RAS Bint Vanity (Silver Vanity x Blue Sal) 1977 grey mare owned by Rhodes Arabian Stud.

Long Live Crabbet: A Tour of Straight Crabbets in the American North East

By Alexia Ross. The good news is that there are a small number of breeders in America who are still trying to preserve a resource of Straight Crabbet Arabians and are doing so with some very nice horses. Standards vary, as in any bloodline group, with some plain heads and rough couplings in evidence but good temperament and athleticism is pretty standard with more than enough exotic heads and smooth bodies to offer a positive future. On the whole, limbs, length of shoulder and movement are better than the norm that is accepted in the show ring these days with long ground covering strides on offer instead of the stylized, but not particularly functional, high knee action which is becoming fashionable now in Europe.

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Ben Rabba: An Exceptional Influence on the British Arabian

By Alexia Ross. Ben Rabba’s visible debt to the Nasik son Rifnas appealed to many of the breeders of Crabbet lines at the time. It reintroduced a factor for extreme shoulder and front structure that was hard to find within the surviving Crabbet gene pool in the UK. Less obvious to the English eye was his debt to other early American influences, notably the Davenport importation. It is to this influence that Ben Rabba owed his good hindquarter and exceptionally well muscled loin, the latter a trait often overlooked by Arabian breeders for the show ring but essential to genuine athleticism in any horse of any breed.

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*Count Manilla

Count Manilla

Count Manilla was bred by Miss Gladys Yule of Hanstead House, whose mother, the late Lady Yule, had bred Count Manilla’s sire, Count Dorsaz. Count Dorsaz was by Rissalix from the mare Shamnar, whose sire Niziri was a full brother to Naseem. Shamnar’s dam was the famous Rasim mare Razina, who appears on the third line of Manilla’s pedigree as well. Manilla was by Algol from Nurschida.

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Rebecca Gillen and Rabbiana+/, LaGue photo.

Ben Rabba’s Legacy, and Me

By Susan Gillen, DVM. Although Rabbiana was my first and dearest horse, I went on to ride and show many more of Jewell’s Ben Rabba foals. Each one captured my heart for their willingness to please and beautiful attitudes. Inheriting Ben’s quality of movement, they all were successful performance horses, although they were completely amateur trained. Among my favorites were Viva La Ribba (Golden State Futurity Reserve Champion Western Pleasure Junior Horse), Bwana Sahib (Region III Top Five Western Pleasure Junior Horse and Top Ten Bonanza Horse), La Contezza (National Top Ten Western Pleasure AAOTR), Calipso Mon (Multi Champion Western Pleasure and Hunter Pleasure and now owned by my sister JoAnn Harlan), and Shezzaflame (Top Ten Western Pleasure ATR Futurity). I am convinced that amateurs can be successful in the show ring if they have horses that are not just beautiful movers, but horses with incredible minds.

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Ben Rabba, photo provided by Jewell Cantrell.

Cantrell Arabs and the ‘Ben Rabba Collection’

By Pamela Biery. Many years ago, between appointments and errands, I went by Cantrell Arabians hoping to see the latest foal crop. Standing by the fence with Jewell Cantrell chatting about this and that, I suddenly felt a chill. We were surveying some fifteen to twenty Ben Rabba daughters, granddaughters and old-line Crabbet mares. I looked again at the pasture dotted with exquisite mares and back to Jewell, shaking my head. I was astounded not only by the beauty of the scene, but by the potential impact of the ‘Ben Rabba Collection’ on Crabbet breeding.

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