23 January, 2011

SBE: Scopey Babson Egyptian

Lesley Detweiler of Mountain Spring Farm, Spring Run, Pennsylvania sent the above picture of the straight Babson Egyptian stallion, Faydin, taken in 2003. She was the last recorded owner of Faydin, who was bred by the Babson Farm and owned for most of his life by Carolyn Coletts of Asala Arabians in Hillsboro, Ohio and then briefly by Gordon Yuellig of Bridgewood Farm, also in Hillsboro, Ohio. When you study Faydin's pedigree against his phenotype, you begin to understand how he is significantly influenced by the Saqlawi strain. In a day and age when the majority of horses can be somewhat androgynous by strain, Faydin actually looks his strain. He looks Saqlawi. In a 2-part article written by Charles Craver for Arabian Visions titled Corollaries of Strain Breeding, Charles offered the following observation concerning the physical characteristics associated with the Saqlawi strain,
"the Saqlawi group, tending to have high neck and tail carriage: "Beauty-type: feminine, elegant, fine boned, extremely handsome. The Parade and Show Type."
In the same article, Charles also discusses the relationship between the Kuhaylan and the Saqlawi strain. They are related strains, with much in common. Which is an interesting perspective, as today, we understand, because of a landmark mitochondrial study done by Michael Bowling,
that the Babson horses who had been widely accepted for many years as Kuhaylan Jellabi strain horses, tracing to Jellabiet Feysul through Yamama, did in fact share the same DNA as the horses tracing to Bint Helwa, a Saqlawiyah Jedraniyah. This is the same tail female line of the great Mesaoud, an Ali Pasha Sherif horse, whose dam was also named Yamama and quite possibly, through a misunderstanding years ago, when the same name was given to different horses; somehow, the Yamamas became mixed up and the horses of Prince Mohamed Aly Tewfik were connected with the Jellabiyah Yamama. The mtDNA test results, together with the information gleaned from Lady Anne Blunt's journals, diaries and letters, ended the long-standing theory that the Kuhaylan Jellabi strain was still existent in Straight Egyptian form. 

So, what has this information got to do with Faydin anyway?

EVERYTHING.
Faydin's sire and dam are siblings, as both horses are out of the Babson mare, Aaroufa(Fay-El-Dine x *Maaroufa)...Faydin's sire is by the stallion Fabah (*Fadl x *Bint Bint Sabbah) while  Roufina, Faydin's dam is by Fa-Serr (*Fadl x *Bint Serra I). Predominantly Saqlawi, by strain, the only horse who is not of this strain in Faydin's pedigree is the Dahmah mare, *Bint Bint Sabbah.  
One of the characteristics which manifests itself a little more consistently than we like, in the more intensely in-bred Babson horses, is a tendency to be shorter, thicker, chunkier, instead of leggy, stretchy, and scopey. In Faydin, whose pedigree is concentrated in the blood of only three individuals, all of whom are Saqlawi in strain by the way, we see the opposite end result; we observe a longer back, a longer neck, longer legs and a higher level of refinement and elegance that we don't really see as frequently in the Babson Egyptian breeding group. Faydin is a much scopier horse. His shoulder placement was so powerful, which enabled him much freedom up front and more expressive movement. He really did take your breath away.
"I could not - for the life of me - understand how ANY RIDER, could watch Faydin move at liberty and NOT want to ride him."-Lesley Detweiler
Faydin embodies all of the physical characteristics that we over time, learned to associate with the Saqlawi strain. Compare the portrait of Mesaoud, as painted by Peter Upton, against the Detweiler-supplied photo of Faydin. You will see a similar back, similar shoulders, a similar neck and a similar hindquarter.  Faydin is timeless in this regard, with much "power" plus a unique fineness to his features and also, the absence of "heaviness".

Lesley told me that she will continue to offer frozen semen for Faydin, which is an excellent opportunity for all Al Khamsa recognized straight Egyptian breeders to incorporate the strong Saqlawi characteristics possessed by Faydin, derived as they are from the antique Egyptian programs of Prince Mohamed Aly Tewfik and Prince Kemal el Dine, sources which are closer up in his pedigree than any contemporary Babson horse. It is as close as you will ever get to an outcross, within straight Egyptian lines. Faydin is your link to the past and possibly, a more authentic future.

Go Saqlawi! Go Faydin!
Ralph

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