Bazy Tankersley – Lifelong Friend of the Arabian Horse
Ruth "Bazy" McCormick Tankersley, was a devoted and loyal friend of the Arabian horse and many members of our community. Mrs. Tankersley passed away at her home near Tucson, Arizona on Tuesday, February 5, 2013. She was 91.
On Bazy's website, she extended this warm welcome, which is so indicative of her spirit, "I'm Bazy Tankersley and during this magical journey of over 65 years, I've owned about 2,500 Arabian horses. As a child I secretly dedicated myself to the preservation of the amazing qualities of the Arabian horse and hope to keep improving the breed, making it ever more beautiful, with better dispositions and endowed with even greater athletic ability."
According to Arizona Star Newspaper archives, Bazy bought her first purebred Arabian horse when she was 19 years old. She established her world famous Al-Marah Arabians more than 70 years ago when she and her husband moved to Arizona in 1941. In 2001, Tankersley bequeathed her 85-acre property to the University of Arizona, which uses the property as a working ranch.
For over half a century, Bazy dedicated her time and efforts to creating a breeding program focused on horses that combine classic Arabian type, willing, loving dispositions, and athletic ability. Bazy Tankersley succeeded in achieving this goal. Her horses are recognized worldwide for their beauty and athleticism.
According to the Arabian Horse Registry, Bazy Tankersley and Al-Marah Arabians have bred over 2,700 purebred foals. In 2009 Bazy Tankersley was the number one breeder of Sport Horse National winners, the number three breeder of purebreds at the U.S. Nationals, the number two breeder of purebred winners combined, as well as the number one Arabian horse breeder of the USEF.
In addition, Al-Marah has successfully marketed over 1,600 horses throughout the United States and to over ten foreign countries. The outstanding disposition and natural athletic ability of the Al-Marah Arabians make them a popular choice for owners, breeders, amateurs, and open competitors. Al-Marah bred horses excel in many performance divisions including English and Hunter Pleasure, Western, Reining and Cutting. They are talented, willing, and versatile show horses as well as superior endurance and pleasure mounts. In addition, many Al-Marah bred horses have contributed to other breeding programs around the world.
In 2010, the Arabian Horse Breeders Alliance honored Bazy Tankersley with a Lifetime Achievement Award for her commitment, dedication, and contributions to the Arabian breed, for breeding quality horses, and thanked her for contributing to the quality of our lives through the wonderful horses of Al-Marah Arabians.
Bazy Tankersley left an indelible mark on the Arabian horse breed. She was incredibly generous in ways that many of us will never know, and in ways that will benefit the breed for generations to come. She was an important supporter of the efforts to showcase and preserve the heritage of the Arabian horse and became the sponsor and namesake of the Al-Marah Arabian Horse Galleries in the International Museum of the Horse located at the world-renowned Kentucky Horse Park. The Al-Marah Arabian Horse Galleries opened its doors in June 2010. This remarkable homage to the Arabian horse, is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institute. It houses the massive collection of the Arabian Horse Trust's art and artifacts, which documents the history of our breed.
Whether it was a National Champion Sport horse, working cow horse, therapy horse, companion, or newborn Arabian foal, Bazy Tankersley loved them all. Her name will be remembered for all time and written in the pedigrees of great horses and in our hearts forever.