Dogs of Importance…
14 – 15
She was perhaps the most influential dog of them all, Grand FTCh Wingfield Annie, 4 x winner of the North Island Championship and 3 x winner of the New Zealand Championship. She had five litters; with Tuhimata Blue Boy (1972, 1973), Sharnberry Shooter (2 x 1975) and with Wingfield Gunman (1977). In 1981 her three children Grand FTCh Wingfield Fabian, FTCh Wingfield Intrigue and Wingfield Fleur were 1st, 2nd and 3rd at the New Zealand Championship. The year after Intrigue won the same Championship, with a brilliant performance in wet and difficult conditions. Several of Annie’s children and grand-children have also made an important contribution to the English setter breeding in New Zealand and Australia.
At the time when Annie was dominating New Zealand trials, Leon also had fast and hard running trialers like Marnissa Mariner and Sharnberry Shooter. Though Annie didn’t have the speed and range they did, she compensated with a fantastic nose and an uncanny ability to find and work birds. Her runs were methodical, matter of fact, and often near faultless. “She made it look easy.” Annie was the reward for a long and tireless search for the right breeding stock and the brood bitch that really got the wheels turning for the kennel. Among her progeny were: Grand FTCh Wingfield Fabian, Wingfield Fleur, Wingfield Favourite, Wingfield Honey, Wingfield Hawk, FTCh Wingfield Intrigue, Wingfield Intrepid and Wingfield Idol Q.C.
Leon just after having won his last trial with Wingfield Xtra
Rock’s sire Windfield Ashley was imported in utero from the best English working blood at the time. Rock’s mother came from a New Zealand shooting kennel. Leon shot more birds over Rock than any other dog, and he won the North Island Championship in 1965 and 1966. He had a great nose and setting ability, but in Leon’s description; “Rock was not a pretty dog to watch running. He did not carry his head very high and his tail was dead. He just went from one objective to another at a fast canter that he could keep up all day. Nevertheless, one day he showed me work of near perfection. We entered the field with the wind blowing straight towards us from the East. The sun was just about to set behind us. Rock had been hunting all day in his usual manner. Suddenly the genes or ghosts of his famous ancestors manifested themselves. He started to run at speed, and with great elan, with a high head and slashing tail. He laid down a perfect pattern. When he pointed, the low sun illuminated him like a painting. In half an hour I had four pheasants with no error in speed, ranging, production, shooting or retireving. That half hour was one of my all-time great experiences with bird dogs.”
Rock and First Lady “Belle” became the foundation of the Wingfield setters. Belle was power running
in beautiful, style, stamina and pattern. Rapport to dream of. The combination of these two produced
most importantly Grand FTCh Wingfield Annie.
The two foundation dogs Awahuri Rock and First Lady, opening weekend of hunting season, mid 1960s.