European Championship for Red Setters on Snipe

European Championship for Red Setters on Snipe

‘a celebration in Ireland of Irish Setters for all enthusiasts’



As part of a week of Snipe Trials culminating in the European Snipe Championship for Irish Red Setters the Gaelic Gundog League held an International Open Stake for Setters and Pointers in the bogs around Moate, Co Westmeath, by kind permission of the local Gun Clubs and landowners on 5/11/17.  As with all events ran during the week the trial was judged under a combination of both IKC and FCI rules.

For this stake there was an entry of forty eight dogs with the entrants split into two trials with Mr C Davitt & Mr P Mc Carthy judging trial ‘A’ and Mr J Crotty & Mr E Flannelly judging trial ‘B’. This was a new departure for Irish Field Triallers with dogs being run for fifteen minutes in one round only and places being then awarded. The winner of each trial, if graded excellent and awarded a CAC under FCI rules were then ran off against one another in a ‘Barrage’ with the winner receiving a CACIT which is a leg towards the title of International Field Trial Champion.

After an excellent supply of Snipe during the running of the two events the winner of Trial ‘A’ was Mr Yves Desdevises of France with IRSB Honey du Martinville graded Excellent and awarded CAC.  The winner of Trial ‘B’ was Mr Billy Grace of Tipperary with ESB FTCh Capparoe Jata again with Excellent and CAC. After the subsequent ‘Barrage’ Jata was declared the winner and many congratulations to Billy.


Day three, November 7th, saw the Irish Red Setter Club host a Confined Irish Red Setter Stake again in and around the area of Moate, Co Westmeath. This event as well as the following two day Championship was kindly sponsored by Red Mills of Goresbridge, Co Kilkenny and Devenish Nutrition.

Wednesday 8th of November 2017 saw the running of the first ever European Snipe Championship for Irish Red Setters to be held in Ireland. With competitors from France, Germany, Belgium, England, Scotland, The Isle of Man and of course Ireland this was a truly International event. We also had observers from places as far flung as Argentina, Australia, America, Greece, mainland Europe and Val and Kevin from Monaghan. This again saw a slightly different format to the events of the previous days with a points system being used to determine the most consistent dogs and decide the European Champion. Again the entrants were divided into two trials and the dogs ran in the brace format.

Trial ‘A’ Judged by Mr J Sheridan and Mr J.P. Gotti saw another win for Ray O Dwyer’s IRSD Sheantullagh Boss graded Excellent with CAC and Trial ‘B’ with Mr J Crotty and Mr G Orsan officiating was won by Pat Reape’s IRSD FTCh Ballinahemmy Mike again graded Excellent but without CAC which meant Sneantullagh Boss automatically was awarded CACIT and the runner up in trial ‘A’ Aidan Dunne’s IRSB Blackstairs Behenny promoted to Reserve CACIT.  At the end of a long day the competitors retired to the Shamrock Lodge Hotel, the headquarters for the week, where a fine crowd enjoyed a fine Championship Dinner. Following the meal and mercifully short speeches the attendees retired to the bar for an evening of chat and fun.

DAY TWO saw the Judges’ pairings stay the same but the competitors change, thus ensuring that each Judge had the chance to assess every dog. Trial ‘A’ on day two was won by Mme. Sophie Luch’s IRSB Gala de Val des Mordorees graded Excellent but without CAC, while Trial ‘B’ again saw Sheantullagh Boss in the winners enclosure. He was graded excellent with CAC and antomatically awarded CACIT. The runner up in trial ‘B’ was Mme. Myriam Byn’s IRSD Isles of Jura du Pied du Mont graded Excellent was then promoted to Reserve CACIT.

Now the Judges had to come together and ascertain the overall winners by way of the points system. In no time at all they announced the European Snipe Champion as Ray O Dwyer with Sheantullagh Boss.  What a week he had winning on each of the three IRSC days! Vice Champion was Aidan Dunne’s Blackstairs Behenny. Places were awarded first to fifth and a full list of results of each day including the Solo trials are attached.

Of course these events did not happen by accident and a lot of work went into what can only be described as a week that was a complete success. The IRSC put in place a sub committee which worked for over a year to organize the events. Thanks must go to Red Mills and Devenish Nutrition who provided wonderful sponsorship. Jim Mc Cormack and Vincie Flannelly organized the ground and the stewarding around Moate for the first two days.

Cloonown Gun Club by way of John Mulligan, Padraic Bohan, Stephen Mc Manus and of course Ollie Naughton stewarded and organized the ground for the two day championship which also necessitated bringing competitors to and from both Solo and Brace events, a task also performed admirable by Jim Mc Cormack in and around Moate.

The Judges,  Jim Sheridan, Jim Crotty, J.P. Gotti and Guido Orsan, walked well for the three days and gave a very fair assessment of each dog. Thanks also to Vincie Flannelly, John Mullins and Patsy McCarthy who officiated at the Solo trials and were very understanding of the Novice entrants. There was an excellent supply of snipe each day ensuring every dog had an opportunity to point and produce game.

Hopefully this is a glimpse of the future of trials in Ireland and we will be glad to see our foreign ‘cousins’ return to these shores to compete in the future and in time see Irish competitors go to the Continent to compete also. The future is bright.