whippet drawingA drawing by my son Kaare Wamberg
A brief history of the Danish whippets.
By Birgit Wamberg, Fairway Whippets.



            In 1890 the owners and breeders of hunting dog breeds created the first studbook in Denmark. The frontispiece of the first book is shown below (1).

The first sighthounds to be entered - in volume 5 (1897-98) - were numbers 2785 and 2786, Printz and Molly. Grey-brown and brown-grey in colour respectively! They were called Dværgmynder, that is "miniature greyhounds" or sighthounds, which might actually have been Italian Greyhounds. Some of the very early pictures of Whippets definitely show a type very close to that breed, being often quite slender and elegant, with a stance and also colour (slate grey or blue) typical of the (modern) Italian Greyhound. In an advertisement later - in the 1920's - for Whippets these are still given the additional name "dværgmynder". (The painting (2) below from 1892 is said to portray a whippet).

    stud book   fig 1        original type  fig 2

Obviously people knew this smaller greyhound type dog as a miniature greyhound of sorts. They just had to give them the correct name. Two examples are shown below, one is an imported dog and the other one is Danish bred (3 og 4).

Glencoe   fig 3         blue whippet   fig 4

In the Danish Stud Book the first whippet entered as such - in 1904 - is number 2777 Swift (5). She is brownbrindle and imported from Jersey. Her owner is Jørgen Larsen, who owns Gaardbogaard in Aalbæk, he is a wealthy big farmer and was important in the establishment of Jersey cows in Scandinavia. So he probably went to Jersey and met and became enchanted by the whippet, like the rest of us!

Swiftfig 5stud bookfig 6

In 1906 the first kennel name affix was registered by Jørgen Larsen, junior. Perhaps he was a son of the Jørgen Larsen with the Jersey connection? He also lives in Jutland, at the large farm or mansion (herregård) Kjærsgaard, at Hjørring. The whippets he owned and bred were supplied with an affix, the letter G, which perhaps stands for Gaardbygaard: e.g. Duke-G an imported male (12506), and Zig-Zag-G, (12508), a bitch also bred in England (6). Jørgen Larsen showed his whippets with great success and in 1906 he won an honour prize for breeding given by the Danish Kennel Club.

Duke-G was mated to Swift and produced Girl-G, and out of Zig-Zag-G Duke sired Boy, and Beauty (13431), born Sept. 12th 1905. Beauty was owned by a high court barrister. It seems to be quite a vogue in higher-class society of the time to have a whippet companion. Other owners are: a high ranking officer and affiliated courtier (kammerjunker), a major landowner (godsejer). A crowd far removed from the first people that whippets had in their surroundings, namely the humble miners of northern England.

The above studbook entry already shows that the whippet came in several colours: four dogs, four colours, which are yellow-brown, isabella, light brown, and brown and black-brindle. It is a good sign of genetic variability in a breed, making it possible to do quite some line- and inbreeding and still maintain soundness. Traditionally whippet breeders have done so and got away with it.

In the article mentioned earlier, from the 1920’s, a review of shows in the past, many photos from a typical contemporate show (1920ish) illustrate what you might see during the three days it lasted (7a). (This magazine was ”read” so often by Vibeke Rune as a child, that the covers, and with them the publishing year, have gone missing!).

periodical  fig 7a
fig 7b     Heddy Wanderer fig 8

It looks very informal, a handler is showing two whippets at the same time (7b), and the judge is an artist (painter). You can also learn about how to bathe your dog, clean the teeth and so on. Funny anecdotes are told, e.g. how two bitches whelped in the showgrounds.

P.M.Larsen is a well known breeder in the twenties and in an article about his breeding, in the same magazine, there are a number of photos. One shows a very nice imported bitch, Heddy Wanderer (8). She is actually related to the famous founder Shirley Wanderer, who is her g.grandsire, tail male (born 1900). She stands next to a small girl and is decorated with a fine ribbon, probably by the little girl. Heddy has a conformation that would not be bad in a modern whippet, of 100 years later! She is fawn and the daughter in the same photo appears to be blue and not as fine a specimen.

Glencoe Blue Boy (see photo above) is the sire of this blue daughter, Grethe Wanderer. A blue and white litter sister was exported to Norway, where she became Norwegian Champion Britta Wanderer, foundation bitch in the Egra Kennel. Another litter mate (9), Pett Wanderer (b. 1913) was mated to his half-sister (same dam: Heddy Wanderer) and produced Nelly Whipsnade, who became Swedish Champion. Yet another brother (10), Gyb, looks to be of a more slender and finely built type, which very often is connected with the blue and black lineage. You might expect this if the colours originated with some Italian Greyhound blood mixed in at an early stage of developing the true whippet.

early whippets fig 9-10

Describing his very winning and successful breeding we hear how in the beginning he was met with disaster: a dog bought at great expense (more than 1000 kr., a huge sum in those days, around 1915) unfortunately died just a couple of months after being imported. But mr Heich did not give up; instead he jumped right in and bought an even better dog: the leading champion and stud-dog in England, UK Ch Willesbea (11), strongly inbred, born in 1919, by Searchlight ex Spray. They both carry superb bloodlines: Shirley, Manorley and Watford.

He swiftly added two more titles to his name: Danish and Swedish champion. Naturally he became the ancestor of many super dogs: via his daughter Lini Av Scandia came the poshly named Sir Ping Av Scandia, (12), a fawn dog, b. 1923, who became Swedish Ch. (Lini’s maternal grandsire is one Black Wanderer whose parents are not given).
knl Herningfig 11sir Pingfig 12

Sir Ping is also behind the whippet bitch mentioned below: Brenna’s Happy, being the sire of a bitch bred in Sweden by name of Lizca, who was to become the foundation bitch in kennel Brenna. Her dam is Lady Parforce (by Danas Swift ex Musse).

Among other whippets bred by Heich I have found Hernings Smut, male, and via him and his son, Swedish and Danish Ch Percy I, it is possible to find the direct unbroken descent in the pedigree of the whippets of the present day (13). For instance, an astounding direct succession over 21 generations, starting with Willesbea in 1919 and leading up to my own Fairway Chill-Out Charming (born in 2006) takes us from England, over Denmark, France, USA, and then back to Denmark. The names in the chain are these (dogs in blue, and no titles given):

UK CH Willesbea (GB, 1919)

   Hernings Smut (DK)

      Percy I

        Miss Torchy

           Djurslands Allan


               Midtfyns Kinette

                 Midtfyns Ohio

                   Midtfyns Baronesse

                     Midtfyns Juliane

                       Lillemarks Sailer

                         (Fairway) Rampion

                            Musical Chairs du Sac à Malices (FR)

                               Itsme Made In France (USA)

                                 Mojave Kahlua

                                    Kezo's Seafoam Florescence

                                      Red Cloud Quintessence

                                         Chelsea Calibri

                                            Chelsea Long Kiss Goodnight

                                               Wingate N'Tivio's Starfire

                                                  Fairway Chill-Out Charming (DK, 2006)   fig 13

Willesbea also sired Lady Of Randers, seen in the photo (14) below.

Mated to Percy I she produced Ch Per, who in his turn sired Helmarhøjs Swift, a dog. He was mated with a Saide bitch and produced the Swedish Ch Kenzy, (15) in 1940:

Lady of Randers fig 14  Kenzyfig15

The Helmarhøj establishment was quite a big operation: in an advertisement he offers progeny of 16 breeds! He claims to be Scandinavia’s most modern and largest kennel, winning 85 first prizes in one year. Whippets, also described as ”dværgmynder”, are for sale ”at reasonable prices”. Trading in and breeding dogs were businesses that demanded a certain demeanor – far from the modern day despicable dogtraders (hundehandlere) who are simply in it for the money. In mr. Høpfner’s advertisement from the early days, 1913, he presents himself as a respectable gentleman (16) in fine attire:

typical dog sellerfig 16

He has been a breeder since 1880, winning more than 600 prizes; and he guarantees that dogs he has sold can always be bought back or exchanged. Advice is offered free of charge. In his trade mark emblem is the head of a Great Dane, a breed that was extremely popular at the time. At the above mentioned first DKK show in 1897 (where 1 whippet was shown) no less than 51 of these great Danish Dogs were on show. One such was owned by the wife of Jørgen Larsen – you remember Swift from Jersey? – so obviously this was a family with a great drive and sense for competitive showing and breeding of livestock.

The sparse material at hand has covered the early history of whippets in Denmark, but I have come across two catalogues (owned by Vibeke Rune) from 1936 and 1938, from two shows in Copenhagen, and via these we can pick up the red thread that will lead us directly to the whippet lines of today.

The connection between older and present day whippets goes by way of DK Ch Djurslands Allan. (Djursland is the name of a region in Jutland).

Like his fellow contemporates the breeder was not afraid of inbreeding and line-breeding, as is evidenced by the pedigree of the dog Ib (17).

Djurslands Allanfig 17

First D.Allan is mated to Ch. Mio, a half-sister of his own dam, who is Miss Torchy, (their common sire being Percy I) and they produce a daughter: Djurslands Wippi (18). Next this daughter, Wippi, is mated back to her sire, the result being a dog, Ib (1948).

wippi fig 18  Hunden 1938 fig 19  Tiptree fig 20

This male, Ib, is mated to Brenna’s Happy, a bitch that kennel Midtfyn has imported from Norway, and the resulting daughter is named Midtfyns Kinette.
Shown above is the Magazine Hunden, with a whippet, from 1938 (19). A typical Tiptree whippet is seen (in 20).

Silver  Sir Peterfig 21

In the catalogue (from 1938) (21) are two entries by Mrs. Rieber-Salvesen from Norway, showing her two English dogs here in Denmark. These two were part of Mrs. Rieber-Salvesen´s  foundation stock in her famous kennel Brenna. These two English whippets are Sir Peter (d,1934) and Tiptree May (b,1936). Peter and May produced the daughter Brenna’s Golden Gem. Brenna’s Happy was a result of a mating  between half-brother and half-sister, Golden Gem being the dam of both.

Another foundation bitch in kennel Brenna was the Danish bred Skjoldhøjs Tenna. She was blue and white, out of Willes-  and Watford lines. From these early dogs came the ”Brenna Blues” without outcrossing for seven generations (22 og 23).

Brenna old fig 22 Brenna new with H.Espeland fig 23

Now about kennel Midtfyn: Mrs. Barlebo had a strong personality, and right since childhood she had harboured a strong desire to own a whippet. However, when she later in 1940 founded her kennel, it was with Borzoi and Pekinese, as whippets were very hard to come by. Finally she saw one at a show, but this was not for sale. So she set out to import some herself. She studied the lines and set her eyes on the Wingedfoot type, which was very successful in Britain. In the photo (24) below is shown a group of Barlebo’s whippets, in the center is Wingedfoot Bowman. Below (25) is another group.

Midtfyn 1fig 24 Midtfyn 2fig 25

One of her first imports was the somewhat large but very handsome Wingedfoot Bowman (1954, by GBCH Wingedfoot Marksman ex Wingedfoot Nanette). He became DK Ch and distinguished himself at stud. One bitch, M. Helle (of unknown descent) is seen below (26).
Mated to Brenna’s Happy he sired the bitch Midtfyns Thola and the dog Midtfyns Trold
(1955), a very fine specimen, even through the eyes of a modern whippeteer, in my view (27 and 28 pedigree). Trold was exported to Sweden and became Swedish Ch. In Sweden he sired a blue and white dog, Ch Bojars Basker (29), who eventually became the breed’s first Swedish bred International champion.

Midtfyns Helle fig 26 Midtfyns Trold fig 27Midtfyns Trold pedfig 28Bojars Baskerfig 29

Kennel Lillemark on the island Fyn (Funen), had its origins in Midtfyn stock. Inge Rune and her daughter Vibeke, were breeders of whippets and other breeds. The kennel is still active, in Vibeke’s hands, but no longer breeds whippets. Vibeke supplied me with some documentation, collected over many years, due to this keen interest in dogs and dog matters. That made it possible to outline the history as done.
The bitch line resulting from the use of Ch Wingedfoot Bowman and the German Ch Silberstern von Burgfried produced among others Ch Midtfyns Baronesse. She was mated to the Swedish import Dk Ch Seeberga Meteor (brother of Mercur) and produced the dog Ch Lillemarks Sailer (30) and the superbly elegant sister Ch Lillemarks Sika, (31) who was Best In Show at the multi club specialty show in Silkeborg 1974. (My own Fairway whippets have descended from Sailer; more about them later!).

Lillemark 1 fig 30 Lillemark 2 fig 31

Sika became the origin of the whippets of other kennels, such as Preetz.
Whippet breeding had been at a standstill up to the 70’s but now it came alive again.
As an example I’ll mention the pedigree of the quite racy blue male Clyde (1985). He and even three generations before him are not the results of any thoughtful and planned breeding – or so it appears – and yet he is the foundation of many good whippets in for instance Poland. In his pedigree is the small white imported bitch Trynlyr Lady Olwen, who like her sister, Trynlyr Lady Bethan, had some good wins at the shows. Via the son Laban, who got Fina (b), who got Grace (b) we reach Clyde (32), whose paternal grandsire is Lillemarks Walkie-Talkie. This dog is out of Lillemarks Sika, and sired by my French import Ch Incognito Du Sac à Malices; (his sister Ch Inédite Du Sac à Malices was my foundation bitch). Clyde sired a Bynkemarkens dog whom the breeder gave a name that reveals the great humorous trait in the whippet people: Bynkemarkens Baron P.Le. Trøv (33) which translates to Baron Spotted Arse (Pletrøv)!

Bynkemarkens was very active for some years and produced among others Bynkemarkens Zarah Leander, PL Ch, daughter of Baron; she became the foundation bitch in kennel Lazarus in Poland. A bitch of great importance was the well-moving beautiful Ch Bynkemarkens Visible Difference (b) (35), who had great influence in the still active and very successful kennel Frontrunner. She is the daughter of the Swedish import Nippy’s Cadett (not a spectacular dog) out of the very well made Bynkemarkens Tutti-Frutti  (34) (who on her dam’s side has a super lineage: Dondelayo, Carmodian and the same GB Ch Bondicar Blossom who is also behind dogs from the Oldkins kennel)
Clyde foto and ped fig 32
P le Trøv fig 33 Bynkemarken Tutti Frutti fig 34

visible differencefig 35 Haristo dMdlGfig 36

Visible Difference had two litters by my French import DK Ch Haristo du Manoir de la Grenouillère (36) who produced several fine specimens: DK Ch.s Frontrunners Nice N’Naughty, F. Aslan (37) and F. Al Capone plus two Can Ch.s Frontrunners Ruby Malone og Frontrunners Funky But Chic.

Aslan fig 37

Rudi Brandt (Frontrunner) used his imported dogs with great success, in the shows and at stud: champions Nevedith Veefa Vagabond and Barnesmore Pony Soljer are thus behind the present and latest star: DK Ch and top-whippet 2006 and 2007 Frontrunners Irish Emotion. The outstanding merits of this kennel has been described earlier so this will do for here and now.
Kennel Preetz was active during a limited number of years. Mr. Preetzman imported the black dog Wyemere Black Minstrel
. Out of a daughter of Lillemarks Sika he got the dog Preetz Gay-Boy who was to become the maternal grandsire of the above mentioned Clyde. Another import was the very handsome black-brindle Wyemere Masquerade, owned by Tove Frederiksen. Shown as a veteran in 1981 under Bo Bengtson, he said: ”The veteran is an outstandingly great dog  .. it is a scandal that he has not become a champion!” Bo made him BOB. He was not wasted though, as he produced the bitch champion Danwhippet Darling Nellie Grey (who was later bought by Kennel Vibe, see 38 left).

Danwhippet fig 38
By the end of the 60’s the family Schiønning in Ålborg imported high-class whippets from Crawshaw and Dondelayo and showed them extensively (39). They brought a new type of whippets to the country.
After just a few years and a couple of litters they stopped their activity. DK Ch Dondelayo Anette (40) produced by DK Ch Dondelayo Airborne: DK Ch Starry Skys Pluto, who became Whippet of the Year 1978, (41) and Dk Ch Starry Skys Merkur (d) (42), who mated to Lillemarks Sika gave DK Ch Lillemarks Gay Boy.

Starry Sky fig 39 Dond. Annette fig 40

 Starry Sky Pluto fig 41 Starry Sky Meteor  fig 42

Lillemarks Gay Boy sired (1981) PL Ch Fairway Master Moody Blues, who had a great influence on the breed in Poland.
The sister, Fairway Miss World
, became the foundation bitch in kennel Oldkins (Allan Lanng). A nice succession of lovely bitches were produced here, as an example see the photo (43) of DK Ch Oldkins For your Own Good, who is out of Allan’s Swedish import Per-Mobile Good-Looking Grace, by DK Ch Oldkins Coastwinds Rider (44) (a son of the Swedish import SU Ch Bokellas Sanmowgli ex Fairway Miss World). By the way: Rider’s sister is dam of the above mentioned ”Baron” (pletrøv).

Oldkins 1 fig 43 Oldkins Coastwind´s rider fig 44
Oldkins 2 fig 45 Oldkins ped fig 46

Other bitches are O. Care for Claire, O. Bright British, and the males O. Bright Banner (45), O. Brass Band (exported to Polen, PL Ch, and extensively used at stud). A large part of this successful enterprise must be tributed to SU Ch Courthill Campaigner, (a son of the Crufts BIS Ch Pencloe Dutch Gold), imported to Denmark while Mats Pedersen lived here. The latest top-dog from Oldkins might be PL Ch Oldkins Balladier With A Drum.
Kennel Tannis Bay
had a litter out of a bitch, DK Ch Oldkins Bambina Bellerina, who was by Oldkins Coastwinds Rider out of a very well bred English import, Bondicar Bambino [sic]: by Samakand’s Sea Leopard ex GB Ch Bondicar Blossom.
A puppy by O.Coastwinds Rider was bought by Karen and Bent Hald, who were allowed to name their kennel after him: kennel Coastwinds Rider; somewhat confusing, but then, it does happen all the while (A later Danish kennel is Sea Leopard’s). In 1988 the perhaps nicest dog of this breeding was born: Int and DK Ch Coastwinds Rider Otto
(47) who was top-whippet one year. He is by Oldkins Square Dance ex Summerhill Mai Lee. This kennel has bred several generations of whippets but is now more into the Spanish Galgo. One other nice boy was a son (1993) of Paris Panther: Coastwinds Rider Union Jack (d) who has winning progeny in Sweden. Another dog is C.R. Stefan Edberg (48).
A small kennel with some nice whippets is Whipcrackers. An example is Whipcrackers Comedy Chorus Girl
(49) by W. Patchworkparagon (by ”Otto”) ex Per-Mobile Good Looking Grace.

         As is evident my whippets ”seeded” the breeding in other kennels. Kennel Vibe – in the hands of Vibeke Vamberg – started off buying an inconspicuous small red bitch destined for her son’s junior-handling. Later she bought two brothers, later champions: DK Ch  Fairway Silver Lining, the breed’s first Danish bred Int.Champion, and Int. Ch. Fairway Sterllng Silver.
Kennel Vibes first home-grown success was Int DK Ch Vibes Adelene
(1983) (50), by Ch Gårdsjøns Edmund ex Ch Wenonah Geisha Girl. Another is V. Golddigger (51). Kennel Vibe is very renowned and still going strong, at shows and breeding, and as her own whippets and her top-winning imports have been praised elsewhere recently I shall not continue my report. (One of these was World Ch ’89 Oakbark Snow Queen) (52).
Otto fig 47 CR fig 48
Whipcracker fig 49 Vibes Adelene fig 50

V Golddigger fig 51 O Snow Queen fig 52

 My first imported brood bitch was the red DK Ch Inédite Du Sac à Malices (1973) (53 with Kay Finch) who was quite up to size for that time. In her first litter she had World-Ch ’76 DK Ch Fairway Pennyroyal (54) whose granddaughter Fairway Miss World became the foundation of kennel Oldkins, as described above.

Sascha with Kay Finch fig 53     Fairway 1 fig 54

Mated to my import Int Ch DK Ch Ulric De Grillemont ”Penny” produced a smallish red dog who was sent over to Kay Finch in USA (in exchange for a saluki): Fairway Crown Crest Columbus. He became her much loved pet (and was often mistaken for an Italian greyhound!).

Later I imported the great siblings, Int. and DK Ch.s Topall White Owl and Topall Linnet (Newbold and Beseeka lines). Linnet was mated to Ch Samoems Scipio and gave a starry litter with four champions, two of which were F She´s Sheeba (55) and Tim Teillers Multi Ch Fairway Sterling Silver (56), who in his turn figures behind many great whippets in Europe, e.g. Multi Ch Blue Spring’s Alizée.

Fairway She´s Sheeba fig 55Fairway Sterling Silver fig 56

Jackie Bourdin aquired Multi Ch Fairway Amanda (57) and she produced very well for her before she was sold to Austria. She and her sister, Ch Fairway Amelia (and the brother F. Amadeus) were out of DK Ch Welstar Lady Be Good, and they were sired by Vibeke Vambergs Ch Oakbark Master Joker. Lady Be Good had two great fawn daughters, by my DK Ch Martinsell Wild Parsley, DK Ch.s Fairway Belinda Rose and Fairway Belisama Rose. Belinda’s beige son DK Ch Fairway Starry Messenger (58) achieved his best result going best placed Danish bred whippet at the World Show in Copenhagen 1989, where my 10 months old blue and white dog – under Bo Bengtson – became World Junior Ch. Welstar Blue Lagoon.

Fairway Amanda fig 57 Fairway Starry Messenger fig 58

Several more champions were made up before I was struck by severe illness in 1992 which played havoc in my life in general, dogs not excepted! Fortunately time is a great healer, and I have been lucky enough to pick up some pieces of the puzzle and import my present bitch, USA born DK Ch Wingate N’Tivio’s Starfire (59) who connects me de facto to my old roots: in her pedigree – way back, yes – is a dog from my very first litter: Rampion (1974, brother of the world champion ”Penny”) (60). ”Rosie’s” pups will take me safely back to the future! One of them is Fairway Chill-Out Charming (59).

Like my dogs I shall be "jumping for joy"! (60)

Rosiefig 59 Rampionfig 60

Fairway Chill-out Charming fig 61 Fairway art 1 fig 62