Wednesday, December 26, 2007

My New Year's Resolution...

Start the New Year with a Purest Challenge resolution... be sure to renew your membership to the National Red Setter Field Trial Club!

Membership is only $30 per year for the entire family. Membership includes an annual subscription to The Flushing Whip, the national publication of the NRSFTC. The Flushing Whip is the "lifeblood" of our club... you don't want to miss a single issue!

If you need a membership form, you can download one at the National Red Setter Field Trial Club website, at

Join us in our pursuit of the Purest Challenge.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas From the National Red Setter Field Trial Club!

From the Board of Directors of the National Red Setter Field Trial Club, we wish a most blessed and peaceful holiday to all of our Irish red setter friends and family, from coast to coast, and across the ocean. May your coveys fly fast and far, your points be staunch, and your shots be true!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The 12 Field Trialer Days of Christmas

The 12 Field Trialer Days of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
A Ruffed grouse in a spruce tree!

On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
Two bobwhite quail,
And a Ruffed grouse in a spruce tree!

On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
Three check cords,
Two bobwhite quail,
And a Ruffed grouse in a spruce tree!

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
Four Garmin trackers,
Three check cords,
Two bobwhite quail,
And a Ruffed grouse in a spruce tree!

On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
Five Champion setters!
Four Garmin trackers,
Three check cords,
Two bobwhite quail,
And a Ruffed grouse in a spruce tree!

On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
Six red setters running,
Five Champion setters!
Four Garmin trackers,
Three check cords,
Two bobwhite quail,
And a Ruffed grouse in a spruce tree!
On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
Seven coveys rising,
Six red setters running,
Five Champion setters!
Four Garmin trackers,
Three check cords,
Two bobwhite quail,
And a Ruffed grouse in a spruce tree!

On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
Eight pheasants flying,
Seven coveys rising,
Six red setters running,
Five Champion setters!
Four Garmin trackers,
Three check cords,
Two bobwhite quail,
And a Ruffed grouse in a spruce tree!

On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
Nine horses walking,
Eight pheasants flying,
Seven coveys rising,
Six red setters running,
Five Champion setters!
Four Garmin trackers,
Three check cords,
Two bobwhite quail,
And a Ruffed grouse in a spruce tree!

On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
Ten derbies holding,
Nine horses walking,
Eight pheasants flying,
Seven coveys rising,
Six red setters running,
Five Champion setters!
Four Garmin trackers,
Three check cords,
Two bobwhite quail,
And a Ruffed grouse in a spruce tree!

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
Eleven puppies pointing,
Ten derbies holding,
Nine horses walking,
Eight pheasants flying,
Seven coveys rising,
Six red setters running,
Five Champion setters!
Four Garmin trackers,
Three check cords,
Two bobwhite quail,
And a Ruffed grouse in a spruce tree!

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
Twelve days of hunting,
Eleven puppies pointing,
Ten derbies holding,
Nine horses walking,
Eight pheasants flying,
Seven coveys rising,
Six red setters running,
Five Champion setters!
Four Garmin trackers,
Three check cords,
Two bobwhite quail,
And a Ruffed grouse in a spruce tree!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Words of Wisdom...

"History discloses that the great gun dogs come from dynamic, aggressive, prepotent individuals. Without these brilliant, scintillating, spectacular, hard driving, independent performers, consumed with a passion for finding birds, evincing unquestionable fire in the quest, needing restraint rather than encouragement, the splendid shooting dogs of the current era could not have been bred and developed."

William F. Brown
former editor, American Field

(Picture courtesy of Sandy Peter'ka)

Monday, December 17, 2007

Ohio Bill Strips Away Dog Ownership Rights

Ohio Bill Strips Away Dog Ownership Rights

A bill before the Ohio legislature takes aim at the concept of dogs as private property, stripping away the right of private ownership of dogs. The legislation redefines owners of kennels as having “custody of or control” over dogs, but does not grant them the right of actual ownership. The bill is designed to regulate kennels having nine or more breeding dogs. It requires additional regulation of kennels that sell more than 25 dogs and puppies a year, which are called “intermediary” kennels.

House Bill 225 gives dogs the same legal status and rights as human children or wards of the state, and incorporates many of the basic principles advocated by extreme animal rights groups such as the Humane Society of the United States and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. HSUS and PETA believe that all animals should be granted rights equal to those guaranteed to humans, and the Ohio legislation reflects this position.

The American Sporting Dog Alliance (ASDA) has identified the Ohio legislation as one of its highest priorities for 2008, and is assembling a strong leadership team and legal representation to fight back against this blatant attempt to take away our right of dog ownership and infringe on the vital concept of private property.

“It’s not going to be an easy fight,” ASDA Director John Yates said. “The Ohio legislation (H.B. 225) already has the endorsement of 38 members of the 99-member Ohio General Assembly. That is close to 40-percent support, and the bill still is in committee.” The 38 Ohio legislators who endorse the bill will be listed at the bottom of this article.

“I ‘smell a rat’ with this legislation,” Yates said. “First of all, it was not introduced into the House Agriculture Committee, even though it would be administered and controlled by the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Instead, the bill was introduced in the State Government and Elections Committee. This is a tactic use to minimize the influence of pro-farm legislators, who would recognize the fundamental danger to farmers when animals are granted equal rights with humans, and when the concept of private ownership of animals is destroyed.”

Yates said it also seems fishy that numerous sensationalistic and inflammatory news articles, television news stories and National Public Radio broadcasts have appeared in Ohio over the past month. National Public Radio is funded with tax dollars, and ASDA plans to demand equal airtime to counter these biased news stories.

Yates urges all Ohioans who have sporting dogs, own dogs of other breeds, who farm or who simply care about basic human rights to take an active role in this fight by joining ASDA and volunteering their time and talent to strike down this legislation and put real heat on the 38 legislators who support it. ASDA also has assembled a list of Ohio organizations that support this legislation, and businesses that support these groups, and will urge sporting dog owners to boycott them.

ASDA’s website can be accessed at Frequent updates about the Ohio situation will appear on the organization’s journal blog, which can be accessed through this site.

A full political and legal analysis of this legislation will be published on the ASDA website this week, but here are some of the most significant aspects of H.B. 225:

· All litters of puppies born by regulated kennels must be registered with the state agency.

· Each kennel operator will be required to post surety bonds and carry insurance to pay for the cost of any enforcement action against him or her.

· The state will be given the power to confiscate dogs, both for alleged mistreatment and for technical violations of the kennel law.

· Although violation of any part of this law would be considered a First Class Misdemeanor, subject to the criminal code and possible prison sentences and stiff fines, accused kennel owners are granted only the right to an administrative appeal through the Department of Agriculture.

· It allows the Department of Agriculture to pass judgment on an applicant’s competence to operate a kennel, without defining what standards will be used to make this determination, and gives the power to deny licensure to anyone deemed lacking “the expertise or capacity” to meet the requirements of the law. Photos of an applicant’s kennel and various affidavits must be filed with each application.

· The bill requires initial and annual criminal and personal background checks of kennel operators, and of all of their employees and family members who have contact with dogs, and also requires fingerprinting of each person involved. Kennel owners thus will have to meet the same background requirements as people who work with children or adults in schools, institutions, group homes and social service agencies. A kennel license would be denied if the operator, a kennel employee or a family member have been convicted of or pleaded guilty to animal abuse or domestic violence allegations at any time in their lives.

· Grants complete power to the Department of Agriculture to create and enforce specific regulations about the care of dogs, kennel management, paperwork and facility design. The bill does not require either legislative oversight or public participation, and the specifics of the regulations are not contained in the text of the legislation. Specific information is being withheld from the legislature and citizens.

· Annual kennel license fees ranging from $150 to $750 are imposed by the bill. Intermediaries (anyone who sells more than 25 dogs or puppies a year) are required to pay an additional $500 license fee. In addition, any citizen can request an inspection of any intermediary facility at any time and for any reason, and the request will be mandatory.

· The bill also sets up contracts with animal shelters and rescue groups to house and care for any animals that are confiscated by the state.

· Creates a 10-member oversight commission consisting of two members of the general assembly and eight members “representing various entities with an interest in dog kennels.” There is no requirement for any of these representatives to be stakeholders in the issue, and the door is open for representation by animal rights groups. These eight seats will be held by political appointees who are not accountable to the Legislature or the voters.

Here is a list of the 38 co-sponsors of the bill: Ohio Reps. Hughes (the prime sponsor), R. Hagan, D. Stewart, Flowers, Skindell, Combs, B. Williams, Seitz, Okey, Fende, Setzer, Bacon, Beatty, Brady, Otterman, Peterson, Brown, Yuko, J. Stewart, Luckie, Wolpert, J. McGregor, Webster, Evans, Ujvagi, Blessing, J. Hagan, Distel, Heard, Dyer, Celeste, Foley, Chandler, Hottinger, Strahorn, Schneider, Bolon, and Miller.
Yates urges Ohioans and others to contact these legislators both in person and with strongly worded letters of protest aimed both at defeating this legislation, and having the co-sponsors formally withdraw their support from it.
ASDA also is working to save Ohio field trial grounds at the Kildeer Plains and Indian Creek Wildlife Management Areas, which are being closed to trialing this coming April by state and federal wildlife agencies.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Ohio Proposes Kennel Regulations...

The state of Ohio has proposed legislation that would regulate kennels for all dog owners who are breeding dogs. This legislation has the same appearance as the PAWS legislation and the PA Kennel regulations proposed in that state last year. As expected, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is supporting this legislation. The legislation is purported to be designed to eliminate "puppy mills" but in reality will force undue regulation on virtually anyone who breeds dogs in the state of Ohio. HSUS has a bigger agenda than simply attempting to eliminate puppy mills... although they pretend to be a "humane society,", in reality, the HSUS has no affiliation with any local humane society, such as those that typically are found in your local community or county. The HSUS has assets of over $113 million, yet it does not support or operate a single animal shelter. They consistently mislead the American public into donating millions of dollars to the organization, implying that they are a "humane society," when in reality the agenda is to control, limit, and eventuallly eliminate animals from human contact. They are opposed to dog or cat ownership or breeding, farm animal ownership or breeding, rearing animals for milk, meat, egg, or clothing production, fishing, hunting, or any recreational sport involving animals, such as horseback riding, rodeos and similar activities. This is the organization that is supporting the current kennel regulations in Ohio.

This proposal is another example of overzealous governmental regulation that has been proposed to punish the majority of responsible pet owners, rather than using existing laws that would eliminate the few kennels who are violating the law. HSUS is excited about this proposal, because it would give them a "foot in the door" to advancing their extremist, "big brother" agenda on the American public. HSUS is not concerned about animal welfare... if they were concerned, they would be supporting the local humane societies in our state that are constantly struggling to do their work with minimal budgets.

Here are a couple of links to check out the current legislation...

Ohioans... contact your state Congressman and express your opposition to this proposed bill. This will have a negative impact on all aspects of dogs and dog breeding, for everyone from hunters to field trialers, to show and bench folks, and everyone in between. Stand up for your right to own, train, breed and handle your dogs without governmental interference!

Last, but not least, if you want to donate some funds to a humane society... donate to your LOCAL humane society, where the money will be spent in your local community to help control local animal populations. Please do NOT donate to HSUS... your money will not be used to help any animals, and in fact may be used to their detriment!


Thursday, December 13, 2007

My Favorite HSUS quote...

HSUS president Wayne Pacelle described some of his goals in 2004 for The Washington Post: “We will see the end of wild animals in circus acts … [and we’re] phasing out animals used in research. Hunting? I think you will see a steady decline in numbers.” More recently, in a June 2005 interview, Pacelle told Satya magazine that HSUS is working on “a guide to vegetarian eating, to really make the case for it.” A strict vegan himself, Pacelle added: “Reducing meat consumption can be a tremendous benefit to animals.”

My response to this astute observation... "duhhhhhh!!"

For more info on the HSUS, check out the website ActivistCash... a great website that lists and exposes the many supposedly benevelent organizations and foundations that are in reality nothing more than fringe groups looking to finance their idiocy with your hard earned cash.

Check them out at

Thanks Wayne Pacelle for a briliant piece of ecological brainstorming. I'm going to have my supper now... a big juicy hamburger.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Texas Red Setters Rock!!

Litter mates Summer Wine (Rocky) and Flame’n Red Violet (Violet) just finished showing that they know how to find and point birds. 12-1/2-07 Rocky carded 7 finds and Violet 5 to go first and second in the Texas Red Setter Open Derby. They had the Pointer boys shaking their heads. Not content to stand on their laurels this pair repeated their performance at the Irish Setter Club of San Antonio 12-8/9-07. This time Rocky found four coveys to Violet’s two as they once again went first and second in the Open derby. Good Lord willing these two have bright future. Rocky is owned and handled by Jim Baker, Violet is owned by MaryAnn and Royce Gustafson and handled by MaryAnn.
Thanks to Jim Baker for forwarding this info!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Alaska Becomes the 34th State Sportsmen’s Caucus

With the announcement of the newly-formed Alaska Sportsmen’s Caucus, more than half of the state legislature joined as founding members and vowed to shine more of a spotlight on hunting, fishing, and other outdoor activities in the state. “This caucus it a tool to address a lot of the erosion of the hunting and outdoors heritage in the country and Alaska,” commented Rep. Bill Stoltze, who represented the Alaska Caucus at the recent NASC Sportsman-Legislator Summit held in Branson, Missouri. “It's a mechanism for legislation to promote hunter safety, wildlife education and firearm safety among kids. It is also about preservation of the state's heritage and hunting and fishing resources, not conservation by locking up everything to hunting and fishing.”
The Caucus is co-chaired by House Speaker John Harris, R-Valdez, and Senate President Lyda Green, R-Wasilla. The group, officially named the Alaska Legislative Outdoor Heritage Caucus, will team up with other states’ caucuses under the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses. Alaska is the 34th state to form a caucus under the NASC.
Rep. Harris said, “the caucus would serve as a voice for Alaska sportsmen and women and help lawmakers protect against loss of habitat, urbanization, lack of proven predator-prey management and outside national organizations who voice anti-hunting and anti-fishing programs.”

State Legislators and Highly Recognized Conservation Authorities Gather At Sportsman-Legislator Summit
From Alaska to Florida and from New Mexico to New Hampshire and states in between, hunters and anglers were represented by their state legislators at the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses (NASC) Fourth Annual Sportsman-Legislator Summit in Branson, Missouri.
Record breaking attendance of 40 state legislators, including an unprecedented number of legislators from new states, signaled that sportsmen’s issues have moved up the legislative priority list at the state level. In total, the Summit brought together a collective group of more than 100 highly recognized individuals from state legislatures, state and federal wildlife agencies, national conservation organizations and private industry to zero in on issues that will shape the future health of hunting and fishing in America.
Issues examined included, better management practices for wildlife, the need for dedicated state funding and the emerging and important issue of Marine Protected Areas, as well as creative tactics being deployed by the anti-gun and anti-fishing/hunting lobbies.“I have attended this meeting since it first took place in 2004 and every year I learn about trends in other states that I can implement back in Idaho to benefit sportsmen, as well as being made aware of legislation that I need to be on the look out for,” commented Idaho State Caucus Co-Chair Rep. David Langhorst, who serves on the NASC Executive Council.
Attendees left Branson, Missouri with a more tangible realization that hunting and fishing are not just outdoor activities, but are also economic drivers in every state, creating jobs and contributing to the state and local tax base. With this in mind, sportsmen caucus legislators vowed to return to their home states with a concentrated effort on introducing pro-sportsman legislation during the 2008 legislative session. It is no coincidence that since NASC was launched the number of pro-sportsmen’s bills introduced and passed has more than doubled. With 34 affiliated state legislative sportsmen’s caucuses, the strength and synergy of NASC is rapidly increasing
“The commitment and cooperative nature of this year’s summit was unparalleled by any year before, setting the stage for NASC and state sportsmen’s caucuses around the country to be more proactive than ever before,” commented Jeff Crane, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation president.
The NASC 4th Annual Legislator-Summit was hosted by the Missouri Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus and the Missouri Conservation Federation, in partnership with Bass Pro Shops. The title sponsor was the National Shooting Sports Foundation. The presenting sponsor was Anheuser Busch and the activity sponsor was the American Forest Foundation.

Dedicated Legislators Elected to NASC Executive Council
During the NASC Sportsman-Legislator Summit, five legislators were elected by their peers to the NASC Executive Council (EC) to serve a two-year term. Senator David Langhorst (ID), Representative Mike Burris (AR) and Representative Mark Gergely (PA) were reelected, and new members Representative Jason Brown (MO) and Representative Carl Isett (TX) were elected to their first term. NASC is fortunate to have quality legislators serving on the EC. Their insights, counsel and guidance have been invaluable to increasing the role of NASC as the leader assisting state legislators who are promoting a pro-sportsmen’s agenda.

CSF Selects Allan Ellis as New Communications Director
Allan Ellis was recently selected as the new Communications Director for the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation. Allan will be responsible for the day-to-day production of news, updates and press releases for the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation and the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses.
Allan brings over 25 years of publishing and broadcasting experience as well as his years of experience as the Promotions Manager for Bass Pros Shops Maryland location. Allan lives in Baltimore County, Maryland with his wife Kathy. They have two grown children and enjoy their two young grandchildren. He enjoys deer and waterfowl hunting and all styles of fresh and saltwater fishing. Allan publishes the ‘Maryland Deer and Waterfowl Hunting Guide’ annual magazine and hosts the popular ‘Outdoorsman Radio Show’.
“We are pleased to welcome Allan to the Foundation,” said Jeff Crane, President of CSF. “Allan’s understanding of our goals, his experience and his passion for the outdoors are the attributes we were hoping for.”
“I’ve been familiar with the important work of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation and the Congressional Sportsman Caucus as well as National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses for a number of years. I’ve worked with CSF on their annual banquets and attended their events, stated Ellis “This position will allow me to share with others how the mission of CSF and NASC affects and protects our heritage and traditions of hunting and fishing.”

The Sportsman's Link to Congress and State Capitols
Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation and National Assembly of Sportsmen's Caucuses 110 North Carolina Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20003

Monday, December 3, 2007

It's Time To Throw Out the Hunting Act!!

Tony Wright, the first huntsman prosecuted under the Hunting Act, had his conviction overturned on appeal in Exeter Crown Court on Friday 30th November. Mr. Wright, of the Exmoor Foxhounds, was found guilty in August 2006 at Barnstaple Magistrates Court, despite having used two hounds to flush foxes to be shot on 29th February 2005 as he believed was allowed by the Act. More people have been convicted of hunting rats under the Act than have been found guilty of illegal fox hunting.

Check out this link for additional information on this ill-conceived law in Great Britain... it's time the Brits throw this one out!

Thanks to the Terrierman website for the info on this posting!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Red setter registry project...

Some of you may already be aware... Christie Young and I are working to build a registry of our red setters, to be used for historical purposes, and perhaps eventually, to track genetic issues and be a tool for breeding. We are using a program that English setter aficionado Ed Morgan has used to build the very nice English setter pedigree base. This is a long term project, for obvious reasons, but I am hoping that anyone who has access to red setter pedigrees, either FDSB or AKC, of working Irish setters, if they would be willing to share that info with us, we would be most appreciative. I know that there are several folks who visit these pages who have been involved in red dogs in the past or are currently working with them; or, if you happen to know of someone who might have old records, if you could hook me up with them, that would also be very helpful.

Thanks again!
Al Fazenbaker

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Versatile Irish Hunter...

Chris Hall bought a puppy from me several years ago, a male pup I had produced out of an AKC Brophy bitch (Eva) and Come Back Shagdancer, a great hunting/field trial dog out of Joe Edward's Come Back Kennels. Chris is an avid hunter... deer, grouse, duck, goose, you name it... if it has fur or feather, he's on it. So, having a red dog certainly would seem to raise a few eyebrows among the hardcore versatile crowd. Now, I'm not saying that a red dog would be up for a performance in Fargo ND at -20 and a 40 mph wind in the deep of winter, retrieving ducks out of a water hole... but, they certainly can hold their own, and if you like to do a little bit of everything like Chris does, those red dogs will certainly fit the bill, and they'll do it well! (I'm afraid to ask Chris if they've retrieved any raccoons, rabbits, or groundhogs...) Chris is an active member of the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association, is a NAVHDA judge, and he also has qualified and ran one of his red dogs in the prestigious NAVHDA Invitational (the FIRST red dog to do so, but not the last, I suspect!). Anyhow, here are some pics of Chris' dogs doing their thing on the local game population... by the way, Chris is up to 3 red dogs now, and just got back from hunting up in the Dakotas, where those red dogs ate up the territory and did it with true red dog style! How's that for Honoring The Challenge!! Yeah!!!

Visit Chris and his Far Darring Setters at



Monday, November 26, 2007

A good man...

The November-December issue of the Flushing Whip (the National Publication of the NRSFTC) is dedicated to our friend Harry Rollinson, who passed away this past August after battling cancer for several years. Harry was a member of the Board of Directors of the NRSFTC. He was a fierce competitor and he absolutely loved his bird dogs. While Harry got his start with pointers, he loved his beloved red setters, who shared the home with Harry and his wife Linda.
Here are some pictures of Harry over the years, courtesy of friends, family, and members of the National Red Setter Field Trial Club.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Old Editorial, but still timely...

Several years ago I wrote an editorial to Field Trial Magazine, commenting on the (at the time) relatively recent new requirements for DNA profiling being instituted by AKC and FDSB... while the editorial is now over 5 years old, it still rings true. In fact, if anything, even more so...

from the editorial... "I also wanted to comment on the recent notice ... regarding DNA testing. While I suppose it is inevitable that DNA profiling comes to be a part of ... registries, I have some concerns and apprehension regarding DNA profiling. I hope and trust the FDSB and American Field shares these concerns as they move forward with this technology.

As an owner, breeder and handler of Irish red setters, I have seen the results of over-emphasis on “purity.” The Irish red setter breed was nearly destroyed as a working gun dog by an overzealous commitment to an erroneous view of genetic purity. Historically, hunting dogs have had the opportunity to make occasional exchanges of genetic material through outcrossing; such outcrosses have helped maintain genetic vigor, and in the case of our particular breed, restored the Irish red setter to a place of respectability in the bird dog world. There is no working Irish red setter today in the United States of any adequate field trialing ability that doesn’t have its roots in the outcrosses of Ned LeGrande and the other founders of the National Red Setter Field Trial Club. The bottom line is, that from a genetic and biological standpoint, dog breeds must be fluid. Total and forever isolation of a breed is a pathway to extinction.

DNA profiling has the potential to be a useful tool for verifying the parentage of a litter, especially in those cases involving the transfer of frozen semen, overseas breeding programs, or other situations in which the parentage of a dog might come into question. On the other hand, DNA profiling has the potential to drive breeds into an isolationist mode. If we look at the history of genetic diseases in dog breeds, for example, many of these diseases have become prominent since the advent of breed registries. Is there a connection? I would think so.

Support of DNA profiling must be based upon the stipulation that conditions and procedures be established for legitimate and open outcrossing by breeders who have a desire to do so. DNA profiling was established in part by the desire for breed clubs to eliminate “backyard” outcrossing and subsequent altering of paperwork. We all know full well that such breeding has gone on for years, and for the most part has been tolerated, largely because these hidden outcrosses often produce better quality field trial dogs down the road. A DNA profiling procedure will stop the fraudulent nature of such breeding practices, but is this necessarily good for the breed? Any DNA profiling program must have in place an opportunity for outcrosses to continue. Otherwise, we run the risk of doing what the bench fraternity nearly did to the Irish red setter… a breed with high alleged purity, but in reality a breed laced with myriads of genetic diseases, and no bird sense whatsoever. And, the decision to outcross must be left in the hands of the individual breeder, not breed clubs. Most breed clubs have already established their notorious desire to produce high purity bench champions, not field trial prospects. And who better than the individual breeder, who knows his or her lineage in every detail, and knows what it would take to improve it?

One hundred years ago, setters were crossed with spaniels, pointers with setters, setters with pointers, and so on. The foundation of our great hunting and trialing dogs of today was forged in the outcrossings of untold dogs and breeders from our past. Before we blindly follow the path of new technology simply for the sake of new technology, we need to look to our foundations and ask ourselves how and why the great dogs we have today were created in the first place. The FDSB registry even recognized the value of outcrossing by providing provisions in the registry for crossing the three setter breeds. With the advent of DNA technology, perhaps it is time to look again at how we register our breeds, and more importantly, why.

Best regards,
Allen Fazenbaker"

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Reciprocity Issue

It is nice to know the real history and not the history that a vocal minority would like to put out. From my perspective, the point I will make is that the show standard is something that was created to please the eye of the people in charge of writing the standard, which has been changed many times over the years to fit the dogs being produced, while the field standard, or at least the conformation of the dogs that compete at a high level in field trials, is brought about by what works and what allows the dogs to do a job. Which standard is more natural?

After speaking at length with Mark Neff, geneticist at UC Davis, my belief is that in ten years, this debate will be moot among enlightened individuals because science will be able to prove that the gene responsible for pointing is the same gene present in all pointing breeds, the gene responsible for backing is the same gene in all breeds of dogs that back, the gene responsible for scent is the same in all breeds, etc. The have already proven that there is one gene responsible for size in all of the toy breeds and all toy breeds descend from one animal, so how can you say they are "cross-bred"? My point is with a better understanding of science, we will come full circle and get back to breeding dogs as it was done centuries ago, and abandon the artificial confines of a "closed pure bred registry". It is ironic though that science is now on the verge of telling us that those who bred dogs in the "dark ages" actually did it with more scientific validity than what has been done in "modern times". I for one, am looking forward to a time when we can put this debate behind us and move forward in our pursuit of the "Purest Challenge".

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Reciprocity Issue

Long time NRSFTC member and friend, Craig Opel, read the Reciprocity Editorial in the current issue (November December 07) of The Flushing Whip ( He immediately sent me a wonderful story with some interesting background about the 32 year reciprocity ban. Let me share it for you here:

Hi Deborah : Great Flushing Whip this month . Could not hold back after reading your excellent article on the reciprocity issue to give you the inside scoop on what lead to the banning of it in 1975.
In the fall of 1973, ISCA was holding it's first in many years, a national field trail ( preview of a national championship the next year ) at Lenexa, Kansas in November . Bob Peterson and I decided in early fall that we would go with his two dogs , Miss Collen of Kaymar , Shawn of Kaymar and, my dog,e Vickie of Kaymar. All three of these dogs had many, many FDSB wins all over the country but they also had all three achieved an AKC Championship along the way . After we sent our registrations , we were informed that they were adding a shoot to kill stake ( they knew we did not train our dogs on this and were sure they would win ) .I took that as a challenge and, in three weeks, had Vickie retrieving shot birds . I won that stake .
Well, we all gathered in Kansas in November for the big trial. AKC people drove from all over the country to get their field placements for the Champion title . Well, it didn't quite work out for them that way . We had three dogs in it, 4 stakes , 4 placements . Open All age - we took three of 4 spots-Open limited All age -we took 1st , 2nd and 3rd , Open gun dog--we took three of the four spots including 1st. In the Shoot to kill and retrieve, I ran Vickie as our only entry and beat all of their dogs .The outrage was so severe we needed to get out of there as fast as we could . One problem was Peterson had left early and I had to collect all of the trophies and with three dog kennels plus stuff I could not get it all of the trophies into my station wagon .
The entire group was so upset over the fact that they had driven all that way and for all practical purpose had not gotten any points towards a Championship status for their efforts . At that time, they decided that the only way to keep this from happening again was to ban us from the event . The board of directors met in 1974 and by 1975 ,the ban was in place.
Never thought that event would pop up so many years later to have to straighten the record out .
A final event that happened as I was packing up to leave was the Kansas City Newspaper was there covering the event and wanted a picture of Shawn on Point ( he was a great looking high tailed dog - added insult to injury with that aspect also ). They planted a bird and while many watched Shawn slammed on to a perfect high at both ends, solid as a rock, point for the picture . Well, the photographer said the light was wrong and Shawn needed to be on the other side of the bird --could I fix that . Sure--I picked him up by the collar and tail and move him around to the correct spot. I let go and he once again, he was like a rock . I could here the buzzing about that and most of them turned and walked away .I heard people telling that story for years after not knowing I was the one involved.
Well ,now you know all I know on this subject and how it came about . You can share this with whoever you please.

And that, as Paul Harvey says.... is the rest of the story! WOW!! Thanks Craig for sharing this great story !

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Puffin Hunting Dogs!

Check out this cool dog breed that was actually bred to hunt puffins... (thanks to the Terrierman website blog for this info...!)

Friday, November 16, 2007

ISCA Field Trial Champion

Congratulations to Jack Flynn and his red setter Speedie Edie O'Floin, who won the ISCA National Field Trial Championship in Boonville Arkansas this month. "Edie", sired by Celtic's Sedition, was bred, trained and handled by Jack to this being the second win in as many years at the Booneville venue. Congratulations to Jack and Edie!! Great job!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

American Sporting Dog Alliance

As many of you are already aware, field trials and the field trial way of life are in serious jeapordy throughout the USA. Animal rights activists over the past several years have placed subversive but effective pressure on field trial grounds access, with the result that we are losing these grounds for trialing. And, lest you think that field trials are an isolated instance of this trend, you are mistaken. Animal rights activists, who are well funded and well organized, are working to eliminate the ownership of all animals. That means no field trials, hunting dogs, pets, companion animals, bench show, agility, obedience, flyball, and all the dog sporting events that we enjoy and love.

There is only one way to fight this threat... we must organize and work together.

John Yates, a well known field trialer from the Pennsylvania area, has begun an effort to organize our many factions and come together for a common cause... the right to own, train, breed and compete with our dogs. Regardless of your particular interest, IF YOU OWN A DOG, YOU NEED TO PAY ATTENTION TO THIS POSTING.

The new organization, the American Sporting Dog Alliance, is just getting off the ground. They need your support of finances, as well as your willingness to spread the word and to participate in the start-up process. Check out the website at

A blogsite for the organization is in the works... more will be posted as this becomes available... in the meantime, spread the word... it's time we start fighting back to combat this menace to our CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS TO OWN AND TRAIN DOGS.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Red Setter Wear!!

It's time to get dressed up! Check out our newest addition to the National Red Setter Field Trial Club website... you can now purchase clothing apparel with the official NRSFTC logo... choose your favorite hat, shirt, hoodie, jacket, even a beach towel or foldup chair! Choose your favorite color and even the color of the logo! Plus, all profits go to support The Flushing Whip... the lifeblood of our organization.

Check out the new stuff at

Order today and get your favorite field trialer some Red Setter Wear in time for Christmas!!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Come Back Audie

This year's Open Shooting Dog Champion, Comeback Audie, is a product of Come Back Kennels. Joe Edwards, who bred and trained Audie, handled him to the Championship title at the Missouri Sportsmans Club in Grovespring, Missouri. Audie is a handsome looking dog, with a lot of style and eye-catching appeal on his birds. And he has a nice ground race to round it out! Audie is out of Come Back Johnson x Come Back Diddle.

Nice job Joe Edwards!

Joe Edwards with Come Back Audie

Joe Edwards flushes a quail in front of Come Back Audie at the Fall 2007 Championships

Front Row: Handler/Owner Joe Edwards with Come Back Audie, scout Roger Boser with Runner-up Bolero. Back Row: Trial Chair Dennis Hidalgo, scout Ed Liermann, judges Larry Meeks and George Hill, handler Don Beauchamp.

National Shooting Dog Championship Results...

The National Red Setter Field Trial Club is pleased to announce the winners of the 2007 Shooting Dog Championship and supporting stakes, run this past week at the Missouri Sportsmans Club in Grovespring Missouri. The stakes, judged by George Hill and Larry Meeks, were conducted under pleasant, although a bit warm, weather conditions, with sunny skies and favorable breezes. The following dogs were named…

Open Shooting Dog Championship

Champion: Come Back Audie Joe Edwards, O/H
Runner-up: Bolero Don Beauchamp, O/H

Amateur Shooting Dog Championship

Champion: Aiken Roger Boser, O/H
Runner-up: Bolero Don Beauchamp, O/H

Open Derby

1st Jericho Roger Boser, O/H
2nd Chapernon Roger Boser, O/H
3rd Doc Spiro Manson, O/H

Open Puppy

1st Dally Joe Edwards, O/H
2nd Flash Bonnie Hidalgo, O/H

Open Walking Shooting Dog

1st Flash Bonnie Hidalgo, O/H
2nd Lady Bonnie Hidalgo, O/H
3rd Killians Red Brian Gelinas, O/H

A special thanks to our Field Trial Chair Dennis Hidalgo for running a successful trial!

Hope to see everyone at our spring renewal of the National Championship and Futurity, to be held March 5 to 10 2008 at Berea, KY.

Best regards,
Allen Fazenbaker

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Red Dogs From Across the Pond

Red Setters from across the pond pointing on the Irish moors. These are field trial dogs from Ireland. One thing I noted as being different from our dogs here are the tails when on point. I do love the intensity shown by these dogs though.

An interesting picture. 9 Field trial Champions in this picture.

**Click picture for larger image**

Monday, November 5, 2007

A perfect Christmas gift for that special field trialer...

For you folks who have trouble getting that "special gift" for your favorite field trialer, I'm sure they'll love this extra special gift... yes, it's for real...

Thursday, November 01, 2007
A Portland, OR-based company called Darf, Inc. recently launched a new board game that you play with your dog.Funagle let's people match wits with friends and family to see who is best at getting their dog to complete activities like the Moonwalk, The Wave and the Hollywood Kiss. Players have one minute to "funagle" their dog into performing tasks on the game board's tags. Players can use their voice, treats and gestures to get their dog to complete the activity and earn the tag. Collect the most tags, and win the game.It's like a way to teach the fundamentals of dog training, but through a board game. With a little encouragement, instruction and some treats, dogs and their owenrs become more self-confident, while relishing some laughter with friends and family.Funagle can be played by two to four people and one to four dogs. The game comes with a board, 50 tags, a die, four bone-shaped carabiners (to hold the tags) and a sand timer. The game is available at select dog boutiques, pet stores, doggy day cares, game stores, gift stores and from Funagle's website. Visit Funagle online at...


Some of you might be aware of recent activity regarding the reciprocity ban on FDSB red setters by the AKC. It appears that, within the ISCA (Irish Setter Club of America), an AKC affiliated club, there has been some movement to restore reciprocity to the FDSB red setters. A vocal group within the ISCA is also strongly opposed to ending the ban, and there is some internal conflict occurring within the ISCA. A message board has been created to cater to the faction that is in opposition to the reciprocal relationship, and there is some movement to unseat some of the current Board members of the ISCA in the upcoming election. The message board can be accessed via (you must join to view or post messages).

While viewing some of the posting over the past several weeks, I was drawn to an interview I participated in several years ago during the re-write of our red setter breed standard. Much of the conversation of the interview is very relevant to the current discussions of reciprocity, so I am posting the interview here again for your review...

The Irish Red Setter Breed Standard:
An Interview With One Of the Authors
In November 2005 the National Red Setter Field Trial Club Board of Directors unanimously approved a new breed standard for the Irish red setter. This interview was conducted by Deborah Fazenbaker, Editor of the national publication for the NRSFTC, The Flushing Whip. Her husband, Allen Fazenbaker, is a co-author of the new breed standard approved by the NRSFTC Board of Directors.

DF: Just for readers who are new to our organization, what is your affiliation with the National Red Setter Field Trial Club, and how did you become involved in this initiative?

AF: I was on the Board of Directors and actually serving as President of the Club in 2002 when we elected to adopt our first breed standard. Today I am serving on the Board of Directors as the club’s Futurity Secretary.

DF: Why did the club decide to create a new breed standard?

AF: Actually, the NRSFTC has had a breed standard for several years. As I stated before, in 2002 our club adopted the Irish red setter standard of the parent country of Ireland. We felt that Ireland’s emphasis on a breed standard highlighting the working qualities was essential in any description of a bird dog. Most dog standards today unfortunately de-emphasize the original working abilities of the breed. When our club adopted the Ireland standard in 2002, we concurred with the parent country that the working abilities of a breed should be paramount.
After several years of holding this standard, we came to recognize that while the Ireland standard certainly was a huge improvement in defining the breed the unique culture of American field trialing, as well as our culture of hunting, presented many obvious differences between the Ireland standard and the reality of the Irish red setter in America. We realized that if we were to hold our breed to a standard, it needed to be one that honored the spirit and intent of bird dog culture in the U.S.A. So, we elected to write a standard that reflected our American values.
DF: Who were the authors of this new breed standard?

AF: Four members of the Board, Christie Young, Don Beauchamp, Roger Boser, and myself did the majority of the work on the document. Much of the work was done during the spring and summer of 2005, with some fine tuning done prior to Board approval in November of that year.

DF: What is unique about this standard from previous breed standards?

AF: First, and most importantly, this breed standard is based expressly on performance. While canine breed standards in the past have relied heavily on conformation traits, this standard utilizes performance criteria to define the breed. Conformation traits are noted only as necessary to support the performance of the animal.
One must remember that breed standards were originally developed to identify breeds based upon looks. In the old days prior to the emergence of registries such as AKC and FDSB, breed identification was a loosely defined talent, often more art than science. Dogs were frequently crossbred to produce performance traits desired by the owners. Performance of the dog on game was most important to the owner, and conformation traits were utilized only to the extent that they assisted the owner in identifying other dogs who might likewise have similar performance traits. With the advent of registries to assist the owners with record keeping, conformation traits became even more important for the breeder. Certain traits such as color, head shape, skeletal framework, and other visual traits were used to identify certain animals who likewise had desirable performance traits in the field. Thus, Irish red setters, English setters, English pointers, and other breeds became segregated, as breeders and hunters focused on particular traits that pleased them. Breed clubs became established and developed standards that could be used by breeders to promote those qualities sought by the hunters.
Unfortunately, the advent of standards based upon conformational traits did not preserve the original intent of the breed standard. Conformation became a means to an end, and the performance traits that had been affiliated with those conformation traits became disjointed, and eventually lost. Breed clubs began to focus on conformation traits by hosting “bench shows,” and the “show ring” became the norm for judging canine breed standards. Performance traits became secondary, or in many cases, nonexistent. Today, most breed clubs name championships to dogs who have no performance ability for which the breed was originally intended! As a club whose reason for existence is to promote the Irish red setter as a class bird dog, such an emphasis on conformation without the more important focus on performance was unacceptable. The reason for our initial adoption of the Ireland standard was based upon that concern. Irish red setters are, first and foremost, bird dogs. Any standard that does not give credence to this PERFORMANCE trait is, in our eyes, not an acceptable standard. The authors of the Ireland standard are to be commended for recognizing this and acting upon it when updating their standard several years ago. We simply took it a step further… or should we say, a step further back… to the original intent of the breed standards of the old days.

DF: But isn’t’ there already a breed standard in the U.S.?

AF: Yes, the Irish Setter Club of America has a breed standard developed under the auspices of the American Kennel Club (AKC). However, the standard makes only a passing reference to the bird dog qualities of the breed, and in fact makes no requirement for the breed to perform in any sense as a bird dog. There are hundreds, perhaps thousands of AKC Irish red setter champions in the USA that have never pointed a game bird. We could not accept such a standard.

DF: But if the Ireland standard is based upon performance, why not continue to use the Ireland standard?

AF: Well, the Ireland standard makes great strides in increasing the performance attributes of the dog. In fact, there is an entire section of their standard which is devoted to the “working qualities” of the breed. But nonetheless, conformation traits are still listed as primary criteria in judging the breed. Our position is that performance traits should be the primary criteria, and the conformation traits should be used only to support the performance traits. What we do in our standard is start off talking about performance… it’s in the first paragraph of the standard, and it’s there because we place it as the highest criteria for the Irish red setter. To quote the first paragraph of our standard… “As Irish red setters were originally bred as partridge and grouse dogs their style of hunting these birds may be taken as the norm. Primary focus of the breed standard shall be upon the performance of the animal while hunting wild or native game birds. And later, “conformational traits of the breed are described only with the intent that such traits shall be supportive of performance as a bird dog.” Thus, we have re-established the spirit and intent of breed standards… to assist the breeder in identifying those traits that will make a great Irish red setter as a BIRD DOG. Much of our standard is still based upon the language of the Ireland document. We simply modified the document to better suit our needs here in the U.S.A.

DF: You mentioned earlier that one of your goals was to write a standard that reflected American values. What exactly do you mean by this?

AF: American bird dog culture has some unique characteristics that set it apart from bird dog cultures in other parts of the world. Probably one of the most obvious points is the importance that we place on tail position. The Ireland standard, for example, calls for a tail that runs horizontally. Here in the USA, we place an emphasis on a high mast tail. Thus, our standard reflects this important difference. Of course, we recognize that the tail is not the only factor in judging the performance of a bird dog. Dr. Roger Boser, a well-regarded breeder of Irish red setters once noted, “it’s what’s up front in the brain department that is most important.” Our standard places great emphasis on intelligence… especially what we refer to as “bird intelligence.” The Irish red setter should display great intelligence in handling wild birds in their native habitat. THIS is the ultimate expression of what an Irish red setter is about… an intelligent bird dog with the savvy to handle native, wild birds. Everything else that follows is, as they say, “gravy.” That’s why our standard lists intelligence in handling wild birds so early in the document.

DF: Aren’t’ you concerned that adoption of a standard by the club will lead to the same sort of undue focus on particular traits, such as is often the case with current breed standards?

AF: That concern has been a topic of the authors as well as that of our Board of Directors. One of the reasons for our desire to discuss the standard in this interview was to express our “philosophy of use” of a breed standard. What we do not want to see is the establishment of “conformation shows” utilizing our standard to judge a dog. Irish red setters should be judged on the prairies of the Dakotas, the grouse woods of the north, the quail plantations of the south, and the cornfields of the Midwest. In other words, the criteria for determining the “best of breed” (to borrow a phrase from the bench show fraternity) is in the hunting environment. Under no circumstance would we ever envision a venue in which a bird dog could be judged as “acceptable” or “unacceptable” except in a performance situation. Because the National Red Setter Field Trial Club considers itself as the “guardian of the breed” here in the United States, we would never abuse our sacred commitment to the promotion of our breed by using our standard in a strictly conformational context.
Another point worth mentioning is that we certainly do not expect every owner of an Irish red setter to be in anguish because their “Red Rover” or “Big Red” fails to meet the criteria of our standard in all aspects. A standard is just that… a standard, something to strive for, a lofty goal that may or may not be reached in all facets. I seriously doubt that there is an Irish red setter in the United States that meets all the criteria of our breed standard at 100% compliance! The importance of the standard is that now we have a set of common goals, something that our breeders can use as a framework for future endeavors. Far from being restrictive, it provides a common foundation for our breed that can better help us achieve the lofty goals of the Purest Challenge. As always, our goal as an organization is unbending. Our purpose is to produce and promote the Irish red setter as a class horseback shooting dog and field trial competitor. All of our resources and talents must be focused and directed at that goal. To use a breed standard for anything less would be a disservice to all who worked so tirelessly to achieve the quality breed that we have today.

DF: How do you envision this standard being used by your membership?

AF: I think the standard can be used in several ways. First and foremost, breeders should use the standard as a guide for assistance in choosing the ideal dogs for breeding purposes. When breeding dogs, the breeder always wants to breed the best to the best, with the hopes that sire and dam will complement each other and ultimately enhance the overall quality by carrying the best of both sides of the pedigree. So, a breeder can look to the standard for advice on choosing the proper breeding combinations in his or her breeding program.
Another use might be the person looking for a prospective dog for hunting or trialing. By being familiar with the breed standard, the owner/handler has a better grasp on what one should expect from an Irish red setter, especially in terms of expected performance. The positive thing about using this standard is the focus on performance, which is what bird dog standards should be about.

DF: What do you see as the next step in the progress of the Purest Challenge for the NRSFTC?

AF: Well, I have several goals as a member of the Board and as the Futurity Secretary. I would really like to see more Irish red setters involved in All-Age stakes. I think we have some dogs out there that have the potential to perform in that venue, and I hope that they will take the challenge. Ultimately, it is my dream to see a red dog run in the National Championship. It would certainly be an honor to those who have worked so tirelessly over the past 50 years to restore the Irish red setter to its rightful place.
Another goal of mine is to increase the numbers of Futurity nominations, not only in our own Futurity, but also in other various National and/or regional futurities. Several of our members who are breeding young Irish red setters have taken the initiative and are nominating litters to Futurities; I would be very pleased to see that number increase. I am a firm believer in the philosophy that the way to become better is to compete with the best. If our Irish red setters are competing in National Futurities and running all-breed trials across the country, our program will continue to improve the breed.
Most of all, I want to see more Irish red setters in the hands of hunters. For years, the impression of the Irish red setter has been, unfortunately, determined by the bench dogs. That impression has been “unimpressive,” to say the least. But, our club’s dedication to the Purest Challenge over the past 50 years has made its mark. Red dogs are now found in hunting and trialing venues throughout the country. When I see our beloved red setters in those places, it makes my heart proud, because we honor the dedication of our past members to the Purest Challenge… and that’s what we’re here for, after all… to honor that Challenge.
DF: I think that seems like a perfect place to stop. Thanks for doing this with me.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Let Then Eat Tofu...

People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals wants us to eat tofu instead of eggs...

ABBEVILLE, La. -- Officials with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals have asked organizers of Abbeville's Giant Omelette Celebration to use tofu instead of eggs in the massive omelette.
Held each fall, the festival centers on an omelette created with more than 5,000 eggs, as well as crawfish tails, onions, peppers, milk, butter and other spices.
But in a letter sent to Celebration President Cecil Hebert, PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange said that if organizers use tofu this year instead of eggs, PETA would donate all tofu needed.
In her letter, Lange said that egg-laying hens are some of the most abused animals in the world and that many are confined to "battery cages" while being used for their eggs.
Hebert said he had not yet seen Lange's letter and could not comment on the request.

Great Idea

Great idea Al, looking forward to seeing everyone in Grovespring in a few days.

Mike J

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Lakeview Kennels

Cool video from Lakeview Kennels...

Blogger for red dogs

Thought I would try a blogger for the red setter website... give it a go and see how it works...