It's all in a Name....!!
In Texas your best friend is likely to be called "Bubba". A good 'ol boy, honest and likeable but often a little rough around the edges.........tough stuff. So when the exotic grey colt finally took a breath after 10 minutes of CPR and enduring a labor of 1 hour and 45 minutes while he tried to arrive in life upside down, we figured he was a "Bubba" for sure. Little did we know that Bubba would prove his stuff again and again. We did however, have an idea of how special he was when he finally stood. "Just look at those eyes!" exclaimed Jean (who had been nervously waiting to see if her very favorite mare Star Bint Hafiza would be okay after such a terrible birth) - "Why he looks like a little frog!" Thus his first nickname "Froggy" began. But it soon became apparent that name was not going to suit him for long. For as we say in Texas - Bubba was special right from the git go. Never a day in his life has he not exhibited the smooth body and topline he is famous for, and his length of hip and croup are hard to beat. An extraordinarily beautiful baby, he did go through various stages of "pretty" as he matured. As a yearling he was dynamite, winning his first Jr. Championship with Becky on the lead. Thinking he might be pretty special we flew in Brad Gallun to the Egyptian Event to handle him. He won 3rd in the Yearling Futurity, but of course, being his biased owners we were a bit disappointed. We really had thought he would win the class. We were not the only ones. Brad, who had never really fallen hard for Egyptian horses, asked if he was Sweepstakes nominated. "Yes", we replied, "But the class is 2 days after we return from Kentucky and over 900 miles away." He wanted him entered anyway. So we did . The night before the class Bubba was a little under the weather from the trip. Running a fever we treated him and hoped he would be well enough to show the next day. When he saw the ring, what became his trademark show personality took over. He posed and pranced his way to the Region 9 Champion Sweepstakes Colt out of over 20 entries and top handlers and horses! Now that was more like it we thought! Brad suggested Nationals. Whew. That would be much harder. A Straight Egyptian colt had not won Top Ten Yearling yet at Nationals. "Send him to Arizona now and I will get him ready" was Brad's response. No, we did not want the colt to stay away from the farm too long. He had a special personality and we did not want to change that. So in September, only weeks before Nationals, Bubba arrived in Scottsdale. With his play ball. He always took it with him. His groom commented that he threw it into all the other horses stalls - all day long. They would have to retrieve it and give it back to him only to find it immediately thrown over another stall. Now who was the smart one in that game?? The smart little colt with his trademark smooth body and charisma took Louisville by storm. He came out a solid Top Ten - 5th in fact. We were ecstatic!
Just before the Event as a two year old we sent Bubba to Mike Neal to be shown at a Class A show and the Event. He won the Jr. Championship and the Reserve Grand Championship and was heading to the Event in good shape. Mike called us from the road very upset - it seems Bubba was colicking and he was doing all in his power to find a vet. In KY, Jean came and told Becky that Bubba seemed lethargic and had a runny nose. Upon checking on him at Mike's stalls we found out that he had put up quite a fight to be tubed on the side of the road in the middle of a rainstorm. It was not a horse vet, rather a sheep/cow vet - the only one around for miles that would come. Dr. Gendron said he should be fine however as at that point he seemed in good shape. But we were not so sure. He was simply not himself. A few hours later we noticed his runny nose was shiny - it looked like oil and he now had a fever. Dr. Gendron quickly changed his mind and immediately referred him to one of the finest vet hospitals in the nation. Across the street at Hagyard, Davidson and McGee the news was simply devastating. The colt was going to die. They made no bones about it. He would not live. He had oil in his lungs from the tubing gone awry. He had aspiration pneumonia and would not make it. "They never do" - the vet said. Jean Rogers favorite son of Makhsous would not grow old enough to sire any foals of his own. We were very depressed the whole Event. The ribbons paled in comparison to the trauma of visiting Bubba every day - watching him struggle for breath and wondering when we would find him taking his last breath. But by the end of the week his breathing was ever so slightly better. "So, when is he going to crash?" we asked. The vet replied that he had no idea - since he had lived 5 days longer than he should have already. We had to go back home to Texas and haul our show string home. We said goodbye to Bubba, and as we looked into his eyes - we knew. He was going to live. They were clear and strong and had that ornery look again. Tough Stuff. Two months later (one month in ICU) he came home to Texas. He still has oil in his lungs - you can see it walled off on the xrays today. No one knows what the long term outcome will be. But no one told Bubba either.
As a three year old he started looking even better. Should we chance sending him off? He had not left the farm since his ordeal. Would the hauling and showing cause him a problem? Brad Gallun wanted him back for the National Futurity. So back to Arizona he went. And he never looked back. Brad showed him 3 times. The first he went Champion Stallion at a show to qualify for the Region 9 show. The Reserve Champion Stallion to him was Gazal Al Shaqab. At Regionals he easily sailed to Top 5 stallion and then won Reserve Champion Region 9 Stallion. At Nationals it was a tough class. One of the toughest Futurity Classes in years. Filled with big names that went on to become big sires. Magnum Psyche, First Cyte, Falconn, Its Showtime, Thee Infidel, Gazal Al Shaqab and more. Brad and Bubba prevailed however, with all 5 judges using him on the cards! Again, a solid Top Ten placing! How did he fare physically and mentally? Well let's see - the groom brought his ball........and one night Bubba knocked down all the stall drapes of his row and the row behind him by throwing that ball over the tops and snapping all the ties. Not many in the barn were pleased - except us - and Bubba.
As mentioned earlier, Bubba has gone through some growing stages. As a yearling he was gorgeous and smooth but lacked in set of neck. By three, his neck had improved and looked quite nice but his face was not as pretty as when he was a baby. But now, in the last few years, those who come to see him are star struck. His beautiful, chiseled face with the big poppy (froggy) eyes has come back. His neck, now set up high is balanced in length with his body and long hip. And picture-perfect tail carriage - always up. (never gingered - just good breeding - all the Makhsous horses have GREAT tail carriage) Many top trainers have commented that he should go back for a National title. Perhaps he could even win more than Top Ten?? But we promised him no more shows a long time ago. His worth as a sire to us at this point is too great.
For it is as a sire that he shines. We expected Bubba to sire his good body and smooth topline - a contribution not only from *Sultann but also from his maternal grandsire Ibn Dahmahn who was body perfect. We were hoping for the big eyes as well. His dam an exotic small bay mare with those mysterious black eyes and floating movement is very reminiscent of her gorgeous grandmother the grand Dahmah Shawaniah. Jean Rogers first set eyes upon this special lady when she arrived at the farm to be bred to Raquin RA. She had a lovely filly by her side at the time... but Jean was mesmerized with Star Bint Hafiza and the thought of a mating to Makhsous. Eventually with her purchase that mating did occur 3 times. One gorgeous filly died and the two colts both went on to have National wins! A truly classic beauty, Star Bint also carries the blood of The Egyptian Prince for large expressive eyes and smooth bodies combined with *Tuhotmos for charisma, expression and desert dryness. So perhaps unsurprisingly, as one foal after another slid out onto the ground and looked up at us with that "froggy" expression and short, dishy face, it was apparent we had underestimated his siring ability. Even more consistent than Makhsous, Bubba adds type, tippy ears, big eyes, smooth bodies and beautiful faces. They have his rough and tumble personality too. He loves people but is definitely the character of the farm. He is the class clown, always into mischief. And a bit like his sire - he wants things HIS way. That is okay with us...... you see we feel he deserves things his way! From days lazing in his pasture to special treats in the barn at night........ he has replaced his sire as that special horse in the barn.... the one who gets the attention because he DEMANDS the attention.
His foals are doing well whenever shown. At the 2005 Egyptian Event Bubba sired 3 of the 6 Futurity Champions in the Yearling and Two Year Old Classes and 1 Reserve Champion! At the 2008 Egyptian Event his daughter Naadirah KA garnered the highest score of the show with 8 scores of 20 awarded to her - she was pinned Champion Filly on 4 of 5 judges cards. He has sired the New Zealand National Champion Filly, a Reserve Champion Filly of Egypt and the Egyptian Event Europe Reserve Junior Champion Colt. This from a stallion who sires less than 10 foals a year. His EBC breeding is consistently one of the hottest sellers and his foals have won Champion, Reserve Champion and mulitple Top Tens in the EBC competition bringing home big prize money as well as prestige.
Even more important, his daughters and sons are now in dedicated and important breeding programs here in the United States as well as worldwide including offspring in Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and South Africa. We are most excited to see the offspring these fellow breeders will have from their Bubba kids.
Bubba is a fitting Texas nickname. One that he likes and many people know. However, as time marches on this dramatically beautiful stallion enchants his visitors and repeatedly produces dazzling offspring. So perhaps it is time now - to refer to this captivating and classic fleabitten stallion by his real name. As his three year old Futurity ad slogan said;
"It's all in the name - Makhnificent!"