15 November, 2019

The Importance of Fidl Fadl

Fidl Fadl (Ibn Fadl x Fay Khedena)
Fidl Fadl was a 1958 chestnut stallion, bred by the Babson Farm. He was a son of Ibn Fadl (*Fadl x *Turfa) and out of the straight Babson Egyptian mare, Fay Khedena (Fay-el-Dine x Khedena). In phenotype, he does not look any different from the straight Egyptian horses bred by the Babson Farm. It would be really difficult, without a pedigree, to say that he is not straight Egyptian with any degree of finality, because he looks convincingly Egyptian in phenotype. Homer Watson, the long-time manager of the Babson Farm, through his hands-on experience of working with these horses, felt that the *Turfa horses were exceptional.  Of all the horses that the Babson Farm had purchased, outside of the Egyptian bloodlines, only *Turfa produced similarly and consistently, on par with the Egyptian horses. Despite her compatibility with the Babson Egyptian horses; *Turfa was not Egyptian, she was a Saudi-bred mare, so Fidl Fadl, as her paternal grandson is a high percentage Egyptian horse (75%) but he was NOT straight Egyptian.

Fidl Fadl had an interesting pedigree, the majority of which is populated by three of the six horses Henry Babson imported from Egypt: 50% of *Fadl, 18.75% of *Bint Serra I  and 6.25% of *Bint Bint Sabbah. Of these three horses, *Fadl (Ibn Rabdan x Mahroussa) appears four times: as both a paternal and maternal grandsire, in addition to being a maternal great great grandsire twice. And this is where the 25% *Turfa influence fits so nicely, as this mare ushers in fresh outcross blood, to balance the concentrated line breeding to *Fadl and also, *Bint Serra I, who appears twice, in the tail female line of both, the maternal sire (Fay-el-Dine) and dam (Khedena).
Ibn Rabdan, as painted by Mrs. Colmore
When I first saw the photo of Fidl Fadl, I experienced a strong feeling of deja vu and then, I remembered a portrait of Ibn Rabdan, painted by Mrs. Colmore, which appears in the first half of a book that is my personal favorite, Prince Mohammed Aly Tewfik's Breeding of Pure Bred Arab Horses.  The resemblance to Ibn Rabdan is so strong, so striking, that Fidl Fadl could be the horse in the painting. Prince Mohamed Aly Tewfik greatly admired the prepotency of Ibn Rabdan, who was said to pass his dark chestnut color consistently.  Fidl Fadl is a dark chestnut, just like Ibn Rabdan was and looking beyond his coat color, conformationally, he embodies many of the qualities that I have learned over the years to associate with Ibn Rabdan, that is, the curves, the circles and the longer length in the neck. Not only is Fidl Fadl powerfully conformed, he's pretty too.
Fidl Fadl (Ibn Fadl x Fay Khedena)
Twenty nine years after the death of Fidl Fadl, at age 32, we live in a time when the preservation of key Arabian horses has become as rare, as the bloodlines preservationists are trying to protect. The Babson-Turfa breeding group is smaller than it ever was, reduced to a few breeding individuals. The bloodline of *Bint Serra I, no longer exists, in straight Babson lines. Outside of the straight Babson breeding program, in the wider population of straight Egyptian horses, the *Bint Serra I tail female line is getting harder to find.

The Pyramid Society resulted from a very real concern felt for Egyptian bloodlines, which if left unprotected, through outcrossing, could be lost forever, never to be enjoyed in their original form, as imported from Egypt. Unfortunately, for authentic Bedouin-bred horses like Fidl Fadl, who fell outside of the Pyramid Society definition, the marketability of their genetic heritage never approached the level that the straight Egyptian horses enjoyed, once the Pyramid Society was established. Remember, I said "marketability" and not "appreciation". Horses like Fidl Fadl didn't have a similar fraternal marketing organization behind them to provide the financial encouragement (incentive) to insure the perpetuation of the bloodlines, as the Egyptian horses had. Economically, breeding outside the straight Egyptian label did not offer a similar level of return. Had the situation been different and the financial rewards greater, then perhaps, Fidl Fadl would have bred some of the top Egyptian mares of his time, especially when you consider  the genetic wealth he offered. Remember, that today, we don't have a tail female line to *Bint Serra I in straight Babson Egyptian breeding and we face a scarcity of this line within straight Egyptian breeding. What makes an Arabian horse great? Is it the physical presentation of overwhelming breed type, athletic ability or consistency in siring/producing influential progeny? Fidl Fadl remains an important lesson, concerning the sources of authentic Arabian breeding  and the prepotency the blood has for producing superior results consistently, no matter how this blood is combined with other ancestral elements, whether in straight Egyptian form or blended with desert breeding.  I don't know if out of necessity, there will come a day when conforming to being straight Egyptian will mean less, than breeding within specific family groups and restoring lines that are critically endangered, regardless of how they may be combined, before they are lost forever. These are the things that I think about, when I think of an excellent horse like Fidl Fadl, whose appeal touches all enthusiasts, regardless of their bloodline interest. It just does not make any sense to me, that a horse that looked like he did, possessing the bloodlines he had, was not as widely used as he should have been, insuring the survival of key bloodlines like the already mentioned *Bint Serra I, expressed in what is a unique offering which included an authentic Nejdi-bred mare like *Turfa!
So, how did life turn out for Fidl Fadl anyway? Fidl Fadl was enjoyed by Glenn and Geneva Cantwell of Washington, both as a show horse and sire. His son, Twin Fir Elegance+, was a Canadian National Champion in Pleasure Driving, while in the USA, he was a two time US Top Ten in the discipline. His daughter, Live On Morjhaana was a US Top Ten in Dressage, Third Level. Late in Fidl Fadl's life (age 20), he was obtained by Sara and David Jones of Grove Creek Arabians in Illinois. The Joneses were Al Khamsa breeders who also owned similarly influenced Babson-bred mares (at one time, they stood Fadl Starr at their farm). For the Jones, Fidl Fadl sired Al Khamsa recognized horses, like the chestnut mare, Fidl Fadl's Finale. Prior to being with the Jones, Fidl Fadl had sired approximately sixty purebreds and derivatives. The Al Khamsa roster recognizes 23 get, born between the years 1961 and 1990. Through 8 generations, 23 Al Khamsa horses have produced 202 descendants. It is interesting that of these descendants, 141 were born from 1980-1999, with 56% of that number, born before the end of 1989, a record decade in Arabian horse breeding.  His most famous son, Ibn Fidl Fadl +/, a legion of honor winner and a truly versatile horse, competed in Dressage, Ladies Side Saddle and trail, as well as Western Pleasure, Native Costume, English Pleasure, Hunter and Show Hack. There really wasn't much that this Fidl Fadl son couldn't do or at the very least, was willing to try for his people, a characteristic that has made our breed so highly regarded, all over the world.

**It is important to state that if it wasn't for The Pyramid Society, how many of the key Egyptian horses we treasure, would have been lost to breeders? This blog post is lovingly dedicated to The Pyramid Society, in gratitude for all they have done to insure the survival of the straight Egyptian horse, in our modern world. 

11 November, 2019

A Nazeer Daughter - Nagdia

Nagdia, pictured in old age with Sayed Marei
The mare Nagdia, a Nazeer daughter out of Zahia, at one time, was one of three mares (the other 2 mares were *Ansata Bint Nazeer and *Binte El Bataa) who were the oldest and last living Nazeer daughters. She was bred by the EAO and foaled in November of 1959, a big year in Egypt, as ill health saw the retirement of General Von Szandtner and the promotion of Dr. Mohamed El Marsafi to Director of the El Zahraa Arabian Stud Farm. Nagdia and her dam Zahia were significant post war foundation mares for Albadeia, establishing a family who would prove influential over the course of time. Sayed Marei was also a fan of a Nazeer son named Fayek, whom the world would eventually know as *Ramses Fayek. He believed so much in this horse that he sent his best mares, like Nagdia, to this stallion, to produce a beautiful mare like Farida, who would eventually foal a stallion of the caliber required to become a prominent and leading sire for the farm. That is how a horse like Farid Albadeia came to be. Nagdia was a pure-in-strain Hadbah Enzahiyah, as both her sire and dam trace to Venus in their tail female lines. Nagdia's dam, Zahia was by Sid Abouhom. Sid Abouhom's dam is the beautiful mare, Layla, an Ibn Rabdan daughter. In Nagdia’s pedigree, we see the formula that General Von Szandtner practiced while director of El Zahraa: Mansour crossed with Ibn Rabdan. Some of the finest and most influential horses in Egypt resulted from this cross. Nagdia was a well-built, substantial mare, close-coupled with a well sprung barrel, strong back and while her neck resembled her sire’s in length; it was of a nice shape, conveying grace and elegance in its gently curving arch. She had a beautiful face, with larger sized jowls and a prominent facial crest bone, to confirm the authenticity of her provenance. She had smaller sized ears for a mare and beautifully shaped, expansive nostrils. Her eyes were large, black and lustrous, set lower on a shorter and broader head; an attribute that she passed on to her progeny, like *Malekat El Gamal and grand progeny like Ameer AlBadeia and his son, Farid Albadeia. If all Nagdia had produced was the stallion Ameer Albadeia, her position in history would remain significant. However, the truth is; she was a highly valued broodmare for Albadeia and prolific, as she was bred to the Nazeer son, Waseem, the Nazeer grandson, Kayed and the Nazeer great grandsons: Akhtal and Asil Albadeia, to concentrate the blood of this important stallion. It is important to note that eight of her offspring (5 daughters & 3 sons) were imported to the United States, which includes the mare, *Malekat El Gamal, as well as her full sister, the chestnut *Sawraa and her half siblings: *Baaraka, *Shagaret El Dorr and *Garat Albadeia. Her daughter by *Ramses Fayek, Malekat El Wadi, when bred to Ameer Albadeia produced a mare by the name of Halawat, who in turn, when bred to Badran, produced one of the most decorated mares to ever grace the Egyptian show ring, Ibtehag Albadeia, a four time national champion mare of Egypt and four time Champion Mare at the Egyptian Breeders Association Annual Show. Malekat El Wadi also produced a similarly named mare, Halawa, by Kayed. This mare provides an interesting lesson of how far into the future, the influence of Albadeia foundation horses is felt. Halawa was bred to the Kayed son, Ameer Albadeia, to produce the mare Hasanat Albadeia. Keep in mind, that this mare is double Kayed and double Nagdia. Bred to the stallion, Makhsous, who also traces in his tail female line to Venus, Hasanat produced Bint Makhsous, the dam of Magd Albadeia, a contemporary stallion leased by Al Shaqab for 2011 and now, owned by Al Waab, as part of their breeding program. Nagdia died in 1988, at the age of 29. It had been years since her last foal was delivered but her influence remains strong at Albadeia through the many horses who carry her name and influence in their pedigree.

10 November, 2019

The Transformative Power of Kayed

Kayed, pictured with Nasr Marei in 1980
Sayed Marei believed the EAO mare, Kaydahom (Azmi x Om El Saad), to be one of the best mares at El Zahraa. He wanted her for his own program but unfortunately, she was not for sale. However, in those days, the EAO wanted to encourage private breeders and would offer their most promising colts exclusively to them. When Kaydahom's *Morafic-sired colt was offered in 1968, Sayed Marei jumped at the chance to purchase this 2 year old colt. Sayed Marei later explained it like this, "We were convinced that by his pedigree alone, he was the best horse in the auction." Long legged and scopey, Kayed combined charm, great quality, type and electrifying movement. He was a living representation of Von Szandtner's successful breeding formula: the cross of Mansour on Ibn Rabdan daughters. However, with Kayed, there is an interesting twist to his pedigree which may help us to better understand how one horse could exert so much influence on an established breeding program. The sire of his dam, Kaydahom, was a horse named Azmi, a son of Sid Abouhom and the Kuhaylah Rodaniyah mare, Malaka. In 1958, he was sold to Russia, where he was renamed Nahr Al Nil and known thereafter as “Nil”. He was considered to be one of, if not the best, Egyptian stallion imported to Russia, even with the adulation paid to the legendary Aswan. Great horses like Plakat, Naina, Naslednik all carry his name in their pedigrees. The influence of Nil is even felt in Poland, through Palas, a son of the Nil daughter, Panel. With this strong genetic background, it becomes easier to understand how Kayed ushered a new era at Al Badeia. For the Marei family, who had been breeding Arabian horses since 1935, Kayed transformed the breeding program and took it in a completely different direction, as Sayed Marei explained in his own words, "As he matured, we really liked him. He was a tall horse, with a beautiful head, large eyes and a nice topline. The more important thing about Kayed was that he sired typey horses, no matter what mare we used." 
The Kayed son, Ameer Albadeia, with Sayed Marei
Kayed would ultimately sire 72 foals for the farm, including his son, Ameer Albadeia, who would take over his sire’s role, when Kayed met an untimely death from colic in 1982. For almost 25 years, Kayed was at the center of the Albadeia program. Kayed sired an amazing group of daughters like Kamar AlBadeia and Halawa, who, like their sire, would profoundly impact Albadeia, however, their Kayed influence would be felt from an entirely different position, from the dam side of the pedigree. Outside of Albadeia, the global influence of Kayed cannot be denied. At the world famous Ariela Arabians in Israel, the premier broodmare of this program, The Vision HG, is a great grand daughter of Hasna Albadeia, a Kayed daughter. Her sons, Al Maraam, Al Lahab and now, Al Ayal AA have spread the influence of Kayed further in the world, to Germany, Poland and the United States, a country who had already felt the profound influence of Kayed through the breeding program of Don Ford, Lancer Arabians, who imported a son, Lancers El Shadi (out of Nagdia) and three daughters: Lancers Nora (out of Manal), Lancers Rabha (out of Noosa) and Lancers Zeina (out of Farida). In Qatar, the breeding program at Al Shaqab has also been influenced by Kayed, one example is the 1999 mare, Hazmia Al Shaqab, the 2012 Saint-Lo, France, Gold Champion Mare and Blommerod Silver Champion Mare. Her connection to Kayed is doubly felt, through the sire side and then again, through the dam side of the pedigree. However, the greatest accolade that Al Shaqab could ever make on behalf of the legacy of Kayed, would come via the Kayed daughter, who also happens to be the full sister of the historically significant Albadeia sire, Ameer Albadeia. * Imperial Sayyah, imported in utero by Imperial Egyptian Stud was bred to Ruminaja Ali, to produce the three-time Egyptian Event halter winner and fabulous broodmare, Sundar Alisayyah, the foundress of a unique and dynamic family of ethereal, show champion straight Egyptian horses. It was this mare who would take the legacy of Kayed and redefine it forever. Her daughter by Imperial Al Kamar, Kamasayyah, was a Middle East Supreme Champion Mare, as well as the Qatar International Champion mare. Other daughters were equally successful in the show ring, like the Israeli National Champion mare, Imperial Kittana, who is also the dam of the Israeli Reserve Junior Champion filly, IK Kamilla. However, it would be her sons, who would bring the most acclaim to her name. When bred to Ansata Halim Shah, Sundar Alisayyah gave the world one of the most decorated and beloved horses, the world champion, Al Adeed Al Shaqab.
*Hadban Al Shaqab (Ashhal Al Rayyan x Sundar Alisayyah)
Not to be outdone, her son by Ashhal Al Rayyan, *Hadban Al Shaqab, now owned by Robin Lee of Aleah Arabians, earned the titles of Egyptian Event Gold Champion Stallion and the United States National Reserve Champion Stallion. Another son, also sired by Ashhal Al Rayyan, Al Asi Al Shaqab, was named a Qatar Junior Champion colt. The influence of Kayed comes full circle, as Bariq Al Shaqab, a son of Al Adeed Al Shaqab returned the influence of Kayed back to where it all started, at Albadeia. He has been an important part of Albadeia’s breeding program for several of the past breeding seasons. It is only when one considers the rich, full and vibrant impact that this family of horses has had on the global straight Egyptian horse, that the impact of Sayed Marei’s love affair with the Egyptian horse and in particular, with the mare who charmed him, Kaydahom, is fully revealed.

09 November, 2019

Kamar Albadeia

Kamar Albadeia, pictured in this Jim Brownfield photo,  was a 1978 grey mare, a daughter of the great Albadeia sire, Kayed, and out of Naeema, a Tifla daughter sired by Fayek, before he was purchased by Martin Loeber for his Plum Grove Farm and known forever to the world as *Ramses Fayek. Tifla, is out of Elwya, a daughter of Zareefa by Sid Abouhom. Tifla was one of Albadeia's post war foundation mares, who established a long running family of horses who are a significant part of the 80 year history of Albadeia. In America, Tifla was equally prolific and is represented by beautiful horses, like the chestnut Nabiel daughter, RA Aneesa and World Champion Hadidi, the son of the charismatic, Hebet Allah. The tail female line through Zareefa traces to Bint el Bahreyn, a mare foaled in 1898, bred by Rais Issa Ibn Khalifah of Bahrain. In 1903, she was one of two horses selected as gifts for Khedive Abbas II, the older brother of Prince Mohamed Aly Tewfik and Egypt's Khedive until 1914. Four years later, in 1907, Lady Anne Blunt had purchased the mare from Khedive Abbas II for her Sheykh Obeyd Stud. Lady Anne Blunt was familiar with both Bahraini mares and considered Bint el Bahreyn the better horse of the two. She bred the mare to her stallion Jamil, a Saqlawi Jedran of Abbas Pasha breeding. In 1910, Bint el Bahreyn foaled a Jamil filly, whom Lady Anne Blunt named Dalal Al Hamra. Lady Anne Blunt was delighted with this filly and had recorded that she had "a beautiful, gazelle-like head". Interestingly, Dalal Al Hamra is the only source to Bint el Bahreyn; there are no other branches to her. Dalal Al Hamra was bred to a desert-bred Abeyyan stallion named Saadoun, whom Lady Anne Blunt had purchased from Shaikh Mishari Ibn Sa'dun of the Muntafiq in 1911. Like Jamil, she brought this stallion to Sheykh Obeyd Stud to use in her program. From the union of Saadoun x Dalal Al Hamra, was born Durra, a 1917 mare, who when bred to Kazmeen, gave the world of straight Egyptian breeding the mare Zareefa, the dam of El Sareei (by Shahloul). Zareefa is the great great grand dam of Kamar AlBadeia. The story of Bint el Bahreyn very powerfully illustrates the rich and vibrant desert heritage of horses like Kamar AlBadeia and reminds me of what Cynthia Culbertson said, “What we can say about the Straight Egyptian Arabian, very reliably, is that they are so close to that desert source…the only way one could get closer is with a desert bred that stayed in the homeland.” Almost half of Zareefa's ancestral elements are desert-bred horses, bred by different tribes of Bedouin people. Like most of the Albadeia mares, Kamar is a pretty mare, close-coupled, with a substantial body. She has a strong topline, powerful shoulders and a muscled, rounded hindquarter. Her neck is set higher on her body, creating a wonderfully flowing, uninterrupted line from her tail, to her poll. Her longer forearms are well-muscled and in proportion to shorter cannon bones. Her face is short in length, broad across the forehead with lustrous black eyes, placed lower in her head. The quality of her skin is excellent, which allows for a dramatic prominence of bone in her face. Overall, she exudes an abundance of Arabian horse type in a pleasing and very balanced look. Kamar Albadeia was a spectacular broodmare for Nasr Marei, producing seventeen foals in her lifetime. Eleven of these foals were female, so she produced a very high percentage of daughters, as compared to sons. She was bred to a variety of stallions, thirteen to be exact. She had multiple foals with Ameer Albadeia and produced a son named Omar in 1989 and two daughters: Rihanat in 1981 and Shahirat in 1982. Shahirat remained in the Albadeia program and produced a daughter named Nawarat by the El Araby son, Emad. Two years later, a son named Lail Albadeia was produced by breeding Shahirat with a son of Emad (out of the Shaarawi daughter, Baheera) named El Walid. Kamar herself would be bred to this stallion, producing a bay daughter named Sodfat Albadeia, who produced 7 foals, before being sold to Ajmal Stud. The combination of Ameer Albadeia with Kamar is tried again, with a slightly different twist, this time using a son named Mansour Albadeia, resulting in a son named Ibn Kamar in 1991 and a daughter, Zomoradat in 1997. Kamar was bred to the EAO stallion, Adl, an Ikhnatoon son out of the Adaweya daughter, Enayah. Kamar produced a daughter named Zaghroudat in 1994, who is part of the Albadeia breeding program, producing 4 daughters and 2 sons, which includes one of the most cherished show mares, Isaad Albadeia, a two time Junior Champion filly of Egypt and the senior champion mare at the 2005 Egyptian National Championships, as well as a Dutch National Champion and one of the top ten mares at the World Championships in Paris. Bred to a variety of outside stallions, Isaad is also producing well for Albadeia, giving birth to 2 daughters: Ghandoura Albadeia by Al Rayyan and Zahda by Laheeb and 1 son by Al Adeed Al Shaqab, Saad. A son named Sonbol, who like Zaghroudat, is sired by Ad, was born from Kamar in 1996. In 2001, Kamar foaled one of her last foals, a filly by the Farid son, Inshallah Albadeia (out of Ibtehag) named Kamarain. In 2014, at the AHO Breeders Championships, this very exquisite filly, a former Junior National Champion filly of Egypt, matured into one of the most beautiful mares and was named a top ten, together with “cousin”, Isaad, at this prestigious show. Kamarain produced a wonderful filly and future broodmare prospect by Magd Albadeia, named Amoora. What an impressive production record for this mare named Kamar Albadeia.

07 November, 2019

Nour Al Kamar MH

"Inspiration is a spark, from the bonfire of love." - Ruth Mowry
When I start to write these blogs, my mind is busy, full of ideas, thoughts and feelings. I'm overwhelmed by the responsibility of presenting a good story, while honoring the memory of a beloved horse and also, the dreams of the people who stood behind him.  Most  times, I am able to sort through all the clutter, finding just the right words to bring clarity to the unique and interesting story I want to tell.

This was NOT the blog that I planned to write about Nour Al Kamar MH, a full brother to Bashar Al Kamar MH. But something happened when my friend Christine Emmert sent me this touching photo of Nour and his friend, Joaquin, and a different story started to unwind.

Through El Hilal, Imperial Al Kamar (Nour's sire) was a paternal grandson of *Ansata Ibn Halima and through Hossny, the  sire of his dam, Imperial Sonbesjul, Imperial Al Kamar was also, a maternal great-grandson of *Ansata Ibn Halima. Nour's dam, Binte Aziza MH, was sired by  Richter MH who adds  two more lines to *Ansata Ibn Halima,  through El Halimaar.  Binte Aziza's great grand dam, Aziza Samira, a daughter of Nazim Pasha, is the source of the final *Ansata Ibn Halima  line. That's a total of 5 lines, all in the 4th, 5th and 7th generations. Like Bashar, Nour Al Kamar carries a hefty percentage of *Ansata Ibn Halima's influence.
The Mansour son out of Bint Sabah, Sheikh el Arab
But this is not another blog written to celebrate the impact of *Ansata Ibn Halima (I've written quite a few of those already) and I'm not going to point out that Nour Al Kamar embodies many of the tangible and intangible qualities we observed in *Ansata Ibn Halima; for Nour is a balanced horse, close-coupled, with a strong and smooth top line, a beautifully shaped neck, and that classic, short, wide head with large expressive eyes, set low in the head. And also like *Ansata Ibn Halima, Nour Al Kamar craves human attention and companionship. He is an affectionate horse, even playful, who enjoys a soothing voice and hand. Jody says, "don’t even think about walking by his stall without stopping to say hello, especially with a carrot in your hand.” And like his brother, Bashar Al Kamar, Nour Al Kamar, in one horse, symbolizes the evolution of the ideal Rancho Bulakenyo Arabian horse; all the way from Dr. Felino Cruz's ideal Arabian horse, to the modern day horses that his son, Dr. Joseph Cruz has bred, incorporating new bloodlines into the program like BintAzizaPrincess, the maternal grand dam of Nour Al Kamar.

With all that said,  I think it is significant to point out the influence of Sheikh el Arab, a noted broodmare sire for the RAS, having sired Halima and Yashmak, both of whom appear twice on the Imperial Al Kamar side of the pedigree.

Digging a little deeper,  on the dam side of the pedigree, we find nine additional lines to Sheikh el Arab, from Halima and other sources like the influential mares Wanisa and Yosreia. Sheikh el Arab was a Mansour son out of Bint Sabah and was foaled in 1933; so even though we find thirteen lines to Sheikh el Arab, he is so far back in the pedigree, that the percentage of his influence is low, less than 12%. But genetics works in mysterious ways and I am no geneticist. While a distant ancestor, Sheikh el Arab is still a very real part of Nour's pedigree and thusly, his genetic fiber. No surprise that he would exert something in the way of his influence to Nour Al Kamar MH.

Do you know that when Sheikh el Arab was alive, he sired less than 20 get and of this number, only 5 were male? General Von Szandtner believed him to be so outstanding as a sire, that his daughters were crossed with Nazeer (double Mansour) to form one of the founding breeding principles at the core of the RAS program, producing the best horses of the General's tenure at El Zahraa. In Judith Forbis' Authentic Arabian Bloodstock, Volume 2, she includes Dr. Mohamed El Marsafi's herd book notes as well, which include his appraisal of Sheikh el Arab, whom he believed  was more elegant than Nazeer. Sheikh el Arab possessed a strong and smooth croup, good legs and excellent tail carriage. Although Dr. Marsafi's words were written well over 75 years ago, they remain relevant and one could say they are a fitting description of Nour Al Kamar.

Out of curiosity (and more to prove a point), I fact-checked the resources that are currently available to me. Of  the 25 get sired between 2015 and today, Nour has 14 daughters to his credit, a little more than half of his get are female. I know that it is a little too early in his breeding career to call Nour a broodmare sire but studying his pedigree and reviewing his stats, this thought has already captured my attention...he's on my radar and he should be on yours too. How important is Nour Al Kamar MH to Rancho Bulakenyo? Of the mares that make up the breeding herd at Rancho Bulakenyo, a quarter of the mares carry the blood of BintAzizaPrincess and the ones that don’t, will be bred to one of Binte Aziza’s sons, like Nour.

What can Nour offer straight Egyptian breeders?  Jody says of Nour, "he sires lots of front end, necks, super bodies, tail and trot." And also, like his brother, Nour is of the highly esteemed Kuhaylan Kurush strain, a source of outcross blood in a gene pool that is limited in this way. In tail female line, Nour traces to El Kahila, the Sa'ud mare who brought the strain to Egypt, when gifted to King Fouad for his Inshass Stud. This makes Nour Al Kamar very unique, in the world of straight Egyptian Arabian horse breeding. Even though I understand that individually, genes are expressed uniquely, I still find it very interesting how different, full brothers can be from one another and in the case of Bashar and Nour, it is more than the difference found in their respective coat colors. As breeding stallions, Bashar and Nour also contribute different qualities; however, neither horse is more important than the other, each has a specific role within the breeding program. However,  Nour Al Kamar has stepped into the role that his sire, Imperial Al Kamar, once enjoyed at Rancho Bulakenyo and also, in the void that Kamar left in Jody's heart, when he died. Nour has even moved into Imperial Al Kamar's stall at the farm, a sure sign for all, of the high expectations that Jody has for his beloved stallion, Nour Al Kamar MH.

05 November, 2019

Anhar Albadeia

Anhar Albadeia, as pictured in this Nasr Marei photo, is a radiant white daughter of Bint Bint Yosreia (Yakout x Bint Yosreia) by Ameer Albadeia. Her maternal grand dam, Bint Yosreia is a full sister to Aswan, the horse who revolutionized Arabian horse breeding in Russia. She is an ethereal daughter of the desert, as her sparkling white coat is enhanced by heavily pigmented dark skin. Her body is a celebration of curves and circles, which together create a voluptuous beauty. Elegance oozes from every pore in her body. She is a magnificent, pure-in-the-strain Hadbah Enzahiyah. Her sire, Ameer AlBadeia is also Hadban Enzahi, tracing in tail female through the Nagdia daughter, *Malekat El Gamal to Hadba, a daughter of Venus. The breeder of Ameer AlBadeia, Nasr Marei, said, “Ameer Albadeia is considered a milestone in the breeding program of Albadeia. His sire, Kayed (son of Morafic) has started a new era at Albadeia and Ameer just took it several laps further. Most of my current mares and stallions are his get or grandchild. His Grand daughter out of Anhar Albadeia is Gelgelah Albadeia ..Won Several championships in Egypt and in Europe and last year won the European and the World champion mare titles . So Ameer produced at least two World Champions Al Adeed Al Shaqab and Gelgelah Albadeia. To me he was and is more valuable than any horse I ever had.” Anhar has been a wonderful broodmare for Albadeia. If she had only produced the World Champion Mare, Gelgelah, her place in Egyptian Arabian history would be secure with just this one horse but the fact is, that Anhar contributed far more significant horses than just Gelgelah. She produced 2 sons: Ghofran by Hosam Albadeia in 1994 and Attalah by AK El Sennari in 2000. However, it is through her daughters, that Anhar would exert her greatest influence. She produced the full sisters by Imperial Madori: Gelgelah in 1995 and Galagel in 1996. While Gelgelah Albadeia sold to Halsdon Stud in England, her two daughters by Farid Albadeia, Farha and Bashooshah, remained in the Albadeia program. Both mares produced fillies by Magd Al Rayyan, Kenooz and Tasaheel, who like their dams, are promising broodmares, also retained by Albadeia. Galagel Albadeia also joined the broodmare band and her Simeon Sharav daughter, Ghalia Albadeia, is also part of the program and has produced the next generation, a filly, Nefisa Albadeia by Saad Albadeia, while her son, also by Sharav, Haytham, is an exciting young stallion, as correct as Sharav, while retaining the beauty of his dam. Haytham is also a decorated show stallion, earning a reserve Champion Colt at the Egyptian Nationals, Reserve Champion Stallion in Frankfurt and a Champion Stallion at the Lanaken Egyptian Event. With the *Ansata Ibn Halima son, Bar Sama Halim, Anhar produced a daughter named Hozouz in 1997. The stallion, Magd Albadeia sired her 2003 filly named Maymoona. The successful union of Anhar's daughter Galagel with Simeon Sharav, was enough proof for Nasr to try the cross of Sharav with Anhar herself. The wisdom and soundness of Nasr's decision resulted in a gorgeous 2005 filly which he named Tawasol. Anhar Albadeia provided her breeder with a mare that Nasr Marei feels is his most excellent horse-Gelgelah Albadeia. While it is extremely challenging to pick any one horse as “favorite” at Albadeia, Anhar comes the closest to being just that, a sweet, kind and generous mare with the genetic makeup for producing horses who are world champions, wherever they go in the world.

04 November, 2019

Damess Albadeia

Nasr Marei had leased the Ariela-bred, Al Maraam (Imperial Imdal x The Vision HG) for the 2009-2010 breeding seasons, not long after he had returned from Poland, having stood at Michalow State Stud for the 2006-2007 breeding seasons. At the time, Nasr had said, "I firmly believe as a breeder that one has to have a dynamic approach to breeding and be very careful in selecting horses used in the program. As a breeder, I can see always areas that can be improved in the quality of my herd.  Even though he was a horse that I never have seen, except in pictures; I was interested in Al Maraam's conformation and of course, in his pedigree."

Damess Albadeia, foaled in 2011, is a result of using Al Maraam on select Albadeia-bred mares, like Farha Albadeia, a Farid Albadeia daughter, out of the World Champion Arabian mare, Gelgelah Albadeia. Al Maraam, a former Israeli Reserve National Champion Stallion, has long been recognized for siring horses who have an over-abundance of type, charisma and are very trainable, as they are generous, willing and kind horses in temperament. Nasr Marei, with pride and happiness in his voice said, "Damess Albadeia followed in his grandmother’s steps by being black and of extreme type and quality as well as his sire’s, by being a powerhouse and correct." For me personally, I understand that photographing black colored horses is challenging, never accurately capturing the beauty of the horses of this coat color. With that said, I am overwhelmed by Damess' strong and dramatic physical expression of breed type, without sacrificing substance. I am impressed by his powerfully muscled shoulders, his broad chest, straight front legs that are longer in the forearm and shorter in the cannon, a smooth topline that flows into an equally powerful hind end, which balances the strength of his front end, punctuated by high tail carriage.

Nasr Marei made Damess Albadeia available to breeders three years ago, for the breeding season in 2016. Now eight years old, it is a very exciting time at Albadeia, as this horse transitions the program with the new blood that Nasr desired to bring into his breeding program, while reinforcing the strong and vibrant foundation that has sustained Albadeia for eighty years. While Albadeia has had many horses who have fired the imagination of enthusiasts all over the world, Damess is the rising star and  heralds a new vision for the farm.

***This blog is lovingly dedicated to the memory of Nasr Marei. A great breeder over a lifetime, I really believe that in the last 15-20 years, he bred some of the best horses of his career. Wise, insightful, honest and compassionate; I was blessed profoundly with his friendship. 
Many thanks also to Jennifer Ogden, for the wonderful photo of Damess. It's one of my favorite photos ever.