Russian Breeding Principles

Howard Kale writes, “The perfect Arabian is an ideal that has not yet existed, even among the most renowned horses of the past. But pieces of perfection do exist, displayed in the offspring of those legendary horses whose bloodlines play a dominant role in the finest breeding programs today.”

The Russian breeding program expertly blended the best characteristics from several families over successive generations to obtain an Arabian of the highest quality. This breeding philosophy is what signifies the Russian program – they bred to create better horses! To this end, the foundation stock came from France, England, Poland and Egypt – and it is the combination of these horses that truly exemplifies the Russian Arabian horse.

An excellent example is Muscat, his sire is Salon, from the Naseem sire line out of Malpia, a Priboj daughter. Malpia is a Mammona daughter by Ofir. Muscat has the function of the Priboj with the elegance of Naseem and the structure of Ofir.

Take a good look at the videos of *Muscat and *Nariadni and watch these pieces of perfection come to life in the essence of the Arabian horse.

Pieces of Perfection


ARAX, born in Poland in 1952, was the progenitor of the Amurath sire line at Tersk. He was Koheilan in type with great length and strength of hind quarters, good legs, and great big black eyes. His neck was somewhat straight but long and flexible.

ASWAN, a gift to Russia from Egypt in 1964, was typical Siglavi in type, but big, standing 15.2H. HIs points of virtue include an exotic head, flashy style, and high tail carriage. He had a relatively short neck, a long but straight shoulder and the legs were not set well.

KANN, obtained from France in 1930, was chosen for his excellent structure. He had good functional legs, a deep shoulder, a long fine neck and good length of croup. The addition of Kann demonstrates the unwillingness of the Russians to sacrifice structure for prettiness – which will be added by more exotic horses in the mix.

NASEEM, born in England in 1922, came to Russia in the 1936 Crabbet sale. He was typical Siglavi with an elegant front end with arch and length of neck, a beautiful head with expressive eyes and wonderful style and charisma.

OFIR, foaled in Poland in 1933 at Janow Podlaski, made the 1000 mile march to Russia in 1939. He was a quality stallion with outstanding structure, a deep chest, marvelous legs and hindquarters and a well coupled back. He is Koheilan in type.

PRIBOJ, pronounced ‘Pree-boy’, was by the Polish stallion Poilun, who was evacuated to Russia in 1938. Priboj was foaled at Tersk in 1944 and was one of the most successful stallions at Tersk. His dam RISSALMA came from Crabbet stud in England. The POILUN-RISSALMA combination placed the English horses with excellent hind end function with the Polish stallion with greater freedom and higher flexion to produce horses of excellent motion. Priboj had a handsome head with strong well-muscled shoulder and good front legs. He was extremely functional and this line is known for producing fantastic race horses. His less than level croup allowed the hind end to engage itself for speed and power.