19 April, 2008

Top of the World


"Such a feeling coming over me,
there is wonder in most everything I see,
Not a cloud in the sky
Got the sun in my eyes
And I won't be surprised if its a dream..."-from the song, Top of the World, sung by The Carpenters

I am a fan of Edouard al-Dahdah's blog titled Daughter of the Wind, for which the link appears to the right, in the links column. Recently, Edouard had asked for a listing of each reader's top ten horses. At first, I thought this would be an easy task but it was not, as I struggled with mares that are my personal favorites but yet, part of a larger family of horses that included even more personal faves. So, who to add to the list...the "root" or "source" mare or the real personal favorite? It was challenging.

This got me to thinking about the breeders who established the programs that have enabled a blog like mine to even exist...without these breeders, there would be no horses and what would there be to write about???


1) Ansata Arabian Stud-I don't know where I would be without Judi Forbis. Does she really know what she has done??? In high school, with lawn cutting money, I purchased The Classic Arabian Horse and my real education began, as well as the journey that has brought me here. I think my heart was forever touched by My Beautiful, a fitting tribute to a phenomenal mare. Eventually, I met her son and my life was never the same again (read Enchantment).

2) Imperial Egyptian Stud-I will never forget meeting the Sameh daughters: *Serenity Sonbolah, *Serenity Sabra and *Fawkia, as well as one of the sweetest mares that I have ever known: Maarbilahh. Imperial Mistilll and BB Ora Kalilah were unforgettable mares and they have made a lasting impact through their progeny. This was the home of the ultimate Arabian Horse, Imperial Baarez.

3) Bentwood Farm-I met so many great horses at this farm and the sad part is that I was so young at the time and I am not sure that I really "got it". Spending time with Prince Fa Moniet, playing with him, telling him how handsome he was and stroking his magnificent coat are memories that help me, even in the darkest of days.

4) Gleannloch Farms-This farm imported 10 Antar daughters, which included the mare *Nabilahh, whose daughter produced Bint Nabilahh, who when bred to El Halimaar, produced the previously mentioned Maarbilahh. *Nabilahh, when bred to *Sakr, produced one of the most beautiful mares ever, Neama.

5) Babson Farm-How extremely difficult to name one favorite horse but I would say that Fabah was one of the greatest horses that this farm produced. What an influential stallion and so many of my favorite Babson Horses carry a connection to him.

6) Rancho Bulakenyo-The type of horse that I appreciate seems to be fast disappearing. The horse that is elegant and graceful, comprised of rounded lines, curvy, harmonious, smooth-bodied. It seems sometimes that I am at odds with the community as the horses that are popular and in demand, are on the other side of the spectrum of what I believe an Arabian Horse should look like. It is reassuring to know that the real, live Arabian Horse is still alive and well at Jody Cruz's farm (read the article JOY).

7) Al Badeia-Nasr Marei, if he only produced Gelgelah Albadeia, would secure a forever place in Arabian Horse history. Gelgelah is one of the most ethereal, powerfully dramatic, undeniably Arabian Horse mares of all time (see the article on Gelgelah). However, Al Badeia has produced so many wonderful horses, using the blood of one of my all time favorite mares, Yosreia. Nasr, a kind and generous man, travels around the world, bringing his insight for Arabian Horse type into the show rings all over the world.

8) Masada Arabians-Walter Schimanski, together with John Fippen, purchased Rose of Egypt. Walter loved this mare and dreamed of breeding her to Lothar but it was not to be. Fortunately for me, this mare was bred to AK Waseem Montaal and the mare, Rose of Masada was produced. When bred to Inshallah Imhotep, Ms Rose was born and my life, changed forever. This was the sanctuary of the Dahmah Shawaniyah (read Abundant Charisma).

9) Princeton Arabians-I was a kid, when I met Hector and Gail Carmona. I learned about Babson Horses and I learned about dressage. Everything I know and understand to be true, comes from Gail. She was a great mentor and a great friend to me. I wonder if she knows what an impact she made on my life? She bred Black Satin to Serr Maariner in her later years and produced her best foals: the black-bay Serr Maariner daughter, Princeton Maaroufa and the chestnut stallion, Princeton Maariner.

10) EAO-None of the farms listed above would exist, if the EAO had not bred the horses and decided to share these horses with the rest of the world. This program continues to breed the horses that fuel the dreams of Egyptian Arabian Horse lovers around the world.
Can you think past your favorite horses and recognize the people behind them? We are blessed with a community of people who have left it a little better than they got it. How about you? What is your top ten list?
Enjoy your horses,

Ralph

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