Setter. She was out of a bitch bred by Ron and Margaret Cordwell by Sh Ch Brackenfield Tertius. Later mated with her puppies on the ground she died of eclampsia leaving all the resultant 12 puppies to be hand reared.  Wendy had a dog puppy from this litter, who she says did well at Open shows, even winning a few Best In Shows but he could never do anything great at the Championship shows.  Wendy says in those days Troilus was around and he and many of his offspring were dark eyed.  Wendy's boy had lighter eyes and it cost him at these senior shows. Wendy became friendly with Ron and Margaret Codwell, next purchasing a bitch from them.  She was to become her first Show Champion,  Ronnetta Wild Rose at Kylenoe .  She was by Brenrue Benadictine of Brackenfield out of Marie Rose of Ronnetta.

ronnettawildroseSh.Ch. Ronnetta Wild Rose at Kylenoe

A tragic accident befell Wendy's next girl just one week before she whelped - she died of strychnine poison after eating the remains of a chicken carcass whilst out.  This lethal substance was illegally used in those days and this terrible experience really rocked Wendy for a while.  Chris Morgan had used Betty Worth's Heathcliffe Tobias  on one of her bitches so, after a time, Wendy had a new addition called Buckset Bonnie of Kylenoe. A Reserve CC winner, she kept the fire alight.  Wendy says this is really where her foundation started.  She mated Bonnie to Hartsbourne Rapide who was a Trident brother but who carried more coat. A bitch was retained named Kylenoe Sun Princess (after the Derby winner) who was to become Show Champion number two. 

kylenowsunprincessSh.Ch. Kylenoe Sun Princess

One of Wendy's biggest achievements she feels is when she made up her homebred girl Sh Ch Kylenoe Crystal Spirit into a full Champion. She trained her herself, with the assistance from some trialling friends who had flat coats. In those days the dogs were only allowed three attempts to qualify.  Crystal Spirit did it on her first attempt to the amazement of a very, very nervous owner.  Training her had taken Wendy somewhere between eighteen months and two years before she felt confident enough to enter her girl in a trial, but she found she loved it and the sense of achievement she realised upon completion of the task was immense. She was the only full champion in the country at the time. Mated to Starchelle Chicago Bear shortly before he was to become Supreme Champion, Wendy kept the only two surviving puppies from her litter.  A dog and a bitch, the dog named Kylenoe Crystal Bear tallied at 2 CC's unfortunately never obtaining his last. Close friend, Miss Sybil Lennox had a litter by Crystal Bear a while later.  When Wendy went to see them she picked Hartsbourne Hyacinth as the best. Miss Lennox was keeping her for herself so Wendy chose another, Hartsbourne Jasmine, whom she still has today, now aged 13. Fate had dealt its hand when, some time later Wendy was asked to help out with the handling of Hyacinth.  At her second show with Wendy she won the Reserve CC - judge Mick Howes. She made up under Rosemary Godson, Joyce Webb and Paul Glithero and was to become the first and last for the famous Hartsbourne kennel.  The first, for Steve Lennox - yes, the one and only champion in his own name and the last, for Miss Lennox and the dynasty that had descended from Miss Eileen Walker.  Wendy now shares her home with a smaller but equally as active breed, although usually in short bursts. A lovely Whippet bitch has made her way onto the sofa now too.

BCC Hartsbourne HyacinthSh.Ch. Hartsbourne Hyacinth
Photo: Rachel Philo

Wendy's first judging appointment was a Limited show in the Birmingham area in 1976, eventually progressing to her first CC appointment in 1986 when she gave the CC to Sh Ch Cornhill Pippin, with Reserve CC going to  Sh Ch Laggan Bryans Boy.  Wendy has judged the breed nine times before getting the 'Royal Call'. When I asked her how she enjoyed the Crufts experience, she told me it was the highlight of her judging career, it was a very special thing to be a part of and that she felt her entry was of such high class - this is every judges dream. Decision now made, this was Wendy's swansong.  Her final judging appointment and what a special one it was.  What a truly memorable day for her.  Holland, Germany and Ireland have also had Wendy officiate for them, again great memories to have.
Chosen for the Dog CC was Sh Ch Coppers War of Roses owned by Blake Crocker and Amelia Siddle, bred by Camilla Ostman and on this day winning his 26th Challenge Certificate.  Arthur went a step further after being chosen for Best of Breed on the referee's decision by placing in the Group a very credible fourth in strong competition.  The Reserve CC came from the very strong Veteran class, with Sh Ch Thendara Pot Noodle putting on a fine performance, pushing the young Arthur all the way.  Owned by Dee Milligan-Bott & Jeremy Bott, Noodle also finished the day as Best Veteran in Breed. Best Puppy Male was won by a delighted Aleks Lauwers handling Oakdene Que Du Bonheur . Owned in partnership with husband Wim, Dee Milligan-Bott and Jeremy Bott this young hopeful went on to win Best Puppy In Breed.
And now, here come the girls.......
Aidine Howes has been an Irish Setter enthusiast since 1972 when, after a day out riding, a lovely red dog followed her home.  He was Studberg Tobias, pet name Toby was bred by Dorothy Butler who kindly put Aidine and husband Mick in touch with a number of breeders.  No puppies were available until the late Biddy Evans made contact with them with a view to purchasing Goldings Maris Minx. Minka was by Sh Ch Twoacres Troilus out of Wendover Bonnie.  Another Goldings girl followed, again from Bonnie this time sired by Sh Ch Wendover Rackateer.  Minka mated to Sh Ch Wendover Jeeves produced a boy, Medogold Cotillion.  He was mated to Willy Dunkerkes Sh Ch Cornevon Westerhuys Dream which was to be the basis for the future Medogold Irish Setters.  In 1978 Pointers joined the Medogold household, with the later addition of Welsh Springers and Cocker Spaniels. A favourite for Aidine and Mick was their homebred girl Medogold Mercedes.  She was by Sh Ch Barnaby of Wesbere at Reddins and was the last of their original line to be campaigned winning a Reserve CC along the way. Aidine enjoyed the diversity of the Setters and Pointers but eventually a choice had to be made as it was becoming more difficult trying to do justice to the two breeds. Pointers won the day, but Aidine's love for the Irish Setter still holds firm.  The Medogold Pointers have had a very successful time, making up quite a number of Champions as well as winning Top Breeder many times.  

Judging Irish Setters for the first time in May 1980 at Chertsey & District Canine Society, was the beginning of some fond and happy times. The first CC appointment came at Bournemouth in 1989 and since then Aidine has judged our breed ten times including Crufts this year. A Championship Gundog Group judge, Aidine is approved to judge twelve breeds at CC level.  She is the Secretary of The Pointer Club as well as being on the Committee of The Setter & Pointer Club.  A very experienced lady with 'many strings to her bow', Aidine was thrilled to step into the ring in Hall 1 to judge one of her most adored breeds. On the day the CC winning bitch came from the Open Class with the Reserve CC coming from the Mid Limit class.  Mr & Mrs Lippett's Sh Ch Neathamill Isabella at Clonageera or Bella to her friends was handled on the day by Mr Loran Morgan from the USA. She was bred by the late Carolyn Evans.  He made a first class job of Bella and she certainly seemed to be enjoying his company! showing off to take home the big green card.  Gill Dale & Mrs Wyer must have been absolutely delighted to have taken home the Reserve CC with Aubanjon Royal Symphony. The winning Puppy girl going forward in the Best Puppy Challenge was Gwendariff Whirlwind, owned by Georgia Ferrol and mum Julie Murray. A special day for these ladies and I think I saw a few tears - of happiness, of course!

Congratulations to everybody on their wins, congratulations to those who came and took part but perhaps didn't have the success they were hoping for and most importantly congratulations to our dogs.  Crufts whilst fun and enjoyable can be a long and arduous day if you're a dog spending a lot of your time on your bench.  And yet they all coped beautifully and represented us so well when the public stopped to pet, admire or befriend our red girls and boys.  I do believe we are very spoiled with these warm and loving gentle red dogs.

To our readers, I hope you have all enjoyed perusing and reflecting over the years winners at this wonderful show and as for those who were the winners on those days - I hope this gave you another opportunity to reminisce and relive the dream that was .......... winning that big green card on the big green carpet and all at the biggest dog show on earth!

Diane Stewart-Ritchie


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