BINT GULIDA’S STORY

 This is a follow-up about

BINT GULIDA (Gadaf x Gulida by Gulustra)

FOAL DATE:  September 24, 1956
BREEDERS:  Dr. John L. and Ellen C. Doyle, Sigourney, Iowa.
GROUPS: The Pyramid Society – Egyptian Bred, Sheykh Obeyd Foundation, Al Khamsa, Inc. and

Bint Gulida's Pedigree Crabbet Bred

Bint Gulida’s Pedigree Crabbet Bred

she is considered CMK (Crabbet/Maynesboro/Kellogg) bred.

Below is a transcribed letter dated March 17, 2008 that was handwritten by DANICA CUCKOVICH Piers DuBOIS and sent to me, SHANNON YEWELL WEIL. It is in response to an article that I wrote about Linda Tellington-Jones and her champion Arabian mare BINT GULIDA and published in the 2008 TEVIS FORUM. Linda liked the article so well that she later asked me to expand on the story and write a book about her life. The final results of her request is STRIKE A LONG TROT Legendary Horsewoman Linda Tellington-Jones.

However, not included in the book is the extended story about BINT GULIDA that is detailed here. I have also provided additional information giving a background for the significance of this letter written by Danica.

Linda Tellington (before Jones) and Ed Johnson had an agreement to alternate ownership of the foals produced by BINT GULIDA and Ed’s two-time Tevis Cup Ride champion endurance stallion, BEZATAL (1958, by BEZALEEL out of TALATTAASH, bred by Thomas R. Bowles of Live Oak, California.)

In 1971 BINT GULIDA produced her third foal by BEZATAL named SLIM and was registered to Bob and Kathi Theile (Kathi is Ed Johnson’s daughter.) JACPOT (1966 owned and adored by Sue Robinson until his death in his late 20s) and in 1968, Linda Tellington was named the breeder of the famed endurance horse and sire, COUGAR ROCK .

As Linda began was closing the Pacific Coast Equestrian Research Farm and School of Horsemanship in Badger, California, she transferred ownership of BINT GULIDA to Countess Margit Bessenyey in 1971 who then took the mare to her Bitter Root Stock Farm in Hamilton, Montana.

It is my understanding that sometime between the years of 1972 and 1975, BINT GULIDA produced a foal by the stallion who was her true heart throb, Hungarian Magyar Brado, as told to me by Linda. In fact, Strike A Long Trot is dedicated to these two fine horses. Unfortunately, their Half-Arabian/Half-Hungarian offspring was not registered.

Danica Cuckovich DuBois was a breeder at her Fa Raad Arabians in Woodside, California, thirty miles south of San Francisco. She smartly adored the BINT GULIDA and BEZATAL pedigree lines and, of course, was impressed by both of their performance records. Danica had her heart set on acquiring BINT GULIDA and bringing her back to California to enhance her own breeding program.

A telephone call to Countess Bessenyey prompted an invitation for Danica to visit BINT GULIDA at the Bitter Root Stock Farm. As Danica told me later, “It was primarily so that Countess Bessenyey could run ME through a thorough vetting process to decide whether or not I was worthy of BINT GULIDA.” Although she was a bit intimidated, Danica spoke from her heart and told the Countess how eager she was to have this wonderful mare and continue producing her fine bloodlines. Although Countess Bessenyey was kind to Danica, she wasn’t a soft sell and wouldn’t allow just anyone have this mare. The extensive interview even included a site inspection of Danica’s Fa Raad Arabians facilities in Woodside, including a hard look at the proposed stallion she wanted to breed to BINT GULIDA, the pure Egyptian sire IBN FA RAAD.

This inspection was to be conducted by the Bitter Root Stock Farm’s Ranch Manager, Bud Ruark. He was explicitly instructed to take the mare to Danica in Woodside but if for the slightest reason he was not 100% satisfied with any of the conditions, he was to bring BINT GULIDA straight back to Montana and the deal was off.

In a conversation with Danica, I loved how she told the story of Bud hauling BINT GULIDA in a pickup truck with stock racks across the more than 1,000 miles from Montana to California. Especially when Danica described the image of his Montana ranch-rig crossing the Golden Gate Bridge with BINT GULIDA’s reddish mane and tail blowing in the breeze. All the while BINT GULIDA was immensely enjoying the scenery presented on this trip as Bud drove the entire distance at 45 miles per hour!

Upon arrival, Bud was duly impressed with his findings at Danica’s equine set-up and also approved of her stallion. At long last Danica was indeed a worthy recipient of BINT GULIDA. On May 12, 1975, the registration of the champion chestnut Al Khamsa, CMK, Seglawi Arabian mare was transferred from Margit Bessenyey to Danica’s Fa Raad Arabians.

This letter details the progeny of BINT GULIDA and BEZATAL, and their son COUGAR ROCK who became a highly successful sire of endurance horses including standing at the famed Rushcreek Arabians ranch in Nebraska for a few years in the 1970s.

LETTER BEGINS

March 17, 2008

Danica C. DuBois

Cougar Rock Ranch

Cool, California 95614

Dear Shannon,

What a great article about BINT GULIDA in the 2008 Tevis Forum! You were very thorough and described the mare exactly like I remember her – “extremely sensitive.” She will often look over her shoulder as though expecting someone to jump out at her from behind. I never understood it. I was just so happy that I didn’t have to ride her, and admired Linda for her ability to have done so well with such a horse. The bonding, which she described was very interesting to me, as I never saw her bond with anyone while we had her. She was always distrustful and just seemed to tolerate people.

BINT GULIDA’s daughter BINT BINT GULIDA (out of [sic] by OMAGH) had the exact disposition as her dam. She was the one that Todd Nelson, DVM refused to treat when I was at my ranch in Greenwood, as she was so “skittish.” She was a real beauty but very difficult to handle.

The famous bloodlines of Bint Gulida are still being bred in the Asil herd of Doyle Arabians. CLICK PHOTO TO LEARN MORE

The famous bloodlines of Bint Gulida are still being bred in the Asil herd of Doyle Arabians. CLICK PHOTO TO LEARN MORE

I bred BINT BINT GULIDA to COUGAR ROCK, hoping to produce a more stable disposition horse, but unfortunately got another “skittish” one, who is my barn currently. Dr. Bingham from Georgetown got hurt by her last year when he came to give her a strangles shot. She knocked him into the feed box and broke his ribs. Dr. Bingham believes that she should be removed from the ranch. Perhaps if I bred her to a BEZATAL son/grandson we might get an offspring with a stable disposition. I just don’t know if her genes would once again prevail. Any suggestions?

Anyway, these are just some of my thoughts about BINT GULIDA and her produce. Linda’s description of the mare as “skittish” is right on the money!

I am enclosing a few Corrections/Additions for your file.

Overall, the article was very human-interest oriented and, of course, very complimentary of Linda who is a “star international horsewoman” and a “brilliant foundation American endurance rider.”

Thanks for writing the article. It’s long overdue. BINT GULIDA was a great endurance mare. Thanks for giving her the credit she deserves.

Sincerely,

Danica

CORRECTIONS/ADDITIONS

To 2008 TEVIS FORUM article on BINT GULIDA

* The reason Countess Bessenyey wanted me to have BINT GULIDA was so that the mare could be bred to a Blue List/Al Khamsa stallion, as she had never been bred to a stallion of the Old Egyptian Bedouin bloodlines. IBN FA RAAD, was such a stallion. Also, his half-brother DAN DEE was ridden by Dru Barner on the Tevis 3 times. (Not quite half-brothers but had a sire and grandsire connection through FA-TURF)

* Countess Bessenyey’s farm manager was Bud Ruark. He approved of my grey Blue List stallion IBN FA RAAD. We bred BINT GULIDA to him and produced GULIDA FA RAADA. She died tragically, two years ago, and is buried at the ranch in Cool. She was 27 years old.

* OMAGH, the sire of BINT BINT GULIDA was a stallion of Doyle bloodlines that I leased from the Doyle family. He was a refined classic Seglawi stallion with an incredible trot and a nice disposition. He had a gorgeous head and beautiful huge eyes. I will never forget him.

* We “saved” COUGAR ROCK in 1986 when (his then owner) Mary Dale Underwood called us from Alaska (asking us if we could take the horse because Rushcreek was finished using him as a stallion.)

(Note: It was no wonder the Rushcreek sent him back to California, in a telephone conversation I had with Danica, she told me that when COUGAR ROCK was delivered to their place in Woodside, it her father was the first one to witness his horrible condition when he stepped out of the trailer. Her father called Danica at once and said, “Well, his skeleton is here but the rest of his body hasn’t arrived yet.”)

* Even though he arrived in a terrible emaciated condition, the local veterinary suggested that we put him on a special feed supplement in addition to fine quality alfalfa.

* Two months later he severely impacted. We rushed him to UC Davis and colic surgery was immediately performed. He had three impactions in his intestines due to the alfalfa, which he could not digest. The veterinary surgeon reported that most of COUGAR ROCK’s molars were missing!! He could not chew! It was probably something that happened during his days on the Rushcreek range.

* COUGAR ROCK survived the colic surgery remarkable, particularly for his age of 19. With lots of TLC he recovered very quickly and by the spring of 1987, he set about his business of breeding mares and settling most on their first cycle. He left several foals (6 or 7 were mares) before tragically dying in Woodside in 1988 where he is buried.

* COUGAR ROCK’S get included 23 endurance finishers, 17 of which were winners or Top Ten champions and several were 1,000 mile-plus award winners, including National Champion Endurance Arabian, COUGARS SCAT (out of RUSHCREEK RUBY, 1979), a 7 year-old mare with 2,000 miles.

* Many of his get were Tevis Cup finishers and COUGARS FETE (Half-Arabian), a daughter, won the Tevis Cup twice AND the Haggin Cup twice in 1991 and again in 1996 ridden by Erin McChesney both times.

* When COUGAR ROCK passed away in 1988, he was the leading sire of endurance horses in the United States.

* COUGAR ROCK possessed the incredibly stable and loving personality of his sire BEZATAL, combined with the intuitive sensitivity and “never give up” attitude of his dam BINT GULIDA. He was a magical horse who made us all cry when he called all of his mares to him just before he died, in order to say goodbye. It was an unreal experience.

* My reverent love is for the cross of the BEZATAL and BINT GULIDA bloodlines – both Egyptian sources, tracing to Bedouin sources, but established at Crabbet Park in England by Lady Anne Blunt. I have endeavored to be a “preservation breeder” of these two bloodlines in the U.S. Our stallion COUGAR’S GOLD (1985 out of Rushcreek Ivy) has contributed to the success of that effort, which has been a labor of love, rather than one for financial gain. COUGARS GOLD possesses his sire’s remarkable sensitivity and loving and trusting disposition.

-END OF DANICA’S LETTER-

COMMENT: I am ever so grateful for this treasured letter as Danica Cuckovich Piers DuBois passed away on August 27, 2010 at the age of 67. She was the daughter of a U.S. Cavalry Officer and she earned a Western States 100-Mile Trail Ride “Tevis” buckle in 1976. In her unique way, Danica was a great contributor to the Arabian horse community while sharing her wealth of information about Arabian horses. She was a good friend to the late Dr. Richard Barsaleau and many others who still miss her.

SYW