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Gundog Handlers

Christine Bridgwater

Christine has been a Breeder and Trainer of Working Spaniels and Retrievers since 1983.

Christine currently owns about 30 dogs ... mostly working gundogs, most of them English Springer Spaniels. Her ‘new' passion is hairless Chinese Cresteds.

As an affix, Scherzando is acknowledged by many as amongst the best by other top breeders and praised by knowledgeable authors such as Mike Smith and Bill Ironside.

Her dogs can be found behind many top lines in Europe and Eire as well as at home. Christine goes to tremendous lengths to ensure her breeding programme is tip top. All her breeding stock has been eye screened and hip scored since the 1980s and all are now screened by any DNA test available for the breed.

During 2004 her partner, Dr Chas Lister, registered his own affix "Lomcovak" which has already graced the documents of some very nice Labradors and Cockers.

How did you first get involved with the dogs Christine?

"30 years ago after a car accident put paid to my riding career I got involved with a shoot with my companion Spaniel. I didn't start to ‘get serious' until the mid 80s.”

What is your most memorable success?

"My first win with my home bred dog… it seemed to take me years to develop my handling skills in Field Trials … horses were easy, you were sitting on them when they decided to do something naughty and instantly in control. With dogs they were already streets ahead of you and you had to catch the little blighters. Nowadays I only have to look at one of my (working) dogs and it seems to be able to read my mind and obeys.”

What other successes have you had with the gundogs?

"I have successfully trialled several breeds from Clumbers to Golden Retrievers. A Golden Retriever bred by me (grandson of the one I trialled) has qualified for the 2009/2010 Championships.”

And the Chines Cresteds?

"In the show ring I started at rookie level again with Chinese Cresteds - but this time success seems to have come quickly – my first Challenge Certificate gained after only one year. I'm doing well in Europe too with CACs, CACIBs and BoB most recently in Arnhem (May 2010).”

Health screening is a passion ...

"I am well known for having campaigned for canine health testing and have ALWAYS fully screened ALL my dogs for everything possible.”

Other canine activities

Christine has boarded and also helped to train ALL sorts of breeds from Newfoundlands to Irish Terriers and helps a couple of rescue organisations in the rehabilitation of dogs. She also serves on several Canine Committees.

Country Fairs and Game Fairs

Undertaken during the summer months, Christine can cater for everyone - all her dogs are rabies vaccinated so can travel freely all over Europe. From small local events to something as prestigious as the CLA's Game Fair where her dogs were always a popular attraction in the main ring. This as well as organising the International Spaniel Events in previous years and commentating for other handlers such as Ian Bateson and Peter Richardson.

Usually Christine's show runs through the training of a Gundog from puppy to adulthood, both spaniels and retrievers. Finishing by working both at the same time. Occasionally she works her dogs alongside and for hawks depending on the birds involved in the falconry display. Christine provides at least 12 dogs per event.

Corporate days can easily be catered for, appearances as a "picker up" at simulated clay shooting days a speciality! Timings and number of demonstration per day by arrangement.

In one memorable year, at the CLA Game Fair, Christine organised the International Spaniel Event, commentated for the International Arena Spaniel Demonstrations, gave 45 minute demonstrations in the Main Arena and demonstrated for shorter periods in the Working Gundog areas... phew!


Christine's dogs have been involved in film work, on location and still photography and have featured in BBC TV'sWives and Daughters with Sir Michael Gambon as Squire Hamley, King Ralph, Preaching to the Perverted, Waiting Time, Wives and Daughters and stills for Hoechst, PDSA and Thames Water.

Christine sells CSJ products and says:
"I have fed CSJ alongside BARF [bones and raw food] for several years now and wouldn't dream of using anything else. I have never had any problem from any dog and have converted numerous people into CSJ users with fantastic results.”

To find out much more about Christine's fascinating experiences and very full life with animals see:

She can also be contacted by:
phone 01962 793152



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