Breeds of Horses - A to Z
Taking its name from a Syrian Horse, Shagya, (foaled in 1830) who was
imported into Hungary to the Babolna Stud with several other Arabs in 1836,
this horse is not a pure bred Arab. The foundation mares were quality horses
of mixed blood, though they were of 'Oriental' type. Many of the mares had
Hungarian, Thoroughbred, Spanish or Arabian blood and by inbreeding, the
Shagya Arabian was developed. It is slightly bigger boned than a pure bred
Arab, Shagya himself was big for the breed standing at over 15.2 h.h.
The Emperor Joseph 11 who was largely responsible for revitalising horse
breeding in Hungary founded the Babolna Stud where it is bred, in 1789. He
also founded the veterinary College in Budapest and the famous Mezohegyes
Stud in 1785.
The breed is often grey in colour though all other Arab colours are
permitted. It stands between 14 and 15 h.h. and has a refined Arab head with
a dished profile, a small tapered muzzle with large nostrils and large
wide-set eyes; an elegant curved neck; a good sloping shoulder; a short
strong, slightly concave back; a level croup and high-set tail; hard clean
limbs with dense fine bone; hard well shaped feet; a fine silky mane and
tail. It possesses all the Arabian qualities of speed, endurance and gentle
temperament, matched with grace and elegance. It makes an ideal general
purpose riding horse and is also used in harness. It has been exported to
several other countries.