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JUST WHAT ARE "DAVENPORT ARABIAN HORSES'?
The term Davenport Arabian refers to any horse which traces in all lines of descent to the horses imported directly from Northern Arabia in 1906 by Homer Davenport. It may also be used when referring to any of the 27 original desert bred horses which he imported. These horses are well documented as coming from the Anezeh and Shammar tribal sources. These were the traditional, aristocratic horse breeding bedouin tribes.
To our knowledge, Davenport Arabians are the only breeding program in the world to trace to a single importation directly from Arabia.
(The mare next door is CH Fairy Flight. She was bred by Andrew Love and is owned by Diane Lyons. Photo by Carol Lyons)
ARE "DAVENPORT" ARABIANS ALSO "AL KHAMSA" ARABIANS?
All Davenport horses are also "Al Khamsa" horses. The original imports qualified as Al Khamsa Foundation Horses, and 18 of the original 27 imports have Al Khamsa eligible descendents while 14 of those Foundation horses have straight Davenport descendents. (see Al Khamsa Arabians II©, 1993)
ARE DAVENPORT ARABIANS PLENTIFUL?
No, there are only about 700 straight Davenports in the world. However the majority of American bred Arabians trace in one or more lines to Davenport ancestors. In fact, their popularity as an outcross source almost led to their extinction. Their bloodlines represent major components in Al Khamsa, the Blue Catalog, and CMK. An estimated 90 percent of American-bred Arabians trace to at least one Davenport ancestor. ("Covering Ground" is the straight Davenport bay stallion Mandarin CF bred by Charles Craver, owned by Carol Lyons and Margaret Smith. Leased to Diane Lyons and Dave Berger. Photo by Carol Lyons.)
WHAT DO THEY LOOK LIKE?
We will let some writers of the past, who knew the Arabian horse in its native home describe what the Davenport Arabian still looks like.
The Davenport Arabian today still looks like the Arabians of the Bedouins!
WHAT ARE ARABIAN STRAINS? DO DAVENPORTS HAVE STRAINS?
The terms 'strain' and 'sub-strain' as applied to Arabian horses are the terms used by Westerners for the Bedouin system of identifying the ancestry of their authentic (*Asil) Arabian horses. The Bedouin term is 'rasan' [al arsaan plural] and it actually has more subtle and complex connotation than the English terms which essentially just mean the family name and the branch of the family. The rasan, or strain/substrain name, is passed through the female line from the mare to all her foals regardless of gender, and so on to all the foals out of her daughters. Examples of strain names are Kuhayleh and Saqlawi. Examples of substrain names are Kuhayleh Haifi and Kuhayleh Krush. A complete rasan includes both strain and substrain.
All of the 27 Arabian horses of the Davenport importation had complete rasans, with both a strain and sub-strain. Today there are representatives of 4 mare lines with 4 strain/substrains among the living straight Davenports.
NOTE: *Asil means ' pure from the original'. Another such term is 'jowad'. Outside of Arabia, 'Asil' is frequently used with less strict standards than by purest breeders in greater Arabia.
WHAT HORSES DID DAVENPORT BRING FROM THE DESERT?
Homer Davenport's historic 1906 trip resulted in the importation of 27 authentic, asil Arabian horses directly to the U.S.A. Many of these horses are to be found as ancestors of the vast majority of the Arabians bred for more than one generation in America. In fact it is the Davenport lines that set the American Arabian apart from most Arabians in foreign countries. About 25 percent of all Al Khamsa horses trace to one or more 'Davenports'. Amazingly, 15 of those original 27 have surviving straight Davenport descendents..
The tribal and strain information shown with each of the following Foundation Davenport horses is adapted from Al Khamsa Arabians, II, 1993, which in turn was compiled from the original desert documents, from Davenport's book My Quest for the Arabian Horse, and/or from the earliest AHRA Stud book entries, which gave strain and tribe information. Please see the Al Khamsa Arabians, II, Foundation Horses section, for more detailed information.
*Abeyah, AHRA # 39 An 1896 bay Abayyah-Sharrakiyah of the Shammar, sired by an Abayyan Sharrak (3). She came from Sheikh Farris Al Jerba, blood brother of Wilfrid Blunt, and was noted both for her speed and for her remarkably beautiful head. Davenport wrote:
Dam of *Haffia by a Hamdani Simri.
*Farha, AHRA #42 A 1900 grey Mu'niqiyah-Sbailiyah of the strain of Hassin El Haj Aly bred by Ibn Aga Zidadh of the Qumusa-Saba Anazah. She was sired by a Mu'niqi-Sbaili of Ibn Tamran of the Amarat. She is the dam of Fartak by *El Bulad and of Kikhle by *Hamrah. *Farha stood over 15 hands high according to Homer Davenport,
Dam of Fartak by *El
Bulad and of Kikhle by *Hamrah.
*Haffia, AHRA # 45 A 1906 chestnut Abayyah-Sharakiyah bred by the Shammar Sired by A Hamdani Simri and out of *Abeyah #39. Davenport wrote in a letter to his family:
(The writer Homer Davenport's,
Dam of Harara by *Deyr
*Hadba, AHRC #43 An 1899 Hadbah-Inzihiyah of Ibn Hazim by a Shuwayman-Sabbah of Ibn Sa'dun of the Muntifiq, out of a Hadbah- Inzihiyah of Ibn Hazim of the Sinjara-Shammar. Davenport writes:
of Meleky by *Haleb and
Killah by *Gomusa.
*Jedah, AHRA # 44 A Hamdani Simriyah Ibn Ghorab of the Shammar tribe sired by a Hamdani Simri. The Ibn Ghorab family are still breeding Hamdani Simris to this day. Davenport wrote:
Dam of Letan by *Muson.
*Reshan, AHRA # 38 Tail female ancestress of the Kuhailat Haifi strain horses, which are the central core of straight Davenport breeding. An 1896 grey Kuhaylah Haifi mare of the Fid'an Anezeh tribe, sired by a Kuhaylan 'Ajuz stallion. Her owner refused 30 female camels for her! (A fortune!). Davenport wrote:
Dam of Hasiker by *Hamrah.
*Urfah, AHRA # 40 An 1898 bay Saqlawi Al Abd mare of the Shammar, by a Saqlawi Jedran. She was finally taken at gun point when her owner tried to renege on his sales agreement. *Urfah is also tail female ancestress of the Saqlawi Davenports. Davenport wrote:
Dam of *Hamrah by a Hamdani Simri,
Saleefy by *Haleb and Sherria
*Wadduda, AHRA # 30 An 1899 chestnut Saqlawi Al Abd mare of Ibn Mhayd of the Fid'an Anezeh tribe, sired by a Dahman (Khumayis). She was known as 'the great War Mare'. Davenport wrote:
The war mare, the present from the Supreme Ruler, was the chestnut. She seemed to be fretting to get out of the only town she had ever been in. In her highly carried tail, I saw some blue beads tied gracefully in her hair. ... Her name they told me was "Wadduda," meaning love; that she was a Seglawie Al Abed, seven years old and had been the favorite war mare of Hashem Bey for four years. She didn't like the town, she wanted to go--and those who told me pointed to the desert."
Dam of Moliah
by *Hamrah and Amran by *Deyr.
*Werdi, AHRA #41 Tail female ancestress of the Kuhaylat Krush strain horses. A chestnut 1901 Kuhaylah-Krush, of the Gomussa-Sabaa Anezeh, sired by a Muniqi-S'baili.
Dam of Tamarinsk by *Hamrah.
*Abbeian, AHRA # 111 A grey Abbeyan Sharrak (Dahwah). His strain information is from the import document of his son, *Mowarda AHRA # 34, who has no descendents. *Abbeian himself was apparently imported by Jack Thompson, a companion of Davenport's on the trip. Davenport wrote:
Sire of Sheria out of *Urfah
and Jadaan out of Amran.
*Azra, AHCR #32 A 1903 grey Saqlawi-Ubayri stallion bred by the Muqathra-Fid'an. By a Kuhaylan-Kurush out of a Saqlawiyah-Ubayriyah of the strain of "Muhareb El Khraz" of the Muqathra." Davenport wrote:
Sire of Joon out of Dahura,
Ah Ben out of Dahura,
Ahamed out of Domow, Abu-Selim out
of Domow, and Zenee out of Domow.
*Azra has living Al Khamsa descendents today, his line unfortunately does
not survive among today's straight Davenports.
*Deyr, AHRA # 33 A1904 chestnut Abayyan-Sharrak of the Anezeh, sired by a Kuhaylan Ajuz. He is the founder of one of the two sire lines within the Davenport program. Davenport wrote:
Sire of Harara out of *Haffia,
Amran out of *Wadduda, Saba
out of *Haffia, and Hanad
out of Sankirah.
*El Bulad AHRA # 29 a 1903 grey Jilfan-Sitam Al-Bulad stallion bred by Musa Ibn Hasan Aga of the Anazah. By a Kuhaylan-Ajuz out of a Jilfan-Sitam Al-Bulad. Davenport wrote:
In his 1909-10 catalog, Davenport wrote:
Sire of Dahura out of Nanshan,
Fartak out of *Farha and
Medinah out of Sultana.
*Gomusa AHRC #31 A 1904 bay Mu'niqi-Sbaili stallion, by a Saqlawi-Jidran out of a Mu'niqiyah-Sbailiyah, bred by the Qumusa-Saba and presented by them to Hickmet Bey, son of the Governor of Aleppo, who in turn presented *Gomusa to Davenport. Davenport wrote:
Sire of Killah out of *Hadba.
*Haleb, AHRA # 25, a 1901 brown Muniqi-Sbaili of the Qumusa -Saba, sired by a Shuwayman-Sabbah. Known as 'the Pride of the Desert', an estimated 100 mares from Riyadh to Aleppo were bred to him in the year before his exportation. From the "Annotated Quest":
In his 1909-1910 catalog,
George Ford Morris, perhaps the foremost American equine artist, and who saw *Haleb in 1907, wrote about him:
Sire of Saleefy out of *Urfah
*Hamrah, AHRA # 28 A bay 1904 Saqlawi Al'Abd of the
Shammar, sired by a Hamdani-Simri and out of *Urfah. He proved to be the
most influential broodmare sire of his era, and his influence continued
for decades after his last foal was born. From 'The Annotated
28 became the most influential stallion in the foundation period of America
breeding through 1946. He sired 53 registered Arabian foals, a total which
was not surpassed until 33 years after the 1906 importation. He was especially
noted as a broodmare sire. In his 1909-10 catalog, Davenport writes of him:
of Moliah out of *Wadduda,
Hasiker out of *Reshan, Sankirah
out of Moliah, Fasal
out of Amran, Tamarinsk out of *Werdi,
and Poka out of Sheria
*Houran AHCR #26 A 1904 bay Kuhaylan-Tamri stallion by the Anazah . By a Hadban-Inzihi of the Anazah out of a Kuhaylah-Tamriyah of the Anazah. Bred by and purchased from the Qumusa-Saba Anazah.
Sire of Bint Nimnaraah out of Nimnaarah and Haaranmin out of Nimnaarah.
*Houran has living Al Khamsa descendents, his line unfortunately does not
survive among today's straight Davenports.
*Kusof AHCR #35 A 1904 bay Mu'niqi stallion from
Amr Bek, a Circassian of Membij, bred by Sofak el Razn of the Fid'an. Sired
by a Jilfan-Sitam El Bulad, dam a Mu'niqi-Hadruj. Davenport wrote:
Sire of Samit
out of *Haffia.
Although *Kusof has living Al Khamsa descendents, his line
unfortunately does not survive among today's straight Davenports.
*Muson, AHRA # 27 A grey 1899 Kuhaylan -Abu Muhsin
of the Rualla Anezeh, sired by a Shuwayman-Sabbah. He was once exhibited
by Buffalo Bill Cody. He is founder of one of the two sire lines within
the Davenport program. From "The Annotated Quest"
George Ford Morris ... wrote of *Muson:
Sire of Letan out of *Jedah.