Ulster IRS Club


The Ulster Irish Red Setter Club was formed in 1908 and celebrated its Centenary last year. Many of the greatest working Red Setters came from the North of Ireland.

We run 4 days of Trials each year: A Spring Open Trial, A Summer Breed Stake and Open Stake, An Autumn Open Trial and a Puppy Stake.

I have been Hon Secretary since 2000 when I replaced J Vincent Courtney who had been Hon Sec since 1947.

Our President is William Hosick, who has an incredible affinity with the red dog . We have been honoured to have had most of the key men associated with the breed as members throughout our history.

2010 Events

2010 Spring Trial –  Murley Mt.

The Spring Trial was held on Murley Mt in March.  The Trial was won by Gerald Devine with his ESD FTCh Stanedge Bracken.  Stephen Clarke was awarded a Certificate of Merit with his IRSD Glendrissock Sapphire.

2010 SummerTrial –  Murley Mt.

The Summer Trials took place in September.  No awards could be made at the Puppy Stake, but there were a full set of awards in the other 2 Stakes.


Wilson Harrison presents Joan McGillycuddy with the cups for winnning the Open IRS Stake. Judges Paddy Peoples and Charles Neeson look on.

Stephen Clarke "Erinvale Rock" 2nd; Joan McGillycuddy "Ballydavid Airforce" 1st & "Remkillens T-Ebba" 3rd

We have just held our September Trials. There were no awards inthe Puppy Stake. The Irish Red Setter Confined Stake was won by Hugh Brady’s Irish Field Trial Champion Ballydavid Airforce while the Open Stake on Sunday was won be Gerald Devine’s ESB Lefanta Tinka, who became a Field Trial Champion with this win.  Stephen Clarke took 2nd place in the Breed Stake with his IRSD Erinvale Rock.  Third was Hugh Brady’s Remkillens T-Ebba.  Both Hugh’s dogs were handled by Joan McGillycuddy.  The Runner-up spot in the Open Stake was claimed by Carol Calvert’s IRSD Glynlark Apollo, third was Des Linton’s IR&WSD Craigrua Kansas.  Gerald Devine’s IRSB Gortinreagh Clancy was fourth and Declan O’Rourke was awarded a Certificate of Merit with his IRSD Lusca Hi-Speed.

Gerald Devine with ESB FTCh Lefanta Tinka and IRSB Gortinreagh Clancy - 1st and 4th in the Open Stake


UIRSC Chairman David O'Neill presents 1st in Open to Gerald Devine. The win makes Tinka a FTCh.


Carol Calvert receiving the Henderson Colhoun Trophy for her IRSD Glynlark Apollo

2010 Autumn Trial –  Murley Mt.

The Club’s Autumn Stake was held on Murley Mt in the first weekend in October.  The judges were Shaun McCormick, who travelled from Yorkshire to officiate in his first appointment since being promoted to the “A” Panel.  His co-judge for the day was Ballymena’s Desmond Linton. 

Judges Shaun and Des deliberating at the end of the second round

 Gary and Daniel from Pero Dog food came along and sponsored the event.  After 3 rounds the judges named Alan Neill’s 7 year old PD Gerensary Digger as the winner.  The win making him a FTCh.  In second place was Davy O’Neill’s IFTCH red setter bitch Shinlogue Fionn.  A certificate of merit was awarded to Alan Neill’s PD Eagleshadow Winnie’s Boy. 

 Pero Dog food presented bags of dog food and fleeces to the prize winners.  The Cups were awarded by Club Vice-President John Dixon. 

Alan Neill receiving his prizes from Pero and John Dixon

Davy receives his second place award and the Red Revolution of Fallows Trophy for best IRS from John Dixon


  1. Hello – I have a red setter who turns 1 this weekend. His father was a working dog and, although Red is a ‘pet’ he is out running most days along the tow path, in the river, chasing ducks. He is quite good at recall, obedience, etc (emphasis on the quite). I would love to start training him for field trials, as I think he has a real affinity for it, but have no notion how to go about it. He is super fit, and very smart. He’s not a bit sensitive or highly strung and I think he would really thrive from the challenge. Could you please advise? Thanks, Gillian

    • Hi Gillian,

      Did we meet at the Game Fair on Saturday? I’m glad to see you’re interested in working with your setter. To give you a further insight into what we do you can find some videos of Trials on Jon Kean’s blog-site keankennel.wordpress.com We are still technically in our “off-season” and don’t get back to serious training until July. However I may be able to put you in touch with some handlers in your locality who will let you see how they train their dogs. Just for information if you’re searching for further data on pointers and setters its worth knowing that in GB and Ireland the Pointer and Setter field trials cater for pointers (sometimes erroneously referred to as the English Pointer) and Irish Red Setters, Irish Red and White Setters, Gordon Setters and English Setters. We do not compete with German Pointers or other HPR breeds so if you come upon information regarding these breeds ignore it. Basically our dogs have just got to learn to quarter the ground which means run up to 200 yards to the right, turn into the wind and cross the handler doing the same distance on the left and turn into the wind. This pattern should continue as long as the “run” lasts. Ideally the handler should always walk facing the wind, which gives the dog the best chance to locate any game in front of him. They have got to learn to point or set game which means freezing solid when they get wind of game birds and walk in to make them fly in a similar way to a cat stalking a small bird. When the bird flies the dog must sit down and a shot is fired to simulate the shooting field. In Trials there is no actual shooting which means that if you have any qualms about blood-sports we are a completely “green” field sport. It is very important that the dogs never chase game or hares or rabbits. They are never asked to retrieve – that is the job for labradors or the Hunt, Point, Retrieve section.

      I hope this helps – another useful site is http://www.glencuanpointers.com If you can track them down there are some useful books: The Irish Setter – its history, character and training by Raymond O’Dwyer is good as is Pointers and Setters by Derry Argue.

      Keep in touch and ask as many questions as you like.


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