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The Founding of the Crabbet Tradition: Appendix: Minor Pedigree Lines from Imported Blunt Mares

This entry is part 3 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

Minor Pedigree Lines From Imported Blunt Mares

Hagar, a dark bay without markings and with a “strange, wild head,” distinguished herself as a riding mare on the Blunts’ first desert journey: she was not considered a first-class mare at Crabbet but came to have first-class descent. Her great-granddaughter Howa was the foundation mare for Miss May Lyon’s Harwood Stud, still maintained today by Miss Lyon’s heirs, the Calvert family. Hagar was among the mares sold by the Blunts to the Hon. Miss Ethelred Dillon and she produced at Miss Dillon’s Pudlicote Stud *Hauran, sire of *Nessa and for Spencer Borden of Bazrah’s dam Bathsheba; *Hail, sire of Riad; and Zem Zem, whose daughter Zimrud is widespread including a tail female branch in the important modern British family of Bint Yasimet. The Zimrud line later returned to Crabbet in the person of *Nurreddin II’s show-jumper son Jeruan, sire of *Rishafieh and *Jerama before his sale to Tersk. Another Zem Zem branch descends from Hilal, sire of *Ibn Hilal.

Jerboa, bright bay with three white feet and a star, was the first of several mares to attempt to found a “J” family at Crabbet, where initial J did not prove a lucky letter. Jerboa is in modern pedigrees through her son and daughter Jeroboam and Jerud, full siblings by Pharoah. Jeroboam got Rodania’s daughter Rosemary and so is a widespread influence. Jerud produced at Crabbet and for Miss Dillon and from the latter connection is responsible for Jamrood by Maidan, sire of Hagar’s son *Hail and of Zem Zem’s daughter Zimrud.

Wild Thyme, bay with a star, was purchased because it was thought her strain, Kehilan Ras el-Fedawi, was also that of the Thoroughbred founder the Darley Arabian; the Blunts also imported a Ras el-Fedawi colt, called Darley. They later found that the original Darley had been a Maneghi; the Blunt Darley was a washout at stud and Wild Thyme was not much more highly regarded. She produced for the Blunts and for other owners, and her daughter Raschida (originally Wild Honey) was another to produce for Miss Dillon. Raschida produced Riad and has a substantial family in this country through her daughters *Nessa and *Mahal, imported by Borden before the Darley connection was disproved.

Sherifa, a white mare, was the senior individual of the first importation and probably the most highly esteemed, for the beauty of her head and for her character. She lived to an estimated age of 30 and left an active family at Crabbet, but the line trailed out around 1907 and she is represented in modern pedigrees only through her daughter Shemse by Pharaoh. Shemse had been sold from Crabbet in foal to Azrek and produced a grey colt, Ben Azrek, who got two registered daughters; Ruth Kesia from the non-Crabbet Borak [(Boanerges x Kesia II) and so blood sister to Borden’s import *Imamzada]; and Sheeba, whose dam Riad was 87.5% Blunt breeding. Ruth Kesia is widely influential through Shahzada by Mootrub and *Nuri Pasha by *Nureddin II; the latter’s sister Krim left a family in England. Sheeba breeds on through the mare sire Nuri Sherif, also by Nureddin II.

Dahma, a dark bay with star, snip, some white on all four feet, though not a familiar name in England or America, cannot be dismissed as a minor influence internationally for her daughter Dahna’s is one of the most extensively branched families in Australian breeding.

Jedrania, a bay, was the second J mare; she and her daughter Jebel Druz produced for the Blunts but she breeds on only through her Dillon son Jezail by *Imamzada, the sire of Hagar’s son *Hauran.

Meshura, a bright bay with four white feet and a blaze, was a distinguished individual and half-sister to the Blunt sire Pharaoh; their half-sister was dam of Azrek and Basilisk was from the same immediate family. Meshura founded a female line which reached several generations at Crabbet and outside, but is present today only through indirect lines. Her daughter Mansura (only offspring of Ashgar in pedigrees) produced Mareb by Mesaoud and he left descent through one daughter, Mareesa. Mabruka by Azrek produced Marhaba, dam of the Selby mare sire *Mirzam. Maisuna by Mesaoud was responsible for the male-line founder Joseph, sire of Rosh and Manasseh and of good mares.

Jilfa, again a bay with a star, was the third of the J mares. Her influence persists only through Jamusa, sold to the Hon. R.E.L. Vaughan Williams along with Mareb. That pair had a string of offspring in GSB but the line was founded by the filly Mareesa, who visited *Berk and Rasim at Crabbet to produce the glamorous Alfarouse and the less noticeable but more productive Yaquta respectively. Alfarouse breeds on through her sons Almulid, Ajeeb and Azym; there is a thin modern female line from Jilfa via Yaquta (thanks to Nyla Eshelman for pinning this line down).

Fulana, a dark brown with off hind sock and near fore coronet, was another who seemed for a time to be founding a Crabbet family. Her English branches all failed, and Fulana’s only descent today is through her very handsome Mesaoud son Faraoun with two important daughters in Australian pedigrees.

Johara, chestnut elder sister of the “broken legged” Bint Helwa, was marked with blaze, near hind sock and a small mark outside off hind. Two daughters produced at Crabbet but the thin lines from Johara today all descend from her great-granddaughter Jawi-Jawi.

Jimmy Dean remembered: Excerpts from Taped Interviews

Jimmie Dean Remembered

Arabian Visions July 1991  Copyright 1991 Used by permission of Arabian Visions

        Jimmie Dean, long-time manager of Selby Stud, died in his sleep at his home in Kentucky during the night of March 21, 1991. In preparing this issue, we asked friends of James Parker Dean to send a few words of remembrance.

Bob & Ginger Detterman, Bo-Gin Arabians, Thousand Oaks, California

        I wish we had met Jimmie Dean 25 years earlier. We learned so much from him in the years we knew him – he was a great friend and source of both knowledge and information. Although I had heard Jimmie’s name ever since I was knee-high to a grass-hopper (my grnadmother had purchased her foundation mares from the Selby Stud in the 1930’s when Jimmie was in charge of the Arabians), it was Azy (Azraff x Poppy) who actually brought us together.

        As we visited breeding farms and horse shows in the late 60’s and early 70’s, we kept seeing individual horses that really appealed to us, and a great number of them were sired by a stallion named Azy, who was bred and owned by Jimmie and Thelma Dean. We decided we had to see this horse, so we gathered up our courage and telephoned the legendary Mr. and Mrs. Dean to make an appointment. The rest is history.

        They were such warm, hospitable and genuine people — you couldn’t help wanting to make them a part of your lives. I’ll never forget the first time we suggested the idea of bringing Azy to California. We had been sitting around after dinner, talking about Arabian horses, and when we approached him with the idea, his answer was an instantaneous and unequivocal “NO!” I believe the only reasons we were ultimately able to get Jimmie and Thelma to let us bring Azy to California three years later were that (1) we would not give up, and (2) we sent a mare back to Kentucky to be bred to Azy, and Jimmie was able to get an idea of how we handled our horses from this mare.

        Jimmie was one of the finest horsemen I’ll ever have the privilege of knowing. He was able to communicate with a horses with his voice and with his hands using great finesse. Horses responded to his gentle touch. The last time he visited us in California, both Azy and Azleta were here, and we wanted to get a picture of Jimmie with these two great old horses that he bred.         I put a halter on Azy and handed the rope to Jimmie, while I went to get Azleta. We decided to take the picture in front of a row of olive trees that are located halfway between Azy’s paddock and the breeding barn. Azy and I had made that trip many times, and Azy and I had an understanding — he would lead quietly until we went throuugh one particular gate, and then he could call the ladies and animate. I didn’t think about that as I headed Jimmie and Azy toward the olive trees — but when Azy went through the gate, he “turned out.” Jimmie simply spoke to Azy and hit him once in the flank with his hand, and Azy stopped, looked at Jimmy, and led the rest of the way to the olive trees quietly. We got our picture, and Jimmie and Azy walked back to Azy’s paddock, with Jimmie talking to Azy the whole way.

        For several months after that day, as Azy and I would walk through that gate on our way to the breeding barn, Azy would look at me as if to ask permission before calling to the ladies, and if I told him to keep quiet, he would! Incidentally, Jimmie told me that it was not necessary to use a stud chain on Azy — even in the breeding barn — and to this day, I haven’t used one on him.

        In all the years we knew him, I never heard Jimmie say an unkind word about anyone. He was the ultimate diplomat. Although we frequently asked for his advice, he never pushed his opinions on us. There is no doubt that his influence upgraded the quality of our breeding stock. During his lifetime, he put us in touch with a number of other breeders across the United States whose goals are similar to ours, and with this network of friends, we expect his influence on our breeding program to continue for many years.


Garth Buchanan, Comar Arabians, Story City, Iowa.

        Fifty years have passed since I made my first (of many) trips to the Selby Arabian Stud, then managed by James P. and Thelma Dean. Thus began what developed into a personal friendship, collaboration on horses and “cross-pollination” of breeding programs which endured the rest of their lives.

        As in years gone by Jimmie and Thelma are in my heart, and in loving memories they will remain inseparable — near impossible to think of one without reminiscing of the other and their ceaseless dedication to the Arabian horse.         Words poorly convey my gratitude for their interest and encouragement through the many years of precious association.  

Sandy Rolland, Sandell Farms, Macomb, Illinois

        I first met Jimmie and Thelma (“Buck”) Dean when I was researching my book, *Raffles, His Sons and Daughters.

        Jimmie and Buck were wonderful to me and they spent hours with me answering questions as I followed them around the farm, helping them feed horses or sitting in Buck’s kitchen peeling potatoes for dinner for her while she related fascinating facts and stories to me about the old foundation horses.

        My sons were about eight and ten when we first met the Deans, and their favorite memory of Jimmie is riding around the farm with him on the manure spreader!

        Jimmie Dean was truly “The Dean” of our Arabian horse world, and he has left a legacy that won’t be matched for generations to come, if ever. His great generosity to come, if ever. His great generosity in sharing his knowledge and his refusal to make negative remarks about others have made him, unfortunately for the rest of us, one of a kind.

        Jimmie and Thelma Dean, I salute you with love and sincere thanks.

Julie K. Smithson, Signature Stud Ltd., London Ohio

        I last spoke with Jimmie on March 14th, just eight days before he died peacefully, in his sleep. James Parker Dean would have been 88 years young had he lived until the 21st of April. I cannot conceive of him as ever being old, for he thought and lived on such a vital, optimistic plane. I remember his musing that he would have to find more recipes for asparagus (his favorite vegetable), because he had seen to it that there’d be more of it than ever to harvest this year from his generous garden.

        My knowledge of Jimmie Dean spanned five years of reading every scrap that I could find about *Raffles, and 51 months of cherished friendship and correspondence, enhanced by two visits to Sanders, Kentucky. Would that I had been blessed to know him for 51 years! The knowledge and appreciation of life, in general, and the Arabian horse, in particular, that I absorbed from Jimmie was priceless.

        Jimmie Dean was to me what he was to many: friend, mentor, father figure, brother, confidant and horseman par excellence. You could say anything to Jimmie; all would be heard by the kindest of ears, the biggest hearts. Jimmie never said an unkind word about, or to , anyone. He advised only with the utmost tact. Kindness, with honesty and integrity, was his forte.

        Once I asked Jimmie what it was like to have actually known *Raffles. He replied that *Raffles “can best be described as an experience without parallel.” He expressed regret that many of those who so admired *Raffles did not have the opportunity to experience him personally.

        To borrow his own words, this is how I feel about Jimmie Dean: I regret that many of you who so admired him did not have the opportunity to experience him personally. He can best be described as an experience without parallel. He was my friend, and I loved him. I miss him greatly.


Jo & Dick Ellis, Ellis’ GreenLea Arabians, Dallas Center, Iowa

        Jimmie Dean — a remarkable person and a great horse breeder and horseman — we feel extremely fortunate to have known him for 35 years.

        When we first met Jimmie he fulfilled the image we expected of “A True Southern Gentleman” and he continued to be that same person for as long as we knew him.

        Jimmie was a man of many talents. We think of him as being a geneticist, a nutritionist, an agronomist, and, although he was not a veterinarian, he was very well versed on horse medications as related to prevention and cure to what may afflict a horse. He had many other areas of expertise which were not directly related to the horse business. Most importantly, he generously applied his good logic to all circumstances. He as widely respected for this broad range of knowledge and was always willing to give advice to any serious Arabian owner or breeder. He liked to help others.

        Whenever we had a puzzling problem relating to the horses or horses business, Jimmie always seemed to be able to come up with good solid reasons, explanations, or suggestions as to how to go about solving them in an honest, business-like, and forthright manner. As some will recall, Jimmie pioneered the consignment auctioning of Arabians in this country. He was determined to operate ethical auctions whereby the buyer and seller had equal opportunity and information. Consignors to his auctions were bound by very strict terms. Some terms recalled were: no reserve bidding, no by bidding or any other kind of illegal or unethical bidding, honest veterinary inspections the day of the sale with all findings announced in the sale ring, and we can remember being required to furnish valid registration papers with our signatures in place as sellers. (The bidders knew that the horse would be sold to the person with the highest bid.) Wouldn’t it have been great if the Arabian horse industry had followed the lead of this brilliant, hones, and ethical horseman by conducting auctions that were a credit to the breed?

        This tribute is to Jimmie but a part of what he was was contributed by his very capable wife Thelma, who preceded him in death. They were a great team, as each supplemented the other so perfectly. They were an inspiration to all who knew them. We feel particularly blessed to have known Jimmie and Thelma Dean.


Ann Jo Hall, Hall Farm Arabians, Lexington, Illinois

        I am glad to have a chance to tell you about some of the feelings and memories I have of our great friend Jimmie Dean.

        I have a lifetime of memories, from early childhood to the very recent past. He was a dear and constant friend to me and so many others. Words like trusted advisor, counselor, the very biggest shoulders to hold me up in the tough times all tell who and what he was.

        When I was grown and ready to start a serious breeding program, I told Jimmie that I wanted to breed a few good horses. He knew what I meant. He took me seriously at my word. Through the years since, I have listened and watched and enjoyed our student-teacher arrangement.

        When I caught on to a principle of his breeding theory I always spoke up by letter, in person, or over the phone and let him know he had gotten another point across. This generally got him to say something like “I always knew you were smart” or “That’s my girl!” or “Glad I could be of help”

        He was a great student of human nature. He was able to make people feel good just by being around him. When I was at his farm or he was at mine we always worked hard fixing fence, building a new breeding set-up or breeding mares. I learned so much and he was so kind and generous with his valuable time.

        We drove thousands of miles hauling horses together. He said we had more fun than other people. It was a riot to be his friend!!! My memories will make me giggle the rest of my life. I will miss you, Jimmie!


Bill Munson, Shalimar Ranch, Harrison, Nebraska

        I first met Jimmie in 1942. At that time I was captain of the Iowa State polo team and a vet student working for Mrs. Garth Knox (later Buchanan). She had a stable of grade school horses and ran an organization for girls called Bit & Spur. Joe Buchanan was stationed in Texas, and in May of that year she went down there to marry him, leaving me in charge.

        The girls had planned a picnic at Boone, Iowa on the Des Moines River. This was in the spring when the river was deep and swift. I was riding Garth’s Arabian stallion Ragin (*Mirage x *Indaia). It was a warm day and we thought we’d swim the horses. It turned out Ragin couldn’t swim a stroke; he started to drown. I was horror-stricken. He had only a hackamore on and went down three times. I went down with him, afraid he’d get caught in the hackamore, which he did. Then I was hit in the head and knocked cold. Someone had to jump in to pull me out. When Garth came home, all she said to me was, “Thank God they got you out.”

        Regin was insured, so Garth gave me a trip to Selby’s to look for a replacement. Mr. Selby had said she could have her choice of the *Mirage sons. That was when I met Jimmie and Thelma. We were there for six days and picked out Ibn Mirage. When it was time to leave, Jimmie said, “Bill, Mr. Selby wants you to have a colt.” So I picked Selmage (Image x *Selmnab), who became a great show horse.

        That was the start of a friendship which lasted from 1942 to 1991. At first our friendship was very horse-oriented, but over the years it transcended that. We could go a week together without once mentioning horses. I always called him “Pappy.” He was the one person I always deferred to.

        Jimmie was the greatest P.R. man I’ve ever known. He could sell you a horse without you even knowing it.

        Jimmie was a very kind, thoughtful person. He wouldn’t say anything bad about anyone or their horses. Jimmie never said anything to hurt your feelings. It’s hard to describe how we felt about him. Bazy Tankersley, Garth Buchanan, Gina Manion, Margaret Shuey, R.B.Field, Dan Gainey, Tish Hewitt, Dick Lodwick, Lois Selby, and Alice Payne felt the same way. We bred our own horses our own way, but Jimmie was at the core of it. We all loved and respected Jimmie Dean.

        Jimmie made Selby’s what it was. Mr. Selby imported the horses, of course, but Jimmie made the Selby Stud a breeding force. For example, Jimmie and Thelma were the ones who started using *Raffles. At the time it seemed like a crazy idea to use a little stallion everyone thought was sterile, but they had faith in him.

        Jimmie probably had more influence on the Gainey program than anyone else. He encouraged Gainey to use Azraff, and he encouraged Garth to use Ferzon. It was Jimmie who bred his mare Azleta (by Azraff) to Dan Gainey’s Ferzon to produce the National Champion Gai Parada. This Azraff/Ferzon nick is one of the greatest in Arabian history.

        Alice Payne was greatly influenced by Jimmie. After she saw some of the *Raffles horses, she wanted to go after as many as she could get. Jimmie knew where they all were, and she used to phone him and pester him about them. One night she called to say where she’d found a certain *Raffles daughter. Jimmie asked why she wanted that mare, and Alice answered it was because she was by *Raffles. Jimmie told her that was the worst reason for wanting a horse he’d ever heard.

        Some of the mares bred to *Raffles were not good mares, so there were good *Raffles horses and bad *Raffles horses. It took Alice some time to learn this, but when she did she became even more particular than Jimmie about mare lines. Alice and I both took that to a further extreme than Jimmie did. But we still loved the man.

        After a certain point in time, Jimmie had no further influence on my breeding program, or for that matter Bazy’s or Alice’s, etc. Once the programs were established to a certain point, we went ahead and bred our own horses. But we all stayed close friends, and we still respected and loved him. Jimmies’s own preference in later years was for the Ferzon/Azraff cross, and he promoted those horses.

        Back in the 40’s Jimmie told me that nobody would ever live long enough to change the Arabian horse. But he was wrong. None of us foresaw the influence some people would have. In the show ring we’re going to a Saddlebred type that is not a true type Arabian horse.

        Many of the people interested in the Saddlebred type have left the breed. The people Jimmie Dean influenced are in the Arabian breed for the long haul. I don’t know of anyone else in the history of the Arabian horse who has touched more people or influenced as many programs as Jimmie Dean.


Carolyn Hasbrook, Twin Brooks Arabians, Ames, Iowa

        I first met Jimmie and Thelma 22 1/2 years ago after the IAHA Convention in Ohio. The last time I saw Jimmie as the 1990 U.S. Nationals in October. The last time I talked to him was two weeks before his death, and I received a letter from him the day he died. Every letter, conversation or personal contact was uplifting and rewarding. He was an inspiration to talk to and one of the most intelligent men I’ve known.

        Jimmie could be funny and mischievous but was always the “Kentucky” gentleman. He was a marvelous cook, knew a great deal about geology and could design and build, or have built, anything he needed. He was building on his house right up until his health gave out.

        When his health problems started, he read everything he could about vitamins, minerals and different foods that might help him, instead of just sitting back and feeling sorry for himself.

        I made a video type of horses and places I knew would be of interest to Jimmie. Upon the urging of Joe Meiman, I sent it with him. He and Joy shared it with Jimmie just four days before he died. It was a long tape, but I understand he watched it more than once, knew the horses and enjoyed it.

        We bought our first stallion from Jimmie and Thelma. He was Phleta’s last foal by Azy. All of our horses trace back to the Selby horses that Jimmie bred or back to horses Jimmie had a hand in crossing (Azraff and Ferzon). Without his influence we would not have the typey Arabians we admire. There are farms and ranches all over the world that feel the same about their horses and breeding programs.

        Almost from the beginning of Arabians in this country through the present and even into the future, James P. Dean has had more influence than any other person in maintaining the typey Arabian. He was a very special man with special talents and will be greatly missed.

Travelers Rest

by Dr. George H. Conn (Western Horseman Jul ’51)


Travelers Rest farm was established in 1792 near Nashville, Tennessee. It was established by John Overton, who came to that community about 1789 and who was a law partner of Andrew Jackson and served on the supreme court of Tennessee after that state was admitted to the Union. The original Travelers Rest farm remained in the family of John Overton and his descendants until 1938, and during this time it became famous for the high quality of its Thoroughbred, Morgan, trotting and saddle horses.

Due to the fact that the original Travelers Rest farm was located but a short distance from Nashville, which has grown to be a city of more than 250,000 people, it became necessary in 1938 to abandon the original Travelers Rest which was then moved to Franklin, Tennessee.

The late Travelers Rest farm was owned and maintained by Gen. J. M. Dickinson, who added Arabian horses to his breeding operations in 1930. When it became necessary to abandon the original Travelers Rest, Dickinson disposed of his other horses and kept only the Arabs for future breeding and maintenance of the Travelers Rest Stud on Del Rio Pike, near Franklin, Tennessee.

Horse lovers of all kinds will be very vitally interested in the following quotation of John Trotwood Moore which is printed on the inside front cover of the Travelers Rest Arabian horse catalogs. The quotation which was first used in advertising the famous American Saddle stallion, McDonald Chief, of the old Travelers Rest, is as follows:

“Out from the past, the dim, bloody, shifting past, came this noble animal, the horse, side by side with man, fighting with him the battles of progress, bearing with him the burdens of the centuries. Down the long, hard road, through flint or mire, through swamp or sand, wherever there has been a footprint, there also will be seen a hoofprint. They have been one and inseparable, the aim and the object, the means and the end. And if the time shall ever come, as some boastingly declare, when the one shall breed away from the other, the puny relic of a once perfect manhood will not live long enough to trace the record of it on the tablet of time.”


The author of this article had the privilege of meeting Gen. Dickinson and discussing with him briefly some phases of Arabian horse breeding, and my impression is that Gen. Dickinson had the most sound and practical ideas about the commercial production of Arabian horses of any breeder in the United States up to this time. Dickinson’s ideas in general were that you should breed good Arabian horses and sell them honestly and fairly to the most satisfactory buyers you could find. In other words, he followed very closely the policy of many of the earlier breeders of Arabian horses throughout the world. That the reader may fully understand Gen. Dickinson’s policies, we quote from the 1941 revised edition of a catalog of Travelers Rest, as follows:

We have acquired and bred Arabian horses of the purest blood and most satisfactory individual excellence. Some of these horses have met and defeated many of the best known Arabians in the United States, including imported horses with championship records, in shows and in other competitive events that have been widely advertised in this country and abroad, open to all purebred Arabian horses, and in which horses have competed from all sections of the United States and even from overseas. Various Travelers Rest Arabian horses have made creditable showings against horses of other breeds in the latters’ specialties, and have won honors abroad.

Of course we wish to sell the produce of our stud, for we are breeding Arabs for the market rather than for the purpose of making a collection. However, there are certain things we are unwilling to do in order to sell more horses. For one thing, we refuse to poison anyone’s mind against other breeds. We will tell you what the Arab has done and what we believe the Arab can do; but it is not our affair to persuade you that some other horse is undesirable.

We consider it a bad policy to endeavor to sell a horse to a man who does not want it, or whose requirements it cannot fill. Only a bad product requires bad sales methods. We consider the Arab colt to be a good product that will sell itself to the customer who recognizes quality when he sees it.

“Then we are unwilling to argue that our horses are better than all other Arabs. Such claims are made for various studs. Obviously, they cannot be true of all.

“Arab horses from Travelers Rest have been successful in various kinds of competition at home and abroad. They seem to be giving satisfaction in 40 of our states and territories, and a dozen foreign countries. A substantial proportion of our sales is made to customers who have bought from us in the past, and to their friends and acquaintances.

“We believe success depends upon pleasing every customer as much as possible, and we bend every reasonable effort to sell the product of our stud where most apt to give satisfaction. We believe we now have and are breeding better Arabs than in the past, and offer our produce at prices commensurate with costs and maintenance. It is our earnest hope that every Travelers Rest Arabian horse will prove to be satisfactory and worth more than is paid for it.”


In discussing the breeding of Arabian horses with Gen. Dickinson in 1945, he told the author that it was the policy of Travelers Rest to price all Arabian colts of a sex at a standard price. At that time my recollection is that all horse colts were priced at $400 at weaning time, and an additional $50 was added to the price every six months until sold. Fillies were priced at $600 at weaning time and $50 was added to the price every six months until sold. Gen. Dickinson made it quite plain in discussing these prices that he did not at any time make an attempt to get a higher price than quoted for these colts even though some may have shown greater quality than others. At this time he was ambitious to have 50 broodmares producing purebred Arabian colts in his stud.

Travelers Rest Arabian stud was maintained at Franklin, Tenn, until 1946, at which time it was moved to Santa Barbara, Calif., where it was maintained for two years. Much of the breeding stock of this famous stud was returned to Tennessee in 1948, and in 1949 this stud was dispersed, going to a purchaser in Cuba.

The original Arabs purchased for Travelers Rest were secured from Maynesboro stud of Wm. R. Brown. Mr. Dickinson purchased almost the complete importation that Mr. Brown made from the desert, including Nasr, the white Arabian stallion, and the famous Hamida mares together with Aziza. Other breeding stock added to Travelers Rest in the early years consisted of Bazleyd, the national champion Arabian stallion known as the “peerless show horse,” and Gulastra and Kolastra, his son, all of which were bred by Wm. R. Brown’s Maynesboro stud. In addition to the above stallions, Mr. Dickenson secured two very famous grey Arabian mares, Guemura and Gulnare, both bred at Col. Spencer Borden’s Interlachen farm and which were purchased from Mr. Borden by Wm. R. Brown, who in turn sold them to Dickinson. One of the most widely known stallions owned in the early years by Travelers Rest was Antez, which became a very famous running Arabian and which was exported to Poland when he was 15 years old, where he raced very successfully for five years, being returned to the United States just before World War II.

In 1937 Gen. Dickinson made an importation of Arabian horses from Poland and Egypt. This importation consisted of seven grey mares from Poland and a gray mare, Maamouna, which was secured from the Royal Agricultural Society of Cairo, Egypt. Among this importation from Poland the following mares have been very successful in the stud: Przepiorka, Lassa, Liliana and Nora.

Travelers Rest imported in early 1939 a grey stallion, Czubuthan, No. 1499, from Poland. Czubuthan’s first foal arrived on april 3, 1940, and he went on to become the sire of the largest number of purebred Arabian horses from 1940 to 1948, and he was also tied with Raffles for the sire of the third largest number of Arabian foals registered in the Arabian stud book. (1)


Several other well-known horses found their way to the Travelers Rest Arabian stud farm from time to time. Among the better known Arabs used in this breeding stud we refer to such Arabs as the bay mare Aire, bred in Argentina, and Kasztelanka, the bay mare bred in Poland and imported by Henry B. Babson, as well as the mare Kostrzewa, also bred in Poland and imported by Babson. The well known grey mare Roda, now owned by Margaret Shuey, of North Carolina, and imported by Wm. R. Brown, was also in the stud at one time, as was the mare Rose of France, which was bred at Crabbet Stud, in England, and imported by Roger A. Selby. Zarife, the famous Egyptian stallion which was imported by Wm. R. Brown, found his way to the Travelers Rest Stud and from there he was purchased by Van Vleet’s Lazy V V Ranch where he died in late 1950.

In the 19 years of their breeding operations, Travelers Rest produced many well known horses. It is apparent that they made no special effort to accumulate unusual honors for their horses, but were willing at all times to let them earn what honors they could in a general way in competition wherever and however they found it. Among some of the better known horses produced at this breeding establishment we refer to Bataan, who was used at the old Kellogg ranch while known as the Pomona Quartermaster Depot; Chepe-Noyon, a well known breeding stallion; Genghis Khan, a well known jumping horse; Jedran, a gaited Arabian horse winning in American Saddle horse classes; Nafud, another prize winner in Saddlebred competition, as well as many others which were successful in various show classifications.

Travelers Rest made consistent, steady growth for many years, and shortly before it was transferred to Santa Barbara, Calif., it was probably the second largest Arabian breeding farm in the United States, being exceeded only by the Kellogg Ranch, which was then under the direction of the Pomona Quartermaster Depot. At the height of their breeding operations, Travelers Rest produced in the neighborhood of 30 purebred foals a year. While the writer does not have the exact figures, it is his judgment that this stud at one time contained nearly 80 head of purebred registered Arabian horses.

From the 1947 catalog of Travelers Rest horses we find that during the lifetime of this famous stud, up to the close of 1946, they had bred and sold 274 purebred Arabian horses. These horses were sold to 40 or more of the states in the United States of America and were also sold and exported to 13 foreign countries. At least 37 of these Arabian horses and colts were exported to these 13 foreign countries, principally to South American countries. We find that seven head were exported to Mexico, nine head to the Republic of Columbia, six to Hawaii, three to Cuba, three to England, and two to Guatemala, and one each to seven other foreign countries. It must seem to the reader from the information given here that Travelers Rest Arabian Stud was, for the nearly 20 years that it was in existence, a very important factor in the development and popularizing of the Arabian breed in America. We take pleasure in quoting a short statement from this last catalog of 1947 which is entitled, “To the Arabian Horse.” We do not know by whom the quotation was originally made, but it is very typical and interesting. The quotation is:

From his veins came the blood of the Thoroughbred, from his style the beauty of the saddler, his endurance gave bottom to the trotter. Big little fellow with the heart of a lion, second to some of his children but third to none, may he live on through the ages as the symbol of all that we love in the horse.”

Type in the Arab

by Ben Hur (Western Horseman March 1951)

IS THE ARABIAN horse a gift of nature, a natural , primary type like the wild beast of the fields and forests? Or is it a modified and developed type, created under man’s influence?

Type is that distinctive, familiar shape which immediately identifies a horse and classifies it with its breed. Type makes the breed. The type of your favorite breed is as familiar to you as the type-faces and typography of your favorite newspaper and magazine which you can identify at sight at a distance long before you are near enough to read the print.

What is Arabian type and what is its origin? You know it when you see it, but there are so many variations in the type. What is the explanation? Which is the most desirable?

Most Arabians fall within two type classifications:

1) the larger, longer, coarser and more masculine type;

2) the smaller, shorter, finer formed, “strength and beauty” type.

The larger, coarser type was used mainly as foundation for our present day light breeds. The smaller, finer type has been largely the foundation of the Arabians as a breed, bred in their purity during the past century in Egypt, Poland, England and later in the United States. This type, known as the elite in Egypt, as the classic in America, when highly bred, it that of a horse of transcendent beauty. It is more than that. It is the beauty of an ancient Grecian statue come to life. It is not sheer beauty alone, at one extreme, or sheer brute strength at the other. The ideal represents a blending of animated strength and beauty, a degree of perfection not achieved in any other domestic animal.

Gulastra No. 521, Seglawi strain; dam, Gulnare; sire, *Astraled by Mesaoud, great grandson of Zobeyni. Gulastra has proven a highly important sire.

The ideal Arabian type is recognizable at sight to the experienced horseman and novice alike. It falls short of the ideal if it reminds one of another horse or breed. It falls short of the ideal if it is so plain and uncertain of type as to require a sign: “This is an Arabian horse.” It falls short of the ideal if it is so coarse and masculine as to remind one of a small Percheron, at one extreme, or so highly animated and elf-like as to remind one of a gazelle at the other extreme. The ideal type stands out alone. You know it immediately when you see it.

Because of its beauty and perfection, the most common error is the assumption that Arabian type is a natural gift of nature, a type that is as fixed as that of the bison, squirrels or bob cats. With that erroneous assumption as a premise, the new admirer of the Arabian dreams of the day he could visit the desert, make friends and barter for a few Arabian horses. From then on, with his horses safely back home, all that would be necessary, with a little feed, time and care, would be the multiplication and addition of the offspring. It would be as simple as starting with a pair of guinea pigs or white rabbits. Like would beget like and soon there would be many more of these wonderful Arabians. The idea still persists today, in spite of the history of the development of the breed and evidence all about of the bloodlines and skill required to produce the desired type.

On scores of occasions, elaborate and adequately equipped trips have been made to the desert (in some instances years and fortunes have been spent) in an attempt to bring back several of the “dream horses.” The results have been disheartening at best. The horses dreamed about could not be found, or an occasional one found was not for sale. After these many attempts, it is generally conceded that Abbas Pasha I of Egypt all but stripped the desert of the best horses a century ago and that the overwhelming majority of Arabians of the much preferred type desired today are of these bloodlines combined with and developed by the Blunts and later their daughter, Lady Wentworth.

There are three familiar proofs we may cite that Arabian type is not a gift of nature, a natural, primary fixed type:

1) the horses of Cortez and De Soto, of Spanish origin, were of the same root stock as the early Arabians. Left to run wild on the plains of the southwest, they grew smaller, lost most of the early type and good dispositions and became, in fact, untractable, rough ponies.

2) The Thoroughbred in England, on the other hand, under proper care, skill and environment, was moulded and developed from about the same root stock, about the same time as the reversion in type was making the wild mustang in America. Taking advantage of the variations in type found from time to time, and with selection and care, a new type, the thoroughbred, was created.

3) As further proof that the Arabian horse, as found in the desert, was moulded and pliable, a highly developed creature from the remote early type, we may cite that there was no universal, fixed type.

Travelers visiting the desert, from earliest recorded accounts, found variations in the distinctive, over-all type. They found some six or more main strains among as many main Bedouin tribes, and numerous sub-strains of each main strain, each further specialized to the liking of the families among the tribes breeding them. The five main strains were the Kehilan, Seglawi, Abeyan, Hamdani and Hadban, all more or less closely related, and many maintained that from the Kehilan the others were offshoots.

Azkar No. 1109, Kehilan (Seglawi) strain; sire, Rahas by Gulastra; dam, imported *Aziza, Egypt, out of Negma, finest recent representative of the Jellibiet Feysul mare line. (Today this line has been shown through mtDNA analysis to be Seglawi-Jedran)

These five strains were of the finer, elite or classic type. The sixth strain, the larger, coarser, was the Maneghi, seldom, if ever, crossed with the other strains. Breeding and identifying type followed the mare through these strain and sub-strain names. Stallions from one strain of the first five were often used on the other closely related strains, but his strain name was dropped in his offspring, which carried the strain of its dam. Pedigrees in the modern sense were unknown among the Bedouins.

Of the many horses imported from the desert to Egypt, England, Poland and the United States, early pedigrees and stud books reveal that many desert-bred horses had sires and dams of different closely related strains. The practice of continuing the identifying strain names in present day stud books, to give an idea of type origin, has continued in England, Poland and Egypt. In many instances in the United States, after 30 years of indiscriminate inter-mixing of strains from so many different sources, without regard to type or family origin, the resulting offspring was “neither fish nor fowl,” had so many different strains in the pedigree as to belie claim to any one of them in particular. So strain names were dropped in our stud books. There are, however, in this country important bloodlines that have been continued along the same early system of family line breeding and have a concentration of the blood of the type foundation sires and dams.

A study of importations of Arabians to this country for the past 50 years reveals many interesting facts relating to present-day type trends and influences. In no other country has thee been so much enthusiasm for imported Arabians. More than 200 have been accepted for registry from the desert, Lebanon, Egypt, India, Turkey, Spain, France, Germany, Russia, Poland, South America and England. Many of these have the same type root origin and are not as unrelated at the mere name of sire an dam would indicate. Some imported from Egypt credit sire and dam as “desert bred,” when in fact they are of Abbas Pasha and Blunt origin in Egypt with highly significant pedigrees. Numerous importations from various isolated sources from which high hope was held when the importation was made have left issue of little or no value. It is astonishing to note the toll that time has taken of some lines and how others more dominant have been preferred and have gone on and on.

The Maneghi strain or courser type Arabian was preferred for several centuries by those who thought of the Arabian as the best original seed-stock with which to improve and make new breeds. This strain was the foundation for the Thoroughbred and accounts for his type today.

The “strength and beauty” or elite type, later called the classic type, was first highly esteemed and collected from the desert with great fervor by Abbas Pasha I of Egypt (1803 – 1858), who used his knowledge of the desert and horses ,his immense fortune and his friendship with the Bedouins to make his vast collection of horses. He had as many as 600 head at one time. It is doubtful if the Bedouins ever again had the horses they had before he carried on, over a period of years, his systematic combing of the desert for the finest classic type Arabians, regardless of price, which he boasted he collected for their perfection of beauty like others in Europe and elsewhere collected priceless paintings.

Three of the Arabians of Abbas Pasha are among the most highly esteemed foundation of present day bloodlines, here and abroad. Zobeyni (see illustration), a grey Seglawi stallion, bred in the desert, used by him with great success, is founder of the male line that has been the most successful in England and the United States.

*Rifala No. 815, Kehilan strain, imported from England; sire, Skowronek, grandson of Mahruss, Zobeyni line. Rifala is of the Rodania female line, and dam of *Raffles by Skowronek.

Aarah No. 1184, Kehilan, and foal Aarafa. She is representative of the female lines of Ghazieh, Rodania and Jellibiet Feysul.

The line has been of preponderant importance in contributing to other lines in other countries, notably Egypt and Poland. Zobeyni’s most celebrated son was Wazir, which has by some been considered the best stallion secured in Egypt by Wilfred and Lady Ann Blunt. Wazir was sire of many important mares for the Blunts at their Crabbet Stud; also the stallion Shahwan, famed for his beauty and perfection, imported to this country in 1895 by J.P.Ramsdell. Thus in this country was obtained some of the early Zobeyni blood. Zobeyni was also sire of Mahruss, sire of Ibn Mahruss No. 22. Mahruss was sire of Heijer, grandsire of Skowronek (Poland)(1), whose blood has been the largest contributing factor to modern classic type in England and the United States. Zobeyni was great grandsire of Jamil El Achkar, highly important foundation sire in Egypt; also Mesaoud, taken to England by the Blunts and the most successful sire at Crabbet Stud before the coming of Skowronek. Thus it will be seen that the United States shares richly in the early blood sources of the most important progenitor of Arabians in the modern world.

Abbas Pasha brought from the desert two mares that are tap root dams of the most important female lines. They are Jellibiet Feysul, a Kehilan, for which a fortune was paid, and Ghazieh, a Seglawi, as important possibly as the former. She is great granddam of Bint Helwa, dam of Ghazala, brought to the country by Spencer Borden. Through her daughters, Guemura and Gulnare, many Arabians share in this line.

The Bunts devoted their resources and many years of their lives bringing Arabians from the desert to England and Egypt and to world acclaim and favor. Through their daughter, the bloodlines have been further extended. Of all the many important sires they have owned, Mesaoud, great grandson of Zobeyni, bred in Egypt, and Skowronek(1), bred in Poland, both of the Zobeyni line, have contributed more than any others to the high esteem in which the classic type Arabian is held the world over at the present time.

The mares Rodania and Dajania, both Kehilan, obtained in the desert by the Blunts, have proven tap root foundation mares comparable to Ghazieh and Jellibiet Feysul. Their blood, too, is found generously in many pedigrees in this country.

Nejdme No. 1, of Chicago World’s Fair 1893 fame, has established an important female line here not found in other countries.

Of the Arabians imported by Homer Davenport from the desert, one stallion and two mares have contributed new lines that are increasing in popularity. Deyr, an Abeyan, bred in the desert, is founder of the male line. Sire of Hanad, his most illustrious son, and Tabab, and grandsire of Antez and Aabab (see illustration) and others of note, the line is noted for its vitality, personality and robust type. It blends well with and compliments the Zobeyni line. The most important of the Davenport mares were Wadduda (the war mare) and Urfah, both of the Seglawi strain. They have established female lines not found in other countries.

It will be seen that the type preference for the classic type had its beginning with the selections made by Abbas Pasha early in the 19th century, which were later augmented and supported by the desert selections of the Blunts and their development of the type and breed at their Sheik Obeyd Stud in Egypt and Crabbet Stud in England. The spark that kindled the enthusiasm and preference for this same type was the occasion of the (1893) World’s Fair. Numerous small, highly significant importations of the Abbas Pasha and Blunt bloodlines were made from England in the succeeding years. More than 20 years later, Wm. R. Brown made large importations from England of this same type and blood source and added them to his stud of Borden and other importations which he had painstakingly collected and saved for posterity. He did more than any other person to put the Arabian horse on a firm, consistent type breeding foundation by specializing in the production of the classic type and publicizing the type qualifications and standards. Ten years later, through the importations from England by W.K.Kellogg and Roger Selby of considerable numbers of horses of the same important bloodlines, the foundation for this type was broadened and strengthened vastly and to a degree which assured the future of the breed in the U.S. A few years later, Henry Babson and Wm. R. Brown made highly significant importations from Egypt of closely related bloodlines, selected particularly for the type they most esteemed. These important additions gave the breeders in this country the same type sources and foundation blood as those of Egypt, England and Poland.

There are in the United States more living registered Arabians than in England, Egypt and Poland combined as proof of the popularity and acceptance of the breed here, although this number is infinitely small, and no doubt always will be, compared to the total horse population of the country. There are among the registered Arabians in this country a substantial number bred true to the preferred type and from the bloodlines which are of the same origin and loosely related to the same families abroad. Because of the ravages of war and the difficulties under which horses have been bred in these other countries in recent years, it is now apparent from their stud books that we have here a larger number and wider selection of the type sources which originated in these countries than they now have. It is doubtful, after a study of their latest stud books, that they now have anything that would materially aid in further extending our type base of bloodlines.


In a study of type influences and origin in the Arabian horse we must conclude that:

1) there is no natural, fixed, primary type.

2) There are numerous type variations from the over-all, general type.

3) These variations can be divided ito two main classes.

4) The type generally preferred and held in highest esteem has its origin in one breed foundation desert bred sire of a century ago.

5) Four desert bred mares of the same period and type have had a tremendous influence in sustaining and propagating the type.

6) This type, through these bloodlines, has an inter-family relationship among Arabian horses n the United States, England, Poland and Egypt.

7) This international one type ideal and relationship has been carried on from generation to generation through the skill of breeders that comes from years of study and experience with the breed.

8) The United States has had important additions to this type influence by bloodlines of desert bred horses not directly related to the previous group.

9) The type is produced and sustained by following the same family or strain plan of breeding followed for centuries in the desert, more commonly known as line breeding where pedigree breeding is in practice.

10) A study of all the importations from the desert entering into our present day bloodlines clearly indicates there have been no Arabians from this source equal in influence and importance with the stallion Zobeyni, the mares jellibiet Feysul, Ghazieh, Rodania and Dajania.

((1) Today Ibrahim is accepted as a desert-bred stallion. For more information see:



Potocki, Count Joseph (son of Skowronek’s breeder) “Skowronek’s Pedigree and the Antoniny Stud” The Arabian Horse News, Feb. ’58.




Polish Arabians May Have Been Saved

by Ben Hur (Western Horseman Mar/Apr’44)

Raffles, by champion Skowronek, out of champion Rifala.

Friends and students of Arabian horses will be deeply interested in the report that the castle and estate of Count Potocki in war-harassed Poland have been saved from destruction. A deep American interest in the Arabian horses of Poland arises from the fact that during the past ten years or so the bloodlines of some of the best Polish bred Arabian horses have proven extremely popular in this country. There was a time when very little, if any, contact was had with Arabian breeders of Poland, and little was known of their methods of breeding and the quality of their horses.

It will be recalled that Wilfred S. Blunt and his wife, Lady Anne Blunt, established the Crabbet Arabian Stud about 1880 with horses they imported from the desert and, later, others from Egypt. They became the most extensive breeders of Arabians in the British empire, and Arabians bred there were exported to the far corners of the world. Many importations have been made by breeders of the United States.

Commenting on the later work of Lady Wentworth and her Crabbet Arabian Stud, William R. Brown, former president of the Arabian Horse Club of America, said in his book, The Horse of the Desert (1936): “In recent years, a white stallion, Skowronek, bred at the stud of Count Potocki in Poland, has been introduced in order to freshen the blood.”

Skowronek, a few days after he was brought to the U.S. [sic] from Poland. The famous stallion later turned white.

Through the fact that Lady Wentworth deemed it necessary or expedient to freshen the blood of Crabbet Arabians by the importation of Skowronek from Poland shortly after the first world war, a deep interest in Polish Arabians was created in breeders in America. Arabian horses have been bred intensively in their desert purity in Poland for several hundred years. It has been the practice there of certain breeders to obtain a new desert bred stallion every five or ten years and this rule has been followed for many generations. The sire of Skowronek is Ibrahim, desert bred, and his dam is Jaskolka, on her dam’s side from a long line of Polish bred Arabians.

Skowronek’s blood has been disseminated to two continents. Several of his get were imported to the United States — the first possibly being the grey stallion, Raseyn No. 597, and the grey mare, Rossana No. 598, imported in 1926 by W. K. Kellogg. The grey mare Rifala No. 815, by Skowronek, was imported in 1928 by Roger Selby, followed by a double son, Champion Raffles No. 952, imported by Mr. Selby in 1932.

It is significant that the mare, Rifala, was bred back to her sire, Skowronek, and foaled Raffles while still in England. Raffles then is the in-bred son, the son and grand-son of Skowronek, and three quarters of the blood of his sire rather than the usual one-half.

Rifala and foal. Her blood is potent in passing on extremely desirable qualities to her offspring.

Possibly for this reason the blood of Raffles has been found unusually potent in passing on the extremely desirable qualities, from the Arabian breeders’ point of view, to the offspring. From these two sons and two daughters of Skowronek in the United States, in the relatively short period of about ten years, the get and bloodlines have gone to a surprisingly large number of Arabian breeders from coast to coast.

After the importations of the two sons and daughters of Skowronek from England to the United States, the interest in Arabian horses from Poland grew. J. M. Dickinson imported seven Arabians direct from Poland to the United States in 1937, the most prized mare possibly being Przepiorka No. 1309, her dam being Jaskolka II (no doubt a daughter of Jaskolka). In 1938 Mr. Dickinson imported eight more Arabians from Poland, while Henry Babson made a visit to Poland and personally selected five which he imported into the United States. Mr. Dickinson then imported still another in 1939 and Mr. Babson two more.

Dickinson had the honor and distinction of exporting in the meantime to Poland the American bred Arabian, Antez No. 448, a stallion representing some of the best blood lines of the Homer Davenport (1906) importation from the desert to this country. Later, Antez had the distinction of being imported back to the United States from Poland after being used successfully as a stud there.

These importations from Poland were from a number of different estates and breeders as well as the Polish State Stud. With the invasion of Poland by Germany early in World War II, most of these estates and studs were liquidated, the horses confiscated, some being taken to Germany and added to breeding establishments there. So it has been with deep sorrow that many breeders of Arabians in America have followed the ebb and flow of the war across Poland, realizing that the breeding of several hundred years had been wiped out.

Recently, however, more welcome news has come from Polish Vice Consul Jozef Staniewicz in Chicago who reports that despite the terrific destruction in Poland there is one estate which stands untouched, Lancut, the historic castle of the Potockis, fifty miles from Cracow. The ancient house, the only one in Europe remaining intact as it was in the Middle Ages, stands in the center of 150,000 acres of fields and forests.

At the time of the German invasion in 1939, members of the German general staff lost no time in getting to Lancut and making themselves comfortable under Count Potocki’s roof. German Minister of Foreign Affairs Joachim von Ribbentrop and Reichs-marshal Herman Goering have engaged in boar hunting on the estate. The upshot of it was the famous castle and its historic properties and collections remained intact under the German high command. Other castles and country houses, universities and churches were sacked, but Lancut was saved.

This information from the Polish vice consul gives added assurance that the Arabian horses owned by Count Potocki were also saved and can be used as a nucleus for re-establishing the studs for which Poland has long been famous.

See also:

Skowronek — Magic Progenitor