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I grew up on a sheep farm in a part of South Africa called the Karoo. My grandfather named this farm "Karoskloof" ("Karos" = skin-rug - it is a piece of sheep skin which the Khoi and San people used as a loin cloth. "Kloof" = gorge).

The most precious memories of my childhood still remain the life on the farm and the annual agricultural show in September. During this show most of the farmers exhibited their sheep and horses. It was a wonderful time because the whole community got together for these 3 to 4 days. The cameraderie, the fierce competition amongst the exhibitors and the well looked after animals appealed to me.

Life on a farm in the Karoo can be very solitary. I still remember how my Mom and Dad's friends came together in the evenings. Story telling was their main source of entertainment. Many of these stories were based on hunting. The Rhodesian Ridgeback featured in most of them. They used words such as: "bravery", "courage", "loyalty", "devotion", etc. to describe the characteristics of these wonderful dogs. It made such an impression on me that I decided I would have my own Rhodesian Ridgeback one day!

When our son, Dian, was 4 years old (1991), my late wife, Wiida, and I decided that it was time to introduce a bigger dog in our family. Only one breed was considered - the Rhodesian Ridgeback. We started to read as much as we could about the Rhodesian Ridgeback, attended dog shows, contacted breeders, etc. To our great disappointment, 1991 and 1992 ended without a Rhodesian Ridgeback, but by then I knew that I wanted a registered Rhodesian Ridgeback to show and perhaps breed with in the future.

In July 1993 Kulima Love That Red (aka, Themba) became part of our lives. He was born on 20 May 1993.

Ch. Kulima Love That Red of Karoskloof

Ch. Kulima Love That Red of Karoskloof

He was a son of the world famous Ch & CH (Zim) Globe's Roving Red Regent

Ch & CH (Zim) Globe's Roving Red Regent

One of the things that owning a Rhodesian Ridgeback does to one, is that one can't resist owning a second. At the end of 1994, Karos Nomsa of Karoskloof (aka Nomsa), became the second Rhodesian Ridgeback in our household.

Ch. Karos Nomsa of Karoskloof

She was offspring of another leading sire in South Africa at that time, CH Pronkberg Matange (owned by Dr. Stef Potgieter). With her as foundation bitch, I registered my own kennel name. What better name than - Karoskloof!

In the show ring I experienced the same cameraderie and fierce competition as in the agricultural shows in my youth. It was wonderful to meet new friends and to see new places as well as to learn from the dog world.

Most of all - it was a family affair. My late wife, my son and I worked as a team to prepare Themba and Nomsa for each and every show. As a family we enjoyed the weekends around the show rings.

In December 1997, Nomvuyo Zuru Thandi (aka Thandi), entered my and my son's lives as a third member to our Rhodesian Ridgeback family.

Nomvuyo Zuru Thandi

Her sire is CH Rare Earth's Sunlight Sailor and her dam is CH & CH (Zim) Nomvuyo Nozuko.

CH & CH (Zim) Nomvuyo Nozuko

During 1999 one of Themba and Nomsa's offspring, Karoskloof Bayezana Naka (aka Naka), was send to the USA for breeding and showing purposes.

Ch. Karoskloof Bayezana Naka

And so it became that Naka went to stay with Shura Bugreeff DVM in Auburn, California, USA. With Naka as sire and Nomvuyo Tikkun as foundation bitch, Shura Bugreeff started her own kennel, Ukukhanya.

Along the west coast of the USA, Naka was a fierce competitor in the show ring. One of the greatest moments of my life, as a breeder, was in June 2000 when I attended the Orange Coast Rhodesian Ridgeback Specialty Show in Long Beach, California. Naka did my kennel and myself proud when he won "winners dog" on that day. At the end of 2000 Naka retured to South Africa as an American champion - mission accomplished! Naka not only left behind sweet memories of long walks on American trails, but also beautiful offspring. The Karoskloof Rhodesian Ridgeback Kennel is most grateful to Shura Bugreeff for what she did to promote this wonderful dog.

From Thandi's litter in 2001 I kept a lovely female, Karoskloof TT Thandeka, for myself.

Karoskloof TT Thandeka

At present she is a very promising youngster who seems to carry on her mother's good name.

We are proud of everything we have achieved thus far and, with the deepest gratitude for all the guidance we have received in the past, we are looking foward to the future.

9th November 2001 - "Karoskloof" is online

Arno and son, Dian, looking at the official publication of their website

Friends, Derek and Estelle Bezuidenhout, share this great moment with Karoskloof Rhodesian Ridgeback Kennel

Dian + Arno van Wykarno-friends

Arno and son, Dian, think: "Good work!"

Arno van Wyk + his son, Dian

Arno van Wyk

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