ECENI WORKING COCKERS
Nr Ludlow, Shropshire
I used to be a vet; I was an anaesthetist, specialising in intensive care in Newmarket (horses) and Cambridge (dogs and cats, mostly). When I gave up clinical medicine to write novels full time, I got my first dog as my gift to myself - a lurcher, because I didn't want to have to deal with all the problems of pedigree dogs that I'd spent the past ten years treating. By the time she grew older, and it came time to think of a replacement, I knew that a working cocker was the only real option, and that a tested one was essential. And a tail - I wanted to compete in agility and at that time, only undocked dogs were allowed to compete in KC events.
It took 2 years to find a fully tested, undocked pup with a low Coeffiecient of Inbreeding (2.5% over 13 generations), but Abigail (Risingmist Opal at Eceni) has been worth every moment of the wait. She has outstanding working drive, but its woven through with a trainability and desire to 'get it right' that keeps us both learning all day and every day. She can go from rabbit-hunting speed (she's easily as fast as my old lurcher was, at least over short distances) to crashed out under my desk as I work, - or vice versa - in a matter of moments.
She passed her KC puppy test at our second week at dog school and recently, we sat and passed our Silver. She could have sat - and, I think, passed, the Gold on the spot, were it allowed, after a lurcher, the trainability is a constant surprise to me, and I'm immensely grateful for it. She's training well in agility and any mistakes we make on a course are mine -she does exactly what I ask of her, it's just that I don't always ask the right things in the right way. Still, we won first time out in proper competition at Broadlands (UKA) in the Beginner's Gamblers in May. She came into season 3 days later, putting paid to my ideas of a spring of competition, but we'll be back...
I haven't ever worked her, but she's done well at the experimental working tests we've done at Game Fairs and I have no doubt that if we'd gone down another line, she'd be a good working dog.
As with any cocker, she's a joy to live with, a delight to train - and, as anyone will tell you, one is never enough. Cockers are entirely addictive: never say you weren't warned...
Risingmist Opal at Eceni - "Abigail"
Sire: Woodybrook Drinkwater of Risingmist
Dam: Mid Night Star Shimmer of Risingmist
Colour: Red and white (registered as lemon and white, but clearly darkened with age)
PRA/FN - Clear by parentage
Current clear eye certificate with Gonioscopy
Abigail is a competitive agility dog who won a class at her first outing. (UKA Broadlands: Beginners' Gamblers) .She has the high drive and stamina needed for competition, but the characteristic cocker biddability that makes her a joy to train. She has excellent conformation (good, straight legs, scissor bite, good length of back, not over-long) and is the kindest, most affectionate dog we have ever owned. She's line bred to FT Ch Chyknell Gold Star, but not too closely. Her Coefficient of Inbreeding over 13 generations was 2.5%. We expect her to produce pups of similar conformation and character, suitable for active sporting, working or family homes.