From Needham Market to Oyster Bay Part I

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Needham Market

by Thornton Chard

from The Horse May-Jun 1942

Such horses are
The jewels of the horsemen’s hand and thighs,
They go by the word and hardly need the rein

John Brown’s Body, Book v.

Kismet, Garaveen, Maidan. The mention of these horse notables in Mr. Albert W. Harris’ timely article, “Arabs for the Remount,” in the November-December The Horse, where he describes the Remount’s plan of a separate stud for breeding pure-bred Arabs, prompts this review of the circumstances of the arrival of the descendants of some of these particular individuals, and of some of their kin, in the United States. For it is owing, in part, to them that the Remount is able to carry out its plan so important to the future horse stock of the Western Hemisphere; and possibly of Europe too.

In 1875 the late Major Roger D. Upton, author of Newmarket and Arabia [1] and of Gleanings from the Desert of Arabia,[2] having been commissioned by Albert G. Sandemen, M.P., and Henry Chaplin, M.P., brought from the Desert to England, among other horses, four individuals: a chestnut colt, the horse Yataghan and the mares Zulieka and Haidee. The cost of his importation was $62,000 in gold.[3]

“Upton himself selected [these horses] from the Gomussa with the assistance of their Chief who was the greatest man and the greatest authority on horses among the Bedouins. The Gomussa breed none but pure horses.”[4]

As a result of the mating of Haidee and Yataghan, the chestnut filly Naomi was born in England in 1876. And, with her importation to the United States, in 1888, by Randolph Huntington, the first opportunity, since Keene Richards’ time, to breed pure Arabs, in a serious and intelligent way, was made use of by Huntington who, convinced of the necessity of the Arab “yeast,” saw his chance by reason of the previous arrival of General Grant’s two Eastern horses Leopard and Linden Tree.

In the following letter Huntington tells how he acquired Naomi:

“It was by accident that I got the mare Naomi. Capt. Upton died; then the Rev. Vidal got her, (5) and as Vidal was about to be retired from his living, it was proposed by Lady Anne Blunt and the Hon Etheldred Dillon that he let me have her. Immediately he offered her to me (it is true the price was strong) I accepted her by cable. After I got her over I was offered three prices for her return. I even had offers for her from Algiers; but I did not buy her to sell but to breed….” (6)

That Naomi’s value was known in England is shown by a letter to Vidal from W.S.Blunt who wrote:

“I think the idea of changing a mare is a good one and I should like to send someone down to see Naomi. I have two mares that I shall be willing to part with this year, and perhaps a third…. I hope if you are coming this way you will pay us another visit at Crabbet this summer and in the meantime if we can come to an arrangement for exchanging I shall be very glad as I know the breeding of your mare must be correct.” (7)

Vidal sent to Huntington a copy of Blunt’s letter on which Vidal wrote: “The exchange did not come off because I did not consider either of the three [Blunt] mares as equal to Naomi.”

As already mentioned, Naomi arrived in America (Rochester, N.Y.) in 1888. She was not bred in 1889, but in 1890 Huntington made use of General Grant’s horse Leopard by whom she produced the chestnut colt Anazeh. (7a) He was her fifth foal, as she had already produced four in England, the fourth having been the chestnut filly Nazli by the desert-bred steeple-chase Arab Maidan.

At this point a slight digression is necessary in order to show how some of Naomi’s offspring in England were bred to a famous desert-bred Arab sire and how his and some of Naomi’s descendants got to the United States; and a few other things.

The “cloth” (8) has contributed more sportsmen to England than to America, so, it is not surprising to learn that the famous desert-bred racing Arab Kismet was owned by the rector of Creeting St. Mary, the Rev. F. Furse Vidal, through whose good offices he was rented to and imported by Huntington to die a few hours after landing in New York. (9)

This tragedy in the horse world temporarily delayed the important and patriotic plans of Huntington who not only intended to breed pure Arabs, but, by uniting the bloods of Arab and Clay, sought to give the United States a national horse built on blood as good if not better than that from which the English thoroughbred was created. (10) However, the delay was brief, for, with typical courage he at once opened negotiations again with Vidal for the purchase and importation of more of the same blood in a group of individuals comprising Nazli, daughter of Naomi, Garaveen, Naomi’s grandson and Nazli’s son Nimr. (11)

As both Garaveen and Nimr were sons of Kismet his loss, though tragic in its dramatic suddenness and because of his remarkable turf career, was not irreparable, for, luckily these sons were living and available; and, under the devoted personal supervision of Vidal the group landed safely, in New York, the spring of 1893 (12)

So, in the year 1893 the United States could boast of the blood of the desert-bred Yataghan in his daughter Naomi, in his granddaughter Nazli and in his great grandsons Nimr and Garaveen; and of the blood of the desert-bred Kismet in his sons Nimr and Garaveen; and of Naomi herself and her blood in her daughter Nazli and in her grandsons Nimr and Garaveen. Besides the blood mentioned there was that of Blunt’s highly prized Saqlawi Jidrani horse Kars in Garaveen and of Miss Dillon’s desert-bred Muniqi-Hadruj horse Maidan in Nazli and Nimr. All in all a closely related group mostly of the Muniqi-Hadruj strain of which Carl Raswan says:

“The Miniqi-Hadruj of the Kismet, Maidan, Naomi, Khaled, Nimr, Yataghan, Haidee blood lines are the most important in America as far as speed, size and bigger bone are concerned.” (13)

Vidal’s opinion of the blood value of the group of horses that Huntington imported and his regret at having to part with them was frankly expressed in a letter to Huntington in which he wrote:

“Since getting your letter which concluded our bargain [the purchase of Nazli, Nimr and Garaveen] I have received an offer of LB 2,000 for Nimr; and had there been time I perhaps should have asked you to let me off. But, on consideration, I feel satisfied that it is as well as it is—(tho’, of course, the difference in price is a serious consideration to me) I am happy to think he will be in the hands of such a thorough believer in the value of blood, as you—than that he should be lost in the general crowd.

“Dear Mr. Huntington, you are now receiving the fruits of 35 years of careful study, expenditure and experience. Alas! Alas! that it should come to this. One soweth but another reapeth. You will have the finest strain of blood that has ever come out of the desert and it should be your task to preserve it pure for the use of future generations.” (14)

Huntington in his letters and in his stud bills always stressed the fact that he had a group of horses “of one family blood” and it was his intention always to preserve a group whose blood was “intensified” by being interbred in the same family. And, when it is recalled that at this date little was known, outside of Arabia, about the different strains and their special values, Huntington should be credited with close observation in his pioneer breeding experiments, for, besides the Muniqi strain he had individuals of other strains whose characteristics, he noted, differed from those of the Muniqi. His close study of the offspring of the few strains that he had the opportunity to observe led him to declare that the Arabian horse was in different families with different instincts.


Images and Footnotes:



(5) Vidal bought Naomi from Albert G. Sandeman.

(6) Huntington to C.V. Bouthillier, Dec. 17, 1890.

(7) Blunt to Vidal, Feb 2, 1885.

(7a) Foaled May 10, 1890; bred and owned by Huntington who in a letter to the press, May 25, 1890, wrote:

“That Naomi should be brought from the Desert [in her dam] to England, and there produce a son [ Gomussa, sold to the Chilean government] to an Arab horse [Kouch] presented by the Sultan of Turkey, Murad V, to the Princess of Wales, and then come to America and produce another son [Anazeh] to the credit of an Arab [Leopard] presented to a representative of the American people [General Grant], by a second Sultan of Turkey, Abdul Hamid II, is singular, if not phenomenal.”

(8) It may not be known generally that John Wesley, the renowned English evangelist, was a great horseman and cross-country rider. On his tours about the country he rode above 100,000 miles with slack rein. He wrote a sermon on the horse prophesying that at the last days horses would enjoy a state of exalted happiness. (The Horse (English) vol. VIII, No. 31, p. 199).

(9) For a detailed account of Kismet’s remarkable career, see The Horse (Washington, D.C. )vol. 19, No. 1, Jan. -Feb., 1938.

(10) In Bruce’s American Stud Book (vol. VI, 1894, pp. 1165-1168 inclusive) are registered 51 Americo-Arabs; most of them bred and owned by Randolph Huntington.

(11) Besides these three Vidal brought over on the same ship a bay Arab, Ibex, by Miss Dillon’s El Emir, for Fullerton Phillips of Philadelphia. Ibex did not enter into the breeding project here described.

(12) Shortly after his arrival Vidal went to the Chicago Exposition to judge Arab and other classes.

(13) Western Horseman. Jan. – Feb., 1942. p. 14.

It was claimed that the Darley Arabian was a Muniqi. “Later discovery of his pedigree in the files of the Darley family proved him to be a Muniqi Hadraji….From him descended Flying Childers.” (W.R.Brown. The Horse of the Desert. New York, 1929, p. 126.)

(14) Vidal to Huntington, May 20, 1893.



image of Rectory:


Reproduced from a photograph through the courtesy of Mrs. H.A. Fleetwood, wife of the present (1936) rector who succeeded the Rev. Vidal.


Image of church:


The late Rev. F. Furse Vidal, who owned “Kismet,” “Naomi,” “Nazli,” “Nimr” and “Garaveen” and bred the last three and from whom the late Randolph Huntington bought the last four, was at the time and for many years the rector of this church. In one of his letters he wrote: “I have been much occupied of late with various Parish matters … I have had five sermons to preach in the last week — this means a good deal of time and thought.” (1) For recreation he indulged in a small breeding stud and with his sons and daughters was active in the hunting field.

St. Mary’s stands on the top of a hill [near Needham Market], surrounded by trees, and is a building of flint and stone in a variety of styles …. The registers date from 1681.” (2)

Reproduced from a photograph through the courtesy of Mrs. H. A. Fleetwood, wife of the present (1936) rector, who succeeded the Rev. Vidal.

(1) Vidal to Huntington, Xmas day, 1903.

(2) “County Churches — Suffold.” T. Hugh Bryant. London. 1912.


Photo of 2 handwritten pages

Pages 1 and 5 of Vidal’s letter to Huntington quoting Upton’s Note about His Importation of Valuable Arabian Stock. the letter in full follows:

Mrs. Upton cannot remember the date of the arrival — but she thinks it must have been in March or April 1875 or 1876. the latter date would tally with ‘Naomi’s’ age and with what Mr. Sandeman told me.”

“In a note he, Upton, says: ‘I have tried to get a Managhi Hedrudj of the family of Ibn Sbeyel of the Gomussa tribe of Sebaa Anezeh which I hold to be the best breed in the Desert. I have succeeded and one of them is now in my stable. I had enquired at the same time about about the mares; and two have come of the same family. The four are as follows: No. 1. Chestnut stallion, 4 yrs. old. 14.2. His dam a Keheilet Jeabeh taken from the Heissa Anezeh, and his sire the famous Keheilan Hellawi of the Shammar tribe. No. 2. Pearl Grey stallion with black mane and black tail, tipped with white, 4 years old 14.2 His dam “Managhi Hedrudj” of Ibn Sbeyel family of Gomussa anezeh, and his sire of the same breed, now in the stud of the King of Italy. No. 3. Bay mare 5 years old 14.1 1/2. Same breed as No. 2, but dam and sire not the same. No. 4. Chestnut mare 4 years old 14.3. Same breed as No. 2 and 3, but dam and sire not the same. Noted for speed and bottom’.”

” ‘The Keheilan Hellawi, sire of the chestnut colt, is preferred to any Seglawi Jedraan stallion for covering mares, on account of the constant success of his progeny — colts got by him are always sought after. All horses bear the name of the breed of the dams and this Keheilan jeeban is therefore considered first class, as that is on of the best varieties of the Keheilan Adjooz breed. The Hellawi strain is also a branch of the Keheilan Adjooz — but not in general so much thought of as the sire of this chestnut colt is in particular. The Managhi Hedruj is highly esteemed as a breed — and those of the family of Ibn Sbeyel of the Gomussa tribe are known as the best strain of that blood though not always so handsome as some other breeds.’

” ‘The name means “long necked.” Jeeban is the “proved” and Hellawi “the sweet“.’

“I also send you a facsimile of a translation made by Upton of the delivery note and description of my old mare Zulieka (the No. 3, I presume) — the others have been lost.

“I think these notes of Uptons which have only just been unearthed, will go far to confirm you in what I have always told you, that Naomi’s blood is the finest and best that could possibly be.

“P.S. You will note that the Shiek Suleyman ibn Mirschid is the famous chief of the Gomussa spoken of by Upton in [and] Lady A. Blunt in their books.”

Photographed from a letter found among the letters and papers of the late Randolph Huntington.


Image of a facsimile

“Fac Simile of a translation [from the Arabic] made by Roger D. Upton of the delivery note and description of my old mare “Zulieka” (the No. 3 I presume) — the others [translations for other horses] have been lost.” (Excerpt from a letter, Jan. 15, 1896, of F.F.Vidal to Randolph Huntington.)

“The No. 3” refers to a quotation by Vidal of Upton’s description of the Arabian horses and mares imported to England by him.

No. 1 in the same letter refers to Chestnut colt.

No. 2 in the same letter refers to “Yataghan.”

No. 4 in the same letter refers to “Haidee.”

“Yataghan” and “Haidee” were sire and dam of “Naomi.”

“Zulieka” was half-sister “Haidee.” All these horses were registered in the G.S.B.

Reproduced from a photograph of the original found among the letters and papers of the late Randolph Huntington.


Photo of “Naomi”

“Naomi,” a chestnut sorrel, of the Munigi-Hadraji strain, 15 1/2 hands high, was imported to England in 1875, in her dam “Haidee,” from the Euphrates Valley, by Captain Roger D. Upton of the 9th Lancers. Her sire, “Yataghan,” and her dam “were full brother and sister.” (1)

Foaled in 1876, the photograph shows her at nineteen years of age with her ninth foal, the colt “Khaled,” thirteen days old. Up to 1898, the year she died, she had produced twelve foals as follows:

1884, bay colt “Gomussa,” by Princess of Wales’ Saqlwai-Jidrani Arab “Kouch.”

1885, not bred.

1886, chestnut filly “Kushdil,” by S.W.Blunt’s Saqlwai-Jidrani Arab “Kars.”

1887, bay filly “Naama,” by Hon. Miss Dillon’s Shammar Arab “El Emir.”

1888, chestnut filly “Nazli,” by Hon. Miss Dillon’s Muniqi-Hadraji Arab “Maidan.”

1889. not bred.

1890, chestnut colt “Anazeh,” by Gen. Grant’s Saqlwai-Jidrani Arab “Leopard.”

1891, seal brown filly “Ruth Clay,” by the Americo-Arab “Young Jack Shepard.”

1892, bay colt “Boaz Clay,” by “Young Jack Shepard.”

1894, chestnut colt Nejd, by Arab “Anazeh.”

1895, chestnut colt “Khaled,” by Arab “Nimr.”

1896, chestnut filly “Naomi II,” by Arab “Nimr.”

1897, chestnut filly “Narkeesa,” by Arab “Anazeh.”

1898, chestnut filly “Naressa,” by Arab “Anazeh.”

Reproduced from a photograph found among the letters and papers of the late Randolph Huntington.

(1) While this is the oft repeated statement, Vidal quotes Upton that they were of the same family but of different parentage.


Photo of “Nazli”

(G.S.B. Vol, XVI, p. 655

By “Maidan” [G.S.B. Vol. XVI, p. 657] out of “Naomi”; height 14h. 3 in., without shoes. Measures under knee 7 7/8 in. chestnut mare (same color as “Naomi”) white star on forehead. Splended shoulders; clean flat legs and good feet– hocks good — but not quite so fine as “Kushdil’s.” Was quiet to ride last year but has been turned out October as she is believed to be in foal to “Mesauod” (Lady A. Blunt’s horse). Stands true. Action like her Mother’s. This mare is considered to be the handsomest Arab mare in England. Carries her tail high and straight. Plenty of good strong hair on fetlocks. (1)

“Nazli” and “Nimr” are beauties of the first water. (1)

“Nazli” was foaled in England in 1888. She was 7 years old as shown here, held by Mr. Huntington, with her second foal, “Naarah.” She had produced, when 3 years old, “Nimr” in England. Up to 1904 she had produced one foal in England and nine in America, as follows:

1891, “Nimr” chestnut colt by “Kismet.”

1895, “Naarah” chestnut filly by “Anazeh.”

1896, “Naaman” chestnut colt by “Anazeh.”

1897 “Nazlina” chestnut filly by “Anazeh.”

1898 “Nadab” chestnut colt by “Anazeh.”

1899, “Nazlita” chestnut filly by “Khaled.”

1900, “Nazlet” chestnut filly by “Khaled.”

1901, “Nejdran” chestnut colt by “Anazeh.”

1903. “Nahor” chestnut colt by “Anazeh.”

1904, “…….” chestnut filly by “Anazeh.”

Reproduced from a photograph found among the letters and papers of the late Randoph Huntington.

(1) Vidal to Huntington March 31, 1893.

  1. [1]London, 1873
  2. [2]London, 1881
  3. [3]Included in the Upton importation were the following colts and mares, the portion of the Hon. Henry Chaplin ex-British Minister of Agriculture and breeder of Hermit and other Derby winners: Jocktan, bay colt 3 1/2 years old; Ishmael, dark bay colt 2 years old; Kesia bay mare 10 years old; Keren-Happuch, chestnut mare 8 or 9 years old. (The Arab Horse Stud Book, Vol. 1, No. 4). As the Chaplin lot were not kept as a pure-Arab Stud and as their descendants, so far as is known, never came to America, they do not concern this review.
  4. [4]Excerpt from a letter of F. F. Vidal, Dec. 24, 1895, to Randolph Huntington.

From Needham Market to Oyster Bay Part II

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Needham Market

by Thornton Chard

from The Horse Jul-Aug 1942

Vidal’s hope, that the Muniqi strain should be preserved, was not realized beyond a comparatively few years. This was not the fault of Huntington, for he was soon faced with old age and a set of conditions that made it impossible to carry out his desired plans. However, descendants of the original foundation can be found in nearly every Arab breeding stud in the United States and the blood is represented in some of the individuals donated for the remount’s breeding project. Naomi, referred to as the Queen, in all the publicity given her, was a truly great individual as a representative of the Desert blood, as a sure producing brood-mare and as a performer in the hunting field. While not as handsome as her grandson Nimr, she had a well-balanced body covered with a rich chestnut coat with mane and tail of the same color, and the unusual distinction for a pure-bred of measuring fifteen hands two inches at the withers. She died at the ripe old age of twenty-two, after producing twelve foals.

As to her powers in the hunting field The Field, of London, giving a description of a very severe run in Suffolk, in which Naomi took a prominent part, had this to say:

    “The mare in question, it is true, is perhaps the biggest Arab at present known–. She has been at the stud for the last three years, and was only taken up from grass about six weeks ago; expects another foal in April, and had done a long day’s hunting with the Harriers the day before the run with the fox hounds. I speak from personal knowledge, as I have had her till I sent her to her owner six weeks ago…”

Then, quoting Casual, the account continues:

    “I was surprised, too, at the performance of a chestnut mare with a long tail. She was a lengthy raking looking animal, but so tucked up and poor that had I seen her in a salesyard I should have said she was worth nothing; but she seemed able to race away from everything, in the heaviest ground, and fenced as well as any. She was not carrying a boy, either, for I should think her rider must have ridden thirteen or fourteen stone. I have heard it said … that Arabs cannot cross a country; but after seeing that mare go through a severe test, I can only say that I hope I am never to have a worse mount.” (15)

Naomi’s daughter Nazli, by Maidan, was, like her mother, a consistent brood-mare, for, with the exception of the three years following her first foal, she produced a foal each year without fail; a total of ten foals up to 1904. (16) She was Maidan’s first and only pure-bred offspring for he, then an old horse, was injured and put away shortly after he got Nazli. (16a)

July 20, 1891, Nazli produced, by Kismet, the liver-colored colt Nimr, one of the two pure-bred colts ever got by Kismet and his first get.

Nimr grew to be one of the handsomest horses ever bred in any country. It was because he was considered by all judges to be one of the most perfectly conformed horses ever produced that his skeleton was accepted and set up as a model in the evolution -of-the-horse exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History.

Nimr was used principally in the stud where he got a number of high class horses. He had no track or hunting field record; what use was made of him under the saddle brought out the following comment by Huntington:

    “From my close study and observation, I am convinced that the Arab horse is ….. in different families with .. different instincts. Some of them are all trot, some all pace, and all can run; and Nimr is of that class. He is the quickest horse I ever have seen in my life to get away at the run.” (17)

Referring to Nazli and Nimr, Vidal wrote:

    “… it is the universal opinion of good judges that her [Naomi’s] daughter and son born in this country [England] (all of them pure-breds) are the best specimens of Arabs bred in England as yet [1892].” (18)

Then, in extolling the Arabian horse in general and his ability to perform Miss Dillon wrote:

    “Maidan trotted in a dog cart 6 1/2 miles in 26 minutes; Eldorado in a light trap trotted 14 miles in 55 minutes, including over 5 minutes’ stoppages…; and El Emir, at sixteen years old, trotted 30 miles in 3 hours and 20 minutes, over very rough roads and up and down tremendous hills.” (19)  

    “they can carry a 14 stone man straight in a fast two hours’ run… My little horse Eldorado [14.3] cleared all the jumps at the Islington show in 1884, and he carried a heavy man straight in Suffolk last winter. An other Arab [El Emir 14-2 1/2] cleared 22 1/2 feet in his stride with a man on his back larking over a hurdle and whenever I have ridden him to hounds he has always been commended for his wonderful fencing.” (20)

The above reference to Arabs as trotting roadsters may come as a surprise to many because Arabs have always been thought of as gallopers and the progenitors of runners. In fact, it has been argued erroneously that since the Arab was a galloper his kind must be eliminated as the possible progenitor, of certain breeds of conjectured origin, that trot or pace.

Huntington, in his letters, spoke of Naomi’s fine, square trotting gait, remarking that if he could have trained her when she was young he could have made a mark with her. The experienced British horseman, Captain W.A.Kerr, V.C., who spent many years in the East, wrote that he had seen many an Arab strike a fast spanking trot when allowed his freedom. (21)

As to the jumping ability of the Arabian in America, while this has never been tested to any extent in the hunting field, it has been brought out at shows in Tennessee, Ohio and other places, in recent years, with satisfactory results. And, his ability to win one hundred mile trail rides and three hundred mile endurance tests is too well known to require repetition here. Furthermore, as a war horse the pure-bred has centuries of history back of him, a point so well brought out in Mr. Harris’ recent book,and as a sire for half-Arab army mounts reference need only be made to the government studs of Continental Europe.

This inadequate account of some of America’s foundation horses, of Arabian blood, began with a reference to the Remount’s Arab-breeding project. It may not be known to horsemen generally that such a project was possible, so far as the foundation stock was concerned, more than thirty years ago when Huntington urged the Department of Agriculture to acquire his plant of pure-bred Arabs and Americo-Arabs as a source of supply for improving the horsestock of the country. But, as Speed, writing in 1905, remarked in his book, The Horse in America: “To most horsemen in America the name of Arabian is anathema. They will have none of him.” (22)

That prejudice, at an earlier date, was not confined to the United States may be gathered from an English breeder’s letter of 1886 as follows:

    “I do not think that envy or jealousy has anything to do with dislike of the Arab. I think that you can see all through the Livestock Journal the great dislike to foreign blood and the … feeling that everything English is so perfect it cannot be bettered. Also there is the craze for big horses.” (23)

Huntington’s Americo-Arabs, a combination of Arab and Arab-Barb-Clay blood would have given the United States a national horse, capable of getting saddle and harness horses, while the pure-bred Arabs would have been the “yeast,” the precious source, from which all fixed types have been created.

Luckily, prejudice has now given way to reason, but, it has taken all these years of private enterprise alone; and now, by the initiative of Mr. Harris, and with the acceptance of donated horses by the Remount, the pure-Arab breeding project has been made a fact.



(15) Excerpts frm an article by the Hon. Etheldred Dillon in the London Livestock Journel quoting from a letter in The Field of Nov. 19, 1887.

(16) Nazli was bred one or two of the three years following her first foal but produced nothing. This is in contrast to the results obtained by Huntington’s personal and skillful brood-mare management.

(16a) Huntington to James A. Lawrence, Jan. 22, 1904.

(17) Huntington to Dr. Hall, of Toronto, June 8, 1896.

(18) Vidal to Huntington May 17, 1892.

(19) The London Field, March 8, 1890.

(20) London Livestock Journal.

(21) The Golddusts, Clays, Stars, Wilkes, Patchens and other trotting families, as well as the Russian Orloffs, all trace to Arabian or Barb blood.

(22) John Gilmer Speed. The “Horse in America.” New York. 1905, p. 14.

(23) Hon. Etheldred Dillon, Oct. 10, 1886, to Randolph Huntington. In this letter, Miss Dillon, the owner of Maidan, describes him and Naomi, calling Huntington’s attention, for the first time, to this mare.


Photo of “NIMR”

(G.S.B. Vol. XVII)

Foaled Fune 20, 1891, by “Kismet” [G.S.B. Vol. XVI., p. 657] out of “Nazli.” Height 14.1 3/4 [as a 2 year old] without shoes. Measures under knee 7 1/2 in. Dark chestnut; small white star on forehead; near hind fetlock white. The finest possible shoulders, loins and quarters; large clean flat joints (hocks and knees); legs clean and flat; tendons steel like and powerful. Neck beautifully arched and head perfectly put on. Head and neck like his mother’s which are quite perfect. He stands perfectly true on all four feat; is very true in action and has great liberty. Has no blemish of any sort. Carries his tail straight out behind, — but will, probably, as he gains age, carry it more over his back, — as is usual with young Arabs. This is certainly the best Arab colt of his age that has been bred in England and I doubt much if a finer could be bought in the desert at any price. He is quiet in the stable (a beautiful temper) and to lead; bits well but has not been mounted except for a few minutes by a boy in his box.” (1)

(1) Vidal to Huntington March 31, 1893.

Reproduced from a photograph by courtesy of Mr. Alfred Borden, who is shown on “Nimr.”



“Nimr’s” body was given to the American Museum of Natural History in 1904 by the late Randolph Huntington, adn the skeleton was prepared and mounted “with consummate skill,” by Mr. S.H.Chubb, for the Museaum collection showing the evolution of the horse.

In one of the Museum Bulletins (1) the late Henry Fairfield Osborn pointed out some of the distinctive characteristics of the Arabian skeleton as follows:

1. Skull short, but broad between the eye sockets.

2. Eye sockets high and prominent, giving the eye a wide range of vision.

3. Facial profile, or forehead, concave.

4. Jaw slender in front; deep and wide set above the throat.

5. Round ribbed chest, well ‘ribbed up,’ and short back with only 5 ribless, or lumber vertebrae.

6. Horizontally placed pelvis (a speed character) [for the runner] and very high tail region; few tail vertebrae.

7. A complete shaft of the ulna, or small bone of the forearm.

8. Long adn slender cannon bones, and long sloping pasterns.

8. Long and slender cannon bones, and long sloping pasterns.

“Nimr’s” height at the withers was 14 1/2 hands (58 in.). His skeleton shows 5 lumbar, 16 tail, 4 sacrum, 17 ribbed, 7 cervical vertebrae. A total of 49 vertebrae including tail. Horses other than Arabs, usually have 6 lumbar and 18 tail vertebrae.

(1) Points of the Skeleton of the Arab Horse. By Henry Fairfield Osborn. Author’s Edition, extracted from Bulletin of the A.M.N.H., Vol. XXIII, Article XIII, pp. 259-263. New York, March 30, 1907.

Reproduced from a photograph by courtesy of the American Museum of Natural History, New York.



This interesting G.S.B. Certificate for “Nimr” is the highest guarantee for authentic pedigree. Such registration and that in the french Stud Book permit registration of Arabian horses and mares in the New York Jockey Club Stud Book.

The writer has similar certificates for “Nazli” and “Garaveen.” “Naomi” though eligible was not registered. This explained in a letter of her original owner, Albert G. Sandman, who wrote: “Unfortunately, I omitted to have this mare and her sister entered. I fear it could not be done now.”


photo of “GARAVEEN” (G.S.B. Vol. XVII)

By “Kismet” out of “Kusdil;” foaled April 6, 1892. Blood bay without marks. Height 13.1 [at one year old]. Measures under knee 7 in. a powerful, handsome colt perfectly formed in all respects, except that he points his off forefoot very slightly outwards (this will be corrected by proper shoeing). Head not so handsome as “Nimr’s” (1)

Mr. Huntington, soon after “Garaveen’s” importation, sold him to either R.F.or T.H. Downing, who traded the horse to J.A.P. Ramsdell, who in turn traded him to Spence Borden. As this last trade was never concluded the horse was returned to Ramsdell, who then sold him to Homer Davenport.

(1) Vidal to Huntington, March 31, 1893.

Reproduced from a photograph fround among the letters and papers of the late Randolph Huntington.


photo of “NAAMAN”

Son of “Nazli,” her third foal and her second in america, grandson of desert-bred “Maidan,” and double grandson of “Naomi.” Foaled April 5, 1896; bred by the late Randolph Huntington, and sold as a yearling for $2,500. When two and a half years of age he measured 15 1/2 hands at the withers.

Reproduced from a photograph found among the letters and papers of the late Randolph Huntington.


photo of “NANDA” (20 years old)

Daughter of “Garaveen” whose sire was the famous desert-bred “Kismet.” “Nanda” (1905) was out of the desert-bred “Nedjma.” The foal, about two weeks old, is “Kemah” by “Nuri Pasha.” “Nanda was bred and owned by Albert W. Harris. In 1924 she produced, by “Nejdran, Jr.,” a colt, “Al Azhar,” that has won first in the Hundred Mile Trail Ride in Des Moines the last two years (1940 adn 1941) in the light-weight division. He was the oldest and smallest horse entered.

Reproduced from a photograph (1925) by courtesy of Mr. Harris.


photo of “OPHIR”

Granddaughter of “Nimr” and “Garaveen” and double great granddaughter of desert-bred “Kismet.” Her sire was “Segario” and her dam “Onrust.” “Ophir” (1917) is shown two months before she produced “Kaaba” (1925) by “Nuri Pasha.” “Kaaba” holds the world’s Arab record (1928) of 1:50 on a half-track, equivalent to 1:46 on a mile track. “Kaaba” was three years old when he made this record and when he ran a half mile in 53 seconds.

“Ophir” was bred and owned by Albert W. Harris.