by Christa-Maria Grier
A number of years ago, while searching for my image of the perfect Arabian horse, I was fortunate to find Oberon #15686 (Tripoli x Dhalana).
Oberon was a beautiful Davenport bay stallion of the Kuhaylan-Hayfi strain. He came as close as any horse I had yet seen to my image of the perfect Arabian.
He was exactly the type of stallion on which I could build a breeding program. He combined rare and authentic desert bloodlines, great beauty, sure-footed athleticism, and a warm and gentle personality.
Fortunately, I was able to purchase Oberon from Alton V. Freeman, who requested at the time of purchase that Oberon be allowed to run free with his mares, and this routine has been followed ever since.
Oberon is ridden each morning for about one hour, and then is turned loose with his mares for the rest of the day.
Each evening he is stalled, brushed, sheeted and settled down with his favorite cat on his back. This has been his routine for many years, and it seems to agree with him, as at 27 years of age Oberon is healthy and very lively.
Through the years, Oberon has demonstated a rare personality and disposition that make him the ideal family stallion.
His gentleness is amptly demonstrated by his willingness to babysit weanling fillies during their first separation experiences from their dams.
Later, Waddarlah #34315 (El Alamein x Trisarlah) became available, and I purchased her as my foundation Davenport mare. Waddarlah is a lovely chestnut mare of the rare Hadbah-Inzihiyah strain.
At the time of purchase, Waddarlah was one of only two straight Davenport mares of the Hadban-Inzihi strain. By breeding Oberon to Waddarlah, we were able to contribute to the perservation of the straight Davenport Hadbans.
The Oberon and Waddarlah foals we have had have been remarkably consistent in type and style, typically being quite leggy horses with well laid-back and free-floating shoulders, contributing to a unique and marvelous ground-covering movement. They have left a breeding legacy, as seven of the existing 14 Davenport Hadban-Inzihi breeding stock are their get.
Three of the Oberon x Waddarlah get are mares, all very pretty bays. Bint Oberon and Aischia are both with Jerry and Debra Dirks of Colorado, and Naschla is a yearling I am retaining for our own breeding program at Colonial Farm.
The remaining four horses are stallions. Al Kfir is with Sherry Steed Skeen of North Carolina. Hedjahn is owned by Paul and Mary Doerpholz of Colorado.
Hannes is with Jackie Cochran of North Carolina. Aghba has been retained as a part of our breeding program.
Aghba #214330 represents the temperament and athletic ability of the (Oberon x Waddarlah cross. Mrs. John (Joyce) Lauby of Fayetteville, N.C., entered Aghba as a 4-year-old in the 1985 Horse Creek Valley, S.C., competitive trail ride.
They won both the Novice Heavyweight Division and the Novice Sweepstakes Trophy. Despite heavy sand and high temperatures, Aghba scored the full 100 points possible on his conditioning scorecard.
He lost no points for manners, and was the only horse to carry the weight of a standard western stock saddle for rider comfort.
Over the years, our breeding program of straight Davenports of the Hadban-Inzihi strain has provided much enjoyment and personal fulfillment.
We also have discovered that our Davenport stallions cross exceptionally well with Egyptian mares, providing us with a second focus in our breeding program.
Whether bred in straight Davenport lines or crossed with Egyptian mares, the Davenport blood offers a modern continuation of ancient desert standards and values.