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A little bit about us......

I've been lucky enough to share my life with some wonderful animals, from horses that are so generous of spirit they will give their last ounce of effort to dogs who have hearts as big as the sun.


I first fell in love with the Irish Setter some 32 years ago, I was riding out by a farm and saw a red dog, chained up and barking like a creature possessed! Each day as I rode past this dog he grew quieter, to me that was a sign that his spirit was slowly ebbing seven and I went into the farmyard unchained the dog and offered the farmer a few pounds, he seemed glad to be rid of him..what a fool!

A few years later I was persuaded by Sally Reece (Fenmaster) to take on a beautiful young bitch called Heronwater CountryGirl .

From Cornevon lines,  Katie taught me so much about the humour and intelligence of Irish Setters and introduced me to serious showing , I was bitten by the show bug almost immediately!

I had to give up my competitive riding career after one too many falls and transferred my attention to smaller four legged friends, training horses and dogs are really quite similar, both respond to clear and consistent  instructions delivered with kindness and a sense of fun.

Then followed Border Terriers, Italian Spinoni and Giant Schnauzers...well, once you have two, you might as well have three....

I feel strongly that whatever the breed , they have a natural purpose in life and an aptitude for certain activities. gundogs love to hunt and carry things in their mouths, terriers truly enjoy dispatching vermin . Whatever the talent of your dog try to work with it , rather than against'll enjoy it so much more.

Siamese Cats (under the Toybox Prefix) as well as rescue cats joined the growing throng, as did the breed with the highest libido I have ever known!..Chinese Cresteds, I remain grateful to the late Ruth Harris for introducing me to them and their colourful characters

For  eleven years I worked as consultant to the BBC  and their Crufts Coverage, my mission was to educate as well as entertain, I ended up in hot water many times by sticking to my guns and not soft soaping the viewing public.

Only by clear information can the partnership of dogs and people continue to be supported.

I have written a weekly column in the now sadly gone, canine newspaper , DOG WORLD  concentrating on the sphere of dogs in rescue. I also write for several other publications when the whim takes me!

I award challenge certificates in both Irish Setters and Italian Spinoni  and I am Secretary of Independent Setter Rescue & Rehome, a Registered Charity that I am so very proud of.

A few years ago I also set up Legacy, a data base for Irish Setters concerning health. This was created with sponsorship and donations from many caring people with an interest in improving the health and longevity of the Irish Setter.

Colourbox has been my Kennel Club affix for a very long time now shared with my life long friend Lesley Fordham. Lesley and I also share the African inspired Umbala affix (meaning colour) We both share a conviction that good health in dogs comes from good breeding, raising and care

In 2000 I met and married the "current" husband , Steve..I thank him for his support and love over the years but he should also be grateful he is not under the patio

The years have passed and along with highs and lows of showing and breeding I have met some fabulous characters both animal and human!


Hope you enjoy the website and the pictures

Love and light


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