08 June, 2011

Looking Back...Looking Deeper

“If you look at Hallany Mistanny’s life, in its historical perspective, it seems almost miraculous that he left any descendants at all.”-Mari Silveus
When Lynn and Ginny Garrett visited Rudalaro Ranch, they were already familiar with the Hallany Mistanny horses, having bred their general-list Arabian mares to the Rudalaro-bred stallion, Ru Anton. It was Lynn’s dream to own Arabian horses and it was also Lynn who worked hard to make his vision, in terms of giving flesh and bone to the type of Arabian horse he saw in his mind, a reality. When the Garretts decided to visit Rudalaro, they had already become enamored with *Turfa, a desert mare recognized for possessing powerful movement and for passing this action to her progeny. Rudalaro at the time, maintained distinct breeding groups which included the Babson-Turfa horses, however, every horse that Lynn noticed was not a Babson-Turfa...it was a Hallany Mistanny-bred horse. Somewhere into that visit, Darrell Perdue said to Lynn,
"you thought you wanted Babson-Turfas but I don't think you do. I think you want a Hallany Mistanny instead."
Lynn was impressed with the Hallany Mistanny horses’ overall balance, strength and beauty. He had found the type of horse he wanted to spend the rest of his life with.
“The Hallany Mistanny horses to me seemed to be the standouts in the large herd that Rudalaro had. They looked so beautiful and strong with the bone needed to be a working horse. They were just what I wanted for a working ranch. Also, their beauty could be something I could show off.”
Lynn and Ginny left Rudalaro, having seen many horses they liked but not purchasing any. They needed to go home, think carefully over all that they had seen and talk about it with each other. The Perdues had a very large group of mares, extremely friendly, not only with the Garretts but also with each other. Darrell amazed both Lynn and Ginny with his recall of names and pedigrees of individual horses, without hesitation. The Rudalaro visit was an unexpected surprise, as both Lynn and Ginny saw so much they liked, not only in the horses they noticed but also, they were favorably impressed with how Rudalaro was managed by the Perdues. Rudalaro’s pastures were big and roomy, real pastures and not small turnouts limiting the horse's ability to stretch, run and exercise. The Perdue’s also had an impressive system for keeping stallions that the Garretts wanted to incorporate on their farm. The weeks that followed, found Lynn and Ginny discussing all they had seen at Rudalaro. The more they talked, the more they realized how much they wanted to stand a stallion that could also be a successful show horse. After a few more conversations with Darrell Perdue, the Garretts decided on Ru Saad Malik. He was a chestnut straight Egyptian horse, sired by the syndicated Babson stallion, Fa Saad and out of the Ansata Abbas Pasha grand-daughter, Ru Melika Sabbah. Ru Saad Malik was handsome, possessing the desirable Egyptian bloodlines that were all the rage at the time and they planned to show the handsome colt and stand him at public stud, hoping to make a little money.

It had been a long morning, the anticipation stretching the hours, raising the level of excitement for the rancher and his wife, as they sat in a parking lot in Cheyenne. Soon, the Perdues would be arriving, towing the trailer which carried the future of El Hallany. All of Lynn’s dreams were finally coming together. He looked forward to this morning most of all and it was hard to believe that here he was, waiting for the one horse who would help him to give his Arabian horse dream, a life; to give this dream a direction and a future. A white crunchy coating of frozen dew sparkled on the ground, lending an almost magical feeling to the beautiful sunny morning. Lynn rubbed his hands together, blowing warm air into his hands, from deep inside his chest. It was a way to keep his increasing excitement in check. His wife sat next to him, with her eyes closed but he could tell she was as excited as he was, as they waited for their stallion. Ru Saad Malik was an awfully beautiful horse, one of the prettiest horses he had seen in a long time and now, he would be coming home with him. Home…the word sounded so melodious to him. He was proud of the ranch that he was building with Ginny. A wide, open space of the sweetest, greenest land protected by the Pryor and Big Horn mountains. Their home…their sanctuary…their own little private slice of Wyoming, the place where all of their dreams would come true. He looked once more at his wife and smiled. What would he do without this woman who embraced his dreams, his hopes and made them her dreams too? He dreamed of the shows that he would attend and of the prizes their horse would win. He dreamed of the adventures he would have with this fine horse on the ranch. He dreamed of the beautiful sons and daughters Ru Saad Malik would sire, for his program and for the programs of other breeders. His mind changed direction and once more, he started to think of that yearling filly he saw at the Perdue’s. “I think her name was Ru Misti.” he thought. "She is a daughter of that gray horse I liked, Ru Marab but her mother, that bay mare named Ru Mist Mida is outstanding" he continued to think. He had found it difficult to think of anything else, when he saw her at the Perdue ranch. Gosh, she was everything he wanted in a horse. She was a substantially-built filly with good bone and great balance, a wide chest. a full and strong hindquarter and great feet. She couldn't be any more perfect. How he wished that he could have negotiated some kind of agreement with Darrell Perdue but he could tell that Darrell liked her too and didn’t want to sell her. With a filly like Ru Misti, Lynn believed that he could breed the kind of gorgeous working ranch horse that for the moment, existed only in his mind.
"Hallany Mistanny’s sire *Zarife was a beautiful grey stallion and like *Roda, was an excellent individual and was very hard to fault. He was very strong and straight in the legs and was very good-bodied. He had the dry gazelle head so sought after and so prevalent in Egyptians. Probably, *Roda would be the more extreme of the two in regard to sheer beauty but *Zarife also possessed that beautiful true old Egyptian type and any differences between them would be very slight.”-Robert E. Doherty, Jr. from The Hallany Mistanny Story published in The Arabian, 11/74
As the truck roared into the parking lot, the Garretts climbed out of their pickup truck, ready to greet Ru Saad Malik and bring him home. The excitement was welling up from his toes, like a geyser, working its way through his body, threatening to explode as it pulsed through every living fiber of his person. When Lawson Perdue, Darrell’s grandson, pulled the trailer doors open, for a second it looked like there were two horses on the trailer. Was the bright morning sun playing tricks with his eyes? He looked away for a moment, letting his eyes adjust and looked again. “Hey, there’s another horse in there!” said a very surprised Lynn. Not only were there 2 horses on the trailer, the second horse was none other than Ru Misti! Lawson and Lynn very quickly agreed upon a price, for fear that if the deal was not consummated, the Perdues would change their mind and he would leave without the filly that had captured his heart.

Eventually, it was this filly and not Ru Saad Malik who would set the course of the Garrett’s breeding program and for the direction their lives would take in creating an Al Khamsa breeding program influenced by the stallion, Hallany Mistanny. Ginny was the daughter of a historian, who knew and understood what proper research meant and it wasn’t long before she started to study the pedigree of Ru Misti, to understand the mare better, by learning about her ancestors. This was in the days before the Internet and pedigree research was an arduous, slow task encompassing the Registry’s Stud Books and a few published books like The Desert Horse by Carol Schultz and Carol Neubauer. Imagine Ginny’s surprise, when she learned that the concentration of Hallany Mistanny in Ru Misti’s pedigree was approximately 31.25%! “Are there any more horses like her and would any of them have by chance a higher percentage of Hallany Mistanny blood than 31%?” Ginny wondered. Ru Misti's sire was a son of San Luis Marc Antony, who was by Mista-Bin, a son of Hallany Mistanny and out of San Luis Bint Dorzah, a Hallany Mistanny daughter. On the dam side, Ru Mist Mida was also a daughter of San Luis Marc Antony but out of Mistara, a Hallany Mistanny daughter. That's 5 lines to Hallany Mistanny, all in the 5th generation of Ru Misti's pedigree. While it is important to point out the role that this filly, Ru Misti, played not only as an important foundation broodmare for El Hallany, producing 3 stallions and 3 broodmares; she was also the Garrett’s first Al Khamsa, Blue List Hallany Mistanny mare, making it possible for others bred like her, to become part of the Garrett’s breeding program. Ru Misti led Ginny on a search to find other high percentage Hallany Mistanny horses.

That search, led them to April Johnson of Apple Hill Arabians. April owned two full sisters sired by Ibn Sirecho (Sirecho x Turfara), out of Bint Ballanni (Hallany Mistanny x HMR Ballanni, a Hallany Mistanny daughter). Both mares combined many of the Al Khamsa ancestral elements like Davenport, Blunt, Sa'ud, Hamidie and Egyptian. In the pedigrees of these two mares we find a rich source of Bedouin breeding, through a variety of different sources, reflecting the contributions of several important foundational breeders. April was willing to sell one of the two mares but not both.

The Garretts had to choose between Zelebanni or Apple Hill Ani. While Zelebanni was a beautiful, proven broodmare, Apple Hill Ani had only produced 3 foals: the filly, Apple Hill Afeena by Apple Hill Azal in 1981, the stallion, Apple Hill Amaodooa by Ansata El Nisr in 1982 and the gelding, Apple Hill Night Sun by HMR Haltak in 1983. For another breeder, this may not have been so difficult of a decision; however for Ginny, one look into Ani’s eyes and her heart spoke loudly and claimed the mare as her own. There was something really special about Ani, which captured both of the Garrett’s attention.
“She let me look deep. I felt a connection with her the minute I looked there…in her eyes and that horse was always my rock. Whenever I felt grumpy or tired or whatever, I could go out to Ani, bury my face in her neck and mane and smell her wonderful smell and everything was better.”
When the Garretts purchased Apple Hill Ani, she was in foal to Apple Hill Azal for a second time. Apple Hill Ani possessed a 37.5% concentration of Hallany Mistanny blood. She was one of six mares, living in America, with this high percentage of Hallany Mistanny breeding. She became an influential mare for the Garretts, producing six colts (including the colt sired by Apple Hill Azal, ELH Zallany, which she foaled shortly after arriving at the Garrett’s ranch) and one filly, named ELH Nafaa by Ru Ibn Roda, who is pictured above with her dam and her daughter by ELH Mabrouk, ELH Yamama. You can say that Ani helped the Garretts to maintain a higher percentage of Hallany Mistanny blood in their herd, as all her foals carried percentages of 31.25% or greater. Three of her colts, ELH Tariq, ELH Qumiz and ELH Hassan are still in the breeding group today and carry a percentage of 34.38% Hallany Mistanny blood. Ginny says,
“Ani produced what her bloodlines were…exquisite foals, no matter which of our stallions were used.”
Later on, the Garretts were able to purchase a daughter and grand-daughter of Apple Hill Ani from Jim Hibbard of Ohio: Apple Hill Afeena and KLH Lady Anne. It is interesting to note that Ani’s full sister, Zelebanni was also in foal to Apple Hill Azal and foaled a colt, ELH Ibn Azal, whom the Garretts also purchased for their breeding program. Ginny described this colt, “as powerful, kind and trustworthy.”

As Ru Misti was significant for setting the direction of the Garrett's breeding program towards Hallany Mistanny, Apple Hill Ani was significant because she fueled their desire to concentrate solely on higher percentage Hallany Mistanny bloodlines. Because of Ru Misti and Apple Hill Ani, the Garretts went to Mardax Arabians in California, where they obtained the mare, San Luis Hamida. Unfortunately, this mare never produced for the Garretts. At Rudalaro, the Garretts were able to purchase the mares Ru Mist Mida (the dam of Ru Misti) and Ru Mis Antony, however, both mares produced colts that didn’t live for very long and the mares were never able to settle again. Of the six mares that Ginny had identified with a 37.5% concentration of Hallany Mistanny blood, at this point, they were able to purchase four of them, all thanks to Ru Misti, whose own strong attributes fueled the desire of Lynn, who realized that the horse which existed in his mind, really did exist in the real world and his name was Hallany Mistanny.

More Hallany Mistanny horses were obtained by the Garretts. Ru Misti had a sister named Ru Mistalina, who became Lynn’s most favorite and cherished broodmare. Ru Mis Roda was also purchased from Rudalaro, in foal to Ru Mista Mar. She foaled ELH Mabrouk, a colt who matured into a stallion of great significance for the Garretts. He was exquisite, a Hallany Mistanny look-alike and much loved by Lynn. Tragically, this stallion died in a freak accident at only 11 years of age. Ru Mis Roda, a prolific mare at Rudalaro, only produced once more for the Garretts: a filly sired by Zelebanni’s son, ELH Ibn Azal. Two more mares, Ru Mar Mida and Ru Maarmida were purchased from Ruth Fogg in New Hampshire, along with the stallion, Chyann. This stallion had a lower percentage of Hallany Mistanny blood, as compared to the other horses that the Garretts had purchased from other breeders. However, Chyann brought in a bit of diversity into the Garretts program and he sired two foals for the Garretts who are still represented in the breeding group: ELH Maraa and ELH Ibn Chyann.

One of the most interesting horses that the Garretts owned was the mare Hamida Ivey. Interesting, you ask? Yes, she carried the blood of Mohamed Aly Tewfik’s prized mare, *Hamida, close up in her pedigree, three generations removed in her tail female line. While she carried 25% Hallany Mistanny blood; her percentage of Hamida blood is 31.25%. *HH Mohamed Ali’s Hamida has been lost in straight Egyptian lines; Hamida Ivey preserves this precious blood in Al Khamsa.
“The blood is prepotent! That is the thing about the other key horses way back in the pedigrees that were picked out for W.R. Brown. They were prepotent also. And that is why you saw your dream horses in ours all those long years later.”-Ginny Garrett
The Garretts purchased Hamida Ivey when she was eleven years old and was still a maiden mare. She was bred to Ru Ibn Roda and Ivey produced a colt the following year. Eventually, she produced three lovely fillies for the Garretts: ELH Haraka, ELH Qumiza and ELH Karima. Tragically, ELH Karima died as a yearling, resulting from a leg injury but both Haraka and Qumiza are both alive and are beautiful mares, vital and vibrant mares in the Hallany Mistanny breeding group.

Between the horses that the Garretts purchased and then bred, the ranch produced a total of 53 Al Khamsa horses, all carrying a high percentage of Hallany Mistanny blood. In 2007, due to the advancing age of the Garretts, the decision was made to disperse the breeding program of El Hallany. The horses were sold to breeders in Canada, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Missouri and Utah.
“I almost always cry when one leaves…Lynn only with some of them. Anyway…I could go on and on, but I know you understand what these horses represent to us. It is a chunk of our lives and our hearts.”-Ginny Garrett
Although the Garretts have no more horses, they remain active in guiding the new breeders of the El Hallany horses, making breeding decisions and insuring the perpetuation of this bloodline within Al Khamsa. Today, there are only 34 Hallany Mistanny horses left in Al Khamsa: 24 mares and 10 stallions carrying anywhere from 23.44 – 34.38% of Hallany Mistanny blood…authentic…to the very core of their being.

There are so many reasons why I am personally impressed with El Hallany and the long-term commitment that the Garretts made for preserving the bloodline of Hallany Mistanny. Without their dedication, I don’t believe we would have this breeding group alive today.
“In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.”-Albert Schweitzer
It is important to stop a moment and recognize the good eye and the good horse sense of Lynn Garrett. He saw something in these horses first and he never wavered in his admiration and appreciation for these horses.
“As an individual, Hallany Mistanny possessed the excellence in type and quality to match the excellence of his pedigree. As is the case with his sire and dam, he would be a very difficult horse to find fault with. He was famous for being a very showy and eye-catching stallion.”-Robert E. Doherty, Jr. from The Hallany Mistanny Story published in The Arabian, 11/74
Ginny, a faithful, loving and supportive wife, had no horse experience prior to marrying Lynn. The horses were important to her husband, so she made the horses also important to her. Ginny’s hands-on horse training came in real life, earned while "on-the-job". I asked Ginny of the valuable lessons she had learned from the horses? Ginny didn’t even waste a minute giving me her answer,
“they taught me to love them…they had gentleness, such a love for us and yet, could be so stubborn at times…and of course, Apple Hill Ani…she taught me to look deep.”

PS-I wanted to take a moment and reference a couple of articles that were enormously siginificant, without them, I wouldn't have been able to write this article: Diane Smith of Snow Moon Farm in New Hamsphire wrote an article titled The El Hallany Story: 25 Years of Preservation - A Tribute to Lynn & Virginia Garrett which appeared in the Khamsat, Volume Twenty Five, Number 4 and Mari Silveus' article, The Hallany Mistanny Story also published in the Khamsat, Volume 16, Number 4. I am grateful to Jeanne Craver for the picture of Apple Hill Ani (courtesy of the Nyla Eshelman Collection) and to Diana Johnson for the picture of *Zarife and the Susan McAdoo photo of Apple Hill Amaodooa. Many thanks to Ginny Garrett for enduring all of my questions and for being so generous in sharing her wonderful horses and memories. The photos of *Hamida and the group photo of Apple Hill Ani with her daughter ELH Nafaa and ELH Yamama were found on the internet, through Google Image search and I am not sure who the photographer was, in order to credit him/her.

1 comment:

April E. Johnson said...

What a wonderful way to touch base with important horses like Apple Hill Ani and the special breeders, like the Garretts, who have extended and have enhanced the concentration and vigor of the bloodlines I hold dear, Ibn Samhan (RAS), *Zarife, and Hallany Mistanny. Our stallion, Ansata El Nisr at Apple Hill was the corner stone of our breeding program, but important too was Apple Hill Azal, his dam Rose Halima, and her dam San Louis Rose of Zarife. I sure loved that old mare and can remember the day she died heavy infoal to Ansata El Nisr with the greatest grief. April E. Johnson, Apple Hill