12 March, 2010


Within Susan Chernak McElroy's book, Animals As Guides For The Soul, she shares the following quotation by Leon Bloy:

"Joy is the most infallible sign of the presence of God."
The quote reminded me of a well-known musical tribute to joy, as found in Symphony No. 9. Beethoven took the words of a poem, written by Friedrich Schiller, and set them to music, to be sung during the final movement of the symphony.
"Brothers, beyond the star-canopy
Must a loving Father dwell.
Be embraced,
This kiss for the whole world!
Joy, beautiful spark of divinity..."-taken from the poem, Ode to Joy, by Friedrich Schiller and set to music by Ludwig van Beethoven
Eventually, in 1907, Henry van Dyke took the tune of Ode to Joy and wrote lyrics which became Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee, a hymn that is frequently sung in churches all over the world.

"All Thy works with joy surround Thee,
Earth and heav’n reflect Thy rays,
Stars and angels sing around Thee,
Center of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain,
Flow’ry meadow, flashing sea,
Singing bird and flowing fountain
Call us to rejoice in Thee."-Henry van Dyke, from the hymn, Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee
For me, Mumtaz Ree (*Farazdac x Bint Maar-ree), a beautiful mare bred by Rancho Bulakenyo, is a physical representation of Joy. Just look at her. She is beautiful! It is as if God celebrated joyfully, in every swirl, in every round line, in every curve. She is harmonious, inspiring all who look upon her, to be equally joyful.


Mumtaz Ree has a most interesting pedigree, as she combines Babson breeding through the mare *Maaroufa, with *Ansata Ibn Halima, *Bint Nefisaa and through the Alaa El Din son, *Farazdac, in his tail female line, through Farasha, to Yosreia, a Hadbah Enzahiyah mare of the Venus branch, who was foaled at the RAS, Cairo, in 1943. A daughter of Hind and sired by Sheikh El Arab. One of the interesting aspects of Yosreia's pedigree, is that her dam, Hind, a brown mare, was a daughter of Bint Rustem (Rustem x Bint Hadba El Saghira) and the sire called "world champion", Ibn Rabdan. Rustem being a Kuhaylan Rodan stallion mated with a mare that was predominantly Saqlawiyah with a tail female Hadbah line. So, at which point can you say that the horses in this family are really representative of Hadban Enzahi qualities? Can we say it at all? Older pictures are usually not very flattering (either through the photography, conditioning of the horse, and presentation/showmanship) but this mare looks good. Yosreia, to this day is remembered as one of the most beautiful mares of her time.

Her son, Aswan, changed the Russian breeding program for all time. Had Yosreia only produced Aswan, her place in history was assured but she also produced:

Farasha, by Sid Abouhom
Yasir, by Nazeer
Yazid, by Nazeer
Shahrzada, by Nazeer
Mohga, by El Sareei
Shamshoon, by Nazeer
Aswan, by Nazeer
Bint Yosreia, by Nazeer

Yosreia's continuing legacy is found in the qualities of substance, length of neck, balance, and an the ability to cross well with a variety of strains. Mumtaz Ree is representative of this ability, as her pedigree combines Yosreia with the strains of Kuhaylan Jellabi, Kuhaylan Rodan and Dahman Shahwan.

In Thomas Moore's, The Enchantment of Everyday Life, he explains:
"Enchantment is a spell that comes over us, an aura of fantasy and emotion that can settle onto the heart. An enchanted life has many moments when the heart is overwhelmed by beauty and the imagination is electrified by some haunting quality in the world..."
I was touched when I read these words by themselves but when read while looking at the photo of Mumtaz Ree, the words became not only meaningful but very real and powerfully electric. It probably won't be the last time that I will be affected in this manner by an Egyptian Arabian Horse but in a life that is really challenging, along comes an unexpected gift like precious Mumtaz Ree and I am restored and revitalized to continue in my journey.

"Mortals, join the happy chorus,
Which the morning stars began;
Father love is reigning o’er us,
Brother love binds man to man.
Ever singing, march we onward,
Victors in the midst of strife,
Joyful music leads us Sunward
In the triumph song of life."-Henry van Dyke
Keep wishing, keep dreaming, keep hoping, keep living,

1 comment:

Lynn Baber said...

What a beautiful tribute to your mare, and a statement of the joy of the Lord. I, too, have a very special place in my heart for two gray horses...