by Claire Garceau of
El Janan Arabians, Blackstone, Mass.
Arabian Horse News August 1972
Davenports “happened” to me many year ago when I bought my first half-Arabian mare, sired by the Davenport stallion KOKHLESON (Ashmar x Kokhle). I found this mare to be very different from any horse I had ever known. Besides being versatility itself, she had a special “human” quality I now know to be particular to Davenport Arabians.
Later on, we acquired a nice-looking purebred stallion and were having a fine time riding and showing him. One day I was browsing through the NEWS and saw an advertisement for Craver Farms and their Davenports. I wrote to Charles and, after several friendly and informative letters, we sold our stallion and were picking an unborn foal from Charles’ list of expecting mares. I chose DHAREBAH (Dhareb x Antarah), who was in foal to TRIPOLI (Hanad x Poka), hoping for a colt. Well, “he,” JANAN ABINOAM 11433 was born, and Charles kindly kept him a year until we could go to Illinois to bring him home. We brought him home in late June and showed him at the New England Arabian Show in July, where, to our delight, he took second in his class.
He was not shown again until he was old enough to be under saddle. We showed mostly at open shows; there weren’t many with Arabian classes then. He was shown both English and western in a variety of classes that ran from pleasure to road hack to costume and everything between! When permitted, he went in lead line, walk-trot, and regular equitation classes. During all this he continued to be everyone’s favorite trail-riding horse too!
In May 1968, he was in a terrible trailer accident and there were doubts that he would come through it. But he did, and the vet said it was his intelligence that did it. No matter how he hurt him, “Binnie” seemed to know that Dr. Maury was trying to help him. He made a remarkably fast recovery and soon was being ridden bareback by one of his little friends, still with an open hole in his side. It has left scars that he will always carry; it took over one hundred stitches to put him together inside before the vet began on the skin outside. Other than the scars, it has not bothered him, and we are very thankful.
Until 1970, Binnie had been shown western more than any other way. We suddenly decided to really show, and, since there are so few western Arabian classes at the show, we switched him to English pleasure. He enjoyed it, and his enjoyment was evident in the way he would really go at a beautiful extended trot. He was doing great when, in the middle of show season, we lost our rider. So we handed Binnie over to 13-year-old Jessica Barry, who had been riding for less than a year. When the Massachusetts Horsemen’s Council tallied up points at the end of the year, Jessie and Binnie came out Champion Arabian. He made two wins at the end of the year in the North Shore Horsemen’s Council that were also great. One was Champion English Pleasure Arabian, and the other, even more impressive, was Reserve Champion Gentleman’s Pleasure Horse. This, of course, was in open competition against all breeds of horses being shown both English and western.
We have always shown our Arabians in open shows and usually do well. I wish more Arabian people would show open. It certainly proves that the Arabian can do — and we have found it makes a lot of friends for him. I’d hate to count the number of people who have said: “I thought the Arabian was just a pretty horse to look at. I didn’t think they could really be used.” We went to one show in ‘70 — an open show, held on a date when there were no Arab points to garner. Against good competition, Binnie won the following: first in English model; first in saddle seat; seconds in stock seat and cowgirl appearance; first in western pleasure and western parade; and the western championship.
Binnie’s disposition is most marvelous. He is ridden mostly by children, and, while I may worry when the children are out on the mares, I never worry when one is on Binnie. In the winter they have snowball fights with him or just a good game of tag. In the summer there is a big beachball that he is learning to kick to them. His sense of humor is fine. They chase him, then he wheels, lays back his ears and charges them. They scream and run. He takes a few steps, then stops and watches them run, with a big smile on his face! His birthday party is the big event of the season. He opens his own packages, samples the edible gifts, and licks the cake plate.
Right now we are not showing him. He has proved himself. So now he is used mostly for trail riding, for breeding, and for serving as our official host to visitors. His foals have been very much like him in their beautiful conformation and intelligence. He has many very nice partbred foals to his credit. One is a 3-year-old Pinto gelding named JANAN SHAHAAB; he has been doing very well in his first year of showing in both Pinto and open classes.
After owning Binnie all this time, my desire for more horses of Davenport breeding steadily grows stronger. They seem to become more and more of a friend and less and less of a horse all the time.