The English Springer Spaniel Club was established in 1921 in the United Kingdom and is known as the 'Parent' Club of the Breed. It is the first port of call for The Kennel Club on all matters related to the English Springer Spaniel.
The Name and Objects of the Club
(a direct quote from the Club Rules): The name of the Club shall be called the "English Springer Spaniel Club," its strategic objective is to raise the relevance of the Club in the eyes of all English Springer Spaniel Owners, so as to better able 'to protect and promote in every way the breeding, general improvement, health and well-being of the English Springer Spaniel'.
This objective is to be achieved by
- Accepting the KC Breed Standard for the English Springer Spaniel as the sole standard;
- Promoting the Kennel Club Breed Standard for the English Springer Spaniel as the only recognised and unvarying standard by which they must be judged at Shows.
- Awarding prizes of merit to English Springer Spaniels and supporting Shows and Field Trials;
- Recognising the importance of English Springer Spaniel health and welfare and promoting their breeding in accordance with Ethical Guidelines
- Encouraging the development of all those concerned with the English Springer Spaniel through education and training
Popularising English Springer Spaniel events, focusing on the retention of existing customers and the attracting of new; and
- Taking any other steps, approved by the Committee of the Club, and in accordance with Kennel Club Rules and Regulations, to do all in its power to protect and advance the interest in this variety of Sporting Spaniel.
The Breed First Recognised
Most English Springer Spaniel enthusiasts will know that it was an historic moment in 1902 when the Kennel Club first recognised the Breed as a specific variety of Spaniel and gave it separate Breed classification. The English Springer Spaniel was firmly established between 1902 to 1912 and the Breed grew in popularity both as a show dog and as a shooting dog - often referred to in the early days as 'bench and field'. The English Springer Spaniel Club was formed in 1921 as a result of a meeting held at Crufts Dog Show. Records show that the first Committee was described as 'enthusiastic show and field trial owners'. Many of the Clubs trophies can be dated back to the early days and provide a historical record of winning dogs.
Three ESS on a days shoot circa 1913 - photo courtesy of the Late Mrs Pam Harris.
The Club is very proud of its past historical connections with well known names with whom the Breed has held a long term association, such as William Humphrey (Horsford) (the 1st Secretary of the Club who was elected at the first ESSC Meeting held at Crufts Dog Show in 1921), Reg Kelland (Nobel), Lady Howe (Banchory), Captain Traherne (Bryngarw), Lady Lambe (Whaddon Chase), Miss C M Francis (Higham), Miss Moorland Hooper (Ranscombe) Major and Mrs Travers (Totonian) and H S Lloyd (of Ware). Up to today there have been at least twelve Secretaries of the Club, the longest serving being the late Mrs Olga Hampton (Larkstoke) who served for nearly twenty-five years. The present ESSC Secretary continues this tradition as an experienced administrator and although she has only held this post with the ESSC since 2001, has been an ESS Breed Club Secretary in the UK since 1979.
Past Presidents of the Club include great supporters of the ESS such as the late Mr Ian Hampton (Larkstoke), and the late Mrs Jean Taylor (Cleavehill), who, as most people in ESS know, was a very active ESSC President until her untimely death in 2004. The Late Mr F J (Joe) Robinson (Wellcan) was elected as ESSC President at the 2005 AGM. Joe was a Championship Show Judge as well as a respected and long-standing Member of the Club. He served for 21 years as Field Trial Secretary of the ESSC and has always held strong interests in both the showing and field trial sides of the Breed. The English Springer Spaniel Club is proud to tell you that Joe's wife Mrs EM (Betty) Robinson is now the ESSC President and took over the role from her late husband.
What does the English Springer Spaniel Club do?
The ESSC acts as a 'Keeper of the Breed' and liaises with the Kennel Club (UK) and also the other UK ESS Breed Clubs and Societies, in all matters relating to the English Springer Spaniel, including its health and welfare, and the contents of the Breed Standard. It operates following a KC approved set of Rules and Regulations and also a strong Code of Ethics and Ethical Guidelines.
In line with Kennel Club rules, the ESSC holds its Annual General Meeting in the first quarter of each year where Officials and Committee Members are voted in by the Members to take care of all matters appertaining to the Club's role as 'Keeper of the Breed'. A full set of financial accounts are prepared annually by the very proficient ESSC Treasurer and then formally audited. The Accounts are sent to the Kennel Club to confirm that all is operating as intended and are also available for inspection by Members.
The ESSC takes it role of 'Keeper of the Breed' very seriously and is at the forefront in dealing with any matters that might require changes to the ESS Breed Standard. This is an important aspect as The UK Kennel Club ESS Breed Standard is seen as the definitive article from the Breed's 'Country of Origin'.
Advisory & Educational Role
The Club also plays an advisory and educational role in matters relating to ESS health issues. Under the guidance of their knowledgeable & dedicated ESS Health Co-ordinator, the Club has produced Ethical Guidelines on these plus a Code of Ethics for the breeding of the ESS. Very large numbers of ESS are registered annually with the Kennel Club (14,000+), so it is important that the Club tries to reach all those with an interest in the Breed. As many of these people will not be members of a Breed Club, this has not always proved to be an easy job, but is one that the Club is happy to try to tackle.
600 years of Experience
The Club has a very strong make-up with Officials, Committee Members and Honorary Life Members whose combined years of experience in English Springer Spaniels are in excess of 650 years! The Club has always been fortunate to be supported by a loyal and hard working team of people who give their time and expertise unstintingly to ensure the "protection and advancement of interest in this variety of Sporting Spaniel". Over half of the Officials and Committee Members of the ESSC are approved to judge English Springer Spaniels at Championship Show level in the UK and many also judge overseas. The ESSC team, therefore, offers a wealth of knowledge both on the show and working side of the Breed and is also involved in the organising of Judges Training and Breed Educational Days. The Club has 500+ members both in the UK and Overseas, and so with all of these statistics in mind, it might be fair to say that the ESS is in safe hands!
Open & Championship Shows
The ESSC holds a 34 class Championship Show in April each year, which has seen entries in excess of 200 ESS and a 22 class Open Show in November each year with entries of up to 120 ESS. The Honorary Secretary of the Club is responsible for the organization of the Shows, as well as dealing with the administration for all general matters.
The ESSC Field Trial Secretary organises very successful Novice and Open Qualifying Stakes each year and these two well-supported events are generally held in the last two months of the year.
Under the guidance of a very professional Web design company, the ESSC has an extensive and comprehensive Website, which provides for greater knowledge in all aspects of the English Springer Spaniel, and enables us to provide a service across the world for all those with interests in our delightful Breed. You can find the Website at www.englishspringer.org
Discover Dogs Exhibition at CRUFTS
The ESSC is responsible for the presentation of the English Springer Spaniel at the Kennel Club's Discover Dogs Exhibition over the four days of Crufts Dog Show each year. This major canine event is well co-ordinated and organised by a long standing ESSC Committee Member who involves both ESSC Committee and Club Members in its organisation and delivery and includes both the 'show' and the 'working' type of English Springer in the showcase.
100 Year Celebration
In 2002 the ESSC organised a '100-year celebration' of the English Springer Spaniel and released a Video/DVD (Love, Honour & Obey) of the event to mark the occasion.(no longer available to buy) This celebration was in conjunction with the Club's Field Trials and Championship Show. Many friends of the Club from across the world attended the Show, with the majority of the UK ESS Breed Clubs also taking part.
Joint English Springer Spaniel Judging Consortium
The ESSC is one of eight UK ESS Breed Clubs/Societies, that work together to form the Joint English Springer Spaniel Judging Consortium (JESS JC), which consults in matters that relate to the compilation of Judging Lists for Championship Show Judges of the Breed and the training of Championship Show Judges.
- Membership of the Club is open to people who have an interest in the English Springer Spaniel and as a Member, they have access to a wealth of knowledge from the very strong Committee of ESS enthusiasts, Championship Show Judges, Field Trial Experts, Breed Historian with an ever expanding treasure trove of ESS related items, and finally help and guidance from the ESS Health Co-ordinator
- Members are notified of the details of any events that the Club holds and are able to enter competitions at reduced rates.
- Subject to ESSC Committee approval, Members can publish a personal ESS Website through the Club's own Website
The ESSC has its own Car Stickers enabling people across the world to recognise those with similar interests. The Club also publishes a Calendar annually, which pictorially reflects the latest Champions in the Breed. Additionally there are a wealth of Books, Videos and DVDs about the Breed available for sale, as well as many other English Springer related items that are of interest to people who are passionate about our wonderful Breed! All can be seen on the ESSC website.