Photos by Mike Macbeth.
An inconspicuous dirt road outside of Sao Paulo, Brazil, so discreetly ordinary, offers no clue that it leads to one of the most exquisite dog kennels in the world — the Hampton Court kennel of Brazil’s Victor Malzoni, arguably the world’s most successful owner of top-quality show dogs.
Malzoni, 65, remembers the family’s first purebred dog, a Collie imported from Italy when he was 7 years old. He first attended dog shows at the age of 15 with his brother’s Saint Bernard purchased from the famed monastery of the same name in Switzerland. Today, many memorable show dogs from around the world would not have enjoyed their spectacular careers without Malzoni’s support.
His love affair with Terriers began 23 years ago with a Brazilian Wire Fox Terrier, although his admitted preference is Cairns. A great deal of Malzoni’s ubiquitous success is due to clever partnering with some of the world’s most renowned breeders, such as England’s late Judy Averis, Roni de Munter and Harry O’Donaghue for Wires, and Lydia Coleman Hutchinson and Sweden’s Elisabeth Theodorsson for his beloved Cairns.
One of the most successful relationships has been with Bill Browne-Cole’s Travella Wire Fox kennels. It began with Malzoni importing a couple of excellent Travella Wires; advanced with Ch. Travella Starlord, the Crufts Group winner (2011) and BIS3 at the World Show in Budapest; and culminated with Ch. Travella Striking Steel, 2014’s top dog all breeds in the UK and British Best in Show record holder (with 19 BIS). He is now in Brazil (as is his sire) where he is currently top dog all breeds with 30 Best in Shows at this writing.
Two other spectacular Wire Fox Terriers co-owned by Victor are the 2014 BIS Westminster winner Multi-Ch. Afterall Painting The Sky, the US’s top dog all breeds in 2013; and the Dutch-bred Ch. King Arthur van Foliny Home, Group winner at Crufts and the World show in 2014 and BIS at the European Winner Show. His homebred Multi-BIS Ch. Hampton Court’s Monte Cristo, the top dog all breeds in Brazil 2013 is currently the top Wire in the US.
Supporting all the dogs within the Malzoni empire not only calls for a substantial staff but requires an international who’s who of handlers, such as Divonney Rasara and Daniel Beloff in Brazil; legendary American terrier handlers such as Gabriel Rangel and Geoff Dawson, and British Wire Fox experts like Warren Bradley and Richard Allen. Currently Victor employs three handlers in Brazil, one in the UK and five in the US. Often handlers are hired as needed for specific dogs, such as Larry Cornelius for the nation’s current top Terrier, the Westminster RBIS Skye GCh. Cragsmoor Good Time Charlie, or 2012’s top dog all breeds, the German Wirehaired Pointer Brazilian Ch./Am. GCh. Mountain View’s Ripsnorter Silver Charm, piloted by Phil Booth.
But despite the remarkable wins, the real enjoyment for Malzoni is spending time at his elegant country home overlooking his state-of-the-art kennels, and playing with his retired show dogs, his beloved Cairns and the puppies that likely represent future Hampton Court winners.
Dogs in Review was invited to visit the kennels, built in 2008, which are not only beautiful but efficiently and cleverly constructed, with the comfort of the dogs being the priority.