Our New President

Bob Allen - our new President

Bob Allen – our new President

NEFRA are pleased to announce that Mr Bob Allen (Darillens) from Sheffield has agreed to be our new President.

Bob will be well known to those in the showing world,  he was our first Chairman when NEFRA was founded and has judged for us at our second championship show and frequently helped us  as ring steward.  One of Bob’s dogs also won Best In Show at our 1998 Open Show at Worsall.

If you want to read a little about Bob’s early career in flatcoats you might want to read a résumé he wrote in 2012 before a judging trip to the Czech Republic, just one of many prestigious judging appointments which also included judging our breed at Crufts in 2004.

Annual Awards 2014 (awarded at the AGM 2015)


Sandra Stevenson with Wendy Blain’s Rotherfield First Request awarded the NEFRA President’s Cup 2014

1st (51pts) Blain’s Rotherfield First Request  
2nd (44pts) Stevenson’s Sh Ch Steelriver Heatwave ShCM JW
3rd (39pts) Kilminster’s Sh Ch Withybed Blue Jeans
4th (38pts) Brady’s Sh Ch Llantrussa Head over Heals to Bordercot
4th (38pts) Walker and Robert’s Gloi Dubh Enchantress JW
6th (36pts) Fox’s Blacktoft Burlesque JW
7th (34pts) Laird’s Sh Ch Branchalwood Tamdhu of Daicheil ShCM JW
8th (32pts) Walker and Robert’s Gloi Dubh Eriskay
9th (31pts) Egginton’s Ch Glendarual Sea the Stars with Pajanbeck


Wendy Battison and Donascimento Bebeto

1st (491pts) Battison’s Donascimento Bebeto
2nd (301pts) Fox’s Blacktoft Ever Blazin
3rd (297pts) Battison’s Donascimento Ramires
4th (200pts) Battison’s Mystical Eclipse of Donascimento
5th (156pts) Hewison’s Maddistream Indigo Jack at Casblaidd
6th (151pts) Fox’s Blacktoft Burlesque JW
7th (140pts) Orme’s Elmstock Thyme to Dream
8th (132pts) Awty’s Venetian Red at Maddistream
9th (129pts) Hewison’s Venus in Transit over Casblaidd
10th (120pts) Holt’s Croftcloses Lucrative Boy
11th (71.5pts) Hewison’s Donascimento Danilo


Pat Round’s ‘Teasel’ Pebblebed Rainbow Chaser Beg Ex….awarded the Inca Trophy at the AGM

1st (28pts) Round’s Pebblebed Rainbow Chaser Beg Ex
2nd (24pts) Perry’s Casanjay Browneyed Girl

Tributes to a gentle man

Peter Forster

It is with great sadness to report that our President Mr Peter Forster passed away at his home in Staffordshire last night. Peter was a long-term supporter of the Association and was a familiar face to many of us.

Our thoughts are with his family at this time.

Details of funeral arrangements and an obituary will be published soon.

A tribute to Peter Forster by NEFRA Committee Member – Dennis Orme

We first met Peter in the late 70`s. Having just lost our family Labrador we were looking to get another dog and a friend told us about her vet who had these beautiful black dogs, which was our first introduction to Audrey and Peter. Audrey, a lady who said it as it was, and Peter, a quiet gentleman, and as we found out the perfect team.

Audrey once told me that with Peter “What you see is what you get “just how wrong she was, there was much more to Peter than met the eye. He was a font of knowledge and would give help and advice whenever he was asked for it, he was always an unassuming man who shunned the limelight.

Peter was always there for anyone at any time. He was our introduction to working the dogs. On many a wet dark evening, after a training session, he would still be talking at midnight having brought flasks of coffee and cups. He would never be rushed. His patient and gentle way with animals amazed us and many others whom he has helped over the years. I have seen him separate two beaters dogs, intent on killing each other, by kneeling down and talking to them. He took time out to treat injured dogs and would accept nothing in return. He arrived on the shoot one day and was limping and very withdrawn but wouldn’t tell us why. I phoned Audrey that evening to see how he was. She said that it was only his pride that was hurt because for the first time ever a horse had kicked him.

Whenever Peter judged we were interested to see what he looked for in a dog. When talking to him afterwards he admitted he never knew who the owners were but recognised the breeding lines and pedigrees of the dogs he put up.

I served as his vice-chairman on the NEFRA committee and learned much from him. He was always prepared to listen and help anyone. Our committee will be the poorer without him.
Val and I owe much to Peter and I am pleased that I had the opportunity to speak to him on the telephone a few days before his passing. I will miss a good friend and mentor and Val will miss her ‘Second Dad’.

The breed will be the poorer without him and if we can only know just a small percentage of what he knew we will be much wiser.
Our thoughts are with Claire, Alison, Louise and their families at this sad time, the world is a richer place because of him.

Peter, a true and irreplaceable GENTLE – MAN, who never had a bad word for anyone.
Rest in peace with Audrey, God bless, you will never be forgotten.


Members may not be aware that the Kennel Club require notification if your dog has had surgery that might alter the appearance oth their dogs. This is a BVA leaflet highlighting the various surgeries that are included.

Recruiting Flat Coated Retriever Owners for a Survey

Caroline Quarmby is a veterinary surgeon studying for a PhD at the University of Nottingham who is looking at feeding and exercise management in dogs and has produced an online questionnaire for owners of Labradors, Golden Retrievers, Flat Coated Retrievers, GSDs and Standard Poodles. The reason she is interested in these particular breeds is that she has run a similar questionnaire for Guide Dog breeding stock holders and she wants to recruit owners of similar breeds of dog (who are not associated with Guide Dogs in any way) to compare responses.

You can help Caroline by completing her online questionnaire. The survey is anonymous and should take about 10-15 mins to complete. Any information collected will remain confidential, although it may be disseminated in an anonymised form. This study has received ethical approval from the University of Nottingham School of Veterinary Medicine and Science Ethics Committee.

If you would like any more information about the research, feel free to contact Caroline at Caroline.Quarmby@nottingham.ac.uk

Mavis Lancaster

Mavis Lancaster

Mavis Lancaster

It is with deep regret that we have to announce to death of Mrs Mavis Lancaster, the wife of our late President George.

Both were very loyal and supportive followers of NEFRA during their early days and indeed throughout our years. Mavis always attended our Championship Show and we were delighted that she was able to join us last November. Indeed, we had only just appointed her as an Honorary Life Member at our AGM earlier this month, an honour which we unfortunately were unable to advise her of.

Rest in peace Mavis.

Donations to be split between Sussex Spaniel Association Rescue and Flatcoated Retriever Society.

Mrs Joan Mason

Joan Mason 002

Joan Mason

Mrs Joan Mason (Heronsflight) passed away on 9th December 2013. Joan will be fondly remembered by many in the breed, she was a keen and very knowledgable lady and will be missed by many members.

Joan’s involvement with the breed started when she acquired her first bitch, Heronsflight Blackbell of Yarlaw in 1964. In partnership with her daughter, Rosemary Talbot, the kennel has enjoyed great success over the years.

Elaine Whittaker writes:

On the 20th December 2013 I attended the funeral of Mrs Joan Mason, the Patron of the Flatcoated Retriever Society, held at the very beautiful, traditional old church of St Mary’s in Ilmington, a picturesque village where Joan and her family have lived at Mansil Farm for many years.

It was a fitting service with tributes being read by her eldest son David, her grandaughter Amanda, and a poem read by her daughter-in-law Angela. Her grandson Elliot read Psalm 23 – “The Lord is my Shepherd”. I know Joan would have been very proud of her family on this day. A tribute was also read by Mr Brian Izzard, until recently the Chairman of the Flatcoated Retriever Society. Joan, of course, being great friends with his mother Margaret of the Ryshot affix all those years ago.

After the funeral we were invited to the Howard Arms in Ilmington for refreshments and shared many good memories of Joan before braving the Christmas traffic on the journey home.

Joan and I have been friends since I started in Flatcoats in 1980 being introduced to her by Denise and Neil Jury and what a dear friend she was, always there for advice with her many years of experience and wisdom. As a chapter of my life closes I will never forget the happy times at Mansil Farm with Joans’ legendry ploughmans lunches in the kitchen full of Flatcoats and the farm cats that were always welcome to come in and have a snuggle by the Aga. Not to mention occasionally being spat at on arrival after she and David rescued “Lenny the Llama”.

A true friend who will be greatly missed.

Flatcoated Retriever Society’s Health Seminar

Thanks to Cambridge Vet School

NEFRA members visited Cambridge to attend The Flatcoated Retriever Society’s Health Seminar and visit the cancer care unit with expert lectures given on a number of topics geared with flatcoats in mind.

We would like to thank the FRS Health sub-committee and the Cambridge staff for their kind hospitality.

Please could all members spare the time to revisit the health pages of the FRS site where you can read about the Cause of Death Register (for recording ALL flat coated retriever deaths) and the Tumour Survey (for pathological analysis of ALL lumps removed from flatcoated retrievers, and the storage of their blood samples for DNA analysis)