By Coralie Gordon ©
- with special thanks to Joan Flynn for providing photographs.
** Originally published in the July - August 1989 issue of the Crabbet Influence magazine.
Count Manilla was a member of the male line of Mahruss 11. He was a golden chestnut, strong and square, and to many people he became the epitome of the Bostocks Arabian. In his progeny was fixed that certain well-proportioned, clean-limbed, visually attractive type that was associated with the Bostocks Stud for the rest of its history. He was a great show horse with an air of majesty about him, even (and perhaps especially) as he grew older.
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.
Count Manilla was foaled in 1952, and exported to Australia in 1957. In Bostocks Stud he followed the stallions Nekhl, Ibn Fayrial, Melriff and Zadaran. Crystal Fire joined him in 1961. Count Manilla spent 18 years at Bostocks Stud.
By the time he arrived in Australia, Count Manilla had an already established show record. He furthered this reputation by being five times Champion Stallion at Brisbane Royal Show and the sire of countless show champions. Count Manilla won numerous awards under saddle as well. He was shown for the last time in Sydney Royal in 1970 when he was second in the stallion class. His show record covered a period of 20 years from the year 1953 when he was Reserve Champion Stallion at the British Arab Horse Show at Roehampton, as a young colt.
Apart from his obvious success at Bostocks, Count Manilla has had an enormous effect on many other Australian studs - Farleigh, Kehilan, Tristram, Jangharm, Fawley, Naaman, Cascade, Arabesque, Oxford, Bremervale, Currawong, Pimpala, Hawkesbury - for instance. His daughters have been the foundation of many breeding programs.
Bostocks itself bred many of these great mares, and any story of Count Manilla has to begin with his daughter FANTASY from Scherzade, one of the all-time great show mares. She had a way of entering a show ring like a marvelous ocean liner setting off across the sea. She had presence, substance and strength, yet she was always feminine. She was Champion Arab Mare at Brisbane Royal for three years between 1967 and 1969 inclusive, and at Sydney Royal in 1970. In 1970 and 1972 she was Supreme Exhibit at the Queensland Challenge Show. Her list of foals reads like a "Who's Who" around the breeding world. She is the dam of the mares CAPRICIOUS and MIRAYA by Crystal Fire, FANTAZIYA by Abiram, and MARANA by Tafadin. When her daughter SALILA by A.K. Jabal Ibn Moniet became Supreme Exhibit of the 1983 Victorian Classic, she joined a long line of the show winning progeny of Fantasy. Fantasy's sons were FARHAN, LORD BAHRAM, CHALANGER, CRYSTAL COUNT and INDRA JAHAN.
Miraya, Fantasy's most 'winning' daughter, was a natural show champion in the mold of her famous mother. She was twice Champion Mare at Brisbane Royal. Her lovely white daughter JADARA by Argent was the 1983 Top Ten Mare at the National Championships.
Farhan, of Dunwingeri Stud, has won numerous championships, and has become a great sire of broodmares in that stud. Crystal Count, Farhan's youngest full brother, was sold to the Wagga Agricultural College, but is back in the stud that bred him.
The mare Scherzade bred a full brother to Fantasy, the chestnut stallion SAHIB in 1965. He went to Western Australia, where he was Supreme Exhibit of the Perth Royal Show of 1970 for Miss Jean Muir.
Bostocks also bred a wonderful taproot mare in NEFERTITI, who was from the Fayrial mare Tou-Fail, a daughter of Matoufa. Nefertiti was shown successfully, both in halter classes and under saddle, and is a great favorite with all who know her. She was still breeding at the age of 24 years. Her daughters were the chestnut KASTANA and the gray LAODICEA by Crystal Fire, the gray FAYDA by Sirocco, and the bays MISIK and NOFRET by Abiram. Her best known son is the gray ABYAD by Abukatu, born in 1964.
Kastana has proven a brilliant broodmare, as evidenced by just her Abiram daughters alone - MEKAFA, BRINSISSA, NAFSU and NAFURA. Brinsissa has won numerous awards in two states as well as being the dam of such as the stallion DAFTAR by Count Manilla, from Linden Stud. Mekafa went to Tristram Stables where she has bred on beautifully with Tristram Selam. Nafsu has had a show career at halter, under saddle and in harness, culminating in her mare championship at Melbourne Royal in 1978. Kastana's sister Laodicea went to El-Shalao Arabians at Maclagan, where she bred such foals as KIMALAO by Abiram, and SHEVA by Talquah Jai. She is also the dam of the Abiram stallion AFANDI. Rayda is the most beautiful of Nefertiti's daughters, and dam of the lovely daughters SADAF and NAFILA.
Nefertiti's daughter Misik went to Jangharm Stud to be bred with Royal Domino. It was a successful mating producing Nationals Reserve Champion Stallion ROYAL GINDI, and Queensland Challenge Show Supreme Male, DOMIGNON. Nefertiti's colt, Abyad is the sire of ABELYA of Tristram Stud, and NIKIAS of Stoodleigh Stud. Nofret's daughter NASULA of Waterford Arabians at Cobbity, is the dam of the top Queensland stallion HAMIL by A.K. Sirhalima.
The little gray mare Our Queen (Zadaran x Shaqra) bred three fillies by Count Manilla. They were QUETINA who sold for a record price at the 1942 Santarabia Sale: RUTHERNIUM who went to New Zealand and is now in Tasmania; and HIMAR who went to Bruce and Sharyn Ruskey to begin Talika Stud in Brisbane. Himar is the dam of DABSH, TALIKA CHARISMAR, TALIKA REFLECTION and TALIKA SPLENDOUR.
Another Zadaran mare, Lady Blunt, foaled a superb Count Manilla filly in GAY CASCADE foundation mare for Gloria Toombs' Cascade Arabians and dam of some beautiful foals by Bandom. She is the dam of the show champion BANITA BINT CASCADE.
Of course, when one thinks of the great show horses by Count Manilla, one thinks automatically of another great show mare, Oxford Stud's CONTESSA from Electric Ray. She was Champion Mare at both Brisbane and Sydney Royal Shows. Her son OXFORD PRINCE by Silver Minstrel was Reserve Champion at the 1983 Sydney Royal. Her winning daughters include OXFORD MELODIE, OXFORD CINDERELLA, and OXFORD SPINNER. Her unpretentious little chestnut daughter by Razaz, OXFORD SUNSET is the dam of Bremervale Stud's OXFORD DECIMUS, sire of BREMERVALE EMPEROR, exported to England.
Count Manilla is also the great grandsire of another great show mare in FANFARE, by Farhan from Fionna, now of Windsor Stud.
One stud which has used Bostocks stallions exclusively in the past is Farleigh Stud in Queensland. Farleigh owned the Count Manilla stallion STATESMAN from Shaqra, whose son PRIZEMAN sired one of their top mares LADY DIANA from Lady Blunt. Farleigh also bred the Count Manilla stallion COUNT CHATAIN, who was purchased as a young colt by Naaman Stud. He was Supreme Exhibit at the National Stud Horse and Pony Show in 1974.
DESERT PRIDE, from Zadita, is another Count Manilla stallion whose influence has been particularly significant. Based alternatively at Kemal and Arabesque Studs his get include the lovely mares ARABESQUE DESERT GOLD and ARABESQUE DESERT JEWEL and the magnificent stallion TRISTRAM SELAM.
Some other noteworthy members of the Count Manilla family are the stallions COUNT CORDOVA, ATTILA, SHARIMAN, WALAD, COUNT SUKAYET, TAHJIL and ASKARI. The mares include SCIMITAR MANTILLA, QIBIL and VALKYRIE.
Count Manilla was put down quietly in 1975. He is one of the great stalwarts of Arabian breeding in this country. Perhaps most important of all, though, is the fact that he was a 'horseman's horse,' respected by the general horse public who knew nothing about Arabian horses.
Last Updated: August 25th, 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. **