The Irish Red and White Setter lost a great supporter and custodian in the passing of Jackie Howatson on 16th December, writes Mary Blackwell-Sherratt, President Irish Red & White Setter Club of GB
I first met Jackie in the 1970's when we both showed Irish Setters and like many of that fraternity Jackie was interested in the revival of the Irish Red and White Setter.
She purchased her first dog in 1983 from the Shannonlee Kennel, Shannonlee Whinchat at Vanders, who was top puppy in the breed that year, he was followed by a second Shannonlee bitch in 1985 Shannonlee Little Grebe who became her first Sh Ch, these two were mated and the Vanders Irish Red and White Kennel was formed. This litter produced three champions V Star Venture, V Vindication and V Verdict.
Jackie's eye for a dog was legendary and her opinion sought from far and wide. She was always generous in her advice and guidance and happy to let newcomers have her best stock providing the foundation for many successful kennels.
Jackie loved looking at litters selecting pups and watching them progress so when she went to look at a litter in 1995 she had no hesitation in taking a bitch puppy home that was to become Sh Ch Taniswood Ruby Sunrise who won 20 CCs before she lost her at an early age. Jackie judged Crufts in 2012 and was due to judge the Club's Championship Show in 2020 something she was very much looking forward to.
Her judging career took her to many places and while in North America she was impressed with some of the stock there which resulted in 2014 her selecting and importing a dog in partnership, Sh Ch Killary's Grand Venture with Vanders and Romaunt (imp) USA who was top dog in the Club points last year.
Jackie's winning stock speaks for itself, V Veracity still holds the record for top winning CC's in dogs and V Va Voom Avec Wroxham is still winning top honours as a Veteran owned by Eileen Walker, Jackie's dear friend and travelling companion of many years who will miss her in so many ways.
Jackie was always keen to help others and was the person so many went to for guidance. She was a supporter of the Breed Club and served on the general committee, judges and genetics sub committees for many years.
We worked together over 20 years ago designing our first judges training programme and developing the Blueprint for the Breed and were continuing that relationship meeting in September this year to move the JCF and BEC role forward. For me Jackie was a dearly loved friend and a great support as I took on the role of President, I could always count on her for a straight forward conversation and sound advice.
It's difficult to sum up Jackie's contribution to the breed and how much she will be missed by all her friends in both Irish Red & White Setters and Irish Setters where she could also be seen in the ring. Perhaps her success sums it up, the Vanders affix won 131 CC's and Irish Red & White Setters Jackie owned bred by others 54 CCs a total of 185 CC's.
A kind, generous and knowledgeable lady, the breed has lost a true friend who is irreplaceable. Our condolences go to all her family.