KIRKMARSH NEWS - last updated 09 August 2019
July 2019 Kirkmarsh IWS at The Gamefair
Melvyn together with Logan and Sadie helped with the Sporting Irish Water Spaniel Club display at the Gamefair at Hatfield House.

                                               February 05 2019 Dede whelped 5 girls and 3 boys.

December 03, 2018 - Mating of Dede and Fenwick
Yesterday we mated our Dede with Fenwick, if successful puppies will be due at the end of January.
This litter will mark the 20th anniversary of the first Kirkmarsh Irish Water Spaniel litter.

Dede on the left and Fenwick
October 06, 2018 - Puppy plans
We are planning to mate our Dede when she next comes into season, hopefully November or December.

April 15, 2018 - another new arrival

This is our latest addition, a little boy called Logan, also known as Fynder Line Of Reason

January 27, 2018 - a new arrival

This week a second working Lab, Stella, arrived to join Nancy and the IWS.

October 2017 - Ten years ago this month.
October 2007 Melvyn and 3 IWS friends were at Chillington Hall for a photoshoot for Sporting Shooter magazine.
They spent a day picking up on a shoot hosted by Mr John Giffard.
Photos were taken by Nick Ridley, who wrote the article that appeared in January 2008.
Here is Melvyn with Teasel, Kirkmarsh Valley Mist.

July 26 2017 - Cybil moves to the Fendrake Kennels

Our Cybil (above right), Islacairn Precious Pearl has left us to start a new life at the Fendrake Kennels of David & Ursula Wilcox. Cybil is a daughter of our late departed Yeates and is a grand daughter of their foundation bitch Meagan (Kirkmarsh Roisin Dubh at Fendrake) and a great grand daughter of our Swedish import Liz. Hopefully, health tests allowing she will team up with their American import Conor, Muddy Waters Tide Turn To Fendrake O' Good Dogs Farm (above left).


July 23 2017 - Two introductions

We have a couple of belated introductions to make on a couple of new additions to the Kirkmarsh Kennels.
On the left is Polly, Kirkmarsh Whip O' Diamond from our litter born this year on 3rd January. She is by Whipcord Feel The Buzz out of our home bred Kirkmarsh Green Charmer (Dede).
On the right is the first non Irish Water Spaniel at Kirkmarsh in over 20 years. Labrador Nancy has actually been with us for 18 months. She is a workaholic and was introduced to the shooting season last season, and she does everything it says on the tin!!! - Just brilliant. Her hip score is 5-4 and her elbows 0 and she has already tested clear for the standard genetic tests for Labs and her eyes are clear. Nancy is also known as Vilendal Bloomdido at Kirkmarsh and she was born on 07/10/2015. Sire: Drakeshead Vodka FT CH Dam: Vilendal Jitterbug Waltz.

Feb 05 2017 - Melvyn and Ziva picking up at the Norwood Shoot.
This is Melvyn with Ziva at the Norwood Shoot, North East Derbyshire on 03 December 2016
Dec 17 2016 - The first Kirkmarsh litter for almost 3 years is due in January 2017. More information.
May 15 2016 - Minor retriever breeds team gundog working test

The IWS team at this year's minor retriever breeds team gundog working test. Denise on the left was competing with Dede.
Photographs now available
April 24 2016 - Minor retriever breeds team gundog working test
We are pleased to announce that we will be organising this year's Minor retriever breeds team gundog working test at
Aughton, Ormskirk, Lancashire on 15 May 2016.

January 13  2015 - Yeates' is a father

Yeates, our second American import sired a litter of 11 puppies, 7 girls and 4 boys, that were born on 13 January2015.
Dam is Isla, a great grandaughter of our Swedish import Liz.

November 30  2014 - Success in team gundog working tests

We had a great Irish day today at the Galloway Gundogs with the Scottish Solway Wildfowlers Association team event held in the grounds of Drumlanrig Castle, owned by the Duke of Buccleuch. We had a four dog team, all bred by us.

Joy Waddington with Beansidhe won

4th individual place

Highest placed Minor Breed


The team Placed 3rd out of 9 teams

Joy Waddington running Ban

Denise Hurst running Sophie

Melvyn Hurst running Ziva and Yeates


The team won the timed Scurry

September 2014 - A return trip to Dumfries and Galloway

We had another wonderful trip to Southern Scotland and took in several days of picking up, both on Partridge and Grouse.

Denise with Sophie on a Partridge day and on the right, again with Sophie on the Grouse.

Both of these two photos are of Cammy our host for the week with his IWS, Wrinks on Grouse.

Melvyn with Ziva on Grouse.

The Kirkmarsh pack cooling off in the river.

March  2014 - Crufts

A Crufts first for Kirkmarsh

This is Kirkmarsh Boaster, otherwise known as Tristan who has made a first for the Kirkmarsh Kennel by being the first Irish Water Spaniel to have qualified for Crufts in the team flyball competition.
He was part of the Warrington Wizards team in the competition and who made it through to the final.

Tristan is by our American import Bentley out of our Swedish import Liz.

More information on Tristan's flyball career.


March  2014 - Crufts

Also at Crufts another first for Kirkmarsh

This is Rover, Kirkmarsh Dasher, who won the postgraduate dog class at Crufts

January  2014 - Sydenham Estate Devon.

Melvyn went along to a wonderful Irish Water Spaniel only picking up day at the historical Sydenham estate in west Devon on January 25.
This was organised by friends and IWS owners Shane and Dave.

A fantastic time was had by all and with a bag of over 150 there was plenty of work for all of the IWS.

Looking at this group photo of all of the participants it suddenly struck us that all but one of the dogs had something in common.
Any idea what this is and which dog is the odd one out?

To get this right you would have to be extremely knowledgeable about the people in the photos and their dogs.

Well the thing that all but one of the dogs have in common is that they all have an association with the Kirkmarsh kennels.
The odd one out is the young bitch on the right who was bred in Holland but even with her, the sire is owned by good friends of ours.

From left to right is: Aoife (sired by a son of our Morgan and daughter of our Swedish import Liz).
Next is Roisin, a daughter of a Kirkmarsh bred bitch out of our Teasel.
Next is Kirkmarsh Mr Doyle of Hiberna, brother of Roisin's dam and brother to Oscar, the dog third from the right.
Next to Doyle is his daughter, Faith, also bred at Kirkmarsh, her mother is our Liz.
Then comes Melvyn with Sophie, bred by us and Kate, daughter of a son of our Liz.
Then Oscar and next to him is Murphy, a grandson of our Liz and finally young Tegan, imported from Holland.

September 2013

During September we had a short holiday in Scotland and had a few days picking up on Partridge in the magnificent Queensberry estate in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland.

September 01, 2013: Ely and District Wildfowlers' Association team and individual gundog working test.

The same team that entered at Hope was re-named the Kirmarsh Fliers for Ely & District Wildfowler's Association annual team and individual gundog working tests and what a day they had running in the novice competition.
After the morning tests Joy Waddington with Banshee and Dave Gresty with Oscar had scored 57/60 and 56/60 respectively, getting them into the cut for the afternoon run off. Pauline Probert with Faith just missed the cut, scoring 52/60 and Melvyn with Ziva who had been going well on two of the tests scoring 36/40 had a bit of a problem on the third so couldn't challenge for the cut.

The run off, run along Field Trial lines was a walk up in sugar beet, with 4 of the 6 qualifiers in the line at any one time. The retrieves were marks to the front and blinds to the rear. After a near perfect start by the first Lab the second Lab was sent for it's marked retrieve. The judge was extremely generous in the amount of time given to the Lab but it failed to make the retrieve.  So, the scene was set, in front of a mostly Labrador crowd, up steps Dave with Oscar. Were they about to deliver that rarest of rare things, an eye wipe of a labrador by an IWS.
Remember an age had gone by at this stage but Oscar was cast off and handled into the correct area. After that it was left to Oscar's superior hunting ability and yes, the eye wipe was completed. The Lab owner was then asked to leave the field, much to the bemusement of some of the crowd who hadn't understood what had just happened.
Joy, with Banshee were their usual, efficient unit and completed both the mark and the blind effortlessly.

So when it came to the awards, Joy and Banshee came second and Dave and Oscar came third with a Flatcoat taking top spot.
The water spaniels hadn't finished tho' as David Wilcox running his veteran bitch Niamh (half sister to Oscar) won the prize for the highest placed Ely and District Wildfowlers' member.
In attendance, was local Kennel Club A panel Spaniel field trial judge Paul Rawlings who was full of praise for the water spaniels. He said he has seen them for more than 20 years but he has never seen any of the quality exhibited at this test, a sentiment echoed by the judges.
After a mix up with the scoring it was finally disclosed that the Kirkmarsh Fliers had actually won the team competition.
August 26, 2013: Hope Agricultural Show team gundog working test

Team Irish Water Spaniel, or should that be team Kirkmarsh, had a great day at the Hope Agricultural Show team gundog working test.
Melvyn has been organising the IWS team for many years at what is a most unusual team test. The competition consists of teams of four of each of: Black Labs, Yellow Labs, Chocolate Labs, Golden Retrievers, Flat Coat Retrievers and of course, Irish Water Spaniels.
This year's IWS team was a strictly Kirkmarsh affair with from left to right: Melvyn with Ziva (Mizenhead Dream at Kirkmarsh, a grand daughter of our Liz); Pauline Probert with Faith (Kirkmarsh Delight For Hiberna); Joy Waddington with Banshee (Kirkmarsh Wild Beansidhe) and Dave Gresty with Oscar (Kirkmarsh Torrent).
August 10, 2013: Canwell Agricultural Show

This is Faith (Kirkmarsh Delight For Hiberna), owned, trained and handled by Pauline Probert. She came second in this year's Canwell show gundog working test, up against as always a plethora of Labradors.
Congratulations to Faith and Pauline.

May, 2013:   Minor retriever breeds team gun dog working test.

Ziva competing in the 2013 minor retriever breeds' annual team gundog working test.

April 29, 2013:   A fantastic training weekend at Mawley Hall
We have just returned from a wonderful gundog training weekend at Mawley Hall in Shropshire. This was the third of our group training weekends but thanks must go to Ian Probert for doing most of the organising this time and to Barbara England for arranging the ground with the owners Mr and Mrs Galliers-Pratt for whom we are most grateful.
Principle trainer was Wendy Tombs who was assisted on the Saturday by Kennel Club A panel (Field Trial) Judge Terry Dukes.
Wendy's easy going style with positive reinforcement  techniques being used throughout, went down well.
More than 20 Irish Water Spaniels were in attendance together with honorary IWS, Flynn the Labrador and Pringle, the Labradoodle.

Saturday night saw a large group of us enjoy a lovely meal at a local hostelry suggested by Barbara and then on Sunday there was more training together with a competition for the two training groups.

The youngster / beginner group were tested on basic training including such things as heel work and having a steady dog whilst meeting and greeting another person with a dog.

The more advanced/novice group took part in a mini working test. Pauline Probert's young bitch Faith who is coming on really well ended up in a run off against two old interlopers: Faith's uncle Oscar, aged 7 and 9 years old Niamh. Ultimately Oscar, handled by Lynn Tombs just won it.

All in all it was another great weekend of training, in a fantastic setting with a lovely mix of old friends and new faces.

      See the videos         See the photos

April 15, 2013:   Minor retriever breeds team gun dog working test.

Minor Breed GWT on 5th MAY 2013 in the Evesham Area.


We are pleased to announce that we have been invited to assist in the resurrection of this competition which ran so successfully for many years, but due to politics in some quarters was last run 2 years ago.


The competition is between teams of Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, Flat Coat Retrievers, Curly Coat Retrievers and the Irish Water Spaniel with in one year, these breeds being joined by the Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever. Sadly they are not fielding a team this year. So there will only be the 4 breeds.
There is a team competition and an individual dog competition and in numerous previous occasions Ian Probert's Irish Water Spaniel, Kirkmarsh Mr Doyle of Hiberna has won the individual dog competition.

We have entered a team of IWS for the competition and if anybody wishes  to come and support the team please give Melvyn a ring on 07989432126 for details and directions. 


The 2006 IWS team was largely a family affair with from left:
Dave Gresty with Paddy (Radicott Waterbug), Ursula Wilcox with Paddy's daughter, Niamh, Killountain Anna at Fendrake, Ian Probert with Paddy's son, Doyle,
Kirkmarsh Mr Doyle of Hiberna (individual dog winner) and Phil Jackson with Tracker, Lisadorn Lorgaire not related to Paddy.
March 17, 2013:   Yeates' first birthday
Here is Yeates on his first birthday resplendent in matching snood and collar sent to him by his breeder in the US.

March 07, 2013:   Discover dogs, Crufts

We took Katie and Yeates to represent the breed at Discover dogs during gundog day at Crufts.
The location of the stand was such that we were inundated with interested people pretty much all day.
Both Yeates, who isn't quite a year old yet and Katie coped brilliantly. The photos below show Yeates meeting a little girl.

July 11, 2012:   Meet Yeates, the new addition

This is the latest arrival at the Kirkmarsh Kennel: our new little boy Yeates
(Ballyhoo's Quarry Seeker at Kirkmarsh).
Here he is pictured with Melvyn at the Heathrow reception centre six hours after landing..
Bred in the United States by Dede Selph and baby sat for a few weeks by Ginny Spencer, Yeates joins our other American boy Bentley, and Swedish, Irish and British girls.

See Yeates' Pedigree
July edition of Your Dog Magazine
There is an article on IWS in the July edition of Your Dog magazine with some photos of IWS with Kirkmarsh connections.
The main photo is of Feargal, a dog sired by our late Morgan. There is also a photo of our Ziva flying through the air and the trailer ealier on in the magazine is of Doyle, an IWS bred by us. All of these photos were taken by Nick Ridley.

New dates arranged for September 29 & 30, 2012
Following on from the success of our last training weekend we are planning another, at the same venue and with the same trainers.
If you are interested please get in touch.

MAY 12 -13, 2012

We organised what turned out to be a wonderful gundog training weekend exclusively for Irish Water Spaniels at Hoar Park Farm near Nuneaton in North Warwickshire.
The training was provided by Dorothy Walls-Duffin and her husband Bob of  Grangemead Labradors together with their helpers.

For photographs please see New Lyfe Photography

photo: © Scott Owen New Lyfe Photography

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