In over 52 years of involvement with Golden Retrievers, we have established two main breeding lines – a ‘working’ strain and a ‘show’ strain, both very successful in their own spheres.

David and Wendy and their picking up teams

Our dogs, whatever their breeding, are given the opportunity to work in the field, using their instincts and natural ability to do the job of work that has been bred into them for generations - retrieving!
We ‘pick – up’ two to three days throughout the shooting season. They LOVE doing it and so do we.

The back row shows Amber on the left with her three children Classic, Charm and Cherish.

Middle row shows Cherubin on the left with her kids Chamois, Cupid and Ceres.

Front row from left – Ceraphin (Sigh) , Crystal, Silk (first of our Field Trial bred line.) Czar (Son of Choice) and Choice (daughter of Cherish)

In September 1978 when Honey (Ch. Royal Pal of Catcombe) died, we rang Lucille Sawtell to tell her of the news and at the time she had a litter which also went back generations to her foundation stock, this time on her working line. Since we had really become most keen and interested on this side of breeding we decided to have a puppy. Her name was Sheersilk of Yeo (we added from Catcombe) To put it mildly, Silk was a new experience for us!


The beginning of Catcombe Field Trial bred Goldens.


Silk had so much tenacity, courage and daredevil in her character that she astounded and worried us. She was the 8 week old puppy who crawled one hot night out of our bedroom window and up the wire netting to sleep in the cool breeze right on top of our roof. In the morning, thinking that she had fallen from our window to her death, we looked up and spotted her on the ridge. She, yawning, gaily trotted down the thatch and then leapt the remaining 15 feet into David’s arms!

Her speed and brilliance – so trying in the home – took her to the top in the field. Without giving a monologue of her wins, which are most extensive, she has in summery 19 first places in Open and Cold Game Tests including the Arthebram Cup for the highest placed dog or bitch at the United Retriever Club’s Area Final. She won placings in Field Trial classes at Championship Shows, won awards in Obedience at Open Shows and most important, she is a Field Trial winner. Silk had a litter to Belway Flick of Flightline from which we kept Catcombe Caper and Catcombe Chaos. Caper, worked by David won very well in Trials as well as Tests.

Sheersilk of Yeo from Catcombe

In 1982 we bought another working puppy (by Belway Flick of Flightline again), Standerwick Rumbustuous of Catcombe (Rumba). He fulfilled all our dreams as he took his Field Trial Champion title when he was 4 years old, having already won a non-winner trial at 2 years and awards, including a 2nd and 3rd at Open stakes, when he was only 3. His record in tests and as a picking-up dog are superb. His good looks and sound construction have won him many placings at Championship shows as well.

Rumba was mated to Silk to produce Catcombe Cataclysmic (Clizzy) and Catcombe Calamity.

Clizzy asleep in his usual position. and on the right his father Field Trial Champion Standerwick Rumbutuous of Catcombe showing off his good conformation

After many years of celibacy Rumba was 12 ½ years old when we asked him to mate David and Sue Barn’s April (Willowspring April of Millgreen) always keen to please us, Rumba with a little help, managed with style! April carried 11 puppies but had to have a caesarean and we only managed to save 5 of them. We kept 4 of them, 3 boys and a girl – Canny, Clever, Credit and Chancey.


The VIDEO below features all four of this litter ( plus a brother and sister from a previous litter by Rumba ), on one of the last shoot days of the season with the dogs waiting to spring into action once the 'drive' is completed.

Canny, Clever and Credit have all won Field Trials. In the UK one can only sensibly campaign one dog at a time in Open Stakes, so from the three I chose Canny. He did well and won a further 3 Trials, had two Open Stake third placings. He was retired from competition at eight in 2001.

Rumba in the middle with 4 children Chancey,Canny, Credit and Clever

The winning offspring from two litters of Chancey and Field Trial Champion Ashsham Counsel.
From the left. Carrera, Chrysler, Carli, Chenouk, Cornet, Cellist, Cymbal together with the trophies they won.

All the young dogs pictured are Field Trial Winners with Cellist, Chrysler, Carli, Chenouk all half way to their Field Trial Champion title. Shortly after the photo was taken , Danny lost Carli to cancer at the young age of 4 years. Devastating! 

Chancey was top winning Field Trial brood bitch 3 times for her offspring's F.T. wins.

Top Row: Carli, Clever, Copernicus,
Middle Row: Credit, Rumba, Cyder, 

Below: Chenouk and Credit, Canny and Clever at 13 years.

Today, at Catcombe we are lucky to still have three Grand Daughters, Chuckles, Cobweb and Chance (at the front) and two Great Grand daughters Caitlin and Conny (rear) descended from Rumba.