Field Trial for Pointers and Setters

Field Trial for Pointers and Setters


Alan Bartley (Hon secretary)

Premier County Field Trial Association

Field Trial for Pointers and Setters

The Premier County Field Trial Association held its Autumn open stake for pointers and setters under IKC rules on the Slieve Bloom Nature Reserve on the 8th of September 2022. This event was kindly sponsored by our good friends at Connolly's Red Mills.

This was an eagerly awaited event due to the fact that the ongoing habitat management by the NPWS on the Slieve Blooms is having a very positive impact on the Red Grouse numbers. This increase in numbers has been developed over a very short number of years. This wonderful bird just needs a little help to survive, and habitat management plays the biggest part.

Competitors and spectators were greeted with a beautiful Autumn morning. We were spoiled with glorious sunshine throughout the day. There is something very special about watching these magnificent dogs quartering the heather in search of game as their coats glitter in the sun with breath-taking views behind… as far as your eyes can see.


This trial saw most breeds represented with Irish Red setters, Irish Red and White setters, English setters and Gordon setters taking part from all parts of the country. A long walk out the hill to get the wind correct for the dogs saw the trial set up with enough ground in front for every dog and their handler to make their mark. The very experienced judges of Mr Pat Dooley and Mr Aidan Dunne were happy to get started. There was action from the very start with Declan O Rourke’s Gordon setter dog having a nice find on a snipe. The judges had finds on both snipe and grouse over the course of the first round. Some very good hard running dogs were in their books for the second round.

But lunch was first… which was enjoyed looking out over the breath-taking views from The Cut car park. Lunch finished and the draw was done for the second round. Out we marched, both man and dog eager to return to the hill. Again, the dogs had more to give us in their second run and things got very exciting when Hugh Brady’s Irish Red setter bitch, The Morrigan, had a lovely find on a single cock grouse right in front of the judges…never a bad thing. Now, she had added herself to the list of dogs with a find. Once the second round had finished the judges were happy to call time and we returned to the car park for a well-earned cup of tea while awaiting the results.

Results from a lovely day were delivered.

1st Excellent:  

Mr Dave Bells Irish Red Setter dog, Sheenmel Dream.

This win saw the Clarecastle man’s dog earn the last few championship points needed to award him the status of being an Irish Field Trial champion. Sheenmel Dream is a very hard running and brave dog. He competed in heavy ground over both rounds. He had a great find on a pair of grouse in the first round. In his summing up, Mr Aidan Dunne (judge) explained that this was enough for the win. Congratulations to Dave and Carmel on this wonderful achievement with their very own home bred dog.

2nd Excellent:

Mr Billy Grace with Upperwood Resolution of Capparoe - an English setter dog.

This is a very silky-smooth running English setter dog. He had a lovely find in the first round by a walking path. The cock grouse ran quite a bit before showing himself… this didn’t help Billy’s nerves! This dog was well able for the task presented. He rode out with a high head when asked to produce this runner.

3rd Excellent:

Mr Hugh Brady with Ballydavid The Morrigan, an Irish Red Setter bitch. Very exciting fast lady to watch with high head carriage. This is always easy on the eye - a delight to watch. She had a cracking find on a single cock grouse in her second round, right in the middle of the beat.

Such was the standard of dog work on the day that the judges, Mr Pat Dooley (Wildfield Pointers) and Mr Aidan Dunne (Moadhog Irish red setters) awarded all dogs with a classification of “Excellent”.

The Miss Biggles Perpetual Cup and Red Mills dog food were presented after the judges summed up their award winners and their views on other dogs that ran extremely well.

Our thanks to Red Mills, as their loyal support to Pointer and Setter Field Trailing has developed a strong relationship over their many years of involvement.


Yours in sport,

Alan Bartley (Hon secretary)

Premier County Field Trial Association