28 August, 2009

Touchstone

In the early-to-mid 80’s, Ansata Arabian Stud leased the Ibn Galal I daughter (out of Lutfia), *Ibn Galal I-7 from Agraria Babolna, the State Stud of Hungary. A chestnut-colored beauty with a fiery red mane and tail, the Forbis’ planned to show her, all the way to the United States National Mare Halter Championship and then breed her to Ansata Ibn Sudan (*Ansata Ibn Halima x Ansata Bint Mabrouka). For many people, “Gala”, as she was affectionately known, was unforgettable. She was extraordinary. Gala was extremely popular in this time period and was named a US National Top Ten mare in 1984. Prior to her national win, Gala had been undefeated, not only in halter but also in Most Classic competition. She was a supreme champion 3 times and a champion mare 9 times, in addition to her 5 wins as Most Classic Arabian and 2 wins for Most Classic Head. At the US Nationals, Tzviah Idan was captivated by Gala’s fine quality, by her timelessness, her classic beauty and her functional conformation. It was as if someone had gone into Tzviah’s mind and given flesh and bone to the horse that lived in that private space where her heart, mind and soul merged together. This was the horse that would become Tzviah’s “touchstone”, the catalyst, the benchmark, against which all future horses would be measured. One could say that in this moment of meeting Gala, the Idan Atiq Arabian Stud was born.
As breeders, Tzviah and Kuti are very excited over the birth of their newest filly, Atiq Ma’ajan. Shortly after being foaled, Kuti recognized the “Gala look” in Ma’ajan. As she continues to grow and mature, Tzviah agrees that this filly comes closest to her personal breeding ideal. Atiq Ma’ajan was sired by a young stallion, MD El Sperado, who was imported to Israel in utero, when his dam, the Ansata Hejazi daughter, Izara Blue CA was purchased. Ma’ajan’s dam is the Babolna-bred mare Harajana B (Halim Shah I x 247 Rajan B [227 Ibn Galal I]). Harajana B has had 3 foals prior to Ma’ajan, all of which were sold locally, as foundation stock. Ma’ajan is Harajana’s best foal to date, superior to herself and the “keeper” who Tzviah had been waiting for, from this Hosna family, which is the largest Babolna family represented at Idan Atiq.


In December 2001, Honi Roberts had written about Imperial Egyptian Stud as a “Foundation Breeder” which included Barbara Griffith’s 10 Commandments for Breeding Arabian Horses. When Tzviah told me about this new young stallion, MD El Sperado, I remembered the following commandment from the article: “Use outside stallions if you think they will improve on your mares.” In this case, blending the bloodlines of Thee Desperado with Ansata breeding, complemented the Babolna breeding of Harajana B. Now that Harajana B has produced a foal better than herself, Tzviah and Kuti have a much better appreciation of her potential. For 2010, Tzviah has bred Harajana B to her homebred Laheeb son, Atiq Hilal, who is out of Hila B (Efendi B x Haniya B), also of the Hosna family, as Haniya B is out of 227 Ibn Galal I, the same mare that produced 247 Rajan B, the dam of Harajana B. I am excited over this breeding, as the foal will trace to Hosna in both tail female lines.

Harajana B was imported as a suckling foal, alongside her dam, 247 Rajan B. She suffered Rhotococcal Pneumonia as a foal and the disease impacted her growth, so she has matured slowly and has not achieved the harmonious and balanced look that the other mares at Idan Atiq enjoy. When visitors arrive at Idan Atiq, they pass over Harajana B, preferring her beautiful three-quarter sister, the beautiful mare, Hora B (Halim Shah I x Haszuna B[227 Ibn Galal I]). Harajana B is an incredibly smart mare, who is also the easiest mare to breed at Idan Atiq; settling to the stallion in one cover, during her foaling heat. The story of Harajana B reminds me in some ways of the story of Gracie, a loveable, albino Great Dane who was deaf. Gracie required surgery and when anesthetized, she experienced a fatal reaction to the anesthesia. The veterinarian struggled for many minutes, refusing to give up, even when his assistant delicately suggested that the puppy had died and there was no more to do, to revive the puppy. However, the veterinarian refused to give up and suddenly, Gracie’s eyelids fluttered and with every beat of her heart, Gracie pulsed back to life, the machines confirming the sound of life in her chest. A living miracle for the doctor and for her owner.
“Well, I said, I guess she is a little miracle. But you made it possible. Dr. Benjamin shook his head vehemently. ‘Oh no. No, no, no. I don’t do miracles. I just try to do my best each day and keep my eyes open to the miracles happening around me. That day, I didn’t have to look very hard’. He leaned over Gracie, ‘not very hard at all.”-from the book, Amazing Gracie by Dan Dye and Marc Beckloff
When Gracie entered Dan Dye’s life, he was not happy with the quality of his life nor the direction his life seemed to be taking. He was not the man he wanted to be. He was working what he felt was a dead-end job, putting money into another business owner’s pocket instead of developing the business he always dreamed of having. Life seemed to be going nowhere. Little did he know that the puppy he “rescued” would soon “rescue” him and help him to find the direction and the business that he desired and build the kind of life he had dreamed about. .
"Just let your love flow like a mountain stream
And let your love grow with
the smallest of dreams
And let your love show..."-from the song, Let Your Love
Flow, written by Larry E. Williams
The name Ma’ajan means a source of flowing water, like a stream or a brook. And like Gracie, Ma’ajan has a mission in her life, as an important component of the Idan Atiq breeding program. This is the filly that will take Tzviah on the breeding adventure she dreams of, to find and produce the type of horse that once galloped out of her mind, to become her catalyst, her touchstone, which made a place like Idan Atiq possible and all the dreams which flow abundantly there.

Congratulations Tzviah and Kuti for a beautiful filly like Atiq Ma’ajan!

EnJoy your horses,
Ralph

All the beautiful pictures of Atiq Ma'ajan were taken by Menashe Cohen, a wonderful photographer who is able to not only capture the very spirit of these horses but everything that makes them an Arabian. Thank you Menashe!

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