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They came from Ancient Egypt and Africa. There are records on papyrus, rocks, stone, tombs and pyramids, including sculptures from the Saqara Temple, as early as 3,000 BC. More conclusively, bone discovery from the Proto-Dynastic period of Ancient Egyptian history date them to 4,770 BC, however, prehistoric drawings on walls of the 'Tassili' caves at Hoggar, in the Sahara desert, date back to 8,000 BC. They feature primitive, spear-bearing hunters and clearly depict trained, domesticated, lean and agile, 'prick-eared' hounds, pursuing and seemingly entrapping Mountain Sheep.

When the Phoenicians, Carthaginians and Moors traded around the Mediterranean, these hounds were bought to the Balearic Islands were they bred in isolation and reportedly, even refused to mate with other canines. The breed was refined there for several thousand years and can still be located today on the islands of Formentera and Mallorca but in particular, on the island of Ibiza, approximately 250 kms from Valencia, located off the mid-western coast of Spain. Early, famous UK dogs were:
  • SOL - from first U.K. litter, bred by Mrs. Isobel D G Holt
  • LEO the BRAVE - imported from Ibiza by Archeologist, John West
  • IVICEN CLEOPATRA - bred by Ms. Diana Berry (UK 'standard' based on her)

The first litter in Australia was born in 1985, with the early dogs to arrive being:

Aust Ch Divels Tallula (imp UK) - Sin's Late Night Extra x Divels Lareina
Eng Ch Sin's Blithe Spirit (imp UK) - Ra Benji Hassan (imp Ibiza) x Sin's Blitzen
Aust Ch Sin's Wild Cazador (imp UK) - Sin's Summer Lightning x Eng Ch Sin's Exquisite
Aust Ch Sin's Escarxas Stardrift (imp UK) - Claerwen Borelly from Sin x Escarxas (imp Ibiza)
Aust Ch Sin's White Extrovert (imp UK) - Ra Benji Hassan (imp Ibiza) x Eng Ch Sin's Exquisite

This breed is very kind, is loved by children and has to be hard pressed to fight. He has a lovely 'Peter Pan' nature but can be easily crushed by rough handling or shouting, due to his acute hearing and sensitive nature. They have great stamina and can work all day, and even by night. Extremely alert and curious, they are usually very cautious with strangers. They are an agile, tall hound, usually between twenty-three and twenty-nine inches tall at the shoulder, lightly built with erect ears and a long tail. They can be smooth or rough coated and must have NO black anywhere. Colours are White, Chestnut, Lion or any mixture of these. Alert and determined, they are able to leap eight feet high from a standing position. They are very versatile hounds; able to free hunt, to lure course, to flush out and pick-up on shoots, to track race, in the show ring, for obedience and also as a household pet and companion.

In England, the English Ibizan Hound Club is very active in all these areas and their prior Honorary Secretary, the late Diana Berry (of Belgrave, Baldock in Hertfordshire UK) had given tremendous support, inspiring interest internationally. Ms Berry gladly advised on every aspect concerning the breed being introduced and campaigned in Australia, initially by Mary Hunt of 'Inpu' kennels. The few successive breeders here are happy to share experiences, pass on information, and assist anyone who wishes to help promote and preserve this rare breed in all aspects; not only within Australia and New Zealand, but also throughout the world. We intend to keep this unique breed in the same shape and temperament as they have been for many thousands of years, and will not allow him to be spoilt by showing under judges who wish to alter them. It is very important to encourage the sporting side of the breed, as judges should not fault hounds that have been damaged in their work.

Saqara Ibizan Hounds
Colin Sarantis

Last Update: 24/04/07 17:46 Views: 4538

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