An update on the Davenport horses from the Hadban strain

By Anita Enander

Posted on November 23rd, 2010 in General

There are basically two groups of Davenport mares of the Habdan strain.

One group traces through the Trisarlah daughter Waddarlah, then to Bint Oberon, then to two daughters who bred on: DDA Hadba and DDA Shalaana. Bint Oberon’s third daughter, ACDS Bonne Jour, has had no foals. DDA Hadba (no longer producing) has one daughter, R L Boomerette. R L Boomerette has one daughter (location unknown), and Boomerette is now with with new Davenport breeders Gene and Chris Pluto. There is hope there. DDA Shalaana has two daughters, but they are in non-breeding homes. I am not certain of Shalaana’s status, but I believe she is deceased.

The other branch is where you find the mare and filly from the picture: through the other Trisarlah daughter, Letarlah, and through her to two daughters, Antezzah and Jamila Wahid (descent through a third daughter, who was exported to Jordon, is presumed lost to the group). The daughters of Jamila Wahid may well be lost to the group as they are with an elderly breeder, and the future for those horses is quite uncertain (in my opinion). Several of Antezzah’s offspring also went abroad and are presumed lost to the group. One daughter, RL Kadbat Abril is, I believe, in a non-breeding home. The only producing daughter is RL Zahra Assahara shown in your picture and whose progeny I described above.

So as of now there is RL Zahra Assahara and her two daughters and RL Boomerette that are in breeding homes. A number of the others were exported. Most of the remaining mares were with Roger and Louise Armstrong or the other elderly breeder. When Armstrongs retired, the horses were generally placed in non-breeding homes. We were fortunate to be able to get Zahra into the Institute’s breeding program and to get two fillies right away. Also, Marie Arthur took Boomerette and then was able to move her on to the Plutos. We hope the Plutos are successful. I can only hope that the other daughters of Jamila Wahid will be recovered for breeding.

By the way, Zahra, Aleefah, Jamila Walid and one of her daughters, are non-Asara; Boomerette and Ghazal and two of the Jamila Wahid daughters have Asara. Schilla has not been bred into this group yet. So there is still some variety available in this group from which to build.

There are some other horses with *Hadba through the middle of the pedigrees, but not very many.


11 Responses to “An update on the Davenport horses from the Hadban strain”

  1. I don’t think tail females mean a whole lot… if the horse only has one line, via tail female… 14 generations back… and doesn’t even look like the horse they are supposed to be so famous for. I think multiple tail female lines… where ever they occur… have a lot more influence. And some times that Sire Line just kicks in and over takes everything (as does a wonderful mare).

  2. Yes, we completely agree on this point: tail-female line does not determine phenotype. Further, as Michael Bowling has said very eloquently, conservation breeding should be about more than just keeping names in a pedigree.

    What, then, is the purpose in trying to continue breeding a narrow line like the Davenport Hadbans, identified by a particular female ancestress?

    My reasons are twofold: (1) the mtDNA that is passed on the female line has a great deal to do with cell function and immunology (as far as we know). Retaining the greatest diversity in this area seems to be important for the greatest possible long-term health of a breed. (2) In my admittedly limited experience, the Hadbans are phenotypically different from other Davenports.

    The seven mares that Roger Armstrong had when I visited in 2005 (at the time I think there were 14 Hadban mares known to exist in North America) have a different pelvic structure and hind end than I have seen in Core Haifis or the Schillas. They have very long hips. The mares were longer in body and neck, making them a bit more rectangular. The shoulders were generally more upright than I would like. But altogether I was intrigued that there are Davenports that look rather different from the others. Marilyn McHallam, who now has RL Zahra Assahara and Ghazal AR, remarked to me that she can easily pick them out from all others in her herd even when she is quite a distance away. This is a result of 100+ years of breeding decisions, not tail-female line.

    The Armstrong’s mares and the 3 stallions, as a group, were not as closely bred as the Core Haifis, but they carry forward pedigree elements not found in other Davenport lines (including *Gomusa and a different source of Kasar than is found in Gamil and Asara). Hadba herself (through the second foundation mare Ehwat-Ansarlah or the stallion Nahas) is found in fewer than 100 Davenports ever bred, and perhaps in only 30 or so that are currently alive

    As my own interest lies in conserving diversity in the asil population, it was the difference in phenotype, the unique mtDNA haplotype, and the possibilities for retaining diversity that attracted my concern for these horses. And with regard to Trian, Nahas, and the other stallions, they, too, probably carry genes not found elsewhere that would be valuable.


  3. I agree about the mtDNA Anita! And after I wrote that, I began to think how important the tail female I choose for my Anglo Arabs, APHAs as well as Asil Arabians is. I want a good strong tail female foundation. But, while I think it is important to have a great one, I don’t know that any specific type is going to be carried on by one line to one horse some umpteen generations back. I look at the whole pedigree. So, I guess I completely agree with you! :~)

  4. I have just come across at least two 100% Davenport horses in need. One is the grey stallion RL Thundercloud and the other is his daughter, RL Shelby Girl, both are tail female to *Hadba. I am trying to get more information. They are in Oklahoma.

  5. Thank you Lisa. There is a group of davenport horse owners that does that. They will be following up soon; if they are not already:

  6. Thank you, Eduoard. I have contacted Jeanne and a few of us are working to get more info. I will update as soon as I can obtain more info.


  7. An update on Roger Armstrong’s horses.

    It turned out that it was RL Bilquis, not RL Shelby Girl, who was with RL Thunder Cloud in Oklahoma . The story we’ve been told is Roger’s horses, through no direct fault of his, ended up at auction and only Thunder and Bilquis had their papers. Those two were bought by a private party and the rest ended up on a truck to Mexico. That took place in September.

    The whereabouts of Bilquis and Thunder became known through AK member Mary Triplett Darger. I acquired RL Bilquis who is in foal, we believe, to RL Thunder Cloud. Doris Park stepped up and made a home for RL Thunder Cloud who is now in Iowa. Unfortunately Thunder was gelded before his whereabouts become known to the Davenport folks. On the upside for Thunder, in addition to being adopted, he is currently in training and it is expected he will make a superb child’s mount.

    Does anyone know the whereabouts of RL Shelby Girl? According to DataSource she is still registered to the Armstrongs.

  8. Hi Jeannie
    Happy new year to you and yours! Do we know which are the horses that went to Mexico (to become pet food in cans…)?

  9. Spent yesterday doing some sleuthing and learned that no other of Roger’s horses ended up on the killer’s truck. RL Thunder Cloud and RL Bilquis were the only two that ended up in the auction.

    RL Shelby Girl, along with 2 fillies and a young mare (all Roger’s breeding,) are still in OK with the gentleman who bought the lot of them from Roger once he became too ill to care for them. RL AngelGirl died giving birth to the youngest filly. All youngsters believed by me to be Thunder Cloud X AngelGirl but only DNA will tell us for sure.

    I’ve spoken with the owner and he is ready to move the mares this year, 2013. Only Shelby Girl has her registration papers as of this date.

    Anyone want to work with me to get these mares registered and in “safe”, preferably breeding, homes?

    I think I have the beginnings of a decent relationship with the owner but only time will tell.

  10. It would be nice to get some new photos

  11. Great work, Jeannie!

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