Welcome to our website.
We are Dave and Jacky Mitchell and we currently live in the south-east of England with our Peasblossom springers.
We have been involved with this wonderful breed for many years. Dave started out exhibiting under the Heulyn affix more than forty years ago owning and breeding show champions but also succeeded in training dogs in the field to achieve full champion status. He judges the breed at Championship level and has been lucky enough to judge our breed in the UK many times as well as in Sweden, Finland and Poland.
I began showing English Springers in the late 1990's under the Summerstone affix but in 2005 started afresh with Dave with a new affix along with some exciting ideas for the future. We looked further afield for inspiration and have been thrilled that Seamus, our first import from Sweden achieved more than we could ever have dreamed! I have also awarded CC's in the UK and have judged in Sweden, Poland, Australia and the Netherlands.
The Heulyn Years
Dave's interest in English Springers began in 1977 when 'Muffin', or Delta Lady was purchased from a local petshop in 1977 for the princely sum of £50! A working-bred bitch who came complete with distemper! However, it was Muffin that inspired the long love affair with the breed and also the start of the essential but oh so expensive relationship with vets! Muffin attended obedience classes where she had to compete against the superior skills of Border Collies and GSDs but it was at one of these classes, when someone uttered those fateful words 'she's beautiful, you should show her'! Duly, Muffin was taken to an Exemption Show where she did nothing, but that day, the showing bug was caught.
Dave and his then wife, Angela, went to Southern Counties Champ Show for a look round and saw and fell in love with Sh Ch Verulam Liver Pate. She was already in whelp at the time and breeders, Lyn and Keith Payne agreed to them having one of her puppies, Verulam Tom Boy. She taught them the rudiments of the breed in terms of ringcraft and trimming but sadly at only a year old had to be spayed following a pypometra, so no puppies from Leila. However, she provided a fantastic moment for their newly-established Heulyn kennel when she was awarded a RCC from Post Graduate at the SESSS under Carolyn Muirhead. Leila went on to win one CC and two more RCC's.
Bowswood Brandy Snap - 'Rosie' had also joined the kennel during this time. She too won a RCC but only managed to produce one dog puppy to Barlochan Engineeer. Unfortunately she died at a young age from a liver-related disease. Two more Bowswoods joined the Heulyns after that, Bijou and Bracken, 'Mai' and 'Minnie'. Mai inspired the interest in the Field Trial and working side of the breed and she eventually became one of the breed's few full champions (Photo below left).
A week after winning her third CC, Mai also had to be spayed following a pyometra so the full weight of expectation fell on the shoulders of Minnie. She was mated to Marshring Major Mitchell producing Heulyn Belle Heather, 'Cissie'. She in turn was mated to Bowswood Brown Doublet, which produced Tansy (Heulyn Catch The Wind) who stayed with them going on to give them their first home-bred Champion in Heulyn Desperado 'Finn'. (Photo below)
Bowswood Belle Esprit 'Sadie' was bought in along the way and mated to Finn to produce Jack and Phoebe, Flambeau and Folie Bergere. Jack had a great show career, winning 1 CC and 6 RCC's. Tansy also had a second litter to Penrioch Patter Merchant producing H Eclaire, 'Katie' who, mated to Petranella Purple Ronnie went on to produce the Kennel's second homebred champion in 'Maddie', Heulyn Giselle.
When I was a child my family owned Cocker Spaniels from the Lochranza Kennel. They were just pets and were never shown but they were the start of my passion for dogs. We used to go to Crufts every year which further fuelled the obsession about one day breeding and showing dogs of my own.
Eventually, when the time was right, I went to Crufts for two consecutive years to decide on a breed and to find a suitable breeder. A long time was spent walking around the benches and watching the judging. I spotted one particular bitch that appealed very much. The following year I picked her out again! It was Sh Ch Tiverstone Play Misty For Me.
Bronte had a second litter of nine to Sh Ch Berkenbar Carrera two years later and this time, 'Honey' - Summerstone Basilissa was to stay (Photo below). When Honey was about nine months old, I flew to The Honeymans in Scotland to have a look at a litter of puppies with the intention of hopefully bringing home another bitch puppy. However, you know what they say about making plans! So as it turned out, 'Dylan', Beecraigs Bedevilled, a lovely dog puppy eventually joined the little gang in Kent bringing his infectiously joyful personality with him. Both Honey and Dylan enjoyed some good times in the ring particulary Dylan who won well in both his Puppy and Junior classes. He was awarded his Junior Warrant and went on to gain a CC and one RCC.
Dave and I started out together in 2005 with just three springers, Summer, Eden and Honey. Sadly, by this time Honey had been diagnosed with Chronic Hepatitis and despite some really good times with her, where we excitedly planned some puppies, it was not to be. Not long before Honey died, we bought in Cepen Celtic Charm from Karl Payne’s successful kennel in the west country. 'Izzie' was to be the foundation of our new kennel. By the way, Peasblossom is the name of a fairy in A Midsummer Night's Dream :o) . Alanea Flame joined us soon after as we greatly admired both her parents, Calvdale Crimewatch and Alanea Carisma.
Around that time, I was spending a lot of time looking at websites of Scandinavian English Springer kennels when I came across the Barecho homepage. We were smitten with the dogs and fell in love completely with Wongan Kadenza. (Photo below left). We very cheekily emailed his owners Helene and David Bjorkman to ask if they would send him to England!! We were amazed and delighted when Helene replied that she would send him for a month as any longer and she would miss him far too much! She also offered to send his daughter, Grynet to us in whelp to a dog of our choice. We will never be able to thank Helene and David enough for their amazing generosity.
While we waited for Seamus to arrive, Izzie produced our first Peasblossom babies to Sh Ch Mompesson Royal Destiny. 'Lila', Peasblossom Aria stayed with us and enjoyed a super show career. Really the most lovely girl inside and out and achieved her title much to our absolute delight. She has only recently passed away. We will never forget her. (Photo below)
Grynet also produced a lovely litter to the wonderful Ch Trollangens Maximum Effect. Her daughter, 'Rattan', Peasblossom Butterfly at Beresford went to live in Yorkshire with Trudy and David and also went on to gain her title.
Our third litter was produced by Teasel, Alanea Flame For Peasblossom to Seamus, producing Peasblossom Chance and his sister, Peasblossom Caress. Mattie made a great start too before leaving for a new life in Holland at Kennel van het Veense Springertje where she gained her title. Kye stayed here where he also gained his title, not least thrilled us beyond words when he was awarded Best of Breed at Crufts in 2013 under judge, Marion Stowe. (Photo below right)
Since Seamus' arrival from Sweden, we have also welcomed 'Holly', Barecho Qualified To Show who gained her title and who gave us 'Halle' (P Hope) who in turn produced for us, 'Millie', Sh Ch P Moonstruck. In between all of this, Lila produced the beautiful 'Robin', P Escape to Beresford who gained his title before sadly passing away much too soon. His sister 'Elin' produced for us our glorious 'Rafferty' (P Jester) who lives each day as if it is last and is trying to give his Dad, Seamus a run for his money in the CC gathering stakes. (Photo below)
So that is a very short resume. Of course along the way, there have been as many disappointments and set-backs as there have been successes but we try to keep ploughing forwards. So this chapter, as it stands, is very definitely, to be continued!
Our aim has always been to breed English Springers of good quality with a focus on health and temperament. We always strive to
produce happy, healthy springers that are a pleasure to own.
We hope you enjoy your visit to our site and look forward to hearing from you. In the first instance here is some information about
how it all began ....
'Bronte' Calvdale In Possession soon joined Summerstone like a whirlwind She was the 'all action' girl in direct contrast to Summer's very dainty and girly ways, and it was Bronte who produced the first ever Summerstone litter - the affix chosen as a tribute to Summer who would never have babies of her own. The first litter, to Eastriding Paco Rabanne produced 'Eden', Summerstone Artemis. (Photo below).
Lleyton flew to England for his holiday but of course as our luck would have it, Eden failed to come in season as planned for the first time in her life! Semen was taken however, and stored for the right girl later on....! When we took Lleyton home, we saw Seamus for the very first time, when he was just three weeks old. We were so thrilled when Helene agreed to us having one of the dog puppies from this Fritz and Kylie mating - two lovely springers with wonderful temperaments. The rest, of course, is history - such a long wait for dogs to come to the UK at that time but we have to say that Seamus was most definitely worth it! His fantastic tally of 21 CC's, BOB at Crufts, BIS at an All Breeds Championship Show ... the list goes on and on of unforgettable moments that he gave us. More important than all of those is the dog himself, the gentlest, kindest boy we could ever have wished for. He was our 'once in a lifetime' dog. (Photo below)
Contact was made with her owners, Julie and Malcolm Shovel to find that she was in whelp. Finally, after what seemed like forever, I took home Tiverstone Sweet Lady and she was named 'Summer' (Photo below). She was the best introduction to the breed you could wish for - such an easy, biddable, adorable girl - and in fact she never put a foot wrong in the whole of her life! Unfortunately Summer was diagnosed with Addisons at not much more than a year old which meant she would never have puppies so the search was on to find another bitch.