Fakher El Din
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was the point of no return. We had made it known, everywhere, that the
horses would either leave for America or would be shot. To kill a purebred
Arabian Horse is a Moslem sin and this threat had slowed down some of
the obstructive efforts. The problem now was that, once through quarantine,
the horses could not re-enter Egypt in the event something else occurred.
And the "something else" did occur: The SS Steam Fabricator's
captain wired ahead that he would not put in to pick up the horses for
fear his ship be confiscated (as apparently it had been in 1956 during
the Suez Affair). Our agent wired back that the horses must be taken on
- freight had been paid in advance. Relenting, the captain compromised:
He would slow down to pick up the horses if they were out in the Canal,
but he firmly refused to put in or stop. The agent put the horses and
the boxes and grooms on a launch and sent them out to bob in the waters
of the Canal and wait. The next day the roads to the Canal were closed
to foreigners and the telephone service was taken over by the Army. All
communication to the Canal was cut. The evacuation of American citizens
was in process. The telephone rang three times a day but it was only the
State Department asking me to leave the country. Cairo was a city of fear.
Tense and at loose ends, we visited the stables the next day, only to find the wives and children of our grooms wailing their fearfulness for their husbands. Late that night, Hamido bustled into the blacked-out apartment and proudly showed the receipt from the SS Steam Fabricator for Talal and Fakher EI Din, who had been swung onto the ship which proceeded immediately out of the Canal.
Many people helped the horses in the miracle of their export. Hamido always declared that Allah was watching over them. Our logo shows the Sacred Ibis, symbol of the Faith, hovering protectively over the stallion, and this is our version of the Arabic amulet prayer for continued good fortune.
After a year in America, the problem of Fakher EI Din's amorous inhibitions was discussed confidentially with a leading veterinarian who assisted in the first breedings. As the stallion delightedly serviced three mares in a row, and his owner sat on a rock in a state of collapse from relief, the grinning veterinarian delivered the memorable line: "Mrs. Loken, I think they sold you the wrong horse!" Shortly thereafter, we selected Chris and Mert Sartre, of Hy-Tyme Stables in Connecticut, to care for and train Fakher EI Din and he has been "at home" with them ever since. It may interest the reader to know that American food and exercise stimulated the growth process in Fakher EI Din, who grew another 2,5 inches and developed substance. His old bridle and saddle are retained as useless momentos.
In 1970, in show shape and on board a van to take him to his first big show, Fakher EI Din was severely injured. The diagnosis was a broken spine and the worst was expected. "If he can get up at all, eat a little hay and drink," the vet told the stricken Chris and Mert Sartre, "he has a chance." The Sartres say it was as though the stallion heard, for all through the day and night he struggled to do just that. They stayed with him day and night for three weeks and gave him their unceasing moral and physical support. Recovery was slow, and there were a few set-backs, but now, in 1977, he still continues to improve each year. The injury to the back was such that a heavy breeding program was not in the best interests of the stallion. It was only in 1973 that we felt confidence in planning a long-term program around him, and we still base his breeding schedule around his physical welfare.
Federico Tesio said, "A Great broodmare can reproduce herself in her foal only once each year, whereas a prepotent son of hers can reproduce her many times over each year." It was our instinct in Egypt that Fakher EI Din represents one of the most important genetic repositories in Arabian bloodlines. The cross of Nazeer on Moniet EI Nefous added the presence, the brilliance, and the tremendous vitality of that extraordinary stallion while at the same time reinforcing the genetic strengths of Moniet EI Nefous herself. There is a wild-flag quality about Fakher EI Din - as though every event in life is part of a race, and to miss anything is to have been left behind. He passes on the humor and gaiety, boldness and independence, a deep sense of self, and always the excitement of being. Trust and loyalty are given to a disarming degree. There is a great delight in athleticism and in constantly testing that athleticism with the quick spins and dramatic stops of the ancient Bedouin war-horse. He passes on style, cadence, and balance - combined with physical beauty and one of the loveliest heads in our breed. It is these qualities which have attracted the professional artists and sculptors to him and to his get.
The pedigrees of Nazeer and Moniet EI Nefous show constant introduction of outcross blood in the line-breeding program. Our own program seeks to be responsible to Moniet EI Nefous and to the breeders of her past. Our goal is the preservation of the Moniet EI Nefous type and blood, producing stock with the soundness, temperament, ability and conformation to be successful in the show ring as well as in their breeding careers.
In 1977, we have the first crop of foals by Ansata Abu Tai, owned by Homestead Farms, out of the Fakher EI Din daughters, linking the blood of the two greatest broodmares of Egypt, Moniet EI Nefous (Shahloul x Wanisa) and Bukra (Shahloul x Bint Sabah).
we returned to America in 1967, there were 45,000 registered Arabians.
Now there are 138,000 registered Arabians, 50,000 owners, and a large
number of registered farm names. For the new-comer, the amount of information
is appalling and it is natural that they seek "labels" for simplification.
Many of the labels may fade through time, but the name of Moniet EI Nefous
will shine ever brighter through the years. We pray that her spirit, and
that of the breeders of her past, will remain with us for guidance as
we breed on with her blood through her son, Fakher EI Din.
Nazeer Sons in America
First Part: Rashad Ibn Nazeer
Second Part: Ramses Fayek
by Mrs.Sara Loken
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