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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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Henk......"omitting relevant information helps build an illusion of purity" That could well be true but why would the same author want to do that in two books written by him on the same topic and published in the same year though by two different publishing houses? I still think each book was aimed at a different market or maybe one is the 'pocket' version of the other......................any other suggestions
Eva here is responding to your Afghan etc post. Plus -totally differing- dual Irish setters from Sulhamstead lineage

Its good to read at last someone telling what so many people must have seen: Irish setters and Afghans are unique aristocrats in their groups. Both share a beauty combined with arrogance. This must have inspired quite a few...

Yes I can document which IRS could generate an Afghanish look by selection, no crossing needed. This is not stating there was no hidden cross, this is simply not documented yet and I rather stick to facts.

Now on the dual Irish setter in the UK, so something totally different. Your reference on mrs Nagle is very intresting. If you see that some of her dogs were handsome, this makes quite some huge question.

This question is even more relevant, if you know that most testing for PRA would have been unnecessary when breeders chose her dogs.

Her lineage concerned was apart form a small line of descent (not noted by Nagle herself by the way) considered to be free of PRA. So an easy way to get out of trouble instead of testmating with blind animals!!!

Another pathway around that time was Menaifron O'Moy, owned/bred by Mary Holt for a short time even president of the Irish Setter Association of England in that period. Sources say she (Sulhamstead advertisements documents this) and Nagle campaigned for outcrossing to their lines to avoid a lot of misery.

But no, UK showbreeders chose another road. Part of it was to inbreed to some non Rheola blood via Bill Rasbridges dogs (Watendlath). This lineage was maintained by him to provide something else for Rheola.

So you hit here on a main question nowhere answered on why????

Introducing Sulhamsteads into main UK population could have changed history, it did in other cultures (USA-AKC and FDSB, Scandinavia, most stunning Ireland: red and red and white working).

She and her dogs vanished from the UK setterscene but live on in many other settercircles not present in this site.

While reading her autobiography Mission Accomplished I launch a guess: her life was conflict, leading UK policy in settercircles was compromise. The easy way is living a life of compromise...
That was the problem Henk. They had to discuss it openly, they had no choice. Look at what the show setter looked like. Everyone would have known. This is why I defend them so much. I ran into a friend and his wife this morning. I said hi to his three hunting setters. Him and his wife hunt the dogs all over the US and Canada. They were impressed with my dog of coarse because of the high tail and she was quite pretty. We got into the AKC rejecting the dog. He himself told me in history and present dogs of all nature have been crossed for better or worse and the kennel clubs and AKC give people a hard time. He did say they are particular hard on the red dogs.
Henk, I have been trying to get hold of a copy of Mission Accomplished but it is out of print but I think I know of a source. I wasn't around in the late 50's early 60's so I never saw Mrs Nagle's dogs. All I know is that when her trainer retired her IS kennel was disbanded - totally. I don't know why she didn't persevere and I don't know why UK breeders didn't jump at the opportunity of using her dogs. As I say, it is an anomaly. Maybe someone can answer.
As far as PRA was concerned, at the time the only 100% way was to test mate though, for me, to deliberately mate a dog to a blind bitch, keep at least 6 puppies until they were 6 months old then test them and put them down is abhorent as was deliberately breeding blind stock to promote further test mating. I would far rather that breeding programmes were based on credited clear lines. Thank god we now have a DNA test for this.
You are right, Mrs Nagle's life was conflict.....far more interesting and rewarding than compromise.......
Saving these pages henk.
Thats great Kristi because its my last topic here and getting extinct while alive snotnice. Hopefully some will pick up some of whats fuelling so many setterfancierslives dead gone and forgotten but some alive and kicking!
Don't take this Discusssion off the site Henk.....it would be good to keep it on to refer to. I think this is a subject that we can all come back to.
Eva wrote:I don't know why UK breeders didn't jump at the opportunity of using her dogs Just for the benefit of providing info: some Sulhamstead lineage was maintained in the UK. Notably by Marjorie Jarosz (Joanma).

The author of Mission Accomplished, Ferelith Somerfield, told me after the book was published she should have spend attention to Marjorie Jarosz (deceived).

A lot of info is in Irish Setters by Gilbert Leighton-Boyce (London, 1973) pp 102 and further heading Work (Obedience and Field). This UK group often had beneath Sulhamsteads show-lineage in, probably the reason they lost in the end.

Leighton-Boyce already notes: It is true that when the Irish come over here, even under unfamiliair conditions, they soon begin to show the locals a thing or two.

In a nutshell: non UK-cultures were more succesfull entering Sulhamstead lineage, especially Ireland (S Natty), at the basis of winningest bitches-lines.
And one was even bought by the Irish setter club of Denmark!

If you would want to bring her lineage back to the UK that would be possible with the exception of FDSB-registered linebred to CLancy O'Ryan who is in the Hall of Fame, himself linebred to AM FCH S. Norse d'Or. Or spend a few years fighting bureaucracy, thats what I did.
Wow Michelle..........!!!!!! Hold Back!!! I never imagined that you weren't aware of your dogs lines and their history but others might not know and it was for them that I mentioned it. The reason I also mentioned discussing it with Greg Browne was because he, like Myra Thomas-Rhodes, is in the unique position of having imported dogs from the UK and seen the development of the IS in Australia and New Zealand over the last 40 years so his comments would be of great interest, especially as the change in the outlook and presentation of the IS from the original imports has altered far more than it has in Europe
I am on the opposite side because I have dogs with wavey coats and I have had to put up with criticism for that. I can read my standard like anyone and know what is the prefered coat. But I grew up on the Wendover, Sowerhill, Fearnley and Timadon dogs, they all had wavey coats and that is what my eye is tuned to. My champion dog was top IS in 2008 and has been top sire for the past 2 years DESPITE the waves. In an ideal world he would have a better coat but hey I will settle for his head and body any day........I am a very lucky lady........
I have to say that the American Irish are not all like that. Some have a much more 'British' look and naturally go back to our breeding when you delve into their background, Kate Seymour's Cucuhllain line for instance. When I was over in the US for one of the National one year, every time a dog took my eye, I looked them up in a friend's catalogue, only to fiind that they were all from the same breeding, or had that breeding in them somewhere and they all went back eventually to British lines. When I first arrived there I found the American Irish rather a shock to the system after what I'd been used to, not because I didn't like them, but mainly because of their size, they were so much bigger than ours, ( but now some of ours are fast catching up) but I found that after only 24 hrs, my eye adjusted and I didn't find them so different to look at. There, like here, there were those that I loved and those that I didn't care for and it had nothing whatsover to do with the fact that they were American!
Hi Michele,
I live in the US and I wanted to comment on your post. I try to respect everyone's opinion also. Down the road the setter was crossed with the afghan hound in the US. The ISCA covered it up. They needed the afghan to create the coat and it worked. They also inherited somewhat of a flighty personality from the breeding. Many people believe that is why they lost some of their intelligience. The AKC covered it up.
I did not mean to insinuate Aghans are thick. They are sight hounds.They are independent hunters and built for speed. They don't need to listen because they course for game. IS's work with a hunter they set, point and the hunter kills the game. Both dogs have a different gate. Crossing the sight hound with the setter created a different gate, head, coat and ear length. Many Afghans were bred to run rock in the mountains They were agile and bouncy to hop the rock. Setters run fields. It's a sight hound and not to be compared to an IS. But the cross breeding gave the IS a very bad reputation in the US. They said it was brainless. They now say that about the Golden. You really don't even see any pet IS's around any more. Although, I saw a massive IS in a park last week. His head was huge and he was taller then a female 1 year old Great Dane. I have never seen one that big.
I have never been to Crufts but I do watch it every year. They look different from the working dogs but that is my opinion.The US IS looks nothing like the working setter in Europe, lol. The IS show dog in Europe might be considered a very smart dog, I don't know. In the US it is not. I have had people come up to me and say about my dog, beautiful dog but IS's are dumb as a door knob. I defended the field and show dogs for years and then I just ignored it. I have no experience with UK show dogs. However I have seen working european IS's on many occasions. I don't know if every other country has flighty dogs but here they do. I also know every country has secrets or show dogs wouldn't look so different from the real thing. I read many articles on IS's in the UK and they say they have a different gait also. The show IS in UK looks way more like the original. Hope I answered all your questions.




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