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How it all started

Simons has always had dogs from his early years, he spent his time with terriers and lurchers, ferreting, lamping and ratting most weekends and he has always enjoyed being in the countryside, being brought up on a small holding in Burnley, Lancashire, he was always outside exploring or having adventures with his dogs to keep him busy and out of mischief, it was a fantastic childhood.

One of his earliest memories is going to his Aunty Sandra and Uncle John Halstead's kennels, where the famous Drakeshead Labradors hailed, seeing Labrador puppies and watching dogs being trained, one especially prominent moment when Simon was around 5 year old, Simon's cousin John Halsted junior fetched his ferrets out for Simon to see,  that was the very moment that Simon was hooked on country sports, the flame of passion was ignited, even at such a young age.

When Simon was 13 he bought his first Lurcher & ferrets, getting involved in rabbiting and ferreting with his friends, as time progressed to leaving school , growing up, a new family, combined with running a very busy 24 hr glazing business, the amount of time to pursue his passion of field sports  was reduced to just a few days fishing here and there, until aged 40, cycling lands end to John' O'Groats , Simon had a Eureka moment, deciding to sell his business, move house and change his life direction to developing a luxury  boarding kennels, another lifelong desire he had.

Labradors were always in his mind, but not wanting to 'copy' his very successful relatives he feared to ventured into them, until  a fateful day when his cousin John Halsted called for a brew, he mentioned a litter of puppies he had where one was possibly spare, Simon and his wife Nicola went to take a look but unfortunately the puppy was no longer available, but the spark had been ignited,  Simon spoke with his Aunt, Sandra Halstead , mentioning the desire to have a Labrador, fate is a strange thing,  Sandra who no longer bred many puppies had just mated a bitch and offered Simon the pick of the litter.

On the 2nd June 2016 Drakeshead Casey  {Ghillie} was born, she was collected at 8 weeks old and the love affair with Labradors had started.

What really accelerated the passion was watching a novice field trial where Simon's cousin John Halsted, {who is probably the most successful Labrador handler in the world}, was placed 1st & 2nd with his dogs in the trial, and was the only handler to finish.

Simon amazed at the success, asked John if he could have lessons on how to train his new Labrador puppy,

To John credit he took Simon under his wing,  over several months taught him the methods of how to build a dog from the foundations up, he showed him the importance of body language, tone of voice, consistency in handling,  some of the many varied aspects of successfully training a dog, Simon firmly states that any success he has or may achieve in Labradors has been as a direct result of the foundations that John Halsted taught him.

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