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Extinction by NAIS


Windt im Wald Farm
Geauga County, Northeast Ohio
since 1995


Everyone has heard of the purebred Arabian horse, but what in the world is a Shagya Arabian? The Shagya takes its name from a dapple-gray purebred Arabian stallion bred in Syria and born in 1830. Shagya was sold by a tribe of Syrian Bedouins to the Austro-Hungarian Empire ruled by the Hapsburg family in the early 1830s. By 1836 he was the chief breeding stallion at eh Hapsburg Imperial Stud in Babolna, Hungary. Since the Hapsburg rulers were interested in producing a supreme cavalry horse that looked elegant but was bigger and stronger in battle, Shagya was bred to native Hungarian mares. Ultimately, the end products of these breedings looked a great deal like purebred Arabians but were often 16 hands tall and measured as much as 7 inches at the cannon bone. Grey became the dominant color, although Babolna produced black, chestnut, and bay Shagyas as well. The Shagya Registry is said to be the second oldest registry in the world, started about 1789, second only to the English Hunt Club. Although Shagyas have been the prized cavalry mounts of European soldiers in many wars and the cherished carriage horses of European royalty, they still remain relatively unknown, compared to their purebred Arabian relatives. There is a movement in the United States to popularize them and to increase their availability, but obviously their prices are still far above average due to their "newness" on the American scene.

Diane Jones
Windt im Wald Farm

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