About Us

How it all began ...

I was very fortunate to grow up surrounded with animals. My mother had a horse and tried to get me into riding at a very young age, alas she failed, until I reached my early 20’s when I discovered I actually loved horses, and took up hacking and Polo. The other additions to our family were a budgie, rabbit and of course the dogs.

Through my entire childhood we had dogs. My mother has a love for German Shepherds, and she had several rescues. Then came along the mongrels, they were fabulous dogs and perfect for a growing child to play with. My mother and father can recount many humorous stories of the mongrels they had in the 80’s and the trouble they used to cause, from making a dog jump into a river, to disappearing and found sitting on our front door step, to locking my parents out of their house, they were much loved family members who will never be forgotten. Our last mongrel was a beautiful black and tan Heinz 57 bitch called Sable. She was an amazing dog, and incredibly obedient, she was my mother’s shadow, and it was because of her that I decided that I wanted a dog to do competition work with.

A friend of mother’s had a lovely black Labrador bitch of working lines called Poppy and she had a litter of puppies. My mother helped whelp the litter, so we were offered a puppy for free. I jumped at the chance and acquired the very multi talented black bitch Royal Dimension or Pepsi as she was commonly known as. Pepsi was a dog and a half, she was the naughtiest dog we had ever owned, she would eat anything, including a wall in our hall way. Pepsi was incredibly bright, so I took her to puppy training classes where she showed all the Collie breeds a thing or two. She continued through the class levels and completed her Bronze Good Citizen award and took part in obedience competitions at shows with a great level of success.

Having Pepsi made me realise that I wanted another dog, a proper show dog. We searched for months for the right breed for us and decided on the Hovawart a rare german breed which is not dissimilar to the Flatcoat. However we were told that the waiting list for puppies was very long due to the rarity of the breed, so back to the drawing board.

Then my mother’s friend and walking partner Lynette Irwin told us she had a litter of Flatcoated Retrievers and we could have a boy from her. Thus our introduction into Flatcoated Retrievers, on the day I finished my last GCSE exam in 2000 I brought home our lovely boy Harley, Bumblyn Noah Claypole he was the sweetest, most gentle boy you could hope to have. So I had my Flatcoat for showing and my Lab for obedience, I even went to the Kennel Club Junior Organisation camp with Pepsi and we had a wonderful time. Pepsi turned her paw to Obedience, Junior Handling, Agility, Flyball and Gundog work. She loved it all, all though she didn’t quite see the point of the jumps in Agiltiy, so she normally just ran underneath them. At camp Pepsi completed her Silver Good Citizen’s and in the end we even qualified for the South East and East Anglia Obedience team where we attended the final at Crufts and came a very credible 5th.

With Pepsi I continued doing a few obedience shows with her and she did very well winning out of Pre-Beginners. Harley became my show boy and Junior Handling dog. I qualified for the Semi Finals of the Junior Handling Association Junior Handler of the Year, and also won the Flatcoated Retriever Society Junior Trophy the first year it was offered.  I had been completely bitten by the showing bug and loved showing Harley who qualified for Crufts on several occasions. I was delighted to handle his mother Bumblyn Jemima Puddleduck on a few occasions; she was a simply wonderful bitch with many great working and field trial awards to her name. My fondest memory of Dabble was showing her at LKA one year, we came 2nd in Post Graduate bitch, and then had to challenge for the Reserve CC, it was the most terrifying moment of my show career, but was so much fun I was utterly addicted.

In 2002 we were lucky enough to have the most beautiful bitch I have ever met, Gemswin Eternal Flame; Ember was a Gemswin Abracadabra daughter from Gemma and Sue Knight. Ember was lightly shown, as she much preferred to stay at home in front of the fire.

Ember 2002

In 2003 Ann Kilminster had a litter from Withybed Miss Montana, she was my favourite bitch, so elegant and pretty. We were thrilled to bring home Madison, Withybed New Yorker he was a Sorcerer’s Apprentice son and a once in a lifetime dog. He won an RCC under Fiona McKinley at Manchester 2008, and has won many classes at Championship level. He continues to grow old disgracefully in the Veteran classes.

Madison 2007

From Madison and Ember we bred our first litter, in 2005 Ember gave birth to the first Harlistream litter, she had 6 puppies, 3 boys and 3 girls. We kept a dog from the litter Gambit, Harlistream Viva Las Vegas. Gambit had a whirlwind of a show career gaining his Junior Warrant by 9 months, and Best Puppy In Breed at WKC and Midland Counties 2005 and Best Puppy Dog at Bournemouth 2005.

Gambit after winning 2nd at Crufts 2007

Left: Madison Right: Gambit 2007

In 2007 I went to see a litter of puppies bred by Viv Bowen of the Clandrift kennel, the puppies were by Vbos The Tycoon and I fell in love with a bitch which I decided I had to have, she was Jive, Clandrift Dirty Dancing. Jive is always in the cards at Championship Shows, even winning Best Puppy In Show at the Flatcoat Club of Scotland Championship Show in 2009. I was thrilled in 2010 to win Undergraduate bitch with her at Crufts, our first ever class win at Crufts, and an unforgettable day.

Jive after winning BPIS at Flatcoat Club of Scotland 2009
Photo by HM Tomlinson

 In 2010 Madison was used at stud to a lovely bitch called Isabel Hermes her lines were really interesting and featured Tom Thumb as a GG Grandfather, so we decided we had to have a Madison son from the litter, we kept Dime, Oaksenriver Occoro. Dime is so gentle and a wonderful dog just like his father, however he prefers to stay at home rather than show, he leaves the showing to his brother and sister owned by the breeder, Oaksenriver Rimac and Atico have made us very proud by  both winning classes at Championship show level. Rimac is the image of his father from his stunning head, to his coat which has a mind of its own. We watch their progress with much pride.

Dime 2011

In 2011 I was given the opportunity to live on the French/Swiss border near Geneva for a few years. This has given me the opportunity to try my hand at showing Flatcoats in Switzerland. Jive has attended a few CAC and one CACIB show, which is a complete learning curve for myself. The judging system in Switzerland and Europe is completely different to the UK. Jive and I have had much fun meeting the Swiss Flatcoats, and she has done well by gaining Excellent and 4th in Open Bitch at a few CAC shows. I hope to attend a few more CAC shows in both France and Switzerland.

Jive at the Lausanne CACIB show in Switzerland 2011

In 2012 we had our second and much anticipated litter. I had spent a few years trying to find the perfect stud dog for Jive, I eventually found the stunning Black Mica's kennel in Sweden and instantly knew my search had ended. I used Sune (INTCH SU(u)CH NUCH Black Mica's That's Enough) a stunning boy with a fabulous temperment and personality. Sune is owned and bred by Linda Edberg who I am eternally grateful for allowing me to use her precious boy and being a wonderful host for both myself and Jive whilst we were in Sweden. On the 12th March 2012 Jive gave birth to 9 beautiful puppies, 6 bitches and 3 dogs. From the litter we kept a bitch Tuva (Harlistream Ellerstina) and also a dog Chance (Harlistream Astrada) whom is in partnership. I am so proud of this beautiful litter, and watch them with great pride.

INTCH SU(u)CH NUCH Black Mica's That's Enough - Sune

Harlistream Ellerstina - Tuva

In July 2014 Mathilda Luckner had a litter from a Sune daughter the very beautiful Explicit I Love Fame. We were so thankful that she allowed us to have a bitch, in November 2014 we brought home Cookie (Explicit I Love Cookie), she has become firm friends with fellow Swede Tuva, we look forward to all the fun times ahead.

I am currently on the Flatcoated Retriever Society B Judging list, I judge Flatcoats at Open Show level only.

Myself judging at Newark in 2008

Rachel Davies
November 2014


©2011 Harlistream Flatcoated Retrievers