The stallion that has had the greatest influence on our domestic breeding in recent years is Ekstern – says Director Jerzy Białobok, associated with Michałów Stud since 1977.
The past year was a special year for Michałów and Polish breeding – it’s because one of the most outstanding Polish stallions, who has already written himself down in the history of pure bred Arabians, celebrated his 20th birthday – EKSTERN (Monogramm – Ernestyna/Piechur). Today, at the age of 21, he is still taking up the position of chief sire at Michałów Stud and is often shown to the stud’s guests – that’s when he reveals his phenomenal movement and charisma, unchanged despite the years gone by.
He is one of those stallions that are referred to as „epoch-making”. An epoch-maker was Ekstern’s sire, Monogramm. Epoch-making were his ancestors, including Ofir and the line’s founder, the
desert-import Kuhailan Haifi d.b. But their „epoch-making” accolades stem from the fact that among their descendants was an Ekstern, not only the most highly decorated Polish stallion, but first of all a sire of champions and important broodmatrons. Suffice to say that the daughters of Ekstern at this year’s main sale brought in as much as 2.86 millio Euro plus 45 thousand more during the Summer Sale. The all time record for a Polish bred Arabian was broken already during the bidding of the Lot 1 mare – Janów’s Pepita, which cost the buyer 1.4 million Euro!
King of the Ring
The main breeder at Michałów Stud, Mrs. Urszula Białobok, recalls that Ekstern made a great impression from the very beginning: „We were waiting for a stallion, we had a feeling that from such parents – an excellent dam and superb sire – something promising can be born. And we were not disappointed”. Director Jerzy Białobok confirms: „Already during his first days we could see the great beauty of this horse. What I always liked most were his eyes, prominent, full of expression. He revealed his great movement during his first walks with his dam. Young Ekstern used to run in front of his dam, trotting with a visible spring in his step. He looked like a very elegant horse, closed off in a squarish outline, more Egyptian than Polish in type. That’s what I always thought of him – that he could just as well be a representative of an Egyptian line. This concept was further supported by his neck – although it was nice and shapely, it was a bit short and thick. Later, during training and on the track (he raced as a three year old for one season) this changed. But definitely he was a very promising horse from the very beginning”.
Soon the promise became reality. Ekstern claimed success after success on the show arena and received the moniker of “undefeated”, which usually precedes his name. It is extremely rare to see a born show horse, but this is exactly the case. Professor Krystyna Chmiel wrote about him in her book „They formed beauty”*: „He has perhaps the shortest head that I have ever seen – I have personally measured the distance between his eye and nostril, which equaled the length between the end of my thumb and middle finger. He is very well coupled, with an ideally horizontal topline and a flying trot”. Ekstern has pride and fire within him and he likes to show, making it seem that he is playing with the handler on the arena.
The stallion began his victorious march from show to show in 1995 as a yearling, when he became Polish National Junior Champion. In 2000 he was honored with the title of Polish National Senior Champion. The titles of All Nations Cup Champion in Aachen, European and World Champion were claimed under the watchful eye of Mrs. Christine Jamar (Jadem Arabians, Belgium), who leased him in 1999–2000. His unforgettable performance during the Mercedes Diamond Cup in 2003 (Borgloon, Belgium) in the hands of Dutchman Erik Dorssers was one of the most pleasant memories of the late Izabella Pawelec-Zawadzka, Honorary President of the PAHBS. She vividly remembered the shining like silver Ekstern, as though from a fairy tale, trotting next to his handler without a rope, as though they were connected by an invisible string**. „Ekstern always liked to show, it was clear that it gave him pleasure”, confirms Director Białobok. „Though under one condition. You had to bond differently with Ekstern than the way trainers usually do. No one ever showed Ekstern the way Erik Dorssers did. This pair was a perfect match. They did all the shows together, including the Polish National Championship. I decided that a change of handler would not be a good thing. I think that only at the first junior show Ekstern was presented by Mariusz Liśkiewicz, who was then a novice in showing and who just stopped participating in endurance races. Dorssers would throw a rope over Ekstern’s neck and the horse trotted behind him. When Dorssers turned right, Ekstern also turned. When he turned left – so did Ekstern. They had an unusual bond. Ekstern never showed himself like that with anyone else later on; it was a pleasure to see how close they were. And the louder applause they got, the more Ekstern began to snort
and «make a show»”. What was the secret to their special bond? „Erik Dorssers, who at the end of the 90s and the early 2000s was a leading handler in Europe, usually showed horses in a gentle way, with no pulling and the minimal use of a whip”, explains Director Białobok. „That’s why for several years he showed the horses of Princess Alia of Jordan, for whom this was very important. He tried to train horses by repeating and matching gestures to individual horses. He lacked the «American-German» – how shall I put it – «violence»”.
„I liked to watch Ekstern being shown by Erik Dorssers. He would set him loose and the horse followed him like a dog. Erik showed Ekstern not like a horse, but like a best friend”, says Urszula Białobok. „Ekstern was the sweetest horse I ever worked with. In condition work he was very lazy and I found out that when you made a game and fun with him he loved it”, recounts the Dutch trainer and handler. „Always I looked for new ways to keep it interesting for him, like using a big ball and play football with him. Schooling he did not enjoy but when he was happy he showed himself and that is what I focused on. Whenever Ekstern went in the showring he was electrified because he loved it”. Dorssers claims that there are two moments that have etched themselves deeply in his memory and that he will never forget. „He proved to me that he was more than a show horse at the Elran Cup in Belgium. They organized a special liberty class for big champions and I prepared
Ekstern for this. It was in the evening with spotlights and I showed him without a halter. I led him onto the arena only with a rope around his neck and he went with me full of fire. When I let him loose he did not run away but stayed with me and when I pushed him away and called his name he immediately came and stayed at my side. Even the standup he did as though he was on the lead. Also here he was unanimous champion. The second thing with him was in Paris at the World Championship before the finals. I asked the girls who had to get him ready to start with him one hour before he had to go in the ring. When I went to check on him 1/2 hour before his class two girls were sitting on top of him while Mister Ekstern was sleeping. I almost lost it but he was still ready on time. In the collecting ring he looked at the entrance to the arena, snorted and we went in and he became World Champion”. His advice for a handler that would like to show Ekstern? Dorssers smiles: „Become friends with him so that he will trust you and he will give you another 20% extra performance”.
„Ekstern is very social, very pleasant”, agrees Urszula Białobok. „In May of 2013 he underwent a tough surgery – it was a really difficult time for all of us. In the morning we got a call from his vet at the Służewiec Racetrack who said that when he was sewing up his intestines he felt life coming back to the horse. And that only an Arabian could survive such an operation. Ekstern was nice even towards those people that took care of him in the hospital. He dreamt about being able to eat something, but he had a muzzle on and sawdust under his feet. Despite that he never showed aggression. His good nature was inherited from his dam and granddam – the family on his distaff side. Because Monogramm was something completely different. When he arrived at Michałów, he was very unpleasant, it took a lot of time to tame him, he was aggressive, you had to be really careful when entering his stall – you were never sure whether it would be his teeth or leg. Groom Krzysztof Skrzypek worked very hard to change that. And after a while Monogramm became more gentle, more trusting. But at first he wanted to give us a good whacking”.
Without any doubt Ekstern’s lease to Belgium played a key role in this incredible series of successes. Would the stallion had been able to win all the shows in which he competed, including the most prestigious as the World Championships, the European Championships and the All Nations Cup without the help of Christine Jamar? „I believe that the lease helped to a great extent”, admits Director Białobok. “It was a time when Michałów-bred horses, especially the Monogramm mares, won a lot. We were able to take the championship (both the top spot and reserve) at the All Nations Cup or the European Championships, both in the junior and senior categories. In the case of Ekstern it was very good that he was in the hands of a different handler and that Christine Jamar knows a lot about shows and knows what kind of a horse can be shown to what judges. After Ekstern’s first performance there was a general shock that it is a horse from Poland and not Egyptian. That was our strategy – an element of surprise. We repeated that concept in later times as well, for example with Emandoria. When we had a tough time breaking through we decided to lease her to Ajman Stud so that she would be shown by Frank Spoenle. Sometimes we do that to achieve a particular result. In the finals the differences can be measured by millimeters and who gets the gold, silver and bronze is determined by minimal nuances”. Years later, in 2008, Ekstern additionally received a challenge cup, the WAHO Trophy for best individual of the Arabian breed.
King of the Stable
However the unrivaled show successes and admiration of the public would only be a pleasant ego booster for his breeders if not for the stallion’s breeding value. From the very first crop it was obvious that his get are very promising. These promises were fulfilled all the way. As Director Białobok emphasizes, Ekstern’s get are easily recognizable especially with their heads. „He usually passed on the proportions of the head and characteristic, small, shapely ears”, he claims. „Unfortunately sometimes he also passed a short neck, though his get have necks nicely set on their bodies, nicely suspended. Many horses sired by him are excellent movers, mainly mares. They have charisma, they have fire, they like to show”.
A year ago the international Arabian breeding scene talked about one event. During the 1st Al Khalediah European Arabian Horse Festival in Nowe Wrońska Michałów won all four medals and together with them – four main prizes, white Mercedes-Benz cars. All four winners were the produce of Ekstern daughters: Pustynia Kahila (Kahil Al Shaqab – Pustynna Malwa/Ekstern), who several months later became World Yearling Champion in Paris; Morion (Kahil Al Shaqab – Mesalina/Ekstern), named later World Yearling Silver Champion; Equator (QR Marc – Ekliptyka/Ekstern), who in Paris took the World Senior Bronze medal; and Senior Champion Mare Wilda (Gazal Al Shaqab – Wilga/Ekstern), who returned to Michałów from France with the title of World Senior Top Ten. A year later, during the 2015 AKEAHF, the title of Best in Show went to Michałów’s Palanga (Ekstern – Panika/Eukaliptus). The silver and bronze medalist in the yearling fillies category is the produce of Ekstern daughters: El Larinea (by Empire) and Pontia (by Equator), similarly to the silver champions in the yearling and junior stallions: Fuerte (Shanghai EA – Frymuszka/Ekstern) and Psyche Ull (Forteynas Magic – Psyche Victoria/Ekstern).
Ekstern’s extremely successful run as a sire drew the attention of observers also at other shows. During the 2014 European Championships (held in Azelhof, Belgium), as many as 11 victorious young horses had Ekstern on one or the other side of their pedigrees, including as many as 9 on the distaff side: Yearling Champion Mare Mounira J (Emerald J – Magnificent Lady J/Extreme), Yearling Silver Mare Pustynia Kahila, Yearling Champion Stallion Gallardo J (Emerald J – Gomera J/Ekstern), Yearling Silver Stallion Morion, Yearling Top Five Calateon (Vitorio TO – Calatea/Ekstern), Junior Champion Mare Piacolla (Enzo – Polonica/Ekstern), Junior Silver Mare Mississippi J (QR Marc – Magnificent Lady J/Extreme), Junior Top Five Mare Perfinka (Esparto – Perfirka/Gazal Al Shaqab), Senior Silver Mare Pepita (Ekstern – Pepesza/Eukaliptus), Senior Top
Five Wilda and Senior Champion Stallion Equator. Jerzy „George” Zbyszewski commented in „Araby Magazine”***: „This attests to how valuable the daughters of Ekstern are in breeding; Pepita, apart from her own successes, can also boast the successes of her produce and we await Perfinka’s with great hope”. Indeed, the son of Pepita, Pitawal (by Kahil Al Shaqab) is doing rather well. Recently in Prague, during the B-ranked Prague InterCup show, he was chosen junior stallion bronze medalist.
The spectacular success of Ekstern’s get in 2014 could not go unnoticed, but he proved himself as a valuable sire much earlier. In 2007 Professor Krystyna Chmiel**** wrote: „Dryness, combined
with a muzzle like a baby’s pacifier, large eye and nostrils, a topline close to a geometrical straight line and impressive showy movement, with a suspension phase and tail set high like a flag or thrown over the back, were traits that typified the silhouettes of yearlings and two year olds by Ekstern”. During the Białka Junior Spring Show that she wrote about 61,8% of his get made it into the class top fives (15 out of 22). Up to 2014 Ekstern became the sire of 416 foals registered in the PASB, as well as those foaled as a result of his lease.
Year by Year
When the get of Ekstern appeared on the arenas of Polish National shows, did everyone feel the oncoming „change of guard”? „His get was definitely visible, though we were not so overwhelmed as when the get of his sire made their debut, when Ekstern entered the arena”, says Mrs. Anna Stojanowska, the President of the PAHBS and an international judge. „The sons and daughters of Monogramm as yearlings not only won their categories, but placed from first to tenth in their classes, giving their rivals no chances. It was like a hit in the head, we knew immediately that Monogramm just opened a new era in the history of breeding. But the appearance of Ekstern’s get was also noticed and step by step won over the hearts of the spectators and judges. His get set a new standard among horses, because they were and still are equines with lots of charisma, type and great movement. Ekstern’s get is easily recognizable from afar. Even his grandchildren have more of Ekstern’s traits showing through than of their own sires”.
Let’s take a look at the get left at Michałów at the threshold of the new century. Born in 2002 was the multichampion Esparto (out of Ekspozycja/Eukaliptus) – winner of the Polish National, UAE, Wels Championship, Reserve Champion of the Al Khalediah Festival in Saudi Arabia, World Top Ten, to name just a few. During this time the world also greeted Palanga (out of Panika/Eukaliptus) – European Junior Champion Mare and a Polish National, European and All Nations Cup Reserve Champion in the senior category. Other mares from the 2002 crop that are definitely mention worthy are Droga Mleczna (out of Dąbrowica/Endel), El Emeera (out of Emanacja/Eukaliptus), El Ghazala (out of Emigracja/Palas), Wieża Marzeń (out of Wiaźma/Arbil). In 2003 came, among others, Laranda (out of Larissa/Eukaliptus) and Laverna (out of Loretta/Wojsław).
During 2005–2007 Janów Podlaski got plenty of their own Ekstern get, which later stood out at shows. Among them we find Polon (out of Pianosa/Eukaliptus) and Prado (out of Pętla/Visbaden), the mares Altamira (out of Altona/Eukaliptus), Biruta (out of Bajada/Pamir), Cenoza (out of Celna/Alegro), the afore mentioned Pepita, Sefora (out of Sawantka/Pepton), Bohema (out of Bogini/Arbil), Wołogda (out of Wanilia/Alegro), Atma (out of Altona/Eukaliptus), Sarbia (out of Samura/Ararat). Białka Stud used Ekstern on a wide scale during 2003–2005 and 2007. Born as a result was the colt Celsjusz (out of Carina/Pesal), Polish National Junior Champion and Autumn Show Reserve Champion in Janów. Others included Herlina (out of Heroldia/Eukaliptus), Perita (out of Perforacja/Ernal) and Cirilla (out of Cirka/Borek).
The Poszepczyński family of Chrcynno Palace Stud bred Ekstern with great success to their champion Pallas Atena (by Ecaho), who gave Psyche Ares and international multichampions Psyche Victoria and Psyche Kreuza, bringing fame to their stud till this day. Soon Psyche Victoria became known as a good dam of the colt Psyche Keret (by Khidar) – a silver medalist from Białka 2012, gold medalist from the Elran Cup and Breeders Championships in Chantilly (2013), a triple World Junior Top Ten in Paris. The owners of Falborek, the Goździalski family, saw the birth of Eksterna (out of Emanta/Pamir) in that time, a later Polish National Junior Reserve Champion. The title of Junior Champion Mare and Best in Show at Falborek 2004 went to the year old Szanta (out of Słonka/Wojsław), bred by Bogusław Dąbrowski. Another private breeder that mated his mares to
Ekstern was Lech Błaszczyk. His graduate Pasterna (out of Pasywa/Wachlarz) was named Junior Champion Mare at the 3rd Autumn Show (2008). Two years later this success was repeated by Paema (out of Pasyma/Piaff). In turn Piawea (out of Powiewna/Wachlarz) became in 2011 Alsace Champion and Best in Show.
Among Michałów’s foals by Ekstern born during 2008-2010 we should mention Polish National Junior Champion (2009) Wieża Róż (out of Wieża Babel/Laheeb), Lawinia (out of Luanda/Emigrant) – the Autumn Show Bronze Champion (2010) at Janów Podlaski and Mesalina (out of Mata Hari/Werbum). Karbona (out of Karbala/Emigrant), sold to a private breeder, gained a gold medal in Sweden and a bronze in Austria. 2011 is the birth year of the promising and highly evaluated at shows Potentilla (out of Panonia/Eukaliptus) from Janów Podlaski. The born at a
private stud in 2010 Gataka (Bełżyce Arabians), linebred to Monogramm, as her pedigree is made up of Ekstern – Gwarka/Monogramm, also achieved show successes.
„Ekstern confirmed that Polish horses have excellent movement”, underlines Anna Stojanowska. „99% of his children move fabulously! There is no doubt about it, the judges don’t have to wonder whether the horse that they are assessing can move or not”.
Sire and grandsire of national champions
The extent of Ekstern’s influence on Polish breeding can be seen through the subsequent results of our national shows. It is no secret for the observers of the world breeding scene that the quality of the Polish National Show is often comparable or exceeds that of shows abroad of a higher rank. It is really hard to break through here. Many horses win awards only after they leave Poland. „For years I have heard opinions of judges who don’t have to pretend to be polite, because no one needs praise here”, says Anna Stojanowska, who co-organizes the Polish National Shows and acts as announcer. „I feel that it is out of place to ask judges about the quality of the show, because everyone out of politeness will say that it is high. But many times I have heard opinions that the judges exchanged between themselves and they were those of admiration, recognition, respect. The best proof of the quality of the show is that some horses that have claimed awards at title shows never became Polish National Champions. The best example is Kwestura, who won the World Championships twice, but was never a Polish National Champion Mare”.
In 2006 the Polish National Junior Champion Mare title goes to the year old Sefora – according to Professor Chmiel, the best representative of her crop, turning heads mainly with her movement, dryness and tail carriage. In 2007 the reserve championship in the same category is won by Janów’s Pinta (Ekstern – Pilar/Fawor), the later auction high-seller (2009). The judges award the title of Polish National Junior Champion Stallion to Białka’s Celsjusz. The Senior Reserve Champion Mare goes to Palanga, a Junior Reserve Champion from 2004. In 2008 the afore mentioned Eksterna left her mark on the podium. A year later Michałów’s chestnut Wieża Róż took the title of Junior Champion Mare, the year old grey Psyche Kreuza from Chrcynno-Palace the reserve championship, while her full sister Psyche Victoria – the bronze (though officially bronze medals began to be awarded a year later). Esparto became Polish National Senior Champion Stallion. In 2010 Sefora takes the Senior Bronze Medal.
In 2011 Ekstern daughters make a strong statement in terms of breeding value: Wieża Marzeń as the dam of Polish National Junior Champion Mare Wieża Mocy (by QR Marc), Ekliptyka as the dam of Junior Bronze Champion Equator. In 2012 the Ekstern daughters again stand out as dams. Again Ekliptyka – Equator become Junior Champion Stallion. The silver goes to another son of an Ekstern daughter, Emarc (QR Marc – Eksterna) bred by Falborek Arabians. Elmaran (by Al Maraam), out of Ekstera by Ekstern, bred by Wojciech Parczewski, claims the title of Senior Bronze Champion Stallion.
The year 2013 wrote itself down as a period of successes of the produce of Ekstern’s daughters: Piacolla, later sold for 305 thousand Euro to Athbah Stud (Saudi Arabia) became Junior Champion Mare, while Larando (QR Marc – Laranda) receives the title of Junior Bronze Champion Stallion. In 2014 the Senior Champion Mare and Best in Show award go to afore-mentioned Janów’s Pepita – in 2015 offered as the star of the Pride of Poland Sale – and several other produce of Ekstern’s daughters also take the podium: the Junior Bronze Medal goes to the later World Champion Pustynia Kahila, the Senior Champion Gold goes to Equator and the most interesting situation takes place in the junior stallions category, where the entire group of three medalists are the sons of Ekstern daughters: Morion, Pitawal (Kahil Al Shaqab – Pepita), Larando.
In 2015 Pustynia Kahila leaves Janów with the title of Polish National Junior Champion, the bronze medalist in this category is Ekstern’s granddaughter, the Białka-bred Cella (by Lawrence El Gazal) and the senior reserve championship is awarded to the highly decorated Palanga.
Are the superbly moving get of Ekstern setting new standards abroad? „I hope they are”, says Anna Stojanowska. „Though the preferences of the judges usually revolve around pretty heads and a large dark eye, the discussions on the ECAHO forum are leaning towards changing the method of horse evaluation. The horse should move and have a proper conformation, good body and legs. These things are inseparable and connected with each other. Ekstern’s get definitely has some influence on how the show horse is looked at. These horses have always moved well and gained high marks even if the judges found some flaws in the build of the head and neck – not everyone has to like this type. But you can’t deny these horses one thing: excellent movement”.
It must be added that many of Ekstern’s get, apart from beauty, also have stamina. Horses that participated in racing, a stamina trial, included Cenoza (who was able to win with the Austrian bred Waikiki by the French sire Dormane), Sefora, Zabobon (out of Zamiana/Borek), Batawia (out of Barka/Ararat), Enaam (out of Elwira/Arbil), who placed 2nd in the Oaks (2010). Athletic talents were also revealed by Prado. So although the Arabian is considered to be either beautiful or brave, it is clear that Ekstern’s get are doing quite well in both of these areas.
More valuable than gold
Michałów in the 2014 season sold 22 breedings to Ekstern. In 2015 four foals by him were born (2 mares in foal to Ekstern were sold) at the maternal stud and the Polish private breeders were expecting 11 foals. In 2014 there were 20 Ekstern daughters at Michałów, 6 in Janów and 3 in Białka. „Ekstern is definitely a sire of daughters”, says Director Jerzy Białobok. „He gave plenty of valuable mares at Michałów, but I think he did best at Janów. This is best assessed by the auction results. The Janów mares by Ekstern are usually the adornment of every sale and achieve high prices. There were less of his flaws visible when mated with Janów mares, which I cannot say in the case of Michałów. They were too closely related and sometimes the unwanted traits accumulate, especially in Saklavi mares. Those that have Monogramm in their pedigree give very good produce and others mate with him with a worse result. Among the greatest Ekstern daughters the best are Elgina, Wilga, El Emeera, Palanga, Ekliptyka, Laranda, Pustynna Rosa, Pustynna Malwa and Wieża Róż, offered at this year’s sale. Janów’s fantastic Ekstern daughters include Cenoza, Altamira, Sefora and Pepita, this year’s auction star. The private breeders can boast Psyche Kreuza and Psyche Victoria at Chrcynno-Palace or Szanta bred by Bogusław Dąbrowski. These are the mares that allowed their breeders to be noticed during prominent European shows. In recent years Ekstern is the stallion that had the greatest influence on our breeding, especially in Janów. On one hand this makes me happy and on the other sad, because they are our rivals”.
Indeed, Ekstern’s daughters are something that draws buyers to Janów Podlaski. We have already mentioned the incredible record of Pepita in this year, but 2015 also marked spectacular prices for, among others, Wieża Róż (Ekstern – Wieża Babel/Laheeb) – 270 thousand Euro (Al Thumama Stud, Qatar) and Altamira (Ekstern – Altona/Eukaliptus) – 250 thousand Euro (Halsdon Arabians, UK). The valiant Cenoza, purchased in 2014 by the same British buyer, Shirley Watts, cost 240 thousand Euro. In 2013 during the Summer Sale, an addition to the main auction, the greatest emotions were stirred by Spała (Ekstern – Słonka/Wojsław, bred and owned by Bogusław Dąbrowski), for whom a buyer from Saudi Arabia offered a higher price (40 thousand) than those proposed by clients a day earlier for several mares in the main sale. The year 2012 brought impressive price of 100 thousand euro for Biruta (Ekstern – Bajada/Pamir), who joined the herd at Halsdon Arabians. The black Sarbia (Ekstern – Samura/Ararat) found a new home at Halsdon Arabians in 2011 (85 thousand Euro). In 2010 Wilga (Ekstern – Wenessa/Egon) went to Belgium, achieving 82 thousand Euro. The previous record was set in 2009, when Pinta (Ekstern – Pilar/Fawor) was bid on up to 500 thousand Euro. The mare is now owned by Halsdon Arabians (GB). In the same year Droga Mleczna (Ekstern – Dąbrowica/Endel) cost a Middle Eastern buyer 67 thousand Euro, while Felicjana (Ekstern – Felicja/Probat) – 105 thousand Euro. In 2008 the Białka-bred Ekina (Ekstern – Eklera/Ecaho) was bought for 100 thousand by Belgian buyers and Polish breeders (the Pietrzak family) paid 65 thousand Euro for Dormeza (Ekstern – Dobrzyca/Emigrant). In 2007 Laverna (Ekstern – Loretta/Wojsław) achieved a price of 140 thousand Euro and headed off to Dubai.
The dam of the young multichampion Pustynia Kahila („Kahil’s Desert”), Pustynna Malwa („Desert Hollyhock”), is one of the most beloved mares of Urszula Białobok. „I named her that, because I like flowers”, smiles the breeder. „I also like Wieża Marzeń („Tower of Dreams”) – actually I like all «Wieżas», because I value the family of Szweykowska. Warmia, Wiaźma, Wilejka, Wyborna – those are my favorite mares. Today everyone appreciates the «Wieżas», but when I named them that people asked: Who gives such names to horses?”.
Although the daughters of Ekstern are in high demand, Ekstern did not become a global sire. But that doesn’t worry Director Białobok. „I am happy that he didn’t turn into a global sire”, declares the director of Michałów. „We are starting to have a problem with the get of global sires. If we open a show catalogue from the European Championships or All Nations Cup, the stallion classes have 80% of horses deriving from one line or even by one sire or grandsire, such as Gazal Al Shaqab. This greatly narrows down the gene pool. In the case of Ekstern we had a technical problem – his semen freezes very poorly. And it was the poor quality of the frozen semen that got in the way of his career as a global sire. I worried about his health, which was always rather delicate, so I did not want to lease him to the US or the Emirates, though I received very tempting offers. But I didn’t want to send him so far, so he only travelled between Polish studs. Perhaps things would have been different today, because during the last 10 years the freezing techniques have changed significantly and are now much more advanced. But it is also true that Ekstern did not mate well with all mares”.
The secret lies in the pedigree
Professor Krystyna Chmiel writes the following about Monogramm’s lease to Poland in her ready for print book about the recent years of Polish breeding: „In 1992 the stallion Monogramm, chestnut, 1985 (Negatraz – Monogramma/Knippel) was leased to Poland for the 1993 and 1994 season, a grandson of the «revelation of America» Bask, from the line of Kuhailan Haifi d.b. His dam represented a branch of the Polish damline of Sahara d.b. imported to Jarczowce in 1845, established at Tersk after the Janów herd was taken by the Soviets, including the mare Mammona, bay, 1939 (Ofir – Krucica/Farys II). We can boldly say that the lease of this stallion was a second «hit in the jackpot» for Polish breeding, if we consider the first to be the import of Probat 1975”.
„Monogramm presented a distinctive show type”, continues the author. „From his dam’s side, a record setter from the track in Pyatigorsk, he also had stamina genes. He had a long neck, shapely head with a large, dark and very expressive eye, good coupling in the loins, impressive tail carriage, but most importantly – extremely dynamic movement with a long length of stride and a distinct suspension phase during the trot”. Judge Cecile Hetzel Dunn, who in May of 1987 judged the Santa Barbara Spring Show (USA), noticed Monogramm. She described him the following way*****: „Just the epitome of Arabian type and beauty, along with that incredible athletic ability. So much presence and such a show horse – he took my breath away”. In 1995 Izabella Pawelec-Zawadzka, who saw him during the US Nationals, shared her impressions: „Aside of the excitement of the colt, his pedigree was an answer to our long search for a Bask son or grandson who traced in tail female to the legendary Mammona”******. Scott Benjamin, employed at that time at Michałów, recalled that when Monogramm emerged from the trailer in the presence of the entire stud, Urszula Białobok could not contain tears of joy. „Yes, we were very much waiting for a good stallion”, confirms Michałów’s breeder. „Our boss, Director Ignacy Jaworowski, at first wanted to use Negatraz, but when he went to see him it turned out that the horse was indeed handsome and charismatic, but petit, a miniature pony. So when Monogramm came to Michałów, we were very moved. And he turned out to be a fantastic sire”. Ekstern was one of the 45 foals from Monogramm’s first crop. The number of national and international champion titles claimed by the sons and daughters of Monogramm during the two decades between 1995-2015 has surpassed 70.
Let’s add that it was the stallion Kuhailan Haifi d.b. 1923, the line’s founder, imported from the desert from the Bedouins, that founded a sire line which gave more and more splendid horses in subsequent generations. Kuhailan Haifi is considered the best desert Arabian ever imported to Poland! He died too soon, in 1934, as the sire of just 14 foals. However his son Ofir (out of the Janów-bred Dziwa/Abu Mlech) sired „the great four”, namely Wielki Szlem, Witraż, Witeź II and Wyrwidąb. Wielki Szlem in turn gave Czort, the sire of El Paso. Witraż became famous for siring Celebes and Bask. Ofir stood out with a beautiful head (which was emphasized by Adam Nałęcz-Sosnowski, who during 1938–1939 had a traineeship at Janów) and petit size – professor Witold Pruski wrote about him that he was „small, pony-like”. However during 1937–1939 Ofir covered 57 mares. Unfortunately the majority of his get, similarly to Ofir himself, was lost during World War II or was robbed and taken to the USSR. Despite that Kuhailan Haifi is present today in the pedigrees of a large number of Polish horses. Breeders spoke about Witraż almost only in superlatives. Roman Pankiewicz (known as the breeder of Bask) underlined his incredible beauty and class, handsome head set on a nicely chiseled neck, wide forehead, beautiful eye and wonderful tail carriage. The many year director of Janów Podlaski, Andrzej Krzyształowicz, spoke about his extraordinary Arabian beauty, pretty head, large, dark eye, wide nostrils, nice neck and good body.
Ekstern’s dam Ernestyna by Piechur (1989) is a representative of Michałów’s world famous damline of Milordka (~1810, Sławuta), called often the E-line. Her dam Erwina by Palas descended on one side from the Egyptian Aswan (Nazeer – Yozreia) and on the other from the afore mentioned Wielki Szlem, through his daughter Ellenai (1956) and the outstanding Amurath Sahib through his daughter Estokada and graddaughter Estebna by Nabor. Estokada (out of Saga by Hardy), who – as Professor Chmiel writes in the afore quoted book „They formed beauty” – inherited from her dam’s sire, a pre-war Derby winner, stamina (she placed first among her crop, winning eight races, including the Oaks and Criterium St.), gave racing produce with racing sires and handsome produce with handsome sires. And so three full sisters by Nabor: Eskapada, Estebna (1961) and Edycja „condensed in themselves the maximum of beauty and finesse, attributed mostly to the Saklavi type”. The „Nabors”, called by the renowned photographer Marian Gadzalski as „dancers”, became white very early on, they also had heads with a dished profile, large, dark, widely set eyes, long necks, were dry and impressive, especially in movement when they presented a highly set tail. These traits were accumulated to the maximum in Estebna, who in 1973 became European Champion. A year later she died much too soon, leaving daughter Elwira (by Elf), great-granddam of Ernestyna.
The future belongs to the dams
Huge hopes were associated with the highly decorated Ekstern son Esparto, the sire of Perfinka, leased by Al Muawd Stud (Saudi Arabia), under whose banner she achieved world fame. „Esparto was to be Ekstern’s heir”, confirms Director Białobok. „His get in Białka gave a lot of hope”. Unfortunately after several months of recovering after a hard case of laminitis and surgery that he underwent in Germany, at Ismer Stud, Esparto passed away. As Michałów’s director says, there is no stallion in sight that could take over Ekstern’s duties now. Therefore even more valuable for breeding are then the daughters of Ekstern, who pass on the legacy of Monogramm and Estebna, guaranteeing that the term „Pure Polish”, arousing general respect in the world, will not be just an empty slogan.
* One tworzyły piękno („They formed beauty”), Krystyna Chmiel, BB Publishing (Biblioteka polskicharabów.com), 2007
** „Monogramm. A true living legend. A sire born once in 50 years!”, Monika Luft, Stallions of the World IX, Alim Editrice 2014
*** „Złota jesień”, Jerzy George Zbyszewski, Alina Sobieszak, Araby Magazine 1/2015
**** „Fenomen Eksterna”, Krystyna Chmiel, Koń Polski 7/2007
***** „Monogramm. Sire of Significance”, Mary Jane Parkinson, Arabian Horse World 4/2002
******the same source as mentioned above
The article was first published in the “Stallions of the World” volume X (Alim Editrice, 2015). Updated September 2015