By Kim Johnson
** Originally published in The Crabbet Influence.
Overlook Farwa first came to my attention at the 1982 Reno Arabian Horse Fair, where owner Earl Guyton was putting on a cutting horse clinic. At that time, I was impressed by Farwa’s cutting agility and pedigree fame, but contented myself with admiring him on stallion row, as my own breeding goals were still in the designing and organizing stages.
In 1987 I was again privileged to view Farwa at the Oregon Crabbet Show, where he put on a cutting demonstration and was present on stallion row. I chatted briefly with owners Earl and Frances Guyton, but my own involvement in showing horses at this show kept me from pursuing anything further.
While traveling through Reno, Nevada, on a cold January afternoon in 1989, I decided to stop and really get acquainted with Overlook Farwa. Author Carol Mulder had also mentioned that I really should consider breeding to Farwa due to his quality and my own breeding concerns. My breeding goals had become further defined into concentrating the Abu Farwa blood in my herd, and I decided this may be a wonderful opportunity to get this blood as “close up” as possible.
Upon close inspection of Farwa, I found him to be both a typical and non-typical Abu Farwa offspring. Many things impressed me about Overlook Farwa, but he was different from the usual large, chestnut, trimmed in white type that I had come to admire. Farwa was a smaller, trimmer, bay version of the wonderful bodied Abu Farwa horses. He had the fantastic bone and feet of this multi-faceted performance line, coupled with unmistakable presence and carriage.
I mentioned to Earl that I would be interested in breeding some Belesemo Trad daughters to Overlook Farwa, but I sure hated to haul mares – would he ever consider leasing Farwa? Earl graciously acknowledged my question, but I could tell it would be a very cold day before Farwa ever left his care. They were true buddies and had been down the road of life together. Separating Farwa from Earl was not in the cards.
The years rolled by, and in the fall of 1992 I again took it upon myself to write Earl and Frances about Overlook Farwa. As fate would have it, Earl and Frances were considering a “life change” and move to a warmer climate with the sale of their ranch. They felt that Farwa could use a temporary home while they were getting relocated, and graciously allowed Farwa to come to our ranch for the 1993 breeding season.
In January of 1993, Overlook Farwa came to my Belesemo Arabian Ranch. He stepped out of the trailer looking 14, not 24, years of age and announced his presence to the other stallions. Farwa and Belesemo Trad instantly became sworn enemies upon the first bellow, and both have vowed vengeance at one another as only two old established campaigners can threaten.
I can remember feeling a sense of exhilaration only a breeder could truly understand; that here was a living piece of history. To my knowledge, Overlook Farwa is the last living and direct siring son of Abu Farwa, and he was standing on our ranch.
Farwa settled right in, and with some advertising, we were immediately contacted for breedings by people who had no idea that a direct Abu Farwa son was still alive and breeding, and we were eager to take advantage of that fact. We semen tested Farwa, and even at 24 years of age, he shipped very well. This resulted in several additional breedings to mares with known cutting lines.
Farwa is well-known for his past performance “exploits,” including National Championship placings in cutting, as detailed in Carol Mulder’s October, 1991 article in The Crabbet Influence. Farwa has sired halter and performance winners, both purebred and part-bred. According to Earl, with approximately 50 purebred registered offspring, Farwa probably has a much higher foal count in the part-bred division. During his many years on the open cutting circuit, he bred many mares from the Quarter Horse ranks. A large number of the people Earl competed against held great respect for Farwa’s abilities and repaid that respect by bringing their other breed mares to Farwa’s court. For many years, Farwa was a great ambassador for the Arabian breed.
With Earl and Frances’ continued travels, we are again allowed to stand Overlook Farwa for 1994, and are excitedly looking forward to this year’s foal crop. We are expecting foals by Overlook Farwa out of daughters of Farlowa, Ga’Zi, and Belesemo Trad, among others. We have had many people call the last few years – people who have “re-discovered” what Crabbet enthusiasts have known all along – the old lines are timeless and need no explanation or defense. Their athleticism, good sense, and beauty, are always in style.
The years have rolled by and our love affair with Abu Farwa is as strong as ever, aided and abetted by Overlook Farwa and the kindness of the Guytons. We are thrilled to welcome the 1994 Belesemo Arabian Ranch foal crop, which we hope will include some of the youngest and highest percentage Abu Farwa granddaughters and grandsons in the world today for our future breeding program.
We are extremely conscious of our “good fortune” in having Farwa grace us with his presence. Our grateful thanks to Earl and Frances for entrusting is with their timeless treasure. At 25 years of age, Farwa himself seems timeless – may he live long and prosper as new generations reflect upon his great heritage.
**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.**