The dam of Artist, Maya, is by Osman (golden bay born in Dagestansky, Dagestan 1989 by Dagestan out of Osanna – Opal), an extraordinary stallion bred by the legendary breeder Vladimir Schamborant.
Todd had tried for many years to purchase or loan Osman to our breeding program for his excellent type and outstanding pedigree. In 1999 Todd was contacted by the owner of Osman who that wanted to sell him as he was badly injured. The owner did not think he would be able to breed again and we were offered him for the price of 1 500 USD. We did not hesitate for a second to become the new owners of Osman.
At this point we did not know if the stallion would survive the shipping from Moscow, Russia to Uppsala, Sweden. We did however decide that if we could help such a grand Teke stallion out of his misery by moving him at least to a better place in Russia where he would get care for his injury we would do so.
We are forever grateful to Dr.Guy Khoury for helping us to take Osman away from the horrible place he was in and take him to his own stables in Russia to give him adequate care and a professional assessment of his capabilities to make the long trip to Sweden.
Osman, being the strong and tough horse he was, recovered remarkably well, he was dewormed, given vitamins and the food he needed. Osman had injured his pelvis and when he came to Guy’s place he could not stand without support and seemed to have neurological problems, he had also developed a habit of spinning, this we thought had to do with the fact that the stallion had been left without treatment for a bad fracture for almost a year and had developed this strategy to cope with the pain and stress.
After some time at Guy’s place, Guy made the qualified assessment that Osman would be able to make the 24 hour trip from Moscow to the Finnish border in a truck, he would then be allowed to rest the night in Finland before he continued his trip on a ferry from Finland to Sweden and then make the hour long truck ride to our stables in Sweden.
To make sure that Osman was comfortable and not put under more stress or pain Guy generously offered to travel with Osman and two other Teke stallions that were going to our stables.
Todd would meet up with Guy and the stallions by the Finnish border and they would all go together through Finland towards Sweden.
Osman and his travel companions began their journey on a cold and snowy December day in the year of 1999. In Sweden we had some bad snowstorms when Osman began his trip and Todd had to listen to the ferry breaking through ice on its way from Sweden to Finland.
A good friend picked Todd up by the ferry and drove him to the Finnish-Russian border.
Problems had arisen, being that the truck had been delayed in Russia, Guy’s visa to enter Finland had expired and he was not allowed to enter Finland with the horses.
Todd had to go himself with a tired Russian driver who spoke nothing but Russian, miraculously the exhausted driver and Todd managed to get to the overnight stables in Finland and unload the stallions for a one-night rest in warm stables.
This was the first time Todd saw Osman after we had bought him, he called me to tell me he was shocked, the horse, eventhough having been fed for more than a month was half the size he used to be, but Todd was happy to see that he seemed to do fine and that in his eyes there was fire and determination to survive.
The next day, the three stallions were loaded onto a Finnish horse truck for the last leg of the trip, the 12-hour ferry ride to Sweden. I was nervously waiting at home as a new bad snowstorm hit Sweden, this I thought was the most nervous time in my life. No one is safe during the Nordic snowstorms and the open sea is no place to be.
It was such a relief to see the big, Finnish horse truck plow through the snow into our farm the next day.
Osman was unloaded, despite of being thin and crippled, he proudly limped off the trailer and hailed the mares with his beautiful head held high.
I cried when I saw the state he was in, how could someone do this to such a beautiful animal. Now, it was time for us to help this stallion to at least a decent life and at that moment we could not care less if he would ever give us a foal.
The recovery of Osman took time, he gained weight, he gained trust in us, he improved strength and thanks to massage and therapy combined with farriery to correct his feet Osman could walk and stand without support in the spring. He had then to be used to go out in a pasture during daytime, he needed exercise to re-build muscles and strenght. He had been closed into a stall for such a long time that he was stressed when he was out in the pasture.
By letting him out for short times in the beginning and allowing him to get used to being outdoors, he soon relaxed and enjoyed grazing and rolling in the sand.
Osman could never be completely recovered as his fractured pelvis had been left to heal by itself, he developed a crab like way of walking but he seemed to be doing fine and he did not seem to be in pain considering the fact that he was cantering and trotting in his pasture. He was a very strong and athletic horse with excellent movements.
In the month of May we decide to try to breed Osman to some of our mares. There was absolutely nothing wrong with Osman’s libido, however, it was physically difficult for Osman to breed, and Todd, who is a very determined man, had to support Osman to get up and stay up on the mares. Let me just say that breeding Osman with his strong libido combined with his inability to really control his body was an adventure every time. The foals we produced from Osman were to large extent made thanks to Todd’s determination, physical strength and fearlessness.
Osman and Todd built a very strong relationship over the years. In 2004 when Todd had already moved to the USA he was home for Christmas, again it was snow and ice in Sweden. Osman had now developed a need to spend some hours outdoors every day and eventhough it was a little bit slippery outdoors we had decided to let Osman go outdoors for a while.
When it was time for Osman to come back indoors, he was down on the snow, Todd rushed out only to find that Osman had fractured one of his hindlegs.
There was nothing we could do to help Osman this time, more than humanely euthanize this proud and beautiful stallion.
Osman came to us in the cold, snowy winter, and he left us a cold, snowy winterday.
We like to think that we gave him a few good last years of his life. We know he gave us beautiful babies some of them that will be with us forever to continue his legacy.
Maya is the female version of Osman. We love her dearly and she reminds us of her her father every day. The dam of Maya is Molva.
We found Molva at Leonid Babayev’s studfarm, she was a rather plain, long lined chestnut mare with good bone, strong topline, expressive head and good neck.
She was grazing in the herd when we walked through the green meadows at Leonid’s studfarm and we did not pay attention to her at all. We did though pay attention to a grey colt born that year by Gayaz, we liked him. Alexander Klimuk of Stavropol Stud had selected the grey colt as the best foal of the herd that year. The colt was out of Molva, we took a closer look at her and really liked the broodmare qualities she had. Todd could look her pedigree up in his Palm Pilot he carried with him everywhere. She was from the best Dagestan breeding. Her sire was Antshar (Sere – Agava – Gelishikli) and her dam was Makhmansi (Opal – Merdjen – Gelishikli). We liked her breeding and asked if we could buy her. Leonid said yes to us that day out in the meadow. However, Leonid’s partner, Sharip was opposed to the idea of selling Molva, he believed in her as a broodmare.
In the end, we got our Molva and in her a great broodmare.
We have two daughters out of Molva today, Merdjen and Maya both of them by Osman. We consider them to be mares with the highest breeding values in our stables today.
The first stallion we bred to Maya was Agilas.
Agilas (cream, born 1985, Lugovskoy, Kazakhstan by Ararat out of Guiva – Akbelek 2nd) came to us by pure faith, or maybe something else, decide by yourself when you read the fantastic, but true story on how we found Agilas.
It is difficult to find good hay to a decent price in Florida. The local hay, called coastal, is not good to feed horses so we depend on hay from the North. I had been able to get along for our first year of 2006 with a good dealer who brought in hay of good quality that we could depend on. However in 2007 he had lost his best supplier and the quality of his hay had declined. Our policy is to always feed the highest quality of forage to our horses, we think this is were the money should be spent as good forage will keep the horses in good condition and there is no need for harmful or inefficient but expensive supplements.
Anyways I had heard about a dealer who lived a good 40 minutes drive from us, I went there to check out his hay and found that is was moderately priced and of excellent quality. The summers are really hot and humid and horses have plenty of grass so that time of the year I buy hay weekly to make sure that it will not mold or go bad in our storage.
One day I had made my 40 minutes drive to the dealer to pick up some hay, our pick-up truck has our logotype on its doors and when I walked out from the office there was a man looking at my truck, he asked me if I had such horses, he could not pronounce the name of the breed. I said yes. He then told me that he lived 5 minutes from the dealer and that his neighbours had several stallions of this breed.
I did not believe my ears. In 2005 when we came to Florida with our Tekes, there were no other purebred Akhal-Tekes there to the best of our knowledge. We had never heard any of the US breeders we communicated with, ever mention the fact that there were other Akhal-Tekes around in Florida. Could there really be purebred stallions only 40 minutes from our house?
Anyways, the nice guy gave me the phone number to a man called Kanat who was supposed to be a Kazakh circus artist.
I dialed the phone number immediately on my way home, I got hold of Tatyana who was Kanat’s wife, yes they had two older Akhal-Teke stallions, and they were equally thrilled to find out that we had some mares of this breed.
The first horse I saw when we drove into the farm was Agilas. He looks like a cross between Arab and Absent I was thinking to myself, he is beautiful.
I have always dreamed of finding a good looking Arab-line stallion as I admire the performance ability in the Arab-line horses. They might not be the most elegant Tekes in their type but they do have many valuable traits for this breed.
We got to meet for the first time with Kanat and Tatyana, a Kazakh couple who have traveled a big part of their lives with the circus and with their horses.
They belonged to the group that brought 6 Teke stallions from Kazakhstan, toured Europe and Israel before they were brought to the US by the Ringling Brothers.
We were so happy to realize we lived so close to this wonderful family and their circus horses. We were greeted with Kazakh hospitality and needless to say they belong to our best friends now, and we are honored to get to know so much about the Russian circus culture and meet with all the great circus artists that frequent the generous home of Kanat and Tatyana.
There were two stallions left of the original group of 6, the stallions were all born in the mid-eighties and had over the years been retired from the hard work in the circus and been sold off.
Many times, I have been thinking of the coincidence of me going to this particular hay dealer for a period of six months and finding this remarkable horse.
Anyways, this was indeed an interesting stallion. At the age of 22 he measured 162.5 cm or exactly 16 h over the withers, his cannon bone circumference was 21 cm and around the chest he measured 183 cm. Good measurements for an Arab-line stallion considering his age.
Todd pulled out his Palm Pilot when he heard the name Agilas and immediately found him as being by Ararat who is a son of Absent out of Guiva who is by the Arab-line stallion Akbelek 2nd, Agilas was a line breeding on Arab that was quite common at Lugovskoy in the mid 80’s.
Agilas had no paperwork to prove his pedigree as it had been lost years ago. He was bloodtyped for parentage verification with Russian Studbook management. The bloodtypings matched and Agilas, at the age of 22 got his Russian paperwork.
Eventhough Agilas is a beloved family member to Kanat and Tatyana they generously gave us the opportunity to take home Agilas and breed him to our mares.
It was an honor and a joy, to this time, bring home a Teke stallion that eventhough he had worked hard, had been a well cared for and loved horse for all his life.
He is a true joy to be around and we are proud to be the second family for such a grand old gentleman.
Artist, the first purebred son of Agilas, was born February 29. He is an excellent colt of good conformation with the same easy-going and lovable temperament as his father and the noble elegance from his maternal grandfather.
When we look at Artist, we see not only the intriguing history of this breed in him, but also the remarkable luck and hard work that made this colt run on the green pastures of our farm in Florida.
A beautiful purebred such as Artist would never have been born without the support of great friends. Thank you all for being a part in the creation of an Artist!