Category Archives: Interview

Interview: Ria Nelis – Freebreeze Pointers

Tive a honra de poder entrevistar no ano passado a criadora Ria Nelis – Freebreeze Pointers, vale a pena ver denovo!

“Freebreeze gang”. Ria Nelis with Piper, Bruar, Folly and Flicka.

1-Como a raça Pointer Inglês entrou na sua vida? - Tell us how did Pointer breeding walk in your life? 

“It came as a natural progression.  Pointers came into my life through my good friend Cicely Robertshaw of the Crookrise Kennels and her daughter Julie.  I was attending a dog show with my Golden Retriever when I saw Cicely at a show in 1983 with Kree of Crookrise and Byzan Tango of Crookrise.  I was very attracted to the thoroughbred look of the breed, particularly to their clean lines and stylish movement.  Cicely had a puppy available sired by Crookrise Pepper out of a daughter of Braz & UK Sh Ch Crookrise Rio and he joined me in the spring of 1984.”

Braz & UK Sh Ch Crookrise Rio

“In 1986 there followed Crookrise Flying Free, a daughter of USA & Can Ch Crookrise Highflyer.  I bred my first litter in 1989 from Flying Free.  It was another 6 years before I bred my second litter having moved to larger premises.”

Crookrise Highlight and Crookrise Flying Free with their babies, 1989, the first litter

“In over 27 years in the breed I am only now breeding my 9th litter of Pointers so I really haven’t bred many litters at all.  I do think perhaps some people rush into breeding without knowing what is in the pedigrees behind the dogs.  It is far better to ask questions and watch for a while before taking on the huge responsibility of breeding and finding suitable homes for our active breed.”

2-Cria a raça há quanto tempo? - For how long now you have been involved with Pointer breeding?  

“As mentioned above, I bred my first litter in 1989 from Crookrise Flying Free.” 

“In addition, I have also seen many litters of Pointer puppies.  It is good to take the opportunity whenever it arises to visit friends who have a litter.  That way you not only see the widest variety of puppies possible but you also learn to select a puppy at the right age, learning from discussions with those who have been doing this for many years.  Sometimes we all agree which puppy is the best, at other times one person might like a more elegant puppy and someone else a puppy which is less refined but has better hindquarters for example.”

3-Quais os cães marcaram a história de sua criação? - Could you name some of the dogs that would represent the history of your kennels? 

“I have had the pleasure of owning some beautiful dogs bred by others as well as dogs I have bred myself.  I only keep a few dogs at a time as they live with us as part of the family.  The dogs who have played an important part in my breeding program have been: Crookrise Boyne of Freebreeze and his son Lynwater Javelin over Freebreeze in my dog line and Vossmead Diamond of Crookrise and her daughter Freebreeze To Be Sure in my bitch line.  You may have noticed that none of these dogs has won their UK show titles.  This is partly because it is extremely difficult to win a UK title but also I believe it is more important to consider what qualities a dog possesses or passes on to his/her offspring than it is to have a title.  Some of the above have won CCs and RCCs but will long be remembered in the legacy of what they have passed on to their offspring.  For example, Freebreeze To Be Sure who had one CC, 3 Reserve CCs and her Junior Warrant produced two beautiful litters for me by Lynwater Atlantic Crossing of Crookrise.  In those litters she produced UK Sh Ch Freebreeze American Frost of Ramsayville, NZ Ch Freebreeze Romantic Fool at Notting Hill (sire of this year’s BOB at Westminster KC) and Maltese Ch Freebreeze Rare Find of Crookrise – plus other UK CC and RCC winners.”

Vossmead Diamond of Crookrise at 8 months photo by Bull

Freebreeze To Be Sure photo by Yvonne Kent

Pointer Club of Scotland Open Show, judged by Geraldine O’Driscoll. Left: Sh Ch Freebreeze American Frost of Ramsayville, handled by Pamela Tibbs, owned by Margaret, Andrew & Mairi Brown. Right Cicely Robertshaw with Lynwater Atlantic Crossing of Crookrise.

NZ Ch Freebreeze Romantic Fool at Nottinghill with his owner Jo Dowthwaite

4-Qual cão que mais marcou sua vida? - Was there one dog that left a mark in your life? 

“One special dog above others that I have owned would be Crookrise Boyne of Freebreeze.  He was bred by the late Kitty Edmondson and her daughter Cicely Robertshaw in the last litter bred by them in joint partnership.  “Spice” was the son of UK Ch Crookrise Old Glory but I believe it was from his dam, a small liver & white bitch called Limrath Pride of Ard-dorragh, that he inherited his cleverness and wonderful character.  Lemon & white, he was a Championship show winner and also did some field work, but he was just the most fantastic character to have around.  He is the grandfather of this year’s BOB winner at Cruft’s, UK Sh Ch Fowington Five Bob Note.”

Crookrise Boyne of Freebreeze

5-Best in Show inesquecível? – Was there a memorable Best in Show ever?

 “I think my own most memorable win was actually a Reserve BIS win.  This was at The Pointer Club Championship Show in 1999.  From memory, over 240 Pointers were entered and my young Freebreeze To Be Sure won the Bitch CC under Fran Barr (Byzan).  The males had a separate judge and on this occasion the two judges could not decide on BIS and the referee made the decision in favour of the dog.  However, it was such a wonderful win that it felt like BIS!”

6-Como você observa a relação Dish face X Prognatismo? - How would you describe the relation between “Dish face and Prognathism”?

“The dish faced appearance of a Pointer is created by the chiselling of the skull around the eyes and by the stop, with a slight rise to the nostrils.  It is one of the lovely features of the breed and should therefore be present to some degree in all Pointers.  However, an undershot mouth is caused by a recessive gene and is therefore only present in affected Pointers.  I therefore do not think the dish causes the undershot mouth although some heads with an exaggerated dish may by coincidence have the gene for an undershot mouth in their lines.”

7-Qual sua opinião sobre os cães brasileiros? - What is your personal opinion about the Pointers of Brazil? 

“I really only know what I have seen from websites where I have seen some lovely photographs of dogs.  However, I have not “met” any Pointers from Brazil in the flesh and cannot comment on individual dogs or kennels based on photographs on the internet.”

“Crookrise Rio had already been exported to Brazil just before I became involved in the breed.  My first Pointer was a grandson of Rio.  I was very lucky to campaign Crookrise Speckled Gown in the UK before she was exported to Brazil in the early 1990’s.”

Crookrise Speckled Gown

8-Os diferentes tipos de pointer que existiram por muitos anos se fundem nos pointers da atualidade gerando um aprimoramento do pointer moderno? Como você observa essa evolução? – In your opinion, the latest Pointer would be a merge from the ancestors crossing throughout the years? How do you see this evolution? 

“From the introduction of foxhound blood many years ago one occasionally still sees hound traits coming through such as low-set thick ears, round bone, straight pasterns and houndy expression.  However, there do not seem to be as many Pointers these days who have the whippet-like outline and from that viewpoint things have improved.”

“I think that the opportunities which now exist for an international exchange of breeding stock whether by import of dogs or by AI make the breeding of dogs potentially very exciting.  However, as many have said in the past, we base our kennels on the hard work put in by the breeders of the past and owe a duty to do no harm to the breed by the breeding programs we implement.  We are the custodians of the breed.”

9-Kennel blindness como você encara isso? - Would care to comment about kennels blindness?

“It is essential to be honest with yourself about your own dogs before embarking on any breeding program.  It is no use wearing “rose tinted spectacles”.  Of course, be proud of the virtues possessed by your own dogs and be careful not to lose these in the attempt to gain something else.  Every time I look at my dogs I am subconsciously taking in their virtues such as smooth and effortless movement as a dog trots up the garden path or minor failings, whether it be a rib which could be better sprung or hindquarters with more angulation.  It is impossible to improve your dogs if you can’t be honest with yourself as to what needs improvement.”

10-Quais os principais objetivos da sua criação?  - Which ones would be the main targets in your breeding? Main objective of current kennel?

“When I plan a breeding I start by looking at my bitch and making a “shopping list” of things I would like to improve.  The task then is to find a dog who might be able to fulfil the task in order to compliment the bitch and I would wish him to have strength in the points where the bitch has a weakness.” 

Ansona Nobody’s Fool at Freebreeze

“My objective is principally to breed Pointers which are true to breed type with good temperament.  Since most puppies are sold to pet homes it is essential first and foremost that they are sound in temperament and happy, healthy dogs who will give their owners many years of pleasure.” 

“Secondly, for me a Pointer must possess the stylish look of the breed.  I want a dog that is beautiful to look at when we are out on walks.  I therefore want style and flowing lines, a good head, that lovely carriage and not “cloddy”.  A neat tail is also for me a breed point.” 

Freebreeze Angel Face

“I do feel that there is a danger that a generic show dog could be created.  Dogs need to be able to move well to win in the show ring but a sound crossbreed can move well; but it isn’t a Pointer.  It is vital that we strive to retain the true breed type, with variations for individual lines but all within the breed standard.“ 

Ria Nelis exclusive for Pointer Post.

All rights reserved copyright March 2012.


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