Friday, September 3, 2010

EYE on a Desert Princess

"And she'll tease you
She'll unease you
All the better just to please you
She's precocious
And she knows just what it
Takes to make a pro blush..."-lyrics from Bette Davis Eyes, written by Donna Weiss and Jacki DeShannon

Azhaar Ezzain, a full sister of the handsome stallion Suror Ezzain, foaled a filly approximately one year ago. Her name is Badrilbadoor and she is a full sister to the mare whose name reminds one of the sun, Shamsilshmous Ezzain, my favorite horse of all the Ezzain horses. Sired by the NK Hafid Jamil son, NK Qaswarah, this filly is already so elegant, so refined at nine months old. Look at her...she is a desert princess! The translucent quality of her skin accentuates the bones and veins in her head. At a young age, there is a "dryness" in her head, which highlights every detail made by God's hammer and chisel. She is still so young, this "dryness" we already see in her face, will only get more dramatic as time passes and she matures...from a princess to a queen. Like her full sister (and the majority of the NK Qaswarah-sired horses) her eyes are amazing. This is one quality which I have noticed in Usamah's breeding program. The consistency of an ideal eye. They are large, round and fully black (with no trace of white in them). That's what captivated me most about this filly...her beautiful eyes. In Dr. Nagel's book, Hanan: The Story of An Arabian Mare and of the Arabian Breed, he explains the ideal eye of an Arabian horse as
"A large, dark, almost round eye is typical for the Arabian horse. Longish or oval eyes are not acceptable. One necessary condition for a perfect eye is a particular shape of the upper head tending to broadness. In other words, a relatively wide forehead with eye sockets clearly directed outwards. These prominent eye sockets allow the basically round eyes to emerge clearly from the socket. All this together makes for a broad appearance of the upper skull with the eyes clearly visible from the front and even from behind."
In the last ten-to- fifteen years, I have noticed more and more horses with white in their eyes. I don't know what shocked me more, the degree of white in the eye of popular breeding horses or the fact that breeders have become more accepting over what I believe to be a serious flaw. What has happened within our community to make white in the eye acceptable? Maybe, as Dr. Nagel explains in Hanan, the ideal eye has become so rare,  that breeders don't understand what an ideal eye looks like anymore. What will it take to turn this trend around? How do you feel about white in the eye?

Happy Labor Day,

PS I must give credit to Jennifer Ogden for the beautiful pictures of Badrilbadoor Ezzain

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