Tag Archives: Huntington

In-Breeding and Size

by Ben Hur
(Western Horseman Jul/Aug 1945)

Is size in the horse influenced by in-breeding? Have you had the impression that dire results would follow if horses (and other livestock) closely akin were mated? Have you believed that the offspring from closely related matings would be deformed, small, weak as well as vicious, or deficient in brain capacity? It seems that the most commonly accepted fallacy among horsemen is that the practice of consanguinity or in-breeding in horses will immediately affect size and that small inferior “runts” will result, if they are not actually so grotesquely deformed that the foal dies shortly after birth.

This misconception of the laws of nature, this widely if not universally accepted fallacy among livestock breeders and farmers in America, has persisted since colonial days, and it has resulted in practically all our breeds being imported from Europe. America has blazed the way for all the world in the sciences, in chemical, electrical and mechanical research and developments, but has strangely worshipped at the feet of breeders of livestock abroad and is to this day overawed by the magic word “imported.” Americans have persisting in importing livestock from foreign countries until imports were stopped during World War II. And strange as it may seem, extensive plans are already well under way to begin importing again just as soon as permission can be obtained by breeders of cattle, dogs, sheep and horses.

This is notably true of breeders of Jersey cattle, where certain groups are feverishly awaiting the “green light” or “go” signal to rush to the small island of Jersey (among the channel islands held by Germany during the war) where the most intensive in-breeding has been the rule, and from where they will start importing Jersey cattle again to America. Why this need for new imports from abroad, year after year? There can be but one answer and that is that American breeders have not followed the same rules in breeding and that deterioration has followed the American plan of breeding, which in the main has been a constant search for “new blood” and out-crossing, rather than following the time honored plan by which all breeds have been developed and maintained – that of line-breeding and in-breeding.

Regarding in-breeding or consanguinity. James A. Lawrence, founder and first president of The Arabian Horse Club of America and the Great Dane Club of America, wrote in 1908:

“I believe the natural laws controlling this phase of animal breeding are less understood than any other one feature that enters into the creation and regeneration of animal life. We are accustomed to seeing instances of degeneracy on account of consanguinity in the human race in America, and the conclusion, without further thought, is that in-breeding is forever prohibited by nature in all of her mammal kingdom.
“But on further reflection we are compelled to remember that the great Anazeh tribes of Bedouins of the Arabian desert have remained pure in one blood for ages. According to their own traditions and history they are the same in blood today as their progenitor, Ishmael, the son of Abraham and Hagar. These very exclusive people maintain their own blood purity with the same care and precision with which they breed their horses, and certainly there is no question about them being an intensely in-bred race, in fact, the purest of all the human races. There is no sign of degeneracy among them in the physical sense, and they are pronounced by those in a position to know as the most highly moral race of people, in many respects, in the world.”

As proof of the value of consanguinity in the breeding of horses Mr. Lawrence wrote further:

“We know the Arabian horse is pure in one blood as we know the English Thoroughbred is not. We also know the Arabian blood is as pliable or plastic today as it was five hundred years ago, and we also know that the English Thoroughbred is not as pliable or plastic as he was one hundred years ago, to say nothing of other qualities he has lost in a degenerating tendency, which proves the value of pure and unmolested blood through consanguinity. The Arabian horse proves his purity in many ways, and in no particular is his excellenced and good breeding more evident than in his courage and perfection of disposition which the runner has lost, and courage is ever an unmistakable mark of purity of blood.”

It is a significant fact, as we have pointed out in earlier articles in this series, that the most successful breeders in America, of horses, cattle, sheep and dogs have been those who have ignored the American fear of in-breeding and have followed the custom of breeders abroad where breeds were made by the one and universal rule of in-breeding and line-breeding. It is nature’s way but as Mr. Lawrence prointed out,

“Man would bastard and lose it all by out-crossing, mongrelization. Nature breeds only purebreds in her infinite precision. Her animals are pure in the beginning and pure in the end. Through consanguinity nature maintains a vigor, uniformity, beauty and perfection forever.”

At no time in the history of this country has there been such an intense and wide-spread interest in light or hot-blooded horses as there is at the present time. From coast to coast much is being said and written, many attempts are being made to improve, solidify and make into one common mass certain types or colors of horses. This is notably true of those who are attempting to reproduce that which is representative and best in horses of Quarter Horse type, Palomino colored horses, the Pinto, or spotted or morocco, the Appaloosa, Walking Horse and the Albino. Serious attempts are being made in widely scattered sections of the country to capture and mould into the ideal of their dreams of the horse these breeders hope to produce in purity in the future. These ambitions and embryo breedmakers can take a page from the history of breedmaking in the past if they will discard their fears of degeneracy in size, type, vigor and mental capacity as well as disposition when consanguinity or in-breeding is practiced.

One common type or color cannot come from widely scattered sources. Purity must, as it always has, come from one source and from that one source or base the breeding program can be broadened within the family so that line-breeding can be followed and a line of horses result with one common ancestry that are uniform in type and reproductive breeding characteristics. Then and then only is the effort worthy of the name of a breed.

The Arabian horse again, because of its purity of breeding, furnishes us the example and pattern of what we may expect from in-breeding. The blood of the Arabian horse is the fountain from which flows all the various types and colors of light saddle type horses although all of them have more or less of the cold-blood or draft horse blood in them. To develop and improve, to capture and solidify certain types, colors or characteristics there can be no better rule to follow than that of using and moulding in as much of the Arabian blood as possible. There need be no fear of losing size if size is what is wanted. The Arabian does not lose size when in-bred, nor is vigor or vitality lost. When out-crossed the Arabian type and characteristics overshadow and predominate to a marked extent but size almost universally increases whether the cross be on a pony or larger type.

Nimr No. 252,
red chestnut Arabian stallion, 15-1 hands high. Imported from England by Randolph Huntington in 1891, Nimr was bred to his grand-dam, Naomi (15-2 hands) to produce Khaled (15-3 1/2). Picture by George Ford Morris.

Naomi No. 230,
red chestnut Arabian mare, 15-2 hands, foaled in 1877, bred by Rev. F. Vidal in England, was produced by a full brother-and-sister mating, by the desert-bred sire, Yataghan (15 hands) and the desert-bred dam Haidee (14-3 hands). Naomi, bred to her grandson Nimr, produced Khaled.

Khaled No. 5,
red chestnut Arabian stallion, foaled in 1895, bred by Randolph Huntington. Standing 15-3 1/2 hands, Khaled is an outstanding example of intense in-breeding. The picture was made for James A. Lawrence, first president of the Arabian Horse Club, by the well known artist and photographer of horses, George Ford Morris. Copyrighted in 1908, this picture and the one of Nimr is used by permission of Mr. Lawrence.

The Arabian horse, bred and raised for hundreds of years in desert country and on frugal if not actually scanty feed conditions responds immediately to good feed and care and the danger in this country is that the Arabian may grow a little bigger each generation and gradually lose its refined classic type and beauty. You need but look about you in your own family or the family of your friends to realize what better food, care and conditions have done for the human race in one or two generations in this country. It is not uncommon to see sons and daughters towering a head taller than their parents and it is commonly known that feet are universally larger in a single life-span.

Breeders of Shetland ponies and Bantam chickens find it a major breeding problem to keep the size down to the miniature type desired. The size increases with each generation, rather than diminishing, with modern feed and care and it is only by having the young come in the fall and subjecting them to scanty diet that size is held down. Growth is the one universal law of nature and increase in size under favorable sheltered conditions under the care of man seems to be a dominant factor in animals. The English Thoroughbred increased an average of one inch each 25 years, for the first 150 years from the original three Arabian sires which averaged little if any above 14 hands. The original Justin Morgan, founder of the Morgan Horse was about 14 hands. Cavalry experts have often proven that the weight carrying horse reaches his greatest efficiency when about 15 hands high. Yet new owners of Arabians are often immediately concerned about an increase in size and elated when a marked increase is shown, not knowing what the history of the breed and the weight carrying horse has amply demonstrated. Today, all too many who have only recently become interested in saddle horses set as their first goal an increase in size in breeding for Palomino color, Quarter Horse type or to improve the Pinto, Appaloosa, Walking Horse or Albino. Improvement and uniformity of type and characteristics can only come through in-breeding and line-breeding and the practice of consanguinity in horses does not decrease size.

A striking example of how size increased under the most intense in-breeding is furnished by the early Arabian stallion Khaled No. 5, bred by Randolph Huntington, world famous horse breeder of his day. Khaled was 15-3 1/2 hands high, his dam Naomi was 15-2, his sire Nimr 15 hands. Naomi’s sire and dam were the desert bred full brother and sister Yataghan and Haidee. [Yataghan and Haidee were later shown not to be brother and sister after all.] Yataghan was 15 hands, Haidee 14-3, yet the daughter raised in England increased in size to 15-2. Naomi, the result of a brother and sister mating, bred back to her grandson Nimr produced Khaled. Study the pedigree and try to recall if you have ever seen a more intense example of in-breeding. The blood of Khaled was the foundation for many early day Arabians in this country, none of which has suffered for lack of size.

Pedigree of an intensely in-bred Arabian —
Chestnut Arabian stallion; foaled 1895 — 15-3 1/2 hands
NIMR 15-1 hands Kismet, db 15 hands
Nazli 15-1 hands Maidan, db 15 hands
Naomi 15 hands Yataghan, db 15 hands
Haidee, db 14-3 hands
NAOMI 15-2 hands Yataghan, db 15 hands
Haidee, db 14-3 hands
db — Desert Bred. All the above Arabians were Red Chestnut.

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.

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.

The Double Registered Arabians

by R.J. Cadranell
from The CMK Record Summer 1989 VIII/I
copyright 1989

In 1791, during the century which saw the writing of great compendiums of knowledge, including Dr. Johnson’s dictionary, James Weatherby published in England what was to become the preliminary volume of The General Stud Book, Containing Pedigrees of Race Horses, &c. &c. From the earliest Accounts… In 1808, after several revisions, appeared the version which has become standard. This documented the pedigrees of a breed of horse which later adopted the name of Thoroughbred. Mr. Weatherby’s stud book demonstrates the Thoroughbred’s descent from numerous Oriental sires and dams. The pedigree of the Thoroughbred stallion ECLIPSE (1764) lists the names of the DARLEY ARABIAN, the LEEDES ARABIAN, the OGLETHORPE ARABIAN, the LISTER TURK, the DARCY YELLOW TURK, the BYERLEY TURK, the GODOLPHIN ARABIAN or Barb, HUTTON’S GREY BARB, and the MOROCCO BARB as ancestors.

The American Stud Book, a.k.a. the Jockey Club Stud Book, first appeared in 1873. Its original complier was S.D. Bruce, and The American Stud Book (ASB) is still the registration authority for Thoroughbreds in this country. Volume I included a chapter for “Imported Arab, Barb and Spanish Horses and Mares.

Weatherbys issued Volume XIII of the General Stud Book (GSB) in 1877. This volume included a new section, roughly one page in length, for Arabian stock recently imported to the U.K. It was the beginning of modern Arabian horse breeding in the English speaking world. In this volume are Arabians which Capt. Roger D. Upton and H.B.M. Consul at Aleppo, Mr. James H. Skene, were involved in importing for Messrs. Sandeman (including YATAGHAN and HAIDEE, the sire and dam of *Naomi) and Chaplin (including the mare KESIA). GSB Volume XIV (1881) registered the earliest of Mr. Wilfrid and Lady Anne Blunt’s importations for their Crabbet Arabian Stud. Skene had provided crucial assistance to the Blunts, too; Wilfrid Blunt later credited Skene with giving him and his wife the idea for the Crabbet Stud (see Archer et.al., The Crabbet Arabian Stud. p. 34). Skene is perhaps the founding father of Arabian horse breeding in the English speaking world. The preface to GSB Volume XIV expressed the hope that the newly imported Arabian stock might, in time, provide the Thoroughbred with a valuable cross back to the original blood from which it had come. This idea had also been behind the thinking of Upton and Skene.

The Blunts subscribed to this view too. The British racing authorities agreed to hold an Arab race at Newmarket in 1884; the outcome was inconclusive, but Blunt wrote that

“the ultimate result, however, was not I think, as far as Arab breeding in England was affected by it, wholly a misfortune. It convinced me that I was on wrong lines in breeding Arabs for speed, and not for those more valuable qualities in which their true excellence lies. Had I continued with my original purpose, I should have lost time and money, and probably have also spoiled my breed, producing stock taller perhaps and speedier, but with the same defects found in the English Thoroughbred.”(see Blunt, Gordon at Khartoum, 2nd ed., London 1912, p. 265)

Although the Blunts gave up the idea of rejuvenating the Thoroughbred with a fresh cross to Arab blood, they continued to register their horses in the Arab section of the GSB, as it was the sole registration authority for Arabian breeding stock in the U.K. GSB registration conferred on the Crabbet horses the advantages of prestige and the eligibility to enter many countries of the world duty free.

Volume IV of The American Stud Book (1884) continued to list Arabian horses imported to America. This volume included the 1879 import *Leopard, the first Arabian brought to America to leave Arabian descent here. The Arabian section in ASB VI (1894) included the imported horses (all from the GSB) of the early breeders Huntington and Ramsdell.

The mare *Nejdme was the first horse recorded in the Arabian Horse Registry of America Studbook. Foaled in Syria, she is pictured here in 1893 at the Chicago World’s Fair.

ASB VII (1898) listed in the Arab section Huntington and Ramsdell horses, with the addition of Ramsdell’s *SHAHWAN, newly imported from the Crabbet Stud, and his mare *NEJDME (spelled “Nedjme” in ASB) from the Hamidie Society’s exhibit at the Chicago World’s Fair. Also included were a stallion from the deserts of Northern Arabia and two stallions imported from Russia for the Chicago World’s Fair. The pedigree information printed with one of the latter, a horse named BEKBOOLAT, states that his second dam was by an imported English Thoroughbred. His pedigree also includes an Orloff saddle mare. BEKBOOLAT’s inclusion in the Arabian section of the ASB demonstrates that at the time the Jockey Club had a rather loose working definition of the term “Arabian.”

ASB Volumes VIII (1902) and IX (1906) list in the Arabian section no newly imported horses other than those which were bred in England, either at Crabbet or by Miss Dillon or Lord Arthur Cecil, and which therefore arrived in this country with GSB certificates. All GSB registered Arabians were automatically eligible for the ASB.

In October of 1906 the S.S. Italia arrived in America carrying 27 Arabians which Homer Davenport had imported directly from the Anazah tribes in Arabia. The only registration authority for Arabian horses in America was the stud book of the American Jockey Club. Not all the Arab horses in America were listed in the Arab section of the ASB. Huntington appears to have ceased registering with the Jockey Club after 1895. The Crabbet bred *IBN MAHRUSS and his dam *BUSHRA appear not to have had ASB registration. Davenport applied for the registration of his new arrivals.

Details of the ensuing embroilment are exceedingly complex, and the full story has yet to come to light. According to testimony published in “That Arab Horse Tangle” (The Rider and Driver, Vol. XXXVIII, No. 11, June 5, 1909 and No. 12, June 12, 1909), the Jockey Club began by sending to Weatherbys for verification the Arabic certificates which had accompanied the Davenport horses. By 1899, “to counter the overt forgery of pedigrees by dealers… the General Stud Book now accepted only Consular Certificates issued in the port where a horse was exported“(James Fleming, writing in Lady Anne Blunt, Journals and Correspondence, p. 407). After a favorable review from Weatherbys, the papers returned to Alexandretta and Aleppo for consular verification, which they obtained. It seemed as though the Jockey Club was ready to register the Davenport horses when negotiations broke down, and the Jockey Club denied the application. Davenport, whose vocation was the drawing of political cartoons, claimed his unflattering portrayal of Jockey Club chairman August Belmont was the cause of bias.

Davenport reminded people that the Jockey Club already had registered several imported Arabians from the Middle East on the basis of documentation ranging from the flimsy to the non-existent. One such mare, belonging to Peter Bradley, was apparently either *ABBYA or *ZARIFFEY, both described as “Kehilan, sub-strain unknown” in the auction catalog from the Hamidie dispersal. Davenport pointed out that their description was useless for establishing purity of blood, and neither mare appears among the eventual registrations of the Arabian Horse Club. Davenport also publicized the Jockey Club’s acceptance of *BEAMING STAR, an unpedigreed animal which Davenport’s traveling companion Jack Thompson had bought on the dock in Beirut and shipped to America on a boat separate from the Davenport importation.

Though registered by the Jockey Club, none of the above animals appears in the Arabian section of the printed ASB volumes. Also conspicuously absent is one of W.R.Brown’s 1918 imports from Crabbet, *RAMLA. This is perhaps because the registrations of foals, and hence to a certain extent their parents, were based on the annual return of breeding records of mares, as were the registrations in the GSB. Since most Americans will not be acquainted with this format, a typical GSB entry is quoted from Volume XXII(1913), p.l 957:

MABRUKA (Bay), foaled in 1891, by Azrek, out of imp.
Meshura, continued from Vol. XXI, p. 896.
1909 b.f. Munira, by Daoud Crabbet Stud
1910 b.c. by Rijm (died in 1912)
1911 b.f. Marhaba, by Daoud
1912 barren to Ibn Yashmak
1913 not covered in 1912

MARHABA is familiar to American breeders as the dam of the Selby import *MIRZAM (by Rafeef).

Since the Jockey Club refused to cooperate, Davenport joined with other interested Arab horse enthusiasts and formed the Arabian Horse Club (AHC) in 1908. The next year the Arabian Horse Club issued its first stud book, and after certification by the Department of Agriculture, it became the official registration authority for Arabian horses in America. The original 1909 stud book registered 71 Arabians, of which twelve had also appeared in the Arab sections of the ASB volumes published to that date. These horses were therefore “double registered” Arabians.

One Arabian breeder was unimpressed. Though invited to register his horses, Spencer Borden felt no need to do so. His stock imported from England was in the GSB and ASB, the foals he had bred were also in the ASB, and he “did not care to enter them in any other place” (see The Rider and Driver, Vol. XXXVIII, No. 9, May 22, 1909, p. 4). At that point in time, Borden was almost the only one breeding ASB registered Arabians. The registration on the Huntington animals had lapsed, and many of the breeders working with Huntington bloodlines entered their horses in the new AHC stud book. Ramsdell produced an occasional ASB registered foal from one of his *NEJDME mares, but his period of greatest activity as an Arabian breeder had passed. Borden had an effective monopoly on the production of Jockey Club registered Arabians.

Borden’s ultimate goal as a breeder of Arabian horses was to convince the United States Army to use his horses as the basis for an American cavalry stud, producing part-Arab animals for military use. In 1909 he was the only person breeding a significant number of Arabians eligible to the same stud books as Thoroughbreds, and he no doubt saw this as a great advantage.

In 1917, apparently at the insistence of W. R. Brown, Borden relented and “double registered” his horses by entering them in the AHC stud book. Shortly after this, Brown bought out the Borden program, becoming the new monopolizer of double registered stock. In 1918 Brown made a substantial importation from the Crabbet Stud. At the time, Brown’s chief American rival as a breeder was Peter Bradley, whose Hingham Stock Farm had continued to breed the Davenport Arabians after the latter’s death in 1912, as well as horses of Hamidie and one or two other lines. However, Bradley did not breed double registered stock, and the last Arabian foal crop born in Hingham ownership came in 1921.

Brown’s Maynesboro Stud was to enjoy a number of years as the largest Arabian nursery on the continent. He had bought Crabbet bred horses imported by Ames, Borden, and Davenport. He had made his own large importation from that source, followed by a second and much smaller importation from England. He had bought the rest of the Borden herd, which included animals of Dillon, Ramsdell, and Huntington lines. Among the latter was the mare NAZLET, whom Borden had had to register with the Jockey Club himself. Brown also developed a network to keep himself informed of Arabian horses which became available for purchase. After the closeout of the Borden operation and before the 1926 Kellogg importation from Crabbet, Brown was almost the only breeder of double registered stock.

Among the horses Brown’s brother had acquired from the Davenport estate was the 1910 bay stallion JERRED, by the Davenport import *EUPHRATES and out of *NEJDME. Several writers have advanced the theory that JERREDE was not out of *NEDJME, but rather her granddaughter NEJDME III, claiming that Davenport never owned *NEJDME and that the AHC made a mistake in attributing the colt to her. Both Volume 1 (1913) of the AHC stud books and Volume XII of the ASB attribute *NEJDME’s ownership to Davenport, and state unequivocally that JERREDE was her son. Furthermore, as of 1909 NEJDME II (whose sire *OBEYRAN was single registered) was in the ownership of Eleanor Gates in California. Brown was using JERREDE at stud in a limited way, and by 1915 he had begun an effort to accomplish the Jockey Club registration of the Davenport imports *URFAH and her son *EUPHRATES, thus making JERREDE and his get eligible, too. Brown traced a copy of the Arabic document pertaining to *URFAH and *EUPHRATES, secured consular verification of it, and finally had Lady Anne Blunt vouch for its authenticity. The Jockey Club notified Brown of the completion of the registration in 1919. *URFAH and *EUPHRATES appear in ASB XII (1920), on p. 662. Since the credentials of the other Davenport imports were really no different from those of *URFAH and *EUPHRATES, the possibility of double registering them arose. Brown did not want to watch the rest of the Davenport horses ride into the ASB on the coat tails of *URFAH and *EUPHRATES. He insisted that should the Hingham management wish to pursue the matter, the Jockey Club ought to consider the Davenport imports on a case by case basis (see Charles C. Craver III, “At the Beginning,” Arabian Horse News, May, 1974, pp. 97-112). The management at Hingham evidently did not, and the other Davenport animals remained single registered, duly entered in The Arabian Stud Book, but not the Jockey Club Stud Book.

The JERREDE influence endured at Maynesboro only through his daughter DJEMELI (out of Nazlet), dam of MATIH. Other single registered lines from Maynesboro’s early days did not endure, producing their last foals for Brown in 1921. In 1921 and 1922 Brown imported Arabians registered in the French Stud Book, making the last additions to the double-registered gene pool which did not come from the GSB. Brown’s limitation of his breeding stock to double registered animals amounted to a self imposed restriction of his options. Looking from the broadest perspective, that of the development of the breed as a whole in America, Brown’s attitude meant that the separate breeding traditions which Davenport and Borden had established by and large remained separate for another generation. Brown’s horses amounted to a breed within a breed. Since double registration gave his animals an added selling point, Brown and others to follow had a not insignificant economic stake in the matter as well.

Brown made two further importations of Arabian stock to this country: the better known of these is his 1932 importation from Egypt, which included *NASR, *ZARIFE, *RODA, *AZIZA, *H. H. MOHAMED ALI’S HAMIDA, and *H.H.MOHAMED ALI’S HAMAMA. The latter two received their lengthy appellations to distinguish them from Brown’s 1923 import *HAMIDA (Daoud x Hilmyeh) and the mare HAMAMA (Harara x Freda) of Davenport and Hamidie lines. There is evidence to suggest that Carl Raswan helped to steer Brown in the direction of the Egyptian horses. None of the Brown’s 1932 imports appears in the Arab section of the ASB, apparently closed to new non-Thoroughbred registered stock by that time (see below), and since Brown began dispersing his herd shortly after their arrival, it is unclear what use he would have made of them. Brown bred single registered 1934 *NASR foals out of RAAB and BAZRAH. *AZIZA produced the 1935 colt AZKAR, by RAHAS.

Brown also made his own small importation from the desert in 1929. These horses were never registered with either the ASB or AHC. Some believe they never reached this country.

W. K. Kellogg’s importation from the Crabbet Stud in 1926 greatly expanded the base of double registered breeding stock, in terms of numbers and also bloodlines. By that time, the GSB had been closed to newly imported Arabians. The passage of the Jersey Act in 1913 had closed the GSB to Thoroughbreds from other countries, unless they could trace their pedigrees in all lines to animals entered in previous volumes. The 1921 decision did the same thing for Arabians, though one wonders if the death of Lady Anne Blunt in 1917 and the advanced age of her husband, leaving no equal authority, had been an additional factor, making Weatherbys leery of becoming involved in future controversies similar to the one which had surrounded the Davenport horses. Their principal business was the registration of Thoroughbreds, not the verification of the pedigrees of imported Arabians. GSB XXIV (entries through 1920) registered imp. Skowronek, and GSB XXV (through 1924) included imp. DWARKA, the last Arabian added to the GSB gene pool. DWARKA blood had reached America in 1924 in his daughter *ANA. Skowronek blood arrived in the Kellogg shipment of 1926. At about this time the ASB followed suit and ceased to consider imported Arabians not already in the GSB or another Thoroughbred stud book. This established the ASB Arabian gene pool as overlapping that of the GSB with the addition of *EUPHRATES, *NEJDME, and Brown’s French imports. The double registration of the line from *Leopard had not been maintained.

With the advent of manager Herbert Reese in 1927 and the influence of W. R. Brown’s opinions, the management at Kellogg’s came to believe in the importance of double registered stock. Letters in the Kellogg files between Reese and Kellogg indicate that the double registration factor had a major bearing on most aspects of management policy: planning matings, starting young stallions at stud, and the buying and selling of breeding stock. For instance, Reese admired the young sires *FERDIN and FARANA for their conformation, and reminded Kellogg that they had the added advantage of being double registered. Reese made the decision to buy LEILA (El Jafil x Narkeesa) in spite of her status as a single registered mare.

Looking at the Kellogg record from Reese’s arrival in 1927 through 1933, one sees that despite the higher priority attached to double registered stock, the first seven mares Reese purchased and then bred registered foals from had Davenport blood, and that Reese bred more than fifteen foals from double registered mares and single registered stallions. The reason for this is perhaps contained in correspondence between Reese and Kellogg among the Kellogg Ranch Papers. They mention the possibility of registering the ranch’s Davenport stock with the Jockey Club for $50 per head. This writer was unable to locate correspondence to and from the Jockey Club, or any letters explaining why the plan did not come to fruition. Whether Reese and Kellogg, or the Jockey Club, did not follow is not known, but by the summer of 1934 Reese was writing to Kellogg that “…we have eliminated a large percent of the single registered stock” (H.H. Reese to W.K. Kellogg, August 25, 1934). Reese’s last three single registered Kellogg foals out of double registered mares were the 1933 HANAD fillies out of *FERDISIA, *RIFDA, and RAAD. Thereafter, he put Jockey Club mares to Jockey Club stallions only. The fortunes of Davenport blood at the Kellogg Ranch declined as many, but by no means all, Davenport and part Davenport horses were sold. Well known double registered Arabians bred at the Kellogg Ranch include ABU FARWA, FERSEYN, SIKIN, RIFNAS, NATAF, RONEK, SUREYN, and ROSEYNA. Later writers had an unfair tendency to bolster the reputation of these horses at the expense of the ranch’s single registered stock.

As Maynesboro began to break up in the early 1930s, the greatest concentrations of Maynesboro stock accumulated at Kellogg’s, J. M. Dickinson’s, and W. R. Hearst’s. All three breeders continued to double register their horses. Together with the Selby Stud, which had acquired the bulk of its foundation stock from Crabbet, these studs were the principal breeders of double registered Arabians in the 1930’s, and among the largest breeders of Arabian horses in general.

The other major player was Albert Harris, who had bought his first Arabians from Davenport. His foundation sire NEJDRAN JR. and mares SAAIDA and RUHA were all single registered. Harris later added the Davenport import *EL BULAD, a stallion he had tried for years to buy from Bradley before he at last convinced him to sell, according to a letter from Harris among the Kellogg Ranch Papers. Other single registered Harris foundation mares included the Hingham bred MORFDA, MERSHID, and MEDINA. Most of the Harris Arabians were single registered, but he also bred from *ANA, a double registered mare he had imported from England, and a number of double registered mares from Maynesboro: OPHIR, NANDA, *SIMAWA, NIHT, NIYAF, BAZVAN, and MATIH. Harris imported the double registered stallion *NURI PASHA from England in 1924, and had his first ASB registered foals born the next year. With an occasional lapse, Harris proved amazingly conscientious about breeding his few double registered mares to double registered stallions. From 1925 through 1941, Harris bred 38 double registered foals, and only 5 foals from Jockey Club mares and single registered stallions. His Jockey Club mares almost always went to KATAR (Gulastra x *Simawa), *NURI PASHA, KEMAH (*Nuri Pasha x Nanda), KAABA, or KHALIL (both *Nuri Pasha x Ophir) rather than Harris’s single registered sires like NEJDRAN JR., ALCAZAR (Nejdran Jr. x Rhua), and *SUNSHINE. From 1925 through 1931, Harris distinguished his double registered foals by giving them names beginning with the letter “K,” among them the stallions named above. He later abandoned the system: three single registered foals of 1932 and 1934 also got “K” names, and beginning in 1935 virtually all Harris bred horses got names beginning with the letter “K.” In 1942 and 1943 (the last two years in which the Jockey Club registered Arabians as Thoroughbred horses), Harris-owned double registered mares produced five more foals, all by Jockey Club stallions. For some reason, these appear only in the AHC stud book, and not the ASB.

General Dickinson’s farm, Traveler’s Rest, also appears to have used double registration as a guide for making decisions. Most of Dickinson’s double registered horses had come from Brown. Dickinson bred 65 double registered foals born from 1931 through 1942. (Two additional foals, ISLAM and BINNI, were from double registered parents but do not appear in the Arab section of the ASB.) Only 17 Traveler’s Rest foals from the same period were by single registered stallions and out of Jockey Club mares. This seems to indicate that the consideration of double registration had a major effect on breeding decisions at Traveler’s Rest. Jockey Club registered mares were more likely to go to GULASTRA, RONEK, JEDRAN, KOLASTRA, or BAZLEYD than *NASR, *ZARIFE, or *CZUBUTHAN. The matter was of sufficient importance to Dickinson that his catalogs indicate which of his horses carried ASB registration. The consideration may have had a bearing on Dickinson’s decision to sell the Davenport stallion ANTEZ to Poland. Famous double registered Arabians bred by J. M. Dickinson include ROSE OF LUZON, NAHARIN, GINNYYA, CHEPE NOYON, HAWIJA, BRIDE ROSE, GYM-FARAS, and ALYF.

At Selby’s, aside from ten foals out of the single registered mares MURKA, SLIPPER, CHRALLAH, and ARSA, the exception was *MIRAGE. Lady Wentworth, daughter of the Blunts, had taken charge of Crabbet in 1920, and bought this desert bred stallion at Tattersalls in 1923. The 1924 Crabbet Catalog relates that Lady Wentworth was waiting for the completion of additional paperwork regarding his provenance before incorporating *MIRAGE into the Crabbet herd. The writer does not know the outcome of the paperwork, but in 1921 the GSB had closed to imported Arabians, as noted above. Weatherbys registration was of the utmost importance to Lady Wentworth, and unable to induce the GSB to reopen for *MIRAGE, she sold the horse to Roger Selby in 1930.

Britain’s Arab Horse Society (AHS) had formed in 1918 and issued its first stud book the following year; it stood ready to register imported Arabians after the closing of the GSB. However, Lady Wentworth had had a disagreement with the Arab Horse Society, and had ceased to register her horses in its stud book after the 1922 foals. Somewhat like Borden before her, she felt that GSB registration was all her horses needed. It was not until after the War that she rejoined the Society, so *MIRAGE does not appear among AHS registrations.

Selby’s showed little reluctance to breed *MIRAGE and his son IMAGE to double registered mares. The *MIRAGE daughters RAGEYMA and GEYAMA went into the Selby mare band. Of the 64 AHC registered Selby foals born to double registered mares from 1932 to 1943, 28 were by *MIRAGE or IMAGE. However, the management at Selby’s took double registration seriously enough that all eligible Selby foals appear in the Arabian section of the ASB, with the inexplicable exceptions of FRANZA (*Mirzam x *Rose of France) and RASMIAN (*Selmian x *Rasmina). Apparently ineligible was NISIM. NISIM was originally registered as the 1940 grey foal of two chestnuts, namely IMAGE and NISA. After the coat color incompatibility became apparent, the AHC changed the sire to *Raffles. The 1940 entry under NISA in the ASB reads, “covered previous year by an unregistered,” which was standard ASB notation for single registered Arabian stallions used on double registered mares. Famous double registered Arabians bred by Roger Selby include RASRAFF, RAFMIRZ, INDRAFF, SELFRA, and MIRZAIA.

The only Arabian sire getting registered Arabian foals in the first two crops of W. R. Hearst’s stud was the 75% Davenport stallion JOON. By 1935, when the third crop was on the ground, the program had expanded to include the Davenport stallion KASAR and the Crabbet import *FERDIN. The Hearst program was growing rapidly with purchases from the Kellogg Ranch and the disbanding Maynesboro Stud. All of the Maynesboro horses were double registered, but some of the Kellogg purchases were horses with Davenport pedigrees. The Hearst Sunical Land and Packing Corp. began producing double registered Arabian foals in 1936. From that year through 1943, it bred 56 double registered foals, and only five foals from Jockey Club mares and single registered stallions. The key Jockey Club sires at Hearst’s were RAHAS, GULASTRA, GHAZI, and REHAL, all bred at Maynesboro, and the homebred ROABRAH (Rahas x Roaba). Hearst’s also owned and used the Davenport stallions KASAR and his son ANSARLAH, but restricted them in large part to their single registered mares: ANLAH, SCHILAN, LADY ANNE (daughters of Antez), RAADAH (by Hanad), ALILATT (Saraband x Leila), RASOULMA (*Raseyn x *Malouma), and FERSABA (out of the Davenport mare Saba). The other single registered sire at Hearst’s was JOON, but after the management decided to use double registration as a criterion for planning the breeding schedule, apparently the only mare he ever saw was ANTAFA (Antez x *Rasafa). The Davenport influence at Hearst’s, as at Kellogg’s and Harris’s, would likely have been far greater had double registration not been an issue.

Other breeders double registering Arabian foals during the years 1934-1943 included Fred Vanderhoof (from *Ferda and *Bint), E. W. Hassan (from Ghazil), L. P. Sperry (from *Kola and Larkspur), Donald Jones (from Nejmat), C. A. West (from Bazvan), Ira Goheen (from Hurzab and Kokab), L. S. Van Vleet (from *Rishafieh, Raffieh, Selfra, Gutne, and Ishmia), and R. T. Wilson (from Matih). Their combined total of double registered foals was minor compared to the five farms discussed above, but it demonstrates that the concern with double registration and its effect on management policy were not confined to a select group of breeders. At Van Vleet’s, for instance, the Jockey Club mares were more likely to go to KABAR (Kaaba x *Raida) than *ZARIFE.

Until fairly recently, the Arabian Horse Club was inconsistent in assigning the breedership of foals to the owner of the dam at time of covering. Sometimes the breedership of a foal was attributed to the owner at time of foaling. The latter seems to have been the Jockey Club definition of “breeder,” and as a result the breeders of several familiar Arabians differ from ASB to AHC. RABIYAS, e.g., was bred by W. R. Brown according to The Arabian Stud Book and by the W. K. Kellogg Institute according to the ASB.

Some Arabians are in the ASB under a different name. Many of these amount to minor spelling variations, as in the case of HAWIJA (spelled “Hasijah” in ASB). Some take the form of the addition or subtraction of a prefix or suffix. DANAS is “Danas Maneghi” in the ASB, while *CRABBET SURA is “Sura.” Sometimes a numeral was added or subtracted. *Raffles is in the ASB as “*Raffles 2nd,” as there was apparently a Thoroughbred by that name. The mare *NARDA II is in the GSB and the 1906 Crabbet catalog as “Narda,” the numeral apparently added to distinguish her from an American Thoroughbred of the same name. In her case it carried over to her Arabian stud book registration. A few have entirely different names, e.g. RIFDA who is “Copper Cloud” in the Jockey Club Stud Book.

The last Arabians which the Jockey Club registered as Thoroughbred horses were 1943 foals. By the late 1950s, most newer breeders were not even aware that at one time there had been two categories of registered Arabians in America. Very few living Arabians in America show straight Jockey Club pedigrees; this writer estimates fewer than 1%. Among them one would have to include those horses bred from GSB registered Crabbet and Hanstead lines imported from the U.K. in recent decades. The GSB continued to register Arabians through the foals of 1964 and this function helped to a certain extent to hold the older English Arabian lines together as a breeding unit.

The issue of double registration had a controlling influence over the development of the Arabian breed in America. Until the early 1940s, all new breeders had to decide if Jockey Club Arabians were important to them, and if so, to what extent. The double registration factor goes a long way toward explaining why Davenport mare lines were more frequently top-crossed to Crabbet stallions than ASB mare lines were top-crossed to Davenport stallions. The double registration idea continued to influence after 1943, but one cannot know exactly how many breeders based decisions on the possibility of the Jockey Club reopening the ASB to Arabians. Readers are encouraged to examine the pedigrees of their own horses to find breedings selected possibly with double registration in mind.

[A final note regarding Jockey Club registered Arabians pertains to the use of the asterisk(*) to denote an Arabian horse imported to this country. Its first use as such in a printed stud book was in ASB Volume X (1910). The Jockey Club also used the symbol to denote imported Thoroughbreds. It was not until Volume IV (1939) that the Arabian registry adopted its use, though it has recently abandoned it. Arabians imported after June 1, 1983 no longer receive an asterisk as part of their registered names in this country. However, the symbol continues to delight advertisers and pedigree writers; there are no restrictions on its use in these contexts.]

The San Simeon Stallions, 1937: from left JOON, RAHAS, SABAB, GULASTRA, KASAR and GHAZI. Is it a coincidence that they were posed so that the single-registered horses alternated with double-registered ones?
Photo courtesy Harriet Hallonquist.

“Leopard” and “Linden”, General Grant’s Arabian Stallions







by Randolph Huntington


All my life, or for fifty years I had desired to see and examine genuine Arabian horses, such as I could know to a certainty were strictly thoroughbred Arabians. That they were rare indeed in any country I knew.

Writers upon them were very superficial, being mostly tourists or travellers, interested in geographical matters, or in the people, customs, and relics, with traditional associations, seldom if ever being horsemen, capable of judging with just comparison, if I except Sir Wilfrid S. Blunt, of England, who, as an equine investigator of remarkable ability, in company with his wife lived with the Arabs of the desert for that express purpose, and to whom I am indebted for very much valuable information upon the subject.

Different Presidents of the United States, also Secretaries of State, have at various periods received splendid horses as presents from Arabia or Turkey; the last President receiving such a gift previous to General Grant being, I believe, James K. Polk. In 1860 the late William H. Seward, while Secretary of State, had two fine specimens sent to him from Syria; but after the novelty of their arrival wore off, none could tell what had become of them, while those loudest in condemnation or ridicule of Arabian horses could neither say they had ever seen one, nor speak with personal knowledge of the get by any thoroughbred Arabian stallion. In the matter of ex-Secretary Seward’s Arabians, while many were ready to condemn, few could remember having seen them; nor could any one point me to the get of either horse upon which to base credit or discredit.

Persistent inquiry, oral and by letter, after five or six years’ time, gave me the first and last of Seward’s two Arab horses, now dating back twenty-five years; and the information I obtained may soon startle such as are interested in “time standard” breeding rather than blood. Suffice it to say, however, that this information determined me to become personally interested in the two Arabian stallions presented to General Grant.

As General U.S. Grant outranked in the estimation of the people of the world any representative man America had produced, both as General-in-Chief of the victorious American army and as the unanimously re-elected President of our great Republic, it is but natural to suppose the Sultan of Turkey would honor himself and his Empire by presenting to the General the very choicest specimens of their idolized horses, the Arabian.

At the time of their arrival in this country I was compiling a work devoted to Old Henry Clay, to be entitled a “History of Henry Clay;” and for the purpose of having correct sketches of representative sons and daughters of the horse, had engaged Herbert S. Kittredge (since deceased), whom in 1876 I had encouraged to make horse portraiture his profession. Young Kittredge resided with me, as did later Andrew J. Schultz, who was to study under him.

When General Grant’s Arabians were thoroughly recovered from their voyage and acclimated, I sent Kittredge to sketch them, as frontispieces to my “Clay History.” also illustrative of blood influences; Henry Clay being a third remove from the Arabian upon the paternal side, and largely inbred to that blood maternally through imported Messenger, First Consul, and Rockingham, all of which were of Godolphin Arabian blood, and Messenger himself was inbred to it.

Young Kittredge’s success was wonderful. I presented copies of his sketches to General Grant, to General E.F. Beale, to Paymaster-General J. Adams Smith, and to Hon. Erastus Corning, also to one or two other gentlemen friends whom I believed trustworthy.

General Grant pronounced them “perfect to life.”

General E.F. Beale wrote me:

“I return you my thanks for the pictures of Leopard and Linden. They are the best horse pictures I have ever seen, and are the most faithful likenesses, being great credit to the gifted and talented Kittredge.

“Very truly yours,
“Lafayette Square, Washington, D.C.”

As General E.F.Beale received the stallions and kept them at his place, “Ash Hill,” near Washington, for three years, he was a competent critic of Kittredge’s work. In a similar manner wrote Paymaster-General J. Adams Smith, of the United States Navy. General Smith being an expert horseman, and long having Grant’s Arabs in charge, his opinion is of equal value. Then again, Major J.K.Levitt, for fifty years known in Philadelphia as an expert horseman and judge of horses, pronounced the two sketches by H.S.Kittredge as the most perfect likenesses of the two stallions which he had at any time seen of any horses. Mr. Levitt was the man who first received the stallions to exhibit, which he did for three months after their arrival.

I am particular in quoting these criticisms upon my sketches as exhibited in this book, because I have seen numerous prints and photographs purporting to represent General Grant’s Arabian stallions, no one of which has been the least like them. My sketches are the horses to life, upon paper: and the proofs sent me by Messrs. J.B. Lippincott Company, of Philadelphia, were such excellent reproductions that I intrusted the publication of my work to them.


Early in May, 1885, I received a letter from a gentleman, introducing himself as a personal friend of General Grant and his family and, as such, requesting that I give him a transcript of my papers pertaining to the General’s Arabian stallions; as to their shipment from Constantinople, date of shipment, name of vessel, commander, port of entry and date of arrival, also consignment; referring me to General Grant or either of his sons as to himself. By the next mail another letter came from the same gentleman asking permission to publish extracts from my private letters to General Grant and his son Ulysses regarding the two stallions, and my stallions by them; also asking pictures of my young horses by Leopard and Linden.

While the refinement and courtesy of this gentleman’s letter was such as to assure me of his good intent, I felt obliged to decline his request. As pirating of my expensive sketches, with plagiarism of my public writings, had been the order of the day for the past three years, I had grown recluse.

Upon reflection, and knowing the condition of General Grant, I felt that it might be some pleasure to him to see in print the information I had obtained; also the result of my experiments in breeding to his two stallions; hence I wrote two articles, which appeared during the months of May and June, 1885, in “Dunton’s Spirit of the Turf,” published at Chicago, and in the “California Breeder and Sportsman.”


I will now devote my pen to the two horses Leopard and Linden Tree. The two names as I give them are the English translation of the Turkish; but in speaking of them, the word Tree is left off, making the names as given the two stallions, Leopard and Linden.

These two stallions arrived in this country May 30, 1879. They were first heard of in Philadelphia, where they were exhibited in General Grant’s name.

Early in the spring of 1880 I went to Washington, D.C., to see and to examine them, also to learn if I could breed to them.

General E.F.Beale, a lifelong true and warm friend of General Grant, also a great horse-lover, had the two horses upon his beautiful farm “Ash Hill,” just outside the city, and near to the Soldiers’ Home.

Unfortunately, General Beale was in California, looking after his large interests upon the Pacific; but I learned that Paymaster J. Adams Smith, of the Navy Department, had the Arabs in charge, and was also a most thoroughly informed horseman. I called at the naval Pay-Office, found the officer disengaged, and enjoyed a long and interesting conversation with him upon Arabian as well as other horses in the East, and all over the world in fact, for they seemed to have been a special study with him at every port he had visited.

It may surprise some of our so-called horse-breeders that a naval officer, who had spent most of his days at a naval academy or on board ship, should be better informed than some professional breeders upon land; but I have found it to be frequently the case with both naval and army officers. Men are born with the breeder’s gift, and no matter what their calling may be, that gift is there, waiting only the opportunity for development.

Thus, Paymaster Smith was born with this gift, which had been cultivated somewhat in boyhood; then through years of observation, with comparison in the mind, at different ports of the world, he had stored away information far richer than that of men delving a lifetime in “one rut,” with one idea, “upon one side of the fence.”

A breeder should be a liberally-educated man, and by nature a worker, which unfortunately few are. He should be a physical worker, also a mental worker, withal a thinker; and my word for it, there is not one moment for play or recreation, scarce even for social conversation.

Some of my very best correspondents upon the questions of animal life in years gone by have been officers in the army and navy.

The question of blood and breeding in horses, cattle, sheep, and dogs is of importance to all civilized nations, which these men know; and where a naval officer is interested, his opportunities for information are rare indeed. Naval officers, as a rule, are some of our best-educated men. The system of mental training in the navy tends to make strong-minded men with retentive memories. their restriction to confinement, I may say, in connection with study, breeds and encourages deep thought with after-reflection. Graduating from a naval academy, they visit by schooling-ships the different distant ports of the world, cultivating observation and memory. Curiosity prompts comparison, and the most important mental faculty, memory, is constantly worked. Cultivation of the three traits, observation, comparison, and memory, after the young mind and habits have been trained and cultured (refined), enhances the quality of the growing man, all being at any moment successfully applied to development of any special gift possessed, aside from the maybe forced legitimate calling. Thus, the merchant, the doctor, the lawyer, or the mechanic can become a successful breeder if he has the breeder’s gift; and his mental culture, with trained system, will give him a wonderful advantage over the yeoman who hates “book learning.”

Paymaster (later Paymaster-General U.S.N.) Smith was by instinct a breeder and handler of horses; or, as the saying is, “was all horse” when not otherwise engaged. He was a splendid driver, and superior to most landsmen in the saddle; indeed, I considered General Beale fortunate in being able to leave General Grant’s Arabians in charge of so able a gentleman, during his trip to California. Remember, this was the spring of 1880, and the horses had been at “Ash Hill” only since the fall of 1879.

I was impatient to see the Arabs; so after dinner Paymaster Smith ordered his light wagon, and as I write I think of that delightful ride to “Ash Hill.” Arriving there, the smiling, happy-faced little darkies greeted us with “massa” dis and “massa” dat, as in the old days, the happiest of my life.

In front of the stables, upon a beautiful table-land overlooking acres of meadow pasturage, with scattered barns and hay-ricks, was a level spot of close, fine turf, splendid to show horses upon. Upon this the colored groom Addison led out first the Arab Leopard. He was a beautiful dapple-gray, fourteen and three-quarter hands high; his symmetry and perfectness making him appear much taller. As he stood looking loftily over the meadows below, I thought him the most beautiful horse I had ever seen. With nostrils distended and eyes full of fire, I could imagine he longed for a run upon his desert home. Addison gave him a play at the halter, showing movements no horse in the world can equal but the thoroughbred Arabian. He needed no quarter-boots, shin-boots, ankle-boots, scalping-boots, or protections of any kind; and yet the same movements this Arabian went through would have blemished every leg and joint upon an American trotting-horse, even though he had been able to attempt the to him impossible activity.

He was now brought to a stand-still that I might examine him; not cocked on one leg, pointed in another, or straddled, as our horses would be after such violent exercise, but bold and erect on all fours, as when first led out.

I began at his head. The ear was very small and fine, much as Old Henry Clay had. The muzzle was small and fine, the mouth handsome, and lips very thin, as were the nostrils. Between the eyes he was full and broad, while the eyes themselves were large, brilliant, and of the speaking kind. I lifted the lids, and they, too, were thin and delicate, not coarse and heavy, as in our big-mouthed, thick-lipped, long, heavy-eared American horse. The jowls were very deep, but wide between (so much condemned in Henry Clay). The windpipe was large and free, running low into the breast. The neck was beautifully arched, giving the impression of a thin crest, which I expected to find, from numerous writers’ reports. Imagine my surprise when, upon running my hand from between the ears down, I found a big, thick, hard crest, as if a three-or even four-inch new cable-rope were inside. This was exactly such a crest as was in Old Henry Clay, which lopped over like a bag of meal with old age; and I remembered having an old Messenger stallion, years ago, with exactly such a crest, which, falling over in the same way with age, was a great torment to my pride. How I do punish myself in these days, to think of the green sheep-pelt sweats I gave this noble old Messenger stallion to get the crest so it would stay up in place! Verily, boys and young men are fools, but they do not know it.

Well, Leopard and his groom, Addison, remained perfectly still until I had run my hands over every part of the horse’s body, from the tips of his ears to the bottom of his feet, even to examining the texture of his skin or hide, to see if it contained any spots. No more perfect animal ever lived than General Grant’s Arabian stallion Leopard.

Now for his gaits. I had Addison lead him on the walk to and from me, say a distance of two or three hundred feet, that I might see the position of the feet in walking. There was no twisting behind, nor paddle in front, but straight, clean, elastic stepping. I now had him pass me at the side, that I might see his knee, also hock and stifle action. From the walk I had him moved upon the trot, and at either walk or trot every movement was perfect. The knee-action was beautiful: not too much, as in toe-weighted horses, nor stiff and staky, as in the English race-horse, but graceful and elastic, beautifully balanced by movement in the hock and stifle. To make Leopard a very fast trotting-horse nothing was wanting but the training from colthood, as is done with our colts of to-day. One thing we should gain by training such a colt as Leopard was, and that would be in the saving of boots with other mechanical contrivances. I could but say to myself, truly, “God has made all things perfect.”

I have been accustomed to handling stallions for the past thirty years, hence look first for the disposition. At this time Leopard’s disposition was excellent, or, as ladies would say, “lovely!” and “sweet!” Twice this horse has taken the first premium at the “National Horse Show of America” over his stable companion Linden.

Linden Tree (or Linden, for short) was now led out. This horse has been called a “jet-black” by some papers, which was a mistake never corrected by such journals. At that time, the spring of 1880, Linden was a beautiful, smooth, blue-gray, which this summer of 1885 has changed to a white-gray.
Linden Tree
In height he is the same as Leopard, fourteen and three-quarter hands, which is the usual height of the thoroughbred Arabian.

In build he was more compact than Leopard, being deeper and broader; of more substance, but with just as clean and fine limbs as Leopard had. The limbs, joints, and feet of both horses were perfect. The fetlocks could not be found; there were none. The warts at point of ankle were wanting, and the osselets were very small. Large, coarse osselets show cold, mongrel blood. The crest of the neck in Linden was thick and hard, the same as in Leopard. This fact will astonish some fancy horsemen, who are let to believe that a thin crest is evidence of fine breeding. My experience of late years is that a thin crest belongs to a long-bodied, flat horse, of soft constitution.

When Job said the “neck of the horse was clothed with thunder,” he had reference to the Arabian horse. As the shoulder possesses the greatest strength in a horse, it is reasonable to believe the neck, to which it is joined, should have strength in harmony therewith; and this bold, stout crest of the Arab was just as God wanted it. The mane in both horses was very fine and silky, falling over so as to cause one to believe the crest was a knife-blade, with blade up, for thinness. The head of Linden was the counterpart of Leopard in all ways; as in fine, thin muzzle, lips and nostrils; also small, fine, beautiful ears, thin eyelids; deep, wide jowls, etc.; but the face looked much older, although Linden was a year younger than Leopard.

There were two reasons for this difference in the countenance: First, the depression over the eyes in Linden was greater, which feature is said often to indicate advanced years in sire and dam when the foal was got. This would be evidence that the blood of Linden was very choice, for all breeders wish to get from their choicest-bred animals as long as is possible, even to extreme old age: and some of the finest horses I have ever seen have been produced by dams thirty-six and one thirty-eight years old. If I did not know these to be facts I would not repeat them in this book.

To intensify the effect of depression over the eyes in Linden were large black markings or rings around them, which at a little distance made him look at this time very old; with me, from what I now knew of Arabian horses, these marks intensified his blood value. I quote from Sir Wilfrid S. Blunt, in Lady Anne Blunt’s beautiful work entitled The Bedouin Tribes of the Euphrates:

“These black markings are held by the Arabs of the desert as evidence that the animal is of the thoroughbred Bint El Ahwaj breed, descending from the children of Ishmael, and from which breed came the Godolphin Arabian, and which Godolphin Arabian was in part founder of the French Percheron horse, also of the best strains of the English thoroughbred running-horse; and to which Godolphin Arabian imported Messenger was three times close bred, and very close at that in both sire and dam. Of course Arabian statements are traditionary, but facts in that country go strongly to support their traditions. This breed of which I am speaking, identified by the black markings around the eyes, are also known as the Kehilans, from these markings having the appearance of being painted with kohl, after the fashion of the Arab women; hence the desert name of Kehilans.

“The name of Kochlani is credited to King Solomon’s stud, but they have a breed in Persia by this name, which, although they are Arabian horses are impure.”

From all I have been able to learn from abroad, it is most likely that the two horses represent the two thoroughbred breeds of “Kehilan” and “Kochlani,” the two choicest of the desert.

I have tried to impress the reader with the feeling that I considered Linden the better horse of the two, and will give my reasons.

During the inspection of the Sultan’s choicest horses, General Grant, who had an excellent eye, with judgment, expressed great admiration for the beautiful colt Leopard, and it was presented to him by the Sultan. Of course General Grant did not understand the Turkish or Arabic language, and could not comprehend any breeding given to him. His choice or selection had been entirely governed by superior beauty with wonderful perfection in the colt. After having presented Leopard to the General, the Sultan desired to make a special present of his own selection; and holding General Grant in the highest possible esteem as General-in-Chief of the victorious United States army under him, and also knowing him to have been twice President of this great American people, the Sultan would naturally have an individual as well as a national pride that his special present should be the best possible specimen of blood and breeding to be had through his power; and he knew what General Grant could not understand, that Linden represented blood which time would prove of more excellence than in Leopard. Under the circumstances, does any man suppose the Sultan would insult himself and his power by presenting an inferior selection to General Grant’s necessarily ignorant choice? Every breeder can understand this argument from selections made by gentlemen fanciers from stock he has bred and raised. It is pretty hard work to tell a gentleman who at first sight “knows it all” that he knows very little; but General Grant was not of that class, to assume knowledge. Since arrival in this country, the superior beauty and grace of Leopard has had a tendency to dwarf Linden in public opinion, encouraged through the influence of printer’s ink. He has been credited with being vicious, which the newspapers were very noisy about at one time, in and over a suit brought against General Grant for keeping such a horse.

During the early spring and summer of 1880, also in 1881, I handled the two stallions many times in and out of their boxes at “Ash Hill,” at which time I had my mares there to breed, but never at any moment considered Linden vicious. I knew that he was all horse, and that as a stallion his disposition needed watching and nursing with a kind but firm hand. Petulant words, with habitual scolding, makes many a stallion ugly; and many a groom is more at fault than the brute. Arabian stallions are very sensitive to words, quickly appreciating the kind, cheerful good-morning. The human voice has a wonderful influence over the brute, and cross, ugly words they will in time resent.

As I have remarked, I put these two stallions through their gaits many times, finding Linden the best at walk or at trot, because more even and steady.

At the “National Horse Show” in New York City, I have said Leopard was twice awarded a first premium over Linden, to which by individual comparison he was entitled.

The judge who would pronounce otherwise before four or five thousand people would be called very incompetent: but looks are deceptive.

I bred six mares to these two Arabian stallions in 1880 and 1881, getting three horse colts and one filly. I selected kindred blood as found in Old Henry Clay’s daughters and inbred granddaughters. I handled the foals from the time they were born. Three were by Linden and one by Leopard. Not one of them is ugly or inclined to be vicious. All are broken, and not one has at any time offered to kick or to strike, although the dams of each one were high-strung, high-tempered mares, two of them particularly so. I found these Arab colts, while very small, required different treatment from mongrels, hence haltered and handled them myself up to this present time, in and about the stable, for that is the place the disposition is improved or spoiled. When two years old, my daughter could drive the son of Leopard anywhere, for he was fearless and reliable.

I will now speak particularly of the colors of Arabian horses. I have before said that one of General Grant’s stallions had been reported through a leading daily paper as “jet-black.” Hundreds who read that, will believe it and report it for fifty years to come, until it becomes traditional. It is a bad mistake, as a black Arabian is an unusual color, and denotes inferiority. I will quote again from Sir W.S.Blunt:

“Bay with black points, and with generally a white foot, or two or three white feet, and a snip or blaze down the face, are prominent among the Anazeh or Bint El Ahwaj breed. Grays are also common, then chestnut of different shades. The spotted, or piebald, or parti-colored horses are unknown among the pure Arabs. The pure white is very highly prized.”

At birth, the gray horse is black; and the true black horse is born of a brown shade. In the first moulting, the proper color shows itself to the breeder. the dapple-gray will carry a black coat into the second and third moulting, the black hairs always shedding first, so that the novice is frequently puzzled to tell what colored horse he is to have at maturity. The blue-gray grows to a white gray, but the dapple-gray holds its distinctive color longest, as a rule.

Having bred my mares to General Grant’s Arabs in the spring of 1880, I became quite anxious to know all particulars relating to them, lest in future days some as yet unborn writer should tell his readers that General Grant’s horses were genuine imported Barbs, or maybe Andalusian horses, when any old man knowing to the contrary would be disputed into silence. The pedigrees of our horses credit Arabian blood frequently in some of the fastest and most valued animals; but attempt to unravel such breedings, and one lands among the “said to be’s,” which is not the case in England, or in Russia, or in France. They breed thoroughbreds of various kinds, and tell you how they are bred to a certainty; while with us, the time standard for the present generation settles it all, in which blood is of no value except in the black article known as printers’ ink.

In fifteen years after Seward’s Arabs were imported, any authentic information as to their blood and breeding, their whereabouts, or their get, was a difficult matter to get at. The same was the case with those of James K. Polk, and so it has been in many instances where I have investigated. If Arabian blood was of value to England, to France, and to Russia, so it could be to America, for certainly we have not the self-sustaining types in horses to do credit to any civilized country as have the nations cited. Should we export our present horses?

Having obtained all I could from Paymaster Smith, I awaited General E.F.Beale’s return from California. From him I did not get what I wanted. I then wrote to General Grant himself, and give below his reply.

    “Long Branch, N.J., July 28, 1882.


    “DEAR SIR, — About my Arabian horses, I cannot answer all your questions, but what I know I will give you.

    “I was in Constantinople in March, 1878, and visited the Sultan, and with him his stables.

    “All of his horses were of the most approved and purest blood (and there were about seventy horses in the stables I visited). I was told that the pedigrees of all of them ran back from five to seven hundred years (in breed).

    “Two of the horses that I then saw were sent to me as a present from the Sultan by the first steamer directly to the United States from that port. I do not know the name of the steamer, nor the date of its departure or arrival. They (the horses) were consigned to General E.F.Beale, of Washington City, who can probably inform you upon those points. Leopard was five years old when I first saw him, and Linden four, I think. I am certain as to the age of the first, and think I am right about the age of the second. The fact of these horses being from the Sultan’s own private stables, and being a present from him as an appreciation of our country among the nations of the earth, is the best proof of the purity of their blood.

“Very truly yours,

“U. S. GRANT.”

I now knew that neither General Grant, General Beale, nor Paymaster-General Smith could give me the identifying facts I wanted for fifty years hence.

I remembered hearing my cousin, Mrs Dr. Anderson, of New Haven, Connecticut, say to me one day while visiting there, that General Grant had two horses arrive at that port by a foreign vessel, and that they were said to be Arabians. Upon which she went to the Doctor’s desk and took out some nails his blacksmiths had given him when they removed the shoes to re-shoe the stallions.

As these remarks were incidental with other subjects at the time, I paid no special attention to them; but memory often comes to our help, so I addressed a letter to William D. Anderson, M.D., New Haven, Connecticut, and below give his reply:


    “DEAR SIR, — I would say in reply that the Arabian stallions for General Grant were shod by my blacksmiths, Messrs. Palmer & Bishop, in this city of New Haven, Connecticut, on May 31 1879; that they (the horses) having arrived the day before direct from Constantinople by the steamer Norman Monarch, Dunscomb, commander. The steamer at that time was chartered to freight cartridges, guns, etc, to Turkey, from the Winchester Arms Company in this city.

    “She (the Norman Monarch) made the trip direct, entering and clearing at this port. My blacksmith went on board and removed the shoes from the horses, then took the stallions to his shop, where they were re-shod and kept in his stables until delivered to Mr. J.K.Levitt, of the Blue Bell, Darby Road, Philadelphia, Pa., and from where he exhibited them until delivered to General E.F. Beale at Washington City, for account of General U.S.Grant.

“Truly yours,


“NEW HAVEN, CONN., August, 1882.”

I next called upon Major J.K.Levitt, of Philadelphia, who told me that in June, 1879, while driving a race at the Belmont Park, Mr. Edwards called upon him with a despatch from General Beale, requesting that he should go with Mr. Edwards to New Haven for two weeks at Suffolk Park, then at their fair, which association paid him for the exhibit. Next the fair at Dover, Delaware, gave him two hundred dollars and expenses to exhibit there. He then exhibited them a week at the Washington, D.C., Agricultural Fair; then at the fair at Alexandria, Virginia. Next at the fair at Cumberland, West Virginia, and lastly at the Doylestown Fair of Pennsylvania.

It now being late in the fall of 1879, Major Levitt ceased to care for the horses, delivering them into the possession of General E.F. Beale at Washington, D.C., to remain.

I have been particular in following up these two Arabian stallions presented to General Grant. I deemed their blood of important value to us. I would not condemn such breeders as ridicule Arabians, but would ask questions.

If Arabian blood is of no value, why does England go back in her records to so many importations of Arabian horses to create and sustain her national thoroughbred running-horse? Why does Russia take pride in referring to her Orloff trotting-horse as of Arabian origin? Why does France, through government statistics, show that her famous Percheron draught-horse is moulded from the pliable blood of the Arabian?

When men condemn Arabian horses, let them cease to extol Messenger, Diomed, Duroc, American Eclipse, Sir Archy, Boston, or Lexington, each of which owed its greatness to Arabian blood ; Diomed and Messenger being, as the reader knows, close-bred to the Arabian, and Messenger, which name has been the mouth-piece for our breeders and horsemen for seventy-five years, was three times inbred to the Godolphin Arabian.

A digitization of the entire book can be found at: http://hdl.handle.net/2027/nyp.33433000743835

Arabian Blood For Stamina Part I

Articles of History:


Keene Richards’ Own Account of His Two Desert Expeditions and His Arabian Importations.

Edited by Thornton Chard

With illustrations and notes collected by him from The Horse Nov/Dec ’35 Part I Part II Since writing the article which appeared in THE HORSE, (1) on Keene Richards’ Arabian importation, I found, unexpectedly, a letter, written in 1906, by the late Homer Davenport to the late Randolph Huntington in which this paragraph appears: “I have been fortunate enough to get hold of A. Keene Richards’ catalogue, – – – . Keene Richards has never received justice; instead of his plant being a failure, the very first colts that he had born in Kentucky, won every time they were shown, against all competitors.” (2)

Here was a clue to additional original information. I hunted high and low for this catalogue, but without result till I finally stumbled across a photostatic copy deep in the archives of the New York Public Library. (3)

It proved to be much more than a catalogue. (4) In fact it is such a unique review of the much discussed problem of the value of the Eastern blood for infusion on the Thoroughbred; the necessity of using only the purest Arabian blood to get an improvement; the great difficulty of securing such blood and the probability that very little of the purest blood was ever permitted to leave the Desert for the use of any country; the fact that Richards was a great stickler for the purest blood and insisted on a very high standard for his own breedings and that he was satisfied with his results, — puts this entire question, — which, heretofor has been surrounded by a mass of prejudice unfavorable to the Arabian, — in a new light.

As Richards himself wrote the “Catalogue”, and as no one had more experience with the best Thoroughbreds than he and as few had more experience with Arabians in their native Desert, I am quoting excerpts, that bear on the breeding problems, as follows:


“Kentuckians have become as famous for their love of horses as the Arabs; and our breeders of Thoroughbred horses pride themselves in having their stock well known all over the Union. The Arab, however, when he possesses an Arab of purest blood and unrivalled speed, cares only for it to be known in his tribe. He breeds and trains his Thoroughbreds for his own use, and not for the Turk and ‘Frank’ whom, he believes, know nothing of blood. (5)

“Having inherited a love and admiration for the horse, and a desire to possess the highest bred and noblest type of his race, I determined to examine for myself the most authentic history of the horse, and without prejudice, select from the stock I preferred — whether it might be at home or abroad. — from the aristocratic paddocks of England, the mountains of Morocco, the sandy plains of the Sahara, or the rocky deserts of Arabia.”


“I soon determined that the Thoroughbred English horse was the best horse for all works, and in tracing his history a few generations back, we came to the Arab, Barb and Turk. But the most of the English writers seem to favor the idea that it was the triplet cross, with English skill and English climate, that produced the unrivalled English blood-horse.” (6)

“A closer examination proves that some of the best English horses had not this triplet cross.”

“The true origin of the Byerly Turk, Darley Arab, and Godolphin Barb (the great Shem, Ham, and Japheth, of the English horse aristocracy), has not been discovered by the compilers of the English Stud book.” (7)

“Many have been the theories as to the origin of the English blood-horse; but the definition as given by the Stud Book is generally taken as authority. The Stud Book implies that all Thoroughbred horses should be able to trace their origin to Eastern sires and dams –.”


“For years the English have tried the modern Arab cross, but with not much success. After having examined the Arabs imported into England, as well as those on the Continent, the question arose in my mind — has the failure been owing to a degeneracy of the Arab, or has it been because so few pure Arabs have been imported!”

“Investigating the character of modern importations, I found that the most of them had been purchased on the coast of Syria, in Egypt, and some from India — besides, few, if any, of the modern importation have been well tested on account of the strong prejudice existing in England against the Arab. This prejudice is founded upon the fact of the failure of the Arab cross for more than fifty years; (8) and even in the time of the three great progenitors of the English horse, hundreds of so-called Arabs were imported which were worthless. (9) It was with the greatest difficulty that Mr. Darley brought his selection into notice and as for the Godolphin, his merits became known by mere accident. This noble animal had the form of a race horse, as any judge may plainly see from Stubbs’ picture; (10) but at that day English breeders knew very little as to what the form of a race horse should be. They had bred at random, until Flying Childers, and Leth called their attention to the Darley Arabian and the Godolphin. The forms of these horses were a mystery to them; they supposed that it was the Arab blood that gave to Childers and Lath their wonderful powers; (11) and again Arabs, Turks and Barbs were imported into England, with the hope of surpassing the Darley and Godolphin; but in vain, — even to this day they ae unrivalled in the annals of the Stud Book. With these facts before me, I determined to import the best Arabs that could be found in the East, and cross them with our best mares. (12) I made myself acquainted with the modern importations, by going [1851] to England, France and Spain, examining the best Arabs belonging to the governments, visiting Morocco, and going through the interior of Algeria, I went to Tunis — thence to Egypt, and from Egypt through Arabia Petra (13) and the desert east of Damascus as far as Palmyra [see map]. During this tour [1851-1853] I selected Mokhladi, Massoud and a gray mare [Sadah] – – – – ”


“They arrived safely, and I immediately made arrangements to select some of our best mares to breed to them. The result was quite equal to my expectations, (14) and I commenced preparing to make another trip to the East, determined to spare no trouble or expense (15) in procuring the best blood, as well as the finest formed horses in the desert.”


“For two years I made this subject my study, consulting the best authors as to where the purest blood was to be found, and comparing their views with my own experience. I found that most authors who have written on the subject differ materially as to facts; and that those who have seen the Arab on his native soil, knew more about the idle legends of the country than about the fine points of the horse.”

“Layard, (16) surely has claims to be the best authority among English writers. Although prejudiced in favor of the English horse, he says: “I doubt whether any Arab of the best blood has ever been brought to England. The difficulty of obtaining them is so great, that they are scarcely ever seen beyond the limits of the desert’.” (17)


“After two years spent in close investigation as to the best means of obtaining the purest blood of the desert, I matured my plans and started again [1855] for the East, accompanied by Mr. E. Troye, the artist, my cousin M.H.Keene, and a Syrian who had been with me since my first journey to the East. Soon after our arrrival in Syria, he died very suddenly, and Mr. Keene had to commence the study of the Arabic language, as we could find no one to trust in interpreting, to carry our our plans among the Bedouins. He was in Damascus seven months studying the language and informing himself as to the best way of getting to that tribe of Bedouins in Arabia which had the type of horse we were seeking.” (18)

“- – – – This last importation consisted of the bay Sacklowie; a chestnut Faysal, (19) supposed to be the best young horse in the Anayza tribe; a grey colt, two year old [Hamdan]; a mare [Lulie] and two dromedaries.” (20)


“In making both of these importations, I determined not to offer the services of any of the stallions to the public until they had shown some evidence of their merits. The colts of two of them having borne off prizes, last fall [1856], over the best Thoroughbred stock in Kentucky, (21) I was induced by some friends not to wait longer, but to give the breeders in Kentucky an opportunity to try the cross with some of our fine mares. I well knew the injury that has been done our stock by experimenting with such horses as the Winters Arabian, Zilcadi, (21) Stamboul, (23) and a number of black Barbs that have been presented from time to time by Sultans, Bays and Consuls. One who has seen the horses presented to Napoleon [III] by the sultan of Turkey can form an idea of the quality of horses that these orientals are in the habit of giving to ‘Franks’.”


“That the English horse of the present day [1857] is inferior to what he was in the days of Eclipse, no one will doubt who examines the performances of that day. The present race of horses are fleet and many can carry their weights; but how few remain on the turf; and one hard race of four miles would injure the best horse in England.” (24)

“Some writers contend that a degeneracy is taking place; and that the best Arab blood must be resorted to. In crossing the Arab upon our stock we must not expect the first cross (25) to equal such prodigies as Lexington and Bonnie Lassie; but this cross will not deteriorate, and fine bone with vigorous constitiution, free from hereditary defects (26) will be the result. I have confidence in the result as to the improvement of our fine stock for the turf, for harness and the saddle.” (27)


Mr. Richards then relates at some length “Nimrod’s’ good opinion of the value of the best Arabian blood, after his “German Tour,” and says of him:

“You will remember that “Nimrod,’ in his hunting tour, believed that the English horse was the only horse for the turf, the hunter or the road. Yet after seeing the success of the cross at Newstad, he favors the opinion that the cross of some Arabs would do for the Derby, for hunting and fast coachers.”


“Some of the Arabs in this country have not failed to produce racers as well as trotters. The grandsire of Pacolet, on the dam’s side, was the Lindsay Arabian. (28) The granddam of Sidi Hamet, the sire of Bethune, was an Arab mare, got by an Arab horse sent to President Jefferson, and out of the Arab mare that came with him. Rhoderic Dhu, a good race horse up to four miles, (29) was out of a Bagdad (30) mare and many others could be cited. In the fall of 1854, on the Lexington course, Mr. Clay’s Raffle, by Yorkshire, granddam of [by] Kochlani, one of the Rhind Arabians, forced Ellen Swigert (31) to the stand in 1.46–1.47 1/2.”

“Recent investigations show that the renowned Flora Temple goes back with a few crosses to the Arabs; (32) while in Pennsylvania, we have that superb race of trotters, the Bashaws, descended from an imported Arabian or Barb of that name — introduced in 1826.” (33)


“The Bagdad stock were in great demand in Tennessee at one time, on account of their legs standing the hard pikes better than any other stock. Massoud, Mokladi and Sacklowie are remarkable in this particular, as their legs did not swell any during their long sea voyage, on different vessels, to America. (34) Massoud goes all the fashionable saddle gaits; and Mokhladi has fine action for a trotter. The Bedouins do not train their horses to these gaits, but some of them are easily broken to pace or rack. The trot of the Arabs is so easy and springy, that no one who mounts them would care for them to go any other gait. Can this be said of our crack Thoroughbreds? Peytona or one of the long striding sons of Melbourne would be about as pleasent over a rough road, as a dromedary or a Brahmin Bull. The early English and American horses were far superior under saddle to the present style of ‘slashing goers.’ ” (35)


Footnotes and illustration descriptions

(1) Nov.-Dec., 1934 and Jan. -Feb., 1935, issues.

(2) In the Kentucky show ring for breeding classes. T.C.

(3) Since preparing this article I note that the “Catalogue” is listed in the bibliography of W.R.Brown’s “The Horse of the Desert.” Mr. Harry Worcester Smith has been kind enough to call my attention to an article, in the “Spirit of the Times” of Aug. 8. 1857, p. 366, which appears to be a partial review of the “Catalogue” though it misses much of the essence. T.C.

(4)The Arab horses, Mokhladi, Massoud, Sacklowie. Imported by A. Keene Richards, Georgetown, Ky., 1857.

(5) “The Viceroy of Egypt, Abbas Pasha who about twenty-five to thirty years ago, undertook to breed arabs, thinking Egypt could supply the great and constantly increasing demand from nations in the old world, expended much money — in purchasing — Arab horses and mares through agents, then intrusted the handling, care and breeding to servants; and results were of such great uncertainties in sizes, colors and character, that he gave it up, disposing of his entire plant to such as wanted, because from Abbas Pasha’s stud!” “When gone he said to England’s minister, “that only the Arabs of the Desert could breed and grow Arab horses’.” “I had this from Maj. Gen. W. Tweedie, C.S.I., for many years H.B.M’s. Consul general at baghdad –.” Randolph Huntington to T. C., June 2, 1903.

Abbas Pasha’s stud was sold at Cairo in 1860 so it was gathered somewhat earlier than stated in the above quotation. T.C.

(6) McKay advances the theory that the cross of the Arabian on the native English mares created a sudden mutation which he is warranted in calling a new “Elementary Species.” W.J.Stewart McKay. “Staying Power of the Race Horse,” p. 71.

(7) McKay states that the Darley Arabian was bred in the Desert of Palmyra. Ibid. p. 59.

(8) “The late General Angerstein spent Lb 10,000, and devoted many years, in trying to improve the English blood-horse by crosses of Arab blood, without ever succeeding in producing either a race-horse or a good hunter.” S. Sidney, “Book of the Horse,” p. 12.

(9) “From 1680 to 1800 England imported for stock and blood purposes, 300 Arab stallions and mares.” Randolph Huntington to John T. Bramhall, 1889.

“But, it is said the late importations of Barbs and Arabians to England and the United States have done no good. Perhaps they were not well selected, and some of them have got one or more good ones; and take as exceptions the same dozen or a score of the nearly 400 imported English horses [to the United States], and what have the rest done?” “Crofts” in “Porters’ Spirit of the Times,” February 20, 1858.

(10) See “Sporting Magazine” (English), November, 1812, pp. 63-6, for verification of the correctness of the Lord Townshend portrait, of the Godolphin, from which Stubbs drew his famous copy. The same article also comments, as does Mr. Richards, that Stubb’s portrait shows the true form of a race horse. T.C.

(11) The mere fact of the Eastern blood regardless of form and quality. T.C.

(12) Thoroughbred mares. T.C.

It is interesting to compare the result of Mr. Richards’ researches with those of a later student and scientific breeder of the horse, the late Randolph Huntington, who wrote to a friend thus: “As – – – all three, Morgan, Clay and Pilot, were the base of all trotting speed, and were all three close to the Arabian, and all three were diluted in blood influence, still able to carry dunghills to the front, I decided to reinforce it with its blood cause, hence began to breed to Arabians in 1880” From Huntington’s letter–press copy in the possession of T.C.

(13)The name Arabia Petraea was derived from Petra, the capitol of the ancient Nabataean kingdom and of the Roman province. International Encyclopaedia.

“In 1812 the Swiss traveller, John Lewis Burckhardt, disguised as a Bedouin sheik, reached it [Petra] and returned to tell of its mysteries. It had become sacred ground to the Arabs, and danger menaced any Infidel who approached it.” National Geographic Magazine. February, 1935, p. 130.

(14) Italics are mine. T.C.

(15) Mrs. John Pack, a daughter of Mr. Richards, wrote me November 28, 1934, “My understanding was — from my mother — that the expense of all trips was borne entirely by my father, who spent a fortune on these importations.” T.C.

(16) Sir Henry Austen Layard (1817-94), traveller, writer, archaeologist, spent some eighteen years in the Near East, where he made a study of the tribes near the Tigris; also he identified Kuyunjik as the site of Nineveh. From the famous Library chamber of the palace of Assurbanipal, Layard and George Smith brought the tablets, now in the British Museum, containing the account of the Deluge. Encyclopaedia Britannica.

(17) “There is blood and stride in the desert which has never been seen out of it.” S. Sidney, “Book of the Horse,” p. 25, quotting a Scotch correspondent of the Sporting Magazine, 1864.

“Indeed, Prof. Charles Du Hays, Master of Horse [for the French Government], wrote me three years ago, ‘that there was not a pure Arab in all France’.” Randolph Huntington to Capt. W.A.Kerr, V.C. April 4, 1890.

(18) Please note the exceptional preparations tht Richards considered requisite to get access to the purest bred Arabians. T.C.

(19) Generally known as Gysaul. T.C.

(20) Although not mentioned here, the Barb mare Zariphe [Zareefa Bruce A.S.B.] is listed in another part of the “Catalogue” as imported from the Sahara [1856]. T.C.

(21) Italics are mine. T.C.

(22) Zilcaadi (usual spelling) may not have been an improving factor in the Thoroughbred running horse, but the fact that he was the sire of the dam of Dorsey’s unbeaten Golddust gives him a secure place in the trotting world. Golddust was not foaled till 1855, so he was but two years old when Richards wrote. T.C.

(23) Stamboul may not have gotten improved speed at the run, but he must have imparted other desirable qualities for Dr. Geo A. Feris who had several of Richards’ Arabians refers to him with pride as the sire of the 2nd dam of a horse by Medoc, that he rode in the Mexican War . Dr. Feris to Randolph Huntington, November 30, 1887.

(24)In 1878 there was a pamphlet published and dedicated to the Earl of Rosebery, “On the Deterioration of the British Horse.” S. Sidney “Book of the Horse,” p. 111.

(25) “—It is in the second remove that the blood [Arabian and Barb ] tells, after which you will do well to double it back upon itself.” Rudolph Huntington to Gen. L.W.Colby (who had Gen. Grant’s horse Linden Tree). June 11, 1888.

(26) Glencoe and Boston went blind; the latter’s best son, Lexington went blind. — The Derby winner, Priam, had intied legs below the knees. T.C.

Another writes [1874]: Out of six thoroughbred stallions in one district [England] (whose sire were, respectively, Kingston, Newcaster, Lord Clifden, Ely, Rataplan and Macaroni) four are unsound two blind, three roarers, one has ring bone, two have spavins and ringbone. S. Sidney, “The Book of the Horse” p. 110.

(27) This confidence was justified in the famous horse. “Limestone.” bred by Mr. Richards, and whose grandsire was Massoud, and in many others. Italics are mine. T.C.

Please note that Mr. Richards had in mind the breeding of stallions and mares that would improve not only race horses but also horses for all light purposes. Many authorities including von Oettingen believe that this point of view has been neglected in the breeding of the modern sprinters. T.C.

(28) Lindsay’s Arabian (called Ranger): a white horse of most perfect form and symmetry, about 15 hands. Presented by Emperor of Morocco to Captain of a British frigate who gave him to the Captain of a United States boat, who landed him in Connecticut, 1766 — then four years old: stock very valuable. Bruce. A.S.B.

The belief has been advanced that some of the Lindsay blood helped to make Justin Morgan. T.C.

(29) Only four miles! T.C.

(30) Bagdad was imported to Tripoli from Aleppo; to New York 1823 by way of England. Sold in 1823 for $8,000 by George Barclay to John Harding, representing a company of Nashville men. J.D.Anderson, “Making the American Thoroughbred,” p. 63. Bagdad died February, 1836 Frank Forester, p. 142.

(31) Ellen Swigert. gr. m. f. –, bred by John L. Howard of Missouri: owned by John Harper, Woodford do., Ky. Sire Bulwer (son of Grey Eagle), 1st dam Cora by trumpator, 4th dam by tippoo Said. Bruce A.S.B.

(32) Although there is no documentary evidence of the breeding of Lora Temple, John Wilder Taylor who bought Flora and her dam — (from the farmer at Clinton, N.Y., who bred and raised her) — for R.A. Alexander, told Randolph Huntington in 1855 “that the mare [the dam, Madam Temple] showed more arab blood than anything else.” Randolph Huntington to John Gilmer Speed. December 20, 1903.

As Flora was the first trotter to beat 2.20; and, from 1853 to 1859, best all the good horse in the country, it is not hard to believe that she was close to the Arabian or Barb. T.C.

In an interview with Major C.A. Benton, November 13, 1934, he said that Tib Hinman was the first mare to beat 2.20; that his father had timed her in St. Lawrence Co., N.Y. Although authentic, it does not appear that this time was an official record. T.C.

(33) Young Bashaw, by imp. Grand Bashaw, was the sire of the unbeaten Andrew Jackson, who got Henry Clay the founder of the famous Clay family. T.C.

Matt Davis, foaled 1856, was one of the best race horses ever run in America. He and his full brother, W.R. Davis, were out of the Mae Rally, who was sired by the imported Arabian, Kochlani, one of the four Oriental Stallions presented to Minister Rhind. From “Spirit of the Times,” November 24, 1883.

(34) “Many of the horses had stood on their feet from the 28th day of August until the 8th day of October. Yet when they were led off the boat onto the docks, they played and pranced. With legs free from any swelling whatever. On reaching the farm one stallion stood up in his box for another twenty-four hours before he lay down.” “My Quest of the Arabian Horse.” Homer Davenport, p. 222.

“—a cubic inch of the tibia of a horse so reared [like the Desert bred] weighs 20 per cent moe than stabled stock.” S. Sidney. “Book of the Horse,” p. 25.

(35) “There is all the difference in riding the Arabian and the ordinary English hunter or half bred, that there is riding in a well hung gig. or a cart without springs.” W.S.Blunt to Randolph Huntington, who quotes this in a M.S. sent to Scientific American, September 6, 1887.

Continued in the next issue)



“This noble animal had the form of a race horse, as any judge may plainly see from Stubbs’ picture.” Quoted from Richards’ “Catalogue.”

This horse was foaled in 1724 and died in 1753. His height was 15 hands. He is considered one of the three most important Eastern horses in the creation of the Thoroughbred. While sometimes referred to as an Arabian and sometimes as a Barb it is now generally conceded that his conformation was more Barb than Arabian and Mr. Richards concurred in this belief.

Photographed from an engraaving in Tattersall’s “Pictorial Gallery of English Race Horses,” in the New York Public Library.



“I made myself acquainted with the modern importations, by going to England, France and Spain, examining the best Arabs belonging to the governments, visiting Morocco, and going through the interior of Algeria. I went to Tunis — thence to Egypt, and from Egypt through Arabia Petra and the Desert east of Damascus as far as Palmyra.” From Richards’ “Catalogue.”

“The trip from Jerusalem to Petra and back once required about a month of ardous caravan travel through country infested with lawless Bedouins.” National Geographic Magazine, Fegruary. 1935, p. 130.

Sheik Midjuel, of the Anazeh, guided Mr. Richards from Damascus to Palmyra. From newspaper obituary of Mr. Richards, 1881.

The direct distance from Damascus to Palmyra is about 150 miles.

Besides visiting all the interesting places in Palestine and Syria he studied the horses in Austria, Prussia and Russia.

The following notes are from a book kept by Troye on the Second Expedition: In September, 1855, they were in Constantinople. In November in Damascus. In Bayrout, “October 13, 1855,: as Troye wrote that date on the back of his portrait of the white mare.

“We pitched our tents on the 6th and commenced painting the ‘Dead Sea,’ March 6th, 1856.”

“We raised our tents on the morning of the 21st to rreach Jerusalem. It took ten days from Damascus to jerusalem [about 159 miles direct]. we had four mules to carry our baggage — a horse apiece — four horsesd — and one for our servant Yuseph.”

“Arrived at Barjyrout, April 3rd, 1856.”

The Troyue notes are used through the courtesy of Mr. Richards’ daughter, Mrs. E.G.Swartz.

The route, from London to Palmyra, of the First Expedition, is over 4,000 miles.

From a National Geographic magazine Map to which Richard’s route is added. Published by permission of National Geographic Society. Copyright 1932.



Quoting Richards: ” ‘Mokhladi’ is a gray, 14 hands 1 inch, and was bred by the Tarabine tribe of Bedouins, in Arbia Petra. He is the sire of the colt* that took the prize last fall at Lexington, in the ring of Thoroughbreds under one year old.”

“Faithful portraits of three of my stallions are introduced in this pamphlet, and those who are judges of form, can see for themselves and compare their points with other importations. The portraits are photographed by Elrod of Lexington, Ky., from sketches by that eminent artist, Edward Troye. The proportions are strictly correct, and any one who has the curiousity, may measure the comparative points with any thoroughbred of known merit. The height of each horse is given accurately, and not in the usual way of measuring part of the stallion’s neck for his height.” **

*The dam of the colt was a “chestnut mare, by Gray Eagle, out of a Bertrand mare.” “(This mare is the dam of Mokhladi’s colt which took the prize. She goes back to the same stock which produced Grey Medoc and Minnehaha).”

**From Mr. Richards’ own account of his horses, printed in 1857 at Lexington, Ky.

Reproduced here through the courtesy of Mr. Richards’ daughter, Mrs. Edward G. Swartz, who has the painting in her possession.

A small reproduction of this Mokhladi portrait appeared in my article in the Horse, January-February issue, before this present article was contemplated, but it should be included here as it is one of the three illustrations in the “Catalogue.” T.C.


photo: “MASSOUD”

Quoting Richards: ” ‘Massoud’ is a rich chestnut, 15 hands, bred by the Anayza Bedouins. He is the sire of the filly that received the first prize last fall [1856], both at Lexington, and at the State Fair at Paris [Ky.], in the Thoroughbred ring for yearling fillies.”*

“Massoud” was the sire of the mare Transylvania who produced the famous steeplechase and flat racer, “Limestone,” by “War Dance.”

All these horses were, at one time, owned by Richards.

*From Mr. Richards’ own account of his horses, printed in 1857 at Lexington, Ky.

The Descent of Anazeh Table I: The First Four Generations of Descent from *Leopard

This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series Leopard and Linden Tree

by Michael Bowling
Copyright 1979 by MICHAEL BOWLING used by permission of Michael Bowling published in Arabian Horse World July 1979
Photos from the Carol Mulder collection (unless otherwise noted)

TABLE I: The First Four Generations of Descent from *Leopard 233

Name (Mares In Italics) AHR number color sex year foaled breeder
ANAZEH 235 ch c 1890 Randolph Huntington
NEJD 236 ch c 1894 Huntington
NAARAH 256 ch f 1895 Huntington
NAROMI 257 ch f 1902 Herman Hoopes, West Chester, PA
NIMRETTE 128 ch f 1904 Herman Hoopes
NIMNAARAH 129 ch f 1911 Herman Hoopes
Khaled III 117 ch c 1905 Herman Hoopes
NAARAH II 115 ch f 1906 Herman Hoopes
ROALA 323 b c 1895 J.A.P.Ramsdell
NAAMAN 116 ch c 1896 Huntington
NAROMI 257 ch f 1902 Herman Hoopes
NAARAH II 115 ch f 1906 Herman Hoopes
NAAMAN II 131 ch c 1910 Herman Hoopes
NIMNAARAH 129 ch f 1911 Herman Hoopes
BINT NIMNAARAH 452 b f 1918 Hamilton Carhartt, Rock Hill, SC
SIMRI 453 b f 1920 Hamilton Carhartt
HAARANMIN 451 b f 1921 Hamilton Carhartt
NIMHOURA 543 ch f 1922 Hamilton Carhartt
NAZLINA 6 ch f 1897 Huntington
KHALETTA 9 ch f 1903 Huntington
NARKHALEB 114 ch s 1911 Meldrum Gray, Columbus, OH
JAFFA 170 b g 1915 W.R.Brown, Belin, NH
AGATULLAH 221 ch c 1917 W.R.Brown
ABU BEKR 304 ch c 1918 W.R.Brown
ARAB PRINCE 72 ch c 1904 Huntington
METOECIA 51 b f 1908 Hartman Stock Farm, Columbus OH
GEMAR 176 ch c 1916 W.R.Brown
ABBARS 215 ch c 1917 W.R.Brown
KADYAH 342 ch f 1918 W.R.Brown
MAJJAH 406 ch c 1920 W.R.Brown
MAJ 428 b c 1921 W.R.Brown
NARKEESA 7 ch f 1897 Huntington
LEUCOSIA 50 b c 1908 Hartman Stock Farm
NARKHALEB 114 ch c 1911 Meldrum Gray
ARABY 266 b c 1911 J.A.Lawrence, San Francisco,Ca
PACHECO 182 ch f 1914 S.C.Thomson,San Francisco,Ca
EL SAKAB 264 ch c 1915 S.C.Thomson
EL SABOK 264 ch c 1916 S.C.Thomson
OMAN 570 b c 1926 Albert W. Harris
HIRA 571 ch f 1926 Harris
BESRA 572 ch f 1926 Harris
MATAB 574 ch c 1926 Harris
STAMBUL 575 gr c 1926 Harris
EMINEH 576 ch f 1926 Harris
AMBAR 628 ch c 1927 Harris
GIRTHA 630 ch f 1927 Harris
ALIA 641 b f 1927 Harris
AMALEK 642 ch c 1928 Harris
AGA 668 ch c 1928 Harris
SAERA 670 gr f 1928 Harris
NAHA 671 ch f 1928 Harris
SABIGAT 672 b f 1928 Harris
ROKHAL 675 ch f 1928 Harris
LEILA 275 ch f 1917 S.C.Thomson
ALILAT 632 b f 1927 Betty Bassett, San Luis Obispo, CA
LANAD 930 ch c 1932 W.K.Kellogg, Pomona, CA
HANEIL 1222 ch c 1936 W.K.Kellogg
LALET 1380 ch f 1937 W.K.Kellogg Institute
LEIDAAN 1679 ch c 1939 Fred E. Vanderhoof, Covina, CA
EL KUNUT 1856 ch c 1940 S.W.Bramhall, Covelo, CA
NARESSA 252 ch f 1898 Huntington
SABAAH 312 ch c 1900 Huntington

The Descent of Anazeh (Part 2)

This entry is part 5 of 6 in the series Leopard and Linden Tree

by Michael Bowling
Copyright 1979 by MICHAEL BOWLING used by permission of Michael Bowling published in Arabian Horse World July 1979
Photos from the Carol Mulder collection (unless otherwise noted)

Rafissa 1695 (*Raffles x Ydrissa), Gina Manion up, 1950’s.

Arthur Ball, president of Ball Jar Company (home canners in the audience will nod wisely at the name), bought the George horses around 1935, and OURIDA and YDRISSA were in the group. Ball sold this pair of chestnuts to the Manions for $1500 (“We have our canceled check!”) and Manion Canyon came into being.

The Manions first sent their mares to IMAGE and *Raffles; the resulting fillies in 1939 were IMAGIDA 1694 (Image x Ourida) and RAFISSA 1695 (*Raffles x Ydrissa), the latter being only the fourth foal registered to her soon-tremendously-influential sire. RAFISSA was YDRISSA’s only Manion-bred foal, as the mare was sold to New York where she produced three more fillies, all of which have bred on in turn. At Manion Canyon RAFISSA produced 13 foals, of which RIFRAFF, by her sire *Raffles, was much the most influential. OUIDA’s daughter RAYGEENA was probably her most influential for the Manions, but another first foal success, the elegant IMAGIDA, represents her most wide-ranging contribution to the world.

I remember this mare’s *Raffles daughters GIDA 4353 and RAFGIDA 4981 as most elegant and impressive, and of course their brothers IMARAFF 3476 and RAFFI 3781 have been influential, in a great many respected programs.

Mrs. Manion quotes Dr. Munson as saying there must be 5,000 modern descendants of OURIDA. Asked how the Manions came to part with IMAGIDA, source of the OURIDA cross in most of those, she outline “one of those stories” which she said always had been a sore spot with her. William States Jacobs of Texas phoned “every day at 7:00 a.m. for two weeks trying to buy either IMAGIDA or RAFISSA.” IMAGIDA was being most determinedly “green” at the time (well–not to put too fine a point on it–“IMAGIDA had run away with me in the sleigh and kicked it to pieces. I rode the runner and held on to the reins until she headed for a fence, then I bailed out. Another time she lay down on the road with me, saddle and all, and wouldn’t get up“) and Jacobs apparently hit the psychological moment–at any rate he got IMAGIDA for $1000 (“I cringe to think of it!”). According to Mrs. Manion the check to pay for the mare was signed by Roger Selby, and IMAGIDA never left the Selby Stud even though the Studbook lists Jacobs, not Selby, as breeder of IMARAFF, RAFFI, GIDA and RAFGIDA.

ANAZEH’s daughter NAZLINA 6 produced KHALETTA 9 in 1903, and ARAB PRINCE 72 in 1904, both sired by Khaled and bred by Huntington. These four, along with NARKEESA 7 (Anazeh x *Naomi) and several others, went through what appear to have been the final dispersal sale of Huntington’s horses in 1907. This was the auction in which old *NAZLI was sold from her stall as being in too poor condition to lead out, so it appears that hard times had set upon the program with a vengeance. The largest buyer at this sale was the Hartman Stock Farm in Columbus, Ohio, and NAZLINA, KHALETTA and NARKEESA were among the ones they took home.

A new change on Huntington’s “linebred Maneghi” idea was rung in Ohio: KHALETTA and NARKEESA were both bred to Homer Davenport’s desertbred Maneghi Sbeyli stallion *HALEB 25, “the pride of the desert,” in 1907, a year after the Davenport group arrived in this country. It seems quite likely that the Hartman mares were sent straight to *HALEB’s court from the auction, since New Jersey would be on the way home from New York to Ohio. One hopes, at any rate, that Huntington was in on the decision to try the cross, as he would have enjoyed planning this return to a new source of the strain he had tried to preserve.

In any event the idea can’t be called a blazing success. Only these two foals were bred by the Hartman Stock Farm: NARKEESA produced a bay colt, LEUCOSIA 50, and KHALETTA a bay filly, METOECIA 51. It would seem that the nucleus of horses passed to one Meldrum Gray, also of Columbus, for in 1910 he bred KHALETTA to the two-year-old LEUCOSIA, getting for his pains the chestnut colt NARKHALEB 114, another of those “absolutely Maneghi” pedigrees that this group of horses turned out now and then. Again, I will not try to describe this inbreeding–please see NARKHALEB’s pedigree in TABLE III.

Chestnut stallion 1911
Leucosia 50 *Haleb 25 DB DB
Narkeesa 7 Anazeh 235 *Leopard 233
*Naomi 230
*Naomi 230 Yataghan GSB DB
Haidee GSB DB
Khaletta 9 Khaled 5 *Nimr 232 *Kismet 253
*Nazli 231
*Naomi 230 Yataghan GSB DB
Haidee GSB DB
Nazlina 6 Anazeh 235 *Leopard 233
*Naomi 230
*Nazli 231 Maidan GSB DB
*Naomi 230
DB: Desertbred GSB: General Stud Book, England
NARKHALEB’s descendants are all through his outcrossed daughter from KILLAH 103, she by *GOMUSSA 31 DB x *HADBA 43 DB.


KHALETTA and METOECIA were among the first Arabians purchased by W.R. Brown when he founded his not-then-famous Maynesboro Stud in 1914. He bred three foals from KHALETTA and five from METOECIA but nothing has come of any of them; Brown came to own KHALETTA’s sire and quite possibly decided he liked his *Naomi breeding less inbred than KHALETTA represented it, and since it was his ambition to have an entirely “double registered” (Jockey Club as well as Arabian Horse Club) herd, METOECIA did not fit his plans too well. The Davenport horses were not registered with the Jockey Club, and so of course neither were their get.

The NAZLINA branch from ANAZEH thus reduces to the single stallion NARKHALEB. He too went to New England, to Hingham Stock Farm, where he sired MIZUEL 388 from SANKIRAH 149; this horse, foaled in 1919, came to be owned by W. K. Kellogg and to sire three foals, all colts, none of which left descent. D. Gordon Hunter bred HAYABEL 791, NARKHALEB’s 1930 daughter, another who dropped out. In 1931 W. K. Kellogg bred NARKHALEB to the unrelated mare KILLAH 103, resulting in the brown 1931 filly NARLAH 916 who managed to propagate this slenderest surviving branch of the ANAZEH family tree.

NARLANI 6261 (Aulani x Narlah) at age 20 (courtesy Susan Brandol).

TEENA 11586 (Yatez x Narzah by Narzigh x Narlah).

This branch spread on quite well after its difficult start; NARLAH produced nine foals of which six have registered offspring, though the foals of her first daughter ARAKI 1677 did not breed on to future generations. Most of NARLAH’s foals were bred by E. E. Hurlbutt, and two fillies of his breeding (NARSEYNA 3347 and NARZAH 4198) produced 11 and 14 foals respectively. NARLAH’s son NARLANI 6261 sired 17 foals (only four of them colts!) though he was not used to get registered purebreds until he was 15 years old. NARSEYNA was dam of the popular sire SUROBED 6675. NARLAH’s last foal COALANI 8419, full sister to NARLANI, had a son (Rabalain 20302) and grandson (Ben Rabba 29921) exported to England, so this *Leopard branch too is international in scope.

The double *Naomi mare NARKEESA did not accompany her relatives to New England; her travels were in the opposite direction, and she ended up in San Francisco, CA, where she produce five outcrossed foals by EL JAFIL 74 for two different owners. Three of these dropped out, but the youngest two more than made up for the disappearing act of their siblings.

The first of these was EL SABOK 276, foaled in 1916. He became a Remount sire and achieved a distinguished record in endurance tests, which brought him to the attention of that proponent of usefulness and hardihood, Albert W. Harris. EL SABOK was used for three seasons at Harris’s Kemah Stud, and sired some of the most influential animals to come out of (or take part in) that program. Of EL SABOK’s 15 registered get–making him far and away the most prolific *Leopard descendant within the first four generations, as is obvious from Table 1–only five left no registered descent, and most of the others have bred on quite extensively.

EL SABOK’s grey son STAMBUL 575 was his most prolific offspring; we are told he sired over 1,000 foals–mostly Remount half-Arabs, of course, and most of them not registered–but he got 20 registered purebreds and had he only sired ALLA AMARWARD 1140 he would have been an influential breeding horse, as Carol Mulder’s article on that prolific sire in this issue makes clear. The *Leopard line has been spread to other countries through this branch as well; I know ALLA AMARWARD’s descendant WITEZAN 8552 went to Australia and left offspring there before his death.

EL SABOK’s daughters SABIGAT 672 and HIRA 571 both produced at Traveler’s Rest in their later year; General Dickinson was a great believer in outcrossing and in combining Arabians from as many sources as possible in his program, and thus introduced a number of Harris horses over the years. Of course, he also admired their proven ability as demonstrated in endurance tests and other performance fields.

The SAERA 670 branch from EL SABOK is a lesser-known but very prolific one, with several long-lived producers to its credit on the female side. The good mare ROKHAL by EL SABOK produced in California, with a string of HANAD foals and another series by A’ZAM, along with some “singles” by other sires. ROKHAL descendants also were exported, this time to Nicaragua, but did not breed on in recorded stock. NAHA 671 also went to California and hers is another *Leopard branch that passed through the hands of E.E. Hurlbutt. Her most influential offspring probably has been NAHADEYN 3114, though she also bears the distinction of having produced NABOR–not the Russianbred NABOR, registered here a *NABORR, but the 1941 foal who bore that name originally and was responsible for the “furriner’s” having to add a letter when he arrived here. The first NABOR has no descent, which is probably just as well from the point of view of future students of pedigrees.

BESRA 572 was exported to Hawaii; doubtless her descendants still exist in the Island, but their registration was not maintained. The very good EL SABOK mare EMINEH 576 bred on successfully in a number of lines, as did GIRTHA 630 though with lesser opportunity (fewer foals). An interesting story must revolve around AGA 668; he was used at stud at three by Harris, and he and both his resulting sons were promptly gelded. Be that as it may, his daughter TERNA 934 produced four foals and two of these bred on, so AGA still has descent.

OMAN 570 sired 12 foals spread over 20 years, and a number of these were used for breeding — indeed, his daughters SURA 781 and especially KAHAWI 782 would have to be accounted among the distinguished matriarchs of their generation.

I hope it is clear from the above that EL SABOK’s is much the most widepread and influential of the ANAZEH branches; only that of IMAGIDA even dreams of rivalling it. The very strength of numbers makes it impossible to go into the detailed accounting of breeder and locations making use of his stock, done for the founders of the other lines. (In fact El Sabok did not do much traveling that we know of–he somehow got from California to Wisconsin, but beyond that–he stood at the Kemah stud and was used by Albert W. Harris, and there is no more to say.)

Leila 575

EL SABOK’s sister LEILA 275 was foaled in 1917. Her only producing daughter was ALILATT 632 who bred on in five separate line, doing rather better than her dam, in the way of daughters at least. ALILATT was a producer for the W. Randolph Hearst interests and thus met a number of different breeding sources in the sires of her offspring. Two of ALILATT’s daughters, KASILA 1266 and ALIDIN 1411, produced ten foals apiece.

KASILA’s included the *RASEYN son KARONEK who sired 40 foals, so spread that *Leopard branch rather widely; another of KASILA’s was ROKILA, by ROKHAL’s son ROKHALAD and so a great- granddaughter of both EL SABOK and LEILA, and a strong source of the *Leopard influence, comparatively speaking. Interestingly, the doubling to *Leopard here was done with the horses (of his sources) least inbred to *Naomi and thus most likely to have given him something to say in the matter.

ALIDIN was a Van Vleet matron and numbered some familiar names in her branch, and several extremely prolific matrons–two of her daughters produced 15 and 18 foals. ESPERANZO is a familiar name picked from this lot, and ALIDIN’s first foal, the mare ALIHAH, had several highly-regarded daughters to represent her. A mystery that someone, somewhere, can probably clarify, has to do with ALILATT’s 1940 production: she had two chestnut fillies listed to her credit for that year, with two different breeders and foaling dates, but the same sire. One of these, RIFLATT, had her registration canceled, and the other, GUEMERA 1807, had no descent, so the matter is largely academic–but it would be interesting to know just what went on here.

EL KUNUT 1856 (El Kumait x Leila)

LEILA’s son LEIDAAN 1679 carried on the tradition of prolific daughters–he did not have many, but several of them produced foals in numbers like 14 and 18. To be fair, several of his get (including the daughter with 18 foals) were crossed back to LEILA through ALIDIN, so this tendency was probably coming from both sides. The last LEILA foal was the very handsome halter champion EL KUNUT 1856, a popular sire in his day (17 foals, two out of an Alla Amarward mare and three more out of El Kunut’s own daughter, so doubled back to Narkeesa), whose descendants are still breeding on.

The descent of ANAZEH” is a vast subject and one which tends to get out of hand, both physically in trying to keep track of the masses of notes and charts of descent involved, and mentally in trying to picture just how many horses are actually involved here, and what we know of them. It would be scientifically unsound, and I would be called out for it from now until 1990, to try to guess the genetic influence today of a horse foaled in 1890. We do have samples of ANAZEH’s genes around today; the problem is that we don’t have the information on all the intermediate links, that would enable us to tell which of today’s circulating genes originated with him.

I will go so far out on a limb as to share my impression (garnered from a study with no controls, shame to admit) that there are so many ANAZEH descendants, because ANAZEH-bred females in the early generations were prolific above the average of the breed. I haven’t approached this systematically, but I would be very much surprised if a random sample of the breed included as many dams of 14, 16, 19 foals, as are listed in my data sheets on the ANAZEH group. This trend does not continue right back to ANAZEH’s daughters, but we have the difficulty of not knowing how many purebred foals went unregistered in those first generations. Certainly some proportion did, and very likely in the crash of the Huntington program many females of this breeding went into production of other type of horses–there was very little call for pure Arab breeding in those days.

*LEOPARD descendant in costume class forty years ago. Photo shows the first Arabian costume class in the state of Indiana–1939. The sixth horse from the left is YDRISSA 927 (Antez x Bint Nimnaraah), with five crosses to *NAOMI, dam of ANAZEH. Sam Miller up. Writes Gina Manion, who sent photo: “Compared to the fanfare today, this is quite a switch. Costumes consisted of bedspreads, bathrobes and turkish towels with head-bands. Quite authentic looking, actually!”

[Photos from the Gina Manion collection appearing with this article included: Ourida and Ydrissa, Rafissa, and the “*Leopard descendant in costume class.”]

The Descent of Anazeh (Part I)

This entry is part 4 of 6 in the series Leopard and Linden Tree

by Michael Bowling
Copyright 1979 by MICHAEL BOWLING
used by permission
published in Arabian Horse World July 1979
Photos from the Carol Mulder collection (unless otherwise noted)

ANAZEH 235 — a painting by George Ford Morris (courtesy Lois M. Berry).

ANAZEH 235 as the camera caught him — a bit of *Naomi’s influence shows in the head, but this is a handsome horse.

To begin by clarifying one point–this is being put together under the heading of “the descent of ANAZEH” rather than “the genetic influence of *Leopard” because we know ANAZEH has descent (within the limits of reliability of studbook records, anyway, but that’s another whole story). At this late date and considering some of the pedigree contortions the *Leopard descendants went through in the early generations, I am not at all sure whether poor old *Leopard has any genetic influence at all. I do know that I have no idea how to go about computing it. (More of this later, when the subject of early redoubling of the *Leopard line comes along.)

Randolph Huntington’s pure Arab breeding program came about as a secondary project, in connection with his attempts to produce an American trotting breed–this story is gone into in the *Leopard and *Linden Tree historical review in this issue, in some detail. *Leopard was the origin and the inspiration for the purebred section of the Huntington stud–if he had not come along, Huntington would never have gotten a start in Arabs, and so *Leopard is essential to the story in that light. From a breeding standpoint Huntington did not make as much use of *Leopard, however, as he might have. Huntington was the first American Arabian breeder, which I suppose makes it inevitable that he was the first American Arabian breeder to be a proponent of intense inbreeding; this notion has been part of the breed’s history here from its beginnings.

What made things awkward from *Leopard’s point of view was that Huntington became captivated by the notion of the “Maneghi racing strain” and the desirability of inbreeding this type. *Leopard was a Seglawi Jedran–so he became a distraction from the Huntington program almost as soon as he inspired it; thus apparently, the fact that *Leopard was bred to “his” mare *Naomi 230 just once, leaving just one offspring in the program, his son ANAZEH, the object of this narrative. Ironically, *Naomi herself was of mixed strains, not inbred (brother x sister) Maneghi as was thought at that time, since she was sired by a Kehilan stallion. Further, *KISMET and MAIDAN, two supposed Maneghis which played important pedigree role in the Vidal program which Huntington bought out, turn out to have had no recorded strains at all–thus making it difficult if not impossible to make much sense out of the claims of the *Naomi family to represent “inbred Maneghi type” at least until Huntington got through with it. He did inbreed it to startling degrees.

Even though not inbred, *Naomi was a very prepotent broodmare; her outcrossed offspring *NAZLI and ANAZEH resembled each other rather strongly, and ANAZEH looked even more like *NAZLI’s son *NIMR (because both stallions were better looking than the mare). Bred to her grandson *NIMR, *Naomi produced Khaled, another good-looking horse, though less attractive about the head than his sire.

Naaman 116 ch. st. foaled 1896 by Anazeh and out of *Nazli, bred by Huntington.

NAAMAN (Anazeh x *Nazli) is downright beautiful in the one photo of him which survives, but with further inbreeding things got rather less pleasing — there are not many photos available from which to judge the intensely-bred results of this line, but they do seem to have gotten rather coarse and angular, with a high frequency of lopped ears, as things went on. Some of these inbreds outcrossed very satisfactorily indeed, with a number of quite distinguished early representatives, but I can’t help speculating as to what might have happened had a) Huntington kept on with his program a little longer (the most extreme inbreds were produced by programs founded on his stock) or b) *Leopard (or somebody else not closely related to *Naomi) been used more freely in the early days, giving a broader genetic base to continue operations on.

Since we are dealing not with what could have happened, but with the story as it actually took place, we must refer to the Studbook rather than to my imagination. ANAZEH is credited with just seven get in Volume V, but of course there is no way of knowing how many of his offspring went unregistered; his youngest listed foal was a 1900 model, eight years before the Registry was founded, and no great deal of industry was devoted to tracking down “lost” pre-Registry purebreds. The first point to note is that neither of his outcross sons left descent; thus all *Leopard’s immediate descendants were inbred back to the prepotent *Naomi, a fact which had to militate against his visible influence. ANAZEH’s first listed foal, out of his dam *Naomi, was also lost to the breed. The other four get of ANAZEH all bred on to one degree or another.

It would appear that the Pennsylvanian Herman Hoopes bought the full siblings, NAARAH 256 and the handsome NAAMAN 116, around 1900, and presumably from Huntington. His breeding program, based on this pair and cooperating with Huntington’s Maneghi project (since he bred to *Nimr in 1903 and Khaled in 1904), continued at least until 1911 and the production of NIMNAARAH 129, the only animal of this branch to leave descent and a “sure enough” inbred Maneghi; rather than try to explain the interactions here I refer the reader to her pedigree.

Chestnut mare 1911
Naaman 116 Anazeh 235 *Leopard 233 DB
*Naomi 230 Yataghan GSB DB
Haidee GSB DB
*Nazli 231 Maidan GSB DB
*Naomi 230 Yataghan GSB DB
Haidee GSB DB
Nimrette 128 *Nimr 232 *Kismet 23 DB
*Nazli 231 Maidan GSB
*Naomi 230
Naarah 256 Anazeh 235 *Leopard 233
*Naomi 230
*Nazli 231 Maidan GSB
*Naomi 230
DB: Desertbred
GSB: General Stud Book, England
NIMNAARAH’s descendants are all through her outcrossed daughter by *HOURAN 26 DB.

NIMNAARAH, fortunately for the sanity of pedigree readers, passed into the hands of Hamilton Carhartt of South Carolina, who bred four outcross foals (at least that many–note that only fillies are registered, suggesting the possibility of colts which may have dropped out of sight) from her by the desertbred *HOURAN, a Kehilan Tamri imported by Davenport. The next step is uncertain, but it appear that two NIMNAARAH daughters, HAARANMIN 451 and BINT NIMNAARAH 452, went to Traveler’s Rest with General J. M. Dickinson for a brief stay, during which BINT NIMNAARAH was bred to Dickinson’s ANTEZ. At any rate in 1932 both foaled fillies for John A. George of Indiana–BINT NIMNAARAH produced the ANTEZ daughter YDRISSA 947, and HARAANMIN produced the RIBAL daughter OURIDA 946, RIBAL being the George herd sire at that time.

The George program does not seem to have existed very long; the last foals for which he is listed as breeder came in 1935. HAARANMIN produced two more fillies and a colt for the program before leaving for Texas, where she produced in the Walter Gillis breeding group. This program got off to a good start and went along for several generations but seems to have left descent among modern registered stock in only a few collateral lines.

The George-bred HAARANMINs were luckier, and indeed count some of the breed’s most influential horses among their number. Her son YOHANAH 1174 is quickly dismissed as he has no registered get; daughter MINA 1097 went to New York and produced three sons, two of which were used for breeding. HAARANMIN’s second daughter BERLE 1021 by RIBAL, and thus full sister to OURIDA, produced a total of 14 foals in Indiana, Maryland and Pennsylvania by a variety of sires. Donald Shutz of North Manchester, In, recalls BERLE as “one of the taller mares” of her time and of good type, comparable to her sister OURIDA.

I am most familiar with the members of this family which entered the “Double R” program, including my favorite of the lot, the splendid mare AMYR DOREEN 26232. This branch carried the *Leopard descent to England and Australia, for BAZZA 7306 (Zab x Berris) was exported to England’s Briery Close Arabian Stud by Major and Mrs. T. W. I. Hedley, where she produced the filly BAZZAMA by AL-MARAH RADAMES. BAZZAMA is a highly-regarded matron for the Hedleys, and BAZZA’s son SNOW KING by the former head sire at Briery Close, named GENERAL GRANT oddly enough, is in Australia.

After YDRISSA, BINT NIMNAARAH produced IRMA 1022, blood sister to OURIDA and BERLE but rather less lucky in the stud; she produced three foals, including BAREK 1482 whose name one used to hear once in a while, but this line did not breed on any further. BINT NIMNAARAH’s last registered foal, BINT NARMA 1094, did a bit better; her first foal was SHARIK 1784, the noted “high school” horse exhibited by Ward Wells of Oregon. BINT NARMA also produced three redoubled-*Leopard-line foals by ALLA AMARWARD 1140; two of these bred on, one being dam of, among others, the superb Abu Farwa daughter ALLA FARWA 13333 and the “ultimate show gelding” RIBAL DEYR 14400. The gelding is not doing much to carry on the *Leopard descent genetically (except of course to promote his collateral relatives), but he is quite a horse.

[Photos from the Gina Manion collection appearing with this article included: Ourida and Ydrissa, Rafissa, and the “*Leopard descendant in costume class.”]

That sums up the NIMNAARAH branch of descent from ANAZEH–except for most of it. OURIDA and YDRISSA were the foundation mare of the Manions’ program, which celebrated its 40th year of Arabian breeding in 1976, and this group of *Leopard-descended Arabians has been very influential indeed.


From The Khamsat Vol 9, Num 4, Nov/Dec ’92
excerpted from The Arab Horse
Spencer Borden, New York, 1906

Maidan at 23
from The Arab Horse

Maidan is the last of the great horses that came to England from Arabia through India, whose name can have our especial attention. Many who knew him, including Lady Anne Blunt and the Hon. Miss Dillon, place him even above Kismet, and the opinion is concurred in by others who knew him only by his offspring. Maidan was foaled in 1869 in Nejd, a chestnut (as was Kismet), said by some to have been a Manakhi Hedruj, though this was doubted by others because of his great beauty, the Manakhi being a family of rather plain appearance, though great race horses He was brought to Bombay by Abdur Rhaman in 1871, and sold to Captain Johnstone, who immediately commenced racing him, though the colt was but two years old. Captain Fisher and Major Brough were also interested in Maidan; and as these English officers had tested him they were free in taking the long odds which were laid against him by the Australian sports who came to the races and were ready to lay against an untried colt. It is said that after Maidan won the Punjab Cup, the Australians had hardly money enough left to pay their passage home. For three years, from 1871 to 1874, Maidan continued his winning career, until no further matches could be made for him. Then, at 5 years of age, he was sold to Lieut. Col. Brownlow of the 72d Highlanders, as a charger. Brownlow was a heavyweight of nineteen stone (266 lbs.) with his equipment, yet Maidan carried him for twelve years in campaigns through the mountainous regions of India and Afghanistan, until the soldier was killed in the fight at Kandahar, at the end of the famous forced march of Lord Roberts’s Army from Cabul, three hundred miles distant. After carrying Brownlow for ten years Maidan won the Ganges Hog Hunt Cup, and also a four mile steeplechase across difficult country. At seventeen years of age, on the death of Brownlow, Maidan was bought by Lord Airlie who again put him to racing where he won a number of races both on the flat and steeplechases. He was then sold to Captain the Hon. Eustace Versey, who bought him to take to England. Leaving India on the troopship Jumna Maidan got as far as Suez, where the ship met the expedition going to the relief of Suakim, where Osman Digna was harassing the garrison, and was pressed into service as a transport for troops to Massowah, near the lower end of the Red Sea.

            So it happened that the old race horse and charger had his journey lengthened, to the degree that he stood on his feet one hundred days without once lying down, before he reached Marseilles. Yet Capt. Vesey raced him successfully at Pau, and afterward in England. He won a steeplechase when twenty-two years of age. When he had to be destroyed, because of a broken leg, at twenty-three, he was absolutely sound. In 1890 he was described in the London Live Stock Journal, as “fresh and well, with immense bone below the knee (he measured eight inches) and as clean in the legs as a four year old, notwithstanding the fact that he was hunted in Suffolk last year.”

[ED NOTE: Maidan is an Al Khamsa Foundation horse. He is the sire of the imported mare *Nazli (x *Naomi) who was imported by Randolph Huntington in 1893. That same year Mr. Huntington also imported *Nimr, a son of *Nazli sired by the Al Khamsa Foundation horse, *Kismet. Mr. Huntington proceeded to line breed to *Nazli and her blood forms a strong basis for the Drissula family in Al Khamsa breeding (See Khamsat Anthology, page 28). The foundation horse information on Maidan in Al Khamsa Arabians (1983) is as follows:


1869 chestnut stallion, imported in 1871 to India by the agheyl, Abd Ar-Rahman. Imported in 1885 to England by the Hon. Eustace Vezey. Sire: db, Dam: a Mu’niqiyah-Hadrujiyah. Strain: Mu’niqi- Hadruj. Maidan is the sire of *Nazli.

According to the registration application for *Nazli at the Arabian Horse Registry, Maidan was said to be a “Managhi-Hedruj.” This agrees with Randolph Huntington, who imported *Nazli, and Carl Raswan. No strain is given for Maidan in the General Stud Book, which does give the following transfers of ownership: purchased “of Abd er Rahman, of Bombay, by Colonel Brownlow in 1871 … He was then sold to Major Brough, who sold him to Captain Fisher. He won the Kadir Cup (the blue ribbon of Pigsticking in India), and was then purchased by Lord Airlie. He was three years in Afghanistan, and was imported into England by the Hon. Eustace Vezey.” HUNTINGTON ancestral element.]