Arabian Visions May 1988
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By Steve & Jackie Daughton
Locust Creek Farms, Virginia
Our Davenport program began in 1981 with the purchase of Al Bayad Amira. We were thrilled to finally acquire a 100 percent Davenport mare, especially one sired by the beautiful Lysander, out of Bint Ralf, who was the sole female carrying on a very valuable and rare line in Davenport breeding.
We were so pleased with Amira that we soon decided we would shift to a totally Al Khamsa Davenport program. After selling the majority of our other Arabians, we were ready to select a stallion. This decision led us to Charles and Jeanne Craver and their farm in Hillview, Illinois.
Accompanying me on both trips to the Cravers, was my then infant son David, who has put in many miles on the road with the horses trailer in tow. He has always been a trooper, just as the younger two girls have. We have never hesitated to have the children “help” with the horses, sit in the feed-boxes as the mares and foals eat, lead the mares, hold the stallion for shoeing, and kiss and brush the foals. This is one thing that we hold so valuable in the Davenports, their amazing dispositions.
At Craver Farm, we found beautiful horses and equally wonderful people in Charles and Jeanne. There were many lovely young stallions to choose from, but we decided on Trouvere, a Saqlawi from Tripoli’s last foal crop. We brought him home and trained him ourselves the following spring. He’s quite a horse. His power is obvious the minute one climbs aboard. He has proven himself many times in the show ring with consistent placings in both Class A and Open shows. In addition to this, he’s a great trail horse and not opposed to giving a four-year-old a good quiet ride.
In 1984, we were thrilled to acquire the lovely mare, Rosebud LBU, from Harry and Chris Grier of Lexington, North Carolina. I think still another advantage of owning Davenports is knowing the people that go with them. The Griers have been wonderful friends to us for years. It was through them that we bought our first purebred mares years ago, who also happened to be of 50 percent Davenport breeding through their super old sire, Oberon. It was also through the Griers I first discovered what those wonderful old Davenport horses that I had seen in Asheville, North Carolina, were all about. They were not only Arabians owned by Sunny Acres and being shown in the 1960s, but also my favorite ones such as SA Darius. They had been Davenports.
Rosebud represents the hardiness of the Davenports and their amazing wills to survive, and to do it well. She is permanently brain injured from a trailer accident as a foal. It’s always interesting to watch a veterinarian’s reaction when he sees her walk, if he has never seen her before. This injury alone could have easily proven fatal, but not for Rosebud. Then there was the time she picked up a rare weed in some hay, that resulted in liver damage. The vet gave very little hope for her survival. That foal is now a gorgeous three-year-old and has a full brother and sister as well.
Rosebud is also the only living, producing Davenport daughter of Trian, who was a stallion of the very rare Hadban strain in Davenports. Therefore, she is especially valuable in providing descendants for her sire and his line and she and her foals are the most loving horses imaginable. Her 1987 filly frustrated my four-year-old daughter last summer by literally climbing into the red wagon she was pulling in the pasture.
As to the future, we are now at the stage when we will soon be ready to breed some of our own homegrown fillies. We will endeavor to keep the rare lines found in our two foundation mares going and intensified. But most of all, we hope our futures and that of the Davenports will always be happily entwined. I would not wish to consider a future without them.