To ‘Sir’ with Love

To ‘Sir’ with Love
By Debra Mackie all rights reserved
Used by permission of Debra Mackie

He wove his tale full of adventure and danger and the winning of noble horses. He told of his dreams of noble horses. He told of his dreams of the herd that could be and the realization of that dream as years had passed.

He had spent a lifetime creating this treasured herd – as would those who came after him. He grew silent as he looked across the encampment at his mares and his fiery stallion. Engulfed by his thoughts, he was aware only of thundering hoofbeats echoing through his mind, out onto the desert, and across the sands of time.

Lifetimes later and worlds apart, I also heard the echo of those hoofbeats, not on the desert sand but on Midwestern soil. I saw the vision of a Bedouin’s dream – the southern wind made flesh. I saw a horse named Sir.

These are the images that swept through my mind the first time I saw Sir. As this issue is being dedicted to Davenport Arabians, I felt it would be somewhat incomplete without mention of Sir, who is the senior living Davenport stallion.

At the age of 27, he seems to remain impervious to age. And, “Insh’ allah” (Allah willing), he will remain so for many many years to come.

Continue reading “To ‘Sir’ with Love”

Nuns Fret Not

By Charles Craver Copyright 1988 All Rights Reserved
Arabian Visions May 1988

Used by permission of Charles Craver.

Readers who enjoy English literature can take pleasure in Wordsworth’s poem telling how he, too, found restrictions of his own choice a source of freedom.

Nuns fret not at their convent’s narrow room;
And hermits are contented with their cells;
And students with their pensive citadels;
Maids at the wheel, the weaver at his loom,
Sit blithe and happy; bees that soar for bloom,
High as the highest Peak of Furness-fells,
Will murmur by the hour in foxglove bells;
In truth, the prison, unto which we doom
Ourselves, no prison is; and hence for me,
In sundry moods, ’twas pastime to be bound
Within the Sonnet’s scanty plot of ground;
Pleased if some Souls (for such there needs must be)
Who have felt the weight of too much liberty,
Should find brief solace there, as I have found.

William Wordsworth, 1806

Our favorite poem about Arabian horse breeding was written in 1806 by William Wordsworth. Maybe he never saw an Arabian horse, but he wrote a sonnet which is very pertinent for many of today’s breeders of Arabian horses and particularly for the people who are interested in this little group of Arabian horses which are called Davenports.

Wordsworth chose the sonnet form for this poem. The sonnet is one of the most rigorous forms of poetry in the English language. Much can be said in a sonnet, but what makes a sonnet a sonnet is that everything must be stated in 14 lines of rhymed iambic pentameter. No more. No less. Nothing else will do.

Wordsworth’s sonnet begins “Nuns fret not at their convent’s narrow room . . .” He goes on to tell of other people who choose restricted lives yet feel no confinement because their choices are voluntary. Then he expresses his contentment at the restrictions of the sonnet form in poetry.

There was a time when most Arabian horses were owned for very utilitarian purposes. The Arabs had them go on raids, and, when horses ceased to be useful for that purpose, most Bedouin owners no longer kept them. Although the horses are a heritage to us from such hands, they are usually not objects of utility in our lives. In large part, our interest in them is aesthetic.

Where we keep and breed these animals for beauty, we are not so different from William Wordsworth, who was seeking beauty, too; In the strict lines of the sonnet, he found freedom of expression. In the strict lines of Arabian horses, we, too, find freedom to express the loveliness of these horses.

Continue reading “Nuns Fret Not”

“And Noah Begat … “

Copyright 1981 by Charles C. Craver III all rights reserved
The Arabian Horse Journal April, 1981
Used by permission of Charles Craver

When Davenport’s desert importation of 1906 arrived in this country, it included seventeen stallions and colts, eight mares, and two fillies. Davenport may not have realized it at the time, but the proportion of stallions to mares was not out of line for Arabian breeding here where plenty of farms have more stallions than mares. For some strange reason, a surplus of desirable males seems to be intrinsic in the breed.
Continue reading ““And Noah Begat … “”

*Wadduda and what is a Davenport?

Jennifer Hagan asks:

I have a filly that is tail female to Wadduda through her daughter Moliah and Shikirah.
She is 10 generations from Wadduda.
Her sire is a son of Aladda Baskin.
I am wondering why it does not appear that Wadduda is a core Davenport horse.
Also – although I realize that my filly has some GSB and Egyptian SB in her, would she still be a “Davenport” because she is tail female to Wadduda?
And if I bred her back to a core Davenport stallion – would her offspring be Davenports?

Thank for any information you can provide.
Jennifer

*Wadduda 30
Jennifer,

*Wadduda, as one of the original Davenport imports, is most definitely a “core” Davenport. My guess is that you went to our pedigree pages, checked the index for "W", and didn’t see her. The program which produces those indexes is was somewhat literal-minded; you will find *Wadduda listed under the "* and Other Characters" index — but this has since been fixed. [2014-02-16]

Now let’s talk about what we mean when we say a horse is a Davenport. The first sentence of the definition is “Davenport Arabian horses are descended entirely from the historic Davenport Desert Arabian Stud.” Another common term is “straight Davenport”. Of your filly, we would say she is tail female *Wadduda, or tail female Davenport, but since she has additional lines to non-Davenport sources, we would not call her a straight Davenport. We don’t usually talk about “core” straight Davenports; we do use “core” to describe certain foundational breeding groups within the straight Davenports.

Bred to a straight Davenport stallion, we would probably call your filly’s offspring Davenport+ (again, see the definition). Depending on your filly’s exact pedigree, such offspring might also qualify as CMK.

Hope this helps!