When I was a little girl, I was Arabian horse obsessed. Because I couldn’t talk my parents into allowing me to ride every minute of every day, when I wasn’t in the saddle, I was pouring over issues of the Arabian Horse Times. I had a notebook that I carried with me everywhere that I went, which contained drawings of the horses that I saw in those glossy magazine pages. Recently, I came across that notebook, and as I opened the cover, a folded image of my number one Arabian obsession fell out…It was the legendary chestnut stallion *Padron.
I’ve never seen a horse look more beautiful at 30 years old than Padron. He was, and will always be, the stuff of legends.
All the best fairy tales begin in a picturesque village… *Padron was foaled in 1977 at the Dutch Stud in the village of Kerkdiel, Holland. Patron (three time Dutch Champion) and Odessa, sire and dam respectively, were both athletic, beautiful and quite successful in their own rights, and the union produced a horse that had an almost unnatural “type” and cadence in the show ring. *Padron was extraordinary from his first breath, winning the title of Dutch Champion at only 3 months old.
Born into a life destined to shine brightly beneath the lights of a show ring, *Padron won three more major championships in Holland before being exported to the United States in 1978, where he quickly caught the eye of Donna and Robert Stratmore. Robert has been quoted as saying, “He had the ideal presence, such that you at once knew that he was an extraordinary horse.” It wasn’t long before *Padron arrived at Make-Believe Farms in Alamo, California.
In 1980, *Padron met the man who would propel him toward stardom, David Boggs. Boggs is one of those people who simply has a gift when it comes to horses. He had a knack for sizing up an animal and seeing not just what it was, but what it could become. His immediate connection with the horse that would become arguably one of his greatest triumphs was no exception. During this time, Polish and Egyptian bred horses were really beginning to take a backseat to Russian bred horses. Boggs realized that *Padron was truly the next step in the evolution of the Arabian Industry, and he quickly set out to prove his notion in the ring.
The stories of Boggs and *Padron in the show ring are akin to that dream-like image that is conjured when thinking of the perfect Arabian. “At the time, there were a lot of beautiful horses being shown, but *Padron put on an entire performance when he came into the ring. You could see the history there, and also the future,” Marla Robertson said. The team went on to conquer every major title in North America, including Canadian National Champion Stallion in 1981 and Scottsdale and U.S. National Champion Stallion in 1982.
A change of ownership sent *Padron to the legendary Lasma Arabians, but their Polish focused breeding program left little room for the Russian star; he was only bred once while there and the stud colt was gelded. That’s when it happened…David Boggs and John O’brien had a vison, and in the same year the most expensive syndicate in the Arabian horse industry was created for the sum of 11 million dollars with *Padron at the center and Boggs and O’brien as the major owners. History was made.
*Padron put on an entire performance when he came into the ring. You could see the history there, and also the future.
*Padron’s progeny includes over 700 purebred horses, with more than 50 National Champions and 12 International Champions. The fingers of his influence are still wrapped around the heart of today’s Arabian horse world with new legends and the likes of “Magnum Psyche”, “Psymadre”, “Padrons Psyche” and “Psynergy”, to name a few, leading the charge. *Padron lines traditionally combine well with Polish, Spanish, American, Russian and Egyptian programs, and his blood is to this day a cornerstone of many a notable breeding program.
*Padron retired at Jabar Stud in Georgia, and lived to be just over 30 years of age. “I’ve never seen a horse look more beautiful at 30 years old than Padron. He was, and will always be, the stuff of legends,” Denise Sorenson said after *Padron’s final birthday party. Countless pages in my childhood notebook were dedicated to drawings of this horse, with his sharply dished face and expressive eyes, but I never really got it right; I simply could not transfer the soul of a thing of such extraordinary beauty and history onto the page.
Images: Main (30 Years) – AHA | Under Saddle – anzapadron.com
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