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Van Dyck
by Maria Paz Murga Igual


     Van Dyck was perhaps the most important of the old sires at the Yeguada Militar.  He was born at Uzinskavo, Count Branicki’s breeding establishment, in 1898.  He seemed to command everybody’s attention and was taken to the Paris Exhibition.  From there he was bought by the Spanish Government and came to Spain.  Until his death in 1925, he was bred to the Yeguada Militar’s best mares, and was so greatly respected that when a visiting English lady commented that she liked other horses better, she was almost kicked off the premises.  She was saved from this disgrace, however, “because she was a lady.”
     His get were numerous and greatly cherished.  In the years 1922 and 1923, no less than 31 of his sons were registered as stallion in Volume II of the Stud Book.  Yet, not one single stallion in the second generation was used at stud.  I once asked an old Sergeant why this was, and his answer was terrible explicit:  “They have nothing inside.”  Perhaps this is the gravest fault for an Arabian horse to have:  no stamina.  It seems that even perfection has a limit.
     Nevertheless, Van Dyck was used so extensively that he is still found in almost all Yeguada pedigrees through the female lines. To be so important, he must have had great presence; unfortunately, photographs of him show nothing of his personality.

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. 
 

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Created 12/12/2004