Baby Spirit-“The Black Stallion”

AV Olympic Spirit aka Spirit with his mom (dam), Raylee Asasi

This post is just for fun because I received these awesome pictures today from Renee Boeshans, the owner of Spirit’s sire, Affirmativ. Here’s a pic of Affirmativ:

Affirmativ (Andreanov x Cedaridge Folaura)

Affirmativ’s sire, Andreanov:

Andreanov (Negatraz x Andorra)

Affirmativ’s dam, Cedaridge Folaura:

Cedaridge Folaura (Folltan x Sharene)

As followers of this blog may remember, Spirit is the sire of my two Arabian loves: Flame aka NH Fyrecracker and Honey aka Spirits Fyrestorm.

Flame aka NH Fyrecracker (AV Olympic Spirit x Fyrelite Bynite)
Honey aka Spirits Fyrestorm (AV Olympic Spirit x Fyrelite Bynite)

Here’s their mom, Fyrelite:

Fyrelite Bynite (Nite Mover x Pure Silk)

More Spirit baby pictures:

Spirit’s dam, Raylee Asasi, was owned by Janice Johnson. Affirmativ spent several summers with the lovely mares owned by Mrs. Johnson, who was an ardent admirer of his. Renee spent three weeks with them on the first visit, riding horses and showing them how to hand breed the stallion.

One of the black fillies sired by Affirmativ at the Johnson farm, who was sold to Germany:

Affirma Fantasia (Affirmativ x AA Khaibar)

AV Midnight Lyric, a full sister to Fantasia, is still owned by Mrs. Johnson and is currently leased out to Belesemo Arabians:

AV Midnight Lyric (Affirmativ x AA Khaibar)

I’m going to wrap this post up with some pictures of Spirit all grown up:

Okay, I lied; here are two more pictures of Affirmativ (Who ever gets tired of looking at pictures of horses, really?):

Affirmativ
Affirmativ at Scottsdale

Sheila Varian-Dreamer and Doer

Sheila and Farlotta

Not too long ago a fellow horse loving friend loaned me the DVD, “The Legacy of Sheila Varian”. He said, “You’ll love this because it’s all about Arabians,” or something along those lines. I didn’t watch it right away because I figured it was a boring documentary about some rich lady and her horse farm. I finally popped it in a week or two later and found myself drawn in by this woman, who was the quintessential dreamer of dreams!

Sheila Varian did not come from a rich family. She fell in love with Arabians the same way I did, through reading the Black Stallion series by Walter Farley. Her parents weren’t horse people but supported her dreams and at the age of eight she started riding her first horse, a Morgan/Percheron mix and because money was tight, learned to ride bareback. She didn’t acquire her first saddle until the age of twelve.

Horses were in Sheila’s blood, heart and soul from the start and while working as a high school physical education teacher, she worked toward her dream. Farlotta was her first Arabian and most beloved of all. When Farlotta passed on to the rainbow bridge at the young age of seven due to health problems, Sheila was holding her cherished mare’s head in her arms.

Sheila later acquired the mare Ronteza, who would set Sheila on her way toward creating her legacy. In 1961 Sheila and Ronteza won the Open Reined Cow Horse Championship at The Cow Palace in San Francisco, California. She was the first amateur, the first woman and had the first Arabian to take the title.

Through acquiring mares from Poland and careful breeding over the years, Sheila Varian created the dynasty that is now known as Varian Arabians. Her is a link for the video that tells the story of this great lady and her legacy:

The Legacy of Sheila Varian

At one point in the documentary Sheila talked about following your dreams. I can’t remember the exact quote, but what she said really made an impression on me. This woman was not rich, or beautiful (in the traditional sense), but she was driven. I’m sure she encountered pain and roadblocks along the way, but she didn’t let that stop her. She lived the life she wanted and that is inspiring!

Sheila and Ronteza

Stallion Spotlight-Affirmativ

Affirmativ (Andreanov x Cedaridge Folaura) 1984-2009

Affirmativ is the sire of AV Olympic Spirit, resident black stallion at The Franch and he is grandsire to my two loves, Flame and Fyrestorm. He was owned by Jim and Renee Boeshans of Springfield, Oregon and Renee calls him their “miracle horse”.

Renee had taken her friend to Twin Fir Farms in Sisters, Oregon to look for a colt, when a sweet, little, black, one-month old colt decided to start following Renee around. She says, that while they were choosing a different colt for her friend, Affirmativ chose her.

He is their miracle horse because at the age of 18 months he broke his leg and they were devastated. Affirmativ was sent to Oregon State Veterinary Hospital for surgery and had a pin put in the leg, but was rejecting the pin and was sent home for the Boeshans to treat it. Miracle of miracles happened and it healed. They had not been expecting to be able to show or ride him, but the plucky young stallion made a full recovery. Affirmativ would go on to become a winner in country English pleasure and halter. He was Scottsdale’s Most Classic Arabian and Champion Native Costume horse in 1994. And later at the age of nineteen, he was shown in hunt seat, western and native costume by their granddaughter, Cortney Boeshans.

Affirmativ has over 100 foals in the U.S., Canada and Germany. The ones that have been shown have done very well, winning national, regional and Class A championships. One of which being, AV Olympic Spirit aka Spirit, who was 2004 Top 10 US National Champion Arabian Working Cow Jr Horse.

AV Olympic Spirit (Affirmativ x Raylee Asasi)

Affirmativ has the true, classic Arabian look with chiseled head, large eyes and long “hooky” neck that breeders strive for and it is passed on through his bloodlines as can be seen in his grandson, NH Fyrecracker aka Flame:

NH Fyrecracker (AV Olympic Spirit x Fyrelite Bynite)

The Arabian horse world is both large and small at the same time. Renee and I became friends on Facebook through the connection between our beloved horses and we both have a mutual love of the breed. I couldn’t be happier that Affirmativ chose Renee and became her “miracle horse”.

Affirmativ

NH Fyrecracker-Franch Bred Arabian

NH Fyrecracker aka Flame

It was love at first sight for me and this sweet boy! He was introduced to me as Fyrecracker, but I couldn’t resist calling him Flame because of his fiery, red color which brought to mind Walter Farley’s Island Stallion of the same name. The name also seemed fitting because his sire is the black stallion, known as Spirit around The Franch.

AV Olympic Spirit

Spirit’s sire is the beautiful, Affirmativ:

Affirmativ

Flame is a Polish Arabian and he has the great, Bask in his pedigree three times on both his dam and sire’s side.  He also has several Varian Arabians in his bloodline. He has Bay El Bey on his sire, Spirit’s side who was well known in Arabian horse circles as “The Kingmaker”.  Bay El Bey’s descendants are stamped with his distinctive look, intelligence and excellent disposition, which is definitely true with Flame because he possesses the long arched neck, kindness and intelligence that has been passed down to him through the generations. To learn more about Bay El Bey, check out The History of Bay El Bey.

On his dam, Fyrelite Bynite’s side, Flame has in his bloodlines the following Varian Arabians, Khemosabi (Khemo as he was known, was actually raised by Ruth and Bert Husband, but his breeding career was launched by Sheila Varian.) and the mare, Bayanka.

Flame is the stuff of a little girl’s dreams!

“I love you!”-Flame

Stallion Spotlight-Bay-Abi

Bay-Abi

Bay-Abi is the Arabian stallion who is the founder of the Varian Arabian dynasty.  Flame and Honey have him twice in their bloodline through both their dam, Fyrelite and sire, Spirit.

Sheila Varian was 19 years old, when Bay-Abi crossed her path in 1959.  She had little money, but big dreams.  With her mother, Wenonah’s help, Sheila bought Bay-Abi as a 2-year-old at auction at the first Arabian horse sale to be held at San Francisco’s Cow Palace. Sheila was to have a life long love affair with the beautiful bay stallion.

Sheila Varian and Bay-Abi:

SheilaVarianandBay-Abi

Bay-Abi crossed well with a variety of blood lines, but Sheila Varian noticed that several respected breeders were having good success crossing American-bred Arabians to Polish imports so she purchased three mares sight unseen directly from Poland in 1961 with the assistance of Englishwoman, Patricia Lindsay. This was all done through old-fashioned correspondence, so it was a risky proposition, to be sure.  It was worth the risk though, because Bay-Abi made breeding history with the three mares, Bachantka, Ostroga, and Naganka.

For more information on Bay-Abi, visit the Varian Arabians website.