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.
26 March 2023
The time for the Club weekend of three shows, a scurry, and a KC good citizen test is rapidly approaching. This weekend promises to be something really special.
The silent auction items are amazing, with nearly 30 valuable auction items to date, including a Swarovski Crystal Chessie brooch donated by Trish Shaskpere, a Sporting Saint Dummy Bundle donated by Sporting Saint who are also sponsoring the show, a metal wall hanging of a Chesapeake with a duck, donated by Hi Lost, an Acme white silver-sleeve whistle donated by Acme, a numbered, limited edition Langstone Harbour print signed by the artist and donated by Alan Musselwhite, and so much more that I will have to demonstrate some more next week!
We have a huge, and I mean huge, number of great and useful raffle prizes … not the normal unwanted Christmas present type! There are prizes for every class in the show and rosettes that definitely will not go unnoticed. Sort of Texan size if you understand me!
Our annual club show has an atmosphere all of its own, with Chesapeake people coming together and so many dyed-in-the-wool owners of working dogs who are quite capable of winning in the show ring in this true dual-purpose breed, will be lured out from the marshes and the fields to be part of the day where their owners can talk Chesapeake and share hunting stories on what is always a very sociable event.
Anyone looking for a stud dog would do well to view the male dog classes at the show as some of these lovely dogs will only appear once a year before heading back to the marshes. This is an ideal time to meet all of the dogs, male and female, and their owners – male and female too! Those attending are a friendly bunch.
We have a championship show, a specials classes show – this is where a relatively new judge gets the chance to judge some different dogs (the top show dogs of the previous year are not normally entered), and then we have an open show with lots of different classes for everyone to have fun and a practice. Everyone cheers on any beginners and there are always people to help and advise.
Our judge for the championship show is Robyn Haskins from the USA. Robyn is a licensed American Kennel Club judge and is one of very few who also own and breed Chesapeake Bay Retrievers. She brings with her a vast knowledge of the breed from its land of origin and we are honoured that she has agreed to judge our 40th anniversary show.
I met Robyn in Sweden when she judged the Swedish Chesapeake Club’s show some 13 years ago. Robyn has never been to the UK and will not have met any of the dogs nor the people exhibiting the dogs, and so this will be an ideal situation where everyone and every dog is on an equal standing. I hope that Robyn will be pleased with the quality of the dogs here in the UK and will enjoy her visit.
With this wealth of knowledge, and a desire to educate people including up and coming judges, Robyn is giving a seminar the next day (the Sunday) and will be covering the history of the breed, the reasons why the breed is constructed as it is for its job of work, and how to judge the breed. This seminar is open to club members for a minimal fee of £15.00 to include lunch but we do need to know numbers in advance so as we can arrange lunches. Please email James Newton on firstname.lastname@example.org to book your place.
If you are able to attend, I thoroughly recommend this seminar which includes historic photographs of the early dogs, dogs working in tough and punishing conditions, and construction and conformation illustrations to help people to learn. As far as I am concerned, this sort of opportunity to learn comes around so infrequently that Chesapeake enthusiasts would be foolish not to make the attempt to attend. We can never stop learning.
19 March 2023
The Scottish Chesapeake Clan, consisting of Lorna Murray and Tracey Boyles, have been supporting the shows in the North and news received just before Crufts has been sitting on my back boiler. Two back-to-back shows were held in Lanark. South West Scotland’s gundog Association was the first, where the Chessies picked up a collection of very worthy second and third awards between them in the NSC classes under Angus McAra.
At the second show, Waverley Gundog, under judge Jim Richardson, Tracey’s Pixiesrock Mr Tumnus by Bleyos won best AVNSC Gundog puppy, with Lorna’s Muireatai Teri Love winning the AVNSC gundog open. Lorna’s Takoda Nathan then took best of breed, with Tracey’s Mr Tumnus winning best puppy. Both dogs were then shortlisted in the line up for best gundog. These are fantastic results for the Chesapeakes. Congratulations both.
Crufts continued – and a report on the very popular and informative, Discover Dogs area where all breeds are represented for Jo Public to meet and ask questions.
Our Chesapeake booth was truly impressive. Lisa Murch had sourced a banner, masses of photographs of working Chessies one side of the booth and the same Chessies in the show ring the other. There were rosettes to attract attention, and camouflage netting around the pen with a couple of toy mallards hanging, as if just shot, on the side. Setting off the whole was the USA flag and the Maryland flag adorning the back of the stand. Visitors could meet and touch the dogs, read the breed history, and take away a pamphlet about the breed.
On the Thursday, Gen Malcolm and her son Ian kindly manned the stand with their Chesapeake Malin. On Friday it was the turn of Vroni Royle and Togo who coped by themselves all day. They were supposed to be sharing the stint with Lisa but sadly Lisa had to head home with a very painful injured shoulder from a tumble the day before. Saturday saw Debbie and Tom Herring and their two dogs, Jersey and Indi, and last, but not least, Gemma and Dan Pearce took the reins with Toggi and Luna on the Sunday, and kindly dismantled the stand at the end of the day.
Many thanks to all of the above who gave their time to helped to educate by talking about our breed and answering the many questions asked.
Additional thanks to Lisa who did such a splendid job with the stand and with organising the volunteers. Lisa asks, ‘please can we have some volunteers for next year?’ To tempt anyone, each person receives a goody bag from Royal Canin with bowls, treats, food etc., and this year Lisa made up and donated goodie bags for dogs and humans alike. The deal comes with free entry to Crufts, free car park, and an honorarium of £68 per day. It is hard and tiring work being there all day, but if you are happy talking Chesapeake, it is a great job!
Fantastic news from Debbie Herring who tells me that the Working Minority Retriever Club have been invited by the Game Fair committee and organisers to run a Minority Breeds Team Challenge in the Gundog Area at this year’s Game Fair at Ragley Hall, Warwickshire.
Each minority breed is invited to enter a team of 3 dogs and 1 reserve to compete in a Working Test with KC Judges under KC Regulations. This will be held on the last Day of the fair – Sunday 30 July.
Debbie says that she would love to get a team of Chessies together to represent the breed and showcase what our dogs are capable of. Sadly there won’t be any water test but we do need steady and responsive Chessies with good discipline. If any club members are interested in being part of the team and are free to attend on that day, please can they message or email Debbie at email@example.com.
11 March 2023
Firstly, HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to Mark Poulton and Rhian Varga who were married yesterday. The joining of two dog-loving, shooting-loving people who seem perfect for each other. Mark used to compete in CBRC working tests with his old Chesapeake, Oscar and is now training his youngster Otto.The Chesapeake community wishes them the very best.
Crufts – and the first of four days this year was the gundog day. We had a very impressive stand in Discover Dogs, designed and assembled by Lisa Murch. With the show still in progress and our Sunday volunteers there now, a report on this next week.
The day started early with the BASC (British Association for Shooting and Conservation) classes. These are only open to gamekeepers and owners of working gundogs, and are always held on Gundog Day. The numerous Labradors have their own classes in this competition and so the Chesapeakes are in a class for ‘Any Other Retriever’ which incorporates Chesapeakes, Flatcoats, Curlycoats and Golden Retrievers.
With 20 dogs in the class for males, there were two Chesapeakes entered under judge Annie Jones. With no expectations, it was fantastic to see co-owner Lisa expertly handle Joss (Sh Ch Next Generations Arnac Arctic Storm) to be pulled out for first place.
The females were in the adjacent ring and had an entry of 30. Watching with Richard Playle, he and I were both proud to note that there were more Chesapeakes than any other breed present in this class. What a great advertisement for our breed.
Mrs L Hill judged this class and she also pulled out a Chesapeake for first place, namely Hebe (Sh Ch Arnac Bay Hebe Wgc), with a very delighted co-owner Joy Middleton handling. A very emotional moment for me as co-owner of both dogs and, as far as I was concerned, the day couldn’t get any better.
Chesapeake entries in the breed classes were high, with 62 dogs making 94 entries (some dogs were entered in more than one class). Overseas entries made up ten of these entries, with Helen Meuser coming all the way from Germany with three generations of her dogs. Another two from Germany were unfortunately unable to come on the day. There were two dogs from France, one from the Czech Republic, and Mary and Des Murray came with two from Ireland.
Jeff Horswell was our judge for the day, and I am sure that the large entry was due to his reputation as a very experienced and fair judge who has judged extensively both here and abroad. Rather than list all results in every class, full results can be found on the Shows page.
The major awards were: Best Veteran where Molly Barker’s Sh Ch Next Generations Chesepi Range Rider, bred by Adam Levy, was ably handled by Molly’s daughter Michelle to top place. And he didn’t look a day over puppyhood!
Best Puppy in Breed after a runoff between her and her litter brother was Pixiesrock Green Kirkl – a proud moment for breeder and owner, Lisa Murch, this time handled by Nicole Coe from the German Shorthaired Pointer world.
Best Good Citizens was Sh Ch Arnac Bay Flax, a previous Crufts best of breed Chesapeake, now a veteran, handled for me by her great pal Gemma McCartney.
Reserve CC in males was Mayhew and Murch’s Joss (Sh Ch Next Generations Arnac Arctic Storm) straight from his early win in the BASC classes – another one bred by Adam Levy.
Reserve bitch CC was a lovely female all the way from the Czech Republic, Dream Daisy Od Hostalky, bred and owned by Mrs G Kucharova and handled by Mrs J Kucharova.
Dog CC went to Sh Ch Arnac Bay Huron at Bergelle JW, trotted around the ring and perfectly shown by Maddie Mohan-Hunns. Gus, as he is known, is owned in partnership with Maddie’s husband and with James Newton.
And last but by no means least, Bitch CC and the top honour of Best of Breed went to Huron’s litter sister Sh Ch Arnac Bay Hebe Wgc ShCEx EW22, handled by her co-owner Joy Middleton who was so thrilled, and deservedly so as Hebe had won through from the special working gundog class. There were tears of joy from Joy and a whoop of excitement and a few tears from many others!
Both CC winners were bred by me from Dave and Thelma Thompson’s Arnac Bay Gamble and sired by Sh Ch Arnac Weatherdeck Buoy, who was also the sire of the best puppy.
And so Hebe went into the ‘big ring’ at Crufts as the winner of not only the BASC bitch class but also the best of breed and I believe she was the only dog in that line up who had passed her KC working gundog test. Not content with her accomplishments at that stage, she was pulled out in the final seven dogs. You may have seen her on the TV; if not, there is a Youtube clip of the gundog group. A fantastic day, proving once again that the Chesapeake is a true dual purpose gundog.
For those who have never been to Crufts, it is not just show dog world but covers all aspects of dogdom and is a great day out, whether you are competing or just visiting. Birmingham International Airport is next to the venue and easily accessible if you need to fly from overseas or the furthest parts of the UK.
More about Crufts next week.
5 March 2023
If people are wondering when they will be getting their Chessie Chat, I can confirm that it is just having the final touches done and will be printed and available at the anniversary club show in April. Get those show entries in. As usual, there will be goodie bags for all exhibitors and your Chat will be inside your bag. There will be copies for those spectating too. Anyone who cannot make the event (you will be missing something good), will have their copy sent by post.
Don’t forget that the Club AGM will be held after the show on the Saturday evening at the show venue.
And … the next morning our USA judge, breed specialist Robyn Haskins, will be giving a breed talk for all to attend. This is a fantastic opportunity to learn more about your breed, its history, the reasoning behind the breed standard and the way it translates to a good working dog.
For the aspiring judges there will also be a Multiple Choice Exam for those who wish to take it and who have already fulfilled the criteria for JEP level one, and a group mentoring session in the afternoon for JEP level two judges and for those who pass the Multiple Choice Exam on the day.
The cost for the breed talk only is £15, and for the judges breed talk and MCE £25, both prices to include a light lunch. Please make sure you register at firstname.lastname@example.org to secure your place.
The Club has a brand new award at this year’s spring working test, namely the Iris Cup, in memory of the Club’s late friend, Iris Whalley. This cup will be awarded to the best veteran competing on the day. As there is no separate veteran class, the best veteran might come from any class, whether it be Novice Dog/Novice Handler, Beginner or Unclassified Open, but the recipient must be 8 years old or over on the day of the test.
So enter your older dogs, whether they are experienced competition dogs or have never entered a working test before – go for it! The entry form and details of the test are available to download on the Events page, and entries are open now.
With Chesapeake exhibitors split between two shows last weekend, sadly the furthest north, Yorkshire Gundog, suffered with a loss of entries but with Dave Rigby supporting, Gunnar won a deserved Best of Breed, with his kennel mate Trigger winning the reserve.
The second show was at the more central venue of the Kennel Club Building, Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire. My thanks to Kevin Amaira for this report:
Sunday 26 Feb saw the Cheltenham & District Canine Society open show being judged by our own club member and breed specialist, Mary Murray who jetted in from Ireland late the night before. Classes were sponsored by Elwistone Chesapeake Bay Retrievers.
13 Dogs were shown. Best of breed was won by Kirstyfern Watts-Preou’s Oakmarsh Chestnut. Reserve best of breed and best puppy was won by Janet Morris with Baymoss Tweed of Penrose. The Brace Stakes Class (14 entries) was won by Kirstyfern Watts-Preou’s Oakmarsh Fennel and Tia.
Kevin says that Darren Davies Jones was instrumental in organising the day and even donated his lunch to a volunteer who stepped in at the last minute, which was quite fortunate as a few dogs suffered a bout of nerves in the afternoon sessions which saw Darren on clean-up duty! With the show running very late and people having to leave, Kevin Amaira, who showed his own dog, stepped in to help out with stewarding, his first time, which he says he quite enjoyed. I am sure that we will be able to use his services in the future!
The recent video in BNW of the 2000 club show, (thank you Sue Worrall) shows how our Chesapeake exhibitors’ handling in the show ring was lacking in finesse (to put it mildly). Our handlers have improved so much since those early days but most still leave a lot to be desired, and it does make such a difference if a judge can see a dog stood up well and moved well. The same goes for any livestock showing. With this in mind, James Newton, who has helped so many of our owner/handlers improve in their show ring presentation, is holding a breed-specific show handling workshop on 2 April, in time for the club show. To be held in South Lincolnshire, the cost is £40 per dog and handler, and £10 for spectators.
Having attended one of James’s workshops, I can totally recommend these days. It doesn’t matter whether you are a complete beginner or a more experienced handler, or what problems you are having with yourself or your dog, James takes each combination individually and works with you. An opportunity not to be missed. Contact James on email@example.com.
For those who are interested in learning about movement (and there are a few judges who would do well to do so!) there is a new version of Rachel Page Elliott’s graphic book Dogsteps. This has been the bible for explaining movement for many years and is well worth the money. Available through Amazon, check the prices as they vary enormously.
Whilst there are so many so-called ‘experts’ in the dog show world who wish to lecture others about movement, this book is by someone who has researched dog movement and structure for many, many years. Dogsteps is all about the canine species, many of whom have certain traits according to their job of work, i.e. running in sight hounds, going down badger holes in dachshunds, and swimming and wading in our breed. Studying horse movement (where so many reference books have been written) can help one to understand trotting, pacing, cantering and galloping, and the footfall of each pace, but this book, specific to dogs, is easy to read, with diagrams and explanations on each page.
26 February 2023
It’s breed news with a bit of a difference this week! A short rundown of the latest news and then Sue is giving us a link to an old Chesapeake video of one of the early club shows … enjoy!
Firstly fantastic news from Lorna Murray who says that her young dog Muireatai Teris Love has been invited to the Top Gundog Puppy of the Year Scotland on the 5 March. There are only 64 dogs over three classes, namely puppy, adult and veteran. Lorna says, “I’m so proud and excited.” Good luck to these two on the day.
It was really lovely to hear from Caroline Pont who says how thrilled she was with Ani (Amore of Ridsome) who went Best of Breed at Dukeries Gundog Club under judge Lorraine Tooth. Caroline writes,‘It was a lovely day and all the Chessie competitors stayed to support which was lovely.’
Caroline adds, ‘It was very emotional for me as not only did we lose my dad just after Christmas then mum had a fall 3 weeks ago at home and has been in surgery at hospital for a half replacement hip which she had broken and to repair and wire a broken wrist. She has been quite poorly, bless her, and has now recovered enough to go into a lovely home for rehabilitation to get her up and about again to come home. It’s going to be a very strange one for me this year at Crufts without her.’ Everyone who shows Chesapeakes will know Caroline’s mum as she is always present at the shows sitting near the ring or crates supporting Caroline and I know that we will all wish her the very best for a speedy recovery.
At Kent County Canine Society’s open show the same weekend, best of breed under judge Peter Shepherd, went to Mayhew and Middleton’s Sh Ch Arnac Bay Hebe, handled by co-owner Joy, with Julie and Jason Hayes taking reserve best of breed and best puppy with their homebred Tideflight Floki, expertly handled by Julie.
Floki is destined to be a wildfowling dog when he is old enough to join his mum out on the foreshore, and Hebe, having worked this season on game shoots is now out and about this weekend for another time on a vermin shoot, retrieving squirrels, crows and magpies! A real family day out for Joy with her and her husband, both shooting, and Bob the Spanish Water dog joining in the fun!
19 February 2023
Cathy Broomfield writes of last weekend’s Barrow and District Open Show:
We had a great day. They put one breed class on for us. It was good to have a classification but it meant that all ages were in together, from puppy through to adult. I was delighted that Lyra (Glaneils Don’t Worry Be Happy) as a junior took Best of Breed, with Max (Glaneils Count On Me) reserve. Best Puppy was Gingerfox Minke, owned by Steph and Derek Kilsby. Our judge was Sam Oddie. Lyra didn’t get any further in the Gundog group, but I also stayed for the Reserve BOB stakes judged by Dale Francis where Max was shortlisted from a very full ring.
United Retriever Club’s open shows are always well attended, held at the Kennel Club Building at Stoneleigh Park. The judge at this recent mid-week show was Kelly Jenkinson. Sadly no puppies were present in our breed. Best of Breed went to Sh Ch Arnac Bay Hebe WGC, EW’22, handled by co-owner Joy Middleton, with Glaniels Count on Me winning best opposite sex for Cathy Broomfield. Kirsty Watts won an AV open stakes class with Sh Ch Oakmarsh Chestnut and then promptly won the AV brace class with two of her breeding. Sadly no further placements in the best in show ring, with best in show being won by a lovely Flatcoated Retriever.
When I first started in this breed, a very long time ago (under my previous names of Parris and Spencer-Smith) there were only four Chesapeakes that I knew of in the UK. I had Mink, a girl named Carol Game (we all now know her as present Chessie owner, Carol Harris) had Mink’s sister, Joyce Munday (Sharland Gundogs) had a male, Dennis Izzard had Mink’s sire ‘Yank’ and there were rumoured to be a few others scattered in Scotland and the West Country that I had never met.
With no other dogs available, I bred Mink to her half-brother Lackalee Walnut of Sharland, and Joyce found and obtained a bitch from Devon to breed to him too. These dogs were all the breeding stock we had at that time.
Sandy Hastings, a gamekeeper’s wife, had one of that first litter of mine. Abbey, as she was known, did well in the show ring along with her dam, Mink. These were the only Chesapeakes being shown at that time. Later they were joined by others from subsequent litters of the same breeding: Bart, owned by me; Beck owned by Janet Morris; Custer, owned by Richard Playle; and Ches owned by John and Molly Barker. All of these dogs worked.
Many of you will recognise the above names as all bar one are still actively involved with the Chesapeake Club, running events, taking care of the paperwork, and generally working hard for the good of the breed in the UK. I once had someone say to me that ‘the trouble with the Club is that it is the same old people running it.’ My hackles went up as I pointed out that without these ‘same old people’ there would be no Club! For many years there had been no volunteers to step into the vacancies on the committee and make an input. Thankfully in recent years we have had a spurt of younger, enthusiastic people join. These are people who are willing to give something back to the breed for little or no reward.
I know that dog committees all over the country have complaints, one club recently having a complaint from someone who didn’t attend nor enter their show but felt it was her ‘duty’ to complain on her friends behalf! Luckily the Chesapeake Club has very few complaints and those they do receive seem to stem from one individual who, as is normally the case with complainants, wishes to stay anonymous!
But to go back to those early showing days. The fact that we now have so many classes for the breed at championship and open shows would have been unthinkable some fifty years ago.
On the competitive working side, John Barker, Janet Morris, Richard Playle and I all ran our dogs in AV retriever working tests with me, John and Janet also successfully gaining awards running in KC licensed field trials. When the Club was formed, working tests were run specifically for the breed and these were, and still are, well attended.
Sadly the AV retriever tests these days are, in my opinion, designed for Labradors. The main requirements seeming to be instant obedience and handling, and speed on land. As we know, this breed was developed for wildfowling where a calmer, patient dog who can sit and wait often long times, can swim and wade long distances, and can think for himself is required. Of course there are some who can still compete with the Labs at their own game, but that game is not designed for a wildfowling dog.
In a non-competitive situation however, the Chesapeake still reigns supreme as a dog working on the foreshore and on the marshes, and these same dogs can and do compete in the show ring very successfully. The top show dog this year also has her working gundog certificate which doesn’t come easily. And how many times have we seen Richard Playle and Dave Rigby give accounts of their dogs out retrieving duck and geese the day after or before a show – both Richard and Dave work dogs who have won major awards in the show ring.
The breed standard by which the judges in the show ring judge our Chesapeakes is a blueprint for a wildfowling dog. They are designed this way for a reason and long may that reason continue. Not for our breed the fancy or exaggerated fashion that has changed some working dogs into two different types of the same breed.
12 February 2023
The entries for Crufts have just been announced and with an extra 3000 dogs compared to last year, it will easily keep its title as the world’s biggest dog show. Of course, not all of these are Chesapeakes, but our entry of 62 dogs is a really impressive one, making a larger entry than many of the other gundog breeds. Run over four days at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, the show spans four days starting on Thursday 9 March and finishing with best in show on Sunday 12 March. Gundog day is rotated each year with the other groups and this year will be on the first day (Thursday).
Crufts is very much a social occasion as well as a dog show, and we nearly always have overseas visitors and exhibitors and a chance to see dogs not normally exhibited in the UK. Regular overseas spectators include many Chessie owners from all over the globe too. If you can make it, it is well worth a visit.
As usual at Crufts, there is a ‘meet the breed’ section known as ‘Discover Dogs’ where people can visit, meet some dogs of each breed and talk to their owners to learn about the breed, its character, the type of home required, etc. Lisa Murch is organising the stand and the volunteers (both human and canine), and will be setting up the stand on the Wednesday evening before the show. Lisa asks if anyone has an hour to spare on that evening and would be willing to help her put up banners, etc., she would be very grateful. Lisa’s number is 07487 556992, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
David Rigby sends news that he entered Merseyside Gundog Club’s show under judge Dawn Rose and won best of breed with Trigger (Chesepi Ulysses). Trigger normally takes second place to Dave’s other dog, Gunnar (Chesepi Waco) but this time evidently Gunnar decided to act the fool with a different handler and gave away the top place. I think that maybe Gunnar was just being kind to his Chessie brother and this was a well planned tactic. Good one Gunnar!
Great news is that the United Retriever Club is going to run a working test for minor breeds only on 23 July 2023. They held their first one in 2019, which was a really good day, and were going to hold another in 2020, which didn’t happen for obvious reasons. It will be held near Alfreton in Derbyshire, and we will share more info as soon as URC make it available.
Final figures are in for the Our Dogs top stud dog and top brood bitch for 2022, and with the successful Arnac Bay ‘H’ litter gaining many points again, it is no surprise that the top brood bitch and stud dog are the same as last year, i.e. the dam and sire of the litter. The dam being David and Thelma Thompson’s Arnac Bay Gamble and the top sire is Mayhew’s Sh Ch Arnac Weatherdeck Buoy.
It is interesting to note that at Crufts 2022 Buoy won the dog CC for best dog, and Gamble won the bitch CC and went on to win best of breed. We will always remember the look on David and Thelma’s faces when her dog, Gamble (aka Dapple) won, especially as Thelma was recovering from a stroke that she had suffered before Christmas. It was an achievement that Thelma had managed to get there on the day. Thankfully, Thelma is up and about again and pretty well back to the normal Thelma!
A request from Joy Middleton who is trying to organise a Bronze Good Citizen test in conjunction with our club show should there be enough interest. Please could anyone who is interested in taking this test contact Joy at Joy.email@example.com so as she knows approximate numbers and can find and organise an A panel judge/assessor for the day. We really need a decent number of people taking the test in order to make this viable.
5 February 2023
Big congratulations to Cathy Broomfield with Max (Glaniels Count on Me) who has been notching up the best of breeds at open shows recently, and added to them at at Border Counties Gundog Club Open Show by winning again. Congratulations too with another notching up best puppy awards, namely Tracey Boyles and Gibbs (Pixiesrock Mr Tumnus by Bleyos) who took best puppy in breed. The judge was Sue Margerison. Both dogs and handlers stayed for the groups but unfortunately didn’t get any further. It is so nice that the majority of exhibitors these days stay for the groups and so get the breed seen and noticed.
Cathy says it was a really lovely day in great company.
Helen Farahar and her family have recently lost their old Chesapeake, Jalf and told me an amusingly sweet tale that I have permission to reproduce. Helen says:
We were all playing in the water at our lake house, Jalf was always very excited by splashing and it was quite raucous. A very tattooed, skin-headed chap in his 30s splashed noisily close by us and Jalf thought he was joining in so followed him for a few metres, barking crazily. The chap panicked and yelled at us to call off our dangerous dog whilst splashing as much water as he could towards Jalf. It took a few minutes to convince Jalf that despite all evidence to the contrary the chap was not wanting to play. I was obviously a little anxious in case he complained.
The next day we were on the sand and Jalf met a two year old boy with his mum. Jalf was sat being cuddled adoringly by the toddler when I saw the tattooed skinhead approach.
Thinking it would be good to explain before he had a go at us, I started apologizing. The toddler’s mum collapsed on the sand in hysterics squealing, “Is this the dog you were frightened of yesterday? Look at him, he’s the softest most gentle creature.” She continued to rib (evidently her husband) for some time whilst Jalf sat happily in the arms of the toddler. It made us laugh for a long time.
A Chesapeake is a true gentleman’s shooting companion and great friend. A dog who will go anywhere with you and love it – your home, your office, your car, your boat, your aircraft and he will even wait for you at church. He will stand all degrees of weather – even the extremes. He will break skim ice to retrieve your bird and swim with you on the hottest day of summer. He will give you staunch loyalty, an incredible amount of love and wants only the same from you. The Chesapeake is a true childrens’ friend. They love children and children love them. A great coat to twine around little fingers and hang tight – a lot of dog to hug and snuggle up to.
Gray Fox Kennels Advertisement, Field & Stream, May 1971
Helen and her family, who are presently living in Europe, have recently acquired a puppy from Austria bred by a Chessie friend, Gerlinde of Chesapeakeheart kennel.
As well as the CBRC celebrating their 40th anniversary this year, it will also be 15 years since the breed was first granted CC status. To commemorate this, the CBRC are also publishing a Book of Champions.
This is to provide a historical document (that will be available to purchase) of all the UK Full and Show Champion title holders since 2008.
Each dog will have their own dedicated page and will show a pedigree, the owner and breeder, and other information on the dogs’ titles, working certificates, and a summarised list of: total number of CCs, RCCs, BOBs, Group Placements etc. It will also include any other accolades achieved during the dog’s lifetime. Similar publications have been produced in the past for USA Champion dogs.
Every owner of a UK Chesapeake champion has been contacted (some time ago) and the vast majority have responded already. We are extremely lucky to have a dedicated team of enthusiasts who are putting this book together.
29 January 2023
An important date change for you to note in your diaries – the SPRING WORKING TEST is now being held a day later on Monday 1 May with the training day on the previous day (Sunday 30 April). Apologies for this change due to our judge having been double booked. An entry form for the test, which is being held in Selborne, Hampshire, can be found on the Events page. Other details will be added very soon. Spectators welcome.
Kay Camoccio tells me that their normal veterinary practice used to have seven vets and is now down to one who is leaving next month, which leaves them 40 minutes away from any vet in the case of an emergency. Kay is on the waiting list to register with another practice where their current position in the queue to register is number 302! Very scary times due to (in my opinion) the surge in pet dogs during lockdown. Would anyone have ever imagined this to be a consequence of the pandemic?
As most, if not all of you will know, microchipping of dogs in the UK is compulsory and each chip is registered with a microchip database, of which there are quite a few. A service that I was unaware of is check-a-chip.co.uk. Launched in 2011 to help vets, rescue centres, dog wardens and pet owners across the UK, this service identifies which database holds the registration for a particular microchip number. People can then contact that database to check their dog’s details are up to date. Your dog’s microchip number should be on his/her KC registration and many will also have a microchip certificate. Microchips can sometimes ‘migrate’ to other parts of the dog’s body, so it may be worthwhile having your vet check the chip the next time you are in for another reason.
I learnt the hard way to keep information up to date when Curlew lost her bearings having half-heartedly chased a deer on the second day we had been in our new home.
Having been found literally ½ mile away, she was taken to a vet, chip read, and reported to the database. Of course there was no response from my old landline and so Curlew was taken to the local boarding kennels who took in strays.
By this time I was beside myself, having driven around all the local lanes and houses (a great way to meet your new neighbours), when I had a call from stepson Jason who had heard from one of his gundog training clients that a dog that looked like a Chessie had been found in this area. The gundog grapevine works well at times!
Of course, the kennels had closed for the evening and were not willing to hand back the runaway until the next morning. If I remember rightly that cost me £60. Anyway we are always willing to pay anything for our dogs and I went to get her first thing, thinking poor dog. It turned out that the woman who found her had given her an evening meal, as had the kennels and I was told that she had eaten breakfast that morning too.
For a dog who loves her food, this was a great adventure and I swear that she really thought this was the life. She certainly didn’t jump into my arms with excitement when she saw me – much to my disgust!
These days my dogs also wear a collar and tag when out walking in the nearby forest. A law passed on 1 April 1992 states that every dog while in a highway or public place must wear a collar that bears the name, address and contact details of its owner. Tags should include owner’s name, address, postcode and telephone number, preferably a mobile number. This is also a requirement for dogs taking part in the KC Good Citizen dog awards.
My dogs never wear collars whilst working and as most shoots we worked are on private land this, I have always assumed, exempts them. Let us hope so because it is so easy for a collar to become caught on barbed wire and the like.
There used to be a time when there were hardly any classes for our breed at open shows, and now we have a choice of shows to go to. Two shows with classes are on the same day next month (26 Feb), both with Chesapeake breed specialists judging, namely Yorkshire Gundog being judged by Tracy Boyles and Cheltenham being judged by Mary Murray. Entries for both shows are with Fosse Data.
Please can everyone who is interested in recording their points for the AGM trophies submit them by Wednesday 1 February, which is the deadline and cut off point. All championship show results have been recorded but open shows need to be submitted by owners as there is no online record of these. Please send via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A reminder for any members not yet having paid their dues for 2023. Please could you arrange to do so. For more information, please check the Membership page or contact the Membership Secretary, Maddie Mahon-Hunns via email CBRCmembershipsecretary@gmail. Payment can now be made by PayPal.
22 January 2023
How lovely is it to hear news of the next generation gaining experience in shooting and working dogs whilst out with their dad, in this case Anthony Ciraolo and his son, Theo. Anthony writes:
The hard frost we had last night pushes the ducks onto the stream that runs through one of our permissions. So me and Theo went for a wander to see if we could maybe bag one or two.
This was a big moment in Theo’s shooting as its the first time he’s walked around with his gun, and he’s never shot teal before. We stalked a few groups that sprung just out of range but on our third attempt we spun around 15 or so and we had our chance. Theo missed with his first but connected with his second barrel. I folded one with my first shot and cleanly missed the second.
Theo was over the moon and I was proud of how he handled the situation. Ebb was sent to collect the teal I shot, which she’d marked. She was then handled over the stream, through a fence then was sent out about 80 yards where she winded the downed teal that Theo had shot and retrieved it to his hand.
I predict that Theo will be out shooting with a Chesapeake for years to come.
Sharon Augustus and Isla (Sharbae Prettiest Star) hitched a ride from the Isle of Wight down to Wiveliscombe & District Canine Society Winter Open Show in Taunton where her friend and chauffeur was judging another breed. It was certainly worth the journey as Isla won best Any Variety Not Separately Classified and then won 2nd in AV Veteran at her very first Veteran class having just attained the age of 7 the week before! Sharon says ‘So chuffed with her.’
Also great news and an accolade to Sharon and her breeding is that Isla’s sister, Australian Grand Champion Sharbae Rose of Tenarda, in Australia continues her winning ways and ended 2022 as the number one Chesapeake Bay Retriever Show Dog of the Year for Australia and Queensland. Big congratulations to Sharon and to Rose’s owner Margaret Wedgewood.
Meanwhile, on home territory, Manchester Championship Show was held at Stafford Showground. We had the very experienced gundog judge Becky Johnson sorting through an impressive entry of 28 dogs. The Kennel Club had also allocated a student judge to be mentored by our judge, who was given the opportunity to go over the dogs in order to learn more about our breed. This was the first time we have had a student judge in the ring, which was in support of the KC Judges Education Programme.
In the dog (male) classes, Joy Middleton handled Mayhew and Murch’s imported male, Next Generations Arnac Arctic Storm, to win his third CC and therefore his show championship. Storm (now known as Joss) was sired by USA Ch Chestnut Hills Blizzard via frozen semen as Blizzard (whom I greatly admired) has been dead many years now. His dam is USA Ch Next Generations Moonshine Still, a granddaughter of Gr Ch Chestnut Hills Windjammer Senior Hunter, a great dog behind many of our UK dogs and who is himself a grandson of a UK born and bred dog, namely Ch Arnac Bay Spookane Junior Hunter.
The reserve dog CC was awarded to Mahon, Hunns & Newton’s Sh Ch Arnac Bay Huron at Bergelle JW – a well known winner in the show ring handled superbly by James Newton.
The puppy dog and ultimately the best puppy award went to Murray’s Sea’nland Master of the Sea for Riverrun, who had made the long trip over from Ireland.
Best veteran was Mayhew’s rising nine year old, Sh Ch Arnac Bay Flax, tail wagging as normal in anticipation of a treat!
Best bitch and the CC (her 15th, I believe) was awarded to Middleton and Mayhew’s Sh Ch Arnac Bay Hebe WGC EW’22, handled by Joy Middleton at that stage and then by Nicole Coe in the challenge for best of breed. The reserve CC went to her litter sister, Thompson’s Arnac Bay Harvest. It was good to see David and Thelma present.
The final challenge between the dog and bitch ended with Hebe winning best of breed and going forward to the gundog group where, after playing around on the carpet and acting the fool whilst waiting, she was swiftly brought into show dog mode and shortlisted in the group.
A lovely show but sadly the cold (below zero temperatures nearly all day) in a building with insufficient heat, made it less enjoyable.
15 January 2023
Great news from Cathy Broomfield who says:
“We had a great start to the new year yesterday. Max (Glaniels Count on Me) was awarded Best of Breed at Goyt Valley Gundog Society Premier Open Show. Our breed judge was Lesley McCourt. Top awards in all breeds were for Best of Breed and Best Puppy. There were no Chessie pups present.
I’ve not been to this show before but it was a lovely friendly atmosphere and good venue apart from the very slippery floor. I was in good company with Dave Rigby who kindly stayed to the end to support Max and I representing the breed in the Best in Show ring.”
The Club’s Breed Education Co-ordinator, James Newton, gives the following report for 2022:
The CBRC has seen an incredibly proactive year for Judges Education while I have been getting to grips with my new role as Breed Education Coordinator (BEC).
We have had five mentoring sessions take place for aspiring judges this year, including two taking place at our Championship Show. We also ran our second online Breed Appreciation Day (BAD) which has increased our list of judges to a grand total of 73 individuals who are currently progressing to being passed to award CCs in the breed. The money made from the online BAD has also been used to sponsor various gundog, retriever and all breed open shows across the country and, therefore, increasing the entries these shows receive.
The CBRC has a confirmed in-person BAD on 23/04/23 to be held at the Kennel Club Building, Stoneleigh with American Breed Specialist, Robyn Haskin, giving the breed talk. There will be an opportunity for aspiring judges to take the Multiple-Choice Examination and partake in a Group Mentoring session in the afternoon (subject to passing the examination). We have also had one individual this past year who has successfully been passed to award CCs. I have had many candidates contact me already to express a very keen interest in being mentored during 2023, subject to the availability of mentors.
I feel this year has been an incredibly positive one for ensuring we preserve and increase our pool of aspiring judges who are genuinely interested in learning more about the breed.
A lovely bit from Steve Camoccio:
What can I say, nearly another season over and for me it’s gone way too quick. But enough about me, let’s talk about the boys Muddle and Mucker! This was our first year on a couple on new estate shoots and not the little shoots that we are normally on.
As always, my rock, my best friend and my shadow, Muddle, was on the money doing what I needed him to do (most of the time) and as always it was a pleasure to have him with me (apart from having to lift the big oaf (40kg) in and out of the beaters wagon) – that made some of the beaters laugh. But if a bird couldn’t be found the keepers would ask for the big lad Muddle and he never let me down.
Now what can I say about the new dog on the block? This was Mucker’s first full season as before this he had only been out with me and on a couple of little shoots on the odd day, but this was going to be different – working on two big shoots. And again, for a young dog he did good, working to the whistle and as a beating dog he was amazing! Even the spaniels couldn’t believe how quick Mucker was, giving them a run for their money. But the big test would be what about behind the guns picking up? Well the big test came! A hen bird high and fast, up goes the gun, Bang Bang, the bird is hit and started to come down landing about 25/30ft behind us in the turnip field. I see that Mucker has marked the spot and as I look it’s a runner so I give the command and off he goes like a rocket. All I can think is that I hope all the training I have put in will pay off and he doesn’t let me down. I almost can’t bear to look but I didn’t need worry as he was on it in a flash and on his way back with other birds dropping … but he didn’t take any notice and as he arrived back with the bird I heard the keeper say what a lovely retrieve.
I could finally breathe a sigh of relief and all he asked for was a pat on the head! Actually he was looking for a treat as all good Chessies do!
This season isn’t completely over yet, I still have a couple of days left, but I’m already looking forward to next season.
- Dukeries (Notts) Gundog Club (x 2)
- East Anglian Gundog Society
- CBRC Open
- URC Open Show
- Mid-Herts Gundogs
- South of England Gundog Club
This may have resulted in 2022 seeing an increase in people taking part at Open shows and at Championship Shows without CCs. These shows are so important not only for exhibitors to support their local clubs, but also supporting and giving experience to the next generation of judges.
STOP PRESS ** NOTICE FOR ALL EXHIBITORS AT MANCHESTER CHAMPIONSHIP SHOW **
Our breed judge, Miss B Johnson, has pulled an impressive entry of 28 for the last opportunity to qualify for Crufts 2023. In support of the Judges Education Programme, there will be a student judge being mentored by our breed judge who will be there to learn more about our breed. Exhibitors can opt out of having their dogs assessed by a student judge.If this is the case, they must notify the steward prior to the start of judging their class so this can be relayed to the mentor judge and student judge.
Please note that Chesapeakes are second in Ring 2 located in the Sandylands Hall after 31 Spanish Water Dogs. Judging starts at 9:00am.
8 January 2023
Firstly, one dog was omitted in last week’s list of Show Champions made up this year. This was Sh Ch Oakmarsh Dancing Diva. A very sincere apology to her owner, Caroline Pont and to her breeder Kirsty Watts.
I am assuming that everyone has their 2023 diaries by now (or phone diaries!) and so here are some dates for you to write or feed in before you forget!
On 22 April, the Club championship and open shows will be held at the Kennel Club Building Stoneleigh, Warwickshire. Closing date for entries (which are online only) is at the beginning of April – but please don’t leave it until the last minute.
Also on 22 April, the Club AGM will be held after completion and clearing up from the shows, hopefully about 6.00pm.
23 April is the second day of the Club’s 40th anniversary weekend, and our judge from the USA will be giving a seminar on the breed for judges and anyone interested, so please stay to attend this and learn.
On 29 April there will be a gundog training day in Selbourne, Hampshire, followed on the 30 April by the Club’s spring working test with (in addition to the normal awards and trophies) a special trophy for the best veteran dog competing on the day. Entries for the test will close approximately two weeks beforehand.
24 June is a day for club members to qualify their dogs in the CBRC Chesapeake Working Certificates, in one of three levels. This is a working gundog certificate and is not competitive. You can find all the details of what your dog will need to do on the Events page. The venue is at Stapleton in Shrewsbury.
The following day, 25 June, there is the annual Minor Breeds Working Test where a chosen team of Chesapeakes will be competing against teams of Irish Water spaniels, Flatcoats, Nova Scotia Retrievers, and Curly Coats. Venue the same as above. This year its the turn of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever Club to host, so anyone willing to help out will be very welcome.
On 6 August the CBRC’s second open show of the year will be held in conjunction with National Gundog’s Championship Show at Malvern. Entries for this are not yet open.
All details and contacts will be on the Events page so please keep checking back.
Current news and the first championship show of 2023 was Boston show, held at East of England Showground near Peterborough. There were no CCs on offer for our breed at this show. Judge Hilary Male awarded best of breed to Murch and Mayhew’s, Next Generations Arnac Arctic Storm and best bitch to Middleton and Mayhew’s Sh Ch Arnac Bay Hebe WGC EW22. Both dogs were handled by Joy Middleton with help from Maddie Mahon in the challenge.
Lisa Murch had a five-hour journey to the show from her home in Devon but it was certainly worth the effort to see Joss take the top honours and then to see three of her recent homebred litter at their first championship show. Lisa’s own puppy, Pixiesrock Green Kirkle won best bitch puppy, and reserve best bitch, and then, to top it all, Tracy Boyles took the litter brother, Pixiesrock Mr Tumnus by Blevos, to best male pup, reserve best male and best puppy in breed. Tracey had made the very long journey from Scotland thereby beating even Lisa’s travel time and winning the furthest journey award.
Kirsty Watts brought her team to the show, and with Vanessa Searles’ and her own dog, and two extra handlers, they were awarded third in the breeders class for the Oakmarsh kennel. It was good to see Chesapeakes represented and placed. The class was won by a very smart team of handlers in matching outfits. Uniforms next time Chessie girls!
It was good to have a friendly Chesapeake group at Boston with everyone supporting each other.
I was surprised to learn that after this year, the East of England Showground will no longer be hosting dog shows – nor any other shows such as Truckfest and the antiques shows that are normally held at the venue.
AEPG, which owns East of England Showground Services Ltd, has embarked on a £50m regeneration plan to develop the site into a “purpose-built leisure resort” and marks a departure from the site’s history as an outdoor event space. The plans include new conference facilities, accommodation and a health and wellness centre. The land has also been earmarked for a housing development as part of the Peterborough City Council Local plan.
I have to say that it makes me sad that we are eating up more and more of England’s countryside and open spaces to make room for an ever increasing population with different needs than us country minded folk. I am reliably informed that Boston show will move to the summer months in 2024 and be held at Rutland County Showground.
1 January 2023
A very sincere welcome to the new year to all Chessie friends.
This week is a rundown of our breed’s achievements during 2022 and high points of a very busy Chesapeake Club diary during the past year.
On the working front: four Chesapeakes gained their Kennel Club Working Gundog Certificates: Chesarab Saltmarsh, Sharbae Rebel Rebel, Arnac Bay Hebe and Arnac Bay Ibis.
Two dogs passed their Kennel Club Show Gundog Working Certificate: Sh Ch Penrose Hash Brown (making her a full champion) and Oakmarsh Acorn.
The Chesapeake Club held two working tests for the breed: one in East Sussex in the spring and the other in Derbyshire in late September. At the spring test, the winners of each class were Puppy – Next Generations Arnac Arctic Storm; Beginner – Arnac Bay Ibis; Open – Franeo Original Long Gunner at Pixiesrock. The test in late September saw Passione win Puppy; Arnac Bay Invincible at Dunakitts win the Novice Dog/Novice Handler; Arnac Bay Inca win the Beginners, and Franeo Ebbing Tide win the Open.
A CBRC Chesapeake Working Certificate day was held in Cumbria, with two dogs passing the Level One: Petsalls Canute and Irish Ch Riverrun Everybody’s Friend, with the latter dog passing Level Two on the same day.
One Chesapeake, Chesarab Saltmarsh, continues to compete at obedience and has notched up numerous awards during the year including a 2nd placing in all-breed obedience. The same dog won a Certificate of Merit in an AV all aged retriever test.
On the show side, the Club held a championship show, an open show, and special award classes during the summer at Bretford in the Midlands.
A total of 26 challenge certificates were on offer throughout the year at various championship shows. These were won by Sh Ch Arnac Bay Hebe (7), Sh Ch Arnac Bay Huron (6), Migwell Soloman’s Puzzle (2), Next Generations Arnac Arctic Storm (2), Penrose Let Fly (2), and one each for Sh Ch Arnac Weatherdeck Buoy, Arnac Bay Gamble, Arnac Bay Invincible, Baymoss Tweed of Penrose, Sh Ch Next Generations Chesepi Range Rider, Oakmarsh Dancing Diva, and Riptide Whistlin Duck.
Two new show champions were made up in 2022, namely Migwell Soloman’s Puzzle and Penrose Let Fly, and one dog gained a Kennel Club Junior Warrant, namely Oakleaf Manor Bay of Oakmarsh.
For the first time, a Chesapeake won a Kennel Club Show Certificate of Excellence, namely Sh Ch Arnac Bay Hebe.
With regards to judges education, a second online seminar (BAD) was held in November, and five judges mentoring sessions were held at various shows throughout the year.
The Club arranged for some lovely volunteers and their dogs to man various ‘meet the breed’ events throughout the year, starting with Crufts at the NEC in March and ending with Discover Dogs at the Excel Centre, with the Game Fair, and a few country fairs in between.
At the end of the year, the Our Dogs paper prints a list of winners in the show ring and, in the case of stud dogs and brood bitches, points are gained by their progeny. Top Chesapeake for 2022 is Sh Ch Arnac Bay Hebe WGC ShCEx, top stud dog is her sire, Sh Ch Arnac Weatherdeck Buoy, top brood bitch her dam, Arnac Bay Gamble, top puppy is Penrose Razzamatazz, and top breeder Arnac Bay kennel.
A request from Sue Worrall who is finalising the lists of health test results to go in the yearbook. If you have recently had any health tests done for your dog, please send a copy to her (email@example.com). The KC publish most results in the Breed Records Supplement every quarter, but these are often printed several months after the test was done.
Another request for those wishing for their dogs’ open show awards to be recorded in the Club’s list, and considered for the annual awards, please could you forward a list of any major awards to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other trophies to be awarded at the AGM are:
- Ted’s Challenge Trophy for the dog who has retrieved the highest number of different species during the year
- Chesapeake Chat Trophy is presented to a nominated author of the most interesting article from the last yearbook. Please send in your nominations.
Full details of all trophies and points systems are on the homepage.
May I finish by saying thank you to the Chesapeake Club committee and to all those in our breed who have helped in any way, large or small, to run events, promote the breed, and continue to be great sportsmen and women, win or lose, whether in the field or in the show ring. Here’s to the good guys!
Have a great 2023.
25 December 2022
First, a very happy Christmas and new year to all of our readers. May you have fun with your brown dogs (of every shade!)
Lots of working news this week starting with a report from our Chairman, Richard Playle who says:
I did not enter LKA dog show as it was going to be the second day of the Essex Joint Council of Wildfowling Clubs Bill Bailey Young Shots Course. Bill was an old time fowler down here on the Dengie mudflats and when he departed this stage of ours he left a large sum to be used to foster youngsters fowling in Essex.
Sadly the course had to be postponed at the last minute but time enough for me to gain a permit and take a new associate out onto the coast.
As my dog Tide and I settled down, 200-300 ducks, spooked by our approach, moved out on to the estuary mud. We felt this could come up trumps. My associate moved 70 yards on from me to settle down in a small cut in the marsh. His young spaniel would not have stood the -2 degrees C temp (probably -5 with windchill) so he relied on my Chesapeake, as so many have in the past. For Tide (the dam of Wizz and Deek), this was a doddle: she likes rough going and this is one reason why us fowlers love and value them so much.
From 11am to 5pm Tide faithfully fulfilled her job. With ice forming on her back, the only time she looked downhearted was when I missed the duck! Some dropped close, others made a swim for it. She lost just one in that time – it dived, she dived, but it eluded her.
At one point a wigeon made it out to sea and dropped. A strong swimmer it led her a merry albeit cold dance until it went under and she followed it, to come up holding it firmly in her grasp. The joy, the respect and the faith in one’s dog is rejuvenated each time they succeed, and so it is with me and my dog.
Dog show vs marsh? Sorry guys the MARSH wins paws down every time. Hope you enjoyed your Show. Tide and me? Well we enjoyed doing what she’s bred for! The bag, you ask? 1 Mallard, 4 teal, and 2 wigeon for my mate, with me having 2 wigeon and 4 teal.
As reported last week, one dog who did attend the show and won top honours by winning best of breed was Broc – now Show Champion Migwell Solomon’s Puzzle. Owner and breeder, Caroline Griffin Woods reports:
After winning his crowning CC, Broc and I were back out working on the farm shoot. We are both happy there. We work as beating/picking up dogs on the shoot. There is not enough shot birds for separate teams.
One of the drives is a centre track with a strip of wood both sides of it. We were pushing it along with the guns either side of the wood. Birds were popping out over the guns. A pheasant was shot and it dropped behind the dyke and into the newly dug trench.
Once the drive was over I went around to the dyke to locate the bird. It had dropped the far side of the trench. The trench must be a good 10ft down. It took a bit of encouragement to get Broc down into to it. Once in he worked out how to get across the frozen water to collect the bird. The next bit was to work out how to get back out, and he found a route up, showing just how powerful those muscles are. He brought it back to hand. One very happy gun and one very happy Chessie owner.
Looking at the photos it was certainly a retrieve that lots of dogs would baulk at.
A nice Christmas present for Joy and Sh Ch Arnac Bay Hebe who has just had official notice from the Kennel Club that she now has her Show Certificate of Excellence. This involves winning 50 points in open shows, a minimum of five which must be obtained from Group places at shows under the Group system. As with the CBRC trophy points (and many other gundog club awards) this all has to be submitted on a form by the owner themselves and the points checked by the KC. Hebe already has her working gundog certificate and can now add the following to her name WGC ShCEx.
Hebe is the first Chesapeake to gain this award so congratulations to Joy for going the extra mile to achieve this. The duo celebrated with a day’s picking up!
18 December 2022
A lovely story from our Chesapeake Club community: we all know how much Dave Lowther loved his lovely deadgrass dog ‘Mr Cree’. Well, Dave had a 3D head made of his old dog for a wading stick but, due to contracting Covid, had never got around to adding the stick.
Whilst at the club show this past summer, Dave was chatting to Darren and Jo, who were parked next to him, about Mr Cree. Dave happened to mention the head and Darren offered to take it and mount it on a suitable stick.
Last Saturday, the stick arrived, completed, and Dave is absolutely thrilled, as would be expected as Darren has done a fantastic job. As Dave said, what a great Chesapeake Club family we have.
Part two of the Lisa and Joy trip to Brussels and the results from the third and fourth show held on the Sunday. The first judge, Van Genechten Leen from Belgium, gave best female and best of breed to Sh Ch Arnac Bay Hebe, adding another CACIB and two CACs to her cache, likewise for Joss (NG Arnac Arctic Storm) who was the best male.
The second show on the Sunday had a judge from Estonia, Siret Lepassar. No CACIBs on offer here and Joss took top honours this time winning best of breed and the CAC, with Hebe winning reserve CAC.
Once again a very successful trip for the two adventurers and their dogs who showed under judges that they knew very little about but still came home with the prizes.
On the very same day, Kirsty Watts was the judge at Ladies Kennel Association, making her debut as a CC Championship judge.
Judging is not an easy task, especially when you are judging your own breed where you know so many of the exhibitors and dogs before the show date, and especially not when you may have won a Challenge Certificate under one of those exhibitors when they themselves were judging.
Whenever I am giving the show judges education seminars I always say that you have to be brave to judge as you have to judge the dog by the breed standard, NOT who owns it or who is handling it, NOT by whether it won last week at such and such a show, and NOT from its promotion on social media or in the dog press. You have to be totally honest to yourself and the exhibitors and judge the dog according to the breed standard, nothing else should influence your decision making.
This, I know from experience, is very hard. Whilst judging at Crufts the last time, I had a dog go under me who belonged to some very good friends of mine. The dog had just flown in from the USA where he had won best in show at the American Chesapeake Show the previous year. He was a truly lovely dog and I gave him the reserve CC which he fully deserved but I just preferred parts of another lovely dog from Ireland. It was incredibly hard to make that decision knowing that I would disappoint my friends and get a lot of criticism from some other quarters but I had to go with my gut feeling.
How easy is it to hand out CCs and reserve CCs to your friends and how easy is it to imply to someone that they stand a chance of winning when you are trying to drum up a decent entry? Of course that is not judging fairly and it is also not being fair to the breed.
There will of course be slightly different interpretations of the standard with each judge and what part you consider to be most important should you have similar dogs in front of you, but some things, such as good movement and coat are not negotiable. With good judging, and assuming you have the entries, there should always be a reasonable similarity from one show to the next when the same breed is being evaluated by the same standard.
I think we were all very thrilled when Caroline Griffin-Woods’ lovely dog, Broc (Migwell Soloman’s Puzzle) was awarded his third CC, thereby making him a Show Champion. Broc was the result of a litter born by artificial insemination from semen that Caroline had arranged to be imported from Next Generation Smooth Operator, the dam of the litter being Chesepi Parsippany for Migwell. Well done to Caroline for going the extra mile (and expense) to make this breeding possible and to bring more bloodlines into the country. Also present at the show and winning the dog puppy class was a chunky son of Broc’s bred by Rob Gutherless, Crableypeake Alabama with his owner Richard Longman, making his first showing appearance.
The bitch CC went to Janet Morris’s pretty bitch pup, eight months old, Baymoss Tweed of Penrose, who also won best puppy. She was bred by Greg Raby from two Penrose dogs.
In the challenge Broc stood out on maturity and won a well deserved best of breed.
Reserve CC in the bitches went to a delighted Gemma Pearce with her home-bred Avifors Occamys. Gemma had taken on the task of coming to the show with her small twin boys and one dog, and managed to cope magnificently even in the face of a very rude exhibitor on the next bench (not a club member, I hasten to add). The boys were impeccably behaved to the point that I am thinking of sending my grandsons to Gemma for training
With LKA being the final championship show of the year, the points for the top show dogs from the championship shows (remembering that open and championship shows are combined for the top show dog trophies) are as follows:
Sh Ch Arnac Bay Huron at Bergelle
Sh Ch Migwell Solomons Puzzle
Sh Ch Next Generations Chesepi Range Rider
Next Generations Arnac Arctic Storm
Sh Ch Arnac Bay Hebe
Sh Ch Arnac Bay Flax
Penrose Lets Fly
Arnac Bay Harvest
Arnac Bay Gamble
Top puppy championship shows
Baymoss Tweed of Penrose
Glaneils Don’t Worry be Happy
Don’t forget to let me have your news.
11 December 2022
Fantastic news from Lesley Cumber, whose young Chesapeake, Fin (aka Riptide Dabblin Duck) has just passed his Kennel Club Good Citizen Gold award, making him the 15th Chesapeake to attain this top level certificate. Lesley writes of Fin:
Fin is my first 42kg lapdog and my world. He loves going to ‘school’ and has a wonderful trainer who does appear to understand the breed despite never owning one and is always wanting to keep him. Hmmm NO!
He began with his Puppy award, followed by Bronze and Silver, progressing into Gold, and passed all his assessments on his first attempt. It wasn’t all plain sailing and he can be quite the goofball! He used to make others laugh at times. On one occasion he was practising the send-to-bed exercise, he picked up the cone, put it on his vet bed, and then pooped beside his bed! We have also completed up to Level 3 tricks and training online courses to keep us busy and active during the lockdown and we still practice these. We will continue to attend weekly obedience classes and in the New Year consider our next steps in respect of obedience
What a great way to keep a working dog’s brain active and occupied. A big congratulations to Lesley and Fin. I love the fact that Lesley adds, “Fin has a TikTok account with almost 26.5k followers!” A real ‘make you smile’ bit of breed news!
Vanessa Searle’s won post graduate with her Oakmarsh Indian Maker for Cravessa at the recent Coventry Gundog where (ever modest with her wins) the best of breed was won by Caroline Pont’s Amore of Ridsome. The judge was Jane Howarth.
The American Chesapeake Club has a new banner that will be carried this weekend at the Christmas parade in St. Michaels, on the edge of the Chesapeake Bay. The banner will also be on display at Oyster Fest, another Chesapeake Bay event.
Next year the ACC are offering a Supported Show at the Maryland Sporting Dog Show, where the banner will be displayed in the crating area for Chesapeakes. All very far away but the Chesapeake pictured on the left of the banner was born and bred in the UK. I wonder if anyone will recognise the dog?
Lisa Murch and Joy Middleton are off on their travels again, this time to Brussels for the 123rd, 124th, 125th and 126th Brussels Dog Shows – yes, four shows in one weekend! With Chesapeakes entered from Denmark, Germany, France and the UK, it truly is an international event, especially as the first judge, Doran Rachlin was from Israel and the second judge Norman Deschuymere from Belgium.
The Brits did well Saturday on show one with Next Generations Arnac Arctic Storm winning Best Male, CAC, CACIB, and Sh Ch Arnac Bay Hebe winning the same in the bitch classes. They then had to compete against each other for best of breed, which was won by Hebe.
The afternoon show had only CACs on offer and the duo repeated their successes by winning top dog for each sex, with Hebe again going best of breed. More news from the second two shows and LKA next week.
4 December 2022
One of my pet peeves in news in breed notes is when the writer constantly refers to their own breeding or their own dog’s achievements and so I must apologise for my news this week which, with so little other news around, contains mainly my own news!
This last week, Joy Middleton and I made a road trip to Leeuwarden in the northern part of Holland for two dog shows: the Fryslan Cup and the Dutch Winners Cup.
A good five hours’ drive from Calais where we had set foot in Europe, the countryside was typical of Holland, completely flat with a lot of water in the form of dykes, streams, rivers and estuaries. Our Air BNB was literally on the edge of a river and surrounded by fields and streams full of geese and duck. I have never seen so many geese in one area and my mind immediately went to what fun our wildfowlers would have here. Imagine my surprise to discover whilst chatting to a ‘native’ at the dog show that the geese were protected! My country-dwelling informant told me that the government was run by ‘city people’ who she claimed had no idea about the countryside and the way it worked and had even protected species such as foxes and wolves! As with the UK, the farmers were being blamed for pollution with seemingly no thought as to where food comes from.
Anyway, on to the show where I met up with Dutch Chesapeake friends that I have not seen for a few years. On the Friday, our judge was from the UK, namely Jeff Horswell who gave the best male, the CAC and the CACIB to my own Sh Ch Arnac Weatherdeck Buoy. Best Female, CAC, CACIB and best of breed to mine and Joy Middleton’s Sh Ch Arnac Bay Hebe WGC. Both dogs were handled by Joy until the challenge when our good friend Carianne from Jex and Chezz Chesapeakes, took Buoy to trot around the ring.
Sunday’s show saw the same results, this time under Norwegian judge Mr Arne Foss who awarded both dogs the Dutch winner (W22) and gave lovely write ups which went online for us to see after only a few minutes. A great system!. Again both dogs were handled by Joy but this time Joa van der Avort jumped in to handle Buoy in the challenge as Carianne had her junior dog competing. Joa has a Yogi daughter (sadly not there that day) that she has won so well with.
Two very well run and professional shows, with a similarity to Crufts but on a smaller scale, however with no benching nor chairs, which makes it imperative to arrive early and pitch a place for crates, etc.
We are quickly coming to the end of the year and to the end of the show season, with only one more championship show to be holding breed classes for our breed. The championship show top dog points can then be finalised and not so long after the last open show will close the points for the open award placings. Whilst the championship show results are available online, the open show points must be submitted in order to be counted, so please don’t forget to send any results to email@example.com.
It used to be unusual to see a Chesapeake on an organised shoot in England. Back in the 1980s and 1990s Brian Campling and I would pick up at Petworth with several dogs a piece, later joined by Roly Hoare with his Chesapeakes, Jackie Simpson with a couple of Chesapeakes in her team of Labradors, latterly Paula Greystone with her dogs, and at Chilgrove, in Hampshire, the picking up team consisted of more Chesapeakes than any other breed. The dogs always attracted attention from guns who had never come across the breed before.
How nice it is that three dogs and their owners have made their presence on the beating line at another Hampshire shoot, namely Deborah Herring and Jersey, Peter Clarke and Mink, and Joy Middleton with Hebe, proving the versatility of our breed and the camaradie amongst the owners.
Please let me have any news you would like included in breed notes.
27 November 2022
Lisa Murch and Joy Middleton had a little excursion to Belgium last weekend to show their two dogs at the Euro show at Kortrijk. Judge Jaqueline Stacy chose as her winner in the dog class Next Generations Arnac Arctic Storm (Joss), handled by Joy and owned by Lisa and myself. Next in was Sh Ch Arnac Bay Hebe WGC who won the bitch class. Hebe is co-owned by Joy and me. Storm (aka Joss) then went on to win the dog CAC, the CACIB and best of breed, with Hebe taking reserve CAC and reserve CACIB. Joy then took Joss into the big ring and was shortlisted to the final six under the group judge Mr Terry Stacy. Both judges were from the USA.
Some will remember that I imported Joss from the USA last year having seen that frozen semen from Sh Ch Chestnut Hills Blizzard, a dog I had known and liked, was being used. Blizzard passed away some years ago. Choosing a name for this pup was easy as I wanted to refer somehow to his elusive father and so he became NG Arnac Arctic Storm.
At the time, the USA was not allowing any Brits into their country (unless one was very important or a sportsman!) and so the story of getting him to the UK in the middle of a covid semi-lockdown this end, a restriction on travel movement into the USA, and when so many airlines were not flying nor taking livestock, was a long and complicated story.
Eventually with the help of another Chessie breeder in Florida (Kerry) who was coming to Europe, and amazing help from our friend Gina, a very complicated plan was made. So many milestones on the way but eventually (with invaluable help from Joy) I collected Joss from Frankfurt Airport which was the only way we could get him to Europe and drove back home. He nearly didn’t make the flight as some ‘jobsworth’ in Washington DC queried the paperwork. Luckily Gina knew her facts and made him see sense – in no uncertain terms!
Joss has been living with Lisa for just over a year and with her training and patience has turned into a lovely dog after a very difficult start.
A story of another Storm, this time a Chesapeake belonging to the Chairman of Gloucester Wildfowling and Conservation, a club that has 30 miles of foreshore on the Upper Severn Estuary with which to pursue their passion of wildfowling. Storm is featured in an article about wildfowling in this week’s Shooting Times and it would seem that she seriously impressed the author who witnessed her retrieving in typical tough conditions through the water. Proud breeders of Storm are Gemma and Dan Pearce who bred to Phil Uncles’s Sh Ch Arnac Bay Exe to produce a litter from their Migwell Glory Be for Avifors.
There is nothing like a demonstration of work in wildfowling conditions to show the true worth of our breed and Shooting Times is the perfect magazine to spread the word.
The South of England Gundog Club has classes for our breed and a very experienced Chesapeake judge, namely Gemma McCartney. Anyone who has been in the breed any length of time will know that Gemma is granddaughter of Margaret Woods of Nunneyswood Chesapeakes. Gemma has been showing and handling Chesapeakes for many, many years and started her showing career as a youth. Entries close on the 27 November, i.e. today, so to those who have yet to enter, please do so now!
20 November 2022
Last weekend saw various events for, or attended by, our Chesapeake people.
Waverley Gundog Association held an open show and Lorna Murray reports that this was a new open show which had just started this year but was a nice, well run show.
With no Chesapeake classes the Chesapeake contingent had to battle it out in the Any Variety classes. Lorna’s dog Muireatai Teris Love took 2nd in AV puppy and her Takoda Nathan won the open. Tracey Boyles took her new lad, Gibbs (aka Pixiesrock Mr Tumnus by Bleyos) to win best AV puppy and then go on to win best AV. Gibbs is from Lisa Murch’s last litter, all named after characters in Narnia and this one certainly gave me some fun typing! Gibbs is out of Chesepi Utica (Autumn) and sired by Sh Ch Arnac Weatherdeck Buoy. The two Chessie pups, Gibbs and Lorna’s Muireatai Teris Love also placed highly in the puppy stakes.
On Saturday last weekend, the Eastern Counties Golden Retriever Club held a Show Gundog Working Certificate day on a Suffolk shoot, and two Chesapeakes attained their certificates, namely Sh Ch Penrose Hash Brown with Caroline Pont and Oakmarsh Acorn VW with Kirsty Watts.
The purpose of a show gundog working certificate is to provide credible proof of the natural working ability of a gundog registered with the Kennel Club that has already proved it meets the Kennel Club’s breed standard by a qualification in the show ring.
Any gundog that has a challenge certificate or has previously qualified for Crufts through a breed class may be entered for a Show Gundog Working Certificate where the judges on the day are looking for natural working ability. For our breed it is expected that the dog has has a soft mouth on freshly shot game, will retrieve from water, and is not afraid of gunfire.
This qualification means that a show champion can drop the ‘show’ from their title and become a full champion. As this was the case with Caroline’s dog Chippy, she now becomes a full champion. Congratulations Caroline.
The Chesapeake Club held a virtual Breed Appreciation Day (BAD) via Zoom last Saturday. It was organised and very efficiently run by our Breed Education Co-ordinator, James Newton. There were 22 people in attendence. Three of these were just attending the breed talk and the other 19 candidates and judges sat the multiple choice exam, all of whom passed. The judges list has now been updated on the Shows page.
The feedback given on this BAD has been excellent, scoring the highest score on speaker effectiveness, content of breed talk (the talk was given by Christine Mayhew) and organisation. Additional feedback given by some stated it was the best breed talk they had attended. During the Multiple Choice Exam one lady stated the entire event is a model for all breed clubs to aspire to and they feel all speakers selected for talks should have the passion that Chrissie obviously projected to her audience. All in all an excellent event to support our progressing judges!
More show news where at Merseyside Gundog Club’s Premier open show, Dave Rigby’s Gunnar (Chesepi Waco) notched up another best of breed, with Cathy Broomfield’s Max (Glaneils Count on Me) taking reserve best in breed. Both handlers stayed for best in show and reserve best in breed stakes class.
Dave writes that with his other dog, Trigger, also winning his class he needed another handler for the best of breed challenge. He says:
Luckily, Cathy’s friend stepped in to show Trigger, then after Gunnar got BOB the judge requested Max to come back in the ring so I went to get Max as Cathy had Chilli in the line up! Quite a busy 20 minutes!
Once again a demonstration of great camaraderie in our Chesapeake exhibitors. Dave adds that Cathy had said that the breed judge had taken part in the Breed Appreciation Day the previous day and it showed in her judging of the dogs when Mrs C Schofield said the final deciding factor for best of breed was Gunnar’s very oily coat.
Knowing my desire for Chesapeakes to be true dual purpose dogs, Dave added a postscript saying, “It was too late to go on the marsh when got home!”
13 November 2022
Thank you to Debbie Herring for this report on last weekend’s Working Minority Retriever Club’s training day. Judy Hempstead was the instructor.
It was a very soggy Sunday that saw us meet up at Ropley in Hampshire for a training day. There were some very heavy downpours, but the hardy breeds weren’t bothered, and thankfully it did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of the owners.
It was lovely to see so many Chessies come along. Indie and I and Vroni and Togo joined the morning session with the junior, less experienced dogs, working on steadiness. Teaching an over enthusiastic dog with lots of drive to wait patiently while their owner retrieves the dummy themselves is always a big ask for a young dog, but it is a great exercise when teaching patience and reinforcing that a dog should wait for a command before being sent.
We did lots of walk-up exercises off the lead to work on heelwork and turning back and forth to keep the dog’s focus on the handler, and also starting to let the dogs know they are required to sit when the line halts. We finished up with stop whistle work, and then a few straightforward retrieves to hand.
In the afternoon Jersey and I were joined by Peter and Mink, Kevin and Zoar, Carole and Liebe and Sharon and Isla. Again, we paired up with other minority breeds to work on walk up and steadiness (off the lead for those dogs who don’t run in), marked and blind retrieves in the long grass, aiming to work on getting the dogs straight out and back and dummies nicely into their handlers’ hands, and recall with a stop halfway back.
Shot was used in the afternoon session, and we finished up with a long retrieve for those whose dogs were confident in going out and directing their dogs at a distance.
Even with the more advanced dogs there is always something to work on, especially for those who are now into the shooting season and can get a bit keen. We all learnt a lot from the session, and everyone went home pleased they had made some progress.
Cathy Broomfield and Max (Glaneils Count on Me) went to Hyde & District CA Open Show where Max was awarded best of breed by judge Christine Raynor. Cathy says “I was so grateful to Dave Rigby and Caroline Pont for staying to support us in the group. Really lovely show and it was great that they offered Chesapeake classes.“
All this year there has been so much support for other exhibitors in our breed from the showing fraternity, something I feel for us all to be really proud of.
Lists of health test results are currently being updated, and will be printed in the next Club yearbook. Most of the results are taken from the KC Breed Record Supplement, a quarterly Kennel Club publication. There’s always a lag time between health testing being done and results being published, and the latest edition of the Supplement lists results for testing that was done in January-March this year. So, if your dog has been health tested this year, please ensure you have sent in a copy of the test results to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will record health test results from all Chesapeakes in the UK, whether you are members of the CBRC or not.
The KC will only publish results of health tests that are recommended for a particular breed. For Chesapeakes, that is hip scores, elbow scores, KC/BVA eye examinations, and DNA screening for PRA and Degenerative Myelopathy. However, some people are testing for other conditions, such as Exercise Induced Collapse (EIC) and Ectodermal Dysplasia (ED). Neither of these conditions has been found in Chesapeakes in the UK so far, but they have been found in dogs in other parts of the world.
Likewise, some people test their dogs for the long coat gene, which does not affect health, but a long coat is a characteristic breeders would like to avoid. While the KC does not record results for these extra tests, the CBRC does keep a record of them, and will publish them in the CBRC yearbook.
So if you have had extra tests done, please ensure you send those test results to the CBRC too. We have no other way of knowing you have had these tests done, as they will not be published by the Kennel Club. If in doubt, please get in touch, or just email all of your health test results to Sue Worrall.
For more information on health testing, please see the Health page.
Please let me have any news that you would like included in breed notes
6 November 2022
I found it interesting to see that total new registrations for our breed for 2021 were 58. This is the number of puppies born and registration applied for during those twelve months. This compares to 62 for Curlycoats, 303 for Nova Scotia Duck Tollers, 1,544 for Flatcoated Retrievers, 11,808 for Golden Retrievers, and a staggering 61,559 for Labradors! Our registrations for the first six months of this year (this is as far as the KC breed records go to date) are 31.As is normal in recent years we had the lowest number of registrations among the retriever breeds. Not something I personally worry about as I consider that the less popular our breed is, the more genuine and appropriate people have the dogs. The Nova Scotias have flourished in recent years, but I am guessing (with a reasonable amount of knowledge!) that nearly all are in pet homes, something I wouldn’t wish on our breed which have been bred for work for so many generations, and who are not as easy going in the terms of house pets.
Robyn Haskins (who incidentally is a top breeder of Nova Scotias as well as Chesapeakes in the USA) has now been officially approved by the KC to judge our Championship show in April next year. Both the Championship and the Open show entries are now live on Fossedata for those who wish to enter.
David Rigby has let me have news of his true dual purpose lad, Chesepi Waco (aka Gunnar) who won best of breed at Goyt Valley Gundog Club’s show, then went straight out on the marsh that evening with his kennelmate Trigger, followed by three evening flights and finishing off with another best of breed at Yorkshire Gundog Show. You cannot get more dual purpose that that!
Just goes to show that even the die-hard working guys can handle their dogs to top honours in the show ring! Let’s have some more of you out there! Even those who are shy about handling can be helped … really.
At Dover and Deal Canine Society’s recent open show, Best of breed went to Sh Ch Arnac Bay Hebe WGC who then went on to win Group 2 in the gundog group. Hebe’s latest affix WGC is to recognise her recent qualification by passing the Kennel Club’s working gundog certificate. Please note that all those who have passed are eligible to add these letters after their name.
Another dual purpose story comes from Fleur Bament whose Chessie ‘Chester’ (aka Pixiesrock Maestro Cadenza) passed with merit his grade 2 of The Gundog Club’s assessment. Fleur says, ‘It was a very tense test done under the scrutiny of an assessor, but we smashed it!’
The Gundog Club was launched in January 2006 to help people train their gundogs through participation in a non-competitive graded training scheme. Ownership of the Club was transferred to a newly formed charity, The Gundog Trust, in 2011. The Club is open to all and is a non-competitive, fun and rewarding club with accredited trainers throughout the UK who also train for the Gundog Club’s graded field tests and awards.
Although Chester and I have dabbled in a bit of showing, which is completely new to me, he’s been so very successful despite his handler (me)! He was always, primarily, going to be a working gundog just like his Mum and Dad who I’ve always adored and admired from when they were puppies themselves. Unfortunately, as we all know, so many shoots have been non-starters this season but we have been incredibly lucky to be invited duck shooting this season.
I absolutely love training. I love going to gundog training classes because no matter how long you have been training dogs, there is always something new to learn. My training club organise field tests with the Gundog Trust and we entered Grade 2 Junior Retriever. It is a combination of obedience and retrieving. Each test is marked by an assessor and includes off lead heel, stop to whistle, 2 minutes stay and recall (feels like 2 hours when being timed!) memory retrieve, seen and blind retrieve and a left and right, etc. It all went so terribly well because Chester is awesome … except we made two blunders which cost us a Distinction! The one part I was least worried about – the 2 minute stay at 30 yards. I looked down, no eye contact, and when our time was nearly up, the assessor said to me “Your dog has moved.” He’d crept – he’d never ever done that – so we got a zero! Then on the memory retrieve he brought the dummy back just short of my hand. I fumbled and the dummy dropped to the floor so another zero for not retrieving to hand! Despite those two mistakes, he was so fabulous at the rest of it that we passed with a merit – phew! It was a very strict test and we were the only couple to get a merit so I’m so very pleased with how this young dog is progressing. Back to duck shooting next week where we can hide out in the maize and mistakes will not be judged! Finally, everyone was interested in his breed, hardly any had even heard of them but they were all overwhelmed with him because he’s just the friendliest dog to people and other dogs, everyone loves him. My trainer says he is a credit to his breed.
Maybe this is something that more Chesapeake owners who don’t have the opportunity take their dogs shooting, might like to try? You could train with a club and have fun for both of you. I guarantee that anyone who has never tried before will realise how much these dogs love to work in one way or another.
The BVA has developed a survey for owners and breeders who have used the BVA/KC Eye Scheme, to gain valuable feedback on the scheme’s performance and particular areas that need development.
If you have had your dog’s eyes tested under the scheme, please could you spend a few minutes taking part in the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/ML2WN2S. The survey will be open until 24th November.
30 October 2022
An important date for your diary is 22 April 2023 when the club AGM will be held after the club show at the Kennel Club Building, the National Agricultural Centre, Stoneleigh. Please try to attend both to add your input to the Club and the breed.
Show news: at Guildford and District Open Show last weekend, best of breed was awarded to Sh Ch Arnac Bay Hebe, kindly handled by Nicole Cole. With Nicole winning best of breed in German Shorthaired Pointers, she was unable to take Hebe into the gundog group and so GSP owner and HPR field trial judge, Bradley Dymond was roped in at the last minute and, dressed in his jeans and T-shirt, took Hebe to win Group 4 (Nicole won the group with the GSP). Hebe proving once again that she can win under many different judges with so many different handlers.
Onto the United Retriever Club’s show the following Wednesday where the Chesapeakes, for once, had more entries than the Nova Scotias with 19 dogs entered. Sadly a few were absent, but still a great entry for the judge Joy Venturi-Rose who gave best of breed to Hebe, handled this time by her co-owner, Joy Middleton. Reserve best of breed and best opposite sex went to Cathy Broomfield’s young male, Glaneils Count on Me.
I thought it a great shame that only one Curly Coated Retriever was present on the day and had to be excused as he was lame. Gone are the days when that breed was so popular. My great grandfather served in the Royal Sussex Regiment and used to swim regularly in the River Arun with his Curly Coat ‘Gunner’ when he was based in Arundel.
A trophy in memory of Hannah Smith was awarded at the Club show in the summer to Fleur Bament, the winner of Special Beginners, with a very emotional speech by Hannah’s father. A lovely young person, Hannah used to show her Chesapeake but she very sadly died of cancer in November 2021.
Another memorial trophy in Hannah’s name, this time donated, I believe, by Jo Coppin, was awarded at the URC show this week where, evidently, it is to be awarded every six months. Although one shield on the trophy has already been engraved with Kirsty Watt’s Oakmarsh Freedom who won in October 2021, it was officially awarded for the first time to Joy and Hebe for this year’s October show.
Great news from Lorna Murray who says that after three and a half years without a good citizen trainer in their area, and with a short refresher course, Luisaidha Eva aka Willow has passed her Bronze Good Citizen Award.
There are four award levels for the Kennel Club Good Citizen awards: Puppy Foundation, Bronze, Silver and Gold. Dogs and owners of any fitness level or disability can take part. The scheme is non-competitive and emphasis is placed on the standard of achievement. The Bronze Award aims to produce a dog that will walk and behave in a controlled manner on the lead, will stay in one position on command, will allow its owner to clean, groom and inspect it, and a dog that will walk and behave in a happy natural manner, under control on the lead. The dog must also be able to be positioned by its handler for inspection i.e. stand, sit or lie down on either side or on its back, all on the lead. The dog must come to hand when called. The Bronze award aims to provide the handlers with a basic knowledge of understanding and training their canine companion.
For the Bronze Test, dogs are not required to have completed the Puppy Foundation Assessment programme. Handlers must show that they have means of cleaning up after their dog and that it has proper identification. It is a legal requirement to inscribe the name and the address of the owner on the collar or on a plate or disc attached to it. Dogs are required to have a microchip which is registered on a DEFRA approved database, in the UK.
The test is non-competitive but examiners should be satisfied that dogs are worthy of passing. All information can be acquired from the Kennel Club website.
As you will note, most trained gundogs will be able to pass this test (provided the owner complies with the requirements i.e. collar and disc)! There will be a list of all who have passed at any level in the Club’s yearbook, provided the Editor has the information, so please let me or the editor know if your dog has not already been mentioned in breed news. There are classes at many shows, Crufts included, for dogs who have passed their Good Citizens award.
News from our Breed Health Coordinator, Sue Worrall who writes:
The Kennel Club will be launching a new DNA Testing Service on Tuesday 1st November. Testing will be carried out by Weatherbys Scientific in Ireland, and promises to be a more efficient service than the previous CombiBreed package offered by the KC.
The downside of this new package is that the Chesapeake bundle only includes the prcd-PRA test; owners will need to go elsewhere for the DM test. The KC recognises DM as a priority test for Chesapeakes, but were not able to include DM testing in their new package at a price that would be financially viable for owners. The cost of the new KC DNA Testing Service package for Chesapeakes (i.e. PRA only) will be £80, with a 10% discount available for ABS breeders and KCAI members. DM testing would be additional, and owners should shop around.
The best deal for Chesapeake owners in the UK is still probably going to be the Animal DNA Diagnostics bundle, which is £186 for PRA, DM and EIC testing, with Chesapeake Bay Retriever Club members receiving a 20% discount, making it £148.80 for all three of these tests. For more info, take a look at the Health page.
If you have other breeds, do have a look at what the new DNA Testing Service might be able to offer. The new service will also be offering DNA profiling and parentage verification as additional products for all breeds.
- DNA testing | Dog health | The Kennel Club
- Dog health-related services & products | Kennel Club Shop (thekennelclub.org.uk)
The KC has a DNA testing webinar on 3 November at 7.00-8.30pm, which is open to everyone and will give you an opportunity to raise any queries you may have about the new KC DNA Testing Services. You can subscribe to this free event via the link below:
Current standings for the different AGM trophies are listed on the homepage but please note that ONLY points sent in will count, so send your results to email@example.com
23 October 2023
This year’s Autumn Discover Dogs, organised by the KC, was held at Excel Exhibition Centre in London on 15th and 16th October. The aim of the weekend is to have as many breeds represented as possible so that people interested in a particular breed can come and meet them and talk to their owners.
Lisa Murch organised people and dogs for this last event and writes:
Our wonderful volunteers for this last weekend were all first timers. On the Saturday Vroni Royle and her family took one dog, the lovely Togo who made it through the entire day of being stroked, patted, rolling about for belly rubs and had himself a jolly good day. The Royle family even made the stand look amazing.
The Sunday saw a two-dog team of Nerys Barrows with Winston (still a puppy) and Gen Malcolm with Malin. Again, both dogs had a wonderful day of the public making a fuss of them. The Sunday team also had the job of dismantling the stand.
The good news is that both days’ representatives reported that they had such a wonderful time that they would happily help out again. If you have a friendly Chesapeake who would like to be admired for a day, half a day or whatever, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org as we have lots of spaces to fill over the year at game fairs, country shows, etc.
On the working gundog front, Cunningshot Dog Training organised their first minority retriever breed training weekend near Kendal last weekend. Caroline Griffin-Woods reports:
An early start on Saturday morning as we were meeting up for 8.30 am. It was fabulous to be meeting up with Sue Worrall and Debbie Crewe.
There were three Chesapeakes, two Curlycoats, one Flatcoat and one Toller. We started with general steadiness training. Then a walked up exercise with shot and without dummies thrown, testing steadiness for the whole group. It was interesting watching the other breeds’ working style.
We then moved on to simple seen retrieves. Emma and Adam were starting to adjust handler errors and corrections on the dogs. I found both of them positive with that. At no point was I made to feel stupid/incompetent. Next we did a two-person double retrieve exercise. One was towards water, the other in cover. Broc decided to mess about into cover, checking I really did want that retrieve. In the afternoon we progressed on to seens with distractions and blinds. It had been raining on and off most of the day but at this point we had a thunderstorm which included hailstones, not that the Chessies cared one jot. A very good test of the waterproofs.
In the evening we all had a lovely meal at the local pub (appropriately named the Black Labrador). [Editor’s comment: it should have been the Chesapeake Bay!]
Sunday dawned dry and sunny. We were split into two groups, with the three Chesapeakes and the Flatcoat in the same group. We did a walk up in cover with dummies. Then we moved areas and did long memories, working on taking straight line over cover, rides and a stream. We also had blinds in another area. We spent most of the morning off lead, honouring dogs that were working. In the afternoon, we moved on to water retrieves. It was interesting to watch the different breeds tackle that.
Looking forward to the spring when another weekend is due to be held.
I was happy with Broc. I knew the areas I have to work on. Very pleased with his group work, as we get very little chance at home. Our lessons are usually 1-2-1, as there simply isn’t a group close enough to attend regularly.
We can now concentrate on working on the farm shoot for the rest of the season.
On the subject of working dogs, we finally have a point system for the top working dogs throughout the year. Presently the top five dogs and handlers are:
Peter Clarke and Arnac Bay Ibis with 160 points, Deborah Herring with Sharbae Rebel Rebel on 75 points, Lisa Murch with Franeo Original Long Gunner at Pixiesrock and Anthony Ciraolo with Franeo Ebbing Tide both on 50 points. Sue Worrall with Arnac Bay Inca is on fifth place with 37 points.
Whilst sorting out the working standings, it was decided to overhaul the whole system for the AGM trophy points and this new system is now in place with people no longer having to work out their own points on the very complicated forms. All we are now asking people to do is to send in your awards throughout the year and we will work out your dog’s points for you. Please visit the homepage for the details of all awards and how to register your wins.
The top five in every category from show and work are listed on the homepage and will be updated regularly. Please note that the AGM trophies are only awarded to paid up members of the CBRC.
There were two shows last weekend for which I have been notified of results: South Western Gundog Club had classes and five Chesapeakes entered, with Murch and Mayhew’s imported dog NG Arnac Arctic Storm winning best of breed, and reserve going to Fleur Bament’s Pixiesrock Maestro Cadenza. Storm (Joss) then went on to win AVNSC working gundog.
Arnac Bay Hebe continued her winning ways by going best AVNSC Gundog from an entry of 16 and then winning reserve in the gundog group at Gravesend and District Canine Society’s open show, handled by co-owner Joy Middleton.
If you would like your show successes mentioned in breed news, please let me have the details as soon as possible after the show.
16 October 2022
Brilliant news about our friend and fellow UK club member, Gina Downin. As those who have met Gina will know, she is a lovely person with a calm and tranquil personality and an enormous sense of right and wrong. An amazing diplomat, I cannot help but think that she would calm any volatile situation anywhere in the world! And so it was so justly deserved when at the American Chesapeake Club’s National Show Specialty, the American Chesapeake Club awarded Gina the American Kennel Club Outstanding Sportsmanship Award.
In typical Gina fashion she says, ‘My colleagues on the ACC Board secretly decided to honor me with this award. Their faith in me is very humbling and the kindness of my fellow Chesapeake fanciers on the evening this award was presented means a great deal to me.’ Gina also mentions her mother Barbara, who she says ‘instilled those sportsmanship values in me and they continue to serve me well.’
This is what the AKC has to say about the award:
In the American Kennel Club’s ongoing efforts to recognize and celebrate its volunteer club members, The AKC Outstanding Sportsmanship Award program was established in 2006 to provide each member club with an AKC Medallion to award to one of its own on a yearly basis.
This award honors those individuals who deserve special recognition that have made a difference in the sport of purebred dogs, embodied the AKC Code of Sportsmanship, and have been an active and valued member of an AKC member club. Medallions are awarded solely at the Club’s discretion.
Congratulations to Gina so very well deserved.
At the recent Gundog Society of Wales, Rachel Barney judged the breed and gave Best of Breed to Mayhew & Middleton’s Sh Ch Arnac Bay Hebe, ably handled by Nicole Coe. Reserve best bitch was Kirsty Watts’ Sh Ch Oakmarsh Chestnut with the same owner winning best veteran with Oakmarsh Acorn. Sadly no males were present and no puppies.
Peter Milner has been up to his annual support for Battersea Dogs Home by running yet another annual 5km Muddy Dog Challenge at Locko Park this weekend towed along by Rhyl. A great cause and a great fundraiser in Peter who does so much for good causes. Thank you, Peter.
I realised this week that I have omitted to give some information about another co-opted member of the committee, namely Lisa Murch, and here to rectify my mistake is a bit from Lisa:
I have always been around dogs. My grandparents had farm terriers and collies and my parents had working springers so it was inevitable I would have dogs. It was the Sept of 2006 when I had my first introduction to my first Chesapeake, Isabella AKA Garratray Always Lucky. Izzy had many many lessons to teach me. For the first few years it felt like a constant battle with her. My Labrador at the time was so ‘push button’ compared to her and I found the transition to a self-thinking dog difficult. Having been around dogs my entire life she was still a completely different dog to any I’ve ever had. But, after a few years (yea, that long!) we made a decent team and Izzy even joined me out in the working field in her latter years. She was a super dog and I have her to thank for my adoration of the breed. When Izzy was 10 I discovered Molly Barker and a litter she had. I wanted a pup whilst Izzy was still young enough to teach her the ways of the world and what a fab teacher Izzy was!
The pup, Autumn, joined the family and I had plans to exhibit as a show dog and work her. Autumn has managed both and although now retired from the show ring as she doesn’t enjoy it, out working she is my right hand man! Izzy taught Autumn a few quirks including using the honeysuckle as a back scratcher. Izzy unfortunately left us, and Odhran came along. Oh what a goofy puppy he was! He’s also done well in both the show and working world. I thought my house was full but then Joss, oh Joss! A puppy who came to me unexpectedly but he fitted in well within the pack and his training is coming on so well (Izzy trained me so well) and then 6 months later I bred a litter and Cora, a lovely little bitch pup has stayed at home. So, home is now shared with four Chesapeakes, each one different and each one wonderful.
I joined the committee in 2021 as I wanted to give back to the breed, help preserve the breed in the UK and help make the most of these wonderful dogs. Whilst it does take some time and effort, it is very rewarding and the rest of the committee are great people who all seem to be aiming for the same thing, helping the breed.
9 October 2022
Yet another Chesapeake has now passed their Kennel Club Working Gundog Certificate, namely Sh Ch Arnac Bay Hebe. Although Hebe is co-owned by me, she lives with her other owner, Joy Middleton who single-handed trained and handled her to this achievement. Some achievement when you realise that Joy is new to gundog work. In this case hard work and perseverance with consistent training paid off big time.
As mentioned in previous notes, this certificate is not handed out lightly and dogs must be able to demonstrate steadiness, hunting, marking, obedience, a desire and ability to retrieve from land and water and over an obstacle. The day simulates a day’s shooting. Dogs can fail for being gunshy, aggressive to other dogs, not finding and retrieving their dummy or bird, unsteadiness, lack of obedience, etc. All details can be found on the Kennel Club website.
Not content with this, Hebe continued her winning ways in the show ring, at Romsey winning best AVNSC Gundog handled by Nicole Coe, then handed back to Joy who took her forward to win Gundog Group 1. She also joined Nicole to win the adult handling group!
At Windsor Gundog Hebe was shortlisted in the group having previously won best of breed, this time handled by Vanessa Searles. A fun day out for Chesapeake owner Vanessa who also won best of breed with her Spanish Water dogs.
At Gundog Breeds Association of Scotland, under judge Diane Stewart Ritchie, Cathy Broomfield’s one year old Chilli (Glaneils Daydream Believer) made her show debut and promptly won best bitch and best of breed! She couldn’t really have done better than that. Her kennel mate Max (Glanells Count on Me) won the best dog, both dogs being homebred by Simon and Cathy. Chilli is sired by last year’s top dog for the breed, namely Mahon and Newton’s Sh Ch Arnac Bay Huron at Bergelle who is now proving himself as a sire.
As promised, our new committee member, Katy Duncanson, has written a bit to introduce herself to those who do not know her, although many do as Katy has attended training days, working tests and shows all over the country for the past few years with her Chesapeake, Thor. Katy writes:
I live in Ulverston, Cumbria with my husband, two children Toby and Freya, and my three dogs, Bailey (9), George (7) and Thor (3). I have always had an interest in country sports, horses and dogs. I had horses prior to having the kids but decided to give them up and start doing more with the dogs. I have always been a huge Crufts fan, and this is where I found Chessies for the first time and got the chance to admire some. They just have something quirky and different which I liked.
I was lucky to meet Cathy and Simon Broomfield locally, who gave me lots of advice. Roll on 2019 I finally got my first brown dog Arnac Bay Invincible (aka Thor) from Chrissie and he came to join the mad house. We do a bit of everything, showing, working tests, training and going out on shoots. Thor has been my first proper working dog and with all the help and support of the Club we have come on leaps and bounds, being awarded the Most Improved Handler, winning the autumn ND/NH and getting our first show Challenge Certificate being our highlights! I hope I can give something back to the Club by being on the committee.
Katy has already pitched in and will be taking over the AGM annual trophies.
Sue Worrall has updated the club website to include new event dates for your diaries, new listings on the stud dog page, and a revised list of shows with Chesapeake classes. The judges list has been updated by James Newton and this new list is also on the website.
For anyone who hasn’t browsed around the website recently, there is a mine of information on the breed, some videos of the dogs working, and links to so many useful resources. Each time I browse I learn something more and even if you haven’t the time to sit and study, there are snippets that can keep you entertained whilst waiting on the phone for someone to answer at the doctors, the internet provider, or the electricity company, etc. Having pressed 2, 3, 4 or whatever it is good to have something nice to read to stop you from erupting!