photo from 1999 y .
Estet Classic Kennel was founded in 1999 by two owners – me, Olga Gorbatsjova, and my friend and collaborator Natalia Kasemets. In the beginning kennel’s population counted five borzois and one greyhound. Now our family consists of eleven greyhounds, three borzois, and several co-owned dogs. I have always loved Borzois and was one of the first owners of a borzoi in Estonia in the early 80s. Another breed, that fascinated me, was Greyhound. They too were uncommon in Estonia and resembled creatures from another planet 🙂
For over a decade, I just admired them, but in 1998 I decided to bring a malegreyhound puppy Hepi Hepri Irbis (Pashtet) from Russia.I am very grateful to him, my first show greyhound, my dear Pashtetik. He was my companion for long eleven years. He was a clever, active, and restless puppy, who then turned into a huge, waist-height, white, and gorgeous dog. Every time, when we would go out for a walk, drivers would stop to ask what kind of breed it was, how much it ate, and if it was aggressive. My borzois and Pashtetik made me a local celebrity. We were often accompanied by a group of local kids who petted my Pashtetik, and he was smiling. Pashtet was the one, who made me fall in love with greyhounds. Thank you, my dear boy!By 1999 when we decided to open a kennel, I had lived with borzois for an extended amount of time, had met many dog-owners around the world, acquired great knowledge on borzois and greyhounds by reading every possible book on these breeds, and had gained significant experience as a handler. This expertise allowed me to develop an understanding of my ideal Borzoi and Greyhound. This understanding provided the basis for our kennel Estet Classic. Why Estet ? Because our dogs had to be beautiful. Why Classic? Because we decided not to adhere to any breeding methods, popular at the time, but to focus on breeding classic Russian borzois and Greyhounds, as depicted in ancient engravings, while not overlooking the standards. Our commitment to ancient dog images was, perhaps, naive. But after all these years, we have not changed our minds. What changed was our mental picture of an ideal greyhound, or rather, it has acquired many details and became even clearer.In order to begin my work with greyhounds as a breeder, I wanted to find a white bitch from the breed’s homeland — England !
Then I learned that the Gaysyde kennel, whose dogs seemed perfect to me, was expecting a new litter, I began negotiating with the breeder. Not able to speak a word of English at the time I was able to persuade Brenda Row to sell me a girl called Gaysyde Christmas Magic (Bella). I truly believed she was the best one of the whole litter. I would like to thank Brenda, who patiently answered all my questions, told me all about Bella’s parents and relatives, sent photos and videotapes, taught me how to keep a show greyhound and more. She also assured me that the color of a good kennel bitch matters the least. Purchasing Bella was, frankly, a real gamble. At the time, I lived in a 3-room apartment and worked in a casino.
I learned well, but Bella’s purchasing price and shipping cost equalled to my annual salary. And in order to buy Bella and bring her to Estonia I had to take a loan, providing my apartment as a guarantee. Nothing mattered though, I wanted my real English Greyhound to be next to me. To say that my family did not agree with me is to say the least! As the day of Bella’s arrival was approaching, I slept less and less, on the last night I could not sleep at all! I will never forget the moment when an attendant in the Helsinki airport carried out a huge wooden cargo crate, and I, instead of running in its direction, stood still and whispered “thank you, thank you”. I will never forget how I pulled her out of the box, my abiding, terrified, English princess. Then, we went to a hotel on a large taxi to get some rest. I did not want to torment my tired child even more by going on a ferry to Tallinn. I tried to spoil my princess, offered her all sorts of treats. My princess, as a true Englishwoman, however, adhered strictly to the tradition, that is, she ate only according to the feeding plan, given to me by Brenda.This is the story of how the breeding of greyhounds began in Estet Classic.
A few years later, after the registration of the kennel, my four-legged friend made my big city apartment too small for me and too noisy for my neighbours. Then I also realised that my job at the casino was an absolute waste of my precious time, and except for good wages, it did not contribute to my principal and favourite business. Therefore, I resigned from the casino and went to work in the veterinary clinic as a veterinary assistant. Almost at the same time, I sold my apartment and bought a cottage near the beautiful Baltic Sea beach. I built a high fence around the whole plot, equipped the paddock, installed the heating, changed the roof, and bought a bigger car, which depicted the logo “Estet Classic” and, thus, became a happy countryside resident: living near the beach among my beloved dogs