REVIVAL OF AN OLD BREED
From the article “The Chart Polski in it’s homeland” by Janus Zielinski (President of the Polish Sighthound Club)
A large cloud obscured the tradition of hunting after the first World War, following the break –up of private lands which totally changed the life of the rich who were the former landowners. Their ability to posses a large pack of dogs for coursing , and organize grand parties and receptions, was then highly criticized. A new era began, totally new…The population did not yet become accustomed to all this change when the second War occurred…Poland and all that was Polish disappeared. The war…the tragedy. And the Sighthounds? The properties, and Manor houses…abandoned…the kennels…empty.
The old employers of the manors, the peasants also, well knew the value of the Sighthounds. The possession of arms had become forbidden and the possibilities for the (common folk’s) nourishment restrained, the peasants then start to make use of the wandering Sighthounds. With this bit little attention, the dogs did what they could best do, silently coursing from dawn to to dusk…they demonstrated to the peasants what they had only had hearsay of before. Very resistant to contusions and fatigue, ardent in the pursuit- like the falcons- they closed in silently on their prey.It is thanks to this that many Sighthounds, before that wandering loose, had survived the war. However , after the war was over, their existence become more and more difficult. According to the communist ideals imposed in Poland after 1445 , the Sighthounds , symbol of the rich proprietors of the land previously and of their exploitation, had to disappear. The representatives of the authorities and their operatives, the militias, hunters and veterinarians immersed themselves with passion in this task.
They practiced this by killing all the dogs. This kind of purging , with a varying intensity, still occurs in our days. The former law before the Second World War obliged the owners of Sighthounds living in the countryside to obtain an authorization for ownership. After the war, this law was changed , and following acts of hunting, a decision was made which ordered the capture of Charts , mainly in the old territories of the old land owners.In 1972 a passionate dogophile, Dr. Mroczowski, wrote an article about the subject of the Chart Polski, their history and the current reality of the breed, demonstrating that in certain regions that were once Polish territory (now Ussr territory ) there still were pure specimens of the breed in existence. He issued an appeal to safeguard the breed. The total disinterest and malevolence he encountered while trying to safeguard our very ancient, indigenous breed, slowed their registration efforts with the FCI, The people conscious of our cultural heritage were even more determined. Their profound conviction and their reasoning; supporting by an illustrated documentation, theopinion of judges specialists in Sighthounds, and the benevolence of one of the greatest factions of the canine world led, on the 25th January 1981, to the decision to open a new stood book for the Chart Polski. Thirty dogs were
registered in this book; some the descendents of the old kennels, some imports from the Podole (Ukrajne), some puppies from new breedings; litters from the breeders Aga, Actum, Podniebne Szlaki, Celerrimus and others. The work of the breeders was very intense. In 1989 the standard was approved under FCI-333. At the time of their participation at numerous shows , the dogs were well received, won new admirers …they are beautiful and fast. This was confirmed on the coursing field. They constitute a living symbol of the Polish tradition and form a link between the past and the present-
Malgorzata Szmurlo, later with the help of her sister Izabella Szmurlo, were instrumental in this revival of the breed. They searched the Polish and Ukrainian countryside for specimens of the breed. They are the founders of Celerrimus kennel, the most important kennel in the contemporary history of the breed.
The first litter began with Zjutek (Elbrus) and Daria: the “G” Celerrimus litter , born 5/9/77 (nine puppies).