February, at our Arabian Horse Association of Southern California meeting,
I received a real surprise and treat. Bill Ainley showed us some movies
one of his relatives had taken at the Kellogg ranch in the mid-1930's.
were those old time greats *RASEYN 597
under English saddle, FARANA 708
going through his stock horse routine, RALET
759 free jumping, ROSSIKA
659, the trick horse, pushing her baby carriage, and the liberty drill
team spelling out "K E L L O G G "
much as I enjoyed seeing all these long gone greats, my real thrill was
seeing JADAAN 196 with his rider
in Arabian costume. JADAAN brought
back memories of my first visit to Kelloggs
well over 30 years ago.
those depression days of the 1930's we had horses -- the $50 kind. One
of our friends had a half-Morgan, and that was a big deal. The total of
all registered Arabians was less than 1,500, with about half of those dead.
You can see how rare a real Arabian was in those days. Some of the circuses
were still calling spotted horses Arabians. The general horse public had
very little real knowledge of Arabian horses.
Kellogg ranch did a wonderful job of introducing the Arabian horse to the
southern California area. You couldn't be involved with horses for too
long without hearing about Kelloggs and their Arabians.
I was nine years old, I made my first trip to Kelloggs. I was very excited
about seeing real Arabian horses. I don't know what I expected, but somehow
I was disappointed to see what looked to me like regular horses doing the
same things I had seen other regular horses do at horse shows and circuses.
Oh, sure, they were fat and slick and they seemed to carry their tails
much higher than most horses I had seen, but they didn't look like the
restored my faith that there really was such a thing as an Arabian
horse when he came charging into the ring with robes flying in the air.
He looked like what I thought an Arabian should look like. I didn't even
notice whether the rider had on glasses or a wrist watch; I knew I was
seeing a real Arabian horse.
made many trips to Kelloggs over the next few years. I came to appreciate
the fact that these other regular horses were also Arabians and had those
characteristics distinctive to the breed.
then learned that the ancestors, for the most part, of these former
regular horses, had come from England, while JADAAN's
sire had come from the desert of Arabia. I knew I had been right
all the time. JADAAN
was a real Arabian and those regular horses were imposters. How
could Arabians come from England? To a 10- or 12-year-old kid this was
a confusing state of affairs.
I became more interested in Arabians, I found that our Arabians in America
had come from many places, including England, France, Poland, Spain, Egypt,
and that there also had been an importation of 27 horses direct from the
desert of Arabia to America in 1906. This importation was made by Homer
Davenport and thus these horses are referred to as "Davenports."
I would recommend Homer Davenport's book, My Quest of the Arabian Horse,
to all those who are interested in the background of the Arabian horse.
I find this book very interesting, as Davenport goes into considerable
detail as to just what qualities the Bedouin horsebreeders valued in their
horses. These comments are invaluable to those who want to produce the
authentic Bedouin-type Arabian horse.
the 1940's I was in my teens and growing up with horses. When we had visitors
to our ranch such as Carl Raswan,
John Douthit or Jimmy Wrench, the talk always got around to the Davenport
knew many of the original Davenport horses, having purchased from Peter
Bradley, the man who financed Davenport's trip, a group of these pure
Davenports, including JADAAN.
Carl also purchased two more groups of pure Davenports from F.E.Lewis
which included LETAN 86 and
448. These horses all came to California
in the early 1920's and that is why most of the present-day pure Davenports
trace to California breeders.
the 1940's most of the pure Davenports were scattered across the country
and either no or very little attempt had been made to perpetuate the pure
Davenport breeding. John Douthit had GAMIL
1427 (Kasar 707 - Schilan 706). GAMIL,
one of the most beautiful of the pure Davenport mares, produced
4165. Jimmy Wrench was
trying to collect a herd of pure Davenport horses. While Jimmy was able
to get a few mares, he never was able to find a stallion that suited him.
those days, things Arabians were far different from what they are now.
We had no Arabian magazines, not even Arabian shows until 1946. Breeding
Arabians was more a matter of convenience then. Very few people could take
the effort to trailer a mare any distance to a stallion. Of course, during
the war years, there was the problem of gasoline, and, even after the war,
horse trailers were not at all as common as they are today. In order to
locate horses of a particular bloodline, such as pure Davenports, you would
take the stud book and start with the imported horse and check all their
offspring and their offspring's offspring, making certain that the horses
they were bred to were of the desired bloodline. We did have one advantage,
though. All the horses were in one stud book.
Wrench was the best tracer of Davenport horses, as his job kept him on
the road, and Jimmy always had time for a side trip to see horses. Jimmy
knew almost every pure Davenport horse in existence, but the problem then
was getting the owners to sell. If it was a mare he wanted and couldn't
get the owner to sell, he would often try to get the owner to breed her
to a Davenport stallion.
448 was about the only pure Davenport stallion in southern California,
and he met an untimely death in 1943.
folks went to Texas in 1945 or 1946 and bought HANAD
489 (*Deyr 33 - Sankirah 149). HANAD
was pure Davenport and equally as well known as ANTEZ.
We have owned several well-known Arabians such as
*RAFFLES 952, *RASEYN
597, and *AZIZA
888, but to me there was always something special about HANAD.
He had been at the Kellogg ranch in the early 30's and was trained to jump
rope, Spanish walk, and other dressage gaits. Somewhere in his travels
he had broken one of his front legs. He stood with this leg bent at the
knee. When we would put a halter on him and bring him out, you would forget
all about his broken leg. He was all show horse. He reminded me of Jim
gentle as a kitten in his stall, but all fire and 20 feet tall when
you showed him off.
of the people who had pure Davenport mares brought them to
HANAD, and some beautiful
foals were produced. Best known, of course, was IBN
could only dream about owning an Arabian mare. Even though prices
were much lower than today, my income was even lower.
day we had a visitor at the ranch, a Mr. Alvin Yoder of Corcoran, California.
Mr. Yoder had had Arabians for years but was now wanting to retire. He
had an old mare that he wanted to find a home for. He would sell her at
a very reasonable price. Her name was POKA
438. We looked her up in the stud book and
found she was pure Davenport. She was by *HAMRAH
28, the leading sire of all the Davenport horses.
imported from the desert in 1906. She was out of SHERIA
110, who was by *ABBEIAN
111 (the sire of Jadaan) and out of *URFAH
40, the dam of *HAMRAH.
As far as I was concerned, this was the cream of the Davenport horses.
Mr. Yoder told me she wasn't in very good condition and was 25 years old.
bought her sight unseen, a mare that was seven years older than
I was, to breed to a stallion who was six years than I was. Even though
the price was reasonable, $250, it was still 25% of my annual income.
drove to Corcoran to pick up POKA.
She was showing her age. Her worst problem was her eyes. They were
irritated, and the lower lids were swollen. We would bathe her eyes several
times a day, and that seemed to make her more comfortable.
bred her to HANAD
in early 1947. She presented me with a stud foal on February 28,
1948. The baby was very weak and had extremely crooked front legs. I was
sick about his legs, but everyone told me they would straighten and, sure
enough, they did.
the foal and feeding him was hard on POKA
and she died shortly after we weaned the baby. She was a very sweet
dispositioned mare and a good mother.
named the foal TRIPOLI,
a name that had stuck in my mind from the North African campaign
of World War II.
the summer of 1950 the North Koreans attacked South Korea, and I found
myself in the Army. I lost my interest in horses and asked my Mother to
years later the flame of my romance with the Arabian horse was rekindled.
I visited Charles Craver in southern Illinois,
the man who had purchased TRIPOLI.
Charles is without question the most knowledgeable person concerning
the Davenport horses I have ever met.
is a funny thing that my time in the service resulted in my losing interest
in horses, while Charles found his interest in the Davenport horses as
a result of his time in the service. Charles was in the Navy during the
Korean War and was stationed in the San Francisco Bay area. On his free
time he would visit Arabian breeders. On one of these visits he met Jimmy
Wrench and came under the spell of the romance of the Davenport horses.
the summer of 1970 I visited Charles Craver and TRIPOLI.
It was a gratifying experience to get to talk to Charles and to
find that he values TRIPOLI
for the very same reasons I had in mind when I bred him.
had been produced with due regard to the family strains of the parents
and with a desire to produce a pure Davenport offspring. It was my hope
before the mating had been made that the foal to be could play a part in
the continuation of the pure Davenport horses. The key part TRIPOLI
has played in the continuation of the pure Davenports was beyond
my wildest expectations.
interesting aspect to the story of POKA
and the Davenport horses is that today all but three of the horses
on our ranch trace to POKA.
My Mother started, like most breeders, with a very divergent group
of horses. Not only did we have many different types of Arabians, but very
diverse bloodlines. We had Polish, Egyptian, English, South American--you
name it and we had it.
few years ago I talked to my Mother about the fact that she had
eliminated all those other lines. She told me that for her purposes of
extremely intensive inbreeding to SKOWRONEK
she had found her Davenport bottom lines the most dependable.
of the values of the Davenport horses, in my opinion, is their closeness
to the desert in terms of generations. From what I have read and observed,
our western ideas concerning the appearance of an Arabian horse are sometimes
in conflict with the ideas of the desert Bedouin. What I am saying is that
some of us may value short speed, size, high leg action, an extended trot,
color, etc., while in the desert, as the Emir Abd-el-Kader says. "Color
counts for nothing, size for little,and blood is everything."
of the travelors to the desert criticized the conformation of the Arabian
horses and the breeding ideas of the Bedouins, but most of them were astounded
by the soundness and endurance of the Arabian horse. And, after all, it
is we who value their horse and not the other way around.
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