Happy 25th Birthday Ecaho!
Today, on the 1st of March, one of the most beautiful and wonderful stallions in the world celebrate his 25th Birthday. A stallion with a great legacy and one that forever put his mark on the Arabian breeding.
“A cold December evening in 1983, one of Janow Podlaskis stud´s best broodmares of all time is lying sick in her stall with one of the older groom to watch over her. The mare is the fantastic producer Etna (Faher-Elzunia) and at the same time several of Janow´s employees are waiting in the office to receive the news from the Word Championships in Paris. One of the horses representing Poland and Janow Podlaski is Etna´s daughter Etruria by Palas. Finally a telegram arrives with the news that Etruria has been awarded with the title World Champion Mare! One of the younger groom run down to Etna´s barn to announce the great news to his older collegue and mentor. When he arrives in to the barn and delivers the great news, Etna lift her head for a couple of seconds. Her old friend glances at her and discovers that Etna has passed on…”**
Etruria was at this point just in the beginning of her breeding and show career and the future would show that she was going to be a world-class broodmare with an excellent show record. For her outstanding achievements she was awarded with the WAHO trophy in 2005 at 30 years of age. As a broodmare of distinction she is the dam of 11 foals, including six daughters: the Aloes-daughers Enaria (sold at the Polish Ovation Sale for $520.000), Etruska (sold to Royal Sweden Arabians and later exported to Brasil), Etana (sold to Paolo Gucci, USA) and Ettoria (sold to B.Chur, USA); the Fawor-daughter Esparceta and the Pepton-daughter Epifraza (exp. UK). All daughters have been great producers and have created their own dynasties.
Esparceta was retained as a broodmare at Janow Podlaski and she is the dam of the stallions: Eksport (by Europejczyk) – Brazilian National Champion Stallion; Espadero (by Eldon) – Derby winner and 2003 Best Racehorse of the Polish National Show; Esculap (by Primo) – Polish National Junior Champion.
Etruria more significantly is the dam of three chief sires Etogram, Etman and Ecaho.
Etogram (by El Paso) was himself a Polish National Champion, Babolna International Champion, Blommeröd Scandinavian Open Champion, Swedish and Norwegian National Champion. Etogram is also the sire of three times Swedish National Champion Mare and Blommeröd Scandinavian Open Champion Prognoza (out of Palestra). Etman (by Gil) was a very good race horse as the winner of four stakes races before he was exported to Sweden. He was in his new country the 1992 Swedish National Champion Stallion and 1994 Race Horse of the Year.
But Etruria´s most influential offspring was born on March 1st in 1990 and the foal was a sensational colt. This was her first offspring by the Polish National Race Horse and Polish National Champion Stallion Pepton (Bandos-Pemba), who just returned from a leasing period in USA.
The colt Etruria had was considered to be the most promising heir apparent to the most valued sire line of Ibrahim db. Everyone knew that the choice of name for this great colt was of great importance and it would turn out that later that spring – Poland hosted the Annual General meeting of the European Commission of Arabian Horse Organizations (ECAHO). As a part of the schedule included a visit to each of the State Studs so that they could present their finest horses in breeding parades. Izabella Pawelec-Zawadzka, the Polish Inspector of Arabian Horses at that time, recalls that the weather during the Janow Podlaski stud visit was very cold, grey and damp and the horses were not at their best. After the formal presentation of the chief-sires, the group continued down to the stables where the mares and foals were housed. Some of the best mares were shown and the selection included Director Krzystalowicz favourite mare, World Champion Etruria. She came out of the stable into the paddock showing off her incredible movement and at her side was this “frosty-grey” colt with his tail on his back. He had a tremendous presence with an extraordinary head and neck and great movements, with no problem keeping the pace with Etruria´s powerful animated trot stride for stride. The group was in awe by this fantastic colt and they quickly broke into enthusiastic and spontaneous applause at the sight of him and his famous dam. “He is like a swan” Mrs. Zawadzka said about the confident colt.
As this was the time for naming all the foals, Izabella Zawadzka suggested that as a tribute to the special event, to allow the Congress to propose a name for the colt. Director Krzysztalowicz agreed upon this and in a moment of inspiration, the Arabian Horse Society of England´s President Joan Ratcliff suggested ECAHO, in honour of the commission´s acronymic designation. It was perfect as the Polish tradition of naming the foals in honour of their dams by prescribing the first letter of the dam´s name to the foals and the name was approved by the esteemed gathering with more applause. Later that fall, the colt by Pepton and out of Etruria was registred as number 5161 in the Polish Arabian Stud Book as Ecaho.
Etruria is a daughter of the Champion producer Palas (Aswan-Panel) imported to Poland from Tersk in Russia as an outcross with his predominately Egyptian pedigree. He was imported to introduce the blood of Nazeer (Mansour-Bint Samiha) through his sire Aswan.
Aswan was bred at El Zahraa in Egypt, originally named Rafaat. He was a gift to the Russian government from Egypt for the financial support in the construction of the Aswan High Dam along the Nile. Tersk Stud bred the mare Panel to Aswan and the result was the colt Palas. Panel was by the imported Egyptian stallion Nil and her dam Platina was of Polish-French-Crabbet bloodlines.
Aswan had a huge impact on the Russian breeding program and time would show that his son Palas would have the same role in Poland. Palas was a very good cross with the Negatiw-lines, creating a “Diamond Cross”, and Ecaho is a perfect example of that breeding. Etruria is consider to be Palas best daughter as a dual winner at the World and European Championships as both Junior and Senior mare and an aristocrat dam of five international champions.
Etruria´s dam Etna was one of Director Krzysztalowicz favourite mares and each time foreign breeders tried to purchase her the answer was “impossible”. She produced five outstanding sires: Etan (by Czort), Etiw (by Negatiw), Etap (by Celebes), Eternit (by Bandos) and Etnograf (by Engano) as well as seven daughters of superior quality, including Polish National Champions Etruria and Equitana (by Aloes). Etna was a daughter of Elzunia, one of the three famous full-sisters by Witraz out of Elza, the other being the Polish matriarch Ellora and British National Champion Celina. Elzunia was exported to Holland, where she earned the title of National Champion Mare amongst all breeds. Etna was her only offpring left in Poland.
Ecaho´s sire Pepton (Bandos-Pemba) was a very successful racehorse, winning the Criterium and eight stakes as well as being awarded the Race Horse of the Year twice. Pepton was a very masculine stallion with a long, well-set neck and a strong body. He was named Polish National Reserve Champion Stallion in 1983 and 1984 before he was leased to the US in 1986-1987. Back in Poland he was named Polish National Champion Stallion in 1989. Pepton became more beautiful with age and in advanced age he impressed a lot with his looks. His daughters have been great producers and his best sons have been Ecaho and the Brazilian National Champion Stallion Sarmata. Pepton´s offspring were also very good race horses with his daugters Geneza and Estepona winning the Oaks and Geneza and Elein won the Criterium.
Ecaho´s sireline is the most valuable line of Ibrahim db. Ibrahim was purchased and imported in 1907 to Antoniny. He was a beautiful stallion who passed it on to his typey and handsome progeny. Ibrahim was unfortunately killed together with the majority of the Antoniny herd during the Bolshevik revolution in the years 1917-1919. Although Ibrahim left three sons, the existence of the Ibrahim sire-line today is due to the stallion Skowronek. He was born in 1909 in Eastern Poland at Antoniny stud out of the valuable Rymnik-daughter Jaskolka. Skowronek was discovered by the American artist Walter Winans when he was on a hunting expedition to Antoniny in 1913. Winans purchased Skowronek for a nominal sum and he was exported to England. The following year he was sold for use as a hack throughout the ordeal of the World War I and in 1919 the esteemed English breeder H.V. Musgrave Clark aquired Skowronek and for the first time used him in breeding and introduced him to the world in the showring. He was then discovered by the legendary Lady Wentworth of Crabbet Park, who eventually was successful in purchasing Skowronek through an agent under false pretences. At Crabbet Park he showed his value and ability as a sire to the fullest and his legacy has been of greatest impact all over the world. Ecaho is often referred as “the incarnation of Skowronek” due to his immense beauty and resemblance of this legendary stallion.
Poland brought back the Ibrahim blood through Skowronek and his son Naseem (out of Nasra) when they imported the stallions Nabor (Negatiw-Lagodna) in 1955 and his sire Negatiw (Naseem-Taraszcza) in 1961. Negatiw´s sire Naseem was bred by Crabbet Park and imported in 1936 to Tersk Stud. Nabor was especially successful as a sire at Michalow and in 1963 he was sold to USA, where he obtained a record-setting auction price for that time of $150.000. Negatiw was widely used at both Janow Podlaski and Michalow leaving valuable sons and daughters. His best son was undoubtedly Bandos (out of Bandola) and Bandos served mares in all stud existing at that time before he in 1982 was exported to the US for a considerable sum of $806.000. Bandos´ daughters turned out to be great show horses and excellent broodmares. Seven of his sons were used in Polish breeding and several sons distinguished themselves abroad.
Ecaho led a simple herd life among the group of yearling and two-year old colts at Janow Podlaski satellite farm of Pozary. Ecaho was never shown before he was sent to the Warsaw racetrack for the mandatory racing required by all future stallions. He raced for two seasons competing in 20 races (2-4-7-2).
Ecaho´s first season as a sire took place at Michalow in 1995. They had for a long time looked for the opportunity to incorporate the genetic value of the great Etruria into the herd as well as another descendant of the Ibrahim sire line as those stallions always had been a great cross with the Michalow mares. During his first year at stud Ecaho covered several of Michalow´s best mares and some from Janow Podlaski.
In 1995 Ecaho also made his debut in the show ring at the Polish National Show where he got four perfect scores of ten for type and head and neck, incredible two tens for body and the highest leg score among all his competitors. Ecaho scored a total of 46.33 points (out of 50) and was awarded with the title Polish National Champion Stallion.
Later that fall, Ecaho was shown at the All Nations Cup in Aachen, Germany, one of the biggest and most significant shows in Europe. He was the winner of the impressive class of four to six year old stallions by scoring several perfect scores for type, head and neck and the audience is thrilled by his extraordinary phenotype.
Ecaho´s first foals are born in January 1996 and they are greeted with huge enthusiasm as they show the superior siring ability of this young stallion. The star among the foals was without question the captivating beautiful Emanda. She embodies all of Ecaho´s desirable characteristics together with the qualities of her great dam – the amazing Emanacja (Eukaliptus-Emigracja). Emanda had a very successful show career as a filly earning the Polish National Reserve Junior Championship and Polish Spring Show Reserve Junior Champion as well as the Junior Champion titles at the International Babolna Show and the All Nations Cup Junior Champion title. As a senior mare, Emanda is awarded with the European Reserve Championship and the prestigious title of World Champion Mare at the Salon du Cheval. She also proof her quality as a broodmare and her daughter Emandoria (by Gazal Al Shaqab) has been awarded with the titles World Junior Champion, European Junior Champion, US National Junior Champion Mare, Arabian Breeders World Cup Champion Mare, Polish National Champion Mare and Best in Show and All Nations Cup Reserve Champion. Emanda is today the most celebrated mare at Michalow and her daughter Emandoria has proven to be a great producing mare as well.
In Ecaho´s first foal crop Janow Podlaski celebrated the birth of the ethereal Olita (out of Orawa), an amazing filly very similar in looks to her sire with the extremely long and well-set neck and the elegance that is so significant with Ecaho and his offspring. She has also been very successful in the show-ring and was named All Scandinavian Open Champion Mare at Blommeröd in Sweden. Olita went on to be Scottsdale Arabian Show Senior Reserve Champion Mare during her lease to Valley Oak Arabians in USA.
Ecaho continued to produce well and stood at stud at Bialka Stud and Janow Podlaski as well. One of the most beautiful mares at Janow Podlaski is his daughter Palmeta (out of Pilica), the 2003 Polish National Junior Champion and Best in Show as well as the 2012 Polish National Champion Senior Mare and Best in Show.
She has been a very valuable producer as the dam of 2008 Polish Spring Show Junior Champion and Best in Show as well as the Polish National Junior Champion Palabra (by Enzo).
In 2009 Palmeta gave birth to a very promising filly, Palatina (by QR Marc), and later same year Palmeta earned a World Top Ten title. Palatina was the 2010 Bialka Spring Show Gold Junior Champion Mare, 2010 Prague Intercup Junior Silver Champion Mare, 2012 Prague European Cup Junior Silver Champion and 2012 Prague Intercup Junior Gold Champion.
Palmeta´s 2012 daughter Patria (by Eden C) was the 2013 Polish National Junior Silver Champion and I think that we will see much more of this beautiful chestnut filly.
Raymond Mazzei from USA has always been very found of the Ibrahim sire line through Pepton and his sons. When Ecaho was born he kept an eye on this promising colt and kept inquiring about the possibility to purchase him. The answer was always the same: “impossible”. When Raymond and his business partner Dr. James A. Ferlita searched for a world-class stallion for Ferlita Arabians, they approached Janow Podlaski once again and this time the answer was “we would be open for negotiations”. They left for Poland and managed to seal the deal to buy Ecaho. The time was right as the possibility to keep frozen semen in Poland would mean that they could keep on breeding their mares to him and Ecaho himself would be able to make his mark on a new continent.
In 2008 Dr. Ferlita sold Ecaho to Jennie and Gilbert de Cárdenas of Haras de Cárdenas. The young farm already had one Polish stallion of the Ibrahim sire line, the Michalow bred Esperanto (Eukaliptus-Esperanca) and he produced very good for the farm. They had already used Ecaho intensively in their program and with the acquisition of the legendary stallion the farm now stands one of the best stallions of our time. Today Haras de Cárdenas now has more than 30 of his daughter in their breeding program.
In Poland Ecaho still make his mark through his daughters and Janów Podlaski has one of his son´s in the breeding program, Salar (out of Saba).
Chrcynno-Palace Stud´s Ecaho-daughter Pallas-Athena has been a perfect match producing the Champion-mares Psyche Victoria and Psyche Kreuza.
At the 2014 Pride of Poland auction one of Ecaho´s great daughters were sold to Halsdon Arabians – the beautiful Alhambra (out of Albigowa).
and her legacy will continue at Janów Podlaski through her daughters Alhasa (by Ganges) and Aleta (by Alert).
The same day as the auction Alhambra´s granddaughter Al Jazeera (Kahil Al Shaqab-Alhasa) was crowned Polish National Junior Gold Champion Mare.
Another successful yearling filly during 2014 was the charismatic Ceranova, out of the Ecaho-daughter Cerinola. She was the Spring Show Bronze Junior Champion and World Top Ten Filly.
I fell in love with Ecaho in 1995 when this steel grey amazing stallion was named Polish National Champion Stallion. When I got a filly in 1997, Salaterka (Elton-Sapala), I knew that I wanted to breed her to Ecaho. Salaterka´s sire Elton was a son of Etnograf (Engano-Etna) so the foal would have two lines to the immortal Etna. In 2008 my dreams came through and I bred her to Ecaho and on the 5th of June 2009 I had the most amazing filly – Silencia.
Ganges and Ecaho are my two all-time favourite stallions and in 2014 Silencia had her first foal, a bay colt by Ganges – combining my two wonderful boys with great result.
Happy Birthday to one of the most charismatic and beautiful stallions that ever grazed the world and thank you Ecaho for your amazing contribution to the Arabian breed!
** Quote about Etna is taken from the preamble of Erik Melander´s article about Etna in the Swedish magazine Arabhästinformation