I have pleasure in writing about one of our members, Tom Van Holten, who has been working in Scotland for a long time and owned the sporting rights on a large estate in Banffshire.
Whilst working in Scotland, Tom met some German clients who became friends, talking about working dogs and how the specialist breeds could help in Scotland.
After some time Tom went over and got his first dog which was a BGS from Austria named Cracker he then later got a Wachtelhund then moved onto the Bayerischer Gebirgsschweißhunde and finally in later years the Hannoverscher Schweißhund which specialise in tracking wounded game.
Many people think that the first tested dogs came into the UK from two other UKSHA members but Tom was much earlier and in fact mentored one UKSHA member who in turn started his journey with the Hannoversche Schweißhund.
Every dog Tom received he put in the training and went back over to Germany and passed each test with the respective breed clubs, to reach a level and put back into the societies and show the work these dogs can do.
Tom never let these dogs go out with the societies even when offered money to do so, he understood what it meant to keep the lines and working ability along with health true to each breed.
Toms present dog Imme vom Helbetal,stud book no 2693(HS) was starting to slow a little this season, after 13 years of hard work and he made the decision to retire her which was very hard after such great work over many tracks.
The above stag in the photo was shot in the evening, after three dogs and four different people attempted to find the stag the next morning, Tom and Imme found the gut shot animal 400 meters from the shot site dead.
We in the UKSHA helped Tom get a new pup Sjakie vom SchwicherVDH BGS/17-082.
I can now say they have just passed the Vorprüfung in France which is called a TAN (Test Aptitude Natural).
There where six dogs in the test and the first dog a BGS passed, the next dogs, another BGS, Dachsbracke and two Teckels failed the test.
Next Tom and his BGS Sjakie did there test it was after the morning session it became dry and very warm which was the last test of the day, they both passed with good results.
A new chapter now begins and we wish Tom and Sjakie all the best for the future within UKSHA and look forward to seeing your work more.