Amity ~ God's Gifts: Party El Jamaal HAB
The Arabian Horse Project Presents:
Amity ~ A Dedication to Mares
Part 2: God's Gifts
Party El Jamaal HAB
By Olivia Strauch
Preface by Lisa Abraham
Features the Artwork of Deborah Rush DeRosier and the photography of Sylwia Iłenda and Javan
Claudia Darius and I formed The Arabian Horse Project to contribute on our own terms and to celebrate the Arabian horse in a manner that suited our feelings and perspectives. Our first project “Amity: A Dedication to Mares,” honors those treasure females who occupy some of the rawest and most vulnerable places in both our heads and our hearts. Our original intention was one in-depth article in which community members were invited to share their experiences in short vignettes. However, as we began to receive submissions, each was quite lengthy and uniquely precious. So we decided to feature them in individual articles—which has slowed our intended progress.
As Claudia is a founding member of The Arabian Project, we chose to begin the subject matter with a mare that has been dear to the Darius family, Rosinka. We used this story to introduce the series, as well as to develop a format. As there were so few photos of Rosinka, we commissioned Deborah Rush DeRosier(USA), an artist who has been incredibly instrumental to our work, to create a portrait. Not only were we thrilled with the finished drawing, but we also loved the way it complemented the overall look of our article, as well as our initial work. Furthermore, we both felt Deborah’s portrayal of Rosinka perfectly reflected the emotions behind the words. Therefore, we decided that our stories needed to include a head and neck drawing—another difficult hurdle that has nearly stopped progress. But time is not relevant to our mission as we believe in publishing work that will retain value, and not for the purpose of “content”.
When this project was formulated in our minds, Olivia Strauch was one of the first we considered for inclusion. Personally, I did not know Olivia, nor even much about her breeding program. Her influence as a professional and as a breeder was growing, but I admired how she maintained a lower profile, which I found intriguing. So, as I did not have her direct contact information, I sent her a note on Messenger and waited nervously to see if she would respond. To my surprise, her response came very quickly, and we began a dialogue. Our texting moved to WhatsApp, and we even had a few conversations. I must share that not only did I enjoy getting to know her, but I also felt a kindred spirit in her as we discussed some of our feelings regarding experiences in the world of Arabian horses.
Although our initial conversations occurred a little over a year ago, Olivia instantly knew exactly what she wanted to share, and sent it immediately—in fact, overnight. We went back and forth a few times with edits but then were able to finalize the text. However, I must share that upon first reading Olivia’s thoughts, both Claudia and I were deeply affected by the emotion—and knew we wanted the story of Party El Jamaal HAB to follow Rosinka's.
For the drawing, we once again commissioned Deborah Rush DeRosier. To complete the portrait, we had to rely more heavily on Deborah’s deep knowledge of horse types, conformation, and pedigrees and how those would guide her artistic choices for accuracy. It took a bit longer, but Deborah once again prevailed with yet another drawing that will live on in both this article and in Olivia’s possession. Claudia and I would like to thank Deborah for her tremendous contribution to this article. We would also like to thank Olivia for sharing such dear, heartfelt feelings for a mare that has had great importance for her personally, and has been a foundation for her breeding program, which is appreciated and admired all over the world.
Party El Jamaal HAB
By Olivia Strauch ~ Uruguay
In 2000 I acquired my first Arabian mare, Party El Jamaal HAB (CG Balih El Jamaal X Fiesta, by Cobrah). For a start, I followed the advice of a friend who told me I should breed her to Ffammess, a Fame VF son, who a group of five Uruguayan breeders owned. I was told, “You will get the neck and the movement.” At the time, I did not understand this advice, but anyway, as always, I paid attention to the opinions of experts.
I had a couple of friends among the Ffammess partners who also took care of me, a passionate girl who had big aspirations and offered a breeding as a gift. At that time, the stallion was on lease in Argentina. However, there were some straws available at a farm with the vet, also a friend, who froze the semen. Fortunately, it was located around 25kms from my family´s farm where “Party” lived. So, to avoid shipping costs, saddle on and saddle off I went. At that time in my life, I worked as a secretary for the breeders’ association with a salary of only $250 month. Therefore, I had to live my dream through favors and hard work. But, after two months, the vet called me to say he had tried without luck and there was no semen left. With my heartbroken to have missed such a great opportunity, I picked up my mare and took her home.
Party was a special one, a lovely and kind Arabian. On my weekends at the farm, I enjoyed riding her or even just hanging around and spending time together. Most of all, she enjoyed contact with people. When she noticed we were around, she would walk along the fence, nearest to the house, always checking to see if anyone was coming out. She was always close and would follow people everywhere and neigh for carrots. I remember my parents were so amused to see this curious and even human-like horse that would go into the kitchen and grab a salad from the top of the table!
Two or three years after I purchased Party and I had started working with Rodolfo Guzzo, at Guzzo Arabian Training (BRA), I had the opportunity to go to North Arabians, in California, and then later to Scottsdale to assist at the show. On this trip, I met Sir Fames HBV, chief stallion at the North’s. As a budding horsewoman, I was in the “sponge” phase, trying to learn as much as I could and of course, my first trip to the United States made a huge impact--the horses looked fantastic, and I wanted all of them! But Sir Fames was something different…probably defined by his amazing character and personality, and he was also a son of Ffammess.
The show ended and as I was preparing to fly back home, Robert and Dixie North came to fix my payment. However, after some thought, I asked if they would give me a breeding to Sir Fames instead of the money. Immediately Dixie replied, “That will be our special gift, and please accept the money as well.” At that moment, without knowing, this amazing couple defined my life!
Since the moment I bred Party to Sir Fames, I dreamed of a filly. In the case that this filly would be special, I had even chosen a name for her to honor both her mother and Pianissima, who was already admired by all. When it was finally time, out came a gorgeous bay filly: Partyssima OSB. Partyssima, who will be fourteen this year, is a big story herself. Although at the time nobody believed me, I trusted her incredible potential to produce when she was just a yearling, and as it turned out, I was right. She has given me beautiful fillies, one of which I have kept, and is also the dam of stallions (both by Dominic M): Preludio OSB, Brazilian and US National Champion, and Haash OSB who was leased by Christine Jamar (BEL) and is now leased to Janow Padlaski (POL). After Partyssima, Party would never give me a filly again, and it was twelve ugly colts in a row! I have understood this as a “divine message” to appreciate what I have and do my best with her sole heritage.
Last year I bred Party one final time, and I have regretted it. She was very old, and it was time to give her a worthy and deserved retirement. Uruguay is a country of huge green fields, with the best climate and weather for animals to be happy and free. We can give a horse the best life possible, and I wished Party’s last year had been spent enjoying the land without the stress of a foal.
But in my desire for “the last filly to keep”, in February of 2020, I bred her to an Excalibur EA son that we have at Las Rosas. She looked quite good throughout the pregnancy. But after foaling, she began to quickly deteriorate till she was skin and bones and no supplements, treatments or feed could bring her back. I moved her from the herd to a paddock where I could give her the best care possible, but she was getting worse and worse as each day passed. I specially prepared bran mash with molasses and warm water to offer her every evening, which she loved. Our routine lasted for three or four weeks until she could barely stand up alone, which is when I made the hard decision to put her to sleep.
Many things came to my mind while sitting with my dear old mare’s head on my lap waiting for the vet to arrive. Thankfulness, for all she brought to my life while asking for nothing in exchange. This mare allowed me to breed some incredible horses and travel the world. She is my reason to believe everything is possible, that even an eighteen-year-old girl with no money could fulfill her dreams. She taught me that one needs to work hard to reach goals and she showed me the way. Party proved that “quality is better than quantity” which I try to teach to new breeders, and even to the experienced ones who still don’t understand. Party taught me passion, patience, and good taste are all you need to breed good horses. With her and her daughter Partyssima I also learned about the incredible and unique gift of “charisma” and how to follow a heartbeat. Party was the one to show me the essence of an Arabian horse, and that life surrounded by them is a good life.
Then a text from the vet advising she was 10 min away, and suddenly her breath became deeper and more peaceful. I sat there crying and saying, “thank you for everything” …and a few minutes later, a last breath and she was gone. It was as if she understood and wanted to avoid me more pain. She was a special soul.
The Arabian Horse Project would like to thank Deborah Rush DeRosier (USA) for the usage of her original drawings: Amity and Party El Jamaal HAB. We would also like to thank Arabhorse.com for its professional support and media platform.
The original drawing Amity, by Deborah Rush DeRosier, was commissioned by The Arabian Horse Project and is owned by the Darius family (GER).
The original drawing of Party El Jamaal HAB is owned by Olivia Strauch.
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Amity ~ A Dedication to Mares
Part 2: God's Gifts
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