by Michael Bowling
Copyright 1979 by MICHAEL BOWLING used by permission of Michael Bowling published in Arabian Horse World July 1979
Photos from the Carol Mulder collection (unless otherwise noted)
Arthur Ball, president of Ball Jar Company (home canners in the audience will nod wisely at the name), bought the George horses around 1935, and OURIDA and YDRISSA were in the group. Ball sold this pair of chestnuts to the Manions for $1500 (“We have our canceled check!”) and Manion Canyon came into being.
The Manions first sent their mares to IMAGE and *Raffles; the resulting fillies in 1939 were IMAGIDA 1694 (Image x Ourida) and RAFISSA 1695 (*Raffles x Ydrissa), the latter being only the fourth foal registered to her soon-tremendously-influential sire. RAFISSA was YDRISSA’s only Manion-bred foal, as the mare was sold to New York where she produced three more fillies, all of which have bred on in turn. At Manion Canyon RAFISSA produced 13 foals, of which RIFRAFF, by her sire *Raffles, was much the most influential. OUIDA’s daughter RAYGEENA was probably her most influential for the Manions, but another first foal success, the elegant IMAGIDA, represents her most wide-ranging contribution to the world.
I remember this mare’s *Raffles daughters GIDA 4353 and RAFGIDA 4981 as most elegant and impressive, and of course their brothers IMARAFF 3476 and RAFFI 3781 have been influential, in a great many respected programs.
Mrs. Manion quotes Dr. Munson as saying there must be 5,000 modern descendants of OURIDA. Asked how the Manions came to part with IMAGIDA, source of the OURIDA cross in most of those, she outline “one of those stories” which she said always had been a sore spot with her. William States Jacobs of Texas phoned “every day at 7:00 a.m. for two weeks trying to buy either IMAGIDA or RAFISSA.” IMAGIDA was being most determinedly “green” at the time (well–not to put too fine a point on it–“IMAGIDA had run away with me in the sleigh and kicked it to pieces. I rode the runner and held on to the reins until she headed for a fence, then I bailed out. Another time she lay down on the road with me, saddle and all, and wouldn’t get up“) and Jacobs apparently hit the psychological moment–at any rate he got IMAGIDA for $1000 (“I cringe to think of it!”). According to Mrs. Manion the check to pay for the mare was signed by Roger Selby, and IMAGIDA never left the Selby Stud even though the Studbook lists Jacobs, not Selby, as breeder of IMARAFF, RAFFI, GIDA and RAFGIDA.
ANAZEH’s daughter NAZLINA 6 produced KHALETTA 9 in 1903, and ARAB PRINCE 72 in 1904, both sired by Khaled and bred by Huntington. These four, along with NARKEESA 7 (Anazeh x *Naomi) and several others, went through what appear to have been the final dispersal sale of Huntington’s horses in 1907. This was the auction in which old *NAZLI was sold from her stall as being in too poor condition to lead out, so it appears that hard times had set upon the program with a vengeance. The largest buyer at this sale was the Hartman Stock Farm in Columbus, Ohio, and NAZLINA, KHALETTA and NARKEESA were among the ones they took home.
A new change on Huntington’s “linebred Maneghi” idea was rung in Ohio: KHALETTA and NARKEESA were both bred to Homer Davenport’s desertbred Maneghi Sbeyli stallion *HALEB 25, “the pride of the desert,” in 1907, a year after the Davenport group arrived in this country. It seems quite likely that the Hartman mares were sent straight to *HALEB’s court from the auction, since New Jersey would be on the way home from New York to Ohio. One hopes, at any rate, that Huntington was in on the decision to try the cross, as he would have enjoyed planning this return to a new source of the strain he had tried to preserve.
In any event the idea can’t be called a blazing success. Only these two foals were bred by the Hartman Stock Farm: NARKEESA produced a bay colt, LEUCOSIA 50, and KHALETTA a bay filly, METOECIA 51. It would seem that the nucleus of horses passed to one Meldrum Gray, also of Columbus, for in 1910 he bred KHALETTA to the two-year-old LEUCOSIA, getting for his pains the chestnut colt NARKHALEB 114, another of those “absolutely Maneghi” pedigrees that this group of horses turned out now and then. Again, I will not try to describe this inbreeding–please see NARKHALEB’s pedigree in TABLE III.
|DB: Desertbred GSB: General Stud Book, England|
|NARKHALEB’s descendants are all through his outcrossed daughter from KILLAH 103, she by *GOMUSSA 31 DB x *HADBA 43 DB.|
KHALETTA and METOECIA were among the first Arabians purchased by W.R. Brown when he founded his not-then-famous Maynesboro Stud in 1914. He bred three foals from KHALETTA and five from METOECIA but nothing has come of any of them; Brown came to own KHALETTA’s sire and quite possibly decided he liked his *Naomi breeding less inbred than KHALETTA represented it, and since it was his ambition to have an entirely “double registered” (Jockey Club as well as Arabian Horse Club) herd, METOECIA did not fit his plans too well. The Davenport horses were not registered with the Jockey Club, and so of course neither were their get.
The NAZLINA branch from ANAZEH thus reduces to the single stallion NARKHALEB. He too went to New England, to Hingham Stock Farm, where he sired MIZUEL 388 from SANKIRAH 149; this horse, foaled in 1919, came to be owned by W. K. Kellogg and to sire three foals, all colts, none of which left descent. D. Gordon Hunter bred HAYABEL 791, NARKHALEB’s 1930 daughter, another who dropped out. In 1931 W. K. Kellogg bred NARKHALEB to the unrelated mare KILLAH 103, resulting in the brown 1931 filly NARLAH 916 who managed to propagate this slenderest surviving branch of the ANAZEH family tree.
This branch spread on quite well after its difficult start; NARLAH produced nine foals of which six have registered offspring, though the foals of her first daughter ARAKI 1677 did not breed on to future generations. Most of NARLAH’s foals were bred by E. E. Hurlbutt, and two fillies of his breeding (NARSEYNA 3347 and NARZAH 4198) produced 11 and 14 foals respectively. NARLAH’s son NARLANI 6261 sired 17 foals (only four of them colts!) though he was not used to get registered purebreds until he was 15 years old. NARSEYNA was dam of the popular sire SUROBED 6675. NARLAH’s last foal COALANI 8419, full sister to NARLANI, had a son (Rabalain 20302) and grandson (Ben Rabba 29921) exported to England, so this *Leopard branch too is international in scope.
The double *Naomi mare NARKEESA did not accompany her relatives to New England; her travels were in the opposite direction, and she ended up in San Francisco, CA, where she produce five outcrossed foals by EL JAFIL 74 for two different owners. Three of these dropped out, but the youngest two more than made up for the disappearing act of their siblings.
The first of these was EL SABOK 276, foaled in 1916. He became a Remount sire and achieved a distinguished record in endurance tests, which brought him to the attention of that proponent of usefulness and hardihood, Albert W. Harris. EL SABOK was used for three seasons at Harris’s Kemah Stud, and sired some of the most influential animals to come out of (or take part in) that program. Of EL SABOK’s 15 registered get–making him far and away the most prolific *Leopard descendant within the first four generations, as is obvious from Table 1–only five left no registered descent, and most of the others have bred on quite extensively.
EL SABOK’s grey son STAMBUL 575 was his most prolific offspring; we are told he sired over 1,000 foals–mostly Remount half-Arabs, of course, and most of them not registered–but he got 20 registered purebreds and had he only sired ALLA AMARWARD 1140 he would have been an influential breeding horse, as Carol Mulder’s article on that prolific sire in this issue makes clear. The *Leopard line has been spread to other countries through this branch as well; I know ALLA AMARWARD’s descendant WITEZAN 8552 went to Australia and left offspring there before his death.
EL SABOK’s daughters SABIGAT 672 and HIRA 571 both produced at Traveler’s Rest in their later year; General Dickinson was a great believer in outcrossing and in combining Arabians from as many sources as possible in his program, and thus introduced a number of Harris horses over the years. Of course, he also admired their proven ability as demonstrated in endurance tests and other performance fields.
The SAERA 670 branch from EL SABOK is a lesser-known but very prolific one, with several long-lived producers to its credit on the female side. The good mare ROKHAL by EL SABOK produced in California, with a string of HANAD foals and another series by A’ZAM, along with some “singles” by other sires. ROKHAL descendants also were exported, this time to Nicaragua, but did not breed on in recorded stock. NAHA 671 also went to California and hers is another *Leopard branch that passed through the hands of E.E. Hurlbutt. Her most influential offspring probably has been NAHADEYN 3114, though she also bears the distinction of having produced NABOR–not the Russianbred NABOR, registered here a *NABORR, but the 1941 foal who bore that name originally and was responsible for the “furriner’s” having to add a letter when he arrived here. The first NABOR has no descent, which is probably just as well from the point of view of future students of pedigrees.
BESRA 572 was exported to Hawaii; doubtless her descendants still exist in the Island, but their registration was not maintained. The very good EL SABOK mare EMINEH 576 bred on successfully in a number of lines, as did GIRTHA 630 though with lesser opportunity (fewer foals). An interesting story must revolve around AGA 668; he was used at stud at three by Harris, and he and both his resulting sons were promptly gelded. Be that as it may, his daughter TERNA 934 produced four foals and two of these bred on, so AGA still has descent.
OMAN 570 sired 12 foals spread over 20 years, and a number of these were used for breeding — indeed, his daughters SURA 781 and especially KAHAWI 782 would have to be accounted among the distinguished matriarchs of their generation.
I hope it is clear from the above that EL SABOK’s is much the most widepread and influential of the ANAZEH branches; only that of IMAGIDA even dreams of rivalling it. The very strength of numbers makes it impossible to go into the detailed accounting of breeder and locations making use of his stock, done for the founders of the other lines. (In fact El Sabok did not do much traveling that we know of–he somehow got from California to Wisconsin, but beyond that–he stood at the Kemah stud and was used by Albert W. Harris, and there is no more to say.)
EL SABOK’s sister LEILA 275 was foaled in 1917. Her only producing daughter was ALILATT 632 who bred on in five separate line, doing rather better than her dam, in the way of daughters at least. ALILATT was a producer for the W. Randolph Hearst interests and thus met a number of different breeding sources in the sires of her offspring. Two of ALILATT’s daughters, KASILA 1266 and ALIDIN 1411, produced ten foals apiece.
KASILA’s included the *RASEYN son KARONEK who sired 40 foals, so spread that *Leopard branch rather widely; another of KASILA’s was ROKILA, by ROKHAL’s son ROKHALAD and so a great- granddaughter of both EL SABOK and LEILA, and a strong source of the *Leopard influence, comparatively speaking. Interestingly, the doubling to *Leopard here was done with the horses (of his sources) least inbred to *Naomi and thus most likely to have given him something to say in the matter.
ALIDIN was a Van Vleet matron and numbered some familiar names in her branch, and several extremely prolific matrons–two of her daughters produced 15 and 18 foals. ESPERANZO is a familiar name picked from this lot, and ALIDIN’s first foal, the mare ALIHAH, had several highly-regarded daughters to represent her. A mystery that someone, somewhere, can probably clarify, has to do with ALILATT’s 1940 production: she had two chestnut fillies listed to her credit for that year, with two different breeders and foaling dates, but the same sire. One of these, RIFLATT, had her registration canceled, and the other, GUEMERA 1807, had no descent, so the matter is largely academic–but it would be interesting to know just what went on here.
LEILA’s son LEIDAAN 1679 carried on the tradition of prolific daughters–he did not have many, but several of them produced foals in numbers like 14 and 18. To be fair, several of his get (including the daughter with 18 foals) were crossed back to LEILA through ALIDIN, so this tendency was probably coming from both sides. The last LEILA foal was the very handsome halter champion EL KUNUT 1856, a popular sire in his day (17 foals, two out of an Alla Amarward mare and three more out of El Kunut’s own daughter, so doubled back to Narkeesa), whose descendants are still breeding on.
“The descent of ANAZEH” is a vast subject and one which tends to get out of hand, both physically in trying to keep track of the masses of notes and charts of descent involved, and mentally in trying to picture just how many horses are actually involved here, and what we know of them. It would be scientifically unsound, and I would be called out for it from now until 1990, to try to guess the genetic influence today of a horse foaled in 1890. We do have samples of ANAZEH’s genes around today; the problem is that we don’t have the information on all the intermediate links, that would enable us to tell which of today’s circulating genes originated with him.
I will go so far out on a limb as to share my impression (garnered from a study with no controls, shame to admit) that there are so many ANAZEH descendants, because ANAZEH-bred females in the early generations were prolific above the average of the breed. I haven’t approached this systematically, but I would be very much surprised if a random sample of the breed included as many dams of 14, 16, 19 foals, as are listed in my data sheets on the ANAZEH group. This trend does not continue right back to ANAZEH’s daughters, but we have the difficulty of not knowing how many purebred foals went unregistered in those first generations. Certainly some proportion did, and very likely in the crash of the Huntington program many females of this breeding went into production of other type of horses–there was very little call for pure Arab breeding in those days.
[Photos from the Gina Manion collection appearing with this article included: Ourida and Ydrissa, Rafissa, and the “*Leopard descendant in costume class.”]