Webmaster's Note: The following excellent article written by Mary Jane Parkinson originally appeared in the November 1984 issue of Arabian Horse World Magazine and is reprinted here in its entirety with permission, both from the author and the magazine. All original photographs have been included, although their placement is not identical, and the sections on *Gwalior, *Aramus, and Gai-Adventure will be added in the future.

Please keep in mind that many years have passed since, and many events have changed. Tom and Deedie Chauncey, who were the significant people in *Naborr's life from 1969 to his death in 1977, eventually were divorced and both have since died. But what is important is that together they owned a legendary stallion whose impact on the Arabian breed will remain. They continued to promote the *Naborr line in the show rings of the United States and the world and continued to breed horses of this important bloodline. *Naborr was a famous horse before their involvement, but his final chapters would have been vastly different without the extreme dedication, promotion, and love that Tom and Deedie Chauncey provided to his life.

Many *Naborr sons and daughters mentioned here have also since died, but many more became show champions after this article was written. In fact, some direct *Naborr get are still showing--at age 20 and more! The final chapter of *Naborr's history will never be written. It is an ongoing saga of one incredible horse.

 

SIRES OF SIGNIFICANCE

*NABORR AND HIS SONS *GWALIOR, *ARAMUS, AND GAI-ADVENTURE

By Mary Jane Parkinson

 

*NABORR SEEMS TO HAVE captivated the international Arabian horse community. Very quietly, very regally, and very definitively. His extraordinary beauty, his merit as a sire, his nobility and bearing, and his ability to emotionally involve the persons in his life made him nearly irresistible to anyone touched in any way by Arabian horses.

We first heard about *Naborr in 1958 when Patricia Lindsay of Stockings Farm in England wrote of her visit to Poland that year. She spent time at Michalow State Stud and described *Naborr there: "Particularly interesting was the pure white Nabor, probably the best of the imports from Russia. This horse is a grandson of Naseem by direct male line and was bought to reintroduce the blood of Skowronek to Poland. He already has some very good progeny, stamping them all with lovely heads and a charming gaiety of carriage." A grandson of Naseem? Imports to Poland from Russia? All news, and highly intriguing, to Americans who wondered how Arabian horse breeding in Poland and Russia had survived World War II.

*Naborr's foaling at Tersk Stud in Russia, only five years after the end of World War II in Europe, was part of the aftermath of the capture and removal of horses as war booty. His granddam Obra (Hardy x Ikwa) was foaled at Janow-Podlaski Stud in Poland in 1933 and went to a private breeder, Stanislaw Magielski at Jablonka Stud in the Konin District. There she was bred to Posejdon (a son of Ibrahim, the sire of Skowronek) and foaled a grey filly in 1939 for her first foal. The filly was named Lagodna, which means "gentle" in Polish. Lagodna and Obra disappeared in 1939; however, they were not among the 100+ choice Arabians scooped up by the Russians as they swept through Poland. Sometime between 1939 and 1945 (probably in 1943), Lagodna was taken to the German Trakhener State Stud where she was known as "Odilgard"or "Lagodna Odilgard." She apparently was bred to Trakhener stallions there, although we know the Polish-bred Arabian stallion Lowelas (Koheilan I x Elegantka) was taken to the same stud.

In early 1946, the Russians took Lagodna, along with five other Polish-bred mares, to Tersk Stud. Lagodna had her 1946 Trakhener foal at her side and she was again in foal to a Trakhener stallion. Both foals are listed in Volume I of the Russian Arabian Stud Book. In 1944, the Soviet government granted to Tersk the exclusive right to breed purebred Arabians; all partbreds at Tersk were moved to Stavropol Stud Farm, so Lagodna's foals may have been sent there.

At Tersk, Lagodna produced four more foals (three colts and one filly), and then was sold. In 1949 she was bred to the stallion Negatiw, a son of Naseem (by the Polish-bred stallion Skowronek). In 1936, when he was 14, Naseem was included in the 25 Crabbet-bred Arabians Lady Wentworth sold to representatives of the Russian government. Of the six stallions in the Crabbet purchase, Naseem is the only one whose line was perpetuated at Tersk. From 1936 to 1951, he sired 87 purebreds and 50 partbred Arabians. Of his 45 purebred sons, six were entered in the stud book, and 20 of his 42 daughters were entered. Negatiw, foaled in 1945, was out of Taraszcza (Enwer-Bey x Gazella II), a Polish-bred mare confiscated by the Russians at Janow-Podlaski in 1939. Negatiw's first foals were born in 1949--a colt and a filly--and Lagodna was one of 12 mares selected to be bred to him for 1950. She foaled a grey colt on April 13, 1950, and he was named "Nabor."

Naseem

Negatiw

*Naborr (Nabor) was entered in Volume I of the Russian Arabian Stud Book with the notation that he was considered "Grade I." His measurements are listed at 149 centimeters (height at the withers), 147 centimeters (from point of shoulder to point of buttock), 172 centimeters (girth), and 18 centimeters (bone). When *Naborr was two he raced at Piatygorsk, winning two of eight races. His times are recorded as 1,500 meters in 1:54, 1,600 meters in 1:55, and 1,800 meters in 2:10.

*Naborr

In 1954, the Tersk Arabians won their first awards at the All-Union Agricultural Fair in Moscow, where they competed against all Russian breeds of horses. *Naborr, at age four, was awarded the "Certificate of the First Class" (the equivalent of our National Reserve Championship), and his sire Negatiw was awarded the championship. That same year, *Naborr was first used at stud at Tersk; four foals were born in 1955 and five in 1956, for a total of six colts and three fillies. One colt King, out of Kompositsia (Korej x Mulatka), was registered in the stud book; none of the fillies were registered. King, in turn, sired one filly who was not registered as a broodmare, so the *Naborr line was not continued at Tersk.

As the Poles rebuilt their shattered and scattered Arabian breeding program after World War II, they realized they had no stallions of the Ibrahim sire line. The desert-bred Ibrahim had been imported to Poland by Count Josef Potocki for Antoniny Stud in 1907, but no direct sire line descendants were available to the program. By that time, Ibrahim's son Skowronek was acclaimed as "the horse of the century," "the great progenitor," and as one of the most influential sires of the breed. The Poles knew of his son Naseem and grandson Negatiw as highly successful sires at Tersk. In 1955 they obtained *Naborr, a direct sire line descendant of Ibrahim (and with two more crosses to Ibrahim), for the Polish State Studs. *Naborr arrived in Poland in the fall of 1955 and was taken to the Klikowa Stallion Depot for a short time. The Poles loved him, for they found in *Naborr a resemblance to the Arabian horses painted by Juliusz Kossak, considered the best painter of oriental horses. *Naborr's remarkable Arabian type, dry fine head, swan-like neck, and milk-white hair (unusual for his age) all related to the Poles' ideal Arabian.

*Naborr's first year at stud in Poland (1956) was at Albigowa State Stud in the Lancut District, a site used until Janow-Podlaski was rebuilt. Seven foals (four fillies and three colts) were born in 1957. The dams were daughters of the top Polish stallions Witraz, Wielki Szlem, and Koheilan I. *Naborr was moved to the recently established Michalow State Stud (in the Pinczow District) for the 1957 breeding season. There he came into the care of Ignacy Jaworowski, the Director of Michalow, who became a lifelong admirer of *Naborr. Mr. Jaworowski rode him and appreciated his docile character, his dignity, and innate intelligence. The first year at Michalow, *Naborr bred seven mares, plus one at Nowy Dwor Stud. The 1957 mares included three sired by Amurath Sahib (35. Amurath II AUST/PASB x Sahiba PASB). *Naborr stayed at Michalow through the 1963 breeding season when his life was again dramatically changed, this time by Americans.

*Naborr's daughters--"the dancers." Gadzalski photo.

IN 1962, Dr. Eugene LaCroix of Lasma Arabians and his friend Dr. Howard F. Kale of Kale Arabians visited the Polish studs, some of the first Americans to travel there post-World War II. The trip was Dr. LaCroix's follow-through on his "Wow!" impression of the 1960-1961 Polish Arabians imported via the "mail order" Gladys Brown Edwards-Patricia Lindsay-Animex connection. Miss Lindsay brought the first Polish-bred Arabians since Skowronek into England in 1958 following her visit there and maintained good relations with the Poles. She was also an accomplished linguist, and this skill served her well. The imports to the United States, the first since the prizes of war in 1945, suggested Poland as a source of prime breeding stock, and Dr. LaCroix couldn't wait to get to the nest. He was not disappointed; he was overwhelmed. The beauty, elegance, athletic ability, and a certain exuberance were there in abundance, and he was ready to import a sampling to the United States. When he arrived back in Scottsdale, he told wonderful stories of the Polish Arabians, and he carried photos and movies to back up his stories. One of the persons who listened to his travel tales with unusual interest was Mrs. Anne McCormick, a Scottsdale Arabian breeder.

Mrs. McCormick, a Chicagoan transplanted to Scottsdale, was an independent thinker, known for her scholarly approach to livestock breeding. She was a highly successful cattle breeder and transferred her knowledge of genetics and breeding theories to Arabian horses. As she listened to Dr. LaCroix's stories of the beauty and usefulness of the Polish Arabians, the appeal of importing was there. Dr. LaCroix showed her a photograph of a *Naborr son and suggested she might be able to acquire him. Her reaction, after seeing photos of *Naborr, was, "Well, *Naborr looks better to me. Why not import the sire?" Dr. LaCroix had toyed with this idea too, but had been told the Poles would not part with him. Mrs. McCormick was also known as a formidable and determined woman. She did not see the fact that *Naborr was not for sale as a deterrent. She insisted on a phone call ("I'm paying the tariff. You call.") to Patricia Lindsay in England who could contact Animex in Poland. The message to be relayed to the Poles: Mrs. McCormick wants to buy *Naborr. What is the price? Miss Lindsay reinforced Dr. LaCroix's feeling that *Naborr was too valuable to the Polish breeding program to consider selling him. She was reminded, "All they can do is say no." In time, the message came back via Miss Lindsay with a price obviously calculated to discourage the lady in Scottsdale. Instead, she said, "I'll take him."

Dr. LaCroix rallied other Scottsdale breeders and friends to join in the importation effort. After frustrating delays caused by a dockworkers' strike in New York and Poland's worst winter in 100 years, 15 Polish Arabians were loaded on board ship late in January 1963. The cargo was precious. It included the stallions *Naborr and *Bask, both to have unending influence on Arabian horse breeding worldwide, and mares of great merit. The crossing was not smooth. The ship ran into a wicked storm, made no progress westward for ten days, and food supplies ran low. Forty-four days later, on March 9, 1963, the ship docked in New York. One mare had aborted at sea and died within a few days All the horses were down in weight and generally battered and skinned. Except *Naborr. He was calm, unscathed, and had lost only about 50 pounds, much less than the others. Harold Daugherty, Mrs. McCormick's ranch manager, and her son Guy Stillman were in New York to meet *Naborr. Before the ship docked, they were on a launch in the harbor so they could go on board for their first look at *Naborr, the only horse in the lot with a five-figure price tag. Mr. Jaworowski, as one of Poland's leading horse specialists, accompanied the horses, and Harold Daugherty was able to visit with him--in spite of language problems--and learn more about *Naborr. After time in quarantine, *Naborr was taken to the McCormick ranch, where Mrs. McCormick immediately acknowledged his beauty and the wisdom of her purchase and began planning his contributions to her breeding program.

*Naborr was nearly limited to the McCormick breeding program. Mrs. McCormick was a woman of wealth and had no desire or need to make a profit with her Arabian horses, and she had no interest in the notoriety generated by *Naborr as the first Tersk-bred Arabian to arrive in the United States. The curious called, wrote, and stopped by. Many wanted to book mares, but Mrs. McCormick was concerned only with his influence on her Arabians. Other than her family members, only a favored few were approved to bring mares to *Naborr: Dr. LaCroix, Dr. Howard Kale, Daniel C. Gainey, Emile Goyette, and Bazy Tankersley.

MRS. McCORMICK DIED in 1969 at age 90, and her will stipulated that her Arabians be sold at public auction. A small, unpretentious, black and white catalog announced the liquidation sale at the McCormick Ranch on North Scottsdale Road in October. Of the 50 lots in the sale, only *Naborr was pictured. At age 19, the catalog stated, he was in excellent breeding condition, and a group of underwriters agreed to insure him for 80% of his purchase price, up to $100,000. The curiosity level was high, and the rumor mill produced more speculation each day. Pre-sale, there was talk of syndicates ready to buy *Naborr and that he might bring as much as $100,000, talk of celebrities interested in him, and talk of his going back to Europe.

The speed and efficiency of the Arabian horse grapevine has evoked amazement for years, but Wednesday, October 15, 1969, must have been a record-setter. The news flash of the heretofore unheard of $150,000 for *Naborr and the name of the buyer sped from coast to coast, and almost as fast, the question came back, "Who is this Tom Chauncey who bought him?" A former Texan, jeweler, rancher (cattle, thoroughbreds, and quarter horses), respected civic leader in Phoenix, and owner of radio and television stations; a man who came under *Naborr's spell with the first look at the McCormick Ranch in 1963; and a man whose life would be wrapped around *Naborr from that day on.

  

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