Saturday, December 13, 2008

John Yates on Ed Soph's Crockett setters

Crockett's Capriole - Owner, Joe Kormuth of Pennsylvannia

John has provided some interesting information (along with his point of view - TBE) about Ed Soph and his Crockett line of setters. I will quote his contribution - with minimal editing - below:

Ed Soph was one of the truly great setter breeders, and his Crockett dogs (along with the Commanders and Wonsovers) played a major role in restoring setters to competitiveness in all age stakes following the decades of domination by pointers since the 1930's.

Ed, while of modest means, devoted his entire life to improving setters. He is a great example of the importance of truly dedicated breeders.

He developed his own line of dogs by linebreeding on Eugene M, which possibly was the most prepotent setter sire in history.

Joe Kormuth became one of Ed's early disciples, and Joe's breeding program focused on Soph's ideas and linebreeding from Soph dogs for several decades. Probably Joe's best known dog was Hot Cell Man, which racked up roughly 50 horseback shooting dog wins around 1970; he was an all age dog, but Joe could get him around as a shooting dog.

Crockett dogs were noted from extreme toughness (both mentally and physically)and endurance. They were big dogs, as a rule, 60 pounds-plus. To be blunt, these dogs probably were far too tough for most people, and few people kept pure Crockett lines.

I started out with Crockett dogs, and loved them. But I wanted a more biddable dog, while retaining the toughness, and a somewhat smaller dog (50-to-60 pounds is what I shoot for). While Crockett dogs were my anchor, I also mixed in Sam L's Rebel lines (Crockett and Wonsover) through Sam L's Sequoia, Nabob and Rawhide, and Johnny Crockett (about a quarter Crockett, with more Wonsover). I also used Wonsup and Woncount.

Joe and I parted company about my liking for Johnny Crockett. Joe was utterly opposed to breeding to a small dog. Actually, I agreed with him, but saw true greatness in Johnny Crockett, and bred him only to big bitches.

Except for my use of Johnny Crockett, Joe and I maintained fairly similar bloodlines in the 20 years after Ed Soph's death.

Many of my dogs from this line wound up in the "too tough" category in the 1990's, and some were downright renegades. When I was younger, I liked this kind of dog. I've mellowed considerably with old age. I searched around and mixed in Tekoa Mountain Sunrise to give me gentler dogs that had a desire to please (but, of course, I couldn't resist mixing in more Johnny Crockett through Crockett's New Horizon).

I almost bred to one of Joe's males about five years ago, and, in retrospect, I think I made a mistake by passing up this opportunity. I had planned on breeding two Passenger's Blue Shadow b###hes to Joe's dog, Crockett's Capriole. Blue (which was about a quarter Soph-line Crockett)was as tough of a dog as anyone could ever want, and I was worried that breeding his daughters to Cappy would create beasts.

When I think of the setters I have had in for training over the past 10 years, especially from several grouse trial lines, I think we all could use a lot more toughness in our setters. We need a few beasts.

1 comment:

Mike Spies said...

Steven - contact me, I have additional informaation that might help you in your research. mike(at)autohomeus(dot)com