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The Crabbet Influence in Europe

Part three - Germany

by Betty Finke


We will now move from Holland to Germany, because the path from Crabbet to Germany goes via Holland. The 1953 stallion, Nizar (Nizzam x Sulka), bred by Dr Houtappel, was the only Crabbet stallion among the post-war foundation horses in Germany and remains the only Crabbet stallion to have a major impact on German breeding.

Nazir Ch. 1953 (Nizzam x Sulka

Photo Credit: Unknown

Germany, unlike Holland or Belgium, has always sidelined Crabbet, something I put down to the fact that starting with the Egyptian imports in the 1950s/60s, German breeders somehow became conditioned to believe that only straight Egyptians were proper Arabians. This has not changed a great deal, unless you take the handful of show breeders that tend to follow the global fashion. If you go to any central stallion registration, of any year, you will find that the majority of the horses are straight Egyptians.

The reason why Nizar was so successful was that he was one of the post-war foundation sires before breeders started to think in terms of “straight” anything, and saw every horse simply as a pure-bred Arabian. He was undoubtedly a very typey pure-bred Arabian, and even if some people didn’t care for the white markings, there were not very many Arabians in Germany at the time, so he got to breed some of the best mares.

His most influential sons were both out of mares by the straight Egyptian Ghazal (Nazeer x Bukra); Nazir out of Sachara (ex Salifah, by Wisznu) and Nuri Schalan out of Wega (ex Winette, by Wind). They each sired a number of influential broodmares. In fact, Nazir was one of the country’s best broodmare sires, ever. One of his daughters, Shams El Nazeema, out of Makena (Marsuk x Kenya), was the grand-dam of the Elite stallion Pamir I (Penthagonn x Shams El Inaza), chief sire at Marbach State Stud, and left two stallions and two mares there. In other words, there is now a Crabbet line at Marbach, in a somewhat roundabout way.

Another very influential Nazir daughter was Wahana, out of Warifah (Ghazal x Winette). Her daughter Warissa, by Joka-Tuam (Kassam x Jobiah), was exported to Denmark and founded a large dynasty there. One prominent member of this family is the reigning British Junior National Champion, Ammar El Mabrouka (WH Justice x Wateefa Mabrouka).

Gromet 1971 (Grojec x Lilac Time)

Photo Credit: Betty Finke

There was only one importation of a larger number of Crabbet/OE horses to Germany, made in the mid-70s by the late Hans Vorderbrügge. He imported the stallions Gromet (Grojec x Lilac Time) and Ibn Naxor (Naxor x Maid of Medina) and the following mares:

Hans Vorderbrügge’s breeding programme lasted for two generations. The first generation fillies by the two English stallions were then bred to the straight Egyptian stallion, Ibn Galal-5 (Ibn Galal x El Aziza). He was one of the more sturdy Egyptians, not one of the ethereal ones, and he did not actually change the type of the horses. His offspring from the Vorderbrügge mares looked entirely English, even if they were not. Unfortunately, due to a dispute with the German registry, Hans Vorderbrügge dispersed his stud in the early 1980s and emigrated to Canada.

Some of the new owners of his horses continued to breed with them, and they are still around today. In fact, some of the mares were bred to imported Crabbet stallions, of which there were a few around at the time, and there are some Crabbet/OE horses of these lines in Germany today. And not too surprisingly, one is more likely to see them in ridden classes or at ridden events. There is also quite a bit of this blood in part-breds, especially many recent part-bred Pintos, with several of today’s licensed Pinto stallions in Germany tbeing out of the pure-bred mares of Vorderbrügge’s breeding. The Vorderbrügge imports were the only bulk import of Crabbet-bred horses. Other than that, there have been a few individual imports, but with very few attempts at planned breeding.

Lurex Gr. 1968 (Ludrex x Yemama)

Photo Credit: Betty Finke

One of those again came through Holland. Professor Reeber imported a lovely Crabbet/OE stallion, Lurex (Ludrex x Yemama), who had already been a successful sire in the Netherlands. Lurex was also very successful at the shows in Germany, but hardly got any outside mares because he was of the “wrong” breeding, and Dr Reeber eventually gave up the struggle and stopped breeding altogether.

Some other Crabbet horses imported in the second half of the 20th century, mostly stallions, left descendants, but not on a large scale:

Rustem Pasha 1967 (Indian King x Bint Roxana)

Photo Credit: Betty Finke

Rustem Pasha, bred by Margaret Greely, was one of the very few 100% Crabbet stallions in Germany and one of the finest. He had very few offspring and is only found today through one daughter, Caprice, out of Constanze (Harwood Asif x Consuella). Indian Fire, bred by Harwood Stud, actually had some Crabbet/OE offspring that are still around, including a son, Indian Stardust, out of Caprice. And, there are several Crabbet/OE horses that trace both to Rustem Pasha and Indian Fire; however, to my knowledge these are not used for breeding.

Aziz Agamemnon, bred by Rohaise Thomas-Everard, had exactly one all English daughter, Angel Sent Ruby, out of Rubina (Ibn Naxor x Constanze), whose daughter Racy Angel, sired by Rico (Ibn Galal-5 x Rikada), is breeding part-bred Arabian Pintos.

Aziz Agamemnon, bred by Rohaise Thomas-Everard, had exactly one all English daughter, Angel Sent Ruby, out of Rubina (Ibn Naxor x Constanze), whose daughter Racy Angel, sired by Rico (Ibn Galal-5 x Rikada), is breeding part-bred Arabian Pintos.

True Valour 1978 (Alex x Foolish Pride)

Photo Credit: Betty Finke

True Valour was imported in 1979 and had no pure-bred offspring, but did leave his mark on part-bred Pinto breeding. His son Shaitan, out of Shoshone, is one of the foundation sires of Pinto breeding in Germany, and an Elite stallion with the Pinto registry.

Nehros 1968 (Zehros x Norma)

Photo Credit: Betty Finke

Special mention must go to Nehros. Although he is only 75% Crabbet/OE, this stallion was for many years a very popular sire of riding ponies. When he was 25 years old, he was discovered and bought by an Arabian breeder. He lived to be over 30 and sired a number of excellent sport horses, including some of the best endurance horses in Germany, and became an Elite stallion with the German AHS.

To date, the last person who made an effort to establish a Crabbet breeding programme in Germany was Marion Schmitz. She started with the stallion Count Rubin (Count Bazy x AM Mignight Sun) from the USA, and eventually imported one stallion and four mares from Britain:

Safrano was probably the finest Crabbet/OE stallion to be imported to Germany since Nizar, and he produced some very nice horses with these mares. The stallion Golden Lucca, out of Luisa, is now officially the only living Crabbet/OE stallion in Germany, if he is still alive at 31, and he sired some daughters that are still being used for breeding. Marion Schmitz eventually gave up breeding as well, although she kept Safrano until the end of his life.

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