This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
W

Shagya?

WHAT’S A

By Shelley Housh

hen I am out with my stallion I am frequently asked, “What is your horse; some sort of Arabian?” It’s easy to notice his refinement and beauty, yet his size, substance, and quiet temperament make him stand out as something other than your typical purebred Arabian. Most of the time people don’t know what to make of him. When I reply, “He’s a Shagya,” I already know the next

question: “What is that?” Since the breed is generally unfamiliar, I would like to take this opportunity to explain what a Shagya is and how they have influenced the Warmblood sport horses of today.

The Shagya’s History

The date was 1789 when Empress Maria Theresa decided that the quality of the Austro-

Hungarian military mounts needed improvement. She was determined to breed the ideal cavalry mount. Her goals were many, mainly to keep the qualities she valued in the Arabian, such as stamina, beauty, and intelligence. At the same time, she wanted to improve on size and substance in order to carry the cavalry equipment, to improve the temperament and conformation and to add harmonious movement. Desert-bred Arabian stallions from Syria were imported to Bábolna, the state stud

farm in Hungary where Shagyas are still bred to this day. These stallions were bred to local mares from the Hungarian region - mares of Thoroughbred, Lipizzaner, and Oriental types. Stud farms in Romania, Poland, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Austria were also the foundation breeding farms for the Shagya. The names of some of the Arab stallions used in the development of the breed will be familiar to Arab breeders: Koheilan/Kuhailan, O’Bajan, Amurath, Siglavy Bagdady, Mersuch, Gazal, Jussuf and Dahoman. Stallions that were chosen for the original Shagya breeding program went through

extensive performance and progeny testing before they were used for breeding. At age three and a half young stallions started their performance testing which included dressage training. Later they were sent to regiment cavalry headquarters where they participated in the hunt and a 480 mile endurance trek in ten days that included sprints. Here they were evaluated on speed, jumping ability, trainability, disposition and feed efficiency. Mares were raced and driven five in hand. Meticulous records were kept on each stallion: their size, characteristics, offspring,

breeding performance, versatility, stamina, agility, hardiness and soundness. New stallions were bred to 30 mares a year for three years—10 low quality, 10 average quality and 10 high grade mares. At the end of the three years, all offspring were presented in front of a committee. If all offspring were not of superior quality to the parents, then the

34 March/April 2010 Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76
Produced with Yudu - www.yudu.com