By ‘The Horse Lover’ magazine author
** Originally published in the August September 1949 issue of the Horse Lover magazine.
Here you are privileged to see unmistakable Arabian character of the finest type. This young stallion has a deep body of desirable width – the shoulders, chest, barrel and hind quarters are of special merit.
Ankar (pictured above at the top of page as the article/header photo) is well ribbed up, compact and his tail carried in an arch. His head is of unforgettable beauty and with it all his delicate thorn like ears, large eyes and magnificent expression is thrilling to behold. Ankar stands 14.2 hands — a copper chestnut and his weight is 1050 lbs. Age 5 years.
In seeing Ankar and carefully going over him in the course of a prolonged visit a horseman might summarize his qualities as follows:
- Very symmetrical and classically beautiful.
- His head is like a masterpiece of fine carving.
- Full bodied throughout, good back and loins and well developed hind quarters are much in evidence.
- His legs are well muscled, with ample bone below the knee and hock — good feet — large clean joints.
- Disposition and manners good.
Antez, the sire of Ankar, proved his worth as a racer, driving horse, show horse in hand and under saddle, as well as being a champion sire. There can be no question that he also had great endurance. In a private test conducted by General Dickinson in 1932, Antez, carrying a moderate weight of 225 pounds was ridden steadily twelve hours a day for five days over fields, country roads, and hillside trails. According to General Dickinson, at the end of the test Antez was in perfect condition and apparently ready and willing to go the distance again immediately.
Rehasafa, the dam of Ankar, was sired by Rehal who was bred by W.R. Brown and later owned by W.R. Hearst. The dam Ferdasafa is by the twice champion at the Los Angeles National Horse Show, Ferdin. The granddam, Rasafa, was bred by the Crabbet Park Stud in England. Her dam, Rasima, was closely related to the noted *Abu Zeyd. This mare traces in all lines to the Crabbet Park Stud and represents some of the best of their blood.
The Mekeel breeding program started in 1939, and for the past ten years they have improved their broodmare band with the purchase of outstanding mares whenever possible. They now have thirty-one Arabians headed by their stallion Ankar. They have recently purchased a young stallion from Mr. Henry Babson of Chicago. This stallion is by Fadl and out of Bint Sabbah. They have great hopes for him.
Ankar has only been shown twice. The first time at the Westminster Horse Show where he won first in the mature stallion class, and the second time at the Los Angeles Country Spring Fair where he also won the mature stallion class as well as being made champion stallion.
His sire was Antez whose blood is probably as highly regarded today by some Arabian breeders as any horse of our generation. It is a rare blending of blood lines indeed to be able to get so many desirable points to culminate in one individual.
Lack of space prohibits a detailed description of each of his four notable grandparents. One of them, however, may shed some light as to why beauty and strength may be combined to such a high degree.
Harara (grandsire) – an Abeyan Sherrak, for years a leading sire in Puerto Rico and until his death in 1933 owned by the Central Aguirre Sugar Company. Harara’s dam was *Haffia, an Abeyah Sherrakieh by a Hamdani Simri stallion that was held in such high esteem by the Anazeh tribe in Arabia that they refused to set a price on him for the Italian Government. Her dam, *Abeyah, was considered by Hashem Bey, the Sheykh of all the Anazeh, to have the most rarely beautiful head in the desert. She was distinguished for speed, and, though small, was a marvel of stamina and weight-carrying ability. She was reported to have carried 300 pounds a distance of 35 miles over rough ground in four hours with the sun registering 135 degrees. *Haffia was bred by the Shammar tribe in the desert and imported by Homer Davenport to America in 1905.
Ankar is owned by Mr. and Mrs. Leland E. Mekeel, 815 West Washington Blvd., Whittier, California.
Last Updated: April 30th, 2019