"The perfect life is like the perfect dog. Neither exists, except in the fervid imaginations of humans, whose fantasies often drive their expectations beyond reality."-Jon Katz, from his book, Dog Days: Dispatches from Bedlam Farm
I have been thinking a lot about Glorieta Gazaal lately. He was a beautiful horse, who was uniquely bred, his bloodlines being a little different, as compared to the pedigrees of today’s most popular horses. While Hadban Enzahi in strain, tracing to the root mare Venus in his tail female line, I always believed he looked like a Saqlawi horse. Glorieta Gazaal died three years ago, on New Year’s Day, 2007. He would have been 30-years old, this coming April.
Of all the pictures that I have seen of him, the one above, taken by Polly Knoll, has to be my favorite picture of all, as it captures the dramatic facial features of this horse, as well as his beautiful, slender and long neck, with a very nice length of poll. He was a charismatic horse and it seemed that his very full, very black, very luminous eye enchanted all who saw him. His internal goodness, his kindness, just sparkles out of his eye. His eye is soft, the kind of eye that speaks loudly of RELATIONSHIPS. Thousands of year’s worth of living, in close proximity to humans, is contained in the blackness of his eye. In a day and age when a degree of white has become more acceptable in the eye of an Arabian Horse, it is very nice to be reminded how beautiful a completely black eye is. While Gazaal’s face was not exotic, he is a most refined and elegant horse. His dryness is faithful to the desert that fashioned his features, to insure survival in a harsh environment. I like his larger-sized jowls, as large as dinner plates, with enough width between them that a man’s fist can fit comfortably up in there. I like nostrils, especially when nostrils are large and elastic, helping the horse to “drink up” large amounts of oxygen, when aerobically stressed to the limit, be it in racing or some other athletic endeavor. His neck is set high; with a nice angle and with the little we can see of his chest, we know it is wide and muscled. No surprises as the Ansata horses found in his pedigree had wonderful substance. It is extremely challenging as a mare owner, to think about a horse like Glorieta Gazaal today and not
Glorieta Gazaal disappeared for a while and I wondered what had happened to him. I didn’t see him advertised anywhere. As beautiful a horse as he was, soon, we learned that Gazaal had fallen on hard times. I was speaking to a friend once, about the cruelty that Arabian Horses experience a little more frequently than other breeds of horses. It is as if the extreme beauty of this breed brings out the worst behavior in people. I wanted to believe that the sheer beauty and elegance of the Arabian Horse would inspire people to be more like their horses. Egyptian Arabian Horse breeder, Lisa Busch of Utah, kept a close eye on Glorieta Gazaal over the years and when questionable things started happening to him, Lisa, together with Jody Cruz of Rancho Bulakenyo rescued Gazaal from a bad situation. Grossly underweight, he was nourished back to health, through the kindness of Lisa and Jody. They are my personal heroes for what they did for Gazaal, in his time of need. Marty Ryals, shortly thereafter, expressed an interest in the horse and Gazaal soon found himself moving to Louisiana, where Ryalswood Arabians was originally located. Eventually, Gazaal moved to Arizona, under the care of Kimberli Nelson at Zee Ranch, who together with Jon Michael of Hidden Hollow Preserve, helped Marty to further the influence of this glorious horse and make him more easily available to Egyptian Arabian Horse breeders.
Born in 1980, Glorieta Gazaal was a son of Ansata Abu Nazeer, an *Ansata Ibn Halima son out of the imported mare, *Ansata Bint Zaafarana, who, became a show champion mare and dam of champions like US Top Ten stallion, Ansata El Nisr. Her dam, Zaafarana, was a top producer of race horses in Egypt, no surprise, as she was a Balance daughter out of the mare Samira, one of four siblings whom Judi Forbis nicknamed “The Fabulous Four”. A full sister to *Talal, she was a more compact horse, as compared to *Talal, who was a bit stretchier than his sister. I find it interesting that *Ansata Bint Zaafarana produced foals only with *Ansata Ibn Halima, despite being bred to the Saqlawi horse, Ansata Ibn Sudan. Unfortunately, she never conceived to Sudan. I always think, “what if?” over a pure-in-strain Saqlawi horse that would have been born from this cross. However, she “nicked” extremely well with *Ansata Ibn Halima and produced the sons: Ansata Ali Pasha, Ansata El Mamluke, Ansata El Alim, Ansata El Nisr, Ansata Abu Nazeer and the daughters: Ansata Fatima, Ansata Aziza, Ansata Divina and Ansata Zariefa. Ansata Abu Nazeer was purchased by Mike and Kiki Case, for their Glorieta Ranch and became a very good sire, particularly of daughters like Glorieta Zaarina, Glorieta Zaafira, Glorieta Maarqesa, Glorieta Dalima, Glorieta Rabdania and Glorieta Sayonaara. In a May 1982 advertisement in Arabian Horse World, titled Ansata Abu Nazeer: Creating a dynasty of his own! Glorieta made this statement about the horse,
“In 1980 all three of our straight Egyptian foals: Glorieta Gazaal, Glorieta Maarqesa and Glorieta Zaafira, were sired by Ansata Abu Nazeer. The quality was so outstanding and the type so very consistent we were elated. He is proving to be a prepotent producer of the extreme type of Halima and the classic elegance of the Egyptian.”
What a real live beauty. The picture captures a filly in full flight, in that special moment when a trotting horse is air-borne and all four feet are off the ground. She is moving forward in a very nice supple frame, with a relaxed back and great energy, projected like a missile, in a straight line. She is driving off of her hind end and her hocks are elastic enough to dig way behind her and push her body forward, across the ground. Her shoulder has the freedom to reach out and grab as much ground in front of her, to balance the power from behind.Hadba Bint Gazaal was bred by Kimberli Nelson of Zee Ranch in Arizona, from Glorieta Gazaal’s last season at stud. Hadba Bint Gazaal is the reason why I think of a stallion like Glorieta Gazaal today and for my heightened awareness for his continuing influence through his daughters. She is a living testimony to his siring brilliance. She is an exciting horse, as her tail female line, for both sire and dam, trace back to the mare, Anchor Hill Hamla, though her daughters Gambolia and Dalima. Congratulations to Kimberli for breeding such a wonderful mare and to Laurence, for recognizing a high quality horse like Hadba Bint Gazaal. I wish she were my horse.
Of the recorded progeny for Glorieta Gazaal, his percentage for siring daughters is approximately 80%. I shuddered when the thought initially entered my head…were we in the midst of a strong broodmare sire and we missed the opportunity to take full advantage of this phenomenon? Could Glorieta Gazaal have been the kind of sire whose influence would be felt through his daughters? Can the influence of Glorieta Gazaal continue with his daughters, like Hadba Bint Gazaal? Could a double Anchor Hill Hamla mare become as prolific and as outstanding of a producer, as her great grand-dam? Can she continue to further stretch the influence of this most remarkable mare and allow her legacy to be felt farther than it was ever thought possible?