This 1856 lithograph of Amurath 1829, discovered by Paul and Sandi Loeber while on a visit to Marbach in 1950, became the image of the Arabian horse they wanted to produce. AMURATH 1829 was, according to history, one of the most influential sires in Europe in the early 1800’s, and so the Loeber’s borrowed the name as the prefix to identify the horses bred by them. AMURATH 1829 was the leading stallion at the Weil Stud in Germany from 1833 to 1857. The Loeber’s mare, *SANACHT, imported from the Weil Marbach Stud in Germany, carries this breeding.
With the birth of *Sanacht’s first foal , the Loeber’s began to use the AMURATH prefix to identify the foals bred by their Plum Grove Farm, a highly successful program that lasted for over 40 years. The Amurath horses won countless National Championships and their influence has been worldwide, appearing in the pedigrees of important breeding programs around the world.
AMURATH is a registered trademark in the United States.
How did *Sanacht become one of the top champion producers in the breed?
How did she consistently produce daughters who produced National Champions and National Top Tens?
How did the *Sanacht line continue to produce excellence in the fourth and fifth generations of broodmares and show horses of today?
To better understand the story of how this mare line was continuously bred in a state program, comparable to the Polish studs, for 146 years prior to *Sanacht’s importation, please take a few minutes to read this brief history.
by Mary Jane Parkinson
The recognition of *Sanacht as America’s leading producer of champion offspring echoes back through the decades to the royal signature of King William I of Wurttemburg, Germany on the “Supreme Decret of 30 th September 1817.” That stroke of the royal quill declared the domains of Weil, Scharnhausen, and Klein Hohenheim as a private royal stud, and established Weil Stud as William’s personal domain within the larger complex.
William’s appreciation for the Arabian breed began with the desert-bred Arabian stallion Emir, who served as his personal charger in the Napoleonic Wars, and at the time of the decree, William already had his Arabian foundation mare, the grey MURANA I of the Seqlawi Jedran strain. She was foaled in the desertin 1808 and imported in 1816 by the Hungarian Baron von Fechtig (also the importer of Emir) for the King’s summer residence and horse breeding farm at Scharnhausen. In 1817, at William’s direction, von Fechtig brought in from “the Orient” seven more mares and the stallions Bairactar and Tajar. Two years later, Count Waclaw Rzewuski of Poland secured eight stallions and twelve mares for Weil.
Within five years, William’s stud included 18 purebred mares, ten colts, and 13 fillies. The stallion Bairactar became the foundation sire and the senior stallion, thereby bringing prominence to William’s efforts. Any animals that failed to come up to the required standards were immediately discarded, and mares lacking quality or refinement were eliminated from the breeding program. When William died in 1864, Weil Arabians were considered the best in Europe . Over the decades, as Weil Stud peaked and then declined, Murana’s line continued to be valued. In 1932, with the stud in grave financial state, William’s granddaughter, the Princess zu Wied, presented Weil Stud to the State of Wurttemburg . Four stallions and 13 mares made the move from the mild climate of the Neckar Valley to Marbach State Stud on the Lauter River in the highlands of the Swabian Alb. Only one of the original mare lines developed at Weil was selected for the move to Marbach – that of Murana I, the oldest mare line in Europe.
In the year following the move, Murana’s descendant Soldateska (Souakim x Sylphide I by Amurath 1881), foaled the filly Jatta. Her sire was Jasir (Mabrouk Manial x Negma by Dahman), a stallion bred by Prince Mohamed Ali’s Manial Stud in 1925 in Egypt and imported by Princess Pauline in 1930 in an effort to upgrade the stud. Jatta, said to be of classical beauty and conformation, played an important part in the rebuilding of the stud after World War II. In 1955, Jatta foaled Hathor, a grey filly sired by Halef, a bay stallion bred at Janow Podlaski State Stud in Poland in 1937, taken to Germany during World War II where he stood at Achental Stud for a time; he was leased to Marbach for the years 1951-1956. Halef was of the Krzyzyk sire line via Enwer Bey, a son of the lovely Koalicja. Halef’s dam, *Kasztelanka (Kohailan I x Bialogrodka by Orient) was one of the Polish-bred mares chosen by Henry Babson in 1937 for the first importation of Polish Arabians to the United States, and her contribution to American breeding includes her grandson Fadjur. Halef was noted for siring beautiful, tall, long-necked, flat-crouped daughters – andHathor maintained the reputation for him.
For her first foal, Hathor went to the Marbach stallion, Hadban Enzahi, a grey Nazeer son imported to Marbach in 1955. The directors at Weil-Marbach had come to appreciate the siring abilities of Jasir during his years there, and so Hadban Enzahi with his related bloodlines – both were of the Saklawi I sire line, and both trace to Mabrouk Manial – became a welcome addition. Hadban Enzahi brought new manifestations of Arabian type to the Marbach program and soon increased the reputation of the stud for producing type and beauty.
On February 25, 1960 , Hathor foaled a grey filly, who was named SANACHT, the thirteenth female in direct tailfemale descent from Murana I.
Sixteen months later, after a two-week trip across the Atlantic, *Sanacht’s crate was swung off a freighter and she and a two-year-old Marbach-bred colt stepped into a two-horse trailer parked on the dock in New York.
*Sanacht’s new owners, Paul and the late Sandi Loeber, had more than the usual curiosity about their import. *Sanacht was purchased sight unseen. *Sanacht’s ancestors, however, were well-known to the Loebers. Paul’s father, the late Martin Loeber, made yearly trips to his native Germany , and frequently visited Weil-Marbach Stud. In 1962, to satisfy his wish for a stallion for his personal mount, Martin purchased a two year old son of Hadban Enzahi. At the suggestion of Dr. Georg Wenzler, director of the stud, Martin selected a traveling companion for the colt – Shari, a yearling filly and *Sanacht’s full sister – Shari to be imported by Paul and Sandi Loeber based on their knowledge of her sire and dam. When Shari became ill and could not be shipped, Dr. Wenzler substituted *Sanacht.
“Those two were on the lean side when Sandi and I picked them up,” Paul remembers. “All the basic framework was there, but they weren’t show horses by any means. After a few days in quarantine in New Jersey, we brought them home to Plum Grove Farm (Palatine, Illinois), and turned *Sanacht out to pasture and just let her grow up.”
Grow up she did…and beautifully. In 1966, *Sanacht was Northern Illinois Arabian Show Champion Mare and soon added several other halter championships, all shown by Sandi Loeber. “Sanacht just had no holes in her,” says Paul. “If you walked around her, looking for conformation faults, you couldn’t find one. Some horses of her day had longer, more shapely necks, but hers was in nice proportion to her body. Plus she had a great set of legs, wonderful shoulder, good depth of heart, and a super topline and croup.”
“….after five generations, we’re still seeing *Sanacht in the foals . Her prepotency has diminished very little,” says Paul, “due, in part, to the hybrid vigor of the Polish/ Egyptian cross in *Sanacht’s pedigree. Whether we bred her straight Egyptian or straight Polish, the foals were very much *Sanacht. She was one of the two or three percent of mares so genetically clean that you couldn’t breed her to a stallion that could cause her to produce something you wouldn’t want. She never missed, “a reflection of all the hundreds of years of breeding and culling at Weil-Marbach Stud..”
“We never have to worry about breeding to improve a head or lay back a shoulder or flatten a croup or straighten a leg. With the *Sanacht line, those solid building blocks are always there.”
As an older mare, “her conformation and her coupling were so good that she never sagged in the middle. She was a show champion after her seventh foal. In the barn, *Sanacht was the sensible, kind, intelligent, and sweet mare, and everyone loved her.”
….Excerpt from Arabian Horse World, September 1992
Coming Soon – The Story of the *Sanacht Daughters, Plum Grove Farm, and Breeders Martin, Paul and Sandi Loeber.