English Setters in

New Zealand

Thanks to the late Dr Leon Mortensen (Wingfield) the English setter breed has been shaped into something special in New Zealand.

Leon alone made sure to preserve the old NZ stock of “North Auckland Pheasant Dogs”, originated from top British field trial stock many decades ago, and moulded into fit the rough New Zealand shooting conditions at the time. Then, in particular together with Ian Hendren (Game Ridge), Leon made sure that some of the very best British Sharnberry blood lines came to New Zealand. Today New Zealand is the only place in the world with such a high concentrate of Sharnberry lines.

Leon played a big part in all other imports as well, and he led the way as an exceptional breeder, hunter, trainer and trialist. Sadly Leon passed away in January 2004. He is greatly missed, but his legacy continues.

The imports

I will only focus on the most important imports in the past 40 years. There were of course several imports before that, most noticeably Downsman Niobe who were imported pregnant to Downsman Brookfield. That litter gave the two important stud dogs Windfield Ashley & Ch Windfield Ace. (Note: Windfield was not Leon’s kennel Wingfield.)

1. Sharnberry Shooter. Sire: Mattahroo (Moka de la Salle Verte – Lemoni), Dam: Sharnberry Fleur (Sharnberry Redbracken – Sharnberry Grouse).

2. Sharnberry Quin. Sire: Sharnberry Duke (Wassetfell Jem – Little Do-Di of Sharnberry),
: Sharnberry Breeze (Bringwood Caprice – Little Do-Di of Sharnberry).

3. Kiki Gem. Sire: Sharnberry Donald (Bringwood Caprice – Little Do-Di of Sharnberry),
Dam: Gwendolyns Kandy (Sharnberry Dougal – Sharnberry Clara).

4. Glenowlen Gameridge. Sire: Tyone Banner (Ardnacrusha Banner – Lady Patricia of Usnagh),
Dam: Glenowlen Impact (Posternpark Banjo – Glenowlen Crest).

5. Chywoon Entrepreneur of Jonsmae. Sire: Wee Piper of Jonsmae (Jonsmae Ranger –
Clevedale Plover), 
Dam: Iken Gipsy (The Blue Maestro – Our Lassie).

6. Lapphaugens H. Moulin. Sire: Kogtveds E. Philip (Cow Boy des Rives de l’Estrigon –
Kogtveds B. Penni), 
Dam: Lapphaugens E. Evita (Sletthallens Raijo – Smijjeteigens Arja).

7. Vårhaugens Gus. Sire: Skrubbhaugens Tellus (Jøldalens Tell – Modalens May-Li),
Dam: Vårhaugens Ira (Hallråas Shan – Trixi P. Coppersmith).

8. Stanedge Evie. Sire: Stanedge Cherokee (Gortinreagh Apache of Glynlark – Lefanta Hale of Stanedge),
Dam: Lefanta Kassy (Storeskars II Odin – Lefanta Eva).

9. Gortinreagh Failte. Sire: Ballyellen Cody (Heegårds V. Kody – Ballyellen Aoife),
Dam: Gortinreagh Clover (Stanedge Bracken – Lefanta Kira).

10. Zac. Sire: Ulisse (Ayrton – Lea del Pettoranese),
Dam: Ady (Cile – Strega).

Sharnberry Shooter was imported by Leon in the early 1970s. His father was the exceptional dog Mattahroo, while his mother was Sharnberry Fleur (later exported to France). Shooter was a very impressive and hard running dog. Initially Leon feared Shooter’s huge format would be too much in his progeny for normal hunters. Though, in particular as a grand-sire, Shooter was a success in the breeding, also when line bred on him. Leon also made Shooter a FTCh and won the North Island Championship.

In 1980 Leon imported Sharnberry Quin, who mostly was handled by Graham Little (who earlier had great success with Shooter-son Grand FTCh Wingfield Fabian). Quin was quite a different dog to Shooter, being small and not so hard-headed and big running. Instead he had an incredible flair for working wild pheasants, which he also bred on to his progeny. Because of Quin’s great bird work, Leon helped Ian Hendren to import Kiki Gem out of very similar lines.

Chywoon Entrepreneur of Jonsmae (“Woody”) was imported from England in 1997, in partnership between Leon Mortensen (Wingfield) and Noel Allen (Berryfield). He was initially trained and handled by Leon, but later Noel took over. Woody has been an exceptional trial dog and has put a very strong mark on the pups he has left. Leon as usual had done some serious research before importing. In fact the five most important setter males in Britain the past 25 years are all found in the pedigree.

These are: Wee Piper of Jonsmae (his father), The Blue Maestro (his mother’s father), Tyone Banner (who was the father of The Blue Maestro), Storeskars G. Snorre (a Norwegian import to Ireland) and Sharnberry Donald (who was also the father of Kiki Gem imported to New Zealand). On Woody’s maternal side his grandmother Our Lassie was a litter sister of The Queen (mother of Lefanta Patsy).

Grand FTCh FCh Wingfield Token New Zealand’s most winning gundog