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Arabian horse treasures up for auction

"South Wind", by Judy Nordquist, is among several arabian horse bronzes up for sale at the Gleannloch auction next month.

“South Wind”, by Judy Nordquist, is among several arabian horse bronzes up for sale at the Gleannloch auction next month.

The halters once worn by legendary arabian stallions Nazeer and Morafic are among items up for auction by the estate of Douglas and Margaret Marshall’s Gleannloch Farms.

The bridle worn by Morafic (detail below) is up for auction.

The halter worn by Morafic (detail below) is up for auction.

The sale of items from their Las Palmas Estate is taking place on June 6 during the 34th annual Egyptian Event in Lexington, Kentucky. More than 200 items are included in the auction, which is raising funds for the Pyramid Society.

Items in the sale includes artworks, gifts from visiting dignitaries, Middle Eastern objects and arabian horse tack acquired by the Marshalls on their travels.

Included in the auction are many artworks of arabian horses and scenes, paintings and photographs of Morafic, and several bronzes. These include “The Falconer” by Pierre Jules Mêne, and several by Judy Nordquist including “South Wind”, “The Falconer”, “Pasha’s Pride”, and “War Mare”.

Also selling is a hand-made halter worn by Morafic, which features black and white tassled sides, glass beads and cowrie shells. It includes a browband with tassels, and accents of blue, pink, yellow, and turquoise. The set includes a matching lead.

Another halter is that worn by Nazeer. He was often photographed in this distinctive blue and white halter, which was likely made by Om Ezzat, an Egyptian woman who made many of the traditional wool halters for the most famous Arabian horses in Egypt. Nazeer’s halter was reinforced with leather to accommodate a snaffle bit. It is adorned with tassled sides, glass beads and cowrie shells. The set includes a matching lead.

A framed stained glass piece of a bedouin rider and horse.

A framed stained glass piece of a bedouin rider and horse.

There are other Egyptian halters on offer, as well as Syrian made halters.

On a trip to the east in December 1960 a chance meeting led the Marshalls to a fellow arabian breeder, who turned out to be Sherif Naseer bin Jamil, an uncle of King Hussein of Jordan. Gleannloch imported the stallion El Thabi after this visit, and his black traditional saddle was gifted to Margaret. This handmade saddle, as well as a bridle and breastplate, is included in the auction.

There is another Bedouin saddle from Jordan also being offered, as well as a Portuguese leather and rawhide saddle.

Douglas Marshall, a pilot in World War II, was first inspired by the arabian horse when he flew over Cairo in the moonlight, and saw the Pyramids rising skyward from the desert. “When daylight came, I could see the horses over at the Royal Agriculture Society in the distance. I borrowed a Jeep and just drove across the desert. It was heaven! And I decided that if I lived through the war, I’d have an Arabian horse of my own.”

A handmade Bedouin saddle, bridle, and breastplate, from Jordan.

A handmade Bedouin saddle, bridle, and breastplate, from Jordan.

Margaret, daughter of  Texas oilman and philanthropist Hugh Roy Cullen, grew up around horses on the family’s Rancho Cullen in Columbus, Texas.

The couple created Gleannloch Farms in Texas and acquired their first breeding horse in 1953, producing their first foal in 1955. Their first Egyptian arabian was Moftakhar, purchased in 1959. They later met Donald and Judith Forbis, and after seeing their Egyptian imports, decided to travel there to look for horses.

With the importation of the now legendary stallion Morafic, the farm garnered many national and international titles. Today, every World Champion arabian from the past decade except one carries the blood of a horse bred or imported by Gleannloch Farms.

In 1969 Doug Marshall helped establish the Pyramid Society for protecting the bloodlines of the straight Egyptian Arabian horse.

There are four options of bidding, by advance over the internet, by phone through a proxy, live online, or on-site at the auction itself.

The auction catalogue is available for viewing online.

Douglas and Margaret Marshall.

Douglas and Margaret Marshall.

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