OUR YEAR - 2007/2008
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OUR YEAR (2007/2008)

The winter was spent picking up and Melvyn out shooting. In the day light hours when we were not working or out in the shooting field, the time was spent with Bentley and Gina training, we have had lot of fun training these two, Bentley had to learn to listen and be steady, Gina who was a year old In February was still brushing up on all the basics, and was healing, staying and retrieving, very nicely.

We have had a sad year, first of all our very good friend and mentor Pat Taft died after fighting Motor Neurone Disease, he gave all he could to the breed, the Sporting Irish Water Spaniel Club, and the handlers, with out him we would not have been so successful, and he is sadly missed.


We attended the Beta Gundog Weekend, representing the breed, both in the gundog pavillion and in the parade of gundogs.




Pat Taft and Ross

Unfortunately, early in June we lost Sheba, it was a great loss to us as she was our first IWS gundog, and the “Manageress” of the pack. More information 

June 16th and 17th we were in Ireland at Shane’s Castle with Pauline and Ian Probert, Lin and Dave Gresty, Mark and Christine Scott for the gundog tests, unfortunately we had nothing to run, as Bentley and Gina were not quite ready for that. But we had a good weekend and met up with our friends Mark, Shauna and Emma O’Donnell from Strabane.


Melvyn has been busy with the events for the Sporting Irish Water Spaniel Club training weekends and the annual working tests at Chillington Hall, near Wolverhampton.
The CLA Game Fair was cancelled due to bad weather.

After Chillington Louise Bailey let Logan (Kirkmarsh Countryman at Kilmaganney), go over to Ireland to live with Emma O’Donnell to be shown, and as a result of that, we were also roped in to go showing in Ireland on the Munster Circuit, 4 days of shows in a week, now showing is not our thing and we don’t really enjoy it – but- we went and Melvyn (first time in the ring!!) handled Bentley, and I handled Liz. Bentley did end up with a reserve Green Star and a Ciab. But we have to say we had a really good “crack”.


Showing in Ireland, left, Denise with Liz, centre, Emma with Logan and right, Melvyn with                                          Bentley.                                                                                             

Melvyn, Louise Bailey, Pauline and Ian Probert, David and Ursula Wilcox and Lin Tombs and Dave Gresty attended the Midland Game Fair in September, representing the breed in the gun dog pavillion and the vulnerable breeds pavillion.

In October we lost Ellie, due to a brain tumour (more information).

Also in October, a few members of the SIWSC were invited back to Chillington Hall on a picking up day on Partridge, and we were very pleased that Nick Ridley came along to take photo’s and do an article for the January 2008 edition of Sporting Shooter magazine.
The four dogs involved all had Kirkmarsh connections, there was our girl Teasel, Teasel's son Doyle, Morgan's son Feargal and sire of both Teasel's litters, Paddy.

                          Teasel and Melvyn picking up at Chillington Hall Photos copyright Nick Ridley

November and Liz had Artificial Insemination, with semen from America from Am Ch Ildanochs Casablanca JH. Otherwise known as Bogey, he came well recommended, as he has a wonderful temperament as well as being very handsome. We have to thank Helen Howard for all the work she put into this and for letting us have the semen.  But unfortunately when she was scanned on the 24th December 2007 she was not in pup. We tried this again in May (2008) with the semen that was left, and we were not successful again.

From October Melvyn had started shooting, and I was picking up. Bentley and Gina were having a few days out on the shooting field with Teasel and Liz. Bentley sat with Teasel at the side of Melvyn, while he shot. Gina did a little bit of picking up.













Melvyn & Teasel and far right, Melvyn Teasel and Bentley on a shoot in Lincolnshire.

We both pick up on a shoot, and both young dogs have shown a lot of promise, but in December we lost Gina with lymphoma (more information). We are both gutted, and you will now see why there has been nothing written on our web site for a long time, we are both still hurting from these deaths.

Logan was shown at Crufts (se right), and came 2nd in his class. It was also a pleasure to meet Ingrid  (Crankings Kennels) from Sweden, and Hiedi Ferris from the USA, both are very nice ladies. We also met up again with Hiedi at Louise Bailey's, where we gave her a demonstration of gundog work UK style. Heidi owns Ziggy, brother to Louise’s Darcy, a  US Import.

At the AGM of the SIWSC in March 2008 I was voted in on the committee, I just hope I can serve the club and the breed to the best of my abilities.

Now finally in 2008 we have some good news, Bentley has been so good and was at Chillington in the unclassified and Novice G.W.T’s on both days. On the Saturday the Water test day, he came 2nd in the Unclassified and 4th in Novice. The Sunday test he came 1st in the unclassified and 1st in the Novice. We are so proud of this boy and thank Ginny and Larry Spencer every day for letting us have him.


This  August 2008 he has mated Gina’s sister Lulu (Kirkmarsh Charmer) , so now we will have to wait and see what happens in October when the pups are due.

Also at Chillington it was great to meet up with Angelica and PA from Sweden, what a lovely couple, and we thoroughly enjoyed their company.    

Also Logan (Kirkmarsh Countryman at Kilmaganney) has become an Irish Show Champion, so well done Emma and Logan. Logan also mated a bitch in July, Skip (Skip lightly of Spancilhill), belonging to Gerry O’Sullivan, these puppies are due in September.




Melvyn receiving an award from Lord Dunleath at the
Sporting Irish Water Spaniel Club Centenary gundog
working tests at Chillington Hall.                                                                                              


September 2008














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