Ghyllbeck name is customarily associated with Large Munsterlanders,
the kennel has been
involved with HPR's since 1971, some years before the breed was introduced
began when husband and wife team Geoff and Barbara Hargreaves decided
to acquire a dog as a
family pet with the proviso that it had to be a breed which was out
of the ordinary but it had to be a doggy dog.
After numerous suggestions and rejections, the decision was made when
Jack Hargreaves (no relation) featured
his own dog Pip on his famous "How" television series, it was to be
a German Shorthaired Pointer!
The problem was,
where to find one of these rarities. In those days GSP's were very thin
on the ground, indeed
there were only three HPR breeds in the country and since neither Geoff
or Barbara had any previous experience
of pedigree dogs this made locatinga breeder all the more difficult.
After approaching a number of kennels and
drawing a blank, they had the good fortune to find the address of the
acclaimed Midlander kennel of Mic and
David Layton in a borrowed Dog World Annual. On contacting the kennel,
they had the even greater fortune
to learn that the kennel had a litter available and in May 1971 Midlander
Brown Velvet joined the household.
Although ignorant of the intricacies
of the world of dogs, both Geoff
and Barbara were intrigued by the opportunities outlined by Mic and
David in both the show ring and the field. Having had a lifelong interest
in ornithology and shooting and all things rural, Geoff was particularly
interested in experiencing the working abilities of their new baby,
Lisa, whilst Barbara was keen to try showing.
Accordingly, in 1972, Lisa
was entered at Manchester Championship Show.
Her new owners were overawed at the size of the event and the number
of GSP's gathered together but not as overawed as they were when
Lisa won first prize in a class of 16! Sometime later, after reading
Peter Moxon's Spaniel training book, Lisa easily won first in the
Working Test that either dog or handler had seen and the die was cast!
As the fascinating
world of HPR's revealed itself to them, Geoff
and Barbara became more and more enthralled and involved in
all its aspects and were delighted to be invited to become founder
members of The German Shorthaired Pointer Association in 1972.
It was also around this time that the Ghyllbeck Kennel name
was devised and registered with the Kennel Club.
Increasing success in all
areas of HPR competition and broadening knowledge of the group brought
increasing interest in other breeds of
HPR as more and more"new" breeds began to appear in the country and
over the years the growing family of Ghyllbeck GSPs was joined by
dogs of other breeds including Brittanies, Hungarian Vizslas,
Italian Spinoni but the one which made the biggest
impression on the kennel was the Large Munsterlander.
Interest in the
breed began in the Ghyllbeck
household from the moment that its introduction
was announced in the canine press,so much so
that in 1978,after a long period of enquiry with
Pam Perkins of the Foxbrae kennel in Berkshire
the two bitches Foxbrae Flora and Foxbrae Zennia
joined the Ghyllbeck household and the hobby
entered an even more successful period.
Success in competition in the Ghyllbeck
kennel has been confined to German Shorthaired Pointers and
Large Munsterlanders whilst the other HPRs in the kennel have been devoted
to the working team to extend
knowledge of the characteristics and idiosyncracies of the breeds and also
simply because we love HPRs!
Munsterlanders began to build a reputation in competition and a string
of champions were produced,
then in 1993 after years of being dragged round the
country to shows, tests and trials from an early age,
youngest son Robert took up competition handling and
the kennel entered a new phase. Since then, the Ghyllbeck human family
has been extended and we now look forward
to the success of the third generation of the dynasty.