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Arabische Pferde IN THE FOCUS 1/2018 (Vol. 13) - Leseprobe

From the Orient to

From the Orient to Europe Shagya-Araber The hardship of life with the Bedouins in the desert created a very special horse. At the beginning of the 19th Century, these Bedouin horses came to Austria-Hungary and formed the foundation of what was later called the Shagya-Arabian breed. The first purchases of Original Arabians from the Arabian peninsula were made at the beginning of the 19th Century. The biggest role played the State Studs of the then Austrian Empire, of which Hungary was a part, but also the King of Wuerttemberg and noble landlords in Poland and Ukrania. Those Original Arabs imported by the State Studs often found their way first into the Imperial and Royal Stud of Lipica. Once they were unloaded in Trieste, the horses were brought after the arduous sea voyage temporarily to his stud in the Karst region. Some of them stayed there for several years, formed their own stud department or were integrated into the Lipizzan breed. The Anti-Napoleonic War of the European powers, which had formed an alliance after the "Vienna Congress" (September 1814) - among them also the Austrian Monarchy - led to the final defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte in the Battle of Waterloo (18th June 1815) and to the occupation of large parts of France. This way, Austrian Cuirassiers captured at the French stud Rosière aux Saline, 10 km Southeast of Nancy, a number of breeding stallions. Napoleon had brought home several horses from the desert during his Egyptian Campaign in 1798. Baron von Fechtigs Imports Around the same time, Baron von Fechtig started his enterprise to import Arabian horses from the Orient. As a merchant, von Fechtig also was on the lookout for Original Arabs from the desert, for which he had built over time a large and especially wealthy clientele in Europe. In 1811, his first transport of horses arrived from Cairo in Trieste, and the four Oriental stallions were sold for good money to Count Festetics, Fenék-Puszta Stud, and Count Esterházy, Ozora Stud. In 1817, he delivered the significant sires Samhan and Massoud for Fenék-Puszta, whose offspring were distinguished by fertility and longevity. Von Fechtig also imported the famous flea-bitten grey stallion Tajar, who became a legend not only for to his life story but also for his offspring. Count Hunyady von Kéthely bought him in 1811 from Baron von Fechtig for his Ürmeny Stud, which he had founded at the beginning of the 19th Century with the help of the most well-known Austrian horse experts, k.k. Royal Stud Inspector Johann Christoph Justinus and Estate Manager Appel von Kápotsány. During his trips to Egypt and Syria, von Fechtig instructed several experts in Cairo, Aleppo, and Damascus with purchasing those sought-after and in Europe at the time rare horses, which were brought by boat to Trieste. From here, but also from the collection point in Bábolna, they were sold to the wealthy customers. In 1816, von Fechtig came back to Trieste from this third trip to the Orient. He brought four stallions and eight mares, of which two stallions (among them Bairaktar, born 1814) and one mare (Murana I, born 1808) were sold to the Royal Stud of Weil. The stallions Siglavi Gidran (born 1811) and Ebchan (born 1812), as well as the mare Tiffle (born 1810), were sold to Bábolna. On 18th March 1816, the "Instructions" to define the breeding goal at the "Royal Hungarian State Stud" were issued, ordered by Emperor Josef II. of Habsburg. The foundation of horse breeding at Bábolna was laid a couple of years earlier, before the foundation of the Stud on 24th June 1789. In his book "About the General Principles of Horse Breeding", Justinus makes the following claims for any breeding stock: 1. Proven descent, 2. proven performance, 3. proven heredity. In Europe, we owe this work the introduction of studbooks (or herdbooks, registries) in animal breeding in the 19th Century. Shagya-Araber-Hegnst Shagya X, geboren 1855 in Mezöhegyes (Shagya IV, 1841, Bábolna, / 302 Samhan, 1845 Mezöhegyes). Er war ein Ausnahmehengst, er zeugte zahlreiche Hauptbeschäler für Bábolna, Mezöhegyes, und Radautz. Der Begründer des Shagya-Stammes ist Shagya, geboren 1830 bei den Bani Saher-Beduinen, importiert von Baron von Herbert, anlässlich seiner «Ankaufsexpedition» 1836 nach Syrien, über Aleppo nach Damaskus. Diese Expedition war ein bedeutender Erfolg. Fünf Stuten und neun Hengste kamen gesund in Bábolna an, unter anderem Shagya, gemäss Zuchtbuch ein «geapfelter Honigschimmel», hat 160 cm gemessen. Er war nicht nur sehr harmonisch sondern auch sehr stabil, gut bemuskelt und edel. Shagya-Arabian stallion Shagya X, born 1855 at Mezöhegyes (Shagya IV, 1841, Bábolna / 302 Samhan, 1845 Mezöhegyes). He was an exceptional sire, who sired several chief sires for Bábolna, Mezöhegyes and Radautz. The founder of the Shgaya strain is the stallion Shagya, born 1830, bred by the Bani Saher Bedouins, imported by Baron von Herbert on the occasion of this purchasing commission in 1836 to Syria, Aleppo and Damascus. This expedition was an important success. Five mares and nine stallion were delivered healthy at Bábolna, among them Shagya, who was – according to the studbook – a dappled grey of 160 cm. He was not only harmonious but also very strongly built, well muscled and nobel. The Foundation of Bábolna On highest decree, it was ordered that Bábolna becomes an "excellent pure and noble stud", which laid the foundation for its later development. In 1836, General Major Count Heinrich Hardegg, Chief of the k.k. Studs ordered Baron Major Eduard von Herbert to undertake the first expedition to purchase Original Arabs in Syria and to bring them to Bábolna. On this occasion, the stallion Shagya was purchased in 1836 from the Bani Saher Bedouins, who later gave the breed its name. Bruno Furrer © ARABISCHE PFERDE - IN THE FOCUS 1/2018 58

Breeding Principles in Shagya-Arabians In the course of the 19th century, a new cultural breed - the Shagya Arabian - was created by skillful selection using desert-bred Arabians and special damlines. This breed needs to be preserved with the help of a pure breeding program. Shagya-Araber-Hengst Shagya XXV, geboren 1916 in Bábolna, von Shagya XVII (Báb), 1903, Radautz aus der 142 Koheilan III-7, 1912, Bábolna. Er wirkte im Gestüt Bábolna von 1931 bis 1942 und wurde zu einem herausragenden Vererber. Shagya-Arabian Stallion Shagya XXV, born 1916 in Bábolna (Shagya XVII (Báb), 1903, Radautz / 142 Koheilan III-7, 1912, Bábolna). He was used at Bábolna from 1931 to 1942 and became an excellent sire. The preservation of the purebred Shagya-Arabian on a high level has top priority. In doing so, his special practical use as an enduring, unpretentious riding horse with excellent balance and special attachment to humans are of crucial importance. It has been these characteristics that made this breed unique compared to other horse breeds, and they have to be respected, today more than ever, if the Shagya-Arabian shall have an economic chance. These assets are mostly true for any other Oriental breeds, which were heavily influenced by purebred Arabians (such as the Shagya-Arabian) or have been created under similar conditions over the course of centuries or millennia as an independent population. That's why their preservation for the future is so important. Purebred Breeding in the Shagya-Arabian Breed Fresh blood is needed by any pure breed, if the variation of characteristics is to be enlarged on a high level or certain characteristics / properties are to be strengthened. Fresh blood is usually introduced through stallions of the same breed or breed group, because - due to their higher proliferation - they are more effective than mares. As an example, one can refer to the import of desert-bred stallions for purebred Arabian breeding outside the Arabian peninsula. For Shagya-Arabian breeding, we have the provisions in the international breeding program for maintaining a genetic balance between the damlines and sire strains of the original k.k. Arabian breed on the one side, and the purebred Arabian breed on the other side, which says: Of the 16 ancestors (in the fourth generation), not more than nine ancestors may be purebred Arabians. Only due to the combination of optimal environmental conditions (rearing, stable, nutrition, etc.) including riding and/or driving per- 1/2018 - 59 formance as well as the excellent genetic conditions, that have been selected over centuries, can size, agility, endurance, reliability and - not least - also beauty and grace of the Shagya Arabian be preserved and furthered. If you look at the past, from which we have paintings, drawings or photos, it is confirmed that the external features, as well as the inner properties of the purebred Arabian in major high-quality breeding areas, have hardly changed. A change in appearance did not happen. Balance, as well as movements, including a powerful acceleration, are basically the same as in the 18th century. Only the shape of the head has changed from a - until then - straight profile, especially with stallions, to a more concave nose line. In this respect, the horses bred in Egypt were optimal. Since the foundation of the EAO, or rather El Zahraa stud in 1898, the movements also became more "European", for example with regards to the quality of the trot (regular, ground covering, etc.). Effects on today's Breeding Work Due to pure breeding , which was consistently maintained over many centuries, the desert-bred Arabian belonged to the most thoroughly bred horse breeds on earth. Its features and characteristics are very firmly fixed in its genetic potential. By using Arabian stallions, one can expect that they pass on their constitutional and psychological characteristics, health, longevity, unpretentiousness, motivation, ability to learn, balance, attachment to humans etc., as well as their phenotypical characteristics. The use of "Oriental" stallions, high in Arabian blood, has contributed decisively to the creation of all the "Barock horse breeds", of the Barb horse, as well as our modern warmblood breeds and contributed to the preservation of their quality parameters. This way, the "Arabian" also gave the genetic base for the English Thoroughbred, which was formed by the consequential selection on racing over the last 200 years, and developed into a performance breed of its own, which achieved irreplaceable importance in the amelioration of our riding horse breeds. Improver stallions of only the Highest Quality For the use of Arabian stallions outside pure breeding, the biological principles of crossbreeding apply. However, depending on the goal to be achieved, almost only improving and combination crossings to introduce fresh blood are being used. It is always recommended, that the respective breed association gives exact guidelines, as, for example, done by the International Shagya-Arabian Society (ISG). This can also determine the amount of purebred Arabian blood, as done in Shagya-Arabian breeding. Always of highest importance is the genetic starting position of the mares, for which reason the damlines are of fundamental importance. They are the preserving element of each breed, while the stallions in use have the task to advance the desired change. But in order to get the desired effect, i.e. the amelioration of the respective population, their selection, and use needs to be very carefully planned - sweet, but soulful. The generally high phenotypical level (genetics and environment) in Shagya-Arabian breeding makes this task especially difficult because to improve the good it needs individuals of the highest quality. This, of course, also applies to stallions of the same breed, that are used to maintain the standard. Only those breeders, who have accepted this and acted accordingly, can achieve any progress in a 200-year-old breed. Bruno Furrer Shagya-Araber