The Sir Roger de Coverly Story

I knew coming into this project that a lot of the information out there about the Rymans was wrong- the main reason to write the book in the first place was to give a true picture of what they were and an accurate accounting of some of the history of the kennel. Still, I was surprised by how much of the story didn’t hold up. There were a number of unexpected moments during the research when it suddenly became clear that the records didn’t support something everyone believes about the Rymans, or about early English setters in general.

One of the first revelations came early on while checking the Ryman pedigrees against the stud book records- the story of Sir Roger de Coverly. Everyone “knows” that Ryman founded the kennel on his breedings to this dog, but that isn’t what happened. This discovery helped bring into focus how critical it was that every fact was backed up solidly by the records before making it into the book. If we were were going to avoid repeating the same falsehoods, or creating new ones of our own, everything had to be verified, no matter how common the knowledge or how many times the stories have been told. This led to much research into the beginnings of the kennel, what sort of dog Sir Roger de Coverly really was, and how the Rymans fit into the early history of the breed.