Author Archives: FlatcoatChris

NEFRA Autumn Working Test 2020 (an on-line event)

Puppy and Novice Dog/Novice Handler, and Novice classes.

The results are in!

A huge thank you to our judges Andy Sweeney and Sue Rodgers for judging our virtual working test, they had a tough job!

We had a good entry, and they had some tough decisions to make!

I must also thank Chris for spending the best part of three days downloading and uploading videos, no mean feat….

Puppy 1st Vivienne Gatter and Pebbles 2nd Jo Hewison and Yoda 3rd Lynette Irwin and Rhuma 4th Paul Egginton and Cove COM Liz Beeney and Ruddleberry True Swift

Novice Dog/Novice Handler 1st Vicky Davis and Briar 2nd Suzi Tagg and Madison3rd Aimee Gardiner and Ted 4th Lesley Kay and Gwenadillo Two for Tea

Novice 1st Jo Hewison and Yoda 2nd Heike Eggersglüß and Summer Sensation’s Boy like Daddy 3rd Eyleen Besser and Summer Sensation’s Blue May 4th Jo Hewison and Fennel COM Paul Egginton and Angel

Best Junior Handler Molly Davis and Bear

Best outtake (judged by Chris Hewison) has to go to the Davis family, Molly, Sam and Bear!

Thank you everyone for entering into the spirit of the test, we had a really good entry, especially in the rain last weekend! If anyone would like to know their scores, please send me a message, the judges have said they will answer any queries and give feedback on an individual basis.

Please note that this was an unofficial test and winning the class does not qualify out of that class 🙂

We do have rosettes and prize cards to post out (and some Skinners vouchers) so please could those in the awards private message me your address (or email me on the same address you sent the videos to) and I can post them out next week.Thanks to everyone involved, and hopefully next year we can get back to doing the real thing!


For class definitions and the exercises themselves, see the link below.

25th Anniversary Book

We are now ready to start taking orders for our 2021 publication celebrating all things NEFRA!

All NEFRA members will receive a free copy of this book to keep. It will feature photos and a history of the Association’s activities since its formation.

Please use the message box below with your email address to:

  • reserve your own page to support the publication (£13 per A5 page – full colour)
  • reserve any extra copies of the book (£10 each) – postage extra if overseas
  • offer any support donations in exchange for a mention in a page within the book (any donation welcomed).

Please respond before 1st November

Many Thanks for supporting NEFRA

Covid-19 secure group training at Hesketh Bank

We have arranged to hold some training at Hesketh Bank (near Tarleton, near Southport) on Bank Holiday Monday August 31st 2020.

We plan to run two groups in the morning for puppies and beginners; and two groups in the afternoon for novice dogs.

  • Maximum of 5 handlers and one trainer in each group.
  • Staggered start times to avoid socialising in the car park (sorry!)
  • Cost will be £5 per person per class.
  • Only one dog per handler please.
  • We will not be using the building at the venue on this occasion, so please bring your own lunch and tea/coffee etc, as we will not be providing any catering.
  • Payment will need to be made in advance by Paypal (details to follow).
  • The groups will be emailed out to attendees in advance, to minimise any waiting around at the start of the day.

To keep to Covid guidelines you will need to agree to:

  • Have your temperature taken on arrival
  • Bring your own hand sanitiser and face mask/covering (unless exempt)
  • Adhere to the social-distancing guidelines during the day.

We are looking forward to a good day and hopefully we can arrange some more dates in the future.

Please contact Caroline Hewison or message the NEFRA Facebook page to book 🙂

Autumn Working Test 2020

After a lot of discussion amongst the committee and following advice taken from the Kennel Club we have had to take the very sad decision to cancel the working test that was scheduled for the 27th September.

We have been holding on for as long as possible before making a decision. In the absence of any sign that Government regulations on numbers of people allowed in groups will change soon and the fact that a lot of NEFRA members and committee are in areas that are now subject to increased restrictions, it would be irresponsible to go ahead with the test and encourage travel from different areas of the country.

Thank you to the landowners and judges who agreed to judge the events this year and have been very understanding about the decisions involved.

We had so many working events arranged and planned for this year, that sadly have all fallen by the wayside.

On a brighter note, we will be running a virtual on line working test at the end of September instead – details to follow soon, so do keep practising with your dogs!

I am also hopeful that we may be able to organise some small group (ie 5/6 people) training soon, in an area that isn’t currently subject to increased local restrictions

Stay well and keep having fun with your dogs!

Val & Den Orme

Following their retirement from the NEFRA committee we have received a lovely message from Val and Den Orme. I am sure you will all join us in wishing them both a very happy retirement.

“We would like to thank  Nefra for their gifts to us on our retirement from the committee. It will seem strange to no longer be playing an active part after being involved for 50 plus years between us, but felt it was time for some younger blood. We intend to still play an active part in the working side whenever possible.We both wish you all the very best of luck for the future “
Val x

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 – 2020

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