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Val Martin

Your 'top ten' Irish Setters from the past (show dogs only)

We all have our favourite Irish Setters from the past and so I thought it would be interesting to know... which dogs & bitches from the past would be on your top ten list of favourites?

You might like to include dogs who you think should have made it to Sh.Ch. but missed out by a whisker.

This could prove to be a bit of a mind bender, as there have been so many great dogs.  


My 'top ten' favourites are:


Marksway Marquis                                               Kerryfair Night Fever            

Clonageera Genisis                                            Ma Biche of Danaway                              

Twoacres Gold Eagle                                         Caspians Intrepid

Fearnley Fireheather of Kirkavagh                  Caspians Night Music

Scarletti Cockney Rebel                                    Wendover Lorna 2cc's


This discussion is for everyone even if you don't show your own dogs.

Choose your favourites from photo's on here, books and websites like Bardonhill.com

Most people have a 'type' of Irish Setter they prefer to another.

There are no rules in this discussion apart from they must be dog's from the past.

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Blimey!!!...this is tougher than I expected!!

So far I'm down to my top thirty.....oh well... at least it's better than the fifty or so that I had on my 'for consideration' list!!

I think it's perfectly reasonable too.  

If they sincerely think their own dogs from the past are "the best of the best", then why not.

I just like setters! Show or not,they are all champions!

If this is "show dogs only" then are you aiming the discussion at show people only?  If you don't show then, I presume, you cannot include your own dogs.  As Howard says, IS owners love all Setters.  This could become an emotive subject.  Also if you have been involved with the breed for 40 years you can look back and love many dogs from the past.  If you have only been involved with the breed for 5 years you do not have that luxury and can only pick from a reduced pool of dogs. 

When the KC publish this type of discussion in the kennel gazette those they invite to participate are experienced breeders/exhibitors.  Is this what you are looking for or is the discussion to be more relaxed and light hearted?

If you are down to 30 dogs then why don't you start us off.............

Oh this is going to be funny and very "didactic " for the non-experts like us:) May I ask you to add a simple reason "why" you choose and single out a particular dog (movement, head, elegance, whatever?) So we can learn  even more about what you experts are loving in them:)


ohh sorry! ahhh, it's probably my latin attitude i apologize :) anyway, I meant that this discussion can be very `instructive` for those of us who are just dog lovers /pet owners, we can surely learn a lot from the expert's comments on this post :) I need to clean up my english from latin and make it purest:)
ha ha !! :)

I flunked Latin once we stopped learning about the roman emperors......so very much in awe!!!

Silvia, brilliant idea adding the reasons for a particular dog making an impression on you. 

I have many dogs who have blown my brains out over the years but would like to start with UKShCh Kerryfair Night Fever.  Not a big dog but of beautiful type with a most lovely head and such ring presence.  You could not take your eyes off him when he walked into the ring.  Of course he also proved his worth as a sire. 

No dog is perfect and if one wanted to be picky one could find fault with any dog, even the greatest, but with dogs of the calibre of Night Fever the virtues far outweigh anything else.   He was a wonderful dog indeed.

I never saw ShCh Wendover Royalist in the flesh but it was pictures of this lovely dog that persuaded me into Irish Setters.  I was later told that he could never carry weight not did he carry much coat but hey ho! 

Two other dogs that I never saw in the flesh and wish I had were ShCh Wendover Vagabond and ShCh Scotswood Barabbas.  Oh how I envy those that had.  Magic dogs!!

Again from photographs and whelped before I was born the bitch that made the greatest impression was Ch Hartsbourne Popsy.  Wonderful balance, lovely forehand and amazing hindquarters, wide and powerful.  Femininity and substance.......

I imagine those that started before me would also include ShCh Wendover Gentleman and ShCh Twoacres Troilus but I, unfortunately, only saw them as older dogs but remember Troilus still looking glamorous and beautiful as a veteran, another lovely headed dog with ring presence.  However I was very lucky to have started when ShCh Cornevon Primrose and ShCh Marrona Meriel were still winning.  Primrose was a most elegant bitch with the best of forehands, lovely neck and topline and a fabulous brood.  Meriel was more rugged yet ultra feminine, a Barabbas daughter.

It just goes to show that it is not easy to pick a 'top ten' out of so many great dogs and in a way that is a good sign.  This was just the start of my life's commitment to this wonderful breed...........there is so much more but it would be lovely to hear from others too............


Got to have a serious think about this- it's going to be an enjoyable 'think' though! BTW absolutely agree about Kerrykair night fever, another one (loved the glint in his eye) was Kerryfair Lover Boy. Now going away to have a think  :-))


I'm sure this will be influenced by the memory of past dogs. This depends on when we started in the breed. Although i would agree with Knight Fever, my influence goes back i little way further and would like to suggest Cornevon Stargem. He filled my inexperienced eye and he was such a difficult dog to show because he was so delightfully 'willful' but when he went around the ring he definitely owned it. For bitches i would choose Ryesford Lady Galadriel closely followed by Astley's Portia of Rua. Interestingley neither fulfilled their potential as stud and brood with the exception of 'Gem' producing the important Scarletti litter.

Oh Terry I so agree on ShCh Cornevon Stargem.  I was lucky to see him winning his 1st cc from junior at Windsor champ show 1974.  Wonderful spirit and a beautiful dog with a gorgeous head. Another favourite one (who came later) was ShCh Twoacres Gold Eagle and I agree with Deb and Angela on ShCh Kerryfair Lover Boy. 

As you say, Stargem produced the beautiful siblings ShCh's Scarletti Cockney Rebel and Hot Chocolate and, mated to ShCh Moyna Michelle sired Muthaiga's Kindred Spirit.  Does anyone remember him?  He won well as a youngster then disappeared.  I believe Stargem became sterile.

I also agree with you on ShCh Ryseford Lady Galadriel and was lucky to be able to judge her.  Almost the feminine version of Stargem.  A beautiful bitch.  I also worshipped ShCh Balintyne Call Me Madam (and gave her a cc).  Not big but pretty as hell and a wonderful mover.  Another one was ShCh Cornevon Westerhuy's Cloggy bigger all over with that same sparkle.  Out of Cornevon Stargazer, a Stargem sister......god what a litter that was!!!

I always thought Sue Oakley's Caspians Peaseblossom and her dam Cornevon Starbright (another Stargem sister) were hard done by. 




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