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Arieana Arabians ~ Heritage Notebook
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THE ARABIAN AS A SPORTING HORSE

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The CMK in Arabian Sport Horses
By Kat D. Walden © 2002.
As presented to the attendees of the
Crabbet Alliance of Texas (CAT) Showcase Fall 2002
and enhanced for this website with photos
from the author's private collection and other sources.

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"The current high visibility and interest in Arabian sport horses within IAHA due to the recent addition of the Sport Horse In-Hand division has persuaded many people that Arabian sport horses are a new invention. This idea could not be further from the truth. The history of the Arab breed shows clearly that Arabians were sport horses centuries before the term existed, since the sporting disciplines developed from cavalry training and usage. Because the foundation breeders of what have come to be identified as CMK horses were focused on utility, whether for civilian or military purposes, they bred on from horses that preserved the original capabilities of the breed.

As a result, from the 1870ís right through to the present, CMK and high-percentage Crabbet horses have been a very strong factor in the make-up of Arabian sport horses. There are far too many to mention more than a few here, but following are some good representatives. Additional details for some and additional horses will be covered in my talk.

Click to view larger image of Aazrak free jumping (92070 bytes)Aazrak, a chestnut roan stallion foaled in 1956 and an outstanding multi-discipline sport horse himself, founded an Anglo-Arabian dynasty that is still going strong today, and has one purebred grandson that could sire CMK offspring to carry on his line. By Aaraf (*Raffles x Aarah) and out of Aazkara (Azkar by Rahas x Aarah), Aazrak excelled in hunter, dressage and eventing. He was always known for his superb temperament.

Originally owned by a Thoroughbred breeder, Aazrakís first career was as a pony horse. While working on the farm, Ann McKay recognized the 14.2-1/2 hand stallionís potential and ultimately purchased him. In McKayís capable hands Aazrak began to make a name for himself in Maryland. McKay and Aazrak achieved an exceptional partnership that resulted in an amazing show record. He was the horse to beat in Hunter, Jumper, Dressage, Hunter Hack, English Pleasure, Western Pleasure, Pole Bending, Stock Horse, Trail Horse and Harness classes. He won Reserve Champion at a 50-mile Trail Ride, qualified for national championships and was a New Jersey High Point award winner. In addition, McKay hunted him regularly for years with the Elkridge-Harford Hounds in Maryland, where he was much admired for his impeccable manners and calm bravery over all obstacles.

Click to view larger image of Al-Marah Quebec (48081 bytes)Al-Marah Quebec, a 1988 grey stallion by AM Canadian Beau out of Al-Marah Ironlady, was a regular performer at Mark and Galen Millerís Arabian Nights Dinner Theatre outside Kissimee, Florida at the same time that he was competing in open dressage through FEI levels. He has won on the Florida circuit in Intermediare I Freestyle. Standing 14.3 hh (although the American Trakehner Association lists him as 15 hands), he is one of only three Arabian stallions (two are CMK) approved for breeding by the ATA. Of his 12 get, nine were foaled in 2002. One of them, AM Sand Piper, is out of Al-Marah Xanthium, who is also approved and registered in the ATA Official Stud Book, although ATA rules do not allow a purebred Arabian to be registered as a Trakehner.

Click to view larger image of Anchorage (67699 bytes) Anchorage, a grey stallion foaled in 1972, earned IAHA US National Top Tens in 1st and 2nd Level Dressage, competed open through 4th Level and won Hunter and Hunter Pleasure classes. By Ibn Alamein out of Alaska, Anchorage is a perfect example of the Davenport in CMK. He also sired three out of 14 total purebred get that are carrying on the sport horse tradition he began. These are the lovely CMK mares, Shara of Chorage and Bay of Chorage, and Davenport/CMK stallion Vision of Chorage. These three have been winners in open sport horse in-hand competition and were inspected and accepted for registration by the American Warmblood Society, three of 11 ~ out of 22 ~ horses approved at that inspection. Vision of Chorage has made a solid start on a dressage career of his own.

Click to view larger image of Deb's Dancing Prince and Will McBride 1981 (92224 bytes) Debís Dancing Prince was a grey stallion foaled in 1971 sired by Azrhand by Azraff out of Heyoka, a Ferneyn granddaughter. Owned, trained and ridden from the age of two by Will McBride, Prince was a very successful open show jumper and, like Aazrak, made his biggest breeding splash as the sire of a number of Anglo-Arabian jumpers, a couple of them earning multiple IAHA National Top Tens in jumper and hunter. Prince competed several times at the Colorado State Fair; in 1982 he won the Open Jumper Championship and High Jump Class. He is shown at the 1981 Fair just missing clearing 6'3" after clearing 6'1" to take 2nd in that year's High Jump Class. Unfortunately, Prince sired only two purebreds, full brothers now 14 and 19 years old that are listed as stallions by the Registry but have not sired any purebred offspring if they have been used at all at stud. These horses, although out of a mare that was not all CMK, could be used to get CMK offspring.

Click to view larger image of FCC Genyius with Margaret Gafford (90K)FFC Geynius+/ is a 1982 15.2 hand grey gelding bred by Fairfield Farm of Virginia and now owned by Julie Lawson of Park City, Utah. By Al-Marah Canadius++/ out of Fairfield foundation mare Geynivir, he does have 20 get sired prior to being gelded in 1997 to resolve a medical problem. Geynius earned regional and national honors in Dressage up to 4th Level, hunter pleasure and show hack. He also won halter, sport horse in-hand, pleasure driving, English side-saddle, worked in the Arabian Nights show and appeared in parades at Disney World for some time while he was for sale after being gelded. His current role is primarily as a schoolmaster, although he is still shown as high as 3rd Level. He has always been an elegant, willing performer. Geynius get and grandget have won consistently in a variety of sport horse and other disciplines. Two daughters are active in the Fairfield Farm broodmare band, and their offspring are proving to be wonderful sport horses, so Geynius continues to have a positive influence on the Fairfield Farm breeding program and their show string. Sadly, there is no son to carry on his branch of the Mahruss sire line.

Click to view larger image of Ferishal (91836 bytes)Ferishal, a 1949 blaze-faced chestnut stallion, was by Ferhal out of *Rishafieh, who was purchased with Ferishal at side by Margaret Trethewey of Coniagas Ranch in British Columbia, Canada. Through a long show career trained and ridden by Barbara Marsden McCauley, he won consistently in open jumping shows, open hunter, show hack, hunter hack and dressage. One year he was the Western Canadian Dressage Champion for the Medium test, and he placed each of the three times he was shown at the all-breed Royal Winter Fair in Toronto. He never placed lower than second in local One Day Events; he won a Vancouver 3-Day event. At age 13 Ferishal competed at the 1962 Pebble Beach 3-Day Event (California) as a member of the San Fernando Rey team. At 14.3 hh he was a full hand shorter than any other horse entered, the only stallion and the only Arabian at the event. His efforts helped his team to a Bronze medal.

Ferishal was also successful in the breeding barn. Many of his get, purebred and part-Arabian, won in jumping, dressage and hunter, winning at the local and regional level in British Columbia. Several of his get were shown both as ponies and as horses, depending on the show.

Click to view larger image of Gahalla (49374 bytes)Gahalla, a 1971 14.1 hh bay mare, was the first purebred in the United States to compete and win at Grand Prix level in dressage (followed shortly thereafter by the Babson stallion Serr Maariner). She was by Gajala Etoile and out of Lalissa, a great-granddaughter of *Rishafieh. Trained and ridden by Mari Monda Zdunic under the instruction of American master Chuck Grant, Gahalla was a little dynamo. Owned since she was four by Paul and Dolores Lavins, she lived out her retirement at Shine-A-Bit Farm, which was inherited by Zdunic after Chuck Grantís death. Gahalla produced no foals and died peacefully in 2003.

Click to view larger image of Ice (87997 bytes) Ice (1975-1997) was a grey gelded son of The Real McCoy out of Mirdaha by Farlowa. In the ownership of Christine Smith-Byerly from 1990 until his death, he embarked upon a new career in combined driving. Ice was a very competitive Singles horse, and certainly not the first CMK Arabian to do well in the sport. Several Al-Marah and Hewitt horses have had successful combined driving careers, singly or in teams up to four-in-hands.

Click to view larger image of *Magic Domino AHS+/ (81310 bytes)*Magic Domino AHS+/, a 1988 grey stallion, has led an even more international life than Ferishal. Domino was bred by Mrs. A. Brown in England, imported to Canada by Sherry Trethewey (granddaughter of Margaret Trethewey) and sold several years later to Mark and Kim Thomason of Tennessee, USA. Domino is by Ludomino, himself a ridden champion, and out of Hamsfah. While in Canada, Domino was approved for Canadian Sport Horse Phase I and the Canadian Trakehner registry. Standing 16 hands, he is at the upper limit of the Arabís size range but nicely balanced and typy. He has competed to 2nd Level dressage and now has the opportunity to make a breeding contribution to Crabbet and CMK preservation, as well as Arabian sport horses in general.

Click to view larger image of *Naomi (50739 bytes)*Naomi, who was the key mare of Randolph Huntingtonís purebred breeding program, must be mentioned at least briefly. She appears several times in the pedigree of the exceptional jumper Senrab (below). The offspring of two desert bred horses imported to England, *Naomi was foaled in 1877 and died approximately 1899. She was a tall mare (15.2 hh) from two average sized parents, an outstanding trotter and wonderful jumper, certified in England as a field hunter. *Naomi was credited with having cleared 7-foot fences carrying 196 pounds.

Click to view larger image of Senrab with Laurie Howard (80K)Senrab was a 1953 chestnut gelding by Potif out of Mufissa. He began life as a misfit in danger of ending up in a can of dog food, but through patient and persistent training developed into one of the greatest jumpers the Arab breed has ever known. Standing just 14.3 hands, in his competitive prime, Senrab cleared up to 6í4" fences with ease in FEI jumper classes on the West Coast. He often competed in Puissance (high jump) classes, and carried many young students of the girlís school which owned him to wins in tough childrenís jumper classes at open shows. As his jumping successes grew, his difficult temperament mellowed, and he became a school favorite. He was well known for his own unique style of jumping and for his preference for a capacity crowd, so he was very popular with spectators. After his retirement from competition in his late teens he was still shown frequently in exhibition--jumping tractors and stacked-up wheelbarrows--and ridden as a school mount.

Click to view larger image of Silent Fire performing piaffe (94191 bytes)Silent Fire, a 1980 chestnut stallion by Naxif out of Silent Dove, was owned and stood at the Sherif Pyramid Stud in Wales. This stud combined a breeding operation with a holiday riding center using their Arabian horses. Shown as a five year-old in 1985, Silent Fire was a major star of the studís twice weekly exhibitions of classical training. This stallion showed tremendous promise as a performance horse and sire. Unfortunately, his youngest offspring was foaled in 1988, so he may have died young or was gelded. Of his nine purebred offspring, only one daughter, Bint Eastern Fireez has so far bred on.

Click to view larger image of Sir ridden by Alice Martin in late 20s LR (26537 bytes)Sir, a 1958 grey stallion by Tripoli out of Dharebah, was bred by Charles Craver and in his 20ís went on lease to live with Alice Martin. She bought him at age 25 and owned him until he died in 1993. Alice is shown riding Sir at age 27. Sir was a successful sire with 68 get and 248 grandget to date. For Alice he sired several sons that have competed very successfully in dressage, including Star Sir Galahad, who has won at FEI levels, Star Sir Galagars, and Star Sir Rheged. Star Sir Galahad has won at the national level in IAHA. For a number of years, Alice held a charity benefit for the USDF in honor of Sirís birthday. Although there was a break after his death, I believe she resumed the benefits in his memory and still hosts one every year.

The brief profiles above represent only a very few of the many good CMK Arabian sport horses, a sampler of the information available and merely an introduction to each horse. I have had to leave out many worthy horses due to time constraints, but no slight should be inferred by lack of inclusion. No endurance horses have been mentioned since it is widely known that a large percentage of the best ones are CMK or at least half CMK, and Heidi Smith, who will also speak, is very familiar with CMK endurance bloodlines."

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We thank Kat Walden for her leadership and support of the CMK Arabian Sport Horse and for sharing this copy of her speech and photo handouts as presented to the Crabbet Alliance of Texas (CAT) during their Fall 2002 Showcase.

Suzi Morris
ARIEANA ARABIANS
28952 Via Hacienda
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675-5546
Phone: 949-248-1260
e-mail: arieana@fea.net

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Copyright © 2003-2012. Website designed and maintained by Suzi Morris and all rights reserved. This page created April 22, 2004. Current as of August 13, 2012.