OES in DENMARK

by Johnny Nielsen
President of Old English Sheepdog Klubben i Danmark

I have been encouraged to talk about the OES in Denmark, and it seems only fair that I accept this challenge considering that this year, we will host the 18th Euro-OES-Show and at the same time celebrate our 40th anniversary as a sheepdog club. I have read with great interest the two previous articles about OES in Russia and OES in Spain.
Fortunately some of the work has already been done. In 1976 our former Club president, Ivan Olesen, published a booklet giving us, in rough terms, snapshots from the history of the OES in Denmark. Also, in 1973, the club started collecting useful information for OES owners and later issued an OES manual for club members – here you find relevant information about the OES history, the club history, a complete list of OES champions in Denmark, and lots of other useful information. Unfortunately updates were discontinued in 1984 (at least that is when I received the last champion update). A third source of information can actually be found in our club magazine where the editor, Anne Tinning, produced a series of articles over a couple of years and entertained the audience by revealing the history of our club from its very foundation in 1965 up to 2003. Quite a few of us hope for an updated version giving the full 40 years in a special anniversary edition.
I am now more than happy to reveal the history of the OES in Denmark:
The breed was introduced rather late in Denmark even though we had an occasional visitor, and as early as 1912 Lieutenant Olof Ribbing from Sweden participated in a kennel club show in Tivoli – the dog entered was “Raggylug Lavilla” born August 6th 1909 and bred by Birgitta Bennet, Sweden. The first Old English Sheepdogs actually living in Denmark were “Newcote Leander” from breeder J. G. Green and “Newcote Queenie” bred by R. J. Saunders. They were both born in 1928 and were imported by Kongsted Hansen to Hellerup just north of Copenhagen.
Later imports were “Blue Boy” b: R. J. Saunders and the bitch “Darling” b: Miss J. Hagan. Both dogs were imported from England by Mrs. Hasselbalch in Snekkersten. Almost at the same time Mrs. Clauson-Kaas from Klampenborg imported a bitch “Opps Bessy” and Mrs. G. Stig Aagaard from Hellerup imported a dog “Opps Jacob” - both from Sweden. Unfortunately the two dogs were not transferred from the Swedish Kennel Club to the Danish Kennel Club so it is hard to tell exactly when it happened – but it was approximately 1935.
The first Danish litter was born on March 12th 1935. The breeder was Mrs. Clauson-Kaas. “Opps Bessy” was mated to “Blue Boy.” From this litter Mrs. G. Stig Aagaard acquired a bitch named “Lone” – later to become the very first Danish champion (1939):

Litter no. 2 was bred by Mrs. Hasselbalch and this time “Blue Boy” mated “Darling” and the puppies were born on March 1st 1936. Litter no. 3 was born July 24th 1936, and this time “Newcote Queenie” was mated to “Opps Jacob” – the breeder was Kongsted Hansen. As you can see the early start of the history of the Old English Sheepdog in Denmark was primarily concentrated on a very few enthusiastic people involving imports from England and Sweden. The owners were all located just north of Copenhagen – in what we in Denmark call the whiskey belt – a rather wealthy area, and it is only fair to say that the Old English Sheepdog was reserved for the upper class.
The last litter I shall mention from the pioneering years is the very first second-generation OES litter – the first litter from a Danish born OES.

Champion Lone, an offspring of the very first Danish born litter

On the 22nd of May “Lone,” not yet Danish champion, gave birth to a litter fathered by “Opps Jacob,” and from this litter we celebrate the 2nd Danish champion: the male “Fortinbras” o: Boeje Benzon of Stokkerup.

The breed steadily improved in numbers, and in 1939, six sheepdogs were shown and again in 1940, six sheepdogs were shown at the DKK (Danish Kennel Club) shows. Another 2 litters were born in 1941 and 1942. The first registered OES kennel in Denmark was “Foelholm” (1943). It was quickly followed by “Faergegaarden” in 1944 and “Etiene” in ’46.
In 1965 kennel “Jolly Bear” was registered. It is to this day the longest lasting OES kennel in Denmark. It was originally founded by the founder of the Old English Sheepdog Klubben i Danmark, A. Christiansen, but only a few years later Gyda Ersgaard took over, and she had a very successful time. Later on Gyda retired and moved to Spain, where she still lives, and from then on to this day, Lis Thorup Hansen and Hans Ove Pedersen have carried on the Jolly Bear traditions and kennel name.

Lone’s litter

Worth mentioning is it that in 1957 Kamma Hall of Hellerup imported “Gay of Dalcroy” from Mrs. A. V. Lloyd and “Shepton Sweet Ruth” from Mrs. E. M. H. Storey. They both became famous in Denmark under the names of “Rokke” and “Rulle” – Danish for “Rock‘n Roll”. The Danish cartoonist Helge Hall used them in his comic strip, and they were often seen in Danish newspapers and magazines. And they both became the very first Danish owned Old English Sheepdogs to achieve the title of International champions (1960).

“Gay Roger of Dalcroy” father of Rock’n Roll, so to speak, became the first OES to win “Best in Show” at a Danish DKK show – that was in 1960. From 1960 onwards the breed became more and more popular, and we reached a peak in 1982 with an estimated 2000 Old English Sheepdogs in Denmark (today we have a more modest number: approximately 400-500).
A milestone in the history of OES in Denmark is 1965. That year A. Christiansen and a number of enthusiastic OES-lovers founded what was then called: “Specialklubben for Old English Sheepdog u. DKK” later known as “Old English Sheepdog Klubben i Danmark.”
Also in 1965 we had the first champion within the club. The notorious “Lady Mac Duff” earned the title. The first years were dominated  by  the  kennel  “Jolly  Bear”  but

Cartoonist Helge Hall with Rock’n Roll

soon the kennel “Kroejerup” (Inger Rasmussen) and “Danwill Blue” (Karen Larsen) entered the stage, and through competition a lot of great champions were crowned.
To mention a few:
“Jolly Bears Bill”, Jolly Bears Hope”, Jolly Bears Blue Boy”, “Jolly Bears Blossom”, “Jolly Bears Gabriella”, “Kroejerups Mathilde” and “Danwill Blues Darnella”. Those dogs, all from the early years, were of great importance to our breed in the coming years. Together with imports like “Shaggy Wonder Stackolee” b: M. Mewis, Belgium o: Gyda Ersgaard, “Takawalk Enchantment” b: H. G. Curtis o: Karen Larsen, and “Bombadil Pretty Polly” b: V. M. Hiscocks o: Birgitte Schjøth the future of the Old English Sheepdog in Denmark was secure.
Int.Ch. Takawalk Enchantment – also BIS DKK 1970 and World winner Budapest 1971 Jolly Bears Gabriella – third OES to win BIS in Denmark (1971)
Up through the seventies the OES-club was steadily growing and new kennels were born. A few of them are still very much active. In 1970 Kennel “Danish Delight” (Birgitte Schjøth and Herdis Thuesen), a name that we would hear a lot more of in the future, and in 1979 Kennel “Blue Berry” (Birte and Lene Fromberg), and Kennel “Shag-A-Rag” (Birthe and Hans Joergen Brolykke). Lots of new initiatives were seen and in those years obedience training and trials were introduced in our breed. It has become a trademark in Denmark, that an OES is well behaved through training. In 1975 the first 2 Old English sheepdogs in Denmark with the most impressive score of 99 and 98 out of 100 got a first prize at a DKK official Class 1 obedience trial. They were “Danwill Blues Dizzy Girl” (Hans Ove Pedersen) and “Bombadil Pretty Polly” (Birgitte Schjøth). Later Hans Ove and Dizzy became the first Danish obedience champion (and only the 9th of all breeds in Denmark).
Two truly great dogs were on stage in the late 70s: Birgitte Schjøth's Audrey and Hanne Nissens’ (Kennel Cheerio) Charisma Chief Chincote¬aque.
As mentioned earlier, the OES in the eighties was a very popular breed in Denmark. In 1981 we had a stunning 725 members in our club (compared to appoximately 250 today). The top winning dog at that time was, without a doubt, “Some Buddy Canadian Ambassador” b: Terry Carter and owned by Birgitte Schjøth and Herdis Thuesen. He produced a number of champions, one was “Danish Delight Canadian Sound” o: Jonna and Ib Nielsen – the first OES to become a show champion as well as an obedience champion, another was “Danish Delight Call Me Barbara” later to become World Winner. Though competition was tough, champions were produced in numbers. Most successful kennels were Danish Delight (Birgitte Schjøth, Herdis Thuesen), Danwill Blue (Karen Larsen), Cheerio (Ingrid Nissen, Hanne Nissen), and Shaggy Dane (Lissie Juul, Erik Juul).
In the late 80’s OES-lovers in Denmark were worried – just outside our borders in Norway and Sweden a tail docking ban was introduced, and the writing on the wall was clear. Next in line was Denmark, and true enough in September 1991 the Danish parliament passed the law. Our club, and others, fought it with great vigour, but naturally it was a lost battle and nowadays we don’t even think about it anymore. The top winning dog during those years was “Shag-a-Rag Follow My leader” b/o: Birthe and Hans Joergen Brolykke. Three imports from those days were “Rollingsea Admiral Keegan” b: Jean Gould o: Birte Fromberg, “Vigilat's New Dutch Demsey” b: E. ter Mors o: Winnie Klarlund and finally “Lamedazottel's Go Miss Sophie” b: C & J Smith o: Birgitte Schjøth were champions in no time, and especially Miss Sophie’s show career became legendary – a top bitch for many years, multi-champion and mother and grandmother of numerous champions and international champions among which you find Euro-OES-Show Winner 1997 “Danish Delight Sophie’s Dutch Joker” b: Birgitte Schjøth o: Liv Backe and Torben Nielsen.
Lamedazottel’s Go Miss Sophie – a top bitch for many years Danish Delight Sophie’s Dutch Joker – first Danish bred dog to win the Euro-OES-Show (1997)
Kennel Danish Delight continues to stay on top and has for the past many years been the top winning Danish kennel. Today only 7 kennels are active breeders. They are; Jolly Bear (Lis Thorup Hansen/Hans Ove Pedersen), Danish Delight (Birgitte Schjøth), Blue Berry (Birte Fromberg), Shag-A-Rag (Birthe Brolykke), Lykkegaarden (Winnie Klarlund), Kikki-Malou (Tove Andersen) and Sound Solution (Dortemarie Nielsen and Torben Nielsen). Kennel Sound Solution also had great success in the late 90s and in recent years – The late Liv Backe and Torben Nielsen produced the winner of the Euro-OES-Show 2001 “Sound Solution Corona’s Crown Juvel.”
What happens in Denmark these days? Our top winning dog is “Danish Delight Formula One” b/o: Birgitte Schjøth, but a lot of new dogs are eagerly competing and the competition is tough. In the club we enjoy obedience training, agility and we have a wide spectre of activities going on all over the country – both socially and officially – but then again we do not need an excuse to get together and have fun – we just do it and we do it a lot. Of course I cannot talk about the history of the OES in Denmark without mentioning the Danish Show Team. Lisa T. Nielsen is the mother of entertainment in our club, and for years now the team has rampaged Europe and I fear that it is not over yet. Watch out – you may be drafted. We hope you have fun – we do. The toughest part of telling the history is to decide what to leave out – I have had a hard time doing that, and I fear that some names should have been mentioned and more dogs should have been honoured – and for that I apologise and bow. This year our club celebrates its 40th anniversary, and I assure you that we are still alive and kicking and hopefully we will be for the next 40 years as well. See you all in Nyborg at the 18th Euro-OES-Show.

 

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