One of the most controversial topics surrounding the seizure of the Canterbury Arabians is that of “rare bloodlines” and “preserving the bloodlines.” For those not versed in the finer points of Arabian pedigrees, here is a brief introduction written by Peggy Ingles, a new Equiery artist and a long-time Arabian horse breeder.
Crabbet CMK Arabian Horses
The Blunt family began breeding Arabians at their Crabbet Park stud in England in 1878. They began with imported horses from Egypt and their influence has continued to modern times. Skowronek was their most important contribution to Arabian breeders. He was bred in Poland and is best known as the sire of Raffles, who was imported to the U.S. in 1932. Marylander Bazy Tankersley, Homer Davenport, W. R. Brown (Maynesboro Stud) and W. K. Kellogg were the U.S. breeders importing Crabbet Arabians. The horses of these bloodlines are known today as CMK (Crabbet-Maynseboro-Kellogg).
Egyptian Arabian Horses
Egyptian Arabians come from the breed’s geographical cradle where they have been cherished and carefully bred for over 2,000 years. Their popularity in the U.S. blossomed after Henry Babson purchased seven horses there in 1932. The straight Egyptian Arabian is still considered the purest of pure Arabians, and is valued for its extreme refined appearance and friendly temperament.
Polish Arabian Horses
Polish Arabians were bred as far back as the 16th century and were nearly destroyed by World War I. Their breeding program is based on its broodmares and all horses are tested on the racetrack. The horses are offered for sale by the state stud only once a year and became hugely popular in the U.S. during the boom years of the 1970s and early 1980s. They are known for their sturdy builds and athleticism.
French Arabian Horses
French Arabians were developed almost exclusively as race horses and are more Thoroughbred in appearance. They contributed to the development of the Anglo-Arabian horse and therefore to the modern warmblood breeds. French Arabians are still very popular for racing worldwide.
Russian Arabian Horses
The Russian Arabian began at the state-controlled Tersk Stud in 1930 with horses imported from England and France. There was some racing in the late 1800s but most of the purebreds were lost during the Russian Revolution. Tersk benefited during WWII from Polish Arabians that were “rescued” and thereby utilized in their program. They found their way to the U.S. and the Russian blood was well represented in the show ring in the late ‘70s and early ’80s.
Spanish Arabian Horses
Breeding of Spanish Arabians began in the early 1900s with imports from the Middle East, England and Poland. Since then, there has been very little outside blood added. Spanish Arabians only make up 0.1% of the total Arabian horse population in the U.S. and are often used as an outcross. They are known for their athleticism and durability.