WHAT IS A CRABBET ARABIAN?
Crabbet Arabians – Registered Pure Bred Arabians with 75% or over Crabbet Stud or Old English bloodlines.
Old English Arabians - Registered Pure Bred Arabians with 100% pre-World War II UK bloodlines, usually over 85% Crabbet Stud bloodlines.
GSB Arabians - Registered Pure Bred Arabians with 100% bloodlines imported to UK by 1920 (registered in the General Stud Book), usually over 95% Crabbet Stud bloodlines.
Straight Crabbet Arabians - Registered Pure Bred Arabians with 100% Crabbet Stud bloodlines.
Crabbet Related Pure Bred Arabians - Registered Pure Bred Arabians who have one parent who is a Crabbet Arabian, therefore with 37.5% or over Crabbet Stud or Old English bloodlines but less than 75%.
Crabbet Related Part Bred Arab - Registered Anglo or Part Bred Arabs who have one parent who is a Crabbet Arabian, therefore with 37.5% or over Crabbet Stud or Old English bloodlines but less than 75%.
A Crabbet Stud bloodline is one from a Pure Bred Arabian that was owned or bred by the Crabbet Stud, including those registered as bred by the owners Lady Anne or Wilfrid Blunt, Lady Wentworth or Cecil Covey.
Lady Anne and her husband Wilfrid Scawen Blunt travelled the Arabian desert to collect pure bred Arabian horses direct from the Bedouin tribes. They founded the Crabbet Stud. Lady Anne became fluent in Arabic and renowned for her understanding of Arabian horse breeding and the Bedouin.
The bedouin imports of the 1870's were followed by purchases from the stud of Ali Pasha Sherif in Egypt in the 1890's. Much of his stock came in turn from the collection of Abbas Pasha and traced back in a few generations to the desert tribes. Lady Anne prided herself on checking the authenticity and history of every horse.
The Crabbet Stud founded by the Blunts passed to their daughter Lady Wentworth who continued breeding Pure Bred Arabians.
She made a few additions to the original stock, most famously the early Polish stallion Skowronek and the GSB stallion Dargee who was predominantly but not entirely of Blunt breeding. The stud continued after her death managed by Cecil Covey on a reduced scale.
Stock bred by the Crabbet Stud was exported all over the world. The bloodlines provided foundation stock in turn in many countries including Egypt, America, Russia, Poland, Australia and South Africa to name just a few.
GSB & Old English
Other early imports to England were combined with the predominant Crabbet Stud bloodlines and contributed to the overall sort of Arabian being bred. Until the 1920's these lines were registered and checked by Wetherbys who issued an Oriental section to the General Stud Book they produced for the English Thoroughbred.
Later Arabians were registered by the Arab Horse Society. Purebreds imported before the end of the Second World War became known as Old English Arabians. This was in recognition of the fact that after the end of the war, some breeders began to use a greater variety of newer imports with a view to breeding a slightly different "sort" or Arabian. The growth of showing impacted on the characteristics some breeders began to select for.
GSB and Old English lines were heavily blended with Crabbet and remain today only in Arabians with a high percentage of Crabbet Stud bloodlines. An increasingly small number of Arabians still exist of 100% Crabbet Stud bloodlines. Together they are the traditional English Arabian horse.