The revolution drastically decimated the number of borzois in Russia but dogs did survive. Some in the hands of dedicated people in Leningrad and in Moscow, others in the hands of local hunters in remote and rural areas of the vast land outside the large cities. Even the state subsidized breeding stations played a role in preserving the breed, especially in the years after the second world war. (Esmont)
The restoration of the Russian borzoi depended on many factors as mentioned above. Of great importance is the fact that a number of descendants from earlier exported borzoi to the west, Europe and America came back to Russia after WW2.
This is how that happened: one man, or rather one family, the brothers Nevezhin, Ivan, Feodor, Yakov, Alexey and Alexander, played an important role. They were born and raised on a farm in former Saratov, now Volgograd district, where hunting was a tradition and part of daily life among the farmers. Since ancient times the area had been known for hunting and hunting dogs.
The “old time” hunters would be surprised and happy to know that, in spite of what happened during the revolution and after, the incomparable Russian borzoi had not disappeared from the district or from the land.
The whole thing started in the mid-30s when Ivan and Fjodor got acquainted with two of the last surviving pre-revolutionary borzoi hunters, Nikolai Nikolaevich Tchelicheff and Vsevold Savvichem Mamontov and learned much from these two men!
Ivan studied in Moscow and became a pilot, while Fjodor worked in the defense industry in Sokolniki. It was there the first Nevezhin borzoi appeared, bred from dogs from the Moscow hunting club. Some might have opinions on the exterior of these dogs, but they were considered among the best in the whole country in the years before the war.
The war took its toll on the family, Alexander and Alexei both died and Yacob lost a hand. Ivan, the pilot, became a captain and was awarded three Orders for his role in the war.
After the war, Ivan continued service under the command of the famous polar aviator, one of the heroes of the Soviet Union, Colonel-General Mikhail Mikhailovich Gromov, who in 1946 became Commander of Long-range aviation. Today, few people know that Mikhail Mikhailovich was also an avid borzoi lover, for a while head at the Borzoi section of Moscow society of hunters and it was the same man who purchased Femina Quick Molodjez from Germany!
Femina was shown to the best-known borzoi judge in the country then, Nina Alexandrovna Sumarokoff. Unfortunately, Femina only produced two litters for the Moscow hunt club. From the two litters, only three pups survived but both Gordie (MO) and Derzai (Teplekhova) bred on!
Later in 1947 Ivan Nevezhin brought in no less than six borzoi, the siblings, Hummel and Hermelin von der Alck, bred by Mrs Claire Alcke in Germany from Gotz vom Silberhof out of Jamba vom Silberhof. At the same time four one year old puppies came but in a tragic accident, the pups where all killed at the railway station.
Hummel von der Alcke was renamed Golubka 94/b and Hermelin von der Alck was renamed Oriel 95/b. Unfortunately Hummel/Golubka did not leave prodgeny.
Even if accidents happened, the influence of these dogs, especially Hermelin, had on the breed in Russia can not be overestimated. Today there can hardly be found a dog in Russia where Hermelin von der Alck does not appear at least once!
Ivan Nevezhin and his wife Nina moved to Volgograd, the district Ivan came from. Together with friend Nikita Demin they engaged in the borzoi section of the hunting society and Ivan was for nearly thirty years chairman of the section.
Ivan continued to breed, hunt and exhibit borzoi. In the 1970s he was nationally recognized as an expert on the borzoi.
After retiring as a pilot, Major Ivan Nevezhin engaged in local society and worked as a caretaker for the blind!
The brother who lost a hand during the War, Yacob Nevezhin, also engaged in the borzoi and continued to breed into the 1970s.
It is obvious that these people, Gromov, Nevezhin, Demin, Lubimenko and the others in the group felt it very urgent to get back some of the old bloodlines being exported to the west before the revolution.
They had the opportunity when WW 2 ended and some borzoi kennels were in the eastern sector!
A number of borzoi were sent back to Russia, Femina Quick was one, Hermelin another. In 1963 Amur von der Kaiserpfalz was brought in and became a very important dog in the Volgograd region and in the whole of Russia!
These borzoi so relatively close related to the very best prewar Russian hounds made a great impact on the breed in Russia! The quality is obvious in the pictures shown in this article!
From Ivan Nevezhin memories:
“Razboi has had a very big impact on improving the Borzoi in the Volgograd region and in Russia. He was at least four times mated to Shturma (Lubimenko). This lovely pair produced many dogs with excellent exterior and working qualities.
I'll mention the daughter of Razboi and Shturma, Reida (Lubimenko), who in her first hunting season received the diploma of the First degree.
I will also mention a son of Reida and grandson of Razboi, Poljot (Lubimenko), who single-handedly takes hares and foxes in field trials. He also has a diploma of the First degree for beauty.
Another daughter of the same Razboi and Shturma , Shturma (Sinelnikov), (younger sister of Reida), at the regional competitions in October 1971 hunted a hare for 300 meters and alone managed to take him out for a diploma of the First grade with 90 points and became the champion of the competition.”
Research by Andrus Kozlov
Translation by Andrus Kozlov and Elena Gerasimova
Original article by A Obolensky
Pictures by Sue Vasick