is with deepest regret that I record the recent passing of
my good friend and sometime mentor Don Christie (Jetsett)
In late 1973, by our good fortune we were directed to Don
and Gill Christie to buy an English Setter puppy, by Mr Harold
Schofield of the Thrumall affix.
Christine and I visited Don and Gill in their home in Alford,
Lincolnshire to view our prospective puppy. Don was in the
RAF at that time and quite appropriate that he should have
the Jetsett affix, founded in the 60s on Thrumall/Mawdsley
We underwent quite a rigorous interview as I recall by both
Gill and Don and only when they were satisfied that we were
reasonably responsible, were we allowed to take Emma home.
We had expressed a wish that we might like to show the English
Setter puppy if she turned out all right. Don and Gill introduced
us to Jetsett Canopus; both were adamant that she was something
We were supplied with everything that you would expect caring
breeders to supply, from food, to written instructions and
guidance on the importance of all aspects of the health and
welfare of the breed.
From that day on we became like extended family and no-one
was more pleased for us than they were, because that was the
kind of people they were, when Emma became Sh Ch Jetsett Canopus
I believe Don was a committee member, Secretary and later
life member of the Northern English Setter Society, when he
instigated their code of ethics and what now seems quite common
place, at that time was reasonably rare. Don practised what
he preached and was unequivocal that the code should be meaningful,
taken seriously and acted upon by all members at all times.
Don and Gill like ourselves became founder members of the
Midland English Setter Society (Mess) and Don was in fact
the first Chairman. I always thought it was quite quirky that
before we started each meeting Don would place the model of
an English Setter on the table in front of him, the serious
message of course to all of us was to remind us what we were
all there for.
Don and the committee piloted many ground breaking and innovative
ideas, which caused a ripple now and again in the English
In 1991 he became the Patron of the Midland English Setter
Society, in my view a just reward for his services.
He awarded CCs in the breed for the first time in 1984, coincidentally
at the National Gundog Association and last awarded CCs in
bitches at the Millennium MESS Championship show where he
drew a record entry.
Sadly, Don and Gills only son was tragically killed
in a motoring accident some years ago at a relatively young
age and two years ago Dons beloved Gill passed away,
all too soon. Lesser men would have broken under the strain.
In true fashion, Don seemed to gather up the pieces and soldier
on. He involved himself more with the Church and sadly he
passed away suddenly and without warning whilst out playing
golf, the game he loved.
Don was a true gentleman, a loving family man, a man of principle,
honour and integrity, whose love for the things that he held
dear knew no bounds.
The Northern English Setter Society and the Midland English
Setter Society both benefited from his expertise at important
I send the condolences of all the English Setter people who
knew and respected Don to his family.
Chris and Christine Bexon