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Dan Sayers was introduced to the Irish Water Spaniel in 1979 through a New York Times article featuring CH Oaktree’s Irishtocrat’s Westminster Kennel Club win. Two years later, he met his first rattail Spaniel at an all-breed dog show. CH Lindholme Duffington Crickcin’s single entry at the 1981 Trenton Kennel Club dog show converted this dog lover into a breed devotee.


In 1984, Dan attended his first IWSCA National Specialty. The following year, he acquired his first IWS, CH Mirkwood’s Cameo Appearance CD. “Teala” earned her championship by going Best of Breed from the classes under breeder-judge Arlene Thompson-Brown. Teala later earned her CD as a veteran and was awarded Best of Opposite Sex at the 1992 National from the Veteran Bitch Class under Sporting Dog authority Carl Liepmann. Teala also won the first Veteran’s Sweepstakes offered by the IWSCA, an award earned the subsequent two years by two different dogs handled by Dan.


In 1988, Teala produced the first litter of Quiet Storm puppies. CH Mallyree Triple Expectation CDX JH sired five champions, two of which became All-Around IWS. Three champions were later produced by Teala, bred by Betty Wathne and sired by CH Donnybrook Madcap Gallantry UD TD JH WC. Dan’s latest special, CH Quiet Storm Koffi With Cream, is sired by GCHS Poole’s Ide Sargeant Sloane CD RN MX MXJ MXF out of CH Quiet Storm Triple Mocha, and is co-owned with Dr. Tim Fleming and Andrew Fleming. “Koffi” was awarded Winners Dog and Best of Winners by Gundog authority Frank Kane at the 2022 IWSCA National Specialty.


Active in the IWSCA for nearly forty years, Dan has served the club as Vice-President and Corresponding Secretary. He authored the AKC Gazette breed column for ten years and received the club’s first President’s Award. In 2012, Dan provided the illustrations, editorial content, and page layout for the IWSCA Illustrated Breed Standard. Currently, Dan is the AKC Delegate for the IWSCA.


An interest in design, illustration, and writing complements Dan’s appreciation for the purebred dog. Through the years, he’s contributed articles and artwork to many leading dog publications, including Showsight, Dogs in Review, Sighthound Review, Top Notch Toys, and Best in Show Daily. More than 350 of Dan’s original illustrations appear in the award-winning Encyclopedia of K-9 Terminology by Ed and Pat Gilbert.


Dan has judged a variety of match shows and sweepstakes, including the IWSCA National Specialty in 2002 and 2016.

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