The first time I ever saw a Weimaraner was when I was invited to a friends home and they had this most incredible looking Grey dog. I was fascinated by the eyes and coat color. I had to ask what breed she was? I fell in love that night and had to have a Weimaraner in my future. Unfortunately, I did not do too much research on the breed before hand and basically bought on a whim from an Ad in the newspaper…… purchase price was $50. I named her Heide von Heistenhof (Heist was my maiden name). “Heide” was a good German name & so original for a dog, I thought! Little did I know how unruly this puppy was going to be. When she was 6 months old, I signed up for a local obedience class, hoping this would correct the situation. It was there that I met my mentor and very best friend, Lynne Nelson of Schwenden Weimaraners. At that time Lynne had a lovely Weimaraner bitch named “Kate” Ch Von Gaiberg’s Kate Schwenden, BROM, which was being expertly handled at the shows by Dick Webb. I thought she was beautiful! With Lynne’s guidance I did try showing my Heide for a while and I learned a lot from this experience, although the highest prize I ever won with her was a Reserve ribbon. I soon realized she was not the quality of those that were winning points. I began to watch and study the techniques and showmanship from many of the top winning handlers at that time. I learned so much by just observing. I continued to train Heide in obedience and did very well with her by acquiring a CDX title, but I was ready to move on to big and better things…
Lynne informed me about the two available Weimaraner clubs that I could join, which I readily joined. I have been a member of the Weimaraner Club of America and Southland Weimaraner Club since 1964. In January of 1988 I volunteered to take over the job of Editor of “Graymatter” the SWC newsletter. Needless to say I had no idea I would still have this job almost 20 years later!
VALMAR WEIMARANERS originated in Southern California in 1965 when I had the chance to co-own a show quality Kate daughter with Lynne Nelson. This one year old bitch had just been returned to Lynne from the original owner and I jumped on the opportunity to co-own her. This bitch who later became Ch Von Gaiberg’s Anna Schwenden, BROM, finished her championship quickly and “Anna” became the foundation of Valmar Weimaraners. She was an extremely outstanding individual, who was strongly line-bred from Homer Carr’s Von Gaiberg line. Bred to Ch Doug’s Dauntless Von Dor, she produced 6 Champion offspring…. Ch Valmar’s Elke Schwenden, Ch Valmar’s Eclipse V Bergen, Ch Valmar’s Exa Schwenden, Ch Valmar’s Graf Schwenden, Ch Valmar’s Greco Schwenden & Ch Valmar’s Grafin Schwenden. From these individuals have come some of the Top Winners & Producers of our Breed today and thus establishing a tradition of quality in the Valmar line.
There have been many great Valmar dogs as proven by their pedigrees of carefully line-breeding quality Weimaraners, along with the ability to pass on their style and quality to succeeding generations. Valmar dogs have produced over 565 Champions (156 carrying the Valmar name), which have included: 6 All-Breed Best in Show Winners (Ch Valmar’s Pollyanna, Ch Valmar Smokey City Ultra Easy, Ch Valmar’s Apache Rebel, Ch Silverkist Davie Lee (Jazzman son), Ch Valmar’s Gallorette v Jokar & Ch Bzyfeet American Idol (Valmar dam), 32 Futurity Winners, 30 BROM Producers, Multiple Sporting Group & National Specialty Winners, Dual & Field Champions, WCA Ratings, Obedience Titles and 4 Valmar dogs have been inducted into the WCA Hall of Fame.
Top Dog at Valmar in the 1970s & 80s was Ch Valmar’s Jazzman, CD,NRD,NSD,V,BROM, HOF. Jazz is one of the great dogs of our Breed, who will be remembered as a legend in his own time. He proved himself in every way. He was the 1980 National Specialty Winner, on the Top Ten Show list for 3 years (#2 in 1979) winning 100 Best of Breeds & Multiple Sporting Groups, and was a Top Producing Sire for 8 years, which included #1 Top Producing Weimaraner sire (#2 Sporting, #6 All-Breed) for 1983. Jazz is currently the #5 All-Time Producer of Champion offspring with 75 show Champions, including a Dual Champion.
In 1975 I had the opportunity to be a video film star! The filming was to be done in Southern California, and I was asked to be one of the three major handlers in the filming of the WCA video: “The Weimaraner: Standard, Structure and Gait”. If you have seen the video I am the one in the mini skirt…. as I look at it now, way to short! The producers and directors of the film were Ted and Lori Jarmie, with Ted’s son, Bruce as the Cinematographer and Ted was narrator of the 50 minute video. I feel this video should still be very beneficial to those new Weimaraner owners, even though this was filmed over 30 years ago.
In 1983 Jazz’s daughter, Ch Valmar’s Serenade V Wustenwind, BROM, HOF was bred to Tom Wilson’s young dog, Ch Smokey City’s Easy Does It. This breeding produced a puppy named Valmar Smokey City Ultra Easy, who I shipped to Tom as his stud fee puppy. Need I say more as to how he turned out ! Also, Easy’s mom, “Serenade” is the #1 BROM producing dam of all time with two of her 9 Champion offspring being All-Breed Best in Show winners….. Polly & Easy.
In 1982, I had the distinction of handling & winning two Show Futurities in the same year with littermates, Ch Valmar’s Pollyanna winning Best in Western Futurity and Ch Valmar’s Pepsi Challenge winning Best in Central Futurity. In the 80’s the final awards in futurities were presented as Best in Futurity and BOS in Futurity, not like now with the awards only going as far as Best Bitch and Dog in Futurity. This new rule change went into effect in 1993.
I am equally proud of the multiple Best in Show bitch, Ch Valmar’s Pollyanna, BROM, HOF. What fun we had together! Pollyanna was that “once in a lifetime Show dog” that everyone dreams about and rarely comes up with. She had beautiful type, effortless eye-catching movement with great style and showmanship. Her attitude was always “Hey, look at me”! Polly had an outstanding show career, being on the Top Ten Show list for five years (#2 in 1984, #1 Weimaraner and #4 Sporting Dog in 1985, #2 in 1986). Her record also includes: 201 Best of Breeds, 107 group placements (36 Group Firsts), Best in 1982 Western Futurity, Best in 1983 Western Maturity and three All-Breed Best In Shows! Her record as the Top winning Weimaraner of All-Time, owner-breeder handled, still stands to this day, when she defeated over 16,000 dogs in a single year of competition in 1985. I have to also thank Elaine Meader, who co-owned Polly with me for a short period of time at the end of 1984, when she consistently started winning groups with handler Stan Flowers. I really have to believe this is what launched Polly and myself on to our great winning show record that following year! The final jewel in her crown of outstanding achievements, was when Polly came out of retirement at 6 1/2 years old to win the coveted 1987 National Specialty in Downington, Pennsylvania, which at that time was the largest National ever held. In between her busy schedule of being a Show dog, she also proved herself as a successful producer by passing on her wonderful qualities to her offspring. She produced 10 Champion offspring, which included Dual Champion Valmar’s Valiant Knight, CD, NSD, NRD, VX, BROM.
Dual Ch Valmar’s Valiant Knight, CD, NSD, NRD,VX,BROM “Val“ (Jazz x Polly) has the rare distinction of being a Dual Champion that was ranked nationally on both the Top Ten Show & Field lists. He was the #4 Show Dog in the U.S. (All-Breed points) in 1986 & #7 All Age/Gun dog in 1988. His show record includes 37 Best of Breeds, 11 group placements, Best dog in Western Futurity 1985 and Best Dog in Western Maturity in 1986 (following in his dam’s footsteps winning Best in Futurity and Maturity). After accomplishing this “Val” was given the opportunity to prove himself in the Field with his co-owner Gorden Hansen. “Val” again was very competitive, winning 22 field placements (6 firsts) in just two years of competition and finishing with 2 majors! Thank You Gorden for this achievement! As a producer, he has 26 show Champion offspring. “Val” also spent a short time with Jeanne Shelby, who trained him to his CD title. Thank you Jeanne! Everyone loved Val…… As you can see many people had a part in his career.
Another well known Jazz son was Ch Valmar’s Xtra Copy, BROM, He was #7 Show Dog in U.S. 1987, and the sire of 46 Show Champions. Debbie Hopkins (Top Hat Weimaraners) used the last of Copy’s frozen semen (in 2004) on her Ch Top Hat’s Beach Bunny. She produced a beautiful litter of 7 puppies of which five finished their Championships. This litter was produced 12 years after his passing. What a wonderful swan song for Copy. Thank you Debbie!
Ch Valmar’s Yours Truly, BROM, was another Valmar Top Winner & Producer. She was ranked as the #1 Show Dog in 1988. True lived with Lee Meadows, but we co-owned her together. True’s outstanding show record includes: 88 Best of Breeds and 48 Gr. Placements, 13 Group I’s & 5 Specialty Bests in Show.
1989 was a very good year as Ch Valmar Smokey City Ultra Easy, JH,NSD,BROM, HOF won his All-Breed Best in Show. His career record included over 210 Best of Breeds, 75 Gr. placements, and 10 Specialty Best in Shows. I want to personally thank Tom for giving “Easy” the opportunity to attain the high honors that he achieved…….. the coveted All-Breed Best In Show and Top Producing sire in our Breed with 148 Champions! He was one very Special Dog indeed! Also, I had the privilege of handling and winning Best in Veteran Sweepstakes with Easy at the 1994 National in St Louis. I think we both had a lot fun that day!
It was also in 1989 that “Val”earned this Dual Championship title and Ch Valmar’s Evening Sonata, BROM “Sony” won a Best in Futurity. In Limited specialing, she continued winning 22 Best of Breeds and several group placements that year.. “Sony” was the producer of 11 Champion offspring.
Other outstanding individuals include:
Ch Valmar’s Eclipse Von Bergen, NRD,BROM – Best in Futurity 1971, sire of 8 Champions
Ch Valmar’s Graf Schwenden, CD,NRD,V – Specialty Winner, sire of 5 Champions
Ch Valmar’s Pepsi Challenge (Best in Central Futurity 1982, BOS National Specialty 1983, dam of 4 Champions
Ch Valmar’s Quarter Note, BROM – dam of 9 Champions
Ch Valmar’s Serendipity, BROM – dam of 11 Champions
Ch Valmar’s Ez Jazz Time, NSD,NA,BROM – Specialty, Futurity & Maturity Winner, sire of 14 Champions
Ch Valmar’s Starling, BROM – dam of 10 Champions
In 1994 we congratulated our newest All-Breed Best in Show winner and 1995 National Specialty winner, Ch Valmar’s Apache Rebel, BROM (Top Ten Show list 93-95, sire of 32 Champions to date). I co-owned Rebel with Rachel Aguilar and appreciate all the effort she made in having him shown as a Special. Also in 1995, Ch Valmar’s Sage V Wustenwind, NSD,NRD,V,BROM became a Futurity and Sporting Group Winner, who I also co-owned with Lee Meadows.
In 1997 Ch Valmar’s Night N Gale, BROM (Specialty & Maturity Winner, dam of 11 Champions) became a BROM Top Producer & Dam of the ’98 Best dog in Western Futurity.
Watch for future success of Valmar dogs from the newest kids on the block ……..
Ch Valmar’s Unanimous Decision, BROM “Dakota” – ’98 Best Dog in Futurity winner, ’99 Maturity Dog winner, Top Ten Show list 1999 & 2000. Greg McLogan bought Dakota from me in 1997 as a novice owner and in the following few years the two have attained greatness. Greg is now an outstanding Weimaraner breeder/handler and Dakota a Top Producer of 29 champions to date. Way to go Greg and Dakota!
Ch Valmar’s Urban Cowboy, BROM – was a Best in Specialty Winner and sire of 13 Champions offspring.
Ch Valmar’s Hot Streak, CDX – ’03 Best Dog in Futurity winner,’04 Maturity winner, multiple Best of Breeds & group placements!
Ch Valmar Bzyfeet Good Luck Charm – Sporting group winner at 16 months of age & the dam of Ch Bzyfeet American Idol (#1 Show Dog “male” in the U.S. 2006 & 2007).
Unfortunately, I am no longer handling dogs myself since hip replacement surgery in 2003 and the bad news is I will probably need the other hip replaced in the near future. This has put a crimp in my style of showing dogs and I sometimes find it difficult to just be a spectator. I really miss being in the ring to handle my own dogs.
In the 43 years that I have been involved in showing and breeding Weimaraners, I have tried to uphold the tradition of consistent quality and soundness in my dogs. I am very proud of the 50 pewter dogs that I have won over the years as a breeder. Hopefully, I still plan to have a litter or two in the next couple years. It is so hard to give up the hobby you love. I currently have three Weimaraners (two Champions & one needing a major to finish) and a Ch Smooth Fox Terrier at home with me. The terrier actually thinks he is a gray dog too. He lends a lot of entertainment to the household and is a great companion to the Weimaraners!
In the past few years, I have seen the Weimaraner become a much stronger contender, than ever before, in the Sporting Group and Best in Show competition. It is great to see that the judges are giving our breed the respect and recognition that they deserve. Way to go gray ones!
In closing I would like to thank all my wonderful friends, owners, co-owners and fellow breeders for their part in contributing to my success and fun times in the Wonderful World of Weimaraners.
I am grateful to each and everyone of you! Thank you….. jv