The Breeders Interview – Chattooga Ridge Arabians, USA
In every edition of The Arabian Breeders’ Magazine, we speak to a selection of breeders from around the world about their experiences and successes with their breeding programme. We are delighted to share some of these incredibly insightful features online.
The Arabian Breeders’ Magazine (TABM): Please share with our readers a short background of your farm.
Chris and Paula Anckersen, Chattooga Ridge Arabians, USA: Chattooga Ridge Arabians has been in existence in the beautiful mountain setting, in Long Creek, South Carolina, since 2006. Prior to the construction of our own facility and programme, my husband, Chris, was the manager and trainer at Bob and Christine Fauls’ Chapel Farms Arabians for 17 years. We have represented and assisted in the majority of the programmes of our current clients for many, many years.
Marbeau Lu Reve (Marhaabah x Dakars Destinee) Bred by Angie Mason. Owned by Miguel Sfeir, Chile. Credit Susanne.
TABM: What have been the bloodlines that you have focused on, and why did you choose them? Has this focus changed over the years?
Paula: From the beginning of his career, Chris has an extensive background with Straight Egyptian horses. He was very fortunate to have worked as Stanley G White, Snr’s, assistant at Lancer Arabians, and later at Grandeur Arabians, for over six years. The early focus of Chapel Farms Arabians was on Straight Egyptians, standing world renowned stallions Imperial Imdal+ (Ansata Imperial x Dalia), Abraxas Halimaar (El Halimaar x SF Moon Maiden), and Hadaya El Tareef (Imperial Imdal x Hadaya Nile Merytaten). All three of these stallions were Egyptian Event Supreme Champions and National winners, as well as superior sires.
In the late 1990s, the Chapel Farms’ breeding programme expanded, with Doug Dahmen, and imported the *Ali Jamaal (Ruminaja Ali x Heritage Memory) son *Dakar El Jamaal (ex Sonoma Lady by KJ Jordgee Boy), owned by the *Dakar Kartel. Chris, Bob and Christine Fauls, and the expanding client base, all had become very impressed with the expressive type of the *Ali Jamaal bloodlines.
Marhaabah (Marwan Al Shaqab x Shalina El Jamaal) Owned by The Marhaabah Legacy Group. Credit Susanne.
TABM: What were your breeding goals when you first started? Have they changed over the years?
Paula: Chris and I realised the need for another stallion of impeccable quality to compliment the daughters of the Egyptian stallions, as well as the daughters of *Dakar El Jamaal and his son, Dakharo (ex FOF Kharolina by Padrons Psyche). A young *Marwan Al Shaqab (Gazal Al Shaqab x Little Liza Fame) was quickly making his mark in Europe and the Middle East, and landed on US soil at Michael Byatt Arabians. Marwan Al Shaqab was 2003 US National Champion Stallion, and had been bred via embryo transfer to 2003 US National Champion Mare, Shahlina El Jamaal (Parys El Jamaal x Shahlina). The resulting colt, Marhaabah, was the stallion for the future of Chattooga Ridge Arabians, and our clients.
TABM: Please share key moments that stand out in the early stages of your breeding programme?
Paula: *Dakar El Jamaal was United States National Champion in 2002 and rapidly earned a reputation as a sire of exquisite offspring. His first son, Dakharo, bred by friend and client Joy Gildersleeve, exemplified this exquisite type and himself captured the titles of US National Champion Stallion and World Champion Stallion, for Al Khalediah Stud in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Marhaabahs Melody (Marhaabah x Sohos Honey Serenade by Soho Carol) Owned by Susan Snyder. Credit Susan McAdoo.
TABM: When was it that you realised that you were a successful breeder? And what, in your opinion, defines a ‘breeder’?
Paula: We felt we were becoming an established and reputable program when breeders around the world were acquiring horses that we had produced, for their own breeding programmes. These breeders have long-term goals of producing horses that have the phenotype of their ideal Arabian horse. By examining the pedigrees, breeders formulate a specific goal to be achieved, and to do it on a consistent basis to produce a competitive and marketable young horse.
Marjamaalah (Marhaabah x Marwans Morning Star, by Marwan Al Shaqab) Bred and Owned by Tara Collins-Beck. Credit Chattooga Ridge Arabian archives.
TABM: As a breeder, how do you feel about the showing world? Do you think that changes are needed to celebrate breeders more?
Paula: Having spent 38 years as a professional in the Arabian horse industry, Chris has seen the changes and trends in the characteristics of the horses competing in the show-ring and sought after in the marketplace. Arabian breeding horses, in the United States, are now following the trends of the European and Middle Eastern breeders, seeking exquisite type and superior charisma and carriage. Chris believes that although there are a smaller number of true breeders, they are more dedicated than ever to produce beautiful horses that can be appreciated worldwide.
Tahaari (Marhaabah x Talisaan by Dakharo) Bred by Jo Ann Redwine and Owned by Miguel Sfeir, Chile. Credit Susan McAdoo.
TABM: Do you think that breeders are a dying breed, pardon the pun
Paula: Successful breeders continue to strive to produce their ideal Arabian horse. Perhaps they are breeding fewer horses, but they are more thoughtful of their decisions to produce higher quality horses.
TABM: Do you think that breeders and dedicated breeding programmes still have a place in the world today?
Paula: We are fortunate to have many great show venues around the world now to showcase our beautiful horses. With social media today, we are all one big family appreciating these beautiful horses. Many of the spectacular horses in the show-rings around the world today, have been bred by small breeders. At Chattooga Ridge Arabians, we strive for continuous encouragement of these small breeders to produce the finest calibre of Arabian horses for future generations to enjoy.
Zoriry Hariry Al Shaqab x Minx FO by Eden-C. Credit Susanne.
TABM: Over the years, what have been your key successes, perhaps the ones that define your farm?
Paula: Mahaabah, owned by the Marhaabah Legacy Group, has himself excelled in the show ring and as a sire. He has twice been United States National Champion, and twice Reserve National Champion. His beautiful offspring are represented in distinguished breeding programmes in 17 countries around the world.
FSF DAKAROS ENCHANTER (Dakharo x FSF Enhantingly Shai) Owned and Bred by Ann Riles. Credit Ferrara.
TABM: And finally, what is next for you and your breeding programme
Paula: It is very gratifying to enjoy the results of many generations of offspring of the magnificent stallions we have had the opportunity to represent. Now within our client base, the horses being produced exude beautiful type, and spectacular charisma. The sons and daughters of Marhaabah, out of damlines of our earlier stallions, exemplify the beauty and carriage that excite us. We hope for many years to continue to have our horses representing the fruits of our efforts, worldwide.