From a very early age I was obsessed with dogs.
In 1988 I had to decide what I wanted to do for work experience at school so chose working in kennels.
The nearest good kennels to me was Shargleam Kennels, owned by Pat Chapman who also bred and showed Flatcoated Retrievers. I had no idea at the time just how successful Pat was in the breed, but I soon found out!
Pat had some beautiful dogs and I had no idea that most of them were Champions until I started going to the shows with her.
I learnt so much during my time at Shargleam and for that I will be eternally gratefull.
I worked for Pat until her sad death in 1993.
In 1996, I wanted a Flatcoat of my own.
I wanted something to show and I wanted something Shargleam bred.
I had heard that John & Margaret Pendleton had mated their Ch Goldingale Apple Blossom, who was nearly all Shargleam bred, to Fossdyke Illustrious, who also carried alot of Shargleam breeding.
I had pick of the dogs and he became Goldingale My Choise For Hopevalley ShCM
I was granted the kennel name 'Hopevalley' in 1998 and My Choise was the first dog to bear my affix.
In 1998 I approached Val Jones about a bitch puppy from Ch Braemist River Dusk (before she was a champion). I thought ‘Dusk’ was absolutely stunning and her father was Ch Shargleam Black Thorn, so had the breeding I wanted. I had the pick of the bitches and the puppy I chose became
Braemist Morning Star Over Hopevalley and is my foundation bitch.
You can see more about the dogs on their own pages.
I have owned or bred 12 Flatcoats with KC Stud Book numbers, CC & RCC winners, a Show Champion, JW winners, Crufts class winners, Breed Best in Show and General Open show Best in Show winners, KC Gold, Silver and Bronze Good Citizens, Show Gundog Working Certificates and Show Certificate of Merit.
I also handle dogs for other people gaining many SBN, CC's and Crufts Qualifiers.
I had my first judging appointment in May 2000 and had the pleasure of judging bitches at the
Flatcoated Retriever Society Diamond Anniversary Open show in October 2008.
I was delighted to award my first set of CC's at The Scottish Kennel Club in 2013 and have since judged at National Gundog and The Flatcoated Rtriever Club of Scotland.
I am appointed to judge Dogs at NEFRA 2020.
I am also on the 'B' list for the English Setter Association and the C list for the German Wirehaired Pointer Club.
I also serve on the General Committee and the Judges and Show Sub Committee of the Flatcoated Retriever Society, looking after the shop
First and foremost my dogs are very much adored members of my family.
I love to watch them enjoy the freedom to run to their hearts content in the fields on our walks, see them play together and with other dogs, allow them the comfort of the sofa, usually on their backs with their legs in the air
and share precious cuddles.
They are my pride and joy.