Although my family has had dogs since 1969, my first show Labrador did not arrive until 1982, a black bitch called Donacre Gemstone. Gemstone won well gaining her studbook number many times over, and this was enough to get me hooked showing Labradors!
Shortly after obtaining Gemstone, my mother joined the partnership and we registered our Kennel Name of Cremino in 1986. Since then, all our dogs have been jointly owned and our kennel is very much run as a team effort. We have a small kennel of dogs, usually no more than eight, which all live with us in the house, and which at the time of writing, currently includes two show champions, and others with CCs or res CCs.
Despite limited breeding, we have been fortunate to have bred and campaigned six UK champions. CH. Cremino Corniche JW was the top CC winning Labrador bitch in the UK in 1999, winning her 3rd CC and BIS at the prestigious Labrador Retriever Club from the junior class. Corniche also gained her Show Gundog Working Certificate. Her sire, Cremino Corn Barley JW was a fantastic sire and produced several champions including three different dogs that won CCs at the Labrador Retriever Club Championship Show. His great-grandson SH.CH. Cremino Chilly Pepper ShCM has also produced several UK champions.
My interest in the breed’s development and history has resulted in the compilation and production of five pedigree books on all the UK Labrador champions (show and field trial) – the last four were co-authored with the late Dr Isabella Kraft from Germany. These books have sold worldwide and, we hope, have proved to be of great benefit to Labrador enthusiasts.
I first judged Labradors at an open show in 1987, and my first Championship show in the UK in March 2003. I have officiated at Championship level regularly since, judging for most of the Labrador breed clubs in the UK and had the privilege of judging Labrador dogs at Crufts 2016.
It has also been an honour to be invited to judge Labradors throughout many parts of Europe and also in Australia, America, Japan, South Africa and Russia. In 2014, I judged the Australian Nationals, and in 2015 I judged bitches at the LRC of the Potomac – just two highlights of my judging career.
I am really looking forward to judging in Slovenia for the first time and thank you for inviting me.