Welcome to Breed News Weekly – the Chesapeake Bay Retriever Club’s weekly roundup of what is going on in the Chesapeake world. If you have something you’d like to share, please email Chrissie Mayhew at bobmayhewQhorses@aol.com.

2 October 2022

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever Club held its Autumn Working Test at Roanlodge Gundog Training Centre, Derbyshire, which evidently proved to be a fantastic venue with brilliant grounds. All reports from those attending mention how perfect it was from the land and water point of view, the local pub and the generous and welcoming hosts.

The judges, Mrs Elaine Whittaker and Mr Malcolm Peacock, were very encouraging throughout which is a great asset and nerve calmer for those taking part.

The first two classes only had one runner but both earned their places. The puppy class was won by Mark Poulton and his young dog Otto, and the Novice Dog/Novice Handler was won by Katy Duncanson’s Arnac Bay Invincible at Dunakitts. The Beginner class with eight entries was won by Sue Worrall and Arnac Bay Inca,  and lastly but far from least was the Unclassified Open class won by Anthony Ciraolo and his home-bred Franeo Ebbing Tide.

Judge Elaine Whittaker, Katy with Thor, Mark with Otto, Judge Malcolm Peacock, Anthony with Ebb, and Sue with Inca

Katy Duncanson was thrilled to have won her first place at a working test and when she was awarded the Judges’ Choice was evidently bouncing up and down with joy! It’s so nice to see someone that happy!

For those pedigree minded amongst our readers: Otto was imported from Italian Cristian Paldetti’s Multi Champion Nunnyswood Iceberg, who in turn was sired by Gemma McCartney’s Doublecoats Chesepi Ice Shaddow at Nunneyswood imported from Sweden. Litter mates, Invincible and Inca were also sired by Ice Shaddow and Anthony’s dog is sired by Sh Ch Next Generations Chesepi Range Rider. So close input into those pedigrees was from imports ranging from the USA, Sweden and Italy.

Photos from the working test courtesy of Anthony Ciraolo, Lesley Morgan and Sue Worrall

One really pleasing outcome of the working test is that there was a good turnout of interested spectators with the kind of terrain that offered a good view. People were able to meet the dogs first hand and in many cases, act as dog holders for those running more than one dog. I understand that a few myths about the temperament of the breed were put to rest and that spectators seemed genuinely impressed by the dogs and their work. A great test and a great PR job at the same time.

It is great to see on Facebook the pictures and reports of so many Chesapeakes in the UK doing the job they were bred for now that the shooting season is starting in earnest. Please keep them coming and post on any shooting FB page that you are members of. Let everyone see what these dogs are really like and what they are capable of.

The Isle of Wight Gundog Club held an open show that same weekend where Judge Izabella Kulczka chose for her best of breed Margaret Woods’ homebred Nunneyswood Evening Snow, aka Neve, who won through from the veteran class as she is now seven years old. Handled by Margaret’s grandaughter, Gemma, Neve then went on to win reserve best veteran in show and was shortlisted for best in show under judge Ben Ashcroft. All in all a good weekend for Margaret Wood’s Nunneyswood breeding! Also doing well at IOW was Sharon Baxandall with her homebred Sharbae Prettiest Star winning reserve best of breed thus qualifying her for the reserve best of breed challenge which she promptly won. She was also entered in three variety classes which she won!  Sharon says “I was over the moon with her as she was being her usual exuberant bouncy self.”

Neve winning Reserve Best Veteran in Show

Ros Madden has resigned from the Club committee as family and horsey commitments have taken up more and more of her time and she doesn’t feel that she is doing justice to the Club by taking the place of someone who could be more active. Katy Duncanson has been co-opted to take the vacant place. A profile of Katy to follow in BNW.

The American Chesapeake Club’s specialty show has just started to rock and roll in Michigan and hot off the press is the news that fellow UK Club member and friend of many, Gina Downin, had the pleasure of watching one of her breeding go best puppy in sweepstakes on the first day. This pup named Monday is out Gudgeon, litter sister of my own Buoy. I had to chuckle as Gina says on her FB page, “For non-dog people, yes, this is a big deal!”

Christine Mayhew

25 September 2022

Some time ago in Breed News Weekly, I published a photograph of a Chessie working and didn’t publish his name. With many apologies to Mack and his owner Maygan of Lone Willow I thought I would find out about Mack’s accomplishments and ask Maygan to write a bit about the type of hunting/shooting that she and her husband use their dogs for in their home state of Wisconsin.

Mack’s AKC name is International Champion Magnum Mack-A-Roni and his titles include Junior Hunter, Canine Good Citizen Advanced and Urban, Trick Dog Intermediate and Farm Dog Certificate. All American Kennel Club Titles can be researched in more detail from the AKC website. I think it would be great fun to have some of these titles in the UK to train for.

Magan describes Mack as a very sweet and lovable guy who loves to please everyone but also has a goofy side to him that always gets you laughing! Magan also has a female, Willow, who is to be Mack’s girlfriend later this year. Magan says:

We like to hunt grouse, woodcock, pheasant, ducks, geese and rabbits. Mack’s favorite is grouse and woodcock! Most of our days of hunting are my husband and I with Mack and Ash. Mack also takes a trip to North Dakota for 5 days with some friends to duck and pheasant hunt each year.

We hunt mainly wild birds, and once in a while we will enjoy a pheasant farm hunt. Hunting season can range from 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit early season which starts in September, to below zero in December and January. Some years it gets so cold early November that we don’t get to hunt water half the season because we are froze out.

Mack and Ash wear goggles to help protect their eyes from seeds and sticks when upland hunting. Mack likes to bulldoze through the thickest of brush so for safety we have them both wear goggles.

Ash in her goggles
Mack retrieving a goose
Mack in goggles in the snow

A normal day of waterfowl hunting starts at least 2 hours before daybreak, setting up decoys and brushing in blinds. Once the sun comes up it’s wait until birds start flying and hope we can call them in to work our decoys. If we get lucky and get birds in and working it’s the all anticipated take them call out when we take our shots!

Once birds are down Mack and Ash wait ever so impatiently to be released to fetch their birds. Once all birds are in it’s time to wait again and hope we can get another flock in.

Once we hit our limit or birds stop flying we call it a day. Then the dogs enjoy running around while we pack everything up to head home, clean birds and cook them up. Of course that is the dogs favorite treat!

A day of upland hunting starts with loading up and driving to the first spot. Once there we hit the field or woods in hopes to flush a bird. If we get lucky and flush a bird and get a clean shot the dogs wait for their release to fetch up the bird. If we work the field/woods and there are no birds it’s off to the next field. Some days it’s an all day adventure, other days it’s only a couple of hours.

It may be interesting to ask our overseas members for information about their own forms of hunting in each country. What do you all think?

Darlington Championship show had CCs on offer last weekend where judge Mr S Bardwell chose for bitch CC and best of breed, Sh Ch Arnac Bay Hebe, owned by myself and Joy Middleton. This was Hebe’s 15th CC and her 7th this year in Joy’s capable hands.

Dog CC was Hebe’s litter brother, Sh Ch Arnac Bay Huron at Bergelle JW, owned by James Newton and Maddie Hunn, handled this time by Maddie. Reserve bitch CC went to Kirsty Watt’s Sh Ch Oakmarsh Chestnut and reserve dog CC and best veteran was Molly Barker’s Sh Ch Next Generations Chesepi Range Rider, handled by Molly’s daughter Michelle.

Best puppy went to Phillip Gregory’s young male, Muireatai Run in the Woods who was sired by the CC winner, Gus, and handled by Gus’s co-owner Maddie.

The day ended on a great note for the Chesapeakes when Ryder and Michelle went into the big ring to win Group 3 Veteran. A fantastic achievement for our breed at a large championship show.

Flying the flag for Chessies yesterday at the Ardingly Autumn Show and International Horse Show with a day of demos and talking to the public were Debbie Herring and Indi, and Joy Middleton with Hebe. Proving the dual purpose claim for Chesapeakes, at a country show and mini game fair, it was good to see so much interest in the breed.

Debbie taking part in the demo
Hebe jumping at the demo

News from the Netherlands where Adey May’s Lonely One, sired by Phil Uncle’s Sh Ch Arnac Bay Exe, finished her International Championship for her owner and breeder Joa van der Avort. Congratulations!

Our Chesapeake Club’s KC Breed Health Co-ordinator, Sue Worrall, is conducting a survey on how long our Chesapeakes live for and the most common causes of death. If you have lost a Chesapeake since 2010, please could you follow the link on the Health page and spend just a few minutes completing the survey.

Information submitted about individual dogs will remain anonymous, but we ask for the registered name of your dog so we can verify it is a UK Chesapeake, and that it is only entered once in the data.
Christine Mayhew

18 September 2022

Richmond Championship Show at Loseley Park started with very damp conditions underfoot but thankfully had dried out by the third day when our breed was scheduled. Our judge, Ms Marion Sargent, awarded best of breed to Sh Ch Arnac Bay Hebe, owned by myself and Joy Middleton, Joy handling as normal. No CCs at this show. Best Dog went to Battsrock Are You Ready, for a totally delighted owner/handler, Veronika Royle. Bred by Deborah Herring, this was this lad’s second ever show. It was so lovely to see the expression of surprise and joy on Veronika’s face.

Best veteran was my own Sh Ch Arnac Bay Flax who stood alone but then went on to win reserve best bitch. Reserve best dog was Samantha and Thomas Barber’s Oakmarsh Galena Gunner, another youngster with a promising future.

Vroni at Richmond

Fantastic news from Sharon Baxendall with her home-bred Sharbae Prettiest Star (Isla) proving how versatile our breed can be. Sharon says:

Last weekend Isla and I attended our two-day TD Rally Trial. Anyone can enter these trials, whether pet or pedigree. Each round has 16 stations and each station has an exercise to perform. You start with 200 points and an extra 10 on the bonus round which is optional, but most people do this one. There are different levels, i.e. puppy, pre level 2, level 2 and level 3. Isla is in pre level 2 which is a transition round on to off lead so some stations are off lead and are usually recall ones. In order to go up a level you must have enough qualifying rounds to gain your title or championship in the lower level. Isla now has 3 towards the 6 needed for her title to go up to Level 2.

Sharon and Isla at the rally trial
She was entered for 4 rounds at the weekend. The first one had a recall past a feed bowl one side and a rope toy the other. Unfortunately she clocked the toy halfway round and fixated on it and when we came to that station as the judge said best recall with a perfect retrieve … which she wasn’t supposed to get! So NQ’d that round. The next 2, 195 and an Ace rosette, 189 outstanding and the final round the toy was back and she couldn’t quite resist the lure and retrieved again  but managed a score of 176 with a good rosette. We had a great weekend with an American supper for lunch which makes our trials very popular with entries from the mainland.

Sharon lives on the Isle of Wight.

As I had never heard of this form of competition in the UK before, I looked it up on the Kennel Club website and found the following: “Rally (or ‘Rally O’ as it’s known in the USA) is a canine activity derived from the heelwork elements of competitive obedience. However it differs from obedience, primarily in that competitors and dogs attempt a preset course with signs placed at up to 18 stations along the course, requiring them to perform one of around 80 different preset exercises. The selection of exercises and design of the course is at the judge’s discretion. Each individual round is performed at a brisk pace and takes around three minutes.

There is no direction from the judge or steward as in obedience. The signs are all the guidance competitors receive. At level 1 and 2, the first two levels, dogs compete on lead and a loose lead is emphasised. The handler may give verbal commands and encouragement throughout as necessary. More advanced levels require dogs to compete off lead.”

All this certainly sounds interesting and something that maybe other Chesapeake owners might like to try? Thank you for the report, Sharon.

Not such a happy day for Gemma Pearce whose water-mad import ‘Rab’ (Cal-i-co NGD U Got the Look), decided to take himself for a swim in the River Humber. Now we all know that Chesapeakes love to swim but the Humber is not exactly the local lake. In fact it is officially known as the Humber Estuary and is more than ¾ mile across at its furthest inland point, widening to more than 7 miles across near its mouth. It even has its own lifeboat station.

Rab's rescue

Rab was quickly dragged along by the strong current leaving Gemma and her twin toddlers on the bank unable to do anything but call and whistle in vain.

Luckily an employee at a local café saw what was happening and raised the alert which resulted in the café manager volunteering to go out in a dinghy and rescue Rab. By this time Rab had travelled a mile and a half downriver and had been in the water for about 45 minutes. With the worry of the dinghy in the unforgiving water, another volunteer with a motor boat went to assist and the coastguards were called.

Luckily the coastguards managed to assist to get one dog, two humans, a dinghy and a motor boat all back to shore safely. Gemma says that whilst she was scared but didn’t panic at the time, once she had her dog back, she cried her eyes out with relief as she feared she would never see Rab again. I think we can all relate to that.

The story made the local paper where Gemma expressed her thanks to all who had helped and put themselves at risk from the unforgiving water. As the press often do, they managed to get our breed of dog yet another new title – a Cheshire Peak Bay Retriever! I love this!

Labrador lady Joy Venturi-Rose is running a KC Working Gundog Certificate on dummies for any Gundog breeds that retrieve at Elstead Surrey on Sunday 2nd October. If anyone is interested in taking the certificate please Facebook message her or phone 07811 038395 and leave your email address. She will send you a participants form handbook and info.
Christine Mayhew

HM The Queen with her dogs on the lawn in front of Balmoral Castle, Scotland during the Royal Family's annual summer holiday in September 1971. Part of a series of photographs taken for use during the Silver Wedding celebrations in 1972. (Photo by Lichfield/Getty Images)
11 September 2022

With the passing of our Queen, we have lost a true countrywoman who loved shooting, working and being with her dogs, and of course all of her horses. Whilst many of us never met her, one only had to see her eyes light up when with she was in the company of animals.

As many of us have our lives enhanced by the company and loyalty of our dogs, how lovely it must have been for her to take a break from the duties of being a Royal, with all it entails, and to relax with her animals who gave a non-verbal, totally genuine show of love, friendship and admiration.

RIP Your Highness.

At the City of Birmingham Championship Show there were no CCs for our breed and sadly a very small entry. I think the recent run of shows has emptied people’s pockets. It is unfortunate that most of the championship shows with classes for our breed seem to be all clumped together at one time of the year.

Judge Mr J Gilder chose for his best male and best of breed Cathy and Simon Broomfield’s Glaneils Count On Me, with best bitch going to Peter Clark’s Arnac Bay Ibis. Reserve best dog was Caroline Pont’s Oakmarsh Haunting Howl. Congratulations.

The World Dog Show next year is to be held in Geneva, Switzerland on 24-27 August. Judges for our breed are Manuela Schar from Switzerland and Micheal Kristensen from Denmark. Our breed, along with the other retriever breeds are group 8 for the European shows if you wish to look at the schedule. Should you decide to go you would need to have your dog vaccinated against rabies and check travel requirements for him/her. As regulations vary and can change, it is best to check nearer the time on details of not only Switzerland but any countries you may be passing through.

The United Retriever Club recently asked the consensus of the membership regarding the following statement: “The United Retriever Club should ask the Kennel Club to review and amend the ‘J’ Regs to state that one handler may only handle one dog in any field trial.” The often quoted J Regs are the Kennel Club rules and regulations regarding field trials. We await a decision with baited breath.

Hats off to the URC secretary, Jennie Dimmock, who sent out letters and emails to a total of 1776 members. Of these, 227 replies were received, with a total of 200 agreeing with the statement and 22 disagreeing. This information is being passed to the Kennel Club.

With field trials being oversubscribed year after year the societies hold a draw to chose who is lucky enough to get a place and there are many who never get a chance to run their dogs, so I can understand the reasoning behind the proposal that one handler may only handle one dog.

For the uninitiated, field trials are run on an actual day’s shoot, with real birds being flushed and shot by the ‘guns’ and then retrieved as directed by the judges, which can take some time as each dog is run individually and in the case of a dog failing to find a specified bird, other runners are taken one by one to try to find it. This obviously limits the number of opportunities to hold a field trial as most shoots are busy satisfying their syndicate members or those who have paid for a day’s shooting and need to get from one drive to another without delay. Many shoots are not suitable in terms of numbers of birds or they are not interested in holding a field trial with its obvious impact on a normal day’s shooting.

These main problems are not encountered when running a working test where we can use dummies (bumpers) which are never out of season (being made of canvas!) and can be thrown in a similar area for each dog. In the USA, live birds are often caged and thrown in the air to be shot, a practice which shocked me when I first encountered it. With an upbringing of British shooting etiquette it was hard for me to accept that birds were released there and then, and that some birds were shot so closely that they were badly damaged and would never have made the table. A badly damaged bird can also encourage a dog to chew on it in my opinion.

This leads me to say that I roll my eyes when I hear people say, when considering an import, that they want US ‘field trial lines’ as most, if not all, US trainers use an electric collar and force fetch and seem to accept a dog whining or squeaking on the line. This is so far removed from what I want of my dogs in the UK that in my opinion it serves no purpose to demonstrate a good dog.

There are field trial and show Labradors in the UK, almost two different breeds, and I can understand people making the field trial line decision for Labradors, but I have not found a separation in Chesapeakes who, as far as I am concerned, can still do it all. Long may it continue. I will leave it here as I could write all day on this subject!

How many times have we all paused or run back a programme to check on a breed of dog that looks like a Chessie, but I am almost 100% sure that a dog who features mainly in a boat on Sky’s programme, ‘Alaska The Next Generation’ is one of our brown gang. A perfect life for a Chesapeake in the wilderness with her owner.

Christine Mayhew

4 September 2022

Well the wildfowling season is upon us and it started with a bang in some areas, and not so many bangs in others!

The Chesapeakes were back at work doing the thing they love most and the job of work that they were bred for and excel at: Matthew Thickpenny-Ryan and Rafiki, Stephen Hudson and Boo (and friend’s Edd), Richard Playle and one of his brown dogs, Tide, and Joe McCoy with Tara to name the ones that I know of on the first day.

Matthew's Rafiki
Boo and Edd

Joe says that he and his mate finished with 17 for the morning flight – 8 for Joe and 9 for his mate – and felt that they had taken enough so didn’t shoot again that night. Joe is a total Chesapeake convert saying,

I have had some great Labs and one of the best to ever live but it’s looking like Tara will top them all … She has a drive for ducks like I have never seen before and is very, very keen to please. She was quick to gain trust in me. She probably has the best eyes on a dog I have ever seen.

The last duck of the morning was a red head drake my mate Damien shot. At the time Tara was lifting a mallard wounded 80 yards behind us on the grass and just heading back when Damien shot the red head diver. Tara was 200 yards from where the diver fell 50 yards of grass and 150 yards in water away. With the mallard in my hand, a fetch command given and off she went ploughing through the water. She had seen it fall, definitely seen it. I have never seen a dog mark like that before!

Tara and the mallard

Not so lucky for Richard and Tide. Richard says,

Me and brown dog were out. There were only butterflies and mozzies but good to be down on the saltline once again as it helps clear all the clutter from one’s brain! Oh and we were waiting, but this time in vain! We sat the afternoon tide out but not a duck came close – a few Teal were about but not close to us.

Great tales that will go down in UK Chesapeake history.

Tide patiently waiting. Her time will come.

Driffield Championship Show was held at their normal venue of Wetherby Racecourse where the judge for our breed was Paula Graystone. Paula has owned, worked and bred Chesapeakes for a number of years with her partner Roly Hoare and has a great depth of knowledge on the requirements of a working dog in the field, both in picking up situations and at field trials where she has competed many times. She has also been the field trial secretary for Hampshire Gundog Society and has arranged many a trial and working test. All this relates to judging our breed in the ring where we ask for a dual purpose dog who not only fits the standard but is capable of a day’s work.

It was a great day for the ‘oldies’ with the best dog and best of breed coming from the veteran dog class, namely Sh Ch Next Generations Chesepi Range Rider, owned by Molly Barker, and the best bitch from the veteran bitch class, Nunneyswood Snow Flurry at Glaneils, owned by Cathy and Simon Broomfield and bred by Margaret Woods.

Reserve best dog went to Caroline Griffin-Woods’ home-bred Migwell Solomons Puzzle, with the reserve bitch going to another home-bred dog, namely Chris Hewitson’s Melseed Skys the Limit.

Cathy reports that this was “a genuinely happy and relaxed day” and adds “it was so good to sit around chatting after our classes and to stay and support Molly and Ryder in the Group.”

Molly's Ryder

Other show news, this time from North Riding Gundog Open Show where Lorna Murray had a great day winning Best of Breed with Takoda Nathan, reserve best of breed with Luisaidh Eva, and first and second in puppy with litter mates Muireatai Miracle of Dreams and Muireatai Teris. Lornas dogs then went on to win a 4th in the puppy stakes and 5th in open stakes. Another two placings for our breed amongst the others. Elaine Bradley judged the breed on what Lorna says was a day of lovely weather with a relaxed friendly atmosphere.

As it is the 40th anniversary of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever Club the 2023 show is going to be very special. We have a judge coming over from the USA, namely Robyn Haskin, who breeds and shows both Chesapeakes and Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers under her kennel name Susqudilla. The show is going to be held at the Kennel Club Building in Stoneleigh Park so any rain, heatwaves, hail or swarms of locusts will not affect us.

The date is 22 April with a breed appreciation day and an opportunity to learn from Robyn on the 23 April. Put it in your diary now!

We are fortunate to have the main sponsors of Josera pet food and Sporting Saint gundog training equipment again sponsoring our shows and they have both donated some wonderful prizes already. There will be a silent auction to raise money for Club funds.

Cake and ‘bubbles’ will be available on the day and you don’t even have to have a dog entered in order to enjoy and take part.

Rosette sponsorship is still available should people wish to get in touch with Joy Middleton. This sponsorship offers the wording “sponsored by” on the tail of the rosette as a thank you so you might wish to advertise your company or kennel name this way.

New to this year will be a free catalogue for anyone entering the show and these will be a keepsake for years to come with various advertisements and pictures from kennels and individual dogs. Again contact Joy if you would like your dog to take his or her place in history. Pricing for this is ridiculously low at £6.50 for ½ page, £12.50 for a whole page, and £20 for a double page spread. Joy is also offering a free simple advert design for those interested in an advert but unsure of how to go about making one. Show off your dogs, wins, studs, or simply wish everyone a great show. Any questions please contact Joy.midds@outlook.com

Please contact me with any news you would like included in these breed notes.
Christine Mayhew

28 August 2022

Great news from Cathy Broomfield who reports that she had a trip to Lancaster & District Canine Society Open Show taking with her Pepper (Petsalls Pride Beech at Glaneils). Pepper was stand alone in the breed classes under judge Pam Cox, to gain best of breed but then placed Gundog Group 4. Cathy says, “I was so happy with her as this was the first time she has been out for a year since having her pups.”

The same weekend at Kent County Open Show, breed judge Dale Elliot chose Sh Ch Arnac Bay Hebe, co-owned by Joy Middleton and handled by Joy, as best of breed, with Kirsty Watts’ Oakmarsh Freedom going reserve best of breed. Onto the big ring with judge Jim Cuddy where Hebe won Group 1 in the gundog group, her second in less than a week! Not to be outdone, Freedom placed VHC in the reserve best of breed stakes.

The breed is certainly notching up some group placings fast and furious! Congratulations everyone.

Cathy's Pepper

Very exciting news is that from next week, we will be sharing Breed News Weekly with Our Dogs, the leading weekly canine newspaper that covers the world of dogs, showing, breeding, exhibiting, and a lot more. I have just renewed my subscription for the online edition and maybe a few others who lapsed in recent years will be encouraged to renew too.

Our Dogs has a newspaper alongside the weekly online edition. They also produce a lovely colour Annual every year. Top dog tables are recorded and published regularly for top dog, top stud dog, and top brood bitch.

These tables are from the shows throughout the year but gave me the idea that we need to do the same for our working dogs. Whilst we have an annual AGM award for top working dog, there are no running updates and each AGM award is dependent on the owner supplying all information before the AGM. A group of us will be working on a points system that will record working test and field trial wins and placings and, subject to CBRC approval, information on leaders will be available soon. Comments on this idea would also be appreciated.

Another reminder for the fast up and coming Club’s working test to be held on 25 September at Roanlodge Gundog Training Centre near Buxton, Derbyshire. Entry forms and more details are on the Events page and entries close on 18 September. Please do not leave it to the last minute. Entries to Sue Worrall, all other enquiries to working test secretary Mark Straw (telephone 01159 533960, email m.straw119648@gmail.com).

Now that 2022 club shows are completed, the committee are hard at work already on our 2023 anniversary show. Please don’t forget that this show will be held on the 22 April at the Kennel Club Building, Stoneleigh. If anyone is interested in supporting the show by donating prizes / auction items or wanting to sponsor a beautiful rosette, do get in touch with Joy Middleton (07927 809672 or joy.midds@outlook.com).
Christine Mayhew

21 August 2022

Wiltshire Game and Country Fair at Bowood House saw four Chessies taking part at the Minority Breeds tents. The dogs present were Lisa Murch’s Odhran and Joss, and Deb Herring’s Jersey and Indi, all seasoned ‘meet and greet’ dogs.

Lisa Murch reports:

Arriving on the Friday, late afternoon in sweltering heat to see the camping was mere yards from the huge mile-long lake was such a relief. The dogs could be cooled at any point during the weekend by sending them in the direction of the water, not one dog needed to be told twice!

The magnificent Bowood House was just a few yards in the opposite direction, a beautiful place. Both Saturday and Sunday had much lower footfall than previous years and therefore the dogs were not as busy as they may have been.

The gundog demo and the breed parade which the Chesapeakes would usually participate in were both cancelled. Instead the microphone was passed from tent to tent so that the audience could hear about that particular breed and visit with them if they wished.

The dogs coped remarkably well with the heat and loved all of the attention, all mingled together in the pen and all just slept most of the day away.

Saturday night saw Joss make a bid for freedom at 3:30am by unzipping the tent and taking himself off for a lovely jolly, waking the camp site. He didn’t however take himself swimming, which was a surprise!

Cooling off at Bowood House

We did participate in the scurry early Sunday morning to give the dogs something to think about. There was a water retrieve and a mark and blind over bales. Debbie’s Indi did incredibly well until her focus was redirected by a naughty Toller who wouldn’t come out of the water a few yards away. The owner had to go in after the dog in the end.

Relaxing on a hot day

It’s so nice to know that the Tollers too can be naughty when it comes to getting out of the water!

This has been just under a week of a collection of shows with Chesapeake classes, which is a great shame for those who have a dog out of coat or a bitch in season at this time. Whilst fun to attend, it seems all of our championship shows with classes are clumped together. It would be nicer if they were spread out a little if only so as we could save the money for the next lot of fuel!

First in the recent batch was Bournemouth Championship Show, sadly without CCs and subsequently a smaller than normal entry for Scandinavian judge Mr E Engh.

Best of breed went to Sh Ch Arnac Bay Hebe handled by Joy Middleton, jointly owned by Joy and me. Reserve best bitch to Kirsty Watts’s Sh Ch Oakmarsh Chestnut. There was only one male present, namely Cheselbay Ballochan who took the best male award for owner and breeder Jo Nash. Another of Kirsty’s homebred dogs, namely Oakmarsh Acorn VW won the best veteran in breed.

Next on the list was an open show, namely Thame and Oxfordshire, where Hebe again won best of breed with Kirsty’s Oakmarsh Freedom winning reserve best of breed. Hebe went on to win the Champion Stakes.

Kirsty’s Tia (Oakmarsh Acorn VW) won a lovely AV Gundog Veteran class and went on to the BVIS competition, where there was a full complement of 7 group winners. Sadly she was unplaced, having already beaten the BVIS when she was 2nd in the AV Veteran Stakes, under a different judge earlier in the day.

Hebe and Joy then went best in the gundog group and finally won Reserve Best in Show. I was at home getting update after update from co-owner Joy who was handling her, each update getting more and more exciting. What great results for our breed who having never been noticed in the big ring, went to being noticed sometimes, and now are quite definitely being noticed! Three different judges chose the Chesapeake to take her on her journey to end with the Reserve Best in Show.

Hebe's rosettes from a very successful Thame and Oxfordshire Open Show

Finally the Welsh Kennel Club Championship dog show held at the Welsh Showground in beautiful countryside at Builth Wells. We took a very out of the way back road for the trip to the showground and the views were stunning, the road scattered with sheep grazing on the sides, and the awesome Wye river meandering along in the valleys. Truly a picture postcard destination and well worth the trip even if we hadn’t been showing dogs!

This time, our experienced gundog judge Pam Blay put the dogs through their paces, and again Hebe was chosen as best of breed and for the bitch CC. A very proud moment for Joy and I. Another proud moment when the dog CC went to my own and Lisa Murch’s just out of junior dog, Next Generations Arnac Arctic Storm, his second CC. People may remember that I imported this dog from the USA in the Autumn last year and boy how he has changed and matured since that time under Lisa’s love and care.

The reserve dog CC went to a very delighted Lorna Murray with Tadoda Nathan. Lorna had made the very long trip down from Scotland and it was so nice to see this win, which made the long journey very worthwhile for her.

Best veteran went to my own Sh Ch Arnac Bay Flax with yet another handler for her, namely Nicole Coe who had just come from the German Shorthaired Pointer ring. Flax then challenged the youngsters and won the reserve CC.

Best Puppy was Cathy Broomfield’s sedge pup, Glaneils Don’t Worry be Happy, and happy they certainly were, both owner and dog!

Hebe and Joy dashed to the big ring for the champion stakes where they stood in very exalted company to win fifth place. Chesapeake noticed again!

On to the big ring for Cathy, Dave, Lisa, Joy and Nicole, and those of us not handling watched the best in show, best veteran, and best puppy but sadly no placings for our Chessies there. As all of the above had extremely long journeys home, it was nice that everyone stayed to the end and the breed was represented in each section for best in show.

Cathy's Lyra gaining Best Puppy at Welsh KC

The Welsh Kennel Club have to be congratulated for such a well run and tidy show. There were plenty of very smart members in their green jackets, giving directions to those who requested them, and wandering around the show being helpful and friendly to all. Everyone did their job with a smile and the whole set up was perfect for our needs. The best in show ring was magnificent and decorated with floral arrangements around and in the ring that would be worthy of the finest wedding.

Stop press and today at Huntington Open Show, Oakmarsh Freedom won best AVNSC Gundog with her kennel mate Oakmarsh Acorn winning best AV veteran. Both homebred and owned by Kirsty Watts. Kirsty adds ‘and we won the best brace as well’. The show societies must certainly be grateful for Kirsty’s input in entries this year!

Please don’t forget that the Autumn working test is not too far away and entries need to be in by 18 September. I will be reminding you all every week until then but please do not leave it until the last minute as there is a lot of organisation that needs numbers of entries, etc. Any enquiries about the test should be addressed to Mark Straw. Entries go to Sue Worrall. You can download your entry forms from the Events page.
Christine Mayhew

14 August 2022

Last weekend saw the Working Minority Retriever Club Working Test held at Broadoak Farm, Crawley, and what a fantastic day for our breed. With a mixture of Flatcoats, Curlycoats and Irish Water Spaniels there were only two Chesapeakes running, namely Debbie Herring with   Sharbae Rebel Rebel and Kevin Amaira with Petsalls Canuck.

Only one award was given in the Novice test and that was to Debbie and Jersey who won first place, and then in the Novice Dog/Novice Handler, Kevin and Zoar stepped up to the plate and won, with a Flatcoat placing second. Brilliant results – well done guys and girls (if I am allowed to say that these days!

Kevin with Zoar and Debbie with Jersey

Lots of show news this week as both National Gundog and United Retriever Club held their championship dog shows at Malvern just three days apart. I have to add how much easier it would be if the URC could be held the day after NGA which would mean just an overnight stay for many exhibitors and would save considerably on travelling and fuel costs. I also think that it would also boost entries for the second show. A thought agreed on by many.

NGA was the first with an entry of 30 for Mike Blay who knows the breed well, having handled them as junior handler when he used to show Sandy Hasting’s deadgrass dog, Chesabay Chobie. Always very professional and decisive in his judging (he now judges many gundog breeds), Mike chose for his best of breed my own and Joy Middleton’s Sh Ch Arnac Bay Hebe, with her litter brother Sh Ch Arnac Bay Huron at Bergelle (owners James Newton and Maddie Mahon) taking the best male with James handling.

The reserve best bitch went to another from this litter, namely Dave and Thelma Thompson’s Arnac Bay Harvest ably handled by Katy Duncanson. Reserve dog CC went to Cathy and Simon Broomfield’s Glaneils Count on Me, with the same owners winning best puppy with another home-bred dog, Glaneils Don’t Worry Be Happy. Best Veteran was my own Sh Ch Arnac Bay Flax handled by Maddie in the breed ring and Joy in the BIS ring.

It was a very hot day but everyone managed to find a bit of shade for the dogs and the agricultural sheds contained the benches which provided a slightly cooler than outside temperature. Certainly everyone was very vigilant with their dogs and all the main winners stayed for best in show. Sadly no placings there although Flax was shortlisted in the best veteran challenge.

Joy and Hebe

Three Chesapeakes and owners entered and passed their Good Citizens Bronze Award at this show, namely Dave Rigby with Gunner and Trig and me with Flax. Something I had been meaning to do for some time, the test is very basic but a great idea to have another certificate and to encourage to aim higher. Have a go if you get the chance.

The following Wednesday dawned hot and we had a repeat of Sunday’s temperatures but with only the retriever breeds showing, there was far more room at the showground and consequently more shade available from the trees without having to share. This shade and a constant breeze made the day far more comfortable but once out of the shade it was several degrees hotter.

The judge this time was Jane Eyeington of Meadowvale English Springer Spaniels. An experienced gundog judge, this was Jane’s first time of awarding CCs in our breed.

Quite often when a judge from a different breed judges, we will get a variation in results but Jane again chose Hebe for best of breed, Huron for best male, and Harvest for reserve best bitch. This time however, the reserve best dog went to Dave Rigby’s happy lad, Chesepi Waco with Waco’s sire, Sh Ch Next Generations Chesepi Range Rider taking the best veteran award for owner Molly Barker. Ryder was ably handled by Molly’s daughter, Michelle. Best puppy went to Janet Morris’s home-bred Penrose Razzamataz.

It was lovely to meet Claudia and Peter Breitgoff from Sea ‘n Land Chesapeakes, Germany who had come to see the dogs whilst on a preplanned visit to England to attend their daughter’s wedding and to deliver a pup of their breeding to Mary Murray.

And on to the best in show judging with David Hutchinson (Flatcoats) doing the honours. As David made his decisions our group of Chesapeake supporters were over the moon to see Hebe and Joy be handed the Reserve Best in Show award, along with a HUGE trophy which dates back to the 1950s.

Joy with the RBIS cup

Sadly the best Chesapeake puppy was absent from the best puppy in show challenge. Whilst this particular puppy has been taken home before at two previous championship show line ups, it is always very obvious at URC when only five other retriever breeds are there to challenge.

Overall it was a great day out, with a good dose of camaraderie and support from the Chesapeake people, as we have all grown used to.

News from Jan Debnam who follows yet another branch of obedience, namely Heelwork to Music. Jan says:

Rowan (Battsrock Rocket Queen with Calandrella) has passed all four of the first level tested standards for Heelwork to Music with Distinctions, in fact with perfect or near perfect scores for three of the four. She managed all four at two test sessions, a week apart, and didn’t need to take second attempts at any of them.

An impressive achievement from Jan and Rowan. Here she is showing off her four rosettes (although Jan says that she looks rather unimpressed and would prefer some biscuits!) Rowan is just 20  months old.
Christine Mayhew

Rowan looking very modest about her Heelwork to Music rosettes
7 August 2022

The Game Fair last week, as usual, provided a great opportunity to showcase our breed and this week we have reports from two Chesapeake owners who helped to make that possible.

Debbie Herring writes:

Once again, Chessies were invited to join their Minority Retriever colleagues at the Game Fair this year. I always feel it is such a privilege to be invited to take part in demonstrations at such a high-profile event with such a large audience gathered around The Working Dog arena.

With Judy Hempstead on the microphone, we started with the young, less experienced dogs showing the basics of training, doing heel-work off the lead, then sat up waiting while dummies were thrown around them and finishing with a short retrieve.

The young dogs then left the arena for the more experienced dogs to show off their skills. Starting with two rows back-to-back, some of the group were sent out to sit on a stop whistle while other dogs were sent through the line in pairs for their retrieves.  The stopped dogs were then sent back behind for their dummies.

Debbie taking part in a demo at the Game Fair

The grand finale was an impressive sight of 10 dogs walking the arena in a line up, all off the leads, with dummies being thrown in front and dogs being sent individually from the line when their names were called.  Then the call was made for bird behind and the whole group turned in unison to be sent for retrieves at the other end of the arena. Not a single dog ran in, and all the dogs behaved impeccably, much to their owner’s relief. As always with these events, it was then back to the campsite for the evening after party of shared BBQ food and lots of booze in great company.

Debbie’s full article about the Game Fair will be in the Chessie yearbook and includes an amusing account of the interbreed Grudge Match!

Our breed representatives in the Sporting Dogs pavilion (a sort of ‘meet the breeds’) this year were Steve and Kay Camoccio, Rhian Varga and Mark Poulton, and Jo and Jon Lycett with their respective brown dogs. Thank you all for giving your time.

Kay reports:

The set up for the Sporting Dog Pavilion was different and challenging in a few ways this year. The marquee had been erected away from the usual spot, which had previously worked so well near the Gundog Arena. This was not ideal as it didn’t attract the usual very busy footfall. The pens were extremely small, thus utilising only half of the spacious marquee. A bit of a wander for water. No clear signage. We did take advantage of several water troughs dotted around the fair and periodically dunked the dogs.

We had the pleasure of meeting Mark Poulton and Rhian Varga with their young pup Otto who came to help on the stand on Saturday. On Sunday a very handsome Quint brought along John and Jo Lycett. I still find it fascinating to meet other Chessies and share stories. I don’t think any of us will ever get fed up with the ‘He’s a what?’ question. Followed by the look of awe on people’s faces when you get to explain about the history and characteristics of a CBR. It is also great for people to see just how many shades of brown fur there is. A big ‘Thank You’ to both couples and their extremely well behaved boys.

There was a different commentator this year for the Gundog Parade, Louise Birch. She took the time to come and meet each breed and gain a few snippets of information to tailor and add a bit of colour/humour to her conversation in the ring.

There is always so much to see and do at Ragley Hall. All country pursuits catered for. If you haven’t been, it is well worth a visit.

Feedback was taken and I’m confident that next year things will have improved for the Sporting Dog Pavilion.

Again, a full report from Kay will be in the yearbook along with another amusing story, this time of their journey to Ragley Hall!

The Camoccio boys working hard to bring Chesapeakes to their adoring public

And more amazing news from Debbie Crewe is that following on from his success in the working test, Ramses (Chesarab Saltmarsh) and Debbie attended a five day Obedience event, which Wirral Alsatian Training Society, Wigton Dog Training Club and Lune Valley Dog Training Club had combined to put on two open and three championship shows between 26th and 30th July. Debbie says:

There were good entries for the classes and our class numbers ranged between 27 and 37 dogs entered. Ramses achieved places in the line ups on all 5 days, which was quite an achievement. We finished with a second, a third, two fourths and a sixth.

Ramses with his obedience rosettes

Those who have entered competitive obedience classes will realise the enormity of winning over the numerous border collies who excel at this discipline. A truly great achievement for Debbie and Ramses.
Christine Mayhew

31 July 2022

Exciting working news is now coming in thick and fast!

At the West Berks Gundog Club’s recent working tests, Peter Clarke and Mink (Arnac Bay Ibis) came fourth in Novice with a score of 92 out of 100. Not content with this, the duo were entered in the Open test where they scored 81/100 and earned a Certificate of Merit. Mink was the only Chesapeake there and was competing against the more popular breeds of retrievers. A fantastic achievement. Congratulations Peter who has worked hard with his training and absolutely adores Mink (and she adores him!)

Peter relaxing with Mink

Leeds Championship Show saw 29 Chesapeakes show under the judge, David Bell who chose for his dog CC and Best of Breed, Sh Ch Arnac Bay Huron at Bergelle JW. Owned by Maddie Mahon-Hunns and James Newton, this is Gus’s ninth CC. The bitch CC went to  Penrose Let Fly, I believe her third which gives her her championship. She is owned by Mrs Morris, with the same owner taking the reserve dog CC with  Penrose Nosmo King and the best puppy with  Penrose Razzamatazz. Reserve bitch CC went to young Amore of Ridsome, owned by Caroline Pont, and the best veteran going to the considerably older (but not showing it) Sh Ch Next Generations Chesepi Range Rider, Molly Barker’s happy lad.

For those who didn’t manage to attend the Club Championship Show, we had a special award in memory of Chesapeake owner and exhibitor, Hannah Smith who passed away at the young age of 35 after a short battle with cancer. The Hannah Smith Memorial Trophy, donated and presented by Hannah’s family, went to the Best Special Beginners in Show, namely Fleur Bament’s Chester. This was a very emotional moment for all and, as a perpetual trophy, will keep Hannah’s memory with us in years to come.

The late Hannah Smith at Crufts in 2020

There were lots of goodies at the Club shows, namely exhibitor bags were pre-set up with goodies, dried treats, bottle of water, catalogues and numbers for each exhibitor. A grand raffle that raised £153, an auction of donated items which raised £335 and a new idea from James Newton was to host a Booze Hamper and this raffle item raised £72 on its own. A grand total of £556 raised for the Club.

We had fantastic prizes in the form of sacks of Josera dog food, gundog training dummies, and all manner of doggy items and treats. The sponsorship was fantastic from companies and individuals alike. Initial workings would indicate that the show itself made almost £1000 which is very good going when so many show societies make a loss.

The committee has decided that we will hold two open shows in 2023, one being in conjunction with a major championship show and it has been confirmed that this will be held after our championship classes at National Gundog on 6th August 2023 at Three Counties Showground, Malvern, WR13 6NW.

Please be aware that I cannot report on any news unless I know about it! So send your news, preferably with a photograph, to bobmayhewqhorses@aol.com
Christine Mayhew

24 July 2022

What a weekend with the club show on Sunday, and really exciting news from the day before when Macgiriaght Gundogs held the Macgiriaght Charity All-Aged AV Gundog Working Test and Kennel Club Working Gundog Certificate Day at Spartylea in Northumberland. Some 38 dogs had been entered for the test, with Debbie Crewe’s Ramses (Chesarab Saltmarsh) and a Flat-Coated Retriever being the only representatives of the minor breeds. Debbie says

There were six tests consisting of a marked retrieve, a blind retrieve, a hunting exercise, a double mark retrieve with one of the retrieves being over a stone wall, a heel work and steadiness exercise and a marked retrieve from water. Whilst judging the working test, the judges were also evaluating the dogs against the criteria for achieving the Working Gundog Certificate.

Debbie's Ramses

Not only did Ramses achieve his Gundog Working Certificate, he was also awarded the Best Minor breed trophy and to Debbie’s delight he was also awarded a Certificate of Merit for the Working Test. A truly fantastic result, especially with such a big field of dogs of the more popular breeds.

Ramses was bred by Sheila Divacarro in the USA and has been entirely trained and handled by his owner Debbie.

The morning of the club show dawned warm and proceeded to warm up all day, as predicted. The committee arrived very early to set up all the necessary gazebos, water buckets for sponging and drinking, the show ring, the mountain of prizes and awards, etc.

There was an initial panic at the venue when we could not raise the key holder for the first hour and a half and so could not get into the hall to set up. An elderly lady, she had been ill the night before and had overslept and not heard the frantic knocking on her door!  Luckily most of the manual setting up work was outside in the field. When we finally got into the hall the raffle prizes spilled over two large tables, and the auction items likewise.

As people and dogs began to arrive, an impressive variety of shelters, shades and tents were constructed and every dog was protected from the sun in one way or another.

With jobs allocated prior to the show, everything ran smoothly, each member of the committee (and other volunteers) doing his or her bit to make the day a success.

The first show was the championship show, with 76 entries, where the judge, Chris Bexton, chose for his dog CC winner, Mahon, Hunns and Newton’s Sh Ch Arnac Bay Huron at Bergelle JW, with Murch and Mayhew’s Next Generations Arnac Arctic Storm as the reserve CC.

Bitch CC winner was Huron’s litter sister: Mayhew and Middleton’s Sh Ch Arnac Bay Hebe, with the reserve going to another from this litter, namely Thompson’s Arnac Bay Harvest.

Huron and Hebe then battled it out for Best in Show, with the final choice going to Huron, and Reserve Best in Show going to Arctic Storm (as above).

Champ Show Best in Show and Dog CC was Mahon, Hunns and Newton’s Sh Ch Arnac Bay Huron at Bergelle JW

The puppies in each sex were both sired by Huron, making it very much a family event. The bitch puppy was awarded to Broomfield’s Glaneils Don’t Worry Be Happy and the dog puppy to Gregory’s Muireatai Run in the Woods who eventually won best puppy in show, with the bitch being reserve best puppy.

Best Puppy in Show was Gregory's Muireatai Run in the Woods
Reserve Best Puppy in Show was Broomfield's Glaneils Don't Worry Be Happy

At lunchtime the Club ran special award classes judged by Richard Stafford. These classes allow a B or C judge the opportunity to gain more hands-on experience with the breed and were popular with a small entry fee and lovely rosettes and prizes for all who entered. A great idea that proved to be a real success and a learning experience for the judge who had an entry of 32.

L to R: Best in Championship Show - Sh Ch Arnac Bay Huron at Bergelle JW; Best Bitch - Sh Ch Arnac Bay Hebe; Best Puppy - Muirteatai Run in the Woods; Best Veteran - Sh Ch Arnac Bay Flax
L to R: Reserve Best in Champ Show - Next Generations Arnac Arctic Storm; Reserve Best Puppy in Show - Glaneils Don't Worry Be Happy; Reserve Best Veteran in Show - Double Coat's Chesepi Ice Shaddow at Nunneywood

The open show in the afternoon drew an entry of 61 and with Hebe and Huron not entered in the open show, this time it was their sister, Arnac Bay Harvest who took the top honours going Best in Show, with Richard Playle and Tilly Thomas’s Riptide Whistlin Duck taking the reserve best in show. Glaneils Count on Me, owned by Simon and Cathy Broomfield, went best opposite sex in show. Best puppy was again, Muireatai Run in the Woods. My own Sh Ch Arnac Bay Flax won best veteran in both shows. All details of placings, and the judges’ write ups will be on the Shows page for those interested in more details.

L to R: Best in Open Show - Arnac Bay Harvest; Best Opposite Sex in Show - Glaneils Count on Me; Best Puppy in Show - Muireatai Run in the Woods; Best Veteran In Show - Sh Ch Arnac Bay Flax

Well done to the committee and helpers for making these shows a great success. More information on the day next week. For last year’s show we had complete downpours of rain and it made everything so difficult and less enjoyable. This year was the complete opposite, with the heat making it too hot and uncomfortable for people and dogs alike. Next year (2023) we will be having the show in April at the Kennel Club buildings at Stoneleigh and so any sort of weather will not affect us (unless it snows!)

Christine Mayhew

17 July 2022

A brief round up this week as we are away at the Chesapeake Club’s annual show this weekend (report next week).

East of England Show sadly had no CCs on offer. Our judge, Anthony Allen chose for his best of breed Sh Ch Arnac Bay Huron at Bergelle JW (owned by  Maddie Mahon-Hunns, Jodie Hunns and James Newton), handled by James. This is Gus’s first outing to a championship show for some time and he was there to see his son, Run in the Woods (aka Moss), make his show debut by winning best puppy in breed. Owned by Phil and Vicky Gregory, Moss showed his heart out, handled by Maddie in the breed and later by James’s girlfriend Emily in the puppy group where they were picked out for the shortlist! What an outing as this young lad also won the reserve best dog.

Gus, Best of Breed at East of England

Best bitch was Sh Ch Oakmarsh Chestnut, owned and handled by Kirsty Watts who never seems to miss a show these days, and was rewarded with also winning the best veteran with Oakmarsh Acorn VW. Reserve best bitch was Caroline Pont’s Anmore of Ridsome, who has only recently stepped up to the ‘grown up’ classes, having won many best puppy awards.

Moss taking RBD at his first show

It was ‘interesting’ to see a Facebook post on a Chesapeake site where an advertisement for American Hunting Doodles had been copied for comment. The breeder is offering various combinations of crossbreeds including ‘Chesadoodles’ which they describe as  follows:

Chesadoodles are a cross of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever and the Standard Poodle. These lesser-known Doodles make the most devoted family dogs, as well as athletic and intelligent hunting companions. Chesadoodles are friendly, loving and out-going, yet protective of family and property. They are incredibly focused and determined versatile hunters that excel in the water.

They are also offering:

The American Retriever which is a cross of the Chesadoodle and Double Doodle. They are a new breed in development. With four parent breeds, the American Retriever has increased genetic diversity, which leads to healthier, more intelligent, and better-mannered dogs. American Retrievers exemplify the beauty, brawn, and bravery of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever; the jovial, good-nature, and determination of the Golden Retriever; the loyalty, dependability, and versatility of the Labrador Retriever; and the intelligence, elegance, and non-shedding coat of the Standard Poodle.

Quite an accomplishment to breed a dog that manages to retain all the good points of its mishmash of breeds and presumably not retain any not so good bits! Of course, they all have hefty price tags, the American retrievers being  $5,300.

I think you may be able to guess the response from the Chesapeake community. When you have spent over 200 years developing a breed for a specific job and have reached perfection for pretty much the last 150 years, why on earth would you want to mess with it, other than to make money from the people who think it is ‘one-up-manship’ to have something different?
Christine Mayhew

11 July 2022

Fantastic news from Hook, Hampshire, where yesterday two Chesapeakes passed their Kennel Club Working Gundog Certificate. The two stars were Peter Clarke with Mink (Arnac Bay Ibis) and Debbie Herring with Jersey (Sharbae Rebel Rebel). As some will remember, Jersey was diagnosed with a type of cancer (lymphoma) in March this year and is still having chemotherapy and will continue until the end of September. Jersey of course is completely oblivious of her condition and still has enthusiasm and drive which made Debbie’s decision to carry on with her training and run her in this test an easy one. A huge congratulations to both handlers and dogs.

Debbie and Peter with their dogs Jersey and Mink

Windsor Championship Show last Sunday was a beautiful day in an equally beautiful setting by the River Thames, with the Queen’s iconic Windsor castle in the background.

Our judge for the breed was Richard Morris from Wales, who awarded Best of Breed to a delighted Caroline Griffin-Woods with her home-bred Migwells Solomans Puzzle (aka Broc) gaining him his second CC. Broc just needs one more from a different judge to earn his championship.

The Bitch CC went to Joy Middleton and my own Sh Ch Arnac Bay Hebe, her ninth. Reserve dog was Lisa Murch and Darren Davies-Jones’ Franeo Original Long Gunner at Pixiesrock (Odhran), with the reserve bitch going to Janet Morris (also from Wales) and her Penrose Lets Fly. Mrs Morris also took the best puppy with Penrose Razzamatazz. Best veteran was my own Sh Ch Arnac Bay Flax.

Caroline with Broc

The ever proactive Sue Worrall arranged a training weekend for Chesapeakes in the South with Jason Mayhew at his training ground on the Cowdray Estate at Midhurst this weekend. Ten dogs attended on the first day and 9 on the second. The historic trees on this part of the estate provided much needed shade for the dogs as they were put through their paces on land and water. Everyone learned, and everyone went away with some homework. The popularity of these days is demonstrated by the long journeys that some made in order to attend: Lancashire, Cheshire and Yorkshire being the furthest starting points, and the Isle of Wight probably being the most complicated in journey.

These events are always full of conversation and laughs as our dogs take advantage of being able to showcase our faults as handlers but, as always, a good time was had by all. 

Cathy and Thane
Chrissie's Buoy
Vincent and Robin
Anthony and Ebb
Mark and Otto
Joy and Hebe
Jane sends Phoebe
Sharon and Isla

Yet another reminder that the club show is next weekend. There is a possibility of rain early on the day but the forecast is for a HOT day (28-32 deg C) so please bring shade if you can and bring a container to fill for water for your dog.

Please also dig out any items that could be raffled at the show and bring money to buy raffle tickets and any auction items. If you are bringing  any auction items please let Joy know before so she can sort the paperwork out.

Christine Mayhew

3 July 2022

Results from Blackpool Championship Show where Mr Sjoerd Jobse from Sweden gave Best of Breed to Mary and Des Murray’s lovely bitch, Irish Champion Riverruns Everybody’s Friend. Sadly there were no CCs on offer at this show.

Best Dog was Simon and Cathy Broomfield’s homebred Glaneils Count On Me with his litter sister Glaneils Cut Your Groove taking the reserve bitch award. A great day out for the Glaneils team. Reserve Best Dog was Molly Barker’s USA imported lad Sh Ch Next Generations Chesepi Range Rider, with another import, this time from Italy,  Caroline Pont’s puppy, Anmore of Ridsome, winning the Best Puppy award.

Des and Mary's Cara (Riverruns Everybody's Friend)

Ani is really notching up the awards in fine style having won best puppy in breed at Royal Cheshire Open Show, with a fantastic shortlist in the puppy group. Ani then went to Derbyshire Agricultural Open Show, and took first in the AVNSC puppy class, best AVNSC puppy in breed and also best AVNSC gundog overall. Pictured at Blackpool with a very happy Caroline!

Caroline and Ani

Sh Ch Arnac Bay Hebe and Joy Middleton won Best of Breed at Eastbourne Open Show, with Oakmarsh Freedom winning the reserve for Kirsty Watts. Hebe then went on to place second out of 37 dogs in the open stakes.

I know I keep saying this but there was a time when Chesapeakes hardly ever featured in the mixed classes at shows so the perseverance of those showing their dogs in all classes at many different shows has certainly paid off and the Chessies are being taken seriously at last.

Hebe and her dax friends at Eastbourne

The entries for the club show have now closed and all is set for the day – 17 July at Bretford Village Hall (see the Events page for more details). Our judge for the Championship Show is Chris Bexon, an experienced championship show judge who has judged our breed many times before. He has drawn an impressive entry of 61 dogs for competition.

The open show judge, Lauren Gilder, also has an impressive entry of 51 dogs. Our special awards classes, to be held during the lunchbreak, are some extra fun and have Richard Stafford judging 32 dogs. All in all, a magnificent entry and we will certainly be busy on the day.

At the World Show in Madrid this year, only two of our breed competed, neither from the UK. A hot time of year to hold the show in a hot country, not ideal for our breed. Next year’s world show will be in Geneva and the ‘Retriever de la Baie de Chesapeake’ will be judged by a Swiss judge, Mamela Schaar, and a Danish judge, Micheal Kristensen (24-27 August 2023).

My apologies for the majority of the news being from the show world this week but with the shooting season well and truly over, I have had no ‘hunting’ stories. Please let me know what you are doing with your dogs.

Just one snippet from Sue Worrall to say that she and Inca tried their hand (paw) at agility this week and both thoroughly enjoyed it.
Christine Mayhew

Inca trying her paws at agility. Photo: Max Furnandiz
26 June 2022

This week’s ‘Meet the Committee’ features Cathy Broomfield, who has been on the committee twice, with a break in between. She brings with her a wealth of information and knowledge. 

Cathy and her husband Simon acquired their first Chesapeake, Molly (aka Bainesfolly A Star Is Born of Glaneils) from Joanne and Martin Baines in 1999. Cathy says: 

Molly was my absolute world and will always have a piece of my heart. And so began our association with Chessies and the closeknit community that we are fortunate to have in the UK.  A few generations down the line we had a challenging time with DM (Degenerative Myelopathy) just prior to the full understanding of the disease and genetic testing becoming available. While we nursed our dogs through this devastating disease we were unable to breed or commit to taking on another pup, resulting in a seven year gap from attending Chesapeake events. I will never forget the first show that I returned to. I was nervous and worried that I would have been forgotten but it was quite the opposite, I was welcomed back with open arms!

Cathy and Simon

I have previously been on the CBRC Committee but needed to stand down due to my work commitments with extensive travelling at the time. In 2015 I threw caution to the wind, resigned from my job and went back to college to study as a Veterinary Nurse. At the same time, Simon undertook training as a Canine Hydrotherapist and to support our girl Leia who was affected by DM, we built a hydrotherapy pool.  Returning to academia for both of us was a huge challenge but honestly the best thing we have ever done. I am now a qualified RVN, Simon is a Hydrotherapist and our two ‘new’ Chessies Fern (Nunneyswood Snow Flurry at Glaneils) and Pepper (Petsalls Pride Beech at Glaneils) have both blessed us with their next generations and I am delighted to be able to be back on the Committee.

News from Jan Debnam is that Rowan (Battsrock Rocket Queen with Calandrella) passed  her Gold Good Citizen Award on the 20 June. Congratulations!

Rowan, who gained her Gold KC Good Citizen Award this week

Debbie Herring reports that it was lovely to have so many Chessies join the Minority Club camp and working test last weekend:

With nine Chessies and owners on site we were bound to have some giggles, but now I am positive that the other minority breed owners believe we are a completely nutty bunch.

Unfortunately what happens at camp stays at camp so I cannot explain in detail ‘the erection section’, Pants Man, flying gazebos, sleeping judges and dog whistle birds, but suffice to say, a fun time and lots of laughs were had by all.  Saturday’s training was split between Viv Gatter and Judy Hempstead, who went through some of the exercises we might be asked to complete during the test.

As for the serious stuff of the Working Test on Sunday, unfortunately the two Chesapeake youngsters had decided that having behaved so well during training on Saturday, being good for the test was simply too much to ask and would rather play in the water and follow deer scent than actually retrieve. Special puppy was won by a very enthusiastic water spaniel and his young handler.

Then came the Open class, and with the long grass and natural scents appearing a challenge, the only award went to a Flatcoat.

Finally it was the turn of the novices, and only three entries managed to get their dogs out of the water and back to handlers without dropping to shake, resulting in lots of 0 scores.  Many others scored 0 in the walk up, and when one broke from the line it was very difficult to stop others running in, with only three out of nine dogs managing to keep theirs to head and stay in line.  As a result, again only one award was given, this going to Judy Hempstead and her Irish Water Spaniel.

We all left having something to work on (and threatening to rehome naughty teenage pups), with tired dogs and owners and lots of great memories.

If you haven’t entered the Chesapeake Show yet, today’s the day to get your entry in!
Christine Mayhew
19 June 2022

The 11th of this month saw a Chessie training day with Claudia Atkinson at Kitridding Farm Shop and Cafe, Kirkby Lonsdale. Katy Duncanson reports:

We had a great day really working on and polishing our fundamental training skills. The day was attended by four Chessies (sadly a couple had to drop out due to bitches in season, etc.) and their people. Those present consisted of  Caroline and Broc, Anthony Ciraolo and Ebb, Jordan Bull with Stella, and myself with Thor.

In the morning we worked on heelwork, stops, directions, delivery, then building up straight lines and blinds next to the pond (a big distraction for our dogs!) In the afternoon we worked on some more challenging retrieves in the orchard, through long grass and up steep hills for a marked retrieve and then a blind at 90 degrees from various areas of the orchard.

It was a busy day for the dogs and handlers, and as we had a small group we all got lots of retrieves! We all stopped for a lovely lunch at the café and were well catered for by the staff, as always. Everyone took away plenty to work on. I would highly recommend anyone starting out or more experienced people coming to future days with Claudia, as she has a great understanding of our breed and is a great trainer for all abilities.

The good news is that Katy has taken on the job of organising more training days with Claudia so anyone interested in future events can contact her, although I know she will advertise any dates on FB, and I will give notice in BNW.

Katy and Thor training last weekend

For those coming to the CBRC Show on 17 July, don’t forget to enter the ‘special award classes’ (as I did!), and please don’t forget to put aside any items you may have for the raffle. For those who have not attended the Club Show before, it is always a lovely casual show with a friendly atmosphere and is attended by show and working dogs alike. If you have never handled or shown your dog before, there are many who will help you and give you advice, and no one expects you to do anything great other than walk in with your dog, stand him or her, and trot them forward and back. Easy peasy! So please enter and join in the fun.

Details of how to enter are on the Events page. Just scroll down to the information about the Club Show and click on the links. If you have any difficulty entering, or have any questions, please get in touch.

Another date for your diary is the Game Fair on 29-31 July, to be held once again at Ragley Hall, Warwickshire. The breed will be represented in the Sporting Dogs tent and will be taking part in the Meet the Breed and gundog displays. CBRC members are being offered day tickets for £25 (£10 off the gate price), and you will need to quote a promo code at the checkout.  CBRC members can contact Molly Barker or Sue Worrall for the discount code. If you are a member of BASC, tickets can be ordered free of charge (see the BASC website).

The American Chesapeake Club’s National Specialty Show is this year being held in Michigan, USA running 24 September to 1 October, with the conformation show towards the end of that period. Check the ACC website for the link to the show website and all details.

My interest was sparked by a picture of a beautiful bull canvasback decoy carved specifically for the Chesapeake enthusiast, with a custom-engraved keel commemorating the show. The decoy is available to order and a portion of all proceeds will go to support the show.

Each decoy will be signed and numbered by the carver, Corey Lucas of Cedar Run Decoy Company. The cost is $220 (about £180) plus shipping, unless collected from the show.

Canvasback decoy for the ACC Show 2022

As decoy collectors will know, these beautiful signed decoys are an investment and will increase in value in years to come. I  knew of one amazingly talented carver in Sweden. Does anyone know of any carvers in the UK who can produce decoys? It would certainly be a magnificent addition to have at our UK shows.

Christine Mayhew

12 June 2022

The annual Minor Breeds Working Test was held yesterday, with a team each of Flatcoats, Irish Water Spaniels, Curly coats and of course our Chesapeakes.

Held in glorious countryside in Shropshire, the varied retrieves were run on dummies in water and on land, testing steadiness, drive, marking and hunting ability.

Our team consisted of Mary Murray with her home-bred Riverrun Everybody’s Friend (Cara), Vincent Acheson with Arnac Bay Grouse of Eastering (Robin) and Dave Thompson with Arnac Bay Harvest (Breeze) who, as the reserve team member, stepped in at the last minute as Lisa’s Odhran was injured a few days before the test.

This year's Chessie team in action

As I understand it, the reserve in each team is allowed to run in the test but not score, so Cathy Acheson took the opportunity to step into the reserve place and run her young dog using the day as a training exercise.

Mary and Cara had made the long and strenuous journey over from Ireland to compete in the test and were rewarded with the second highest score of the day (77), beaten only by Gary Ellison’s good Flatcoat with a score of 79. The Chesapeake team came second overall to the Flatcoats, both teams putting on a great performance.

At the end of the day, the judges always award a ‘judges’ choice’ and this went to a very surprised and very happy Dave and Breeze. Our overall team points were 277, with the Curlies in third place with 191 and the Irish Water Spaniels fourth with 144. The winning Flatcoats scored 288.

Mary said of the day “the judges were very encouraging. They emphasised team spirit, talking to each other and encouraging our dogs. I wish more working tests were run with this ethic in mind.” I am sure that we will all agree with this statement. Well done team Chesapeake, you did us proud.

Thanks to Caroline Pont for the following report:

So following on from an exciting day at Bath, we hopped over to Shropshire Gundog Society open show where Adam Rose had a huge entry of 11 Chessies. He awarded his BOB to Kirsty’s Oakmarsh Freedom, reserve BOB to Vanessa’s Oakmarsh Indian Dream Maker for Cavessa, and best puppy in breed to my own Ani, Amore of Ridsome, who went on to be awarded Reserve Best Puppy in Show under David Bell.

Great news for Caroline who had a fantastic weekend of shows, and great news for the breed winning reserve best pup in show. Congratulations! There is a photo of the lovely Ani in Breed News Weekly for 29 May.

I asked Caroline to join in with the series I started way back at the beginning of these breed news weekly reports when I asked for the origin of people’s kennel names. Caroline says of her RIDSOME affix:

It’s always difficult enough thinking of names for puppies let alone a Kennel name affix. So I finally chose about four I liked, but all were rejected by KC as they sounded like or similar to others already in use. In the end after a rethink I decided to make up a name using my first three dogs I ever owned. Riddle my gorgeous rescue Rottweiler, then Sooty my lovable rogue terrier cross, and finally Megan a gentle little soul rescued by Pineridge Dog Sanctuary from a puppy farm in Wales at 6 months. And so came Ridsome. At the time I only used it for my working gundogs doing working tests. So Ani (Amore of Ridsome) is my first show dog to carry the name.

I would like for others to join in this again, so, if you have a kennel name registered with the Kennel Club, please let us have your story.

Thanks to James Newton, the Show Judges List has now been updated and is available to view on Shows page.

Sue Worrall, as Breed Health Coordinator, has created a Cause of Death reporting form for UK Chessies that have died since 2010. You can find the form on the Health page. Please click on the link and contribute.
Christine Mayhew

Cathy and Simon Broomfield's Lyra celebrating the Queen's Platinum Jubilee!
5 June 2022

We are fortunate in that our monarch is a true country lady and gundog enthusiast, with her own kennel of working dogs – the Sandringham Labradors and spaniels who are trained for shooting days and field trials. I am sure that we all wish her our heartiest congratulations on her platinum jubilee.

North Riding Gundog held an open show last weekend with Chesapeake Bay Retriever Club supported classes, which enabled there to be rosettes for all placings. Cathy Broomfield reports that there was a small entry of nine Chessies but a lovely day nonetheless.

The judge, Graham Erving, gave best of breed to Caroline Griffin-Woods’ Migwell Soloman’s Puzzle (aka Broc), reserve best of breed to Cathy’s Max, (Glaneils Count On Me), and best puppy to Lorna Murray’s young Taymur (Muireatai Tetris Love). Best veteran was Cathy’s lovely older lady, Fern (Nunneyswood Snow Flurry at Gleneils). Congratulations to all.

Caroline's Broc

I had to sort out my bookcase this week (after a visit from two young grandsons who decided to re-arrange it!) and in my sorting, I came across books that I had long ago forgotten.

Not surprisingly, the majority of my books are about horses and dogs, Chesapeakes in particular. One old favourite which incorporates a chapter on our breed is Gunning the Chesapeake by Roy Walsh.

Published in 1960, this book is essentially about duck and goose shooting on the Eastern Shore of the USA in the Chesapeake Bay. The author is a Chesapeake owner and enthusiast who writes:

No book on bay waterfowling would be complete if it did not contain a chapter on our unique breed of water dog, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Over the years, this grand sporting dog has developed in to a true specialist in retrieving, both on land and on the water. The scenting and swimming powers of a Chesapeake Bay dog are phenomenal. Their stamina and endurance mark them as a breed apart.

How I agree with the author when he writes further in the chapter:
It would be interesting indeed, to have a shooting dog trial with Chesapeakes, the flashy Labs, silky Goldens and Curly Coats in inclement weather and icy water and base it on endurance, number of retrieves made and ability to bear up under the test. Which breed would be the winning one? The author would put his bet on the Chesapeake.

Chapters on duck and geese species will certainly interest the wildfowlers amongst you, with another chapter on decoys and their makers, including the famed Ward brothers, which, as a small collector of decoys, is ‘right up my street’. I think that the book and its photos would be of interest to any lover of our breed and its history, and would certainly give those non-shooting people amongst us, an idea of what this breed was developed for. Copies are available through Amazon at a reasonable price.

Our ‘meet the committee’ profile this week is Joy Middleton. Many of you will not know that Joy has been on the dog scene for a number of years, having started with Dachshunds, a breed that remains very close to her heart. Joy says ‘sadly having lost a couple of dogs due to health reasons, I decided to pursue a different breed. My introduction to the world of Chesapeakes was through James Newton! (He really gets about!) For my sins, I got roped into photographing a number of dogs over the years and thrown into standing holding a lead from time to time too. And so ‘I stepped into the gundog world and haven’t looked back.’

Joy has shown, handled and judged several different breeds and sits on other dog committees. She also worked for some time at the Kennel Club which makes her knowledge of the show side with all its rules and regulations, a great source of information for our committee.

Joy with Hebe

With an enthusiasm for showing, Joy has taken dogs to the ring all across the UK and in Europe. She is new to the working side of gundogs but has thrown herself in with vigour and says that she ‘loves it’. To add to her impressive show career, Joy is now competing successfully in working events with her Chesapeake.

The Kennel Club have issued the lastest records for registrations over the last ten years and Chesapeakes remain low in numbers with only 58 puppies registered in 2021 compared to 43 in 2020. Curly coated retrievers are also in low numbers: 55 in 2020 and 62 in 2021. I know that several planned Chesapeake litters have not materialised, hence a few importations from Europe. Hopefully our numbers will rise slightly in the next few years as there certainly is a demand for Chesapeake pups. Fascinating (or scary) is the fact that Labrador registrations for last year were 61,559!
Christine Mayhew

29 May 2022

A visual catch up from last week’s notes and results from Scottish Kennel Club where it was great to see so many making the long trip ‘up North’. It used to be that this show had such a small entry of Chesapeakes that you could count them on one hand, which sometimes didn’t make the quality of the CC winners very high even though they should have been. Thank goodness it would seem that those times are past us and every new champion in the breed these days, has to face stiff competition in order to gain their crown.

With a big entry this year, the best of breed and bitch CC in Scotland, as reported, was Tilly and Richard’s home-bred Riptide Whistlin Duck, a rather apt result as this litter was sired by a dog resident on the Isle of Islay and it took a lot of planning and effort by Richard and Tilly to produce this litter. The dog CC, Arnac Bay Invincible for Dunakitts, was a complete surprise for his owner Katy and the tissues were certainly put to good use as several of us cried happy tears for an overawed Katy!.

Richard and Tilly's Wizz, who was BOB at SKC

Reserve dog CC was Caroline Griffin-Woods’ Migwell Soloman’s Puzzle. Broc already has one CC under his belt and this was his 6th Reserve CC. I know the frustration in trying and showing for those last CCs and when Caroline mentioned this, I added up Buoy’s reserves and counted 8! Buoy eventually won his championship and has won CCs and best of breeds since, and I really hope that Broc will get there too.

Katy's Thor

Reserve bitch CC was the best veteran winner, Kirsty’s Oakmarsh Acorn VW. How great that these older bitches can still make the grade and show like youngsters to win major awards.

Scotland’s best puppy in breed, Caroline Pont’s Anmore of Ridsome, was one of several pups imported from Cristian Paldetti in Italy, the litter being out of a Swedish-bred Doublecoats bitch and sired by Cristian’s multi BOB Crufts winner, bred by Margaret Woods on the Isle of Wight. Certainly an international mix here.

Caroline's puppy Ani

The very latest show news is from Bath Championship show where our judge was breed specialist Mr Chris Atkinson. Chris and his wife Elizabeth used to own Chesapeakes and had their first one, Arnac Bay Kennebec at Segantii in 1992, who they showed very successfully at that time. Kennebec was mated to Penrose Puntgunner Gamescout, and produced a litter which included Segantii Sioux Sue to Penrose. Sioux was bred to US import, PH Penrose Play It Again Sam and this breeding produced the lovely Penrose Amazing Grace.

Stay with me here! Grace had a litter by Dyane Baldwin’s Am Ch Pond Hollow Bering Sea who came to the UK for a while and from this lttter came Ch. Penrose Wise Guy who proved himself as a great sire and when bred to the lovely Arnac Bay Pride, herself a great producer, the resultant Arnac A litter included Ardent (Dill) and Arapahoe, all behind so many current dogs. Wise Guy can be seen in many pedigrees and so many of your dogs will trace back to Arnac Bay Kennebec, all those imported dogs, and that first Segantii Chesapeake litter.

Back to the judging, Chris Atkinson chose the winner of the junior class for his dog CC and best of breed, namely Next Generations Arnac Arctic Storm, owned by myself and Lisa Murch, and so well handled by Joy Middleton who managed to get the best out of this very overawed lad.

This was only Joss’s second UK championship show having been imported from the USA last August and having spent his time shortly afterwards being loved and trained by Lisa in her home in Devon.

The bitch CC was handed to a very elated Caroline Pont who made up to a Champion her Oakmarsh Dancing Diva, this being her third CC. It is always a great moment when a new Champion is made and it couldn’t happen to a nicer person and such a great competitor as Caroline. Big Congratulations.

Joss and Joy waiting in the BIS ring

Reserve dog CC went to last year’s top dog winner, Sh Ch Arnac Bay Huron at Bergelle, owned by James Newton and Maddie Mahon-Hunns, ably handled by Maddie. Reserve bitch CC went to his litter sister Sh Ch Arnac Bay Hebe owned by myself and Joy Middleton who again ably handled her.

Best puppy this day was Janet Morris’s homebred Penrose Razzamatazz, and best veteran, once again, was Kirsty Watts’ Oakmarsh Acorn VW who is certainly clocking up the miles and awards.

Caroline's Oakmarsh Dancing Diva

All show news, but those who are following the working gundog side of things, you may recall that the Bath best of breed winner was also the winner of the recent Chesapeake Club’s working test. The best of breed winner in Scotland was full sister to the third place winner (after a run off) of the beginner working test. And to add to this there were several dogs at the two championship show who placed in the working tests, namely Lisa Murch’s open test winner, Odhran, Peter Clarke’s beginner winner Mink, Richard Playle’s third in open with Tide and Joy Middleton’s fourth placed beginner Hebe (reserve CC winner at Bath). Other runners and show entered dogs included Debbie Herring’s young bitch and my own Buoy. All proving and promoting the dual purpose claim for this breed.

I would really encourage anyone who has not attended a club working test to enter or just come along and watch, and I guarantee that you will  stand there thinking, ‘my dog could do that’ and want to join in the next time. We all have fun and laugh with each other as our dogs make us look fools so many times!
Christine Mayhew