Who We Are
I was born into dogs, quite literally. My grandmother, Pat VanDenBerg Schmitz was a professional all breed handler in the 60’s and 70’s. She primarily bred German Shepherds under the kennel name of Quantonas, and Papillions under the kennel name of Elfenglen, which were left to her by her dear friend, Grace Barnhart. These, along with an occasional Smooth Fox Terrier or Dachshund kept me engaged and versatile. My grandparents owned a boarding and training kennel. I grew up assisting with training classes, cleaning kennels, caring for the dogs, and training client dogs in basic obedience. Many years of my childhood were filled with me wishing I had my own dog to show. I would even take my grandma’s retired dogs out and practice free stacking, moving, hard stacking, baiting, etc.
In the mid 1990’s, while at my local all-breed dog shows, I found myself in awe while admiring a male Irish Setter on a grooming table. His coat was long, dark, and straight, with a small white blaze peeking through on his chest. He was sweet and gentle, and I was in love. His owner let me pet him and after a few moments, she asked me to watch him while she ran to get something, and upon her return, found me grinning proudly with her male special happily waiting to be taken in the ring, white blaze freshly braided and sticking out awkwardly. That is where Renette Berggren of Cairncross Irish Setters had our beginning. Year after year, I would come back to see Renette and her Irish. She allowed me to take her 6 month old puppy in for Winner’s Bitch competition one year, and I ended up taking reserve to a large major. From there, I was hooked. 20+ years later, Renette has become a pseudo mother, a mentor, a friend, and a foundation for me.
In 2009, I took on two young dogs for Renette, Donegan and Kitty Boo. When I received orders for my Army unit’s deployment in 2010, I decided to send my two dogs off to field training to keep their minds employed. After coming back from my second tour to Iraq, I started working my dogs in the field and attended my first hunt test and field trial, and it was like discovering why I loved Irish Setters all over again.
Quantonas Irish Setters is named for my grandmother, who is the absolute reason I am involved in dogs. Her passion and support for my own success in the dog world is something I can never fully express my gratitude for. Between her, my late grandfather Bruce Schmitz, my mom, Renette, Carrie Paine, Patty Fanelli, Trena Cardwell, Susan Russell, and the numerous other supporters and mentors I have had along the way, I am blessed.
Current times at Quantonas
In the past handful of years, we at Quantonas along side our friends and mentors at Chukarhill Kennel have developed a top notch string of Field bred Irish Setters which have been slowly making a name for themselves. Kelli and her husband Clayton travel full time with their dogs, hunting, training, and competing in field trials. Kelli has dedicated her life to these dogs, and Clayton wouldn't have it any other way. You can catch up on the latest and greatest in Kelli and Clayton's adventures by checking out Clayton's Redbeard Outdoors You Tube Channel where you will find all kinds of Irish Setter, Outdoor, and RV life content!
What We Strive For
Quantonas Irish Setters is home to primarily field bred dogs with a co-ownership on a few good show bred dogs. My intent is to produce dogs which are competitive on a national level, in the field. All of my dogs are bred to encourage sound health, temperament, and desire to please.
My field bred dogs are aimed at the horseback shooting dog caliber in both the American Field and AKC world. They also excel at Obedience, NAVHDA, Agility, etc. These dog thrive when they have a job to perform. These dogs tend to be smaller framed, with shorter fringe.
All of my show bred dogs are expected to be able to put wild birds in my bag, and majority of them will be suitable for Hunt Tests and/or Walking Gun Dog stakes. These dogs look more like the "classic Irish Setter" that comes to mind for most people.
We are members of the ISCA, ISC of Colorado, and NRSFTC