A little bit of fun to end the year. We are running a Christmas photograph competition. There are 2 classes to enter. See details below:-
I would like to thank the NEFRA committee for inviting me to judge bitches at their first online show, a totally different experience to judging as we have always known it. A special thank you to Charlotte Smith for organising the show, and being a very patient steward during the day.
I found it to be very hard work, videos obviously have their limitations, their quality varies and there is no substitute for ‘hands on’. I did at times find it frustrating where in the ring if I had wanted to check movement I would be able to give exhibitors another chance and ask them to move again, or check something if not standing properly. I have not commented separately on dentition as I found it to be very good throughout the entry.
I felt that overall the entry was a quality one right throughout the classes from the promise shown by the minor puppies to the maturity of the veteran classes, where there were flatcoats over ten years of age. Some of my decisions were very close and very difficult, and could be quite different given another day with a different video.
My co-judge Mandy Romeo-Dieste and myself agreed on all the top awards.
Veteran Bitch (2)
What a credit all the veterans were, both to their owners and to the breed. Each could easily change places on another day.
1 Richards’ Luss Kiss In The Dark
Just preferred her slightly more positive movement, but a very close decision between the two. Substantial well constructed bitch with a lovely head and expression. Balanced outline with good topline and tailset. Moderate stifle, Moved positively on a good stride
2 Milton’s Madealea Magic Tricks
A lovely bitch with a clean balanced profile. Pleasing head and mischievous expression , good reach of neck, and level top line. Well angulated both front and rear and lovely neat feet. Moved steadily but would have liked to have seen a little more drive
Special Veteran Bitch (2)
1 Colson’s Eskwinds Driving Miss Daisy to Windyhollows
A lovely bitch looking nowhere near 101/2 years old, and showing beautifully. Well moulded head, lovely dark eye with such a naughty expression. Pronounced fore chest, good reach to neck and level top line to strong rear quarters, moved well showing good front extension, and good profile movement. BVB and with the agreement of my co judge BVIS.
2 Barnett’s Pajanbeck Welcum To My World
Another lovely bitch who could easily change places on another day, again does not look her age of almost 10½, and heartwarming to watch her enthusiasm. Classical in head with correct shaped eye. Good reach of neck and well balanced front and rear construction, good top line. Moved soundly but not quite as positively as 1st.
Minor Puppy (5)
1 Steuerwald’s Flatfields Doo Wop
A stunning seven month old puppy, well balanced for her age, standing four square with a lovely outline, good bone. Very pretty head and soft expression. Pronounced brisket and good width to chest, strong rear quarters and correct tailset. Perhaps just needs a little more animation when standing but this should come with experience. Moved soundly. Would like to see how she develops in the future.
2 Sullivan’s Wyrebeck She’s My Surprise
A confident eight month old puppy, lovely dark liver, a little bit up on the leg at the moment. Pretty head, naughty expression. Neat outline and good topline and tailset, adequate bone for her size. Moved well with good tail action.
3 Grayson’s Aquawood Blithe Spirit Of Blakanis
A lovely seven month old liver puppy but not making the best of herself and needing to develop in confidence. She has a lovely head and eye and good bone, with good length to the body. She came into her own on the move and moved well with lovely tail action
Puppy Bitch (3)
1 Holland’s Flatcharm Bianco del Rio
Eleven month old bitch, standing naturally four square with a lovely outline, super topline and tailset. Well moulded head and correct eye shape. Good reach of neck and well angulated front balanced by strong hindquarters. Moved out positively, and lovely side profile movement, enthusiastic tail action. BPB, a close decision but just lost out to her brother for BPIS.
2 Varty-Lindsay’s Levliann Party Wrecker
A mature eleven month old, well bodied for her age. Pretty head with soft expression. Good reach of neck, and good width to chest. Moderate rear quarters, just needs a bit more animation when standing, but this should come as she grows up. Came into her own on the move and moved soundly, would prefer a slightly better tail carriage.
3 Grayson’s Blakanis Shine On Through
A very nice 11 month old bitch just not making the best of herself when standing. Good head with kind expression and good reach of neck. Balanced outline with level topline and moderate bend of stifle. Good bone. Moved soundly but tail carriage a bit high on the day.
Junior (3) 1 Jacobs’ and Knight’s Dressed for Success
She certainly lives up to her name and should have a bright future. Mature for her age of 14 months, she presents a balanced outline. Lovely head and expression, with reachy neck and level topline. Pronounced forechest with good length to the body and moderate hinquaters, good tailset and tail used to advantage. A little close behind today but good front reach and good profile movement, super tail action
2 Richards Hopevalley Morning River Through Kimberley
Close up to 1, just lacking the animation when stood. Lovely moulded head, and dark eye with soft expression. Good reach of neck, well angulated at the front and balanced by strong rear quarters, quality bone. Moved soundly with good profile movement.
3 Leavy’s Hopevalley Morning Shine.Over Wychwyzard.
Litter sister to 2 and very similar, just seems to be carrying a little excess weight at the moment, Lovely head and expression , good reach of neck and good front. Moderate hind quarters, good topline and tailset. Moved steadily but just needs to reach out more at the front.
1 Huyton’s Hightyne Ramblin Rose
A lovely young bitch presenting a balanced outline, and so typical. Classical in head with correct almond eye, and good reach of neck to level topline and correct tailset which was used to advantage. Quality bone. Good front construction, gradual spring of rib and strong rearquarters with short hock to floor placement Moved straight and true showing both reach and drive.
2 Barnett’s Steelriver Echo Beach at Annbecks
Another lovely bitch making for a very tough decision, and who I think will be very elegant when fully mature. Lovely head with good width and depth to the muzzle, soft expression. She has lovely clean lines, and is balanced with good length to the body, level topline and correct tailset. Moved soundly, clearly enjoying herself.
3 Holland’s Woodfinch Highland Fairy at Flatcharm
Completed a trio of lovely bitches. Slightly heavier all through but nicely balanced with a strong topline and well set on tail. Lovely moulded head with such a mischievous expression. Good width and depth to chest, body well ribbed and strong hindquarters, moderate stifle. Moved soundly with enthusiastic tail action.
1 Haley’s Skybrook Honey Honey
I liked her overall shape and balance. Pretty head with good length of muzzle and kind dark eye. Pronounced forechest and good length to the body. Moderate bend of stifle and neat feet, standing straight at the back. Moved out well on a good stride and movement straight and true, correct tailset used to advantage.
2 Ordelman’s Maddistream Aduro
A pretty bitch with a lovely dark eye. Good reach of neck and level topline and good tailset. Good front and rear construction, but slightly straight in stifle. Moved straight both going away and coming back but would benefit from her handler taking longer strides, and she would then extend her stride too.
3 Burroughs Levelmoor Allo Allo Avec Rokaness
A mature looking bitch who appears to be carrying a little excess weight at the moment and thus detracting from her outline. She has a feminine head with a soft expression, She has a pronounced brisket and good front angulation, and good length to the body but I would prefer a little more bend of stifle. Moved soundly
Three lovely bitches.
1 Huyton’s Go With The Flow at Hightyne
I liked her overall shape and outline, and standing four square. Lovely head, mischievous expression. Good reach of neck and level topline with well set on tail. Good front angulation balanced by good rear quarters, moderate bend of stifle. Moved well with good profile movement.
2 Egginton’s Pajanbeck Angels On My Side
Another lovely bitch. Classical head with correct almond eye giving that lovely soft expression. Good reach of neck, and a pronounced forechest with good depth. Level topline, and strong hindquarters with a moderate bend of stifle. Moved soundly both going away and coming back
3 Jacobs and Knight’s Moonstruck Making Out
Typical head with a kind expression. Balanced outline with a level topline, and good depth to body. Good width of thigh with a moderate bend of stifle. Moved with enthusiasm with lovely tail action and showing reach and drive
Post Graduate (4)
What a lovely class this was, and so hard to separate them.
1 Thomas’ Parkcariad Sapphire Lake
Such a lovely bitch from every angle in beautiful coat and condition, and what great attitude. Standing naturally four square. Well moulded head and soft expression. Moderate reach of neck into level topline and well set on tail which just never stopped wagging. Well constructed at the front with legs well under the body, and gradual spring to rib, strong loin and moderate stifle. She moved beautifully showing both reach and drive and super tail action. BB and with my co judge’s agreement BIS
2 Jones’ Caehaidd Lets Go Crazy at Braemist JW
Liked her overall balance and shape, having good length to the body. Good head with intelligent expression. Moderate reach of neck into level topline and correct tailset complete with gently wagging tail. Pronounced brisket and front legs well under the body. Good width of thigh and moderate bend of stifle. Moved steadily with good profile movement.
3 Colson and Fox’s Blacktoft Dancing On Ice With Windyhollows (AI)
Feminine bitch showing a lovely neat outline when standing with good depth to body. Lovely head and dark almond shaped eye, and good reach of neck. Well balanced front and rear construction, good width of thigh and short hock to floor placement. Moved out well, good in profile, just carrying tail a little high today.
1 Egginton’s Pajanbeck I Put a Spell On You
Very naughty but so very, very nice, I loved her attitude. Workmanlike but feminine with it, she has a lovely head and correct dark eye. Pronounced forechest and good length to upper arm. Body well ribbed and strong across the loin with a moderate bend of stifle. Moved well with enthusiasm and a lovely tail action
2 Goulette’s Annbecks Brenna At Bobbinmill
I liked this bitch very much too, shown in lovely coat and condition. Good head and kind dark eye. Presented a lovely outline when standing with good front and rear angulation, good length to body and a moderate bend of stifle. Level topline and correct tailset. Moved steadily but not quite as positive as 1
3 Flynn’s Simon Says Home To The Castle (Imp Nor)
Another quality bitch, slightly heavier all through. Lovely head and kind expression, good reach of neck. Pronounced brisket and body well ribbed, and strong hindquarters. Moved steadily with good profile movement
1 Colson’s Frozen In Time By Windyhollows (AI)
An elegant bitch with a lovely outline, also very exuberant. Well moulded head with dark almond eye, and mischievous look. Good width and depth of chest and length and depth of body, strong level topline. Well angulated hindquarters with moderate bend of stifle. Moved positively with enthusiastic tail action. Pleased to award her RBB
2 Jacobs’ and Knight’s Moonstruck Macadamia
Another top quality bitch and a very close decision. Lovely profile with balanced front and rear angulation, and strong level topline, correct tailset Lovely head and dark eye giving a soft expression. Moved well showing both reach and drive, loved that tail action.
3 Wilkie’s Aust Ch Sherepoint Obsidian
Completed a trio of lovely bitches., and shown in lovely condition. Good head just slightly light in eye, good reach of neck and presenting a balanced outline with good length and depth to body. Moved well on a good stride, good tail action.
1 Bellamy’s Ch Woodfinch Hydra JW
One of my favourites, just looking a shade heavy today. So well constructed, she naturally stands four square, and such beautiful tail action. Lovely well moulded head with correct dark eye and very feminine too. Moved out well on a good stride and lovely profile movement
Special Liver (2)
1 Janickova’s Abigail Tulip Rock On Fire
Beautiful liver bitch shown in lovely coat and condition. An elegant and balanced outline although the trimming under the body slightly spoils this. Well moulded head with good length and depth of muzzle, and soft expression. Good length of body with gradual spring to rib, and level topline, correct tail set. Stylish on the move and profile movement showing good reach and drive, lovely tail action. BLIS
2 Cook’s Fliquetbay Rozelands
Fourth in minor puppy, at eleven months of age she is at the ‘legs and wings’ stage. Needing to gain confidence, which I am sure she will to make the best of herself. Pretty head with lovely eye, good reach of neck and good bone. Moved steadily and accurately with good tail action. Would like to see her as she develops as she is a promising puppy.
Not an easy class to judge by any means, and all looking very fit and in good condition. Anyone could change places another time.
1 Hewison’s Donascimento Danilo By Casblaidd
So well balanced with a lovely outline. Good head and eye although I would prefer them slightly darker. Strong neck and lovely front, well ribbed in body and powerful rear quarters, strong topline and tail well set on. Movement was straight and true, with lovely profile movement and super tail action
2 Branscombe’s Torinmill Gaelic Aurora
Liked her very much too. A lovely profile with very clean lines Well moulded head with good length and depth to muzzle and correct almond shaped eye. Good reach of neck and lovely topline and tailset Gradual spring to rib with good width of thigh and hocks well let down. Moved steadily.
3 Egginton’s Pajanbeck Heaven Can Wait
Lovely well proportioned head with beautiful dark smiling eyes, good depth of muzzle. Good reach of neck, pronounced brisket and well angulated both front and rear quarters, and moderate bend of stifle. Moved steadily, straight and true.
I was so looking forward to judging the dogs at the 2020 NEFRA Championship show, but due to Covid-19 the show was understandably cancelled.
To be asked to judge dogs at this virtual show instead was a lovely thought, so I thank the committee for planning the day and for all the hard work involved.
My co judge, Jane Jones, and I were in agreement for all the final awards. It was certainly different to have this conversation over the phone instead of together in the middle of the ring.
Finally, thank you to the exhibitors for taking the time to make their videos. Having taken part in another virtual show I can appreciate how difficult it is to get the filming just right.
Veteran Dog (1)
1st Windyhollows Ragamuffin
Balanced boy showing no signs of being a veteran with a typical Flatcoat naughty attitude. He has a pleasing head with dark eye. He has good depth to his rib and good length of upper arm. On the move he is true going away from food rear quarters but slightly wide coming towards. He is in full coat which completes the picture.
Special Veteran (2)
1st Pajanbeck Magic Moments
This boy scores in head and expression. Super moulded head with lovely dark eye of almond shape and neat ears and correct scissor bite. His neck flows into his shoulders and to his level top line. Good front and rear angulation. Deep rib ex bone and substance. Ok rear, good coat low tail but looks set correctly. Lacks animation. Moved true and covered the ground.
2nd Elmstock Echos Of Thyme Over Rokaness
Stronger all through than 1. Nice head with good eye colour and neat ears. He balanced angulation front and rear with well developed thigh. He has excellent bone and tight feet which is lovely to see on a special veteran. His tail comes straight off his back and is constantly wagging. On the move he was not as true as 1 but has a good outline in profile.
Minor Puppy (3)
1st Wyrebeck Caught By Surprise
Super balanced pup. Lots of bone and great coat. Pleasing head and eye. Lovely reach of neck to well laid shoulders. Good topline which flowed nicely in to his well set tail, which never stopped wagging. His rear is moderately angulated and he has a deep rib. He has enough bone for his size and tight feet. He moved true going and coming and in profile covered lots of ground. A promising puppy.
2nd Benvellyn Natal Nightjar
This baby has a lot to like, he is just not as forward as 1 at the moment. Another good head and eye with a naughty expression. He is a little more up on his legs. He is moderately angulated. His tail is correctly set from his level topline. On the move he is steady, he enthusiastic tail action occasionally throwing his rear movement
3rd Benvellyn Amur Falcon of Evingbriar
Puppy (2) 2 nice puppies with little to split them
1st Flatcharm Mayhem Miller
A super young dog who has a beautifully moulded head. He flows from his neck all the way to his correctly set tail. He has a good return of upper arm, although I would like a little more length. He is deep in rib and has correct length of body. His rear angulation is moderate and he has a well developed thigh. He moved well once settled. In lovely coat and feathering. Best Puppy Dog and with my co judge Best Puppy In Show.
2nd Pajanbeck Shall We Dance
Another lovely puppy who has good bone and substance. A slightly finer head than one. He has a good lay of shoulder and return of upper arm but again would again like to see more length. His rear angulation matches his front and he is short in the hock. On the move he was steady and carried a good topline.
1st Lizzlog Moonlighting at Karaholme This young man will need time. Pleasing head and expression. He needs to firm up in topline, but this will come as he matures. He has a good tailset and this was carried correctly. When on the move he was a little distracted by his lead but he was steady and once settled moved nice.
Yearling (4) Nice youngsters, all at different stages of development
1st Hightyne Unforgettable at Braemist
A young dog who appealed in his balanced outline. His head is beautifully moulded with neat ears. He has good reach of neck from his well constructed front with correct length and return of upper arm. He is well developed through the body and is moderately angulated at the rear with quality bone. He moved straight coming and going and showed good ground coverage in profile driving from his short hocks.
2nd Woodfinch Masquerade
Another nice dog and a tough decision between the first two. He appeared larger in frame than 1. Pleasing head with good eye shape. Nicely laid shoulder, deep rib and well angulated rear. Level topline leading to his correctly set tail, which I preferred over 1. On the move he was slightly distracted which caused him to be a bit erratic.
3rd Aust Ch Blacqlabel Stares N Whisprs AI
1st Pajanbeck Rewrite The Stars
This chap is just a baby. He has a good neck and shoulders with quality bone. His topline needs to strengthen but this should come with time. His coat is in lovely condition and he was very happy on the move in true puppy style.
2nd Lizzlog Moonlighting at Karaholme
1st Manteauplat Tom Plutt
An attractive dog with good bone and profuse coat. Moderately angulated with deep enough rib and he holds himself well. Standing I would like a little more animation, but he moves with accuracy going away, just giving his handler a hard time coming towards.
Post Graduate (1)
1st Kazval Lugano at Torrweaving
A rangy, but balanced dog with a strong topline and deep rib. He has good length in his body and well developed first thigh. I would like a little more refinement to his head. He moved well going away and in profile although he was little proud of his tail.
1st Miracles Happen Oasis Of Peace
Nothing exaggerated about this dog, each part flowing in to the next. Pleasing head and correct scissor bite. He is well proportioned with good angulation both front and rear, he looks deep enough in rib and has good bone. He moves true both ways and ok in profile though I would like more reach.
2nd Toccata Of Harlaston With Wetnoses JW ShCM
Of a different type to the winner and I preferred his head and eye. He stands proudly with a constantly wagging tail. He is mature through the body, with good shoulders and length of upper arm. He was steady on the move but was a little wide in front.
1st Diamante Blu Nella Mia Stanza
Presents a beautiful outline standing, he has a typical moulded head and kind dark eye. Quality bone and tight feet. Pronounced fore chest and good shoulders. Level top line and moderately turned rear. He moved true up and down and had extension behind in profile although he did slightly drop his topline and was quite proud of his tail. Despite this I was pleased to award him Reserve Best Dog.
1st Casblaidd Island In The Sky
There’s nothing exaggerated about this boy. He has well placed shoulders and good length to his upper arm. He’s deep in body and has quality bone. He has correct length to his rib and short loin with a well turned stifle with short hocks. His tail is correctly set and carried. When he moved he did steadily and economically, nothing flashy about him. He is in full mature coat to finish the picture. Pleased to award him Best Dog and Best Working in Show.
Breed health surveys were previously carried out by the Flatcoated Retriever Society in 2006 and 2011, we are now sharing a further survey for completion in relation to flatcoated retrievers resident in the UK (closing date 31st January 2021). The data, once collated, will be compared to that gathered in the previous surveys. An overview of results will be reported in due course, individual responses will remain confidential.
The survey can be carried out on-line which would be preferable but can be completed in paper format and returned by post if necessary.
The online version of the survey can be found here: https://forms.gle/GrBiPpcKJendCpMT6 A paper version can be printed via the Flatcoated Retriever Society website here:
If you have any questions or queries please contact a member of the Flatcoated Retriever Society health sub-committee, contact details available here:
Today we would normally be extending our usual northern welcome to you at our annual championship show. As this is clearly not possible we have invited you all to participate in our ‘virtual’ dog show.
Thank you so much for your entries
We are so grateful that the judges we had already invited to judge our championship show have kindly agreed to keep their judging appointments and help us out.
The final placings and awards at the show were as follows
The 2020 version of the full breed plan and an actions summary document has been added to the NEFRA health page. We would like to thank Liz Branscombe and the health sub-committee of the Flatcoated Retriever Society for the work that went into this document.
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.
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
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
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!