What a sad day and another great loss to the world of dogs, when I heard of the death of Gert Nielsen (nearly 75), long time partner of David Spencer, in the early hours of Friday 4th May.
Both were absolutely immaculate in their demeanour and fondly loved by all who knew them.
Gert was Danish and brought up in household of German Short Haired Pointers. At the age of 14 he owned his first dog, a German Shepherd Dog, and was proud of the fact that he trained him with the local Danish Police and even won a candelabra at the Police Trials in 1950. This had been a prized possession over the years.
He moved to the U.K in the early 50’s and met David Spencer – they bought their first Boxer in 1967 from the renowned Wardrobes Kennels, owned by the late Connie & Wilson Wiley. This boy was called Wardrobes Man in the Moon. Not with any intention of showing, they attended a Match where they were elated to be awarded Reserve Best in Match. The bug had hit!
Although Boxers were Gert’s first love in the U.K he always took a keen interest in all breeds, especially Rotties and most breeds in the Working Group. At the time he worked at Claridges and at slack times he could be found studying the K.C Illustrated Book of Standards. He and David went to an Open Show in Hanwell and spoke to a very nervous lady with a Rottie – she had virtually decided that she had not got the confidence to take him in. That dog was Ronpaula Bold Avenger, owned by the late Pauline and Ron Young – Gert took him in hand and showed him to his title.
A favourite Boxer of “the Boys” was Hartboys Red Hunter, who was awarded Best In Show at Open Shows on eight occasions and was in the cards at Crufts five times. Then came Hartboys High Sheriff who won a Reserve C.C when the top winning Starmark Sweet Talkin Guy, took the ticket but perhaps their greatest thrill was when Hartboys ed Drummer was acclaimed a Champion in 1994.
Apart from Boxers Gert was approved to award C.Cs in Rottweilers, Giant Schnauzers and Bullmastiffs. They were both thrilled to be invited to judge in Australa, New Zealand and Scandinavia. A further highlight for Gert was judging Boxer dogs at Crufts and to be passed to judge the Working Group at W.E.L.K.S in 2005.
He had been invited to judge Boxers in 2007 and the Working Group at Richmond in 2008, but sadly that is not to be.
Always the perfect gentleman and impeccably dressed, although at times in the winter months he was known affectionately as Herr Flick, when he was sporting his riding boots.
However, apart from his charm, having known him for nearly 40 years, I will miss the smell of Givenchy Gentleman! We’ll miss you Gert and so good to have known you.