By Kat Walden
** Originally printed in the 1998 North American Crabbet Breeders Stallion Guide issue of the Crabbet Influence magazine.
The English mare, Silent Wings, was a 7th generation tail-female descendant of the desert-bred foundation Crabbet Stud broodmare. The mares of this family have been exceptional and prolific producers.
Silent Wings’ dam Silfina (Indian Gold x Sharfina) also produced the exported half-brothers, Electric Silver and Sindh, who have been strongly influential in Australian Arabian breeding.
Silfina’s full sister *Serafina is best known in the U.S. as the dam of the full brothers *Serafix and *Silver Drift (by Raktha) and Silent Wings’ full brother *Oran Van Crabbet.
In addition to these full sisters, Sharfina produced ten other fillies and two colts. One son, Shafreyn (Royal Diamond), was exported to Australia where he sired many good endurance horses. Two half-sisters to *Serafina also came to the U.S.: *Sharafa (*Silver Vanity) and *Shades of Night (Rissam). *Sharafa produced a son *George Washington, who in turn sired Lady Asfur (Arabian Sport Horse Association, Inc registry #M00175), an outstanding hunter over fences, and her full brother Dargee (ASHAI #S00220). *Shades of Night produced Al-Marah O Rapturous Night (Rapture), whose grandson UF Tall Tales (ASHAI #G00114) helped launch the ASHAI Year End Awards Program. Dressage stallion Ta’ez (ASHAI #S00586), has two lines to Silfina through the imported Australian sire, *Ralvon Elijah and two lines to *Serafina through *Serafix on his dam’s side.
Silent Wings, a 1954 chestnut mare, upheld her family tradition splendidly. Some of the most notable of her 15 foals were: Yemama (Indian Magic), a 1959 gray mare; *Zilla (Indian Magic), a 1960 gray mare; Azrak (Blue Domino) a 1964 chestnut stallion; Bright Wings (Bright Shadow), a 1965 chestnut stallion; and Golden Wings (Bright Shadow), a 1968 chestnut gelding. Yemama, dam of 16 foals, produced among them Silent Dove and Ludomino. *Zilla, exported to the U.S., carries on through her *Nizzam daughter Lewisfield Nizila. Azrak sired the well-known British sire Silver Blue in his one foal crop prior to his export to South Africa, where he was also a successful sire. Bright Wings, exported to the Netherlands, sired *Odessa NSB (she having a second line to Silfina through her maternal grandsire), who in turn produced the U.S. National Stallion Halter Champion *Padron. This leaves Golden Wings, whose legacy was a high profile career as a dressage horse.
Golden Wings was a 16 hand chestnut with a blaze, his near foreleg white above the knee and a hock-high sock on the off hind, and his mane and tail were lighter than his coat. He was bred by Mrs. E.M. Thomas from all Crabbet lines, and his sire, Bright Shadow, was noted for offspring with exceptional gaits.
Purchased as a young horse under saddle by Claire Murray-Threipland, he was ridden through most of his career by Carol Pearce, who had trained under Olympian Jennie Loriston-Clark. Coached by Paul Fielder, the pair advanced quickly in B.H.S. Competition, although at first there was some strong prejudice against ‘that PINK A-rab!’
Eventually, Golden Wings represented Great Britain in Belgium and at Goodwood, where he won the prize for the highest placed British entry competing in Prix St. Georges and Intermediare I. He was also well-placed in Grand Prix, was the British National Ridden Champion at his breed show, and gave many exhibitions – including once side-saddle. He was retired from competition due to arthritis of one knee, spending his last years as a schoolmaster at Jennie Loriston-Clarke’s farm.
Yemama passed the family sporting talents down to her daughter Silent Dove and son Ludomino, both sired by Ludo. Silent Dove, a 1969 gray mare, was undoubtedly too busy having 15 foals to be ridden much, but she produced Silent King (Dancing King), a 1974 chestnut gelding, and Silent Fire (Naxif), a 1980 chestnut stallion, to carry her torch. Silent King was a show jumper graded J.A. in England, a multi-champion at novice and intermediate levels. At the 1980 Junior International event in Copenhagen, he had two wins, two seconds, and a third. A versatile horse, he also won a race for Arabs and the first British Ride and Tie ride.
Silent Fire became a star performer for the Sherif Pyramid Stud of Jack and Valerie Woodall in Wales, which combined a breeding operation with an equestrian holiday facility where students could go for intense instruction in small groups. As a five year old, he was performing shoulder-in, half-pass, passage and pirouettes in exhibition to classical music. Valerie’s previous dressage horse, stallion Indian Magician, had also been trained to perform some of the classical ‘airs above the ground,’ and Silent Fire was expected to eventually reach that level (the author does not know what became of him. As of December 1996, his latest daughter had been foaled in 1988).
Ludomino, Silent Dove’s brother foaled in 1964, was a popular sire, with approximately 60 get and 250 grandget as of December 1996. Among his offspring are Ahmoun, a stallion siring many Arabian sport horses in multiple disciplines, and *Magic Domino AHS (ASHAI #S00497), the first purebred Arabian to be approved for Canadian Sport Horse breeding, who has been showing successfully in dressage.
*Zilla, a full sister to Yemama, was exceptional in her family for producing only five foals. Of these, the only one with a line breeding on is Lewisfield Nizila (*Nizzam). Nizila’s bay daughter by RAS Royal Bay, MC Bint Nizila, foaled in 1985, has produced three gray geldings – all perhaps budding sport horses – and in 1995, a bay colt by English import *Seffer, but so far no filly.
SILENT WINGS’ SONS
The Azrak son Silver Blue (foaled 1969 x Silver Sheen) has been a popular sire in England. Silver Blue’s son *Senecio is now standing in Canada. Although *Senecio has not been shown in North America due to the remoteness of his owner’s ranch, he is ridden on trails regularly. He is known for passing on his own athleticism and good temperament to his offspring, 23 direct get in three countries and four grand-get.
Bright Wings (Bright Shadow x Silent Wings) was a full brother to Golden Wings, and was known in Belgium as a sire of good riding horses, especially jumpers. As far as the author knows, he was never shown under saddle. His grandson *Padron has primarily been utilized by breeders aiming for halter and saddle seat horses, so it is difficult to predict if this offshoot of Silent Wings’ family will figure in future Arabian sport horse breeding. Although *Padron often passes on his less than sterling underpinning, many of his offspring have good, strong legs and might hold up to work in sporting disciplines or breed on in this tradition. Only time will tell.
Although the main focus of this article has been athletic ability, the Silent Wings family is also known for beauty. From 1953 to 1992, horses having one or more lines to Sharima, Silent Wings’ great-granddam, earned at least 65 British National in-hand championships. Silent Wings won Junior Champion Female at the 1957 British Nationals, one of four Sharfina granddaughters to earn National honors. The other three were: Sirella, out of Shalina, Junior and Supreme Female Champion in 1956, Supreme Female Champion in 1959 and 1962; Crystal Magic out of Royal Exchange, Junior Female Champion in 1961; and Lyvia, out of Extra Special, Junior Female Champion in 1966. Yemama followed in her dam’s hoofprints by taking Junior Female Champion in 1962.
Coming from a strong mare family, Silent Wings proved herself to be a worthy broodmare as well, with her influence in the first three generations spanning several countries and sporting disciplines. Many of her descendants have been as noted for their beauty as for their abilities, and there is not much more that one could ask of a breeding horse.
*Parts of this article are reproduced with permission from ASHAI Summer 97 Newsletter.
Sources: various writings of Rosemary Archer, the Arab Horse Society News, the Arabian Horse Registry’s CD-ROM Bookshelf ’97, the ASHAI Registry, the 1997 North American Crabbet Bloodstock Stallion Guide, and 40 Years of British Arab Horse Champions: 1953-1992, compiled by Deidre Hyde.
**All of the articles included in the 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 given May 16, 2012.**
Last Updated: March 22nd, 2019