The outlines of oriental horses and their owners (1906)

Sylwetki Koni Oryentalnych i ich Hodowców

Published by the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, 1906. Pages 49-73, 128-142.

By Stefan Bojanowski (1850-1910)

Edited by Lyman Doyle.  Translated from Polish by David Rygielski.

Editor’s Note

Stefan Bojanowski 1906 book is of higher quality writing than his 1902 publication. It is relatively concise but it is still hard to tell his exact sources for certain information however, the sources that he does list in his bibliography are of high quality. Of note is volume III of the Farming Encyclopedia of 1876 in which Roman Sanguszko Sr.’s history of the stud is published.

Only the portion of the work dealing with Slawuta/Chrestówka, Antonin and Jarczowce is translated. These are the portions that deal with Skowronek’s ancestors.

The translation follows:

III. Sławuta herd – Antoniny Herd

There are only utility horses in Sławuta – the old residence of many generations of Sanguszko Princes, surrounded from all sides by ancient forests, and laying by the charming Horyń river, which in the olden times had its waters reddened with Tatar, Cossack and our blood. You will not see another such stable anywhere in the world, since there usually are almost 100 carriage and saddle horses here, and these horses are only stallions, and these stallions are only Arabs – since Prince Roman Sanguszko uses no other horse than an Arab stallion for both the carriage and saddle.

Sławuta has been keeping the tradition, standards and shields of the Sanguszko clan for centuries without interruption. The Prince’s stable – its equipment, the type of horses within, and the servants composed of local minor nobility – it’s like a warlord’s stable, which only reminds that the Sanguszkos are a branch of the Gediminas line, related to the Jagiellonians.

The Sławuta herd, the sires, dams, and progeny, is not located and almost never was located in Sławuta itself, only in Chrestówka, and that’s why it bears the name of the ‘Chrestówka’ herd. The history of this herd reaches back to the times when the Princes Sanguszko moved from the lands of their Lithuanian forefathers to Wołyń and Ukraine, and it was created by the merging of the herds of the Ostrogskis and Zasławskis. This herd dates back several centuries and does not allow us to pinpoint its origin, since it was created and grew with these clans, was kept from generation to generation, developing in line with the development of these clans’ significance. You could say about the Sanguszko herd that it did not have a founding, only the historical turmoil of the country and the Sanguszko family had an effect on its founding and development, and even the race of the horses. It is the only surviving and flourishing herd today that has its roots in the old warlord herds and the herds of our heroic families, that spent their lives on horseback in defense of our country! You cannot say this about other herds existing today, since they were all founded in later eras, and you can define accurately the year of founding, the surname of the founder, and the breeding material in each case.

The Sanguszko horses have high Eastern blood[1], constantly refreshed by the finest Oriental sires, purchased in more recent times in the East; and in the past, captured during the wars with Muslims that Poland had. These wars left a landscape of blaze, ruins and ashes but always brought only benefits to the national breeding efforts, as after each clash with Muslims, the knights returning to their homesteads brought back the finest sires and dams, which were used in the herds without asking for pedigree and certificates of origin, as it was understood that the Muslim hordes invading Poland had to have sat on the best stallions and mares, as on a military expedition that dangerous, they would not entrust their lives to a horse of untried and uncertain ability.

Since the wars were ended when peace was made in Karłowice in 1699 – the ease of obtaining original breeding material of high Eastern blood was also gone. Then, the owners of the large herds, in the light of repaired relations with Turkey, have undertaken to refresh the blood of their herds by buying original oriental sires, and also dams – in the Far East – in the cradle of their race. The first to lead by example were:

  • Prince Adam Czartoryszki – Podole General
  • Szczęsny Potocki – the Kiev Governor
  • Prince Hieronim Sanguszko – the last Governor of Wołyń

The expedition sent by Prince Hieronim for oriental horses which will be discussed later on consists an era in and of itself in terms of refreshing and ennobling the Sanguszko herd with original sires – periodically imported from the East. The original herd was kept under uninterrupted care of the Sanguszko family members, and there is no mention of the herd being split before the year 1750. Only after the death of Prince Paweł-Karol[2], the Great Crown Marshall, the herd was first partitioned between the following four sons of his: Prince Janusz Senior[3] – the last Ostrogski heir – who decided to try and save his inheritance from being looted by the Maltan Order by dividing it between relatives and friends. It was then that the Lubomirski Princes with their expansive estate, took over the heir’s herd, which was soon lost. The Sanguszko family herd was transferred to Prince Józef[4], the Great Lithuanian Marshall. The rest went to Prince Hieronim, the Wołyń Governor, and Prince Janusz Junior[5], the Crown Guard. The details regarding the quantity, origin, age, coat color, and estimated value of the horses split amongst the brothers are apparently in the ‘department inventories’ in the Zasławie archive.

When the older brother, Prince Józef, passed away in 1781 – and his only son Prince Roman followed him 10 years after – the herd was split into two parts, and those were: the ‘kłębowieckie’ or ‘Zasławskie’ herd; and the ‘Sławuta’, that is, the ‘Chrestówka’ herd. The first of these passed from Prince Karol – who passed away without children – to his sister Klementyna Małachowska, and was gone within 2 years. The ‘Chrestówka’ herd – so called from the Chrestówka village where it is located until today, was reinforced with the ‘Iliniecke’ and ‘Czerkaskie’ herds. It becomes the property of Prince Hieronim, the last Governor of Wołyń.

Prince Hieronim felt a lack of original oriental stallions in his Chrestówka herd, so he put together a dangerous, almost military expedition for horses to Arabia, and entrusted the fate of it to Kajetan Burski. Before Burski even returned from the East with the horses, one original Arab already crossed the threshold of the Chrestówka stable. It was a “skaro-gniady” (dark bay), which was imported by royal means from Istanbul for King Stanisław-August, but due to his modest height did not suit the King’s taste, who bestowed him upon a courtier of his, Mr. Politowski. Prince Sanguszko was able to buy this horse for his Sławuta stud farm. Burski returned to Sławuta after a few years of travel – in 1804 – and brought back one mare and five stallions that made their mark on the Chrestówka herd.

When Prince Hieronim passed in 1812, the estate came into Prince Eustachy’s hands, and in the age of the Napoleonic war, the stud farm in Sławuta was damaged and deteriorated under the governance of Kumberlej, and only a fragment of it survived – only those which could be hidden in the vast forests. Kumberlej’s herd was famous in Little Russia – it came from Chrestówka mares – taken at a time when this gentleman was a governor of Wołyń. When Prince Eustachy regained the estate in 1814, at once he undertook reorganising and rebuilding the decimated herd. At first, he bought four stallions from Earl Gudowicz’s estate: “Szach-a-dir” – a golden-bay stallion; a white “Cyrus”; a grey “Ptak”, and another gold-wolfish one from some other person. Around this time, Prince Eustachy also got a white stallion called “Zbój”, a strong and unusually brave horse. He was memorable, as he had a clear sense of his own dignity, and when, for example, he wasn’t being tied up and held, he would allow you to shoe him freely and without resistance. If he felt he was being down and forced, he would not allow anyone to put the horseshoes on him, would knock over people and snap the strongest leads. These sires did not live up to Prince Eustachy’s expectations – as he noticed that they had negligible impact on improving the herd and did not inspire confidence in the purity of their blood unlike horses that were imported directly from the East. Following in his father’s footsteps, Prince Eustachy organized and sent a second excursion to the East in 1816, bestowing the mission upon an experienced equerry, Tomasz Moszyński, with the assist of Franciszek Świerczyński and three Cossacks: Szrewer, Michałek, and Haraszym – the last had been to Arabia with Burski already. Moszyński traversed the deserts for two years – reaching the depths inhabited by Bedouins – who raise the most precious and most noble horses, and returned in November 1818, bringing back nine stallions: a white “Neżdy” and a white “Haylan”[6], a grey “Rabdan”, a grizzled-grey “Dzielf”, a grey colt – “Kbeszan”; a bay “Obejan”, a chestnut “Semran”; a bay “Seglavi”; as well as a “Seglavia” mare. Moszyński performed excellently in his task – he acted under the advice of an Englishman, Rawson – a first rate expert on oriental horses, having been settled in Aleppo for many years and married to an Arab woman. He picked the best for Sławuta that he could find. Prince Eustachy was delighted with the imported horses, testament to which can be found in a letter dated 12 January 1819 to Wacław Rzewuski in the following manner: “I will tell the truth Sir, that in our country, neither an eye saw, neither an ear heard about Arab horses of the kind that I have.” … The portraits of these horses were made by a Vienna painter, Kruchhuber, and were kept at Prince Władysław Sanguszko’s place near Tarnów.

The beauty and the purely oriental type of the Chrestówka horses had garnered such fame even outside of the borders of the country, that when Peter Hess’ was sent by the Bavarian king Ludwig on a mission to picture the happenings of the war in the years 1813-1814, Hess purposely came to Sławuta to see, closely study, and sketch the characteristic features, build and type of oriental horses that the Bavarians did not know. The military clashes of these years, painted by Hess, grace the walls of the royal castle in Munich to this day. In these paintings, the horses are the “Sanguszko” horses born and sketched in Chrestówka. During this time, he completed a portrait of Prince Eustachy on his favourite black mount, taking great care and accuracy in representing the composition and presence of this beautiful horse, called “Szumka the 1st”. Szumka’s brother, equally beautiful and able, was gifted to Prince Józef Poniatowski, and is remembered in paintings and etchings portraying Prince Józef on a black horse. He was the son of “Haylan” imported from Arabia by Moszyński in 1818, and a half-blood oriental mare “Polka”, of a stallion of unknown origin – purchased in 1790 in Vienna by Prince Eustachy. There was a rumor that the Prince won the right to purchase this horse through an artful and brave ride on an otherwise extremely vicious horse. The black “Szumka” was a saddle horse so excellent that many said that if Prince Józef was not riding him in the Battle of Leipzig, he would have died miserably in the treacherous waters of River Elster.

Prince Eustachy, knowing and appreciating the influence of the original studs imported from Arabia, secured an easier way of suppling the stud farm with fresh Eastern horses by employing a Syrian Arab, named Arutin, under whose direction three transports of horses arrived in the years 1821 – 1826. Amongst them, the following noteworthy horses arrived: chestnut “Kohejlandius”, “Hemdan” and “Dzielfa”; a bay “Small Obejan”; grizzled-grey: “Giejk”, “Sebha” and “Gbeszan”; grey “Benissar” and “Managi”. Four mares: “Gazella”, “Gawra”, “Hadba” and “Gidy”. Later, in 1842 came a chestnut “Dżedran”, purchased in Istanbul in 1842 with the help of a negotiator, Glioccho.

Before his death on the 20th February 1844, Prince Eustachy Sanguszko, the son of Hieronim, had split his herd in his will – giving ¾ of it to an underage Prince Paweł, and ¼ to the Princess Marya-Klementyna, the daughter of Prince Roman Sanguszko, who transferred her rights to her father. Prince Roman enlarged this portion of the herd by purchasing 12 mares and one stallion for 7500 roubles from the caretakers of the underage Prince Paweł – who did not have the ability for skillful management of the herd and entrusted it to the care of Prince Roman until Prince Paweł was of age.

In 1844, when Prince Roman was returning from Jerusalem and the Tomb of Jesus, he stopped over in Aleppo. He received a message that the wife of Musselim Batran-Aga, a Beduin, received a horse of a very high race from the Seglawi family. He began a negotiation with the husband of the woman, a hard, difficult negotiation, which was the custom for Europeans purchasing horses there. It was appropriate to create great resistance and difficulty when selling a horse like this, since it was said that it was last of its generation in Arabia. However, the Prince struck a deal, and the valuable, grey “Batran-Aga Dżedran” was purchased, along with a young foal that promised a lot, called “El-Szam”. Since the Prince was returning by sea, the horses were sent by land through Asia Minor to Glioccho in Istanbul. Glioccho did not deliver the horses for almost two years, only after an energetic intervention by the Russian embassy, “Batran-Aga-Dżedran” and “El-Szam” arrived in Sławuta in 1846. Shortly later it became apparent that the stories told in Aleppo were not untrue. The vice-king of Egypt, appreciating the high class and blood purity of “Batran-Aga-Dżedran”, sent an offer to Sławuta through the Russian Consulate to purchase the stallion and all of its descendants, as he was the last of the “Seglawi – Dżedran” family. The Princes however valued this horse very highly and did not want to concede it.

In 1854, some Nubian made his way to Vienna, having original Arab horses to sell for a high price and not succeeding, and very quickly he moved to Berlin. When the Sanguszko Princes read about this in the Augsburg newspaper, they took the opportunity and purchased one stallion, “Abu-Lele”. In the meantime, they purchased the original Arab “Silver Obejan” from the stables of Earl Rozwadowski. This horse was a descendant of the original oriental horses that Kruszewski sent directly from Arabia to stables in Rajtarowice. They brought both of these horses to the Sławuta stable in 1855. These purchases also did not satisfy Prince Roman, so he organized a third excursion to Arabia. He entrusted this task to Franciszek Świerczyński and Władysław Czerniawski, the equerries of the Sławuta herd at the time.

The departure of this expedition took place in 1858, a few months after the return of a mission of Colonel Brudermann – who was sent by the emperor to purchase horses for the Austrian and Hungarian herds. He went around and bought up whatever was best in Arabia. Świerczyński and Czerniawski took to the deserts of Arabia down the roads that Świerczyński and Moszyński traversed forty years prior, having purchased “Haylan”, “Rabdan” and “Dzielf”, as well as the other mentioned horses – but they met great obstacles on this journey, as the seething religious tensions in the East led to bloody skirmishes between Christians and believers of the Prophet, and made travelling in the Arab world more dangerous. Regardless of these obstacles, Świerczyński and Czerniawski were able to make an excellent purchase. They bought:

  1. a “Biały Mahomet” – (“White Mahomet”) of the Hait-Hali race, from the El-joufonk generation of the Kohejlan family. Its defining features were the exemplary build and excellent shapes.
  2. The second horse – “Anazi” – was white with dark spots, of the Anazi race, very noble, a real, typical son of the desert – whom with his head, eye, and swan-like neck, the way his tail was set, with a clean leg, a very long stride, light composition – made it instantly apparent where he came from.
  3. The third – pink-grey “Seglawi-Ardzebi” – possessed all the markings of a high race
  4. The fourth and last – a grey “Kohejlan-Abu” – with a black mane and tail, was not inferior to the previously mentioned three in his build, motions, and the nobility of his race.

In 1859, two original Arab stallions get to Chrestówka: 1) a black “Seglawi” (Black-Arabian), an original Arab, was bought from the Leedes Prince in 1859. “Indianin”, a white stallion with a black tail and mane, an original Arab born in Calcutta, India – which was brought to England – and bought from there by the Prince. This stallion was later to the herd of Earl Branicki – in Szamrajówka, Ukraine, where he was renamed “Nizam”.

A few years after the importation of these horses, several unfortunate and sad events and accidents touched the Sanguszko family – as well as the Chrestówka herd severely. In Chrestówka, where the whole Sanguszko herd was temporarily held (herds of Prince Roman and Prince Paweł), during an improbably storm, a large stable collapsed – 8 valuable mares being buried within, and with a significant portion later dying due to serious injuries. Prince Roman moved his part of the herd from Chrestówka to Wolica, and built a 40,000 rouble stable for his favorite horses there. Unfortunately, these stables turn out to be too moist, especially for the foals, who previously suffered from the cold snaps – while being herded through the steppes from Chrestówka to Wolica. The loss in foals was very significant and damaging to the herd – since a lot of the progeny from the year 1860 – 1861 were lost, and the foals from 1862 were wiped out entirely. After these events, and after Wolica was taken over by the government under the pretense of an uprising, Prince Roman chose Satanów at the Zbruch River for his horses. The wonderfully located estate of his daughter, the later Countess Potocki, was leased for this purpose. Prince Roman Sanguszko died in Sławuta on the 26th of March 1881, and the herd was transferred as inheritance to Earl Potocki in Antoniny, and currently bears the name of the ‘Antoniny herd, of Prince Roman, E. Sanguszko’ – for differentiation from the ‘Sławuckie’ / ‘Chrestowieckie’ herd.

In the last 40 years, the following original oriental sires got to Sławuta:

In 1861 – a white “Derwisz” – an original Arab purchased in the southern Arab desert; “Dżelabi” – an original light-bay Arab – was bought in Yemen, and was often called by that name in Sławuta. In 1862 – “Szems” – a white original Arab, bought in Cairo by Prince Roman Sanguszko during travels around Egypt. In 1864 – “Feruk-Han” – a skarogniady (dark bay) original Arab-Persian[7] stallion, bought from Earl Juliusz Dzieduszycki. “Szech Mahomet” – a white original Arab from Syria – a horse of an excellent race and beautiful shapes, was found by Prince Roman at a post office in Dubno amongst other postal horses. In 1865 – “Jamri”, “Bagdadi”, and a bay “Aghil-Aga”, bought by Brudermann in 1850 for the Austro-Hungarian Empire’s stables in Babolna. In 1867 – a white original Arab “Hadudi” – of the Hadben race, born in the Syrian Arabian deserts, with the Anaze Ruola Bedouins, was brought in 1857 by an Austrian expedition under General Brudermann into the Austro-Hungarian empire’s stables in Lipizza. In 1870 – “Kohejl-Neżdy” – original white Arab, bought by Zimmerman in Baghdad in 1870. During this year, two original Arab mares join the herd: white and black “Dżelfa”. Two years later, in 1872, the same Zimmerman purchased a “Ras-El-Abiad” – a chestnut and original Arab – for the Chrestówka herd. Also, through other means, two other original Arab stallions are acquired: “Trafani” and “Hemdani”. In 1875 – a white “Ezrek-Seglawi” – brought over from the East by Prince Roman when he was 9. In 1879 – “Obejan-Szaraki” – a bay original Arab was bought by Prince Roman from the Sefer Pasha in Bertolstein in June 1879. Purchasing almost simultaneously to “Akbar”, an original Arab purchased in Wales, from the stable of the Welsh Prince in 1879. In 1880 – “Ebean-Geriz”, an original cherry-bay Arab – bought from the Austrian consul in Cairo. In 1888 – a bay “Jussuf”, a stallion of unproven origin was bought from the herd of the Austrian emperor in Babolna. In 1889 – a bay original Arab “Wodan”, was bought from Mr. Zimmerman in Cairo in 1888 by Prince Eustachy and gifted to his brother for the Chrestówka herd. “Semchan” arrives in the same year, an original grizzled-grey Arab, purchased in Cairo, also. In 1890 – two horses were purchased purchased on the 7th July 1890 in Warsaw from a Turk, Abuziarow. A bay original Arab – “Kohejlan-Dzidran”, and a bay “Abu-Argub”. The latter was a sire in the Gumniska herd, and later returned to the Chrestówka herd. In 1891, a bay original Arab “Antar”, and a grey “Dewrisz”. Dewrisz was used by Prince Roman under the saddle, and Antar was sold to Mr Mikołaj Łukasiewicz, do Podhajczyki in Galicia, where he died as a twenty-three year old horse. In 1896, 4 stallions make it to the Chrestówka herd – a bay original Arab “Seglavi-Dżedran”, bought from the Khedivé herd in Egypt; a white “Ruheli”, a black “Seglavi” born in the herd of the Pasha of Egypt, bought in Cairo; Original Arab “Massad” of the Saclaoni-Jardan race, of the Anaze-Nagde tribe, bought as a 16 year old, also from the Pasha in Cairo. This horse was reportedly of very high blood, beautiful and exceedingly noble, and only left behind 2 colts and 6 fillies, as it died in 1899. In 1900, 3 original sires make it to the Chrestówka herd from the Far East – a chestnut “Ilderim”, a white “Dżejlan” and a white “Arslan”.

When reading the notes regarding the history of the “Sanguszko herd”, and most of all, when studying the origin of the dams used within it, you will see that the origin is unknown and uncertain, and they are defined by names such as: “Czerniatyńska”, “Mianoska”, “Ribińska”, “Czerkaska”, “Sobolowata”, “Warszawska”, “Niemka gniada”, “Gulka kasztanowata”, “Skaro-gniada wierzchowa”, “O jednym cycku” (“with one tit”), and many other like it. One will see that initially the breeding material (especially the dams) was very mixed, created from many, maybe good, but maybe also second-rate sources, with unproven origin, and with not much value as a “race”, but always as an excellent collection of local horses, created through the need to defend the country, with favorable circumstances for breeding and crossing, and being improved for a long time now to a certain degree. Such breeding was made easier by the relative lack of difficulty of obtaining noble and fine sires during the eternal wars with the East. It can be said that Prince Hieronim was the first person who set a clear direction for breeding noble, oriental horses, by sending Burski to the East for sires. This direction has been kept since then in the Chrestówka herd, and the present Sławuta horse – a noble, typical and beautiful horse, is a product of systematic breeding by four generations of the Sanguszko Princes, who raised Arab horses with a knightly love, whose ancestors once made up the Cossack herds.

Prince Roman Senior, the author of the history of the Sanguszko herd, mentions that he considers the two stallions purchased by Moszyński – the bay “Dzielf” and white “Haylan” as the founders of the current “Chrestówka herd”.

[Translator’s note: Here, Bojanowski engages in a two-page long description and discussion of a certain Mr. Mohort. He was a legendary border army lieutenant, who was reported to have been an active soldier for over 80 years. He was immortalised in a poem ‘Mohort’ by Wincenty Pol, a significant Polish poet. The author discusses this poem as well as the authentic life of this gentleman. It has nothing to do with horses. The two pages also seem pasted in, in between two logically linked paragraphs above and below.]

Today’s oriental “Antoniny herd of Prince Roman E. Sanguszko” is an off-shoot of the Sławuta herd. It split off because Prince Roman Sanguszko Sr., the brother of Prince Władysław, the father of Prince Roman, the current owner of Sławuta – left only one daughter – Maria, who then married Earl Alfred Potocki, the Łańcut heir, and the father of Earl Józef Potocki, the current owner of Antoniny. In the Sanguszko clan there was a tradition of keeping the wealth in the hands of the males, and yet the old Prince Roman made his only daughter Maria the administrator of the entire fortune before his death. A few years after his death, in line with the last will, the split of the fortune between Princess Maria and Prince Roman, the current owner of Sławuta, occurred. The Antoniny and Szepetówka[8] estates became the possessions of Princess Maria, who when getting married, brought them as a bride price for her husband, Earl Alfred Potocki.

The split of the horse herd happened in the following manner. Prince Roman received 295 horses: 137 mares, 87 fillies, and 71 colts. Princess Maria received 104 horses for Antoniny: 46 mares, 29 fillies, and 29 colts. Maria’s herd was located in Antoniny, which lay at the bank of the Ikopot River, surrounded with vast forests, and due to the biting cold of the region, it used to be called ‘Chołodki’[9] by the Russians, and used to belong to the Lubomirski Princes; only Princess Marya Lubomirska gave it as a dowry to her husband, Prince Paweł Sanguszko. Princess Barbara Sanguszkowa of the Dunins, leased the Chołodki out to her sister, Antonina Duninówna. In memory of this lady’s long stay in Chołodki, it was renamed to Antoniny after her. What Antoniny are today is due to their current owner, Earl Józef Potocki. It has been turned by Earl Józef Potocki into a modern residence full of splendor, where everything that you see, and everything that you touch, is a testament to the good taste of its owner.

The partition of the Sanguszko estates therefore marks the beginning of an age in the Antoniny Arab herd. The differences that can be noticed between the Sławuta and Antoniny horse should probably be ascribed to the fact that with a less numerous herd in Antoniny, it is easier to accurately choose individuals for breeding than in Chrestówka, resulting in a stronger and stouter horse. Although when choosing Arab mares for dams, the most important factors are their origin, nobility, and beauty of their forms, however it is undoubtedly important from a breeding standpoint that these mares go through difficult trials, as they have to endure lengthy hunts under a saddle, or go through difficult training as carriage horses. The incredibly intensive feeding from young, great hygiene, and appropriate funds spent on securing first rate sires complete the process in the Antoniny Arab stud farm.

When transferring the herd from Satanów to Antoniny in 1882, the following stallions came with the herd:

“Dzielfa-Assis” – a chestnut, purchased from the Sefer Pasha in Cairo, and sold to Mr. Suszkowski in Wołyń;

“Hemdani II” – a dark chestnut – purchased in Istanbul from Artur-Bej Zimmermann;

“Derwisch” – white, purchased from the same man;

“Meleschan” – white with small spots and a grey mane, purchased in Arabia;

“Kadran Seglawi” – dark bay – purchased from the Sefer Pasha and later sold.

From the year 1882, the following oriental stallions were purchased by the Earl Józef Potocki for the herd in Antoniny:

“Pharaon”, a dark bay stallion of the Seglawi-Dżedran race, purchased in 1882 from Lord Blunt, a known keeper of Arab horses, sold in 1887 to Mr. Podhorski.

“Obejan-Szarak vel Euclid” – of the Nadid race, bay, purchased in 1890 in Calcutta from Lord Beresford (it died in 1897).

“Abu-Argub” – bay, of the Nadid race – brought in 1890 from the East by a Syrian, Jakoub – fell from a lung infection in 1899.

“Sułtan” – a chestnut stallion of the Seglavi race, purchased in 1890 from the Musafer Pasha in Istanbul.

From the typical oriental stallions born in Antoniny, the following were used as sires:

“Cypran” – of Iamry, original Arab – from Szarańcza No.91, sold in 1886 to Strzelecki’s government herd in Russia for 1900 roubles.

“Palatin” – of Iamry and from Kamelia No 148, sold for 3000 roubles to Mr Podhorski in 1888.

“Mohort” – of Pharaon and from Precyoza No 207 – sold to Earl Roman Potocki in Łańcut, who then gave it to the Austrian government as a sire for the herds.

“Pryam” – of Obejan-Szarak and from Precyoza No 207

“Tybet” – a chestnut stallion of Zaryf (from the Babolna herd) and from Chiwa No 264 – sold in 1903 to the Strzelecki herd for 3000 roubles.

At this time, the following remain as Arabian sires in the Antoniny herd:

“Sułtan” – born in the Sultan’s herd from Hemdani-Jemra and of Seglawi.

“Belisar” – a bay stallion born in Antoniny of Abu Argub and from Kalifa No 47.

Earl Józef Potocki, as a tenured breeder, knows well that an oriental horse kept without motion and work for generations degenerates – loses muscle, ability, speed, endurance and other advantages of an Eastern horse – so the Antoniny progeny has to traverse the steppe and forest pastures in spring, summer, and until late autumn, while in the winter, they have to run for hours in the large paddocks adjacent to the stables. In the Antoniny foals, at first glance you can see the important lesson: “oat, plentiful, vast pastures, and constant motion – even if it has to be caused by a crack of the whip! – and the result is: muscularity, firmness and energy in the motion of the Antoniny horses. Only mares that have served a heavy duty as carriage or saddle horses can be used for dams – once they have passed the examination inspecting their health, ability, endurance and strength. Also stallions used as sires must exhibit the same characteristics.

Antoniny sell horses for a total sum of 15 to 18 thousand rubles each year, all at high prices, mostly to Petersburg, Warsaw, Kiev, Odessa and Moscow, where they have enjoy a very good reputation as saddle horses. Such a dark bay “Arabela” for example – of Pharaon and from Precyoza, of Iamry from Lutka, of Iscander Basza from Armida – was rewarded with the gold medal at the exhibition in Petersburg, was a saddle horse of the Russian empress, and having served her lady, as an oriental horse should – returned as a dam to its family herd in Antoniny.

V. Jarczowce Herd

As the tale still has it amongst the horse breeders in this part of the world, Earl Juliusz Dzieduszycki took 100 thousand ducats in gold with him while traveling to the Far East, but even that amount, as sizable then as it is now, was not sufficient to cover the costs of travel and horse purchases. In Constantinople, he had to resort to a loan to have the means to come back home with his horses and the people. It wasn’t hard for the Earl to secure this loan, as his millionaire’s fortune, surname, and the best references from the country, opened the vaults of every bank in the Turkish capital laying at the charming Bosporus. Earl Juliusz Dzieduszycki spent two years in Arabia, and there, he purchased the following for his Jarczowce stables:


  1. Turchmen
  2. Adsgar
  3. Abu—Chejl
  4. Merdżamkir
  5. Abiat
  6. Azet
  7. Koheylan


  1. Mlecha
  2. Gazella
  3. Sahara
  4. Zulema

When the Earl’s people were returning to the country from Arabia, they entered the tight, narrow, and dirty streets and alleys of Beirut. Zulema was walking freely right next to Azet, who was saddled and ridden by Mr. Hryć. Coming straight at them was a dromedary pulling a two wheeled cart, driven by some trader selling flour around town, squeezing through the crowd in the alley, shouting excitedly to encourage his animal to pick up the pace. Earl Juliusz’s people, leading the horses loosely in their right hand, had to pass the dromedary on the left, because the trader stopped his cart so close to the wall, he couldn’t be passed on the right. The Arab horse usually lives in peace with his desert contemporary, the camel — but towards the dromedary, the Arab horse feels some kind of revulsion — as if it were so proud of the beauty of its shape and characteristics, that his aesthetic sense was offended at the sight of an animal with a humped back, too long neck that bends downwards, the head and tail of a calf, and rickety legs with long toes — makes for a revolting mixture of forms, and a striking contrast to the beautiful shapes of a noble horse. The stallion Abiat, that Mr. Mykoła was sitting on, perked up his ears as soon as he saw this creature in the distance, and shortened his stride — he passed the dromedary peacefully, and having passed him he jumped up and snorted with joy, that he did not have to bestow his gaze on this ugly sight. Behind Mr. Mykoła, Mr. Hryć was riding on the calm Azet, and leading Zulema by hand. Zulema, seeing the disgusting animal, started to get upset, lay down her ears, back up and stand up, and being led strongly by the skillful Mr. Hryć, as soon as she passed the dromedary, she jumped, neighed and kicked so unfortunately, that her rear right leg got caught in the spokes of the cart. The frightened dromedary took off — the wheel turned — and the leg trapped between the spokes was snapped. The people shouted out — caught the wheel and pulled Zulema’s leg out, but it was so broken, that it was hanging down by the skin and tendons. Some friendly Armenian, with experience in healing horses — seeing this scene, ran down, bandaged up the broken leg, and took the poor Zulema to his abode — even though he wasn’t asked, and did not require any payment, for the love of the horse offered to take care and heal the beautiful Zulema. Earl Juliusz stayed in Beirut for some time, but seeing as the mare suffered, faded, and thinned out, how the terribly broken and swollen leg was seeping pus from the skin that was pierced by the bone, seeing the millions of flies adding to the suffering of the powerless, noble animal — he bestowed a beautiful gift on the Armenian, he said his farewells to the beautiful Zulema, took the weeping Mr. Hryć and the rest of the horses, and made his way out of Beirut back to the home country.

The Armenian apparently healed the gifted mare so well that the leg bone bonded back together, but she was left with a terrible limp until the end of her days. Earl Juliusz was partly compensated for this loss by what came of the white mare Sahara. When she arrived in Jarczowce from Arabia, she was already pregnant. The filly she gave was called “Ślepka” (Blind One) — since she lost her right eye when she was very young. Ślepka gave the Jarczowce herd a whole range of foals, and the two most beautiful fillies — one from Feruk—Chan (Original Persian stallion), and the second from Dahoman (descended from Sahara). Earl Juliusz called both of these “Zulema” — in memory of the poor mare he so unfortunately lost in Beirut.

Since Ślepka arrived in Jarczowce in the womb of her dam, this mare should also be considered imported, and after adding her to the ones mentioned above, and adding the still living “Bagdad” — the Jarczowce herd had eight original Arab stallions, and four mares of the same provenance and race in 1845. Whether all these horses could trace their lineage to the “horse of the prophet” — the Earl did not spend surplus time wondering — because they were all so noble, perfect, and beautiful, that the prophet Mohammed himself would not have a problem vouching for them. Experts that remembered the shapes and characteristics of these horses — many of whom, unfortunately, are not alive anymore — were united in agreement that the breeding material that Earl Juliusz brought from Arabia to Jarczowce was perhaps the best of any that managed to make its way from Arabia to Europe. Importing these horses constitutes the beginning of a second golden age in the Jarczowce breeding development (the first being the importing of “Bagdad”), and the fame quickly spread through Poland, and far beyond the borders of the country, also.

If we examine the notes and remarks made by Earl Juliusz Dzieduszycki and his equerry Mr. Edward Helczyński in the books and registries of the Jarczowce herd, and supplement them with the memories and tales of the few people still living — and still have something remaining in their memory of these horses — then we can compose the following history for each single stallion and mare that Earl Juliusz brought to Jarczowce from Arabia:

  1. Turchmen — grey without characteristics
  2. Adsgar — a bald chestnut with white rear legs

These two did not pasture in Jarczowce for long, as in 1846, a year after importing them from Arabia, both these stallions were sold to the Austrian government, for the Radowieckie (in Radowce) herd. Turchmen ended his life in Radowce, while Adsgar was purchased from the Austrian government by Earl. Władysław Rozwadowski, and lived out his days as a sire in the Rajtarowieckie (in Rajtarowice[10]) herd. Both these stallions created two great lineages in Radowce (Stamm Turchmen and Stamm Adsgar), denoting themselves with stamina, a normal build, beautiful form, and speed — but also a moderate height. Therefore when Radowiec was also touched by the foolish fashion of trying to “improve” the oriental horse by adding “height and mass” through breeding with Norfolks and Norman Horses — both of the aforementioned lineages started disappearing throughout the years, and the Turchmen and Adsgar surnames can only be spotted in the pedigrees of the noble dams that used to give us excellent horses. We definitely lost something by changing the breeding direction with these half—blood oriental Radowce horses, such as — Dahoman, El—Bedavi, Sachagya, or Abugress — with the lymphatic mass and porous bone borrowed from the Nonius[11] horses. The history of the fall of the general breeding in the country is a testament to this.

“Abu-Chejl” — white, sprinkled with small stains as with mustard seeds[12], with a black tail and such a mane. A large horse — measuring 15 and a half hands, similar to an English Thoroughbred in its build, had to be a horse very appreciated by the Bedouins, since he was called the “Father of horses”. Earl Juliusz Dzieduszycki purchase d Abu-Chejl a dozen or so miles outside Damascus with great struggle, and putting his life at risk. He purchased it from a local tribe that the horse was shared property of, under the condition that he wouldn’t take it before he doesn’t give a certain amount of local mares. Earl Juliusz, at the advice of his translator, seemed to agree to this unfortunate condition, and stayed in the camp long enough to be granted an opportunity to saddle the Abu-Chejl in the dark of the night, the translator getting on Gazella (purchased from the same Bedouins). Having got on the horses, they sprinted blindly into the night into the unknown desert in the rough direction of Damascus. After some time, they heard shots, and the deaf sound of horse hoofs behind them. The whole tribe was chasing them to recapture the priceless stallion — of which they said — “There is only one sun in the sky, and only one Abu-Chejl on the Earth!” — luckily, both Abu-Chejl and Gazella were by far the fastest horses in the tribe, and perhaps they really did descend from the same horse on which the Great Prophet escaped from Medina to Mecca. Earl Juliusz, owing his and the translator’s life to the incredible speed of the purchased horses, reached Damascus successfully and hid in the safe walls of the Austrian consulate.

Today, it is hard to verify how long Abu-Chejl stayed in Jarczowce — some maintain that he stayed there only for a short while — but in the registries and records there are no mentions of the date of sale of Abu-Chejl. In the notes of the herd controller, Mr. W. Laskowski of the Sławuta herd, we can read that Abu-Chejl reached Chrestówka as a sire in 1853 — which would mean that the horse stayed in Jarczowce for eight years — because we know for sure that from Jarczowce, this stallion went straight to Sławuta. It is far more difficult however, to understand for what reason Earl Juliusz got rid of such an excellent stallion, which he expended so much effort in Arabia to capture. The statement that the progeny of Abu-Chejl has long fetlocks and is “suspended” on the front legs, doesn’t seem justified, because on one hand, we know that Abu-Chejl left excellent offspring in Sławuta, but on the other hand — we cannot ignore Earl Juliusz’s knowledge of the subject and expertise in judging a stallion as a sire. It may be that Abu-Chejl, when matched with an unsuitable mare, did not transfer his shapes and characteristics in the way that his picky owner would like. The Earl was known to be peculiar, perhaps strange even — and from time to time, he would get right of a perfect horse for an unknown reason.

In 1858, after a five year stay in Sławuta, Abu-Chejl moved as a sire from Volhynia, to Ukraine, to the Branicki herds in Bila Tserkva. There, just like in Sławuta, he left behind excellent offspring, and lived out his days on the Ukrainian steppes. Up to this day, the old breeders of Podole, Bessarabia, Volhynia and Ukraine repeat the same mantra — that the best son of Abu-Chejl was “El-Kahr” — purchased by the Russian government, and given into a long-term lease to Mr. Ludwik Sadowski in Balin. El-Kahr was as white as milk, without any spot or flaw, and his offspring, even from grey dams, were almost all exclusively a golden-chestnut color, or bay with small, shapely, bald spots, and more or less white legs. The strange tendency of passing on to the offspring not his own coat, but perhaps the coat of some grandfather, or great grandfather — while his beautiful forms and incredible characteristics were inherited by his offspring in an incredible way! The horses from the Abu-Chejl lineage, especially the female offspring from El-Kahr, was especially suited to mixing with English blood, therefore his fillies, bred with Thoroughbreds in the Balin herd, gave Mr. Sadowski Anglo—Oriental material of the highest caliber and an excellent type.

4. Merdżamkir, referred to as “Merdżemkir” by some — a white, and finely fleabitten stallion, had to not have been used as a sire in Jarczowce, since it is hard to find a record of his blood in the pedigrees of Jarczowce horses, or any other herds that were related to Jarczowce breeding—wise. Writing a biography of Merdżamkir, I looked through hundreds of plausible pedigrees of our oriental horses, and I only encountered one and only daughter, born by a mare “Czayka”, who came from Mr. Konarski’s herd in Jajkowce. The mare that was born (by Merdżamkir, from Czayka), had the same name as her dam, and after being bred with Pielgrzym II (the son of Beni—Bagdad), gave birth to the “Czayka Izydorowiecka”, a beautiful and excellent dam of many horses in the Zarzecze herd.

Photo of Earl Juliusz Dzieduszycki on Merdżamkir

Merdżamkir was the most favorite and unrelenting saddle horse of Earl Juliusz Dzieduszycki, whom he carried on hard, far, and frequent journeys, such as from Jarczowce to Jezupol[13], over a distance of 20 miles—in one day, and with one, short pasture. It also used to happen that Earl Juliusz, an unusually restless and avid rider, would force his horse to take the same journey the next day — and the ambitious and always willing Merdżamkir would oblige him, carrying his master with the same speed and energy as the day before. During wolf hunts, or even rabbit hunts, Merdżamkir revealed some weird hunting streak, and a liking for chasing animals. In wolf hunts, he would storm down the steppe irate, with his ears down and gnashing his teeth, as if he had real hatred for the wolf. On rabbit hunts, he would gallop freely amongst the meadows and farmland, throwing his head back and snorting joyously, as if he was making a joke out of the fatal fate about to bestow upon the poor grey animal. Merdżamkir was replaced by the grey “Step” — one of Koheylan’s sons. Merdżamkir, having been exhausted to the extreme under the saddle, made a short stop at Sławuta, and in 1851, he arrived as a sire in Bila Tserkva, where he died.

5. Abiat — white, without any specific features, a dry horse, typical — above all noble and beautiful — remained in the Jarczowce herd as a sire until 1859. He was highly rated by Earl Juliusz, and local breeders as well as those from afar, who had acquired Abiat’s blood for their own horses. In 1859, Abiat was purchased by Earl Kajetan Lewicki, for a sire in the Chorostków[14] herd, and lived out his days there. In Chrostków, Abiat made his noble mark on almost all Eastern blood horses that descended from him — but also compounded the hot oriental blood to such a degree that they had too much temper and nerves. One of the sons of Abiat — a dark bay “Ptak” — was purchased by the Austrian government, for the Babolna stables at first, and later stationed in Galicia. He spread his genes in many towns of our country, and improved the type of the local horses to a high degree, giving them his nobility, characteristics, and type. Another son of Abiat — a white horse, with no distinct features, just as noble, and not much less beautiful than his sire — was purchased in 1862 by Sultan Abgarowicz, the father of Mr. Kajetan Abgarowicz, a known breeder and novelist. This son of Abiat, an excellent saddle horse, took on the most serious obstacles with great ease, and in the herd of Mr. Abgarowicz, was bred with the most noble light mares of the Eastern blood — he gave offspring that was slight and thin. Later, he was sold to Colonel Bieliński in Ukraine, and after being combined with the local larger, wider, and heavier mares, gave excellent horses, you could say: the ideal utility horse — for the cart, for the saddle, and for the plough.

6. Azet — often called “Ben—Azet” or “Izet” — white, with a thick fleabitten pattern, was quite honestly the most beautiful and ideal type of a desert horse of the high Eastern blood. This beautiful type took a long time to regenerate in Jarczowce and many other herds, and is still manifesting today, in the Taurów herds especially — these horses come from the “Sahara” lineage, and a lot of Azet’s blood flows in their veins. One of the best of his sons was the grey fleabitten “Ben—Azet” — born in Jarczowce in 1851 from Gazella, who was imported from the desert. For 7 years — from 1864 to 1871 he was the sire in Lipica, in the Emperor’s private herd. Being bred with the daughter of the grey “Mersucha”, of the Koheilan—Adjuze race, purchased in 1857 by Colonel Brudermann from the Anaze El-Ruola Bedouin tribe in the Syrian desert — Ben-Azet created a lineage of noble oriental horses, called “Stamm Ben-Azet”. This lineage is almost completely extinct today, transformed by Lipica sires into strong, wide, and quite large — but less beautiful horses, raised purposely for the use of the Emperor’s Vienna court. Azet was one of the best studs in the Jarczowce herd and remained there until his death.

7. Koheylan — grey, sprinkled with light fleabites — was quite large for a noble desert horse, beautiful but thin and light, and stood out in an incredible way — with his very high-growing and strangely set tail. He had a beautiful, glowing, black, dry head, completely devoid of his coat — and an excellent, thin, swan—like neck, very neatly bent at his jaw line. In this horse, starting with the bones of his skeleton, which you could feel under the muscles and ligaments, all the way to his black, papyrus—like skin — a type was coming through. Like a drawing’s outline, and that “something” which cannot be described, but which makes up for so much of what makes a true “son of the desert and wind”. This horse would not neigh to express his temper, ability, and origin — but with his beautiful eyes, perfect movement and type. Koheylan, having huge breeding advantages, also became the sire of first-class quality horses — not only in the Jarczowce herd, but also far beyond its borders — and being mated with mares that descended from Bagdad, he gave offspring that was was excellent in terms of build, nobility, and high class. With the original Gazella, which Earl Juliusz brought from Arabia, Koheylan made two excellent mares: “Gazella II” and “Perkula”, which gave their blood into our oriental horses of many generations. Gazella II, through her daughter “Gazella III” and two granddaughters: “Gazella IV” and “Gazella Izydorówka”. Perkula gave her blood to the Taurów, Zarzecze, and Pełkinia herds, through her daughter “Bona” (by Bagdad), her granddaughter Bona (by El-Delemi) and her grand-granddaughter Gazella (by Hafiz). With Sahara, Koheylan made “Sahara II” — the mother, grandmother, and grand-grandmother of a whole range of mares bearing the “Sahara” surname. These have been notable, and still are, in the Jezupol, Taurów and Zarzecze herds. Out of sons of Koheylan, the grey “Step” was the most notable first of all, because as it was mentioned, was the Earl’s favourite saddle horse right after Merdżamkir. Having lived out his usefulness to his master, he became a stud in Mr. Dyonizy Trzeciak’s esteemed herd in Taurów. From Taurów, “Step” — being 23 years old already — became a stud in Podole, and in the Krasnostawce[15] herd of Marshall Aleksander Saadowski, and there, despite his advanced age, was a stud for three more years — and gave 28 foals, mainly fillies, who became excellent dams.

Step was a well liked horse in Krasnostawce and the surrounding areas — you could say loved — and Mr. Sadowski’s love for him, and the general interest of his relatives, friends, and neighbors, was a reflection of the times gone by. Times of village life, life full of local originality, freedom, forms and customs characterizing the “old” Polish countryside, where one of the most key elements of life was the horse. When a larger party gathered in Krasnostawce, then the guests would go into the garden after dinner for a black coffee and a cigar — and step was brought out of the stable and out near the patio. The gentlemen, ladies, and children would spoil the old horse, stroking, caressing, and feeding him delicious bites. As an old horse, Step was so covered in brown spots, he actually appeared to be a chestnut horse — and only the spot behind the withers, where the saddle sits, remained strangely white until his death. Mr. Sadowski, amongst the gathered guests would caress the horse and stroke his back, and would joke “You can see that Step did not eat for free in Jarczowce, and was not lazy under Juliusz, since he has white hairs on his back from the saddle!”. Step knew that his master was praising him, and would clink his harnesses, throw his head back, and stretch, and flirtatiously dart his eyes from left to right.

Just like Bagdad, Azet and Koheylan, having done a great service to the Jarczowce herd, he finished his life in it, too.

[Original German:] Die osterreichische Pterde-Ankaufs-Mission unter dem k. k. Obersten Ritler Rudolf von Brudermann in Syrien, Palastina und der Wuste, von Eduard Loffler.

Die Pferdezucht, von Hermann Gassebner III. Band: dae Hof – und Privatgestute.

The Farming Encyclopaedia, Volume III, Warsaw, 1876

Stadniny Polskie (Polish Stud Farms), Lviv Gazette 1897, K. Sołtan Abgarowicz.

Les chevaux du Sahara, Daumas – The Arabian Horse, His Country and People. W. Tweedie.

Private Correspondence with:

Prince Witold Czartoryski in Pełkinie

Earl Władysław Dzieduszycki in Jezupol

Earl Stanisław Dzieduszycki in Lviv

Earl Aleksander Dzieduszycki in Łańcut

Mr. Longin Łoboś in Taurów

Ms. Wanda Kęszycka in Jabłonów

The managements of herds in Sławuta, Antoniny, Białocerkwia, Uzin, Janiszówka, Weil, Babolna, Radowce, Lippica, Chorostkowie.


  1. ‘Wysoką krew wschodnią’ means ‘high Eastern blood’.

  2. Paweł Karol Sanguszko (1680 – 1750)

  3. Janusz Aleksander Sanguszko (1712 – 1775)

  4. Józef Paulin Jan Adam Sanguszko (1740 – 1781)

  5. Janusz Modest Sanguszko (1749 – 1806), age of 1 at the time of inheritance.

  6. In other texts, this horse was also referred to as “Chajlan” (In Polish, ‘ch’ and ‘h’ are basically the same sound, only historically and regionally this differed)

  7. “arabsko-perski” means “Arab-Persian”

  8. Today: Shepetivka Raion

  9. Chołodki is a word stemming from ‘cold’ – ‘chłód’ in Polish, for example.

  10. Today: Verkhivtsi, Sambir Raion (Lviv Oblast), Ukraine.

  11. The Nonius (Hungarian: Nóniusz) is a Hungarian horse breed named after its Anglo-Norman foundation sire. Generally dark in color, it is a muscular and heavy-boned breed, similar in type to other light draft and driving horses. The breed was developed at the Imperial Stud at Mezőhegyes, Hungary by careful linebreeding.

  12. Original footnote: „Gorczykowaty” — a reasonable translation I could find was into German, from a 1835 dictionary (The Precise Polish—German Dictionary, K. C. Mrongowiusz, 1835), where it is translated to: „mit kleinen Flecken wie mit Senfkörnern besprengt”, which translates into „sprinkled with small stains as with mustard seeds”.

  13. Today: Yezupil, Ukraine

  14. Today: Khorostkiv, Ukraine.

  15. Translator’s note: Today: Krasnostavtsi

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