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By Eva Dano, (c) 1998
-Last updated on June 21 1999-
From the brochure of Arabian Horses at the Selby Stud:
Arab Stallion. Pure White. 14.2 hands. Foaled 1909. 1000 lb. Three gaited. Sound. Most gentle and lovable. A Seglawi Jedran of Dalia, the most prized of the Seglawi strains. Desert Bred. Sire: A Kehilan Ajuz of the Anazeh. Dam: A Seglawieh Jedran of Dalia. Register no. 790 Arabian Horse Club.
English Champion, Richmond Royal Show, 1926. American Champion, National Arabian Show, Nashville, 1934, at the age of 25, a most unique honor for a horse of such remarkable age. Only one other horse, Mr. Selby's mare, Champion Rifala, holds the same record of being both a British and American Champion.
Mirage first saw the light of day among the Sebaa Arabs of the Anazeh tribe, noted for their fine horses of the Seglawi Jedran strain. He was such a remarkable specimen that he quickly became celebrated among the desert tribes. It was thus that he came to be the ultimate selection of General Haddad, who had been sent out to scour the desert far and wide to locate an outstanding Arab stallion to head the Stud of His Royal Highness, King Faisal of Iraq. Until his death recently the King occupied a frequent place in world news. King Faisal was delighted with the perfect conformation of Mirage, together with his wonderful temperament, and considered him well worth the sum of $2,500 which had been exacted for him, an exceedingly high price in the desert for a young colt at that time. King Faisal, as time wore on, became greatly attached to Mirage.
Lady Wentworth, owner of the large and famous Arabian Stud at Crabbet Park, England, finally induced the King to part with Mirage, and it was while under her ownership that Mirage won the Championship at the Richmond Show, England, in 1926. Lady Wentworth writes that she considered Mirage an ideal ride and mentions in particular one spectacular Bedouin trick which he had been taught wherein he could turn at the gallop by leaping into the air - a performance which did not appeal to townsmen. Mirage's disposition is gentleness itself in all respects. Some years after he went to Crabbet, circumstances developed which made it possible for Selby Stud to acquire Mirage.
It is of interest here to relate that Chefik Bey Haddad, a son of the General Haddad who selected Mirage for King Faisal, retained so great an affection for Mirage that when in Cleveland several years ago on affairs of state for his country, he journeyed down to Selby Stud especially to visit the horse. He spent many hours in the corral with the stallion, and Mirage seemed to recognize him, even though some time had elapsed since he had last seen him. The Bey stated that he had frequently visited the horse while in England, after he passed out of King Faisal's possession.
This remarkable stallion is pure white, a rare and much sought after characteristic. At twenty-seven years of age - equivalent to more than a hundred years in the human span - he is entirely sound, without blemish, and shows none of the characteristics of advanced age. He is an almost perfect example of the classic type of Arabian, and in addition he has a truly regal bearing and a wonderful expressive countenance which greatly endears him to all. His fine conformation and splendid traits are transmitted in marked degree to his offspring. An outstanding demonstration of the exceptional virility and prepotency of the pure Arab is the fact that in spite of his unusual age, each year Mirage sires many fine foals, which are so sought after that they are purchased before they can reach maturity.
The following excerpt is taken from the Journal of the Arab Horse Society of England, March 1935.
"Mirage, Mr. Selby's wonderful twenty-five-year-old white stallion, famous in his native Arabia, Champion at the Richmond Royal Show, England, 1926, and now rated by many experts as the most perfect specimen of the ancient elite or classic type in America, added to himself the title of champion Arabian stallion of the united States for 1934. He stands a scant 14.2, a sturdy model with the characteristic refinements of the best of his breed. His head is a glory and his great eyes express high but gentle spirits and gracious personality."