The Tersk Stud through History

– Pamela Burton with the help of Joanna Kale and the Tersk Stud

photocredit :Alexa Khruscheva

      The Beginning

Count Sergei Stroganov fulfilled his dream in 1889 of starting an Arabian horse stud in the Caucasus Mountains in southern European Russia. He gathered horses from the Middle East and had 66 Purebred horses by 1899.

The Stud has survived revolution, relocation and war – The Russian Civil War razed the Stud between 1917 and 1921 and all of the horses were dispersed. None of Count Stroganov’s original stock remain at the Stud today. In 1921 the Stud was reborn as Tersk military Stud at the behest of Marshal S.M. Budyonny to provide Arabian blood for  Cavalry officers.

According to official documents, Arabians were re-introduced to the new Tersk Stud in 1925 * and the first French Arabian imports arrived in 1930, including the stallion Kann and six mares, most notable of which was Carabine.

In 1936, a shipment of 25 horses was purchased from Crabbet Park Stud in England. This band included six stallions, one of which was the great-grandson of Mesaoud, the Skowronek son, Naseem (x Nasra) b.1922 . According to Lady Wentworth, Naseem was Skowronek’s best son, and the Russians reportedly paid £25,000 sterling for him alone, the equivalent of over £1 million today. The Crabbet mares, Rissalma, Rixalina, and Star of the Hills left a significant impression on the breed.

Nemarket (Marwan x Navigacia) b. 2004
Tersk Racing Stallion

World War II also left a huge impact on the Stud.  In 1939 Poland sent overland some of the best horses from Janow Polanski to the Soviet Union to escape the encroaching German Army. Ofir was already at Tersk, having left his mark on the breed by siring the famous “three Ws” in Poland: Witraz Witez and Wielki Szlem. Ofir’s daughter Mammona marched 1,000 miles from Poland to Tersk, arriving with a foal at her side. In 1941, to evade the advancing German troops into Russia, the Tersk horses were evacuated to western Kazakhstan. In 1943 the horses returned to Tersk.

In Russia, Mammona had an extensive influence upon the Tersk breeding program, producing the stallion Pomeranets, who himself influenced both the Arabian and Trakehner  breeds: the mares Neposeda (the Queen of Tersk dam of Nariadnia and Napitok); Nomenklatura (dam of Nabeg); Monopolia (dam of Monogramma); Metropolia (dam of *Menes);  Malpia (dam of  *Muscat, the 1980 U.S. and Canadian National Champion Stallion); and *Magnolia (dam of *Marsianin, 1981 U.S. National Champion Stallion).

In the 1950s, the Russians obtained another influential stallion from Poland- Arax, by Amurath Sahib, while Poland acquired Naborr from Russia. Today, the grey mares of Michalow owe much of their beauty to Naseem through his son Negatiw and grandson, Naborr.  In 1962, Dr. Eugene LaCroix, his son, Gene, and Dr. Howard Kale, and his son Howie, were the first Americans to buy horses directly from Poland.  The LaCroix’s bought the stallions Bask and Bajram, while the Kales purchased the mares Dornaba, Eskadra and Elba. They also arranged for Anne McCormick to purchase Naborr, one of the first horses of Russian origin exported to the USA. Upon Mrs. McCormick’s death, Naborr was purchased at auction by Tom Chauncey and entertainer, Wayne Newton. Negatiw’s best-siring son at Tersk was *Salon, sire of full brothers Muscat, the first stallion to win the Triple Crown, and Tersk head sire *Moment.

Another notable stallion brought to Tersk from Poland included Piolun, the sire of the Russian Derby Winner, Priboj (out of Rissalma, purchased from Crabbet Stud in 1936). It has been said that Priboj is the single most influential sire of racing champions in the Arabian breed.

In 1963, the Egyptian government gave to the Soviet Union Raafat by Nazeer, renamed Aswan by the Soviets in honor of the Aswan dam project. Aswan sired 299 offspring over 20 seasons at Tersk including Patron (x Podruga), sire of the U.S. and Canadian National Champion Stallion *Padron (x *Odessa). *Padron combined the best of his pedigree and remains a foundation sire with his own dynasty.

Madiar (Drub x Martinika) b.1994

Aswan excelled at siring broodmares. Molva, one of Aswan’s most beautiful and best-producing daughters, is the dam of Wympel and Karinka, herself a race record holder, and dam of of Russian Derby winner and European Champion Stallion Drug (by Prizrak). One of his sons, Madiar (Drug and Martinika by Aswan) b.1944,  excelled at both a racing career of (29 = 17-12-2 ) and as a show horse and was acknowledged as the best Russian Arabian horse in 2005 by WAHO.  Also, this award was granted to the mare Nakhodka in 2008 (Drug х Nasechka) and the mare Valuevka (Karnoval х Vesna) in 2011.

The Arabian Horse Registry of America (AHRA) did not approve the Russian Stud Book until 1978, and at that time began the registration of Arabians imported directly from the Soviet Union.

In 1974 Howard Kale Jr. made his first trip to Russia where he purchased seventeen horses including the exquisite Aswan daughter Nariadnia and future KARHO chief sire Nariadni. After much work by Kale and the Soviet government, the American Arabian Horse Registry approved the Russian Stud Book in 1978. That same year, Kale imported *Muscat (Salon x Malpia by Priboj), the first stallion to win the Triple Crown: 1980 US National Stallion, 1980 Canadian National Champion Stallion and Scottsdale Supreme champion stallion all in the same year.

Throughout the 1980s, the Russian horses continued to become widely successful around the world. In 1981, the stallion Pesnyar (Nabeg x Pechnya) sold for $1 million to the American industrialist and horse lover, Armand Hammer, and later the Russian stallion, Peleng, was sold for over $2 million.  In that same period, the stallions Padron and Marsianin became 1982 and 1981 US National champion, respectively.

 And now

In 2007 the Tersk Stud was privatized and started pursuing at a fast pace the renovation and restructuring policy lost during perestroika and the post-perestroika period.  Now a joint stock company owned by Mr. Alexi Sagal and Mr. Alexi Smirinoff, Tersk is committed to regaining her place on the World Stage.

Vasilij(Prince D’Orient x Varmlana) b. 2007

 There are many important horses that have come from Tersk Stud, including Sambist, a multiple classic winner that retired sound after 6 years with 18 wins and 16 placings.

From the beginning of Tersk history, the stud has tested its horses on the racetrack at the age of two, a practice which continues today.

After a 10-year break the Tersk Stud had its first Open House in the old Tersk school tradition in 2009. The event aroused great interest on the part of both Russian and foreign experts. Starting from that day, Tersk decided to hold the event every year. This year it will be their 4th Open House.

 In 2010 Nobbi – a completely Tersk-bred horse became the World Endurance Champion, while in Russia the Tersk bred and born WH Justice son, Nizami became the show champion of Russia.
 The Tersk horses have won a number of prestigious prizes on the Warsaw racetracks: in 2011 these included the Pamira prize, the Perrota prize, the Erlis prize, and the Europejczyka prize; in 2012 the Erlis prize, the Kurozvek prize, the Ofir prize.

Welcome to Tersk Stud

We offer all the lovers of the purebred Arabian horses a visit to Tersk Stud on August 24-26, 2012 to share the excitement of the Open House celebration and become a part of the unique world of Arabian horses.

For more information, please go to



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