The Crabbet Arabian*
by Carol Mulder
(First printed in the April 1992 issue of The Crabbet Influence magazine)
There seems to be confusion about the definition of 100% Crabbet, "Straight" Crabbet, and "Pure" Crabbet. 100% Crabbet, "Straight" Crabbet, and "Pure" Crabbet all mean the same thing. In this treatise I use the term 100% Crabbet for the sake of simplicity.
Crabbet Stud was founded in 1878 in Sussex, England, by Wilfred and Lady Anne Blunt. It was continued by the Blunt daughter, Judith, the famous Lady Wentworth. The stud's final owner was Cecil Covey. Crabbet Stud closed in 1971 after some 93 years of world renowned greatness.
A 100% Crabbet pedigree means that the pedigree traces in all</u> lines to Arabians which were:
1) Purchased and owned by Crabbet:
a) Original Blunt desert purchases and importations to Crabbet
b) Blunt importations to Crabbet of Ali Pasha Sherif and other Egyptian source stock.
c) Skowronek, bred by Antoniny Stud in Poland from all Polish non-Crabbet stock, but the major part of the stud career of this great horse was under Crabbet ownership; acquired for Crabbet by Lady Wentworth.
d) Jeruan, bred by Arthur J. Powdrill, of 87.5% Crabbet lines and 12.5% non-Crabbet lines; acquired for Crabbet by Lady Wentworth.
e) Dafina, desert-bred mare imported to England through King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia; acquired for Crabbet by Lady Wentworth.
f) Dargee, bred by George Ruxton from 84% Crabbet lines and 16% non-Crabbet lines, but an important Crabbet sire; acquired for Crabbet by Lady Wentworth.
2) Arabians bred by others which passed through the hands of Crabbet without being bred from by Crabbet:
a) *Mirage 790, desert bred, which Lady Wentworth much admired and bought to use, but sold to Selby in America when the General Stud Book (GSB) of England closed their books to new original desert stock.
b) El Lahr, bred by Miss Ethelred Dillon from a Crabbet-bred mare she owned, but exchanged back to Crabbet when El Lahr was a foal at foot. Crabbet owned El Lahr for approximately 2 years until she was sold to Boucaut in Australia. El Lahr left successful influence in Australia. Her pedigree is 50% Crabbet and 50% non-Crabbet.
3) Any purebred Arabian bred by Crabbet Stud, from any of the bloodlines used by that stud, between the years 1878 to 1971.
The non-Crabbet backgrounds of Skowronek, Jeruan, Dargee, and El Lahr are not considered Crabbet when found in pedigrees through sources other than Skowronek, Jeruan, Dargee, and El Lahr. These lines are all the Polish ancestry of Skowronek; Maidan and El Emir in Jeruan's pedigree; *Aldebar 1864, known as Aldebaran in England, and Shahzada in Dargee's pedigree; and El Lahr's sire, *Imamzada 210.
Some owners describe their Arabs as 100% Crabbet when the animals are no such thing, but are, instead, of largely Crabbet ancestry. I do not know of any owner who had erroneously proclaimed 100% Crabbet pedigree with intent to deceive; nearly always it is done because of lack of pedigree knowledge. However, it is not a good idea to say your horse 100% Crabbet unless you know - absolutely and with certainty - that it is. A few people take this very seriously, many times for all the wrong reasons.
Unless you are a dedicated 100% Crabbet breeder, perpetuating a nucleus gene pool of high quality 100% Crabbets for future use of the breed, pedigree percentages ought to be less important to you than a high standard of quality in your stock. Lady Wentworth, herself, was more concerned with setting and maintaining a type and quality standard than she was with breeding only within the then-established Crabbet bloodlines. She introduced significant new blood into the stud, but, of course, because it was Crabbet Stud, anything she brought into it became Crabbet.
There are relatively few 100% Crabbets in North America. The majority of our "Crabbet horses" here are to be found in the Crabbet/American breeding group. Crabbet ancestry, however, may also be found in many Polish, Egyptian, Russian, and Spanish breeding programs. Great Britain has a large number of 100% Crabbet Arabians and Australia may even have more.
There is widespread misuse of the term "Crabbet-bred." It can apply only to individuals actually bred by Crabbet Stud. There are not many Crabbet-bred Arabians still living; the youngest of them are now 20 years old (in 1992). When people misuse "Crabbet-bred", they actually mean "of Crabbet breeding" or "of Crabbet lineage." The differences in terminology mean vastly different things and care must be taken to say what is actually meant.
In my experience and travels, I have seen many fine 100% Crabbets. I have also seen many outstanding Arabians of Crabbet lineage. Some of the best Arabians I have seen during recent years have been the Crabbet blends. That is making the best possible use of the precious Crabbet lineage.
Quality is more important than pedigree or percentages, but some bloodlines have proven to produce certain types and qualities preferred by many people. The ideal, of course, is to have both quality and pedigree, but pedigree should never take the precedence over quality because that is a sure way to ruin a breeding program and gene pool.
*"The Crabbet definition printed in the January 1992 issue of this magazine was well received, but readers caught a few errors and researchers R.J. Cadranell, publisher of Arabian Visions magazine, discovered four errors which he kindly pointed out to Mrs. Mulder who wrote the article for us. As the publisher of this magazine, I'd like to point out that I am partly to blame as I had asked Carol to write this on very short notice. Carol has rechecked her revisions, has made the appropriate corrections and, because of the importance of the definition, the corrected version is herewith printed in its entirety. Mrs. Mulder and this magazine thank our readers and R.J. Cadranell for pointing out the errors in the original and we apologize for any confusion this caused." -- Georgia Cheer
Editor's note: Carol Mulder (and The Crabbet Influence magazine) grants permission and encourages the reprinting of this article with these three requirements to avoid copyright infringement.
1. The Article must be reprinted IN IT'S ENTIRETY.
2. Author's (Carol W. Mulder) credit must be given.
3. The byline, "First printed in the April 1992 issue of The Crabbet Influence magazine" must accompany reprint of article.
First printed in the April 1992 issue of The Crabbet Influence magazine
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