DANE OF THE YEAR…… a short history written by Tony Schaanning Ling

I am often asked about DOTY, its formation, history etc. so I have penned the following from pieces I have collected over the years.

First an item that was printed in "The Daneite" - News Sheet 11 - October/November 1952, which is headed "Dane Of The Year". I quote "Mr. Fergus Taylor has, for some time, had a longing to see a DOTY - on the lines of The Horse Of The Year Show at Harringay. There is every hope that in 1953 his ambition will be realised and there will be a National Great Dane Show in the forthcoming Coronation Year. To Mr. Taylor goes the credit for first putting the idea before the public, which he did during the Festival of Britain year in 1951." Following that brief announcement, a meeting was called in that December and a show Committee was formed by delegates of the four Dane Clubs (The Great Dane Club, Northern, Breeders and M&WEGDC). As is now known, The Kennel Club will only allow one sponsor even if there are several breed clubs involved and the honour of being the first sponsor was offered to the oldest, The Great Dane Club, who declined. The next in line was the Northern, who were unable to be present at that meeting, so the next Club, the Breeders agreed to act as the sponsors. Commander Bishop was appointed Show Secretary and Manager with his sister, Miss Cicely Bishop, his assistant. Mr. Fergus Taylor was elected Chairman. In order to establish the ground rules, it was decided to ballot all members on the question of Overseas or English judges (This result still holds good to this day - UK breed judges who have awarded CC's). The venue for the show was to be Kew Pavilion and the date to be May or June. Subsequently the date was fixed as 20th August at the Kew Pavilion. The classification was set at 24 classes with Stud Dog and Brood Bitch as well as colours. The Committee decided to allow adverts in both schedules and catalogues and the rate was £1.00 for a full page and 10/6 d. for a half. A special discount for advertising in both was 35 shillings.

Since then the show has progressed and we have now celebrated the sixtieth show. Only M&W and the Northern remain from the original organisers together with the GDC of Wales who are 2013’s sponsor. Although DOTY has lost some of its magic in recent years, it is the aim of the current sponsoring Clubs to bring it back to its former glories.

Finally I am reproducing a piece by the late Mrs. Olive Davies (Oldmanor), who penned this profile of the founder of DOTY, Fergus Taylor Esq., for the Diamond anniversary catalogue, and I quote "Mr Fergus Taylor to many is just a name which you may have come across. To me, he was a Northern Gentleman of great character. He had many interests in the world of Great Danes. He was a willing listener and a generous giver of good advise. His home was a picturesque cottage called Chestnut Cottage in Barrowford, near Nelson. His humour was wonderful, quick to reply and quick to disagree if he knew he was right." Mrs Davies concludes "Lives of great men live on in our memory".


If anyone has further information regarding the history of DOTY please get in touch with me, your webmaster, so that I may add it to this page. Any photographs and information about past winners will be most welcome.