A lot of articles could be written and lots were written about the origins and successes of two great Polish purebred racers: Sambor and Wiking. However after they were sold abroad it became quite difficult for Polish breeders and fans to get any information about their careers and the careers of their progeny. At the IX PAHBS’ General Meeting, Mr. Longin Błachut, active member of the Polish Arabian Horse Breeders’ Society and great enthusiast of horse races, presented a short synopsis of the career of Sambor and Wiking and their progeny in the United States.
- Number of purebred horses registered in the US at the end of 2004: 614 278 (1st place in the world).
- Number of purebred horses racing in US: ca.665 horses per year.
- Arabian horse racing started in the US in 1957. Today it is the country with one of the largest Arabian racehorse herds and most heterogeneous in respect of dam and sire lines. It is also the country where halter, performance and race competition are probably the toughest.
- There are 500-530 races in the US per year of which 65 stakes that take place annually on 23 racecourses, with a total purse of USD 5 000 000, and average prize money of USD 9 000 per race. Total costs of preparing, training and entering a horse in a race is ca. USD 18-25 000, that is, 2-3 times the average prize money won by a horse per year. Polish Arabian horses are highly prized for their courage, stamina, speed and temperament and, of course, for their great Arabian conformation.
- Purebred Polish Arabian horses and their descendants have dominated races in the US right from the start in number of horses entered, number of starts, speed records on various distances, number and amounts of purses won, number of significant sires and best sires of racer’s dams.
- Two sires, called Sambor and Wiking, and their get dominated Arabian races in the US, to the extent that the 1980s are known as the “Sambor’s decade” and the 1990s as the “Decade of Wiking”.
SAMBOR born 1965 (Czort – Sabellina / Abu Afas), bred by Janów Podlaski Stud – this black-tape top and bottom Janow bred colt with a royal pedigree was sold in 1969 to Leon Rubin’s Sir William Farm, Hillsdale, New York, USA, at the age of 3 after a good racing career of 8(3-2-1) in Poland. Sambor continued to race in the US successfully winning the Derby at the Turf Paradise in Phoenix, Arizona in 1969 – leaving the field of horses 15 lengths behind. A few days later he won the half-mile sprint in Oklahoma City and later claimed victory in the National Championship Race. He had a terrific stride and would lay low and stretch out like a Thoroughbred. Sambor finished his racing career with the score of 3/14(6-4-1). Later he competed successfully in halter and driving classes, too. Sambor sired countless champions in halter and performance in both Park and English Pleasure and won the Legion of Merit distinction. He is a foundation sire of US racing with multi winning Stakes get. He was admitted to the Arabian Horse Trust Hall of Fame.
Upon Mr. Rubin’s death the majority of Sir William Farm stock was dispersed and Sambor was sold to W.K. King of Katy, Texas. In 1984 Sambor was purchased yet again by Martha Dean Thurmon
and taken to September Farm II where he died in November 1988. In Poland one of the most important Stakes for 3-year old horses at the Służewiec Warsaw racecourse is named after him. In the US Sambor was named “All Time Broodmare Sire” because his daughters distinguished themselves on the track, like Samcherie 48(20-10-7) 11-11, CR Samborsta 11(7-1-0) 5-1 and Samborette 27 (6-3-5) 3-3, and went on to the breeding barns and became excellent broodmares. In breeding they crossed well with most of the sire lines. Sambor’s daughters in general gave progeny that won 3 to 4 times more races and purses than the progeny of any other mares and stallions. His most notable sons, such as Samtyr (out of Polish-bred Tryncza) and Sam Tiki (out of Kyla Tiki), both elected to the Arabian Horse Trust of Fame, successfully passed on their racing abilities to their get.
Sam Tiki (Sambor x Kyla Tiki by Kontiki), with a race career of 4/21(10-4-3)6-6 and a total amount of USD 100,989 won in prize money, is a sire of good racers such as: Johnny on the Spot, Mr Full Service and Dreams of Valour. To-date he has sired 84 racers, of which 56 are winners (66%), and is dutifully fulfilling his stallion’s duties this breeding season at Cre-Run Farm, Virginia.
Another son of great distinction was the Leon Rubin bred, pure Polish Samtyr
(Sambor x Tryncza by Trypolis), with a race record of 8(8-0-0) 1-0. He sired 114 foals – 80 of them race winners (70%) and 32 (28%) Stakes winners, which speaks well for Samtyr’s high efficiency in passing on his racing abilities. Samtyr died in 1995 at Godolphin Racing Inc, in Wilmington, Delaware.
In Arabian horse breeding a stallion is considered a good horse when 25% of his racing progeny are winners (with 5-10% being Stakes winners). Let the records of Sambor’s progeny speak for themselves…
WIKING born 1979 (Etap-Wilma/Pietuszok), bred by Janów Podlaski – sold to the US at the age of 5. His history is a testimony to how precious and valuable this 14.3 hands horse was. As the sales document and American Stud Book confirms, Wiking was bought by Mr. Jim Wagner, Libra Company, Manson Michigan for a modest price of USD 21 300 at the 1984. It was the first Arabian horse Mr. Wagner bought – but what a horse! A year after the horse’s arrival in 1985, Mr. Wagner created a partnership with his wife, Diana, and Dr. James Budd. In September 1987, Dr. Budd bought out the Wagners and organized another partnership with Town & Country Farms, represented by the Courtelis family. In 1990, Town & Country Farm bought all the shares of Wiking and remained his sole owner till the day of his death. His racing career was really impressive – 6/37 (20-10-2), with 3 seasons spent in Poland where he won the following important Stakes: Comet, Kuhailan Haifi, Witez, Ofir and Kurozwęki. In the US he won USD 97 782 and was called “Chairman of the Board” of Arabian racing. Wiking is the world phenomenon of all times. After a stunning racing career he became a highly successful race champions’ sire as well. By the end of 2004 his progeny had won the sum USD 8 millions. This is the largest ever amount of money won by an Arabian horse’s progeny. And it will still grow with the scores of Wiking progeny born in the last 3 years that are on the point of beginning their racing careers. Last year progeny born in 2001, such as – Feeling Good (out of Gaibaska) and Final Answer (out of Gasawa), made a good debut. Moreover this total amount will certainly be augmented by scores of existing “stars”, such as the great DA Adios (the Arabian stallion that has won the richest purse in US– ca. USD 500 000) that will be continuing his career this season as well. Some of the greatest of Wiking’s progeny that raced successfully and are currently also great breeding horses are:
Dixi Darlene, born 1994 (out of BW Ali Catt by ZT Ali Baba). Racing career: 3/40 (17-10-4), total amount won: USD 281 689. She is placed second on the best racing fillies’ rank (American Jockey Club rank for 3, 4 and older horses with respect to the amount
of prize money won). Dixi Darlene’s progeny are: Dixis Delight (by SamTiki), Dixis Chick (by Burning Sand) – that have already won some of the most important Stakes a few times so far.
Patriot Missle, born 1991 (out of Toppers Starlight by Mister Topper). Racing career: 4/26(16-4-4), total amount won: USD 244 183. First Triple Crown son of Wiking (at the age of 4 he won the Godolphin Arabian Cup Classic (G1), California Arabian Cup International (G1), with a national track record of 1 3/8 miles in 2:32 2/5 sec., and Jewels of the East Diamond Derby, with another NTR on a 7-furlogue distance in 1:33 sec.). He is a sire of 35 racers, out of which 22 are winners (62%) and 6 (17%) Stakes winners.
RW Country Gent born 1998 (Wiking x Dunsamba by Dunajec). His present racing career is: 3/22(8-5-5)3-5, amount of prize money won: USD 220 695. His grandsire Dunajec (Branibor x Dyska by Wielki Szlem) twice won the Criterium and was second in the Derby. RW Country Gent’s dam, Dunsamba, is Dunajec’s daughter and granddaughter of Sambor on the dam’s side (dam – Fritz Janny by Sambor)
IMG _LEFT Monarch AH born 1987 (Wiking x Sasanka (PL) by Almifar). Racing career: 3/23 (19-3-0), amount of prize money won: USD 213 646. He sired 400 registered horses, of which 206 took part in races and 156 were winners (75%), with 41 (20%) Stakes winners. The most important progeny of Monarch AH in United States are:
The mare, Royal Atheena, born 1995, out of Malabar Athena, racing career:
3/23(16-15-0)11-1, USD 327 259 in prize money. She is top of the AJC ranking list for fillies with the highest amount of prize money won.
The mare, Winning Spirit MA, born 1994 (out of Espora by Pierrot (PL)), racing career: 4/27(7-7-9)4-5, total amount won: USD 142 029.
The stallion, Zanzibar MRV, born 1994 (out of Suzanka by Eternit (PL)), racing career: 4/36(10-12-7)4-7, amount of prize money won: USD 135 420.
The stallion, Genuine Monarch, born 1995 (out of Cassels Genua by Brussaly Zbruenu), racing career: 3/15(6-3-2)2-3, prize money: USD 120 313.
Wiking passed away at the age of 24 on 5 January 2003 at Town & Country Farm, Micanopy, Florida, USA.
From 1984 to 1999, 636 horses won Stakes races in the United States. The progeny of Sambor and Wiking represent 57.4% of the winners. The remaining 42.6% are the progeny of 38 different sires.
In this period of time there were 966 Stakes run in US with a purse of over USD 5000. The winners of 60.6% of those Stakes were Sambor and Wiking’s offspring, while the rest, 39.4%, were the progeny of 39 different sires.
THE BEST PURE BRED SIRES IN US by the prize monies won 1998-2004
BEST PURE BRED SIRES RACER’S DAMS IN US by the prize monies won
To obtain such efficient and outstanding racing abilities and results in purebred Polish Arabian horses, American breeders often line breed to Czort, Pietuszok or other outstanding horses from Polish female “O” and “S” lines. A perfect example is the pedigree of excellent DA Adios:
DA ADIOS born 1998 (Wiking – Sanibel IA/Samtyr) – bred by Arnold and Audrey Fisher, Dunromin Farm, Bedford, New York. Mr. Fisher is a well-known architect and Polish Arabian horse aficionado and an astute breeder and owner of many successful horses and
champions, such as Penitent bred by Janów Podlaski Stud or famous Kawalkada – US National Champion Mare bred by Michałów Stud. Sanibel IA was bought at an auction sale. She had already finished her racing career 6(2-2-1) 0-1 and was a proven broodmare that had given birth to three good racers. She had a wonderful pedigree by her sire – Samtyr (by Sambor) and out of her dam – Sanna (Wist [Bandos x Wilma] x Sasanka [Santa x Almifar]). Mrs. and Mr. Fisher decided to breed her to the best racing stallion ever – Wiking, sire of many race champions when crossbred with the Polish female “S” line (e.g. Monarch AH out of Sasanka).
Sanibel IA gave birth to DA Adios on 10 April 1998. His birth was watched by a small group of owners and their family members on a TV monitor. It was a premonition of stardom to come. It took the new born colt only 20 minutes to be on his feet and running. However, DA Adios wasn’t an outstanding foal – good conformation, middle-sized and rather aloof. Mr. Fisher thought him to be a horse of middling value. But when on the racetrack, he showed his class. Always ready, focused and quiet, he ran in a Sambor, Samtyr and Wiking style – often tagging along at the end of the group before firing ahead with a stretch right out stride like a thoroughbred in the last few furloughs, and winning. In 2001, DA Adios ended up the racing season with a score of: 7(4-1-1) 1-2, including the ARC Juvenile (G1).
His life changed after September 11th. Mr. Fisher called Alan Kirshner, the Chairman of the Arabian Jockey Club, and told him that he wanted to sell DA Adios. Alan Kirshner formed a partnership called “KRW Partnership” (from the first letters of the co-owners’ names: Alan Kirshner, Steve Richards and Howell Wallance) that bought DA Adios. A new trainer (Lynn Ashby), different jockeys (Alison Hershbell and Clyde Martin) and blinkers improved his racing score. For his outstanding racing results, DA Adios received the Darley Horse of the Year Award and went on to twice become Darley Horse of The Year in 2002 and 2004. He is the richest purse winner in the history of Arabian horse racing in the US to-date, having won so far USD 500 000. And his racing career is continuing in 2005!
His heart was found to be of an outstanding size – estimated to weigh about 10kg where the average weight of a sport horse’s heart is about 3.5 to 4 kg! Measurement of heart’s of sires and dams of Polish lines show that their hearts are very often larger than in other lines. The racehorse’s heart is its engine. A large-sized heart with a correct conformation will improve a horse’s racing abilities. A study made in Australia and the United States gave rise to the “X theory” (see Mariann Haun’s “The X Factor: What It Is and How to Find It”, published in 1997 and Frank Mitchell’s, “Racehorse Breeding Theories”. According to the theory, the female lines pass the size of the heart via the X chromosomes. In brief, to breed brave horses with large hearts, breeders should cross mares, with both X chromosomes determining the large heart, with stallions of outstanding racing abilities. For all of us this is yet another testimony that Polish Arabian horses have great hearts – literally and figuratively!
Longin Błachut, [email protected], March 2005
- http://www.arabdatasource.com Arabian Horse Data Source.
- Arabian Finish Line (monthly magazine) lata 2000-2005; articles by: Sandy Wollpert i Stephanie Corum
- Frank Mitchell – Racehorse Breeding Theories, 2004.