Photo of the Day: Tabab, Saqlawi al-Abd

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on June 12th, 2011 in General

Tabab, 1921 stallion, was by *Deyr out of the bay Domow, who was out of the chestnut *Wadduda. Who Domow’s sire really was is not easy to figure out. Her registered sire is the Crabbet stallon *Abu Zeyd (Mesaoud x Rose Diamond), a chestnut but the colors don’t match because two chestnuts can’t produce a bay, and it looks instead like she may have been by *Astraled (Mesaoud x Queen of Sheba), who was bay. [Update: See Michael Bowling’s and RJ Cadranell’s article in Jeanne Craver’s comment on this thread]

31 Responses to “Photo of the Day: Tabab, Saqlawi al-Abd”

  1. Part of the reason why I put up this entry is that I have a question: what about *Gomusa as a probable sire for Domow?

  2. I’m not going to address that question, but I thought it was a good idea to post the URL to the very detailed article that Michael Bowling and RJ Cadranell wrote on the topic of Domow’s sire:

  3. Dear Edouard Aldahdah ,
    Congrats for your dedicated work on arabian horses, their strains and breeding.
    I am new to this science, but have interest in this subject.
    The area where i live ( Gujarat -Western Part of India )adjoining the Rajasthan State, Have two indigenous spices of horses, mainly Kathiawadi from Gujarat and it’s cousin Marwadi Horse from Rajasthan, both having significant resemblance to an Arab horse in spirit and looks and characteristics. ( 14 HH to 14.3 HH in Kathiawadi, but Black colour is absent in Kathiawadi,; and 14 HH upto 15.2 HH in Marwadi with Black colour also )
    Which would be the best strain of Arabian horse now to add strength and improve/restore their breed quality ? as these breeds did have systematic inclusion of arab blood at intervals of generations to maintain their quality in past.
    Your valued comments/suggestions are requested.

  4. Jeanne’s direction to the article listed on Domow is for very good reading, and list all the possible’s. I wonder, now, is there another motive being explored? To bad there are not better photo’s especially of the head.

    My real question is, why did Davenport breed Wadduda to any stallion separate from his desert horses? Seems very odd and not realistic to breed her away from the desert Bedouin Source? Certainly not what he learn from his Bedouin friends. So much for raising of the hands and confirming the Purity. Such a waste! He knew the value of Desert, only hear say of the others.

    Easy to look back, I guess. *Gomusa?
    Possible as the article shows? Needless, no one will ever know at this point. Yes, the possibles are there as R.J. and Michael have given in their research.

    I wonder did Bradley ever write anything on the matter? Maybe I should look up what he did with his breeding’s!

  5. Jackson, there is correspondence preserved between Davenport and Lady Anne in which he outlines his future plans to combine Blunt breeding with his desert imports. As noted in the article, *Abu Zeyd and *Astraled were accounted the head sires at Holmdel.

    There are a few brief and superficial letters from Bradley in the WR Brown correspondence; I know of nothing else he ever wrote about his horses. The text in the later Hingham Stock Farm brochure is pretty much lifted from previous Davenport Desert Arabian Stud catalogues.

  6. Michael,

    As I recall, Davenport had his problems with getting the imports registered? I wonder, was this why his interest with the Blunt’s? Bradley solved the problem, helped start a USA registry. I still can not reason why he, Davenport, would breed Wadduda to either of those two stallions? When he had Stallions available of his own importations. Does not make sense!

    He quoted the desert Bedouin, gave credit to their history. Then did something different to his ‘Mare.
    Michael if you can answer this, perhaps you have the secrets of life, not just the abilities for research on a different level.

    (Perhaps what he did not have was Al Khamsa and all its information, and now Edouard and this blog. PLUS the research of today, which is only beginning.)

    I have found people say things as to what they want the other to hear, perhaps this is what Davenport wanted the Blunts to hear in private and personal letters. A way to
    have his imports in the registry there in England.

    I only wish Bradley had not been so removed from Davenport and the breeding’s as to known facts. Especially, with the death of Davenport. Finding any mares that could be bred on in Al Khamsa going to Wadduda
    would be great, greater if Davenports.

  7. Sorry if I am missing the point here but are we not talking about Lady Blunt’s horses? not Crabbet post Skowronek??
    There are some very interesting comments in her letters and journals re Davenport’s importation, for those who would like a different perspective.
    I appreciate that the Davenport horses had written authentication which Lady Blunt’s didn’t all have, but we all know the worth (?) of written pedigrees at that time…
    I am not for one minute questioning the Davenport horses’ purity but I think that the intelligence, integrity and character of Lady Blunt, employed as they were in her lifelong mission to select and breed PURE Arabian horses would put her horses on a par with Davenports at the very least in terms of blood.
    I still (to my regret) have yet to read the ‘annotated’ Quest but have read the original and all available of Lady Blunt’s relevant writing and would think that her knowledge of Arabic, the sheer TIME (LONG journeys through the desert and years living in Egypt she spent, as well as decades of breeding ruthlessly weeding out any horse with the slightest shadow of a question as regards blood) compared to Davenport’s few weeks trip, would put her judgement and consequently her horses about as far beyond question can be.
    PS I am not intending to disrespect the Davenport horses,(I think that that he used an agent and that the selection made in that sense for him…..MUST read the AQ!!!) I love what I have seen of them on here and their blood is in two of my Arabs (OK Edouard… ‘part breds’ as they DO contain Skowronek blood! :)!)

  8. Just to add, I am sorry again really to comment at all as I am, as will be obvious, not an expert, but as we know from contemporary writings even at the time of lady Blunt, the style of warfare in the desert was changing. Horse breeding was in decline and it became, by all accounts, harder and harder to fine absolutely first class purebred horses, Lady Blunt bemoaned the situation and devoted her life to at least making a contribution to preserving pure blood. In this respect, and as Davenport was in Arabia several decades later would it not have been even harder ? He may well have felt that Crabbet was a useful resource of pure blood of the highest quality… I don’t see what is strange in this??

  9. Lisa,
    I am sure Raswan shared you view of the Egyptians, and some of the Blunts. Others have crossed their horses many ways.

    What I question is, why would Davenport want to breed *Wadduda to Blunt Breeding? Makes no sense what-so-ever!
    Except, maybe to get his horses registered?

    The sire line problem is Michael’s as research needs to bridge a gap vacant. So Michael?

    Al Khamsa says the mare, Domow, is asil. The question is
    will the sire please be known. Edouard says why not *Gomusa? I said why the Blunt’s? Michael and R.J. said the possibilities…

    No one said any thing about later breeding’s of Lady Wentworth.

    The question still begs who is Domow’s sire? Edouard has a new mare, tail female to Wadduda. Perhaps there is a mare tracing to Domow? I have no idea! His mare he now has, does trace to the Blunts, or Doyle’s! Al Khamsa listed! Perhaps another is in the wings?

    Knowing Edouard’s previous thought process, I think he is looking for more dialog from others about Domow. Am sure he had read the research listed from Jeanne?

  10. Jackson, all I know is that Homer did that because that’s what he was doing; he could also have bred straight Blunt horses, but *Shibine went to *Euphrates and *Bushra to *Hamrah. He was clearly starting down the path that he told Lady Anne he was pursuing: combining the two pedigree elements. Had he not died in 1912 we would have seen where that course would take him; considering how well Blunt and Davenport influences continue to go together, I expect the results would have been impressive.

    *Astraled appears more likely to me than *Gomussa as the sire of Domow, because Homer was breeding Blunt mares to desert stallions and desert mares to Blunt stallions.

  11. Jackson,
    Sorry in a way I am off thread as I do not have enough knowledge to contribute to a discussion regarding the horse in question.
    I still don’t see though, given my reasoning above why it would be considered odd that Davenport used Crabbet blood?
    The aim of Lady Blunt and Homer Davenport was to breed pure bred Arabians of the highest quality and purity, not to breed ” Crabbets” or ”Davenports”, though they may have been proud of and promoted horses that they bred, the only ‘preservation’ breeding they were concerned with was that of the Asil/Mazbut/Pure Arabian horse himself.
    Perhaps it is today that people are interested in keeping ‘Crabbet’ or ‘Davenport’ groups pure and separate? As both studs were based on a fairly diverse group of foundation horses it is perhaps our narrow view that makes less sense than Davenport wishing to use a Crabbet stallion?
    Having said that I do absolutely in fact support preservation breeding in that it keeps distinct Asil groups protected and pure which can then be used as outcrosses within the Asil group, aiming to produce the best possible HORSE without compromising on purity as may happen when Russian/Polish/Spanish/Wentworth (?) blood is used…( this from the owner of horses with Wentworth lines !)

  12. Lisa,

    If you ever decide to read the Book of Davenports trip, you will realize the discovery of Davenport to the Bedouin and his horse. A life changing event, how history yields an opinion on what truly is an experience accepted and realized. He saw the Bedouin Horse through the eyes of Wadduda. He learned what he saw through thinking of the desert Bedouin and their leaders. They were an example of the life they lived and their horses. He was a student and relived this experience in his writings and his devotion to his horses.

    Sure he was smart, he was able to ask a President for introduction to the Bedouins gates, and get aid as to money from Bradley. Took advantage of mistakes and live
    his life to its fullest. What was said to the Blunts
    and his long turn goals, I just wonder?

  13. Lisa,

    If you ever decide to read the Book of Davenport’s trip, you will realize the discovery of Davenport to the Bedouin and his horse. A life changing event, how history yields an opinion on what truly is an experience accepted and realized. He saw the Bedouin Horse through the eyes of Wadduda. He learned what he saw through the thinking of the desert Bedouin and their leaders. They were an example of the life they lived and their horses. He was a student and relived this experience in his writings and his devotion to his horses.

    Sure, he was smart, he was able to ask a President for introduction to the Bedouins gates, and got aid as to money from Bradley. Took advantage of mistakes and live
    his life to its fullest. Sad the mare who he rode in the desert, left no present day tail female line to the desert. Al Khamsa lines, but, nothing today representing his importation as Davenport Horses.

    Michael has studied this from every view, am sure he is right. But……………….
    I have bred many groups of Al Khamsa lines. What is done today, is not I living and riding in the desert past. And bringing that into my abilities to perceive as an actual experience, lived. Davenport did and was changed by Wadduda herself. Yes, I do question a motive to change, and the reasons why.

  14. Jackson is right in his assumption. I was wondering what’s behind the motive of Davenport breeding of one of his best desert mares to a Blunt stallion.

    I knew about Michael and RJ article, and re-read it thrice today using Jeanne’s link up there. I did not know about the letters where Davenport said he intended to breed desert mares to Blunt stallions. I would understand the reverse, however: desert stallions on Blunt mares.

  15. Hi Jackson,
    I have, as I said, read Davenports book, just not the annotated version.I am sorry to say that much of it did not ring true to me … it reads like fiction, I realise that there is more to the reasons for this than I am aware of, which is why I must read the annotated version. Even so, as I said Lady Blunt’s comments at the time are worth noting, and the simple diaries of her journeys are incomparably more detailed, interesting and convincing, in my view anyway. They were acurate daily records written by a private and sincere person, not an exagerrated and romanticised work written for a market.
    Just to clarify, and I am sorry if I am being dense here, but is it the Egyptian element of the Blunt horses that means that you would consider them unsuitable as sires for Davenport mares?

  16. I heartily agree with you, Lisa! Davenport’s comments in his AQ often strike you as naive, and over-romanticized at times. But he was a tourist, in a sense, and by the second week of his trip he already grew tired of the Bedouins and what he felt was a dull way of life.. Anne Blunt spent months and months in the desert, in tougher conditions and she was obviously loving every minute of it..

  17. Sorry again but just to clarify, I was refering to the actual Journals not Wilfred Blunts ‘polished up’ versions made into the two famous books, readable though they were.
    I will leave it here, as I am off the point of the thread …. sorry again, but I still feel that Davenport was in a very limited geographical area for a minute amount of time and did not even speak Arabic, I would consider Lady Blunt an infinitely more reliable source.
    Again I am not intending to disparage Davenport horses, I love them!!

  18. Lisa: Perhaps a perusal of the Annotated Quest would help to clarify things. Davenports writing style was that of a breezy workaday reporter a professional journalist, who goes to get a story. Think Associated Press wire service in comparison with the Blunts who essentially told us about their travels, and what they were permitted to learn from the Bedouin. And of course the Blunts ( meaning Lady Anne too) had the
    luxury of time. For just as you cannot really know how a breeding program worked without knowing about the unsucessful breeding as well as what was successful,( thankyou again RJ) you really cannot judge the final product of written work without some familiarity with the rough drafts.
    Best wishes
    Bruce Peek

  19. A very interesting discussion starting from a question of parentage leading to the question of who the bedouin horse is. Do the horses of Abbas Pasha and other Egytian notables belong to the authentic, asil Arabian horse or not? Can You call them bedouin horses the same way You call Davenports or Saudi lines bedouin horses?
    My answer is : YES.
    And if I understand Lady Anne right she had the same opinion. Just yesterday I have read in her journals correspondence the part about Davenport (before reading this) and she had questions regarding Davenport´s horses. How could he manage to bring so many pure Arabians home in such a short time? Achmet Hafez has been the key to this. Davenport states he was the head of all Aneze tribes. This is questioned by Lady Anne expressis verbis. My opinion is that Davenport did not understand who Achmet Hafez really was and therefore gave him the wrong title. My suggestion is that he was the Bab el Arab of the Aneze tribes for the pasha of Damascus. He handled all questions regarding the tribes, but was not their chief.
    To come back to my point: All the different groups within Al Khamsa are asil. There are questions we cannot answer, and everybody has the right to question some informations and to breed in his own ways. As a breeder of straight Egyptians I can find much inspiration and education for my breeding aims with all the other groups of Arabian horses, even with non asils. This is what makes this blog unique.

  20. Thanks,I will read it Bruce, I posted the last few at 3am waiting for a foal to recover from anaesthetic … she was in the office with me, a 5 day old sec A (!) so they may have been badly expressed, sorry.
    I do of course appreciate the difference between the characters and occupations of the two people, in fact it is these factors that, for me, make one a far more reliable and worthwhile source. However I may well feel more respect for Davenport himself, as opposed to his horses,after reading the annotations!
    I think in fact that Lady Blunts most interesting and complete work, is her last writings , engulfed though they are within Lady Wentworth’s Authentic Arabian Horse.

  21. I also agree! You couldn’t have spoken better, about LAB’s most interesting and complete work being whatever we have of the book of Fragments..

  22. Clearly there are differences in personalities and in concentrations of desert experience between Homer Davenport and Lady Anne and Wilfrid Blunt. Yet here is something else to ponder: While Lady Anne Blunt was certainly meticulous and focused over a longer period of time in building her selection process, one has to consider the nature of tribal thinking. Tribal cultures tend to value the leadership and honor of its chief representatives and associated protocols. While I am just speculating here, it would seem that Homer Davenport arriving (through diplomatic blunder) at the doorstep the diplomatic representative of the Anazeh with seemingly the authority and blessings of America’s “chief Sheikh” Theodore Rosevelt, would create a big stir in the tribal community to the point that he found himself in very unique and favorable circumstances for obtaining authentic horses from the tribes. This is different than arriving as some “high commission” accompanied by soldiers, veterinarians etc. I feel that the unique circumstances that unfolded for Homer Davenport put him in special favor in a way that made his trip a bigger success over a shorter period of time than would be otherwise imagined by his contemporaries. He legitimately, with assistance, obtained some of Arabia’s finest and to me comparable and no less in quality and provenance than the Blunt desert bred imports (which did include horses selected for the Blunts by Mr. Skene in Aleppo). However short or long the journeys of Davenport and the Blunts, their geographic regions were similar and did not include going into the southern depths of Nejd in the Arabian peninsula. I can understand the perplexity of Lady Anne Blunt (and some others of that time) as to such a short journey yielding so many horses, but no other exportation from the Bedouin tribes that I am aware of unfolded under such unique circumstances. When skepticism clouded over the bigger picture of the unique circumstances of Homer’s importation, I believe it created a lingering but unfounded suspicion, not unlike the behavior of competing horse personalities of today. But then we are all human and judging past decisions can best be enjoyed when calibrated for human behavior.

  23. Perhaps, I should answer the repeated Question. I find it difficult to understand why Davenport would use a Blunt stallion.

    Answer is simple, I would find it difficult to understand if Richard had bred *Bint Moniet to one of Charles’s stallion’s.

    *Bint Moniet was like *Wadduda, a major mare within a major breeding group. Both famous in their own time. *Wadduda was a special gift, a famous war mare, leaving the desert to be the pride of Davenport Imports. (Davenport had many stallions, needing no more.)

    Just as *Bint Moniet was the pride of Egyptian Breeding.

  24. Joe,
    Lady Anne and Wilfred Blunts journeys did in fact take them into Nejd. Wilfred’s rendering of Lady Blunts diaries into the book ‘Pilgrimage to Nejd’ has maps showing the route. They also travelled more widely in Mesopotamia and of course Lady Blunt lived in Egypt, with a close confidante and Bedouin advisor for years.

  25. Technically speaking, and without wanting to be stickler, Hail is not in Najd proper. It’s in Jabal Shammar..

  26. Had another observation to make-about Tabab. Admittedly the photo doesn’t let the viewer closely measure his body proportions, but, He certainly looks better than many of the stallions one sees today. He shows a rounded outline, high set and arched neck, substantial bone and a slanty shoulder and what looks like a pretty good coupling. Demonstrates in the flesh why so many people really liked the Davenport- Blunt- Abbas Pasha cross. For sure you don’t see the ultra exotic head one sees on a lot of halter horses today( thank goodness) but the breed type is there in spades. In Tabab however it is combined with good sound substance as well. Something to be greatful for.
    Best wishes
    Bruce Peek

  27. Yes Lisa, you are right. What I had in mind and should have said and been more clear about is that the actual horses acquired by the Blunts, that they bred from into the present are from similar regions that provided horses for Davenport.

    Of course that is secondary to the main point of my post which is that, looking back with the benefit of hindsight and what we know now, I really see no reason for skepticism regarding the Davenport importation and see it collectively as on par with the Blunt desert breds. I think Carl Raswan found himself making a similar defense.

    It has amazed me that some would cling to the notion that (and I am not including you in that) there must be something fishy about the unique success of Homer Davenport in his quest. I say this because I am old enough to remember the repeated “salvos” in print by Gladys Brown Edwards that cast negative tones on the Davenport importation and subsequent horses. She held a unique position of influence in a major magazine for many years distributing her opinions with seldom an appropriate counter point.

    I can assure you that among the Bedouin I visited Homer Davenport is fondly remembered, yet to my surprise when I visited the Shammar, Sheikh Humeidi was a bit critical of some of the things that Lady Anne Blunt wrote about his tribe and he wanted us to know that. I do not say this to disparage the Blunts in any way because I have always celebrated their contribution, but I think it needs to be said that Davenport has deservedly made a contribution of equal importance.

    If one analyzes many of today’s international champions and famous sires who are not from the “asil” community one will repeatedly see the role that both the Blunt and Davenport horses play in the foundation of their pedigrees.

  28. I forgot to say “excluding India” since that was an additional source for some Blunt horses.

  29. Joes’ point about the editorial disparagement that Ms. Edwards dumped on the Davenports needed to be said. It is important that we acknowledge what was printed by Edwards because her viewpoint certainly had a negative effect both in how the Davenports were seen, and in how breeding decisions were made which of course resulted in the development of horses that cannot be used for anything but pasture ornaments, and all too often end up in the slaughter house system. It is not the animals fault. The responsibility rests on the humans who caused the overbreeding to ocurr.
    Best Wishes
    Bruce Peek

  30. Fair enough to all the comments in the last few posts, you are right Joe, I was certainly not trying to disparage the horses… I bred a colt who traces to Wadduda last year! 🙂

  31. Khamsat/4th Quarter-November 1994

    Joe and Sharon Ferriss Managing Editors

    Page 31 Ahmad Al Hafez and Family

    A very interesting article with photo’s, and an inscription to “My Brother Akmet Haffez” dated Oct.13th 09

    I think it perhaps answers most of this discussion and also begs the Orginal question of Edouard.

    Article is by Debra and Jerald Dirks

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