This is the current committee of the Sporting Irish Water Spaniel Club


Chairman : John Rolfe


I rescued my first Water Spaniel nearly 40 years ago. She was from an old working line and although not the healthiest specimen  became a much valued companion when rough shooting.
I was born on a large shooting estate and spent most of my childhood helping a beat keeper rearing in the Spring and 'beating' in the Winter so I suppose its not surprising that eventually I became  a fulltime gamekeeper. From my first Water Spaniel to the present day we have had an unbroken succession of 'Whiptails'. I think its true to say I am passionate about this wonderful breed.  I was a founder member of the SIWSC and became Chairman in 1992. I care deeply about the future of the IWS as a working gundog and am resolved to promote the breeding of healthy dogs 'fit for purpose'.

 Seretary : Wendy Perera


Growing up, we always had gundogs around, my dad had a rough shoot but it wasn’t until 10 years ago that I I purchased my first IWS, a Killountain bred bitch from Lois Ferrans.  Her KC name was Killountain Lady of the Lake and a more apt name you could not ask for as she loves water!  From that day I became addicted.  We now have three, a lovely boy from David and Ursula Wilcox and his daughter Miss Fae.  I have been Field Trials Secretary for the Isle of Wight Gundog Club for 14 years and welcome the opportunity to raise awareness of this lovely breed.


 Website : Neil Rice

NR 2

I first came across the Irish Water Spaniel back in 1973, a friend of the family had two Scottish Deer Hounds and a lovely Irish Water Spaniel bitch, from then on I knew that one day I would own one.  Well it took a further 37 years before it came to pass. We successfully bred a litter of puppies from our first IWS bitch, Sookie in 2013.  Unfortunately we lost Sookie last year but we still have one of of her pups and he is progressing well, all be it slowly.  I currently have two Labradors, an ESS and an IWS and throughout the season I am out at least 4 days a week shooting, picking up or driving the Guns on the Arbury Estate.

I look after the SIWSC Website which is hosted on my server, I am a professional photographer so whenever possibly I try to record all of the clubs events and activities. 

Sue Hempstead


I got my first Irish Water Spaniel in 2005 which was Zac (Cuvana Loutre de Mer), who proved himself again and again in both the working and showing world.  From the first litter that Zac sired in 2007 we got our wonderful Caz who is our very special little girl and just loves to please. I am now the proud owner of 3 IWS and cannot imagine life without them.  I both show and work my IWS but I am passionate about keeping this wonderful breed working - in the shooting field they are second to none.



Judy Hempstead 




I had always been involved in dogs as the family established the Cuvana Cocker Spaniel line well before I could walk; I was growing up around breeding bitches, training, ring-craft and in the show ring from the age of 6yrs with the cockers. 

1977 I was given my first Irish Water Spaniel, from the Coinross Kennels. 37 yrs on I am an avid water spaniel owner.

I began breeding IWS at the age of 14 yrs and continued to train and show them, with a varied career I have never been without an IWS. I show, work and compete in tests and work my IWS along side my labs and cocker on local shoots throughout the shooting season with my son Oscar.

I have supported the Sporting Club and the IWSA for some years. I will endeavor to continue to promote the breed at a variety of events, to ensure the breed continues to flourish. 

Richard Smith


I have had Irish water spaniels since 2007 when I bought my first bitch. Since then I have added another bitch and a dog to my kennels, breeding my own litter to keep a dog. I also have two springers in the kennels which belong to my wife. Throughout the season we are out picking up, beating and on peg with our dogs for over 40 days. I also take the dogs out pigeon shooting and wildfowling, they are also used for dogging in when the poults are put into their pens late summer. 
I am passionate about the water spaniels and find they are a very versatile breed be it picking game, quartering across open country or woodland beating. I hope that with the hard work of like minded people this breed will continue to grow and become a more common site in the shooting field. One day we I hope we will not have to tell people in the shooting field it's not a labraddoodle.


John Lewis 


John's introduction to the breed came in 1995 when he obtained not only his first Irish Water Spaniel, but also his first dog. Quite an introduction to the canine world!
He soon became involved with the SIWSC and realised that there was more to owning an IWS other than just as a pet, as is made clear today from the amount of events that the SIWSC run and attend as working IWS ambassadors.
Having performed several roles on the committee over many years, including that of developing the clubs website and acting as health co--ordinator, his current role is now that of membership co-ordinator.

Jill Taft 

I have been involved with the club for 12 years and on the committee for six years. My late husband Pat Taft was a gundog trainer and saw the potential in the IWS whilst judging Denise Hurst and her dog Morgan at a working test.  Pat started training classes and the SIWSC became a big part of my life. I don't have a water spaniel now but the running of the club and its events are important to me.

Lisa Dugdale

lisa dugdale


I have only owned an IWS for 3 ½ years, my passion for the breed knows no boundaries since I saw them 25 years ago at a Game Fair.  Having owned one, I have embraced a whole new way of training when traditional training methods didn’t work thus demonstrating that I am open to new ideas, thoughts and methods.  

I am embarking on a journey to obtain the Kennel Club Accredited Instructor qualification to enable me to help others train their pet dogs at the pet dog training club I attend who are sponsoring and mentoring me along the way.  I am also undertaking courses in 2017 to further my knowledge of dogs in general and in training them.  I hope that this will give me new skills and knowledge that I can transfer to the IWS world.

Steph Rolfe 

I have been involved with the club and IWS for many years. Our first family dog was an IWS and some 40 or more years later we have never been without one.
Darcy, my first Water Spaiel came to me an as untrained 2 year old who needed rehoming. So its quite appropriate that my role on the committee is to look after welfare. Unfortunately Darcy suffered from epilepsy and we lost him relatively young so health is another issue I am particularly interested in.

John Bint

john bint 

Having spent many years beating and picking up with Labs and Cockers, it was seven years ago that I got my first (long yearned for) Irish Water Spaniel.  My two dogs now work throughout the season and constantly show a high standard if scenting and retrieving ability.  It is my firm belief that the breed can more than hold its own as a working gundog.  I am fully commited to, as the club says, "Keep them working"