Gray Polish Arabian stallion Fetysz, born 1924.

Early Polish Pedigrees Simplified: The Three Main Categories

Copyright 1992 by R.J.CADRANELL
from Arabian Visions February 1992
Used by permission of RJ Cadranell

Polish pedigrees from the 19th century are not as labyrinthian as they seem on first examination. To make them easier to understand, they can be separated into three main categories: Sanguszko, Branicki, and Dzieduszycki.

In the 19th century, there were three noble families responsible for the bulk of the modern root stock scattered in World War I and carefully collected after the war. Of these, the Sanguszko family is possibly the best known. Their 19th century studs included Slawuta, Chrestowka, Satanow, Antoniny, and Gumniska (the Potocki family of Antoniny was related by marriage and the stock at Antoniny was Slawuta descended). Polish pedigrees dating back beyond the middle of the 19th century, with named dam lines, are generally of the horses of the Sanguszko. Another way to tell the Slawuta and Chrestowka lines is the names of the horses. Prior to 1861, they follow no pattern as to first initial. Beginning in 1861, foals born in the same year were given names beginning with the same letter. Thus Republika, Rymnik, Reduta, and Rewanza were born in 1876; Siersa, Sybilla, and Slawuta were born in 1877.

The Branicki family also had pedigrees dating back to approximately 1800. Lines from their stud were not as abundant as Slawuta lines in the stock that survived World War I. Their studs were Bialocerkiew, Janiszowka, Szamrajowka, and Uzin. Often, Branicki horses will have names beginning with the same letter as the sire’s name. For example, Hadrja is by Hamdani I by Hussar. Not as many Branicki stud records appear to have survived for the preparation of the Polish Arabian Stud Book in the 1920s, so Branicki horses are more likely to lack foaling dates and occasionally named dams.

The last of the three families to enter Arab horse breeding was the Dzieduszycki. Their studs, Jarczowce, Jezupol, and Jablanow, began in 1840 with the purchase of the stallion Bagdad from a Levantine dealer and horse importer named Glioccho. In 1845, Count Juliusz Dzieduszycki returned from what may have been Poland’s single most important horse buying expedition to Arabia. He brought with him a number of stallions and the legendary mares Gazella, Mlecha, and Sahara.

The bloodlines these three families used have little or no overlap with the pre-World War I foundation lines of other Arabian horse breeding countries. Some overlap does occur with the stud of the Kings of Wurttemberg at Weil, and the Austro-Hungarian state studs of Babolna and Radautz. Weil, near Stuttgart, was founded in 1817 and is Germany’s most historically important breeding stud. During the 19th century, Weil maintained its own distinct and identifiable group of bloodlines, although there was some interchange of stock with Babolna. Babolna, in Hungary, was a military horse breeding establishment akin to the noble and royal horse breeding efforts going on in other parts of central and eastern Europe. Babolna exchanged horses on a limited basis with Weil, and sent a limited number of horses to some of the Polish nobility, but for the most part maintained a herd distinct from that at Weil or those of the Polish nobles. Weil and Babolna continued to influence breeding in Poland, and breeding in Poland also influenced Weil and Babolna, into the 20th century.

All of these studs continued to add new horses from the desert from time to time, with the last such importation arriving in 1932. This group included Kuhailan Haifi, Kuhailan Zaid, and Kuhailan Afas. Erika Schiele described this 1930s expedition as the first of its kind since World War I, and probably the last in our century and for all time.

These were the basic pedigree components of most Arabian horses in Poland at the time the Polish Arab Horse Breeding Society was founded in 1926. In the sample pedigree of *Bask, a well known Polish import, we can see how these elements came together. Witraz, Ofir, Makata, Dziwa, and Fetysz were all bred between the wars at the state stud of Janow Podlaski, and were from the breeding program reestablished there in 1919. Both of Dziwa’s parents, Abu Mlech and Zulejma, were bred at the Dzieduszycki stud of Jezupol, and had pedigrees composed of the Dzieduszycki desert imports as well as a few Babolna lines. One could consider Dziwa “straight Dzieduszycki.” Gazella II was also bred at Jezupol, and was a further representative for Janow of the Dzieduszycki breeding. Her pedigree also contained some of the old Weil lines of Germany through her grandsire Anvil, bred at Weil. Fetysz carried a substantially different pedigree. His sire Bakszysz had come from Slawuta, and brought to Janow lines to the old Sanguszko stock. The dam of Fetysz, 282 Siglavi Bagdady, was bred at the Austro-Hungarian state stud of Radautz. Her sire was one of the desert breds imported by Austria-Hungary. Her dam, 15 Malta, was bred at Chrestowka from a mare of the old Sanguszko lines. Malta’s sire, Handzar, brings in just a drop of Branicki blood to the pedigree of Witraz.

*Bask 1956 Albigowa Witraz 1938 Janow Ofir 1933 Janow Kuhailan Haifi OA Desert Bred  
Desert Bred  
Dziwa 1922 Janow Abu Mlech 1902 Jezupol  
Zulejma 1914 Jezupol  
Makata 1931 Janow Fetysz 1924 Janow Bakszysz 1901 Slawuta  
282 Siglavi Bagdady 1908 Radautz Siglavi Bagdady OA
15 Malta 1892 Chrestowka
Gazella II 1914 Jezupol    
Balalajka 1941 Krasnica Amurath Sahib 1932 Brenlow 35 Amurath II 1907 Radautz Amurath 1881 Weil  
Fatme OA  
Sahiba 1924 Breniow Nana Sahib 1907 Weil  
Donka 1910 Babolna  
*Iwonka III 1936 Krasnica Ibn Mahomet 1925 Gumniska    
Lysa 1915 Prusy Hassizi 1898 Janiszowka  
Dzami I 1896 Regow Dardzal 1879 Szamrajowka
Eminach 1888

Balalajka, *Bask’s dam, represents Polish breeding between the wars carried on outside of the state stud of Janow. Her sire, Amurath Sahib, has no lines to Branicki or Sanguszko bred animals. His sire, 35 Amurath II, was bred at Radautz from a desert bred mare and Weil’s Amurath 1881, used at Radautz at the end of his life and one of the most famous products of Weil breeding. Sahiba, like her son Amurath Sahib, was bred in Poland between the wars at the small private stud of Breniow. Her sire was bred at Weil and her dam at Babolna. In spite of this, she does have a distant line to Dzieduszycki breeding. As a horse of Weil and Babolna lines, Amurath Sahib was more or less an outcross to the Branicki, Sanguszko, and Dzieduszycki stock.

*Iwonka III combined the lines of the three Polish families. She was a daughter of Ibn Mahomet, a stallion with a Slawuta/Gumniska pedigree. Lysa was by Hassizi, a horse bred at Janiszowka from Branicki lines. Dzami I’s sire Dardzal also carried a Branicki pedigree. Eminach’s sire Bagdad was a Dzieduszycki horse from Jarczowce. Eminach’s dam, Indostanka, was also bred at Jarczowce, but her sire Hindostan I came from Satanow and had a Sanguszko pedigree. Indostanka’s dam, and thus the rest of the tail female, is Dzieduszycki breeding.

For anyone tackling Polish pedigrees, these distinctions offer a way to sort through the names and bring some order out of initial confusion.