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Purebred Arabians

Purebred Arabians

Until World War II, Arabian breeding in Germany was largely confined to Weil-Marbach. The few private studs founded as early as the 19th century had for the most part gone out of existence even before the War. Of the few horses that remained, most did not survive the War.

The few that did were the stallion Kanzler, bred at Trakehnen, the colt Wisznu from Poland, and the mare Sarolta, foundation mare for Dr. Kurt Entress, who had begun his breeding program just before the War.
El Shaklan (Shaker El Masri x Estopa), geb. 1975, ein Vererber mit Weltformat. (Foto: Rik van Lent)As a result of the War, a considerable number of Arabians from Eastern Europe, especially Poland and Hungary, had ended up in Germany.

Wisznu was one of these, as was the stallion Halef, also from Poland During the post-war years, Gertraute Griesbach and Liselotte Tarakus toured the country to collect and identify these horses.

With half a dozen mares from Hungary, one from Poland and two from Marbach, as well as the stallions Wisznu and Halef, Mrs. Griesbach founded the Achental Stud, widely acknowledged as the second foundation of German Arabian breeding besides Weil-Marbach.
The farm closed down in the late 60s; one parte of the horses went on to become the foundation of the Ismer Stud, the remainder was taken to Argentina by Mrs. Griesbach's daughter, who continues the stud there to this day. During the 50s and 60s, several other Arabian studs were founded.

The most important year was 1955, which saw the first imports from Egypt after the War. Marbach imported the stallion Hadban Enzahi and the filly Nadja, and Prince Knyphausen, imported the stallion Ghazal and the mare Moheba. All of these become vital in the development of the Arabian breed in Germany.
 Estopa (Tabal x Uyaima), eine der einflußreichsten Stuten, die je den Weg von Spanien nach Deutschland fanden. (Foto: Ligon)


Der Originalaraberhengst Kaisoon hinterließ der Zucht ausgezeichnete Mutterstuten. Eine davon: Mareekah a.d. Bint Magdi vom Gestüt Rothenberg. (Foto: E. Escher)

A few years later the Egyptian stallion Kaisoon arrived in Germany, who together with Hadban Enzahi and Ghazal roomed a trio of Nazeer sons that were to shape the breed in this country for years to come.

During the 60s, Arabian breeding in Germany developed without any great upheavals.

The few horses from other sources involved - such as the Spanish mare Algaida and the Crabbet/Old English stallion Nizar- were absorbed into the gene pool without causing any great ripples.

When in the late 60s Erika Schiele's book "Arabians in Europe" was published, the number of German breeders was small enough for each of them to find mention. It was this book more then anything else that helped change this situation, because it alerted the breeders to the fact that there were Arabians in other countries as well.

The 70s saw a stream of imports into Germany. While most of these were from Egypt (possibly also due to the fact that the Asil Club was founded in Germany in 1974), there were also horses from Poland, Spain, and Russia.
 Siam (Madkour I x Sehnab), Beschäler im traditionsreichen Gestüt Ismer (Foto: E. Escher)
 El Tabal (An Malik x Taduri de Washoe), Z.: Kalifornien, B.: Familie Jung, machte sich in Deutschland als Vertreter der spanischen Linie einen großen Namen. (Foto: E. Escher) 
The Spanish imports included the legendary Estopa, who was to influence Arabian breeding not only in Germany, but on a worldwide scale.

From Russia came Kilimandscharo and several other get of Aswan, beginning the era of the Russian Arabian that is still continuing today.
From then on, the development accelerated. During the boom of the Arabian industry in the USA in the 80s, coupled with a large demand there for Russian horses, Germany became a major exporting country.

However, those exports were less "German" horses, but horses of Russian and to some extent of Egyptian breeding.
 Bint Sylvan Lass (El Zahraa x Sylvan Lass), eine Stute der Extraklasse (Foto: I. Klauenberg)
Der Stempelhengst Kilimandscharo (Aswan x Karta) von Silvia Garde-Ehlert, Gestüt Alemich, verursachte den The two decades from 1970 to 1990 saw a rapid expansion of the Arabian scene in Germany. In 1975, the first central stallion licensing for Arabians was held.

The first international show took place in 1973 and featured a veritable who's who of participants, including El Paso and Shaker el Masri. The show scene really got going in the late 70s when a major international show was held in Hamburg.
The following year saw the first show at Aachen, which has since become the regular venue for the prestigious All Nations Cup (first held there in 1984), widely acknowledged as the best Arabian show in Europe.

The numbers of horses and of breeders increased steadily. One of the most significant was the Saalegrund Stud, one of the few to concentrate on old German bloodlines.
Salaa el Dine (Ansata Halim Shah x Hanan) (Foto: E. Escher)
 Mansul (Sawih Ibn Wisznu x Mekka), geb. 1975, Gründerhengst des Gestütes Saalegrund der Familie Koch. (Foto: E. Escher)
Of the older stud farms, the Ismer Stud remained especially successful with horses that included traditional German lines as well as straight Egyptian and pure Polish horses.

The old lines were also continued by the Kameke Stud, while other post-war breeders switched to straight Egyptians.
The Ostenfelde Stud, collected one of the biggest herds of pure Polish horses outside Poland; the Alemich Stud remained a major source of Russian bloodlines.

Spanish horses remained a distinct minority, with only the Karolinenhof Stud concentrating on these lines in a big way.
Der russische Beschäler Kosmonaut (Naftalin x Karinka) im Besitz von G. Hoogen legte seine HLP in Russland auf der Rennbahn ab. (Foto: E. Escher)

Om El Arab, which had first begun to import Spanish horses, crossed these with Egyptian lines and developed the famed "Golden Cross", whose most prominent example was El Shaklan - probably the most influential stallion ever bred in Germany.

In East Germany - then the German Democratic Republic - there were also several breeding farms, mostly based on Polish lines, with some very limited exchange with West Germany.

When in 1990 German was reunited and the border fell, Arabian breeding in the east expanded rapidly and acquired new bloodlines.

During the 80s and 90s, the show ring became the centre of the Arabian scene in Germany.

Aachen played a significant part in this, as did the many regional shows that sprang up across the country. As a result, the entire structure of the Arabian scene changed.
Neman-Sohn Nadir I, einer der Hauptbeschäler des Gestütes Sax. (Foto: E. Escher)

The number of Arabian owners increased greatly, including a new group that are not so much breeders, as buyers and sellers of show horses; while many of the older breeders have withdrawn form the USA, and there are now several training stables in Germany that cater entirely to owners of show horses.

There are, however, still alternatives.

The racing scene has developed considerably during the last couple of years, after a slow start; many Arabians are active and successful in endurance riding, and an increasing number of shows are offered with sports competitions for Arabian horses.

There have never been so many Arabians and Arabian horses in Germany as there are today, nor has there ever been such a broad variety of bloodline available. Bloodlines from all over the world can be found here. Egyptians and Russians between them make up the majority.

Both groups have developed considerably during the last 20 years, aided by the use of such dominant sires as Kubinec and Ansata Halim Shah, whose influence may be said to equal that of Hadban Enzahi after the War.
While Germany, like all of Europe, has succumbed to every fad and fashion that came over form America, there are still breeders who attempt to preserve the original foundation bloodline.

While "preservation breeding" is also an American concept, it is certainly more applicable in this country than many others.

It is a concept followed by some mostly small breeders, who try to preserve not only the foundation bloodlines as such, but in particular their virtues: not beauty alone, but also a good disposition, correct conformation, hardiness, health and excellent riding qualities - virtues that were and sill are typical of the Arabian horse at its best.