Don and Da`na Spoor
P. O. Box 91403
Santa Barbara, CA
Wind Dancer Arabians
A N E G Y P T I A N D R E A M
title shows the Pharrah granddaughter Imperial Im Phayanah
Once upon a
time in America. A time which is far in the past and wont return. A time in
which investors drew out there check-book and paid millions for Egyptian horses with a
tired smile. The high time of syndicates and exclusive auctions. A time in which Arabian
horses were treated and sold as objects dart polished, beamed on by
spotlights, provided with expertise's.
It was in this time that the mare Pharrah
(Farag x Tamria) appeared as well at one of the big auctions: at the "Egyptian Event
Sale" of the year 1983 then one of the most pompous events. I remember exactly
her appearance, for Pharrah looked so unusually beautiful. She was eleven years old
and seemed to have come directly from one of these old paintings by Adam or Vernet. Her
long narrow face reminded of her grandsire Morafic, the long slender supple neck as
well. The face was dominated by those big round dark eyes which seemed to reflect her
Egyptian ancestors. She was full of nobility, light as a feather, her movements
were playfully light. Everything at her was in balance, nothing was too long or too short.
A mare whose immaculate appearance made the audiencegrow dumb.
Pharrah (Farag x Kamar)
But then the bidding started. Fast and vehement. The buyers literally scrambled
for her. Only for seconds a bidder was allowed to be pleased with the supposed knocking
down at 120,000 dollars, for it continued with a frantic rate. One approached the
200,000-dollar-line, and the hands of the bidders still went up. 200,000 dollars!
The auctioneer had a short breather, then he looked around. There were only few left in
the competition. Would it go on? Even I held the breath. Who would get the knocking
down, who would fulfill himself this Egyptian dream? An investor who wouldnt care a
bit about the well-being of the horse later on or a "real" breeder who would be
able to really "use" Pharrah? Now the bidding was at 225,000 dollars, and the
auction still went on. Then there was the knocking down and Pharrah changed the owner.
"Going, going, gone: 255,000 dollars, sold to Vincent Fortuna!" Applause surged,
the blonde Diane Fortuna flew into her husbands arms and everybody was content:
Pharrahs seller Barbara Griffith (Imperial Egyptian Stud) because the price was
right, the Fortunas because they wanted Pharrah and solely Pharrah! and
finally Pharrah herself as an "expectant mother" who seemed to like everything
but the stress of this auction and at last was allowed to return to her stall!
"Where does this Pharrah come from," some asked themselves after the
auction, and especially: Why was such a beauty sold at all? Was there perhaps a blemish, a
hidden fault one had missed? Lets start with Pharrahs origin. She was born on
the 3rd January 1972 at the Hungarian state stud Babolna. Her sire
was the Egyptian import and head stallion for many years, Farag (Morafic x Bint Kateefa).
A dry and very noble stallion, an image of his famous sire just without Morafics
extreme profile. The dam originates as well from Egypt; it was the grey mare Tamria
(Tuhotmos x Kamar), a sister of Ibn Morafics dam Kharamana (Anter x Kamar).
Photo: Van Lent
As a five-year-old Pharrah was sold
into the USA and in 1978 she found her home at the Imperial Egyptian Stud. There she
gave birth to five foals in a row. The first was the best and (up to this day!) the most
influential: Imperial Phanadah (by Ibn Moniet El Nefous). A chestnut who was
defeated by her dam in a direct "beauty comparison" but who turned out to be a
real foundation mare. Especially when she was bred to Imperials pasha the
incomparably masculine and ardent Ansata Imperial (Ansata Ibn Sudan x Ansata Delilah)
daughters were born who surpassed each other in expression and beauty. Preceding
all the "glamour ladies" Imperial Phanilah and Imperial Im Phayanah.
it be in Qatar, in Jordan, in Israel, in France or in the United States
everywhere these two mares stood on the winners pedestal. The more successful of
both was the flea-bitten grey Imperial Phanilah. In Europe she made herself immortal with
her win of the World Championships in Paris. After her victory pass, when the
applause surged, she neighed and pranced: a monument of Arabian beauty a sculptor
couldnt have figured more accomplished! Today Imperial Phanilah lives at the
"Al Shaqab Stud" of Qatars Crown Prince.
Her full sister
Imperial Im Phayanah has taken a dwelling at Uri Arielys stud farm
in Israel. Her
son Shahir (by the German stallion Salaa El Dine) returned to the USA and served as
an outcross stallion at Arabians Ltd. Today, he is standing at Cadron Creek
Arabians in Arkansas. Shahir as well captivates especially with expression and nobility,
though his great granddam Pharrah can hardly be recognized in him any longer.
Photo: Darryl Larson
But even at the Imperial Egyptian Stud one doesnt manage without any blood
of Pharrahs today. Barbara Griffith esteems the young Imperial Orrapha (Orashan x
Imperial Im Pharida full sister to Imperial Phanilah) as one of her best producing
mares. Her two-year-old son Imperial Kamshah (by Imperial Al Kamar) delights every
Arabian horse lover. When he romps over the green hills of Imperial and his mane and tail
flutter in the wind you realize that the Arabian horse is indeed a "flyer without
wings": He seems to touch the ground only because of his kindness...
So why did Barbara Griffith separate from Pharrah at that time? "It
wasnt an easy decision," she admits. "But I owned three of her daughters
who where able to continue her line." No "hidden faults" then? "No,
absolutely not! Ask Diane and Vincent Fortuna whether they have ever regretted the
buying!" A question which is superfluous. Even today eight years after
Pharrahs death there is no other horse for Diane. "To me Pharrah was the
ideal of an Egyptian mare beautiful and gentle, noble and sublime and the best
broodmare you could find!"
Two Pharrah sons were born at Fortunas stud. The first was Royal Jalliel,
an Ansata Imperial son born in 1984. A gentle stallion whose character was
obviously dominated by the calmness of his dam. From birth on he was a real
"beau" perfectly balanced, perfectly graceful. Completely
mothers son. His head was shorter than Paharrahs, there his sire came through.
The half brother Royal Mikhiel (by Nabiel) , two years younger, resembled more his sire as
well. Full of power, stronger and more masculine than his brother, more
ardent and more spirited than him. Although both stallions were successful in the show
ring, Royal Mikhiel surpassed his older brother with his self-confident appearance and his
At the Egyptian Event in 1991
"Mike" celebrated his greatest triumph: He was the Reserve Supreme Champion
Stallion! His name by the way isnt Arabic, although it might sound like that for
our ears. Diane Fortuna explains, "Mikhiel is a combination of the name of my son
Michael because he was born on the same day and of Nabiel, the name of
Mikhiels famous sire!"
Until a few years ago both stallions were
standing in Canada (at Montebello) and covered every year a considerable number of mares.
After the decline of this farm Royal Jalliel was sold to Marylin Hay in Minnesota. As
always, the younger one made a bigger stir: he was exported to Jordan by the Royal
Jafaar Stud. There he can prove his qualities as a sire. This at least the older
brother has done already: some of his sons and daughters were able to win in the show
ring. The delicate mare Imperial Jaliisa (Royal Jalliel x Glorieta Maarqesa) for
example was the 1993 Reserve Junior Champion Filly of Qatars National Show. And in
the same year she won the junior title at the "Middle East Championships".
1990, there was a heavy blow for destiny sent a cruel conflagration.
The farm of the Fortunas and some of their horses fell victims of the
flames. The stud is located in Santa Barbara, very idyllically in a
valley amidst woods. This valley became a fataltrap for
sixteen horses. Diane and Vincent Fortuna saw the fire approaching
their farm and tried to place as many horses as possible on the only
truck and to save themselves and a part of the horses. It was a race
against time. Literally in the lastsecond they escaped
from the fire storm which destroyed large parts of Santa Barbara. Left
behind with fifteen other horses was Pharrahs youngest
and last daughter Royal Farrah (by El Halimaar). What could have become
Photo: Van Lent
Today the Fortunas breed only with the chestnut Pharrah daughter
Royal Pharriel (by Nabiel), her daughters and one son, the
grey Royal Pharriel (Royal Jalliel x Royal Pharriel). He resembles
Pharrah very much and one should keep him in mind. He certainly still
needs time to mature but then one should have a look at him again!
The mare Royal Bint Pharrah (by Ansata Imperial) was sold
to Washington by the Fortunas two years ago. She as well is represented
in the Arabian area by outstanding offspring. Her daughter Royal Kahlifa
(by El Halimaar) is one of the favorites of Sheikh Nawaf Bin-Nasser
Al Thani of Qatar. Her spirited son Harp (by Imperial Madheen)
Arabic for war was the National Junior Champion Colt
there in 1993.
Pharrah died in 1991. Her beauty could and can hardly be described.
She was like a dream, the vision of timeless elegance. Maybe
one must have experienced her, touch her soft muzzle, heard her snort,
seen her look out of expressive eyes. Only then you knew that sometimes
dreams do come true...
Phillip Hollerbusch Research by Martha
x Bint Samiha
Abouhom x Moniet el Nefous
Deree x Layla
x Bint Rissala
x Bint Samiha
'76 AK Komeira (by Ibn
Galal), chestnut mare - champion producer
'77 Hal Phalcon (by Ibn Galal-14), grey stallion
'79 Imperial Phanadah (by Ibn Moniet El Nefous), chestnut mare - champion
'80 Imperial Napharr (by Moniet El Nafis), chestnut stallion
'81 Imperial Na Pharo (by Moniet El Nafis), grey stallion - champion
'82 Imperial Pharalima (by Ansata Ibn Halima), grey mare
'83 Imperial Imphudala (by Ansata Imperial), chestnut mare
'84 Royal Jalliel (by Ansata Imperial), grey stallion - champion
'85 Royal Bint Pharrah (by Ansata Imperial), chestnut mare - champion
'86 Royal Mikhiel (by Nabiel), grey stallion - champion & sire
'87 Royal Pharriel (by Nabiel), chestnut mare
'89 Royal Farrah (by El Halimaar), grey filly - deceased as a yearling