The Hovawart Club of Great Britain
Hovawart Breed History

Hovawart Breed History

The Beginning

The idea for a club came from a meeting organised by the original importer, Mrs W Inches in October 1982 at Bingley Hall, Stafford. She had persuaded the late Dr Tine Baretta-Kuipers, the President of the Dutch Hovawart Club to come over to the UK and carry out a breed assessment on the nine Hovawarts that attended.

Those people and their dogs were ...

- Min Inches with Tobias vt Spinhuis & Assi v Oresund
- Karen Ball & Minches Eagle
- Chris Charmley & Minches Fluke
- Julie Condron & Minches Hawk
- Vikki Mitchell with Minches Spring & Hoffenhills Blonde Louise
- Gill Stockton & Minches Storm
- Tony Turvey & Minches Kestrel

Twenty seven Founder Members attended the Inaugural Meeting at the Ladies Kennel Association Championship Show in December 1982, of those 27 only four are still involved with the club - Julie Condron, Min Inches, Janet Kibble and Gill Stockton.

At that Inaugural Meeting Dr Baretta-Kuipers became the Club’s Patron, Min President, Chairman Tony Turvey, Secretary Julie Condron & Treasurer Chris Chamley. The Club produced its first Newsletter in October 1983 to keep the members informed of what had gone on in the first year of the club.

Application was made to the Kennel Club in January and May 1983 and the reason for being turned down was “insufficient numbers to warrant a breed club”. The Club continued to apply but it was not until October 1988 that the Club was officially recognised.

At the first official AGM in 1989 a Code of Ethics was formulated which became part of the Club’s Rules. September 1989 saw the Club’s First Open Show, the judge was Min Inches. Her Best in Show and Best Dog was Buster vh Norelbosch & her Best Bitch was Minches Truce, both owned by Julie Condron. Best Puppy was the Oxborrow’s Pines Murrays Anchorage. The entry was 38.

Although the Club took five years to be officially recognised by the Kennel Club it functioned as a club, what follows is a history of the breed and the club in the UK.

1981

Saw the importation of what could be called the foundation of the breed in the UK. The dog and bitch, both black/gold were acquired by Min Inches (MINCHES) while stationed abroad with her husband, who was in the RAF. Both were the result of “re-homing”, which seemed the “par for the course” with the breed in the UK for the first couple of years - nothing unusual in a rare breed.

Assi v Oresund - the bitch - had a litter while in Holland to a Swiss Bred dog Apollo vt Pilhoes. This produced a litter of three dogs and four bitches. Neil, a black dog was unfortunately a monorchid but his blonde litter brother Bruce was widely used in Holland to good effect. Their sister, Lyndaborgh was a Dutch Champion.

Assi and her future mate Tobias vt Spinhuis arrived on UK soil, early 1980 and were released from quarantine in October 1980.

1982

Saw Lousie and Minches Hobby, the b/g bitch from the first litter, going to new homes. Louise to Mr. & Mrs Mitchell (VICKYIAN Border Collies), who had just acquired Minches Spring from the second litter from Tobias and Assi, Minches “S” litter. Minches Hobby went to Jackie Wigmore, a kennel maid from the quarantine kennels where all the Hovawarts had so far been kenneled.

At Crufts Tobias was second in both Post Graduate and Limit. The breed having to compete with the other “minority breeds” in the Any Variety Not Separately Classified.

Mrs Inches persuaded Dr Tine Baretta-Kuipers, the President of the Dutch Hovawart Club to come over and carry out the first breed assessment in the UK. This took place in October at Bingley Hall. There were nine Hovawarts and their six owners present. It was at this meeting that the idea for a club was born. Twenty seven Founder Members attended the inaugural meeting in December (only four of them are still connected with the club - Julie Condron, Min Inches, Janet Kibble and Gill Stockton).

Two black puppies were imported from the Hoffenhills Kennel, a dog and bitch. Unfortunately both were destined to add nothing to the breed. The dog being put to sleep with a brain carcinoma and the bitch being unable to produce a litter.

Minches Shane was exported to the Hoffenhills kennel. Although gaining his show certificates towards the title of Champion, he never gained a working certificate, which is necessary to complete full champion status.

1983

Application was made to the Kennel Club for official recognition of the Club but as was the case for the next five years this was refused due to lack of numbers. At Crufts Assi was placed third in Limit bitch but was upstaged by her daughter Minches Spring who won first in Special Yearling.

Minches hawk became the first Hovawart to win in Obedience, this he did in style at the BAGSD Championship Show at Southport.

National Working Breeds gave us our first separate classes at a Championship Show, our judge was Michael Quinney. Best Bitch was Minches Spring and her father Tobias vt Spinhuis was Best Dog and Best of Breed. Tony Turvey, the Club’s first Chairman, on a visit to Germany the previous year had acquired medallions from the German Hovawart Club and these were presented to all the exhibitors and the judge.

Dr Baretta-Kuipers came over again and did a second breed assessment at the Windsor Championship Show, This show also saw the debut of Kim von Seehof, a black dog imported from Germany. He was purchased by Mr. Daniels whilst on a business trip to Germany. The mating was not an official one ie sanctioned by the parent club because the bitch was positive for Hip Dysplasia and this was reflected in Kim’s own hip score of 79. He was used once at stud under special circumstances, not of the resulting.

Minches Thunder was exported to Finland where he later became a Champion.

At Southend Open All Breed Show, Minches Kestrel became the first Hovawart to win Best in Show.

Hoffenhills Blonde Louise was mated for the first time, regrettably this bitch never managed to produce a litter despite several matings. Again the only litter born were to Tobias & Assi - Minches “T” litter.

1984

At Crufts the bitches walked away with the prizes - Hoffenhills Happiness, fourth in Post Graduate and Minches Spring fifth in Limit.

May saw our first breed classes at a general Championship Show. The judge was Mr. Terry Thorn, Best of Breed and Best Dog was Minches Kestrel, Best Bitch was Minches Spring.

The Club organised its first Character Test in July at Lilford Park. Unfortunately our invited foreign judges were prevented from officiating by a National Dock Strike. Two substitute judges did the honours and the dog of the day was Minches Trip. He was later that year with his kennel mate Homested Alleric, rehomed.

There were two litters born this year, the final Tobias - Assi mating - Minches “R” litter and the Homested “A” litter, a result of mating Minches Fluke to Kaunottaren Christina of Homested.

To be continued ...