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Ch. Wyndham's Javelin

Ch. Wyndham's Feisty WC x Ch. Claverdon Gossamer

June 11, 1975 - October 22, 1986

By Candy Ferner

Talk about having your ups and downs! A champion at nine months. At two, unsound and unshowable due to rickets. At six, diagnosed with cancer and given a few months to live. At eleven, winner of the Veteran's class at the National Specialty over some of the top dogs in the country. His name? Ch Wyndham's Javelin (Chipper), the foundation dog for the Orton's Omega Retrievers.

Roger and Peachie Orton first heard of Chipper in a phone conversation with Ed Atkins. Chipper had just been returned to Ed from a field training situation that had damaged his health. Chipper was underweight and suffering from rickets. Ed felt Chipper's show career was over, but believed his pedigree and former promise might make him a useful stud dog. So he offered him to the Ortons.

They bought Chipper to be a stud dog and pet but he turned out to be an awesome field dog. Peachie says about her early years with Chipper,

"At the time Roger and I were doing a lot in the field because it was cheap and it put meat on the table. In the seventies there were no AKC hunting tests. Working retrievers either competed in field trials or participated in 'picnic trials'. Picnic trials were to field trials what matches are to dog shows. Chipper was the top picnic dog in San Diego for two or three years. He was the most competent gun dog Roger and I ever shot over. If we missed a shot he'd look at us as if to say, 'How dare you!'."

Following his success in the field Chipper had a skirmish with cancer in the form of a tumor on his ear. Ignoring the advice of her veterinarian Peachie refused to allow Chipper's ear to be cut off if it was only going to extend his life for a few months. It's a good thing because Chipper lived for another five years after having just the tumor removed and became a top show dog.

One day Peachie was grooming Chipper and realized that he looked good enough to compete in conformation. Apparently Chipper's field work, and TLC from the Ortons, had worked a miracle--he was sound. Almost all evidence of the rickets was gone. Chipper returned to the show ring when he was seven years old. He accumulated eleven group placements from the veteran's class at a time when veterans were rarely shown because people thought they couldn't compete. He loved the show ring almost as much as the field and the spectators loved him. Peachie feels that Chipper's success paved the way for future veteran's in the show ring.

Chipper wasn't winning just because he was a sentimental favorite. Peachie explains,

"He was the epitome of Flat-Coat movement, he floated around the ring like a ballerina. He was a big boy but never lost that elegant look so important in Flat-Coated Retrievers."

He is also remembered for his heavy coat, long head, beautiful shoulders and outstanding front. Chipper's good looks were passed on to his progeny. He sired only five litters yet his influence on the breed has been tremendous. Many of our top Flat-Coat lines can be traced back to Chipper including Alpha, Casablanca, Dexmoor, Evensong, Folly and of course, Omega Retrievers.

Chipper finally succumbed to cancer in 1986 when he was eleven years old. Says Peachie, "Chipper was everything you'd want a Flat-Coat to be".

Chipper's impact on our dogs can be seen in the pedigrees of Ch Folly of Hunter's Tor JH WC, Best in Show winner and Hall of Fame member. Also Ch Omega's Quiet Riot, a multiple Best in Show Winner and Best of Breed at Westminster in 1995. Both are multiple group placers.

Owners: Ed Atkins and Roger and Peachie Orton

Breeder: Ed Atkins

Updated 09/27/98