40 Years of German Borzoi History
(09/05/1933 - 08/28/1973)
extracted from my book “ENCYCLOPEDIA PRIMA EUROPAEIS BARSOICAE” by Dipl.-Biol. Désirée Maass (1998), translated by the author and proofread by Lotta Broströmer (2018)
Based upon several representative photos which had been liberally placed at my disposal from the collections of Marianne & Dr. Klaus Horlé (German borzoi owners over decades in the last century*) who inherited family albums plus a vast number of further old borzoi photographs from the Winters, German borzoi kennel ISMAILOFF and Mrs. Brunhilde Raschke (PIROSCHKA kennel, Germany*) I would like to introduce the ISMAILOFF kennel which influenced many other borzoi kennels in Germany and elsewhere. This influence is still noticeable today by looking back some generations at the pedigree of your own borzoi.
On the 5th of September, 1933 – a very fateful time for Germany (and the rest of the world was also in upheaval*) – the first A-litter was born in the ISMAILOFF kennel out of Ch.Marza BIELAJA (ZBNr. 3025) sired by Int Ch.Amurat-Aless URAL (ZBNr. 3590), a very famous male in those days who had been used several times for breeding in Germany.
Mr. Josef Winter and his family were living in Dittwar by then (close to Tauberbischofsheim, in the German province of Baden - Baden-Württemberg nowadays. In 1935, the family lived in Mühlhausen/Kreis Wiesloch [Baden]; later they moved to the South-Western village of St. Ilgen, South of Heidelberg which is only 60km away from the little village of “Grasellenbach / Odenwald”, where Dr. Klaus & Marianne Horlé live*).
Int Ch. Amurat Aless URAL 3590 (born 28 Nov 1926) was from the well known German borzoi kennel of Mrs. Else and Dr. Arthur Wegener, Chemnitz. Amurat’s parents were BESSBERKS Heiduk 2204 [ Podar VON BAIKAL 1542 (Ch.Asmodey PERCHINO 508 ex Vlasta URAL 501) x Ch.Arsinoe NIKOLSKOI 831 (Asmodey PERCHINO 508 ex Ptitschka PERCHINO 512) ] and Ptitschka BIELAJA 2067 [Ch.Asmodey NIKOLSKOI 830 (Asmodey PERCHINO 508 ex Ptitschka PERCHINO 512) x Carina BIELAJA 1156 (Asmodey NIKOLSKOI 830 ex Butterfly URAL 8609) ] which means that five of his great-grandfathers had been original PERCHINO borzoi!
(Allow me a little excursion at this point in order to clear up the confusion around the name of “Dr. Else Wegener”, since you can find numerous different notations concerning the name of the “breeder of the URAL kennel”:
Firstly her husband’s title was “Generaloberarzt Dr. Arthur Wegener”. Secondly it was common practice to confer the academic title from husband to wife in former times. In Nov 1926, when the A-litter (Amurat Aless) was born, HER name wasn’t even mentioned as “breeder” (just “Dr. Wegener, Chemnitz”). In 1928 it’s “Generaloberarzt a.d. Dr. Wegener” (a.d. = ret.). It’s only later, starting in 1930, that Mrs. Wegner’s name was even mentioned – not before her husband had passed away. Then she - the breeder of the kennel for some time - was referred to as “Frau Else verw. Generaloberoberarzt a.D. Dr. Wegener” (verw. = wid.). This lasted until 1932 (German studbook Vol. VIII), when she was stripped of “her” former title again and from that point on it was simply reduced to “Frau Else Wegener”. And let me add one last point: We can only be happy that her demotion after losing “her better half” had not been linked to a permission to breed but to maintain and to carry on with the kennel – in a time when women were not even allowed to open their own bank accounts!)
The Winter’s bitch Ch.Marza BIELAJA had been bred by Mr. Richard Dix (kennel BIELAJA from Weimar, Germany)* who was another leading German borzoi breeder of the olden days.
Marza’s father was Ch.Hettmann DU ZWAENHOEK DWZB No. 2545, imported from the Belgian kennel of Mrs. & Mr. Gustave Beernearts (Gent).
Hettmann’s parents were Ch.Volga DU NORD [Ben (DU NORD) (Ch.Strawberry King ex Olga Reine) ex Gatchina DU NORD (Chtchegol PERCHINO ex Kitty DU SCHOMOHOEK)] and BESSBERKS Annuschka 1034 [Ajax VOM SACHSENWALD 729 (Chack BIELAJA 597 ex Ch.Isma BERESINA 658) ex Ch.Aliaska NIKOLSKOI 832 (Ch.Asmodey PERCHINO 508 ex Ch.Ptitschka PERCHINO)].
Marza’s mother was Carina BIELAJA DWZB No. 1156 (shown here in the picture on the left with her brother Cartor) and breeder/owner Richard Dix.
Carina’s parents* were Asmodey NIKOLSKOI 830 [Ch.Asmodey PERCHINO 508 (Armavir PERCHINO ex Jalta PERCHINO) ex Ch.Ptitschka PERCHINO 513 (Masskok PERCHINO ex Prohouschka PERCHINO) ] and Butterfly URAL 860 [ (Ch.Ugo ALEXANDROFF 512 (Odyssée DU ZIEZEGHEM ex UNDERWOOD Tusha) x Rodina ALEXANDROFF 521 (Ch.Rurik URAL ex Ch.RAMSDEN Rainbow)].
This first ISMAILOFF A-litter
(DWZB No. 6455-6461) consisted of
3 males (Aigun, Allasch and Armavir) and
4 females (Aida, Aliaska, Anitra and Atiaka).
All puppies were white with red coats or spots. They all had black or red masks.
He was 5-6 months old on these first two pictures (around FEB 1934) with breeder/owner Mr. Winter (possibly Ch.Marza BIELAJA, mother of Aigun, in the back).
Aigun ISMAILOFF (ca 1.25 years old here, most likely in winter 1934/35)
Aigun ISMAILOFF with b/o Mrs. Winter
had been used for breeding five times alone in his home kennel.
Here Allasch can be seen with his breeder / owner Mr. Josef Winter:
Allasch ISMAILOFF, 5-6 months old (ca Feb 1934)
Allasch ISMAILOFF, 8 months old (ca May 1934)
On the back of one photo had been written by the Winters: “Allasch surely would have been great if the canine distemper virus hadn’t carried him off.” I guess he meant “great” (*actually he wrote the German word “gut”) in the sense of “becoming a successful showdog”.
Allasch was three years old when he sired his last ISMAILOFF litter and probably would have sired many more if he hadn’t died early (which was in 1936 after his last ISMAILOFF litter I dare say).
Allasch ISMAILOFF 1934
Allasch ISMAILOFF 1934 with breeder/owner Mrs. Winter
On the next three photographs Armavir can be seen with his breeder / owner Mr. Josef Winter:
On closer inspection of those puppy & youngster pictures from this litter, it’s clear that they would not attract any negative attention at a contemporary dog show. In fact, it is quite amazing that considerably fewer changes had been taken place in more than six decades (this ISMAILOFF article originally has been written in 1998*) than you would expect.
Aida ISMAILOFF, 18 months old
Aida ISMAILOFF at the age of 18 months (ca March 1935):
left: Aliaska ISMAILOFF (nickname "Hasile" which means "bunny")
middle: Russalka VOM SILBERHOF DWZB No. 6285 (Ch.Attila VOM HEINRICHSPARK 5332 ex Luna VOM SILBERHOF 5403), born 04 April 1933, owner: Mr. K. Sperr, TROIKA kennel (Fürth in Bayern, Germany)
right: RASSWET'S Lasso DWZB No. 5698 (InCh.Rasswet's Hochmut 4251 ex Rasswet's Flamme 3919), born 12 April 1931, owner: Mr. & Mrs. Winter, ISMAILOFF kennel
Lasso x Russalka were mating partners in the TROIKA kennel (C-litter born 26 JUN 1934) from Mr. Sperr (who is pictured here on the photo above? Could also be Mr. Winter - I'm not quite sure.).
Mr. Winter was the owner of RASSWET'S Lasso. Maybe Mr. Sperr came that day for the mating?
For me it is quite astonishing that Mr. Winter didn't use RASSWET'S Lasso in his own kennel, not even took offspring out of Lasso's many litters from numerous kennels in Germany. The lines of Lasso (with e.g. BESSBERKS Heiduk DWZB No. 2204 as his grandfather) were the same lines he was using for his A-litter who also had Heiduk as grandfather. And after all - why buying him in the first place but not using him as stud dog?
The closest relation I found is the S-litter ISMAILOFF (1940) when Mr. Winter used "Falk ALLWIND" (RASSWET'S Orik x RASSWET'S Lohe), a nephew of Lasso.
Aliaska, a female so brilliant that she would dress oneself up on every contemporary show!
After Anitra had 4 litters in her home kennel ISMAILOFF already (between 1935 and 1938: 1st B-, E-, K- & P-litter ISMAILOFF), she was sold to the Belgian kennel “DES GAULES” (on 11th of March 1939 - before the war), to breeder / owner A. van Broekhuyzen.
Anitra ISMAILOFF with her single litter at the “DES GAULES” kennel:
One of the puppies was “Drouschba” (self red brindle) LOSH 104185, another one “Dersky” (red/w) DES GAULES LOSH 104184, born on 4th May 1940, as the Belgian Studbook shows.
Father of this D-litter DES GAULES was
Abreck DES GAULES
His parents were - due to a notice on the back of the photo - RASSWET'S Lasso x Zorka DES GAULES LOSH 90570 (Udar DES GAULES LOSH 71354 x Anita Ostland DWZB No. 6950)).
With Abreck and his siblings Askold and Atiaka DES GAULES as well as their mother Zorka DES GAULES [(Udar DES GAULES LOSH 71354 (Polongai DE RUWENDAEL LOSH 33110 x RASSWET'S Hoheit 4253) ex Anita Ostland DWZB No. 6950 (Favorit URAL 5760 ex Herzgift URAL 6449)] - all being very sound borzoi as further pictures in the Winter's family album shows, plus of a similar type than the other ISMAILOFF dogs bred by the Winters, plus the easy opportunity to get a puppy since RASSWET'S Lasso (as grandfather) - owned by the Winter's - had been combined with Anitra ISMAILOFF, in addition to such treasured lines like RUWENDAEL, RASSWET'S & URAL (all lines that the Winters were also breeding with) - but still: WHY didn't they use RASSWET'S Lasso and his offspring, not even Anitra's offspring for their own kennel? In this special case (D-litter DES GAULES) maybe because of the war that had already begun - but in other cases?
two further pictures of Anitra ISMAILOFF
was 9 months old here on the right side when pictured with the son of the Winter's (I suppose, since it's an old photograph out of a family album).
As she was born at the beginning of September 1933, this summer picture was probably taken in June 1934.
Mrs. Winter with some of their borzoi in 1934:
Left to right:
Littermates Allasch, Anitra (before she was sold to Belgium) & Aida ISMAILOFF
plus on the right
Hymne URAL DWZB No. 6320 (InCh.Amurat Aless URAL ex Alkeste URAL), born 06 JUN 1933, thus a half-sister to the A’s from ISMAILOFF, as you can plainly see!
On the back of this photo a stamp had been affixed:
"Barsoizwinger Jsmailoff, Bes.: J. Winter".
And here also the note about Allasch’s death due to canine distemper virus was made.
Mrs. Winter now with their borzoi in 1936:
Left to right:
Allasch ISMAILOFF, Hymne URAL, Aida ISMAILOFF and as new arrival
Flay URAL DWZB No. 5767 [(Ch.Clou URAL 4497 (Lasky DU ZWAENHOEK 2544 ex Ariadne URAL 3594) ex Grischa FRISIA PASCHOLL 3075 (BEßBERK'S Fedor 1733 ex Cyprienne FRISIA PASCHOLL 1722)], born 22 JUN 1931, bred and – at least initially - owned by Mrs. Else & Dr. Arthur Wegener (kennel URAL, Chemnitz/Germany).
In the years between 1936 and 1939 nearly each litter in the ISMAILOFF kennel had been sired by Flay URAL.
Maybe Mr. & Mrs. Winter owned him from 1936 onwards, but except for these pictures in their old family albums I did not find any further proof for that hypothesis - it would just make sense to me. Also in light of the fact that he sired a T-litter VOM SILBERHOF in 1934 and the I-litter of URAL in the same year - from then on (1936) Flay had never been (or wasn’t allowed to be ?) used in any other kennel outside ISMAILOFF.
In 1931 the Winters purchased the bitch Oxana BUSSIUS (DWZB No. 5849), born on 30 April 1931, for their kennel. She was a white bitch with brindle spots, bred by Mr. E. Bussius (from Alfeld/Leine, Germany) who did not have a special kennel label under which he was breeding, so “(Bussius)” was just affixed to the names of all borzoi he bred - only this single litter by the way with Kosak, Schaitan, Hapka, Kumar, Oxana & Saiga (Bussius) DWZB No. 5845 – 5850.
To simply add the name of the BREEDER (in brackets) had been a common practice in the West by then after all; whereas in Russia mostly the name of the OWNER of the dog was suffixed – and that is how it came that the same dog could be registered under two different names - in the East and West. And to cap it all off: sometimes both the name of the breeder AND owner had been added to the name of the dog in Russia, like for example the great-grandmother of famous Asmodey PERCHINO which was “Vyuga (Waltzoff from Sokoloff)” with WALTZOFF being the name of the owner (but he was also a breeder himself! – though not of THIS dog) and SOKOLOFF the name of the breeder).
In the UK something similar is practiced even to the present-day for example when borzoi are sold from breeder to breeder. E.g. in the dog’s name “Rothesby Serin of Sholwood“ we learn that “Rothesby” is the affix of the kennel from which the dog originated and “of Sholwood” (“of” or “at”) however indicates that the dog now stays in this appended kennel.
Oxana was a rather small white female with brindle spots and mask, heavy bones and head, a rather working-dog type.
Her father - see picture below - was RADOM’S Kronos 4559 [Troll COTILLION 1330 (Ch.Almadin NIKOLSKOI 829 x Kara FRISIA 763) x Arabella VON HARTENFELS 1422 (Ch.Dolomit VOM SACHSENWALD 953 x Cora VOM BAYERISCHEN WALD 1100)] and her mother Milka (PETROVA) 5844, a bitch imported from Russian. Now there is quite some disagreement in the available historic sources according to the pedigree of Milka, especially maternal, but further discussions and hypotheses on her true origin would stretching it too far at this point.
Generally agreed is that Oxana's mother Milka - sadly no picture available - was a self golden coloured bitch (just as her daughter Hapka (BUSSIUS) also pictured below), born on 13th of November 1926 in Russia and bred by Mrs. L.M. Petrova (with “Puschkino a. d. Nordbahn Parchino” or also “Puschkin-Nordbahn-Parchino” as listed address in the German Studbook Vol. VI).
All in all it is fair to say that Oxana originated directly from Russian bloodlines - as regards her mother’s pedigree – which were a bit out of line to the type of borzoi common and preferred in Germany at that time, namely compared to the descendants of the PERCHINO kennel from the Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolaievich Romanoff that had been imported by the Wegeners (speaking for example about Asmodey and Ptitschka PERCHINO). Thus not everybody in Germany shared this undivided preference with the Winters towards Oxana, as the following excerpt of an old German stud books shows.
But not everybody in Germany shared this undivided preference with the Winters towards their bitch Oxana, as the following excerpt of a German stud books shows.
The article is called “A chat about eighty years of borzoi breeding in Germany” by Mrs. Bettina Flindt that among others refers to Oxana:
“[…] Bussius imported two borzoi with acquainted lineage after his last journey to Russia. It was about Milka (Petrova)* 5844 (a self gold bitch born on 13.11.1926, bred by Mrs. L.M. Petrova, Russia)* and her son Slorad (Petrova)* 5568 (self red, born on 17 March 1929; as owner the German studbook registered “W. Kleist”)* …. . We are talking (in relation to Slorad) about a tall male with strong bones, well angulated and an apparently proper back … Bussius had a litter out of Milka sired by Radoms Cronos, who was owned by Emil Balke. Both these dogs imported by Bussius did not find favour among German judges. After this one breeding attempt Bussius did not have another litter and pulled back. He was primarily seeking proper hunting borzoi. They might not have the aristocratic bearing of other dogs from leading German kennels in those days (she probably meant e.g. RASSWET’S, VOM SILBERHOF, URAL & BIELAJA). Still they were able to support the German breeding. … In contrast to the common breeding emphasis on Asmodey PERCHINO, not to mention Chack BIELAJA at that time, breeders were very cautious concerning these imports of Bussius. There was no intentional inbreeding. On that point, these imports were judged too harshly.
Those pure working-dog types were just not considered noble enough, neither by judges nor breeders. Still they contributed to improvements in the front and rear angulation of our borzoi as well as their substance. […]”
Evidently the Winters did not have these apprehensions and therefore no reluctance to believe in their bitch, for Oxana became not only mother of 5 ISMAILOFF litters in the years 1935 – 1937 (the first C-, J-, L-, M- & second F-litter of ISMAILOFF) but also in the following years until 1947 grandmother of the first N-, R-, S- & V-litter of ISMAILOFF, since her sons and daughters had been further used for breeding in the home kennel.
Then for the 3rd generation after Oxana (W- & X-litter both born in 1946) some of her ISMAILOFF grand-children were used as well as a grand-daughter of Oxana from another kennel, Daisy VON SAMARKAND 7883 (Cherry VON DER WILDBAHN 7004 x Leda ISMAILOFF 7241) was the dam of the ISMAILOFF T-litter in 1943.
In the 4th generation – between 1949 and 1957 - the second A-, B-, C-, D-, E-, G-, H-, I/J-, K- & third F-litter of ISMAILOFF go back to her. Here the Winters used either direct ISMAILOFF-offspring of Oxana or bitches/stud dogs from other kennels that carried ISMAILOFF lines with Oxana in the pedigree. Sometimes both dam and sire of the same litter traced back to her!
After the breeding pause (between 1958 and January of 1970 – unfortunately I do not know the reason for the pause) even all the new ISMAILOFF litters find Oxana way back in the pedigrees of the appointed dogs: e.g. the second L-litter (1970) with sire Dojongai VON KARAGANDA DWZB No. 11965 who is the 7th generation from Oxana via Alloschka VOM GLÜCKSHOF’s offspring (DWZB No. 8856), then the second M-litter with sire Zarewitsch SPRINGINSFELD DWZB No. 12245 who is the 7th generation from Oxana via Mimose VOM SILBERHOF’s offspring (DWZB No. 8565), also the second N-litter out of Linda ISMAILOFF who is the 8th generation from Oxana and last but not least in the second O-litter - which was at the same time the last ISMAILOFF-litter ever - both sire (7th gen.) and dam (8th gen.) go back to Oxana.
And personally I think if Oxana hadn’t died in 1937 at the age of six she herself might have been used even more often!
So actually it is much easier to say which ISMAILOFF-litter did NOT go back to Oxana (BUSSIUS): these were the first A-, B-, D-, E-, F-, G-, H, the first & second K-, O-, P- and U-ISMAILOFF-litters.
Therefore we can chronicle that from 1944 onwards, starting with the V-litter, ALL other following ISMAILOFF-litters were based on Oxana (BUSSIUS) (single exception of the rule: the third A-litter in 1958 after Temoedzjin (BEUSINK) DWZB No. 11245 (Winter’s Dutch import with no connection to Oxana whatsoever) out of Assi VOM GERHOF DWZB No. 11165, a bitch going back to WERGEI lines which carried ISMAILOFF bloodlines – but not those of Oxana – and also “RASSWET’S Lasso who appears quite often in the pedigree!).
That means only in 13 out of 40 ISMAILOFF litters altogether the Winters had NOT used Oxana herself or her offspring. In other words: around 70% of all ISMAILOFF litters carried on Oxana (BUSSIUS)’ bloodlines and by this means many (famous) borzoi that had been used in other kennels did so. But I will return to this point in detail later on in one of the following parts when I will discuss the influence of ISMAILOFF borzoi on other kennels.
… to be continued …
List including any litter born in the ISMAILOFF kennel of Mrs. and Mr. Winter
** 8239, 8240 (Udo, Ute) were definitively the only remaining dogs of the U-litter in 1943 (who got a DWZB No.); maybe there was a mistake in the Studbook which noted that out of altogether nine dogs (1/2) had survived.