A Prince's Dream
© 2001 by Joe Ferriss
published in ARABIANS June 1984 and updated for KHAMSAT issue 18 - 3
It is included here on our site with the author's generous permission. It
serves as a sample of the quality articles that are published in the KHAMSAT, a
publication of AL KHAMSA. Some
additional photos were added.
curser placed on the photos will give you more information about the photo.
Trudy Mangles photo
the years and miles, a prince's dream becomes a reality.
note - The names of horses that are not considered Al Khamsa are italicized.
is the dream of most breeders of Arabian horses to produce at least one special
horse in their lifetime - a horse that represents the finest in true Arabian
character and also has the quality of blood to extend its influence well into
was the case with the beautiful black stallion Fa-Serr, whose impact on Al
Khamsa Arabian breeding is still strong 54 years after his birth. Fa-Serr was a
fine representative of the Al Khamsa Arabian. Fa-Serr was bred by the Babson
Arabian Horse Farm and foaled in 1947.
sire, *Fadl, and dam, *Bint Serra I, were part of Henry Babson's original
in 1932. To understand Fa-Serr's
pedigree is to realize why he was such a consistent and influential sire. *Fadl,
was bred by Prince Mohamed Ali and imported as a two-year-old to become one of
the most influential imported "Old Egyptian" stallions. Thousands of
today's Arabians carry some measure of *Fadl blood. *Fadl was a very typey,
athletic horse of classic masculine type.
versatile horse, *Fadl was successful in endurance, polo, harness and pleasure
riding. His extraordinarily kind temperament also made him an excellent child's
was by lbn Rabdan, one of the most popular and heavily used stallions in
. Carl Raswan considered Ibn Rabdan as
a "world champion" type. Jack
Humphreys, who selected Arabians in
for W. R. Brown, described Ibn Rabdan
as "almost perfect."' A very dark liver chestnut, lbn Rabdan sired
many dark horses, so dark as to appear almost black photographs. Interestingly,
it has been said that as an old stallion, lbn Rabdan was bred to *Fadl's gray
granddam, Negma and produced a black foal. This combination of blood may be
largely responsible for the black color of Fa-Serr, his descendants and
dam, Mahroussa, was epitomized as one of the most beautiful mares of her time.
Mahroussa was the daughter of Mabrouk Manial and the aforementioned Negma, both
classic Arabians of exceptional quality. Mahroussa also produced such horses as
*Zarife, *H.H. Mohamed Alis Hamida, *H.H. Mohamed Alis Hamama and *Maaroufa, *Fadl's
dam, *Bint Serra I (*Sotamm II x Serra) was a fine bay mare of elegant type. She
was bred by Prince Kemal el Dine in
and was Henry Babson's favorite
of the 1932 importation. Jack Humphreys greatly admired the mare and tried to
buy her. When Humphreys visited the stud of Prince Kemal el Dine, he remarked
first about *Bint Serra I's dam, Serra, "This mare is the outstanding
animal in the stud. I tried hard to get a price on her but nothing doing."
When Humphreys saw *Bint Serra I he commented, "I put in a lot of hard work
trying to get this mare priced or exchanged for one of Prince Mohamed Ali's, but
could not. She is all Arab."
Henry Babson eventually acquired *Bint Serra I. *Bint Serra I's dam, Serra, was
one of the choicest of Old Egyptian breeding in existence at the time with all
four of her grandparents bred by Ali Pasha Sherif. Serra was a granddaughter of
the famed *Ghazala, one of very few Ali Pasha Sherif Arabians to come directly
. Ali Pasha Sherif blood has a
well-documented reputation for quality. In fact, six of the eight
great-grandparents of *Bint Serra I were bred by Ali Pasha Sherif, making her
the highest percentage Ali Pasha Sherif mare of the Babson importation.
Serra I's sire, Sotamm II, was a dark bay stallion used by the stud of Prince
Kemal el Dine. Bred by the Blunt's Crabbet Stud, he was also rich in Ali Pasha
Sherif blood on which Lady Anne Blunt built her foundation. Sotamm II's pedigree
also includes lines to the influential Blunt desert-breds Azrek and Queen of
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