Monday, August 22, 2011

Path to Glory

I just heard about a film that is available for purchase called the Path to Glory.  See here for a view of the trailer. I WANT to see this film! It is a documentary on the history of the Polish Arabian, The Rise and Rise of the Polish Arabian Horse, from desert sands, through war and devastation, to the prestigious stud farms of Poland. How awesome is that?

My Annie is Polish. Her mother was imported from Poland just a few years before Annie was foaled. Annie's grandsires are Palas on her dam's side and El Paso on her sire's side. I still remember seeing the beautiful bay stallion, El Paso, shown at halter at one of the International Arabian Horse Shows many years ago. He was so valuable, he was called the horse that money couldn't buy. Lasma Arabians were only allowed to bring him to the USA for a three year lease from the Poles in 1975. Then, in 1981, he was sold at auction to Mr. Armand Hammer for a cool $1,000,000!! Time changes all things, I guess. I see Czort is mentioned in the film. He is El Paso's sire. See here for information on Czort, also photos of El Paso and, if you click on the links, Forta, Czort's dam, etc. Ofir is also mentioned in the film. I'm sure his famous sons Witraz and Wielki Szlem will also be covered in the film. During bombings of Dresden, Witraz's tail caught on fire. His heroic groom Jan Ziniewiciz put out the tail and held tight to both of these stallions during the night, chafing his hands terribly. Of the 80 stallions there that night, only 38 survived. Both of these stallions are in my mares' pedigrees. Another famous stallion Witez II, brother to both Witraz and Wielki Szlem, survived the war by his famous rescue by General Patton. He took the Super Horses (Hitler's special breeding program) from the Germans as prisoners of war and Witez II was imported to the USA, by boat, where his "look of eagles" spread his fame and he became a top breeding and foundation stallion in America.

Palas was imported from Russia to Poland in 1972. He was by Aswan, the "gift" horse from Egypt, presented by the Egyptian government as a "thank you" to Russia for helping build the Aswan dam, thus the name change from Raafat to Aswan. At first, the Russians were reluctant to use him for stud because of his "incorrect" conformation and lack of race record. However, as a courtesy to Egypt, they bred a few mares and were pleased with the quality of the resulting foals. Soon he was chief sire at Tersk Stud.

His son, Palas, was an extremely successful stud in Poland representing the Saklawi I line, siring many Polish, European, World, and US Champion get, including Annie's dam (Yalla's granddam) Fantastka, who became the Polish National Champion Mare in 1975. For more on the Saklawi I line please see here.

One of my biggest regrets has been not being able to show Annie in the show ring. She is far more quality than I ever imagined I would own. Who knows how far she could have gone?

Anyway, the intent of this post is to mention the film, Path to Glory and my reason for wanting to see it.


Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Looks like an amazing movie...even more so because of your own personal link to that history via your own beautiful Annie and Yalla!

I'm always impressed that you know so much about the pedigrees of both Annie and Nadia. But you shouldn't regret not showing Annie, because you did help Annie make her own contribution to that famous Polish Arabian line with her lovely daughter Yalla!

And you have been given a second chance in your gorgeous Yalla! to show the world from what an amazing line of historic, regal horses she hails from.


Dan and Betty Cooksey said...

Lisa makes some good points in her post. Worth considering.


fernvalley01 said...

Sounds like a great movie , well worth seeing

C-ingspots said...

Sounds like a wonderful movie! Thanks for the heads up, I can't wait to see it. I've always admired Arabians for their gorgeous, expressive eyes and faces. They usually have great personalities too.

Merri said...

ooh, thanks for the heads up on this, i hadn't heard of it. I did a story on Drinkers of the Wind Arabians in July, they have some of these Polish lines. and very good looking horses by the way.
- The Equestrian Vagabond