Zboj, 1813 grey stallion

Grey Turcoman battlefield stray captured by members of the Russian Army during the Russo-Turkish wars. He was sold to Eustachy Sanguszko in 1813 in Dubno, Ukraine and brought to Slawuta. While the Sanguszko family considered this horse Oriental, they did not consider this horse an Arabian. The best evidence indicates they considered him a Turcoman. Several different sources give information on the provenance of Zbój.

Władysław Sanguszko gives us the earliest information in 1839: “Zbój was born in Asia Minor, and came from the best band of horses of that region.” He adds a bit more information in 1850: “The provenance of Zbój was quite unknown, since the Turk who was riding him died in battle, and the horse was captured from Russian soldiers. For the experts, it was undoubtable that he was a Turkman horse, born in Asia Minor, and came from the finest herds of that region.

From a history of the stud published in Russian in 1860 we learn that he was purchased in Dubno from a member of the Russian Army: “In 1813, when Prince Eustachy Hieronimovich came back to his estate, he noticed that the farm did not have enough stallions. As his father before, he had a great desire to support the farm’s line, and in 1813 and 1814 he bought several stallions of the Eastern breed which stayed in Russia after the Turkish campaigns. The Prince bought the white Arabian stallion “Zboy” (Zbój) from a member of army personnel in Dubno. This horse lived a long time and was the Prince’s best riding horse. Zboy (Zbój) was extremely good, strong, intelligent, but was known for quite a few antics. For example, he only allowed to be shoed if he was not held or tied-up during the process. Otherwise he would break the ropes and hurt people holding him. This stallion sired offspring, but this was nowhere near as stately and beautiful as him. Other stallions were bought at the same time from the Army Commander-in-Chief, Count Gudovich, These were: grey Ptak, white Cyrus, golden bay Shahadir, and another one with a golden dun coat.”

Roman Sangusko Sr. writes about these five stallions which included Zbój in 1876 and describes them as “oriental” but not Arabian in a list of the numbers of early imports to the stud: “1800 – 1803, original stallions brought from Arabia – 5; 1813 – 1814, oriental stallions – 5; 1818… 9 Arabian stallions, 1 mare (total)- 10.”

The Janow Podloski database which is based on Polish stud books published in the 1930s characterizes this horse as “d.b” or “desert bred.” This is clearly not the case as can be seen from the evidence above. According to the Sanguszkos, Zbój was not an Arabian horse.

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