The history of thoroughbred Arabian breeding in Slovakia began to be written unofficially from the seventies of the last century. In 1973, the Topolčianky stud imported original Arabian thoroughbreds from the Arab Republic of Egypt for more than 3.5 million crowns from the El Zahraa State Stud. The aim of the imports was to further improve the quality of the Shagya-Arabian as well as the Arabian thoroughbred breed. Four stallions and 6 breeding mares were imported.
The stallions were used primarily in the targeted blood building of the Topolčianky Shagya-Arabian herd, which was basically built on the radovecky breeding with a limited proportion of Arabian thoroughbred blood. The goal of breeding was to build the necessary proportion of the Arabian thoroughbred into viable offspring with good constitutional characteristics. That was achieved. The stallion TOBROK (Anter – Tanta, 1966, line Gamil El Kebir - 1870) left 140 offspring in the stud. Several his stallions and thoroughbred Shagya-Arab mares worked in the breeding, which became the elite of the breeding. His son HAMADAN (Tobrok – Felfela, 1980) became the father of excellent breeding mares awarded at international championships, but also the father of the breeding stallion UNIKÁT (Hamadan – El Hamza, 1989), who worked in the stud breeding.
Other imported stallions such as WATANI (Sharhasi – Bedour, 1968), KASR EL NIL (Tuhotmos – Bint El Nil, 1971) and HOSAM (Wadi – Wasila, 1973) were also used. Imported mares actively participated in the required blood reconstruction of the Shagya-Arab herd. To this day, their blood figures in the origins of Shagya-Arabian and Arabian thoroughbred horses born in Topoľčianky.
Almost half a century after the first imports, which established thoroughbred Arabian breeding in Slovakia, the National Stud decided to purchase two thoroughbred Arabian mares based on successful cooperation with the Marbach State Stud (Germany). Their origins trace back to the first imports to the National Stud and their roots go back to prominent representatives of the El Zahra State Egyptian Stud.
MARBACH STALLION AND ITS HISTORY OF ARABIAN HORSE BREEDING
The Marbach Stud has a centuries-old tradition of breeding these rare horses. In 1491 Count Eberhart Bart established a stud farm for them in Oberfeld near Marbach. In addition to the horses that came from his court stud in Einsiedel near Tübingen (1460), he bought horses from the Holy Land, Hungary, Transylvania, and Turkey. In the middle of the 16th century, the stud farm moved to Marbach. Horse breeding in Marbach is mentioned for the first time in a document from 1554. In 1590 Duke Ludwig set a breeding target for the production of riding horses. For this purpose, Andalusian, English and Berber stallions were purchased. The goal of this breeding and long-term work was the creation of the Württemberg Warmblood breed.
In 1817, the Marbach Stud was promoted to the State Stud of the Kingdom of Württemberg.
In 1816, the first Arabian thoroughbred mare came to Württemberg from Syria. Her name was Murana I. King Wilhelm I, who is commemorated by the fountain of mares in the courtyard of the stud farm, founded a private stud farm with her in Weil near Esslingen. It was the first breeding of thoroughbred Arabian horses outside the Orient. Even today, we can find horses in Marbach that trace their origin to this mare. Wilhelm I was also supported by his wife Catherine in his breeding efforts. One of the most famous stallions of this breed was Bairactars (1813).
Bairactars gained its application in breeding from 1918. In period of 1820 - 1824, Bairactars was in the service of the king as an excellent riding horse. In 1825, he was listed as the main breeding stallion and he bred mostly imported Arabian mares. He was very prolific and left behind more than 200 descendants. He died of colic on February 17, 1839. He was so special that even the king himself mentions him in his memoirs. His skeleton was donated to the veterinary school in Stuttgart and in the 1980s it was transferred to the Stallion Museum Offenhausen (near Marbach), where it is still on display.
In his will, King Wilhelm I ordered the preservation of the thoroughbred Arabian horse breed. However, after the world economic crisis, his great-granddaughter Pauline zu Weid was no longer able to run the stud on her own, and in 1932 she handed it over to the Marbach State Stud.
But let's go back to the famous stallions of the stud, in addition to the Bairactars stallion, there were also the Hadban Enzahi, to whom a monument was placed in the stud, and the stallion Gharib (1970, black), which, like the first imports of the stallions Tobrok and Kasr El Nil, belongs to the sought-after line of Arabian thoroughbred horses Gamil El Kebir (1870).
RARE ORIGIN OF IMPORTED MARES
On June 15, 2022, two thoroughbred Arabian mares NIDA (April 17, 2008) and NAYANA (March 12, 2012) were imported to the National Stud. Both mares come from the paternal line of Saklava I (1886) and from the maternal side they belong to the El Dahma family (1880). The mares were imported in foul after the Egyptian stallion Nasheed Al Amal Hoor (2010, Gamil El Kebir, 1870). He is a proven stallion from the line of stallions, just like the famous Marbach stallion Gharib, who was a direct son of Anter (father of the legendary stallion Tobrok). The similarity of this stallion with the Tobrok stallion is also striking. Its long name can be translated as "Poem of Hope".
The stallion Gharib is also found in the origins of both imported mares, which is good news for Topolčianky breeders in view of the consolidation of rare genes and the preservation of future offspring.
Arabian thoroughbred breeding in the National Stud will continue based on already tested parent pairs – original Egyptian thoroughbred horses originating from the El Zahraa State Stud and the Marbach State Stud. It follows the breeding tradition and the intention of the first imported horses. He owns insemination doses of the Tobrok stallion in his sperm bank. His two sons, the stallion 105 Tobrok III (Suleiman, chestnut, 2014) and 110 Tobrok IV (Uzaar, chestnut, 2014), are currently working in the breeding. In 2020, the original Arabian mare 838 Udeema (Nadeem B – 719 Unia, 2016) was included in the breeding, which traces its origin to Egyptian ancestors. And, hopefully, adulthood is emerging as well. The stallion born in 2000 - Utan (Tobrok III - Unia) could be interesting for breeding in the future, not only because of its origin but also because of its attractive and sought-after coloring - black.
Archív NŽ “Topoľčianky“, š.p.
Archív Štátneho žrebčína Marbach