Shagyas at the Paris Expo 1900

Hungarian horse breeds at the Paris International Expo 1900
By Julius Baron Podmaniczky
The management of the Hungarian national horse breeds underlies the organically arranged national studs..
The outstanding state studs and state stallion-depots supply the national horse breed with a large number of breeding materials and give it a uniform and determined direction. For this reason one can regard the material of the state studs as a mirror image of the Hungarian horse material in general. Just like the horses at this Paris International Exhibition faithfully represent the character of the local breed of Hungary.
The main character of the Hungarian horse breed consists of the fact that with the breed of the light luxury horse, horses of extraordinary military suitability are produced in large quantities. After many European countries increased their crossing experiments throughout the last years, the number of remount horses declined in general. Thus, the annual Hungarian export of this class of horse rose significantly, especially since the horse is suitable for other uses as well.
( Czikos Horse from Babolna at Paris Expo 1900 )
With a horse population of approximately 2 million, the export in 1899 amounted to 39,377 horses. According to the currently available statistic data, the export of this year shows yet another increase.
Its’ large popularity owes the Hungarian work horse mainly to its perseverance, its hardness and great imperishability against the hardest stress. The Hungarian horse easily acclimatizes. It is as suitable for the harsh North as it as for the hot sand deserts of Africa. Recently, they were even exported to Japan since the Hungarian horses thrived even there and have proved themselves in every way.
In order to roughly outline the expansion of the Hungarian state horse breeding, we note that the state maintains four studs under military administration, namely: Kisbér with the English full blood and half blood breed; Bábolna with the Arab full blood and half blood breed, then Mezoehegyes with the Anglo Normann -, Anglo Arab and English half blood breed, and finally Fagaras with the Lippizaner or Karster breed.
In addition three economic studs are present on public domains, so that in the seven studs, a total of 81 foundation stallions and 1,145 mares are present.
In the four national stallion depots Székespehervár, well of Nagykoeroes, Debreczen and Sepsi-Szent-Gyoergy with their 18 subsections there are no less than 3,230 stallions at the disposal to the breeders. The stallions are partly leased for the breeding period to individual breeders. However, to a large extent, they are moved to the individual breeding stations, whose number amounted to 984 in the last season.
It appeared necessary to me to show the dominating position of these state studs in Hungarian horse breeding. This is why the Hungarian horses at this Paris Show are mainly represented through national studs.
( Czikos Horse from Babolna at Paris Expo 1900 )
The Hungarian horse owes its perseverance not only to a tough raising, but also to the correct mixture of oriental blood. The percentage of English full blood and Arab full blood in a national state stallion amounts to 8,3, which indicates which emphasis the director of the Hungarian horse breed put on the eastern blood.
The English full blood breed, minus some mares at Kisbérs, is mainly operated by private breeders. For this reason, horse racing is powerfully developed in Hungary. In the year 1899, the 22 different Hungarian racetracks had 85 race days during which 2,962 horses started. The purse amounted to the substantial sum of 1,937,942 crowns.
In Hungary, Arab full blood is primarily bred at the Royal Hungarian State Stud of Bábolna. To revitalize the blood lines of this stud, stallions and mares from Arabia and/or Syria are imported when needed.
After this short description of the Hungarian horse breeding affairs, we go to the description of the collective exhibition of Hungary: The four state studs had representatives of all of their breeds. But to make it easier, the 44 horses were not shown in different categories. The horses were stabled separately of the other nations, so that viewers could see the full picture of Hungarian horse breeding. The good maintenance and care of the Hungarian horses found general acknowledgment, and on opening day, the French Minister of Agriculture, Dupuy, visited the Hungarian stables
The judgment of the jury confirmed the vibrant public interest in the Hungarian department when it awarded a large golden medal particularly for this collective Hungarian exhibition. In addition, the four state studs received each golden medal.
Individual prices were awarded to:
1. From the Kisbér stud: the stallion “Montbar” and the mare “Balzsam” won a golden medal each, the mare “Verneuil” won a silver medal.
2. From the Bábolna stud: the Arab half blood stallion “Koheilan I” and the Arab half blood mare “Shagya VIII” were awarded the “Grand Champion” award. In addition, both horses received a gold medal each. No exhibitor was awarded a higher honor than this. We’ll show pictures of both horses. In addition, the Arab mare “O-Bajan” and the mare “Shagya X” were awarded silver, the Arab full blood stallion “O-Bajan I” with a gold medal, and the Arab half blood stallion “Gaulan Shagya” with a bronze medal. These high honors of the jury show clearly the high stage the Arab breed has in the Royal Hungarian Stud of Bábolna
3. From the Mezoehegyes stud: the English half blood stallion “Furioso XXVT and “North star VIII ” received a silver medal; the Anglo Normaenner stallion “Nonius Uermeny I” and the Anglo Normaenner mare “Durczás-Nonius” received a bronze medal.
4. From the Fogaraser stud: the Lippizaner mare “Pluto Fantasea” received a bronze medal.
Out of the 44 horses that were presented, 23 received awards; enough to limit the need to talk about them.
In our pictures, we show both the award-winning stallions as well as the award-winning mares.
( Winning Shagya Stallions at Paris Expo 1900 )
( Winning Shagya Mares at Paris Expo 1900 )
Based on the judgment of this jury, it is clear that the Arab breed of Hungary found the most acknowledgment, and it can be said with good conscience that the Arabs from other countries did not stand up in competition to the Hungarian Arabs.
After a wish from the Grand Jury, the Hungarian horses were also ridden by the famous “Czikós”, whose brave riding found general applause. Later the Hungarian horses were also ridden before the President of the Republic and once again, horses and riders earned much applause. This scene is also shown in our pictures.
The Hungarian collection was the only one which was shown in groups and thereby all horses demonstrated their high suitability for show purposes, which is their main basic character
To many layman unnoticed, the horse connoisseurs in Paris noticed an important perception: that the Hungarian horses, without any outward aids, respectively driving aids, always moved animated and always showed off their natural vibrant temper with each opportunity, although the horses had arrived only two days before the opening of the exhibition after a four-day journey.
Besides the horse material of Hungary, the pretty taut officials of the Hungarian horse studs earned many looks as well, especially when they lead or rode the horses as “Czikóse”.
After thorough inspection of the Hungarian horses, the attentive observer comes to the correct conclusion that the good reputation of the Hungarian horse breeding is perfectly justified.
Despite the rise of automobilism, the good reputation, paired with the production capacity of the Hungarian horse breeding industry, not only entitles the Hungarian horses a place in the world market, but constantly extends it.
( Shagyas at parade for French President Loubet at Paris Expo in 1900 )