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Barada II, Bay, 1934 - 1953

Raisuli / Gadara 

Bred by A.J. McDonald

General Grant Crabbet Stallion

With each generation of breeding, Barada II or Barada 2nd (Raisuli / Gadara) continues to strengthen her reign as one of the greatest progenitors of the Crabbet Arabian gene pool. Mrs C Gordon outlined the serendipity of Barada II’s purchase in 1945, by posing the questions: ‘What if Mrs Maclean had been content to breed with her English importations? What if she had never met Mr A.J McDonald…?’ The Fenwick narrative thread of Barada II’s tale begins with the meeting of two Arabian breeders – Mrs A.D.D. Maclean of Fenwick Stud and Mr A.J McDonald of Tehama Stud – at the Sydney Royal Show in 1938; three months before Mr A.J McDonald’s death. Mrs Maclean’s granddaughter, Mrs V Johnson, explained that the years following this meeting were marred by the Second World War, where restrictions were placed on horses from overseas. Unable to import horses from abroad, the devoted breeder went searching for what Mrs Gordon described as the “missing Arabs” of Australia’s colonial past.

Barada II Bay, 1934

(Raisuli x Gadara)

Photo Credit: Fenwick Stud Collection

It was in 1945 that Mrs Maclean, with the help of Mr F.W.K Wise – the McDonald family’s agent – that Fenwick Stud was able to secure the purchase of seven purebred mares from Tehama Stud, of ‘Glenwood’, near Dubbo, NSW. During this year, Mrs Maclean travelled to the Stud to inspect the horses. Mr G Dallaway has noted that by the time Mr McDonald’s sons were dispersing their father’s estate, it was said ‘he had never sold a purebred mare.’ (Dallaway, 2004) The mares were purchased and transported in two separate groups during 1945; they travelled by train from regional New South Wales to southern Victoria. Barada II was part of the second contingent, where only three of the five mares survived the journey. It was with great relief and satisfaction that Mrs Maclean noted the surviving mares were of “all Crabbet blood”. Mr R Ryan has emphasised that all ‘three mares were to go a long way in providing more Crabbet stock for Fenwick. They were a combination of some of the very best early Crabbet blood available.’

Sir James Penn Boucaut

It is impossible to exaggerate the value and importance of Barada II. To understand her impact, one must consider the colonial narrative she is part of. Barada II’s sire was Raisuli (Rief / Ayesha), ‘who was bred by Mr G. Leonard Brown of Gulargambone, near Dubbo. Mr Brown had bought the full-sisters Sekh and Ayesha (Rafyk / Namusa) at Sir James Boucaut’s Dispersal Sale of 1908. Mr Brown’s sister owned the stallion Rief (Raisuli’s sire) which had been presented to their brother Major Reg. Brown by Lady Anne Blunt in England during the 1914/18 war.’ The Hon. Sir James Penn Boucaut, although not the first to import Pure Arabians from Crabbet Park, was, as Mrs Gordon explained, ‘the first Australian breeder to continue the unbroken line of descent by registering his stock in the British AHS Stud Book.’


Barada II’s dam, Gadara (Harir / Zarif) is also part of this intricate web of colonial Pure Arabians. Harir was by Berk (Seyal / Bukra), whose grandsires include: Mesaoud (Aziz / Yamama II) and Ahmar (Azrek / Queen of Sheba), and his grand dams: Sobha (Wazir / Selma) and Bozra (Pharoah / Basilisk). Mr Dallaway has explained that Mrs Maclean acquired ‘unique mares’ from Mr A.J McDonald, ‘in essence Blunt horses, as descending 100% from the Blunt / Ali Pasha Sherif stock pre-Lady Wentworth – indeed bred from only 5 imports all foaled at Crabbet Park between 1890-1915…’ This invaluable link to the blood of Ali Pasha Sherif, can be traced through Barada II’s grand dam, Zarif (Faraoun / Rabi).

The esteemed Boucaut, who was at one point Premier of South Australia and acting Deputy Governor and Chief Justice, was responsible for the purchase and importation of the stallions Rafyk (Azrek / Rose of Sharon) and Faraoun (Mesaoud / Fulana), and the mare Namusa (Ahmar / Narghileh). Ms L Maxwell-Dowey has drawn readers’ attention to the Hon. Sir James Penn Boucaut’s objective, outlined in his book The Arab: The Horse of the Future, where he wrote: “I had read so many accounts of the sad deterioration of the Australian horse…I thought I should render a service to my adopted in country (Australia) by doing something that might improve the horse in Australia.”’ And ‘improve the horse’ he did.

The extraordinary family of Barada II is often considered ‘a mainstay of Crabbet breeding in Australia today.’ This light bay mare arrived at Fenwick Stud at a significant turning point in both the Stud’s history, and the history of the Arabian horse in Australia. She was an ‘exemplary broodmare’, and brought a pedigree, rich in the blood and qualities of the Blunts’ original desert imports, to cross with some of Lady Wentworth and Lady Yule’s ‘super horses’, albeit, on the other side of the world.

© 2016 Sean Johnson

We are very grateful to Sean Johnson for providing us with this informative article on this important horse and to the Australian Crabbet Association for permission to use this text produced for the World Crabbet Convention book 2016.

You can download the full article in pdf format here. 


AHSA. (2005).            The Arabian Horse Society of Australia Stud Book.

Dallaway, G. (2004).  Australia's Unique Family: The "Tehama Three". Australia's Crabbet Arabian Horse , 12 (August), 8-9.

Gordon, C. (1990).     A pilgrimage to Quambi. Australia's Crabbet Arabian Horse , 58-61.

Gordon, C. (1992).     Historical: The Unbroken Chain Mr G Leonard of Tonderburine. Australia's Crabbet Arabian Horse , 87-89.

Gordon, C. (2001).     Mare Families: Massive oaks from tiny accorns - the impressive 2001 family of Barada 2nd. Australia's Crabbet                                                                                    Arabian Horse , 6 (August), 12-17.

Maclean, V. (1989).    Fenwick Stud. 1989 Crabbet Convention Australia , 3-12.

Maxwell-Dowey, L.  

(1995)                         The NSW Department of Agriculture Studs. Australia's Crabbet Arabian Horse , 49-59.

Ryan, R. (1984).         Crabbet Horses at Fenwick: Part 1 - 1925 to 1945. Arabian Horse News , 18 (4 December), 62-69.


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