I have had the great opportunity to grow up with Arabian horses next door and this have led to a life filled with joy and great friends. Brita and Rolf Axelsson at Wilkesbacka Gård started their Arabian breeding in 1967 and they are the breeder of Edjora (Exelsjor-Edessa/Pietuszok), the dam of US National Champion Mare Kajora. I spent all my free time there since I was 12 years old and I had the great fortune to learn all about breeding, showing and training. The horses of Wilkesbacka were of pure Polish bloodlines and I learned to love all about the strength and beauty of the Polish Arabian.
In the summer of 1985 when I was 15 years old, I worked at Cavallo Arabian stud. I wanted to learn more about this wonderful breed and I finally got to attend my first National show. At Cavallo I had the fortune to work with the Polish-bred stallions Figaro (Negatiw-Fortunata/Branibor) and Dylemat (Gedymin-Doliwa/Comet) and my interest in the Polish Arabian horse increased.
When I graduated from school I decided to work with horses. I worked at Beit El Kheil Arabians and had one of the best teachers when it comes to Polish Arabians, Erik Melander. We had several outstanding horses at stud, including the stallions Etnograf (Engano-Etna/Faher), Karnawal (Etap-Kasta/Wielki Szlem), Parys (Tryptyk-Parma/Aswan) and Exodus (Cadyk-Ex Diara/Exelsjor). The mare-collection was impressive with Ex Diara (Exelsjor-Diara Mokka/Wielki Szlem), Salamalaika (Algier-Salexja/Exelsjor), Zadra (Dambor-Zamiec/Czardarsz), Zaduma (Bandos-Zadra/Dambor) and Epopeja (Palas-Eskapada/Nabor) and their daughters.
During the summer of 1988 I worked at Ekströms Training Stable. We had 17 horses in training and the highlight of the season was Parys – 1988 Swedish National Champion Stallion and 1988 World Reserve Champion Stallion and Saleta (Etnograf-Saldara/Dardir) – 1988 Swedish National Junior Champion Mare. Other horses in training were Etamina (Ellorus-Etna/Faher), Etheria (Palas-Etamina/Ellorus) and Eleis (Banat-Elewacja/Celebes). I worked with Carmen Romes (Vanier Arabians, USA) and we had Greg Hazlewood as the handler at the Nationals.
My first visit to Poland was in 1989. Horses like Zazula, Palas, Eukaliptus, Europejczyk, Kawalkada and Wizja made a great impact on me and since then I have made this trip as often as I could. I simply love the country, the people and their extraordinary horses! Poland is the place where I have met some of my very best friends and it is hard to not fall in love with this country.
I bought my first mare Sapala (Cadyk-Saldara/Dardir) in 1991 from SalEx Arabians (former Beit El Kheil Arabians). Salaterka by Elton is the daughter I have chosen to continue her legacy. I got the wonderful opportunity to have the exquisite Wiona (Angor-Warszula/Palas) from Kullatorp Arabians in 2002. She was a beautiful mare with a lot of her expression from her legendary dam Warszula.
In 2019 I bought my own farm together with my love Erik. We have two daughters of Salaterka in our breeding program – Silencia (by Ecaho) and Sharda (by Ganges) as well as Sharda´s 2020 daughter Shamira (by Ecaho) and 2022 daughter Shapala (by Marwan). Erik bought his first horse in 2020, Gazqoria (Equator x Gazira/Eldon) and she is a part of our breeding program with her daughter Giulia (by Marwan) as well as the two lovely white mares we lease from Kullatorp Arabian Stud – Calma (Ecaho x Calisia/Eukaliptus) and Chaya (Nader Al Shaqab x Confidentia/Lekier) and the stunning bay Espinoza (Marwan Al Shaqab x Estetica/L.M. Limaal) on lease from Arvak Nord. We have been blessed with two daughters from Calma – Calima and Celina, both by Marwan.
In 2020 we leased the stallion Marwan (CE Magnum x Margotka/Algorytm) from the legendary Blommeröd Arabian Stud and we had 4 beautiful foals in 2021, 5 foals by him in 2022 and expecting 2 foals in 2023.
One of my big loves has always been the legendary Ecaho (Pepton x Etruria/Palas) and ever since I saw him win the Polish National Champion title in 1995 he has been one of my all-time favorites. I was lucky to own him for his last years together with Mr. Joaquin Bin but unfortunately we lost him in August 2019 at the age of 29. The same year Janów Podlaski had 10 foals born sired by Ecaho and among them one was particularly interesting, a grey colt out of the amazing Pinga (Gazal Al Shaqab x Pilar/Fawor) named Poter. I went to look at him as a foal but the the pandemic then stopped me from going to my frequent trips to Poland. I was stunned when I saw in March 2021 that they put up 5 Ecaho-sons for sale at a monthly auction and that Poter was one of them. I put in a bid in the auction and was lucky to win the auction and I was overwhelmed by joy when I welcomed Poter to our farm in April 2021. He got his first offspring in May 2022 – Chayla (out of Chaya) and is expecting 4 foals in 2023.
I knew early that I wanted to work as a journalist and a photographer and I have had the great opportunity to do it with Arabian horses! I really love to capture the beauty of the Arabian horse and the challenge to get the best shot possible on each horse. My work makes it possible to travel and meet lots of fantastic people and their horses. I feel very fortunate to be able to work with the things that I love most.
For inquiries please contact:
Anette Mattsson – Mattsson Photography
+46 70 753 10 75