Tag Archives: Western Horseman

Van Vleet’s Arabian Laboratory

by Bob O’Shaughnessy

(Western Horseman Mar/Apr’44)

High in the Rockies near Boulder, Colorado—8,600 feet up, to be exact—Lynn W. Van Vleet has established a Stock Horse “laboratory” that has drawn the interest and admiration of horse breeders everywhere.

Feeling the need for better Stock Horses—horses with the necessary stamina for working the range at high attitudes, Van Vleet turned to the horse whose courage and powers of endurance have been on record for more than four thousand years, the Arabian.

There are no pampered equine prima donnas in the Van Vleet Arabian stud at the Lazy VV Ranch. On the rough, rocky trails of this gigantic western “spread,” cowboys astride purebred, registered Arabians drive cattle to the highlands.

Transplanted from the hot and dry deserts of Arabia to the cool, glacier-scarred slopes of the Rockies, Van Vleet’s Arabians outshine the western horse of frontier fame, on his own roping grounds.

“And why not?” asks Van Vleet. “The Arabian horse is a tough, hardy, close-coupled horse who can adapt himself to any condition and any situation. It was the Arabian, you know, who was the ancestor of the western cow pony. America had no horses until the Spaniards and the Mexicans brought them here, and they were mostly of Arabian blood. Those horses which escaped from these early expeditions, into the wilderness of the great unexplored New World, founded the Indian pony herds. And those herds, in turn, produced some of our greatest cowponies.”

Van Vleet started in 1938 stocking his Hereford cattle ranch with a pool of some of the finest Arabian blood obtainable. He had studied the Arabian and was intrigued by its history. It was not long after the first of these horses arrived in their new mountain home that he decided there were to be no pampered darlings among them.

“Primarily, the Arab is valuable because of his blood,” says Van Vleet. “The reason this blood is so desirable is because it is hardy, rugged, courageous blood. It was prized in Arabia above gold and diamonds. A man’s true wealth was calculated on the basis of the number and quality of horses he owned.

“Bedouins fought for them—emperors and queens connived for them—and the world’s horsemen now are attempting to perpetuate them. All this is not only because the Arabian is a beautiful horse. Primarily, it is because the Arabian blood is the fountain from which the world’s great horses have come.”

So Van Vleet decided there would be no glass-barred stalls, no tasseled trainers, no formal riding rings, no jewel boxes on his ranch.

“Instead,” he said, “I wanted to bring out all the hardy, battle-born characteristics for which the Arab horse has been noted since the time of Christ. I wanted to transplant this horse into totally different surroundings and revive, even intensify, the traits of courage, intelligence, resourcefulness, and endurance which necessity and the experience of thousands of years of adversity in desert hardships bred into him.

“I wanted to bring the Arab into this mountain setting, which is as much the opposite of the desert as daylight is to dark, and substitute the rich diet of plentiful mountain meadows for the scarcity of desert lands; to substitute cooling, soothing mountain breezes for the hot winds of the desert.”

All this was done. Where the Arab had existed on a handful of dates, camel’s milk and a few drops of water, he now roams mountain meadows filled with wild flowers, and hay which is noted throughout the land for its nutritional values, and streams that trickle downward from the ancient glacier of nearby Arapahoe peak. In addition, these Arabs—whose ancestors the Bedouins considered privileged members of their families, and entitled to sleep in the tribal tents—were given human companionship. The cowboys, the farm hands, members of the Van Vleet family, and even visitors were encouraged to cultivate friendships with the horses.

Despite the human understanding that is extended to them—despite the plentifulness of their pastures—these Arabs still lead a life that is as rugged, in other ways, as the adversities of an Arabian desert.

In winter the stallions are kept at the Nederland ranch, where the barn is 8,600 feet in altitude. The mares and colts are taken to a pasture near Boulder, Colorado, about twenty miles away, where they are more accessible. Although they have shelter, the blizzards which sweep down the snow-capped Arapahoe Peak are bitter cold on the Arabs.

In summer the entire cavvy, which now numbers 69 purebreds, roams the ranch. It’s a many thousand acre spread. Cattle production is its primary business. There are more than 500 head of Whitefaces to be driven each spring from the winter pastures below Boulder to the branding pens on the Sulphide pasture.

That’s a cowpony’s paradise. For two days the herd is trailed up Boulder canyon. The overnight stop is midway up the canyon. The next day the herd is pushed again, upward, into the home ranch pastures. It’s a trip of about 25 miles, a long two-day trail drive in these days of fast cattle trucks and trains.

At the Sulphide, the Arab stallions—Kabar (grandson of fabled Skowronek, for whom Lady Wentworth of England declined $250,000 offered by the Russian government) and Zarife (the classic beauty)—vie with Red Wing and Little Red, two of the best western-bred cow-ponies for corral honors. Either stallion can cut a calf from the herd and its bawling mother, and into the branding pen, as precisely and as quickly as Red Wing or any of his cowpony ancestors.

The Arabian learns quickly,” says Bob Pack, foreman of the cattle crews. “They neckrein more gracefully than most western horses—they are as fast as a Quarter Horse. Kabar, for instance, whirls on his hind feet, raising his front ones. Not one horse in a thousand learns that trick, but it is an invaluable one in driving and cutting cattle. He’s as fast as a panther.”

Barek, another Arab stallion, foaled on the ranch in 1938, also is a favorite “cowpony.” He was ridden not only in the round-up last spring, but was used on cattle trails throughout most of the summer by Pack. The way Bob cocks his ten-gallon hat each time he sits astride Barek is a signal of the pleasure and pride he has in this young son of the desert. He, personally, trained Barek as a roping horse. And Bob(sic) also has the distinction of being the tallest Arabian ever recorded. Standing 16 hands, one quarter inch, he “shades” the previous record-holder, Nureddin, owned by Lady Wentworth of England.

In addition to their cowpony chores, the purebred Arabs are used as mountain trail horses by the Van Vleets. A westerner can appreciate the meaning of that phrase. In the West, only the hardiest of cowponies and rangebred animals are used for that purpose. Many mountain horses are awkward, heavy, plowhorse type animals, because the fancier breeds do not have the endurance, the legs, or the hoofs to survive mountain trails of the kind to be found on the Lazy V V.

One of these trails meanders through the hay meadows—up Boulder Creek, past the Bluebird tungsten mine, on past Arapahoe Falls where deer scamper away, and above the green-watered lakes of the Boulder water system. Then this trail leads straight upward 2,000 feet and more—across timberline and the tundra of Arapahoe Peak, 13,000 feet in the air.

It’s a full day’s ride to Arapahoe, and slightly beyond to Hell’s Hole—a favorite overnight camp ground that is little sheltered in the lee of nearby Sawtooth range. A cowpony, carrying rider and equipment, has to be conditioned to make that ride safely. It’s across jagged, hard-granite rocks that cut unprotected hoofs to shreds. It’s along trails that weave back and forth over the face of almost perpendicular mountainsides.

Rifage, small, but with the ruggedness and grace of tens of hundreds of generations of pure Arabian breeding behind him, picks his way along with the other larger Arabs over that trail each summer. Rifage weighs 850 pounds. Frequently, his rider and equipment will weigh 250 or 275 pounds, or one-third of gallant Rifage’s own poundage. He doesn’t falter—he doesn’t stumble on that trail. When the pack train stops to “blow” in the rare air, Rifage disdains the opportunity to catch his breath. He’s more interested in snorting and pawing the Alpine flowers to demonstrate his affection for his friends, the mares, who also of an occasion make the trip.

The close association with human beings likewise has sharpened the Arab’s natural affection. Guests who visit the huge mare pastures have but to whistle to bring the entire cavvy—twenty or thirty strong—meandering slowly toward them. Frequently, the mares are permitted to roam the lawns in front of the ranch houses and there, too, they come casually to greet both the friend and the stranger who appears on the lawn.

No special protective fences of wood enclose these mare pastures. Instead, the mares are confined by common wire that may, on occasion, cut a horse’s hoof as if it had been sliced away by a surgeon’s knife.

Does this sort of treatment of purebred Arabians sound fantastic?

Well,” says boss Van Vleet, “we don’t believe it is fantastic. Arabs love this sort of life. They thrive upon it. They are intelligent. They learn, more quickly than a cowpony, to stay away from barb wire fences. Seldom is one cut. A mountain lion killed one of our colts in the mare pasture on a summer’s night, but that is the only tragedy that has occurred. I believe that the natural way in which we have handled these horses has improved their stamina, their size, and their intelligence. That’s what we want.

In-Breeding and Size

by Ben Hur
(Western Horseman Jul/Aug 1945)

Is size in the horse influenced by in-breeding? Have you had the impression that dire results would follow if horses (and other livestock) closely akin were mated? Have you believed that the offspring from closely related matings would be deformed, small, weak as well as vicious, or deficient in brain capacity? It seems that the most commonly accepted fallacy among horsemen is that the practice of consanguinity or in-breeding in horses will immediately affect size and that small inferior “runts” will result, if they are not actually so grotesquely deformed that the foal dies shortly after birth.

This misconception of the laws of nature, this widely if not universally accepted fallacy among livestock breeders and farmers in America, has persisted since colonial days, and it has resulted in practically all our breeds being imported from Europe. America has blazed the way for all the world in the sciences, in chemical, electrical and mechanical research and developments, but has strangely worshipped at the feet of breeders of livestock abroad and is to this day overawed by the magic word “imported.” Americans have persisting in importing livestock from foreign countries until imports were stopped during World War II. And strange as it may seem, extensive plans are already well under way to begin importing again just as soon as permission can be obtained by breeders of cattle, dogs, sheep and horses.

This is notably true of breeders of Jersey cattle, where certain groups are feverishly awaiting the “green light” or “go” signal to rush to the small island of Jersey (among the channel islands held by Germany during the war) where the most intensive in-breeding has been the rule, and from where they will start importing Jersey cattle again to America. Why this need for new imports from abroad, year after year? There can be but one answer and that is that American breeders have not followed the same rules in breeding and that deterioration has followed the American plan of breeding, which in the main has been a constant search for “new blood” and out-crossing, rather than following the time honored plan by which all breeds have been developed and maintained – that of line-breeding and in-breeding.

Regarding in-breeding or consanguinity. James A. Lawrence, founder and first president of The Arabian Horse Club of America and the Great Dane Club of America, wrote in 1908:

“I believe the natural laws controlling this phase of animal breeding are less understood than any other one feature that enters into the creation and regeneration of animal life. We are accustomed to seeing instances of degeneracy on account of consanguinity in the human race in America, and the conclusion, without further thought, is that in-breeding is forever prohibited by nature in all of her mammal kingdom.
“But on further reflection we are compelled to remember that the great Anazeh tribes of Bedouins of the Arabian desert have remained pure in one blood for ages. According to their own traditions and history they are the same in blood today as their progenitor, Ishmael, the son of Abraham and Hagar. These very exclusive people maintain their own blood purity with the same care and precision with which they breed their horses, and certainly there is no question about them being an intensely in-bred race, in fact, the purest of all the human races. There is no sign of degeneracy among them in the physical sense, and they are pronounced by those in a position to know as the most highly moral race of people, in many respects, in the world.”

As proof of the value of consanguinity in the breeding of horses Mr. Lawrence wrote further:

“We know the Arabian horse is pure in one blood as we know the English Thoroughbred is not. We also know the Arabian blood is as pliable or plastic today as it was five hundred years ago, and we also know that the English Thoroughbred is not as pliable or plastic as he was one hundred years ago, to say nothing of other qualities he has lost in a degenerating tendency, which proves the value of pure and unmolested blood through consanguinity. The Arabian horse proves his purity in many ways, and in no particular is his excellenced and good breeding more evident than in his courage and perfection of disposition which the runner has lost, and courage is ever an unmistakable mark of purity of blood.”

It is a significant fact, as we have pointed out in earlier articles in this series, that the most successful breeders in America, of horses, cattle, sheep and dogs have been those who have ignored the American fear of in-breeding and have followed the custom of breeders abroad where breeds were made by the one and universal rule of in-breeding and line-breeding. It is nature’s way but as Mr. Lawrence prointed out,

“Man would bastard and lose it all by out-crossing, mongrelization. Nature breeds only purebreds in her infinite precision. Her animals are pure in the beginning and pure in the end. Through consanguinity nature maintains a vigor, uniformity, beauty and perfection forever.”

At no time in the history of this country has there been such an intense and wide-spread interest in light or hot-blooded horses as there is at the present time. From coast to coast much is being said and written, many attempts are being made to improve, solidify and make into one common mass certain types or colors of horses. This is notably true of those who are attempting to reproduce that which is representative and best in horses of Quarter Horse type, Palomino colored horses, the Pinto, or spotted or morocco, the Appaloosa, Walking Horse and the Albino. Serious attempts are being made in widely scattered sections of the country to capture and mould into the ideal of their dreams of the horse these breeders hope to produce in purity in the future. These ambitions and embryo breedmakers can take a page from the history of breedmaking in the past if they will discard their fears of degeneracy in size, type, vigor and mental capacity as well as disposition when consanguinity or in-breeding is practiced.

One common type or color cannot come from widely scattered sources. Purity must, as it always has, come from one source and from that one source or base the breeding program can be broadened within the family so that line-breeding can be followed and a line of horses result with one common ancestry that are uniform in type and reproductive breeding characteristics. Then and then only is the effort worthy of the name of a breed.

The Arabian horse again, because of its purity of breeding, furnishes us the example and pattern of what we may expect from in-breeding. The blood of the Arabian horse is the fountain from which flows all the various types and colors of light saddle type horses although all of them have more or less of the cold-blood or draft horse blood in them. To develop and improve, to capture and solidify certain types, colors or characteristics there can be no better rule to follow than that of using and moulding in as much of the Arabian blood as possible. There need be no fear of losing size if size is what is wanted. The Arabian does not lose size when in-bred, nor is vigor or vitality lost. When out-crossed the Arabian type and characteristics overshadow and predominate to a marked extent but size almost universally increases whether the cross be on a pony or larger type.

Nimr No. 252,
red chestnut Arabian stallion, 15-1 hands high. Imported from England by Randolph Huntington in 1891, Nimr was bred to his grand-dam, Naomi (15-2 hands) to produce Khaled (15-3 1/2). Picture by George Ford Morris.

Naomi No. 230,
red chestnut Arabian mare, 15-2 hands, foaled in 1877, bred by Rev. F. Vidal in England, was produced by a full brother-and-sister mating, by the desert-bred sire, Yataghan (15 hands) and the desert-bred dam Haidee (14-3 hands). Naomi, bred to her grandson Nimr, produced Khaled.

Khaled No. 5,
red chestnut Arabian stallion, foaled in 1895, bred by Randolph Huntington. Standing 15-3 1/2 hands, Khaled is an outstanding example of intense in-breeding. The picture was made for James A. Lawrence, first president of the Arabian Horse Club, by the well known artist and photographer of horses, George Ford Morris. Copyrighted in 1908, this picture and the one of Nimr is used by permission of Mr. Lawrence.

The Arabian horse, bred and raised for hundreds of years in desert country and on frugal if not actually scanty feed conditions responds immediately to good feed and care and the danger in this country is that the Arabian may grow a little bigger each generation and gradually lose its refined classic type and beauty. You need but look about you in your own family or the family of your friends to realize what better food, care and conditions have done for the human race in one or two generations in this country. It is not uncommon to see sons and daughters towering a head taller than their parents and it is commonly known that feet are universally larger in a single life-span.

Breeders of Shetland ponies and Bantam chickens find it a major breeding problem to keep the size down to the miniature type desired. The size increases with each generation, rather than diminishing, with modern feed and care and it is only by having the young come in the fall and subjecting them to scanty diet that size is held down. Growth is the one universal law of nature and increase in size under favorable sheltered conditions under the care of man seems to be a dominant factor in animals. The English Thoroughbred increased an average of one inch each 25 years, for the first 150 years from the original three Arabian sires which averaged little if any above 14 hands. The original Justin Morgan, founder of the Morgan Horse was about 14 hands. Cavalry experts have often proven that the weight carrying horse reaches his greatest efficiency when about 15 hands high. Yet new owners of Arabians are often immediately concerned about an increase in size and elated when a marked increase is shown, not knowing what the history of the breed and the weight carrying horse has amply demonstrated. Today, all too many who have only recently become interested in saddle horses set as their first goal an increase in size in breeding for Palomino color, Quarter Horse type or to improve the Pinto, Appaloosa, Walking Horse or Albino. Improvement and uniformity of type and characteristics can only come through in-breeding and line-breeding and the practice of consanguinity in horses does not decrease size.

A striking example of how size increased under the most intense in-breeding is furnished by the early Arabian stallion Khaled No. 5, bred by Randolph Huntington, world famous horse breeder of his day. Khaled was 15-3 1/2 hands high, his dam Naomi was 15-2, his sire Nimr 15 hands. Naomi’s sire and dam were the desert bred full brother and sister Yataghan and Haidee. [Yataghan and Haidee were later shown not to be brother and sister after all.] Yataghan was 15 hands, Haidee 14-3, yet the daughter raised in England increased in size to 15-2. Naomi, the result of a brother and sister mating, bred back to her grandson Nimr produced Khaled. Study the pedigree and try to recall if you have ever seen a more intense example of in-breeding. The blood of Khaled was the foundation for many early day Arabians in this country, none of which has suffered for lack of size.

Pedigree of an intensely in-bred Arabian —
Chestnut Arabian stallion; foaled 1895 — 15-3 1/2 hands
NIMR 15-1 hands Kismet, db 15 hands
Nazli 15-1 hands Maidan, db 15 hands
Naomi 15 hands Yataghan, db 15 hands
Haidee, db 14-3 hands
NAOMI 15-2 hands Yataghan, db 15 hands
Haidee, db 14-3 hands
db — Desert Bred. All the above Arabians were Red Chestnut.

Jadaan: The Horse That Valentino Rode

by Aaron Dudley
Photos from Spide Rathbun Collection
from Western Horseman Mar 1952

Two great horses. Jadaan visits the statue of the immortal Seabiscuit at Southern California’s famous Santa Anita race track. A special platform was built in the midst of one of Santa Anita’s noted pansy beds for this occasion.

Probably no horse of modern time — including the favorite mounts of our current TV and movie cowboys — has enjoyed greater popularity or been viewed by more people than a proud little grey Arab named Jadaan.

That name probably means little to the average horseman, and certainly nothing to the millions of curious fans who have seen him, but when you say he’s “the horse that Rudolph Valentino rode” there’s an immediate reaction.

Rudolph Valentino and the stallion Jadaan in full desert regalia, ready for a dash over the sands for cameras recording “The Son of the Sheik.” This costume and the Jadaan trappings are still on display in the tackroom of the W.K.Kellogg ranch at Pomona.

Millions trekked to the famous W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse ranch at Pomona, Calif., upon the matinee idol’s death to see this horse and view trappings the dashing Latin used in his popular desert pictures of the 1920’s. And although the ranch had many fine horses, fully 90 per cent of the visitors who came wanted to see “the Valentino horse.” Women crowded around his box stall, wore the stable door smooth pressing for a better look at the sleek stallion. And they stood to silent near-reverence when Jadaan was led riderless into the arena carrying his former master’s colorful desert regalia.

Jadaan in later years, standing at the foot of the Valentino shrine in Hollywood. The old horse was trailered to hundreds of gatherings honoring Valentino, and was a top attraction at movieland parades.

This idolizing of a movie hero’s horse continued almost unabated for 19 years until the little horse died in 1945. And then avid Valentino zealots had his skeleton preserved and enshrined in the University of California’s School of Animal Husbandry.[1]

Unfortunately, Jadaan was neither a top individual (from a horseman’s point of view) nor did he produce outstanding colts; this in spite of the fact his ancestry was the best of old-line Arabian stock. His granddam was the famous mare Waddudda, brought to America in 1906 and presented to Homer Davenport by Achmet Hefiz, who also reportedly sent along a desert tribesman to care for the mare.

Registry No. 196, Jadaan was foaled in April, 1916, at Hingham Stock Farm, Hingham, Massachusetts. His sire was the desert-bred Abbeian, imported by Homer Davenport in 1906. The dam was Amran by Deyr, No. 33, another Davenport importation.

Deyr, a very fine individual, was the only stallion of the original Davenport importation ever at the Kellogg Ranch. His skeleton, a classic example of the Arabian, is now on display at the Los Angeles Museum at Exposition Park.

But in spite of this royal Arab lineage, Jadaan had very poor front legs and his get tended to be even farther over in the knees than their sire.[2]

Horsewomen Monaei Lindley dons Arabian garb and mounts Jadaan for a photo at the Kellogg Arabian Horse ranch entrance. Everything good and bad about the horse can be clearly seen in this photo. Miss Lindley, at the time this photograph was taken, was an active horse breeder of Cinnebar Hill, Reno, Nevada.

H. H. Reese, in charge of the Kellogg Ranch when Jadaan was at the height of his fame, complied to the public clamor for colts from “the Valentino horse” and produced a big crop of colts for several seasons. They sold fast, but failed to do anything in the shows, and when a noted judge finally complained about the uniform badness of Jadaan’s offspring, Reese retired the stud to the limelight of his fame as a movie and parade horse and withheld him from further activity in the stud.

This situation was made to order for Spide Rathbun, promotion manager for the Kellogg ranch and the man second only to Valentino in contribution to Jadaan’s fame. It was Rathbun who gave Jadaan the big build-up as Valentino’s horse, who made Jadaan THE Valentino horse, in spite of the fact Valentino had ridden Raseyn and other Jadaan stablemates in motion picture work.

So when Reese wrote finis to Jadaan’s career in the stud, Rathbun went to work with added enthusiasm. Jadaan’s picture began appearing in the Sunday supplements at a rapid rate. Struggling movie starlets begged for an opportunity to be photographed with him. He was a fixture at Hollywood parades, and even was placed on exhibit in a special stall right in the lobby of one of the town’s plushiest theaters. He led Pasadena’s famous Tournament of Roses parades, had half a dozen different authentic desert outfits and rivaled the famous Lady in Black in contributing to the fanatical Valentino memorabilia. People just wouldn’t forget Valentino nor anything that had been connected with him.

Spide Rathbun and Jadaan went along with them, and whatever the little horse lacked in conformation he made up in spirit and a strange human like response to parade music or camera lens.

Jadaan in his prime looks over the Kellogg ranch from a nearby hilltop, with Ken Maynard as Buffalo Bill Cody astride. Maynard was a frequent visitor at the Kellogg ranch and often rode Jadaan in parades.

“Jadaan had an extraordinary faculty for falling naturally into beautiful poses,” says Rathbun. And there are literally thousands of pictures to prove it.

Jadaan had natural beauty, poise, grace, and a vibrant personality. His head and shoulder poses were described by some of Hollywood’s top cameramen as the most impressive they had ever photographed.

There is no denying he was an impressive horse.

Valentino first saw him in Palm Springs. Jadaan was in his prime and in his element, the sandy desert. And he had the benefit of a masterful rider, a European horsemen named Carl Schmidt, known to thousands of Arabian breeders today as “Raswan.”

The pair made an impressive picture, and Valentino immediately was interested in the prancing stallion. The price was $3,000 at the time, according to Raswan. (Kellogg had paid $1,200 for him.) Carl and Valentino visited at length concerning Jadaan and his possibilities as a movie horse. This was in 1926 and Valentino was about to make another desert picture in which he hoped to use an outstanding mount.

Jadaan at this time was owned by W. K. Kellogg, the cereal king, having just been purchased from C. D. Clark, of Point Happy Ranch, Indio, along with nine others. Kellogg, however, left the horse in Clark’s care, with Schmidt in charge.

Jadaan was then 10 years old.

Valentino wanted Jadaan badly. Friends said he mentioned the horse often in the next few months, comparing the horse with famous statues he had seen in Italy, statuary of Garibaldi and Marco Polo, always mounted on rearing horses.

“I used to look at the great, metal Garibaldi in the little park,” friends quoted the actor saying. “I can see him now, seated firmly on his rearing horse. I always wanted to ride like that.”

This admiration for dashing horsemanship probably was responsible for much of the success of Valentino’s desert sheik pictures and, no doubt, led to his first interest in Jadaan. Jadaan commanded attention.

Unfortunately for Valentino and his backers, the actor did not give in to his urge to own Jadaan. Instead, it was decided to rent him from Kellogg for use in the upcoming movie.

This decision was an expensive one, for before they were through shooting, the aggregate cost of rental and insurance reached a reputed $12,000. And the movie makers had to furnish an expert attendant besides.

One day of retakes cost the film company $750 of insurance alone, and the backers were pretty sick of horse problems before they had the picture wrapped up.

And Valentino, in spite of the fact he was a far better than average horseman, was too valuable an asset to risk on a spirited horse for any length of time. As a consequence, the producer had to hire Carl “Raswan” Schmidt as his double. In the famous film “Son of the Sheik” Carl portrayed both the son and the father in all long shots and all those requiring fast or dangerous riding.

It was not long thereafter that Valentino died, and Jadaan, under the expert press agentry of Rathbun and thanks to an idolizing public, became the nation’s most famous living horse.

He was in such great demand that Kellogg Ranch officials had to maintain careful future booking records and exercise great caution in agreeing to public appearances for him. Idolizers of Valentino pulled hair from the horse’s tail and mane, asked for his shoes, and taxed the patience of attendants by filching jewels from the showy saddle, bridle and other elaborate trappings.

Heirs of Buffalo Bill Cody, after seeing photos of a movieland Buffalo Bill mounted on Jadaan, requested that upon the animal’s death his skin be sent them for mounting and placing in the museum at Cody, Wyoming. It was recalled that Buffalo Bill’s favorite mount was a white Arabian, Muson, a stallion loaned to him by his friend Homer Davenport. Cody always rode Muson in his appearances at Madison Square Garden; and it was on this animal he is mounted in the Rosa Bonheur painting.

Jadaan’s skin was preserved upon his death, but it apparently never reached its destined place of enshrinement at Cody.

The Jadaan-Valentino saddle is still much in evidence at the Kellogg ranch (now Southern California campus of California Polytechnic College). It looked for a while one day recently that future generations would not be afforded an opportunity of seeing this historic piece of Hollywood gear. As is the custom each Sunday, a riderless horse outfitted with the Valentino saddle, bridle, fringed martingale, and jeweled blanket is brought into the ring. The young Cal-Poly student who saddled the honored Arab on this particular day evidently saw no reason for cinching up the rig tightly, and the filly bearing it promptly bucked it loose midway in her appearance and proceeded to kick it pretty well to ribbons as it hung beneath her belly.

Harness maker Z. C. Ellis, of Pomona, came to the rescue, however, painstakingly piecing embroidery, dyed leather, and jewels back together again; and posterity can now see the saddle that Rudolph Valentino rode.

And parents can continue to scoff when youngsters look blank and inquire, “Who was he, anyway?”

Jadaan’s Get

From “Jadaan 196” by Carol W. Mulder in Arabian Horse World Dec. 1971

Year Name Dam Notes
1925 Markada Fasal a broodmare for Dickinson 3 reg foals (from Dickenson’s Catalog(’47): “Height 15.1 weight 1025” “Markada is intelligent to a degree and has been well educated. She knows a number of tricks and has personality enough to make an ideal heroine for a ‘human’ horse story. She seems to take pride in giving one a good ride. Markada is above average size and well built up, especially in the forehand. She has deep shoulders, sloping nicely, and good withers. Her middle piece is well rounded and she carries herself well at both ends. This mare is close to desert breeding and strong in the blood of great producing dams.” “Used 1931-1934. Sold in Tennessee”[3]
1927 Irak *Raida no recorded get
Wardi Sedjur a broodmare for Jedel Ranch
1929 End O’War Amham died at 4 months
Raidaan *Raida a sire for Gordon A. Dutt. 7 reg. foals
Jadanna *Rossana exp. to Mexico City, Mexico
Gloria Davenport Sedjur 4 reg foals
1930 Jadur Sedjur 2 reg. daughters
Badia Babe Azab Dam of12 offspring including the Davenport 2nd foundation mare, Asara. Damline of Fadjur’s favorite mare, Saki.
Estrellita Amham 8 reg. foals
1931 Jadura Sedjur line has died out
Amaana Amham at least 5 reg foals
Raidaana *Raida Kellogg broodmare. at least 6 reg foals. Destroyed by Remount in ’44 at age 13. Lame.
1932 Bedaana Beneyeh 5 reg foals
Majada *Malouma died at six months
Jurad Sedjur did not breed on.
Hamaan Amham sire for Marie C. Scott’s Wyoming ranch. 20 reg. foals
Jarid *Raida a sire for Dr. Fred A. Glass
Fred E. Vanderhoof bred 3 mares to him in 1938 resulting in
1939 Leidaan Leila bred on.
Havanna *Bint at least 7 reg. foals.
Ravaana Rasrah at least 7 reg. foals.
  1. [1]From Mary Jane Parkinson’s The Kellogg Arabian Ranch: The First Fifty Years p. 277: “JADAAN, age 29, had outlived his usefulness. …was destroyed on May 28” by the U.S. Remount.
  2. [2]“(Buck-knees) While this is a very unsightly disfigurement, it is not by any means as serious as several other front leg flaws, and is, in fact, considered by many experts to be relatively harmless!” — Carol Mulder
  3. [3]From “Fasal 330” by Carol W. Mulder in Arabian Horse World Feb. 1976: “(Markada) dying in her prime.”

Working Arabs in the Northwest

by Ralph H. Smith (Western Horseman Apr ’51)

We fellows up here in Montana and Wyoming have a yen for good horse flesh, the same as they do in Texas or California, especially after the jeep can’t cross a washout or take up through the timber on a mountainside. Most Northwestern ranchers run cattle, sheep or horses on summer range in the Forest Reserve high in them mountain ranges, adjacent to our valleys and flat lands. Cattle and horses especially are left to rustle for themselves in the lush high mountain meadows and seek shelter in the canyons or timber. Seldom are they seen during the grazing period. Sheep, of course, have a year round herder. When these stock are gathered in the fall, believe me, it’s a job for a horse with plenty of lung capacity. Working from daylight till dark in timber, over rock, fallen trees, up cut banks, down steep canyons and sometimes at high speed up mountain sides, this takes a top horse. Here is where we find some of the outstanding Arabs at work. They are noted for their hard feet, endurance, will to do and adjustability. Just any ordinary ranch horses have been worn out at noon, their feet broken up and sore. Arabian blood, call it “hot” if you want to, has what it takes when endurance is desired, they go places the jeep bogs down, and much smoother.

This natural group of events and terrain has brought a good many Arabians into use here in the Great Northwest, (the mountain states) Montana and Wyoming. Arabs have been brought in to use as well as to breed up our ranch horse. It has been found, on many large ranches, that our horses were going soft. The Arab has proven his worth by putting tougher half-Arabs on the range (thanks to the U.S. Remount stations who placed some of the top Arabian studs in these states years ago, back in the 30’s).

No. 1. Gamhuri AHC 1776, sire of many good range Stock Horses. Owned by Cross-U-Bar ranch, Big Horn, Wyoming.

Gamhuri AHC 1776 (see illustration No. 1) was one of these Remount Arabs that left many good half-Arab ranch horses in the wide-open spaces around Lavina and Roundup, Montana. The late L.G.Mason, of Lavina, was a rancher who knew good horse flesh and always had the best for his boys to work several hundred whiteface, winter and summer, in the river bottom, foothill and plains country. L.G. told me that when Gamhuri was first used to bring in cattle, he soon caught on to their tricks. One day he was running some steers to head them into a north pasture; L.G. and Gamhuri came to a wide wash, and much to L.G.’s surprise, Gamhuri went sailing across the cut, landing at top speed on the other side. He was smart enough and game enough to risk his front quarters and neck as well as L.G.’s to out smart and out distance the steers. I later acquired Gamhuri and experienced this same thrill, but it took me 10 minutes one day to get him to walk through six inches of water, 7 or 8 feet wide; he didn’t want to spoil the water for drinking (an inherent characteristic of Arabians). He’d jump it and never touch a drop, if allowed to. His offspring are on the range, in the city, and many can be found in the stock yards working cattle and doing someone a service. Gamhuri now stands at the Cross-U-Bar ranch, Big Horn, Wyoming.

No. 2, Borkaan AHC 1383. Owner Jack Hammans, Shoshoni, Wyo., up.

Borkaan AHC 1383 (see illustration No. 2) is another little dandy, belonging to Jack and Alice Hammans. Here’s a stylish Arabian that can look like a million bucks after a week’s work in the hills, carrying either Jack or Alice, through brush, up mountain sides, into timber, through the Yellowstone river or any place they say to route out a cow to get her into the bunch; he’ll bring in a bum calf on the saddle along with his rider, if necessary. Borkaan has sired hundreds of fine Stock Horses for the ranchers on the Yellowstone near Livingston and Pray, Montana. He’s 14 years old and is still doing the job for Jack on his big cattle spread in Wyoming, near Shoshoni. Incidently, Jack and Borkaan are always a threat in the little home town fair contests for horses. Anything Jack decides he’s going to do with Borkaan, it’s generally done well, such as a quarter or mile race, hazing, calf roping, bulldogging or steer busting, for Jack has used Borkaan for a general purpose ranch horse.

Olnatar AHC 2628, another Western bred purebred Arabian, is developing into a using horse at the Smith Arab ranch on the Yellowstone. He was foaled at Ft. Robinson, Nebraska, Remount, served the Cross-U-Bar at Big Horn, Wyo., for a few years, where he left and scattered many pure and half-bred Arabs for using stock around some of the large northern Wyoming ranches. He has good prospects of becoming one of the top Stock Horse studs in Montana. Bookings for 1951 season show his general acceptance among using horse and pleasure horse breeders alike.

Ahanab AHC 1099 of the O.T.O. ranch, Livingston, sired many good range horses, even though he was small. He seemed to put the right stuff in the right place if the mare had anything. His colts were nearly always larger than he was. The same is true of Ptolemy AHC 2012, who stood at Springdale, Mont., for Hershey Roberts for years. Both these little fellows sired Stock Horses, trail horses, and many pleasure horses for the Yellowstone country. Chan Libbey, former owner of the O.T.O. ranch, has retired Ahanab, and Hershey Roberts takes Ptolemy along just like a member of the family. The last we knew they were in Bozeman, Montana.

Barab AHC 2512, up at Bigfork, Mont., on the Walter Robbin Hereford ranch, earns his keep three ways every season. He works cows and calves for Walter the year round, and on Sunday, Neta, Walt’s wife, takes her pleasure ride around the pastures and hills with him. Here’s a horse that puts the best to shame when it comes to working mountains. His feet are black and like flint. He can carry 250 pounds all day in the mountains and come in like a colt. I know, for it was after one of these days’ work that I first met Walt and Barab. He has the respect of the ranchers in his area.

Rifzadin AHC 1953, in the Lambert, Mont., area, left a good many fine half-Arab Stock Horses. His fine colts were ideal for the small wheat and cattle ranchers because of their easy keeping ways, gentleness and willingness ot work at any and many jobs on small acreages. He was a Remount horse with good breeding that passed on to his foal.

No. 3. Kodama AHC 1070. Owned by Quirk Ranch, Billings, Montana.

Kodama AHC 1070 (see illustration No. 3), tall and lanky, stood on the Wilbur Quirk ranch near Billings, Mont., for two seasons and left some very desirable results in cow horses from some of the top grade mares in this area. All are busy helping the drylanders tend a bunch of cows and horses. He’s another Remount horse from Ft. Robinson, standing 15-3. His foals are very attractive and will be fast using horses.

Khaldi AHC 3137, at Missoula, Mont., owned by H.O.Bell, is being trained for stock and ranch work because H.O. has a large cattle spread up near Ronan. He is young and will be very useful in the area because most of the horses are not too good quality (mostly Indian ponies in bred, out bred, off bred and cross bred.).

Ras-El-Fedawi AHC 1129 stood in Montana for years to improve the Stock Horse in many parts of the state, before he sold to a Wisconsin farmer and later died. I watched this fellow work in the sale ring. He responded to the slightest signal, turned on a dime, had a sliding stop second to none and could swap ends faster than the cook could flip a flap-jack. We got a bet on as to what he would sell for. My friend, Ed Wakely, said he wouldn’t go over $750. I bet him he’d go close to $1000. Sure enough, Ed paid off, he sold for $960 at age 10. We watched stockmen pay $250 to $500 for his colts during the morning sale. His Montana reputation will never be forgotten. Arthur E. Boswell, Vermillion ranch, Billings, Mont., who owned him, will never forget him either.

Wartez AHC 1953 and Azloumah AHC 3562 have just recently been brought into the upper Missouri river basin to help build up our range horses. Wartez is at home on the Crouch ranch out of Great Falls, Mont., while Azloumah stands at Big Sandy on one of the largest cattle spreads between the Missouri and Milk rivers. Both these studs are using horses on big spreads where even the men are not spared. The prairies are extended as far as the eye can see and the days are long, so the job for a horse requires endurance and stability.

No. 4. Dakar AHC 2132. Owned by Mackay and Mackay.

Dakar AHC 2132 (see illustration No. 4) came to our country last year from Reno, Nev., off the Hadley Beedle outfit. He sure got put to work on the Mackay and Mackay ranch near Ismay, Montana. Bill and Eva Bradshaw run this spread for the Mackays, and it consists of about 27,000 acres in the breaks and hills off the Yellowstone out of Miles City. They have 10 or 15 individual pastures for well bred Hereford cows, and it requires lots of riding. Here’s what Eva says about Dakar:

Although we have not had Dakar very long, we feel that we could not have found a better Arab for improving ranch stock. He is a wonderfully rugged Arabian, very well quartered and muscled, travels straight and can get out and get over the country. He is taking considerable interest in the stock work, and I can take him out and cover 20 to 30 miles in a day at an easy gait. You see, the ranch takes in about 27,000 acres and runs about 1,000 head of cattle, so we have to have horses that can get out and cover plenty of ground in a day and work on the way. Dakar can hit a walk close to five miles an hour, or he can hit a wonderful elongated trot which really eats up the ground. He has a nice canter in which he bounces along so easily that one hardly feels him touch the ground. He knows what to do with a cow or calf on a rope or otherwise, too.

No. 5. Bad Boy, half-Arab by Babyat AHC 460. Owned by Cross-U-Bar ranch, Big Horn, Wyo., S. Watts Smyth up.

Down Wyoming way at Big Horn, S. Watts Smyth uses a half-Arab for his ranch work in the shadow and on top of the rugged Big Horn range. It’s a sight to see this guy Watts come down down out of the mountains with a band of horses; sometimes there are about as many buck deer as mares, all coming at top speed with Bad Boy and Watts close on their heels (see illustration No. 5). Here’s what he says about Arab blood.

This horse is by Babyat AHC 460 (Ybabi’s sire) and out of an imported Irish Hunter mare. He stands 16-1 and weighs about 1250, and certainly fills the bill from a using standpoint. I formerly had two half bred Arab geldings as my personal mounts (now retired on account of age), but since breaking this horse have found that he takes the place of both my older horses. Bad Boy has been trained exclusively in the handling of other horses, wrangling broodmare and foals, moving horses to and from mountain pastures, along highways, as well as cutting them in corrals. He does not get ‘hot’ when running large numbers of loose horses in large pastures and has the speed and endurance to turn them in the roughest kind of country. A horse that will do this and still remain calm is to my mind harder to find than a typical cow horse. As you know, we don’t run many cows, but when he is called upon to handle them it seems child’s play to him after his usual horse work.

No. 6. Faram AHC 1043. Owner Jerry Angell, Cheyenne, Wyo., up.

Faram AHC 1043 (see illustration No. 6) is an oldtimer in the Cheyenne country and has plenty of land marks still running the long plains range in the form of top Stock Horses. He works for his keep on the Angell ranch out of Cheyenne where cows and Arabs make the life worth living for Gerald and Vera Angell. Incidentally, Vea Ward Angell used to entertain the rodeo crowds years ago with her stunt riding, so she picks the horses, uses them, and Gerald brings up the rear on a top Arab, too. Read what they say about Arab Stock Horses:

Faram is short coupled, well muscled, with excellent body conformation, having long, sloping shoulders, deep through the heart, powerful quarters and well formed withers. He is larger than some, standing 15-1, but size and height do not detract from his beauty, brilliant action and regal carriage. He has won several high honors and many grand champion trophies. He works stock with speed and knowhow. Endurance and level-headedness are two of his many attributes.

We understand young Joder at the Joder ranch near Cheyenne is training Rafflind AHC 4319 for stock work so he can help Doc with the roundup and branding.

Someone says: “How do the Arabs stand the severe northwest winters?” The answer: They do just as well as other breeds and on less feed. We only figure to feed half the normal amount of hay and grain or allow half the winter pasture per head of Arab as we customarily used to figure per head on other horses and some cattle. Dr. Crouch says:

We purchased Wartez in San Antonio, Tex., a southern horse, shipped him to Great Falls in the winter, unloaded in zero weather, and he never batted an eye. He took it in his stride with no trouble in adjustment, grew a coat of Montana winter hair and went about life without even so much as a sniffle.

None of the Arab people have much in the way of box stalls, barns or the shelter afforded the high pedigreed horses of the show ring. We look at it this way: “If they can’t take it, we want to know it now.” This is no country for a sissy!

Old Santa Fe AHC 882 was reared in the south and came north at the age of 21 and has foaled two fillies, one in February 1949 and another in April 1950, nine below zero for the first one and a late blizzard for the second. She’s coming 24 this spring and is in foal to Ybabi 2580, to drop her foal early in May this year. We’ll probably have a cold, wet rain with wind then, but she can take it. We don’t pamper them, and think they are rugged individuals, adaptable to any job, any climate, any person and any feed or pasture situation. In fact, they are the purebred horse from the deserts of Arabia and are the foundation of most of our good horses here in America. They really are the all around “doing” horses.

There are a great many more purebred Arabs, with good reputations that are outstanding, to help build good using horses in this great Northwest. It is regrettable that their history isn’t better known by the writer, because a good many deserve mention here. My apologies to those fine Arabians that have done so much to improve Stock Horse blood, which we have been unable to mention for lack of detailed information and pictures.

Haras De Gelos

by Maj. John A. Gorman Biarritz American University (Western Horseman Jan/Feb ’46)

Beldebel, 18-year-old Arab stallion at Pau, France.

The stud of Gelos is located in the southwest of France not far from the Pyreneese mountains. This stud was established in 1811 by Napoleon, the object being to breed superior light horses for cavalry and similar purposes.

At Pau, there are many stallions. A few are pure Arabians, a few Thoroughbreds but the greatest percentage are Anglo-Arabs. The Anglo-Arab is a cross between the Arab and English Thoroughbred. This cross has been developed and bred by the French government for a long period. The percentage of each breed cannot be maintained at an exact percentage, but evidence indicates a tendency to run towards the Arabian.

The stallions are kept at the government stud from July to February. Then they are placed with the farmers to use for breeding to their mares and to those of the neighbors. For this a small fee is collected. After the breeding season, the stallions are returned to the government stables and maintained until the following season.

Besides the Anglo-Arabs a group of Breton stallions are kept for the production of work horses and mares for mule production. The Bretons are medium draft horses weighing about 1300-1500 pounds. They come from the Brittany peninsula of France. Almost all of the Breton stallions at Pau are black, because mule breeders like black mules. This is fortunate as the black color is not liked by the breeders of Breton horses in Brittany and the government can obtain good black stallions. The Breton is a heavy muscled, large boned horse with well shaped feet of good texture. They are just as muscular and drafty as the larger draft breeds without their extreme size. The influence of the Breton stallion is seen in the mules as they are almost all black, heavy, muscled mules with large feet and bone.

The southwestern part of France breeds good light horses of the Anglo-Arab type. The region around Pau is a famous region for hunting and in the past English people often went there during the hunting season.

Before the war a fair was held in Paris where the best of horses were shown. This year a show was held at Pau on October 9 and 10 for the light horses of Arab and Anglo-Arab type. Being in the region of greatest production the number was greater than it would have been if the show had been held in Paris. It was the writer’s privilege to attend the show the day the mares were shown and to have visited the stud on previous occasions. There were classes for Arab mares and foals, mares without foals, and the same for Anglo-Arabs. The Arab class was few in number but there were many Anglo-Arab mares with their foals and a lesser number of mares without foals. It is considered best not to write the number but they are recorded in notes taken at the show.

The writer was greatly impressed with the excellence of the mares and the smooth, quiet operation of judging and showing. There were no stalls, the owners led their mares from private places in town and held them during the show. The judging is by scoring and comparison with most emphasis being on scoring. The mares were scored by a group of judges (three, I believe). Then in the afternoon, they were lined up or placed in a circle and the judges made comparisons, but very few changes were made from the placings arrived at by the score card method.

The winning mares were a superior lot. For the most part they were large, deep, well muscled, smooth mares with excellent feet and legs. A great deal of Thoroughbred type and size was in evidence.

The judging was interesting. The horses were numbered. They were led into an open end of a lane about twenty feet wide, and trotted up to where the judges stood. They were held without posing in a showring stretch until the judges looked them over. Then they were walked away and back and then trotted away and returned for a final inspection. They left the judging lane by a side gate to the left and another mare trotted up the lane to the judges’ stand.

The mares were shown with a single bit bridle, usually some type of a snaffle bit. The foals followed but usually wore a halter so they could be caught with ease.

There was nothing fancy in the way of show equipment. The feet were trimmed in a normal manner. The mane fell to either side or was roached. The tails were natural. But there had been many strokes of brushes for the mares were well groomed and the writer marvelled at the bright shiny sheen shown by most of the contestants. The three-year-old stallions and fillies were to be shown the following days.

On previous occasions the writer had seen some of the sires of the mares that were shown. The mares sired by the Arabian stallion Beldebel could be picked with great accuracy. Beldebel is an 18-year-old Arab stallion that is youthful in appearance and action. I was told that he was considered the best in the world. He did look like a perfect horse except that some may like a little different type head. he was close coupled, strong backed with excellent feet and legs. A daughter of his placed fourth in mare and foal class.

The sire of Beldebel was “Denouste,” a 24-year-old stallion. He is a larger horse than his son and a trifle longer. He is a copper colored chestnut with a brilliant sheen. He had many daughters in the Anglo-Arab class and a greater percentage in the class of Arab mares. He or his son occurred in most of the pedigrees of the Arab mares and stallions.

Two famous Thoroughbred stallions in the Pau stud are Pinceau and Dodji. Pinceau is a dappled brown medium stallion 21 years old. He had a bad hock but otherwise a perfect set of legs. It is understood that he is well known to Thoroughbred breeders as he is a famous sire. Dodji is a more upstanding stallion that has won many good races, but so far his get has not equalled that of Pinceau.

Travelers Rest

by Dr. George H. Conn (Western Horseman Jul ’51)


Travelers Rest farm was established in 1792 near Nashville, Tennessee. It was established by John Overton, who came to that community about 1789 and who was a law partner of Andrew Jackson and served on the supreme court of Tennessee after that state was admitted to the Union. The original Travelers Rest farm remained in the family of John Overton and his descendants until 1938, and during this time it became famous for the high quality of its Thoroughbred, Morgan, trotting and saddle horses.

Due to the fact that the original Travelers Rest farm was located but a short distance from Nashville, which has grown to be a city of more than 250,000 people, it became necessary in 1938 to abandon the original Travelers Rest which was then moved to Franklin, Tennessee.

The late Travelers Rest farm was owned and maintained by Gen. J. M. Dickinson, who added Arabian horses to his breeding operations in 1930. When it became necessary to abandon the original Travelers Rest, Dickinson disposed of his other horses and kept only the Arabs for future breeding and maintenance of the Travelers Rest Stud on Del Rio Pike, near Franklin, Tennessee.

Horse lovers of all kinds will be very vitally interested in the following quotation of John Trotwood Moore which is printed on the inside front cover of the Travelers Rest Arabian horse catalogs. The quotation which was first used in advertising the famous American Saddle stallion, McDonald Chief, of the old Travelers Rest, is as follows:

“Out from the past, the dim, bloody, shifting past, came this noble animal, the horse, side by side with man, fighting with him the battles of progress, bearing with him the burdens of the centuries. Down the long, hard road, through flint or mire, through swamp or sand, wherever there has been a footprint, there also will be seen a hoofprint. They have been one and inseparable, the aim and the object, the means and the end. And if the time shall ever come, as some boastingly declare, when the one shall breed away from the other, the puny relic of a once perfect manhood will not live long enough to trace the record of it on the tablet of time.”


The author of this article had the privilege of meeting Gen. Dickinson and discussing with him briefly some phases of Arabian horse breeding, and my impression is that Gen. Dickinson had the most sound and practical ideas about the commercial production of Arabian horses of any breeder in the United States up to this time. Dickinson’s ideas in general were that you should breed good Arabian horses and sell them honestly and fairly to the most satisfactory buyers you could find. In other words, he followed very closely the policy of many of the earlier breeders of Arabian horses throughout the world. That the reader may fully understand Gen. Dickinson’s policies, we quote from the 1941 revised edition of a catalog of Travelers Rest, as follows:

We have acquired and bred Arabian horses of the purest blood and most satisfactory individual excellence. Some of these horses have met and defeated many of the best known Arabians in the United States, including imported horses with championship records, in shows and in other competitive events that have been widely advertised in this country and abroad, open to all purebred Arabian horses, and in which horses have competed from all sections of the United States and even from overseas. Various Travelers Rest Arabian horses have made creditable showings against horses of other breeds in the latters’ specialties, and have won honors abroad.

Of course we wish to sell the produce of our stud, for we are breeding Arabs for the market rather than for the purpose of making a collection. However, there are certain things we are unwilling to do in order to sell more horses. For one thing, we refuse to poison anyone’s mind against other breeds. We will tell you what the Arab has done and what we believe the Arab can do; but it is not our affair to persuade you that some other horse is undesirable.

We consider it a bad policy to endeavor to sell a horse to a man who does not want it, or whose requirements it cannot fill. Only a bad product requires bad sales methods. We consider the Arab colt to be a good product that will sell itself to the customer who recognizes quality when he sees it.

“Then we are unwilling to argue that our horses are better than all other Arabs. Such claims are made for various studs. Obviously, they cannot be true of all.

“Arab horses from Travelers Rest have been successful in various kinds of competition at home and abroad. They seem to be giving satisfaction in 40 of our states and territories, and a dozen foreign countries. A substantial proportion of our sales is made to customers who have bought from us in the past, and to their friends and acquaintances.

“We believe success depends upon pleasing every customer as much as possible, and we bend every reasonable effort to sell the product of our stud where most apt to give satisfaction. We believe we now have and are breeding better Arabs than in the past, and offer our produce at prices commensurate with costs and maintenance. It is our earnest hope that every Travelers Rest Arabian horse will prove to be satisfactory and worth more than is paid for it.”


In discussing the breeding of Arabian horses with Gen. Dickinson in 1945, he told the author that it was the policy of Travelers Rest to price all Arabian colts of a sex at a standard price. At that time my recollection is that all horse colts were priced at $400 at weaning time, and an additional $50 was added to the price every six months until sold. Fillies were priced at $600 at weaning time and $50 was added to the price every six months until sold. Gen. Dickinson made it quite plain in discussing these prices that he did not at any time make an attempt to get a higher price than quoted for these colts even though some may have shown greater quality than others. At this time he was ambitious to have 50 broodmares producing purebred Arabian colts in his stud.

Travelers Rest Arabian stud was maintained at Franklin, Tenn, until 1946, at which time it was moved to Santa Barbara, Calif., where it was maintained for two years. Much of the breeding stock of this famous stud was returned to Tennessee in 1948, and in 1949 this stud was dispersed, going to a purchaser in Cuba.

The original Arabs purchased for Travelers Rest were secured from Maynesboro stud of Wm. R. Brown. Mr. Dickinson purchased almost the complete importation that Mr. Brown made from the desert, including Nasr, the white Arabian stallion, and the famous Hamida mares together with Aziza. Other breeding stock added to Travelers Rest in the early years consisted of Bazleyd, the national champion Arabian stallion known as the “peerless show horse,” and Gulastra and Kolastra, his son, all of which were bred by Wm. R. Brown’s Maynesboro stud. In addition to the above stallions, Mr. Dickenson secured two very famous grey Arabian mares, Guemura and Gulnare, both bred at Col. Spencer Borden’s Interlachen farm and which were purchased from Mr. Borden by Wm. R. Brown, who in turn sold them to Dickinson. One of the most widely known stallions owned in the early years by Travelers Rest was Antez, which became a very famous running Arabian and which was exported to Poland when he was 15 years old, where he raced very successfully for five years, being returned to the United States just before World War II.

In 1937 Gen. Dickinson made an importation of Arabian horses from Poland and Egypt. This importation consisted of seven grey mares from Poland and a gray mare, Maamouna, which was secured from the Royal Agricultural Society of Cairo, Egypt. Among this importation from Poland the following mares have been very successful in the stud: Przepiorka, Lassa, Liliana and Nora.

Travelers Rest imported in early 1939 a grey stallion, Czubuthan, No. 1499, from Poland. Czubuthan’s first foal arrived on april 3, 1940, and he went on to become the sire of the largest number of purebred Arabian horses from 1940 to 1948, and he was also tied with Raffles for the sire of the third largest number of Arabian foals registered in the Arabian stud book. (1)


Several other well-known horses found their way to the Travelers Rest Arabian stud farm from time to time. Among the better known Arabs used in this breeding stud we refer to such Arabs as the bay mare Aire, bred in Argentina, and Kasztelanka, the bay mare bred in Poland and imported by Henry B. Babson, as well as the mare Kostrzewa, also bred in Poland and imported by Babson. The well known grey mare Roda, now owned by Margaret Shuey, of North Carolina, and imported by Wm. R. Brown, was also in the stud at one time, as was the mare Rose of France, which was bred at Crabbet Stud, in England, and imported by Roger A. Selby. Zarife, the famous Egyptian stallion which was imported by Wm. R. Brown, found his way to the Travelers Rest Stud and from there he was purchased by Van Vleet’s Lazy V V Ranch where he died in late 1950.

In the 19 years of their breeding operations, Travelers Rest produced many well known horses. It is apparent that they made no special effort to accumulate unusual honors for their horses, but were willing at all times to let them earn what honors they could in a general way in competition wherever and however they found it. Among some of the better known horses produced at this breeding establishment we refer to Bataan, who was used at the old Kellogg ranch while known as the Pomona Quartermaster Depot; Chepe-Noyon, a well known breeding stallion; Genghis Khan, a well known jumping horse; Jedran, a gaited Arabian horse winning in American Saddle horse classes; Nafud, another prize winner in Saddlebred competition, as well as many others which were successful in various show classifications.

Travelers Rest made consistent, steady growth for many years, and shortly before it was transferred to Santa Barbara, Calif., it was probably the second largest Arabian breeding farm in the United States, being exceeded only by the Kellogg Ranch, which was then under the direction of the Pomona Quartermaster Depot. At the height of their breeding operations, Travelers Rest produced in the neighborhood of 30 purebred foals a year. While the writer does not have the exact figures, it is his judgment that this stud at one time contained nearly 80 head of purebred registered Arabian horses.

From the 1947 catalog of Travelers Rest horses we find that during the lifetime of this famous stud, up to the close of 1946, they had bred and sold 274 purebred Arabian horses. These horses were sold to 40 or more of the states in the United States of America and were also sold and exported to 13 foreign countries. At least 37 of these Arabian horses and colts were exported to these 13 foreign countries, principally to South American countries. We find that seven head were exported to Mexico, nine head to the Republic of Columbia, six to Hawaii, three to Cuba, three to England, and two to Guatemala, and one each to seven other foreign countries. It must seem to the reader from the information given here that Travelers Rest Arabian Stud was, for the nearly 20 years that it was in existence, a very important factor in the development and popularizing of the Arabian breed in America. We take pleasure in quoting a short statement from this last catalog of 1947 which is entitled, “To the Arabian Horse.” We do not know by whom the quotation was originally made, but it is very typical and interesting. The quotation is:

From his veins came the blood of the Thoroughbred, from his style the beauty of the saddler, his endurance gave bottom to the trotter. Big little fellow with the heart of a lion, second to some of his children but third to none, may he live on through the ages as the symbol of all that we love in the horse.”

Polish Arabians May Have Been Saved

by Ben Hur (Western Horseman Mar/Apr’44)

Raffles, by champion Skowronek, out of champion Rifala.

Friends and students of Arabian horses will be deeply interested in the report that the castle and estate of Count Potocki in war-harassed Poland have been saved from destruction. A deep American interest in the Arabian horses of Poland arises from the fact that during the past ten years or so the bloodlines of some of the best Polish bred Arabian horses have proven extremely popular in this country. There was a time when very little, if any, contact was had with Arabian breeders of Poland, and little was known of their methods of breeding and the quality of their horses.

It will be recalled that Wilfred S. Blunt and his wife, Lady Anne Blunt, established the Crabbet Arabian Stud about 1880 with horses they imported from the desert and, later, others from Egypt. They became the most extensive breeders of Arabians in the British empire, and Arabians bred there were exported to the far corners of the world. Many importations have been made by breeders of the United States.

Commenting on the later work of Lady Wentworth and her Crabbet Arabian Stud, William R. Brown, former president of the Arabian Horse Club of America, said in his book, The Horse of the Desert (1936): “In recent years, a white stallion, Skowronek, bred at the stud of Count Potocki in Poland, has been introduced in order to freshen the blood.”

Skowronek, a few days after he was brought to the U.S. [sic] from Poland. The famous stallion later turned white.

Through the fact that Lady Wentworth deemed it necessary or expedient to freshen the blood of Crabbet Arabians by the importation of Skowronek from Poland shortly after the first world war, a deep interest in Polish Arabians was created in breeders in America. Arabian horses have been bred intensively in their desert purity in Poland for several hundred years. It has been the practice there of certain breeders to obtain a new desert bred stallion every five or ten years and this rule has been followed for many generations. The sire of Skowronek is Ibrahim, desert bred, and his dam is Jaskolka, on her dam’s side from a long line of Polish bred Arabians.

Skowronek’s blood has been disseminated to two continents. Several of his get were imported to the United States — the first possibly being the grey stallion, Raseyn No. 597, and the grey mare, Rossana No. 598, imported in 1926 by W. K. Kellogg. The grey mare Rifala No. 815, by Skowronek, was imported in 1928 by Roger Selby, followed by a double son, Champion Raffles No. 952, imported by Mr. Selby in 1932.

It is significant that the mare, Rifala, was bred back to her sire, Skowronek, and foaled Raffles while still in England. Raffles then is the in-bred son, the son and grand-son of Skowronek, and three quarters of the blood of his sire rather than the usual one-half.

Rifala and foal. Her blood is potent in passing on extremely desirable qualities to her offspring.

Possibly for this reason the blood of Raffles has been found unusually potent in passing on the extremely desirable qualities, from the Arabian breeders’ point of view, to the offspring. From these two sons and two daughters of Skowronek in the United States, in the relatively short period of about ten years, the get and bloodlines have gone to a surprisingly large number of Arabian breeders from coast to coast.

After the importations of the two sons and daughters of Skowronek from England to the United States, the interest in Arabian horses from Poland grew. J. M. Dickinson imported seven Arabians direct from Poland to the United States in 1937, the most prized mare possibly being Przepiorka No. 1309, her dam being Jaskolka II (no doubt a daughter of Jaskolka). In 1938 Mr. Dickinson imported eight more Arabians from Poland, while Henry Babson made a visit to Poland and personally selected five which he imported into the United States. Mr. Dickinson then imported still another in 1939 and Mr. Babson two more.

Dickinson had the honor and distinction of exporting in the meantime to Poland the American bred Arabian, Antez No. 448, a stallion representing some of the best blood lines of the Homer Davenport (1906) importation from the desert to this country. Later, Antez had the distinction of being imported back to the United States from Poland after being used successfully as a stud there.

These importations from Poland were from a number of different estates and breeders as well as the Polish State Stud. With the invasion of Poland by Germany early in World War II, most of these estates and studs were liquidated, the horses confiscated, some being taken to Germany and added to breeding establishments there. So it has been with deep sorrow that many breeders of Arabians in America have followed the ebb and flow of the war across Poland, realizing that the breeding of several hundred years had been wiped out.

Recently, however, more welcome news has come from Polish Vice Consul Jozef Staniewicz in Chicago who reports that despite the terrific destruction in Poland there is one estate which stands untouched, Lancut, the historic castle of the Potockis, fifty miles from Cracow. The ancient house, the only one in Europe remaining intact as it was in the Middle Ages, stands in the center of 150,000 acres of fields and forests.

At the time of the German invasion in 1939, members of the German general staff lost no time in getting to Lancut and making themselves comfortable under Count Potocki’s roof. German Minister of Foreign Affairs Joachim von Ribbentrop and Reichs-marshal Herman Goering have engaged in boar hunting on the estate. The upshot of it was the famous castle and its historic properties and collections remained intact under the German high command. Other castles and country houses, universities and churches were sacked, but Lancut was saved.

This information from the Polish vice consul gives added assurance that the Arabian horses owned by Count Potocki were also saved and can be used as a nucleus for re-establishing the studs for which Poland has long been famous.

See also:

Skowronek — Magic Progenitor

General Ulysses S. Grant’s Arabians

by Ben Hur (Western Horseman May/Jun ’47)

General U. S. Grant of Civil War (U.S. 1861-65) fame and twice elected president of the United States, did not live to know that an Arabian stallion presented to him by Sultan of Turkey became many years later, the earliest Arabian stallion to be registered in the stud book of The Arabian Horse Club of America. It was one of those queer quirks of fate by which this stallion was the sire of one pure Arabian son whose blood will be found in many present day Arabians in this country.

As invariably happens after every war, a hero emerges who captures popular acclaim. As a result, Grant was elected and re-elected president. His fame, in fact, was worldwide. He made a trip to Europe and the Orient. He visited Constantinople as the guest of Abdul Hamid II, Sultan of Turkey, and a great admirer of Grant, in March 1878. The Sultan personally escorted the General through his stables, noted for their many fine Arabian and Oriental horses.

Leopard No. 233, Arabian stallion also presented by the Sultan of Turkey to Gen. U. s. Grant. He was the earliest imported (1879) Arabian registered with The Arabian Horse Club of America. Of the Seglawi-Jedran family, he was 14.3 hands high.

Grant had campaigned through the entire Civil War on horseback and was a superb rider and judge of horses. He expressed great admiration for a young dapple-grey Arabian stallion and the Sultan promptly presented the General with this very fine stallion, foaled in 1873, named Leopard. The Sultan, not to be outdone as a judge of horses thereupon selected another which he, (the Sultan) admired and presented it also to the General. This stallion, also a dapple grey, a year younger, was named Linden Tree.

Historians will recall that Turkey was a major power on the Mediterranean whose authority was accepted as supreme throughout most of Asia Minor and most of the Arabian tribes in and around the Arabian desert. These tribes, ever on the move, often at war with one another and often revolting against the Turks, were a constant source of annoyance to the military authorities of Turkey. The shotgun was passing out as a weapon of warfare among civilized nations and the spear and long lance were passing out as weapons among the Arabian tribes.

There was more than admiration and generosity behind the gift of the two Arabian stallions to General Grant by the Sultan, as can be interpreted by the fact they arrived in the United States aboard the steamer Norman Monarch, at New Haven, Conn., May 31, 1879, which was chartered to bring back to Turkey rifles, cartridges and ammunition from the famous Winchester Arms Company of that city. The Sultan was killing two birds with one stone!

The two stallions were taken by boat to New York, then to Philadelphia, where they were shown at Suffolk Park, then at fairs at Dover, Del., Washington, D.C., Alexandria, Va., Cumberland, W. Va., and Doylestown Pa. They were then delivered to Gen. E. F. Beale at his place near Washington, where they were permanently stabled.

General Grant was too busy, it seems, to give any personal attention to his gift horses and it remained for the renowned horseman of his day, Randolph Huntington of Long Island, New York, to become the champion admirer and mentor for the Grant Arabians. Mr. Huntington was a breeder of harness horses of note and specialized in the Clay family, (close up in Arabian breeding) with a theory that a breed of horses should be developed in the United States adapted to the needs of the country. His observations and theory of arriving at a suitable American-made horse included the use of the blood of the Arabian largely and to accomplish this he advocated and followed the old breeders’ rule of “out-cross once and breed back by three closely related sources.”

Huntington lost no time in sending some of his choice virgin Clay mares to the stables of General Beale in the spring of 1880 to be bred to General Grant’s stallions. His breeding program proved sound over the next few years and he was about to realize his ambition to produce an American-made breed of horses patterned somewhat after the horses of Count Orloff of Russia, which had been proven so valuable that they were taken over by the Russian government and sponsored as a national breed.

Mr. Huntington had spent a lifetime and a fortune developing and proving his theory of horse breeding when his trusted secretary absconded with nearly $100,000. As a result he was compelled to hold a public auction and dispose of the major portion of his life’s work. The fact that these horses brought high prices in part vindicated his theories of breeding, but the American-made breed was dissipated to the four winds.

During this time, after the importation of the Grant Arabians, Mr. Huntington made an intense search and study of what had become of earlier importations of Arabians in this country, especially those presented to Secretary Seward of Lincoln’s cabinet, President James K. Polk, A. Keene Richards and others. He found that within 15 years or less this Arabian blood had been so dissipated that little authentic breeding evidence was available. He thereupon determined to import one or more Arabian mares and begin where A. Keene Richards had been compelled to leave off because of the Civil War. He imported from England in 1888 the Arabian mare, Naomi, whose sire Yataghan and dam, Haidee, had both been brought from the desert in 1875 to England by Major Roger D. Upton. Naomi was bred to Leopard (1889) and foaled the chestnut stallion, Anazeh, at Mr. Huntington’s place at Oyster Bay, Long Island, in 1890. This lone pure Arabian son of Leopard was the sire of eight pure Arabian foals, four of which — Naarah, Nazlina, Naaman and Narkeesa — went on to produced and are in many pedigrees today.

The Arabian Horse Club of America was founded in 1908. Other Arabians were registered earlier, but to Randolph Huntington belongs the credit and honor of sponsoring Leopard, for proving him up for registration and for having imported the earliest Arabian mare to find her way into the stud book.

So great was the admiration of Mr. Huntington for General Grant’s Arabians and so certain was he of their historical importance that he commissioned the young artist, H. S. Kittredge, to make drawings of the two stallions during 1880. He had him make pictures of various others of his Henry Clay family of horses. This was before the day of the modern camera and present day methods of reproduction on paper. The pictures made by Mr. Kittredge, while very definite in detail, lack animation and are impersonal, reminding one of the large wooden horses formerly found in every harness shop on which to display their harness and saddles.

Linden Tree No. 234, a stallion presented by Abdul Hamid II, Sultan of Turkey, to Gen. U. S. Grant. Registered as an Arabian of “unknown” family, he was declared by Randolph Huntington and Maj. C. A. Benton “to be a Barb.” He left no registered foals.

Nevertheless, Mr. Huntington was so enthusiastic about the General Grant Arabians and their pictures that he wrote a book entitled General Grant’s Arabian Horses, published in 1885, in which he expounded at length his theories of breeding and pedigrees of his American made horses. One of these rare books is in possession of the writer, inscribed “Presented by the Author, Randolph Huntington.” Under the picture of Leopard in Mr. Huntington’s handwriting is written: “Proved a Seglawi-Jedran.” Under the picture of Linden Tree is written “Proved a pure Barb.” Fortunately for the future of Arabians in the United States, Linden Tree, registered in the Arabian stud book was never bred to a pure Arabian mare in this country.

How Linden Tree could have been a Barb and yet presented by the Sultan to General Grant as a pure Arabian was related to us prior to 1930 by the late Major C. A. Benton, Civil War veteran, who devoted his life to horses related to military action. Major Benton was personally familiar with each and every Arabian in this country in the formative period of the stud book and club. A few years after the Grant importation he was sent on a military mission which took him to Constantinople, among other foreign ports. The Major related to us on several occasions how he sought out the keeper of the Sultan’s stables and questioned him about the Grant stallions. It developed that on the day before the horses were to be loaded on shipboard the stallion selected by the Sultan as a gift to General Grant had sprained a leg and was lame. Rather than report the accident to the Sultan and possibly lose his position, he selected another horse in the stable as near like him as possible. The horse was a Barb. We have, then, from two early authorities that Linden Tree was a Barb. It is significant that in all the early editions of the stud book when family names were given to all registered, the word “Unknown” is given after the word “Family” in Linden Tree’s registration.

It is a singular coincidence that at the time General Grant was in Turkey receiving the gift of the two stallions from the Sultan, the Blunts, Sir Wilfrid and Lady Ann, from England, were making their first journey among the northern Arabian tribes and acquiring their first Arabian horses. Events were transpiring to transplant the breeding of pure Arabian horses on two continents at the same time. Arabian horses had been brought from the desert to England and America for more than a hundred years by way of India, Turkey and Egypt, but almost invariably stallions, always with the thought of crossing them on native stock; in England to make and improve the Thoroughbred, in America to make the Quarter horse, American Saddle-bred and improve the Thoroughbred.

When Grant’s stallions arrived in America the Blunts were on their second journey to the desert, this time by the southern route. They were seeing Arabian horses on these journeys with the eyes of Englishmen trained to Thoroughbreds, but they were being fast won over to the idea of breeding Arabians in their purity.

England already had the Major Upton Arabians. With the Blunt importations, Arabians were now available in England for a real start. In America events for a real start were not so propitious. Randolph Huntington’s imagination and ambition were fired anew when he saw the Grant stallions, but he saw them through the eyes of one trained to Clay fast harness horses. He was so enthused he wrote a book about them and his theories of making a new breed. Lady Anne’s books of their journeys — Bedouin Tribes of the Euphrates and Pilgrimage to Nejd, published 1879-80 — came to the attention of Mr. Huntington. He too, became a convert to the idea of breeding pure Arabian horses in America. He imported from England the filly, Naomi, from the original Major Upton desert-bred pair imported to England in 1875 to mate with Leopard.

Thus, English and American-bred pure Arabians had almost the same start at almost the same time. Many other importations from England since have strengthened the tie of almost common, if not identical, parentage of an ever increasing large number of Arabians on both continents.

Arabs At Chicago, 1893

by Ben Hur (Western Horseman May 1950)

Chicago’s World Fair, 1893, officially known as the World’s Columbian Exposition, was the focal point from which interest in the Arabian horse was created, which eventually culminated in the formation of the Arabian Horse Club of America, 1908. From the importation of 1893 for the exposition, a mare, *Nejdme, and a

Hadji Hassan, renowned expert on Arabian horses, with *Nejdme. Employed by the Hippodrome Co., at the demand of the Turkish government, he went to the desert and purchased the 11 pure Arabians of the World’s Fair importation.

stallion, *Obeyran, became the No. 1 and 2 Arabians of the official registry stud book. Two other mares and a stallion, several years later, were registered as having come from this importation, although the fact is generally over-looked. They were the mares *Galfia 255 and *Pride 321 and the stallion *Mannaky 294. Offspring of all these have been registered, and they in turn have had offspring until today there is scarcely a breeder who has not had one or more Arabian horses with one of these as ancestor. This tap root, foundation blood, is an important part of the Arabian horses in the United States.

The circumstances under which this importation was made and the many things that happened to it after arrival in this country have remained obscured and unknown to owners of registered Arabians 50 years later. The profound effect and influence which the importation of 1893 had upon certain individuals who obtained some of these horses, imported others and later formed the registry club, is a fascinating story. The story, with the simple trust of the Bedouins, the deception, greed and duplicity of its promoters, avarice of the quick acting Chicago loan sharks, dire want and hunger, fires, theft, abandonment and final breakdown of the entire enterprise and the sale at auction of the remaining horses, would make a movie scenario for today of triple A rating.

This account will raise a doubt in the minds of many of the the correctness of the foaling dates of *Nejdme and *Obeyran in the

*Obeyran No. 2, grey stallion, came into the possession of Homer Davenport, who took this picture and under it, in his booklet, 1908, titled him “The best horse in America at 28 years old.” Was Davenport mistaken about his age?

stud book and to which of the mares the name Pride (apparently a stable name) really belonged, since this account and the auction sale listed no such mare named Pride. As in a modern mystery story, the reader may draw on his powers of deduction, but arrive at two entirely plausible, conclusions, and in the end the purity of breeding of none, regardless of names, has been challenged, although the original desert family strain may remain in doubt.

The Arabian registry stud book lists the foaling date of *Nejdme No. 1 as 1881 (in the desert), of *Obeyran No.2 as 1879 (in the desert). The same stud book credits *Nejdme with 13 foals registered, the last foaled in 1913, Seriha No. 320, when she would have been 32 years old, if the stud book foaling date is correct, a most unusual, late date for a mare to give birth to a foal. The Turkish member of the World’s Fair commission, who is authority for this account, lists *Nejdme as having been foaled in 1887, a more plausible date, but he contradicts this date. What are the facts?

Invitations had been sent to every country on the globe to participate in the exposition, to build a building and show products from their country. The coming fair was the topic of conversation everywhere. A Syrian in the employ of the ministry of agriculture of Turkey conceived the idea and, through the influence of the first chamberlain to the Sultan, received a concession from the Turkish government to take a troupe of Bedouin horsemen to Chicago. (Syria, Lebanon, Arabia, the Holy Land, were all protectorates of Turkey.) The request was at first refused, but the Sultan was made to believe that the proposed enterprise was intended more as an exhibition of pure bred horses than as a show, and on this belief the concession was ordered granted under strict conditions:

  1. None but the purest bred, pedigreed horses should be taken;
  2. All the horses to be returned back to the desert;
  3. The riders to be the best horsemen from the several friendly Bedouin tribes;
  4. Two cavalry officers to accompany the troupe to supervise everything and see that the contract, which contained 52 such conditions as the above four, was complied with.

The granting of the concession made a great sensation in Constantinople, and in less than two days the money asked for—25,000 Turkish liras ($112,000)—to carry on the enterprise was subscribed exclusively by Syrian capitalists in Constantinople, Beirut, Paris and Egypt. Raji Effendi, promoter and holder of the contact, was offered $15,000 spot cash, a free trip to Chicago and back, all his personal expenses for six months, which he indignantly refused. He remained in the company and, in the end, penniless, the Turkish government paid his passage back home.

The company was made up of men who might have been shrewd business men in dealing with the simple and confiding Bedouins of the desert, but who had no idea of American business methods, much less Chicago methods at the time of the fair. They thought 25,000 liras ample. They chartered a Cunard steamer and with 120 men, women and boys, 45 horses, 12 camels, donkeys, fat-tailed sheep, Oriental cracked wheat, oil, butter, cheese, flour, an immense quantity of barley, half a ton of horseshoes and boxes containing 1 1/2 million $1 admission tickets, set sail for America. Among the men were all the stockholders, each having one or more servants, riders, donkey boys, camel riders, seven cooks, five horseshoers, 15 clerks and ticket sellers—everybody who begged to be taken over was put on board.

They arrived in Chicago penniless. They had hardly settled and pitched their tents at the baseball grounds before one Chicago load shark loaned them money at an exorbitant rate of interest and took a mortgage on all they had, horses, donkeys, camels, tents and wearing apparel. Another individual had himself hired as manager of the show at an enormous salary with an iron-clad contract. Still another made a contract to become attorney of the corporation at $600 a month salary. All this happened within the short space of 30 hours after their arrival.

They moved to Garfield Park: Chicago creditors were upon them like hungry vultures. A fire, certainly of incendiary origin, drove them back to 35th street. In this fire they lost seven horses, some of the camels and 15 trunks of clothing. Finally they moved to the Midway at the fair and gave their first performance on the Fourth of July, 1893. The show was widely advertised as the $3 million Hamidieh Hippodrome Co., named after the Sultan of Turkey.

To the fair came people from all parts of the world. The Bedouin show with the beautiful horses attracted wide attention. From England came Rev. F. Vidal, Arabian breeder and authority, in company with Randolph Huntington, Oyster Bay, L.I., N. Y., who had purchased and imported *Garaveen, bred by Rev. Vidal, and later *Kismet, sire of *Garaveen.

Also to the fair came J.A.P. Ramsdell, Newburgh, N.Y., who later succeeded in obtaining *Nejdme. Peter Bradley, Bostonian industrialist, Hingham, Mass., was another deeply interested visitor to the Midway Bedouin show, who from that time on began his attempts to acquire Arabian horses. Probably the most far-reaching effect of the Chicago World’s Fair importation, however, was made on a newspaper cartoonist, who stood on State Street, Chicago, and saw the Bedouins and their steeds parade by. From then on, it became a life ambition for the newspaper cartoonist, Homer Davenport, to go to the desert and bring back Arabian horses. He achieved his ambition with the financial assistance of Peter Bradley as a partner with his importation of 1906.

During the fair it was hinted by informed observers of the horses that a number of them did not show the true characteristics of the pure Arabian horse. A cloud of uncertainty and mystery gathered about the hoses with the passing days. Finally in 1897, after the remaining horses and effects had been sold at auction and the last deluded, miserable Bedouin had been sent home, a member of the Turkish World’s Fair commission was prevailed upon to make a written, public report on the entire enterprise. A copy of this report was printed in The Horsemen, Chicago, June 15 and 22, 1897, and a copy was sent to Peter Bradley.

More than 30 years later, in a visit with him, he recalled the report and gave the copy and other data to the writer. In the report, the author, A. G. Asdikian, wrote:

I came in daily contact with these men, fed them at the expense of the commission when they were hungry, helped them who were now and then driven out of the camp for fighting, a frequent occurrence. I knew every man, woman and boy by name, and there was no question that they would not answer for me as to the origin and history of the horses.

Among them was Hadji Hassan, pure Anazeh Bedouin, who all his life had been a horse dealer among the desert tribes. He was at several times employed by the Turkish government to purchase cavalry horses. From Aleppo to Egypt and Yemen he was known as the best judge of Arab horses in the country. The Hippodrome Co. hired him at the demand of the governor of Beirut in order that the horses purchased should be of purest blood. The company sent him among the Anazeh tribes, and 11 horses of the 45 brought to Chicago, were all that Hadji Hassan bought. These 11 had the customary written pedigrees, which I saw, read and took note of. I will say that these 11 horses were among the purest bred Arabs that ever went out of the desert.

When the troop landed in New York the U. S. Customs authorities levied a duty of $30 on each horse, the supposition being that the horses did not belong to any of the five pure, desert families, as stipulated and exempted in the McKinley tariff law. After their arrival in Chicago I learned of the 11 horses with pedigrees and suggested to the commissioner general to make application for refund. They could not be persuaded to forward the pedigrees to Washington without security.

Advice being to no avail, we threatened to sue them and secure the pedigrees. They promised to deliver them the next day. I went to Garfield Park to get the documents as agreed, and to my surprise could find none of the directors in the camp, but knowing the Bedouin in whose care the papers were left, I demanded them. The poor old man, with tears in his eyes, begged me not to take them from him, as the directors had told him they would turn him out of the camp if he ever parted with his trust. In order not to embarrass him, I promised not to take them from him if he would show them to me. He produced a batch of 10 pedigrees from his trunk, and I read every one of them by the assistance of one of the clerks who could speak Turkish, and wrote down as much of them as would enable me to prepare an application to be forwarded to Washington. When I had finished this work, I had this man and Hadji Hassan show me the pedigreed horses. From this time on I knew which of the horses were pure Arabs. I never again saw these documents, the claim being made that they were destroyed in the fire together with 34 other pedigrees which I did not see, as they did not exist. Against the accusation of the commission that they did not live up to their contract, these shrewd Syrians claimed that the documents were lost in the fire, an absolutely false claim, which we were powerless to contradict.

To make themselves more secure they showed us a voluminous document signed by the governor of Beirut, who certified that the men had been faithful to the conditions of their contract. Of course we knew how this certificate was procured—by bribery and trickery. The trick was this: It appears that at the start they brought from the desert to Beirut these 11 horses, some camels, donkeys, fattailed sheep and Syrian goats. They represented they were going to make a livestock exhibit at Chicago. The pedigrees of the horses were submitted to the governor to convince the authorities that the troupe would be organized in compliance with all the conditions of the concession. After securing the governor’s signature they purchased such mongrel horses as would the best answer the purposes of the proposed show. The horses were finally sold at auction at the Chicago Tattersalls, January 4, 1894. I prepared this descriptive list from a notebook which I kept for the special purpose of writing down all I learned and heard about the horses.

At the Chicago Tattersalls sale, 28 remaining horses were numbered, listed and catalogued by number. (From this list of 28 in the Asdikian report we omit all but the pure Arabian.) There were 7 pure Arabian, as follows:

No.1 Nejdme, grey mare; 14 3/4 hands, foaled 1887; breed         Kehilan-Ajuz

2. Kibaby, grey stallion; 14 3/4 hands, foaled 1885,        Seglawi-Sheyfi

7. Obeyran, iron grey; 14 1/2 hands, foaled 1889,      Seglawi-Obeyran

13. Halool, bay stallion; 15 1/4 hands, foaled 1886,       Kehilan-Ras Fedawi

24. Hassna, dark bay mare; 14 3/4 hands, foaled 1889,       Managhi-Hedrij.

26. Galfea, sorrel mare; 14 1/2 hands, foaled 1887,        Hamdani-Simri

28. Manakey, sorrel stallion; 14 3/4 hands, foaled 1888,        Managhi-Slaji

I can say that the choicest of the lot in this sale went to Boston, purchased by H. A. Souther, who was commissioned by a Boston gentleman to buy some of the horses at any price. By purchasing the stallions 7, 13; 28, this gentleman (Mr. Bradley) secured the plums of the lot, except the magnificent stallion, Kibaby, No. 2.

Among the mares the grey Nejdme took the palm. For a long time her pedigree was kept by Hassan, and after the old man left Chicago it passed into the hands of one of the clerks, who refused to return it until his wages were paid. Scores of times I saw this document and read it. She was “a pure Kehilan of the purest and belonged to the Ajuz sub-strain.” For many months it was a puzzle to me why this magnificent pure bred mare was ever sold to go out of the desert. Was she stolen? Hassan said “No,” because he got her from her owner at 900 Turkish liras ($4,200). Whenever I asked this question Hassan was as mute as a clam. “If you people know anything about horses, watch and find out,” was all he would say. I did watch day and evening for over six months but could see nothing wrong with her. She was as sound as a “new milled dollar.” About three weeks after the fair, while the men were still lingering around. I noticed that Nejdme was in heat. I called my old friend Hassan and asked if I was correct. He said, “Yes, that mare has been coming in heat for five years.” It was plain now. When three years old she had one colt but she could not be settled in foal again. At that time she was eight years old. This was the reason Nejdme was sold to be taken to this country. The first offer for her was $3,500 but the directors refused to sell. The mare had attracted so much attention that the price put on her was $10,000. The second offer made in late October was $2,700, which was also turned down. Finally I purchased the mare for a New York gentleman (Mr. Ramsdell), paying $450 down, but before I could take possession she passed into the hands of the sheriff and I was out $450, as I could neither find the men to whom I paid the money nor could I get the mare. At the auction she was purchased by the receiver, who sold her afterwards for $800 to the same gentleman for whom I had bought her previously. After being told the mare could not be settled in foal I still bought her for my friend because I believed that she could be settled if intelligent methods were used and the mare properly cared for, That she had foals since shows that I was not mistaken in my judgement.

The registry of 13 foals out of *Nejdme in the stud book here, amply supported the judgment of Mr. Asdikian, that with intelligent methods and proper care she would raise foals. His notes and the Tattersalls sales list her as foaled 1887. Yet he states she was eight years old at the time of the fair, 1893, a discrepancy of two years. It would be easy to mistake an old-fashioned 7 for 1 and vice-versa. All the evidence would indicate 1887 the correct date rather than 1881 as her foaling year. Her last foal in 1913 would be at the age of 26, rather than 32.

Dahura No. 90, important and prolific early Arabian mare, granddaughter of *Nejdme. Dahura raised her 19th foal at Ben Hur farms when 25 years old, died at 29.

It will be noted that the name Pride did not appear in the notebook kept by Mr. Asdikian nor does he report the name in the Tattersall sales. Where did the name originate and to what mare of the importation did it belong (as a stable name). All will agree this English word was not the original name of one of the desert-bred, 1893 importation. The original application for registry gives little light on the subject. Date of foaling of Pride 321 and Galfia 255 are listed in the stud book as “unknown.” The 1918 volume of the stud book records Homer Davenport as owner of both Galfia and Pride. He had died in 1912, which may account for the meager registry data on these mares which should have been recorded among the first in 1908 with Nejdme and Obeyran. Mr. Asdikian describes Galfia as a “sorrel mare, one fore and both hind feet white; Hamdani-Simri,” Pride is also recorded as a chestnut or sorrel), but a Managhi-Slaji. If she was a chestnut, then Galfia and Pride were one and the same mare. If she was a Managhi and a dark bay she could have been the No. 24 mare Hassna noted in the sales list as a Managhi-Hedrij. The conclusion would be obvious that it would be harder to mistake identity between a chestnut and bay than it would be to become confused and mistaken with desert strain names. Thus, owners of Arabians can form their own conclusions of the correctness and value of some of the early strain names in some of their present day Arabians.

The Tattersalls sale list, as reported by Mr. Asdikian, gives the foaling date of *Obeyran as 1889, while the stud book lists him as foaled 1879. By what authority was Davenport led to believe him 28 when he took the picture? Or was he really 10 years younger? Finally, would Hadji Hassan, the expert on Arabian horses, buy for this strenuous trip and exhibition a 14-year-old stallion or a four-year-old; a 12-year-old mare or a six-year-old?