Sunni was pipped by a point in the Open Test sponsored by Nutts about Pets and Speedrite Dog food and organised by The South West Gundog Club and held for the second week in a row on the Rockbog Shoot near Castlecomer ,Co Kilkenny.

A fair course was set up by the Judges Anthony Smyth and Benny Ryan.  


The Gaelic Gundog League held their annual Working Tests on the Rockbog Shoot of Mr Tom Brennan at Castlecomer , Co Kilkenny.  A difficult 80yd blind with diversion had approx. half the dogs fail in the Open Test and that included Sunni. Jazz completed the course and finished in second place. Willie Edgar and PJ Davitt were on the books.

                                        14/4 2019

With Wintery conditions and temperatures hovering around 5 degrees, the North Tipp Working Gundog Club held their Annual Working Tests on the beautiful grounds of Kilrush House the home of Sally and Richard St George  near Freshford ,Co Kilkenny.

 Forty plus dogs competed in what was the first Club test of the new season and was judged by Club Chairman Pat Brennan and Secretary Ivan McAllister. On what can only be described as lovely test ground which invited dogs to hunt the Judges set out a course that tested the handling and marking ability of the Open dogs. Jazz was at no.3 in the Open and hunted reasonably well considering that she is just 3 weeks off pups.. She handled the tricky blind with diversion well. 

Sunni running at no.8 scorched the course with a hunting score of 58 out of 60 which got her Top Hunting Dog award . Her marking was impeccable which  had her take top honours in the Open . Jazz finished 4th in a competitive test . The usual good atmosphere was enjoyed by all even with the inclement weather.


 The Working Retriever Club of Ireland held their annual Working Tests on the grounds of the Shirley Estate at Carrickmacross ,Co Monaghan. Twenty seven dogs ran in the Open and Jagger was pipped at the post by the narrowest of margins after six testing retrieves.


                              The Event was sponsored by Skinners Dogfood. 


Rebecca Barton made the long trip to the NEC in Birmingham to the biggest Dog Show in the World to compete at Crufts on Gundog day in the Gamekeepers Class which is open to working gundogs.


 Myrka  to his friends is the first Skronedale dog to compete at Crufts. He is out of FtCh Colcourt Firecrest to FtCh Esgob Esteem  and is a pup of her first mating. Myrka came away with a creditable third and Becky must be commended for her effords at ringcraft. 


Jazz whelped last night ,five pups,three Black and White and two liver and white.

Three bitches and two dogs. 


Beauparc ,Slane was the venue for the Working Spaniel Club of Ireland,s Open Stake this year Judged by Championship Judges Ivan Wilson and Mick Walsh and sponsored by Nutts about Pets. The old Championship course of Kidman's Wood and the Avenue was used. Sunni had a late number in the running order and had a struggle for game as the drive had been shot the previous day never the less a solid double A performance got her only a 4th place finish. The top 3 dogs were also on double A's. She is now 2 points short of being a Champion in her first season and is not yet 2 years old.


The Island was the venue for the Gaelic Gundog League's Open Stake with new management of Benny Ryan, Tom Brennan and Willie White now running the Club. Feedwell sponsored one of the better Trials of the season which had Kildare man Gerry Meehan now domiciled in Newmarket, England and Ronan Gorman on the books. Cowarnecourt Midnight Sun had an action packed two runs which got her into a 3 dog runoff position, for top spot. Winning one and losing one meant coming second with a grading of Excellent. This was her third top two finishes in Opens and has her within striking distance of her FtCh title before she is 2 years old. 


Sara's weekend of Trialling started with 'C' Judging the Clones Retriever Club's Open Stake held at the Rann shoot at Craigavon ,N Ireland which was  won by Tony Roger's, Highwalk Galway. 


This was followed with a run in the Clones Retriever Club's Novice Walked up snipe Trial held on the bogs at Finea, Co Westmeath with Fendawood Jagger who finished a creditable second on a very demanding course 

                                     28 /12 2018.

A late call for Norman by the Donegal W.S.C organising committee to judge the inaugural Cocker Championship in the company of Tim Crothers, Eddie Scott and Stuart Morgan.

The superbly organised event was held on the Drumbanagher Shoot near Poyntzpass where head Keeper Brian Byrne put on a fine show of game in open woodland where the large gallery had a good view of the dogs. Eighteen dogs had qualified, sixteen of which competed with four finishing the course. Norman judging on the left hand side with Stuart Morgan had the odd numbers and the first to stake a claim was Delphaven Domino who finished second handled by Bryan Whittaker. A bit of handling was required on a partridge shot onto a green field was the blip that cost him dearly. this dog had won on Irish soil before, winning a novice Trial in Gortin. Next to put in a good performance was Brian Crothers' Tamneymartin Ferrin but was eliminated on her second run. Christy Hasson's Ardcaen Chase gave in to temptation when a shot partridge landed six feet from  him. Gardenrath Cadillac owned by Tom Hayden and handled by Tyrone man Adrian Doris had a clean A performance with a good blind retrieve and quality hunting, not shy of taking on cover. A running duck and surviving a hot corner where she held her head had her winning on ice . British Championship winner Abiann Flawless was a joy to watch with top drawer hunting at one with her handler Jamie Smith but was not to make it to a second run. Sperrinside Ellie bred and handled by  Paul Cassidy from Derry was third. This little liver time bomb needed some whistle and this held her out of the higher awards.

At the presentation of awards , Chairman of the I.K.C Field Trial Committee complimented Mark Stewart and his Team on putting on a superb show. The standard has been set . . . . . .follow that !!! 


The last qualifier for the British Championship was organised by The Fermanagh Gundog Club and held on the Copeland Islands off Donaghadee ,Co Down. Jazz now a month in pup was replaced by Cowarnecourt Midnight Sun as a late entry. This was her first run in Opens having won her novice at the same venue. This Trial had been cancelled on a couple of occasions with the Judges now being locals L.Rice and Adrian Doris.

An eyewipe on a partridge and some quality hunting resulted in a find on a rabbit and a clean retrieve. Her second run under Adrian Doris on a downwind beat on laid bracken had four rabbits , two of which were shot. A disappointing third place finish resulted.

It was a good performance from a 22month old youngster. 

                                                     14 and 15/12/18. 

The 43rd running of the IKC Spaniel Championship was hastily re-arranged to take place at Bushmills and Cherry Valley Estates in N.Ireland. Strong winds put paid to original plans for the Copeland Islands.

This year we had two dogs qualified in FtCh Colcourt Firecrest at No.6 and 20 month old Cowarnecourt Midnight Sun at No.28. Cover was snowberry,rhodendrons and clumps of briar. Jazz's first run had little holding cover and getting in touch with birds running ahead was difficult. A multiple flush had two birds down with smart retrieves had her through to day two. Only 12 dogs came back with 'A' marks required to make the cut .

Sunni was not quite so lucky with loose birds being her lot. First  a cock bird that was called 'Dead' miracously vanished with her next bird being hung up in snowberry and a half hour run that produced nothing but another loose bird that fell onto a grass field, this was not good enough to get her back for day 2.

Weather forecasters got it right with wind and driving rain making life difficult for dogs and handlers. Game in Cherry Valley was mainly partridge which flew reasonably well considering the conditions. Jazz was first dog  out  and a loose woodcock which was not picked was not the ideal start. A find and a couple of retrieves of partridge was enough to get Jazz onto the podium for a fourth place finish for the second year in a row. Judges were Ivan Wilson and Mick Walsh. Overall it will be remembered as not one of the better Championships.

                                                        8 and 9 /12/18

Norman had a midday flight to Copenhagen with SAS to judge the Danish Spaniel Championship for Springers and Cockers . Ivan Wilson from Gortin was his Co -Judge.

The Springers were on Saturday at the Bregentved Gods Estate approx one and a half hours out of Copenhagen. Eighteen dogs had qualified and hunted various cover from reed beds to some tough briar. There was a considerable Irish interest with dogs exported from Ireland and with Irish breeding involved in the Awards. Three dogs were called to runoff with Frank Norby with DK FtCh Guns Choice Duncan of Gunsmoor coming out on top. Second was Henrik Henson's DK FtCh Hagghouse Racer of Flushmore and third was an Eddie Byrne bred Emerald Isle of Havredal.

A three hour drive south to the Schackenborg Gods Estate which is quite close to the German border for the Cocker Championship. Game was a bit scarce at the beginning and ground cover was tough with a blanket of low green briar. The standard of cockers was excellent with a 2 dog run-off deciding the issue. Both dogs were sired by Mallowdale Ken. Mikael Jensen's DK FtCh Sweepstake Rema had enough to dethrone last year's winner DkFtCh  Tiptopjack Thrift of Laycan handled by Kent Kristianson. Overall two well organised Events with some quality dogs on show. 


A trip to the Island  with Sunni for the South West Gundog Club Open yielded a CoM with a retrieve from the lake causing difficulty with strong winds making life difficult. An 'A' first run could not be matched and she did not make the podium.


Cowarnecourt Midnight Sun (Sunni) won the Feedwell sponsored Open Stake organised by Cashel Field Trial Society and run on the Turin Shoot at Mullingar ,Co Westmeath. A good supply of pheasant had all dogs getting a find on rank heather on the edge of some bogland which meant some difficult retrieves. Sunni put in a good hunting performance on her first run finishing with a yo yo retrieve of a hen bird. Her second run under senior Judge Damian Kelly was in more difficult cover with a cock bird being shot across a laneway and a hen bird that was hung up in an ivy tree. Top four dogs were graded excellent.

     This was followed on Sunday with a Com at the South West Gundog Club Open on the Island. A good 'A' performance in her first run was followed by some sub standard retrieving off the lake in difficult conditions and this kept her out of the major awards. 

                                               12 and 13/11/18  

The ESSC of NI held their Open Qualifier at the Larchfield Estate, Co Down with Judges Eric Elwick from England and Gareth Davies of cocker fame from Wales. Jazz had won this Trial last season but two in a row was never going to happen with a long dry second run. The Trial was of a very high standard with only one dog going out and eleven coms being awarded and a five dog run off to decide the winner. Jazz was one of the eleven.


The Copeland Islands was the venue for the Novice with the same Judges. Cowarnecourt Midnight Sun had got a run and even with very limited experience on rabbits she did enough to win.  A rabbit in both runs saw her home after hunting a testing downwind beat on her second run.  Hattonswood Broc started his career by winning the Bob Clemitson Memorial Trophy at the same Trial on the same ground in 2014.



Cowarnecourt Midnight Sun (Sunni) made her debut at  Open Stake level at 19 months by getting a run in the North Tipperary Working Gundog Club's Open Stake which was held on Illaunmore, Co Clare.

The Trial was sponsored by Feedwell and the Judges  were Pat Brennan, Christy Hassan and Benny Ryan was C Judge. The Island provided its usual supply of rabbits and pheasant. Sunni had two clean runs for her tender age with an eyewipe from the lake. It was no surprise she was called to run off with Hollydrive Pretty Polly who needed a win to gain her FtCh title. The runoff in ivy bottomed woodland finished when Sunni lost me and back cast. Second place with a grading of excellent was her lot . Overall it was a good Trial and credit to Club Secretary Ivan McAllister and his team.


FtCh Quarrypool Gunner again finished in the bridesmaid position at the Fermanagh Gundog Club walked up mock trial held at Lendrums Windfarm at Fivemiletown,Co Tyrone. In a very competitive 28 dog Open, he was 1 point behind the winner with 6 dogs running off for 3rd and 4th. Gary Wilson and Harry Gillanders were on the books and set a very testing course. Once again Red Mills Engage sponsored the events and James Hamilton-Stubber must be commended for the use of his ground.





Cowarnecourt Midnight Sun (Sunni) had her 5th straight Puppy Test win at the West of Ireland's Working Tests held in Mountbellew ,Co Galway sponsored by Nutts about Pets and judged by Richie Power and Benny Ryan. A short hunt on rough ground cover that had been mowed in places made for interesting ground treatment. This was followed by a short marked retrieve and Sunni was a clear winner . One of Jazz's pups ,Skronedale Nina from her last mating to Esgob Esteem won the Novice test handled by Jason Travers.



FtCh Quarrypool Gunner was 3rd for the second week in a row, this time at the All Ireland Utility Gundog Club's Open Test held at Lough Bawn, Co Monaghan. At the same ground 4 years ago he won his Prelim with a score of 100 ex 100. This was Matty Lambden's first outing as Club Secretary and the event was sponsored by Red Mills Engage.



Sara and FtCh Quarrypool Gunner finished third with a score of 98 ex 100 at the Clodagh Valley Gundog Club Working Tests held on Lady Waterford's Estate at Curraghmore. 18 open dogs was on the card. The Tests were sponsored by Red Mills were held on one of the hottest days of the year.  



On a hot day with sparse cover Sunni scorched the course in the Puppy and Novice Tests at the Scarvagh Game Fair in Co Armagh. Under the watchful eyes of Paul Carragher and Trevis Crothers  her hunting had her winning both competitions. The event was sponsored by CSJ dog foods and organised by Bertie Barrett and his team with proceeds going to Northern Ireland Children's Hospice. Over 1000 pounds was raised.



 Mohill Gundog Club in Co Leitrim hosted their annual Working Test witch was held on their usual technically difficult course. Once again Sara with FTCh Quarrypool Gunner finished second in the Open. (for the third test in a row.)


Red Mills Engage sponsored the event whitch had a card of 20 dog's. 



Sara with FtCh Quarrypool Gunner had a good day at the Fermanagh Gundog Club walked up working test held on James Hamilton Stubbs' ground  near Fivemiletown Co Tyrone. Gunner was beaten in a run off by Daniel McKelvey's dog Listooder Great. This was Sara's first event as secretary and the test was sponsored by Red Mills Engage.



Cowarnecourt Midnight Sun did a clean sweep at the Gaelic Gundog League. Gain Sponsored Working Tests held in Moate ,Co Westmeath. She won the Puppy Test for the third week in a row and then followed this with a clean performance in the Novice, which was held on rushy ground. The Open Test which included a blind with a diversion followed. She put in a strong hunting display where she ended up running off for Top hunting dog which she duly won. Over the three tests she scored 275 out of a possible 300 points. Senior Judge Damian Kelly described her as one of the best youngsters that he had seen. Becky Barton and Jason Travers also featured in the awards in the Puppy Test with Jazz pups to FtCh Esgob Esteem.


Meanwhile at Mullingar Sara was having a good day at the Broadmeadows Retriever Club's tests with FtCh Quarrypool Gunner finishing 2nd in the Open and qualifying to represent Ireland at the Game Fair in Shanes Castle . Her 2 year old Fendawood Jagger finished 6th place out of a card of 26 dog's.



For the second week in a row Sunni showed a clear pair of heels to all this time in the Working Spaniel Club of Ireland's Puppy Test held at Mullingar ,Co Westmeath and sponsored by Nutts and Speedrite dog food. A strong hunting performance with 54x60 had her within 2 points of the top hunting dog overall. Two of Jazz's pups to FtCh Esgob Esteem handled by Rebecca Barton and Jason Travers were also on the podium. Pat Brennan and Benny Ryan did a good job on the books. 

15/04 2018


The spaniel Working Test season kicked off with the North Tipperary Working Gundog Club's Test held at Shinrone ,Co Offaly on a field of setaside. A strong breeze had all hunting into the wind with Championship Judge Willie Edgar sharing judging duties with Vincent McCarthy. The day started with the Puppy Test where Sunni (Cowarnecourt Midnight Sun) showed a clean pair of heels to all and won easily. In the Open despite scoring 94x100 this was only good enough to get Jazz 3rd place. Overall a very good Test ,well organised and sponsored by Feedwell.



Sara and Gunnar were back for the second week in a row to Ballydugan Estate,Downpatrick where the Labrador Retriever Club of Northern Ireland held their Working test. With 40 dogs running this was a very competitive test and was   thoroughly enjoyed by all. Dogs had 11 retrieves over the day, consisting of two sets of left and right, a long and a short, a long mark and a long blind. After lunch a walked up, with each dog getting three retrieves in the white grass which was very challenging as the dummies sank in to the long grass. The top dogs excelled and made difficult retrieves look easy. Gunnar won a runoff for third place.


Fendawood Jagger had two podium finishes at the Northern Ireland Gundog Field and Show Society Working Tests held on the Ballydugan Estate in Co Down .The Tests were sponsored by Blue Grass dog foods.




The Celtic Challenge started the Working Test season for Sara. This year hosted by Ulster Select and held on the Glenarm Estate by permission of Mr John Cunningham. It was Sara's 5th time competing on the Irish Select Team captained by Danny Behan from Clones. FtCh Quarrypool Gunner was the form dog and finished as Top Open Dog with Fendawood Jagger making his debut in the Novice section. The Team finished second after a runoff with Connaught who were deserving winners. 


The Kilkenny W.G.C Open Stake held on the Island, Co Tipperary and sponsored by Connolly's Red Mills Engage had Jazz on the podium yet again. Two good runs, the first in heavy cover could not catch Des Donnolly's ,Hollydrive Abbey fresh from her second place finish at the British Championship. Overall a well organised Trial with 20 rabbits and 12 pheasant in the bag. 


 15/16/17/1 /2018 

The 88th running of the KC Spaniel Championship took place on the Duke of Buccleuch's Estate in Thornhill, Scotland. Judging was Carl Colclough, Dai Lloyd , Alex Coutts and Stuart Morgan. Driving into Thornhill brought back memories of happy days spent rabbiting on the Estate with Rab Clarke who is now Head Keeper and Davy Lissett who recently won the IGL retriever Championship and is professional dog trainer to the Duke.

Weather conditions was cold and with over 60 dogs to see the pressure was on the Judges to get through the card as birds were not giving themselves up too easily and heavy snow was forecast for Day 2. Jazz running at no.26 had her first run in early afternoon in cutaway woodland that was testing. A find on a cock bird followed by a good retrieve was her first run completed under Dai Lloyd and Stuart Morgan. The weather forecaster had it bang on for Day 2 with 4 to six inches of snow on the ground with snow falling for most of the morning. Jazz spent most of the time in my arms. Her second run was on an extremely steep incline again of cutaway woodland but with more game on show. She got stuck into hunting extremely difficult terrain as the snow covered a lot of the holes etc. A loose bird got up well to her right which she could not mark. Flushing two more while working at a distance I called her up as her chance of an A+ had gone.

I said my goodbyes and headed for the Ferry. Little did I know that my travelling partners Mick Walsh and Des Donnolly was going to run off for the Championship with the Hollydrive litter sisters Abby and Sally. This is the result of a mating to FtCh Skronedale Romulus. Geoff Devine Jones' , Syncerous Sinbad one of the last FtCh Hattonswood Broc dogs also made it to the runoffs and finished a creditable fourth .All the Irish dogs was sponsored by Connolly's Redmills. William Connolly came to support the Team and he had to be happy with the result. 

 7/1 /18

The Open Stake held on the Championship ground saw Jazz coming home with the Silverware. The North Tipperary Working Gundog Club organised event Judged by Pat Brennan and John Keeshan had the quality game supply and organisation that has become the norm for trials on the Island. Jazz had two solid runs with rabbits in both of her runs. This was her last run out before the Championship in Buccleuch. FtCh Hattonswood Broc won this Trial in 2006 with his daughter FtCh Gardenrath Larch winning in 2007 and 2008. Jazz is Broc's Greatgrand daughter. 



The 42nd IKC Spaniel Championship was held on Illaunmore, Lough Derg by permission of Michael Mahnke and judged by Willie Edgar and Ian Openshaw. Jazz had qualified by winning the North Tipperary Open Stake which was held on the Championship ground. She was drawn at no.2 and was first dog out under Ian Openshaw. The first day had the dogs going right handed around the Island and she was straight into stunk out rabbits in tight briars which made shooting difficult. After 4 contact flushes on rabbits a cock pheasant was shot well out to the front which she made look easy in difficult terrain. Simon Dixon was next in with FtCh Dawsonlee Heather and with a nice eyewipe on one of the cockers he laid the foundation for a third place finish. Jazz was also first dog out on day 2 with Willie Edgar. An awkward beat comprising of some bare woodland flanked by heavy briar with a strong cheek wind made it awkward . A find on a pheasant with a loose bird being shot onto a tracked field providing the retrieve. This performance gave Jazz a podium finish with Steve Blackwell's FtCh Luthmhor Druco winning and Mick Walsh's Int FtCh Hollydrive Sally second. There was 7 Diplomas of merit awarded. The mandatory water test was uneventful .



We are delighted to announce that William Connolly of Connolly's Red Mills Engage has come on board to sponsor Jazz for both the Irish Championship on the Island and British Championship which is being held on Buccleuch Estate , Thornhill , in Scotland.


A boat trip to the Copeland Islands off Donaghadee, for the English Springer Spaniel Club of Northern Ireland ,All Aged Stake had Jazz coming home with the Cup after a run off with Louis Rice's, FtCh Sliabh Cushla. The Trial was in bracken and rushes with a good supply of rabbits and pheasants with the odd snipe which caused trouble for some. There was a high failure rate with only four dogs finishing. This was her last run out before the Championship at the end of the month. The Trial was sponsored by Feedwell Dog Foods from Castlewellan ,Co Down.



 The annual English Springer Spaniel Club of Ireland's Open Stake was held on the Mountainstown Estate ,Co Meath by permission of the Pollack Family and sponsored by Redmills Animal Foods. A good quality card assembled to take the now traditional testing course. Running at no.9 Jazz had 2 solid A runs but this was not enough to catch the winner FtCh Hollydrive Sally who clocked up her 15th Open Stake win. Overall a pleasing performance on one of the quality trial grounds



The Joe Maxwell Perpetual Challenge Trophy was up for grabs at the English Springer Spaniel Club of Northern Ireland, Open Stake held at Larch field Estate ,south of Belfast. Norman had won this Trial in 2003 with Skronedale Felicity a daughter of Int FtCh Philips Girl. Ground conditions varied from laurels to briar. Jazz running at no.15 had some tidy hunting with  faultless retrieving her first run. Her second run finished with a wing clipped running cock pheasant  and she immediately was called to a three dog run off to decide top slot. Club Secretary  Jim McConnell presented the awards in reverse order which led to a tense couple of moments when it came to the run off dogs. This was Jazz's first KC Open Stake award and qualifies for a run at the Spaniel Club Championship in Jan 2018 which is being held at Drumlanrig Estate, in Thornhill , Scotland.



After a COM performance at the Donegal Working Spaniel Club's Trial in Brackenhill, Millford, Co Donegal it was back on the podium for Jazz at the North Tipperary Working Gundog Club's Open Stake at the Island on Lough Derg. This is the ground for the forthcoming IKC Spaniel Championship and is a testing course in all departments. A good supply of pheasant and rabbits saw Jazz come out a clear winner with positive gamefinding especially on rabbits. 


Sara and Gunnar ran a close second at the Mohill Gunclub's Open Stake which also qualified them for the IKC Retriever Championship which overlaps the Spaniel Championship and is being held at Shelton Abbey ,Co Wicklow.


Tayto Estate in Tandragee, Co Armagh was the venue for the English Springer Spaniel Club of Northern Ireland's Novice Stake. Hurricane Ophelia was due to hit the country and all was anxious to be out of the woods before the worst winds came. Jazz had two pretty flawless runs with precision marking in difficult terrain. A run off was called with Jazz and Tim Crother's young dog Springerdale Del Rio. Judges Ivan Wilson and Errol Rowan called Trial over after 25 metres with Jazz now qualified for Open Stakes. 


After three days of judging for the SSRK in Sweden it was back to business with Jazz at the Donegal Working Spaniel Club's Open Trial  held on Ivan Wilson's ground in Gortin ,Co Tyrone. Four dogs finished the Trial on double 'A' runs and the Judges Michael Walsh and Christy Hassan separated them without run off. Jazz was awarded third place. Game supply was good mainly pheasant with a few partridge.


The Great Game Fairs of Ireland in Birr, Co Offaly was the scene of mixed fortunes for Skronedale today. Sara and Gunner won the Lab Scurry and was second overall. The Scurry was organised by Rebecca Barton and Gundog Rescue and Rehoming. Jazz fresh from her show ring success  had to be content with fourth with a score of 86ex100 in the ESSC Open Test.




At the English Springer Spaniel Club of Ireland Club Show hosted by the Limerick and District Canine Club in Adare, Co Limerick , Colcourt Firecrest won the Field Trial bitch Class graded excellent and went on to win the Best Field Trial dog award. This win under the former Chairman of the Irish Kennel Club ,Brian O Hara was the necessary point to required to make Jazz a FtCh. A record entry mainly from the UK entered the Show.




Happy day's. 

 Fendawood Jagger's hip result  5/5=10 and elbows are 0.

We did his eye's in march and the result is Unaffected.


Jazz was second in the Open Working Test held in Slane Castle organised by the Working Spaniel Club of Ireland and sponsored by Nutts about Pets. Only off her pups to FtCh Esgob Esteem she put in a good performance on a technical course in woodland. The Judges were Willie Edgar and Michael Finglas.


The Gaelic Gundog League Spaniel Working Tests were held near Moate ,Co Westmeath with Norman and Mick Walsh on the books. An entry of 37 dogs enjoyed some nice hunting ground with natural obstacles making an interesting test with the more polished dogs coming to the top in all categories. Two sons of Buccleuch Pleasure (Nils) featured in the awards. 


The postman delivered the news from the Kennel Club telling us that Norman had achieved one of his ambitions to become an 'A' panel spaniel Judge. A 2017 copy of the 'J' regs was also enclosed should make some light bedtime reading!


The Fermanagh Gundog Club's  Open Walked up Test was held on the Murley mountains near Fivemiletown, Co Tyrone and sponsored by Redmills Dogfoods. After  receiving clear results from all his DNA Tests during the week , Gunner put in a good performance to finish fourth in a strong field of 24. Sean Nolan came home in first place. Judges were Declan Boyle and Joshua Brimstone


Busy weekend at Skronedale. Jazz had her pups to FtCh Esgob Esteem, all black and white bar two bitches. The black and white gene is quite dominant. Norman judged the North Tipperary Working Gundog Club working tests with Club Secretary Ivan McAllister at Nenagh. A full report on an enjoyable day can be seen at www.northtippworkinggundogs.com 



The 2017 version of the Celtic Challenge for Retrievers was held in the grounds of Belvedere House in Mullingar. Gunner and Sara competed on the Ireland Selection Team which came out on top. Judges Declan Boyle,Ronnie Farrelly, Paul Toal and Michael Cronin set a course with some interesting retrieves. Leinster ran off with Connaught  twice to secure second place. Munster were fourth. The Ireland Selection Team consisted of Danny, John and Ciara Behan from Clones,Harry Gillanders from Monaghan and John Williamson with his Golden Retrievers made up the team.Making it a complete family affair Gunner's two litter sisters were also on the team.


The Working Retriever Club of Ireland held their Annual Working Tests on the Shirley Estate at Carrickmacross ,Co Monaghan. A challenging course was set of 7 retrieves in the Open . Gunner continued his fine form and came out a clear winner in the eyes of Judges Declan Boyle,Paul Toal,Billy Lundy and Tony Rogers. The Tests were sponsored by Skinners Dogfood



Sara and Gunnar was part of a four dog team competing against 5 other teams at the weekend.Other Team members were Danny Behan who ran two dogs and Harry Gillanders both from Clones ,Co Monaghan. The event was held in Larchfield Estate,Co Down and arranged by BASC. Judges on the day was Nigel Carville,Timmy Woods and Joe Morrison.

Team went home with a very respectable 3rd place.


Since the end of the season Jazz has been mated to Will Clulee's FtCh Esgob Esteem. 'Pete' is a son of Irish Championship Winner Int FtCh Skronedale Romulus and Dave Bishop's FtCh Esgob Becky . At Wormegay Estate , Norfolk ,in the 2012 A.V Championship she was one of the stars of the show with top drawer hunting. There are 3 lines to FtCh Merlinsbrook Evita in this pedigree. Jazz is due to whelp  on April 9th. Needless to say we are looking forward to these pups.  


Jazz's last Trial of the season was on Michael Manke's, Oileann


 Mhor Shoot, which is the venue for the 2017 IKC Spaniel Championship. Head Keeper Vincent Kyne with his trusty Lieutenants Willie White and Benny Ryan ensured all dogs had a chance to shine. As it turned out rabbits were the main quarry for Judges John Keeshan and Ronan Gorman to sort the dogs out. Game finding was at a premium and shooting was difficult with rabbits bolting between the cover clumps. Jazz had a reasonably long first run with rabbits refusing to leave the safety of some heavy briars. Her second run was on the lake shore which was more open and the rabbits were more obliging finishing with a good find and a one command retrieve. It was a fourth place finish for Jazz with Des Donnolly's FtChHollydrive Abbey coming out on top.


Sara had her first Trial judging appointment as a Non Panel judge on the Castledillon estate in Co Armagh for the Retriever Club of Northern Ireland. She had a most enjoyable and informative day in the company of 'A' panel Judges Martin Rush and John Wilson and fellow Non Panel Tommy McMinn. Tony Rogers came out tops with his young black dog.


28/29 12/2016

Diploma for Jazz.


Colcourt Firecrest  got a Diploma of Merit at the 2016 I.K.C. Spaniel Championship held on the Awbeg Shoot at Kildorrery ,Co Cork. The 41st running of the event was one of the more testing in recent years with all dogs getting testing cover with a minimum of motivation.

Drawn at no.23 Jazz had a competent run under senior Judge Pat Brennan with a blind retrieve from woodland and then a potentially a tricky situation with a wounded hen pheasant in bramble which she handled well. This finished her first run and avoided the cut which saw seven dogs dropped.

 (Photos by Colman Howard)

Day 2 was in cover where survival counted. The run ended when Eddie Scott asked if she had a retrieve in her first run. A three way run off was called with  FtCh Lisgarvagh Jet who is a grandson of FtCh Hattonswood Broc , Benny Ryan's FtCh Ainninn Susie who spent the first 6 months of her life in Skronedale and Errol Rowan's AnnaBell. Run on heather and white grass the dog was a clear winner. The water test was uneventful. At the prize giving a delighted Ed McAuley was generous in his praise for the help and assistance he had received from Norman. And so ended a tough two days


Quarrypool Gunner makes FtCh

On the Bogs of Bruff , Gunner got the necessary points in a 12 Dog Open Stake run on snipe and organised by Dalcassian Gundog Club .This is Sara's first dog to run in Trials and she made him up to Champion in only 2 seasons. He is also a open dog in the UK. Gunner was the second FtCh made up in Skronedale in 5 days.



Two clean runs  with an eyewipe in her second had Colcourt Firecrest  win her second Open Stake of the season. The win graded excellent gained her title of FtCh with a water test to come and to do the necessary in the Show ring. She has been very consistant on the Test and Trial circuit with over 25 awards. The Trial was held on the Trinamaden Shoot of Ivan Wilson in Gortin ,Co Tyrone with Mark Stewart,Anthony Smyth and Eamonn Taaffe.



Another blue for Quarrypool Gunner.

The Mid Cork-Field Trial Association held a 12 dog open stake mainly on snipe in Caherconlish Co Limerick. 

Trial was very testing and after 3 drives only 2 dogs remained for the last drive.

Paul O'Brien came out as the winner and Quarrypool Gunner a very close second place.

Judges were Willie Ford and Sean Moore. 

 Nov 20th 2016

Jazz sees Red at last!.


Picking a strong running cock bird in her second run helped to get Jazz into a runoff for her first Open Stake win and qualification for the IKC Championship. The trial took place on last years Championship ground at the Island and was organised by the South West Gundog Club. A good supply of rabbits and pheasant with Mick Walsh and Ronan Gorman on the books ensured the Trial was over at twelve

 Oct 31st 2016

The Working Spaniel Club of Ireland held an Open Stake on Ivan Wilson's ground in Gortin ,Co Tyrone.  Jazz had another podium finish this time in fourth place. Once again FtCh Ainninn Thunderbolt was ahead of Willie Edgar's dog and bitch. 

Oct 21st / 24th 2016


An early morning flight with Finnair took Norman to Helsinki where he was to spend Sat and Sun judging the Hunting Spaniel Club Championship.

Two days on the beautiful estate of Jori Android with dogs having to hunt for half an hour brought the cream to the top. Juha Lindroth's B/W bitch Sara was the star of the show and a clear winner. All dogs hunted really well in difficult terrain where retrieving was difficult at times.


Oct 18th 2016.

Norman ran Jazz in the Essc of N Ireland Novice Trial in Tayto, Tandragee ,Co Armagh. Only 5 dogs finished with retrieving being the main problem. Jazz finished 2nd with no winner. Judges were Robin Young and Hugh Houston.


                                             Oct 15th 2016.

Jazz competed in the ESSC of Ireland's Open Stake on the Corrard Shoot Lisbellaw, Co Fermanagh. At the end of the day 68 birds was on the Game cart. Jazz had 2 action packed runs but did not do enough to catch B .Caffreys FtCh Ainninn Thunderbolt.

 Oct 1st 2016.

Norman took Colcourt Firecrest to the Ulster Gundog League's Novice Trial at the Corrard Shoot, Lisbellaw Co Fermanagh, where overshooting a short marked retrieve on her first run was enough to have her in the tickets. This was a high-quality Novice Trial won by W Edgar's Meadowbeat Neale and judged by Tim and Trevis Crothers.



A near perfect start to the new Trialling season had Sara and Quarrypool Gunner finish second in the Labrador Retriever Club of Ireland's ,16 dog Walked up Open stake held on the testing ground of Gary McCutcheon  at Claby , near Fivemiletown, N Ireland. On a Trial with partridge and snipe the main quarry , Judges D Boyle, N. Cahill and B Lundy  had M Corr,s Drumgoose Alonso the winner with Gunner second and W. Carlisle's Brackenbird Edward third.

20 and 21/8/16

A busy weekend for Skronedale.


Norman ran Dexter and Jazz in the Ballyarnett Working Tests held near Derry.On nice spaniel ground, Dexter came first in the Puppy. It was Bertie Barret's annual fundraiser for the Foyle Hospice and this year raised £1200.

Sara made her Judging debut as a non panel judge at the Fermanagh Gundog Club's ,Walked up Cold game Tests near Fivemiletown .Her co judges were Gary Wilson and Michael Corr.


On Sunday Sara ran Gunnar in the Working Retriever Club of Ireland's Open Test  held at Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan. Gunnar came home second beaten by the narrowest of margins. This was his last Test of the year and it is now down to the serious business. 


By kind permission of the Buller family and Mr W. Smith.



For the second week in a row Gunnar finished in the awards . This time it was in the Northern Ireland Gundog Field and Show Society Open Test held at Scarvagh, Co Armagh.  



In a strong field of 28, Gunnar came home 3rd in the Open on a difficult course with 6 retrieves. Clones Retriever Club had organized one of the better and more technical courses of the season making full use of the natural topography and stone walls. The Test was won by John Behan with a full sister of Gunnar. The event was sponsored by Redmills and held at Smithborough, Co Monaghan.


Clodagh Valley Gundog Club ran their Tests for Spaniels and labs on Lady Waterford's Estate , at Portlaw, Co Waterford. An enjoyable day was had by all. Dexter did his usual one point behind in second place in the Puppy and Jazz was two points behind the winner with an 86 in third place in the Open. Clumps of brashings was the main cover and the Judges Jimmy King and Tony O Brien set a sensible course on a hot day that finished with a water  retrieve.


The Working Spaniel Club of Ireland's annual Test was held in the usual venue on the lands of the Marquis Conygham's Estate in Slane ,Co Meath. The tests are run in mature woodland which is ideal to show hunting spaniels. The Late Capt Tom Bartle's , Marbeech Duke did his usual finish of one point behind the winner, but this could only get him to third place . He was beaten by a son of Buccleuch Pleasure in a field of 19. The standard of puppies has been high this year. Mean while Sara was competing in the Dalcassian Gundog Club Open Test in Galway with FtW Quarrypool Gunner. Gunner ran a good test with some tricky retrieves to finish third.



The Kilkenny Working Gundog Club held their annual Working Tests at Bellacolla near Portlaoise. Conditions were warm with the Open dogs hunting a cheek wind. Rushes was the cover and the retrieves were testing. Colcourt Firecrest put in another solid performance under Judges Vinny Cauldwell and Ronan Gorman to finish second. 


Norman took Jazz and Dexter to the Cork Field Trial Association Working Tests held on Ballinatrae Estate near Youghal. Dexter was successful first time out in the Novice Test and Jazz  had a hiccup at the fence but got the Countryside Alliance Cup for Top Hunting dog overall .


Sara and Quarrypool Gunner came a credible third in Mohill Gun Club's Annual Working Test held at the Bog Hotel, Drumard, Co Leitrim. Testing retrieves set by Judges Michael Corr and Pat Hearne made for an enjoyable day. 


 1/5 /16

Jazz and Dexter both saw yellow at the South West Gundog Club  Working Tests held on Tom Brennan's Rockbog Shoot at Castlecomer, Co Kilkenny. Dexter was third out of 19 puppies entered on a short course with an easy marked retrieve. Jazz performed well and also finished 3rd on a testing retrieving course set up by Judges Mick Walsh and Mick Finglas. The ground was ideal with low heather and rushes. With an entry of 17 Jamie Cahill was the clear winner with FtCh Clodahill Nell scoring 93x100.


Wet and windy conditions greeted competitors for the North Tipperary Working Gundog Club's annual working tests held near Nenagh. Norman ran Capt Tom Bartle's Dexter in the Puppy Test where he was again pipped for top spot by one point ,this time by Pat Brennan's Clodahill Rhythm. Colcourt Firecrest ran a good Open Test finishing fourth with 86 ex 100 and 1 point off Top Hunting dog.


Captain Tom Bartle's young dog Marbeech Duke James started the Working Test season with a 2nd at the English Springer Spaniel Club of Ireland's Tests held at Balbriggan in North County Dublin. Tom who tragically passed away recently was I am sure keeping a close eye on his beloved Dexter. 


Quarrypool Gunner wins in Aughentaine.


Gunnar took his wins in Trials and Tests to eight by coming out tops in a very strong field at the Fermanagh Gundog Club's Open Tests in Aughentaine, Co Tyrone. After winning the Non Classified and Novice last year at the same venue, he returned to win the Open after a run off. The Judges Richard Johnston, Peter Colville and John Williamson set a testing course and Club Secretary Shauna McGroarty's organization was to be commended.



Norman and Sara were married today in Athlone with not a cloud in the sky !Close friends Andrew and Tom  witnessed the occasion and joined them for celebrations in the Wineport in Glasson.


Quarrypool Gunner and Sara gets third place.

A walked up working test was held by Craigavon Gundog Club on sugar beet.  Judges on the day was Mr R Johnson and Mr A Leonard. 20 dogs ran in this test.

First place:  Sean Nolan

Second place: Damian Newman

Third place: Sara Neogard



 Colcourt Firecrest (Jazz) got runs in the last three Opens of the season finishing with 2 COMs and third . The Kilkenny Working Gundog Club's Open was won by Benny Ryan's Aininn Susie who spent her puppyhood in Skronedale. The next outing was also on the IKC Championship ground Illaunmore this time organized by The North Tipperary Working Gundog Club and was won by Michael Walsh's Int Ftch Hollydrive Sally with some power hunting. A podium finish on the last trial of the season run by the Donegal Working Spaniel Club in Brackenhill. Again this was won by Michael Walsh but this time with Int FtCh Hollydrive Kurt


Skronedale Lillis whelped today. Five  dogs and three bitches. Six liver and white  and two black and white. Unfortunately we lost a dog pup leaving four dogs and three bitches all doing well.


29 and 30/12/15. 

The IKC Championship for AV Retrievers was held by kind permission of Mr John Cunningham and his keepering Staff at the historic Glenarm Estate in Co Antrim, N .Ireland. Sara had qualified with Quarrypool Gunner  (the only lady competitor in the Irish Championship) , at the Clones Retriever Club's Open Stake in mid November. Heavy drives were the order of the day.


At just over 2 Gunner was the second youngest dog to qualify and gained valuable experience. Jimmy Black from Bettystown, Co Meath was the deserving winner with FtCh Abhaile Taite Bui.



We would like to wish all our clients and friends a very Happy Christmas and a successful New Year.



 Sara and Gunner had their second win in five days, this time in the Skinners sponsored Fermanagh Gundog Club Novice Stake held on the beautiful Lisgoole Abbey Estate, in Co Fermanagh. Gunner handled beautifully and  was the clear winner in the judges books.


An emotional Sara collected the Sam Jennet Raughlin Trophy as Winner of the Clones Retriever Club Open Stake.


 The trial was held in Smithborough, Co Monaghan and game consisted of pheasant, partridge and snipe. Gunner handled the difficult ground conditions superbly and got a grading of Excellent.This now qualifies him  for the Irish Retriever Championship which is being held on the Glenarm Estate in Co Antrim over Christmas. This was Sara and Gunner's third Open Stake to run having  qualified in Mohill in late September.


Norman ran Jazz in the Fermanagh Gundog Club' s All Aged Stake on the Corrad Shoot in Lisnaskea, Co Fermanagh. Once again she finished in the bridesmaid position.  Overall a good Trial  well judged by Michael Walsh and Louis Rice with lots of game. 



Norman had a week of judging starting with a late call up to the Northern  Ireland Working Cocker Club's Novice Stake which was held on the Auchentain Estate, Co Tyrone. Happy Jake owned by Mr E Hayden and handled by Damian Newman came home first on a tough ground for novice dogs.

A Monday night ferry crossing to Holyhead took him to the Arfon Working Gundog Club's Open Stake where he judged with an old friend Adrian Slater .The Trial was held on the Glasfryn Shoot near Pwllheli. Ian Openshaw's novice bitch Rytex Riggle showed a clean pair of heels to Simon Dixon's FtCh Chinachgook Roberto and David Horseman's Marchwood Rova in a three way runoff.

Friday was back in Ireland again this time to the Antrim and Down's Open Stake at Clandeboye Estate near Bangor Co Down. A four judge system with Eddie Scott,Richard Clayton and Pat Brennan were in total agreement that Maria Carragher's ,Lisgarvagh Verde handled by Damian Kelly was the clear winner. This is one to watch out for in the AV Championship. To round off the week Norman ran Jazz in the English Springer Spaniel Club of Ireland Open Trial on the Corrard Shoot in Fermanagh. No rosettes came home as the handbrake failed on her second run!



Tilly a Special One . 


Today I had the horrible task of taking Int FtCh Gardenrath Larch to the vets for one last time. She lived in the house with us for the last four  years and was a big part of the family.She had 25 Test and Trial awards and won the IKC Spaniel Championship in 2008 in Annsgrove, Co Cork. She was a pleasure to handle and we had a special bond from the first day she came to our kennel. The first time I saw her with Binky in Slane at six months I thought she was a Superstar and she was. She never let me down and I will miss her so much. A dear friend has passed on.



The English Springer Spaniel Club of Ireland held their Novice Trial on the Corrard Shoot at Carrybridge, Co Fermanagh. This was first time out for Jazz who performed well especially on her second run where she handled some heavy game pressure. A run off was required to separate her from the winner which hunted a neater pattern on a downwind beat.Both dogs were graded Excellent.


Gunnar third in Mohill 


Sara and Quarrypool Gunner got third place in Mohill Gundog Clubs 12 Dog Novice Trial. This was Sara's and Gunnar's first trial so they were pleased with that result. Next day out was in Castle Dillon arranged by the Fermanagh Gundog Club on the 16th of September. Gunnar failed on the last bird of the trial.


Second in Slane 

Colcourt Firecrest had another second place finish this time in the Working Spaniel Club of Ireland's, Test held on the Marquis Conyngham's Estate in Slane ,Co Meath. Held in mature woodland and judged by Mr Tom O Connor and Mr Mark Stewart, Jazz put in a competent performance. There was a field of 20 in the Novice.


All that Jazz.


Mr Chris John from South Wales, Colcourt Firecrest handled by Norman, came a close second in the Kilkenny Working Gundog Club's ,Novice Test held near Castlecomer, Co Kilkenny. The Tests were well organised by Club stalwart Tom Brennan and held on his shoot. Judges were Mr P. Brennan and Mr P Carragher. Jazz put in a competent  performance with no outstanding dogs in a field of 18.


Gunner gets Green.


 Fourth place was gained in the Open Test being run by the Dalcassian Gundog Club on the beautiful Lough Grainey Estate, in Co Clare sponsored by Red Mills.

Competition was stiff and also was the course with a testing water retrieve and a couple of blind retrieves that sorted the men from the boys. The Judges Martin Fitzgerald and Michael Cronin had Declan McCarthy's fox red Watergreen Jasper a clear winner. Gunner put in a good effort but a struggle on the 'blind with diversion' had him in the minor places. This was a result that both handler and dog learned a lot from.



Quarrypool Gunner wins his first Open Working Test. The test was organised by the All Ireland Utility Gundog Club in Ashford ,Co Wicklow.



Quarrypool Gunner did a Prelim and Novice Double at the Fermanagh Gundog Club's ,Working Tests held on the beautiful Auchentaine Estate near Fivemiletown, Co Fermanagh. The Judges were Bobby Robertson, Andrew Rooney and Patricia Watson. 



Celtic Challenge 2015

The venue for this years test was Lough Cultra Estate, Co Galway.


Four teams competed, Ulster,Lenster, Munster and an Ireland Select team. Each team had 4 novice dogs and 4 open dogs. There were 6 retrieves for each dog. Sara and Gunnar was part of the Ireland Select team with Danny and John Beahan, Ronnie Farrelly,Harry Gillanders and Ciara Behan. Gunnar scored 146 out of a possible 150 to have him in 4th place in the Novice.


After the Novice Ireland Select team was in the lead with 551 points followed by Leinster with 538, Munster had 476 and Ulster got 389 points. After lunch the Open test started and after some very testing retrieves Ireland Select ended in second place 2 points behind Leinster.

Leinster first on 933 points,Ireland Select 931 points Munster 813 and Ulster  686 points.

 Judges for the day was Mr Declan McCarthy, Mr Paschal Clarke and Mr Stephen McFaden.


 The Labrador Retriever Club of Ireland  arranged a walked up dummy test in Newtownhamilton today.


It was a very well organised day on testing grounds for both handlers and dogs.

Quarrypool Gunnar and Sara had a good run and ended up first in the Novice test. David Beattie won the Open test.


                       Judges were Mr N Doran and Mr N Cahill.


We would like to wish all our clients and friends a very happy and peaceful Christmas. 


22/23  12/14 

We have just returned from Glenarm, Co Antrim where  the IKC Spaniel Championship was held by kind permission of Mr John Cunningham with the help of his Head Keeper, Barry Kelly and his Staff. Norman judged the event with Damian Kelly from Co Tyrone. All the top Irish dogs had qualified plus some of the top British professionals were present. The Ground was made up of various cover and was technically challenging with an abundance of Game. Game finding was of a priority coupled with accurate marking was a necessity. The Winner was John Healey's very slight liver cocker bitch, FtCh Mallowdale Midge handled by Ian Openshaw. She was Norman's top dog over the two days and her first run under him on Day 1 was a pure pleasure to watch. Hardly off the lead she produced a cock pheasant from the bottom of a tree where you would expect to find nothing. When the bird was shot it ran across a small stream and up into woodland. She worked a superb line and dealt with the situation with ease. She finished her run with a prompt retrieve from the other line when her bracemate and kennel mate Tiptop Jacksixpence handled by Wendy Openshaw ran in.To win overall she put in a long shift in her second run and then had to face up to Barry Caffrey's , Gortnacor Daffodil. This Black and White powerhouse had a competitant first run but really turned a challenging performance in her second run under Norman. A  good find from a stickpile and an out and in retrieve set her up nicely for a good finish. She had a multiple flush with a lot of temptation at the edge of a steep riverbank. A bird was shot on the other side, but an in spate stream did not deter her and she finished by showing determination in getting back when others may have left the bird in the water. A runoff was needed which started in her favour but the better pattern of the cocker decided the day in her favour. The Pat Brennan bred  Clodahill Nofler of Carnteel was a close third with two strong 'A' runs. A very efficient game finder and a good marker  could  do well at the British in mid January .Fourth place went to the ex Mick Walsh Int FtCh Hollydrive Kurt  handled by Ian Openshaw who under different conditions could have been farther up the ladder. Mick Walsh also maintained his  tradition of not getting past his first run ,this year with FtCh Hollydrive Sally. His luck has to change one of these years !A number of Diplomas was awarded to the following;

Tim Crother's  E.S.S.D  Scroggwood Cobber.  

EJM Smith's E.S.S.B Nederscot Spirit

Eddie Scotts E.S.S.B's FtCh Broomfield Rosetta and FtCh Broomfield Annie

Stuart Morgan's  E.S.S.B Bishwell Beebop.

Jim Adamson's  E.S.S.B Rothievale Larch

Mark Stuart's E.S.S.B Broomfield Bayamo.

This was one of the better Championships in recent times and all involved should take a bow. Roll on 2015 for a repeat performance ! 


The Clodagh Valley Gundog Club in Co Waterford invited Norman to Judge their Open Stake with Mick Walsh on Lord and Lady Waterford's beautiful Estate at Portlaw. Game supply was constant all day providing the Guns with some testing  shots. Ffynonlas Griff handled by Ivan McAllister won a runoff with Anthony Morris' Cheweky Gritsand of Glenfia to win Ivan's first Open Stake and qualify for the Championship. Third was Patsy McCarthy's Owenwee Conifer.



Norman was invited to judge  Open and Novice Spaniel Trials by the SSRK in Sweden over the weekend. His hosts were Christian Dokken and Torbjorn Augustinsson with the Trials being held on their private shoots. A training day was held on Sunday. The Open Stake was won by the Colin Gaffney  from Delvin ,bred Clonwyn Aggie. This win made her into a FtCh for Morgan Hallgren who has a three hour ferry trip to get to the mainland. Aggie is by FtCh Skronedale Romulus.

The Novice only had two finishers with Anna Victoria Ingemarsdotter  gaining a first place under the Swedish system. 




Skronedale Edward and Skronedale Harry 3 month old 


Quarrypool Gunner and Sara had another podium finish on his second outing at the Golden Vale Gundog Club working Tests held at Adare Manor, Co Limerick. After winning his Prelim first time out, he finished a close third in a 20 dog competitive Novice .




Quarrypool Gunner (bred by Danny Behan) and Sara ran a perfect Prelim Test to score 100 x 100 in the All Ireland Gundog Club Tests in Lough Bawn   Co Monaghan. Gunner is out of FtCh Quarrypool Ainey to Nigel Carville's FtCh Waysgreen Apollo.




After a visit to Lydia in Clerkin's Veterinary Hospital in Virginia, we can say that Ally is definitely in pup. She was mated to  

Nigel Carvill's, FtCh Waysgreen Apollo and pups are due mid May. Both parents have single digit hip scores, zero elbows and  clear eyes.



Celtic Challenge 2014, Castle Leslie Estate, Co.Monaghan . Sara and Ally was part of the sucessfull  Irish Select team that won the Celtic Challenge.

Team Captain Danny Behan from Smithborough fielded a strong Open squad consisting of Harry Gillanders, Nigel Carvill, Ronnie Farrelly and John Behan who also ran a novice dog. The Novice part of the team was made up of dogs with no Field Trial Awards, consisted of John Behan's daughter Ciara , Sara Neogard and Michael Hoey who had the top score in the Novice section.


Leinster finished second, Ulster selection third, Munster fourth and Connaught brought up the rear.

Celebrations are reported to have gone on until the small hours !

  18 /2 /2014.

Norman has been selected to Judge the 2014 Irish Kennel Club Spaniel Championship which is going to be held on the Glenarm Estate near Larne ,Co Antrim on December 22nd and 23rd. He has won the Championship twice with FtCh Hattonswood Broc and FtCh Gardenrath Larch and this will be his first time to Judge it. He has Judged the Swedish Championship in the past. His co Judge is Damian Kelly from Ballygawley who is a highly experienced spaniel man and also has won the Championship with FtCh Cindy of Antrim. 

 26 / 1/2014


Slane Open Stake.

Norman was invited by the Working Spaniel Club of Ireland to Judge their prestigious Trial in Slane Castle , Co Meath. His co Judge was Mr Ivan Wilson from Gortin ,Co Tyrone. This Trial is only surpassed by the Championship and had 16 Championship qualified dogs competing.

     It was not the usual route in Beauparc but  equally testing and had a very high number of dogs not making it to the second round. Fintan Kelly from Drogheda  took home the Jimmy Gaughran Perpetual Cup for two cracking runs with his FtCh Bramley Lady. She is a daughter of Monty and a real hunting machine with a class nose. Club Secretary Anthony Smyth was second.


Congratulations to Bengt Rodseth on winning the Swedish spaniel Championship with Fogeljagens Goldfinch and coming second with Chinagook Galileo. Both have a strong Skronedale connection with the winner being a grand-daughter of FtCh Hattonswood Broc and Galileo being a son. Galileo bred by Ian Clarke in Cumbria, spent the first six months of his life with us before moving to Sweden. Monty having got a Diploma in the Swedish Championship himself , We are sure Monty was looking down on the next generation . Willie Megaughan and Aidan Patterson from Northern Ireland were judging.
FtCh Lisgarvagh West arrived from the Hattonswood Kennels in Skerries.He will be standing at stud and be one of our shooting companions for the season.
Like all good dogs he settled in straight away.
Norman was judging the Open qualifier in Baronscourt, Co Tyrone ,for the North West Ulster Spaniel Club. His co Judge was Steve Bolton from England who is judging the Cocker Championship in Thornhill this season. The ground was testing and there was a certain amount of 'guts' required to take on the carpet of bramble. Willie Edgar's Int FtCh McGwyn Deallus had two good runs picking a  runner with Steve, which took him to top.

The current 'Pack' including the security division. 


The Working Spaniel Club of Ireland invited Norman to judge their Open Stake in Ballyward ,Co Down. Ground conditions were tough for all with a stock of young birds especially the Guns. On winning a run off with Tim Crothers ,Ivan Wilson made his dog Godspeed Phantom into a Champion.


Norman judged the Ulster Gundog League's All aged Stake on the Copeland Islands with Willie McGaughan. Rabbits were in short supply and those that showed were sick. Rob Patterson came out on top with Aine's in the Pink.


Ally sees red.

The Broadmeadows Retriever Club's Novice Working Test held at the Irish Game and Country Fair  at Birr Castle saw Ally get her second win of the Test season. A run-off with Sue McDowell's Knockeyon Lady Petra was needed but she came through with flying colours. Needless to say Sara was delighted too.

 The first of the Training Days passed with the usual high degree of organisation by the team at Gortin. Ivan and staff put on a great display of game that tested the Guns as the strong wind made shooting difficult. The dogs coped well and there was some promising performances especially from Patsy McCarthy and Tom Hayden's bitches.             

We were joined by the Golden Retrievers of John Williamson and Shauna McGroarty and it was great to see one of the lesser breeds perform in the field.


Quarrypool Gunner joins the team


Clodagh Valley Field Trails Association

It was a very warm day for both dogs and handlers. Despite the heat Sara and Ally had a good run and came second.


All Ireland Utility Gundog Club.

Another successful day for Sara and Ally at the club's Tests at Lough Bawn ,Co Monaghan.

Running in the Novice, Ally was beaten by 1 point after a two retrieve run off. She scored a perfect 100 ex 100 on her three retrieves. Tullyah Diesel handled by E Moore was the winner. This was another good performance by both handler and dog. Ally also got the Best Yellow Lab award. The Judges were Jimmy Black, Danny Behan and E. McElwaine



Meningitis Charity Test in Drumbanagher.

Sara travelled North with Ali to compete in the Prelim and
Novice Working Tests being held on the Championship ground in Drumbanagher, Co


A competent performance in the prelim had her placed third
out of 35 plus dogs.


In the Novice which had 5 retrieves and a field of 35 +, a
blip after delivering her last retrieve knocked her 5 points, which took her from a winning position to third.

Onwards and upwards as they say!


We had a great day out at the Mullingar International Horse
and Country Show. We did a gundog display and Sara was judging the dog show. It was 6 classes and over 50 dogs taking part. Norman was doing the commentary for the day. Mullingar pet Hospital and Pro Pack dog food was sponsoring the day.




Sara and Barronstown Daybreak  travelled to the Northern Ireland Game Fair in Moira to compete in the Prelim and Novice Tests. A creditable 5th place out of 20 +  starters had them in the 'Happy Camper' division. After lots of training over fences, a dummy thrown on the near side of the fence caught quite a few out.Barronstown Daybreak  also fell for it, but immediately jumped back , alas the damage was done. A good performance in the Novice (Duck egg on the blind)  a tricky course left the handler driving south in a 'I can't wait till next week mood'.


      Barronstown  Daybreak and Sara had their first win today in the All Ireland Utility Gundog Club Prelim Working test in Ashford Co Wicklow.

With a score of 86 out of 90.


On Saturday Sara travelled to Limerick to compete in the Golden Vale Gundog Club retriever tests with Barronstown Daybreak. They were in a run off for Fourth place in the Prelim which went to three further retrieves. A good experience for both handler and dog. Sunday had the same team competing in the Broadmeadows Gundog Club tests in Mullingar. This time scoring 99x100 in the Prelim but made a hash of the run off and finished fourth again. Ally seemed happy enough. . . I'm not sure about Sara!

On Sunday, Norman ran Kevin Coyne's,  Clonikada  Gracie in the Working Spaniel Club of Ireland  puppy test in Slane. She finished third out of a field of 20.



                  Mountainstown Working Tests.


The English Springer Spaniel Club of Ireland held their annual working Tests on the Mountainstown Estate near Navan ,Co Meath by permission of Rupert Pollack and Head Keeper James Bradley.


               The event was sponsored by Massbrook Petfoods. Judges were Norman Blakeney(A) and Michael Finglas (C).

               Conditions were ideal with the dogs hunting in rushes. Course builder Gavin Tegetmeier kept it simple with the idea of everybody succeeding. Proceedings got underway with the puppy test for dogs born after Jan 1 2012. This consisted of a short hunt, drop to command and short marked retrieve. The joint top hunting dog of the day came from this event with Mick Walsh's HOLLYDRIVE SALLY scoring 46ex50. Her uncle Hollydrive Theo was to get the same mark in the Open. A not so smart retrieve was to allow Paul Carragher's LIGARVAGH PRINCESS pip her at the post with a perfect 10ex10 retrieve. Francie Barry's, SHELLINGHILL ACE was third. These three were well ahead of the rest.


               The Novice Test was kept simple which had scorin close. Four points separated the top four dogs with Vinny Cauldwell's GARDENRATH PRINCESS scoring 88ex100. Roddy Culleton's DRUMREENAGH De VITRY and Gordon Blakeney's MUGGLESWICK HARLEY both scored 85ex100 but DRUMREENAGH De VITRY had a one point advantage in hunting. Ed McAuley was fourth with LISGARVAGH JET. Both third and fourth were first time out, for handlers and dogs.


The Open Test had Mick Walsh's FTCh Hollydrive Theo powering to victory with 46ex50 for hunting and onlt dropping 2 points on his retrieves, he was the dog of the day.The ex Tom Lowry bitch GLENSISKEN CORA now with Sean Moriarty on the whistle came second, closely followed by Barry Caffreys's young bitch AINNINN THUNDERBOLT. Willie Thompson's CLANICKER OLIVER HARDY was fourth. This result should give the CLA Captain plenty of food for thought.

               Overall this was a good event and it was pleasing to see new Field Trial Secretary being well supported by his committee.



Judy and Ted who recently moved to Torun Thomassen's Kennel Ometyst in Norway, enjoying the Scandanavian snow.

A Full Report from the Irish Spaniel Championship. 


Get your copy of the Irish Shooters Digest as Norman has written a full report on the IKC Spaniel Championship that was held in Glenarm , Co Antrim.


The Gurteenina Field Trial Assocation had Norman judge their Open Stake in Ballynatrae Estate near Youghal ,Co Waterford sponsored by Nutts. The ground was equally tough for all with a carpet of briar to be faced. The Guns performed well but the shot of the day was Matt Fitzgerald plucking a pigeon from the stratosphere,which put paid to D. Creamer's Nederscott Trinity. Only three dogs finished with Francie Barry's Buncrana Flyer coming out on top with two'A's and a grading of excellent. There will be big celebtations in Lusk as Larry Taaffe was third with Wanderer of Tobyhill graded good. Local man John Butler was second with his young bitch Sprucehill Rhoda. With so many failing to complete the course ,it did not distract from the winner. Norman's co Judge was Dermot Cahill from Cobh, Co Cork.
Norman was judging as 'A' judge the Donegal Working Spaniel Club's Open Stake on the Copeland Islands with Mark Stewart as 'B' judge and Ronan Gorman as 'C' judge. Michael Walsh won a quality stake with his FtCh Hollydrive Theo. The dog showed his power in the heavy rushes with game finding from the top drawer and retrieving to match. He was followed home by Damian Kelly's , Anahoe Trixie and Pat Brennan's FtCh Clodahill Annie. Adrian Doris' Nederscot Spirit was the best of the youngsters and showed alot of promise in coming home fourth. There were four certs of merit. This has to be the Trial of the season so far.
Congratulation to Int FtCh Skronedale Romulus
and Dessie.
Top dog at the British Championship in Buccleuch Scotland.
Skronedale Romulus Crowned.
The 37th running of the Irish Kennel Club Spaniel Championship sponsored by Redmills took place on the ancestral home of the Earls of Antrim, in Glenarm, by kind permission of the Viscount Dunluce on December 28th and 29th.
Glenarm hosted the British and Irish Championships previously but this was Headkeeper Robert Betts first, and he did a superb job. Game was mainly pheasant with a sprinkling of rabbits and woodcock, to make it interesting.      
The Judges were Tim Crothers from Lisburn , N.Ireland and David Lisset of Buccleuch fame in Scotland.  Weather conditions over the two days were overcast with little rain. Scent was good with cover ranging from open woodland with an ivy floor to heavy bracken interlaced with briar. Gorse and whitethorn was added to make things interesting on day two when the glen was hunted.
Those who got through day one and twenty one were dropped, had to really work on day two when power hunting was required. The Guns made up of W Megaughan , M Clifford, M.Daniels and M O'Riordan, shot well and considerately for the dogs. New Championship Secretary, Tom O'Connor had to be pleased with a
record 47 dog entry with 16 travelling from Scotland and England. There were 4 withdrawals which left 43 starters which included one cocker. This broke down into 26 bitches and 17 dogs. As in all Championships one wondered how some managed to qualify, but on the whole the standard was good. There were no dry runs.
Undoubtedly the star of the show was the 'old timer' Int Ftch Skronedale Romulus,at seven and a half. Once he started at number 11 under Tim Crothers it was plain to see the gulf in class, with the preceding dogs. He put on a power display with control and I am sure Des Donnolly on the whistle was not looking forward to hunting the huge banks of laurels that was a natural holding place for birds coming up to the stops. He made it look easy with a find and a couple of retrieves. Next to impress was Ivan Wilson's GOSPEED PHANTOM who eyewiped M.Walsh's
young dog HOLLYDRIVE KURT on a short runner and then had a good find and pinpoint marked retrieve. Eddie Scott with FtCh BROOMFIELD ROSETTA who was to finish 3rd, was even more impressive with his second dog BROOMFIELD ANNIE who is just two and a half. This small black and white bitch sired by
FtCh Buccleuch Pepper showed she could hunt with the best, no matter what conditions. Extremely stylish and presented with the usual Eddie Scott polish. A blind retrieve on a woodcock on the second day was a struggle and she did not get among the prizes.
Gerry Meehan originally from Kildare now living in Newmarket with FtCh MORFUDD MUNGO had eye wipes in both his runs, putting paid to L.Rice's, WYNDHILL SHONA of SLIABH and Scotsman Jim O'Neill FtCh WYNDHILL LENA.  The latter earned him the Carthageinne Trophy for the best retrieve of the Championship.
The only cocker qualifier was Ivan Wilson's RIBBLESHEAD ALEX. This little, liver, livewire was hugely impressive. 'Bring it on' was her
attitude.  'I can do it'. She punched beyond her weight in the hunting division and handled like a 'sawn off' labrador. When iniative was required on a blind retrieve she showed she had a brain. She deserved her Diploma. Ryan Thompson from Northumberland with his young Irish bred FtCh FLAXDALE JAMIE was the talk of the gallery. His second run under Tim Crothers was certainly powerful and his swift retrieve of a rabbit had even more tongues wagging. Louis Rice's black and white SLIABH TREASURE , by Raven's Inquest is a quality spaniel, her aggression in cover, coupled with game finding and top drawer retrieving, had her lined up for a showdown with Romulus in the Judges books. Also putting in a challenge was Englishman
Jeremy Organ's ROTHIEVALE LING of EDGEGROVE . Probably not as powerful, as Sliabh Treasure but was still good enough for fourth place. She is stylish and a good retriever. Few were surprised when SKRONEDALE ROMULUS and SLIABH TREASURE were called for a run off.
Some thought that FLAXDALE JAMIE was on ice, but a blip on his first run, kept him from the awards. The run off was on heavy bracken, with the black and white bitch on the right. She was first out of the blocks, but
once Romulus got into his stride, he overpowered the bitch, even though she seemed to get under the cover better. The 2012 Championship Winner was crowned. Only the water test had to be done. Nobody begrudged Romulus his win. This was his sixth Championship to qualify for and he had finished 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. He is now on his way to Thornhill for the British. May the Gods go with him.

1st D. Donnolly's ESSD Int FtCh SKRONEDALE ROMULUS  Sire. FtCh Clarburgh Art . Dam. FtCh
Merlinsbrook Evita. Born  24/5/05.
Graded. Excellent.

2nd L.Rice's ,ESSB  SLIABH TREASURE  Sire. Ravens Inquest . Dam. Cheweky Wriggly
of Sliabh. Born 26/5/09. Graded Excellent.

ROSETTA. Sire. Buccleuch Drummer. Dam .FtCh Broomfield Sunbeam.  Born 5/5/08. Graded.  Excellent.

4th. J.Organ's ESSB. ROTHIEVALE  LING of EDGEGROVE. Sire. Cawarnecourt Gaffer
of Edgegrove . Dam. Country Sage of Rothievale . Born. 20/5/10. Graded. Excellent.

Diplomas of Merit .

ESSB FtCh Kidnais Successor.

ESSB Aughasla Tern.

D.Kelly's ESSD Clodahill Ian.

ESSB FtCh Forrestmay Poppy.
ESSD FtCh Morfudd Mungo.
A. Duncan's ESSB FtCH Turnemout Fizzy Dazzler.

ESSD FtCh Flaxdale Jamie.

I.Wilson's CSB Ribbleshead Alex.

A.Morris' ESSD Cheweky Gritsand of Glenfia.

E& J Smith's ESSB Nederscott Eirwen.

D.Templar's ESSD Beggarbush Swift.

I.Wilson's  ESSD Godspeed Phantom.

E.Scott's ESSB  Broomfield Annie.

V.Cauldwell's ESSD FtCh Lisgarvagh West.

C.Thurston -Woolnough's ESSD FtCh Carvear Gwalather of Underway.
W.Thompson's ESSD Clanicker Oliver Hardy.

Award. L.Rice's ESSB Sliabh Treasure.
Happy New Year to all our new clients and look forward to seeing you all again in 2013.
Watch out for new training classes in the springtime.
Best of luck to Des and Bracken in the British !
Big Congratulations to Dessie and Skronedale Romulus!
well deserved. Norman is writing for the Magazine
and a full report will come.


Norman travelled to Sweden to judge with Tom O'Connor the Swedish Spaniel and Retriever Club's, Open A.V Spaniel Trial held on the Hasselbyholm Estate near Strangness west of Stockholm.

Photo: Hans-Erik Sjoblom

It was a clean sweep for cockers and for lady handlers. The Irish bred Clonwyn Aggie handled by Morgan Hallgren  from Gotland was having a good trial but moved on a bird at
the end of her second run. The winner was Elizabeth Person with a well trained liver cocker.


Training Day Three .

Another good day in Gortin.Weather was kind to
dogs and humans .With mostly novice dogs Ivan arranged for all to hunt into the wind which was downhill.

This meant walking uphill to take another beat. There were some complaints and it is rumoured that
a chairlift is being installed part sponsored by Massbrook Petfoods!

Mick Finglas pulled off a couple of superb retrieves with his black cocker and Jon Binley showed an amazing turn of pace over 10 metres. 

Sara and Ali took over from Alan Rountree and had a good day.

A big thank you to all who took part over the three weeks, especially the Guns, and in particular Mick Donnelly who took more than his fair share of slagging. Also to Ivan, Gail and Julie who made the Days so enjoyable with their welcome and good humour.




Sept 9th
Partridges in Gortin.

Normal weather conditions returned to the Sperrins with rain that I'm sure the dogs were pleased with. A very enjoyable day was had  with 39 partridge and 1 pigeon in the bag. There were some
lovely young dogs on show with Patsy McCarthy's Puppy Test winner showing huge potential.

An eighty yard 'push bang fetch' was executed with Open Stake quality at the end of the day. Training in 'Battle' conditions  sorts out the young superstars. Captain's pups continue to show potential. Mick Donnolly's shooting was consistant according to Ivan. We look forward to next Sat.



Great opening day to  the season in Ivan Wilson's in Gortin, Co Tyrone. Nice to see some new kids with some new dogs and some old kids with new dogs.

Alan Rountree shot superbly and his dogs behaved impeccably pulling off the retrieve of the day with Galahad .

Tom Hayden had an official unveiling ceremony of his new signing from Andrew Platt. FtCh Miscafell Blossom is already qualified for both the British and Irish Championships. One of his colleagues
mentioned 'bouncy castles and blow up dolls' but Tom said stress is for steel girders only The transfer fee is a closely guarded secret.

Captain Kelly regaled us with tales of flying with turkeys over the Boyne.

For once the weather was kind to both dogs and  Next Sat a new crew onboard!


Tilly's babies at four weeks, first day on the lawn


This year we mated Tilly to Gerry Meehan's FtCh Morfutt Mungo. After her long trip to Newmarket with Lenny the dog transporter, to the day she had four pups finishing at 3.30am . (We thought).

By 5.30 next afternoon all did not seem well so off to the Vet
we went. After an examination he decided there was no more pups but gave her a jab to clean out the womb.

Next morning a B+W dog pup was born dead and two hours later
a B+W bitch, alive.

Moral of the story; If you are not sure have an X-ray done.

End result; 3 dogs 2 bitches, 2 B+W , 3 L+W.

Tilly and pups doing well !


 Syncerus Seamus
 He is the latest B+W to join the team. He is a result of
the last mating of Monty before he died to Geoff Devine-Jones' FtCh Syncerus Sally.
Sally is by FtCh Glynvilla Griffin out of Geoff's FtCh Rytex
Retes. Anyone who witnessed Sally's first run at the '11 Irish Championship will agree that cover
hunting is her speciality. At eight weeks as you can see, Ted is a very forward pup...should be interesting.
Monty's last litter
Geoff Devine-Jones' ,FtCh Syncerus Sally had seven pups.
Five bitches and two dogs.
We took Cracker to the W.S.C. of Ireland working test in Slane. An enjoyable lunch with Vinny was followed with getting in to Mick's extensive wardrobe of tweed. Unfortunately we can not report a win as Cracker decided jumping fences was not necessary.
Training Dates on Partridge.
  September 1st, 8th and 15th.
See ''Training News'' for further details.
Norman and Trevis Crothers:
judged the North Tipperary Working Gundog Club Tests.
Some nice young dogs were on show with Capt Kelly's Bramley Lady showing how to do it in the Open. For full results see: www.northtippworkinggundogclub.com
We have moved!
 On 26 th of February we moved into Locatrim Cottage. Moving went relatively smoothly thanks to Tom Hayden and his Transit.
Bantam coops were catered for by Binley removals. Thank you so much.
Dog facilities are now infinitely better with a rabbit pen and various training grounds at our disposal.
 We have a proper kennel block (we are transforming the existing stable into dog kennels) and hope to do some boarding.
We can now offer training of clients dogs and competition preparation of trial dogs.
On a sad note we had to put INT FtCh Hattonswood Broc to sleep after being diagnosed with cancer. We hope "Old Boy" enjoys the long sleep in the rabbit pen.
Congratulations to Des Donnolly and Int FtCh Skronedale Romulus on gaining a Certificate of Merit at the BritishChampionship at Wormegay, Lincolnshire.It could have been so much better and a hell of a lot worse.
INT F.T.C.h Skronedale Romulus had a great second run at the British Championship today. We are clearing a space on the
sideboard table for the breeder's cup. 
IKC Spaniel Championship in Baronscourt.
Baronscourt Estate , set in the foothills of the Sperrin Mountains , Co Tyrone, N.Ireland was the setting for the I.K.C Spaniel Championship Stake. This is the home of the Duke of Abercorn who was on hand to present the prizes at the end of day two. The Judges with the task of sorting out a winner from forty three entries were Michael Walsh from Co Waterford and Aidan Patterson from Co Armagh. Both of these gentlemen are highly respected handlers.
The Red Mills sponsored event was run with clockwork precision by the organising committee, headed by Jimmy King. The Guns were Des and Martin Daniels from Waterford and Terry King and Willie Megaughin from N.Ireland who shot well over the two days.
The forty three dog card included four cockers which are allowed to compete against the springers but on this showing were well out of their league barring Alan Mooneys FtCh Maesydderwen Saucy handled be Welshman Stuart Morgan. She gained her title in three Trials which has not been done in twenty years. She put on a sparkling first run only to come a cropper under Aidan Patterson when she failed on a cock bird that was not located. The other three cockers went out on the crime of pegging which tends to be their trademark. None of them came within a mile of Saucy in the hunting department.
Local man and former winner with FtCh Cindy of Antrim, Damien Kelly had two clean runs with Clodahill Ian that got him third place. Clodahill Ian is a class game finder and his retrieving will always have him in the awards.
Louis Rice with Ms B McGrattan's Wyndhill Shona of Sliabh finished second having a very good first run but her second run in tight bramble by the lake edge was never going to trouble the winner. Her second placing got Matt Morgan from Belfast the Breeders Cup for the highest placed Irish dog. Fourth place went to Gary Veasy from England with FtCh Badger of the Valley after a runoff with Tommy McCann's Salamere Finn. This was a close affair and could have gone either way.
Shona caused one of the pre-event favourites serious trouble when she picked a bird at the start of her run that Int FtCh Skronedale Romulus had been tried on. Romulus handled by Des Donnolly had been brought over for an eye wipe on Steve Russell's Ryndalue Finesse who had failed. Two birds were down; Romulus possibly marked the second bird which he pulled out to after checking the area of the fall of the first one. There was approximately 100 metres in between birds and I'm sure Des thought the first bird had run. It was unfortunate but that is trialling.
Sean Moriarty's ,Tearsol Flash had a sound first run finishing with the retrieve of the Championship on a hen bird that run up the woodland. Flash made the job look easy and for a young dog bodes well for the future. His second run started by pegging a wounded bird and then moved into very testing briar. He was not found wanting in the hunting department but a mismark and a sloppy retrieve meant that he did not get into  the major awards.
Jon Bailey's classy little bitch FtCh Countryways Judy of Sliabh was the star of the show. Her hunting was top drawer and was uninhibited. She was very much a team player. It did not matter whether it was briar or bracken her game finding, marking and retrieving was excellent. She was a deserved winner and top dog under both judges.
All in all a superb Championship and a Winner that could not be disputed.


Born 2/5/06

 Ravens Inquest x Whitehope Gilda. Graded Excellent.

     Breeder :. David Templar.

 2ndMs B McGrattan's ESSB WYNDHILL SHONA of SLIABH. Born 6/9/07.

     Wyndhill Swank x Keeperscourt Dream. Graded Excellent.

Breeder : M.Morgan. Handler L.Rice 

3rdMr D Kelly s ESSD CLODAHILL IAN.     Born 19/12/08.

     FtCh Butlerstown Buddy x FtCh Clonduff Eagle.

     Breeder : P. Brennan.

 Res Mr G Veasy's ESSD FtCh BADGER OF THE VALLEY. Born 9/6/05.

      FtCh Denford Danny of Belveden x Oakleaf Tumble.

      Breeder : G. Veasey.

Diplomas of Merit to :




      B. McCartin's ESSB CLODAHILL DEMI.

      A. Cunningham's ESSB BUCCLEUCH HEAVEN.


      P.J.Davitt's ESSB FtCh WHITEHOPE EURO.

      S.Moriarty's ESSD TEARSOL FLASH.

 Guns Award went to J.Bailey's FtCh COUNTRYWAYS JUDY of SLIABH .

The Duisk Perpetual Cup for the most points accumulated in Field Events under IKC Rules during 2011.



Norman has just returned from judging the South West Gundog Club Open Stake in Annsgrove Estate in Co Cork. Willie White from Thurles, Co Tipperary with Clodahill Fern was the clear winner.

This daughter of FtCh Skronedale Remus gained her title under IKC rules. The black and white bitch had

 two solid runs and was a clear winner. Congratulations to Willie on his first Champion !
Skronedale Enya
 Enya with her first cold game. She is doing a good job with a mallard drake that she delivered to hand.
Skronedale Romulus
 Skronedale Romulus gained his title if INT F.T.C.h, on winning the North West Ulster Open qualifying Stake at Baronscourt Co Tyrone. He was a clean winner on what will be the I.K.C Championship Course.
Tillys pups
Tilly has 8 pups in 2 hours !
Five liver and white , three black and white.
All is well so far.
  Tilly is thinking of babies...again....

She is huge so it could be a few little ones in there


Today we mated Tilly to Sean Moriarty's ,Tearsol Flash( Markettrader x Tearsol Maggie)the new kid on the block. Tilly come in season over a month ago and we had another dog arranged but she then decided to go out again so it was not to be on this occasion. Today we travelled to Thurles for the second time and had a successful mating.So it is fingers crossed for early July pups.


Robert McKeand's bitch "Foxy"was mated for the second time to Hattonswood Broc. Robert is from Stranraer in Scotland and should produce a really nice pup.

Today we got the good news that Norman has been promoted to the 'B' Panel of the Field Trial Judges for spaniels of The Kennel Club (UK). 
Some interesting bitches to Monty (Hattonswood Broc)this season. 

Have a look at Sara's new website.




    Int FTCh Hattonswood Brock is a very proud granddad to a litter of 10 in Sweden.

The proud mother is Fågeljägarens Beared Tit

and the father is Chinagook Galileo




Courtlough Shooting Grounds near Balbriggan was the venue for the Paula Kirk Charity 30 Bird Shoot.

This event was organised by Colm and Derek Ryan and assisted by some of the North County spaniel handlers. Sixty plus Guns shot with 28x30 taking home the money .
Norman shot a very respectable 24x30 and shot all of the rabbits !
I wonder why !
Vinny Cauldwell did a super job as Secretary and was also impressive on the bodhran. Jimmys draw was as popular as ever with a huge range of prizes raising nearly 1000euro.
Congratulations to the Irish competitors at the 'British'.It was great to see one of the Sports gentlemen Robin Young win with his exceptional little bitch FtCh Flaxdale Halle. I predicted a Championship win for her after judging her in an all aged stake in early December. All credit to Aidan Patterson who nursed FtCh Buccleuch Dawn through injury to finish a credible fourth. We also claim Gerry Meehan(2nd) from Kildare with FtCh Morfutt Mungo who also ran a good Trial.From a Skronedale point of view , Monty had three of his progeny competing , two making it to the awards. David Lissetts FtCh Buccleuch Pepper the odd one out, but no doubt with Davy in the saddle his day will come.It did not happen for Paul Carragher and FtCh Clonduff Delilah but Graham Taylor made the podium with FtCh Clangregor Albamach after two quality runs. Des Donnolly with FtCh Skronedale Romulus got the best first timer award and a Diploma.By all reports a quality Championship with a worthy winner.
Monty's Babe does it again.
FtCh Clonduff Delilah (on the right) has made it three Irish Championships in a row for daughters of Monty.Congratulations must go to Paul Carragher for producing a superb hunting display on the second day for an outright win. She now goes to the British Championship in mid January where she will meet amongst others  her half brother David Lissett's Buccleuch Pepper.Watch this space.
 Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

From all of us at Skronedalegundogs.   


 Congratulations to Kevin Somers and Skronedale Remus. The title of FTCh was achieved today at the North Tipp open trial held in Midleton, Co Cork. Judges were Dermot Dunne and Travis Crothers.
Congratulations to FTCH Skronedale Romulus on winning the Fermanagh Gundog Club's open stake in Gortin, Co Tyrone. He won in style beating Irish Championship winner Clonduff Delilah in a run off. Dessie is now taking bookings for the supporters club bus trip to Northumberland in the new year.
Barronstown Daybreak joins the team.
Alle is out of Barronstown Anna of Tasco to Alan Rountree's Rozel Rocket of Tasco. She was bred by Alan Leonard
We would like to welcome Spanquest Pip
Pippi is by Monty to Kevin Woods' Open Stake winning bitch Spanquest Kelly. 
Training Day in Gortin.
The weather forecaster had it right when he predicted rain but conditions were kind to the dogs for our first training day. Our guns were M. Hogan ,G Tegetmeier, J.Ferguson and E .Coleman who shot really well. A very trim and fit looking Ivan Wilson had partridge in all the right places with all dogs having good contact flushes with ideal countryside for marking.This was superb preparation for the Trial season for the experienced dogs and very educational for the Novice dogs and handlers. Championship Winner Clonduff Delilah was probably pick of the crop with Paul Carragher on the whistle. His old Champion bitch Clonduff Falcon showed she could still rock and roll a bit. Tom Hayden had his new dog on show and I'm sure Andrew Downey with his young Monty dog learned alot from the experience. The Tipperary double act of Willie White and Pat Brennan had their stars on show so it is not surprising that 50 odd birds were in the bag by 3.00pm.Jon Binley had his 14 month old son of Buccleuch Jazz and with a bit of patience could take him to the top. Our next training session is Sept 18th hopefully the weather will be kinder.   
Skronedale Alvar with his new playmate Yaz.
We are so happy that Alvar settled in Norway with Torun.
We would like to welcome Broomfield Don
 Glad midsommar!
We are now 6 weeks old
We are now one week old  
Dog 600 g
Dog 580 g
Bitch 595 g
Dog 700 g
Bitch 325 g
Bitch 500 g
Bitch 500 g
Tilly and her babies
4 bitches and 3 dogs.
6 liver and white with 1 black and white bitch.
Tilly's first puppy is born at 22.00  L+W dog.
At 23.30 we now have 5 L+W puppies...
The end result was 7 puppies,
1 B+W and 6 L+W
Tilly thinking of babies...
Tilly Scanned
Puppies were clearly visible at the six week stage.
So far so good!
 Happy Easter!
Courtney Judge with her Monty babies at the
ESSC of Ireland Working Test in Mountainstown.
Lars Falt speaks at WSCI seminar in City North Hotel.
  Lars Falt gave a very informative seminar to 85 gundog enthuasists . He spoke on various aspects of gundog training from breeding to scenting conditions. He was joined on the speakers platform by David Lisset.
Sara worked with Lars when they both were involved in at that  time biggest dog training establishments in Sweden.

Montys girls Dominate

The do it on trails but the can also do it in the show ring. At the I.K.C St Patricks Day Celtic Winners Show at Cloghran, Co Dublin.

Jim Warren's Edwardiania Maisie and Gardenrath Larch (Tilly)

were 1st and 2nd in the Field Trial bitch class. Third was Monty's litter sister Hattonswood Holly, handled by Vinny Cauldwell. To complete the clean sweep Des Donnolly with Skronedale Romulus beat the opposition easily in the dog class(no run offs). These awards meant that they now have gained FtCh Status.



Tilly Mated !

Tilly was mated for the second time today to Tim Crothers' FtCh Kidnais Saxon of Birdrowe. Hopefully we will have puppies early to mid May. Before that she has to perform on the 'catwalk' at the I.K.C Show on St Patricks Day. She has to be placed in the top three to gain the necessary Championship point to become an Irish FtCh. Norman is looking forward to doing 'walkies'.Watch this space! !


Tilly comes in season today.The question is...

"Who will be the Daddy"?

Gali moves to Sweden!

01 29 10

He made the long flight to Stockholm today and has settled in with his new owner Ida Bergstrom. We are so pleased that he has gone  to a brilliant home :) 


Congratulations to Pixie and Andrew Duncan

 01 27 10

on coming second in the English Springer Spaniel Club of Ireland's Open Stake in Fermanagh today. Pixie is the first mating of FtCh Skronedale Romulus to FtCh Skronedale Glaris bred by Mick Finglas.

 Brilliant Beaters day in Slane!

(Can you spot Sara and Nils? )

INT FTCh Gardenrath Larch"Tilly"

Tilly's MRI scan today probably spelled the end of her Trialling career.


Lumbosacral disc degeneration, dics protusion and spondylitis are as fatal to a Trial dog as they sound.It was great while it lasted . . .  there will never be another." Miss Consistant" started 20 Trials , winning 13 Open Stakes, 3 seconds,1 third,1 fourth and two Diplomas in the British and Swedish Championships. She won the Irish Championship in Annsgrove in 2008.

She only failed to finish one trial in her career and put together 22 ,"A" runs in succession.


FT Ch Skronedale Romulus won the Donegal Working Spaniel Club Open Stake in Glenarm today.He put in a power hunting display on the Championship course to win in style and an early qualification for the Championship.Slane on Sunday should be interesting as both Romulus and Remus have both got a run.


Congratulations to Jim Warren and Edwardiana Maisie on winning the English Springer Spaniel Club of Ireland's Open stake on the Island.


Welshman Ralph Edwards and Ken Lindsay from Bangor graded Edwardiana Maisie excellent and this gave her the title of FT Ch.

A daughter of Int FT Ch Hattonswood Broc to Misty Sian bred by John Edwards was "stolen" from Norman as a youngster. She is the fourth of Monty's offspring to gain FT Ch status this season. Do Champions not breed Champions ! !


We have decided to withdraw Tilly from the British Championship in Glenarm. After a training session on Thursday she reacted to her injury and running her is not worth the risk of doing serious damage. Our best wish go to Paul and Rowan 

We wish all our clients and friends a happy 2010 


The Irish Kennel Club Spaniel Championship at Shelton Abbey, Co Wicklow was won by Monty's daughter Clonduff Delilah handled by Paul Carragher. Bred by Stanley McKinstry she won on ice in tough conditions with a shortage of game. Judges Ian Openshaw and P .Cox had her as a clear winner.

                     Monty also sired last years winner Int FtCh Gardenrath Larch who did not defend her title. Another Skronedale dog to feature in the awards was Des Donnolly's FtCh Skronedale Romulus who finished 4th after a run-off.

 Congratulations to Paul and Rowan!


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

From all of us at Skronedalegundogs


Norman judged The English Springer Spaniel Club of Ireland's Open Stake which was held on the Island at Nenagh, Co Tipperary.Co- judges were M.Walsh and J.Binley. The winner was Pat Brennan's very fast and stylish bitch Clodahill Annie. This win made her into a Champion.

Monty's progeny also featured strongly in the awards.

Jim Warrens lovely black and white bitch ,Edwardiana Maisie ,finished second and could have pushed the winner but for some sloppy handling.

( Monty X Misty Sian).

                 Tom O Connor's ,Clodahill Elsie was fourth (Monty X Rytex Relly). Dermot Dunne's Sydenrath Sunflower (Monty X Nora of Castlemanor) and Graham Culleton's, Balloonagh Jill ( Monty X Balloonagh Trouble Shooter) got certs of merit which is a good result as the Island is a very difficult course with a lot of Game.



Tilly was drawn number 47 for the Kennel Club's 80th Spaniel Championship to be held at Glenarm ,in Northern Ireland. At that number she is unlikely to run on the first day. For the full draw go to www.thespanielclub.co.uk and then to competitors.



Tilly plus three of her half sisters filled the 4 places of the WSCI Open Trial on the Island,Nenagh.

Tilly put in a near perfect performance with straight "A" runs under judges Tim Dennehy and Pat Brennan and this was good enough to have her win on ice. She also won this trial last year.


Her half sisters by Hattonswood Broc, Clodahill Elsie handled by Tom O' Connor 2 nd

Balloonagh Jill, Graham Culleton, 3 rd and Willie Whites, Clonduff Flagship 4 th.

Monty also sired Dermot Dunne's, Sydenrath Sunflower who got a C.O.M

He sired the top 5 placed dogs at the trial. Has this been done before in Ireland?


Swedish Championship '09.

We started the long trip to Skane in the south of Sweden on Monday 2nd Nov to compete in the Swedish Derby and Championship. We thought that it was going to be a nice experience when Sara is Swedish and to see some good friends again.

We took Int FTCh Gardenrath Larch (Tilly) and Int FTCh Hattonswood Broc (Monty) to compete in the championship with Buccleuch Pleasure (Nils) and Gavin Tegermeier's, Gardenrath Gorse (Kale) to run in the Derby. Gorse is a younger sister to Tilly.

As the Derby was on rabbits we spent a lovely afternoon with Paul and Pauline Dyson in Gunnerside, Yorkshire shooting some rabbits for the young dogs.

The P+O ferry from Hull to Rotterdam with a 12 hour drive took us through Holland,Germany and Denmark to the championship H.Q. of Backaskog Castle.

Englishmen Jeremy Organ of Edgegrove gundogs and Chris Thurston Woolnough were the judges.

The Derby was run 1 dog at a time on ground that resembled Barrigone in the old days, clumps of blackthorn briar and wild rose, not for the faint hearted.

Some of the Swedish dogs who had not been docked were completely covered in blood.


Sara with Nils was number five, finding herself in a hotspot with four rabbits and having the 4 th shot, she made a neat job of the retrieve taking a short line. This was Sara's and Nils' first trial and we were proud of their performance.

Kale was last out and a hunting performance on par with her more decorated sister in difficult cover finished with a good retrieve. As it turned out neither of these runs were good enough to make the run-off, which was puzzling and only Kale got a diploma.

Saturday was a new day and the Derby results were forgotten when Tilly finished with a superb retrieve on a partridge that had run. Monty finished his second run on a hare which biggest I ever saw.


He got a diploma which in my book was a fair result as his runs were not as clean or sharp as Tilly's. When four dogs were called for run offs a couple of spectators who had been up in line had Tilly as the clear winner on ice.

That was not to be when Edgegrove Hail was announced winner, we were amazed.

The championship dinner in the grand surroundings of the castle did not taste quite the same as it should have.

On Sunday we started the long trip home as the Cocker Championship started. This was won by Annikken Aagaard who is from Norway a very nice lady with a very nice cocker.So much for the foreigners need not apply. Maybe Chris Thurston Wollnough's remarks only applies to springers?



Tilly qualifies for British Championship 28/10/09


After a disappointing outing in Baronscourt, Tilly came back with a bang, winning the Antrim and Down Open Stake in Clandboye, Co. Down. Judges Eddie Scott and David Lissett from Scotland gave Tilly the nod after a run off with Pat Brennan's Clodahill Demi (last year's winner). It had to have been a close affair as Demi picked the retrieve of the trial, a 200 metre running cock bird. This qualifies Tilly for the British Championship in Glenarm, Co. Antrim and also makes her into an International Champion.

Other Hattonswood Broc pups to feature were:

Clodahill Delilah - Paul Carragher 4th.

Ballsgrove Bungi - Paul Gregory com. 


Nils' first pheasant.

Nils' learning curve moved another step forward with his first days walked up shoot, that he took in his stride. His recent rabbit days stood to him with positive finds and being very steady with good marking.


Training report 30 Sept.

Rabbiting today with varied success. The supply did not equal the demand. Conditions could have been better. Shooting pheasants with P. Mc next on the agenda.




Swedish Championship Nov 6th & 7th 2009.

We hope to compete in the Derby and the A.V. with two dogs in each. Plans and training are well advanced.


Monty babies born in Denmark.

See: http://www.kennelwillow.dk/


Slane working tests.



Congratulations to Skronedale Petit (Jim Warren)   and   FTCh Skronedale Romulus (Des Donnolly), who won Novice and Open tests respectively at Working Spaniel Club of Ireland tests in Slane 26/04/09.



Tilly has had no pups from this mating.

Scans showing foetal heart beats can not always be trusted!!!


Tilly on day 64.

After a scan ten days ago that showed two puppies we wait for delivery.

Tilly does not show much sign and looks like she could run in a Trial !



Go with your gut instinct!


Your dog could end up like this if a foreign body is not diagnosed early. 11 was saved by an operation while in the early stages of peritonitis after an ultra sound and x-ray failed to show up anything. A piece of canvas caused the problem.



Tilly, Gardenrath Larch, was mated today 28/01/09 to Skronedale Remus. These pups will be due at the end of March. They will be line bred  to FTCh Merlinsbrook Evita with three lines to FTCh Badgercourt Warlord. 

Latest, Tilly now has less than four weeks to go and is starting to look pregnant.                         


Skronedale latest results and achievements.



Beauparc, Slane on 25th January was a good day for Skronedale Gundogs with Sara's Int FTCh Hattonswood Broc finishing 2nd to his daughter Clonduff Delilah. Another daughter, Clonduff Flagship was fourth. Skronedale Remus handled by Kevin Somers received the Guns Award and a Certificate of Merit.   





The Irish and British Championships were held over the Christmas period. Norman qualified two dogs for the Irish Championship which was held in Annsgrove, Macroom, Co.Cork. The judges Ivan Wilson from Co.Tyrone and Jeremy Organ from England placed Norman's Gardenrath Larch first after a run off with Skronedale Romulus handled by Des Donnolly. This dog is by Clarburgh Art out of FTCh Merlinsbrook Evita (Monty's Dam).


Another Skronedale dog Skronedale Remus got the "Best Retrieve of the Championship" Award and a diploma.

Monty, owned by Sara, now 7 1\2 put up a good show to get his 3rd diploma after winning the Championship in 2006.

The British Championship held in Belvoir Castle Lincolmsire was another successful trial for Tilly (Gardenrath Larch). She gained a diploma of honour in an extremely tough event. This was her 12th award in a row with 8 wins, 2 seconds and 2 diplomas.