In the history of Gordon Setter breed, few individuals have affected such a change in a breed as that accomplished by Suzanne and Norman Sorby, the founders of Springset Gordon Setters Kennels. Since Springset’s inception in 1955, the Sorby’s goal has been to produce a Gordon Setter that would excel under the most severe conditions, against the toughest of competition. To fulfill this goal they have utilized a strongly inbred line of Gordons from their predecessor, Alec V. Laurence, producing Gordon’s genetically dominant for the desired characteristics of classical pointing style and intensity, superior and run, and strong retrieving ability, both on land and from the water.
The results of the Sorby’s breeding program is evident in the numerous records broken by Springset of Springset derivative Gordons on their way to winning unprecedented number of National Field Awards. AKC and American Field Championships, and National Championships. 91% of all Gordons in the USA in the field competition are either Springset derivative, or directly out of Petaluma facility. Springset Gordons have defeated the National Champions of the Brittany Spaniel, Red Setter, and German Shorthaired Pointer breeds, in short-to-retrieve, AKC competition.
Although the Sorby’s have concentrated on producing outstanding field Gordons, they have also produced many bench Champions, as well as more Dual Champions than have been bred by any one kennel. Three Springset Gordons have earned that coveted title; another Dual Champion is out of a Springset bitch. Currently, 20 Springset Gordons carry Field Champion titles. This was not achieved by accident, or simply by luck. It was achieved by hard work, and the experience gained from day to day observation of more than 40 Gordon Setters at any one time.
Springset has been the subject of articles in: Ontario Out of Doors (Canada), Hunting World (Japan), Bird Dog (Norway), and Hunting Dog, the Gordon Quarterly, Gun Dog and Sports Afield in the USA. In addition, Springset Gordons have been featured on national television, appearing on the program “Coors Western Outdoorsman”. Springset Gordons have also starred in various hunting shows in both the United States and Canada, putting on demonstration of point, honor and retrieving before several hundred thousand people over the years.
Springset has exported breeding stock to Canada, France, Japan, Norway, Scotland, Sweden and Denmark.