The 57th Irish Kennel Club Championship Stake for Pointers and Setters took place on the Wicklow Mountain National Park on Saturday, 29 and Sunday, 30 August 2015. Fifty dogs took part in the stake, twenty three Irish Red Setters, six Irish Red and White Setters, fourteen English Setters and seven English Pointers. The judges for the Championship this year were Ray O’Dwyer, Jim Crotty and Kieran Walsh.
Connolly’s RED MILLS sponsored the event, as they have done for a long number of years, and produced a high quality programme and provided Engage Premium Country Dog Food and hats for all competitors.
RED MILLS was represented on both days by Johnny Geoghegan and Bill Connolly was present on Sunday afternoon. Bill and Johnny both trialled English Setters very successfully for a number of years and Johnny is a former winner of the Championship.
Christy Davitt was the Secretary this year, Stewards of the Beat were Jim Sheridan (also Chairman of the Championship Committee), Aidan Dunne and Pat Dooley. Control Stewards were Edward and Vincey Flannelly and the Call Up Steward was Fr. Seamus O’Neill.
The day was fine and bright with a nice breeze which meant that conditions were ideal for dog trialling. There was an excellent showing of grouse and by lunchtime the judges had numerous finds on their books and had seen some top class performances from the dogs. The ground which was allocated to the Championship was also excellent and this helped enormously to ensure that dogs performed to their best.
At around one o’clock everyone took a break and enjoyed lunch at the side of the mountain. As usual, there was much discussion about the dogs that had competed in the morning. The trial recommenced after lunch and proceeded steadily until five o’clock, when the last dogs were judged. A well attended dinner was held on Saturday evening at The Coach House in Roundwood and a very enjoyable time was had by all.
Two presentations were made after dinner. The award for the most stylish dog of the first round went to Mr L Hild’s Pointer Bitch, Gerensary Minerva. Johnny Geoghegan on behalf of the sponsors, RED MILLS, presented The Engage Premium Country Dog Food Trophy to handler Richard MacNicol from Scotland. The Irish Kennel Club Dog of the Year for 2014 was FTCh. Blackstairs Geronimo and this award was presented to Kieran Walsh by its sponsor Vincey Flannelly.
Sunday morning saw twenty one dogs brought back by the judges to compete in the second round of the Championship. Weather conditions were again ideal and there was a good showing of grouse which led to some excellent performances. At the end of the second round the judges called for a further two brace of dogs that they wished to see again. When the trial was over, everyone again returned to Roundwood to await the results from the judges.
The winner of the 2015 Championship Stake was Mr L Hild’s Pointer Bitch, Gerensary Minerva, second was Paul Thompson’s Irish Red Setter Bitch, Ballydavid Storm, third was an English Setter Dog, Capparoe Tork, owned by Billy Grace and fourth was Gerald Devine’s English Setter Dog, Ballyellen Cody.
Diplomas of Honour were awarded to Prof. Mary Herbert’s Irish Red Setter Dog, Coldcoats Corbally Boy, handled by Steve Robinson from England, Jimmy Dalton’s Pointer Dog, Shannaghview Gershwin De Lagopus and the winner of the 2014 Irish Kennel Club Championship, Ballydavid Starjet of the Kingdom owned by Joan McGillycuddy.
Presentations were made in the Parish Hall in Roundwood and the judges gave their summation on the performances of the dogs in the awards and explained how they had reached their final decision.
The Chairman and Secretary congratulated all successful competitors and thanked RED MILLS for their generous sponsorship of the Championship. They also thanked the Stewards and everyone who had helped to make the event the success it was.
The 2015 Irish Kennel Club Championship then came to an end. An enjoyable weekend was had by all and everyone is looking forward to an equally successful event in 2016.