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
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
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.’’
I will share further updates as I receive them from Cathryn.
Liz Branscombe Flatcoated Retriever Breed Health Coordinator
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.)
Well done everyone, well deserved! Now to clean the mud off everything!!
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 email@example.com 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.