A Review of A Catalogue of GSB Arabians Registered in the United States

A Catalogue of GSB Arabians Registered in the United States

compiled and with an introduction and additional notes by Robert J. Cadranell

Review by Michael Bowling

(copyright 1996):

One of the genuine scholars operating in the Arabian horse field has researched all the GSB-eligible Arabians registered in AHR, from AHR #’s 4 through 519442. This represents an unequalled source of information on one of the most prevalent and influential sets of horses in any stud book. The modern GSB-eligible horses in AHR are not very numerous (probably well under 500 living animals, few of which are in replacement breeding programs) but their ancestors, as close in many cases as their parents or grandparents, are widespread in modern pedigrees.

The GSB Catalogue includes imports and their descendants, WITH ALL THEIR ANCESTORS back to the GSB founders (in other words, including the foreign pedigrees, not just the AHR part of the pedigree, from the imports down), with the original GSB registrations of the founders as they were imported to England. Breeders and importers are given. Name changes are reflected.

Those who are not familiar with the GSB concept should understand that this covers nearly all the foundation stock of the world-wide Crabbet tradition, along with other influential early British Arabian programs. There are two founders represented only in Australia, but nearly all the Crabbet and GSB lines which exist, are well represented in AHR pedigrees, and therefore are in this Catalogue. (This includes lines not represented in England unless through horses sent back from this side.)

Lines are brought down to current registrations only in those horses which still are GSB eligible, but the Catalogue includes ALL such which have EVER been registered here (and I cannot over-emphasize how many of them still are at the backs of influential pedigrees of combined-source breeding).

This Catalogue has much greater scope than the similarly-titled British publication; that one is essential for knowing what is now breeding in UK in GSB-eligible form, but not so helpful for Crabbet background research.

THINK of it! It’s all here:

All the straight Crabbets, and all their ancestors! (well, except for *Mirage and Dafina–as of my study last summer there has not been a new *Mirage straight Crabbet since 1980 anyway)

All the GSBs, and all their ancestors!

Therefore, all the Doyle horses and all their ancestors!

A substantial segment of the Jockey Club horses! (a starting point, if anyone wanted to research that other very interesting old “double registered” group; non-GSB Jockey Clubs include such prized horses of the recent past as Islam, Lutaf and Aurab)

And think of this: all the Crabbet ancestry in modern Arabians comes originally through GSB-registered horses. Therefore this new book enables one to trace practically ALL the Crabbet ancestry! of almost ANY Arabian horse.

The production is not deluxe but it is substantial and quite usable. The information is summarized in concise, handy format and there are several ways to look for each horse (numerical order, alphabetical order and ancestors in alpha order). You won’t have to wonder now “is this a straight Crabbet?”–you will a) see how few of those there really are; and b) have the information to trace the pedigrees yourself, to find the non-Crabbet ancestors behind those GSB horses which qualify as Crabbet-old English.

Life is always complicated when you get into the closed groups; I have already noted that a few straight Crabbets are not GSB-eligible. May as well make it clear, too, that not all GSB horses are straight Crabbet. Not all Crabbet-old English horses are GSB eligible–but the pedigree overlap is considerable, you’d still find a lot of the background here to extend a pedigree on such animals. None of this is meant to imply a hierarchical or “better than” or “nobler” ranking. These divisions are simply ways of organizing a tremendous lot of information, into defined bites that can be analyzed a little more efficiently.

You will find many, though I have not checked and so cannot guarantee all, of the ancestors of the Crabbet and GSB horses that are behind Polish, Egyptian, Tersk (Russian) and Spanish pedigrees; not the individual horses sold to those countries, unless they left GSB offspring in England which came to be represented here; but many if not all of their parents. At very least, in such a situation, it will narrow down what you still have to look for.

I realize I keep qualifying this with things like “many if not all” but that is an attempt to maintain a careful outlook, and not claim more than I’m sure about.

Really, you could spend half a lifetime going through books and old adverts and never find all the information that’s in the GSB Catalogue, and at least half of what you found that way would be misspelled or flat incorrect anyway. (Believe me, I tried; the other alternative is to spend a small fortune on studbooks.)

There is a lot more to A Catalogue of GSB Arabians than the title might suggest to anyone not personally familiar with Crabbet and GSB pedigrees. This is a book you have been waiting for, even if you haven’t realized it.

Current price: $18.00 ppd, US funds

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