By Arlene Magid
U.S. Reserve National Champion Stallion Bey Shah+, once again was the leading sire of halter winners at the 1994 Scottsdale show. Undefeated racehorse and Scottsdale Reserve Grand Champion Stallion Kontiki, is a sire of stakes winning racehorses. U.S. National Cutting Champions Smooth Zee, Sanfari, Coe Zee Kat and Zee School Marm. What do all these horses have in common? Lines to the bright chestnut stallion Abu Farwa, one of the breed’s most influential sires of all time. The beauty and versatility of Abu Farwa’s get epitomize the best of the Arabian breed. This exceptional sire genuinely deserves a full length book, but for now we will discuss some of his most important get and grandget here.
Much has already been published about Abu Farwa’s pedigree and ownership history, so these aspects will only be briefly covered here. Listed in the stud book as bred by W.K. Kellogg Institute, Abu Farwa was foaled May 22, 1940, on what is now the campus of California State Polytechnic Institute (popularly known as Cal Poly Pomona). He was prophetically named by Gladys Brown Edwards (then the ranch secretary) with the Arabic name that means “father of chestnuts” (Of his 278 registered foals, 220 are chestnut).
There seems to be some confusion about Abu Farwa’s Crabbet percentage, as previously published material has identified him as “straight Crabbet.” This is not the case. Abu Farwa’s dam,*Rissletta was bred at Crabbet Stud, but his sire Rabiyas (a product of America’s Maynesboro Stud) traces twice to the American born sire Sidi (through his maternal granddam Raad, a Sidi daughter, and also through his dam Rabiyat, a paternal granddaughter of Sidi). Sidi’s sire Khaled was non-Crabbet (a product of the Randolph Huntington breeding program) and his dam Rose Rugosa was half-Crabbet (her sire *Imamzada was bred by the English breeder Ethelred Dillon). Sidi was thus 25% Crabbet, making Rabiyas 81.25% Crabbet, and Abu Farwa 90.625% Crabbet.
RABIYAS – ABU FARWA’s SIRE
Rabiyas was foaled in 1936 and sold to South Africa in 1954, where he was said to have sired a number of naturally five-gaited horses. Rabiyas displayed the longevity typical of his sire line, living to be age 35. Rabiyas has influenced the breed through get other than Abu Farwa. His son Rabiycar is a U.S. Top Ten Park winner (at age 15!) and National winner producer. Other National winner producers by Rabiyas include Baarabi, Bint Skolma, Buttons, and Abu El Reeh, all of whom have offspring with National wins in performance. Rabiyas also sired Woni (whose daughter Bint Woni by a Rabiyas grandson produced four National winners in performance), Trabayat (a champion producer and dam of National winner producer Trasara), and Damascas (sire of National Champion producer Damirah and of Electra, dam of three National winners in performance).
RISSLETTA – ABU FARWA’s DAM
Abu Farwa’s dam,*Rissletta was listed in the stud book as imported by “K.M. Brown,” actually Gladys Brown Edwards’ mother. W.K. Kellogg, the mare’s actual importer, did not want Lady Wentworth of the Crabbet Stud to realize that he was the buyer of three mares and filly foal that Lady Wentworth exported to California in 1936, as W.K. Kellogg thought she’d charge more for them if he bought them. Hence the deception of using another party to acquire the horses intended for him (a ruse Lady Wentworth herself had used to get Skowronek, *Rissletta’s grandsire, from H.V.M. Clark). *Rissletta was a daughter of Naseem and Risslina, a maternal sister to *Rifala, dam of *Raffles. Risslina was a granddaughter of both *Nasik and *Berk, both sires noted for their talent at the trot. Interestingly, Rabiyas’ dam Rabiyat is also a *Nasik granddaughter, and Rabiyas has two additional lines to *Nasik’s sire Rijm through his daughter *Rijma. The athletic prowess of the Abu Farwa horses might well come from the linebreeding to horses noted for performance ability.
*Rissletta’s influence is not limited to Abu Farwa. Her daughter Rifnetta is also a National winner producer, as her son Rifseyn++ is a U.S. Top Ten English Pleasure winner. Her son Jedriss was a good broodmare sire with daughters like champion producer Bazrissa and Telmriss (dam of three National winners in performance). *Rissletta produced two full sisters to Abu Farwa – Joanna, born in 1943, and her last foal, Rossletta, born in 1951. Joanna was a fine broodmare with an especially lovely head whose offspring left their mark on the show ring. She produced especially well with Ferseyn – her daughter Ferna is the dam of multi-top ten mare BH Blue Nile, and her other Ferseyn daughter Fernaseyna, is a Western Pleasure Reserve champion and dam of three champions. Rossletta, a roan, was registered and then had her registration cancelled by decision of Cal Poly officials as they felt her color was a detriment and should not be allowed to breed on in purebreds. Rossletta spent her breeding career with Anna Best Joder of Colorado, producing purebred foals by the Joder stallions that were registered only as partbreds. Ironically, none of them bore her unusual color! Like her siblings, Rossletta was a typy, correct horse, and her loss to purebred breeding due to color prejudice was a sad one.
Physically, Abu Farwa was a robust, correct and typy individual. He was a multi-generational pure in strain Kehilan Ajuz of Ibn Rodan, tracing in tail female to the Crabbet foundation mare Rodania. His bright chestnut color and white facial markings are typical of horses of this dam line. Abu Farwa was in his prime when there were few shows offering all-Arabian competition. Nonetheless, he did win at halter in his youth and again in extreme old age – he competed at age 22, 23, and 24 in the aged stallion class at the Del Mar show in California. He won this class at 22 and 24 and was placed third at age 23 – ample testimony to his basic correctness and overall quality.
Abu Farwa’s conformation included exceptional strength of loin, a well-shaped neck properly set on, correct shoulder angle, and sound legs with substantial bone. He was very prepotent at passing these attributes to his descendants, many of whom show exceptional athletic prowess. Abu Farwa was dominant for chestnut color, and his chestnut get carry his hallmark not only in their color, but especially in the appearance of head and neck. Of his 38 bay get, many produced chestnuts themselves that bear a substantial resemblance to their grandsire.
Competition in Arabian shows is not the only meaningful criterion for judging the success of Arabian horses, and Abu Farwa descendants have excelled far beyond that limited field. His son Koester was popular as an exhibition dressage horse. His grandson Kontiki is both a noted Arabian racehorse and a horse highly prized in racehorse pedigrees over twenty years after his death. Abu Farwa’s daughter Barq was a successful stock horse competitor who also produced five Arabian champions, including a Regional Champion Park horse. Abu Farwa’s grandson Michael was one of the best examples of the versatility of his descendants. He competed in open shows against all breeds to win as a western pleasure and reining horse. He also won the Florida 100 Mile Ride three times, retiring the challenge trophy (Subsequently the trophy for best Arabian at that ride was named for him). He participated in the Arabian exhibition races at Laurel racetrack in Maryland in 1959, setting a record for the 2-1/2 mile distance. Although he had very limited opportunity at stud (he sired just 25 registered foals), Michael is the maternal grandsire of 1982 Canadian Reserve National Champion Park AOTR and U.S. Top Ten Park AOTR Kabeer El Bajeel (who is triple Abu Farwa) and of 1980 Region XVI Top Five Mare PHP Micha Rappora.
THE GET OF ABU FARWA
Abu Farwa’s athletes clearly inherit the conformation that makes their successes possible. Just as important as conformation is temperament. His descendants frequently inherit his delightful personality. They are honest, willing, trusting, sensible and very people-oriented. Yet they are also competitive, showing heart and toughness when called upon to give their all.
The quality of Abu Farwa’s get is even more remarkable when one considers that he was not always bred to good quality mares. He was owned for most of his breeding career by the former Kellogg Ranch manager Herbert H. Reese. Reese did not breed him only to approved mares – he was a public stallion and no mare was refused. Yet, the resulting foals were often a substantial improvement over their dams. In 1959, Reese sold Abu Farwa to Dr. Harold West of Green Acres Ranch (where he sired 10 of his get), but bought him back two years later in partnership with Charles Doner of Elsinore Stud. Abu Farwa spent the remainder of his stud career at the Doner Ranch, with his last registered foals born in 1971. Abu Farwa died on July 27, 1972.
Abu Farwa sired 134 male get, of whom 67 have offspring of their own. Most of his 144 daughters bred on (only nine did not). Abu Farwa sired four National winners himself (national level competition was not held until he was 18, so his older get did not have full opportunity to show at the highest level). His National winners are: 1973 U.S. Top Ten Western Pleasure Abu Ahwa++ (originally registered as “Red Deer”), 1959 Canadian Top Ten Stallion Shahzada, 1963 U.S. Top Ten Stallion and 1964 Canadian Top Ten Stallion Galan++ (also an English Pleasure Champion), and 1974 U.S. Reserve National Champion Futurity Cutting Overlook Farwa (who is his only remaining son at public stud). 13 Abu Farwa sons and 20 Abu Farwa daughters have produced National winners (see accompanying charts) and a total of 78 National winners are direct grandget of Abu Farwa.
Abu Farwa sons with one National winner a piece include Faryn (x Ferdith by Ferseyn). He is the sire of Canadian National Champion Gelding and U.S. Top Ten Formal Combination Zonga. Allabu (x Alla An by Alla Amarward) has also sired a National winner, Ara Bara, whose seven titles include U.S. National Champion Open Cutting and Reserve National Champion Non-Pro Cutting. Allabu’s ¾ brother Farlane (x Alleyna by Alla Amarward) sired twice Canadian Top Ten Native Costume Farlane’s Pride+/, also a Region XVII English Pleasure Reserve Champion. Farlane was registered a chestnut but was actually a roan like Abu Farwa’s full sister Rossletta. Muhuli (x Follyanna by Follyat) is the sire of Canadian Top Ten Western Pleasure The Rebe;+ (who is double Abu Farwa) and of several winning racehorses. The controversial Fred’s Revenge (a multi-stakes winner and Horse of the Year whose papers were cancelled after a Registry investigation) was probably by the Muhuli son Nehalems Muhuli. Abu Farwa’s son Matador (x Mistanna by Hallany Mistanny) sired U.S. and Canadian Top Ten Stock Tribes Moon Dancr.
Awad (x Shamrah by Balastra) was a Park Champion who sired just 23 registered get. His son Ibn Awad++/ is a U.S. Top Ten Stallion and English Pleasure Champion. His son Afari was named U.S. Reserve National Champion Stallion and Top Ten Park. He is a double Abu Farwa grandson as he is out of Farwafadi by Abu Farwa. Afari has sired six national winners and has proven to be one of the more important sources of Abu Farwa blood, particularly in cutting horses, through his use in the breeding program of the Miller Ranch in California.
The Abu Farwa son Saud Ibn Azefa (x Azefa by Alla Amarward) was not heavily used at stud (he has just 52 purebred get), but has sired three National winners: U.S. Top Ten Sidesaddle Sauds Valentine, U.S. National Champion Pleasure Driving AOTD and Canadian Top Ten English Pleasure JOTR 17 and Uner Deserey, and Canadian Top Ten Country English Pleasure Sauds Victoria. In addition, his daughters Saufera, Bint Saud, and Royalanna are all National winner producers.
Another Abu Farwa son with three National winners is Antezeyn Skowronek (x Sharifa by Antez), a ¾ brother to Faryn, as he is out of a Ferdith daughter. Antezeyn Skowronek sired Canadian Top Ten Stallion and U.S. and Canadian Top Ten Mare Khatum Tamarette. Nine of his get have produced National winners, including Juzaana (who is double Abu Farwa) and Coronation (dam of the double Abu Farwa mare Murzadae++, a U.S. Reserve National Champion Park Horse).
Shahzada (x Surrab by *Latif) is a National winner himself and sire of four National winners: Canadian Top Ten Stallion Shatara, Canadian Top Ten Mare Shahrana, U.S. and Canadian Top Ten Stallion Shahmilla, and Canadian National Champion Stallion and U.S. Top Ten Stallion Murzada (whose three National winners include Murzadae++, already mentioned).
Galan++ (x Saadi by Rifnas) has already been mentioned as a multi-National Winner in halter. He is also a sire of performance horses, with five get winning National titles. They include: U.S. Top Ten Hunter Pleasure GA Tiburon, U.S. Top Ten Stock Green Acres Ghazan, Canadian Top Ten English Pleasure Green Acres Galaxy, U.S. Top Ten Informal Combination Merlann, and Canadian National Champion Informal Combination and U.S. Top Ten Informal Combination Green Acres Sage. Galan++’s daughters, Green Acres Sarah (who is double *Rissletta) and Green Acres Belle, are both National winner producers.
Another Abu Farwa son with five National winners is Farlowa (x Farlouma by Farana). His winners display typical Abu Farwa versatility – two of them (Malowa and Ply Royal+/) won U.S. Top Ten titles in both English and Western pleasure, and Farlo++’s seven National titles include Canadian Top Ten Stallion and U.S. Top Ten awards in Park, English pleasure, and Western pleasure. Farlowa also sired U.S. Top Ten Srock Raslowa and U.S. Top Ten Gelding Abukar++. His son Farlo++ sired Canadian National Champion Stallion Farolito++ and ten of his daughters have produced National winners, including Milabbissa (dam of six champions including U.S. National Champion English Pleasure and English Pleasure AOTR Featurette).
Abu Baha (x Surrab) is a full brother to U.S. Top Ten Stallion Shahzada and is a multi-halter champion himself. His six National winners include Canadian Top Ten Stallions Nar Kora and Tabanja+ and Abu Alla (a National winner producer), Canadian Top Ten Pleasure Driving Rolabu (a National winner producer), U.S. Top Ten Western Pleasure AOTR and Canadian Top Ten Western Pleasure Miss Baha+, and Canadian National Champion Native Costume and U.S. Reserve National Champion Native Costume Bahadur++.
ABU FARWA’S TOP SIRING SON, GA’ZI
Abu Farwa’s top siring son Ga’Zi was the 1954 Pacific Slope Reserve Champion Stallion and also won championships in western pleasure. He is out of Ghazna (by Chepe Noyon), dam of nine champions including his full sister, multi-halter champion Ghezala. Ga’Zi sired a total of 21 National winners and has an exceptionally high percentage of 45% National winners from his champion get. Space does not permit a full listing of his National winners, who have won titles in halter, western pleasure, native costume, English pleasure, and trail. Some of the most notable include Canadian National Champion Stallion Sir Lancer++ and Ganeyn, Canadian National Champion Mare and U.S. Top Ten Western Pleasure and Trail Fateena++, U.S. Reserve National Champion Mare Ga’Nissa, Canadian Reserve National Champion Stallions Gailic and Far’Zi++, Canadian Reserve National Champion Mare Miss Century, U.S. National Champion Futurity Mare Khususan, U.S. Reserve National Champion Western Pleasure Ross’Zi, Canadian National Champion Mare and Top Ten English Pleasure and U.S. National Champion Futurity Mara Llana++ (granddam of Bey Shah+). Ga’Zi was a noted broodmare sire, with 13 daughters producing National winners.
ABU FARWA SIRED OUTSTANDING MARES
Many Abu Farwa daughters are good broodmares. Twenty have produced National winners, and a number deserve mention as they have produced a significant number of champions but no National winners. Shama (x Shamrah by Balastra) is the dam of Wafa El Shammar (dam of five champions and five producers of National winners) and of Seneta (dam of Canadian Top Ten Western Pleasure The Rebel+ by the Abu Farwa son Muhuli), Halter Champion Faikah (x Antana by Antez) produced three champions from 12 foals, and her daughter Lorett is the dam of five champions and two National winners who have won in halter, stock, native costume, cutting, and working cow horse! Faikah’s full sister Barq produced five champions including halter champion Fiala (whose three champions include a National winner in halter and performace), Abla (x Valla by Alla Amarward) is the dam of three race winners including Hawk Hill Surlea (dam of two race winners, three champions and a National winner). Abla is also the dam of champion producer Parkwood Coquette and National winner producer Parkwood Jezebel. Ghezala, a full sister to Ga’Zi, had just 2 foals – one was Pacific Slope Top Five English Pleasure Bint Ghezala, dam of two champions and three champion producers including National Champion producer MHR Port Geisha. Champion producer Rizarwa (x Ahariz by Fernas) is the dam of National winner producer Fjorgyn (herself dam of National winner producer Rick O Shane). Abu Gamwa (x Gamyla by *Raseyn) is the dam of National winner producer El Brilliante and of Farlyfa (dam of four champions). Miss Floco (x Rose of Damascus by Damascus) is a champion producer and dam of National Champion producer The Puritan (paternal grandsire of British National Champion Stallion *Ralvon Elijah), Eters Windsong (dam of five champions), Autumn Flair (dam of two National winners in show hack and English pleasure), and champion producer Autumn Flame (dam of National winner producer Country Flair). Abu Farwa’s Fresca (x Iloany by Hallany Mistanny) produced four champions in halter, western pleasure, and pleasure driving. Almiki (x Kinzi by Ziyadi) is the dam of undefeated racehorse Kontiki, of Bar Miki (dam of U.S. Top Ten Futurity Cutting and Non-Pro Cutting Smooth As Silk, who is triple Abu Farwa), and of halter champion and National Champion producer Waikiki (sire of U.S. National Champion First and Second Level Dressage Ki Hattie).
Seventeen Abu Farwa daughters have produced one National winner a piece. Abuseyna (x Daanaseyn by *Raseyn) is the dam of five champions including U.S. Top Ten Gelding Gin Dhandi+++/. She also produced the very versatile Michael, already discussed. Nabiya (x Ghazeyna by *Raseyn) is the dam of Canadian Top Ten Stallion Fadjawi and of National winner producers Nafix, Gigi and Biya. Farwafadi (x Wafadi by Indrage) produced U.S. Reserve National Champion Stallion and Top Ten Park Afari (by the Abu Farwa son Awad), and of Hillcrest’s Imarfadi (dam of National winner producer Ga Melinda). Arabu (x Arabrab by *Raseyn) is the dam of the U.S. National Champion Native Costume and Top Ten Gelding Xanadu’s Haj Abu++ and of National winner producer Arafay (dam of U.S. Top Ten Park Lo Rafbar). Allarifa (x Allari by Alla Amarward) produced seven time National winner Blue Velvet, whose titles include U.S. Reserve National Champion Pleasure Driving, Top Ten Formal Driving, Formal Combination and Park. Khukiet (x Khurafeh by Khalil) is the dam of U.S. Reserve National Champion Stock El Khurnel. Valkyrie (x Kyrie by Khalil) is the dam of U.S. Top Ten English Pleasure and National winner producer El Gatoson++. Dynaba (x Dylah by Ansarlah) produced only one foal – U.S. Top Ten English Pleasure and Pleasure Driving RSR Kumait. Ferditha (x Ferdith by Ferseyn) produced U.S. Top Ten Hunter Sagunto+. Farzia (x Zeilah by *Raseyn) is the dam of two champions including U.S. Top Ten Pleasure Driving Serajafaz. Farlana (x Allana by Gezan) is the dam of U.S. Top Ten Park and National winner producer Faareyn++. Farra (x Farsika by Rasik) is the dam of U.S. National Champion Trail and twice U.S. Top Ten Western Pleasure Abu Mraff. Abu Wita (x Witeza by *Witez II) produced five champions including Canadian Top Ten Western Pleasure Bask Valentine. Her son Corjon was named Race Gelding of the Year in 1972 and set a speed record for 1-1/8 miles. Ghazarwa (x Ghazali by Gezan) produced U.S. Top ten Western Pleasure AOTR and Trail and Canadian Top Ten Stock Green Acres Leo++. Abu Farwa Fantasy (x Talica by Nes Perse) is the dam of four champions by Cedardell Heritage including Canadian Top Ten Western Pleasure Cedarage. Farwa’s Cinderella (x Sarateyn by Teyn) produced U.S. Top Ten Hunt Pleasure Bay L’Fleur.
Two Abu Farwa daughters have produced two National winners a piece. Farvalia (x Valencia by Hanad) is the dam of U.S. Top Ten Western Pleasure Blue Dominic and Canadian Top Ten Mare Hedda Roaya. Scharifa (x Schilastra by Gulastra) produced U.S.Top Ten Western Pleasure AOTR Scarabi and U.S. National Champion Formal Driving, Reserve National Champion Formal Combination and three times Top Ten Park Scharif+/.
Abu Farwa’s top producing daughter is Alla Farwa (x Maryam Amal by Alla Amarward). She is the dam of three National winners: U.S. Top Ten Trail El Hermano, 18 time National winner Demaciado++/ (whose titles include U.S. National Champion Novice, Non-Pro, and Ladies Cutting, U.S. National Champion Trail and U.S. Reserve National Champion Open Cutting) and five time National winner Tu Riff++/ (whose wins include U.S. Reserve National Champion Trail, Top Ten Open and Ladies Cutting).
Descendants of Abu Farwa have more than proven their worth in every field of Arabian horse endeavor. Their correct conformation, breed type, and willing attitudes have made them ambassadors for all that makes the Arabian unique among the light horse breeds. Abu Farwa is not only the father of chestnuts – he is a great progenitor of the breed.
Chart 1: Abu Farwa Sons Who Have Sired National Winners
- Ga’Zi – 21
- Abu Baha – 6
- (Tie) Galan++, Farlowa – 5
- Shahzada – 4
- (Tie) Antezeyn Skowronek, Saud Ibn Azefa – 3
- Awad – 2
- (Tie) Faryn, Allabu, Muhuli, Farlane, Matador – 1
Chart 2: Abu Farwa Daughters Who Have Produced National Winners
- Alla Farwa – 3
- (Tie) Farvalia, Scharifa – 2
- (Tie) Abuseyna, Nabiya, Farwafadi, Arabu, Allarifa, Khukiet, Valkyrie, Dynaba, Ferditha, Farzia, Farlana, Farra, Abu Wita, Ghazarwa, Abu Farwa’s Fantasy, Farwas Cinderella – 1
Photos courtesy of the Arabian Horse World October 1964 and May 1970, Arabian Horse News September 1975 provided by The Red Horse Book Show, Bethel , Ohio and Arabian Horse News May 1953 provided by Rick Synowski. Thank you both for your help!
Read More About Abu Farwa, His Descendants, and Influence:
Abu Farwa 1960, An American Great by Carol Woodbridge Mulder
Abu Farwa: His Influence On The Breed by Arlene Magid
Fairview Farm: The Abu Farwa Legacy by Jim Robbins
Overlook Farwa (Abu Farwa x Al-Marah Zaibaq) – The Next Chapter by Kim Johnson
The Abu Farwa Influence in Australia and New Zealand by Jacquie Beckett
**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: March 14th, 2019