Category Archives: NEFRA

Flatcoated Retriever Breed Health Survey 2020/21

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: 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:

NEFRA’s 1st Online Breed Show

Photo by Sue Worrall

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


Online Show Catalogue

Judge’s Critiques DogsBitches

Breed Health Conservation Plan

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.

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.