The W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Ranch Part 12 – The New Arabians of 1930

The W.K. Kellogg Arabian
Horse Ranch Part 12 –
The New Arabians of 1930

By Carol Woodbridge Mulder © 1990
**originally published in the May-June 1990 The Crabbet influence in Arabians Today magazine

The W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Ranch manager, Herbert H. Reese, was not only an astute and well educated horseman, manager, businessman, and gifted horse breeder, but was also a born horse trader. In 1930 there were so few Arabians in the United States-less than 800 living animals-that, despite the depression, buyers were to be found for most of the few Arabs which were available for sale. Thus, Mr. Reese and Mr. Kellogg not only continued to buy Arabians useful to the ranch breeding program, but also bought some individuals for the specific purpose of resale.

Seven Arabians were bought by the Kellogg Ranch in 1930, but only three of them were incorporated into the Kellogg breeding pool.

The first purchase, in the spring, was from Mr. W.A. Breckenridge.

Saracen 422
Age 10. Chestnut gelding foaled March 2, 1920. Abeyan Sherrak. Bred by F.E. Lewis II, Spadra, California. Sire: Harara 122, by *Deyr 33 (desert bred x desert bred) out of *Haffia 45 (Hamdani of the Anazeh x *Abeyah 39). Dam: Samit 153, by *Kusof 35 (desert bred x desert bred) out of *Haffia 45 (Hamdani of the Anazeh x *Abeyah 39). Sire Line: *Deyr 33. Family: *Abeyah 39.

Mrs. Betty Bassett boarded her mare and filly at the Kellogg Ranch. Mr. Reese was so favorably impressed with the mare, Leila, that when Mrs. Bassett was ready to sell the pair in May the Kellogg Ranch bought them for $6000; this was an enormous sum of money in 1930 and is a strong indication of Mr. Reese’s opinion of Leila.

Leila 275
Age 13. Chestnut mare foaled May 16, 1917. Maneghi Hedruj. Bred by S.C. Thompson, San Francisco, California. Sire: El Jafil 74, by *Ibn Mahruss 22 (Mahruss II x *Bushra 23) out of Sheba 19 (Mannaky Jr. 292 x *Pride 321). Dam: Narkesa 7, by Anazeh 235 (*Leopard 233 *Naomi 230) out of *NAomi 230 (Yataghan x Haidee). Sire Line: Barq. Family: Haidee

Alilatt 632
Age 3. Brown filly foaled March 4, 1927. Maneghi Hedruj. Bred by Betty Bassett, San Luis Obispo, California. Sire: Saraband 423, by Harara 122 (*Deyr 33 x *Haffia 45) out of Sedjur 193 (*Hamrah 28 x Aared 91). Dam: Leila 275, by El Jafil 74 (*Ibn Mahruss 22 x Sheba 19) out of Narkeesa 7 (Anazeh 235 x *Naomi 230). Sire Line: *Deyr 33. Family: Haidee.

In August, during a buying trip to the east, Mr. Reese bought two mares and a stallion from Colonel Gordon Hunter of Hartford, Connecticut. These two animals had previously been owned by the Fred Stone family of New York. They arrived at the Kellogg Ranch in California on November 9, 1930.

Narkhaleb 114
Age 19. Chestnut stallion foaled June 6, 1911. Maneghi Hedruj. Bred by Meldrum Gray, Columbus, Ohio. Sire: Leucosia 50, by *Haleb 25 (desert bred x desert bred) out of Narkeesa 7 (Anazeh 235 x *Naomi 230). Dam: Khaletta 9, by Khaled 5 (*Nimr 232 x *Naomi 230) out of Nazlina 6 (Anazeh 235 x *Nazli 231). Sire Line: *Haleb 25. Family: Haidee.

Sanma 411
Age 10. Bay mare foaled June 24, 1920. Seglawi Al-Abd. Bred by Hingham Stock Farm, Hingham, Massachussetts. Sire: Maleik 61, by *Haleb 25 (desert bred x desert bred) out of *Abeyah 39 (desert bred x desert bred). Dam: Sankirah 149, by *Hamrah 28 (Hamdani of the Anazeh x *Urfah 40) out of Moliah 109 (*Hamrah 28 x *Wadduda 30). Sire Line: *Haleb 25. Family *Wadduda 30.

Carolstone 637
Age 5. Chestnut mare foaled March 17, 1925. Abeyan Sherrak. Bred by Hingham Stock Farm, Hingham, Massachussetts. Sire: Kilham 408, by *Hamrah 28 (Hamdani of the Anazeh x *Urfah 40) out of Killah 103 (*Gomusa 31 x *Hadba 43). Dam: Dehaff 414, by *Deyr 33 (desert bred x desert bred) out of *Haffia 45 (Hamdani of the Anazeh x *Abeyah 39). Sire Line: Hamdani of the Anazeh. Family: *Abeyah 39.

During the same eastern trip Mr. Reese acquired the mare Mariam. Her previous owner had been unable to pay for her and Mr. Reese apparently got her for the amount owing-$250. She was part of the shipment which arrived at the Kellogg Ranch on November 9, 1930.

Mariam 181
Age 15. Chestnut mare foaled June 30, 1915. Kehilan Ajuz. Bred by W.R. Brown, Berlin, New Hampshire. Sire: *Abu Zeyd 82, by Mesaoud (Aziz II x Yemameh I) out of Rose Diamond (Azrek x Rose of Jericho). Dam: Nanda 15, by *Garaveen 244 (*Kismet 253 x Kushdil) out of *Nejdme 1 (desert bred x desert bred). Sire Line: Barq. Family: *Nejdme 1.

Saracen, a double grandson of *Haffia and a grandson of *Kusof, whose blood is not as frequently seen as that of some of the other Davenport import stallions, had clearly been bought for resale. He seems to have been sold from the Kellogg Ranch during the year of his purchase. The 1934 stud book lists his owner as Dr. Guy L. Bliss, Long Beach, California.

The coveted Leila went into the Kellogg broodmare band and proved herself a matron of rewarding capability. For the Kellogg Ranch she produced three foals of merit by Hanad 489 and Ralet 759. She was sold in the spring of 1938, at age 21, to Fred E. Vanderhoof, Woodlake, California, who bred one more foal from her sired by Jadaan 196.

 

**All of the articles included in the newly re-launched Crabbet.com site from the original website, Georgia Cheer, Silver Monarch Publishing and The Crabbet Influence magazine are shared here with permission of Georgia Cheer on May 16, 2012.**

1,857 total views, no views today

Share

This Was Carl Raswan

This Was Carl Raswan

By Alice Payne
**originally published in The Arabian Horse News Nov/Dec 1966 issue

Carl Raswan
Carl Raswan in Bedouin regalia

Carl Raswan, born March 7, 1893, at Castle of Reichstedt, near Dresden, Germany, died October 14, 1966, at Santa Barbara, California

Carl, without a doubt in my opinion, had more influence on Arabian horse breeding than any man, living or dead. The part he played in saving the classic Arabian horse is well known in Europe, Asia, South America and Africa. World politics did not chain him. He was equally known on both sides of the Iron Curtain. His knowledge was sought after all over the world. To the very end he was helping people world-wide in selecting animals, planning breeding and making importations. In the past he had been involved with the Brown, Dickenson and Kellogg importations into this country. In fact, he organized the Kellogg stud.

He imported horses from the desert for Americans, South Americans and Europeans. Carl wrote many books and articles about the Arabian Horse and the Bedouin, who survived because of the courage and strength, intelligence and endurance of his horse. The greatest contribution was his “Index,” for which he gathered information for 28 years. It required 11 years for him and his wife Esperanza to compile this information. In order to accomplish this, they isolated themselves in Mexico City and worked under the greatest of handicaps. This “Index” is now a living thing. Six volumes are out so far, and a seventh is in the process.

Carl was a gentle, kindly and humble man, dedicated to truth, especially about the Arabian horses. This later caused him to become the center of a fiery controversy. Even so, I personally never heard him say one unkind thing about anyone, even his bitterest critics.

During the 30’s and 40’s several stimulating articles appeared by Carl Raswan in the “Western Horseman” and other journals. These contained explanations, figures, photos, charts and descriptions regarding the breeding and pedigrees of Arabian horses. In fact, these articles stimulated me with a desire to know this man whose experiences were so vast and explanations so logical. I went to New Mexico with another Arab enthusiast to meet him. He was the most enthusiastic person I had ever met. His knowledge overwhelmed me. Carl had the ability to transmit this enthusiasm to others. He taught me simple ways to judge an Arabian and categorize them according to family stains. We talked for hours. When it came time to leave I looked up on the hill behind the stable and remarked: “Oh, you also raise Thoroughbreds!” “No, no,” he explained, “those are Mu’niqi. You must see!” He then brought these down and showed me the difference in head, legs and the hock structure, etc. From that time I never deviated from approaching an Arab in the manner which he taught me.

Carl was a dedicated man. He did not hesitate to tell what he believed to be the truth. I found his advice to be sound. Whenever I used a line of breeding which he had warned me against, sooner or later something undesirable turned up. So I learned to request his advice before making a purchase. I can truthfully say that I owe any success I might have as a breeder to Carl, and I am sure many others feel the same way.

I have been told that recently in Germany, Russia and Eastern Europe, renaissance among Arab breeders has occurred, and Carl’s teachings have become an accepted method of breeding. In Poland they said Carl was the first to bring from the desert any workable and concrete evidence as to the existence of family strains. He never referred to this as “Raswan’s theory,” but humbly passed it on as knowledge he had gained from the tribes.

As a horse photographer there was none equal to Carl. His ability as an author is displayed by the numerous editions of “Drinkers of the Wind” and other books. He used the scholarly form of Arabic in his Index. He was very facile in several languages: English, French, Spanish, German, Arabic and others.

Carl spent years in the desert with the tribesmen. Incidentally, his death was caused by silicosis (coal miner’s disease) which he acquired as a result of having been in sand storms with the Bedouin.

Carl met the great, the near-great and the lowly, and was the same gentle man with all these people. He gave untiringly of his time and knowledge to each and everyone who sought it. *RAFFLES, for example had been in this country five years before Carl could persuade American breeders to use him on purebred Arabian mares of the Kehilan family. His first colt was INDRAFF, the horse that became a legend in his own time. there are many, many other examples.

Carl put in endless hours on pedigrees for others. To offers of payment, his reply would be: “No, God gave me this gift and I cannot sell it.” Needless to say, he died a very poor man as far as material wealth is concerned — but not so, spiritually!

Carl Schmidt, his name by birth was given up when his horse *RASWAN was killed. At that time he said: “*RASWAN shall not die — I shall write under his name.” He then had his name legally changed to Raswan — in memory of a horse.

His life was filled with exciting adventures. In addition to his exploits in Arabia, he fought with the Turks at Gallipoli, was captured by the Polish reds in 1918 at Warsaw, imprisoned in 1937 by Hitler’s S.S. and served with the British Intelligence during World War II.

Carl’s wife Esperanza deserves much praise and credit, as she worked side by side with him on his “Index” and his later works, some of which have not been published — such as his auto-biography and Vol. VII of the “Index.” She is made of the stuff of which angels are made. He also leaves two dear and very young daughters, Chela and Beatriz.

1,999 total views, 5 views today

Share

Corollaries of Strain Breeding – Part 1

Corollaries of Strain Breeding – Part 1

By Charles C. Craver
**originally printed in Arabian Visions March 1991 issue

Carl Raswan
Carl Raswan

One of the reasons many Arabian breeders are fascinated by strain breeding theory is that it provides a logical approach to the understanding of Arabian horse pedigrees. It reduces them to simple terms from which evaluations and predictions can be made. For some people the evaluations and predictions are useful. For others they are not. In either case, they are arrived at by a process of reason.

Strain breeding didn’t start out as a logical exercise. Until the 1920’s, almost everyone who wrote about the Arabian horse in Arabia observed that the Bedouin horse breeding tribes had different families of horses which they called strains. Such observations, which extend at least until 1970, occur in the works of Burkhardt, Guarmani, Upton, the Blunts, Skene, Tweedy, Davenport, Raswan, Brown, Zientarski, H.R.P. Dickson, Forbis, and others.

These people all had first-hand experience observing the Arabian horse in its native environment. They described the overall breed as divided into strains, and they obviously seemed to think that the strain names described different types of horses. Few such observers thought of the subject of Arabian strains as a subject of logical analysis. To them, it was simply a fact that the Arabian breed was divided into different breeding groups which were identified by strain names.

However, as Arabian horse breeding has become established outside of Arabia, mostly in Egypt, England, the Americas, and Europe, there has been a tendency for breeders to lose sight of basic Bedouin concepts of breeding. One of the first such concepts to be lost was that of strain breeding. It was not well understood outside of Arabia at best. A worse reason for ignoring it was that a number of breeders who set the tone for writing on the subject of Arabian horse breeding came to the conclusion that, after generations of ignoring strain considerations and other standards of Bedouin breeding, Arabian strain concepts no longer fit Arabian horses.

This position has too often been both right and wrong. Wrong because some of these people did not understand Arabian strains well enough to know when they were active in a pedigree and when they were not. They didn’t even understand what they were rejecting. Right because it is indeed true that Arabian breeding has arrived at a point where there are many registered Arabian horses which are so far removed in type and pedigree from the Arabian horse of Arabia that Bedouin standards no longer apply to them, including strain standards. For such horses, it is not reasonable to think in terms of strain breeding.

By the 1920’s, most writers on the subject of Arabian breeding were thinking mainly about “breeding the best to the best” and trying to produce good cavalry horses. About that time a young German immigrant to this country, Carl Raswan (born Carl Schmidt), began a lifelong career as a horseman and writer in which he presented a theory as to how Arabian strains could be used to produce certain types of Arabian horses.

Raswan repeatedly made the point that he had not invented his version of strain breeding. As evidence, he referenced written testimony of Bedouin breeders of historic record — italics– Western Horseman: “Pure Strains of Arabians,” (pages 42-44) as well as his own contacts with Bedouin breeders in Arabia, where he had traveled extensively, and his study of Arabian breeding outside of Arabia. Thus, his contribution to strain breeding theory was presented as a matter of restatement, systematization, and interpretation.

Raswan had no monopoly on strain-breeding theory. Other people have had their own ideas on the subject and conducted excellent breeding programs based upon them. Polish breeding, for instance, is said to place importance on strain-breeding principles, and Raswan maintained that, by his criteria, Lady Wentworth was, in effect, a closet strain breeder, a proposition which she articulately denied.

American breeders have used strain breeding of one form or another from the time of our very first American breeder, Randolph Huntington. Other Americans who strain bred were Homer Davenport, Peter Bradley, Alice Payne, John Doyle, Jane and Carl Asmis, numerous breeders associated with Al Khamsa-type horses, and a multitude of people who deliberately or not, followed concepts of type and pedigree which amount to strain breeding. The concepts of strain breeding have been widely observed in the United States. They are not unusual, esoteric, or extreme. But sometimes they are not recognized.

Raswan’s version of strain breeding was unusual in that it was comprehensive for Arabian breeding. It was not universally accepted in the Arabian horse community. It offended some people, perhaps because it did not treat their horses well. Others did not follow its logic, and some simple didn’t agree with it.

Raswan himself was a persuasive personality and a convincing writer, but his work lost some public credibility because his lifestyle was unconventional, and because from time to time he made statements about Arabian horse breeding which he perhaps understood but appeared to be contradictory to some people. Also, he had the disadvantage of publishing over a period of forty some years. During that time there were changes of position, sometimes based on normal thought development, and sometimes on new information such as constantly turns up concerning Arabian horses. It is very difficult matter for an author to be completely consistent over such a long period of time.

Over the years, a number of critics have rejected Raswan strain theory because they disagreed with his stand in favor of purist breeding. The two were not the same at all and, in fact, the strain theory provides a means of correcting what Raswan felt to be mistakes in purist breeding so that they no longer have practical effect.

In spite of criticism, Raswan’s concept of strain breeding received wide distribution among Arabian breeders, with some finding it convincing and others being less attracted to it. In recent times, a resurgence of interest seems to be in process. Perhaps this results from the increasing tendency at our Arabian horse shows and in pictures in our national magazines, for the Arabian horse as registered to look less and less like what people recognize as a real Arabian horse. Strain-breeding theory is perceived as offering a program for returning to a recognizable type of Arabian horse.

There are several basic propositions upon which Raswan’s theories of strain breeding are based. These have been described numerous places and will be listed here with only brief explanations. Readers who desire more detail are referred first of all to Raswan’s own written work, of which perhaps the most convenient instance is The Raswan Index. A survey of the subject was included in “Kissing the Frog Prince,” by the present writer in Arabian Visions, May and June issues of 1989.

Proposition 1: The horses bred by the Bedouins of Arabia could be classified as belonging to three major strain groups:1) the Kuhaylan group: “Strength-type: masculine, muscular, wide across back, croup, chest, neck, forehead, and broad across forearm and gaskins. Even the mares are muscular-masculine; 2) the Saqlawi group, tending to have high neck and tail carriage: “Beauty-type: feminine, elegant, fine boned, extremely handsome. The Parade and Show Type. Even the stallions are extremely beautiful-feminine,” 3) the Mu’niqi group, “the Angular-Race-type: with long lines (long back, long neck, long legs, and long, narrow head), also taller than the ‘Classic’-type-Arabian and also coarser (often ugly in appearance and in temperament).” (Strain descriptions from The Arab and His Horse, page 28.)

Each breeding group has other distinctive details as well, concerning which, the reader is referred to Raswan’s work. There was at least one possible exception to the classification of Arabian strains into three breeding groups, and that concerned the Hadban strain. In personal conversation, Raswan said this strain was neither Saqlawi, Kuhaylan, or Mu’niqi, but that horses of this strain crossed best with those of Kuhaylan bloodlines. However, in his Western Horseman article “The Head of the Arabian,” and in the table of strains published by the same magazine in the article “Undistinguished Types of Arabian Horses,” he gives the Hadban and Kuhaylan strains as related, as he does in The Arab and His Horse, page 28, and elsewhere.

It ought to be kept in mind that by classifying the multitude of Arabian strains into three major breeding groups, Raswan was not indicating that individual strains within each breeding didn’t have their own characteristics. On the contrary, he obviously felt that the separate strains within the larger breeding groups had distinctive features. These are described in detail in the section titled “Arabian Strains” in The Raswan Index.

Proposition 2: Bred within their own divisions of the three breeding groups, Arabian horses tend to produce according to their groups. Thus Saqlawi bred to a Saqlawi, tends to produce a Saqlawi. A Kuhaylan bred to a Kuhaylan, tends to produce a Kuhaylan. A Mu’niqi bred to a Mu’niqi tends to produce a Mu’niqi.

Proposition 3: The Kuhaylan and Saqlawi strains are related, and when individuals of these strains are bred to each other, harmonious, attractive individuals result which may lack the extreme features of either parent strain, but are recognizable of “Classic” Arabian type.

Proposition 4: The Mu’niqi strain is fundamentally unrelated to the Kuhaylan and Saqlawi strains. When individuals of it or other unrelated bloodlines are crossed with Kuhaylan and Saqlawi bloodlines, “classic” Arabian type deteriorates. It was Raswan’s theory that the lack of type in many Arabian horses of his time as a writer (roughly 1925 to 1966), was the result of unsuccessful crosses between the Mu’niqi and the Kuhaylan and Saqlawi breeding groups.

The propositions given here as the basics of Raswan strain theory provide an interesting tool for analyzing the Arabian horse as a breed. By themselves, however, they are not very useful in guiding actual Arabian breeders in production of Arabian horses according to predictable patterns. They are simply too general to have much specific application: it is fine to know that there are different major families of Arabian horses, but that does not tell how to plan flesh-and-blood matings between horses.

Raswan, C.R., The Arab and His Horse, Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 55-11083.
Raswan, C.R., The Raswan Index. Published in several editions. References here are given by topic rather than page number as a convenience to readers.
Raswan, C.R., A Collection of Articles by Carl Raswan, a private republication by Alice L. Payne and her son Robert of articles by Carl Raswan originally appearing in Western Horseman magazine.
Raswan, C.R., “Key” to Arabian Pedigrees. Originally copyrighted in 1956, this document was later incorporated into The Raswan Index.

3,069 total views, no views today

Share

Corollaries of Strain Breeding – Part 2

Corollaries of Strain Breeding – Part 2

By Charles C. Craver
**originally published in Arabian Visions April 1991 issue

Farasin
*Farasin (Rasim x *Ferda) photo courtesy Mary Jane Parkinson

Corollary 1: The female side of a pedigree is more important than the male side. In marking pedigrees of specific horses, Raswan typically called special attention to the occurrence of patterns on the female side of a pedigree. Thus, for the present writer, the presence of Kuhaylan elements on the female side of the pedigrees of Dharebah and Dharanah were especially noted. In a letter dated February 12, 1952, to Dr. J.L.Doyle, he wrote, “the important line is of the Dam,” In his “Key” to Arabian Pedigrees” he makes references to the special importance of the influence of the dam’s side of the pedigree as applied to all three strain-breeding groups. This, of course, is consistent with the Bedouin breeding practice of tracing strain inheritance through the dam.

Corollary 2: Arabian type is influenced by strains according to their proportional importance in a pedigree. In evaluating a specific pedigree, Raswan typically calculated the percentages of the major strains present. Individuality of the horse was considered in large part to be represented by the majority strain influence present. He made the point that this might be different from the actual tail-female strain of the pedigree, which technically determines an animal’s strain of registration. In this way, Farana, a registered Mu’niqi, is shown to be predominantly Kuhaylan. Ronek was described as “A registered Saqlawi, but by pedigree he proves to be 7/8 Kuhaylan and only 1/8 Saqlawi.” (Western Horseman: “Undistinguished Types of Arabian Horses”). As Arabian strains have developed in complex modern pedigrees, the actual tail-female strain of an Arabian horse seldom indicates the predominant strain in its pedigree.

Corollary 3: After enough removal, the strain of a given ancestor no longer contributes to individuality. In his Western Horseman article “Breeding to Arabian Type.” Raswan writes, “When we come to five generations (or more) removed from unrelated strains, we enter the domain of the perfect Arabian horses. They are practically (and for many reasons) as good as those who never carried a drop of unrelated blood.” As applied to modern breeding, this corollary effectively removes concern which most breeders might have for Mu’niqi elements in their horses’ pedigree. The fact is that Mu’niqi influence in most modern bloodlines traces to very remote pedigree elements which have seldom concentrated in their descendents. They are usually to far back to count for much, if anything. Some of the best domestic American bloodlines are Mu’niqi in tail-female and are therefore of that strain, as far as registration is concerned. This is seldom the predominant strain in their pedigrees and has little if any relationship to how they appear or how they breed.

The same lack of concern is not necessarily warranted for other “unrelated” pedigree elements.

Corollary 4: When animals of mixed strains background but of the same strain are bred to each other, classic type intensifies. This was the basis of “pure-in-strain” breeding, which consisted of breeding animals of the same strain to each other. Raswan maintained that “Orthodox Bedouins always bred Arabians pure in the strain!” (Western Horseman “Pure Strains of Arabians.”) He felt that “plus points” accumulated in working towards the reappearance of classic Arabian type for each generation of breeding in a pedigree in which animals of the same strains were bred to each other through the sixth generation of breeding. (“‘Key’ to Arabian Pedigrees”) ” ‘Fanatics’ aim at purity of strain…by faithful adherence to the same strain. When that one particular strain has been used throughout five generations, an Arabian horse of the original type of the desert has been recreated.” (From Western Horseman, “Breeding to Arabian Type.”)

Corollary 5: The Kuhaylan and Saqlawi strains are related and their type characteristics are complementary. Somewhat in contradiction to corollary 4 above, in personal conversation as in some of his written work, Raswan maintained that the Kuhaylan and Saqlawi strains were very much alike with only minor differences and that they could be bred to each other to produce an ideal Arabian.” … The mixing of the two classic-antique types, (1) the Kuhaylan (including its substrains) and (2) the Saqlawi (including its substrains), does no harm, as far as Arabian characteristics, harmonious proportions, symmetrical lines and the balance of the whole horse are concerned.” (Western Horseman “Related Strains of Arabians”)

In personal conversation and in letters, Raswan sometimes recommended this type of crossing as he did to the present writer, to Dr. J.L.Doyle, and to Alice Payne. It is the writer’s impression that the cross between *Mirage and *Raffles bloodlines initiated at the Selby Farm in the 1930’s and subsequently followed at Never Die Farm and elsewhere, was in part at least the result of Raswan’s thought and/or recommendation. He sometimes used *Mirage as an example of Saqlawi type and *Raffles as an example of Kuhaylan type.

Corollary 6: Classic Arabian type emerges as the percentage of Mu’niqi of unrelated ancestry diminishes. “The most amazing improvements occur when Arabians are at least four generations removed from any unrelated blood.” (Western Horseman: “Breeding to Arabian Type”). In chart form, Raswan’s “‘Key’ to Arabian Pedigrees” establishes a graduated system of points of evaluation in which points of merit are subtracted according to how many Mu’niqi ancestors appear in the first six generations and added according to the number of generations the subject of a pedigree is removed from Mu’niqi ancestry.

Corollary 7: Physical type of an individual can be evidence of its strain background. This is illustrated by a passage from manuscript in the Pritzlaff collection: “Each strain with its families is individually different… a Bedouin could without difficultly place a blooded Arabian stallion or mare in his or her different strain, because the distinctions of outward conformity are striking to the accustomed eye. Likewise, the Arabian horse which comes of a mixed strain can be judged outwardly according to its descent, and a practiced eye can establish the various strains of the sires and grandsires…” In 1925, Raswan wrote a letter to W.R.Brown, which is also included in the Pritzlaff Collection: “If a Bedouin would come to your tent in the desert and ask for a fast enduring horse to save his life from a well mounted pursuer and you would offer him 3 mares to pick from: a Saklawi, a Kuhailan, a Miniqi-he would pick the Kuhailan Mare as sure as she would have to have 4 legs and he would not need to ask you which one was the Kuhailan mare, as he would know her from her looks and conformation!!”

Corollary 8: Strain breeding is not restricted to the production of “classic” Arabian type. Raswan’s theory also was applicable to the production of “non-classic” types, if the definition of “classic” is taken to be the picture-book kind of pretty Arabian. From the Richard Pritzlaff collection, in personal notation on the margin of pages torn out of Lady Wentworth’s The Authentic Arabian, he indicates that the Mu’niqi mares *Ferda and *Farasin were included in his famous 1926 importation from Crabbet to the Kellogg Farm, because he “planned to cross these Mu’niqiyah mares to a Mu’niqi stallion in America (and could not get a pure Mu’niqiyah mare from Lady W. or anybody else in England and had to take what would match the Mu’niqi stallions in America.” (Underlining Raswan’s). Unfortunately, such matings were not done, but at a later date he was successful in carrying out or arranging breedings which concentrated the Mu’niqi strain. The writer has seen an example of the produce of this breeding, and it was, sure enough, recognizably what Raswan had described as Mu’niqi.

Raswan’s theory as to the influence of Mu’niqi pedigree elements is also useful in accounting for achieving certain desired results in modern Arabian breeding which are apart from goals of strictly “classic” breeding. Some of the features of Mu’niqi influence are very attractive to modern breeders, especially in the show context. Increased size, longer legs, longer necks, exaggeration of tail carriage, racing rear leg structure, and extra elements of “flash” are all components of individuality which can be enhanced by a level of influence of Mu’niqi or certain other blood that is unrelated to the Kuhaylan and Saqlawi strains.

Strain theory shows how such pedigree elements can be used to furnish these features and at the same time preserve some of the “classic” features of Arabian type, such as a pretty head and general “Arab” character. The trick is to have the sources of these elements close enough in a pedigree to have the desired effect, but far enough back so that the animal produced is attractive and balanced. A number of major current breeding programs are successful in achieving this balance.

What has been presented in this article is a version of elements of Raswan strain theory. Another writer on the same subject might well come up with a somewhat different account, but any person seriously attempting to represent Raswan’s work of record would at least have to give consideration to the main points stated here.

Would Raswan have agreed with the present article? Perhaps not. He was a man of extremely complicated thought processes. Although he had the gift of appearing to write very clearly, his work was by no means simple or easy to understand. Probably no one completely understood Raswan but Raswan.

It would be convenient if Raswan’s strain theory could be “proven.” That is unlikely to ever happen in any logical sense because of the difficulty of stating his thoughts in empirically verifiable format. Furthermore, the objects from which his theory was primarily derived, namely the Arabian horses of tribal life in Arabia, no longer exist as Raswan wrote about them. Current verification of the basic observation upon which his theory is based is therefore unlikely.

Whether Raswan’s strain theory can be “proven” is really not of importance for most Arabian horse breeders. The important thing is that it presents a way of breeding and understanding Arabian horses which is effective in producing good results for breeders. Many people over the years have used it either knowingly or otherwise and been well rewarded. It would be difficult for the theory to fail in application, because it involves so many elements which are simply common sense, practical applications of genetic principles, such as are used by good breeders of many kinds of livestock.

An example of this is the emphasis on the female side of a pedigree. Almost every cow-man know that his best calves come from a certain few cows in his herd. That is not considered strain theory: just a fact of life. Another example of common sense in Raswan strain theory is the importance given to the actual observable results of strain breeding. People expect such results, and use them as a check on strain procedures. It is also a matter of common sense as well as accepted genetic expectation, that animals of fixed-type reproduce themselves when bred to each other. Just about every breeder of purebred livestock must be aware of this. Another almost universally accepted basis of livestock breeding is that, as pedigree elements become distant, they become less important.

In general, much of Raswan’s application of strain theory was based on simple, logical principles of breeding. They were useful, and, if they were not technically provable, they were not different in this from most other of the “principles” of everyday living upon which we depend for all kinds of guidance. Most of us don’t know what makes the car go, apples fall, medicine work, and the banks stay open. Our lack of perfect knowledge does not keep us from making useful decisions about such events, not does it prevent us from using strain-breeding concepts as tools in the production of better Arabian horses.

Raswan, C.R., The Arab and His Horse, Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 55-11083.
Raswan, C.R., The Raswan Index. Published in several editions. References here are given by topic rather than page number as a convenience to readers.
Raswan, C.R., A Collection of Articles by Carl Raswan, a private republication by Alice L. Payne and her son Robert of articles by Carl Raswan originally appearing in Western Horseman magazine.
Raswan, C.R., “Key” to Arabian Pedigrees. Originally copyrighted in 1956, this document was later incorporated into The Raswan Index.

3,446 total views, no views today

Share

The Horses of the World

The Horses of the World

by Lady Wentworth
**originally published in Western Horseman March/April 1946 issue
(An Answer to Carl Raswan’s: Davenport vs Blunt Arabians)

Lady Wentworth inspects four of her Arabian stallions, with Coronation Stables, Crabbet Park, providing a beautiful backdrop.
Lady Wentworth inspects four of her Arabian stallions, with Coronation Stables, Crabbet Park, providing a beautiful backdrop.

The horse stock of the world can be roughly divided geographically into (A) “cold” blood (Equs caballus frigidus), which belongs to the North or more exactly Northwestern cold countries, including the strong slow-moving convex headed thick-skinned breeds, and (B) the “hot” blood of the South and East founded on the concave-headed Equus Arabicus, which is the tap root of speed and quality.

From the admixture of these types all other “warm” or “cool” breeds are derived, varying in appearance according to the predominance of blood on either side, just as the primary colours blue and yellow produce varying shades of green. These may be classed as “Equus caballus frigicalidus” where the cold predominate, and “Equus caballus ardens”where the hot is in excess. The Thoroughbred race horse is an instance of E. C. Ardens. There is no documentary proof that he has of drop of anything but Oriental blood (Arab and Barb), but his varying count of ribs and the heavy convex heads which occasionally appear, are evidences of cold blood somewhere and these reversions can only come from the few foundation mares whose origin is unknown.

Kehileh Dajamieh

This absence of evidence has recently been claimed as positive evidence of a wonderful breed of native English racing mares. This patriotic invention is a mere mares nest. Though I have traced some of these Oriental sources, the remaining few are quite obviously flaws, for though some of the convex heads may be of Barb origin, these blanks are the only possible source of the coarse elements which undoubtedly exist, but which were all notoriously non-racing breeds. The classic winners seldom show these reversions.

All contemporary, both written and pictorial, proves conclusively (1) that the Arab was universally considered the only breed for getting racehorses and held the supreme reputation for speed. (2) That there was no indigenous breed of racing mares of English blood. (3) That all horses of all breeds then in England, even cart horses, were foreign, i.e., either Oriental or continental heavy battle horses and Spanish harness and parade horses. Historians have been misled by the word “courser” which at that time meant a ponderous charger for armoured knights, and not a racehorse, until a couple of centuries later when it was first used for hare coursing. It was the Arab that gave the speed, and the good feeding and 300 years of specialization did the rest.

So far from being a Mongolian derivative dating only from post-Christian times, as has lately been advanced by writers who have not studied type or documentary proofs, the Arabian horse is the world’s oldest hot-blooded racing foundation stock. This horse does not appear on the rock carvings of Europe of 50,000 B.C., as he was geographically far removed from this area, but he does appear on the rock carvings of central Arabia and Syria long B.C. and is magnificently shown in the Temples of Egypt c. 1,300 to 2,000 B.C., at a period when historical records show that Rameses and Seti took thousands of mares in their battles against the Arabian and Syrian tribes. Here we find the Arab horse, startling in his lifelike beauty, with arched neck and tail aloft, galloping in light chariots or ridden barebacked in battle; and the first ridden horse on record of about the same date is a statuette found in Egypt and now in the New York Museum.

SharimaContrary to Ridgeway’s theory, Libya and the Barbary states had originally no horses, either fossil or alive, or depicted on rock. The oldest rock carvings of horses dated only after the migrations of the Beni Helal from Arabia into Libya, which approximately followed somewhat later than the appearance of Arabian horses in Egypt. The Arabian racehorses appears B.C. on some of the Greek vases (not the Parthenon horse which was a mixed pony type.) Further, the Phoenician Arab seafaring traders disseminated Arabian horses all aver the coasts of southern Europe, reaching even England.

ShareerProfessor Ridgeway was right in thinking that there was “a wonderful racing breed which overran the whole world and influenced every breed.” but he got his facts and dates upside down. The Arab, not the Barb, is the foundation stock from which the Barb was only one of the derivations. El Kelbi’s records trace back to the wild horses Hoshaba and Baz, owned by Baz, great grandson of Shem, son of Noah, 3,000 B.S., and to Zad er Rakib, dating from the time of King Solomon 1,000 B.C. All writers have hitherto entirely missed the records of Sultan El Naseri. Arab horses were raced by the Prophet in Syria and there are records of the names of racehorses B.C.

Kuhaylan RodanIn the 9th century and for 500 years Egypt was the world’s greatest racing center. Sultan El Naseri, 1290 A.D., gave fabulous prices for Arab race horses, 30,000 English pounds for a stallion, and the world’s record price for any horse when he paid 67,000 pounds for the El Karta filly. This remains a record, as the fantastic syndicate valuation of recent Thoroughbreds is false value for speculation and not paid by any one person. The Barbary states have always been a corridor for mixed invasions of all sorts of settlers with all sorts of horses. Northwest Africa was once joined to Europe and its fauna and flora are all of European type. The horses are a cosmopolitan mixture still showing the convex Northern head much like the Spanish breed. The subsequent invasions of Beni Helal and the later Saracen ones flooded them with Arabian horses, and in Morocco the Arab strains were long preserved pure. Barbs have varied in type from century to century just as their human counterparts have done. They got a reflected reputation owing to their Arab blood, but were never in the same class as sires and were not racehorses in their own country, though held next to the Arab as an improver.

The story of El Khamsa or the five mares of the Prophet is, as its origin shows, entirely post-Islamic and forms no part of real history. Strain names, too, are comparatively recent. The Arab breed was generally termed Kehilan, meaning Thoroughbred, shortened from Kehilan Ajuz “the Ancient Thoroughbred.” All strains are Kehilan (i.e., purebred) even those where the word “Kehilan”has been dropped in common speech. Strain names do not denote any special characteristics. All purebred Arabs should conform as nearly as possible to the one perfect foundation type aimed at in Arabia, whatever the name of the strain. These names are valuable as identification, for in Arabia as elsewhere, certain breeders either by natural judgment or good luck tend to breed better individuals than others, just as some owners through ill-fortune of war may lose their best mares and be reduced to breeding from their pure but less individually good stock. So when a Nomad is told a horse is “Kehilan” he wants to know Kehilan of what or where or whose Kehilan, as we should do when told a mare is Thoroughbred and we want to know where and by whom she was bred.

It is obviously foolish to say that certain strains should never be bred to a Kehilan because all are Kehilan (Thoroughbred), and it is equivalent to saying that no Aga Khan mares should be mated to a Thoroughbred! The origin of stain names is generally from the name of a man or a district or the characteristic of some celebrated horses, but it does not mean that such a characteristic stamps the whole strain. Dahman, for instance, took its name from the colour of a black ass which fostered a filly foal. It was not even the colour of the mare herself or her filly. Sub-strains are constantly changing with ownership. There are early mentions of horses of “the Stock of Dahes” or of Wajib or Labik or Ajuz, corrupted by Abd-el Kader into the Algerian myth of “Ahway,” which is merely a scribe’s error in omitting a dot, thus converting the word “ancient” to “crooked” on which the myth of the crooked stallion was evolved.

On the subject of strains, Lady Anne Blunt wrote many years ago:

“I cannot discover any ground for the theory of certain strains having certain peculiar characteristics. There is no distinction drawn between them as Skene (the Consul at Aleppo) imagined, and no Bedouin would dream of keeping them separately. It must be pointed out that though Oasis dwellers, even in Nejd and tribes that have migrated north to the edge of Ottoman territory, accept the ordinary Moslem tradition, it is not so with the Nomad tribes to whom their is no Khamsa. What they say is ‘Ah, those are things which the Northern folk (Ahl es Shemal) believe — and anyone who talks like that is fit to be shut up as a lunatic’. “

Thus we see that the Bedouin tradition is thousands of years prior to strain names or to the Islamic version of them which forms no part of the true Bedouin desert lore. It is time to emphasize this, as with the spread of civilization and distortion of history by what lady Anne Blunt’s Muteyri informant used to call “those madmen who write books,” the old simple straightforward history is likely to became more and more overlaid and forgotten in the romantic semi-religious Algerian myths and superstitions against which she warned us 30 years ago. We can only, therefore, repeat that there is one universal classic type of perfect beauty which should be the type of all pure bred Kehilan Thoroughbred stock. No strain is characterized by heavy heads, harsh coats, speed, long necks or any other peculiarities whatsoever good or bad.

In all pedigree stock there are individuals which, as Mr. Blunt wrote, diverge somewhat from the true type. It happens less often with Arabs of pure blood than with almost any other breed, but where it does occur the horses, however authentic in pedigree, should not be bred from. These are the very ones which are cast off by the tribes for sale to Europeans, their defects being passed off as being typical of Managhi or Jilfan strains. Bedouins are grand “leg pullers,” and delight in playing on foreign credulity. A really classic Arab bears his pedigree in his faultless appearance.

Far be it from me to claim that I am the sole and only owner of the world’s best horses. I have in truth inherited a great tradition which I am carrying on to the best of my judgment, but I should be the last to claim perfection. Those who aim at perfection are seldom satisfied, and I am possibly the severest critic of my own stock. The perfect horse like the perfect man is a rather elusive quarry! There are many horses in America of very high quality which I should be the first to appreciate, no matter who owned them.

I publishedthe Davenport-Borden controversy not to disparage the Davenport or any other stock but because the battle struck me as a highly entertaining human document. I have the whole correspondence and report of Davenport’s proceedings on Davenport’s own authority, but if I have hurt the feelings of anyone now owning descendants of this stock I should be very sorry. If some of them by lucky chance were authentic they will make good in the quality of their descendants. Blood will tell, and I should be delighted to see such evidence. The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

As for myself, the stock here has certainly proved itself all over the world, due to the high quality of the tap root mares, and it is established on the best traditions, but there are always possibilities of improvement, even if it means painting the lily and re-gilding the gold standard! And if any American owner can offer me a more perfect lily than that grown in the Crabbet garden, I am ready to buy it at his price without haggling.

1,698 total views, no views today

Share