Stud Book Number 3864CI
Junior Warrant 2 CC’s
KC Good Citizen Bronze, Silver & Gold Awards
PRA (rcd-1) – DNA Tested Clear
CLAD – DNA Tested Clear
Hips X-Rayed & Scored
Eyes Examined under the BVA/KC/ISDS Scheme & Tested Clear
Sire: Goldings Festival
Dam: Sh Ch Twoacres Jade
Breeder: Mrs J E Coates
Owner: Miss M A Webster
‘The Wind Beneath My Wings’
The day that June announced she was mating Jade, I knew I just had to have one of the puppies, even though I hadn’t planned to have any more dogs at that point. I always say that Fergus is an antique violin and an antique music box, because they are what I sold to buy him! He has given me far more pleasure and delight than those two items ever have. He is so full of character and personality, but also a joy to live with. He is also the most obedient Irish Setter that I have ever owned and the only one that has never had any obedience training! He is always at my side, my constant shadow.
Fergus has won consistently at all levels since he first came out, winning his way out of every class. At the age of 15 months he gained his Junior Warrant (old style) very quickly, achieving this in just three months, finishing his Junior career with a total of 43 points, almost twice the amount he actually needed.
He was awarded his KC Good Citizen Bronze Certificate in October 1997, making me very proud, as he had not done any previous training for this. He has since also gained his KC Good Citizen Silver & Gold Awards, which he achieved easily, doing so without any training. He just watched the dog before him and then did everything that was asked of him when it was his turn.
On 17th October 1998 at the age of 3 years, Fergus won his first CC from Postgraduate, at the North East of England Irish Setter Club Ch. Sh., under Judge, Mrs Marjorie Jarosz, where he also went Reserve Best in Show. My proudest moment to date. Everyone says there is no other experience quite like winning your 1st CC. How right they are! He won his 2nd CC from Limit at the Gundog Society of Wales Ch. Sh. under Judge, Mrs Alicia Coupe, where he also won Best of Breed.
His other wins to date include, many Best Puppy and B. O. B. awards, Reserve Best Puppy in Show, Reserve Best Gundog Puppy in Show, Gundog Puppy Group 4, Gundog Group 1, Reserve Best Dog in Show and Best in Show.
His reports have always been positive. After judging him at WKC Ch Sh, Richard Hirons wrote:
‘Difficult to fault, beautiful young dog, good construction and lovely coat, shown to advantage, should have a bright future’.
I was thrilled. He had won 4 classes that day and the Pet Plan Junior Stakes class under Ian Hampton as well, so Richard’s report was the icing on the cake.
At the I.S.A.E.Ch Sh he won 3 classes and the Judge, Ailsa Harvey wrote:
‘I thought this young man quite outstanding, well chiselled, refined head, correct expression, super neck, shoulders and flowing topline, no ugly bumps on this one, rich shiny coat to set off his other attributes and moved with style, covering the ground well’.
I was delighted. Fergus gained his JW with the class that gave him this report.
As well as his many other attributes, Fergus is well known for his glorious coat and his presentation. One exhibitor who constantly pressed me to tell him the secret of how Fergus ‘got his beautiful coat’, would not believe me when I answered that like people, dogs either had glorious hair or they didn’t. He seemed almost desperate to learn my ‘secret’ as he referred to it, so I finally relented and agreed to share my secret. As he leant in close so that no one else would hear, I whispered in his ear that the reason Fergus had such a glorious coat was, that in actual fact, it was a wig! Needless to say he was not al all amused and din’t speak to me again for many weeks. Fergus continues to enjoy showing, often becoming quite vocal if his turn doesn’t come quickly enough! He is a real showman and thinks that he should be the centre of attention all the time. We don’t always agree on that point, but then that’s another story!
I am delighted that Fergus has sired sound, healthy, winning stock. Not only has he proved his worth in the show ring, but he has also made his mark at stud. One of his daughters, Cymbeline A’Oife, won a RCC at the age of only 23 months and another of his progeny, Cymbeline Fiseal, despite being lightly shown, has won consistently, winning 2RCC’s BOB, Best Puppy and being placed in the Group. One of his other sons, Cymbeline Fallon By Hooley, lives here with us at Hooley. You can read more about him by clicking on his page.
Fergus became ill on Wednesday morning 14th May 2008 when the vet thought he’d had a stroke. He was doing so well, coming home again just two days later. But late on Saturday afternoon, he started to become steadily worse. I called the vet out to the house, as I was unable to physically get him in the car. Waiting for him to arrive was the longest hour of my life. He came prepared with a stretcher and took him back into intensive care. Things really didn’t look good, but I felt that Fergus deserved every chance available before I gave up.
Fergus was heavily sedated and given a strong pain killer. The vet promised to phone early Sunday morning if the news was bad, so that I could make a decision and later if I could visit him and he was improving. As the morning went on and he hadn’t phoned, I began to be hopeful that things were good, but it wasn’t meant to be. When the phone call came, my world collapsed around me. Fergus died just after midnight, three and a half weeks short of his 13th birthday. Thankfully he was not aware and not in pain.
The vet now knows because of the way he died, that it wasn’t a stroke, but Central Canine Vestibular Disease, caused by a tumour on the brain stem, which in turn caused a bleed into the brain. There is no such thing as a good way to die, but this disease is particularly dreadful to witness and so cruel, as there is always hope that they may recover. I find it hard to believe that on the morning when all this started, he was perfectly normal until about 11 am, when he suddenly couldn’t get up. It was that swift and apparently that is how this condition behaves, there are no warning signs. The only positive aspect of this, is that he was ill for such a short time. It is such a shock to lose a happy, lively dog so suddenly and in this way. I am utterly devastated.
Although not a Show Champion, Fergus was a very well known dog. Despite his numerous wins and awards in the show ring, he was very unlucky not to gain his title. He was a joy to show, never once letting me down and an absolute delight to live with. Not only was he extremely obedient, he was also highly intelligent. He only needed to see something once to remember it.
Fergus was always so full of fun, so affectionate and had such a good nature, he never had a cross word for anyone, not even when faced with an aggressive dog. He had such an expressive face, he was almost human and certainly understood my every mood, he was so sensitive. Fergus truly was a wonderful dog, my best friend and soul mate, there for me through thick and thin and I will never have another like him, we shared an extremely special bond. He was my dog in a million. I feel honoured and privileged to have shared my life with him and will be eternally grateful to his breeder, the late Mrs June Coates, for entrusting him to me.
I adored him, not because of his success in the ring, but because of his personality. Known at home as ‘Mr Perfect’, he had a gentle, loving, affectionate nature and great sensitivity and was everything I could have wished for in an Irish Setter. Fergus was my last ‘Twoacres’ dog, but he lives on in his children, two of whom, Cymbeline A’Oife and Cymbeline Fiseal are RCC winners, as well as his grandchildren and great grandchildren, many of whom have inherited his wonderful nature, along with his stunning looks and sound movement. I am very lucky to have his son, Cymbeline Fallon By Hooley, who lives with me.
When he came home for the last time, he just wanted to lick the end of my nose and nibble my shoulder, his greatest term of endearment; it’s as if he was saying goodbye. Fergus is from the Gaelic, meaning ‘The Best Choice’. He certainly was for me. He was quite simply, ‘The Wind Beneath My Wings’ and I am lost without him. Sleep well little man.
“I could fly higher than an eagle,
’cause you were the wind beneath my wings.
Fly, fly, fly away, you let me fly so high.
Oh, fly; fly, so high against the sky,
Thank you, thank you, thank God for you,
The wind beneath my wings.”