by Kim Johnson, Belesemo Arabians
In every person's life there is a dream, a goal strived for with hopes of accomplishment. In the horse world this seems more prevalent than in other areas, and it seems especially powerful in the lives of young girls. A larger than life fantasy can take on many shapes, and such is the case with BELESEMO ARABIANS.
It began in 1970 when my voracious reading of numerous horse stories finally coerced my parents, out of self-preservation, into buying that first horse, an older Arab/ Appaloosa gelding. He took me many miles, listened to numerous dreams, and was my "education" working with horses.
In 1972, after obtaining a grade Morgan mare, we saw the perfect stallion at a 4-H all breed exhibition. That stallion turned out to be Las Trad, the state champion that year, he fulfilled all my visions of the perfect storybook horse, except for a missing stocking. Las Trad's claim to fame included his being the first Purebred Arabian in Idaho eligible for the Nationals in five different divisions for seven consecutive years. His sire, Aniq, was the Northwest reining and stock horse champion of all breeds, and the first Arabian in Idaho eligible for the Nationals in any division. Of course, none of that was important to a girl of 15, and for a $50.00 breeding fee that grade Morgan mare produced a dream filly by Las Trad the following spring. This filly went on to numerous wins in halter, costume, english and western pleasure. She qualified for the Nationals for several years in a row, receiving many highpoint Half-Arabian awards along the way.
Before the birth of this filly, Las Trad's owner, knowing the excitement of a first foal, recommended some colts by Las Trad to go look at. This led us to WAR EAGLE ARABIANS, who had a yearling colt by Las Trad for sale, four perfect stockings and all. I knew that buying a purebred Arabian was definitely beyond the means of our family, so it came as a double surprise when he was presented as my birthday present two months later.
At this point I had no idea that this colt, Belesemo Trad, would be the foundation stallion of a storybook breeding program. He was not consciously selected for his superior conformation, bloodlines, or his ability to "breed on". He was simply a fantasy, larger than life, and we spent every possible waking moment together waiting for him to grow up. He was the culmination of all my dreams in reading King of the Wind and the Island Stallion stories.
How can one describe a relationship of long standing without sounding overly sentimental, even though a lump forms in the throat as you remember past events while trying to condense 12 years into a short story? Well, I can sum it up by stating that Belesemo Trad (nicknamed Laddy) and I have grown up together. We have gone through many hard times and tough lessons, but through it all, the bond between us has grown, as we have learned a great deal together. Since we never had teachers or trainers, Laddy's greenness and inexperience was only exceeded by mine, and he excelled in overcoming the obstacle of a beginner training a beginner. He has gone on to wins in halter, western and english pleasure, costume, and driving, in both open and class A shows.
Laddy has made an impact in the show ring, but the greatest impact has come from areas where people were first introduced to the beauty and intelligence of the Arabian horse. These areas include: parades, where he loves to strut in costume, bending down to let children pet his nose; trail rides, where his good manners made owners of other breeds commend him as they discovered how gentle he was for a stallion, complimenting not only his disposition, but his beauty as well. To further illustrate his calm demeaner, while being hooked to a buggy for the first time, he just looked around as if to say: "Well, get in, let's go", and go we did. Laddy had the special honor of pulling a couple through the park on their wedding day. All of these examples have been special in my life, and have brought many new friends into my life as well.
As to Belesemo Trad's breeding, I have already mentioned his sire's accomplishments, and those of his grandsire, both with amateur owners. As for his grand- dam, Za Farah, she was a product of the Welton breeding program, and her dam, Zimada, was one of the three Walton foundation mares, these mare lines are akin to those in Bey Shah's pedigree. And on the bottom side of Laddy's pedigree is Alla Mem, whose dam was primarily of Davenport breeding.
As the years sped by, we became more aware of what other bloodlines had to offer. By visiting many ranches, we studied different bloodlines, and recorded the characteristics we liked. The pedigrees of those horses we liked all seemed to have three sires common somewhere in their pedigrees. They were: Abu Farwa, Antez, and Alla Amarward.
In 1980, a long-awaited trip to Scottsdale finally happened, and it was there that we saw • Muscat crowned king. Our impressions of that trip were highlighted by our interest in the Crabbet background of the Russian horses, and their similar type to ours. We decided then and there that Crabbet breeding was where we were, and where we wanted to stay. To this end, in searching for Crabbet-bred horses, we were drawn full circle back to our original love, Las Trad.
Since that time, my husband Dirk and I have been breeding our 3 A cross in earnest. We have found that the cross produces an outstanding vigor that is especially strong in the areas of animation, action, and athletic ability, while maintaining the type we were seeking. In studying old photos, progeny records, and remembrances of these three sires, we found that each one adds characteristics which one of the others might lack. We are sold on this blending, and to this end, we are attempting to create individuals that have an equal amount of crosses to each of these three stallions when blended together.
It has been proven time and again through such breeding programs as: Ansata, Al-Marah, and others, that linebreeding is the key to fixing permanent type. Once the required type is fixed, you then can go outside for varying bloodlines. Therefore, we are attempting to fix our preferred type through the doubling and tripling of the Las Trad bloodlines, which we feel are the epitome of the quality and substance we are seeking.
In order to establish this type we must first perpetuate the intelligent linebreeding of the best individuals. Hence, the broodmare band is being centered around linebred individuals of Las Trad, Ga'zi, Abu Baha, and Antezeyn Skowronek, these individuals all carry one or more crosses to our 3 A stallions. To date our foundation stock includes the Las Trad son, Belesemo Trad, three Las Trad daughters, and seven Las Trad granddaughters, several of which are double "Trad" blood. We also have a Ga'zi daughter, who after some outstanding veterinarian work is producing again, and has produced our junior stallion, Belesemo Magic. We also have some *Silver Drift, *Meczet, and Phantom blood in the herd.
It is interesting to see how time has progressed, from the selection of a colt who turned into a quality stallion, to the formation of the 3 A program. The oldest Belesemo Trad foals have just turned three, and those shown so far have more than validated our faith in this cross. We have committed ourselves to the goal of perpetuating these bloodlines, breeding the best athletic using family horses, that are a pleasure to be around, while maintaining the breathtaking beauty that is a hallmark of the breed.
For those of you who are curious as to what Belesemo stands for, it means: "Beautiful" in Italian. No, we are not Italian, but that is the name that Laddy came with, and since he was the reason for their being any Belesemo Arabians, we felt he deserved to have the ranch bear his name.
I owe more than words can express to my parents for their love and financial sacrifice in the early years of Belesemo Arabian's existence, and without the love and support of my husband, Dirk, none of the last several years nor the future for Belesemo Arabians would be possible. Oh, by the way, the old roan gelding that started all this is healthy, happy, and 29, mothering weanlings and living out his years on a permanent pension.
As I gaze out at our young horses frolicking in the snow, I think of all the famous horses who are pushed at us through heavy advertising in the breed magazines, and all of the investment aspects which surround them, while to us, our horses represent the many superior quality "friends" owned by everyday people who may never be famous, or ever achieve high awards. The reason? Their owners don't think of them as investments or tax shelters, they just love and enjoy them. We have been especially blessed these past few "friend" and his years in the form of a special progeny. We thank and praise our Lord for his wonderful gifts that share in our lives, I only hope that each one of you feel as blessed by your special friends.