Ben & Ann Borrett, of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, are considered
by many to be among the great pioneers of the Himalayan cat.
The Chestermere cattery name is an integral part of the history of
the Himalayan. This
is their story...
the 1940's and 50's, Ben Borrett was an international cattle judge,
and together with his wife, Ann, owned and bred cattle actively on their
Chestermere cattle ranch in western Canada. As well as their dedication
to cattle breeding, they were also attracted to Siamese cats.
was through their interest in Siamese that the Borretts first became
aware of some of the early experimental breedings being conducted in
England by Brian Stirling-Webb, of Briarry cattery. Brian was working
to produce a cat with Persian type and long hair, but with the Siamese
color pattern - a dream that would lead to the development of the Himalayan
breed. Eventually, the Borretts traveled to England to visit Brian and
purchased several of his cats to start their own breeding program.
for the future of the breed, the Borretts realized how much work would
be needed to to establish the Himalayan as a breed, and they weren't
afraid to accept the challenge.
Applying the principles they had developed as cattle breeders, they
established what we would today consider a very large cattery.
large numbers allowed them to develop several different and totally
separate bloodlines with which they could work to establish the Chestermere
Himalayans. This was a necessity, as there was no one nearby that they
could work with. In addition to keeping several separate lines, the
Borretts were very particular and disciplined, keeping only the absolute
best cats to continue the breeding program.
1957, the Borretts exhibited two of their imported cats at an ACFA show
in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The admiration of their cats was immediate.
After this show, they were asked to draw up the breed standard for the
Himalayan for ACFA. This same standard was later used by Mrs. Goforth
when requesting recognition from CFA.
ACFA and CFA granted recognition to the Himalayan at that time.
the Himalayan breed was officially accepted, the Borretts showed them
extensively, and Ann could often be found at shows promoting the breed.
GC, BW Chestermere Kinuba
of the best examples of their dedication to perfecting the breed
was the history-making cat,
GC, BW Chestermere Kinuba of Nevah-Tep, a blue point male Himalayan.
in January 1962, he was the first Himalayan to win Best Cat in
an AB CFA show - this feat happened in Salt Lake City in 1962.
In 1964, he was sold to Boris Teron & Larry Keely, of Nevah-Tep
their campaigning, he made breed history - and in 1966 became
the very first CFA Grand Champion. With that win, he also became
the first Himalayan to become a Grand Champion in 4 separate associations
- CFA, ACFA, CFF, and ACA.
He continued to be shown, and was the top Himalayan in the country
in both 1966 and 1967. He retired from the show ring in 1968,
and then unfortunately passed away in 1969.
great cat was GC Chestermere Chen-Soo, a blue point male
born in 1963.
had the distinction of being the first Himalayan to win 4 Bests
in Show in one weekend - first accomplished in 1965 at a show
in Winnipeg, Canada, and repeated several times during his career.
In 1967, he also became the second Himalayan to become a Grand
Champion in CFA.
GC Chestermere Chen-Soo
GC, BW Chestermere Kannika-Minga
1968, two Himalayans earned their Grand Champion title in CFA -
one of them was again a Chestermere cat, GC, BW Chestermere Kannika-Minga,
a seal point female.
She was also the top Himalayan in the country
after that accomplishment, another stunning Chestermere cat came
on the scene... A blue point female, GC, BW Chestermere Chahila
was owned by Will Thompson.
became a Grand Champion in 1969, and was the best Himalayan cat
in North America for 2 years in a row (1968-69, and 1969-70).
became the top winning Himalayan cat of all time at that point,
winning best cat in show a record 41 times!
noteworthy Chestermere grands include:
1970 - GC Chestermere Cajun of Sa-Bon
(blue point male)
GC Chestermere Chi Chi of Hima-Tab
(blue point male)
GC Chestermere Chu-Woo
(seal point male)
GC Chestermere Kulan of Samarkland
(blue point female)
1971 - GC Chestermere Chareta of Hima-Tab
(seal point female)
Chestermere Cajun of Sa-Bon
Chestermere Kulan of Samarkland
The Himalayan breed owes a great debt of gratitude to the dedication
of this husband and wife team of Canadian cattle ranchers. Their legacy
can be found in the pedigrees of most of the Himalayans in our modern