The Hanstead Stud

Hanstead Stud was founded by Lady Yule in 1925 with the purchase of Razina from Lady Wentworth at Crabbet Park. Razina was a chestnut mare by Rasim out of Riyala.  She was to become one of the best broodmares of her generation. Her influence was profound and continues to be to this day in Crabbet breeding, both here and abroad. Her best offspring were Nurschida, Raktha, Riffal and Shamnar. Nurschida and Shamnar joined the broodmare band and produced Namilla, Rikitea,and Sulka (from Nurschida), and Carlina, Pale Shadow, Count Dorsaz and Kabara  (from Shamnar).  

Razina 1922 (Razim x Riyala)

Razina with Shamnar at foot (by Naziri)

In 1933, Lady Yule added the mares Astrella, Naxina and Niseyra. Together with Razina and her daughters, they proved to be a fantastic group of broodmares. The Blunts judged a broodmare on her ability to produce a top class stallion. In the first 20 years of the stud, they and their daughters produced the outstanding stallions Raktha, Riffal , Oran, General Grant, Grey Owl, Naseel, and Count Dorsaz.

Further mares were purchased – Rafeena (1951-58) and Minta, and they produced top stallions Iridos, Count Rapello and Grantchester (from Rafeena), and Blue Mint (from Minta).

Niseyra 1935 (Rissam x Neraida)

Stud Card for Raktha and Grey Owl

In the early days, Lady Yule used stallions such as Nuri Sherif and Algol to good effect. Following the arrival of Crabbet mares Astrella and Naxina via an agent, Lady Wentworth agreed that Hanstead mares could come to Crabbet for covering by her stallions. This evolved into an exchange of horses. It was because of this agreement that Razina came to be covered by Naseem, resulting in birth of Raktha. He was bought by Lady Wentworth in 1939 and had a very significant impact there. Other exchanges were Ghezala (Faris x Rasana ex Razina), from Hanstead to Crabbet, and Niseyra (Rissam x Neraida),  from Crabbet to Hanstead. Lady Yule bought one very significant stallion from Crabbet - the outstanding Rissalix (Faris x Rissla), who resulted in a whole new dimension at Hanstead. Lady Yule also used Rissam (Naseem x Rim), who was leased from Crabbet.

Combining this marvellous broodmare base with homebred stallions and Rissalix (from 1941) and Rissam (1940 – 1941) , created the Hanstead Arabian.

Astrella 1929 (Raseem x Amida)

Rissalix 1934 (Faris x Rissla)

The great exchange arrangement was to come to an end when Lady Wentworth refused to sell Indian Grey, (full brother to Indian Magic) to Lady Yule. In return, Lady Yule refused to sell Oran (Riffal x Astrella) to Lady Wentworth. Oran was sold to Mr McConnell, who sold him to the British Bloodstock Agency who sold him to Lady Wentworth. When Lady Yule found out, she cut off all contact with Lady Wentworth. The stallion General Grant (Raktha – Samsie), was the result of the last mating under the old agreement.

General Grant 1945 (Raktha x Samsie)

Shortly after the falling out in 1945, Lady Yule’s daughter Gladys, took over the stud. She actually bred more Arabians than her mother, even though the stud only ran for another 9 years. The stud produced half a dozen or so foals every year and with growing numbers, some were sold. New breeders were able to purchase some of the stock and stallions were made available at public stud. The birth of Blue Domino (Rissalix x Niseyra) was quite a landmark for Hanstead as he was very typey stallion and offered something a little different to other studs. He had his faults but his stock were hugely successful in the show ring, often having Rissla’s great movement via Rissalix.

Blue Domino 1947 (Rissalix x Niseyra)

Despite being unable access Crabbet Stud stallions, Hanstead continued with its very successful breeding programme. The ‘closed’ gene pool allowed a distinctive Hanstead type to develop which is noticeable particularly with the chestnuts!  Count Dorsaz (Rissalix – Shamnar), Princess Zia (Count Dorsaz x Queen Zenobia), Count Manilla (Count Dorsaz x Namilla), Mikeno (Rissalix x Namilla), Zena (Blue Domino x  Queen Zenobia) and Elvira (Rissalix x Hama), certainly had the Hanstead look.

Count Dorsaz 1949 (Rissalix x Shamnar)

Count Manilla 1952 (Count Dorsaz x Namilla)

The stud burned very brightly under Gladys Yule’s management, but it was not to last. Sadly, she died at the age of only 54 years. Her companion Miss Patricia Woolf, kept a few horses on, notably Blue Domino, and three horses are recorded as being bred by either Hanstead or Mrs PK Woolf Hanstead Stud  - Santa Rafeena, Bona Blue and Azure Blue. The remainder were put up for sale. This all happened within a few weeks of the death of Lady Wentworth. Wealthy American breeders had a field day, importing some of the best stock, many in foal and travelling with their offspring. Many disappeared into the vast American gene pool, the Crabbet lines diluted and identity lost, but some had great success, especially those that went to Al Marah Arabians.

Bona Blue 1959 (Blue Domino x Umatella)

Not all the horses went overseas. The Hedleys who were just starting up their famous Briery Close Stud, bought General Grant, Count Rapello, Samaveda, Umatella and Azella. Mrs Linney had already bought Mikeno. Mrs Roberts bought Ambria. Bona Blue was bought by Mrs E M Thomas, who also used Blue Domino on many of her Crabbet mares. Mintey was purchased by DJ Avila and Samson went to Ireland. Kami stood at stud with Margaret Evans and  Yateemah joined Mrs Ratcliff. Sylvatica went to Miss M J Gardner. Grey Thora  was bought by Mrs D E M Alexander. Iridos eventually found a home with Miss Patricia Lindsay who in her advert said he was saved for posterity!

Al Marah imported Salinas, Aliciaa, Blue Sal, Zulima, Taheki, Thorayya, Minta, Blue Millet and Little Owl. Two years later, Count Dorsaz came on loan but stayed, having a monumental influence at Al Marah.

Count Manilla (Count Dorsaz x Namilla) went to Australia, where he was an influential sire, and in South Africa there were already several very good horses from Hanstead. These were joined later by several top class horses from Miss Greely’s Hanstead-based stud.

Hanstead Stud has left a lasting legacy which runs through so many of our current Crabbet and Old English horses. It has also contributed greatly to the Crabbet breeding programmes in Australia, South Africa and the USA. Lady Yule and Gladys Yule were gifted horse breeders, who will be remembered for their unique abilities.

Further reference