THE CRABBET & ENGLISH ARABIAN
The English Arabian is descended from purebred Arabian bloodlines imported to the UK through to 1945.
Subgroups of the English Arabian:
Crabbet Stud bloodlines are those from purebred Arabians that were bred by or used in the breeding programme of the Crabbet Stud or by the proprietors, Lady Anne or Wilfrid Blunt, Lady Wentworth or Cecil Covey.
Crabbet Stud bloodlines are composed of:
Original horses used by Lady Anne and Wilfrid Blunt: Bedouin horses and horses from the stud of Ali Pasha Sherif in Egypt.
GSB eligible additions with non-Blunt lines used by Lady Wentworth and Cecil Covey; most notably Skowronek and Dargee.
Old English additions with non-GSB eligible lines used by Lady Wentworth or Cecil Covey; only Mirage, Dafina and Zirree El Wada have descent in Arabians of 100% Crabbet Stud bloodlines today.
GSB bloodlines are those from pure bred Arabians imported to the UK up to 1920 and registered in Weatherbys’ General Stud Book. The vast majority of Crabbet Stud bloodlines are also GSB but customarily the term is used to refer to horses that have non-Crabbet Stud elements in their pedigrees.
Old English bloodlines are those from pure bred Arabians imported to the UK by the end of World War II (1945). This includes GSB and Crabbet Stud bloodlines but customarily the term is used to refer to horses that have non-Crabbet Stud and non-GSB elements in their pedigrees.
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.