THE STORY OF THE PHARA ARABIAN
While not everyone may agree with that direction, and to counter criticism of such close inbreeding and line breeding, Annette points out that the farm is in its sixth generation of preservation breeding and emphasizes that she has never encountered any genetic weaknesses. "Each generation always seem to improve," she contends. "They never lacked size, strength or breedability. Plus, they have wonderful natures. If there had been problems, I would have changed direction.
"Years ago, I read that the Bedouins used inbreeding to obtain a small, select group of horses with particular features and characteristics. They bred that small family unit to build on those desired characteristics and achieve the results they wanted with amazing accuracy and predictability. They felt they were breeding the most beautiful, the fastest, strongest and best horses possible."
Based on Bedouin philosophy, she closely watched for any flaws. "I was very careful and used my own small, carefully selected group," she says. "I was also very cognizant of the importance of the mare line."
STAYING THE COURSE
Annette mourns the passing of the true type in favor of the bigger, hotter horses that she thinks tend to look more like Saddlebreds. Neither does she think everybody should buy Arabians and advises potential buyers to learn about and appreciate the breed for what they were originally bred and used for. "If I was starting a breeding program today, I would certainly look for a bloodline that would stand on its own - not the same cookie cutter horses that we see," she advises. "It is my firm belief that one should find the right course and stick with it."
The Look of Phara
That she has stayed on course has not gone unnoticed. "Throughout the many years that Annette has been breeding elegant horses on a small and personal scale, she has always been dedicated to the same lines with the same thought - to simply produce splendid Arabian horses that looked like the Arabian horses we all dream of - and she has," Polly Knoll emphasizes.
"Annette is a wonderful woman who has kept true to her vision and produced some very beautiful Arabians, who, sadly in recent years, have not bee properly appreciated in show ring competition," add Arabian pedigree researcher and writer Arlene Magid.
Although only a spectator now, Annette kept her horses in the public eye by advertising in the major Arabian magazine, later added a website and showed them at major Arabian shows. When her horses were in the show ring, her individualistic thinking found another way to set them apart.
She was born with the artistic eye," says long-time friend Gloria Bowman of Belle Cheval, located in Hume, Va. "She is somewhat bohemian, a lover of art and unusual, eclectic things. She had a knack for finding or creating just the right halters to set off the beautiful heads of her horses.
Polly Knoll, too, remembers the special gold, braided halter that Annette made and designed for her horses to wear in the ring when fancy silver or heavy plastic was the only style.
The Artistic Halters of Phara
Golden Reflection x Sun God Heiress
Eclipse ofthe Sun x Rose of Fadl
The Sun Prince
Eclipse ofthe Sun x Rose of Fadl