Kabardian horses in Malopolska breed

Malopolska breed is a typical Polish horse breed with origin dating back to XVII century. There are historical documents ("Polski król ubierał się po kaukasku" in Polish) about big import of Circassian (or Kabardian) horses to Poland in XVII century. These horses were even higher priced at this time than Persian and Arabian horses.

In XVII century there was significant influence of Circassian horse-riding culture on the Polish Szlachta (noble class). Polish king Jan III Sobieski (famous for Vienna victory over Kara Mustafa) was known for wearing traditional Circassian clothes sometimes. Import of Circassian saddles, horses and bufallos played significant role in bussiness exchange between Caucasus and Rzeczpospolita at that time.

Then for both cultures (Polish and Circassian) the golden age has finished and brutal war with closes neighbor - Russia - has started. The links between horse breeders came up again around 1950 when a group of Kabardian horses was imported to Stubno - big govermental stud farm in Poland. These horses were used for breeding and found their place in 1st volume of Malopolska Breed Stud Book, where they were explicitely listed as "kabardian" (short "kab.").

I've talked over telephone with one of old people who worked at Stubno at that time and he remembered these horses. He described them as very good horses but noted that they were not very suitable for that time farm's breeding profile. Why? I can only guess - purebred Kabardians are relatively small and after war in Poland there was tendency to breed heavier and taller horses, useful for field work and transport.

However thanks to our reader Monika Jawoszek we found a trace of these horses in today living Malopolska horses. Monika sent me a pedigree of her horse - half Oldenburg and half Malopolska. His mother was Alma (Malopolska) and her parents came from Stubno stud farm.

Going back through the pedigree we were able to trace back parents of Alma to kabardian mare Azbuka, born approximately 1950-65, which matches time of arrival of the Kabardian group to Stubno.


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