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THE STORY OF THE PHARA ARABIAN
Through the years, Phara horses were shown on a regular basis in a variety of disciplines, and there are too many to name. The most recent national title holder, for example, is the 1988 Exotic Sun (The Sun Idol x Gaybale), owned by Barbara Rauscher of West Seneca, N.Y. The chestnut gelding took a top 10 title at the 2007 Sport Horse Nationals in Show Hack AT. He has won in dressage, hunter pleasure and sport horse under saddle in a career that spans nearly 15 years, which speaks well of their longevity and usability!
Champion Sun Rose Ebony competed successfully in dressage and hunter pleasure before returning to become a treasured Phara broodmare, although Annette takes no credit for her training. "Her owners Tom and Sharon McInnis of Antigo, Wisconsin, sent her to a professional trainer," she explains.
According to Annette, most Phara horse owners don't show unless they can do it themselves. "I think these horses do better with their owners," she adds. "People are weary of shows and the way handlers treat the horses. I also think they see horses in the show ring these days that don't look like Arabians either. Maybe my horses wouldn't 'fit' in with the over 15-hand, extremely high-tempered, long-necked horses with extreme looks that we see today," she acknowledges, "but they are in high demand. They are family oriented and have the old classic beauty seen in the paintings. Many people still want that look.
"People call from all over the world. I've always had a waiting list and most of the time the foals are either sold in utero or as weanlings. Most are sold to families - to people that want them for their best friend - a horse they can use for a variety of disciplines. These horses are so good-natured that their owners can handle them."
Gender doesn't seem to matter either. The colts sell just as good as or sometimes even better than the fillies. Her horses are so popular that they sell even during a depressed market and are kept like an art collection for personal enjoyment.
Phara horse connoisseur, Gloria Bowman, things Phara horses are "the most artistically beautiful in the world; as though they just walked out of a Schreyer painting." She has known Annette since 1972 when she purchased the 2-year-old bay filly Phara Satin Doll, who went on to become a Region 13 Top Five halter mare and "the best riding horse she ever owned." In 1976, she returned to purchase the 100-percent Phara weanling colt, Reflection Heir (Golden Reflection x Sun God Heiress), whom she still owns. "He is 31 years young this year," she continues. "I also have a straight Egyptian Al Khamsa mare (linebred Moniet El Nefous) in California waiting to be bred to The Sun Prince in 2008."
Phara Satin Doll
Golden Reflection x Khelah
Burgundy Sun x The Sun Heiress
Golden Reflection x Sun God Heiress
To many, Phara horses are the equivalent of American Royalty, but to Shannon Anderson (now Shannon Edney) of Dahabi Arabians in Stevensville, Mont., Phara horses are her fairytale horses come to life.
"I have loved and admired the Phara horses for 30 years," she says. "In 2004. I visited Annette and Phara Farm in person. It marked a milestone in my life. I walked around in a dream-like trance, mesmerized by these exquisite creatures that until that day I had only seen in magazines, books and on the internet. I vowed to restructure our breeding program and to concentrate on preserving the lines and look of the Phara Arabian. We purchased the 100-percent, 2-week-old Phara colt Pharao (Burgundy Sun x The Sun Heiress) that summer. The following winter, we purchased the 25-percent Phara stallion, Golden Ecstasy (Gold N Ali x DRA Burgundy Rose, by Burgundy Sun), and earlier this year, we acquired one of the most classic mares of our time, our treasured 100-percent Phara mare The Sun Heiress) Eclipse ofthe Sun x Rose of Fadl)."
"Annette is a true, dedicated preservation breeder of the Lewisfield Sun God line," adds Gaye Myers. "The legacy she is leaving us is priceless. I feel very fortunate to have known Annette for all of these years and to own seven Phara bred horses."
Although Annette has no 2008 Phara foals due, the phone doesn't stop ringing and the waiting list keeps getting longer... Annette is living proof that small breeders can be successful in a world dominated by larger farms.
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