10 December, 2010

Rodania


The desert-bred mare, Rodania is an extremely vital mare in straight Egyptian breeding, maybe one of the most important horses in our community. Think of Egyptian horses like Alaa el Din, *Serenity Sonbolah, Al Adeed Al Shaqab, Imperial Imdal and Lancers Asmara, in order to understand how many of our most beloved horses carry the influence of Rodania in their pedigree. She is everywhere.

I found the above portrait, as painted by the wonderful artist and Arabian Horse authority, Peter Upton. Somehow, he managed to capture her beauty forever, so that people like me, would know how beautiful Rodania was. I am grateful for Peter Upton's talent, which has made it possible to pass great gifts, like the painting of Rodania, onto us. No matter what I am facing, within the course of a day, one look at this portrait and I am vividly reminded of the extraordinary beauty which does exist in our world. We just need to search for it..all the time.

"The ideal Arabian type is recognizable at sight to the experienced horseman and novice alike. It falls short of the ideal if it reminds one of another horse or breed. It falls short of the ideal if it is so plain and uncertain of type as to require a sign: 'This is an Arabian horse.'  It falls short of the ideal if it is so coarse and masculine as to remind one of a small Percheron, at one extreme, or so highly animated and elf-like as to remind one of a gazelle at the other extreme. The ideal type stands out alone. You know it immediately when you see it."-Ben Hur, from his 1951 Western Horseman article, Type in the Arab
Rodania is a Kuhaylah Rodaniyah, bred by the Ruala tribe of the Anazeh Bedouins.  Rodania was captured by Tais Ibn Sharban of the Saba'ah tribe, from Sheikh Sattam Ibn Shalan in 1880. Wilfrid and Lady Anne Blunt eventually purchased the mare from Tais Ibn Sharban and imported Rodania to their Crabbet Park Stud in England, circa 1881. Rodania is present in Egyptian breeding primarily through the family that her daughter Rose of Sharon founded. Rose of Sharon was a daughter of the desert-bred stallion, Hadban. She in turn, was bred to the Ali Pasha Sherif stallion, Merzuk and produced the mare Ridaa. When Ridaa was bred to the Ali Pasha Sherif stallion named Mesaoud, she produced the mare Risala. Risala's daughter by Ibn Yashmak, Bint Risala (a great-great grand-daughter of Rodania) is one of the two Rodania descendants incorporated into the RAS breeding program, which eventually became the EAO, as we know it today. The other Rodania descendant was Bint Riyala, a daughter of the Mesaoud son, Nadir and Riyala, a Ridaa daughter by *Astraled, who is an interesting horse, as his dam, Queen of Sheba, like Rodania, was a coveted mare in the desert and was also a prize of war. Rodania underscores the significance that the Blunts would ultimately have upon modern Arabian Horse breeding,

forever.

It is their sacrifices, their diligence, their dedication which makes any of this possible, so many years after they lived on earth.  Would we even be talking about these beautiful horses, if the Blunts did not exist? In this one instance of Rodania, Egyptian breeding would be far different without her.

EnJoy your horses,
Ralph

07 December, 2010

'Tis the Season: King Ibn Saud's Gift

"You gave your love away, and I'm thankful every day, for the gift."-Tom Douglas & Jim Brickman, from their song, The Gift
Seventy-three years ago, in December of 1937, *Turfa and three other horses (along with four camels) stepped off a ship named "Mantola", which was docked at the Royal Albert Docks in London and were presented by King Ibn Sa'ud as a coronation gift to George VI, the new King of England. They had traveled a long way from their home in Central Arabia, in the Nejd.

We know about *Turfa but who were the other three horses?

Above is a picture of the stallion, Manak. A 1928 chestnut stallion, who was reported in the Arab Horse Society (UK) news as,
"of exceptional quality, very masculine in type, with good bone, strong loins, quarters and hocks. He is a fine mover and carries his head and 'flag' like an artistocrat. He is a horse of perfect temperament and can be ridden by a child."
 Shortly after his arrival, Manak traveled to Upend Stud in Newmarket, the farm belonging to Colonel Anderson.

The three year old colt, Kasim, was a bay-colored horse and a little taller than Manak, at 14.3 hands. Although the AHS feature reports that he was of good quality and a nice mover, the news also says that he was rather backward. I know that desert horses take longer to fully mature, as compared to other breeds of horses and I imagine that Kasim had not yet fully grown into all his parts. Kasim went to Nant Fawr Stud in South Wales, the farm belonging at the time, to Mr. D. E. Neale.

The last horse who was part of the coronation gift was actually a proven broodmare. Her name was Faras. She was a 1927 bay-colored mare, who had produced offspring famed for their speed and endurance. The AHS news said of her,
"...of exceptional quality and hard bone. She has an ideal Arabian head and carries her tail well."
Manak was bred to the Bahraini mare, Nuhra, yielding 3 fillies: Nurmahal in 1943, Taj Mahal in 1945 and Nurmana in 1946. I found it interesting that Manak was bred to this mare. She was a gift, given by the Sheikh of Bahrain to the Earl of Athlone. In the same AHS news article which reported the Coronation gift horses; mention was also made of a visit that the Earl of Athlone and Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone, made to Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Nuhra was one of two horses gifted to the royal couple, by the Sheikh of Bahrain. Nuhra was sired by a Kuhaylan Jellabi stallion, out of a Kuhaylah al' Wadhna, from where she received her original Amiri name of Wadhna.

I am amazed over the generosity of King Ibn Sa'ud, in sending his very best horses, representing his skill, his wisdom and his talents as a breeder of the finest Arabian horses. I wonder over all the horses he bred and raised in the Nejd. What were they like? What did they look like? I wonder over their beauty and of the unique characteristics which made the Nejd horse so revered, for all the people who were blessed with the opportunity to see them. 

In the last decade, only seven Babson-Turfa horses were produced. Six of these horses were females and five of them were sired by the same Babson sire. A reduced breeding population, on the verge of disappearing, makes me desirous to repay the King for his long-ago kindness, in allowing a treasure like *Turfa to leave her home forever and insuring that her valuable pedigree would continue far into the future, waiting to be discovered, "un-wrapped" and cherished by someone like me, in love with these extraordianry horses.

Trot on! Turfa! Trot on!
Ralph

19 November, 2010

The Story of *Orashan

I met *Orashan many times, as I had the good fortune to live reasonably close to Imperial Egyptian Stud in Parkton, Maryland. I saw *Orashan as a young horse, in the show ring as a champion and as a mature breeding stallion. Eileen Verdieck, then the trainer and farm manager at Imperial Egyptian Stud, had been looking for a new stallion for the Imperial breeding program. She saw many horses all over the world, thought she had come close to finding this individual, only to realize that the horse that she sought after, was much harder to find. The task was especially difficult, as Imperial had assembled a collection of broodmares who were unrivaled for their beauty and for their genetic strength. Who could be worthy enough to cross with these mares? In an article published in the December 2001 issue of Arabian Horse World, Barbara Griffith shared the following with Honi Roberts,
"In truth, every one of Imperial's leading ladies have been hand-picked and held to the highest standards-a necessity in breeding programs, large or small. I believe the mare's contribution to her foal to be at least 60 percent, so she is extremely important. I've bred or purchased mares that I felt would be good crosses with Imperial stallions, and I've bred or purchased stallions specifically for select mares."
It was time for something different; something that would stretch the influence of Imperial, far beyond the lush pastures of Maryland. In Germany, Eileen saw the elite stallion Messaoud (Madkour x Maymoonah) and immediately recognized the horse that she saw in her mind's eye. Messaoud was one of those rare horses who equally sired great sons and great daughters. Messaoud was the horse that Eileen wanted to bring back to America. Bred by Gunther Seidlitz and owned by Erika Rudolph, Messaoud was not for sale at any price. So, Eileen, searched for a Messaoud son, who could help Imperial to produce classically typey horses, with the size and with the good mind and functional conformation to be competitive in the American Show Ring. Eileen found the colt she was looking for at Maiworm Stud and brought *Orashan to America.

In Maryland, the young horse prospered under Eileen's care. Soon, he blossomed into a beautiful Arabian stallion, with a body that spoke volumes of all he could accomplish with the proper training and development. He had a charming personality and a fabulous mind. Loving of people, curious and friendly, he is the ideal representative of the Bedouin tent horse. If your pocket was large enough, *Orashan would crawl in and make himself comfortable, happy to find himself snug and warm, very close to the humans he loved. He is a most lovable horse and a true friend, willing, kind and generous to try anything that is asked of him. *Orashan won in many Class A arenas, including Scottsdale, Arizona, which finally led him to the main ring of the US and Canadian National Championships. He was a top ten halter stallion in both countries, as well as a top ten champion under saddle in Canada. *Orashan also competed in harness at the Regional and Class A Level. There have not been many Egyptian stallions who have demonstrated the level of versatility that *Orashan easily achieved.

As great an athlete as *Orashan was; *Orashan was also an exceptional sire, which was especially evident as his daughters matured and started producing foals of their own. In an article written by Nancy Ryan, about Imperial Egyptian Stud, in the February 2005 issue of Arabian Horse World, Barbara Griffith shared:
"But perhaps *Orashan's greatest contribution is his ability as one of the great Egyptian Arabian broodmare sires. Many of his 150 foals have become Regional and National Champions. We are fortunate to have *Orashan daughters, grand-daughters and of course, his grandson Imperial Baarez to carry on his legacy."
His most famous daughter, BB Ora Kalilah, out of the mare PH Safina produced the ultimate Arabian Horse, Imperial Baarez by PVA Karim. BB Ora Kalilah also produced the lovely mares: Imperial Kabisah, Imperial Kahleen and Imperial Bint Kalilah (bred to Thee Desperado, Imperial Bint Kalilah produced an awesome bay stallion, the late Desperados Getaway). Also, the *Orashan daughter, Imperial Orianah, produced the stallion Imperial Madori by Imperial Madheen. This stallion sired one of the most powerfully dramatic Egyptian mares of all time, Gelgelah Albadeia.

*Orashan was an incredibly special horse. Why do some stallions become better sires of daughters than sons? *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 the Kazmeen sired Zareefa, who appears 5 times in the pedigree of *Orashan: twice through the stallion El Sareei and through the Zareefa 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. His daughters included the mares Bint Nefisa, Malacha, Mohga, Amani, Salomy to name a few. It is very interesting to observe how *Orashan, with more opportunities or rather a greater number of mares bred (as compared to the number of mares El Sareei bred) has produced mares who have become critical foundation horses in other programs, all over the world. I want to stop myself short when I think of El Sareei and possibly a genetic connection that was made, when the blood of his dam was intensified in *Orashan's pedigree, giving him the "El Sareei-ability" to sire such high quality daughters. Fact or Fiction?

The tail female line of Messaoud traces to the Halima daughter, Moheba and ultimately traces to the Damah Shahwaniyah mare, Farida. This is the same tail-female line of the classic stallion, *Ansata Ibn Halima. *Orashan is a second generation, pure-in-the-strain Dahman Shahwan horse, as both his sire and dam are also pure-in-the-strain Dahman horses.

Looking back at the 30+ year history of Imperial Egyptian Stud, two stallions emerge as hugely influential horses. One was *Ibn Safinaz and the other was *Orashan. In the same article written by Nancy Ryan, in the February 2005 issue of Arabian Horse World, Barbara Griffith offered the following:
"Orashan's contribution to the Imperial breeding program can never be overestimated..."
I also find it extremely interesting that *Ibn Safinaz was sired by Seef, a son of the mare Elwya, the same mare that is present in the tail female line of *Orashan's pedigree. Were there any horses produced, combining the blood of these two stallions? The *Ibn Safinaz daughter, Imperial Sahleen is out of Imperial Kahleen, an Imperial Al Kamar daughter, out of BB Ora Kalilah. When bred to Imperial Baarez (and more *Orashan blood), she produced the lovely show filly, Imperial Baaleena, now at Prestige Arabians. Also, the chestnut Imperial Baarez daughter, Imperial Baahiyah was a blend of these two stallions, as Imperial Safama was an *Ibn Safinaz daughter.

In the twilight of *Orashan's life, he was sold to Louise Cordina and Glenn North of Saba Arabians located in Australia. 
"Orashan has spent his final years among people who have loved him.  He has lived his days in happiness, with the respect and dignity that he deserved.  He was a King within the breed and the most gracious, gentle soul one will ever hope to find.  We will miss him tremendously."-Louise Cordina
 more could a horse of such importance ask for, than to live with such loving, caring people? He ended his life with dignity and in the company of people who appreciated him and understood the impact that he will continue to have in the breed. 

26 September, 2010

Farid

I learned that the great Farid Albadeia died one week ago, on Sunday, September 19th. I didn't even know he had been sick. I felt like a blow was delivered right to the very center of my soul. No horse lives forever but this was Farid and my heart is broken.
"...you are my shining star
Don't you go away..."-from the song Shining Star by Philip Bailey, Maurice White, Larry Dunn, Leo Graham and Paul Richmond 
Farid Albadeia was a son of Ameer Albadeia and a grandson of Malekat El Gamal. On his dam side, he was a grandson of Ramses Fayek, out of Malekat's dam, Nagdia. So, in both tail female lines of Farid's pedigree, he traced to the Hadbah Enzahyah root mare, Venus. He had 5 lines to Nazeer, close-up in his pedigree and through Fayza II, the dam of Ramses Fayek, he traced to the great Dahmah mare Farida, hence, his name, Farid.

FARIDA BLOOD ALERT!

Farid was loved by many people and was the living representation of the ideal Arabian stallion. His beauty was legendary, as Farid was named six times national champion stallion of Egypt. SIX TIMES!

Farid was bred to the world champion mare Gelgelah Albadeia twice, to produce two beautiful fillies: Farha Albadeia in 2000 and Bashooshah Albadeia in 2002. Gelgelah's full sister, Galagel, was also bred to Farid twice and produced Shakawa  and Sonbolat Albadiea. I am fascinated by these breedings, as both Gelgelah and Galagel are out of a mare named Anhar Albadeia, a daughter of Ameer Albadeia, the sire of Farid. Therefore, the doubling of the blood of one of my favorite mares, Malekat El Gamal.  Another of my favorite Albadeia mares, Ibtehag Albadeia (Badran Albadeia x Halawat Albadeia) was bred to Farid and produced a son with wonderful name, Inshallah Albadeia.

For me, Farid was an old-time stallion, whose body was curvey, strong and smooth. There are very few horses who can compare to the level of quality that Farid was. His neck was powerful, gracefully arched with the most impressive crest that I have seen on an Arabian stallion and was set higher on his chest, anchored by one of the best shoulders that I had ever seen on an Arabian horse. Well-muscled and substantial, he exhibited the strength that most of us expect to see in a stallion. Like most horses with ties to the mare, Farida, Farid had a deep and powerful hip, flowing into a strong croup and loin. His hind end was smooth, strong and powerful, balancing the equal amount of power on his front end. Yet for all of this powerful energy radiating from his body, he also had some of the finest features which included his very black, very round, very expressive eye. His head was short and wide with larger size jowls, smaller ears and large, elastic nostrils. Looking at Farid, he gave you goosebumps, even if he was relaxing, not moving or doing anything. Few horses look as good as Farid did, standing, relaxing, letting it all hang out. Farid looked good, no matter what he was doing.

Loving Arabian Horses has been a constant in my life. No matter how my life changes, how many twists and turns it takes, my love for the Arabian Horse remains unchanged. I love them. When I was a child, toy horses were as close as I came to owning my own horse. Maybe this is why Farid is so special. He looks like the alabaster horse that I played with and which I treasured, during those formative years.

It's been hard this past year, saying goodbye to really special horses like Maar Bilahh, The Minstril, *Ibn Safinaz, *Nigmh, VP Regal Heir, Imperial Kamilll and now, Farid Albadeia. Heaven is quickly becoming a horseman's paradise as these great horses leave us, with memories and their legacies...to remind us that once, they were here with us and we loved them so.

"Lay down my brother,
lay down and take your rest
lay your head upon your savior's breast
I love you brother,
but Jesus loves you best
I bid you goodnight, goodnight, goodnight"-from the traditional Bahamian gospel song, I Bid You Goodnight
Too sad to say enjoy,
Ralph

08 June, 2010

A Red Ballerina

Alaa El Din was a chestnut son of Nazeer, foaled in 1956, out of the Shaloul daughter, Kateefa. To develop a complete understanding of a foundation Egyptian Arabian Horse like Alaa el Din, will require that we pay careful attention to the words used by the people who knew the horse, when he was alive. The late Marshall Partlow visited the EAO and wrote about his visit, which included Alaa el Din, in the article titled "A Trip To El Zahraa":

"Then, the horse of my dreams. Could such a horse exist? His dark chestnut coat, gleaming in the sun, gave off a purple cast. Moving like a ballerina, his extreme long neck bowed, tail high and arched like a banner. He stopped, posed like the royally bred king he was. Majestic, proud and elegant he stood. This was the fantastic ALAA EL DIN. To see this stallion would have made my trip worthwhile even if I had not seen any other horses."
Ballerina, you might ask?

General Pettko Von Szandtner, a former cavalry officer, liked the young colt so much, that he had selected Alaa El Din as a future sire (he started his breeding career in 1961) for the EAO breeding program. In a letter to Richard Pritzlaff, the General explained:

"I had to put the two-and-a-half-year-old chestnut stud foal, candidate as a leading stallion, into the stallion barn and work him because he was too strong toward his comrades and often broke out of the paddock."
In Egypt, Alaa El Din was a successful race horse and a sire of race winners. Alaa el Din ran a total of 6 races, winning 1 race, placing 2nd in another, 3rd in only 1 race and placing 4th in the balance of races. The following picture was taken of Alaa El Din, the fit race-horse, at 7 years old. His sons *Farazdac (x Farasha) won 3 races out of 16 and Kased Kheir (x Sherifa) won 3 races out of 8. His daughter, Fayrooz (x Mouna) raced 5 times, winning 1 of those races. *Farazdac's full brother, *Faleh (a Legion of Merit winner, winning two National Championships in Native Costume and participating in a 100 mile endurance race), sired the extremely successful racehorse: Asjah Ibn Faleh (x*Dawlat), an IAHA Racing Colt of the Year(1977) and Race Horse of the Year (1980), in addition to wins in the show ring in English Pleasure, Native Costume and Halter. Asjah Ibn Faleh raced a total of 30 races, winning almost half of these, including the 1977 IAHA Derby. He, in turn also sired race horses, Asjahs Black Jewel and Asjahs Dominion, both out of the Ansata Halima Son daughter, Ansata Jumana. In Germany, the Alaa El Din sons: Sarwat and Sawlagan were talented, athletic horses, participating in demanding, athletic competitions at an age when most horses have been retired and no longer ridden. Alaa El Din was so successful in passing his athletic ability to his children, that the breeders in Poland expressed a very strong desire in purchasing him, for use in their breeding program.
Hansi Heck-Melnyk, of the world famous Serenity Farm in Citra, Florida remembers:

"I saw Alaa El Din in the flesh. Alaa El din was NOT narrow chested. He was a rectangular horse, well proportioned all over. He was also, what I call, a typical 'Kuhaylan'Ajuz Rodan.' I saw him walking towards me and away from me, led by his groom, and that quite correctly. I liked the horse. The horse then was aged already, and had gone, as all others,through rough times in the late sixties on forward.I have never given that much credit in production to him, but rather to the mares and their female tail lines, he bred to create his offspring."
Hans Joachim Nagel, founder of the legendary stud farm bearing the name of Katharinenhof, authored a landmark book titled Hanan: The Story of an Arabian Mare and of the Arabian Breed. Within this book, Dr. Nagel shares much with the reader, that is, the impact that Alaa El Din has had on his vision of the ideal Arabian Horse and the breeding program founded primarily with the Alaa El Din daughter, Hanan:

"Kateefa herself, when bred to Nazeer, produced a real gem: Alaa El Din. He was Dr. Ameen Zaher's favorite. This stallion, who could sire mares with the loveliest and gentlest of faces, was a highly elegant liver chestnut with no white markings except a stripe. His smal dry head with round, black medium sized eyes and small ears made him look typey and expressive. A finely curved neck of medium length, good withers, a slightly too long back and firm, broad croup combined to form a harmonious whole that stood on fine but correct legs."
Celebrated author, historian, researcher and founder of Ansata Arabian Stud, Judith Forbis, shares her impression of Alaa El Din in Authentic Arabian Bloodstock II:

"A tall horse at maturity, very elegant and refined, beautiful head but not large enough eyes, which he tended to transmit. Good length of neck and well shaped. He was well-balanced but tied in at the elbows, narrow in front, had rather small but good dark hooves."
In the 1980's, the Director of the EAO was Dr. Ibrahim Zaghloul. In an interview with Arabian Horse World, he was asked to name which mares, living or dead, had the strongest influence on the EAO breeding program? In his answer, Dr. Zaghloul named 5 mares, one of which was the Alaa El Din daughter, Safinaz (x Ramza):

"A chestnut mare foaled on February 1, 1970, has one of the prettiest heads you'll ever see along with all the other qualities that make you take a second look. She is extremely elegant with a chiseled, tapered face and a teacup muzzle. She is one of the noblest mares in the herd, with the dry, typey, look of the true Bedouin mare."
Dr. Zaghloul caught my attention when he named an Alaa El Din daughter influential, as influential as our perennial QUEEN OF EGYPT, Moniet el Nefous. I believe that Alaa El Din has been more significant as a sire through the female side of the pedigree. I have observed personally more of an impact through his daughters, rather than through his sons. This observation led me to pay attention to the female side of Alaa El Din's pedigree, namely, the mare Kateefa. One of the most powerful families in Egyptian breeding (as well as in Crabbet breeding, from where the family originates) has been the Kuhaylan Rodan family. Is the siring influence of Alaa El Din the continued influence of the Kuhaylan Rodan family, as brought forward through Kateefa? Would you agree? Kateefa was a daughter of Bint Rissala (Ibn Yashmak x Risala). Through her tail female line, Kateefa traces through Ridaa to Rose of Sharon, a Rodania daughter. In looking through Dr. Nagel's Hanan book (pages 224-225) he presents a very interesting photo study of not only Kateefa but her dam Bint Rissala and Risala (the dam of Bint Risala), as well as Ridaa (the dam of Risala) and Rose of Sharon (the dam of Ridaa). It is a fascinating study, photographically. Dr. Nagel also presents a very thoughtful observation and I would like to submit the following quotation for your consideration:

"The Rodania family was highly appreciated by Lady Anne Blunt and her daughter, Lady Wentworth. White markings and good necks frequently appears but also some heavy heads with straight profiles and high withers. In addition a long back and a short croup are a recurring feature. In spite of these characteristics this family developed to be of high breeding value in different ways; bred to the right sires, the Rodania family produced horses with both type and beauty, plus racing power and athletic ability."
Oliver Wibihal, Egyptian Arabian Horse enthusiast, publisher and founder of straightegyptians.com had the following perspective on Alaa El Din's influence:

It is true that Alaa El Din's daughters gained more influence than his sons. In Egypt, Germany and in the US, many of his daughters founded their own dynasty. The full sisters Mahiba and Moneera (Alaa El Din x Mouna/Mona by Nazeer) were very influential in Europe and horses like Maysoun, Sherif Pasha (the first SE World Champion) and Ibn El Moniet come from this line.
Dr. Nagel refers to the Alaa El Din daughters as "the most beautiful flowers" of Egyptian Arabian Horse breeding. Have you walked among this garden and smelled the flowers? Are you familiar with their bright colors? Do you know the daughters of Alaa El Din?

Set Abouhom (*Noha)
Aziza (Galila)
*Hoda (Fathia)
Madeeha (Rahma)
Hodhoda (Ithad)
Basima (Sherifa)
*Magidaa (Maysa)
Fayrooz (Mouna)
Rawayeh (Rahma)
Manar (Moniet El Nefous)
Manaya (Moniet El Nefous)
Mahiba (Mouna)
*Omnia (Ameena)
Lotfeia(Kamla)
Hanan (Mona)
Om El Arab (Tifla)
*Shiaa (*Berlanty)
Hanadi (Rahma)
Moneera (Mouna)
Nazeema (Bint Kamla)
Sabrah (El Ameera)
*Bint Alaa El Din (*Serenity Sabra)
*Ramses Amal (Manal)
Alifa (Zebeda)
*Daad (Enayat)
Mahlaha (Mouna)
Reem (Farfoura)
Safinaz (Ramza)
*Hegrah (Hagir)
AK Karama (Tanta)
Rabab (Horeja)
Hend (Maysoura)


While Alaa El Din remains a critically important horse in Egyptian Arabian Horse breeding, we must never forget the inspirational and encouraging power that these horses have on people's lives.

May the horse continue to inspire you.
Ralph

30 May, 2010

Why I love M & M's

While John Travolta danced the night away in movie screens all over the world and everyone was infected with Saturday Night Fever; a beautiful and potentially significant mare named Madinah (Ibn Galal x Mona II) was born, bred by the Tauschkes of El Thayeba. Bred to the stallion Messaoud, Madinah produced the mare, Mesoudah M in 1985, a full sister to Imperial Madheen. Bred to Ansata Sinan, Mesoudah M produced *Mishaal HP in 1996. It always amazes me when I consider the length of time that it takes for a program to produce an extraordinary horse. In the case of *Mishaal, it was 18 years, which is a testament to the perseverance and dedication of the breeders behind all the horses who are part of the ancestry of this marvelous horse! Shown once, at the prestigious German stallion show, *Mishaal was rated platinum, which is the highest rating that a horse can earn.
"The judges characterized him as the stallion with the most exceptional head and Arabian type. "-Nancy C. Ryan, from her article, Mishaal HP: Shaping a New Generation, published in Arabian Horse World
Having loved and admired the German-born stallions, *Orashan and Imperial Madheen, I was excited over the presence of Messaoud in the pedigree of *Mishaal HP. A Madkour (*Morafic x Maisa) son, out of the Hadban Enzahi daughter, Maymoonah; in his tail female line, Messaoud traces to Halima, the dam of *Ansata Ibn Halima and a Farida grand-daughter. I loved Messaoud and I always believed he was phenotypically, a magnificent living representation of the classic Dahman Shawan stallion. When you look at the silhouette of Messaoud (and unfortunately, he is no longer alive, having died in 2007), it would be difficult to not notice the strength of his body, particularly the area of his hip, hindquarter and croup. He was powerfully smooth in this area, of rounded lines and I believe this is an attribute that comes from Farida. He is balanced, harmonious and while an elegant horse, he has much substance. So, in looking at these *Mishaal fillies at Thornewood farm and noticing the same qualities evident in Messaoud's physique, I wondered, "Is the Farida blood still so powerful, that she is making a very visible impact through *Mishaal? Farida appears in Mishaal HP's pedigree 3 times: through *Ansata Ibn Halima and twice through Malikah.

While *Mishaal's pedigree is predominantly a blend of the Saqlawi and Dahman lines (with more than a few Hadban sprinkles here and there), I am reminded of Walter Schimanski's philosophy in breeding elegant Dahman horses,
"incorporating the Saqlawi type brings length back to neck and leg, which can be lost with intense use of Dahman and Kuhaylan strain types. It also yields finer bone structure and produces flatter and less prominent muscling. Too much Saqlawi can produce a long back and ears. Dahman type brings back an overall balance and harmony, including more dished heads and larger eyes, and shorter backs, but also has the tendency to produce shorter necks and legs, heavier muscling, and more bone."-Walter Schimanski
One of the most celebrated and greatly admired mares of all time, Moniet el Nefous, appears 10 times, through her Sid Abouhom daughters Mabrouka and Mouna, and through her son by *Morafic, *Ibn Moniet el Nefous. Perhaps the elegance and refinement that we see in *Mishaal HP, this ethereal quality, comes from the influence of Moniet and underscores the importance of Walter's advice. On both sides of the pedigree, male and female, the presence of this mare is only overshadowed by the presence of Nazeer. I lost count of the number of times that Nazeer appears. more than 16 times!

Mishaal HP has sired a number of lovely horses and has crossed very well with Thee Desperado, as he was purchased by Arabians Ltd., to use specifically as an outcross stallion. One of my favorite *Mishaal-sired horses is the 2005 mare Saniyyah RCA, out of the Thee Desperado daughter, My Shooting Star. She is now owned by Ariela Arabians in Israel, who showed her to her win as the Israeli National Champion filly. This filly traces to Faarecho (Sirecho x Faara) in her tail female line. Saniyyah represents a very unique blend of Egyptian bloodlines, which when combined, emphasizes the benefits that I believe Thee Desperado offers straight Egyptian breeders. I am grateful that the Arabians Ltd. search for an outcross stallion, led them to Mr. Horst Preuss and the fabulous *Mishaal HP.

May the horse continue to inspire you,
Ralph

PS I really like the Stuart Vesty photo of *Mishaal HP, it is my favorite photo of this stallion.

21 May, 2010

Javera Thadrian

This is the late Kuhaylan Haifi Davenport Arabian stallion, Javera Thadrian. He was sired by the Lysander son, Thane and out of HB Dianora, an Ibn Alamein grand-daughter. Remember Alice Martin's famous Arabian Dressage horse, the alabaster white Sir? Lysander was his son.

He is not a straight Egyptian Arabian Horse.

Javera Thadrian is an Asil Arabian horse, which means that in every line of his pedigree, Javera Thadrian can be traced to horses bred by the Bedouin. Who are the Bedouin, you ask? Well, the Bedouins (Shammar, Anazeh, Ruala...) are to desert Arabia, what the native Americans (Sioux, Navajo, Lenape...) are to America.

Authentic.

Pure.

Genuine.

The Real Deal.

Javera Thadrian carries the designation "Davenport" which means that he descends from ancestors who trace back to the 20-something horses that were imported into America, in the early 1900's, by Homer Davenport.

I need to say it again, in case you missed it the first time.

Javera Thadrian is not a straight Egyptian Arabian Horse.

He is an Al Khamsa and Asil Club recognized horse but he is not a Pyramid Society designated straight Egyptian Arabian Horse.

I prefer horses who are comprised of rounder, curvey, circular lines. I prefer horses who are more substantial and who are harmonious in their build. That is very important for me. I prefer smoothness of body and search for it constantly. I like shorter-backed horses with strong top lines. I like horses who are deep through the heart girth with a well sprung rib cage. I like muscled hind quarters with elastic hocks. I like well muscled forearms, which are longer in length than the cannons. I like to see a little more length in the neck, with the neck set higher on the chest, connected by a noticeable wither. I like a powerful shoulder, at an angle which allows the horse to move with great freedom. I like to see a nice length of poll. I prefer a large sized jowl, on each side of a very short, very wide head. I like large, black eyes with no white in them, set lower on the head. I like elastic large nostrils and short, sharp tippy ears. And did I mention that I like a higher tail carriage?

I find all of this in this most wonderful horse and never tire of looking at his picture, even with the stains all over his body that he got from rolling in the dirt. He is my classic Arabian horse, made real, of flesh and bone.

In Davenport bloodlines, the horses belong to one of four families, through the tail-female line of the pedigree: Kuhaylan Haifi, Kuhaylan Kurush, Hadban and Schilla. Javera Thadrian is from the core Kuhaylan Haifi group, which means that in his ancestry, he traces only to the following mares: Dharebah, Dharanah, Dhanad, Dhalana blended with the stallion Tripoli (Hanad x Poka). Tripoli, incidentally, was the sire of Sir. It is very amazing to look at his pedigree and see 2 horses, Dhareb x Antarah, repeat over and over and over.

There will come a time, when it will become more important to breed for Asil, than it will be to breed for Egyptian. More people are becoming aware that our Egyptian gene pool is becoming smaller, with less choices. Abbas Pasha, Ali Pasha Sherif, Lady Anne Blunt, the RAS, Prince Kemal el Dine were all pioneer breeders of Egyptian horses who didn't even think twice about using Bedouin-bred horses in their early Egyptian programs. In the face of the genetic diseases that we are all aware of and how closely related our horses have become, maybe, we are closer to the day when COMBINED SOURCE breeding will not only become more accepted, it will become a necessity, in order for the horse to survive with sound mind, sound body and sound spirit. Unfortunately, it will come too late to use a horse as inspiring as Javera Thadrian but the reality of Davenport Arabian Horse breeding is that Javera Thadrian was not the exception....there are many more like him. Many more. Please visit the Davenport Arabian Horse Conservancy to learn more about these wonderful horses.

EnJoy your horses,
Ralph

PS Congratulations to Edouard Al-Dahdah on the birth of Wadha, one of Javera Thadrian's last born daughters, out of the Craver Farm mare, Wisteria.

09 April, 2010

They call him Pimmy

My friend, Tzviah Idan, visited Arabians Limited in February. I spoke with Tzviah shortly after her trip and asked her which horse at the farm made the biggest impression on her?

WHICH ONE?

Tzviah was enchanted by the straight Egyptian stallion, Pimlico RCA.

"Pimlico just blew me away. His forehead is broad and the eye was so very much like *Jamilll's eye. I saw *Jamilll at the US National's in the 80's and he has remained the 'ideal' for me."
Pimlico has won many fans around the world, who appreciate his classic type, as well as his strong structural conformation, with much substance and yet, he is so elegant! The appreciation for this stallion earned him the 2004 Egyptian Event Supreme Champion stallion. In 2007, Pimlico was shown in the Region 9 championships and was named a Grand Champion Stallion. The following year, he was show in the World Cup and was named a top 5 stallion. In addition to his halter wins, Pimlico has been shown in Western Pleasure classes.

Pimlico was bred by Debra and David Geiser of Dara Meadow Farm and was purchased by Arabians Limited as a weanling. Sired by Thee Desperado and out of the mare, Bint Bint Jamil, Pimlico carries Babson blood through his dam, as she was sired by the stallion, Mohafez, an *Ibn Moniet el Nefous son out of the Babson mare Ahroufa (Ibn Fa-Serr x Bah Roufa). Ahroufa was a full sister to the beautiful bay mare, Roufah. Dr. Nagel traveled to America, to Bentwood Farm in Waco, Texas to purchase the stallion Mohafez. During this visit, Dr. Nagel saw Ansata Abbas Pasha for the first time and fell madly in love with the horse. From this visit, resulted the leasing agreement which found Ansata Abbas Pasha traveling to Germany, to be bred to mares from Katharinenhof, Babolna and Marbach studs
.

The connection to the stallion, *Jamil, is through his maternal grand-dam, Sehnab. She is a *Jamil daughter out of the mare, Sabah, who was sired by Ibn Galal, out of the Alaa el Din daughter, Mahiba. The tail female line of this family goes through Mouna to Moniet el Nefous, giving Pimlico the strain of Saklawi Jedran of Ibn Sudan.

There are many photographs taken of Pimlico RCA, which are striking and powerfully convey his strong conformation and abundant Arabian Horse type. However, for me, my favorite photo is this Stuart Vesty photo, as this picture captures his very expressive face and radiates a most amazing personality. This horse, "Pimmy" as he is called, loves people and the energy projected through this photo, overwhelms me with his friendliness. No one would dare call such a majestic horse as Pimlico, "Pimmy", if he was not sweet! There is a reason for this very sweet name. This people-loving quality, while intangible, is a crucial component of Arabian Horse type, as this horse has been raised in the desert, to live safely among his people, insuring his survival and that of his breeders, the desert Bedouins. We must do whatever we can do, to preserve this quality, so it is abundantly found in our horses.

EnJoy your horses,
Ralph

05 March, 2010

BROWN GIRL

In the mid-60's,  when *Ansata Ibn Halima was already 6-years old,  he went to Gleannloch Farms to be shown by Tom & Rhita McNair and also,  to breed the mares that the Marshalls had already imported,  before *Morafic arrived in America. In Judith Forbis' charming book called The Gift, she speaks of the relationship that *Ansata Ibn Halima shared with *Bint Maisa El Saghira (Nazeer x Maisa), "My favorite traveling companion was Bint Maisa El Saghira, who often told me to calm down and relax. She became a very stabilizing influence during my show career. A tall bay mare beloved for her beauty and charm, she won admirers wherever she went. She too collected many halter championships as well as performance championships in English pleasure. Together we were wonderful ambassadors for the Egyptian Arabian horse because we were kind, handsome and athletic.Truly we blazed the trail for others to follow."  Dahmah Shawaniah is the result of the affection that both horses shared for each other. I don't think a greater love story exists in any breed, let alone the Arabian breed, across all bloodlines.  Like her parents, Dahmah Shahwaniah was a very sweet mare. I met her at Bentwood, well before the dispersal of the horses through the Sotheby sale, when she was sold to Count Federico. An aged mare at the time I met her, she was still a pretty mare and one of my favorites at Bentwood, not so much for how she looked; she had one of the best temperaments that I had encountered, in any horse, up until that point in my life. I will never forget how excited I felt to actually meet a living daughter of *Bint Maisa El Saghira, one of my most favorite Egyptian mares. Dahmah Shahwaniah is as close as I ever got to *Bint Maisa El Saghira.

Dahmah Shahwaniah was physically, very Dahman in her appearance. I always believed that Dahmah Shahwaniah should have been bred to one of the best Dahman Horses of our time, Ansata Halim Shah, who was so superb, so typey and so harmonious. However, I think that in the recent past, the decisions that were made for breeding Egyptian horses did not take into account how the individuals complemented each other or for the resulting quality they would produce together; as it was for producing a horse with "big name parents" who could bring a good sales dollar or what did they call "it" in those days?

ROI:  RETURN ON INVESTMENT.

During this visit to Bentwood, having also met Prince Fa Moniet for the first time and many of The Egyptian Prince daughters; I became impressed over The Egyptian Prince's siring ability. The Egyptian Prince was out of *Bint Mona, *Morafic's full sister in blood. It made sense to blend the blood of Dahmah Shahwaniah with the blood of a concentrated Saklawi horse, like The Egyptian Prince, especially because her dam, when bred to *Morafic, produced the influential stallions Shaikh Al Badi and Amaal, as well as the mares Radia, Nafairtiti and Rihahna. So, Dahmah Shahwaniah was also bred to *Morafic, producing the stallion, Shahid, as well as to the other popular Saklawi-strain horses of the day like *Ibn Moniet El Nefous, (AK Shah Moniet) and the *Ibn Moniet El Nefous son, Moniet El Sharaf (AK Salima Sharaf). However, as great as these horses were,  it would be TheEgyptianPrince who would nick well with Dahmah Shahwaniah, producing what my friend Oliver Wibihal called "Dahmah Shahwaniah's masterpiece" - AK Nawaal. Her German-born son by Maysoun, Authentic Ibn Nawaal,  bred by Rosi Kolster, was recently purchased from Al Waab Stud and imported to the United States. He's a fabulous horse, a "total package" having won in 2000, the Reserve Junior Champion Colt at the International Cup in St. Poelten, the Junior Championship at the German Nationals in 2002 and a gold medal at the annual Stallion Show, completing the performance part of the German Stallion Show. It is important to mention that Dahmah Shahwaniah was then bred a second time to TheEgyptianPrince, producing a full sister to AK Nawaal named Dahmah Reshan. 

Dahmah Shahwaniah was bred twice to *Ibn Hafiza producing two bay colts: Ibn Dahmahn and Almawardy. She was bred to *Sakr and produced the colt, Dar Al Salam. Dahmah Shahwaniah was bred to another father and son, her maternal brother Shaikh Al Badi, producing a popular colt named AK Ishmael and Ruminaja Ali's full brother, the stallion named Ruminaja Bahjat, producong a bay mare by the name of ZT Bahshahwaniah, a prolific broodmare who has produced a number of daughters.

Although her children may not have all been consistently magnificent in their phenotype, the legacy of Dahmah Shahwaniah becomes obviously apparent through her many grandsons and granddaughters. It is in this generation that one starts to develop an appreciation for her influence.

Enjoy your horses,
Ralph

Johnny Johnston captured the essence of Dahmah Shahwaniah forever in the first photo. This photo subsequently appeared in the early volumes of the Pyramid Society Handbooks, when Dahmah became part of the Bentwood breeding program. 

17 February, 2010

Something in the way she moves....

Taghira B is a straight Egyptian Arabian mare owned by Gigi Grasso and Paolo Damilano of Alfabia Stud in Italy.
Something in the way she moves,
Attracts me like no other lover.
Something in the way she woos me.
I don't want to leave her now,
You know I believe and how.-Lyrics by George Harrison, from the song Something
When I saw this picture that Gigi had taken, I said, "WOW, look at the driving power in the hind end and her back, she really knows how to use that great back!" I like her frame, very much, in this photo, as her back is not hollow and stiff. It's relaxed and connected between the energy in her hind end and in her front end. It curls down, in an arc, from the front end to the hind end, as if her hind end is going to go under her body. Everything that you feel from the photo is of a horse who is moving forward and is supple and creating this power that is really going to get you somewhere. There is no neck shot straight up and a head held so high, that it looks more like a submarine periscope, driving the back down and eliminating any connection between the moving points of her body. When I think of extreme movement, I think of this mare and this most wonderful photo. She is living proof, a confirmation of the quality horse which Babolna has been producing consistently in their breeding program.

Taghira B is sired by El Thay Mameluk and is out of the Zohair daughter, 211 Zohair-2. Taghira B is one of the horses Babolna produced , using El Thay Mameluk for breeding.
The mare, 211 Zohair is by Zohair [Alaa El Din x Zebeda] and out of 28 Farag [Farag x 9 Tamria]). The interesting aspects of Taghira's pedigree are the multiple sources of Kateefa, through Alaa El Din (the dam of this stallion) and the dam of Farag. Also, if you examine the pedigree even farther back, you will see that Layla is also a multiple source mare in the pedigree. Layla was a Dahmah Shahwaniyah and she appears in this mare's pedigree through Farag but also through Kamar (and to further underscore the importance of this mare, Layla is the dam of Sid Abouhom). We also have multiple sources of Moniet El Nefous present in this pedigree, both through the sire lines and through the dam lines.
BUT WHERE DOES THAT OUTSTANDING MOVEMENT COME FROM???
Can we attribute this spectacular movement to Alaa El Din, as he has demonstrated his influence through the female side of the pedigree or is this movement characteristic of the athletic capabilities of the Kuhaylah Rodaniyahs through Kateefa? Something to think and reflect about, on these cold winter days and great horses like Taghira make cold days so much warmer.

Keep wishing, keep dreaming, keep hoping...life is good,
Ralph

07 January, 2010

Majiid EQ


Majiid EQ is owned by John and Susan Fox of Equinox Arabians, Eatonton, Georgia and was recently leased to Vincenzo Pellegrini of Assa Egyptian Arabians in Treviso, Italy for the next three breeding seasons (2010, 2011 and 2012). I exchanged messages with Vincenzo and in addition to breeding, his plans also include a few shows with Frank Sponle holding the lead line.

Majiid EQ is sired by the Salaa el Dine son, Shahir IASB and out of Miss Maggie Mae, a daughter of The Minstril, out of Ruminaja Ali's dam, Bint Magidaa. When I studied his picture, I was confused. I knew the horse was not bred by Imperial Egyptian Stud but he really looks like an Imperial-bred horse. He is balanced, with many rounded lines and curves. He is scopey, with a longer neck and roominess in his throatlatch, a quality which is missing in today's Egyptian horses. He has nicely muscled forearms and that big Imperial hindquarter. That's what I find so appealing in him and so familiar. He has substance. He has muscles. Everything flows together...everything looks like it belongs on the horse. So, when I studied his pedigree, I smiled when I saw Salaa el Dine, as he is an Ansata Halim Shah son. This horse, Ansata Halim Shah was one of, if not THE epitome of balance, when he was alive. For me, he has become with time, even more so, the standard by which I measure all horses. As I kept looking at the pedigree, I realized that the stallion Shahir is out of an Imperial-bred mare, Imperial Im Phayana, an Ansata Imperial daughter out of Imperial Phanadah (*Ibn Moniet el Nefous x *Pharrah).

Do you know who Imperial Phanadah is? She was a phenomenal broodmare for Imperial Egyptian Stud, producing sons and daughters who have gone on to spread the Imperial influence, farther and wider than anyone thought possible, in her day. This pretty chestnut-colored mare also produced Imperial Phanilah, the 1994 World Champion Senior mare, who was owned by Al Shaqab, up until her death in 2007. Shahir's dam, Imperial Im Phayana was Imperial Phanilah's full sister. Imperial Phanadah also produced by Ansata Imperial, the full sisters to Phayana and Phanilah: Phanusa and Pharida. By Imperial Imdal, she produced the stallion Imperial Pharaj and the bay mare, Imperial Phandala, who is now with Anne-Lousie Toner of Al Atiq in Maryland. By Imperial Al Kamar, she also produced the stallion, Imperial Pharouk and the mare, Imperial Pharasha (who is now with Al and Judi Parks of Abbasiyah, having produced a lovely colt by Abraxas Moonstruk.) Bred once to the stallion, *Ibn Safinaz, she also produced the mare, Imperial Phateena.

For me, there are no words to express the powerful feelings I experience, when horses from long ago, materialize in front of me and are no longer dead...they are very much alive. All it takes is for the horse to stand a certain way or maybe, turn his head a little this way or place his hoof just so and a very much missed horse, whom you never thought you would see again, is suddenly standing in front of you. I get all choked up. It is interesting to study Majiid EQ from this perspective and look for the influence of Imperial Im Phayana, Ansata Imperial, Imperial Phanadah and her dam, *Pharrah.

It will be exciting to see the impact that Majiid EQ will have in Europe, both as a sire and as a show horse.

Best wishes to all and Happy New Year 2010,
Ralph