our Arieana Notebook: *Raffles had failed to sire any
foals in England and was thought to be impotent by Lady Wentworth, and this,
his small size (under 14 hands), made him useless at Crabbet. As a
result, Lady Wentworth included him as a throw-in gift to Mr. Selby
when he purchased and imported his Crabbet-bred horses
the excellent care and many months of patient handling and training by Jimmy and
managers of the Selby Stud, *Raffles began to settle mares.
With those foals, *Raffles created a dynasty of his own ~ his sons and daughters faithfully
his classic type but with increased size. Like the other stallions at Selby's Stud,
*Raffles was broke and trained to ride, and in 1933 he was named Three-Gaited
Champion at the National Arabian Show in Nashville, Tennessee.
His natural action was extremely high, and he could also perform
five gaits when asked.
On Tuesday, January 19, 1949, *Raffles
broke his right hind leg, just above the hock joint. He was 23 years
old. Because of his age and the location of the break, it was felt that
he should be put to sleep, but Thelma Dean would not hear of it. So
expert veterinarians were called in and designed a special cast and
sling for *Raffles, and throughout the winter the Selby and Dean
families, along with their neighbors and friends took turns to be with
him constantly, attending to his comfort and welfare 24 hours a day. By
spring the bone in the leg had miraculously healed, and *Raffles
was once again back in business breeding mares and enjoying life. It is
even said that some of his best foals were born after his
When Mr. Selby dispersed his stud in
1950, *Raffles went to live with Alice Payne at her Asil Ranch
California where *Raffles died of natural causes three years later on May
11, 1953 at age 27.
resources for further study and details on the life and times of *Raffles are:
Brown, Anne. "*Raffles: The Unlikely Legend". Arabian
Horse World July 1982. pp. 302-306, 310-11.
Parkinson, Mary Jane. ...And Ride Away Singing. Arabian
Horse Owners Foundation, Tucson, Arizona. 1998.