The first labrador came to me in 1997. from my boss who could not do anything with this energic black demon. I did not even know at that time that the labrador is a hunting breed, I had sepherds and 2 spaniels before. Then I found the retriever club, started to train Artur and soon we were on the competitions. At that time he was one of the best retrievers in Hungary and I was very satisfied with him - until the German and Astrian dogs came to our FTs and I got a blick in a totally different world.
I saw another type of retriever - another shape, another attitude ... and a totally different type of work. I decided - I need a dog like that. I asked Dr. Robert Kaserer to propose me a litter from his dog, Crusy - and that's how I got Gianna of Carinthia (2001). I has always felt extremely lucky that I got this wonderful bitch who was intelligent enough to tolerate my faults as totally green retriever trainer. I learned much more from her that I can ever teach to my dogs. She achieved the International & Hungarian Field Trial Champion title by her age of 3,5 and she had been very successful on WTs as well. She was an expert of wounded birds - that's why she got the merit of the Best Retrieve on the European Cup for Retrievers in 2005. Her performance level was even, I could always count on her.
I wanted to mate her to keep a puppy and while we were trying to find a good stud for her I got my second bitch, Chance of Dukefield (2003). She was not "planned" but my 6th sense told me not to leave her - and I was right. She had been the little diamond of my kennel, super fast and a hunting specialist - and she could offer you her heart and soul 24 hours long a day... It had always been the relief of the day when I went out for training with her - endless joy. She achieved the Int. FTCH title by the age of 3,5 and I also had nice moments with her on WTs, once Bob Stobbart was so pleased with her that he even gave me his judging note-book with a mark on Chance's page: "Wow. Shit off a saw".
With the first litter of Gianna I put down the foundations of my kennel called Blackthorn in 2005. From this litter I kept a bitch, Asca. She is the clown of the family I always cheer up when she is around. Beside her wonderful character fortunately she inherited excellent nose, endless working activity and she wants soooo much to please! She is a very talented and hard-going bitch giving me a lot of unfogettable moments on trainings and competitions. In 2009. she did an incredible thing: she won two consecutive Open Qualifier Field Trials in England so she became the first (and until now the ever) British Field Trial Champion bred, raised and trained on the Continent! And of course she was running on the IGL Championship in Blankley.
The first "Man" in the kennel, Blackthorn Racer Drake, arrived in 2005. We got him from our friends in England when we spent there 10 days for training and trialling. He is a very precious dog, combining the stylish self-work with a total control by the handler. He has produced many healthy and good natured litters during the past years.
Until now we have made 6 dogs up to FTCH in the Blackthorn Kennel:
Int. & H FTCH Gianna of Carinthia
Int. FTCH Chance of Dukefield
Int. FTCH Blackthorn Racer
GB & Int. FTCH Blackthorn Ascella
Int. FTCH Garagill Pike at Blackthorn
Int. FTCH Blackthorn Kallisto
I always keep pups from my own breeding to see "what is coming out" and I also imported some new blood from England: two bitches, Drakeshead Vogue "Zizi" and Garagill Suomi "Mazsola" and a dog, Garagill Pike, to keep my breeding fresh.
I have been active in promoting retriever work in Hungary for a long time - in the past years as one of the leaders of the Labrador Retriever Club - and I had been managing an informative professional Hungarian website - RetrieverSport - on training and care of retrievers since 2001.
After qualifying myself as an FCI overall Field Trial, Hunt Test and Dummy Test judge I had finished a practical field trial judging course in England organized by the Kennel Club with the guidance of Sandra and John Halstead and John Drury. It was a great honour and joy to learn from the Top Judges in England!
In the past years I judged many times in Hungary, Czech Republic, Austria, Germany, Finland, Italy and Sweden - and in 2008 I had the honour to judge on a Field Trial in England!
I like to train my dogs according to the hunting requirements and not just for WT or FT - so all of them can work on normal hunting days, search under the gun-range, flush game, pick up etc. - and in the meantime they are successful in every kind of competitions, on WT as well as on FT. The retriever is such a versatile breed, it would be a waste of their talent not to improve every inborn quality and ability which they have...
I hold regular hunting and dummy training classes in my own area near the Austrian border as well as abroad, preparing dogs and handlers for hunt tests and WT/FT. I train only small groups so I can focus on the individual problem of every dog and handler. My trainings are quite 'technical', I like 'trial and success' method with built-up excercises instead of testing the dogs with a lot of dummies retrieved.
I still spend considerable time to visit other trainers in England and on the Continent and take training days from them because one can always learn and get fresh new ideas. Wintertime I spend all my spare time freezing on picking-ups where I can enjoy the result of the all-year-long training of my dogs.