English Springer Spaniel Club

Show Dog

About the Club

Field Trial Dog

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.

About the ClubThree ESS on a day’s shoot circa 1913 – photo courtesy of the Late Mrs Pam Harris.

Historical Connections

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 fourteen Secretaries of the Club, the longest serving being the late Mrs Olga Hampton (Larkstoke) who served for nearly twenty-five years. 

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 was delighted when Joe’s wife Mrs EM (Betty) Robinson took on the role of ESSC President from her late husband. Sadly Betty passed away in January 2020 and the Club was pleased that Mrs Yvonne Billows, who has been a past Secretary, Treasurer and Chairman of the ESSC, accepted the Club’s invitation to be the new President. 

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 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 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 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. For further information about English Springer Spaniel Health please visit englishspringerhealth.org.uk 

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 number many hundreds of 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”. Many of the Officials and Committee Members of the ESSC are approved to judge English Springer Spaniels at Championship Show level in the UK and also to 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 in line with KC guidelines. The Club has many long-standing members from both the UK and Overseas, and so with all these statistics in mind, it might be fair to say that the ESS is in safe hands!

Open & Championship Shows

Each year the ESSC holds a Championship Show and an Open Show. The Honorary Secretary of the Club is responsible for the organisation of the Shows, as well as dealing with the administration for all general matters.

Field Trials

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.

ESSC Website

The ESSC has a comprehensive Website, which provides for greater knowledge in all aspects of the English Springer Spaniel and enables the Club 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 ESSC Committee Members who involve 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 of the recognition of the English Springer Spaniel 1902-2002

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 most of the UK ESS Breed Clubs also taking part.

100 Year Celebration of the recognition of the English Springer Spaniel Club 1921-2021

In 2021 the ESSC organised a ‘100-year celebration’ of the English Springer Spaniel Club. To mark the occasion the Club held a number of special Centenary events i.e. 2 Championship Shows, an Open Show and 2 Field Trials. 

English Springer Spaniel Database

The English Springer Spaniel Pedigrees & Records Database was produced by Bob Nicolson and in 2022 was gifted by Bob to the English Springer Spaniel Club to maintain in the future for the benefit of the breed. See englishspringerdata.org  Further information as to why, when and how the database was created by Bob can be found in the “background” section of that website.