The Olbero Story
It all started in 1958 when we decided to have a dog.
What breed? We knew little about dogs but wanted something big enough to keep up with the horses when riding out. Pointers, Setters, Retrievers, Dalmatians - all were considered. Eventually we 'spotted' an ad in the magazine Horse and Hound for a litter of Dalmatians about an hour's drive away from where we lived in the OLd BEdford ROad (OLBERO) in Luton. The litter was bred by a doctor's wife out of a pet bitch and there were only two left for sale so we chose the bitch, who was nicely marked and very sweet. We called her Tessa and her registered name was Tessa of the Chaise. We were impressed by her pedigree containing a number of grand sounding names like Ch Tompkins of the Towpath, Ch.Dalwyn Diehard, UK and USA Ch Colonsay Blacksmith.
Tessa became the centre of our lives and when she was six months we were encouraged by our vet to take her to dog shows. After gaining a few prizes at local minor shows we went to our first show with dalmatian classes and won a 2nd prize. This was the real start. A very kind lady at the show Mrs Hayman of Widdington dalmatians invited us to tea the next weekend and gave us a lot of information about the breed and showing. Then we started into the show world but only with minor success. There were a number of very well known and established kennels dominating the show scene at that time and competition was very keen. We watched and listened and it was all good training.
We decided to breed from Tessa and took out the kennel name OLBERO. The sire of her puppies was Ch Berricot Buccaneer and they were born in January 1962. We kept a bitch ourselves and our friends Joan and Dennis Curtis also had a bitch. Just over two years later we again mated Tessa to Fanhill Fillip a young dog by Ch Tompkins of the Towpath out of that great bitch Ch Fanhill Fleur of Queenswood. Fleur was owned by Joan Woodyatt, who later won Best in Show at Crufts with a daughter of Fleur's, Ch Fanhill Faune.
A few days later we also mated Tessa's daughter, Odette of Olbero to Fanhill Fillip and by coincidence both mother and daughter had their puppies on the same day, 17th March 1964. We ran on two dog puppies one from each litter, both became champions. We kept Tessa's son and he became Ch Olbero O'Keefe and the other went to Joan and Dennis Curtis and became Ch Olbero O'Rourke. O'Keefe produced two very important bitches for Olbero, Ch Olbero Orabella in 1966 and a younger full sister Olbero Opalfruit in 1969, both of these bitches were responsible for a number of champions. Other dogs by O'Keefe that had a major influence were Mr and Mrs Bull's Primo Toros, Sw.Ch Pepperpot Pentathlon, Sw Ch Olbero Oaktree and a grand daughter Ch Olbero Onceuponatime. O'Rourke also became a good stud dog. He produced Ch Exhurst Etoile of Sydon who was the start of the 'Sydon's' for the Curtis family.
Ch Olbero Orabella had a wonderful show career, but she will always be remembered for her super litters, one in particular produced three champions in 1972:- Ch Olbero Overtherainbow, (a prolific winner, she won 18 challenge certificates the last at 7½ years after her third litter), Ch Olbero Overthemoon (sire of Mrs. Aldrich-Blake's Illyricum Targe) and Sw Ch Olbero Overtheseas. The stud dog we used for this litter was a virtual unknown dog who went on to become a great champion and stud dog, his name Ch Wagonette Piber Royal Lancer belonging to Brenda Budge. A repeat mating produced Anne Zoutos's Ch Olbero Operasinger (the start of Jazdal dalmatians) and Elaine Tilson's Olbero Operacloak (the start of Elabri dalmatians)
Another successful combination was between Overtherainbow and our Swedish import from Ann-Marie Hammarlund, Sw Ch Ilbertas Kij of Olbero. Kij passed on his classic head to his children. A son of these two was Olbero Olofsson who never reached his full potential in the show ring as he died from bloat at a very young age. Fortunately before we lost him he had sired multi Ch Paddy Van Huis Dalmatho from Olbero (sire of 11 champions who was campaigned to his titles in Holland by Mrs Huisman-Vos) and Mrs Taylor's Ch Hartspring Hillbilly, who in turn was the sire of our own Ch Tantivvey Tawny Owl of Olbero. This dog was a superb mover with a beautiful head and he sired many top winners. Some of the best known are Int. and Nor Ch Sernland Snowy Owl of Olbero, Ch Beaumore Night Owl of Olbero, Ch Elabri Eagle Owl, Olbero Otherdream, Ch Olympic Star of Olbero, Olbero Olympic Torch, Ch Cocheperro Brown Owl and Ch Cocheperro Buttermint. The last mentioned champions were bred by Ray and Maureen Bull out of Olbero Onsdagljus. Ch Olympic Star of Olbero was out of Olbero Oncewhilewemay owned by Pat Stanton of Salsusa fame.
Olbero Olympic Torch was a really lovely liver dog who died very young but he had already sired some lovely puppies, one in particular Olbero Orient Spice out of Organdie of Olbero produced four Champions - Dutch Ch and Ch Cocheperro Oreblo of Olbero, Ch Cocheperro One to Remember, Ch Olbero Oodfairy and Nor Ch Cocheperro out of the World.
Ch Tantivvey Target of Olbero was bred by Miss Betty Clay in January 1977. He was by Fanhill Fred (Brougham Banker/Ch Fanhill Faune) out of Olbero Oldgold of Tantivvey. Target produced some super puppies. One that had a major impact in Scandinavia was Int and Nordic Ch Cocheperro out of the Blue of Olbero (Dam of 15 champions in Norway), she was exported by us to Helle Hoie in 1979
Ch Olbero Overtherainbow also had a litter to Ch Tantivvey Target in 1978 (an all liver litter) We kept a dog puppy Ch Olbero Organised Confusion, named Ellis, he was one of my favourite dogs and ended his days with me in Holland in 1991. On the way he had a great show career like his mother. He also produced 8 champions including Int and Nordic Ch Olbero Onsdag Poijke, (sire of 26 champions) one of the biggest winners of all time for Helle Hoie and her Spotnik Kennels. Another son was Int. Ch. Olbero Orange Prince (sire of 3 champions) who was sent to Annie Huisman in Holland and our own Dutch and Belg Ch Audhumlas Allersfineste Strik born in 1991 in Copenhagen and bred by the Hageskov family.
Target also produced Ch Olbero Onsdag Moln of Theakston who was the start of the Theakston dalmatians. Another of his daughters was Organdie of Olbero who produced one of the best ever Olbero bitches, her name was Ch Olbero Organdie Collar who was sired by that lovely Crufts winner Ch Wardell Whatsizname. This dog had some excellent breeding behind him including those lovely Champions Wagonette Piber Royal Lancer and Greenmount Grace Darling as well as Ch Olbero O'Keefe.
Ch Olbero Organdie Collar was mated to Ch.Elaridge Endeavour whose sire was Sw Ch Golden Boy of Trumpeters (bred by Mrs. Kaufman and sent to Sweden to Bengt and Signe Fink) who in turn was sired by Ch Olbero Organised Confusion. From the resulting litter two dogs became champions Ch Olbero Osario (sire of 7 champions) and onwed by Anne Bliss of Riverdore Dalmatians. The other dog went to Femke v.Tilburg in Holland and she campaigned him throughout Europe gaining many titles; his name was Int. Ch Olbero Ozonelayer (sire of 10 champions).
At about this time in the early 1990's we were living in Holland and had just two Dalmatians, Audhumlas Allerfineste Strik and Cocheperro Oreblo of Olbero, both of these became champions in Holland and Belgium. They were soon joined by a bitch puppy bred in England by Anne Bliss from Ch Olbero Osario out of her lovely liver bitch Olbero Orange Dream and this was Louise, Olbero Riverdore Just a Dream. In 1995 we returned to England with these three dogs and two Arab horses and once again started up into the UK show scene after the dogs had served their 6 months quarantine sentence. Harry (Ch Cocheperro Oreblo of Olbero) was soon into winning ways and in spite of a big cancer operation gained his UK title. He was the first dalmatian to gain titles in Europe and then come back to England and become a UK champion, he was also the sire of three champions; Ch Merlin from Kirchwinkel, Ch Weaponness Hyperion of Olbero and Ch Secret of Somerset in Sassafras. Sadly we lost Harry in 2004, he was 11 years and we would be interested to know if any more of his progeny in Germany gained their titles.
Mrs Peggy Pilgrim used Ch and Dutch Ch Cocheperro Oreblo of Olbero on her twice Crufts winning bitch Ch. Weaponness Firebird. She gave us a lovely dog puppy out of this combination, Ch Weaponness Hyperion of Olbero (sire of 2 champions). Olbero Riverdore Just a Dream also became a UK champion and a combination of these two produced Fin.Sw and Est. Ch Olbero Oedipus and our own Olbero Off the Peg. For her second litter in 2000 she was mated to Doctor Fox by Salsusa (who became a champion in 2003 when he won Best of Breed at Crufts). From this litter a dog and bitch went to friends in Prague, Olbero Olympic Playa and Olbero Olympic Dream Girl and have both gained their titles. Another bitch stayed in the UK with Stilman Davis and Mary Scott Allen, Olbero Olympic Rose winning her Junior Warrant. We have also kept another daughter from Weaponness Hyperion, a liver called Ch One in a Million at Olbero who gained her title in 2001 when 4 Olbero's gained champion status.
Since Tessa of the Chaise came into our home 45 years ago, very much as a pet, a lot has happened. There have been about 34 Olbero champions either bred or owned. Olbero's have been used to start-up some hugely successful kennels and I have also had the privilege to meet dalmatianists everywhere. I also consider it an honour to have been asked to judge at over 50 championship shows all over the world, more than 30 of these were Dalmatian Club Shows.
In 2009 Peter passed away and even though he wanted this website to be about dogs and not people I am updating with information about his contribution to the breed which has not already been mentioned in the Olbero Story.
Peter had a wide and extensive knowledge of the breed with vast experience and because of his lifelong interest in dogs since 1958, especially Dalmatians, he was proud to be asked to judge the breed and his first championship show was in Leicester in 1975. Since then he judged more than 50 championship shows all over the world including 30 Dalmatian Club Shows in 20 countries. The pinnacle was Crufts. This journey brought him into contact with many Dalmatian owners who have become lifelong friends and held him in very high regard for his knowledge and all that he has achieved.
In the early years Peter served as show manager for the British Dalmatian Club; he also contributed to the typing, printing and distribution of Spots of News. Furthermore he was Secretary of Herts County Show. His contribution to the breed was recognised by the Danish Dalmatian Club who made him an honorary member in 2000.
Peter led a very busy life but when you met him he had the ability to make you feel that of all the people in the world, you were the one that he wanted to be with at that moment. He never forgot the small things which taken together made him the exceptional Englishman that he was. Many of you can remember his fantastic sense of humour and his ability to turn a situation into a joke and make you laugh. Peter always had a twinkle in his eye even when he was laid low by motor neuron disease.
We miss him dreadfully as does the Dalmatian world, but I am continuing along the lines Peter wanted breeding Olbero dogs and updating this website to display Olbero dogs of the past, present and their history. One of the strengths of the Olbero Kennel in the past 20 years has not only been in the dogs and bitches kept ourselves but in those owned and campaigned by others. As a consequence this has led to Olberos being behind many kennels in the UK today, i.e. Tolutim, Boschendal, Dallyador and Schunnika. Overseas the following dogs and bitches became champions Cz Ch Olbero Olympic Playa, Cz Ch Olbero Olympic Dreamgirl, Ger.Ch Olbero Ontopof the Net, Fin.& Est Ch Olbero Odiepus.
In 2010 I bred a litter from Olbero One to Treasure using as a sire Dalehouse Rockafella which produced some quality puppies who have been successfully shown winning at championship shows. Olbero One Copper Charm At Sanadal belonging to Mr & Mrs Beeston has won two Res CC's . Her litter sister Olbero One Quicksilver For Shunikka belonging to Josi Kaal has been winning consistently over the past two years. From the same litter I kept Olbero One Summer Breeze who is a delight here at home with her companions, Penny her dam (Olbero One to Treasure), grandmother Gloria (Ch One in a Million at Olbero JW), Timbo (Olbero Owtkatchit) and his dam our eldest Elsa at 16 years (Olbero Off the Peg).
Updated 2012 Brenda Rance