Ballyhale Labrador
Ballyhale Labrador


I owned my first dog when I was 16. He was an Irish Red Setter called 'Senta'. I soon realised that looking after a dog came with a good deal of responsibility. In our time together, I learnt a lot of valuable lessons about dog keeping, though in those days I lived in a flat, which is far from an ideal environment when it comes to keeping 'man's best friend'.

I had my second dog when I was 30. He was a Labrador Retriever called 'Döme' - I can trace my love for this breed back to this time. Döme was a Hungarian Champion dog. I took great enjoyment from training him and keeping him in good physical condition for the working dog examination¸ in this I also sought the help of a number of professional trainers with good reputations for training retrievers. Together, we drilled the dogs with long strolls - these walks could last for 2-3 hours at a time. We also found that the dogs were quick learners when it came to the playful tasks we set for them. In these activities, I learnt a lot from my friend Szabolcs Báthory. All our work was rewarded when Döme achieved top marks in the working examination, with 260 points.

Being HCH, Döme performed the perfect working trial. My experiences with Döme taught me that dog breeding is a serious craft - it became my ambition to be part of the international professional elite of dog breeding. The first step on this path was to obtain a breeding bitch, but not just from anywhere - I carefully selected the source from Joyce and Les Brabban at the Cambremer Kennel in England; the home of the Labrador retriever. I had to wait 18 months before a puppy became available. Eventually, on 29th May 2002, Cambremer Shadow Dancer was born - the founding bitch of the Ballyhale Kennel. I wish to express my thanks to Joyce and Les Brabban here - I know I made the right choice selecting them. My aim in breeding not just to rear healthy and beautiful dogs for shows, but also to rear dogs for future success in working trials. My preference is to breed dual Labradors. I have now competed with my dogs in many shows, achieving many fine results - we also compete in many other European special shows where th judges are themselves professional Labrador breeders of many years standing. In 2005, Dancer took the working exam and also achieved great results in the L and M class working trials. These working trials are organised and overseen as part of the English hunting culture field trial. I really enjoy training these dogs and exploring the glories of nature with them.

Trials for working dogs have no tradition in Hungary - this meant a long period of self-education in the wonderful realm of dog training. I learnt much about working dogs from my two friends Rita Kökény and Olivér Király, both currently working as international trainers and competitors in working dog trials - I owe so much of my knowledge to them.

In 2004 and 2006 Work and Show Trials in Germany, Dancer was awarded 3d place. 2005 was the year of our first mating in Scotland - dancer was mated with Sh.Ch.Tullochmohr Final Edition (Ace), bred by Mrs. Diana Downey-Tulloch. Ace, this lovely dog, has 27xCC, 14x RCC, 11xBOB and he won twice the CRUFTS. This first litter included a really interesting puppy, a black dog called Ballyhale Arnold (Osho). In 2006, Dancer was awarded the Dt. Ch. (VDH) & Inter Champion title. Our second mating took place on 19th December 2006. In Holland, with the very promising Withara's Sarah Lovely Robin, owned by Marie Louise. The most outstanding puppy from this litter was the yellow bitch Ballyhale Amelie.

The second litter from this mating pair produced a black dog - our trusted Ballyhale Black Jack - who has 3 times been awarded the title of Best Puppy.

The next litter came from a mating pair of Dancer and Cambremer Craftman, also owned by Joyce and Les Brabban, in 2008.

I hope you all find happiness with these wonderful dogs and we wish you every success in your breeding of them.

Best Wishes:
Peter Zsigmond