I was born and raised in California and was a horse lover from my childhood. I read the old Western Horseman magazines (from when it was first published in Lafayette, California) and from the ads and articles about Arabian horses knew it was Arabians I wanted to own. I also began to take and read Arabian magazines. As I grew older I became familiar with Arabian bloodlines, learned about legs and conformation, and the old (1925-1960) W. K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Ranch, and realized it was Arabians of Kellogg bloodlines that often attracted me the most, not only because of the quality, type, correctness, and beauty, but also because of the proven athletic ability of the Kellogg horses and the fame and success of Kellogg-bred greats such as Farana, Ferseyn, and Abu Farwa, to name just a few.
Like many Arabian enthusiasts of that era when Arabians were relatively scarce and expensive, I started with a 3/4 Arabian mare which I rode and then decided to breed to the stallion Aurab, which I had seen advertised and then had gone to see in person. It was not long after my 3/4 Arabian mare foaled that I was given opportunity to buy, on time payments, the 1964 purebred Arabian mare Marzeya. I bought Marzeya and sold my two part-Arabians.
Marzeya was acquired in 1974 and thus Diablo Vista Arabians was founded as an establishment breeding Crabbet/American Arabians with Kellogg emphasis. The stud was named Diablo Vista Arabians because it was located in the foothills of California’s Mt. Diablo.
Marzeya was bred to Aurab and produced the tall, elegant mare Aurzeya, who in her turn produced my stallion Night Dragon, considered by some to have been one of the three best sons of the internationally great Aurab son Ben Rabba. Today I continue to utilize quality Aurab blood as much as possible, through as many different sources as possible.
Marzeya was soon followed by other suitable mare acquisitions and Diablo Vista Arabians grew and grew.
Not only has Diablo Vista Arabians used the old Kellogg type and quality standards, (which includes good legs and feet, correct conformation and balance, ample Arabian type and beauty, athletic ability, and good dispositions), but also the old Kellogg breeding philosophy which was never a pedigree breeding program, but always a program of a quality standard and diversity of bloodlines, using outcrosses to bring in desirable qualities and new blood, then going back into the old lines again. Accordingly, from time to time I use selected outcross stallions, always with particular attention to the individual qualities they bring into the herd. The products are then bred back into the Crabbet/American with Kellogg lines.
This is the breeding philosophy established and practiced with great success by H. H. Reese, the Kellogg Ranch manager who made the Kellogg Ranch and its horses great.
I have utilized as many of the old Kellogg bloodlines as possible and probably have more of a deliberately chosen variety of old Kellogg lines than any other Arabian breeder of today. I have lines to 1908 *Nasik, 1916 Jadaan, 1921 Antez, 1922 Hanad, 1923 *Raseyn, 1929 Farana, 1930 Ralet, 1931 Ronek, 1932 Jedran, 1932 Rifnas, 1933 Sikin, 1936 Rabiyas, 1937 Ferseyn, 1938 Alyf, 1938 *Witez II, 1940 Abu Farwa, 1940 Sureyn, 1947 Courier, 1948 Nataf, 1952 Zadir, 1953 Farlowa, and 1954 El Gato, to name only some of the best known Kellogg stallions. I have additional lines to 1908 Skowronek, 1916 *Mirage, 1925 Ghazi, 1926 *Raffles, 1935 Alla Amarward, 1944 Ankar, the 1947 Hearst desert import 1944 *Ghamil, 1949 Azraff, 1949 *Serafix, 1952 Ferzon, 1961 Raffon, 1961 Royal Binis, Draper Spanish and new Spanish, Polish, Egyptian, and newer Crabbet, all blended to produce the best Arabians I can
In 1991 I added a black dimension to my breeding program when I purchased the only black Ben Rabba daughter, 1985 Ohadi Black Lady, at the Curtis Cox dispersal sale in Idaho. Since then I have successfully bred a few select blacks, using black sires of high quality with strong Crabbet/American pedigree components, such as Gayronek, and combined with other lines, such as Nv Beau Bey, and others.
I have carried on my breeding program for more than three decades without benefit of having large sums of money at my disposal. I have never been able to both show and breed, and have chosen to breed, depending mostly on word of mouth for my sales. Most of the 70+ animals I have bred have gone into family type homes where they are enjoyed as riding horses. Some have been successfully shown by their owners in various show disciplines. A few have been put on the track by their owners and have achieved very well, including winning stakes races, and some have been successful in NATRC and AERC.
In 1974 I intruded into Carol Woodbridge Mulder’s life and refused to leave, developing a lifelong friendship to my pleasure and education ever since. Carol grew up around the old Kellogg Ranch and knew all the horses and people, and, since the deaths of H. H. Reese in 1963 and Gladys Brown Edwards in 1989, has been and remains the sole surviving expert on the old Kellogg Ranch, its breeding program, and its horses. I consider Carol W. Mulder the most thorough and knowledgeable researcher, historian, and judge of horses alive in the world today. I believe I have quality horses because of her observations, criticisms, and advice which have helped me immeasurably. It is challenging to learn conformation, and even more so to disagree about breeding “decisions.” When the resultant foal is born, the questions are settled. (Until next time!) You have not lived as a serious breeder until Carol Mulder critiques your horses using the old Kellogg and U.S. Army methods - and you better be sitting down when she tells you. Friendship does not get in the way of evaluating a horse, but don’t ask ask her opinion unless you can handle it and profit from it.
To breed good horses, I believe the breeder must know the strengths and weaknesses of every animal used for breeding, and each mating must be selectively and individually made according to these strengths and weaknesses. No horse is ever perfect, but the goal is to strive for as much perfection as possible. Type, as in a beautiful head, neck, and high, straight tail carriage, without good basic horse conformation and legs is useless. A breeding program based on only one or two horses is surely self-limiting and increases probably that it might ultimately fail in quality. If a breeder only puts pedigrees together without being critical of the individuals involved, quality will likely go down hill. If a breeder uses certain “famous” horses in his/her program and does not know for what they were famous (i.e. action, beauty, long hip, superior shoulders, perfect legs and feet, etc.) then that breeder cannot judge if his/her products have the desirable qualities of the famous ancestors, and may end up with the faults of those horses and not the assets - and never know. It is not enough to have famous horses in a pedigree; the horse standing before you must show the reasons why the ancestors were famous by showing their characteristics. A pedigree is not famous in and of itself. The pedigree does not make the horse, the horse makes the pedigree.
When a breeder has excellent evaluations of their horses by qualified people, educates his/her own eye by knowing conformation and legs, digests this information and breeds to keep the good qualities and minimize the faults, the breeder is upping the odds of getting better horses. Each year, with each foal crop, decisions as a breeder unfold, to prove or disprove selections.
To end this on a humorous note, I hope to combine the beauty and form of Marilyn Monroe with the brains of Albert Einstein for the perfect ideal. Unfortunately, sometimes the opposite happens! Recognizing each result and trying always to improve my horses is my goal.