Background for Ravensbank

We are Annelise Skov and Søren Voigt, and we run Ravensbank which is devoted to breeding Field Trial Labrador Retrievers. We live at a former farm in the village of Tarup, approx. 15 km. south of Odense on the island of Fuenen in the heart of Denmark. Over the last 20 years, we have had some 20 Labrador Retrievers, of different sex and colour, and the result of different breeding traditions. We have lost our hearts to the breed, and the better you get to know the Labrador Retriever, the more you appreciate the modern Lab's predictability and will-to-please.

Søren: I had my shooting license in 1972, and I have been hunting together with my father and my grandfather ever since I was a boy. Therefore, it has come as a natural thing to train my dogs to work after the shot, and as I gained more experience as a handler, I have been invited to picking-up at more formal shoots and have become an active handler of sporting dogs. I am a member of the Danish Retriever Club (DRK) and the Danish Kennel Club (DKK). Our dogs carry a pedigree from Dansk Kennel Club which is in association with FCI. Within DRK, I have served as a gun dog trainer at all levels, as well as having been test steward and judge at unofficial tests.

Annelise: I joined Team Ravensbank as an owner in 2014, but I have been with Søren throughout the journey since our very first Labrador. I have trained Ravensbank Flo (Flo), and I have handled her on a number of Working Tests and Cold Game Tests since 2011, as well as picking up at shoots.
In 2003, we were given the opportunity to import Tidemark Ivy (Ivy) as a puppy from Mrs. Angela and Mr. Andy Markham who lives near Spalding in the middle of England. Andy is a highly reputed handler of gundogs in his local area, and he spends a lot of time over the shooting season picking up with several dogs at a time at prominent estates such as Sandringham.

Ivy soon proved to be exactly the kind of dog we had been dreaming of. She was very easy to train, and had immense "will-to-please". Already at the age of two, Ivy participated at the Danish Team Championship where our team was awarded a Bronze medal. Ivy was qualified for participation at Official Field Trials at the age of two, and at the age of three she was awarded 2nd winner with RCACT on official cold game tests.

Since Ivy was a thoroughly sound bitch and a good worker with an excellent temper, we decided to use her as a breeding bitch, and in 2006 we had the DKK affix of Ravensbank.

Two Ravensbank dogs have been exported to Finland, one to France, one to Spain, three to Holland, one to Germany and one to Greenland.

A great number of other Ravensbank-dogs and their competent handlers and owners have achieved excellent results, not only in field trials, but also in agility, obedience, rally and nose work. DKBRCH DKJCH NOJCH SEJCH NORDJCH 2EV2010 3UM2008 Ravensbank Swift (Swiffer) from our very first litter is one of the prime examples. Swiffer, handled by the late Mr Gert Müller, became third at the Young Dogs' Championship in 2008, and in 2009 Swiffer became the first Ravensbank dog to receive a championship title (DKBRCH, Danish working championship on both cold and warm game). Swiffer was only three years of age when he was awarded this championship, and in 2010, he became Norwegian Field Trial Champion (NOJCH) and was first runner-up at the Danish Field Trial Championship. In 2009 and 2010, Swiffer was the most winning field trailing dog in Denmark. In 2011, Swiffer became Danish Field Trial Champion (DKJCH), Swedish Field Trial Champion (SEJCH) and with that Nordic Field Trial Champion (NORJCH).

In Finland, FI KVA, SE KVA Ravensbank Tip (Tipi), handled by Mrs Mervi Salo, became both Finnish and Swedish Working Champion in 2013.
In France, FRFTCH Ravensbank Sir Lancelot (Lance), handled by Ms Anne Besnard, became French Field Trial Champion in 2015.
In Denmark, DKRLCH Ravensbank FT (Pink), handled by Ms Anne Winkel, became Danish Rally Obedience Champion in 2018.
In Denmark, LP1 LP2 LP3 DKLPCH NW1 Ravensbank Tarzan (Buddy), handled by Ms Helle Kublitz, became Danish Obedience Champion in 2019.
In Denmark, SEVCH DKSCH DKSCH(V) Ravensbank Brandy (Bamse), handled by Ms Heidi Kristiansen, became Danish Wild Game Tracking Champion in 2019.
In Denmark, DKBRCH DKWTCH Ravensbank Neat (Neat), handled by Ms Trine Christensen, became Danish Working Champion in 2018, and in 2020 she became Danish Working Test Champion.
Already as a boy in the 1960s, Søren's family had a black Labrador dog called Peter. Judged by its pedigree, he was a very fine dog bred by the Danish count Lehnsgreve Iuel Brockdorff (Valdemar Slot), who was the founder of The Danish Retriever Club. Peter was a capable retriever serving Søren's dad on curlew shoots, but also a bit of a rascal, in hindsight probably the result of the training principles of the time. Peter had a bad habit of straying and was finally caught by the police and accused for, during one of his outings, to have mated an innocent dachshund. In a court of law it could not be proven that Peter was the sinner, and he was subsequently acquitted, but nevertheless, Peter paid the highest price for his bad reputation.

In 1995, we decided to have a dog. We had no doubt about the breed. It just had to be a Labrador Retriever. We were also determined that we would work with and train our dogs. We have had Labradors ever since. At times, we have had up to seven of them around us, but rarely we have fewer than five. We are lab lovers in our hearts.