Ziba, from the Kuhaylat al-Krush mare line of Dafina, Crabbet and Courthouse lines

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on October 9th, 2011 in General

Ziba (Dancing Magic x Shazla by Shazda out of Darthula out of Saladin II) was one of my father’s favorites. A 1980 mare from the ‘marbat’ of Lord and Lady Moyne, and tracing to the desert bred Kuhaylat al-Krush Dafina, a gift from Ibn Saoud to Judith Wentworth, Ziba had no less than ten lines to Skowronek, and this, along with her Krush tail female to Dafina, is exactly the reason why my father bought her from Said Khair’s stud in Jordan and imported her to Lebanon, together with her son Sharif by a show horse of European lines.

At the time, my father was a big fan of the Crabbet breeding program (and he still is in some ways), both under Lady Anne and then under her daughter Judith, and we did not know anything about Skowronek’s pedigree. We believed that Skowronek was the best thing that ever happened to Crabbet Stud, and Judith Wentworth certainly did a good job leading her readers to this conclusion. When we learned more about Skowronek, we sold Ziba to some local politician and she eventually found her way to Syria.

Her non-asil status aside, Ziba had glorious tail carriage and movement, and was a good mare overall.


14 Responses to “Ziba, from the Kuhaylat al-Krush mare line of Dafina, Crabbet and Courthouse lines”

  1. Yes, she was a piece of work – Judith Wentworth. I often wondered if she was an example of genetics in that she seemed to have the same lack of scruples as her father – just an opinion.

    I was in the same situation as your father, as I started with Skowronek horses which were primarily Al Khamsa horses (or would have been today) plus Skowronek. One of early mentors, around 1966 or 1967, Jimmy Wrench, told me, that he and some others were concerned about the pedigree that Wentworth had produced, and that I should be aware that something might turn up later. He and others directed me to Skowronek horses which were primarily of Crabbet/Davenport/Babson and the imports of *Zarife, *Roda, etc.

    These were absolutely lovely horses, with good dispositions and very nice under saddle. It was my first experience with less than honorable behavior in the Arabian Horse World, but definitely not my last.

  2. What a beautiful mare!
    I’m searching for this kind of beauty in asil form.
    It’s not easy to find.


  3. Laszlo, I think it is very hard to find that overall smoothness in the asils and Lady Anne Lytton told me that Skowronek brought improvement to the hindquarters of the Crabbet stock, but that he flattened the withers.

  4. I generally agree about this “overall smoothness” but tend to think it comes from the asil ancestors of today’s non-asil horses, which have a much wider genetic pool than what remains in the asil community today..

    Take a broodmare like Nefisa for instance. Within the no-Egyptian asil population her influence is confined to the Doyles (through Nusi), the Ayerza horses (through Rustnar), the *Mirage horses (through Najib), and the handful of horses with Nasik in her pedigree. All in all not more than 100-150 horses alive today. In the Egpytian population she has significant — though very under-appreciated IMO — influence is in Kazmeyn (through Narkise) and Malaka (through Nadir)..

    In the broader arabian horse population, Nefisa’s influence is enormous, through Indian Magic, Sharima, etc. So it’s not only the Skowronek that you’re seeing there, it’s the influence of other asil horses who do not have many modern asil descendants.

    Ditto for Sobha.

  5. Dear Loriee:” Skowronek brought improvement to the hindquarters but that he flattened the withers..” Yes he surely did. I wonder if those improved hindquarters were amplified by Hamra blood, since so many of the Kellog horses, where Raseyn and Raffles blood was used, did show the exceptionally strong hindends and they also had lines to the Davenports. And of course confirmation shots of Hamra and his brother Euphrates showed the same remarkably strong hindend that you so seldom see on Arabs nowadays. As for the flat pony shoulder its fairly common for the Skowronek horses to have that defect. In fact the Director of MSUs’ Arab breeding program John Sheely(sp) once told me the universities breeding goal was to breed an arab with substance and bone that had a nicer front end-which I took to mean a better neck and shoulder than the heavily Crabbet influenced stock they then had. In the Crabbet horses it seems to me you often see the tight coupling and loin which is good and desirable- but which often comes with the flat withers. So a breeding goal might be to do like the Russians did and try to get a strong coupling and hindend with a highset and arched neck. Indeed the two goals seem almost exclusive of each other.
    Best wishes
    Bruce Peek

  6. I don’t know if it was Hamra, as it was 1972, when I had this conversation with Lady Anne Lytton in England and she was talking about her families’ horses, which had very good forehands, but she suggested that the hind quarters may have needed improvement and she said that is what Skowronek brought to their horses.

    As to the Asil horses of the past, I can vouch, to some extent, for the horses that came before the 1958 importations from Egypt. I had the two daughters of *H.H. Mohammed Ali’s Hamida by the stallion Kenur, and they were as smooth as glass, even as old mares. They had long long, heads, and I attributed that to their sire, Kenur and not the dam, which had a lovely head. Hallany Mistanny, was also a very smooth horse. There is a video which Mary Silveus has of him, which I think would astonish most people, who think he was a chunk and he was not. He was very snaky looking, but when bred to the Gulastra line mares, he did have offspring that looked more like the Doyle horses. My Hallany Mistanny daughter out of Haraka (Kenur x H.H. Mohammed Ali’s Hamida) looked more of this long necked, slender body type than the Hallany Mistanny out of Gulastra lines. One must remember that the imports after 1958 did not look anything like the horses that were imported prior, such as *Nasr, *Roda, *Zarife, *H.H. Mohammed Ali’s Hamida, and *H.H. Mohammed Ali’s Hamama.

    Having seen many many many of the post 58 imports, they were of a different type from the horses mentioned above, and often different one from another.
    I am now seeing photos being posted of some of the more famous of these imports, which I saw in the flesh and took movies of them, and I would witness, under oath, that the photos are definite improvements over some of these actual animals – not that the pictures were photo shopped, just that they were the best shots of the horse at the time. And, we all have those photos of our own horses – some making the horse look like “Thunderbolt the Wonder Colt,” and others of the: “Quick hide it behind the barn,” variety.

  7. I think this mare to be absolutely lovely, I love this stamp of Crabbet horse, I can’t look at the videos of the 1953/4 Crabbet parades without breaking into a grin…heavenly horses. And to ride….! …floating along, eating up the ground, carrying the tail like a banner!
    Absolutely effortless to ride all day and still feel as fresh as a daisy.
    I love Courthouse lines too, sadly the last pure Courthouse stallion,Spearmint,died this year.
    How terribly sad that Lady Wentworth didn’t inherit the meticulous integrity of her mother, though Skowronek wasn’t exactly a carthorse but a beautiful horse of overwhelmingly Arab blood who was a great progenitor of Arab type. I know, I KNOW! and you are all right :), but I wouldn’t sell my horses for love nor money, there may be a tiny pedigree flaw but for a start they are my family and secondly I would have to look a very, very long way for better riding horses,or friends for that matter.
    I often wonder if the lovely powerful Asil ‘Syrian’ type horses were crossed with Egyptians would an Asil version of the type of Arab that the best Crabbets represent(and I happen to love) result? The blood would be very similar minus Skowronek.

  8. Obviously I mean only certain Egyptian lines but Doyle horses could obviously have a place in such a breeding programme….dreaming here!

  9. In fact the Doyle bred horses are the only horses in the world presently that descend 100% from the original Blunt breeding program if I am not mistaken.

  10. I know Joe, that is what I meant,…. to try to produce the best type of ‘Crabbet’ horse using horses of similar stamps to the original source horses, and also Doyles which come directly from source, ie an Asil ‘Crabbet’ type as Laszlo wished for above, as I said ,just dreaming!!

    I must say, btw, ‘flat withers’ is not a feature of many of the Crabbet horses that I see, and I see a lot!!

    To be absolutely objective about it the very fact that, bar the Doyles who I am trying to find out more about, it is (?) impossible to find a Crabbet horse without Skowronek blood, coupled with the fact that they are (in my opinion) utterly fabulous horses that certainly win at the top (world and national in Britain) level in endurance and also regularly win ‘Ridden Arab of the Year’ at our biggest show, The Horse of The Year Show would sort of suggest that after all Skowronek was a pretty amazing sire who did not diminish Crabbet horses in terms of physical type or endurance,this must be some testament to his overwhelmingly Arab blood. Again, I DO,of course, understand all your objections to him and it is a damn shame Lady Wentworth wasn’t more diligent in her research or at least that she didn’t subsequently show some humility and honesty.
    I completely accept that he can never be regarded as Asil but on the ‘evidence’ of which I am aware, it seems there is doubt both ways in some assertions that have been made..
    When I bought Klynstra’s book in Aqaba years ago, the shop owner tried to disuade me from buying it as it was ‘not correct’!
    I bought it anyway but read it with care.

    Joe Achcar, last year, kindly forwarded me some fairly recent research from Poland re mtDNA which was quite surprising/pleasing in view of the fact that it is the maternal line that is in question.

    I would love to know the whole truth.

    Eg after repeated breedings to Arab sires down the generations and over a couple of hundred years what % non -Arab blood is there in the doubtful Polish ‘foundation mares’? ie ‘foundation’ for which we have written stud books as it must be remembered that poor Poland has suffered so many wars and upheavals that much information is lost.
    The ‘Polka ‘ question supposedly tb ?? but no mare of this name registered with Wetherby’s at the time? Any firm evidence of this mare’s breeding?

    Again I know that Polish horses are absolutely not Asil and I am not trying to pretend otherwise, I would not buy or breed from these lines myself.

    Back to the Doyle horses, and I will check this out myself, but I am sure I remember seeing an advert about 20 years ago in the Arab Horse Society news (Britain) concerning two Asil Crabbet mares in this country with no Skowronek blood… ???Maloof Habiba and Maloof something else???, chestnuts if I remember rightly, imported from America??.
    This was before I understood the significance of wishing to avoid Skowronek blood… I, like many/most Arab enthusiasts,at the time thought purebred meant er…purebred!!
    Ignorance is bliss.

  11. Maloof Hadiya and Maloof Habiba, 1987 mares imported by Carole Monkhouse in 1991. They are Doyle mares bred by the Maloof family. Carole also had (or has) three stallions and a mare bred by the Doyle family.

  12. Thanks Ambar,did they breed on here?

  13. Both mares have produce in both the UK and the US.

  14. A beautiful mare pictured. I find it such a shame that there aren’t more pure Blunt bred horses other than the Doyles left anymore.
    Lisa Spearmint was not the last pure Courthouse stallion to die there is at least one other based in France, he’s called Siroco Courthouse, a beautiful grey.

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>