Crabbet Stud horse sales

Wilfred and Lady Anne Blunt held regular horse sales at The Crabbet Park Stud. Intitially these were held bi-annually but later on moved to an annual event.

 

These were lavish affairs attended by many distinguished guests from all over the world. They were held in the week before Goodwood so that 'society' would not be inconvenienced and arrangements were even made for the fast trains to stop at the local Three Bridges Station, which they didn't normally do.  

 

Often the sales barely covered the cost of the event and sometimes Wilfred Blunt would include some of the stud's best horses on the sale list (with no intention of selling them - by putting on such a large reserve price) to add to the interest in the sale. The articles repeatedly make this point with many distinguished guests attending but few horses being sold. However, these were huge public relations events and the Crabbet Stud was big news all over the world!

We are compiling news items covering these events as they provide real insights to these events and how they were perceived at the time. 

All Newspaper Images on this page are © The British Library Board. All rights reserved.

With thanks to The British Newspaper Archive (www.BritishNewspaperArchive.co.uk). 

Crabbet Park Sales

Click on the links above to jump to details of a particular Crabbet sale.

Please follow the link above for a full page of information on the first sale including a full list of all horses and prices paid

Please follow the link above for a full page of information on the second sale including a full list of all horses and prices paid

 

Please follow the link above for a full page of information on the third sale including a full list of all horses and prices paid

 

4th Sale - Saturday 28th July 1888

From the London Daily News 30th July 1888

Article text

 

SALE OF ARABIAN HORSES AT CRABBET PARK.

 

Mr. Wilfrid Blunt, who is not the man to do anything by halves, has of late been associated more with politics than with anything else in the public mind; but he first made a name for himself as a breeder of Arab horses. He has, never sought to make money by his experiment,  being quite content, as he observed in his genial speech at Crabbet Park, where his third sale was held on Saturday, in the conviction that he is doing something towards the improvement of horse-breeding in England. Every possible arrangement had been made for the comfort of their visitors by Mr. and Lady Anne Blunt.

 

Upwards of a hundred people sat down to luncheon, among them being Sir Wilfrid Lawson, Lady Wentworth, the Hon. E. Dillon, Mr. Charrington, Mr. and Mrs. Hancock, Mr. Vernon Lushington, Mr. Wilbraham, Mr. Eve, Mr. James Weatherby, and Mr. E. Tattersall.

 

Sir Wilfrid Lawson proposed the health of the master of Crabbet Park in a few happy sentences, and Mr. Blunt in his reply spoke at some length of the objects which he had in view in breeding these horses. First of all he believed, and still believes, that an on infusion of Arab blood would fortify the English thoroughbred, but he is also convinced that the Arab will also be valuable for general utility purposes, because of his freedom from disease and equable temperament. Mr. Blunt added, amid the sympathising cheers of his audience, that he intended to carry on the experiment and have a sale at Crabbet Park every two years as long as he found that it did not cost him too much, and he asked his guests to drink the healths of Mr. Tattersall, the auctioneer, and of Mr. James Weatherby, who endorsed what Mr. Blunt had said as to the good results which would probably ensue from a reintroduction of Arab blood into the veins of our thoroughbreds.

 

The sale commenced with the pure Arabian stallions and mares bred by Mr.Blunt  himself, the last six lots being Arabs bred by Miss Dillon at Iwerne Minster, in Dorsetshire.  Mr. Wilfrid Blunt offered ten mares and as many stallions, selling eight of each, making  about five hundred guineas for the eight mares and almost as much for the eight stallions. The best of the latter was a chestnut four-year-old named Ashgar, a Seglawi Obeyran of lbn ed Derri, which Mr. Blunt has only just had imported from the desert, and as there was no  bid at 300gs. he was not sold.

 

Of the others, the best were two colts both two years old one by Hadban and the other by Kars, which  Mr. Wilbaham, acting, as it was understood, for an Italian breeder, purchased for 110 and 100gs.; while the Rev. Arthur Tooth gave  60gs. for Roala, a four-year old stallion by Kars, who is supposed to be the best Arab sire recently introduced into England.

 

Among the ten mares put up for sale there was a beautiful five-year-old, which was described as quiet to ride and drive, and us having been ridden by a lady, but she did not reach her moderate reserve of 175 guineas, and was bought in, as was Rose of Sharon, a three-year-old daughter of Hadban and Rodania. The other mares sold fairly well, but the Hon. Miss Dillon, who is not less convinced than Mr. Wilfrid Blunt of the value of Arab blood, sold only two of the six which she offered, and they did not fetch remunerative prices. The best of her horses was a chestnut, which she had purchased of his Arab breeder in Bombay six years ago, and which she describes as "quiet to ride and drive, and an extraordinary trotter and jumper, and has carried 12st 6lb to hounds." Two or three more of Miss Dillon's horses were bred in North Africa, and it is to be hoped that in time the good which is being done by Mr. Blunt and herself will be more generally recognised. 

 

5th 'Special Sale' - Wednesday 17th July 1889

Please follow the link above for a full page of information on the fifth sale including a full list of all horses and prices paid

 

6th Sale - Saturday 22nd July 1893

7th Saturday 27th July 1895

 

From The Aberdeen Press and Journal - Tuesday 30 July 1895

Article Text

SALE OF ARAB HORSES AT THE STUD.

Wilfrid Blunt, who has devoted time and energy to the breeding Arab horses England, has held another of his biennial sales Crabbet Park. Mr Blunt presided at the luncheon before the sale commenced, and expatiated upon what he regarded as the advantage be derived from the introduction of Arab Blood, and traced the history of several animals which he had purchased in the East for trifling sums and had brought to his stud. Blunt added that the average secured at his six previous sales was something like £120, which is by no means unsatisfactory for horses out of which, unlike the Facet, no profit is made by running them for prizes.

 

This average, however, was not reached at the latest sale, for the 25 Arabs did not make quite 2000 guineas, several animals being bought in. Two of these, believed be the best, were the two-year old Anbar (by Mesaoud) and the five-year-old Ahmar (by Azrek), both sons of Queen of Sheba and belonging the Abayan Sherrak family. The auctioneer announced that the reserves these two stallions would 400 guineas and 300 guineas, and there wore bids for them they were passed over.

 

The seven other stallions warn all sold, Mr Ramadsls, who was said to be buying for export the United States, giving 200 guineas for Rarimaa, a grey four year old, while Baron Stern offered 155 guineas for a grey two-year-old described in the catalogue as having won first prize at the Hurtingham show last summer, and having been first and second this season, but the animal was bought in. The brood mares had been offered first, but five of these were bought in, the highest price being 140 guineas for Dinarsade, an eight-year-old mare of the Dahman Om Amr tribe, while Lord Harewood and Colonel Walpole each gave 110 guineas for promising mares. Several animals, the result of cross between the Arab Azrek and Suffolk Punch mares, were also offered, and the sale did not conclude until a late hour.

 

8th Sale - Saturday 25th July 1896

From The Sporting Times 4th July 1896

CRABBET ARABIAN STUD.

MESSERS. TATTERSHALL WILL

SELL for WILFRID SCAWEN BLUNT Esq.,

ON SATURDAY JULY 25th

AT THE FARM, CRABBET PARK,

THREE BRIDGES

17 HORSES AND MARES,

Some imported, of the Purest Desert Blood, among which will be found Horses suitable for tho Stud, Polo, Ladies' Hacks, etc., etc.

Arabs from the Crabbet Stud have for eighteen years been noted as of the highest type, and of Absolute Purity of Lineage, and their success prize winners at Hurlingham, Ranelagh, and Crystal Palace shows the opinion of good judges on their merits for Breeding purposes.

Catalogues on application Messrs. TATTERSHALL, Albert Gate, London; or to A. CORFE CAFFIN, Haslewick, Three Bridges, Busses. 

 

9th Sale Saturday 24th July 1897

From The London Daily News 27 July 1897

Article text

 

ARAB HORSES AT CRABBET STUD.

Field.Marshal Lord Roberts, whose predecessor in Ireland, the venerable Lord Strathnairn, never missed a Crabbet sale, gave Mr. Wilfred Blunt an undesigned advertisement when, at the recent Jublilee, he rode at the head of the Colonial troops the white Arab charger which had carried: him in Afghanistan, and which is the possessor of a war medal granted by her Majesty for this a nimal's long and metitorious service ia the field. Lord Roberts, for the matter of that, is most emphatic i :his. expression of belief in the qualities of the Arab, and- he has helped, no doubt, the movement for introducing more of them into this country, if it be only for the purpose of crossing them with the other breeds and infusing into the latter some of the high courage and stamina which in some cases seem to be disappearing. Then, again,' Mr. Wilfred Blunt has had the satisfaction of seeing polo increasing in favour, and there is sb such animal to ride at this game as the Arab, for he is quick, tractable, and enduring. and the best of the "polo pony sires " are nearly all Arabs. The general recognition of their utility must, therefore, have a favourable effect upon a stud such as that which Mr. Blunt has established at Crabbet Park and the dimensions of which have been much inreassed of late by the addition to it of a very famous Cairo stud of Arabs, which, as M~r. Blunt told his friends on Saturday, was formed by the produce of mares which, in the time Of Abbas I., had been got together from the Bedouins, who were most reluctant to sell, at a cost of nearly 100,000/. Given the increase in the size of the Crabbet stud, an annual sale seems now to be a necessity, and those whom duty or pleasure take to Crabbet Park will rejoice that it is so, for, the kindness of Mr. Wilfred Blunt and his amiable wife, Lady Anne, makes the day one to be looked back 'upon with the keenest pleasure, especially when, as on Saturday, it is favoured with such delightful weather. A. shade too warm, perhaps, but then there were plenty of cooling drinks and an abundance of shade, while the drive, whether from the prettily-situated station at 'Three Bridges or further afield from Tunbridge, was quite a thing of beaaty, so glorious is the foliage in this favoured spot of rural England. Although not residing at Crabbet now, having gone to occupy a vary charming old place near Horsham, Mr. Wilfred and Lady Anne Blunt retain the park and stud in their own hands, and the sale consequently took place close to the stud farm, preceded, as usual, by a large luncheon party, to which half the county was invited, in addition to many notabilities froms London and other places, including a strong contingent of foreign diplomatists, such as the Swedish and Dutch Ministers with their wives, the late Ambassador from the United Stales, Ur. Bayard, the Spanish and Danish military attaches, and the Japanese Secretary of Legation. Then we had Count and Countess Morelle, Count and Countess de Torte Diaz, Colonel J. de Rivera, and Baron Alexandre de Heecheren, while among the many English invites were the Earl of Galloway, the Earl of Portsmouth, the Countess of Kintore, and the Ladies Keith Falconer, the Countess of Lytton and her sons, the Countess of Lovelace, the Dowager Countess of Lovelace and Lady Mary Milbanks, Viscount Gore and the Hon. Mrs. Vereker, Lord Calthorpe, Lady Alfred Spencer-Churchill, Sir Francis Evans, M.P., and Lady Evans Sir James Fergusson, X P., Sir William and Lady Boord, General Sir William Stirling-Hamilton. Sir William and Lady Russell, Sir Gerald and Lady VitzGerald, Sir George and Lady Baden-Paowell, Sir George Bowen, Sir Charles and the Hon. Lady Crawford, Sir Edward Blount, and General Sir Charlesa Brownlow. Then we had the Hon. Miss Dillon, as great an enthusiast of Arabs as Mr. Blunt himself, Profesesor'Lecky, who seems to be developiing a nice taste i horseflesh; ir., Hamilton Aid, Colonel Laselles, in' commaand of the New South 'Wales Mounted Rifles, General. and Mrs. Reginald Talbot, Colonel Beckett (3rd Hussars), Mr; Evelyn and family, Drt. 'Henry Walter Gilbey, the Ron. Mrs. Lawley, Mr. and Lady Rachel- Howard, Colonel Murdoch, the Hon. Lionel and LadyEdith King-Noel, Mr. and Lady Maud Parry, Dir. and Mrs. Ker Seymer, Mr. and Lady UMeud Ryder; and' Sir William Whiteway, the Premier of Newfouhidlkad. 3iey of the guests were under the impronssian n an elderly gentleman lose to propose the health'of our hosttdhostess that they were listen- Iing- to-the Colonial Preiier, but MDr. Blunt in th, open- nag wordsz of his chitty reply undeceived them by alluding h the-b too'flittering words of my friend- Mr. : Evelyn.": -'semastet-of'Woottan, probably the most :charming ld-fishlioned 'residene, in Southern Eng- land, hbd. dwelt upon the enthusiasm which both Mir; Blunt and his amiable *ife infuse into all their tnder-. t.kirnn-s' and nlthough .political allusions were strictly -tabood everyone undeistoedtheallusidn, andeven those -tkhe m-oajority; 'no: doubt-who w7ere " on the other -side '"theeredsytnpathhticely. Mr. Blunt in returning . thanks gavu s~omne intarestiag particulars as to his stud,. and set forth the news which he holds as to horsebreed- .vi g, gong on, asY by anzaetutal transition, to apeak of r. Tattersall,,whose fi, Iat he reminded us, is almost - as old as the bread of. houses which we know as the . Ahorgugnle d, though this latter is only the Arab de- vel Medittthe- 'English 'climate. Mr. TattersaU, being 'anxious to get to businese, was very brief in his ieply, and then the 'sale 'began, the cata- logue *'teiptisicg some seven, - and - twenty . horses'twoor'tjree of -which had been sent by Lord kovelace. Those~belonging to -Mr. Wilxid Blunt were hold ist,- and- although there were several biddets, : many lot§ failed to reach their reserves, the competition seeuing to be best foe the mares and fillies as five of the ten chiaied lUand& )"r. Mlacguire secured two of these, giving I05gs. for: D'r Es Salam, a four-year-old .daughter ofthe well-kdpwn show horse Mesasud and 74gs. 'for Sh'ebakaAjLdAughter of Merzuk, while Di. Mitcheil secured Wild 'Cohlmbine, a pratty bay rare by Azrek,. one of Mr. Blunt's farourites, for 82gs., ani Sherideh, a grey two year-old, for 55gs. rhe stallions, 'ranging l-age frem twvo < to four years, did not sell so well, as only three changed hands, Mr. Malyer giving 97gs. for Raw-wel, a grey faur-yearuold with very fiue action, while twio colts of two years, sons of the prize- winner M)Kesa~oudt, were bought for 76 and 62gs. respec- tively. After thesecpure Arabs' had been disposed of, sir cross-bred colts and fllies, all by Diesaoud, while their dams were mares of the heavy breed known as .the Sufulk Punch, were sold, but they did not elicit mush compeition, only two or three of the number changing hands at from 40 to 20gs. each. the sale concluding in plenty of time for the open air recep- tiou, whih was the concluding feature in a, very plezasat clay.__ 

 

10th Sale - Saturday 23rd July 1898

From the St James Gazette 25th July 1898

Article text

ST. JAMES’S GAZETTE. SPORT AND PLAY, The Crabbet Park Sale of Arabs. (By Our Own Representative.) The annual sale of Arab horses from Mr. Blunt’s stud at Crabbet Park is one of the most charming and picturesque events of the end of the season. quick journey by the Brighton line to Three Bridges, and a short and pretty drive through Sussex pastures, brings you to the stables where Mr. Blunt is doing his best to introduce the finest strain of Arab blood into the somewhat exhausted English stock of thoroughbreds and Hackneys.

Note:

To see this complete and very informative article click here

 

Saturday 8th July 1899 - 11th Sale

From the Pall Mall Gazette 28th June 1899

Lady Anne Blunt will entertain a number of distinguished guests at luncheon at Crabbet Park, Three Bridges, on Saturday, July 8, on the occasion of the sale of Arab horses recently imported by Mr. Wilfrid Blunt. 

On Saturday Messrs Tattersall sold the breeding stud of Mr. Wr Blunt, at Crabbet Park, Three Bridges. The sale included four Arabian sires and eight Arabian mares

Freeman's Journal - Monday 24 July 1899

Article text

Wilfrid Blunts journal entry - 

8th July

Our annual Arab sale. An immence concourse of people, 380 sitting down to luncheon in the tent, Colonel Sdanowitch our principle buyer for the Russian Government.

Taken from:

My Dairies

being a Personal Narrative of Events, 1888 - 1914 by Wilfrid Scawen Blunt. Part One 1888-1900

Page 402

SALE OF ARAB HORSES AT CRABBET PARK.

There is no more enjoyable fixture, semi-social, semi-sporting, says The Daily News, than the annual sale of Mr. Wilfrid Blunt's Arab

horses at Crabbet Park, especially when the weather is as gloriously fine as it was on Saturday, for Mr. and Lady Anne Blunt, whose splendid hospitality is much appreciated by all whom pleasure or business brings to their picturesque domain, situated in the midst of true English scenery. The foreign visitors to Crabbet—and they number not a lew, year in, year out,—are always enchanted with the beauty of this district, while Crabbet Park itself is never seen to greater advantage than in the heart of such a summer as we are enjoying. The sale has hitherto been held on the Saturday before the Goodwood laces, but the date was advanced a fortnight, to meet the convenience of foreign buyers, without, to jute by results, having the effect of bringirg more bidders into the arena. There was, however, a very much increased general attendance, Mr. and Lady Anne Blunt having invited a very large company to luncheon, among their guests being the Duchesse de Bassano and daughter, the Marchionesses of Dufferin and Ava and Queensberry, the Countess of Lytton and Lady Constance Lytton, the Dowager Countess of Mayo and Lady Florence Bourke, the Dowager Countess de la Warr and Lady Mary Sackville, the Dowager Countess of Lovelace, Viscount Hampden, Visccunt St. Cyres, Lord Rowton, Lord Davey and the Hon. Miss Davey, Dowager Lady Westbury, Count Karl Levenhaupt, the Swedish Minister, General Sir John Watson (who buys for the Indian remount), Sir Weetman and Lady Pearson, Judge Lushington and Miss Lushington, and Mr. and Mrs. T. P. O'Connor. Two or three representatives of the State breeding studs in Hungary and Russia were also present, and after luncheon was over Lord Hampden proposed Mr. Wilfrid Blunt's health, and the latter made an admirable speech in reply, dwelling with pardonable pride upon the success which had attended his sales in previous years—a success which he attributed to the wideness of the market for Arab horses, unaffected by local conditions, and to the steady improvement in the quality of the horses bred, not only at Crabbet Park, but at all other Arab studs in the country.

 

Several of the Arab horses bred at Crabbet Park had been winning prizes at the different shows, but Mr. Wilfrid Blunt himself was holding himself in reserve for the Paris Exhibition next year, when there would be good classes for Arabs, open to all the world, and a real competition, and it was his intention to send over a contingent of a dozen, and try conclusions with the finest of the Arabs bred on the Continent. After dwelling upon the sobriety of the Arab horse in the way of food, and their ability to pick up a living and work cheerfully under conditions that would ruin most English horses, he gave several instances if this which had come under his own experience, and adduced the testimony of an officer who was through the recent campaign in the Soudan, with an horse that had done a ride of almost Soo miles continuous marching, of which three parts was done after he had cast his shoes, while the camels which he had with him were knocked up. Then there was Lord Roberts's horse, which died the other day, after having carried him in all his campaigns, and enjoyed the exceptional honour of being allowed to wear the Afghan medal with four clasps, and he was not an Arab of the finest blood. Mr. Blunt concluded by expressing the hope that his horses would sell well, but this anticipation was not, despite the large company present, destined to fulfilment, for though it was generally agreed that no better lot of horses had ever been sent into the ring at Crabbet Park, not half of the twenty-six lots changed bands. The first section of the catalogue comprised fourteen sires, eleven of which were sons of the well-known horse Ibu Mesaoud, of the Kehilan Ajuz strain, which won first prize and championship at the Cairo Show in 1897, and is now seven years old. Only five of the eleven were sold far a total of 564 guineas, the highest price being 250 guineas for a bay two-year old—Naarnan, who was secured by the Russian Government, and who would have been still better liked if he had not the four white stockings, which so often indicates softness. Mr. Evelyn, of Woolton, bought another two-year old for So guineas, but two young sires bred by the late All Pasha Sherif in Egypt, and purchased by Mr. Blunt at the break-up of his stud in Cairo, were returned unsold, as was the stallion Ibu Mesaoud. The mares came next, and of the twelve offered just half found purchasers, for a total of 412 guineas, the Russian agents being again the best customers, as they took four out of the six, giving too guineas eaeh for two by Mesaoud and Azreh, and the two others were purchased by Mr: N.V. T. Mitchell, of the Colney Park Stud, and Mr. H. J. Smith, and it IS very probable that some of the others which did not reach their reserve in the ring will have found purchasers before this.

 

Saturday 7th July 1900 - 12th Sale

Sporting Times - 30th June 1900

CRABBET ARABIAN STUD.

MESSERS. TATTERSHALL WILL

SELL for WILFRID SCAWEN BLUNT Esq.,

ON SATURDAY JULY 7th

AT THE FARM, CRABBET PARK,

THREE BRIDGES

17 HORSES AND MARES,

Some imported, of the Purest Desert Blood, among which will be found Horses suitable for tho Stud, Polo, Ladies' Hacks, etc., etc.

Arabs from the Crabbet Stud have for twenty one years been noted as of the highest type, and of Absolute Purity of Lineage, and their success prize winners at Hurlingham, Ranelagh, and Crystal Palace shows the opinion of good judges on their merits for Breeding purposes.

Catalogues on application Messrs. TATTERSHALL, Albert Gate, London; or to A. CORFE CAFFIN, Haslewick, Three Bridges, Busses. 

Saturday 6th July 1901 - 13th Sale

 

Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette 11th July 1901

Wilfrid Blunts journal entry - 

6th July  

Our annual Arab sale. A great concourse of people from London, including not a few notabilities. We sold twelve lots at an average of 120 guineas, four (stallions) were bought for the Indian Government, three for New South Wales, two for Java and one for Germany.

Taken from:

My Dairies

being a Personal Narrative of Events, 1888 - 1914 by Wilfrid Scawen Blunt. Part Two 1900-1914

Page 29/30

Article text

 

VALUE OF ARAB HORSES. Mr. "Wilfred and Lady Anne Blunt had their customary luncheon and garden party at Crabbet Park on Saturday afternoon, in connection with their annual sale of Arab horses, and a very large company had accepted invitations be present. There were 20 lots the catalogue, or five move than last year, and of these were stallions, four mares, and one gelding. The stallions were sold first, and six of the 15 failed to reach their reserve - the nine others made 1,505gs.. highest being given Sir John Wetson who paid 280gs. for a seven-year-old horse bred in Egypt, and now destined to go to India, Sir John having purchased him and three others, which made respectively 250gs. 165gs. and 150gs. for the Government stud that country. The five others, purchased Major Hamilton, Mr. Holle, and Colonel H. Jones, will also go abroad, and after the one gelding in the catalogue had been passed out, three of the four mares were sold for 300gs two of them going to Major Hamilton, who was buying, it was said, for the West Indies. The total of sale was 1,885gs., giving an average of 157gs, 

 

Saturday 5th July 1902 -  14th Sale

Mid Sussex Times - Tuesday 08 July 1902

Article text

CRABBET PARK SALE OF ARABS

 

The lovely weather which prevailed on Saturday caused a large and fashionable company to assemble at Crabbet Park, near Three Bridges, to witness the sale of Arab horses bred by Mr. Wilfrid Blunt. Carriages and motor cars conveyed the spectators from the railway station to the Park, and the scene when all had arrived was a brilliant and animated one. Amongst those invited to enjoy the hospitality of Mr. Wilfrid and Lady Anne Blnnt were her Highness Princess Louise Augusta of Schleswig-Holstein and the Hon. Miss Hughes (in attendance), bis Highness the Sultan of Perak and suite, Colonel his Highness the Maharaja of Idar (Sir Pertab Singh), Major Pinhey, his Highness the Maharaja of Bikanar, the Princess of Monaco and Mdlle. de Richelieu, Earl Egerton of Tatton, Counters of Lovelace, Countess of Cottenham. Visconntees Wolseley and the Hon. Frances Wolseley, Lord and Lady Davey, Lord and Lady Monteagle, Lord Stanmore and the Hon. Nevil Gordon, the Hon. Arthur and Mrs. Brand, Mr. and Mrs. Locke King, Lt.-Col. and Lady Beatrice Rawson, the Hon. Mark and Mrs. Napier, Mrs. Craigie, Captain Gooch, Sir John Luscombe, Sir E. Barton (Premier of Australia), Sir John Cockburne, the Rev. and Mrs. Bridge, Dr. and Mrs. Martin, Mr. and Mrs. Clowes, Mr. Cowley, Mr. and Mrs. Freeman Murray, Mr., Mrs. and Mies Briggs, Mr. H. Longley and many others. The party sitting down luncheon numbered four hundred.

 

The health of Mr. Wilfrid Blunt was proposed by Earl Egerton, who said that no one in this country, not even Sir Walter Gilbey, had done more to encourage horse-breeding on the right lines than their host. (Applause).

 

Mr. Wilfrid Blunt, in responding to the toast, said in common with all European travellers, possessed of any knowledge of horse flesh, who bad visited the Bedouin tribes of Northern and Central Arabia, he was immensely impressed, while among them in 1878 and 1879, with their famous breed of horses. It appeared to him something very like a miracle to find in these barren deserts, and as the ancestral inheritance of some of the wildest and least civilised populations of the world, possession of such perfect beauty as was the Arabian thoroughbred. To this was added the wonderful historic record of the breed, its fame through many centuries in Asia, and the fact that it was the parent stem of the thoroughbred horse England and everywhere tbrougbout the world. It was the conviction that this wonderful breed of horses was threatened with extinction in its native home that led him twenty-five years ago to make the attempt they now saw carried out at Grabbet of rescuing at least a fraction of the race and preserving it in all its purity in England. In this object he thought be could claim to have succeeded to a degree of which no other European stud could boast. In form, in temper and in hardihood the Crabbet Arabian was the same as his brother born in the desert. An Arab horse was said to bring a blessing to its owner, and he could honestly say he had had good fortune in all his affairs since taking to the breeding of Arab horses. He had supplied no less than four stallions to the Indian Government, two to Java and two to Japan. Australia and New Zealand were also amongst bis best customers. He did not pretend to be able to supply the world with cheap Arab horses only with the best, and as long as he was able to produce even so few half a dozen of the very best at his annual sale he should be amply satisfied. The prime object of the Crabbet breeding stud was not commercial sucoess, but the perpetuation, under conditions where it was safe from all contact with less pure elements, of the oldest and noblest race of horses in the world. (Applause).

 

The catalogue comprised twenty-five animals, Mr. Tattersall being the auctioneer. Only two horses were sold. The Rev. D. B. Montefiore took Leili (covered by Mesaoud and bred by the Hon. Miss Dillon) at 29gns., and Major Baillie, of London, obtained Mansura at 15gns. As much as 350gns., 300gns., 250gn»., 225gns. and 200gns., were offered for some of the horses, but they failed to change hands. All this means, of course, that Mr. Blunt has other purchasers in view, and only desired to show his guests the progress of his stud. 

from the Western Times published on 19 July 1902

"ARABS" AT CRABBET PARK. Mr. Wilfrid Blunt's annual sale of Arab horses at Crabbet Park, on Saturday, was one of the most brilliant social gatherings of the week, and was graced by the presence of many Oriental and Colonial guests of the highest distinction. Only two animals changed hands, and those at insignificant prices, but more than half dozen animals, embodying the finest qualities of the Arab breed, withdrawn at prices varying from £200 to £350. This was because the horses were only paraded for show. Mr. Blunt's private clients including nearly all the Governments of the most powerful States in the world. 

Note: £350 in 1902 is worth around  £38,845 at todays prices!!

Wilfrid Blunts journal entry - 

July 5th 

The day of our horse sale.

I am camped at Caxtons very pleasantly. As a social function all went off most prosperously. Five hundred and ninety invitations, and some five hundred sat down to luncheon. Also the quality of guests was exalted - Princess louise, the Sultan of Perak with a turbaned suite, Pertab Singh, Maharajah of Idar with the smae, some twenty Colonial big wigs, including Barton, Prime Minister of the new Australian commonwealth, and a fair show of our own Lords and Ladies. My health was proposed by Lord Egerton and I made a rather longer speech than usual in reply. There was no hitch in any of the arrangements, and all the world was pleased. The sole thing wanting was the presence of buyers for horses. It was the worst sale we have had in all our twenty years as last years was the best.

Taken from:

My Dairies

being a Personal Narrative of Events, 1888 - 1914 by Wilfrid Scawen Blunt. Part Two 1900-1914

Page 29/30

 

Saturday 4th July 1903 - The 15th Sale

from the Bedforshire Mercury published on 10 July 1903

Article text

 

Crabbet Park Horse Sale. —Mr Wilfrid and Lady Anne Blunt on Saturday entertained a large party at Crabbet Park on the occasion of tho sale of pure-bred Arabian horses and brood stock. Among tho guests were tho Dowager Countess de la Warr, Lord Sackville, Sir T. C. Plowden, Sir Alfred and Lady Lyall, &c.—After luncheon, Mr Blunt, in reply to tho toast of his health, said that since beginning the Crabbet sales they had sold 160 horses for an aggregate sum of 19,680 gs., an average of 123 gs. each, which seemed a satisfactory figure, and compared very favourably with the prices obtained for any kind horses—racing stock excepted—anywhere in the world. 

Wilfrid Blunts journal entry - 

4th July

Our annual Crabbet Sale, but most of the fine ladies from London failed to come, only 300 persons sitting down to luncheon in the tent. The speeches were good. Cunnunghame Graham proposing my health. Redmond and Dillon were both therer, I sat between Mrs Redmond and Caroline Grosvenor.

[N.B. This was our last public sale at Crabbet.]

Taken from:

My Dairies

being a Personal Narrative of Events, 1888 - 1914 by Wilfrid Scawen Blunt. Part Two 1900-1914

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