SORTING OUT THREE ELEMENTS OF BREED TYPE
On movement, there is no doubt; Borzoi are bred to move.
MOVEMENT On movement, there is no doubt; Borzoi are bred to move. Efficient, ground-covering movement has always been a virtue. We are not talking about TRAD (Tremendous Reach and Drive), but a smooth and powerful gait. Borzoi had to follow the nobles on horseback, over very long distances, to the hunting grounds. Once there, they still had to have enough energy to do their job. A short stride or pounding movement is inefficient, leading to dogs that break down or have no stamina once on the field. Short hocks and strong, but springy, pasterns provide sound running gear. Borzoi have hare feet, never splayed. These flexible hounds need strong toplines that can extend in both a convex and a concave arch, to accomplish the double suspension gallop; simply stated, a topline rising at the loin in a graceful curve.
It is interesting that seventy percent of the verbiage in the stan- dard relates directly to movement. In the show ring, a trot is as good as you will get to evaluate movement and, if you do see the double suspension gallop, it would be because the Borzoi escaped its owner's grasp and headed across the fairgrounds to chase some small game that caught its eye. Years ago, in the ring next to the Borzoi judging, Anne Rogers Clark started yelling and was seen scooping up her Toy Poodle with both arms. Looking across the ring, we were shocked to see a Borzoi that had caught sight of the Poodle entry and decided the hunt was on. Back in the Borzoi ring, a well-known handler was obliviously looking in the opposite direction, with an empty lead blowing in the wind. Mrs. Clark was not amused, but we were all surprised to see that you can do a double suspension gallop in the Toy ring.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR For over 35 years, Jon Titus Steele and his wife, Jenni, have bred Borzoi under the Auroral prefix. Auroral Borzoi have been awarded BIS show, Top-Ten, MBISS, Group, Specialty, and Westminster winners. In 2007, Borzoi bred and owned by Auroral have retired the Carol Ann Stell Challenge Trophy, Insight Trophy, Dr. Charles Connelly Trophy, Stepplands Trophy and the Rogbori Trophy. Jon was nominated for ”Owner Handler of the Year” for Dogs in Review magazine, and both Jon & Jenni have been awarded both the Service and Breeder awards from the Midwest Borzoi Club (MBC). The current generation of Borzoi are now fifth generation of Best in Specialty winners. For well over a decade, Jon has been the Borzoi Columnist for the AKC Gazette. He has also served as Board Member and President of the Midwest Borzoi Club, Regional Govenor and AKC Delagate for the Borzoi Club of America (BCOA). Jon is also a founding member of the Michigan Hound Association. Jon is approved to judge the Hound Group, half of the Toy Group, Juniors, and Best in Show. Some of the highlights of his judging career are the Borzoi Club of America National, the Otterhound Club of America National, the Afghan Hound Club of America Top-20, and the Basenji Club of America Top-20. Jon’s judging assignments have taken him to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Great Britain, and Sweden.
SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, SPRING EDITION | 233
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