His Grace, the 8th Duke of Wellington, the late president of the Labrador Retriever Club (LRC) was a retriever and gundog enthusiast. On December 31, 2014 he died at Stratfield Saye, his home, aged 99. His Stratford Saye kennel twice won the national Retriever Championship. 

At the age of  14 his mother gave him a black labrador puppy, a bitch from the kennel of Lorna Countess Howe. Her dogs were dual purpose which she showed and ran in field trials. The duke’s first labrador was trained as a gundog because he liked shooting rabbits as a boy. All his life he preferred labradors in good working condition.

In the mid-sixries of the last century the duke had a litter from his labrador bitch Juno sired by Lady Hill-Wood’s Field Trial Champion Hiwood Dipper. Her ladyship’s mother was a Buccleuch. The Duke of Buccleuch was one of the earliest breeders of labradors in Scotland. Lady Hill-Wood was the predecessor of the  Duke of Wellington as  president of the Labrador Retriever Club. From the above litter the Duke of Wellington gave a bitch to Queen Elizabeth II who called the dog Juniper. The bitch featured prominently in the ancestry of many of her dogs.

On the occasion of the centenary celebrations of the LRC at Belvoir Castle in 2003 the Duke of Wellington praised the labrador retriever as a great breed.