THIS IS THE IRISH SETTER: A DISCUSSION OF SWIFT-MOVING, BIG LIVELY GAIT, AND A ROLLICKING PERSONALITY!
lung space, that ribbing is carried back along the spinal cord to support the firm back. Forelegs are straight and sinewy, feet small and firm. Mr. Walsh, based on his own observations and those accounted by well-respect- ed breeders of the time, including Mr. Llewellin and Mr. Macdona, wrote that due to build and character, “the Irish Setter is fast and enduring” and he is an “invaluable aid to the gun.” They spoke to a “style of going” with free action, allowing the legs to move well under the dog, and yet, these swift-moving dogs with their heads well up were able to have “feelings for the scent.” But to be fair, in their complete observations they wrote of their Irish Setter puppies (and even broke dogs) having a different personality and courage than others, which required work to “keep him in a state of control.” And so, this author suggests that this was a first glimpse into that “rollicking personality.” In early written Standard of Points, movement was not included in the schedule, yet it was followed by an explanation of correct gait. Then, as now, at a trot the gait is big and lively, referring to the forelegs reaching well ahead as if to pull in the ground, with hindquarters driving smoothly and with great power. At an extended trot, the head reaches slightly forward, keeping the dog in balance. Feet stay close to the ground, appearing to clip the top of the grass. The head is held high, not back. There should be no hackney gait or any unnecessary lifting of the feet. The correct specimen always exhibits balance, whether standing or in motion. This is an animated (yes, rollicking) breed with its personality coming through in the ring or in the field—or in performance or companion events.
IN EARLY WRITTEN STANDARD OF POINTS, MOVEMENT WAS NOT
Through an understanding of an Irish Setter stand- ing and moving, I hope one takes away from this article the following: • The correct specimen is built to perform its intended functions. • Overall balance between parts is integral to the complete picture, whether standing or moving. • The breed is capable of running big in the field, covering a lot of ground, and in the show ring he exhibits ground-covering motion with his great forward reach and powerful rear drive. • The rollicking personality is apparent in this breed, and one (judges) should not be too critical when it is displayed in the show ring, especially when it comes to evaluating puppies. • Moving at a trot in the ring, and as speed increas- es, the Irish Setter may move at a fast speed, but should never be racing around the ring. The National Specialty will be held on June 14-19, 2021 in Fredrick, Maryland, at the Clarion Inn Fredrick Event Center. Judges Education will be held on Friday and Saturday, June 18-19. Contact Sam Houston McDonald at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. INCLUDED IN THE SCHEDULE, YET IT WAS FOLLOWED BY AN EXPLANATION OF CORRECT GAIT.... THE CORRECT SPECIMEN ALWAYS EXHIBITS BALANCE, WHETHER STANDING OR IN MOTION. ”
222 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, APRIL 2021
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