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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.**
By Alice Payne **originally published in The Arabian Horse News Nov/Dec 1966 issue
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.
By Carl R. Raswan **originally published in Western Horseman Nov/Dec 1945 issue
Lady Wentworth, daughter of Lady Anne Blunt (to whom we Arabian horse breeders of America owe a lasting gratitude), has written two remarkable books. “Thoroughbred Racing Stock” (on the origin of the Thoroughbred through Arabian blood) and “The Authentic Arabian Horse” just published in London).
These two volumes are exceptional for their wealth of information gathered from innumerable sources – ancient and modern publications and manuscripts, paintings, sculptures, coins, rock drawings, skulls, etc. The two books should be owned by every agricultural college library and by all serious Thoroughbred and Arabian horse breeders.
We Arabian horse breeders in America find these two books contain a challenge. We cannot accept it without answering some contentions and we must (for the sake of historical records and any future references in which our Arabian horse breeders in America are interested) correct some statements.
Lady Wentworth makes it appear as if only those of our Arabian horses in America which can be traced to her Crabbet Park stud farm in England are of any breeding value. Since we have in the United States an established and recognized Arabian stud book (of growing volume as the years go by), we cannot allow Lady Wentworth’s statements to go by without challenging them, and we must present the actual facts about those historical Arabians in the United States whose good qualities and true Desert (Bedouin) descent she questions.
Our American horses of undoubted Arabian blood, imported by Homer Davenport, receive the worst “let-down” in the Wentworth books.
Granted that Homer Davenport only traveled in Syria and in the North Arabian desert and never in Nejd (Inner Arabia), at least the lady must admit that Davenport went to the same Bedouin tribes from which her mother (Lady Anne Blunt) and her father (Sir Wilfred Blunt) bought most of the foundation stock of Crabbet Park (Lady Wentworth’s present stud farm.) Lady Wentworth never went to Arabia or to the Inner Arabian Bedouin tribes herself. All the drawings and reproductions of her “desert” paintings in both of her books are purely Egyptian, Syrian and Algerian in background (the countries where Lady Wentworth lived at times and revisited outside of England.) Her manner of discarding the Davenport Arabian horses and the historical accomplishments of Davenport and many other American horse breeders who had a great share in the importation of Arabian horses (directly or indirectly) from the Desert, is wholly unfair to these great breeders.
Homer Davenport imported not only from Desert Arabia, but from Lady Anne Blunt herself (for example, Markisa, Berid, Jahil) and from Lady Anne Blunt’s friends, who had bred from her stock.
According to Arabian studbook registrations in America, records show that Homer Davenport’s Desert Arabians traced as follows: sixteen of the Anazah (either Fidan or Saba) tribes, and five of the Shammar tribes. Only Antar was born in Aleppo from Bedouin horses, and Abbeian is simply marked as “Desertbred.” These records could not condemn a single one of th Davenport Arabians in our eyes. They were as good (or better) than any of the original “fountain-heads” of the Blunts, who bought many of their Arabians in or near Dey (Ez-zor) on the Euphrates river, Aleppo, Damascus, Baghdad, and other Near Eastern cities, villages and oases. If we compare purity of pedigrees (signed and attested by chiefs of Desert Arabia), we find that the Davenport documents are just as good (and in many instances even more authentic) than the Blunts’. In fact, many of the horses imported by Davenport look much better (more of the true Arabian type) than some of the imported Blunt Arabians.
I am not saying that the Blunt Arabians were not so good as the Davenport Arabians, but I will not let Lady Wentworth’s challenge go by without putting on record that some of the Blunt “Desert” Arabians were an inferior lot when compared to the fine specimens of distinguished Arabian type which Homer Davenport, the American, brought to the United States.
Lady Wentworth questions Davenport’s hunt for Bedouin-bred Arabian horses. She denies that Davenport contacted true Bedouins of Arabia, as he spent only such a short time n the Near East. To this I can only answer: Homer Davenport had the assistance of the Turkish government through the good efforts of our American president, Theodore Roosevelt (well beloved in all Near Eastern countries). Homer Davenport not only saved time (through these valuable political connections) but also “space” in Arabia. Turkish officials in America advised him not to visit Aleppo and the North Arabian Desert before summer, as by that time the migrating tribes of Inner Arabia would be farthest north and west in Syria in their search for pastures and rainpools. In fact, some of these tribes had special permission from Turkish governors in Syria and Mesopotamia to bring their horses into the neighborhood of certain villages (but still in the desert) with guarantee of safe conduct under a flag of truce. This was at a time when blood feuds or political reprisals (for non-payment of taxes, etc.) might otherwise have prevented some Bedouin chiefs and their horsemen to venture so close to settled territory under Turkish sovereignty (and where the Bedouins would come under the Turkish law instead of under their own “unwritten code” of the desert.)
Horse breeders will ask: How could certain Blunt (Crabbet Park) Arabians, which belonged to (what I call) the “poor lot” of the early Blunt Arabians, win championships in horse shows in England? The answer is: There was hardly any competition to speak of (as far as Arabian horses were concerned) at that time — 1879 and the following decades — in England. Even in our time (1926 – 1938) Lady Wentworth competed exclusively against her own Arabians (Royal Richmond Horse show) — or against Arabs raised in England exclusively or mostly from her own breeding.
If Lady Wentworth’s Crabbet Park stud farm had not been reduced so drastically lately (she used to have 90 to 120 head of Arabians and she has only six broodmares now), we Americans could challenge her with our own Arabians, and prove to her that we in America have bred just as fine a type of Arabians from Davenport’s importations as from her Crabbet Park stock — or from mixing bloodlines of the Davenport and Blunt (Crabbet Park) Arabians. For an example I include a photo of the two-year-old colt “Sartez”(No. 2500), who is an exact 50-50 mixture of Davenport and Crabbet Park (Blunt) Arabian bloodlines. This “little” horse, now 14 hands and three inches, resembles Crabbet Park’s “Rasim” in many ways and he appears to have a better head even than the “immortal” Rasim. I wonder what “wrong” the Davenport blood has done to Sartez?
I hope that many of our readers who own Davenport Arabs will send in photos so that we can show Lady Wentworth what outstanding individuals of Arabian type these Davenport horses have produced. Lady Wentworth criticizes pioneer American breeders and their imported Arabian horses. These men are dead and can’t answer to the English lady, but their horses live and we present-day Americans breed from Davenport and other horses. Hence we are maligned, too, if we don’t answer the unreasonable charges against the purity and origin of our Arabian horses in America. We set a high value on them! Not only for sentimental reasons, but also for much more serious motives; we want to continue to breed fine Arabians, co-operate with our friends, the Arabian breeders in England and in other foreign countries, and use the best colts to improve Arabians as well as ordinary ranch and other saddle horses in all parts of the world.
Lady Wentworth’s criticizing remarks extend not only to Homer Davenport and his Arabians, but also to Randolph Huntington and other Americans and their Arabians. Homer Davenport, Spencer Borden, W.R.Brown, and Albert W. Harris have written smaller books than Lady Wentworth’s, but in many respects much more original. Without the books of these American authors the “pattern” of the history and breeding of Arabian horses would lack its finest designs. She passes Homer Davenport’s book with the remark that it was “another advertising stunt,” and a “highly imaginative book.” To Arabian horse breeders all over the world, the Homer Davenport book ranks with Lady Anne Blunt’s two books, and whatever material of Lady Anne Blunt’s is incorporated in her daughter’s (Lady Wentworth’s) two volumes.
It is with deep and sincere feeling that I write these pages concerning Lady Wentworth’s generally fine historical books, but we Americans know that our own 2400 living Arabian horses in the United States today, trace at least by 90 percent to Homer Davenport’s, Spencer Borden’s, Randolph Huntington’s, J.A.P.Ramsdell’s, W.R.Brown’s, Albert W. Harris’; , Joseph E. Draper’s, J.M.Dickinson’s and Henry B.Babson’s importations from Arabia, Egypt, Poland, France, England, Spain, South America, etc. These imported Arabians were as good as any of the Blunts’ and Lady Wentworth’s. And some of the American breeders also imported from the Blunts and Lady Wentworth, besides buying from other Arabian breeders in England, Egypt, etc.
Some of the Blunt “Desert” Arabs actually came from settled districts, villages in Syria, and from semi-peasants on the Euphrates, and from Turkish government officials, a Christian in Baghdad, a Greek in Syria (Damascus), a Turkoman chief, an Ulema in Aleppo, a townsman of Syria (Hama), and from dealers in India.
Davenport’s record looks clean, indeed, compared to this conglomeration of village and towns-people (and not Bedouins!) from which the Blunts bought at times. After all, these horses were of Bedouin descent — most of them. All I ask is that Lady Wentworth not make out her conglomerated Arabians to be superior to the Davenport and other Arabians in America. We know that most of the Blunt Arabians are “tops.”
The blood of the “conglomerated” Arabians of the Blunts has been “swallowed” up during the last forty to sixty years in Crabbet Park (Lady Wentworth’s stud farm in England) in the overwhelming flood of exquisite blood which the Blunts added from Ali Pasha Sherif of Egypt, and of the Anazeh and Shammar tribes — the very same tribes (and in certain instances the same families of certain sub-tribes) from whom Homer Davenport bought twenty years later! (For example, the Ibn Meheyd of the Fidan-Anazeh, and many others).
“Poor” Blunt Arabs of the late seventies and eighties of the last century are in our time so far left behind (six or more horse generations) that hardly a characteristic trace of their faults or blemishes remains in their present-day offspring. Lady Wentworth was anxious to re-infuse new blood (of the most authentic and famous bloodlines of the classic strains) into her Crabbet Park stud. Most notable and best known of all was the (now deceased) Polish Arabian “Skowronek,” who became her leading sire and produced the outstanding Arabians to be found in her stud to this day.
Though Lady Wentworth denies the purestrain (or related-in- the- strain) breeding, I discovered the following passages in her own books:
“In the Sebaa and Fedaan groups of Anazeh, only such families as Ibn Sbeyni, Ibn El-Derri, Ibn Hemsi, Ibn Sbeyel, and a few others are credited by Nejd opinion with having preserved their strains of Seglawi-Jedran, Dahman Om Amr, Managhi Hedruj, etc., unmixed.” (“Thoroughbred Racing Stock.” page 116).
These Sebaa and Fedaan are the very same tribes from which Homer Davenport bought most of his own horses, and the animals Davenport acquired were of the strains mentioned above by Lady Wentworth. The following Davenport Arabians were unmixed (no Muniqi and no Muniqi-related blood): Houran, Muson, Hamrah, Wadduda, Gomusa, Azra, Deyr, Mowarda, Euphrates, Antar, Reshan, Abeyah, Urfah, Hadba, Jedah, Haffia and Moharra. All these original Davenport Arabians were of the classic strains (rounded outlines.) Two horses of Davenport’s importation were pure Muniqi on dam’s and sire’s side: “Kusof” (later a U.S.Remount stallion) and the mare “Farha.”
What further proof do we need to show that still in Davenport’s time (1906), Desert tribes were breeding pure in the strain (or related in the strains)?
Lady Wentworth is ahead of us in only one respect: Her Arabians are on the average taller than our Arabians of Davenport descent, but she admits herself (in her books) that Arabians and their offspring gain about half an inch every twenty years through better and regular feed and care. The Blunt Arabians bought in Syria, Iraq, Arabia and India, have been purchased at least 26 years earlier than those acquired by Davenport in the Desert. Offspring of Muhammad Ali Pasha’s, Abbas Pasha’s and Ali Pasha Sherif’s horses are eighty to 130 years removed from Desert Arabia, and their produce have gained anywhere from three to six inches (in Egypt, Europe and America). The best Blunt-blood traces to these Muhammad Ali Abbas Pasha and Ali Pasha Sherif horses, and the Davenport offspring from those individuals (of the classic strains) mentioned above have mixed superbly well with the Arabians of the Egyptian Pashas.
The following quotations from Lady Wentworth’s book, “Thoroughbred Racing Stock” (page 126), show an admission that pure-strain breeding is the best:
“It is only in rare cases that mares can be mated for many generations to horses of their own strain, as in the case of the Krushiehs of the Muteyr.”
What does Lady Wentworth say of the “Krushiehs” in other parts of her book, that prove that pure-strain breeding produces the best Arabians? She says:
“A mare was wished (by Abbas Pasha) of that Kehilan El-Krush strain which is the special pride of the Dushan clan of the Muteyr — but the reply was unfavorable; nothing was to be had of that strain at any price” (from Lady Wentworth’s “The Authentic Arabian Horse,” page 143. On the head of this page are printed significantly these words: “The Priceless Krush Mares.”
Further down on the same page we read:
“Yet the failure of Abbas Pasha’s emissary to obtain a Krushieh, notwithstanding his readiness to pay almost any price, is still a matter of pride to the members of the Muteyr tribe.”
And still further down on the same page we find the following words:
“Latterly Ibn Saoud reconquered the Ibn Rashids, and the Crabbet stud secured a fine white Krushieh mare.”
Now, let us turn to the Arabian studbook of England, and we find that this white Krushieh of Lady Wentworth’s was pure-in-the- strain- bred! Dam and sire belonged to the Kuhaylan strain! The dam was a Kuhaylat El-Krush ( of Ed-Dauish, chieftain of the Mutayr tribe), and the sire a Kuhaylan Es-Suayti (of the Harb tribe). What I want to emphasize (on the strength of these quotations from Lady Wentworth’s two books) is that the outstanding Arabian horses mentioned in these two volumes of hers are the Krushiehs of the Muteyr tribe — and by her own words these Krushieh mares were bred to stallions of their own strain (Kuhaylan), producing (as she writes) a strain of horses that are “the special pride” of the tribe, and that they were “not for sale at any price.” Even Abbas Pasha could not acquire them.
Should we not (after this testimony by Lady Wentworth) try to breed pure-in-the-strain? And, if we cannot match certain parent horses in their own strain, should we not (at least), breed within related strains? (Kuhaylan with Saqlawi, for example).
Davenport’s pedigrees from Desert Arabia, written in Arabic and signed by the chiefs, testify to the same fact: The Bedouins, even as late as in Homer Davenport’s time (1906) were still breeding either pure-in-the-strain, or related-in-the-strain.
Homer Davenport brought from Arabia the following absolutely pure-in-the-strain Arabians: Reshan, Abeyah, Urfah, and Jedah. They were bred within the same strain on dam’s and sire’s side (just like the “White Krushieh” above!) In fact, Davenport’s lovely mare Werdi was a Krushieh, and one of her grandsons is one of the best Arabian stallions in California today (on Jimmy Draper’s ranch near Oakland). To the four pure-in-the-strain classic type Davenport Arabians from the desert we have to add his two pure-in-the-strain Muniqiyat mentioned before, Kusof and Farha. It pays to study and analyze our Arabian studbooks and draw knowledge and the truth from them!
Would Lady Wentworth still discard our Davenport Arabians as “unregistered street sweepings? (See her book: “The Authentic Arabian Horse.” page 215).
The Jockey Club and Weatherby (very wisely, I would say, as they were registering Thoroughbreds and should never have accepted early Blunt Arabians into their records) refused to accept Davenport Arabians in their studbooks, though the “conglomerated” Blunt Arabians from the streets of Syrian villages and towns were “swept” into the studbooks of the Jockey Club and Weatherby.
Let us turn to Lady Wentworth’s own Crabbet Park Arabians again and check on the early Blunt horses of Bedouin (Desert) descent. Pure-in-the-strain were the following eighteen imported Arabians: Burning Bush, Purple Stock, Darley, Haidee, Zuleika, Kars, Hagar, Dajania, Jerboa, Damask Rose, Ashgar, Saoud, Pharoah’s Dam, Abeyan (1906), Krush (a grey, imported 1911), and the famous “white Krushieh”(imported 1927), Saadun (1911) and Saade (1912). The following twelve were Ali Pasha Sherif Arabians in Blunt’s possession. Each was recognized as an outstanding animal, each one’s dam and sire was of the same strain: Aziza (I), Azz, Bint Roda, Ghalaya, Gharran, Horra, Ibn Mesaoud, Ibn Nura, Jemla, Sahab, Waziri (the best stallion the Blunts ever owned) and Zobeyni. In Zobeyni’s pedigree, Lady Anne Blunt wrote: “The Anazeh tribes had a high reputation for preserving the breed of horses pure, but in the last thirty years this has gone down, although there are still families such as Ibn Sbeyni’s (breeders of this outstanding stallion Zobeyni) and Ibn Ed-Derri’s and a few others who possess authentic strains.”
The “authentic” (Arabic “Asil”) horses are none other than those who can trace both of their parents to the same strain (or at least to the related strains).
Major Upton brought from Desert Arabia (1875) four Arabian horses: Joktan, Ishmael, Kesia, and Meroe, and all four were pure-in-the-strain horses.
All Arabians in America and England are of mixed strains, but our best ones are those which have no Muniqi at all, or are at least five generations removed from Muniqi (and may thus be considered as good as pure-in-the-(classic) strains.
The second best are at least three generations removed from Muniqi blood. Even the less distinguished mares can be used to produce improved offspring by mating them with stallions which are at least one more generation removed from Muniqi blood than the mares. Thus it makes no difference whether we breed Davenport or Blunt (or mixed Davenports and Blunts). If we have Muniqi horses (according to the old system of strain-registration through the dam’s side) we shall find in most instances (by checking the strain-names of their ancestors) that these so-called Muniqiyat are actually only 1/8 or 1/16 Muniqi.
Muniqiyah mares proven to be overwhelmingly of Kuhalan (and Kuhaylan related strains like the Hadban and Hamdani) should be bred to sires which are also overwhelmingly Kuhaylan.
Muniqiyah mares proven to be overwhelmingly of Saqlawi (and Saqlawi related strains like the Abayyan and Dahman) should be bred to sires which also are overwhelming Saqlawi.
Since the only differences (in characteristics) among the classic strains are a question of strength (more muscle and width) and beauty (elegance, finer bone) we do not have to worry if we do mix Kuhaylan and Saqlawiyat. We only have to guard against the re-infusion of the angular (and coarser) Muniqiyat, which have smaller eyes (set high, instead of low), longer back, sloping hindquarters, and narrow windpipe, but excellent legs and shoulders).
Since the Jockey Club and Weatherby’s Thoroughbred registrations do not accept new Arabian entries, foreign buyers of Arabian horses will also pay little attention to the “exclusive” double-registration which had been of detriment to Davenports and other Arabians bred in America. Arabians belong in the Arabian studbooks of England, America, Egypt, Poland, etc. The enclosed photos of some of the “double-registered” Crabbet Park horses prove that they were not a top lot of Arabians when compared to Davenport’s “unregistered street sweepings” (as Lady Wentworth prefers to call them) while other Blunt Arabians were fine animals, but not any better than Davenport Arabians.
Responses included in following WH issues:
WH Jan/Feb ’46 p. 23
Vive la Raswan!
I have a filly that will be four in May. Every horse in her pedigree happens to be of Davenport importation source, and she is one of the nicest fillies I have yet seen. I don’t claim her to be the nicest I have ever seen, but I think she’s a credit to Davenport’s reputation. I bought three fillies in 1943, and of the three the “pure” Davenport one is the only one I intend to keep.
MALCOLM D. MAXWELL, Modesto, California
When Lady Wentworth came out in her recent book condemning practically all American Arabians I was glad to see you take up the challenge and answer it so effectively. Among my twenty-nine head of Arabians I have some with mostly Davenport blood and some with mostly Crabbet blood. If had had to make a choice between the two it would be those with Davenport blood.
DONALD R. JONES, Porterville, California
I congratulate you on your challenge to Lady Wentworth. …This challenges me also as I own Kohkle, the daughter of Farha. She is still a magnificent white mare at the age of 27 years. We still ride her daily.
REBA A. TRAXELL., Burlington, New Jersey.
Was glad to see where you stood up for the American Arabians in the last issue of WESTERN HORSEMAN, but can’t understand Lady Wentworth’s ill-chosen statements.
W.G.NEWBY, Chilliwack, B.C.
(Editor’s Note: An answer by Lady Wentworth to Mr. Raswan’s Nov.-Dec., 1945, article, appears on Page 42 of this issue).
Western Horseman Jan/Feb ’46 P.42
LADY WENTWORTH REPLIES
Editor’s Note: In a recent letter to WESTERN HORSEMAN, Lady Wentworth, owner of the Crabbet Park stud farm in England, says””I was sorry to see in the pages of your excellent magazine such a thoroughly misleading article as that which I am now answering and for which I hope you will allow me space.” The following letter is being used in compliance with that request.
THE COMPLETE distortion of facts published by Carl Raswan in your issue of November is so utterly lost in the realms of fiction that it is hardly worth powder and shot, but in the interests of your readers there are a few points which cannot be allowed to pass.
One can only conclude that Raswan’s ignorance is so abysmal that he really believes the nonsense he writes, but when he has the impudence to set up, as he has done lately as an authority on the Arabic language and to contradict the translations of the highest Oriental authorities on the strength of masquerading under the Arab name of one of my horses, the thing is a farce.
Considering his fantastic strain-breeding theories and his condemnation of Managhi, colored a sinister black in his sample pedigree, and his grave warnings against it as a dangerous “taint,” one is left to wonder why he himself, acting as agent for Mr. W.K.Kellogg under the name of Carl R. Schmidt, purchased from me at a cost of 3,000 guineas two mares of that very strain sired by and in foal to horses of exactly the other strains which he professes to condemn as deadly mixtures.
Why also did he invest his employer’s money in no less than twelve of the “poor conglomerated Blunt stock,” including a colt, at 5,000 guineas? Surely he cannot wish us to believe that he was misleading his employer into paying these sums for rubbish and crowning the transaction by saddling himself for life with the name of one of these rubbish horses?
He may not be aware that Gheyleh Abdul Razzak recently published a report holding his theories up to ridicule as pure nonsense.
Raswan-Schmidt’s “facts” are as fantastic as his theories and his distortions and misquotations are too numerous for detailed contradiction. Here are samples:
1. I have never visited or lived in Syria or Algeria in my life.
2. I have 34 mares, not six.
3. Twelve out of nineteen horses quoted as Blunt importations were not Blunts at all. I have never heard of some of them.
4. I never called Davenport’s Arabs “unregistered street sweepings.” It was Borden’s phrase and I gave each man’s views impartially, but as to Davenport having had the “advantage”of Turkish protection, it would be the surest method of alienating the Arabs. One might as well send an emissary of Scotland Yard to buy Dick Turpin’s Black Bess.
When Schmidt came to buy horses he knew nothing about them and Professor Littmann, who corrected his Arabic, told me he had never read such a comedy of linguistic errors. He made novice mistakes in both departments, and as he continues to make them, I can only conclude that there is something radically wrong with his eyes as regards horses and with his erudition as regards language, and that time will never cure either.
The reputation of Crabbet Stud fortunately does not depend on his approval or disapproval. Its wins so far from being confined to England have been worldwide in open competition all over the globe so his hymn of hate can be disregarded. “Good wine needs no bush.”
By Richard E. Hasbrook *from the 1996 Preservation Breeding Symposium booklet.
Jimmie Dean used to quip, “I bred a sterile stallion (*Raffles) to a barren mare (*Azja IV) and produced one of the top stallions in the country (Azraff).”
On a business trip to California, Dan Gainey visited Frank McCoy and fell in love with Fersara’s son Ferzon. First turned down by Frank, Gainey persisted and later in November 1953 purchased Ferzon for the outrageous price of $10,000.
Destiny would dictate that both Azraff and Ferzon would sire outstanding foals. Eventually, with many Ferzon sons and daughters in Owatonna, Minnesota, and and many Azraff sons and daughters in Ames, Iowa, each breeder would feel the need for an outstanding outcross. With constant urging on both sides by Jimmie Dean, the experiment would begin. Champions would be the result, like Gay Rouge, Gai Apache, Azraff tu, Gai-Gay Rose, Galizona, Comar Ferzona, Comar Raffdazon, Gai Parada, Comar Rafeymazon, Gai Louis, and many, many more.
The breeding arrangement between Gainey and Garth Buchanan continued for several years. Since then, the Ferzon/Azraff horses have been crossed in almost every conceivable pattern for two, three, four, and more generations. “It works consistently clear down to the fourth generation,” Jimmie Dean says. “I really expect they’ll still be showing the effects of the cross in a hundred years!”
Elegant, refined mares with long necks, good bone, straight legs, flat croups with stable uniformity and outstanding Arabian type have resulted from Garth Buchanan’s 50 year dedication to the breed. Combined with the athletic ability, beauty, and consistent qualities demanded by Dan Gainey, you have a magic cross that really works.
A band of dedicated breeders is determined to continue and perpetuate what Garth, Gainey, Jimmie Dean, and untold others began. This gene pool and its combinations and patterns are what the Azraff/Ferzon breeders are determined to perpetuate, preserve, and present to the next generation.
*From the 1996 Preservation Breeding Symposium booklet.
The Davenport bloodline is one of the original bloodlines of American Arabian breeding. In 1906, before there was even an Arabian Horse Registry, Homer Davenport realized his boyhood dream of traveling to Arabia and buying Arabians directly from the Bedouin horse breeding tribes.
Davenport was not the first English speaking importer of foundation Arabian bloodstock. Starting just over 30 years before Davenport’s trip, in the 1870’s, a few people from England traveled the same desert regions and bought Arabian horses from the same tribes. These people – notably Roger Upton and the Blunts – put their travel experiences and Arabian horse lore down in books. Upton and the Blunts had apparently learned much from James Skene, British Consul in Aleppo since the 1850’s. Davenport made use of the Blunt and Upton books in planning and executing his own trip. He learned the names of the principal horse breeding tribes, the various family or strain names of Arabian horses, and to insist on a sworn attestation of purity and breeding – known in Arabic as a hujja – for each horse purchased.
Davenport left the United States in July. By what has been described as a series of fortunate blunders, he was able to ship to the United States a group of 27 horses. Most of these were stud colts, an item easily and inexpensively procured from any horse breeder. Also included, however, was a real prize: eight purebred Arabian mares, along with two 1906 fillies.
Davenport was a political cartoonist, and it was thought that one of his cartoons was key to Theodore Roosevelt’s election in 1904. Thus President Roosevelt, a fellow horseman and interested in Arabians for cavalry breeding, was happy to lend diplomatic support to the expedition. Davenport’s partner in Arabian horse breeding was Boston industrialist Peter B. Bradley, who provided the financial backing. Inquiry though the Ottoman ambassador in Washington resulted in the Sultan’s issuing a permit (called an irade) for Davenport to export mares – an item illegal to export without special permission.
Anxious to be on their way, Davenport and his two traveling companions left as soon as possible after the irade was issued. This meant they would be in the desert during the summer, when the migrating horse breeding tribes were in their northern pastures. And for some reason, in 1906 the tribes had swung a little farther north than usual.
When Davenport arrived in Aleppo, he was not sure what to do next. But in a bazaar, he met two members of the Fidaan tribe, who told him their tribe was encamped just a few hour’s ride from Aleppo. One of them offered to conduct Davenport to the house of Akmet Haffez, a rich and powerful intermediary between the Ottoman government and the region’s Bedouin tribes. Being a man of action, Davenport went immediately to see Haffez.
This was a violation of protocol. Davenport was carrying an Imperial irade and traveling under the aegis of President Roosevelt. Propriety dictated he first call on the region’s Ottoman governor, Nazim Pasha. Haffez was so honored by Davenport’s visit that he presented two horses to the Davenport party and personally took charge of the expedition, accompanying Davenport out to the tribes, and assisting in negotiations. Davenport and Haffez became fast friends, and before the trip was out went through a blood brother ceremony which bound them together as family.
Davenport died not even six years after his importation. By then, however, most of the Davenport horses were located with Peter Bradley, who continued to breed them together until the 1920’s.
Any bloodline this old should have long since been outcrossed out of existence. Yet enough people have recognized the importance of maintaining the Davenport bloodline, and bred enough foals along the way, that these horses have survived 90 years in the hands of American breeders – the majority of whom are bent on topcrossing to the latest imported outcross bloodline. The Davenports offer the intellectual fascination of having something unique in Arabian horses: animals tracing wholly to one of the breed’s foundation breeding groups. Their documented Bedouin origin is also unusual. Few other Arabian horses can show in every line uninterrupted descent from authenticated Bedouin stock.
This heritage and background would be of lesser note if the Davenport horses themselves were not so eminently appealing. They meld complex, almost human brains with the conformation of a using horse and the lithe, graceful beauty inherent to all desert creatures. Naturally there is some variation within the Davenport herd: like snowflakes no two are exactly alike, yet all are recognizable as examples of Davenport breeding, and all look like Arabians.
Most Davenport horses have been bred by people interested in a friendly, companionable riding horse with traditional Arabian type. These values attracted the owners to the Davenport bloodline in the first place, along with an awareness of their history. Thus they were more likely to select matings with an eye to perpetuating, rather than changing, the characteristics of Davenport horses. All Davenports are not equal, but the most glorious of them have never been surpassed as examples of the traditional Arabian horse.
The Lewisfield Breeding Program:
A Decade of Excellence
By Arlene Magid, visit Arlene online atwww.arlenmagid.com.
**originally published in the January-February 1989 The Crabbet Influence in Arabians Today Magazine.
Lewisfield was a farm with an exceptional breeding program which produced a U.S. National Park Champion, a U.S. Reserve National Champion Stallion, and numerous top ten and regional winners in halter and performance. Although the program was fully active for just a decade from 1960-1970, many breeders have been enriched by having a Lewisfield horse in their own pedigrees.
Lewisfield was located in Charlottesville, Virginia, and was owned by Mr. and Mrs. F. Lewis, Jr. and James Fielding Lewis III. The farm itself, with its acres of verdant hills, was a virtual paradise for the Arabian horses who lived there. The Lewises also bred champion cattle at another facility and several breeds of dogs, including Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Labrador Retrievers, and Bull terriers. The Lewises also had a spectacular collection of horse art (depicted in the 1965 farm brochure “The Look of Eagles”) and commissioned oils of their favorite stallions from Edwin Bogucki as well as a bronze of their favorite park horse, Lewisfield Nizzoro.
According to “The Look of Eagles” brochure, the Lewises acquired their first Arabians in 1946 and paid a visit to Lady Wentworth of Crabbet in 1947. They learned a great deal about breeding theories from her and it is interesting to note that they sold their early horses after their visit with her. (A diligent search of the stud books has not turned up any horses bred by the Lewises in the 1940’s and the reference in the farm brochure to an earlier group is the only indication surviving of their initial involvement with the breed.)
In 1959 the Lewises returned to ownership of Arabian horses after a twelve month study of bloodlines to determine which were the best for their purposes. The Lewises had a very clear picture of what they wished to achieve – an elegant horse of good height with a beautiful Arabian head, straight legs, and good action at the trot AND all other gaits. Basically, the Lewises wished to recreate Lady Wentworth’s “superhorse,” of whom Indian Magic was considered the ideal example. They called this type of Arabian bred by them the “Lewisfield Look” – modern Crabbet at its best.
The first group of horses purchased by the Lewises was the high quality nucleus of the famed Ben Hur stud of Herbert Tormohlen of Indiana, distinguished by the horses, whose names began with a double a. Tormohlen’s program was based on that of the Maynesboro Stud of W.R. Brown and was predominately Crabbet with Davenport and Hamidie and an Egyptian line through *Aziza. Included in this purchase were the Azkar (Rahas x *Aziza) daughters Aazdura (x Aadah), Aazalia (x Aarafa), Aaziza (x Aarafa), and Aazkara (x Aarah), all producers of champions. There were two daughters of Gulastra: Aalastra (x Nadirat) and Aastra (x Aadraffa). Other mares included Aadah (Aabab x Aabella), Aadura (Indraff x Aadah), Aalwyna (Aaraf x Aahlwe), halter and park champion Aazara (Aaraf x Aazkara), and park reserve champion Aazrafa (Aaraf x Aazkara). Also included in the first group purchase were the full brother and sister, Aaraf and Aarafa, both champions, by *Raffles out of Aarah. The stallion Aalzar (Azkar x Aahlwe) was part of the group.
From this initial purchase came the outstanding Lewisfield horses. Aaraf sired two National winners and the exquisite halter champion stallion Lewisfield Sun God (out of Aaraf‘s full sister, Aarafa). Lewisfield Sun God was foundered at age three during a brilliant show career. To many who had the privilege of seeing him he embodied the epitome of Arabian type. Aarafa produced a total of four champions at Lewisfield, including her son Lewisfield Bold Hawk++ (by Aalzar), who was named U.S. Reserve National Champion Stallion (to *Bask) and U.S. Top Ten English Pleasure. Lewisfield Bold Hawk++ sired champions in halter and performance and was used at stud at Lewisfield through 1969. Aarafa also produced halter champion Lewisfield Nizrif (by *Nizzam) and English Pleasure AOTR reserve champion Lewisfield Smoke (by Royal Storm). Aarafa‘s daughters by Azkar, Aaziza and Aazalia, both produced champions for Lewisfield, as did Lewisfield Sun God’s full sister, Aarafaa. Other exceptional producers in the initial purchase included Aadah (whose daughter by Aaraf, Aahfora, produced five champions and three National winners), Aalastra (dam of Region 7 Champion Park Horse Lewisfield Nizzoro by *Nizzam), Aalwyna (whose daughter Heritage Reverie has produced seven champions, three of them National winners), Aadura (dam of U.S. Top Ten Formal Combination Aaduraf), Aalzar (sire of Lewisfield Bold Hawk++ and National winner producer Lewisfield Spring Rain), Aabona (dam of U.S. Top Ten Mare Lewisfield Nizzaba, the dam of four champions), and Aaziza (dam of four park champions: East Coast Champion Park Lewisfield Nizizo++, park champion Lewisfield Nizzamo, halter champion Lewisfield Nizziza, and East Coast Top Five Park Zora, all by *Nizzam).
The Ben Hur group was outstanding, but Lewisfield did purchase or use a few other horses who were not as successful for the farm. Neeraf, a double *Raffles horse, was bought and gelded after siring one foal. He was subsequently named 1962 East Coast Champion Gelding and Western Pleasure. Ironically, his one foal was Lewisfield Reverie, dam of seven champions and three National winners! Lewisfield also stood the *Raffles son, Charaff, for the 1961 season but did not retain any of his offspring.
The next group of mares acquired by Lewisfield included the Cedardell mares Imafara (Imaraff x Fa-Rahna), Griffin (Garaff x L’Aida), Griffin Sprite (Tsali x Griffin), Golden Fantasy (Tsali x Mahroussa), and her full sister Winsome Lass. Imafara produced three champions (including Canadian Top Ten Stallion Ambassador, halter champion Lewisfield Nizzar by *Nizzam, halter champion and champion producer Lewisfield Gusto by El Gato, and National winner producer Lewisfield Spring Rain). Griffin produced four lifetime champions including Canadian Top Ten Mare Sahra Saade (by Tsali), halter champion and champion producer Lewisfield Amigo (by Tsali), and pleasure driving reserve champion Lewisfield Nizani (by *Nizzam). Her daughter Griffin Sprite was also a good producer for Lewisfield, with halter reserve champion Lewisfield Dream (by *Touch of Magic) and U.S. Top Ten Mare Lewisfield Sprite (also by *Touch of Magic and dam of three champions). Golden Fantasy produced 1968 East Coast Top Five Western Pleasure Lewisfield Nizzax (by *Nizzam) and champion producer Touch of Fantasy (by *Touch of Magic). Golden Fantasy was also a halter champion. Her full sister Winsome Lass produced three lifetime champions, including 1977 and 1978 Region 15 Champion Park Lewisfield Falcon (by El Gato). Due to the success of the Tsali daughters, Lewisfield leased him from Hillcrest Stud in Wisconsin and had foals by him from 1963 to 1966.
Lewisfield brought in several groups of horses from the West Coast from 1961 to 1963 who had a major impact on breeding in the East and Midwest. In 1961 a group from the Tone Ranch arrived from California, including Fadneyna (Fadjur x Ferneyna), halter champion Fadjurnina (Fadjur x Munira), and halter champion Fadi (Fadjur x Saki). Lewisfield kept Fadjurnina for a while breeding the excellent mare Lewisfield Paloma (by El Gato) from her, but Fadi was almost immediately resold to Kenneth Kettenhofen of Wisconsin. During the same period Lewisfield also acquired two Egyptian lineage mares, both full sisters by Disaan out of Farroufa. They were Ansara (dam of champion producer Lewisfield Imafay and National winner producer Lewisfield Sunana for Lewisfield as well as two champions for other owners), and Farsaana, dam of U.S. Top Ten English Pleasure AOTR, Lewisfield Nizaan++ and halter reserve junior champion Lewisfield Nizana (both by *Nizzam), halter champion Lewisfield Sunny (by Lewisfield Sun God), and the champion producers Lewisfield Faarseyn and Lewisfield Faarseyna (both by Ferseyn and part of an apparent three-in-one deal with their dam).
In 1962 the Lewises made their first major sale – to Kenneth Kettenhofen, already mentioned as the buyer of Fadi. He bought a total of 28 horses and resold them, including Fadi (who brought a reported price $50,000) in 1963 to a group of Wisconsin businessmen who founded the noted breeding farm Heritage Hills. Included in the group sold to Kenneth Kettenhofen were a number of the Ben Hur champion producers as well as Lewisfield Reverie and Lewisfield Faarseyn. It was this group from Lewisfield which formed the nucleus of success for Heritage Hills, one of the top breeders of National Champions in halter and performance during the 1970’s.
Another connection to Heritage Hills was made in 1963 when Lewisfield bought the Ferseyn son El Gato 9075 (x El Sikada) and his son El Magato (x Marharetta) to the east. El Gato was a halter champion before his purchase and Lewisfield showed him to several park championships. El Gato stood at stud at Lewisfield through 1966, when he was resold to Marianne Hannah of California. At Lewisfield he sired 1977 and 1978 Region 15 Champion Park Lewisfield Falcon (x Winsome Lass), halter reserve champion Lewisfield Zorro (x Aazkara), halter champion Lewisfield Gusto (x Imafara), and English pleasure champion Lewisfield Lobo (x Aazkara). His son El Magato was advertised at an introductory fee of $200 at age two and was immediately bought by Heritage Hills. He sired nine National winners there, including U.S. National Champion Mare Heritage Desiree, and his daughters are noted broodmares. One, park champion Heritage Reverie (x Lewisfield Reverie) produced three champions and two National winners, so his sale to Heritage Hills was a loss for Lewisfield as he bred mares at Heritage Hills who were originally from Lewisfield.
In the early 1960’s Lewisfield also acquired a daughter and several granddaughters of *Raffles. The *Raffles daughter Freni was 75% Crabbet and 25% Babson Egyptian. She produced two champions at Lewisfield: park reserve champion Lewisfield Dancer (by *Touch of Magic) and U.S. National Champion Park, Formal Driving, and Formal Combination Lewisfield Nizzof (by *Nizzam). Lewisfield also purchased two daughters of the double *Raffles son, Raffey: Raffbah (x Bahia) and Raffwe (x Weda). Raffwe produced halter champion Lewisfield Nizzwe and English Pleasure reserve champion and champion producer Nizzaff (both by *Nizzam) and the champion producer Lewisfield Allure (by Aaraf). While at Lewisfield, Raffbah produced three champions and four champion producers: champion producer Lewisfield Nizzba and twice U.S. Top Ten Western Pleasure and East Coast Top Five Stallion Lewisfield Nizzor++ (both by *Nizzam), junior halter champion and champion producer Lewisfield Gizama (by Gidazam) and English pleasure reserve champion and champion producer Lewisfield Bahraff (by Azraff).
Lewisfield’s most significant sire after his acquisition and until his death in 1970 was *Nizzam, whose success was featured in the last issue of The Crabbet Influence. He sired 41 champions and 13 National winners. Interestingly, 24 of his 41 champions and 7 of his 13 National winners were bred by Lewisfield.
The acquisition of *Nizzam whetted the Lewises’ interest in going to England to import Crabbet lineage stock directly. They had also had good success with two Naseem granddaughters acquired in America from their importer. They had leased the park champion and champion producing double Naseem mare *Katina (Naseel x Wardi) from her importer, Annie Riggs of Connecticut. They also purchased Riggs’ Raktha daughter *Alyssa, a maternal half-sister to *Silver Crystal. Both mares produced fine daughters by *Nizzam – *Alyssa produced the champion producer Lewisfield Nizala and *Katina produced Lewisfield Nizaka (also a champion producer). So, off the Lewises went to England to acquire more Naseem line stock to cross with *Nizzam. Since *Nizzam was a Naseem grandson and linebred to Naseem’s dam Nasra, the Lewises would be linebreeding to both Nasra and Naseem with their new acquisitions.
The first group of Lewisfield imports was brought to America in September 1963. It consisted of 12 horses: nine mares (two were in foal) and one stallion. Seven of the nine mares produced American champions, and one of the in-utero foals was named an American National Champion. The stallion imported with the group, *Touch of Magic, sired National winners. The imports will be discussed here in alphabetical order.
*Blue Tango (by Blue Magic) was the in-utero colt of *Shaybet, who was also in the importation. He was a double grandson of the Rissalix son, Blue Domino. Unfortunately he left no registered foals – his own photos as a colt show him to have been a fine individual.
*Doro (Dargee x Rasana) was a paternal half-sister to U.S. Top Ten Mare *Silwara. She produced six American foals, two of them Lewisfield-bred: halter champion The Heiress and 1973 Region 8 Champion Western Pleasure Lewisfield Doran, both by the *Nizzam son Lewisfield Nizzamo.
*Fire Opal (Dargee x Wentworth Golden Shadow) had 13 foals in America, six of them for Lewisfield. Her daughter Lewisfield Nizopa++ (by *Nizzam) is a halter and park champion, the 1973 U.S. Reserve National Champion Pleasure Driving and a champion producer. Nizopa’s full sister, Lewisfield Nizza, is a dam of two champions including U.S. Top Ten Informal Combination and Pleasure Driving and Canadian Top Ten Native Costume BL Indian Velvet+. *Fire Opal’s son Lewisfield Cortez (by Stonewall Jackson) is a junior champion at halter.
*Flying Storm (Indian Magic x Taima) had four foals in America, three of them for Lewisfield. Her last foal (not bred by Lewisfield) was U.S. Top Ten English Pleasure and English Pleasure AOTR, Magic Aurab+ (by Aurab).
*Golden Fairy was a daughter of Dargee’s full brother, My Man, and 1966 British Supreme Champion Mare Sugar Plum Fairy. She had twelve foals in America, two of them for Lewisfield.
Lewisfield Magic+/, the in-utero foal of *Michelia, was by Indian Magic. He was a halter and English Pleasure Champion, a park reserve champion, and the 1970 U.S. National Western Pleasure Champion as well as sire of a National winner. He was not used in the Lewisfield program as a sire, he is (was at time of printing) still alive at Warren Park Stud in California.
*Michelia (*Count Orlando x Rissalma) was a granddaughter of *Count Dorsaz. She proved to be the best producer of the importation. Of her six American foals, three are National winners: *Lewisfield Magic+/, 1975 U.S. Top Ten English Pleasure Lewisifield Lulu++ (by *Touch of Magic) and 1981 Canadian Top Ten English Pleasure AOTR Lewisfield Nizzix (by *Nizzam).
*Shaybet (Blue Domino x Shayba Thania) had ten foals in America, seven of them for Lewisfield, including 1980 Canadian Top Ten Western Pleasure Lewisfield Nizbet+ (by *Nizzam), one of the last stallions used at Lewisfield prior to dispersal of the stud.
*Silver Belle (Raktha x *Silver Crystal) was a full sister to halter champion *Silwa, dam of U.S. Top Ten Mare *Silwara. She was 17 at the time of importation and had just two American foals – one the western pleasure reserve champion Lewisfield Nizbal (by *Nizzam).
*Solange (Sole Hope x Yanni) had eight American foals, two for Lewisfield. Both of her champions were bred by other breeders. They are: pleasure driving champion Sa’Id Rad, and Region 14 Champion Formal Driving and Scottsdale Reserve Champion Park AOTR, TN Zaubaa+.
*Touch of Magic (Indian Magic x *Indian Diamond) was out of an Oran daughter. He was the only stallion in the importation. He sired three American National winners, two for Lewisfield: 1972 U.S. top Ten Mare Lewisfield Sprite (x Griffin Sprite) and 1975 U.S. Top Ten English Pleasure Lewisfield Lulu++ (x *Michalia). He also sired the Lewisfield bred champions Magiseyn+, Lewisfield Dancer, Lewisfield Dream, halter and English pleasure champion Lewisfield Poem (x Lewisfield Nizzizza) and champion producers Touch of Fantasy and Lewisfield Latigo. *Touch of Magic was sold to the West Coast when Lewisfield dispersed.
*Zilla (Indian Magic x Silent Wings) was a full sister to British Junior Champion mare Yemama. She had a total of five American foals, all for Lewisfield.
In 1965 the Lewises returned to England to import four additional mares (three of whom produced champions) and their in-utero foals (all by Iridos).
*Cheran (Rakan x Simiha) had four lines to Skowronek and her dam was a rare double Naziri mare. She had four foals for Lewisfield, including champion producer Flowerearth (by Lewisfield Nizzamo). She is also the dam of 1988 Region 16 Reserve Champion Sidesaddle SL Count Anthony+ and the in-utero import *Lewisfield Irexa (not used in the Lewisfield program).
*Dragonesse (*Count Orlando x Dragonfly) was a paternal half-sister to *Michelia. She had just two American foals. Her in-utero son *Lewisfield Dragon (by Iridos) left no registered progeny. Her son Lewisfield Sorm++ (by Royal Storm) is an East Coast Champion Gelding.
*Sirikit (Alexus x Rexeena) had four foals for Lewisfield, including the in-utero colt *Lewsifield Irax (by Iridos), who left no registered foals. *Sirikit died in 1984 at the age of 23.
*Snowfire (Kami x Castanea) was the most successful mare of the second importation. She had 15 registered foals, six of them champions. Six of her foals were bred by Lewisfield, including 1977 Region 12 Top Five Mare Lewisfield Sunlea++ (by Lewisfield Sun God) and halter champion Frostbite (by Lewisfield Nizzamo).
By 1965, the Lewisfield breeding program had been active for five years. The broodmare band numbered 40, including some fine young *Nizzam daughters and many of the foundation mares previously mentioned. Lewisfield had already bred its first homebred National winner – Lewisfield Bold Hawk++ – and had enjoyed considerable success at the shows with their *Nizzam offspring. They were gaining the respect of the Arabian community. At the first Buckeye Show in 1964, *Nizzam offspring won the Get-of-Sire class, while the progeny of Aarafa won Produce-of-Dam. Then tragedy struck. Three of the best horses in the Lewisfield show string foundered – multi-halter champion Lewisfield Sun God (a personal favorite of Mr. Lewis), the promising park champion Lewisfield Nizzamo, and his full sister, multi-halter champion Lewisfield Nizziza. James Lewis was devastated by the forced retirement of these three, two of whom – Lewisfield Sun God and Lewisfield Nizzamo – had to be put down in 1969 as the result of the founder. Breeders who knew Lewis report that he never recovered from this loss and lost interest in breeding thereafter. He definitely changed his attitude towards show ring competition, which he enjoyed in 1965 prior to the tragedy. He described Arabian judges in “The Look of Eagles” brochure as “the men we have are doing a better job by far than the judges in most of the other breeds where the political shenanigans are beyond belief!” (Shades of modern day complaints!) Yet by 1970, he states in an ad in Arabian Horse World: “For the first time in 10 years we are not showing, which is a relief as I do not have to curse the judges silently under my breath!”
In spite of his disillusionment, Lewis did acquire a few more horses in the mid and late 1960’s. He was the first breeder to bring horses of McCoy breeding to the East Coast. They had been tremendously successful in California and Lewis acquired a number of them, both mares and stallions. The mares included Arizona (Dunes x Luna), Sara Ann (Dunes x Sara Lyn), Mysin ( Ferseyn x Mysraffa), McCoys Rose (The Real McCoy x Sahara Rose), McCoys Star (The Real McCoy x Sahara Star) and White Rose (The Real McCoy x Sahara Rose). These mares were bred mostly to *Nizzam with some success. White Rose produced three Lewisfield-bred foals, including Region 15 Champion English Pleasure AOTR and halter champion Lewisfield Nizryn+ (by *Nizzam) who also became a sire of champions. White Rose has a total of four champions in all, three bred by other breeders. Arizona had produced three champions before coming to Lewisfield in foal to McCoys Count. She had two foals at Lewisfield. McCoys Rose, a reserve champion at halter, had four foals bred at Lewisfield, including halter champion Shilozon (by Gamuzon). McCoys Star produced two champions bred at Lewisfield: East Coast Top Five Mare Lewisfield Witch (by Lewisfield Nizbet+ by *Nizzam) and halter reserve champion Lewisfield Chato *by SX Gray Eminence by *Serafix). Halter champion Sara Ann produced English pleasure champion Lewisfield Nixeyn (by *Nizzam) and she is also the dam of two National winners for other breeders.
Lewisfield stood four stallions bred by the McCoys. First acquired was halter champion Royal Storm (Ferseyn x Bint Sahara). He was bought in 1966 abd used lightly through 1969. His Lewisfield-bred champions are English Pleasure AOTR Reserve Champion Lewisfield Smoke (x Aarafa) and Legion of Merit winner and East Coast Champion Gelding Lewisfield Storm++ (x *Dragonesse). The second McCoy bred stallion used at Lewisfield was halter champion Silver Storm (The Real McCoy x Sahara Dawn) purchased in 1966 and resold in 1968 to Mr. and Mrs. Philip Katzev of bonnie Acres farm in Freehold, New Jersey. He sired four Lewisfield-bred foals, including Lewisfield Besame (out of the Ferseyn granddaughter El Negma). Lewisfield Besame produced three champions: 1983 Region 15 Champion Mare Nadus Moniet (not bred by Lewisfield), English pleasure champion and pleasure driving reserve champion Lewisfield Felica (by Sir Felix) and 1979 East Coast Champion English Pleasure and 1983 Canadian top Ten Informal Combination PH Nizizo+ (by the *Nizzam son Lewisfield Nizizo). The third McCoy stallion used at Lewisfield was Stonewall Jackson (The Real McCoy x Sara Lyn), who was originally named McCoys Sensation and had his name changed by the Lewises. He was used from 1968 through his sale in 1972 at the September Beehive Sale in Virginia (he was offered for sale in an ad in Arabian Horse World in October 1971 for $15,000). He was used mainly on the imported mares, as Royal Storm had been. His Lewisfield-bred champions are junior halter champion Lewisfield Cortez (x *Fire Opal) and 1985 Region 15 Top Five English Pleasure and Pleasure Driving and 1986 Region 15 Reserve Champion Pleasure Driving and Informal Combination Lewisfield Appolo (x Lewisfield Nizziza by *Nizzam). Lewisfield Appolo, one of the last horses bred at Lewisfield, sired 1986 East Coast Top Five English Pleasure and 1988 Region 12 Reserve Champion English Pleasure JOTR, Appolo Joshaviah. The final McCoy bred stallion at Lewisfield, Sahara Prince (The Real McCoy x Sahara Queen), stood from 1969 through 1971. His Lewisfield-bred get include champion producer Lewisfield pearl (x Lewisfield Joy) and 1982 Region 7 Reserve Champion English Pleasure AOTR, Lewisfield Sahara (x Lewisfield Serenade by Aaraf) and Lewisfield Nomad (x Lewisfield Godess by Gidazam), a colt so good Lewisfield offered him for sale as a two year old for $15,000 – the highest price on the sales list. After Lewisfield dispersed, Sahara Prince returned to California and was named 1973 Region 1 Top Five Stallion.
By the end of the 1960’s Lewisfield had sold all of the early sires used and *Nizzam died in 1970. The Lewises experimented briefly with *Serafix blood. Their first *Serafix son, Royal Lancer++, a maternal half-brother to El Magato, was bought in 1966 but resold in 1967. (He later became a Legion of Merit winner.) SX Symphonette (*Serafix x Cobah) was owned by Lewisfield in 1972, as was halter champion SX Gray Eminence (*Serafix x Chloeyn), sire of halter reserve champion Lewisfield Chato. Lewisfield also purchased the *Serafix grandson, halter champion Sir Felix (by Witezfix++), whom they used at stud as a two and three year old in 1971 and 1972. His Lewisfield-bred champions are English pleasure champion and pleasure driving reserve champion Lewisfield Felica and 1979 Region 15 Champion Sidesaddle and Reserve Champion English pleasure AOTR, Kimbryer Felixia+ (x Lewisfield Doll by Lewisfield Nizzamo). Unfortunately the Lewisfield breeding program did not last long after the acquisition of the *Serafix stock; it would have been fascinating to see how it would have blended with *Nizzam and *Touch of Magic mares. *Serafix did well when used to linebreed to Raktha (U.S. Reserve National Champion Mare SX Geniis Pride+++ and U.S. Reserve National Champion Pleasure Driving Magic Genii++ are good examples), so one might guess that *Serafix blood would have worked well to linebreed to Naseem with the sources the Lewises already had.
The last stallions acquired by the Lewises were obtained in the year before they dispersed the herd. They were both sons of Ferzon, who was bred by Frank McCoy, so were genetically similar to the McCoy bred sires previously used. They were 1971 U.S. Top Ten Stallion Gamuzon (x Amunet) and halter champion Gai Ellazon (x Gaella). Both sired two Lewisfield-bred foals each. Other sires used at the end included the *Nizzam sons Lewisfield Nizrif (x Aarafa), Lewisfield Legacy (x Aazrafa) and Lewisfield Nizbet+ (x *Shaybet), the Lewisfield Sun God son Lewisfield Sunraf (x Raffbah), as well as Lewisfield Amigo (Tsali x Griffin), a sire of champions and sire of National Champion producer Amnesia (whose daughter Crystal Lace is the 1986 Canadian national English Pleasure JOTR Champion).
The first indication that Lewisfield was going to disperse came in 1970, when an auction was to be held in May but was cancelled so the horses could be sold individually. Showing also ceased for the most part that year, ostensibly so the horses sold could be delivered in Lewisfield’s van, which could then not also transport the show string. By April 1972 the Lewisfield ads on the back cover of Arabian Horse World (Lewisfield had taken the back cover since the magazine’s inception in 1960) were mentioning total dispersal. Lewisfield Nizrif was offered for $15,000 and Lewisfield Nizbet+ for $20,000, but in a sudden change of heart the September 1972 ad announced full ownership of Gamuzon (in whom a half-interest had been acquired the year before) and the continuation of the breeding program with 12 mares and 19 weanling and yearling fillies (“the best group of females to date”, according to the ad). However, the end was near – in July 1973 the complete dispersal of Lewisfield was announced in both Arabian Horse News and Arabian Horse World and a listing of all the stock was published. The horses were to be sold in the fall Eastern Beehive Sale in Richmond, Virginia, on August 31st and September 1st – all save three pleasure horses. The official reason for the termination of the Lewises’ involvement with the breed was stated as “due to our participation in Thoroughbred racing – our son is now a licensed Thoroughbred trainer.” Complete sale prices for the sale were never published, although the high-selling horses were. Both were from Lewisfield – the stallion Gai Ellazon at $14,000 and the mare Lewisfield Nizziza (dam of four champions) at $13,000.
Whatever the reason, one of the most successful Crabbet based programs in America had come to an end. Lewisfield’s importance is multifold. The Lewises made two significant importations from England and successfully blended them with bloodlines already in America to produce quality horses. They introduced Fadjur and McCoy breeding to the east coast. They sold Heritage Hills the foundation stock that would make that farm one of the most highly regarded in the 1970’s and into the 1980’s; their broodmares are still eagerly sought. The Lewises were one of the first clients of the very gifted artist Edwin Bogucki, helping build the Arabian community’s awareness of his work by featuring his paintings and bronzes in their advertising. Their horses helped build the national reputations of the noted trainers Carolyn Gardner and Bob Hart, Sr., who are still active today. They gave an entrance to the Arabian business to Lee Cholak, one of their early managers, who later headed the Pyramid Society. For a farm active for just one decade, Lewisfield has a record hard to duplicate!
**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.**
This tribute is about a man who had a vision for perpetuating and preserving some of the rarest bloodlines in today’s Arabian pedigrees…William Robinson Brown. Thanks to his foresight we are still able to enjoy the quality of these bloodlines in our Arabians of today, bloodlines that are still being preserved by a few select breeding programs. One of those programs belongs to Maloof Arabians, now in Colorado, but originally from Vermont.
W.R. Brown was among three brothers who inherited the Brown Paper Company. Brown had the responsibility of managing all the woodlands acquired by his father, W. W. Brown, which consisted of vast tracks of timber.
Brown was educated at Harvard, so with his education, money to back him, and his deep love for the Arabian horse, Brown wasted no time in establishing the Maynesboro Stud in the town of Berlin, NH. Beginning about 1912 and continuing until around 1936 when the depression apparently took its toll, causing Brown to start the dispersal of his horses. At this point in time Brown made sure that his horses went to breeders that would carry on what he had begun. Breeders like W.K. Kellogg (the cereal magnate), W.R. Hearst of San Simeon and J.M. Dickinson of Travelers Rest Stud.
Here are just a few of the many greats that W.R. Brown contributed to the Arabian breeders of North America: Abu Zeyd, Ribal, Rizan, *Rodan, Rehal, Berk, Rijma, Gulastra, Nusara, Gulnare and *Astraled to name just a few (and ones that I would like to discuss in my follow up article “The Horses From Maynesboro”).
W.R. Brown produced almost 200 Arabians in all of the 21 foal crops he bred at Maynesboro Stud. Brown had imported horses from the Crabbet Stud in 1918. Some of his imports are as follows: Berk, Battla, Ramla, Rishhrash, Kasima, Numera, Hazna, Felestin, Rajafan (who was a gelding), Baraza, Ramim, Rijma, Rokhsa, Kerbela, Nueyra, Nafia and Simawa. He also purchased a group of horses in 1932 from Prince Mohammed Ali. There were other horses purchased from H.G. Hough. Brown had also obtained horses from Spencer Borden, who in turn had also imported horses from the Crabbet Stud of Lady Anne and Wilfrid Blunt. Another American breeder that Brown purchased horses from was Lothrop Ames.
All the Maynesboro horses were double-registered, with the Arabian Horse Club stud books and the American stud books of the Jockey Club. Brown did this because a lot of the Maynesboro stock, mostly stallions, were purchased by the U.S. Army Remount and this enabled any of their offspring to be registered with the Jockey Club. Brown was a Remount agent, and so at different times he was to have stood other stallions, besides his own. Two of the most valuable were *Astraled, and the other being *Rodan. Brown was able to acquire *Astraled later on, and bred the great stallion Gulastra who lived to be 32 years old.
Brown, also being a member of the Remount board, believed strongly in the fact that the Arabian horse would make a superior Cavalry mount. He knew that Arabians had great endurance, and so he worked on proving this quality in the Arabian by using them in many of the endurance trials.
Many of Brown’s own horses won these events. *Crabbet and *Ramla won three of the five U.S. Mounted Service Trials. Also, *Noam, *Rodan and Kheyra were very successful competitors. Brown’s first entries were through The Morgan Horse Club Endurance Test. This consisted of 154 miles. There were nine entries, a combination of Morgans and Arabians. This event was held in 1913 in the state of Vermont. The first to arrive at the finish line was Maynesboro’s Anglo-Arab mare Halcyon. She carried 180 lbs. in just 30 hours and 40 minutes. *Rodan of Maynesboro came in fourth. The rides that brought the most notoriety for the Arabian horse, were the tests conducted for the U.S. Mounted Service Cup. These events were held from 1919-1923. The first ride in 1919 was won by *Ramla, a Maynesboro Arabian. There were 14 entries, all covering a distance of 306 miles in five days, travelling about 60 miles per day. It took *Ramla 51 hours and 26 minutes carrying 200 lbs. In 1921 the Maynesboro Stud took a first, third and fifth. The chestnut Arab ‘Crabbet’ taking top honors by completing 310 miles in 49 hours and 4 minutes. He was also in the best condition out of the six horses that had finished.
After all the results had been compiled from these rides, it showed that the Arabs and half-Arabs had the highest percentage of finishes and also had the lowest percentage of leg injuries. All the horses carried the same weight, regardless of their size. So in 1923, the Maynesboro Stud had earned the right to possess the Mounted Service Cup. At this time Brown also decided not to enter any more Arab horses, as it was becoming completely dominated by them. So by not entering any of the Arabian horses, this enabled the Army to win the Mounted Service Cup, which they had tried for so long to obtain. Thus proving what W.R. Brown had set out to do. To show that the Arabian truly was a superior horse, which could and eventually did, benefit the Cavalry Remount Service.
W.R. Brown was also a member of the Arabian Horse Club of America, founded back in 1908. In the year 1912, Brown became a member, and in 1925 was elected president. He held the office for several years, until his resignation in 1939. When Brown first joined the club it was all but falling apart. Just a few people, H.K. Bush-Brown, the sculptor, and Doc. H. Fairfield Osborn, were holding occasional meetings just to keep the club intact. Brown worked hard to pull the people together. It was at a much needed time when Col. Borden finally decided to turn over his stud books and papers to help keep the club going, thus preserving all this valuable information for the future generations of breeders. Borden’s decision to do this enabled the club to finally have the completion of Arabian registrations in America. Brown further influenced other breeders to join. Albert Harris joined, as well as W.K. Kellogg. So the rest is history…We now have a strong registry which hopefully will be around for many generations to come.
We owe a great debt of gratitude to a man who not only dedicated much of his life to the preservation of the Arabian horse, but who also pulled an organization together and helped create the high standards we all, as Arabian owners, share today…
In my next article, I would like to discuss the different horses of Maynesboro, and the contribution they have made to the pedigrees of Arabians today.
I would like to thank Mr. McCarthy of Gorham, NH, Plymouth State College, Professor William Taylor, John Dobkins of Northern Exposures and the Berlin Library for all the time they took in assisting me in my research. Last but not least, my dearest friend Suzen, who gave me the encouragement to start such an undertaking…it has been quite a learning experience!
References: Brown Bulletins, W.R. Brown’s “Horse of the Desert” The Maynesboro Arabian Stud (1927), Anthology of Articles (Khamsat), The Crabbet Symposium Reference Book, The Crabbet Arabian Stud (Archer, Pearson, Covey) and pieces from The Crabbet Influence.
In the twenty first century there are just a handful of breeders of Arabian horses who have been active for fifty years or more. Some, like Varian Arabians and Al-Marah Arabians, advertise in the breed publications and have websites showcasing their horses, which are also shown extensively in local and national competition. But there are a few breeders with a lifetime of experience who don’t promote themselves, modestly preferring to produce horses true to their own particular vision. Such a breeder is Pete McNeil, who has stayed true to the horses who initially inspired him and with each successive generation has bred horses in the image of his ideal. Pete’s modesty and honesty are refreshing in a world of overhyped horses described as living art. In 2011 Pete will celebrate fifty years of breeding and owning purebred Arabians.
“The first Arabian I ever saw was Alla Amarward 1140, the Horse of the Month in the Western Livestock Journal in the mid 1940s,” recalls Pete. “I also saw an article around the same time that appeared in Life magazine about the Van Vleet Ranch in Colorado which had photos of Rifage 1286 and *Zarife 885. At that time there were only 1500 living purebred Arabs in the U.S.A. I bought a 3/4 Arabian mare in 1945 and bred her to Snooki 1249. At that time, to my knowledge, there were only two Arab stallions in San Diego county-Snooki, who was a double grandson of *Nasik, and Bazralla 2405, a son of Alla Amarward.
Pete started to study Arabian bloodlines through books and the magazine Arabian Horse News, first published in 1948. He felt Skowronek was the prettiest Arabian he had seen in photos, and decided to base a purebred breeding program on linebreeding to him. “My first contact with the blood of the inbred Skowronek son *Raffles was through Harry Harness, who in 1958 was leasing Ibn Rasraff from Alice Payne of Chino. I bought the stallion Silvertip (Ibn Rasraff x Diana by Farana) from him as a two year old. Although Silvertip became a halter champion, I didn’t think he was quite good enough to use as a breeding stallion, so I sold him on,” says Pete. (Editor’s note: Silvertip was gelded in 1962 at age six after siring 2 purebred foals, his blood continues on in modern purebred pedigrees through his daughter Silver Lee, later owned by the Hearst family, who became the maternal granddam of U.S. Reserve National Champion Hunter Hosanna Pico+/).
Pete’s purebred breeding program began with the purchase of the triple *Raffles mare Trity from Alice Payne in 1961. Trity was by the *Raffles son Hamdan out of the *Raffles daughter Afara, who herself was double *Raffles as she was out of the
*Raffles daughter Rafarah. She also had a line to the Skowronek son *Raseyn through her sire. Trity was 50% Skowronek, 62.5% *Raffles and 6.25% *Raseyn. “She had Arabian type and refinement and was very feminine, with a beautiful face and great legs and feet,” Pete explains. “She was bred to the *Raffles son Rafferty three times before I bought her (editor’s note: one of those foals was 1975 U.S. Top Ten Gelding Asil Polaris), and when she came to me she was in foal to the Rafferty son Syzygy, with the foal to be retained by Alice Payne.” As it turned out, the filly
she was carrying was Asil Phantasy, a chestnut, who Pete was able to buy when she was a yearling as Alice Payne wasn’t fond of chestnuts. Pete only bought four mares to start his program, all from Alice Payne or her son Pat Payne after Alice’s death in 1969. The others were Asil Lyric (sired by Syzygy’s full brother Asil Ecliptic out of Asil Lyra, a daughter of Rafferty and Afara and thus a 3/4 sister to Trity), purchased in 1969, and Asil Delyte (Syzygy x Destynee by Rafferty out of Afara, also a 3/4 sister to Trity), bought in 1970.
The Payne stallion Syzygy (Rafferty x Raffleeta, by *Raffles out of Rafarah and thus a full sister to Afara), was Pete’s favorite. There were four full brothers of this cross. Pete ranks them in order of his preference: Syzygy (who sired U.S. National Champions in halter and pleasure driving and top ten winners in reining and western pleasure), Orbit (sire of National winners in halter and English pleasure), Asil Ecliptic, and Asil Apogee.
Pete’s four foundation mares were thus very closely related. Initially Pete bred Trity to Syzygy five times, resulting in the stallion Raffius and mare Raffianne who were used in his program. Raffianne produced 4 foals for Pete, all of whom bred on in the McNeil herd. They were Gwalianne (by *Gwalior++), dam of multi-regional champion trail horse and multi-regional hunt pleasure winner Gai Gwalizon+/ by Gai Danizon; daughters Nichole and Rachele by Rafferty; and daughter Beauty by The Real McCoy. Pete then bred Trity to outside stallions including the Polish import *Gwalior++ (resulting in her son Silver Dove, who bred on after Pete sold him), and The Real McCoy, who, like the Payne horses was linebred to Skowronek through *Raffles and *Raseyn. With The Real McCoy, Trity produced the McNeil broodmatrons Molly-McCoy (dam of 7 foals for Pete including Danimo+/, who has 7 U.S. National titles in trail) and Michele (dam of 10 foals for Pete).
Pete explains his decision to use outside stallions. “After Alice Payne died, Syzygy was sold to Lois Selby Perry in Connecticut and Rafferty went to Dr Rooker in Michigan. This was in the days before transported semen and I didn’t want to ship my mares that far to get bred. I had seen and liked *Gwalior++ in the show ring. He had the size I needed, and he traced to the Skowronek sire line through his sire *Naborr. I also liked the *Naborr mare *Dornaba++ (editorial note: 1966 U.S. National Champion Mare), and *Gwalior’s dam *Gwadiana, although she had no Skowronek blood, looked like a Payne mare with a short head and very large eyes.” Pete was thus using an outcross stallion whose phenotype matched his ideal. He also used The Real McCoy (Aarief x Fersara), who he first saw as a three year old and thought he was very beautiful, although he observes that he coarsened with age. Pete also used Canadian National Champion Stallion *Bajram, but the breeding as originally planned was to have been to his stablemate *Bask++. Pete tells the story: “Asil Phantasy was at Lasma in Scottsdale, Arizona, to be bred to *Bask++ for a full year. When she didn’t get in foal Dr LaCroix called me about switching stallions. I had seen *Bajram and he was very athletic and was out of a full sister to *Bask++. Unfortunately the foal was nothing special.” Pete comments that he stopped using outside stallions because he didn’t get the type he liked
consistently, the one exception in later years being SHF Southern Whiz, sire of World Champion Mare SHF Pearlie Mae. Pete bred his mare Incredible (a double Gai Danizon granddaughter whose tail female goes back to Asil Lyric) to SHF Southern Whiz twice via frozen semen. “I liked Whiz’s pedigree and his daughters SHF Pearlie Mae and LF Eursofab, both very classic type. I was lucky and got two mares, Unbelievabel and Incredible Too, from the breedings and now have six fillies by my stallion Outrageouss from my SHF Southern Whiz daughters.”
Asil Phantasy had 10 foals for Pete, seven of whom bred on in his program. Two (Gabriele and the stallion Humoresq) were by The Real McCoy, one daughter, Pia, was by Raffius, and her remaining three daughters who bred on were all by Gai Danizon. One of her Gai Danizon daughters, Gai Alisa, was sold and has had four foals outside the McNeil herd.
Asil Lyric had just four foals, two by Pete’s stallion Raffius (Rafferty x Trity) who did not breed on, and a daughter by Cal-O-Bask, Lyrica, who has bred on, as well as a son, Gai Dancer by Gai Danizon, who sired foals for Pete as well. Pete bred to Cal-O-Bask (*Bask++ x Susecion) as he traded a breeding to his stallion Raffius with the Raglands who owned him at the time. He was happy with that cross which represented the last time he used an outside stallion on one of his mares so a number of the current McNeil horses carry a line to Cal-O-Bask, best known as the sire of U.S. National Champion Mare Bask Calonett and full brother to the U.S. National Champion Mares Fire Music++ and Bask Melody.
Asil Delyte had seven lifetime foals, the first for Alice Payne (Asil Delegate by Asil Zealot, who left no progeny) and the remainder for Pete. She was bred to Rafferty twice and to Pete’s stallion Raffius four times. Her blood is still in Pete’s herd today through her Raffius daughters Ecstatica and Erian.
Pete had been a big fan of the Gainey breeding program for a long time and had tried to buy a Ferzon son from Frank McCoy named Sahara Playboy. He had also fallen in love with Ferzon’s son Gai Parada+++/, the only U.S. National Champion Stallion to be a National Champion in performance (pleasure driving) before winning his U.S. National Championship in halter. The next Ferzon horse to catch Pete’s eye was the bay Gai Danizon, a double grandson of Ferzon sired by Gai Parada+++/ out of the Ferzon daughter Ferzona. Gai Danizon also has 5 lines to *Raffles through sources different from the Payne horses (Azraff, Phleta, Rafla, Raffey and Rafeyma). Pete admired his short head and huge eyes and size (he was 15.1 hands), so would add height to the herd. “I wanted the Payne type but with more size,” says Pete. “I also loved his full brother Gai Latour, who was smaller, only 14.3 hands. Gai Latour didn’t live very long and sired just one foal. I wanted to add the blood of the inbred *Raseyn stallion Ferneyn to my pedigrees as I wished I could have bred to him, and this seemed the best way to do it.” Gai Danizon was sought after by others as well, when he was shown to visitors in Scottsdale it looked as if he might be sold, but they bought another Gai Parada+++/ son, Gai Torino, instead. Pete went to the Gainey Farm in Santa Ynez, where the manager Sterling White quoted him a price for Gai Danizon, but after Pete made his first payment Dan Gainey called him and told him White had priced him too low and added $5000! Pete was undeterred as he had the stallion he really wanted, so he paid the extra money.
In the January 1976 Arabian Horse News magazine, Gai Danizon was used by author William E Jones as an example of a horse with a balanced pedigree. “The Gainey horses are well known for their prepotency. Although this reputation is based on their breeding record over the years, it could be predicted with a look at any particular pedigree. Take a look at the pedigree for Gai Danizon, a yearling colt Mr Gainey offered for sale this year. There is a difference between heavy inbreeding and a balanced pedigree. A balanced pedigree is one that may contain much inbreeding but at the same time contains linebreeding to more than one horse-especially linebreeding through more than one horse to a single desirable foundation horse. The pedigree of Gai Danizon is well balanced. It shows linebreeding to Ferzon as well as to *Raffles. The whole Gainey type was developed from this kind of breeding. Mr Gainey started with a *Raffles daughter, Gajala, who-bred to Ferzon-produced his four best foundation mares. The fact that Ferzon is a linebred *Raseyn horse and that *Raseyn and *Raffles were both sons of Skowronek brings the pedigree into beautiful balance. Indeed, such balanced linebreeding means prepotency. There are many generations of thoughtful breeding displayed in the pedigree of Gai Danizon-the whole representing not only the work of Dan Gainey but also Frank McCoy, Roger Selby, and H.H. Reese, and behind them all, the Crabbet and Antoniny Studs.”
Gai Danizon was the most prolific stallion used by Pete, with 138 get from 1978-1990 and 205 grandget to the time of this writing (December 24 2010). He was also one of the few McNeil horses to have a show career, and was a regional winner in western pleasure. Pete has never placed emphasis on campaigning his own horses, and those who are sold often go to homes where they are cherished family members who are appreciated as riding horses with excellent temperaments rather than show competitors. However, Gai Danizon sired Pete’s homebred National winner Danimo+/, already mentioned, and his daughter Gai Diedre (x Gwalianne by *Gwalior++ out of Raffianne) is a regional champion producer and the dam of 2 National winner producers. She was sold to the well known California breeder Richard DeWalt, who bred her to Padrons Psyche twice. Her son Psyches Obsession++, ca Legion of Merit winner, has 6 regional halter titles, 3 of them reserve championships, as well as 5 regional western pleasure titles. His champion get include 2006 Canadian Top Ten Western Pleasure JOTR 14-17 Azkaban. Psyches Obsession++’s full sister Psyches Desire is a Scottsdale Top Ten Mare AOTH and has produced multi-regional halter winner My Desire MLR and 2007 U.S. Top Ten Hunt Pleasure Futurity Czspartan MLR. Gai Danizon’s daughter Shea Fantasy, bred by Vernon F Olson, is the dam of My Mystic Fantasy+/, who has 5 regional titles in dressage and show hack.
Gai Danizon’s most important son in the McNeil program is Danni Boy (x Eloquent by Raffius out of the Trity granddaughter Michele), foaled in 1983. He was shown successfully to multiple championships in western pleasure as well as high ribbons in hunt pleasure and halter, with a Most Classic Head award too. He was still breeding at age 25 in 2008 as he has a 2009 foal registered to him! Danni Boy sired two of Pete’s current stallions, Dynamic Dan (a bay) and Outrageousss (a chestnut), both out of the Gai Danizon
daughter Gai Danichele, who is out of Rachele (Rafferty x Raffianne by Syzygy out of Trity). Pete feels Outrageousss lives up to his name and is the best stallion he has ever bred. “I feel my horses get better with each generation, and he is a super sire I have six three year old fillies by him and they are as alike as peas in a pod. He has the most type of any horse I have ever bred-smaller in size, with an extreme head like Dreamazon+++.” Pete’s connection with the well known stallion Dreamazon+++ goes way back. Dreamazon+++ (BF Rageymazon x Gai Dream) was bought as a foal by Pete’s friend Margaret Haverstock, who Pete first met because of her stallion Karrouf++, a U.S. and Canadian Top Ten Stallion and a National Champion sire. Karrouf++ was a grandson of Hamdan, the sire of Pete’s foundation mare Trity. Dreamazon+++ won his Legion of Supreme Merit as a four year old with multiple regional titles in halter and western pleasure. He went on to be owned by Bazy Tankersley of Al-Marah, where he was noted for siring highly successful working western competitors, and his grandget have won national championships in working western and sport horse disciplines. Dreamazon+++’s pedigree appealed to Pete because he had 4 lines to Ferzon, three to *Raffles, and a line to *Naborr, sire of *Gwalior++ who Pete had used successfully. As a result of his friendship with Margaret, she has allowed Pete to
retire her best Dreamazon+++ daughter on his farm, the multi-champion Gala Dream, whose dam was linebred to *Raseyn. Pete has her son Dreamagin by Outrageouss, a lovely six year old grey, who he plans to start using on his mares in the 2011 breeding season. Margaret has bred to the McNeil stallions Dynamic Dan and Outrageousss as well.
The final stallion Pete bought, SM Clasic Elegant (SM Azraff Elegant x Bint Rouge by Gay-Rouge), was meant to complement the Gai Danizon daughters. Pete acquired him as a 5 year old in 1986. He has 3 lines to Ferzon and and 2 to Azraff, but Pete explains with his usual honesty that found he just wasn’t the right nick with his mares, for several reasons. “He is a very correct horse but I started losing a little on type and prettiness of head, plus he has a tougher disposition than I like in my horses, so I stopped using him.” Pete still has him, however, and he will be 30 years old in January 2011! Although Pete bred 34 of SM Clasic Elegant’s get, he has not used any of them in his breeding program. Type and temperament are paramount to Pete, and he remains true to his vision. When asked about the Arabians he has most admired who were owned by others, he cites Dreamazon+++, Gai Latour and SHF Pearlie Mae. Pete explains his vision of the ideal Arabian horse: “They must look like an Arabian and have a gentle disposition. The heads are shorter with lower set eyes. They have to have extreme type , smaller heads, large dark wide set eyes, arched neck, clean, light throatlatch, short back, long and fairly level croup, and straight dry legs.” Of Pete’s own horses, his all time favorites are Gai Danizon, because he blended so well with Pete’s Payne bred foundation mares, and
his daughter Gai Danichele, because she consistently produced elegant type and beauty (her sons Outrageousss and Dynamic Dan have bred on very well).
What does the future hold for the McNeil herd now that Pete is over 80? Pete is the registered breeder of 239 Arabians as of December 24, 2010 (Pete is quick to point out that some were not really bred by him but were the result of people breeding who were buying a horse on time payments or who had leased a mare). Four McNeil bred foals were born in 2010, with four more expected in 2011. Pete has 70 horses on his property now, but 75% are age 25 or older. One mare is 33, two mares are 31 years old, and Gai Rachele had her most recent foal at age 27 in 2008. Pete admits he needs to place some horses in good homes but he can’t resist breeding as long as he is able to. In the past few years he has attended just one show each year-the Arabian Breeders Cup Show in Las Vegas, and last year he was enthralled to see the Champion Stallion, *Escape Ibn Navarrone-D, a former World Champion
Stallion, who met his ideal of Arabian type in every way. He has bred his mare Scarlettt
(Danni Boy x La Dee Da, a double granddaughter of Gai Rachele), to him for a 2011 foal and is anxiously awaiting the outcome. Pete’s eagle eye for a good horse whose blood traces to Skowronek is as acute as ever, as *Escape Ibn Navarrone-D has at least 11 lines to Skowronek through his sons Naseem and Naziri and daughters Naxina and Jalila. He may actually have more as he has a number of lines in his ancestry to horses from the stud of the Duke of Veragua in Spain, whose records were lost in the Spanish Civil War. The Duke imported 5 Skowronek daughters to Spain so there may be even more Skowronek influence in Pete’s stallion choice than can be documented!
Pete’s lovely facility in Alpine, California is definitely worth a visit, to see horses who look like Schreyer paintings come to life and to visit with this modest, honest gentleman who has remained dedicated to his goals as a breeder for fifty years.
**originally published in The Crabbet Influence January-February 1986 issue and included in the 1992 Collectors Volume I as well as the 2004 20th Anniversary Issue.
From childhood Phara Farms owner Annette Weber (formerly Annette C. Patti) was mesmerized by artistic renditions of Arabian horses, but it wasn’t until she saw Lewisfield Sun God 21194 that she found a living example of her concept of such artistic dreams.
Foaled in 1962, Lewisfield Sun God was the product of the mating of the full siblings Aaraf 2748 and Aarafa 2872. They were by *Raffles 952 (Skowronek x *Rifala) out of Aarah 1184 (Ghadaf 694 x Nadirat 619). This is Crabbet/Maynesboro breeding.
Both Aaraf and Aarafa were bred by Blanche M. Tormohlen, who along with her husband, Herbert V. Tormohlen, owned Ben Hur Farm at Portland, Indiana. This farm was one of the more important midwest American studs in the 1930’s to 1950’s. When the Tormohlens retired in the late 1950’s, James F. Lewis, Jr. bought many of their horses for his Lewisfield Farm at Charlottesville, Virginia. It was Mr. Lewis who bred Lewisfield Sun God.
Aaraf, a champion in his day, was described in a Ben Hur brochure as “…remarkable in action under saddle – free, long strided walk, splendid knee and hock action, straight forward trot, and smooth easy canter…As a sire, the quality of his get speaks more eloquently than words of his highly prepotent ability to implant in them in a very definite way the superb type, temperament and action with which he is so intensely endowed…” Aaraf’s important wins (for his era) included First Prize Arabian at the Chicago Horse Show and being a two time winner of the National Stallion Show in Iowa.
Phara Farm began in the picturesque Holy Hill area in Wisconsin. In 1962 the Phara stallion Selmajor 9846 (Umar Al-Khayyam 1798 x Selmiana 1881) was named Grand Champion Stallion of the Illinois All-Arabian Show and thus became eligible for the 1963 Nationals, held at Dallas, Texas in conjunction with the Texas State Fair Show.
It was there that the Pattis first saw the yearling Lewisfield Sun God and knew they had found the horse of their dreams. Annette says, “…we noticed a small chestnut colt. He seemed not to fit in his class of growthy, showy yearlings, nor did he place, but he was so breathtakingly beautiful that we could not take our eyes off him. His handler stood the colt in a spot in the colosseum where the sun streamed in from a skylight illuminating his golden chestnut coat while clearly defining the intricately sculptured head and smooth, extra refined conformation. The colt appeared unconcerned with the excitement going on around him – he had a serene, regal air.”
Annette continues, “Since we had been around horse shows long enough to know never to go only by what we see of a horse in a show ring, we went back to the Lewisfield stalls later to take a closer look at the colt when he was relaxed in his stall. We made a practice of doing this whenever we were impressed with a horse in a show ring, and always were disappointed; invariably the beauty of the horses in the show ring disappeared when they stood relaxed in their stalls. Not so with Lewisfield Sun God, for he was in fact more beautiful standing quietly in his stall than he was in the show ring. Of course we made an attempt to buy Lewisfield Sun God, but soon learned he was a favorite at Lewisfield and there was no way on earth that he would be sold, so, coupled with the joy of finally finding what were looking for came the disheartenment of knowing we could never own him. Fortunately, however, since the colt was the product of inbreeding, the direction was quite clear. We could search for horses of *Raffles/Aaraf breeding with the most classical qualities we could find, and we would try to duplicate Lewisfield Sun God.”
However, the Lewisfield Sun God story has a sad ending. Annette tells us, “…at the end of this show Lewisfield Sun God was returned to Virginia and we returned to Wisconsin, confident that our association with this colt would never be divided for he was young and we would have time to sort out the right mares to breed to him, etc. What we could not know was that we would never see Lewisfield Sun God again.” His show career had taken off and he was flying high as a very noticed consistent winner and champion when tragedy struck in the form of severe founder. The career of this glorious young horse was cut short, at age 7, leaving just 24 get behind to carry on for him.
Phara was able to acquire three mares from Lewisfield, all with the breeding the Pattis wanted.
Aazkafra 15523, a gray foaled in 1959, was sired by Aaraf and out of Aazkara 4879 (Azkar 1109 x Aarah). Her first produce at Phara was Golden Reflection 49042, a 1968 chestnut stallion sired by the Aaraf grandson Golden Pharao 28921 (La Flag 11809 x Bint Maaroufa 8834); thus Golden Reflection is double Aaraf and triple Aarah.
Sun God Heiress 52474, is a 1968 chestnut sired by Lewisfield Sun God and out of Tailormade Binta 24907 (Shalimar Flaraff 12510 x La-Bitna 13889). Annette says Mr. Lewis described Sun God Heiress as Lewisfield Sun God’s most beautiful offspring. her produce retained at Phara include Sungod Reflection 123471, 1975, and The Midnight Sun 176430, 1978, both chestnut stallions sired by Golden Reflection, and Eclipse ofthe Sun 202222, a 1979 chestnut stallion sired by her own son, Sungod Reflection.
Lewisfield Sunny 45036, a chestnut foaled in 1967, was sired by Lewisfield Sun God and out of Farsaana 12572 (Disaan 5121 x Farroufa 6085). Her three produce retained by Phara are The Indian Sun, 1980 chestnut stallion by Sungod Reflection, Majestic Sun 266770, 1982 chestnut stallion by Eclipse ofthe Sun, and Sun God Legacy 314396, 1983 chestnut colt by The Midnight Sun.
Annette Patti says, “For many years during the time these horses were being bred at Phara Farm in Wisconsin they had captured the imagination and interest of breeders from all over the country, particularly from California, so the decision was made to move the horses to California. On September 22, 1985, seven stallions and three mares were vanned to their new home, a unique little jewel of a stud farm in the scenic foothills of the Sierra Nevadas, near Wallace. From Lewisfield Sun God’s Crabbet ancestry in England and on through Ben Hur in the midwest, and Lewisfield in the east, yet a new part of the country can now come to know artistry in breeding that was culminated in Lewisfield Sun God, through his living legacy, his linebred grandsons, the Phara stallions.”
Annette wants to end this article about her stud as follows. She says, “We are so pleased and proud to have received this letter from one of our first visitors to the California farm that we would like to include it in this article.”
Just a quick note to reiterate how much I enjoyed meeting you and your horses. Frankly, I was amazed at the consistency of Arabian type – particularly in the excellence of head, body, size and overall conformation. After seeing your ads in various publications I’d wondered if the photographs were really representative, i.e. could stallions and mares have such perfect heads, large eyes, strong jowls and tapering teacup muzzles – or was it a trick of a good cameraman?
Not only were the heads every bit as good if not more beautiful in person, but you’ve achieved short coupled smoothness of body and remarkably consistent conformation as well. In addition, I was pleased to see your horses’ beauty as natural – not the result of hours on a hot walker and in the grooming stall.
You know how often I travel and visit studs throughout the West and England, so when I say that yours is one of the best Studs, it is not said lightly. What a thrill that you’ve moved to the West Coast! Your bloodlines are a practical outcross for so many lines to Skowronek and *Raffles indigenous to the west. What an opportunity for California breeders!
Please take care and know I look forward to seeing you, Sun God Reflection, Sun God Heiress, Indian Sun and all, again in the very near future.
**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.**
**originally published in The Crabbet Influence July-August-September 1994 Abu Farwa Issue
My grandparents came to the United States in the early 1900s along with the huge wave of immigrants that were seeking new and better lives. I feel fortunate to have the insights and experiences that go with being raised by two vastly different families (my mother is Sicilian, my father Swedish). It gave me a unique perspective on people and compelled me to think about the profound differences in cultures and the individuals that created them. I also recognize the basic traits we all share as humans. Continue reading “Cold Knob Farm & Biography”