Greylight 1959 - 1992
Bred by Cecil Covey
It is difficult to explore the history of Greylight without blurring the narrative’s border into a discussion on Royal Radiance (Royal Diamond x Silver Gilt). The fact, of course, is that their history and subsequent influence on the Arabian horse of Australia is interlaced. Royal Radiance was imported in 1958, already in foal to Bright Shadow (Radi / Pale Shadow). The resulting foal was born at Fenwick Stud during April 1959, and ‘was from his very first appearance on the ground the absolute centre of attention.’ With reference to Royal Radiance, Mrs C Gordon suggested that ‘even if he had been her only son, her influence was assured.’ And assured it was. Born chestnut and transitioning to a rose grey in his early years, Greylight captured and held the imagination of Arabian breeders throughout the sixties, seventies and eighties. He sired over one hundred and fifty foals during his lifetime and continued to cover mares until the age of twenty-eight, where he was forced into retirement due to arthritis.
Bright Shadow 1948
(Radi x Pale Shadow) Photo credit: Crabbet Archives
Royal Radiance (1955)
(Royal Diamond X Silver Gilt)
Photo credit: Fenwick Stud Collection
Greylight’s sire, Bright Shadow (Radi x Pale Shadow) was bred by Mrs Mounsey-Heysham before being purchased by Lady Wentworth. As a stallion, Bright Shadow was used sparingly at Crabbet during Lady Wentworth’s lifetime, but was made available to the public by Mr C Covey following her ladyship’s death. Upon reflection, Mr Covey described the chestnut stallion, Bright Shadow, as: ‘a well-balanced and compact horse with a very nice head. His temperament was out of this world. I have never had an easier horse to handle and he passed it all on to his stock.’ Bright Shadow’s sire was Radi (Rishan x Razina) who was purchased along with his dam, Razina (Rasim x Riyala) following Lady Yule and her daughter’s first visit to Crabbet on July 11, 1925.
(Rishan x Razina) Photo credit: Crabbet Archives
(Rasim x Riyala) Photo credit: Crabbet Archives
Razina is often regarded as the foundation mare of Hanstead Stud. When considering a mare of this calibre in Greylight’s pedigree, one must remember that not only did Razina find incredible success in the showring, she also produced the likes of Riffal (by Naufal), Raktha (by Naseem) and Shamnar (by Naziri). Bright Shadow’s dam was Pale Shadow (Rissalix x Shamnar) – and it is here that the importance of Razina is duly noted. Pale Shadow was bred by Lady Yule at Hanstead Stud, following the purchase of Rissalix (Faris x Rissla) during a time when horses and services were interchanged between the breeders. Rissalix is often noted as being ‘one of the very few horses that Lady Wentworth regretted having sold.’
Affectionately dubbed “that Little Rascal” by Mrs A.D.D. Maclean, Greylight was measured at 14:2 hands in his prime and was to be Fenwick Stud’s ‘last living link with all that was great about “Crabbet Park” in its golden years.’
Apart from finely sculptured ears, well-set eyes and distinctive bloody shoulder and flank, Greylight’s movement remained his greatest strength throughout a successful show career that saw him take home the Rami Sash at the 1961 Melbourne Royal and the Champion stallion, and eventual Supreme Champion, at the 1963 Sydney Royal. In relation to Greylight’s movement, Mr R Ryan recounts that ‘it was his brilliance in this field which helped him to receive one of his Royal Championships, as the judge, the late Dr Crozier, said to Mrs Maclean, after the judging, “It was his flying trot that won it for him.” Many have commented on the battles waged across the stallion yards at Fenwick Stud between Greylight and Sindh (Silver Vanity x Silfina). An armistice was reached only with the passing of Sindh in 1986; leaving Greylight suddenly quiet and quite possibly depressed. It is near impossible to forget the quality of Greylight, as his progeny and influence continue to provide the foundations for contemporary Crabbet breeding programs in Australia and around the world.
© 2016 Sean Johnson
Photo Credit: Ron Ryan
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 Crabbet Convention book 2016.
You can download the full article in pdf format here.
AHSA. (2005). The Arabian Horse Society of Australia Stud Book. Retrieved 6 3, 2016
AHSA. (2005). The Arabian Horse Society of Australia Stud Book. Retrieved May 8, 2016
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