After a very successful showing the
February Scottsdale Show 1995, Sabbah qualified for the Region 7 Championships at the Arizona Dressage Association Spring show
showing in Open competition.
All the excitement was not in the ring however. We had as bit of excitement in
the barn area as well. An owner came running into the barn alley as we were
tacking up Sabbah for his afternoon class. She exclaimed that her horse was
in trouble in her trailer in the parking area and she desperately
needed help. Jackie,
Bruce and I grabbed some spare lead ropes and dashed out leaving Sabbah in the
hands of a “Horseshow Mom”. The horse was found down in the trailer one hind
leg trapped inside the trailer and one hind leg underneath the trailer.
and forelegs were under the divider. With Jackie at the head, Bruce got the
trapped hind leg out of the trailer using his lead rope. The horse pushed back
and out freeing itself from the trailer. It then stood shaken but with only
minor scrapes and no doubt some sore and bruised muscles.
We walked back to the barn to find the “Horseshow Mom” Donna had had some
excitement of her own. A big strong Warmblood had thrown its rider just outside the barn
and raced inside. It was joined by another huge horse that broke away from its
handler. They were fast closing ground on “Mom” who was holding Sabbah. As her life flashed
before her eyes, expecting to be run over first by Sabbah then those huge horses
rapidly approaching, Sabbah quietly turns sideways in the barn aisle blocking it.
He stood between her and the runaways. The big horses slowed, stopped and allowed
recapture. We walked in as the shaken “Mom” kept exclaiming what a wonderful
horse Sabbah was. She even went so far as to say she wished she could breed
her gelding to him!
Region VII 1995 Results… Top 5 at First and Second Levels and Reserve
Champion at First Level.
Another Sabbah Story?
And what you ask has Ibn Sabbah Bedu, the "Wonder Horse," done
now? First, you should know no one, equine or human was hurt.
We waved good-bye at the Regionals showgrounds to Jackie Alkin and Crew about
10 p.m. as she pulled out with her four-horse slant trailer to take Kiva,
Sabbah and Stormy home from the show. The now famous “Horseshow Mom” Donna was
following in her van with a load of young riders.
They got part way home on a
dark four lane highway when a racket and bouncing trailer got their attention.
Jackie pulled over onto the shoulder. “Horseshow Mom” Donna pulled in
and they checked the trailer. They found that Kiva, a nervious hauler, had managed to
pick up the stall divider and put it on top of Sabbah. Sabbah stood
quietly, supported the weight of the divider and waited for help. "Stormy" had to be unloaded
to get to Sabbah. One of the girls held a dancing "Stormy" on the far side of
the trailer in the narrow space between an Irrigation ditch and the trailer.
Traffic continued a few feet away on the highway.
Jackie and Donna went in
to free Sabbah, hammering the hinges of the divider until it was loose enough to lift
him. Sabbah was moved a few feet away, his job was now to keep Kiva calm while the
tilted panel was muscled, pounded, hammered and lifted off of its hinges. Not an
easy job the two main musclers, Donna and Jackie informed us later. Once removed
they took the divider out of the trailer. They then moved Sabbah back one stall giving Kiva a double
space and reloaded Stormy.
They stood by the trailer a moment or two to recover
before getting back into vehicles and continuing home. They told us that if the
panel had been on any other horse in the trailer they would not have been so
lucky. Sabbah had kept his cool and waited for rescue. Donna
Mom” exclaimed again to us “I just LOVE that horse!”
Dr. Dan Klinsky was
Sabbah’s vet at Jackie’s. After
Sabbah had been cast in his stall, he was sore in the stifle.
"Dr Dan" was called out to examine the sore joint.
During the exam done in the alleyway of Jackie’s barn, Jackie’s
students would ride up on their horses to ask Jackie questions.
Their horses were nose to nose with Sabbah.
All this time "Dr Dan" was bent down or crouching under Sabbah working the
stifle. All of a sudden he looks
past the stifle, stands and faces Jackie with “You didn’t tell me I was
working on a STALLION!”
Jackie answered “And he
didn’t tell you either, did he?”
A few weeks later I get a
call from Elizabeth Dawsari across town.
Dan" had been out to preg check her mare, Almoraima Neblina.
He enthusiastically told her about "this wonderful smart athletic
stallion with perfect manners" that he had been treating for a stifle
soreness. He urged her to consider
breeding her mare to this wonder horse.
Elizabeth listened quietly and politely. After he confirmed that her mare
was in foal, Elizabeth happily told him that the foal he just confirmed
was indeed by that same stallion!
The resulting 1998
Straight Babson Egyptian filly was Fa Maarlina bred by Elizabeth Dawsari,
now owned by Elaine Yerty and Elizabeth Dawsari.
This 2007 photo of Fa
years old, was taken by Frank Bochansky at Elaine Yerty's Spring Meadow
Farm in Texas.
Alkin, Sabbah's trainer, was hosting a Mane Braiding Clinic for The Valley
of the Sun Arabian Horse Club at her facility, Royal Salute. After Jackie demonstrated various
braiding techniques, those attending were urged to practice the braids on
group of horses standing just outside the barn. We were near the
back of the group so by the time we got out there there were several
people working on each horse. To our surprise, in the middle of the
horse group was Sabbah, standing quietly while multiple students braided and
rebraided his mane and tail. It was clear he was enjoying all the
attention and no one noticed he was a stallion! And again he never told
The Magic Trailer
Whether at a show or at Royal Salute, his
trainer Jackie Alkin’s facility, Sabbah was always the "perfect gelding,"
never showing a hint that he was a stallion.
When he entered the “Magic Trailer" and came home to breed
mares, he stepped off the trailer with an arch to his neck and a bounce in
his step as if to remind the other stallions that he was home to breed
mares. When the breedings were
done and he was again loaded back into the Magic Trailer and returned to
Royal Salute. He stepped out at Jackie's again as the perfect gelding
ready to go back to work.
was all Sabbah’s own idea, not a transformation developed through
Bruce took dressage lessons on Sabbah at Jackie’s in 1996. Prior to the start of lessons, Bruce and Sabbah would warm up in the jumping area of the Royal Salute training facility. One day, Sabbah displayed an uncharacteristic action. He bucked every time Bruce and he passed a jump. Bruce took it that Sabbah was telling him that Sabbah wanted to try jumping.
Jackie agreed to start him in jumping after the February 1997 Scottsdale show. Sabbah proved to be a willing student as the heights of the jumps went up as his lessons increased.
Sabbah loved to leap! Jackie and Sabbah attended an Arabian Show in Tucson in May and Sabbah won all the jumping classes! That qualified him to compete soon after at the Region 7 Championships in Ogden Utah. After a long trailer ride, Sabbah won the Regional Regular Working Hunter Class in addition to his two Regional Dressage Championships.
On the days between the pre-show and the start of the Regional Championships, Jackie took Sabbah out to exercise on a large open jumping course in the center of a mile long racetrack at the fairgrounds where the show was being held. Sabbah never refused any of the large irregular jumps he was asked to take and we couldn’t tell who was having more
Jackie or Sabbah.
Working Hunter Championship Award Ceremony
|In 1998 Sabbah earned
the Scottsdale Working Hunter championship. Jackie also rode
an Al-Marah mare to the Reserve Championship. To collect the
awards, Jackie rode the mare and ponied Sabbah into the
ring. Jackie stopped in the center, put Sabbah's reins over
his neck, telling him to "Whoa." She then backed
the mare a few steps. Sabbah was decorated with his ribbons
and roses. The mare received her honors and Sabbah was
ponied out of the ring proudly decked out in his Championship
|The crowd was
impressed by the quiet good manners of the "obedient loose horse" in the ring and would have been even more impressed
had they realized he was a stallion!