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|Beautiful Riding Horses…|
…CMK Preservation Breeding
“It’s wonderful how they trust you,” said the sport horse judge to the owner-handler, as our country-mouse fillies were introduced to the big outside world at Murieta Equine Center. (It was not all experience: Crystal Naiah (Najih x English Crystal by Abu Malacar) placed first in the filly class and reserve champion sport horse prospect in hand.) We take this as symbolic of our responsibility for the horses: both their individual well-being and their continued existence as a breeding group.
The New Albion program began to take its current shape here in northern California in the fall of 1980, growing out of Arabian horse ownership from the early 1960s. We typified each of the once-traditional pathways toward Arabian breeding: the Bowling horses in Maryland reflected my experiences with a sterling purebred gelding, while the Trommershausens’ Colorado program began with a half-Arab mare. Bellatrix and the Babera family are long gone, but the riding horse goals and the pedigree elements which produced them still are basic to the New Albion program. We chose outside sires specifically to complement the foundation mares, and our own dam lines have produced four of our senior stallions; the exceptions, Trilogy and *Seffer, came from Craver Farms and the Worth Stud in England—programs we have been studying and following for decades.
The New Albion motto of “Beautiful Riding Horses” has been validated repeatedly, by in-hand winners and by companion riding horses and successful competitors in a range of disciplines. We are particularly well pleased at the acceptance of New Albion Arabians in sport horse and endurance circles. Our “Jewel in the Crown” is Judy Reen’s Najih gelding Benjih, who topped an already distinguished record by winning the 2000 Tevis Cup for first place finish in the oldest and still most prestigious of the hundred miles in one day endurance rides. Benjih still is competing successfully—earning 15th individually at the Pan Am ride in 2004—along with Jezireh (Bobby and Maria Wallis) and San Ffrancisco (2002 Tevis completion with Jill Putnam; AERC reserve national championship, fourth place Tevis 2005, with Dennis Tracey).
At New Albion we emphasize the mare lines, and we actively seek out reinforcements of the dynastic matrons. We also work to accumulate multiple sources of any important influence, rather than continually seeking to add new elements—we see as particularly harmful what we have come to call “the cult of the sire” where all breeding decisions are cast in terms of some “sire of the moment.” We are producing and succeeding with horses as much as six generations from our own foundation mares. My first filly was five generations from Skowronek, which makes a comparison to conjure with.
We are a few miles out of the university town of Davis, California, convenient to I-5 and I-80, and just 30 minutes from Sacramento International Airport. It’s always fun to see how visitors and our horses appreciate one another.