History of the Club

Background by Gael Stenton:
“The history of the Lagotto in the UK is also the history of the Lagotto’s spread outside Italy, and it really began in1990 at the Florence International Show. I was at the show and came across the Romagnolo and their little curly duck – come truffle – dogs trying (unsuccessfully) to get Italian show folk interested in their Lagots. I was immediately smitten and became part of the struggle to get the Lagotto recognised; knowing that I would have to wait until they were hopefully one day granted FCI interim recognition before importing them into the UK. 18 months later ENCI opened registration with the formation of a Breed Register, followed by admittance to the Italian show ring in 1992. FCI Interim recognition followed in October 1995, and at last the way was opened to import Lagotto into the UK. Fortunately by then Ann Kemp, one of my Spinone owners, had become equally smitten and together in the Spring of 1996 we bought Reno and Rossetta and founded the Lagotto Romagnolo Club of Great Britain – the club which pioneered the Lagotto not only in the UK but worldwide. The next milestone was the first litter in the UK born on 21 April 1997…”
Our Club’s Co-Founders, Ann Kemp and Gael Stenton, pictured here with Reno and Rossetta’s five Grancanna puppies – the first Lagotto Romagnolo litter born in the UK (1997)
“… Together Ann and I imported six more foundation Lagotto in the next three years, all with names beginning with R for Romagna, and in 2006 the last two of the pioneer R imports, Ruffio and Rocco. The one early import not an R was my own import Flay in whose 1997 litter were born the first two show champions bred in the UK Ir Ch Gaesten S’Alfredo del Grancanna and Aust Gr Ch Gaesten Sarollo who went down under to be the founding sire of the breed in Australia.”
Gael Stenton
HISTORY OF THE CLUB - An early meeting
Many of the Founder Members of the LRCGB remain with the Club, and continue to play an active role:

Gael Stenton (Co-Founder), Ann Kemp (Co-Founder), Sarah Beazant and Sandra Shelley.

Here is a copy of the Founder Member badge, which you may have seen worn with pride by some of our Founder Members at events…

The changes to our logo from the formation of the Club to today, with the latest design having been elected by our Members in 2017…

Over the years the following milestones have been achieved by Lagotto within the Club:


Gael Stenton and Ann Kemp imported Reno and Rossetta, and formed the Lagotto Romagolo Club of Great Britain


The first Lagotto Romagnolo litter was born in the UK


The first LRCGB Gundog Working Test, won by Virginia Bisikes handling Gaesten Dolinda


Virginia and Dolinda were subsequently awarded the first Raghill Cup trophy in 1999


The first UK-bred Lagotto to become a Champion was Ir Sh Ch Gaesten S'Alfredo del Grancanna (Fred)


Gaesten Fair Firenze at Teamtot AWS owned by Sarah Beazant became the first Lagotto to qualify for an Agility Warrant


Lagotto Romagnolo were placed on the Import Register and able to compete in Import Classes in the UK


The Club's Agility Team qualified for the Medium Team Agility at Crufts 2009


Gaesten Zippy Zingo at Nelbekio RL4 was the first Lagotto to be awarded a Rally Level 1 Certificate


Lagotto Romagnolo came off of the Import Register and were able to compete in their own breed classes from1 April 2015


Nelbekio Almost an Angel became the first Lagotto to get Best of Breed in a Breed Class at a Championship Show


Grancanna Cantata owned by Lyn and Jeff Monk and handled by Jeff was the first Lagotto to participate in the BASC Working Gundog Class at Crufts and was awarded 4th Place


Mizani Diorbe of Slovakia won Best Puppy in Show and Best in Show at an Open Show


11 year old May Bransby and Nelbekio Be It Bambalina were the first young handler and Lagotto to appear in a YKC Class at Crufts 


Fullforge Free Horizons con Mikette became the first Lagotto to win a Show Certificate of Merit


'The Italian Job', the Club's northern Obreedience Team, qualified for the Obreedience Final at Crufts 2018. Unable to take part as a team due to bitches in season and no substitutes at that time being allowed, the youngest team member, May Bransby, was instead invited to demonstrate the 'Send to Bed' exercise with her Lagotto, Peggy. The Team qualified again for - and took part in - the Obreedience Final 2019


In April the LRCGB hosted its first Gundog Working Assessment Tests that included other Minority Breed Spaniels (excluding English Springer Spaniels and Cocker Spaniels). In August the Club hosted its first Gundog Working Tests (with Water), again open to the other Minor Breed Spaniels