Philippa Williams – Great Britain
Philippa has been training and competing with her dogs since the age of 7.
Philippa realised that the “psychology” of how dogs learn, had to be explored further. Her hunger to gain knowledge led to the birth of her company DOGS FOR LIFE. She has been running Dogs for Life for more than 28 years and is still looking for new knowledge and training methods. The key objective is to teach people how dogs learn, and how to communicate with their dogs.
Philippa has a strong passion in breeding and training her own line of Gundogs (Castlemans Retrievers) and owned Levenghyl line of Labradors together with her past partner until 2012.
Since 1999 Philippa has demonstrated at Crufts – the biggest Dog Show in the World and demonstrates at the CLA Game Fair and many other Country events throughout the UK.
Between 2008 and 2016 Philippa qualified 6 times and participated 5 times for the International Gundog League Championship (IGL) with 3 different dogs: FTCH Levenghyl Isle Of Aaran (pet name Monkey), Tweedshot Thistle of Levenghyl (pet name Mango), and Warrenbank Monkeyson of Castlemans (pet name Sparra).
Photo credits: Nigel Dear (Kennel Club)
Frank Hermansen – Norway
My name is Frank Hermansen and I live in Stavanger on the beautiful south-west coast of Norway.
I have been judging retrievers for 18 years and have had the honor to judge cold game tests, WT’s, Field Trial’s and various championships all over Scandinavia and most of Europe. I am also a FCI judge and judged in 2015 the Coupe d’Europe for Retrievers. I started up with retrievers 28 years ago.
The first 20 years I trained and entered several Flatcoats in elite (Open) class at cold game test, FT’s and working tests, and for the last eight years, I have been training and handling Labradors.
I have been part of the Norwegian team to Skinner’s, IWT, Coupe d’Europe and Nordic Championships with my Flatcoats and Labradors on several occasions.
Wish all the handlers, helpers and the organization best of luck!
Pieter Vivijs – Belgium
I grew up with labradors, but they were not used for shooting. First of all they were pets and my father was involved in a local obedience club but it was there that my fascination for training dogs started.
Today I have been involved in training retrievers for 20 years. I started out with Flatcoated retrievers and had reasonable succes with them on working tests and novice field trials, running my first trial in 1998.
The last years I mainly have Labradors and made up 4 field trial champions. My most cherished moments until now are being a member of the Belgian team, winning the Coupe d’Europe 2015 in Sweden and coming second individually with Int FT Ch. Danestone Tweed. In 2018 I qualified Int FT Ch. Cool Face Arlet Star for the ICC in Denmark and became 2nd. This season I also started running my young (first) Golden retriever and was able to win an All Aged Stake in the UK with her, so she is now qualified for open trials.
Since 2013 I’m judging working tests and field trials and since 2015 I’m an official FCI judge. Furthermore I’m a member of the field trial committee of the Belgian Labrador Retriever Club.
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.
I’m honoured being invited to judge this edition of the IWT and I’m really looking forward to a great event!
Billy Steel – Scotland
Billy grew up on the Leadhills Estate, in Scotland where he worked as a gamekeeper for nineteen years. Remaining in Leadhills he now runs training and boarding kennels as a full time profession which he has done for the last fifteen years.
“I have been training and competing with Labradors for thirty six years now winning my first trophy aged fourteen at a local Field Trial. I have made up ten Field Trial Champions of which six were home bred. I particularly enjoy breeding a puppy, putting in the training and taking it through to the champion stage.
I have qualified for twenty two British Retriever Championships running two dogs on several occasions. This has given rise to two wins, firstly with F.T.Ch. Linksview Jet in 1996 and then again with F.T.Ch. Bracken Of Berrybrae in 2000. I have also gained a second and fourth place and two diplomas.”
Billy is an A panel judge and has judged the British Retriever Championship three times. He also judged the European International Working Test in Belgium many years ago and judged the 2017 Skinners World Cup event at Cawdor. Shooting is also a passion of his and not just in the field as he has represented Scotland at clay pigeon shooting at international level.
“I am very much looking forward to judging the I.W.T. in the Netherlands and wish all those competing the very best of luck”.
Roy Ehbel – The Netherlands
My name is Roy Ehbel and I welcome you all in my home country, where I live with my wife Paulien and our 3 kids Loïs, Kick & Max.
I am the first one in my familiy who hunts (since 2006) and also the first one who is active in gundog sports (since 2010). My love for labrador retrievers has its origin on Dutch hunting fields, where this type of dog can be used all round. Soon the working dog virus had taken over me and there was no way back.
My first retriever became INT/NL/B Field Trial Champion and also my second dog became INT Field Trial Champion. With several dogs I was part of winning Dutch teams at various International events: IWT Hungary in 2011, ITE Chatsworth (UK) in 2014, IWT Belgium in 2016 and the Skinners Worldcup 2016 (UK). I also had the honour to be Topdog at the ITE in Chatsworth (UK) in 2011.
In 2014 I founded my kennel ‘Rebel Blend Labradors’. Since a few years I’m an A-panel FCI judge for retrievers and I have the privilege to judge trials and tests all over Europe.
I want to thank the Dutch organisation for the kind invitation and I wish all the competitors a nice and sportive weekend with lots of fun and luck.