The Three Pillars of Polish Arabian Breeding

The Polish nobility discovered the Arabian horse in the late 18th and 19th centuries. Numerous expeditions to the Middle East were undertaken to buy suitable horses, and so three large families succeeded in forming the breeding stock on which even the state studs were later built.

By the late eighteenth century, there was a well-established tradition of horse breeding amongst the aristocratic families in Poland, these horses having a high proportion of Oriental blood. Turkoman, Persian and Arabian horses could be found at many of the studs, usually stallions, sometimes purchased by agents sent to the Ottoman Empire in search of superior bloodstock, sometimes received as gifts from the Ottomans, or from the Shahs of Safavid Persia, who were on friendly terms with Poland-Lithuania (an aristocratic republic existing from 1569 to 1795), as both were enemies of the Ottoman Empire.

Die Stuten ohne Fohlen im Paddock des Gestüts Antoniny der Familie Sanguszko. – Mares without foals in the paddock of Antoniny stud of the Sanguszko family.
aus: Bojanowski – Sylwetki koni oryentalnych i ich hodowców

The Three Major Studs

Prince Roman E. Sanguszko, owner of Slawuta Stud from 1844 onwards. – Prinz Roman E. Sanguszko, Besitzer des Gestüts Slawuta ab 1844.

The first of the studs relevant to the history of the Polish Arabian is that of the Branicki family, whose seat was at Biała Cerkiew, located in current-day Ukraine. Their breeding farm was established at Szamrajówka in 1778, with foundation stock – two stallions and thirty mares – purchased from Stanisław Szczęsny Potocki’s Tulczyn Stud, and supplemented by local Polish mares of unknown parentage but definitely of Arabian type. The Tulczyn stallions may have been purebred Arabians; the mares, again of unknown parentage, would have been at the very least high percentage Oriental. Their studbook was created somewhat later – some sources say as early as 1803, others 1812, when the Uzin farm was established.


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