our Arieana Notebook: *Rose of Sharon, imported as an aged
mare to the United States by Spencer Borden, is the line
foundress of a
remarkable world-wide dynasty and is, without question, one of the greatest
mares ever imported to the United States. After a long and productive life in
England and after several years of negotiations between Spencer Borden
and Lady Anne Blunt, *Rose of Sharon finally arrived at Colonel Borden's Interlachen
Stud in Fall River, Massachusetts in October, 1905. She was in foal to Harb, a son of
Mesaoud, and in the following
January, 1906, the colt *Rodan was born, he being her 12th foal.
In addition to her
myriad other qualities, *Rose of Sharon was admired for the beauty of her golden chestnut coat with flaxen
mane and tail, and she remained flaxen to the end. Lady Wentworth is
quoted as having written: "Rose of Sharon. Golden Chestnut with white mane and tail. The colour constantly reappears in her
descendants, and after crossing with brown develops maroon almost black chestnut with flaxen or golden manes and tails. With golden bay cross
instead of brown, it sometimes reappears as a vivid iridescent buttercup
gold of dazzling brilliancy with lighter gold mane."
Ironically neither Lady Anne Blunt nor Spencer
Borden cared for *Rose of Sharon's flashy coloring and extensive white markings; but
we are grateful that her other numerous qualities were recognized and appreciated,
for through her foals those same traits of good basic riding horse conformation,
balance and type, style and elegance have been consistently passed on down to us through
her descending generations.
In closing I sit here with memories of our own Gleeful
Pico and smile as I think of how similar these descriptions of *Rose
of Sharon's coat coloration are to those of Gleeful Pico and her own son Haat Pursuit.
And I feel compelled to quote this paragraph as written by Carol Mulder
in my tribute to them all: "*Rose of
Sharon had a certain style about her and sometimes appeared
elegantly superior. It was a look which almost seemed as though she
knew she was a beautiful and great lady and was above caring what the
rest of the world might think; she seems to have perhaps had an air of
aloofness and possibly even a trace of disdain."
of Sharon died in 1907 at the age of 22, only three months after
having her last and 13th foal Rosa Rugosa. But
her legacy still lives on in the foals of Arieana's Arabians!
Morris (updated 01/29/06)
Archer, Rosemary, Colin Pearson and Cecil Covey. The Crabbet Arabian
Stud, Alexander Heriot & Co. Ltd., Northleach, Gloucestershire, England. 1994. p. 245
Borden, Spencer. The Arab Horse. Doubleday, Page
& Company, New York, New York. 1906. pp. 93-94
Bowling, Michael. Personal
Communication dated June 23, 1997.
Mulder, Carol June Woodbridge. Imported
Foundation Stock of North American Arabian Horses Volume 2 (Revised
Edition). Borden Publishing Company, Los Angeles, California. 1993. pp.