By Carol Lyons, copyright 1988
Used by permission of Carol Lyons
Arabian Visions May 1988
all rights reserved
Chances are that your own Arabians trace to several of the Davenport imports — unless you have a specialized “foreign” breeding program such as pure Polish, straight Egyptian or Spanish. These Davenport ancestors are the special and distinguishing ingredient in American pedigrees that make our Arabians the best in the world!
In 1980 and again in 1984, Jeanne Craver did a random sampling survey of the current stud books and determined that approximately 85 percent to 90 percent of foals with at least one parent born in the USA trace to Davenport bloodlines at an average level of about 12 percent. It is not just the small, backyard breeders that have utilized part Davenports as foundation animals. Part Davenport Arabians are also cleaning up at the shows, and as leading sires and champion producing broodmares. In 1984, the Arabian Horse World did a study of the horses winning the 225 Champion and Reserve Champion and Top Ten awards in both Halter and Performance classes at the 1983 National Championship show. That survey also analyzed the pedigrees of the “leading sire” list. Using only those horses that had at least one parent bred in the United States, their survey showed that 88 percent of the show winners traced to Davenport lines, while 86 percent of the leading sires with at least one parent born here traced to Davenports. (Many, if not most of the other horses included in the statistics were of straight Polish or Egyptian ancestry, but since they had a parent bred in the USA they were included.) The influence of Davenport ancestry continues to be evident at all the national and local shows. The 1987 National Champion and Reserve National mare all carry numerous lines to Davenport imports, on both sides of their pedigrees.
A very brief review of the history of the Davenport Arabians in the USA will help to show the spread and influence of these horses. In 1906, when Homer Davenport, with the financial help of Peter Bradley, imported 27** Bedouin bred horses from the desert, there were already 75 Arabians in this country. (**Only 23 were registered.) Most of the Arabians already here were either imported from, or were descendants of horses imported from England, mostly of Crabbet (Blunt & Ali Pasha bloodlines) breeding. There were also a few survivors of the Hamidie importation. All but one of which were owned by Davenport and/or Bradley. Up until the early to mid 1920’s, the Arabian breeders were few and although they were mostly on the East coast, they tended to develop their own programs more or less independently of each other. Imagine hauling horses with a circa 1920 vehicle! Homer Davenport and Peter Bradley didn’t use the Spenser Borden or W.R. Brown horses, and the reverse was also true. When Peter Bradley began dispersing his Davenport horses, several were sold to the midwest, while others went to California. In 1925, the Kellogg Arabian Ranch in California was founded with 10 straight Davenports (including the stallions Jadaan, Antez, Letan) and five horses of 75 percent Davenport ancestry. A year later, Kellogg imported 15 horses from the Crabbet Stud in England in 1929, after touring Arabian breeding farms in the east. Kellogg purchased four more Davenport mares and the eight-year-old Davenport stallion, Hanad, together with seven high percentage Davenports.
The stage had now been set for blending together the best of the Davenport and Crabbet bloodlines, both at the Kellogg Ranch and elsewhere. At the Kellogg Ranch, the Davenports were bred to each other periodically, as were the Crabbet horses, but a common pattern was to breed the newly imported mares to Kellogg’s Davenport stallions Antez or Jadaan, and especially Hanad. The Davenport mares were frequently bred to the imported stallions *Nasik, *Raseyn and *Ferdin. These were highly successful crosses, in both first and subsequent generations.