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The Beginnings of The Hellacious Acres Golden Retrievers :

Bart had already gained much experience with breeding and showing as a teenager starting with pigeons, ducks, chickens and various other animals.

When thinking of which particular kind of dog he wanted to have, Bart had always thought about owning an Irish Setter - liking them in character as well as their rich red colour very much and also because as a breed they had the image of being very naughty.

Now married, Bart thought of a dog to add to the family…… a friend had bred a litter of really dark gold Golden Retrievers , so Bart went to take a look ….. and if youre going to look at a litter then you are very tempted to take one because they are so cute …… and so Bart got his first Golden Retriever in 1979.

Avra” as her name was, was bought primarily as a family pet, however from his previous hobbies there was the temptation to show and hopefully from breed her too - she turned out to be a very lovely bitch ..with unfortunately one setback; she was undershot and was therefore only shown once.

A second golden Retriever Lizzy arrived sadly also another disappointment as she was diagnosed with bad hips.

Bart was now very keen on the breed and decided to try his luck elsewhere. He felt he had to learn more about the breed first if he was going to be successful and aim to get a good one. He did some research & investigating & looked into known respected breeders to find out where best to buy his next “good” bitch from.

In that time Thea Berts (v.d.Drunenborgh) was a leading Kennel in the Netherlands and because Barts motto is “the best comes from the best” he decided to go there and that resulted in Danish Guinevere v.d. Drunenborgh coming to Twisk.

In 1981 Bart had his first litter and that was the beginning “of the Hellacious Acres” Kennel in Holland.

His second idea was having one from England, so he approached the Camrose kennel of Joan Tudor and the Westley kennel from Joan Gill and Daphne & Mervyn Philpott.

Sometimes you need a little luck in life, sadly things didnt work out at that time in getting a puppy with the Camrose kennel …. but joy was to be had with getting a pup from the Westley kennel.

In November 1982 Westley Beedee was born and came to Holland as Barts FIRST imported Golden Retriever.

Both bitches turned out to be great specimens of the breed and started the show scene for Bart.

Guinevere developed into a most wonderful bitch and also became a good brood bitch - producing Barts first champion in Ch.Chessina of the Hellacious Acres W88.

Beedee wanted not to do it for less and became a Dutch, VDH & German Champion ( ending up winning a total of 12 CACs; 3 RCACs; 5 CACIBs & 2 RCACIBs ) and produced the second homebred champion Ch.Bashfull of the Hellacious Acres.

From that point onward it went fast because a lot of the combinations turned out to be very good and produced several other champions also with other owners than himself. Showing became a passion and a time consuming hobby for Bart ; in between his work and family life.

Because of the wonderful relationship and special connection he developed with Joan Gill and Daphne and Mervyn Philpott, Bart also imported Ch.Noravon Amos and the very lovely Ch.Westley Cathrina who was a stunning bitch herself ; she excelled in the show ring but did even better as a brood bitch and you can still find her name back in the pedigree of many Dutch born Golden Retrievers
a truly outstanding bitch.

Her son - World Champion Mack Lobell of the Hellacious Acres was an “once in a lifetime dog” - a super show dog who was extremely happy being with you in the ring, he always performed well and in that aspect he was a natural showman.

A cornerstone of his breeding, the Westley kennel of beautiful, very lovely bred Golden Retrievers has been and still is the root of Barts ideals in a Golden Retriever

                            Westley - Group                                   Hellacious Acres - Group

Alongside his deep love of the Golden Retriever was that niggling first love of the Setters …. So eventually an English Setter was added too…. Also imported from England Tattersett To Be Fair.

Bart for a while was the Chairman of both the English Setter Club of the Netherlands and also for the Golden Retriever Club of the Netherlands.

Bart spent many years studying dogs in general and trained to pass all the required exams needed to become an official FCI judge. He has fulfilled multiple judging appointments for both the English Setter and Golden Retriever in the UK and in various European countries and has also acquired the KC approval to award Challenge Certificates in the United Kingdom.





 I began working with the canine and feline species at 13 years of age at ‘Windmill Farm’, a large local boarding kennels and cattery.  At 15 I moved on to ‘The Mardens’, another establishment which offered a superior standard of boarding and here I learned a great deal about hygiene, general healthcare and management, the breeding and rearing of puppies and studwork as well as the art of handstripping a terrier’s harsh coat by the proprietor, Patricia Breach, who bread the ‘Hearn’ Cairn Terriers.  I worked here for three years, at weekends and school holidays, whilst studying at Coloma Convent Girls’ School in Croydon where I obtained 11 ‘O’ levels and studied ‘A’ levels in physics, chemistry and biology.

 In 1986 I accepted the position of Manageress of ‘Northover’ Kennels and Cattery in Warninglid, West Sussex and spent my two days off a week studying at ‘The London Academy of Grooming’ in Hounslow, Middlesex to become a Canine & Feline Beautician.  My career with animals developed further when  returned to live in Croydon and became a Veterinary Nurse for three years at two different practices, namely Peter Coughlan in Addiscombe and then Anita Patel in Warlingham.  During this time I continued grooming as a mobile Canine Beautician and also supplemented my income by working nights in a wine bar.  


Before marriage and the birth of my sons, I spent a year as the groomer at ‘Arden Grange Quarantine Kennels & Cattery’ in Albourne , Sussex , home of the ‘Ardenburg’ German Shepherd Dogs.In 1996 I set up my own grooming salon in Coulsdon, Surrey , which soon became very busy and rapidly outgrew the space it occupied.

Following an injury to one of my own dogs, I used Hydrotherapy as a form of treatment and aid to her recovery.   I was so impressed by its many benefits that I looked further into this complimentary therapy and decided that a pool of my own would enable me to use my nursing skills and offer a challenging new aspect to my canine career. I also needed larger premises to cope with the ever increasing workload.........so..........


In 2002 “TRIM and SWIM” Canine Hydrotherapy & Professional Grooming Centre , proudly opened a seven days a week service - a new shop with a modern, hi-tech, state-of-the-art grooming salon for all breeds of dog, cat, rabbit and guinea pig, which catered for 60-80 grooming clients a week.  The premises also incorporated a heated Hydrotherapy Pool and Hotspa/jacuzzi, both especially designed for dogs as a form of physiotherapy and as an aid in rehabilitation - post operatively or following injury ;  swimming has also proven most beneficial for arthritic care and pain relief, for  increasing mobility and for improving muscletone and for weight loss.  The pool is also used just for fun & fitness and cardiovascular workouts.  Up to 90 dogs were able to be swum per week.

A keen animal lover from a young age ; I have had a variety of pets including a hamster, goldfish, rats, mice, snakes, several rabbits, Zebra finches, numerous cats and litters of kittens.  My passion, however, has always been dogs. My original choices were to own a German Shepherd, a  black Curly Coat and a Golden Retriever........ I have yet to own a Curly...!!!

In 1982 I began liaising with Daphne Philpot of ‘WESTLEY’ fame to get my first puppy.....& in 1984 I bought my first Golden Retriever ‘Jema’ (Noravon Rowena of Ramchaine – by CH Westley Samuel),   Chad ’, (Lovehayne Chancellor of Ramchaine – by Ch Westley Munro of Nortonwood), arrived in 1986, as did the first homebred litter of ‘RAMCHAINE’ Golden Retriever puppies by SH CH Nortonwood Silvanus. I have now had the pleasure of owning 12 Golden Retrievers and 2 GSDs of my own and have whelped and reared over 20 litters of Ramchaine puppies.  Temperament, soundness and breed type are of paramount importance in the breeding programme and all stock are screened under the current KC/BVA Health Schemes for hereditary defects.

I have enjoyed taking part in agility and obedience training and competitions. I aim for all my dogs to work towards getting their bronze and silver and gold Kennel Club Good Citizens Awards. In the past some of my dogs have also spent time as ‘PAT’ dogs visiting the disabled and the elderly in hospitals and homes.  

A keen exhibitor at both Open and Championship Shows since 1984, I showed at Crufts when it was still being held in Earls Court, London and have exhibited every year since it was held at the NEC, Birmingham.

My ambition was always to win and be able to make up my dogs into champions..........  so a dream come true was to gain the title of

 “SHOW CHAMPION” with my Remington Requisite of Ramchaine  ~ ‘Jazmin’ won her first CC at 22months and went on to win her title at the age of two and the rest of her 10 Challenge Certificates & RCCs  between each of her 4 litters with her 10th CC being achieved at 9years young!!

Always special to breed and own your own champions my first homebred title holder was the loveable ‘Jiorjia” alias ‘SH.CH.RAMCHAINE RUBELLITE JW’ 4 CCs 2 RCCs.  


I am fortunate to have achieved great success nationwide with my ‘Ramchaine’ affix and  Golden Retriever Show Team  : ~ consistently winning numerous Firsts, Championship Show Placings, ‘Best Puppy’ , ‘Best Veteran’ and ‘Best of Breed’ awards ~ and to date the “Ramchaines” have won over 25 Challenge Certificates ,  20 Reserve CCs as well as producing Junior Warrant Winners, KC Stud Book Numbers, CAC, CACIB, RCC & CC winners for other people.Internationally there are now Ramchaine champions in Norway, Russia, Finland & Holland as well as the UK.  I am proud to have bred the TOP WINNING Golden Retriever Puppy for 2006 ~  SH.CH.RAMCHAINE GREEN GLOW by FENWOOD JW  ~ who went on to achieve over 75 Junior Warrant points and then her title at the tender age of two years. The numerous achievements of various RAMCHAINE progeny accumulated to the award of the “Our Dogs” TOP BREEDER AWARD for 2007 and for 2008, as well as the “DOG WORLD” TOP BROOD BITCH 2007/2008 AWARD with “Jazmin"

I have also prepared, handled and campaigned the Dandie Dinmont Terrier ‘CH. SENACRE HOOGHLY’, to win his Junior Warrant and the title of Champion.


 I  enjoy attending lectures, seminars, symposiums and courses and have attended many on canine studies, hereditary defects, hydrotherapy, the musculoskeletal system, first-aid and conformation to name but a few . I  hold Grooming Demonstrations for Road Show Workshops and Teach-Ins across the UK and  have carried out demonstrations for DeZynaDog, the GRC, and MGRC, aswell as running private tuition in   trimming and preparing for the show ring &  pet. I have also had the privilege and trust to have groomed many well known dogs including Champions for the Show Ring in several breeds.  

So far it has been a very active and often hectic lifestyle, juggling a flourishing business and family life with my sons and my dogs whilst pursuing my hobbies of training, Showing, Breeding, Agility and obedience! I started judging in 1991 and over the years have completed over 10 appointments.

Over the past few years I have also helped to organise and run events as a committee member of the  Southern Golden Retriever Society.



In April 2008 I was offered the challenge of looking after and campaigning a young male golden from The Netherlands......... so in May 2008 entered BARNUM OF THE HELLACIOUS ACRES into the lives of my family and I. He quickly stole our hearts for the fun loving, easy going, steady, laughable character he is.......... and so began an acquaintance with his owner .... BART .... which was to have life changing consequences by the August of 2008.......as we found out we had an awful lot in common, could get along very easily together and .........love blossomed .....!!!!

BARNUM in less than six months since his arrival into the UK achieved the goal of his UK SH CH title to add to his GERMAN, VDH, and DUTCH CHAMPION TITLES.....and came back to his home country to win the prestigious  Amsterdam Winner title 2008 , BOB and was shortlisted in the group. 

 ........ In AUGUST 2009  myself, sons, cats and the RAMCHAINES left our England home and came to join Bart and the HELLACIOUS ACRES to live in Holland.

 Together we now have 7 Champion Titled winning Goldens in our home,plus Jenna our veteran winning ‘Oldie’ at 11years of age and some promising winning youngsters including our first joint venture together – “Velvenya Vogue Of Ramchaine” who already has won her first CAC in Holland and in Germany - and achieved the titles of : UK Junior Warrant , Luxembourg Junior Champion, German Junior Champion & VDH Junior Champion, Bundesjugendsieger ‘09, plus Amsterdam Junior Winner ’09 title.


 *** - Our new babies – a combination of Ramchaine & Hellacious Acres breeding will debut in 2010 - ***


Charmaine & Bart  


 Once Upon A Time ..............

......this is how many fairytales start ........ so ,

Once upon a time a Dutchman was looking to buy in a special Golden puppy to add to his already very successful Golden Retrievers which had been his passion and hobby to breed & show to top level since 1981 .

Reading a Golden Retriever club yearbook to research where he should get this new puppy from – he came across an advert which almost exactly described how he himself had started in Golden Retrievers ..... there were a lot of uncanny similarities –

this particular lady also started in the early 80’s – after falling in love with Champion Westley Martha and Champion Westley Mabella and starting with a long correspondence with Daphne Philpott of the infamous ‘Westley’ kennel - before buying her first Golden puppy  -  a daughter of Ch. Westley Samuel ex Noravon Melissa ...who went back on the super “STYAL” bitch lines.

To quote from Bart’s first email to Charmaine in June 2005 ....

“... we too started by going to Joan Gill and Daphne Philpott and I did recognize a lot of the things you told of in your advertisement , similarities in our way of thinking and the dogs and the doggyfriends that we did end up with. We too have had a Noravon puppy from Mary Johnson by Samuel and Melissa; I do think a full brother of your bitch. And again , we too have had a son of Ch.Elswood the Highlander , where you have had some daughters of him. It was nice to see that countries apart, how things can go in the same sort of direction. ...... Having a sort of STYAL bred bitch in the past but having lost that line, I am looking for a bitch out of that line again and found your JAZMIN – which in my opinion has the perfect pedigree and a lovely type which would fit in with our dogs perfectly...”

In the email Bart asked if Jazmin was going to be mated and if he could possibly have a bitch puppy from her , etc etc etc... ending “looking forward to your answer”.....

However, at that time in 2005, Charmaine was not very competent with technology and computers so all her personal emails correspondence and administration for her busy grooming salon and hydrotherapy centre ‘Trim & Swim’ was undertaken by the always helpful and very wonderful Lorraine. Lorraine would print out all Charmaine’s emails & bring them into the shop for her response .... alas for poor - Bart his email was put on the pile to be ignored until sufficient time arose .... which as usual – never ever did!!

 But, still keen on having a puppy, and with no joy on having a reply to his email, Bart telephoned to leave a message on the answer phone , and persistent in nature , followed up the call with another to finally get to speak to this English breeder direct and ask about the chances of having a puppy from Jazmin.  He was told he would be about number 23 on the waiting list!!

 Well, to cut a long story short, the persistent Bart managed somehow – not quite sure how however -  to end up with the 2nd pick of bitches from Jazmin’s next litter and ‘Ramchaine Green Glitter’ born in the August of 2005 made the journey to Holland at 7 ˝ weeks of age to live with the rest of the ‘Hellacious Acres’ Golden Retrievers.


 A casual correspondence common for the extended ‘dog family’ continued over the next few years mainly via Lorraine , with news of show results and photos and general updates. Also,  the occasional meeting up at the odd Championship dog show on the UK show circuit.

Oddly  too, for 3 years running Bart and Charmaine somehow managed to bump into each other along with their own accompaniment of travelling companions at the NEC  West car park entrance to Hall 3.... allowing Bart and a friend or two to get in for free with Charmaine’s multiple dog entry passes.( ... for those of you who know Charmaine - to fix her to a time is nearly impossible; she inevitably ends up late, and to those of you who know the route into the NEC , with the long motorway queues , choice of the multiple car parks , entrances and doors – this is a rather weird coincidence to have happened on one occasion ......let alone three times!!!)

  Charmaine had a break from showing from 1991 – 1998 when her sons were young and

Bart also had a break from the showring from 1999 till 2005 – so their paths missed each other  for a while - both still bred the occasional litter to keep their lines going during this time.

 By the  beginning of 2008 , Martha of the Hellacious Acres and Barnum of the Hellacious Acres had both gained their Dutch Champion titles to add to the previously gained German and VDH Champion titles. Both were young dogs , full of quality, so Bart began thinking of other possibilities to expose these super examples of their breed further ; and thought how it could be possible to campaign them elsewhere in Europe and even in the UK . Because of the costs of crossing the channel by boat or the eurotunnel, the strict  border controls and all the regulations – Bart thought it wise to see if there would be somebody in the UK that was willing to help out and to have his dogs for him for a while – and maybe even show them too!

Bart knew that often the English were conservative in their attitude to ‘foreign’ dogs , and thought of  who he could ask .... maybe Charmaine ? .....as someone he knew  to be as a serious handler and breeder and also younger than the majority of established breeders/exhibitors,  he hoped she would therefore be at least a little more ‘open minded’ to new ideas.

 The first proposal of having/showing Martha & Barnum came at Crufts in 2008.

The answer was not a direct “NO” but also not a “YES” – lots of questions and particulars to discuss.

Charmaine was hesitant, but Bart as usual very persistent with his new idea.

Still no “YES’, so with the idea still playing on his mind,  Bart decided to enter at a run of 4 UK shows anyway  at the end of April / start of May - and just make the journey himself.  Charmaine agreed to help with handling at the shows and they both teamed up for some of the travelling, taking it in turns to drive. The efforts were  not unsuccessful – a CC & a RCC won by Martha–  and KC Stud Book Number for Barnum - not bad at all.


The UK show bug had bitten – Bart entered a further 4 shows and asked if Barnum & Martha could do a test run ‘sleepover’ for the night before Windsor as Charmaine had organised a celebratory meal at a restaurant to mark the achievement of  being

 “TOP GOLDEN RETRIEVER BREEDER 2007” & Jazmin being “TOP BROOD BITCH 2007” .   – but the night did not go well as Martha  barked the whole night through........ Barnum however, was found to be a totally adorable,  fun loving clown, easy going and affectionate, extremely biddable and friendly with everyone he met – human, canine or feline...... and so the emails started to organise him staying and going to shows with the ‘Ramchaines’ ........ which turned into a very successful expedition that gained him his UK SHOW CHAMPION TITLE in less than 6months from his first arrival into the UK .

..... Bart often travelling over to watch his successes and share in the moment.........which  led to the friendship  that developed and blossomed into the relationship and the reason  of why they are together today.

In August 2010  Charmaine & Bart got married ......... unable to decide on England or Holland for  the venue , they ended up choosing for Scotland!!! 

  The significance of the location:

Scotland was chosen as a very special place for us to be married in ;  it was after a short visit to the Highlands for a few days at the end of August 2008 that we decided we really wanted to be together  forever and somehow work out the barrier of being countries apart ......  we chose for our wedding to be in  Tomich – Cannich – Inverness-shire ,  as it is the place where the Golden Retriever originated  & was developed as a  breed by Lord Tweedmouth from 1868- 1890 at his Guisachan Estate ~  So if our beloved Goldens  ~of which we are both so passionate over ~ began there ...and our love blossomed there .....we thought it very apt for us to begin our married life there too!