03 March, 2011

Victory & Art: A Broader Perspective

In VICTORIOUS, a photograph taken long ago by Judi Parks gave us the opportunity to look at the EAO stallion *Faleh++ a little more closely. *Faleh's most influential daughter was the important Imperial Egyptian Stud foundation mare, Imperial Fanniya, out of the Sameh daughter, *Deenaa. Sameh was a critical building block of the Imperial Egyptian Stud breeding program and combined with Alaa el Din, Sid Abouhom and Farida; Imperial Fanniya offered a source to Sameh that was a bit different from *Fawkia, *Serenity Sabra and *Serenity Sonbolah and yet was complementary with the other components of the program like Moniet el Nefous, Nazeer and Halima. Imperial Fanniya produced seven foals: Imperial Farfuri by *Ibn Moniet el Nefous in 1979, Imperial Nafann in 1980 and Imperial Naffata in 1981, both by Moniet el Nafis, Imperial Imfanjari in 1983 and Royal Amirah in 1984, both by Ansata Imperial and two full sisters by Imperial Im Jasim: Imperial Janeesah in 1986 and Imperial Janaabah in 1987. 

Of all the Imperial Fanniya daughters, Imperial Naffata, over time, has proven to be the most influential. While at Imperial, she produced the handsome stallion Al Rayyan and the typey mare, Imperial Madanah. Imported to Israel by Ariely Arabians, she was bred to Imperial Imdal and produced the full siblings, Nafis and Naffada. She was then sold to Ofer Braz, the man who also owns the stallion, Wazir el Kheil and became an important part of his breeding program. She produced fillies for Ofer Braz, namely Majmoa by Baahir, Nob by Imperial Imdal and Sachra Bint Naffatta by the Baahir son, Bariq Al Amal. In 2002, Tzviah Idan became the next owner of Imperial Naffata. Tzviah bred Naffata to Ibn Nahal, a Feisal Ibn Farag son out of the Imperial Imdal daughter, Nahall. Naffata foaled an exraordinary filly named Atiq Nufaar, who unfortunately died. Naffata was bred to Madheen Al Nafous, to produce another lovely filly named Atiq Mashallah.
"Naffata was very reminiscent of her sire Moniet El Nafis -- a very correct and balanced long-lined mare with wonderful legs and joints, marvelous tail carriage, great elegance and nobility and wonderful movement."
The stallion Al Rayyan, bred by Imperial, is now owned by Khalid Saad Al Haddad, of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. A beautiful horse, Al Rayyan was the 1997 Middle East Junior Champion Colt in Jordan. As lovely as he is, what I really found interesting about Al Rayyan is his siring record. Approximately 70% of his foals are female. I couldn't help but wonder...are we in the midst of a stallion who very quietly, is becoming a strong broodmare sire, right before our eyes?

Imperial Madanah was an outstanding mare, so beautiful, with excellent pigmentation. A substantial mare and yet, so refined and elegant. Her head was beautifully shaped, short and wide, with large, black luminous eyes, set lower in her head. Larger sized jowls, a beautiful muzzle, with large, delicate nostrils and smaller sized ears. Her skin was especially fine, with much quality, accentuating the definition of the bones and veins in her face, giving her that dry desert look. As big-bodied as she was, she had a beautiful neck, a bit stretchy with extra length in her poll and a fabulous mitbah. She was a celebration of harmony and smoothness, the quintessential desert mare. Imperial Madanah became an influential mare for Sheikh Nawaf Bin Nasser Al-Thani. Imperial Madanah's triumph, her masterpiece was the extraordinary alabaster stallion, Thaqib al Nasser by Ansata Halim Shah, proudly owned by Glenn North and Louise Cordina of Saba Arabians.

Naffada, a bay-colored mare, was purchased by Christine and Thomas Bobrzyk of Insha Allah Arabians in Germany. They bred the mare to the Ansata Hejazi son, Ansata Selman, to produce Insha Sha Latifa, owned by Ariela Arabians in Israel.
Shown in 2004, she was the National Champion Filly of Israel and five years later, she was named the National Champion Mare of Israel (she was the reserve champion mare of Israel in 2008), in addition to winning Senior Champion Mare and the high scoring horse at the Egyptian Event. As impressive as those show wins are, when I saw her, I was stunned. She is one of the most beautiful mares that I have seen in a long time. She is hauntingly familiar and as I looked closely at the Shlomi Nissim photo of her trotting; I was reminded not only of *Deenaa (her great-great grand dam) whom she looks so much like but also of the Sameh daughters that I have known. She is moving just like those mares! The tail, like a banner, heralds her coming, the elasticity in her hocks, driving her forward and her powerful shoulders have so much freedom, giving her a range of motion which makes it seem like she is swallowing the ground in front of her. She is extraordinary!

And it is with Insha Sha Latifa, that I understand the meaning of the name of Fanniya better, as she has created  a family, who appear to have been created exclusively at the hands of the finest artists. Each horse is unique in their physical beauty and yet, honor the horses that came before them, whether it is via the familiarity of their phenotype, the sound of their whinny, which suddenly reminds you of a horse you knew a long time ago or maybe, when she is at liberty and suddenly she tosses her head in a particular way and for an instant, you see her...you see "Fanny". This "artist", in His new creation, hid "Fanny" in His work, hoping that you would find her. She is still very much alive and relevant, for those who use her influence, to create more art and further her influence, farther than anyone thought possible. Imperial Fanniya is as enduring, as the most celebrated and cherished pieces of art, to be enjoyed by a whole new generation of connoisseurs.


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