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*Mirage 790: Lady Wentworth’s Loss Was Roger Selby’s Gain

by Michael Bowling © 1989; used by permission

from The CMK Record VIII/3 1989

*MIRAGE at Crabbet in 1923 or ’24. Photo courtesy Rosemary Archer.

From the 1924 Crabbet Stud Catalogue:

“Mirage. Lady Wentworth has also at Crabbet a very fine white stallion imported by King Faisal of Irak from the Denednasha tribe, to whom he paid £500 for the horse through General Haddad Pasha, who identified the horse and his history in 1922. He is a Kehilan Ajuz of the Denednasha nejd strain, but will not be incorporated in the Crabbet Stud until King Faisal’s signature has been obtained.”

From The Crabbet Arabian Stud: its history and influence by Archer, Pearson and Covey: p. 108

“Mirage. A Seglawi Jedran Dalia. White stallion bred by the Anazeh tribe. Exact date of birth unknown….The Crabbet records indicate it was about 1916. Brought by King Faisal of Irak to France and presented to the Italian Ambassador Signor de Martino and brought by him to England. Bought at Tattersalls 1923. Sire: a Seglawi Jedran. Dam: a Seglawieh Dalia. Sold to the USA 1930.”

p. 182 “[Roger Selby’s] main purchase in 1930 was Mirage, an imported grey stallion of the Seglawi Jedran Dalia strain. Lady Wentworth described him as ‘a very showy good horse. Excellent legs, splendid quarters and fine front. Very good in saddle but too bouncing for English taste as he gets English riders off.’ But this was not the reason Mirage was sold. Weatherbys had by now closed their Stud Book to new imports and although Lady Wentworth tried to persuade them to accept Mirage, she was unsuccessful and therefore had no option but to sell him.”

p. 220 “Another stallion I [Cecil Covey] remember was Mirage, a very quiet horse to handle but as soon as you mounted him he became a different animal, full of fire and verve. When we were visited by King Fuad of Egypt, I was detailed to meet his convoy of cars at the gate of Crabbet Park and to escort them down the drive mounted on Mirage. We must have put on a spectacular display as Mirage hated combustion engines and gave me a most awkward ride. When ridden he carried his head and tail high and had a very short gait which took a while to get used to. But once mastered he was exhilarating.”

From Al Khamsa Arabians: p. 76

“Mirage. 1919 grey stallion, sire a Kuhaylan-Ajuz of the Anazah, dam a Saklawiyah-Jidraniyah of the Dal’al family, bred by the Saba, imported in 1921 to Iraq for King Faisal.” “*Mirage’s date of birth is given as 1909 in Vol IV of the Arabian Horse Registry stud books, but this is corrected in Vol V. … The Arabic document in *Mirage’s case is from the Royal Stables at Bagdad, sealed by El Mahasshami, Director. It confirms his strain, the strain of his sire, and his breeder.”

*MIRAGE could scarcely have been more highly esteemed in his day, and he played a central role in Selby breeding, perhaps the most influential single program in the breed’s post-World War II development in North America. *MIRAGE and his sons achieved the very highest regard as sires of mares for the all-conquering *Raffles horses. When styles changed and the Selby stock came to appear more often in the female lines of outcross pedigrees, *MIRAGE was increasingly diluted, although his name still appears with surprising frequency as an ancestor, whether of CMK Arabians or those of mixed sources. In recent years the *MIRAGE influence has entered a new phase and become increasingly prominent in tail male; his must now be the most internationally successful of all the pre-1960 North American sire lines–and one of very few of that vintage not only to hold its own against more recent imports but rapidly to increase its standing. Few sire lines in the breed can ever have equalled the explosive expansion experienced by that of *MIRAGE since 1980.

The beautifully produced 1936 Catalogue of the Selby Stud described *MIRAGE as a pure white 14:2-hand, 1000 pound “Seglawi Jedran of Dalia, the most prized of the Seglawi strains,” foaled in 1909, and indicated he was “three gaited, sound, most gentle and lovable.” According to this source *MIRAGE was champion at the 1926 Richmond Royal Show in England, and also champion at the 1934 National Arabian Show at Nashville, Tennessee. The Selby management clearly believed the 1909 foaling date to be correct, for much was made of the vigor of *MIRAGE, that “he shows none of the characteristics of advanced age” and that his 1934 championship “at the age of 25, [was] a most unique honor for a horse of such remarkable age.” Similar comments on *MIRAGE’s vigor for his age were made by Margaret Lindsley Warden in The Horse, Sept-Oct 1934, and reprinted in The Journal of the Arab Horse Society for 1935. Warden also called *MIRAGE “wonderful” and said he was

“now rated by many experts as the most perfect specimen of the ancient êlite or classic type in America…He stands a scant 14:2, a sturdy model with the characteristic refinements of the best of his breed. His head is a glory and his great eyes express high but gentle spirit and gracious personality.”

General Dickenson of Traveler’s Rest, contributing a review of US Arab horse activities to the 1936 number of the same British annual, wrote that

“Selby Stud has continued to breed very intensely from the imported foundation stock, using MIRAGE as a sire the past season, not only because of his fine type, but because he is past twenty-five years of age and at best they cannot hope to have him many more years.”

The Selby catalogue records that *MIRAGE was chosen from his desert breeder as “a young colt” for King Faisal of Iraq by a General Haddad, and that Chefik Bey Haddad, son of the General, visited the Stud to spend

“many hours in the corral with the Stallion, and Mirage seemed to recognize him, even though some time had elapsed since he had last seen him. The Bey stated that he had frequently visited the horse while in England, after he passed out of King Faisal’s possession.”

This seemingly direct connection with *MIRAGE’s early years make it somewhat difficult to understand how an error of ten years in the horse’s foaling date could have persisted. On the other hand, one could picture that while comment might be made to Chefik Bey Haddad that *MIRAGE “looks well for his age,” the question of precisely what that age was might not come up in so many words.

*MIRAGE was not registered in England; the General Stud Book was closed to new imports and Lady Wentworth at that period refused to recognize the authority of the Arab Horse Society. The Iraqi certificate of *MIRAGE’s origin, reproduced in the Selby catalogue, is dated 1927. It is interesting to note that at the time he won his 1926 Richmond Royal championship *MIRAGE apparently was not only unregistered but quite undocumented.

Either Chefik Bey Haddad or Carl Raswan might have provided that “most prized” designation for the unfamiliar Seglawi substrain of Dalia. It is well to remember that particular strains and substrains passed in and out of fashion according to the exploits of individual war mares, and that a “most prized” substrain in one tribe or region might be of no special note, or nonexistent, in another. Lady Wentworth, in that monumental tome Thoroughbred Racing Stock and its Ancestors, provides another reference to Seglawi Dalia. She records that

“Lady Anne Blunt made careful enquiries over a number of years [as to the origins of the Darley Arabian and that] Sheykh Mijuel … said mares had gone from Central Arabia at one time, and others later, and stallions from his own tribe. He had heard talk of a Managhieh mare and some colts of that strain, a grey and a bay, purchased by an Englishman at Aleppo. One colt, which was left apparently some time after purchase with the tribe, went by the name of the Managhi Daali (Darley’s Managhi)…before leaving the tribe the colt sired a well-known filly which was known as the ‘Daalieh’ or ‘Daralieh.’ Possibly the modern strain Dalia, still existing, may have some connection with this. There is a strain of Seglawi Dalia with the the Anazeh which may be descended from the Seglawieh mare with ‘Darley’ attached, according to custom.”

Since we are not told that the “Daalieh” was not a Seglawieh, it seems at least plausible that she herself may have founded the Dalia substrain of Seglawi Jedran; it is therefore within the realm of speculation that the Darley Arabian, renowned as a Thoroughbred foundation sire, might still have Arabian descent through *MIRAGE. Had Lady Wentworth been able to register the horse in GSB or chosen to use him at Crabbet as a single-registered sire she might herself have made more of this possibility, but at the time of this writing *MIRAGE was already in Ohio.

There is no record of British foals by *MIRAGE though it seems strange that he should have been seven years at Crabbet, presumably with the idea of providing a potential outcross to the existing lines of the Stud, without so much as being tried on a pony mare. [Note added in 2005: it is now clear that the breedings credited in GSB to “Miraze” actually reflect the use of *Mirage]. In the early years of the Selby Stud crossbred matings appear for some reason to have been done more often with the Arab mares than with the sires; at any rate despite those recorded efforts to make full use of *MIRAGE while he still was available, he got just 26 registered Arab foals from 1932 through 1940. He leaves descent through all but four of them, a remarkably high success rate for any sire, again indicating the regard in which he was held by breeders of his day. Three of the four nonstarters died young; according to Arlene Magid’s *MIRAGE feature in The Crabbet Influence (Nov-Dec ’89), one of them drowned and two were struck by lightning. The only *MIRAGE gelding was his 1935 son BATU and ever since learning that the original of that name was an heir of the rampageous Mongol leader Genghis Khan I’ve wondered what the young BATU’s disposition might have been like.

The 1932 *MIRAGE crop consisted of one grey filly PERAGA, out of the “old American” mare SLIPPER (Yima x Sabot) and bred by Selby. PERAGA produced in Tennessee, California and Missouri and has descent through six of her ten foals; her daughters TABITHA, KATINKA and MARAGA all founded substantial branches of the BASILISK family. PERAGA’s sister of 1933, PERA, produced 6 foals and has descent through 4 of them.

The other 1933 *MIRAGE foal of record proved the most important of them all, for he was the dynamic little dark chestnut IMAGE out of *RIFALA (Skowronek x Rissla), destined to succeed his sire at the head of the Selby Stud. IMAGE had his first foals in 1939 while he was still competing for mares with *MIRAGE; he might have stopped with those and still have left an important legacy, for they grew to be the elegant and dynastic chestnut matrons IMAGIDA, dam of RAFFI and IMARAFF and foundress of a superior mare line; and DEVA, the most influential mare at Never Die Farm in Maryland. In fact IMAGE was credited with 70 more foals over 20 seasons and 54 of them left descent. The word “credited” is used advisedly, because there were four grey foals registered to the chestnut IMAGE from non-grey mares. One of these, the 1940 colt NISIM, is not counted among the 72 for his sire of record was changed to *Raffles, but the other three remain recorded impossibly as grey products of matings without a grey parent. (One is certainly grey in her photos; both the others sired grey foals from chestnut mares.)

ARABI KABIR 2379 (Image x *Kareyma) photo courtesy Linda Paich

PENNE, KHYMAE, IMNA, TALEH, NABIMA, MAATIGA, NIMA, SEBBA, IMCHA, SANGE, PAMELA, EL HACENE, ALIMA, and IMABIMA are perhaps the most noted of the younger IMAGE daughters in pedigrees; the IMAGE influence through mares has been incalculable. As show horses and sires PHANTOM, SARAB AL SAHRA, SELMAGE, DEVACHON, ARABI KABIR, RAFLAGE, MIRAZ, DESMOIN, IMAGIN, SHARRAK, EL MOTELA, IMAGINATION, RAMINAGE, GEYIMAGE, GAGE and ZELIMAGE were among the IMAGE stallions to achieve note. *RIFALA’s inbred son PHANTOM was a sire of distinctive style whose elegant curve of neck still can be recognized in his descendants but there is no question that the most prominent branch of the direct *MIRAGE male line today springs from ARABI KABIR. That showy chestnut son of the China doll *KAREYMA (Naseem x Julnar by *Abu Zeyd) got 52 foals, stationed first in California but gaining renown in the Northwest when promoted to head sire of the Silva program. ARABI KABIR’s sons ERRABI and RABAAR sired the national champion stallion and mare BAY-ABI and RAHBANA, and his daughters including notably INEZ, ZABIRA, IRAYIS, ABARAYIS, WANDA and LADIRAH were champion producers or founded important families. BAY-ABI became the leading sire of the *MIRAGE line; the record of BAY-EL-BEY has latterly far surpassed that of the other BAY-ABI sons and he himself has been replaced in turn by his sons, most prominently BEY SHAH, BARBARY, and HUCKLEBERRY BAY (triple *MIRAGE and double *KAREYMA).

1934 brought *MIRAGE two lesser but worthy sons and a prominent daughter in the persons of NAMIR, INDRAGE and RAGALA, all out of imported Crabbet mares. Dr. Septimus Thompson took to Ontario the Selby imports *JERAMA and *NAMILLA, both of the rare MAKBULA family in which the Selby Stud had achieved a near-monopoly by importing the KIBLA descendants *NAMILLA (*Nureddin II x Nejmia), *KAREYMA, *KIYAMA (Rafeef x Julnar) and the latter mare’s filly *JERAMA by JERUAN. *NAMILLA went to Canada with her grey son NAMIR at side; NAMIR got 18 foals and bred on through half of them. The only Canadian descent from NAMIR was via his son NARAMA, from *JERAMA, sire of five foals. Later in Nebraska NAMIR did better for himself, getting the familiar matrons MIRZALNA, KOMIR (that beautiful chestnut *SULEJMAN stallion KOMSUL heads up her line), MIREEBAH and CYNKIR and the lightly-used sires NAJA and NARAH among his 15 foals from 1950-54.

INDRAGE 1088 (*Mirage x Indaia) photo courtesy Craver Farms

The RASEEM/NISREEN mare *INDAIA’s handsome bay son INDRAGE was to get 55 foals, mostly during his tenure as head sire for C.A.West in Pennsylvania. INDRAGE was another noted sire of mares, with the likes of WASEIDA, WAZVAND, WAFADI, KOREEN, WANDRA, REISINDE, MIRABA, RASEEMA, and KATAWBA (his last foaled when he was 21, though he lived to be 34) on his list. One INDRAGE son does not much stand out from another in terms of influence but WARAJE, the improbably named EL PASHA OF HIGHVIEW and KENTHELMARG’S SHEIK, RAHAGE, IFRIT ABYAD, and the reserve East Coast Champion MIRLINDRAFF are among those seen in pedigrees. INDRAGE get, including many of those above plus such as INDKERAGE and SKOWROMIR, made notable riding horses.

The first of the great *MIRAGE mares was IMAGE’s grey 1934 sister RAGALA, dam of 16 foals with descent through 11 of them. Hers was predominantly a mare-line influence; three of her sons were used for breeding but only one of those sources persisted. The 10 RAGALA daughters produced up to 18 foals apiece, averaging 11.4 even though one of them managed only three. *RIFALA’s only daughter amply furnished her branch of the RISSLA family. RAGALA was much the most important foundation mare for the famed Bear Claw Ranch program of Mrs. Jeannette Cox Morill in Wyoming; those RAGALA daughters, without extending the lines further, included such noted matrons as RAZIKA, MISTY MOON, BOIS DU ROSE, ARIANA, ADASTRA, NEFERTITI, BINT RAGALA, LAKSHMI and LALLA KADIJA.

SLIPPER’s gelding son BATU was the best *MIRAGE could do in 1935 but the ’36 crop brought five foals, again all from Crabbet mares; besides RAGIN, the ill-fated brother to INDRAGE, there were ROMIRA, RIFAGE, AGWE and RAGEYMA. The *ROSE OF FRANCE (*Raswan x Jalila) daughter ROMIRA produced four fillies, all “straight Selby” by pedigree though none were bred there, and all represented in pedigrees today. The *Raffles daughter RAFFIRA with 8 foals was the most prolific; her sister MIRAFF produced only one but that was the classy show horse NARZAD who also got a few foals, with successful individuals among them.

RIFAGE 1286 (*Mirage x *Rifala) photo courtesy Nyla Eshelman

The third of the *MIRAGE/*RIFALA siblings, the grey RIFAGE, went to Colorado as a youngster and lived into his 30s as the head sire of the Van Vleet program. RIFAGE left 102 registered foals including a wealth of daughters headed by the national champion mare ROMINNA and a particularly lovely early top ten winner SHIHADA. The most prominent RIFAGE son in pedigrees must be the Gainey sire GAYSAR who got the mare sire GALIMAR and the versatile show horses SKORAGE, double-*MIRAGE full brothers out of RAGEYMA. AGWE, the *MIRAGE son from the scopey arched-necked bay *HILWE (Najib x Hafra), sired just seven registered foals in his South Carolina career through age 16; five of the seven were from the Brown Egyptian import *RODA, and four of those still represent AGWE in pedigrees. The handsome eldest brother APOLLO got 36 foals and the imposing junior partner JASPRE sired 64, while their sister WEDA numbered such good mares as AZEDA by AZRAFF and RAFFWE by RAFFEY among her eight offspring. The success of these family members is only prologue to the story of RODETTA who was exported to Cuba but not before she had produced the Field and Al-Marah foundation mares CASSANDRA and ROSE MARIE, two of the most renowned and impressive of the *Raffles daughters.

The first *MIRAGE chestnut and the second of his great daughters was foaled by *KAREYMA: RAGEYMA, dam of 11 foals with descent through 10. She began with the grey colt GEYM; as the only *Raffles son out of a *MIRAGE daughter to reach maturity, GEYM was inevitably a head sire at the Selby Stud and then in the successor program of Friendship Farms in Illinois. GEYM lived into his 30s and sired 138 foals. At Selby’s as the IMAGE daughters came to maturity they went to the court of GEYM, and while IMAGE lived his grandaughers from this generation were crossed back to him. At Friendship GEYM encountered a somewhat wider set of mares and his daughters made the acquaintance of *NIZZAM. GEYM’s sister GAJALA was a key foundress in the Gainey program; their half-brothers GALIMAR and SKORAGE have been mentioned, and those two had a prolific full sister in GAGEYMA. FA-EL-GEMAR by *FADL, GARAK by AZRAK, GALLANT by PHANTOM, GAYFERRA by FERZON and VIA by GARAFF rounded out the RAGEYMA breeding roster.

RIFALA’S LAMI 8391 (Geym x Maatiga by Image) photo from the Cummings collection

RASAGE, RAGIA, GEYAMA and (in Canada) MIRILLA were the 1937 *MIRAGE offspring, once again all from Selby Crabbet mares. The chestnut RASAGE from *RASMINA (Shareer x Jalila) was another sold first to California but even more than ARABI KABIR found his niche in the Northwest, where he left such daughters as NIRAGE, AMORET, FILLAREE, RONDI, RASYL, RASAGE’S QUEEN OF SHEBA and RASAGE’S GARDEN OF EDEN. RASAGE was back in California to leave a last crop in 1961. His son DALLAL ABU RASAGE had a colorful career; shipped to Hawaii en utero he made an all-around performance horse, and DALLAL too returned to California to sire a few foals as an older stallion. RAGIA, the grey sister to INDRAGE, was one of the mares Roger Selby donated to the US Remount; she produced two fillies by KATAR and both have bred on, with her granddaughter AL-MARAH BINT AIGRETTE perhaps the most successful for the line. GEYAMA, a three-quarters sister to RAGEYMA out of *KIYAMA (Rafeef x Julnar), produced eight foals, most of them for Comar Arabians in Iowa. She bred on through her daughters AMULET, MIRAGETTE, MIRAGEY, all by IBN MIRAGE, and AL-MARAH GENNA by INDRAFF. AMULET and MIRAGEY produced by AL-MARAH IBN INDRAFF the blood-sisters ROSE OF MIRAGE and VEISHEA, dams by AZRAFF of the blood-brother show horses and sires COMAR BAY BEAU and CAMIRAFF.

Dr. Thompson’s (and *NAMILLA’s) second *MIRAGE foal, the filly MIRILLA, was to produce eight foals in Canada and Washington. One of her sons by the Maynesboro stallion GHASIK had two breeding daughters while her three daughters by ROYAL FEZ and one by ABU BAHA gave her 20 grandchildren. The least prolific of the ROYAL FEZ sisters, bred to ABU BAHA in her turn, produced FEZABBI to whose family belongs the glamourous show horse and sire SHABAOUD.

*KAREYMA and *KIYAMA produced again to *MIRAGE in 1938. *KAREYMA’s filly was one of those struck by lightning, but the *KIYAMA colt YAMAGE went to Florida where he sired five foals through 1949 and bred on through three of them. *MIRAGE had his biggest crop of seven foals in 1939, five of them from outside mares. W.C.Shuey sent the double *BERK granddaughter CURFA (Ribal x Nardina) and RIHANI (*Saoud x *Muha) from North Carolina to produce the grey colt ADONIS and bay filly JOHARAH. ADONIS was sold to Montana where he got 24 foals including such producing mares as NEJD BANOU, UR ARABAH, ABA-EL-RIEL, UM EL SURAB, BINT SABA, NEJD KAMIL, UR OKAI, NEJD KUSOF, NEJD BENAYA and NAMIRADA, and RAKKA who sired the important mare KHAMMA of Hillcrest Stud. ADONIS mares were producers for the early Kale and Lasma programs.

A very young JOHARAH (*Mirage x Rihani)

JOHARAH produced 11 foals, all but two of them for the Shueys at Sunny Acres, and is in pedigrees through six. JOHARAH’s first three were all by *Raffles; the colt SHUEYMAN died young and his sister MY GYPSY ROSE left no descent though she had three registered foals. This nick still is accounted one of the most successful in history, for the eldest sister was the elegant if oddly-named chestnut MY BONNIE NYLON, already mentioned under the IBN HANAD heading in the HANAD story (Record VII/4) and one of the key mares in the success of the Sunny Acres program. JOHARAH never produced another MY BONNIE NYLON (few mares manage one in that class) but she had good breeding offspring by GEYM, TUT ANKH AMEN and IBN HANAD at Sunny Acres, and also has descent through her last foal MALIK EL HAWA from her days in the less equable clime of Massachusetts.

The sires of CURFA and RIHANI each had an Ohio-owned daughter producing by *MIRAGE in 1939. ADONIS’s three-quarters sister was the grey KAE out of KETURAH (Ribal x Aatika), bred by L.N.Brutus; KAE produced first for R.J.Geimer of California and Texas and then became an early Al-Marah matron, giving six INDRAFF foals beginning with the great cutting mare AL-MARAH ZAIBAQ, dam of 11 foals including OVERLOOK FARWA by Abu Farwa. The next sister FAE died foaling in 1960, leaving six registered foals, but these included IBN JULEP, FAESAN and LA FAESANA. AL-MARAH KETIR also produced 11 foals including the lovely if hiccup-like about the name HHIK. SHIRIK was a noted show horse who rather surprisingly got only 30 foals but numbers good producing mares among them; AL-MARAH KAIDAR was less lucky as he sired two foals but neither of them bred. The youngest sister TRAKILA produced 10 foals. KAE ended her career in South Carolina and left two breeding double-*MIRAGE offspring by AGWE’s son APOLLO.

RASMIR 3071 (*Mirage x Rasasah) in old age photo courtesy Linda Paich

RASMIR was a grey three-quarters brother to JOHARAH, out of L.P.Bailey’s RASASAH (*Saoud x Aatika) who was to cross so successfully with *Raffles. RASMIR was not registered until he was five years old; he became a working stock horse in Texas, owned at the end of his life by the Kuhlmans of Rancho Llano Grande. RASMIR sired three colts; his first son, the bay KARAGE, made a great using gelding after he sired two fillies from the beautiful ANTEZ granddaughter TEZEYNA. One of the KARAGE daughters produced 15 foals and carried on the RASMIR influence. Her name was KAREYN and she numbered among her produce some of the top show horses of the ’70s including MINDY KAR by IZKAR and a string of notables by KIMFA. The KAREYN family includes halter show horses, top performers and breeding animals but unquestionably is headed by the sheerly beautiful KIMFA daughter KIMEYN, a great show mare of her day and now an international pedigree influence. The fifth outside mare to produce by *MIRAGE in 1939 was C.J.Brukner’s Davenport plus Domow chestnut CHARMAIN (Abu-Selim x Aatika) who produced the grey filly KYMIR, dam of one foal. This was the bay double *MIRAGE grandson MERJAN by IMAGE, sire of 14 Arab foals but probably more noted as a sire of partbreds. (Another AATIKA daughter played a major role in developing the *MIRAGE legacy: AL-MAATIKA by *AL-MASHOOR produced the important IMAGE mares MAATIGA and ALIMA.)

Two Selby Crabbet mares produced grey *MIRAGE colts in 1939. IDOL out of *SELMNAB got 40 foals through 1965, of which the striking chestnut action champion LIDOL must be the most noted. IDOL’s sons FAYZ and SHAHZADOL also are encountered in pedigrees. IBN MIRAGE, full brother to RAGEYMA, replaced RAGIN at Comar Arabians in Iowa and got 54 foals, playing a central role in linebreeding *MIRAGE and the JULNAR influence and then providing mares to cross with AZRAFF. IBN MIRAGE and his double *KAREYMA son MIRFEY are still recognizable sources of the KAREYMA stamp in modern Arabians, and an earlier son HIMALAYA is a widespread influence.

*MIRAGE died in 1939, leaving *KAREYMA in foal once again for 1940. She produced the grey filly KARAGA who with her older sister KAREYGA was struck by lightning and killed in 1941. Given the success of their full siblings RAGEYMA and IBN MIRAGE, that lightning bolt might have halved this story.

Descent table *MIRAGE 790: registered offspring
name reg# color sex year foaled (dam) breeder state (number of foals/number with offspring) [“//” – no offspring]
Peraga 910 gr f 32 (Slipper 442) Selby OH (10/6)
Pera 1107 gr f 33 (Slipper) same (6/4)
Image 1008 ch c 33 (*Rifala 815) same (72/54)
Namir 1056 gr c 34 (*Namilla 855) same (18/9)
Indrage 1088 b c 34 (*Indaia 813) same (55)
Ragala 1091 gr f 34 (*Rifala) same (16/11)
Batu 1116 b/gr g 35 (Slipper) same //
Ragin 1284 gr c 36 (*Indaia) same //
Romira 1285 gr f 36 (*Rose of France 857) same (4/4)
Rifage 1286 gr c 36 (*Rifala) same (102)
Agwe 1287 ch/gr c 36 (*Hilwe 810) same (7/4)
Rageyma 1289 ch f 36 (*Kareyma 811) same (11/10)
Rasage 1374 ch c 37 (*Rasmina 856) same (40/26)
Ragia 1375 gr f 37 (*Indaia) same (2/2)
Geyama 1376 ch f 37 (*Kiyama 809) same (8/4)
Mirilla 1437 gr f 37 (*Namilla) Thompson Ontario (8/5)
Kareyga 1579 gr f 38 (*Kareyma) Selby OH //
Yamage 1581 gr c 38 (*Kiyama) same (5/3)
Adonis 1619 ch/gr c 39 (Curfa 1019) Shuey NC (24)
Joharah 1620 b/gr f 39 (Rihani 1015) Shuey NC (11/6)
Kae 1748 gr/rn f 39 (Keturah 945) Brutus OH (10/7)
Idol 1762 gr c 39 (*Selmnab 812) Selby OH (40)
Ibn Mirage 1763 gr c 39 (*Kareyma) same (54)
Kymir 2455 gr f 39 (Charmain 860) Brukner OH (1/1)
Rasmir 3071 gr c 39 (Rasasah 1141) Bailey OH (3/1)
Karaga 1943 gr/w f 40 (*Kareyma) Selby OH //

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.

The Arabians of the CMK Heritage

4H quadrille team at Davis, California.

The CMK pedigree definition has become increasingly streamlined over the years; we now require 75% CMK founder ancestry, with a CMK sire line and a dam line established in North America by 1950. Our approach differs from that of some preservation or conservation breeding groups in the Arabian community, because we do not have a closed pedigree requirement. Not working with such narrowly defined pedigrees enables us to put more emphasis on practical concerns, although we do serve as a rallying point for some of the specialty closed pedigree groups that fall within our larger concept.

“CMK” itself commemorates three founder programs–Crabbet of Lady Wentworth in England, Maynesboro of W. R. Brown in New Hampshire, and the W. K. Kellogg program at Pomona in Southern California–whose historical and genetic contributions have proven our strongest links to the breeding and philosophical tradition of the desert travelers: Lady Wentworth’s parents Wilfrid and Lady Anne Blunt, and the American newspaperman Homer Davenport.

The most influential single contribution to the overall CMK breeding base has been made by the stock of England’s famed Crabbet Stud, founded by the Blunts in 1878. Crabbet breeding contributes to CMK through more recent lines as well as the earliest English imports which give CMK by far the most extensive sampling of the original Blunt founders of any breeding tradition in the world. CMK ancestry also includes unique lines based on horses imported direct to North America from the Middle East. Desert horses of the Davenport (1906) and Chicago World’s Fair (1893) importations are the most widely influential, and a later source was provided by the Hearst horses of 1947.

We also embrace a relatively small number of other Arabian ancestors which come in because of their use at Maynesboro or by Kellogg, or their later whole-hearted incorporation into the Midwest or Old California cooperator breeding circles of the 1940s and ’50s. An entire chapter could be written on the influence and interactions of the two breeder circles, and their spirit of community and cooperation is among the things we aim to keep current, right along with the genetic contributions of their horses.

The CMK concept developed to maintain the traditional using and companion horses that made the breed’s original reputation in this country, and these lines still are prized as examples of the Arabian as a “beautiful generalist” riding horse. Individual CMK Arabians continue to excel both in the show ring and in virtually every field of performance open to the breed; individual breeders working within the CMK Heritage may specialize in any performance area. Latterly CMK Arabians are increasingly valued in the endurance and sport horse disciplines. Recognizing our performance emphasis is not to say that CMK breeders are immune to the aspect of the breed which Lady Wentworth called its “genius for beauty;” rather, we prefer not to give up any of the traits historically recognized in the Arabian.

The CMK Heritage does not operate through a national organization, but rather our central committee attempts to facilitate communication between local CMK action groups. Activities on the local level include unrated shows and noncompetitive symposia or showcase events, with a historical and community emphasis.

CMK is a registered US trademark; we encourage its use to refer to CMK qualifying Arabians and to the CMK ancestral elements in combined-source pedigrees.

A Wrinkle in the Stud Book: Rosa Rugosa 166

Copyright 1991 by R.J.CADRANELL
from Arabian Visions Jan 1991
Used by permission of RJCadranell

One of the most puzzling registrations in the first edition (1944) of Volume V of our Arabian Stud Book is 166. This is the number assigned to a bay mare foaled March 27, 1907, and entered in the Stud Book as “*Rosa Rugosa.” Her sire was *Imamzada, and her dam was *Rose of Sharon. The Stud Book states that Rosa Rugosa was bred by the Crabbet Stud in England, and imported in 1911 by American foundation breeder Spencer Borden, of Fall River, Massachusetts. The same Stud Book states that Borden imported both *Imamzada and *Rose of Sharon from England in 1905. There’s the rub, or in this case, the wrinkle. With both her parents owned in America, how was it that this animal was bred in England and imported to America as a four-year-old? Or could there be an error in the Stud book?

Unlike some problematic early registrations, there is enough evidence to iron out Rosa Rugosa’s wrinkle. The 1986 publication, Lady Anne Blunt, Journals and Correspondence, contains much of it. From correspondence published in this book, we know that Borden made what was apparently his first visit to Crabbet, on September 6, 1905. After his visit, he wrote to Lady Anne Blunt,

“I find the family that pleases me most is that of Rose of Sharon. As I should have to pay duty on the old mare, I would much prefer having Ridaa her daughter or Risala her granddaughter, unless the price of the old mare is quite a short one. Ridaa, I understand you will not sell, and I fear the price on Risala would be too high…” (1) (page 433)

*Rose of Sharon was then twenty years old, and had already assumed the position of one of the most valuable and distinguished broodmares the Blunts ever bred at their Crabbet Stud. She had produced her eleventh foal in 1904, and was in foal for 1906. Lady Anne Blunt replied,

“…I could take 100gs for Rose of Sharon. I am, however, not keen to sell the mare as she is in foal to Harb, and also at her age the change she is making to a new climate and surroundings might be trying…”(1) (page 433)

Despite the initial reservations on both sides, Borden and Lady Anne eventually struck a deal. *Rose of Sharon’s English Stud Book Certificate, recording her sale to Borden (now at the Arabian Horse Trust) is dated September 28, 1905. According to Michael Bowling, (2) the Crabbet herdbook records that, *Rose of Sharon was shipped from Liverpool on October 6. The section of Borden’s book detailing importations to America, states,

“In October 1905 there came… the famous old mare Rose of Sharon…”(3)(page 93)

Borden had added his prize, a mare he felt was just about the best the Crabbet Stud could offer him, to his own small herd in America.

A letter from Borden to “Harry” (perhaps Major Henry Leonard) dated November 3, 1919 (now on file at the Arabian Horse Trust) continues the story:

“When I visited Crabbett Park [sic] in 1905, I thought Ridaa the best mare…No price would buy her. As I wanted some of the blood, I had to buy her dam, the Rose of Sharon, then 20 years old.
“In January 1906, she foaled Rodan. I bred her to Imanzada [sic] and in 1907 she had Rosa Rugosa. I sold her to Ames as a yearling.”

*Rodan was the Harb colt *Rose of Sharon had been carrying when she left Crabbet. *Imamzada was a bay or brown stallion of non-Crabbet lines, foaled in 1891. Borden had bought *Imamzada from the Hon. Miss Etheldred Dillon during his September 1905 trip to England. This was “before he went down to Crabbet.” (1) (page 420)

Arabians of H.H. and W.R.Brown Registered in 1916:

  • (N.B. *157 was a Hingham Stock Farm foal registered 2-10-16)
  • 160 *Shibine
  • 161 Nazlet, mare of H.J.Brown’s from Borden
  • 162 *Antika, imported by Borden, owned by W.R.Brown
  • 163 (Alladin, colt bred by Albert Harris)
  • 164 *Narda
  • 165 *Risalda, imported by Borden, owned by Brown
  • 166 Rosa Rugosa
  • 167 *Noam
  • 168 Matina, 1913 foal bred by H.J.Brown
  • 169 Hajar, 1915 foal bred by W.R.Brown
  • 170 Jafa, 1915 Brown foal
  • 171 Mahmet, 1915 Borden foal owned by Brown
  • 172 Reza, 1915 Rosa Rugosa foal bred by H.J.Brown
  • 173 Abeleyd, 1913 *Shibine foal bred by H.J.Brown
  • 174 (Yemen, 1915 Hingham foal)
  • 175 Abyssam, 1916 Brown foal
  • 176 Gemar, 1916 Brown foal
  • 177 Kahlaga, 1916 Brown foal
  • 178 Suleiman, 1916 Brown foal
  • 179 Yaquida, 1916 Brown foal
  • 180 Djemeli, 1916 Brown foal
  • 181 Mariam, 1915 Brown foal
  • (N.B.*184 was a Hingham foal registered 12-4-16)

*Rose of Sharon did not live many years in America. This was not because she was sent back to England, as some people have hypothesized to explain the confusing Rosa Rugosa registration. Borden wrote to Lady Anne Blunt on July 29, 1907. “You will be sorry to hear that Rose of Sharon died last week. A severe attack of what seemed like cholera, perhaps brought on by the dreadfully hot weather, carried her off. She left me a fine filly, by Imamzada, which I have named Rosa Rugosa.” (1) (page 438)

Rosa rugosa is the botanical name of a species of rose having rough leaves with furrowed veins (from the Latin rugosus wrinkled). In naming the filly Rosa Rugosa, Borden was following the Crabbet Stud practice of connecting the names of foals to the names of their dams. *Rose of Sharon was the daughter of Crabbet foundation mare, Rodania. The Blunts named Rodania’s other daughters Rose of Jericho and Rosemary. Among Rodania’s granddaughters were *Rosetta, Rose of Dawn and Rose Diamond, the dam of Rose of Hind.

As we already know, Borden sold Rosa Rugosa to Frederick Lothrop Ames when she was a yearling. Ames was a descendant of the founder of the “Ames Shovel and Tool Company.” The family seat was in North Easton, Massachusetts. Beginning in 1909, Ames bought some Arabians of his own from Crabbet. On the occasion of Ames’ (July, 1909) visit. Lady Anne Blunt noted in her journal that, “[h]e possesses the R. of Sharon filly by Imamzada, very fine he says which he bought from Borden.” (1) (page 338)

In 1909, Ames bought a number of horses from Wilfrid Blunt, including the mares, *Shibine and *Narda. The mares were imported in 1910, and *Narda produced a filly named *Noam, in 1911.

The imported Arabians mentioned thus far, as well as Rosa Rugosa, were registered in the Arabian section of the Jockey Club’s American Stud Book, well before they were entered in our Arabian Stud Book. As of the Jockey Club’s 1914 Stud Book, the Ames’ mares, *Narda and *Shibine, were owned by Herbert J. Brown, brother of W.R.Brown of the famous Maynesboro Stud. H. J. Brown seems to have acquired the bulk of the Ames’ Arabians. As of 1914, H. J. owned Rosa Rugosa as well as *Narda and *Shibine; he is credited as the breeder of Rosa Rugosa’s first foal, Kheyra, registered in the Arabian Stud Book as born in 1913.

In 1916, the Brown brothers burst into the Arabian Stud Book with a nearly solid block of 20 registrations, as shown in the accompanying box. The first published Stud Book in which these registrations appeared was Volume II, dated 1918. At that time Rosa Rugosa was listed as dead, and the misinformation about her having been bred at Crabbet and imported by Borden in 1911, first saw print. Where it came from is difficult to judge; perhaps it was a clerical error, since the mare registered immediately before Rosa Rugosa, *Risalda 165, really was bred at Crabbet and really was imported by Borden in 1911. The one Jockey Club Stud Book naming Rosa Rugosa’s breeder, is Volume XII. It says that she was bred by Spencer Borden.

Arabian Stud Book Volumes II, III, IV, and V, all list Rosa Rugosa as bred at Crabbet and imported by Borden in 1911. The third edition of Volume V (1973) corrects the name of her breeder to Spencer Borden. The 1986 edition of the Registry’s Stud Book on microfiche, however, has returned to the erroneous information with the curious addition of a specious importation date of 3-28-07.

Though three of her four registered foals, Rosa Rugosa’s line is active in Arabian breeding today. Her daughter, Kheyra (by *Astraled) is the dam of Rawada. Rosa Rugosa’s most widespread line is through her son, Sidi (by Khaled), sire of Babyat, Raad and Rehal.


    Lady Anne Blunt, Journals and Correspondence
    CMK Record, Vol. IV, No. 3, (writing in )
    The Arab Horse, Spencer Borden

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

Basilisk Defended

by R.J. Cadranell II
from The CMK Record Spring 1992 X/I, Copyright 1992

Photos courtesy AHOF and the late Lady Anne Lytton [BEREYDA]; captions by the editor.

Ever since the beginning of modern Arabian horse breeding in the English speaking world, it has been customary to question the origins of other people’s stock. Among the foundation horses of the Blunts, probably the one attracting the most attention over the last thirty or forty years is a fine-boned little mare named BASILISK.

BASILISK was a grey mare, foaled in 1876 according to Crabbet records, although the GSB states 1875. H.B.M. Consul at Aleppo, James Skene, purchased her for the Blunts at Deyr in February of 1878. He bought her from Abd el Jadir, a resident of that town, for £75. BASILISK’s history prior to this has been the subject of much commentary over the years. The story is told in brief in her entry in the General Stud Book, and with a little more detail in the reference pedigree section of the second volume of the stud book of the Arab Horse Society. The Crabbet herdbook, which has a more complete account than either published stud book, says that her dam was a white mare

“stolen by Faris Assaat from the desert. Neddi ibn ed Derri had sold the mare on shares to an Abadat (Sebaa Anazeh) and it was from him that she was stolen. Sire said to be a bay Seglawi of same strain. Faris Assaat sold the dam to Abd el Jadir of Deyr on the Euphrates in whose possession Basilisk was foaled.”

Since neither published stud book mentioned her sire, and since BASILISK was born in a town rather than with the Bedouin, for years BASILISK’s provenance lacked enough information that some people in America connected to “purist” breeding movements regarded her with suspicion. Animals acceptable for “purist” breeding often traced to foundation animals with backgrounds more murky than BASILISK’s. Some dismissed these with the explanation that the lines had passed through the hands of breeders known (or believed) to have insisted on verifiable stock.

That the Blunts also fell into this category escaped them. Ever since the appearance of Borden’s The Arab Horse in 1906, American breeders have known that Lady Anne Blunt wrote that it was

“a fundamental principle at the Crabbet Arabian Stud that no stallion, however individually excellent, [was] eligible for service if there [was] any doubt or lack of information as to a true Arabian descent…”

Lady Anne Blunt’s use of *BERK as a sire should have been enough to validate the BASILISK line.

The year 1978 saw the publication of Archer, Pearson, and Covey’s The Crabbet Arabian Stud, Its History and Influence. Lady Anne Blunt was quoted on the subject,

In one instance, that of Basilisk whose dam had been stolen from Ibn ed Derri by one of the Abadat tribe [sic], authentication was not obtained for three years not until we visited Ibn ed Derri in the desert—if we had not succeeded her descendants would not have counted as pure-bred, and no stallion of her or of her posterity could have been used as a sire.

Excerpts from Lady Anne Blunt’s journals were published in 1986. According to the journals, the visit to Neddi ibn ed Derri was in April of 1881:

We have enquired about Basilisk. Neddi says that eight years ago a white mare, of his Seglawyehs, was stolen by people from Aleppo, from a Sebaa one of the Abadat to whom Neddi had sold her in shares, and there seems no doubt that Basilisk is her daughter.

The exact date of BASILISK’s arrival in England is difficult to fix. Crabbet herdbook records quoted by Archer, Pearson and Covey, and by Peter Upton in Desert Heritage, give 1878. This seems to be incorrect. The first Arabians arrived at Crabbet in two batches during the summer of 1878. Archer et al. list the animals included in both batches. BASILISK was not one.

In December of 1878 the Blunts sent for a number of horses Skene was keeping for them in Aleppo. In explanation, footnote 24 in the published version of Lady Anne’s journals reads,

“The previous April, the Blunts had left with Skene the mares Pharaoh and Queen of Sheba as well.”

In October Skene had purchased PHARAOH for the Blunts. He notified the Blunts “late in the autumn” that he had acquired QUEEN OF SHEBA on their behalf. Lady Anne Blunt wrote in Crabbet records that since QUEEN OF SHEBA “could not be safely left in Aleppo we had her sent (with Pharaoh, Francolin and Basilisk) to Egypt for the winter.” According to the GSB, FRANCOLIN’s 1879 colt FARIS (by Kars) was foaled in Egypt. GSB volume XIV lists PHAROAH, QUEEN OF SHEBA, BASILISK and FRANCOLIN as imported in 1879. When the 1879 imports arrived at Crabbet, the Blunts were on the trip which included their pilgrimage to Nejd and “nightmare journey,” as well as a visit to India. In August of 1879 they saw the horses at Crabbet again.

As of August, the three or four year old BASILISK was already under saddle. One day that month, six year old Judith Blunt was put on her back. This was likely the first Arabian she ever rode. By the time Judith was eleven, the mare was such a favorite of hers that Judith could “bring tears into her eyes for Basilisk at any moment.”

PHAROAH, QUEEN OF SHEBA, FRANCOLIN, and BASILISK apparently arrived late enough in 1879 that they all missed the breeding season, Crabbet’s first. BASILISK’s first foal at Crabbet was the 1881 filly BOZRA. BOZRA has the distinction of being Crabbet’s earliest foal to have influence in the long term breeding program.

BASILISK’s complete production record at Crabbet, extracted from GSB, is as follows:

  • 1881 gr f BOZRA, by Pharoah
  • 1882 no produce
  • 1883 gr f BALSAM, by Kars
  • 1884 gr f BUSTARD, by Kars

In August of 1884 the Blunts sold BASILISK to the Duke of Westminster. She left Crabbet Park on the first of September, after her foal was weaned. Her subsequent production follows:

  • 1885 c by Kars
  • 1886 ch f by Bend Or (TB)
  • 1887 b c by Newton (TB)
  • 1888 ch f by Golden Cross (h.-b.)
  • 1889 barren
  • 1890 gr f by Downpatrick (TB)
  • 1891 barren and shot

Crabbet records as published in Desert Heritage state that BASILISK died of liver disease.

The writer does not know whether BASILISK blood is found in modern Thoroughbreds. Lady Wentworth wrote in Thoroughbred Racing Stock that BASILISK’s 1886 filly was the dam of ALFRAGAN, and that “Alfragan in 1894 won the Dee Stakes and also the Drayton Handicap at Goodwood by six lengths” (2nd ed. p. 303).

Although BUSTARD did produce two foals at Crabbet, BOZRA became BASILISK’s link to modern Arabian breeding. This was through BOZRA’S three daughters to live to maturity. The first of these, *BUSHRA (by Azrek), is important to American breeding through her son *IBN MAHRUSS and daughter SIRA. At Crabbet the line was to develop through *BUSHRA’s younger three-quarter sisters, BUKRA and BEREYDA (both by Azrek’s son Ahmar).

Wilfrid Blunt’s famous 1897 memorandum ranked the breeding influence of the foundation mares imported from the desert. It treated the BASILISK line well:

“the strains which have hithero proved themselves the best are 1. Rodania’s 2. Dajania’s through Nefisa 3. and 4. Meshura’s and Basilisk’s…”

The Blunts seem to have regarded MESHURA and BASILISK as of the same line, since they were both of the Seglawieh Jedranieh strain of Ibn ed Derri.

The 1917 Crabbet catalogue, prepared about a year before Lady Anne Blunt’s death, lists the mares BUKRA and BEREYDA with their daughters *BATTLA and *BARAZA as representing the BASILISK family. At that time BUKRA’s son *BERK was one of Lady Anne Blunt’s senior sires, and the 1917 catalog lists eleven of his get, including *RAMIM, SAFARJAL and RYTHMA. Among the 1917 foals was to be RISSLA, the most famous of all the *BERK daughters.

BASILISK was a small mare, standing 14.1 hands. Lady Anne Blunt described her as having “wiry legs… not large below the knee”and a “good head and small muzzle.” Lady Anne Blunt commented that BASILISK had “something of the compact wiriness of a wild animal.” BASILISK was likely fine-skinned; through her coat were visible some patches of pink skin. Grey horses with fine skin frequently exhibit some loss of pigment. Small as she was, Michael Bowling has noted that BASILISK “seems to have bred still smaller, since BOZRA and BUSHRA were both noted as standing 14 hands even” (see CMK Record V/3). In its early generations, the BASILISK family seems to have produced an abundance of pretty, delicate-looking “deserty” little grey mares which very often turned flea-bitten as they aged. According to notes on the back of a Maynesboro photo of *BATTLA (Razaz x Bukra), published in the October 1972 Arabian Horse News, at the age of five years she stood 14.2 and weighed only 850 lbs.

Two people, both of whom have attracted not insignificant followings, have presented alternate views of BASILISK. Carl Raswan printed a photo of BASILISK on p. 80 of his book, The Arab and his Horse. He describes BASILISK as a coarse mare with an ugly head, and states that she had Syrian blood. He seems to have based his description on the photograph alone. A far clearer reproduction of the same photograph appears between pages 104 and 105 of Archer et al. In the photograph, BASILISK exhibits the fine bone and small muzzle Lady Anne Blunt described.

The entry in the Raswan Index for BAHRAM, a horse with two crosses to BASILISK (one in tail-female), touts him as “[one of] the last true and outstanding CLASSIC TYPE Arabians of the old Lady Anne Blunt, ‘ALI PASHA SHARIF and DESERT ARABIAN breeding.” However, BASILISK’s own entry in the Index says that she, like TAMARISK and PURPLE STOCK, was “another one of the early SYRIAN BLUNT importations (which were improved in later years with the incomparable ‘ALI PASHA SHARIF blood).” Among these Ali Pasha horses was WAZIR, sire of MAKBULA GSB, MERZUK, *SHAHWAN, and SOBHA. WAZIR’s head, wrote Lady Anne Blunt, “in shape reminded me of… Basilisk.”

Jane Ott has written that BASILISK possessed and handed on “extra bone and substance,” that “Basilisk type” horses are “robust” and “larger, bigger boned, and more substantial” than some other lines of Arabian breeding. No one can deny that Crabbet bloodlines have on occasion produced animals matching Miss Ott’s description. That someone should trace the origin of these characteristics to the fine boned 14 and 14.1 hand BASILISK mares is rather startling. Crabbet’s “enormous Rijm” topped 15.3 hands and would have towered over “little Bozra” and her compact, wiry dam. The NEFISA family bred a series of horses in excess of 15 hands. Hanstead’s RIFFAL (Naufal x Razina), of pure Blunt breeding, grew to stand over 16 hands without a drop of BASILISK blood.

Miss Ott states that *BERK “in spite of his too-slender legs and body… transmitted [the] extra bone and substance of his third dam as faithfully as any of her other progeny.” A Maynesboro photo of *BERK’s daughter *RAMIM (published with that of *BATTLA) had notes on the back stating *RAMIM’s height at age five years to be 14.1 hands and her weight 825 lbs, not a large horse by anyone’s standards. Mr. Covey writing in Archer et al. described *BERK’s daughter RISSLA as having “a lovely head and refined body,” and in his booklet Crabbet Arabians:

“Beautiful head with fine muzzle…a rather delicate mare and had to be brought in earlier than the other mares in the autumn.”

Photographs of RISSLA show a fine boned mare with the appearance of fine skin as well. If some lines of Blunt breeding are capable of producing “larger, bigger boned, and more substantial” Arabians it is far more likely due to the influence of horses like RIJM and NEFISA than BASILISK and BOZRA.

*Aziza & *Roda

Copyright 1996 by R.J.CADRANELL
from Arabian Visions Nov/Dec 1996
Used by permission of RJCadranell

The stories of *Aziza and *Roda run parallel. They were bred by Prince Mohamed Ali of Egypt, daughters of his mare Negma, and imported to the U.S. by W.R. Brown in 1932. From Brown’s Maynesboro Stud they were sold to General Dickinson of Tennessee. Both mares later had foals by *Raffles, and both ended their lives with breeders who were part of Jimmie Dean’s wide circle of influence. Since both also appear in the pedigrees of black Arabians, they seemed a natural choice for this issue.

*Aziza. Foaled in 1926 and sired by Gamil Manial, *Aziza was the elder of the two. When Jack Humphrey selected the horses for W.R.Brown’s importation from Egypt, he wrote, “Aziza has wonderful quality in conformation and a wonderful head, in structure fully as good as her mother’s.”[1] *Aziza was imported along with her foal:

  • 1932 grey colt *Silver Yew 891, by Ibn Rabdan. He died soon after arrival.

W.R. Brown began dispersing his Maynesboro Stud not long after the 1932 importation. Many of the horses, including the entire Egyptian importation, were sold to General J.M. Dickinson of Traveler’s Rest in Tennessee. W.R. Brown bred only one foal from *Aziza. This was the

  • 1935 grey colt Azkar 1109, by Rahas.

Azkar accompanied his dam to Tennessee. Herbert Tormohlen related that *Aziza and Azkar were the last horses to leave Maynesboro. Dickinson’s stud catalog states Azkar was sold to Louisiana from Traveler’s Rest; the 1937 stud book gives his owner as J.S.Serio of Ferriday, Louisiana. According to an article on Azkar, from there Azkar was sold

“to a ranch in West Texas where he was branded and turned loose with a band of stock horses to fend for himself for the next six years. Hearing of this stallion that was to be sold, Mr. Babson, on a ‘hunch’ decided that a son of Aziza and Rahas was not to be overlooked and purchased him ‘sight unseen’ regardless of injuries and condition. Many admired Azkar at Mr. Babson’s and many wanted him. The Tormohlens at Ben Hur Farms were fortunate in first leasing him, then purchased him.”[2]

Azkar’s first registered foals were born in 1947, all bred by Tormohlen. During the 1950’s Azkar’s 65 registered foals included many successful show and breeding horses, among them Aalzar and Aazkara.

*Aziza spent more than ten years at Traveler’s Rest, where she became a fixture of the herd. The Traveler’s Rest catalog describes her as 14.1 and 1000 lbs. and states,

By many she is considered to represent the ultimate in the classic type of Arab for which the great studs in Egypt became famous.”

*Aziza produced ten foals bred by Dickenson, but five died young and two were sold to homes where they left no registered progeny. *Aziza’s Traveler’s Rest foals were

-> 1936 black filly Black Auster 1211, by *Zarife. Listed dead in the 1937 stud book. The Traveler’s Rest catalog states simply, “Died young.”

-> 1937 grey colt Abyad 1389, by *Nasr, died young.

-> 1938 grey colt Asad 1478, by *Nasr. Sold to Arizona in 1938. The 1944 stud book lists him as gelded.

-> 1939 grey colt Julep 1678, by Gulastra.

Julep was a three-quarter brother to Azkar, since Gulastra was also sire of Rahas. The Dickinson catalog states Julep was sold to Texas and described by a Nebraska rancher as

“a very stout looking horse, plenty of bone, good straight legs, extra good quarters and back also a fine looking horse, one of the best horses I’ve seen in a long time. A top cow horse.”

Elliott Roosevelt bred 2 foals by Julep, a 1943 colt and a 1944 filly. Dr. LaRue of Illinois later purchased the horse. Julep stood his first season at stud in Illinois in 1954, siring foals for Dr. La Rue and the Warren Buckleys, including Synbad, the 1959 National Champion Stallion. The LaRues sold Julep in about 1957 to Buckley’s Cedardell Stud. Julep sired 42 registered foals, the last born in 1964. Along with Synbad. Julep’s son Julyan (out of Bint Maaroufa) also deserves mention.

-> 1940 grey filly Wafra 1852, by *Czubuthan. Killed by lightning as a yearling.

-> 1942 grey filly Aparri 2276, by *Czubuthan, was sold to Texas in 1946. Her 1947 foal was bred by Dickinson, but registered at the beginning of a string of foals bred by Texan W.S.Jacobs, who bred Aparri’s next three foals. Aparri’s last was a 1963 filly bred by Tish Hewitt of Friendship Farms in Illinois. Of Aparri’s five registered foals, two left registered progeny.

-> 1943 grey colt Argao 2551, by *Czubuthan, Died of pneumonia.

-> 1944 brown colt Azual 2931, by Kenur. Sold to New Mexico.

-> 1945 chestnut colt Abjar 3201, by Kenur. Died young.

-> 1947 grey filly Azyya 3952, by Kenur.

From 1952 to 1967 Azyya produced 13 registered foals for the Lodwick family of Ohio, of which the best known is probably Azzaraf (by Imaraff). As an old mare Azyya went to Albert Guilbault of Canada.

In September of 1947 Alice Payne, then of Whittier, California, purchased *Aziza from Dickinson. Mrs. Payne wrote that *Aziza was in foal to one of the Traveler’s Rest stallions, but that *Aziza lost the foal. This fills the 1948 gap in *Aziza’s production record.

*Aziza was 21 when she arrived at her new home. Although she herself had become an institution, none of her produce had yet made a mark as breeding animals — Julep’s two get were still young. Aparri’s and Azkar’s first foals had just hit the ground, and Azyya was only a weanling. Reading Alice Payne’s notes, she apparently admired *Roda’s 1947 filly by *Raffles – it may be that she hoped for something similar from *Aziza. Carl Raswan probably also steered her toward *Aziza. His letter of October 6, 1947, to Alice Payne makes it clear he had admired *Aziza since she was a young mare in Egypt, and recommended crossing her with Mrs. Payne’s horse Rasraff. Raswan later came to stay with *Aziza in Whittier when she foaled.

Alice Payne bred *Aziza twice to her *Raffles son Rasraff. In November of 1949 she acquired *Raffles himself, so *Aziza’s last foal was by *Raffles. *Aziza’s last three foals were:

-> 1949 grey colt Aziz 5388, by Rasraff.

Aziz was transferred in July of 1958 to J.G.Coleman of Los Angeles. Aziz sired 13 registered foals, born from 1960 through 1970.

-> 1950 grey colt Ibn Rasraff 6134, by Rasraff.

Ibn Rasraff does not appear to have been transferred out of Alice Payne’s ownership. He sired just nine registered foals (one of which was bred by Mrs. Payne), all born in 1955 and 1956.

-> 1951 grey filly Bint Aziza 6997, by *Raffles.

Alice Payne bred one foal from Bint Aziza (the filly Asil Bint Bint Aziza, by Rafferty) then in September 1959 sold Bint Aziza to Tish Hewitt of Friendship Farms in Illinois. Bint Aziza was carrying a 1960 foal, named Asil Rafziza. Bint Aziza then produced four more foals for Mrs. Hewitt, the last born in 1966. Back at the Asil Ranch, Asil Bint Bint Aziza was sold to Bill Munson in 1959.

Thus, much as Alice Payne had admired *Aziza herself, the *Aziza line did not produce what she wanted from it and was dropped from the Asil Ranch program. Across from the *Aziza entry in her copy of the Raswan Index, Alice Payne wrote *Aziza was

“a disappointment to me. She produced a filly by Raffles & 2 studs by Rasraff. (The younger stud was good & produced well.)…B.B.Aziza produced one nice filly for B. Munson…by Garaff.”

*Aziza was recorded dead as of April 25, 1952.

*Roda, by Mansour, was foaled in 1931. When Jack Humphrey selected the Maynesboro importation in 1932 he described her as

“just a baby, but to me represents the best thing you are getting as a combination of individual Arab character (at this time) plus the blood that has produced their true Arab quality.[1]

From Maynesboro *Roda was sold to General Dickinson, apparently by 1933. Billie McCutcheon later recalled *Roda as

the first Arabian I ever rode – and I lost my heart to her on sight – back in 1934 – I showed her in the costume class for Gen. J.M.Dickinson. At the time it was said that she had the most perfect head of all Arabians in the U.S. … She was a very beautiful thing indeed. Especially when she went into the strutting trot.[3]

*Roda is described in the Dickinson stud catalog:

“This was the Reserve Champion Mare in a strong class of twelve entries in the National Arabian Show of 1933, second in Arab saddle class at Belleview, Tenn… The head of *Roda has been described by one of the most distinguished breeders of Arabs in the United States as perfectly representative type.”

Going to the stud books, the first of *Roda’s foals was:

-> 1937 black or brown colt Hallany Mistanny 1315, by *Zarife.

The Dickinson catalog reads,

this young horse is most striking in appearance. He promises to mature as a powerful horse of moderate height and supreme breed type.”

At age six months he was a wedding gift from Dickinson to his daughter. When her husband entered the military, it was time to sell the colt. The catalog states,

Sold 1940 to California and there a 1st prize winner. His owner described him as having ‘the most exquisite rein, is as fast as he can be on his feet,’ and described by a visitor as ‘most beautiful black stallion I have ever seen.’ ”

During first 18 years of his life, Hallany Mistanny sired just one registered foal, a 1943 colt. Like *Aziza’s sons Azkar and Julep, Hallany Mistanny was nearly lost to the breed. In March of 1955 the Arabian Horse News was asking if anyone knew where he was. At least two California breeders did know where he was – he sired two 1956 foals. That year, Howard Marks acquired him and started using him for breeding. He quickly became a cornerstone of the Howard Marks Ranch breeding program. Among his early foals for Marks was the 1957 filly Habina (x Binni), by age two already a successful show filly for the Lasma Arabian Stud, and named a U.S.National Top Ten Mare in 1960 and 1961. Hallany Mistanny died October 15, 1965. He sired 139 registered foals.

-> 1938 grey colt Rodasr 1591, by *Nasr,

“Used 1941. Sold to California and there used on coast patrol during World War II. He has been described as ‘one of the finest horses I have ever handled… He obeys most of my commands when he is being ridden by word of mouth.’ ”

Rodasr sired just one registered foal, a 1942 filly bred by Dickenson and named Shangi-La. Through her he has a presence in pedigrees.

After producing the two colts for Dickinson, *Roda was sold, apparently in 1938, to L.V.Simons of Allendale, South Carolina. Simons bred her to Agwe (*Mirage x *Hilwe) for her next foals:

-> 1939 grey colt Apollo 1687, by Agwe.

Apollo began his breeding career in South Carolina for Neil Trask. He sired a total of 36 foals.

-> 1940 grey filly Rodetta 1972, by Agwe.

Rodetta accompanied her dam to ownership of Margaret Shuey, for whom she produced the *Raffles fillies Cassandra, Rose Marie, and Julie. Rodetta and her 1948 daughter Julie were sold to Federico Castellanos of Cuba in the fall of 1948. After Joye was weaned, the Shueys trucked Rodetta and Cassandra to Selby’s in Ohio; Cassandra was on her way to R.B.Field, and Mr. Castellanos had Rodetta bred to Image. In August of 1949 Rodetta was trucked to Florida with a stop to pick up Julie. From Florida the horses were flown to Cuba.[4]

-> 1941 g/ch filly Shemma 2150, by Agwe, left no recorded progeny.

-> 1943 grey filly Weda 2734, by Agwe.

From 1951 to 1955 Weda produced four foals for Bob Tarr, then from 1961 to 1966 another four for Jimmie and Thelma Dean.

The year after Weda was born, *Roda was sold to her last owner, Miss Margaret Shuey of Asheville, North Carolina, who later wrote,

“I will always remember that day in June 1944 when my father said I could buy Roda. She was the first Arabian I ever purchased. It was quite a venture for me, but when my father approved I was walking on air. I had wanted her for eight years and so at last my dream came true. At the same time I bought her daughter Rodetta. Roda was in foal to Agwe…”[5]

From that mating she produced:

  • 1945 grey colt Jaspre 3190, by Agwe.
    In May of 1947 the Shueys sold Jaspre to Bob Tarr, who showed him successfully. Late in 1953 or early in 1954 Jaspre moved to Illinois and the ownership of Martin Loeber. In 1961 Loeber sold Jaspre to Dr. and Mrs. Mangels of New York, who advertised him as standing at their Just So Farm from 1962 until 1967. Jaspre stood the 1968 season in New Jersey with his last owner, Gail Hoff of Princeton Arabians. He died December 16, 1968. Jaspre sired 64 registered get.

For her next foal, *Roda went to the Selby Stud in Ohio for breeding to *Raffles. Over the next three years, three foals were born from this cross:

  • 1946 grey colt Tut Ankh Amen 3830, by *Raffles.

    The Shueys sold this young stallion to Mrs. Morrill of the Bear Claw Ranch in Wyoming late in 1950. He left one 1951 foal in North Carolina. Tut Ankh Amen became a key sire for Mrs Morrill. After several foal crops she sold him to R-Farm of Buckley, Washington; the horse moved to his new home in May of 1958. Tut Ankh Amen sired 103 registered foals, the last born in 1965.

  • 1947 grey filly Star of Egypt 4167, by *Raffles.

    From 1951 to 1969 Star of Egypt produced 15 foals, all bred by Margaret Shuey. They include one by Image (Pamela), four by Ibn Hanad (Egypt, Sunny Acres Misty, Sunny Acres Prometheus, and Sunny Acres Cherie), and one by Shalimar Teke (Sunny Acres Easter Star).

  • 1948 grey filly Joye 4803, by *Raffles.

    Joye was the dam of nine registered foals born from 1953 to 1967, all bred by Miss Shuey. They include the Ibn Hanad daughters Sunny Acres Papaya and Sunny Acres Lovejoye, as well as the Sunny Acres Aeneas daughter Sunny Acres Genevieve.

The Arabian Horse News reported that *Roda was bred to Image for a 1950 foal.[6] No foal was registered; Margaret Shuey wrote that *Roda was

barren for a number of years after a bout with enteritis,”[5]

but finally produced:

-> 1954 chestnut filly Sunny Acres Katydid 9142 by Ibn Hanad.

From 1959 to 1963 Katydid produced four foals for Miss Shuey, including Sunny Acres Gigi (by Rapture). Katydid’s last foal, born 1964, was bred by R.W. and L.A. Van Hoose.

-> 1955 bay filly Sunny Acres Fantasy 9886, by Ibn Hanad.

Fantasy was the dam of six foals for Margaret Shuey, born from 1959 to 1967. They include the Rapture son Sunny Acres Tarzan, and three fillies by Sunny Acres Darius.

*Roda spent the rest of her days at Sunny Acres and died in 1960. To quote Miss Shuey once more,

She became ill on the afternoon of April 13 and by 9:00 p.m. on April 14 she was gone. She had an impaction, with which we were making progress when her old heart gave out. It was a shock even though she had just passed her twenty-ninth birthday in March because she had come through our rough winter looking better than she had for the last three years. There will never be another Roda. How she will be missed. One thing helps, she was happy here… Roda meant a lot to me.”[5]

Additional sources:

Arabian Horse News, September 1958, p. 34.

Arabian Horse News, April 1969, p. 73.

notes of Alice Payne in margins of books and on backs of photos.

notes of Margaret Shuey on backs of photos sent to Alice Payne.

“Hallany Mistanny,” by Robert E. Doherty Jr., repr. Arabiana.

  1. [1]Jack Humphrey to W.R.Brown, quoted in Carol Lyons, “Egypt 1932,” Arabian Horse News, December 1973.
  2. [2]Arabian Horse News, May 1952, p. 7.
  3. [3]“Remembers *Roda,” Arabian Horse News, July 1960, p. 11
  4. [4]Arabian Horse News, February 1950, p. 11.
  5. [5]“Green Pastures,” Arabian Horse News, March-Apr-May 1960, p. 40.
  6. [6]Arabian Horse News, February 1950, p. 16.

*El Bulad 29: The New Photo

Michael Bowling © 1994 (used by permission)

from The CMK Record X/4 Winter 1994

Photos: Record archives, as credited

This photograph of a handsome grey Arabian at Hingham Stock Farm has resided for as long as I can remember in an antique cigar box of unidentified prints and negatives in the W.R.Brown collection. On my trip to Tucson for the 1992 Al-Marah Winter Forum I was able to take an extra day and go back to my breed-history roots in the Brown material at the Arabian Horse Owners Foundation. Given the obvious age of the print and the unmistakable Hingham background there were only a few candidates for its identity; after comparison with other known photos, I realized I was looking at the best *El Bulad image I’d ever seen. R.J.Cadranell and Jeanne Craver have since confirmed that diagnosis. A real puzzle by modern standards is why, with a photo like this one available, the others ever saw the printed light of day, but this is the way that story has evolved–almost every Davenport imported Arabian has come to be represented, in the last 20 years or so, by photos which show it in a more favorable light than any that were published near the time of the importation.

*El Bulad did not leave a direct sire line, which makes him easy to miss if one follows the conventional track of riding the top or bottom lines of pedigrees. His descent is all in common with other Davenport imports so several of his chief connections have been mentioned before, in the *AZRA feature, and in the RHUA, *HAMRAH and HANAD sections of the *URFAH story; another will come up in the SAAIDA chapter of our *HADBA treatment.

To begin with a brief summary from the Cravers’ Annotated Quest:

“*El Bulad 29 was a 1903 Jilfan Stam Al Bulad by a Kuhaylan-Ajuz stallion. Davenport wrote in his 1909-10 catalog: ‘…His well-formed body threatens to eclipse even that of Haleb. His lines are extremely pleasant and his bone is good and flat. He has shown great ability at the trot though a frictionless galloper. His mother was a war mare of much repute…Jilfans are noted for the peculiar slant of the shoulder and hip and this horse is a striking example of that peculiarity.'”

All statements about ownerships and dates of death which follow are based on information as provided through 1939 in The Arabian Stud Book and its supplements. This can be at best an approximation of the travels of *El Bulad and his descendants; the stud books and supplements presented information current at the time they were set in type. If a horse underwent two or more transfers between two publications, the reader has no way to catch the intervening owner(s) from the printed record, unless (and this would only readily apply to mares) it also had registered offspring in such an ownership. It also happened occasionally that a horse would be transferred to a distant owner, but stay at or near the home stud, whether to board there for breeding or simply because it was sold again before the new owner had a chance to move it. Thus ownership records may also imply travels which never took place.

(A word to the wise: The only way to trace an Arabian’s changes of address after 1939 has been through stud book breeding records, assuming the breeder of a foal to be the owner of its dam, and in the absence of evidence of the contrary, most foals to be sired by local stallions. This oversimplified picture became further removed from reality in the late 1980’s with the introduction of the “assigned breeder” designation, but its outlines had already been blurred a decade before when the microfiche stud book was produced. Horses whose breeders still were active at that time in the AHR computer files apparently were listed in the microfiche with their breeder’s most recent address, even though that might be unrelated to where the breeder [and so the horses] had lived at the time. The printed stud book remains a more reliable indicator of locality, even with all its limitations. As a rule of thumb, the more nearly contemporary a source is to the time a subject horse lived, the more seriously it must be considered.)

In the Arabian Horse Club’s original 1909 stud book *El Bulad was one of 23 entries “imported from Arabia in 1906” and “owned by the Davenport Desert Arabian Stud, Goshen, N.Y. and Hingham, Mass.” In 1913 his owner was Peter B. Bradley’s Hingham Stock Farm (Hingham, MA) and this was repeated in 1918. The supplement for 1923 shows *El Bulad transferred to Albert W. Harris, Chicago IL (though no doubt the horse spent most of his time at Harris’ Kemah Stud in Lake Geneva, WI); by 1927 he had been reported dead. Judging from the foaling record, *El Bulad was at Kemah by 1921 and probably died between the breeding seasons of 1924 and ’25. Of *El Bulad’s 15 progeny of record, he seems to have gotten two foals for Davenport, three bred by Hingham and ten credited to Harris.

Dahura (*El Bulad x Nanshan), age 24 with her last foal Aabella. Dahura would prove her sire’s most significant offspring and indeed one of the most influential mares bred at Hingham Stock Farm.

One observation I make repeatedly in these stories is that many horses could have died after siring a first crop, or first foal, and still left a major mark on the breed’s history. *El Bulad certainly comes in this category: his first registered foal was the great mare DAHURA, out of the Ramsdell mare NANSHAN (*Garaveen x *Nejdme). DAHURA became the dam of 17 registered foals and founded one of the most extensive branches of the important *NEJDME dam line; she had three non-trivial breeding sons as well.

DAHURA was a grey foaled in 1909; her original registration, in the 1913 stud book, had her owned by Hingham Stock Farm and bred by the Davenport Desert Arabian Stud. DAHURA was “bred and owned” by Hingham in the 1918 volume. Her dam NANSHAN apparently was in Davenport’s hands well before 1906 (to judge from a youthful photo published in that year and reprinted in The Annotated Quest) and was registered in the 1909 stud book in Homer Davenport’s ownership, not in the form “Davenport Desert Arabian Stud.” No horses had been listed in the 1909 book as owned by Hingham Stock Farm, although Bradley’s name did appear as First Vice President of the Arabian Horse Club and Bradley was breeder of record on some registered horses, foaled from 1896 through 1903, derived from the Hamidie Society’s 1893 World’s Fair imports. R.J.Cadranell reminds me that the 1906 importation had been financed by Bradley, and that “Davenport Desert Arabian Stud” was a joint venture of Davenport, Bradley and A.G.Hooley; its two addresses were Davenport’s and Bradley’s respectively. (But note: it was not the given owner of NANSHAN in 1909. The more one digs into the early stud books the more casual about assigning breeder designations the Arabian Horse Club appears to have been, and the more some appear to have been assigned “by guess and by gosh.”) At some point most of the Davenport Desert Arabians were transferred to Bradley’s sole ownership and went on as Hingham Stock Farm; this was probably before Homer Davenport died in 1912 (see the *HADBA story, IX/4, for the imports Davenport seems to have owned when he died.) Hingham Stock Farm did excellent work with the Davenport horses in any event, and DAHURA played a major role in the program.

DAHURA produced 10 foals bred by Hingham in as many seasons, from 1913 through 1922, and half of them remain in pedigrees. That proportion carries through on the eight full siblings by *HAMRAH; those with descent are the grey sisters DEHAHAH, of 1914; MORFDA, 1916; MERSHID, 1919 and AMHAM, 1920. Their stories have appeared in the *HAMRAH chapters (VI/4 and VII/1) under *URFAH, but to hit the high spots, MORFDA produced the important early sire STAMBUL; MERSHID and AMHAM founded extensively branched families. Both the M-named sisters were Kemah Stud matrons; Harris seemed to seek out multiple sources of any influence which worked particularly well in his terms. The lovely AMHAM was a favorite mare of W.K.Kellogg.

DAHURA’s final Massachusetts foal was her first bred son, the grey 1921 colt JOON by *AZRA, whose influence was summarized in his sire’s cover story (IV/4). His most frequently seen offspring in pedigrees probably is the Kellogg producer SHEHERZADE, dam of the familiar sire COURIER and a string of good mares. ROABERTA, OTHMANEE, RAMADI and JOONTAFA are other widespread JOON matrons.

R. J. Cadranell’s notes from documents at the Trust bridge a stud book gap: DAHURA was one of the Hingham Arabians sold in 1921 to J. G. Winant (For a note on the Winants see “HANAD 489, a short biography,” in VII/4); like them she and several of her offspring, including MORFDA, MERSHID and a 1922 filly, were owned in 1923 by Morton Hawkins of Portland, IN. JOON was then with Mrs Wikoff Smith of Bryn Mawr, PA. DAHURA must have been transferred quickly to the ownership of Parker Smith, also of Portland, IN, the breeder of her grey 1924 foal AH BEN, a full brother to JOON. The logistics of all this remain unclear: that 1923 supplement still had *Azra back in New England with Mrs. Winant, which remained unchanged in 1927. A simple guess is that DAHURA left the Winants in foal and was transferred twice before the 1924 colt arrived. AH BEN has one foal to his credit, but to no long-term effect.

DAHURA was reunited with that other former Hawkins horse, HANAD (story in VII/4). The 1926 sibling, the glamorous liver chestnut VALENCIA, was her sire’s first foal and became a well-regarded Kellogg producer. VALENCIA was first registered in 1927 as bred by Dr. C.D.Pettigrew of Muncie, IN; this was repeated in 1934 and ’37. For reasons not yet clear her breeder became H.V.Tormohlen in the more widely available Stud Book V of 1944, and this was how I presented it in VII/4. Briefly, again, AMEER ALI was the original sire for the Glass program in Oklahoma; AABANN’s most important offspring was the mare sire AABADAN; AABAB got the great matron AADAH.

AMEER ALI and all those “double A” names unequivocally mark the next chapter of DAHURA’s career; she appeared in H.V.Tormohlen’s ownership in 1927, as did AH BEN who ended up with the Remount. DAHURA produced two more registered foals after her HANAD quartet, and was still listed with Tormohlen in 1939 when she would have been 30. Tormohlen was the early writer “Ben Hur” who proselytized for the breed through the pages of Western Horseman in the 1940’s. H.V. and Blanche Tormohlen and their son Brooks also were Ben Hur Farms in Indiana, and developed a very highly regarded program based on the Maynesboro and Hingham dam lines of NADIRAT and DAHURA (NADIRAT belonged to Blanche). Ben Hur stock was entirely within the CMK founder sources, and provided important elements to many modern pedigrees; the Ben Hur horses were known for extreme breed type with brilliant action, bearing comparison with that of RABIYAT according to Gladys Brown Edwards. It’s surprising the Ben Hur story has not received an extensive treatment in these pages before now.

A Ben Hur Farms brochure from about 1959 credits DAHURA with producing 19 foals; it is not unreasonable that two out of so many might have died before registration, or indeed that she might have had a couple of foals by non-Arab sires. (Of course the caption also says DAHURA is shown “at 25 yrs.” with this “19th” foal AABELLA; by my reckoning DAHURA was 24 in 1933 when AABELLA was foaled, and the filly does not look to be a yearling, so a certain carelessness with numbers may be inferred. One finds owners can tack on a year or two or five, once horses get into the mid-20s.) DAHURA probably did not actually live beyond age 30 as I can’t picture old “Ben Hur” could have failed to make much of her passing such a landmark. The brochure also referred to VALENCIA as “foaled and raised here” which taken in conjunction with the stud book implies that DAHURA had come to Ben Hur Farms from Pettigrew in foal to HANAD. Remember that the owner of the dam either at the time of breeding or of foaling could be listed as breeder of a foal, in the early volumes; perhaps in this case they took turns.

DAHURA’s foals after HANAD left for California were three-quarters siblings to the HANAD set: AABAZEM, a bay 1931 colt, was by another *DEYR son, TABAB; AABELLA, by the HANAD son MAHOMET. This made AABAZEM and AADAH seven-eights related to each other, since TABAB and MAHOMET were themselves three-quarters brothers, by *DEYR and his son and both out of DOMOW. AABAZEM was sold to Donald Jones in California by 1934; he traveled the West Coast and got 15 foals, not counting his good partbreds, through 1957. His first son FARZEM (out of the straight Davenport FARHAN) and that horse’s daughter MEHANAZEM (out of a HANAD daughter) in particular have spread his influence widely. AABELLA made her best contribution as dam of AADAH; few mares have ever contributed anything equivalent. Her full career was summarized in the HANAD story (VII/4).

The 100% Hamidie Society mare FREDA produced a chestnut colt by *El Bulad in 1910. BUZLAD first appeared in the 1918 book, when he was owned in New York, and the stud book would have it he again was bred by Hingham Stock Farm. FREDA, like NANSHAN, was registered to Homer Davenport, not DDAS, in 1909 – note that both were mares Davenport had owned before the 1906 importation. BUZLAD was reported gelded in 1923 and transferred to a Massachusetts owner in 1927 who still had him in 1930; he was noted as dead in 1937. *El Bulad had two grey straight Davenport (a concept then almost certainly not invented) fillies in 1912 and ’13, from the important mares *RESHAN and *HAFFIA; they were reported dead by 1927 and 1930 respectively and neither left an offspring of record. The *HAFFIA daughter was one of 12 Arabians, mostly from Hingham, exported to Japan before 1918; two of DAHURA’s *HAMRAH offspring were also in the group.

Fartak (*El Bulad x *Farha): faded photo, willowy hocks and all, this is an impressive and important image of an early Davenport stallion. Photo: AHOF.

The 1913 colt FARTAK (*El Bulad x *Farha) did better for himself, though he too was dead by 1927. He gave his sire two grey straight Davenport granddaughters in the 1919 Hingham Stock Farm crop, PAULAN from *MELEKY and MEDINA from HASIKER. PAULAN too had died before 1927 without producing (one begins to suspect some sort of cataclysm or at least a run of pre-Depression very bad times). MEDINA survived her, traveled a bit and left three registered foals. The 1923 supplement showed MEDINA as one of the Hingham horses owned by F.E.Lewis II in Spadra, CA; in 1927 she was in Connecticut. MEDINA’s first recorded foal, a grey filly of 1929, was JEDRA by JOON and thus represents, with AADAH, the closest *El Bulad doubling in the stud book. JEDRA was bred by Robert Jemison Jr of Birmingham, AL but both MEDINA and the filly had been transferred to Albert W. Harris before 1930. MEDINA and JEDRA each produced two foals in Illinois; JEDRA’s were for a Harris cooperator breeder and neither of them bred on. MEDINA was dead by 1932, leaving a grey filly and gelding, both by NEJDRAN JR, with Harris. The daughter TEBUK produced 10 foals, giving her a well-branched modern family responsible for some familiar names.

*El Bulad had two foals in the 1922 Kemah crop, five in 1923, one in ’24 and two in ’25. Apparently Harris regretted not being able to use the horse more extensively, since he then bought the FARTAK daughter MEDINA and her double *El Bulad filly; he already had the DAHURA daughters MERSHID and MORFDA in 1927.

Abba (*El Bulad x Dawn) had one registered foal when she was 20. Clearly she was not idle in the years the stud book shows her unproductive.

That 1922 pair were three-quarters brother and sister, a grey filly MEDINAH from SULTANA (Nejdran Jr x Rhua) and “ch/gr” colt RUSTAM from RHUA herself; this straight Davenport mating was repeated again to produce BEN HUR in the following year. SULTANA and her sister DAWN produced four more of the *El Bulad foals, so seven of 10 were from the RHUA family. Harris’ other straight Davenport foundation mare SAAIDA outlived *El Bulad but did not produce to him; her NEJDRAN JR daughter GAMELIA did, twice. The other productive Kemah mating for *El Bulad was with the old Ramsdell mare NANDA, sister to NANSHAN, making the resulting filly ALOHA a younger blood-sister to DAHURA. ALOHA was one of the five Kemah *El Bulad offspring to die relatively young (before ages three through seven) without progeny, still apparently in Harris’ ownership. RUSTAM became a Remount sire and seems to have lived until some time between the 1937 stud book and the supplement of 1939. BEN HUR and MURAT (ex GAMELIA) were both listed as living in 1939, in California and Missouri respectively, as stallions, but neither had registered offspring. That left MEDINAH, ABBA (1923) grey filly from DAWN) and SHARAZAD (MURAT’s 1925 bay sister) to breed on from this chapter of the story. For the extensive family of MEDINAH and the thin line from ABBA see under RHUA in the *URFAH treatment (VI/3); SHAHRAZAD must wait until the SAAIDA chapter of *HADBA.

Five of *El Bulad’s 15 offspring still are in pedigrees; he had 33 registered grandchildren (over half through DAHURA) and several of the resulting lines are widespread at the backs of modern pedigrees. As part of the genetic history of the Davenport horses, note that five of *El Bulad’s 15 foals were straight Davenport but there were only two such in the second generation and none after that. *El Bulad maintains a moderately strong link to the Davenport importation in the general Arabian population, but is not represented in modern straight Davenport breeding.

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


Davenport Bloodlines in CMK Breeding

by Charles Craver
All rights reserved
(Copied to this web page by permission of Charles Craver)

By long-standing usage in the United States, the term “Davenport,” as applied to Arabian horses, is used to describe the horses registered by the Arabian Horse Registry of this country as having been imported in 1906 from the Arabian desert by Homer Davenport. By extension, the term is also applied to those horses which are entirely descended from those horses. The original importation consisted of twenty-seven head, of which twenty-five were registered. When they arrived in the United States, there were few other Arabian horses here. As the years went by, crosses were made with other bloodlines as they were imported. At present, almost all Arabians having several generations of American breeding trace to the Davenports to the extent that probably 90 percent of Arabian horses in the U.S. have in the neighborhood of 10 percent Davenport ancestry.

At the same time as this dissemination of Davenport bloodlines has gone on, a few Arabians have continued to be bred exclusively within the bloodlines of the Davenport importation. These horses are almost entirely of breeding stock which passed through the Kellogg Ranch. There are presently (1982) about 325 living Arabian horses of this sort in the ownership of about 75 individuals. This group of horses is one of the oldest breeding groups of Arabians anywhere to have been maintained on a closed pedigree basis: that is, without outcrossing to other bloodlines. As a group, their major distinctive feature is the similarity in type which they bear to the pictures and descriptions which we have of their imported, desert-bred ancestors of 1906. A few of them even bear marked resemblance to specific individuals in the importation. This is particularly noticeable in some descendants of *Muson #27, but people who know these bloodlines are also able to recognize features from others of the imported horses such as *Abeyah #39, *Deyr #33, *Farha #42, and *Hamrah #28.

The horses registered as imported by Davenport were as follows: *Haleb #25, *Houran #26, *Muson #27, *Hamrah #28, *El Bulad #29, *Wadduda #30, *Gomusa #31, *Azra #32, *Deyr # 33, *Mowarda #34, *Kusof #35, *Euphrates #36, *Antar # 37, *Reshan #38, *Abeyah #39, *Urfah #40, *Werdi #41, *Farha #42, *Hadba #43, *Jedah #44, *Haffia #45, *Enzahi #46, *Moharra #47, *Masoud #64, *Abbeian #111. All of these horses, having living descendants, are represented in pedigrees from Maynesboro (*Euphrates #36) or the Kellogg Ranch. The “Davenport” Arabians were personally obtained by Davenport through direct purchase from their bedouin owners who were required to establish their purebred status by oath taken before their sheikhs and fellow tribesmen. Davenport was proud that these horses were representative of the animals which were used in daily bedouin life.

The Davenport influence came into the CMK context with the stallion Jerrede #84 who was out of the Hamidie mare *Nejdme #1 and by the Davenport stallion *Euphrates #36. W. R. Brown was interested in using this horse as a sire at Maynesboro, but initially he was disinclined to do so because the sire, *Euphrates, like the other Davenports, was not registered with the Jockey Club, although he was, of course, registered with the Arabian Horse Club of America. Brown was able to arrange acceptance of *Euphrates by the Jockey Club through statements by Lady Anne Blunt of the Crabbet Arabian Stud authenticating his pedigree. This opened the way for registration by the Jockey Club of Jerrede and for use of that horse at Maynesboro by W. R. Brown. Jerrede’s role there is minor, and it is difficult to evaluate how successful he was as a sire.

In living CMK horses, practically all Davenport influence derives from the extensive use of Davenport related breeding stock at the Kellogg Ranch, where in early years, the Davenport bloodlines were very strongly represented.

Among the Davenports which were especially known as Kellogg breeding stock were the stallions Hanad #489, Antez #448, Letan #86, Jadaan #196, and *Deyr #33. Well-known mares were Adouba #270, Babe Azab #567, Fasal #330, Hasiker #268, Poka #438, Saba #437, Sankirah #149, Sherlet #339, and Schilla #419.

The Kellogg Ranch bred a few horses which were entirely Davenport in pedigree. The more frequent utilizations of the bloodlines, however, were in combination with horses of other background. Quite a number of these crosses were of foundation quality and provided the bases from which some of the most popular current American Arabians derive. Horses such as Khemosabi, Ferzon, The Judge, Fame, Ibn Hanrah, Fadjur, Galan, Garaff, and Saki all have strong Davenport elements in their pedigrees and would not be the same if there were to be replacement by ancestors of a different background.

When their numerical representation at the Kellogg Ranch was substantial, the Davenport bloodlines appear to have been well appreciated. From pictures of public record, foals produced by them were of excellent quality and helped to establish the reputation of the ranch as an Arabian horse nursery. In presentations at the Kellogg exhibitions, the Davenports were among the noted performers, with Hanad doing a trick and dressage routine he had learned as an older horse, Pep performing as a trick horse, and Jadaan being exhibited in costume. They were used successfully in a number of movies. In competition at public horse shows, they did well against other Arabians in California, including some of the most attractive and highly publicized of the Kellogg Crabbet imports.

As time has passed, a certain amount of partisanship had developed both towards and against the Kellogg Davenport bloodlines. From a distance in time it is difficult to understand the reasons for this, but partly, they may have had origins in the fact that the Davenports sometimes represented a different tradition in Arabian breeding from some of the other Kellogg bloodlines. These traditions were and still are reflected in the horses themselves. The Davenports were close to their desert origins. *Deyr #33 was actually a desert import. Others were only one or two generations removed. Such horses represented Bedouin values in Arabian breeding. Other fine bloodlines at Kellogg’s were quite different in their origins, some of them descending from long lines of Arabian breeding in Europe, England, and Egypt: perhaps these bloodlines tended to show the influences of the countries which had served as intermediate hosts for the several generations which transited the distance from Arabia to the Kellogg Ranch.

Actually, there was no good reason why one bloodline should be valued and another ignored among the Kellogg Ranch bloodlines, of which the Davenports were one. There was sufficient good in each that a lover of horses could be grateful they had been brought into a juxtaposition of some harmony and then passed on to private breeders as a contribution to the development of the Arabian horse in America.

The question naturally comes up as to what Davenport bloodlines added to CMK breeding. The answer breaks down into two parts, the first concerning those horses which are entirely Davenport in origin. This is a group of horses which is still quite representative of the desert imports of 1906. They tend to be of moderate size, athletic inclination, fine-skinned, large of eye, and wide between the jaws. Dispositions are comparatively quiet, and they adapt well to the owner who wants to give plenty of personal attention to his horse. Out of the small number which have been shown in recent years, there have been good successes in dressage, distance riding, halter, pleasure, costume, and park exhibition. One of the interesting things about this group of horses is that certain of them preserve the identity in type and strain of two of the major bedouin strains among the horses imported by Davenport, which were the Seglawi and the Kuhaylan. In recent years, the effort has been made to intensify this aspect of their breeding.

The other aspect of the contribution of Davenport bloodlines to CMK breeding has to do with how they have blended with bloodlines other than their own. For the most part, Davenport elements in CMK pedigrees are significant but certainly not overwhelming in terms of the percentage of total ancestry represented. In many instances their main contribution is probably in the form of background influences which facilitate the expression of desirable characteristics from other, more immediate pedigree sources. Where the percentage of Davenport ancestry becomes higher, of course, the influence of specific Davenport horses becomes more recognizable, and the vitality and muscularity of Letan, the long, upright neck of Hanad, the fine coat of Hasiker and the other identifiable characteristics can sometimes be picked out. Some years ago a study was done of the pedigrees of horses competing at our national show. It turned out that the more successful horses being exhibited in performance categories tended to have higher percentages of Davenport ancestry than the average horse winning at that show in halter classes. A frequent comment of trainers is that their horses having higher percentages of Davenport blood tend to be more easily trained. Usually the overall influence of Davenport blood in a horse is towards a smoother, more harmoniously built individual. This may be traceable to *Hamrah #28 who was a great brood mare sire and whose blood was very strongly present in the Kellogg Davenports.

The CMK movement offers an opportunity for increased appreciation of some of the older values in Arabian breeding. Davenport bloodlines have contributed very strongly to the expression of these values.