Sulhamstead 1932-1945

Mrs. Nagle also bred, and worked, Irish Setters, possibly the most famous of which was FTCh. Sulhamstead Baffle d'Or, which won the KC Derby (the top award for puppies) and the Champion Stake. Ten of his progeny won in the field and four became FT champions. Mrs. Nagle won the Pointer and Setter Champion Stake five times. She gave most credit for her achievement in Field Trials to her trainer and handler, George Abbot, but, according to Bill Rasbridge (one of the top Setter people) much of the success was due to the merits of the dogs themselves, a fact that was ignored by other breeders at the time, to the long-term detriment of the breed. Any Sulhamstead breeding still to be found in the pedigrees of Irish Setters is mostly due to minor Sulhamsteads that got into the hands of other breeders rather than to the use of the leading dogs in the kennel.

Mrs. Nagle & Sheilin d'Or in 1927   George Abbott
 Mrs. Nagle at a Field Trial in 1927 with Sulhamstead Sheilin d'Or  George Abbott in 1964 just before he retired

George Abbott retired in 1964 and the Sulhamstead Irish Setters came to an end.

For several years Mrs. Nagle had also bred and worked Pointers but these did not do as well or last as long as the Setters.

 Sulhamstead Spray  Sulhamstead Spray
pictured in 1928, winner of 3rd, Puppy Stake, Scottish Field Trials, Douglas; and special, best Pointer puppy. 2nd, Puppy Stake, I.G.L., Douglas; and special, best Pointer puppy

Back to the wolfhounds, and on November 2nd, 1933 Ch. Sulhamstead Diana had a litter by Ch. Fion-Mac-Cumall of Brabyns, from which came Sulhamstead Finn

Sulhamstead Finn  Sulhamstead Finn
Sulhamstead Finn 
 Sulhamstead Finn (by Ch. Fionn-Mac-Cumall of Brabyns ex Ch. Sulhamstead Diana)   

On 23 April 1933 was born a litter by Sulhamstead Caesar (Ch. Galleon of Ouborough ex Sulhamstead Cinna) out of Sulhamstead Kiwi from which came Sulhamstead Krim, Krona, and Kyra. Krona became a champion.

 Sulhamstead Kyra  Sulhamstead Kyra
 Sulhamstead Kyra
Sulhamstead Krim Sulhamstead Krim
 Sulhamstead Krona  Sulhamstead Krona
 Ch. Sulhamstead Krona

Krim may not look like much from the photograph of him above, but he sired a litter bred by Miss Esther Croucher, born 26th June, 1935, from which Mrs. Nagle took Rippingdon Melody, whose name was then changed to Sulhamstead Rita and Rita won a CC and was a Coursing Stakes winner. Sulhamstead Derrie was born 1st January, 1935.

Sulhamstead Derrie
Sulhamstead Derrie (by Ch. Fonab of Ouborough
ex Ch. Sulhamstead Diana)
Sulhamstead Rita
Sulhamstead Rita (bred by Miss Croucher,
by Sulhamstead Krim ex Rippingdon Rathgalleon)
Sulhamstead Rita
and a slightly older Rita

Sulhamstead Kiwi had another litter on December 26th, 1934, by Ch. Rippingdon Dan of Southwick, from which came Ch. Sulhamstead Kirma

Sulhamstead Kirma  Sulhamstead Kirma
Ch. Sulhamstead Kirma

The following article appeared in the Dog Press at some time in the 1930s (probably about 1937): "Mrs. Nagle owned her first Irish Wolfhound in 1913. She had been promised a big dog by her parents when she left school, and after a visit to the L.K.A. Ch. Show, decided the Irish Wolfhound was the big dog she liked most. Nearly all her present hounds are descended from the original one. She has owned Ch. Sulhamstead Thelma, Ch. Sulhamstead Conncara (probably one of the greatest sires the breed has known), Ch. Sulhamstead Diana, Ch. Sulhamstead Kesta, and Ch. Sulhamstead Fiana. Apart from showing her hounds she has always believed in the utility end, and as there is no big game for them to hunt over here, has coursed them after hares. She was instrumental in founding the Irish Wolfhound Coursing Club and two meetings are held yearly at Sulhamstead. She has found coursing the finest preventive against the nerves that dogs kept only for show are apt to develop.
"Mrs. Nagle's start in Irish Setters was due to the fact she had a lonely Irish Wolfhound puppy, so bought a six weeks Irish Setter puppy out of a litter at the Royal to keep it company. The Irish Setter puppy was Ben D'Or. He was a good winner at shows, and Mrs. Nagle naturally had him trained, as she has no use for any dog that cannot do his rightful job. She liked him so much she borrowed his dam to breed from, and in the next litter she had F.T. Ch. Sulhamstead Sheilin D'Or, probably the best field trial Irish Setter there has ever been. Sheilin is the only Irish Setter to win the Pointer and Setter Champion Stake twice. F.T. Ch. Sulhamstead Baffle D'Or, a son of Ben D'Or, won the Kennel Club Derby and the Pointer and Setter Champion Stake, a feat only accomplished by three other dogs. Altogether Mrs. Nagle has had nine Field Trial champion Irish Setters, seven of them home bred, one a sister to Ben D'Or, two daughters and a son of his, and three grandsons of his.

 Mrs. Florence Nagle
 Photo., Hay Wrightson, London, W.1.

"Mrs. Nagle's pet at the moment is a Golden Retriever, Sulhamstead Dusty D'Or, winner of a challenge certificate and third in a field trial. He has two small daughters, and perhaps, who knows, they may be the beginning of another breed at Sulhamstead.
Dogs have not been Mrs. Nagle's only interest - she has bred and shown cattle, pigs, turkeys, and goats. Pamber Ugly Duckling was first and supreme champion Berkshire pig at the Royal Show and was sold to the Argentine for the world's record price for a pig.
"She has started to breed race horses and the first home-bred is racing this year. She finds a fascination about breeding for performance because it is so much more difficult than breeding for make and shape.
She has judged at the Kennel Club, the Ladies' Kennel Club, Richmond, and Manchester Ch. Shows, and also at Pointer and Setter Field Trials. She is a member of the L.K.A. and W.E.L.K.S., and serves on the committee of both, and is hon. secretary of the Irish Wolfhound Club and the Northern Counties Pointer and Setter Society."

Her Golden Retriever, Sulhamstead Dusty D'Or, was a great favourite. He won an Open Stake and a CC in the show ring, so carrying on the Sulhamstead tradition of dogs which could work as well as win on looks. In fact, she continued the Golden Retrievers for some years and in December, 1938 took an advertisement for both the wolfhounds and retrievers in a supplement with "Our Dogs", which is reproduced here as nearly as I can make it (my grateful thanks to Jean Timmins for the loan of this sheet):

Sulhamstead Fella Sulhamstead Flute
By Ch. Fonab of Ouborough ex Ch. Sulhamstead Fiana
By Ch. Killarney of Ouborough ex Ch. Sulhamstead Fiana

The Sulhamstead IRISH WOLF- HOUNDS have had a very successful year, both in the field and on the show bench. SULHAMSTEAD FINN won his fifth open stake at the Irish Wolfhound Coursing Club's trials. CH. SULHAMSTEAD KIRMA won the Graham Shield and best of breed at the Irish Wolfhound Club's show, held at the L.K.A. championship show. CH.SULHAMSTEAD KRONA completed her title at Edinburgh ch. show in her fifth year. The Sulham- stead hounds are not early maturers, and are generally at their best at about five years old. SULHAMSTEAD FELLA has won two certi- ficates. He made his debut in a blaze of glory at Birmingham last year at 10 months old; he won the dog challenge certificate, best of breed, the Puppy Criterion of 63 entries, and the Brewers Cup for best Greyhound, Deerhound, Borzoi, or Wolfhound. Unfortunately he was frightened by a flashlight photograph there, and at one or two indoor shows he has refused to show his merits. He is gradually regaining his confidence and it is hoped he will soon obtain his title. He is considered to be one of the best hounds bred at Sulhamstead. He is bred in the purple, being by Ch. Fonab of Ouborough, going back through three champions to Ch. Sul- hamstead Conncara, ex Ch. Sulham- stead Fiana. SULHAMSTEAD FLUTE made his debut at Birmingham and won two 1sts in his breed classes and was 4th prize in the Puppy Criterion of 57 entries. He is by Ch. Killarney Sulhamstead Kirma
By Ch. Rippingdon Dan of Southwick ex Sulhamstead Kiwi
Winner of the Graham Shield, 1938
of Ouborough ex Ch. Sulhamstead Fiana, and so is half-brother to Sulhamstead Fella.
It is hoped to have a few puppies available in 1939 by Roland of Pentavalon ex Ch. Sulhamstead Fiana, and by Sulhamstead Fella ex Sulhamstead Rita.

The GOLDEN RETRIEVERS are represented by SULHAMSTEAD DUSTY D'OR and his daughter and son, SULHAMSTEAD DAZZLE D'OR and SULHAMSTEAD DEMON D'OR. Dazzle was 2nd in the Golden Retriever Non-Winner Stake and won a cup for the best performance in water. She also obtained a certificate of merit in the Golden Retriever Open Stake. She is being mated to F.T. Ch. Haulstone Larry, winner of the 1937 Retriever Champion Stake.
The Sulhamstead hounds are looked after by Hitchcock, and it is not his fault they are generally lean in condition, as their mistress insists on them being fit and not fat, as she considers muscle and powerful well-developed hindquarters essential in any galloping or working dog.
Every dog kept at Sulhamstead has a job in life; it keeps them keen and develops their brain power. Showing is not regarded as the supreme objective. It is nice to compare one's breeding efforts with other people's, but it is fatal to be carried away by fancy or exaggerated points which are a handicap to the dog in performing the work for which he was originally bred.

Sulhamstead Krona Sulhamstead Finn
By Sulhamstead Caesar ex Sulhamstead Kiwi
By Ch. Fion-Mac Cumall of Brabyns ex Ch. Sulhamstead Diana
Winner of five Open Stakes at the Irish Wolfhound Coursing Club Trials

Mrs. Nagle carried this working requirement into the Irish wolfhounds as well and was very keen on coursing them, as can be seen from the advertisement above. She was a prime mover in the Irish Wolfhound Club's promotion of coursing events and gave the Irish Wolfhound Club of Ireland (of which she was a vice-president) a cup for their coursing event. Her mother's hound in the early 30s (Sulhamstead Cato) did very well in coursing.

 Sulhamstead Cato  Sulhamstead Cato
(bred by Mrs. Burgess, by Ch. Felixstowe Killary ex Sulhamstead Cherie)

Diana's daughter by Ch. Fion MacCumall of Brabyns, Fiana, gained her championship at Richmond in 1936.

Sulhamstead Fiana in 1934  Sulhamstead Fiana
 Ch. Sulhamstead Fiana
Sulhamstead Fiana

In 1937, Sulhamstead Fella, Fiana's son by Ch. Fonab of Ouborough, won the puppy stakes at Birmingham National and the CC under Mrs. Pacey. Mr. I.W. Everett (Felixstowe) wrote of Fella: "fawn brindle, an abundance of good shaped bone, good loin and hindquarters, hocks beautifully low set on, splendid tail nicely low set, nice body and neck; a large (34 inches) puppy, head and eye pleasing, ears and carriage unbeatable. I predict for him a great future if he continues on his present lines." Sadly, though, Fella took a violent dislike to the show ring and it was not until 1939 that he finally gained his title at the Club show held in conjunction with the LKA, where he went BoB. Even more sadly, he died aged four after getting something stuck in his throat; possibly a potato on which the hounds were fed during the war.

 Sulhamstead Fella at 6 months Sulhamstead Fella 
 Sulhamstead Fella at six months  Ch. Sulhamstead Fella
Sulhamstead Fella  Ch. Sulhamstead Fella
 Fella in 1937  Fella in 1939

Fella left behind some good progeny but the war prevented their becoming champions. One of his puppies was Sulhamstead Rifa, out of Sulhamstead Rita and born in 1939. Three puppies from this litter went to the U.S.A.

 Sulhamstead Rifa
Sulhamstead Rifa
 Sulhamstead Rifa

In 1937 Mrs. Nagle judged both Irish wolfhounds and Irish Setters at Madison Square Gardens in America.

In 1938 another young male out of Fiana by Ch. Killarney of Ouborough, Sulhamstead Flute, was Reserve in the Puppy Stakes at Birmingham National. In 1939 he won the Type Cup for Dogs at the Club Show/LKA and went best of the breeds without CCs at WELKS. He also won a Junior Warrant, which was an award Mrs. Nagle usually complained about, as she felt that dragging youngsters around the country to show after show was very harmful. This was the first Junior Warrant to be won by an Irish wolfhound. Flute went to Miss McGregor in the U.S.A. in 1940, where he became a Champion. He won BOB at the Irish Wolfhound Club of America Specialty in 1941 and 1942.

Sulhamstead Flute Flute in 1939
 Am. Ch. Sulhamstead Flute
Sulhamstead Flute and Firona

A littersister to Flute was also kept. This was Sulhamstead Firona.

 Sulhamstead Firona
 Sulhamstead Firona

During the Second World War Mrs. Nagle ran a canteen at Folkestone with the ARP, purchased a Spitfire for the RAF (it cost £5,000), and initiated a special fund-raising for the Guide Dogs for the Blind. She had stated in an advertisement in the Our Dogs Supplement of December 1939 that there would be no breeding or showing during the coming War but she did, in fact, breed one litter of wolfhounds out of Sulhamstead Cassandra by Brown Bruce. Brown Bruce was by Flynn of Holmhill (Sulhamstead Ken ex Maighdeann-a-Monadh) ex Sulhamstead Fairy (Sulhamstead Finn ex The Sidhe of Brabyns).

 Brown Bruce
 Brown Bruce

The breed just barely survived the war and almost the only sire used was Clonboy of Ouborough (owned by Elsie James, of Boroughbury). Clonboy was by Ch. Chulainn Casey of Kihone, who went back to Sulhamstead Dan of Ambleside, a son of Conncara, and after the war almost every wolfhound champion was either by Clonboy or out of his daughters. Sulhamstead Cassandra was also by Ch. Chulainn Casey (out of Scota of Brabyns).

In 1932 Mrs. Nagle had moved to Sulhamstead, inheriting money and land from her father. She returned to racing in the Thirties and the first horse she bred, Sandsprite, came second to Mid-Day Sun in the 1937 Derby. Unfortunately, Sandsprite was nobbled in his next race and was afterwards not much good. Over the next forty years she bred a number of winners, though not to Sandsprite's standard, but will probably be remembered longest in the racing world for her battle with the Jockey Club.

This masculine stronghold would not allow women as trainers of racehorses, so the several women who were training had to resort to subterfuge by obtaining a license through a man friend or stable lad. Mrs. Nagle herself had a license in the name of her head lad, Bill Stickley. Mrs. Nagle took the Jockey Club to court but it was not until the third attempt in the Court of Appeal that she won the case and the Jockey Club granted her a training licence. In 1969 she became the first woman trainer in Britain to saddle a runner under Jockey Club Rules. In 1988 she endowed a race annually for female apprentice jockeys, because she felt females had a raw deal in comparison with their male counterparts.

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Updated 3/19/2006