There is a saying that quality goes before quantity and that saying does certainly apply when it comes to the progeny of the beautiful Gaskonia. This grey mare was born in 1987 at Michalow Stud in Poland and she was destined to leave only 4 offspring but with 3 of them becoming chief sires she live on through her sons.
Gaskonia is a daughter of the celebrated Gizela (Palas x Gilza/Espartero) and by the great producing sire Probat (Pohaniec x Borexia/Exelsjor). Probat was bred at Blommeröd Arabian Stud in Sweden in 1975 and was leased during two periods to Poland to reintroduce the line of Kuhailan Afas through Comet (Abu Afas x Carmen/Gwarny) through his son Pohaniec (out of Planeta/Nabor). Gaskonia was produced during his second time in Poland before he was exported to USA. Probat was a very valuable sire and a very good producer of both sons and daughters. Three of his sons have been Polish National Champion – Garnizon (out of Glownia/El Paso), Fawor (out of Fatma/Anarchista) and Pamir (out of Parma/Aswan) and three of his daughters, including Gaskonia, have been Polish National Champion Mare, the other two being Egzotyka (out of Elana/Elf) and Empressa (out of Emfaza/Eukaliptus).
Gaskonia´s dam Gizela has been one of the best producing Palas-daughters and a direct daughter of the great mare Gilza (Espartero x Gastronomia/Marabut). Gilza produced 13 foals at Michalow before she at the age of 20 was sold to Weatherford Farm in USA. Gilza is the dam of the mares Gildia (by El Paso), Gitana (by Eskimos), Gąsawa (by Probat), Grenada (by Set), Gernika (by Pesennik) and the 3 full-sisters by Palas – Gizela, Giemza and Getynga.
Gizela was foaled in 1977 and like many of the members of the Gilza-family she was a good racehorse and spent 2 seasons at the race track with 14 starts (5-4-2-1) of which 2 wins were in Stake races. She produced one foal every year expect in 1991 before her untimely death in 1996. Her two first daughters, Geneza and Giza, were both by Pepton (Bandos x Pemba/Czort) and they were excellent race horses with Geneza winning both the Criterium and the Oaks in 1987. Giza is the dam of Gepard (by Pamir) 1995 Derby winner. While Geneza was sold to USA Giza was retained at Michalow, but unfortuntately she passed away in 1995 which was a huge loss for the stud.
Gizela´s daughter Garonna (by Fanatyk) won the Oaks in 1989 and she is the dam of Ganges (by Monogramm), who proved himself in both racing, performance as in the showring and his offspring has been successful in all fields as well proving how strong this dam-line is producing beautiful athletes.
Gizela´s two last foals were the full-sisters Georgia and Gehenna by Monogramm (Negatraz x Monogramma/Knippel). Gehenna was sold to Australia in 2006 and Georgia was sold to Athbah Stud in 2015 leaving her daughter Galilea (by Laheeb) to carry on her legacy at Michalow. Galilea is a World and Polish National Champion Mare.
Gaskonia was raced for two seasons with 19 starts, 1x1st, 5x2nd, 5x3rd and 4x4th. When she returned from the race track she was chosen to be bred to the great Russian stallion Menes (Nabeg x Metropolia/Priboj). Born at Tersk Menes was sold to Aries Arabians in USA and then in the beginning of the 90´s he came back to Europe to stand at stud at Kossack Stud in Holland. Michalow bred the maiden mare Gaskonia and she produced a tall, handsome chestnut colt in 1993 named Gaskończyk.
Gaskonczyk was raced for two seasons with 19 starts (2-3-1-2-3) and in 1998 he was sold to Ismer Stud in Germany. He was the winner of the Stallion licensing in Germany and a Golden Premium Stallion. He had already proved himself at the racetrack but the Ismer family put him through the tough 70-day test which he passed with glory scoring impressive 100,61 pt. Gaskończyk is the grandsire of double Endurance World Championship and European Championship winner Nobby. Gaskończyk was later leased to Saudi Arabia and unfortunately he passed away in 2010.
In 1995 Gaskonia had a filly named Garsoniera (by Wojslaw) and she was sold to a private breeder in 1999 after returning from the racetrack. She has produced three foals for her owner Agricola Arabians (earlier Tarus Arabians) – the colts Garfild (by Emigrant) in 2000 and Graham (by Eldon) in 2002 and the filly Georgiana (by Pegasus) in 2008.
Unfortunately Garsoniera would be Gaskonia´s only daughter, but even if she was sold without any produce at Michalow Gaskonia´s legacy is carried on by her two sons born in 1996 and 1998, Grafik (by Eukaliptus) and Gaspar (by Emigrant). After these two great colts Gaskonia did not produce any more foals.
Grafik was raced for two seasons with 15 starts (3-5-1-1-1) and he is a great athlete and Michalow´s most successful dressage horse, competing at the top level. Grafik also holds the record as the horse awarded with the most Polish National Reserve Champion titles, he managed to do that four times (2002, 2005, 2006 and 2007) before he finally claimed the title of Polish National Champion Stallion in 2008. Grafik has also been Champion Stallion in Belzyce and Falborek, International Champion Stallion in Poznan and Warsaw Summer Show Champion Stallion.
Grafik started out his breeding career at Jadem Arabians in Belgium in 2001 and then he was standing at Michalow 2002-2004. In 2005 he was stationed at Grabów Stud and in 2006 at Roslonce Stud. After that he returned to Michalow where he has been standing since.
Gaspar was raced one season with 7 starts (0-0-0-0-1). Gaskonia greyed out very late and the same can be said about Gaspar, who still at the age of 18 had dark mane, legs and croup.
Gaspar is a very charismatic stallion and at the age of two he was Polish National Champion Colt and Best in Show at Bialka.
He has also been Warsaw Summer Show Champion Colt in 2001, 2002 Reserve Champion Stallion in Wintzenheim France, Champion Stallion in Belzyce and in 2006 he was named Polish National Champion Stallion.
Gaskonia was shown the same year and at the age of 19 she looked absolutely fantastic and wowed both the judges and the crowd with her movements, her correctness and her classical Arabian type. It was to no ones surprise that she was named Polish National Champion Mare and Best in Show. She would also go to the history books as the only mare to achieve this honor at the same show where her two sons claimed the Polish National Champion and Reserve Champion titles when Gaspar and Grafik respectively was awarded.
Gaspar was at the beginning of 2016 sold to Manny Vierra, Valley Oak Arabians in USA. Manny also owns Gaspar´s great sire Emigrant (Ararat x Emigrantka/Eukaliptus).
Michalow Stud has three daughters of Grafik and Gaspar at stud, Emiriona (Grafik x Emmona/Monogramm), Dębowa Łąka (Gaspar x Dębowa Góra/Laheeb) and Flaminia (Gaspar x Filistia/Gazal Al Shaqab).
Even if Gaskonia has not produced a foal since 1998 she has an important role at the farm. She has been the nanny to several orphaned foals, the last being the young colt Polimer in 2015. This son of Equator (QR Marc x Ekliptyka/Ekstern) lost his mother Polonica (Ekstern x Panika/Eukaliptus) when she tragically passed away. Polonica was a full-sister to Palanga and the dam of the great Piacolla (by Enzo). Polimer was placed with Gaskonia and she took cared of him and loved him as her own.
Gaskonia was the oldest Arabian mare at Michalow and a favorite among many visitors. Her best friend was 29-years old Ernestyna (Piechur x Erwina/Palas), the dam of Ekstern. It was always wonderful to see these two old grand ladies out in pasture enjoying life and to know that even if neither of them got a lot of foals (Ernestyna had also only four foals), their legacy are carried on by the great sons they produced. It is all about the quality in the breeding and the knowledge to treasure it.
Mere six days prior to her 31th birthday Gaskonia passed away this morning at Michalow where she spent her whole life, a loved mare that will be missed and never forgotten. Rest in peace sweet Gaskonia…