im Wald Farm Geauga County, Northeast
Ohio since 1995
Articles of History:
By Thornton Chard
from The Horse May-Jun 1942
Such horses are
The jewels of the horsemen's hand and thighs,
They go by the word and hardly need the rein.
John Brown's Body, Book v.
S. V. Benet
Kismet, Garaveen, Maiden. the mention of
these horse notables in Mr. Albert W. Harris' timely article, "Arabs
for the Remount," in the November -December THE HORSE, where he describes
the Remount's plan of a separate stud for breeding pure-bred Arabs,
prompts this review of the circumstances of the arrival of the descendants
of some of these particular individuals, and of some of their kin, in
the United States. For it is owning, in part, to them that the Remount
is able to carry out its plan so important to the future horse stock
of the Western Hemisphere; and possibly of Europe too.
In 1875 the late Major Roger D. Upton,
author of Newmarket and Arabia (1) and
of Gleanings from the Desert of Arabia, (2)
having been commissioned by Albert G. Sandemen, M.P., and Henry Chaplin,
M.P., brought from the Desert to England, among other horse, four individuals:
a chestnut colt, the horse Yataghan and the mares Zulieka and Haidee.
The cost of his importation was $62,000 in gold. (3)
selected [these horses] from the Gomussa with the assistance
of their Chief who was the greatest man and the greatest authority
on horses among the Bedouins. The Gomussa breed none but pure horses."
As a result of the mating of Haidee and
Yataghan, the chestnut filly Naomi was born in England in 1876. And,
with her importation to the United States, in 1888, by Randolph Huntington,
the first opportunity, since Keene Richards
time, to breed pure Arabs, in a serious and intelligent way, was made
use of by Huntington who, convinced of the necessity of the Arab "yeast,"
saw his chance by reason of the previous arrival of General Grant's
two Eastern horses Leopard and Linden
In the following letter Huntington tells
how he acquired Naomi:
"It was by
accident that I got the mare Naomi. Capt. Upton died; then the Rev.
Vidal got her, (5) and as Vidal was about
to be retired from his living, it was proposed by
Lady Anne Blunt
and the Hon Etheldred Dillon that he let me have her. Immediately
he offered her to me (it is true the price was strong) I accepted
her by cable. After I got her over I was offered three prices for
her return. I even had offers for her from Algiers; but I did not
buy her to sell but to breed...." (6)
That Naomi's value was known in England
is shown by a letter to Vidal from W. S. Blunt who wrote:
"I think the idea of changing a mare
is a good one and I should like to send someone down to see Naomi. I
have two mares that I shall be willing to part with this year, and perhaps
a third.... I hope if you are coming this way you will pay us another
visit at Crabbet this summer and in the meantime if we can come to an
arrangement for exchanging I shall be very glad as I know the breeding
of your mare must be correct." (7)
Vidal sent to Huntington a copy of Blunt's
letter on which Vidal wrote:
did not come off because I did not consider either of the three
[Blunt] mares at equal to Naomi."
As already mentioned, Naomi arrived in
America (Rochester, N.Y.) in 1888. She was not bred in 1889, but in
1890 Huntington made use of General Grant's horse Leopard by whom she
produced the chestnut colt Anazeh. (7a)
He was her fifth foal, as she had already produced four in England,
the fourth having been the chestnut filly Nazli by the desert-bred steeple-chase
At this point a slight digression is necessary
in order to show how some of Naomi's offspring in England were bred
to a famous desert-bred Arab sire and how his and some of Naomi's descendants
got to the United States; and a few other things.
The "cloth" (8)
has contributed more sportsmen to England than to America, so, it is
not surprising to learn that the famous desert-bred racing Arab Kismet
was owned by the rector of Creeting St. Mary, the Rev. F. Furse Vidal,
through whose good offices he was rented to and imported by Huntington
to die a few hours after landing in New York. (9)
This tragedy in the horse world temporarily
delayed the important and patriotic plans of Huntington who not only
intended to breed pure Arabs, but, by uniting the bloods of Arab and
Clay, sought to give the United States a national horse built on blood
as good if not better than that from which the English thoroughbred
was created. (10) However, the delay was brief,
for, with typical courage he at once opened negotiations again with
Vidal for the purchase and importation of more of the same blood in
a group of individuals comprising Nazli, daughter of Naomi, Garaveen,
Naomi's grandson and Nazli's son Nimr. (11)
As both Garaveen and Nimr were sons of
Kismet his loss, though tragic in its dramatic suddenness and because
of his remarkable turf career, was not irreparable, for, luckily these
sons were living and available; and, under the devoted personal supervision
of Vidal the group landed safely, in New York, the spring of 1893 (12)
So, in the year 1893 the United States
could boast of the blood of the desert-bred Yataghan in his daughter
Naomi, in his granddaughter Nazli and in his great grandsons Nimr and
Garaveen; and of the blood of the desert-bred Kismet in his sons Nimr
and Garaveen; and of Naomi himself and her blood in her daughter Nazli
and in her grandsons Nimr and Garaveen. Besides the blood mentioned
there was that of Blunt's highly prized Saqlawi Jidrani horse Kars in
Garaveen and of Miss Dillon's desert-bred Muniqi-Hadruj horse Maidan
in Nazli and Nimr. All in all a closely related group mostly of the
Muniqi-Hadruj strain of which Carl Raswan
of the Kismet, Maidan, Naomi, Khaled, Nimr, Yataghan, Haidee blood
lines are the most important in America as far as speed, size and
bigger bone are concerned." (13)
Vidal's opinion of the blood value of the
group of horses that Huntington imported and his regret at having to
part with them was frankly expressed in a letter to Huntington in which
your letter which concluded our bargain [the purchase of Nazli,
Nimr and Garaveen] I have received an offer of LB 2,000 for Nimr;
and had there been time I perhaps should have asked you to let me off.
But, on consideration, I feel satisfied that it is as well as it is
-- (tho', of course, the difference in price is a serious consideration
to me) I am happy to think he will be in the hands of such a thorough
believer in the value of blood, as you --than that he should be lost
in the general crowd. (14)
Huntington, you are now receiving the fruits of 35 years of careful
study, expenditure and experience. Alas! Alas! that it should come
to this. One soweth but another reapeth. You will have the finest
stain of blood that has ever come out of the desert and it should
be your task to preserve it pure for the use of future generations.
Huntington in his letters and in his stud
bills always stressed the fact that he had a group of horses "of
one family blood" and it was his intention always to preserve a
group whose blood was "intensified" by being interbred in the
same family. And, when it is recalled that at this date little was known,
outside of Arabia, about the different strains and their special values,
Huntington should be credited with close observation in his pioneer
breeding experiments, for, besides the Muniqi strain he had individuals
of other strains whose characteristics, he noted, differed from those
of the Muniqi. His close study of the offspring of the few strains that
he had the opportunity to observe led him to declare that the Arabian
horse was in different families with different instincts.
(3) Included in the Upton importation were the
following colts and mares, the portion of the Hon. Henry Chaplin ex-British
Minister of Agriculture and breeder of Hermit and other Derby winners:
Jocktan, bay colt
3 1/2 years old; Ishmael, dark bay colt
2 years old;Kesia
bay mare 10 years old; Keren-Happuch,
chestnut mare 8 or 9 years old. (The Arab Horse Stud Book, Vol. 1, No.
4). As the Chaplin lot were not kept as a pure-Arab Stud and as their
descendants, so far as is known, never came to America, they do not
concern this review.
(4) Except from a letter of F. F. Vidal, Dec.
24, 1895, to Randolph Huntington.
(5) Vidal bought Naomi from Albert G. Sandeman.
(6) Huntington to C. V. Bouthillier, Dec. 17,
(7) Blunt to Vidal, Feb 2, 1885.
(7a) Foaled May 10, 1890; bred and owned by
Huntington who in a letter to the press, May
25, 1890, wrote:
"That Naomi should be brought from the
Desert[in her dam]to England, and there
produce a son [ Gomussa, sold to the Chilean government]
to an Arab horse [Kouch] presented by the Sultan of Turkey,
Murad V, to the Princess of Wales, and then come to America and
produce another son [Anazeh] to the credit of an Arab
[Leopard] presented to a representative of the American people
[General Grant], by a second Sultan of Turkey, Abdul Hamid
II, is singular, if not phenomenal."
(8) It may not be known generally that John Wesley,
the renowned English evangelist, was a great horseman and cross-country
rider. On his tours about the country he rode above 100,000 miles with
slack rein. He wrote a sermon on the horse prophesying that at the last
days horses would enjoy a state of exalted happiness. (The Horse
(English) vol. VIII, No. 31, p. 199).
(9) For a detailed account of Kismet's remarkable
career, see The Horse (Washington, D.C. )vol. 19, No. 1, Jan.
(10) In Bruce's American Stud Book (vol. VI,
1894, pp. 1165-1168 inclusive) are registered 51 Americo-Arabs; most
of them bred and owned by Randolph Huntington.
(11) Besides these three Vidal brought over on
the same ship a bay Arab, Ibex, by Miss
Dillon's El Emir, for Fullerton Phillips of Philadelphia. Ibex did not
enter into the breeding project here described.
(12) Shortly after his arrival Vidal went to
the Chicago Exposition to judge Arab and other classes.
(13) Western Horseman. Jan. - Feb., 1942.
It was claimed that the Darley Arabian was a
Muniqi. "Later discovery of his pedigree in the files of the Darley
family proved him to be a Muniqi Hadraji....From him descended Flying
Childers." (W. R. Brown. The Horse of the Desert. New York,
1929, p. 126.)
(14) Vidal to Huntington, May 20, 1893.
image of Rectory:
CREETING ST. MARY
Reproduced from a photograph through the courtesy
of Mrs. H. A. Fleetwood, wife of the present (1936) rector who succeeded
the Rev. Vidal.
Image of church:
CREETING ST. MARY CHURCH
The late Rev. F. Furse Vidal, who owned "Kismet,"
"Naomi," "Nazli," "Nimr" and "Garaveen" and bred the last three and
from whom the late Randolph Huntington bought the last four, was at
the time and for many years the rector of this church. In one of his
letters he wrote: "I have been much occupied of late with various
Parish matters ... I have had five sermons to preach in the last week
-- this means a good deal of time and thought." (1)
For recreation he indulged in a small breeding stud and with his sons
and daughters was active in the hunting field.
"St. Mary's stands on the top of a hill
[near Needham Market], surrounded by trees, and is a building
of flint and stone in a variety of styles .... The registers date from
Reproduced from a photograph through the courtesy
of Mrs. H. A. Fleetwood, wife of the present (1936) rector, who succeeded
the Rev. Vidal.
(1) Vidal to Huntington, Xmas day, 1903.
(2) "County Churches -- Suffold." T. Hugh Bryant.
Photo of 2 handwritten pages
Pages 1 and 5 of Vidal's letter
to Huntington quoting Upton's Note
about His Importation of Valuable Arabian Stock. the letter in full
"Mrs. Upton cannot remember the date of
the arrival -- but she thinks it must have been in March or April
1875 or 1876. the latter date would tally with 'Naomi's' age and
with what Mr. Sandeman told me."
"In a note he, Upton, says:
'I have tried to get a Managhi Hedrudj of the family of Ibn
Sbeyel of the Gomussa tribe of Sebaa Anezeh which I hold to be the
best breed in the Desert. I have succeeded and one of them is now
in my stable. I had enquired at the same time about the mares; and
two have come of the same family. The four are as follows: No. 1.
Chestnut stallion, 4 yrs. old. 14.2. His dam a Keheilet Jeabeh taken
from the Heissa Anezeh, and his sire the famous Keheilan Hellawi
of the Shammar tribe. No. 2. Pearl Grey stallion with black mane
and black tail, tipped with white, 4 years old 14.2 His dam "Managhi
Hedrudj" of Ibn Sbeyel family of Gomussa anezeh, and his sire of
the same breed, now in the stud of the King of Italy. No. 3. Bay
mare 5 years old 14.1 1/2. Same breed as No. 2, but dam and sire
not the same. No. 4. Chestnut mare 4 years old 14.3. Same breed
as No. 2 and 3, but dam and sire not the same. Noted for speed and
" 'The Keheilan Hellawi, sire of the chestnut colt,
is preferred to any Seglawi Jedraan stallion for covering mares,
on account of the constant success of his progeny -- colts got by
him are always sought after. All horses bear the name of the breed
of the dams and this Keheilan jeeban is therefore considered first
class, as that is on of the best varieties of the Keheilan Adjooz
breed. The Hellawi strain is also a branch of the Keheilan Adjooz
-- but not in general so much thought of as the sire of this chestnut
colt is in particular. The Managhi Hedruj is highly esteemed as
a breed -- and those of the family of Ibn Sbeyel of the Gomussa
tribe are known as the best strain of that blood though not always
so handsome as some other breeds.'
" 'The name means "long necked." Jeeban is the :proved"
and Hellawi "the sweet".'
"I also send you a facsimile of a translation
made by Upton of the delivery note and description of my old mare
Zulieka (the No. 3, I presume) -- the others have been lost.
"I think these notes of Uptons which have
only just been unearthed, will go far to confirm you in what I have
always told you, that Naomi's blood is the finest and best that
could possibly be.
"P.S. You will note that the Shiek Suleyman
ibn Mirschid is the famous chief of the Gomussa spoken of by Upton
in [and] Lady A. Blunt in their books."
Photographed from a letter found among the letters
and papers of the late Randolph Huntington.
Image of a facsimile
"Fac Simile of a translation [from the Arabic]
made by Roger D. Upton of the delivery note and description of my old
mare "Zulieka" (the No. 3 I presume) -- the others [translations for
other horses] have been lost." (Excerpt from a letter, Jan. 15,
1896, of F. F. Vidal to Randolph Huntington.)
"The No. 3" refers to a quotation by Vidal of
Upton's description of the Arabian horses and mares imported to England
No. 1 in the same letter refers to Chestnut colt.
No. 2 in the same letter refers to "Yataghan."
No. 4 in the same letter refers to "Haidee."
"Yataghan" and "Haidee" were sire and dam of
"Zulieka" was half-sister "Haidee." All these
horses were registered in the G.S.B.
Reproduced from a photograph of the original
found among the letters and papers of the late Randolph Huntington.
Photo of "NAOMI"
"Naomi," a chestnut sorrel, of the Munigi-Hadraji
strain, 15 1/2 hands high, was imported to England in 1875, in her dam
"Haidee," from the Euphrates Valley, by Captain Roger D. Upton of the
9th Lancers. Her sire, "Yataghan," and her dam "were full brother and
Foaled in 1876, the photograph shows her at nineteen
years of age with her ninth foal, the colt "Khaled," thirteen days old.
Up to 1898, the year she died, she had produced twelve foals as follows:
1884, bay colt "Gomussa," by Princess of Wales'
Saqlwai-Jidrani Arab "Kouch."
1885, not bred.
1886, chestnut filly "Kushdil," by S. W. Blunt's
Saqlwai-Jidrani Arab "Kars."
1887, bay filly "Naama," by Hon. Miss Dillon's
Shammar Arab "El Emir."
1888, chestnut filly "Nazli," by Hon. Miss Dillon's
Muniqi-Hadraji Arab "Maidan."
1889. not bred.
1890, chestnut colt "Anazeh," by Gen. Grant's
Saqlwai-Jidrani Arab "Leopard."
1891, seal brown filly "Ruth Clay," by the Americo-Arab
"Young Jack Shepard.
1892, bay colt "Boaz Clay," by "Young Jack Shepard."
1894, chestnut colt Nejd, by Arab "Anazeh."
1895, chestnut colt "Khaled," by Arab "Nimr."
1896, chestnut filly "Naomi II," by Arab "Nimr."
1897, chestnut filly "Narkeesa," by Arab "Anazeh."
1898, chestnut filly "Naressa," by Arab "Anazeh."
Reproduced from a photograph found among the
letters and papers of the late Randolph Huntington.
(1) While this is the oft repeated statement,
Vidal quotes Upton that they were of the same family but of different
Photo of "Nazli"
(G.S.B. Vol, XVI, p. 655
By "Maidan" [G.S.B. Vol. XVI, p. 657] out of
"Naomi"; height 14h. 3 in., without shoes. Measures under knee 7 7/8
in. chestnut mare (same color as "Naomi") white star on forehead. Splendid
shoulders; clean flat legs and good feet-- hocks good -- but not quite
so fine as "Kushdil's." Was quiet to ride last year but has been turned
out October as she is believed to be in foal to "Mesauod" (Lady A. Blunt's
horse). Stands true. Action like her Mother's. This mare is considered
to be the handsomest Arab mare in England. Carries her tail high and
straight. Plenty of good strong hair on fetlocks. (1)
"Nazli" and "Nimr" are beauties of the first
"Nazli" was foaled in England in 1888. She was
7 years old as shown here, held by Mr. Huntington, with her second foal,
"Naarah." She had produced, when 3 years old, "Nimr" in England. Up
to 1904 she had produced one foal in England and nine in America, as
1891, "Nimr" chestnut colt by "Kismet."
1895, "Naarah" chestnut filly by "Anazeh."
1896, "Naaman" chestnut colt by "Anazeh."
1897 "Nazlina" chestnut filly by "Anazeh."
1898 "Nadab" chestnut colt by "Anazeh."
1899, "Nazlita" chestnut filly by "Khaled."
1900, "Nazlet" chestnut filly by "Khaled."
1901, "Nejdran" chestnut colt by "Anazeh."
1903. "Nahor" chestnut colt by "Anazeh."
1904, "......." chestnut filly by "Anazeh."
Reproduced from a photograph found among the
letters and papers of the late Randoph Huntington.