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General Handlers

Dave Holden and Bernadette Kerbey

The move to France

Dave Holden and Bernadette Kerbey moved across to live in France in June 2006, after several years of renovation and running repairs.

‘Arffa' arrives

Being in their own property and with a bit of ground gave them the chance to make room for a dog in the family – "Arffa” was born in the May of that year so was ready to move in ...

But where to get a good dog food?

Unhappy with the quality of the dog food available Dave and Bernadette were getting food brought out from the UK by various visitors.

Arffa and Bernadette began attending sheepdog lessons with Mike Hall – another new arrival to France and when discussing the lack of a decent affordable food in France Mike said he used to feed CSJ when he was in the UK.

The answer - bring the best dog food from the UK to France!

By now they had Arffa's brother ‘Fly' and had found ‘Rab' an abandoned puppy on the roadside on their way to a skiing trip. The back of family cars seemed to be an untenable way of continuing to get dog food, so in 2009 Bernadette arranged to get two pallets delivered between themselves and the Hall's.

The rest is history - people locally were so impressed with the food and the price that ‘Chez Arffa' was born.

"We now have customers in Switzerland and the Pyrenees and regularly post food to other parts of France.

We are delighted with the food and are finding that our satisfied customers are our best advertisement - we seem to be getting one or two new customers a week, and now stock 10 CSJ adult foods, 3 CSJ puppy foods and Natural Cat.”

What's more …. there wasn't a good beer available

In Dec 2007 Dave and Bernadette started up a small a microbrewery ‘Brasserie Sabot' as there seemed to be a shortage of decent "Real Ale” available locally.

This started with 4 beers – an IPA, a Dark Lager, a Smoked Beer and a Biere de Garde.

The ‘beer situation' now

Brasserie Sabot currently makes 10 different beers – all produced by the traditional single mash method, using only barley malts, hop flowers, yeast and water – using dried seaweed as a clarification medium.

The beers range from 3.2° – 6/7° ABV, and include a hoppy bitter, a brown ale, a smoked beer, an IPA, a porter, a dark lager and a biere de garde. There is a blond chilli beer and a brown beer conditioned with either chilli or ginger root.

The couple's first year in operation took them to the first festival of beer in the Limousin, last year there were two festivals of beer and in 2010 year there are four, so they seem to have arrived at about the right time!

What Dave and Bernadette say about CSJ

"Our three dogs are a lively, healthy and energetic bunch – a good advertisement to the quality of their diet. Rab and Fly have recently started Agility lessons where CSJ ‘Poppets' have become popular as training treats with other attendees.”

And on a final note………… they told CSJ

"In fact the currency of CSJ food is so high – we traded food for sheep – Arffa got 8 ewes for his birthday so we can get a bit of herding practice at home. Perhaps with the problems with the banks it could become a world currency.”

Chez Arffa can be contacted on 00 33 555 604720 or via www.chezarffa.com

Fly at 22 months

Fly at 22 months

Rab at 17 months

Rab at 17 months

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Out now! Series 2 'A Way with Dogs' - full interviews with top handlers

We are releasing the full interviews with our elite team of top sheepdog handlers for Series 2 'A Way with Dogs' sheepdog trial in HD on YouTube now.

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CSJ gives team the 'winning edge'

CSJ gives team the 'winning edge'

Hi,

Only just got around to unpacking the van last night and found all the prize bags - will try some of the samples and let you know how we get on. Your advice is very much appreciated.

My team won our division at the weekend and we know that your food has given our dogs that "edge” we all look for. Especially Sky the spaniel - and height dog, who must run all day at his full height.

I was amazed how many people commented that he really seemed to be flying. My husband who runs him had to move back a few feet otherwise he would have got an early change! The only thing we have changed over the past month is his food!!!

So Winners of Division 17 Mansfield Mavericks send you a HUGE Thank you. Every race went to 5 legs and we had to fight for every race. VERY close racing. But our dogs had the energy and stamina they needed.

4 out of the 5 dogs in the team fed CSJ

Fastest time 19.73 secs.

Thanks again and I’ll let you know how we get on.

Maureen

ps Photographs courtesy of Sunnyside Photography

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