One Who Counted

Khamsat Vol 7 Number 2 1990
by Charles Craver
all rights reserved
used by permission of Charles Craver

Way back — probably 1957 — when I was trying to get started with Davenport breeding, I was contacted by an Elizabeth Paynter, who was trying to do the same thing. Elizabeth Paynter turned out to be a teen-age girl, still in high school

She liked to be called “Liz.” She was one of those sweet, wholesome kids with a wonderful father and mother. There was no question that she was horse crazy. No doubt her folks liked horses, too, but I think their main interest was in participating in an activity with Liz. One or both of them would be along when she came for a visit. They actively took part in her horse projects. Betty, the mother, took care of the horses when Liz could not, and, of course, money had to come from somewhere. The Paynters were not wealthy people, but they took good care of their horses and paid their horse bills.

Ehwat AnsarlahAs time passed, Liz went on with her education, first to Stephens College at Columbia MO, then to Iowa State. Later, she was out of school and married for a while, but ended up back at home. Usually girls who become horse enthusiasts get into horse-show circles.

Instead, Liz had somehow caught on to purist breeding. Looking back, one wonders how that happened. There was very little in print on the subject, and most of that was hidden away in obscure books she probably did not know existed. The major way to find out about the breeding of “asil” Arabian horse was through personal contact with a few purist breeders. Liz had limited opportunity for such contact. She was just a kid who lived in Muscatine, Iowa, knew almost nobody in Arabian breeding, and had traveled very little to Arabian breeding farms.

Nevertheless, she had a good working knowledge of purist breeding, probably at least as good as that of most Al Khamsa breeders of the present time.

She had the advantage of being unencumbered by some of the misinformation which plagues us now.

Liz was like many girls who love horses in that her taste in equine matters was rather broad. She understood the logic of what to get, and perhaps she wanted some of all of it. She managed to obtain Ardith 1101 (Ahamed/Sherah) from Jimmie Wrench. Ardith had actually produced sixteen foals up to the time Liz got her.

She was by one of the Domow-line stallions and out of a double granddaughter of *Urfah 40. Liz was in negotiation to acquire Sunbul 1318 (*Nasr/Samarkand) — from the same crop of *Nasr foals as Hallany Mistanny but out of a Davenport mare (Antez/Markada) — from Jose De la Torriente of Havana, Cuba. Something must have interfered with completion of that project, which would have been fascinating if it had succeeded.

Unfortunately the Ardith project did not work out too well either. The mare was just too old and fragile to produce what Liz wanted, which was a foal from the Davenport stallion, Tripoli, who was by Hanad and out of Poka, a full sister to the mare’s mother. The great advantage of this kind of breeding would have been production of a foal uniquely concentrating the blood of *Urfah 40, who at that time, thanks to the research of Ameen Azher and Pesi Gazder, was recognized as the premier foundation broodmare of American Arabian breeding.

LetarlahLiz’s achievement in Arabian breeding was production of two Davenport foals from Ehwat-Ansarlah 4776 (Kasar/Anlah). This mare was 100% Davenport breeding. She was the only Davenport mare left tracing to the import *Hadba 43, which she did in tail female. She had been bred at the Hearst ranch in California and had somehow ended up in Idaho, where she became surplus when her owners decided to switch to Appaloosas. She was branded. That had probably been done when she was mature and after she had left the Hearst ranch. Possibly the experience contributed to her attitude towards people which, while not hostile, was not very positively inclined.

Liz found her and bought her at a time when no one else was interested in an obscure mare with a pedigree that was so antique that almost everyone had forgotten what it meant.

Ehwat-Ansarlah was a small mare. She had a neck with a lovely, lean mitbah, a big eye, and a dark chestnut color which sunburned miserably in the summer. Somewhere along the line, she had gotten into something and had major scarring on her legs. She had nice regular feet, rather flat musculature, and a neck carriage and croup that inclined to the horizontal. Her head was rather triangular in shape when viewed from the side, more so than most Davenports.

Ehwat-Ansarlah was 9 when Liz got her and had had four foals. Her first was a chestnut mare by *Mounwer (Hadba-Mounwere Chance 7928) in 1952, followed by three other non-Al Khamsa foals.

Liz called her “Annie.”

Liz had corresponded with Raswan before getting Ehwat-Ansarlah. He had encouraged her, sending pictures of one of the mare’s imported ancestors, *Gomusa 31, who was shown to have two dark eyes.

Ehwat-Ansarlah came to Craver Farms to be bred to Tripoli. Trisarlah 13690, a dandy filly, resulted. The mare then came back for repeat breeding.

TrianPerhaps something went wrong with the support system for horses at the Paynter household. Maybe Liz was simply growing into an age where young women would be thinking about other things, but anyway Ehwat-Ansarlah was sold to Frank Brewster of Baxter Springs, Kansas before producing her second foal of Liz’s breeding, which turned out to be a colt by Tripoli named Trian 15144.

My last recollection of a face to face contact with the Paynter family was in 1959. Some time not long after that, Liz’s mother, Betty died, and after a short while Liz, too, was gone.

She had carried on a brief, intense period of equine-related activity. It came too quickly to an end, but some of it still lasts in the descendants of the two breedings Liz made with Ehwat-Ansarlah. Of these, the stallion Trian, eventually found a home with Larry Dove in Kendallville, Indiana. His only Al Khamsa foal was entirely Davenport: Rosebud LBU (out of Rose of Jessica), whose bloodline continues through her and her daughters by Trouvere (Tripoli/Verona) with the Daughtons in North Carolina. (I can remember the birth of Trian very clearly. It happened at Craver Farms. My first sight of him was one front leg sticking out of the mare. I was a complete neophyte at the delivery of foals, but I was able to push him back, get the other one, and out he came in good shape, a nice colt with just about a perfect body.)

The more numerous contribution by Liz Paynter to Al Khamsa (and Davenport) breeding was through the first foal of her breeding out of Ehwat-Ansarlah, Trisarlah by Tripoli. Trisarlah went to Carolyn Ullmann (later Case) who bred her twice to the Davenport stallion El Alamein (Dhareb/Antarah), producing Letarlah and Waddarlah. Both mares have been successful producers with Davenport stallions. It is primarily upon their progeny that the current successful move to restore the Hadban bloodline to Davenport breeding has been based.

After leaving Elizabeth Paynter’s ownership, Ehwat-Ansarlah passed through a number of other hands. For a time, she was owned by Frank Brewster, in whose ownership Trian was foaled. Brewster sold her in foal to Claude Bates of Bristow, Oklahoma, for whom she produced Bates Fadl 22280, a 1962 grey stallion by Ibn Fadl.

She turned up in the ownership of W.R. Sheets in Canada, producing several foals by non-Davenport Al Khamsa stallions. This production is said to have been very successful, and included daughters of ASF Deena 27268 and ASF Deborah 33745 by the Babson stallion Serr Deene, daughter ASF Hagar 38628 by the Babson stallion, Fa-Serr, and son ASF Gabriel 44134 by the Blue Star stallion Dhahran.

She was then bred to the Davenport stallion Pericles (Tripoli/Dharebah) to produce her last foal, ASP Cicero 65981, a 1970 chestnut stallion who unfortunately died without produce. She finally returned to Illinois for her last years, dying at age 30. Even up to the very end, she was an extremely vital mare, maintaining her own sense of self. At last, it was just impossible to get her up one more time.

There is a tendency to think of horse-fascinated kids as youngsters who will outgrow silly folly. That may be true of some, but maybe the world of back-yard horse husbandry upon which Arabian breeding is based would not be possible if it were not for adults who got started with horses when they were young. Thank heavens they get started some way!

WaddarlahThere can be more to young breeders than that. Some of them have done excellent and even historic breeding. Elizabeth Paynter is an example of a girl who made a long-term contribution to Arabian breeding. Maybe it was the major long-term achievement of her whole life. As far as concerns the breeding of Arabian horses, time seems to be proving that it preserved a major part of the *Hadba 43 element in Al Khamsa breeding as it has in Davenport breeding where it also preserves the tail-female line of descent from that mare.

Other young people, too, have made their great contributions. Pat Payne, for example, was responsible for the breeding of Tripoli (Hanad/Poka), who was an essential for the preservation of modern Davenport breeding. Jane Ott began her horse activity as a girl, as did Reba Troxell, Diana Marston Weiner, and Alice Martin Kuhn. Departing from Al Khamsa circles, Dick Lodwick, Lois Selby, Bill Munson, and Bazy Tankersley all started young.

Not all young breeders have made major contributions, of course. It is terrible hard for a young person to have the financial and personal stability to establish a long-term breeding project. But then young people have their own advantages: enthusiasm, logic, and a disregard for common sense. What they do can be very special because sometimes it is important and something that older, wiser breeders will not do.

Liz did not have enough time to leave the normal mementos of life: no home of her making, no family, no professional achievements. Hardly any of us remember her now, but what she started with Ehwat-Ansarlah has grown and promises to be something unique and lovely that has its own niche in the preservation of the “asil” Arabian horse.

It’s nice to be credited for something worthwhile after you’re gone, but there has to be more to horses than that. For Elizabeth Paynter there was an abundance of pleasure in horse activity as it occurred. She enjoyed putting together a breeding venture which was unique and her own. She enjoyed being with the horses and taking care of them. The writer still remembers her pleasure as “Annie” took off across the pasture on one of her stays at Craver Farms, leading all the other mares and making them look dull. She enjoyed studying horses. She enjoyed visiting with horse people. She enjoyed taking dressage lessons so she could better train her Trisarlah. And how she thrilled at Trisarlah!

The pleasure was not only for her. It was shared by her mother and father. They loved the horse project, too, and the family activity with the charming daughter.

As primarily a bystander observing the events, the writer of this memorial takes pleasure in thinking back to a friendship of thirty years ago with a young person who seemed just a kid at the time: sweet, ambitious, and willing to work with enthusiasm in a project that was worthwhile. The memory is especially satisfying because there was a permanence to what she did as an Arabian breeder. She was one who counted.