New tail female *Hadba filly

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on May 17th, 2013 in General

Another piece of good news from preservation breeder Jeannie Lieb yesterday, with new hope for the Davenport *Hadba rare and endangered tail female.

“RL Thunder Cloud x RL Bilquis delivered a beautiful chestnut filly with a perfect blaze, 3 white anklets and 1 white sock, last night around 11:00pm. Mother and daughter are doing great and this little gal is a firecracker!”

*Hadba was the war mare of ‘Ajil ibn Zaydan al-Jarba and was taken by the Ottomans when this Shammar rebel Bedouin leader was killed. She was later resold and ended up with Homer Davenport who imported her to the USA in 1906. This is the same tail female line as the racing legend Kontiki.

Hadba filly

DSCN04160517130510amE (1)


22 Responses to “New tail female *Hadba filly”

  1. CONGRATULATIONS JEANNIE! A new little “Mini Penny!”

  2. Hurrah!! I think that gives us 3 girls in the next generation.

  3. Congratulations, Jeannie. RL Shelby Girl is pregnant as well to RL Thunder Cloud and RL Zahra Assahara has been bred to Zodiac LD – hoping for a filly in 2014.

  4. This is wonderful news. This is the tail female for Kontiki and should be a good racing prospect. We need to open new avenues for these horses.

  5. Excellent news and Congratulations, Jeannie.

    I like the *Hadba influence in my mare. A good example of her influence is the stallion IBN Sham.

  6. Edouard, are you saying that every tail-female *Hadba descendant should be a good racing prospect, for no other reason than that they are tail-female *Hadba descendants?

  7. Yes, pretty much. For four reasons:

    a) *Hadba was not any mare, but a war mare. Not any war mare, but that of a Sheykh of Shammar. Her selection as a war mount was based on speed and endurance parameters.
    b) The Hadban Enzahi of the Shammar Jarba Sheykhs, which is the marbat she comes from, has produced large number of race winners in the Beirut, Baghdad and India racetracks.
    c) This racing legacy was continued with Kontiki who was from her tail female, which I was not surprising.
    d) Unlike other Davenport tail females, these *Hadba tail females are built like racehorses (and not like a three circle horse); they are rectangular in shape, have droopier hindquarters, more sloped shoulders, and the junctures of the back with the withers and of the back of the croup are tighter.

  8. Edouard; You are of course correct. You can see the larger degree of angulation in her shoulder and hip in the picture. So I’m wondering, Ibn Rabdan had a wonderfully superior coupling- short and very strong looking even in old age. Is the angulation and tightness of coupling and shoulder junctions something that is inherent in most Hadbans, or do you find the shortness and tightness to be no more common than random chance when compared to other bloodlines?
    Best wishes
    Bruce Peek

  9. In other words, certain types and characteristics are handed down through the tail female line, for an infinite number of generations, and regardless of what else is in the pedigree?

    Interesting. Even Carl Raswan didn’t go that far. He explained for example that Selima didn’t follow the Hamdani type because her other 7 great-grandparents were from the Saqlawi related strains.

  10. The Beirut racetrack, which has been around for over 110 years, with 600-1200 horses competing each year on average, has a small number of specific female lines leading the charts in terms of wins for more than 60 years in a row. Other lines have been tried for several generations with little or no results.

    In the Lebanon/Syria racing scene, some tail females are known to consistently produce good racehorses, others are not, everything held equal, regardless of the stallions they are bred to. Other female lines are line-bred to some of the biggest race winners from these top winning female lines and are only achieving mediocre results.

    The evidence is generally consistent over time, and the number of observations is large enough for the results to be statistically significant.

  11. I’ve probably said before, what you’re stating is essentially the Bruce Lowe theory. See his 1895 book, Breeding Racehorses by the Figure System.

    But I don’t think your data supports the conclusion you have drawn. Just because a certain small number of specific mare families leads the charts of winners does not mean that every horse born from those mare families is a superior racehorse.

    As for “some tail females are known to consistently produce good racehorses,” that might well be true, but it’s anecdotal evidence, not statistical.

  12. RJ’s reasoning is sound, but there’s a couple of further points that seem to me to make it difficult to generalize an observation about racing results in Beirut to the *Hadba dam line or the Hadban strain in general.

    First, mitochondrial DNA differences show that not all horses of the Hadban strain are from the same biological dam line. Since mitochondrial DNA is the only biological element obligately transmitted via the dam line, this is a weakness in attributing any biological property to the Hadban strain.

    Second, even setting aside that question, I find it difficult to picture that possessing the *Hadba mitochondrial DNA makes a random-bred Arabian a better short distance racing prospect than one from another dam line that’s the product of 50 (in the US) or 100 (in Beirut) years of selection for short distance speed.

    Just as I would expect the average Thoroughbred or Quarter Horse to outrun (at flat race distances) the average Arabian, so I would be surprised if the average race-bred Arabian were not able to outrun the average *Hadba Davenport under the same conditions.

  13. I was not attributing specific properties, racing or not, to a specific strain.

    I was just stating that the tail female Hadban Enzahi descendants of the mare of Mutlaq al-Jarba, Sheykh of the Shammar in the 1850s, of which *Hadba is one (she was the war mare of Ajil ibn Zaydan al-Jarba), consistently excelled in the racetracks of Beirut, Bagdad and India over a long period of time.

    The same characteristics may no apply to other horses of the Hadban Enzahi strain.

  14. I was also addressing Bruce, who had extended the question to the strain in general.

    In any event my main point still holds: the *Hadba descendants could prove to run faster over short distances than the other Davenports, but even if it’s true that doesn’t say they’ll run faster than other Arabians.

    Kontiki’s overall ancestry, apart from Antez and the dam of Alla Amarward, was different from that of the horses we’re talking about, and he was a different style of horse.

    Even if this dam line conveys a speed advantage, racing speed is going to be influenced by the overall genetic makeup of the horse, not just its dam line.

  15. Ok, just to avoid my overreaching, let me try to make my point by using a few female lines I happen to know well:

    Background: In the 1940s, an asil Kuhaylat al-Kharas mare came from the area of Homs in Syria to the feudal landlors of ‘Akkar, the Mir’abi family. Over the years, and especially during the civil war (1975-1990), ownership of the line shifted from the imporverished landowning Mir’abis to their peasants, the al-Aswar clan.

    We knew this line well, having owned several mares and stallions from it over twenty years (1979-1999) which we obtained from al-Asmar.

    Some 15 years go, I computed, with the help of Azmi al-Osman al-Mir’abi and my father, the chart of this dam line (which had ceased to be Asil as of the 1970s but that’s irrelevant to this discussion), the number of horses from the line which had raced (around 40, including Ghazwane, sire of Karawane sire of *Bint Rajwa) and the number of races each horse had won, or placed second or third. It’s a large sample. The worst performer from the line had won (or placed second or third in) two races, the best, 21 races. On average, horses from this line won (or placed…in) 11 races.

    Same with the Kuhaylan al-Nawwaq line of Dabbah Agha al-Dandashi of Tall Kalakh Syria, with a average of 10 wins or places. We also owned several mares of this line, who continue to be the dams, granddam and great-granddams of race winners, although I have stopped collecting data in 2000.

    Another example is the Ma’anqi Sbayli female line of the same Mir’abi landlords (the line of Karawane sire of *Bint Rajwa and *El Abiad), with an average of 8 wins (or places).

    Same with the Shaykhan line of the Khamis family of the Biqaa valley, the line of *Layya, where horses from this line averaged 7 wins (or places).

    This is not anecdotal evidence. This hard data, with large numbers from each line.

    What I call anecdotal evidence, is for instance, Sharif al-Saleh, who was Henri Pharaon’s trainer, going on a buying trip with his boss, and turning down an offer to buy a rather weedy, almost stunted colt; Pharaon reportedly threw a fit, and scolded him: “You still know nothing about horses. Buy him right now, he is a Nuwwaq (implicitly, from the strain of Dabbah Agha al-Dandashi, not any K. Nuwwaq). The horse went on to win 14 races.

    I don’t have similar hard data for the Hadban Enzahi line of the Sheykhs of Shammar, but anecdotal evidence on the line abounds. That’s why I was not surprised that Kontiki was from this female line.

  16. So by the time Kontiki came along the Hadba influence was overwhelmed by the predominantly Crabbet side of his pedigree?
    I do recall Homer Davenport saying his Quest book though that Hadba had rather nice hip and shoulder angles.
    best wishes
    Bruce Peek

  17. I don’t know how much *Hadba contributed toward the success of Kontiki; my point is that Kontiki and the Hadban Davenports have very little in common, so his racing success is not enough to predict that they would be successful competing with other Arabians which have been bred specifically for the flat track.

  18. Edouard,

    Liked your statements! Yes, tail female does make a difference.

    Jackson/Bedouin Arabians

  19. Charles Craver told me once that Bill Munson used to say that it didn’t matter how much linebreeding or inbreeding you did to *Raffles, you could still tell the different tail-female lines apart. So when I finally met Dr. Munson in the 1990s, which was fairly late in his career given that he started with Arabians in the early 1940s, I asked him about that. He said yes, he used to say that, and after three or four generations of *Raffles breeding, it was true. But he added that when you get to seven or eight generations, you can’t tell them apart anymore.

  20. RJ,

    Have no idea what Charles relayed to you, I do know what he has said of his Davenports in his breedings. Constant approach to line breeding as to generations. Carol Lyons used to write me saying how many generations she was at as to line breeding various strains.

    Personally, I can see a difference. Seems
    Edouard has also seen something, and is passing it along. Raising questions on your part is also a benefit. We all need to see first and last the horses them selves, they are the truth we all look towards for answers. As we cannot relive the past and ride the desert as a Bedouin.

    Jackson/Bedouin Arabianse Horses

  21. Horse people in the Levant (Syria Lebanon) traditionally put great emphasis to the tail female in transmitting characteristics. I was relaying this kind of attitude when I made my statement about the Hadba female line.

    I don’t know if this is cultural (strains being historically transmitted by the dams, so people attribute more emphasis to the dam-line) or if this has some implicit science to back it up, or a mix of the two.

  22. I can remember a visit Jimmie Wrench (foundation purist Skowronek breeder) paid to our farm back in 1978. We had two Sir fillies that year: Velveteen (straight Davenport, Kuhaylan Haifi) and Soiree (blended source with some Egyptian, tail female Managhi Sbaili). Jimmie really liked those two fillies, and was sure of his eye. After he raved about Soiree, we told him about the background on her pedigree, and his face was a picture. (Grin) He was embarrassed he could not see that, and we all had a good laugh about it.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>