By Alexander Klimuk
Translated from Russian to English by Maria Marquise
One of the best sires of the Akhal-Teke breed of our times – Orlan - died on 17th of September 2007.
He was born on 20th of March 1988 at the Stavropol Stud Farm, by the 19-year-old Arslan out of 16-year-old Oktava. Arslan (Gelishikli – Alsona) was a typical stallion, well-muscled and with good bone but somewhat coarse. He was a successful racer (especially as a two-year-old), and after racing and until the age of 12, was used in show-jumping. The selection of which Arslan was the result – Gelishikli X Daughter of Sapar Khan – became a truly golden cross in Shamborant selective breeding. Besides Arslan, the same combination produced his brother and sister, Azat and Agava, and from another Sapar Khan daughter Gul came Yulduz, Gundogar, Guneshli and Guldzhakhan.
The mother of Orlan, Oktava (Khorgos – Ovadan) was of modest size, but very typical, very well-put-together and a good-natured mare. Her sire, Khorgos, born at the Lugovskoy Studfarm by Gundogar out of an excellent daughter of Skak, Khustka, was very typical and had promising qualities as a show-jumper. In her direct dam’s line, Oktava goes back to the breed founder of the most valuable family Ovgan (Lachin – Sil’fa), who, alongside Gul, Alsona, Paska, Peidachi, Yayla and several other mares can be considered the true line founders of the Akhal-Teke breeding in Russia.
Besides Orlan, Oktava produced two other sires – Omar and Yakir, and became the foundation mare of the dam family, which produced Orkhideia, Otvaga, Oprava, Ogledzhe, Oinavach and others.
Thus, Orlan’s pedigree represents a cross of Gelishikli X Sapar Khan, Gelishikli X El, and is in-bred on Gelishikli IV – II, and on Fakir Sulu V, V-V, III and on Sapar Khan V-III.
Orlan himself was not so tall (156cm) but stunningly typical and impressive. He had a light, dry head, long neck without mane, long zatylok, sloping shoulder, dry legs with good bone and strong hooves, and a well-muscled croup. Amongst his lesser features were closely-set front legs, not sufficiently prominent withers and overbuilt conformation. Orlan was an energetic stallion in his temperament, with good movements and an excellent jump. Orlan raced with reasonable results and came second in the Minor Derby at Krasnodar. It was there, in 1991, that he won the title of Breed Champion against a stiff competition. Suffice to say, amongst his rivals was the future sire of the Ashkhabad Studfarm Keimir II.
In his type, temperament and movements, Orlan was a typical Gelishkli horse and there was something in him that reminded one of Bek Nazar Dor. Orlan was used all his life as a sire in his native Stavropol, where he produced over eighty purebred Akhal-Teke foals. It was easy to find the right combinations of mares for him, but his best children are from the mares of Sere, Kaplan, Peren, Posman, Geleshikli and Fakirpelvan lines. In most combinations there was a moderate inbreeding on Gelishikli and Fakir Sulu. Orlan’s children were marked by good type, good movements and good jumping ability. In racing, they mostly can be categorised as sprinters but some of them (Pion, Yazaidym, Ogra) also raced successfully over longer distances. Three of his sons (Yalantushkhan, Yazaidym, Gechigaplan) and six daughters (Yarodzha, Polyn’, Pani, Rosinka, Yaselda) were awarded in various exhibitions the title of Breed Champions. In selective breeding, 13 of Orlan’s sons are used: Pion, Posalak, Ovoi, Poisk, Yusup, Dortarlan, Rovalyat, Yalantushkhan, Khamadan, Rum, Gechigaplan, Rekhimdar and Yazaydym. Time will tell which one of them will turn out to be the most worthy.