By Arlene Magid
** Originally published in the May June 1990 ‘Upcoming Stars feat. Oran’ issue of The Crabbet Influence magazine.
The worldwide influence of Oran cannot be overestimated. Champions and national winners trace to him in the United States, Canada, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. He was noted for his strong back, size, outstanding presence, and for siring foals with extremely elegant forehands and excellent motion. For Crabbet breeders worldwide (as he did for Lady Wentworth), Oran represents an outcross line for Skowronek breeding.
Although Oran was all Crabbet in heritage, he was actually bred by Lady Yule at the Hanstead Stud. He was foaled in 1940. Lady Yule was a long-time customer and business acquaintance of Lady Wentworth. Oran’s dam, Astrella, was bred at Crabbet and sold to Hanstead as a 3 year old. His sire, Riffal, was bred at Hanstead of all-Crabbet lines (he was later exported to Australia where he continued his success as a sire).
Relations between Lady Yule and Lady Wentworth were rocky when Oran was a youngster and consequently Lady Yule refused a substantial offer for Oran from Lady Wentworth in 1943 when he was three. Instead she sold him to Mr. McConnell who then sold him to the British Bloodstock Agency from whom Lady Wentworth acquired him. These round-about tactics used to acquire a horse whom Lady Wentworth felt was genetically necessary were not new; she had used similar methods to acquire Skowronek from Musgrave Clark when she had previously needed an outcross sire. When Lady Yule discovered what Lady Wentworth had done, she severed all ties with her.
Although the story of his acquisition by Crabbet resembled that of Skowronek, Skowronek was one major Crabbet sire to whom Oran did not trace. In fact, Oran’s pedigree was unique – he was the last major stallion to stand in Britain who was descended entirely from the original Crabbet horses (desertbreds and Ali Pasha Sherif horses bought by the Blunts) without the addition of any new blood. Oran’s sire, Riffal, was by Naufal out of Razina and thus was a maternal half-brother to Shamnar, dam of *Count Dorsaz. His dam, Astrella, was by Raseem out of Amida and traced in tail female to the original Blunt desert import Queen of Sheba (a rare line at Crabbet in tail female). Razina and Raseem were linebred blood-brother and blood-sister, which perhaps explains Oran’s prepotency as a sire.
Oran died in 1968 at age 28. He sired a total of 70 registered foals – 39 female and 31 male. The first arrived in 1945 and the last in 1967. At least 12 were champions in Britain, Australia, or New Zealand. Thirteen Oran get were imported to America, but only 12 were registered (the thirteenth, Silver Shadow, was part of the 1957 Tankersley importation, but died before she was registered). Six Oran daughters were imported. Of these, three produced national winners themselves and two others have national winning grandproduce. Thus, 83 percent of imported Oran daughters have national winners tracing to them. Of the six imported Oran sons, four sired national winners; this is 67% having national-winning progeny.
The first Oran daughter to be imported was *Rifilla (ex *Rissiletta), imported as a two-year-old in 1953 by Anne McCormick of Arizona. *Rifilla was a full-sister to the British halter champion Riffles. *Rifilla produced 9 foals in America from 1956 to 1971. Among them were five champions. Her first two champions were by the Davenport/Crabbet sire Mustafa: halter and English pleasure champion Arizonakim++ (a sire of champions whose daughter Arizona Rose has produced 6 champions) and halter reserve champion Chanel (also a champion producer). *Rifilla produced two champions by the Russian import *Naborr and one by his Polish-bred son *Gwalior++. Her son Gwarrific (by *Gwalior++) was an English Pleasure champion. Her son Prince of Wales, by *Naborr, was a halter champion who died young. Her best known offspring was seven time national winner Riffle, by *Naborr. Riffle’s wins include U.S. National Champion Formal Combination and Formal Driving and twice Top Ten Park and Canadian National Champion Formal Driving and Reserve National Champion Park and Native Costume. Riffle is a sire of champions, including his daughter Woodway Starifa, named a 1989 Canadian Top Ten Show Hack.
Three Oran daughters were imported in 1957, two of them members of the Tankersley importation (the largest single importation ever made from Britain). The first was *Silfretta (ex Silfina), imported as a two-year-old by S.G. Bennett of Canada. *Silfretta was a maternal half-sister to the important sire *Electric Storm and a three-quarter sister to champion producer *Silver Glory and to Sindh, one of Australia’s most popular sires. *Silfretta was a reserve champion at halter in Canada. She produced 10 foals registered in America. Three were champions. Two were by the Egyptian import *Ghalii: 1967 Region 6 Top Five Stallion Ghaliis Comet and reserve junior halter champion Ghaliis Astronaut. *Silfretta’s other champion is U.S. Top Ten English Pleasure AOTR Royal Triumph+ by *Gwalior++. *Silfretta’s daughter Easter Basket (by *Bask++) is the dam of English pleasure champion Baskram and 1978 U.S. Top Ten Sidesaddle winner Mohawk Chief. A number of other national winners trace to *Silfretta. 1984 U.S. Top Ten Park Naaski is double *Silfretta as he is by her grandson Nubask and out of her daughter Desert Glow (by Shaikh Al Badi). 1984 Canadian Reserve National Champion Western Pleasure Bask Image traces to *Silfretta in tail female. Her grandson Mohawk Chief is the sire of Indian Jewel, Canadian Reserve National Champion Hunter, and the grandsire of U.S. and Canadian Reserve National Champion English Pleasure JOTR and Canadian Top Ten Informal Combination horse Asadya.
The second Oran daughter imported in 1957 was *Indian Diamond (ex Indian Flower), who was foaled in 1946. She was a full-sister to the British champion producer Indian Pearl. *Indian Diamond was sold in the 1961 Al-Marah Sale for $3,100 – at that time a very good price for a fifteen-year-old broodmare. She had five progeny registered in America – two imported and three foaled here. She died in a stable fire in 1963. Of her three American-foaled produce, two left no progeny. Her main influence comes through her imported offspring. Her daughter *Diamond Sparkle (by Bright Shadow) has produced 3 champions. her son *Touch of Magic (by Indian Magic) has sired 4 national winners: 1973 U.S. Top Ten Mare Lewisfield Sprite (herself dam of 4 champions), 1975 U.S. Top Ten English Pleasure Lewisfield Lulu++, 1989 Canadian Top Ten Show Hack Myster Magic, and Indian Bay, U.S. National Champion Hunter and Canadian Reserve National Champion Hunter.
The third Oran daughter imported in 1957 was *Crown of Destiny (ex Grey Royal) who was six when imported. She was a full-sister to *Royal Diamond and a maternal half-sister to 1958 U.S. Top Ten Mare *Serafire (dam of U.S. National Champion Mare Indian Genii). *Crown of Destiny was a halter champion in the United States. She produced 6 foals in America. Three left no progeny. Two were champions: 1974 Region 15 Reserve Champion Gelding Al-Marah Sheiks Crown (by Al-Marah Radames) and halter reserve champion Al-Marah Crown Prince (by Indraff). Her daughter Al-Marah Crown Princess (also by Indraff) produced halter champion Al-Marah Doe Fawn, dam of U.S. Reserve National Champion English Pleasure Driving and Top Ten Informal Combination and English Pleasure AOTR Baskele++.
The fifth imported Oran daughter was *Shorana (ex Shalina), imported in 1960 as a three-year-old by Ronald and Merle Dow of Maine. She was a three-quarter blood sister to *Oran Van Crabbet as their dams were half-sisters. She was also a three-quarter sister to *Qasumah (imported the next year), whose dam Sirella, was a daughter of *Shorana’s dam, Shalina. *Shorana produced 5 foals, 3 of whom have registered progeny, but no champions trace to her.
The final imported Oran daughter was *Qasumah (ex Sirella), imported as a weanling in 1961 by Lewis Payne of Oklahoma. Her dam was twice a British National Champion Mare and was the double granddam of *Shatir, 1984 Canadian Top Ten Stallion. *Qasumah was a three-quarter sister to British halter champion Hanif, sire of 1974 British National Champion Stallion Haroun. *Qasumah produced 11 registered foals, the last one in 1981. Her son Qyber++ (by *Astran) was named a 1976 U.S. Top Ten Hunter Under Saddle and also has championships in halter, trail, English pleasure, and English pleasure AOTR.
The first Oran son to be imported to America arrived in 1954. He was *Shamreen (ex Sharima) who was imported as a four-year-old by W.E. Bermingham of Rye, NY. He was a full-brother to the British halter champion Crown Royal and to British National Champion Stallion Grand Royal. He was a three-quarter brother to *Royal Diamond. Unfortunately he did not get much use at stud, siring just three registered foals, and did not found a champion producing line.
The second imported Oran son was an established sire in Britain prior to his importation by Bazy Tankersley in 1957. *Royal Diamond (ex Grey Royal) was nine when he came to America. His superb daughter Silver Grey was named British Supreme Champion Mare in 1963 and 1965 and in her old age in 1970 was Reserve Supreme Champion Mare. She, in turn, was the dam of British National Champion Mare and national champion producer Silver Sheen. *Royal Diamond also sired Dancing Diamond (ex Shades of Night), dam of twice British National Champion Stallion Orion (who is by Oran and is thus linebred to him). In America, *Royal Diamond was a very successful sire. Fifteen of his 63 registered get were champions. His son Royal Mace was named U.S. National Champion Western Pleasure AOTR. Eight of his grandget are national winners: Canadian Top Ten Gelding Shar Mar Rougene, U.S. National Champion Sidesaddle and Top Ten English Pleasure JOTR and Western Pleasure JOTR Tealel, Canadian Top Ten Mare Tarafic, U.S. National Champion Hunter Under Saddle GE Sullivan, Canadian Top Ten Western Pleasure AOTR Royal Prancer, Canadian Top Ten Stallion Ibn Raffon++, U.S. Reserve National Champion Western Pleasure Ga Amir Amage++, and U.S. Top Ten English Pleasure and Pleasure Driving Count Hamzah.*Royal Diamond was also a fine broodmare sire. Fifteen of his 39 daughters produced champions. Perhaps his most famous daughter was halter champion Diamondita, dam of halter and performance champion Emenee (the only living mare to produce 4 national champions in halter, including U.S. National Champion Mare Rohara Tsultress+). *Royal Diamond died in 1965 at age 17.
The third imported Oran son was also a member of the 1957 Tankersley importation, albeit in-utero so he was not foaled until 1958. *Al-Marah Ibn Oran was out of *Radeyra who produced 5 champions. He was unshown until he was sixteen when he was named a 1974 Region 16 Top Five Park Horse. *Al-Marah Ibn Oran was the sire of two national champions in performance. His daughter Oranna Dawn+ is the 1978 U.S. National Champion Trail Horse. His son Orans Adagio is considered by some to be one of the greatest Arabian park horses of all time. He was the first horse to win the U.S. National Park Championship twice, and he is the only horse ever named U.S. National Champion Park and Formal Driving in the same year. (He is also a U.S. and Canadian National Champion Park AOTR winner). *Al-Marah Ibn Oran died on July 4, 1982, at age 24.
The fourth imported Oran son was also noted for his motion. *Oran Van Crabbet was imported in 1961 as a yearling by Ronald and Merle Dow of Maine. He was a maternal half-brother to the all-time leading Crabbet-bred sire, *Serafix. *Oran Van Crabbet was the only imported Oran son to be an American national winner. He was the 1966 U.S. National Park Champion and 1969 U.S. national Formal Driving and Formal Combination champion. He had limited use at stud, siring only 76 foals. 15 of them champions (most of them in park and English pleasure). Two of his get won national titles: 1980 Canadian Top Ten English Pleasure AOTR Oranette+ and 1976 U.S. Top Ten Gelding Oran Van Jahil++. The *Oran Van Crabbet son Vanraf sired multi-U.S. National Champion Half-Arabian Park Countess Vanessa.
The next Oran son to be imported was an established show horse and sire in Britain. *Silver Vanity was named 1961 and 1962 British Supreme Champion Stallion and was imported by Bazy Tankersley in partnership with Charles Prange of Pennsylvania. He was twelve when imported. He was noted for his exquisite head and neck, overall type, and presence. His son Hanif in Britain sired 1974 British National Champion Stallion Haroun and 1984 Canadian Top Ten Stallion *Shatir. Six *Silver Vanity daughters bred in England were imported, including *Sharafa (dam of 6 champions), and *Silvanetta, twice a British Reserve National Champion and dam of 3 American champions including twice U.S. Top Ten Pleasure Driving Baskanetta++.
*Silver Vanity sired 206 registered foals, 41 of them champions and six of them national winners, making him the most successful sore among the imported Oran sons. His national winners are: U.S. National Champion Western Pleasure Al-Marah Silver Sparrow (dam of 6 champions), Canadian Reserve National Champion Western Pleasure and National Champion Native Costume Royal Vanity++, U.S. Reserve National Champion Native Costume BL Majestic Gold+, twice U.S. Top Ten Western Pleasure Sharif Al Faddah++, U.S. Top Ten Western Pleasure Vanitys Count++, and U.S. Top Ten Hunter Al-Marah Colonel Simms. *Silver Vanity died in 1979 at age 29.
The final imported Oran son spent most of his life in New Zealand from which he was imported in 1970 by Andrew Sharf of California. He was *Silver Sparklee (ex Silver Fire), and was named a halter champion in New Zealand in 1965 at age 18. Due to his age at the time he was brought to America, he sired just two registered foals and has no champion descendants.
The Oran sons who remained in England proved successful as both show horses and sires. Sengoran (ex *Senga) was named the 1954 British National Champion Stallion. His son Grand Royal (ex Sharima) was the 1956 British National Champion Stallion and his son Royal Glitter was Reserve National Champion (the only time a sire and son team won these titles in the same year), *Royal Constellation (a western pleasure champion and sire of twice U.S. Top Ten Mare Confidential++), and *Silver Grand (granddam of 2 national winners). Indian King (ex Indian Pride) was Reserve National Champion in 1957 and National Champion in 1960 and sired British National Champion Stallion Sunlights Allegro. Oran’s son Silvershaft (a full-brother to *Silver Vanity) was named 1960 Junior Male Champion prior to his exportation to Sweden. Oran’s son Orion (who was double Oran) was named British Supreme Champion Stallion twice, in 1971 and 1976. He has sired 3 British National Champions: 1975 British Reserve Junior Champion Female Libra, 1976 British Supreme Champion Mare Bright Venus (who has 4 national titles), and 1984 British Reserve Ridden Champion Aquilon. Oran’s son Noran (ex Nerina) sired 1973 and 1983 British National Champion Stallion *Achim (who was later exported to America) and Australian Champion stallion Abiram.
Oran daughters in England won on the national level and were noted broodmares as well. Silver Shadow (ex Silver Fire) was the 1956 Reserve Supreme Champion Mare and produced 1968 Reserve Champion Mare Wentworth Golden Shadow. Mifaria (ex Rithyana) is the dame of three national winners: 1962 Reserve Supreme Champion Stallion Manto, 1966 and 1967 Supreme Champion Stallion El Meluk, and 1968 Junior Champion Male Majal. Oran’s daughter Umatella (ex Namilla) won the Princess Muna Saddle of Honor for best mare produce group at the Arab Horse Society Show four times and her daughter, 1971 British Supreme Champion Mare Domatella, won it twice. The Oran daughter Risslana (ex Rissalma) was the 1965 and 1966 British Reserve Junior Champion Filly. Nerinora (ex Nerina) produced two national winners: 1970 Reserve Junior Champion Male Najran and 1976 Reserve Ridden Champion Rajmahal. Indian Pearl (ex Indian Flower) is an international dam of champions. Her daughter *Indian Peril was a halter champion in Canada and she was also the dam of 1969 South African Junior Champion Colt Sahibi Sarab. Extra Special (ex Sharfina) is the dam of American native costume champion *Crystal Special and the British champions Lyvia (1965 Junior Champion Female) and Comforts Caravel. Two other Oran daughters with national winners were Rosinella (dam of 1955 Junior Champion Male Crystal Fire) and Sky Sovereign (dam of 1979 Reserve National Champion Gelding Sky Monarch).
The fame of two Oran daughters exceeds that of the others. His daughter Sapphire Sky (ex the Polish import, Nawarra) was Reserve Champion Mare at the Arab Horse Society show twice – in 1973 at age 10 and again in 1984 at age 21! She is the dam of 1971 British Junior Male Champion Sky Crusader, a successful sire of show and race winners.
The Oran daughter Silent Wings (ex Silfina) was named the 1957 British Junior Champion Female. She was the dam of the American import *Zilla (imported by Lewisfield Stud) and no less than seven British champions! Her champions were: halter champions Daughter of Darkness and Gold Royal, halter reserve champion Azrak (sire of British National Champion Stallion Silver Blue), 1975 British National Champion Gelding Silent Flight, 1962 British Junior Champion Female Yemama, 1975 British National Ridden Champion Golden Wings, and his full-brother, 1966 British Reserve Junior Champion Male Bright Wings (the maternal grandsire of U.S. and Canadian National Champion Stallion *Padron).
The dominance of Oran horses in British show rings gave them a number of unique accomplishments. The only sire/son to be named British Supreme Champion Stallion and Reserve Supreme Champion Stallion in the same year were the Oran son Grand Royal and his son Royal Glitter. In 1976 the Oran son Orion and his daughter Bright Venus became the only sire/daughter pair to be named British National Champion Stallion and Mare in the same year. The best year for the Oran stock at the British Nationals was 1969 when the National Champion and Reserve Stallion and National Champion and Reserve Mare all had him close up in their pedigrees. (The National Champion Stallion Darjeel was a great-grandson, the Reserve National Champion Stallion El Meluk was a grandson, the National Champion Mare Silver Sheen was a great-granddaughter, and the Reserve National Champion Mare Domatella was a granddaughter).
Oran’s legacy is still strongly visible in show horses in Britain and America today and hopefully interest will remain high!
**All of the articles included in the re-launched Crabbet.com site from the original website, Georgia Cheer, Silver Monarch Publishing and The Crabbet Influence magazine are shared here with permission of Georgia Cheer given May 16, 2012.**
Last Updated: May 2nd, 2019