I grew up with labradors, but they were not used for shooting. First of all they were pets but my father was involved in a local obedience club and it was there that my fascination for training dogs started.
Today I have been involved in training retrievers for over 25 years. I started out with Flatcoated retrievers and had reasonable succes with them on working tests and novice field trials.
The last 15 years I only have Labrador and Golden retrievers and made up 6 field trial champions until now. (5 Labradors and 1 Golden retriever). I also gained a field trial award with my Cocker Spaniel.
FT Ch. Mansengreen Dizzy - “Dizzy”
FT Ch. Deeplake Grono - “Grando”
Int FT Ch. Cool Face Arlet Star - “Face”
Int FT Ch. Danestone Tweed - “Tweed”
Int FT Ch. Think Twice Uh La La La - “Carrie”
Int FT Ch. Abbotsleigh Niger - “Shelby”
My most cherished moments are being a member of the Belgian team, winning the Coupe d’Europe 2015 in Sweden and coming second individually with "Tweed" also representing Belgium with him on the ICC (European Championship) in France 2014 and Belgium 2016.
The 2018/2019 season I will never forget! I qualified "Face" for the European Championship in Denmark and came second. A few weeks later I was able to win a 2 days open qualifying stake with my first Golden retriever "Carrie" and run in the IGL Retriever Championship at Packington, United Kingdom.
Carrie is bred by Laura and is the first Italian bred dog to qualify for the IGL Retriever Championship. I'm proud to be the first Belgian handler to qualify.
In January 2019 she went on winning an international FT in Belgium, qualifying for and winning the Belgian Championship a week later! The last time a Golden retriever won the Belgian Championship was in 2001. This made her up to Belgian and International field trial champion in a week, only at the age of 2,5 years.
In the 2019/2020 season, I qualified 2 dogs for the EC in Spain. Unfortunately I was unable to run Face due to an injury, but became second again, this time with Carrie.
On December 19th 2019, Carrie managed to win the Belgian Championship for the second time in a row!
In the 2021/2022 season, I was lucky enough to qualify Carrie for a second time for the IGL retriever championship held at Ampton Estate. I started to run my young labrador Shelby and made him up to Belgian FT Champion in one season by winning to open trials. Both qualified for the Belgian Retriever Championship.
Carrie was also qualified to represent Belgium at the 2021 European Championship in Hungary, but I had the honour to be invited to judge which I happily accepted.
In 2022 I was part with Shelby of the Belgian team that won the IWT (International Working Test) organised in Austria and in 2023 we took second place at the IWT in Sweden with the same team.
I have now qualified 6 different dogs for the Belgian Championship, coming 2nd twice and winning twice. I also qualified 4 different dogs for the European Championship, coming second with three of them. Was part of the winning team of the Coupe d’Europe and the IWT.
Since 2013 I’m judging working tests and field trials and since 2015 I’m an official FCI judge. I have judged in Belgium, The Netherlands, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland, Finland, Denmark and the United Kingdom.
Competing and judging are a lot of fun, but most of all I enjoy going out training with friends and shooting over my own dogs.
Furthermore I’m the president of the Belgian Labrador Retriever Club, trying to give back to the sport.