Beale Park Boat Show & Gatton Country Fair

Beale Park, Reading 1st, 2nd & 3rd June 2018

Newfs in Action had their first display of the season at the annual Beale Park Boat and Outdoor Show from the 1st to 3rd June. This is a major display for our Club and was our eighth year at this event. Many people come just to see our dogs so the format of our displays are continually changing with each year being different to the previous one.

We had twelve Newfies working in the water, sometimes on their own or in twos or even threes. Rescuing casualties in the water varied from jumping out of the boat, bringing someone to shore by their wrist, taking out a life ring, rescuing them off a surf board or ‘herding’ a group of casualties with a float line, to name just a few. Sometimes the boat ‘broke down’ and was brought in by a dog either pulling it from the ‘bow’ with a rope or by standing on the shore holding the rope firmly in its mouth whilst the boat driver pulled the boat in using the rope. Finally, the ‘NIA Brass Band’ had to ‘jump ship’ when their was a ‘fire on board’ and were rescued by one of our Newfies! It was a diverse programme with plenty for the public to watch and be entertained.

We had some welcome help for this event from Greg & Julie Roffe with their friends Tony & Julie Payton, as well as some land and water help from members of the RLSS. We had twelve working dogs in the water plus three gorgeous twelve week old puppies and a twelve year old ‘great grandmother Newfy’. The puppies helped to make our dry land event a great success. The public were able to see how these small, fluffy bundles of fur can grow into very large dogs of 60 kilos or more! They were able to learn more about the Newfoundland breed, see them in their carts and have photographs taken with our dogs as well as generally fuss and stroke them.

Displays of this kind require a commitment to training the dogs so that they not only perform well in the water but are safe with the public and with unfamiliar noises and sights around them. The officers of NIA do a wonderful job of ensuring that everything goes to plan (or as near as possible!) and we are all indebted to the hours that they put in to make this such a wonderful event.

Our next event is ‘Gatton Country Fair’ at Gatton Park, Reigate on Sunday 1st July. Do come along and see this amazing breed in the water demonstrating the skills that they were bred for.

Sue Whittaker


Gatton Country Fair, Gatton Park 1st July 2018

Not the first water display for the Newfs in Action team, but it was for Max who started his training with the group earlier this year.

Everyone in the group are volunteers and lovers of this amazing breed. The aim of the group is to show these amazing dogs doing something they love, teach the public about the breed but most importantly making everyone aware of the dangers around water.

The day consisted of two displays and both times we had a large crowd come to see us. Everyone seemed to be amazed by the gentle giants and surprised just how strong they were.
The displays consisted of 4 & 6 people tows, boat tows, jumps from the boat, herding and much more.
One of the most impressive to watch was Prada bringing in a manikin of a child while Cheryl gave CPR, this made the crowd and myself say just one word “WOW”.

We had 9 dogs doing the displays, Sancerre, Miss Dior, Prada, Marilyn, Zoe, Bentley, Chewie, Barnaby & Max.

The displays ran like clockwork thanks to the hard work put in by Cheryl and Phil who come up with the ideas for the displays, Sue who assists Cheryl on the microphone to explain to the crowd what is going on and which dog we have in the water. Robin & Sue Scott and Andy Hunt are always in the water or in the boat to assist on every display.

We had the pleasure of Justin Evans joining us on the day to help with the displays, this great lad was a huge help in the water.

I had the easiest job of the day and that was being the team photographer, I job I love and it gives me a chance to mix with the crowd and answer any questions they may have.

Not knowing what to expect we walked away at the end of the day as proud owners (parents) of Max and to be part of an amazing team of people and dogs.

Nicky Johnson


Castle Canines, Hever Castle 4th 5th August 2018

Hever Castle is a beautiful setting and a perfect venue for Castle Canines.

This was the warmest it has ever been at this venue and the staff at Hever Castle went above & beyond to make certain all 4 legged friends attending or staying the weekend were kept as cool as possible. There was carpet on the tarmac, cooling stations, water everywhere and a hosepipe to help keep the dogs as comfortable as possible.

We were lucky to have some guests on both days to help us out. Our thanks go to Adam, Mel, Grace & Justin.

We were privileged to do 2 water displays each day and the dogs loved it, as did the crowds. The wows and admiration for our beautiful dogs could be heard by all of us in the water.

People waiting to go on the boat rides were even giving up their position in the queue just so they could be out on the water when our displays started so they could watch our wonderful dogs doing their displays.

The dogs performed well as usual completing boat tows, wrist tows, a surf board rescue, herding a group of swimmers in with a long line with floats, multi tows of several casualties, finding a hidden casualty, over turning an unconscious casualty & then taking them by the wrist to shore and distraction & straight rescues with life rings & torpedo buoys.

We had a band playing in the boat who got into trouble and all fell put of the boat, they were ably rescued by Zoe & Prada.

We always like to make sure we get the message across of safety in the water and our wonderful dogs help us to do this.

We can’t wait to do it all again at this rather special and magical venue.

Sue Scott