My first Irish Setter, Hartsbourne Molly, was bred by Eileen Walker of Hartsbourne fame. She had broken her leg and could not be exported to New Zealand. Instead, Molly came to live with us in Cornwall and life has never been quite the same since! After someone had stopped me in Truro to ask if I had ever shown my beautiful dog, I entered a local show without success and soon realised that my beautiful pet was not good enough to go very far. Later, a special birthday present arrived by train from London: he was a dog puppy called Hartsbourne O’Brady, a half-brother to Molly.
He was going to be different and won a first at his very first show and I was hooked! To cut a long story short, after overcoming several problems, mainly due to my lack of experience, O’Brady – Michael at home – became Show Champion Carnbargus Hartsbourne O’Brady. He won 5 Challenge Certificates, 8 Res. CCs and was Best of Breed at Crufts in 1972 and all subsequent Carnbargus trace back to him.
Mrs Walker mated her beautiful bitch Sh.Ch. Hartsbourne Starlight to him and I made up Sh.Ch, Carnbargus Hartsbourne Mattie – born at about the same time that Mrs Walker died in America. However, another O’Brady daughter, Carnbargus Red Sarah, Res. CC, can be found behind all my Irish.
Numbers have always been kept to a minimum and several times, the end of the line seemed to have been reached. However, dear friends came to the rescue and we are still around! In 1994, the late Pat Jones (Coppershell) let Charisma come back and in 2006 Rosemarie Wolff allowed Contentment to be re-imported from Germany. Both successfully saved Carnbargus by producing top winners – both here and on the Continent.