FTCh Ballyellen Cara

Cara in unfamiliar surroundings! I am pictured with Cara’s owner Bill Connolly of Red Mills and Johnny Geoghegan (Lefanta English Setters) on winning the 2016 Champion Stake in the Borders of Scotland.
Cara putting in 100% effort on the Monaghan heather.
Cara putting in 100% effort on the Monaghan heather.

Cara has always been a lovely ESB to work with.  I have trained and handled her along with her sister Colleen for my great friend Bill Connolly, director of RED MILLS Animal Feeds, who bred her and gave me her brother Cody. 

PedigreeParentsGrand parents Great Grand Parents
b. 16.10.09Equimark
Knock Out
Shine On
V Kody
Huntingfield Harvard
Q Randi Li
Noveltoppen’s D Gro
Ballyellen Cara
Storeskars II Odin
Storeskar’s AA Niccoli
IrFTCh Storeskar’s G’Snorre
Knocksmall Moose
Lefanta Minnie

Cara was very natural and by the time she came to the Scottish Summer Grouse circuit of 2011 she was really ready for competition.  Her most impressive day that season was the day of the Scottish Gundog Association’s Puppy and Novice Stake on the Gordon Flats at Glenlivet estate.  Patricia Wood was judging with David Wood and they only had 8 puppies to look at in the puppy stake.  It is a measure of the ground covered and the work the pups had to put in to note that the stake did not finish until 12 noon even though 4 of the pups had been eliminated quite quickly.  Cara’s brother won the stake with Cara taking second place.  After a leisurely lunch the Novice stake was begun on very steep sloping ground and I was in two minds whether or not to run the pair again as they had covered so much ground in the morning.  However I went ahead and after a very testing Novice Stake, Cara beat her brother this time taking the cup.

In 2012 Cara’s season was interrupted by her coming in season and upsetting her preparation.  However, by the time the Trials had got into the Northern Ireland Autumn season, she was returning to form and had a classy win at Glarryford to take her first Open Stake and being 2nd to her brother in the end of season Donegal FTA Open Stake in Monaghan.

Cara staunchly on point on pheasant in Monaghan, 2012.
Cara staunchly on point on pheasant in Monaghan, 2012.
One step at a time - those pheasants can be tempting !
One step at a time – those pheasants can be tempting !

2013 started well for her as she quickly notched up a second place to her brother at the Ulster Irish Red Setter Club Open on the very testing Murley Mt.  When she moved to the Scottish Spring Trials, she recorded her most impressive win to date by claiming the Open Stake of the Pointer Club of Scotland on Cawdor Estate in very fine style – 3 long rounds of serious running and a super find clinched the victory and gave her her GB FTCh title.

Cara’s success continued into the Summer of 2013.  She ran really well in the GB Champion Stake at the end of August, but a slight reluctance to be picked up when asked spoiled her chances of progressing.  However in Scotland she began to reassert herself.  Her moment of glory coming in the Northern Counties Setter and Pointer Society’s Open Stake at Cawdor Estate when judges Patricia Wood and Colin Adamson highlighted her style and efficiency in producing her game and awarded her the Stake.  She continued with impressive work under Wilson Young and John Hadley at the North of Scotland Gundog Association’s Open Stake at Tillypronie 2 days later, but after A+ work in 3 rounds she was unfortunately excluded from the stake “on a technicality”.

On returning home to Ireland, Cara chalked up her next victory at the Ulster Irish Red Setter Club’s Open Stake at Murley Mt. Co Tyrone on Sunday 15th September.  She had put in some lovely running during the first round, which was held in heavy heather during very stormy windy weather.  In her second round she performed well through ground that was broken up with turf banks.  On approaching one of these she drew on to point and stood staunch as some rather jumpy grouse lifted off out in front of her.  She worked out to where they had lifted despite the terrible conditions.  The following Sunday she competed in the NIPC Open Stake at Glennoo where she had a great find in the first round withstanding serious provocation from her bracemate who ran in and flushed the partridge.  She had a similar experience in the second round when the pointer she was running with, ran forward of her when she came on point and the partridge rose, but she remained staunch in the face of this.  It was enough to secure runner-up spot for her behind my FTCh Gortinreagh Eppie, her neice.

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