It is hard to find inspiration over winter. As much as you want to, the grey days and the endless mud here in the UK do make you want to hibernate. In fact, that is what I regularly do, every December. And then in January, I emerge around Epiphany, refreshed and revived, ready to take on the challenges, pleasures and memorable moments that a new year will create.
My year has started with a transatlantic flight, over to Florida. I am at the beginning of a two week jaunt around some of the wonderful breeding farms found not only in this part of the world, but also in nearby North Carolina. My days are full, and I just know that they are going to be ones that I remember for years to come. But on this first day, I am given a chance to breath, to acclimatise, by my ever-generous hosts, Frank and Carol Hennessey of Hennessey Arabians.
I had dinner with their manager, the tremendously affable George Z, last night; it was he who collected me from the airport, and then drove me to a steakhouse to fill me with red wine and red meat, and ensure a decent night’s sleep. While we were sat there, we tried to recall when it was that we first met. George thought it was Aachen or maybe Paris. I began to agree, but then had a flash back, and I could clearly see George, Frank and Carol climbing into their car in Santa Ynez. We had just been to Haras de Cardenas and seen the great Ecaho (Pepton x Etruria). It was then.We bonded over not just a love of the Arabian, but the Polish Arabian. And funnily enough, it is the Polish Arabian that has been the cornerstone of our relationship over the years.
Hennessey Arabians are known across the world for their Polish breeding programme. But there is one horse who, for me, encapsulates their programme. H Emandila H.
Her dam is a mare who needs no introduction to anyone in the world of the Arabian horse, being the utterly special Emandoria, part of the Michalow State Stud’s famous ‘E’ line being by Gazal Al Shaqab (Anaza El Farid x Kajora) and out of Emanda (Ecaho x Emanacja). Emandoria is one of the world’s most universally adored mares, and she has won titles across Europe, the Middle East, and the United States.
And that is where the Hennessey link comes in. Frank and Carol were part of the group that brought horses such as Pianissima (Gazal Al Shaqab x Pianosa) and Elandra (Monogramm x Erlanda) to the US. And as a result, the couple truly appreciated the great attributes of the Polish mares. Thus, it was Frank and Carol, as part of the oOne Hennessey Partnership, that brought Emandoria to the US, where she achieved major titles including that of Las Vegas Supreme Mare and US National Champion Mare. Frank and Carol were able to have a foal from this world-revered mare. The result – the first Emandoria filly in the world, and the only filly in the United States. Miss H Emadila H.
Like so many of us who fall in love with a certain mare, you will follow their progeny with interest around the world. And so it was that, in Las Vegas in 2009, I was watching the yearling filly classes with interest. For there, H Emadila H made her debut and it was there that she entered my heart.
It is H Emandila H who first put the Hennessey name firmly on the map as breeders. It was H Emandila H who I – and so many – ask to see every time they come to the farm. And it was H Emandila H who has become one of the leading broodmares for Hennessey Arabians.
Her sire is the aristocratic El Nabila B (Kubinec x El Layla Walayla B) – a wonderful, old style Arabian stallion who the Hennesseys also leased in partnership. The qualities of both horses combined into one very beautiful – and bay! – package.
Driving around the farm with Frank, we paused at one of the paddocks. and there she was. Emandila. Her look is regal – she knows that she is special. And she truly does have the look of her dam about her – that softness in the eye, the width between the eyes, her way of holding herself. She is a horse that you look at, and she sees into your soul in return.
One could argue that this is a quality that so many Arabian horses – the mares especially – have. But there are differences. There are some that just grab you by the heart, and they talk to you. H Emandila H is one of those. One I will always look for, one I will always seek out. One whose progeny I will look for on the showing circuit – those Emandoria granddaughters that represent one of the finest modern Polish breeding farms in North America. Those with the ‘H’ prefix and suffix, and that come from this powerful bay beauty who will mature over the years to truly become a mare of note.
H Emadila H. My first Romance blog of 2017 is all for you. Under the powerful Floridian sunshine, you brought an early end to my winter, and re-lit the fire in my heart once more.