Kennel Club Breeder Assessors

Kennel Club Breeder Assessors © Stanley Wilson

The Kennel Club has a number of Breeder Assessors who play a central role in maintaining the high standards of the Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme as it continues to grow in size and stature.

Each Breeder Assessor is chosen following a rigorous selection process that takes account of their breeding experience, knowledge of the scheme and general commitment to the dog world.

Between them the Assessors have amassed years of breeding experience and include Show Champion breeders, Crufts judges, a former veterinary nurse and behaviourist, people who have served in the Police service and Armed Forces and a Breed Council Secretary.

The Assessors are responsible for inspecting the premises of the Scheme's members and ensuring that its principles and standards are upheld.

Contacting the Breeder Assessors

If you would like to contact any of the Breeder Assessors please email the Assured Breeder Scheme Team.

Regional Breeder Assessors

The following Regional Breeder Assessors have been trained so as to be able to assess Assured Breeders formally.  This training includes attending formal sessions and on-going assessment and review.  All current Regional Breeder Assessors have passed an initial assessment and receive continual training and assessment throughout the year.  The training and assessment processes are carried out to standards audited by UKAS as part of the certification process.

Mrs Laura Clark

Prior to joining the Kennel Club as a full-time employee, Laura managed to combine a career in the veterinary sector with a successful hobby of breeding and showing Boxers since 1997. One of the Kennel Club's most experienced assessors, Laura is a fully trained BSI Institute of Environmental Management Assessment Approved Lead Auditor and has held a long term interest in animal welfare issues. She is currently a member of the Boxer Breed Council health committee, and has taught Animal Care at higher level.

Mrs Stella Coombes

Stella has been involved with dogs all her life, being raised on a farm, and working with livestock. She has been a keen equestrian, breeding and showing hunters.  She currently owns Swedish Vallhunds which she breeds and shows, and does agility and obedience with, and has bred many champions, and she owns the top winning Swedish Vallhund (2015).  She owned many breeds in the past and runs a small training club with a friend.  Stella is a certified Assured Breeder herself and judges at CC level in the UK and abroad.  She and her husband ran their own livestock haulage business, so she is well acquainted with maintaining quality systems to comply with the requirements of various inspection bodies.

Mr Tony Foulston

Tony has been involved in dogs for in excess of 30 years. He previously owned and managed a breeding and boarding kennel, and was a Kennel Club Field Officer for breed, agility, obedience and heelwork to music for six years.  In partnership with his wife, he has shown dogs and bred champions and both have been judging since 1986.  He was one of the first volunteer Regional Breeder Assessors, now one of the full-time Assessors employed by the Kennel Club.

Mr Bill Lambert

Kennel Club Health & Breeder Services Manager, Bill has been involved with dogs all his life and bred his first litter in 1982.  Although not a prolific breeder, he has owned and bred a number of champions including Best of Breed at Crufts on a number of occasions.  He is a championship show judge of Bull Terriers and Miniature Bull Terriers and has officiated in a number of countries around the world.  He is a former vice-chairman of the Bull Terrier Club, and was a committee member from 1984 to 2007.  Bill has a wide experience of both breeding and boarding kennels and was the first person employed by the Kennel Club to inspect breeders on its behalf.  Having had a long standing career in the service industry in a customer service role, his understanding of inspection processes and accreditation and certification has been instrumental in gaining UKAS accreditation for the ABS.

Mrs Helen Reaney

Helen has owned Staffordshire Bull Terriers for over 25 years but grew up with Poodles and Border Collies.  She has bred and shown since 1994 and now awards CCs in Staffords.  She was secretary of a ringcraft club for 13 years and has worked on numerous societies since 1996.  She is currently the Notts & Derby District Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club secretary, SBT Breed Council Secretary for GB & NI and is the secretary of the Kennel Club Terrier Group Judges Development Programme.  Two of Helen's Staffords are Pets as Therapy Dogs who visit the elderly and disabled in hospitals and care homes.

Ms Alexis Robertson

Alexis has been working with dogs for about 12 years as a trainer.  She has a level 5 university diploma in Canine Behaviour and Management.  She runs her own dog walking business and 1:1 behaviour consultation service, and also teaches classes in Clicker use, Trick Training and Treibball.  She has worked at Foal Farm Animal Rescue both as a paid staff member and as a volunteer in the dog team.  She deals with the rehabilitation programmes and home visits once a dog finds a home. I have 3 dogs myself who have achieved differing levels on the Kennel Club Good Citizens scheme, the Highest being Gold level. 

Mr Joe Sutcliffe

Joe has always had a passion for dogs; his parents owned Whippets.  During his time in the Army, serving in The Kings Troop Royal Horse Artillery, he became fully qualified in Equitation and taught new recruits how to ride.  He was also involved in Royal protection.  One of the highlights of his career was being able to get heavily involved with the only pack of Foxhounds left in the Army where he whipped in and helped work the hounds in the hunting field.  Moving from a volunteer RBA to a full-time member of KC staff was quite a smooth transition as he had gained the experience of the assessment process and knowledge of the vast number of dog breeds, coupled with a career of animal welfare and husbandry.

Miss Nikki Walker

Nikki has been involved with dogs since childhood.  Her involvement has covered many areas such as obedience training (pet and competition) and veterinary nursing.  Her early interests were more broad than just dogs - Nikki has a degree in Animal Behaviour and Psychology and worked for a year in Chester Zoo as a carnivore keeper.  However, her passion has always been in dogs; after deciding to specialise in working solely with dogs, she joined the staff of the Kennel Club.  She still thoroughly enjoys competing in obedience to a high level.

Miss Liz Wharton

Liz has been involved with dogs all her life and currently shows and breeds Wire Haired Dachshunds.  She has also owned English Springer Spaniels and Labradors, has experience of dog training, grooming and rescue work and is an active member of the ABS, regularly attending seminars.  In her spare time, she enjoys exploring the countryside, especially Dartmoor on horseback or with her dogs.  Liz spent over 30 years in the food industry in senior technical management roles.  She was responsible for both implementing and maintaining quality systems to comply with the requirements of various inspection bodies including BSI and UKAS, achieved through internal and external auditing, and liaison with customers, suppliers and enforcement bodies to ensure compliance. She now has a home-based role as a brand protection consultant working on behalf of many of the major food retailers.

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Related Topics

Assured Breeder SchemeAssured BreedersBreeder Advisor

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