By Edouard Aldahdah
Posted on May 26th, 2010 in General
The Saqlawiyah Jadraniyah mare Basilisk is perhaps one of the best known mares imported by Lady Anne and Wilfrid Blunt from the desert. The line produced important horses early on such as the stallions Berk (Seyal x Bukra, out of Bozra, out of Basilisk) and Ibn Mahruss (Mahruss x Bushra, out of Bozra, out of Basilik).
Thanks for the efforts and foresight of Carl Raswan and Richard Priztlaff, the Saqlawi Jadran tail female line to Basilisk survives in US asil breeding through the mare Rabanna (Rasik x Banna by Nasr) and her progeny. This line thrived during the second half of the twentieth century, and acquired a certain degree of notoriety, but has been dwindling steadily during the past ten years, as many breeders stopping breeding their mares.
What most people are not aware of, is that there is another asil line to Basilisk in American breeding. It’s fleeting but it’s still there, miraculously. That’s the line of Basilisk through the mare Slipper (Yima x Sabot by *Euphrates), and her daughter Peraga (by *Mirage), both foundation mares in early American breeding (both asil and non asil). If you like to learn more about this line, you may want to read Michael Bowling’s article on *Mirage, here.
Unfortunately, a quick look at the Al Khamsa Roster will show you there are only three mares from this line under the age of 30, and the youngest is 25. Neither has any Al Khamsa progeny, and all are probably dead by now. There is a faint glimmer of hope, however: Jenny Krieg, who has been researching this line and other rare ones, for Al Khamsa project on preservation in which I am also involved, tells me there is one single fifteen year old mare that is still alive, with an Al Khamsa supporter. That single remaining mare is not registered, but there are good reasons to hope. So what’s special about this line that makes it worthwile to preserve this mare? Five reason, at the least.
First, she is the very last remaining link to the desert-bred stallion *Euphrates, a Saqlawi al-‘Abd imported by H. Davenport from the ‘Anazah Bedouins in 1906.
Second, she is the very last remaining link to the stallion *Al Mashoor, a 1928 Hamdani Simri bred by the Baroudi Pashas of Damascus, Syria, and imported to the USA by K. Bistany in 1933.
Third, she retains one of the very last lines to the famous desert-bred stallion *Mirage, a Saqlawi Jadran bred by the ‘Anazah Bedouins, who was owned for some time by Lady Wentworth of Crabbet, and was imported by Roger Selby to the USA in 1930.
Fourth, as mentioned above, she is the only hope to keep a second tail female line to the Blunt’s mare Basilisk, through Slipper, one of the broodmatrons of early American breeding.
Fifth, this mare has a unique concentration of the prized desert-bred Saqlawi blood of the ‘Anazah in her pedigree: Basilisk was from that strain, from the Sba’ah Bedouins; she was bred to the Blunt’s Pharaoh, a desert-bred of the same strain, and the same marbat; their offspring, Bozra, was bred to Azrak, another desert-bred Saqlawi Jadran from the same marbat, and a nephew of Pharaoh’s. The resulting offspring, *Bushra was exported to the USA and bred to the Saqlawi al-‘Abd stallion *Hamrah, imported by Davenport from the Wuld Sulayman Bedouins in 1906. Their offspring, Sira was bred the Saqlawi al-‘Abd *Euphrates, *Hamrah’s full brother, to produce the mare Sabot, whose daughter Slipper was bred to yet another desert-bred Saqlawi Jadran from the ‘Amarat, *Mirage. That succession of desert-bred Saqlawi Jadrans from the ‘Anazah might have been coincidental, but it is still unique.