“The horse that money could not buy”
EL PASO was born on the 27th of January 1967 at the Polish State stud Janow Podlaski. His sire was the twice Criterie-winning CZORT (Wielki Szlem-Forta) and his dam was the legendary ELLORA (Witraz-Elza). Ellora is also the dam of the Polish chief-sires EL AZRAK (sire of BANAT) and ELLORUS (exported to the USA) as well as the Polish National Champion Mare ELEWACJA.
El Paso raced during two seasons at the Warsaw race track. He was no star, but he placed first three times, second three times and third three times out of 19 races. El Paso’s full brother ELFUR on the other hand was a very successful racer, winning the Derby in 1970. El Paso was sent to Michalow as a five-year old to begin his breeding career. The Director Ignacy Jawarowski described him as “a beautiful, correct stallion with that special WITRAZ-look”.
When El Paso’s third foalcrop was born in 1975 Lasma Arabians in USA was interested in buying him. The Poles considered the quality of his offspring were so good that they refused to sell him and stated that he was not for sale at any price. El Paso then was to be called “the horse that money could not buy”. As Lasma had been interested in El Paso ever since he was born, they did not take no for an answer. They finally agreed on a three-year lease and in October 1975 El Paso arrived in the US.
El Paso was nine years old when he was shown for the first time. Gene LaCroix showed him and he became the 1976 Scottsdale Champion Stallion. Because he was booked for the whole season, he was not shown until the US Nationals in Louisville, Kentucky. There El Paso went on to be 1976 US National Champion Stallion. To market El Paso further, Lasma leased one of his daughters among his first offspring at Michalow. WIZJA (Warmia) was shown as a four-year old and went on to be 1977 US National Champion Mare, one of the most prestigious titles a mare can win. Wizja was on lease to Lasma to be bred to BASK (Witraz-Balalajka), but unfortunately Bask passed away. Nevertheless, they got one son together, WIZJON, and he was sold to Ventura Farms. Wizjon is the sire of several champion offspring. Wizja’s second son was by the 1979 US National Champion Stallion ALADDIN (Nureddin-Lalage), WARRANTY. He was sold to Mulawa Farm, Australia, where he later became Australian Champion Stallion. Wizja returned to Poland in 1982 in foal to the Bask-son COGNAC.
Wizja died in 1996 and her replacement is her daughter by ARBIL, WIAZMA. She has proven to be an extraordinary breeding mare. Her daughters WIEZA BABEL (Laheeb) and WIEZA WIATROW (Ganges) have both been named Polish Spring Show Junior Champion as yearlings and Wieza Wiatrow was sold as a yearling as the high-selling lot to Saudi Arabia for $220.000.
Back in Poland, El Paso was the chief-sire at Janow Podlaski during three seasons. In the fall of 1981 the 12th annual auction took place at Janow Podlaski. The auctioneer opened the auction with the spectacular announcement that El Paso was sold to Mr. Armand Hammer, USA for $1.000.000. The horse that money could not buy had become the horse that a whole lot of money could buy! During the auction three El Paso-daughters were offered for sale. High-selling lot at the auction was WERSJA, a full sister to the beautiful Wizja. Wersja was sold to Mr. Murdoch, Ventura Farms for $115.000. He also bought the third high-selling lot GWINTOWKA (Gwardia) for $107.000. The third El Paso-daughter was to follow her sire, a Mr. Hammer bought WILCZYCA (Wadera) for $61.000.
El Paso left 73 offspring in Poland of which 45 have been exported to USA, Sweden, Brasil, Germany, Italy and Holland. Six of this totally 33 sons have been selected as Polish chief-sires. Poland still owns the stallion ETOGRAM (Etruria). He returned to Poland in August 1997 after a two-year lease to Mitbah/Hippark in Sweden. Etogram is 1991, 1992, 1993 Polish National Reserve Champion Stallion, 1994 Polish National Champion Stallion, 1994 Babolna International Champion Stallion, 1996 Norwegian International Champion Stallion, 1996 Swedish National Champion Stallion and 1997 Scandinavian Open Champion Stallion, Blommeröd.
El Paso’s best son is considered to be EUROPEJCZYK (Europa). He raced during two seasons and remained unbeaten. In 1988 he was named Polish National Champion Stallion. Europejczyk was on lease to Meadow Wood, but was later sold to Oakwerth Arabians.
Six El Paso offspring have been imported to Sweden. In 1978 Mr. Erik Erlandsson bought CZAPRAK (Czatanoga), a bay stallion who produced 23 offspring before he was exported to USA two years later. Beit El Kheil Arabians (now SalEx) and Hammargren Arabians bought the stallion CADYK (Cumparsita) right from the Race track in 1982. He was a successful racer during six whole years and began a different career in the showring when he arrived in Sweden. He was shown four times with four wins, four gold-medals and three championships, including 1983 Swedish National Champion Stallion. Cadyk sired 49 offspring in Sweden and was exported to California in 1983 together with his daughter EL MOKKA (Ex Diara). He is still represented in Sweden through several daughters and the stallions EXODUS (Ex Diara) and LEXICON (Lewa).
In 1985 Mr. Tom Stenholm imported FASON (Fladra), former chief-sire at the Polish State stud Bialka in 1982-1985. The last El Paso-son in Swedish breeding was Etogram, who was on lease from Janow Podlaski to Mithbah Arabians and Hippark AB during 1996-1997. In 1996 the Etogram-daughter PROGNOZA (Palestra) was imported to Kullatorp Arabian Stud. She has captured the title of Swedish National Champion Mare in 1998, 2001 and 2003! Two El Paso-daughters have also been imported to Sweden, ESTERKA (Estera) and BOLANDA (Bandama).
Mr. Sven-Harry Karlsson, Royal Sweden Arabians, covered his ALOES-daughter ETRUSKA (Etruria) three times with Europejczyk. The result of this combination was a given success, EXANADU 1990 Swedish National Junior Champion Mare, EGE chief-sire at Royal Sweden Arabians and EFTA ROYAL Regional Junior Champion. Exanadu’s daughter ENZA (by Glaz) has been a valuable broodmare as she is the dam of EUROS (Kulak) 1999 Swedish National Junior Champion Stallion and ESTETICA (L. M. Limaal) 2001 Res. Champion Int. B-show Denmark. Efta Royal is the dam of regional junior champion ETRULA (Kulak) and the successful racer LILLA ENTER (Om El Tanam). Another great Polish-bred stallion with close connection to EL PASO is the chestnut WIGWAM (Probat-Wizja/El Paso). He was named Champion Stallion at the Karlshamn Show in 1994 and later the same year he won his class at the Swedish Nationals with 91.50 points. ELTON (Etnograf-Elizbieta/Cadyk) was placed second in the same class. He represents El Paso on his maternal side through Cadyk. Elton is a class winner at the Scandinavian Open, Blommeröd as well as at the Swedish Nationals. He has also been elected the Arabian of the Year in Harness Driving. 1994 Swedish National Champion Mare DEKORACJA (Europejczyk-Dubrawa/Penitent) was the high-selling lot at the Silent Sale in the 1993 Polish Prestige sale. She is owned by Mitbah Arabians.
Gene LaCroix, Lasma Arabians, explains that the strength in El Paso as a breeding stallion is that he strongly inherits his strong back and perfect croup, his well-set tail carriage and extraordinary neck. El Paso’s offspring is successful as well at the Race track as in the show ring or in a performance-class. He is the sire of six Stakes-winning sons in Europe, one of them is Europejczyk, the winner of Sabellina, Sambor and Porownawcza Stakes as well as the Polish Derby. In USA is there the El Paso Syndicate Race Futurity Money, who rewards the most successful El Paso-offspring during the year with $50.000. Town & Country Farm have had great success when they have bred El Paso-daughters to the ETAP-son WIKING. El Paso had his last home at Town & Country Farm where he was put to sleep on March 13 1995. He has totally 516 offspring in USA, of which 27 are Polish-bred.
Some of his most successful offspring in USA are:
BOTAAN (Sherribask) 1984 Scottsdale Reserve Champion Stock Horse 1984 Canadian Champion Stock Horse 1984 Canadian Top Ten Working Cow Horse 1985 US Top Ten Stock Horse 1988 Canadian Champion Cutting Non-Pro and Cutting Open
MARK IV ICECAPADE (Mark IV Escapade) 1984 US Reserve Champion Informal Combination 1984 Canadian Champion Pleasure Driving 1984 Canadian Top Ten Informal Combination
MAGIC VF (Basks Maria) 1986 Scottsdale Junior Champion Stallion 1994 Scottsdale Reserve Champion Stallion ZADYMKA (Zamiec) 1983 Scottsdale Reserve Champion Mare 1985 Canadian Top Ten Mare
ERROS (Eskapada) 1978 US National Reserve Champion Stallion
El Paso’s offspring and descendants have been sold to different countries all over the world. Despite this El Paso’s influence in Poland is well provided for with his get and grand get who carries on his legacy.