American English Setters
How much value can we find in importing ES from
USA to other parts of the world?
It would be very easy to generalise, either way, but it is
of course a vast country with a huge variety of
breeders and dogs, also among the highest profiled
FDSB-registered dogs.
A large number of these dogs are extremes, with little
resemblance to a well functioning shooting dog. We
have absolute high class bird dogs in other parts of the
world, from "Formula One" Grande Quete dogs in
Italy, France and Spain etc. to highly effective pheasant
dogs and long-distance runners on ptarmigan (Arctic
Grouse) and clever forest dogs on black game.
Personally I am very cautious towards American blood
lines. A lot of the stock to come out of America have
lacked brains, been hard-headed and not very trainable,
have had little or no natural ranging pattern and have
not been particularly efficient bird finders. Bad looks,
bad angulation and bad pigmentation have added to this.
Amongst the more positive things have been early and
strong pointing instinct, and often a strong mental and
physical appearance, incl a no-nonsense bird work.
The "Smith setters"from Inez and Elwin G.
Smith have been in their own class.
Equimark pictured above was sold to
Norway and was the most successful
amongst many other imports. He got
several good results at Norwegian trials
and he bred exceptionally well.
Equimark is behind our UK-import
Chywoon Entrepreneur of Jonsmae
("Woody") through the Norwegian import
to Ireland Storeskar's G. Snorre.
Equimark is also found behind our
Norwegian import Lapphaugen's H Moulin.
Among many positives, Equimark's
progeny did not get the stickiness on birds
which many other US-imports have bred.
Siri (Equimark - Skillevatnets Tinka), bred
in Norway, foundation bitch in the
Swedish kennel Ohlsmyrens.
The Performer on point. His sister Bird Happy Julia
was imported to Norway and is found behind Moulin.
The Grouse Ridge kennel has produced
many good dogs both for trialists and
shooters. In the mid 1970s Grouse Ridge
Hawk (Grouse Ridge John - Grouse Ridge
Honey) was imported to North Norway.
Hawk only sired one litter in Norway, but
that gave a great boost firstly to Lapphaugen
and further to the Rypskogen kennels.
Grouse Ridge Hawk in Norwegian snow
Sam L's Tric (Sam L's Hadaway - Sam L's Dixie was
imported from the American breeder Sam Light to Norway,
by Ola Saugstad who already was a well-known breeder
with his kennel Vindens. Though Sam L's Tric's greatest
legacy came with the Swedish bitch Stenänga J. Fennia
when he sired the famous Stenänga X-litter.
Those Sam L lines were also behind Grouse Ridge Hawk's
father Grouse Ridge John (below with his son Tomoka).
When Dr Leon Mortensen followed the 1977
ruffed grouse trials in the United States, it was
only one single dog who impressed him with
excellent bird finding abilities. That was Ghost's
Star (Ghost's Train - Hy Kaliber Tiny), pictured
above. Leon complimented the owner that she
was a dog he'd be very happy to shoot over in
New Zealand. That she was seen as a mere
shooting dog was not seen as a compliment.
That attitude with American field trial dogs we
think is completely missing the point.