Author Archives: FlatcoatChris

Congratulations to Liz Branscombe

Liz with her flatcoats (Dog World)

Liz is the Flatcoated Retriever Society’s Breed Health Co-ordinator.  She has just been awarded the Kennel Club Breed Health Co-ordinator of the Year from a shortlist announced earlier this Autumn.

NEFRA would like to pass on congratulations to Liz and thank her for the work she does for the good of the health of our wonderful breed.

Read more here

Championship Show Referee’s report

Jane Jones, our referee at the Championship Show on Sunday, has written a very complimentary letter to our committee:

I write to thank you and your show committee for inviting me to be referee at your Championship show on Sunday 6th November, and for your superb hospitality.
I enjoyed the day immensely, and the little judging I did, and I would like to congratulate you and the whole committee on running such a well organised show. I know how much hard work is involved in making sure everything runs smoothly, no easy task, and I felt that there was a lovely atmosphere throughout the day.

My critique is attached for your records

Kind regards

Read the report here

NEFRA Championship Show – 2016

This year’s NEFRA Championship show was held on 6th November 2016 at the Fenton Manor Sports Complex in Stoke-on-Trent.

Best in Show and DCC Holland's Sh Ch Brightmoor Caught in the Act at Flatcharm (Imp)

Best in Show and DCC Holland’s Sh Ch Brightmoor Caught in the Act at Flatcharm (Imp)

Dogs were judged by Dr R Barbour, who chose Kelly Holland’s ShCh Brightmoor Caught in the Act at Flatcharm (Imp) as winner of the Kennel Club Challenge Certificate (Dog). ‘Douglas’ was subsequently awarded Best in Show by both judges together.

Reserve Best In Show and Best Opposite Sex and Bitch CC Fox's Blacktoft Burlesque JW (and Ch subject to KC)

Reserve Best In Show and Best Opposite Sex and Bitch CC Fox’s Blacktoft Burlesque JW (and Ch subject to KC)

Bitches were judged by Miss L E Jones, who selected Helen Fox’s Blacktoft Burlesque JW as winner of the Kennel Club Challenge Certificate (Bitch).

Major Award winners are listed below

Best Puppy and Best Liver in Show

Best Puppy and Best Liver in Show

RESERVE BEST IN SHOW Fox Mrs H M Blacktoft Burlesque JW
BEST OPPOSITE SEX Fox Mrs H M Blacktoft Burlesque JW
BEST PUPPY IN SHOW Gale Mrs T & Miss C Willowswind Nette Lark
BEST PUPPY DOG Strudwick Mr R & Mrs L M Burpham Million Love Songs
BEST PUPPY BITCH Gale Mrs T & Miss C Willowswind Nette Lark

Best Veteran in Show Goldberg and Keight's Sh Ch Ballyriver Band of Gold

Best Veteran in Show Goldberg and Keight’s Sh Ch Ballyriver Band of Gold

BEST VETERAN IN SHOW Goldberg & Keight Mrs V & Ms L ShCh Ballyriver Band of Gold
BEST VETERAN DOG Brook Mrs E A Culmquill Makin’  Whoopee
BEST VETERAN BITCH Goldberg & Keight Mrs V & Ms L ShCh Ballyriver Band of Gold
BITCH CC Fox Mrs H M Blacktoft Burlesque JW
RESERVE BITCH CC Grifffiths  Mr R E & Mrs G Castlerock Cosmic Hattie
BEST LIVER IN SHOW Lutner Mr R F & Miss K M Telurn Better Believe It
BEST LIVER DOG Jacobs & Holmes, Mesdames G & J Charming Melvin Oasis Of Peace (Imp Cz) JW
BEST LIVER BITCH Lutner Mr R F & Miss K M Telurn Better Believe It

For all other results follow this link
View a full set of photos on Caroline Hewison’s Facebook album by following this link

Any errors / omissions please email


Referee’s Report:

6-11 years

1 Summer Berrisford – This young handler has a very good rapport with her dog, and showed her confidently. She showed her dog’s teeth correctly, and followed the instructions I gave her very carefully when asked to move her. Good potential for the future.

11-16 years – Two very competent young handlers, and it was a very difficult decision to split them, both showing great potential for the future. I will watch their progress with interest.

1 Georgina Mellor – Presented her dog skilfully at all times. Stood her dog well, and showed the teeth correctly. She listened carefully to instructions, watched me at all times and moved her dog with precision and at the right speed. Pleased to award her Best Junior Handler.

2 Meaylee Lewis – A very close decision for me as this young handler also performed very well. She was attentive to her dog at all times, and to me also. Showed dentition correctly, and demonstrated good empathy with her dog. Just not quite as neat as 1 when moving her dog.


I was called in to referee as the bitch judge had handled the Best Veteran Dog recently. This was a close decision as they are both very good examples of our breed, and both were presented in excellent fit condition.

I awarded BVIS to the bitch, Mrs V Goldberg and Ms L Knight’s Sh Ch Ballyriver Band of Gold.
A bitch of correct size and type, presenting a balanced profile when standing. She has a lovely feminine head and dark eye which gives that soft expression. Good reach of neck, with well laid back shoulder and good length to upper arm, an excellent front. Level topline, strong rear quarters with moderate bend of stifle, and quality bone. However it was her movement that was the deciding factor for me. She moved straight and true both going away and coming towards me, with good profile movement.

Jane Jones

Working Retriever Assessments

NEFRA members were welcomed to the lovely Castle Howard Estate today, to hold the Novice and Intermediate Working Retriever Assessments.

In the Novice section, passes were awarded to
Cherry Wood and Woodfinch Cherith
Debbie Smith and Donascimento Carlos
(Judges Garry Ellison and Caroline Hewison)

In the Intermediate section, passes were awarded to
Val Orme and Elmstock Thyme to Dream
Peter Griffin and Eskwinds Ebony Jay
Julie Matthews and Ollerset Shining Nymph
Caroline Hewison and Donasimento Danilo from Casblaidd
(Judges Gill Griffin and Chris Hewison)

Thanks to everyone for coming, and also to those who helped by throwing dummies for us, and thank you to Castle Howard for allowing us to visit.

Learn more about the Working Retriever Assessments Here

Autumn Working Test 2016

Sunday 25th September 2016 saw NEFRA hosting their annual Autumn Working Test at the grounds of 
Bannister Hey, Claughton-On-Brock, near Preston by the very kind permission of Francis Fitzherbert-Brockholes & Jeremy Hunt.


Photo Courtesy of Caro Dell – Workingline Images

This is the second time the Association has visited this ground which offers many opportunities for putting dogs through their paces.   The judges for the test were Mr Philip Smithies, Mr Paul Dixon & Mr Jeremy Hunt assisted by our 
Chief Steward Mr Garry Ellison.

A night of persistent rain prior to our arrival left the ground somewhat damp underfoot so mud was the order of the day.

Prizes awarded were as follows:

Puppy (4 entries)

1st Sue Sinnott Millola Handsome Man
2nd Vicky Sullivan Autumnal Flame over Wyrebeck

Novice Dog/Novice Handler (5 entries)

1st Rose Barker Mahinda Sweet Bay
2nd Rob Ashcroft Keepersway Adele
3rd Vicky Sullivan Rocknroll Star by Wyrebeck

Novice (17 entries)

1st and Judges Choice Pat Bell Gowran Hesperis at Pallingforth
2nd Andy Sweeney Norfolkflyers Rosie’s Thorn of Wolfthistle
3rd Peter Howson Devonbank Dare to Dream

Open (11 entries)

1st and Judges Choice Caroline Hewison Maddistream Indigo Jack at Casblaidd
2nd Peter Griffin Eskwinds Chaffinch
3rd Rachel Holt Croftcloses Lucrative Boy


Vicky Sullivan, Rob Ashcroft, Andy Sweeney, Rose Barker, Paul Dixon Philip Smithies, Sue Sinnott, Jeremy Hunt, Pat Bell, Peter Howson.  Photo courtesy of Caro Dell Workingline Images


Peter Griffin, Caroline Hewison, Rachel Holt

NEFRA at the Inter-Area Team Challenge

Yesterday eight members of NEFRA were representing the Association in two teams at the Flatcoated Retriever Society’s Inter Area Team Challenge in Warwickshire.  The event was held in the surroundings of Hatton Country World with open fields, woodland and water to test the nine teams.  Each team comprised four dogs and four handlers.

Judges for the day were Sean McGrath, Paul Egginton and Graham Clelland.

Our two teams were:

Team 1

  • Puppy – Andy Sweeney Portledge Belle Amy of Wolfthistle (TOP PUPPY)
  • Novice – Caroline Hewison Venus in Transit over Casblaidd
  • Novice – Garry Ellison Ollerset Rainbow
  • Open – Gill Awty Venetian Red at Maddistream (TOP OPEN)

    Team 1

    Team 1

Team 2

  • Puppy – Lisa-Jane Mappin Casblaidd Valdoonican
  • Novice – Peter Griffin Eskwinds Ebony Jay
  • Novice – Stephanie Hurstfield Stac Polly
  • Open – Gill Griffin Eskwinds Drake

    Team 2

    Team 2

Both teams put in a fantastic effort with Team 1 winning a 2nd Place.

NEFRA would like to thank the hosts and the Flatcoated Retriever Society for inviting us to the event.  We offer our congratulations to the winning team from Wessex and look forward to the event next year.

View a Full photo album of the day’s events as a Facebook album. Anyone can view these photos – even without a Facebook account.

Championship Show Schedule Published

Entries are now open for the 2016 NEFRA Championship Show.  The show is on November 6th in Stoke-on-Trent.

Follow this link to access the Fosse Data Website where you can view the schedule and place your entry.

Training Days

The NEFRA working committee have recently held two of their ever popular training days.

The first was held on 31st July at Dearnford Lake near Whitchurch and was a Water Training Day, designed to improve our dogs work in the lake.  Often made a little more challenging by wild swimmers enjoying their day out.  Warmest thanks, as ever, go to our welcoming hosts Chas & Jane Bebbington and the staff at the lakeside cafe who put on a wonderful spread at lunchtime.

On the following weekend (6th August) saw another of our Training Days at Hesketh Bank, near Preston.  This was our second day here this summer.  Four groups were put through their paces by the class trainers, with special thanks to our guest trainer for the day Roz McIlroy and the hosts Ribble Bank Field Sports.  On such a warm day the dogs were able to stay cool in the shade of trees.

These days are always very popular with the membership and are a perfect opportunity for new members to meet us and train in a relaxed atmosphere.  Many thanks must go to all who attended.  If you have access to land that might be suitable for group training, or possibly for assessment days or tests please do let our committee know.

FRS ‘Nationals’ Working Test

NEFRA members did very well at the Flatcoated Retriever Society ‘Nationals’ Working Test near Evesham today.

With a 1,2,3 in Novice for Lewis Holton, Andy Sweeney and Caroline Hewison.

Caroline was also awarded 2nd place in Open. We would like to thank all who made the day possible.

Caroline Hewison, Lewis Holton & Andy Sweeney NOVICE prizewinners

Caroline Hewison, Lewis Holton & Andy Sweeney NOVICE prizewinners

Caroline Hewison and Jacqui Crew OPEN Prizewinners

Caroline Hewison and Jacqui Crew OPEN Prizewinners