We are David & Sue Barnes and we live in Hertfordshire with our Golden Retrievers.
We bought our first Golden in 1981 as a family pet and decided the following year to get him a companion, it was this boy, Tugwood Hallmark, ‘Marcus’ who started David off in competitive obedience and the following year we were joined by Catcombe Cheeky, a pup from Wendy and David Andrews first working bred litter. Gilley was initially trained by Sue for obedience but with encouragement from Wendy he started gundog training classes with David and they entered their first working test together, Eastern Counties GRC novice test, which they won, David now had a new hobby. Marcus and Gilley began picking up on a local shoot and we then added Gilley’s half- brother Catcombe Catastrophe at Millgreen ‘Rory’ to the team, it was with Rory that David ventured into field trials.
On one of our many visits to ‘Catcombe’ Sue fell in love with Catcombe Czar a show bred boy who also had field trial awards and in 1986 his son Catcombe Cheshire at Millgreen joined us and became Sue’s first show dog, throughout his career he had many BOB’s at open shows and several 1st places at champ shows, he also won a couple of field trial awards, handled by David.
Sue having been well and truly bitten by the show bug decided that she would like to have a bitch to show and hopefully breed on from. We were lucky to be offered a bitch by Wendy and in 1988 Catcombe Cher at Millgreen arrived and she became the foundation of our Millgreen line, she won 1 CC and 1 Res CC and had her SGWC, she was also a main member of David’s picking up team.
From Cher’s first litter we kept Amy who went on to become Ch Millgreen Moonstruck winning 3 CC’s and 1 Res CC, Cher’s second litter then produced Ch Millgreen Magnum, who won 11 CC’s and 6 Res CC’s.
David continued to compete in tests and trials over the next several years winning trials with the girls, Willowspring April at Millgreen, and Catcombe Carrera at Millgreen, and the boys, Birdsgreen Stormbreak over Millgreen, ‘Storm’ and Souter Romulus at Millgreen, ‘Rommy’. Both boys sired litters to some lovely bitches, Storm producing 3 field trial winners and an Obedience Champion and Rommy producing 9 field trial winners, including a Field Trial Champion. David judges and is currently on the B panel for retrievers.
Our show line continued down from Amy with her daughter Millgreen Makin Whoopee, ‘Ria’, then her daughter Millgreen Mistletoe, ‘Misty’, both of who won first places at championship shows
In 1996 ‘Harry’ came to us from Viv Jones’ Ninell kennel, sired by our Catcombe Cheshire at Millgreen out of Ninell Georgia, he turned out to be our ‘once in a lifetime’ dog, becoming Ch Ninell Harrington at Millgreen. Very early on he showed a great natural working ability and at only just 2 years of age he won the ECGRC novice working test and was also a member of the winning GRC team at the Interclub Test that year, hosted by the YGRC. He went on to win 4 CC’s, 4 Res CC’s and two field trial awards and was for many years the only full champion residing in the UK who had field trial awards.
Our next litter produced ‘Hannah’ who went on to become Ch Millgreen Midnight Mist, 4 CC’s and 2 Res CC’s, her litter sister Mischa went to live with someone who was looking to start showing, she was Millgreen Midnight Romance at Thornywait.
In 2004 Thornywait Music Maker at Millgreen, ‘Alfie’ a son of Mischa joined us and very quickly gained his JW, he sired some super litters, producing some lovely puppies including a Sh Ch. Alfie was only campaigned for a short while as Sue decided to take a break from exhibiting, but continued to enjoy judging, awarding CC’s for the first time in 2003.
In 2009 we were delighted to be joined by a Rommy daughter / Storm granddaughter, Pepsanner Franconia at Millgreen. Frankie gained 2 x 2nd place and a COM at field trials before retiring to join David’s picking up team. In 2011 she had a lovely litter, her daughter Ruby stayed with us and joined her mum, grandad and great grandad on the picking up team. Another of the pups went to live with Steve and Anne Crooks, Millgreen Opal of Moscargrange who handled by Steve won several field trials.
In 2010 we were joined by Rosinante Tuneful Melody at Millgreen, ‘Melody’ who got Sue back into the show ring and at around the same time Sue had the pleasure of handling her friend Janice Linsell’s dog ‘Lester’ from when he was 12 months old and making him up to become Sh Ch Goffs Dancing Brave.
Early in 2012 Mischa’s great granddaughter Izzy came to live with us, co-owned with her breeder Susanna Zubair she very quickly became Sh Ch Thornywait Isabella with Millgreen and has won 4 CC’s and 2 Res CC’s. From her first litter Thornywait Jilaroo for Marsabit has a Res CC and in 2019 we kept a daughter from her second litter, Millgreen Miss Behavin ‘Holly’ who has just started her show career. Just as Izzy’s pups left us there was a new arrival here, a little working girl, Catcombe Chilli at Millgreen. Pepper is a Rommy granddaughter and also through her dam’s line goes back to our Willowspring April at Millgreen.
Pepper was supposed to be the last puppy to join us but late in 2018 Liz, who has daughter of Frankie from her second litter decided to mate her and she delivered 5 lovely bitch puppies on the day before Christmas Eve and 8 weeks later David made the long trip up to Scotland and returned with a beautiful little girl Callanway Evie at Millgreen.