Category Archives: NEFRA

NEFRA Spring Working Test 2019


Belvoir Castle

Many thanks to all who came along to our spring working test, we had a fabulous entry from all over the country (and beyond)!

The Belvoir Estate near Grantham proved to be a wonderful venue and we thank our kind hosts for allowing us to visit. I am sure you will agree a lovely ground for a test.

The tests themselves were very well thought out and set by our panel judge Dan Higgs. Our other judges were Sharon Kitson, Pat Bell and Elaine Whittaker who got through the 49 entries in good time.

A vote of thanks was given by Gill Awty, who won the open test, to thank everyone who answered our appeal for help, we haven’t ever had quite so many willing volunteers and this was definitely appreciated!

A big thank you is also due to Malcolm Awty as chief steward who did a lot of work on the day to keep things running smoothly.

Puppy (7 entries)
1st Steve Ashby with Hwarthow Archer of the Moors at Tunnelwood

Photo by Tom S-N

ND/NH (7 entries)
No awards made

Novice (19 entries)
1st Amber Nicholls with Featheringay Raven Prince
2nd Julie Matthews with Ollersett Shining Nymph
3rd Helen Ford with Percuil Dasher
4th Steve Ashby with Flatgold’s Hot Child in the City
COM Julie Matthews with Ollersett Rainbow
COM Colette Greenwood with Tawnywood Jollification

Photo by Tom S-N

Open (16 entries)
1st Gill Awty with Venetian Red at Maddistream
2nd Garry Ellison with Ollersett Sparkling Nymph
3rd Caroline Hewison with Donascimento Danilo from Casblaidd
4th Helen Ford with Percuil Nuvolari Tazio
COM Charlotte Wear with Keveral Hen Harrier

Photo by Tom S-N

Further photos can be found on this link (thank you to Tom-S-N) and thank you to our sponsors Skinners Pet Foods.

Subscriptions overdue

Thank you to all members who chose to renew their membership to NEFRA for the new year by bank standing order.  This is very much appreciated and does make the Treasurer’s job much easier.


If you haven’t paid your ‘subs’ yet please do so.  Please send payment to our Treasurer – Mr David Taylor, Cooks Lane House, Cooks Lane, Bradnop, LEEK, ST13 7HA ( Tel: 01538 383946)

2019 Annual General Meeting

At the twenty fourth Annual General Meeting of the Northern England Flatcoated Retriever Association the following amendments were made to the officers and committee:

Honorary Secretary (3 Years) – Miss H. Walker
Deputy Chairman (3 Years) – Mrs K.Trevor
Committee Vacancies (4 posts, 3 years each) – Mr S.Jubb, Mrs K.Jubb, Mrs M.Melrose, Mrs M Salt (plus 1 post co-opted for 1 year with agreement of the committee – Mr D.Orme.

The following awards were presented with our annual trophies:

President’s Cup – Smitherman’s Seaheart Cecilia JW (61 points)

=2nd Smitherman & Roberts’ Seahart Crian At Gloi (56 points)
=2nd Fox’s Satinbaze Crackeman For Blacktoft (56 points)

Gill Smitherman being presented with the Presdient’s Cup by Mr R Allen and Mrs V Orme

Ceilidh Cup – Battison’s Donascimento Ramires
Inca Trophy – Harley’s Arrowhill Aurora

Heather Harley being presented with the Inca Trophy

The next Annual General Meeting will be at 11:00am on Sunday 15th March 2020 at Fenton Manor Sports Complex, Stoke-on-Trent.


Cooks Lane House,
Cooks Lane,
Staffordshire ST13 7HA


Hesketh Bank Training Day

Our ever popular training day for flatcoats was held once again on 1st June 2019.

Thank you to all who came along to our Hesketh Bank training, a fantastic turnout of dogs across all four classes!

Huge thanks as always to our trainers – Warren Jones, Steve Burns, Derek Miller and Garry Ellison, especially for standing out in all that rain in the morning! Thank you also to all who threw dummies (Malcolm, Peter and Colin) who also got very wet! and to those who answered my plea to help with the catering in the morning, and generally helped in any way

Thanks to our sponsors Skinners and also a big thank you to Caro Dell from WorkingLine Images for braving the rain this morning! 

Trainers choice awards were given to Charlotte and Chance, Lorraine and Keira, Linda and Kenzie and Caroline and Aros, thanks everyone for coming, hope you all had a good day!

Here are the photos taken by Caro Dell

Health testing at the FRS Ch Show 2019

The following health testing sessions will be carried out at the Society Championship show to be held at the Kennel Club Building, Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire CV8 2LZ on April 7th 2019.

Eye Testing Session

BVA Eye Panellist Kerry Smith BVetMed CertVOphthalDipECVO MRCVS will be attending the show to carry out gonioscopy (and routine eye examinations if required). The BVA recommend Flatcoated Retrievers are screened for Goniodysgenesis by gonioscopy examination every three years.

Normal BVA fees at the time of the show will apply however the Flatcoated Retriever Society will support the testing of older dogs by offering to subsidise the fee by £20 for gonioscopy examination of members’ Flatcoats aged 8 years and over.

o Dogs must be six months of age or over
o All dogs must be permanently identified (by microchip or tattoo) before examination
o Please bring the relevant KC owner registration document with you and where possible bring any previous eye certificates issued for your dog
o Payment by cash or cheque only
Patellar Luxation Screening Session

Jane Alexander BVet Med Cert BA, MRCVS will be offering patellar screening at the show.

Members: £12 for first dog, £10 for subsequent dogs in same ownership.

Non-members £20 per dog.

o Dogs must be 12 months of age or over
o Please bring the relevant KC owner registration document with you
o Payment by cash or cheque only

Appointments for either testing session should be made in advance by contacting Liz Branscombe Tel: 01525 405884 or email:  

Show Champion Woodavens Crackerjack

Woodavens Crackerjack at the NEFRA open show

Woodavens Crackerjack at the NEFRA open show


It all started when one day I was laid on Dawn Warrington’s lounge floor surrounded by balls of black fur, after hours of deliberation and tea. I was finally picked by an outgoing 4-legged super pup, but at this time I did not know that. He was picked up by his new owners Hazel and Paul and the next I saw him he was this nearly six-month-old wonder pup. His first show was Gundog Breeds of Scotland and this is where he proved that he was what I thought he would be, some five months earlier. He won Minor Puppy Dog, Puppy Dog, Best Puppy and pulled out in the last eight for Best Puppy in Show,what a start.

We were on our way. The next mile stone was in a junior class just out of puppy, Ann Youens gave him his first Reserve CC. The next was his first CC provided by Becky Johnson, and the rest is history.

Hugo’s total achievements were 11 Challenge Certificate’s 9 Reserve Challenge Certificate’s 5 Best of Breeds and a fantastic group-4 from a BOB given by Jim Irvine at the East of England Showground.

The Crowning glory of was Best in Show United Retriever Club from Ray Strudwick

Hugo was retired at 10 years old, due to failing health, and has lived with his Mom and Dad in Cheshire, but sadly lost his brave battle on Wednesday 31st October 2018.

Sleep peacefully old friend.

Bob Allen handled in the show ring by HUGO MOORES.

NEFRA Championship Show 2018

On November 4th 2018 NEFRA held their breed championship show at Fenton Manor Sports Complex, Stoke-on-Trent.

The judges at this show were (Dogs) Mr H Nelson (Byeways), (Bitches) Mrs J Donnelly (Eskmill) Referee, Junior Handling and Brace Mrs H Fox

  • Best In Show (Dog CC) was awarded to Strudwick’s SH CH DOWNSTREAM FAIR AND SQUARE FOR BURPHAM JW ShCM.
  • Reserve Best In Show (Res Dog CC) was awarded to Holland’s CH CALZEAT CAUSA COMMOTION AT FLATCHARM (IMP)
  • Best Opposite Sex (Bitch CC) was awarded to Malone’s SH CH KISSOCK WEESLEEKIT FOR KIRKBECK JW
  • Reserve Bitch CC was awarded to Curtis’ TALLISTAR MIDNIGHT ISLA
  • Best Puppy was awarded to Bright’s HOPEVALLEY MORNING TWISTER
  • Best Veteran was awarded to Holland’s CH CALZEAT CAUSA COMMOTION AT FLATCHARM (IMP)

Other Results NEFRA Champ Show 2018 Results

Judge’s Critique – Bitches

It was an honour to be asked to judge the bitches again after 5 years earlier I had had to withdraw because of illness. The day was made all the more enjoyable with the help of my most efficient stewards. I was looking for a medium size bitch capable of doing a days work. I found movement still a problem in the breed with too many moving close behind with not enough drive and carrying their tails a little high which spoiled their outline on the move. A few level bites but as one would expect from our lovely breed superb temperaments. I was very pleased with my final line up.

Veteran Bitch 12 (3a)

1st Mrs K & Mr D Joyce Stranfaer Lucy Locket JW 9 years old liked her size, lovely head with kind dark eye and good ear set. Well constructed with good bone and tight feet. Coat in good condition, moved with style. Best Veteran Bitch.

2nd Mrs H C Murray Araminta Glass At Gayplume A little taller than my winner but had a pleasing head with a dark eye. A little longer in the body, good bone with excellent feet. Moved well.

3rd Mr E W Mrs P J & Miss N E Colson Eskwinds Driving Miss Daisy To WindyHollows Another of the size I like with a feminine head lovely expression. Well angulated front and rear with a good spring of rib. Not quite as good in feet but moved with drive.

Special Veteran Bitch 5 (1a)

1st Mr & Mrs S Collins Steeplehouse Gift Of Thyme Hard to believe she is 10 years old, medium size and well balanced. Good head with a melting expression, kind dark eye. Pleasing neck and shoulders, close coupled with quality bone and feet. Moved well.

2nd Miss E Curtis Ballyriver Fern At Tallistar A little taller than I prefer and slightly longer in the body than my winner. Good head, dark eye with excellent bone and feet. Very sound on the move.

3rd Mr & Mrs J P Coleman Steeplehouse Inka Thyme At Ravensjais AW(B) See she is a litter sister to my winner not as refined in head, but had a kind dark eye. Moved a little wide in front, carrying a little bit too much weight. Coat in good condition. 

Minor Puppy Bitch 4 

Two very promising puppies headed this class.

1st Miss E Curtis Tallistar Midnight Tango Lovely head with good ear set, kind dark eye. Good neck, shoulders and rear angulation. Size just right. Excellent bone and tight feet. Covered ground well on the move. Won on overall balance. Best Puppy Bitch.

2nd Ms E J & Dr L Walker and Roberts Rainesgift Truth Be Told Very much the same remarks apply as the winner. Lovely puppy with good head, dark eye excellent bone and feet. Correct angulation a shade longer in body than my winner.

3rd Mrs J S Montandon Ashseale Once Upon A Star At Trapestone Another lovely puppy with good head and dark eye. Enough bone, feet need to tighten. Movement let her down.

Puppy Bitch 8 (1a) 

1st Miss E Curtis Tallistar Midnight Tango 

2nd Ms E J & Dr L Walker & Roberts Gloi Dubh Illusion A little taller and longer in the body than my winner, however had a lovely head with dark eye. Moved with drive. Well presented.

3rd Mrs M E Romeo-Dieste Hopevalley Morning Rainbow liked her size again a shade longer in the body and a little steep in upper arm. Excellent bone, and feet. Very heavy coated. Moved well.

Junior Bitch 9 (1a)

3 quality bitches headed this class.

1st Miss L S Jones Caehaidd Lets Go Crazy with Braemist Liked her size and type, well moulded head pleasing expression with kind dark eye, good length of neck flowing into well placed shoulders. Quality bone with a good bend of stifle. Lovely free movement and outline on the move which won her the class.

2nd Mrs S & Mrs G & Mr M Knight-Jacobs Gemswin Land Of Make Believe Good quality dark liver a little lacking in coat. Lovely moulded head and eye. She had excellent bone and feet. Very sound on the move. Just carried her tail a little high.

3rd Mrs G & Mrs A Griffiths-Newton Caehaidd Call Me Crazy with Layasway Litter sister to my winner. Very similar remarks apply. Correct size. Lovely head and eye. She just lacked the drive on the move.

Yearling Bitch 6 (1a)

1st H. M. Watson Rainesgift Heaven Forbid Great balance and style for one so young. Lovely head and dark eyes. Good reach of neck with excellent forechest. Quality bone and feet. Strong quarters which she used to cover the ground well. Beautifully presented and handled. 

2nd Mr P & Mrs J Eggington Pajanbeck Angels On My Side Not the finish or substance of my winner. Classical head, dark eye, enough bone, well laid shoulders. Close coupled, moved well just lacks maturity. 

3rd  Mrs S & Mrs G & Mr M Knight-Jacobs Gemswin Land Of Make Believe

Novice Bitch 8 (4a)

1st Mrs D Brooks Castlerock Shes A Miracle More settled in this class. Liked her size she has a lovely head with a dark eye. Excellent bone and feet. Moved a little close behind and a little proud of her tail. 

2nd Mrs B Reynolds Gemwin Let’s Dance Dark liver with a kind expression good bone and feet. Longer in body than my winner. Moved well. Carried her tail a little high on the move.

3rd Mr & Mrs T J Trevor Trevorsilk Galaxy Aurora The size I like, good head kind eye, a little steep in upper arm, not in the best of coats. Moved ok.

Graduate Bitch 8 (2a) 

1st Mr E W, Mrs P J & N E Colson Blacktoft Frozen In Time By Windyhollows (AI) Well balanced, lovely head , melting expression, good layback of shoulder, excellent feet and bone. Short coupled with a good bend of stifle. Moved with drive. Close decision between 1st and 2nd.

2nd Mr R Ms L Ashcroft & Long Stranfaer Take It Easy To Keepersway Eye catching bitch just a shade longer in body than my winner. Beautifully presented, excelled in forechest and had a good bend of stifle. Moved well. 

3rd Mrs T & Miss C Gale Willowswind Nette Lark JW Loved her size, not as classical in head as first and second. Lovely outline but not in the best of coats today. Covered the ground as one with the handler. 

Post Graduate Bitch 15 (4a)

Some lovely bitches in this class.

1st H. M. Watson Rainesgift Heavens Above Stood out for type consistently produced from this kennel. A credit to her breeder. Ultra sound to go over, lovely head, kind dark eye. Good front, bone and pasterns. Strong quarters that she used to cover the ground well.

2nd Mr B Montandon Trapestone Bohemian Girl Not quite the finish of my winner. However she excelled in head, bone and feet. Very good angulation and spring of rib, with a good bend of stifle. Moved well.

3rd Mr D A Ashcroft Gunoak Solar Wind JW Another quality bitch of the size I like. Beautiful head, good bone and feet. Correct angulation. Moved well. Coat not her best today.

Limit Bitch 15 (6a)

1st Mrs G Griffiths Castlerock Cosmic Hattie Always liked this bitch from the ringside and was not disappointed when going over her. Loved her size, most beautiful of heads with dark kind eyes. Best of front construction with a good spring of rib. Close coupled, excelled in bone and feet. Moved with drive.

2nd Mrs H C Murray Araminta Glass At Gayplume

3rd Mrs J Smith Montegrino Toasted Teacake Lovely moulded head and dark eyes. Excellent bone and feet. Slightly longer in the body, good turn of stifle. Moved well. Beautifully presented.

Open Bitch 13 (3a)

1st  Miss E Curtis Tallistar Midnight Isla Nice size classical bitch, the best of heads correctly moulded . Dark eye with the gentlest expression. Neat ears well set on, well defined brisket. Excellent layback of shoulder, well sprung ribs, short loin leading to muscular well angulated hind quarters. Flowed round the ring. Reserve CC 

2nd H. M Rainesgift Bide Your Time JW Another bitch that just oozes quality pushed hard for first place similar remarks apply. Just felt the winner had the edge on movement today. 

3rd Matthews Ollerset Rainbow A bitch I have always liked but sadly lacking in coat today. Lovely head with melting expression. Dark eye, good bone and feet. Superb construction is reflected in her movement. 

Champion Bitch 4 

Four very worthy Champions all the type I prefer.

1st Mrs C J & Mr L Malone SH CH Kissock Weesleekit For Kirkbeck JW Beautifully balanced just oozes quality, lots to like. Head with the desired moulding flat skull, well filled in below a kind dark eye. Good length and depth of muzzle, correct layback of shoulder, well ribbed lovely short loin. Well muscled hindquarters with well developed second thigh. Quality bone. Ground covering gait which was straight and true which won her the class and the BCC. Best Opposite Sex In Show.

2nd Mr & Mrs D R Bellamy CH. Woodfinch Hydra JW Very feminine so unlucky to meet the winner today, slightly lighter in body all through. Pleasing head with dark eye, good shoulders and rear angulation. Moved well.

3rd Mr & Mrs B Jones SH CH Seaheart Anneliese By Benvellyn Another worthy champion, similar remarks apply. Decided places on movement on the final run as there was so little to choose between them.

Liver Bitch 4 (1a)

1st Mr R F & Miss K M Lutner Telurn Better Believe It Beautifully balanced dark liver, lovely outline showing a good layback of shoulder, deep chest, close coupled with a good bend of stifle and tail set. Moved well

2nd Mrs S & Mrs G & Mr M Knight-Jacobs Gemswin Land of Make Believe 

3rd Mrs B Reynolds Gemswin Let’s Dance

Special Working Bitch 5 (1a)

1st Matthews Ollerset Sparkling Nymph Mature bitch, liked her overall outline and size. Feminine head with kind dark eye. Very good layback of shoulders, deep chest with good spring of rib, short loin into well angulated hindquarters. Excellent bone and feet shown in hard condition, pinned slightly in front on the move. Best Special Working In Show

2nd Mr P & Mrs J Eggington Pajanbeck Georgy Girl Slow to mature still at that awkward stage where everything needs to come together. She has a lovely head and dark eye, good construction which showed in her movement. Sympathetically handled.

3rd Mr R D & Mrs V E Orme Elmstock Thyme To Remember Lovely old lady just a week off being 11, starting to show her age. Feminine head with soft melting expression. Well constructed with good bone. Ever wagging tail.

Special Members Stakes Dog/Bitch 5 (3a)

Judged jointly with Mr H Nelson

1st Miss K L Holland SH CH Brightmoor Caught In The Act At Flatcharm (IMP) One of my favourites, active, powerful with the required raciness. Beautiful moulded head filled in below a dark eye. Excellent conformation. Quality bone leading to well cushioned feet. Free flowing ground covering gait. Very well presented and handled.

2nd Mrs K & Mrs D Joyce SH CH Stranfaer Solitaire JW Another worthy champion although not as mature, very well balanced, correct size with a feminine head and gentle expression. Stylish Mover.

Judge: Jenny Donnelly 

Judge’s Critique – Dogs

Thank you to the officers, committee and exhibitors for a most enjoyable day and a special thank you to my super ring stewards Chris and Charlotte. I was looking for a dog that could do a day’s work and was pleased with my final line-up. There were one or two close decisions, presentation of exhibits on the whole was good, however,  I still feel that over scissoring spoils the overall appearance of our breed.

Veteran 5.2ab

1st Knight & Jacobs’s ShCh Broomsward Hugo Bossby Gemswin ShCM, Attentive balanced dog of good proportions. One piece head with dark eye carried on strong neck, correct top-line both standing and on the move. Good angulation throughout with deep chest. Well muscled and shown with constant wagging tail.
2nd Gulbis’s Gayplume Vital Spark, Moved on tidy strong feet, good rear angulation, pleasing head with dark eye and correct ear set, good top-line and tail set, just lacked the drive of one on the move.
3rd Broadbent’s Hallbent October Toccata ShCM, Lighter in build than 1 and 2, of good proportions, good top line standing and on the move. Kind attentive eye, at one with his handler, unfortunately just left his coat at home.

Special Veteran 2
1st Holland’s Ch Calzeat Causa Commotion at Flatcharm (imp). Someone forgot to tell this dog to act his age, at 11 years of age still thinks he’s a pup. Good muscle tone with strong firm second thigh, and substance throughout. Pleasing Head with dark mischievous eye, Balanced throughout, won the class on movement and showmanship. RCC, RBIS, BVIS.
2nd Colson’s Windyhollows Brere Bear. Liver dog, with good pigmentation, good angulations and well off for muscle for age. Stands naturally foursquare on tidy feet, balanced angles both fore and aft. Attentive to handler.

Minor Puppy 5.1ab
1st Pingree’s Calzeat Gentlemans Agreement to Heatheridge (Imp Swe) NAF TAF. Well schooled puppy, The baby of the class, but showing lots of promise, appealing head with dark eye, good shoulder assembly, well off for bone, active tail used to advantage on the move. Attentive to handler.
2nd Hammersley’s Steelriver Country Gardens, Not as settled as one, but every inch a Flatcoat, again pleasing head with dark eye and correct bite, balanced throughout for age and development, moved on tidy feet, just needs time.
3rd Curtis’s Tallistar All That Jazz. Well constructed young pup enjoying his day. Pleasing appearance with good bone for age with deep chest and good rib cage. Balanced throughout, again as with 2 just needs time.

Puppy. 6
1st Bright’s Hopevalley Morning Twister. Substantial puppy, balanced throughout with strong shoulders, deep chest well muscled throughout for one so young. Kind expression on a masculine head, dark eye with good ear placement. Happy disposition well shown. BPIS
2nd Pingree’s Calzeat Gentlemans Agreement to Heatheridge (Imp Swe) NAF TAF
3rd Watson’s Rainsgift Truth or Dare. Racier type , moved foursquare coming and going, balanced head with kind eye, good neck shoulders and top line, strong bone throughout, promising just needs time.

Junior. 3
1st Shelley & Lutner’s Telurn Come Fly With Me to Rivage. Masculine head, with alert dark eye carried on strong neck flowing into good shoulders with firm front and deep chest. Strong back with good topline carriage on the move and standing, constant wagging tail.
2nd Reynolds’s Telurn Can’t Touch This. Strong contender for the class but just didn’t have the same drive as 1. Masculine head with kind eye. Moved well on tidy feet with good top line on the move
3rd Hewison’s Casblaidd Island in The Sky Moved at one with handler when settled.Pleasing in outline. Good front and rear angulation and well muscled used to advantage on move, just needs time.

Yearling. 6
1st Stevenson’s Plainfire’s The Captain of My Heart is Steelriver (Imp Che) Substantial dog. Kind head and Eye with strong muzzle, balanced dog with good angulation deep chest well off for muscle and strong second thigh, moved at one with handler on tidy feet.
2nd Smitherman & Roberts’s Seaheart Crainat Gloi JW. Another classic dog with good front and rear angulation, shown in great condition, pleasing head strong neck into good shoulders level topline both standing and on the move. Close call with 1
3rd Reynolds’s Telurn Can’t Touch This

Novice. 5
1st Bright’s Hopevalley Morning Twister
2nd Bligh’s Ravencrag Great North Star Handsome young dog dog, pleasing well proportioned head with kind dark eye, good shoulders and strong well muscled rear quarters. Attentive to handler shown in great condition.
3rd Shelley & Lutner’s Telurn Come Fly With Me to Rivage

Graduate. 9.1.ab
1st Ross’s Go with The Flow Ebony in Harmony at Qlocontrail (Imp NL ) JW Classic Flatcoat, balanced throughout with good angulation, appealing head with kind dark eye, strong neck into good shoulders correct top line standing and on the move, moved on the best of feet. Shown in the best of condition, and attentive to handler
2nd Joyce’s Stanfaer Get Over It JW As with the winner of the class, another classic Flatcoat with similar attributes, professionally shown, just missed out as not the drive of 1.
3rd Evan’s Gemswin Relight My Fire JW. Liver dog, masculine head kind eye and good pigmentation. Strong shoulders, deep chest, good top line and correct tail set, move well when settled, just out of coat.

Post Graduate 13. 2ab
1st Adam’s Fordingham Viking Warrior Won his class on movement,Young dog well put together pleasing head with kind dark eye, strong neck into good shoulders deep chest and balanced throughout, moved on the best of feet, still has time to mature.
2nd Ellis & Taylor-Ellis’s Capsworth Corsair Eye-catching mature dog shown in the best of coats, masculine kind head, strong forequarters , well muscled hindquarters moved with constant wagging tail.
3rd Savory’s Hopevalley Morning Arizona Third of three strong dogs, well muscled hindquarters used to advantage, pleasing head with with kind of dark eye, strong neck into good shoulders, move that one with handler.

Limit 10
1st Mullins’s Seaheart Byron Impressive dog, who stood out in the class, well proportioned throughout, deep chest, with good strong bone, pleasing head, move with drive on the best of feet.
2nd Millbank’s Kvicksans Eye Of The Storm Of Larksdown Upstanding dog who moved with ease and drive, One piece head with attentive kind eye. Strong neck into well-placed shoulder good top line, tail set and carriage.
3rd Jones’s Arminzeras Informania By Benvellyn (Imp Nor). Strong well put together dog of good bone and substance, Masculine head with dark kind eye, deep chest with good strong shoulders and balanced rear quarters, movement today just let him down.

Open 7.3ab
1st Lutner & Holland’s Telurn Already In Trouble at Flatcharm Well put together classic dog pleasing outline on the move, shown to advantage. Masculine head carried on strong neck into good front assembly deep chest level top line good tail set and carriage, worthy of top honours.
2nd Ross’s Downsteam Face The Music JW Another classic dog with nothing exaggerated,one and I have placed well before, similar attributes to one, balanced throughout so at one with handler.
3rd Orme’s Elmstock Thyme To Dream. Third of a trio of excellent dogs another day they could easily have changed places. Correct head shape with good dentition,eye and ear set,balanced angulation throughout, excellent muscle tone.

Champion 7. 1.ab
1st Strudwick’s ShCh Downstream Fair and Square for Burnham JW ShCM. Prepared and presented to perfection. Totally at one with his handler. Pleasing head with gentle melting expression. Balanced throughout with good angulations, good second thigh and well muscled enabling him to move with effortless drive. Pleased to award him CC and BIS
2nd Holland’s ShCh Brightmoor Caught in The Act At. Flatcharm (IMP). Another well prepared and schooled dog, such a close decision against one, just preferred the forward reach of one. Excellent and well constructed with good angulation throughout moved on tidy feet,
3rd Jones’s ShCh Blacktoft American Smooth at Braemist JW Another well construct and dog balanced and in good muscle tone, kind head and attentive to handler, strong neck into good top line, moved with purpose just lacked his furnishings, has a lot to offer the breed

Special Liver 5
1st Jacobs & Jones’s Charming Melvin Oasis Of Peace (Imp Cz) JW SGWC. Mature liver dog with good pigmentation. Well built throughout with substantial bone and in the best of condition with good muscle tone. Moved well with no exaggeration covering the ground with ease, strong contender for higher honours.
2nd Colson’s Windyhollows Brere Bear.
3rd Hedderwick’s Torwood Paw Trait. Happy young dog, so at one with handler, Masculine head with kind eye set on strong neck, well set shoulders level topline both standing and on the move, deep chest strong and well muscled hindquarters, just needs time to complete his furnishings.

Special Working 2
1st Orme’s Elmstock Thyme To Dream.
2nd Hewison’s Casblaidd Island in The Sky

Special Members Open. 5. 3 ab
1st Holland’s ShCh Brightmoor Caught in The Act At. Flatcharm (IMP)
2nd Joyce’s ShCh Stanfaer Solitaire JW Feminine bitch shown in the best of condition, Classic head and well proportioned throughout, moved with drive and style.

Judge: Harry Nelson

Interview with George Lancaster

This article was first published in Wagging Tails (the NEFRA newsletter) in Spring 2002.  George was our first NEFRA President and helped the association really find its feet in its early years.

After more than 50 years in the show ring George has decided to hang up his judging badge. As George says “I am not retiring from the dog world but just from judging as I don’t want people to say ‘look at that silly old man, he doesn’t know what he is doing’.” Hopefully this article and the answers to the questions posed will give you an insight into the charismatic figure that is so well known in gundog circles.

George was born during the first world war and has been around dogs all his life as his father was a manager of a Hackney stud farm and when exercising the horses on the road he had two Dalmatians to run. On leaving school he went into motor engineering and at the outbreak of the second world war he served in the Royal Army Service Corps (RASC) for the duration as a vehicle mechanic.  In 1950 he joined Rolls Royce as an engine tester and remained with the company until he retired in 1981.  On leaving he then became gamekeeper at Crewe Hall where he had been involved as a beater for the previous twenty years.

His very first dog was an Irish setter, which he rescued from a police officer.  When he was discharged after the second world war he purchased his first golden retriever, a dog that cost him twelve guineas, not a lot of money you may think but at the time it was three weeks wages. This dog died of kidney problems when he was only four years old.  He then purchased a seven month old golden retriever bitch, Lady Christina, that the breeder insisted was shown.  At her first show she won ‘Best Gundog other than a cocker’.  He also at this point has an affix of Sandcroft which he let lapse.  His current affix is Oakmoss, and Halstock Juliet produced his first champion Oakmoss Ambassador. He only breeds a litter when he wants a new dog and has never owned more than two or three dogs at a time.  His wife, Mavis, keeps Sussex spaniels.

How did you come to have a flatcoat?
I was at a show with one of my golden retrievers sitting at a ring next to Mrs Grew Broadley and a bitch that she was showing put her head to my knee. That bitch was Ch Rungles Witch. I then went to Birmingham National to look at the breed and ordered a puppy from Mrs Lock, that was my first flatcoated retriever in the March of 1963, a bitch called Halstock Black Dahlia, for twenty five pounds, which was again the equivalent of three weeks wages. My next bitch was Halstock Juliette, my all time favourite flatcoat.  I worked and showed her obtaining one CC and twelve reseve CCs.  She won open bitch at Crufts and the field trial dog/bitch class.  She beat nine champions but failed to get the reserve ticket.

How long have you been judging at dog shows?
I started judging in 1951, starting off with simple matches, moved onto sanction shows, followed by limited shows.  My first open show was at Ashby-de-la-Zouch, where I judged all the terriers, Dalmatians, variety classes and also best in show.  My first championship show judging appointment was twenty eight years ago. It was the second National Gundog show (1973) held at Kempton Park racecourse when I judged Sussex spaniels. My last championship show was the City of Birmingham show (2001) when I judged large Munsterlanders. (George is actually qualified to judge ten different breeds of gundogs).  My first flatcoated retriever judging appointment at a championship show was the third National Gundog show when a young whippersnapper called Audrey Forster won the bitch ticket.  I have judged abroad, with my favourite being the Scandinavian countries where the standards of exhibits are high.

Do you have a memorable show that springs to mind?
Yes, a Flatcoated Retriever Society championship show when I had fifty-three bitches in post-graduate.  Whenever there are two judges for the breed I always seem to end up with the bitches (but George has always been one for the ladies!)

What do you look for when judging flatcoats?
Shape, the dog has got to look like a flatcoat.  An example of that was when I judged at the City of Birmingham show there was a bitch, Gemswin Perhaps Love, a super dog that totally looked the part.  I could not fault her so she got the bitch ticket and best of breed; the poor handler was totally overawed as it was her bitch’s first ticket.

Any memorable quotes that spring to mind?
Yes, two. The first was when I was at Macclesfield show with Halstock Juliet. Fred Dempster (the judge), a terrier man, came up to me and said ‘George, you’ve got a cracking bitch there but you move like a bloody pansy!’. The second was at my first ever committee meeting for FCRS held at Dr Nancy Laughton’s house.  At the time I was a heavy smoker and to be honest overawed by being at this meeting with Brigadiers and the like. Nancy always provided lunch and after lunch she said, ‘Have a cigar, George.’ I was shy then and replied ‘No thank you doctor’. She said ‘Go on my lad, then I can have one!’. Nice gesture and it put me as one of them. When my name came up to go on the judging list I was sent out of the room for what seemed like ages. When I went back in, Amelia Jessel said what had taken the time was whether to put me on as an all rounder or a breed specialist. I ended up as breed specialist.

What societies have you been involved with during your career?
I now limit my time to NEFRA, North West Counties Spaniel Club and the Sussex Spaniel Association but I have served as Chairman of the Flatcoated Retriever Society, Chairman of the Sussex Spaniel Association, Chairman of the United Spaniels, Chairman of the Spaniel Council of Europe, Chairman of the Stoke Gundog Society and President of the Potteries Canine Association.  I have served on the Kennel Club breed liaison for flatcoated retrievers as a delegate.  Mavis has also served as an officer with most of these societies as well.

Could you be tempted back into the ring?
I am on the ‘roll-of-honour’ with the National Gundog Show and if they asked me to judge Best In Show I would consider coming out of retirement.

What are your hopes for NEFRA?
I am one of the founding members and have seen it grow over the years. I would say to keep the atmosphere at shows as good as it is at the moment, if the show is enjoyable then people will come again.

What do you plan to do now?
I will still go to championship shows, but just to watch. As you know I enjoy cross-stitching, I am currently doing a ‘Camargue Horses’ sampler.

Any last thoughts
I have enjoyed the whole world of dogs whether it be show, obedience or field trials and I have made many friends worldwide.  I would like to thank everyone for all the pleasure they have given me over the years. All the best for 2002.

Working Retriever Assessment October 2018

NEFRA held a Working Retriever Assessment at Intake Head near Oldham by kind permission of Jean Buckley. A very wet day for the hardy handlers!

Chris Hewison and Gill Awty judged the novice level, and awarded four passes

  • Sue Sinnott and Millola Handsome Man
  • Caroline Hewison and Casblaidd Island in the Sky
    (both having achieved their second stage)
    Two handlers achieved their third stage and were awarded their Novice Certificates.
    Well done to
  • Lisa Jane Mappin and Casblaidd Valdoonican
  • Al Moore and Shiraz Pebble

Chris Hewison judged the intermediate level and a 3rd pass and their Intermediate Certificate were awarded to

  • Gill Awty and Venetian Red at Maddistream.

Well done everyone.
Thanks to Malcolm Awty and Peter Griffin for dummy throwing, and thanks to everyone for turning out on a very wet day

Autumn Working Test 2018

Castle Howard

Castle Howard

There was a truly international flavour and a wonderful turnout for our Autumn Working Test at the Castle Howard Estate on Seeptember 30th 2018.

A huge thank you was extended to the Estate and Clive Harrison the gamekeeper for hosting us at such a lovely venue.

The judges who had to work so hard were Mick Newsam (our panel judge), Yvonne Storr and Cath Kitching.  They did an absolutely sterling job

With entries from Holland and a guest visitor from the Flatcoated Retriever Society of Japan it has become clear to us that we must be doing somIMG_7529ething right!

Thanks were also extended to  Garry Ellison (our Chief Steward) for test setting and stewarding, and generally managing to be at one end of the field and the other at the same time keeping everything flowing.

We are blessed by the work put in by our band of helpers who always step up and throw dummies for us, stewarding, firing pistols, and placing blinds, which shows what great team work makes up a successful day!

NEFRA would also like to thank Caro Dell from Workingline Images for all the photography!   Her photos will be available shortly.  It was a very long day, but very worthwhile.

Puppy (6 entries)
1st Caroline Hewison with Casblaidd Island in the Sky winning the Whiteabbey Salver
2nd Jan Egginton with Pajanbeck Georgy Girl
3rd Anne Kitching with Casblaidd Angel’s Landing
4th Gill Griffin with Ravencrag Illusionist


Puppy Award Winners – photo courtesy of WorkingLine Images

Novice Dog, Novice Handler (8 entries)
1st Amber Nicholls with Featheringay Raven Prince winning the Maddistream Trophy and the Yonsaff Cup for Best Newcomer (and a prize for a free photo session with Caro Dell)
2nd Al Moore with Shiraz Pebble
3rd Mags Brayfield with Keamarola Private Dancer
COM Charlotte Knowles with Mistledawn Manyclouds
COM Mags Brayfield with Contar Skeggles Water
COM Janet Botterill with Chanangel My Swallow
COM Lindsay Kinnaird with Lunar Eclipse.


Novice Dog / Novice Handler Winner photo courtesy of WorkingLine Images

Novice (16 entries)
1st Derek Bull with Keepersway Alana winning the Strider Plate (and Judges’ Choice)
2nd Caroline Hewison with Donascimento Danilo from Casblaidd
3rd Julie Matthews with Ollersett Rainbow
4th Al Moore with Shiraz Pebble

Novice Winners

Novice Winners photo courtesy of WorkingLine Images

Open (13 entries)
1st Gill Awty with Venetian Red at Maddistream winning the Open trophy (and Judges’ Choice)
2nd Caroline Hewison and Donascimento Danilo from Casblaidd
3rd Ditmar Diunkerken-Jense with Quail’s Floyd’s Fleurie
4th Keith Aldred with Donascimento Santos
COM Caroline Hewison with Venus in Transit over Casblaidd

Open Winners

Open Winners photo courtesy of WorkingLine Images

Well done to everyone and thank you all for coming.