Sirella (UK)

Distinctly Crabbet: Sirella and Hanif

Articles Crabbet Arabian Horses Historical Mares Historical Stallions

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By Emma Bennett

** Originally published in the July – August 1986 issue of the Crabbet Influence magazine.

Sirella (dam of Hanif)

Sirella was another of the mares bred at Crabbet Park who was both a successful show horse and a significant broodmare.

A Kehilan Dajanieh, of the Sharima family, she was foaled in 1953. She was a deep liver chestnut with four white socks. She was by the influential sire Dargee, bred by George Ruxton and foaled in 1945, who was bought for Crabbet Park by Lady Wentworth because of his superb front and wonderful action. Sirella’s dam was Shalina, a full sister to *Shades of Night 12890 (Rissam x Sharfina), the dam of the ‘Heavenly Twins’ Dancing Sunlight and Dancing Shadow (see May 1986 issue of this magazine).

Sharfina was a great producer of broodmares; as well as Shalina and Shades of Night, she was dam of the two Indian Gold daughters Silfrina and *Serafina 17129. Silfina produced the stallions Electric Silver, by Raktha, and Sindh, by *Silver Vanity 22555, both very influential in Australia. Silfina also produced the broodmares Silindra and Silent Wings who have left important offspring in Britain. *Serafina is, of course, the dam of the full brothers *Serafix 8955, and *Silver Drift 23494, by Raktha, and *Oran Van Crabbet 18314, by Oran – all well known in America.

Sharfina was also the dam of Extra Special and Royal Exchange, both by Oran, and both great producers for Mrs. Thomas’s Metcombe Stud in the 1950’s. Others produced by Sharfina were the full sisters by Raktha, Serafilia and Shirama, who went to South Africa, and the Royal Diamond stallion Shafreyn, who went to Australia.

Shalina was by Rissam (Naseem x Rim). She was the result of a Nasra son crossed with a Rissla daughter, which Lady Wentworth did with great success. Rissam was also the sire of Niseyra, who produced Blue Domino, and Rishyana, whose daughter, Rithyana, was the dam of one of England’s most successful sires, Ludo (by Blue Domino), and also dam of Ghazali, by Count Rapello, dam of many champions. Another son of Rissam, Rikham, went to Australia where he sired Ralvon Pilgrim, International Champion in England in 1977 and grandsire of Ralvon Elijah, many times champion in England and Europe in the past two years. It is very interesting to see how these bloodlines have crossed and re-crossed the world and it is hardly surprising that Shalina, coming from such an illustrious family, should produce such a worthy daughter in Sirella.

Sirella was not shown extensively, but in 1956, as a three year old, she was Junior Female Champion and Supreme Female Champion at the Arab Show. Three years later, with her first foal at foot, by Indian Magic, she was again Supreme Female Champion and her foal was named Best Foal.

In 1962, the same year that *Silver Vanity was Supreme Male Champion, Sirella was Supreme Champion for the third time. She had been covered by *Silver Vanity the previous year and the resulting colt, Hanif, was Best Foal. Only once more, in 1966, was Sirella shown at the Arab Show; then she won her class and Indiana, her filly foal at foot by Indian Magic, was 2nd.

Sirella’s offspring have been outstanding. Her first foal, Merzuk, and Indian Magic colt, died young.

Sirella was then covered by Grand Royal (by Oran), to whom she was closely related as he was out of Sharima; this resulted in a filly, Vanda, who had eight foals in all, including Shadow Rose, by Bright Shadow, who produced the good prize winning colts Crown of Argosy and Danaus, both by Magic Argosy (by Argos). Vanda herself had a daughter by Magic Argosy, Vandella, who was sold to France in foal to Haroun after being placed 2nd at the Arab Show as a three year old. Vanda was barren for four years before producing her last two foals, both by Rafid (Indian Magic x Sunset); a colt, Shuraf, and a filly, Sharama. Vanda died in 1980, aged 20.

Sirella had a filly, *Qasumah 20426 by Oran, in 1961. *Qasumah went to America. The following year Hanif was foaled. In 1963 a full sister to Hanif, Sivetta, arrived; she died aged only 5, leaving behind the Bright Shadow stallion St John, who has lived for many years on a sheep farm in Wales and has only recently started covering pure bred mares at the age of 17.

After a year of rest Sirella returned to Indian Magic and had another colt by him. He is the striking Shirar, a chestnut with four white socks who has won numerous prizes in the show ring and is a sire of prizewinners, notably Spitti (out of Moulton Star, a granddaughter of Ludo).

Then followed another foal by Indian Magic, this time a filly. Indiana produced only one daughter, Indian Miracle, by another son of Oran, Risslan. Sirella had three more foals, all by Bright Shadow (Radi x Pale Shadow). Cecil Covey bred the last two fillies, the wonderful sisters Sherilla and Siretta. The latter left only four foals before she died foaling at age eight; these include the lovely liver chestnut mare, Marufah, by Manto (Blue Domino x Mifaria). Sherilla, however, is still breeding and is the dam of Sir magic, by Indian Magic, and Sir Star, by Indian Star, as well as dam of the well known Shatir, by Hanif. She has had six foals by Hanif, her half brother. This year, 1986, she is expecting another foal by him.

When Cecil Covey sold Crabbet Stud, the Duchess of Rutland bought Sirella together with the stallion Bright Shadow. Sirella’s last foal, Sadi, was foaled at Belvoir Castle and is now making a name for himself as a sire. The Duchess of Rutland was very unlucky to lose Sirella in 1972 at the age of 19.

It is interesting to see how Sirella and her offspring have time and again nicked particularly well with the lines of Rissam and Sharima. She has left behind mares and stallions of equal quality and there is now doubt Vanda, Sherilla and Siretta will be remembered as long as Hanif.

Hanif (Crabbet Sire)

Shortly after he won the Supreme Male Championship at the Arab Show in 1962, *Silver Vanity 22555, was exported to America. It was a great loss to England as much of the little stock he left behind was also exported. However, the year that *Silver Vanity left, a colt was born to Sirella who was to become an all-time favourite of breeders on both sides of the Atlantic – Hanif. Hanif was one of only two pure Crabbet stallions left by *Silver Vanity in the UK, the other being Rayyan out of Risseefa (see photo page 7 of the January – February 1986 issue of the Crabbet Influence magazine).

*Silver Vanity left only four mares of pure Crabbet breeding of which the full sisters Rasana and Silver Ripple, out of Risseefa (Faris x Risira), have produced 14 foals, including the British National Champion Silver Flame by Indian Flame II. Of the other two mares, Sivetta left one stallion by Bright Shadow, St John, while the other, Silvana II, had no pure Crabbet offspring. Sheba (a granddaughter of the desert bred Nuhra) and Indira, out of the Hanstead mare Perle D’Or, have also been influential.

Hanif’s show career started well when he was Best Foal in 1962. The following year he was Reserve Junior Champion, as he was again in 1965. In 1971 Cecil Covey, then owner of the Crabbet Stud, faced the prospect of disbanding the stud. One of the first people he contacted was Geoffrey Plaister who wanted to start an Arabian stud of pure Crabbet lines. Thus the Imperial Stud was born and Hanif, his half-sister Siretta (by Bright Shadow), Sunset (another daughter of Bright Shadow out of Silver Gilt), Silver Rani (Hanif x Silver Grey), and the unborn foal of Dalika (Dargee x Silver Gilt), went to live in the English Cotswolds. Dalika duly foaled a filly, Maleka, by Indian Magic who died young but left a filly, Malihah, by Hanif, to carry on the line.

Hanif’s most famous son in England is Haroun, out of the Ludo mare Indian Snowflake. Shown five times at the Arab Show, Haroun was unbeaten in his classes and was Reserve Supreme Champion on three occasions before becoming Supreme Male Champion in 1974. At the age of 15 Haroun was exported to Qatar in the Middle East. His best offspring were out of Mandahyla, the full brother and sister Maysuna and Mehriz (sire of the striking Mehzeer). Bred to his half-sister, Sherilla, Hanif sired the well known Israeli and Canadian champion stallion *Shatir AHS 305929; he also had a successful show career in England for Geoffrey Plaister before going to Israel. *Shatir AHS, now has a grey full brother of great quality, Hanadyn. The Indian Gold mare Naxindra, when mated with Hanif, produced a colt, Naxif, with an outstanding head, and an equally beautiful daughter, Naxiffa.

Hanif has sired many beautiful daughters. One of the most stunning is Hanifah, out of Siretta (a full sister in blood to Shatir). Silver Grey (*Royal Diamond 12906 x Silver Gilt) produced two fine full sisters by Hanif, Silver Rani and Silver Aatifa, again doubling up on Sharima through the dam of *Royal Diamond. Crossed with another *Royal Diamond daughter, Dancing Diamond, a grey filly, Selina, was produced. Dancing Diamond is particularly interesting as her dam was by Indian Gold out of *Shades of Night 12890, another daughter of Sharfina. Selina has been a worthy broodmare and is the dam of the exquisite Star Silver (by Akhbar) recently exported to the US.

Hanif has crossed well with non-Crabbet mares too. Put to the wonderful Polish mare, Nawarra, he sired Silvretta Sky, dam of the Banat son *Sky Blazer 185315, who was also sold to the US.

Hanif’s offspring are too numerous to mention them all. However, one more mare must be mentioned. Bred at the Imperial Stud, she is Hanif’s most famous show daughter, Zarafah. As a two year old she was Junior Female and Supreme Female Champion at the Arab Show, winning her class again the following year. Her breeding is interesting as she is out of Zahri, by Dargee out of Ziree el Wada, who was bred in Ireland by Mrs. Nicholson. Ziree el Wada was by the Crabbet stallion Naseel and she traces through her dam to Nisan, who was bred at the Thriplow Stud in England from stock which came largely from the Travellers Rest Stud in America in the 1930’s.

A very masculine, aggressive horse in the show ring, Hanif is a perfect gentleman at home, kind and gentle. Like his dam, he has nicked best with bloodlines already closely related to him through Dargee, Sharima, Rissam and Indian Gold. Definitely an Arab of the ‘old school,’ of which there are fewer and fewer, no one who has ever seen him in the Veteran Stallion Class at the Arab Show will ever forget him.

**All of the articles included in the re-launched 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: August 11th, 2019

** All of the articles included in the re-launched 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. **

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