Tag Archives: Huntington

Towards an Appreciation of CMK Identity

by Michael Bowling © Copyright 1997

CMK stands for “Crabbet-Maynesboro-Kellogg” and recognizes three programs which transmitted much of the central stock of what became North America’s historical Arab-breeding tradition. “CMK” is a registered US trademark; rather than discouraging others from using it, we urge them to do so, as long as such use is in keeping with the CMK definition. The CMK Record newsletter grew out of the general interest in these horses in 1981, without attempting to define specific pedigree limits for CMK but emphasizing North America’s historical using Arabian tradition. Rick Synowski, announcing the first CMK Heritage Catalogue in 1982, sent out a call for listing stallions which could trace

“in at least 75% of their pedigree to foundation stock of Crabbet Stud [including its Egyptian branch, the Sheykh Obeyd Stud], the Hamidie Society, Spencer Borden, Randolph Huntington, Homer Davenport, W.R. Brown and Kellogg.”

The definition was first modified during the preparation of that Catalogue to recognize the importance of the Selby and Hearst programs. The current definition, acknowledging a threat of genetic bottleneck in the trend to breed Arabians almost exclusively for narrowly focused show-ring applications, added a further qualification. A CMK Arabian must still carry a minimum 75% by pedigree of CMK founder ancestry as above. It must also trace in tail male to a CMK sire line, as summarized in the third CMK Heritage Catalogue of 1992, and in tail female to a family established in North America by 1950. A previously unstated assumption is now made explicit: CMK breeders will tend over time to increase the average founder percentage in their programs above the minimum 75%.

Note that the CMK movement exists to bring together the supporters of traditional Arabian breeding. Specialized aspects within the tradition, such as straight Crabbet, GSB, or Jockey Club, or programs based on preserving the influence of individual breeders or sires such as Never Die Farm or Gulastra, all fit under the CMK umbrella. Note too that we are committed, if the overall CMK pedigree definition should change in the future, that it can only go in a more inclusive direction.

The CMK Heritage is a working preservationist movement emphasizing the beautiful using and companion horses that earned the breed its reputation for versatility, adaptability and soundness. The vision which informs our activities traces originally to the travel writings and the imported horses of the Blunts and Homer Davenport–CMK Arabians are distinctive for their Blunt and Davenport character. Very strong elements descend from the two over-arching cooperator breeder circles of the 1950s and 1960s, founded by H.H. Reese (Old California breeding) and James P. Dean (the Midwest circle). At the same time we value, and seek to preserve, other CMK ancestral elements, including old sire lines from Maynesboro and other sources which were not well represented among the Reese and Dean programs, and consequently have become rare. One healthy undertone to the CMK approach is a respect for the regional flavor of traditional breeding; we emphasize working through local action groups to preserve genetic diversity, and oppose national and international trends toward genetic homogenization.

The Crabbet Arabian Stud was founded in1878 by Wilfrid and Lady Anne Blunt after their desert journeys. Foundation horses from the Bedouin tribes were blended with those descending from the legendary collection of Abbas Pasha I through that of Ali Pasha Sherif–the Egyptian “Pasha” breeding may be seen as an early influential cooperator circle. Although the Crabbet Stud no longer exists as a physical entity the Crabbet heritage prospers in the hands of dedicated breeders throughout the world. The influence exerted by the Blunts and their daughter Lady Wentworth through their writings is a further international unifying theme. Crabbet breeding was continued by Lady Wentworth, who added the Polish outcross Skowronek; and after her death from 1957 to 1971 by C.G. Covey. North America possesses a rich and diversified sampling of both the Blunt and Wentworth aspects of Crabbet breeding. Thanks are due to the early importers Spencer Borden, W. R. Brown, W. K. Kellogg (represented particularly strongly through the horses of the Old California Reese circle) and Roger Selby (especially through the Dean circle), and to farsighted breeders who have added important later Crabbet elements to North America’s gene pool. Virtually every Crabbet foundation animal still represented today in world pedigrees can be found in the background of North American Arabians. Maynesboro, the New Hampshire establishment of W. R. Brown, and the Pomona, California ranch of W. K. Kellogg, played key roles in transmitting the Crabbet heritage. At the same time, Brown and Kellogg like Lady Wentworth used Arabians from other sources compatible with the Blunt foundation. Their goal: combining Arabian quality and breed character with sound structure and performance ability.

The importance of Crabbet breeding must not leave one thinking “CMK” is somehow “the same as Crabbet” or, worse, a diluted form of Crabbet. Too many people outside the CMK ranks have the idea that “it’s all Crabbet” if they don’t know what else to call a pedigree element. In that mental fog the straight Crabbets, their subsets and their GSB and Crabbet-old English associates, lose their distinctiveness and are in genuine danger of losing their existence. A point that grows out of CMK’s recognition of the fine distinctions, is the appreciation of the specialty programs both in their own right and for combining with other CMK elements.

A major contribution to the uniqueness of North America’s Arab-breeding tradition was made by the 1906 desert importation of Homer Davenport–nearly all the Davenport influence in modern pedigrees comes via horses that passed through the Kellogg Ranch. Other direct Eastern sources have enhanced this development and contributed key individuals to the Reese and Dean circles. Likewise the 1947 Hearst horses from Syria and Lebanon blended beautifully with Kellogg and Maynesboro stock already at San Simeon, and their influence is valued in ever-widening circles.

The legacies of Donoghue and Lewisfield (Friendship and Al-Marah and Gainey; McCoy and Shalimar and Sunny Acres, Lodwick and Skyline those breeding programs which grew out of the Reese and Dean circles) are treasured within the CMK movement, even though CMK was defined after the fact. They transmitted the heritage and appreciated the vision of the Blunts and Davenport. They differed in accidentals, according to the horses they started out with and which mare lines happened to be more prolific or to suit a particular sire. They also came to differ more basically in terms of individual vision.

Some breeders have the “eye” for combining horses and some don’t, but even if two people are equally good at that, each will develop a personal preference–or they did in the days when we had breeding programs (cf Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard, “we had faces then“). The nature of biology is variation–there never was a time (nor will be) when all horses of any set were/are identical and beyond criticism (and note that those ideas are not the same anyway). We all prefer the better individuals of any line to the worse, but common sense should tell us we can never reduce an aspect of the Arabian breed to one individual, and still maintain that distinctive kind of horse. Preservation means recognizing that you either have a particular genetic entity, or you don’t. It means breeding good individuals within a coherent biological reality.

Most importantly, the CMK Heritage aims to produce and to promote beautiful, companionable horses with real performance ability. This was the vision the Blunts and Davenport brought home from the desert; this was Brown’s reason for having the Maynesboro horses take part in the Army endurance competitions, retiring the Mounted Service Cup; this was what W.K. Kellogg had in mind when he presented his ranch and horses to the U. S. Remount. This is the central idea of the Crabbet/Maynesboro/Kellogg tradition; pedigrees are meaningful only to the extent that the modern horses reflect their ancestors. The horses represented at the Northwest CMK Symposium in 1994, at the 1996 Springfield, IL Preservation Breeding Symposium, and at other such exhibitions, clearly illustrate that the CMK concept is a practical success.

For an updated version of the CMK definition see: The Arabians of the CMK Heritage.

A Tribute to Randolph Huntington

In the Arab horse world…

A TRIBUTE to Randolph Huntington

by Anna Best Joder

from The Arabian Horse News June 1977

(Additional pictures have been added to original article)

Randolph Huntington of Oyster Bay, NY was one of the earliest breeders of the Arabian horse in America. In 1888 Huntington imported the chestnut mare Naomi.

Foaled in 1876, Naomi was the result of mating Yataghan and Haidee, two Arabs brought to England by Major Roger D. Upton. Major Upton selected these two Arabs himself from the Gomussa tribe. He had been commissioned by Albert G. Sandeman M.P. and Henry Chaplin M.P., to bring a group of horses from the desert. The cost of importing this group of horses was $62,000.00 in gold.

Major Upton wrote “Newmarket and Arabia,” published in 1873, and “Gleanings from the Desert of Arabia, published in 1881. When Major Upton died, Naomi went to Sandeman who sold the mare to the Rev. F. Furse Vidal. At the suggestion of Lady Anne Blunt and the Hon. Etheldred Dillon, Rev. Vidal, when he retired from the church, offered Naomi to Huntington. The Rev. Vidal later said that Wilfred S. Blunt had tried to get Naomi by trading another mare for her but Rev. Vidal did not feel that any one of three mares that Blunt offered in trade was at all equal to Naomi.

Huntington accepted the sale by cable at once—although the price was “strong” as he remarked. After Naomi was in America, Huntington was offered three times her purchase price for her return but he refused.

To go back a ways: in 1879, the Sultan of Turkey, Abdul Hamid II, had given two purebred Arabian Stallions, *Leopard and *Linden Tree to General U.S. Grant. The stallions were later registered as Nos. 233 and 234 respectively, by the AH Registry of America. Since Grant had been president of the United States, it was not unusual that he be so honored by the gift.”

Having spent considerable time in trying to locate Seward’s two Arabians, with no results, Huntington was compiling a book about Old Henry Clay—at just the time the two Arab stallions given to Gen. Grant arrived in New York. Gen GE.F. Beale cared for the two Arabs at his place, “Ash Hill,” near Washington, D.C.

Huntington went to see *Leopard and *Linden Tree and was very impressed. He tells about these horses in his book, “General Grant’s Arabian Horses,” published in 1885. Later Huntington bred some mares to these two stallions.

While yet in England, the lovely Naomi was bred to Maidan by the Rev. Vidal, and produced a filly, Nazli, foaled May 17, 1888. It was later that year that Naomi came to the U.S. She was not bred in 1889, but in 1890, Huntington took her to the court of *Leopard, one of the Gen. Grant Arabians.

Huntington also bought the desert-bred racing stallion Kismet from the Rev. Vidal. Kismet was sent to the U.S. in 1891 but died very shortly after landing in New York [age 14]. This was a great tragedy to the Huntington breeding program.

Another book has come to our hands, “The Arab—the Horse of the Future,” by the Hon. Sir James Penn Boucaut, with a preface by Sir Walter Gilbey, Bart. The latter was the author of a great many books on horses. Sir James Boucaut lived in Adelaide, Australia. The book, published in 1905, tells of the many troubles that (this) advocate of the Arab horse had in trying to convince others that the Arab should be used as the foundation of all good horses. In this book, The Arab… we found some marginal notations that have made us ponder for a great while. Finally we have decided that those notations were made by Randolph Huntington—that at sometime he had this very book in his possession and so he made notations.

Page 206 has a paragraph that tells of the things that happened to Huntington just when he was finding that the Arab was gaining in popularity. The book says, quoting a reporter, Mr. Bruni, on Oct. 26, 1901:

“…after being neglected for many years, there was evidence that the Arab horse is again coming into favour, and he mentions that at the present sale of American Arabs in New York, bred by Mr. Huntington, an average of $1,840.000 (358 pounds) per head was obtained. Mr. Huntington is referred to in Mr. Speed’s article in the Century, as having fought single-handed for almost a quarter century against the prevailing opinion adverse to the value of the Arabian blood….”

The hand-written notation on the border of the above paragraph, in the hand of Randolph Huntington, says:

The Century for Sept. 1903. I complied with his request for interviews because he (Mr. Speed) was a Kentucky gentleman in hard times after failure of Harpers Bros., on whose staff he had been.”

A few pages later:

“Mr. Speed proceeds to inform us that among the breeders of horses in America Mr. Randolph Huntington has been known for more than forty years, who had always held that blood influence was all-important in breeding, and that kindred blood, when pure, could not be too closely mingled. (Harkaway, with forty-four strains of the Godolphin, for example.) Mr. Speed says that Mr. Huntington, being a man acquainted with the history of the horse in the world as well as in America, held that the potent blood in every European type, a well as American type, was of Eastern origin; he therefore hailed the coming of the Grant stallins, and prepared to make use of them by securing some half-dozen virgin Clay mares, themselves rich in Arab blood. With General Grant’s consent, Mr. Huntington bred these mares to *Leopard and *Linden Tree, and in a little while had a small collection of the greatest possible interest. He persevered in this for fifteen years, and had developed what he called an American Arab or a Clay Arabian. They were splendid animals—large, shapely, strong, fast, and kindly. Unfortunately, according to Mr. Speed, Mr. Huntington had associated in the ownership of the horses with a New York lawyer—alas, a lawyer!—who proved, in 1893, to be one of the most noted defaulters the United States has known. Mr. Huntington was among the victims, and so his valuable and interesting collection had to be sold and dispersed….”

Again in the marginal notes of Huntington in the book we possess, he says:

“Francis H. Weeks, the defaulter and my treasurer robbed me of every dollar; left me penniless.”

In spite of all of this Huntington was able to start again. Evidently he had kept Naomi and he began after a brief delay, with his usual courage to open negotiations with the Rev. Vidal for the purpose of importing more of the same blood in a group of individuals comprising Nazli, daughter of Naomi; Garaveen, Naomi’s grandson; and Nazlis’ son, Nimr. The Rev. Vidal accompanied this group of horses to New York to insure their safe landing. This was in the spring of 1893.

Huntington apparently didn’t use Garaveen 224 at all, but must have sold him to J.A.P. Ramsdell of Newburgh, NY, as the stud books show Ramsdell as the breeder of eleven foals by *Garaveen; seven mares and four stallions. Ramsdell used only three mares to breed to *Garaveen: Seven times to *Nejdme 1, (desert bred); three times to Nonliker 3 (*Shahwan 241 x Nejdme 10); and once to *Rakusheh 242 (El Emir, G.S.B. x Raschida G.S.B.). The stallion *Shahwan and the mare *Rakusheh were imported by Ramsdell.

Randolph Huntington had wanted to start or develop a National horse for America. He argued that:

“England, Scotland,France and Russia each had a typical horse capable of reproducing its type with excellence in any land to which it may be exported. They are the Thoroughbred racehorse, the Clyde, and the Percheron draught-horses, and the Orloff trotting-horse. Every one of these types is a thoroughbred in its country, based upon the Arabian; and, exported to any land, will reproduce itself physically and instinctively, which our time-standard bred horses will do at present.” This from “General Grant’s Arabian Stallions.”

Things were not easy for Randolph Huntington and he comments on this in the General Grant book:

“Had I anticipated the abusive condemnation I was to draw upon myself, and the privatations suffered, resulting even in financial embarrassment; in the end, through a necessary holding of the stock for the purpose of just estimation of individual values before reproduction,—in fact, a thorough knowledge of the blood instinct, with constitutional fitness for reproduction in each individual case,—added to which was to be incessant physical and mental application, without one single day of rest, with now and then sporting-paper attacks upon an exceedingly sensitive nature, I hardly think my courage would have been equal to the undertaking; nor would it have been except through faith.”

Again from the same book he is very outspoken:

“I have abundantly shown that both the English race-horse and the French Percheron were created by man from God’s horse, or Arabian. It is no sacrilege to say God’s horse, for HE made the Arabian, from which man made the mongrels.”

Much credit is given to Count Orloff in this book by Huntington:

“Let us now go to Russia and inquire into their national horse. It is called the “Russian Orloff” trotting-horse. This horse should be an argument to the American people. Russia, like America, is a vast territory, and has use for general purpose horses such as have speed at the trotting gait and can endure for long distances. They, too, as a people, wanted what they had not got for work purposes, and particularly the road. They tried the English running-horse, only to prove to themselves, as have we, that he was no good except to run races.

“It seems unfortunate that individuals should be called upon to fight, single-handed, battles for important improvements through rediscovery or inventions, but that is God’s will.

“To Count Alexis Orloff is due the Russian trotting-horse bearing his name. The Count imported an Arabian stallion, and by him created a type, through in-and-in breeding after his first outcross. Do not understand by first outcross as one single get, but from selections from all the get of one horse out of differently bred mares. Thus, Count Orloff used Danish mares of low type and English mares, that blood being at the time strongly the affinity or Arabian blood.

“At the time of Count Orloff’s death he had a family of thoroughbred trotting-bred horses, which the people had learned to value so high that the government purchased the entire collection late in the forties, or in 1845.”

In going on to explain that Count Orloff refused to sell any stallions and how he sympathized with him, Huntington says:

“…Men knowing the burden I was financially carrying, and desiring to help me without putting their hands into their own pockets, would urge me to sell, bringing friends to buy the very choicest of my stock which had just reached an age for reproduction, and which being close bred to purification, were my life in the enterprise…”

To quote again from the Boucaut book:

“He (Huntington) started again, and his small collection was added to from England by Nazli, a pure-bred Muneghi-Hadruji Arabian mare, with which, and other accessions, he pursued a course similar to that previous to the dispersal of his collection, until now he has some forty head of horse, pure and half-bred Arabs, and which Mr. Speed states to be the most promising chance that the States have had in some forty years to establish an American type of high character.”

Following the breeding of Naomi to *Leopard 233, she produced a chestnut stud colt in 1890, named Anazeh 235, then her later foals were: Nejd 236, ch. st., foaled 1894 sired by Naomi’s own son, Anazeh. Khaled 5, ch. st., 1895 by Nimr 232, Naomi’s grandson, Naomi the II, 4, ch. mare, 1896 by Nimr., Narkeesa 7, ch. mare, 1897 by Nimr., Naressa 252, ch. mare, 1898, by Anazeh.

*Nazli 231, sired by Maidan and foaled in 1888 was imported in 1893 with her son Nimr 232, sired by Kismet 253. In 1895, she foaled a chestnut filly, Narrah 256, sired by Anazeh. Her other foals were: Naaman 116, ch. st., 1896 by Anazeh., Nazli 6, ch. mare, 1897, by Anazeh, Nazlita 8, ch. mare, 1899 by Khaled, and Nazlet, 161, ch. mare, 1900 by Khaled.

From the above listing, it will be noted that after coming to this country Naomi was bred once to Leopard, three times to her son Anazeh, and twice to her grandson Nimr. Her daughter, Nazli, after the one foal by Kismet, was bred to her half-brothers; three times to Anazeh and twice to Khaled.

We have already mentioned that Huntington believed that it was important to keep the blood closely mingled, so it was, evidently not by necessity that he did so much in-breeding. In a number of his letters, and in his advertising, he always stressed the fact that he had a group of horses “of one family blood” and it was his intention always to preserve a group whose blood was “intensified” by being inter-bred in the same family. It should be recalled that at that early date, little was known outside of Arabia about the different family strains and their special value so Huntington should be credited with great powers of observation in his pioneer breeding experiments.

Huntington’s hopes were not realized beyond a comparatively few years through no fault of his as he was soon faced with old age and a set of conditions which made it impossible to carry out his plans. Some of the descendants of the original foundation can be found in present day Arabian horses.

Probably the most in-bred of the Huntington horses was Khaletta 9, who has Naomi four times in her pedigree. She was sired by Khaled 5, who was out of Naomi by Nimr 232, a grandson of Naomi by Nimr 232, a grandson of Naomi. On the bottom line Khaletta was out of the granddaughter of Naomi, Nazlina 6, who was sired by Anazeh, Naomi’s son. We traced to some foals bred in our own time by the Leland McKeels and Ruth Owen Loge of California.

The Case of the Blunt-Davenport Correspondence Part II: A Shoddy Affair

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Blunt-Davenport Correspondence

Copyright 1991 by Charles Craver

published in the Sept 1991 Arabian Visions

Used by permission of Charles Craver

In the August issue, the “Baker Street” series contained an article by Debra and Jerald Dirks presenting an exchange of three letters dating from 1906 and 1907 between Lady Anne Blunt of England and Homer Davenport of the U.S. Commentary on these letters was reserved to the present writer for this issue of Arabian Visions.

In these letters, as in others, communications between Lady Anne Blunt and Homer Davenport were cordial and provided a reasoning exchange of thought. Lady Anne starts in an apologetic mode because the fact is that in prior correspondence with Spencer Borden, and before she knew anything on the subject other than gossip and hearsay, she had made some comments about the Davenport importation. These comments were not in themselves so bad, but they were used selectively by Borden to create a red hot controversy in the American Arabian horse community.

In a letter which we do not have, Davenport obviously had contacted her on the subject directly, and her reply to him begins this series of correspondence.

The differences between Lady Anne Blunt and Homer Davenport were really misunderstandings, and rather easily resolved. Beyond that there were considerable shared observations about the Arabian horse and experiences in Arabian travel. Lady Anne observed that Davenport’s travel experience confirmed her observation of the difficulty of travel in Arabia, and she commented on Davenport’s good fortune in having the sponsorship of the Turkish government, personal pluck, and a favorable season for desert travel, in that the Anazah were relatively accessible to contact by travelers in the heat of the summer. Lady Anne and Davenport discuss the role of a prominent sheikh, “Hashem Bey,” in Arabian desert politics. It is observed by Lady Anne that Davenport’s use of the word “chubby” corresponds to what she gives as the Arabic word “shabba,” meaning suitable to breed from.

Lady Anne points out that Davenport’s report that only 600 of the 6000 horses he was told of in the desert were in the “chubby” or “shabba” category confirms her observation of the need for caution in making purchased of horses in the desert. Lady Anne indicates her suspicion of Arabs as big as fifteen hands, and indicates that this height is an exception in the desert and in her own stud. Davenport confirms her observation, saying that among the Arabs, the best horses are from 14:2 to 14:3 hands high.

A number of other letters have been preserved from Lady Anne concerning Homer Davenport. Her tone is invariably polite and positive. The final item of action from her on the subject occurred when she translated and authenticated the pedigree of Davenport’s mare *Urfah 40, so that this mare and her son, *Euphrates 36, would be acceptable to the Jockey Club for registration in its stud book.

The letter in this series from Homer Davenport to Lady Anne Blunt is typical of his attitude towards her. In this letter and in other commentary of record, he obviously felt great respect for her as a person and as a breeder of Arabian horses. He quietly addresses several points upon which he feels there are misunderstandings, and makes a comment which can be used as explanation for much of the success of his trip to Arabia:

“I don’t believe that I was misled, or had misrepresentations made to me by any of the men around me, as owing to the Irade from the Sultan, and the three strong personal letters which I carried from President Roosevelt, they accorded me every honor…”

If these two people could have kept their exchanges of thought to each other they would have gotten along fine, and Arabian history of the era would have been more simple. Both of them from time to time said things to other people which would have been better unsaid. Lady Anne was jealous of her reputation as an unique expert on the Arabian horse, and she appeared to have had an underlying conviction later shared by her daughter, Judith, that no horses but her horses were real Arabians. Homer Davenport had foibles, too. He was an old-fashioned newspaperman who painted his thoughts with a broad brush, and there was decidedly a bit of P.T. Barnum in his soul. He was inclined to speak of his own horses in superlatives. Most of what he said was factual, but there was a measure of what we consider to be hype. All this came out in a series of interviews published in the New York Times about his importation of horses. Anne Noel Blunt’s lady-like teeth were obviously set on edge.

Several other pioneer American breeders of the time took the occasion to stake out their individual territory in the Arabian horse scene. They each had their own horses to promote: The Randolph Huntington group, who wanted to breed larger, Mu’niqi-type horses, felt that theirs were the only worthwhile kind of Arabians, and they had a further ax to grind with Davenport, probably based on personal conflict between him and Randolph Huntington. Davenport had adversely caricatured Huntington’s relative and benefactor, Collis P. Huntington, in public newspaper cartoons, and had published an article which was unfavorable towards the Huntington horses.

Another breeder, Spencer Borden, was a major customer of Lady Anne and Wilfrid Blunt, from whose Crabbet stud he had imported most of his horses. Borden was an “establishment” sort of person who appears to have felt that he had bought his Arabians from the best Arabian stud in the world, and he did not take kindly to the notion that some newspaperman could go to Arabia and come back with real Arabian horses that were competitive with what he had bought in England. Typically, Borden remained in the background of controversy, but he was a strong and persistent influence against the establishment of the Davenport bloodlines in America.

With this explosive combination of personalities, American Arabian breeding became complicated. There were newspaper exchanges, challenges for competition, horse-show disputes, bitter letters. The Jockey Club and even the USDA and Congress became involved.

Final resolution began with the establishment of the Arabian Horse Club of America, but the influence of the controversy between those early breeders has continued over time, although, of course, weakened, which is appropriate for something of no substance to begin with.

Some of the arguments from those early days still turn up now and then, usually as snide remarks from one side or another. Thus Raswan published an article called “Blunt vs. Davenport Arabians.” Lady Wentworth (Judith Blunt Lytton) makes disparaging remarks about the Davenport horses. Even now, one of Lady Anne Blunt’s current biographers cannot write about the Davenport importation without negative asides that are contrary to her own written remarks to Davenport and others. Some breeding programs are even influenced on the basis of the arguments that started in 1906 and followed the continuity from Spencer Borden through W.R. Brown, Judith Lytton, H.H. Reese, and Reese’s ideological heirs.

Too bad. Homer Davenport and Lady Anne Blunt got along fine, and they seemed to be in good agreement about horses. Without “friends” to stir up trouble between them and between them and and others, they each had a contribution to make a beautiful breed of horse. This occurred despite all the unnecessary help. Many feel that both the Blunt and Davenport Arabian bloodlines reach their peak expressions of Arabian beauty when combined with each other, and the fact is that much of the best of the Blunt heritage is found primarily in combination with the bloodlines that Homer Davenport brought from Arabia in 1906.

The Ever Expanding Crabbet Universe

The Ever Expanding Crabbet Universe

Copyright 1991 by R.J.CADRANELL

from Arabian Visions March 1991

Used by permission of RJ Cadranell


Words are defined in one of two ways: the first is by long-standing and widely accepted dictionary definitions. The second is according to how a word is actually used in the living language. As a word’s new meaning gains wider and wider acceptance in first the spoken and finally the written language, dictionary writers must acknowledge at last what is happening in the real world, and amend their volumes. The meaning of many words has changed over time, reflecting changes in society at large.

For example, the word “access” has traditionally been a noun. We speak of the access to a highway or building, or of gaining access to information. The advent of computers has changed this word into a verb: “Will you hold please while I try to access that for you?” is something one hears over the phone these days, when calling to make inquiries. An “access” is no longer just something we can see or acquire; accessing is now a thing we can do.

There’s nothing new about words changing their meanings. The Old English word “dysig,” meant foolish or ignorant. Its modern descendant, “dizzy,” means unsteady or light-headed. To call a person “dizzy” and mean “scatterbrained” is a slang expression, ironically close to the word’s original meaning.

If there were a dictionary of words used in conjunction with Arabian horse breeding and showing, adding a new definition to the word “Crabbet” is something its writers would have to consider seriously. The way the word is used today in conversation, advertisements, and magazine articles tells us that its meaning has changed dramatically.

In the middle of the eighteenth century, Crabbet was the name of an English estate in Sussex. When Sarah Gale married Samuel Blunt in 1750, the Blunt family acquired from her several estates, including Crabbet Park. Samuel Blunt’s son, William, was the father of Francis Blunt, who was the father of two boys. The elder brother died in 1872, at which time the younger brother, Wilfrid Scawen Blunt, became the owner of the Crabbet estate. Wilfrid Blunt was then age 31. Nearly three years before he had married Lady Anne Isabella Noel King-Noel. In November of 1877, Wilfrid and Lady Anne Blunt set out for Syria to buy a horse of the same blood from which the Darley Arabian had come. Before the year was out, they had hatched a plan to transplant specimens of the Arab breed to England and breed them there.

The first Arabians arrived at Crabbet Park in July of 1878. The spring of 1879 saw the first breeding season, and the first foal crop arrived in 1880. The official name of the horse breeding venture was “The Crabbet Arabian Stud.” In less formal parlance, the Blunts spoke of “the Crabbet Stud,” and among themselves of “the Stud.” Over the years they bred hundreds of Arabians at Crabbet, adding new bloodlines until approximately 1904.

Although for years catalogs had been issued with the name of the Crabbet Arabian Stud on the cover, it wasn’t until 1909 that the General Stud Book (GSB), the registration authority in England which handled the Blunt stock, published a stud book crediting foals to the “Crabbet Stud” as breeder. Prior to that time, they had been attributed either to “Mr. W.S. Blunt” or “Lady Anne Blunt.”

Lady Anne Blunt’s death in 1917 touched off a legal battle over the horses, fought between her husband and daughter, Lady Wentworth. In 1920, Lady Wentworth gained possession of the horses. She added new bloodlines, most notably the stallion Skowronek, and continued the operation of the stud until her death in 1957.

In 1924, Lady Wentworth issued a catalog under the name “Crabbet Arabian Stud.” Later she preferred to call her operation the “Crabbet Park Stud.” Breeder credits in the GSB reflect this change. Beginning with the 1949 edition, the credits read somewhat grandiosely, “The Wentworth, Crabbet Park and Burton Studs.” (Burton Park was the name of a Thoroughbred stud Lady Wentworth had bought during World War II.)

After Lady Wentworth’s death the horses passed to her stud manager, Cecil Covey. The horses he bred are credited in the GSB to the “Crabbet Arabian Stud.” He didn’t stable them at Crabbet itself, but rather at nearby Caxtons and Frogshole Farm. More than 1600 acres of the Crabbet estate, including Frogshole, was sold at auction in 1916. Lady Wentworth bought back Frogshole about 1929, and it was left to Mr. Covey, along with the horses. He also inherited Caxtons, a property “on the southern side of Crabbet Park, about half a mile from the house,” to quote Mrs. Archer in The Crabbet Arabian Stud, Its History and Influence. Mr. Covey’s breeding program was far smaller than that of the Blunts or Lady Wentworth. Highway construction forced the final dispersal of the stud in 1971.

Today, hardly a horse is now alive that was bred by the Crabbet Stud. If a “Crabbet Arabian” is one that was bred by the Crabbet Stud, there can be at best only a handful still living.

But Crabbet means much more than an Arabian horse bred by the Blunts, Lady Wentworth, or Cecil Covey. The name “Crabbet” has come to apply to an entire bloodline within the Arabian breed. Today some people specialize in breeding Arabians of ancestry tracing in every line back to the horses of the Crabbet Stud. A few people have horses bred only from the stock of the Blunts. Others choose to breed equally Crabbet horses making use of one or more of Lady Wentworth’s additions of foundation stock to the herd: Skowronek, Dafina, and/or *Mirage. Some expand their pool of Crabbet blood to include the descendants of Dargee, a horse with a pedigree showing only part of the Crabbet herd.

Horses from Crabbet were known as “Crabbet Arabians,” both to give credit to their breeder (and to acquire some of Crabbet’s luster), and to distinguish their bloodlines from those of other Arabians. The gene pool the Blunts assembled was unique. It is impossible to prove relationships between Blunt desert bred horses and anyone else’s desert bred horses. The Blunt stock is a distinct and self-contained part of the foundation of modern Arabian breeding. The horses the Blunts acquired in Egypt might have close pedigree ties to the horses of the various princes, but again exact relationships are for the most part impossible to prove. In this way, “Crabbet” is used as a handy term to identify a distinct group of bloodlines. (Skowronek’s pedigree does show that he was related to other Polish lines. Admirers of Crabbet and Poland will probably never resolve the question of to whom he really belongs.)

Miss Dillon and the Rev. F.F. Vidal were among the first Arabian breeders to make use of Arabians from Crabbet, for crossing with Arabians obtained from other sources. The horses from these crosses continued to be interbred with horses from Crabbet Park, sometimes for ten or more generations. This raises a sticky question: when, if ever, should a horse resulting from such crossing earn the title of “Crabbet Arabian”?

Many people have answered this question for themselves, by referring to any and every horse from the English Arabian breeding tradition as a “Crabbet horse.” British studs founded largely but not entirely on Crabbet blood (like Hanstead and Courthouse) produced an Arabian closely allied to those bred at Crabbet, but yet not exactly the same. For many, there is no reason not to blur the distinction.

North America has and always has had a particularly rich and diverse Arabian gene pool. Almost from the beginning, horses bred at Crabbet have been a part of it. *Raffles, *Raseyn, *Serafix, and *Rissletta are among the most famous of the many to have made significant contributions to American Arabian breeding. The Crabbet imports (and part-Crabbet imports) were combined with virtually everything else in our stud book. At one time the distinction between what had come from Crabbet and what had not was fairly easy to make. But time passed and these horses receded into the back lines of pedigrees, and finally dropped off entirely. What seems a subtle distinction is made less and less frequently. “Crabbet” has started to become a generic term to describe all of the older American breeding, much of which actually derives from the Crabbet Stud.

However, many of the older American lines of Arabian breeding have little or nothing to do with the Crabbet Stud. The Davenport and Hamidie imports, Huntington’s breeding, the lines to Mameluke, El Emir, Ishtar, and/or Kesia II behind some of the Borden imports and *Nuri Pasha, Maynesboro’s French mares, the Rihani horses, and individual animals like *Nejdran, *Lisa, and *Malouma are among the older American pedigree elements. When examined on a case by case basis, all of these are emphatically non-Crabbet. But when eight, ten or twelve generations back in a pedigree filled with significant Crabbet horses, it is temptingly convenient to blanket the whole thing with the label “Crabbet.” And in practice, many people do.

There is a further complication. Horses tracing back in all lines to Crabbet Park are today relatively scarce. In contrast, there is an abundance of predominantly Crabbet horses exhibiting many of the most admired traits traditionally associated with Crabbet stock. The World Symposium on Crabbet Breeding, held several years ago in Denver, issued a reference book containing pictures and pedigrees of some 180 horses owned by interested parties. Of these, fewer than 25 had pedigrees going back to Crabbet Park in all lines. Nevertheless, all 180 merit the label “Crabbet bred,” as the Symposium applied it to them.

“Crabbet,” as a term to describe the bloodlines from the Crabbet Stud, is not falling into disuse. Instead, the word is taking on an added meaning.

  Web cmkarabians.com

Antezeyn Skowronek 5321

by Michael Bowling (copyright)
originally appeared in the Oct. ’76 issue of the Arabian Horse World

Antezeyn Skowronek in May 1976 at age 27.
He is by Abu Farwa (Rabiyas x *Rissletta by Nasem) and out of SHARIFA (Antez x Ferdith by Ferseyn).

Antezeyn Skowronek was foaled 21 April 1949, bred by E. J. Boyer of Puente, California. He was sired by the quite literally unforgettable Abu Farwa 1960, a horse that can’t be done justice in short space. Briefly, Abu Farwa is one of the most strongly positive breeding influences on the Arabian horse in this country. His get and descendants excel in quality and conformation, and they continue to compile an impressive record in all fields open to the breed, both in and out of the show ring. Abu Farwa was an early product of the famed program of W. K. Kellogg; his sire was the end result of years of breeding for quality and athletic ability by Randolph Huntington and W. R. Brown in this country with basically English stock, and his dam was one of the most elegant individuals ever imported from Crabbet Park. He had the quality and ability for which he was bred, and he passed it on with great success in breeding.

SHARIFA 2798, dam of Antezeyn Skowronek, was not famous as his sire was—in fact she had a rather short breeding career and is best known for this one son. His success as a breeding horse indicates she must have possessed considerable genetic merit, for no sire, not even one of the magnitude of Abu Farwa, can get breeding horses without some cooperation from the mares he is bred to. Pictures and eye-witness accounts of SHARIFA show a very smooth compact mare with a beautiful big-eyed head. She had a fine disposition and was a good riding horse, certainly traits to value in the dam of a prospective foundation sire.

SHARIFA’s pedigree is less consistently English than Abu Farwa’s; her sire was one of the famous early “straight Davenports” and was trained for the track, setting records in speed trials. He has proven one of the most valuable outcrosses to English blood in this country, Antezeyn Skowronek being just one of many successful results of this blend. SHARIFA’s dam FERDITH was the first foal of the former top sire FERSEYN, and remains one of his best achievements; she topped an early-day California production sale and went on to produce many outstanding Arabians, including a remarkable lineup by ABU FARWA. It will be most interesting to read Carol Mulder’s article on FERDITH and her produce when she gets to her numerically, as she knew this group of good horses well. FERDITH’s dam ARDITH founded a good family in the Northwest; she was a great-granddaughter of *ABU ZEYD, called by Lady Anne Lytton the most beautiful son of MESAOUD, so crossing back to the top of the pedigree.

[Note added in 1999: Ardith’s paternal granddam Domow is registered, impossibly, as the bay daughter of two chestnut parents. The latest investigations confirm that her dam line matches that of the chestnut *Wadduda, so this *Abu Zeyd connection is no longer supported by the evidence. The sire of Domow is being sought among the bay stallions in Homer Davenport’s possession in 1912. MB]

The rest of ARDITH’s background was again the Davenport desert group—so Antezeyn Skowronek’s pedigree represents English breeding outcrossed with two highly successful American lines of closer desert derivation.

This pedigree produced a remarkable horse who offers an illustration of the fact that the most worthwhile horses do not always get an opportunity to have brilliant show careers. Antezeyn Skowronek won his class at Pomona as a yearling and as far as I know never entered a show ring again. He has spent the rest of his life as a breeding stallion, although as a mature horse he was started under saddle and proved a willing and enjoyable mount for trail and pleasure riding in his spare time.

After winning that colt class he was purchased by Carleton Cummings and taken to Idaho where he stood several seasons, his first foals arriving in 1952. He was used on Mr. Cummings’ mares and on some Kellogg mares at the University of Idaho during this period. Some time after 1955 he was moved to Spokane, Washington where it seems he remained for the remainder of his owner’s life; it was at this time, the Arabian population of Washington being a bit higher than that of Idaho, that he stood to some outside mares. At Mr. Cummings’ death the horse went into retirement for a couple of years, returning to active duty in 1965 on lease to the Synowski Ranch in Oregon. He was purchased from the Cummings estate by Lois Selby Perry, spending one season on lease at Glenwood Farm in Iowa on the way to Connecticut and the Perry establishment.

Antezeyn Skowronek was not used to sharing his world with a number of stallions and did not thrive at Perrys’; he was made available to the Illings of Twin Brook Farm in New York, first on lease and eventually by sale. In January of 1975 he made what is expected to be his last move and change of ownership; he is now “alive and well in Waldorf, Maryland” and being used lightly at stud. He observed his 27th birthday quietly and shows every sign of planning on at least a few more.

Listing the Antezeyn Skowronek get and descendants of note is simply beyond me in the time at hand—besides, I don’t have the whole October issue to fill with their stories. Rather than offend some by mentioning others I will risk offending all by limiting myself to general statements. Antezeyn Skowronek and his sons have sired many winners in halter and performance in Arabian and open shows, Antezeyn Skowronek is on the Leading Sire list (he is accounted the third leading siring son of Abu Farwa) and has founded a strong male line, with many sons and tail male descendants represented every year by Class A winners. His get and descendants include regional and Legion of Merit champions and U.S. and Canadian Top Tens at halter and performance, and National Champions in performance. He is, simply, a fine sire and an influence for good on the breed.

The story of Antezeyn Skowronek has been 27 years in the telling (leaving out the years of prologue before his birth) and this short sketch is hardly an adequate summary.

NOTE: I sincerely thank all those who participated in this tribute, and apologize to those who would have taken part had they been notified, or notified sooner.

(Ad recreated from the one appearing with 1976 Antezeyn Skowronek article)

July 1976 at age 27 (with Martha Baines)

Antezeyn Skowronek

is alive and well

and living in

Waldorf, Maryland

Visitors Welcome — Young Stock For Sale

Call weekends (AC 301) 645-5547

Michael Bowling

Box 1332

Frederick, Maryland 21701

 and still siring foals like these:

(Ad recreated from one appearing in the Arabian Visions, Jan-Feb, 1993)

Abu Farwa 1960 (Rabiyas x *Rissletta by Naseem) working cattle at the Richardson Ranch, near Chico, CA in 1956. Photo courtesy the Wests of Green Acres Arabians.

A recurring theme at New Albion is reinforcing a valued influence through multiple pedigree samples; we do not believe that a single source of any desirable ancestor provides an adequate genetic sampling. Our connections to the great Abu Farwa illustrate this handily. Watch for our new series of ads featuring other major elements in our program.

Abu Farwa, foaled at Pomona, California in 1940, was bred by the W.K.Kellogg institute and has become one of the sires in CMK breeding (and he exemplifies the origin of CMK as a concept: bred at Kellogg’s from a Crabbet-imported mare, while his sire had come to Pomona en utero from Maynesboro). Abu Farwa found his niche in life as a sire for H. H. Reese, the former Kellogg Ranch manager around whom crystallized the Southern California Arabian breeding tradition of the 1940’s and 1950’s. Abu Farwa sired 235 registered foals and became a major force in show and performance breeding; he was selected a Living Legend and his influence still is highly prized where real using horses are valued.

At New Albion we have been fortunate in owning one of the greatest Abu Farwa sons and one of his youngest daughters, in breeding to several of his sons and in working with the Abu Farwa influence through more distant lines. New Albion history parallels that of the breed in general, as in the way we have accidentally lost sources we would rather have maintained (italicized below). We do not claim this to be the ultimate Abu Farwa sampling and it certainly is not meant to be a static thing — there are Abu Farwa sources we would like to add or reinforce. This is where our program stands right now, in terms of one particularly prized founder.

Abu Farwa sources at New Albion (dam and maternal grandsire in parentheses): Tamarlane (Rifanta by Rifnas); Faryn (Ferdith by Ferseyn); Aayisha (Nawari by Alla Amarward); Nirahbu (Nirah by *Ferdin); Shama (Shamrah by Balastra); Abu Baha (Surrab by *Latif); Antezeyn Skowronek (Sharifa by Antez); Awad (Shamrah by Balastra); Farlowa (Farlouma by Farana); Muhuli (Follyanna by Terhani); Shah-Loul(Pomona Avesta by Farana); Galan (Saadi by Rifnas); Miss Nateza (Nateza by *Witez II).

[Additional lines through ’99 include: Riehaba (Amrieh by Kasar), Ga’zi (Ghazna by Chepe Noyon), Rokkara (Sokkar by Rantez) and Lawsouma (Farlouma by Farana).]

Our stallions trace to Farowa, Muhuli, Shah-Loul and Tamarlane. We have retained breedings to the Galan line through a son (out of the youngest Antezeyn Skowronek daughter) and grandson.

Michael, Ann and Lydia Bowling

Claire Bowen Trommershausen

The New Albion Stud

Crabbet-Maynesboro-Kellogg Preservation Breeding

24920 Road 96 Davis, CA 95616


CMK Stallions at Stud and Stock for Sale

*The above area code has been changed,

and the number is now


*Leopard the Arab and *Linden Tree the Barb (Part I)

This entry is part 1 of 6 in the series Leopard and Linden Tree

by Michael Bowling
from Arabian Horse World July 1979
copyright by MICHAEL BOWLING
used by permission of Michael Bowling
first published in the Arabian Horse World July 1979

The story of the Arabian breed in North America is a long and complicated one, and could be approached from any number of perspectives. We are centering on the arrival of the Grant stallions simply because 1979 marks the centennial of their setting foot here—and one of them, *Leopard 233, became the first imported and registered Arabian to leave descent in our studbooks.

*Leopard was by no means the most important stallion ever imported to this part of the world, but he does hold chronological pride of place, and he is not without strategic importance. With the passage of time it is no longer entirely clear just who got whom started in breeding Arabian horses in America, but certainly, just as *Leopard arrived first, Randolph Huntington’s program was the first of the American historical groups to produce horses that bred on into modern pedigrees. It is quite certain that it was *Leopard that started Huntington on his career with purebred Arabians, so any influence Huntington has had, on breeding stock or on ideas of the breed, is owed in fact to *Leopard as first cause. It may well be that, Huntington or no, American Arabian breeding would have had a start in 1893 with the Hamidie Society horses from the Chicago’s World’s Fair—but how do we know that Huntington’s beginnings with the breed did not prepare the way for that group and its barbaric showmanship to make an impression?

In another intriguing sense, which has come clear to me gradually over the course of the pedigree research into *Leopard’s descent, this line of horses is a marker for the “American” breeding groups. Whether they were key individuals of a given line or not, *Leopard’s descendants turn out to have been owned, and bred from, by almost all of the important early-day American breeders—and thus in all but a few of the pedigree-defined “breeding groups” of today, lines to *Leopard will be encountered.

My search for photos of, and references to, the Grant stallions and their get and immediate descendants, has made another indelible impression on me: I now understand, in a way I never had before, that a hundred years ago the horse was a fact of life, a given, so basic and so commonplace to daily existence that next to no notice of it was taken by most people. Witnesses of the time are maddeningly casual in their accounts of the doings and activities of horsemen as related to the horses. Photography was an infant technology and was seldom applied to recording images of horses. A great deal of frustration has been the result, for from a 1979 perspective it seems impossible that horse ownership and the pursuit of a breeding program could be taken so much for granted. (I suppose from the perspective of 1879 the fact that most people today own and drive automobiles and give them little or no thought would seem just as outlandish—and the way things seem headed, our successors of 2079 may find today’s automobile-oriented society just as farfetched.)

At any rate, in the days of the practical horse, history at large is recorded on a basis of horsepower. It seems not to have been thought necessary to record the details of how that power was generated and applied, and the details of individual power units were recorded very seldom. Much of what we do know of the careers of the Grant stallions, we owe to Randolph Huntington’s passion for detail and documentation of horse breeding information. Huntington had a feeling for the existence of a gene pool (a concept no one in 1879 could have defined, but which Huntington understood intuitively) in which individual animals are merely temporary combinations of elements which may be eternal if man allows them to breed on—but which are lost forever without man’s cooperation. Huntington devoted a lifetime to the cause of breeding better horses, and it is most fitting that he be remembered in connection with the centennial of the Arabian in America. An excellent article on his career appeared in the June 1978 issue of this magazine, originating with the Arabian Horse Owner’s Foundation; this is recent enough that is should be pretty widely available, so I will not go into too much detail except as he relates to the Grant stallions.

Our story properly begins with the world tour taken by General Ulysses S. Grant after he served as president of this country. In the late 70’s of the last century it was not a casual project to travel around the world, and the details of the trip would be most instructive. What matters to us in this context is that in March of 1878 the general and his son Jesse arrived in Constantinople (now Istanbul), the capital of the Ottoman Empire.

The published accounts of what actually took place on the day the Grants toured the private stables of Sultan Abdul Hamid II are distinctly contradictory. This is the first instance we encounter in the course of our narrative, of the misty insubstantiality of “fact” given the passage of sufficient time. This is especially true in a case like this, where the subject, a tour of a stable of horses, is of interest to specialists today but was scarcely a major event at the time.

In his memoirs published in 1925, Jesse Grant does not make it clear whether the Sultan was even present when the horses were displayed. He presents his father as asked to pick his favorites of the stallions paraded and naming a pair of bays; when asked his second choice, the general indicated a pair of greys. In his narrative Grant is shown as embarrassed on being told that the grey horses were his as a gift from the Sultan.

Thorton Chard, in a 1937 Western Horseman article drawing on Randolph Huntington’s private papers, quotes Grant’s friend and comrade in arms, General G.E. Bryant, as remembering a rather different story told him by Grant himself. Bryant’s version has the general told, by the Sultan speaking through an interpretor, that he was to be given his choice of the stallions, Grant naming *Leopard. Abdul Hamid II then presented *Linden Tree to make a pair.


  • 1873 – *Leopard foaled in the desert
  • 1874 – *Linden Tree foaled in Abdul Hamid II’s stables, Constantinople
  • Before 1878 – *Leopard presented by Jedaan Ibn Mheyd to Turkish governor of Syria
  • March 1878 – General U.S.Grant visits stables of Abdul Hamid II and is presented with *Leopard and *Linden Tree.
  • May 31, 1879 – Stallions arrive New Haven, Connecticut
  • Summer and Fall 1879 – Stallions exhibited at fairs
  • Late Fall 1879 – Stallions stabled at Gen. E.F. Beale’s Ash Hill Farm, Washington DC.
  • 1889-1883 – Randolph Huntington breeds Clay mares to stallions.
  • 1883 – *Leopard registered to J.B.Houston, New York, NY
  • *Linden Tree registered to U.S. Grant, Jr., New York, NY
  • Stallions shown at New York Horse Show, *Leopard placing first
  • 1884 – Stallions again shown at New York Show, *Leopard again first.
  • 1888 *Naomi imported by Huntington
  • *Linden Tree sold to General L.W. Colby and taken to Beatrice, Nebraska
  • 1890 – ANAZEH foaled
  • Linden Tree Park founded in Beatrice
  • 1893 or 1894 – *Leopard ridden in militia parade by General Colby, probably in or around Diller, Nebraska

An addition to this version of the story has the original “Linden Tree,” chosen by the Sultan, injured before he could be shipped, and replaced without the Sultan’s knowledge with our registered *Linden Tree.

In any event, Chard published a facsimile of a letter from Grant to Huntington documenting that he was given two stallions from the Sultan’s stables, and Huntington himself eventually tracked down their origin in more detail. In his 1885 book on the subject of the Grant horses, Huntington says that “I believed, as will any American, that they must be of the highest possible type. No empire or nation would insult herself by presenting to so great a man, also the one representative man of so great a nation as ours, an inferior gift from its native animal life. General Grant’s Arabs had to be the purest and best.” According to Chard, “breeding the two horses to the same mares produced offspring with such different characteristics that Mr. Huntington was convinced that there was a blood difference, so he began a deliberate search, which after eight years, resulted in information that confirmed him in his convictions and established the facts that Leopard was a purebred Arabian and Linden Tree a purebred Barb.”

*Leopard was a Seglawi Jedran, desertbred by the Anazeh, foaled in 1873 and presented by Jedaan Ibn Mheyd of the Fedaan Anazeh to the Turkish governor of Syria. (Some accounts list Ibn Mheyd as the breeder, but Carol Mulder, with typical caution, makes the distinction that we only know he presented the horse.) This governor then presented the horse to Abdul Hamid II, who in turn gave him to General Grant.

Recall that in the same year of 1878, the Blunts were traveling within the Ottoman Empire, and found that they could not gain access to the best horses of the desert Bedouin while in company with Turkish officials, as the Bedouin feared confiscation of their stock in the name of the Sultan. Presenting that potentate with an inferior specimen would have been a most risky course of action—he owned his subjects’ lives as well as their horses—so we may safely assume that *Leopard was accounted a high-class example of Anazeh breeding.

Other Seglawis of the Fedaan Anazeh figure in modern pedigrees; surely the most distinguished of them is the great ZOBEYNI, the most important breeding horse in the fabulous collection of Abbas Pasha I (another potentate with an eye, and a yen, for the best and rarest, so his possession of Seglawis from the Fedaan is high recommendation). The Blunts’ desertbred KARS, a high-quality individual and the original head sire at the Crabbet Stud, was a Seglawi bred by Jedaan Ibn Mheyd and foaled just a year after *Leopard.

A hundred years ago in the desert, strains were not just name tags—the horses of a tribe were by and large interrelated, and those of the same strain and tribe almost certainly so. *Leopard’s origin is thus in common with that of some of the breed’s most unimpeachable breeding animals. It is most unfortunate that a widely-read 1965 Western Horseman article made a sidelong reference to *Leopard and *Linden Tree and lumped them together as “not, however, purebreds.” In the nature of things, people who would never be tempted to do any pedigree research remember statements like this one, without realizing they have no documentation, and an astonishing number still recall this “fact.” People, it ain’t so!

*Linden Tree was apparently bred by Sultan Abdul Hamid II and foaled in Constantinople in 1874. His Barb ancestors were associated with Abdul Hamid’s family for generations. It seems quite likely—and would support the Bryant version of the presentation story—that the Sultan would like to see a horse of his family’s breeding ranked at least as highly as one he had been given. Thus his singling out of *Linden Tree and sending him along.

These names, incidentally, are purportedly translations of the original Arabic names of the horses, not bestowed by General Grant. *Leopard seems to have been named with reference to his dappling; the origin of the other title has puzzled me since I first heard it.

*Leopard the Arab and *Linden Tree the Barb (Part 3)

This entry is part 3 of 6 in the series Leopard and Linden Tree

by Michael Bowling
from Arabian Horse World July 1979
copyright by MICHAEL BOWLING, used by permission

the horse recommended to me to represent the Colorado Ranger Horse Association by its executive officer, Mr. John Morris. I was very favorably impressed with the CRHA’s attitude, typified perhaps by this choice: STUMP’S GUY is not the horse siring the most foals in 1978, or the leading halter horse of their circuit—but the high point performance horse of the 1978 CRHA National Show. He is incidentally six generations removed from the foundation, Colby-derived linebred CRHA sire FOX II.

This band of Nebraska horses left influential and highly-regarded descent in Colorado, and over the years other horses of similar quality, some with reputed Arab or Barb crosses as well, were added. This resulted in tough, hardy, very able cowhorses which were recognized in 1934 with the name “Colorado Rangers.”

The Colorado Ranger Horse Association, Inc., was founded in 1938, with a charter limitation to 50 active member at a time. This of course made it impossible for CRHA to take part in the tremendous growth experienced by the horse industry at large in the 1960’s, but a belated growth phase is now under way with the lifting of the membership limitation and the institution of a National show.

“Barbaric” colors appeared as the Colby stock and its descendants were linebred and combined with other colorful range stock, and in fact most Rangerbreds today are of Appaloosa patterns and are double-registered with the Appaloosa Horse Club. CRHA itself has never been a breed founded on color, looking on this trait, quite rightly, as unfixable and unrelated to using qualities. In a sense the Appalooa breeders rather took advantage of this, seeing CRHA horses as ready-made foundation stock for their programs, since better color-odds resulted from CRHA crosses compared to solid-colored grade horses. Through their Appaloosa connection, most CRHA-registered horses today trace to horses of different sources from the foundation Rangerbreds—in fact CRHA is probably unique as a non-color breed which is also devoted to outcrossing as a policy, requiring only one line back to a foundation sire to qualify for registration.

The word “leopard” has caused some confusion over the years, since it enters into the CRHA record in two different ways. There are “leopard” Appaloosa-patterned CRHA horses, and then there are those among the early registrations, which seem to have been named for their relationship to “our” *Leopard. In fact as far as is known, *Leopard was a typical dapple grey who turned white in his later years; the “leopard” Appaloosa pattern was introduced into early CRHA pedigrees by a son of WALDRON Leopard, an Appaloosa horse of unknown background sometimes said to be derived from the nearly-legendary STARBUCK Leopard.

The double *Leopard grandson TONY was described as “snow white with black ears” which is also rather intriguing. This sounds like a description of a black-and-white “medicine hat” overo spotted horse, as much as it does anything. A medicine hat Anglo-Arab does not really seem very probable (though it is assuredly possible: some of the “white TB” foals could be called medicine hat patterned, and I have seen photos of an Arabian foal that also would qualify — though come to think of it, all of these I know of would be “white with red ears”). American horsemen have always had trouble understanding the continuity of the grey phases and their changes and interactions, however, and my personal nomination for “simplest explanation of the description” is that TONY was a grey horse who turned nearly white before he went to Colorado, retaining black pigment on his ears and perhaps his knees and hocks for a while, as sometimes happens.

At this distant remove, it is hard to know what to say about *Leopard and *Linden Tree as individuals, let alone as breeding forces. It would surely not be amiss to quote Randolph Huntington’s descriptions of them, as quoted by Thornton Chard: On *Leopard —

“He was a beautiful dapple-grey (in 1880), fourteen and three quarters hands high; his symmetry and perfectness making him appear much taller. As he stood looking loftily over the meadows below, I thought him the most beautiful horse I had ever seen. With nostrils distended and eye full of fire, I could imagine he longed for a run upon his desert home. Addison (the groom) gave him a play at the halter, showing movements no horse in the world can equal but the (pure bred) Arabian. He needed no quarter-boots, shin-boot, ankle-boots, scalping boot or protection of any kind; and yet the same movements this Arabian went through would have blemished every leg and joint upon an American trotting horse, even though he had been able to attempt the, to him, impossible activity… the knee action was beautiful; not too much, as in toe weighted horses, nor stiff and staky, as in the english race horse, but graceful and elastic, beautifully balanced by movement in the hock and stifle.”

As to *Linden Tree —

“At that time, the spring of 1880, Linden was a beautiful smooth, blue gray, which this summer of 1885 has changed to a white-gray. In height he is the same as Leopard, fourteen and three quarters hands…in build he was more compact than Leopard, being deeper and broader; of more substance but with just as clean and fine limb as Leopard had. The limbs, joints and feet of both horses were perfect. The fetlocks could not be found; there were none. The warts at point of ankle were wanting, and the osselets were very small. Large coarse osselets show cold blood, mongrel blood. The crest of the neck in Linden was thick and hard, the same as in Leopard. This fact will astonish some fancy horsemen, who are led to believe that a thin crest is evidence of fine breeding. My experience of late years is that a thin crest belongs to a long-bodied, flat horse, of soft constitution. The mane in both horse was very fine and silky, falling over so as to cause one to believe that the crest was a knife blade with blade up for thinness. The head of Linden was the counterpart of Leopard in all ways; as in fine, thin muzzle, lip and nostril; also small, fine, beautiful ears, thin eyelids; deep wide jowls,etc.”

We have several images of one kind or another of *Leopard and *Linden Tree. Most frequently seen, of course, are the two “engravings from paintings done from life” which appeared in Huntington’s book on the horses. These rather stolid, lifeless visions differ chiefly in color — one shows dapples and the other is indeed a “smooth” grey — and as old “Ben Hur” (the late H.V. Tormohlen) said in one of his Western Horsemen articles, they could easily pass for harness store dummies. The rather scratchy “Wonderful Arabian Horses” with its imaginary, and highly inappropriate, Egyptian background, does make some distinction between the horses — *Leopard is a bit sickle hocked while *Linden Tree’s hind legs are distinctly too straight, for example — but still is not anything one would like to judge a horse from.

The other two pictures have been called photogravures (a process involving a sensitized metal plate and a photographic negative, which would render a “photographic” likeness) and indeed, that of *Leopard is called such, in the Thornton Chard article in which it appears. This *Linden Tree picture is referred to in that article, however, as “photograph of a drawing” and on closer inspection this proves to be the same image as that of *Linden Tree in “Wonderful Arabian horses,” with the same silly pyramids and palm trees in the background (more visibly present in other prints than in the present version). A photograph with a painted background would not be an impossibility, of course, but it is difficult to make this fit with Chard’s “photograph of a drawing” designation. It is also unlikely that a repainted negative would produce a satisfactory photogravure, and I am not sure the techniques for photographing a retouched photograph (to produce the photogravure from the second negative) were available in the early 80’s when this is dated.

The clincher for me is the fact that *Linden Tree is shown without a bit or headstall. The clumsy photographic gear of the time, let alone the slow plates then available, would not be suited to photographing horses at liberty. I suspect there was a pair of drawings of the stallions and that the *Leopard one was lost, but not before the “Wonderful Arabian Horses” print was derived from them, while a photograph of the *Linden Tree drawing survived.

At any rate, we do have what appear to be a reliable likeness of *Leopard and he is the one we’re interested in—he was the Arab and he appears in our pedigrees today.

*Leopard’s picture speaks for him and as compiler of this review I don’t feel called upon to add to this, except to say that *Leopard probably compared quite well with the foundation desertbred sire of any Arabian breeding company—and that his high-class origin and the repeated references to his air of quality and breeding and his excellent trot suggest that we may wish we had more of his genes in our modern Arabian population than we do. In any event he seems to have had one of the finest, most proper necks ever to come out of the desert.

Evaluating *Leopard as a sire is difficult, since his purebred descendants of the first few generations all had much more of *Naomi in their pedigrees than of *Leopard, and all seem to show her very strong influence. Fortunately we do have photos of ABDUL HAMID II and two of his sons, the result of crossing *Leopard into a distinctly different breeding group. The photos of *Leopard’s two sons and three grandsons (see the crossbreds with this article, and the purebreds in the article on the descent from ANAZEH) are a very attractive group indeed. The weak loin seems to have bred on, and the calf knees (but not through ANAZEH), but so has the fine reach of neck. ANAZEH’s son seems to have slightly soft pasterns, which I had not noticed before—interesting since a lady from Oregon wrote and sent photos of “a granddaughter of a linebred *Leopard mare” with the most extreme case of soft pasterns I think I’ve ever seen. This is not the line from the ANAZEH son however, going back to EL SABOK instead, and his pastern, while a bit short, do not seem soft at all.

There are a good many animals back in our pedigrees with soft pasterns, and many of them are closer to today’s horses, and appear through more sources, than *Leopard—so I find it hard to invoke him as a cause of this fault today.

Well—there you have them—”*Leopard the Arab and *Linden Tree the Barb,” in Huntington’s phrase. *Leopard has Arabian descendants in large numbers today; both seem to have influenced the Colorado Rangers and through them the Appaloosas; and if truth be known it’s likely that both are unrecorded far back in many Standardbred pedigrees.

The fact that you have just read this indicates that they’ve had an intellectual and historical impact in the course of a hundred years, quite likely beyond what anyone ever expected.

*Leopard the Arab and *Linden Tree the Barb (Part 2)

This entry is part 2 of 6 in the series Leopard and Linden Tree

by Michael Bowling
from Arabian Horse World July 1979
copyright by MICHAEL BOWLING, used by permission

The Grant stallions arrived in Connecticut on 31 May 1879 aboard the steamer Norman Monarch—14 months after their presentation in Constantinople. They were exhibited at fairs in the mid-Atlantic states through the summer and early fall and then stabled just outside Washington, D.C., at General E.F. Beale’s Ash Hill Farm.

There is no record of General Grant’s ever having paid any attention to the horses after he was given them, and his only documented reference to them appears to be the letter to Huntington. In 1883, Volume IV of The American Stud Book, registering thoroughbreds (and sporadically the occasional Arabian), listed both stallions as in New York. *Leopard was owned by J.B.Houston and *Linden Tree by U.S.Grant,Jr. In 1883 and again in 1884 they were exhibited at the New York Horse Show (apparently, quite literally, “in a class by themselves“) with *Leopard placed first both times.

Fig. 2 Leopard.
Fourteen hands 3/8 inches. Apparently a tracing of a lost photograph of *Leopard. This illustration is from a 1911 article by H.K.Bush-Brown which outlined an innovated, “objective” system of measurement of the proportions of the horse. Fortunately this did not catch on. *Leopard’s height is given as 14:0 and 3/8, which contradicts Huntington’s description and seems awfully small for anything to be siring harness racers.

Randolph Huntington was not idle while all this was happening. He was an active breeder and trader of harness horses at the time, and would have heard of the exotic imports soon after their arrival. As soon as he heard of the horses and their origin he determined to make use of them in his trotting horse breeding program. He held the entirely reasonable theory that the Thoroughbred, product of many generations even then, of selection for specialization at the gallop, was not necessarily the ideal cross to use to increase speed at the trot. His belief was that it was the methods the developers of the TB employed, that trotting horse breeders should make use of—not the horses themselves, which were the product of selection in the wrong direction for trotting speed. He saw the Arabian as the unspecialized, adaptable desert origin of speed, whether at the trot or at the gallop, and all his future breeding activities were directed toward the long-term goal of producing a linebred, predictable national breed of fast hardy harness horses.

In a time when horses were transportation, transporting mares away to stud was all but unheard of. Stallions traveled from one district to another; a horse would be used in a locality until the demand for his get declined, then would move on to a new station in keeping with whatever reputation he had achieved.

Huntington determined to make use of the Henry Clay family of horses, already well proven and linebred with Arab and Barb ancestry. Based in New York, he bought mares from as far away as Michigan and Tennessee to send to stallions which were standing just outside Washington D.C. This did not entail more pedigree-shopping, sight-unseen: he traveled himself to find the best representatives of the Clay breeding, selecting animals showing the traits he wanted them bred for. This occupied him during the fall and winter of 1879-1880, giving him, in the spring of the latter year, “five young, sound, healthy virgin mares by Henry Clay or by his sons, three being inbred, and all were choice; four being very fast natural trotters, and the fifth one would be were she not mixed at times in her gait.” That has an almost Biblical ring; one gathers that the emphasis on maiden mares was due to a belief in telegony (“the influence [on the foal] of the previous sire [to which the mare was bred]”), a false but widespread notion to which Lady Anne Blunt also appears to have subscribed, and which was not scientifically disproven until early in this century. At any rate Huntington clearly had no prejudice against “first foals.”

The Arab/Clay (and Barb/Clay) foals began appearing in June and July, 1881, and Huntington was enough encouraged to continue using *Leopard and *LINDEN TREE (still standing at Ash Hill) until his first crossbred colts were old enough for breeding. The backcross of these young horses to linebred Clay mares was sufficiently exciting to enable Huntington to obtain backing for a corporation which would develop and promote an “Americo-Arab” breed. This was envisioned along the lines of the Russian Orloff, linebred for consistency, and was expected to take over from the (to Huntington) random-bred and genetically unpredictable horses which were then founding the Standardbred breed.

Horsemen of the time were sufficiently impressed with the type of stock Huntington’s program was producing, that ABDUL HAMID II (*Leopard x a double Henry Clay granddaughter) was awarded a gold medal in 1889 at the Buffalo International Horse Show. Reportedly $10,000 offers were turned down for this horse and one of his sons about this time.

All this makes an interesting story, but has nothing to do with us today. Fortunately, Huntington imported the Arabian mare *Naomi from Reverend F.F.Vidal in England in 1888, specifically for breeding to *Leopard to maintain Arab stock analogous to his linebred Clays, for future crosses. Unfortunately for *Leopard’s own interests, this developed into a project to inbreed the “Maneghi racing type” which had very little room for the Seglawi *Leopard. Huntington imported the supposed Maneghi *KISMET (strain actually unknown) in 1891, but this horse contracted pneumonia on shipboard and died shortly after landing. Nothing daunted, Huntington purchased Vidal’s last three horses in 1893 (*Naomi’s daughter *NAZLI, and two *KISMET colts out of *Naomi daughters) and embarked, with these and *Naomi and her *Leopard son ANAZEH, on his inbreeding program. *Leopard does not seem to have played a part in Huntington’s program after 1889; in 1890 he was represented by ANAZEH and the Americo-Arab filly LEOPARDESS, out of his own granddaughter, COQUETTE by ABDUL HAMID II.

In 1894 the Americo-Arab consortium went into receivership, as a result of Huntington’s misplaced trust in its secretary. This gentleman absconded with all the ready cash of the corporation, leaving no option but auction sale of the hundred and more horses involved. According to a stocklist Huntington published in 1895, he was left with a few of each category (Arab, Clay, and crossed), including five pure Arabians: *Naomi, *NAZLI, ANAZEH, *NIMR and NEJD. *Naomi was then carrying her second influential son, Khaled, by her grandson *NIMR.

Photos this page courtesy of the American Genetic Foundation.

Some vindication of Huntington’s beliefs came in 1901, when eight head of Clay-Arab stock, not owned by him but based on his breeding, sold at auction for an average of over $1,800, topped by ABDUL HAMID II’s daughter LARISSA at $3,500. Huntington was an old man by this time, worn down by the pursuit of his lifelong devotion to excellence in horseflesh. His herd seems to have been dispersed by auctions in 1906 and 1907, many going for a few dollars due to being in poor condition, as his finances finally failed. The Arab legacy of Randolph Huntington is still with us; his efforts on behalf of the trotting horse did not have the success he envisioned, though it is difficult to believe that his highly-selected stock is not the unrecorded foundation at base of a lot of Standardbred pedigrees. Sadly, by 1947, when Hervey’s standard work The American Trotter was published, it was possible to sketch the history of the Henry Clay breeding in a few paragraphs—and Randolph Huntington’s name was not even mentioned.

Back to the Grant stallions. In 1888, *Linden Tree was bought from U.S.Grant, Jr. by another fascinating character, General Leonard W.Colby of Beatrice, Nebraska. One account has it that Colby paid a pre-inflation $10,000 for the horse and later “politely” refused $50,000 for him. Another version merely says $10,000 was later refused for him, with no original purchase price given.

Beatrice, Nebraska was not a place to let this exotic and historically-associated beast go unrecognized, and in 1890 when a harness racing track was opened by the Beatrice Trotting Association, it was named Linden Tree Park. When the time came, *Linden Tree was buried in the infield of the oval, “in a straw-lined grave.

General Colby was born in Ohio in 1846, grew up in Illinois, served the Union with distinction in the Civil War, and returned home to finish high school and college with honors, eventually taking to the law. He moved to Beatrice in 1872, was commissioned first lieutenant of the state militia on its founding in 1875, and served in the Indian conflicts of the time, eventually being promoted to brigadier general in 1890. Although I am speculating from limited data, I gather he was deeply affected by the now-infamous Wounded Knee Massacre of 1891; he brought home an orphaned Indian baby girl, and he and his wife raised her in their home. In 1895 he presented a paper on “The Ghost Dance of the Sioux Indians” to the State Historical Society; he served in Nebraska state office and in the U.S. Justice Department where he was involved in defense against claims for damage against the U.S. Government and the Indian tribes; on his retirement from the Justice Department he was employed by the Creek, Cherokee and Seminole tribes as their attorney in Washington, D.C. He was active during the Spanish-American War and “on call” during World War I; he died in 1925 in Beatrice.

Again, we are interested in an aspect of his career which was not considered worthy of detailed documentation. He and his friends made use of *Linden Tree on local mares to such good effect that the reputation of the using horses on the cattle operations around Beatrice spread through the midwest and as far as Colorado. One version has it that Colby “persuaded his old friend” Grant to let him bring “Leopard and *Linden Tree to Nebraska “for just one season” in 1894, but as Grant no longer owned the horses as early as 1883, and as Linden Tree Park was named in 1890, that doesn’t hold up too well. At any rate it does appear that *Leopard had joined the Colby menage by 1894—this in spite of a 1941 publication to the effect that Colby’s second Arabian was named “Don” rather than *Leopard and had no connection with Grant. There is a strong local tradition, to which we will refer again, that *Leopard did reach Beatrice, and another account corroborates this.

Mrs. Norma Smith of Kent, Washington tells us that her late father-in-law, who was born in 1878 and lived to be 100, reported one of the most vivid memories of his boyhood as seeing *Leopard ridden in a militia parade by General Colby. He told her the horse was ridden only on special occasion due to his age, and that this was “around 1893” when *Leopard would have been 20. Mr. Smith recalled the extremely fine hair of *Leopard’s coat, through which his skin was visibly spotted. This is, of course, another indication of advanced age—not the fine hair coat, which merely shows “breeding,” but the mottling and speckling of the skin typical of many aged grey horses. *LINDEN TREE was dismissed with “Colby had two Arabians“—*Leopard was the impressive one. (*Linden Tree was a year younger than *Leopard but may have showed his age more, especially as *Leopard stayed longer in New York and probably had led a more sheltered life. On the other hand, *Leopard was described from the beginning as the “handsomer and more graceful” of the two, which I suppose is reasonable for an Arab compared to a Barb.)

In the late 1890’s a group of Colorado ranchers got together to finance a trip to Nebraska by the respected rancher A.C. Whipple, to bring back one of the superior Colby-related horses from Beatrice. Whipple selected a band of young mares of *Leopard and *Linden Tree breeding, and to head them, the stallion TONY. TONY’s sire and dam are not named in any existing account, but their parentage is given—both were by *Leopard out of “Army TB” mares, which presumably refers to mares used as, or derived from, cavalry mounts. TONY was thus an Anglo-Arab by modern definition, if “TB” refers to full Thoroughbred mares.

This band of Nebraska horses left influential and highly-regarded descent in Colorado, and over the years other horse of similar quality, some with reputed Arab or Barb crosses as well, were added. This resulted in tough, hardy, very able cowhorses which were recognized in 1934 with the name “Colorado Rangers.”

Randolph Huntington: American Horse Breeder

by George H. Conn, D.V.M.
(Western Horseman Apr ’49)

Leopard, the Arabian stallion imported into the United States in 1879 as a gift to Gen. U.S.Grant. (Bottom of image: “The Arabian Stallion presented to Gen. U.S.Grant by the sultan of Turkey. Foaled in 1873 height 15 hands; now owned by Gen. L. Colby, Beatrice, Nebr.”)

Linden Tree, a Barb-Arabian sent to U.S. Grant in 1879

RANDOLPH HUNTINGTON was born in Springfield, Mass., in 1828. It was he who demonstrated the possibilities inherent in the Arab horse for the purpose of developing a new breed of saddle and road horses. He was related to some of the most influential people of his age, yet he preferred the breeding of horses to any other business.

Randolph Huntington married a country girl who later inherited a farm near Bloomfield, Ontario country, N.Y., and it was on this farm that Huntington began to breed horses soon after the Civil War.

During his first years on the farm he bought and sold many colts and fillies as coach horses in New York City. He soon came to recognize the value of the Clay stock in that community which was largely the result of the breeding of a horse called Henry Clay which was brought to the nearby Genesee valley and whose stock was distributed through the valley.

Huntington soon realized that the Clay blood was fast disappearing and he set about buying up the most desirable daughters, granddaughters and sons of the old Henry Clay breeding. The Clays were an especially fine trotting breed for their day. He attributed the excellence of the Clay blood to the amount of Arab blood through Grand Bashaw, Young Bashaw, Andrew Jackson and Henry Clay.

Before Huntington began to build up the Clay breed he sold all his horses of Hambletonian and other families. He began to collect the Clays in 1877. He states that he was in good position to know about the value of Clay blood as the first stud season made by this famous horse was in western New York at the farm of Francis Neason, an uncle of his wife.

Writing to a friend on Nov. 2, 1888, he said,

“I know the horse [Henry Clay] thoroughly well and also his get. Residing in Brooklyn I knew also the horses there and on Long Island … practical experience in handling and driving as a young man, as a matured man and as a dealer during and after the [Civil] war, I found my opinions in favor of the blood advocated. My investment was between $40,000 and $50,000.”

On May 31, 1879, there arrived in America two very fine stallions which were presented to Gen. U.S.Grant by the Sultan of Turkey. These stallions were Leopard and Linden Tree. It is generally acknowledged that Linden Tree was a Barb-Arabian while Leopard was a pure Arabian. Prior to the time that these horses arrived in America, the very favorable results from inbreeding to produce typical Clay horses was shown to be practical. After seeing the stallions, Leopard and Linden Tree, Randolph Huntington at once started negotiations to breed three virgin Clay mares to each of these stallions. He hoped thereby to improve the roadhorse quality of his horses. In later years he called them Clay-Arabs. Since Huntington wanted to breed only virgin mares it was not until 1880 or 1881 that he was able to breed and raise just what he wanted.

The offspring secured from these matings were good and the results secured by breeding these offsprings later to each other were outstanding. Within a few years many prominent men in the New York area were beginning to see the advantages of breeding these Clay-Arabs. A company was formed and Mr. Huntington moved his horses to Long Island where the project was to be carried on.

Just before moving to Long Island, Huntington purchased Naomi, the only Arab that remained of an importation to England of three Arabians. These Arabians were the mares Haidee and Zuleike and the stallion Yataghan, which cost Sanderman $62,500 in gold. Haidee was bred to Yataghan, her full brother, and produced Naomi, one of the finest and largest Arabian mares of her day. In 1888 Mr. Huntington bought Naomi and she was brought to America. In England, Naomi had been bred to Kismet and had a six months old horse colt at foot named Nimr. While Naomi was owned in England by the Rev. F. F. Vidal she foaled a chestnut filly which was sired by a famous Arabian racer, Maidan.

Randolph Huntington from his study and observation of the Arabian horse was determined if at all possible to get Kismet-bred Arabs for his breeding operation. He was unable to buy Kismet, but did succeed in leasing him for a two year period at a reported price of $20,000 plus the insurance fee on Kismet for this amount to be kept on the stallion until his return to England. Kismet arrived Nov. 10, 1891, but was very sick with pneumonia, and died a few hours after being unloaded.

Since Huntington was to be denied the use of Kismet for breeding purposes, his next move was to purchase Nazli (the daughter of Naomi) and her horse foal Nimr. These two Arabians figure prominently in many old pedigrees of Arabian horses.

These importations did not have a direct influence on the Clay-Arabian horses, but it proves that Randolph Huntington knew the value of the Arabian horse. Huntington’s treasurer, a man named Weeks, embezzled and disappeared with a sum reported to be nearly $100,000. This money was to have been used in the development of the Clay-Arabian horse and for the preparation of a history of the Clay horse. Had this not occurred it is possible that there would have been a different history of the light horse in America.

Due to the depression of 1893 and to the lack of finances to feed, care and breed about 100 head of horses, Randolph Huntington’s breeding venture of Clay-Arabs (sometimes called Americo-Arabs) was forced into receivership. Eighty-five horses were offered for sale February 22 and 23, 1894, at American Institute Buildings. They were sold by Peter C. Kellogg and Co., the leading auction firm of the day.

The following quotation is from The Horseman, published right after the sale.

“After many years of trials and discussions in the horse papers, something practical and substantial has been shown by the advocates of the Arab blood. The sale in New York last week of a number of Americo-Arabs at an average price of over $1,800 per head demonstrates the fact that the Americo-Arab is already an established type. Although the sale was made by Theodore C. Patterson, Chestnut Hill, Pa., the whole credit is due to Mr. Randolph Huntington, Oyster Bay, as the founder of the type. The horses sold last Tuesday were mostly by Abdul Hamid II, a son of General Grant’s Arabian Leopard, and out of Mary Sheppard, by Jack Sheppard, by Henry Clay; second dam Galusha mare, by Jack Sheppard. When the two stallions presented by the Sultan to General Grant arrived in this country in 1879, Mr. Huntington was the only person to appreciate their value by breeding to them six of his best Clay mares, thus laying the foundation of a most desirable type of horses. More Arabian blood was infused into the type later by the importation of the pure bred Arab mares from England, Naomi and her daughter Nazli. It was mainly through influential friends in England and at great expense that Mr. Huntington succeeded in bringing these mares to this country, both of which proved great additions in establishing the Americo-Arab type.

“The gathering at the sale was unusually large, and much curiosity was evinced as to how the horses with Arabian blood would sell, and to say that a majority of the crowd was astonished at the sums bid is drawing it but mildly, and wonder was added to astonishment when it was learned that a majority of the offerings were withdrawn because the owner and consignor, Mr. Patterson of Erdenheim Farm, did not think the bids were high enough to justify him in letting his pets go. For instance, the 15-2 hand stallion Omar was bid up to $1,550 and the owner would not let him go. The little black pony bred gelding Blackbird, 13-3 hands, was run up to $700 and withdrawn. Several others were taken out after what most of the horsemen present considered extraordinary high prices were bid for them. The 13-2 hand chestnut mare Gulnare was bid up to $875, and Mr. Grand turned to Mr. Patterson, saying: ‘Let me sell her.’ Mr. Patterson looked thoughtful for a moment, then nodded his head, and the mare was knocked down to M. Evarts, New York.”

The following quotation is from The American Horse Breeders:

“Those who have ridiculed Randolph Huntington’s methods of breeding from Arabian stock received an eyeopener at the W.D.Grand sale in New York on the 21st inst. Six head of what Mr. Huntington calls Americo-Arabs brought $11,225 under the hammer, an average of $1,870.83 per head, Larissa, a four-year-old, 15.2 1/2 hand mare by Abdul Hamid II, son of the imported Arabian Leopard, owned at one time by General Grant, brought the top price, $3,500. She went to the bid of Ed de Cernea, who also paid $2,050 for Manila, a 15.3 hand, three-year-old full sister of Larissa. It is announced that these mares will be put in shape for exhibition next Fall at the annual National Horse Show in Madison Square Garden. It is Mr. Huntington’s turn to laugh now.”

The following quotation is also taken from the Oyster Bay Pilot and we quote as follows:

“We have the effort of Mr. Randolph Huntington to establish a type by mixing the blood of General Grant’s Arab stallions with the mares of the Clay family. It will be recalled that when General Grant made his famous tour of the world he stopped at Constantinople, and was entertained by the Sultan, who gave the American soldier, as a souvenir of his visit, two stallions, Leopard and Linden Tree. These horses were landed in 1879, and Mr. Huntington at once began making arrangements to breed to them. Mr. Huntington has theories as to in-breeding, or close breeding, as he prefers to call it, that are more in consonance with the ideas that prevail abroad than here.”

CMK Mare Families

The original Crabbet/Maynesboro/Kellogg mare families: Foundation of a unique North American gene pool one hundred years in the making

Rick Synowski © Copyright 1992

Used by permission of Rick Synowski. First published in the CMK Heritage Catalogue Volume III

This treatment reflects the CMK dam line picture before the 1993 revision of the CMK Definition. — MB

While CMK Arabian horses have come to represent a minority breeding group today, CMK foundation mare lines hold fast to their international domination of lists of leading dams of champions. Their production records, some accomplished by mares now deceased, may never be equalled. The character, type and breeding of such celebrated mares must inevitably be diminished and disappear when outcrossing to stallions of other breeding groups predominates.

Veteran horsewoman Faye Thompson, whose father Claude Thompson introduced the Arabian horse into Oregon nearly 60 years ago, observes that “modern Arabian horses are good horses, but they’ve lost that classic, desert look that used to excite me so. Modern horses don’t get me excited the way the old ones did” [CMK Record, Spring 1989].

It is to be hoped the classic desert look which so excited the observer does not disappear, but may be perpetuated on some scale as CMK mares produce within the CMK breeding group. Perhaps the realization of the unique history behind these mares will contribute to this end.

Imported in 1888: *Naomi

THE FIRST ARABIAN MARE TO come to North America and leave modern descent, and the oldest mare in the Arabian Horse Registry of America, is *Naomi, foaled in England in 1877. Her sire and dam YATAGHAN and HAIDEE were brought from the desert by Capt. Roger Upton. Randolph Huntington, America’s earliest breeder of Arabian horses still represented in modern lines, imported *Naomi in 1888. In 1890 *Naomi foaled the fine chestnut colt ANAZEH, the first Arabian bred and born on American soil to leave modern descent. ANAZEH was sired by *Leopard, the grey Arabian stallion presented by Sultan Abdul Hamid II of Turkey to General U.S. Grant in 1878.

A mare with many firsts to her credit, though perhaps not of the show ring variety, *Naomi was photographed here at age 18, standing behind the strapping 13-day-old Khaled, her eighth of ten foals. As an individual *Naomi must have pleased Randolph Huntington, who by this time was enjoying no small recognition as one of America’s leading breeders of light horses. Huntington would build his entire Arabian program around this single mare, and thus *Naomi would make a far-reaching contribution to the development of a North American Arabian gene pool via her high-quality descendants.

Perhaps the most important of *Naomi’s tail-female descendants was to be the Manion-bred IMAGIDA, dam of the illustrious *Raffles daughters GIDA and RAFGIDA and two sons also by *Raffles, IMARAFF and RAFFI. Another distinguished female line was founded by the straight Maynesboro MADAHA. *Naomi’s descent from both sons and daughters also included the likes of RAHAS, GHAZI, RABIYAT, GHAZAYAT, Abu Farwa, ALLA AMARWARD and Aurab, just to name a few of the famous ones. *Naomi’s sons and daughters were among the finest horses of their time, and their descendants continue to be so regarded.

1893: *GALFIA and *NEJDME

IN 1893, BY SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT with Abdul Hamid II, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, 45 Arabian horses were brought from Syria for exhibition at the Chicago World’s Fair. The Hamidie horses, so named for the Hamidie Hippodrome Company which sponsored the exhibition, were beset by a series of disasters. Financial ruin of the company and a fire left 28 horses to be auctioned off.

Only three mares of the entire group would be given the opportunity to breed on. In 1894 Peter Bradley purchased the mares *GALFIA and *PRIDE. The third mare, *NEJDME, was purchased by J.A.P. Ramsdell. *GALFIA would be the first of the three to produce with her 1895 colt, MANNAKY JR. by the Hamidie stallion *MANNAKY. The following year *GALFIA again foaled to *MANNAKY and the filly ZITRA was to establish *GALFIA’s tail female line into modern descent.

In 1898 *NEJDME established the third American mare line with the birth of NONLIKER, sired by Ramsdell’s Ali Pasha Sherif stallion *SHAHWAN. Unfortunately NONLIKER was the only foal of the magnificent *SHAHWAN to breed on in America. That *SHAHWAN left scant descent at Crabbet prior to his importation was to be regretted by the Blunts as well, given the breeding performance of his daughter YASHMAK. NONLIKER was joined by younger half-sisters NANSHAN (1902) and NANDA (1905); the *NEJDME lines of DAHURA and LARKSPUR came to be particularly highly prized.

The third Hamidie mare bred on but not in tail female. *PRIDE produced just one registered foal, the 1902 mare SHEBA sired by MANNAKY JR. SHEBA would leave an important mark on the breeding program of Albert W. Harris in her sons NEJDRAN JR (by *NEJDRAN) and EL JAFIL (by *IBN MAHRUSS), sire of Harris’ noteworthy EL SABOK.

Much of the identifying information on the Hamidie horses, including the original authentication, has been lost, presumably in the fire. Bits and pieces of information from letters and newspaper articles have surfaced over the years. Some of the information coming down is conflicting regarding strains and birthdates, if not the outright identities of some of the horses. What we do know is that the horses which bred on did so extremely well.


IN 1900 THE FIRST CRABBET MARE came to America in the person of the BASILISK granddaughter *BUSHRA. She is registered as imported from the Crabbet Stud by “Mr. Eustis” but almost certainly went directly to Randolph Huntington’s ownership and produced her American offspring for Homer Davenport.

Wilfrid Blunt considered the family of BASILISK to be one of the best of their early desert importations. Later, the American breeder Spencer Borden noted the BASILISK mare line as the “best blood in the world.” The BASILISK family would be well represented among the early imports. *BUTHEYNA, *BARAZA and *BATTLA followed *BUSHRA.

The BASILISK female line died out at Crabbet, though it continued to England from the line established by BELKA at the Courthouse Stud. In America the line flourished notably from the Maynesboro mare BAZRAH.


SPENCER BORDEN CAME UPON the scene at the turn of the century. His contribution to the Arabian horse in America as an importer, breeder and author during these early days was to be monumental. In 1898 Borden had imported *SHABAKA from England, a mare by the desertbred MAMELUKE and out of KESIA II, imported en utero from the desert. *SHABAKA was not to establish a female line but her influence was realized in a highly valued son, SEGARIO. The KESIA mare line would in fact never become established here, but was represented again in Borden’s 1905 import, *SHABAKA’s half-brother *IMAMZADA, and in the 1924 Harris import *NURI PASHA [ex RUTH KESIA].

In 1905 Borden imported two fillies from the Hon. Miss Ethelred Dillon and introduced the WILD THYME mare line to breed on in America. Borden’s yearling *MAHAL and weanling *NESSA were both daughters of the Crabbet mare RASCHIDA (Kars x Wild Thyme). Like BASILISK’s, WILD THYME’s family died out early at Crabbet, but it was ably perpetuated by both *MAHAL and *NESSA in this country.

It was a stroke of genius that, also in 1905, Borden introduced the RODANIA female line to America with his importation of the dowager queen mother of Crabbet, *ROSE OF SHARON. Borden’s coup in obtaining the most celebrated of Crabbet’s early matrons must be considered in light of her unparalleled international influence.

The RODANIA daughters spread the influence of Crabbet breeding to virtually every other Arabian horse breeding base in the world. *ROSE OF SHARON’s mare line would carry forward in American breeding by her tail female descendants imported later from Crabbet. Her uniquely American contributions to the breed came via her son *RODAN and daughter ROSA RUGOSA, dam of the important Maynesboro sire SIDI.

The two remaining branches of RODANIA’s family were brought to America later and also became firmly established here. The RODANIA daughter ROSEMARY is represented by *ROKHSA, imported in 1918 by W.R.Brown, *RAIDA, imported in 1926 by Kellogg, *RISHAFIEH, imported in 1932 by Selby, and *KADIRA, imported 1939 by J.M. Dickinson. The ROSE OF JERICHO branch was established by the 1926 Kellogg imports *ROSSANA, *RASIMA and *RASAFA, and the 1930 Selby ones *RASMINA and *ROSE OF FRANCE.


IN 1906 HOMER DAVENPORT imported 27 Arabian horses directly from the desert. This importation would be the largest genetic contribution unique to American Arabian horse breeding. Six of Davenport’s desert mares would establish mare lines, and each would be represented on the leading dams of champions lists. For many years the leading dam of champions, BINT SAHARA, and her runner-up daughter FERSARA, are of *WADDUDA’s line. SAKI, whose champion produce record would come to equal BINT SAHARA’s, was of *WERDI’s family.

As in the case of each of these mares, Davenport breeding blended wonderfully well with that of other early CMK sourcess, the result being realized in some of the best representatives of the breed in history. Interestingly, some of Davenport’s desert sources were the same breeders from whom the Blunts had purchased foundation stock nearly 30 years earlier. The success Davenport, and later W.R.Brown, Harris, Kellogg, Hearst and Selby realized in combining Davenport and Crabbet breeding represented in some cases a recombining of lines derived from the same desert sources.

Davenport mare lines survive both in straight Davenport breeding programs and inextricably within the larger CMK breeding group. Their contribution of classic desert type and quality can still readily be identified.


APART FROM HOMER DAVENPORT, there was no one to compare to the spirited patronage of Spencer Borden for the Arabian horse in America at the turn of the century. Borden’s visits to the Crabbet Stud and his lively correspondence with Lady Anne Blunt were to gain him respect and favor in securing some of the best individuals of that Stud. And so in 1909 Borden would again bring a grande dame of Crabbet to American shores, the Ali Pasha Sherif bred *GHAZALA, daughter of the Crabbet family foundress BINT HELWA.

BINT HELWA’s line was a third to take hold in America but die out at Crabbet. And take hold it did in the two illustrious *GHAZALA daughters, GULNARE and GUEMURA. Two other branches of the BINT HELWA family would later provide foundation mares to American CMK breeding in *HAMIDA, *HAZNA and *HILWE.

1910: DAJANIA and *LISA

THE NEXT YEAR A FIFTH Crabbet family line would reach America in the DAJANIA mare *NARDA II, imported by F. Lothrop Ames. *NARDA II, a daughter of NARGHILEH, was purchased in foal to RIJM and the next year foaled *NOAM, a three-quarters sister to *NASIK, *Nureddin II and NESSIMA.

The DAJANIA family would be greatly distinguished at Crabbet and in America as producers of some of the greatest sires in the history of the breed: the aforementioned *NASIK and *Nureddin II, and NASEEM, INDIAN GOLD, *NIZZAM, INDIAN MAGIC, *SERAFIX, ELECTRIC SILVER and *SILVER DRIFT. In America the DAJANIA line sires included INDRAFF, RAPTURE and AARAF.

Later *INDAIA was imported by Roger Selby and *INCORONATA by Kellogg, bringing the imported family of DAJANIA mares to just four.

Also in 1910, the mare *LISA was imported by C.P.Hatch. She was listed as having been “bred in the desert” and registered as black. *LISA’s family line survives via one daughter, ALIXE by *HAURAN. ALIXE’s breeder was Warren Delano of Barrytown, NY. ALIXE in turn produced three daughters by JERREDE (*Euphrates x *Nejdme), and of these JERAL and NARADA bred on.

1918: FERIDA and SOBHA

THE MAYNESBORO STUD IN Berlin, NH was founded in 1912 by William Robinson Brown. Brown’s foundation stock was acquired in the beginning from other American breeders. It was, in fact, via Maynesboro that key links with some of the earliest CMK bloodlines were to be carried forward.

In 1918 Brown made an importation of 17 horses from the Crabbet Stud. Brown’s purchase would be a timely one for CMK breeding in that advantage was taken, purposely or not, of the legal feud between Lady Wentworth and her father Wilfrid Blunt, after Lady Anne Blunt’s death. Certain Crabbet horses were acquired by Brown which might otherwise never have left the Stud. This was especially true of the phenomenal *BERK.

The 1918 Maynesboro importation introduced the FERIDA family to North America in the two-yr-old chestnut filly *FELESTIN. *FELESTIN’s dam FEJR (Rijm x Feluka) also produced the stallions FARIS and FERHAN, sires in turn of the important English breeding horses RISSALIX and INDIAN GOLD.

A second, more prolific, branch of the FERIDA family was established eight years later with the importation of the celebrated FELUKA daughter, *FERDA, by W.K.Kellogg. Ten years after her importation, half the horses at the Kellogg Ranch would be descended from *FERDA, such was the value of this FERIDA line mare.

The 1918 Maynesboro importation also brought a seventh Crabbet family to America in the SOBHA representative, *SIMAWA, a mare who would later become important to the breeding program of Albert Harris. Selby and Kellogg would each make astute importations of SOBHA line mares in *SELMNAB (imported 1930) and *CRABBET SURA (imported 1936).

The most acclaimed branch of the SOBHA family did not reach America until the 1950s. This was the line of Lady Wentworth’s unforgettable SILVER FIRE.

1921 and 1922: *BALKIS II and *KOLA

W.R. BROWN WAS A U.S. ARMY Remount agent, and it was a major purpose of his breeding program that Arabians be bred as suitable mounts for cavalry. It was probably with this in mind that in 1921 and ’22 he imported Arabian horses from France, a country long esteemed for breeding cavalry horses.

Brown’s French importation was in keeping with the tradition of Huntington, Borden, Bradley and Davenport, who touted the utilitarian supremacy of the Arabian horse, promoting the Arabian for American cavalry use.

Two of the French mares would establish mare lines at Maynesboro. The *BALKIS II granddaughter FOLLYAT and the *KOLA daughters FADIH and FATH were broodmatrons which especially earned respect for the contribution of French breeding to the CMK foundation.


THE SOLE REPRESENTATIVE of the Crabbet family of QUEEN OF SHEBA to breed on in CMK founder lines was *ANA (Dwarka x Amida), imported to America in 1924. *ANA would produce two daughters for her importer Albert Harris. She was later sold to Philip Wrigley for whom she was to produce four more daughters including the notable ADIBIYEH.

*ANA was full sister to *ALDEBAR, bred by H.R.H. the Prince of Wales and imported by Henry Babson.

1928: *NOURA and MAKBULA

AMEEN RIHANI OF NEW YORK imported three Arabians from the desert in 1928, a stallion *SAOUD and two mares, *NOURA and her daughter *MUHA. A thin but well-regarded line was to come from these mares. *NOURA’s family would be famously represented by Margaret Shuey’s elegant matron MY BONNIE NYLON.

Roger Selby’s Crabbet importation of 1928 introduced the MAKBULA family to America in the small-statured, exquiste *KAREYMA. *KAREYMA would prove to be one of Selby’s best purchases from Crabbet, judging by the excellence of her produce. Selby would bring three more representatives of the MAKBULA line to Ohio in 1930 with the importation of *KIYAMA, *JERAMA and *NAMILLA.

1929: *MALOUMA

IN 1929 HERMAN FRANK of Los Angeles imported *MALOUMA, the first of two Egyptian lines to be incorporated into the foundation of CMK breeding. *MALOUMA was purchased by Kellogg for whom she produced the four daughters which carry on her line.

1931: *LA TISA

IN 1931 THE CHICAGO INDUSTRIALIST and philanthropist Charles Crane made a trip to the Middle East and came back with some Arabian horses, gifts from Saudi Arabia’s King Abdul Aziz, who had not met an American before Crane. Crane dispatched a geologist engineer to Arabia in search of oil and water.

This exchange of favors between Crane and the Saudi ruler resulted in ARAMCO’s being established as Saudi Arabia’s petroleum exploration and development partner–a partnership which only too obviously has shaped American foreign policy to this day.

Crane’s two fillies, *LA TISA and *MAHSUDHA, reportedly were of quality and beauty in keeping with the rest of his venture. *LA TISA would establish a family which has carried forward into CMK breeding.


W.R.BROWN INTRODUCED A second Egyptian mare line to CMK breeding with the 1932 importation of seven Arabians bred by Prince Mohammed Ali of Cairo. All were of the BINT YAMAMA family line, which was perpetuated by the four mares: *RODA and *AZIZA, daughters of NEGMA; *H.H. MOHAMMED ALI’S HAMAMA and *H.H. MOHAMMED ALI’S HAMIDA, both out of the famed NEGMA daughter MAHROUSSA. The Maynesboro Egyptian importation had been made at the same time as Henry Babson’s importation of six horses also from Egypt.

Interestingly, the origins of the Egyptian horses can be traced back in part to Abbas Pasha/Ali Pasha Sherif stock of the Blunt’s day. The exact origin of BINT YAMAMA and her relationship to early Blunt horses is a mystery yet to be solved.

1934: ZULIMA

IN 1934, JIM AND EDNA Draper of Richmond, California brought home five Arabians from Spain. Four of the five were mares, and all of the same female line, that of the Spanish ZULIMA through SIRIA. The elegant grey *NAKKLA was purchased by Kellogg’s and incorporated into that breeding program. The Drapers retained the SIRIA daughters *MECA and *MENFIS (dam of *NAKKLA) and *MECA’s daughter *BARAKAT, breeding them to CMK stallions.

The Draper Spanish mares produced admirably, gaining a place of pride within the CMK tradition. Edna Draper holds the distinction of being the last importer of CMK foundation stock still living.


THE LAST DESERT CONTRIBUTION considered a part of CMK foundation breeding was the Hearst importation of 1947. This was the largest group of Arabians brought directly from the Arabian desert countries since that of Homer Davenport.

The Hearst Ranch had been established with the purchase of Maynesboro stock upon that farm’s dispersal, which included the Maynesboro sires RAHAS, REHAL, GHAZI and GULASTRA. Hearst had also purchased Kellogg stock, bring about a parallel breeding program to that Stud’s.

The Hearst importation included eight mares (*RAJWA was accompanied by her daughter *BINT RAJWA), all but one of which contributed to the CMK breeding tradition.

1953: HAGAR

HAGAR, THE “JOURNEY MARE,” was the Blunts’ second acquisition in the desert, but it took 75 years before her female line reached America to stay. HAGAR was purchased to carry Wilfrid Blunt from Aleppo to Baghdad and back to Damascus on the Blunts’ 1878 journey. She proved admirably up to the task and earned praise from Lady Anne in her journals.

HAGAR was sent to England as part of the foundation of the Crabbet Stud. She was sold to the Hon. Ethelred Dillon for whose Puddlicote Stud HAGAR proved a foundress. The first HAGAR breeding reached America in 1905 via the important Dillon-bred *NESSA’s sire *HAURAN and another HAGAR son, HAIL.

There was still no HAGAR female line in America when hers became another family lost to Crabbet. The line persisted through Miss Dillon’s ZEM ZEM and through HOWA, foundation mare of the Harwood Stud. ZEM ZEM and her daughter ZOBEIDE were left to Borden by Miss Dillon’s will, but left no further registered progeny.

It was not until 1953 that the HAGAR family would reach American shores and be carried on into CMK breeding. This came about when seven mares from Holland’s Rodania Stud (Dr. H.C.E.M. Houtappel) were imported to New York by T. Cremer. The mares were *CHADIGA, *FAIKA, *LATIFAA, *FATIMAA, *RITLA, *LEILA NAKHLA and *MISHKA.

With HAGAR’s line, American breeders had 10 mare families to carry on the Crabbet breeding base.

THESE, THEN, ARE THE ORIGINAL CMK MARE FAMILIES. They have been combined in American horse breeding history to form one genetic legacy uniquely American–CMK. The timeless quality of CMK mares should be obvious to all fanciers of the Arabian horse, but it would appear to fall to a few to recognize that an effort must be made to conserve the identity of these irreplaceable lines for posterity.

This treatment reflected the CMK dam line picture before the 1993 revision of the CMK Definition. — MB