12 January, 2011

Three Times a Lady: Simeon Shavit

"You're once,
Three times a lady,
And I love you..."-Lionel Richie, from his song, Three Times a Lady
Simeon Shavit is the dam of Simeon Shifran and Simeon Salit. She is sired by the Shaikh al Badi son, Anaza Bay Shahh and out of the 27 Ibn Galal V daughter, Simeon Safanad. The importance of Simeon Safanad and her dam, 27 In Galal V has been documented well. These mares are critical foundation mares for Simeon Stud and have birthed a strong, vibrant and dynamic family. It is worth mentioning that Simeon Shavit is a sister to the stallions *Simeon Shai and Simeon Sadik. Simeon Shavit has also produced by Asfour two more sons: Solel and Shumar plus, a daughter, Samra. When bred to Imperial Madaar, she produced two additional sons: Seeon and Sadaar.

When I opened her photo for the very first time, I was overwhelmed by all that I saw. She looks so much like my memory of the mare *Deena! However, what really struck me immediately in this Scott Trees' photo is her...nostrils...not only for its size but also for the elasticity of the nostril. The photo appears to have been taken while Simeon Shavit was moving, as her mane seems to be "bouncing" on her neck. This is fantastic for this study, as we can see how the nostrils change, when the horse is utilizing them more. Her nostrils are so elastic! Without resorting to using cliches like "drinkers of the wind"; one gets an appreciation or rather, the "full flavor" for what this over-used and casually dropped description really describes. What I also noticed is the upper ridge of bone, at the top of the jowl, which is unbelievably wide. Do you see this? I seem to recall something I once read about Asil horses and how this quality indicates their authenticity, as no other breeds of horses show this prominence of bone, as in the desert-bred horses. If this is true, the width of the bone on Simeon Shavit really confirms her desert heritage, as it is the most pronounced, that I have ever personally observed, in a long time.

Her pigmentation is excellent, as evidenced by the black skin of her points. I can now understand the black pigmentation of the skin on Simeon Shifran and Simeon Salit and from where it comes from...their mother, who must have gotten it from Anaza Bay Shahh, who in turn got it from *Bint Maisa el Saghira, Halima, *Deena and Zareefa, who were all bay-colored horses in the pedigree. Thinking about the importance of pigmentation, reminds me of my friend, Egyptian Arabian Horse breeder, Marilyn Lang, whose program produces consistently, heavily-pigmented horses,
"I think in order to avoid lost pigmentation and white in the eye, you must inject color into your program, at least once every generation."
In the same article, Marion Richmond, the breeder of these 3 horses also expressed the importance of skin pigmentation,
"They are desert animals and should have little white and must have black skin."
Both women are long-time Arabian Horse breeders, having bred many wonderful horses. I admire them because they remain strong and unwavering, in their beliefs for what is important in Arabian Horse type and for the type of horse they breed, which reflects their wisdom and loyalty to the unique characteristics of the Arabian horse breed. It is a lesson for all of us, in trying to understand the importance of skin pigmentation, in an era when so many popular and well-regarded horses show a loss of pigmentation via the pink skin, under their grey coats. Like the happiness I experience when I see a longer, graceful neck in an Egyptian horse, it is a celebration of joy, when black-skinned horses like Simeon Shavit, Simeon Shifran and Simeon Salit are found. This is an undeniable Arabian horse breed characteristic that we cannot afford to lose.

I also like Shavit's eye, not only the shape and placement of the eye, but how deeply black they are, with no presence of white in the eye at all. The area between her eyes is broad, indicating a large brain cavity. Her facial expression is one of intense kindness and generosity of spirit, no surprise. It comes through the eyes. The eyes are in well-defined sockets and now, I understand where where the beautiful eye detail comes from, in Shifran and Salit.  It is Shavit. Again, Marion Richmond stressed the importance of a black eye in an Arabian Horse,
"...and full dark eye color shows the soul of the Arabian."
Perhaps this is what captivated me most about this particular family, aside from presenting a powerful statement for classic type; the real beauty resides deeply in their beautiful souls. The eyes say it all.


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