Friday, October 3, 2008

Local Boy makes the Big Time

"Bite your tongue!" Bill Farrell of Huntington, NY tells fellow hunters when they ask if his Irish Red & White Setters are English setters or Brittanys with long tails. Bill's eyes are twinkling, but, he's serious. "This breed has a better nose than any other breed I've hunted with. They are incredibly adapted to finding game."

The Irish Red & White Setter is, not surprisingly, related to the farmiliar Irish Setter, but much less common: only about 2,000 exist in the whole world. That scarcity did not make it easy for Bill to get one. He had to wait three years for a breeder in Ireland to send him a pair, but the wait was worth it.

"Red & White's are natural hunters and they look good doing it,"Bill says, who now hunts with Glendaloch and Ned, sons of his original pair. "They are very athletic and energetic. When I've had enough, they still want to go."

Finding pheasant and quail is the specialty of this aristocratic pointing breed. "They look under every bush and every leaf," says Bill, and they are so thorough that other hunters will often ask to join their hunting party. Some Red & Whites are natural retreivers. Bill has hunted with Pointers since he was in his teens, but he likes the closer hunting style of his Red & Whites. "These guys hunt at 100 feet. When they point a bird, you can be within shooting range within fifteen seconds."

As pets, these handsome dogs are kind, friendly and loyal, with a great memory. Bill fondly recalls visiting one of his original Red & Whites, who had gone to live with his daughter in Arizona and hadn't seen him in a year and a half. When Bill came through the door, his old companion's eyes lit up and he did a "happy dance." The dog spent the rest of bill's visit with his head pressed against Bill's knee.

size: 22-26 inches at the shoulder

coat: Short and flat on body with silky, fine, longer fur call "feathers" on tail, legs, ears, flank, chest and throat

color: White with red patches

grooming: Regular brushing. The "Teflon" coat sheds mud as it dries.

For more info:


The above excert was taken from an article on some of the more obscure hunting breeds in the October issue of The New York State Conservationist, the publication of the NYS Department of Environmental Conversation.

I've known Bill Farrell for a good long time, we're in various Bird Dog and Sporting clubs together. I know him to be a committed dogman, and I'm happy to see him recieve recognition for it..

Congratulations to Bill and his "Red & Whites"...

P.S. don't forget to click on the pic for an enlargement..


  1. Hi! Love the article. Sent the link to an IRWS list I belong to and Ive been told that the dog pictured is actually O'Dobhailien Nolan owned by Andrea and Tom Doolittle and bred by Bob and Evan Devlin.


  2. Thenks for your comment.

    That was the picture that was with the article in "The Conservationist". I was wondering if it was one of Bill's dogs myself..
    I'm glad you enjoyed the post, and thanks again for the info.