21 September, 2008

Have I Told You Lately....

"...that I love you?
Have I told you there's no one else above you?
Fill my heart with gladness,

take away all my sadness,
Ease my troubles, that's what you do
." - From the song, Have I Told you Lately, written by Van Morrison

The last time that I visited Princeton Arabians, somewhere in 1991, Gail Hoff-Carmona introduced me to a chestnut filly, out of the precious mare, Princeton Gamila. I knew the mare Princeton Gamila, a daughter of the Fa-Serr son, Faaris; she was the dam of the black stallion, Pri Gamil Halim by Ansata Halima Son. Princeton Gamila's dam was the mare, Shar Gemla, who was a daughter of the Sirecho daughter, Sirhabba.

The filly had a very extreme jibbah, one of the most pronounced jibbahs that I had ever seen. It was so pronounced, that it was a bit freakish. I couldn't keep my eyes off of her head. Foals usually have very extreme, almost exotic features, which are more pronounced in "baby-hood" and as the foal matures, the extreme features become less and less visible. From the smile on Gail's face and the faster pace and higher pitch in the sound of her voice, I knew that Gail was very proud of this filly that she had bred. There was no doubt in my mind that Gail was sharing something extremely precious with me. It was obvious that this filly was going to be the next step in Gail's Arabian breeding program. While I stood there, speaking with Gail, this little filly kept nuzzling me all over, finally burying her head under my arm, with her warm breath filling my person. We stood like this for a while, while I enjoyed the conversation with Gail and enjoyed the friendship of this very sweet filly.

A daughter of Serr Maariner, Princeton Maarena has 12 lines to Ibn Rabdan in her pedigree, as well as the blood of *Bint Saada, one of the original mares of the Babson 1932 importation, who does not appear as frequently in Babson pedigrees, as compared to *Maaroufa and *Bint Bint Sabbah. Maarena also has the blood of Sirecho, which brings in an additional source of Prince Mohamed Aly Tewfik breeding, through the stallion *Nasr. In Egyptian breeding, the only source to *Nasr, comes through Sirecho. So, I like the fact that Sirecho brings a bit of "hybrid vigor" to the more commonly used lines found in straight Babson Egyptian horses.

It was a wonderful visit with Gail. An opportunity to re-connect with a person whom I greatly admire and whose company I enjoy. I got to see some really wonderful horses, like the chestnut Serr Maariner son, Princeton Mariner. I got to see a few of Albert Guilbault's horses, like the chestnut Serr Maariner daughter, Abitibi Fleur. I got to see Gail's foundation mare, Black Satin, one more time. And then, I went back to my busy non-horse filled life. I had recently started a new sales position and my wife had given birth to my son, Aaron, the previous fall. I soon forgot about the sweet chestnut filly.

Christine Emmert is a wonderful photographer, who lives in California and is a passionate and hungry student of Arabian Horses. A few months ago, Christine had emailed me with an invitation to visit her website, to see the pictures of a Serr Maariner daughter that she had taken. Christine had read a message that I had written and posted on straightegyptians.com, about the stallion, Serr Maariner. She sent me the password, to access her gallery and I logged on. There were quite a few pictures of this mare and I started to go through them, one-by-one. Nice mare, I kept thinking...until I got to the 45th picture.

OH MY GOD!!!!!

I know this horse. The photo, taken from the side, shows the silhouette of the head and a very pronounced jbbah. Could it really be the filly I met a long time ago? Could it really be her????


And then, my memories, of that wonderful spring day, a long, long time ago, when I stood in the warm rays of the sun, as I snuggled with a very cute filly, listening to a very great person in my life, came back to me, flooding my mind and my heart.

"For the morning sun and all its glory
Meets the day with hope and comfort too
You fill my life with laughter,
somehow you make it better
Ease my troubles, that's what you do " - Van Morrison

Princeton Maarena has been busy with life too, producing a son (SunnyRu Marine) and a daughter (SunnyRu Maarena) by Princeton Faaris, a son of Faaris, out of Black Satin. The foals, now mature horses, have very concentrated sources of Ibn Rabdan blood, as Princeton Faaris has 13 lines to this stallion, in his pedigree. These two horses have got to be some of the richest sources of Ibn Rabdan blood in the USA.

It would be great to stand in the sun again, with Maarena's head pressing into my body, her warm breath filling my soul with joy. I wonder if her daughter does this too??

Enjoy your horses (and thanks Christine),



Anonymous said...

Hi Ralph,

I just read your article. I am so happy to have brought back memories to you.

I can tell you both mares are really sweet and her daughter was nicer than the pictures.

Do you have pictures of her ancestors?

I will try to go see them again and try to ride with Laura.


Anonymous said...

Hi Ralph and Christine,

I just noticed a sale ad on this mare. A very close friend of mine (into warmbloods) grew up riding with the Carmona's and remembers Serr Mariner very well. She was so excited when I told her about the mare. I know there are not many daughters left of his. I hope someone buys her who really appreciates this blood. Wow

Kisra Arabian Stud

Alison said...

I have an amazing 15 yo gelding (Serr Miralay), grandson of Serr Maariner. He is by Ansata Halima son x Serra Princeton. He has one of the most pronounced blood shoulders I have ever seen and is an amazing athelete! We live in Asheville, NC.