19 November, 2010

A SWEET BOY

I prayed, I pleaded, I begged the Lord God Almighty and hoped that *Orashan would live a long life and sire more daughters. I secretly hoped that I could breed my very sweet "Mimi" to an equally sweet horse like *Orashan. Unfortunately, I didn't move fast enough and now, will regret my procrastination for a very long time. Gosh, lately, it seems that my life is such a broken road, filled with much sorrow, as many of the people and horses that I have dearly loved are no longer here on earth. One more piece is now broken on my road...the most wonderful *Orashan has died.

Oh my gosh, *Orashan has died!
"Lay down my brother,
lay down and take your rest
lay your head upon your savior's breast
I love you brother,
but Jesus loves you best
I bid you goodnight, goodnight, goodnight"-from the traditional Bahamian gospel song, I Bid You Goodnight
He died on November 2nd. The most wonderful horse that he was, so incredibly sweet, so willing, so, so, so....is gone from this world and will live now within the promise of his daughters and their progeny, as well as living within the memories of our minds and hearts. No amount of kicking and screaming and crying will bring him back...ever.

THIS IS IT. GOD has decided...but I am not so happy about it God...sorry.

I will miss *Orashan...a lot...maybe, forever.

"Orashan has spent his final years among people who have loved him.  He has lived his days in happiness, with the respect and dignity that he deserved.  He was a King within the breed and the most gracious, gentle soul one will ever hope to find.  We will miss him tremendously."-Louise Cordina
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 as a champion and as a mature breeding stallion. 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 who were unrivaled for their beauty and for their genetic strength. Who could be worthy enough to cross 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.

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. 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."
His most famous daughter, BB Ora Kalilah, out of the mare PH Safina produced the ultimate Arabian Horse, 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.

*Orashan was 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.

In the twilight of *Orashan's life, he was sold to Louise Cordina and Glenn North of Saba Arabians located in Australia. What more could a horse of such importance ask for, than to live with such loving, caring people? He ended his life with dignity and in the company of people who appreciated him and understood the impact that he will continue to have in the breed.

I wish I had an *Orashan daughter,
Ralph

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was saddened to hear of Orashan's passing as well. I had the great honor of owning ( actually, she owned me!) an Orashan daughter. She was the most enchanting horse I ever knew. I too, dreamed of breeding a mare to this great stallion, but I was not able to do so until now, and sadly, he is gone. I will not give up on continuinghis bloodline, as I now am seeking an Orashan son to sire my mare's foal.

Cynthia, Desert Lotus Arabians