• Show Date: 17/04/2022
  • Show Type: Championship Show
  • Judged by: Diane Stewart-Ritchie Contact Judge
  • Published Date: 28/07/2023

Irish Setter Club Of Wales

Breed: Irish Setter




Thank you to the committee of the I.S.C.W. for this invitation to judge my first ever club show. Who would have thought it?

I first judged Irish Setters with C.C.’s in 2005 and this was my tenth time officiating at this level. It is one I will remember for the lovely hospitality and nice gifts received from the Club and, of course, to have found my C.C. winner in a complete novice partnership, albeit bred by a very established breeder. My sincere thanks to the exhibitors who valued my opinion enough to bring their beloved dogs under me. My opinion is only one, you always bring the best dog home. 

Some facts I found on the day:

Eye colour in almost all dogs was good, although eye shape was varied. 

There were many varied head shapes ranging from diverging head planes, strong skulls with short muzzles, a number with pendulous flews. Many lacked basic refinement. 

Ear set in the main was good as was ear length.

I was surprised and disappointed to count 9 dogs from my hands on entry of 42 (equating to 21%) with incorrect dentition, some of which were in the senior classes. 

Today’s entry had mostly excellent length of rib with short loin, perfect for the work of a hunter. 

Many dogs were very untypical in front, being wide through the front, devoid from the standard calling for “rather narrow in front”, so required for an air scenting dog. 

Almost all dogs had correct oval bone. 

Movement was varied, away, towards and around. Sadly it has not improved much in this department.

My overall opinion:

Where have all the beautiful heads gone? I’ve heard breeders of the past claim that we are a “head” breed. With such anomalies in head how can this be true? What have we done? 

For all of my years judging and discussing our breed with fellow judges how can it be that the Irish Setter movement has not improved and is still spoken about as negatively today as it was when I first started to judge? Sadly and most worryingly in all my years judging I have never judged so few dogs and so many with incorrect dentition. The ratio is alarming. Puppies perhaps, but certainly not adults. This can only be the start of a slippery slope. 

Please be assured I voice my concerns truly, wholeheartedly with the love of the breed at my heart. This passion I have given my life to I say only these things so that we, as breeders, chose not to ignore but to address.


1ST: Mrs. M Richards: REDCLYST CAPTAIN KIDD: Good overall shape. Nice balance and good leg length. Stands over a decent amount of ground, has nice bone and a nice arch to toes. Pleasant head with dark eye with good shape and pigment. Correct ear set. Good length of neck to good shoulder line and decent return of upper arm. Deep in chest well ribbed back and with good spring of rib. Still needs some schooling and moved okay when settled.


1ST: Mrs. M Bott :BARDONHILL CARRY ON DICK: (B.P.D. & B.P.I.S.): Best mover in the class and quite striking in outline. Has already done all his growing and is up to size but I really liked his proportions and overall balance. Stands on good bone and feet and has a lovely topline and tail set. Dark eye with good pigment, enough stop and raised brow, chiselling throughout and correct ear set. Archy neck leading into super shoulder line and corresponding length of upper arm, well placed. Super quarters and big ribs of full depth. Hands on defied initial assessment in such a positive way. In agreement with my co-judge Best Puppy In Show. Congratulations.

2nd: Mrs.Rutherford & Ms. Prangle: CLONAGEERA TOUCH OF CLASS: This well-made boy is presented here in the best of coat already and super musculature. He too is all male and quite advanced for his age. He has a very nice outline and all the constructional essentials. I just preferred the head of my winner today. Strong mover with good footfalls. 



Two nice boys headed this class, quite different in styles. I actually preferred the outline and style of 2nd but today I found him thicker in condition and was rather lazy on the move lacking propulsion.

1ST: Miss. J. Childs:TREDURA VAL VERDI (B.V.D. & B.V.I.S.): In agreement with my co-judge Best Veteran In Show. Congratulations. Very well presented in full coat and with good muscle. Pleasant head with correct skull shape, relative foreface. Clean in lip and with enough underjaw. Dark eyes and enough stop. Correct ear set and length. Has a super topline and tail set and presents an appealing picture on the stack. Good lay of shoulder but lacks return of upper arm. Good ribs, loin and quarters. Moved well on the around.

2ND: Miss. B Hoskins:SANDSTREAM JUST A BREEZE WITH RALPHSKI: Thought he would be my winner on first look around the class. I really liked his head and outline. Appealing expression, good amount of stop and raised brow. Correct head planes and overall balance, also having plenty of work. Reachy neck into well laid shoulders and good upper arm. Excellent ribbing, short loin and good width over the quarters with enough bend of stifle. A shade long in rear pasterns and unfortunately today he lost out on condition and his lack lustre approach to moving. He did enough to get by.



1ST:Mrs. S. Foster: CHANTRIES BEL RE: Very pleasant overall shape on the stack with really nice depth and width through the quarters. Decent front angulation although a shade wide through the front. Really good ribs in depth, spring and length. A shade strong in head for my preference but he has a dark eye and nice expression and good ear set. He moves happily although a “bit of a lad”. I particularly liked his strength in hock on the move.

2ND:Mrs. S. Corless: SWIFTLARK INVINCIBLE: A racy boy who could do with some more conditioning. Has a nice dark coat of good texture. He has a really nice topline and tail set. Enough width over the quarters and with good bend of stifle. His movement would be improved with basic muscular conditioning also needs to body up but he’s young and there’s time.


1ST: Miss. M. Beresford :JETSETTER WIND OF DREAMS (Imp RUS): Stylish young man, who is racy and balanced. I liked the overall make and shape of this dog and he has many good qualities. He has a very pleasing head with correct eye colour, work and head planes. Enough stop and raised brow, good ear set and length. He has a good length of neck leading into good front assembly. Excellent ribbing, good quarters and bend of stifle and correct oval bone. Moved okay with good amount of reach. Lots to like.

2ND: Pullen & Atkin: COVARNEY PICKPOCKET AT JACINGAIL: Of a nice style with pleasant head with good eye colour and pigment and enough chiselling. He is good in shoulder but I’d like a little more fill in front. He has good depth and long ribs. Short in loin and as is frequent with young males he still needs some development in the rear to catch up. A bit of heavy muscling and time will fix this. Nice bone and really nice arch to toes. Moved well on the around.

 3RD: Mr & Mrs. D. Pike: REDCLYST THE CELT


Disappointing class with movement being a challenge to assess. 

1ST: Miss. H. Bentley: ASTLEYVIEW COMING HOME TO PENCLIPPIN: This one stands on good length to height proportions with nice quarters and moderate bend of stifle. Has enough depth and a good topline and tail set. Lacking in front angulation and would prefer more work in the head and more precision in his head planes. A shade light in eye.

2ND: Miss. H Henderson & Mr. M Szwajkowski :REDCLYST PASHA:: This boy was well presented, in good coat and excellent muscle tone. He has a very kind expression with good eye colour and pigment and good ear set. Good in ribbing, would prefer a flatter croup and more accuracy on the move.


1ST:Miss Tapper & Mr Leyland: KEDALITA HARIBO: Nice shape and good in front assembly, in angulation and length of bone, however, he is a bit wide in front. Good ribbing, short in loin and super width to quarters. Nice neck line into shoulder, correct bone and decent feet. Would prefer a shade flatter in croup. He has a lovely head with correct level head planes and very clean in lip. I liked his head balance. Good ear set and length. Super expression. Moved well.

2ND: Mr. K & Mrs C. Butler: ANLORY SOVEREIGN AT RUBYMOON: Very dark coated boy presented today in the very best of muscle condition. He has a good topline and tail set and has correct bone and good feet. A shade wide through the front and he has good length and spring of rib. Still needs to develop in rear and today seemed to have lost some of his feathering. 

3RD: : Mr & Mrs. D. Pike: REDCLYST THE CELT


1ST: Mr & Mrs. Davison: BARDONHILL YOU DON’T FOOL ME (C.C. & B.O.S.). Three and half year old boy still in Graduate, who would have thought he’ll be moving on up to Limit from here on in? Certainly not me! This novice handler and her lovely dog had really gotten under my skin from the initial assessment in this class and they had to be top drawer to win the C.C. today. He is racy, balanced, unexaggerated but with an abundance of quality. He is the right shape, is very typey and has the most beautiful head. I liked him for his moderation, total quality and soundness. As a judge the easiest thing in the world is not to notice the understated handling of a new person. This team are learning together and no matter if stacked with slight imperfections, all his attributes can easily be seen as he moves. Excellent topline and tail set. Good front assembly, good depth and spring of rib, short loin, super width to quarters with good bend of stifle and I particularly liked his short, strong rear pasterns, with strong hock joint. Stands on quality bone and good feet and moves with ever lashing tail, carried at the correct level and used with enthusiasm as he easily propelled around the ring. Excellent footfalls and delightful headpiece completing the picture. Thank you for bringing your lovely boy. Racy, balanced and full of quality. 

2ND: R: Miss. H Henderson & Mr. M Szwajkowski & Pike: REDCLYST PERSHING: Pleasant head with good raised brows and enough stop. Gentle expression with dark eye of correct shape and good pigment. Good bone and very tidy feet. Stands on a good amount of ground and has good balance. Good ribs with enough spring and good length. Pleasant front assembly and good quarters. Would prefer a flatter croup. 



 This class had some quality and I was nit picking through the places.

1ST: Milligan–Bott & Bott: THENDARA TIGER DANCE (R.C.C.): Surprised myself here as this young man has taken his time to command attention. On a number of occasions I have thought him slow and raw but certainly not today. He is coming on a treat and has certainly been worth the wait. I was very pleased to award him the R.C.C. today ahead of a very sound dog who I have previously admired. Put down in the absolute epitome of muscular condition through that body. He is rock solid through his neck, ribs, loin and quarters, in fact one of the very best today. He is so stylish and comes alive on the move. Super head carriage and using himself to full advantage. Has a very appealing head with correct planes and good length of foreface correlating to back skull. Enough stop and raised brow and with dark expressive eye and good pigment. Chiselling throughout and fairly square in lip. Good ear set and length. Reachy neck into excellent shoulder line and enough return of upper arm. He has good depth, length and spring of rib and good width over the quarters. Excels in topline and tail set which displays well on the move also. There is more to come from this dog. He is like a fine wine, one to savour rather than rush. 

2ND: Tapper & Leyland: LYNWOOD HEYPRESTO KEDALITA: I really admire this young man. He is slow but he’s getting there and I personally think from the top drawer. I do like him very, very much. He is very sound coming and going but I’d like just a little more style and animation, something perhaps to work on. He has a very beautiful head with correct head planes, good chiselling throughout, good stop and raised brows. Clean finish to lips and well placed, correct ears. I like his eye and expression. I like his overall proportions, length to height and leg length to body depth. Very nice front assembly, good depth, spring and length of ribs. Short, strong muscular loin. I would like a shade more width over the hindquarters for overall balance front and rear, but this certainly doesn’t detract from this extremely sound mover. I feel he’s one to watch and I was sorry I didn’t get to judge him outside.



1ST: Mrs. Harris & Mr. Hoeksema: BLAZING BRONZE HAPPY CLAPPY SINGS KONAKAKELA (Imp NLD) JW: Pleasant shape with good quarters and bend of stifle and enough width through first and second thighs. Very nice bone. He has good head planes of correct proportions with dark eye, good ear set. He has super big teeth in top and lower jaw, which greatly appealed to me in today’s entry. Strong in under jaw and good finish to foreface. Moved okay in this small indoor ring. 

2ND: Pullen & Atkin: COVARNEY LIL’TIPPLE AT JACINGAIL: Overall shape very nice, moderate and unexaggerated. Clean through neck and shoulder line. Good in upper arm and fill in front. Good depth, spring and length in rib. Short in couplings and good width over the quarters. Dark coated of very nice texture. 

3RD: Mr. & Mrs. Glastonbury: BRABROOK NUTCRACKER JW


1st: Ms. J Russell: LYNWOOD HOCUS POCUS AT SETTESOLI JW: Very nice type, style and head. Good quality all through and I like his length to height proportions and overall balance. Really lovely head with expressive eye, good pigment, enough stop and raised brows and plenty chiselling throughout. Good length of neck into very nice front assembly. Deep and strong in rib with short loin, super quarters, topline and tail set. Presented in good coat and condition. Moved well. He is a quality boy and there is much to like.

2nd: Mrs. W. Holehan-Green: LOGANRISH LETS GO CRAZY: Pleasing head and eye with good topline and tail set. I was particularly impressed with the dogs’ front assembly. He has one of the best shoulders of today’s entry with corresponding upper arm. Good ribs. He is moderate in hindquarter, plenty but without exaggeration. I was, however, slightly disappointed in his movement on this indoor surface. Presented today in good coat and muscle. He’s a very nice boy just needs to tidy up on the move.

3RD: Pym , Bott & Milligan-Bott: THENDARA MARSHMELLO JW

OPEN DOG (4:0)

1ST: Ms. J Russell: STRATHMEAD HUCKLEBERRY OF SETTESOLI: Very nice type whom I have admired before. He has a lovely head with plenty chiselling, good stop and raised brow and gentle expression. Good ear set. Good angulation through the front although a shade wide in front. Long ribs which are well sprung and deep. Short loin and super width on the quarters. He is moderate, typey and much to like. Moved okay. 

2ND; Mrs. Pym : THENDARA THE WATCHMAKER: Presented in full coat with good volume and texture and good muscle. Dark eye, good ear set, excellent hindquarters. Good topline and tail set, good ribs. Steep in shoulder but with really nice upper arm and good fill. Moved okay but would prefer more reach in front. 



1ST: Miss. M. Beresford : JETSETTER WIND OF DREAMS (Imp RUS) (See Yearling report)

                                                                            Diane Stewart-Ritchie (Judge)