14 February, 2009

Beautiful Tomorrow

Sometimes, I take for granted certain horses, maybe horses who enjoy so much popularity already, because of their beauty or for the consistency of beautiful horses that they sire or produce. People already know about these horses and have made them a part of their programs. I recognize how special these horses are and it is a given that these horses are the top, "la creme de la creme", first class or premium horses, with no more thought about them or what they are famous for passing onto their offspring. And then, something catches my attention and I start to research and go under the surface, beyond the realm of what is obvious and discover something so unbelievably wonderful, that I am stunned, over how I missed "it" before.

“This very moment is a seed from which the flowers of tomorrow's happiness grow.”-Margaret Lindsey
Judi Forbis imported a Bukra (Shaloul x Bint Sabah) daughter named Husnia, to America, in foal to the Inshass stallion, Sameh. Once Husnia arrived in America, she was registered with a new name: Ansata Bint Bukra. Do you know what the word "Bukra" means? It is an Arabic word, meaning "tomorrow". I find it especially insightful that "Ansata Bint Bukra" translates to mean "Ansata's daughter of tomorrow". While her original name of "Husnia" is the Arabic word meaning "beauty", one needs to consider the influence which Ansata Bint Bukra has had in the Ansata breeding program and all over the world, therefore, the name could not be any more perfect, as her name predicted the significance she would have for the future.

*Ansata Bint Bukra produced ten foals: six fillies and four colts:

1966: *Ansata Bint Misr (Sameh)
1967: Ansata El Sherif (*Ansata Ibn Halima)
1968: Ansata Rhodora (*Ansata Ibn Halima)
1969: Ansata el Naseri (Ansata Ibn Sudan)
1971: Ansata Rosetta (Ansata Shah Zaman)
1973: Ansata Bint Sudan (Ansata Ibn Sudan)
1974: Ansata Regina (Ansata el Wazir)
1975: Ansata Shahrazada (Ansata Shah Zaman)
1979: Ansata Abu Jamal (Ansata Abu Sudan)
1980: Ansata Ibn Bukra (Ansata Abu Sudan)

How far back does a breeder go in a pedigree, to look for evidence which supports the combination of bloodlines, which one wishes to blend? The pedigree of Bukra is very beautiful, exciting and interesting, all at the same time. How, you ask? You need to study the combination of bloodlines which resulted in this horse; the mare known as "tomorrow's mare". Her sire, Shaloul (despite producing El Sareei, a stallion whose influence is an important component in Egyptian Arabian horse breeding) remains forever remembered in history as a phenomenal sire of broodmares. Shaloul also sired the mares: Futna (Farida), Kateefa (Bint Rissala), Maisa (Zareefa), Moniet el Nefous (Wanisa) and Om el Saad (Yashmak). All of these mares were beautiful and have had profound influence on our breed, producing sons and daughters who remain extremely relevant and vitally important in our gene pool. Shaloul, as has already been written in the pages of this blog, was a son of Ibn Rabdan and Bint Radia and a full brother to the stallion Hamdan and the mare, Samira. All three of these horses were part of the group which was called "the Fabulous Four".

Bukra's dam, Bint Sabah, was sired by Kazmeen and out of the mare, Sabah. For me, the mare Bint Sabah, makes a full circle of the lines in Egyptian Arabian Horse breeding for which I am most interested. A critical mare in Egyptian Arabian Horse breeding, she produced the mare Layla (by Ibn Rabdan) who went on to produce the stallion, Sid Abouhom by El Deree. She also produced the stallion, Sheikh el Arab by Mansour. It was common practice to cross Shaloul with Sheikh el Arab, a cross which underscored the importance Sheikh el Arab also enjoyed as a broodmare sire for the EAO, having sired daughters like Halima, Yosreia, Wanisa, Yashmak. However, for me, one of the most important foals of Bint Sabah was the mare *Bint Bint Sabbah (sired by Baiyad), imported by Henry Babson in 1932. Thus, I believe that the line of Bukra is an excellent cross with the Babson line of *Bint Bint Sabbah.

Okay, so what does all of this mean, you might ask? Carefully consider the tail female line of Ansata Bint Bukra and underscore the two horses that produced her dam, Bukra. It could not be any more obvious to the student, that this line is remarkably strong and predictable for producing mares who become very powerful; mares who spread their influence by establishing influential families of horses, their strength always coming from the female side of the pedigree. Here in Ansata Bint Bukra, we have the same individuals appearing on her dam side's of the pedigree, which indicated the genetic strength this mare was to have, given the opportunity to do so. When Ansata purchased her, she had sustained an injury. She had broken her hip. Judi was not sure that this mare could carry a foal. She was sold in foal to Sameh but no one actually believed that she was actually in foal. It was a surprise when she made the trip from Egypt and arrived in America, very obviously in foal. Without ignoring *Ansata Bint Bukra's sire side of the pedigree, what we also know and understand about Nazeer, as a sire, is that he was very complementary with the mare he was bred to, allowing her strengths to pass from one generation to the next. Thus we witness Bukra's strength, passed to her daughter, *Ansata Bint Bukra.

Let's examine Ansata Rosetta, as an example of the premise that I established in the above paragraph, regarding the ability of this family to produce influential broodmares, one generation after another. If Ansata Rosetta had only produced Ansata Halim Shah, this horse would have secured her status as a dam of distinction forever. However, Ansata Rosetta's influence reaches far, far, farther than Ansata Halim Shah. Bred to Ansata Ibn Sudan, she produced the mare Ansata Ghazala in 1976. This mare, Ghazala, bred to her paternal grand-sire, *Ansata Ibn Halima, produced the mare Ansata Ghazia in 1981. In 1986, Ansata Ghazia, bred to *Jamil, resulted in the mare Ansata Gloriana. Bred to Salaa El Dine, Ansata Gloriana produced the bay mare, Helala for Dr. Nagel at Katharinenof. Among the offspring of Helala are NK Hafid Jamil, foaled in 1992, sired by Ibn Nedjy (who is known throughout the community for his ability to sire a high level of refinement consistently) and the carbon-copy clone of Helala, the priceless bay mare, NK Hind, sired by NK Jamal El Dine. I am not sure how to accurately express the magnitude of this phenomenon, which sees the continuing influence of Bukra, 6 generations into the future. I marvel over this. Bukra remains vibrant and dynamic, a relevant broodmatron, 67+ years from her birth! It is overwhelming to consider her importance! She is timeless!

*Ansata Bint Bukra established two critical families at Ansata, via the Inshass stallion Sameh and through the Sameh-free Ansata stallions: Ansata Shah Zaman, Ansata Ibn Sudan, Ansata Abu Sudan and *Ansata Ibn Halima. I wanted to study these two families, to determine the impact that Sameh contributed towards the Ansata Bukra family. I am a fan of this horse, Sameh. It is fascinating to compare and contrast the body type of the bay mare, Ansata Bint Misr. She is a big-bodied mare with a smooth and strong topline, close-coupled, with a powerfully-built hind end. Smooth over the croup, with a nice hip, she is strong, where Bukra was weak. Ansata Bint Misr has the substance, which I so often find lacking in today's horses. No horse is perfect and while strong of body, her neck is short and thick, with hardly any evidence of a throat-latch. However, bred to Ansata Shah Zaman, Ansata Bint Misr, like her half-sister, Ansata Rosetta, carries forward the line of Bukra, in improved fashion, to the present day. This mare is represented in the tail female of the most important Ansata stallion to emerge (since Ansata Halim Shah) in the modern day: Ansata Hejazi. How? Ansata Bint Misr, bred to Ansata Shah Zaman produced the mare Ansata Delilah. Bred to Ansata Abu Sudan, Delilah produced Ansata Sudarra. Bred to the Bukra tail-female stallion Ansata Halim Shah, Sudarra produced Hejazi in 1992, the same year that saw the birth of the Bukra-tail female line stallion, NK Hafid Jamil. Okay, rewind back here from 1992 to 1988, Sudarra was bred to Ansata Halim Shah and produced the mare Ansata Nefara. I point this mare out because she did something which is so spectacular for me and yet, for this bloodline, it fits nicely. It is what you would expect of the Bukras. Bred to Prince Fa Moniet, Nefara produced the other most important stallion to emerge from Ansata in the modern era: Ansata Sinan! Lovely Ansata Sinan...one of the most exciting Egyptian Arabian Horses of our lifetime. 1992 seems to be a very good year for the line of Bukra! Ansata Delilah also produced another important mare for Ansata, the chestnut, Ansata Samantha. The foaling list for Samantha reads like a "WHO's WHO" in Egyptian Arabian breeding, as she produced the stallions Ansata El Salaam and Ansata Sokar, and the mares Ansata Samaria, Ansata Sammara, Ansata Samiha, Ansata Samsara, Ansata Shalimar and Ansata Sharifa. From these mares, we are able to enjoy horses today like Ansata Selket, Ansata El Shahraf and Ansata Almurtajiz to name a few of the illustrious horses which come from Samantha. Like Ansata Rosetta, if Ansata Bint Misr had only produced Delilah, then her status would be forever assured in history but this mare also produced Ansata Damietta, who went on to produce the stallion Ansata Halima Son (by *Ansata Ibn Halima). I enjoy a personal connection with this horse, as he was bred to the dam of my mare. In 1983, Princeton Gamila (Faaris x Shar Gemla) produced one of her finest foals. Pri Gamil Halim was jet black and a very cute colt, who grew into all of his parts to emerge out of his babyhood as a very charming black stallion. Unfortunately, he died too young, before he could make much of an impact at stud. I really liked this horse.

The line of Ansata Bint Misr includes the following horses, which I offer in the following list, for a clearer understanding of who this mare has produced:

1971: ANSATA DAMIETTA Mare Grey
1972: ANSATA DELILAH Mare Grey
1973: ANSATA ABU TAI++ Stallion Bay
1976: ANSATA EL NASRANY Stallion Grey
1978: ANSATA MAJID SHAH Stallion Chestnut
1980: ANSATA AYA HALIMA Mare Bay
1982: ANSATA HALIM BAY Stallion Bay
1983: ANSATA CAIRO BEY Stallion Bay
1986: ANSATA MISRIYA Mare Grey
1988: ANSATA NADIR SHAH Gelding Grey
1989: ANSATA DARIUS Stallion Grey

Did I reach a point of conclusion, where I could determine what Sameh contributed to the Bukra horses at Ansata? Yes, I am comfortable in saying that Sameh added much substance and power to the line of Bukra, improving the croup and hind quarter of Ansata Bint Misr, smoothing it out, and making the top line of Ansata Bint Misr smooth and strong. I also believe that Sameh shortened the back, as Ansata Bint Misr was attractively close-coupled, which heightened the strength that her body suggested she had. In Authentic Arabian Bloodstock, Part 2, Judi Forbis said the following about *Ansata Bint Misr:

"Ansata Bint Misr (by Sameh) imported in utero, arrived as a bay wearing a large white star that illumined her broad forehead and accentuated her big dark eyes. Her head was shorter and squarer than her dam's, but better than her sires" and she inherited her sire's excellent body structure and topline. *Ansata Bint Misr (which means daughter of Egypt) didn't have her dam's refinement, but Sameh ironed out the short peaky croup typical of that line, and good toplines carried on through most of her descendants. She became a keystone in the Ansata program, and lines to her have produced some of the most beautiful horses in the Bukra family."
I also found it interesting to think about the influence of the tightly in-bred stallion, Ansata Shah Zaman. This horse was a result of a full brother to full sister mating. So, the concentration of 3 horses: Nazeer, Sid Abouhom and Moniet El Nefous was enormous. In the horses that were produced, especially in the family of Ansata Bint Misr, one can see very clearly the qualities that Ansata Shah Zaman contributed: a better laid back shoulder, a longer neck with added length in the throatlatch (remember, this was one of the flaws of this line), taller and "stretchier" and a longer, narrower head.

My friend, Marilyn Lang, who has made the line of Bukra a focal part of her breeding program, via the daughters of her grandson, Ansata El Sherif (*Ansata Ibn Halima x *Ansata Bint Bukra) recently went to Egypt and I was stunned to learn of the high regard in Egypt for the blood of Bukra. Marilyn said,

"...one of the main barns at the EAO is called the "Bukra" barn. I am not sure but think all the mares and foals contained within that barn do trace to Bukra in their lineage. When I walked into this massive structure, I was star struck by so many beautiful mares and babies in one huge building. Every horse in that structure has the most incredibly huge black eyes one can imagine if one loves the Bukra blood. It was another unforgettable life experience."
If there is one thing about this blog, that I feel I need to explain, is my intense focus on powerful mares, who establish vibrant and dynamic families which remain relevant to the present day. We must recognize these horses. We must look for these horses. I also like to spotlight stallions who have excellent records for siring daughters who become influential broodmares as well. Here in the family of Bukra, exists both. Daughters who continue to underscore Bukra's importance and Sons who sire equally as strong, as their sisters produce.

Happy Valentines Day and always enJoy your horses,
Ralph

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