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A Brief History of the Saluki in Queensland **Updated**

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A Brief History of the Saluki in Queensland **Updated**
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By Kathryn E. McKay 2007

Updated 13th October, 2008

wildrain-of-daxlore.jpg
Aust Ch Wildrain of Daxlore

This article is a brief collation of information about the history of the saluki in Queensland. It is based on historical records, personal knowledge and interviews. I would like to thank Ian Rasmussen, Erin Brown, Penny Dunkley and Margaret Davis for their invaluable help in providing information for this article. I apologise to anyone who may have inadvertently been omitted from this article and welcome further information if anyone has any to share.

 

The First Litters – 1950s

The first record of saluki litters born in Queensland comes from 1956. Mr R.G. Crane bred two litters under the Choonda prefix. A bitch from each of these litters was registered and shown. In 1957, another saluki litter was registered in the state, this one under L. Wooderson’s Zahzami prefix. This is where the trail ends. There are no more records of salukis being born in Queensland until the 1970s.

 

Early Imports – 1970s

Erin Brown (Quanmarra) was a pioneer importer of English-bred Salukis to Queensland. In the early 1970s, Erin imported three salukis from the legendary Daxlore Kennels owned by Mrs E Skelton-Fortune. The first to arrive was the beautiful cream bitch, CH Wildrain of Daxlore (UK). Wildrain was by CH Yazid Burydown Yehudi from CH Wildrose of Daxlore. She became the dam of two Quanmarra litters, the first by CH Orpheus El Saluq, the second by CH Rosepetal of Daxlore, both English imports to Australia. Wildrain’s litter by Orpheus El Saluq, included three champion bitches: the silver grizzle Quanmarra Arwen, the pale gold Quanmarra Ingold, and the cream Quanmarra Lobelia.

 

Erin’s second import was another cream, this time the dog CH Rosepetal of Daxlore. His father was the well-known UK Champion Starflight Scimitar, out of another Daxlore bitch, Wildthyme of Daxlore. He sired three Quanmarra litters the first from CH Wildrain of Daxlore. This litter included the cream dog CH Quanmarra Oberon and the cream bitch CH Quanmarra Bianca.  He was put over a bitch from the Idleacres kennels, CH Idleacres Autumn Gold, for his second litter for Quanmarra. This litter included CH Quanmarra Odyn (a pale gold dog) and CH Quanmarra Siguna (a cream bitch).  The third litter was from CH Quanmarra Arwen that included the bitches, CH Quanmarra Nyneve and CH Quanmarra Colombe, and the silver grizzle dog, CH Quanmarra Pendragon.

 

Rosepetal was also a highly successful show dog. In the late 1970s, he was Best of Breed at the Sydney Royal Show with an entry of around 80 salukis.

 

These two early imports feature in the extended pedigrees of a number of Queensland and interstate salukis. Erin’s third Daxlore import was CH Stardust of Daxlore (UK) by Starflight Adonis from CH Skybelle of Daxlore.

 

Margaret Davis (Russkimir borzois) was another person who brought a UK saluki to Queensland. In the early 1970s, she brought the English-bred dog, CH Bedouin El Zahran to the state. This grizzle dog was by CH Burydown Valmiki from Bedouin Damaris. Under the Zadahan prefix she bred Bedouin El Zahran to CH Kiabe Yanina. This litter produced champions including the red and white dog CH Zadahan Zebedee, the grizzle bitches, CH Zadahan Zuleika Ziadzar, and CH Zadahan Zobeida Zanziba, and the grizzle dog CH Zadahan Zang Zadan.  CH Bedouin El Zahran sired seven litters that included several best in show winners.

 

The 1980s and Beyond

In the 1980s, Erin Brown and Penny Dunkley acquired the grizzle bitch, Mumtaz Tosca. This bitch was bred by Mrs Z Rawson in the UK and was by Bequinette Brother Bey from CH Mumtaz Topaz. Tosca was put to Akhdar Wahid Ragel and produced a litter for Quanmarra that included the cream dog CH Quanmarra Corish.

 

In the early 1990s, the first American import came to Queensland. He was the black and cream dog, CH Schwanhild Arabesque Feyaat (USA). He was by Schwanhild Bess’s Redtail, from Schwanhild Ach El Arab Zippar and bred by Mrs U Henderson. Feyaat spent some time at the Quanmarra kennels and produced a litter for them. This litter was from Quanmarra Bai Jai and included the champion Quanmarra Scarlett Ohara, a grizzle and white bitch.

 

A New Century

In the early 2000s, Mrs Christine Stevens imported the English dog CH Kasaque Kaenra ET Fch. He was from the well-known English kennel Kasaque, owned by C and H Williams and was by Kasaque Homage from Kasaque Isesi. He sired the Naadirah litter from Khamseh Shahieda in 2004. This litter included the dogs CH Naadirah Vega and CH Naadirah Kalil and the bitches CH Naadirah Noya and CH Naadirah Zafina.

 

In mid 2008 a pretty smooth bitch arrived in Queensland from the Kasaque Kennels in England. Mrs Stephens imported the fawn bitch Kasaque Neepawa (Eng CH Kasaque Jimna - Caspians L'aliq Avec Kasaque. She is the first smooth imported directly to Queensland to my knowledge.

 

Early Kennels and Exhibitors

In 1957 the first saluki was shown at the Brisbane Royal National Show. It was the bitch Choonda Bab El Yemen (Nova Zembla Hamurrabi x Nova Zelma Nofrititi). No Challenge was awarded. It was not until 1970 that another saluki was exhibited at the Brisbane Royal. This was the bitch Krishna Caprice (Aust CH Mazuri Cassalonda (imp Eng) x Krishna Abracadabra), owned by Mr & Mrs C E Bacon. Again no challenge was awarded.

 

The 1970s and 1980s were golden eras for salukis in Queensland. There were a number of active kennels and for a comparatively rare breed; salukis were well represented at shows. The first challenge certificate was awarded to the New South Wales bred Aust CH Nejib Ben Bahry (Aust CH Krishna Belshazzar x Krishna Abracadabra) in 1972.

 

There was also an active social club that held its own point score competition. Salukis participated at exhibition track races in-between regular greyhound races. It was in 1985 that the first and only saluki (to date) won Best in show at the Brisbane Royal. She was the beautiful Victorian-bred cream bitch CH Laaman Khamse Asl owned by Bruce and Bev Cornish. 

 

In 1981, the Margaret Davis bred dog CH Zadahan Zebedee won the Victorian Saluki Specialty Show. In the mid 1980s another Queensland-bred dog, Quanmarra Taran owned by Ian Rasmussen, also won the Victorian Specialty Show.

 

There were several kennels breeding and actively promoting salukis in Queensland during this time. June Marsh bred several litters under the Taamirah prefix, including two sired by the English import CH Bedouin El Zahran. Erin Brown and Penny Dunkley’s Quanmarra bred several litters that produced top winning dogs based on Ms Brown’s original imports lines. Margaret Davis was another strong exhibitor with her Zadahan prefix.

 

Goldeen Williams bred seven litters under her El Zahran prefix. This included two by CH Bedouin El Zahran. She bred several best in show winners during this time.  In North Queensland, Clarice Keal bred six litters under the Ybara prefix at Mareeba. Ian Rasmussen and Phillip Bennett established Ahmadi Kennels during this period, as did Lenny Ireland with her Khamseh prefix. 

 

Ahmadi has produced multiple best in show winners through the years, including one of the most successful salukis ever in Australia, Ahmadi My Name Is Jack, in the 1990s. When “Jack” retired, at age six, he had 52 Best in Show and Runner up Best in Show wins to his credit. He has a long list of accolades to his name including 80+ Best in Groups, Best Exhibit in Group Brisbane Royal and BOB Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne Royals. He has proved an exceptional sire, with one of his most successful sons being Gr CH Willowmist The Hijacker.

 

Lenny Ireland was another top exhibitor and breeder of five litters under the Khamseh prefix and owned best in show winning dogs. Breeding under the Seldura prefix, Doreen Woolston produced six litters and Mrs W. Wallace’s Sunlure produced four litters.

 

Other breeders and exhibitors included Mrs G Hall’s Nosilla kennels, Lorenne Ockenfels’s Almaza salukis, Bruce and Bev Cornish’s Ricochez kennels, Saloojking produced three litters for Rosemary Kingsman, and Gazehund used the imported English dog Gospodin Daquasse for one of its litters. Several other prefixes bred salukis during this period in Queensland including Simoom, Zukeisha, Yabokeni, Ungava, Tarrawhary and Taizz.

 

Of these early kennels, only Quanmarra and Ahmadi are still actively involved in the breed in Queensland. Ian Rasmussen said that in the early days it was very difficult to win a best in show with a saluki. “They were counted as a rare breed, but dogs still were able to take out best in Show honours,” Ian said. “Even now they’re really only a minority breed, but despite this salukis still feature prominently in the top line-ups,” he said. Ian said Queensland bred salukis have also done well in interstate saluki specialty shows under renowned International saluki specialists. 

 

Around 75 litters were registered in Queensland up till the early 1990s.

 

The 1990s and into the future.

The 1990s has seen a drop in the number of salukis in Queensland. Despite a number of new prefixes being registered, there has been a dramatic decline in salukis being exhibited at shows, compared with the breed’s heyday in the 1970s and 1980s. Some of these new prefixes include Willowmist, owned by Kathryn McKay and Alex Webster, Andrea Leaman’s Izami kennels, Frances Rieck’s Ashrose Kennels, Nichol Kaye’s (nee Towell) Minuki prefix and Maureen and Greg Mannix’s El Baraka (not to be confused with Mr and Mrs T Weekes early Elbaraka prefix in Victoria), Jeff Hart and Jana Pearson Bullstone Kennels, Lynda Dunn’s Beklyn prefix, Linda Evans’ Zipalong Kennels, and Naadirah kennels owned by Teresa Bowman. 

 

One of the shining stars of the late 1990s and early 2000s is Grand CH Willowmist The Hijacker. Bred by Kathryn McKay and Alex Webster and owned by Robin Slade and Ian Rasmussen, “Jacques” was the number 1 saluki in Australia in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005. His show career netted 97 Best in Groups and 46 Best in Show, or Runner up Best in Show wins. At Australian Royal Shows, he was Best of Breed in Brisbane 4 times, BOB at Sydney once, Best in Group at Melbourne Royal, BOB at Toowoomba Royal 3 times going on to best in group once, BOB at Darwin twice, going on to runner up Best in Show once and runner up Best in Group once and finally he was BOB once at the Canberra Royal and went on to be runner up Best in Group.

 

From Lenny Ireland’s Khamseh Kennels came the beautiful red bitch MBIS Gr CH Khamseh Inooshah. Owned by Tony and Cathy Smith of Catonam Kennels in NSW, some of her wins included BIS at the Saluki Club of Victoria Championship Shows in 2002 and 2003, and BIS at the 2003 Sunbury Canine Club show, one of the largest events on the Australian show dog calendar.

 

A New Millennium

The 2000s has seen Queensland salukis exported to Japan for the first time. The Queensland-bred Ahmadi Hi Five quickly gained his Japanese Championship and is one of Japan’s top winning salukis. He had the honour of being the Number 1 winning saluki in Japan in 2006. The cream bitch Willowmist Heart N Soul is another recent export to Japan. She is already showing her worth by completing her title in a very short time after her arrival in Japan. These two creams are examples of the international quality of salukis bred in Queensland.

 

A tri colour male puppy, Quanmarra Saahir,  was exported to Dr Hasnul Ismail in Malaysia in 2007. Sired by Aust Gr CH Willowmist the Hijacker, from Taejaan Hocus Pocus, Saahir performed well at the 255th & 256th MKA Championship Shows. He won 2 reserve in Group 4, 2 Best Puppy in Group 4 and 2 Best Puppy in Show.

 

An exciting AI litter was born in November 2007 to the cream Aust CH Ahmadi Heart N Soul. The father is the acclaimed American Ch Gemini Phaeton Herb Diener. Ahmadi Kennel's Ian Rasmussen and Phillip Bennett bred this litter. An all cream litter, the offspring are already proving their worth taking out major prizes from minor puppy and puppy class.

 

A son from the litter, Ahmadi To Sir With Luv (AI) has been exported to the US. He won Best in Winners at the Hound Show in New York at a tender eight months old. He then went on to win Best of Winners for a major and Best of Opposite in the Sweepstakes at the Garden State Saluki Specialty at 10 months old.

 

References:

Salukis of Australia and New Zealand, compiled by the Saluki Club of Victoria (including all supplements).

 

Arabesque – Saluki Club of Queensland magazines.

 

Heritage – Borzoi and Saluki Club of Queensland magazines.

 

Dogz Online – Australia’s Online Pure Breed Dog Community.