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Looking Back: 1939
"The Spoils of War"

A Prologue to Notes and Photos in *Druzba's Racing Pedigree
derived from Arabians (January 1985) by Suzi Morris.

In 1939, as a result of an agreement between Russia and Nazi Germany, Poland found herself in a pincer grip between armies entering her borders from both East and West. Russia invaded from the East, and in the process, almost all of the precious Janow Arabians were removed to the Soviet Union.

In the war years to follow, horses of value which remained in Poland at government studs, on private farms, or with individuals, were taken by Nazi Germany. The Nazis placed the best of the bloodstock on their own stud farms throughout the occupied lands; the remaining horses were used for whatever use the Nazis deemed necessary. Among the Nazis' collection were purebred Arabians from Poland, Hungary and elsewhere, Lippizaners from Austria, Thoroughbreds, and other well-bred stock from Eastern Europe.

By the end of World War II, the toll on horse breeding was unfathomable. Many studs, some of which were decades old, had been totally destroyed and many rare and precious bloodlines forever lost. What few Arabians horses did survive the horrors of war, and expropriation to foreign countries (including the United States), were gathered by Poland in an effort to re-establish programs of national pride.

Poland launched a search through what once had been Nazi-held territory to find surviving horses that may have been found by gypsies or left with farmers. Fortunately, most of the horses left in the dismantled German "super farms" were salvaged. Gradually, a nucleus of breeding stock was reassembled.

During this search, in 1945, Polish representatives discovered 14 mares in Germany who were recognized as being high-bred, if not purebred, Arabians. The mares were from the famous Babolna Stud of Hungary and were slowly being bled to death by a German pharmaceutical company which was using their blood to manufacture serum. The Poles saved these valuable mares through an exchange of 42 cold-blooded work horses. This trade was to have a profound effect on the Arabian breed in Poland, Europe, and the United States.

The 14 Babolna mares were taken to Poland and eventually distributed among three farms which were founded in 1948 while Janow was being rebuilt: Nowy Dwor, located near the Czechoslovakian border south of Krakow; Albigowa, about 45 miles from the Russian border east of Krakow, and Klemensow, near Zamosc and the Bialka Stud of today.

In 1949, Hungary gave Poland the proper pedigrees for the 14 rescued mares. Two years later, on December 13, 1951, Poland returned all 14 mares to the Babolna Stud in order to aid in the renewal of Arabian breeding in Hungary. In gratitude for saving and returning their prized mares, the Hungarians gave the ownership of the foals produced while in Poland to their rescuers. Brda was one of those Babolna mares who was returned to her previous home and birthplace.

Source: "The Elegant Darda" by Marsha Parkinson. Arabians January 1985. Campbell Co. Inc., Lake Orion, Michigan. pp. 136-137.

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We look forward to meeting you in the Winner's Circle!

Suzi Morris
28952 Via Hacienda
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675-5546
Phone: 949-248-1260

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Copyright 2003-2012. Website designed and maintained by Suzi Morris.  All rights reserved. This page created for Arieana's Racing Notebook July 2, 2005. Updated and Current as of August 10, 2012.