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Basyl, a European Shagya stallion.

Photo courtesy of Carin Weiss

successful riding and driving horses, often competing and winning against Warmbloods in open competition, they are just now beginning to get noticed here in North America For more than 200 years, this

hardy, willing breed has endured. They have been bred for genetic predictability though selective line breeding for generations. Today, Shagyas excel in all disciplines including eventing, dressage, driving, jumping and endurance, and are fabulous family mounts. The 2006 WEG endurance champion was a Bábolna-bred Shagya named Hungares. Last year the Arabian Horse Association’s Half-Arabian National Competitive Trail reserve champion was a half-Arabian gelding by a Shagya stallion. In the United States, there are a number of Shagyas and half-Shagyas competing in eventing and dressage, up to Prix St. Georges level. In Europe, Shagyas consistently and successfully compete against Warmbloods in open competition.

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and harmonious with an expressive head, well formed neck, good topline, long croup, well carried tail and strong, dry, correct legs. Free, springy, elastic, ground consuming, and correct action in all three gaits is very important. Purebred Arabians may be approved for Shagya breeding, usually added into the breed every fourth generation, and are used to maintain the positive Arab qualities. However for a horse to be considered a purebred Shagya, no more than 9 out of 16 purebred Arabians are allowed in the fourth generation. Today there are fewer than 2,000 Shagyas worldwide and less than 200 approved breeding animals here in the United States. Shagyas were brought here after World War II under the direction of General Patton as prizes of war and were also imported by some private breeders over the years. It was not until the mid 1980’s that active breeding of the Shagyas began under the guidance of ISG. In North America, all Shagyas must be approved for

breeding and stallions are now being required to pass performance requirements. ISG sanctioned breeding approval inspections are usually held every two to three years and ISG judges from Europe are invited to participate. Although Shagyas in Europe are known to be

Warmbloods Today 37

Ninja, a Shagya gelding. Photo

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