Roger & Peachie Orton brought the first of two Flat-Coated Retrievers to the western United States in 1971. She was 4 months old and her name was Athercrofts Gamble on Rolla, and was the first Flat-Coat owned and shown in California. Although she completed her Championship, she was never bred. She was out of Ch. Claverdon Gamble by Ch. Sassacus Arr Rolla. While working her in the field she came up lame and was diagnosed with a luxating patella of undetermined origin. She was spayed so she was not our foundation bitch. Since then we have bred 30 litters and over 60 Champions, many of which held multiple field and obedience titles. Our breeding program has produced High in Trial dogs, tracking dogs, hunting retriever dogs and an All Breed Best In Show dog. All of these dogs have been owner trained and handled. Roger has been an AKC judge since 1988, he has given numerous seminars to judges workshops, National Specialty Symposiums, and the AKC Judges Institute. Along with our son, Bunky, we continue to be active in the show ring and strive to consistently improve their breeding program.
In the early years the main focus was field work and hunting. We hunted quite a bit in the 70's and early 80's. We also ran the first Flat-Coats in California "Picnic Trial" at the time. Although many of the Omega dogs have acquired field and obedience titles in the following years, as the family grew and field access in Southern California became scarce, the focus shifted to showing.
Special Flat-Coats, "arent they all special"? If I had to name three, they would probably be:
Of honorable mention should be one of the current dogs, Ch. Omegas Quiet Riot, co-owned with the Galvins of Rocky Point, New York. He is by Ch. Omegas International Ike CDX WC, a son of the foundation stud Chipper, out of Ch. Omegas Jump For Joy, a granddaughter of the foundation bitch Demon. Riot has two Best In Show wins. He has many group wins and placings, the #1 Flat-Coated Retriever for 1996, won the Westminster KC breed in 1995, and was number two Flat-Coat in the US in 1994. He is a good solid all around dog with a great attitude. It seems like that Flat-Coat attitude is a common factor in all the Orton's favorite dogs.
The foundation bitch, Demon, was the third Flat-Coat we owned. The first two, although nice bitches and both Champions, each had faults or medical problems that proved them to be, "in our minds, not of breeding quality".