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by Betty Finke


There are quite a few Crabbet horses in France.

The unique aspect regarding France is that there were three cases in which entire studs and breeding programmes were relocated from England to France, all of them with Crabbet horses: the Brethertons, Carol Carpenter, and Courthouse. In two of these cases it was difficult to determine exactly which horses went to France, because there is no record of their export in the AHSB, presumably because they didn’t change hands.

In other words, this is a tentative list of the Bretherton imports:

The stud was apparently disbanded some years ago, and some of the mares, Silver Scerzo and Tsigane, never produced any registered offspring in France. However, several mares went to the stud of endurance rider Jean-Noel Lafaure and have been breeding very successful endurance horses there. These include Silver Opal, Silver Maharanee, Iguana, and Guarani. The sire of most of their foals was a stallion named Kalhan, who has a good dose of Crabbet breeding himself. His sire is Moulouki (Amri x Izarra) and his dam is the English mare Shadeekha, by Scindian Magic (Indian Magic x Scindia) and out of Autumn Bronze (Listopad x Castanea), who was ¾ Crabbet/OE and ¼ Russian.

The stud farm of Carol Carpenter also relocated to France, and again this is a tentative list of horses; one stallion and 12 mares:

Carol’s Crabbet breeding programme has apparently stopped, but there are still some 100% Crabbet horses around in France, with some horses of this breeding returning to Britain in recent years. Another 100% Crabbet stallion that emigrated to France, rather than being exported, was Indian Banner (Silvadoris x Xarifa), who sired some 100% Crabbet offspring there from the Carpenter mares.

Indian Banner 1982 (Silvadoris x Xarifa)

Photo Credit: Betty Finke

Last but not least, there are the Courthouse imports. This is an intriguing case. The entire stock of Courthouse at the time was sold to France, and the new owners named their stud Courthouse and bred them pure; two stallions and six mares:

While the stud itself has since been disbanded, there are still pure Courthouse horses in France, and since none of them carry the blood of the Polish mare Celina, they are in fact Crabbet/OE. The stallion Siroco Courthouse (Saltram x Signorinetta), although he was injured as a young horse and never competed, is a sire of successful endurance horses in France, some of them of straight Courthouse breeding.

Ramoth1982 (Shammar x Rosa-maria)

Photo Credit: Betty Finke

Ramoth, who was foaled in England and to my knowledge never used for breeding there, has been called “one of the greatest endurance stallions of our time” in France. He has sired many very successful endurance horses, both pure-bred and Anglo Arabs.

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