Monday, August 2, 2010

Grey + Bay Halimas: Does Color Influence Type?

This yearling colt, Fa Ibn Fasherifaa, is a son of a well-kept secret in Pennsylvania: WK Halimelshahkir, a Halim el Mansour son out of the *Fakher el Din daughter, Akira Zarif. "Shahkir" as he is known, is a bay stallion bred by Caryn Rogosky.


Yes, Shahkir is not advertised to the community nor is he currently being shown. That is unfortunate. He is the best horse that Caryn has ever bred and over a few years, is proving to be an excellent sire. In person, Shahkir, who has a prominent jibbah, is an agile and athletic horse. I have watched him at liberty, his lithe body moving through a series of electric turns and spins which makes my hair stand on end, as I recognize this horse's most incredible potential. Just standing, he is beautiful but when he moves, he takes my breath away. He would make an awesome performance horse as well, possibly a big star in the discipline of Reining. I was impressed over the appearance of Nazeer and Moniet el Nefous, who are close up in his pedigree."Shahkir", who is still a relatively young horse (foaled in 1996) claims these horses as his maternal great-grandparents. I was amazed over this fact, the more I thought about it. I don't believe there are many horses in 2010 who have these significant foundation horses only three generations into the pedigree! I have left Caryn's place many times, having trouble thinking of anything other than Shahkir. He is that much horse, genotypically and phenotypically, wrapped up in one typey and classic package.

Because this colt reminded Marilyn so much of his dam, possessing that ultimate *Ansata Ibn Halima Dahman mystique, he was nicknamed "Ibby". This colt's dam is Bint Fasherifaa, a daughter of the black stallion, AK Sirhalima and out of FaSherifaa, an Ansata el Sherif daughter out of Faserrabba. Bint Fasherifaa has been one of Marilyn Lang's best producing broodmares. She has produced two stunning daughters: the black FA Angelita Rose sired by a Halim El Mansour son named FA Fajeer Halim and the lovely young filly, FA Maarlina Moon sired by Marilyn's El Halimaar son, FA Halii Halim. I am excited over FA Angelita's next foal, as she was bred to the Alixir son, Justynn, who is out of Bint Bint Justina. Marilyn plans on breeding Maarlina Moon, God willing, to Nebras Al Rayyan next spring. This breeding will  infuse more Bukra blood in Marilyn's program through the stallion, Ansata Halim Shah.

Bint Fasherifaa is also the dam of FA Khalid El Mansour, a bay-colored, three year old FULL brother to FA Ibn Fasherifaa. He is different, many similarities, much common ground but physically different. One colt is bay like his sire, the other is grey like his dam. Its a bit of "deja-vu", as this is a similar result to what *Ansata Ibn Halima accomplished, when he sired the bay Halim el Mansour and the grey El Halimaar. Not to mention that *Ansata Ibn Halima was the grey son of a grey stallion and a bay dam. Hmmm. It is difficult to compare both colts, as Ibby is only a yearling. Physically, Ibby looks like the ideal Dahman strain horse, possibly a bit more refined than the ideal, as a result of the Saqlawi influence from Fakher el Din; on the other hand Fa Khalid El Mansour, nicknamed "Tornado" is a more Kuhaylan-influenced version of the Dahman, possibly influenced by Maar-Ree. Look at how wide and muscled his chest is! His neck, like Ibby's neck, sits higher on his chest but while Ibby's neck is slender; Tornado's neck is proportionately substantial to match the rest of his big body. His back is short, wide and very strong, anchored by a powerful hindquarter. This horse is a powerhouse, reminiscent of the more baroque-looking horse that was found in the breeding program of Prince Mohamed Aly Tewfik. Maybe, just maybe, the many lines to Ibn Rabdan, although far back in his pedigree, have influenced the phenotype of Tornado.

Both horses are concentrated in the blood of the Babson mare, *Bint Bint Sabbah, mainly through her *Fadl daughter, Habba. As I studied the pedigree, I was amazed at the number of times her name appeared. There are nine lines to *Bint Bint Sabbah and four of those lines are through Habba. Do you know the mare Habba? She produced a number of wonderful sons and daughters, who have been prolific and appear in the pedigrees of some of our greatest horses. For example, the stallion Laheeb is a son of AK Latifa, who is out of Siralima, a grand-daughter of Habba. *Ansata Ibn Halima appears 4 times, close up in the pedigree. *Bint Nefisaa and *Ansata Bint Bukra bring in additional branches of Farida and Sabah blood into the pedigree, multiplying the number of Dahman sources, into a very concentrated mix of the strain.

I really like Ibby's softness. When Marilyn gave me his picture, it is what I first noticed and what attracted me immediately to him. I want to touch him. I want to talk to him and have him know my voice. I want to wrap my arms around his neck and bury my nose in his mane. I want to scratch him on his wither and feel his weight, as he leans into me, for comfort and security. I want to walk into his pasture and see him turn his head around to look for me and acknowledge my presence. I want a friend and that's what this little guy will be for someone one day.
Both colt's eyes are very nice. They are completely black (no white at all) and have a very nice, round, shape, They are placed wide apart on the head, with a lot of room in between. Viewed from the front and from behind the horse, the eye protrudes enough, that you can see the eye, no matter where you are standing. That's really good. I like to think that these horses have great vision, as the construction of the eye socket allows them to see so much more. The energy that radiates from their eyes is kind...very kind. Their heads are shorter and we see bone and vein definition already in their faces. However, as I said earlier, there is just something about Ibby that I can't resist. His jowls are larger, like the size of a dinner plate, which suggests that there is enough room already for a good-sized fist to fit in between both jowls. He has very nice, larger-sized nostrils with a flaring, delicate shape. I like his neck, which is influenced by Farida and is set higher on his chest. He is very smooth of body, harmonious in his build. His front legs are beautiful, and he stands nice, straight and square. With the influence of *Bint Bint Sabbah, his body is made of up round, curvey lines, which gracefully flow into one another. With the added influence of Farida, these circular lines are made smoother, with a little more power. I notice that in the connection of his hip, hindquarter, croup and loins. He is is powerfully smooth in this area. I like the shape of the hindquarter and he has awesome tail carriage, with the tail carried away from his body.

But I can't get this coat color thing out of my mind. In Richard Pritzlaff's herd, to use another example of color-to-type, the chestnut progeny of *Bint Moniet el Nefous was far different than her bay-colored progeny. Think of the physical difference between the chestnut stallion Rasmoniet and any of the bay Rashad-sired daughters like RSI Rara Del Sol, Monisa RSI or even, Bint Bint Moniet. Remarkably different from all of these horses was her one grey daughter, Tatu, sired by John Doyle (Ghadaf x Rabanna) who was a delightfully round and curvey, old-word looking horse. She really did not look like her dam *Bint Moniet el Nefous at all. In comparing and contrasting Ibby and Tornado, what do you see? Grey has always been a coat color that has helped even the plainest looking Arabian Horse appear more typey. Ibby has not yet fully turned grey, he is still in that phase of transition between chestnut and grey and at times, appears rose-colored, which in the setting sun, actually takes my breath away.  So, I think of all these things, the dominance of family characteristics, strain characteristics, the dominance of an individual horse in stamping his or her progeny with their unmistakable characteristics and I wonder over the coat color, indicating the intensity of the unique characteristics of the breed, in one individual. I wonder if there is more to the theory of color influencing phenotype? What do you think?

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