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Went to the Irish Setter Breeders club show today. Some of you may recall the difficulties I've had with Bess - to the extent the Ring Craft club I go to awarded me the award for the handler with the most perseverence (read most difficult dog)!

Well, I was a bit worried today as they had hot air blowers round the hall which spooked Bess something chronic. One was pointing straight towards the ring, and Bess was eyeing it up very nervously, so my husband and the lovely Catherine Carter (who gave me some helpful tips as well) stood in front of it! Seemed to work as Bess was the best behaved to date.

We didn't get placed, and I did a square instead of a triangle, but she moved on 4 legs albeit not very well.

I think she's calmed down after her season, and responding to me a lot better. So now perhaps i can concentrate on handling her better rather than providing the ringside entertainment. :0)

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Well done to you both, patience and preservation has paid off.

We went to the Irish Setter of Wales club show at Malvern today took both of the pups but withdrew Oscar as he needs more meat on him as has had a massive growth spurt and is all bone and legs bless him.

My daughter Chloe it was her first show too so even though she didn't get anywhere I was still very proud of the pair of them. Up until Christmas she had never done any form of ring- craft at all.

We were hoping our friend would show Sky but Sky was being a madam and just wouldn't let her touch her and stand her, ran her lovely though. So a little bit of a baptistism of fire for poor Chloe, thrown right in the deep end. Just going to spend the next few months doing small shows and build up Chloe's confidence.

Sky was such a good girl and at least stood when Chloe wanted her too and didn't mess around as much as I thought she would, quite calm for Sky.

All good experience for them both and the only way is up now.

Well done to your daughter! Must have been a shock as she was just going to watch. I know people say that an expert handler can make a poor dog look good, or a poor handler the opposite, but I'm starting to think that starting out as a novice handler with a novice dog has so many benefits as if you do get somewhere you know it's down to the partnership between you n.

Although to experienced people our progress has been slow, the pleasure I have tonight more than makes up for it.

They will build up a good rapport with each other that hopefully it will be so natural for them both. One small problem although not so small is Sky's brother as Chloe was handling him but as their the same age they are both in the same classes opposite rings ??

Might just have to rope my son in or just bite the bullet and do it myself and ditch the walking stick and take coppus amounts of pain killers before going into the ring.

I know what you mean! I have a dodgey knee and really shouldn't be running on it! But I'll keep on until I fall over. Lol!

BEWARE, Trish!!

I had been showing Copper for a couple of years "Oh! She is SO well-bred," people said,  "You must persevere."  Copper was by Wendover Cavalier x Wendover Gaelge Garelle.  We never got anything........ Then at "This is our LAST show.  If we don't get anything, I will give up." we got a 3rd place (Setter & Pointer Open Show)

The 'drug' kicked in.... the Coppermoor Empire was founded and that happened 40 years ago......!!!   Still going, wonky knees and all.... but as a backroom girl now!


It only took one little yellow prize card..........

I had the same experience in February...just hope we've not peaked too soon!


Lol! I must admit I was starting to think about giving up - but now I can't wait for the next show!! I don't think we'll be empire building though. Unless we move .......?
3rd out of five in junior today! And 4th (out of 4) in yearling.

But I can't take the credit. I took her in the ring and she started playing me up. Gill, who grooms Bess was there and came up to me and said I ought to start being firmer with her - or she'd take her in herself! :0). So I said she was welcome to - we changed places, and of course Bess didn't dare play her up! I was pleased with the result though.

And the Gill took her lovely boy into the Open class, came first and the won best of breed!!

So a good day all round. It was useful for me seeing how Bess looks in the ring.

Well done trish!! even if you didn't show Bess as you say it is good for you to see from the outside as well, you can ;ean w alot from watching!!  Good for her to get used to being handled by different people. Jocelyn...so sorry things didn't work out for you at Whelks.....we had a three hour drive too and George was very sick when we arrived but recovered well. He did well in the ring but didn't get placed and nor did our other two!!! But they did their best and that's all one can ask. Merlin did get 3rd in Good Citizen so we came away with something but i can understand how disheartenng it can be especially after a long journey and getting them all ready etc. Forget Whelks and just look forward to the next show, the photos of your dogs are lovely so am sure it will come.....

I mainly entered Open shows within 40 miles for my first year with Bella, and went to ringcraft every week. It was about 20 years since I'd last showed a setter so I only knew a handful of old-timers. We won most of our puppy classes ( mind you the entry numbers were rarely over three in our class) and a few Gundog puppy groups but mainly we met the Irish Setter folk in our area and learned a lot from their advice. And we ended up with a confidence-boosting wall of rosettes.

Going to Championship shows for the past year was like going up to Big School, it seemed as if everyone was mates and we hardly knew anyone. At the same time Bella was a stubborn teenager doing things her way so we hardly ever got placed - I thought of it as learning to lose. I was starting to despair when our affix partner took her in hand and made her show herself well - there's something to be said for 40 year's experience! And now I'm beginning to know a lot of people myself, and am learning a lot from the ringside. I still show her at Open Shows and we actually have fun now.

The weather at WELKS was extraordinary, four seasons in a day. It almost depended on the minute you were in the ring and how the winds were blowing how well you did. We ended up in a head-to-head with Bella's litter sister in Graduate, I think it was close but finally she came first and we were second - I was as thrilled for her as I would have been if we'd come first, family's family.

Thanks Jocelyn! We're going to Three Counties too -already getting nervous! At least we'll be able to support each other!
Yes, I'm pretty sure I've entered Mid Herts. I know there's one at Wood Green on the 19th May?




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