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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.


NARKHALEB 114
Chestnut stallion 1911
Leucosia 50 *Haleb 25 DB DB
DB
DB 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.

NARLAH 916

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.”]

Rancho San Ignacio: A Look Back

Rancho San Ignacio: A Look Back

Copyright R.J.CADRANELL from Arabian Visions May-June 1997 Used by permission of RJ Cadranell    

        In reviewing Richard Pritzlaff’s life with Arabian horses and reading what he has written about them, several themes come out again and again. This simplifies things for a writer: include most of them and the story of the Arabians at Rancho San Ignacio will have been told.

        Richard Pritzlaff knew horses all his life. Born in May of 1902 and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he grew up when horses were still a daily sight for most Americans. At about age 12 he studied riding under a German instructor who schooled him in a balanced seat; for the next 70 years this philosophy influenced his riding. Richard graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1924, and later lived in Hawaii and California, enjoying riding whenever he could.

        Richard made his first trip to New Mexico in 1922. He lived alone in a cabin high in the mountains, riding most days with the cowboys to check cattle. He enjoyed the country and the wildlife. Those halcyon days must have made a deep impression on him, for early in 1935 he jumped at the chance to return to New Mexico. A friend had a ranch for sale, elevation 7,600 feet, near Sapello. He was showing it to some prospective buyers from Texas, so Richard went along for the ride. After a few days there, Richard decided to buy it himself. He named it Rancho San Ignacio, after a village nearby.

        The original purchase was about 2,000 acres. Later, 19 smaller tracts were acquired, bringing the total holding to four square miles. The ranch was left pristine and rustic as much as possible. The house, barns, and sheds were built of adobe and native lumber. Hermit’s Peak made a dramatic background for many views across the ranch. The ranch remained a refuge from the noise and crowds of modern civilized life. If a man’s house is his castle, then Rancho San Ignacio was Richard Pritzlaff’s kingdom.

        In 1947 Richard’s paint gelding collided with a steer. He had to be carried back to the house, and decided it was time for a more agile mount. He had seen Arabians before, and through friends in Santa Fe had been introduced to writer and traveler Carl Raswan, then living on a ranch in Cedar Crest, New Mexico. Richard bought Muntez (Sartez x Munia) from Raswan, and asked his advice about finding a filly. *RASHAD IBN NAZEER     TIBOR THE GENERAL 1959 (Rabanna)         SIR WHITE MOON 1963 (*Bint Moniet el Nefous)             KUMONIET RSI 1974 (Kualoha)     GRETE 1960 (*Bint El Bataa)     SHIKO IBN SHEIKH 1961 (*Bint El Bataa)         UMI 1965 (*Bint Dahma)             NASZUMI RSI 1969 (Naszra)             KUUUMI RSI 1970 (Kualoha)             NASZEERA 1971 (Naszra)             TOMONIET RSI 1972 (Monieta RSI)                 RASMON NEFOUS RSI 1976 (Tatutwo RSI)             ALMONIET RSI 1975 (Monieta RSI)                 SONIETASSOLAR RSI 1978 (Sonieta)                 ALSONIA RSI 1979 (Sonieta)                 GHAMONARSI 1981 (Kumoniet RSI)                 TATUCENTA RSI 1983 (Tatu)                 MONIET HARMONY 1985 (Golondrina RSI)                 GOLMONIET RSI 1986 (Golondrina RSI)                 ALPERFO RSI 1988 (Perfecta RSI)     NASZRA 1962 (Rabanna)     HANNELE 1962 (*Bint El Bataa)     BINT EL SARIE 1962(*Bint Dahma)     RSI SARA 1964 (*Bint Dahma)     RSI RARA DELSOL 1964 ( *Bint Moniet el Nefous)     ALCIBIADES 1965 (*Bint Moniet el Nefous)         ALFISA RSI 1970 (*Bint Nefisa)         KUVAL 1971 (Kualoha)             GHAZIET RSI 1977 (Tatu)             TATUS TRIUMPH RSI 1981 (Tatutwo RSI)             ROBIN RSI 1982 (Naszumi RSI)             MONICENT RSI 1983 (Monieta RSI)             SARACENTA RSI 1983 (Sara Moniel)             SARACENCE RSI 1984 (Sara Moniel)         MNAHI RSI 1972 (Kualoha)             PINNACLE RSI 1982 (Naszare RSI)         NASZARE RSI 1972 (Naszra)         BLUE BOY 1973 (Tatu)             BLUEWHITE RSI 1987 (Naszare RSI)             EXCEED RSI 1987 (Sara Moniel)             BLUSARA RSI 1988 (Sara Moniel)     SOJA RSI 1966 (*Bint Dahma)     MONIETA RSI 1967 (*Bint Moniet el Nefous)     ORIN RSI 1967 (Naszra)         ORFISA RSI 1972 (*Bint Nefisa)     MONIETOR-RSI 1968 (*Bint Moniet el Nefous)         NASZRIETA 1973 (Naszra)         BALMONIET RSI 1974 (*Bint Nefisa)         DAHMONIET RSI 1974 (*Bint Dahma)         DINARA RSI 1975 (Kualoha)         PERFECTA RSI 1978 (Alfisa RSI)         KUALASHA RSI 1979 (Kualoha)     TATUTWO RSI 1968 (Tatu)     SONIETA 1973 (*Bint Moniet el Nefous)     DYMONIET RSI 1975 (*Bint Moniet el Nefous)         DYSZARA RSI 1979 (Naszare RSI)         DYTATU RSI 1982 (Tatutwo RSI)         MONIET UNITY 1985 (Naszare RSI)     RAJ RSI 1975 (Alfisa RSI)         MONIETSMELODY RSI 1980 (Monieta RSI)         RAJEER RSI 1982 (Monieta RSI)     GOLONDRINA RSI 1977 (Alfisa RSI)


*BINT NEFISA     ALFISA RSI 1970 (Alcibiades)         RAJ RSI 1975 (*Rashad ibn Nazeer)         GOLONDRINA RSI 1977 (*Rashad Ibn Nazeer)             MONIET HARMONY 1985 (Almoniet RSI)             GOLMONIET RSI 1986 (Almoniet RSI)         PERFECTA RSI 1978 (Monietor-RSI)             ALPERFO RSI 1988 (Almoniet RSI)     ORFISA RSI 1972 (Orin RSI)     BALMONIET RSI 1974 (Monietor-RSI)


RABANNA     KUALOHA 1955 (Ghadaf)         KUUUMI RSI 1970 (Umi)             KUALICE RSI 1976 (Ansata El Salim)         KUMONIET RSI 1974 (Sir White Moon)             GHAMONARSI 1981 (Almoniet RSI)         KUVAL 1971 (Alcibiades)         MNAHI RSI 1972 (Alcibiades)         DINARA RSI 1975 (Monietor-RSI)         KUALASHA RSI 1979 (Monietor-RSI)     JOHN DOYLE 1957 (Ghadaf)     TIBOR THE GENERAL 1959 (*Rashad Ibn Nazeer)     NASZRA 1962 (*Rashad Ibn Nazeer)         ORIN RSI 1967 (*Rashad Ibn Nazeer)         NASZUMI RSI 1969 (Umi)             ROBIN RSI 1982 (Kuval)         NASZEERA 1971 (Umi)             SARA MONIEL 1977 (*Fakher el Din)                 SARACENTA RSI 1983 (Kuval)                 SARACENCE RSI 1984 (Kuval)                 EXCEED RSI 1987 (Blue Boy)                 BLUSARA RSI 1988 (Blue Boy)         NASZARE RSI 1972 (Alcibiades)             DYSZARA RSI 1979 (Dymoniet RSI)             PINNACLE RSI 1982 (Mnahi RSI)             MONIET UNITY 1985 (Dymoniet RSI)             BLUEWHITE RSI 1987 (Blue Boy)         NASZRIETA 1973 (Monietor-RSI)


*BINT MONIET EL NEFOUS     TATU 1962 (John Doyle)         TATUTWO RSI 1968 (*Rashad Ibn Nazeer)             RASMON NEFOUS RSI 1976 (Tomoniet RSI)             TATUS TRIUMPH RSI 1981 (Kuval)             DYTATU RSI 1982 (Dymoniet RSI)         BLUE BOY 1973 (Alcibiades)         GHAZIET RSI 1977 (Kuval)         TATUCENTA RSI 1983 (Almoniet RSI)     SIR WHITE MOON 1963 (Tibor the General)     RSI RARA DELSOL 1964 (*Rashad Ibn Nazeer)     ALCIBIADES 1965 (*Rashad Ibn Nazeer)     MONIETA RSI 1967 (*Rashad Ibn Nazeer)         TOMONIET RSI 1972 (Umi)         ALMONIET RSI 1975 (Umi)         MONIETSMELODY RSI 1980 (Raj RSI)         RAJEER RSI 1982 (Raj RSI)         MONICENT RSI 1983 (Kuval)     MONIETOR-RSI 1968 (*Rashad Ibn Nazeer)     SONIETA 1973 (*Rashad Ibn Nazeer)         SONIETASSOLAR RSI 1978 (Almoniet RSI)         ALSONIA RSI 1979 (Almoniet RSI)     DYMONIET RSI 1975 (*Rashad Ibn Nazeer)


*BINT DAHMA     BINT EL SARIE 1962 ( *Rashad Ibn Nazeer)     RSI SARA 1964 (*Rashad Ibn Nazeer)         DAHSARA RSI 1976 (Ansata El Salim)     UMI 1965 (Shiko Ibn Sheikh)     SOJA RSI 1966 (*Rashad Ibn Nazeer)         CIBOLA RSI 1970 (Ansata El Salim)     DAHMONIET RSI 1974 (Monietor-RSI)


*BINT EL BATAA     GRETE 1960 (*Rashad Ibn Nazeer)         CHEV-RSI 1968 (John Doyle)     SHIKO IBN SHEIKH 1961 (*Rashad Ibn Nazeer)     HANNELE 1962 (*Rashad Ibn Nazeer)     NASZALA 1968 (Bel Gordas)     SABATAA RSI 1973 (Ansata El Salim)         Raswan recommended that Richard buy Rabanna, bred by Delma Gallaher in California. The Gallahers had purchased her sire, Rasik (*Nasik x *Rasima), from the Kellogg Ranch. Rabanna’s dam was Banna (*Nasr x Baribeh), bred by J.M. Dickinson. Richard bought Rabanna at age six months in 1947, without even having seen a photograph of her.

        In the early 1950s, Carl Raswan lived at Rancho San Ignacio. This was before the breeding program got started, but he visited later and continued to correspond. Over the years Richard also served as a patron to Raswan, helping to make it possible for him to complete and publish The Arab and His Horse and later the Raswan Index.

        When it came time to breed Rabanna, Richard turned again to Raswan for advice. Raswan was in regular correspondence with Dr. Joseph L. Doyle of Sigourney, Iowa, concerning the establishment of a breeding program which would preserve a high pedigree relationship to the horses bred in the late nineteenth century by Ali Pasha Sherif of Egypt. As it unfolded, the Pritzlaff program would also seek to maintain this high pedigree relationship.

        Raswan wrote to Dr. Doyle (letter from Rancho San Ignacio dated “Friday”):

            ”Rabanna is a true Saqlawiyah with muscle ‘thrown-over her’ from the Kuhaylan.

In another letter to Dr. Doyle from Rancho San Ignacio, dated September 28, 1953, Raswan wrote:

            Richard bought a son of Sartez and Munia…. I also helped him to get …”RABBANA”…and I have just made out her pedigree 8 and 9 generations complete to the Abbas Pasha – Ali Pasha Sharif and Desert origins.

            I wanted her myself…but Richard needed a start and he is looking for a match to her (she is six years old now and Richard did not breed her yet, waiting that I show up and help him find a stallion)….If Richard breeds this rare Saqlawiyah mare to a perfectly matched stallion you might trade later some horses with him. …

            Rabanna is small (ideal), fine boned, a 3 circle horse, well balanced, a lovely head (not extreme but all the details) with large eyes set low, wonderful muzzle parts (nostrils etc).

        Dr. Doyle was standing a 25-year-old stallion named Ghadaf (Ribal x Gulnare), bred by W.R. Brown of the Maynesboro Stud. On Raswan’s insistence, Rabanna was bred to Ghadaf in 1954, producing in September of 1955 the first Pritzlaff foal, a grey filly named Kualoha.

        Rabanna was bred back to Ghadaf for foals born in 1956 and 1957. In 1957 both Ghadaf and Dr. Doyle died; Rabanna’s 1957 colt was named John Doyle. But by that time, Richard was already seeking elsewhere to round out the foundation of his herd.

        Raswan had suggested that Richard look to Egypt. Since 1949 the government breeding program at El Zahraa near Cairo had been under the direction of General Tibor von Pettko-Szandtner. In earlier days he had headed the Hungarian state stud of Babolna, where he made good use of the desert bred Kuhaylan Zaid, a stallion Carl Raswan had helped procure. So in 1956, after visiting Germany and Austria, Richard flew to Cairo. Each day he went out to the farm and looked over the horses of the Egyptian Agricultural Organization. Finally he selected a colt and filly, but as there were no ships headed to the U.S., he had to give up and return home without the horses, hoping one day to try again.

        In April of 1958 he did return. This time, with General von Pettko-Szandtner’s help, Richard chose five horses for export. When a ship became available, Richard and the horses left the farm and headed to Alexandria. With papers, feed, bedding, and horse boxes finally arranged, the horses were loaded on board and the voyage to America began. Richard described wrapping himself in his coat and sleeping on the forward hatch near the horses the night the ship set out on the Mediterranean. After 13 days at sea, they arrived in Wilmington, North Carolina.

        From the beginning, Richard realized what he had in this importation. He wrote repeatedly in his farm advertising that the “General considered Nazeer the finest stallion in Egypt, and Moniet el Nefous was his favorite mare.” The horses in the importation were:

        *Rashad Ibn Nazeer (Nazeer x Yashmak, by Sheikh el Arab), three-year-old bay colt. Richard commented on *Rashad’s action and elegance, and stated he stood 15.2 and a half. He described him: “Tall, sloping shoulder, high withers, short back, long neck and reliable disposition — wonderful for cross country riding.”** He lived until 1976.

        *Bint El Bataa (Nazeer x El Bataa, by Sheikh el Arzab), three-year-old chestnut filly.

        *Bint Moniet el Nefous (Nazeer x Moniet el Nefous, by Shahloul), yearling chestnut filly. Of the imported mares, she had the greatest influence on the herd, through both sons and daughters.

        *Bint Nefisa (El Sareei x Nefisa, by Balance), yearling bay filly.

        This was the first Nazeer and Moniet el Nefous blood to reach the United States, and also the largest importation from Egypt since the Babson and Brown horses had arrived in 1932. This first group of “new Egyptians” opened the floodgates for the later new Egyptian importations which followed.

        The story of Rancho San Ignacio cannot be told without mention of Col. Hans Handler. While skiing in Austria in the 1950s, Richard met Col. Handler and became friends. Col. Handler was made head of the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, and Richard was able to observe the training of the horses there. In later years Col. Handler was a guest at Rancho San Ignacio and schooled a few of Richard’s stallions.

 

THE BREEDING PROGRAM AND BLOODLINES ADDED

        The main sire line used in developing the herd was *Rashad’s. *Rashad himself was not doing all the work, however; the program is unusual for the large number of sons and grandsons of its foundation sire used for breeding. Readers are referred to the accompanying chart of the *Rashad male line, which shows the *Rashad line horses which Richard Pritzlaff used for breeding. Stallions are in bold face. Each step to the right represents one generation. Other charts arrange the breeding stock by female line.

        Ghadaf’s son John Doyle made an early and permanent contribution to the herd through his grey daughter Tatu. Later his daughter Chev-RSI was also added to the mare band.

        The stud books show few outside lines added following the 1958 importation. Richard introduced the blood of only four stallions.

        The 1960 Babson stallion Faarad (Faaris x Fadba), bred by Jay and Lorane Musser, got his first foal for Richard in 1965. Faarad sired nine Rancho San Ignacio foals over the next six years, but Richard himself does not seem to have used any of them for breeding. Nonetheless as late as 1987 he still spoke of the Faarad blood as a component of the Pritzlaff Arabian.

        In 1968 *Bint El Bataa produced Naszala, a filly by the Ott-owned stallion Bel Gordas (Sirecho x Habba). One of Richard’s stated aims with this breeding was to add another *Nasr line to his herd. Naszala produced one filly by Ansata El Salim and one by Alcibiades.           Starting in the late 1960s, Richard entered into a reciprocal arrangement with Norton and Millie Grow of Rafter G Arabians in Prosser, Washington. The Grows had the young stallion Ansata El Salim (*Ansata Ibn Halima x Maarqada). A number of Richard’s mares, as well as Alcibiades, were sent up to Washington. Pritzlaff-owned mares produced a total of 25 Ansata El Salim foals through 1982. Ansata El Salim’s son Cibola RSI (x Soja RSI) returned to stand in Sapello, and three Ansata El Salim daughters produced Pritzlaff-bred foals, but this blood was never widespread in the herd.

        The final addition was a 1977 chestnut mare named Sara Moniel, bred by Robert and Sara Loken. Sara Moniel was out of the Pritzlaff mare Naszeera (Umi x Naszra) and by *Fakher el Din, the full brother to *Bint Moniet el Nefous. Sara Moniel was added to the herd to bring in the *Fakher el Din line and cross it with *Bint Moniet’s.

 

A 1987 VISIT TO RANCHO SAN IGNACIO

        As I arrived at the ranch house and slowed down I saw an unmistakable, wizened figure walking slowly toward me. He had an eye patch and walked with two canes, one in each hand. I had heard so much about him, and seen so many photos, that it was a shock to suddenly be face to face with Richard Pritzlaff, as though a legend had come to life.

        But he did not greet me right away. “No, no, don’t park here. Park over there,” he said, indicating an area a few yards ahead. I dutifully moved the car. Later he explained that if I had left the car where it was, the view from the house to the pastures would have been blocked.

        When I got out of the car for the second time he looked at me. “How old are you?” he asked. I told him I was 22. “Then I am 63 years older than you,” he said, “and that is quite a lot.”

        We walked toward the old adobe ranch house and sat on the porch, a long, covered area, narrow, level with the ground, and floored with stone. Richard told me he had brought the table and chairs we were using from the Philippines in about 1936. Looking at them, I had no trouble believing they had spent the last 50 years on that porch. Behind Richard, against the wall, was a huge Chinese urn with long peacock feathers standing in it. There were peacocks almost underfoot, so it was easy to see where the feathers had come from.

        Next we looked at horses. Walking the herd with him, I noted that he liked a short, broad head, width between large jowls, and huge eyes. He seemed to like a big jibbah with deep dish to the face. He told me that he liked a balanced horse, though commented that he never understood what Raswan meant by the description “three-circle” conformation. I got the impression that selection for type, especially about the head, was particularly important to him.

        Uniformity in the herd also seems to have been a goal. One ad from the 1960s featured the produce of *Bint El Bataa and proclaimed, “Like Peas in a Pod.” The two yearling fillies I saw, Permoniet RSI and Golmoniet RSI, were nearly identical. Later I learned they were seven-eighths sisters. Richard pointed out one mare as coming from the *Bint El Bataa family. “That’s a Seglawi line, isn’t it?” I asked. “That’s bunk,” he retorted. Richard explained that the Bedouin strains are all mixed up now, although I did hear him refer to animals as Seglawi type or Kehilan type. I gathered during my visit, and have since read in his writings, that Richard sought a horse with the strength of Raswan’s description of Kehilan type along with the beauty and elegance of Raswan’s description of Seglawi type.

        We had walked to the far end of one of the large pastures when Richard looked at the sky and repeated an earlier warning about rain. Soon we felt a few drops. “We’d better get back,” Richard said as he turned around. We were still a fair distance from the house when a torrent came battering down on us, first rain, then hail. Richard moved as fast as he could with his hip replacement and two canes, and I kept pace beside him for a few strides before he yelled, “Run, run!” to me. So I bolted for the house and took shelter on the porch. A short while later Richard reached the house and stepped under cover. Thus at about noon we were both standing on the porch dripping wet and smiling at each other. At that moment we reached a sort of unspoken accord, and the slight stiffness of the morning disappeared.

        We went inside. The house was long and dark, with floors of wood or stone. Chinese art was everywhere. The front room was cluttered with books and papers. “It won’t be easy to get back to the road with all this mud.” Richard told me “You might be here for a day or two.”

        To reach the kitchen we passed through a small room that seemed more jungle than house, crossing a bridge over a pool of water instead of floor. Huge plants grew on all sides. From the kitchen I stared out the window at the rain, which continued to pour down, creating a network of ponds and streams behind the house. Richard offered me a drink, and I asked for ice. He informed me, “I don’t have any ice in this house,” so I had it without.

        Richard answered two phone calls while we sat in the kitchen. A mutual acquaintance had helped arrange my visit, and I heard Richard say, “Your friend is here.” Another call was from someone who owned a granddaughter of *Rashad and told Richard she was their favorite horse.

        In years past Richard had a reputation as an accomplished cook, but at 85 the lunch he served me was as he described it: “Nothing fancy: just good, nourishing food.” He told me stories of Arabian breeders he had known over the years, and greatly regretted that so many of them had been “corrupted by money,” as he put it.

        When the rain stopped we went to look at stallions. I liked Raj RSI and Monietor-RSI best. Blue Boy, who was then 14, struck me as a good natured fellow of pronounced muscularity. One young grey appealed to neither of us. “I don’t think I’ll use him,” was Richard’s conclusion. Back in the house he read me selections from Raswan’s travel books, working from photocopies of what looked like typed manuscripts.

        Friends had warned me that Richard was an old man who tired easily and that I should leave after four or five hours, but I found it difficult to get away. Each time I tried to excuse myself, he would bring out another stack of Raswan material, pour me another drink, take me back out to look at horses, put a magazine in my hands, or show me a bronze. Finally he made dinner. When I did leave, he walked me out to my car and told me to drive carefully. The mud was treacherous, but I avoided getting stuck and finally made it back to the gravel road.

 

GOALS AND PERSPECTIVES

        The Pritzlaff breeding program had clearly stated goals, chief of which was preservation of “the very finest, true Bedouin horse” using “the world’s finest, purest Bedouin blood,” as Richard wrote. He was convinced there were no better bloodlines for the task than what he had assembled with the help of Raswan and von Pettko-Szandtner, although friends say he recognized and admired other bloodlines.

        As time went on the herd became more tightly linebred, with a high relationship to *Rashad and *Bint Moniet in particular. By 1987 Richard was writing that “Pritzlaff Arabians are a type,” although it had probably been true a good many years before that. In an interview he stated, “Selection has established the type at Rancho San Ignacio.” He considered a quiet and gentle disposition to be an important Arabian characteristic. He also felt the Rabanna blood “contributed stronger croups and more athletic bodies.” When asked to name his favorites in the interview, the *Bint Moniet offspring Tatu, Monieta RSI, and Dymoniet RSI were all included.

        A continental European approach informed Richard’s ideas of how to use horses, thus he was never tempted to select for some of the less useful aspects of halter horse conformation. If his horses could excel in dressage or jumping, or carry a rider mile after mile over the ranch, he was pleased with them. Richard Pritzlaff is named in the stud books as the breeder of more than 230 foals, many of which left the ranch and had successful careers. To discuss them all would require another article, so one recent example will have to do. The 1988 stallion Drkumo RSI (Dymoniet RSI x Kumoniet RSI) won the American Endurance Ride Conference’s Jim Jones Award in the ownership of Crockett and Sharon Dumas, Rodarte, New Mexico.

        Richard believed his horses were healthier and happier living with access to spacious pastures and with all of their hair intact. He felt that keeping horses in confinement, hooded and blanketed and overgroomed, was unhealthy and psychologically damaging. In keeping with this philosophy, some of the more baroque aspects of barn architecture — fountains, Corinthian columns, cut crystal chandeliers — were not found at Rancho San Ignacio.

        Richard continued to ride into his 80s. By the time Richard was 86, managing a large herd was becoming more difficult; he placed ads announcing a herd reduction. During his last years, breeding activity slowed and he became less mobile, but he could still see the horses from his window, and that made him happy. He died at the age of 94 on February 6, 1997, and a memorial service was held at the ranch on April 19. At the time of this writing, there are still about 40 Arabians on the ranch.

        It was Richard’s wish that Rancho San Ignacio would be preserved as the half-tamed, mountain refuge he called home for more than 60 years, and that conscientious breeders would continue his program. The horses have already contributed to breeding programs around the world, many based largely or entirely on Pritzlaff blood.

 


 

**Arabian Horse World, November 1980, p. 364.

Articles by Richard Pritzlaff himself appeared in:

Arabian Horse World, May 1983, p. 387.

Arabian Visions, October 1987, p. 80.

And an interview with him appeared in:

Arabian Horse World, May 1987, p. 298.

Thanks also to Richard’s friends Gerald Klinginsmith, W.B. Winter, and Charles Craver.

Jadaan: The Horse That Valentino Rode

by Aaron Dudley
Photos from Spide Rathbun Collection
from Western Horseman Mar 1952

Two great horses. Jadaan visits the statue of the immortal Seabiscuit at Southern California’s famous Santa Anita race track. A special platform was built in the midst of one of Santa Anita’s noted pansy beds for this occasion.

Probably no horse of modern time — including the favorite mounts of our current TV and movie cowboys — has enjoyed greater popularity or been viewed by more people than a proud little grey Arab named Jadaan.

That name probably means little to the average horseman, and certainly nothing to the millions of curious fans who have seen him, but when you say he’s “the horse that Rudolph Valentino rode” there’s an immediate reaction.

Rudolph Valentino and the stallion Jadaan in full desert regalia, ready for a dash over the sands for cameras recording “The Son of the Sheik.” This costume and the Jadaan trappings are still on display in the tackroom of the W.K.Kellogg ranch at Pomona.

Millions trekked to the famous W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse ranch at Pomona, Calif., upon the matinee idol’s death to see this horse and view trappings the dashing Latin used in his popular desert pictures of the 1920’s. And although the ranch had many fine horses, fully 90 per cent of the visitors who came wanted to see “the Valentino horse.” Women crowded around his box stall, wore the stable door smooth pressing for a better look at the sleek stallion. And they stood to silent near-reverence when Jadaan was led riderless into the arena carrying his former master’s colorful desert regalia.

Jadaan in later years, standing at the foot of the Valentino shrine in Hollywood. The old horse was trailered to hundreds of gatherings honoring Valentino, and was a top attraction at movieland parades.

This idolizing of a movie hero’s horse continued almost unabated for 19 years until the little horse died in 1945. And then avid Valentino zealots had his skeleton preserved and enshrined in the University of California’s School of Animal Husbandry.[1]


Unfortunately, Jadaan was neither a top individual (from a horseman’s point of view) nor did he produce outstanding colts; this in spite of the fact his ancestry was the best of old-line Arabian stock. His granddam was the famous mare Waddudda, brought to America in 1906 and presented to Homer Davenport by Achmet Hefiz, who also reportedly sent along a desert tribesman to care for the mare.

Registry No. 196, Jadaan was foaled in April, 1916, at Hingham Stock Farm, Hingham, Massachusetts. His sire was the desert-bred Abbeian, imported by Homer Davenport in 1906. The dam was Amran by Deyr, No. 33, another Davenport importation.

Deyr, a very fine individual, was the only stallion of the original Davenport importation ever at the Kellogg Ranch. His skeleton, a classic example of the Arabian, is now on display at the Los Angeles Museum at Exposition Park.

But in spite of this royal Arab lineage, Jadaan had very poor front legs and his get tended to be even farther over in the knees than their sire.[2]

Horsewomen Monaei Lindley dons Arabian garb and mounts Jadaan for a photo at the Kellogg Arabian Horse ranch entrance. Everything good and bad about the horse can be clearly seen in this photo. Miss Lindley, at the time this photograph was taken, was an active horse breeder of Cinnebar Hill, Reno, Nevada.

H. H. Reese, in charge of the Kellogg Ranch when Jadaan was at the height of his fame, complied to the public clamor for colts from “the Valentino horse” and produced a big crop of colts for several seasons. They sold fast, but failed to do anything in the shows, and when a noted judge finally complained about the uniform badness of Jadaan’s offspring, Reese retired the stud to the limelight of his fame as a movie and parade horse and withheld him from further activity in the stud.

This situation was made to order for Spide Rathbun, promotion manager for the Kellogg ranch and the man second only to Valentino in contribution to Jadaan’s fame. It was Rathbun who gave Jadaan the big build-up as Valentino’s horse, who made Jadaan THE Valentino horse, in spite of the fact Valentino had ridden Raseyn and other Jadaan stablemates in motion picture work.

So when Reese wrote finis to Jadaan’s career in the stud, Rathbun went to work with added enthusiasm. Jadaan’s picture began appearing in the Sunday supplements at a rapid rate. Struggling movie starlets begged for an opportunity to be photographed with him. He was a fixture at Hollywood parades, and even was placed on exhibit in a special stall right in the lobby of one of the town’s plushiest theaters. He led Pasadena’s famous Tournament of Roses parades, had half a dozen different authentic desert outfits and rivaled the famous Lady in Black in contributing to the fanatical Valentino memorabilia. People just wouldn’t forget Valentino nor anything that had been connected with him.

Spide Rathbun and Jadaan went along with them, and whatever the little horse lacked in conformation he made up in spirit and a strange human like response to parade music or camera lens.

Jadaan in his prime looks over the Kellogg ranch from a nearby hilltop, with Ken Maynard as Buffalo Bill Cody astride. Maynard was a frequent visitor at the Kellogg ranch and often rode Jadaan in parades.

“Jadaan had an extraordinary faculty for falling naturally into beautiful poses,” says Rathbun. And there are literally thousands of pictures to prove it.

Jadaan had natural beauty, poise, grace, and a vibrant personality. His head and shoulder poses were described by some of Hollywood’s top cameramen as the most impressive they had ever photographed.

There is no denying he was an impressive horse.

Valentino first saw him in Palm Springs. Jadaan was in his prime and in his element, the sandy desert. And he had the benefit of a masterful rider, a European horsemen named Carl Schmidt, known to thousands of Arabian breeders today as “Raswan.”

The pair made an impressive picture, and Valentino immediately was interested in the prancing stallion. The price was $3,000 at the time, according to Raswan. (Kellogg had paid $1,200 for him.) Carl and Valentino visited at length concerning Jadaan and his possibilities as a movie horse. This was in 1926 and Valentino was about to make another desert picture in which he hoped to use an outstanding mount.

Jadaan at this time was owned by W. K. Kellogg, the cereal king, having just been purchased from C. D. Clark, of Point Happy Ranch, Indio, along with nine others. Kellogg, however, left the horse in Clark’s care, with Schmidt in charge.

Jadaan was then 10 years old.

Valentino wanted Jadaan badly. Friends said he mentioned the horse often in the next few months, comparing the horse with famous statues he had seen in Italy, statuary of Garibaldi and Marco Polo, always mounted on rearing horses.

“I used to look at the great, metal Garibaldi in the little park,” friends quoted the actor saying. “I can see him now, seated firmly on his rearing horse. I always wanted to ride like that.”

This admiration for dashing horsemanship probably was responsible for much of the success of Valentino’s desert sheik pictures and, no doubt, led to his first interest in Jadaan. Jadaan commanded attention.

Unfortunately for Valentino and his backers, the actor did not give in to his urge to own Jadaan. Instead, it was decided to rent him from Kellogg for use in the upcoming movie.

This decision was an expensive one, for before they were through shooting, the aggregate cost of rental and insurance reached a reputed $12,000. And the movie makers had to furnish an expert attendant besides.

One day of retakes cost the film company $750 of insurance alone, and the backers were pretty sick of horse problems before they had the picture wrapped up.

And Valentino, in spite of the fact he was a far better than average horseman, was too valuable an asset to risk on a spirited horse for any length of time. As a consequence, the producer had to hire Carl “Raswan” Schmidt as his double. In the famous film “Son of the Sheik” Carl portrayed both the son and the father in all long shots and all those requiring fast or dangerous riding.

It was not long thereafter that Valentino died, and Jadaan, under the expert press agentry of Rathbun and thanks to an idolizing public, became the nation’s most famous living horse.

He was in such great demand that Kellogg Ranch officials had to maintain careful future booking records and exercise great caution in agreeing to public appearances for him. Idolizers of Valentino pulled hair from the horse’s tail and mane, asked for his shoes, and taxed the patience of attendants by filching jewels from the showy saddle, bridle and other elaborate trappings.

Heirs of Buffalo Bill Cody, after seeing photos of a movieland Buffalo Bill mounted on Jadaan, requested that upon the animal’s death his skin be sent them for mounting and placing in the museum at Cody, Wyoming. It was recalled that Buffalo Bill’s favorite mount was a white Arabian, Muson, a stallion loaned to him by his friend Homer Davenport. Cody always rode Muson in his appearances at Madison Square Garden; and it was on this animal he is mounted in the Rosa Bonheur painting.

Jadaan’s skin was preserved upon his death, but it apparently never reached its destined place of enshrinement at Cody.

The Jadaan-Valentino saddle is still much in evidence at the Kellogg ranch (now Southern California campus of California Polytechnic College). It looked for a while one day recently that future generations would not be afforded an opportunity of seeing this historic piece of Hollywood gear. As is the custom each Sunday, a riderless horse outfitted with the Valentino saddle, bridle, fringed martingale, and jeweled blanket is brought into the ring. The young Cal-Poly student who saddled the honored Arab on this particular day evidently saw no reason for cinching up the rig tightly, and the filly bearing it promptly bucked it loose midway in her appearance and proceeded to kick it pretty well to ribbons as it hung beneath her belly.

Harness maker Z. C. Ellis, of Pomona, came to the rescue, however, painstakingly piecing embroidery, dyed leather, and jewels back together again; and posterity can now see the saddle that Rudolph Valentino rode.

And parents can continue to scoff when youngsters look blank and inquire, “Who was he, anyway?”

Jadaan’s Get

From “Jadaan 196” by Carol W. Mulder in Arabian Horse World Dec. 1971

Year Name Dam Notes
1925 Markada Fasal a broodmare for Dickinson 3 reg foals (from Dickenson’s Catalog(’47): “Height 15.1 weight 1025” “Markada is intelligent to a degree and has been well educated. She knows a number of tricks and has personality enough to make an ideal heroine for a ‘human’ horse story. She seems to take pride in giving one a good ride. Markada is above average size and well built up, especially in the forehand. She has deep shoulders, sloping nicely, and good withers. Her middle piece is well rounded and she carries herself well at both ends. This mare is close to desert breeding and strong in the blood of great producing dams.” “Used 1931-1934. Sold in Tennessee”[3]
1927 Irak *Raida no recorded get
Wardi Sedjur a broodmare for Jedel Ranch
1929 End O’War Amham died at 4 months
Raidaan *Raida a sire for Gordon A. Dutt. 7 reg. foals
Jadanna *Rossana exp. to Mexico City, Mexico
Gloria Davenport Sedjur 4 reg foals
1930 Jadur Sedjur 2 reg. daughters
Badia Babe Azab Dam of12 offspring including the Davenport 2nd foundation mare, Asara. Damline of Fadjur’s favorite mare, Saki.
Estrellita Amham 8 reg. foals
1931 Jadura Sedjur line has died out
Amaana Amham at least 5 reg foals
Raidaana *Raida Kellogg broodmare. at least 6 reg foals. Destroyed by Remount in ’44 at age 13. Lame.
1932 Bedaana Beneyeh 5 reg foals
Majada *Malouma died at six months
Jurad Sedjur did not breed on.
Hamaan Amham sire for Marie C. Scott’s Wyoming ranch. 20 reg. foals
Jarid *Raida a sire for Dr. Fred A. Glass
Fred E. Vanderhoof bred 3 mares to him in 1938 resulting in
1939 Leidaan Leila bred on.
Havanna *Bint at least 7 reg. foals.
Ravaana Rasrah at least 7 reg. foals.
  1. [1]From Mary Jane Parkinson’s The Kellogg Arabian Ranch: The First Fifty Years p. 277: “JADAAN, age 29, had outlived his usefulness. …was destroyed on May 28” by the U.S. Remount.
  2. [2]“(Buck-knees) While this is a very unsightly disfigurement, it is not by any means as serious as several other front leg flaws, and is, in fact, considered by many experts to be relatively harmless!” — Carol Mulder
  3. [3]From “Fasal 330” by Carol W. Mulder in Arabian Horse World Feb. 1976: “(Markada) dying in her prime.”

Preservation Breeding and Population Genetics

by Michael Bowling © 1995
from CMK Record XI/2 Spring ’95

(This discussion is based on outline notes for the talk I gave at the 1994 Annual Meeting of the Arabian Horse Historians Association. The timeliness of the topic is underscored by a comment from the outgoing AHHA president, Carol Schulz, that at least 90% of the Arabian foals registered in the last several stud books are of generalized “show horse” lines, representing no particular breeding direction or identity. This does not say anything against the show horses, but makes it clear that all other aspects of the Arabian horse–and that includes straight Polish, Egyptian, Russian and Spanish–must be divided among less than 10% of current US breeding activity.)

AZZ (Ibn Nura x Bint Azz), shown here with Lady Anne Blunt, was the last of her line. Lady Anne sent the mare to England in the vain hope that more sophisticated veterinary care might preserve this branch of Dahman Shahwan. (NBGS)

What do we actually mean when we talk about “preserving” a genetic stock? The object of the exercise is not simply, or even chiefly, keeping names in pedigrees; pedigrees are merely a tool which may aid in evaluating the structure of a breeding group. It is obviously possible to breed in a preservationist sense with stocks that don’t even have recorded pedigrees. It is also perfectly possible to have a name present in pedigrees, while no modern representative carries a gene from the individual in question.

The goal of preservation breeding is to keep in the world the traits, characters, hereditary factors which make one aspect of a breed or species different from another–in short, to preserve genes for the future. Preservation breeding carries the unspoken assumption that the “preserved” genes will benefit a larger population in future; defined breeding groups have value and identity in their own right, but in another sense they are being maintained for future use.

This brings us inescapably into the realm of population genetics: the aspect of the science of heredity which considers the behavior of genes over time, as affected by particular mating systems. Population genetics is a mathematical and highly theoretical discipline–frankly in graduate school I found it the least compelling aspect of genetics–until you have a real problem to which it applies, when the charts and equations suddenly take on life and meaning.

Much of population genetics theory is derived for the special case of “random mating”–defined as a situation in which every individual in a population has equal probability of mating with every other individual of opposite sex. Clearly this is an imaginary construct to simplify the math. Real-life matings are constrained by geography, finance, fashion, etc., any of which will lead to wide use of some lines or individuals, and neglect of others, and so directly to loss of genetic diversity.

Any individual horse standing before us is the product of its genetic makeup interacting with all the environmental factors it has encountered. Nutrition, training, medical care–all these come under the heading of “environment,” not just weather and soil conditions. Genetic diversity buffers the population against the effect of environmental change; it is what gives a breed the potential to respond to new conditions. Diversity includes the physical and mental traits of the traditional Arabian; “new conditions” in our context may include things like an increased appreciation of the traditional using and companion Arabian horse.

A breed is the sum total of all its individual horses. Historically the genetics and veterinary literature has treated members of breeds as if they were interchangeable average mathematical units. Fortunately with the recognition of genetic diversity as a positive good, an alternative approach is gaining currency. Preservation breeding emphasizes that a breed must not be viewed as the average of all its “random mating” individuals–in order to preserve we must identify and try to understand the differing strands of its makeup.

I have referred before to that useful metaphor of “the tapestry you are preserving.” One may “preserve” almost anything, from a near-perfect wall hanging which just needs to be cleaned and protected from future damage, down to a scrap of authentic thread which may be very useful for repair or reinforcement of a more complete but related fragment.

A static image of conservation or preservation could be misleading (any metaphor however useful is a comparison, not a description). We do need to remember that in Arabian horse terms there are no perfect tapestries, and clarify one difference between preservation breeding and other kinds of conservation (working with animals even differs from preserving rare plant stocks): Genes (DNA molecules) are essentially unchanged over the generations; individual horses are transient, ephemeral, fleeting combinations of genes. The tapestry image works so long as we keep in mind that the process is analogous, but the object of the process is quite different.

What classes of fragments might we conserve? All will be arbitrary, defined in some historical terms–“species” at least in the ideal is a natural, biological classification, but we are not working at the species level. Fortunately we can describe any group in biological terms once we’ve defined it.

  • Large closed groups: this is certainly the easiest category if you have one.
  • Large groups, with fuzzy edges: this has practical advantages but must be defined.
  • Small closed groups: working with these is challenging but possible.
  • “Endangered species”: this is where we run the greatest danger of “keeping a name in a pedigree” without any associated biological reality; small fragments are meaningful only if maintained in some relevant larger context.

Large closed groups: These are easy to define once we decide how large is “large”? Bottlenecks are relative, the more numbers we work with the better our chance of keeping a major proportion of the genetic variation we’re trying to save. We can describe a general picture here, and the other situations can be treated as they vary from it. This is where we need to introduce some population genetics concepts:

“Gene frequency”: a thing, a number, which tells us something about a breeding group; don’t worry about how to develop the actual number. All traits are based on genes, and all genes exist at some frequency–it’s just harder to measure the interesting ones so we sometimes use “markers.”

“Effective population size”: another informative number, which takes into account the relative breeding contributions of males and females. An effective population of 10 can retain genes existing at frequency of 0.1 or higher; uncommon (below 0.1) and rare (below 0.05) variants will likely be lost. For our purposes, in a typical horse-breeding situation, “effective size 10” means some number much larger than 10. Note: it does not matter whether the population expands in numbers; expansion helps to keep in circulation the genes that you do have, but it does not do anything about ones that were lost when the founders were selected.

“The sire is half the herd”–we all know that maxim. In a preservation breeding context the point is precisely that we don’t want any one sire to dominate any program to the extent of half its genes. The more one narrows down the sire selection, the more, and the more diverse, mares must be kept in order to retain the original genetic variation. The most efficient way to maintain diversity is to use multiple sires on several small sets of mares, and rotate the sires. The idea, always of course influenced by real-world considerations, among them the phenotypic suitability of a particular combination, is to equalize breeding opportunity in order to maximize the proportion of genes retained.

Inbreeding and selection pressure are considerations in any breeding situation–they are not specialized aspects of the preservationist approach. Inbreeding, like random mating, simplifies the math, so is overly important in population genetics theory. Inbreeding can be a useful tool, and incidentally is a fact in any closed breeding group–inbreeding operates at the level of breeds, so long as they have closed stud books, not just within limited subsets of breeds. Inbreeding drives genes to fixation and can lead to the loss of alleles from the population, so one goal of presevationist planning should be to minimize the average degree of inbreeding. Inbreeding is not an end in itself.

Once we have a preservation group defined (say for now all the horses, or at least a representative sample, are in preservationist hands, though that is not a trivial assumption) and reproducing, the best way to retain maximum genetic diversity is to spread the horses among more than one program, and let subgroups happen. In theory we want a set of “cooperator breeders” working toward a shared vision. That calls to mind another non-trivial problem: preservation breeders as people will, by definition, be eccentric and… let’s say independent minded. Those independent visions are essential, each maintaining its own distinct sample of the horses in question; there still must be enough of the shared vision, and some sort of working definition, to retain the genetic identity of the preserved group.

Part II (CMK Record, XI/3 Fall, 1995)

(Continued from last issue — the “to be continued” text block was lost in production. Last time we outlined the basic notions of population genetics, in terms of preservation breeding with a large closed population. Further implications arise when other kinds of genetic entities are to be preserved.)

Large blurry groups will maximize the contribution from the founder animals. Generally, by the time any breeding group needs attention at the preservation level, the genetic influence of many founders will be lost among those descendants which qualify for inclusion in a closed group. Whether through attrition of numbers, or use in outcross programs, or most likely both, any set of “straight” pedigree horses carries only a fraction of the founders’ genes–compare, for example, the original Blunt or Davenport array, with the sample of those influences represented in modern straight Blunt or straight Davenport breeding.

Gene frequencies among the surviving descendants of anything reflect the action of mutation (negligible over human time scales), chance and selection. The gene frequencies of any modern closed group likely will be very different from the frequencies that would have been calculated among the founders. This effect is apt to be less exaggerated (simply because more of the founders are represented) if we define our modern population so that it descends “largely” (deliberately vague) from those founders. To follow up the previous example, there are Blunt and Davenport genes in modern CMK Arabians which have been lost from their straight Blunt or Davenport relatives.

Philosophically and historically the breeding group with blurry outlines is different from more traditional approaches but it is squarely based on an accurate biological view: species are naturally distinct biological entities with more or less firm barriers against crossing; breeds are artificially maintained subsets of a species. “Breed” is a historical (originally geographic) concept, and acquires biological reality only after the fact; this cannot be overstressed. “Breed” and “species” do not have equivalent implications, in terms of original or maintained genetic differences. In evolutionary terms, the genetic distance between pairs of species is measured by comparing their relative frequencies for marker genes–in making such measurements researchers do not expect to find complete non-overlap between related species. Obviously then this will not be expected between breeds, leave alone subsets of a breed.

Working with a blurry edged pedigree definition is not the same as maintaining a closed group, and not a substitute where the closed group still exists–the two approaches are complementary. In setting up a blurry group its organizers must neither claim that it is something else, nor allow it to be thought less than it is in its own right. There must be a working definition which sets off a biologically and phenotypically distinct entity from the breed at large.

Few (if any) absolute genetic differences exist between breeds. Still less can there be absolute differences between subsets of a breed, and there simply is no way to tell what caused such differences anyway–they are every bit as likely to have arisen through chance loss of genes from one set but not from the other, as they are to reflect an original difference. Given they were shown to represent an original difference, such still could represent accidents of sampling the original population (in our case the Bedouin horses, which ranged over a large area geographically and were more or less separated in terms of tribal origins).

Working with a blurry-edged definition gives tremendous possibilities in terms of developing subgroups: founder genes of different origin (in Arabian terms, different desert samples) will get together and produce new combinations not existing in the original animals. This may suit a particular breeder’s approach admirably, while it strikes another as highly undesirable. Neither response to this biological fact is “wrong,” but this does underline that one must be aware that gene combinations are not static, even in a closed group.

Preservation breeding of livestock is not like working with, say, historical rose varieties. Modern bushes of a rose bred in 1830 are biological clones of the same plant, with exactly the same gene combinations as the ancestor (barring rare mutations). Modern descendants of an individual Arabian horse which lived in 1830 need not actually carry any of its genes, and they certainly carry those genes in different combinations than did that ancestor. To give a simple coat color example from a more recent individual, Skowronek was homozygous for grey and heterozygous for the black and red pigment genes at extension locus. There are modern chestnut Arabians of intense Skowronek breeding–horses bred to maintain a high relationship to this ancestor have lost three (at least) of his detectable genes at these two easily defined loci.

Small closed groups make for the most difficult and challenging and certainly the most intellectually fascinating kind of project. We have already acknowledged that large groups will develop subgroups. Over time these may be selected or defined into their own distinct existence, so eventually the “small group” scenario becomes a concern in almost any preservation breeding context, regardless of your starting level. Keeping to our original examples, the Davenport program is developing an elaborate substructure, and within the English descended aspect of CMK there are a number of possible distinctions, including straight Blunt, Skowronek-Blunt, straight Crabbet, GSB-eligible, Crabbet-Old English, and CMK of high Crabbet percentage. Each of these may be maintained in its own distinctive form, while individuals of the more specialized groups may contribute genes to the more general ones.

The narrowly defined groups exist in their own right but they also serve as a resource of mental and conformation traits, soundness and performance ability, for use in other contexts. This is quite analogous to the position of preservation-bred stock relative to the breed at large. The drawback, at least in theory, to maintaining the maximum number of small sub-groups, is that inbreeding within each subgroup will increase more rapidly than it would if the entire set of horses had been crossed freely among themselves. The other side of the same coin is that crossing sub-groups will later provide a way to increase heterozygosity, and theoretically vigor and fertility, without going outside the original closed definition.

The notion to take home here is that maintaining population substructure is an efficient way to maintain genetic diversity; the modern Thoroughbred, with its history of international exchanges of sires and overall genetic homogenization, possesses far less genetic diversity than does the Arabian, with its history of breeding in national or smaller subgroups.

We all learned long ago that “inbreeding creates uniformity.” If you take nothing else away from this discussion, at least cross that off your list of life’s basic concepts. Inbreeding drives genes to homozygosity and thereby shows up underlying genetic variance. Inbreeding actually creates phenotypic variability. Selection among the results of inbreeding may give rise to uniformity. Is this what you want?

A program cannot possibly maintain the full range of genetic diversity, and is not likely to maintain representative frequencies, of any founder population, through a bottleneck of two or three or five individuals. “Rare” genes are defined to exist below 0.05 frequency–nothing in a group of five horses (among them possessing a theoretical maximum total of 10 genes at any locus, and in practice there will be fewer) can exist below 0.10. If a “rare” gene from the original population, of which these five horses are a sample, is by chance present, it automatically has gone above its original frequency; if it’s not in there it never can come back, so long as the group is bred closed. This effect is not automatically either good or bad, but is simply what happens, and it illustrates that “preservation” operates at different levels. Clearly one can only “preserve” what is still in the world to be worked with, but just as clearly, the more extensive the sample with which one starts breeding now, the more correctly the desired population will be reflected in future generations.

A program cannot achieve flat phenotypic “uniformity” without losing genes; selection for a totally uniform true-breeding group is in fact the opposite of genetic preservation (besides being a highly theoretical construct–biological reality is quite different). A program, or a group of cooperator programs, can maintain or reproduce something closer to the original population by crossing derived lines back together. Sublines will automatically develop when more than one breeder is directing the course of selection, and so far from being disadvantageous, these can be highly useful from many viewpoints. (I am deliberately running this idea into the ground–it is one of the most important things of which preservation breeders must be aware.)

Endangered Species: At this level (“threads and fragments” in our tapestry analogy) a real genetic presence can readily be reduced to “a name in a pedigree” unless the line is maintained in some appropriate biological context. When a breed is evolving rapidly, saving descendants of an uncommon element means nothing, unless the breeder interested in preserving that element is working with some semblance of the breeding background to which it belongs historically and genetically. This point is missed by many people who breed horses–perhaps especially Arabian horses–who boast they have a line to Mare X or Great Sire Y but haven’t noticed (or alternatively may be quite proud of) how often the descendant bears little resemblance to the ancestor. No one would try to deny that such resemblances can persist across a breed–but the point of preservation is precisely that more such resemblances may be more predictably maintained if breeders don’t depend simply on chance to bring them forward. Chance will tend to swamp the real genetic influence of rare lines, by simple force of numbers, outside the preservation context. [See Ann T. Bowling’s “Questioning breeding myths in light of genetics“]

Sire lines tend to be the most rapidly evolving aspect of any breed of any species, except where a closed stud book has been essentially taken over by a line or two and there’s no more room for change. The Y chromosome is a biological entity and is only handed on from sire to son. It is possible to measure genetic distance by sequencing yDNA. Probably more important for our discussion, old and traditional sire lines are more likely to be maintained in old and traditional breeding contexts; the persistence of a no longer fashionable sire line is an obvious marker for the program directed by a breeder who appreciates the traditional stock. Emphasis on sire lines works both ways then–it definitely helps us to find genes of diminishing frequency, and it theoretically carries them physically (but remember few genes on the Y are known, except those directly relating to male fertility). [NB: to date (2007), while Y chromosome variation is easily found in most species tested, none has been detected in the horse.]

Dam lines tend to be biologically conservative. Rare and uncommon genes tend to be carried through the bottom of the pedigree–simply because so many more mares than stallions breed actively in each generation. By simple chance, more carriers of any uncommon gene will be used on the female side than on the male. Occasionally a mare will hand a rare gene on to one or more influential stallion sons and a breed experiences a major change in gene frequency. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is associated with the cytoplasm, not the cell nucleus, and thus transmitted almost entirely through the egg, essentially only through the female line. Very little mtDNA is carried by sperm (though such transmission has proven detectable in carefully designed mouse experiments). [See M. Bowling’s 1998 article “What’s in a Name“] [NB: it has been shown since this writing that sperm transmission of mtDNA does not occur under normal conditions.]

mtDNA carries important genes which interact with nuclear genes; also, like yDNA [which has not proven to be informative in the horse], it can be a tracer for historical and biological change and the interrelationships of lines. Generally populations have more dam than sire lines so mtDNA theoretically is more useful than yDNA; it has also proven more variable in practice. This area is only beginning to be investigated in the horse but it carries exciting potential.

“Middle of the pedigree” elements may readily be overlooked. Historically breeders have thought in terms of sire (west) or dam (east) lines–we often study published charts of sire and dam lines as a shorthand way of handling pedigrees. Sire and dam lines in fact reflect the smallest portion of any pedigree, and certainly of gene transmission–only the Y chromosome and cytoplasmic mtDNA respectively are guaranteed to run along the top or bottom of a pedigree. Except in terms of those two elements, and thus for the vast majority of genetic material, position in the pedigree has nothing to do with potential genetic influence; important horses, still visibly influential, may not have left direct sire or dam lines. Davenport’s *Haleb and the Blunt’s Bint Nura GSB come readily to mind as examples.

This opens an enormous area for discussion or consideration, and space forbids addressing it in more than this very elementary fashion. The underlying reality is that any ancestor in any pedigree may have contributed genes to any modern descendant–but at the same time any ancestor’s genes, once we get back a few generations, may have been lost completely. There is no way to tell by looking at the list of names which is a pedigree, the ancestors that actually are genetically important in the horse to which that list belongs. We must look at the horses and learn as much as possible about the ancestors, in order to make rational judgments on this point.

Mid-pedigree names may become important in developing subgroups. Simply as a fact–with neither negative nor positive associations–breeders may use any name as a marker to define a group (and it may be used by its presence or absence). The bigger and more influential the “name,” in fact, the more useful it may be, in terms of future genetic balance, to reserve some lines for crossing back to it–within the large group however defined.

What are we trying to preserve? Genetic diversity buffers the breed against change; genetic diversity interacts with environment to provide the basis for all variation within a breed. Preservationist breeders have one underlying goal: to promote the maintenance of genetic diversity. It should not be necessary to state that the preservationist approach grows out of having observed negative changes in the breed. We are preserving the genes which influence major traits, including disposition, soundness and endurance, which are not necessarily addressed in the show ring.

Different preservationist groups have more in common than they do dividing them; it is to all our benefits to make common cause for a generally different approach to breeding the Arabian horse. A listing of preservationist group contacts would be a very useful practical tool in advancing this goal, and the members of the Arabian Horse Historians Association, assembled at their 1994 Annual Meeting, agreed that serving as the clearing house for such information was a valid role for AHHA. Preservation breeders may themselves become an endangered species–no one has any choice without a vigorous preservationist movement.

from: “For the Record” CMK Record, XI/3: page 10/12 Fall, 1995

(GMB–We’ve edited Deborah’s letter because as we understand her point it’s not so much to comment on other preservationist activities, as to caution CMK breeders about mistakes they might be in danger of making. Of course we suspect, too, Deborah would agree if we pointed out that there are many registered Arabians which are not preservationist-bred in any sense, but which also “should not be bred on” for their lacks with regard to conformation, soundness, disposition or breed character. Overall we certainly second her warning and are glad to see such thinking in the CMK ranks: this movement absolutely would lose its identity, its purpose and its point if it did not continue to turn out the beautiful, traditional using Arabian that brought all of us into the CMK circle. Fortunately it is clear that CMK pedigrees continue to produce just that kind of Arabian. We have thought about this quite a lot, over the years, and it strikes us that CMK breeders in particular are not so much in danger of full-blown “preservationist syndrome” as may be the followers of some other lines of breeding. It is easy to be caught up in enthusiasm over the rarity of a particular individual, and obviously we all have our own preferences for some style of horse as opposed to another. That said, very few of us began in CMK Arabians with the idea first and looked for the horses later; a more typical CMK story is learning to appreciate a particular kind of Arabian–we would say practically always starting from a using, riding horse orientation–and then finding that “our kind of horse” belongs with the CMK Heritage. Other major advantages to CMK as a preservation scheme are its avoiding a closed definition and the great genetic diversity it maintains. Large-sense CMK breeders have much more room to operate than do the people working with other narrow closed preservation groups; specialized narrower groups within CMK may be crossed with other CMK lines without losing their CMK identity.

As the CMK preservation movement explores more kinds of promotional efforts, we can expect to hear from more people who actually do set out to see what these CMK horses are about, with no preconceived idea of what kind of horse they’re going to find. That is precisely why we need to go cautiously on the promotion front: we must be sure we are attracting people who can understand and appreciate this kind of horse, rather than those who may latch on to the name yet expect to modify the horses to suit some other set of criteria.

Deborah may not have had this next point in mind but many horse activities pursued these days do not place very high priority on the well-being of the horse, whether physical or psychological [the two are very closely intertwined]. [See Rick Synowski’s article “Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder In Arabian Horses“.] No thinking breeder would care to see any horse exposed to such dangers, but we are convinced the CMK Arabian in particular is ill served by certain aspects of modern training and presentation [and statements by show trainers bear this out]. The CMK Heritage will place more emphasis in future on the actual physical “preservation” of individual horses in this day-to-day safety sense. This must include, almost by definition, the encouragement of alternative systems of use and presentation which do maintain horsemanlike values and do emphasize the well-being of the animal.

We find, too, we can’t close without attempting to give a slightly different slant on “preservationist syndrome.” The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy distinguishes conservation–the simple maintenance of a stock in existence, without changing it–from improvement, breeding with selection toward any set of visual and functional standards. ALBC advises conservation of very primitive breeding groups, whose raison d’etre is to serve as a reservoir of basic genes for health and soundness which may be at risk for loss in high-performance domestic lines. By contrast selection for continued improvement is accounted appropriate in traditional “improved” stocks whose history includes a performance standard.

The using Arabians of the Reese and Dean circles, whose breeders provided the background for the CMK movement, certainly were highly selected. So were those of the Crabbet Stud. The breeders of the CMK Heritage can call on the genetic strength resulting from that selection; at the same time we have, as Deborah pointed out, a grave responsibility to maintain the standards which were achieved by those past breeders. The problem in modern Arabian horse circles, of course, is to recognize “improvement” when one sees it. There certainly are Arabian breeders who see any change that has come about since the horses left the Bedouin tribes as change for the worse, and who think in ALBC’s conservationist terms, of maintaining a comparatively primitive stock as little different as may be from the desert war mare. There are many more of us who are not impressed with the way the show horses have changed in this country over the past two decades [the wink of an eye compared to the breed’s history in the west, leave alone its prior existence]. There is a place for all of us, but it is essential that we understand the implications of our positions.

Do remember that many of the preservationist programs are operating with minuscule numbers of horses — all recognizable activity with an identity other than “mixed source show horse” amounts to little more than 10% of the breed combined. We address this not in terms of what level of selection a given program may have room to impose, if they are to breed any horses at all; but of the simple fact that their horses have relatively little impact on the 400,000+ living Arabians in North America. They cannot change the breed’s nature, and if such horses fill a place in their owners’ lives, that is really all that need be asked of them. There is nothing wrong with conservation breeding, in the ALBC sense, so long as one recognizes one is doing it, and does not make impossible claims for the results.

It’s a completely separate subject, of course, but we have never been comfortable with those overarching schemes one occasionally sees put forward, whereby some party or official entity is meant to “certify” breeding stock–not because we approve of breeding from poor horses, but because we cannot picture how any breed-wide selection scheme could be at once effective, in the sense of doing anything in particular, and sufficiently inclusive to recognize all the range of variation which the breed includes and which must be maintained for future reference.

As to the other-bashing of “preservationist syndrome,” we do consider it basic to be civil to one’s neighbors. In fact we always think it’s a pity when anyone with a preservationist slant doesn’t recognize that we are each other’s natural allies.)

[For more thoughts on this subject, see M.Bowling’s 1997 article “Preservation and Improvement.”]

See also:

My Visit with the American Arabs (Horses)

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Amin Zaher

by Dr. Amin Zaher Photos from the Zaher collection (Western Horseman Jul/Aug ’48)

The Van Vleet Arabs on their high altitude ranch, not far from Denver, Colorado.

While I was in Egypt, I read much about the American-bred Arabs. When I had the opportunity to come to this country to study, it was my honor to be asked by the Egyptian government to make a tour and to inspect these Arabians in America.

After making some preliminary inquiries, I learned that a great many of these Arabs were in California, so I planned to begin with the Western breeders. I wrote to them before leaving Lansing by train and reached San Francisco after about three days.

On a foggy day, I started out to see my first lot of American Arabs on the Jedel ranch of J. E. Draper. No, I was not dreaming; Arabs were before my eyes in the pasture. More than ten thousand miles from Egypt, and I was awakened by the smell of Arabs, after having missed them for months.

While in San Francisco I met another Arab breeder, a young man, “not rich enough to have Arabs,” as he said; yet right in the heart of San Francisco he had a few. He is not a rancher, but he likes Arabs. In the hotel we talked about them, and I was surprised at the excellent information he was able to give me about the Arabs of America. His wife was also very interested in them.

The next morning I saw his horses. I said, “Mr. Smith, which are your first purchases and which the last?” When he showed me it indicated what happens to almost all Arabian lovers in this country. Their first purchases are not the best type, and the last bought more closely resemble the ideal type. This is a good sign.

The day next took the train down the Pacific coast to Santa Barbara, to the home of “The Dean.” I call General J. M. Dickinson the dean of Arab breeders in this country because I knew even while I was still in Egypt, that he had spent most of his life taking care of Arabs. He has imported horses from almost every country to his large stud. The General is a man who has written about them in a fair and authoritative manner. I spent an enjoyable day at his ranch.

I then proceeded to Los Angeles to attend the meeting of the Arabian Breeders Association of California to which I had been invited. There I was suddenly asked to speak. Although it was the first time I had given a public address in a foreign language before a large group of people, I enjoyed a very pleasant evening. In Los Angeles I also saw the Kellogg Institute, and, under the guidance of Mrs. Phillips, the secretary of the society, I had the opportunity to inspect many fine Arabs and to talk to breeders about their horses.

Sartez and Dr. Zaher at the Raswan Ranch at Cedar Crest, New Mexico.


Cedar Crest, N.M., was my next stop, to see the enthusiastic Carl Raswan and his Maniquiat. He is happy on his 8000-foot mountain among his few, well-selected Arabs, and his many books. It was most pleasant to sit on Arabian carpets and “talk horse” until three o’clock in the morning!

Although I had been looking at horses for thirty days, when I returned to Lansing I was soon “horse sick” and started out to see more.

In Peru, Ill., a young lady, Mrs. Bazy Miller, has established her Arab stud. Mrs. Miller was busy with her horses when I saw her. That night we talked horses, and, although her husband pretended to know nothing about them, he joined the talk, and expressed ideas that many horsemen would do well to learn and follow.

My most thrilling visit was to Van Vleet in Colorado where Arabs are kept at a very high altitudes. Mr. Wayne was kind enough to tell me how the Arabs are trained here and how they react to the climate. I shall never forget the horror of going up the winding road through the mountains, where one can see the great city of Denver, so small, moving with every turn. This was my first acquaintance with high mountains.

Azkar. Ben Hur Farm, Portland, Indiana.


A drive to Portland, Ind., gave me the pleasure of meeting Mr. and Mrs. Tormohlen of the Ben Hur farm and seeing their horses. On their farm they live with their Arabs, feeding them, talking to them, and writing about their ancestors. I was impressed by their broad knowledge of the Arab.

My last trip before writing this was to see Arabs of my country, not in Egypt, but on the farm of Babson in Grand Detour, Illinois. They were the first Arabs I wanted to see when I came to America, but the last I got to visit. I saw them on a rainy, snowy day. What a difference between Egypt and America in almost everything — on weather, in pasture. But the horses have become quite adapted, as is the case with Arabs.

In September, 1947, I had the honor of being invited by the Arabian Breeders Association of California to judge their third annual show in Devonshire, Los Angeles. I drove to California with two of my Arab Lebanon friends who are very interested in Arabs. They were glad to see Arabs again after having missed them for so long. Through the generosity of Dr. and Mrs. Long of Tazana, I spent my happiest days in this country. The inspection of 250 pure-bred Arabs at the show, all in their best condition, was both thrilling and pleasant.

Shortly after my return to Lansing, I was invited to visit Mr. Kellogg in Battle Creek, Michigan. He was anxious to have me visit him, but so many people had told me that the old man could not stand long conferences that I expected to speak with him no more than five minutes. The greatest Arabian horse fancier in America, however, did almost all the talking about Arabs, and, to my surprise, for fifty-five minutes. The breakfast food king still maintains a great interest in the Arab horse.

In this my last article in this series, I want to try to answer some of the many questions I have been asked about American Arabs. Questions such as: What do you think of our Arabians, where do the best importations come from, and many other similar questions.

I know from experience that ideas about Arabs differ, and that looks, especially among horses, have a wide range. The importations to this country have also varied widely. There were several importations which were decidedly off-type. But what can the American breeder do when the importer says he is sending the best type of Arab? He has to take it for granted.

Importations were made from almost every country in the world that had Arabians — from Arabia, Egypt, Syria, Spain, France, Germany, England, South America, and other countries, average ones, and off-type animals. Every importer claimed his were best, no doubt.

The Arabian Horse Club of America had no classification requirement for registration, and it may have been logical not to make any requirements so that importations would not be discouraged.

In many instances I have been asked to judge horses, and for my opinion of horses that were off-type. They may have been pure Arabs, but certainly Arabs that good Arabian breeders do not like. The owner, (not being thoroughly acquainted with the type) believed that he had the best, and spread the blood that he had to others who knew no more than himself. On the other hand there are cases where some breeders have typical horses, but neglect them. Occasionally some breeder who knows Arabs will get ahold of them and use them as the principal stallion in their stud. Some of those so secured have been twenty years old, and never used for breeding purposes before.

I was not well acquainted with the pedigree of the Arab of this country when I judged the Los Angeles show and heard the announcer say that Ramah and Skolma, (whom I had judged to be the champions of the show) were related. This indicates that importations do have something to do with the type of animals we see.

I then examined the pedigrees of most of the registered Arab horses in this country, paying greater attention to those I liked best and comparing them with the pedigrees of the animals I saw on my trip. It interested me very much to find out that the majority were closely related to Raseyn or Skowronek; some were related to such outstanding sires as Mirage, and a few other studs, who, I found out afterwards, are great favorites with the American breeders. Almost all stallions or mares that had the blood of the famous Ali Pasha Sherif of Egypt were also outstanding animals.

Some California breeders are making a mistake, I believe, in trying to increase the height and weight of the Arab. All of us know that the Arab is not a big horse. If you see a horse that is sixteen hands high, you should hesitate to classify him as an Arab. There may be Arabs which are comparatively tall, but they still maintain the majority of the typical Arab characteristics. If you have a sixteen- hand Arab which has a big head, drooping hind quarters, and long legs, would you like him? This kind of animal is surely an off-type and should not be used for breeding.

What do you want a big Arab for? Some people say for a Stock Horse. I know stock men. They have found from experience that tall, big horses tire easily, and smaller horses get the job done better. A Stock Horse does not need to be over 15 hands.

The Arab is still a foreigner in this country. Because he is a warm-blooded horse, I have heard that cowboys do not like him. Either he has been misrepresented to them, or their experience has been with a few exceptional horses. They have not tried him enough to know what abilities he has. The Arab has worked with stock since the dawn of history.

Which is the best Arab horse in America? This is always a very hard question to answer. It is a well-known fact that no animal on earth is perfect. At the same time, there are some better than others. To my mind, the best stallion for you is the one that adds desirable points to your mares.

Your stallion may have only one defect, but if the mares may have it too, you are going to fix this defect in all your animals for ages. I have seen this in some studs in America.

The United States is a big country and breeders do not usually have the opportunity to choose stallions that fit their individual mares. They cannot afford either to keep many stallions in one stud, or to send their mares a long way for a stallion in another state. This problem can be solved in one of two ways: either through exchange of stallions, or through averaging the defects of the mares and securing a stallion that can correct most of them. The smart choice of Gharris for Draper’s mares and Azkar for Ben Hur mares are examples. It is a sound principle to pay great attention to the pedigree (italics) and the progeny (end) of the stallion to be used.

Mares on the Kellogg Army Remount Station of Pomona, California.

When I tell the breeders these things, they still are not satisfied. They still want to know my opinion of the stallions I have seen. They want names. To answer this I can say: Gharris at Jedel, Ferseyn at Reese, Ramah at Scheele, Roayas at Phillips, one or two imported Polish Arabs at Pomona (Kellogg’s), Zarif [*Zarife] at Van Vleet, Sartez at Raswan, Azkar at Ben Hur, Fa-Eldin [Fay-el-Dine] at Babson, and Indraff at Bazy Miller. These are good stallions. Although each lacks a little that another may have, they are all good specimens of Arabs. Again I repeat, although they are good stallions, watch your step. Choose the stallion that can correct your mare’s defects.

I can see now that American breeders are the people who can and will gain new knowledge about the Arab. Very little scientific work has been done with the Arab. The American breeders, by keeping photographs, and filing full descriptions of their animals, can provide the colleges with rich material that can form the basis of future work on the Arab.

The horse of the desert is now running loose on your rich pastures in almost all your states. He will give you greater service than you expect, but do not go too far in trying for big animals. If you do you will not have Arabs, or service.

THE END.

The Case of the Missing Rustem

Copyright 1997 by R.J. CADRANELL
from Arabian Visions Sept/Oct 1997
Used by permission of RJ Cadranell

221b Baker Street: “We met next day and inspected the rooms at 221b Baker Street and at once entered into possession.” — Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, A Study in Scarlet

Fifteen or more years ago I acquired a reprint of the 1917 catalog of England’s Crabbet Arabian Stud. The catalog for the 1917 season gives details of the Crabbet Stud as it was at the end of 1916. It lists all of the broodmares, stallions, and young stock — 81 horses in all.

Back in 1906, the Crabbet Stud’s founders, Wilfrid and Lady Anne Blunt, had separated. They divided the stud, after which Wilfrid Blunt managed his “Newbuildings Half” apart from Lady Anne’s “Crabbet Half.”

The 1917 catalog seemed to list both halves of the stud. But I noticed a glaring omission: where was Rustem? Lady Anne Lytton remembered Rustem as “a very favorite stallion”[1] of her grandfather Wilfrid Blunt, and Rustem had been one of the Crabbet Arabian Stud’s chief sires from the time he was three.

Then I noticed another gap: where was Abla? Rosemary Archer had written in The Crabbet Arabian Stud, Its History and Influence: “Abla became Wilfrid Blunt’s favorite riding mare.” The catalog included Abla’s 1915 filly Arusa, but Abla herself was absent.

A pattern was emerging: both missing animals were favorites of Wilfrid Blunt’s. But all the rest of the Newbuildings horses–among them Ibn Yashmak and *Nureddin II–seemed to be included.

Years later I had a chance to study additional Crabbet Stud catalogs from the Partition years. The available catalogs–for 1907, 1908, 1909, 1911, 1912, 1914, 1915, and 1916–list just the horses in Lady Anne’s Crabbet Half. There is also a 1913 catalog, with a slightly modified format, listing just the Newbuildings Half. Comparing these to the 1917 catalog indicates that the two halves were united during 1916, with Wilfrid Blunt retaining his two favorites, Rustem and Abla.

But a reunited Crabbet Stud ran counter to what I had always understood of its history. Hadn’t Wilfrid and Lady Anne failed to reach an agreement on the future of the stud when they met in 1915? Didn’t Blunt manage his portion separately right until Lady Anne died at the end of 1917? Didn’t the existence of two halves at the time of Lady Anne’s death fuel the lawsuit fought between Blunt and his daughter Judith (Lady Wentworth) over the ownership of the horses? I decided to scan Rosemary Archer’s book again, looking for clues, and found the following passage:

On October 13th [1915], Lady Anne signed the “new stud agreement which makes me sole owner” of the Crabbet Arabian Stud. Blunt, however, refused to sign it, alleging that it contained a “dangerous” clause… He nevertheless appears to have acquiesced in the new arrangement; five months later, in March, 1916, he and Caffin [agent for both the Crabbet and Newbuildings estates] were planning the removal to Crookhorn [a farm Blunt owned near Newbuildings] of what remained of the Newbuildings section of the Stud, on the following Saturday “which is Lady Day when my separate ownership of it comes to a final end” (p. 150).

Later in 1916 when Lady Anne prepared the Crabbet Stud catalog for the 1917 season, she added 23 Newbuildings horses (see sidebar) to what she had owned the year before. This bolsters Lady Wentworth’s claim in her Authentic Arabian Horse that “in 1915 the whole remaining stock was repurchased by, or made over to, Crabbet Park.”

These horses afford a look at a decade of selection by Wilfrid Blunt, apart from Lady Anne. Even though each party had the right to use the other’s stallions without fee, these horses show a high concentration of the Newbuildings sires: Rijm and *Astraled from the years immediately after the Partition; Ibn Yashmak and Rustem later on. The stallions Lady Anne used during the Partition — in particular Daoud and *Berk — are scarcely represented at all.

Many bloodlines were duplicated, of course: Newbuildings had *Nureddin II and Nessima, while the Crabbet Half had their full brother *Nasik. Crabbet had Feysul, and Newbuildings had his son Ibn Yashmak. Crabbet had Rustem’s full sisters Rim and Riyala. Newbuildings had Selima, while Crabbet had her full brother Sotamm.

Other bloodlines were unique to one half or the other. Lady Anne had lost the Queen of Sheba family in tail-female, for example. Newbuildings also had the stud’s only remaining descendants of the imported mares Ferida and Meshura. And Lady Anne had bloodlines Wilfrid lacked, for example the lines from Basilisk, Bint Helwa, and Rosemary.

Anyone could be proud of the record of several of the Newbuildings-bred horses Wilfrid Blunt turned over to Lady Anne in 1916. *Nureddin II became an influential sire under Lady Wentworth’s ownership of the stud. *Ferda left a daughter in England, then was sold to California’s Kellogg Ranch in 1926, where she was arguably that program’s single most important foundation mare. *Nafia and *Felestin were imported to the U.S. in 1918, where they left descent. Fejr, Nessima, and Selima became broodmares for Lady Wentworth. Fejr’s sons became important in England, but she also had a daughter sent to Poland, where she produced *Sulejman. Selima had foals exported to Russia (Star of the Hills), Poland (Sardhana), and the U.S. (*Selmian) — all became influential.

The Newbuildings Half

Horses from Wilfrid Blunt appearing in the 1917 Crabbet catalog
stallions & colts
Ibn Yashmak 1902 Feysul/Yashmak
*Nureddin II 1911 Mesaoud/Kasida
Kamar 1913 Rustem/Kartara
Najib 1914 Rustem/Narghileh
Fauzan 1914 Rustem/Feluka
Fantass 1915 Rustem/Feluka
Karun 1915 Rustem/Kantara
mares & fillies
Feluka 1899 Mesaoud/Ferida
Kantara 1901 Mesaoud/Kasida
Ajramieh 1901 Mesaoud/Asfura
Selima 1908 *Astraled/Selma
Nessima 1909 Rijm/Narghileh
*Ramla 1909 *Astraled/Ridaa
Fejr 1911 Rijm/Feluka
*Kerbela 1911 Ibn Yashmak/Kantara
Marhaba 1911 Daoud/Feluka
*Ferda 1913 Rustem/Feluka
Ajjam 1915 Ibn Yashmak/Ajramieh
Arusa 1915 Rustem/Abla
foals of 1916
Fursan colt Rustem/Feluka
*Nafia colt Ibn Yashmak/Nessima
Mabruk colt Ibn Yashmak/Marhaba
*Felestin filly Ibn Yashmak/Fejr
  1. [1]Lady Anne Lytton quoted in Mary Jane Parkingon’s The Kellogg Arabian Ranch, the First Fifty Years, p. 67.

The Mistress of Crabbet

Copyright 1990 by R.J. CADRANELL from Arabian Visions March 1990

Used by permission of RJ Cadranell

Judith Blunt was five years old when the first Arabians arrived at Crabbet Park in 1878. By the time she died in 1957, she had spent 79 years with the breed, and the Crabbet Stud had owned or bred more than a thousand horses. Her position was unique. Modern Arabian horse breeding in the English-speaking world dates from 1874. Lady Wentworth was a part of it, originally as an observer and later as a dominant force, almost from the beginning. Many Americans became involved with the Arabian horse during the 1940s and 1950s, when the breed was moving out of the realm of rare breeds and into the equestrian mainstream. These people owned and bred their horses in Lady Wentworth’s shadow. This titled aristocrat had been involved with the breeding of Arabian horses longer than most of them had been alive. She had bred some of the most cherished ancestors in the pedigrees of their horses: *Raffles, *Raseyn, and *Rissletta (dam of Abu Farwa). She lived on a fabled estate almost none of them had ever seen. Her death brought with it the awe and dismay which accompanies the demise of hallowed institutions expected to last forever.

Lady Wentworth kept her distance, secluding herself at Crabbet. Her many books loudly praise Crabbet horses and inadvertently give us glimpses of her eccentric personality, but it is impossible to look at her or her breeding program through them alone. Other sources aid our understanding of this key figure.

Lady Anne Blunt’s published Journals and Correspondence indicate that Judith’s interest in the stud was never desultory. Nonetheless, Lady Anne Blunt often expressed disappointment at her daughter’s apparent lack of interest in continuing the stud when she herself would be gone. After Lady Anne Blunt died and Judith inherited from her the title of Lady Wentworth, there was no doubt about her desire to control the Crabbet Stud

Lady Anne Blunt died at the end of 1917. Beginning in 1918, Wilfrid Blunt had been removing horses by night from the Crabbet stables and stockpiling them at his estate at Newbuildings. Lady Wentworth learned to lock her paddock gates. During the ensuing lawsuit, perhaps in anticipation of the court coming down on her father’s side, Lady Wentworth began gathering scattered Crabbet animals. She repurchased the stallion Nadir from George Ruxton. She also repurchased the mares Jask, Amida, and Kibla. Her son-in-law lent her Rish. She and her children forcibly removed the mare Riyala, a special favorite of Lady Wentworth’s, from her father’s stables. With these she had the makings of her own Crabbet program to rival her father’s at Newbuildings.

Lady Wentworth was 47 years old when the courts settled the lawsuit in her favor on March 5, 1920. The first Arabians returned from Newbuildings on April 16. In the interim, Lady Wentworth had acquired a grey stallion named Skowronek. Skowronek was one of very few Arabians with no Crabbet ancestors which Lady Wentworth used for breeding, and the only one to become a part of her long-term program. He had been bred in Poland at Count Potocki’s Antoniny Stud. The Blunts had admired many of the Potocki mares during their visits to Antoniny, but their writings indicate they did not consider Antoniny a viable source of Crabbet foundation stock. The disputed Riyala was one of the first mares Lady Wentworth bred to Skowronek. She named the foal Revenge, and proceeded to weave Skowronek into the Crabbet tapestry.

When the horses returned to Crabbet, Lady Wentworth found herself the owner of between 80 and 90 Arabians. Many of these were excess colts and breeding stallions. She was able to reduce the herd by selling nearly 20 to Egypt’s Royal Agricultural Society. During the lawsuit, she had complained about her father turning horses into cash. Now that she was able to choose which horses would go and which stay home, sales were known as reducing the herd to a manageable size.

The period from 1920 to 1930 was a time of great experimentation at Crabbet. The genetic base was broad, and Lady Wentworth broadened it further with Skowronek blood and by continuing to reacquire Crabbet horses her parents had sold into other hands. The mare band was in full production, with nearly every mare covered every year. Lady Wentworth bred mares to a variety of sires, giving them a chance to show what they could produce by each. Lady Wentworth conducted a number of experiments in inbreeding. Rasim, *Nureddin II, and Skowronek all had the chance to sire foals out of their own daughters. Rasim was also bred to his dam, Risala. The most famous result of these consanguineous matings was *Raffles, a favorite of many American breeders from the late 1930s to the present. Among the horses Lady Wentworth returned to Crabbet during the 1920s were *Nureddin II, *Battla, Astola, Jawi-Jawi, Fejr, Nessima, Riz, and Rythma. She also bought the all Crabbet Savile-bred mare Julnar. In doing this, she was able to revive lines which had died out at Crabbet itself, in particular the Basilisk and Johara families. Halima briefly returned the Bint Helwa line. With Fejr to represent the Ferida family, Lady Wentworth was able to let the bay *Ferda go to the Kellogg Ranch in 1920.

Many of the horses Lady Wentworth bred during the 1920s travelled the globe and ended up changing the course of world Arabian breeding, whether in Australia, the United States, Poland, Brazil, Egypt, Russia, or Spain. Of those which stayed home for a time, among the most important to Crabbet’s future turned out to be Shareer, Naseem, Razina, Silver Fire, Rissam, Raseem, Ferhan, and Astrella.

Crabbet’s breeding peak under Lady Wentworth was in 1929, when nearly 30 broodmares were covered for 1930 foals. By 1931, the Depression had caught up with Crabbet. Lady Wentworth cut production by a third. The 1932 foal crop of eight was the smallest Wentworth crop yet. In 1933 only two foals were born. Although foal production expanded slightly in 1934 and 1935, Crabbet was overstocked and in financial trouble. A discouraged Lady Wentworth contemplated giving up the Crabbet Stud.

In 1936, however, a major reduction took place. Lady Wentworth sold 25 horses to Russia’s Tersk Stud, three to America’s Kellogg Ranch, and other horses went singly in 1936 or ’37 to new owners in Australia, Portugal, Brazil, Holland, and England. With numbers reduced and the genetic base narrowed, foal production at Crabbet continued on a limited basis as the Depression era abruptly ended and the war years began.

During the war Lady Wentworth’s aunt, Mary Lovelace, died and left her a large fortune. It marked the end of the financial problems which had hampered Lady Wentworth’s management of the Crabbet Stud from the beginning. In 1926 Lady Wentworth’s son, Anthony Lytton Milbanke, later the fourth Earl of Lytton, visited W.K. Kellogg. Kellogg had, earlier that year, bought a number of horses from Lady Wentworth. In a memo dated July 27, 1926, Kellogg recorded that “Mr. Milbanke stated that the propagating of horses by his mother had not proven profitable; he mentioned that this year had been an exception, and was the most profitable year that they had ever had.” This apparently refers to the more than $80,000 Kellogg had paid Lady Wentworth for his horses.

When the war ended, Lady Wentworth had been learning about Arabian breeding for 68 years. Despite the smaller numbers born during the Depression and war years, the breeding program had continued to advance. Of the horses born at Crabbet during the Depression, the most important to its future were Sharima, Indian Gold, Indian Crown, and Sharfina. If Lady Wentworth had spent the 1920s finding the way she wanted to go, then the 1930s saw the birth of the horses she needed to get there. During the war these elements began to come together in horses like Grey Royal, Silver Gilt, Indian Magic, Silfina, and *Serafina. By the spring of 1946, nothing stood in the way. Lady Wentworth was free to apply her knowledge to the production of horses which matched her ideals. Although foal production had increased toward the end of the war, the 1947 crop was the first to evidence the expanding breeding program. Ten foals was a large crop during the years between 1936 and 1946. After the war, Lady Wentworth’s foal crops again reached toward the mark of 20.

Post-war breeding at Crabbet produced its own distinctive stamp of Crabbet Arabian. Since 1920 Lady Wentworth had been culling the herd and selecting for the characteristics she most admired. The breeding she did in her later years stressed a few key animals, namely Raktha, Oran, Sharima, Silver Fire, Indian Gold, and Nisreen. Raktha and Oran were bred at Lady Yule’s Hanstead Stud from straight Crabbet bloodlines; Lady Wentworth bought them as youngsters. It is difficult to imagine post-war Crabbet without these two stallions. Writers often comment on Lady Wentworth’s knack for recognizing the potential of immature stock. Part of this was no doubt because she had spent her entire life watching animals of Crabbet breeding go from birth to old age. No one else was similarly qualified to predict how a young Crabbet Arabian would look at maturity. After the war, Lady Wentworth also added to her mare band from English studs using Crabbet lines. Included were Indian Flower and *Silver Crystal.

The movie footage of Lady Wentworth’s parades (what we in America might think of as “open houses”) of 1952 and 1953 document what she had achieved. With a remarkable degree of consistency, the films show us tall Arabians with upright carriage and lofty bearing. They are regal, magnetic animals with tremendous presence and arched necks. They seem to move well. Faults showing up in the herd with some frequency are long backs and a tendency to stand high behind. When Lady Wentworth died in August of 1957, she owned about 75 of these “Modern Crabbet” Arabians. To American breeders, the best known examples of Modern Crabbet horses are probably *Serafix, *Silver Vanity, and *Silver Drift. As impressive as these horses were, they replaced the wider variety of Arabian types which had graced Crabbet in earlier days.

With a few exceptions, Lady Wentworth stayed within the parameters of the Crabbet herd as her parents had defined it. The first and most lasting exception was Skowronek. By the time Lady Wentworth died, very few of her horses had pedigrees without Skowronek in them. In 1928 Lady Wentworth began using the stallion Jeruan, whose pedigree traced to the non-Crabbet desert-bred horses El Emir and Maidan. Lady Wentworth used none of his foals for breeding, but Roger Selby imported Jeruan’s daughter *Rishafieh to America, where she had a successful breeding career. In 1930 Lady Wentworth bred a number of mares to the Thoroughbred stallion Mighty Power, an experiment in Anglo-Arab breeding which apparently did not last at Crabbet. In 1946 Lady Wentworth purchased a remarkable yearling colt named Dargee. A sensationally successful show horse, Dargee traced to several non-Crabbet imported lines, namely those of Dwarka, Mootrub, El Emir, Ishtar, and Kesia II. Dargee was a successful cross on the Crabbet mares and Lady Wentworth did use his offspring Royal Crystal, Sirella, and Indian Peril for breeding, but that is the furthest extent to which she had incorporated him at the time of her death.

Many breeders of Arabian horses have suspected that certain coat colors are usually found in conjunction with recognizable types. Since there is no way to quantify a horse’s “look” in the scientific sense, the science of genetics is not yet able to tell whether this is so. Coat color was important to Lady Wentworth’s breeding program. She exhibited a preference for grey horses all her life. Her first recorded favorite in her mother’s Journals was the grey mare Basilisk, apparently the first Arabian she ever rode. Judith Blunt was six at the time.

The Blunts seem to have selected against grey to a certain extent. Greys were harder to sell to military remounts and government studs, a significant portion of the Blunts’ customer base. This was due to greys being easier targets on the battlefield, as well as grey hair being more obvious on dark uniforms. For the most part, it is only generals who are depicted on white horses. The last of the three grey sires the Blunts used was Seyal, sold to India in 1904. With the exception of a non-productive breeding to Rosemary, the GSB records that the Blunts restricted Seyal to grey mares. Mrs. Archer states that Judith was anxious for her mother to find another grey stallion for the stud, but that she was unsuccessful in her search (History and Influence, page 146.) During the lawsuit, Lady Wentworth claimed that her mother had intended for her to have every grey mare in the stud.

Reconstructed lists of the Crabbet herd at the time immediately after the settling of the lawsuit indicate that slightly more than half of the horses were bay or brown, a third were chestnut, and the remaining 15% were grey. The figures concur with Lady Anne Lytton’s recollection of the period, recorded in her article “Memories of the Crabbet Stud,” from the August, 1963 Arabian Horse Journal: “…bays were more common than chestnuts…[but] when Lady Wentworth took over the Stud I think she found that the quality among the chestnuts was much higher, with a few notable exceptions. At the time of her death there was not a bay left at Crabbet. She was not very fond of bays…” *Nizzam was one of the last bays foaled at Crabbet.

To speak today of an Arabian of “Crabbet Type” is a misleading oversimplification. Among Lady Wentworth’s horses, *Raffles and Grand Royal come to mind as two vastly different extremes. The Blunts owned animals as different from one another as Rijm and Sobha. Today, finding an Arabian of pure Crabbet pedigree is as difficult as finding one with no Crabbet blood at all. In a 1% sampling of 80 pedigrees from vol. XL (1982) of our stud book, the writer found that every one had Crabbet ancestry, including those in the pure Polish and straight Spanish categories. In spite of the present dilution of Crabbet blood, and in spite of the variety of horses Crabbet owned, certain ancestors reappear again and again in their descendants. Once familiar with them, it is possible to recognize the influences of Rodania, Mesaoud, Skowronek, Sharima, Feluka, and the rest of the pantheon of Crabbet luminaries.

Index to English-Bred Arabians Named Above
Amida 1913 cm Ibn Yashmak/Ajramieh Crabbet
Astola 1910 bm Rijm/Asfura Crabbet
Astrella 1929 cm Raseem/Amida Crabbet
*Battla 1915 gm Razaz/Bukra Crabbet
Dargee 1945 cs Manasseh/Myola G. H. Ruxton
Feluka 1899 cm Mesaoud/Ferida Crabbet
*Ferda 1913 bm Rustem/Feluka Crabbet
Ferhan 1925 cs *Raswan/Fejr Crabbet
Fejr 1911 cm Rijm/Feluka Crabbet
Grand Royal 1947 cs Oran/Sharima Crabbet
Grey Royal 1942 gm Raktha/Sharima Crabbet
Halima 1916 bm Razaz/Hamasa A.D.Fenton
Indian Crown 1935 cm Raseem/Nisreen Crabbet
Indian Flower 1939 cm Irex/Nisreen Miss I. Bell
Indian Gold 1934 cs Ferhan/Nisreen Crabbet
Indian Magic 1945 gs Raktha/Indian Crown Crabbet
Indian Peril 1952 cm Dargee/Indian Pearl Crabbet
Jask 1910 gm *Berk/Jellabieh Crabbet
Jawi-Jawi 1912 cm Rijm/Jiwa C.W.Laird
Jeruan 1920 cs Nureddin II/Rose of Persia A.J.Powdrill
Julnar 1911 cm *Abu Zeyd/Kabila G.Savile
Kibla 1900 gm Mesaoud/Makbula Crabbet
Nadir 1901 bs Mesaoud/Nefisa Crabbet
Naseem 1922 gs Skowronek/Nasra Crabbet
Nessima 1909 bm Rijm/Narghileh Crabbet
Nisreen 1919 bm *Nureddin II/Nasra Crabbet
*Nizzam 1943 bs Rissam/Nezma Crabbet
*Nureddin II 1911 cs Rijm/Narghileh Crabbet
Oran 1940 cs Riffal/Astrella Hanstead
*Raffles 1926 gs Skowronek/*Rifala Crabbet
Raktha 1934 gs Naseem/Razina Hanstead
Raseem 1922 cs Rasim/Riyala Crabbet
*Raseyn 1923 gs Skowronek/Rayya Crabbet
Rasim 1906 cs Feysul/Risala Crabbet
Razina 1922 cm Rasim/Riyala Crabbet
Revenge 1921 gs Skowronek/Riyala Crabbet
Rijm 1901 cs Mahruss/*Rose of Sharon Crabbet
Risala 1900 cm Mesaoud/Ridaa Crabbet
Rish 1903 bm Nejran/Rabla Crabbet
*Rishafieh 1930 cm Jeruan/Rishafa Crabbet
Rissam 1928 cs Naseem/Rim Crabbet
*Rissletta 1930 cm Naseem/Risslina Crabbet
Riyala 1905 cm *Astraled/Ridaa Crabbet
Riz 1916 bm Razaz/*Rijma Crabbet
Rosemary 1886 bm Jeroboam/Rodania Crabbet
Royal Crystal 1952 gs Dargee/Grey Royal Crabbet
Rythma 1914 bm *Berk/Risala Crabbet
*Serafina 1945 cm Indian Gold/Sharfina Crabbet
*Serafix 1949 cs Raktha/*Serafina Crabbet
Seyal 1897 gs Mesaoud/Sobha Crabbet
Shareer 1923 bs *Nureddin II/Selima Crabbet
Sharfina 1937 cm Rytham/Sharima Crabbet
Sharima 1932 cm Shareer/Nashisha Crabbet
Silfina 1944 cm Indian Gold/Sharfina Crabbet
*Silver Crystal 1937 gm Rangoon/Somara W. Hay
*Silver Drift 1951 gs Raktha/*Serafina Crabbet
Silver Fire 1926 gm Naseem/Somra Crabbet
Silver Gilt 1943 gm Indian Gold/Silver Fire Crabbet
*Silver Vanity 1950 gs Oran/Silver Gilt Crabbet
Sirella 1953 cm Dargee/Shalina Crabbet

Bibliography

Arab Horse Society, The. The Arab Horse Stud Book 7 vols. England, 1919-52.

Archer, Rosemary, Colin Pearson, and Cecil Covey. The Crabbet Arabian Stud. Gloucestershire, 1978.

Archer, Rosemary, and James Fleming, editors. Lady Anne Blunt, Journals and Correspondence. Gloucestershire, 1986.

Blunt, Wilfrid S. My diaries. 2 vols. New York, 1922.

Kellogg Ranch Papers, The. Collection held by California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, California.

London Times, February 20 & 21, 1920.

Parkinson, Mary Jane, The Kellogg Arabian Ranch. 1977.

Weatherby & Sons. The General Stud Book, vols. 13-35, London, 1877-1965.

Wentworth, Lady. The Authentic Arabian Horse. 3rd., 1979.

The GSB Arabians

The GSB Arabians

© 1996 by Robert J. Cadranell
Reprinted from the March-April 1996 issue of Arabian Visions

Look at the bottom of most pre-printed Arabian horse pedigree forms and you will likely find explanations of some standard abbreviations. For example, DB stands for Desert Bred, while PASB stands for Polish Arabian Stud Book, and GSB stands for the General Stud Book. What on earth is a General Stud Book?

Until about 30 years ago, the General Stud Book was a registration authority for Arabian horses in England. It was the stud book cited for the parents of virtually all horses imported from England’s Crabbet Arabian Stud, as well as many horses imported from other studs in England. But why was it called the General Stud Book rather than, for example, the British Stud Book?

The General Stud Book was the world’s first published stud book for any breed of livestock. Before the advent of the GSB, stud books were records kept by individual breeders and were specific to animals in a breeder’s own herd. The new compilation was known as a “general” stud book because it was general to the whole country. The preliminary edition of the GSB appeared in 1791. It was an example of the eighteenth century obsession with assembling enormous compendiums of knowledge, which included Dr. Johnson’s dictionary and the original encyclopædia. The GSB documents “Pedigrees of Race Horses” stretching “From the earliest Accounts” up to the closing date of each successive volume. Its compiler was James Weatherby, whose family continued to issue the GSB after him. Thus it is also known as “Weatherby’s stud book.”

The breed of horse that the GSB defined was the English Thoroughbred. The GSB demonstrates the Thoroughbred’s descent from Oriental sires and dams such as the Darley Arabian, the Leedes Arabian, and the Darcy Yellow Turk.

GSB Arabians in England: Volume XIII of the GSB appeared in 1877. This volume included a new Arabian section to register several horses recently imported to Britain from the desert near Aleppo. The first group, imported by Mr. Sandeman, had arrived in 1874. It included Yataghan and Haidee, sire and dam of *Naomi. The second importation, made by Mr. Chaplin, arrived in 1875. This group included the mare Kesia, carrying an in-utero foal named Kesia II. These early registrations were the beginning of current Arabian horse breeding in the English speaking world. The Arabian section was included in the GSB with the hope that the new imports would, in time, “give a valuable new line of blood from the original source of the English Thoroughbred.”[1]

Volume XIV of the GSB was published in 1881. The Arabian section was expanded several pages by the first importations of Mr. Wilfrid and Lady Anne Blunt, who founded their Crabbet Arabian Stud with desert bred Arabian horses they imported to England in 1878. The Crabbet Stud was to endure so long and to achieve such fame that today “Crabbet” is far better known than the stud book which registered its bloodstock. Crabbet has taken a place alongside Egyptian, Polish, and Spanish as one of the Arabian breed’s major bloodline categories.

The Crabbet horses overshadowed the other animals in the Arabian section of the GSB, even though Crabbet horses were not the first and were never the only ones registered there. There are several reasons for this. First, Crabbet was the single largest importer of GSB registered Arabians: approximately 51 animals from 1878 to 1910, two-thirds of which are still in Arabian pedigrees. Second, the Crabbet horses were imported especially to become breeding stock at the Crabbet Stud – not brought to England as retired officers’ mounts or as curiosities. Third, the Crabbet Stud owned and bred more than a thousand Arabians during a period of over 90 years – so long that it even outlasted the Arabian section of the GSB. Fourth, nearly all the non-Crabbet GSB imports with lines still breeding today come down to us only in combination with Crabbet blood.

The Arabian section of the GSB contained many imported Arabian and other Eastern horses (including a Barb mare named Safed) which either had no registered offspring or whose lines quickly disappeared from the stud book. Other than the Blunt horses, only about a dozen imported GSB foundation animals found their way into modern Arabian pedigrees.

Most of the non-Crabbet GSB foundation animals were owned by, or otherwise connected to, the stud of the Hon. Miss Etheldred Dillon. She began her program with the 1880 importation of El Emir, and later acquired some horses from Crabbet. Also among Miss Dillon’s foundation stock were the mares Ishtar, Kesia II, and *Shabaka (Mameluke x Kesia II), as well as the stallion Maidan. Miss Dillon had Rev. Vidal’s mare *Naomi on her farm – and Vidal’s use of *Kismet as a sire introduced that horse to modern pedigrees.

At the turn of the century Miss Dillon’s program was winding down; other breeders introduced the last four horses. Mootrub is in pedigrees through two foals: a colt out of a mare of Dillon+Crabbet breeding, and a filly out of Shakra. Dwarka stood at stud for the Prince of Wales (later Duke of Windsor), who bred him to the Crabbet mares Amida and Rangha. And Skowronek, imported last, is perhaps the most famous of all the GSB founders. After Lady Anne Blunt died in 1917, her husband and her daughter, Judith Blunt-Lytton (Lady Wentworth), disputed the ownership of the Crabbet Stud. The dispute went to court, and in 1920 Lady Wentworth emerged as the stud’s sole owner. Also in early 1920 she purchased the white stallion Skowronek, imported several years earlier from Poland. Skowronek quickly became one of Crabbet’s chief sires.

Skowronek was hardly the last Arabian imported to England, but he was the latest import to gain access to the GSB. In 1913 the Jersey act had closed the GSB to imported Thoroughbreds unless their pedigrees traced in all lines to horses entered in previous volumes. A 1921 decision did the same thing for the Arabian section. Thus a “GSB Arabian” became an Arabian from a clearly defined, closed pedigree group. Britain’s Arab Horse Society (AHS) was founded in 1918, and published its first stud book in 1919. This was likely a factor in the decision of Weatherbys not to enter any more new Arabian imports – the GSB’s Arabian gene pool was sufficiently large to continue indefinitely. Why not let the new stud book of the Arab Horse Society register future imported Arabians?

Thus for the next 45 years, England had two stud book authorities registering Arabian horses. Weatherbys continued to register those Arabian bloodlines “eligible for GSB” – and there was strong incentive for British breeders to maintain GSB registration. For one, the export market was crucial to them. Often countries overseas might not have an Arabian stud book, but probably did have a stud book for Thoroughbreds. An Arabian with a GSB certificate could be entered in virtually any Thoroughbred stud book in the world.

From the first, the stud book of the Arab Horse Society allowed entry of new desert imports. As a registration authority for Arabian horses, it also entered imports from Poland, the United States, the U.S.S.R., and elsewhere. Most of the GSB Arabian foals carried “dual registration,” entered in both GSB and AHS. If a GSB foal did not appear in AHS, it was often because it had been exported young or died young.

The GSB continued to register Arabian foals until Weatherbys announced that as of January 1, 1965, the Arabian section would be discontinued. Rosemary Archer, owner and breeder of GSB Arabians since the late 1940s, described the response to this.

“…a strong representation was made by The Arab Horse Society asking [Weatherbys] to retain the Arabian section. . . . [Weatherbys] intimated that if the Arab horses registered in the G.S.B. had been used for crossing with Thoroughbreds to produce racehorses, they might have been interested in retaining the Arabian Section but there was no question of a reservoir of pure Arab blood being kept for possible future use…. ‘it is sad,’ Weatherby’s spokesman conceded, ‘after so many years, but there it is.’ “[2]

Thus the stud book of the Arab Horse Society was left as the Arabian breed’s official registration authority in Great Britain, and GSB Arabian foals born 1965 and later did not carry Weatherbys registration. Nonetheless several breeders in Britain continued to breed GSB Arabians, whether “straight Crabbet” or carrying crosses to the non-Crabbet GSB founders. Beginning in the mid 1970s, imports of Arabians from around the world flowed to Britain in increasing numbers. While breeders in England today have a much wider selection of bloodlines, this has also meant that the older English bloodlines, including the “straight Crabbet” and GSB horses, are in danger of being crossed out of existence. As a means of fostering the breeding of these horses, A Catalogue of Arabians in Great Britain Descending from G.S.B. Registered Horses appeared in the early 1990s.

GSB Arabians in America have been present almost from the first. The earliest imported mare with descent in registered Arabian pedigrees was *Naomi. In the years before World War II when American breeders were laying in their foundation stock, GSB imports outnumbered those from any other source, including Poland, Egypt, and the desert itself. Into the 1930s, foals theoretically “eligible for GSB” if sent back to England made up fully one third of all U.S. registrations. Of the remaining two-thirds, most carried substantial Crabbet or other GSB ancestry.

The list of the GSB imports brought to America prior to World War II is a familiar litany. It is impossible to imagine traditional American Arabian breeding without these horses. The Roger Selby imports included *Raffles, *Indaia, *Rose of France, *Kareyma, and *Rifala. The W.K. Kellogg imports included *Raseyn, *Ferda, *Nasik, *Rifla, *Rossana, *Ferdin, *Rissletta, and *Crabbet Sura. W.R. Brown’s group contained *Berk, *Rijma, *Ramim, *Rokhsa, and *Simawa, among others. F.L. Ames brought in *Astraled, *Narda II, and *Noam, while Homer Davenport imported *Abu Zeyd. Spencer Borden brought us *Rose of Sharon, *Ghazala, *Shabaka, and *Rodan. Counting in-utero foals, there were 111 pre-World War II GSB imports in all, of which some 77 are still in pedigrees.

Our stud book shows another 28 GSB horses brought in between 1947 and 1956. These include *Ranix, *Silver Crystal, *Rithan, *Shamadan, *Sun Royal, *Serafix, and *Electric Storm.

In 1957 Lady Wentworth died, and so did her rival breeder Miss Gladys Yule of the Hanstead Stud. The heirs of both women were forced to reduce the herds. This enabled Bazy Tankersley of Al-Marah Arabians to assemble the largest single importation of Arabians to America up to that time. Among the horses were *Salinas, *Silwara, *Thorayya, *Little Owl, *Royal Diamond, and *Silwa. The stallion *Count Dorsaz joined them a year later. From 1957 to 1959 about 61 GSB horses, including the Al-Marah shipment, were imported by various parties.

Importations of GSB horses continued through the next several years, then tapered off toward the end of the 1960s, for a total of some 53 imports for that decade. The early 1960s brought *Nizzam, *Silver Vanity, *Oran van Crabbet, and *Silver Drift. The Lewisfield imports of the same era included *Fire Opal, *Touch of Magic, and *Lewisfield Magic. In 1966 came Bazy Tankersley’s *Royal Dominion.

Only 13 GSB horses were imported in the 1970s, of which one was *RAS Indian Silver. However the 1980s saw a renewal of interest in GSB horses, with 43 more imports. These included *Silvern Magic, *Sa’ika, *Achim NSB, *Odessa NSB, *Seffer, *Rimmon, and *Seyad.

Importations of all Arabians have slowed in the 1990s. To this writer’s knowledge, thus far the only registered import of GSB pedigree is *Star Reflection, imported in 1995.

Counting *Star Reflection, the Arabian Horse Registry of America has registered 311 imported horses of GSB pedigree. But another approximately 2,000 registrations are of GSB horses bred in the United States. Sixty years ago “GSB eligible” Arabians were about a third of all registrations. Now, they constitute less than half of one percent. This does not mean they have vanished from the gene pool, because most Arabians in America have some GSB blood somewhere in their pedigrees – and many are 50% or more GSB-derived. But “straight GSB” Arabians have become rare.

For years GSB stallions and their sons dominated the lists of top sires of American show winners. These GSB stallions included *Serafix, Ferseyn, Abu Farwa, Indraff, *Raffles, *Silver Drift, Aarief, *Count Dorsaz, Sureyn, Al-Marah Radames, Rapture, Aaraf, Gulastra, *Silver Vanity, and Al-Marah El Hezzez. But prominent sire lines in a breed can change rapidly. In the last 25 years other sire lines have taken a substantial market share away from the lines of Mesaoud, Mahruss, and Skowronek.

In the 70s and 80s marketing emphasis was placed on horses of “pure” or “straight” national origin. One might think this would have boosted the numbers of GSB and straight Crabbet Arabians. Paradoxically, it worked to their disadvantage. Many GSB mares were outcrossed to stallions of Polish and Egyptian lines. The outcrosses no doubt produced lovely horses, as such crosses did in past decades, but registrations of GSB foals in America skidded to new lows in the mid-1970s.

In the 1990s, with more Arabian horses and semen flying around the world than ever before, the traditional 20th century distinctions between national breeding groups are breaking down. In the interest of the Arabian breed’s genetic diversity, it makes sense to identify and conserve those living horses from distinctive breeding traditions. Among these are the GSB Arabians and their various subsets. These subsets include, for example, horses tracing entirely to Blunt imports, and horses of Blunt+Skowronek pedigree.

Arabian Visions offers a catalog of the GSB Arabians registered in the United States. It includes a complete pedigree index tracing GSB Arabians imported to America back to the original foundation horses imported to England, and quotes the entries for these horses from the GSB.

Notes:
1. Quoted from GSB Volume XIV.
2. Quoted from the introduction to A Catalogue of Arabians in Great Britain Descending
from G.S.B. Registered Horses.

The Founding of the Crabbet Tradition (Part II)

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series The Founding of the Crabbet Tradition

Copyright 1990 by Michael Bowling, used by permission
Originally published in Arabian Visions March/April 1990

Full Steam Ahead: 1899-1906

The 1898 Crabbet foal crop, which had jumped by 10 over that of 1897, marked a new peak in numbers and initiated an era of sustained production. The smallest foal crops at Crabbet would now hover around the pre-1898 record high of 14. In this period the new Ali Pasha Sherif mares were active, and the Mesaoud fillies came into serious production. The Rodania family was clearly established as the most numerous at Crabbet, achieving distinction in the 1906 season as the first to be represented by five breeding mares, even though Rose of Jericho, *Rose of Sharon and Rose Diamond had been sold; Dajania, Basilisk and Meshura were roughly tied for second. On the sire side activity was dominated almost entirely by Mesaoud and his sons although Ahmar and Nejran closed out the Azrek era, Mahruss GSB got one very significant foal and the newly-arrived Feysul sired his most important offspring in his first Crabbet crop. No one sire dominated the stallion battery in any year and the average foals per sire fell slightly to 11.5. The shape Crabbet breeding would take in the future was largely defined in this period, when Daoud, Rabla, *Astraled, Risala, Ajramieh, Rijm, *Berk, Riada, Riyala and Rasim were foaled. The number of Crabbet foals which would influence future breeding rose sharply, perhaps largely because stronger international demand was developing for stock to found stable new programs. The Crabbet foals reported dead in GSB fell to 10% of this era’s 149, and 33 made it into modern pedigrees.

The Blunts worked at maintaining tail-male descent from Azrek; when Ahmar was exported to Java they bought back Nefisa’s Azrek son Nejran and used him for three seasons, but he was to breed on through just one daughter. *Rose of Sharon had also produced a top-class Azrek colt in 1890; this was Rafyk, the foundation sire of Australian Arabian breeding and whose name is extensively repeated at the back of most traditional Australian mare lines. According to the 1924 Crabbet Stud Catalogue Lady Wentworth in her turn meant to reintroduce the Azrek sire line through the double Rafyk grandson Minaret, but if that horse actually reached England nothing came of the venture.

The remaining Ali Pasha Sherif mares proved uncertain producers at Crabbet; in no more than three seasons did as many as five or six of the 10 produce, although a few straggled out to 1910. Astonishingly, the crippled Bint Helwa overcame her broken leg to be the most reliable broodmare of the lot; she shares honors with Rodania as the only Blunt imported mare to leave family branches through three different daughters–hers Hilmyeh, Hamasa and *Ghazala, with the last-named bred by Ali Pasha Sherif but used at Sheykh Obeyd. Ironically this family did not persist at Crabbet though the Sheykh Obeyd and American daughters of *Ghazala, plus *Hazna, *Hamida and *Hilwe, all founded highly influential lines. When *Rose of Sharon went to Spencer Borden in 1905 she was in foal to Bint Helwa’s son Harb and produced *Rodan. That horse was to be the only link to Harb in modern pedigrees but he proved a strong one, siring such mares as Gulnare, Bazrah, Niht, Fath and Fenzileh and leaving a male line through Ghazi.

Makbula GSB left a branch through her daughter Kibla; this became an essentially American family when Kibla’s granddaughter *Namilla and great granddaughters *Kiyama and *Kareyma transplanted the line wholesale to the Selby Stud. Bint Helwa’s elder sister Johara left a small international family. Indirect lines breed on from Makbula’s imported daughter Kasida, Lady Anne Blunt’s favorite riding mare, in the important Egyptian mare sire Kasmeyn; from Fulana in her very handsome son Faraoun, another far back in Austalian mare lines; and from the magnificent Bint Nura GSB who had no fillies to live but produced the imported stallions Abu Khasheb and Mahruss GSB and the Crabbet colt Daoud. Daoud gave his dam indirect mare lines in spades; one Daoud son, Redif, survives in pedigrees through his own influential daughter Bint Ranya.

Mesaoud established his male line more firmly before his 1903 sale to Russian Poland, though not via Daoud; *Astraled, Nejef, Harb and Nadir joined Seyal among the future sire branch founders. *Astraled, half-brother to Ahmar and Asfura, was the last foal of Queen of Sheba, who had become the most highly regarded of the Blunt desert mares. She lived to 25 and produced 10 foals but had only two daughters of record. Queen of Egypt died as a yearling; Asfura’s daughter Ajramieh did establish the family as a respected one that has always been small in numbers. Queen of Sheba has strong indirect influence; besides the Ahmar daughters already named, *Astraled and his sons Rustem, Razaz, Sotamm and Gulastra all were top sires of broodmares. Queen of Sheba’s name is another to be repeated in pedigrees with remarkable frequency, and the most international Mesaoud sire branch, that of *Astraled via Sotamm to Riffal and Oran, was notable for its Queen of Sheba reinforcement. Mesaoud had one major son outside Crabbet; the beautiful Azrek mare Rose Diamond was sold to the Hon. George Savile in 1903 and duly presented him the next year with Lal I Abdar (*Abu Zeyd), another from whom the male line persists.

Two new Ali Pasha Sherif sire lines were established at Crabbet in this phase. Mahruss GSB, chiefly a riding stallion, bred just four Arab mares in England; he sent *Ibn Mahruss to America en utero and got one Crabbet foal: *Rose of Sharon’s mighty son Rijm. That massive chestnut was admired for his scope, presence, freedom of stride and excellence of shoulder, back and loin. Before his sale to Spain Rijm contributed to the Crabbet tradition as sire of the breeding stallions *Nasik, Fakreddin and *Nureddin II; of the widely influential daughters Nessima, Fejr, *Noam, Belka and *Rijma; and of the great early endurance gelding *Crabbet. *Noam and Belka also distinguished themselves under saddle. Feysul came from Sheykh Obeyd with his son Ibn Yashmak late in 1904 and promptly sired the impressively smooth 1906 chestnut Rasim. Rasim served as a riding stallion for his first 11 years and narrowly missed going off as a charger with Neville Lytton in the First World War. His two eldest daughters were key figures of the Kellogg importation and Rasim became extremely influential in the Wentworth years.

The important mares foaled in this era included Ahmar’s Hilmyeh and Namusa, Rish by Nejran, and good daughters of the Mesaoud sons Rejeb, Seyal and Narkise, but if this was the dawn of a new day the sunlight radiated from superb daughters of Mesaoud and *Astraled. Feluka, dam of the Rijm siblings Fejr (to produce *Felestin; *Sulejman’s and Rasim Pierwszy’s dam Fasila; Faris, sire of Rissalix; Ferhan, sire of Indian Gold; and Fayal) and the Australian sire Fakreddin; of the greatest Kellogg foundation mare, *Ferda; and after her sale to H. V. Musgrave Clark of Fasiha, established the Ferida line with a vengeance. If Narghileh was not the greatest Mesaoud daughter then that honor must go to Ridaa’s 1900 filly Risala, dam of Rasim, *Rijma, Rissla, Razieh (Bint Rissala), Risfan (South America) and Rafina, a line foundress in Australia; few sires have ever had the equivalent of an *Astraled and a Risala in the same crop, as Mesaoud did in 1900. Rosemary produced two full sisters, the bay Rabla and brown Riada; the former founded an exuberant family still noted for action horses and the latter died of twisted gut, leaving just one breeding offspring, but that was Rayya, dam of *Raseyn. The records of the handsome grey Kibla, Ajramieh and Hamasa look pale in this company but each founded a major line in the breed.

A case could be made that Daoud and *Astraled, with fewer daughters, were better mare sires than Mesaoud. It must be remembered that all three were extensively used on mares of, by this time, highly selected Crabbet families; and above all that their daughters profited from a coherent, established context in which to operate. Riyala, the most important *Astraled mare of this period, produced Ranya, dam of Bint Ranya and the persistent Spanish influence Razada; Rafeef, sire of Nezma, *Rasafa and the superlative Risslina; the prolific Risama (Bint Riyala); the Hanstead matron Razina, the broodmare of her generation in England, granddam of Indian Magic, *Serafix, *Silver Drift, *Iorana, Bright Shadow, Namilla, Oran, Sala and *Count Dorsaz just to start the list; Ramayana, sold to Poland with Fasila and represented by Polish and Russian families today; Ruellia, who sent a son Riyalan to Australia and then went to Tersk; and Raftan, sire of Naseel, Ariffa and Doonyah. Rokhama by *Astraled bred on through just one daughter but that was *Rokhsa, who founded one of the greatest Maynesboro and Kellogg families.

Partition and The War Years: 1907 – 1918

The first foal crop for the partitioned Crabbet and Newbuildings mares arrived in 1907. Wilfrid Blunt’s chief sires in the Newbuildings half were to be *Astraled, Rijm, Harb, Ibn Yashmak and Rustem; Lady Anne at Crabbet had Feysul, Daoud, *Berk, Razaz, Sotamm and *Nasik (not all these were active as early as 1907). Blunt breeding presents a considerably more complicated picture from this point. Under the terms of partition, Crabbet and Newbuildings mares could be sent to sires standing in the alternate half, and no breeding animal (current or potential) could be sold without approval of the other side. In practice it developed that when Blunt needed money, Newbuildings horses which Lady Anne would be unwilling to see sold appeared on his sales list; and when Lady Anne wished to use a Newbuildings sire she bought or traded for him or one of his sons.

The foals reported dead in GSB for this period fell to just over 8% (14 out of 167) and 54 of the remaining 167 are in modern pedigrees–some of them very prominently indeed. Rodania now reigned supreme; Dajania’s family was a distant second while the Seglawi Meshura and Basilisk lines were fading as Sobha picked up speed. Average number of foals per sire at this period was still about 13. With substantial numbers of mares in production and some of the great sires of its history at their peak of activity, and with the individual geniuses of the two Blunts operating independently from a base of nearly 30 years’ observation of Crabbet breeding trends, it would be surprising if this period did not turn out some of Crabbet’s greatest products. Do not expect to be surprised.

One major sire exported in this period was *Astraled, who went to Lothrop Ames in Massachusetts in 1909; American Arabian breeding was not ready for a sire of this caliber and *Astraled landed in Oregon as a Remount sire, leaving just a handful of foals in New England. *Astraled became a legendary sire of crossbred using horses in his new home only to be called back to the place that had been prepared for him by W.R. Brown in 1923, in time to sire the great Gulastra in his last crop. Note that for the Blunts *Astraled got Riyala, Rustem, Rim and *Ramla from *Rose of Sharon’s daughter Ridaa; the only breeding *Astraled offspring from his early New England years was Kheyra, out of Ridaa’s half-sister Rosa Rugosa; and at Maynesboro Gulastra came from a daughter of Ridaa’s half-brother *Rodan.

It was during the years of partition that *Astraled got his important Crabbet sons, Razaz, Rustem and Sotamm. Rustem remained at Newbuildings where he got Rustnar, *Ferda, Arusa, Rayya and *Simawa. Rayya produced *Raseyn and *Ferda is in a class by herself among the Kellogg matrons, while *Simawa proved one of the best mares of the Maynesboro importation. Lady Anne used Razaz and Sotamm; the former sired important mares while the latter got the Australian mare sire Rief and Kasmeyn, a mare sire in his own right in Egypt (maternal grandsire of *Bint Bint Sabbah and Nazeer just for two), and Naufal who sired other foals beyond Riffal though that was his great success. Riffal left the important sire Oran in England along with the good mares Samsie, Nariffa, Quaker Girl (herself exported to Australia), Rubiana and *Mihrima (Canada); his sons The Chief and *Victory Day II bred on in the Netherlands and Canada respectively while the Riffal influence through his Australian get is incalculable.

*Astraled could have sired no colts and done very well for himself through daughters; his post-partition Newbuildings fillies included Rim and Selima, two of the breed’s dynastic matrons. Rim produced the likes of *Ramim, dam of Rehal and Ramghaza; *Rifla, dam of *Rifda, Rifnas and Shemseh; the ill-fated *Raswan, sire at Crabbet of Ferhan, *Rose of France and Star of the Hills (his only get), “World’s Champion” Raseem, one of the great mare sires of British history, though at Tersk he was surpassed by his daughter Rixalina; Naharin’s dam *Rimini; the Selby import *Rahal; *Rimal, a colt of remarkable beauty, gelded after his Kellogg importation; Rix, sire of *Ashan, *Crown of India, Radiolex and Shimrix; and *Nizzam’s and Niseyra’s sire Rissam. Selima’s noted foals do not match Rim’s for numbers but their influence spread extravagantly; all her breeding offspring were exported but her British influence remained substantial. Shareer, another “World’s Champion,” left Rythal, Rytham, Rythama and Sharima behind when he went to Russia accompanied by his great daughter Rissalma (in fact Rythal already was in Holland and Rytham went along on the Tersk trip but left the tremendously influential Sharfina, his only British foal, at Crabbet en utero). Shareer’s sister Sardhana produced *Crabbet Sura in England and founded a mare line in Poland when she accompanied Rasim, Fasila and Ramayana to Baron Bicker’s stud. Star of the Hills left Starilla to represent her in England (which she did ably through her son Saladin II) when Star traveled to Russia, where she founded one of the most important Tersk families. The Selby colt *Selmian was not used in England – he was sold at age three – but he got Selfra, Selmiana and Ibn Selmian among others.

(Appendix: Minor Pedigree Lines from Imported Blunt Mares)