In The Arabian Breeders’ Magazine Collectors’ Edition 2021, we ran an in-depth feature on the legacy Monogramm through his incredible daughters. We are serialising this feature here on TheArabianMagazine.Com over the following weeks. If you would like to buy the original magazine with this feature in full, please click on the link above.
Elandra (ex Emigracja by Palas)
The other Eukaliptus daughter out of the legendary Emigracja to produce a global superstar with Monogramm was Erlanda, a Bábolna International Best in Show winner and Polish National Reserve Champion Junior Female, behind the aforementioned Emilda, famous for her ground-covering animated trot and her extravagantly long well-shaped neck. This ethereal beauty was Elandra, a sweet, unassuming, petite matron who inherited all her dam’s most appealing attributes and had the imposing ability to grow several hands in the show-ring when inspired to her full potential.
Selling to Aria Arabians in the annual Pride of Poland in 2005 for yet another very respectable six-figure sum with an epic catalogue cover shot by Stuart Vesty, Elandra would gain her greatest show-ring acclaim in North America as Scottsdale Champion Senior Female and US National Reserve Champion Senior Female, becoming the only Monogramm daughter to earn the former prestigious title for her sire. Elandra would later return to Europe in the respectful stewardship of Halsdon Arabians in the UK, adding her special brilliance to the senior female competition at every leg of the Triple Crown, earning top scores and respectable placings among the elite senior matrons, most often her paternal sisters from Michałów, in the process. Her most successful progeny is unquestionably Ekspulsja (by Gazal al Shaqab), another flea-bitten powerhouse showstopper who earned the Bronze Senior Female Championship at both the European Championships and the All Nations’ Cup for owner Shirley Watts, as well as the Gold Championship and Best in Show titles at Al Khalediah European Arabian Horse Festival.
Eskcella (ex Estancja by Palas)
The first of the Monogramm daughters to earn the highly coveted title of Polish National Champion Senior Female was Ekscella in 2001, a perfectly conformed, feminine enchantress out of the highly respected producer Estancja (Palas x Espada by Aquinor), a very close relative to Michałów’s most famous maternal legend Emigracja. The Polish National Senior Female Championship title was a prize that eluded many of Monogramm’s most famous and accomplished daughters, including Kwestura, Zagrobla, Georgia and Elandra, but was tailor-made for the likes of Ekscella, whose stellar structure, broody substance, exceptional topline and feminine allure were exactly the traits most admired by the judges at the Polish National Show. Selling to Jade Creek Arabians in the US in 2004 for an impressive sum, again in six figures, Ekscella would leave behind several important descendants in both hemispheres, including the beautiful producer Ellissara (by Laheeb), dam of Prague Intercup Silver Champion, Polish National Bronze Champion and Scandinavian Open Bronze Champion Elliseina (by Galba), as well as multiple-national and regional halter and performance champion Jady JCA (by Jake Jamaal JCA), in turn the dam of regional halter champions Giada Bey JCA (by Brandon Bey JCA) and Enza JCA (by Enzo).
Eskalopka and Egzonera
Eskalopka (ex Egzotyka by Probat) with Sheikh Mohammed of Albidayer Stud. Credit Erwin Escher
Another exemplary pair of full sisters born at Michałów in the awe-inspiring foal crops of 1994 and 1995 were Eskalopka and Egzonera, dynamic daughters of Polish National Champion Mare Egzotyka (Probat x Elana by Elf). Natural show horses with a real affinity for the energy of the competitive arena, both sisters earned top placings as fillies on home turf in Poland before finding their most enduring success as mares.
The ever-optimistic Eskalopka possessed a phenomenally long and lean neck, an attribute she used to maximum effect when engaged on the move with her elevated, ground-covering trot. She would use these gifts to earn several respectable titles in Europe and the Middle East, including European Champion Mare in 2001, Polish National Reserve Champion Mare in 2002, and UAE National Bronze Champion Mare in 2009 at 15 years of age for owners Albidayer Stud. Eskalopka would prove to be a consistent producer of quality progeny for Sheikh Mohammad, with show winners to her credit sired by Marajj (Marwan al Shaqab x RGA Kouress), Emigrant and Gazal al Shaqab.
Younger sister Egzonera found her greatest success in the show-ring while on lease to Jade Creek Arabians, earning the respectable titles of Pacific Slope Champion and Scottsdale Reserve Champion Mare. Her best cross proved to be with World Champion Gazal al Shaqab (Anaza el Farid x Kajora by Kaborr), producing the accomplished American sires Aria Egzalt and Erte JCA while in North America.
Figlarka, Palastrina and Nina
South America’s ‘First Lady of the Arabian horse’, the late Lenita Perroy, was an avid admirer of Monogramm and of the Polish breeding programme, importing the fancy Figlarka (ex Frejlina by Pepton) to Haras Meia Lua in 2003 as a promising broodmare.
Another of the gorgeous grey daughters of Monogramm was Palastrina, exported in-utero with her famous dam Palba (Penitent x Pliszka by Gwarny) to England, earning the titles of UKIAHS Champion and British National Reserve Champion Junior Female for Halsdon Arabians.
Nina (ex WN Nastasea by Naborr)
The well conformed snow-white Nina (ex WN Nastasea by Naborr) is best remembered as the dam of the always exuberant Norma (by Gazal al Shaqab), an international icon with show-ring accolades accrued all across Europe and the Arabian Gulf in the grandest style, best remembered with an enthusiastic and surprisingly spritely late Ryan Jones at the end of a very long lead. Some of Norma’s most unforgettable performances include honours gained as Polish National Gold Champion/Best in Show, Qatar International, UKIAHS and PSAIAHF Gold Champion, as well as Dubai International, Menton and European Silver Champion Senior Female.
In a country committed to tradition and centuries-old breeding practices, Monogramm must be credited as the sole progenitor of not only the acceptability of the chestnut coat colour within the greater breeding population of the Polish State Studs, but its elevation to serious fashion statement status, an advantage that would reap rewards on the global stage in unprecedented style. While momentum was building for a more open-minded attitude towards chestnut tolerability in 1994 with the arrival of the first Monogramm foals, the ‘horses-had-well-and-truly-bolted-from-the-stables’ with the hope of no return by 1995 with the arrival of two extraordinary chestnut goddesses: Kwestura and Fallada. By the time these improbably captivating redheads had illuminated the most competitive arenas in both hemispheres, every single chestnut mare who dared step into a show-ring anywhere in the world would henceforth be held to the uncompromising Kwestura/Fallada standard of excellence.
Fallada (ex Fanaberia by Probat)
Given the unprecedented number of accolades that Kwestura would rightfully be awarded throughout her long and illustrious show career, it may come as a surprise to recall that the first of these ginger beauties to be recognised in Poland was Fallada (ex Fanaberia by Probat). Not only would she completely enthral the judges and outshine the competition at the Polish Spring Show in 1996, winning the titles of Junior Female Champion and Best in Show, Fallada would replicate the same dazzling performance a year later with her explosive trot and rapturous charisma, establishing a record that still holds at this all-important annual event as the only back-to-back Best in Show victor.
Undoubtedly one of the most enthralling Arabian mares in the breed when she was ‘on’, Fallada, who according to the late Dr Nasr Marei, was “only truly appreciated” as a superlative specimen of the Arabian mare “when one was able to abide in her presence in close proximity”, dazzled her way to many of the most important titles in the breed, including Canadian National Champion Mare while on lease to North America, as well as World Reserve Champion Senior Mare the year after Kwestura won the same title in Monogramm’s momentous turn as a sire in Paris.
Fallada outshone every single one of her famous sisters in 2003 to most deservedly be crowned Polish National Champion Senior Female, channelling the best of her sire with a magnificent entrance and, most unbelievably, a full lap around the show arena in a propulsive, extravagantly aminated trot of gravity-defying suspension without breaking, finally coming to a graceful stop right in front of the flabbergasted panel of judges with her tail still fully flagged, snorting and blowing with sheer delight and satisfaction.
Iconised in a spectacular Pride of Poland catalogue cover in 2009 by Stuart Vesty in all her glory – an iridescent copper enchantress ablaze at the trot in a field of golden blooms, feet flying above the ground with head and tail aloft, Fallada would sell to Paul and Ria Gheysens of Knocke Arabians in Belgium for the second highest price ever paid for a daughter of Monogramm at public auction that same August. Out of the spotlight of the global show-ring, Fallada would leave behind a valuable legacy of daughters in Poland, Belgium, and the United States, including the exotic Farsala (by Laheeb) and Manny Lawrence’s beloved Fellada JCA (by Jake Jamaal JCA), a multi-champion mare who has since become an aristocrat dam of several Scottsdale, Regional and National winners for Jade Creek Arabians.
Kwestura (ex Kwesta by Pesennik). Credit Elisa Grassi
When future generations reflect upon the transformative time of Monogramm at Michałów, one name among all the cherished and celebrated daughters of the breed legend will resonate most decisively throughout history: the incomparable Kwestura. Superlatives are woefully inadequate when describing the most esteemed attributes of this once-in-a-lifetime mare, the daughter universally admired as the most like her sire in overall phenotype and appeal. Kwestura would be the very first of the Monogramm daughters to win the top championship title at the preeminent Polish National Show, capturing the Junior Female Championship with characteristic aplomb. Most astoundingly, the title of Polish National Senior Champion would elude her, having to settle for the premier bridesmaid position of Reserve Champion Senior Female on two occasions in 2000 and 2001. She remains the most highly decorated mare in Polish Arabian history never to have been properly honoured as National Champion in her homeland.
Despite her denial in Poland, Kwestura would elevate the breed standard as a senior mare at the All Nations’ Cup and European Championships, the first two legs of the aspirational European Triple Crown, winning the former as a mere four-year old in 1999, and the latter just weeks before her record-breaking run in Paris with her siblings in 2000. Most amazingly, Kwestura would repeat her wins at both events, upgrading to Gold Champion at the European Championships in 2009 at age 14, and at the All Nations’ Cup five years later at 19 years young, in a transcendent performance that defied her age as well as several laws of physics.
Denied the World Championship title at the start of the millennium, Kwestura would return to Paris as the triumphant queen a record three more times, as World Gold Champion Senior Female in both 2007 and 2009 in open competition, and one final time in 2014 as World Platinum Champion Mare following her destiny-altering appearance in Aachen, looking as youthfully exuberant as she did on her first appearance in the City of Lights a decade and a half earlier. Kwestura will also be forever remembered as the first of the Michałów-bred Monogramm daughters to wow North American audiences as 2002 US National Champion Mare while on lease to Mike Nichols, a unanimous victory that would establish the standard of excellence to which all her paternal sisters to follow her to the world’s largest competitive arena, including Zagrobla, Elandra, Fallada and Egzonera, would aspire.
In between her record-setting World Senior Mare Gold Championships, Kwestura was offered as the main attraction in the 2008 Pride of Poland auction, selling, after much hotly contested bidding, to Ajman Stud in the UAE for a princely sum of €1.125 million, smashing the ceiling for the highest price ever paid for a Polish-bred Arabian at public auction. Prized by Sheikh Ammar Bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Kwestura would bring further glory to his royal stud at Menton in 2009, winning the All Mediterranean and Arab Countries Gold Championship, and closer to home in Dubai in 2010, as DIAHC Gold Champion Senior Female with a record high score.
Kwestura. Credit Fotograff Mattsson
Under the stewardship of Michałów Stud, Nichols Arabians, and Ajman Stud, Kwestura would not only become the most successful show mare in Arabian breed history, but she would also do so across the longest span of time – a total of nineteen seasons – from her first optimistic victory in Poland as a bright-eyed yearling in 1996, to her final triumph as the seasoned icon in her Platinum World Championship victory lap in 2014. It was often remarked among the judges that 20 points were simply not enough in the categories of type, head and neck, and movement to reward Kwestura when she was at her most glorious. I would argue that 200 points would be insufficient to properly award her unsurpassed quality and refinement, her utterly enthralling presence and charisma, and her unrivalled command of her surroundings. Kwestura had the remarkable ability to bend the universe to her will when she was in her element, bringing many an admirer to tears in the show-ring, including an emotional Sylvie Eberhardt during the legend’s first trip to the winner’s circle in Paris. Elisa Grassi, who is blessed with the privilege of enjoying Kwestura on a daily basis at the Frank Spönle Training Centre in Germany, is still astounded by the youthful energy and zest for life the ‘Queen of the Ring’ still exhibits on her daily trek to and from the paddock at 26 years of age. Again, so much like her sire in every aspect, Kwestura is aging with perfection, embodying the best of the classically authentic Arabian horse.
The legacy of Kwestura lives on around the world through subsequent generations of multi-champion descendants, including twice Polish National Gold Champion and twice European Silver Champion Kabsztad (by Poganin), US National Reining Futurity Champion Kubla Khan NA (by Monar), Pacific Slope Champion Kassandra NA (by Baske Afire) and the prolific producer Kashmir NA (by Bravado Bey V). At Ajman Stud, Kwestura has blessed the programme with two promising daughters, AJ Noor Kwestura (by Aja Justified) and AJ Kahayla (by QR Marc), the latter the dam of Menton, Dubai and All Nations’ Cup Gold Champion and World Silver Champion AJ Kafu (by Shanghai EA), now serving as chief sire at his maternal stud.
The final part in this series will be published next week.