While the word Arabian does not appear on the
list, there was considerable Arab influence in both mares and
stallions. I have written on Arab blood in the great performers
of our day and found that many champions have a DROP of Arab
blood from an ox in the fourth generation, while others have
a Shagya in the second line of ancestors. Czekonics may have
In Mezohegyes at the beginning they used the criterion of conformation,
rather then breeding, in pairing.
In 1854 Prince Lobkowitz became the commander of the establishment.
He emphasized the necessity to develop " constant breeds".
That meant line breeding and inbreeding.
Here are the breeds they have developed
Nonius was born in 1810 during the Napoleonic Wars in Calvados,
Normandy. He was 3/8 Thoroughbred, 5/8 Norman. Today we would
call him an Anglo-Norman. The director of the Deux Ponts stud
farm described him as an ugly foal. Austrian armored cavalry
took him and other horses from the Rosieres stud farm in France
to Austria. He ended up in Mezöhegyes, where people were
critical of his conformation.
(Breeding is not an exact science. They had the
gut feeling that they needed this Norman blood. It took several
generations of experimenting, and Arab blood, to develop today’s
As a founding stallion of a line he is called
Nonius Senior. From 1816 on he bred mainly Spanish and Neapolitan
mares. An experiment failed when he bred his daughters and this
produced 33 foals. Only two mares became breeding quality and
one became a main stallion. 11 died. The pairing with Spanish
- Neapolitan mares was a success: He produced 79 stallions and
After 1865 they added Arab and Thoroughbred stallions
on Nonius mares.
Felver is such a handy word: Teliver in Hungarian is a full
blood= purebred horse, Thoroughbred. A horse which is half Thoroughbred
is a half-bred: felver. . To produce a felver you take a mare
you have and use a Thoroughbred stallion. On the progeny you
use another Thoroughbred or Felver stallion. This was done around
1900 in Mezöhegyes, Kisber and other farms. (Because the
Trakhener horses were similarly bred, they are also sometimes
referred to as “felver”.) If you read books on horse
breeds published in English during this time period, you will
find reference to the “Hungarian Halfbred” –
the Felver. A “Kisber Felver” then is a horse of
this breeding from the Kisber stud farm.
The Thoroughbred stallions were carefully chosen
for size, conformation and quiet temperament. When the progeny
got too great a percentage of Thoroughbred blood, the Army was
pleading for quieter remounts - as we will see in the case of
The Thoroughbred Furioso was born on the farm of Count György
Karolyi in 1836. North Star was born in England in 1844. While
other Thoroughbreds were also used, these two stallions exercised
an important influence on the Furioso- North Star line. Because
of the generations of Thoroughbred crosses, the Furioso horses
were a type of Felver.
The mares used had more or less Arab and Nonius
blood, which has influenced the size and elegance of the progeny.
Most Furioso Northstars are dark brown and sixteen hands or
In 1817 Mezöhegyes sent a mixed group of mares to Babolna
to be bred by a chestnut original Arabian stallion. This resulted
in the production of six chief stallions for Mezöhegyes.
All living Gidrans today are chestnuts and descendents
of Gidran II whose dam was Spanish. They excel in jumping.
In 1789 the Austrian government purchased an estate to be used
as a resting place for animals driven to Vienna. Soon breeding
was started. Since 1816, only Arab mares were used. The first
Arab stallions came from Rosiere, France with Nonius Senior.
Siglavi 4 was purchased in Istambul.
Between 1836 and 1901 seven expeditions were organized
which brought about 150 Arabs to Babolna.
The Bruderman expedition (1865-67) spent a year
in Syria, Palestine and in the desert and purchased 14 stallions
and 32 mares.
They also brought a groom along who did not wanted
to be separated from his horse. His name was Fedlallah el Heddad.
He started as a rider- groom in Babolna. From 1899 to 1913 Colonel
Michael el Heddad was the commander of Babolna. He conducted
three highly successful expeditions to buy Arabs. To know the
When the Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture took
over the breeding farms under Ferenc Kozma in 1867 more consistent
practices were introduced. At the World Exposition in Paris
in 1900 Babolna and several of its horses were given Grand Championships
and Gold Medals.
In 1932 a great hyppologue, General Tibor de Pettko-Szandtner
became the commander. He also promoted the popularity of the
Babolna’s Shagya Arabs by competing internationally with
pairs and teams.
(The Kisber page is at www.kisbergidran.hu)
Count Kazmer Batthany's estate was confiscated
for participating in the 1848 revolution and in 1853 it became
an imperial stud farm.
As breeding had to serve the needs of the army,
and the cavalry needed fast and strong remounts, Thoroughbred
stallions were used to produce Felvers. By 1940 the army requested
quieter horses and two Trakehner stallions - Format who became
in Hungary Formas, and Goldlack who became Szeplak - were exchanged
for two Furioso Northstar stallions. They had considerable influence
on size and temperament.
(When the HHAA exchanged semen with the Kisber
Association we received Szeplak XVIII ‘s semen. Our members
have several Szeplak XVIII foals.)
Let us to explain the way horses are named in
Hungarian government stud farms. A mare or stallion at birth
receives the father’s name and an Arab numeral indicating
it to be the first, second, etc. foal of the stallion. A mare
or gelding keeps this name.
A young stallion was usually assigned to a rural
breeding station manned by a stud service soldier, or to a reliable
farmer to breed local mares. When his get, at age three or four,
has shown outstanding qualities of conformation, speed, endurance
etc. he was promoted to be a Chief Stallion and was given a
roman numeral after his name. Frequently he was assigned to
a stud farm.
Thus Szeplak XVIII is the son of Szeplak VII,
who is the son of Szeplak I, who is the son of Szeplak Senior
(Goldlack), who came from Trakehnen. A new Chief Stallion from
this line will get the next roman number. He may not be Szeplak
XVIII’s son. The Szeplaks with numbers between VII and
XVIII are brothers, uncles or cousins of Szeplak XVIII.
The same numbering system is used in Babolna.
Thus when the famous stallion Amor came from Switzerland to
breed mares in Babolna he had the name Gazal XII.)