Happy Birthday – Drug (*1985)

One of the very greats celebrated his 31st birthday these days: Drug (Prizrak / Karinka). The silver grey stallion was the first and only, who managed to be victorious at the top level races as well as shows and as such embodies the ideal of the Arabian horse: versatility, performance and beauty.

Happy Birthday Drug (Prizrak / Karinka)Photo: Wrsan Stables Archive

Happy Birthday Drug (Prizrak / Karinka)Photo: Wrsan Stables Archive

Born at the Russian State Stud Tersk, he won the Russian Derby as a three-year-old, before he went on lease to Holland, where, in 1990 and 1991 he was awarded the title “European Race Horse of the Year”. He also won the Coupe d’Europe at Evry/France and the Al Nahyan International Cup in Kempton Park/Great Britain. But this alone, wouldn’t have been enough to become a legend. His legendary success was – at the same time, i.e. in 1990 – to win the European Championship “Show” at Lier/Belgium. Admittedly, this was only possible back then, because both, racing and showing weren’t as highly specialized as they are today. But this is not meant to diminish his success – quite the opposite, it should encourage us to think about it.

Drug auf der Rennbahn von Pjatigorsk

Drug at the race track of Pjatigorsk

Among his children, we can find representatives of various different disciplines: Well known in Europe is the talented dressage horse Period (out of Progulka by Gwizd), five times European champion in Dressage. Among the endurance horses we should note Voila Kossack (out of Vengria by Menes), who – with rider Heike Blümel – participated in many rides up to 160 km on international level. Several race horses have to be mentioned, first of all his successor at Tersk Stud: Madiar (out of Martinika by Aswan), who at the age of two to seven raced and won the Grand Prix for two-year-olds, as well as the Triple Crown, i.e. winning the Derby, Grand Summer Stakes and Budenny Stakes. Also among the race horses we find Navodchik (out of Nutria by Topol), who raced three seasons with 23 races and three victories, before he was sold to Barbara Schwarz in Germany. In Tersk, there are two of his daughters who distinguish themselves by either racing or breeding performance: Nakhodka (out of Nasechka by Kumir) and Madeira (out of Martinika by Aswaan) and as such a full sister of Madiar – both pillars of the Tersk breeding program. Nakhodka’s two sons, Nonius and Nash, are among the best race horses bred by Tersk Stud, and Madeira has distinguished herself by her daughters. The list could still be extended.

Ten years later, in 2000, Drug was sold to the Middle East and found a new sphere of influence at the Royal Stables of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. His life became quieter although he was still breeding, but not to the extent as in Europe. But he had found a good place where he was loved and cared for and the star at stud. Once more he had to change stables, when Sheikh Zayed died and his son Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, Al Asayl Stud took him. That’s where he has retired. We wish him many more years – he has earned it!