Italy Italy France France

The history di Mr. Russell, Mr. Morgan
e Mr. Randall

Once upon a time… How it all started: the Tabarrino breeding farm…
by Mascia Randall 2008

Reading below you will discover the Jack Russell story and you will learn that Tabarrino JRTs originate directly from the dogs which belonged to reverend John Russell ...

John Russell, an Anglican priest born on 21st December 1795 in Dartmouth, Devonshire, used to be a passionate hunter, always looking for good working dogs to add to his packs. He became one of the founders of the Kennell Club, created for those who shared this passion with him. However, very soon he became disappointed with this initiative; he used to lament that Club members were obsessed with the looks of the dogs rather concentrating on other more relevant qualities.

Foto di John Russell

JJohn Russell required only that his dogs would be overwhelmingly white in colour; they needed to be barking to push the fox out of the hole, but without killing it.
Therefore, he did not want his dogs to be too harsh, but rather meek in character, and with a pronounced closeness and understanding of their master, almost a telepathy… FOX HUNTING, was a sort of STEEPLE CHASE in nature.

A sort of amusing game, consisting in riding to the pursuit of a fox without knowing where it would end up to, which implied having to jump over bushes, dead trees, and across ditches, with a pack of dogs following. It used to be a social hunt. In the early morning, hunters would meet up at the manor house of the organiser, they would take a glass of sherry while discussing about dogs and horses; around 11:00 am the hunt would start. An egg-milkshake used to be taken along, together with a little whiskey to stay out until 4 PM, when the hunt would draw to en end and all would go home.

An experienced hunter of those days was Jack Morgan. In his pack there was a dog that John Russell particularly liked: Old Jock.

Jack Morgan was the great-great grandfather of Paul Randall; here he appears cited in the book describing the history of reverend John Russell, as being the breeder of Old Jock.

The Reverend once wrote in a letter:… “Old Jock is such a perfect dog, of the highest quality, I have never seen an animal that would be so docile, of such good character, so outstanding and so beautiful, a dog that we common mortals can only dream of…”. Jack Morgan started to lend his dog to the reverend to cover several of his bitches. As it is commonly done among breeders, he used to receive pups in exchange for the use of his dog, and he started calling them JACK RUSSELL to honour the reverend’s name.

Churchend Farm in Slimbridge used to belong to the Berkeley family. The Berkeleys were renown for being granted a special right by the royal family to ride from Berkeley Square in London up to Berkeley in Gloucestershire. Edward Morgan, Jack’s son, used to be employed by the Berkeleys as a farmer. He had inherited these superb dogs from his father. In 1911 he died falling from his horse during a hunting ride. The farm with all horses and dogs was then inherited by his son Godfrey Morgan who became a successful breeder of Shire horses that he would crossbreed with thorough blood to obtain high quality horses for the famous fox hunt. He was Paul’s grandfather.

Godfrey Morgan used to love Jack Russell Terriers, and he conveyed this passion to his daughter Peggy Morgan Randall who married Francis William Randall and took the first JRTs to New Zealand where she became a famous breeder herself.

Paul’s father, Francis William Randall (standing on the left), accompanied by a member of the Berkeley family (on horseback), with a pack of Berkeley hounds waiting behind.

Paul as a child together with his father and their dogs (behind them you can see some JRTs).

His son, Paul Burnett Randall met in Italy a women from Prague. Mother Peggy donated 10 bitches and 2 dogs to them as a wedding present, to carry on with the great family tradition and start a successful breeding farm in Italy.

Peggy Morgan on horseback Godfrey and Peggy Morgan, Paul’s grandfather and mother

Paul e Mascia Randall alla Fattoria Tabarrino.

This is how Paul and Mascia Randall bought Tabarrino Farm in Tuscany, close to Arezzo and started to breed JRTs that they call Tabarrino. Due to a strange coincidence in the ancient local dialect tabarrino was used to describe a small dog.

Paul Randall

Tabarrino Brus & Tabarrino Bella

Tabarrino Brus & Tabarrino Bella in copertina sulla rivista Cani Novembre 2005 fotografati da Marco Leonardi.