29 June, 2006

Sameh: 5 daughters

When I think of an Arabian Horse like Sameh (El Moez x Sameera), I think more about his daughters and the continuing influence that this particular horse continues to enjoy in America, because he sired such important mares. For me, the connection to Sameh is felt specifically through the 5 daughters in boldface, horses that I knew and loved:

*Ansata Bint Misr (Ansata Bint Bukra)
*Ansata Bint Sameh (Futna)
Azza l (Ahlam ll)
*Deena (Dahma ll)
*Fawkia (Mamlouka)
Ghada (Zebeda)
Hayfaa (Abla)
Horees (Bint Abasa)
Ithad (Kawthar)
Momtaza (Mamlouka)
Naglaa (Ghorra)
Nagwa (Bint Bukra)
*Omayma (Nazeera)
*Romanaa ll (Nazeera)
Safaa (Mouna)
Salha (Saklawia ll)
*Serenity Bint Nadia (Nadia)
*Serenity Sabra (Shahrzada)
*Serenity Sonbolah (Bint Om El Saad)
Shamah (Rafica)
Although I never met Sameh in the real life, I felt that I did in fact know him…through his daughters:

Sonbolah, Sabra and Fawkia.

Sameh stamped these 3 mares very unmistakably. Say what you want to say, all these years now after seeing them at Imperial in the 1980's but I'll go to my grave believing that these mares were favored by the sire, more than the dam. *Fawkia was very different in type from Sabra and Sonbolah (I think I remember Sabra as being the prettiest of the three) but yet the same, if that makes sense. Sabra's height, about 14.3 hands, really surprised me, when I saw her for the first time. At the time, I was riding Thoroughbred hunters, which you know are much taller horses. There was a white pony on the farm named Madrygal and the surprise was how much the white mares made me think of this very nice pony. However, if I am remembering correctly, the one thing that I really liked about Sabra was her balance and her compactness. For me, that is one feature of the Arabian Horse that I really love and she had it. I am not sure of her exact age, when I saw her but she was of a mature age and her topline was fantastic. She had a very expressive face, with a little grooming touches and her very black skin and especially when she was moving, her dilated nostrils, big, black and open just really captivated me. Sonbolah moved powerfully like Fawkia and Sabra...she was a bit taller than the the other two mares and you could be fooled into thinking that she was moving bigger, because of her size. I remember thinking "Gosh, these mares are just eating up the ground". Fawkia was white but not as white as Sabra...Sabra was like a silvery white and in the sun, well, you needed sun glasses for the glare...Fawkia trotted in the same style as the other two mares..her nostrils got really big and she would snort that snort that seemed to be pushed right out of the farthest reaches of her toes...her tail curled over her back and she had that floating trot, with that suspension that just makes you stop what you are doing and take notice. Fawkia's face was a bit longer and not as wide as the other mares. I guess, trying to remember what made the most powerful impression upon me was the charisma, the personality that the three Sameh daughters had. That made it unforgettable for me.

Judi Forbis, in her new book: Authentic Arabian Bloodstock II, shared the following personal evaluation of Sameh, whom she knew from her many trips to visit the horses at El Zahraa:

...A well-balanced horse overall, he had good gaits and sired excellent performance as well as halter horses....He was a sire of superior mares, many of whom became champions and U.S. National winners in America, including the beloved U.S. National Champion Mare, Serenity Sonbolah.

Two years ago, I visited Imperial Egyptian Stud and really appreciated the Imdal daughter: Imperial Falaah. Falaah has the Sameh line through her dam line to *Fawkia. However, as an Imdal daughter, she also has a paternal connection to Sameh through Dalia, a Romanaa II daughter (Sameh x Nazeera). The little I know about Romanaa (I never saw her) is that she was a very good-moving, athletic mare. Prior to visiting Imperial, I have to admit that I was not an Imperial Al Kamar fan. As I toured the stallions in the barn, I remember seeing Imperial Al Kamar first and then, Imperial Baarez, who was so incredible (he has the biggest, most wonderful hindquarter and has this almost Baroque look to him, he really left me speechless). So, unfortunately, any impression that I had of Kamar, was eclipsed by Baarez. However, Imperial Al Kamar, really caught my attention, through his son: the chestnut Imperial Amir Kamar (out of my favorite Imdal daughter, Imperial Falaah). I called out to him and he came right up to the door of his stall and sniffed my hand while I took every inch of this gorgeous horse in. He is really beautiful, not exotic but just very beautiful. I can grab every cliche in the book to describe him to you, like "poetry in motion" and all that sort of stuff, which really does not do the horse justice. However, this colt Imperial Amir Kamar just blew me away with his movement. It has been a long time since I have seen a horse move like he does. And in many ways, he reminds me of seeing *Serenity Sonbolah in her last days, electrifying the audience, with her snorting, as she trotted a hole in the wind, with her tail curled over her back. WOW! I just could not even eat the fantastic lunch that was prepared, for fear of the embarrassment that I would experience, as someone would be forced to administer the Hemlich maneuver on me!

The other two Sameh daughters that made a very powerful impact on me were the Ansata imports: Ansata Bint Misr and particularly Ansata Bint Sameh. Hansi Heck-Melnyk remembers this mare, whom she knew personally:

“Ansata Bint Sameh was in my quarantine in Canada in 1970. She was gorgeous mare, a little under 15 hands tall, with excellent movement- long strides and charisma.”
*Ansata Bint Sameh was the dam of just 3 foals - the stallion: Ansata El Wazir (he was featured in a Robert Vavra book called All the Girls Who Love Horses and I remember seeing that book and I was amazed at what the owners of this horse could do with him, in the days before Natural Horsemanship and Pat Parelli) and the mares: Ansata Jezebel (who produced Ansata Ibn Shah, Ansata Joy Halima, Ansata Jacinda and Ansata Jasmina) and Ansata Jamila (who produced Hope Farm's Ansata Shah Zahir, Ansata Ibn Jamila, Ansata Judea and Ansata El Halim). What I find amazing about this family is the family of horses that have resulted from a limited number of individuals. When I think of it in those terms, I get overwhelmed.

The really interesting thing about the line that springs forth from Ansata Bint Bukra, through her daughter, Ansata Bint Misr, is the influence of Sameh. That's unique. Judith Forbis, in her book Authentic Arabian Bloodstock shares about Ansata Bint Misr:

"Sameh ironed out the short peaky croup of that line; Bukra had the somewhat short peaky croup, like many of the Sabahs, a trait that often seems married to a beautiful head."

The Bukra line is full of harmonious, curvy, voluptuous, horses. That is, a horse of rounded lines, so, to also get Sameh, who has a most wonderful body, is definitely a plus. In my opinion, this combination of the great beauty of Bukra combined with the most awesome body (and athletic ability) of Sameh is evident in the following horse, the bay *Jamilll daughter, Ansata Samaria (pictured, at right), who is a daughter of the chestnut mare, Ansata Samantha, one of my most favorite mares in the whole world.

Jim Robbins of R-Farm Arabians said the following about *Ansata Bint Misr:

"I'd probably put *Ansata Bint Misr, her lovely Sameh daughter, in that slot. While not nearly as ethereal as her maternal sister, Ansata Rosetta, *Ansata Bint Misr was a much more consistent producer of both stallions and mares. Virtually every important producing mare at Ansata today traces in direct tail female line to *Ansata Bint Sameh. This mare is the mare line behind Ansata Imperial, Ansata Iemhotep, Ansata Hejazi, Ansata Sokar, Ansata Abu Tai, Ansata Halima Son, Ansata El Mabrouk, Ansata Amon Ra, ad infinitum. And those are just some of the stallions from this branch of the mare line, the daughters Ansata Damietta and Ansata Delilah (particularly Delilah) both founded mare dynasties as well."
It's a testament to the power of the Ansata blood and the longevity that these lines possess in producing typey Arabian Horses that are appreciated all over the world.

Enjoy your horses,

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