Showsight Presents the English Setter

ENGLISH SETTER Q&A

TODAY, COAT DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE, NOT ONLY IN LENGTH, BUT ALSO PROPER CONDITION TO CREATE A PERFECT OUTLINE. ” “

Setter Association of America’s health and genetics chairman for the last ten years with the primary duty of reviewing research grants for possible funding. My fi rst experience with showing dogs started when I was 13 years old when a neighbor let me watch them train their Labrador Retrievers for CDX titles. With all the con fi dence that only a teenager has, I immediately became certain I could train my parent’s Miniature Poodle to do the same thing. Eventually, through a lot of hard work and very supportive dog people, I was able to put a UD on this dog. Th is started my journey into the sport of showing dogs. Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from breeding and showing dogs? My husband, Greg, has a ranch near College Station where he raises Longhorn and Angus cattle. We have two rescue horses, Guinness and Sadie, that we ride, admittedly, at a slow pace. When Greg proposed seven years ago, he also presented me with a pregnant miniature donkey which, of course, means I now have two miniature donkeys. If I am not in the classroom, I am generally reduced to cow wrangler and general contractor. I also have a pas- sion for ziplining and CrossFit. How did I come to choose the English Setter? When I was in college, I was dying to get an Irish Setter to show. Th is was at the height of Irish popularity and wasn’t one of my best decisions. I found a nine-month-old Irish male, but I hadn’t done my “home- work” on the breeder and I was very naïve on how di ffi cult it was going to be to fi nish an Irish. By the time this dog was two years old he was so hyperactive and such an escape artist that he was driving me crazy. Th ere wasn’t a fence that could hold him. It wasn’t until he was eight years old that he calmed down and became a great pet. I knew I loved all the Setters, but fi gured maybe Irish Setters weren’t a fi t for me. Th is time I did my homework, talked to English and Gordon Setter breeders and studied pedigrees. After a lot of research, I decided I wanted an English Setter from the bloodlines of Ch. Guys ‘N Dolls Annie O’Brien. Eventually, I got my fi rst English Setter and I have never looked back. Is “style” an important aspect of type in my breed? When I think of “style,” I envision an English Setter that is showy with that extra bit of “class.” It is a dog with that exceptional dash of something that takes an ES over the top in the show ring. Style is di ffi cult to describe, but is easily and instantly recognized when you see it. I would imagine that most people that have shown dogs over the years could sit ringside of any breed and pick a winner. It is that certain dog that is balanced, but your eye is instantly drawn to because it has personality and fl ash. Th ree years ago, I was at the Royal Canin National Championship Dog Show in Orlando watching the ES judging. I was instantly drawn to a young male that had just begun his specials career. He was beautifully groomed and outstandingly presented as most of the ES entered, but when I saw this dog move it blew me away. He was gifted with that desir- able attribute of style that put him over the top. I followed his show career and he quickly soared to the top rankings. Last December, I saw this same dog and I immediately felt the same way about him as I had three years ago. He was even more exceptional and stun- ning. A dog that has style is the one that you see and say, “I love that dog!” Like many people who have shown dogs for several years, I have had a few ES that were lovely and sound dogs, but hated show- ing and it was written all over the dog when I walked in the ring.

and we are now working on the tenth generation. I am most proud of our great health clearances throughout the years. Another pas- sion is helping Juniors get started in this breed, and several have had outstanding careers. I live in Brighton, Colorado, and am a successful small business entrepreneur. I have been showing dogs for almost 40 years. Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from breeding and showing dogs? My family loves to play golf. We also are avid sports fans. How did I come to choose the English Setter? When I lived in Connecticut in the 1970s, my insurance agent recommended the English Setter breed because of temperament. Is “style” an important aspect of type in my breed? English Set- ters are a very stylish breed and one of the most beautiful. How does my breed’s head di ff er from those of its Setter cous- ins? You would recognize the English Setter head from a view from the side as opposed to the other Setters because of the fl ews being squared and fairly pendant. How does my breed’s silhouette di ff er from that of its Setter cousins? Th e English Setter silhouette also di ff ers from the other Setters because of the head, as mentioned above, and the outline being moderate with the topline appearing level or slightly sloping. Is there such a thing as too much feathering on an English Set- ter? Th e coat should be of good length, but not so excessive as to hide the true lines or the movement. After all, they are a hunting dog. Today, coat does make a di ff erence, not only in length, but also proper condition to create a perfect outline. Do I see any preferences for color or markings in the show ring? Th e Orange Belton is the dominant color and most often seen in the ring. Th e Blue Belton is next and the Tricolor third. Tricolors are very popular, but much more di ffi cult to get. Other allowable col- ors are rare. Di ff erent judges have their favorite color, but because of numbers the Orange Belton does the most winning; lighter or darker in color. Patches, except for the head, are not as desirable. What is my breed like at home and in the fi eld? Th e English Setter is a great dog to have in your house and are happiest sleeping on a couch. Th ey are a good watchdog, but very adaptable to your lifestyle and they love their people. Th ey are de fi nitely a free spirit. Does the future look bright for my breed? Th e English Setter is not way up there on the popularity charts, but the breed has its loyal followers. Th ere are enough conscientious breeders out there to make sure the breed is in good hands. MICHELLE J. RAISOR, PHD I’m from College

Station, Texas, home of Texas A&M Univer- sity and Blinn College where I am a Profes- sor of Anthropology. I currently teach courses in biological, cultural and, my favorite course, forensic anthropology. I also have had the honor of being the English

206 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, JUNE 2020

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