David Jones has enjoyed a lifelong involvement with English Springer Spaniels. He recieved his first springer from his father at the age of four. When he was just ten years old, he began learning the art of dog training.
The Welsh native graduated from the Game Conservancy's Gamekeeper Training Course at Fordingbridge, Hampshire, U.K. He worked as an underkeeper on the Carrog Shoot in Wales for two years before his employment in 1975 at the world reknown Saighton Kennels.
He was working as an underkeeper when Saighton Kennel owner, Talbott Radcliffe, recognized David's innate aptitude and understanding of the springers. From then on, David was assigned at least two of the Saighton springers to handle during each hunting season. One of these dogs was Saighton's Seeking, who was the main stud at the kennel at that time. Perhaps the best known offspring of Seeker was 2xNAFC/NFC/CNFC Saighton's Scud, a dog who was exported to America where he achieved four national field championship titles.
After working for six years at the Saighton Kennel, Talbot offered David the Head Keepers position, but he decided to move on to Victoria, Texas, instead.
Starting with foundation stock imported from the Saighton Kennel, David bred and trained the Strong Springers. He handled the dogs in US and Canadian field trials between 1981 and 1987. The success of the Strong line English Springer Spaniels included winning field trials, finishing field champion titles and placing at the National Open Championship. In addition, Strong dogs achieved first and second placements for national high point dogs in 1986 - and FC/CFC Strong's Seamus was named second on the Top Sires list in 1989. This was especially significant when taking into consideration that Seamus only had a limited number of breedings.
David Jones judging a New Zealand field trial.
While on hiatus from ESS field trialing, the continuation and development of the Strong English Springer Spaniel linebreeding program and the solid commitment in keeping it true to it's Saighton heritage - always remained a top priority.
Meanwhile, Jones competed on the pointer field trial circuit and also in the highly competitive arena of greyhound races. He bred, trained, and handled Strong dogs for each of these pursuits. Finally, in 1997, David Jones announced his return as an active competitor in English Springer Spaniel field trials.
David Jones with
the NESSSDC Trophy.
Besides his considerable experience with English Springer Spaniels, David has also trained numerous Pointers, Labrador Retrievers, working Terriers, racing Greyhounds, trailing Hounds, and English Cocker Spaniels. Over the years, David has served as a judge for pointer, cocker spaniel and springer spaniel field trial competitions in the US, Canada and in New Zealand. In addition to his fine reputation as a dedicated, knowledgable breeder and an experienced trainer of high quality hunting and field trial dogs, David Jones is a certified National Sporting Clay's Association Shooting instructor.
In 2001, realizing a need for a competition that not only tests the spaniel for the desired qualities found in a field trial competitor - but balances that with the work of a hunting companion... plus requires the handler to shoot over their own dog, David Jones established and organized the National English Springer Spaniel Shooting Dog Championship. The annual event ran for several years and was held in Texas during early February. It attracted the interest and participation of many of the finest judges - as well as first-rate dog and handler teams from coast to coast and Canada.