The Hound Column, “Chasse et Peche”


Translated by Jean Vandongan  [verbatim]


“Account of the judge, Royal St. Hubert Show, Brussels [Belgium], May 7 and 8: Borzoi”


Appointed by the Hound Club and invited by the Royal St. Hubert Club to judge the borzoi at this show, I have accepted this task, even though I thought that after the load of work for the Show of the Int. Union of Hound Clubs in Gent last April23 and 24, the number of entered dogs would not be considerable.  That nevertheless 19 borzois were entered surpassed my expectations, especially after a conversation with Mr. Creuwels, President of not less than 14 clubs, judge of numerous breeds, biscuit manufacturer, and who seems to be well informed, and whose opinion was the same as mine, that we suffer of being tired of shows, and that most of the shows only have relative success because they are favored by the large breeders that show, and that the small owner on which they depend sees himself prevented from, in all ways, to participate in these numerous reunions.

What the shows, themselves, concern, I can only maintain what I have said so often in preceding occasions, that in viewpoint of organization, supply system, etc, I refer the Dutch shows over all the others on the Continent.

I don’t have to b satisfied with my ring that contains a floor of reduced dimensions on which, in all cases, the movement is hardly justified, under the glassed-in cupola reigns an intense heat that softens animals and humans. I have, therefore, been acquitted of my task to try and judge movement and as the exhibitors are most likely ladies, I think that after the judging I won’t be very popular because all the color had disappeared from their faces.  But, let us stay at the subject, because it is an account given of the dog and not of the exhibitors.

Seven males and twelve females, the kennel name “du Zwaenhoek” is naturally in the majority. Mr. G. Beernaerts is the only large breeder in Belgium. He places, justly so, the surplus of his breeding with owners, the others raise a litter now and then, but facing the extension of the breeding at the kennel “du Zwaenhoek”, this placing of dogs is of not much importance.

And again I have to repeat this complaint, already so often made that one reduces the competition by entering the dogs in a too large number of classes. Why not enter them all in Open class to re-unite them, as not all, but most of them, are present?

In Germany, I have often been delighted by a class of 12 or 15 subjects; it is magnificent for comparison and one can easily have a view of all the breeding. As the situation is at the moment, it is not hard to obtain a 1st prize, and that is why I have taken care to give a qualification to dogs, although our Belgian friends don’t seem to adhere to this; this method seems to me to give better guarantees than the prize system.

At the front was Otlai du Zwaenhoek from Mrs. Beernaerts.  And what concerns this dog, I can dismiss the reader

Otlai de Zwaenhoek

to whom I already described him after the show in Gent last year. Otlai is a specimen in which I have always seen a lot since he was three months.  I have tried numerous times to acquire him, but I was refused as many times.  Other than that, it is only now that this dog is “made”; the borzoi is not matured that fast, not much before four years. What I have always admired in Otlai is that he is like a ‘truck’.  In my writings and my conversations I have always recommended the type “working hound” (without losing the view of the necessary distinction) opposite the “luxury dog”. I am and I stay at the opinion that we must recommend the working dog; if we don’t do this, the variety will degenerate without mercy, and then we can stop to occupy us with it.

Besides in their general account that the Russian judges have given last year, they have already shown their satisfaction of what Western Europe has obtained, and expressed that they were assured of the future of the breed.  If we follow this indicated view, the affair will put itself to order.

Otlai possesses a quality that is important in aesthetic view, it is his white-grey color that we actually find less and less, the favorite color of the great borzoi expert, the Grand Duke Nickolai Nickolaievitch.  Also as I repeat, the color should not incline the beam of balance, we can congratulate ourselves of what we find in our kennels.  Otlai’s faults are much more perceptible towards his beautiful type and his build, also, I have placed him before his two brothers, Brassok and Blertai du Zwaenhoek.

Brassok (22701) is in all parts more finished than Blertai -22700); both, however, could be more matured.  I don’t

Brassok du Zwaenhoek

say that they are as important as Otlai, as this moment they are not; their hindquarters don’t have as much room as Otali’s. Brassok is more solid than Blertai, his chest and his coat are equally better. When these two are older, the comparison between them and Otlai will be easiest to make, now it is not yet possible.  I have described the three dogs together, no other dogs were entered in their class.  Otlai receives the qualification Excellent, CAC and CACIB. The two others receive the qualification VERY GOOD.

There was only one dog that could rival these without being in their class; this is Almadin de Voroneje (20874) from Mrs. Didier, already known from his presentation at the great Championship show in Amsterdam last year. His condition was better still. This stud possesses a head and an expression to kneel before; this expression that mirrors the “Slavic mystery”, as Mr.  Lambrechts Hurrelbrinck said, of Ajax vom Sachsenwald and Planja Pascholl.  If the rest was in proportion, this dog would be unbeatable, but unfortunately, the head does not make the whole dog.  It is possible that he may improve, but at the moment he is much too light and does not have enough bone.  To him, also, goes the qualification VERY GOOD, and I add that these three dogs absolutely deserve it.

The other specimen did not represent anything of prominence.  [Note: there were 3 dogs not accounted for]


The bitches were led by a litter sister of Brassok and Blertai, Brusga du Zwaenhoek (22708), and she was so good that she won the prize for Best Borzoi, beating Otlai, because with much more solidness than her brothers, she shows more distinction than the Champion.  She deserves on all points the CAC and CACIB, moreover, she presented herself perfectly, what we cannot always say about the others, but perhaps due to the temperature here.  As said, she is more solid than her brothers, less higher on the legs and possesses a coat and an extraordinary distinction.  Also the fact that I had inspected the hindquarters, her gait is perfect, and I can only congratulate the kennel du Zwaenhoek with the luck that they had in breeding this litter.  If the bitch, herself, will be bred once, she should still be better, if possible.

Ch. Graziella du Zwaenhoek (11130) and Lebiedka Krasnaia du Zwaenhoek (14272), respectively aged 6 and 5 years, known from preceding shows and


accounts given, have to make way for the youth of Brusga, but especially Libiodka; even though she is past her first youth, is still there, a very typey animal full of distinction.  These two bitches were not presented in the same class, but if I had to choose, I would place Libiodka over Graziella.

After these came Henzada du Zwaenhoek (11157) from Baroness Sloet, and Aliaska du Voroneje (20877) from Mrs. Didier.  Henzada has a superior type, also in details, but she presents a defective coat structure. From where this comes is a mystery, because none of her ancestors (Volga du Nord and Bessberk’s Annuschka) have this type of coat.  Aliaska du Voronaje has, like her brother Almadin, a superb head with magnificent eyes, but the front is not correct. These two bitches received the qualification VERY GOOD.

In Vedum du Zwaenhoek (20760), Baroness Sloet possesses a pretty bitch with a good head, but she’s a bit light in chest. She receives the first prize with the qualification VERY GOOD, in line with Henzada.

The following example illustrates how a dog can change in a year, whereas others don’t get it together: the Russian judges last year in Amsterdam, have retrogressed Otlai du Zwaenhoek as having – being a stud – a much too feminine type. Now I was touched by his solidness and his male aspect, which made me see this dog without any question of a feminine exterior.  Furthermore, I have refused the qualification of EXCELLENT to Dikoi du Clos des Lye (19570) from Mrs. Michiels, even though he has lots of type and a very good expression, because he is too straight in the hock and overall light, regardless of his three years; he looks like a bitch, and this is unacceptable for a stud.

My thanks to my ring steward, Mr. de Coorebyter, the devoted gent Secretary who had made my task wonderfully easy.

The judge, H. van den Berkhof.



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