Belisarius JP My Sassy Girl
I came to learn about this bitch who was a daughter of Magnus of Blyss Kennels, in 2016 from photographs and messages on Facebook. Then, in 2016, she came to NY City to be shown at the Westminster KC dog show, and I was there to see it. Lucy won the Breed, and later she won the Group, and won a Reserved Best in Show. It was hard to believe, even though I saw it with my own eyes. I was so proud it made me dizzy. Three months later, she was in Kansas City, being shown in the Best in Breed class of the Borzoi Club of America National Specialty Show and she won that honor, too.
She was shown under the handler, Valerie Nunez-Atkinson the following year, breaking records and setting new ones. In 2017, Lucy won the Breed at Westminster Kennel Club dog show, then a Group Four, thanks to Pat Trotter who put up a Norwegian Elkhound for Group 1, and continued to add up wins for Best in Shows under most other judges. In 2018, Lucy won the Breed again at Westminster Kennel Club dog show and a Group 1. Lucy proved her worth again and again how beautiful she was in conformation, how
well she presented herself, and how perfect her top line and bottom line were. They were especially prominent to see when she was out of coat. Lucy was so lovely. In 2018, she returned to Japan where she was bred a second time and had a beautiful litter.
Articles about Lucy
After having written about Lucy and her many accomplishments over the last two years,
the Grand-daughter of our Blyss Kennels bitch, Mikhailya, from the one litter she had, you are no stranger to her phenomenal list of accolades. However, if you have not
followed the story or are new to the Blog, allow me to reproduce the post that Valerie Nunez-Atkinson, her handler of two years, wrote about her on the eve of putting her back on the plane to Japan. Upon arrival, she will return to Belisarius Kennels to Mai Ozeki Hirai and Kyoko Ozeki, her original owner and breeder. Her great sire, “Max”, Mikhailya’s puppy, sadly passed last August and will not be there to greet her at her homecoming. Valerie’s Facebook post follows, documenting the highlights of Lucy’s show career and accomplishments:
May 8 at 9:52pm
The time has finally came, forced to say our goodbyes, The Lovely Lucy is on her way
We’ve dreaded this day as we have done in the past and no doubt will in the future. It’s
the hard part of opening our hearts to those that come to us, those that we welcome and
take in as family.
Lucy, with us for over 2 years exceeded all expectations…2015 Top Dog All Breeds in Japan with her great handler Shota, AKC’s All Time Top Winning Borzoi, the #1Hound in 2017, National Specialty BISS, 3x BOB winner at the Westminster KC, 2x Hound Group Winner at Westminster KC and lastly RBIS at the 2016 Westminster KC….and she has also already produced a National Specialty Winning Son (WD & BOW)….All of that aside, she was just our dog that we loved and adored. She smashed every record and set more but for us she is the dog that stole our hearts with her sweet soft nature, silly snorts, scootie butt zoomies, her glamorous self and her heart that gave us her all every single time she stepped into the ring. And, that says it all considering she IS a Sighthound bitch, lol 😉 When she came to us we didn’t know if she could withstand or have the want to show for what is expected here in the States….we were ready to accept that reality if it wasn’t in her heart. But, after her breathtaking USA debut at Westminster KC and her heart stopping RBIS from Famed Breeder Judge; Richard Meen we decided to see what she could do….. she readily and happily stepped up to the plate and the winning began….her National Specialty came from another Breeder Judge; Ron Spritzer (Carol Spritzer) with her Son, standing behind her, another Honor. Her AKC All Time BIS record was awarded by none other then Icon Mr. Frank Sabella, truly special in that he was a unexpected judge change that day and so thrilled to have USA owners Risky M. Molnar (Michele and Jamie Danburg on hand to celebrate the day with us. Lucy gave Antonio his FIRST USA BIS with CJ going RBIS, another memorable day. She and Antonio went on to be awarded another 9, 10 in total for the Team of Antonio and Lucy. Her BIS total 28 in USA and 13 in Japan, career of 41 All Breed BIS’s. Much of Lucy’s success is a credit to Antonio , it was all on him to keep her in tip top shape mentally and physically. Her muscle was hard, her coat glorious (when in coat after all she is a bitch and was never ever on Cheque drops) she naturally came into and out of coat as any coated female would. When out of coat and breaking the all time record under Frank Sabella….his comment was “all the better to see all her beautiful curves, both a perfect Topline and Underline” from the Man that knows it was indeed a huge
compliment to her outstanding quality and type. So, Antonio thank you, thank you for all you have done for Lucy in her time with us. She adores you like all the others do a true testament to your soul. For that I’m forever grateful.
To Michele and Jamie, we were so honored to have you join our team. Without your help, encouragement and never ending support Lucy would not of had this amazing career. We all love you both.
To Shota Hirai, Mai Hirai, Kyoko Ozeki Minoru, thank you for choosing us. There have been many others in the decade of showing for you and no doubt many more to come but there will only be ONE LUCY.( We love you all 😉
To all that cheered us on through the years, we thank you. The fellow breeders that supported us we are forever grateful. And to all that was on Team Lucy, thank you. We have cried tears of joy many times with her, today the tears of sadness from our hearts, as she heads home to Japan.
The accolades are many indeed but today our hearts are breaking as we must say ….see you next time Lucy, forever Team #welovelucy.
I will admit it is difficult for me to read this. An era of historic borzoi conformation annals comes to an end with Lucy’s return to Japan. My one comment about Mikhailya’s breeding has been consistent: It proved to be very important to the borzoi breed history, and it made so many people so happy. Then why am I weeping? As I often write on Facebook, “Tears……”
Sunday, August 28, 2016 – Mai Ozeki Hirai
The four-day Santa Barbara weekend ended today with the Borzoi GCh. Belisarius JP My Sassy Girl, informally known as Lucy, winning Best in Show at Los Encinos Kennel Club under Australian Sighthound specialist (and Greyhound breeder) John Palmer. In addition, Lucy took BIS at Santa Barbara KC on Saturday under judge Ann Ingram of Ireland. Most importantly — from our perspective, at least — Lucy also won the “Sighthound Spectacular,” an unofficial competition that’s unique for SBKC and limited to the day’s winners in the various Sighthound breeds. A total of 24 Sighthounds that had won BOB, BOW and BOS (and Selects in specialty-club supported entries) competed for trophies — including one from Sighthound Review — and prize money ranging from $1,000 to the winner to $500, $250 and $125 for second, third and fourth, and $100 each to four Awards of Merit. The judge was Sighthound authority Eugene Blake.
The Borzoi was bred in Japan by Kyoko Ozeki (who was at ringside with her daughter Mai to watch Lucy win) and owned in the U.S. by Michele Molnar, Jamie Danburg and Minoru Kato. Valerie Atkinson usually shows Lucy but this weekend shared handling duties with Mai’s husband Shota Hirai.
Lucy didn’t have it all her own way. The Saluki GCh. Starlite’s Made of the Best Stuff On Earth, JC, RN (“Snapple”) won the Hound Group at both Simi Valley KC on Friday and Santa Barbara KC on Sunday. Snapple is co-owned by breeders Tina Turley-Kocab and Mark Kocab with Sandra Middleburg and handled by Erin Roberts. Both Snapple and Lucy, incidentally, have graced the Sighthound Review covers: Snapple in the Fall of 2015 and Lucy the Summer 2016 issue.
A full report from the Spectacular will be published in the Fall 2016 issue of Sighthound Review. We are also working on an in-depth interview with Gene Blake that promises to be really interesting.