Borzoi Breed Magazine - Showsight

Reflections on Borzoi Type BY PRUDENCE G. HLATKY W e breeders, judges and exhibitors are entrusted with preserving Borzoi, a breed that was created centuries ago. To do this we need to know and understand the history and function of Borzoi. This article is not going to discuss and debate individual aspects of a Borzoi’s conformation, but rather look at some historic pre- revolutionary hunting Borzoi and modern day Open Field Cours- ing (OFC) Borzoi. Modern day OFC Borzoi were selected as very few judges and breeders get to see modern Borzoi doing work as it was originally intended. Anne Rogers Clark once said to beware of a drag in breed type, a drift in breed type. A past Borzoi Club of America Member Educa- tion presentation was about “Changing the Breed through Stealth”. Three highly respected breeder judges, Nadine Johnson—Rising Star Borzoi, Pat Murphy—Oaklara Borzoi, and Helen Lee—Sav- ladai Borzoi presented. Both Annie and our respected mentors were For additional Borzoi information and mentors: Borzoi Club of America Publications AKC Gazette Columns Judges Mentor list Thank you to Yvonne McGehee and Karen Ackerman for providing the photos of modern Open Field Coursing (OFC) Borzoi and Yvonne for the Kazakhstan hunting photos.

highlighting the importance of staying true to breed type and not drifting into flavor of the month. It’s back to the old form versus function debate. Looking at Bor- zoi in a ring or in your backyard, can that Borzoi, do the function for which it was created? Borzoi are one of the fastest, most agile, strongest and graceful dogs ever created. Are you looking at one? The AKC Borzoi Standard states: “The Borzoi was originally bred for the coursing of wild game on more or less open terrain, relying on sight rather than scent. To accomplish this purpose, the Borzoi needed particular structural qualities to chase and hold his quarry. Special emphasis was placed on sound running gear, strong neck and jaws, courage and agility, combined with proper condi- tion. The Borzoi should always possess unmistakable elegance with flowing lines, graceful in motion or repose. Males, masculine with- out coarseness; bitches feminine and refined.” Does the Borzoi in front of you fit this description?

left: Gold Medal Hunting Team (Wolf) Korotai, Zarladi and Kassatka. Korotai was rated as a Gold Medal dog. Very few golds were awarded. This is a typical hunting team of two dogs and one bitch.

below: Bringing the Gatchina Borzoi to the Meet

From the original Borzoi book, Observations of Borzoi by Joseph B. Thomas pub. 1912 above left: Ancient type dog; above right: Ancient type bitch


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