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Spanish History
By BettyLu Bendeke

     First of all, we must remember two things:  1) that there are more Arabians in Scottsdale than in all of Spain, and 2) there are only approximately 400 Arabians of Spanish blood in the United States.  These two factors will help put Garbo into perspective. 
     My first point is, with approximately 1500 Arabians in all of Spain, why would any breeder want to sell the very best that he has?  There are only four known Garbo sons in the United States and about 19 daughters.
     Another interesting point is the number of get produced by the most popular stallions used in the United States.  The total offspring count is:

 ZANCUDO Total offspring:  93
 JACIO Total offspring:  115
 GALERO Total offspring:  90
 DANDI II Total offspring:  41
 BAMBU Total offspring:  43
 GARBO  Total offspring:  175

     Garbo is the producer of more offspring than any of the other past premier breeding stallions.  And yet, less of his get have been sold by the Spanish, or permitted to leave Spain.  Why?  The Military never sells stallions under any circumstances, and most of the Garbo sons born to the Military are being retained.  And those breeders who are allowed to breed to Military stallions are not letting their Garbo sons go.
     Garbo is considered by the Spanish to be the “perfect model” stallion, both in temperament and physical conformation.  Some years ago, Mally Stanley of SRSA was granted special permission to measure Garbo at the Depot near Madrid.  Her findings are very interesting.

LENGTH OF BACK:  21 ” (Middle of with to sacrum)
LENGTH OF HIP:  24 ” (sacrum to outside edge of hindquarter)

    In regard to the above measurements, it is considered an ideal to have the length of back no longer than the length of hip.  Very unusual to find a horse so near the ideal!

LENGTH OF NECK:  38 ” (Poll to middle of wither, at rest)

     Another interesting measurement – as the ideal is to have the head divided in half by the eye.

WIDTH BETWEEN JOWLS:  7” (Underneath)

     This measurement is important as a horse’s jowls must fit around the windpipe when the head is set if the horse is to be able to breathe!

CIRCUMFERENCE OF GIRTH:  71”  (Middle of wither and around)

     Important for athletic ability – lung and heart room.  Another important measurement in any horse is the forearm-cannon bone relationship.  The highest percentage of unsoundness in horses is from the knee down in the front legs.  Therefore, a short, strong cannon bone is vitally important.  The forearm, which is not very prone to unsoundness, and also contains the lifting muscles for the leg, should be longer.

FOREARM:  18 5/8” (Elbow to center of knee)
CANNON BONE:  10 5/8” (Center of knee to center of fetlock)

     Another measurement that horsemen rely on is that the topline of a horse (middle of wither to sacrum) is appreciably shorter than the underline (point of elbow to point of stifle)

TOPLINE:  21 ”

     One other measurement of interest is the width of the hindquarters at point of hip – in Garbo it’s 19”!

     Space does not permit a study of Garbo’s sire (Orive) and dam (Baldosa).  In-depth information may be obtained by writing the author of this article.
     Of the four known Garbo sons in the United States, the two top producing sons (based on number of get and showring records) are *Padre (x Yucca) and *Armado (x Elegancia).  *Padre (Spanish registered as El Saucejo), is a Spanish Supreme National Champion who has sired numerous champions in the United States as well as in three other countries.  In addition, in 1988 he was awarded the coveted title of Spanish National Get-of-Sire Champion.
     The second is *Armado, who made his showring debut at the prestigious Scottsdale All Arabian Horse Show and came out in the Top Ten.  The first mare he ever bred produced a filly (Alfana) who was rarely beaten in the showring, and won a regional championship as a 2-year-old.  Many other *Armando get have followed this top filly.
     *Armado earned several more championships and reserves before being retired at the early age of 4 years to fulfill his demand in the breeding shed.  In 1985, however, he won the distinction of being named Get-of-Sire champion at the Arizona-bred Futurity in Scottsdale.
     Since so few breeders have risked their Garbo offspring to the rigors and dangers of the showring, Garbo has been denied his due.  But a few have been shown, among them, the gorgeous Galana (Garbo x Ochava).  Galana has earned her place by winning, among many others, Junior Champion Mare and Senior Champion Mare.  She has further shown her great value by producing two outstanding stallions, Firestone (*Al Cobre) and Gavilan (Caracas).  And, the lovely mare *Marsala (Garbo x Colima), who was Scottsdale Top Ten Mare, and has since returned to Spain.
     Even more important to Garbo is that his influence carries on to grandget as well.  Again, space does not permit an indepth listing of the many ribbons being won by those few, rare Garbo-related Spanish and Spanish-cross Arabians.  Armado has produced several daughters who have won in both halter AND performance!  Now, both stallions, Armado (Garbo x Elegancia) and Firestone (*Al Cobre x *Galana) are being put to the supreme test – dressage and free style!
 As more and more breeders of Spanish Arabians are becoming aware that “new” Spanish blood is going to have to be infused into their programs in order to keep the delicate balance between elegance and performance, Garbo is becoming the stallion of preference.
     Those of us who have Garbo blood in our breeding programs extend to this outstanding stallion of the Yeguada Militar our salute!  We feel he has earned his place!  Garbo – he’ll make a difference!

(Note:  The author wishes to thank Mally Stanley of Sitting Rock Spanish Arabians who provided the facts needed to compile this feature!) 

Copyright 2004 by Betty Lu Bendeke. 
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. 

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