Breeder: Stadnina Koni Wojcieszków, Maria, hr. Plater-Zyberk

xo grey (Rittersporn – Jordi / Shagya X-3) born on 02/03/1937,
bred at Wojcieszków Stud Farm


You can also read about Ramses on the Wojcieszków website.

Dr. Stanisław Deskur writes on Polish stallion of century, the initiator of the most outstanding breeding line of sports horses in Germany, as follows:

Ramzes was bred in Wojcieszków Stud Farm and purchased by the Stallion’s Depot in Janów Podlaski in early 1940. At that time, nothing indicated that this entire would prove a stallion of century in future and his progeniture would move up in the world at the most considerable equestrian competitions. Thanks to records of the director of the depot in Janów Podlaski, Tadeusz Marchowiecki Eng., (Wojcieszków Stud Farm was in his action area), we know Ramzes’s history beginning from a foal.

Ramzes’s sire was Rittersporn, English Thoroughbred born in Belgium, that was successful steeple-chase racehorse in Germany. Within the war reparations, Rittersporn came to Poland, to the Stallion’s Depot in Janów Podlaski. He was descended from the well-known stallion Le Sancy that transferred jumping accomplishments.

Rittersporn, while being at copulatory point in Łabunie near Zamość, gave 8 very good competition horses in 1926 and 1927 and attain excellent renown, so many cavalry officers wished to have a saddle-horse by this stallion. Thereby, young horses by Rittersporn sold like hot cakes to army. However, the lists of horses registered by Polish Equestrian Association, published in the interwar period, do not indicate any other horses by Rittersporn with more considerable sports successes – except for the mentioned eight. Also, in breeding, this stallion’s offspring was not conspicuous. His 3 sons were purchased by Stallion’s Depots; one of them was culled after two copulatory seasons. Rittersporn, since 1930s and probably for the rest of his life, stood at Wojcieszków Stud Farm (district Łuków). This stud farm included about 30 dams and belonged to Maria Zyberk-Plater that – according to director Marchowiecki – “had no knowledge of horses but she liked them very much and fed them well”. As example of Ramzes shows, in some cases these attributes of the owner-breeder could ensure success.

During auction at the Stud Farm in Janów Podlaski in 1929, Maria Plater bought a one year’s filly, Jordi, culled by the stud farm, so, according to local specialists’ opinion, she did not promise that would be a good dam in future.

Jordi had the very good origin. Her grandmother, Astarte, was born at well-known Austrian Radowce Stud Farm (at present in Romania) and according to nomenclature in force at that place, her original name was 264 Amurath-8. Jordi’s pedigree (see: the enclosed Ramzes’s pedigree) was saturated with oriental blood. She came from the family designated in Radowce with Roman numeral III, going back as far as to beginning of nineteenth century. Three-year-old Jordi was included to dams in Wojcieszków. However unhappily, Jordi broke her front leg. Due to state of the art of that time, the mare was threatened to be put to death but her owner forbade this.

The mare was hanged on belts and a vet set her leg with wooden splints. Its leg healed up but it was crooked. The mare was lame and could not be used anywhere else beyond breeding. Then a small wooden stable was built in Wojcieszków, with a grassy paddock, where Jordi lived with her following foals from spring to late autumn. Her third foal was Ramzes. Director Marchowiecki often visited Wojcieszków on business and observed little Ramzes that seemed to be a stallion for breeding in future. Unfortunately, little Ramzes was persecuted by the familial bad luck. In early spring 1938, well-developed, grown and always defiant Ramzes fell over backward while playing with his age-mates and he couldn’t get up for several days. Also, in this case, Maria Plater rejected a suggestion to put Ramzes to death. Thanks to massages and warm compresses applied on loins for several days, Ramzes started getting up and standing shakily. Then as if he learnt to go for a long time. Nevertheless, his condition rallied and in summer 1939, uninitiated people didn’t notice any post-accident problems in Ramzes. Also, no complaints occurred later in Ramzes. As I mentioned before, Ramzes was bought for the Stallion’s Depot in Janów Podlaski in 1940. According to director Marchowiecki’s opinion, he presented a type of a good-looking Polish Anglo-Arab of height about 160 cm, grey with dark mane and tail, of clean head with expressive eyes, long neck, prominent withers, correct loins and long, well-muscled back. He had normal legs with a bit round front cannons. Ramzes’s movement was beyond reproach as he had the long and ambling walk, the energetic trot and the long canter covering a large area.

During all war period, Ramzes was sent to procreation points in neighbourhood of Kałuszyn in copulatory seasons. Every year after return from these points – as all young stallions in the Stallion’s Depot in Janów Podlaski – as a rule, he had to take part in hard hunting runs behind dogs in the field with many difficult obstacles. Ramzes was distinguished by good and precise jumps but he did not like water obstacles and this defect was transferred to some of his offspring. He had to be a good saddle horse, since he was constantly mounted during quadrilles by the head groom of that time and the director of stud farm in Janów Podlaski in future, Andrzej Krzyształowicz, Eng. Independently from this, Ramzes was trained in carriage driving and he was a part of Four-in-Hand team.

In July 1944, Ramzes with the whole Stallion’s Depot from Janów Podlaski was evacuated and reached Cleverhof L. Lubeck as his final stand. Upon termination of the war, the most of Polish breeding horses located in Germany were returned to Poland; several horses, especially talented in sport, were left in the area of West Germany to represent our breeding. Ramzes was among them. He was mounted then by lieutenant Bielecki.

When lieutenant Bielecki emigrated to Canada, Ramzes was bought by baron Clemens von Nagel-Doornick, the owner of the stud farm Vornholz (Westphalia) with about 30 dams. Baron von Nagel – as I mentioned in the previous “Zootechnic News” – was a commander of the stud farm in Racot during the war and, because he kept a civil tongue in his hand according to opinion of his Polish workers, he was allowed to deal with horse breeding after the war. His idea was to breed good horses, first of all for dressage and show jumping events, to ensure continuation of achievements of the interwar period to German horsemanship. As a son of the director of the stud farm in Beberbeck, he had opportunity to come to know these horses and decided to realize his plans based on them. He found few horses of Beberbeck blood that were left in Germany. He used the stallion Oxyd (Irrlehrer-Oxalis) and Hanoverian mares by Beberbeck stallions. He also used Polish stallion Zew bred by Jezierski from Worotniów, Łuck district). Zew was by English Thoroughbred stallion and the original Beberbeck mare.

In Vornholz, the first German after-war Olympic team was prepared to start in the dressage event in Helsinki in 1952; their horses were bred in this very stud farm according to the above-mentioned breeding concept. This team won the bronze medal. There were odds to send the same horses for Olympic Games in Stockholm in 1956 but one of horses became lame and was replaced with another one. This team also returned with the bronze medal and one of horses from Vornholz breeding won the bronze medal individually, too. The further Olympic successes of horses bred by baron von Nagel were impressive. In Tokyo in 1964, the FRG team was first in dressage. A member of this team was Remus that won the silver medal individually. In Mexico in 1968, the FRG team repeated the success from Tokyo and its member Mariano won the silver medal individually. In Munich in 1972, the gelding Robin was a member of FRG team that won the gold medal in show jumping. These three horses – Remus, Mariano and Robin are already the sons of Ramzes. During the first years of his stay in Vornholz, Ramzes started in show-jumping events under Brinckmann, the perfect German rider, and got quite good results on a national scale. Probably, baron von Nagel wanted to check his value in use. Ramzes ended his sports career in 1948 while breaking his leg during training. Surely, this was a bad omen because, as you can remember, his dam broke her leg, too and his sire Rittersporn broke his legs twice. In this case, baron von Nagel could be afraid of hereditary predispositions; fortunately, such cases didn’t occur in Ramzes’s offspring.

Breeding failures in Racot in the interwar period – trials to combine Hanoverian mares and Holstein stallions from Racot – could estrange for use of Ramzes in breeding; certainly, baron von Nagel knew these failures. Moreover, no cases are known in horse breeding history that a stallion having such a great infusion of Oriental blood in his pedigree like Ramzes could give a prominent in show jumping offspring. Therefore, baron von Nagel showed his great breeding intuition while appointing Ramzes as a leading sire in Vornholz. Ramzes stayed at his loose-box of the head stallion until his death in 1966. In opinion of German breeding circles, no other stallion, whether of local or foreign origin, achieved equally positive results with local mares like this Polish Anglo-Arab. Ramzes gave a numerous group of sports horses well-deserved in breeding, too. There was a period when each of well-known riders in FRG mounted a horse by this stallion. Radetzki and Raimond were these sons of Ramzes that were distinguished in breeding. Rembrandt, the great grandson’s son of the former, was described as an unequalled horse anent the movement dynamics. Under his young equestrienne Nicole Uphoff, he won individually and in a team the gold medals at two successive Olympic Games – in Seoul 1988 and in Barcelona 1992. This was a performance unrecorded in history of Olympic Games hitherto.

Whereas, Raimond’s son, Ramiro, is the sire of superb horses – jumpers. His daughter, Ratina-Z won the silver medal individually and the gold medal in the Dutch team at Olympic Games in Barcelona, 1992. Moreover, under the leading German rider, L. Beerbaum, she was placed first at the World Cup in Gothenburg, 1993. At the latest Olympic Games in Athens, Ramiro’s son, the perfect jumper stallion Royal Kaliber won the silver medal in the team and the bronze medal individually for U.S.A.

Author: Dr Stanisław Deskur
source: Horse breeding in Poland (VII) – Ramzes
“Zootechnic News” (no. 4/2004)

The licence granted by Dr Stanisław Deskur and Zootechnics Institute in Balice – Horse Breeding Department – for BoberTeam for the needs of the project Polish Equestrian Legends. Copyright reserved.

Click the links below to go to the Polish Digital Equestrian Library (will open in a new tab):

„Hodowla koni w Polsce (VI)” (2004) – Stanisław Deskur

„Ramzes” (1968) – Tadeusz Marchowiecki

Rodowód Ogiera Ramzes

red: English Thoroughbred horses
blue: Arabian horses and purebred horses
black: Arabian and Anglo-Arabian horses