Which are the Crabbet horses, and which are the Hanstead horses?
These are the Hanstead foals. Hanstead’s worldwide influence is out of all proportion to the relatively small number of foals—an average of just over four per year. The six foundation mares appear in all capital letters, with sire and dam noted in italics, then each foundation mare’s produce directly underneath. Any daughters with foals registered as bred by Hanstead have a line leading to a list of their own produce. Year of birth and whether colt or filly are also indicated.
by Michael Bowling
Copyright 1997 All rights reserved
*Nasik was foaled in 1908 in Wilfrid Blunt’s Newbuildings half of the partitioned Crabbet Stud. He was a son of Rijm (Mahruss x *Rose of Sharon) and Narghileh (Mesaoud x Nefisa); both his granddams were dynastic mares (pretty clearly, the two central mares of the Crabbet tradition) and daughters of Hadban, a desert stallion imported to India and then to England as a race horse, and then exported almost immediately to Australia; these two incomparably influential matrons are his only offspring in pedigrees.
*Nasik at Crabbet
*Nasik’s grandsires were the first two colts bought from Ali Pasha Sherif by the Blunts; Mahruss had only one foal at Crabbet, but he proved an important sire (Rijm, obviously); Mesaoud was the most used sire in the history of the Stud, the only Crabbet sire credited with oveer 100 registered progeny. *Nasik was full brother to another internationally influential sire, *Nureddin II, and to the mare Nessima who founded a widely branched family. Narghileh’s daughter *Narda II also produced the early-day endurance winners *Noam and *Crabbet by Rijm.
(I used to fantasize that, if I ever had access to time travel, I would go back and visit Crabbet in 1908, just to see Nefisa and her daughter Narghileh grazing together with their foals of that year, Nasra and *Nasik. Then I learned about the Partition, and realized that the pasture scene I envisioned could never have happened. After 1906 Narghileh did her grazing at Newbuildings and Nefisa was at Crabbet, although on the latter mare’s death Lady Anne worked another trade to bring Narghileh as her replacement.)
Lady Anne Blunt traded her husband another colt for *Nasik and he became one of her chief sires; when Lady Anne died he was one of the horses (along with *Berk) that Wilfrid Blunt declared surplus and worthless (he also “killed her chickens, plowed up her garden”). *Berk was sold to W.R.Brown but *Nasik was recovered by Lady Wentworth on the settlement of the lawsuit which had resulted from Blunt’s challenge of Lady Anne’s will.
*Nasik’s most important get sired in England were Ranya, Rafeef and *Rokhsa. In 1926 he was presented by Lady Wentworth to W.K. Kellogg, and became the head sire of the Kellogg program in Pomona, CA. *Nasik crossed particularly well with the Rasim daughters *Rifla and *Farasin, siring from the former Rifnas and the mares Shemseh and Kadah; and from the latter, a set of ten full siblings including Farana, Sikin, Nafara, Treyf, Farnasa and Nafara. *Nasik also got successful breeding horses from other mares in California, including the outcross progeny Valensik from Valencia and Najur from Sedjur (both Davenport-Hamidie) and Amla from Arak (straight Davenport).
“Old California” breeding is practically always “*Nasik linebreeding” if you carry pedigrees far enough back. He is less well represented in the modern straight Crabbet and GSB horses, but he is there too. His influence also is widespread in combined-source pedigrees behind such influential sires as Khemosabi and Huckleberry Bey.
The movement which has grown into the CMK program had its origins about 25 years ago as “The *Nasik Group” and CMK is still the tradition most closely identified with, and giving most recognition to, his influence.
Compiled by W. R. Brown
Published in The Arabian Stud Book [vol. 2], 1918
For the information of the public and the guidance of breeders, the following standard of conformation and type has been adopted by the Arabian Horse Club of America for the typical Arabian horse, being the concensus of opinion gathered from many travellers and investigators such as Palgrave, Niebuhr, Burckhart, Lawrence. Guarmani. Gen. Daumas, Major Tweedie, Col. Hamilton Smith, Major Upton, Sir Wilfred [sic] and Lady Anne Blunt, Ridgeway, Borden, Osborn and others. While no individual will, in probability, meet all the standards herein enumerated, the composite is made from the best instances observed.
The Arabian is a distinct subspecies, having characteristics differentiating it from other breeds and must not be judged by European standards. These differences appear in the skeleton, conformation and intelligence and stamp him wherever found. To be exact he is a highly specialized desert product and close descendant from the primitive bay stock of Africa. History records him as the immediate progenitor of many of the European breeds of today, through the admixture of his hot Southern blood with the cold Northern blood of other species, indigenous in the country to which he has been brought.
His skeleton, in comparison with other breeds, possesses a relative shortness of skull, a slenderness of lower jaw, larger size of brain case, less vertebrae in the back and tail, more horizontal position of the pelvic bone etc. The usual callosities of the hind legs are very small or absent, and are of small size on the fore legs. The ergots on the fetlocks are small and often indistinguishable.
The upper half of the head is larger in proportion to the whole size of the horse than seen elsewhere, especially in depth across the jowls. It has a triangular shape diminishing rapidly to a small and fine muzzle, giving the appearance more nearly that of the gazelle or deer. The muzzle is small, and may be enclosed in the palm of the hand. The lips thin and fine. The nostrils long, thin, delicately curled, running upward and projecting outward. When the animal is excited or in action the nostrils are capable of great dilation and, seen in profile, project beyond the outline of the muzzle, giving a bold, square, sharp and vigorous expression. The face slightly dished below the eyes. The cheek bones sharply cut. The eyes set far apart somewhat on the side of the head, are large, lustrous, kind and full of fire when aroused. The eyes are set more nearly in the middle of the head, with plenty of brain capacity above them. The distance from the top of the head to the top of the eyes is often within one inch of the distance from the lower eyelid to the top of the nostril. Added brain capacity is frequently given by a slight protrusion over the forehead and extending to just below the eyes, called the “Jibbah” by the Arabs and greatly prized. A ratio of two and one half to one between the circumference of the head around the jowls and the circumference directly above the nostrils is not uncommon. The cheek bones spread wide apart at the throat, often between five and six inches, enabling the muzzle to be drawn in without compressing the windpipe and the animal to breathe without distress when running.
The ears smaller in stallions and of good size in mares, pointed, set evenly together in an upright position and of great flexibility. In general, the head should be lean and full of fine drawing, showing intelligence, energy and unconquerable courage, combined with nobility and sagacity.
The neck long, arched, light, set on high and run well back into the withers. The throat particularly large and well developed, loose and pliant when at rest, and much detached from the rest of the head. The head set onto the neck at a slightly more oblique angle than in other breeds. The direct way in which the neck leaves the head for a slight distance before curving, is called the “Mitbah” by the Arabs and is greatly prized.
Measured at the withers from 14 to 15 hands, with occasional individuals exceeding this height. The croup slightly higher than the withers.
The withers high, set well back and heavily muscled on both sides beyond the usual European standard. Shoulders long, deep, broad at the base and powerful, but light at the points. The arm long, oblique and muscular. The forearm broad at the elbow, long and muscular. Knees large, square and deep. The cannon bone short, flat and clean, of not too great size but showing exceptionally strong heavy tendons. The fetlock joint exceptionally large and bold. The pasterns long, sloping, very elastic and strong. The hoof hard, large, round, wide and low at the heel. Legs should be set well together in front, straight and toe squarely ahead.
Looking from the front or rear, the ribs will be seen to bow out and protrude beyond the quarters. The ribs run to a great depth beneath the chest and give room for great heart and lung capacity. The ribs hold their size and are close coupled to the point of the hip bone. The back unusually short due to the absence of two of the usual vertebrae and the oblique angle of the shoulder. The body long below with a low belly, capable of holding feed. The transverse measurement of the thorax equal to, or a little greater than, vertical measurement.
The croup slightly higher than the withers; the loins broad; the haunch longer in proportion and quite horizontal; the tail set on high, arched and carried gaily in the air at the first motion of the animal. The quarters long, well-muscled and somewhat narrow with a fine line denoting speed. The hams well filled out. The hocks clean, well let down, of almost abnormal size and strength, giving great leverage to the tendons at the gaskins. The shank bone flat, clean and short, with large tendons. The pasterns long, sloping and muscular. The fetlock joint of exceptional size. The hoof hard, large, round, wide and low at the heel. The hind legs placed squarely under the hind quarters and parallel to the body.
Mane and tail long and very fine in texture. Coat thick, close, fine, soft and silky.
In Arabia, 35% are bays; 30% greys; 15% chestnuts of various shades and 20% browns of various shades and rarely a black. Stars, strips or blaze faces; snipe noses, and a white foot or more or white stockings are common markings. Solid white, while much prized, is comparatively rare. Duns, piebalds, yellows and roans are not seen; parti-colored horses are always crossbreds.
The Arabian should present the appearance of short coupling and great weight carrying capacity for his height, hold his head and tail high with alert bearing and arched neck, and show action with stability.
From 800 to 1,000 pounds, according to size.
His natural gait is the gallop, agreeable on account of the general length and springy character of the hind parts and long pasterns. Also a fast walk, the hind foot often overstepping the fore foot from one to three feet. While not his natural gait, he can develop a good trot with cultivation. Being trained to cover long distances, his natural action is long and low, sufficient to maintain a good footing and stride without undue pulling of the knees and hocks. He is a bold jumper and, in running, can outdistance anything of his size. Due to the length, strength and angular flexibility of the fore shoulder he can handle his fore feet with great dexterity and in playfulness strike at a bird or butterfly in mid-air or, while extended in the gallop divert his foot from an obstacle.
Lungs and chest finely developed. Broken wind and roaring is almost never known, due to the size and position of the windpipe. The stomach is of smaller size and the feed required to keep him in good condition is much less than in other breeds. For centuries he has become accustomed to subsist in a barren country and will require about one half the feed of the European horse for the weight carried.
The Arabian horse comes down to us from great antiquity from geographic origins about which there is dispute, but his presence in Arabia for twenty or more centuries has been well authenticated, during which time he has remained a product of that land practically unchanged. He reaches his best development in the natural pasture land of the interior deserts, particularly in the Provinces of Nejd and Mesopotamia, among the Bedouin tribes of the Anazeh, Shammar, Sebaa and Roala. From this favoring environment, he has been carried by war and conquest to practically every portion of the world, as the plastic foundation upon which the nations have developed their breeds. Statistics of the derivation of practically all breeds will clearly show this and is considered a highly prized heritage. He endures both extreme heat and cold with exceptional hardihood and becomes readily acclimated to every climate.
In history, the Arabian has figured as the horse of beauty, intelligence, courage, endurance and romance. Bred and reared in close contact with man from the earliest records and existing in mutual inter-dependence, he developed the keen brain of the primitive animal by such close human association,—as in the case of the dog,—and his intelligence has been celebrated in a thousand anecdotes. He is gentle, affectionate and familiar to the point of being troublesome. Colts have no fear of man and are indifferent to sounds or noises. The Arabian gentleness and tractability, while originally the effect of education, is now inherited and is observed in colts bred in foreign environment.
The Arabian is also celebrated for his soundness of limb, courage, endurance and ability to withstand hardships. It is reason sufficient to show that the life and welfare of his Arab owner, who constantly engaged in the “Ghazu”, a form of quick, mounted foray upon his neighbors, was often dependent upon these qualities in his horse. It is also the natural result of a good original stock, maintained in its purity by intensive breeding, in a favorable environment. As a racer he has shown no mean ability in India. Imported to England he became the progenitor of the English Thoroughbred and pure blooded Arabians have always remained registerable in Weatherby’s. In Russia his blood contributed largely to make the Orloff trotter; in France to make the Percheron; in America to make the Morgan and, through the English Thoroughbred, to make the Hackney, the Trotter and the American or Kentucky saddle horse. He has won practically all the long distance and endurance racing of the world. His blood has been and is being used by European army officers continually in various crosses to breed the best cavalry mounts. In him are all of the qualities of the desirable horse and, while excellence in individual accomplishments, such as running, trotting or saddle action, may enable certain breeds to excel the parent stock in their specialty, no other blood has the power of transmitting so many or all of these qualities to its offspring, and to create individuals possessing what is known as general utility. His blood is prepotent and plastic to a remarkable degree, dominating all the breeds to which it is introduced, and contributes to them, beauty, courage, speed, endurance and tractability.
by Count Joseph Potocki, The Arabian Horse News, February 1958:
“As to SKOWRONEK’s sire, IBRAHIM, he was purchased in 1907 in the following circumstances:
“My father, Count Joseph Potocki, Sr., who was at that time searching for a high class Arab stallion, received through his agents information that several Arabian horses had actually been obtained from the desert and were on their way via Constantinople, across the Black Sea to Odessa. He immediately sent an expert representative there and within a few days IBRAHIM was purchased with a few other stallions of lesser quality. In looks, IBRAHIM was perhaps even more striking than SKOWRONEK and also proved to be a great sire….
“Now there is one point which might seem puzzling with reference to IBRAHIM. Why was it that his sire, HEIJER, and dam LAFITTE, whose names were known, were inscribed in SKOWRONEK’s pedigree issued by me for the Arab Annex of Weatherby’s General Stud Book, England, in September 1919 and July 1920, while the official Polish Stud Books published at a later date do not contain those names? The fact that the sire or dam (or both) of a horse coming from the Arabian desert are known is not so unusual. Such horses, however, were always registered in our stud books as “Original Arab,” “Or.Ar.” This means in our Polish stud books “Arabian horse originally from the Arabian desert.” No further additions were given except the strain from which they came if that was certain. In the case of IBRAHIM, my father possessed the names of his sire and dam, HEIJER and LAFITTE, but inscribed him in our stud books in the above customery way. On the other hand, when the English owners of SKOWRONEK expressed the wish to have these names included in his pedigree, my father did not raise any objection. When, however, some years later the Polish Arab Horse Society published the official Polish Stud Books of Arab Horses, it was considered preferable to keep strictly to the wording of the Antoniny stud books in which IBRAHIM was defined as “Original Arab” without any additions. The Polish Arab Horse Society preferred to quote the exact wording of our stud books to which it had full and free access and this was all the more comprehensive since all additional papers pertaining to IBRAHIM had been lost in the business archives of Antoniny and could no longer be referred.
“The only authentic pedigree for IBRAHM’s son is the one issued in Antoniny in accordance with our stud books and which, acting for my father, I confirmed in London in 1919 and 1920. Any extension on IBRAHIM beyond his sire, HEIJER, and dam, LAFITTE, is not authentic.”
A copy of Count Joseph Potocki’s handwritten pedigree of Skowronek, written in 1919 is included in the same issue of The Arabian Horse News (and at the top of this page).
Another article in the February, 1958 issue of The Arabian Horse News was written by Count Roman Potocki (brother of Count Joseph, Jr.), “Ibrahim, Jaskoulka, Skowronek and the Antoniny Stud Books”:
“IBRAHIM was purchased by my father, Count Joseph Potocki, Sr., in 1907 from our agent horse dealer in Odessa who brought him by way of Constantinople from the Orient, not Egypt. IBRAHIM had a note pedigree with his age, his sire, HEIJER, and dam, LAFITTE, noted on it. My father liked the horse very much. There is no further extension to his pedigree.
“My father put him down in the Antoniny Sanguszko stud books as “Or. Ar.” “Or. Ar.” means in Polish stud books “Original or desert Arab from Arabia.” IBRAHIM was always written down as “Or. Ar.” in the Polish stud books without further ancestors. It was not customary to give the sires or dams of our desert importations in our stud books. They were always recorded as “Or. Ar.” The papers with his sire and dam, age, the business transaction, etc., were kept separately in our business files. About 1920 when my brother Joseph, then in England, wrote out the pedigree of SKOWRONEK for registration in the Arab Annex of Weatherby’s General Stud Book, he included the names of IBRAHIM’s sire and dam, HEIJER and LAFITTE.
“During the Revolution, when most of the horses, though not all, perished, the original stud books were saved. I knew them well before and after the events of 1917-1920, and they were taken by us to Warsaw. The house at Antoniny and the stud, except for a part of the young stock, were destroyed in January-February of 1919. The Stud Books were kept in our Warsaw Library and destroyed by fire in 1944 during the Warsaw Insurrection against the Germans. All the records were previously checked by the Polish Arab Horse Society and specified in their publications.”
Also, there is this sidebar in the same issue of The Arabian Horse News, on page 26, “Antoniny Stud Books Saved After World War I” by Count Joseph Potocki:
“The Antoniny Stud books were saved after World War I, and I had them in Warsaw until 1939.
“Some episodes in the early spring of 1918 gave us in the midst of destruction and material losses much reason for true and sincere satisfaction. The country all around Antoniny was by that time in a state of upheaval because of the Revolution, but the local population was not in the least hostile to us but continued to be friendly and make every effort to save and preserve. We owed to this attitude the saving of many objects from our country house and the possibility of taking them by various means to Warsaw. It was the local peasants who took some 56 cases of our books from Antoniny to a distant railroad station where they could be sent to Warsaw.
“Thus, our library was saved and with it two thick volumes in folio, the stud books, containing all the pedigrees of our horses, as well as the history of the stud written by Prince Roman Sanguszko about 1870. Later I completed his story with a detailed account of events in the stud during the first World War and its aftermath, the Russian Revolution. I wrote it myself and enumerated all the stud’s horses which were saved during that period.
“Before leaving my house in Warsaw, I put the stud books in what I considered a safe place. In 1944 the house was completely gutted by fire during the Warsaw Insurrection. Unless taken in previous looting, they are presumed destroyed by fire.”
Skowronek and Lady Wentworth at Crabbet Park, England. “No more perfect specimen has ever been imported to England,” Lady Wentworth once said.
Raffles, famous 24-year-old son of Skowronek out of Rifala, a daughter of Skowronek. He is owned by the Payne Arabian ranch.
Rifala, dam of Raffles, daughter of Skowronek, at 24 years of age.
Arraff, top Arabian cutting horse owned by Al-Marah Arabian Horse farm and ridden by Harold Brite.
Aaraf, by Raffles and out of Aarah, a granddaughter and a great-granddaughter of Skowronek. He is owned by the Ben Hur farm.
Raseyn, famous son of Skowronek, as he appeared in 1923 while at the W K Kellogg ranch.
It’s difficult to write about a famous horse, because so much has been said already. There is so much romanticism, mythology and legend spun around him that attempts at factual reporting are often misinterpreted as understatements.
Our conception of those who molded history (be they figures of equine significance or standouts in man’s progress through the ages) depends largely upon which history we read or what so-called authority we chose to accept.
So it is to some degree with the famed and fabled animal Skowronek, Arabian stallion credited with contributing more to the greatness of the modern Arab than any other individual of his breed. But, fortunately, Skowronek came onto the scene shortly after the turn of the century and for that reason his career is not so heavily veiled in mythology as many other immortals of the horse world.
Fortunate, too, is the fact that two of his sons are still alive today, a tribute to the great stamina and virility of his bloodline and proof of the magic-like quality with which he passed his much-sought characteristics to his progeny.
These two great sons of one of the greatest Arabians are Raseyn AHC 597 and Raffles AHC 952, and both are now grazing in green paddocks of the John V. Payne ranch in the hills south of Chino, California. Both are well past 20 years of age and sires of an astounding number of champions and are classic examples of Arabian perfection. Through these two sons and a few of his daughters the greatness of Skowronek has been preserved for breeders of today.
History, as recounted by some widely known chroniclers, spins the romantic story of the beautiful white stallion Skowronek being splattered with mud and smuggled out of Poland hitched to a lumbering cart during the Russian Revolution. We read, too, of the great horse’s dam being tortured by the Russians and hanged, with her aristocratic owners.
However, H. V. Musgrave Clark, of Sussex, England, who is one of the oldest Arab breeders in the British Empire, and a former owner of Skowronek, recently discredited this story.
Skowronek was in the Clark stud shortly after coming from Poland. “He was purchased in Poland by my friend, the late Walter Winans,” says Clark. “Winans sold him to me after he had used him as a model for various bronzes. Skowronek was actually in this country when the Russian Revolution was in full swing.”
Lady Wentworth of Crabbet Park stud subsequently acquired Skowronek and kept him until his death.
History shows that Skowronek was foaled in 1909. He was a grey Kehilan Ajuz imported into Poland from Egypt by the Antoniny Stud of Count Joseph Potocki, which was founded before 1700. His sire was Ibrahim by Heijer out of Lafitte. The dam was Yaskoulka, a Kehilet Ajuz by Rymnik out of Epopea by Dervish out of Lyra.
Clark’s selection of Skowronek is understandable; for the wiry, intelligent and classically featured little horse had the quality of siring heavily-quartered, compact animals such as were much in demand at the turn of the century. However, they still retained other characteristic Arabian qualities.
Skowronek was to the Arabian what Pete McCue was to the Quarter Horse. And maybe their sons had something in common. At least, Skowronek’s owner knew something of the greatness of the Western cow horse; for as a New Mexico cattle rancher many years before, he had seen these “short horses” in action.
We aren’t trying to prove that Skowronek was a Western Quarter Horse; but it surely was not entirely coincidental that the former New Mexico cattleman Clark picked out a stud in England that subsequently was the grandsire of Arabians that are winning the money in open Stock Horse competition today.
Arabian breeder Clark is proud of the fact that 45 years ago he was a cattle rancher in the Pecos valley, just a short distance from Roswell.
“The West was a great place when I was there and I often wish I had never left it.” he says.
The J. V. Paynes are glad Clark liked the West and the Western type horse; for he was probably indirectly responsible for them being able to breed their type of Arabians, the Stock Horse type with an Arabian head and refinement.
An insatiable desire to develop such bloodlines led Mrs Payne a year ago (Oct. 1949) to buy the ailing old stallion Raffles, with no assurance that a broken leg had properly knitted or that he was in breeding condition.
Despite his extreme age and highly questionable virility, Raffles immediately interested Mrs. Payne when she heard he was to go on the block in a dispersal sale. She flew from California to the Roger A. Selby stud at Portsmouth, Ohio, to see him, bought him at competitive bidding and chartered an express car to bring him home. Today she feels repaid a thousandfold, for Raffles is breeding sound and feeling fine.
Raffles, although very small in stature, sires colts much larger than himself and with tremendous quarters. His get are famed in the show ring from Canada to South America. Raffles’ dam, Rifala, was a daughter of Skowronek. Rifala was bred back to her own sire, Skowronek, to get Raffles. Thus, Raffles is intensely inbred, being 75 per cent Skowronek, and an excellent example of the hybrid law at work when bred to unrelated mares. Likewise, he serves as a classic means of intensifying Skowronek bloodlines when used on mares carrying dominant Skowronek breeding.
Raffles, who is only 13-3 hands, was foaled in 1926 at Lady Wentworth’s Crabbet Park stud and imported to America by Roger Selby in 1932. Although the smallest Arabian registered in this country, he is a classic example of the old phrase, “a big little horse,” weighing 1010 when in his prime. Because of his diminutive size and the fact his owner was somewhat more interested in American saddlebreds at the time, he was not used in the stud extensively, except to sire show ponies from Welsh mares, and these were all winners.
It wasn’t until May 1938, when his first stud colt was foaled, that anyone started to pay him much attention. This colt was the famed Indraff AHC 1578, a champion from the start and now senior stallion at the Al-Marah Arabian farm of Mrs. Peter Miller, of Bethesda, Maryland.
Another of Raffles’ finest sons is Rasraff, a blocky 1050 pound chestnut stud out of Rasmina, a granddaughter of Skowronek. He has won several Stock Horse competitions and is expected to follow in the footsteps of his Payne ranch stablemate, Shereyn, the fast little stud that took top money in the light Stock Horse open competition at San Francisco’s Cow Palace in 1946. Shereyn, incidentally, surprised a lot of the Quarter Horse people and took no small amount of money away from them by winning the Cow Palace show.
Another Skowronek grandson that has the cowboys going back for a second look is Al-Marah farm’s gelding son of Raffles, Arraff.
In a sensational performance, he took top money in the National Stallion show open Stock Horse class at Waterloo, Iowa, in 1949, cleaned up at a number of local shows through the Midwest, then went on to the big American Royal at Kansas City and came off with third place, showing against the best Quarter Horses in the country.
Owner Mrs. Peter Miller is out to prove her Arabians can really get the cutting horse job done in a big way and has purchased a young Quarter Horse from the King ranch to haze for Arraff.
Raffles and his famous sire are just naturally putting that extra something into their progeny, especially as regards Stock Horse type Arabians. And the Arabian breeders are quick to grasp it. Mrs. Miller takes great pleasure in pointing to The Western Horseman article which enthusiastically said: “Arraff showed definite superiority in the Stock Horse contest, but we were particularly impressed with him in the cutting contest… he may be one of those naturals… this grey gelding’s efforts were certainly a credit to the breed.”
And Mrs. Miller assures us we haven’t heard the last of Arraff and her other “working Arabians.” She’s very strong on Skowronek bloodlines and agrees with the authority, James P. Dean, that “few studs put it on ’em like Raffles.” Dean, for 15 years with the Selby stud, is probably the nation’s top authority on Skowronek, whom he terms “the greatest contributing factor to Arabians in America.”
Another Arabian authority, H. H. Reese, manager for many years of the W. K. Kellogg Arabian Horse ranch, similarly praises Skowronek. Reese, on a world tour for Kellogg, visited Lady Wentworth’s Crabbet Park stud in 1928 and saw Skowronek.
“He was just about perfect,” says Reese, who is specializing in Skowronek out-crossing at his West Covina ranch in California. “He was very impressive, with gorgeous head and neck, high natural tail carriage, wonderful legs and straight action. He was, of course, very old when I saw him, but still a very superior animal. And he has bred along truer than any other line.”
Skowronek died a few years after Reese’s visit.
Lady Wentworth described Skowronek as an ideal specimen of the type which Abbas Pasha, Viceroy of Egypt, spent a fortune developing. “No more perfect specimen has ever been imported to England,” she wrote in one of her early works. “Lady Anne Blunt (her mother) spent the last 20 years of her life in a vain search for a horse of Skowronek’s type,” she said.
Lady Wentworth later termed Skowronek “the sole surviving line” of the original Polish blood. Whether she ever actually turned down the reported $250,000 offer for him has never been substantiated, but the figure is often quoted.
Arabian enthusiasts, too, point to the famed European endurance rides as proof of the kind of animals Skowronek’s breeder developed. A Prussian officer, Lt. W. von Gaffein, mounted on a Count Potocki Arabian, took the gold medal for finishing with his horse in best condition in a race from Vienna to Berlin. The distance was 425 miles. The riders started Monday morning and finished Thursday noon, that is, 71 of the 117 starters finished. Forty-two of the other horses died along the way.
That gold medal winner was the kind of blood Skowronek carried.
Only three of Skowronek’s sons ever came to the United States: Raswan, Raffles and Raseyn. Raswan, long-since dead, sired no foals here. Another son is believed to be in South America [Raktha was sold by Lady Wentworth to Mr. A. J. Botha of South Africa in 1951].
James Dean has a very keen personal interest in Skowronek’s son, Raffles, for he and Mrs. Dean never left the little horse’s side for 16 long weeks when the game old stud lay in a sling with a broken hind leg in January 1949. They nursed him through colic, cramps and skin eruptions as he stood helpless. They watched him waste away from top condition to emaciation, and waited fearfully when the cast was finally removed. So it’s understandable that they visit the Payne’s at every opportunity, correspond regularly regarding Raffles’ condition, and are happy that he staged a comeback and has such a good home.
“He has the greatest stamina and recuperative powers of any horse I’ve ever seen,” said Dean the other day as he visited at the Payne ranch. “And look at the beautiful, wide head, the deep jaw and that gay way about him, his long forearm and broad back. No wonder he has ability to sire horses with tremendous quarters.”
Dean is frankly unabashed at claiming Raffles is one of modern horsedom’s greatest personalities.
“And look at his daughters,” he adds. “Cassandra, bred by W. C. Shuey, of Ashville, N.C., and owned by R. B. Field, of Leavenworth, Wash., has won every class she was ever shown in, and that includes the Grand National mares class at Cheyenne, the Crabbet award and the Jane Llewellyn Ott perpetual trophy. She’s virtually unbeatable. Skowronek blood again.”
While Raffles’ stablemate at the Payne ranch, Raseyn, is not active in the stud, he is a distinguished personage on the property and his bloodlines are being carried on there.
Imported by W. K. Kellogg in 1929 at the age of three, he is one of the most photographed horses in America, having posed with hundreds of movie stars and world figures during his prime at the famous Kellogg Arabian Horse ranch at Pomona, California. A stablemate of Jadaan, famed as the horse that Rudolph Valentino rode, he was one of the glamour boys of the Kellogg ranch. Both horses were used extensively in motion picture work, through the efforts of Arabian authority Spide Rathbun of the Kellogg Foundation.
Raseyn, by Skowronek out of the mare Rayya, was purchased from the Lady Wentworth stud, and was owned variously by the Kellogg Foundation, the University of California, the United States Army, and Department of Agriculture.
He was about to be destroyed at the age of 26 when Mrs. Payne obtained him. She nursed him back to health with a special diet, and today he is in exceptional good flesh and may return to breeding condition.
The Paynes had previously bought a son and two daughters of Raseyn in their efforts to obtain more direct Skowronek bloodlines. These included Rasmina, the dam of Rasraff and a granddaughter of Skowronek. She is now dead. However, Rasrah, a 20-year-old daughter of Raseyn and grand-daughter of Skowronek, is still alive. The former mount of actress Olivia de Havilland, she has foaled the Paynes’ three mares: one by a son of Raseyn, one by a son of Raffles and one by Raffles.
So it’s easy to see that the Paynes are not just making conversation when they speak so enthusiastically of their program of intensifying Skowronek bloodlines. They are doing it.
“(Skowronek) was foaled in 1909 at Antoniny Stud, owned by Count Joseph Potocki.” p. 45 “According to Lady Wentworth [see page 307 in the 1962 edition of Lady Wentworth’s The Authentic Arabian Horse, originally published in 1945] his ancestry went back to Abbas Pasha I’s Arabs, through his sire Ibrahim. [See Lady Wentworth’s illustrated Pedigree of Dafinetta, p. 63] Here she relied on the notes of her mother, which she made on a visit to Antoniny. In Poland no such assertion had ever been made, but simply that Ibrahim had been bought at Odessa in 1907. Dr Gustav Rau, the great German authority, reported his own visit to Antoniny in Sankt Georg and described the two stallions there exhaustively. They were Ibrahim and Massaud. He noted under the photograph of Ibrahim: ‘Seglawi stallion, imported Arab, born near Damascus’, and under Massaud, ‘Bred by Ali Pasha Sherif, Cairo'”. Erika Schile The Arab Horse in Europe 1967 First American edition, p. 45.↩
*MIRAGE at Crabbet in 1923 or ’24. Photo courtesy Rosemary Archer.
From the 1924 Crabbet Stud Catalogue:
“Mirage. Lady Wentworth has also at Crabbet a very fine white stallion imported by King Faisal of Irak from the Denednasha tribe, to whom he paid £500 for the horse through General Haddad Pasha, who identified the horse and his history in 1922. He is a Kehilan Ajuz of the Denednasha nejd strain, but will not be incorporated in the Crabbet Stud until King Faisal’s signature has been obtained.”
From The Crabbet Arabian Stud: its history and influence by Archer, Pearson and Covey: p. 108
“Mirage. A Seglawi Jedran Dalia. White stallion bred by the Anazeh tribe. Exact date of birth unknown….The Crabbet records indicate it was about 1916. Brought by King Faisal of Irak to France and presented to the Italian Ambassador Signor de Martino and brought by him to England. Bought at Tattersalls 1923. Sire: a Seglawi Jedran. Dam: a Seglawieh Dalia. Sold to the USA 1930.”
p. 182 “[Roger Selby’s] main purchase in 1930 was Mirage, an imported grey stallion of the Seglawi Jedran Dalia strain. Lady Wentworth described him as ‘a very showy good horse. Excellent legs, splendid quarters and fine front. Very good in saddle but too bouncing for English taste as he gets English riders off.’ But this was not the reason Mirage was sold. Weatherbys had by now closed their Stud Book to new imports and although Lady Wentworth tried to persuade them to accept Mirage, she was unsuccessful and therefore had no option but to sell him.”
p. 220 “Another stallion I [Cecil Covey] remember was Mirage, a very quiet horse to handle but as soon as you mounted him he became a different animal, full of fire and verve. When we were visited by King Fuad of Egypt, I was detailed to meet his convoy of cars at the gate of Crabbet Park and to escort them down the drive mounted on Mirage. We must have put on a spectacular display as Mirage hated combustion engines and gave me a most awkward ride. When ridden he carried his head and tail high and had a very short gait which took a while to get used to. But once mastered he was exhilarating.”
From Al Khamsa Arabians: p. 76
“Mirage. 1919 grey stallion, sire a Kuhaylan-Ajuz of the Anazah, dam a Saklawiyah-Jidraniyah of the Dal’al family, bred by the Saba, imported in 1921 to Iraq for King Faisal.” “*Mirage’s date of birth is given as 1909 in Vol IV of the Arabian Horse Registry stud books, but this is corrected in Vol V. … The Arabic document in *Mirage’s case is from the Royal Stables at Bagdad, sealed by El Mahasshami, Director. It confirms his strain, the strain of his sire, and his breeder.”
*MIRAGE could scarcely have been more highly esteemed in his day, and he played a central role in Selby breeding, perhaps the most influential single program in the breed’s post-World War II development in North America. *MIRAGE and his sons achieved the very highest regard as sires of mares for the all-conquering *Raffles horses. When styles changed and the Selby stock came to appear more often in the female lines of outcross pedigrees, *MIRAGE was increasingly diluted, although his name still appears with surprising frequency as an ancestor, whether of CMK Arabians or those of mixed sources. In recent years the *MIRAGE influence has entered a new phase and become increasingly prominent in tail male; his must now be the most internationally successful of all the pre-1960 North American sire lines–and one of very few of that vintage not only to hold its own against more recent imports but rapidly to increase its standing. Few sire lines in the breed can ever have equalled the explosive expansion experienced by that of *MIRAGE since 1980.
The beautifully produced 1936 Catalogue of the Selby Stud described *MIRAGE as a pure white 14:2-hand, 1000 pound “Seglawi Jedran of Dalia, the most prized of the Seglawi strains,” foaled in 1909, and indicated he was “three gaited, sound, most gentle and lovable.” According to this source *MIRAGE was champion at the 1926 Richmond Royal Show in England, and also champion at the 1934 National Arabian Show at Nashville, Tennessee. The Selby management clearly believed the 1909 foaling date to be correct, for much was made of the vigor of *MIRAGE, that “he shows none of the characteristics of advanced age” and that his 1934 championship “at the age of 25, [was] a most unique honor for a horse of such remarkable age.” Similar comments on *MIRAGE’s vigor for his age were made by Margaret Lindsley Warden in The Horse, Sept-Oct 1934, and reprinted in The Journal of the Arab Horse Society for 1935. Warden also called *MIRAGE “wonderful” and said he was
“now rated by many experts as the most perfect specimen of the ancient êlite or classic type in America…He stands a scant 14:2, a sturdy model with the characteristic refinements of the best of his breed. His head is a glory and his great eyes express high but gentle spirit and gracious personality.”
General Dickenson of Traveler’s Rest, contributing a review of US Arab horse activities to the 1936 number of the same British annual, wrote that
“Selby Stud has continued to breed very intensely from the imported foundation stock, using MIRAGE as a sire the past season, not only because of his fine type, but because he is past twenty-five years of age and at best they cannot hope to have him many more years.”
The Selby catalogue records that *MIRAGE was chosen from his desert breeder as “a young colt” for King Faisal of Iraq by a General Haddad, and that Chefik Bey Haddad, son of the General, visited the Stud to spend
“many hours in the corral with the Stallion, and Mirage seemed to recognize him, even though some time had elapsed since he had last seen him. The Bey stated that he had frequently visited the horse while in England, after he passed out of King Faisal’s possession.”
This seemingly direct connection with *MIRAGE’s early years make it somewhat difficult to understand how an error of ten years in the horse’s foaling date could have persisted. On the other hand, one could picture that while comment might be made to Chefik Bey Haddad that *MIRAGE “looks well for his age,” the question of precisely what that age was might not come up in so many words.
*MIRAGE was not registered in England; the General Stud Book was closed to new imports and Lady Wentworth at that period refused to recognize the authority of the Arab Horse Society. The Iraqi certificate of *MIRAGE’s origin, reproduced in the Selby catalogue, is dated 1927. It is interesting to note that at the time he won his 1926 Richmond Royal championship *MIRAGE apparently was not only unregistered but quite undocumented.
Either Chefik Bey Haddad or Carl Raswan might have provided that “most prized” designation for the unfamiliar Seglawi substrain of Dalia. It is well to remember that particular strains and substrains passed in and out of fashion according to the exploits of individual war mares, and that a “most prized” substrain in one tribe or region might be of no special note, or nonexistent, in another. Lady Wentworth, in that monumental tome Thoroughbred Racing Stock and its Ancestors, provides another reference to Seglawi Dalia. She records that
“Lady Anne Blunt made careful enquiries over a number of years [as to the origins of the Darley Arabian and that] Sheykh Mijuel … said mares had gone from Central Arabia at one time, and others later, and stallions from his own tribe. He had heard talk of a Managhieh mare and some colts of that strain, a grey and a bay, purchased by an Englishman at Aleppo. One colt, which was left apparently some time after purchase with the tribe, went by the name of the Managhi Daali (Darley’s Managhi)…before leaving the tribe the colt sired a well-known filly which was known as the ‘Daalieh’ or ‘Daralieh.’ Possibly the modern strain Dalia, still existing, may have some connection with this. There is a strain of Seglawi Dalia with the the Anazeh which may be descended from the Seglawieh mare with ‘Darley’ attached, according to custom.”
Since we are not told that the “Daalieh” was not a Seglawieh, it seems at least plausible that she herself may have founded the Dalia substrain of Seglawi Jedran; it is therefore within the realm of speculation that the Darley Arabian, renowned as a Thoroughbred foundation sire, might still have Arabian descent through *MIRAGE. Had Lady Wentworth been able to register the horse in GSB or chosen to use him at Crabbet as a single-registered sire she might herself have made more of this possibility, but at the time of this writing *MIRAGE was already in Ohio.
There is no record of British foals by *MIRAGE though it seems strange that he should have been seven years at Crabbet, presumably with the idea of providing a potential outcross to the existing lines of the Stud, without so much as being tried on a pony mare. [Note added in 2005: it is now clear that the breedings credited in GSB to “Miraze” actually reflect the use of *Mirage]. In the early years of the Selby Stud crossbred matings appear for some reason to have been done more often with the Arab mares than with the sires; at any rate despite those recorded efforts to make full use of *MIRAGE while he still was available, he got just 26 registered Arab foals from 1932 through 1940. He leaves descent through all but four of them, a remarkably high success rate for any sire, again indicating the regard in which he was held by breeders of his day. Three of the four nonstarters died young; according to Arlene Magid’s *MIRAGE feature in The Crabbet Influence (Nov-Dec ’89), one of them drowned and two were struck by lightning. The only *MIRAGE gelding was his 1935 son BATU and ever since learning that the original of that name was an heir of the rampageous Mongol leader Genghis Khan I’ve wondered what the young BATU’s disposition might have been like.
The 1932 *MIRAGE crop consisted of one grey filly PERAGA, out of the “old American” mare SLIPPER (Yima x Sabot) and bred by Selby. PERAGA produced in Tennessee, California and Missouri and has descent through six of her ten foals; her daughters TABITHA, KATINKA and MARAGA all founded substantial branches of the BASILISK family. PERAGA’s sister of 1933, PERA, produced 6 foals and has descent through 4 of them.
The other 1933 *MIRAGE foal of record proved the most important of them all, for he was the dynamic little dark chestnut IMAGE out of *RIFALA (Skowronek x Rissla), destined to succeed his sire at the head of the Selby Stud. IMAGE had his first foals in 1939 while he was still competing for mares with *MIRAGE; he might have stopped with those and still have left an important legacy, for they grew to be the elegant and dynastic chestnut matrons IMAGIDA, dam of RAFFI and IMARAFF and foundress of a superior mare line; and DEVA, the most influential mare at Never Die Farm in Maryland. In fact IMAGE was credited with 70 more foals over 20 seasons and 54 of them left descent. The word “credited” is used advisedly, because there were four grey foals registered to the chestnut IMAGE from non-grey mares. One of these, the 1940 colt NISIM, is not counted among the 72 for his sire of record was changed to *Raffles, but the other three remain recorded impossibly as grey products of matings without a grey parent. (One is certainly grey in her photos; both the others sired grey foals from chestnut mares.)
ARABI KABIR 2379 (Image x *Kareyma) photo courtesy Linda Paich
PENNE, KHYMAE, IMNA, TALEH, NABIMA, MAATIGA, NIMA, SEBBA, IMCHA, SANGE, PAMELA, EL HACENE, ALIMA, and IMABIMA are perhaps the most noted of the younger IMAGE daughters in pedigrees; the IMAGE influence through mares has been incalculable. As show horses and sires PHANTOM, SARAB AL SAHRA, SELMAGE, DEVACHON, ARABI KABIR, RAFLAGE, MIRAZ, DESMOIN, IMAGIN, SHARRAK, EL MOTELA, IMAGINATION, RAMINAGE, GEYIMAGE, GAGE and ZELIMAGE were among the IMAGE stallions to achieve note. *RIFALA’s inbred son PHANTOM was a sire of distinctive style whose elegant curve of neck still can be recognized in his descendants but there is no question that the most prominent branch of the direct *MIRAGE male line today springs from ARABI KABIR. That showy chestnut son of the China doll *KAREYMA (Naseem x Julnar by *Abu Zeyd) got 52 foals, stationed first in California but gaining renown in the Northwest when promoted to head sire of the Silva program. ARABI KABIR’s sons ERRABI and RABAAR sired the national champion stallion and mare BAY-ABI and RAHBANA, and his daughters including notably INEZ, ZABIRA, IRAYIS, ABARAYIS, WANDA and LADIRAH were champion producers or founded important families. BAY-ABI became the leading sire of the *MIRAGE line; the record of BAY-EL-BEY has latterly far surpassed that of the other BAY-ABI sons and he himself has been replaced in turn by his sons, most prominently BEY SHAH, BARBARY, and HUCKLEBERRY BAY (triple *MIRAGE and double *KAREYMA).
1934 brought *MIRAGE two lesser but worthy sons and a prominent daughter in the persons of NAMIR, INDRAGE and RAGALA, all out of imported Crabbet mares. Dr. Septimus Thompson took to Ontario the Selby imports *JERAMA and *NAMILLA, both of the rare MAKBULA family in which the Selby Stud had achieved a near-monopoly by importing the KIBLA descendants *NAMILLA (*Nureddin II x Nejmia), *KAREYMA, *KIYAMA (Rafeef x Julnar) and the latter mare’s filly *JERAMA by JERUAN. *NAMILLA went to Canada with her grey son NAMIR at side; NAMIR got 18 foals and bred on through half of them. The only Canadian descent from NAMIR was via his son NARAMA, from *JERAMA, sire of five foals. Later in Nebraska NAMIR did better for himself, getting the familiar matrons MIRZALNA, KOMIR (that beautiful chestnut *SULEJMAN stallion KOMSUL heads up her line), MIREEBAH and CYNKIR and the lightly-used sires NAJA and NARAH among his 15 foals from 1950-54.
INDRAGE 1088 (*Mirage x Indaia) photo courtesy Craver Farms
The RASEEM/NISREEN mare *INDAIA’s handsome bay son INDRAGE was to get 55 foals, mostly during his tenure as head sire for C.A.West in Pennsylvania. INDRAGE was another noted sire of mares, with the likes of WASEIDA, WAZVAND, WAFADI, KOREEN, WANDRA, REISINDE, MIRABA, RASEEMA, and KATAWBA (his last foaled when he was 21, though he lived to be 34) on his list. One INDRAGE son does not much stand out from another in terms of influence but WARAJE, the improbably named EL PASHA OF HIGHVIEW and KENTHELMARG’S SHEIK, RAHAGE, IFRIT ABYAD, and the reserve East Coast Champion MIRLINDRAFF are among those seen in pedigrees. INDRAGE get, including many of those above plus such as INDKERAGE and SKOWROMIR, made notable riding horses.
The first of the great *MIRAGE mares was IMAGE’s grey 1934 sister RAGALA, dam of 16 foals with descent through 11 of them. Hers was predominantly a mare-line influence; three of her sons were used for breeding but only one of those sources persisted. The 10 RAGALA daughters produced up to 18 foals apiece, averaging 11.4 even though one of them managed only three. *RIFALA’s only daughter amply furnished her branch of the RISSLA family. RAGALA was much the most important foundation mare for the famed Bear Claw Ranch program of Mrs. Jeannette Cox Morill in Wyoming; those RAGALA daughters, without extending the lines further, included such noted matrons as RAZIKA, MISTY MOON, BOIS DU ROSE, ARIANA, ADASTRA, NEFERTITI, BINT RAGALA, LAKSHMI and LALLA KADIJA.
SLIPPER’s gelding son BATU was the best *MIRAGE could do in 1935 but the ’36 crop brought five foals, again all from Crabbet mares; besides RAGIN, the ill-fated brother to INDRAGE, there were ROMIRA, RIFAGE, AGWE and RAGEYMA. The *ROSE OF FRANCE (*Raswan x Jalila) daughter ROMIRA produced four fillies, all “straight Selby” by pedigree though none were bred there, and all represented in pedigrees today. The *Raffles daughter RAFFIRA with 8 foals was the most prolific; her sister MIRAFF produced only one but that was the classy show horse NARZAD who also got a few foals, with successful individuals among them.
RIFAGE 1286 (*Mirage x *Rifala) photo courtesy Nyla Eshelman
The third of the *MIRAGE/*RIFALA siblings, the grey RIFAGE, went to Colorado as a youngster and lived into his 30s as the head sire of the Van Vleet program. RIFAGE left 102 registered foals including a wealth of daughters headed by the national champion mare ROMINNA and a particularly lovely early top ten winner SHIHADA. The most prominent RIFAGE son in pedigrees must be the Gainey sire GAYSAR who got the mare sire GALIMAR and the versatile show horses SKORAGE, double-*MIRAGE full brothers out of RAGEYMA. AGWE, the *MIRAGE son from the scopey arched-necked bay *HILWE (Najib x Hafra), sired just seven registered foals in his South Carolina career through age 16; five of the seven were from the Brown Egyptian import *RODA, and four of those still represent AGWE in pedigrees. The handsome eldest brother APOLLO got 36 foals and the imposing junior partner JASPRE sired 64, while their sister WEDA numbered such good mares as AZEDA by AZRAFF and RAFFWE by RAFFEY among her eight offspring. The success of these family members is only prologue to the story of RODETTA who was exported to Cuba but not before she had produced the Field and Al-Marah foundation mares CASSANDRA and ROSE MARIE, two of the most renowned and impressive of the *Raffles daughters.
The first *MIRAGE chestnut and the second of his great daughters was foaled by *KAREYMA: RAGEYMA, dam of 11 foals with descent through 10. She began with the grey colt GEYM; as the only *Raffles son out of a *MIRAGE daughter to reach maturity, GEYM was inevitably a head sire at the Selby Stud and then in the successor program of Friendship Farms in Illinois. GEYM lived into his 30s and sired 138 foals. At Selby’s as the IMAGE daughters came to maturity they went to the court of GEYM, and while IMAGE lived his grandaughers from this generation were crossed back to him. At Friendship GEYM encountered a somewhat wider set of mares and his daughters made the acquaintance of *NIZZAM. GEYM’s sister GAJALA was a key foundress in the Gainey program; their half-brothers GALIMAR and SKORAGE have been mentioned, and those two had a prolific full sister in GAGEYMA. FA-EL-GEMAR by *FADL, GARAK by AZRAK, GALLANT by PHANTOM, GAYFERRA by FERZON and VIA by GARAFF rounded out the RAGEYMA breeding roster.
RIFALA’S LAMI 8391 (Geym x Maatiga by Image) photo from the Cummings collection
RASAGE, RAGIA, GEYAMA and (in Canada) MIRILLA were the 1937 *MIRAGE offspring, once again all from Selby Crabbet mares. The chestnut RASAGE from *RASMINA (Shareer x Jalila) was another sold first to California but even more than ARABI KABIR found his niche in the Northwest, where he left such daughters as NIRAGE, AMORET, FILLAREE, RONDI, RASYL, RASAGE’S QUEEN OF SHEBA and RASAGE’S GARDEN OF EDEN. RASAGE was back in California to leave a last crop in 1961. His son DALLAL ABU RASAGE had a colorful career; shipped to Hawaii en utero he made an all-around performance horse, and DALLAL too returned to California to sire a few foals as an older stallion. RAGIA, the grey sister to INDRAGE, was one of the mares Roger Selby donated to the US Remount; she produced two fillies by KATAR and both have bred on, with her granddaughter AL-MARAH BINT AIGRETTE perhaps the most successful for the line. GEYAMA, a three-quarters sister to RAGEYMA out of *KIYAMA (Rafeef x Julnar), produced eight foals, most of them for Comar Arabians in Iowa. She bred on through her daughters AMULET, MIRAGETTE, MIRAGEY, all by IBN MIRAGE, and AL-MARAH GENNA by INDRAFF. AMULET and MIRAGEY produced by AL-MARAH IBN INDRAFF the blood-sisters ROSE OF MIRAGE and VEISHEA, dams by AZRAFF of the blood-brother show horses and sires COMAR BAY BEAU and CAMIRAFF.
Dr. Thompson’s (and *NAMILLA’s) second *MIRAGE foal, the filly MIRILLA, was to produce eight foals in Canada and Washington. One of her sons by the Maynesboro stallion GHASIK had two breeding daughters while her three daughters by ROYAL FEZ and one by ABU BAHA gave her 20 grandchildren. The least prolific of the ROYAL FEZ sisters, bred to ABU BAHA in her turn, produced FEZABBI to whose family belongs the glamourous show horse and sire SHABAOUD.
*KAREYMA and *KIYAMA produced again to *MIRAGE in 1938. *KAREYMA’s filly was one of those struck by lightning, but the *KIYAMA colt YAMAGE went to Florida where he sired five foals through 1949 and bred on through three of them. *MIRAGE had his biggest crop of seven foals in 1939, five of them from outside mares. W.C.Shuey sent the double *BERK granddaughter CURFA (Ribal x Nardina) and RIHANI (*Saoud x *Muha) from North Carolina to produce the grey colt ADONIS and bay filly JOHARAH. ADONIS was sold to Montana where he got 24 foals including such producing mares as NEJD BANOU, UR ARABAH, ABA-EL-RIEL, UM EL SURAB, BINT SABA, NEJD KAMIL, UR OKAI, NEJD KUSOF, NEJD BENAYA and NAMIRADA, and RAKKA who sired the important mare KHAMMA of Hillcrest Stud. ADONIS mares were producers for the early Kale and Lasma programs.
A very young JOHARAH (*Mirage x Rihani)
JOHARAH produced 11 foals, all but two of them for the Shueys at Sunny Acres, and is in pedigrees through six. JOHARAH’s first three were all by *Raffles; the colt SHUEYMAN died young and his sister MY GYPSY ROSE left no descent though she had three registered foals. This nick still is accounted one of the most successful in history, for the eldest sister was the elegant if oddly-named chestnut MY BONNIE NYLON, already mentioned under the IBN HANAD heading in the HANAD story (Record VII/4) and one of the key mares in the success of the Sunny Acres program. JOHARAH never produced another MY BONNIE NYLON (few mares manage one in that class) but she had good breeding offspring by GEYM, TUT ANKH AMEN and IBN HANAD at Sunny Acres, and also has descent through her last foal MALIK EL HAWA from her days in the less equable clime of Massachusetts.
The sires of CURFA and RIHANI each had an Ohio-owned daughter producing by *MIRAGE in 1939. ADONIS’s three-quarters sister was the grey KAE out of KETURAH (Ribal x Aatika), bred by L.N.Brutus; KAE produced first for R.J.Geimer of California and Texas and then became an early Al-Marah matron, giving six INDRAFF foals beginning with the great cutting mare AL-MARAH ZAIBAQ, dam of 11 foals including OVERLOOK FARWA by Abu Farwa. The next sister FAE died foaling in 1960, leaving six registered foals, but these included IBN JULEP, FAESAN and LA FAESANA. AL-MARAH KETIR also produced 11 foals including the lovely if hiccup-like about the name HHIK. SHIRIK was a noted show horse who rather surprisingly got only 30 foals but numbers good producing mares among them; AL-MARAH KAIDAR was less lucky as he sired two foals but neither of them bred. The youngest sister TRAKILA produced 10 foals. KAE ended her career in South Carolina and left two breeding double-*MIRAGE offspring by AGWE’s son APOLLO.
RASMIR 3071 (*Mirage x Rasasah) in old age photo courtesy Linda Paich
RASMIR was a grey three-quarters brother to JOHARAH, out of L.P.Bailey’s RASASAH (*Saoud x Aatika) who was to cross so successfully with *Raffles. RASMIR was not registered until he was five years old; he became a working stock horse in Texas, owned at the end of his life by the Kuhlmans of Rancho Llano Grande. RASMIR sired three colts; his first son, the bay KARAGE, made a great using gelding after he sired two fillies from the beautiful ANTEZ granddaughter TEZEYNA. One of the KARAGE daughters produced 15 foals and carried on the RASMIR influence. Her name was KAREYN and she numbered among her produce some of the top show horses of the ’70s including MINDY KAR by IZKAR and a string of notables by KIMFA. The KAREYN family includes halter show horses, top performers and breeding animals but unquestionably is headed by the sheerly beautiful KIMFA daughter KIMEYN, a great show mare of her day and now an international pedigree influence. The fifth outside mare to produce by *MIRAGE in 1939 was C.J.Brukner’s Davenport plus Domow chestnut CHARMAIN (Abu-Selim x Aatika) who produced the grey filly KYMIR, dam of one foal. This was the bay double *MIRAGE grandson MERJAN by IMAGE, sire of 14 Arab foals but probably more noted as a sire of partbreds. (Another AATIKA daughter played a major role in developing the *MIRAGE legacy: AL-MAATIKA by *AL-MASHOOR produced the important IMAGE mares MAATIGA and ALIMA.)
Two Selby Crabbet mares produced grey *MIRAGE colts in 1939. IDOL out of *SELMNAB got 40 foals through 1965, of which the striking chestnut action champion LIDOL must be the most noted. IDOL’s sons FAYZ and SHAHZADOL also are encountered in pedigrees. IBN MIRAGE, full brother to RAGEYMA, replaced RAGIN at Comar Arabians in Iowa and got 54 foals, playing a central role in linebreeding *MIRAGE and the JULNAR influence and then providing mares to cross with AZRAFF. IBN MIRAGE and his double *KAREYMA son MIRFEY are still recognizable sources of the KAREYMA stamp in modern Arabians, and an earlier son HIMALAYA is a widespread influence.
*MIRAGE died in 1939, leaving *KAREYMA in foal once again for 1940. She produced the grey filly KARAGA who with her older sister KAREYGA was struck by lightning and killed in 1941. Given the success of their full siblings RAGEYMA and IBN MIRAGE, that lightning bolt might have halved this story.
Descent table *MIRAGE 790: registered offspring
(number of foals/number with offspring) [“//” – no offspring]
Abu Farwa (Rabiyas x the Crabbet import *Rissletta by Naseem) foaled in 1940, photo 1964. Abu Farwa lived to age 32.
Aurab 12488 (Aulani by Rifnas x Rabna by Narzigh) Paine photo, age 20.
Ben Rabba++/ 24921 (Aurab x Rollicka by Sarolle) at age 21 with his last owner Jewel Cantrell.
HB Octavian 173260 (Mariner x HB Octavia) 1978 grey straight Davenport stallion bred by Frank or Trudy Hannesschlager. In retirement with Larry and Jennifer Flynn. 1997 photo.
CMK stands for “Crabbet-Maynesboro-Kellogg” and recognizes three programs which transmitted much of the central stock of what became North America’s historical Arab-breeding tradition. “CMK” is a registered US trademark; rather than discouraging others from using it, we urge them to do so, as long as such use is in keeping with the CMK definition. The CMK Record newsletter grew out of the general interest in these horses in 1981, without attempting to define specific pedigree limits for CMK but emphasizing North America’s historical using Arabian tradition. Rick Synowski, announcing the first CMK Heritage Catalogue in 1982, sent out a call for listing stallions which could trace
“in at least 75% of their pedigree to foundation stock of Crabbet Stud [including its Egyptian branch, the Sheykh Obeyd Stud], the Hamidie Society, Spencer Borden, Randolph Huntington, Homer Davenport, W.R. Brown and Kellogg.”
The definition was first modified during the preparation of that Catalogue to recognize the importance of the Selby and Hearst programs. The current definition, acknowledging a threat of genetic bottleneck in the trend to breed Arabians almost exclusively for narrowly focused show-ring applications, added a further qualification. A CMK Arabian must still carry a minimum 75% by pedigree of CMK founder ancestry as above. It must also trace in tail male to a CMK sire line, as summarized in the third CMK Heritage Catalogue of 1992, and in tail female to a family established in North America by 1950. A previously unstated assumption is now made explicit: CMK breeders will tend over time to increase the average founder percentage in their programs above the minimum 75%.
Note that the CMK movement exists to bring together the supporters of traditional Arabian breeding. Specialized aspects within the tradition, such as straight Crabbet, GSB, or Jockey Club, or programs based on preserving the influence of individual breeders or sires such as Never Die Farm or Gulastra, all fit under the CMK umbrella. Note too that we are committed, if the overall CMK pedigree definition should change in the future, that it can only go in a more inclusive direction.
The CMK Heritage is a working preservationist movement emphasizing the beautiful using and companion horses that earned the breed its reputation for versatility, adaptability and soundness. The vision which informs our activities traces originally to the travel writings and the imported horses of the Blunts and Homer Davenport–CMK Arabians are distinctive for their Blunt and Davenport character. Very strong elements descend from the two over-arching cooperator breeder circles of the 1950s and 1960s, founded by H.H. Reese (Old California breeding) and James P. Dean (the Midwest circle). At the same time we value, and seek to preserve, other CMK ancestral elements, including old sire lines from Maynesboro and other sources which were not well represented among the Reese and Dean programs, and consequently have become rare. One healthy undertone to the CMK approach is a respect for the regional flavor of traditional breeding; we emphasize working through local action groups to preserve genetic diversity, and oppose national and international trends toward genetic homogenization.
The Crabbet Arabian Stud was founded in1878 by Wilfrid and Lady Anne Blunt after their desert journeys. Foundation horses from the Bedouin tribes were blended with those descending from the legendary collection of Abbas Pasha I through that of Ali Pasha Sherif–the Egyptian “Pasha” breeding may be seen as an early influential cooperator circle. Although the Crabbet Stud no longer exists as a physical entity the Crabbet heritage prospers in the hands of dedicated breeders throughout the world. The influence exerted by the Blunts and their daughter Lady Wentworth through their writings is a further international unifying theme. Crabbet breeding was continued by Lady Wentworth, who added the Polish outcross Skowronek; and after her death from 1957 to 1971 by C.G. Covey. North America possesses a rich and diversified sampling of both the Blunt and Wentworth aspects of Crabbet breeding. Thanks are due to the early importers Spencer Borden, W. R. Brown, W. K. Kellogg (represented particularly strongly through the horses of the Old California Reese circle) and Roger Selby (especially through the Dean circle), and to farsighted breeders who have added important later Crabbet elements to North America’s gene pool. Virtually every Crabbet foundation animal still represented today in world pedigrees can be found in the background of North American Arabians. Maynesboro, the New Hampshire establishment of W. R. Brown, and the Pomona, California ranch of W. K. Kellogg, played key roles in transmitting the Crabbet heritage. At the same time, Brown and Kellogg like Lady Wentworth used Arabians from other sources compatible with the Blunt foundation. Their goal: combining Arabian quality and breed character with sound structure and performance ability.
The importance of Crabbet breeding must not leave one thinking “CMK” is somehow “the same as Crabbet” or, worse, a diluted form of Crabbet. Too many people outside the CMK ranks have the idea that “it’s all Crabbet” if they don’t know what else to call a pedigree element. In that mental fog the straight Crabbets, their subsets and their GSB and Crabbet-old English associates, lose their distinctiveness and are in genuine danger of losing their existence. A point that grows out of CMK’s recognition of the fine distinctions, is the appreciation of the specialty programs both in their own right and for combining with other CMK elements.
A major contribution to the uniqueness of North America’s Arab-breeding tradition was made by the 1906 desert importation of Homer Davenport–nearly all the Davenport influence in modern pedigrees comes via horses that passed through the Kellogg Ranch. Other direct Eastern sources have enhanced this development and contributed key individuals to the Reese and Dean circles. Likewise the 1947 Hearst horses from Syria and Lebanon blended beautifully with Kellogg and Maynesboro stock already at San Simeon, and their influence is valued in ever-widening circles.
The legacies of Donoghue and Lewisfield (Friendship and Al-Marah and Gainey; McCoy and Shalimar and Sunny Acres, Lodwick and Skyline those breeding programs which grew out of the Reese and Dean circles) are treasured within the CMK movement, even though CMK was defined after the fact. They transmitted the heritage and appreciated the vision of the Blunts and Davenport. They differed in accidentals, according to the horses they started out with and which mare lines happened to be more prolific or to suit a particular sire. They also came to differ more basically in terms of individual vision.
Some breeders have the “eye” for combining horses and some don’t, but even if two people are equally good at that, each will develop a personal preference–or they did in the days when we had breeding programs (cf Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard, “we had faces then“). The nature of biology is variation–there never was a time (nor will be) when all horses of any set were/are identical and beyond criticism (and note that those ideas are not the same anyway). We all prefer the better individuals of any line to the worse, but common sense should tell us we can never reduce an aspect of the Arabian breed to one individual, and still maintain that distinctive kind of horse. Preservation means recognizing that you either have a particular genetic entity, or you don’t. It means breeding good individuals within a coherent biological reality.
Most importantly, the CMK Heritage aims to produce and to promote beautiful, companionable horses with real performance ability. This was the vision the Blunts and Davenport brought home from the desert; this was Brown’s reason for having the Maynesboro horses take part in the Army endurance competitions, retiring the Mounted Service Cup; this was what W.K. Kellogg had in mind when he presented his ranch and horses to the U. S. Remount. This is the central idea of the Crabbet/Maynesboro/Kellogg tradition; pedigrees are meaningful only to the extent that the modern horses reflect their ancestors. The horses represented at the Northwest CMK Symposium in 1994, at the 1996 Springfield, IL Preservation Breeding Symposium, and at other such exhibitions, clearly illustrate that the CMK concept is a practical success.
The CMK pedigree definition has become increasingly streamlined over the years; we now require 75% CMK founder ancestry, with a CMK sire line and a dam line established in North America by 1950. Our approach differs from that of some preservation or conservation breeding groups in the Arabian community, because we do not have a closed pedigree requirement. Not working with such narrowly defined pedigrees enables us to put more emphasis on practical concerns, although we do serve as a rallying point for some of the specialty closed pedigree groups that fall within our larger concept.
“CMK” itself commemorates three founder programs–Crabbet of Lady Wentworth in England, Maynesboro of W. R. Brown in New Hampshire, and the W. K. Kellogg program at Pomona in Southern California–whose historical and genetic contributions have proven our strongest links to the breeding and philosophical tradition of the desert travelers: Lady Wentworth’s parents Wilfrid and Lady Anne Blunt, and the American newspaperman Homer Davenport.
The most influential single contribution to the overall CMK breeding base has been made by the stock of England’s famed Crabbet Stud, founded by the Blunts in 1878. Crabbet breeding contributes to CMK through more recent lines as well as the earliest English imports which give CMK by far the most extensive sampling of the original Blunt founders of any breeding tradition in the world. CMK ancestry also includes unique lines based on horses imported direct to North America from the Middle East. Desert horses of the Davenport (1906) and Chicago World’s Fair (1893) importations are the most widely influential, and a later source was provided by the Hearst horses of 1947.
We also embrace a relatively small number of other Arabian ancestors which come in because of their use at Maynesboro or by Kellogg, or their later whole-hearted incorporation into the Midwest or Old California cooperator breeding circles of the 1940s and ’50s. An entire chapter could be written on the influence and interactions of the two breeder circles, and their spirit of community and cooperation is among the things we aim to keep current, right along with the genetic contributions of their horses.
The CMK concept developed to maintain the traditional using and companion horses that made the breed’s original reputation in this country, and these lines still are prized as examples of the Arabian as a “beautiful generalist” riding horse. Individual CMK Arabians continue to excel both in the show ring and in virtually every field of performance open to the breed; individual breeders working within the CMK Heritage may specialize in any performance area. Latterly CMK Arabians are increasingly valued in the endurance and sport horse disciplines. Recognizing our performance emphasis is not to say that CMK breeders are immune to the aspect of the breed which Lady Wentworth called its “genius for beauty;” rather, we prefer not to give up any of the traits historically recognized in the Arabian.
The CMK Heritage does not operate through a national organization, but rather our central committee attempts to facilitate communication between local CMK action groups. Activities on the local level include unrated shows and noncompetitive symposia or showcase events, with a historical and community emphasis.
CMK is a registered US trademark; we encourage its use to refer to CMK qualifying Arabians and to the CMK ancestral elements in combined-source pedigrees.
(Additional pictures have been added to original article)
Randolph Huntington of Oyster Bay, NY was one of the earliest breeders of the Arabian horse in America. In 1888 Huntington imported the chestnut mare Naomi.
GENERAL BEALE or ABDUL HAMID II at 21 years of age. He was Leopard’s first get. His dam was MARY SHEPHERD in-bred to HENRY CLAY. This was one of Randolph Huntington’s planned Clay-Arab crosses.
ANAZEH 235 foaled 1890 by *Leopard out of *Naomi, bred by Randolph Huntington. This horse was 15 1/2 hands.
CLAY KISMET [at 4 years of age] by *NIMR 232 and out of a mare called GYPSY CLAY, six times in-bred to HENRY CLAY foaled 1895, photo taken 1899. This horse was sixteen and one quarter (16 1/4) hands. Bred, raised and owned by Randolph Huntington. This was the Clay-Arab cross that Mr. Huntington wished feature.
*Garaveen # 244, foaled 1892 sired by *Kismet and out of Kushdil [Kars x *Naomi] bred by F. Furse Vidal, England, imported by Huntington in 1893.
Khaled 5 15 2 1/2 hands 1160 lbs ch. s. foaled 1895 by *Nimr 232 and out of *Naomi 230, bred by Huntington.
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.
Khaletta 9 (age 15), (with Abu Bekr 304) ch m foaled Ap 13, 1903 by Khaled 5 and out of Nazlina 6, bred by Huntington.
*Kismet 253 foaled in 1877 15 hands.
Maidan, ch. s. foaled in 1869 Maneghi Hedruj. Desert bred
Naaman 116 ch. st. foaled 1896 by Anazeh and out of *Nazli, bred by Huntington.
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.
*Nazli 231, 1895 photo. Foaled in 1888, 14-3 hands; by Maidan and out of *Naomi. Bred by F. Furse Vidal, England; imported by Randolph Huntington in 1893 (filly Naarah by Anazeh).
NIMR 232 foaled 1891 15-1 hands by KISMET and out of NAZLI. Bred by Rev. F. Furse Vidal; imported by Randolph Huntington in 1893.
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.
Foaled in 1876, Naomi was the result of mating Yataghan and Haidee, two Arabs brought to England by Major Roger D. Upton. Major Upton selected these two Arabs himself from the Gomussa tribe. He had been commissioned by Albert G. Sandeman M.P. and Henry Chaplin M.P., to bring a group of horses from the desert. The cost of importing this group of horses was $62,000.00 in gold.
Major Upton wrote “Newmarket and Arabia,” published in 1873, and “Gleanings from the Desert of Arabia“, published in 1881. When Major Upton died, Naomi went to Sandeman who sold the mare to the Rev. F. Furse Vidal. At the suggestion of Lady Anne Blunt and the Hon. Etheldred Dillon, Rev. Vidal, when he retired from the church, offered Naomi to Huntington. The Rev. Vidal later said that Wilfred S. Blunt had tried to get Naomi by trading another mare for her but Rev. Vidal did not feel that any one of three mares that Blunt offered in trade was at all equal to Naomi.
Huntington accepted the sale by cable at once—although the price was “strong” as he remarked. After Naomi was in America, Huntington was offered three times her purchase price for her return but he refused.
To go back a ways: in 1879, the Sultan of Turkey, Abdul Hamid II, had given two purebred Arabian Stallions, *Leopard and *Linden Tree to General U.S. Grant. The stallions were later registered as Nos. 233 and 234 respectively, by the AH Registry of America. Since Grant had been president of the United States, it was not unusual that he be so honored by the gift.”
Having spent considerable time in trying to locate Seward’s two Arabians, with no results, Huntington was compiling a book about Old Henry Clay—at just the time the two Arab stallions given to Gen. Grant arrived in New York. Gen GE.F. Beale cared for the two Arabs at his place, “Ash Hill,” near Washington, D.C.
Huntington went to see *Leopard and *Linden Tree and was very impressed. He tells about these horses in his book, “General Grant’s Arabian Horses,” published in 1885. Later Huntington bred some mares to these two stallions.
While yet in England, the lovely Naomi was bred to Maidan by the Rev. Vidal, and produced a filly, Nazli, foaled May 17, 1888. It was later that year that Naomi came to the U.S. She was not bred in 1889, but in 1890, Huntington took her to the court of *Leopard, one of the Gen. Grant Arabians.
Huntington also bought the desert-bred racing stallion Kismet from the Rev. Vidal. Kismet was sent to the U.S. in 1891 but died very shortly after landing in New York [age 14]. This was a great tragedy to the Huntington breeding program.
Another book has come to our hands, “The Arab—the Horse of the Future,” by the Hon. Sir James Penn Boucaut, with a preface by Sir Walter Gilbey, Bart. The latter was the author of a great many books on horses. Sir James Boucaut lived in Adelaide, Australia. The book, published in 1905, tells of the many troubles that (this) advocate of the Arab horse had in trying to convince others that the Arab should be used as the foundation of all good horses. In this book, The Arab… we found some marginal notations that have made us ponder for a great while. Finally we have decided that those notations were made by Randolph Huntington—that at sometime he had this very book in his possession and so he made notations.
Page 206 has a paragraph that tells of the things that happened to Huntington just when he was finding that the Arab was gaining in popularity. The book says, quoting a reporter, Mr. Bruni, on Oct. 26, 1901:
“…after being neglected for many years, there was evidence that the Arab horse is again coming into favour, and he mentions that at the present sale of American Arabs in New York, bred by Mr. Huntington, an average of $1,840.000 (358 pounds) per head was obtained. Mr. Huntington is referred to in Mr. Speed’s article in the Century, as having fought single-handed for almost a quarter century against the prevailing opinion adverse to the value of the Arabian blood….”
The hand-written notation on the border of the above paragraph, in the hand of Randolph Huntington, says:
“The Century for Sept. 1903. I complied with his request for interviews because he (Mr. Speed) was a Kentucky gentleman in hard times after failure of Harpers Bros., on whose staff he had been.”
A few pages later:
“Mr. Speed proceeds to inform us that among the breeders of horses in America Mr. Randolph Huntington has been known for more than forty years, who had always held that blood influence was all-important in breeding, and that kindred blood, when pure, could not be too closely mingled. (Harkaway, with forty-four strains of the Godolphin, for example.) Mr. Speed says that Mr. Huntington, being a man acquainted with the history of the horse in the world as well as in America, held that the potent blood in every European type, a well as American type, was of Eastern origin; he therefore hailed the coming of the Grant stallins, and prepared to make use of them by securing some half-dozen virgin Clay mares, themselves rich in Arab blood. With General Grant’s consent, Mr. Huntington bred these mares to *Leopard and *Linden Tree, and in a little while had a small collection of the greatest possible interest. He persevered in this for fifteen years, and had developed what he called an American Arab or a Clay Arabian. They were splendid animals—large, shapely, strong, fast, and kindly. Unfortunately, according to Mr. Speed, Mr. Huntington had associated in the ownership of the horses with a New York lawyer—alas, a lawyer!—who proved, in 1893, to be one of the most noted defaulters the United States has known. Mr. Huntington was among the victims, and so his valuable and interesting collection had to be sold and dispersed….”
Again in the marginal notes of Huntington in the book we possess, he says:
“Francis H. Weeks, the defaulter and my treasurer robbed me of every dollar; left me penniless.”
In spite of all of this Huntington was able to start again. Evidently he had kept Naomi and he began after a brief delay, with his usual courage to open negotiations with the Rev. Vidal for the purpose of importing more of the same blood in a group of individuals comprising Nazli, daughter of Naomi; Garaveen, Naomi’s grandson; and Nazlis’ son, Nimr. The Rev. Vidal accompanied this group of horses to New York to insure their safe landing. This was in the spring of 1893.
Huntington apparently didn’t use Garaveen 224 at all, but must have sold him to J.A.P. Ramsdell of Newburgh, NY, as the stud books show Ramsdell as the breeder of eleven foals by *Garaveen; seven mares and four stallions. Ramsdell used only three mares to breed to *Garaveen: Seven times to *Nejdme 1, (desert bred); three times to Nonliker 3 (*Shahwan 241 x Nejdme 10); and once to *Rakusheh 242 (El Emir, G.S.B. x Raschida G.S.B.). The stallion *Shahwan and the mare *Rakusheh were imported by Ramsdell.
Randolph Huntington had wanted to start or develop a National horse for America. He argued that:
“England, Scotland,France and Russia each had a typical horse capable of reproducing its type with excellence in any land to which it may be exported. They are the Thoroughbred racehorse, the Clyde, and the Percheron draught-horses, and the Orloff trotting-horse. Every one of these types is a thoroughbred in its country, based upon the Arabian; and, exported to any land, will reproduce itself physically and instinctively, which our time-standard bred horses will do at present.” This from “General Grant’s Arabian Stallions.”
Things were not easy for Randolph Huntington and he comments on this in the General Grant book:
“Had I anticipated the abusive condemnation I was to draw upon myself, and the privatations suffered, resulting even in financial embarrassment; in the end, through a necessary holding of the stock for the purpose of just estimation of individual values before reproduction,—in fact, a thorough knowledge of the blood instinct, with constitutional fitness for reproduction in each individual case,—added to which was to be incessant physical and mental application, without one single day of rest, with now and then sporting-paper attacks upon an exceedingly sensitive nature, I hardly think my courage would have been equal to the undertaking; nor would it have been except through faith.”
Again from the same book he is very outspoken:
“I have abundantly shown that both the English race-horse and the French Percheron were created by man from God’s horse, or Arabian. It is no sacrilege to say God’s horse, for HE made the Arabian, from which man made the mongrels.”
Much credit is given to Count Orloff in this book by Huntington:
“Let us now go to Russia and inquire into their national horse. It is called the “Russian Orloff” trotting-horse. This horse should be an argument to the American people. Russia, like America, is a vast territory, and has use for general purpose horses such as have speed at the trotting gait and can endure for long distances. They, too, as a people, wanted what they had not got for work purposes, and particularly the road. They tried the English running-horse, only to prove to themselves, as have we, that he was no good except to run races.
“It seems unfortunate that individuals should be called upon to fight, single-handed, battles for important improvements through rediscovery or inventions, but that is God’s will.
“To Count Alexis Orloff is due the Russian trotting-horse bearing his name. The Count imported an Arabian stallion, and by him created a type, through in-and-in breeding after his first outcross. Do not understand by first outcross as one single get, but from selections from all the get of one horse out of differently bred mares. Thus, Count Orloff used Danish mares of low type and English mares, that blood being at the time strongly the affinity or Arabian blood.
“At the time of Count Orloff’s death he had a family of thoroughbred trotting-bred horses, which the people had learned to value so high that the government purchased the entire collection late in the forties, or in 1845.”
In going on to explain that Count Orloff refused to sell any stallions and how he sympathized with him, Huntington says:
“…Men knowing the burden I was financially carrying, and desiring to help me without putting their hands into their own pockets, would urge me to sell, bringing friends to buy the very choicest of my stock which had just reached an age for reproduction, and which being close bred to purification, were my life in the enterprise…”
To quote again from the Boucaut book:
“He (Huntington) started again, and his small collection was added to from England by Nazli, a pure-bred Muneghi-Hadruji Arabian mare, with which, and other accessions, he pursued a course similar to that previous to the dispersal of his collection, until now he has some forty head of horse, pure and half-bred Arabs, and which Mr. Speed states to be the most promising chance that the States have had in some forty years to establish an American type of high character.”
Following the breeding of Naomi to *Leopard 233, she produced a chestnut stud colt in 1890, named Anazeh 235, then her later foals were: Nejd 236, ch. st., foaled 1894 sired by Naomi’s own son, Anazeh. Khaled 5, ch. st., 1895 by Nimr 232, Naomi’s grandson, Naomi the II, 4, ch. mare, 1896 by Nimr., Narkeesa 7, ch. mare, 1897 by Nimr., Naressa 252, ch. mare, 1898, by Anazeh.
*Nazli 231, sired by Maidan and foaled in 1888 was imported in 1893 with her son Nimr 232, sired by Kismet 253. In 1895, she foaled a chestnut filly, Narrah 256, sired by Anazeh. Her other foals were: Naaman 116, ch. st., 1896 by Anazeh., Nazli 6, ch. mare, 1897, by Anazeh, Nazlita 8, ch. mare, 1899 by Khaled, and Nazlet, 161, ch. mare, 1900 by Khaled.
From the above listing, it will be noted that after coming to this country Naomi was bred once to Leopard, three times to her son Anazeh, and twice to her grandson Nimr. Her daughter, Nazli, after the one foal by Kismet, was bred to her half-brothers; three times to Anazeh and twice to Khaled.
We have already mentioned that Huntington believed that it was important to keep the blood closely mingled, so it was, evidently not by necessity that he did so much in-breeding. In a number of his letters, and in his advertising, he always stressed the fact that he had a group of horses “of one family blood” and it was his intention always to preserve a group whose blood was “intensified” by being inter-bred in the same family. It should be recalled that at that early date, little was known outside of Arabia about the different family strains and their special value so Huntington should be credited with great powers of observation in his pioneer breeding experiments.
Huntington’s hopes were not realized beyond a comparatively few years through no fault of his as he was soon faced with old age and a set of conditions which made it impossible to carry out his plans. Some of the descendants of the original foundation can be found in present day Arabian horses.
Probably the most in-bred of the Huntington horses was Khaletta 9, who has Naomi four times in her pedigree. She was sired by Khaled 5, who was out of Naomi by Nimr 232, a grandson of Naomi by Nimr 232, a grandson of Naomi. On the bottom line Khaletta was out of the granddaughter of Naomi, Nazlina 6, who was sired by Anazeh, Naomi’s son. We traced to some foals bred in our own time by the Leland McKeels and Ruth Owen Loge of California.
BINT YAMAMA produced three foals which bred on: the full sisters NEGMA and AROUSSA by DAHMAN AL AZRAK and their three-quarters brother *NASR by DAHMAN’s son RABDAN AL AZRAK.
It is not certain whether NEGMA was bred by the Khedive Abbas Hilmi or by Prince Mohammed Ali; Lady Anne Blunt records BINT YAMAMA as “expecting a foal” in December 1908 and with “a nice filly foal” at foot in January 1911, and it is tempting to suggest these were NEGMA and AROUSSA. On the other hand Prince Mohammed Ali’s letters in the 1930s, while they are not entirely consistent on the impression they give of NEGMA’s age, may be read to imply that she was foaled as early as 1906, which would make Abbas Hilmi her breeder.
NEGMA is represented in modern pedigrees by her sons KAFIFAN and JASIR, and daughters MAHROUSSA, ZAHRA, *AZIZA and *RODA. There are thin lines to AROUSSA and ZAHRA through EAO breeding, and all of MAHROUSSA’s known progeny came to Brown or Babson; besides the two “HHMA”- named mares they include the likes of the Van Vleet sire *ZARIFE, and those two major Babson influences *FADL and *MAAROUFA.
*AZIZA produced the influential sires AZKAR and JULEP and also left a substantial female influence through her daughters by KENUR, *CZUBUTHAN and *Raffles. *RODA was the dam of sons including HALLANY MISTANNY, JASPRE and TUT ANKH AMEN; her dam line is more extensive than that of *AZIZA, through two daughters each by AGWE, *Raffles and IBN HANAD.
*NASR was a respected sire at Traveler’s Rest, influential today through numerous daughters and his prominent son SIRECHO. Traveler’s Rest is responsible, too, for the only surviving (at least within registered Arabians) descent from KAFIFAN: his line persists only through *MATTARIA. JASIR was for many years the head sire at the Marbach Stud and his name is widespread today in international pedigrees.