By Rosemary Archer © 1996
** Originally printed in the Summer 1996 issue of The Crabbet Influence in Arabians Today magazine.
Harwood has the distinction of being the oldest Arabian stud in Britain. It was founded in 1896 when Colonel F. Lyon of Horsham, Sussex, bought the four year-old mare Howa at the 8th Crabbet Sale. Howa was a great-granddaughter of the Blunt’s well-known mare Hagar, which they bought in Arabia and rode on their desert journeys, and her sire was Azrek, one of the Blunt’s finest imports. Howa’s granddam, Harik, was Hagar’s daughter by Kars, the first stallion to stand at Crabbet and Wilfrid Blunt’s favourite hunter.
After the first World War Colonel Lyon’s daughter May and son Alec took over the stud. May Lyon, a great admirer of Lady Ann Blunt and a staunch supporter of Lady Wentworth, later added several other mares of Crabbet breeding to Howa’s family. These included Yavroum (1944) by the famous Raktha out of Nazziria, a rare Naziri daughter; Rafika (1943) by Ruskov out of Rishna; and two valuable Indian Gold daughters, Rosalina (1943) out of Rissella, and Naxindra (1944) out of Naxina. These mares provided the foundation of the Harwood Stud.
Alec Lyon had a property at Rostrevor, beautifully situated on the shores of Carlingford Bay in Ireland, and some of the horses lived there. On his death they passed to May who continued the stud with horses at both places and she lived for half the year in Ireland and half at Harwood.
Unfortunately Miss Lyon’s ideas of stud management were virtually non-existent. Pasture was neglected, the horses were never worked and their general condition often poor. Miss Lyon died in 1962 and she left her Horsham estate to her first cousin’s son, Robert Calvert and his wife Monica, and the Irish property and the horses there to their youngest daughter, Georgie (now Mrs. Moore), who was twelve at the time.
The Calverts immediately set about re-organising the stud. Hop Oast Farm, just outside Horsham, was purchased and Robbie and Monica Calvert bought from Georgie the horses at Rostrevor and re-united them as one stud on the new property. The farm consists of 250 acres altogether, of which 75 acres are well fenced paddocks; there is woodland and forestry land through which they ride. Cattle are grazed in the summer months and the Calverts make some of their own hay.
The brick built buildings were converted into stabling, and barns into three covered yards for young foals. Wooden sectional stables house most of the broodmares. Four other wooden loose boxes have two entrances and small paddocks attached and these make excellent accommodation for stallions and newly weaned foals. The indoor school was blown down in the 1987 hurricane and this has been replaced by an outdoor menage.
Having settled in the horses at the new location the Calverts learned all they could about stud management. The horses were properly fed and cared for and their general condition rapidly improved.
(article/header photo: Joe and Sue Norman with Kasadi foals (L) Gavin, out of Gennista and (R) Marceline, out of Kashala.)
Harwood Achievements are Many
The aim of the Harwood Stud is to produce Arabians of a high standard which are capable of performance work. Their horses have taken part in a great variety of events including the Golden Horseshoe Long Distance Ride, the Arab Horse Society Marathon Race over 26 ¼ miles, the Ride & Tie and ridden show classes, all with considerable success and many wins.
Their main interest, however, is in racing and there are usually one of two Arabians in training. One of their best has been Miralda, by Kasadi out of Mariamne. After a distinguished career on the race-course, during which she won three times and had a very consistent record in the Qatar Mares Championship with two seconds, a third and a fourth, she is now a successful broodmare. In fact, Miranda proved that it is possible for mares to alternate the role of broodmare and racehorse as she had her first foal at the age of four in 1986, then raced for three years, had a year off to produce her second foal in 1990 and then returned to racing for another two seasons before finally retiring to stud. Gentain (Genaro ex Jacynth) also raced well for a couple of seasons and came second to her stable companion in one race in 1987. She also is proving her worth as a broodmare and has a daughter Gennista, by Sha’bann, running in 1996.
Georgie Moore trains the race horses at her home nearby, and her husband John used to be a jockey. Currently the Stud groom, Joe Normal, is stable jockey whilst his wife, Sue, does much of the in-hand showing. Harwood has a happy family atmosphere where the emphasis is on busy enjoyment of all the activities with everyone joining in.
Stallions Used at Harwood
When the Calverts inherited the Stud the principle stallions, Magnet (Dargee ex Rosalina) and Fancy Shadow (Bright Shadow ex Yavroum) were quite old and following Miss Lyon’s tradition of breeding from Crabbet horses, they decided to purchase a colt from Cecil Covey, who then owned the Crabbet Stud. They chose Indian Flame II, by Indian Magic out of Nerinora; he won at two or three major shows and proved a successful sire. His son, Taqah, out of Angelica (who is of the valuable Queen of Sheba line) sired a number of very good horses before his exportation to Qatar. Kasadi, by Taqah out of Anna Rose, who traces to Rissla, is now continuing this important line and has sired top-class show winning stock, as well as race and performance winners.
In 1984 the Calverts purchased Sha’baan (Shahks ex Kasbana) to introduce an outcross. Occasionally a mare is sent to an outside stallion but to get new blood a stallion is often leased for a season or two. Curently Saker (Ahmoun ex Moulton Star) who was a British National Champion Colt in 1988 and then raced successfully, is on lease at Harwood.
Sufficient carefully selected fillies are retained to keep up the required number of broodmares, approximately twelve. Surplus colts and fillies are sold as breeding stock and for riding, and some of the colts are gelded, the Calverts believing that geldings that do well in open competition are some of the best ambassadors for the breed.
There are certain female lines which the Calverts especially wish to preserve in the stud. They are particularly anxious to retain the line from Rissla through Rosalina, which they call their “Rose” family; another line they value is that of Mariamne, who descends from Rafika. Their lovely mare Sophy, by Hucklebury Fynn out of Nigella, a granddaughter of the Blue Domino mare Blue Sophonisba bought by the Calverts, is one of the most consistent show mares in the country. She has won or been placed at most of the major shows and in 1988 was Champion at the South of England Show as a three-year-old. Two years later she was Champion Brood Mare at the British National Show at Malvern.
Robbie and Monica Calvert became deeply interested in the Stud and in all matters connected with Arabians. They raised Harwood to be one of the foremost studs in the country and respected for the versatility of its horses. Monica, a past-President of the Arab Horse Society and now a Governor, supervised the day to day management and has run the Stud alone since Robbie died in 1987. Georgie Moore and her family are equally enthusiastic so it looks as though the Harwood Stud will continue as a family affair well into its second century. It is hoped that a One Day “Foundation Review” for Arabians of Old English bloodlines will be held at Harwood in the summer of 1997.
Last Updated: September 13th, 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. **
**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.**