American English Setters

The “Smith setters”from Inez and Elwin G. Smith have been in their own class. Equimark (pictured top right) was sold to Norway and was the most successful among 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 some other US-imports have bred.

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. Among 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.

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.

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.