By Charles C. Craver III
of Craver Farms,
used by permission of Charles Craver
The Arabian Horse News May, 1974
The ultimate achievement for an Arabian breeder in the successful importation of breeding stock from Arabia. Nothing else comes up to it: numbers bred, champions shown, importations form other sources, books written—none of these together can compare with having made the importation directly from the desert. In modern times, the number of breeders who have had the distinction of making such importations is extremely small. Probably the really successful ones can be numbered on the fingers of one’s hands, if not on the fingers of a single hand.
When Homer Davenport returned from Arabia in 1906 with his importation of Arabian horses, he could not have been unaware that he was one of those few people who had done the big thing, that by going directly to the Bedouin tribes of the desert to obtain horses he had acted in the tradition of Abbas Pasha, Upton, and the Blunts. He arrived in America with the recollection fresh that the Bedouins themselves had told him that the horses he was bringing were the only horses within their memories of authenticated pedigree which had left the desert. Their lives were short, and their memories did not cover a long span of years, but it was still a statement of significance: an indication that what he had obtained was more than just a boatload of horses.
So, as he arrived in America, he had reason to be satisfied with himself and to be proud of his achievement. Probably he anticipated its acclaim by other Arabian breeders. Probably he expected to enjoy a certain amount of public glory and then to settle down to years of enjoyment in making use of the unique breeding stock which had been obtained.
As a matter of fact, things did not work out that way.
Continue reading “At the Beginning (Part I)”