The History of the Irish Setter
Irish Setters are descendants of red-and-white pinto dogs kept in Ireland as early as the
8th century. There are different theories on how the breed came to being, but the most wide-spread one is that the
biggest impact on the modern Setter appearance had the spaniel-like pinto dogs brought over from France and Spain,
later crossed with the indigenous breeds.
The modern look was shaped around the end of the 19th century due to restricted selection of the red-and-white
Irish Setter stock. Due to the occurrence of more or less mahogany-colored specimens which were highly valued,
the one-colored dogs soon became popular. There appeared a large interest in them in the USA and the prices often
exceeded those of bicolor dogs by 500% - which motivated the breeders to continue the efforts to achieve one-colored
As years went by, the situation reversed and it is from the genetic pool of the Irish Setters that the
red-and-white variant was "reconstructed".
Irish Setters, due to their function needed to work on the Irish marshes and bogs, therefore their characteristics
include lightness, speed and intelligence. Their temperament was initially difficult to control, however, in the
course of careful selection, even before the modern genetics came along, the Irish became more stable and easier
to control - at the same time retaining its hunting qualities and the incredible ability to make deliberate choices.
The Irish Setters have been brought to Poland long before World War II. There were only a few specimens though,
usually owned by landowners or Army officers and most of them died in warfare. In the 1950s the breeding of Irish
Setters was revitalized. Several beautiful dogs were rescued by Antoni Brudnicki, who used to own a well-known kennel
named Splendor before the war. Especially two of his dogs gained a big renown: Splendor D'OR and Splendor SIMCA, later
crossed with Setters imported from the British Isles, by Lt. Stanisław Nowicki and others, and living in the PLN -
Mazovia training center. Their names were: Wendower MISTER, Pollink SECESSION LADY, Beorcham BLASES of Wendower,
Wendower BRIDGET and Pollink COINSPEACH BABY.
By the 1960s Poland had several dozens of registered Irish Setter kennels, usually having only one bitch, including
Z Portofino, Z Akropolu, Z Łąkocin, Z Rawenny, Ze Złotego Potoku, Z Jantarowej Knieji, Z Połoty, Longh Derg, Sewilla,
Z Grodu Polskiej Piosenki, Ermitaż etc. The best known one was the home kennel "Z Olimpu" of the Osiński family from
Zabrze, who would enter both regular dog shows and national hunting dog shows.
At this time, Mrs. Barbara Czerwnińska's beautiful dog Bey, born 1969, was very successful. The only Irish import
was Ch. Derrycarne DANNY BOY of DERRAVARA, born 1965.
In the 1970s the lack of fresh blood was a great problem for Irish Setter breeders in Poland. The differences in
prices of dogs in the country and Western Europe were so huge that nobody was able to pay. Only the few passionate
people were determined enough to pay the equivalent of their yearly income for a dog! Problems with visas, passports
and the usual red tape on the border and all the medical documentation for the dog just added to all that. Breeders
were then forced to breed related dogs which, in the long run, just could not have brought nobody any good. Hunters
were considering switching to German Pointers, less delicate and easier to keep and handle. Apart from that, the
inbreeding made part of the Irish Setter stock into fearful dogs, who could hardly bear the noise of gunshots.
Inappropriate approach to Setter handling gave rise to an opinion that the breed was stupid, crazy and misbehaved.
Fortunately, the dogs were so beautiful that city dwellers would keep them as pets and the breed survived as the
scorned "ladies' companions".
The following dogs became famous at show circuits at the time: Ch. GRYT ORYON z Drabu born 1964, Ch. BEJ SPEEDY DOG
born 1969, Ch. AGA-BAJA z Jantarowej Knieji born 1972 , Ch. REDDI z Corribu born 1973, Ch. LOTOS LORD ze Stefanówki
born 1970, Ch. BELLA DIANA Jantarowa Knieja born 1974, Ch. KIRIS Long Derg born 1975, Ch. PUMA z Połoty born 1976,
The 1980s brought easier relations with breeders from Western Europe and the suffering stock of Polish Irish Setters
blossomed once more. Young, promising littermates appeared and it became easier to take a bitch abroad for mating.
Mrs. Irena Rafalska's crossing of her bitch Ch. DORA z Mysiej Wieży with the working champion VIGOR Non Stop in 1982
and Ch. KING ROCKY TOP in 1984 - both from Czechoslovakia - was an important step. Both litters were born in Mr.
Leszek Tyrpa's kennel Z Czerwonego Bagna.
Another interesting combination was the 1978 crossing of Ch. PUMA z Połoty with the German Multiwinner Shamrock
EDDIE, which resulted in the birth of 8 puppies in the kennel Ufo Red, owned by Elżbieta and Włodzimierz Szyc
Another litter sired by the same dog was born 1982, by Ch. CZATA z Piskorów in the kennel Mahoniowy Jagodnik,
owned by Mr. Zdzisław Stawieraj form Turek.
In 1980 two other dogs were brought over to Poland had a great influence on the breed's development in Poland.
They were the famous Ch. Connemara's FINGAL belonging to Mrs. Szyc, who is the ancestor of every second Irish Setter
in Poland and Ch. Connemara's FRANCES owned by Mrs. Halina Żwierełło, who founded the Irish Setter breeding kennel
W Rysim Wykrocie.
In 1982 the same pair produced Ch. Connemara's IVOR owned by Mrs. Barbara Czerwińska and Ch. Connemara's IVI owned by
This way we managed to get much closer to the class the Western kennels had but we still had to wait for a more
In 1984 more dogs arrived in Poland. This time the dogs came from the Dutch kennel of Mrs. Dujnkerke:
Ch. GOLDFOIL v.d. Westerhuy - owned by Barbara Czerwińska and Ch. GOLDFOIL v.d. Westerhuy - owned by Halina Żwierełło.
At the same time Jerzy Konieczny brought a Setter named SULLY from France, coming them the Derrycarne bloodline,
unfortunately this dog was never bred.
In 1985 Chestnuts FINGAL arrived and he became the first Interwinner Irish Setter in Poland. He was owned by:
Elżbieta and Włodzimierz Szyc.
In 1988 during International Dog Show in Poznań, Mrs. Elżbieta Rozmierska had her bitch Ch. BYSTRA z Polety mate
with the German working winner FELLOW at der Klosterpforte, who sired the litter "C" of the Z Palety kennel.
In 1991 and 1992 two interesting crossings took place with the German working winner LEAR O Reilys, who sires two
litters from the kennel Rysi Wykrot. The mothers were two bitches: Ch. ISSA z Rysiego Wykrotu and Ch. LIRA z Rysiego
Wykrotu. In the same year Mrs. Małgorzata Korzeniowska, the owner of the Tramperus kennel crossed her bitch Ch. JUN z
Rysiego Wykrotu with a beautiful German dog Ch. Chestnut's GAVINEM, whose two offspring: Ch. Tramperus SHARON and
Ch. Tramperus SUNSHIN started the bloodline of Irish Setters in the Harpol kennel of Mr. Dariusz Spisak from Jasło.
This kennel prepared all its dogs to Field Trials and Fall Contests. As far as I know at least three Irish Setters
were brought in there from the kennel Mahagon Moravia and others: ENGLISH STYLE and OPERA.
In 1992 there were two more imports, this time female. The first one was brought to Białystok GLORIA
Mahagon Moravia from Mahagon Moravia owned by Mr. Robert Brauner from the Czech Republic, currently FCI-registered
as Redweed and Ch. Red Tail's JAZZICA from Sweden owned by Mrs. Grażyna Banach from Gdynia.
1993 brought about more imported dogs. They were the son of the European Winner MAESTRO Mahagon Moravia, brought
to Białystok and his sister Ch. MORENA Mahagon Moravia living in Siedlce in the Arisland kennel, and Ch. Red Tail's
QUEEN OF BEAUTY purchased in Sweden by Mrs. Grażyna Banach. The only male purchased abroad at this time was Ch.
STORMBELT v.d. Westerhuy "Wek", imported from Holland to Arisland.
1995 was the year when Ch. ARISA ARIA z Arislandu was crossed with the German winner from Hamburg, Ch. Chestnut's
LINUSLESTER and the first Irish Setter was brought to Poland from the United States, Ch. Quinniver's CARDINAL SONG
called "Sean" - also to Arisland.
1996 had more foreign matings and more imports! Mrs. Magdalena Świętoń purchased Ch. Ramblin RED FACE VALUE in the
USA to her kennel "Psia Parafia", a bitch of the best American pedigree, but unfortunately never bred. The Hungarian
Ch. FIRST BALLINA At Ad Absurdum "Vicki", joined Arisland in Siedlce and Mr. Mariusz Rutecki from Łódź, the owner of
the Gwiazdozbiór Marzeń kennel, crossed his bitch Ch. ULA ULMA z Rysiego Wykrotu with the abovementioned Ch.
Chestnut's LINUSLESTER, owned by Mrs. Astrid Gewecke.
1997 saw Ch. Am., Ch.Pl. Regalaire STRIKE UP THE BAND called "Murphy" arrive from the US, joint-owned by Mrs.
Małgorzata Korzeniowska living there and Mrs. Jadwiga Konkiel. Another mating of Ch. ARISA ARIA z Arislandu with
the abovementioned Ch. Chestnut's LINUSLESTER took place that year as well. Arisland witnessed the birth of Ch.
MORENA Mahagon Moravia's and Junior, Ch. SCANDAL of the Westerhuy's puppies, a Dutch import to the Czech Republic.
1998 was a good year for the stock, since the following events took place then: the Harpol kennel owned by Mr.
Dariusz Spisak in Jasło had puppies from Ch. Tramperus SHARON and Ch. of the Czech Rep. ORSTONE of Redweed, the son
of the British CH. Orstone COUNTRY GENTLEMAN of Westerhuy. The well-known Belgian kennel of Mrs. Ivonne Hill-Decoser
sold Ch. Vicary s XANTOS to Mr. Włodzimierz Szyc from Warsaw, and Arislandu purchased the daughter of triple World
Winner Ch. Vicary's XUNI. Another new dog to Arisland was the American Ch. Regalaire LADY GUINEVERA "Jenny",
joint-owned by Jadwiga Konkiel and. Małgorzata Korzeniowska from Chicago. There came one more litter from Ch.
MORENY Mahagon Moravia and Ch. SCANDAL of the Westerhuy.
1999 saw only one male import to Poland. It was the son of the Best In Show on Crufts winner - Caspians INTREPIDA -
Int. Ch. Multi Ch. Shandwick TOPAZ. Harpol mated Ch. SHARON Tramperus and the aforementioned British import - Ch.
Orstone COUNTRY GENTLAMEN of Westerhuy.
The millennium year 2000 was relatively poor in Irish Setter news. The kennel Diervilla in Poznań, owned by Ms.
Katarzyna Czapla and Mr. Bogusław Chałupa, purchased a dog from Slovenia, Ch. RABALA od Zagrebackie Gore, and Mrs.
Małgorzata Mikuła from Warsaw, owner of the Dostojne Szałaputy kennel, crossed her Ch. POMONA Dziesiątka z Wolicy
with the British -Hungarian Multi Ch. Erinade EXTUINGUISHED Dr ROBIN, who shared the same father with Topaz.
In 2000 the kennel Ad Libitum, run by Ms. Barbara Bałon from Krosna, imported a very promising pup from Hungary -
Berboss NAUGHTY FELLOW called "Belfi", who was lost during a walk. Arisland witnessed Ch. PAM'S DREAM z Arislandu
and our friend Ch. Orstone COUNTRY GENTLAMEN of Westerhuy's mating.
2001 saw only one male import to Poland. He was Ch. ALLODEE Cinnamon's from Holland purchased by the
aforementioned kennel Diervilla.
2002 was a more interesting year for the stock, since the following crossings took place then: Ms.
Irena Makuchowska, the owner of Złotnicki Raj, crossed her bitch Ch. BULSI BONITA Nefelin with the German
dog Ch. Sametuz SUNSEET. Anther foreign mating took place between MONA LISY z Arislandu of
"Dostojne Szałaputy" with the aforementioned famous Vicary's US DOLLAR in Belgium, and Mrs. Anna Przywecka
imported, for her kennel Z Saturnii, Ch. ZACHARIASA Rauhbaard from Belgium.
2003 witnessed a lot of good. Six news imports in Poland! Their names were: Ch. Vicary's COBACABANA and Ch.
ANNA Rauhbaard imported by Anna Przywecka to Saturnia; to Rude Ziółko by Ms. Renata Czechowska and Mr. R.
Bartoszewski - CH. ANNAIS Rauhbaard, and bred in the same kennel but owned by Ms. Anna Michalska from Koszalin
Ch. ALIX Rauhbaard.
What is more, Mr. Zbigniew Dzionek from Gniezno, running the Z Orszaku Chrobrego kennel imported two dogs:
from St. Petersburg: the bitch Ch. Shadwell ABSOLUTELY ALL MY LOVING, daughter of the abovementioned Dr ROBIN
and a very promising dog from England - Clanrua OWENBOY, called "Johnny" - unfortunately, soon the dog died in
a tragic accident...
In the same year, also the crossing of Ch. BREZA Harpol and the Hungarian Ch. Erinade EXTINGISHED Dr ROBIN,
which resulted in more Rude Ziółko puppies.
2004 had more foreign crossings. Ms. Anna Wymysłowska crossed her Multi Ch. WAKACYJNA MIŁOŚĆ z Arislandu with
the triple World Winner Vicary's US DOLLAR, and in Arisland a litter of Junior World Winner Ch. ALMIE DLA ARISLANDU
z Tobółki and our good friend Ch. Erinade EXTINGUISHED DR ROBINIE was born. Mr. Zbigniew Dzionek imported a new dog
Ch. Kerrimere WINTER WINE from England. The young Vicary's DOLCEVILLA joins Diervilla, but she is returned to her
breeder at the age of about 8 months. Vicary's DISINE, the daughter of the Irish Ardbraccan IRISH MAGIC joins
2005 witnesses new imports on our circuits. They are: Multi Ch. Karmino Made FEBRUARY IN DUBLIN from
Lithuania imported by Barbara and Ireneusz Dembowski for the Irishberry kennel and one from the same source but
different parents - Karmino Made GINGER GIRL imported by Ms. Marta Płocieniczak. This bitch's brother -
Karmino Made GIPSY KING arrives to Arisland, but since he lacks one testicle he has to be returned to his breeder.
Another interesting dog entered the show circuits: Field of Dream CHALLENGER purchased in Estonia for the Diervilla.
He was there only during one season - I wonder what happened to him afterwards? That same year also Ch. RABALA
od Zagrebackie Gore, mated with the Dutch Ch. WAIT AND SEE of the Red Empire. Same year, in Rude Ziółka two very
interesting litters are born: one by Ch. ANNAIS Rauhbaard and sire by the Dutch Ch. GIN TONIC of the Hunters Home,
and the other by Ch. BREZA Harpol ad sired by the English Ch, Clonageera LIMITED EDITION, both living in Hungary.
The daughter of Crufts-winning Thendar DON CORLEONE arrives at Arisland from England: Ch. Tarandell VALENCJA, and
Mr. Jarosław Turowski from Piła imports her half-brother from the same sire from the British Isled - Scotselaw ROZZANO.
In 2006 mating of Multi Ch. NIE PŁACZ KIEDY ODJADĘ from Arisland takes place, with the Multi Ch. Vicary's
YOGIBEER living in Italy, and the mating of Ch. BREZA Harpol and the German Ch. WISPER v.d. OSTERPFORTE.
A young female pup joins Diervilla from England, imported by Mrs. Muhr-Romarne HOPE.
In 2007 Diervilla's puppies are born, of Ch. RABALA od Zagrebackie Gore with the Dutch dog, brother of Allodi -
AMAZING DUKE Cinnamon's, and the kennel Zambi imports Glennar LONG WAY HOME from England. The kennel's
owner Ms. Monika Śliwińska also owns the bitch Ronzalda ELECTRA, who is due to arrive in Poland after she
was mated with an English sire. In 2008, the Zambi kennel crosses the daughter of the English-imported Multi-Ch.
Shandwick TOPAZ - Ch. BORN TO BE HAPPY Zambi with a beautiful dog - also from England - Ch. Jonola Dr DOOLITLE
handled by Mr. and Mrs. A and W. Lauvers from Belgium. Z kolei w hodowli All About Arina And B Doll, będącej
własnością p. Darii Gyedu, dosPLNo do skojarzenia suki BABY DOLL z Żarłocznego Miotu niemieckim Ch. Yesterday's
HERO X-ACTLY MY TYPE.
As far as I know, currently there is at least one young imported male here in Poland and two or three interesting
international crossings are planned. It can be safely stated then that Irish Setter breeding in Poland has been
increasingly improved and how successful our dogs are at international dog shows proves it. During the last 15
years we have had: a World Winner, a Second Place World Winner, two Junior Class World Winners, two Second Junior
Class World Winners, two Second European Winners, seven Interwinners and national winners of: Brazil, Gibraltar,
Hungary, Czech Rep., Slovakia, Slovenia, Italy, Russia, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Austria, Belarus, Ukraine and
Writing this story, I concentrated solely on the international crossings and prestigious imports, since otherwise
all would get too confusing for a non-expert to read. It seems that it is the fresh blood that has the greatest
influence on improving the stock; therefore I did not dwell on all the other litters born in Poland, in fact based
on the indigenous breeding stock. At the same time I would like to apologize for any errors I might have made or
any information I might have omitted. Please contact me if you spot any such instance so that I can correct it.