Breeding and showing Persians at Skybank has caused many sleepless nights, yet given more joy to me than anything else.

In 1954, I purchased my first pedigreed Blue Persian for five pounds. I had this kitten desexed, as I had no thought of breeding, and there were no Cat Clubs in Tasmania at that time.

It was in August 1967 that the Launceston All Breeds Cat Club was formed and had its first show the same year. Two Persian exhibits at that first show were the parents of my next Blue kitten, namely G.P.N. "Waycroft Kingsbury Wonder" who was born on January 20th, 1968. This kitten cost me $35. I showed him, but he did not have a long life, as he didn't survive a bladder operation.
From there on I purchased other Persians, including a Chinchilla, showing them with great success in the desexed classes, plus during this period learning what a good example of the breed should look like.

In 1974 I thought it would be nice to get several females for breeding. It was not long before Skybank was producing lots of lovely kittens. When choosing another kitten, I would usually import from UK or USA, and in the very early days from New Zealand.

 

History of Skybank's breeding of Exotics

After breeding and showing Persians since 1968, it was in 1985 that I was reading in the CFA Yearbook, the Heading was “The Exotic Shorthair Story.”
I can recall page 194 which really intrigued me, and from there I tried to make a start in breeding these beautiful creatures. I believed that, once I owned an Exotic,
I would meet with success as I had the necessary top quality in my Persians to use in an Exotic breeding programme.

It was early 1989 that Judy Prikkel, a New Zealand judge and breeder, offered me for one breeding season Ch ”Matahari Roopert”. He was a full registered Cream Exotic proven male.
From Roopert came some show-winning Exotics, one of which was “Skybank Misty’s Joy” a Blue/Cream which, at 7 months of age, won Supreme of Show at the Launceston Royal Show.
Another special cat bred in that era was "Skybank Vantastic" who was a Van.

In the same era, Sue Branch of WA was kind enough to let me have “Tzarkesh Arfachance” (3rd gen), whom she had imported from the UK. He was a Red Self Exotic, whose Sire was CFA Gd Ch “Purrfun My Main Man” (Imp USA). “Arfachance’s” Dam was “Kavida Bitzenpieces”, a Tortie Exotic. I returned him to Sue after about 12 months stay in Tasmania. He sired a number of very nice White Exotics, some of which went to the mainland for breeding, and often now I see their name at the end of pedigrees. There was “Arfa Sixpence”, “Arfa Loaf A Bread”, “Arfa Threepence” and “Arfa Head Start”. One of these White Exotics was awarded Reserve to Best Group 1 Kitten at the ACF National in Launceston 1993, when she was only 12 weeks of age – Alva Uddin was the judge.

Another Exotic line I acquired was a Dilute Calico “Yaslind Silk Chloe”, and although only a first generation Exotic she produced some fabulous winning Exotics, including “Skybank Blue Chip” who was reserve Kitten of the Year 1990,
and multi Supreme winner ACF National Ch and Gold Gd Ch "
Skybank Toby Jug" who was the first entire cat in Tasmania to win the Gold title.
“Skybank Toby Jug” was also Cat of the Year in 1993, 1994, and 1995 with the sole Cat Control Council of Tasmania at that time.

I exported to New Zealand the first born son Toby produced. He was a striking Cream/White named “Skybank Prince of Paradise”. On his arrival he was entered in the New Zealand National Show, where he competed against 95 kittens and he was awarded Best Kitten.

Another part of my Exotic breeding experience which I tend to forget was my endeavour to breed Chinchilla and Shaded Silver Exotics.
Val Pellegrini kindly helped me start this venture with “Myola Bella Mia”, a second generation Exotic born in 1988. Bella was somewhat old-fashioned in type, but her coat texture, cobby body, and eye colour were fabulous.

At this time I was fortunate in purchasing three Pahlewi Chinchillas, as the young man who had imported them into Australia from Germany had suddenly passed away. The Chinchilla stud would not mate Bella, so I had to breed her with a Black American Persian, “Chancery Sneak Preview”.
The female Silvers were also bad breeders, so failing to achieve my hopes, I reluctantly found homes for them.

Another Exotic to do well at shows was a Black, Gd Ch “Skybank Major Break Thru”. He was Kitten of the Year 1995, and Cat of the Year in 1996. His Sire was CFA Gd Ch “Wishes White on White” (Imp USA), and his Dam was Gd Ch “Skybank Misty's Joy” (Blue/Cream Exotic).

When” Skybank Monseur Dartagnon” (Blue/White Exotic ) was born, Dianne and Robin Smith wanted him as a desexed to show. This cat had so many titles to his credit -- CCCA Ruby, Triple Gd Ch Double Gold, GD Premier Neuter, Bronze ACF A of E. He passed away on 30th September 2010.

Also Robin and Diane purchased from me “Skybank Hampuss”, a Blue Tabby Exotic. He too won some prestigious awards, occasionally beating the Blue/White and getting Best Desexed Cat of Show at the ACF National, and Reserve to Supreme Exhibit in 1997. Dianne and Robin were so enthralled with Exotics - the third one they purchased was “Skybank Monseur Raphael”, a Silver Tabby Exotic.  I must admit, he was one of my favourites.

In 1997 I imported from Denmark “Lynges One Way Ticket”, a Brown Tabby Exotic. He was a son of “Zoticats Angus” from USA, and at that time 12 months old and a proven stud. This boy was my greatest import, and ahead of his time.
       I shall be forever grateful to Pia Jensen for entrusting me with this wonderful stud who produced so many top quality Exotics, far too many to give each a mention.

Another of my outstanding kittens, produced by "Elora Van Barkintin" (DK), was "Skybank Vision of Future". He lived with me until he was 12 months old, during which time he was awarded Kitten of the Year in Group 1, and also gained his titles.

I imported three Exotics from Sweden -- “Kramkattens Quismaster” a high-grade Black/White, “Lilith's Vanjanders” a Cream/White Harlequin, and “Lilith's Sheila”. All were valuable cats for my Bi-Colour breeding plans.

Late in 1999, I became interested in Colour/Point Exotics, and imported from Norway “I.C. Purrbox Short Giant” a Red/Point male Exotic. Sadly, he only sired one litter before he died of a heart failure.

Then in late 2007 “Purrbox Candy Bar” a Brown Colour/Point carrier Exotic came to live at Skybank. He is the Sire of Gd Ch “Skybank Waltzing Matilda” who was awarded Group 1 Kitten of the Year 2009.

From a breeder in the USA I was offered CFA Ch “Live Toy Mufasa”, a homozygous Silver Tabby. He had been born in Russia in the year 2000, and had been in America for about three years. I had such great expectations with this stud, but sadly, after siring two small litters, he died of PKD.

In August 2009, arriving in Australia from Belgium, were two Exotics from Canasta Cattery -- “Canastaexo Seremella” has had a gorgeous Dilute Tortie/White, “Skybank My Gal”, which is meeting with great success at the shows.

The latest, and it will be the last I ever import, are “
Vannjty's Call Me Baby” a Blue male Exotic, and “Canastaexo Lacilni” a Blue Tabby female Exotic.

Over the years it has given me great pleasure to breed top quality Exotics, and share the lines with other breeders, particularly encouraging new breeders into the Cat Fancy. There have been many "highs" and "lows", which long-time breeders have to go through to succeed, and to "keep on, keeping on".
Skybank has achieved many prestigious awards, too numerous to list here, yet I still strive to improve the breed, as we all know there is no "perfect cat".