Rancho Gabriel Borzoi
by Bonnie Dalzell, 1999
much of this information is from The Borzoi Action Gazette.
Rancho Gabriel was the kennel name used by Lyle and Phydelma Gillette, Borzoi breeders in California. Their involvement with the breed began in the 1950's and extended for more than 35 years into the 1990's.

Lyle Gillete with
Borzoi Ch's Deucalion and Garcon of Rancho Gabriel
The Gillette's interest included not only show dogs but also the functional coursing hound. They were instrumental in the founding of the Pacheco Hunt, in which open field coursing after jack rabbits was practiced, and also in the development of a program of lure coursing, which ultimately led to the development of ASFA (the American Sighthound Field Association) and finally the AKC Lure Coursing program.

    A search of my Borzoi Heritage Pedigree database reveals the following "stud book" statistics:
  • The first litter registered with the "Rancho Gabriel" suffix was whelped 6-10-1955 and was the litter that produced Aida of Rancho Gabriel, dam of Ch Hollister of Rancho Gabriel as well as a number of other titled dogs.
  • The last litter with the "Racho Gabriel" suffix was whelped 5-10-1992 and contained Rancho Gabriel Ovation and Whirlwind of Rancho Gabriel.
  • The last litter with Ch titled dogs was the next to last litter, whelped 10-31-1990 and included Ch Rancho Gabriel Magic Raven and Ch Rancho Gabriel Magic Vixen, both females. Raven herself has produced a litter.

Phydelma edited the Borzoi Action Gazette, the Magazine of the Mission Trail Borzoi Club, for many years. The magazine is full of her essays on the Borzoi as a functional coursing hound. Her writings were collected together into a book Life with Borzoi which was first published in 1977 by Hoflin Publishing Ltd. The book was reprinted by Hoflin in 1986. One of the unique photos in the book, on page 90, is a photo of a Borzoi with "too much coat". This reflects the author's experience with working hounds as well as show dogs. This book is an excellent introduction to the Borzoi breed from the point of view of a breeder active in the coursing field as well as the show ring. I reccommend it.

The Gillettes began their breeding program with a group of related dogs and inbred their stock for a number of years. This trend culminated with Ch White Eagle of Rancho Gabriel and his littermates born in May of 1968. These dogs had coefficients of inbreeding of 41.77 % (a full brother sister breeding gives a coefficient of inbreeding of only 25%). These inbred dogs were of a distinct type with curly but silky coats and a distinctive head type that was liked by some breeders and disliked by others. In color the dogs were white to cream. Looking over the many pictures of these Rancho Gabriel dogs who did succeed in the coursing field we see balanced dogs with a good deal of leg under them and moderate toplines. They look fit and fast. Phydelma emphasized in her writings that the best of their coursing dogs were within the size range of the original American standard 28 to 32 for dogs and two inches less for bitches.

From 1967 to 1972 the Australian import Borzoi Elfield's Flight Master was prominent in their breeding program. In 1969 they bred another outcrossed litter sired by the Dutch Borzoi International Ch Troyka v Borjoschka bred to Am Ch Whirling's Celeste of Malora. A great many of these pups went on to win Championships. I saw the Lau's "Kodak" ( Ch Otto Newmar of Rancho Gabriel ) of this breeding, in the flesh. He was a lovely dog.

picture of
the Borzoi Ch Perchotins Byankaj Gabriel
Ch Perchotin's Byankaj Gabriel

Impressed by the litter out of Whirling's Celeste of Malora that produced "Kodak" (Ch Otto Newmar of Rancho Gabriel) and his littermates, the Gilletes imported two littermates , males, from Holland. These dogs were Perchotin's Bojar Gabriel and Ch Perchotin's Byankaj Gabriel. They were sired by Troyka v Borjoshka and were whelped in 1973. Byankaj was used by a nymber of different breeder as a sire from 1974 to 1980. Bojar was used in Rancho Gabriel breedings from 1975 through 1977.

After the introduction of these various outcrosses, the heads changed somewhat, many collie marked, darker dogs were produced and many dogs appeared with wavy and straighter coats. The kennel continued to produce some dogs that were outstanding in the coursing field who are descendend from Borzoi resulting from the blend of centerline Rancho Gabriel, Australian and Dutch Borzoi.

Due to the absence of magazines with national circulation and also the cost of travel, the Borzoi fancy was much more regionalized in the past than it is today. Part of the purpose of these historical pages is to give today's fancier's some idea what the breed was like in the days when only 200 puppies a year were being registered with the AKC.

Specials Class at the Borzoi Club of Northern California Specialty
Judge Rayne Phyl Gillette handling Ch. Hollister of Rancho Gabriel (male) Lyle Gillette handling Ch Obvorozevat Laska of Alpine (female) Johnny Johnson handling Ch. Garsova Ivanova of Alpine CD (Gillette) (female) Bill Thompson handling Ch. Solentse Ternovek of Alpine CD (Gillette) (male) Phyllis Johnson handling Ch. Mythe Marova of Alpine (Potter) Carla Alioshin handling Ch Zvezda Petrovna of Alpine (female) Genevieve Pitcook handling Ch. Yermak's Ekaterina (female) Dixie Bilodeau handling Ch. Zlato of River Ranch (male)
This picture was among some photographs I obtained when I purchased a box of photos that had once belonged to the Everharts of Trezor Borzoi. It is an interesting picture for many reasons. One of which is that it contains not only Ch Hollister of Rancho Gabriel and his owners, but also the Borzoi from Bobbye Potter's Alpine kennels who were the foundation Borzoi for Rancho Gabriel.
    Additional documents on this site about Rancho Gabriel Borzoi.
  • El Jaco of Rancho Gabriel, the FIRST Borzoi to be awarded the ASFA Lure Field Championship title.
  • A list of Rancho Gabriel Borzoi in the Dalzell Database. This lists the dogs alphabeitcally and includes the titless parents, color and birthdate, where known by me.
  • Pedigree of Hollister of Rancho Gabriel
  • An alphabetical list of 7 generations of descendents of Hollister of Rancho Gabriel (over 3000 Borzoi). Is an ancestor of your Borzoi in this list. I was going to make it current but I had a list over 10,000 Borzoi long !.

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