12 April, 2009

Sign of the Rose

In the days of the Roman Empire, a red rose on a locked door, served as a warning for a very significant matter or something extremely critical being discussed on the other side of the door. Woe to the person who proceeds to enter the room and disturbs the meeting, despite the sign of the rose. In my personal life, roses have great significance for me and whenever a rose enters my life, I know that only goodness will follow. And so, in the spirit of the Romans, I place "a rose" on the "door" of this blog, not as a warning but as an underscore, a call to attention, so that you may recognize that I have something very special to share with you.

"A red, red rose, all wet with dew, with leaves of green by red shot through." - E. Nesbit


There has been much information exchanged over the last two-to-three years concerning the straight Egyptian stallion *Orashan. It's time for the goodness of the rose. I met *Orashan many times, as I had the good fortune to live reasonably close to Imperial Egyptian Stud in Parkton, Maryland. I saw *Orashan as a young horse, in the show ring and as a mature breeding stallion. Initially, I was intensely curious for *Orashan, as I had read that he came from Germany. I had heard that he was sired by a Madkour son (later, I would learn that Orashan's sire was the *Morafic son, Madkour out of Maisa and *Jamil's sire was the Haban Enzahi son Madkour I, out of the Ghazal daughter, Moheba). I loved *Jamil. I remember the anticipation and the growing excitement I experienced, as I drove to Maryland to meet *Orashan. "What would he be like?" I wondered, "Would he be like *Jamil?"

Eileen Verdieck, then the trainer and farm manager at Imperial Egyptian Stud, had been looking for a new stallion for the Imperial breeding program. She saw many horses all over the world, thought she had come close to finding this individual, only to realize that the horse that she sought after, was much harder to find. The task was especially difficult, as Imperial had assembled a collection of broodmares unrivaled for their beauty and for their genetic strength. Who could be worthy enough to use with these mares? In an article published in the December 2001 issue of Arabian Horse World, Barbara Griffith shared the following with Honi Roberts,

"In truth, every one of Imperial's leading ladies have been hand-picked and held to the highest standards-a necessity in breeding programs, large or small. I believe the mare's contribution to her foal to be at least 60 percent, so she is extremely important. I've bred or purchased mares that I felt would be good crosses with Imperial stallions, and I've bred or purchased stallions specifically for select mares."

It was time for something different; something that would stretch the influence of Imperial, far beyond the lush pastures of Maryland. In Germany, Eileen saw the elite stallion Messaoud (Madkour x Maymoonah) and immediately recognized the horse that she saw in her mind's eye. Messaoud was one of those rare horses who equally sired great sons and great daughters. Messaoud was the horse that Eileen wanted to bring back to America. Bred by Gunther Seidlitz and owned by Erika Rudolph, Messaoud was not for sale at any price. So, Eileen, searched for a Messaoud son, who could help Imperial to produce classically typey horses, with the size and with the good mind and functional conformation to be competitive in the American Show Ring. Eileen found the colt she was looking for at Maiworm Stud and brought *Orashan to America.

“The optimist sees the rose and not its thorns; the pessimist stares at the thorns, oblivious to the rose”-Kahlil Gibran
In Maryland, the young horse prospered under Eileen's care. Soon, he blossomed into a beautiful Arabian stallion, with a body that spoke volumes of all he could accomplish with the proper training and development. He had a charming personality and a fabulous mind. Loving of people, curious and friendly, he is the ideal representative of the Bedouin tent horse. If your pocket was large enough, *Orashan would crawl in and make himself comfortable, happy to find himself snug and warm, very close to the humans he loved. He is a most lovable horse and a true friend, willing, kind and generous to try anything that is asked of him. *Orashan won in many Class A arenas, including Scottsdale, Arizona, which finally led him to the main ring of the US and Canadian National Championships. He was a top ten halter stallion in both countries, as well as a top ten champion under saddle in Canada. *Orashan also competed in harness at the Regional and Class A Level. There have not been many Egyptian stallions who have demonstrated the level of versatility that *Orashan easily achieved.

As great an athlete as *Orashan was; *Orashan was also an exceptional sire, which was especially evident as his daughters matured and started producing foals of their own.

"just remember in the winter
far beneath the bitter snows
lies the seed that with the sun's love
in the spring becomes the rose."-from the song, The Rose, written by Amanda McBroom

The following is a very small list, a snap-shot, if you will, of the top Egyptian mares (and my favorites) sired by *Orashan, mostly out of Imperial blood-stock:

IMPERIAL OREEYAH: 1987 grey mare (ORASHAN x WADEEA)
IMPERIAL ORGANZAH: 1987 grey mare (ORASHAN x IMPERIAL NA SONBI)
IMPERIAL ORIANAH: 1987 grey mare (ORASHAN x IMPERIAL BTFAWKIA)
IMPERIAL ORBILAHH: 1988 grey mae (ORASHAN x MAAR BILAHH)
BB ORA KALILAH: 1988 grey mare (ORASHAN x PH SAFINA)
IMALAAS QUEST: 1988 mare (ORASHAN x IMPERIAL IMALAA)
IMPERIAL ORALIMA: 1989 mare (ORASHAN x IMPERIAL PHARALIMA)
BB ORAKALINA: 1990 grey mare (ORASHAN x PH SAFINA)
MB JAHESSA: 1991 mare (ORASHAN x BINT JAHEENA)
MB MAARESSA: 1991 mare (ORASHAN x PRINCESS MAARENA)
MONEEKA: 1991 grey mare (ORASHAN x AK MONISA MONIET)
SES KHEBRIA: 1991 chestnut mare (ORASHAN x RAADIN KHEBIRA)
IMPERIAL ORRAPHA: 1992 grey mare (ORASHAN x IMPERIAL IM PHARIDA)
IMPERIAL OREENAH: 1995 mare (ORASHAN x IMPERIAL MISTEENA)
SES KHEDIRA: 1995 mare (ORASHAN x RAADIN KHEBIRA)
MB KERSHANA: 1996 grey mare (ORASHAN x KERAIMA)
IMPERIAL ORISSAH: 1996 grey mare (ORASHAN x IMPERIAL MISTEENA)
IMPERIAL ORASHANA: 1999 bay mare (ORASHAN x ALIA-MERYETATEN)
ORA SIMONE GALAXY: 2002 bay mare (ORASHAN x RAMSES KARMENA)
IMPERIAL ORADAH: mare (ORASHAN x MAWARDA)
IMPERIAL ORAHLLAH mare (ORASHAN x IMPERIAL FALAAH)
JUSTIMYIMAGINATION: mare (ORASHAN x GLORIETA BINT ABU)
BB ORAKALIA: MARE (ORASHAN X PH SAFINA)
IMPERIAL ORASHALEA: Mare (ORASHAN x MONA SHAHLEA)

"We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon instead of enjoying the roses blooming outside our windows today.”-Dale Carnegie

His daughter BB Ora Kalilah, out of the mare PH Safina is the most well-known daughter, having produced the stallion Imperial Baarez by PVA Karim. BB Ora Kalilah also produced the lovely mares: Imperial Kabisah, Imperial Kahleen and Imperial Bint Kalilah (bred to Thee Desperado, Imperial Bint Kalilah produced an awesome bay stallion, the late Desperados Getaway). Also, the *Orashan daughter, Imperial Orianah, produced the stallion Imperial Madori by Imperial Madheen. This stallion sired one of the most powerfully dramatic Egyptian mares of all time, Gelgelah Albadeia.

Imperial Organzah is another *Orashan daughter, out of Imperial Na Sonbi (Moniet el Nafis x Imperial Sonbesjul). When bred to Imperial Madheen, the mare MB Mazaraa was produced. This mare produced the exciting and very dark, black-bay stallion, Imperial Shehaab who was recently syndicated.

SES Khebria is an *Orashan daughter out of the Jean Jennings-bred mare, Ra'adin Khebira, an Ansata Ibn Sudan daughter out of Ra'adin Hilal. When bred back to Imperial lines, via Imperial Imdal, the striking chestnut stallion, Hawkeye CC was produced. MB Maaressa is an interesting *Orashan daughter, as she is out of Princess Maarena, who traces to the Fabah daughter, Maarena in her tail female line. Bred to Thee Gambler twice, this mare has produced two beautiful chestnut-colored horses: the stallion FW Casino and the mare, FW Rosetta Rose.

In an article written by Nancy Ryan, about Imperial Egyptian Stud, in the February 2005 issue of Arabian Horse World, Barbara Griffith shared:

"But perhaps *Orashan's greatest contribution is his ability as one of the great Egyptian Arabian broodmare sires. Many of his 150 foals have become Regional and National Champions. We are fortunate to have *Orashan daughters, grand-daughters and of course, his grandson Imperial Baarez to carry on his legacy."
And now, you begin to understand "the sign of the rose", as I have called it. *Orashan is an incredibly special horse. Why do some stallions become better sires of daughters than sons?

*Orashan's dam was the mare Ora (Ibn Shaker I x Omera). This mare, in her tail female line, traces to the Bahraini mare, Bint el Bahreyn, whom we also find in the tail female line of horses like El Sareei and *Bint Maisa el Saghira. Ora, combined with Messaoud intensifies the influence of the Kazmeen sired Zareefa, who appears 5 times in the pedigree of *Orashan: twice through the stallion El Sareei and through the Zareefa daughters: Maisa, Bint Zareefa and Elwya. The Shaloul son, El Sareei, a crucially important horse for the EAO, sired mares who figured prominently in Egyptian breeding. His daughters included the mares Bint Nefisa, Malacha, Mohga, Amani, Salomy to name a few. It is very interesting to observe how *Orashan, with more opportunities or rather a greater number of mares bred (as compared to the number of mares El Sareei bred) has produced mares who have become critical foundation horses in other programs, all over the world. I want to stop myself short when I think of El Sareei and possibly a genetic connection that was made, when the blood of his dam was intensified in *Orashan's pedigree, giving him the "El Sareei-ability" to sire such high quality daughters. Fact or Fiction?

The tail female line of Messaoud traces to the Halima daughter, Moheba and ultimately traces to the Damah Shahwaniyah mare, Farida. This is the same tail-female line of the classic stallion, *Ansata Ibn Halima. *Orashan is a second generation, pure-in-the-strain Dahman Shahwan horse, as both his sire and dam are also pure-in-the-strain Dahman horses.

Looking back at the 30+ year history of Imperial Egyptian Stud, two stallions emerge as hugely influential horses. One was *Ibn Safinaz and the other was *Orashan. In the same article written by Nancy Ryan, in the February 2005 issue of Arabian Horse World, Barbara Griffith offered the following:

"Orashan's contribution to the Imperial breeding program can never be overestimated..."

I also find it extremely interesting that *Ibn Safinaz was sired by Seef, a son of the mare Elwya, the same mare that is present in the tail female line of *Orashan's pedigree. Were there any horses produced, combining the blood of these two stallions? The *Ibn Safinaz daughter, Imperial Sahleen is out of Imperial Kahleen, an Imperial Al Kamar daughter, out of BB Ora Kalilah. When bred to Imperial Baarez (and more *Orashan blood), she produced the lovely show filly, Imperial Baaleena, now at Prestige Arabians. Also, the chestnut Imperial Baarez daughter, Imperial Baahiyah was a blend of these two stallions, as Imperial Safama was an *Ibn Safinaz daughter.

*Orashan was sold to Saba Arabians located in Australia (I have added a link to Saba Arabians, via The Mighty *Orashan, in the Breeders & Horses sidebar, located to the right of the page). I was very happy when I heard the news, as Louise Cordina has purchased so many beautiful mares, including the *Orashan daughter, Imperial Orissah (out of the Imperial Madheen daughter, Imperial Misteena). I am excited over the possibilities that will result from utilizing the influence of this most special horse. Louise tells me that she is especially excited for the forthcoming *Orashan foal out of her Australian National Champion foal, Suhaila Al Saba (Thaqib Al Nasser x Simeon Siboni). Also expecting a foal from *Orashan is Maarena Al Saba, another Thaqib Al Nasser daughter. I wondered how *Orashan would adjust to the change in climate, on another continent, on the other end of the Equator but Louise tells me that he remains a youthful horse despite his 26 years, still full of vigor and would put most young horses to shame! It is very good to know that the dew, is still on the rose. I was thrilled to hear this about *Orashan, as what the world needs now is more *Orashan daughters! In the twilight of *Orashan's life, having the insight of his siring strength while he is still alive, is a gift, like the rose, unfolding to mesmerize all of our senses with her beauty.

“The splendor of the rose and the whiteness of the lily do not rob the little violet of it’s scent nor the daisy of its simple charm. If every tiny flower wanted to be a rose, spring would lose its loveliness.”-Therese of Lisieux
EnJoy your horses,

Ralph

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