Bennett Articles in Equus

The Board of Directors of the Davenport Arabian Horse Conservancy noted with some concern a series of articles by Dr. Deb Bennett published in Equus magazine over the last year. Two of the articles referenced many items in Arabian Horse history that contained errors. The Board sent detailed letters to the editor of Equus, pointing out the errors, and were told in both cases that the letters were being forwarded to Dr. Bennett.

No response has been seen, and the Board felt it was important to address these errors publicly, although obviously the circulation of such corrections will not near the circulation of the magazine. For the record:

August 7, 2014

To the Editor, Equus Magazine:

Although we were pleased to see the variety of photos included in Dr. Deb Bennett’s article “Arabian Horses Come to America.” (Equus 442, July 2014, pp. 55-70), representing different bloodlines and eras of Arabian horse breeding, we were surprised by the sheer number of factual errors in the text. We have noted the following, of which you should be aware:

  1. Lady Anne Blunt was not the first European to purchase, export and breed Arabian horses in significant numbers. There were the earlier but also significant efforts of the private stud of the King of Württemberg at Weil and the large private breeding farms of the noble Polish families: the Princes Sanguszko, and the Counts Dzieduszycki and Branicki. Identifying Lady Anne Blunt as the first also ignores the equally important contributions of her husband, Wilfrid Scawen Blunt. The Blunts traveled together on their desert journeys and selected horses for the Crabbet Stud together. From the Crabbet Stud’s founding in the late 1870s until 1901, Weatherby’s General Stud Book actually registered all of the horses in his name, not hers.
  2. Homer Davenport was not a newspaper reporter from Illinois, although he did work for newspapers and did live briefly in Chicago. He was a native Oregonian and political cartoonist who worked for W.R. Hearst first in San Francisco and then later in New York, although at the time of the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893 he was briefly employed as an illustrator by the Chicago Herald. See his book My Quest of the Arabian Horse (New York, B.W. Dodge & Co., 1909)
  3. The rider pictured on *Wadduda is Said Abdallah, not Akhmet Haffez. Davenport published this photo in his book My Quest of the Arabian Horse (New York, B.W. Dodge & Co., 1909) on page 83, where the rider is identified as Said Abdallah.
  4. *Nejdran was not imported to the U.S. by Davenport in 1906. Davenport wrote to Lady Anne Blunt that he bought *Nejdran in 1904 after someone else had imported him (Rosemary Archer & James Fleming, Lady Anne Blunt, Journals & Correspondence (Cheltenham, 1986), p. 486, note 40.
  5. *Abu Zeyd was out of Rose Diamond, not Queen of Sheba. Although Davenport did import *Abu Zeyd, he did not import *Abu Zeyd from the Crabbet Stud. The Hon. George Savile bought Rose Diamond at the 15th Crabbet sale on July 4, 1903. She had been bred to Mesaoud on February 3, 1903, and then foaled *Abu Zeyd in Savile’s possession in 1904. Savile sold *Abu Zeyd to Davenport in 1910.
  6. Fetysz was foaled in 1924, not 1927. Fetysz is not a descendant of the stallion Siglavy (1810) who founded the eponymous line of Lipizzaners. For Fetysz’s complete pedigree, see Britta Fahgren, The Arabian Horse Families of Poland (Alexander Heriot, Cheltenham, 1991). Fetysz is a grandson of Siglavy Bagdady (1895), whose sire was a desert bred horse also described as a Siglavy, which might have given rise to the confusion.
  7. Priboj has four crosses to Mesaoud, not two. His pedigree does not trace to any horses owned by Catherine the Great. His dam Rissalma was bred by Lady Wentworth at Crabbet Park. His sire Piolun was bred at the Janow Podlaski State Stud in Poland. For Piolun’s complete pedigree, see Britta Fahgren, The Arabian Horse Families of Poland(Alexander Heriot, Cheltenham, 1991).
  8. *Napitok was not imported to the United States in utero, although he was foaled in 1973. He was imported by Howard F. Kale Jr. on May 11, 1976.
  9. Carl Raswan referred to Ibn Rabdan as “a world champion type.” Jack Humphreys described him as “rather straight in face line and lacking in depth of jaw. Otherwise, almost perfect.” See Walter Schimanski and Judith Forbis, The Royal Arabians of Egypt and the Stud of Henry B. Babson (Thoth, Waco, Texas, 1976), page 38. We have never seen Ibn Rabdan referred to as “a perfect specimen.” What is the source of this comment?
  10. The rider aboard *Fadl is early Babson Farm manager George Cason, not Henry Babson. See The Babson Influence, a Retrospective (The Institute for the Desert Arabian Horse, 2008) at page 458.
  11. Although Henry Babson did work at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, it was demonstrating the nickelodeon, not cleaning stalls at the Bedouin encampment. See Walter Schimanski and Judith Forbis, The Royal Arabians of Egypt and the Stud of Henry B. Babson (Thoth, Waco, Texas, 1976), page 18.
  12. Antez was not bred in Poland. He was bred by Frederick E. Lewis II at the Diamond Bar Ranch in Spadra, California. Antez was sold to W.K. Kellogg in 1925, who sold him to J.M. Dickinson in 1930. Dickinson sold Antez to Poland in 1934, and then the Lanteen Arabian Foundation of Arizona brought Antez back to the United States in 1938. W.K. Kellogg repurchased Antez in 1942, and gave him to H.H. Reese. Antez died at the Reese ranch in California in 1944. See Mary Jane Parkinson, The Kellogg Arabian Ranch, The First Fifty Years (2nd ed., HHR Publications, California, 1977).
  13. The Kellogg Ranch in Pomona was not “adjacent to California Polytechnic” at the time Kellogg established the ranch in 1925. It is true that the property was later donated to Cal Poly.
  14. Sharik was a Hanad great-grandson, not grandson. Sharik was not primarily Polish bred, although he does have 1/8 (12.5%) Polish breeding. Sharik was actually primarily Davenport breeding.
  15. Hanad was a great-grandson of *Wadduda, not a grandson.
  16. It is true that Lady Wentworth continued breeding Arabians at Crabbet Park after her parents, Wilfrid and Lady Anne Blunt, died. But she did not take over the breeding program until 1920, after the lawsuit between her and her father was decided in her favor. See Archer, Pearson, and Covey, The Crabbet Arabian Stud, Its History and Influence (Alexander Heriot, 1978), pp. 163-64.
  17. *Berk was foaled in 1903, not 1909. He was bred by the Blunts, not by their daughter Lady Wentworth (see above under no. 16). Lady Wentworth did not sell *Berk in 1918 “to make room for new and unrelated individuals” as Dr. Bennett writes. It was Lady Wentworth’s father, Wilfrid Blunt, who sold *Berk in 1918. See Archer et al., pp. 158-60.
  18. Azrek was not from Poland and not foaled in 1897. He was foaled in the desert in 1881 and imported to England by the Blunts in 1888. See Archer et al., p. 94.
  19. Lady Wentworth did not import “primarily from Poland.” She never imported any horse from Poland. She did own a Polish-bred Arabian, Skowronek, but she purchased him in England from H.V. Musgrave Clark, through an American agent named Charles Hayden. For details of the three imported foundation horses Lady Wentworth added to the Crabbet Stud, *Mirage, Skowronek, and Dafina, see Archer et al., pp. 108-09. Of these, *Mirage, like Skowronek, she purchased in England. The only one Lady Wentworth actually imported herself was Dafina, but she came from the desert through Ibn Sa’ud, not from Poland.
  20. Bazy Tankersley was breeding Arabian horses well before 1947. Her first foal was Lottery, in 1941. See Mary Jane Parkinson, And Ride Away Singing (Arabian Horse Owners Foundation, 1998) at 23-24.
  21. Bazy Tankersley is known for establishing the Arabian Horse Owners Foundation, not the Arabian Horse Trust, which was a different organization.
  22. *Count Dorsaz was an Al-Marah foundation stallion, but he was not bred at Crabbet Park. He was bred by Lady Yule at Hanstead House in Hertfordshire.
  23. Gai Parada has eleven, not six, crosses to Skowronek. In addition to three crosses to *Raseyn, he has three crosses to to the inbred (two crosses) Skowronek son *Raffles and two additional crosses to the Skowronek daughter *Rifala through her son Phantom.
  24. The photograph of W.K. Kellogg with Antez in the Kellogg stable patio in Pomona could not have been taken in 1938. It had to have been taken between 1926, when the stables were built, and 1930, when Kellogg sold Antez to J.M. Dickinson.
  25. The photo of Roger Selby with *Mirage could not have been taken in 1940. *Mirage was put down in 1939 after he broke a hip. This photo appears in the Selby Stud Catalogue (1937) at page 59, and so could not have been taken later than 1937.
  26. *Astraled was foaled in 1900, but not bred by Lady Wentworth. Lady Wentworth did not take over her parents’ Crabbet Stud until 1920 (see above).
  27. Indraff was not bred at Crabbet Park. He was bred by Roger Selby in Ohio from parents Selby imported from Crabbet Park.
  28. Although Bazy Tankersley’s 1957 importation did consist of some 32 horses, only about half came from Crabbet Park. The rest came from the Hanstead Stud.
  29. Although Lady Anne Blunt knew Ali Pasha Sherif and admired and bought many of his horses, there is no evidence in her journals that he actively mentored her. (Rosemary Archer & James Fleming, Lady Anne Blunt, Journals & Correspondence (Cheltenham, 1986).


/s/ Robert J. Cadranell, Director, Davenport Arabian Horse Conservancy


3 April 2015

To the Editor, Equus Magazine


With regard to Dr Deb Bennett’s article “Arabians for Everyone,” in your September 2014 issue, while it’s encouraging to see recognition of the fact that the Arabian horse gained its reputation as a using animal, it seems important to correct errors of fact, including the following:

Page 54:

  •  The Crabbet Stud foundation stock did not come from Egypt and the Negev in modern Israel. It came from breeders in Egypt and what is now Syria. Crabbet Stud founders Wilfrid and Lady Anne Blunt did travel to the Nejd in modern Saudi Arabia.
  •  Firebolt CF does not trace tail-female to *Reshan, although she is in his pedigree.
  •  Skowronek was the only Polish stallion ever to stand at Crabbet Stud. There were no “other influential stallions bred in Poland” used at Crabbet.

Page 56:

  •  The Crabbet Stud foundation stallion Hadban was foaled in 1878, not 1898.

Page 57:

  •  The Crabbet Stud was not dispersed in the 1940s. Lady Wentworth continued to breed Arabians at Crabbet until her death in 1957, when she left behind a herd of some 80 head. Although there was a partial dispersal in the late 1950s following her death, her former stud manager continued to breed Arabians under the name of the Crabbet Stud until the early 1970s.

Page 58:

  •  The foal in the picture with *Reshan has been identified in other publications as Moslah, not Hasiker. Hasiker is not the grandsire of Sir. Hasiker was a mare, not a stallion, and was Sir’s great-granddam. Sir was not one of the “second foundation” Davenport horses, although both of his parents were.

Page 59:

  •  *Deyr was destroyed in 1927 at age 23, not at age 18.
  •  Antez was leased to William Randolph Hearst at the same time Joon and Sabab were sold to him, but at that time Hearst was breeding Arabian stallions to Morgan mares; the Antez daughters that later produced for Hearst’s Arabian program were bred by W K Kellogg.

Page 60:

  •  El Alamein was bred by J.G. MacConnell, not Charles Craver, although El Alamein did stand at Craver Farms. El Alamein carries the blood of more than just five of the original Davenport importation. In addition to the five listed, he also traces to *Jedah, *Urfah, and *Haffia.

Page 61

  •  L.W. Van Vleet’s ranch in Colorado was known as the Lazy VV, not the Big Horn Ranch. Also his name was L.W. Van Vleet, not W.L. Van Vleet.
  •  The Arabian Horse Yearbooks show no Canadian national wins for *Bask; he was styled “double national champion” because he won the halter and park horse championships in the US, not because he won at halter in both countries.

Yours sincerely,
Michael Bowling
President, Davenport Arabian Horse Conservancy

1 comment

  1. Shameful and shocking that Deb Bennett made so many errors – she certainly has no credibility given these errors for being able to accurately report the history of the Arabian. And how disappointing that a publication such as Equus failed to correct her errors when given accurate facts with sources to confirm those facts. Makes me think I should not waste my money on that publication any more.

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