Ghyllbeck History

Although the Ghyllbeck name is customarily associated with Large Munsterlanders, the kennel has been
involved with HPR's since 1971, some years before the breed was introduced to Britian.

This association began when husband and wife team Geoff and Barbara Hargreaves decided to acquire a dog as
a family pet with the proviso that it had to be a breed which was out of the ordinary but it had to be a doggy dog.
After numerous suggestions and rejections, the decision was made when Jack Hargreaves (no relation) featured
his own dog Pip on his famous "How" television series, it was to be a German Shorthaired Pointer!

The problem was, where to find one of these rarities. In those days GSP's were very thin on the ground, indeed
there were only three HPR breeds in the country and since neither Geoff or Barbara had any previous experience
of pedigree dogs this made locatinga breeder all the more difficult. After approaching a number of kennels and
drawing a blank, they had the good fortune to find the address of the acclaimed Midlander kennel of Mic and
David Layton in a borrowed Dog World Annual. On contacting the kennel, they had the even greater fortune
to learn that the kennel had a litter available and in May 1971 Midlander Brown Velvet joined the household.

Although ignorant of the intricacies of the world of dogs, both Geoff
and Barbara were intrigued by the opportunities outlined by Mic and
David in both the show ring and the field. Having had a lifelong interest in ornithology and shooting and all things rural, Geoff was particularly interested in experiencing the working abilities of their new baby,
Lisa, whilst Barbara was keen to try showing.

Accordingly, in 1972, Lisa was entered at Manchester Championship Show. Her new owners were overawed at the size of the event and the number
of GSP's gathered together but not as overawed as they were when
Lisa won first prize in a class of 16! Sometime later, after reading
Peter Moxon's Spaniel training book, Lisa easily won first in the first
Working Test that either dog or handler had seen and the die was cast!

 


As the fascinating world of HPR's revealed itself to them,
Geoff and Barbara became more and more enthralled and
involved in all its aspects and were delighted to be invited
to become founder members of The German Shorthaired Pointer Association in 1972. It was also around this time that the Ghyllbeck Kennel name was devised and registered with the Kennel Club.

Increasing success in all areas of HPR competition and
broadening knowledge of the group brought increasing
interest in other breeds of HPR as more and more"new"
breeds began to appear in the country and over the years
the growing family of Ghyllbeck GSPs was joined by dogs
of other breeds including Brittanies, Hungarian Vizslas,
Italian Spinoni but the one which made the biggest
impression on the kennel was the Large Munsterlander.

 

Interest in the breed began in the Ghyllbeck
household from the moment that its introduction
was announced in the canine press,so much so
that in 1978,after a long period of enquiry with
Pam Perkins of the Foxbrae kennel in Berkshire
the two bitches Foxbrae Flora and Foxbrae Zennia
joined the Ghyllbeck household and the hobby
entered an even more successful period.

Success in competition in the Ghyllbeck kennel has been confined to German Shorthaired Pointers and
Large Munsterlanders whilst the other HPRs in the kennel have been devoted to the working team to extend
knowledge of the characteristics and idiosyncracies of the breeds and also simply because we love HPRs!

Ghyllbeck Large Munsterlanders began to build a
reputation in competition and a string of champions
were produced, then in 1993 after years of being
dragged round the country to shows, tests and trials
from an early age, youngest son Robert took up
competition handling and the kennel entered a new
phase. Since then, the Ghyllbeck human family has
been extended and we now look forward to the
success of the third generation of the dynasty.