15 February, 2020

A Valentine Story: VP Kahlua

VP Kahlua (Jora Honey Ku++ x Kahlette)
VP Kahlua was a striking 1981 golden chestnut mare with a flaxen mane and tail, sired by a Canadian National Champion stallion, Jora Honey Ku++ (Joramir x Hatties Honey Ku) and out of Kahlette (El Hilal x Kahla). She was bred by Ron Palelek of Vantage Point Farm, in Washington state. She had two full sisters: VP Antares, foaled in 1979 and VP Kahl Me, foaled in 1989. By virtue of her pedigree, do you know that VP Kahlua was almost 60% Egyptian in blood? Her paternal grandsire, Joramir, was 100% straight Egyptian, having been sired by the *Nasr son, Sirecho and out of the straight Babson Egyptian mare, Fad Roufa. Fad Roufa was sired by Faddan and out of Fay Roufa, a Fay-El-Dine daughter. In Authentic Arabian Bloodstock, Volume II, beloved author, Judith Forbis tells us that Fay Roufa was an exquisite mare and of her sire, Fay-El-Dine, she wrote, "the first generation Babson mares, particularly the grey Fay-El-Dine daughters, were more refined and fitted more closely in type to the R.A.S/E.A.O-bred horses we saw in Egypt in 1959."

Her paternal granddam, Hatties Honey Ku, adds more Egyptian blood through the mare, *Aziza (Gamil Manial x Negma), imported from Egypt by W.R. Brown in the early 1930's. VP Kahlua's dam, Kahlette, is a daughter of the straight Egyptian stallion, El Hilal (*Ansata Ibn Halima x Bint Nefisaa) and out of Kahla (Moneyn x Fa Gazal). El Hilal is interesting, as his maternal granddam, Nefisa,  whom Judith Forbis called, "a good-bodied and prolific broodmare", claims the mare Farida in both the tail female line of her sire and dam, further concentrating the influence of Farida, as *Ansata Ibn Halima also traces in tail female line to this wonderful and vital mare in Egyptian breeding.
VP Kahlua (Jora Honey Ku++ x Kahlette)
With the exception of El Hilal, all of the Egyptian blood present in VP Kahlua's pedigree are horses imported to America prior to the importations of the 1960's and 1970's, that is, the horses that we have classified as "Old Egyptian". Even though the "old" and "new" Egyptian horses share much common ground in their ancestral elements; the "old" Egyptian horses do not carry the lines of horses added to the EAO program, for example,  the Inshass horses, incorporated into the program after the Egyptian Revolution in 1952. What is significant to me is the 25%  which represents the breeding program of Prince Mohamed Aly Tewfik through horses like *Fadl, *Nasr, *Maaroufa, *Bint Saada, *Aziza, Balance and Farida. There's a reason why I included the below photo of VP Kahlua and that is, I wanted you to get a real sense of the rounded, flowing lines of this mare and of the body mass that she carried within these lines. She is voluptuous and her full, plump and round hind end, to me, underscores the breeding program of Prince Mohamed Aly Tewfik, as influenced as his program was by the RAS stallion, Ibn Rabdan (Rabdan el Azrak x Bint Gamila). I remembered a passage from Prince Mohamed Aly Tewfik's book, Breeding of Pure Bred Arab horses, in which he remarked on the prepotency of Ibn Rabdan. He wrote, "Some stallions always sire foals of their own colour and sex; let us take a dark chestnut like Ibn Rabdan, one of the Royal Agricultural Society's stallions, for an example. He always produces dark chestnuts, no matter what the colour of mares. This will go on until he covers a mare who produces the form and type of her own strain; if she is better bred she will dominate in the formation and colouring of the foal." I found it interesting that within the percentage of Egyptian breeding present in VP Kahlua's genetic fiber, the 5 lines to Ibn Rabdan, as far back as these lines are in her pedigree, are almost 10%!  If you are a believer in phentoype following coat colour, while not a dark chestnut as Ibn Rabdan was, she is still chestnut and that would explain the curveyness of her body!
In 1953, Douglas and Margaret Marshall of  Gleannloch Farms, Spring, Texas  purchased their first Arabian horse, a half-Egyptian mare bred by Henry Babson, sired by *Fadl and out of *Kostrzewa, one of the mares that Henry Babson had purchased in Poland. The mare's name was Fa Gazal, the maternal great granddam of VP Kahlua. The Marshalls bred Fa Gazal to a WK Kelloggg-bred stallion named Moneyn (Raseyn x Monica), to produce the mare, Kahla, the dam of Kahlette by El Hilal, as well as Bint Surf,  a US Reserve National English Pleasure Champion in 1968. An interesting story about Moneyn is really a story of his dam, Monica, a 1926 bay mare, bred by Charles Jewett of Indianapolis, Indiana. Both her sire, Tabab and dam, Sankirah, trace in tail female line to *Wadduda, a Bedouin-bred war mare, of great fame, who once covered a distance of 106 miles in 11 hours, while in pursuit of a caravan traveling to Aleppo. What makes this story even more remarkable, is that *Wadduda had suffered an injury to her pastern, in a previous tribal raid. She was an heroic mare, with a lot of heart, the battle scars on her body, was a very physical reminder of the heroism of this great mare.

In 1984, as a three year old, VP Kahlua made breed history by becoming the first mare to win Scottsdale Champion Mare, United States National Champion Mare, Canadian National Champion Mare, followed by World Champion Junior Mare, all in the same year. She remains the only purebred mare to have won the World Championship and the famed "triple crown" series of halter championships in the same year.
She is the dam of four registered foals, of which one, VP Kahlette, is a result of VP Kahlua bred back to her maternal grandsire, El Hilal. She was also bred to the *Padron son, Damascus Messiah (out of a *Serafix daughter, SX Daphne) and produced foals sired by this stallion as well. I'm not sure how she is represented today, as the resources that I have available to me, are not conclusive, as far as a production record for her progeny, through the present day.
True Colours (Thee Desperado x Daheda)
There was so much promise and potential written into the core of VP Kahlua's very being. She was everyone's favorite and charmed people with her extraordinary beauty. Naturally, one expected great things from this mare. Sometimes, horses are born into a period of time, where their greatness is not fully understood and tragically, the opportunity to best utilize their influence, is lost. I often wonder, what if she had been born twenty years later? And bred to an Egyptian stallion who shares common ground with her? The 1997 straight Egyptian stallion, True Colors (Thee Desperado x Daheda), with over 40 lines to Ibn Rabdan in his pedigree, also shares the same dam line as El Hilal, through Nefisa to Farida. Moneef, the sire of Nahed, True Colors' maternal grand dam, traces in her dam line to Halima,  the dam of *Ansata Ibn Halima, the sire of El Hilal. When I think along these lines, I can then imagine a filly foal , whose True Colours would reveal a golden treasure, far outweighing the trinket a jeweler could cast in precious metal form.  That would be the ultimate Valentine, all for the love of a horse.

***Many thanks to photographers like the late Johnny Johnston, the late Erwin Escher and Scott Trees, whose photos appear above. The story of VP Kahlua could not be told without their photos. And so, this blog post is lovingly dedicated to them, the very powerful visual storytellers of our breed.***

09 February, 2020


When I visited Kuwait in 2013, I was impressed with the kindness and respect that Kuwaitis extended freely to one another. There was a particular word that I soon started to recognize in conversation...Habibi. It seemed to be a very special word, used affectionately, like a term of endearment. It sounded sweet, in a most touching way and I soon learned that Habibi was used in the same manner that we use the words "beloved", "darling" or even, "sweetheart". The name, Habeebaa, is a variant of Habibi. One look at *Habeebaa, with her big, black eyes and kind, soulful expression and I understand why she was named with so sweet a name. *Habeebaa, a 1969 mare, was sired by El Araby (*Morafic x Hafiza) and was out of *Bint Hanaa (El Sareei x Hanaa). Like her sire,  dam, granddams (Hanaa & Hafiza) and great granddams (Zareefa & Mahfouza) she was bay in colour. *Habeeba was one of only five foals sired by El Araby.

In 1968, Gleannloch Farms imported *Bint Hanaa, in foal with *Habeeba and *Gamilaa, *Bint Hanaa's daughter by *Morafic.

 *Habeeba's maternal great granddam is a mare named Hind. This is not the same Hind (Ibn Rabdan x Bint Rustem) that we find in the pedigree of the Sheikh el Arab daughter, Yosreia. Like the mare, El Kahila, this mare, Hind, was a gift made in 1945 by King Ibn Sa'ud to King Farouk. Hind was sired by Obeyan El Safi but we know absolutely nothing about her dam. In a later edition of the Inshass Herdbook, published in the early 70's, Hind is listed as a Saqlawiyah. When Hind was given to King Farouk, Hind was three years old at the time.  Three years later, she produced Hanaa by El Belbesi, a son of the Dahman Shahwan stallion, El Zafir (Awad x Bint Dalal) who traces in his tail female line to the mare, Bint el Bahreyn, imported to Egypt in 1903 from the stud of Rais Issa Ibn Khalifah as a gift for Khedive Abbas II.

*Habeebaa did not live a very long life, she died at age nine. She produced the dark bay mare Gemaal in 1973, a prolific mare for Bentwood Farm and a grey stallion, Habib Al Kol in 1975, both sired by *Sakr. In 1978, she gave birth to her last foal, the grey mare, AK Jaliya by *Zaghloul. How is *Habeebaa represented in our Egyptian gene pool today, you ask?  Her granddaughters like Asafra (NaIbn Moniet x Gemaal), whose progeny, many of which are sired by The Minstril and Thee Desperado, are cherished as part of the vibrant Arabians LTD breeding program and also, AK Maliya (TheEgyptianPrince x AK Jaliya) whose progeny represent some of the finest horses bred at Kehilan Arabians. Overseas, her great granddaughter, Konouz (Imperial Mahzeer x Imperial Kaliya), when bred to Ashhal Al Rayyan, produced the beloved stallion, Suhal Al Nasser, in demand all over the world.

So, the next time you turn to your special person and call him or her, "darling", stop for a moment and remember that once, a sweet mare named Habeebaa lived.

07 February, 2020

His Name was *Orashan

Why do some stallions become better sires of daughters than sons? *Orashan was one of these incredibly special stallions.

His most famous daughter, BB Ora Kalilah, produced Imperial Baarez. Another famous *Orashan daughter is Imperial Orianah, who produced Imperial Madori, the sire of the 2019 Bronze World Champion Stallion, Adham Saqr.

Barbara Griffith once said of him, "Perhaps *Orashan's greatest contribution is his ability as one of the great Egyptian Arabian broodmare sires."

*Orashan's dam was the mare Ora (Ibn Shaker I x Omera). This mare, in her tail female line, traces to the Bahraini mare, Bint el Bahreyn, whom we also find in the tail female line of horses like El Sareei and *Bint Maisa el Saghira. Ora, combined with Messaoud intensifies the influence of Zareefa, who appears 5 times in the pedigree of *Orashan: twice through her son, El Sareei, and one time each through her daughters: Maisa, Bint Zareefa and Elwya. The Shaloul son, El Sareei, a crucially important horse for the EAO, sired mares who figured prominently in Egyptian breeding like Bint Nefisa, Malacha, Mohga, Amani, Salomy to name a few. Could Zareefa be the common denominator and thereby the reason why, stallions like El Sareei and *Orashan sired a record number of daughters who matured into broodmares of significance?

The tail female line of *Orashan's sire, Messaoud,  traces to the Halima daughter, Moheba and ultimately, to the Dahmah Shahwaniyah mare, Farida. This is the same tail-female line of the classic stallion, *Ansata Ibn Halima, who sired influential horses of both genders equally. However, *Ansata Ibn Halima daughters were treasured by their owners and many became significant foundation mares for other breeders.

In his latest book, The Arabian Horse – Nature’s Creation and the Art of Breeding, Dr. Hans Nagel says of nickability, "This occurs when a certain sire and a certain mare always produce perfectly nice foals. This is called “good nickability."

*Orashan was a second generation, pure-in-the-strain Dahman Shahwan horse, as both his sire and dam were pure-in-the-strain Dahman horses, who blended in an almost magical way (nickability, as defined by Dr. Nagel in the above paragraph), to produce a strong, consistent broodmare sire and the most wonderful horse we once knew as, *Orashan.

03 February, 2020

Echo Hill Jemma

Echo Hill Jemma is a 2009 grey straight Egyptian mare, sired by the Miri Berger-bred stallion, Alaa Jabbar Ma'Absha (NK Jamal el Dine x El Waha Martaba) and out of MB Jamillsa, a double *Jamil granddaughter. In tail female line, she traces to the *Ansata Ibn Halima daughter, Monisa Halima, who when bred to *Jamil, produced the mare, Bint Jamilla, the maternal granddam of Echo Hill Jemma. However, if you follow the tail female line even further back, past Moniet el Nefous, Dalal al Zarka and Om Dalal, eventually you reach the 1882 mare, Roga El Beida, a flea-bitten Ali Pasha Sherif-bred mare, descending from the Saqlawi Jedran horses that were collected by Abbas Pasha from the desert Bedouin tribes. Roga El Beida is considered a root mare for the Saqlawi strain in straight Egyptian breeding.  However, Dr. William Hudson, in his mitochondrial DNA study of the matrilines within straight Egyptian (EAO) breeding, found that Roga El Beida and El Dahma (the root mare of the Dahman strain) belong to the same haplogroup (a group of similar haplotypes, where each haplotype is made up of alleles, inherited from a single parent) which suggests that while both mares were of different strains, they share a common ancestress. Furthermore, I found it interesting (from a strain perspective) that the majority strain influence within Echo Hill Jemma's pedigree is Dahman Shahwan, approximately 44%; while the percentage of Saqlawi influence is considerably smaller, less than 10%.  And yet, 46-to-52 seconds into the video, she turns to face the camera and draws a line in the sand, head held high and feet firmly planted, chest puffed out, while emitting one of those deep chested snorts that seems to pull all of her courage from deep within her and out through her large nostrils, despite that small percentage of Saqlawi influence.

To underscore Dr. Hudson's mitochondrial DNA study which revealed the relationship between El Dahma and Roga El Beida, genetically, *Bint Moniet el Nefous (Echo Hill Jemma's great-great-great-great granddam) and *Ansata Ibn Halima (great-great grandsire, who also appears in 4 other lines in Echo Hill Jemma's pedigree) were more closely related in blood than most people realize, sharing not only Nazeer as a sire but also, their dams were similarly bred, being a blend of Sheikh el Arab with the influence of Ibn Rabdan. Most people, when thinking of Moniet el Nefous, will immediately think of an elegant, dry, desert-type Saqlawi mare, however, you will be surprised to learn that in her pedigree, she carried the blood of El Dahma multiple times, as did *Ansata Ibn Halima, who traces through Farida to El Dahma in his tail female line.

I also found it interesting that the maternal granddam of Alaa Jabbar Ma'Absha was a Babolna-bred mare named El Waha Hadissura, a daughter of the mare 11 Hanadi (Alaa el Din x Rahma), who was imported to Babolna from Egypt. 11 Hanadi is a mare of great significance, as she also produced Ibn Galal I (by Ibn Galal), who is the sire of the mare, Bahila (out of the Gharib daughter, Bakria). When bred to Ruminaja Ali, Bahila produced the influential stallion, The Minstril, the sire of Thee Desperado, who has impacted the world of straight Egyptian breeding like no other stallion has, since the time of Nazeer.
Echo Hill Jemma (Alaa Jabbar Ma'Absha x MB Jamillsa) as photographed by Trace and Lisa Moffatt.
Echo Hill Jemma is a generously bodied mare but yet, elegant and refined. Her longer neck is set higher on her shoulders and chest, with a bit more length in the poll and fineness through the throatlatch. Her topline is smooth and strong. Her hind end is well-muscled, right down through the gaskins. She has a high degree of elasticity in her hocks, allowing her to get under herself and drive her powerful body forward. You see this brilliance in the black and white sequence of the video, which starts at 1:25. With as many lines as she has to the Dahman strain and specifically the five lines in her pedigree to *Ansata Ibn Halima, no surprise that she is a very balanced individual. When you dig into the details of type, those attributes which make our breed unlike many others, there is much to appreciate, like a larger, fully black eye, set lower on a head that is classic, dry and clean, with a facial crest bone that is prominent, made more dramatic due to her excellent skin quality and dark pigmentation. Her nostrils are elastic, growing to a large size, while maintaining a delicate and beautiful shape. She is, like Carl Raswan said so many years ago, "a drinker of the wind."
Fa Tiaa Nasreen (Shaheen Al Waab x Echo Hill Jemma)as photographed by Trace and Lisa Moffatt.
Echo Hill Jemma is a proven broodmare, having outproduced herself with an extraordinarily beautiful daughter sired by the late stallion, Shaheen al Waab, and named Fa Tiaa Nasreen. Echo Hill Jemma also produced a son, sired by Nebras Al Rayyan, named Fa Amir Ibn Nebras.  Both horses are bred and owned by Marilyn Lang, Fantasia Arabians, Sealy, Texas, who is also the owner of Echo Hill Jemma. With a laugh, Marilyn says, "we call Jemma the Queen and her daughter Tiaa, the Princess," and she continues a bit more seriously, "Jemma is surrounded by an aura of some kind. There is no doubt that she is the ruler, regardless of the pasture that she occupies. That fact remains unspoken. She can be aloof to the other horses but no one ever challenges her. All her herd mates seem to know that she reigns supreme and, is very special. This is what I mean by an aura, it just oozes out of her." The future looks bright, as Marilyn is planning to breed both mother and daughter this year and further the influence of this marvelous family of horses, well into the future.

***With gratitude to Trace and Lisa Moffatt of Moffatt Photography and Design for the video and photographs of Echo Hill Jemma and her daughter, Fa Tiaa Nasreen.***

02 February, 2020

Remembering NK Hafid Jamil

NK Hafid Jamil (Ibn Nejdy x Helala) as photographed by Arlette Studer
Seven years ago, when I visited Ezzain Arabians in Kuwait, I came face-to-face with the profound impact that NK Hafid Jamil had exerted within the Ezzain breeding program, creating a unique horse possessing a level of refinement and elegance that I had never encountered before. Since those glorious days spent at Ezzain, I have not been able to look at Arabian horses in the same way that I had previously. The Ezzain horse, which NK Hafid Jamil was such a large part of, unexpectedly turned my world upside down and inside out and I found myself inspired, with a new vision and a new standard of excellence. There are few stallions who are capable of consistently siring excellent horses of both genders and NK Hafid Jamil, over the course of his beautiful life of twenty four years, matured into a globally influential breeding stallion, siring wonderful sons like NK Qaswarah, Jamal El Dine and NK Nadeer, as well as equally outstanding daughters like NK Nakeebya, NK Al Amirah and NK Aziza.
NK Qaswarah (NK Hafid Jamil x NK Nariman)  as photographed by Jennifer Ogden
When Usamah Alkazemi purchased NK Jurie (the first foal sired by NK Hafid Jamil), he became enamored over the cross of NK Hafid Jamil with NK Nariman (one of the most important Salaa El Dine daughters to be utilized in the Katharinenhof breeding program). Of NK Jurie, Usamah explained, "she is the jewel and was the horse that tied me to Dr. Nagel's program." Usamah proceeded to purchase all of the offspring produced by these two horses, including  NK Qaswarah, the primary way in which the influence of NK Hafid Jamil is felt at Ezzain. In 2013, the breeding program included six NK Qaswarah sons and fifteen daughters. While NK Qaswarah represented NK Hafid Jamil through the sire side of the pedigree; Ezzain also had at the time, three NK Hafid Jamil-sired daughters: Dhuha AlNakeeb, Jenan AlNakeeb and the mare that started it all, NK Jurie.

For me personally, NK Hafid Jamil took my understanding of straight Egyptian breeding to another level, well beyond a traditional understanding of selection, based on key conformational traits. I was not a fan of his sire, Ibn Nejdy, for a couple reasons, namely his weak hind end and pigmentation issues. Ibn Nejdy had a fabulous front end, which included a beautiful neck, well set, with a flowing line that ran gracefully from his wither (with no dip) and all the way to the poll. He had well-muscled shoulders that many horseman would consider ideal. However, from behind, the muscling was not equal, his croup was high and his hind legs were straight. He was a beautiful horse, as he had a a very classic head, which was accentuated by well placed, large black eyes. His son, NK Hafid Jamil, conformationally, was like his sire. Maybe a bit more improved in the hind end but still a front-end horse. And from the front, NK Hafid Jamil was a celebration of all the breed characteristics that we cherish. The curvey, upward, gently flowing line of his neck was outrageously beautiful but so was the underline, resulting in a neck that was not heavy, it was elegant, more so than any stallion that I had ever seen before. However, the angle at which his head connected with his neck, also contributed to this look of lightness, by creating an extra-fine throatlatch. The features of his head were equally dramatic, with large, black eyes, placed lower on a head that was clean and dry, with fine skin that accentuated the prominence of bone and vein. His head conveyed what he was, a son of the desert.
The curvey, flowing shape of NK Hafid Jamil's neck was beautiful but so was the underline, resulting in a neck that was not heavy and elegant, more so than any stallion that I had ever seen before.
I once had the opportunity to read a very good, realistic and transparent article about NK Hafid Jamil, published on straightegyptians.com,  which examined all of the horse's strengths, as well as his weaknesses.  Dr. Nagel was not only honest in his assessment; he acknowledged that as an individual, he was like two horses: one horse in the front, the other in the back but it was what he said about a breeder's responsibility to not only recognize the flaws but to work with them, just as you would work with the favorable attributes, in order to breed a foal that is not only more improved than the parent; the resulting foal optimizes all of the outstanding qualities that the parent possesses. Maybe my recollection of the article simplifies the answer into more of a common sense statement but what Dr. Nagel offered me, at this moment in time, was a different mindset, which is, to look at a horse for all that he can offer you, instead of looking at a horse for all of the risks he presents.  But isn't this the way that we should look at all of life, even beyond breeding horses? This is the greatest lesson that came from the horse we knew as NK Hafid Jamil and from the man who stood behind him. And today, as I embrace the tragic news of NK Hafid Jamil's death, this is how I will always remember him, all for the love of a horse and the teacher of a great life lesson.

26 January, 2020

Rose of Egypt

Rose of Egypt, a very dark bay, almost black 1958 straight Babson Egyptian mare was a result of combining the first generation of horses (from imported parents) bred by The Babson Farm, that is Fa-Serr (*Fadl X *Bint Serra I) with Fa-Abba (*Fadl x *Bint Bint Sabbah). In Authentic Arabian Bloodstock II, beloved author, breeder and noted Egyptian Arabian horse authority,  Judith Forbis said of  Rose of Egypt, "out of Fa-Abba, a full sister to Habba, Fa-Habba and Fa Saana, provided a line to Fa-Abba, who was prettier and more refined than her full sister, Fa-Habba, but not as compact." Rose of Egypt was owned by Milton V. and Virginia Thompson for most of her life, who are also the recorded or listed breeders for many of her foals. Her progeny includes 8 mares and 4 stallions:
  • Little Egypt, 1962 bay mare, sired by Trojan (Tobruk x Rulyna)
  • Ozark Rose, 1963 chestnut mare sired by Tobruk (Sulejman x Fazala)
  • Serr Bruk, 1964 bay stallion sired by Tobruk (Sulejman x Fazala)
  • Fadl Witez, 1965 bay stallion sired by Tante Witez (Witez II x Tanezah)
  • Rosebud, 1966 bay mare sired by Tante Witez (Witez II x Tanezah)
  • Star of Tobruk, 1967 mare sired by El Tobruk (Tobruk x Rosebruk)
  • Tobruks Dancer, 1968 mare sired by El Tobruk (Tobruk x Rosebruk)
  • Egypts Rose, 1971 bay mare sired by Iszi (Islam x Zadena)
  • Egypts Al Metrabbi, 1973 chestnut stallion sired by Al Metrabbi (*Morafic x Sammara)
  • Anchor Hill Aziz, 1975 grey stallion sired by Al Metrabbi (*Morafic x Sammara)
  • Anchor Hill Alsah, 1976 grey mare sired by Al Metrabbi (*Morafic x Sammara)
  • Rose of Masada, 1979 grey mare sired by AK Waseem Montaal (Amaal x Al Nahr Moroufa)
Rose of Egypt with her 1973 colt, Egypts Al Metrabbi
While a Dahmah Shahwaniyah by strain, as she traces to the mare Bint Sabah in her tail female (the same mare that is also found in the tail female line of Sheikh El Arab, Sid Abouhom and Bukra, by the way); in the "old days", before mitochondrial DNA testing and analysis, Rose of Egypt would be considered to be 50% Kuhaylan Jellabi and 25% each, of the Saqlawi and Dahman strains. Today, we consider her to be 75% Saqlawiyah and 25% Dahmah (and no Kuhaylan Jellabi).

Rose of Egypt, sometime after foaling her Al Metrabbi daughter, Anchor Hill Alsah, became a difficult mare to breed.  However, Walter Schimanski had loved the mare and the family of horses she belonged to. Realizing her great value and hopefully, her potential in his program, Rose of Egypt was purchased (in a partnership formed with John Fippen). Both men secretly hoped of breeding her to Walter's beloved stallion, Lothar, a 1955 son of the imported stallion, *Fadl and out of Habba, a full sister to Fa-Abba. It would be an opportunity to produce a foal whose influence would come from only three of the six horses imported by Henry Babson in 1932, that is,  62.5% *Fadl, combined with 25% *Bint Bint Sabbah and 12.5% *Bint Serra I.
Lothar (*Fadl x Habba)
Unfortunately, through a grave error, Rose of Egypt was mistakenly bred to AK Waseem Montaal, a triple Moniet el Nefous stallion, whose tail female line went back to the 1932 Babson import, *Maaroufa (Ibn Rabdan x Mahroussa).
AK Waseem Montaal (Amaal x Al Nahr Moroufa)
The supposedly "barren mare" settled to AK Waseem Montaal, producing a grey daughter, Rose of Masada, who was incorporated into John and Betty Fippen's breeding program. The following October, Rose of Egypt was sold to Judith Forbis of Ansata Arabian Stud. Judith Forbis, in her celebrated book, Authentic Arabian Bloodstock II, said, "We had seen her when she was a young mare at Milt Thompson's and liked her very much, but she took on the heavier Fa-Serr look as she aged." She was bred to *Ansata Ibn Halima from 1979 to 1981 but did not settle to him. Rose of Egypt died in 1982, without producing any more foals. What a foal by *Ansata Ibn Halima that would have been!

***This blog post is lovingly dedicated to the memory of Ms Rose, Rose of Masada's only daughter and my best friend, for 20 years. Unfortunately, she did not produce any foals. She died in my arms at age 25, the morning of Monday, January 14, 2013.***

25 January, 2020

The Epic Battle of Night and Day

Who would have thought that the Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz International Arabian Horse Festival, held this weekend at Al Khalediah Farm in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, would become the world stage for the epic battle between night and day?
"The night never wants to end, to give itself over to light. So it traps itself in things: obsidian, crows. Even on summer solstice, the day of light’s great triumph, where fields of sunflowers guzzle in the sun— we break open the watermelon and spit out black seeds, bits of night glistening on the grass." - Joseph Stroud, Night in Day
Epic battle? OK, OK...but it was very exciting to watch two World Champion stallions, each horse a wonder of creation,  face off, one against the other, to present their individual expression of the breed standard to the judges in Class 12,  on Friday, January 24th. Which horse would the judges pick? The horse as dark as the night sky or the horse who dazzles the eyes like the sun?

A radiant vision in white, the 2019 Bronze World Champion Senior Stallion, the straight Egyptian stallion, Adham Saqr, is a son of Imperial Madori (Imperial Madheen x Imperial Orianah) and out of Ameera Saqr (Shaheen x Alidarra). A paternal sibling to Gelgelah Albadeia, the 2003 World Champion Senior Mare, Adham Saqr's dam, Ameera Saqr, is sired by Shaheen (El Hadiyyah x Bint Bint Hamamaa), whose get include consistently brilliant horses like Ghazal Saqr, Farouk Saqr, Gamal Saqr, Nada Saqr, Kameela Saqr and Ghazala Saqr to name only a few names that are part of Shaheen's incredible legacy. In the tail female line, Adham Saqr traces to Ansata Sabiha, not only an important mare at Ansata Arabian Stud but also, for Mike and Kiki Case of Glorieta Ranch. Ansata Sabiha was a full sister to Fa Halima, a United States National Champion Mare.
 In the first few seconds of the video, Adham Saqr takes your breath away, as he gallops into the ring, tail streaming in the air behind him, creating a visual impression that the viewer will never forget. There is a reason why these horses are called "drinkers of the wind" and Adham Saqr reminds us of this, in the first minute or two of the video. He is a very balanced individual, with an overall smoothness and elegance, for example, the quality of his skin, in terms of it's fineness and depth of pigmentation. He is a good mover and one can dream of how to take all of his energy and put it to good use, under saddle.  He would be one of those horses we refer to as electric. The biggest challenge with more sensitive horses is earning their trust and establishing a reciprocal relationship founded on respect, so they don't have to worry so much about self-preservation, especially in the face of changing stimuli. I see that a little here. I appreciate the ratio of forearm-length to cannon bone length in this horse. Another quality that I appreciate is his large, fully black and expressive eye. While his head is not extreme, like most Imperial-influenced horses, he has a larger jowl and the fineness of his skin allows for the accentuation of vein and bone, to present a clean, dry and elegant head. I liked this horse very much, when I saw him show in Paris and every time I see him, I like him a little more than the last time.
There's one thought that comes to my mind, as I watch the video of Equator, the 2015 Silver World Champion Senior Stallion and that is "horseman's horse". He establishes his self-confidence, right away. He marches into the ring with purpose, head and tail proudly held high, letting everyone know that the king has arrived. When I look at his body, I am overwhelmed, because there is just so much to like about him. His back is short and strong, his neck is so well set, flowing right out of the wither, he has depth through the heart girth and depth through the shoulders, his hind end is well-muscled and powerful, right down into the gaskins. No surprise that he can get under himself and drive forward, with so much freedom, lightness and power. His neck, while not long, is beautifully shaped with length in the poll and a fine throatlatch.  His head is classic, both short and wide, the beauty of which is intensified by big, black and expressive eyes. The glare of the lights on his greasy face, somewhat hinder the detail of the bone and veins but his head is clean and dry, in an elegant expression of breed type. No surprise over the number of 20's he received for type from the judges. He earned that score.

Equator is a son of QR Marc (Marwan Al Shaqab x Swete Dreams) and out of the Ekstern daughter, Eklipytka, out of the Eukaliptus daughter, Ekspozycja. In his tail female line, he traces to Estebna, the *Nabor daughter out of Estokada, an Amurath Sahib daughter. Equator has Egyptian blood, the highest percentage coming from his great-grandsire, Gazal Al Shaqab, an Anaza el Farid son. QR Marc was bred by Lou and Vicky Doyle, Quail Ridge Arabians in Gilroy, California. The granddam of QR Marc is a mare named Kouream de Ment. A 1986 bay mare, she was sired by Kouros (Marhaba x Kissie) and out of a mare named Rawhides Amenda (Baghdad of Rawhide x Rawhides Nakota). Three generations later, you find a mare named Tambruk, a daughter of the stallion, Tobruk (Sulejman x Fazala). Do you know that the mare Fazala, is a daughter of *Bint Serra I, by *Fadl? Something to think about in this day and age, when it is so challenging to find breeding lines to *Bint Serra I and her celebrated dam, Serra, bred by Lady Anne Blunt at her Sheykh Obeyd Stud in Egypt. Just a peek at the Egyptian influence found in Equator, whom at first glance, is mistaken as being of 100% Polish breeding, as a result of QR Marc being leased by Michalow State Stud in Poland.

Both Equator and Adham Saqr, having placed 1st and 2nd respectively, in Class 12 moved into the stallion championships on Saturday, which was a very competitive class.  Any of the stallions in the class could have been picked the winner. However, Equator was judged as the Silver Champion (behind ES Harir, an AJ Dinar son out of TF Magnums Magic); while Wortex Kalliste (Shanghai EA x Mirwanah Kalliste) earned the Bronze title and Adham Saqr placed fourth.
"The dance between darkness and light will always remain— the stars and the moon will always need the darkness to be seen, the darkness will just not be worth having without the moon and the stars.” - C. JoyBell C.
***Many thanks to Arabian Essence TV for the live stream of the show on their website, as well as the videos uploaded to their You Tube Channel***

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