The end of the Perchino kennel/Andrus Kozlov


The history of borzois in pre-revolutionary Russia is written in many books and articles. Unfortunately, incorrect data and conclusions are still being repeated there. The reason, in my opinion, is that Western authors do not speak Russian, the authors of such “history” did not familiarize themselves with original documents or with Russian periodicals of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Therefore, they simply disseminate previously written by other authors without criticism.

Percino Castle

One of these “fairy tales” is still repeated – that the Perchino hunt was destroyed during the revolution in 1917 and the dogs were shot by the Bolsheviks. These are the facts, Since 1914 there was a war, the economy in Russia was destroyed, there was no food. Products have been rationed. There is a letter in the Pershino archive dated September 11, 1917, which was written and signed by D. Valtsov. The letter was sent to the food committee of Aleksinsk district. D. Valtsov writes that 10 worker of Pershino hunt (together with their family members, 53 persons) do not have the possibility of vegetable gardens and food, they are threatened with starvation. He wants the committee to give them bread. This was the situation even in Pershino. Therefore, it is not surprising that by 1917 most of the large hunt with borzois were liquidated.
I have original documents (copies, scans). One of them is a letter from Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolaievich dated April 5, 1917 to Dmitri Valtsov (head of Pershino kennel). Grand Duke writes that due to the war and financial difficulties, he decided to eliminate the Pershino hunt, but keep 20-30 dogs (of which 10-15 borzois). He instructed D. Valtsov to give away the rest of the dogs. This letter he signed just like that – simply -Nikolai (see attachment, excerpt from the letter)
That is how was done. In Pershino’s diary for 1917, all the names of borzois are accurately indicated – to whom they were sold, to whom they were donated, which dogs were destroyed.

The Pershino kennel existed until the end of 1917. According to the diary (“Bulletin on the state of the Pershino ​​hunt”) on January 1, 1917, 147 borzois lived in Pershino kennel. In January, rye bread disappears from the diet of dogs, since March the supply of white bread is stopped, the norms are becoming scarce. millet, oatmeal, milk, horsemeat. Starting August 3rd, records of dispensed products for dogs cease to exist. Hunting trips were not carried out. In March, after the reduction of food norms, six borzoi males were destroyed.

From February to December there is a gradual sale of borzois and hounds. From January to April, 1-2 dogs are sold; from April, dogs are sold in large groups. “36 dogs given away on April 22.” “On April 23, 24 borzoi puppies given away, received Joseph Ivaskevitch. On May 31, 12 borzois given away, received A. Ananiev. Borzois from Pershino were also purchased by Sergey Mikhailovich Tchelishchev, Alexandra Nikolaevna Tchebysheva and other persons, It should be noted here that all buyers of Pershino borzois were Russian citizens. Unfortunately, during this difficult period, not a Pershino borzoi was sold to a foreign kennel.

Kennel building at Perchino

By November 18, 1917, 18 borzois, 12 hounds and 1 greyhound remained in the Pershino. The last entry in the diaryi is dated December 5, 1917. By that day, one borzoi bitch remained in Pershino. I can add the following information (attached) – there is an entry in the Pershino archive (in another folder, on another page) where it is written that the bitch Uslada VII died off December 4th 1917. Maybe she was this last borzoi in Pershino…. the letter of Nikolai Nikolaevich to D. Valtsov, which was written in the estate of Chair (Crimea). Although the date of April 5 is written at the beginning of the letter, I think that this is a mistake – the letter mentions other early letters dated April 27 and 28, 1917. Therefore, I think that the letter was written on May 5, 1917.
In a letter to Grand Duke, Nikolai Nikolaevich writes about the eliminate Pershino hunt – “You understand how hard it is for me. But there is nothing to do.” /…/ “I count on you that you arrange everything soon (the word is underlined) and well.”

Nenagladny Perchino, first sold to Joseph B Thomas O’Valley Farm USA, later to Auguste Caron, France.

Nikolai Nikolayevich wanted to keep a few dozen dogs for himself .. “specially so as not to lose the breed.”

Lihodey Perchino, sold to Alexandre Pellisson France 1913

Since 1903 several dogs were sold to America from Pershino (1903 – Bistry, in 1904 Schalost‘, Nenagladnyi and Nayada, in 1911 – Zyclon, Yarki). Maybe that’s why he writes to D. Valtsov: “It would be nice to try (?) (written illegibly) to telegraph to America, but I think nothing will come of it – and they are at war. Maybe they will buy a few – and leave them for maintenance.”  (Crimea)

Bistri Perchino, was renamed after his move to Joseph B Thomas, USA.


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Dan Persson