Our first pedigree dog was an Irish Setter named Connie (Over the Hills and Far Away) bred by Bob and Joanne Allport in 1989. We were devastated when we lost her aged only four years in a road accident.
Soon afterwards, Dinah (Lanstara Summer Thyme at Flinthill) bred by Viv Blackshaw, joined us for 13 happy years. She was shown only lightly but was at Crufts 1995 and won third place in the Border Counties Top Dog competition. She had a lovely litter sired by Catriona McDonald's Reddins Connal and was a PAT dog for two years.
We bought our first pointer in 1989 from Larry Drummond's Windscale kennels. Katy (Windscale Hello Dolly at Flinthill) was a lemon and white bitch sired by Sh Ch Pipeaway Scritti Politti.
She had two litters and one of her puppies was our orange and white bitch Molly (Flinthill Peaseblossom) sired by Pipeaway Culture Vulture. She was shown lightly and achieved her KC Stud Book number and won Best in Show at Border Counties Gundog Club Open Show in 1999.
Molly had three litters. Her first litter in 1998 sired by Ch Crookrise Slaney of Fowington, included Joan Collier's Flinthill Tinkerbell (1RCC) and our own Peter (Flinthill Peter Pan).
Her other puppies in the show ring were Kairen Barraclough's Flinthill Penny Lane (sired by Papermill Rocky Mountain High) and Flinthill Harry Potter, sired by Lynwater Atlantic Crossing of Crookrise.
In 2000, we decided to buy in a bitch and Cleo (Wherathy Peters Present at Flinthill) arrived. She was bred by Helga Edmondson and her mother was the Crufts group winner , Ellie (Ch Calderside Love in a Mist at Wherathy). All our home-bred dogs now go back to Cleo and Ellie.
Cleo had three litters, including one by Peter. This gave us Flinthill Sun King, Max, who was part of the family for eight happy years until March 2012. He was shown only lightly but like Cleo and Peter, he loved meeting people. He achieved his KC Gold Good Citizens Award and raised more than £100 for cancer research by completing a five-minute down stay. He was the official campaign dog for the local mental health trust's anti stigma campaign and went to a number of public events.
Cleo's other pups in the show ring included our Sh Ch Flinthill Wild Thyme JW, Kairen Barraclough's Flinthill Rosemary, Duncan Busuttil's Malta Ch Flinthill Bracken and Carlos Gutierrez' Spanish Ch Flinthill Sunbeam.
Bridie (Davigdor Eliza Doolittle of Flinthill) came to live with us in 2004 from her breeder David Tobin. Her litter in September 2006 by Crookrise Rory gave us Jenny (Flinthill Jenny Wren) who won a CC and BOB and now lives with friends in Scotland.
Our third Irish Setter was Dusty (Lanstara Field of Dreams at Flinthill) also bred by Viv Blackshaw. She too was a registered PAT dog and at Crufts 2002.
In 2006, we bought Irish Setter Sam (Bardonhill Mountain Song for Flinthill), bred by Marita Bott. Sadly, he was taken with cancer aged only three years but had several good wins in the show ring, including Best Puppy in Show at the Irish Setter Club of Scotland Championship Show. He also achieved his KC Good Citizen Bronze and Silver Awards.