JUST WHAT ARE "DAVENPORT ARABIAN HORSES'?
The term Davenport Arabian refers to any horse which traces in all lines of descent to the horses imported directly from Northern Arabia in 1906 by Homer Davenport. It may also be used when refering to any of the 27 original desertbred horses which he imported. These horses are well documented as coming from the Anezeh and Shammar tribal sources. These were the traditional, aristocratic horse breeding bedouin tribes.
To our knowledge, Davenport Arabians are the only breeding program in the world to trace to a single importation directly from Arabia.
(The mare next door is CH Fairy Flight. She was bred by Andrew Love and is owned by Diane Lyons. Photo by Carol Lyons)
ARE "DAVENPORT" ARABIANS ALSO "AL KHAMSA" ARABIANS?
All Davenport horses are also "Al Khamsa" horses. The original imports qualified as Al Khamsa Foundation Horses, and 18 of the original 27 imports have Al Khamsa eligible descendents while 14 of those Foundation horses have straight Davenport descendents. (see Al Khamsa Arabians II©, 1993)
ARE DAVENPORT ARABIANS PLENTIFUL?
No, there are only about 700 straight Davenports in the world. However the majority of American bred Arabians trace in one or more lines to Davenport ancestors. In fact, their popularity as an outcross source almost led to their extinction. Their bloodlines represent major components in Al Khamsa, the Blue Catalog, and CMK. An estimated 90 percent of American-bred Arabians trace to at least one Davenport ancestor. ("Covering Ground" is the straight Davenport bay stallion Mandarin CF bred by Charles Craver, owned by Carol Lyons and Margaret Smith. Leased to Diane Lyons and Dave Berger. Photo by Carol Lyons.)
WHAT DO THEY LOOK LIKE?
We will let some writers of the past, who knew the Arabian horse in its native home describe what the Davenport Arabian still looks like.
"The build of the Arabian is perfect. It is essentially that of utility. He is not large here and small there. There is a balance and harmony throughout his frame not seen in other horses. He is the quintessence of all good qualities in a compact form." -- Homer Davenport, 1909 , "My Quest for the Arabian Horse"
"The head is very beautiful... it is not particularly short in proportion to the size or height of the horse, but it is large above the eyes and small and short from the eyes to the muzzle.... The center of the eye more nearly divided the length of the head into two equal parts than is observable in other horses; from the top of the head to the center of the eye will often measure as much as from the center of the eye to the upper edge of the nostril." -- Roger D. Upton, 1881, "Gleamings from the Arabian Desert"
The Davenport Arabian today still looks like the Arabians of the Bedouins!
WHAT ARE ARABIAN STRAINS? DO DAVENPORTS HAVE STRAINS?
The terms 'strain' and 'sub-strain' as applied to Arabian horses are the terms used by Westerners for the Bedouin system of identifying the ancestry of their authentic (*Asil) Arabian horses. The Bedouin term is 'rasan' [al arsaan plural] and it actually has more subtle and complex connotation than the English terms which essentually just mean the family name and the branch of the family. The rasan, or strain/substrain name, is passed through the female line from the mare to all her foals regardless of gender, and so on to all the foals out of her daughters. Examples of strain names are Kuhayleh and Saqlawi. Examples of substrain names are Kuhayleh Haifi and Kuhayleh Krush. A complete rasan includes both strain and substrain.
All of the 27 Arabian horses of the Davenport importation had complete rasans, with both a strain and sub-strain. Today there are representatives of 4 mare lines with 4 strain/substrains among the living straight Davenports.
NOTE: *Asil means ' pure from the original'. Another such term is 'jowad'. Outside of Arabia, 'Asil' is frequently used with less strict standards than by purest breeders in greater Arabia.
WHAT HORSES DID DAVENPORT BRING FROM THE DESERT?
Homer Davenport's historic 1906 trip resulted in the importation of 27 authentic, asil Arabian horses directly to the U.S.A. Many of these horses are to be found as ancestors of the vast majority of the Arabians bred for more than one generation in America. In fact it is the Davenport lines that set the American Arabian apart from most Arabians in foreign countries. About 25 percent of all Al Khamsa horses trace to one or more 'Davenports'. Amazingly, 15 of those original 27 have surviving straight Davenport descendents..
The tribal and strain information shown with each of the following Foundation Davenport horses is adapted from Al Khamsa Arabians, II, 1993, which in turn was compiled from the original desert documents, from Davenport's book My Quest for the Arabian Horse, and/or from the earliest AHRA Stud book entries, which gave strain and tribe information. Please see the Al Khamsa Arabians, II, Foundation Horses section, for more detailed information.
Dam of Tamarinsk by *Hamrah.
*Houran AHCR #26 A 1904 bay Kuhaylan-Tamri stallin by the Anazah . By a Hadban-Inzihi of the Anazah out of a Kuhaylah-Tamriyah of the Anazah. Bred by and purchased from the Qumusa-Saba Anazah.
Sire of Bint Nimnaraah out of Nimnaarah and Haaranmin out of Nimnaarah.
Although *Houran has living Al Khamsa descendents, his line unfortunetly does not survive among today's straight Davenports.
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