Asil Crabbet damlines one hundred years later

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on May 6th, 2010 in USA

Recently, I have been re-reading a lot of the old articles RJ wrote for Arabian Visions magazine, to refresh my memory as I start working on an Al Khamsa project on rare lines (more on this later).

One of my favorite RJ articles is “The Blunts and Crabbet Stud: An Abbreviated History and Description of the Breeding Program“, from the time Crabbet Stud was founded in 1878 to Lady Anne Blunt death in 1917, including the dam lines that were represented at Crabbet across 40 years of breeding:

In 1917, “the desert mares still represented at Crabbet at the end of Lady Anne’s life were Basilisk, Jerboa, Dajania, Queen of Sheba, Meshura, Rodania, and Ferida. However, the Jerboa line had died out in tail-female.” So, six of the Blunt’s desert damlines were still represented in 1917. Also, “of the Ali Pasha mares, the 1917 catalog details that […] the blood of the families of Sobha, Bint Helwa, Bint Nura, Makbula and her daughter Kasida, ran strong in the herd, with all but the latter having provided sires to the stud.” Four damlines from the Ali Pasha Sharif mares were still there in 1917, for a total of ten damlines. 

It would be tally how many of these ten damlines are still represented in Al Khamsa breeding, in 2010, ninety three years after the listing in the 1917 Crabbet catalog:

Of the desert mares, Meshura has no Al Khamsa descendents altogether. Makbula/Kasida, Bint Nura, and Queen of Sheba are only represented through their male descendants. Likewise, the damline of Dajania has died out in Al Khamsa, from very early on, although it’s influence through the middle of the pedigrees in significant. These five damlines are now extinct in tail female in Al Khamsa/asil breeding.

The following remaining five Crabbet damlines are still represented in Al Khamsa breeding today in 2010:

1. Basilisk (Saqlawi Ibn Dirri, through both Rabanna and Peraga);

2. Rodania (Kuhaylan Rodan, through both Rosemary and Rose of Sharon, eventhough the Rosemary line is down to one single mare, Prince Asjah);  

3. Ferida (Ma’naghi Sbayli, through both Milanne, and until very recently, Radonna)

4. Sobha (Hamdani Simri, through Simawa in the USA, and Siwa II in Europe)

5. Bint Helwa (Saqlawi Ibn Sudan), through her two daughters Ghazala and Hilmyeh, the latter being the dam line of the Doyle mare Gulida.

To me, it’s a miracle that five of the ten damlines represented at Crabbet Stud in 1917 are still around almost a century later. This miracle has a name: the American preservation breeding movement in favor of the asil Arabian horse, which started in the 1950s with the likes of Carl Raswan, Jane Ott, Richard Pritzlaff, Charles Craver and Joseph L. Doyle, and continues until today. Doyle preserved line 5 above (Gulida), Pritlaff rescued line 1 (Rabanna), Craver saved line 4 (Arabesque), and Raswan and Jane Ott provided advice, guidance and inspiration to them and several others.

8 Responses to “Asil Crabbet damlines one hundred years later”

  1. The challenge is to draw the line at 1917 and distinguish the Blunt horses from those that followed at Crabbet. There was so much strife in the family before her death, and many horses were sold that she had wanted to keep in her breeding program. I too am amazed that there are still 5 lines. Amazed but grateful.

  2. Also the Peraga mare goes back to slipper if i understand correctly.. And Slipper has lines to both Euphrates and his bro- Hamra. So again as i understand it, this doubles up the lines to Great Hamdany, who sired both Euphrates and Hamra. So I wonder where you could find asil stock going back to Peraga..
    Best Wishes
    Bruce Peek

  3. Oh yes, that is exactly my point. There is now an asil line in Al Khamsa that goes back to Peraga and Slipper:

    Check out this mare for instance:

    This line is very precious, it has gone down to a couple of old mares only, and no one is preserving them….

  4. I believe Shivas Leela is dead now, but has an unregistered daughter…

  5. oh boy, one more line about to go from “vanishing” to “vanished”…

  6. We need an inventory… that’s what Diana Marston Wiener and Carol Lyons did, back in the day. We can’t do anything unless we have an inventory of what is about to slip off the table.

    Several of us have been talking with Edouard about this problem, and we have some ideas. But it is not going to be easy….

  7. I have just contracted to purchase an Asil mare, tail female to Kuhaylah Rodania. I will share photos and an update when the sale is finalized… I am interested in preserving her line and I feel very fortunate to have found her.


  8. congratulations! will you tell us about her when it is all done?

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