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07.06.09 Home from the Flatcoated Retriever Speciality in Rhode Island, America

What a fantastic time we all had in Rhode Island and what a pictuesque area it is. The American hospitality was amazing, with people warming to both my boys (husband and son) and me. I couldn't believe the number of people who came up and thanked me for my judging and how they had enjoyed it even when they hadn't won - it was really overwhelming. Thank you to the Flatcoated Retriever Society of America for inviting me to be a part of this wonderful event. I was pleasantly surprised by the dogs, having been there 9 years ago, I felt the quality had improved considerably. Although looking at the official photographers efforts you would not believe this, as he was insistent on the dogs being "stacked". I was actually given a DVD by Chris Butler of all the dogs I judged so I have a very nice momento. I think perhaps he will have this on his website in due course. I had a terrific entry of nearly 200 dogs, pretty equally split between Veteran and Puppy Sweepstakes - coming across from New Mexico, California and down from Canada and Alaska. My best veteran was Ch Hawknest's Eros of Windtree 15.03.99 bred by Lori Nicolosi by Ch Grousemoor Highflying Pete, CD,SH x Ch. Rainbow's Hawknest Treasure, CD.KJ and owned by Roger M Preston. BOS Veteran was Ch Beachcliff Celine Dion, 03.08.00 bred by Deborah Edwards & Man Redich-Galvin. By Ch Rainbow's Autumn Classic x Ch Beachfliff's Demi Wants Moore. Owned by Deborah A Edwards and Carrie Ryberg. My best puppy was Flatout Carbonated Drink, 12.12.07 Bred and owned by Nikkie & Chris Runyan. By Ch Flat Castles Happy Hour x Ch Bertschire Cookie Monster. BOS Puppy was Banquo's Hellz Bellz, 10.03.08. Bred by D McElrath & J & B Jensen. By Ch Dare's Quilquest Moonshadow x Ch Nabquo's Memphis Belle. Owned by Dale McElrath & Kim Yates. On a British note there were a few success stories to report. The Stormwatch kennel had 3 Vbos The Kentuckian offspring in the Puppy stakes managing a second and two thirds. The winner of the 6-9months bitches was Matlaras Estella (Taranbeck Last Fusilier x Matlaras Mischief Maker) bred by Karen Plumtree and living in Canada. It was a great honour to judge alongside Per Iverson and Lena Hagglund, who did the other classes. I have known both of them for many many years, so it was good to spend some time with them. We all had to do a speech on the final night which was a little daunting and as I had to follow Per and Lena, I did mine without notes and managed a few laughs in amongst some more serious undertones! Robert as you can imagine was the "star" - he had so many "American Aunties" making a fuss of him and getting him into mischief! A very big thank you to the "American Aunties" too many to name individually. As you can imagine he is still on a high, which is probably just as well as he has to go into hospital on Wednesday for another eye operation. I shall be typing up a full report in due course.

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