BY GUDRUN WAIDITSCHKA | ADDITIONAL CONTENT BY SCOTT BENJAMIN & DAVID GILLETT
Born in the USA from Russian/Polish bloodlines, Monogramm came to Poland for only two seasons during the nineties. From there his offspring conquered the world. He died in January at the age of 34 – a true legend.
Monogramm has changed Polish Arabian breeding, like no other stallion before him. Of course, there had been such greats as Palas (Aswan x Panel by Nil), a three quarters Egyptian stallion of great beauty and athletic ability, Bandos (Negatiw x Bandola by Witraz) and his son Eukaliptus (from Eunice by Comet), who sired the great Emanacja amongst many others, and full brotherto Mulawa’s imported mare Euni… they all left a string of very important broodmares during their lifetime, but it was Monogramm who did all this and more in just a few years of stud service.
Monogramm’s pedigree is of predominantly Russian and Polish bloodlines, and he would reintroduce a little Crabbet blood to Polish pedigrees, as well as a drop of French blood through the stallion Kann. Some would say at the time, with Monogramm the Polish State Studs abandoned ‘Old Polish breeding’. That said, with Monogramm the valuable blood of Bask was reintroduced, which had been lost in Poland as the then young stallion was of course sold to the USA, and duly became the legend he was born to be. It is hard to imagine what modern Polish Arabian breeding would be like today without Monogramm, with progeny who have brought fame to the breeding program and set records at auction and in the show ring, creating a legacy worldwide.
It was Ignacy Jaworowski who saw Monogramm being shown in the USA, where he was judged Scottsdale Top Ten Stallion and US Top Ten Stallion. His harmonious construction and great movement did not escape Jaworowski’s expert eye, and he quickly realised that he had to bring him to Poland. In the same moment, Izabella Pawelec-Zawadzka, who was a horse inspector in the Horse Breeding Department at the Ministry of Agriculture for Poland, was also thrilled by this young stallion. Monogramm was only three years old when they saw him, however his expression, his fire, his movements, all left a deep impression on them both. Izabella once recalled, ‘Both our jaws dropped…it was immediately visible that he had a unique personality and expression. When you start to “take a horse apart” you begin to see his faults. A perfect horse does not exist. But it is the first impression that counts. Monogramm had this incredible fire and power. When he entered the arena, he owned it. He appeared to be on fire. And those large, dark eyes. He was so interested in his surroundings, so happy. And he was a fabulous mover. The Americans did not value good movement and oftentimes even tried to conceal it. But he made a royal entrance and that’s what caught our attention.’
His pedigree was the icing on the cake… Bask in the sireline, and Mammona in the damline – two horses that Polish Arabian breeding had lost would potentially return to the breeding program. Both she and Ignacy Jaworowski knew that Monogramm was the answer to their quest. Getting permission was not easy, because Monogramm’s owners, the Bishop family, did not want to part with him. As the story goes, they were so adamant, they did not even want to meet in this matter.
Monogramm’s sire, Negatraz, was commonly referred to as the best son of Bask and sire of over 40 US National winners. Negatraz was a very popular sire in his day, and he surely combined his look with excellent performance abilities, as any truly great Arabian does. Negatraz was owned by Kay and Richard Patterson, long time breeders of Polish bloodlines. The Patterson’s relationship with Polish horses and Director Jaworowski himself had begun nearly twenty years before the birth of Monogramm, on their first trip to Poland in June 1968. This would be followed by at least one trip annually for over twenty years in search of knowledge and breeding stock. In all, the Pattersons would import over 100 horses for their farm in Oregon, USA. Kay Patterson once said, ‘Ignacy immediately recognised that we were students with an insatiable thirst for learning about the old Polish horses, their pedigrees, and how to cross the various lines. He shared willingly from his great store of archive photos, books and practical knowledge. He spoke openly and honestly of his successes and failures with various bloodlines and specific horses.’
In turn, Director Jaworowski and his wife Maria were often guests at the Patterson farm, where he delighted in being able to personally witness the magical results of his mentorship. He reportedly loved Negatraz and thought he was the best bay Pure Polish son of Bask. The Pattersons had been willing to send Negatraz to Poland for two seasons, however with the political environment such as it was at that time, it just wasn’t possible.
During 1983, the Pattersons paid USD$250,000 for Monogramma, then an 18-year-old broodmare, and a granddaughter of Mammona, who as a foal was taken from Janow Podlaski and walked all the way to Tersk during the Second World War. She was purchased specifically to be bred to Negatraz (Bask x Negotka by Negatiw). She may not have been a show winning beauty, but she was an exceptional broodmare first in Russia, where she was bred to some of the world’s all-time greatest stallions, leaving two sons, Murmansk (by Muscat) and Mamluk (by Aswan), as well as several special daughters including the famous champions Amplituda (by Pesniar), Malutka (by Salon) and Martinika (by Aswan), before she was exported to the USA.
Both Negatraz and Monogramma were quite different, but obviously, Monogramm picked the best part from either side, as the mating was repeated thrice more. Monogramm was sold as a yearling to Bill and Meredith Bishop of California, who showed him as a young horse to win Reserve National Champion Futurity Colt, and go on to be a National Top Ten Stallion, and a multi-Champion Park Horse.
As mentioned earlier, when approached by the Poles, the Bishops had no interest in leasing the stallion abroad, and so it took five years of building trust, and even friendship, until they finally agreed to let Monogramm go to Poland for the breeding seasons 1993 to 1994. The following years he was used by frozen semen. This suited Director Jaworowski, as at that time only mature stallions were used for breeding in Poland. All in all, Monogramm sired 112 foals during those years. ‘Foals by this sire have excellent type and presence, a small beautiful head, highly set swan-like necks, solid build, strong quarters and superb movement,’ wrote Izabella Pawelec-Zawadzka in Kon Polski 1994. In 1995, at the Junior Spring Show, at that time held at Michalow Stud and featuring much larger classes than we have today, five out of six yearling fillies and colts in the top three ranks were Monogramm get, the only exception being Albula (Fawor x Algeria by Celebes) from Janow Podlaski, who managed to take a first place. Three out of four Junior Champion and Reserve titles were won by Zagrobla (ex Zguba by Enrilo), Ekstern (ex Ernestyna by Piechur) and Ganges (ex Garonna by Fanatyk) – names that would become household names in their own right.
The following year at the Junior Spring Show, Monogramm get again dominated the results with Fallada being awarded Champion and Zagrobla being Reserve Champion. Furiat (ex Furora by Pepton) was Champion Colt with Ganges Reserve to him. Later that year, Kwestura (ex Kwesta by Pessenik), not yet the icon she would become, would be Champion with her sister Zagrobla Reserve Champion.
Needless to say, ‘The Monogramms’, as his offspring were often called, would go on to conquer first Europe, and then the world. To list all the titles they achieved over the years is nearly impossible. However, for Polish breeders, the Polish National Championships always had a special value, and ‘the Monogramms’ won several Polish National Champion titles, for example, Ekscella (2001), Fallada (2003), Palmira (2007) and Emmona (2011). Apart from Ekstern and Furiat, also Erbil (1997) was a Polish National Junior Champion, while Ekstern (2000) and Ganges (2001) achieved their titles as juniors and seniors.
Even better results were to come on a world stage, where the Monogramm get took four titles at the World Championships in 2000 alone: Ekstern and Zagrobla were World Senior Champions in their respective categories, while Kwestura was awarded the World Senior Reserve Champion title and Emmona (ex Emilda by Pamir) became World Junior Champion. In 2003, Palmira was World Reserve Champion. Of course, also European and All Nations Cup Champion and Reserve Champion titles were claimed by ‘the Monogramms’. All Monogramm offspring had two things in common: they could move and they liked to show – actually, Monogramm brought back movement to the show ring, which at that time one didn’t see so often anymore since the Russian horses were in decline.
During the senior mares class at the 2009 All Nations Cup in Aachen, in an extremely moving and profound moment for all lovers of the breed, the first five spots were all taken by Michalow-bred Monogramm daughters – Emmona, Kwestura, Fallada, Elandra and Georgia. Each mare a true Queen, without peer.
Monogramm daughters became especially sought-after at the annual Pride of Poland Sale and each year the Arabian horse community would eagerly anticipate which of these great beauties would be offered for sale. Between 2001 and 2015, Michalow sold 19 of his daughters, for a total of 3.442 Million Euro (181,150 Euro on average). Of course, the highest selling mare at the time, in the over 40 year history of the Polish sales was Kwestura, who sold for 1.125 Million Euro in 2008, with Fallada coming second (465,000 Euro) and Palestyna third (300,000 Euro). The Monogramm daughters Elganda and Gehenna were sold to Australia at the 2006 Pride of Poland Sale for the price of 65,000 Euro and 180,000 Euro respectively. Both mares produced progeny in Australia, and Gehenna was shown to East Coast Champion Mare.
Of all the daughters of Monogramm, none was more like him than the chestnut 1995 mare Kwestura (out of Kwesta by Pessenik). In 1996 she made her show debut as a yearling, becoming Polish National Junior Champion, beating all her six Monogramm half-sisters in the class, as well as the older fillies. At that time, the Junior Champion was selected from the one- to three-year-old fillies. Kwestura moved on to win her class at the All Nations Cup in front of her sister Fallada. Three years later, she became All Nations Cup Champion Mare, 2000 European Champion Mare and World Reserve Champion Mare, 2000 & 2001 Polish National Reserve Champion Mare, 2003 US National Champion Mare, 2005 World Top Ten Champion Mare and finally in 2007 – World Senior Champion Mare, a success that she repeated in 2009. She added the Platinum title in Paris in 2014, becoming the first three time World Champion as a Senior Mare. In the meantime, however, Kwestura changed ownership, as Sheikh Ammar Bin Humaid Al Nuaimi – the Crown Prince of Ajman and the owner of Ajman Stud, purchased her for a record price of 1.125 Million Euro, making her the highest selling horse ever at the sales in Poland.
Kwestura had 18 foals thus far, of which Polish-bred Kabsztad (by Poganin) seems to be her most well-known son. Since she was sold to Ajman Stud, Kwestura resides in Germany, at Frank Spönle’s stables, where her last foal was born in 2017.
Two sons of Monogramm were included in the Polish breeding program, Ganges and Ekstern. Both became known as ‘mare-makers’ and both have left numerous broodmares in Janow Podlaski and Michalow. Among the Monogramm sons, Ekstern *1994 (out of Ernestyna by Piechur) was the most successful, both in the show ring as well as in the breeding barn. He was already an eye-catcher as a foal, with lovely eyes and elastic movements, developing a beautifully arched neck, and even if it looked sometimes a bit short, it fit his compact body. But on top of all his trademarks are his movements – this floating, free trot with lots of suspension.
Ekstern started his show career as mentioned before, as a yearling in 1995, when he became Polish National Junior Champion, in an unexpected win over his favoured stablemate Ganges. In 2000 he achieved it again, this time in the Senior category. He went on to claim the title of All Nations Cup Champion in Aachen, European and World Champion followed, thus winning the European Triple Crown, while on lease to Christine Jamar (Jadem Arabians, Belgium), finishing his career as an undefeated show champion. He has two sons in Australia, Epic FX (ex Funkia by Gazal Al Shaqab) and Peronii MA (ex Debowa Polana by Eldon) and a daughter, Eudocja (ex Eunika by Wachlarz).
In 2006, the first offspring of Ekstern were auctioned and from 2006 to 2015, altogether 42 of his daughters were sold for a total of 4.425 Million Euro (105,357 Euro on average). Like father, like son – Ekstern’s daughter Pepita broke the record of Kwestura, and sold for 1.4 Million Euro in 2015 to Saudi Arabia with Pinta (500,000 Euro) coming second and Wieza Roz (270,000 Euro) third, thus Monogramm and Ekstern offspring clearly dominated the sales of the last 20 years.
Of all the Monogramm sons born in Poland, none was more favoured than the bay Ganges (out of Garonna by Fanatyk), born in the very first foal crop with fellow superstars Ekstern and Zagrobla. He was exactly the kind of colt Director Jaworowski had hoped to create to reestablish the Kuhailan Haifi sire line in Poland, with seven essential crosses to the invaluable sire Ofir, and to increase the influence of the legendary Bask in the modern Polish breeding program. A much more classic ‘Old World’ Polish style stallion than Ekstern, Ganges with his distinctive Kuhailan phenotype proved to be an important sire of daughters at both Michalow and Janow Podlaski. Ganges was also a superior athlete as a Stakes winning race horse, as well as a formidable competitor in the show ring as Polish National Champion Senior Stallion and Reserve Champion at both the All Nations Cup and the United States National Championships. Ganges has four direct progeny in Australia, all Pure Polish. They are the stallions Walidayt (ex Weltawa), senior stallion at Coolinda Park, Ennis (ex Ellada) and his full sister Entella, and the only grey Francjeska (ex Falindaa).
Another important Monogramm son born in his first Polish-bred foal crop was Kordelas (out of Kabala by Palas). Also from a family of successful athletes and show horses like Ganges, Kordelas was one of the best race horses of his generation before selling to Dick and Christine Reed of Toskhara Arabians, then of the United Kingdom, and now of Texas in the USA. Kordelas proved to be a very successful show horse in the UK before finding his niche in the States as a sire of working western athletes, especially in the sport of Reining. Several direct Kordelas descendants have achieved at the very highest level in North America in this very demanding sport, as well as in several other disciplines under saddle.
Before Kwestura arrived in 1995, the spitting image of her sire in feminine form, the Monogramm daughter that ensured his success as a sire was Zagrobla (out of Zguba by Enrilo), born in the very first foal crop at Michalow in the winter of 1994. A maternal granddaughter of All Nations Cup Champion Zazula (Palas x Zlota Iwa by Arax), Zagrobla inherited the undeniable charisma, elegant forehand and powerful athleticism of her sire in abundance. She was his first daughter to win in Poland, and in a surprising turn of events, was the very first Senior World Champion for Monogramm in 2000, besting her extraordinary sister Kwestura in an unforgettable performance. Zagrobla was also named United States National Champion Senior Mare in 2003, giving her sire back-to-back winners after Kwestura’s win in 2002.
Closely related to Ganges, the 1994 grey Georgia (out of Gizela by Palas) proved to be one of Monogramm’s most influential daughters as an aristocrat producer with descendants succeeding on five continents. Two of her most famous progeny include World Champion Galilea (by Laheeb) and multi-South African National Champion Georgetown (by Gazal Al Shaqab). Also a successful race horse, Georgia became an icon in the show ring as a Senior Mare, outscoring all competitors at 20 years young at the Polish National Show in an inspiring performance. Georgia is still esteemed as one of Monogramm’s most well constructed and enduring daughters, who seems to improve with age, much like her late sire. She is a full sister to Gehenna.
The Monogramm influence truly became an international phenomenon once his Polish-bred foals matured. Several leading breeders around the world were eager to incorporate his sons and daughters into their breeding programs, including the late Lenita Perroy at Haras Meia Lua in Brazil. Her choice was Debowiec (out of Debowka by Eternit), a well conformed extravagant fronted stallion who proved to be an ideal cross for her intensely line-bred Ali Jamaal herd.
Many of the best Meia Lua-bred foals born in the new millennium are those with Debowiec in their pedigree, many of whom are now influencing the best breeding programs the world over.
Today, Monogramm blood is found in all parts of the world where Arabian horses are bred. His influence is assured. Monogramm’s influence in the US prior to his trip to Poland was minimal, but after his return, and once his offspring came back like Kwestura, it grew exponentially. But only with his breeding commitment in Poland, he has set a memorial for himself.
Lusia Abbott – Alphalea Arabians
Alphalea Arabians has long been involved with Polish lines. The Monogramm influence at Alphalea comes via his son Ganges through our sire Ennis (Ganges x Ellada) and the direct daughter Emmocja (ex Zymeniah) as well as mare RD Caprice (Bey Ambition x Gyselle), chosen for her link via Consensus (Monogramm x Opalessce).
Monogramm daughters were something to dream of as a distant possibility. Polish Arabian Horse Days in 2008 only served to reinforce this idea. Having watched Kwestura sell for a record price, and also superb daughters of Ganges, Ekstern and Consensus granddaughters, made me more determined to own one.
While vainly just hoping these lines would be available in Australia one day, I was offered a Monogramm daughter at a considerable discount. However, she was domiciled in the USA! To cut a long story short my dream arrived in foal to Pogrom (QR Marc x Pentla) as my choice of an upcoming young sire.
Emmocja was rather smaller than I had hoped, however I reminded myself she was the same size as Kwestura. She had lovely, large eyes, an attitude that said ‘let me show off’ but was sweet and easy to deal with. Her bay filly foal by Pogrom certainly didn’t disappoint.
With Monogramm being half Polish and half Russian, I looked for a next breeding for Emmocja to complement her pedigree with the Naadirah Family sire Windemere Imperial Nahdejni (Barabas x Moniet by Naazim). Unfortunately this was not to be, so Emmocja was leased to Diamond Road Arabians for a year and produced a lovely filly by another Naadirah Family stallion Naajmir (Ajman Moniscione x Sabtah Nahlah by WN Dasjmir).
I then sent Emmocja to another Naadirah Family sire Fazaar ERA (Afrikah ERA x Nehima by Nazzai). She produced a dark brown colt since gelded, rather late in the season. I didn’t want to lose a year at her age, so I chose Na’Vi ERA (Afrikah ERA x Eagleridge Isabeau by Amadeus) for what would sadly turn out to be her last foal, a lovely grey filly since sold in WA. Emmocja was also dam of two beautiful colts in the USA sired by Ecaho (Pepton x Etruria by Palas).
Deb Watson – Moondarra Arabians
I met Monogramm in 1998. He had just returned to Bishop Lane Farms from Poland and was ‘recuperating’ in the paddock. He was a small and unobtrusive chestnut stallion, and very friendly. We went into his paddock and gave him lots of cuddles. While having loved his progeny in Poland and been stunned by the quality of the parade of some 17 mares by him the first year we were at Michalow, we do not have any direct progeny. Our first mare Eltesja, by Emigrant from Elgara, a Monogramm granddaughter has his lines.
We also have an Ekstern (by Monogramm) stallion, Peronii MA, imported in dam (Debowa Polana), a four-year-old who has produced two outstanding foals for us.
Lisa Smith – Foxridge Farm
Foxridge Farm has always considered the influence of Monogramm an important ingredient in our breeding program. The stallion Titanium FX (Ekstern x Funkia by Gazal Al Shaqab) is a grandson, and our colt Epic FX (Pogrom x Elomina by Eryks) also carries Monogramm through his paternal grand-sire. We have found that there is an improvement in type, body and movement, along with amazing, people-loving personalities.
Titanium FX has only three foals so far, but all have consistent body type, athletic movement and unmistakable Arabian type. Epic FX is about to breed his first mares this coming season and we look forward to seeing what he can produce.
Kim Cox – Caramea Arabians
I had just returned from Poland where I was smitten with the extraordinary Monogramm daughters. Surfing the net, I came across an ad for a 15.2hh, pretty chestnut mare with great movement who was available for sale. Her name was Oakdale Sassafras, by Monogramm and from a Hucklebey Berry mare. Before long she was here in Australia with me...no she was not 15.2hh, closer to 14hh really. She has bred extremely well to different sires and all her foals to date, seven fillies and one colt, have all been much bigger than her and have been successful show and endurance horses. I have retained five of her daughters. My little mare has turned out to be a great investment and I couldn’t be happier with her and her progeny.
Oakdale Sassafras 2001 Mare from Sassy Pants (Hucklebey Berry x Miss Mona) Bred by Timothy Schwartz Imported by Kim Cox in 2005
Elganda 1994 Mare from Eloranta (Endel x Estela) Bred by Michalow State Stud Imported by Ademier Estate in 2006
Gehenna 1995 Mare from Gizela (Palas x Gilza) Bred by Michalow State Stud Imported by Ademier Estate in 2006
Emmocja 1998 Mare from Zymeniah (Diem x Zyrafa) Bred by Terie Ellis Imported by Lusia Abbott in 2012
WN Majestic Sumara 2006 Stallion from WN Samsara (GG Samir x Zaramiss) Bred by Wayne Newton Imported by Bremervale Arabians in 2011