For nearly 200 years Count Wacław Rzewuski’s famous manuscript "Sur les Chevaux Orientaux et provenants des Races Orientales" has intrigued Orientalists, Arab scholars, historians and equestrians. At the conclusion of the Napoleonic Wars, Europe’s horse-breeding industry was in shambles; nearly all of the great government- and privately-owned Studs had been completely ravaged. Their herds were so degenerated and depleted that suitable a horses for the military, commerce and transportation were in very short supply.
In 1817, this wealthy and audacious Polish magnate, obsessed with the beauty and unique traits of the hot-blooded oriental horses, abandoned his wife and opulent estates to embark upon an intrepid journey into the very heart of the Arabian Peninsula.
He arrived in those desolated, unexplored regions precisely at the time when the Wahhabie Wars where being waged by the bloodthirsty Ibrahim Pasha on behalf of the Ottoman Sultan. During the next two years, Count Rzewuski rode and fought alongside the truculent Bedouins. He became an Emir and a larger-than-life personality whose daring escapades have inspired many romantic legends. He was the first European to penetrate and travel through Arabia’s vast, uncharted Najd Desert and into the ominous Schammar Mountains. During his quest to obtain authentic Nejdi bloodstock, Rzewuski acquired 137 stallions and mares for the Royal Stud of Württemberg, Tsar Alexander I of Russia, the French National Stud at Pau and his own Sawran Estate in the Ukraine. The descendants of those horses profoundly improved and influenced the breed on a global scale and their legacy endures to the present day.
MANUSCRIPTUM Publishing House
37 Domaniewska Str., 02-672 Warsaw, Poland