25 October 2020

A report from Debbie Herring, full details of which will be in the Club’s yearbook:  

On 18 October the Working Minority Retriever Club held a walked-up training day at Manor Farm in Hampshire. We had all Minority Breeds in attendance, Tollers, Curly Coats, Flat Coats, Irish Water Spaniels and Chessies. It was lovely to see so many Chessies able to attend, both new and old faces to the Minority Club. In the Puppy groups we had Linda Sams, Peter Clark, Darren Davies-Jones and Cathy Acheson, and in the Intermediate group we had Vincent Acheson, Kevin Amaira and Garry Thomas.

A happy bunch of Chesapeake owners training with the Working Minority Retriever Club

I have had an update from Joanne Lycett who, you will remember, was running with her Chessie, Quint, in the Muddy Dog Challenge to raise funds for Battersea Dogs Home.

Joanne ran three times, with times of 45 minutes, 37 minutes and 35 minutes respectively, and says that her legs are so tired now that she is done until next year!  How I can imagine. She adds that they had a lot of fun though, and raised a total of £274.00 for Battersea.

A brilliant effort and one to be admired. Maybe more Chessies can drag their humans to the event next year as this is less of a hardship and more a dream come true for our breed! 

Christine Mayhew

Jo and Quint at the end of the Muddy Dog Challenge

If you have something you’d like to share, please email Chrissie Mayhew at bobmayhewQhorses@aol.com

18 October 2020

Sad news from Irene Balmforth who let me know that she has lost her dog, Morse (Sh Ch Arnac Bay Avenger for Neashalee)) at the age of 13 years and 4 months. Morse was from the same litter as Larch (Arapahoe) and Dill (Ardent). Larch is sadly no longer with us but Dill is still going strong. It was a successful litter, and in the show ring Morse had four CCs and made the cut for best veteran at Birmingham National under respected judge, Di Arrowsmith.

As many will know, Irene has achieved great heights in competitive obedience with her dogs, starting with her home-bred Labradors in 1987.  She got her first Chesapeake in 1992 and because she had won herself out of Beginners, she had to go straight into Novice with this Chessie, namely Chase (Braidenvale Biscuit of Neashalee). Chase gained his Obedience Warrant and qualified to work championship C. He represented the North of England at Crufts four times, gaining two gold medals.

Irene’s next Chesapeake Darcy (Penrose Xe Bow at Neashalee) reached class C, followed by Tahle (Chesepi Talaquah) who worked class B but sadly died at a young age. 

This is where Morse arrived on the scene and Irene describes him as having great potential and always having the best heelwork marks but was naughty collecting his retrieve article in the ring. She says that it was perfect outside of the ring (typical!) but his retrieve always kept them from the red rosette as he seemed to like the colours blue and yellow! She adds, ‘He liked the colour red in the show ring and was a pleasure to work and show as he was a gentle dog and in all his 13 yrs 4 months never showed any aggressive behaviour. I miss him terribly.’

Irene's Morse

Irene still has a Chessie, Barkis (Arnac Bay Chivalrous), who evidently likes all the hard tests in obedience, heelwork, send away, distance control, etc., and can retrieve any article made of any material. He is also a very good scent dog but he cannot see the point of CLOSE heelwork! Irene thinks he would have made a good working gundog.

Irene adds that she has loved every minute of training her dogs in obedience and says that given good training the Chessies can hold their own against any of the more popular breeds, i.e. border collies, in this discipline.

Irene’s postscript is to say that the Chessie to watch for the future in the obedience ring is Debbie Crewe’s Ramses … No pressure, Debbie!

Christine Mayhew

11 October 2020

The present pandemic has caused no end of problems and delays in all ways as we all know but having had to book an eye exam for one of my dogs, I was amazed to find that they were so behind with bookings that there was only one appointment available and this was on the 1 December, some months away from my initial phone call. So a word of warning, get your dates in early.

A recent online show, namely ‘Gundog Group Photos and More’, saw Kirsty Watt-Preou’s dogs doing well, with Libby winning bitch CC and best of breed and her kennel mate, Fennel going reserve CC. The dog CC went to Katy Duncanson’s puppy Thor, who also won best puppy in breed, and the reserve CC went to Catharina Lindstrom’s Joy.  Thor, who has yet to attend a ‘real life’ show, then went on to win the puppy group 4, much to Katy’s excitement. The judge was Lynn Kipp. Congratulations to all.
Kirsty's Libby
Kirsty's Fennel
Katy's Thor

Whilst I think these online shows are providing some much needed competition and fun, I am not sure about the idea of awarding virtual Challenge Certificates, which of course are not real CCs. In real life, our CCs are very important awards with three from different judges leading to the title of champion. The judges (who have to be qualified to judge at Championship level) have to state that they consider the dog they are giving a CC is worthy of the title of Champion. With no disrespect to the dogs winning in the online shows, who may indeed be well worthy of the title, there is no judge on earth who can confidently make that claim from looking at a photograph and not seeing the dogs move or feeling their coat, etc.  Maybe this needs to be addressed by the Kennel Club?

News of a fantastic move by Joanne Lycett who is once again taking part, with her canine partner, Quint, in the Muddy Dog Challenge to raise money for the dogs and cats at Battersea Dogs Home. A perfect challenge for a Chesapeake!  Take a look at the YouTube videos – they are hilarious. As most of us in the UK will know, Battersea is a very worthy recipient as they care for so many strays and lost animals, get them back to health and rehome them. Some lovely pets have been adopted from Battersea and it is well worth contacting them if looking for a dog or cat, pedigree or not. This charity is not political, unlike one other charity that wastes no end of money fighting in courts in an attempt to stop country sports.  All funds for Battersea are for the welfare of the animals in their care.

Because of the pandemic, there is no actual venue for this event this year, just a personal run and so Jo will be running through Cannock Chase and its pools sometime this month and clocking her distance whilst also posting evidence. I am sure that we all wish them well. Jo and Quint have a Just Giving page: Jo & Quint Run Again. Please support them if you can afford to.

Christine Mayhew

Joanne's Quint
4 October 2020

Well, some good news, I hope, is that Crufts 2021, presented by The Kennel Club, is expected to take place from 11 to 14 March 2021. Gundog Day is Saturday 13 March and our judge is Mrs Sandy Hastings who has had Chesapeakes for many years and used to breed under her kennel name of Chesabay.

According to the Crufts website, information on how to qualify for 2021 will be available shortly. We wait with baited breath, hoping that some youngsters who have had no chance to show will be eligible to go.

With very little news, I revert back to the UK history of the breed, this week with regards to field trials.

When the Chesapeakes first started competing in any-variety working tests and trials, they were viewed by many with suspicion and many judges were totally biased towards the more common retrievers (many still are!) 

We had to really pull out all the stops to place in any of these events but gradually people got used to seeing the few dogs and handlers who were representing the breed and getting out there with their dogs. 

In the 1980s, Janet Morris and Arnac Bay Dawnflight of Penrose, John Barker and Arnac Bay Endurance, me with Arnac Bay Delta and Gaynor Bailey and Penrose Brownie of Gunstock, all ran in many working tests and all eventually won field trial awards.

Janet Morris with Arnac Bay Dawnflight of Penrose

Often we had a team of the above four Chesapeakes and handlers representing the breed at country fairs and inter-breed team events, and we had many successes and certainly made sure the breed was seen in a good light.

1983 saw Janet and Dawn gain the first Field Trial award (a third), soon followed by me and Delta and John and Endurance. John Barker was also running his and Molly’s Westering Brown Sugar at Chesepi and in 1987 she also joined the list of field trial award winners. All of these dogs were trailblazers for the breed and all won more than one award, with many winning numerous times.

Then in 1988 Gaynor and Brownie won a novice trial, the first actual win for the breed. This pair won numerous more awards including placing in an open stake – some achievement for our breed.

Penrose Brownie of Gunstock

Lurking in the wings was Linda Partridge with her young dog Chesabay Coral of Braidenvale who swept in and in 1989 won an all-aged stake. In Linda’s capable hands Corrie subsequently had two more Field Trial wins and many, many awards.

Having broken through the ice, so to speak, more Chesapeakes continued to place in trials including Chesepi Amigo Mio and John Barker,  Penrose Eclipse and Penrose Gale Force with Janet Morris, Penrose Fullflood Gamescout with Brian Campling and in more recent times, Earl Henry with Alan Buckham. 

Andy Kinta was the last to win an award in 2006 with his homebred  Lateshift Moon Charisma.

Chesabay Coral of Braidenvale

Our breed is bred and designed as a wildfowling dog, and modern trials in the UK are a far cry from the conditions on the foreshore. By far the majority of trials these days don’t even have water to test the dogs in, and our determined and often self-employed dogs are also a far cry from the push button Labradors that are now bred specifically for field trials as opposed to real thinking gamefinders.

I’m not sure that we will ever see another Chesapeake place in an AV UK Field Trial and I pray that we never try to change the breed in order to do so. Maybe we should challenge those FT Labs to a day in the mud and the rough sea?

Christine Mayhew

27 September 2020

I am sure that everyone has heard by now, but our last chance to show our dogs this year has been scuppered by Covid once again. The Scottish Kennel Club has announced that due to the tightening of restrictions they are unable to go ahead with the show.

News from the American Chesapeake Club and our great friend and honorary Brit, Gina Downin, is the new ACC Secretary. Congratulations Gina.

A date and venue has been set for the ACC National Field Trial Specialty next year, namely 19-21 October 2021, in Americus, in the state of Georgia which is one state up from Florida so well in the South and should be far warmer than October in the UK if anyone is interested in visiting. You may need to watch out for wildlife not present in the UK though, i.e. alligators!

Debbie Herring has kindly sent this through, as written by a friend, Lynn Bell, who trains Australian Terriers for drug detection in airports. Debbie suggests that we may hold a competition to see how many toys your Chessie can identify – with video proof necessary. I think it’s a really fun idea. Let me know what you think.

Lockdown Activities for your Chessies

With what looks like another pending lockdown on the way, where we will once more be restricted to our homes and with winter on its way, I thought I would share some ideas for activities you can do with your Chessies at home to keep their minds stimulated.

Find the treats
Nosework games are a quick and easy way to stimulate your dogs mentally. Grab some exciting treats with a bit of a scent and hide them around a room. Select a cue such a ‘find’ or ‘search’ and lead your dog to where he or she is in the right place to catch a scent of the treat. Once they have the idea they are looking for treats, you can gradually hide them in more difficult places to find.

The Cup Game
Get three large cups, place them facing down and let your dog see you put a treat under one of the cups. Ask your dog to wait while you mix the cups up and then use the ‘find’ or ‘search’ cue as above, for them to show you which cup they think that the treat is hidden under.

Name Their Toys
Start with one interesting toy that your Chessie loves to carry around and give the toy a name, ‘Kong’, ‘Bunny’, ‘Teddy’ – it doesn’t matter what as long as the name is distinctive.  Play with the toy and your dog and repeat the name of the toy. Place the toy somewhere in the room and ask your dog to find the toy by using its name. Once you have established the name of one toy you can begin to add others and see whether your dog can pick out the toy from others by name. There is a Border Collie who can pick out up to 800 different toys, so let’s see how clever these Chessies are.

Christine Mayhew

20 September 2020

First, a big congratulations to Daniel and Gemma Pearce who welcomed identical twin boys, Cooper and Jacob, to their family this week. With two such lovely parents, these lads are destined for a good life, and already have Chesapeakes as play friends and companions.

Very sadly Bournemouth Show Society issued the following statement:

It is with great regret that after more consultation with our local Council, there is no way with the new Government guidelines that the Bournemouth Canine Association Championship Dog Show can go ahead, therefore the show has to be cancelled. We have to consider the health and wellbeing of all that would attend this event and is of the most paramount importance, Exhibitors, Stewards, Judges, Helpers, Spectators, Contractors and Committee. With Covid spreading again at a very fast rate and the many places in lock down, we the committee feel this is our only course of action. We would like to thank everyone that entered to give a fantastic entry that I know would have pleased every judge.

Such a great shame as there are more puppies ready to be shown this year than at any other and it seems that many will not get the chance to show before they are well and truly out of puppy.

It does seem unfair that while our shows are being so hard hit, being cancelled one by one, dog shows are still being held in Europe and in the USA.

Weatherdeck Yoomee, owned by Steve Grutter, has just won another CAC in Switzerland. Yoomee was bred by Gina Downin from her Ch. Weatherdeck Arnac Bay Gudgeon and out of Ch Hardwoods Full House.

Ch Sandbars Hardcore Hank has just won yet another Sporting Group 1 making him the No. 7 Sporting Dog in the USA at present.

Steve Grutter's Weatherdeck Yoomee

The American Chesapeake Club’s National Specialty Field Trial in Idaho went full speed ahead with no apparent setbacks due to the pandemic.

Luckily for our very active working gundog breed, shooting is exempt from new Covid-19 restrictions in England at least. After substantial work by BASC and other organisations with government ministers and pro-shooting MPs, the government has announced exemptions to the ‘rule of six’.

For shooting, it means that where the organiser or participant holds a valid shotgun or firearms certificate, there is no limit to the number of people who can gather for the purpose of the relevant activity while outdoors. Maybe I should renew my shotgun certificate and hold a show!

Christine Mayhew

Next Generations Ironwoods Walnut competing at the ACC Specialty FT
13 September 2020

Great news from Peter Clarke and Leslie Tregunno is that their puppy, Mink (Arnac Bay Ibis) entered her first working test at the Minority Breed Retriever Club (as reported by Debbie last week) and gained a second place. Leslie says, “she scored 70 out of a possible 80 points and the judges were really impressed with her”. Mink is now signed up for training sessions in October.

From Monday 14 September new government regulations will come into force in England restricting social gatherings to no more than six people, both indoors and outdoors. The latest guidance says that there will be exceptions where groups can be larger than six, including work or voluntary services as well as outdoor sport and physical activity events.

So far, Bournemouth Show is set to go ahead and all of us who are suffering from dog show deprivation are keeping our fingers crossed that nothing changes.

Leslie and Peter's Mink with her first rosette

If you have not been looking for a puppy recently, you may not have seen the Litters page. Until now, litters have only been listed after they are born. The Club is going to start listing planned litters too. So if you are a member of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever Club and have a litter planned, you can send the details to be added to the list. Please include health test results of both sire and dam, as well as the date they are due to whelp. 

Christine Mayhew

5 September 2020

My thanks to James Newton for this report on his recent handling workshop for Chesapeakes. A full report of the day will appear in the next Chesapeake Club’s Chat and Yearbook.

On 29 August I had organised a CBR Handling Workshop at my home in North Lincolnshire to help exhibitors prepare for the new procedures our dogs will have to become accustomed to when it is safe to show again. For example, handler/judge wearing face masks, the unpleasant smell of hand sanitiser, and the handler showing the dog’s bite to the judge.

It was a small group in numbers but big in personality. In attendance we had: Molly Barker, Caroline Griffin-Woods, Sue Worrall, Cathy Broomfield, Katy Duncanson and David Rigby – all of whom took to the new procedures like ducks to water and the dogs weren’t bad either! It was also an opportunity to not only tidy up general bits of presentation but also meet up and socialise with friends we hadn’t seen since Crufts! To add to the fun, we all contributed to a picnic which was keenly observed by the resident Gordon Setters! The weather was a bit mixed with a few very light bits of rain and a bit of wind but it certainly did not dampen our spirits.

I never cease to find these workshops so incredibly rewarding, watching dog and handler make great strides in their progression just by ironing out a few creases here and there, or maybe looking at the issue they’re having from a different perspective. Needless to say, I think they all went away fully prepared and motivated to get out to the next show, wherever and whenever that may be.

James Newton

Talking of shows, all is going ahead for the Club’s weekend of shows next year, so put the 3-4 July 2021 in your diaries. To be held at our normal venue of Bretford Village Hall, near Coventry, the club shows are always friendly, family-orientated affairs with many competing who have never shown a dog before but having fun doing so. A great day out, this time there will be camping on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights so why not make a weekend of it? No electricity hook ups or showers, etc., so it is real camping!

The judges are now confirmed. We have Di Arrowsmith judging the Championship Show on the first day, with Tracy Butler doing the honours on the Sunday. For the Open Shows we have David Bell on the Saturday and Paula Graystone on the Sunday.

For those who need stewarding appointments for your judge’s requirements, this is your chance to steward for one or more shows. Let me know and I will put you in touch with the show secretary.

Christine Mayhew

30 August 2020

On Sunday 23 August the Working Minority Retriever Club held this year’s first socially distanced, Covid regulated working test in West Sussex. There were 30 dogs entered, with 26 dogs eventually running, and included an entry from every minority retriever breed. With Flatcoats, Irish Waters and Tollers, and four Chesapeakes as two of the original six decided to come into season!  A full report, including photos will be printed in the Chesapeake Chat and sent to all club members early next year.

Debbie Herring

Debbie and Jersey being tested on their heelwork


On 16 July, Peggy Grayson passed away peacefully at the age of 100 years and 8 months.

Peggy was a dog judge, exhibitor and breeder, a pony judge and exhibitor, and an author of numerous books on dogs and ponies. She judged in many corners of the world, would write for many years for both dog papers, and was a country journalist and broadcaster whose farming stories were broadcast by the BBC on the farming programme.

Peggy’s honesty, knowledge, sense of humour and the way she would freely give her knowledge to those who wanted to learn made her an amazing person to converse with.

As a dog judge she was well respected and she judged worldwide. To have Peggy give your dog a top honour meant that the dog deserved it. Peggy hated dishonest judging and would not suffer fools gladly. Her horse knowledge meant that she understood movement better than most and she would never give a top award to a badly moving or un-fit dog.

To have Peggy judging Best in Show at an all-breed or gundog show meant that the Chesapeake would not be overlooked as it is by many judges, but given a genuine chance. She awarded the first ever best in show at a championship show to my own Chestnut Hills Arnac Wye Oak and, on another occasion, gave the top award to Janet Morris’s field trial dog, Arnac Bay Dawnflight of Penrose.

Her interest in our breed was genuine and she judged us many a time. Peggy took the time to come and watch our club show in 1984 when we had Millie Bucholz from the USA judging, and she wrote a glowing article for Dog World. The following year Peggy judged the show herself. 

In 1985 she wrote in the dog papers regarding our breed: “they are super dogs. I first met them in 1938, and if things had been different, I might have had one, but it was not to be. However, when Margaret Izzard had them I met them again and my enthusiasm was rekindled.”

Peggy was to me and others, someone very special, an extremely knowledgeable and honest person and one of the great judges of the dog world. We need more like her.

Christine Mayhew

Getting together and staying together

23 August 2020

The club has a membership secretary! Whilst this may not seem exciting to some, it will, and is, to those who have had to email back and forth checking lists for payments or non-payments of subscriptions, altering addresses, email addresses, and telephone numbers, etc. Until now it has been dealt with by the secretary who receives the application, the treasurer who receives the money (standing orders and cheques) and the yearbook editor who checks and lists the whole lot before sending out the Chesapeake Chat! Believe me, just checking the list is a two-man job!

Anyway our new Membership Secretary is Maddie Mahon. If you have any questions about becoming a member of the club, or if you are already a member of the club and need to change your contact details, please email Maddie at madeleinevmahon@gmail.com. Thank you Maddie!

A quick reminder that quite a few on the membership list have not yet paid their subscriptions for 2020. Can I please ask that everyone check up on this as the next Chat will not be sent out to those who have not paid their subs for this year.

Christine Mayhew

Following is a real feel good story from Cathy Broomfield:

The halt on all events due to coronavirus has been as hard on all of our dogs as the humans for socialising.  Social media has helped to keep us connected with the outside world, and our dogs have even joined in the weekly family zoom calls!  Plans for the Chessie Show came and went, and we have missed seeing our Chessie friends and their dogs so much.  A glimmer of hope came with the lifting of travel restrictions: we received a message from pup Toby that he had a ferry booked from Jersey on 17 August! What a coincidence that there was a big birthday coming up on the 18 August – Fern and Broc’s pups would be one year old!


With texts back and forth among the litter, it was a huge ask as many of the pups are further afield, but plans were soon made and on Tuesday this week we held a grand gathering of the Glaneils pups. Six of the nine pups were due to come but unfortunately a last minute crisis meant that Elk couldn’t be with us. The Leven Estuary at Greenodd was the perfect meeting point, as once across the bridge it is safely away from roads and activity – and ticked the boxes for social distancing! One lone fisherman did get a surprise, but aside from that we had the estuary to ourselves where the pups could swim to their hearts content and romp around the marsh. A fine combination of 7 Chessies, 2 Labs and a Choccy X.  

It was great to see the dogs all having a blast. Fern diligently checked each pup and was beaming with delight as she ran amongst them.  With no pressure to rush, we stopped and started along the way, just enjoying our time.  The dogs cottoned on to Simon having special homemade birthday biscuits to dish out and fresh water offered to wash down the sea water.  We barely noticed the drizzle and wind. There was lovely constant chatter, people who had not previously met before united by each owning one of Fern and Broc’s pups. We congregated back at our house, where the weather held up for us to eat outside with Simon on BBQ duties and the conversation flowed. Stories of Chessies past and present, and excitement for what these new pups will bring to the world.

That will definitely be a day to remember, and no doubt at all we will be having more gatherings in the future.

Cathy Broomfield

CBRC Working Chesapeake Tests

15 August 2020

What a lovely change to have a real live event to report on this week!

The UK Chesapeake Club held a Working Chesapeake Test day to test dogs of our breed on land and water. If you are unfamiliar with the tests then it is worth looking on the Events page to see what is involved, but basically they start at Level 1 and advance to Level 3, with the first level being quite simple and forgiving. Not so the later tests!

The tests were held at Jason Mayhew’s training ground on the West Sussex/Hampshire border. A training day on the Saturday before the test helped the dogs to become familiar with the ground and lake, and the handlers learn what would be expected of them the following day.

Jason and his fiancé, Anna, judged the tests, something that would not normally happen in a competition but the beauty of these tests is that they are a pass or fail test and do not involve any competition between dogs and handlers. It was great to have everyone willing the others to pass and great to have Jason training on the Saturday to give everyone the best opportunity to pass. Of course, the dogs had different ideas on the day, but the majority at Level 1 passed with flying colours. With ten running, eight passed namely:

Sue Worrall with Arnac Bay Esk
Sharon Baxandall with Sharbae Prettiest Star
Carole Harris with Migwell Deutsher Passion
Garry Thomas with Crablepeake Sunrise
Lisa Murch with Franeo Original Long Gunner
Christine Mayhew with Arnac Bay Inca
Anthony Ciraolo with Franeo Ebbing Tide
Deborah Herring with Sharbae Rebel Rebel

Six dogs attempted the Level 2 certificate with only one pass, namely Anthony Ciraolo with Franeo Ebbing Tide. This was the first Level 2 certificate awarded since the programme started last year, and a proud moment for Anthony with his home-bred bitch who had passed her Level 1 the same day.

All those present were in good spirits and seemed glad to, at last, get out and about with their dogs in a country situation where social distancing was easy.

I personally would like to thank the judges, Jason Mayhew and Anna Sole, and the dummy throwers, Dan and Linda, and, not forgetting my husband, Bob, for supplying and delivering the judges and helpers lunches.

If anyone in the Club has the time and suitable ground and water for the test, we could look into running more days in different parts of the country. I would be happy to help (if only from afar) to advise and help organise the event, including entries, choices of judges, etc., and could supply club certificates and rosettes. 

Email me if you are interested on bobmayhewqhorses@aol.com

Christine Mayhew

(Photos courtesy of Joy Middleton)

Roving reporter Chrissie on today’s Chesapeake training day

8 August 2020

This week, the news is so hot off the press that it is almost smoking!

This is the weekend of the Working Chesapeake Tests and training day, and I am writing having just finished the training day with fellow Chesapeake enthusiasts. We had with us many familiar faces, and also a new club member, Gary Wraysbury, who had travelled from the Windsor area to attend today. Welcome Gary!

All of the dogs training today will be running in tomorrow’s tests, along with a few extra, making a total of seventeen entries. Not at all bad for this time of uncertainty.

Instead of me waffling on about the fun we had today, here are some photos from the event – pictorial news this week.

Pictured also is the latest in working Chessie footwear which comes from Deborah Herring who very kindly threw dummies for us today. Warning: this is the latest fashion and we fully expect everyone to join in!

Christine Mayhew

(Photos courtesy of Deborah Herring)

Cooper flies into the pond
The latest fashion
Isla returns with her retrieve
Tor heads into the water

Planning your shows and a look back in time

2 August 2020

Volunteers from the Chesapeake Bay Retriever Club have created a spreadsheet listing all judges for the breed at championship shows (CC and non-CC) for the remainder of this year (subject to the shows going ahead), and for 2021 and 2022 where information is available. This document will be updated on a regular basis and there is a link to it on the Shows page.  Many, I am sure, will find this useful in terms of planning their showing year. Thank you to those, as yet, anonymous volunteers!

The website is full of useful and interesting information and each time I look I find something useful that I had not found before!  (Should I be admitting this to the website editor?)

Back in time again and this week a photo of one of the early importations from the USA, Eastern Waters Ryshot Rose, a sedge bitch sired by Eastern Waters Tallyman and out of Eastern Waters Bittersweet. This was a  half-brother x sister mating as both had the lovely  Eastern Waters Baronessa as their dam.  Rose was imported from Janet and Dan Horn in USA by Margaret Izzard of Ryshot Gundogs in the early 1970s.
Eastern Waters Ryshot Rose

Rose had one litter sired by Ryshot Welcome Yank (described in a previous Breed News Weekly) and sadly died soon after from heartworm – something that we do not have to deal with in the UK but must worm for on a daily basis with dogs imported from a heartworm area.

The litter, born 4 November 1974, included Ryshot Yank’s Seastar, who Margaret had kept for herself. Sadly Margaret herself died the following year and Seastar, known as Mink, came to me as my first Chesapeake and the foundation of the Arnac Chesapeakes.

Mink's registration certificate

Another import at about the same time was Eastern Waters Morag, who went to a farmer, Mr Allen in Devon. Morag was by Eastern Waters Brown Charger and out of Eastern Waters Stardust, a half-sister to Rose. Morag was also bred to Yank and the subsequent litter included another foundation dog, Lackalee Walnut of Sharland, owned by Joyce Munday.

If anyone is interested in further generations behind these dogs, please do contact me.

Christine Mayhew

Eastern Waters Morag

Toby gets his first certificate and an interview with Molly Barker

26 July 2020

Great news from Karen Preece in Jersey is that her 11 month old pup Toby passed his Bronze Good Citizen test this week. A great achievement for one so young but Toby has big paws to follow as his big sister Tilly already has her Gold Certificate. Toby’s official name is Glaniells Catch Me If You Can, bred by Cathy Broomfield. He is sired by Caroline Griffin-Woods’ Broc and out of Cathy’s Fern. Both Chesapeakes live an enviable life in Jersey with the sea never far away!

With little competitive news these days, we have decided to ask various breeders, judges and members of the Chesapeake Club committee, for an insight into their history and views on the breed.

This week we ask the Club Secretary, Molly Barker.

How did you become involved with the breed?
My husband was looking for a gundog as our Lab had developed PRA at three years old. He was looking through the Shooting Times and saw a picture of a Chesapeake. A week later we saw an advert in the Shooting Times magazine, immediately called the number and spoke to Lady Spencer-Smith, who we all know now as Mrs Chrissie Mayhew. After a long conversation, she agreed to let us have a male puppy and he started my absolute love of Chesapeakes.

What was the name of your first Chesapeake?
Arnac Bay Endurance (aka Ches).

Do you breed? Do you have an affix? If so, how did you choose that one?
I do breed but rarely now. Yes I do have an affix, Chesepi, taken from two American Indian words ‘Che’ (Big) and ‘Sepi’ (River). As we are barely two miles from the big River Humber it seemed appropriate for a water dog too.

Do you judge and/or compete in any discipline related to Chesapeakes?
I have judged Chessies progressively at open and championship level (including the CBRC Championship Show and Crufts) since 1988, until I retired from judging in 2018. As well as judging in the UK, I have judged the breed in Sweden, Finland and the USA. My dogs have competed in working tests, the ACC WD Stakes, and field trials. Now they don’t compete, they are picking up dogs.

How would you describe living with Chesapeakes?
Well, Chesapeakes are a challenge but they can also be a lot of fun. They are very intelligent and will play you like a fiddle given the chance. You do need to be on top of them – they are too big to not be obedient. On the other side of the coin, they are extremely loyal and loving.

Any tips for first-time Chesapeake owners, or those interested in buying their first Chessie?
I would say do your research and try to get to some Chesapeake Club events or shows to look at the dogs. All dogs should have impeccable temperaments at these events. Talk to the owners and then go away and research again and read as much about the breed as you can. Feel free to ring breeders up and ask if you can come and see their dogs. Any good breeder will be happy to do that. Just ask as many questions as you can. They aren’t a breed for everyone.

As a judge/breeder/exhibitor, do you feel there is anywhere the breed has particularly excelled or lacked strength during recent times?
I think coats for the most part have improved a great deal. Many now possess the good, thick, harsh double coat. My biggest worry is that there seem to be quite a few blocky heads with broad muzzles when the standard calls for ‘pointed but not sharp’ and some large loose flews seem to go with those heads. Movement on some dogs is exaggerated because of over angulation.

Top three show dogs of the past?
My all-time favourite would be Arnac Bay Pride. She was such a beautiful bitch all round, who passed on so much through her children for the breed. Chestnut Hills Arnac Drake was such a hunk, with a coat like a grizzly bear and such good bone. Penrose Amazing Grace was a lovely bitch too, if a little masculine in the head. All were lovely on the move.

Do you have any interests outside of dogs?
No, not specifically – I am purely a dog person.

How do you feel Chessies compare in the field to other gundog breeds?
In the field working they are excellent and certainly the best wildfowling dog to be had. What do you think are the special qualities of the breed? I think their special qualities are their love of their people, and their protectiveness, love of working and their tenacity to never give up.


Bournemouth Ch Show, online success for Gus, and some great further reading!

19 July 2020

Some relatively good news at last, with the Kennel Club issuing the following statement:

The Kennel Club would like to confirm that any show which has been rescheduled within 12 weeks of its original date due to the coronavirus pandemic must keep the original qualifying dates. If a dog was eligible for a class on the original date it would still be eligible to enter that class on the rescheduled date. For example, if a dog was eligible for Junior on the original date, even if it is over 18 months old on the rescheduled date, it can be entered into Junior and, should it win a class and meet Junior Warrant criteria, relevant Junior Warrant points can be claimed.

Furthermore, if a dog is eligible for a class on the rescheduled date, it can enter this class. Therefore, if a puppy was too young for a show if it took place on the original date but is now 6 months or over on the rescheduled date it can be entered into the show. 

The Kennel Club would like to confirm Bournemouth Canine Association has rescheduled within 12 weeks. It should be noted that Blackpool District Canine Society has not rescheduled within 12 weeks.

This means that our breed classes at Bournemouth will allow entries in the puppy classes to those who were eligible on the original dates but will be, in theory, too old to enter the puppy classes in October. Likewise, junior dogs who have aged out of junior will still be eligible to enter in the junior classes.

So many young dogs missed their chances to compete during this pandemic that it will be nice for them to finally get into the ring. I anticipate a large entry for Bournemouth from our breed. Let us hope the weather is kind.

The Chesapeake Chat (the CBRC Yearbook) is still with the printers, who have a technical problem with one of their machines, but we are hoping that will be sorted out in the coming week. When club members do finally get the Chat, it will include, as usual, a list of members’ contact details, including email addresses (for those who have agreed to publication, that is). Please could everyone check that their details are up to date and correct. Whilst trying to email all members recently, we have found many details are incorrect. We all chop and change and often forget to let societies know.

More online competition news where Chesapeakes are certainly playing their part – a far cry from the ‘old days’ when the breed was rarely given a second glance in the show ring! This time a big winner from the ‘real’ dog shows, Madeline Mahon and James Newton’s young dog ‘Gus’ taking second in minor puppy dog and first in puppy dog in the ‘eyes on the prize’ virtual show, judged by Linda Ann Lawson.

The July edition of US magazine ShowSight features the Chesapeake Bay Retriever. You can go to the online edition to read the entire article (pages 191-206). With long-time breeders and judges of Chesapeake sharing their thoughts and concerns about the breed, the standard, temperament, etc., it makes interesting reading. Well-known names include Emilese Baughman, Nat Horn, Betsy Horn Humer, Dyane Baldwin, JoAnn Colvin, Diane Baker, Karen Anderson, Gina Downin, Michelle and Dave Keehn, Angie and Brian Cox, Kathy Luthy, Linda Harger, and Polly Henshaw.

Christine Mayhew

Rally success for Isla and Bea and a little bit of history

12 July 2020

Sharon Baxandall’s two girls did an online Rally trial and got the results last Sunday. Sharon says: “I must say it was fun and the results were good, even though it was exhausting setting up courses in the wind – the stations kept blowing away. My lovely daughter filmed me and the host’s other half transferred my posts from Facebook and put them on YouTube for me (way beyond my capability) to be judged. Isla scored 192 and 198 and gained her Level 1 Championship so we are onto Pre Level 2 next which is some off lead work. Bea did her 1st Veteran L1 rounds and scored 189 and 194.”

It’s so nice that people are taking every opportunity, despite the difficulties, to still carry on with dog activities. Well done, Sharon and girls!

News comes that Bournemouth Championship show is now scheduled for 5 October (Gundog Day), which is great news for those of us with puppies that we need to get out and about. Entries are now open via dogbiz.

Sharon's Isla with her rally rosettes
Sharon's Isla
Bea with her rally rosettes
Bea with her rally rosettes

With very little news at the moment, I thought I would give brief notes, along with photos of some of the early Chesapeakes in the UK, beginning this week with Ryshot Welcome Yank.

I met Yank  in the 1970s – my first introduction to the breed. He was a strong brown dog who belonged to long-time Flatcoated retriever breeder, Margaret Izzard from Ropley, Hampshire.

Ryshot Welcome Yank, born 18 Feb 1968

Yank was bred by Major Bruce Kennedy in Scotland. Major Kennedy had met the breed whilst shooting in the USA and was so impressed by their attitude to work that in he imported a bitch from the USA who he named ‘Doonholm Dusty’. Major Kennedy purchased a male pup, ‘Brandy of Cowal’ from a litter bred by an American serviceman on a term of duty in the UK. He bred a litter from Dusty and Brandy in February 1968, and Yank was from that first litter. Yank seems to have been the only dog to have been bred to pedigree Chesapeake bitches, having been bred to Eastern Waters Ryshot Rose, and Eastern Waters Morag, both bitches having been imported from the USA, Rose by Margaret Izzard and Morag by a Devonshire farmer, Mr Allan.

Christine Mayhew

Show news for your diary!

5 July 2020

Whilst all of our dog shows have been cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions, there is some activity in the USA where the top winning Chesapeake, MBIS MRBIS GCHG Sandbars Hardcore Hank MH QAA has added another to his very impressive collection of wins, this time in Oklahoma where COVID restrictions meant that competitors had to wear masks and stay 6′ apart. The judge was however able to handle and go over the dogs.

The American Kennel Club says that it continues to encourage each of its 5000 clubs to adhere to federal, state and local restrictions pertaining to minimise the spread of COVID-19, and as the states gradually begin to reopen they say that they strongly advise clubs to follow every regulation for large gatherings. As with the UK Kennel Club, they continue to monitor the situation and any developments.

Devon handling the multi-talented Hank

For those who have not met Hank, he is the first ever Chesapeake to achieve his AKC Master Hunter title and also win an All Breed Best in Show, which makes him the first ever retriever in AKC history to do so! Owned by Adam Levy and Diane Baker, Adam says of Hank, “besides all the fancy titles, he is my main hunting buddy and accompanies me all over the Midwest in our quest for ducks, geese, swans and pheasants. He has an amazing goofy temperament, gets along with all dogs, and loves people.” Hank is handled in the ring by Adam’s lovely fiancé, Devon Kipp. 

Meanwhile, Chesapeakes continue to do well in the online shows being held, with Caroline Pont’s lovely bitch Oakmarsh Dancing Diva notching up a string of successes with a Best of Breed, a Group 2, then a Best in Match (from an entry of 169). The icing on the cake however was a recent Reserve Best in Show out of an amazing entry of 1378!  Diva was bred by Kirsty Watts. What an amazing success these online shows have been for the dog showing fraternity during lockdown.

Caroline Pont's Diva wins Reserve BIS online

According to the British Horse Society, English indoor arenas may be back in use from 4 July, thanks to a “breakthrough” with the government and so this may lead the way to some ‘real life’ shows in the not too distant future.

There is great news for the Chesapeake Bay Retriever Club’s plans for shows next year.  Because of the ‘COVID cancellation’ this year, the Kennel Club has allowed us to schedule two championship shows and two open shows on the one weekend, namely the 3-4 July 2021. This will certainly make the weekend special so put these dates in next year’s diary. We have our show secretary Caroline Griffin-Woods to thank for arranging what is going to be a mammoth task for her, and so any offers of help, large or small, would be appreciated.

The British Association of Shooting and Conservation (BASC) has named its Gamekeeper of the Month as Raymond Holt. Raymond is the first gamekeeper to have been employed by the Kennel Club and is responsible for turning the Kennel Club owned Emblehope and Burngrange estates in Northumberland into a ‘training centre of excellence for working dogs’. More about the estate another time.

Christine Mayhew

Puppies, prizes and playing out

28 June 2020

Two more online dog show awards were recently won by the two Chesapeakes who share their home with Jo Coppin and Darren Davies-Jones!  Freja added to her previous award by coming 5th in AV Gundog out of 140 entries and puppy Mira who has yet to make her debut in ‘real life’ dog shows due to pandemic restrictions, came 4th out of 415 entries!  Way to go Mira! 

Put 8-9 August in your almost-empty diaries!  We will be running a training day and a Working Chesapeake Test day at Jason Mayhew’s training ground in Rogate, Hampshire. Obviously we need to keep to government guidelines with regards to social distancing and so should numbers climb too high we will close entries with first come, first served. Fortunately, with plenty of ground, I would doubt that we will have a problem, but please see the Events page and get your entries in early.

Two new imported pups have just arrived in the UK from Austria from Cristian Paldetti’s first Chesapeake litter. Many will know Cristian from meeting him at Crufts, and these pups are sired by his Multi International and UK Show Champion Nunneyswood Iceberg who has won the dog CC at Crufts for the last three years (and Best of Breed in 2019).

Ice was bred by Margaret Woods on the Isle of Wight, his sire being Gemma McCarthy’s Doublecoats Chesepi Ice Shaddow at Nunneyswood, who was himself imported from Sweden. His dam is Margaret’s own homebred Sh Ch Nunneyswood Drifting Snow. The mother of Cristian’s litter is Doublecoats Mary Quant bred by Catharina Lindstrom of Doublecoats kennel in Sweden. Mary Quant is sired by Gr Ch and Sw Ch Doublecoats Christmas Joy (BIS winner at the ACC Specialty 2011) and out of Sw Ch Doublecoats Icefern, who is a full sister to Gemma’s Ice Shaddow thereby doubling up on this pedigree. All this brings in lines we already have but in different formats and includes some lovely dogs from the USA, Sweden and the UK.

The pups from this litter have gone to new homes all over Europe, including Germany, Austria, Lithuania, Poland and Italy. Cristian says that all of the new homes are with lovely people who know the breed, and this gives him great satisfaction. He is keeping two pups in Austria for himself.

One of the male pups came to Cathy and Vincent Acheson who chose a puppy from Cristian’s litter because they had met and liked the father, Ice. They liked his drive, intelligence and his very gentle attitude – characteristics they wanted in a dog. The mother of the litter, Mary Quant, reminded them of their first ever bitch, Westering Michaelmas Daisy, a gentle soul with drive and determination.

After many exchanges of photographs and videos, and Skype calls, and with a requirement for a non-alpha male who would gel in their pack, a puppy was chosen. Then came lockdown! Finally, with all paperwork in order, the go ahead was given for the pup to be brought by an animal transport company ‘Linora’ and he duly arrived safe and well, along with another pup from the litter who has gone to a home in the South of England.

The puppy, who is to be Cathy’s dog, was named Thane. Scottish in origin, as is Cathy (born a McCulloch), a Thane was a minor Royal (Earl) who was fiercely loyal, hardworking and driven, and fit, and would protect his Lord and Master to the death.  Whilst the Achesons say that they fervently pray that the last attribute will be redundant, the others are all the best qualities of a Chesapeake.

Cathy’s plans for Thane are endless and I am sure that we will all meet him very soon at a Chessie event. Certainly he has adoring owners who are thrilled with this new bundle of brown fur.

Christine Mayhew

Fewer events, more testing and the ACC CBR Breed Database

21 June 2020

Sadly the Game Fair has now joined the list of cancelled events. The event organisers have this week released an email which says: “We have received a notice from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport who sadly, due to the coronavirus pandemic, cannot give us any assurances that the Game Fair can proceed in September. It will therefore be postponed until July 2021.”

The Frampton Country Show and Northern Shooting Show have also both been cancelled as a result of continued Coronavirus restrictions.

Good news with regards to eye testing though, is that in line with the easing of lockdown restrictions across the UK, the British Veterinary Association are advising that veterinary practices can begin transitioning towards as full a range of veterinary services as possible in a safe manner. This will be dependent on individual practice factors such as staffing levels, as well as the vets’ professional and clinical judgement, and the BVA urge all owners to respect their vet’s decision. Some Eye Panellists may be able to start offering CHS eye screenings within clinic settings now as long as government guidance on working safely, practice polices, and any local restrictions are adhered to. Please check with your veterinary practice. Currently group eye screenings cannot take place due to social distancing requirements. 

As many have asked about the American Chesapeake Club’s database, which is for ALL Chesapeakes worldwide, I have asked Gina Downin of Maryland, USA to explain it to us.

Christine Mayhew

The American Chesapeake Club has committed itself to the preservation of information about individual dogs in our breed. In 2018 we launched our CBR Database and with the help of the worldwide Chesapeake community, we are steadily adding new information. In the past, there have been privately owned databases that we came to rely upon, but those databases closed down and all data was lost. The ACC took action to collect and preserve this data so that we don’t, once again, lose this valuable information. Owners and breeders of dogs can submit information about their dogs along with documentation that allows our data group to verify the accuracy of the information. Submitting your documentation can be as easy as snapping a photo of documents and attaching the photo to your submission. Some information, such as health tests, can be submitted by sending a link to your dog’s health clearances in the Kennel Club’s Health Test Results Finder.

We have been working with several people in the UK to enter dogs so that we can start to connect the dots between related dogs. You can help us to strengthen those data connections by working with us to make sure that all UK dogs are represented in the database.

Start by visiting the database at: cbrdata.amchessieclub.org  You can search for a dog by entering any part of their registered name. If the dog already appears in the database, you can add new information directly from their page in the database. The types of information you can provide include: parent info, health test results, and a photo. You can also add a note that might include owner/breeder names and contact information, location of the dog, and other information that you think might be important. We only ask that you do not use the note function to promote your kennel or your dog for commercial purposes (i.e. no stud dog info, litter announcements, links to kennel website, etc.) If the dog does not already exist in the database, it must be added as a “New Dog with Test” from the home page of the database. You’ll start by entering some Kennel Club registration information and the results of just one health test. We have a very helpful flowchart that will guide you in how to enter your dog: Guide to Entering Data in the American Chesapeake Club CBR Database

At the moment, our database includes American Kennel Club titles. In the future we hope to add the capability for owners to submit titles from other registries with accompanying proof of that title. We look forward to recognizing all titles earned by Chesapeakes. And, we plan to eventually have the ability to produce pedigrees.

To see a sample dog in the database, you can visit the following link: CH Weatherdeck Arnac Bay Gudgeon RATN CGC

If you need any help in getting started with entering your dog into the database, we encourage you to reach out to our team at accdatateam@gmail.com.

Gina Downin, ACC Data Group

Events cancelled … and events to look forward to

14 June 2020

Sadly another event has been cancelled, this time Chatsworth Country Fair. Normally held in early September, Chatsworth is an important event in the gundog calendar, being anticipated for its yearly inter-team gundog working tests. The CLA Game Fair, having been postponed from July, is still scheduled to be held on 18-20 September at Ragley Hall, Warwickshire so all fingers crossed that this will not be cancelled.

Looking forward to 2021 and the show scene, the Kennel Club and the Crufts Committee have announced that they are committed to holding Crufts 2021 if permitted to do so by the Government. We can but hope.

To clarify recent breed notes in Our Dogs regarding the ACC WD programme:

The American Chesapeake Club (ACC) has a working dog certificate programme that tests dogs on their working ability in three different stages of tests. This test was perfect as we could run it according to ACC rules in various countries using the same criteria with a few exceptions for laws in each country, i.e. the Americans will throw a bird in the air and shoot it, which is something that we are not allowed to do (we would use cold game).

Each event has to be organised by a Regional Director (RD) of the ACC and I, as the RD for England, ran the first one with the help of Les Lowenthal of the ACC, who visited the UK to help us. This was many, many years ago and Les is sadly no longer with us. I continued to run tests, the last being in 2015. Janet Morris, at that time the RD for Wales, ran some in Wales too.

A few years ago (I think 2016) the American Chesapeake Club announced in their bulletin that they were no longer allowing their programme to be run overseas. This came as a shock to those of us in Europe who had supported the programme as we had received no prior notification of this announcement.

With the disappointment of this news, I, my stepson Jason Mayhew (a professional gundog trainer) and others on the Chesapeake Club committee, came up with a series of tests, loosely based on the ACC WD tests, so that our dogs could earn a club qualification to prove their ability to work. These tests are not a competition and we hoped that people who had never entered a test would be encouraged to do some gundog work with their dogs. We named these tests the WORKING CHESAPEAKE TESTS and all details of the three stages of test can be found on the Events page here on the CBRC website.

A few years after the shock announcement by the American Chesapeake Club, a few from the ACC rallied around the RDs in various countries to start discussions to try to revive the ACC working dog stakes. Being the RD for UK, I was amongst those asked for ideas to get things going again. It had been mooted that we may be able to re-invent the tests in Europe and beyond.

By this time our Working Chesapeake Tests for the UK Club had been formally written and agreed. Added to this, the idea had been proposed that all entering the ACC WD programme should be a member of ACC (at the equivalent of £50 per annum membership), which would probably not work for our normal members in the UK, most of who would not be interested in joining the American Club. (There are presently only five ACC members residing in the UK.)

CBRC Working Chesapeake Test rosette

For the UK tests, we were asking that everyone entering is a member of the UK CBRC at £10 per annum, and the entry fee for the test was to be £25 per test. The ACC entry fee amounted to £44 plus the ACC membership of £50 … it was a no brainer!

The first UK test was run in 2019 with great success. Catharina Lindstrom and Pia Wime Roudier were flown in from Sweden to judge as both have experience of the original tests. We had an amazing entry of 21 dogs for the first test, including two who had travelled from Greece and another two from Holland!

Eleven dogs passed the first test and nine went on to the next stage in the afternoon.  Unfortunately none passed the next stage but all said that they would like to try again next year. Even with the cost of foreign judges and initial expenses for rosettes, etc., the Club still made a profit, and gained several new members. Each dog and handler who passed was awarded a certificate and a beautiful rosette.

This year’s tests were planned for April but the pandemic put an end to those plans. If there is any opportunity to run the tests later in the year, we will do so if we are able to schedule it around shooting dates. Otherwise we plan to hold the test in April 2021. Check the Events page for updates.

Christine Mayhew

The Working Chesapeake Tests include tests on both land and water

Health testing and breed mentors

7 June 2020

Subject to confirmation and contracts, the ACC Specialty will be held 24-28 August 2021. Hopefully those who had planned to go this year will all be able to go next year.

In case anyone is wondering where the CBRC yearbook has got to, the printer is still closed down. As soon as they reopen, the yearbook will be printed out and sent to all Chessie club members in the usual way. Thanks for your patience. In the meantime, any news and information will be shared here on the club website.

In these times it is frustrating to not be able to make breeding plans when some dogs still need health checks. When everything will open fully again we do not know but the following may be helpful. In line with current government advice, veterinary practices have been advised to suspend or delay non-essential services during the lockdown period, including pre-breeding health testing. However, with the slight relaxation of lockdown regulations, Southern Canine Imaging, who I know many of us use for hips and elbows, are slowly starting up their clinics. They need to catch up with those they had  to cancel first, so they will not be booking any new appointments yet.

The British Veterinary Association is still closed anyway and will not be issuing any new forms, nor will they be scoring any X-rays the BVA say that this will be kept under review and in line with government announcements. They are asking all animal owners and breeders to respect their vets’ clinical and professional judgement and be patient during this time.

Laboklin, who process our genetic tests, however, are open for business as normal. In the case of our breed, DNA tests for degenerative myelopathy, long hair, PRA, EIC, etc. If you go to Laboklin’s website you can check on the tests and prices, and order swabs that will be sent to you. See the Health page for more information on health testing in Chesapeakes.

Last week Becky Johnson, the Breed Education Co-ordinator for our breed gave an overview on the new judging criteria.  Since then the KC have decreed that what was to be known as the Judges Competency Framework (JCF) will now be known as the Judges Education Programme (JEP) for breed shows. Becky continues this week with an overview of the mentoring scheme.

The mentoring scheme, to me, is an ideal way for knowledgable people in the breed who possess the right attitude and a desire to teach the next generation to impart their knowledge in an honest and helpful way. I sincerely hope that we will be able to produce a generation of informed, confident judges who seriously judge the dogs in front of them according to their merits, taking into consideration no other factors or fashions.

Christine Mayhew

Mentoring forms a crucial part of the Judges Education Programme so for the benefit of those who are a little in the dark about the meaning and purpose of mentoring, I have taken extracts from the Kennel Club Guide of Mentoring to help to explain the rationale behind it.

Mentoring is an important part of a judge’s learning to be competent to judge a breed. However, the judge still needs to develop their judging skills through practical experience of being a judge at all types of shows.

Mentoring is a relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps to guide a less experienced or less knowledgeable person in that breed. It is a learning and development partnership between someone with a wealth of experience and someone who wants to learn. In the context of the Judges Education Programme, mentoring is a learning and development experience where a Mentee is assisted by a Breed Mentor in developing breed specific skills and knowledge. A Mentee must undergo a minimum of three mentoring sessions, with a minimum of a year between the first and third session, before they can be observed in a judging scenario. If more than three sessions are felt necessary by the Mentee, or based upon feedback from Mentors, the BEC and Mentee will come to a consensus about additional mentoring sessions.

The aim of breed mentoring is to educate judges of the breed and provide them with the information to make informed decisions to preserve and safeguard the breed.

The objectives being to provide an opportunity for judges to expand on the knowledge they have acquired following attendance at a Breed Appreciation Day, subsequently passing the Multiple-choice Breed Standard Exam for the respective breed and their experience of judging the relevant breed. To empower individuals to take control of their learning opportunities and ensure that all Kennel Club judges are provided with the opportunity for enhancing their knowledge. It also serves to outline the Kennel Club expectations, reinforce good practice, and encourage careful planning and organizing and to provide opportunities for judges to undergo a minimum of three mentoring sessions which will contribute to the requirements necessary to progress from Level 2 to Level 3.

In order to be eligible to undertake a mentoring session, Mentees must meet all the requirements and be registered (once the online system is available) at Level 2 for the respective breed.

With regard to the eligibility criteria for Breed MENTORS, there will be two categories of mentors: first, persons who have bred/owned 2 UK champions in the breed (Champion or Show Champion) and awarded CCs more than once; and secondly, persons who do not meet criteria 1, but are supported by at least 50% of breed clubs (except where there is one breed club and they have the support of that club) or by the breed council and the KC Judges Committee. Non-CC breeds have different criteria.

Persons wishing to be considered as a Mentor who meet the criteria listed above should contact the Breed Education Co-ordinator (BEC) in the first instance to indicate their willingness. The BEC will include them on the breed’s mentor list. The Breed Education Co-ordinator (BEC) will then submit this to the Canine Activities Team.

The BEC will confirm with Breed Mentors which of the mentoring scenarios (listed below) that they wish to participate in. Mentors can choose not to be a Mentor for some of the scenarios if they wish.

  • One to one
  • Group mentoring
  • Student judging

The responsibilities of a Breed Mentor include:

  • Agreeing how best to conduct the mentoring activity to best meet the needs of the Mentee, in line with Kennel Club requirements and guidance.
  • Encouraging the Mentee to express and discuss their ideas, concerns and understanding of the breed. 
  • Encouraging the Mentee to play an active part in the session, and use questions to encourage the Mentee to demonstrate their knowledge. 
  • Helping Mentees to review their progress and set realistic and practical options to realise their goals. 
  • Helping Mentees to reflect on and learn from the mentoring experience. 
  • Taking due care and consideration when providing feedback to Mentees. Feedback should be constructive and honest. 
  • Referring Mentees to other sources of information, advice or further support where appropriate.
Becky Johnson

Chesapeakes – work and show

31 May 2020

News of a fantastic achievement for Caroline Griffin Woods and her dog Arla (Chesepi Parsippany with Migwell) who, on the 3 March this year, passed the Kennel Club Working Gundog Certificate.

For those who are unfamiliar with the test:  Handlers and dogs are required to demonstrate competence in control, obedience, temperament, hunting ability and retrieving ability. Set either on a real day’s shooting or, as in Arla’s case this time, in a simulated shooting field on dummies. Handlers and dogs walk together to the start area with the dogs at heel off lead and under control, they then have to sit through a simulated drive with dogs assessed both in the beating line and waiting at pegs. This is followed by hunting for seen and unseen dummies after the drive They are also required to do a marked retrieve from water and another from over an obstacle. Finally they are tested with a steadiness exercise where dogs are left together whilst handlers collect up decoys/dummies.

Participants are assessed by a qualified assessor and if there are more than three participants, a second assessor is appointed.  Qualified assessors are Kennel Club Field Trial Judges or others who have satisfactorily assessed the certificate three times and have been approved by another qualified assessor.

The standard of work required is high and these certificates are gained only with a lot of training and practice, so all credit to Caroline who has trained Arla herself. Arla was bred by Molly Barker out of Chesepi Monteray Silvercreek and sired by Doublecoats Earl at Arnac. Please let me know if your Chesapeake has gained this certificate so as we can keep a record for the Club and for the history of the breed. We will be publishing all details in the Chesapeake Club yearbook so please let me have all details, including date or year of test, name and breeding of dog and, if possible, a photo. Let’s get your achievements known about!

As many of you will know, the Club has cancelled this year’s show having taken into consideration the government guidelines and a cross-section of the membership’s wishes via a Facebook poll. Every attempt to avoid disappointment was considered. However, set aside the 3-4 July in your diaries for the 2021 show. More details will follow in due course and will be placed here on the Chesapeake Bay Retriever Club website.

When the Kennel Club decided to update its judges’ education programme, ideas were bounced one way and another, systems were put in place, and there were constant adjustments to improve the system. This has been going on for many years and created, for many, a lot of paperwork and some confusion. A bit like understanding law, it would seem that you need the right sort of brain to absorb and understand. When, a few years ago, Becky Johnson, a highly respected judge of gundog breeds with a keen interest in the Chesapeake, offered to take on the job of Breed Education Co-ordinator for the Club, the committee were overjoyed and leapt at the opportunity to have someone with a vast knowledge of the KC judging education system and who is personable and approachable.

I have asked Becky to explain the new system which she will do in two parts. Over to Becky for the first part …

Chrissie Mayhew

Many of you are aware that the Kennel Club have changed the way in which judges get passed to award Challenge Certificates in the future. This has been the subject of much heated debate, in so much as the Kennel Club have agreed to let the ‘current system’ and the new system – which is known as the ‘JCF’ (although that name will soon change) – run in tandem for 5 years.

For those of you not aware of what the current system entails, it is largely based on numbers of dogs judged over a period of time. You also have to pass a judging competency exam, attend an Open Field Trial or Open Working Test, pass the Rules and Regulations Exam, Points of a Dog exam and have stewarded at either an open or championship show on 12 occasions.  You also have to have owned or bred three dogs at the time of their entry into the Stud Book.

The new system has some similarities but involves fewer dogs judged and includes mentoring to aid a greater in-depth understanding of any one breed. Any aspirant judge, or any judges currently on the C list, are required to follow the JCF route.

The first thing you have to do is to register on the Kennel Club Academy. This is free of charge and there are a lot of interesting films and also a critique writing exam which can be done online. In order for completely new judges to start their judging career they will have to register at Level 1. Currently the KC CRM which will enable this is not yet launched.

In order to qualify for Level 1, a judge has to have completed the following criteria: a minimum of 5 years’ proven interest in pedigree dogs (any breed); a minimum of 2 stewarding appointments; passed the Rules and Regulations exam; and attended a movement and confirmation seminar. These criteria will allow you to judge 4 classes of the breed at any open show. 

Next you will need to qualify for Level 2.  Level 2 is the equivalent of a B list judge today. You need to attend a breed appreciation day (seminar) and pass a Multiple Choice Exam. (Note – anybody who has already done this need not do it again, as long as they have the certificate); pass the Points of a Dog assessment; view the ring stewarding seminar via KC Academy and take an online quiz; and finally, complete a critique writing seminar via the KC Academy and take the online quiz. Once you have attained Level 2 you can judge an unlimited number of breed classes and Open Shows and Championship Shows without CCs.

This is where the fun really starts! Getting to Level 3. In order to reach level 3 (A3 list equivalent) you have to fulfil the following criteria: 

  • undergo a minimum of three mentoring sessions over a 12 month period. This can take place as a “one to one” (candidate and mentor), ideally at a championship show where there are CCs on offer for the breed, in order to observe and discuss a meaningful entry.  Or Group Mentoring sessions can also be held.  The aspirant judge has to be mentored by 3 individual people who will assess their knowledge on the breed standard, understanding of breed type, ability to identify strengths and weaknesses, and their ability to place dogs in order of merit. These discussions have to be held in confidence.  If the mentor feels that the mentee would benefit from more research before progressing this will be flagged up.
  • be observed judging at either a breed club open show, a championship show without CCs, or a supported entry open show.
  • have judged the required number of dogs in line with the KC requirement for the relevant stud book band. Chesapeake Bay Retrievers are an A Minus breed so the required number is 15. 
  • and for judges who do not award CCs in any other breed, they will also have had to have owned/bred a minimum of 3 dogs when they attained their first entry into the KC Stud Book, complete 10 more stewarding appointments and attended an open field trial or working test.

Once you have reached Level 3 you then have one more step to accomplish before being able to register at Level 4 – the equivalent to the current A1 lists, i.e. passed to award CCs, and this is to attend and pass a breed specific seminar for the specific breed run by the Kennel Club. You will then be eligible to register at Level 4 and be entitled to accept an invitation to award CCs.

To be continued next week …

Becky Johnson

Chesapeakes line up for judges at a Chesapeake Bay Retriever Club Breed Seminar

More news to share!

24 May 2020
Contrary to the report in Our Dogs breed notes which states that the American Chesapeake Club Specialty show is now hoped to be held in February 2021, Joanne Silver (Chair of the ACC Show Committee) has asked that it be noted that the American Chesapeake Club Specialty Show, is certainly NOT being held in February. With the difficulties of contacting venues, hotels, etc., during this pandemic, arrangements for the next date and venue will be on hold for the time being. Joanne said that she has no idea where the February date originated from, and adds that they would not hold a show at that time of the year when they are in a snow belt!

I know that there were quite a few groups of UK owners planning to go to the ACC show this year, and with another year to plan that visit to Pennsylvania, there are many places to see in and around the not too distant Chesapeake Bay. One to look up and plan for is the Chesapeake Maritime Museum, with an outside guard of a Chesapeake based on Sailor, one of the two Newfoundlands who were the foundation of the early Chesapeake breed.
Sailor statue at the Chesapeake Maritime Museum

Human news! Our Club Treasurer, Gemma Pearce and her husband Daniel are expecting twin boys later this year!  CONGRATULATIONS! Luckily Gemma and Dan have enough Chesapeakes for both boys to handle in junior handling in the years to come!  

News of another online Chesapeake winner, this time a video working challenge run by the Working Minority Retriever Club, with Joanne Lycett’s Quint winning third place. A brilliant result for the breed and for Quint (pedigree name Winging It). Quint is two and a half years old and was bred by Dave Lowther out of his Chesepi Souix Falls and sired by Sh Ch Next Generation’s Chesepi Range Rider.

Quint with his rosette

Roly Hoare’s Sh Ch Petsalls Pride Cedar passed away at the beginning of this year. A very strong, hard hunting working dog, Roly always had him in his picking up team alongside his father, Dill, his sister Fig and two spaniels. Cedar was from Roly’s first litter sired by Sh Ch Arnac Bay Ardent and out of Arnac Bay Sage. There were only three in this litter, all kept by Roly and his partner Paula, and all three, Cedar, Fig and Lila, gained their Championships in the show ring.

Cedar sired just two litters, the first bred by Sharon Baxandall of Sharbae kennel, from her Sharbae Beguiling Rambling Rose, were born in 2016. There were only two pups, a dog and a bitch. Sharon kept the bitch, Sharbae Prettiest Star, who had an impressive show record as a puppy and went on to win a Group 2 at an open show and best of breed at Windsor Championship Show. As a beating dog she was eligible for the gamekeeper classes at Crufts and was a creditable 3rd against the other more prolific retriever breeds. Sharon also has rally obedience qualification TDRP and a level 1 towards her championship level. A true all around dog.

Cedar doing what he loved best

The second litter was out of Donna Laurie’s Northsolway Dark Angel. Donna, whose kennel name Northsolway gives her location away, tells the story of how she came south to collect Cedar for his liaison in Scotland. First with a train to Annan, another to Carlisle, then Euston, a tube train (the first time for Donna) then another train to Wimbledon to meet up with Paula Graystone who had Cedar, suitcase packed, all ready for his journey.

In Donna’s own words, “After a few drinks and a lovely meal, sleep called for a few hours. Morning broke and the journey was to be repeated in reverse. Only this time it was rush hour in London and I had Cedar with me! The first train was an eye opener. Then the hurdle to get on the Tube. Easy pease, I think. Well not so as there were no stairs or lifts. So with backpack on my back and carrying Cedar in my arms, we made it down the escalator only to discover there was another escalator! I made it on to the Tube, managing to get off at the right station, then was confronted by another two escalators! So with Cedar in my arms again we made it up both.  I’m sure the zombie commuters wondered about the strange little Scottish woman with a Chessie in tow as we certainly got space on tubes and trains! Finally at Euston station we boarded the train heading for bonnie Scotland and home, and arrived at Carlisle with an hour to spare before our next train so I treated Cedar to a sausage supper which he enjoyed!”

Thank goodness that Donna is a strong and tough wildfowling lass as Cedar must have weighed about 70 lbs. Anyway it would seem that the journey was worthwhile as his Scottish girlfriend loved him from day one and eventually produced ten little brown bundles … all male! 

Christine Mayhew

Welcome to Breed News Weekly!

17 May 2020

This is a new idea as many do not subscribe to dog papers, which can be quite expensive when you are really only interested in one breed. Please email me at bobmayhewqhorses@aol.com if you have any news of achievements, whether in the show ring or the field or anything Chessie-related.

With the dreaded Covid-19 reaping destruction on the dog showing calendar, more shows are being cancelled, the latest being City of Birmingham, Richmond, Darlington, and South Wales. The good news is that Chesapeakes have featured highly in the several on-line competitions being held.

Harriet Westgate’s beautiful pup Pixierose Anna won the Kennel Club’s Cutest Puppy Award with a really heart-stopping photograph. There were over 3,500 entries so this was a fantastic win for Harriet and for the breed.

Another success in an on-line show was Dallandor Jocasta (Freja) owned by Jo Coppin and Darren Davies-Jones who won Group 1 out of 59 entries in the Ruthin Canine Society Online Show. Freja’s photo, taken by Joy Middleton at Crufts, shows her off beautifully with her handler Darren. She was bred by Rachel Herbert out of Dallandor Artemis and sired by Sh Ch Arnac Bay Exe.

Sadly, Linda Partridge was diagnosed with cancer at the beginning of the year and has undergone surgery and started chemotherapy which is predicted to give her a good outcome. I’m sure everyone will join me in wishing her well. Linda has had Chesapeakes in the past and as a professional gundog trainer, holds the record for field trial wins and placings with the breed, being the only one to win a total of three trials, including an all-aged stake. Her field trial bitch Chesabay Coral of Braidenvale also won 24 awards in AV tests and twice won the URC Founders Trophy for top dual-purpose retriever (all breeds). Quite an ambassador for the breed, Corrie was bred by Sandy Hastings out of Arnac Bay Enigma of Chesabay and sired by Chestnut Hills Ty of Kahilani, a dog imported from the USA who sired two litters before he left for his destination of New Zealand.

Long-time Chesapeake owner and breeder and fervent wildfowler Allen Musselwhite (Puntgunner kennel) has just produced a book Wildfowling Tales, Past and Present. I am not a wildfowler but having purchased my copy and started reading it,  I find it fascinating, not only the chapter about the dogs but also the history of fowling in the Chichester and Portsmouth area. With some amusing tales of the men involved, it is a worthy read for anyone interested in shooting, shooting men, Chesapeakes, or just history.

Chrissie Mayhew