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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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I knew this subject would lead to digressions. Now that you mention the Balintyne's it brings Gold Dust of Balintyne to mind. She possessed the most wonderful front make up with the cleanest neck and shoulders that i had only seen once before and that was in the very old and stately Wendover Gentleman.

Terry......tis good to digress!!  Gold Dust was, of course, the dam of Call Me Madam.
I need a fair bit of time too.  Started showing in 1989 so can only go back in the flesh until then but saw Sh Ch Kerryfair Night Fever at Crufts as a veteran and went to see him on his bench and very glad I did.  Totally agree with Deb about Sh Ch Kerryfair Lover Boy and he will definately top my list.  I only mentioned a couple of weeks ago I wish he was still around. 
Yes I agree   Kerry Fair Night Fever   and Lover Boy    also   Ballywestow Petite Ecoile   and of course   The one and only Wendover  Gentleman,,,,Portia  of Rua   was so lovely   and did us proud as a breed by going   BIS  at Crufts, probably about 30  years   ago, I think June  was judging that year

The first mature setter I met was Sh Ch Clonageera Tyrone. It was in the 80's and we'd had our first Clonageera puppy (Mystique) for a week. We'd gone to visit Pat and Jim Rutherford and Ty came over, jumped up, put his paws on my shoulder and licked my nose. I looked into his eyes and fell in love with Irish Setters and his is still the type which makes my heart skip. Most of my show experience was with the Clonageeras, so Genesis, Megan and Stella would have to be on my list. Also at that time I often saw K. Night Fever, who was without doubt, very special. I loved Stella's sire, Andana Jake. I saw him try and run out of the ring in his veteran class at Crufts to chase after a gorgeous bitch who was passing by and thought - 'That's a true Irish'. Personality brings a setter far closer to my internal breed standard than the angle of their shoulders.

The most important dog amongst the ones I've known and probably top of my list was Sh Ch Starchelle Chicago Bear. He was the first I'd touched with that beautiful silky coat that is now almost the norm amongst the winning setters today, and I think he brought the glamour into the breed in the UK. His wonderful children by Stella are almost a group entry of their own, and I was lucky to own the most beautiful of all of them, in my opinion, C. Fidelity, but he scorned dog-shows and just mucked about so that we could quickly go and have more fun elsewhere.

Now I've just returned to seeing Irish Setters in the show ring after a break of 15 years, so have a lot to learn about today's dogs. I've been fortunate to have had beautiful, graceful dogs at home but haven't shown them so they're simply my personal best of breeds.

Yes, also loved Kennedy!

From the past...as in, now deceased?


Phew.  That's a tough one.  I'll have to think about it - though I'm already going to agree with everyone who has listed UKShCh Kerryfair Night Fever.  He is responsible for two of my lovely dogs, so it'd be pretty lapse of me to omit him.  Also have to agree with Aleks and Wim re UKShCh Thendara Kennedy...and if we're allowed to add dogs from the recent past, then also UKShCh Thendara Don Corleone, since he is also directly responsible for my lovely Aneira.


I will have a think about who else to add...

Loved your girls too and many hearts, like yours, were stolen by Raffles.  His brother Wendover Robin owned by Ailsa Harvey was a lovely winning youngster who's life was tragically cut short in a car accident.  I am sure he would have made his mark.  I also agree with you on Kiwi and of course your own Copper's My Wild Irish Rose who is still one of the top winning bitches. 

I was only ever in the US once and some time ago.  At that time a lovely dog called Ch Shawnee Pipedream O'Charlton blew me away.  He was a Candia Indeed son.  In bitches loved Ch Meadowlark's Glorianna, ultra feminine with the prettiest of heads.  Who remembers these dogs.  How do they compare to the present day Irish?   Perhaps someone who does can contribute to this discussion. 



@ Eva, also loved Ballintyne Call Me Madam- Hannah was given her to handle in the International Handling final at Crufts-moved like a dream and Hannah felt very privileged to have handled her!

Loved Caspians Night Music too- not many bitches been mentioned so far.

Funny that...........the dogs always steal the limelight!!  Agree with you on Night Music.   




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