19 January, 2011

SBE: Saqlawi Babson Egyptian

HR Hasims Legacy is a 2002 straight Babson Egyptian stallion, bred by Cheryl O'Donnell and presently owned by Kim Cooper of Axiom Arabians, Cape Fair, Missouri. There is just something about this horse, which is irresistible. He is charming. Do you see it? Even in a still photograph, his charisma oozes out of every pixel.

He is sired by the bay-colored Sah Hasim Khabar, a Char Serr son out of the Fabah daughter, Adaah. My friend, Clothilde Nollet of Maarena Arabians in France saw this horse and said,
"Kabar is a Kuhaylan stallion with incredible substance, one of the biggest horses I have ever seen, lots of bone and what a powerhouse. He is quite tall. He has been bred to various type of mares and tends to give very good conformation, large back, chest, long hip, powerful movement, good character, big eyes."
When I think of the black beauty, Char Serr, I think of  a particular photograph which shows the horse performing the Spanish walk, with Wayne Newton astride. Have you seen this photograph? For most people like me, who have had the opportunity to work closely with Babson horses, we are familiar with their good and steady nature, a high level of intelligence and their willingness for trying new things. They are most definitely companion horses, who illustrate powerfully, within day-to-day life, what a Bedouin tent horse must have been all about. Char Serr was bred by Dr. Keith Krausnick of Shar Char Farm, a 30+ year breeding program focused on straight Egyptian and *Turfa-Egyptian horses. The most wonderful chestnut mare, Sirhabba, came from their program. Char Serr was a 1964 son of Negem (Fa-Serr x Fay Negma) out of Serra (Fa-Serr x Fad Roufa).

HR Hisams Legacy's dam is a very refined,  bay-colored Mahrouf daughter named Mah Bah Roufa, who is out of the Ibn Fa-Serr daughter, Bah Rous Amira.
"Mr. Babson had no qualms about inbreeding, and he was the first American Egyptian breeder to experiment with breeding full brother and sister. Fa-Serr was bred to Fa Deene to produce Ibn Fa-Serr (grey, 1960), who sired 85 foals, including three national winners."-from Arabian Horse World's May 2003 Heritage Horse, Fa-Serr
HR Hasims Legacy's pedigree is interesting, because of the number of times *Bint Serra I appears in his pedigree: 9 times, as compared to the most prolific of the Babson broodmares, *Maaroufa, who appears only 5 times and *Bint Bint Sabbah, who appears 3 times. When Fabo died, we lost the opportunity of breeding to a stallion with a tail female line to *Bint Serra I. With HR Hisams Legacy, we have the opportunity to breed to a stallion who possesses a high percentage of her influence. In an Arabian Horse World article, which appeared in the August 1982 issue, Mary Jane Parkinson wrote,
"Dr. Branch interceded in dealing with Prince Kemal el Dine so that Babson could acquire *Bint Serra I 897 (Sotamm x Serra), who became his favoite of the importation."
While *Bint Serra was his favorite, it is important to point out that Babson actually prized all three of these mares and considered *Bint Serra, *Maaroufa and *Bint Bint Sabbah to be his premier broodmares. So in one horse, we find the influence of these three super mares PLUS *Bint Saada, whose appearance in Babson horse pedigrees is unfortunately, infrequent. *Bint Saada appears twice, through her *Fadl son, Faddan. Over the years, through personal observation, I have noticed that Babson horses carrying lines in their pedigree to *Bint Saada, seem to have "a little extra-something", which is so hard for me to explain, that is, exactly what that "little extra" is all about. In this case, the "irresistible" in HR Hasims Legacy, might be the best way to explain that "little extra-something". The only straight Babson Egyptian of the 1932 importation who does not appear in the pedigree is the pretty chestnut mare, *Bint Bint Durra.

The influence of the Saqlawi strain is evident in the phenotype of HR Hasims Legacy. He is sleek, refined and elegant. Like the finest velvet, these qualities are hard to miss about him. He is very smooth and harmonious. His neck is a bit longer, than you find on other Babson horses and while I would like to see a little more length in the poll, the neck is graceful, with a clean underline. It is also important  to stress that balance in an Arabian Horse is so vitally crucial. So, when I say something like "I would like a little more length...", the flip side of this statement is that a little more length may completely upset the total overall picture of balance in HR Hasims Legacy. So, while yes, a longer poll may be desirable in this horse, I think balance is more important, a quality that is already outstanding in HR Hasims Legacy, that is, the harmony and balance present in his physical body. This is a very nice horse.
HR Hasims Legacy is a closer-coupled, with a strong and smooth topline, framed on one end by a nice, deep hip and on the other end, with a powerful shoulder with a nice, noticeable wither.  Like most Babson horses, this is a horse made for riding. The ratio of forearm-to-cannon is very nice. His head has a very nice shape, short, wide and broad, with very large jowls, small ears and large, elastic nostrils. He has a prominent jibbah, not extreme but noticeable. His eye is soft and black, with no white in them. His eye radiates a sweetness, indicating a horse who is friendly and enjoys being with people. He is a total package of Arabian horse goodness. Kim said the following about HR Hasims Legacy,
"Legacy is super sweet and well-mannered. He is very friendly and comes right up to you. He is always looking to see me and greet me."
HR Hasims Legacy is a proven sire, as he has sired one colt and one filly to date. The colt is out of DU Faaissa, a Babson-Sirecho mare and unfortunately, the filly out of Char Iswid Malaka died. Kim is planning to have shipped semen ready for spring. Is there a hint of a broodmare sire in the making? Of the nine lines to *Bint Serra I, four of those lines are through her son, Fay-el-Dine. Fay-El-Dine was recognized as an excellent sire of daughters.
"At Babson Farms, *Bint Serra I produced eight *Fadl foals, the first the noted Fay-El-Dine, one of Mr. Babson's favorites."-from Arabian Horse World's May 2003 Heritage Horse, Fa-Serr
HR Hasims Legacy is a very intensely in-bred Babson horse, I almost think of HR Hasims Legacy as an outcross, especially for the very heavy Nazeer lines. We know from history that the Mansour lines cross exceptionally well with the Ibn Rabdan lines.
"Some breeders have shown an interesting example by early on sorting their program out into subgroups for later crossing with each other, while each subgroup in its own way, is something of an outcross to the other."-Joe Ferriss 
Some of the most beautiful straight Egyptian horses ever seen, resulted from crossing the straight Babson Egyptian horse back onto the newer Egyptian lines. I sincerely hope that an owner of a newer Egyptian line mare, who may be reading this blog about HR Hisams Legacy and well, will be moved to try something a little different, for the love of a horse.

Photo Credits: most of the pictures of HR Hasims Legacy were taken by Kim Cooper. There is one picture of HR Hasims Legacy with the chestnut mare, Char Iswid Malaka, which was taken by Clothilde Nollet.

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