In a couple of years we will be celebrating 100 years of OES in Sweden. There have been both up and down periods
during this time span and we can divide the one hundred years into three periods. The first: 1900-1950. The second: 1950-1989 (the year when tail
docking was banned by law) and finally, modern times: 1990 until the present day.
1907 - 1920
Oral traditions exist about an OES living on a mansion in southern Sweden in the late 1890ís. It is said that this dog worked as a
herding dog at the manor but the dog was never mentioned in the records of the Swedish Kennel club, so no one knows if it is true or not.
Here in Sweden, there were two pioneers of the breed, Baroness Birgitta
Thott-Bennet who, in 1907, imported the bitch, Bonny Nell of the Bullfighter (Illford Bullfighter - Nell) and Lieutenant
K. Stjärnsvärd who imported Lord St Levan (Lord Advocate - Dam Susannah). They also made their show debut
in the year 1907 and, some years later, Bonny Nell became the first Swedish champion.
In 1910 the first breeders group entered the show ring with a litter from Bonny and
Levan. The breeder was, of course, Baroness Thott-Bennet, under her kennel name, Lavilla, and she won a first prize with them. One of the
youngsters in that group was the bitch, Gipsy Lavilla, who, in 1912, became the first Swedish breed champion.
In 1913, Baroness Thott-Bennet imported a new dog from England, MacHallaton (Typical Weather - Clara) and he
sired some puppies with Gipsy Lavilla. Among them was Bobby, born in 1914, who became a Swedish champion.
In 1917 a couple of new OES were imported from England. A bitch, Rosy Weather and a male Shepton Bob. They were at some dog shows, but
must be regarded as pets. Also that year, Björn Lavilla (Lord St Levan - CH. Bonny Nell of Bullfighter) became a Swedish Champion.
For some years to follow, almost nothing happened, especially in the show ring where it was rather quiet. A male dog Peik was born in a litter
by Shepton Bob and Vega Lavilla. He was not registered but was later used as a sire, regardless.
1920 - 1930
The best-known breeders from this period were Hulda and Karin Brusell, Opp´s kennel, who did major work for the breed
in Sweden. They produced about 20 new OES and became the top breeders during this time. About 1925 they imported a bitch from England, Bess Steadfast
(Layland Billy - Jurlong Queenie). She became a Swedish champion in 1929. A little later came the dog, Sergeant Mutt (Sergeant Murphy - Luda Beauty)
and he gained his champion title in 1930. Another bitch imported by Opp´s kennel was Guddy (Montford Mike - Topsy). She was used in their
breeding program. It is not known for sure if she gained her champion title or not, but at least she won some CACs.
There were, during this time, some other breeders but they played a smaller role
and were more like families who had one litter only from their bitch.
One exception was E Naess who bred under the name Guardsman. A famous champion, Guardsman Lorry, came from this
kennel. E Naess imported a bitch from England, Miss Angela (Ch. Walleyed Bob - Penny Half Penny) who became a champion, but there are no
records of puppies from her. Another import was Faithful Tramp (Montford Mike - Montford Madcap), owned by E Neass, but originally imported
by a private person. This male became a champion and I think he was the first OES in Sweden to win a CACIB!
Guddy and Miss Angela
In the late 1940s the situation became more difficult for the breed. One might say that this period saw the end of the first period of
Swedish OES history. Showing and breeding did not vanish altogether, but of course the war made a lot of difficulties for the breed and their owners.
Opp´s was still the most important kennel. Other individuals used bitches from them in some smaller attempts at breeding.
After World war 11 when the singer and actress, Zarah Leander Forsell, famous in Sweden and Germany, returned from Germany, she
brought with her an important new dog. His name was Banco of Windemere (Bob Ray von Stradina - Sweetbriar von Stradina). He was used in Zarah
Leanderís breeding program and produced some litters. Here in Sweden very little is known about Banco, and/or his ancestors in Germany, so if anyone has
information to share we would be happy to hear it here in Sweden!