Last Weekend Together

Today ,Sunday, we are “at home alone” with our extended family.Pony has completely dried up now and is looking and feeling so much better. Great Granny Kite just wants to play, she is the granny they all treat as a play mate .Molly, grandmother, is a little stricter she tells them off, so they have learnt to treat her with respect, such good grounding for them all. They have turned into proper Munsters, bog snorkelling in the ditch .Tennis balls are a great hit as are cardboard boxes . They haven’t been swimming yet ,I’m glad about that its turned so cold.

They are all off on their adventures new next week and blimy they need to ,keeping tabs on 12 is horrendous. Its time for individual attention .Chris and I are so proud of them all .I always think of myself as the architect and the new owners as builders . The11 excited families are counting their sleeps until they receive their new family member. Such fun filled and exasperating times ahead for you all .


Continue Reading

Week 7

Pony and Eds offspring are amazing little people ,so full of energy . Wish the same could be said for Chris and I. They are so confident and fun loving into every nook and cranny of the front field .

Pony is so much more back to her old self ,on her walk yesterday she hunted some pheasant at full tilt , so lovely to see . Her milk has more or less dried up now ,thankfully .

They still sleep through the night without a peep until they hear Chris get up .10.00pm is supper time then out they go for wees and poos .After a last mooch around outside they go to their ” bedroom ” with a few treats and lights off then for sleepy bye byes !

They truly are gorgeous .

Continue Reading

6 Weeks old

Bit better day weather wise today, mainly dry and mild. Pups have been out lots and are loving their adventure playground with full time supervision. Its exhausting but so rewarding.

Continue Reading

The Great Explorers

The little monkeys are now going outside after every meal so there have been less poos indoors to clear. They are braver every day, scampering around the garden and the top field. I’m not so sure about their gardening expertise I am relieved in the knowledge 11 will go on to landscaping careers elsewhere !

Recall is coming on in leaps and bounds, a shake of a tub of little biscuits and a call of “pup,pup,pup ” and they come running rewarded with a few tasty treats .They learn so quickly. xxx

Continue Reading

A Dry Day !

Gosh its been tricky, blooming weather has not been conducive to puppies forays into the world. Poor poppets have shivered after a few minutes and had to go back indoors .The upside is they have got used to muddy paw wipes and towel rub-dubs.

Fingers crossed for a few more dry days .

Continue Reading

First Day Out

The intrepid explorers have been out and about , bit cold for them but they love it .

They go out for 10 minutes after every meal and have taken to doing their ablutions outdoors well. The weather has not been terribly helpful so they have experienced gusty winds and rain. Who knows, we may have snow ! Gardening seems to be a favourite hobby, luckily no damage can be done at this time of year.

Continue Reading

Daddies Visit

Chris and I were thrilled to welcome Ed with his owners Ron and Margo. They drove from Holland to come and see Pony and Eds’ litter.

This boy totally stole my heart when I went looking for stud dogs in Holland, he did not disappoint.

It was like Ed had been here so many times, such a laid back person who loved his puppies and was incredibly gentle with them. He settled with my girls, Pony looked a bit concerned to see him, after all look what happened last time they met! Kite flirted without shame and Molly told him off when he tried to be too familiar which he duly took note of and gave her space. They soon settled together and Ed quickly slotted into life at Catherton.

I would have happily stolen him but Ron and Margo sadly took him home. He genuinely is a star.

Thank you Ron and Margo for making the effort to allow us to make such amazing memories.

Continue Reading


The pups have had an exciting day ,they have ventured into their daytime accommodation for the first time .A new velour bed seemed to go down well ,heaven knows how long that will last . There is a pot belly wood burning stove in the conservatory, which was bought into life so it was toasty warm in there.

The down side of the day was they were all wormed this evening first dose of 3 consecutive days .Then they returned to their sleeping quarters for supper .

I have also registered the litter with the Kennel Club today .The theme for this litter being Dutch names .

Tomorrow they are 4 weeks old so first individual photos will be taken .More excitement for the little munchkins .

Continue Reading

Nearly 4 weeks old!

The puppies are thriving. They have had their first toy and every day are interacting and playing more. Today we prepared their “day room” in the conservatory so all being well they will go on their first trip away from their whelping area in the next couple of days.

Continue Reading

3 Weeks

The munchkins are growing so quickly .The lapping has gone well they love evaporated milk, 3 parts milk 1 part water and they are definitely getting the hang of coming to us for meals and not covering themselves in it .

Pony is producing lots of milk but it has taken a lot out of her and Chris and I need to step up to the plate ! Which we are more than happy to do .

They have recently been given their extended area and are already coming out to wee and poo .A second nail clip has been done ,the next job will be worming ,bless them .

Enjoy !

Continue Reading

Day 19

Huge steps for Pony’s family. Extension of the whelping area and first attempts at lapping their milk.

Very messy process but really satisfying as all of them took to the task with relish!

Evaporated milk was everywhere but hey-ho they loved it.

Mum, granny and great granny love the task of cleaning up, puppies and bowls!

Continue Reading

2 weeks today

Eyes are all open now and they are up on their feet, although a bit wobbly. We have had our first escapee, Wren made a break for freedom, she must have used one of her siblings to give her a leg up, no doubt the first of many.

Granny Molly is proving to be the perfect grandmother helping Pony with cleaning duties, bless her.

Continue Reading

Day 10

Puppies continue to thrive. Had their first nail trim today. Pony is coping well with them all and managing to feed them with a little bit of supplementary feed from us. We weigh them every day to check they are all progressing well.

Continue Reading

Day 6 – Boys and Girls

From left to right meet the boys. Raisin, Raj, Badger & Walnut.

And now the Girls, from top to bottom, Stevie, Bubbles, Meg, Clover, Wren, Scallop, Hazel & Gee-Gee.

Quick resume of why their names came about –


Raisin – Black raisin sized spot

Raj – Elephant ears and trunk

Badger – White stripe on face

Walnut – Black walnut sized spot


Stevie – One side white, one side black (Ebony & Ivory, Stevie Wonder)

Bubbles – Black Champaign bubbles

Meg – White stripe (Rock duo, Meg White)

Clover – Guess!

Wren – Smallest born

Scallop – Wavy black edge

Hazel – Hazel nut size spot (notice a theme here)

Gee-Gee – A small white kite, similar to her Great-Grandmother

Warned you it was tenuous.

Happy searching!

Continue Reading

Day 4

Pony and her brood are doing well . She seems to be coping with feeding them all and we are supplementing with a bottle. So far their weight gain is really good Chris and I cannot believe last Tuesday they were all in her tummy .

Continue Reading

Full Speed Ahead at Last – (Re-posted with a working link from Facebook this time)

Its freezing literally outside too icy to ride, too cold to garden so I’m inside writing my review of 2022 .

Chris treated me to a 2022 annual membership for Ludlow races for Christmas, I have loved it, its such a beautiful racecourse. The members lounge is so warm and welcoming, useful for the wet weather meetings and the racing is usually good. This has meant twice a month I toddle off with my racing buddy Brian, clutching my form notes.

We had missed 2 annual holidays due to Covid so we took the girls off to Wales for a week the end of January. We had decent weather, lots of walking and a cosy cottage to return to. A much needed break .

Our horses were over at their winter field. On our return we fetched all 3 home. Pepper, Chris’s horse, seemed well and came back into work with Heath, doing the occasional hack. Harris started lunging and long reining, he would turn 3 so Chris began his education.

March dawned yippie , Crufts and Cheltenham loomed.

Crufts was surreal, I have previously written a blog about the day but needless to say I will never forget the experience. I have always said I would have loved to breed horses and who knows in another life if I could have bred a Horse of the Year show winner. Breeding Kite and getting best of breed is something I only dreamed of I am so proud ! Big tick for the “bucket list”.

I had 2 race meetings to fit in at Ludlow and the annual trip to Champion Hurdle day at Cheltenham. I am a huge fan of national hunt racing, I much prefer it to flat racing and anyway I’m too busy in the summer with garden, horses and doggies of course.

I also bit the bullet and put myself forward for the Large Munsterlander club committee. I was voted on and will strive to promote the club to all owners of Munsters, whether working gundog people, showing people, agility people or pet owners, we should encompass all.

April and Easter arrived and the first champ dog show of the season at WELKS. was going to be Pony’s first outing . She was such good girl and won her first puppy class.

The February before covid I had bought Chris a VIP day at Longleat Safari park. Obviously it was postponed and May 2022 we got to go.

The day dawned beautifully sunny . We were met by our guide for the day and climbed into a safari long wheel based Landrover to go to meet the big cats before they were let out into their enclosures.

Getting close and personal to a Tiger so close you can smell their breath and feed them is truly amazing.

The lions were next, they have 3 prides and we met them all. They are so powerful and scary, Chris and I were in awe.

The next port of call was to see Ann, an elderly rescued circus elephant, she was outside enjoying the sunshine. The facilities and care this lady receives is second to none.

We fed their enormous bull giraffe , had a personal guide and were allowed in many enclosures to see meercats, ant eaters , sloths etc .

After lunch we set off with our driver around the park going off piste to get close and personal with antelope, zebra ,giraffe . The monkey enclose was fun and happily we watched from the safety of out land rover, them peel various rubber bits off cars. Our driver had walky talky contact with the keepers who gave us the heads up where some animals were ,the cheeters were lying in the sun away from the road and we just drove over to get close . They animals are all oblivious to the striped vehicles the whole thing was amazing .

After our drive we had time to do our own thing . We both love Animal Park on the tele so knew there was a baby Koala. We walked to the enclosure saw the adults not realising mum and baby were in a separate area and thought the baby was not on public show. Chris went outside to look around the rest of the exhibit and called me to a separate area. Mum and joey were visible through a glass window and luckily for us they came outside. This was the icing on the cake . They are so cute ! Sadly we had left the camera behind.

What a day. I can recommend the experience.

June is taken up with getting the garden ready for out National Garden Scheme open day. The new potting shad was nearing completion. This had been Chris’ project. The new grass boarder was looking good, a bit immature but I filled it with annuals to bulk it out.

Sadly we lost Pepper this month. He came in out the field very lame, he was loath to put his hind foot down . He had damaged a branch of his suspensory ligament a while back and had managed with pain relief to enjoy a good quality of life. We knew this day was coming but it doesn’t make it any easier .

Pepper was such a lovely horse so kind and was with us 15 years .He and Chris had a wonderful relationship and enjoyed competing at dressage, including dressage to music. Harris has big shoes to fill .

Our garden opened on July 3rd , Weather was good , and my, did the public turn out, we were busier than ever . Jan, Otto’ mum, manned the plant stall , my usual team of ladies served tea and cake and their hubby’s did a sterling job with car parking. Wendy and Bill meet and greet and take the entrance fee .

Huge thanks to everyone we couldn’t do it without your help, we raised £1300 for cancer care charities.

August brings our local agricultural shows neither of which had been held during covid. We had a wonderful day out at Burwarton and had decided to take Chris’ young horse Harris to Tenbury in- hand for the experience. Agricultural shows are busy places and this year both Burwarton and Tenbury had record crowds . Harris had his wash and brush up and traveled in the lorry to strut his stuff. His class was in the main ring surrounded with flags, banners, tanoys blaring and other horses. He and Chris looked stunning. The class was open coloured, all types ages and sizes. Chris ran his socks off to keep up with Harris’ floating trot, I struggle to keep up with my dogs, but he did a cracking job. Harris was pulled in first. Amazing.

We put him back on the lorry to wait for the championship against the ridden coloured winner.

Off he came again “happy as Larry ” a quick polish and back to the main ring. The ridden winner had won the championship twice before and gave a lovely show. Chris ran Harris around the huge ring beautifully and went back into the line up. I was so excited when the judge came over and awarded them the Championship. The cup they won is huge and is in pride of place on the side board.

Harris has now been backed and done a small amount of ridden work.

I was now on a mission to qualify my pony for the Traditional Gypsy Cob associated dressage championships in October. All qualifying had to be completed by the end of August so Heath and I had a busy month getting the required qualifying scores.

Heath’s dressage championships were mid October at Bury Farm Buckinghamshire a huge journey for him. A nerve wracking time for me. I have never attended anything like it, so many horses. I was so nervous but my gorgeous boy did me proud. A couple of rider errors but in the blink of an eye it was all over. We met Andy and Cathy there who live nearby and have Pepper, a Munster of mine. We had a bite to eat and a glass or two of wine, well I did , and a lovely chat to them. The results came out and Heath and I finished 5th, brilliant.

The horses then went on their holidays and we went away with our 2 friends Harry and Julie with a total of 6 dogs. We went to a part of the country we hadn’t explored before near the now infamous Barnard’s Castle. Beautiful part of the country, lots of lovely walks and houses and gardens to visit ,perfection .

I took a huge decision in November to contact my puppy families and enquire about the health of their Munsters. I was so pleased at the uptake and received wonderful emails and lots of photos. Of 74 puppies bred 69 owners replied. I entered into the exercise because I want to breed the healthiest Munsterlanders I can. Having a history of health for my homebreds gives me the knowledge and security that I am doing as good a job as is feasibly possible. Temperament and ability are of course equally important. I must say the whole exercise began with trepidation but has resulted in a very positive result.

My plan is to have a health section on my website. In the meantime if anyone wishes to talk about my findings I am happy to share.

Our Munsterlander club organises a breed health survey which flags up any issues creeping into our breed but sadly for a breeder like myself the results are anonymous.

Information of health issues and character traits are often kept under wraps, not ideal for selecting dogs for breeding. Most common health problems in dogs generally are hip and elbow dysplasia, arthritis, cancer, allergies, epilepsy.

Munsters are genetically tested for HUU (kidney stones), eye cataracts and veterinary science are making huge advances in understanding hereditabity factors, but this is such a complicated subject. Issues can skip whole generations.

Hip and Elbow scores are published, but only a small percentage of Munsters are x-rayed.

Luckily Munsters are inherently healthy and are predisposed to few innate problems. I fear this will change if breeders are not transparent.

I am looking forward to 2023 which is already well underway, Crufts is only a few weeks away. I hope whatever ambitions you have, whether they involve dogs or anything else, are fulfilled.

As you can tell its taken me weeks to get this Blog sorted, hey ho, better late than never.

See you round the shows!

Continue Reading

Crufts 2022

I always look forward to March, Crufts and Cheltenham races are both special days for me.

Molly has had a busy 6 months rearing a litter of pups and being spayed, she was looking good. Just imagine how us humans would be if we had had  babies and a hysterectomy! 

Kite, was entered too so off we all went, munching sausage and bacon rolls in the car on the way ,yum .

I had 3 homebred male Munsterlanders entered, Katie with Lionel (Crumpsbrook Bayleaf) 2020 BOB in field trial dog and Amos (Crumpsbrook Galangal) in post graduate, Jan and Tony with Otto (Crumpsbrook Woodrush) in Limit and Jo with Morgan (Crumpsbrook Jay) Post Graduate.

The day started well as Jo and her family Rob, Chris and Ben, who own Morgan had never attended Crufts  so we hopefully arranged to meet up on the car park and walk in together. While talking on the phone it became apparent our timings were impeccable we were being shepherded onto the same carpark. Jo asked what car we were in, I replied our black Bellingo, the next second Rob tooted the horn and by some miracle we were side by side. So far so good. Jo bless her was incredibly nervous and  Rob and the boys excited. Jo needn’t have worried Morgan looked gorgeous and they won their class.

Amos and Katie were a creditable 3rd also in post graduate .

Next in was Jan and Otto, they are such a team now and are becoming consummate professionals. Blow me they  too won their class.

Katie and Lionel were unopposed in their Field Trial class, Lionel is one of few full working and show champion Munsterlanders. He always puts his best paw forward and cruised round the ring to gain first. 

I had 3 dogs in the CC line up WOW. 

Congratulations to Annette Davis Green and Abdecker Dancer, she and her beautiful boy won the CC and Lionel was awarded the reserve ticket. 

Then it was the turn of the bitches, no pressure there then! 

Molly was a super starm she loved strutting her stuff her tail never stopped wagging. She came 4th in a large class. OK I thought, but it was straight in with Kite, quick lead and number swop and off I went again.

Kite flew round the ring loving every minute, she is so accomplished at this showing game. When the judge approached me for first place I was thrilled with my lovely girl. 

I had one more run to do for the bitch challenge so in we went again.

Round we all went, then one last free stack for the judge. Our Judge Gordon Horan walked to the judges table picked up the award cards and turned,  he strode toward me and presented me with the bitch CC.

I was so excited, but knew I then had to go against Annette and her handsome boy for Best of Breed I honestly thought she would get it.

We ran round together, our judge went to the table again, turned and with an outstretched hand awarded Kite Best of Breed. The poor judge got a hug, he seemed not to mind. Then I sobbed! 

I would sincerely like to thank Mr Horan for appreciating Kite and all of the Munster folk who came to congratulate me.

Also thanks to Heather and Colin for the calming support and photos. Long term friends who came to Crufts to watch us and who are now permanent lucky mascots.

I would also like to congratulate Erin and her Albahu kennel for winning puppy bitch and dog, they just happened to be Lionel’s babies. What a result. 

Slowly it dawned on me that I would be on the tele appearing on Channel 4 in the gundog group .OMG!

I love breeding my dogs and try to do the best I can, showing is subjective but the breed standard, I believe, is something that should be aimed for when mating 2 dogs. Munsterlanders have to be “fit for purpose” (the Kennel Clubs catch phrase) and the role of any gundog is to be able to do the job they have been bred for. Confirmation is fundamental for them to remain sound. I am really objective when looking at my girls and have tried to improve year on year. 

To do this whilst maintaining standards  for health and a wonderful personality is addictive for me anyway! This is what I strive for.

Kite’s temperament enabled her to chill for the rest of the day ,she slept on her bench, whilst I calmed my nerves with a swig or two of whiskey ! 

Relaxing in the Green Room

Chris bought Molly home and then returned to the NEC to hold my hand, it was an amazing day for both of us.

Being part of the festival that is Crufts is amazing, most of the other competitors were professional kennels. Crumpsbrook is 13 years old, a baby in comparison. Kite and I enjoyed every second, she made me so proud and hopefully we did the Large Munsterlander breed proud too.  

Photo Time
Clare Balding coming around chatting
Last few minutes before going into the Arena
The big moment, entering the arena and showing
Continue Reading
Close Menu