By Marian Rothert
** Originally published in the July – August 1989 issue of the Crabbet Influence magazine.
Although we only live 50 miles apart, I first met Mike and Barb McCabe, McCabe’s Arabians, Miamisburg, Ohio, at the U.S. Nationals in Oklahoma City in 1972. We were introduced by mutual friends and while attending a party Mike mentioned that he had a two year old colt named VANITYS COUNT 66104. After hearing about the colt, I was very anxious to see him. I finally had the opportunity at the Buckeye in the spring of 1973. He was big, powerful, but very typey. For me, it was love at first sight and I decided right then that some day I had to have one of his daughters or sons.
Mike and Barb had purchased Vanitys Count when he was 6 weeks old. On a spring day in 1970 they had gone to Charles Prange’s Tuckwimensing Farm in New Hope, Pennsylvania, to see about breeding a mare to *Silver Vanity. On their arrival they were informed by the farm manager that Mr. Prange had just passed away. However, the farm manager did show them the horses. Mike and Barb spotted a beautiful liver chestnut colt with a blaze and four white socks. He was by *Silver Vanity and out of the *Count Dorsaz daughter, Perihan Bint Dorsaz. Mike and Barb purchased the colt from the estate of Mr. Prange and brought him home to Ohio in the fall after he was weaned. He grew into a handsome 15.2 hand stallion.
Vanitys Count++ went on to win championships in halter, English pleasure and western pleasure, culminating in winning a Top Ten in Western Pleasure at the U.S. Nationals in 1976. That same year his son, Bey Vanity+++, owned by Don and Janet Amburgey of Germantown, Ohio, won his first of six U.S. Top Tens in Half-Arabian Western Pleasure. A month later Vanitys Count++ and Bey Vanity+++ received their Legion of Merit awards. Bey Vanity+++ was only 3 years old at this time. Bey Vanity+++ was then sold to Jim McKay of Culman, Alabama, and went on to be Top Ten five more times, Reserve National Champion two times, and received his Supreme Legion of Merit. Both horses were trained by Mike.
Vanitys Count++ has sired 38 known Class A Champions (most of them multiple champions); 11 known Regional Top Fives, Reserve Champions and Champions (many multiple winners). For several years he was one of the leading sires of winners at the prestigious Ohio Buckeye. His national winners include: Bey Vanity+++, six times U.S. National Champion; Count Comet, 1988 U.S. and Canadian Top Ten Half-Arabian Western Pleasure Open and AOTR; Magic Vanity+, twice U.S. Top Ten Arabian Sidesaddle and Western Pleasure, Reserve National Champion Arabian Sidesaddle, 1988 Canadian Top Ten Western Pleasure AOTR 17 & Under; Sir Vanity, twice U.S. Top Ten Half-Arabian Western Pleasure, Canadian Top Ten and Reserve Canadian National Champion; Vanitys My Prince+/, six times U.S. Top Ten in Half-Arabian Western Pleasure AOTR and Sidesaddle, Reserve National Champion in Half-Arabian Sidesaddle, 1988 Canadian Top Ten in Half-Arabian Western Pleasure AOTR 17 & Under and Half-Arabian Sidesaddle.
The Vanitys Count++ get also do extremely well in futurity and Breeders Sweepstakes classes. In 1988 his yearling daughter, Oranastacia (x Orana Van Asfuri), owned by the McCabes, won the Ohio Futurity (29 in the class) and the Kentucky Futurity (19 in the class). She was also a Top Ten IAHA Breeders Sweepstakes Yearling Filly and a Top Ten Ohio Breeders Sweepstakes Yearling Filly. Her full brother Ovasion was 1985 Region 13 IAHA Breeders Sweepstakes Yearling Colt and Top Ten Ohio Breeders Sweepstakes Yealring Colt. He is now a western pleasure champion. He recently was purchased by Lani Argo of Cincinnati, Ohio.
His daughters are proving their worth as excellent broodmares. The McCabe’s are breeding their Vanitys Count++ daughters to their other stallion Exclusive Touch (*Touch of Magic x Etanara). Exclusive Touch is a multiple halter and English pleasure champion. The stallion Shy Touch (Exclusive Touch x Vanitys Melody+), owned by Nancy Korb, Aurora, Indiana, was 1985 Region 14 IAHA Breeders Sweepstakes Reserve Champion Yearling Colt, he is a multiple halter champion, Region 14 Top Five Stallion, Most Classic and western pleasure winner. He won the Kentucky Futurity Colt class all three years he was shown. He is the only stallion to have achieved this. Love Touch (Exclusive Touch x Vanitys Melody+), owned by the McCabes, is a 1987 Top Ten IAHA Breeders Sweepstakes Yearling Filly and a Top Ten Ohio Breeders Sweepstakes Yearling Filly. NJ Tiffany (Exclusive Touch x Blue Vanity), owned also by Nancy Korb, is a Top Ten IAHA Breeders Sweepstakes Yearling Filly. Frances Bay Lace (Exclusive Touch x Vanitys Bay Lace), owned by Lani Argo, Cincinnati, Ohio, is a Top Ten Ohio Breeders Yearling Sweepstakes Filly. Half A Touch (Exclusive Touch x Bey Moncel), owned by Cindy VanBuren, Dayton, Ohio, is a Supreme Half-Arabian Champion and a Region 14 Top Five Half-Arabian Gelding. His son Easter Vanity (x Joy of Nizzor), owned by Ralph Gearheart, Johnstown, Ohio, is siring champion National Show horses.
Vanitys Count++ passes on his great disposition, charisma, intelligence, personality and performance capabilities. His get are loving and willing horses. If you are familiar with his get, you can usually spot them anywhere. Professionals, amateurs and junior riders alike do extremely well with them. To own a Vanitys Count++ son or daughter is to love the horse. I speak from personal experience. In 1976, I had the opportunity to purchase the two-year-old half-Arabian filly by Vanitys Count++, Bey Counts Glore, from Don and Janet Amburgey and Mike agreed to train her for me. I had horses for so many years, but was not involved in showing. I wanted her to ride for pleasure only. Mike had her for a few weeks and thought that we should show her a little. I agreed. At her first big show of 1977 in Springfield, Illinois, she placed in halter, won all of her performance classes and was Half-Arabian Western Pleasure Champion. She went on to be a multiple champion and was Region 14 Reserve Champion Half-Arabian Western Pleasure and Top Twenty at the 1978 U.S. Nationals. In 1979 Mike talked me into showing her at the Bluegrass Show in Louisville, Kentucky. I had never been in a show ring in my life and was scared to death. However, we made it through the class and won it. We went back in the championship AOTR the next day and won that too. Mike and I also showed her a couple of times in pleasure driving placing both times. I still have this mare and would not part with her for any amount of money. She is boarded at McCabes because they take such excellent care of their horses. I would not be satisfied anywhere else.
Mike and Barb McCabe are totally involved with the horses. They currently own 15 horses of their own and have about 6 horses boarded (all Arabians). During the training and breeding seasons there may be 30 to 45 horses on the farm. Besides training and breeding horses, Mike is also an ‘R’ judge. Barb takes care of all the office work involved with the farm and pitches in at the barn when needed. Mike and Barb’s 13 year old daughter, Kim, is also a horse person. She has been showing since she was 18 months old when she showed on my mare in a lead line class. She has been showing in AOTR and Open classes since she was 4 years old and showed Vanitys Melody+ at the Nationals when she was just 6 years old and Melody was 5 years old. Next year she hopes to show her filly Love Touch (Exclusive Touch x Vanitys Melody+) in junior horse classes.
It is regrettable to announce that Vanitys Count++ passed away June 6, 1992 at the age of 22 years old. He was buried in his paddock at McCabe’s Arabians in Miamisburg, Ohio.
Last Updated: August 11th, 2019
** 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. **