The Satin hunt

vyruchaI

Satin hunt

On the photo is Ivanovka estate, located in Uvarovsky district, Tambov region, Russia. It was the summer residence of the Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff in the period between 1890 and 1917 (until his emigration). It was the family home of his aristocratic relatives, the Satins, who were borzoi breeders (borzjatnik), their dogs were exhibited on the dog show in Tambov in 1891 and later (1914) and received medals. I think on the photo the Satin’s borzois. It is written that in the photo on the saddle the stableman Yakov (Andrus Kozlov)

Working with Russian databases

This database is derived from various Russian studbooks published by different organisations and assorted catalogues from 1875 plus some 19th century pedigrees in Russian journals and some surviving handwritten records from Perchino all in original Cyrillic script.  For dogs that were exported, the studbooks from those countries were used for information on parents etc.   Some information on modern dogs was obtained from other published Russsian books and magazines.

All names from original Cyrillic have been transcribed as they would appear in English.   In some cases of exported dogs the same animal may be entered twice where there is a very different translation of its name in the new country.  Eg Uslad in Russia became Oosslad in the UK and both names are included. The most varied name in foreign translations is Vyuga.  (V yu g a). There is only one spelling in Russia but in other countries this becomes Wjuga in Germany, Viouga in France and even Viewga in the US stud book.  This database uses Vyuga but does include Viewga as second entry.  The Russian import Nagrazhdai is another dog with foreign variations as he became Nagraschdaij in Germany and Nagrajdai in France.  He remains with his original Russian name Nagrazhdai in this database.

The Russian alphabet has additional letters and this database maintains the original version of a name on most occasions.  The Cyrillic letter for “ts” (as in tsar) is sometimes translated as a “z” in other languages.  This database uses “ts” but where exported dogs become “z” both names are listed eg Tsyklon is also listed as Zyclon.  With the Cyrillic letter for “ch” as in Chara there is no change but western tradition adds a “t” for names such as Tcherkes.  Strictly the name would be Cherkes but the database goes with tradition by adding the t when a name starts “che”.  Other names to be aware of are Sairka/Zairka and Slodeika/Zlodeika.  Both spellings can be used in Russia.

Historically the Russian studbook uses the name of the owner to identify dogs with a single name.  This is the simplest solution for knowing which dog is meant in a pedigree particularly in the 19th century.  In cases where a dog changes owners then it is entered under each owner’s name.  Complications arise when one owner or breeder uses the same name on different dogs over the years.  These dogs may have a name with a number such as Karai I and Karai II but where there are no official numbers then the database has been given numbers in chronological order at the end of the name to identify dogs of the same name and owner.  eg Zlodeika (Gatchina) 2 and Zlodeika (Gatchina) 3.  There are some dogs listed from catalogues where owners were not included in the names of the dog’s parents and this makes identification unlikely without further information.  They appear in the database as a name followed by an empty bracket eg Lezgin (    Until further research reveals an owner, there is no way of knowing which Lezgin was the sire when there is more than one that could have been used at the time.

There are some exceptions in dogs of the 19th century where the owner’s name is not used.  A bitch Zlodeika (Rataeva) bred at Gatchina had litters for Rataeva,  Kareef and Tchebishchoff but her name stays as Zlodeika (Rataeva) in all pedigrees.  There is also Vyuga bred by Sokoloff then owned by Walzoff before being dam of several litters at Perchino but she did not become Vyuga Perchino or Vyuga (Perchino).  She remained Vyuga (Walzoff).

In later years the use of registration numbers became another means of identification for single name dogs especially stud dogs and champions but not all animals had a registration number.  Generally dogs continue under owners names in the database but any pedigree with a dog’s single name and studbook number can be easily checked from the listed dogs of that name in the database to obtain the correct animal and its details.

When using the Russian database, researchers need to be very careful to use the exact spelling, owner and number where there is one and also watch out for dates when they are available.   The Vyuga born in the 1870s cannot be the dam of a litter in the 1890s even if it is the same owner’s name.

There is a lot more work to do on this database and a lot more research is required but this is a start for general research on Russian pedigrees which in some cases go back to the 1860s.  I am indebted to Andrus Koslov who kindly provided me with copies of historic studbooks and catalogues and also transcribed the handwritten Perchino papers.  Other original Russian material came from various people over the years.  Hopefully getting it all into one database will help towards recreating Russian Borzoi history.                                                      

Margaret Davis

Story in the Hunting Journal by NN Chelichtsev

Melanie Richards posted the Russian text a while back, and I’ve completed the translation of that chapter and my wife Catherine Shilov finished the editing, Dmitri Shilov!

 

The content or part of the content in the article has been questioned but it can’t be denied that Nikolai Chelichtsev had seen some of the dogs he describes!

Some notes: The full Russian word for ‘Borzoi’ is “Русская псовая борзая”. Transliterated, this reads as “Russkaya psovaya borzaya” which translates to “Russian furred sighthound.” The distinction made about furred (псовая ‘psovaya’) and thick-furred (густопсовоя ‘gustopsovaya’) will become apparent in the article, as well as how the breed eventually came to be known simply as the Russian furred sighthound.

Chelictchef

Some of the sentences tend to “run” as we erred on the side of staying truer to the original text. Certain edits were made where the phrasing was unclear.

A translation from “Hunter’s Library: Russian Borzoi – The Rearing of and Hunting with” by N. N. Chelischev – Part 1, Chapter 2: ‘Main Types of the Russian Furred Sighthound’

Until the sixties of the last century, there were, in fact, two breeds of Russian sighthound: one of them was called the “thick-furred”, and the other “furred”. (In Russian, borzoi as a word just means sighthound, the defining word for the breed is “псовой”, originating from the distinct and wavy coat of the Borzoi.) The difference between them was not only in the density of the fur, but in the whole exterior and even somewhat in the behavioural qualities.

Thick-furred borzoi, in addition to the thickness and length of the fur, possessed enormous size – up to 85 cm at the shoulders, a wide mid-arch, bony legs, strongly developed muscles on the shoulders, back and, especially, hind legs and in general gave an impression of a massive and somewhat heavy dog; accordingly, the dog had a wider head, with the same wide, compact, straight and long muzzle, i.e. part of the head from the eyes to the nose. The eyes of these dogs were always agate-black, large, on the roll out (bulging), and the ears were small, angular and almost constantly kept the erect and forward-facing in an excited state, but in the relaxed state they were laid on the back of the head. The type of such a dog is superbly conveyed by Vysheslavtsev in the drawing of the famous thick-furred borzoi of his hunt – “Удал”, once placed on the pages of “Nature and the Hunt.”

As for the second type, i.e. furred dogs, they possess a less dense and shorter fur compared to thick-furred Borzoi. They also differed from them in the following: smaller height, lighter bones and legs, as well as their bones, respectively, were less rich in musculature. The heads of furred dogs were narrow and long, even tending to sharpness (excessive thinness at the end of the muzzle); eyes black or dark hazel, ears small, located on the back of the head. The ears, however, even when the dog was excited, were rarely completely upright . The ears usually only became somewhat raised, with the ends of them wrapped or forward to the head or to the side. We must also add that both breeds also differed in the neck. While the thick-furred’s neck was short and the head on it was completely horizontal, in a furred dog the neck was bent in the form of a sloping arc and the head on it was correspondingly with a sloping downwards muzzle. In addition to these differences, thick-furred and furred dogs differed from each other in color. The thick-furred dogs have always been of different colors, ranging from pure white to black. (No further clarification is made about this statement in the text)

These are the external qualities of the two breeds of the Russian borzoi in which they differed.

As for their inner qualities, it can be said that there was no particularly serious difference between them, but there was only one difference in the use of force. While the thick-furred hound was frisky and quick at a short distance, or, as they say, “short-circuited”, the furred hound endured longer distances and could chase the prey for a longer time. Again, this is due to the peculiarities of the area where each of these breeds was used.

The thick-furred hound was common in more northern wooded areas, so it had to catch in shorter fields and even clearings (narrow open space between forest edges) and glades where lightning fast speed and lunging are needed, as the beast quickly disappeared from sight, jumping over short open space. The furred hound was common in more Southern areas, where a longer chase was needed to catch prey. The prey could have been in sight and followed for a longer time.

Adapting to the locality in its desire to catch the beast, the thick-furred hound obviously had to immediately give all its strength, but the furred hound, on the contrary, could save it.

Thus, it must be said that both breeds did not have a big difference in strength and only spent it with different intensity, and therefore would last for more or less time. It is impossible, however, to say that the thick-furred dog could not catch in the fields, and the furred hound – on the glade or clearing, and therefore both of these breeds had their admirers both among northern hunters and among more southern ones.

It was so until the sixties (1860) of the last century, when Borzoi hunting in most cases ceased. Borzoi dogs survived here and there almost single instances, and it was impossible to even think about breeding this breed in its pure form. Since that time, the mixing of both above-mentioned breeds begins. When the “Society for the Reproduction of Hunting and Commercial Animals and Proper Hunting” established in Moscow in 1873 organized its first exhibition, the hunters who came to it had to admit a complete mixture of both breeds, not to mention intermixing with English and Southern breeds. In the press and at the assemblies between the hunters, the controversy about the exterior of the thick-furred and furred borzoi was raised, and all this resulted in the development of a single common standard for the exterior of the furred borzoi, and the name thick-furred was rejected.

Since the foundation of the above society, the intensive activity of hunters to restore the breed of sighthound dogs begins, and from that time, calling them only furred borzoi (“псовой борзой”), hunters from the remnants of the breed dogs begin to create their types, similar to the common features of the breed exterior, but differing in details. These details were determined by the taste of each individual dog owner, but in general, the discrepancy was expressed by the proximity of one type of dog to the thick-furred, and the other to the furred.

It is necessary to give full credit to many hunters in that they spared no effort and showed a lot of energy in this direction, and their persistent aspirations ended in complete success. The Russian hunting sighthound (Borzoi) has again reached extraordinary beauty with beautiful field presence.

In central Russia by the time of 1917, seven basic types of hound dogs thus arose:

1. Pershinskie
2. Ozerovskie
3. Boldyrevskie
4. Chelischevsky
5. Sumarokovskie
6. Geyerovskie and
7. Bibikovskie.

The distinctive features of these types are as follows:

1) **Pershinskie dogs ** represented in themselves the best blood of old borzoi and were divided into two groups: dark-coloured and light-colored.

Bistri

The first ones had a narrow, sunken head, with a small crook toward the end of the muzzle, dark, bulging eyes, ears high and correctly placed on the back of the head. Height – from 70 to 80 cm. Fur was quite thick, soft and wavy, but not in curls. The tail was thin, and sickle shaped. In appearance, they were light dogs, did not have excess bone mass and generally more closely approached the type of the antique furred breed. In the field they were predominantly frisky, but they possessed mediocre malice (Translator note: “malice” or “злобa” in Russian when used with regards to the Borzoi is a very special term referring to the breeds innate desire to attack wolves).

As for the second group, i.e. dogs of light color, they differed from the first mainly by the head, which was also long and sunken, but the muzzle was almost always straight. Height was the same. Fur mostly curled. The tail was the same. In appearance, these dogs were initially more bony and larger, so that they were closer to the dense-furred type. However, in the subsequent pursuit of exceptional agility, Perchino hunting house (the place where these dogs were bred) greatly reduced the size of these dogs. At the end of their existence Pershinskie dogs acquired a very lightweight form bordering on thinness. Both the light-colored and dark-colored dogs were used in the hunting field in similar capacity.

Those who wish to compose a more accurate concept of *Pershinskie* we recommend the book by D.P. Valtsova about Pershinskaya hunting.

2) ** Ozerovskie dogs ** – quite tall, although they rarely reached 75 cm in males and 70 cm in bitches.

Ataman

Color was pure white, or white with fawn and gray spotting. The fur was very thick, but not particularly long, forming curls, but was not wavy. A particularly characteristic feature of this breed was a Roman nose and the sloping of the forehead towards the back, so that the head seemed to be arched from both sides, i.e. to the nose and to the nape. The eyes of these dogs are black, bulging, very open, with visible blood vessels in the whites, or, as they say, “on the blood.” The ears are thin and small and, although slightly lower set, but tightly drawn to the head and mobile. The tail for the most part was sickle-shaped, thin, with a long, wavy fur. These dogs were very rich in bone and wide in the rear and back. In the field they were frisky, strong and with malice, but without the tendency to lunge.
.
The blood of Ozerovskie dogs, when bred into other bloodlines, especially ennobled the appearance of the dog.

3) ** Boldyrev dogs ** – medium height: males – 72-75 cm, females – 70-72 cm.

Ledbedka

The color is predominantly white, with fawn and red spots. Fur – medium density, long, in a large curl. The eyes are the same as those of the Ozerskys, but the head is straight and only sometimes with a small bump towards the nose. The ears are thin and small, quite mobile, but not always rising all the way up, and for the most part, when the dog is excited, bends to the sides with their ends. The tail is proper. The bones of these dogs were thinner than the Ozerovskie, and they had a light appearance. In the field they were frisky and with a tendency to lunge, but they did not stand out in their malice.

4) ** Chelischevsky dogs ** – the tallest of all types of borzoi: males – up to 80 cm, and females – up to 75. Color – fawn in silver, red-fawn, and white with fawn in silver and red spotting, rarely black-spotted on gray. The silver speckling on the fawn, and sometimes red-fawn fur was due to the fact that these colors of the fur turned almost white at the ends. For the density and length of the fur, these dogs had no equal. The head was long, straight, with a dense and wide muzzle, sometimes with a small bump towards the nose. The eyes are the same as those of the Ozersky dogs.

Tschelichsev

A special distinguishing feature of this type of dog was the ears – small, thin, completely sharp and located above the level of the eyes. When the dog was in an excited state, they rose up and forward, squeezing together so tightly that it was like a triangle, while in a calm state the dog’s ears lay on the back of the head, crossing between themselves in the form of scissors. The neck of these dogs was short, dressed with dog fur like a hand warmer or muff. The tail is proper, sickle-shaped, with long, wavy fur below and curls above starting from the base of the tail and to approximately half-way down the length, then changing into a wavy fur. The bone and the whole body are voluminous, giving the impression, at first glance, of massiveness and heaviness. However, in the field these dogs were very frisky, with a huge lunge, completely impassable and malicious. This breed is the oldest.

5) ** Sumarokovsky dogs ** – also very tall, from very old breeds – Kareevskih, and have kept the qualities of these dogs and are almost their last representatives. Males reach 80 cm in height, and females up to 75. Color – white, with fawn and red-fawn spots. The fur, although inferior in density to Chelishchevsky, is still very thick, in large curls. The head is long, straight, with a dense and wide muzzle and with a hump at the nose.

Lyubim

An excellent quality of this type of dogs were somewhat luminous eyes, a certain pinkiness of the eyelids, pinkish lips and nose. The ears are thin, small and tightly drawn to the head, but never raised up and forward, but only raised up, and the ends of the ears were turned to the side. The tail is proper, but not sickle-shaped, but in the form of a saber, i.e. shallow-curved. The bone and the body can be called strong, but sometimes there is a superiority in the development of the front, and the rear was somewhat narrower. I didn’t see these dogs in the field, but, according to many hunters who traveled with them, they were frisky and especially malicious.

6) ** Geyerovskie dogs ** were descendants from the dogs of the old and famous hunter – P.A. Bereznikov. They were small in stature: males – up to 72 cm, females – up to 65. Color – black with red tan and dark red, sometimes with gray hair. In the dark-red dogs, the muzzle, starting from the eyes, was black. The density of fur on these dogs did not stand out, and the fur was rough to the touch. The head is straight, but not particularly long, with a hump towards the nose, and the nose itself has a certain tendency toward sharpness.

A distinctive feature of this type were yellow eyes, which made an unpleasant impression on the background of black color. Ears – rather low, although tightly drawn to the head. In an excited state, these dogs somehow would lift the entire skin on the nape together with the ears and formed a kind of hood over their heads. When proper, the tails of these dogs also did not stand out, but the tails were sometimes tilted to one side. They have recently become impoverished in bone and body due to the fact that this breed has been bred exclusively to itself, and for a very long time has not been refreshed with the blood of other breeds. In the field, these dogs were not frisky, but they were malicious. When taking the wolf (and it must be said that they all took by the throat), they froze on it, closed their eyes and pressed their front legs under themselves. It was very difficult to tear them away from the wolf. In malice, not a single breed could compare with these dogs.

7) ** Bibikov dogs ** were especially common among hunters in the Tula province and were based on the lines of the dogs of the very famous hunter of the Tver province – Nazimov. These dogs were shorter in stature and even small: males – 70 cm, and females – 65 and even smaller. They came in any color except black. The black never came out from these dogs. Fur was also varied, up to being hard, standing like a brush, and in general it was very rough to the touch and not thick. The head did not have a certain type and was for the most part crude. The eyes are small and of different shades, although I did not notice light eyes. The ears were very diverse in the setting and movement. In bone and body these dogs were quite strong. In general, about this breed, we can say that in appearance it was very unattractive, but in its field qualities it was very much appreciated by the hunters of the Tula province, outside of which, it seemed, it was not exported. In the field, these dogs were frisky and especially malicious.

This was a brief description of those types of borzoi that existed as basic ones before 1917.

It can be said that there were many dogs to work with, the achievements of individual hunters were enormous, and at that time the Russian furred sighthound stood at such a peak that it could not be surpassed by any foreign breeds. Currently, there are still some instances of these types. Under appropriate conditions, the restoration of the breed of Russian furred sighthounds is quite possible.

Translated by Dmitri and Cathrine Shilov

Vera Amelung , en Gudinna?

Gudinna Vera

15 juni 2012 10:33 av Julia Svintsova

Vackra och graciösa, både Vera och Vinthundar

Det närmade sig slutet av 1800-talet. I November 1896 i den gamla herrgården Krasavka Atkarsk som låg i landskapet Lysogorskaya i Saratovprovinsen, föddes det en baby. Förhoppningarna var kanske att det skulle bli en modig sjöman – då både far och farfar, liksom bland de allra flesta släktingar på moderns sida, med namnet Mola -återfanns flera både viceamiraler och amiraler.

Men det förhöll sig nu så, att denna älskade baby var … en flicka, Vera Konstatinovna.

Och eftersom de kallade barnet Vera, och ödet förberedde sig för henne som en gåva, är förväntningarna att hon ska förbli vid eldstaden och där föra familjen vidare som barnaföderska.

Och så skulle det kanske blivit, om inte för tre omständigheter; hennes heta blod, tidens anda och gudföräldrarna.

Blodet i henne var varmt och brinnande – en blandning av det spanska – Mola och det tyska – Amelung och Eberhardt.

Tiden var turbulent, stora omvälvningar kom till landet – revolutionen, krig och repression, som gjorde att hennes faders hus kollapsade, rikedomar försvann och flera av hennes nära och kära gick också förlorade.

 

Mata haren. Bild på Vera Amelung

Harfångst. Bild av Vera Amelung

 

Hennes fadder, Mikhail Shidlovsky som, tillsammans med faster Maria Pavlovna Molas, bistod henne med mycket hjälp under uppväxten var en extraordinär man, I samma ålder som hennes far, var han i början på en marin karriär  och även delägare i en rysk-baltisk bilfabrik, med intressen också i den ryska flygindustrin.

Han var en intelligent och orädd man med enastående organisatoriska förmågor, och inte rädd att ta risker.  Han förutsåg vikten av en rysk flygindustri och bidrog till detta med all sin kraft. Han finansierade Igor Sikorsky, den ryska flygindustrins fader.

1914 blev Shidlovsky utsedd till befälhavare för en eskader av stridsflygplan och blev den första ryska flyggeneralen. Han skapade ett ryskt flygvapen som manifesterade sig under första världskriget. När den provisoriska regeringen tillsattes avsattes han för “inkompetens”  och 1918 när hans familj försöker fly över gränsen till finska karelen sköts hans 18-årige son av de “Röda”

Kanske var hans sinne, mod, och driften att söka spänning, förmågan att göra allt helhjärtat överfört till guddottern.

Beta av en varg. Bild på Vera Amelung

Jakt på varg. Bild av Vera Amelung.

 

Om hennes barn- och ungdom kan man bara gissa. Troligen var det en normal och glad uppväxt, omgiven av föräldrar, sjömän och många systrar, många faster och farbröder, med de äldstes för tiden vanliga passion för jakten.

I Riga tog hon examen från ett privat gymnasium under den framstående läraren i Nikolaevna Lishina. Hon gav Vera undervisning i ryska språket, litteratur, historia, franska och teckning. Kort sagt, Vera utbildades till en sann humanist.

Vera hade stor konstnärlig talang,1918 blev hon antagen till Moscow Stroganov Art College. Vera studerade fram till 1924 på egen bekostnad – hon arbetade samtidigt deltid på Bolshois judiska barnteater, där hon senare fick fast anställning som kostymdesigner.

Ett dokument om Vera återfanns på Bolshoi Teatern, ett frågeformulär ifyllt av henne 1933. Dokumentet innehöll information om tillfälliga arbeten – betyg från ett arbete i Osoaviakhim som instruktör inom officiell hunduppfödning.  Hon är även student på arkitekturkurser i Petrograd. Under en perioden studerade hon också under konstnären Piotr Kelin.

Hon var alltid en bra ryttare

Vera var under hela sitt liv en

passionerad ryttare               

På Internet kam man läsa om Piotr Kelin att ” bland hans många elever återfanns  B.V. Johanson, A.D. och PD. Korin, V.V. Majakovsky, D.S. Moore.  Vera; “Jag var lycklig nog att vara elev hos den underbare läraren och konstnären Piotr Kelin.”

I hennes skrifter berättar hon om fadern som dog 1928 i Revel och även om sina många systrar i Moskva, Bashkiria och även i Lyon och Toulouse.En av dem hade gift sig med en officer i det Vita Gardet, och en andra – von Garder – emigrerade också med sin man.  Det berättas också om hästar och kor ägda av hennes föräldrar, om den ortodoxa religionen, som emellertid inte Vera känner igen sig i. Religionen hade ingen plats i kostymdesignerns arbete vid Bolshoi Theatern,och accepterades inte där

Det är konstigt för mig hur hon överlevde! Med ett sådant namn, med sådana släktingar och en sådan passion för livet. Det är obegripligt!

 

Album av Vera Konstantinovna Amelung

Album av Vera Konstantinovna Amelung

Vera deltog i den första utställningen arrangerad av Moskvas Association of Decorators 1929. I referensböckerna är hon listad som artist-dekoratör och artist-animalist. Så återspeglingen av hennes älskade djur och natur har blivit ett yrke.

Jag vet inte vem som var med henne under dessa oroliga åren, som hjälpte till och som stöttade den unga kvinnan. Jag vet att hennes far Konstantin Yulievich Amelung bodde i Estland, där han dog 1928. Mor, Helena Narcissa Henrietta Anna Molas, dog 1935 i Ryssland.  Brodern, Vladimir, 28, dödades 1918. Hans små söner befann sig i Baltikum. Kusinen Boris Amelung dog under inbördeskriget när han utförde kuriruppgifter. Syssling Boris Molas, chef för sekretariatet, Vetenskapsakademien i Sovjetunionen och som gjorde ett bidrag till bevarandet av Unionens kulturella rikedom blev arresterad, sänt i exil och avrättad i 1937

Efterföljande av hennes älskade Karaya - - sidan i släktforskningen om de ryska vinthundarna

Valpar från hennes älskade Karaya – från stamtavlesidan om de ryska vinthundarna

Gatchina och  Perchino, hade tillsammans flera hundra renrasiga hundar. De flesta såldes utomlands innan revolutionen för stora summor.

För den Bolsjevikiska regeringen betraktades borzoin som en skamlig relik från det förflutna.

När det kom fram att det kunde vara mycket lönsamt och ha ett kommersiellt värde, ändrades attityden och det började bildas klubbar och föreningar. Borzoi älskare,”Borzyatniks” kunde träffa samma engagerade, fanatiska personer som de var själva. Vera Konstantinovna Amelung var en av dessa!

Ett mirakel av en hund!

Ett mirakel till hund!

Hon bodde i centrala Moskva, på Gogol Boulevard, hon höll flera vinthundar. Och hon lärde sig, jagade mycket med dem och bedrev uppfödning. Hon deltog i tävlingar och hon var engagerad i Borzoisektionen i Moskva som sekreterare. 

 

Där är hon, Arbuns svan!

Där är hon, Arbuns Svan!

Även som äldre dam, var hon en duktig ryttare som flög fram i full fart … Flög som gudinnan Artemis! 

Jag vet aldrig vad hon kände när kriget började. Förutom den allmänna oron och rädslan, tyngde nog hundarnas öde henne. Djuren är stora och behöver mycket mat. Hon kunde behålla dem i Moskva. Att deras arvsmassa bevarades till glädje och nytta för eftervärlden var hennes men också i stor grad Mikhail Gromovs förtjänst.(Länk!)

Gromov var en av SovjetUnionens hjältar. Han var flygare med förbindelser på alla nivåer. Han var också ordförande i Borzoisektionen i Moskvas jakthundsförening. Med hans hjälp och de extra ransoner han kunde skaffa, kunde många borzoi överleva kriget. Gromov var själv borzoiälskare, han hämtade hem hundar från Tyskland som fick stor betydelse för restaureringen av rasen i Sovjet och senare i Ryssland.

Vera Amelung var sekreterare och Mikhail Gromov ordförande i sektionen. Han uttalade att han satte hennes kunskap mycket högt, “hon förstod hundar bättre än någon annan”.

På uppsättningen av filmen

Från uppsättningen av filmen “War and Peace”

Hennes sista hundar var Argun och Terzai, mor och son. De krävde alla inkomster och krafter men ibland kunde hennes älskade hundar fortfarande bidra till sin ägares uppehälle. Det hände när Vera Konstantinovna blev inbjuden att delta i filmen “War and Peace” av Sergei Bondarchuk. Och även när hundarnas deltagande var över, fortsatte regissören som älskade dem att mata ”aktörerna”. Också under inspelningen av “Anna Karenina” var de med, de älskade att gå med den magnifika Maja Plisetskaja!

Under efterkrigsåren var Vera Amelung den permanenta sekreteraren för Borzoisektionen. Hon ansvarade för stamtavleböckerna.  Det återfanns fyra album med prydligt klistrade och signerade bilder, med stamtavlor och diagram. De digitaliserades nyligen av Tamara Lyazgina och gjordes till gemensam egendom på Internet tack vare henne! På grund av detta ser jag en tydligare bild, som senare tiders släktforskare sällan kan förvänta sig.

Vera: “Som liten ville jag verkligen ha en hund, men min far riktade mina barndoms önskningar till lång teoretisk träning. Jag hade fem eller sex album med urklipp från tidningar, med artiklar om träningen av en valp, jag skrev av sällsynta böcker med min barnsliga handstil, snyggt ordnade för att noggrant fyllas i under åren. Jag slutar inte att bli överraskad av dessa ringar av gener, vi kommer alla från vårt förflutna och vi kommer att ge detta till framtiden”.

Olga Velchinskaya berättade om möten med Vera Konstantinovna. Hon kom till henne när hon var allvarligt sjuk, hennes son och Amelung var bekanta. “Intrycket av den person som mötte mig, med sin mångfald av kompetens, inom så många områden var omöjlig att glömma”. Allt som hon förutspådde blev exakt uppfyllt. I den här beskrivningen finns hennes porträtt av dessa tider och flera är viktiga för att förstå hennes karaktär och sätt att leva.

Olga: Hon var sjuk men fortfarande stark och rörlig. Det fanns väldigt få saker i hennes källarrum. Men i den antika fåtöljen under imperieklockan låg, ömtålig och elegant som en svan, en rosa-vit skönhet, Argun. Författaren berättar grannar kommer och lämnar Vera en skål med surkål. Detina – en pojke från det här området där alla kände Amelung, där de älskade henne och hennes vackra hundar. Även efter att de blivit vuxna fortsatte de att hjälpa henne. De antika klockorna slog också för barnen, de visste vad som passade gudinnan. Hundar och barn – deras kärlek är den mest uppriktiga, den mest trogna. De värmer upp hjärtat och dekorerar livet!

Det fanns en hel grupp kvinnor som var allvarligt engagerade i vinthundar. En av dem, Eugenia Dezor, hittade två borzoi från Tsarens kennel i Leningrad zoo och kunde skickligt använda dem i avel. Hon arbetade hårt för att för att återuppliva den ryska borzoin. Hon greps och skickades till Saratovregionen. 

Vera: Jag kunde ta ut fem av mina hundar från Saratov, och Eugenia Dezors ansträngningar där var med och skapade en kennel för borzoi och jakthundar (Saratov). På sin fritid skrev hon poesi. Deras linjer ljuder till mig i Vera Konstantinovnas röst.

Eugenia Dezor:

Jag spenderar dagar och nätter med dem:

Långt från alla – utan dem är jag ensam.
Ibland värker mitt hjärta,
och bara i mina hundar ser jag glädje.

Jag kommer hem – de möter mig,
jag ska gå – de väntar lydigt …
Och de vet verkligen allt,
de känner och de inser.

Vi förstår varandra perfekt,
och jag pratar med dem, som med människor,
vi leker tillsammans och går tillsammans,
och vi spenderar kvällarna och dagarna.

Vi delar skydd och mat.

Vi går ut

på steppen i mörkrets gryning.

Jag älskar mina borzoi. Det finns ingen renare kärlek
och det finns inga vackrare hundar på jorden.

 

Alltid med dem

Alltid med dem

Livet måste gå vidare, det fanns kommunala lägenheter i centrala Moskva. Nya bosättare gick till Chertanovo. Vera Konstantinovna fick också en liten lägenhet där.  Men, som Olga Velchinskaya skriver,  “hon kunde inte längre ha sina hundar hos sig. ” hon blev gammal och sjuk, nu var hon skild från vänner och gamla grannar. År 1972 var hon för sista gången på Rysslandsutställningen för jakthundar. Argun och Terzai hade lämnats till tillförlitliga vänner. Hon dog mycket snart därefter i sin enrumslägenhet. “.

Jag tror, ​​att nu, till slut blev hon ensam, nu när den våta näsan inte längre rörde vid hennes gamla hand, och det inte fanns någon som såg på henne med oändlig kärlek, som såg henne som deras riktiga gudinna.  

Jag tittar på mitt enorma släktträd. Vi har gemensam farfar, en spegel fabrikör, Anton Christoph Amelung. Farfars far, Carl Philip Amelung bedrev affärer och spelade schack med Potemkin. Anna Edvardina, min mormors mor, var Carl Philips syster. Helt enkelt till slut, Vera Konstantinovna blev min mormor!

 

När jag är tillbaka i Moskva, hittar jag hennes hus, jag går igenom Gogol Boulevard. Och plötsligt blåser det up en vind och förbi flyger gudinnan med sina borzoi!

Det är en syn som inte alla kan se – min mormor flyger fort …

 

The Borzoi Encyclopedia: Redaktörens efterskrift, Vera Amelungs inverkan på borzoi var kanske inte i första hand genom sin uppfödning även om den också hade betydelse. Hennes verksamhet i Borzoisektionen i Moskva och som förebild är det som sitter fast minnet hos äldre personer. Hon skall alltid skall finnas med i historien bland annat i The Borzoi Encyclopedia!

Hennes hundars betydelse, som sträcker sig fram till våra dagar kanske kan illustreras av följande bild:

Argun

Foto från albumen i arkivet av Nina Georgievna Kudryavtseva. Digitaliserad av Tamara Lyazgina

 

 

 

 

Borzoi in Russia from 1920 to 1980. Galina Zotova.

Galina Viktorovna Zotova on Russian borzoi after the revolution.

horse

This is an interpretation of Madam Zotova’s letter regarding borzoi in Russia, from about 1920 to about 1980. She had strong opinions, was outspoken, in some cases even controversial.

In a time when knowledge of the borzoi in Russia and the Sovjet Union was limited, was Galina Zotova allowed to travel abroad and tell borzoi enthusiasts in the west that borzoi still existed in it’s motherland.

Some additions have been made, like adding names known in the west and Marina Orlova’s pictures.

Zotova_1

After the October revolution, and the following civil war, breeding of dogs, especially the borzoi, discontinued and in many cases, if not all, the well known kennels were destroyed. Many dogs were sold abroad or went with invaders. Few borzoi stayed and most often were far from the best.

In the first post-revolutionary exhibitions, very few Borzois was exhibited and the majority was of unknown origin.

In 1923, at the first exhibition. 12 borzoi was shown, but only 4 deserved attention. The grandson of one, a “little interesting males”, Rogdai (Bardukova), was later widely used in the breed.

In 1926 the borzoi section of the Canine society was formed in Leningrad. At the exhibition the same year there was already 23. dogs shown, but not all high level.

Borzoi enthusiasts, like Nina Korff-Sumarokova and Nikolai Tchelichev did all they could to persuade the government and the state to recognize the pure bred borzoi as a hunting dog

In 1927, 27 dogs was shown at the exhibition. Of these was only 9 of unknown origin.

The number increased, but quality in the borzois was still not sufficient..

Of 21 dogs exhibited In 1931 was all of known origin. Exterior had improved and quality was better but performance was not tested. The owners had concentrated on improving the exterior.

Zotova_4

In 1936, the Moscow Council of physical education and sport lovers, managed to unite borzoi breeders/owners in a partition to allow amateur-hunters going into the fields. The same year the first post-revolutionary trials on live game in the field was held under the expert for all-Union, Vsevolod Mamontov!

In the pre-war years in Moscow Komarova purchased from Kuibyshev, Kidai (Komorova). He became a major producer in the first postwar years. He had a good head, not long, but dry, shhipcom rule in the ring, bright eye. His grandson Gyaur (Mikhailova). occurs in many pedigrees.

From the end of 1939 to 1944 the number of borzoi in Moscow was very low. At the exhibition In 1941 was only 5 dogs shown.

Galina

After the great patriotic war began the restoration of the strength and quality of the borzoi. there was an increased demand for them among the hunters.

In 1946 Femina Quick Molodjesz was brought in from Germany by General Gromov. She was a well constructed bitch with Asmodei Perchino appearing several times in her pedigree.. Unfortunately, she only produced three sons, Gordyi, Derzai and Chaus. The two first can still be found in modern pedigrees. Chaus did not leave offspring.

In 1949, Hermelin von der Alck was purchased in from Germany. He was renamed in Russia to Oriel I 94/b. Even he was a descendant of Asmodei Perchino. Hermelin had a great influence on quality on the breed. He gave a lot of correct descendants. Moderate inbreeding on him gave borzoi with good qualities in the field. His influence in the breed transferred through the Nevezhin hunt and the two daughters Plutovka ( Zotova) and Purga (Amelung).

Borzois

Quality in borzoi was getting better. Since 1952 yearly field trials was arranged with good influence on the breed.

In 1962 Amur von der Kaiserpfalz was imported from the GDR by V L Kolpakova. During his short career he sired a number of litters with very good result.

The Borzoi section, despite difficulties, payed much attention to field work and soundness in the breed.

Desor

In 1965 the “Elite class” was introduced. The first to be appointed was  Golubka (Koblov).

in 1967 from 36 registered dogs — 25 litters, 3 of them won access to the  “Elite class”. This was good news, but new blood was not often available which resulted in repeated inbreeding.

Hunt

In 1972 Grifo der Karolinger von Wienerwald was imported from Czechoslovakia and sired 16 litters. He was far from perfect but his progeny was of similar type and often better than himself.

Field work with borzois has its own complications: a very short test period of an average of only 2 months in autumn, after harvesting and under favorable weather conditions.

Hunt

Sometime in fall, before frost and snow, it has only been possible to arrange one or two trials, and yet the number of participating dogs grew from year to year. At the 50-year anniversary exhibition in 1978, 58 borzoi was entered!

Barynia de Norois was Imported from Switzerland in 1975. She possessed uncommon speed and greed to the beast. Many of the descendants inherited her exterior and quality in the field. Of her 12 children-5 won the title of “champion”.

Zotova_5

In 1978, Burkhan de Kuskovo was imported, also from Switzerland.and from France came, Oskal de Petit.

Burkhan de Kuskovo gave beautiful, characteristic heads, but many of his descendants inherited limbs. The best of his descendants and successors was Lezgin (Gabidzashvivli), as well as Lebedka and Boyarynia (Shepeshevski).

Oskal de Petit did not possess high exterior, but had good field qualities. The offspring was not significant in number, but exterior much better than himself and with good field qualities.

Fetiysz von Smetanka was imported in 1982. His descendants possessed beautiful, dry heads, but some have “clarified?” eye color.

Valdai du Grand Venuer produced a pair of Chapion descendants, Daryal (Kovalev) and Buyan (Kovalev).

In 1985 Eick’s Kretchet was imported from Germany. He was widely used and left offspring still to be found in a great number of pedigrees. Even a sister, Eick’s Kenitschka was imported and produced two litters without significant impact.

galina

The number of registered grows. In one year 293.

In recent years, many owners of borzoi, in spite of great difficulties, travel to other areas to show and to hunt.

From 1978 to 1993 the borzoi section had 20 champions. 1197/BP Tarkhan, Sarmat 1236/BP, Oskal de Petit 1378/BP, Lezgins 1411/BP, Merlin 1521/BP Blistaj, 1558, Fetish von Smetanka 1451/BP Daryal, 1620/BP, Arkan-Aero 1640/BP, Uragan de Norois 1630/BP, Nice 1198/BP, Barynia de Norois 1275/BP, Skazka 1262/BP Buyan, 1351, 1352 Bagrjana/BP/BP, Berezka 1350/BP, Kasatka 1523/BP, Marisha 1536/BP, Melissa 1455/BP, Vjushka, Plutovka.

From 1964 to 1992 in the all tribal hunting book 400 borzoi was registered.

Galina Zotova

Pictures from Marina Orlova’s collection.

Zotova in Macon

 

Who was Constantin Esmont?

Notes regarding Borzoi in Russia in the period 1940 to 1950!

In 1945, just as the second WW had ended, a Soviet soldier, Constantin Esmont made detailed records of the various types of borzoi he found in Cossack villages in the south of Russia.

Esmont at work

His job was to visit horse farms and to select horses for the army. Because of this he traveled much in the steppe regions of Southern Russia and he saw a lot of local sighthounds.

esmont

Esmont was concerned that the distinct types of sighthounds were in danger of degenerating without a controlled system of breeding. He convinced the Soviet government that borzois were an asset to the hunters who supported the fur industry and henceforth, their breeding became officially regulated.

esmont

Then, (1940-1950) short haired borzoi were highly valued hunting dogs on the steppes, while the long-haired borzoi, was going through a hard period of restoration of its working qualities after decades of shadow, mainly show existence.

On his business trips he observed some dogs that looked like the Chortaj sighthounds with floppy ears that were once common in the mountain regions. As a child Esmont had seen a lot of Crimean and Gorski borzois in the Caucassaus, so was familiar with the type.

He also saw a lot of dogs that looked like hybrids of different sighthounds and also some specimen of questionable origin.

Hunting

Using the information he received, Esmont worked out Standards for Chortajs and Stepnojs (the sighthound with floppy ears), it was formed out of old time Crimean and Gorski sighthounds).

Constantin Esmont performed a tremendous amount of work to promote Russian hunting sighthounds and he was the author of the first official Chortaj standard which was adopted in 1951.

Chort

Some of the typical dogs were photographed. The work was very difficult because these regions were completely uncivilized then, bad roads, no telephone.

In spite of all the obstacles, Constantin Esmont performed a tremendous amount of work to promote Russian hunting sighthounds.

Hunting with sighthounds was a part of local tradition, most farmers kept one or two sighthounds to help provide for the family. These dogs most probably were descendants of dogs from the large hunting kennels abandoned after the revolution. The farmers used the dogs to provide food, catching hares and killing of foxes.

There were also the hunters that hunted for fur. Their demands on the dogs was higher and also of higher value to the community and the state,

Being a sighthound judge he never approved of the local hunters’ practice to breed only according to working qualities not considering the  type or sometimes even breed.

Judging_1

He was concerned that the distinct types of borzaya were in danger of degenerating without a controlled system of breeding. He convinced the Soviet government that borzois were a valuable asset to the hunters who supported the fur industry and henceforth, the breeding of borzoi was officially regulated.

At the National Hunting Committee he lobbied to forbid to hunt using dogs with no papers. In this way the local hunters were forced to breed purebred dogs.

Constantin Esmont and his colleague A.M. Lerkhe helped organize and judged at a lot of local shows and field trials where they observed, measured and wrote critiques of almost 700 sighthounds.

Chamba

The dogs Esmont and his colleague examined were awarded points for breed type and fitness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More information on Esmont and Lerche Here 

 

Wolfhunting in Russia (by Henry T Allen, USA)

  1.                                                                    Wolfhunting in Russia

Wolf

 

The enormous extent and diversified conditions of the various localities of this empire would naturally suggest a variety of sport in hunting and shooting, including perhaps something characteristic. In the use of dogs of the chase especially is this suggestion borne out by the facts, and it has been said that in no other country has the systematic working together of fox-hounds and greyhounds been successfully carried out. Unfortunately, this sort of hunting is not now so general due to the emancipation of the serfs in 1861. A modest kennel for such sport consists of six to ten fox-hounds and four to six pairs of barzois,* and naturally demands considerable attention. Moreover, to use it requires the presence of at least one man with the fox-hounds and one man for each pair or each three greyhounds.

To have a sufficient number of good huntsmen at his service was *Barzoi—long-haired greyhound, wolf-hound, Russian greyhound. a much less expensive luxury to a proprietor than now, and to this fact is due the decline of the combined kennel in Russia. This hunt is more or less practised throughout the entire extent of the Russian Empire. In the south, where the soil is not boggy, it is far better sport than in Northern Russia, where there are such enormous stretches of marshy woods and tundra. Curiously enough, nearly all the game of these northern latitudes, including moose, wolves, hares, and nearly all kinds of grouse and other birds, seem to be found in the marshiest places—those almost impracticable to mounted hunters.

Though the distances covered in hunting, and also in making neighborly visits in Russia, are vast, often recalling our own broad Western life, yet in few other respects are any similarities to be traced. This is especially true of Russia north of the Moscow parallel ; for in the south the steppes have much in common with the prairies, though more extensive, and the semi-nomadic Cossacks, in their mounted peregrinations and in their pastoral life, have many traits in common with real Americans. Nor is it true of the Caucasus, where it would seem that the Creator, dissatisfied with the excess of the great plain,* extending from the Finnish Gulf to the Black Sea, resolved to establish a counterpoise, and so heaved up the gigantic Caucasus.

There, too, are to be found fine hunting and shooting which merit description and which offer good sport to mountain amateurs. The annual hunt in the fall of 1893 in the governments of Tver and Yaroslav, with the Gatchino kennels, will give a good idea of the special sport of which I have spoken. It is imperative that these hounds go to the hunt once a year for about a month, although for the most part without their owner. The master of the hunt and his assistant, with three or four guests and oftentimes the proprietors of the lands where the hounds happen to hunt, usually constitute the party. The hunt changes locality nearly every year, but rarely does it go further from home than on this occasion, about 450 versts from Gatchino. As a rule it is not difficult to obtain from proprietors permission to hunt upon their estates, and this is somewhat surprising to one who has seen the freedom with which the fences are torn down and left unrepaired.

* The Waldeir hills, extending east and west half-way between St.Petersburg and Moscow, are the only exception.

hunt

It is true that they are not of the strongest and best type, and that peasant labor is still very cheap ; yet such concessions to sport would rarely be made in America. It was at Gatchino, on the l0th day of September, that the hunting train was loaded with men, horses, dogs, provisions and wagons. The hunt called for twenty-two cars in all, including one second-class passenger car, in one end of which four of us made ourselves comfortable, while in the other end servants found places. The weather was cold and rainy, and, as our train traveled as a freight, we had two nights before us. It was truly a picturesque and rare sight to see a train of twenty-two cars loaded with the personnel, material and live stock of a huge kennel.

The fox-hounds, seventy in number, were driven down in perfect, close order by the beaters to the cracks of the Russian hunting whip and installed in their car, which barely offered them sufficient accommodation. The greyhounds, three sorts, sixty-seven in number, were brought down on leashes by threes, fours or fives, and loaded in two cars. Sixty saddle and draft horses, with saddles, wagons and hunting paraphernalia, were also loaded. Finally the forty-four gray and green uniformed huntsmen, beaters, drivers and ourselves were ready, and the motley train moved away amid the uttered and unuttered benedictions of the families and relatives of the parting hunt.

Our first destination was Peschalkino, in the government of Tver, near the River Leet, a tributary of the Volga, not far from the site of the first considerable check of the Mongolian advance about 1230. I mention this fact in passing to give some idea of the terrain, because I think that it is evident to anyone who has visited this region that the difficulty of provisioning and of transportation in these marshes must have offered a greater obstacle to an invading army than did the then defenders of their country. We passed our time most agreeably in playing vint* and talking of hunting incidents along the route. Many interesting things were told about the habits of wolves and other game, and, as they were vouched for by two thorough gentlemen and superb sportsmen, and were verified as far as a month’s experience in the field would permit, I feel authorized to cite them as facts.

* Vint—game of cards resembling whist.

bear

 

 

The bear has been called in folklore the moujik’s brother, and it must be conceded that there are outward points of resemblance, especially when each is clad in winter attire; moreover the moujik, when all is snow and ice, fast approximates the hibernating qualities of the bear. One strong point of difference is the accentuated segregative character of the former, who always live in long cabin villages.*

But it is rather of the wolf’s habits and domestic economy that I wish to speak—of him who has always been the dreaded and accursed enemy of the Russian peasant. In the question of government the wolf follows very closely the system of the country, which is pre-eminently patriarchal—the fundamental principle of the mir. A family of wolves may vary in number from six to twenty, and contain two to four generations, usually two or three, yet there is always one chief and one wife—in other words, never more than one female with young ones.

* The bear is caricatured in Russian publications as a humorous, light-hearted, joking creature, conversing and making common ith the golden-hearted moujik, his so-called brother.

Wolf

 

When larger packs have been seen together it was probably the temporary marshaling of their forces for some desperate raid or the preliminaries of an anarchistic strike. The choruses of wolves and the special training of the young for them are interesting characteristics. Upon these choruses depends the decision of the hunter whether or not to make his final attack upon the stronghold of the wolves; by them he can tell with great precision the number in the family and the ages of the different members.

They are to wolf-hunters what tracks are to moose- and bear-hunters—they serve to locate the game. When the family is at home they occur with great regularity at twilight, midnight and dawn. In camp near Billings, Montana, in the fall of 1882, we heard nightly about 12 o’clock the howling of a small pack of coyotes; but we supposed that it was simply a “howling protest” against the railway train, passing our camp at midnight, that had just reached that part of the world. Possibly our coyotes have also howling choruses at regular intervals, like the Russian wolves.

There was such a fascination in listening to the wolves that we went out several times solely for that purpose. The weirdness of the sound and the desolateness of the surroundings produced peculiar sensations upon the listener. that the wolves were “at home” at midnight as well as dawn. While in the vicinity of a certain wolf family whose habitat was an enormous marshy wood, entirely impossible to mounted men, we were compelled to await for forty-eight hours the return of the old ones, father and mother. At times during this wait only the young ones, at other times the young and the intermediate ones, would sing. Not hearing the old ones, we inferred they were absent, and so they were off on a raid, during which they killed two peasant horses ten miles from their stronghold. It was supposed that the wolves of intermediate age also made excursions during this time, as indicated by the bowlings, but not to such great distances as the old ones. It was perfectly apparent, as we listened one evening, that the old ones had placed the young ones about a verst away and were making them answer independently. This seemed too human for wolves.

jakt

After one day and two nights of travel we arrived at the little station of Peschalkino, on the Bologoe-Rybinsk Railway, not far from the frontier between the two governments, Tver and Yaroslav, where we were met by two officers of the guard, a Yellow Cuirassier and a Preobiajensky, on leave of absence on their estates (Koy), sixteen versts from the rail. They were brothers-in-law and keen sportsmen, who became members of our party and who indicated the best localities for game.on their property, as well as on the adjoining estates. Peschalkino boasts a painted country tavern of two stories, the upper of which, with side entrance, we occupied, using our own beds and bed linen, table and table linen, cooking and kitchen utensils; in fact, it was a hotel where we engaged the walled-in space and the brick cooking stove. As to the huntsmen and the dogs, they were quartered in the adjacent unpainted log-house peasant village —just such villages as are seen all over Russia, in which a mud road, with plenty of mud, comprises all there is of streets and avenues.

After having arranged our temporary domicile, and having carefully examined horses and dogs to see how they had endured the journey, we made ready to accept a dinner invitation at the country place of our new members. Horses were put to the brake, called by the Russians Amerikanka (American), and we set out for a drive of sixteen versts over a mud road to enjoy the well-known Slav hospitality so deeply engrafted in the Ponamaroff family. I said road, but in reality it scarcely merits the name, as it is neither fenced nor limited in width other than by the sweet will of the eler. Special mention is made of this road because its counterparts exist all over the em­pire. It is the usual road, and not the excep­tion, which is worse, as many persons have ample reasons for knowing. This condition is easily explained by the scarcity of stone, the inherent disregard of comfort, the poverty of the peasants, the absence of a yeoman class, and the great expense that would be entailed upon the landed proprietors, who live at enormous distances from each other. The country in these and many other governments has been civilized many generations, but so unfinished and primitive does it all seem that it recalls many localities of our West, where civilization appeared but yesterday, and where tomorrow it will be well in advance of these provinces. The hand-flail, the wooden plow­share, the log cabin with stable under the same roof, could have been seen here in the twelfth century as they are at present. Thanks to the Moscow factories, the gala attire of the peasant of today may possibly surpass in bril­liancy of color that of his remote ancestry, which was clad entirely from the home loom. With the exception of the white brick church­es, whose tall green and white spires in the distance appear at intervals of eight to ten versts, and of occasional painted window cas­ings, there is nothing to indicate that the colorings of time and nature are not preferable to those of art. The predominating features of the landscape are the windmills and the evenness of the grain-producing country, dot­ted here and there by clumps of woods, called islands. The churches, too, are conspicuous by their number, site, and beauty of architect­ure; school-houses, by their absence. Prior to 1861 there must have been a veritable mania here for church-building. The land, and beau­tiful church at Koy, as well as two other pre­tentious brick ones, were constructed on his estates by the grandfather of our host. Arriving at Koy, we found a splendid coun­try place, with brick buildings, beautiful gar­dens, several hot-houses and other luxuries, all of which appeared the more impressive by con­trast. The reception and hospitality accorded us at Koy—where we were highly entertained with singing, dancing and cards until midnight —was as bounteous as the darkness and rain­fall which awaited us on the sixteen versts’ drive over roadless roads back to our quarter bivouac at Peschalkino.

Ochotnik

The following morning marked the begin­ning of our hunting. About 10 o’clock all was in readiness. Every hunter* had been pro­vided with a leash, a knife and a whip; and, naturally, every huntsman with the two latter. In order to increase the number of posts, some of the huntsmen were also charged with leashes of greyhounds. I shall in the future use the word greyhound to describe all the sight hounds, in contradistinction to fox­hound ; it includes barzois (Russian grey­hounds), greyhounds (English) and crosses between the two. The barzois numbered about 75 per cent. of all the greyhounds, and were for the most part somewhat less speedy than the real greyhounds, but better adapted for wolf-hunting. They also have greater skill in taking hold, and this, even in hare coursing, sometimes gives them advantage over faster dogs. One of the most interesting features of the coursing was the matching of Russian and English greyhounds. The leash system used in the field offers practically the same fairness as is shown by dogs at regular coursing matches. The leash is a black row leather thong about fifteen feet long, with a loop at one end that passes over the right shoulder and under the left arm. The long thong with a slit at the end, forming the hand loop, is, when not in use, folded up like a lariat or a driving rein, and is stuck under the knife belt. To use it, the end is put through the loop-ring collars, which the greyhounds con­tinually wear, and is then held fast in the left hand until ready to slip the hounds. Where the country is at all brushy, three dogs are the practical limit of one leash, still for the most part only two are employed. It is surprising to see how quickly the dogs learn the leash with mounted huntsmen two or three days are sufficient to teach them to remain at the side of the horse and at a safe distance from his feet. Upon seeing this use of the leash with two dogs each, I was curious to know why it should be so; why it would not be more exciting to see half a dozen or more hounds in hot pursuit racing against each other and having a common goal, just as it is more exciting to see a horse race with a numerous entry than merely with two com­petitors. This could have been remedied, so I thought, by having horsemen go in pairs,or having several dogs when possible on one leash. Practice showed the wisdom of the methods actually employed. In the first place, it is fairer for the game; in the second, it saves the dogs ; and finally, it allows a greater territory to be hunted over with the same number of dogs.

Tikhmenev

There are two ways of hunting foxes and hares, and, with certain variations, wolves also. These are by beating and driving with fox­hounds, and by open driving with greyhounds alone. In the first case a particular wood (island) is selected, and the fox-hounds with their mounted huntsmen are sent to drive it in a certain direction. The various leashes of greyhounds (barzois alone if wolves be expect­ed) are posted on the opposite side, at the edge of the wood or in the field, and are loosed the second the game has shown its in­tention of clearing the open space expressly selected for the leash. The mounted beaters with the fox-hounds approach the thick woods of evergreens, cottonwood, birch and under­growth, and wait on its outskirts until a bugle signal informs them that all the greyhound posts are ready. The fox-hounds recognize the signal, and would start immediately were they not terrorized by the black nagazka—a product of a. country that has from remotest times preferred the knout* to the gallows, and so is skilled in its manufacture and use. At the word go from the chief beater the seventy fox-hounds, which have been huddled up as closely as the encircling beaters could make them, rush into the woods. In a few minutes, sometimes seconds, the music begins—and what music! I really think there are too many musicians, for the voices not being clas­sified, there is no individuality, but simply a prolonged hovel. For my part, I prefer fewer hounds, where the individual voices may be distinguished. It seemed to be a needless use of so many good dogs, for half the number would drive as well but they were out for exercise and training, and they must have it. Subsequently the pack was divided into two, but this was not necessitated by fatigue of the hounds, for we hunted on alternate days with greyhounds alone.

Hunting

One could well believe that foxes might remain a long time in the woods, even when pursued by such noise; but it seemed to me that the hares. would have passed the line of posts more quickly than they did. At the suitable moment, when the game was seen, the nearest leash was slipped, and when they seemed to be on the point of losing another and sometimes a third was slipped. The poor fox-hounds were not allowed to leave the woods; the moment any game appeared in the open space they were driven back by the stiff riders with their cruel whips. The true fox­hound blood showed itself, and to succeed in beating some of them off the trail, especially the young ones, required most rigorous action on the part of all. This seemed to me a pros­titution of the good qualities of a race care­fully bred for centuries, and, while realizing the necessity of the practice for that variety of hunt, I could never look upon it with com­plaisance.

It is just this sort of hunt* for which the barzoi has been specially bred, and which has developed in him a tremendous spring; at the same time it has given him less endurance than the English greyhound. It was highly interesting to follow the hounds with the beat­ers; but, owing to the thickness of the woods and the absence of trails, it was far from being an easy task either for horse or rider. To re­main at a post with a leash of hounds was hardly active or exciting enough for me–ex­cept when driving wolves—especially when the hounds could be followed, or when the open hunt could be enjoyed. In the second case the hunters and huntsmen with leashes form a line with intervals of many yards and march for versts straight across the country, cracking the terrible nagaika and uttering peculiar ex­citing yells that would start game on a parade ground. After a few days I flattered myself that I could manage my leash fairly and slip them passably well. To two or three of the party leashes were not intrusted, either be­cause they did not desire them or for their want of experience in general with dogs and horses. To handle a leash well requires ex­perience and considerable care. To prevent tangling in the horse’s legs, especially at the moment the game is sighted, requires that the hounds be held well in hand, and that they be not slipped until both have sighted the game. I much prefer the open hunt to the post sys­tem. There is more action, and in fact more sport, whether it happens that one or several leashes be slipped for the same animal. When it is not possible to know whose dogs have taken the game, it belongs to him who arrived first, providing that he has slipped his leash. So much for the foxes and hares, but the more interesting hunting of wolves remains. Few people except wolf-hunters—and they are reluctant to admit it—know how rarely old wolves are caught with hounds. All admit the danger of taking an old one either by a dagger thrust or alive from under* barzois, however good they be. There is always a possibilty they lose their grip, or to be thrown off just at the critical moment, but the greatest difficulty consists of the inability of the hounds to hold the wolf even when they have overtaken him.When its remembered that a full grown wolf is nearly twice as heavy as the average Borzoi and that pound for pound, he is stronger, it is clear that to overtake and hold him requires great speed and grit on the part of the pair of hounds. A famous kennel, Perchina, which two years since caught 46 wolves by the combined system, caught only one old wolf, that is three years or older. The same kennel last year caught 26, without a single old one among them.We likewise failed to include in our own capture, a single old wolf. I mention these facts to correct the false impression that exists with us, concerning the borzois, evidenced by the great disappointment when two years since, a pair in one of the western states, failed to kill outright a full grown timberwolf.

the hold

At the field trials on wolf, which take place twice a year at Colominaghi, near St Petersburg, immediately after the regular field trials on hares, I have seen as many as five leashes slipped before an old wolf could be taken, and then it was done only with the greatest diffi­culty. In fact, as much skill depends upon the borzatnik (huntsman) as the dogs. Almost the very second the dogs take hold he simply falls from his horse upon the wolf and endeav­ors to thrust the unbreakable handle of his nagaika between the jaws of the animal ; he then wraps the lash around the wolf’s nose and head. If the hounds are able to hold even a few seconds, the skilled borzatnik has had sufficient time, but there is danger even to the best. I saw an experienced man get a thumb terribly lacerated while muzzling a wolf, yet he succeeded, and in an incredibly short time. On another occasion, even before the brace of hounds had taken firm neck or ear holds, I saw a bold devil of a huntsman swing from his horse and in a twinkling lie prone upon an old wolf’s head. How this man, whose pluck I shall always admire, was able to muzzle the brute without injury to himself, and with inefficient support from his hounds is not easy to understand, though I was within a few yards of the struggle. Such skill comes from long experience, indifference to pain and, of course, pride in his profession. Having hunted foxes and hares, and having been shooting as often as the environs of Pes­chalkino and our time allowed, we changed our base to a village twenty-two versts distant over the border in the government of Yaros­lay. It was a village like all others of this grain and Its district, where the livestock and poultry shared the same roof with their owners. A family of eleven wolves had been located about three versts from it by a pair of huntsmen sent some days in advance this ex­plained our arrival.

kök

In making this change, I do not now recall that we saw a single house other than those of the peasant villages and the churches. I fancy that in the course of time these peasants may have more enlight­enment, a greater ownership in the land, and may possibly form a yeoman class. At the present the change, slow as it is, seems to point in that direction. With their limited possessions, they are happy and devoted sub­jects. The total of the interior decorations of every house consists of icons, of cheap colored pictures of the imperial family and of samo­vars. In our lodgings, the house of the village slarost, the three icons consumed a great part of the wall surface, and were burdened with decorations of various colored papers. No one has ever touched upon peasant life in Rus­sia without mentioning the enormous brick stove (lezankce.); and having on various hunts profited by them, I mean to say a word in be­half of their advantages. Even as early as the middle of September the cold, continuous rains cause the gentle warmth of the kzattha to be cordially appreciated. On it and in its vicinity all temperatures may be found. Its top offers a fine place for keeping guns, am­munition and various articles free from mois­ture, and for drying boots, while the horizon­tal abutments constitute benches well adapted to thawing out a chilled marrow, or a sleeping place for those that like that sort of thing. A generous space is also allowed for cooking pur­poses. In point of architecture there is noth­ing that can be claimed for it but stability; ex­cepting the interior upper surface of the oven, there is not a single curve to break its right lines. It harmonizes with the surroundings, and in a word answers all the requirements of the owner as well as of the hunter, who always preserves a warm remembrance of it.

Borzois

The wolves were located in a large marshy wood and, from information of the scouts based on the midnight and dawn choruses, they were reported “at home.” Accordingly we prepared for our visit with the greatest precautions. When within a verst of the proposed curved line upon which we were to take our stands with barzois, all dismounted and proceeded through the marsh on foot, making as little noise as possible. The silence was occasion­ally broken by the efforts of the barzois to slip themselves after a cur belonging to one of the peasant beaters that insisted upon seeing the sport at the most aggravating distance for a sight hound. It was finally decided to slip one good barzoi that, it was supposed, could send the vexatious animal to another hunting ground but the cur, fortunately for himself, suddenly disappeared and did not show him­self again.

After wading in miles of the marshy bog, we were at the beginning of the line of combat—if there was to be any. The posts along this line had been indicated by the chief huntsman by blazing the small pine trees or by hanging a heap of moss on them. The nine posts were established in silence along the arc of a circle at distances from each other of about 150 yards. My post was number four from the beginning. In rear of it and of the adjoining numbers a strong high cord fence was put up, because it was supposed that near this part of the line the old wolves would pass, and that the borzois might not be able to stop them. The existence of such fencing material as part of the outfit of a wolf-hunter is strong evidence of his estimate of a wolf’s strength—it speaks pages. The fence was concealed as much as possible, so that the wolf with borzois at his heels might not see it. The huntsmen sta­tioned there to welcome him on his arrival were provided with fork-ended poles, intend­ed to hold him by the neck to the ground until he was gagged and muzzled, or until he had received a fatal dagger thrust.

While we were forming the ambuscade—defensive line—the regular beaters, with 200 peasant men and women, and the fox-hounds, were forming the attack.

Everything seemed favorable except the in­cessant cold rain and wind. In our zeal to guard the usual crossings of the wolves, we ignored the direction of the wind, which the wolves, however, cleverly profited by. It could not have been very long after the hounds were let go before they fell upon the entire family of wolves, which they at once separated. The shouts and screams of the peasants, mingled with the noises of the several packs of hounds, held us in excited attention. Now and then this or that part of the pack would approach the line, and, returning, pass out of hearing in the extensive woods. The game had ap­proached within scenting distance, and, in spite of the howling in the rear, had returned to part by the right or left flank of the beaters. As the barking of the hounds came near the line, the holders of the barzois, momentarily hoping to see a wolf or wolves, waited in almost breathless expectancy. Each one was prepared with a knife to rush upon an old wolf to support his pair; but unfortunately only two wolves came to our line, and they were not two years old. They were taken at the extreme left flank, so far away that I could not even see the killing. I was disappointed, and felt that a great mistake had been made in not paying sufficient attention to the direc­tion of the wind. Where is the hunter who has not had his full share of disappointments when all prospects seemed favorable? As oft­en happens, it was the persons occupying the least favorable places who had bagged the game. They said that in one case the barzois had held the wolf splendidly until the fatal thrust; but that in the other case it had been necessary to slip a second pair before it could be taken. These young wolves were consider­ably larger than old coyotes.

wolf

So great was the forest hunted that for nearly two hours we had occupied our posts listening to the spasmodic trailing of the hounds and the yelling of the peasants. Fi­nally all the beaters and peasants reached our line, and the drive was over, with only two wolves taken from the family of eleven. Shiv­ering with cold and thoroughly drenched. we returned in haste to shelter and dry clothes. The following morning we set out on our return to Peschalkino, mounted, with the barzois, while the fox-hounds were driven along the road. We marched straight across the country in a very thin skirmish line, regard­less of fences, which were broken down and left to the owners to be repaired. By the time we had reached our destination, we had enjoyed some good sport and had taken several hares. The following morning the master of the imperial hunt, who had been kept at his estates near Moscow by illness in his family, arrived, fetching with him his horses and a number of his own hounds. We continued our hunting a number of days longer in that vicinity, both with and without fox-hounds, with varying success. Every day or two we also indulged in shooting for ptarmigan, black cocks, partridges, woodcocks and two kinds of snipe—all of which prefer the most fatiguing marshes.

One day our scouts arrived from Philipovo, twenty-six versts off, to report that another family of wolves, numbering about sixteen, had been located. The Amerikanka was sent in advance to Orodinatovo, whither we went by rail at a very early hour. This same rainy and cold autumnal landscape would be intoler­able were it not brightened here and there by the red shirts and brilliant headkerchiefs of the peasants, the noise of the flail on the dirt-floor sheds and the ever-alluring attractions of the hunt.

During this short railway journey, and on the ride to Philipovo, I could not restrain certain reflections upon the life of the people and of the proprietors of this country. It seemed on this morning that three conditions were necessary to render a permanent habi­tation here endurable: neighbors, roads and a change of latitude; of the first two there are almost none, of latitude there is far too much. To be born in a country excuses its defects, and that alone is sufficient to account for the continuance of people under even worse condi­tions than those of these governments. It is true that the soil here does not produce fruit and vegetables like the Crimean coast, and that it does not, like the black belt, “laugh with a harvest when tickled with a hoe”; yet it produces, under the present system of culti­vation, rye, and it’s sufficient to feed, clothe and pay taxes. What more could a peasant desire? With these provided his happiness is secured; how can it be called poor? With­out questioning this defense, which has been made many times in his behalf, I would simply say that he is not poor as long as a famine or plague of some sort does not arrive—and then proceed with our journey.

hunt

From Orodinatovo to Philipovo is only ten versts, but over roads still less worthy of the name than the others already traveled. The Amerikanka was drawn by four horses abreast. The road in places follows the River Leet, on which Philipovo is situated. We had expected to proceed immediately to hunt the wolves, and nearly 3. peasant men and women had been engaged to aid the hounds as beaters. They had been assembled from far and near, and were congregated in the only street of Philipovo, in front of our future quarters, to await our arrival. What a motley assembly, what brilliancy of coloring! All were armed with sticks, and carried bags or cloths containing their rations of rye bread swung from the shoulders, or around the neck and over the back. How many pairs of boots were hung over the shoulders? Was it really the custom to wear boots on the shoulders? In any case it was de rigueur that each one show that he or she possessed such a luxury as a good pair of high top boots; but it was not a luxury to be abused or recklessly worn out. Their sys­tem of foot-gear has its advantages in that the same pair may be used by several members of a family, male and female alike.

It was not a pleasure for us to hear that the wolves had been at home at twilight and midnight, but were not there at dawn; much less comforting was this news to those peasants living at great distances who had no place near to pass the night. The same informa­tion was imparted the following day and the day following, until it began to appear doubt­ful whether we could longer delay in order to try for this very migratory pack.

Our chances of killing old wolves depended largely upon this drive, for it was doubtful whether we would make an attack upon the third family, two days distant from our quar­ters. Every possible precaution was taken to make it a success. I was, however, impressed with the fact that the most experienced mem­bers of the hunting party were the least san­guine about the old wolves.

hunters

Some one remarked that my hunting knife, with a six-inch blade, was rather short, and asked if I meant to try and take an old wolf. My reply was in the affirmative, for my inten­tions at that stage were to try anything in the form of a wolf. At this moment one of the land proprietors, who had joined our party, offered to exchange knives with me, saying that he had not the slightest intention of at­tacking a wolf older than two years, and that my knife was sufficient for that. I accepted his offer.

At a very early hour on this cold rainy au­tumnal morning we set out on our way to the marshy haunts of the game. Our party had just been reinforced by the arrival of the com­mander of the Empress’s Chevalier Guard regiment, an ardent sportsman, with his dogs. All the available fox-hounds, sixty in number, were brought out, and the three peasants counted off. The latter were keen, not only because a certain part of them had sportsman­like inclinations, but also because each one re­ceived thirty copecks for participation in the drive. Besides this, they were interested in the extermination of beasts that were living upon their livestock.

The picture at the start was more than worthy of the results of the day, and it remains fresh in my mind. The greater portion of the peasants were taken in charge by the chid beater, with the hounds, while the others followed along with us and the barzois. Silence was enforced upon all. The line of posts was established as before, except that more care was exercised. Each principal post, where three barzois were held on leash, was strengthened by a man with a gun loaded with buck­shot. The latter had instructions not to fire upon a wolf younger than two years, and not even upon an older one, until it was manifest that the barzois and their holder were unequal to the task.

Royal

My post was a good one, and my three dogs were apparently keen for anything. At the slightest noise they were ready to drag me off my feet through the marsh. Thanks to the nagazka, I was able to keep them in hand. One of the trio was well known for his grit in attacking wolves, the second was considered fair, while the third, a most promising two­ year-old, was on his first wolf-hunt. Sup­ported by these three dogs, the long knife of the gentleman looking for young wolves and the yellow cuirassier officer with his shotgun, I longed for some beast that would give a strug­gle. The peasants accompanying us were posted out on each flank of our line, extending it until the extremities must have been sepa­rated by nearly two miles.

The signal was given, and hunters, peasants and hounds rushed into the woods. Almost instantly we heard the screams and yells of the nearest peasants, and in a short time the faint barking of the fox-hounds. As the sounds became more audible, it was evident that the hounds had split into three packs—conclusive that there were at Its three wolves. My chances were improving, and I was arranging my dogs most carefully, that they might be slipped evenly. My knife, too, was within con­venient grasp, and the fox-hounds were point­ing directly to me. Beastly luck! I saw my neighbor, the hunter of young wolves, slip his barzois, and like a flash they shot through the small pine trees, splashing as they went. From my point of view they had fallen upon an ani­mal that strongly resembled one of themselves. In reality it was a yearling wolf, but he was making it interesting for the barzois as well as for all who witnessed the sight. The strug­gle did not last long, for soon two of the bar­zois had fastened their long teeth in him—one at the base of the ear, the other in the throat. Their holder hastened to the struggle, about 100 yards from his post, and with my knife gave the wolf the coup de grace. His dogs had first sighted the game, and therefore had the priority of right to the chase. So long as the game was in no danger of escaping, no neighboring dogs should be slipped. His third barzoi, on trial for qualifications as a wolf-hound, did not render the lea aid. Part of the fox-hounds were still running, and there was yet chance that my excited dogs might have their turn.

hunter

We waited impatient­ly until all sounds had died away and until the beaters had reached our line when further in­dulgence of hope was useless. Besides the above, the fox-hounds had caught and killed a yearling in the woods; and Colonel Dietz had taken with his celebrated Malodiets, aided by another dog, a two-year-old. What had be­come of the other wolves and where were most of the hounds? Without waiting to solve these problems, we collected what we could of our outfit and returned to Philipovo, leaving the task of finding the dogs to the whippers-in. The whys and wherefores of the hunt were thoroughly discussed at dinner, and it was agreed that most of the wolves had passed to the rear between the beaters. It was found out that the peasants, when a short distance in the woods, had through fear formed into squads instead of going singly or in pairs. This did not, however, diminish the disappoint­ment at not taking at least one of the old ones. The result of this drive logically brought up the question of the best way to drive game. In certain districts of Poland deer are driven from the line of posta and the same can be said about successful Moose hunts of Northern Russia. Perhaps that way may also be better for wolves.After careful consideration of the hunting situation we were unanimous in prefering hare and fox with both Foxhounds and Barzois or with the latter alone, at discretion, to the uncertainty of wolfhunting; so we decided to change our locality. Accordingly, in the following day we proceeded in the Amerikankato the town of Koy, 25 versts distant.

Hunters

We arrived about noon and were quartered in a vacant house in the large yard of Madame Ponamaroff. Our retinue of huntsmen, dogs, horses, ambulance and wagons arrived an hour later.

There was no more wolf-hunting.

Henry T. Allen

 

 

 

Durassov kennels

Peter Feodrovich Durassov (1835 – 1894), was a famous borzoi breeder in Russia. He was the son of Senator F. Durassov, in 1884 Equerry (Chief of stables) at the highest court, a wealthy nobleman – he owned 38 000 ha of land in six governments, factories and two houses in the Royal Village, Tsarskoje Selo. 

Russian name: Ца́рское Село́,  “Tsar’s Village” was the town containing the former Russian residence of the imperial family and visiting nobility, located 24 kilometers,15 miles south from the center of Saint Petersburg.[1] It is now part of the town of Pushkin.

Dourasoff

 

 

In 1873, Peter Fedorovich was re-married to young Alexandra Fyodorovna Yermolov (no connection to the borzoi hunter Yermolov) and the spouses settled at the Durassov estate, which was in the Karsunski county in the village of Old Zinovjevka  in the Simbirsk province. There were about seven thousand acres of land and large stables. Borzoi became Alexandra Durassova’s domain but both spouses were honorary members of the society to promote the hunting dogs. At the end of 1880 and early 1890’s, the Durassov borzoi participated repeatedly in exhibitions and field trials where they showed good results. In 1889 at the XV exhibition in Moscow, Durassov exhibited 18 Borzoi, of which 2 got a big silver Medal, 9 small silver Medals, 4 Bronze Medals and 3 HC prizes. A few borzois from this group were bought by Grand Duke Nicholas Nikolaievich.

In 1891 the Grand Duke paid 250 rubles for the black Gornostai and the white with fawn markings, Uteschai. Both had excellent running qualities in the field. He also bought Serdetchnij.

 

A few of the Durassov borzoi, bought by the Perchino hunt in the previous year, were in 1892 sent by the Grand Duke to be exhibited at the Crufts show in England, where they were sold: Oudar to the Duchess of Newcastle for 200 pounds, Zlobny to A.Morrisson and Zmeika to Mr.Krehl.

Oudar

In 1895, the Russian exhibition “Horse-breeding and Ethnography of Russia ” was held in Paris. In the journal ” The Russian Hunter ” (1895-14) it was written that the Durassov hunt (of the late Peter Fedorovich ) sent a full borzoi team.

After the exhibition, some dogs from the Durassov Hunt, (Dogonjai, Nalet, Sudarka, Strelok, Krasavtchik) were sold.

During the 1890s many Durassov borzois were used as stud dogs at Perchino.

Krasavtchik (pictured belov) was in 1894 owned by Mr.Jameson in France. It seems that Krasavtchik sired a litter of only one, Wicky, who in her turn had a litter of one, Rogdai. Unfortunately it all seems to end there!

 

kras

 

 

 

(Picture of Krasavtchik, courtesy of Andrus Kozlov)

 

 

 

 

Artem Konstantinovich Boldareff

 

Artem K. Boldareff, a great Russian land owner of the late 19th century, is known to be a great meritorious hunter and breeder of Borzoi in this period. He owned a group of renowned Borzoi and his breeding “Woronzova” (named after his estate) saw the birth of many quality borzoi. He is known for his preference for light colored Borzois …

Some of the borzoi were exported to U.S.A. (O’Valley Farm kennel) and we find the origins of Boldareff borzoï in a number of European pedigrees of the past, a priori, there was little direct imports (one in France – Zmïeïka born in 1904, by Henri Teissonnière, and at least one in England – Likhoda Woronzova, by Mrs. Musgrave).

Artem K. Boldareff was a soldier. He became a close friend to Grand Duke Nicholas Nicolayevich when he was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Imperial Armies in August 1914. A fervent admirer of the Grand Duke, he shared of his own choice the captivity of the Grand Duke and his family, held by the Bolsheviks in Crimea from March 1917 to April 1919 … He also followed the Grand Duke and members of his suite when they left for exile in 1919, first to Italy , then to France.

Regularly, the amateurs of Barzoïs met him at the exhibition of Tuileries in Paris. Highly educated, speaking and writing French perfectly, he was the editor with the Counts, the Cheremeteff brothers, of the first standard of Borzoi, set up in Western Europe in 1924. He also judged the barzoïs in Belgium and Holland.

Artem K. Boldareff is still familiar to us today because he wrote for “Hunting and Fishing” (the famous hunting magazine of the time published in Belgium) many articles and chronicles dealing with the Borzoi and its history. His stories helped to enrich our knowledge of the breed in his country of origin and its use … With his wife, Maria Alexeyevna Boldareff, they were in regular contact with most of the first great breeders of barzoïs outside Russia, and especially Mr and Mrs Beernaerts (Belgium,breeding of de Zwaenhoek)

Artem K. Boldareff died at the end of the year 1930, a little more than a year after the Grand Duke Nicholas Nicolayevich.

Author : Danielle Laurent-Faure
(french – english translation and adaption, Dan Persson)