Arabian horse! The term conjures up the picture of a noble, beautiful,
and graceful animal in a Desert setting; it embodies a sense of history,
mystery, and even awe. The would-be Arabian owner rushes out to buy the
first available Arabian horse and loves him or her dearly, with an emotional
attachment unequaled with any other breed. Yet the average person will
own Arabians for less than ten years before selling out for one reason
or another. During this period several widely differing types and bloodlines
will vie with each other in the showring, and for popularity in sales and
stud service. Few owners will be fortunate enough to own Arabian horses
of a type that truely satisfies them, and which possess a pedigree which
will allow a consistent continuance of that type.
of Davenport Arabian horses don't concern themselves much with the changes
in type brought about by the showring for they are fortunate to have found
that the old 'Desert' type satisfies them, and they know that they can
reproduce it consistently. They are not interested in "improving"
on the type of horse that the Bedouin found so useful.
is a recurring theme in the stories of most of the Davenport breeders as
to how they first became interested in this line of Arabians. Most of them
had Arabians of mixed ancestry before they got their Davenports, while
the others were, at the very least, familiar with the various lines available
to them, and they were dissatisfied with the widely fluctuating types among
the near relatives of the horses they owned or admired in the shows.
in one form or another into the origins of the ancestors of these horses
often included reading what Carl Raswan
had to say about American foundation animals. At some point they were additionally
influenced by the visual impact of individual Davenport Arabians.
breeders wanted horses which would continue to reproduce their own type
when bred to others of similar background. They wanted, in addition to
pedigree, horses of sound "using" conformation with dispositions
which would allow the owners to do all the daily handling and training
on a strictly amateur basis. All wanted only a small breeding program.
Other available Arabians might be prettier, or of more fashionable bloodlines,
and many Arabians have athletic ability and wonderful dispositions but
that wasn't quite enough for the Davenport Arabian breeders.
first of these small breeders, both in terms of time, and effort in securing
certain bloodlines are Fred and Barbara Mimmack
of Denver, Colorado. Dr. Mimmack had been to the Kellogg
Ranch several times when he was just a young, but very inquisitive,
boy of about 10. At that time he also read much of the controversial information
in articles by Carl Raswan which were published in the Western Horseman,
and he read the books by W.R. Brown, and Blunts.
information, and his memory of those early Kellogg
Ranch Arabians, was filed away until the early 1960's when he was at
last in a position to start a small, backyard breeding program. He visited
local Arabian ranches and attended shows, but the horses of his childhood
were nowhere to be seen. He returned to the books, and studied pedigrees,
then made a trip to California where he visited Alice Payne and other long-time
breeders. Mrs. Payne told him that he could,
indeed, still find the horses of his childhood at Craver
Farm in Illinois.
visit to the Cravers confirmed this and Fred began a search for another
foundation mare, of the Seqlawi Jedran strain. He eventually was able to
locate and buy the straight Davenport mare MAEDAE (Ibn
Hanad X Gamil), a half-sister to Craver's ANTAN. Obviously
it was not enough to have the mare if the only stallions available in the
Denver area would change in some way the type of the foals she would produce
by them, so he leased her to Charles to be bred to TRIPOLI
In the late 1960's the Mimmacks were able to track down and buy the stallion
KAMIL IBN SALAN
(Salan X Schada) whose line of descent from *URFAH
represented a valuable "out-cross" within the Davenport Seqlawi
group. Two lovely daughters of KAMIL IBN
SALAN are pictured with the Craver Farms article.
Mimmacks are maintaining their backyard program with about six or eight
horses, several of which are currently out on lease to the Gribbens family
in Ohio. Fred's memory of the Arabian horse of his boyhood, and his persistance
in locating horses like them, enabled him not only to establish a fine,
though small breeding program but to make a valuable and lasting contribution
to the Davenport Arabians of future generations.
(Jim and Carol Lyons) were living in Arizona and had a mare and stallion
of non-Davenport lines. Although we liked these horses we felt there was
something missing, and I managed to borrow the Raswan Index through the
inter-library loan system. In 1965 we became the proud owners of PORTHOS
(Aramis X Asara), a young Davenport stallion of great beauty and gentleness,
mixed with a highly developed sense of mischief. We eventually got the
ISIS (El Alamein X Portia) through Charles Craver's
generousity and also her lovely LYSANDER daughter
ATHENA, as well as
our Davenport gelding DON
CAMILLO (Monsoon X Tara).
Feuille of Prescott, Arizona had seen a picture of the stallion SIR(Tripoli
X Dharebah), and was struck by his beauty and seemingly unique "desert"
type. A few weeks later we met Rene and when he saw PORTHOS
he immediately made up his mind as to the type of Arabians he wanted.
Within a year he had LADY GREY,
a full sister to SIR, to breed to PORTHOS
(and eventually, ANCHORAGE).
story of LADY GREY and Rene is
typical of the bond which sometimes is established between a horse and
its owner. LADY GREY was eight
when he got her, and a year later he started her under saddle. The trainers
and other horse owners where she was being boarded stood around to watch
the circus which they were sure would follow this folly of attempting to
ride a nine-year-old mare of considerable spirit. But LADY
GREY moved off with a sure stride and the willingness
so typical of the Davenports. I don't believe she ever bucked.
the years she has been used on quite a few cattle roundups in the extremely
rugged mountains of the Prescott National Forest. The mountains range from
3.000 to 8,000 feet in elevation. Day after day she'd work her heart out
and come in with her tail flying, eagerly looking for more of those semi-wild
cattle to bring in. The cowboys would shake their heads in amazement at
this little, fine-boned mare that could out-cow and outwork any three quarter
horses. (She was responsible for a number of Quarter horse mares being
bred to PORTHOS!). When When LADY GREY
was 13 or 14 Rene decided to train her to pull a buggy, a task accomplished
in just one day, and one that she still enjoys in her 20th year.
Curt Lindners of Clarkdale, Arizona, were also strongly influenced by PORTHOS
and by our gelding. They were interested in endurance riding and
wanted horses of obvious athletic ability, and cooperative dispositions,
as well as beauty. They waited several years to get what they wanted and
now have two young Davenport fillies of the Krush strain by PORTHOS,
as well as a young Krush stallion of their own.
Hensley of Taos, New Mexico had several pure-in-the-strain breeding programs
going when he discovered that within the Davenports there were some animals
of the Krush sub-strain. This sub-strain is mentioned in early literature
as being held in such high esteem by the Bedouins that even the wealth
of Abbas Pasha of Egypt could not buy a pure-in-the-strain Krush mare.
Using horses he either bought or leased from Craver Farms, he is the first
person outside of Arabia to produce pure-in-the-strain
Krush horses which are totally of Asil bloodlines. The tragic loss
of TYBALT (Tripoli X Asara) left him without a Krush
stallion so in 1975 we very reluctantly let him have our PORTHOS
so he could continue his strain breeding. We do have a young Krush mare
by PORTHOS, and in our hearts PORTHOS
will always be ours. Jackson has continued his strain breeding programs
with considerable success.
and Hope Skinner of Little Rock, California, and George and Fran Dewey
of San Miquel, California, have played a very important part in bringing
the stallion DHARANTEZ into the overall Davenport
and Hope have had a long association with Arabians having acquired a Half-Arab
FERSEYN daughter in 1948, and their first Arab mare
in 1954. Over the years they did considerable pedigree research on the
various horses they saw at shows. They had met Carl Raswan through Alice
Payne, and they became good friends of the Max Pollocks who owned DHARANTEZ.
Their friendship with the Pollocks resulted in their eventual meeting with
Charles Craver and the acquisition of
their first Davenports in 1968.
Dewey first read about Davenports in the Raswan Index while researching
the pedigrees of the Arabians he owned at that time. The idea of adhering
to the Asil, classic types appealed to him and he wrote to Craver who suggested
he contact the Skinners and Pollocks to see some of these horses in the
1971 the Deweys purchased the mare SILVIA (Sir X Tara)
from Charles and worked out a lease agreement )and the eventual purchase)
of the mare TYRANAH (Tybalt X Dharanah) The plan was
to breed both mares to DHARANTEZ in order to obtain
more of his blood. However, Mr. Pollock would only allow DHARANTEZ
to be used on mares who would stand very quietly in hobbles, and TYRANAH
at that time seemed to feel that hobbling was beneath her dignity
and would have none of it. The decision was made to try to breed her to
NAHAS (Kasar X Anlah) another old (24) stallion of
straight Davenport lines but of the Hadban Inzihi strain.
and Hope Skinner had seen this horse a number of years previously at a
show. NAHAS was not there to be shown -- he was babysitting
a young filly at her first show! They didn't know who he was but he had
the biggest eyes they'd ever seen and wonderful balance and symmetry. When
they got home they looked up his pedigree and filed away the information
for future reference. As it turned out, TYRANAH produced
the only straight Davenport foal (a filly) sired by NAHAS
as he died before he could be used again. He carried lines to two of the
imports which are very rare in the straight Davenports, namely *HADBA
eventually accepted hobbles and she had the only Davenport daughter
of DHARANTEZ. His four other Davenport foals were
all colts. The Deweys now have 10 Davenports, while the Skinners have six
including the stallion SAID ABDULLAH
(Prince Hal X Portia) plus a mare on lease from the Cravers. Neither the
Deweys nor the Skinners have been interested in showing, but they enjoy
riding their horses for pleasure on the trail. Ed and Hope ride their stallion,
SAID ABDULLAH and their mare
SUGAR PLUM (Aramis X Jessica)
and both horses will pack deer out of the mountains.
Skinners frequently are called upon by the Sheriff's Posse to bring their
horses and help search for people lost in the nearby mountains or desert.
When asked what they liked best about these horses the Skinners replied,
"they are uniformly good horses, some of them are magnificent.
Some of them are pure in the related classic strains which to us is something
special. To us they come the closest to the real thing as explained by
Raswan." The Deweys added, "We think it's important that
a few of us nostalgic nuts maintain a gene pool relating only to the true
Deweys have not had a stallion of their own but have used SAID
ABDULLAH and IONIAN (Lysander
X Ionia), owned by the Clifford Turks, since the deaths of NAHAS
and DHARANTEZ. A picture of IBN
DHARANTEZ out of the Deweys' mare SILVIA
appears with the article on Craver Farms.
Turk met the Deweys and Skinners through the all-Arab functions in California,
and became interested in the idea of breeding Davenport horses. They, too,
have about 10 horses including the mare ALEUTIA (Ibn
Alamein X Alaska), who has been shown with considerable success by the
Turks' son Bill in both English pleasure and western classes at the Arabian
shows in California. Incidentally, this is the mare which appears in the
ads for 'JON TU' perfume.
Turks did some experimental outcrossing by breeding some of their Davenport
mares to stallions of straight Egyptian lines last year. These foals are
due in 1981 and should make exceptionally nice show horses with the advantage
of valuable bloodlines on both sides of the pedigree for future breeding
Frank Hannesschlagers of British Columbia, Canada, had Arabians of several
popular bloodlines starting back in 1966. Their former stallion had an
enviable show record including many many championships at halter. In spite
of this the Hannesschlagers didn't think he was of real breeding quality,
primarily because of the inconsistency in his near relatives. Frank did
a little research and reading, and finally wrote to Craver who sent him
the first Davenport film. Here at last were horses of consistent type,
horses which actually resembled the centuries-old paintings of Arabians
in the desert.
purchased the young stallion MARINER (Prince Hal X
Iras). Shortly after that he sold all of his other Arabians and bought
two young Davenport mares for MARINER. His only regret
is that he has not had the time to do any showing, but he hopes to change
that in two or three years. One of his mares, H B OCTAVIA
(Ibn Alamein X Portia), was trained for riding when she was about seven
and Frank says she is pure pleasure. MARINER has been
trained under saddle and has also been trained to go in double harness
with a "Blue Star" stallion owned by a neighbor, which says something
for the disposition of both stallions.
and Horst Haenert of Scales Mound, Illinois, really didn't consider any
other bloodlines when they got their first Arabian stallion, GRAND
PASS (Sir X Portia), in 1967. Harriet's sister had
two young Davenport mares, which she was breeding to Egyptian stallions,
and the Haenerts had visited Craver Farms several times with her. They
were impressed by the overall correct confromation of these horses. Since
their primary interest was in creating Anglo-Arabs for competitive trail
riding, and as pleasure horses, disposition was also of paramount importance.
PASS apparently suffered a broken bone in his
pastern as a young horse and the Haenerts hesitated to push him for this
type of activity where the ability to remain sound is so important. Nevertheless,
in 1977 when he was 11 years old they found they needed another horse to
campaign. He completed and placed well in six competitive trail rides that
year, and ended the season in the upper Midwest Competitive Trail and Endurance
Ride Association Top Ten with the points he garnered on those rides. In
addition he completed two 50-mile endurance races in sound condition and
1978 the Haenert's daughter, Sue, rode an Anglo-Arab daughter of GRAND
PASS to the half-Arab Top Ten in the International
Arabian Horse Association Competitive Trail Ride. In 1980 another GRAND
PASS daughter, BINT BELLE,
was National Champion Half-Arab on the IAHA Competitive Trail ride ridden
by Guy Worthington, who had leased her from the Haenerts. The mare had
been under saddle for less than a year when she made her win.
the summer of 1980 the Haenerts were able to purchase the 14-year-old Davenport
mare LETARLAH (El Alamein X Trisarlah) from Harriet's
sister. This mare and her older full sister WADDARLAH,
now owned by Mr. and Mrs. Grier of Lexington,
North Carolina, are the only two Davenport females of the Hadban-Inzihi
strain. WADDARLAH has produced several Davenport sons
by OBERON (Tripoli X Dhalana) and these horses, together
with BINT NAHAS, represent some
very rare bloodlines. It is hoped that one of these two mares will soon
produce a straight Davenport daughter to continue the strain name.
Haenerts also have two lovely young fillies from the Cravers and have two
young stallions from the Cravers which they are preparing for competitive
trail and endurance riding.
Phares of Whitehall, Illinois, had an Arabian stallion and one day back
in 1971 he stopped by Craver Farms to see the horses. He was immediately
impressed with their dry "deserty" look and arranged to buy the
young colt ADRIAN (Prince Hal X Adriana), and the
mare MAID MARIAN (Prince Hal
X Jessica). Jim has enjoyed showing ADRIAN in English
classes and in native costume, and ADRIAN has been
a justifiably popular horse at stud. He is especially well noted for his
lovely Seqlawi head. Jim now has several daughters of MAID
MARIAN, and another young stallion, AMEENE
(Dharanad X Ionia). Jim has started him under saddle and laughingly
says, "I'll show him in park classes if I can stay with this powerhouse."
He is indeed a "mover." Jim wouldn't trade his Davenport program
and Kathy Smith of Rochester, Illinois, have OUR QUEST,
a full sister to Jim's stallion, and several of her foals including TRIPOLI's
last foal, BY REQUEST. The Smiths
saw Charles showing TYBALT a number of years ago and decided on the spot
that they wanted Arabians that looked like that to grace their backyard.
Richard Mann of Winchester, Illinois, has had a long association with the
Davenport horses. For at least 16 years she's been riding the mature Craver
stallions two or three times a week as the only "non-family member"
to help out in keeping the "gentlemen" excercised. She also has
the exciting young stallion KINZ (Lysander X Rehaldla)
to keep her busy.
Andrew Loves of St. Louis have purchased quite a few Davenports in the
past few years, planning to train and show them in hunter classes. They
spent more than a year visiting the various large farms throughout the
Midwest and West looking for horses which displayed uniformly good conformation,
athletic ability and disposition to match. They plan to do some showing
in the Arabian English Pleasure classes but don't expect to place, as they
will be showing in hunt attire. They also expect to show at halter. The
Loves are delighted with their horses' dispositions and easy acceptance
and Beverly Gribbens of Bloomingdale, Ohio, are another young couple who
set out to establish a breeding program based entirely on horses of recorded
Bedouin-bred descent. A visit to Craver Farms after an Al
Khamsa meeting in St. Louis several years ago resulted in their purchase
of the well-trained mare CONFECTION (Sir X Culpurnia)
and in the eventual purchase of lease or additional horses from both the
Cravers and the Mimmacks.
Jerry Embry of Knoxville, Tennessee, first became aware of the Davenports
through Dr. Mimmack. In 1974 the Embrys purchased the full sisters NEBLINA
and LUZ DEL SOL
(Lysander X Miss America) and the stallion ODYSSEUS (Dharanad
years ago their son Jim, who was 12 at the time, decided to train NEBLINA
and show her in the large pony hunter classes, i.e. 14:2 hands and under.
Young Jim did all of her training herself and had to accept the frustrations
of showing a green mare against the professionally trained and often expensively
priced show ponies. His own obvious talent combined with the talent and
willing Davenport disposition paid off in 1980. NEBLINA
was named Large Pony Hunter Champion for 1980 from points accumulated in
past October Jim and NEBLINA entered the two-day Pemrose
Event which consisted of three phases of competition in the two days. They
had a clean go of the stadium jumping and only one refusal on the timed
cross-country jumping phase and they ended up placing eighth overall of
the 26 junior riders. Young Jim knew almost nothing of the dressage phase
of this test before he entered this show but I think it's a safe assumption
that he and NEBLINA will be prepared for the dressage
section of their next two-day event.
I feel I have to mention our own gelding's accomplishments with our daughter
Diane. Diane was just about 12, and DON
CAMILLO was a four-year-old with two months
saddle training to his credit when she took over. No one else either rode
or trained him after that point and together they won many nice ribbons
in western pleasure, stock seat equitation, English pleasure, saddle seat
equitation, hunter under saddle, trail horse, native costume, and western
riding, in all-Arab and open shows. She rode him in parades and won a competitive
trail ride, all in tough Arizona competition. DON was
usually the only strictly "backyard" horse not the product of
a professional trainer.
Diane was just under 15 she entered DON in the Arizona
First Level Dressage Futurity. Here she had the distinct advantage of being
able to watch our Davenport stallion ANCHORAGE, who
was by that time showing in second and third level work. DON
placed fourth out of the 16 horses of all breeds which were entered and
did it with the commendable score of 59. He was the only Arab to place,
and Diane was the only rider under 21 to place. The judge was Hilda Gurney,
the U.S.Olympic Bronze medal winner in dressage, and she was not inclined
to give points away to Arabians at open shows.
horses with their balanced action and sensible dispositions seem to be
natural for dressage. In 1974 we bought the stallion ANCHORAGE
(Ibn Alamein X Alaska) specifically for showing in dressage. In two years
of showing in 34 classes (all but two of them open to all breeds) ANCHORAGE
son 21 blues and seven second places. He was never defeated by another
Arabian. In 1977 he was IAHA top Ten in both first and second levels. His
1978 showing was cut short when we moved to Missouri and he was sold to
the Ron Latvahos of Ephrata, Washington, for use in their blue list breeding
program. We miss him, and hope to have a daughter of his someday to partially
fill the void.
Hansen and her Davenport stallion HALTAN (Prince Hal
X Cressida) placed in the IAHA Top Ten in Training level dressage in 1980.
Like ANCHORAGE and DON CAMELLO,
he has also won or placed very well in the open all-breed dressage shows.
As yet, Debbie has no mares, but she likes her HALTAN so
much that she has recently acquired two more straight Davenport sons of
are many other new and enthusiastic owners of Davenport horses, and their
stories are much the same. The backyard breeders of Davenport Arabians
enjoy their horses in much the same way as the hundreds of other small
breeders throughout the country. The primary difference lies in the choice
pedigree tracing to a single importation does not, in itself, make a good
horse, or a good Arabian, anymore than having a halter champion for a sire
necessarily makes a good horse. But these Davenports are good horses when
judged on conformation and the ability to do what ever is asked of them.
The importance of the bloodlines is of value only within the following
context: Do these horses still retain the attributes which the Bedouin
himself either admired, or found essential for his own survival? To answer
that we must know just what the Bedouin's horse was like:
mare was the important gender in the desert. She was intelligent, responsive,
easy keeping, and perhaps most important, of trustworthy disposition. Like
all creatures of the desert, she had a dry, clean, quality about her. She
had thin, sensitive skin and a fine coat. She was fine-boned, her leg structure
efficient, with well defined tendons, large joints. The war mare was not
a heavy-boned or ground pounding horse. Her balanced conformation provided
her with the ability to cover ground with a lengthy stride, and made her
agile. Her close-coupled short back was strong, her shoulders were well
angled, long and deep, her hip was long and smoothly muscled. Her gracefully
elevated tail carriage completed the picture of the harmoniously flowing
curve of her outline.
head was her hallmark, identifying her as an alert, durable product of
the desert. she had active ears to catch all sounds, finely shaped nostrils
capable of great expansion to literally "drink the wind," widely
spaced clean branches of the jaws to allow free flexion of the head without
restricting the well developed tracheaor windpipe which led to equally
well developed lungs.
eyes were large and placed far apart to allow her to see to either side
as well as straight ahead. The head admired by the Bedouins was not necessarily
a short, dish-faced head, but it was a head which appeared short because
the eyes were set so low; midway, or below the midpoint between the poll
and the end of the nasal bones, a unique feature which allowed for greater
cranial capacity and which the Bedouins believed gave her the intelligence
for which she was noted.
the horses of some strains, particularly the mares, did have the pronounced
jibbah, or forehead, and/or a deep dish below the eyes, the profile was
more often straight or only slightly concave. The illusion of a deep dish
was created by the prominent, boney housing of the eyes, together with
the way in which the nostrils were slanted, and flared above the nasal
bones. If you look critically at the old paintings of Bedouin Arbians you
will find this to be uniformly true.
by these criteria, the Davenport Arabians still adhere to the original
desert standard, even after 75 years of American breeding. There are many
types within the Arabian breed today, and a few of these types are represented
by consistent breeding groups. It is however, the strictly desert type
which primarily appeals to the backyard breeders of Davenport Arabian horses.
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