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South Western Golden Retriever Club

History of the Club

The South Western Golden Retriever Club was formed in 1973, and was the first of the 'regional' Clubs, (not counting the Northern, Scotland and Wales). It came about because of the dearth of classes specifically for the breed and with specialist judges in the West Country, a fact bemoaned by breeders within the area.

Jennifer Sweetenham, newly resident in the South West, and a previous Secretary of the United Retriever Club, was asked to try and get a Breed Club off the ground. This was achieved with no difficulty in finding 25 Breed enthusiasts as founder members. Of these, today Lucille Sawtell, (now President,) Sybil Coward, David Balaam and until more recently Peggy Owen have served continuously on the committee.

Initially, membership was restricted to persons with a residential address within the 5 counties creating the 'West country' - formerly Avon, Somerset, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall, but was opened up in the 80's. The committee still comprises of 'representatives' from each of the 5 designated areas. The Club's first show was held the following year, being well supported with a party atmosphere. Gundog training commenced a little later under the tutelage of Kay Graham White, followed by working tests, and for a number of years, cold game tests. The first championship show was held 5 years after the Club was formed, and more recently the Club completed the complement of activities by running Field Trials.

Today, the Club has a flourishing membership of around 500.

Area Covered

Avon, Somerset, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall.


South Western Golden Retriever Club

Joining Information

Application forms available from the Secretary.