Jo Heller at the IBC conference in Macon


Jo Heller about the conference in Macon

Jo Heller
Jo Heller

The fourth conference of the International Borzoi Council was held this time in Macon, France in the famous and beautiful wine region on October 12 and 13, 1989. It was the first time for me and I’m glad I went.

The previous conferences were held in Sweden 1981, England 1983 and in USA in 1986. The next, the fifth, is scheduled for Leningrad.

The Macon conference was well attended and many well-known borzoi personalities from as far away as Canada, USA, Australia and from various European countries such as Sweden, Denmark, Germany, USSR, Holland, Belgium, France, Switzerland and Italy.

I met many old friends again and finally came face to face with some I had only known from correspondence over a long period – how lovely to talk directly and to meet at long last – a great pleasure indeed.

One thing I regret and only found out after I had returned home: a mutual friend of Sue Vari and myself from the US had written to tell me that Sue would be in Macon for the conference. I had no idea and did not look for her. She had flown all the way from Alaska! And there we were in the same room and I had not an inkling of this. We had been speaking so often on the phone – Alaska to Holland – and then simply “missed” one another. I’m deeply sorry about this. I would have been delighted to take her home in the car with me for a visit and to talk Borzoi and more Borzoi.

Wied Hansen

The atmosphere was super and most amicable, the talks given were very interesting indeed and the various video presentations most enjoyable as well as instructive. One realized once again, one is never to old to learn. It was a pleasure indeed.


Everything went smoothly, and everybody seemed most content. This is to a very great extent due to the charming yet most efficient manner in which Christina Rafton managed the day from beginning to end, kept everything going and everybody happy in a seemingly effortless way. Grateful thanks – much appreciated. Everybody is also greatly indebted to Nadine Johnson who completed a sheer marathon of translating French to English and the other way around for hours on end –hats off to her as well.

Despite all possible unexpected problems, the President, Arvid Andersen succeeded in solving them and managed a generally Happy and Relaxed atmosphere all round!

Mr Dominique Faure, President of the French Borzoi Club, opened the talks by giving a detailed presentation of the borzoi in France from the beginning (1889) to today.

Miss Betty Murray gave an amusing and enlightening talk about judges, judging and how not to do it.

Galina Zotova from Moscow explained about the borzoi there and hunting with them – which she still does – hunting hare and foxes.

Lena and Karen

The conference closed with a cold buffet and concert Friday night at the Chateau d’Aisne at Aze near Macon hosted by the French Borzoi club. Entertainment, Russian songs and dancing was provided by the group les Cosaques!

Saturday, October 14 was the day of the French Borzoi Club show with an entry of 283 borzois. The judges were Lorraine Groshans (USA), Vic Harrison (UK), Annmarie Thomasson (Sw), Libuse Ubrova (CSSR), Galina Zotova (USSR) and Henry Huyghues Despointes from France. Best of Breed and Best in Show was Siberie des Princes de Kazan.


Sunday, October 15 was devoted to Lure-coursing in the grounds of Chateau de la Salle.

The weather was warm and sunny from the first to the last day, so even the heavens smiled on the event.

Looking back on the conference now, the contents of it – but most of all the generally positive attitude and obvious devotion to our breed by Borzoi folk from far and near – I can only say, “It’s truly world wide”.


The International Borzoi Council (IBC) is a very serious and worthwhile organization, supported by devoted Borzoi people who all have one common aim, to ensure a future of good, sound, mentally and physically healthy dogs according to a world standard.

The International Borzoi Council needs and deserves all possible support from serious borzoi owners and breeders the world over.


This text was first published in the American magazine, the Borzoi Quarterly of Don Hoflin.

The author, Jo Heller is seen at the left with one of her beloved black borzoi.

Mrs. Heller was a very well known and world wide respected breeder with the kennel name, Vorenoff.

Pictures: Jo Heller and Danielle Laurent-Faure



Year of Event:



Personal Collections:





Arvid Andersen