Trust me, once you start digging into the history of British and Irish pointing breeds it’s easy to get drawn into one fascinating rabbit hole after another. So instead actually putting words to paper, I end up spending way too much time looking into things on things only vaguely related to what I should be concentrating on. Last week for example, I spent an entire day watching Youtube videos about how Illuminated manuscripts are made. Sometimes though, going down a rabbit hole can actually pay off. In fact, two different subjects I’ve been researching — the history of North American field trials and the evolution of the English Setter’s coat and conformation — lead me somewhere unexpected. My hometown.Read More
Pointing Dog Blog
No one can imagine what a Field Trial is like until they have seen one, and followed the dogs from early morn until the last order of "take your dogs up, gentlemen" is given.
While researching and writing about the advent of field trials in the UK and America, I came across the following report from a field trial held in Tennessee at the Belle Meade Plantation in 1877. It offers fascinating view of an era in which American sportsmen were struggling to figure out just how to adapt field trials to their own native terrain, game and hunting styles.
America’s sporting press was booming in the late 1800s. And, like the sporting press of today, if featured articles on hunting, fishing, firearms, dogs and field trials. But back in the day, many sporting magazines and newspapers also included articles on everything from poultry shows to yacht races, to poetry and opera. Here is an extract from a weekly newspaper called The Fanciers' Journal: Devoted to Dogs, Poultry, Pigeons & Pet Stock. It features a photo of two field trial handlers and their dogs. One of the dogs, Pitti-Sing, may have been named after one of the characters in Gilbert and Sullivan’s operetta, The Mikado which opened in 1885 and was still running at the time the photo was taken.Read More
Sketches made by our special artist at the field trial for dogs, held September 10, 11, and 12, at Westport Lake, in the vicinity of Sauk Centre, Minnesota, under the auspices of the Minnesota Kennel Club.Read More
The Pointer is still a relatively popular breed in North American and across Continental Europe. But in it’s homeland, the UK, the breed has languished at the low end of the popularity list for over 100 years.Read More
Here is another nugget I’ve come across as I research various breeds for Volume Two. Like the previous post, it features a Russian Setter, but this time, the story is about shooing snipe in Delaware, in the spring. It appears in a book published in 1853 entitled “American Game in its seasons, etc.” by Henry William Herbert.Read More