11 January, 2019

A Story of Ibrahim, Lagodna & Nabor

*Naborr (Negatiw x Lagodna)
Much has been written about the stallion *Naborr (Negatiw x Lagodna) and it is not my intention to repeat the volume of information that has already been published about him. There are a couple of great articles which are still available online and I encourage you to read Mary Jane Parkinson's Nabor: The Life of a Legend and Cassie Parker-Charbonneau's *Naborr - Saga of the Silver Stallion. With that said, I learned a long time ago that there's a unique story hidden in the life of every horse and sometimes, you have to dig a little to find it. In a previous blog about the EAO-bred stallion, *Ansata Ibn Halima, I had written that the name of his dam, Halima, means “gentle mare.” Well, imagine the surprise I felt when I learned that the name of *Naborr's dam,  Lagodna, also means "gentle." Even though *Naborr was born in Russia and *Ansata Ibn Halima was born in Egypt, the parallels in both stallions' lives are really amazing, as both horses, having immigrated to the United States, generated alot of interest for their respective country's breeding programs and physically, evolved to become living standards for their strain type: *Ansata Ibn Halima for the Dahman Shahwan strain, while *Naborr was representative of the Saqlawi strain. In the article written by Mary Jane Parkinson, she said,
"The Poles loved him, for they found in *Naborr a resemblance to the Arabian horses painted by Juliusz Kossak, considered the best painter of oriental horses. *Naborr's remarkable Arabian type, dry fine head, swan-like neck and milk-white hair (unusual for his age) all related to the Poles ideal Arabian."
A good part of *Naborr's early life happened before I was even born. He was foaled in Russia, in 1950 (*Ansata Ibn Halima was born in 1958, so both horses are peers, members of the same generation). His impressive early career included racing (he won two of his eight races), showing (earning a Certificate of the First Class, a prize equivalent to the American National Reserve Championship in Halter) and finally breeding (siring six colts and three fillies for Tersk Stud). By the time he was a five year old, the opportunity for Poland to purchase the horse became very real, as Poland, at the time, was rebuilding their breeding program from the devastation caused by World War II, as well as the destructive losses from the preceding world war and conflicts, like the Bolshevik Revolution. Thankfully, the celebrated Antoniny Stud stallion, Ibrahim had sired a son, Skowronek, who was exported to England and was ultimately purchased by Lady Wentworth of the Crabbet Stud in England, becoming an influential stallion not only at Crabbet Stud but all over the world, while preserving the blood of Ibrahim for future use. His son Naseem was purchased by the Russians in 1936. In 1945, the Naseem son, Negatiw, who was out of the captured Janow Podlaski-bred mare, Taraszcza (Enwer Bey x Gazella II) was born and he would play a crucial role in this story, in restoring the Ibrahim sire line for Poland. The Polish breeders knew that both Naseem and Negatiw were highly successful breeding horses in Russia and wanted a horse that incorporated the blood of both stallions in their program. When finally, the opportunity materialized, *Naborr went to the Albigowa State Stud but eventually, he made his way to the newly-established Michalow State Stud, attracting  the attention of Ignacy Jaworoski, the stud farm's director, who developed a lifelong admiration for *Naborr, born out of his interaction with a horse who was as sweet, as he was beautiful. Reading of the feeling that Ignacy Jaworoski had for *Naborr, I am reminded of Dr. Mohamed Marsafi of El Zahraa  and the relationship he enjoyed with a very sweet *Ansata Ibn Halima. However, what makes *Naborr an interesting choice for Poland was that in addition to the Ibrahim sire line through Negatiw-Naseem-Skowronek, his dam Lagodna brings in an additional two lines to Ibrahim: through the stallion Posejdon and through Elstera, a 1913 grey Ibrahim daughter out of Lezginka. The interesting twist in the story of *Naborr happened somewhere in the late 1930s-to-mid-1940s. The dam of Lagodna was a 1933 Janow Podlaski-bred mare named Obra by Hardy (a Gazella II son) and out of Ikwa (Elstera's daughter). She was purchased by a private breeder named Stanislaw Magielski, who bred Arabian horses at his Jablonka Stud. It was there that Obra was bred to Posejdon and foaled the grey filly named Lagodna in 1939. And this is where the mystery begins, as both Obra and Lagodna disappeared, without leaving a trace as to who had them and where they had gone. Lagodna was at the German Trakehner State Stud, where she was incorporated into the breeding program as "Odilgard". It wasn't until 1946, when Lagodna, in foal to a Trakehner stallion, was captured by the Russians, with her Trakehner filly at side. Eventually, her 1946 and 1947 Trakehner foals were sent to the Stavropol Stud Farm and Lagodna was incorporated into the purebred breeding program at Tersk.  In 1949, the catalyst of our story, the ultimate event, occurred and that was that Lagodna was bred to Negatiw, to produce the colt named Nabor (this is the spelling of his name, prior to his American registration, as it was the name given to him in Russia, when he was foaled) in 1950. Imagine what the world of Arabian breeding would be like if the Russians had not captured Lagodna  from the German Trakehner Stud farm and she remained a Trakehner broodmare for the rest of her life? How much poorer would we be without *Naborr and all of the horses that descend from him! Have you thought of this? Think of the horses we dearly love like Equator and the most beautiful mare, Pianissima. The genetic fiber of these two horses includes Kajora, a daughter of the stallion Kaborr, a *Naborr son. THAT! is the significance of Lagodna, as she symbolizes in a very real way, the nature or rather, the essence of Arabian horse breeding in Poland and how it not only survived, despite the greatest of adversities but unbelievably prospered, to emerge better and stronger, as evidenced by the quality of horses produced. And yet, at the very nucleus of this story resides miraculous lessons we can all embrace, about living life with courage, faith and hope, just as our Polish brothers and sisters have done in their lives.

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