Recent and Forthcoming Events

Recent Events

Cancelled Events (due to coronovirus situation)

Forthcoming Events (return to this list frequently please)

  • 27th September 2020 – Autumn Working Test – Welbeck (TBC)
  • 8–9th May 2021 – NEFRA’s 25th Anniversary Celebration Weekend – Hayes Farm, Newstead Village, NG15 0BD

other dates will be added once confirmed

Animal Health Trust update from Cathryn Mellersh

Update About AHT Closure

Further to the announcement that the Animal Health Trust will close on 31st July 2020 the following message was sent to Breed Health Coordinators by Cathryn Mellersh on 13th July 2020:

‘’The future of canine genetics research and DNA testing service following closure of Animal Health Trust on July 31st, 2020

I would like to extend my sincere and heartfelt thanks to everybody who has contacted me and my colleagues to express their sadness at the imminent closure of the Animal Health Trust on July 31st. I have worked at the AHT for 19 years, as have many of my team, and we are truly devastated by its closure. 

During that time we have worked with so many of you that have an interest in the health and wellbeing of dogs and I believe it is fair to say that together we have done our bit to improve the lives of hundreds, if not thousands, of dogs who might otherwise have been born with an inherited disease. 

Many of you have been in touch to ask about what will happen to the samples and data that the AHT has collected over the several decades, as well as whether the research and/or the DNA testing service will continue. 

I would like to assure you all that I am working very hard to secure the long-term future of the DNA samples and their associated data as well as both the research and the DNA testing service that my fabulous team carry out and it is my hope is that before very long I will be able to update you with some good news and that we can resume all the projects we currently have underway, as well as starting exciting new ones.’’

Cathryn Mellersh

I will share further updates as I receive them from Cathryn.

Liz Branscombe Flatcoated Retriever Breed Health Coordinator 

Show cancellation

It is with deepest regret that, in light of the ongoing restrictions imposed during the Covid-19 pandemic, the committee have reached the decision to cancel this year’s NEFRA breed championship show.

We look forward to greeting you all at our future NEFRA events very soon.

Annual General Meeting 2020 and Annual Awards

Due to the coronavirus pandemic the NEFRA AGM last week was postponed.  This will be rescheduled when possible.

The NEFRA Annual Awards have been announced today

Annual awards are as follows:

President’s Cup – Walker’s ShCh Lizzlog Granny Wont Like It JW

ShCh Lizzlog Granny Won’t Like It JW with the President’s Trophy

Ceilidh Cup – Wendy Battison’s Donascimento Ramires


Donascimento Ramires

Inca Trophy – Hewison’s Casblaidd Mirror Lake

Casblaidd Mirror Lake


Kennel Club Working Gundog Certificate Day – nr Wigan

On 23rd February 2020 NEFRA held a KC Working Gundog Certificate day on dummies at Roby Mill, Wigan, by very kind permission of Sarah Marflow.

Eight dogs representing four different breeds took part with assessors Phil Smithies and Caroline Hewison. The ground is lovely, with everything needed for the day and wonderful hospitality from Sarah. Sausage butties to start and then lunch and a delicious venison and goose stew (thank you Lisa!) at the finish.

The exercises included off lead heelwork, a jumping exercise over or through (!) an obstacle, a mock drive and steadiness exercise. A walk up with some dogs standing and some beating. A hunting exercise and finally the water retrieve. The dogs were certainly put through their paces.
Thank you to Chris Hewison and Darren Meredith Brooks for their dummy throwing skills today, Charlotte and Shirt Monkey for the lovely certificates, and Garry for having a 4×4 that could tow people out of mud!

The successful dogs:

Garry Ellison and Ollersett Black Knight (FCR)
Charlotte Smith and Castlerock First Glance at Whirlymere (FCR)
Anne Haley and Castlerock Return to Sender at Skybrook (FCR)
Sue Sinnott and Millola Handsome Man (FCR)
Lisa Mappin and Casblaidd Abyssinian (Cocker)
Dave Compton and Franeo Fowlers Lone Ranger (Chesapeake Bay Ret.)

Image may contain: one or more people, tree, grass, outdoor and nature

Well done everyone, well deserved!
Now to clean the mud off everything!!

Peter James Johnson

The NEFRA committee, amongst countless others, pass on their heartfelt sympathy to the Johnson family on the loss of Peter Johnson, who passed away recently.

Becky Johnson has asked us to share the details of Peter’s funeral. Please let Becky know if you will be attending.

On behalf of my mother Shirley, brother Tim and myself, I should like to thank each and every one of you that have sent messages of condolence on the passing of my father Peter Johnson. It has been a huge comfort to us over what has been a very sad time and is truly appreciated.
I now have the details of his funeral.
It will be held on Tuesday, 28th January at 12.00 at the West Suffolk Crematorium (Bury St Edmunds), in the St Edmunds Chapel. This will be followed by a wake at their hospitality suite which is situated in the same grounds.
Family flowers only but donations if desired can be made to the Altziemers Society or the PDSA.
Everyone is welcome to attend the funeral. If you could advise me either by email to or private message or text if you will be attending so that I can inform the caterers of numbers.
Please feel free to share this information as appropriate
Once again – our sincere thanks for your support and kindness at this time.

A tribute page has been set up in his memory

NEFRA Championship Show 2019

On November 3rd 2019 NEFRA held their breed championship show at Fenton Manor Sports Complex, Stoke-on-Trent.

The judges at this show were (Dogs) Mrs J Morgan (Wolfhill), (Bitches) Mr R I S Ashcroft (Keepersway) Referee, Junior Handling and Brace Mrs J M Egginton

  • Best In Show (Dog CC) was awarded to Stevenson’s Plainfire’s the Captain of my Heart is Steelriver (Imp Cze)
  • Reserve Best In Show (Bitch CC) was awarded to Joyce’s Sh Ch Stranfaer Solitaire JW
  • Best Opposite Sex (Bitch CC) was awarded to Joyce’s Sh Ch Stranfaer Solitaire JW
  • Reserve Bitch CC was awarded to Jones’ Caehaidd Lets Go Crazy with Braemist JW
  • Reserve Dog CC was awarded to Ross’ Go With the Flow Ebony in Harmony at Qlocontrail (Imp NL) JW ShCM
  • Best Puppy was awarded to Ashcroft’s Gunoak Emerald’s Capercalie
  • Best Veteran was awarded to Barnett’s Pajanbeck Welcum to my World at Annbecks
  • Best Liver was awarded to Evans’ Gemswin Relight my Fire JW
  • Best Working was awarded to Hewison’s Donascimento Danilo from Casblaidd


Full Results

Judges’ Critiques

Update on the GOdogs Project

GraphicThe energy expenditure study has now finished. The University of Cambridge have also temporarily paused their DNA collection so they can study the many samples that they do have.

The GOdogs project studies the genetics of metabolic disease in dogs.

They are investigating the genetics of obesity in dogs, and in particular a change in a gene they identified in Labradors and Flatcoated Retrievers which is associated with them being particularly food-motivated dogs.

FCR owners took their dogs along to Cambridge vet school to take part in a test of their dogs’ metabolic rate. From the dog’s point of view, this involved resting in a transport kennel for a couple of hours allowing them to measure how their genes affect metabolic rate and perhaps can predispose them to weight gain.

There’s lots more information on their website

Jodie Wainwright
Research Assistant GOdogs Project
Institute of Metabolic Science
University of Cambridge Metabolic Research Laboratories
Level 4, Wellcome Trust-MRC Institute of Metabolic Science
Box 289, Addenbrooke’s Hospital
Cambridge, CB2 0QQ
United Kingdom

NEFRA Autumn Working Test, Shropshire – 22nd September 2019

NEFRA were delighted to be invited to hold our autumn working test at Upper Shadymoor Farm, near Stapleton in Shropshire. We had previously visited this venue in June to host the Minor Breeds Team Test and our hosts Kevan and Joy Fox are very welcoming every time we visit. The venue has absolutely everything you could possibly need for a working test.

Our judges for the day were: Glenys Caldwell (B Panel), Jennie Ménage, Wendy Manning and Anne Sparkes who all worked very hard with 47 entries to get through.

A huge thank you is extended to everyone who responded to Caroline’s pleas for help whether stewarding, throwing dummies, placing blinds, catering, and keeping the tea and coffee flowing, and thanks to Val and Den Orme for all the food! These days can’t run without helpers, so thank you!

A huge thank you also goes tour chief steward Malcolm Awty for all the organisation on the day itself and keeping everything flowing well all day. Even the weather was kinder than expected and we escaped the torrential rain and the storms that were forecast.

Thank you also to our sponsors Skinners, and also Caro Dell from WorkingLine Images who braved photography in the rain again!

Puppy (3 entries)
1st Sue Rodgers and Wolfthistle Mr Miracle
2nd Louise Peers and Tweedisle Lindores

Novice Dog/Novice Handler (12 entries including 2 NFC)
1st Lisa-Jane Mappin and Casblaidd Valdoonican
2nd Lindsay Swan and Swantonwood Gold Leaf
3rd Mags Brayfield and Keamarola Private Dancer
4th Anne Haley and Castlerock Return to Sender at Skybrook
COM Vicky Davis and Pajanbeck Young at Heart

Best Newcomer was awarded to Lindsay Swan winning the Yonsaff Trophy

Novice (20 entries, 1 abs)
1st Hilary Rosser and Mahinda Pompoko
2nd Jane Calverley and Gwenadillo Helga Geerhart
3rd Hilary Rosser and Mahinda Fester
4th Julie Matthews and Ollersett Rainbow
COM Sue Rodgers and Wolfthistle Mr Miracle
COM Graham Clelland and Trevorsilk Andromeda of Necessares
COM David Savory and Hopevalley Morning Arizona

The winner of novice scored full points 80/80
Judges choice awarded to Julie Matthews

Open (12 entries, including 1 NFC)
1st Garry Ellison and Ollersett Sparkling Nymph
2nd Caroline Hewison and Donascimento Danilo from Casblaidd
3rd Caroline Hewison and Venus in Transit over Casblaidd

Judges choice awarded to Garry Ellison

Well done everyone!
Thanks to all for taking part and lovely to see so many having a go at their first working test, you’ll be bitten by the bug now!

Working Retriever Assessments

Today NEFRA were delighted to have been invited back to Sarah Marflow’s land near Wigan. Sarah is a perfect host and her land has got just everything we could wish for to host these assessments.

In the morning Caroline Hewison and Val Orme assessed the novice dogs with an obedience exercise, a water retrieve, a marked retrieve on land and an unseen retrieve on land.

Passes were awarded to the following:

Al Moore with Sachbash Prince Olly Moore
Chris Hewison with Casblaidd Mirror Lake
Mags Brayfield with Keamarola Private Dancer
Charlotte Smith with Castlerock First Glance at Whirleymere
Garry Ellison with Ollersett Black Knight
Anne Haley with Castlerock Return to Sender at Skybrook

In the afternoon Garry Ellison and Chris Hewison assessed the Intermediate dogs with a double mark retrieve with heel work in a walk-up exercise, a unseen retrieve with a distraction marked retrieve, an unseen retrieve over a stream and a double marked retrieve exercise where two dummies were thrown into Sarah’s beautiful pond. Despite some excellent retrieves unfortunately none of these dogs were able to reach the required standard to pass their assessments today.

We would like to thank Sarah, the assessors and their helpers and would also like to thank Lisa-Jane Mappin who helped us arrange the day. Lisa has recently joined our working committee and has set up her own fantastic new dog training hall in Wigan. This hall is not far from the M6. Anyone who is interested in attending her classes may want to follow this link.