"If I had a boat
I'd go out on the ocean
And if I had a pony
I'd ride him on my boat
And we could all together
Go out on the ocean
Me upon my pony on my boat"-Lyle Lovett, from his song, If I Had a Boat
The chestnut horse pictured above is Princeton Mariner, who is currently owned by Vlacq Stud, in Flintshire, England. Princeton Mariner was bred by my friend and mentor, Gail Hoff-Carmona of Los Alamos Dressage Center and Princeton Arabians. Princeton Mariner is a son of Serr Maariner, out of the Babson mare, Black Satin (Black Sambo x Diroufa).
I knew Princeton Mariner personally, having met him on the same day that I met my beautiful Princeton Maarena. What I loved about Mariner was his substance. He was a generously curved horse, harmonious and very well put together. He was a celebration of curves and circles, gracefully flowing from one into another. He was not a tall horse, I remember him standing somewhere around 14 hands; maybe a little more. Gail let me lead him out of the stall and as he stood next to me, in the barn aisle, I just could not take my eyes off of him. I was so nervous, my hands were shaking. He was just a beautiful horse, so balanced. I kept thinking about Serr Maariner and having met Princeton Maarena earlier in the afternoon, plus looking at pictures of Mariner's full sister, Princeton Maaroufa, I could not believe the quality horses that Serr Maariner was siring. I thought of another chestnut Serr Maariner-sired horse who I also liked a lot, Pri Serr Sudan, I compared both horses, who were different. Mariner being a very strong representative of Kuhaylan phenotype, while Pri Serr Sudan was reminiscent of the type we associate with the Saqlawi. While Pri Serr Sudan was a bit more spirited, a little hotter in his disposition; Princeton Mariner has the fabulous Babson disposition I love. I remember him as a very frriendly and easy going horse. His willing nature, his tractability allowed him to be trained under saddle and he was ridden regularly in lessons, as well as in the Los Alamos Dressage Center's Open House as part of a Pas de Deux.
Clothilde Nollet of Maarena Arabians in France, is inspired by the Babson mare, Maarena, dedicating not only the name of her farm to this mare but also her breeding program, focusing on her genetic influence as her special "Maarena Project". Clo shared the following about Maarena,
"This mare was exactly the type I was looking for in terms of beauty and functionality. Few horses nowadays traces back to her but the few gets of Serr Mariner are still there and should perpetuate this wonderful heritage."
As part of her Maarena Project, Clo plans on using Princeton Mariner this year and in the future, to increase the percentage of Maarena blood in her herd.
Princeton Mariner is now in his 20's, having been foaled in 1986. The Vlacq Stud has frozen his semen and will make him available at stud. I have added the link to the Vlacq Stud in the Breeders & Horses link list, in the sidebar to the right. I am grateful for having known this wonderful horse and although I will probably never see him again, in a small way I am comforted by the knowledge that I was blessed with his half sister. I urge straight Egyptian breeders in the United Kingdom to visit him. You will be happy that you made the effort.
"If I were Roy RogersEnJoy your horses,
I'd sure enough be single
I couldn't bring myself to marrying old Dale
It'd just be me and trigger
We'd go riding through them movies
Then we'd buy a boat and on the sea we'd sail"-Lyle Lovett, from his song, If I had a Boat