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Windt im Wald
A Wind in the Woods
Geauga County, Northeast Ohio
since 1995
 
Carol Lyons Presents
an

Educational Tour
(Davenport Faqs)

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 build of the Arabian is perfect. It is essentially that of utility. He is not large here and small there. There is a balance and harmony throughout his frame not seen in other horses. He is the quintessence of all good qualities in a compact form." -- Homer Davenport, 1909 , "My Quest for the Arabian Horse"

        "The head is very beautiful... it is not particularly short in proportion to the size or height of the horse, but it is large above the eyes and small and short from the eyes to the muzzle.... The center of the eye more nearly divided the length of the head into two equal parts than is observable in other horses; from the top of the head to the center of the eye will often measure as much as from the center of the eye to the upper edge of the nostril." -- Roger D. Upton, 1881, "Gleanings from the Arabian Desert"

        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.

Foundation Mares:

        *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:

       "This mare's head was considered by Bedouins the most perfect of the Anezeh. ... with the greatest jibbah or forehead, I ever saw. ... She had been taken in war by the Anezeh, from the Shammar, across the Euphrates, and her pedigree bore the last seal of Sheikh Faris, the great enemy of the Anezeh, who had been dead two years. She was small, not more than fourteen hands two inches high, but I never saw such beautiful hind quarters and back tendons on anything in horse flesh. ... She was considered among the Anezeh as their greatest race mare..."

       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,

       "Her eyes were large and very black with brilliant high lights, but at the same time with a soft kind look."

        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:

       "Haffez then sent a beautiful Abayan Sheraack filly, 8 months old to Homer ..."

(The writer Homer Davenport's, son)

       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:

       "...we passed an encampment of the Sebaa Anezeh, a brown mare, with a filly colt not more than fifteen days old at her side, was shown to us. Hafez was especially anxious that I should see this filly, as it was sired by the horse I was riding (the Maneghi Sbeyel), and was his double over again, without a single a white hair and with the same peculiar head. She was a dainty little thing as she played round her mother... They were of the family of Hadban Enzekhi, the first we had seen in the desert, and I was glad of the opportunity to buy them ... The mother was a most showy animal, with remarkable shoulders and hips, and the most graceful neck and tail carriage. As the Bedouin owner galloped her here and there over the rocks to show her off, she was beautiful sight. ... Her former owner followed us to Aleppo and then offered us sixty-five pounds Turkish for the colt <*Enzahi 46>, which was then twenty days old. But I kept it."

      Dam 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:

       "The fastest walking mare I ever saw was a Hamdanieh Simrieh filly that was ridden into the desert by Akmet Haffez. She came originally from the Shammar, and was later purchased by me and brought to America. She was a dark bay four years old. I believe that in a walking contest, with the best walkers that could be found in the country, she would be five miles ahead of them at night."

       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:

       "The first mare that was led into view was a flea-bitten, tall and well-made gray mare, standing more than fifteen hands high. She was a Kehileh Heife, a breed much prized, as we had found out from the Anezeh... "

       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:

        "This Seglawieh Jedranieh mare, he said, <Akmet Haffez> was the finest possessed by the Anezeh. ... Mother and son were as much alike in general character, as two peas. There were the same markings on their white legs, the same general character of hind quarters, and the same very "racy" appearance throughout. ... As we departed the mare was a picture. She walked with the grace of a well-bred woman; her tail would gracefully sway from side to side, her ears were ever in motion, and her eyes sparkled. The very sight of her rested us from the long day's ride of the day before and then she broke into a gallop and her swinging tassels were soon lost sight of as she disappeared on the horizon. ... look at her two-year-old son. He seemed finer than others we had of the same age. There was an inherited dignity which the rest did not have. ... sired by the great Hamdani-Simri chestnut horse that the Anezeh are so proud of and thus combined the two rare breeds of the desert, the Seglawi-Jedran and the Hamdani Simri. ... her owner mounted the beautiful mother ... I approached her, and true to the Bedouin custom, she refused to let me come near. She bit at me and pretended to kick, and all this while ragged Bedouins were patting her, and patting her; but me she watched like a hawk."

       Dam of *Hamrah by a Hamdani Simri, Saleefy by *Haleb and Sherria by *Abbeian.

        *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:

        " 'But after all you have not come here to see men. Better than you have come to see horses, and I <Ahmet Haffez> would be selfish if I kept you longer from seeing the greatest mare of our country--the war mare of the Great Hashem Bey--the mare from whose back he killed, among others, his most distinguished enemy.' .. a present to him from the Great Sheikh, who had just been his guest; that in their religious custom no present could equal her; nothing but a gift from Allah, himself, could surpass her. ...

       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.

Foundation Stallions:

        *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:

        "When Akmet Haffez learned that Thompson was my traveling companion he immediately presented him with a young gray stallion ..."

       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:

        "On the second day, a light gray horse colt, four years old, was shown. He had been bred by Sheikh Ali and was a Seglawi Obeyran. His dam was one of the favorite war mares of Hashem Bey ..."

       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.

      Although *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:

        " a chestnut two-year-old, an Abeyan Sherrak, which had been recently brought from Deyr, on the lower Euphrates. This little fellow was so full of life that they had to show him with all four feet hobbled, but he understood the hobbles so well that in his pacing motion he managed to make much play."

       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:

        "... to see a gray colt, a Kehilan Jilfan Stam el Bulada, a young horse whose dam was a distinguished war mare...."

In his 1909-10 catalog, Davenport wrote:

        "... His well-formed body threatens to eclipse even that of Haleb. His lines are extremely pleasant and his bone is good and flat. He has shown great ability at the trot though a frictionless galloper. His mother was a war mare of much repute. ... Jilfans are noted for the peculiar slant of the shoulder and hip and this horse is a striking example of that peculiarity."

       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:

        "The Governor's son, Hickmet Bey, had been presented by the Gomussa tribe with another Maneghi Sbeyel, to take the place of the one which they had given to me. We went to see him. He was two years old, unshod, and stood a fraction over fifteen hands high. He was the most powerfully made horse, I think, it has ever been my pleasure to see. His remarkable hips and shoulders were a sight. There was not a flaw in him. The Bedouins, when they came near him, all bowed. They thought he was a special creation of God, because he had three black feet, the only white being on the left fore foot, which is a special mark of Allah. ... to cap the climax the Governor's son told me that as he had not yet made me a present he would give me this colt. ..."

       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":

        "On an annotated pedigree of *Haleb 25, Davenport describes him as

        'Our great horse. ... This horse was fairly worshiped by the Bedouin of the Anezeh. He was their pride.'

In his 1909-1910 catalog, Davenport says

        '*Haleb was 14 hands, 2 inches high, short-backed, with bone large and flat, shoulder of immense power and slant, and hocks long and well formed. Over 200 mares were due to foal to him within a year between Nejd and Aleppo. It was most unusual for a stallion used so widely at stud by the Bedouin to be exported from Arabia.'

        George Ford Morris, perhaps the foremost American equine artist, and who saw *Haleb in 1907, wrote about him:

        '... I have seen a great many horses and the best horse of all breeds and many strains of blood. I have never yet seen a horse that I could not fault or would not wish to change if I had the making of him over -- with one exception. That one exception is 'Haleb'... He is small, which form the popular standpoint would be a fault. However, passing his size, upon the two occasion when I saw him (in his box and under the saddle), he filled my eye and satisfied my judgment as no other horse ever has. He is a rich, seal brown stallion, short in back, strong in loin, quarters as round as an apple and as beautiful as art could conceive them; strong in neck, of medium length, but superbly carried, and finished in crest and throttle as though sculptured in marble. His head is small, clean and sensible, not extreme in any way, his legs, and way of standing on them, operfect. In his stall he looks a small Wilkes type of trotting stallion, built on a little more perfect lines than you ever saw -- a Wilkes with every flaw in makeup eliminated. Outside, --in motion -- a transformation! The most perfectly beautiful, symmetrically molded, gracefully active, live spirited (and yet absolutely controlled) thing in horse flesh you ever looked at. ... I must mention his remarkable bone. It is the best below the knees and hocks I ever saw." (in Bit & Spur, 4/15/07, pp 308-309)'"

       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 Quest':

        " 'Hamrah, the elder son of 'the distinguished mare,' a Seglawie-Jedran bred by the Anezeh Tribe and purchased from them near the Euphrates River.' (HD)

        *Hamrah 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:

        'This young horse is rapidly rounding into one of the best of the entire importation. ... He is a horse of immense power and finest possible action under the saddle in the gallop. He would impress you at once as a racehorse. ... His exhibit of flat, clean bone is indeed a rare one, and the peculiar oval of his loin is something unusual."

      Sire 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.

      Although *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:

        " we <including Akmet Haffez> started for Sheikh Ali's tribe, the Abogonese, a branch of the Anezeh, who seldom go far south in the desert. Sheikh Ali greeted us warmly and accompanied us on a ten-hour night ride to a Circassian village near the Euphrates,...and bought ... a bay colt with a peculiar dark brown spot on his right flank -- a Maneghi Hedruj. ... bred by the Anezeh."

       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"

        "'Muson, light-grey stallion bred by the Roala Tribe of the Bedouins that lay east of Palmyra. He is Kehilan Muson, meaning listening horses. More remarkable is this horse .. landing from the steamer where he had stood up in his box from the 28th day of August without laying down.' (HD)

        George Ford Morris ... wrote of *Muson:

        'Have seen this stallion led out by his devoted attendant--the Njubian slave boy that Homer also brought home with him from the desert--and invariably assume the same pose. head held high, ears pricked forward, and with eyes intent on some evidently far-off object, he would seem utterly oblivious of what was going on in his immediate surroundings.' (George Ford Morris: Portraitures of Horses p. 255)

      Sire of Letan out of *Jedah.

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