First of all I would like to say thank you to the organisation for inviting me to judge at the FRC-Tropy. I am very honoured to judge our lovely breed at the dual-purpose Weekend!
Since 1986 I own Flatcoated Retrievers under the prefix ‘Brightmoor’. It’s just a tiny kennel, most of the time we own 3 Flatcoats. When looking for a pedigree dog I fell in love with the breed, not just for the looks but mainly because of there Peter Pan’s nature and their lively temperament.
My first Flatcoat was a wonderful companion but also a great ambassador for the breed. He taught me more in his live then I could ever have thought him and I was hooked for the breed ever since. Because he was praised a lot for his conformation I got interested in construction of dogs in general and therefore got into the judging study. In 1995 I passed my exam for judging Flatcoated Retrievers followed by Curly Coated & Labrador Retrievers, English Springer Spaniel and Field spaniel. These are all breeds which I admire a lot. In the mean time I judged these breed in several European countries, including England. Judging the breed at the American FCRS Specialty was a big honour and interesting to see how the breed is developing in other countries.
Having owned only males for 20 years, I had my first bitch in 2000 imported from England. I bred one litter with her and two with her daughter. Although only 3 litters the breeding produced Champions in Europe, the UK, Canada and the VS. Besides showing I enjoy gundog training, working tests and picking-up with the Flatcoats. I think this is a wonderful way of sharing companionship with your dog.
When judging not only type is important but also if the dog is well made for its purpose, hunting/retrieving. All breed aspects in the standard serve a purpose. Keeping in mind the original value of the breed while judging is of great importance and adds a positive contribution to judging gundogs and keeping the breed dual purpose. I hope everyone will enjoy the day and a lot of success to all the owners and their wonderful Flatcoats.