27 January, 2011


"Across my dreams with nets of wonder,
I chase the bright elusive butterfly of love."-Bob Lind, from his song, Elusive Butterfly
There is a superstition about butterflies, which the Japanese believe are the physical representations of a human being's soul, whether dead or living. If a butterfly were to enter your room and light upon a bamboo screen, the person whom you most love, was about to visit you.

Do you love Farasha?

Maybe when I tell you a little more about her, you will. You see, Farasha, a 1951 EAO mare, is also a butterfly. That's what her name means in Arabic.


Farasha is by the El Deree son, Sid Abouhom and out of the Sheikh El Arab daughter, Yosreia. Sid Abouhom's dam is the beautiful mare, Layla, an Ibn Rabdan daughter. The cross of El Deree and Layla resulted in a larger-sized horse, who was very powerfully built. Longer neck, longer back, his immense front end, with his powerful shoulders and the most prominent withers that I have ever seen on an Arabian Horse.
To me, Sid Abouhom's type reminds me of a Thoroughbred racehorse, possessing the body structure that made him successful on the racetrack. He was built for running. While Dr. Ameen Zaher was not fond of this horse and of his subsequent use in the breeding program; General von Pettko-Szandtner felt that Sid Abouhom would correct the overall conformational flaws that he observed in the EAO breeding program. General von Szandtner wanted to breed a more functional horse, closer to the cavalry horses that he managed at Babolna in Hungary. While I can understand Dr. Zaher's feelings, Sid Abouhom was not a pretty horse, as compared to other individuals of his time period;  we would not be talking about beautiful Farasha without him. Farasha's dam, Yosreia, is sired by Sheikh El Arab, a Mansour son, out of Hind, an Ibn Rabdan daughter. In Dr. Nagel's book, Hanan: The Story of an Arabian Mare and of the Arabian Breed, Dr. Nagel shared the following about Sheikh el Arab,  
"...a half brother to Nazeer, produced several excellent mares for El Zahraa. He was a member of the Bukra family and again a sire for type par excellence."
So, we have the union of bloodlines which resulted in some of the finest and most enduring horses ever produced in Egypt: Mansour on Ibn Rabdan. Normally, we see this cross via the Mansour son Nazeer; it is interesting to see this breeding coming through a different horse. Unfortunately, this breeding was only tried once, as Hind was bred to Balance and Awad, for most of her breeding life.

Farasha produced 2 stallions by Alaa El Din: *Farazdac in 1962 and *Faleh in 1964. With Nazeer, she produced a daughter Fardous in 1956, Rabia in 1958 and the son, Galal in 1959. In 1960, the stallion Anter sired her daughter, Nabilahh.

Galal was an extraordinary horse with much influence, however, I would have to say that my favorite Farasha son is *Farazdac, because physically, he was one, if not the most beautiful stallion to ever come out of Egypt. EVER. He was so striking, so different, from the horses of his day. It was as if he stepped out of a painting, as no horse alive could possess such extreme features. He was magnetic. I was a child in the time period that belonged to *Farazdac and watched this horse from a distance, through the pages of Arabian Horse World. He captured my imagination with his beauty. Every photo captured his dramatic look. Lorriee Golanty is a long-time horsewoman and Arabian Horse breeder. She remembered the effect*Farazdac made upon her,
"I saw this horse at Lowes, when he was turned out in an arena and he literally took my breath away. This, after I had seen all *A. Ibn Halima (and sons), *Morafic, *Ibn Moniet el Nefous, and others, and he was so beautiful that he stayed as an image burned in my memory. I cannot say that the others left me with such a memory."
Two of his get are horses that I have long-admired, the Rancho Bulakenyo-bred and now, Shaarawi Arabians-owned mare, Mumtaz Ree, and the stallion, Emir Ibn Farazdac, previously owned by the late Claire Estelle Phifer and now owned by Samantha Wilburn of Blue Pyramid Egyptians in Herriman, Utah. Both horses share common ground in their Babson blood (*Maaroufa tail female) in the dam side of their pedigree. Samantha shared the following about her beloved horse,
"What can't be captured in pictures is the incredible intelligence and 'soul' that is a joy and a privilege to share. Himself is all stallion but doesn't pull on the lead rope even when walking up to the mares. He is always careful of his old handler (me) and takes care not to bump me. He once came running across his pasture to get between me and a construction worker but never threatened, just wouldn't move until the worker walked away, then he went about his grazing. He is a great companion."
*Farazdac sired a record number of horses, approximately 460+ horses, from 1974 to 1991. Unfortunately, a small number of horses were straight Egyptian. Dr. Nagel in the Hanan book, said that Alaa El Din was a good sire of broodmares but not of stallions. He believed that Alaa El Din never produced a son who was an equal to his influence or who emerged as an important sire in the EAO breeding program.  What about *Farazdac? He sired a son named Ikhnatoon in 1974, who remains his most influential son, impacting the EAO program considerably, which has in turn, influenced the breeding programs of private breeders in and out of Egypt. However, mention must be made of some of the daughters. Fasarra, foaled in 1980 out of the *Tuhotmos daughter, Massara, when bred to El Halimaar, produced the popular stallion, Richter MH. Bint Farazdac, when bred to The Egyptian Prince son (out of RDM Maar Halima) produced SH Say Anna. This mare produced two Ansata mares: Aniq (sired by Ansata Manasseh) and Anna Maria (sired by Ansata Hejazi). I was recently on the Dynasty Egyptian Arabian Farm web site, owned by Donna Aldrich and was delighted (actually, I fell out of my chair) when I saw a *Farazdac daughter out of the Pritzlaff mare, Desert Song RSI: RG Desert Storm. What a fabulous mare, she is really gorgeous.

One of the qualities that breeders did not appreciate in *Farazdac's phenotype was his narrowness or rather, a perceived lack of substance. Most breeders wanted a little more substance. Although*Farazdac was built like a racehorse, he had a long distance runner's conformation. He was elegant, in the same way that you would find an athlete elegant. There was a cat-like grace in every one of *Farazdac's strides. In silhouette, *Farazdac had a radiator-type shape, long and lean, the kind of body that may have suggested endurance potential. I am sure that his pulse and recovery rates, had he been tested in this discipline, would have been amazing. Hansi Heck-Melnyk, a long-time breeder of straight Egyptian Arabians, saw *Farazdac in Cairo after the horse had finished running in a race.
"Farazdac was a fabulous horse, wanted to buy him, was then not for sale. A super flat racer too and an excellent producer. I wish you had seen Farazdac as I did in Cairo. He just came back from his "winning" race, absolutely breathtaking gorgeous. Prancing, like if he had just walked around the block. He had a beautiful long and well befitting to his body neck, elegant, and clean. There was also something very regal about him."
While Dr. Ameen Zaher was hesitant in using an off-type horse like Sid Abouhom, I wonder if an extraordinarily typey horse like *Farazdac would have changed his mind? *Farazdac, in my eyes was a super refined version of Sid Abouhom. I wonder, as time passes, if *Farazdac will become more like his sire with a growing influence through his granddaughters and great granddaughters?

*Nabilahh was my favorite of the Farasha daughters, as I believe she was a very consistent producer of horses that in turn, created influential families. Gleannloch imported ten Anter daughters from Egypt. One of these ten Anter daughters was the mare, *Nabilahh. I can't think of a more powerful statement, that would underscore the importance of Anter and his daughter, *Nabilahh, than a foundation breeder like Gleannloch purchasing a large number of these horses. So, how is Farasha available to breeders today, through this daughter *Nabilahh? Nabilahh produced 8 daughters:

Bint Nabilahh in 1970
Lohelia (*Morafic) in 1971
Nagliah in 1972
Neama in 1976
AK Aliha (*Sakr) in 1977
AK Bint Nabilahh (*Ibn Moniet El Nefous) in 1979
AK Rafaayah (*Ibn Moniet El Nefous) in 1980
Frabilahh (The Egyptian Prince) in 1984

It is interesting to point out the Bentwood-bred mare, AK Bint Nabilahh, who produced Classic Aisha by the Ruminaja Ali son, Alidaar (who provides an additional line to Farasha through his dam, Bint Magidaa) and SF Egyptian Dove, sired by ET Crown Prince. I never have seen this mare SF Egyptian Dove but I am curious to see how much she may resemble Maar Bilahh, as she has the line to Maar Hala through her sire, as well as a double does of *Nabilahh. SF Egyptian Dove has produced 3 mares that I know of: Ghazalat Bouznika by Imperial Imdal and two daughters by Imperial Mashhar (this stallion has Imperial Fanniya in his dam line, who was sired by *Faleh, a Farasha son and through the sire, Imperial Madheen, has an additional line to Farasha, through Galal and a line through Yosreia through Mohga): Mouniat Bouznika and Nabilah Bouznika, who should be somewhere around 10 years of age by now. The mare AK Rafaayah, was bred to the *Farazdac son, Shah el Sun to produce the mare N-Amora in 1992. This is an interesting mare to consider, as she carries Farasha on the top of her pedigree and the tail female. She in turn was bred to the predominantly Dahman stallion, Shaikh el Shamal, to produce the mare Nabilat el Sheruk, 10 years ago.

In the above paragraph, I mentioned the Alidaar-sired mare Classic Aisha and I must make mention of another Alidaar daughter out of The Egyptian Prince, Frabilahh, who produced Classic Farida. She has produced 2 sons by Ansata Hejazi and a son by the *Ibn El Mareekh son, Baahir.

The mare, Lohelia, has been prolific in her production of daughters, including the Bentwood mare, AK Ahliyeh, who produced a son by *Serag, Ahsen El Serag, owned by Al and Judi Parks of Al Abbasiyah International in Fredericksburg Texas. While there have been horses produced with multiple lines to Farasha or Yosreia, it is interesting to find a stallion with Anter in the sire line, relatively close. AK Ahliyeh, when bred to Imperial Imdal, produced Kirmali in 1988. I saw this mare at the Newcomer's farm, Conestoga Run in Pennsylvania and was awestruck by a statuesque, elegant and wonderfully leggy, nice-moving mare.  I was really surprised by Kirmali and her size, reminiscent of all of the strong points that I mentioned in Sid Abouhom. She was shown with some success in hunter-under-saddle classes. Lohelia also produced AK Rasafah by Ansata Abbas Pasha, RXR Lia Moniet by AK El Zahra Moniet (Maarena blood here on the bottom) and Shahelia by Shaikh Al Badi.

Nagliah, bred twice to *Zaghloul, produced Asmarr and Naheed, Taira by *Soufian, Buukura by Al Metrabbi, Nagiba by Ibn El Hassan and Bint Nagliah by Thee Desperado.

Neama was bred to The Minstril twice, to produce the full sisters: Najimah and Neena, as well as *Soufian, to produce the mare Qastal.

The most outstanding mare of the Farasha family is Maar Bilahh, another Rancho Bulakenyo-bred horse, a daughter of El Halimaar, out of the *Nabilahh daughter by *Morafic, Bint Nabilahh. If Bint Nabilahh had only produced Maar Bilahh, she would have been forever remembered. In addition to "my sweet heart", she also produced two mares by Shaikh Al Badi: Ruminaja Nadia (she in turn produced Mashwara by Bay Halima and Sharifa Moniet by Moniet El Sharaf) and Ruminaja Nahjat.

There are few horses who have the ability to produce equally outstanding daughters and sons. *Nabilahh was such a mare and having produced a collection of amazing daughters, she also produced *Khofo by *Morafic, who would also become influential, like his sisters, mainly through his 1970 daughter *Bint Magidaa, who in turn, produced Ruminaja Ali, by Shaikh Al Badi. The stallion, *Khofo++ was a legion of merit winner, an athletic horse, possessing the versatility that allowed him to be successful in many events, both under saddle and in harness. He was owned from the time of his importation, until his death by Hansi Heck-Melnyk, of Serenity Farms in Citra, Florida, who has bred Egyptian Arabian Horses for approximately 50 years.
"He was imported at the side of his dam and with his sire when barely four weeks old by Doug Marshall. A faultless front end, a beautiful set on neck with that tremendous windpipe and very clean throatlatch, a 74 inch heart girth and well pronounced withers. He stood about 15.2 HH. He had beautiful large eyes, soft and gentle but the fire burning within. He was easy to handle, never hurt anything and a dream to ride."
 Had *Khofo++ only sired Bint Magidaa (she went on to produce a dynasty of stallions who have had a tremendous impact on the breed, both Egyptian and non-Egyptian) he would have been assured a place in history, forever. However, *Khofo++ sired almost 50 other straight Egyptian horses who have gone on to spread his influence, all over the world. With *Serenity Sonbolah, *Khofo++  sired the mare SF Bint Sonbohla (who produced the mares IES Sondusah by Hossny, MCF Nicole and Sonbolah's Song by Ruminaja Bahjat, Serenity Salilah by Serenity Osiris, Sohnbadi by Shaikh Al Badi and Sonbohlah's Dream by Moniet El Nafis) and with *Serenity Sonbolah's daughter by *SF Ibn Nazeer, SF Sonbolah Tu, *Khofo++  sired the mare Serenity Sonbolaa. With *Serenity Sabra (and this is where I get really excited) he sired the mare Serenity Bint Sabra, making it possible for ONE HORSE to carry 2 powerful branches of the Yosreia family in the tail female of the sire (Shahrzada) and dam (Farasha).
"I believe the light that shines on you, Will shine on you forever"-from the song, Father & Daughter by Paul Simon
In ancient cultures, butterflies symbolized rebirth, a new life, like a caterpillar who metamorphoses into a beautiful butterfly, after being inside a cocoon for a long period of time. The principal reasons for why this blog exists, are to raise awareness for special horses, key bloodlines that are on the verge of disappearing, influential mare lines and stallions who have over time demonstrated excellence in siring powerful broodmares. Our butterfly, Farasha, remains an extremely important mare in straight Egyptian breeding and with every new foal that is born of her family, her rebirth is made complete, with her family also remaining as a vital connection to our EAO foundation.


1 comment:

Butterfly wall decals said...

Very nice name, not the usual name for a horse!