"...for my Spirit lives on in my Children's children."
*For the story of how *Sultann came into Kehilan’s life please see his page……….as it relates to this story.
If lucky then once in a lifetime you are blessed with a horse that changes everything. For Kehilan that would be Makhsous.
In 1992 with *Sultann in retirement at Kehilan, and Nabiel+/ back in New Mexico clearly at the end of his breeding days……..we were looking for the direction to go forward. Becky had presented horses at the Gleannloch Production Sale in 1991 and had the opportunity to meet Makhsous in person for the first time. “He was not what I was expecting. Smaller and a bit low in the back, but the extreme type and presence took me by surprise!” quotes Becky. We knew the *Sultann bloodlines well having used direct *Sultann blood, Nabiel+/ and his children we had produced a very athletic, necky and great bodied horse. The Nabiel+/ bred children and grandchildren were considerably prettier than what we started with. But we needed another step. Becky states, “When I saw Makhsous in person he took my breath away. I was simply amazed at how very ARABIAN he looked. I actually asked ‘Are you sure this is the *Sultann son?’ The foals in the Gleannloch pastures consistently picked out as favorites were also by Makhsous. We never dreamed that a short year later in the Gleannloch Final Legacy Sale we would have the opportunity to purchase Makhsous. Prior to the sale we put together a partnership of people who admired the *Sultann bloodlines with the express purpose of bidding on Makhsous. That partnership included Janice Bush, formerly of Somerset Farms where Somerset owner Lee Romney had tried years earlier to purchase Makhsous to cross onto her Ruminaja Bahjat daughters. After Lee’s death to cancer, Janice now had the remaining Somerset horses housed at Kehilan and thought Makhsous was what Lee would have wanted. We of course, hoped Makhsous might represent the next step in our breeding program.
At the sale, we had only raised $25,000 among us to purchase Makhsous. We were sure that would not be enough but were determined to try anyway. They kept postponing Makhsous on the stage, waiting to contact a telephone bidder from overseas. Finally, we persuaded them to put him across the stage and the bidding rose quickly – so we simply bid our entire amount all in one fell swoop – jumping the bidding by large dollar amount quickly. It felt like eternity while they tried for several minutes to get a higher bid, but miraculously the hammer fell and he was ours! Twenty minutes later the telephone bidder called in………and the auction company let us know they immediately had offered to double our money. We happily refused and Makhsous came home to Kehilan to stand along side his sire.
At that point we did not really know what to expect of Makhsous. The first few foals were clearly different than what we had produced before. In June, as the lovely Ruminaja Bahjat daughter Antigua gave birth to a very exotic grey colt, we had the feeling – our breeding program would never look back! And so it began in earnest with the birth of Marquis I - fittingly 5 generations of Lee Romney and Janice Bush’s insight, merged with Kehilan’s love and admiration of the *Sultann bloodlines.
Through the years, Makhsous proved again and again to be a superbly consistent sire. His children, especially the greys all had a similar look. The tiny ears, long arched neck, good legs, and flag tail carriage were carry overs from grand old *Sultann. But the expression, smooth bodies, and pretty faces were decidedly Makhsous and his dam the beautiful *Nabda. We were becoming accustomed to the fact the Makhsous kids would prance and have fantastic tail carriage and motion, along with that certain expression. But one of the biggest surprises was the disposition of his foals. Makhsous himself was a peacock. Not having the best of relationships with people as a young horse he came with all kinds of dire warnings about his temper. But we found that treated with the respect he deserved he behaved like a benovelent, if sometimes eccentric King. His foals however, proved to be extraordinarily intelligent, easy to train and more than willing to show both halter and under saddle. Makhsous is one of the leading Straight Egyptian sires in National winners based on a percentage of offspring. Makhsous averaged less than 10 foals a year for us and in his lifetime did not even reach that number. So from a relatively small number of offspring he produced an astonishing percentage of National winners. Among those are his daughter Bint Haddiyah who has been a Unanimous National Champion Western Pleasure 10 & Under along with many other National performance wins. Another daughter, Ziba Jalisa has been National Champion or Reserve Working Cow Horse 4 times as well as multiple Top Tens, Scottsdale and Regional wins. And Kehilan has also had a National performance winner in Bodacious KA who was named Top Ten Hunter Pleasure Futurity with only 60 days under saddle!
Of course, performance is not the only venue the Makhsous children have won in. He has sired National Champions in Halter as well as Egyptian Event Champions and International Champions. Kehilan’s own Makhnificent KA (who has his own story of courage and overcoming a death sentence), has been a National Top Ten Yearling Colt and Top Ten Futurity Colt. Still the only Straight Egyptian stallion to hold both honors.
With Makhsous our breeding program took on a new focus. The challenge then became finding the best crosses for his bloodlines. We brought in the Imperial Madheen bloodlines specifically to cross with Makhsous. The results have been superb! We then began linebreeding the Makhsous horses. Choosing his individuals that to us represented the best of his style and crossing them together to fix this type. It has been said that the mark of a really good sire is that his children will produce better than the sire. No doubt we have seen that with Makhsous and his sons Marquis and Makhnificent. Their children are proving to be more consistent yet in the classic type we seek while maintaining that Makhsous charisma and style. And now their sons and daughters crossed together are blessing us with children and they have that “Makhsous style” simply locked in. They are the best of all those traits we loved about Makhsous!
Our Mother, Jean Rogers had believed in Makhsous all along. And several years into the partnership she knew she wanted to linebreed his bloodlines. So she purchased Makhsous from the partners and remained his owner until his death. It was Jean's unwavering faith in his breeding ability that pushed us to embark on the linebreeding of Makhsous even though many felt that was a grave mistake. Until that point the *Sultann bloodlines had only been used as an outcross sparingly in pedigrees. Of course, the concern was keeping the extreme type that Makhsous exhibited and not bringing forward the plainer head of *Sultann himself. In the beginning we were ruthless on what we kept and what we gelded. We probably gelded some very good, good colts because they were not extreme enough. The Makhsous daughters proved to be diamonds for breeding however! We and our clients have been blessed with their abiity to transmit their sire's unique look and charisma.
All good things come to an end at some point. These wonderful creatures are only with us for too short a time. And true to his courage and heart, Makhsous had suffered a mild heart condition for years. “I have heart, courage and the game spirit that is my heritage.” It had never slowed him down, nor caused him to miss a moment of life lived his way. But in October of 2003 Makhsous suffered an embolism. He fought bravely for days and recovered from numerous complications. During his severe illness he would wait for Becky to come hourly into his stall to administer meds but mostly for the comfort and to lay his head in her lap. One bright fall day, Makhsous appeared to have beaten the illness and pranced and neighed out front as if he had one final showing. And for those fortunate enough to experience Makhsous giving one of his “desert vision performances” during Kehilan’s stallion presentation it brought a smile to everyone’s face that day. Sadly, that night he suffered another embolism and fought bravely again. “I was born of the Wind, mine is a warrior spirit.” But at the vet clinic, even the vets were amazed that he was still alive. So we whispered into his ear that if he could get up and walk onto the trailer we would take him home, - forever. “And so he did with the pride and courage he had always exhibited. “Through my streaming tears I watched as my vision of an Arabian stallion struggled and followed me up the ramp into the trailer and went home – forever.” remembers Becky. “I cannot be humiliated in punishment or defeated even in death” We humanely, ended his life – but not his spirit. For as anyone who has ever cared for a great Arabian stallion knows – they do not completely leave you. You are marked by their presence in your life forever. As David Gardner’s poem so aptly says…. “for my spirit lives on in my children’s children.”
Thank you for everything and rest in peace Makhsous. We will love you forever.