Back to
Spanish History
Galatife 1943: The Best Kept Secret
By Elizabeth Goodwin-Campiglio


     GALATIFE is one of those special broodmares whose name is always noticed in a pedigree but about whom very little has been written. She was a dark steel grey mare bred by the Yeguada Militar in 1943, the only foal out of the Veragua renamed mare Veracruz (1934-1949) and Gandhy (Ursus X Gomara by Alfanje). The Veracruz Mare Family line is the fourth largest family of the renamed Veragua Mares. This feat was accomplished solely by Galatife and her 10 foals and 139 grand get. A notable trait of this Veracruz Family is that it carries white body spots on a grey coat. According to the Spanish Stud-Book other direct get sired by Gandhy have not been described as carrying body spots, hence this particular trait has been accredited to Galatife’s unidentified dam, who was renamed Veracruz. Galatife was really rather rectangular in head shape and square muzzled herself. In this she did resemble Razada and Razada’s sire Shazada.


Galatife and her sisters

     In discussing the foal crop of 1934, keep some points in mind. 1) The Duque de Veragua was still very much alive and in charge of his breeding program in 1933 when the mares were bred to foal for 1934. 2) He did not breed daughters to their sires (unlike the YM post 1938). 3) He had 3 stallions at stud in 1933: Razada, Sirio III and Almudafar. 
     Veracruz has 4 possibilities for dams: 3 Razada daughters (Leila II, Namouna and Sara IV) and an Almudafar daughter (Debrouka III). That Veracruz was a purebred Arabian and of the lines bred by the Duque de Veragua, there is no question. Veracruz was one of 8 fillies born in 1934 at the Duque de Veragua’s stud farm before his terrible murder in 1936 just after the start of the Spanish Civil War. His brother and household staff were also killed, the residence and stallion stables ransacked and burnt and all papers destroyed. Fortunately the mares and fillies were kept 40 kilometers outside of Madrid near Toledo at the broodmare farm called Yeguada Valjuanete. These continued to be bred by the farm staff and were taken over by the Yeguada Militar in 1938, identification made when feasible and the young stock was renamed with names beginning with Vera. Many were obviously no longer running by their own dam’s side which would have made identification easier. The political unrest prior to the Civil War and the total upheaval during this time is well reflected by the fact that normally the 1934 foal crop particulars would have been filed with the Cria Caballar y Remonta by October 15th of the year bred (1933) and of the year born (1934) as per regulations. Whereas the Yeguada Militar continued to breed during the Civil War and adequately record their own births, they do not have any record of all of the Veragua foal births for 1934, 35 or 36.
     Veracruz herself was a light steel grey, probably the daughter of Razada based on the characteristics carried onward within this family.  The three steel grey mares as possible 
dam in order of selection were: 1) Leila II~ Dark steel grey (Razada x Sahara by Ursus) Blurred elongated star into stripe widening to white over the nostrils. No white leg markings.  2)  Namouna ~ Dark Steel Grey (Razada x Raquel by Korosko) Round star, Broken strip to and between nostrils. 3) Sara IV ~ Dark grey (Razada x Fianza by Korosko) White hairs on forehead, low sock right hind. 4) Debrouka III ~ Dark Rose grey (Almudafar x Deriva by Wan Dyck). No white markings, dorsal stripe.  Deriva had body spots typical of the Wan Dyck get. Of the two other mare possibilities, both were rose grey and tended to throw rose greys. Galatife was a dark steel grey herself like her sire Gandhy which does not favor her dam being Debrouka III. The remaining 4 unidentified mares from the 1934 foal crop were chestnuts.
     Gandhy was a dark steel grey stallion with a jet black mane and tail and took forever to whiten out entirely. He was bred by Ybarra and so very impressive that he was called "The Horse which shines by himself". Small ears spaced wide apart at the base. Big popped eye which was low and to the side of a wide forehead (Malvito got that from him). He had an average length of neck which was set on relatively high out of his back and was well-shaped. This of course meant that he had a good depth and length of shoulder too. He was compact for his time when compared to other horses being bred at this period. When the YM saw his get at Ybarra's they pressured Ybarra to sell Gandhy to them for their herd.
     Gandhy's sale was one of the few authentic sales/purchases of the war years. (1935). It was not a confiscation by any mean as it occurred pre Civil War (1936-39). Gandhy was not used until 1941 but that was because the Yeguada Militar had 2 desert bred stallions in use at the time. As soon as they needed to use a Polish bred stud, Gandhy was at the top of the list and they bred everything to him including all the mares rescued from Veragua....hence the immortal Galatife, Imelina and Impedida all daughters of Gandhy out of Vera mares.(Veracruz, Verana, and Veralina respectively.) Gandhy's most notable fault to our modern eye was that he was high in the butt with a comparatively level and long croup; just that it looked higher than it should have been. In Spanish we have two ways of dealing with this element. Translated we say either the horse is high in the croup or this horse is low in the back. An American way of describing it is "this horse is running downhill". When the Spanish say low in the back they do not mean swaybacked...that is a different word entirely.
     Galatife has been used for line breeding sufficiently enough in some breeding programs to pinpoint several characteristics other than the body spots on a grey coat. She must have been a tall rangy looking mare with a huge dark eye, a long stretchy neck and a very Saklawieh look about her.  She had a very pronounced deep jowl and a long under jaw which her son Galeon by Zancudo passed onward and is readily seen in the closely bred breeding program of the Yeguada Puig Gross of Maria Teresa Gual de Pons. Her long slender neck was also well set and well shaped and this also passes onward. She must have been a good sized mare as well. Galatife’s breeding sons: Orive by Barquillo, Dandi II by Congo, and Galeon by Zancudo all have sired good size. Her daughter Teorica by Barquillo produced the well known stallions Jacio and Kadi both by Tabal. Her daughter Zalema produced the two full brothers Galero and Jaguay both by Congo and both 15 hh +. Her daughter Babucha by Congo was a stockier mare with a huge eye and also a smaller mare like her sire. Babucha was dam of *Volvereta by Hacho who has produced both in the states and back again to Belgium. She was a very refined mare with excellent presence and motion and a striking resemblance in phenotype to her maternal aunt Teorica. 
     This Mare Family line is also noted for its excellent high tail carriage and the smoothness of their top lines from poll to tip of dock. It forms one flowing line with no acute angular cuts at withers or loin /croup. This was particularly appreciated by the Spanish breeders. The withers are high but well set back into the back and they do not have the “golpe de hacha” or deep dip found in some other lines when the neck is not set in high into the shoulder. 
     This dip is found in get of the imported Egyptian stallion Korosko for example: see the mares: Fianza, Raquel and Euterpe. This dip does not show up in the Veracruz Family. Possibly this is one of the factors which increased the popularity of the Veracruz line within Spain amongst the private breeders and the Yeguada Militar itself. The YM holds 10 broodmares of the Veracruz family line and 4 of the Verana line. They have kept no other "Vera" lines at all, either in their broodmare band or in their breeding Stallions. 
     Another reason for selecting Leila II as being Veracruz and not Namouna nor the other mare choices is that markings research on some of the grandget of the Veracruz family overwhelmingly came up with Sabinos. Leila II was of the Sultane tail female Mare Family through Sada Yama, which in the absence of Barquillo tends to be a high white/Sabino producer. Furthermore, the Veracruz family seems to carry heavier bone and angles more closely related to the Polish imported lines. Leila II’s maternal grand sire was Ursus, imported from Poland in 1906.
     The hips in this mare family tend to be deep and long with correct angulation creating a hindquarter capable of powerful forward thrust. This is especially notable in the Gandhy/Congo crosses. The Barquillo/Garbo branch tends to shorten the back and widen the loin/croup and the chest area. The Zancudo/Congo branch tends to lengthen the back, the neck and sometimes the head/face. They also tend to be narrower through the body. Because Razada had a clubby type right hind hoof which appears in all of his photographs and the fact that there has been a tendency to have excess heel growth in some branches of this mare family, this is a factor to keep an eye out for.
     So much emphasis has been placed on the sire names and lines in the pedigrees that it is important to remember the breeding philosophy which is the basis of breeding Arabians in Spain: Only a high quality mare can and will produce top quality breeding stallions.
So when a breeder from Spain is talking about the attributes of a Jacio, a Dandi II, a Galero or Jaguay, a Kadi or a Galeon bred get or any Arabian with a multiple listing of any of those names, they are actually referring to line breeding to Galatife. The listener must be aware of this. It is a strange juxtaposition of thought but it is very important that it be taken into consideration. It is well known that in the United States the emphasis has always been put on the stallion but there it seems to stop and far too few persons can name the dam or grand dam of the stallion in question. In Spain the emphasis is on the dam line for breeding. Although they may refer to Borneo for example as having 3 crosses to Jacio, what it means is that Borneo is line bred to Galatife, maternal grand dam of Jacio. It would almost be an affront to explain the Galatife was the maternal grand dam of Jacio as those who know the pedigrees of the Spanish Arabians would automatically know this fact. It is too obvious that without her, Jacio would never have existed. The translation of words into another language is difficult enough; however to translate a way of thinking can be quite impossible at times. With Galatife’s sons alone, she has founded an incredible dynasty of over 14350 registered purebred Arabians. The quality of the Veracruz Mare Family and Galatife has been proven through the generations and continues to do so in both the show ring and in the breeding shed. They both go hand in hand. 
 

EG-C/3Mar05
Copyright 2004 by the Spanish Arabian Horse Society. 
All rights reserved.  No part of this article may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of the author. 

Back to
Spanish History
Website by Carousel WebDesign