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.

27 August 2023

Great news for Cathy and Simon Broomfield is that their lovely sedge bitch, Petsalls Pride Beech At Glaneils, at the age of seven, has just been awarded her long overdue third CC thus making her a show champion. Pepper gained her first CC under Judge Pam Blay in 2017, and her second under me judging at Driffield in 2018. This third CC, along with best of breed, and best veteran, was from judge Patsy Hollings at the Welsh Kennel Club Show.

Pepper at WKC this week

Pepper was bred by Roly Hoare, who also bred her mother, Ch Petsalls Pride Lila, and Pepper was conceived when her sire, US and Swedish Champion, Pond Hollow Doublecoats Ice Breaker was making a visit to England to be shown at Crufts. With Lila due in season at that time, it was suggested that the opportunity be taken to use this nice deadgrass dog and thereby give the UK some more bloodlines. From the resulting litter of four, Roly and Paula kept a dog (now in Scotland) and a bitch, a pale deadgrass bitch went to Wales, and of course, Pepper went to Simon and Cathy in the Lake District. It is interesting to note that the male in Scotland, Petsalls Pride Buckeye, is the sire of Richard Playle’s youngsters.

Back to Welsh Kennel Club and the dog CC went to Mrs Morris’s recent deadgrass import, Longmeadow Barnegat Bay’s Surfer at Penrose, with the reserve going to David Rigby’s Chesepi Waco who is up in the awards at recent shows. Reserve bitch CC went to another seven year old, Dallandor Jocasta, owned by Ms Coppin and Mr Darren Davies-Jones, handled by Darren.

Thora Eichblatt is hosting a Chesapeake meeting in Germany from 1st to 3rd September to include working days, training, a show, and dog evaluation, and has so much extra, with obedience, a lecture, etc. Diane Baker and Adam Levy are flying in from the USA to add their knowledge and experiences to the event. For more information go to www.workandtalkde.

A recent training weekend with Jason Mayhew saw nine Chesapeakes and their owner/handlers put through their paces, training on the lovely Cowdray Estate at Midhurst. With a two-day event, many camped or stayed locally and the social meal in the evening of the first day always proves as popular as the training. With our visitor from the USA, Gina Downin able to attend for one morning before she boarded a plane home, it gave her a chance to see the dogs working ‘UK style’ and she was impressed at how sociable both dogs and people were between training sessions.

With some great photos of the weekend, I think the one that takes the prize is of Ebb’s expression when her owner, Anthony Ciraolo and Jason Mayhew were both playing the fool. Priceless!

Christine Mayhew

Ebb's look says it all!
20 August 2023

My thanks to Debbie Herring for this report on the Wiltshire Game Fair at Bowood House:

Last weekend was the Wiltshire Gamefair. I love this venue with its fabulous lake, although skeins of geese flying into land can be quite a distraction for a Chessie doing demonstrations. But the backdrop makes for amazing photos and fun swimming time for the dogs.

If you have never been to the house it is worth a visit. The park was redesigned by ‘Capability Brown’ who introduced the vast lake in 1760s.

This year Indie and I were joined by Fleur and Chester for discover dogs, demos and breed parades. Lots of interest in Chessies and the dogs were cuddled, stroked and admired by people of all ages. We also had a selection of visitors who own and have previously owned Chessies drop by.

Debbie and Fleur at Bowood. Photo courtesy of Joyce Holland Gladwish

The Working Minority Retriever Club, along with the Working Minority Spaniel Club, did 45 minutes of demonstrations each day.  We started with showing how puppies and young dogs develop their skills and ended with more advanced dogs in line ups, showing how the spaniels flush the birds and the retrievers run through the line of spaniels on stop to bring back the birds (dummies). This was followed by a breed parade where the owners could tell the audience a little about the breeds’ history, uses, and what its like to train and live with each breed. A special mention must go to Rudy, Fleur’s little Spanish water dog, who in the last two events has gone from hiding under chairs looking terrified to strutting her stuff completely unphased in the big arena whilst Fleur talked about Spanish as a breed.

Saturday was Fleur’s birthday so in the evening all the campers pulled our tables, chairs and food resources into a marquee and after several bottles of bubbles and wine, much chatting and laughter ensued.

Both Indie and Chester were shattered by Sunday afternoon but still greeted the public for fuss even though they would clearly like to have snoozed the afternoon away.  The weekend did hold a mixture of sunshine and downpours but we were lucky to manage to dodge the worst of it and it didn’t seem to put off the public attending in large numbers.

Not so much news, as recent history … Congratulations to Steve and Kay Camoccio who recently celebrated their second wedding anniversary (having had the actual wedding date cancelled twice due to covid). Why, you may ask, is this in our breed news? Well, because special guests on the day were, of course, Steve and Kay’s well loved dogs, Muddle and Mucker. We all like our brown dogs with us and this story reminded me that I had my Chesapeake ‘Mink’ with me at my daughter’s christening way back in 1985!

Let me have your special guest Chesapeake stories and photos.

Steve and Kay's wedding day
Mink at my daughter's christening

Mrs E Orzel was the judge for the breed at Bournemouth Championship show, where we sadly do not have CCs for our breed. With a very small entry of only 6 dogs on the day, the best of breed and best dog went to Caroline Pont’s Oakmarsh Haunting Howl, with the best bitch and best veteran going to Kirsty Watts’ Oakmarsh Acorn VW. Both dogs were bred by Kirsty, and interesting to note that one oldie and one youngster took the top honours.

Christine Mayhew

Caroline with Eddie
13 August 2023

I think we pretty well covered the action events at the Game Fair in the previous BNW, but news of the ‘meet the breed’ was very brief so my thanks to Kay Camoccio for this report:

This year at Ragley Hall in the Sporting Dog Pavilion we had a much more suitable sized marquee. Luckily Steve and I managed to set up a day early. We noticed that signage was a problem yet again, having been put down the side of the marquee, facing the wrong direction. Steve promptly dug up the posts and moved it so that people had half a chance of actually finding us. What a difference it made! We were very busy throughout the three days. The predicted rainfall miraculously held off until Sunday afternoon.
Breed stand at the Game Fair

We fell into representing the breed at the Game Fair and Discover Dogs quite by accident. Several years ago we had planned a trip to visit the fair and were looking forward to meeting Dave (Gooseman) and Jackie Lowther, accompanied by the infamous Mr Cree. Mr Cree was Dad to our Muddle and more latterly Grandad to our Mucker. Dave assumed we had come along to help. We both ended up being hounded for information by people who could not get near enough to speak/listen to Dave and Jackie. I don’t know about you but I could talk all day about my dogs.

Steve and the flying goose

Dave kindly presented Steve with his flying goose now that he has retired. Thank you to Anthony Ciraolo and his sons, Theo and Frank, who helped out on the stand. They were accompanied by the wonderful duo, Ebb and Eider. Thanks also goes to Gareth, Danielle and Patrick Adger, who bought along their handsome lad, Mac.

Mucker, Mac and Muddle

Lots of show news this week, with the National Gundog Show at Malvern last Sunday, swiftly followed by the United Retriever Club’s show at the same venue the following Wednesday. Both were championship shows with CCs on offer for our breed.

Caroline Griffin-Woods, of Migwell Chesapeakes, was our judge at the first show. Caroline had just returned from judging the Swedish Chesapeake Club’s show. It is always nice to have a Chesapeake owner and breeder judge, especially one as honest as Caroline who will never be swayed by friendships or previous wins and will always choose the dogs she considers to be given merit.

Best of breed and the dog CC (his second – he needs one more to make his Championship) was David Rigby’s wildfowling dog, Chesepi Waco, aka Gunnar, who did an impressive kangaroo impersonation when trotting around the ring at the end of the judging! Best bitch went to Sh Ch Arnac Bay Harvest, owned by David and Thelma Thompson and handled by Katy Duncanson. I think this is her 5th CC now. Reserve dog CC was Maddie and James’s Sh Ch Arnac Bay Huron at Bergelle who is joint top dog this year in the current placings. Reserve bitch CC went to Sue Worrall’s Arnac Bay Inca, very professionally handled by Gina Downin who was visiting from the USA. This is Inca’s highest placing in the show ring to date and an exciting result for Sue and Gina.

Dave and Gunnar

Harvest’s dam, Arnac Bay Gamble was best veteran from a good entry and best puppy, sadly alone today, was Penrose Tay.

After a break for lunch and the curly coated retriever judging, the showing continued with the CBRC open show, this time judged by Doug Telford who found his best of breed and best in show winner in Glaneils Count on Me, owned and bred by Cathy and Simon Broomfield. This certainly was a good day for Glaniels as the reserve best in show and best opposite sex went to the same owners’ Glaniels Daydream Believer, and the best veteran also went to Cathy and Simon’s Petsalls Pride Beech at Glaniels who was bred by Roly Hoare. It was lovely to see lovely Cathy with handfuls of rosettes. Best puppy again was Earle’s Penrose Tay.

Next followed the three special awards classes where up and coming judges gain experience, and our judge, Daniela Tranquada chose Sh Ch Arnac Bay Harvest for the overall special awards winner.

Again, it was great to have that party atmosphere with people enjoying themselves, congratulating each other, and joking about each other.

A few days later, on Wednesday, we were back to the same venue for another Championship show, this time the United Retriever Club’s show. Our judge this time was Liz Keene, who some years ago used to own a Penrose Chesapeake so knows the breed well.

This time best of breed went to a dog I imported from the USA, namely Sh Ch Next Generations Arnac Arctic Storm, who is now jointly owned by myself and Lisa Murch with whom he lives. The reserve dog and reserve CC went to a delighted Katy Duncanson with her happy dog, Arnac Bay Invincible, with his dam, my own Sh Ch Arnac Bay Flax winning the veteran class. Flax then went on to show the youngsters a thing or two by winning her 17th CC and equalling the present bitch CC record holder Hebe who had just this year beaten Flax into second place! The reserve CC was won by Harvest who had won the CC at the previous show. Best puppy again was Earle’s Penrose Tay.

Joss and Joy

Most of us stayed to the end to watch the challenge for best in show and were rewarded for the wait when our best of breed Chesapeake (Joss) won Reserve Best in Show. Another one for the record book.

The United Retriever Club handed a booklet out at this anniversary show listing all the best of breeds and major awards from 1963 to 2022. We didn’t have classes for the breed until 1981 when Rae Furness judged an entry of ten and gave best of breed to Sandy Hastings’s Arnac Bay Abbey, who went on to win reserve best in show.

Joss with the URC trophy

We have had a few more reserve best in show awards for the breed, and best puppy in show but the first time a Chesapeake won best in show was in 1995 when another US import, my own Chestnut Hills Arnac Wye Oak won under judge Peggy Grayson after winning through from an entry of 26 dogs of the breed. Wye later returned to the USA to gain her US Championship as we were unable to make up Champions in the UK in those days.

Lastly, but far from least, Tracey Boyles has recently had confirmation from the Royal Kennel Club that her young dog Gibbs (Pixiesrock Mr Tumnus By Bleyos) has been awarded his junior warrant. Congratulations! This is quite an achievement in the show world and Gibbs is only the third Chesapeake to gain this award which gives him the letters JW after his name! Gibbs was bred by Lisa Murch, sired by Sh Ch Arnac Weatherdeck Buoy and out of Chesepi Utica.

Christine Mayhew

6 August 2023

Thank you for this report from Lisa Murch:

The 2023 Game Fair started for everyone attending on the Thursday. Everyone pitched in to the campsite with their tents, caravans or, in Anthony’s case, his portable castle!

The Game Fair is a three-day celebration of all things country sports. The opening of the Game Fair was announced by the start of the clay pigeon shooting which went on from 08:30am until 17:30pm each day – great for desensitising any gun shy dogs!

There was a huge Chessie attendance for 2023, mainly to spend some time in the pavilion (much like Discover Dogs) which was heaving with inquisitive people all day. Lots of chat about our wonderful breed and wow, did the volunteers do a fantastic job! All volunteers took part in a breed parade each day where the commentator had some information about each breed. Again the Chessies were very popular and on day one we had 13 Chessies in the ring. Some volunteers also took part in a Minority Retriever Club working dog demo later in the day, showcasing what the dogs are capable of and this demo also proved very popular.

The final day of the Game Fair was a new event – the minority breed teams event, retrievers in the morning and spaniels in the afternoon. Some exceptionally hard conditions and many of the dogs won’t have come across these before, gunshots being fired all over the show ground, even as close as the next ring just yards away, whistles being blown all over, people around the ring with their own dogs and of course we were in the ring on the final day after three days of demos and people using it to exercise their dogs, so many scents.

Ant, Peter and Kevin running in the team event

The tests were also some that the dogs haven’t practised before but the Chessies came a very credible 2nd, just beaten to the 1st by the Irish Water Spaniels. The final results being Irish Water Spaniels 1st, Chesapeakes 2nd, Duck Tolling Retrievers 3rd, and the Curly Coated Retrievers 4th. Runners for our team were Ant with Ebb, Peter with Mink and our reserve Kevin with Zoar. My own dog Odhran woke Sunday morning hopping lame so was pulled from the team (I still say Kevin did it so as he could run his dog).

The Chessie Team: Kevin, LIsa, Anthony and Peter
Game Fair 2023 Minority Breeds WT

Our volunteers in the ‘meet the dogs’ marquee were Steve and Kay with Muddle and Mucker, Danielle, Gareth and son Patrick with Mac, Fleur with Chester, and Deb, Tom and Sam with Indi. Anthony had both of his sons, Theo and Frank (mention for being the best behaved and most polite children ever) with Ebb and Eider. I took Cora and Odhran, and Kevin with Zoar, Peter with Mink came just for the event on the Sunday. There will be a full write up in the Chat.

We know from last week’s breed news that Frank did so well with Ebb in the junior scurry, but dad, Anthony Ciraolo, along with being part of the Chesapeake team, also joined in with Jason Mayhew’s training demonstration in the main arena and represented our breed. I loved the fact that the video footage heard a big cheer from the Chessie fans as Anthony and Ebb were introduced!

Every year at the Game Fair there is a gundog competition called the Euro Challenge where teams from various countries compete against each other. A trophy donated by Steve Grutter and Jeremie Guenau from Switzerland is awarded each year in memory of commentator Marty Deely for the most impressive dog work in this competition. This is decided by the commentator on the day, and this year, amongst all the other breeds, a Chesapeake came out top, namely Penrose Peatbog Fairy, bred by Janet Morris and owned and handled by Kathrin Golz. A great achievement, and great publicity for the breed. Congratulations.

Thank you all who did such a great job at this year’s fair, whether running their dogs or displaying their dogs and talking to Jo Public. It’s a hard, long day and we really appreciate the time and effort you guys put in for the sake of the breed.

Kathrin Golz being presented with the trophy by Di Stevens

We have visiting from the USA, Gina Downin who is the current secretary of the American Chesapeake Club. Gina will be attending the National Gundog show today and the United Retriever Club show on Wednesday – both shows are being held at Three Counties Showground, Malvern. If anyone wishes to ask about the American Chesapeake Club or its activities, please do make yourself known to Gina and she can chat with you.

Christine Mayhew

30 July 2023

My thanks to Sue Worrall for this report:

Last Sunday the United Retriever Club held a Specified Breeds Working Test for Chesapeakes, Curlycoats, Irish Water Spaniels and Tollers only. Twenty dogs entered, but a few had to withdraw, and 16 dogs ran on the day: five Curlycoats, four Irish Water Spaniels, four Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers, and three Chesapeakes Bay Retrievers. A nice mix of breeds, and a friendly atmosphere.

The judges were Steve Crookes, Graham Stanley and Nick Coates, all of whom were very encouraging and gave training tips to the handlers throughout the day. Every dog ran six tests, though one of them proved particularly tricky, this being a long mark into thick cover down a dip, which meant that you couldn’t see your dog unless it came out of the area. Almost everyone scored a zero on this one.

The Chesapeakes got some nice compliments on their drive and hunting, and although there were no awards, Inca (Arnac Bay Inca) was the second highest scoring dog in Novice (handled by Sue Worrall) and Dave Compton’s Ranger (Franeo Fowler Lone Ranger) the third highest. The star of our day was Anthony Ciraolo’s Ebb (Franeo Ebbing Tide) who was the highest scoring dog in the Intermediate test, scoring 20/20 in four of the six tests.

It was really good of the URC to have put this test on and hopefully they will do it again next year. They had plenty of helpers ensuring we were all in the right place, including our own Caroline Griffin-Woods, and our old friend Jane Samson who now runs Labradors.

Cunningshot Gundogs ran a training day for minor breeds only, the day before the URC test. Three Chessie owners – Caroline Griffin-Woods, Mark Poulton and Anthony Ciraolo – took part and had a great day training by all accounts. 

Leeds Championship Dog Show was held at the beautiful Harewood House this week. The judge for our breed was Mr Richard Bott, who has judged the breed many times. With 15 dogs to go over on the day, Richard chose Cathy and Simon Broomfield’s Glaneils Count On Me for best of breed and the dog CC. This is Max’s first CC although he has two reserves. Let us hope that he doesn’t have to wait too long for another two to make his championship. Reserve dog CC went to Tracey Boyles’ Pixiesrock Mr Tumnus by Bleyos who must be nearing his junior warrant now?

The bitch CC went to Ms Watt’s Oakmarsh Freedom, handled by Megan Slack, with the reserve going to another of Cathy and Simon’s dogs, Petsalls Pride Beech at Glaneils who also took best veteran. Congratulations all.

Cathy and Simon's Max

This weekend, Caroline Griffin-Woods was the judge for the Swedish Chesapeake Show and with the results just in, she found her best in show and best female in Double Coat’s Mamma Mia, bred by Catharina and Kaj Lindstrom and owned by Annkatrin Eide.

Best male was Catharina and Kaj’s recent import from the USA, Susqudilla’s Doublecoat Mountain Man, bred by Robyn Haskins who judged our show in April. Best Veteran was Ch Pond Hollow Vibrant, another one from the USA, this time bred by Dyane Baldwin, and owned by Gerlinde Boross from Austria. Caroline will be home in time to judge the National Gundog Championship show next weekend.

Catharina and Caroline with Mountain Man

The Game Fair is well under way at Ragley Hall, with the Chesapeake breed represented in many areas but what a great start we had with a real newsworthy and historic result when Anthony Ciraolo’s youngest son Frank came third in the Junior scurry! Well done Frank (and Ebb).

The breed ring parade of sporting dogs has 13 Chesapeakes making an entry. In the minority breed demonstrations, Deborah Herring, Lisa Murch, Kevin Amaira and Fleur Bament are all taking part with their Chessies. And at a new event – the Minority Breed Challenge – we have a Chesapeake team taking part, namely Lisa Murch with Franeo Original Long Gunner at Pixiesrock, Anthony Ciraolo with Ebb (Franeo Ebbing Tide), Peter Clarke with Mink (Arnac Bay Ibis), and our reserve is Kevin Amaira with Zoar (Petsalls Canuck). We wish them all well. Full report next week!

Frank with Ebb

Christine Mayhew

23 July 2023

News from the Gundog Breeds Association of Scotland’s open show where Lorna Murray and her dogs continued their winning ways with Takota Nathan going first in open and best of breed under judge Mandy Malton.

Whilst on show news, it is very encouraging to know that our second open show of the year, to be held in conjunction with the National Gundog Championship show at Malvern on 6 August has drawn a fantastic entry of 30 dogs, with the special award classes drawing an equally good entry of 15. This promises to be another great day for dogs and people. Many thanks to all who have worked so hard to make this possible.

I am slightly embarrassed to have spent too much time this week being a real Facebook warrior. Sometimes a subject close to my heart crops up on Facebook and, often against my better judgement, I pitch in.

As those who use FB will know, any subject matter will bring discussion and none more so than something to do with dogs or dog training. The subject that ‘got me going’ recently was a system of training used routinely in the USA for gundogs called ‘force fetch’.

For the uninitiated, force fetch means ‘training’ a dog to hold a dummy or similar in his mouth and not dropping it. The dog is normally on a long table with a collar on and this is attached to a ‘running line’ so that the dog can walk from one end to the other but not jump down. He has the dummy put in his mouth and is told ‘hold’. Fair enough, you may think, but it is the next stage that I abhor. The dog has his ear pinched between a finger and thumb by the human, and the dummy is held in front of him with the command ‘hold’ again. The pinching continues until the dog takes and holds the dummy. Sometimes a toe hitch is used whereby a length of paracord is wrapped from his ‘wrist/carpus’ around two toes, and pressure is applied by pulling this cord until he takes the dummy. The worse case scenario is where an electric collar is used to apply pressure when an electric shock (which is always described as mild!) is only stopped when the dog takes the dummy. Go to YouTube if you want to see examples of this.

I have a lot of friends in the USA who simply cannot understand my objection to this method of training a dog and insist that you never have a 100% reliable retriever unless you use force fetch. Well I 100% disagree!

I cannot speak from experience regarding puppies of other breeds but my Chesapeake puppies all carry items around in their mouths from the time they can walk. And I can imagine other breeders in Europe all nodding their heads as I am sure their pups will too.

A little encouragement and a squeaky voice and those pups will bring their ‘presents’ to you. This is the beginning of their training but they are not aware of that, they just think it is a nice game and they enjoy it and the praise that they get when they do it right. IF they are shouted at or told off for retrieving anything at this stage then things may go wrong but can usually be easily overcome while they are babies.

Later on they learn the word ‘hold’ when you give them things, and a few sessions with you and them practising, even in the house, will normally produce a good understanding of the word. Then we proceed to sitting hold, walking hold, etc. Most retrievers find this easy and fun and whilst the odd one may have to have extra lessons on this if he spits out the dummy on delivery, I have never known one of my dogs to let go of freshly shot bird.

I had a puppy once, not bred by me but sired by one of my dogs, who had no interest in retrieving. I do not know if something had happened to quell that interest when she was little but I did not keep her. A trainer suggested force fetch and I refused, saying that I would let her go to a pet home as I had no desire to breed from a retriever who did not willingly want to retrieve. I knew the home she went to and she was a great pet dog but until her death in old age she never ever showed any interest in retrieving anything – not even a frisby! This is the only Chesapeake I have met with no desire to retrieve and I don’t regret for one minute rehoming her and not breeding from her.

Now it would seem that ALL of the trainers in the USA use force fetch in their programmes – and, incidentally, electric collars for many parts of ‘training’. I think electric collars have their place in curing a dog that is chasing sheep or other livestock, or putting its own life at risk chasing cars, etc., but I cannot think of another reason to use one.

So I ask myself, by using these methods over many generations, are you likely to dumb down or extinguish the very reason that you used selective breeding to produce the breed, i.e. a natural retriever?

I have had so many discussions – heated and otherwise – verbally and online, and those advocates of FF in the USA will never budge. They don’t seem to consider it at all unfair on the dog and they all say that it is necessary to produce a good reliable retrieve. I can recall discussing this with one hunter as we sat in his kitchen. We carried on until one o’clock in the morning and everyone else had gone to bed. Eventually we had to agree to disagree. I was therefore more than a little amused when this gentleman had one of my experienced dogs and claimed it to be the best hunting companion he had ever had. And he had a few.

As far as I am concerned, retrievers are born wanting to retrieve, wanting to hold their present to you, and as our friends and companions, why would we want to make them uncomfortable to force them to do something that they would willingly do?

I would be interested to learn of others’ opinions on this.

Christine Mayhew

16 July 2023

First, congratulations to Sharon Augustus and her homebred Isla (Sharbae Prettiest Star), who at a recent TD Rally trial scored 180/210 in the morning and 186/200 in the afternoon, thereby gaining her Pre Level 2 Title.

If you have been meaning to enter the URC Specified Breeds Working Test, the CBRC Open Show and/or National Gundog Association Championship Show, TODAY is the closing date for entries for all three events. You can enter online up to midnight tonight via the Fosse Data website: https://www.fossedata.co.uk/  Don’t miss out – enter all three today!

Sharon and Isla enjoying their Rally

David Hancock, an English author who writes many articles on shooting and gundog breeds, in a reproduced item, reminded me recently of an article by another author, Wentworth Day, who wrote some years ago about the Chesapeake breed in an article titled ‘A dog in search of a man for a master.’

James Wentworth Day (1899-1983) was a British author and broadcaster who lived for most of his life in East Anglia and had a particular interest in wildfowling, at one time owning ‘Adventurers Fen’, a piece of marshland in Cambridgshire. Wentworth Day writes,

It will take many generations of stupid women in Bayswater and suede-footed young men in Kensington to ruin the character of this eminently sensible working dog. He has all the dignity, the native aristocracy, the quiet good sense and the instinctive judgement of the British working man.
If you have two or three Chesapeakes in the kennel there will never be any disturbances in your shooting routine – none of that hoity-toity flightiness of the Gordon Setter, the kiss-me-quick slobberings of the spaniel or the mental whimperings of the Golden Retriever. Do not imagine for a moment that I dislike any of these three excellent breeds of sporting dog. But I mourn for individuals among them. The show-bench and the drawing-room have made fools of them … I doubt if you could ever do that with the Chesapeake. He will probably bite someone finally, just as a protest and then walk out of the house, a dog in search of a man for a master.

With apologies to those fans of the other gundog breeds, I love this article which, to me, sums up the character of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever and, quite often, the character of the Chesapeake owners too!

On a very sad note, I was sad to learn that one of Dave and Jackie Lowther’s dogs ‘Tinka’ had suddenly gone downhill and had to be put to sleep. Many of us will know how poignant this is as the story of Tinka is one that demonstrates the power of love and perseverance.

Tinka was about half the size of her siblings when she was born and no one around her thought she would live. Jackie, however, was determined to keep this little scrap alive and would carry her around giving her total devotion, feeding and loving her. By the time Tinka was six months old she was about the size of a three month old pup. At this time she was eating and passing very little and an operation confirmed a major blockage in her intestine. During this operation a large portion of her intestines had to be surgically removed (I believe this was an intussusception where the bowel telescopes on itself). Tinka was sent home to recover and again benefit from Jackie’s nursing.

Dave and Tinka at the CBRC Show in April

Tinka’s registered name was very aptly ‘Mamas little Miracle’ because from this point on, Tinka thrived. In fact she grew so quickly that she overtook her litter sister in size. This was clearly demonstrated at the Club’s April show this year where she looked splendid and trotted around the ring beside Dave in his mobility scooter.

Tinka loved the water and like so many Chesapeakes would rather stay in the water than come out. In May of this year Dave and Jackie were at Molly Barker’s to see everyone at the training weekend with Jason Mayhew. Jackie enjoyed a couple of beautiful retrieves with Tinka, evidently giving a cleaner delivery to hand than many of the dogs present on the day.

Sadly this brave girl went downhill for the last time early this month. She will be laid to rest at her birthplace at Molly Barker’s home alongside her mother, Tide.

Tinka was nearly 6 years old – years that no one thought she would have, years that demonstrated Jackie’s love and devotion. Our thoughts are with Jackie and Dave at this time.

Christine Mayhew

Jackie and Tinka
9 July 2023

Gemma McCartney recently made the tough decision to call it a day for her lovely 11 year old dog and soulmate Ice, who was diagnosed with a lung tumour some ten months ago.

Ice was bred in Sweden by Catharina and Kaj Lindstrom of Doublecoats Kennel and made the journey to England when he was seven months old. Sired by US import Ch Pond Hollow Doublecoats Icebreaker and out of Doublecoats Shaddow who was herself sired by a US dog, Ch Redlions Hit Doctor, Ice’s registered name was Doublecoats Chesepi Ice Shaddow at Nunneyswood. Molly Barker was originally going to have Ice as a pup, hence the Chesepi name inclusion.

Anyone who met Ice will have known that he had the sweetest temperament with people and other dogs alike. As Gemma says, he was one in a million.

Gemma and Ice

Ice took part in agility, dog shows and trips to the pub and was a swimmer extraordinaire. In the show ring he was best puppy at his first championship show and went on to win five reserve CCs, notching up his Bronze Good Citizen on the way.

Most of all he was a very very loved clown and loyal family dog who lived with his Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen ‘brother’ in the New Forest where he would carry around the largest branches (not exactly sticks) and grace Gemma’s Facebook page with photographs of his proud finds.

Ice sired four litters, two for Margaret Woods from Nunneyswood Accapelle and Nunneyswood Drifting Snow, one from Allen Musselwhite’s Penrose Queen Bee, and one from my own Sh Ch Arnac Bay Flax.

Ice with his little stick

Of these litters probably the most notable to date is Cristian Paldetti’s dog, International Champion Nunneyswood Iceberg who, as well as his major European wins, was twice best of breed at Crufts. Other winning progeny include Nunneyswood Snow Flurry at Glaniels, Nunneyswood Evening Snow, Arnac Bay Invincible for Dunakitts, Arnac Bay Inca and Arnac Bay Ibis. Five of his sons and daughters, to date, have earned stud book numbers with another four ‘grandkids’ also earning their numbers. I believe that all those brought over from Cristian in Italy will be related to Ice. Many other of Ice’s progeny are working the foreshore or living their lives as obedience dogs and companions, for Ice’s temperament produced some of the nicest dogs for everyday living.

Whilst Ice will always be remembered through his kids and grandkids for future generations, I think the lasting memory for those of us who knew him, will be for his tree collecting photographs. One in a million.

The East of England Championship dog show was held this year at Rutland Showground following the closure last year of the actual East of England Showground for dog shows. This was to be the very last show held by the dog show society which is such a great loss for the dog world.

Sadly there were no CCs on offer for our breed and this, combined with the much further north venue, probably affected the entry, with only eight dogs present on the day from a total of three exhibitors. Mr R. Mosedale judged to find his best of breed in Caroline Pont’s bitch, Sh Ch Oakmarsh Dancing Diva, who is currently notching up the best of breed titles on a regular basis.

The best dog and winner of best special beginners was awarded to a young male, Pixiesrock Aslan (aka Winston) owned and handled by Nerys Barrow. Best veteran was Oakmarsh Acorn.

East of England line up: Pixiesrock Aslan, Sh Ch Oakmarsh Dancing Diva, and Oakmarsh Acorn

Following various comments regarding team outfits for those running their dogs in club working tests, a couple of committee members have taken on the job of sourcing suitable products that will show the club logo. These will eventually be available for club members to purchase. Watch this space.

If anyone has any ideas that they feel would benefit the Club and its members, please contact one of the committee members (all details in the Chessie Chat and yearbook) and they can bring it to the table at the next meeting.

Christine Mayhew

2  July 2023

My grateful thanks to Sue Worrall for this report on the Minor Breeds Team Working Test held last Sunday (25 June).

The Minor Breeds test is an annual event where teams of Chesapeakes, Flatcoats, Curlycoats and Irish Water Spaniels compete against each other. Always a friendly competition, it has been run for many years now. It is hosted by four breed clubs in turn, and this year it was the turn of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever Club to host.

The test was held at Upper Shadymoor Farm, near Stapleton in Shropshire, by kind permission of our hosts Mr Kevin and Mrs Joy Fox. We had a large field and a beautiful pond surrounded by trees and shrubs. The two judges on the day were Rose Lewis and Yvonne Storr and the Chesapeake team comprised Mary Murray with Cara (Riverrun Everybody’s Friend), Dave Compton with Ranger (Franeo Fowler Lone Ranger), Katy Duncanson with Thor (Arnac Bay Invincible for Dunakits), and Debbie Crewe with Ramses (Chesarab Saltmarsh).

Mary enjoying the day with Cara
Of the four tests, the first two tests were straight marks, the first along one edge of the open field, and the other down a woodland track. The third test was a team test in the paddock. Four dummies were placed out as blinds around the edge of the field. It was up to the team to decide which dog would retrieve which dummy and in what order. Once a retrieve had been specified by a handler, a shot was fired over that dummy, and the dog was sent.
Dave with his boy Ranger
Debbie's Ramses going for the blind
For the fourth and final test, each team lined up at the edge of the pond while three dummies were thrown. A really testing one for our water-loving Chesapeakes. It was up to the team to once again specify which dog would retrieve each dummy. Bonus points were awarded if the whole team remained steady throughout.
Katy's Thor enjoying the water retrieve
There were some great retrieves by dogs from all the breeds, all working in their different styles. The Irish Water Spaniel team won the day, closely followed by the Flatcoats. The Chesapeakes came third but put on a really good display of dogs working well with their handlers – they did us proud! The final team scores were IWS 238, Flatcoats 236, Chesapeakes 225 and Curlycoats 140. The highest scoring individual dogs were two Flatcoats, both scoring 78/80.
We were a little short on helpers, so special thanks to Nichol and Susan Watson, Irish Water Spaniel owners, who came to throw dummies and help out over both days of the weekend. Each team received a bag of goodies (dog toys, treats and leads), kindly donated by Joy Middleton of Variare Leads. Thanks to Mark Straw for organising the day, and all those willing to spend their day throwing and stewarding.

More working news and Peter Clarke is having fun with Mink (Arnac Bay Ibis). At the AV ‘open’ retriever test for West Berkshire Gundog Club they won a very impressive 4th, with the rest of the field consisting of Labradors and one golden retriever. The duo also earned a Certificate of Achievement at a day run like a shoot, with HPR breeds pointing, the spaniels flushing, and the retrievers retrieving, this day being very popular with 37 dogs entered. I personally love these sort of tests which replicate the real thing far better than most working tests. Well done Peter who owns Mink along with his partner, Leslie Tregunno.

Show news: first, a big win that I was not aware of at the time of reporting Blackpool Championship Show and that is that Tracy Boyles’ young lad Gibbs (Pixiesrock Mr Tumnus by Bleyos) not only went best junior in breed but then topped the day off by winning a fantastic Group 3 in the junior group judge.

It was Windsor Championship Show this weekend and Mrs K Moores judged the breed, awarding best of breed and the dog CC to Newton and Hunns’ Sh Ch Arnac Bay Huron at Bergelle JW (Gus), handled by James Newton who took him into the big ring where he made the shortlist for the gundog group. Gus certainly motors, and is a complete show off in the big ring. Luckily James has the stamina and speed to keep up with him! Reserve dog CC went to Murch and Mayhew’s  Sh Ch Next Generations Arnac Arctic Storm who just made it into the ring with handler Lisa, having been stuck in traffic on the notorious M25 motorway.

Gus, BOB at Windsor this weekend

The Bitch CC was won by Sh Ch Oakmarsh Dancing Diva for a delighted owner handler, Caroline Pont, with the reserve CC going to Sh Ch Arnac Bay Hebe WGC EW’22 ShCEx, owned by Joy Middleton and myself.

Best puppy, sadly alone today, went to Mark Earle with Penrose Tay. Mark did a great job showing this young lad and looked very smart but once out of the big ring, was very happy to quickly strip to his ‘normal’ clothes which caused some amusement. Best veteran was my own Sh Ch Arnac Bay Flax, who also won the Good Citizens class.

Open show news and on Saturday 24 June, Vanessa Searles’ Oakmarsh Indian Dream Maker for Cravessa won best of breed at Wealdstone & Northolts at Ardingly showground, returning to the same venue the next day to win best of breed at Eastbourne Premier Open Show. What a great weekend.

Christine Mayhew

25 June 2023

First, an important reminder to enter the Club open show and National Gundog Championship show, both to be held at the Three Counties Showground in Malvern, Worcs on the 6 August. Entries are open at Fosse Data.

The NGA Championship show has a full slate of 20 classes and so plenty of opportunities to take home a prize card or two. More importantly the judge is a breed specialist and breeder of Chesapeakes, namely Caroline Griffin-Woods. (Migwell). Caroline, I know, will judge the dogs entered under her fairly and without any ado, so get your entries in now. ENTRIES CLOSE ONLINE 5 JULY

The open show and special award classes will be held after the championship show and this is a chance for people to compete at a slightly lower level, so don’t be shy. With a relatively new person judging the special award classes it will be nice to give her the experience judging as many dogs as possible.

There is also an opportunity to take the KC Good Citizen Tests at this show.

For the Good Citizen tests, don’t forget that each handler should ensure:

– Their dog is wearing a collar with the name and the address of the owner either inscribed on the collar or an ID disc attached to it. (No slip leads allowed.)
– Their dog is microchipped, and handlers must also show they have means to clear up after their dog. 

Testing sessions will be held at 10.30 am, 12.30 pm and 2.30 pm. Ring location to be confirmed. Testing places will be taken on the day. Entry fee £5.00 per dog per test. For more information, please visit www.gcds.org.uk.

Hot off the press:

The ever active Chesapeake Club ran a CBRC Working Certificate day yesterday.
For the uninitiated the Chesapeake Working Certificates (CWC) are a series of tests designed to demonstrate a dog’s natural ability in a non-competitive way. There are three levels of the test, each with an increasing level of difficulty, demonstrating the dog and handler working as a team.

Level 1 is designed to test a dog’s natural retrieving ability. Levels 2 and 3 go a little further. You can find out all about the requirements to pass these tests by downloading the Notes for Handlers on the Events page.

Each dog and handler passing the test receives a certificate and a large rosette according to which level they pass. Dogs can only proceed to the next level once they have passed the level below it. The nice thing about these tests is that they are not competitive but are a pass or fail test and each test can be taken again at the next working certificate day.

A really good success rate was had at this recent event with six passing at Level 1, the successful dogs and handlers being:

David Thompson with Arnac Bay Harvest (Breeze)

Katy Duncanson with Arnac Bay Invincible at Dunakits (Thor)

Mark Preece with Glaniels Catch Me If You Can (Toby)

Debbie Crewe with Chesarab Saltmarsh (Ramses)

Mary Murray with Riverrun Finnegan’s Wake (Quest)

Fleur Bament with Pixiesrock Maestro Cadenza (Chester)

Waiting in the shade

Of these, Katy, Mark, Mary and Fleur took their dogs on to pass Level 2 on the same day where they were joined by a previous Level 1 pass, namely Kevin Amaira and Petsalls Canuck (Zoar). So five dogs passed Level 2.

Level 3 originally had one dog entered, namely Mary Murray with Riverrun Everybody’s Friend (Cara) but because we had some new Level 2 passes, some of these tried for this top level on the day. Two dogs were successful at this level, namely Kevin with Zoar and Mary with Cara. Credit to Kevin and Mary as these are the first two dogs to pass at this level! Congratulations to all handlers who passed at every level on the day.

Mary's Cara
Fleur and Chester
Kevin's Zoar soars in the Level 3 CWC

On Friday, Blackpool Championship Show had classes for the breed, sadly with no CCs on offer although they are promised for next year.

The judge, Graham Erving had an entry of 15 and chose his best of breed in Molly Barker’s veteran dog winner, Sh Ch Next Generations Chesepi Range Rider, with reserve dog going to Cathy and Simon Broomfield’s Glaneils Count on Me. Cathy and Simon also won the best bitch with a litter sister, Glaneils Cut Your Groove, and another veteran took the reserve bitch, namely Miss Watts Oakmarsh Acorn VW.

Michelle with Ryder at Blackpool on Friday

Best Junior (there were no puppies) was Tracy Boyles’ Pixiesrock Mr Tumnus by Bleyos. Tracy and Gibbs also went on to achieve a Group 3 in the Junior Group under judge Robin Searle.

With Ryder taking best of breed he was automatically the best veteran on the day. Quite an achievement for this lovely lad to win from the veteran class. Ryder was, as normal, handled by Molly’s daughter, Michelle.

Border Union Championship show at Kelso had no classes for the breed and so the Chesapeakes had to enter in the Any Variety Not Separately Classified classes, where Lorna Murray’s youngster Muireatai Teris Love won the yearling class and her kennel mates placed well in their classes.

Dave and Caroline at Northwich & District

Open show news and Caroline Pont with her Sh Ch Oakmarsh Dancing Diva went best of breed at Northwich & District Canine Society show, with David Rigby taking the reserve best of breed with Trigger. Caroline and Diva then went into the best in show ring to be awarded Group 2 in the gundog group. A great result for Caroline and for the breed.

Christine Mayhew


18 June 2023

My thanks to Debbie Herring for this report from the combined Irish Water Spaniel Association and Chesapeake Bay Retriever Club working test last Sunday.

The weather was hot but thankfully overcast for the 17 entries. There were some great tests set by our Judges Joy Venturi-Rose and Wendy Brown. With it being so dry and in long grass the lack of scent, and added excitement of donkey poop on the ground, proved challenging for some.

The puppy and open tests were similar to the novice tests described below, but obviously varying in difficulty and technicality.

Test 1 consisted of down a bank and across a narrow section of river to retrieve a dummy from the far bank and bring it out of the water and up a slope to the owner’s hand. On such a hot day many owners struggled to get dogs back without shaking out of the water. Others had clearly been working on this and got their dummies back to hand safely.

Test 2 consisted of a shot with dummy on a marked straight out retrieve into the long grass and then returning to the same area for a blind. With little wind and scent a few of the dogs took a while to hunt for the blind before returning.

Test 3 was a two-part test. A marked dummy was thrown to the right of the dog and handler, we then turned to the left and a second dummy was thrown the other side of a small water-filled ditch followed by a small jump. The dog was then sent for the second dummy over the jump and once returned sent back out for the first dummy as a memory.

Test 4 was another double: a memory thrown behind and then turn and walk away to heel off the lead. A shot fired and a second dummy thrown into long grass up ahead. The dog was then sent for the one with the shot first and then turned away and sent back for the memory behind.

Chessie competitors at the IWSA/CBRC working test

There were no Chessies in the special puppy class so both placings went to Irish Water Spaniels.

In the novice test, after an exciting run off between two dogs with equal points, first place went to a Chesapeake, namely Pixiesrock Maestro Cadenza, owned and handled by Fleur Barment. This was only his second working test and so this was a great achievement for these two who are building a great relationship together.

Fleur and Chester winning the Novice test

Second place went to an IWS, Diddymowg Xmas Cracker, and third place to the Chesapeake Petsalls Pride Canuck, owned and handled by Kevin Amaira.

The open test had two placings: the winner being an IWS, and second place going to a Chesapeake, Arnac Bay Ibis, handled by Peter Clark, owned by Peter and his partner Leslie Tregunno.

Congratulations to all the winners and well done to everyone who took part. It was a great day for learning and gaining experience.

I personally add my congratulations to everyone who took park too, and totally agree with Debbie’s last sentence – win or lose, you cannot help but gain something from entering.

On the show scene, Newmarket and District held an open show, with Chesapeake classes being judged by Huw Bishop, where best of breed was awarded to Caroline Pont’s Sh. Ch. Oakmarsh Dancing Diva who then went on to be shortlisted in the gundog group. A very hot day for Chesapeakes and their owners and handlers.

Meanwhile, in the far North, Tracey Boyles and Pixiesrock Mr Tumnus by Bleyos had a trip to Dundee Canine Club. With no separate classification for the breed they gaily won best AVNSC and were also shortlisted in the group.

Another chance for everyone to get their dogs out: the Working Minority Retriever Club has a training day on 8th July and Working Test on the 9th July at Standlake, The Willows Training Ground, Oxford, OX29 7RU. Both of these days are open to Chessies (although the training day is for minority club members only – membership £10 per year). Entry forms and all details can be found at www.workingminorityretrieverclub.com.

Christine Mayhew

11 June 2023

As promised, here are some details on the co-opted committee member for the Chesapeake Club.

We welcome a lovely man, David Rigby, who joins us with a wealth of knowledge that can only enhance the versatility of the committee and add some new ideas.

David is a fishing (trout, coarse and sea) and shooting (wildfowling, clays and driven) enthusiast. He got his first Chesapeake, Trigger, in 2016 from Molly Barker’s Chesepi kennels, followed a couple of years later by another from Molly, namely Gunnar.

New committee member Dave Rigby

A Lancashire man, David is lucky that his wildfowling activities are based just a mile and a half from his home and both dogs accompany him to the Ribble Estuary where they spend much time doing the things they all love, shooting, retrieving, and just enjoying their surroundings.

Another of the many ‘dual purpose’ Chesapeake owners, David is often be seen at the dog shows, both small and large, where he shows his own two dogs with great success.

Divorced with two grown up children and one grandson, David is by profession an industrial electrician, who has worked for 14 years for Westinghouse Fuels where they produce nuclear fuel for power stations.

David’s interests, besides shooting and fishing, are many and include motorcycles (he has owned various bikes and currently has a Triumph Tiger 900 Gt pro. David says that he has never raced but really enjoys watching any format of bike racing. He writes:

Triathlon – I’ve raced at all distances, including five long distance races of 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile cycle and 26.2 mile run. My best achievement was to be representing GB at age group level in Australia 2006. I currently am a level 2 endurance running coach and coach a speed session at our local running club.

I was on the Triathlon England governance board for 7 years and President for 2 years. I have finished competing but keep my hand in officiating races in Britain and in Europe. I’ve been a technical delegate at six international events, the last one being in Denmark in 2022. I also sit on the British triathlon rules and tech committee.

Last but not least my two fantastic Chessies always come first, Trigger and Gunnar.

Dave's Trigger out wildfowling
Dave showing Gunnar at the CBRC show in April

No classes for our breed at Southern Counties Championship Show but in the AVNSC classes, Vanessa Searle’s Wicca (Oakmarsh Indian Dream Maker for Cravessa) was 2nd in open and Reserve best bitch AVNSC gundog.

Please do not forget to enter the Club’s open show in August at Three Counties Showground, entries via Fosse Data. If anyone wishes to have an advert in the catalogue they need to let Joy Middleton know as soon as possible. Advert submission must be by early July.

In case anyone was thinking of making a trip to the USA this year, the American Chesapeake Club has its specialty show and field trial in the same month of September, with the show on the 13th to 15th in Utah, and the Field Trial on the 19th to 21st in Wisconsin. A good sized journey between the two but maybe a chance to take in the country?

Christine Mayhew

3 June 2023

Huge congratulations to CBRC committee member Chris Hewitson who married his girlfriend Abby last weekend. A lovely couple who deserve every happiness.

Congratulations to Chris and Abby Hewitson!
Two open shows with Chesapeake classes on the same day last weekend.

Shropshire Gundog saw Rhian and Mark Poulton’s young dog, Otto (Passione Kightspool) win best of breed and then AV gundog, ably handled by Rhian who has smoothly made the transition from handling cattle in the show pen to handling dogs!

David Rigby was complimented on his improved handling by the judge on the day and won reserve best of breed with Gunnar (Chesepi Waco). I make no apologies for emphasising once again the dual purpose nature of our breed in that both of these dogs are working gundogs and both have competed in club tests.

Rhian and Otto

Meanwhile at North Riding Gundog, another working and competition dog, namely Katy Duncanson’s Thor (Arnac Bay Invincible of Dunakits) went best of breed, with Lorna Murray’s youngster, Muireatai Miracle of Dreams going reserve best of breed. Thor, along with two others, will be representing the breed in the up and coming minor breeds working team competition. Congratulations to all.

Katy and Thor

Very sadly, Debbie Herring has lost her lovely dog Jersey, who battled so hard with cancer. Jersey carried on working, acting as though nothing was amiss and even gaining her KC Working Gundog Certificate whilst on treatment. Debbie put in so much time and a great deal of money into treating Jersey and giving her as long as possible. Our sympathies go to Debbie and her family.

With David and Thelma’s Breeze gaining her championship last weekend and being the third of that litter to do so, I was asked if this was the first time this had happened, and the answer is no. In 2009 Roly Hoare bred a litter sired by Sh Ch Arnac Bay Ardent and out of his bitch Arnac Bay Sage. This was a half-brother to sister mating as both dogs were out of Arnac Bay Pride. Three puppies from this litter gained their championship: Petsalls Pride Lila, Figalicious and Cedar, the first two gaining their full championship by passing their show gundog test.

This was a lovely litter and two of them passed on their genes, with Cedar siring two litters, one for Northsolway kennels in Scotland, another for Sharbae kennels in the Isle of Wight. Lila had just the one litter now spread all over the country, and Fig, sadly, was never bred.

I spoke to Roly just the other day and although Lila and Cedar have now died, Fig is still going strong at the age of 14. All three dogs used to work on the Petworth Estate shoots.

The Chesapeake Club in the UK is a really proactive busy club and one to be proud of. The committee all work very hard in their particular areas and we are lucky to have such a great bunch of people. We now have a new person joining that committee, having been co-opted to fill a space on the general committee – more details next week.

One area where I think our club well outranks others is our Chessie Chat and yearbook. We have for many many years had a publication full of so much varied information and stories from all walks of Chessie life, whether pets, working dogs, show dogs, or just general information. Lists of health results, lists of litters born, and even the members list, the Chat is unrivalled in the Chesapeake world.

This last edition was no exception and, as normal, so jam-packed with information that I have to admit to only just having read it all, and I received it some time ago! Once read, my Chat is always on hand to refer to the information that I often have the need to look up.
It’s really my paper google search!

To those who are not members of the Club or who know others who are not members, you really are missing out on so much. You don’t have to be a competitive person, as many of the articles will prove, and you don’t even have to be that interested in results of any sort, but I know that every Chesapeake owner will find something of interest in the Chat and hopefully in the Club events. Speaking of which, don’t forget to check the Events page – there may be something there worth visiting, if only as a spectator.

Christine Mayhew

28 May 2023

First, my apologies to Cathy and Simon Broomfield for omitting to mention last week that their lovely girl, Petsalls Pride Beech At Glaniels won best veteran in Scotland last weekend at the SKC’s May Championship show. She looked amazing. Bred by Roly Hoare, she is out of Sh Ch Petsalls Pride Lila, a big winner herself, and out of Nord Ch Pond Hollow Doublecoat Ice Breaker who had the ‘liaison’ with Lila whilst he was in the UK for Crufts in 2016. I think that sometimes we give a lot of thought surrounding current dogs without taking a good look at the dogs behind them and researching their breeding, a subject which can give great knowledge to breeders.

The Scottish Kennel Club show at Edinburgh is normally a cold, windy day but the sun shone and the temperature soared. The results were as listed last week, another successful day for Gus (Huron) winning the dog CC and BOB and his litter sister Breeze (Harvest) winning her second CC.

Dave and Thelma's Breeze. (Photo: Sue Worrall)

News from Jason Hayes is that Tideflight Floki was sadly the sole Chessie representative at the South of England Gundog show last weekend, but he made up for this by being shortlisted for best puppy in show. Jason and his wife came to Bath Championship on Friday where Floki was best puppy in breed and thereby qualified for Crufts 2024. A great result for a pup destined to be a wildfowling dog like his mother. Our other regular wildfowling showman, David Rigby, was also at Bath with Trigger and Gunnar, Gunnar (Chesepi Waco) winning another reserve CC to add to his impressive list of show awards.

Lisa Murch travelled from Devon with Joss (Sh Ch Next Generations Arnac Arctic Storm) to win his fourth CC. The reserve bitch CC went to Miss Watt’s Sh Ch Oakmarsh Chestnut who was beaten to the reserve place by David and Thelma Thompson’s Arnac Bay Harvest (Breeze) winning her second CC in less than a week (she took the CC in Scotland last Saturday) and with this making her third CC overall, she is now a Show Champion. Having been the ‘bridesmaid’ for so long, winning 8 reserve CCs, her day finally came and it was lovely how everyone was so pleased for her and her owners. This makes the third show champion from this litter, the other two being Hebe and Huron, both end of year top dogs.

My own Sh Ch Arnac Bay Flax was best veteran in breed and having trotted around the ring, once or twice, spent the rest of the day sleeping! Judge for the day was Di Arrowsmith who gave the now-famous placing of reserve in the gundog group at Crufts some years back to a Chesapeake! Namely Phil Uncle’s Yogi.

Lisa with Joss
Dave and Thelma's Breeze (being handled by Maddie at Crufts)

Sue Worrall took the plunge last weekend and ran Inca in an Any Variety Retriever working test. Oh yes you may think but going up against the ‘big boys’ can be seriously daunting. With a large field, mainly Labradors with a few Flatcoats and Goldens, Inca was the only Chesapeake competing. They did not place but put on a good show for the breed and impressed some of the other handlers with Inca’s drive and enthusiasm. Well done Sue!

I can remember entering my first AV test with Woody (Arnac Bay Delta) way back in the 1980s and being terrified. Despite all our training at home, we failed miserably but it gave me a good kick up the …. and I persevered. Woody ended up being my best ever dog at tests and trials and won many awards, including two field trial awards. If any of you enter AV tests, please let me know as it is really newsworthy to just get a Chesapeake out there representing the breed.

Those intending to enter the joint CBRC/IWSA working test in Hampshire on 11 June need to enter today as entries close tomorrow! You can download an entry form from the Events page.

The Club has not yet received any entries for the Chesapeake Working Certificate (CWC) event on 24 June. Please don’t leave it until the last minute to enter. The organisers need to prepare, and it would be really helpful to have some idea of the number of dogs running.

The day after the CWC, the Chesapeake Club is hosting the annual Minor Breeds test. We will need stewards, dummy throwers and other helpers. It is in Shropshire at the same venue as the CWC so why not make a weekend of it? Please let Mark Straw know if you are coming and how you can help.

Christine Mayhew


21 May 2023

Thank you to Dave Compton for this report on the recent training weekend.

On the weekend of the 13/14 May Jason Mayhew resumed his training sessions at Cornley Farm, hosted by John and Molly Barker, in what had become a regular annual activity prior to the arrival of Covid. Prior to the outbreak this had become a regular and popular venue involving Chessie people travelling literally from all parts of the country.

Debbie and Ramses having fun training last weekend

There were nine people and their dogs attending from some distances – Debbie Crewe, Caroline Griffin-Woods, Mark Poulton, Craig Wafford, Cathy and Vincent Acheson, Sue Worrall, Sharon Augustus all the way from the Isle of Wight, and yours truly travelling for at least 9 minutes.

The day started as always with coffee in Molly’s garage, quickly followed by a little bit of basic heelwork and a straightforward marked retrieve. Jason remarked that these exercises were to focus and encourage the dogs. However, those with experience knew that it was his opportunity to assess the standards of the participants, both two and four legged.

Mark preparing to send young Otto

As always, Jason’s patience and knowledge came to the front. His easy and very knowledgeable style engaged those present and put all and even the most experienced dog and handlers at ease.

Over the two days there were a variety of exercises and training and it safe to say that everyone picked up, learned and improved on their handling abilities. I consider myself an experienced handler, but was surprised at some of the basic principles I had overlooked.

Sharon casting out Isla

The social evening in the local pub on the Saturday night was a success as always. The beer and wine was cold and the food delicious. Someone was even observed blowing their own trumpet (if you know, you know!)

It was a great weekend, as always. Seeing Chessie friends from far and wide, renewing old acquaintances and picking up valuable hints and tips. It was great to see Dave and Jackie Lowther visit on the Saturday.

I’m sure all who participated will join me in thanking Jason for his patience and knowledge and John and Molly for their hospitality and warmth.

Jason is now in Sweden with Kaj and Catharina Lindstrom, teaching the Swedish Chesapeake owners and their dogs.

Time for a cuppa, said Debbie and Caroline
Vincent sends out Robin
Tor was so happy to see his favourite person, Jason!

A wee bit of news from ‘up North’ where Tracey is doing so well with her young boy, Pixiesrock Mr Tumnus By Bleyos, winning best of breed at Border Counties Gundog open show, with Lorna and Takoda Nathan winning 1st in open. Absent on the day was Cathy Broomfield who was understandably recovering from her 40 mile charity walk the day before!

The Chessie Chat editor has put out a call for any news, articles, stories or memories to celebrate the 40 yr anniversary. Also any historic articles please.

In celebration of it being 15 years since the breed were allocated CCs in the show ring and thus the ability to make a UK Champion, a couple of hard working members of the committee are putting together a book of UK champions for the Club. This will be something for the future for the breed and for the history of the breed in the UK. Every dog that has gained its championship title in the UK will have a page, with a photo, and a list of their major wins.

There has been criticism from one quarter that overseas champions are not going to be included. Whilst UK champions with overseas titles will be included, it is quite obvious that we cannot include all overseas champions – where would you draw the line? Hopefully each country will produce their own book of champions.

Hot off the press from the Scottish Kennel Club’s Championship show held this Saturday where judge Colin Woodward chose his best of breed and Dog CC in Mahon-Hunns and Newton’s Sh Ch Arnac Bay Huron at Bergelle JW, with the dog RCC going to Broomfield’s Glaneils Count on Me (Max). The bitch CC was won by Thompson’s Arnac Bay Harvest, handled by Maddie, and the bitch RCC to Pont’s Sh Ch Oakmarsh Dancing Diva.

Christine Mayhew

14 May 2023

Birmingham National Championship Dog Show and judge Jenny Miller drew an entry of 26 dogs. Best of Breed and the Dog CC went to Mahon-Hunns and Newton’s lovely lad Sh Ch Arnac Bay Huron at Bergelle JW (Gus), with the reserve going to Murch and Mayhew’s Sh Ch Next Generations Arnac Arctic Storm, handled by Lisa.

The Bitch CC went to Watts’ Oakmarsh Freedom, very ably handled by a pretty youth handler named Megan (sorry I tried to find her surname with no success). Reserve bitch CC was Mayhew and Middleton’s Sh Ch Arnac Bay Hebe WGC EW’22 ShCEx, a litter sister to Huron, handled by Joy.

Gus, BOB at Birmingham this week

Best puppy, after a face off with her litter brother who won best male pup, was Murch’s Pixiesrock Green Kirkle, half-sister to Huron and Hebe, handled by Maddie and Lisa. Best Veteran was Kirsty Watts’ handling her own Oakmarsh Acorn SGWC VW, grandmother of the CC winner Freedom.

A day of sunshine and showers, culminating with Huron being handled by James to make the shortlist for the gundog group – congratulations James and Maddie. Good company as usual, the (now becoming normal glass) of prosecco and an amazing Marks and Sparks caterpillar cake – well recommended.

This weekend, nine Chessie owners got together at Molly and John Barker’s for a training weekend with Jason Mayhew – something this group did annually before Covid, but the first time since then. There were lots of laughs as well as some great learning. Jason concentrated on the basics, which we can never do too much of.

Debbie Crewe's Ramses enjoying training today

Meanwhile in the USA, Westminster Dog Show (the US equivalent of Crufts) had an entry of 11 dogs. Entries are by invitation only. Best of Breed went to GCHG Next Generations Have Mercy MH. How nice that he is not only a show dog but has hunting titles too. Owners are Rae Lewis and Adam Levy, handled by Devon Kipp Levy. ‘Mister’ as he is known at home is sired by Ch Spinnakers How the West Was Won MH and out of GCh Next Generations No Mercy.

Mister - BOB at Westminster this week

A reminder that the CBRC open show is being held on 6th August alongside the National Gundog Association’s championship show at Malvern, Worcs. Breed specialist judge Caroline Griffin-Woods is judging the NGA show, and awarding CCs. Doug Telford is judging the open show. Please enter and support your club and National Gundog Association. Show entries need to be made separately, so don’t forget to enter both shows. This venue (Three Counties Showground) is a lovely venue, especially if the sun shines. We have sponsored rosettes and special awards keepsake trophies and we should have another great show.

Looking forward a few more working events on our calendar. We have the Chesapeake Bay Retriever Club and Irish Water Spaniel Association’s Working Test, at Hook in Hampshire on the 11 June. See the Events page for more details and entry form.

Then on 24 June 2023 there is a CBRC Chesapeake Working Certificate Day, in Stapleton, Dorrington, Shrewsbury, followed the next day at the same venue by the Minor Breeds Team Working Test. The entry form for the CWC event will be available on the Events page later this week. PLEASE, if you are able to help out at either of these events we desperately need stewards and dummy throwers for the first day in particular. No prior experience is necessary (it’s on-the-job training) and a dummy thrower gets the best seat in the house to see the dogs work. Please contact our working test secretary, Mark Straw.

Christine Mayhew

7 May 2023

Scottish news where Tracey Boyles and Lorna Murray are regularly flying the flag for the breed, this time in Lanark at the Gundog Breed Association of Scotland. Under judge Jane Keely, Pixiesrock Mr Tumnus by Bleyos was best puppy and best of breed, with Muireatai Teris Love placing just behind in second place.

Meanwhile, way down south in Hampshire, the Club’s spring working test and training day was held at Selborne – the home of the famed naturalist and author, Gilbert White.

A local farmer and keen gundog man (albeit Flatcoats!) provided the venue for the test and this proved ideal with people being able to park their cars and caravans in a roomy field.

The field and hedging provided excellent ground and cover and a pond provided the water as required in our working tests.

Our trainers for the day were husband and wife team, Joy Venturi-Rose and Chris Rose, who have been actively working, training and showing their Labradors for many years and have successes in working tests, field trials and shows along with being a very active part of Hampshire Gundog Society.

Joy’s very down to earth attitude and strong directions made her seem quite formidable but both she and Chris spoke a lot of sense and much was learned for those who listened and took it on board. Chris and Joy remarked on how the dogs had a lot of natural ability and when things failed, it was mainly lack of experience by their handlers.

Mary and her puppy Yeats

First day down and the list of runners and riders for the test day was low in numbers as so many bitches had decided to come into season that weekend and many people who would normally attend had family commitments over the bank holiday. This made the day finish early which was a nice change from our normal late ending but it greatly lessened the competition as many of the missing dogs were good experienced open dogs.

It was lovely to see so many new people ‘having a go’ with their dogs and enjoying the experience. We all start somewhere and I predict that these people and their dogs will have got ‘the bug’ and will be back in the future hopefully to win some tests of their own.

Vincent encouraging his puppy Petros into the water

I am not sure who had travelled the furthest – was it Karen and Mark Preece and their dogs, all the way from Jersey, or Des and Mary Murray and dogs from near Dublin? Whichever, both journeys involved some considerably long ferries.

The tests for all sections were very basic, straightforward retrieving and steadiness tests from land and water. Dogs will be dogs and a few who behaved well on the training day decided not to play sensibly on the test day which is infuriating but by no means unusual in any breed. Others played games on the first day but then knuckled down to work the next, proving that here is no exact recipe in dog training!

Carole and Leibe

The Puppy test was won by Mary Murray’s year old German-bred puppy Sea’nland Master of the Sea for Riverrun (Yeats), with no other placings from a field of four.

The Novice Dog/Novice Handler by our rules can only have one placing – first place – and this went to a very happy Fleur Bament with her young dog, Pixiesrock Maestro Cadenza (Chester) who put in an impressive performance on both days.

Fleur and Chester

The Beginner class always has the highest entry, as was the case this time with seven, alas two absent and a short field of five. This was won by Sue Worrall and Inca (Arnac Bay Inca), a very popular win for someone who loves training her dogs and runs in the club tests without fail. Second place went to Fleur and Chester running again with the ‘big boys’, and third place to a very surprised and thrilled Carole Harris with Leibe (Migwell Deutsher Passion) who also took home a new trophy (awarded for the first time) – the Iris Cup – which is awarded to the highest scoring veteran on the day (8 years and older).

Sue and Inca

The Open class had four runners and made the trip from Ireland worthwhile when it was won by Mary with home-bred Riverrun Everybody’s Friend (Cara) putting in an impressive display to also win Judges’ Choice. Second place went to Peter Clarke and Arnac Bay Ibis (Mink), litter sister to Inca (above). Third place was Vincent Acheson and Robin (Arnac Bay Grouse of Eastering).

The camaraderie, fun and teasing over the two days is something that has become a regular at Chesapeake Club meetings, whether working test or show, and Vincent’s good sported demonstration of the best water retrieve by human added to the fun. Long may it continue! With training ideas to work with, I personally look forward to seeing some of these younger dogs in future tests.

Mary and Cara

A great weekend thanks mostly to Joy Middleton who found the ground, the judges and trainers, took photos on the day and provided the doggy prizes, and to Mark Straw who, along with Joy, arrived early to set up each day, generally ran the day and kept the judges fed and refreshed. Richard Playle, Tilly Thomas and Carole’s sister Linda Johnson were the dummy throwers, and Debbie Herring and Charlie stewarded, without whom the test day could not have been held. A big thank you is due to them all.

And while I am on the subject of helpers, if you are willing and able, we always require helpers at any club event. Just make yourself known. You don’t have to be on committee or even a club member. Linda (mentioned above) is a Labrador owner but always happy to help out at our working events. At the club show Tracey Boyle, a Chessie owner and club member but not on the committee did an amazing job selling raffle tickets. Thank you Tracey. Every volunteer is very welcome!

Taking us back to the club show weekend, as you may remember our breed education co-ordinator James Newton had arranged a seminar on the breed which was given by our USA judge, Robyn Haskins. 41 people attended the seminar, 9 prospective judges took an exam (with all but one passing), and 18 existing judges also completed the group mentoring session in the afternoon. We also had quite a few Chessie folk attending who had no intention of becoming a judge but who were there to learn about the breed and the breed standard which is the blueprint for how a Chesapeake should look and what are the reasons for the conformation, the temperament, etc. All very interesting stuff for anyone who likes or works the breed and certainly for those who show their own dogs. How often have I heard some exhibitors bemoaning the fact that their dog didn’t win without even the slightest knowledge of how their dog compares to the breed standard which is the bible for those judging?

This was a great opportunity and I am surprised that more exhibitors did not take advantage of this chance to learn from an experienced judge/breeder and educator of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever. A big thank you to those who supplied the dogs for the judges to go over on the test day, namely Dave Rigby, Cathy Broomfield, and David and Thelma Thompson.

News of Allen Musselwhite is that he is back home and making an amazing recovery from the stroke he had five weeks ago. Although every stroke recovery is a long process, the stubborn and determined attitude Allen has seems to match the personality of our breed which will certainly be to his advantage! I am sure we all wish him well.

Christine Mayhew


30 April 2023

What amazing event the Chesapeake Club had last weekend, starting off with the Championship Show on the Saturday morning, followed by the special event classes, and the Open Show. In the meantime, a scurry AND a Good Citizens test were held outside on the grass paddock. On the Sunday, we had a seminar on the breed by our US breeder judge, Robyn Haskins, attended by a room full of judges and Chesapeake owners. Finally a judges’ paperwork test and ‘hands on’ experience with a verbal test.

Our shows were generously sponsored by Sporting Saint (gundog suppliers) and by Josera dog food, both companies producing the best. We also had so many donations and sponsorship from so many businesses and individuals – too many to list here but all mentioned in the show catalogues. Thank you all.

I cannot aptly describe the amazing décor, camaraderie, and atmosphere in the Kennel Club Building on the day of the show. Red, white and blue balloons festooned our half of the hall. There were stars and stripes and union jack flags, and even two Maryland flags (the home of the first Chesapeakes). A fantastic ‘classy’ raffle raised over £150, a booze hamper raised £135, and a seriously impressive silent auction brought in nearly £900 for club funds.

As an indoor event this year there was a slightly different set up, with fencing instead of poles and rope to create the ring. This allowed people to move freely with dogs in and out of the ring depending on where they were. Treats for each placing were given out by the stewards along with the rosettes in each class. The rosettes for the major placings being HUGE, and on a par with those awarded at shows in the USA.

The stewards did a wonderful job giving out so many rosettes and prizes as they did. An extra table was set up just outside the ring for the stewards to use as they had so many extras to be laid out. This also prevented any exhibitor setting up their dogs and crates just behind the judges area which gave them a little more privacy.

There was the most amazing cake made and supplied by Carole Harris’s sister Julie – so much a work of art that it seemed a shame to eat it! Sparkling wine, alcoholic and non-alcoholic, greeted everyone as they arrived.

Each exhibitor had a ‘goody’ bag filled with treats, a free gift, their ring numbers, the catalogues, and their Chesapeake Chat and yearbook, each bag labelled for each individual.

The special cake made by Carole and her sister Julie

The scurry, run by Mark Straw, was a great success with all entrants receiving a bag of dog treats. There were prizes for the fastest Chesapeake (won by Gemma Pearce with Rab), the fastest non-Chesapeake (won by Mark Poulton and Hawker), and, for those brave enough to have a go, the fastest human, which resulted in two prizes being awarded: namely, Vroni’s daughter, Ali, and the sporting Katy Duncanson, who had considerable prior practice running around the ring whilst handling three different dogs in the show!

The KC Bronze Good Citizen certification test had official KC assessor Claire Faller. Special thanks must go to Vanessa Searle who helped on the day and ran the paperwork and sorted people out for the first session. This was so helpful and kept the committee available to manage and run the show. Eight dogs passed, out of the 13 who entered, and so some more names to go on the list of the Chesapeakes who have passed this test. As yet I do not know who passed on the day, so please let me know via email or FB if your dog passed.

All feedback from the day was positive and described it as a great success, which is down to the teamwork put in by all on the day, on the day before, and for many months beforehand. I cannot emphasise enough that your committee worked really hard to get this anniversary event off the ground.

As reported last week the top dog and bitch winners and CC winners from the championship show, with 68 dogs entered, was Newton and Hunns’ Sh Ch Arnac Bay Huron JW (dog) and his litter sister, Middleton and Mayhew’s Sh Ch Arnac Bay Hebe WGC who went best of breed – a repeat of the results at Crufts this year. These results gave Huron his 14th CC and Hebe her 17th, thereby beating the bitch CC record holder until that day, namely Sh Ch Arnac Bay Flax with 16 CCs.

Buoy and Gus's handlers congratulate each other, after the challenge for Best Dog

Best puppy in show went to Pixiesrock Green Kirkle, bred and owned by Lisa Murch, with her litter brother Tracey Boyles’ Pixiesrock Mr Tumnus by Bleyos winning the reserve best puppy.

Reserve CC winners on the day were dogs Sh Ch Arnac Weatherdeck Buoy, who is the sire of all mentioned above, and in bitches, the puppy winner, Kirkle, winning her first reserve CC. Buoy was also the Best Veteran Dog, while Best Veteran Bitch was Cathy and Simon Broomfield’s Nunneyswood Snow Flurry of Glaneils. It was lovely for me to see that the top stud dog was Buoy and the top brood bitch was Arnac Bay Gamble as these two, when bred together, produced the successful Arnac ‘H’ litter.

For the second time the Club ran Special Award classes, this year judged by Jean Collins-Pitman who shows and field trials Gordon Setters. These classes are run to help give judges a hands-on experience of the breed, and are supported by the Club. Specials this year consisted of three classes and took place through the lunchbreak, with extra prizes available to encourage entries for all exhibitors (not just the winners). With 31 dogs entered the Junior class was won by Gregory’s Run in the Woods (sired by Huron), Post Graduate winner was Broomfield’s Glaneils Don’t Worry be Happy (also sired by Huron), and the Open class was won by Thompson’s Arnac Bay Harvest.

Dave taking Goose round the ring

On to the open show with an entry 61 dogs and lovely keepsake trophies/prizes made for all winners, including training dummies donated by Lisa Murch and dog food sponsorship by Josera dog food who have supported the Chesapeakes in so many events.

Judged by Ed Casey, who breeds and shows many breeds but mainly Labradors, his top place went to Thompson’s Arnac Bay Harvest (litter sister to Huron and Hebe), with the reserve being won by a junior bitch, Glaneils Don’t Worry Be Happy owned by Broomfield, Mahon-Hunns and Newton and also sired by Huron. Best Opposite Sex went to kennelmate, Broomfield’s Glaneils Count on Me (sired by Sh Ch Migwell Solomon’s Puzzle). Best puppy and reserve best puppy were repeats of the Championship show. A special mention that the Junior Handler winner of the Glaneils Trophy was Ali (aged 10).

Ali, aged 10, Junior Handler

I cannot possibly mention all winners but all results of the shows, along with photographs can be found on the Shows page of this website.

A fantastic weekend and a lovely crowd of people and dogs – every photo has smiling faces! A big thank you to everyone involved. More news of the seminar and judges day next week.

With all the excitement over and hopefully the committee and many helpers rested, the time has come for final arrangements for our next show to be held in conjunction with the National Gundog Championship show on 6 Aug 2023 at the Three Counties Showground, Malvern WR13 6NW.

Christine Mayhew


23 April 2023

The 40th Anniversary show for the Chesapeake Bay Retriever Club was something to remember. The KC Building was decked with balloons, flags, and Chesapeake paraphernalia so it looked like a party …which it was … complete with an amazing cake made by Carole Harris and her sister Julie. There were cups of Prosecco to celebrate, the silent auction with some truly lovely items (silver Acme whistle, etc.), a scurry, and everything gave us a general feeling of a party. I think everyone had fun, some laughs, and a good social time, all summed up in one word – FANTASTIC!

Robyn Haskins, a Chesapeake breeder and judge, had flown in from the USA to judge the Championship show and later said that she was very pleased with the quality of her exhibits – always a complement from someone from the land of many Chesapeakes.

The results of the Championship show were:

  • Best in Show and bitch CC Middleton and Mayhew’s Sh Ch Arnac Bay Hebe WGC ShCeX
  • Reserve Best in Show and the dog CC Mahon and Newton’s Sh Ch Arnac Bay Huron JW
  • Best Puppy in Show Murch’s Pixiesrock Green Kirkle
(L to R) Best in Show: Middleton and Mayhew's Sh Ch Arnac Bay Hebe WGC ShCeX, Judge Robyn Haskin, and Reserve Best in Show and Dog CC: Mahon-Hunns and Newton's Sh Ch Arnac Bay Huron JW

Ed Casey, with experience of showing and judging many breeds but mainly Labradors, judged the open show and awarded the following:

  • Best in show Thompson’s Arnac Bay Harvest 
  • Reserve Best in Show Broomfield’s Glaniels Don’t Worry Be Happy
  • Best Opposite Sex in Show Broomfield’s Glaniels Count on Me
  • Best Puppy in Show Murch’s Pixiesrock Green Kirkle
Best in Show: Thompson's Arnac Bay Harvest
Reserve Best in Show: Broomfield, Mahon-Hunns and Newton's Glaneils Don't Worry Be Happy

All results and more images will be on the club website in due course.

Much more information and results next week when we have all caught up with our ‘normal’ lives!

Christine Mayhew


16 April 2023

On 24 March I had a visit from Allen Musselwhite to bring some lovely and useful items that he was donating for the club show. Many of you will know Allen as a BASC representative and from his involvement with Chesapeakes as he has always used them whilst out fowling. Allen’s passion for puntguns made the choice of his kennel name for breeding his dogs easy: ‘Puntgunner’.

The day after his visit he had a massive stroke. Luckily (if you can ever use that word in such circumstances) the friend he was visiting had medical training, recognised the symptoms, and Allen was rushed to hospital.

This was obviously a terrifying time for his family and friends but now, three weeks down the line, and being a fighter, Allen has made good progress and it is hoped that he will be able to go home next week, although he still has a long recovery ahead.

I know that Allen will carry on fighting this, and we all wish him and his family well. Incidently, we have one of Allen’s books Wildfowling Tales, Past and Present in the auction at the show.

A reminder about trophies: can all those who have annual AGM or show trophies that were awarded last year please return them to the club show venue next weekend. Chris Hewitson is in charge of show trophies and Katy Duncanson the AGM trophies. Many thanks.

The show scene dies down rapidly after Crufts, however many open shows are still holding classes for Chesapeakes and with three recent ones that I have been notified of, the results were as follows:

Cornwall Gundog: best of breed, Lisa Murch with Joss (Sh Ch Next Generations Arnac Arctic Storm).

Hampshire Gundog: best of breed and best in the special working stakes, Joy Middleton with Sh Ch Arnac Bay Hebe WGC and reserve best of breed going to Vanessa Searles with Oakmarsh Indian Dream Maker for Cravessa.

South West Gundog this Saturday saw Joss again win best of breed and first in the Open Gundog class, whilst his kennelmate, Cora (Pixiesrock Green Kirkle) was best puppy in breed, reserve best of breed and was shortlisted in the puppy group for owner/breeder Lisa Murch.

This weekend sees a two-day training session for Chesapeakes with Jason Mayhew at Cowdray Estate where 10 brown dogs and their owners are being put through their paces and given advice ahead of the club working test in two weeks’ time. Please do not forget to send in your entries for the test – time is running out – entries close today! All details are on the Events page. 

I was so very sad to learn of the death of Bryn Parry CBE, the founder of the charity ‘Help for Heros’ and the cartoonist who, with knowledge of shoots and shooting, produced so many hilarious pictures and books on the subject. I have one on my bookshelf Sex in the Country, which makes me giggle every time I open it. At only 66, Bryn was taken too soon by pancreatic cancer.

And last minute reminders for the show next weekend: the show opens at 8.30 am. Championship Show judging starts 9.30 am at the Kennel Club Building, Stoneleigh Park, CV8 2LZ. All details on the Shows page.

Every exhibitor who has entered the show will receive a goodie bag. This will contain your catalogues for the shows and exhibitor numbers. Please keep your numbers from the Champ Show for the Special Awards (same numbers will apply). Different numbers are used for the Open Show.

There will be chairs available around the ring. They are typical blue plastic ones, so if you like something more comfy, please bring your own.

Bronze Good Citizen Dog Scheme test will run in two sessions 10 am and 1 pm. Please make sure you have all the bits and bobs you need (collar/tag, lead, grooming brush, etc.) The cost is £5 a go. Each successful pass will gain a certificate and a rosette.

We look forward to seeing everyone on the day.
Christine Mayhew

9 April 2023

A very Happy Easter to all of our readers.

Firstly, a reminder that the closing date for the CBRC Spring Working Test entries is fast approaching. Don’t forget to get those entries in by the 16th of this month. The test is to be held on the 1 May with a training day the day before. The venue is near Selbourne, Hampshire. All details and entry forms are on the Events page.

The entries for our club shows in April have now closed and there has been a fantastic response from the membership for what promises to be an unforgettable day.

The championship show has 66 dogs making 104 entries (some are entered in more than one class). The special awards classes have 30 dogs making 31 entries in the few classes available, and our open show has 64 dogs making 100 entries. This is a record entry over the three shows and it will be a chance for people to see so many of the UK Chesapeakes in one place. If you are not competing, then why not plan a visit to the show? There is a scurry, a KC Bronze Good Citizens Test, and an amazing silent auction too!

Great news from the USA where the first dual champion in the breed for 11 years has recently been crowned! A dual champion is a dog who has achieved a field trial championship and a show championship. This is a seriously difficult title to gain. Whilst dogs with a show championship often earn working titles and visa versa, to actually earn a full championship in both arenas is a rarity in any breed. Our congratulations go to Dual Champion Fireweed’s The King of Cool (McQueen) and owners Linda Harger and Tom Ivey.

New USA Dual Champion McQueen with Linda Harger

I remember in my early days in the breed admiring from afar another dual champion also bred by Linda Harger, namely Fireweed’s Jasmine, born in 1978. What a fantastic record for a breeder.

News from Sue Worrall:

Cunningshot Gundog Training held a full weekend of training for minority breeds on their new ground in Staffordshire last weekend. Six Chesapeakes took part, together with a couple of Tollers and a Golden Retriever.

Trainers Emma and Adam started each day with various steadiness exercises. The group then moved on to a wide variety of retrieving exercises, where the woodland, pond and cover on rough grassland challenged both dogs and handlers and took us out of our comfort zones. When you are training on your own at home, it is so easy to keep doing the same things in the same places, and possibly making the same mistakes. It was a great crowd and the trainers were impressed with the dogs. Loads of fun!

Hopefully there will be another training weekend in the autumn. There might also be a training day on 22 July, which is the day before the URC Minor Breeds WT. If you would be interested in joining in with either of these, please let Debbie Crewe know.

A happy bunch after training last Saturday
Caroline and Broc
Otto was flying

Following feedback from club members, the AGM trophy points have been amended. All details are on the Home page

Christine Mayhew

2 April 2023

Great news is that a combined Irish Water Spaniel Association and Chesapeake Bay Retriever Club Working Test will take place on 11 June at Greywell Estate, Nately Scures, Hook, Hampshire, by kind permission of Lord Malmesbury.

There are classes for puppy (6-12 months), special puppy (12-14 months), novice, and open. Judges to be confirmed but all will be run under KC regs with an A and B panel judge. With entries coming in for both clubs, payment for Chessie entries will go to the Chessie Club and the IWS will go to theirs.

If anyone requires information regarding local camping or hotels that take dogs, please contact Debbie Herring at debbie.herring99@gmail.com. Entry forms can be downloaded from the Events page.

I remember our club teaming up with the Irish Water Spaniel Club in order to hold a KC licensed Field Trial way back in 1989 and several Chesapeakes won awards, owner-handled by John Barker, Janet Morris and myself on that day. (I think maybe Linda Partridge was there with her very successful field trial winning Chesapeake too.) The fact that Labradors dominated the field in competitive gundog work both in those days and now, it is more relaxing and fun to compete against and with a breed that matches us more numerically and from the point that neither breeds are bred specifically for competitive, fast retrieves, as are many Labradors these days.

Thanks to Debbie Herring for putting in the work to get this off the ground.

The Chesapeakes are still making their mark in the open shows. Cathy Broomfield reports:

We were at Gundog Club of North Wales Open Show under Nicola Spencer (Bannonbrig). Chilli, Glaneils Daydream Believer, was awarded Best of Breed. There was no award for RBOB and no pups entered. Dave Rigby was also placed third in the brace class with Trigger and Gunner under Michael Masters (Manchela), and Dave kindly stayed to support us in the Group.

A quick mention that Shropshire Gundog Society is holding an Open Show on 28 May 2023 and has four classes for Chesapeake Bay Retrievers. The judge for the breed is Mrs Penny Lane-Rudyard. Entries are via Fossedata.

As promised, a list of more exciting items to be sold in the silent auction at the club show later this month:
  • A limited edition (50) print of a Chesapeake being sent for a retrieve, drawn and donated by Ellie Louise Art, which includes a certificate of authenticity.
  • A carved wooden bowl designed and hand made by Caroline Griffin-Woods’ dad.
  • A photographic session with Watersplash Photography.
  • Four hand-made Chesapeake glass coasters
  • A Montana silversmiths buckle depicting a Chesapeake and duck
and more! It will be a bumper auction!

Christine Mayhew

Ellie Louise print
Carved wooden bowl
Glass coasters featuring Chesapeakes
Montana silversmiths buckle depicting a Chesapeake with duck