Together since 2002, we are fortunate to share a love for dogs, fine wines and a wicked sense of humour. We had a nomadic start to our life together, starting first in Yorkshire then moving to Dorset before finally settling in Kent. Lee is a serving Police Officer while Claire works mostly from home and as a volunteer as well as looking after our gorgeous 3 children plus, of course, the dogs (not forgetting the chickens and cats!).
Our affix "Hapsberg" comes from the name of Claire's German Wirehaired Pointer Champion Adam from Hapsberg. “Jasper” (as he was known at home) was bred by renowned artist Marion Jones and was owned in partnership with Claire's father Malcolm Green. During the 1980’s, the Kennel Club was reluctant to grant affixes to breeders and so a lot of litters were registered using themes. Marion registered her GWP litter on the “A” from “H” theme and thus the pups were called “Adek from Hardenburg” and “Adelle from Heidleberg” etc etc. We have bred GWP's under the Hapsberg and Wassetwire affixes but currently do not own any of the breed. Claire still has an interest in the breed though and is a Championship Show judge of them.
Claire had already adopted the Hapsberg affix in 1994 but following her marriage to Nigel Greenwood they decided to find a different one. Given that Nigel owned a sheep gait (and sporting rights) on a grouse moor in North Yorkshire called “Wassett Fell” we applied for wassettfell as an affix. That was rejected by the Kennel Club and our second choice “Wassetwire” was granted. In 1999 Claire and Nigel got a border terrier, Autumndale Evergreen. This was a breed that Claire had always wanted from a child after reading the James Herriot books. When Nigel's life was cut tragically short in 2001, Claire decided that she would not carry on with the "Wassetwire" affix. She and her husband Lee re-adopted the "Hapsberg" affix in January 2003. In 2007, the Wassetwire affix was signed over to Rob & Helen Foster who owned Wassetwire By ‘Eck it’s Harvey. Rob & Helen were dear friends to Claire and Nigel and it seemed like the right thing to do. The sheep gait & sporting rights on Wassett Fell now belong to Claire.
One of the most famous affixes in the world and founded by our good friend Michael Gadsby who was to start us off in Italian Spinoni when he gave us Cara (Afterglow Drama Queen at Hapsberg) as our wedding present. Michael's generosity didn't stop there though and in 2008, he allowed Claire a partnership in his Affix. After this all our Italian Spinoni to date have been registered as "Afterglow". It is little known but Michael owned/bred the first Show Champion Italian Spinone and while he is perhaps more famous for his American Cocker Spaniels and Poodles he still has an interest in the breed.
While Claire has loved being a part of the famous Afterglow Kennel things change and Michael has moved away from Italian Spinoni into other breeds and has been having less and less input in to our breeding plans. We are still friends but decided jointly that it was time to go our own way. Michael gave us a great start in the breed and we intend to continue with our success under our new affix “Affilato”. This is jointly in Lee and Claire's names and is Italian for “Sharp”.
We have been really very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to get involved at grass roots level with this company. The food has been scientifically formulated by a practising vet and is, at last, a premium quality dog food that is available to all at affordable prices.
At Gundog Society of Wales on 14th October 2015, Afterglow Hashtag Scandal won his third challenge certificate and thus became the breed's youngest EVER Show Champion aged just 13 months and 9 days old. Not only that but also he finished the 2015 showing season as Top Puppy in the breed.
At Leeds Championship Show 2015, Sarah Clews piloted
"Peppy" (who is co-owned with Sarah's grandmother Jessica Towner) to his
third challenge certificate - all three having been awarded by breed
specialists. Peppy is a second generation Show Champion and was born "in
the purple" as both his parents are also Show Champions. This comes
after his Reserve Best Dog at Crufts 2014.
Peppy has been hip scored (10:14) and is CA clear (both parents). He is available at stud.
He has been bred by us but is owned and lives with another family. However, as his breeder, all decisions regarding stud applications will be ultimately made by us. We are lucky to have been entrusted with bloodlines from other kennels and will always seek approval from those kennels before allowing any stud dog sharing their lines to be used.