Maryland’s Mark on the Arabian
By Kathy Benner
Each year in the Stallion Issue, The Equiery honors a Maryland stallion who has had a significant impact on its breed. Usually, it takes several generations after the stallion is deceased before the impact may be recognized. This year, the honor goes to Indraff.
Maryland has long been known for her quality Thoroughbreds, such as Native Dancer and Northern Dancer. However, while Native Dancer was just starting to leave his mark on his breed, another Maryland grey horse had already influenced and shaped his particular breed like no other sir before or since.
On May 9, 1938, the first purebred U.S. son of *Raffles was born: Indraff.
*Raffles and Indraff’s dam *Indaia were both imported from the famous Crabbet Stud in England by Roger Selby. Indraff was purchased from Donald Schutz by Bazy Tankersley, owner of Al-Marah Arabian Horses, in 1946 for the then astronomical sum of $10,000.
Indraff brought home 15 wins from 27 shows (there were not the many opportunities to show then as there are today). In 1948 he was named Grand Champion of the National Stallion Show (equivalent to U.S. National Champion Stallion). During the 1947-48 show seasons he was defeated in halter only once by a horse named AAH-ABU, his own son.
Indraff spent all but one year standing stud at Al-Marah Arabians, first in Washington, D.C. and then in Beallsville, MD. He became the foundation sir of the Al-Marah Farm, whose mission has been to produce Arabians of classic beauty, loving dispositions, and all-around athletic quality. Indraff fulfilled that mission. 19% of his get where champions, an outstanding record, even by today’s standards. And, as the sir of 69 stallions and 136 mares, his influence in the Arabian breed is incomparable. He produced multiple champions in such diverse disciplines as halter, park, western pleasure, English pleasure, trail, stock, native costume, and cutting. Some of the notable get include seven time national cutting winner Al-Marah Nautilus and Al-Marah Radames, a halter, western pleasure, native costume, and park champion. 48 of his offspring have produced national winners (11 stallions and 37 daughters). Al-Marah Radames is also Indraff’s top siring son of national winners (11, including US National Champion Stallion Radamason++). In total, the first four generations of Indraff’s get have 134 National Championships, 135 Reserve National Championships, 983 Top Tens, and 4 US National Stallion Championships.
His strongest area of influence was as a broodmare sire. His daughters and granddaughters have produced such champions as Gazon (sir of 57 champions and the all-time leading American-bred broodmare sire),and U.S. National Formal Combination Champion Al-Marah Canadius++/ (one of the most significant American-bred current sires of national winners). Daughter Sahru Su produced three national winners, and is the only American-bred Arabian mare to produce both a U.S. National Stallion and U.S. National Mare, the highest honor/designation given by The International Arabian Horse Registry.
Indraff descendants have won in all types of performance events, including, most recently, endurance. And now his influence can be felt in another breed. Al-Marah Xanthium, winner of the Tevis Cup and a direct descendent of Indraff, has become the first American-bred Arabian mare to be approved and accepted into the American Trakehner Association Preliminary Studbook.
Indraff passed away in the summer of 1963, leaving his mark indelibly and forever on the Arabian breed.
Many thanks to the Arabian Horse Trust and Al-Marah Arabians for their assistance with this article.