19 October, 2008

The True Colours of a Dahmah: Daheda

"I want to keep walking away from the person I was a moment ago, because a mind was made to figure things out, not to read the same page recurrently."-Donald Miller, from his book, Through Painted Deserts

Do you know the mare Daheda? Daheda was foaled in 1987 at Stonebridge Farms in Canada and is a daughter of the United States National Champion Futurity Colt, Dalul and out of the German mare, Nahed.

Daheda, 21 years old, is now owned by The Asafiyat Trust. I really like this mare. It's more than just liking this mare; I recognize how incredibly special she is. Maybe a few years ago, I would not be able to say this, as there were other horses, of other lines that I preferred but the older I get, the more I find myself looking in other directions and establishing new preferences. What I thought I knew or rather, what I thought I understood, well....I really didn't understand anything. I love an open mind, although sometimes, I think mine tends to need a heavy weighted door-stop, to keep it open. Do you feel like this too?

As you can see from the pages of my blog, I am a fan of the stallion, Anter. Daheda has two lines to Anter, through Dalul's dam, *Dawlat and through Nahed's dam, Noosa, a Gharib daughter. However, what is exciting and connects this mare with the horses profiled recently, is her tail female line. Noosa's dam was Nadja, a daughter of Nefisa (Balance x Helwa). Nefisa not only produced Nadja, she also produced Bint Nefisaa by Nazeer, who went on to produce some really famous and much loved horses in our community: the stallion El Hilal and the mares Negmaa and Nourah by *Ansata Ibn Halima. By Mohssen, she produced the stallion Nefisaan and the mare, Moynese. By *Morafic, she produced the mare, Nama. And by the stallion Moftakhar, she produced the mare, Narjisa. Nefisa also produced the mare Bint Nefisa by El Sareei, who was imported by Richard Pritzlaff and produced stallions like Snowlion RSI and the mares Perfecta RSI by Monietor RSI and Alfisa RSI by Alcibiades. Nefisa also produced the mare Fayza, who when bred to Nazeer, produced the stallion Ramses Fayek. Nefisa also produced the mare Fatin, by Nazeer. Fatin produced the mare Jehan by Anter. Jehan produced daughters by Tuhotmos, Sultann, Ameer and Nasralla. She also produced sons by Seef and Sultann. So, the great-grandmother of Daheda, Nadja, is a full sister to these mares: Bint Nefisa, Bint Nefisaa, Fayza and Fatin. What a powerful family, when you stop to consider all of the horses that stem from this branch of the Dahman family!!!

Cathy Schaffer owned Daheda (and her daughter, Darada) at one time. She once shared in 2003:

"Daheda is an incredible mare...She is a sweet, gentle mare but does she love to show! Put her in front of people and she will snort and blow with motion that is so powerful (I believe that is her German lines showing) it really does knock your socks off."

Daheda was bred to Ali Valentino and produced the stallion, Ali Romeo. For her next three foals, Daheda was bred exclusively to the stallion, Thee Desperado, to produce the mare Ombre Rose, the stallion True Colours and the mare Darada. Had Daheda only produced True Colours, she would be remembered forever, for this stallion is EXCEPTIONAL. Bred by Fred Waring and foaled in 1997 at Source Arabians in Canada, by the time he reached maturity, the beauty and charisma of True Colours was confirmed and underscored in the show ring: Regional Champion Stallion (region 18), at the Egyptian Event (World Champion of 1997, Reserve Supreme Champion Stallion, Reserve Senior Champion Stallion) at the World Championships at the Salon du Cheval in Paris he was in the top five of the Elite Senior Stallions and World Champion for Most Beautiful Head. At the famous Scottsdale, Arizona Show, True Colours was named a Reserve Champion Stallion of 1996 and 1997.


17 judges and an adoring public were mesmerized by a horse who exudes so much quality: in his type, in his structure and in his movement. It will be interesting to watch True Colours' influence grow as a sire, now that he is owned by Fontanella Magic Arabians in Italy and has access to some of Europe's finest Arabian mares.

As special as she is, Daheda is not an easy mare to breed and went from home-to-home, always with the hope that wherever she went, she would bless that owner with a foal, equivalent to the quality she produced in True Colours.

Alison Mehta of Talaria Farm is very partial to mares who carry the blood of Dalul, fairly close in their pedigree. Daheda, a daughter of the chestnut *Morafic son, has the good movement that Alison expects from this particular bloodline. Alison shared the following comment with me about Daheda:

"I think she is a very nice mare, although phenotypically, not exceptional (certainly not elegant nor exceptionally typey). However, she has a wonderful "round" profile, and is a fantastic blowy, snorty mover. I think True Colours' head definitely came from Thee Desperado--but his show-ring charisma and movement, he inherited from his dam, back to Dalul I would venture. Plus, he's not as 'angular' as many of the Thee Desperado horses, and Daheda definitely has a great rib-sprung body and substantial bone."
Alison bred Botswana (who has one of the highest fertility rates that I know of) to Daheda and she settled three times, however, it was not meant to be, as she reabsorbed each pregancy by the third or fourth month. I am a little disappointed, as Botswana's tail female line goes back to Bint Nefisaa and it would have been really interesting, actually, it would have been EXCITING to produce a foal with a very concentrated source of Bint Nefisaa blood, with the added *Morafic and *Ansata Ibn Halima lines. Plus, we know that Thee Desperado was a good cross with Daheda, as evidenced by the three foals she produced. From Talaria, Daheda went to Texas, to the farm of Hank and Sandy DeShazer. The DeShazers had recently imported a young stallion from Qatar, Amaar Al Rayyan and after visiting Talaria, Hank had fallen in love with the mare and wanted to try and breed her by embryo transfer, to his new horse. The pedigree of this stallion is interesting, as it is a heavy Ansata pedigree, with Katharinenhof lines. A lot of Bukra and a lot of Hanan. Again, the DeShazers, after trying for a long time, were not any more successful than Alison Mehta of Talaria.

Daheda has finally found a place to call home, in Fredericksburg, Texas, USA, with Al and Judi Parks of Abbasiyah International. Al and Judi had the Ruminaja Ali son, RA Ali Halim at their farm. This stallion is a son of the *Ansata Ibn Halima daughter, Halima El Hamra. The tail female of this stallion is Moniet El Nefous. One of my favorite articles that Arabian Horse World published, was an article by Dr. Ibrahim Zaghloul about the Influential mares at the EAO. Moniet El Nefous was the first mare he named. I like the statement he made concerning Moniet El Nefous and 20 years later, his words still affect me deeply:

"Moniet's soul was exposed through her kindly eyes and she was proof that the beauty of the universe is indeed 'unfolding as God meant it to'. Her loveliness transcended time."

What I like about this cross, is that we already know the success of combining Daheda with Ruminaja Ali, as we have her son, True Colours as proof. However, the interesting part for me are all the lines to Ibn Rabdan that come through this stallion, the majority of which come through Hamdan, one of the horses that Judi Forbis named as "the fabulous four". I really hoped that this cross would succeed in producing another stellar female replacement for Daheda. However, Al and Judi were not successful in flushing a viable embryo from Daheda. RA Ali Halim left the USA this past spring, for his new home in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. I really enjoyed what Judi said about Daheda:

"She is such a beautiful soul that I would love to just turn her out with a stallion and pray that Allah decides that she should have one more foal."

It is important to say that any horse born of Daheda is cause for celebration, as we will have one more line to this most special mare. I don't believe that there are enough Daheda's, yet. Mrs Bianca Ter Laan, who owns Habibi Arabians in Germany, is a person I greatly admire, for all that she has accomplished and all that she is currently doing with Egyptian Arabian Horses. She owns a daughter of El Thay Mameluk, named Halwa B and she also has a beautiful chestnut mare, Princess Nourah, who has the tail female to *Bint Nefisaa, through the *Ansata Ibn Halima daughter, Nourah. The bloodlines of Thee Desperado and The Minstril are criticized for their overuse, however, Bianca made a strong point that I found remarkably refreshing. Even in this age, when there are many offspring of these stallions readily available; it is up to the breeder to find ways to uniquely combine the bloodlines of these two horses. She is a supporter for these bloodlines, when used correctly, to result in offspring which are high quality Egyptian Arabian Horses. I agree with her and True Colours is proof of the high quality one can achieve, when combining the blood of Thee Desperado in unique ways. While I have to say that True Colours, without a doubt, is my most favorite Thee Desperado son, there are so many good horses of this line currently available. While the success of crossing Daheda with this bloodline is very tempting, it would be interesting to cross Daheda with a totally different stallion, for a different kind of replacement.

When I was a child, one of my favorite games to play, was to take my most favorite Arabian mares (or rather the mares that appealed to me at that time, since my favorites keep changing) and create on paper, the crosses that I thought, for one reason or another, were most appropriate for each individual. It was fun and it was a great way to learn bloodlines and to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of each family. So, let's play this game with Daheda. If she were your horse and money was no object, how would you breed her? What would your choice be?

In America, Daheda lives in an area of the country which is near to some of the finest Egyptian stallions. For example, Ansata Sinan, in neighboring Arkansas. In my opinion, Ansata Sinan has emerged as one of the stronger, more consistent Ansata sires and joins the noteworthy, more modern Ansata horses like Ansata Hejazi, who continue to spread the Ansata influence, all over the world. Bred to a variety of mares, of diverse bloodlines, Ansata Sinan has consistently sired horses that are smooth of body, harmonious and are decorated with wins, in show rings all over the world. If Daheda were my mare and I had unlimited funds to play with, this stallion would be my first choice. What type of foal, would be born from the cross of Ansata Sinan on Daheda? I shiver in ecstasy to think such thoughts!

You shake my nerves and you rattle my brain
Too much love drives a man insane
You broke my will,
oh what a thrill
Goodness gracious great balls of fire
-Jerry Lee Lewis, from the song Great Balls of Fire

Or maybe, the pure-in-strain Dahman Shahwan stallion, Abraxas Nejd Moon? His sire, Abraxas Moonstruk, is a son of ET Crown Prince out of SF Moon Maiden. Moonstruk has two lines to El Hilal, through the dam of ET Crown Prince (RDM Maar Hala) and through the dam of SF Moon Maiden (Kachina Moon). Combined with the tail female line through Cashai, a daughter of Nourah (*Ansata Ibn Halima x *Bint Nefisaa), the resulting foal would be very intensely bred to the mare *Bint Nefisaa. In terms of a future replacement for the mare Daheda, for future generations to enjoy, what an awesome opportunity to have her influence in this concentrated form. This stallion was bred and owned up until recently by Abraxas Arabians in California and is one of the most concentrated sources of *Bint Nefisaa in America, today.

I'm really nervous but it sure is fun
Come on baby,
you drive me crazy
Goodness gracious great balls of fire
-Jerry Lee Lewis, from the song, Great Balls of Fire

Rancho Bulakenyo has an El Halimaar son, Haliluyah MH, who is out of the El Hilal daughter RDM Maar Hala. This stallion has his tail female line through Maar-Ree to *Maaaroufa, who has the heavy influence of Ibn Rabdan blood, that is found in Babson breeding. Again, as I have said before, a heavy Ibn Rabdan horse is an interesting opportunity, to complement today's intensely bred Nazeer horses. And finally, in closing, the last horse that I will suggest is the son of Imperial Al Kamar: Imperial Amir Kamar. I have written about this young stallion many times and I don't believe that all the words that I have expressed in sentiment, do this stallion justice. He is just one of my favorite horses. So, why Imperial Amir Kamar? We know from the previous article that Imperial Al Kamar is an El Hilal son. So, we have common ground in the mare Nefisa, who is present in both Imperial Al Kamar and Daheda. However, it is the dam side of Imperial Amir Kamar's pedigree that is particularly exciting, as he is a son of Imperial Falaah, an Imperial Imdal daughter out of a *Fawkia line mare. The combination of Ansata lines (Ansata Ibn Sudan and Ansata Delilah) and Gleannloch lines (*Morafic, Romanaa II, *Fawkia) complement well the Gleannloch lines present in Daheda's pedigree, through the stallion Dalul (*Morafic and *Dawlat). I believe that the added line of Sanaa, who is a daughter of Yashmak, adds a combination that we already know worked well in the Pritzlaff breeding program, as well as the presence of Sameh, through the wonderful mare *Serenity Sonbolah. It may be this cross that may safeguard the integrity of a unique combination after all, with the multiple sources of the Rodania family, which has shown to be a powerfully influential family, generation after generation.

This is the really fun part of studying Egyptian Arabian Horses, that is, the opportunity to day-dream about these crosses and wonder over the horses that may be, when dreams might become reality. Even for a few seconds respite, away from the day-to-day worries over the ups and downs in the financial markets, the rising costs of almost everything we purchase, and the job security that is no longer as secure as we believed it was. It is a nice gift, to be able to enjoy such beautiful thoughts. And all because of a grey mare named Daheda and the legacy that she is building for all of us in the straight Egyptian Arabian community. When you meet a mare of this quality, well, you just spend a lot of time wishing that there were more of them. And, you never forget her. I think about the Bedouin stories that I have learned over the years, regarding the esteem a Bedouin felt over a prized mare and how protective the Bedouin was over her, even inviting her into his tent, to insure her comfort and safety. More than a tent horse, Daheda represents the hope that we may one day emulate the level of integrity she has for life. I love Egyptian Arabian Horses, don't you?

Enjoy your horses,

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