UICL Standard of 1924


UICL Standard of 1924

Until the second half of the 19th century, the notion of standard, as it is understood today, did not exist in Russia. “The standard was a tradition that was transmitted not by canine societies but from father to son by connoisseur breeders and all users” (Prince Serge Cantacuzène). The first document that resembles a standard (description of what the Barzoi must be) was written in 1888 by Nikolai Petrovich Ermolov, at the request of the Imperial Russian Society. It will remain in force in Russia for about thirty years. But other standards will also be published during the same period.

The end of the 19th century and especially the beginning of the 20th century saw the acceleration of Barzoi exports from Russia to different countries, especially Europe and the USA. At the same time, breed Clubs are created in each country concerned and each Club sets its standard for its own account. These different standards are more or less well detailed and reveal notable differences. Quickly, the need for supra-national harmonization appeared.

In 1911, the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (F.C.I.) was created with the aim of encouraging and protecting cynology and purebred dogs by all means deemed desirable. The founding countries are Germany (“Kartell für das Deutsche Hundewesen et die Delegierten-Commission”), Austria (“Osterreichischer Kynologenverband“), Belgium (“Société Royale Saint-Hubert“), France (“Société Centrale Canine de France”) and the Netherlands (“Raad van Beheer op Kynologisch Gebied in Nederland“). But the First World War put an end to this federation.

In 1921, France and Belgium took the initiative to recreate the F.C.I.. By 1922 the FCI had 18 members.

In 1923, still on the initiative of the France and Belgium, the International Union of Greyhound Clubs (U.I.C.L.) was founded. Most of the countries of Western Europe will gradually become part of it.

  • Event:

Before the exhibition in Ghent (Belgium) in November 1923, the U.I.C.L. wrote to Grand Duke Nicholas Nicolaevich, who had at that time gone into exile in France, asking him to designate the Russians who would be most capable of judging the Barzoi race at this exhibition. In response, the Grand Duke suggested a panel of three judges, in the same way as it was done at the demonstrations of the Imperial Society of Moscow… It designates Mr. Artem Boldareff and Counts Boris and Dimitri Cheremeteff.

Following this exhibition, Barzoi lovers were so impressed by the Judgment of Ghent, that the U.I.C.L. wrote again to the Grand Duke asking him to appoint a committee to rewrite the breed’s standard for Western Europe. In response, the Grand Duke appointed those who had judged in Ghent.

To write this standard, these three specialists will base themselves on the standard that the Club du Lévrier Français had written and published for its own account in 1913 (this document itself based on a description of what the breed should be written in 1896 by Artem Boldareff). Messrs. Boldareff and Cheremeteff, therefore take up the 1st French standard by simplifying it and make some modifications and additional clarifications.

This standard was adopted by the general assembly of the U.I.C.L. held in Paris on July 20, 1924 and was made mandatory from January 1, 1925 for all affiliated clubs. It was also approved by Grand Duke Nicholas.

Note: the F.C.I. actually left it to the U.I.C.L. to establish standards for greyhounds until 1956, when it took over the publications and any modifications.

  • Below is the 1st standard, as proposed in 1924:

Report by Mr Artem Boldareff, Count Boris Cheremeteff and Count Dimitri Cheremeteff.
“Having been instructed by the Assembly of 9 November 1923 in Ghent of the International Union of Greyhound Clubs to express our opinion on the existing barzoi standards, we have the honour to present the report of our committee. We assume that it would be convenient to base ourselves on the French standard while introducing some changes. We find that this standard contains a little too much detail which could have been essential ten or twelve years ago, but at a time when barzoi enthusiasts have a very clear idea of the breed, these details seem superfluous to us. Here are the changes we have the honor to propose.”

General appearance: The general appearance of the borzoi is due to the noble and noble nature of the dog, as well as the balance of its forms and movements. General appearance, which is the most authoritative proof of racial purity, should never be sacrificed to the perfection of other points, important as these may be.

Head: Long and narrow, extremely lean and finely chiseled. The skull is as long and narrow as possible consistent with the rest of the dog’s build. It ends in a clearly emphasized point. The snout is long narrow and dry. It goes over to the nose in a very slight arc. The teeth literally close together without biting over or under. The nostrils protrude beyond the lower jaw. The nose must be black, the snout not pointed. In the ideal head, the skull and muzzle should form a very obtuse angle. The oblong shaped eyes should be close together and equidistant from the occiput to the tip of the snout, neither sunken nor prominent (but a fleur de tete). They are dark in color and their lids are outlined in black.

The ears, very mobile, set high and tapering to a point, lie backwards on the neck when at rest. Her refinement is proof of pure breed. If something catches the borzoi’s attention, he often carries his ears pricked up like a horse, or even better, he tilts the tips of the pricked ears forward.

Neck: Of medium length and without dewlap.

Torso: Shoulders are flat, well defined and cannot be sloping enough. The tips of the shoulder blades almost touch. The back is rather short in males, gradually rounding towards the loins, describing a long and pleasing arch, but not giving the impression of a hump. The bitch’s back is less arched than the male’s, a flatter back is not a fault in her.

The chest is rather flat, but exceptionally deep. It often reaches to the elbows. The ribs are flat or only slightly rounded. This breast shape is characteristic of the borzoi.

The belly is tucked up and invisible under the flanks. The kidneys are as short as possible in males, they may be longer in females, the flanks are strong and tense, more spacious in females than in males. The loin is long, strongly muscled, sloping in a curved line towards the croup so that the curve of the back continues over the loin and croup to end in the hindquarters. The croup is long and wide, four fingers of a man’s hand should fit between the hip bones.

Limbs: Front legs perfectly straight, bones flat and lean, not round. Seen from the front they are narrow, from the side wider at the shoulders, gradually narrowing towards the feet.
The elbows should not turn outwards, but should not be too tight against the body either.

Hindquarters: These are wider than the forequarters. The thighs have very broad, long and flat bones and are provided with powerfully developed muscles. The hocks form a more or less pronounced angle. The thighs cannot be long and wide enough. The metatarsus should be short. Under no circumstances should the hindquarters be too straight. The paws are long, with closed toes, reminiscent of rabbit feet. The dog rests more on its toes than on its pads.

The tail is one of the most distinctive points of the breed. When resting, it is carried downwards, in the shape of a sickle or probably a saber. It is very supple and as long as possible. A curling tail or one that is carried higher than its base is defective. Laterally deviating tail may be considered a blemish.

Hair: The hair is long, not woolly, with a silky sheen, wavy and with large curls. Short hair is a major fault, small curls or frizzy hair are considered blemishes.
Plain and short on the head, ears and front of the legs, it is longer and wavy on the back, more curled on the thighs, shorter on the flanks. Particularly long and curly, forming a dense ruff from which the head protrudes, it hangs on the neck. This is the borzoi’s special ornament, as are the long fringes on the back of the front legs, chest, back of the thighs and tail.

Color: The most prized colors are: All white, white with yellow, orange, red, brindle or gray markings. There are also single-colored dogs, the color of which should lighten towards the extremities. The patches of color should not stand out too sharply against the white. White with black plates or all black is little appreciated. Black with red marking (black with burn) with or without white is a big mistake.

Size: Medium size: males 75.5 cm (17 verschlag, Russian measure), females 71 cm (16 verschlag). The largest dogs are seldom higher than 82 cm. Magnificence is generally valued as long as it is not at the expense of the harmony of the overall picture.



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Arvid Andersen