The News From Here

Our Quest #43 April 15, 2003

page 5 - Davenport Projects of Import


An initial distribution of the Davenport Conservancy's new publication, A Directory of Davenport Arabian Horses 2002 occurred at the Conservancy meeting held at the Geer house and described on page 3 of this newsletter. This Directory was prepared by R. J. Cadranell, President of the Davenport Conservancy, as a contribution to the breeding of Davenport horses. Preparing it was a long-term effort requiring meticulous and imaginative research. The book catalogs living Davenport horses as of the date of its preparation. The breeding of the horses and their locations are given. A section of the book lists horses whch have not been able to be located. There is an alphabetical listing of stallions and their progeny and another such listing of mares and their produce.

The primary purpose of this fine directory, of course, is to help Davenport people to locate horses and owners they want to know about. Other values are also important. This directory gives a definitive picture of Davenport breeding for the present time. It will be frequently used in study of the breed. It will also be a valuable tool for researchers who are making a detailed study of the breeding of the Davenport horse.

The book is handsomely printed with a sturdy but not hard cover. It is being distributed at no charge to Davenport owners. Others may buy copies at $7.50 each, postpaid in the U.S. Orders may be made to The Davenport Conservancy, c/o Jeanne Craver, 735 Brackett LN, Winchester, IL 62690. Sorry! Now out of print!


by its author, R. J. Cadranell


When the Davenport Conservancy held a gathering in Denver some years ago, it seemed to me that one thing people wanted was a directory of horses and owners. I decided to devote some effort to fill this need. To be most successful with the Davenport bloodline, breeders and owners need to be able to find each other.

Through work on the Directory, some shifts in the structure of the Davenport herd became apparent. For example, I saw my first Davenport horses in 1979, and Asara was in the pedigree of only seven of the 38 foals born that year. In my database, I have so far 30 foals from 1999. Of these, 18 descend from Asara, but just four go to her in tail-female; the rest have Asara only through the middle of the pedigree. In the last 23 years, the Asara descendants have gone from a minority group to (a majority) accounting for more than half of all Davenport foals produced. They are deservedly popular and include some of the most spectacular Davenport horses produced in the last 30 years, but it is also important to continue to foster those groups that do not trace to Asara. (Editor's note: In addition to its excellent character as breeding stock, part of the reason for the expansion of the Asara presence in current Davenport pedigrees may also be that the influence of minor pedigree elements tends to spread in small, closed breeding groups, such as the Davenports are.)

As the Asara blood has spread, the Bint Ralf line has dwindled. As far as I know, the youngest living Bint Ralf descendant is 15 years old. There is some recent interest in breeding Bint Ralf horses, which is encouraging. [Editor's note: The Bint Ralf line has produced beautifully, but it has been limited by the loss of several key individuals from breeding.]



And since the Directory was published, it turns out we now have a younger Bint Ralf descendant. Jean Diaz is to be congratulated on "ReCapitulation," by Memoir UF out of Capucine, both out of the Bint Ralf daughter, Reminisce. "ReCap" is shown here, still damp behind the ears!

At one point I had wanted to identify breeding groups in the Directory, but this proved difficult. I finally dropped these designations. The divisions which seemed important and logical to me were not necessarily the same ones that other owners and breeders recognized. If non-Tripoli and non-Fasal horses were identified, why not also tag projects that other breeders are pursuing, such as Asara horses without June? It seemed a better idea to delete all mention of such groups and let people trace their favorite lines through the pedigree and progeny index.


Approaching Davenport breeding from another point of view which is still in harmony with A Directory of Davenport Horses 2002, Randy Abler has launched Davenport breeding into cyberspace. He writes:

"A full extended pedigree presents a wealth of information. From a breeding perspective, you start asking what information is important. One very useful piece of information is what percentage of the genes on average comes from each ancestor in the pedigree. By examining such statistics for potential breeding pairs, you can identify interesting preservation opportunities and perhaps better speculate on breeding outcomes. Calculating these percentages by hand is tedious and error-prone. Having a copy of The Annotated Quest, I realized that at least a dated list of each Davenport horse and the sire and dam existed as an appendix to that text. Lo and behold, after a brief email to Jeanne Craver, I hit the jackpot with an up-to-date electronic copy of Robert J. Cadranell's table of Davenports, with the sire and dam of each horse. I wrote a simple 'C' program that linked all of the entries, thereby displaying a full pedigree back to the desert imports for each horse. This program quickly grew to include the ancestry percentages, number of crosses to each ancestor, and the tail-male, tail-female, and offspring for each horse. Web-based output quickly followed. A few minutes of CPU time resulted in a complete web page for every Davenport horse in the data base. These web pages are now available at the Davenport Arabian Horse Conservancy website, Hopefully other Davenport owners will find this useful for exploring breeding strategies or just looking at history.

"In addition to the individual information for each horse, the program now supports side-by-side comparison of the ancestry of multiple horses.... The above web page should provide a form that will allow you to enter a set of horses (by registry number) and get a single table with comparative ancestry percentages for them. An interesting output of this program is to run the comparison for all of the horses foaled after a certain year (say 1981) to compare all of the current Davenports with their ancestry...This comparison shows that 13 out of 1005 descend from the second foundation stallion RALF and 994 out of 1005 have the 1922 stallion HANAD in their pedigree.

"Obviously this is a work in progress."

7/03: Late-breaking news! A Davenport Conservancy website is completed that utilizes both RJ Cadranell's Directory and Randy Abler's pedigree elaboration program, with their kind permission. See!


Back to Our Quest #43 Introduction

back to page 2 - Bertha Craver, Poetry Corner

back to page 3 - West Nile Virus, Davenports in Endurance

back to page 4 - 2002 Al Khamsa Convention, Conservancy Meeting

to page 6 - Skull-duggery

Back to Main News Page