Home of quality Siberian Huskies for over 35 years
At the age of 10, I sealed my destiny. When I crossed the Forth Bridge in Scotland my Mother told me to throw a penny in the water and make a wish and one day it will come true. My wish was to own and have many dogs to love. Well, it certainly worked!
My Husband Frank, and myself started married life with two wonderful dogs. Dusty, a Finnish Spitz cross (pictured left), and Heidi, an English Setter cross. They meant everything to us, but I really hankered for a pure-bred I could show. I had been going to Crufts every year since I could walk, and I told myself that, one day, I will breed something that will go Best of Breed there, if it takes me a lifetime!We researched so many breeds. I was, however, very attracted to Spitz types, but knew our Finnish Spitz cross would not tolerate that type. In the end, it was the beauty and gregarious character of the Afghan Hound that held me under their spell, and, to this end, we set to work to find a suitable breeder, with some good typy lines of excellent temperament.
My Husband Frank is pictured here with Dusty, Heidi, Storm and the Tibetan Terrier, Ming. By chance, I saw an advert in Our Dogs for a litter out of CH WAZIR OF DESERTAIRE, a son of AM &CAN CH CROWNCREST MR UNIVERSE. I knew from my research that Wazir was a dog highly esteemed and he had won so much, so I seized the opportunity to see the litter. I had always wanted a black masked golden, but on seeing the litter, I instantly fell for a black and silver. She moved like a dream even at 10 wks. We couldn't resist her and took her home.
RAJARANI came into being in the sixties. You could take out an affix for life, so that is what I did. Rajarani is a place in Afghanistan. It was re-born in the UK, and my first Afghan became STORM CREST OF RAJARANI (below). We had a reasonable measure of success with our Afghans, but bringing human babies into the equation made things difficult. In the seventies, it was not like it is today, with all the facilities at shows, good roads (it used to take us 6hrs to get to Devon from Hampshire), to facilitate quick travel etc. Therefore, I had to content myself with mainly Open Shows, and just a few Championship shows.
Frank with the Afghans
Pictured middle and top right above is Storm Crest of Rajarani. She was eventually bred to CH RANJITSINHJI OF JAGAI (above left). He was the greatest showman ever, and went on to win the Hound Group at Crufts. She had 11 pups, and they were outstanding. 5 of them went on to win at many shows. The most spectacular, RAJARANI SCHERAZADE, we lost at a very early age with a stroke. We were devastated. Over the ensuing years we acquired some top lines, having AJMAN SHAHBARHARAN from Misses Keen & McKenzie and several SHEMSUKI dogs from Vi Gilligan. Alas,the Afghan boom erupted and ended up rescuing many hounds. Working as a veterinary nurse I saw so many being brought by people just wanting to get rid of them. Bought as status symbols, when they performed their original function as a sight hound, people could not be bothered. Nor could they be bothered to groom their beautiful long coats. What a sorry state some of them were! We decided, albeit reluctantly, that when we lost all ours, we would not pursue Afghans anymore. This was in the late seventies.
Brunette pictured handling one of the Afghans in 1969
In the years that followed our 2 boys, Krystyan and Damian were little lads, rather than babies and we were persuaded into having a Cocker Spaniel from a friend of ours of Grangehill Cockers, and as I had been quite ill, I decided this was about the right size. We had numerous top quality Cockers over the years. The solid reds and blacks were of the Broomleaf Kennels of Kay Doxford and some were from Lochranza bred to Astrawin lines . We met Poppy Becker at Kay's kennels. Her Olanza Kennels was very well known. The parti colours were from Cardamine lines and Molly Robinson's Craigleiths. We also had some from Perrytree lines. With all these outstanding lines, we did breed some beautiful Spaniels, though we did not campaign them very much. We spent more time campaigning our Siamese cats, of which we've bred numerous Champions. I am the Vice President of The Tabby Pointed Siamese Cat Society, having been the Chairman for more years than I care to remember.We had a lot of fun with our Cockers. They are a fantastic breed. It seems really odd now to be without a Cocker!
In the early eighties, I was getting the strong urge to really dedicate my time to campaigning a breed again, and decided to go back to my original love - the Spitz breeds. But, oh, where to look? Sled dogs were few and far between, unlike now. I managed to get in touch with a lady who had a couple of Eskimo Dogs, but she told me that she didn't think I wanted an Eskimo, as the breed I was describing was more a kin to a Siberian Husky. She gave me Lynn Harrison's number. Lynn, of Brushbow fame, was SO helpful and when she knew the number of years I had been in dogs, and had studied medicine and genetics, she actively encouraged me and put me in touch with a breeder - namely Wendy Harris of Yakkutski's Siberian Huskies. We were lucky enough to book a pup from her, and eagerly awaited it. However, I had another call form Lynn, saying a breeder in Worcester had a 6 month old bitch retrieved from an unsuitable home. We went to see her and she was a nervous wreck. 6 hours later, we managed to give her a biscuit, and we decided we would give it a go, and see what we could achieve.
Vesna Nada was a beautiful girl, well in advance of her time. She was feminine, of excellent type with long legs and lovely movement. She was so much better than a lot of the less than average we see made up to Champion these days. She was by the Canadian import Wapahkwa's Avik, and out of Skimarque's Lara. Her name was VESNA NADA and her breeder was Norah Taylor, to whom I will always be extremely grateful. Nada was superb and we loved her dearly. Our pup from the Harris' joined us soon afterwards and this was YAKKUTSKI'S MAUYA.
So we started to campaign these girls. Nada won best puppy in match at her first show under Natalie Norris of all people! Nada's nerves improved a lot, never completely, but she won numerous 1st's in Rare Breed, and Best of Variety awards. She also qualified for the Kennel Club Stud Book. Mauya also did well, winning Best Puppy in Breeds.
I have always had a penchant for white animals, and a couple of years later I saw an advert for some pups from excellent breeding, two of which were white. We went to see them, and the couple were American, and had brought their bitch BACCI LADY BAYKAL to the UK with them, and had mated it to a super dog called BRUSHBOWS INNUKA. They wanted to take UK breeding back to the US. I was lucky enough to purchase a lovely bi-eyed white bitch we later called LADY SHURA OF RAJARANI. A more influential bitch we couldn't have found! She became our foundation bitch, and from her have descended SO many magnificent and top winning dogs. She was a wonderful bitch, and she gave so much over the years in so many ways. She has really contributed a lot to the history of the breed in this country. I still mourn her, but she lives on in her many descendants. We eventually went on to breed Mauya and her son, RAJARANI WINTERWOLF OF ALASCOTIA had a massive influence on the breed in Scotland
Yakkutski's Mauya (right hand pup)
By this time our two sons were taking part in the Junior Handling. Both Krystyan and Damian won the SHC of GB Junior Handling classes, but Krys showed the greatest interest in the dogs, and was showing great potential as a handler. I have not bought a lot of Siberians over the years, after the initial three. If I have, it has been to enhance our own breeding. I was lucky enough to meet Jenny Manley, and she gave me much help and encouragement and allowed me to use several of her dogs, which gave us a solid foundation. Such dogs included SKIMARQUE BABICHE and ROSSFORT RED LIGHT. We bred the first litter of pure whites in the UK , seven of them in total! From this litter we had RAJARANI KRYSTAL SHIMMER (above left). She became the first pure white to win a CC in this country. This she did at Bath Ch Show in 1989 under breed expert Nancy Van Gelderen Parker.
We mated Krystal Shimmer to a super monochromatic black dog called CH FORSTAL'S MASKA, and this produced one of the breeds' most famous sires, CH RAJARANI PRINCE OF DARKNESS (below). He was Top Stud from 1995 to 2000, and sired six Champions to date. CH RAJARANI BARONESS KATAHRA, CH RAJARANI KATJA, CH RAJARANI SHASTA, CH RAJARANI ZAXUN THUNDER AY ZAISAN, CH AZGARD SAVANNA SKY & CH AZGARD ZELTE ZIROCCO AT ZAISAN. A super boy with immaculate temperament, he was much loved in the breed. He won two Best In Show at Open level. We made up our first Siberian Husky Champion in 1993. This was CH RAJARANI KIMOKI - a super quality lady.
Ch Rajarani Kimoki
A lady called Deborah Coppin, with a Rossfort bitch called ROSSFORT RED PEPPER, wanted to use our Lady Shura’s son from her first litter, RAJARANI MIGHTY THOR. She had a magnificent litter. It was our Silver Wedding Anniversary at this time, and in the litter was the most super silver grey bitch. We had to have her! This was SIBIRSKAYA KWIKSYLVA OF RAJARANI. She went on to be the mother of three Champions, CH RAJARANI KATJA, CH RAJARANI SHASTA & CH RAJARANI KAHSARMA AT SYLVAPAK, and many other winners. What an asset she was in every way – except her extraordinary ability for escape from anywhere. Many people have much to thank dear Sylva for. She was Top Bitch in the breed in 1993.
I was lucky enough to have the invitation to go to France with Jenny Manley of the SKIMARQUE Kennels to visit the AMAROK Kennels of Maie Paranthoen. Here I had the opportunity to see many superb dogs from working/show lines. I fell in love with CH ZOLTAN OF CHENOK from the Kennel of Hans Bos. Zoltan was an outstanding pure white dog of outstanding working ability, with super construction and of excellent type. I was so lucky to have a son of Zoltan from Maie. He was the only boy allowed to go, as the lines were so valuable. His name, AMARAOKS FRANCOIS AT RAJARANI. Unfortunately Frankie became nervous in quarantine, but he passed his superb type and working ability down to his offspring. He has also produced two Champions, CH RAJARANI KASHARMA AT SYLVAPAK & CH EEKONOO’S TUVOK.
Dutch Ch Zoltan of Chenok
The next boy I purchased was from Chris McRae of Zoox fame. Always having admired her dogs, I wanted one particular line, that of CH ZOOX MIDUCHENKA. I waited two years, but, one day, Chris rang to say the pups were ready to view and I will always be so grateful as she gave us first choice out of the litter. The boy was called ZOOX SPECIAL EDITION FOR RAJARANI. He did so well in the ring winning 10 CC’s and was Top Dog 2001 & 2002. He has many winning children, including his daughter RAJARANI KAZHU, who made my dreams come true when judge elect Helen Gutteridge gave her Best of Breed at Crufts in 2004. What a long way we had come! The following dogs bred or owned by us have won CC's at Crufts - Ch Kazachye's Susitna from'A Rajarani, Ch Rajarani Kazhu (with BOB), Ch Rajarani Ezekiel (with BOB), Ch Rajarani Sashenka and Rajarani Zora for Snostopin.
Ch Zoox Special Edition for Rajarani
Left: Ch Rajarani Sashenka
The last dog we brought in was a son of Special Edition out of an ARTICTREKS bitch from the only FORSTAL line we didn’t have, and had wanted to acquire for a long time. He was a monochromatic black of lovely temperament. NEBBOU WARRIOR OF RAJARANI very much enhanced our breeding programme and is behind our young stock today.
Going back to the bitches, we let some friends of ours have a gorgeous copper bitch, which had come back to us. She was sister to our CH RAJARANI KIMOKI. She went on terms, and we were to have pick of her first litter. She was bred to an import from West Germany, namely NUTUK OF SEPP ALTA from SEPPALA lines. We picked the smallest dirty faced bitch and she became CH KAZACHYE’S SUSITNA FROM’A RAJARANI. She won 6 CC’s in 1995, and these included the CC at Crufts and the Siberian Husky Club of Great Britain Ch Show (A breed speciality show.) She was Top Siberian Husky in 1995. She was such a darling, and when we lost her at 12 with skin cancer we were heart broken.
We have achieved so much over these years, and yet there is still so much to achieve. We are proud to have started off some other very successful Kennels and contributed immensely to others. I had the honour of judging Crufts in 2003. What a great day that was, another dream come true from all those years of watching at Crufts. I was so proud when Krystyan awarded his first set of CC’s at the WKC Ch Show in 1995. I also served on the SHCGB Committee and I hope people will feel that, through our super dogs, we have contributed immensely to the history of the breed in this country. We currently have three dogs on 2CC’s, and numerous others on the one. So watch this space. We could yet breed more Champions!
Ch Kazachye's Susitna From'A Rajarani