Many bird dog enthusiasts know and read the page English Setters & Pointers in Hunting & Trials, that I run with my Norwegian friend Jørn Wølner. Now that we’re passing 6000 registered followers who find the history and photos we share interesting, I thought I ‘d share a bit about the background behind creating that site. A lot of this was due to our late Danish friend Valdemar Larsen, who passed away on May 5th 2014.
In the autumn of 1991 I still lived in Sweden but I joined Danish pointer great Jørgen Andersen on a trip to the World Championship in Italy and to my first Danish trial, the Fynske Brugsprøve, shortly afterwards. The three English dogs representing Denmark in Italy were pointers Assynt Tom (N.P. Olesen) and Lydehøjs Line (Jørgen Andersen) and setter Kogtveds B Penni (Valdemar Larsen). Line and Penni also competed at the Brugsprøve, as they were both chasing a 1st prize for the last points to become dual champions. Penni achieved it there, Line achieved it the following season.
The photo at the top is what we used as the profile logo of English Setters & Pointers in Hunting & Trials. It is of Penni’s daughter Kogtveds E Rascal.
Valdemar with Kogtveds B Penni as the winner of the Nordic match at the Finnish 100 year Jubilee trial in 1991. Jørn pictured in the middle with Valdemar and his wife Lene. Kogtveds I Megan (Kas de la Mazorra – Kogtveds E Rascal), who later moved to Norway, to Jørn’s friend Svein Borgen.
In Italy we had been impressed by the French setter Cow Boy des Rives de l’Estrigon. Valdemar had straight away spoken with his owner & handler Daniel Provost and arranged for a mating with Penni. Back in Sweden I wrote an article from the World Championship and also mentioned the proposed mating. The article was published in the Swedish magazines AVANCE and HUNDSPORT and in my home land the Norwegian magazine FUGLEHUNDEN. That resulted in one pup sold to Sweden (their Setter Club chairman Jerker Svensson had also been present in Italy), two pups to Finland and two pups to Norway. In December ’91 I had moved to Denmark and in the spring of ’92 a very excited Valdemar called to tell me about the pups’ destinations. In particular, he was ecstatic about the two going to Norway to well-known setter people Ivar Brynhildsen and Jørn Wølner. Ivar got Kogtveds E Philip (years later I imported his daughter Lapphaugen’s Moulin to New Zealand, from the last litter he sired) and Jørn got Kogtveds E Penny Lane. (Oscar went to Sweden, while Wanda and Victor went to Finland. Valdemar kept Rascal.)
This was the beginning of a close friendship between Jørn and Valdemar. When a remating was made Jørn brought Kogtveds F Pommeroy to Norway (his important sister Penelope also went to Norway). I regularly met and spoke with Valdemar and also stayed with him and his wife Lene at their home in Svendborg.
After the 1994 World Championship in the Netherlands, where Jørn and his mate Svein Borgen competed as the first ever Norwegian competitors with setters Vigdaættas Rambo (Jørn) and his son Høimyra’s Mach (Svein), Jørn also bought a pointer pup from a litter Jørgen Andersen and I had done with the Dutch dog Mohawk on Agertoften Isabella (a daughter of Lydehøjs Line) who represented Denmark. Later we also sent Isabella to Jørn, to have her inseminated with frozen sperm from Sir Satan. This produced Jørgen’s superb pointer Texas av Frygne. From Jose Condado in Spain Valdemar imported Kas de la Mazorra (son of the setter Frenk di San Pellegrino that Condado had handled to win the ’94 World Championship). Kas eventually also came to Jørn in Norway and he rated him highly.
Pictured above is Valdemar’s great dual champion Kogtveds B Penni and her daughter Kogtveds E Rascal. Valdemar was always a great proponent of southern European blood lines and also brought in Vitus de l’Echo de la Foret from Daniel Provost in France, as well as Francinis Birbo and Francinis Amicola from Franco Francini in Italy.
After I had moved to New Zealand and as the bird dog communities were finding their way onto the world wide web, Jørn and I often participated in various internet fora and also collaborated in books and magazines. Our huge common interests were the lines and history behind both the English setter and the pointer. People regularly asked if we could do something to gather some of the information we shared to one place. Jørn and I entertained the idea but nothing more materialised.
In 2014 my family and I had left New Zealand to spend the entire year in Europe. In early May we found ourselves in Portimão, in the Algarve region of southern Portugal. I was about to celebrate my 45th birthday in a couple of days when I received the message from Jørn that Valdemar had passed away. Even though I knew about his battle with illness it was still quite a shock. Jørn seemed devastated and at the time was also battling his own health problems. As we over the next few days were coming to terms with Valdemar’s passing, the talk somehow again touched the idea of making a page where we could share some of our knowledge around setters & pointers. I felt it would be a good kind of therapy at the time.
Three months later to the day I was at my parents place in North Norway and created the page on Facebook. I suggested that we do it in English rather than Norwegian, so that people outside of Scandinavia also could take part, for me to translate any Norwegian texts Jørn would write. That eventually developed into him sending me some information and old photographs and me creating the content by researching and writing the articles. The page seems to have struck a chord with our likeminded bird dog enthusiasts. If there is an interest we’ve only been too happy to share the history we research about the breeds.
This photo that we have used as the background photo on our page is one I took of Agertoften Rossi in the early-mid 1990s. He was a litter brother of Agertoften Isabella, by the Swedish import Västan-Åns Urlev (Urlo del Vento – Gona) – Lydehøjs Line (Bob – Kirkebjergs Sus). I spent many, many hours with Jørgen training the dog and he also attended a few trials. He is by far the best bird finder and with the best bird work I’ve ever seen. He is also Jørgen’s greatest disappointment in his illustrious career with bird dogs, as he had what was regarded as a poor style (dead tail and often lowered his head while ranging) and he simply could not be cured against his liking for fur (hares, roe deer and foxes). He is pictured at sunset pointing a partridge.