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.
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]
by Robert J. Cadranell II
Used by Permission of RJ Cadranell II
all rights reserved
Among the most widely known of all Davenport stallions was Hanad, AHC #489. One of the highlights of the famous Sunday shows at the Kellogg Ranch, Hanad also appeared in motion pictures, merited awards in horse shows, and established himself as one of the more important early American sires.
Hanad, like so many other early Davenports, was bred at the renowned Hingham Stock Farm of Peter B. Bradley in Hingham, Mass. Bradley, owner of a profitable fertilizer firm, was able to afford whatever he wanted in horses.
His facilities were vast and housed trotters, polo ponies, Thoroughbreds, and mustangs, in addition to his Arabian collection.
Hanad’s sire, *Deyr, was Bradley‘s favorite from among the imported Davenport Arabians and enjoyed the heaviest use at Hingham of any Arabian stallion save *Hamrah, also represented in Hanad’s pedigree. Hanad traced in tail-female to *Wadduda, favorite war mare of the supreme Sheikh of the ‘Anazah tribes, Hakim Bey Ibn Mhayd.
This eminent Bedouin no doubt had many mares from which to choose, and his selection of *Wadduda is a testament to the mare’s agility, endurance, intelligence, soundness, and tractability. This latter quality helped to make Hanad famous, and it may well be that he inherited part of it from *Wadduda, along with some of her beauty.
*Wadduda is the victim of several unfortunate photographs, making her appear somewhat plain. Cameras more often than not distort their subjects, and modern breeders would do well to recall the number of attempts required to obtain even one representive photograph of their own horses. They also ought to recall how many photographs of themselves they either throw out or refuse to show.
Archie Geer, first cousin to Homer Davenport and a guest at the Davenport farm, knew *Wadduda and rode her there. He always spoke of her to his family as the most beautiful of all Davenport’s horses.
Modern writers who rave about the beauty of the Davenport mares *Urfah and *Abeyah while ignoring *Wadduda ought to take Geer’s statement into account. Stallions as stunningly magnificent as Antez, Hamwad, and Hanad do not stem from plain mares.
Although the Hingham Stock Farm bred Hanad, he was foaled elsewhere. His dam Sankirah went with a large consignment of Hingham Arabians to John G. Winant of Concord, N.H., in 1921.
This gentleman was U.S. ambassador to Great Britain during World War II, following a stint as the governor of New Hampshire. Mrs Winant retained a few of the Arabians for a number of years, but the bulk of the horses went in 1922 to Morton S. Hawkins of Portland, Ind., and it was in that state that Hanad was foaled.
Unfortunately for the horses, Hawkins soon went to federal prison. The animals were neglected and scattered, sold to those willing to pay their outstanding feed bills.
That winter Dr. Charles D. Pettigrew of Muncie bought Sankirah and her foal Hanad, debilitated to the point where he could not stand. He was strapped to a drag and pulled from the pasture.
Pedigrew owned Hanad for four years. Under his ownership Hanad had his start as a breeding stallion. Herbert V. Tormohlen of the respected Ben Hur farm brought him his first mares, and Pettigrew also used him at home.
Pettigrew sold Hanad in 1927 to Charles W. Jewett, a mayor of Indianapolis. At Jewett’s Arlington Farm, Hanad was ridden some and continued his career at stud, siring foals for Jewett, Tormohlen, and the early Midwestern breeder John A. George.
Hanad was not to remain long with Jewett, however. Arlington Farm was becoming surrounded with newly built houses, and Jewett decided to sell his Arabians in 1929. In July of that year W.K. Kellogg and his manager Herbert H. Reese inspected the Jewett Arabians.
They obviously liked what they saw, for Kellogg bought the entire lot of 11 head, four of which were 100 percent Davenport in pedigree. The balance were of mainly Davenport breeding.
Hanad arrived in Pomona on Aug. 19, having been shipped by rail. It was at the Kellogg Ranch that Hanad made his fame.
Manager Reese was quite complimentry, writing of him years later that
“his best points were a good shoulder and exceptionally beautiful, high carriage of tail, and his disposition was all that was ever claimed for the breed by its most enthusiastic admirers… Hanad proved to be adaptable to any sort of training of an unusual sort, such as “jumping rope” under saddle, doing the Spanish walk, standing on a pedestal, and so on.
“His calm disposition was never flustered by noise, crowds or strange surroundings, yet he was always spirited and full of “go,” making him ideal as an exhibition horse.
“He took part in practically all the shows, parades and motion picture work away from the ranch as well as doing his specialties in the Sunday exhibitions… Hanad played a noteworthy part in acquainting the public with the virtues of the Arabian breed, and he also contributed as a sire.”
Hanad also was trained as a five-gaited horse and for driving.
Hanad was judged champion stallion at the Los Angeles County Fair in 1929, 1930 and 1932. In 1930 his daughter Valencia received the champion mare award.
Hanad also appeared in numerous fairs as part of a traveling Kellogg show. These animals did not compete in the regular classes, but delighted audiences with their specialty acts. Hanad and the Kellogg string journeyed as far from their home base in Pomona as Tennessee and Washington state.
Hanad posed in publicity photographs with the 1930 Rose Queen and actress Laura LaPlante. In 1931 actress Marguerite Churchill presented him in a Sunday show. She later reminisced:
“I wanted to show horses and, eventually, I managed to get to the class where Kellogg Ranch invited me to ride Hanad. It was probably the greatest joy of my life (even now) to be mounted on that lovely stallion… He, unlike many Arabians, had been trained to the five gaits, and I was also able to do that.
“I went many times to the stables, training with a fine man, I believe called Smith, to show me the fine points of Hanad. It was not a small triumph to make the show on two Sundays showing Hanad. I hope well, and myself as well as I could… I recall the terrible heat there when coming out for my lessons, but, of course, when the “show” was on, I thought of how I was doing, well or poorly, and wanting so much to let everyone see that I was able to show Hanad at his best.
“I believe at that time he was valued at $25,000, and not just for that, but because he was so beautiful, I tried to be worthy of him.”
Actor John Davis Lodge appeared in The Scarlet Empress with Marlene Dietrich and Hanad. He also left notes attesting to Hanad’s qualities.
“It was my good fortune to ride Hanad in several of the scenes of the picture. It was my first experience riding an Arabian stallion.
“Having ridden a good deal and loving horses, I was greatly impressed by the beauty, strength, and agility of this stallion. He was well-trained and handled easily. I have never encountered a horse with his beautiful, restrained gallop.
“One day, when we were filming the scene in which I escort Marlene Dietrich to Moscow, the ground was heavily covered with cornflakes, simulating snow. The scene called for a fast gallop around the bend of the castle.
“It was wet and slippery underfoot. Hanad’s legs skidded right from under him and he landed on one side, pinning my legs to the ground; yet he sprang up so quickly that we were off again—in full gallop. I do believe that, with most horses, it might have been a dangerous accident.”
Hanad sired 23 Arabian foals during his time at Kelloggs, though one of these, Sanad, came from Arlington Farm in-utero. An article in the Journal of the Arab Horse Society, apparently written during his years as a sire at Kelloggs, stated that “Hanad is siring well-proportioned colts with a maximum of quality and natural style.”
The widely known author and artist Gladys Brown Edwards first became involved with Arabians through Hanad. In 1932 she bred her part-Thoroughbred mare to Hanad, and kept the foal at the Kellogg Ranch after it was born.
That she chose Hanad over the famous stallions *Raseyn, *Ferdin and *Nasik is a testament to Hanad’s type, quality, and the brillant beauty that he possessed.
She described him as “a stylish horse, and very trainable” while crediting him with 73 champions descending in the tail-male line.
Late in 1935 Kelloggs was requested to provide two horses to lead the procession into the Rose Bowl game on New Year’s Day. The ranch sent Hanad and *King John.
One of the spectators, W. C. Stroube, saw Hanad there and felt he must own him. Stoube, a Texas oil man, appeared at Kelloggs the next day, insistent on the purchase of Hanad. After some deliberation, Kelloggs decided that they had enough of his get and could train a young horse to replace him as a performer.
One wonders what Stroube paid to wrest Hanad from the Kellogg Ranch. A week after his visit he owned the stallion.
Stroube kept Hanad for seven years, during which time he got only four foals, all from mares that Stroube had purchased as yearlings from Kelloggs with Hanad. In 1943 William States Jacobs bought Hanad, retaining him until 1946. Hanad sired no foals under the ownership of Jacobs.
In 1946 Hanad, at the age of 24, found his last owner. John and Alice Payne drove to Texas to buy Hanad and bring him to their ranch in Whittier, Calif. They found that he had sustained a broken front leg at some point during his Texas sojourn. To buy him Alice Payne had to exercise her full powers of persuasion, but in the end she was successful.
Hanad was quite old by this time, having very few stud seasons left to him. Despite the handicap of age, he managed to sire as many foals during his second stay in California as he had during his first.
Hanad and *Nuri Pasha are the oldest animals with progeny in Volume VII of the studbook, yet *Nuri Pasha has only one foal to Hanad’s 13.
Hanad was not immune to time, but he still managed to impress those who saw him. Following is Mrs. Milton V. Thompson’s account of Hanad in old age:
“We traveled 5,000 miles to see old Hanad, *Raseyn and *Aziza at Payne’s…It was worth it.
“Hanad is a terrific, bombastic horse, 27 years old, who snorts fire and brimstone with every breath out of those beautiful “picture” nostrils of his. When Alice Payne brought this proud beauty out of the barn he was prancing high, wide and handsome, with that broken right front leg going just as high as the good legs. He is 14.2 – a rich, dark chestnut.
“One morning I got up at the crack of dawn to see Hanad. I looked at him for two-and-a-half hours straight, made some sketches of that wonderful head of his. He rolled over nine times.
“Where he broke his leg nobody seems to know. He was once one of the famous trick horses at Kelloggs, as the picture in the studbook shows him jumping rope.
“He was once sold for $10,000, years ago, and his history has been vague since. Right now Hanad is enjoying a wave of popularity in the West, rivaling anything he knew at his peak as a dressage horse. And no wonder.
“He is a very prepotent old guy—I picked out unknown colts as Hanad colts when they were his grandchildren. The Hanad colts are at a premium.
“In fact, we saw none for sale. Everyone wants one, including Milton and Virginia T., and his colts are spoken for when the mare is bred. People just seem to be waking up to what a great horse he is.”
Hanad died on Nov. 6, 1949, at the Payne Ranch. He was 27. He got a lifetime total of 57 foals, a respectable figure in a time when Arabians were something of a rarity.
Many of the Hanad sons became honored sires in their own right. Ameer Ali stood with Dr. Glass in Oklahoma.
Mahomet grew into a key sire for his breeder, J.A. George, while Aabab filled the same position for the Tormohlens. Sanad headed the small but influential program of Mr. and Mrs J.N. Clapp.
Cliff and Mollie Latimer of British Columbia, Canada, adored their Adounad, writing that it was “interesting to correspond with owners of other sons of Hanad and to find they were as pleased with their results as we have been.”
Hasab stood for years with Mrs. Beverly Young. Ibn Hanad created a veritable dynasty of champions for Margaret Shuey’s Sunny Acres program., and Hanrah’s son Ibn Hanrah did the same for Gerald Donoghue’s program. Tripoli headed the Craver breeding project until his death at 29, and all but a handful of the living 100 percent Davenport horses trace to him, and thus to Hanad.
The Hanad daughters were notable good producers. Show winnings are only one of many methods used to evaluate Arabian horses, yet they seem to be the method of choice for a great portion of today’s breeders.
For some years running, the Arabian Horse World has printed lists of mares who have produced four or more champions. Our current Class “A” show system is a relatively recent creation, and Hanad was rather an early sire to be expected to have daughters on this list.
His last three foal crops contained a combined total of but 10 fillies, yet two of them (20 percent) appear on this list of top-producing mares. Three Hanad granddaughters appear, again from Hanad progeny produced during his later years after he left the Kellogg Ranch.
To name a few individual daughters, Valencia, Rokhalda, Nadda, and Rifnada were all Kellogg broodmares. Raadah went to the W.R. Hearst stables.
John A. George had Dowhana and Chrallah, with Chrallah later going to Roger Selby. The Tormhhlens retained Aabann. Schiba became a significant foundation mare for Dr. Krausnick, while Charles Craver was able to secure Dhanad and Hantarah for his Davenport program after they had spent many years producing at the Sullivan Ranch in California.
The 75 percent Davenport Ganada, Hanad’s last foal, was a show horse and broodmare for John Rogers. Her full sister Hanida did the same for the Mekeels.
She was the first Reserve Pacific Coast Champion mare. Hanida produced five champions, while Ganada had six.
From the above, it will be seen that Hanad was most admired for his beauty, his ability under saddle, his amenable disposition, and the quality of his get, both as individuals and as breeding stock. This is especially noteworthy since Hanad was extremely close to desert horses in terms of generations of removal.
One often reads, and more often hears, that strictly desert-bred stock does not appeal to American tastes, and is not as attractive as the “big, bold, and beautiful” Arabian show horse of today. Hanad’s record, and the records of many other animals close to their Bedouin-bred origins, make such claims appear uninformed, if not ludicrous.
Domow is officially a 1913 (no month or day given) bay daughter of the two chestnuts, *Abu Zeyd and *Wadduda. That parentage is not compatible with established principles of coat color inheritance, if the colors of all three horses are correctly attributed. Domow produced the bay Tabab by a chestnut, and he sired bay foals out of chestnut mares. Enough of *Abu Zeyd’s hide is preserved at the American Museum of Natural History to eliminate any doubt that he was chestnut (Charles and Jeanne Craver, personal communication). No evidence from photos or contemporary descriptions, or from the balance of her breeding record, provides grounds to question that *Wadduda was chestnut; in fact some contemporary references make her “sorrel” which suggests, if anything, a light shade of chestnut. One reasonable explanation for Domow’s registration would be a switch of *Wadduda’s 1913 foal with another in the same ownership. The Arabian Horse Registry of America (AHRA) record shows Domow bred by Hingham Stock Farm (Peter B. Bradley). Although she was registered by Bradley, based on other information Domow clearly came out of the small personal Homer Davenport program, in Holmdel N.J. The original options there for exchange with Domow were Fahreddin, registered as the 1913 foal of the bay *Abeyah, and Sabot, the 1913 foal of the bay Sira, of the Basilisk family. Both were fillies registered as chestnuts, from matings capable of producing a bay foal (their sires were chestnuts, *Abu Zeyd and *Euphrates respectively). The foal switch question has now been addressed thanks to developments in DNA technology.
Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), in contrast to the nuclear chromosomes, is transmitted strictly through the egg cytoplasm and does not undergo meiotic recombination. Characteristic mtDNA sequences (haplotypes) of dam lines change only by rare mutations, and are stable over many generations. Questions of maternity can be addressed, within historical stud book time frames, by comparison of mtDNA sequences, if direct female-line descendants are available of the questioned individuals and of other representatives of the relevant dam lines, and so long as questions can be defined in an either-or sense. mtDNA haplotypes were derived (see Bowling, A.T., Del Valle, A. and Bowling, M., 1998. Verification of horse maternal lineage based on derived mitochondrial DNA sequence. Journal of Animal Breeding and Genetics 115: 351-356) from tail-female descendants of Domow through her daughters Dowhana and Zenee; of *Wadduda through two daughters, Moliah and Aared; of *Abeyah through two daughters (Saba and Samit) of the only persisting source of this female line, her imported daughter *Haffia; and of Sabot through the line of her daughter Azreka. A matching Basilisk haplotype was derived through the independent branch from *Butheyna.
The Domow haplotype matched that of the *Wadduda family and was distinctly different from those of *Abeyah and Basilisk, which does not support a foal switch involving Fahreddin or Sabot. After these results were obtained, further research at the Arabian Horse Owners Foundation (AHOF) among the archived records of *Abu Zeyd’s and Fahreddin’s subsequent owner gave substantial support for Fahreddin’s having been foaled in 1912, rather than 1913, which would have ruled out from the start any easy scheme for exchanging the two. [Note added in 2007: the 1912 foaling date for Fahreddin proved to be an error.]
The Domow question has been complicated because *Abu Zeyd is credited in AHRA records with another bay foal out of a chestnut dam, the 1920 filly Radi. Correspondence in the same archives records a second owner’s request for assistance in having Radi’s registered color changed from chestnut to bay, which leaves room for the possibility of accidental or deliberate substitution. This example at least is not supported by documentation sufficient to question *Abu Zeyd’s genetic contribution in the absence of parentage verification, and in face of the genetic stability of the coat color alleles involved. Radi has no recorded offspring, so her color and parentage (or identity) are chiefly of academic interest, unlike those of the prolific and influential Domow. Radi’s case does underscore that the stud book record alone might not provide the whole story when addressing historical questions.
A further possible complication involves two of Domow’s granddaughters: Kirah (1925, by a chestnut Domow son and out of a bay mare) and Aatika (1926, by Domow’s bay son Tabab from a chestnut dam). In their original registration (the 1927 Arabian Stud Book) their color is abbreviated “s,” although “sorrel” is not listed as a color option in that book. In the 1937 volume both mares’ color has been changed to “b” but by 1944 it has become “ch;” both are given as “chestnut” in the current AHRA pedigree database.
Eye witness accounts confirm the bay color of both Aatika (Helene Asmis Clifford, personal communication) and Kirah, described in Reese and Edwards’ The Kellogg Arabians: their background and influence as “a dark rich bay.” Aatika produced the bay Lulu by the chestnut Asil, and Lulu produced the bay Lurif by Rifage, a grey who did not transmit black pigment (he got only a handful of bay foals, out of over 100 registered offspring, and none from chestnut dams). Kirah never produced a registered foal to a chestnut sire so no test mating results are available for her. Further inspection shows that Kirah’s and Aatika’s breeder also allowed to stand the prior registration of the well-known liver chestnut stallion Hanad as “b” and that he used “seal” as a color term, in correspondence available at the Trust. The chestnut error in the two mares’ registered color may reflect picking up the original “s” entry and mistaking it for “sorrel” during the preparation of the 1944 Stud Book, and could also be related to the correction of Hanad’s color in that volume.
All this coat color backing and forthing could be taken to support the ideas sometimes presented, that *Wadduda was a light bay, or alternatively that Domow was an off-shade chestnut. One can only say Domow and *Wadduda both were well-known mares in their lifetimes and nothing suggests either color assignment ever was questioned; the breeding record supports the bay color in all cases but Kirah’s (not tested). In the absence of color photography the images available of Domow, Tabab, Kirah and Aatika show them as bay, while *Wadduda does not look bay in her photos.
*Abu Zeyd, *Wadduda and Domow are extensively represented in modern Arabian pedigrees, through multiple offspring of each. In terms of gene frequency, anomalous color designations would be of regular occurrence had the Domow coat color incompatibility possessed a genetic basis separate from incorrect parentage. At this point the simpler explanation would have Aatika’s and Kirah’s breeder (who had no connection with the original registration of Domow) unfamiliar with standard horse coat color terms, or perhaps inexpert at recognizing ultimate coat color from foal coats. Some bay foals can have quite light-colored manes and extremities, and Mrs Clifford remembers that Aatika also sun-faded extensively in the summer.
If Domow was not switched with another filly and if her color and her dam’s were correctly recorded, it becomes necessary to seek the black pigment gene through a sire available to cover *Wadduda in 1912. Paternity, as opposed to maternity, can be addressed only on historical grounds: unlike the special case of mtDNA with dam lines, no biological tests of paternity can be applied at such a distance of time and generations and in the absence of physical samples from putative parents and offspring. In this particular case the relevant breeding records have not been located. A possibility must be acknowledged, that *Wadduda may have been covered accidentally, during the transitional period after Davenport’s death in 1912 and by a frankly unknown sire. Resolving that question suffers under the notorious difficulty of proving a negative, but it is not the only reasonable reconstruction.
The published record supports the interpretation that *Wadduda’s 1912 covering was actually part of a last phase of normal activities. *Wadduda foaled the filly Amran on 19 April, 1912; Homer Davenport fell ill on the evening of the 19th and died on 2 May. Only in the last few days of his illness was Davenport’s condition recognized to be life-threatening. While it is possible to picture that orders to breed *Wadduda might have been conveyed from the sickbed, it is less likely that an order to shut down the horse activities would have come under those circumstances; during the first week or more it would not have been thought necessary, and during the final few days, the horses might well have been the last thing on the minds of those in attendance. The agents in charge of Davenport’s horses in New Jersey would reasonably have carried on according to previously received instructions, which must have included at least general plans for mating the mares in 1912. The other foals registered from 1912 breedings to stallions owned by Davenport have known foaling dates, which were early in the 1913 season: Sabot and Omar in January, and Abeleyd in February. (The “1 January” 1913 foaling date of Domow in the AHRA database is a place holder, not a recorded birth date.)
*Wadduda was clearly an easy breeder and produced a registered foal every year from 1907 through 1913: she produced for Peter Bradley’s Hingham Stock Farm again in 1915 and ’16 (and died in time for her death to be noted by 1918). She had foaled a week later in 1908 than in 1907, 24 vs 17 July—but in 1908 through 1912 she foaled earlier each succeeding year, respectively on 24 July, 10 July, 10 June, 13 May and 19 April. Progeny records for others of the early Bradley and Davenport mares also support a policy of foal heat breeding (more likely than a high incidence of short gestations among that population). If it was normal practice to cover *Wadduda on her foal heat, and if such a policy had been followed in 1912, she would have been the last mare covered during Davenport’s life and according to his instructions.
*Wadduda’s 1912 covering sire was not, ex hypothesi, either of the chestnuts *Abu Zeyd or *Euphrates. The bay *Gomusa appears to have been among the horses in Davenport’s possession in New Jersey (his last recorded foal was in 1912). Davenport also had imported from England, in 1910 along with *Abu Zeyd, two Crabbet colts: *Berid, a 1908 grey with a chestnut sire, but whose dam could have provided black pigment—she produced all greys or bays out of her 12 foals—and *Jahil, a 1909 bay. Davenport bred two bay 1910 colts, Daghar and Jerrede; the last-named was sold from “the old Davenport place” in 1914 so likely was in residence through this whole period. Daghar was owned in Chicago by May 1915 but no date for his original sale has turned up.
*Jahil was transferred to H.J. Brown in January of 1912; Brown is his published owner in 1913 and used him in the spring of 1912, so he at least can safely be eliminated from consideration. This leaves all or some of *Gomusa, *Berid, Daghar and Jerrede in the running to provide a sire for Domow, and speculation has centered on an accidental or mis-recorded mating involving one of those four. There remains another possibility first raised based upon a fleeting reference to *Astraled in connection with Davenport, in Lady Anne Blunt’s published Journals and Correspondence.
F. Lothrop Ames of Easton, Mass. was a member of an established railroad and industrial family who was caught up in the early flurry of interest in Arabian horse breeding. He bought the yearling filly Rosa Rugosa from Spencer Borden in 1908 at a “four figure” price, and in 1909 went to Crabbet for the proven sire *Astraled along with two mares, *Shibine and *Narda [II]. Ames owned his Arabians for only a short time, and all his registrations were with the Jockey Club, so AHRA records do not touch on his activities. His grandson does not even remember any family tradition that Ames imported or owned Arabian horses, and nor does the son of Ames’ long-term horse trainer, who came on board just a few years later (Frederick Ames Cushing and John Hogan Jr, personal communication), although *Astraled and *Narda II would found two of the great sire and dam lines of the breed. *Narda’s son *Crabbet was gelded but he still is renowned as winner of the 1921 U.S. Mounted Service Cup (also known as the Army endurance test).
In May of 1912 Lady Anne commented, to Spencer Borden who had just written to inform her of Davenport’s death, that “he wrote to me about Astraled, full with enthusiasm. Do please secure Astraled. I always wished you to take him.” It is difficult not to read a great deal into this brief passage. Why would *Astraled be available for Borden to “secure,” immediately after Davenport’s death, if the horse had just been reported in some situation about which Davenport could be “full with enthusiasm”? Davenport’s enthusiasm must have been related to his own plans for the horse, for *Astraled to have become available as a direct consequence of Davenport’s death. Again in August of that year, Lady Anne pointed out that “if you took Astraled” Borden could breed a near relative to Riyala, who was not available for sale, from a related mare *Risalda he already owned.
Neither Davenport’s letter which mentioned *Astraled, nor Borden’s to Lady Anne notifying her of Davenport’s death, can presently be located. The following passage from the 1945 first edition of The Authentic Arabian Horse makes it clear that Lady Anne’s daughter Lady Wentworth was working from at least the Borden side of the exchange, if not Davenport’s letter as well:
“Mr. Ames bought the famous Crabbet stallion Astraled, and when Ames ‘fell down and quit’ as Borden put it, Davenport bought all the horses he had purchased from the Blunts except ‘Crabbet.’ Ames had offered Borden the seven head with his Rejeb mare [*Narda II], Rosa Rugosa [the filly Ames had bought from Borden some four years previously] and Shibine for 2,000 dollars; but they were in such bad condition that he did not purchase, intending to get them even cheaper in the spring. Meanwhile his old enemy Davenport secured them…”
Note even the coincidence of the verb “secure” which Lady Anne had used in her letter. The references to “poor condition” (exaggerating that would have been quite in Borden’s style, just as it was like Lady Wentworth to gloss over Borden’s 1909 report to Lady Anne that he and Davenport had resolved their prior disagreement) and waiting to buy the horses “in the spring” puts this exchange somewhere in mid-winter, which fits well with Homer Davenport’s published letter of February 1912 looking forward to better financial days because he had returned to W.R. Hearst’s employ. A February or March, 1912, date fits, too, with the likely timing of *Shibine’s breeding to *Euphrates (she foaled Abeleyd on 27 February, 1913). If Davenport believed all the horses he bought from Ames were “from the Blunts,” and if his successors transmitted that impression to the next owner, this could also explain the old puzzle of how Rosa Rugosa came to be registered as bred by Crabbet Stud and imported by Borden (her actual breeder).
No published stud book shows *Astraled in any other ownership between his importer Ames (American [Jockey Club] Stud Book, 1910) and the Rev. Thomas Sherman (Arabian Stud Book, 1918), who owned *Astraled in Washington State and would later donate him to the U.S. Remount. Spencer Borden did breed that *Astraled/*Risalda foal, a 1915 colt, and he also showed *Astraled at least once. Apparently Borden sold *Astraled to the Rev. Sherman; *Astraled’s registration, on file at the Trust, is noted “no certificate issued” which implies he had already left for the Northwest and was being put on the books to provide a registered sire for his two U.S. foals. Other registrations in the same numerical sequence were such posthumous ones as those of General Grant’s *Leopard and *Linden Tree.
The other substantial connection of *Astraled indirectly to Davenport is an original manuscript stud record preserved at AHOF, begun by H.J. Brown for his own short-lived Arabian program. The stallion section includes a page for *Astraled, with the undated notation “Sold to Borden.” Why should Brown have had occasion to devote a page to *Astraled and still less to mention the horse’s sale in his private records, unless he had been the owner and thus the seller? It is a matter of record that H.J. Brown bought Davenport’s stallion *Abu Zeyd, and the Ames imported mares, one of which produced a 1913 foal by Davenport’s *Euphrates. Taking all these facts together, the simplest reading has the Ames Arabians, including *Astraled, pass from Ames to Davenport to Brown. *Crabbet was registered later than the mares, which is consistent with his having been temporarily separated from them (if Davenport bought everything “except ‘Crabbet'”).
Domow herself was not registered until she was five, by which time not only her exact foaling date, but Davenport’s connection with the Ames Arabians (certainly *Shibine, if not more of them) seems to have been forgotten. Domow’s markings of a blaze and three stockings could have been taken as evidence that her sire must have been the flashily marked *Abu Zeyd, even had *Astraled (whose only marking was a faint snip) been named, the more so given the apparent lack of a paper trail connecting Davenport with the Ames Arabians. The fact that the bay-chestnut coat color difference is simply inherited while markings are highly unpredictable may well have been unknown to the Hingham management; the science of genetics still was in its infancy, even though Hurst’s 1906 study of Thoroughbred coat colors was the first illustration of a Mendelian character operating in a mammal. Even today one encounters otherwise sophisticated horse breeders who are unclear on the details of coat color transmission genetics.
Domow was highly regarded as an individual and produced 11 registered foals in five ownerships. Her immediate descendants included significant horses in several important foundation breeding programs, including those of W.K. Kellogg and Roger Selby, and she figures in the pedigrees of preservation-bred Arabians and of such influential sires as Bey Shah and Khemosabi. Among 100 animals in a random sample of AHRA registrations (mostly 1993 foals), Domow appears in 69, or roughly 70% of the pedigrees.
Again, given the difficulty of proving a negative, one cannot expect to show that it was impossible for any stallion to have jumped the fence during what must have been an unsettled period, after Davenport’s death. *Wadduda’s previous production record is consistent with a deliberate foal heat breeding, which in turn supports the idea that the mating took place while Homer Davenport was alive. If *Astraled really was in Davenport’s possession along with *Abu Zeyd—and the odds do favor that reading—the confusion of these two imported senior stallions, both Mesaoud sons and both sold to H.J. Brown, is easier to picture than any other simple scenario involving a mistake in reporting the sire involved in a deliberate breeding. Much of our reconstruction remains strictly unproven, but we see a strong case for Homer Davenport’s having owned *Astraled, in time to make that horse a serious candidate to have sired Domow.
Note added in 2007: Since this writing research in New Jersey court records has confirmed that *Astraled definitely was in Homer Davenport’s possession at the time of his death.
To expand on the previous note, in 2008: The court records not only confirm Lady Wentworth’s report that the Ames horses, except for *Crabbet, were in Davenport’s possession in 1912; they put most of the J.A.P. Ramsdell horses in his hands as well; and document that *Abu Zeyd and *Astraled were accounted the head sires of Davenport’s Holmdel Stud. In light of this further research *Astraled remains the most likely alternative covering sire for *Wadduda in 1912, if the breeding was not an accident.
Further, W.R. Brown correspondence at AHOF indicates that Fahreddin most likely was foaled in New Jersey, and that she was apparently never in Peter Bradley’s possession. If Domow were also foaled in New Jersey and went to Bradley at her dam’s side, it would explain why Bradley had no foaling date for her.
Copyright 1991 by R.J.CADRANELL
from Arabian Visions Jan 1991
Used by permission of RJCadranell
One of the most puzzling registrations in the first edition (1944) of Volume V of our Arabian Stud Book is 166. This is the number assigned to a bay mare foaled March 27, 1907, and entered in the Stud Book as “*Rosa Rugosa.” Her sire was *Imamzada, and her dam was *Rose of Sharon. The Stud Book states that Rosa Rugosa was bred by the Crabbet Stud in England, and imported in 1911 by American foundation breeder Spencer Borden, of Fall River, Massachusetts. The same Stud Book states that Borden imported both *Imamzada and *Rose of Sharon from England in 1905. There’s the rub, or in this case, the wrinkle. With both her parents owned in America, how was it that this animal was bred in England and imported to America as a four-year-old? Or could there be an error in the Stud book?
Unlike some problematic early registrations, there is enough evidence to iron out Rosa Rugosa’s wrinkle. The 1986 publication, Lady Anne Blunt, Journals and Correspondence, contains much of it. From correspondence published in this book, we know that Borden made what was apparently his first visit to Crabbet, on September 6, 1905. After his visit, he wrote to Lady Anne Blunt,
“I find the family that pleases me most is that of Rose of Sharon. As I should have to pay duty on the old mare, I would much prefer having Ridaa her daughter or Risala her granddaughter, unless the price of the old mare is quite a short one. Ridaa, I understand you will not sell, and I fear the price on Risala would be too high…” (1) (page 433)
*Rose of Sharon was then twenty years old, and had already assumed the position of one of the most valuable and distinguished broodmares the Blunts ever bred at their Crabbet Stud. She had produced her eleventh foal in 1904, and was in foal for 1906. Lady Anne Blunt replied,
“…I could take 100gs for Rose of Sharon. I am, however, not keen to sell the mare as she is in foal to Harb, and also at her age the change she is making to a new climate and surroundings might be trying…”(1) (page 433)
Despite the initial reservations on both sides, Borden and Lady Anne eventually struck a deal. *Rose of Sharon’s English Stud Book Certificate, recording her sale to Borden (now at the Arabian Horse Trust) is dated September 28, 1905. According to Michael Bowling, (2) the Crabbet herdbook records that, *Rose of Sharon was shipped from Liverpool on October 6. The section of Borden’s book detailing importations to America, states,
“In October 1905 there came… the famous old mare Rose of Sharon…”(3)(page 93)
Borden had added his prize, a mare he felt was just about the best the Crabbet Stud could offer him, to his own small herd in America.
A letter from Borden to “Harry” (perhaps Major Henry Leonard) dated November 3, 1919 (now on file at the Arabian Horse Trust) continues the story:
“When I visited Crabbett Park [sic] in 1905, I thought Ridaa the best mare…No price would buy her. As I wanted some of the blood, I had to buy her dam, the Rose of Sharon, then 20 years old.
“In January 1906, she foaled Rodan. I bred her to Imanzada [sic] and in 1907 she had Rosa Rugosa. I sold her to Ames as a yearling.”
*Rodan was the Harb colt *Rose of Sharon had been carrying when she left Crabbet. *Imamzada was a bay or brown stallion of non-Crabbet lines, foaled in 1891. Borden had bought *Imamzada from the Hon. Miss Etheldred Dillon during his September 1905 trip to England. This was “before he went down to Crabbet.” (1) (page 420)
Arabians of H.H. and W.R.Brown Registered in 1916:
(N.B. *157 was a Hingham Stock Farm foal registered 2-10-16)
161 Nazlet, mare of H.J.Brown’s from Borden
162 *Antika, imported by Borden, owned by W.R.Brown
163 (Alladin, colt bred by Albert Harris)
165 *Risalda, imported by Borden, owned by Brown
166 Rosa Rugosa
168 Matina, 1913 foal bred by H.J.Brown
169 Hajar, 1915 foal bred by W.R.Brown
170 Jafa, 1915 Brown foal
171 Mahmet, 1915 Borden foal owned by Brown
172 Reza, 1915 Rosa Rugosa foal bred by H.J.Brown
173 Abeleyd, 1913 *Shibine foal bred by H.J.Brown
174 (Yemen, 1915 Hingham foal)
175 Abyssam, 1916 Brown foal
176 Gemar, 1916 Brown foal
177 Kahlaga, 1916 Brown foal
178 Suleiman, 1916 Brown foal
179 Yaquida, 1916 Brown foal
180 Djemeli, 1916 Brown foal
181 Mariam, 1915 Brown foal
(N.B.*184 was a Hingham foal registered 12-4-16)
*Rose of Sharon did not live many years in America. This was not because she was sent back to England, as some people have hypothesized to explain the confusing Rosa Rugosa registration. Borden wrote to Lady Anne Blunt on July 29, 1907. “You will be sorry to hear that Rose of Sharon died last week. A severe attack of what seemed like cholera, perhaps brought on by the dreadfully hot weather, carried her off. She left me a fine filly, by Imamzada, which I have named Rosa Rugosa.” (1) (page 438)
Rosa rugosa is the botanical name of a species of rose having rough leaves with furrowed veins (from the Latin rugosus wrinkled). In naming the filly Rosa Rugosa, Borden was following the Crabbet Stud practice of connecting the names of foals to the names of their dams. *Rose of Sharon was the daughter of Crabbet foundation mare, Rodania. The Blunts named Rodania’s other daughters Rose of Jericho and Rosemary. Among Rodania’s granddaughters were *Rosetta, Rose of Dawn and Rose Diamond, the dam of Rose of Hind.
As we already know, Borden sold Rosa Rugosa to Frederick Lothrop Ames when she was a yearling. Ames was a descendant of the founder of the “Ames Shovel and Tool Company.” The family seat was in North Easton, Massachusetts. Beginning in 1909, Ames bought some Arabians of his own from Crabbet. On the occasion of Ames’ (July, 1909) visit. Lady Anne Blunt noted in her journal that, “[h]e possesses the R. of Sharon filly by Imamzada, very fine he says which he bought from Borden.” (1) (page 338)
In 1909, Ames bought a number of horses from Wilfrid Blunt, including the mares, *Shibine and *Narda. The mares were imported in 1910, and *Narda produced a filly named *Noam, in 1911.
The imported Arabians mentioned thus far, as well as Rosa Rugosa, were registered in the Arabian section of the Jockey Club’s American Stud Book, well before they were entered in our Arabian Stud Book. As of the Jockey Club’s 1914 Stud Book, the Ames’ mares, *Narda and *Shibine, were owned by Herbert J. Brown, brother of W.R.Brown of the famous Maynesboro Stud. H. J. Brown seems to have acquired the bulk of the Ames’ Arabians. As of 1914, H. J. owned Rosa Rugosa as well as *Narda and *Shibine; he is credited as the breeder of Rosa Rugosa’s first foal, Kheyra, registered in the Arabian Stud Book as born in 1913.
In 1916, the Brown brothers burst into the Arabian Stud Book with a nearly solid block of 20 registrations, as shown in the accompanying box. The first published Stud Book in which these registrations appeared was Volume II, dated 1918. At that time Rosa Rugosa was listed as dead, and the misinformation about her having been bred at Crabbet and imported by Borden in 1911, first saw print. Where it came from is difficult to judge; perhaps it was a clerical error, since the mare registered immediately before Rosa Rugosa, *Risalda 165, really was bred at Crabbet and really was imported by Borden in 1911. The one Jockey Club Stud Book naming Rosa Rugosa’s breeder, is Volume XII. It says that she was bred by Spencer Borden.
Arabian Stud Book Volumes II, III, IV, and V, all list Rosa Rugosa as bred at Crabbet and imported by Borden in 1911. The third edition of Volume V (1973) corrects the name of her breeder to Spencer Borden. The 1986 edition of the Registry’s Stud Book on microfiche, however, has returned to the erroneous information with the curious addition of a specious importation date of 3-28-07.
Though three of her four registered foals, Rosa Rugosa’s line is active in Arabian breeding today. Her daughter, Kheyra (by *Astraled) is the dam of Rawada. Rosa Rugosa’s most widespread line is through her son, Sidi (by Khaled), sire of Babyat, Raad and Rehal.
Lady Anne Blunt, Journals and Correspondence
CMK Record, Vol. IV, No. 3, (writing in )
The Arab Horse, Spencer Borden
by R.J. Cadranell II
from The CMK Record Spring 1992 X/I, Copyright 1992
BUSHRA (Azrek x Bozra), the eldest of BASILISK’s three granddaughters still represented in pedigrees. (Note that the background of this photo is Randolph Huntington’s front porch.)
BUKRA (Ahmar x Bozra), a personal favorite of Lady Wentworth, and dam of *BERK and *BATTLA.
BEREYDA (Ahmar x Bozra), shown as an old mare, was the most prolific of the BOZRA daughters; it is her branch of the BASILISK family which persists in England, and also in North America in the Maynesboro lines of BAZRAH and *BARAZA.
Photos courtesy AHOF and the late Lady Anne Lytton [BEREYDA]; captions by the editor.
Ever since the beginning of modern Arabian horse breeding in the English speaking world, it has been customary to question the origins of other people’s stock. Among the foundation horses of the Blunts, probably the one attracting the most attention over the last thirty or forty years is a fine-boned little mare named BASILISK.
BASILISK was a grey mare, foaled in 1876 according to Crabbet records, although the GSB states 1875. H.B.M. Consul at Aleppo, James Skene, purchased her for the Blunts at Deyr in February of 1878. He bought her from Abd el Jadir, a resident of that town, for £75. BASILISK’s history prior to this has been the subject of much commentary over the years. The story is told in brief in her entry in the General Stud Book, and with a little more detail in the reference pedigree section of the second volume of the stud book of the Arab Horse Society. The Crabbet herdbook, which has a more complete account than either published stud book, says that her dam was a white mare
“stolen by Faris Assaat from the desert. Neddi ibn ed Derri had sold the mare on shares to an Abadat (Sebaa Anazeh) and it was from him that she was stolen. Sire said to be a bay Seglawi of same strain. Faris Assaat sold the dam to Abd el Jadir of Deyr on the Euphrates in whose possession Basilisk was foaled.”
Since neither published stud book mentioned her sire, and since BASILISK was born in a town rather than with the Bedouin, for years BASILISK’s provenance lacked enough information that some people in America connected to “purist” breeding movements regarded her with suspicion. Animals acceptable for “purist” breeding often traced to foundation animals with backgrounds more murky than BASILISK’s. Some dismissed these with the explanation that the lines had passed through the hands of breeders known (or believed) to have insisted on verifiable stock.
That the Blunts also fell into this category escaped them. Ever since the appearance of Borden’s The Arab Horse in 1906, American breeders have known that Lady Anne Blunt wrote that it was
“a fundamental principle at the Crabbet Arabian Stud that no stallion, however individually excellent, [was] eligible for service if there [was] any doubt or lack of information as to a true Arabian descent…”
Lady Anne Blunt’s use of *BERK as a sire should have been enough to validate the BASILISK line.
The year 1978 saw the publication of Archer, Pearson, and Covey’s The Crabbet Arabian Stud, Its History and Influence. Lady Anne Blunt was quoted on the subject,
In one instance, that of Basilisk whose dam had been stolen from Ibn ed Derri by one of the Abadat tribe [sic], authentication was not obtained for three years not until we visited Ibn ed Derri in the desert—if we had not succeeded her descendants would not have counted as pure-bred, and no stallion of her or of her posterity could have been used as a sire.
Excerpts from Lady Anne Blunt’s journals were published in 1986. According to the journals, the visit to Neddi ibn ed Derri was in April of 1881:
We have enquired about Basilisk. Neddi says that eight years ago a white mare, of his Seglawyehs, was stolen by people from Aleppo, from a Sebaa one of the Abadat to whom Neddi had sold her in shares, and there seems no doubt that Basilisk is her daughter.
The exact date of BASILISK’s arrival in England is difficult to fix. Crabbet herdbook records quoted by Archer, Pearson and Covey, and by Peter Upton in Desert Heritage, give 1878. This seems to be incorrect. The first Arabians arrived at Crabbet in two batches during the summer of 1878. Archer et al. list the animals included in both batches. BASILISK was not one.
In December of 1878 the Blunts sent for a number of horses Skene was keeping for them in Aleppo. In explanation, footnote 24 in the published version of Lady Anne’s journals reads,
“The previous April, the Blunts had left with Skene the mares Pharaoh and Queen of Sheba as well.”
In October Skene had purchased PHARAOH for the Blunts. He notified the Blunts “late in the autumn” that he had acquired QUEEN OF SHEBA on their behalf. Lady Anne Blunt wrote in Crabbet records that since QUEEN OF SHEBA “could not be safely left in Aleppo we had her sent (with Pharaoh, Francolin and Basilisk) to Egypt for the winter.” According to the GSB, FRANCOLIN’s 1879 colt FARIS (by Kars) was foaled in Egypt. GSB volume XIV lists PHAROAH, QUEEN OF SHEBA, BASILISK and FRANCOLIN as imported in 1879. When the 1879 imports arrived at Crabbet, the Blunts were on the trip which included their pilgrimage to Nejd and “nightmare journey,” as well as a visit to India. In August of 1879 they saw the horses at Crabbet again.
As of August, the three or four year old BASILISK was already under saddle. One day that month, six year old Judith Blunt was put on her back. This was likely the first Arabian she ever rode. By the time Judith was eleven, the mare was such a favorite of hers that Judith could “bring tears into her eyes for Basilisk at any moment.”
PHAROAH, QUEEN OF SHEBA, FRANCOLIN, and BASILISK apparently arrived late enough in 1879 that they all missed the breeding season, Crabbet’s first. BASILISK’s first foal at Crabbet was the 1881 filly BOZRA. BOZRA has the distinction of being Crabbet’s earliest foal to have influence in the long term breeding program.
BASILISK’s complete production record at Crabbet, extracted from GSB, is as follows:
1881 gr f BOZRA, by Pharoah
1882 no produce
1883 gr f BALSAM, by Kars
1884 gr f BUSTARD, by Kars
In August of 1884 the Blunts sold BASILISK to the Duke of Westminster. She left Crabbet Park on the first of September, after her foal was weaned. Her subsequent production follows:
1885 c by Kars
1886 ch f by Bend Or (TB)
1887 b c by Newton (TB)
1888 ch f by Golden Cross (h.-b.)
1890 gr f by Downpatrick (TB)
1891 barren and shot
Crabbet records as published in Desert Heritage state that BASILISK died of liver disease.
The writer does not know whether BASILISK blood is found in modern Thoroughbreds. Lady Wentworth wrote in Thoroughbred Racing Stock that BASILISK’s 1886 filly was the dam of ALFRAGAN, and that “Alfragan in 1894 won the Dee Stakes and also the Drayton Handicap at Goodwood by six lengths” (2nd ed. p. 303).
Although BUSTARD did produce two foals at Crabbet, BOZRA became BASILISK’s link to modern Arabian breeding. This was through BOZRA’S three daughters to live to maturity. The first of these, *BUSHRA (by Azrek), is important to American breeding through her son *IBN MAHRUSS and daughter SIRA. At Crabbet the line was to develop through *BUSHRA’s younger three-quarter sisters, BUKRA and BEREYDA (both by Azrek’s son Ahmar).
Wilfrid Blunt’s famous 1897 memorandum ranked the breeding influence of the foundation mares imported from the desert. It treated the BASILISK line well:
“the strains which have hithero proved themselves the best are 1. Rodania’s 2. Dajania’s through Nefisa 3. and 4. Meshura’s and Basilisk’s…”
The Blunts seem to have regarded MESHURA and BASILISK as of the same line, since they were both of the Seglawieh Jedranieh strain of Ibn ed Derri.
The 1917 Crabbet catalogue, prepared about a year before Lady Anne Blunt’s death, lists the mares BUKRA and BEREYDA with their daughters *BATTLA and *BARAZA as representing the BASILISK family. At that time BUKRA’s son *BERK was one of Lady Anne Blunt’s senior sires, and the 1917 catalog lists eleven of his get, including *RAMIM, SAFARJAL and RYTHMA. Among the 1917 foals was to be RISSLA, the most famous of all the *BERK daughters.
BASILISK was a small mare, standing 14.1 hands. Lady Anne Blunt described her as having “wiry legs… not large below the knee”and a “good head and small muzzle.” Lady Anne Blunt commented that BASILISK had “something of the compact wiriness of a wild animal.” BASILISK was likely fine-skinned; through her coat were visible some patches of pink skin. Grey horses with fine skin frequently exhibit some loss of pigment. Small as she was, Michael Bowling has noted that BASILISK “seems to have bred still smaller, since BOZRA and BUSHRA were both noted as standing 14 hands even” (see CMK Record V/3). In its early generations, the BASILISK family seems to have produced an abundance of pretty, delicate-looking “deserty” little grey mares which very often turned flea-bitten as they aged. According to notes on the back of a Maynesboro photo of *BATTLA (Razaz x Bukra), published in the October 1972 Arabian Horse News, at the age of five years she stood 14.2 and weighed only 850 lbs.
Two people, both of whom have attracted not insignificant followings, have presented alternate views of BASILISK. Carl Raswan printed a photo of BASILISK on p. 80 of his book, The Arab and his Horse. He describes BASILISK as a coarse mare with an ugly head, and states that she had Syrian blood. He seems to have based his description on the photograph alone. A far clearer reproduction of the same photograph appears between pages 104 and 105 of Archer et al. In the photograph, BASILISK exhibits the fine bone and small muzzle Lady Anne Blunt described.
The entry in the Raswan Index for BAHRAM, a horse with two crosses to BASILISK (one in tail-female), touts him as “[one of] the last true and outstanding CLASSIC TYPE Arabians of the old Lady Anne Blunt, ‘ALI PASHA SHARIF and DESERT ARABIAN breeding.” However, BASILISK’s own entry in the Index says that she, like TAMARISK and PURPLE STOCK, was “another one of the early SYRIAN BLUNT importations (which were improved in later years with the incomparable ‘ALI PASHA SHARIF blood).” Among these Ali Pasha horses was WAZIR, sire of MAKBULA GSB, MERZUK, *SHAHWAN, and SOBHA. WAZIR’s head, wrote Lady Anne Blunt, “in shape reminded me of… Basilisk.”
Jane Ott has written that BASILISK possessed and handed on “extra bone and substance,” that “Basilisk type” horses are “robust” and “larger, bigger boned, and more substantial” than some other lines of Arabian breeding. No one can deny that Crabbet bloodlines have on occasion produced animals matching Miss Ott’s description. That someone should trace the origin of these characteristics to the fine boned 14 and 14.1 hand BASILISK mares is rather startling. Crabbet’s “enormous Rijm” topped 15.3 hands and would have towered over “little Bozra” and her compact, wiry dam. The NEFISA family bred a series of horses in excess of 15 hands. Hanstead’s RIFFAL (Naufal x Razina), of pure Blunt breeding, grew to stand over 16 hands without a drop of BASILISK blood.
Miss Ott states that *BERK “in spite of his too-slender legs and body… transmitted [the] extra bone and substance of his third dam as faithfully as any of her other progeny.” A Maynesboro photo of *BERK’s daughter *RAMIM (published with that of *BATTLA) had notes on the back stating *RAMIM’s height at age five years to be 14.1 hands and her weight 825 lbs, not a large horse by anyone’s standards. Mr. Covey writing in Archer et al. described *BERK’s daughter RISSLA as having “a lovely head and refined body,” and in his booklet Crabbet Arabians:
“Beautiful head with fine muzzle…a rather delicate mare and had to be brought in earlier than the other mares in the autumn.”
Photographs of RISSLA show a fine boned mare with the appearance of fine skin as well. If some lines of Blunt breeding are capable of producing “larger, bigger boned, and more substantial” Arabians it is far more likely due to the influence of horses like RIJM and NEFISA than BASILISK and BOZRA.
Copyright 1996 by R.J.CADRANELL
from Arabian Visions Nov/Dec 1996
Used by permission of RJCadranell
The stories of *Aziza and *Roda run parallel. They were bred by Prince Mohamed Ali of Egypt, daughters of his mare Negma, and imported to the U.S. by W.R. Brown in 1932. From Brown’s Maynesboro Stud they were sold to General Dickinson of Tennessee. Both mares later had foals by *Raffles, and both ended their lives with breeders who were part of Jimmie Dean’s wide circle of influence. Since both also appear in the pedigrees of black Arabians, they seemed a natural choice for this issue.
*Aziza. Foaled in 1926 and sired by Gamil Manial, *Aziza was the elder of the two. When Jack Humphrey selected the horses for W.R.Brown’s importation from Egypt, he wrote, “Aziza has wonderful quality in conformation and a wonderful head, in structure fully as good as her mother’s.” *Aziza was imported along with her foal:
1932 grey colt *Silver Yew 891, by Ibn Rabdan. He died soon after arrival.
W.R. Brown began dispersing his Maynesboro Stud not long after the 1932 importation. Many of the horses, including the entire Egyptian importation, were sold to General J.M. Dickinson of Traveler’s Rest in Tennessee. W.R. Brown bred only one foal from *Aziza. This was the
1935 grey colt Azkar 1109, by Rahas.
Azkar accompanied his dam to Tennessee. Herbert Tormohlen related that *Aziza and Azkar were the last horses to leave Maynesboro. Dickinson’s stud catalog states Azkar was sold to Louisiana from Traveler’s Rest; the 1937 stud book gives his owner as J.S.Serio of Ferriday, Louisiana. According to an article on Azkar, from there Azkar was sold
“to a ranch in West Texas where he was branded and turned loose with a band of stock horses to fend for himself for the next six years. Hearing of this stallion that was to be sold, Mr. Babson, on a ‘hunch’ decided that a son of Aziza and Rahas was not to be overlooked and purchased him ‘sight unseen’ regardless of injuries and condition. Many admired Azkar at Mr. Babson’s and many wanted him. The Tormohlens at Ben Hur Farms were fortunate in first leasing him, then purchased him.”
Azkar’s first registered foals were born in 1947, all bred by Tormohlen. During the 1950’s Azkar’s 65 registered foals included many successful show and breeding horses, among them Aalzar and Aazkara.
*Aziza spent more than ten years at Traveler’s Rest, where she became a fixture of the herd. The Traveler’s Rest catalog describes her as 14.1 and 1000 lbs. and states,
“By many she is considered to represent the ultimate in the classic type of Arab for which the great studs in Egypt became famous.”
*Aziza produced ten foals bred by Dickenson, but five died young and two were sold to homes where they left no registered progeny. *Aziza’s Traveler’s Rest foals were
-> 1936 black filly Black Auster 1211, by *Zarife. Listed dead in the 1937 stud book. The Traveler’s Rest catalog states simply, “Died young.”
-> 1937 grey colt Abyad 1389, by *Nasr, died young.
-> 1938 grey colt Asad 1478, by *Nasr. Sold to Arizona in 1938. The 1944 stud book lists him as gelded.
-> 1939 grey colt Julep 1678, by Gulastra.
Julep was a three-quarter brother to Azkar, since Gulastra was also sire of Rahas. The Dickinson catalog states Julep was sold to Texas and described by a Nebraska rancher as
“a very stout looking horse, plenty of bone, good straight legs, extra good quarters and back also a fine looking horse, one of the best horses I’ve seen in a long time. A top cow horse.”
Elliott Roosevelt bred 2 foals by Julep, a 1943 colt and a 1944 filly. Dr. LaRue of Illinois later purchased the horse. Julep stood his first season at stud in Illinois in 1954, siring foals for Dr. La Rue and the Warren Buckleys, including Synbad, the 1959 National Champion Stallion. The LaRues sold Julep in about 1957 to Buckley’s Cedardell Stud. Julep sired 42 registered foals, the last born in 1964. Along with Synbad. Julep’s son Julyan (out of Bint Maaroufa) also deserves mention.
-> 1940 grey filly Wafra 1852, by *Czubuthan. Killed by lightning as a yearling.
-> 1942 grey filly Aparri 2276, by *Czubuthan, was sold to Texas in 1946. Her 1947 foal was bred by Dickinson, but registered at the beginning of a string of foals bred by Texan W.S.Jacobs, who bred Aparri’s next three foals. Aparri’s last was a 1963 filly bred by Tish Hewitt of Friendship Farms in Illinois. Of Aparri’s five registered foals, two left registered progeny.
-> 1943 grey colt Argao 2551, by *Czubuthan, Died of pneumonia.
-> 1944 brown colt Azual 2931, by Kenur. Sold to New Mexico.
-> 1945 chestnut colt Abjar 3201, by Kenur. Died young.
-> 1947 grey filly Azyya 3952, by Kenur.
From 1952 to 1967 Azyya produced 13 registered foals for the Lodwick family of Ohio, of which the best known is probably Azzaraf (by Imaraff). As an old mare Azyya went to Albert Guilbault of Canada.
In September of 1947 Alice Payne, then of Whittier, California, purchased *Aziza from Dickinson. Mrs. Payne wrote that *Aziza was in foal to one of the Traveler’s Rest stallions, but that *Aziza lost the foal. This fills the 1948 gap in *Aziza’s production record.
*Aziza was 21 when she arrived at her new home. Although she herself had become an institution, none of her produce had yet made a mark as breeding animals — Julep’s two get were still young. Aparri’s and Azkar’s first foals had just hit the ground, and Azyya was only a weanling. Reading Alice Payne’s notes, she apparently admired *Roda’s 1947 filly by *Raffles – it may be that she hoped for something similar from *Aziza. Carl Raswan probably also steered her toward *Aziza. His letter of October 6, 1947, to Alice Payne makes it clear he had admired *Aziza since she was a young mare in Egypt, and recommended crossing her with Mrs. Payne’s horse Rasraff. Raswan later came to stay with *Aziza in Whittier when she foaled.
Alice Payne bred *Aziza twice to her *Raffles son Rasraff. In November of 1949 she acquired *Raffles himself, so *Aziza’s last foal was by *Raffles. *Aziza’s last three foals were:
-> 1949 grey colt Aziz 5388, by Rasraff.
Aziz was transferred in July of 1958 to J.G.Coleman of Los Angeles. Aziz sired 13 registered foals, born from 1960 through 1970.
-> 1950 grey colt Ibn Rasraff 6134, by Rasraff.
Ibn Rasraff does not appear to have been transferred out of Alice Payne’s ownership. He sired just nine registered foals (one of which was bred by Mrs. Payne), all born in 1955 and 1956.
-> 1951 grey filly Bint Aziza 6997, by *Raffles.
Alice Payne bred one foal from Bint Aziza (the filly Asil Bint Bint Aziza, by Rafferty) then in September 1959 sold Bint Aziza to Tish Hewitt of Friendship Farms in Illinois. Bint Aziza was carrying a 1960 foal, named Asil Rafziza. Bint Aziza then produced four more foals for Mrs. Hewitt, the last born in 1966. Back at the Asil Ranch, Asil Bint Bint Aziza was sold to Bill Munson in 1959.
Thus, much as Alice Payne had admired *Aziza herself, the *Aziza line did not produce what she wanted from it and was dropped from the Asil Ranch program. Across from the *Aziza entry in her copy of the Raswan Index, Alice Payne wrote *Aziza was
“a disappointment to me. She produced a filly by Raffles & 2 studs by Rasraff. (The younger stud was good & produced well.)…B.B.Aziza produced one nice filly for B. Munson…by Garaff.”
*Aziza was recorded dead as of April 25, 1952.
*Roda, by Mansour, was foaled in 1931. When Jack Humphrey selected the Maynesboro importation in 1932 he described her as
“just a baby, but to me represents the best thing you are getting as a combination of individual Arab character (at this time) plus the blood that has produced their true Arab quality.
From Maynesboro *Roda was sold to General Dickinson, apparently by 1933. Billie McCutcheon later recalled *Roda as
the first Arabian I ever rode – and I lost my heart to her on sight – back in 1934 – I showed her in the costume class for Gen. J.M.Dickinson. At the time it was said that she had the most perfect head of all Arabians in the U.S. … She was a very beautiful thing indeed. Especially when she went into the strutting trot.
*Roda is described in the Dickinson stud catalog:
“This was the Reserve Champion Mare in a strong class of twelve entries in the National Arabian Show of 1933, second in Arab saddle class at Belleview, Tenn… The head of *Roda has been described by one of the most distinguished breeders of Arabs in the United States as perfectly representative type.”
Going to the stud books, the first of *Roda’s foals was:
-> 1937 black or brown colt Hallany Mistanny 1315, by *Zarife.
The Dickinson catalog reads,
“this young horse is most striking in appearance. He promises to mature as a powerful horse of moderate height and supreme breed type.”
At age six months he was a wedding gift from Dickinson to his daughter. When her husband entered the military, it was time to sell the colt. The catalog states,
“Sold 1940 to California and there a 1st prize winner. His owner described him as having ‘the most exquisite rein, is as fast as he can be on his feet,’ and described by a visitor as ‘most beautiful black stallion I have ever seen.’ ”
During first 18 years of his life, Hallany Mistanny sired just one registered foal, a 1943 colt. Like *Aziza’s sons Azkar and Julep, Hallany Mistanny was nearly lost to the breed. In March of 1955 the Arabian Horse News was asking if anyone knew where he was. At least two California breeders did know where he was – he sired two 1956 foals. That year, Howard Marks acquired him and started using him for breeding. He quickly became a cornerstone of the Howard Marks Ranch breeding program. Among his early foals for Marks was the 1957 filly Habina (x Binni), by age two already a successful show filly for the Lasma Arabian Stud, and named a U.S.National Top Ten Mare in 1960 and 1961. Hallany Mistanny died October 15, 1965. He sired 139 registered foals.
-> 1938 grey colt Rodasr 1591, by *Nasr,
“Used 1941. Sold to California and there used on coast patrol during World War II. He has been described as ‘one of the finest horses I have ever handled… He obeys most of my commands when he is being ridden by word of mouth.’ ”
Rodasr sired just one registered foal, a 1942 filly bred by Dickenson and named Shangi-La. Through her he has a presence in pedigrees.
After producing the two colts for Dickinson, *Roda was sold, apparently in 1938, to L.V.Simons of Allendale, South Carolina. Simons bred her to Agwe (*Mirage x *Hilwe) for her next foals:
-> 1939 grey colt Apollo 1687, by Agwe.
Apollo began his breeding career in South Carolina for Neil Trask. He sired a total of 36 foals.
-> 1940 grey filly Rodetta 1972, by Agwe.
Rodetta accompanied her dam to ownership of Margaret Shuey, for whom she produced the *Raffles fillies Cassandra, Rose Marie, and Julie. Rodetta and her 1948 daughter Julie were sold to Federico Castellanos of Cuba in the fall of 1948. After Joye was weaned, the Shueys trucked Rodetta and Cassandra to Selby’s in Ohio; Cassandra was on her way to R.B.Field, and Mr. Castellanos had Rodetta bred to Image. In August of 1949 Rodetta was trucked to Florida with a stop to pick up Julie. From Florida the horses were flown to Cuba.
-> 1941 g/ch filly Shemma 2150, by Agwe, left no recorded progeny.
-> 1943 grey filly Weda 2734, by Agwe.
From 1951 to 1955 Weda produced four foals for Bob Tarr, then from 1961 to 1966 another four for Jimmie and Thelma Dean.
The year after Weda was born, *Roda was sold to her last owner, Miss Margaret Shuey of Asheville, North Carolina, who later wrote,
“I will always remember that day in June 1944 when my father said I could buy Roda. She was the first Arabian I ever purchased. It was quite a venture for me, but when my father approved I was walking on air. I had wanted her for eight years and so at last my dream came true. At the same time I bought her daughter Rodetta. Roda was in foal to Agwe…”
From that mating she produced:
1945 grey colt Jaspre 3190, by Agwe.
In May of 1947 the Shueys sold Jaspre to Bob Tarr, who showed him successfully. Late in 1953 or early in 1954 Jaspre moved to Illinois and the ownership of Martin Loeber. In 1961 Loeber sold Jaspre to Dr. and Mrs. Mangels of New York, who advertised him as standing at their Just So Farm from 1962 until 1967. Jaspre stood the 1968 season in New Jersey with his last owner, Gail Hoff of Princeton Arabians. He died December 16, 1968. Jaspre sired 64 registered get.
For her next foal, *Roda went to the Selby Stud in Ohio for breeding to *Raffles. Over the next three years, three foals were born from this cross:
1946 grey colt Tut Ankh Amen 3830, by *Raffles.
The Shueys sold this young stallion to Mrs. Morrill of the Bear Claw Ranch in Wyoming late in 1950. He left one 1951 foal in North Carolina. Tut Ankh Amen became a key sire for Mrs Morrill. After several foal crops she sold him to R-Farm of Buckley, Washington; the horse moved to his new home in May of 1958. Tut Ankh Amen sired 103 registered foals, the last born in 1965.
1947 grey filly Star of Egypt 4167, by *Raffles.
From 1951 to 1969 Star of Egypt produced 15 foals, all bred by Margaret Shuey. They include one by Image (Pamela), four by Ibn Hanad (Egypt, Sunny Acres Misty, Sunny Acres Prometheus, and Sunny Acres Cherie), and one by Shalimar Teke (Sunny Acres Easter Star).
1948 grey filly Joye 4803, by *Raffles.
Joye was the dam of nine registered foals born from 1953 to 1967, all bred by Miss Shuey. They include the Ibn Hanad daughters Sunny Acres Papaya and Sunny Acres Lovejoye, as well as the Sunny Acres Aeneas daughter Sunny Acres Genevieve.
The Arabian Horse News reported that *Roda was bred to Image for a 1950 foal. No foal was registered; Margaret Shuey wrote that *Roda was
“barren for a number of years after a bout with enteritis,”
but finally produced:
-> 1954 chestnut filly Sunny Acres Katydid 9142 by Ibn Hanad.
From 1959 to 1963 Katydid produced four foals for Miss Shuey, including Sunny Acres Gigi (by Rapture). Katydid’s last foal, born 1964, was bred by R.W. and L.A. Van Hoose.
-> 1955 bay filly Sunny Acres Fantasy 9886, by Ibn Hanad.
Fantasy was the dam of six foals for Margaret Shuey, born from 1959 to 1967. They include the Rapture son Sunny Acres Tarzan, and three fillies by Sunny Acres Darius.
*Roda spent the rest of her days at Sunny Acres and died in 1960. To quote Miss Shuey once more,
“She became ill on the afternoon of April 13 and by 9:00 p.m. on April 14 she was gone. She had an impaction, with which we were making progress when her old heart gave out. It was a shock even though she had just passed her twenty-ninth birthday in March because she had come through our rough winter looking better than she had for the last three years. There will never be another Roda. How she will be missed. One thing helps, she was happy here… Roda meant a lot to me.”
Arabian Horse News, September 1958, p. 34.
Arabian Horse News, April 1969, p. 73.
notes of Alice Payne in margins of books and on backs of photos.
notes of Margaret Shuey on backs of photos sent to Alice Payne.
“Hallany Mistanny,” by Robert E. Doherty Jr., repr. Arabiana.
Jack Humphrey to W.R.Brown, quoted in Carol Lyons, “Egypt 1932,” Arabian Horse News, December 1973.↩
(champion research and statistics by Arlene Magid)
from Arabian Visions October 1992
Used by permission of RJCadranell
Though her most famous son, living legend Azraff, as well as through her other foals, *Azja IV has bred on phenomenally well. *Azja IV has national winners tracing to her through all her progeny. She has countless thousands of descendants. Who was this uniquely bred mare, an outcross to virtually all of the Arabian horses in America at the time of her importation?
Arabian stud book registration number 1543 for *Azja IV provide a starting point, *Azja IV was a bay mare bred in Poland at the Bezmiechowa Stud of J. Czerkawski. Foaled in 1935, she was imported to the United States at the age of three by Henry B. Babson of Illinois. Also in this importation were *Kostrzewa, *Kasztelanka (granddam of Fadjur), *Rybitwa, and the stallion *Sulejman. The in-utero imports *Zewa and *Warsaw were born in 1939, the year Hitler’s invasion of Poland altered history and Polish Arabian horse breeding forever.
Although *Azja IV was bred in Poland, her parents were not. Her sire Landsknecht was the product of more than a century of Arabian breeding at Germany’s Weil Stud, founded in 1817 by King Wilhelm I (d. 1864) of Wurttemberg. Imported to Poland in 1928, Landsknecht had a successful race career, and was used for purebred breeding in Poland from 1933 to 1945.
Landsknecht’s dam, Soldateska, was from the Murana I mare line, one of the oldest in the breed. Soldateska is said to have been ridden as a cavalry horse in World War I, after which she became a Weil broodmare, and later a cornerstone of Marbach breeding when the Weil stock was transferred to Marbach in 1932. Soldateska died in 1935. Her sire Souakim was an in-utero import to Europe, his dam Smyrna having been purchased in foal in Damascus. Soldateska’s dam Sylphide I was a daughter of Amurath 1881, probably the most influential sire bred at 19th century Weil. After standing at Weil he went to the Austro-Hungarian state stud of Radautz (now in Romania) in 1895 and sired 315 foals, both purebred and partbred Arabian. His get are found in Arabian, Shagya, and various European Warmblood pedigrees the world over. Through foundation stock obtained from Radautz, Amurath blood has been part of Polish state Arabian breeding since the end of World War I. Sylphide I’s grandsire Djerid had been imported to Germany from Egypt in 1876 as a gift during the time of King Karl, son of King Wilhelm I. The rest of Sylphide I’s pedigree represents the lines of original Arabians imported to Weil from 1817 to 1861 during the time of King Wilhelm I, with the addition of Mehemed Ali, bred at Babolna in Hungary and added during the time of King Karl. Soldateska is the female line ancestor of Plum Grove Farm foundation mare *Sanacht, granddam of 1978 U.S. National Champion Stallion Amurath Bandolero.
Landsknecht’s sire Koheilan IV was bred at Babolna and stood at stud there as a senior stallion. After World War I, Weil and Babolna found themselves lacking stallions they could use on their mare bands without inbreeding too closely, so an exchange was arranged in 1924 or 25. Princess Pauline zu Wied of Weil sent a stallion named Sven Hedin to Babolna, where he was renamed Kemir (Arabic for “hope”) and bred to daughters and granddaughters of Koheilan IV. In return Babolna sent the old stallion Koheilan IV to Weil, where he covered mares closely related to Sven Hedin, including Sven Hedin’s younger full sister Soldateska.
Koheilan IV was the result of nearly a century’s Arabian breeding at Babolna. His grandsires Koheilan Adjuze and O’Bajan had both been imported to Hungary from the desert in 1885. Through Koheilan IV’s son Koheilan VIII (Koheilan I in PASB), this sire line is prominent in both Russian breeding carried on at Tersk and Polish breeding.
*Azja IV’s dam Asra was bred at Prince Odescalshi’s stud Inocenzdvor in Yugoslavia near Ilok. Prince Odescalchi was from Poland’s Branick family, and inherited the family interest in Arabian horse breeding. The stallion 436 Gazal-1, used at Inocenzdvor, had been bred at the government stud in Bosnia. Both of his parents were desert bred horses imported from Syria. Adshwa was probably also bred at Inocenzdvor. Her sire Siglavy Bagdady-11 was bred at Babolna and stood at Inocenzdvor. Siglavy Bagdady and 219 Aida had been imported from the desert in 1902.
More than one foundation horses for Inocenzdvor came from Baron Pfeiffer’s stud of Visnjevci, also in Yugoslavia. Baron Pfeiffer went twice to Weil for his foundation stock. Among his Weil-bred horses was a son of Amurath 1881 known as Amurath 1892 or Amurath “Dukaten.”
Britta Fahlgren’s The Arabian Horse Families of Poland presents a pedigree for *Azja IV’s sixth dam Dyra going back another seven generations. It is stated that Dyra was bred by Baron von Nizshwitz at Konigsfeld in Saxony from parents bred at Weil.
Asra was imported to Poland in 1930. She produced five foals in Poland, and was lost during World War II. Her only line of descent is through *Azja IV.
Arriving in America in 1938, *Azja IV was covered during the 1939 season and produced her first foal at the Babson Farm in 1940. This was a grey filly named Bint Azja, by Babson’s Egyptian import *Fadl. Following this *Azja IV is said to have become a problem breeder, going some years without another registered foal. The Babson Farm finally sold her as a riding mare to Walter W. Ross of Kansas City, Missouri, along with her daughter Bint Azja. Walter Ross was a friend of Daniel C. Gainey, in whose breeding program the blood of *Azja IV would one day play a significant role.
*Azja IV became a favorite riding mare for Ross’s son Jack. At some point in her life *Azja IV sustained a serious knee injury. Whether from race training in Poland or being jumped in the U.S. is not known.
In 1947 Walter Ross took *Azja IV to the Selby Stud in Ohio for breeding. He wanted to breed her to the famous Selby import *Raffles, bred at the Crabbet Stud in England. Ross found out *Raffles’s book was full. Instead *Azja IV went to his half brother Image, with a breeding to *Raffles to follow the year after. On June 1, 1948, *Azja IV had a bay colt named Miraz, born at Selby’s. After foaling Miraz, *Azja IV was bred to *Raffles.
Toward the end of May in 1949, Marj Boyt of Iowa called her friends Joe and Garth Buchanan to discuss an Arabian mare for sale, stabled with some horse dealers named Butler and Bond near Lincoln, Nebraska. Her name was *Azja IV. The Boyts were concerned she was priced too high for a 14-year-old mare with traumatized front legs, despite being in foal to *Raffles, and asked Garth’s advice about buying her. “If you don’t, I will,” Garth replied, having seen and admired *Azja IV at Selby’s.
Garth and Joe together with Marj went to Nebraska to get *Azja IV over the Memorial Day weekend. *Azja IV was past her foaling date, and Joe remembers being told the mare could foal at any time. “like maybe right now.” Garth and Marj made him stop “what seemed like every ten miles” to check on her. The trip was completed without incident, and Azraff was not born until June 4. As soon as Azraff was born the Boyts called Garth, who went down to see him that day. She admired him from the beginning. Azraff’s first registered foals were born in 1953 and 1954, and bred by the Boyts. His first registered foals with Garth Buchanan listed as breeder were born in 1955. Several years later when the Boyts retired and moved, Garth got her choice of their horses, and was able to acquire Azraff.
*Azja IV produced three more foals for Mr. and Mrs. Boyt, the last of which was born in 1954. *Azja IV was put down about two years later because of arthritis in her front legs.
Production record of *Azja IV: 3/3/1940 gr. f. Bint Azja 1897, by *Fadl (Ibn Rabdan x Hahroussa) 6/1/1948 b.c. Miraz 4949, by Image (*Mirage x *Rifala) 6/4/1949 gr. c. Azraff 5596, by *Raffles (Skowronek x *Rifala) 6/10/1952 b. c. Razja 8075, by Ramage (Image x Rafina) 6/13/1953 gr. f. Arachne 8620, by Desmoin (Image x Rafina) 6/29/1954 gr. C. Bagdad 9573, by Desmoin
To look at her, “*Azja IV was obviously a well bred mare.” Garth Buchanan says. She remembers *Azja IV as having a level croup and a lovely neck and withers. Her head was different in type and not “fancy,” being a little longer and with a straighter profile, but she had huge eyes and fine skin and coat. The lower part of her face was almost bare of hair in the summer. Garth Buchanan mentions that Dan Gainey knew and admired *Azja IV too. According to Garth, Dan Gainey said she was a quality mare and an excellent ride.
As a breeding influence through Azraff, *Azja IV has provided good length and fine shape of neck, good shoulder and withers, and a short back. Azraff is one of the key components of the Azraff-Ferzon cross. When asked about how the cross came about, Garth Buchanan replies that she first thought of using Ferzon blood in her program when she saw a picture of Ferzon as a foal. She wrote to Ferzon’s breeder, Frank McCoy, but at that time the horse was not for sale. It was later, when Ferzon was under the ownership of Dan Gainey in Minnesota, that the lines were crossed. Dan Gainey and Garth Buchanan, whose farms were only about 150 miles apart, were able to establish a good relationship. The blood that was exchanged was to the benefit of both and many breeders who have followed. Jimmie Dean, longtime manager of the Selby Stud and friend and mentor to both Dan Gainey and Garth Buchanan, also deserves credit for the continued development of the Azraff-Ferzon breeding stock.
Azraff became the top-siring *Raffles son, with 87 champions and 23 national winners including U.S.National Champion Stallion Galizon and Canadian National Champion Stallion and Reserve National Champion Western Pleasure Comar Bay Beau. Azraff has 41 get which have produced national winners. These Azraff grandget include U.S. National Champpion Mare Jon San Judizon and U.S. National Champion Stallion Gai Parada.
Of *Azja IV’s other foals, Bint Azja’s son Jasul (by *Sulejman) sired 1980 Canadian Top Ten Formal Driving Horse Jaskom. Miraz, himself a halter champion, is the grandsire of Doraza, one of the breed’s all-time leading broodmares with nine champions. Razja, through his daughter Azja, is the grandsire of U.S.Top Ten Native Costume Twin Brook Azlad.
Bagdad is a sire of champions, and his daughters have produced national winners in halter and park. He is the maternal grandsire of Taffona, dam of U.S.Reserve National Champion Futurity Stallion and U.S.Resere National Champion English Pleasure Huckleberry Bey. Arachne is the dam of four champions. Two of her daughters, Galicassatt and Gai Gay Ferzona, have produced national winners.
Other articles with information on *Azja IV include:
“Azraff,” by Dixie Ryan, Arabian Horse World, November 1977, p. 228.
“Azraff, the Pedigree and Record of a Self-Made Man,” by Sarah A. Wax, and “Comar Arabians, the Garth Buchanan Story.” by Anne Brown, both in September 1983 Arabian Horse World.
“Walter W. Ross, A Man of Devotion,” by Sandy Rolland, Arabian Visions, April 1992, p. 40.
(left to right) RIADA, ROSE OF HIND, KIBLA, RISALA and KASIDA at Crabbet in 1913. (Photo from the Brown collection, courtesy Arabian Horse Owners’ Foundation.)
Those of us who study the historical Arabians are always looking to expand the range of knowledge: for foundation stock there’s documentation of origin to pursue; one always hopes they and their progeny might have been the subject of a contemporary photograph or written comment which has been preserved. Some of us particularly value photos as an aid to making the old horses more “real,” even though we are well aware that interpreting such photos may be fraught with danger. As frustrating a situation as we can find ourselves in, is having an old photo of Arabian horses in which individuals are not identified. Fortunately, when a photo’s provenance is clearly established, there are sources of information with which to compare its images.
There are many such photos to work with, within the Crabbet canon alone; this discussion will center on one which Lady Wentworth used on page 27 of her 1924 Crabbet Stud Catalogue, and captioned, “Mares at Grass.” As luck would have it, there is an original Rouch print of this photo in the Brown collection at the Arabian Horse Owner’s Foundation, presumably one of the items W.R. Brown recieved from Spencer Borden when he bought out Borden’s Interlachen Stud. The Brown print is labeled “Arab mares at Crabbet – 1913” in what appears to be Lady Anne Blunt’s handwriting: Spencer Borden corresponded extensively with Lady Anne. This original print is of course much clearer and sharper than the reproduction in the Catalogue. The photo, which accompanies this article, shows five mares without foals; one group of four is in the foreground, two of them facing the camera and two looking away; a fifth is some distance behind them to the right.
One obvious resource for identifying horses in old photos, is to ask someone who might have been there at the time. I had the good fortune to be present nearly 13 years ago, when the late Lady Anne Lytton identified the foreground mares as Riada, Rose of Hind, Kibla and Risala. Either Lady Anne did not identify the mare on the right, or I did not remember the identification long enough to make a note of it.
The mares are in slick coat and at least four of them are in high condition; they are swishing flies, the trees are in full leaf and the pasture fairly short, all suggesting mid to late summer as the time the photo was taken. The foreground mares all appear to be in the prime of life, while the mare at the right is down in the back, has a big left knee and, under magnification, shows possible scars on her left cheek and point of hip. The mark on the cheek is ambiguous and may be a flaw in the negative, though it seems a lot to ask that such a flaw should accidentally fall in this position.
This photo clearly seems to show a group of dry mares on pasture in the summer of 1913; none of the mares named by Lady Anne Lytton has a 1913 foal in The General Stud Book (GSB). Known photos of Rose of Hind and Risala are consistent with the markings visible on the two mares facing away from the camera, and this pose of head and neck seems to be characteristic of Risala in other pictures. It is more difficult to be certain about a grey mare; Balis, Belkis and Bukra all were Crabbet (as opposed to Newbuildings) mares of the appropriate vintage, and all were barren in 1913. As a first approximation, I see no reason not to think Lady Anne had it right, and a photo of Kibla as a yearling seems consistent with this judgement, in terms of the general shape of her face and the distinctive cut of her nostrils.
The most interesting identification, from a historical standpoint, is that of the mare on the left as Riada. That 1904 brown daughter of Mesaoud and Rosemary had been Lady Anne Lytton’s favorite riding horse as a girl at Crabbet; the mare died of twisted gut in 1920 at age 16, and bred on into modern pedigrees through just one offspring, but that was Rayya by Rustem. Riada, in other words, was second dam of the internationally influential Kellogg sire *Raseyn, and this is her only known photo. Lady Anne certainly should have been able to recognize her favorite mare; if any confirmation be needed, Riada’s markings as recorded in Lady Anne Blunt’s manuscript studbook are, “near fore foot, narrow blaze like prolonged star, & spot between nostrils.” That fits this dark mare to a “T.”
That leaves the mare in the background. Comparing the original print with the version in the Catalogue suggests that, for publication, Lady Wentworth retouched the scarred cheek to show a white marking running up from under the mare’s chin. This apparent marking confuses the issue, as it calls to mind the distinctive face marking of Amida, and suggests that this mare might have been her dam Ajramieh, described by Lady Anne Blunt as having a “blaze all over muzzle.” Ajramieh would have been at Newbuildings in 1913 (this was during the partition phase of the Crabbet story), and furthermore possessed leg markings which should have been visible here. Peter Upton recently published a photo of Ajramieh (Arab Horse Society News. Winter 1989), which shows a different mare from this one, and confirms her leg markings.
I listed the Crabbet Stud’s producing mares in GSB between 1906-1916, just to get a base to start from; GSB does not distinguish between Crabbet and Newbuildings, but one can judge which half a mare was in by the sires to which she was bred. One way and another (the other candidates died, were sold, or disappeared from GSB before 1913; or their known markings don’t fit), the choices narrowed down to Abla, Betina, Kantara, Kasida, and Rahma. Abla, Kantara and Kasida all qualify on markings; the other two I can’t find markings on. All but one of these were producing to Newbuildings sires around this time, so were unlikely to have been photographed at Crabbet. Betina and Rahma were a generation or so younger than the rest of our group; Kantara and Abla would have been 12 and 14 in 1913, which would have made them roughly the same age as Kibla and Risala, while our subject is clearly an older mare. Further, Kantara has a 1913 foal in GSB, so would not have been running out with the dry mares even if she had been at Crabbet.
Kasida was definitely a Crabbet mare, and in fact was one of Lady Anne Blunt’s personal favorites. She would have been 20 when photographed here, and according to Peter Upton (The Arab Horse, p. 147) “aged before her time… was shot September 12, 1913.” There is a look of other Kasida photos in this mare, about the eyes and in the awkward conformation. I sent an enlarged copy photo to the Baker Street Irregular, R. J. Cadranell, who pointed out the “pale mane” referred to in Kasida’s published description and visible in her other photos. Based on this and other resemblances to known Kasida photos, and on his reconstruction of Crabbet history, he wrote “I’ve convinced myself that the mare in the photo you sent could not be other then Kasida.”
Thus it is possible, by combining sources, to go from “Mares at Grass” to a photographic record of Riada (Mesaoud x Rosemary), age 9; Rose of Hind (Rejeb x Rose Diamond), age 11; Kibla (Mesaoud x Makbula II) and Risala (Mesaoud x Ridaa), both 13; and Kasida (Nasr I x Makbula II), age 20. All five of these mares are widely represented in modern pedigrees and their photo should be of great interest to many students of the breed.
Crabbet Stud Catalogue, 1924.
W.R.Brown photo collection, in possession of the Arabian Horse Owners’ Foundation
Personal communication from Lady Anne Lytton, daughter of Lady Wentworth, and granddaughter of Wilfrid and Lady Anne Blunt.
Notes from Lady Anne Blunt’s manuscript studbook.
Breeding records published in The General Stud Book (GSB)
“‘Worth a King’s Ransom’ — Queen of Sheba,” by Peter Upton (Arab Horse Society News No. 73, Winter 1989).
The Arab Horse, by Peter Upton (Crowood Press 1989).