Constantin Esmont performed a tremendous amount of work to promote Russian hunting sighthounds. He is the author of the first Chortaj standard which was first adopted in 1951.
His job was to visit horse farms and to select horses for the army. Because of his work between 1946 -1950 he traveled much in the steppe regions of Southern Russia where he saw a lot of local sighthounds. Hunting with sighthounds is a part of local tradition here, most farmers keep one or two sighthounds to help provide for the family. As a child Esmont had also seen a lot of Crimean and Gorski borzois in the Caucassaus. On his business trips along with Chortajs he observed some dogs that looked like the sighthounds with floppy ears that were once common in the mountain regions. There were also a lot of dogs that looked like hybrids of different sighthounds. There were also some specimen of questionable origin.
Being a sighthound judge he never approved of the local hunters' practice to breed only according to working qualities not considering the type or sometimes breed. At the National Hunting Committee he lobbied a decree to forbid hunt using dogs with no papers. In this way the local hunters were forced to keep pure blood dogs.
Constantin Esmont and his colleague A.M. Lerkhe helped organize and judged a lot of local shows and field trials where they observed, measured and wrote critiques of almost 700 sighthounds. The dogs were awarded points for breed type and fitness. Using the information received Esmont worked out the Standards for Chortajs and Stepnojs (the sighthound with floppy ears , this breed formed out of old time Crimean and Gorski sighthounds). Some of the typical dogs were photographed. It was a very difficult work because those regions were completely uncivilized then, bad roads, no telephone.
Please enjoy the old time pictures of typical steppe regions sighthounds taken by judge Constantin Esmont back in 1946-1950.