On the 9th of February, we bade a sad and reluctant farewell to our beloved Quassa (Desert Shadow imp UK x Houllain).
He was first and foremost, a wonderful friend. He gave us so many wonderful times to cherish. No horse is perfect and I knew the "The Boy" was no exception to that rule. Still. I can state without any fear of contradiction that his temperament was FLAWLESS.
All those who have lost a horse that they hold dear, will understand the body blow we have suffered.
It has been a time of mixed emotions, to receive news of this season’s foals and know they will be the last. So far, the count is two foals, fillies, a partbred and a purebred.
Later in the year Mary Brosnahan of Sunny Stud, so generously gifted us the Czarak (Cairo exp AU x Forina) daughter and Mary’s very own favourite mare, Sunny Brae Jasmine.
We had leased Jasmine in 2010. So many old bloodlines in one mare and many of the founding studs represented in one horse: Dellmount, Holly Farm, Malton, South Pacific and of course, Sunny Brae.
Out of Dellmount Jamil, Jasmine has the bay colouring and stamp of her maternal grandsire Touch Of Magic, one of my favourite sires. Mary felt that her days of breeding Arabians had drawn to a close and she wanted me to have Jasmine. It was a gesture that left me feeling privileged, yet sad at the thought of another chapter in the story of the Arabian horse in New Zealand coming to a close.
Jasmine was put to Zibaq Khan (Quassa x Zhola) because it was my belief that Zibaq Khan deserved to have a chance to prove himself as a sire.
The foal that this mating has produced is a strapping chestnut colt, which we have named Quasim, which is Arabic for distinguished individual.
Which brings me to another circle. Back in 1984, I purchased my very first Arabian from Malton Arabians. Zest (Waimeha Marendo x Zillain) was to be our foundation mare. In due course she returned to Malton to be bred to Touch Of Magic imp AU (Risheem x Sefra). Hence the bay mare Zellah came to be.
Later still, we leased the mare Houllain (Houssain imp AU x Zillah exp AU) from Helena Patchett-Carter and bred by Ernie and Barbara Wilson of Malton stud, and put her to Desert Shadow (Desert King x Autumn Shadow) imported by Leith and Ngaire Bevins of South Pacific stud. The resultant foal was, as hoped, a colt, which we named Quassa.
We often joked that our tiny stud was really Malton North.
So when Malton Nahzing (Roscommon Nassah x Zing – Touch Of Magic* x Zillain) produced a grey colt called Malton Zachary in 2006 to Zibaq Khan, the bloodline had gone full circle.
These details were brought to the fore when news filtered through in October about Malton Zachary’s success under saddle at recent shows in Otago.
The Wilson’s are so proud of Zach and it is a poignant note that Zachary was the last purebred foal to be bred by Malton stud. Another chapter has drawn to a close.
When I was a teenager, I attached myself to a girl at school who owned A HORSE! Such was my desperation to be near horses, I was content to walk beside this girl as she rode around the streets of Oamaru.
She took riding lessons from a local woman and I would lurk nearby and try to absorb the instructor’s teachings. That was over fourty years ago.
I recalled those times this week to the very same instructor, Joy Ludemann. She smiled at the memory. Joy and I were sharing a quiet moment in the paddock with Rosie an Anglo daughter of Quassa and a full sister to Louie.
Louie lives in Southland and his owner was so pleased with him she had purchased Rosie, sight unseen. With Rosie’s departure to Southland Joy Ludemann has called an end to her involvement with horses.
All these endings would get me down if I were to loose sight of the fact that it is the circle of life and no amount of pining will serve any purpose.
Instead I have to be grateful that I have had the privilege to know so many good people, who have bred good horses, and been good friends, to me.
Their example of encouraging individuals who show an interest in the breed has made a profound impression on me.
It is to the next generation of breeders that I choose to dwell on.
Back to February: his time February the 5th. An Arabian Derivative mare named Aura Izzah (Quassa x Cool Vance) owned by Jill McCarthy and bred by Kylie Pape, worked her winning way through the classes at the South Island Arabian Championships to emerge as Supreme Champion Derivative (Halter), Open Ridden Derivative over 148cm, Derivative Paced and Mannered Champion and Supreme Champion Ridden Arabian.
These results culminated in Aura Izzah and Jill taking out the High Point Arabian of Show title and being awarded the Melissa Taylor Memorial Trophy.
This success augurs well for a new breeder and perhaps a glimpse of things to come?
For now, we await the arrival of the last purebred foal by Quassa. The dam of which is our own Zhola (Arabesque Crystal Flame imp AU x Zest) who has been paired with Quassa for all of her eight foals.
We rest our stud’s future on the shoulders of our junior stallion Zibaq Khan and anticipate those foals yet to arrive this season and receive mares to him.
One of the mares due to visit was in fact, bred by a breeder who fostered my interest in Arabians and encouraged by art . The very first foal to be born at our stud was owned and bred by this breeder,the one and only, Helena Patchet-Carter.
All my life’s circle.