Montanan Adele Furby heard about the Shagya-Arabian breed in 1983 in an article called “Shagyas, The Other Arabians” featured in the Arabian Horse World magazine, written by Betty Finke, a German author. The article described this Arabian-bred horse breed as an especially, large, strong, and calm which was developed through 200 years of selective breeding in Austro-Hungary. For more information about the Shagya-Arabian breed, go to the North American Shagya-Arabian Society website at: www.shagya.net.
Adele, whose equine education included growing up riding Hunters and Western horses, jumping lessons in college, Ray Hunt clinics, and college level coursework in genetics and horse management, discovered the art and craft of dressage as a working student for Chilean Olympic dressage master Major Hector Carmona in New Jersey, and eventing as a working student for Yves and Christine Sauvignon in California.
Long a lover of the intelligence, beauty, elegance, grace and toughness of Arabian horses, Adele dreamed of breeding a horse which possessed these special Arabian characteristics along with the power, calmness and balance of the Warmblood and Iberian breeds. When Adele read about the Shagya-Arabians, she realized that the Austro-Hungarians had already created this special breed, and that it would define her horse breeding future. Adele began a search for Shagya-Arabians which culminated in 1984 with her discovery of Hungarian Bravo, a 24-year-old purebred Shagya-Arabian stallion living in obscurity at the ranch of a Hungarian Baroness in western Montana. For more details, read the article, “The Story of Bravo“.
Adele’s discovery of Hungarian Bravo, whose parents had been captured by General Patton (along with the Lipizzaners) and brought to America as prizes of World War II, opened the doors for Adele in Europe with the leading Shagya-Arabian breeders there. Bravo was such an outstanding specimen, representing the best of pre-WW II Hungarian Shagya-Arabian breeding, that the Purebred Shagya-Arabian Society International (ISG) which is the international governing body for Shagya-Arabian breeding worldwide, requested that Bravo be the foundation stallion for the American Shagya breed.
The President of the ISG invited Adele to travel to Verden, Germany, to attend the International Championship Shagya-Arabian Show in the summer of 1984, and offered to help her to find superior examples of the breed which could be utilized in developing the American Shagya-Arabian breed. Adele traveled through Germany, Switzerland, and Denmark, and purchased two purebred Shagya-Arabian stallions — the German stallion *Oman, and the Danish stallion*Shandor. She also purchased three purebred Shagya-Arabian mares — the German-bred *Arriva, the Danish-bred*Aminah, and the Polish-bred *Biala, who was in foal to Danish-bred European Champion Shagal. The five purebred Shagya-Arabians arrived in the US from Europe in 1986, and *Biala foaled the colt *Budapest AF, in quarantine. Adele subsequently imported the Hungarian-born purebred Shagya-Arabian mare Shagya II-2 from the Babolna State Stud in 1994.
In 1986 Adele Furby founded the North American Shagya Arabian Society (NASS). The NASS is the original ISG-recognized Registry for Shagya-Arabians in North America. Strict quality control of the Purebred Shagya-Arabian breed by the NASS and the ISG assure that the traditional standards of the breed are maintained.
Adele (in yellow) judging in 1989 with Dr. Frielinghaus and Anna Aaby at Frauenfeldt, Switzerland
International Shagya-Arabian Judge
Besides maintaining an active breeding program of purebred Shagya-Arabians and Shagya/Warmblood crosses especially suited for dressage, Adele serves as Chairman of the NASS Breeding Committee. Adele was certified by the ISG as a qualified Shagya-Arabian judge in 1989 and has judged national Shagya-Arabian shows in Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, and Venezuela. She has also judged the European Championships for Shagya-Arabians seven times—four times at the Babolna Stud in Hungary, birthplace of the breed, twice at Stadl Paura Horse Center in Austria, and once at the Marbach State Stud in Germany. She completed judging this year’s (2023) European Championship in June, which once again was held at the Babolna State Stud in Hungary.
In June of 2013 Adele also was awarded an honorary membership in the ISG at the ISG International Delegate Conference in recognition of Adele’s work in establishing the Shagya-Arabian breed in America.
In addition, Adele has conducted ten Inspection Tours for the NASS, traveling around America with European Shagya-Arabian judges, evaluating young mares and stallions for their breeding potential, as well as evaluating their offspring.
*Shandor at at the Champagne Classic in Seattle in 1996, where his scores averaged over 70%.
Dressage Prospects Plus More
Adele’s first love is dressage. She, along with many other experts, believe that if one’s breeding aim is to produce superior dressage horses, the breeder will produce a number of good dressage prospects and the balance of the horses will be suitable for the other equestrian sports of hunting, jumping, cross country and endurance riding, as well as carriage driving. Shagya-Arabians have always been a versatile breed since they were bred for military use.
Adele specializes in producing purebred Shagya-Arabians for performance as well as for bloodstock. Adele has also focused on breeding superior Warmblood mares to Shagya stallions to produce Shagya/Warmblood crosses which are especially suited for dressage and eventing.
Adele has produced dozens of purebred Shagya-Arabians, over 150 foals have been born at Adele’s Shagyas.
Read more about Adele’s Shagyas nearly 40-year history and activities:
The south pasture in Camp Verde, Arizona
Formerly situated on 80 irrigated acres in the Moiese Valley of Western Montana, in 2013 Adele’s Shagyas relocated to the lush “Verde Valley” in Camp Verde, Arizona.
Adele now concentrates on offering breedings to five of the exceptional stallions which she produced in her breeding program. She also retained her two favorite mares, Sylvan Star AF (Starwalker x Shagya’s Sisu SF by *Shandor) and Shandor’s Shadow AF (Shagya Royal AF x MJL Shaleez by *Shandor), as well as Shagya Raja AF on the new farm.
Shandor’s Shadow AF
(Shagya Royal AF x MJL Shaleez x *Shandor)
Sylvan Star AF
(Starwalker x Shagya’s Sisu AF x *Shandor)