The Cinsar History

In 1974 Tom and his family lived in Franklin, TN. He hunted quail in the flat, open areas of middle Tennessee. He had bought a pointer out of a granddaughter of Red Water Rex and by Riggins White Knight and he also owned a setter out of a daughter of Flaming Star by Thor. These dogs were really big running dogs. In 1977, Tom moved back to his ancestral home in southwest Virginia, at the foot of Powell Mountain, in Lee County, Va. There were several coveys of quail in this valley, but the premier upland game bird was the mighty Ruffed Grouse that lived on the high ridges of the mountains and in the most dense cover.


Within a few weeks of trying to keep up with his wide ranging "quail" dogs, Tom realized that he needed an old timey "grouse" dog similar to some of the dogs his neighbors had when he was growing up in this mountain valley.  So around 1978 he ran an ad in the American Field Dog looking for a close working foot hunting setter.  He received a call from a gentleman in Michigan that owned a Sharnberry Red Bracken daughter called Sharnberry Moxie.  The gentleman from MI brought his dog ( Sharnberry Moxie) aka “Jackie” to Tom’s home in Jonesville, VA because he wanted to see where "Jackie" would be living as she also happened to be a house dog.  Jackie or Sharnberry Moxie was a daughter out of the legendary English Field Trail Champion Sharnberry Red Bracken.  Tom soon found out the dog  quartered for him while he hunted and worked at a nice range for hunting grouse in the mountains; no more trying to find the dog when it was on point.  

In April of 1974, gundog’s editor of Sports Afield, Jerome B. Robinson, wrote an article about how Dr. Rudolph Winkelbauer of Maine, and professional gun dog-trainer Robert Paucek of Maine, had imported the famous English Field Trial Champion Sharnberry Red Bracken in hopes of breeding close working foot hunting setters.  Sharnberry Red Bracken was purchased from Capt. W. Parlour of Great Britain who owned the famous Sharnberry Kennels. Tom talked with Bob Paucek about Sharnberry Red Bracken and he told Tom that he really liked the dog and how he worked.  The dog was well built and worked the cover excellent.  He was an exceptional dog.  


To read the article written by Jerome Robinson:

For those of you who are not familiar with English Field Trials I will take a moment to compare the Englsih Field Trials with the field trials of the US.   The focus of the English Field Trials is to have the dog work near you and to hunt at a suitable pace for hunting on foot, all within gun range.  This is definitely different from many of the American field trials that are held today.  The American field trial dogs are expected to cover a very large area in their pursuit of birds and at a much faster pace working way out from the hunter to find birds.  The person carrying the gun is expected to keep up with the dog and to locate the dog on point and to walk to where the dog is located.  In thick cover such as grouse hunting this can prove to be very frustrating thus a need for a close working dog.


The Cloncurragh part of the bloodline was bred by Rev. F. J. Bannon owner of the Scinn Amach - Cloncurragh Kennel in Ireland.   Farther Bannon worked with two lines of setters: the Scinn Amach represented the "Dashing Bondhu line" while the Cloncurragh represented the "Windem line".   When you look back five generations of Cloncurragh Jason you will find Dashing Scottie Bondhu who is the grandfather of Sharnberry Red Bracken.  Tom was able to locate a son out of Cloncurragh Jason in southern Ohio and he brought home a young pup he called Cloncurragh Rex.  With Cloncurragh Rex and Sharnberry Moxie, Tom started out with some extremely well bred setters that were considered in England to be some of the best of the English Field Trial lines.  Also noteworthy in the  pedigree of Sharnberry Moxie was the legendary Sharnberry Whitestone noted to have won more stakes and awards than any other English setter in the history of the United Kingdom field trials.  The Sharnberry line is also noted to contain many of the best setters in Europe.   


Tom will tell you it was all "Dumb Luck”.  There was no internet back then where someone could research bloodlines and search data bases of pedigrees and owners of dogs.  Dumb Luck or not, what this gave Tom to start out with for breeding close working foot hunting setters was some impeccable bloodlines of some of the finest English and European lines.  All of this was done so that Tom would always have a close working grouse dog.  The first breeding Tom did was to mate Sharnberry Moxey with Cloncurragh Rex thus the foundation for Cinsar Setters.


Now that Tom had the Sharnberry and the Cloncurragh lines he then crossed them into the Ryman and Hemlock lines of the area. Tom was always looking for setters that were excellent grouse dogs.  It was not enough to be a setter,  the setter had to be a great grouse dog as well.  Tom did not breed for the sake of carrying on a particular breed but instead to produce a close working grouse dog.  When you start out crossing the English Field Trial lines into the Hemlock and Ryman lines you will in the beginning have some dogs that are fantastic and there will be those that are not quite the dog you are looking for.  It takes a lot of crosses to figure out what works and when you raise a litter of pups only then will you be able to discern if the cross worked.  Not all crosses are worth repeating and some you may wish you had not tried.  But that is what you have to do if you are going to continue to hunt grouse and want to make sure that you always have an excellent grouse dog.  I can relate to this personally because I had to do the same with my Alaskan Husky sprint dogs.  I could not buy the quality I had and instead had to breed in order to have the best dogs available to race with in sprint races in the Midwest and Canada. 

Not far from Tom was another bird dog enthusiast, Woodrow Mullins.  Woodrow also enjoyed his setters and happened to have a granddaughter of Sharnberry Red Bracken named Brackens Hemlock Freck.   Like Tom, Woodrow was interested in producing a good hunting dog and not in perpetuating a certain type of dog.











Above left Woodrow's Bracken Hemlock Freck and Champion Beartown Barrister Virginia's First Shoot-To-Retrieve Double Champion. In the center is Woodrow and Bracken Hemlock Freck after a hunting trip.  Above right is Woodrow with Beartown Barrister


Woodrow was also interested in the Shoot-To-Retrieve trials and owned a dog named Beartown Barrister.  Beartown Barrrister was a National Shoot-To-Retrieve Double Champion who competed against mainly pointers in these field trials, which made this dog even more impressive.  Woodrow and Beartown Barrister were also responsible for the introduction of some of the American field trial lines into the Cinsar setter line. Tom and Woodrow would at times breed to each other’s dogs.  Thus, in the end, each kennel was able to incorporate the best dogs of each other's kennel. 


When you examine the foundation of the Cinsar line the following could be said:  The main foundation of this line is made up of English Field Trial dogs that were very noteworthy in the history of the English Field trial setters. The influence of the US Field Trial stock came through Woodrow Mullins with Beartown Barrister and also the Meteor's line.  Going forward with the foundation that Tom had from English field trial stock he eventually crossed out to the Hemlock and Ryman lines.  Through out all the breedings he was determined to breed the best grouse dog he could find and not breed to perpetuate a particular type of setter.  One of the reasons that Tom's crosses worked so well is the presence of low COI% ( Co-effienct of Inbreeding) in Tom's dogs.  He has in the end produced dogs that have the natural ability to hunt close, quarter, have a good nose and also be your best companion.  These are dogs that want to be with you.  


Tom never did this to make money from breeding dogs ... he wanted to always have a good grouse dog in his kennel and he found that he could breed better dogs than he could buy.  However, he also felt everyone should have a good grouse dog.  Tom gave away more dogs than he ever sold and it seemed that if you came to visit or even mentioned that you were thinking about a dog you would inevitably go home with a puppy or be called when there was a litter.  The bottom line was that Tom wanted to make sure he always had a very good grouse dog.  As you look over the bloodlines of the past, you will see that the Cinsar line is a mix of bloodlines from the English and Ireland lines that were the old Llewellyn lines, some of the old field trail lines of the US that produced good grouse dogs,  and added to this line was the Ryman and Hemlock lines.  I have tried to be accurate in researching the breedings that Tom and Woodrow did over 35 years ago.  During this time many dogs were loaned out, shared and alot of dogs were aslo purchased having been breed by others.


As I research and capture this information I find myself very touched by Tom and his beloved setters.  After working with some of the best Elhew pointer lines in our guide business, Tom gave me my first setter, Annie.  At first I was very skeptical even when someone gives me a pup and tells me about the background of the pup and the qualities of the pup’s lineage.  However, I have personally found these setters to be natural grouse dogs, that quarter, have a great nose and work within a range that is easy for my clients.  To top it all off, they are great house dogs.  I have also found them to be just as intense in the grouse woods as a pointer but much easier to work with.  In the end, that is why I am honored to have been asked by Tom to take over the Cinsar Setter line for him.  Since 2010  have switched my kennel over to these setters.   

Tom and Sharnberry Moxie


Sharnberry Moxie is a daughter of Sharnberry Red Bracken.

Cloncuragh Rex a son of Cloncuragh Jason

The black and white setter in the front of the Brittney.


The Cloncurragh line represents the "Windem" line 

Both of these lines represent UK and Irish Field Trail lines

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