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Did the breed change or not since the sixties?

Did the Irish setter breed change in half a century or not? In a topic elsewhere there is a statement  the breed did not change in fifty years.


What is your opinion? Did the breed change yes or no, if yes in what aspects (conformation, health, character, working capacities)? Can you document your opinion? Same for no changes in your opinion, can you document that?


Here is a kick off with an article on the Derrycarne Irish red setters, bred by Maureen Mc Keever, published in 2003 in The Leitrim Guardian, written by Kevin Mc Manus. Her activities cover a large part of the period mentioned in the statement. She bred more key Irish setters in both show and working nowadays Irish setters. Would these still be able to win - show and/or work?


Because there was some interest in Derrycarne history, on request a story is added on a daughter of Derrycarne Harp - Ailean O'Cuchulain. Its entitled Devils Dearest, written as a tribute.  On request as well a story Hartsbourne Flame was added. She was a shower of hail and littersister to IRCH Derrycarne Martini

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You are right Margaret, what I should have said was that the AFDSB standard, differs on many points from the ISCS working standard.
Too late to turn back the clock....point taken.
To try to bring the topic back on track,!!!!!!! Just for interest in addition to my comments re dual champions on the 22nd June i just wanted to say that FTCh Ridgetor Firbanks had several close up lines to Derrycarnes,although interestingly Judy Russells full Ch Wendover Romance also creeps in here.I never saw him so dont really know his qualities.I dont think Mrs McKiever perhaps got the recognisation she deserved .I never saw an obituary when she died!
Colette, why was the first prize witheld from from Ch Joanma's Adriano in the open stake?

It would be interesting to see if anybody comes along who would be dedicated enough to breed and make up a dual champion. Maybe the optimist has overtaken the pragmatist but I do think that it might yet be possible. Especially as there are members out there who work and show. I know Margaret has commented before on the difficulties of showing working IR&W's and vice versa I also appreciate that many keep their working and show lines separate. It would probably be a lifetimes work but you have thrown down the challenge.....see if anyone takes it up.
I don't recall reading an obituary for Mrs McKeever either. I am sure Henk will know (if he is still wants to be involved). I have a copy of the obituary Bill Rasbridge wrote for Eileen Walker....makes very strong reading!!!!!!
Its not unusual for FT judges to withhold placings. If the best dogs running on the day have not , in the opinion of the judges, earned a placing, they dont have to give one. And if say, only two dogs have had a find all day, then not more than two dogs will get awards
Its not like shows, where even if there are only two poor dogs in a class, they will still get 1st and 2nd
And in Ireland, the 1st in an Open stake counts towards a title only if the dog has also been graded excellent

As for making up a dual champion in the UK, it has been done in recent years in pointers and Gordons, just one in each breed, .But extremely difficult,the dog that could do it in either breed is one in a thousand!

Impossible in English Setters, the show and working setters parted company over a hundred years ago.

Probably impossible in Irish Setters , as the physical type that will win in the show ring in the UK is now so far removed from what is physically capable of running in field trials, and the temperaments have also moved so far apart. And except for the rare people like Colette and her mother, who has the motivation to even try?
It hasnt been done in IRWS and is extremely unlikely to happen in the UK, one can breed a good looking , wellconstructed ,beautifully moving IRWS that meets the breed standard and can still hold its own in fieldtrials, but UK show judges are unlikely to ever give it a ticket.
And the UK breed specialist judges stick with the lines that they know produce show winners
More possible in Ireland , where the show judges know and understand more about working dogs, andare willing to place working dogs at shows

Some of the problems are to do with the dogs and capabilities, other problems are about the prejudices and blindness and ignorance of show judges, some of the problems are about owners who dont know anything about how to even start training a dog or how to breed the kind of dog that is a potential dual ch

If Mrs Nagle, with all her money, strong personality, determination, understanding of breeding principles, and bloody mindedness, some great foundation dogs, and employing one of the greatest dog trainers ever as her kennel manager , couldnt make up an Irish Setter as a dual champion, who can?
Margaret, thanks for clarifying the first point though when you say "in the opinion of the judges" I get alarm bells going in my head. It seemed unfair to withold 1st in the champion stake from Ch Joanma's Adriano depriving him of the Dual title when it was so close and I am sure they knew. I did say 'seemed' before you pull me up on that one. "If there are only two poor dogs in a class" then judges withold or place 4th and 5th if it is a class that carries a stud book entry. I have seen it happen many times over the years.
With respect to making up a dual champion in IS in the modern time then you are right, it would be extremely difficult and for all the reasons you offer, but then who ever said it would be easy. Maybe if not in the UK it might very well happen in Ireland, and where better then in the country of origin.
I am surprised at how vehemently you condemn show judges. They don't all deserve such vitriol. A dog who is good looking, well constructed, beautifully moving that meets the breed standard should absolutely be a judge's dream. It should have cc's thrown at it. A good dog will out......many novice owners have made up their first IS, without any prejudice.
As for Mrs Nagle, well she is an anomally and for all the reasons you state, especially when she liked her working dogs to be good looking. She was certainly not showing IS when I started but Wolfhounds were always her first love and I do remember her turning up to dog shows in her Bentley with Wolfies in the back and a dog guard made of what looked like chicken wire in a timber frame. I believe she gave up IS in the mid 60's, after George Abbott retired.
As for the future.......there is always hope, no matter how slim.
Hello Eva As an A judge for FT, I find your remarks in regards to the FT judges who judged Ch Joanma's Adriono insulting and most offensive. Could you please explain why alarm bells went off when you heard "In the opinion of the judges" . I would point out the judges did not deprive him of the title of Dual Ch if the dog is not up to the standard on the day it would be dishonest to award it a first. A judge should not award a first to a dog be it on the bench or in a FT just because it is close to winning a title.I dont think using the word "seemed" makes your comments anymore acceptable.
Eva, I think shame as it may be that Adriano did not become a dual champion surely it can not be blamed on the judges... After all, what would you think of a show judge who awarded the CC to a dual ticketed dog just on the grounds that 'he was so close to his title' even if in that same judges opinion the dog did not merit the top award on the day? As show judges we can only judge what we see on the day. The same must surely apply for field trial judges, especially when judging open stakes.
Terry, of course you are totally right in everything you say. It was my observation born of cynicism. "in the opinion of the judges"........opinion is subjective and can be influenced by many factors.
Susan of course, as show judges we can only judge what we see on the day and there have been many a time in the past when we would have loved to give a favourite dog a top award but could not justify it.
But ladies and gentlemen if you read through this discussion show judges are forever being accused of being ignorant, prejudiced, blind, incompetent.....these are also insulting and offensive comments. Margaret has included all these criticisms in her last posting.......I would respectfully suggest that you comment on that too.
"how judges are forever being accused of being ignorant, prejudiced, blind, incompetent....".

This relates to what the majority of show judges know about working dogs - little or nothing, and the little may be more fiction and wishful thinking than fact. So they can put up a show dog for tickets that is blatantly physically and mentally incapable of carrying out the function of the breed, and making silly remarks like "this dog looks like it could work all day"
While not giving a second look to a sound dog who actually does meet the breed standard and is physically well constructed for working, because it isnt the showy , exaggerated type that the judge thinks is so beautiful
Very recently we have had an IRWS show judge expounding on another list about how the IRWS should be a heavy "carthorse" as this is the kind of setter that can "work all day", in fact it it is the kind of dog who will be slow and tired and panting for water after half an hour, but that is what she gives tickets to, and she wouldnt give tickets to the kind of dog that really can work
We have judges in IRWS who talk the talk about "judging from a working perspective" but havent a clue about what this actually means (only one judge on our A ist of about 50 breed specialists has seriously field trialled setters - Mary Tuite)
Where judges are prejudiced, for no sound or rational reason , against the type, size and construction of the dogs in their breed that actually do and can work, there isnt a hope in hell of making up a dual champion
And it doesnt matter how much effort one puts into training a beautiful , but dumb, overweight and wrongly (for working) constructed show champion, it isnt going to get anywhere in field trials
That is reality,not being insulting
But now that the KC has started to think more along the lines of dogs being "fit for function" , maybe (faint hope ) things could start to change?
No Margaret, it is not always a reality it is an opinion from your perspective. You are, of course entitled to an opinion, as I am and so is everyone else....show and FT judges included. If you are so un-enamoured of the show world then why do you still persist in being part of it.

"But now that the KC has started to think more along the lines of dogs 'fit for function', maybe (FAINT HOPE) things could start to change?" (my caps).

How can the two disciplines come together when your attitude is already so negative. Where would be the common ground?

Be fair Eva. As a breeder the show ring is your shop window.
Margaret is right but this doesnt only refer to IRWS. Didnt you say eons ago (in this thread) that your friend had all but given up on gordons. Same old same old!
in Frank Kane`s book judging the gundog breeds, he does refer to a thoroughbred racehorse {Irish} and a Irish draught horse or Connermara {IRWS},so perhaps the judge you criticize was thinking the same way ?




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