Tripoli / Dharebah: A Davenport Family

Upland Farm
Holliaron, Maine

all right reserved
Arabian Visions May1972

TripoliOf course I am prejudiced. The first of my Davenport horses was — and is — the third TRIPOLI/DHAREBAH foal, JANAN ABINOAM. Better known as “Binni,” a.k.a. “The King of Upland Farm,” he is a 1960 grey stallion. In the last few years, more than 20 other Davenport horses have joined him and the other Arabians at my farm, including Binni’s full siblings PRINCE HAL (a 1959 grey stallion), PERICLES (a 1965 grey stallion) and LADY FAIR (a 1966 grey mare). The head of the family, SIR (a 1958 grey stallion) is in charge of Alice Martin Kuhn’s Star West stables, and the other full sibling LADY GREY (a 1961 grey mare) is now deceased. What makes these horses so special?

DharebahFirst, there is the simple fact that a successful nick was recognized and repeated often enough to create a family of siblings, a rarity in the horse-breeding world. Mares that produce will tend to be put to many different sires. When a mare has most or all of her foals by one sire and they are all identifiably worthy individuals, that fact alone is noteworthy. For example FADJUR has many famous offspring, but the family he produced from SAKI is particularly well-known. DHAREBAH’s foals by ARAMIS, MONSOON and TYBALT were also exceptional but their fame is a little overwhelmed by the size and vigor of her family by TRIPOLI.

Of today’s living Davenports, about 1 in 10 is by a Tripoli-Dharebah stallion or out of a Tripoli-Dharebah mare. (Sir sired 28 Davenport foals; Prince Hal 26 with his 27th due in April; Janan Abinoam started at age 25 and now has four Davenport foals, with five more due in 1988; Pericles sired seven, Lady Grey had 10 foals and Lady Fair has had seven with an eighth due in April.) What has made these horses so popular?

Charles Craver has described Dharebah’s six Tripoli foals as a continuum — they certainly do not make a matched set. True, they are all grey (though bred to each other they have brought back Tripoli’s Chestnut color) but here similarities become more subtle. Sir is a balanced, vigorous horse moderate in every way, nothing flashy except his spirit. His eyes are enormous and filled with mischief and intelligence. He passes on balance and conformation and a free, springy way of going. Prince Hal is a horse of ethereal beauty, the mount for the Queen of Elfland. He always maintains a serious expression yet can be extraordinarily naughty. His grandget in particular seem to have inherited his extreme refinement and almost feminine beauty. Janan Abinoam is an imposingly masculine stallion with a crested neck and big flat cheeks and remarkably level croup. If the success of his other purebred stock is mirrored in his Davenport foals, they will be as notable as Sir’s and Hal’s. Pericles is a little leaner and longer, mid-way in type between Sir and Janan Abinoam. Like all the brothers, he has a high opinion of himself and it shows in his intelligent, lively face. Lady Grey, I never met, but her get and grand-get are very attractive and have founded important families within the context of Davenport breeding. Lady Fair is one of the handsomest of living Davenport mares even at age 23, like her brother Sir, balanced, correct, good-legged. She has the slightly longer points of a mare — foreface, ears, trunk — in contrast to Sir’s shorter coupling and somewhat neater finish. Bred to each other they have produced two young horses of great potential: FAIR SIR and FAIRLEE CF.

The vitality shared by this family of horses, even in extreme old age, comes from their ancestors as surely as their structure, movement and beautiful faces. Consider their sire, Tripoli. His last foals were sired when he was 29; he himself was born to a 27-year-old mare, POKA, and sired by a 26-year-old stallion, HANAD. Hanad’s sire, the desert-bred stallion *Deyr, was born in 1904, as was Poka’s sire, the desert-bred *HAMRAH. These long generations makes possible the close link between horses born today and horses born in Arabia back around the turn of the century. The Tripoli daughter PROPRIETY, on lease to Upland Farm from the Craver’s, is thus a 10-year-old mare whose sire’s grand-sires were both born in the Arabian desert in 1904. And yet if all goes well she may herself still be foaling after the year 2000.

From their dam, Dharebah, a fair measure of vitality can be found in the presence of three of the most notable early Davenport horses: *MUSON, his son LETAN, and ANTEZ. *Muson, born in the desert in 1899, impressed many American horsemen upon his arrival in 1906, and was chosen by “Buffalo” Bill Cody to be his mount in one of his Wild West shows. *Muson’s son LETAN was an extremely handsome and vital horse, ridden and admired by Will Rogers both on and off-screen. Letan in his turn sired DHAREB, Dharebah’s sire. Dharebah’s dam was sired by Antez, the beloved golden horse of Kellogg Ranch. Antez was admired for his speed, color and for his docility; the same horse who set speed records in this country — and was exported to Poland on the strength of this fact — was also trusted by W.K. Kellogg as a mount — and he was not a bold or accomplished rider.

It wouldn’t be fair to leave this discussion of Tripoli and Dharebah’s ancestors without saying a few more words about Hanad. Before he broke his foreleg and came to Alice Payne’s Ranch in Chino, CA to spend his last years, he was another of the stars of Kellogg Ranch. A burnished dark chestnut horse with long-necked, high-headed Saklawi beauty, he had a “High School” dressage routine that included “skipping rope” and formed an important part of the Sunday entertainments at the Ranch. His showy beauty made him a popular subject for photos and portraits, and he made a considerable mark in early show horse breeding, for example through IBN HANAD (sire of TSALI the sire of Tsatyr) and Handeyraff, and Hanraff and other get, grand-get and great-grand-get.

It was Alice Payne who rescued Hanad, but her son Pat saved his money to buy old Poka, a daughter of the great broodmare sire *Hamrah. Alice had noted that *Hamrah daughters seemed to breed on particularly well and her son made it possible for Poka’s last foal to be her first and only straight Davenport one. Thus, though Alice Payne’s name is better known in the context of her line-bred *Raffles program, all lovers of Davenport horses owe her and her family an enormous debt of gratitude.

I feel an enormous debt of gratitude myself, to the people who have made it possible for me to have four of the Tripoli/Dharebah siblings (and eight of their get, with more on the way). Janan Abinoam was my first Davenport and it is for love of him that I have assembled this particular family and decided to try and keep it breeding on within its own context. Of course, these horses are beautiful, they are rewarding to train and fun to ride and aesthetically satisfying to breed but the reasons go even deeper. These are noble horses, vital horses, desert horses. To own them, ride them, breed them and admire them, is to take a trip back in time and space to the Arabian desert at the turn of the century. There, among the Anazeh Bedouin, their ancestors were tended in tents and ridden in battle. There the foundations were laid for bloodlines that would breed true, taking the Bedouin’s greatest gift into future generations far distant in space and time.